October 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is THE ROSIE PROJECT, a novel by Graeme Simsion


View from a bookseller

“Don Tillman is a brilliant geneticist, but he has always been rather socially maladroit. Imagine his surprise when a friend tells him that he would make a wonderful husband. Intrigued, he starts The Wife Project and commences the search for the perfect spouse. While in the midst of his extremely precise hunt for a wife, Rosie Jarman blows into Don’s life like a wild wind. Rosie is on a quest of her own — The Father Project — the search for her biological father. Rosie is the antithesis of Don's image of the perfect wife of his scientific calculations, but somehow he finds himself putting The Wife Project on the back burner to aid Rosie. Much ado about a comedy of errors ensues in this hilarious, quirky romance!”

Rachel King, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Jonathan Grimwood speaks about his new novel, THE LAST BANQUET, about which Amanda Hurley from Inkwood Books in Tampa, FL says: “In the pre-dawn of the French Revolution, Jean-Marie d’Aumont strives to wrest an ounce of immortality from every experience, taste, and sensation this world has to offer... Grimwood takes us on a tour through French history, from the death of the Sun King to the Revolution, but at its heart The Last Banquet is a beautiful — and, at times, macabre — meditation on the inexorable march of history and man’s struggle to leave an indelible mark before his own time is spent.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“In this epic tale, two brothers close in age but of very different temperaments are inseparable in their younger years in Calcutta. They become more distant as they mature, however, due to the political passions and ideology of the older, more outgoing brother. An ensuing tragedy forces the younger brother to evaluate his strong bond to his brother and to take on responsibilities he never expected. This is a story of decisions and consequences, family ties and separation, deceit and honesty, as well as cultural differences and similarities. Lahiri’s exquisite prose is like quicksilver, sometimes shocking and sometimes warm and comforting.”
Janice Shannon, BookTowne, Manasquan, NJ

With Controlled, Clinical Prose Lahiri Explores Love And Sacrifice



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



September 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is BURIAL RITES, a novel by Hannah Kent


View from a bookseller

“Set against the desolate fire-and-ice landscape of 19th century Iceland, Burial Rites is a brilliant, multifaceted novel that traverses dark, psychological terrain while providing pitch-perfect historical detail. Debut author Kent is equally skilled at delving into the mind of Agnes Magnusdottir — a servant woman convicted of murder and condemned to beheading — as she is at rendering the domestic life of the poor farmers charged with sharing their tiny hovel with Agnes because there are no prisons in Iceland. At once a brooding morality tale and a ferocious page-turner, Burial Rites is the kind of novel that asks serious questions while remaining superbly entertaining.”

Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Samantha Shannon speaks about her new novel, THE BONE SEASON, about which Lynn Riggs from Books & Company in Oconomowoc, WI says: “Shannon has created a world that will set your imagination on fire and lure you in so absolutely that you will forget your surroundings. London in the year 2059 is the world of Paige Mahoney, a dreamwalker. Scion is the ruling government and it absolutely rejects any type of clairvoyant abilities among its citizens. If Scion finds that you have those skills, you disappear. Paige discovers that this is true, but the ‘disappearance’ is not what she has been led to believe.”


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
“When Ashley Cordova, daughter of cult filmmaker Stanislas Cordova, is found dead by an apparent suicide, disgraced journalist Scott McGrath feels that there is more to her death than meets the eye. McGrath, who lost his career and his family while trying to expose the elder Cordova, is driven by a desire for revenge. With her compelling writing and her effective use of web pages, documents, and photos to add context, Pessl has created a tense, gripping, and utterly original novel that kept me up all night!”
Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Brainy, Fat And Full Of Ideas: 'Night Film' Is A Good-Natured Thriller



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



August 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is HOTHOUSE, The Art of Survival and the Survival of Art at America's Most Celebrated Publishing House, Farrar Straus & Giroux, by Boris Kachka


View from a bookseller

"Roger Straus, editor and publisher at FSG, was loved, loathed, feared, and admired, and the publishing house with which he came of age was—and still is—perhaps the mightiest producer of quality literature in America. Hothouse perfectly captures the often uneasy alliance between commerce and culture. Through anecdotes and firsthand reminiscences, Kachka weaves a compelling and sometimes hilarious history of 20th century American publishing featuring the geniuses, the egotists, and the neurotics—namely the most important voices in writing and publishing—during a golden era of American literature."

Mark LaFramboise, Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Tracy Guzeman speaks about her new novel, THE GRAVITY OF BIRDS, about which Nancy Nelson from Sunriver Books & Music in Sunriver, OR says: "At a lake retreat in New York State, Thomas Bayber, a young artist with great promise, meets the Kessler family. The family's teenage daughters, Alice and Natalie, become enamored with Thomas, and jealousy unalterably affects the lives of all three for the next 40 years... The reader slowly becomes aware of the connecting threads that bind these characters together through the years, and that leads to a surprising and satisfying conclusion."


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
"While working in a deli, a young Paterniti encountered what was then considered the finest cheese in the world — Paramo de Guzman. Too poor at the time to buy a taste, Paterniti instead vowed to one day meet this fascinating, magical cheese again. Years later, with family in tow, he made good on his vow by traveling to the rustic Spanish village where the cheese is produced. Enter Ambrosio, the brilliant, salt-of-the-earth cheesemaker with an infection zest for life and a love for creating something simply and beautifully. Paterniti spent the next decade embedded in the rural village, playign Sancho Panza to Ambriosio's Don Quixote while piecing together a meandering melange of stores about food, flavor, love, loss, betrayal, and revenge. I got lost in this book!”
Nick Berg, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

'The Telling Room': This Cheese Stands Alone



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



July 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, the new novel from Neil Gaiman


View from a bookseller

"Gaiman is a magnificent storyteller, creating scenes so complete that you aren't just reading, but rather inhabiting a universe that's thoroughly believable yet truly otherworldly. The story's terror—the claustrophobia and vulnerability of childhood, the way a child's wants, needs, and fears go unnoticed by adults, and the horrors that can result—is perfectly balanced against the consolation of books, the magic of the natural world, and the power of those who do listen, understand, and take action to set the universe to rights at whatever cost to themselves. Painful and wonderful, gorgeous and horrifying, truly fantastic, essential and classic, this is a book to return to again and again."
Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Simon Van Booy talks about his new novel, THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATENESS, about which Hannah Hester from Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson, MS says: "Van Booy's newest novel simply reminded me about what it means to take joy in reading. The story, spanning a number of decades, delicately intertwines the lives of several characters who, at a glance, seem like strangers but are, in fact, making an unforgettable impact on each other's lives. This book sinks its teeth into the hell of war, the pain and unspeakable joy of loving another human being, and what it means to grow up and grow older. . . I could not put this book down!"


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
"Sisters always have special relationships, but identical twin sisters are a world unto themselves, especially if they have ESP. The lives of Violet and Kate go from mad closeness to fragile separation as they attend different colleges and then return to their native St. Louis. Clairvoyance has colored their lives, and suddenly Vi is on national news to warn of an earthquake that will strike within a week and wreak havoc in everyone's life. Kate, meanwhile, has tried to ignore her visions and is married and raising two children. Sittenfeld is a funny and sagacious chronicler of the world we live in and the ways--sometimes quirky, sometimes conventional--in which we seek security, loyalty, and love.”
Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books and Cafe, Wichita, KS

In 'Sisterland,' Familial Fissures And A Pair Of Psychic Twins

"Reading Delijani's novel is like peering into the living rooms of families torn apart by counter-revolution measures in Iran. The intensely intimate moments she depicts and the highly personal struggles she focuses on show lief under the regime through the eyes of those most devastated by its vicious tyranny. . . A deeply moving story of life, death, persecution, and survival."
Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Listen to an interview with the author: 'Children' Of Iran's Activists Inherit Love, Loss And Longing



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



June 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is, THE SON, the new novel from Philipp Meyer


View from a bookseller

"Epic yet intimate, Meyer's The Son is the best kind of historical fiction. Vivid characters and great storytelling bring to life a distant time and place, while the themes and issues explored are completely relevant to our time. The interwoven perspectives of the three generations of the McCullough family create a counterpoint as each comments on the others, their mores, and their expectations and how these change over time. This is what great literature should be: a page-turner with a serious moral purpose."
--Scott Kinberger, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


NoViolet Bulawayo talkes about her powerful new novel, WE NEED NEW NAMES, about which Annie Philbrick from Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT says: "Bulawayo givers her character Darling an emotionally powerful voice while telling her story in such sparse and brilliantly crafted sentences, I had to put the book down just to savor the writing and take a break from the heartbreaking scenes of strife in Zimbabwe. . . This is a debut novel not to be missed!"


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
"TransAtlantic is a thoughtful and thought-provoking novel spanning the better part of two centuries. Weaving bits of history. . .with fictional players, McCann show us how the magic of the everyday is related to the momentous. Events circle around family stories overlap as personal history is passed from one generation to the next.”
--Liza Bernard, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

First Read: 'TransAtlantic' By Colum McCann

". . .Hosseini's latest exquisite novel resembles a colorful tapestry, a seamlessly woven tale of sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers, and the unbreakable bonds between them. The story of each character individually is compelling, but they are interconnected so beautifully that they burst with emotion."
--Anderson McKean, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL

Listen to an interview with the author: Siblings' Separation Haunts In 'Kite Runner' Author's Latest



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



May 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, the debut novel from Anthony Marra


View from a bookseller

"In A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Marra expertly balances the pain and suffering inflicted during the Chechen conflict with exquisite moments of loyalty, sacrifice, himility, and enduring love. He intricately connects the lives of a group of unexpected ways, slowly revealing their collective past, present, and future. As their breathtaking stories compel you forward, I urge you to slow down and savor the vivid imagery and lyrical prose on each and every page. Aptly names, Marra's debut is indeed phenomenal."
--Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL




Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Watch booksellers talk abut David Rhodes' new novel, JEWELWEED, about which Karen Briggs from Great Northern Books & Hobbies in Oscoda, MI says: "Jewelweed, a plant that looks like little pieces of jewelry strung together on heavy green thread, is an apt description of the people of Words, all tied together and realizing the importance of community to their individual lives. You will not want to miss a word of Rhodes' magical, soul-felt novel"


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
"Fowler breathes fresh and vibrant life into a voice (Zelda Fitzgerald) that very much deserved to be heard on its own. Any lover of the art, literature, and culture of the Jazz Age will not be disappointed with this read.”
--Karl Meutsch, Phoenix Books, Essex Junction, VT

Listen to an interview with the author: 'Z' Tells The Fitzgeralds' Story From Zelda's Point Of View

"Snapper is a beautiful collection of related short stories from first-time author Kimberling.. . Bu turns melancholy and suspenseful, optimistic and rueful, Snapper is warm, endearing, and wise. You don't have to be a bird lover to spot the charm in this book."
--David Enyeart, Common Good Books, Saint Paul, MN

Listen to an interview with the author: Exclusive First Read: 'Snapper' By Brian Kimberling



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



April 2013 Indie Next List

Sharing the cover of this month's Indie Next list is Life After Life by Jill McCorkel and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson


View from a bookseller

(On Life After Life by J. McCorkle)
"Let yoruself be drawn into the world of Pine Haven Estates in Fulton, North Carolina and treat yourself to a cast of characters so rich that you will be bereft every time the point of view changes, only to find yourself enchanted anew. Pine Haven Estates is a retirement community where life and death are inevitable companions. Its inhabitants and the people who care for and about them are at the center of this story that examines the cycle of life—what means to be alive as well as how one faces the end of life. McCorkle's first novel in 17 years depicts a community well worth visiting and offers a wonderfully satisfying reading experience."
--Terry Gilman, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA


(On Life After Life by K. Atkinson)
"Life After Life is both an engaging puzzle and a meticulously detailed historical novel that spans the two World Wars. With the introduction of Ursula Todd, a woman who livers her life over and over, Atkinson plays with second chances and alternate histories, and poses endless, fascinating questions: What would the world be like if we could start over when things went terrible awry? Could our decisions, big and small, avert wars? Make us happier? Stop death in its tracks? Life After Life is simply a terrific novel, rich with history and possibility, that will leave the reader pondering long after the final page."
--Kat Bailey, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA


Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Watch author Mat Wilkinson prepare a recipe from his new cookbook, MR. WILKINSON'S VEGETABLES, about which Charles Mille from The Quiet Man Bookshop in Canadensis, PA says, "Written in a manner that can be appreciated by the novice cook to the trained gourmet, Wilkinson's book makes you yearn for fresh produce and the warmth of a well-stocked kitchen."


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR
"Fans of Hemon's fiction will recognize some of the characters and places depicted in this collection of essays, as well as Hemon's distinctive wit and dark humor. . .Hemon's essays are frank and powerful”
--Laurie Green, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Listen to an interview with the author: A Little Blue Alien Helped Hemon Bear Witness To His 'Lives'

"Strout creates a memorable story of interwoven lives and destinies and the inescapable bond of family. A worthy successor to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge."
--Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

Listen to an interview with the author: 'Burgess Boys' Author, Like Her Characters, Finds Refuge In New York



Indie Next in Paperback. . .



March 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is Benediction by Kent Haruf

View from a bookseller

"Any new novel by Haruf is cause for celebration, but for those of us who have been waiting patiently to reconnect with the Front Range of Colorado and its quirky inhabitants since reading Plainsong and Eventide, Benediction is the answer to our literary prayers. The main character is dying, but that doesn't set a tone of great remorse or regret for a life in its last stages on Earth. Instead, it becomes a reflection of a family, of the place where they live, of the forces that farmed them and made them into the strange, angry, resourceful, and engaging people who they have become. Haruf is a wonderful writer, and I can't wait to celebrate the publication of this book with him and with our customers."
--Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ


Indie Next authors talk about their books...


Watch a trailer for Andrew Pyper's new novel, THE DEMONOLOGIST, about which Becky Milner from Vintage Books in Vancouver WA says, "Pyper combines non-stop action, metaphyiscal questions, a touch of conspiracy, and poetic references in a store that leaves the reader breathless."


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR NPR
". . .This is a compassionate and eloquent story of twisted love and recovery.”
--Lyn Roberts, Square Books, Darien, CT

Listen to an interview with the author: Loving But Leaving A Toxic Mother In 'Without You'.

". . .Literary mystery, love story, and historical fiction - all beautifully told with expertly drawn characters make this one great novel!"
--Judy Crosby, Island Books, Middletown, RI
Other Indie Next books featured on NPR


Indie Next in Paperback. . .



February 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is The House Girl by Tara Conklin

View from a bookseller

"Lina, a young, ambitious New York attorney in 2004, never knew her mother. Josephine, a young house slave in 1852, never knew her child. More than a century apart, their lives connect in unexpected ways. Corporate law offices, art museums, antebellum homes, and the Underground Railroad provide the setting for a story filled with secrets, betrayals, and love. Does the 'House Girl' title apply to both women? The paths of these strong women will have the reader marveling at the layers Conklin has created to tell their intertwined stories"
--Beverly Bauer, Redbery Books, Cable, WI


Indie Next authors talk about their books...

Watch a trailer for Teddy Wayne's new novel, THE LOVE SONG OF JONNY VALENTINE, about which Ellen Burns from Books on the Common in Ridgefield, CT says, A bittersweet, frank, and funny take on modern celebrity, The Love Song of Jonny Valentine introduces a young pop phenomenon whose career and every move is managed by his mother who has her own set of problems with drugs and men. Jonny, who is haunted bu the memory of his missing father, is both wise and appallingly naive as he deals with his newfound fame, the business of pop music, and he users and hangers-on of the celebrity world."


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR NPR
". . .Psychologically taut and beautifully constructed , this tale hooks the reader from the first page to the hair-raising conclusion. A literary page-turner that explores the lengths to whcih families will go to protect their own.”
--Sheila Daley, Barrett Bookstore, Darien, CT

First read of Herman Koch's new novel, The Dinner.

". . .She (Karen Russell) returns to the short story form and creates worlds surreal, magical, and horrific, all the while displaying the ability to comment on our own life through her fictional devices. Few modern writers can match her skill, courage, and genius."
--Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
Other Indie Next books featured on NPR


Indie Next in Paperback. . .



January 2013 Indie Next List

On the cover of this month's Indie Next list is Y: A Novel by Marjorie Celona

View from a bookseller

"Y is a book about the 'whys' of two lives. Why did one woman abandon her newly born daughter at the door of a YMCA? Why was it so hard for that little girl to find a real home? Why do we sometimes embrace responsiblility and sometimes run away from it? Why are people cruel to the helpless and the innocent? The characters in this book are flawed and stumbling - in other words, very human and very memorable. The issues of what it means to be a family and the meaning of 'home' are challenged, remolded, and puzzled into a story that is not always easy to read, but is difficult to put down and is impossible to forget."
--Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO


Indie Next authors talk about their books...

Watch a trailer for Stephen Hunter's new Bob Lee Swagger novel about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, THE THIRD BULLET, about which Bill Bauer from Redbery Books in Cable, WI says, ". . .Hunter has done what no one has previously done: supply a breathtaking new angle on the event (assassination of JFK). While staying true to the underlying facts of the Warren Commission Report, Hunter adds a layer of historical fiction, creating a new theory of the events of that day. Swagger hunts the mastermind behind a second assassin who supplies the third, and fatal, bullet. As Swagger focuses on the shooter and closes in on the mastermind, the mastermind, in turn, hunts him. A heart-pounding thriller!"


Indie Next around the web. . .

NPR NPR
". . .These stories do all the things we hope good fiction will do: blow your mind and break your heart, make you laugh and make you think. They are the kind of stories I feel grateful for, that stick in my head and heart and make me want to be a better person”
--Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

Critic Alan Chese reviews George Saunders' new story collection, Tenth of December.

"There is a saying 'you can never go home again' and Black explores this adage in her debut novel. Home is Galveston, TX and Clare Porterfield has not been there for 10 years. . .Black beautifully explores the idea of going home by making Galveston the true main character of this novel that will make readers reflect on their own lives and wonder what it would be like to go home again"
--Lynn Pellerito Riehl, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI
Other Indie Next books featured on NPR


Indie Next in Paperback. . .



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