February 2012 Indie Next List

Out now, the Indie Next List for February!

On the cover of this month's list is A GOOD AMERICAN by Alex George. In this decades spanning novel, Frederick and Jette flee Prussia in 1904 and find themselves in Beatrice, Missouri. Leslie Reiner from Inkwood Books (Tampa, FL) says, ". . .like the best family stories, is filled with the coincidences, missed connections, and both the tragedy and magic of ordinary life. . .Carrying the reader across the generations with music and food, religion and prohibition, racism and patriotism, A Good American makes this unique family's story seem familiar in the best of ways."

Watch this elegant video for THE SNOW CHILD, Eowyn Ivey's debut novel set in Alaska about an childless couple who, on the first snowfall of the year, fancifully build a girl out of snow. Come morning, the girl has become real and so begins a novel about which Valerie Koehler from Blue Willow Book Shop (Houston, TX) says, "As the girl grows through the years, we know that this enchanting story will have the twists that we have come to expect with tales that teach us lessons about life."

Other videos for Next books is a brief glimpse at DEFENDING JACOB, William Landay's provocative new thriller about a lawyer who his defending his 14-year old son who is on trial for murder and Liz Moore's HEFT, a novel that Dawn Rennert from The Concord Bookshop (Concord, MA) called, ". . .a novel both heartbreaking and hopeful, with characters who navigate the waters of love and family as if afraid of drowning."

Other selections this month include:

  • As heard on NPR - THE ODDS by Stuart Onan: "This is a small novel that packs an emotional wallop. . .Anyone in a long relationship will both nod and cringe as O'Nan subtly and brilliantly lays out Art and Marion's frailties, strengths, foibles, and deep affection.” -- Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver, CO)
  • Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com - THE FACE THIEF by Eli Gottlieb: "The Face Thief pushes you down the stairs on the first page and never lets you get your feet back under you. . . .Love, parenting, relationships, temptation, money, and green living are explored in an honest voice that doesn't take sides. . ." -- Shawn Bridges, Literary Lion (Stephenville, TX)

Also, don't forget about past IndieNext picks now available in paperback, including two wonderful memoirs: Gabrielle Hamilton writes about her journey to chefdom in BLOOD, BONES, AND BUTTER and Andre Dubus III recounts his turbulent childhood growing up in a downtrodden Massachusetts town filled with a seeming black hole of drugs and violence in TOWNIE.

Find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can browse at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



January 2012 Indie Next List

Out now, the Indie Next List for January!

Watch Ayad Akhtar discuss his new book, AMERICAN DERVISH, an enthralling debut novel about which Lynn Riggs from Books & Company says, "It is impossible to leave Akhtar's exceptional debut novel without experiencing the struggles and pain of young Hayat as he comes to terms with both his Muslim faith and his humanity."

This month's cover title is RUNNING THE RIFT from Naomi Benaron, which follows Jean Patrick Nkuba, a gifted Rwandan boy, from the day he knows that running will be his life to the moment he must run to save his life, a 10-year span in which his country is undone by the Hutu-Tutsi tensions.

Other selections this month include:

  • BLUEPRINTS OF THE AFTERLIFE by Ryan Boudinot: ". . .This is a brave, daring, entrancing book, one that elicits empathy for the characters in it, even as it makes you look at the real world around you with different, startled eyes.” -- Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
  • THE PARTNERSHIP by Philip Taubman: "Nuclear war continues to be an apocalyptic threat for America and other countries. Five men, members of the Cold War brain trust, have campaigned to challenge the United States and other nations to reconsider their strategic policies regarding nuclear arsenals. . ." -- Sue Fleming, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

Also, don’t forget about past IndieBound picks now available in paperback, which includes Amy Chua's much talked about BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER/a> and Joseph O'Connor's GHOST LIGHT, the excellent fictionalized account of the famed Irish playwright J.M. Synge and his lover, the actress Maire O'Neill.

Find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can browse at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



December 2011 Indie Next List

Out now, the Indie Next List for December!

Watch Joan Didion discuss her new book, Blue Nights, a profoundly moving and honest new work which finds Didion contemplating what it’s like to lose a daughter.

There are more videos this month as Alan Bradley, the author behind the Flavia de Luce novels, talks about his latest, I Am Half Sick of Shadows, and Debbie Nathan discusses her new book, Sybil Exposed, a book that documents the fascinating story behind the famous multiple personality case.

From NPR, hear interviews and reviews of Didion’s Blue Nights as well as Robert Massie’s Catherine the Great, about which Arlene Cook of the Watermark book Company writes, “An enlightened autocrat, Catherine did nort succeed at all she attempted, but Massie argues persuasively that she truly earned the title bestowed upon her by the Russian people. What a woman, what a book!”

This month, dig into ReadingGroupChoices.com's conversation starters for The Sisters by Nancy Jensen, a dazzling debut novel about the family bonds that remain even when they seem irretrievably torn apart.

Also, don’t forget about past IndieBound picks now available in paperback, which includes James Kaplan’s riveting biography of Frank Sinatra, Frank: The Voice, and Greg Bear’s Hull Zero Three, where one man wakes up aboard a ship and finds that something has gone horribly wrong.

Find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can browse at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



November 2011 Indie Next List

Out now, the Indie Next List for November!

Watch Philippa Gregory discuss her new novel, The Lady of the Rivers, which tells the extraordinary story of Jacquetta, the real-life mother of the White Queen.

Some old masters arrive with new books this month with 1Q84 from Haruki Murakami, The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco, and the first collection of short stories from Don DeLillo in The Angel Esmeralda, about which Michael Karpus from Books and Books writes, “In these stories, DeLillo takes global themes and ideas, the conflicts we often don’t want to acknowledge, and makes them human.”

From NPR, listen to reviews of Jeffrey Eugenides long-awaited novel, The Marriage Plot, Colson Whitehead’s venture into literary genre fiction with his zombie novel, Zone One, and Nathaniel Philbrick’s concise volume, Why Read Moby Dick?, a perfect complement of author and subject matter.

Two favorites hailing from the Pacific Northwest’s are on the list this month with Chuck Palahniuk’s Damned and David Guterson’s Ed King, the latter which is described by Jane Bowman of Eagle Harbor Book Company as, “A rollicking modern-day version of the classic tragedy Oedipus Rex, this wickedly funny story will leave you in stitches."

Also, don’t forget about past IndieBound picks now available in paperback, which includes two of my recent favorites, Tea Obreht’s acclaimed novel, The Tiger’s Wife, which is a finalist for this year’s National Book Award and Ian Frazier’s Travels in Siberia, an excellent travelogue that sees Frazier exploring one of the most utterly bizarre and unfathomable regions of the world.

Find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can browse at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



October 2011 Indie Next List

Out now, the Indie Next List for October!

Watch Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief) discuss the odyssey of a German Shepherd puppy who was found on a World War I battlefield and became a Hollywood icon in her new nonfiction title Rin Tin Tin.

And there are more videos for this month's titles for A Thousand Lives from Julia Scheeres, an excellent piece of journalistic writing about the tragedy at Jonestown, and Alice Hoffman's latest novel The Dovekeepers, which tells the story of four complex and fiercely independent women whose lives intersect in desperate days in ancient Israel.

From NPR, hear reviews of The Wandering Falcon from Jamil Ahmad, Michael Ondattje's The Cat's Table, and What It Is Like to Go to War, a non-fiction title from Karl Marlantes, the author of indie favorite Matterhorn.

Explore new titles in depth and discuss with friends by digging into ReadingGroupChoices.com's conversation starters for the new novel from Marisa de los Santos, Falling Together, about which Jill from Saturn Booksellers writes, “With these characters, de los Santos demonstrates that people aren't perfect, and that sometimes they aren't true to their friends or even to themselves, but that everybody—even the most flawed among us—deserves a version of 'happily ever after.”

The classic coming of age story is front and center this month with two novels set in the 1960s: American Boy by Larry Watson, and If Jack's in Love by Stephen Wetta.

Also, don't forget about the IndieBound picks now available in paperback, including At Home by Bill Bryson, Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx, and A Lily of the Field by John Burton.

Find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can browse at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



September 2011 Indie Next List

Out now, the Indie Next List for September!

Watch Elizabeth Letts discuss the true story of her new nonfiction title The Eighty-Dolar Champion.

And there are more videos for this month's titles for Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Jussi Adler-Olsen's The Keeper of Lost Causes, and Remembering the Music, Forgetting the Words, a memoir of Alzheimer's by Kate Whouley.

From NPR, hear reviews of Justin Torres' novel We The Animals, and The Leftovers, the new novel from Tom Perrotta.

Explore new titles in depth and discuss with friends by digging into ReadingGroupChoices.com's conversation starters for We The Animals, The Language of Flowers. and The Night Circus.

Find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can browse at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



August 2011 Indie Next List

Out now, the Indie Next List for August!

Watch Adam Lewis Schroeder read from his new novel In the Fabled East.

From NPR, Lucia Silva of Portrait of a Bookstore echoes Robert McDonald of The Book Stall at Chestnut Court in his recommendation for Kevin Wilson's The Family Fang.

Explore new titles in depth and discuss with friends by digging into ReadingGroupChoices.com's conversation starters for Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy and The Call by Yannick Murphy.

Two novels on this month's list delve into the fantastic world surrounding P.T. Barnum in Gilded Age Manhattan: The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Bejnamin, and Stacy Carlson's Among the Wonderful.

Venture into an '80s pop culture-infused future in Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, and trek back to Fillory, where former Brakebills students reign, in Lev Grossman's highly anticipated sequel, The Magician King.

Find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can browse at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



July 2011 Indie Next List

Out now, the Indie Next List for July!

View trailers for two interesting titles: Glen Duncan's slick & sick horror The Last Werewolf and The Reservoir by John Milliken, based on an 1885 Virginia murder.

From NPR, critic Laura Miller echoes The King's English recommendation for Lars Kepler's thriller The Hypnotist.

Explore new titles in depth and discuss with friends by digging into ReadingGroupChoices.com's conversation starters for Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante, Margaret Leroy's The Soldier's Wife, and Pao by Kerry Young.

And two books from this month's list put classic authors in fictional settings: H.G. Wells in The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma, and Flannery O'Connor in A Good Hard Look by Ann Napolitano.

Find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can browse at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



Exclusive Interview with Ann Patchett

Award-winning, bestselling author Ann Patchett returns with a spellbinding new novel, State of Wonder, featured on June's Indie Next List. Patchett has given us an exclusive interview on her new work, her writing style, and independent bookstores. Thanks to Ann Patchett and HarperCollins!

You take on some very big ideas and ask profound moral questions in State of Wonder. At the same time, your characters must escape one dangerous situation after another, and the plot twists and turns make it impossible to stop reading. Did you have those big questions in mind when you started working on it? Or did they flow out of your characters’ struggles in an organic way?

It worked more or less in this order: I wanted to write a book about an adult student finding her most important teacher again many years after the fact. The teacher has had a profound impact on the student’s life and yet that teacher doesn’t remember the student at all. From there I figured out who they were, where they lived, and what they did for a living. It was fun because Dr. Swenson loves to lecture, she’s a woman with a lot on her mind. Still, I never thought -- I want to make a statement about women’s reproductive issues. That just came out of the issues the characters were dealing with.

How did you decide to use the Amazon as the setting for your novel, and what challenges did it present?

I needed a place that had malaria, medical possibilities to develop new drugs, and was hard to get to. They also had to be really far away from a Verizon store because it was important to me that once the cell phones were gone they couldn’t be easily replaced. I wouldn’t say there were any challenges to writing about the Amazon. It’s such an open canvas for the imagination that it lends itself to all sorts of exciting descriptions and exciting plot points. Frankly, I’d like to set all my future novels in the Amazon as well.



June 2011 Indie Next List

Out now, the Indie Next List for June!

As usual, we have a solid selection of book trailers for diverse titles like To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch, Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson, and Eleven by Mark Watson.

June brings highly anticipated books like Tayari Jones' Silver Sparrow and a new novel from Ann Patchett, State of Wonder.

Indulge your inner (and outer) bibliophile with Gabrielle Donnelly's The Little Women Letters and Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch.

Explore modern-day Nigeria through both Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away and Helon Habila's Oil on Water.

Find the printed list at an independent bookstore near you. We're also offering a print-at-home version, found on the Indie Next List page directly beneath the carousel of titles, so you can browse at home and take it to your local indie.

Happy reading!



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