The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
"Whether you are a mystery lover or not, you are going to fall hard for Flavia de Luce, the newest sleuth on the block. She is a chemistry geek, a plucky Nancy Drew, and a wacky Bridget Jones all wrapped up in an 11-year-old body. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is both funny and wickedly clever. You'll have a great time reading it -- and want to be friends with Flavia."
— Jennifer Meador, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS
May 2009 Indie Next List
Inspired Recommendations from Indie Booksellers
Eilis Lacey has come of age in the dark, impoverished Ireland of the 1950s. Trained as a bookkeeper but unable to find suitable work, she makes a new home in Brooklyn. Struggling to understand her new world and haunted by the old, she lives the classic immigrant story of loss and regret, hope and resilience. Brooklyn is a quiet tour de force.
— Nan Hadden, Books Etc., Falmouth, ME
John Hart has written a thriller about a young boy searching for his missing twin that will have you on edge and pulling for the hero from the very beginning. The strong characters and twists in the plot had me white-knuckled until I turned the final page.
— Marc Galvin, The Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, NY
In The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet, which is full of observations and maps, we see the world through the eyes of a Cheerios-obsessed 12-year-old with the wisdom of an old soul. This book is funny, tender, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and full of insight. On every page there was something that I wanted to read aloud to anyone who would listen.
— Jake Hallman, A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland, CA
The Whole Five Feet is a fine introduction to some of the best books ever written. Christopher Beha decided to read the Harvard Classics series in its entirety in one year, and he writes about both what he absorbs from the books and how reading these classics affects him. A must-read for anyone fascinated about how reading transforms us!
— Michele Filgate, RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH
John Pipkin's Woodsburner is an audacious, wondrous surprise -- audacious for putting someone like Henry David Thoreau and a true event from his life (a great fire) in a novel. It is a luminous story, in which Thoreau, a handful of insightfully drawn characters, and an America they all embody are cast in vivid relief. More than 150 years later, Woodsburner feels like a story from yesterday.
— Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
Laila Lalami has written a wonderfully crafted novel -- set in the slums of Casablanca -- whose carefully wrought characters allow us to lift the veil of media headlines and to gain greater empathy and understanding of the competing protagonists in today's sundered world. Secret Son is an irresistible read.
— Paul Yamazaki, City Lights Books, San Francisco, CA
Once again, Gillian Flynn focuses on a deeply flawed protagonist. This time it's 32-year-old Libby Day, who is searching for the person who killed her family 25 years ago. Told alternatively in the present and in flashbacks to the events leading up to the horrific event, this compelling story mesmerizes even as it horrifies. Flynn exceeds the promise shown in her first novel, Sharp Objects.
— Joe, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL
Summer is coming and so is a new, hilarious book by Claire Cook. The Wildwater Walking Club follows 32 days in the lives of three neighboring women who come together for fellowship and understanding as they set their pedometers for their daily walks. Cook once again blends familiar and serious issues with her keen sense of humor to serve up a treat for her vast legion of fans.
— Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO
Colson Whitehead's Sag Harbor, a coming-of-age novel set in small community of African-American professionals in the Hamptons, is a masterpiece. Is Whitehead the greatest writer of his generation? He bids fair.
— Sarah McNally, McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY
Valeria, a 50-ish curmudgeon of a woman, finds fault with everyone in her small Hungarian village. One day, though, the town's potter catches her eye, and she discovers herself. Full of interesting characters, intrigue, love and lust, political corruption, and more, Valeria's Last Stand is a delightful and satisfying read.
— Gayle Wingerter, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA
This beautifully realized story tells of a family's quest for meaning in lives gone awry. Told alternately from the perspective of each character, the narrative unravels a lifetime of buried feelings, regrets, and lost desires as McLaren deftly chronicles this family's downward spiral and ultimate redemption through forgiveness.
— Brianne Kuhle, Lindon Bookstore, Enumclaw, WA
Mark Twain's unpublished writings give us a candid look at a writer already well known for his wit and irreverence. This new collection contains among its gems the rejected first draft of a lecture (including notes for an accompanying slide show), a political article thought too provocative for its time, and a story that prefigures Six Feet Under, thought too tasteless by Twain's family to publish. Great stuff from one of America's most celebrated men of letters.
— Sean Chiki, The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
Our favorite, home-spun memoirist is back with his heartfelt, moving, and always hilarious recollections of his new life on 'the farm,' with a brand-new baby, and, of course, his long-awaited coop of chickens. A delight.
— Diane Gressman, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI
Cecelia Ahern's Thanks for the Memories incorporates a little magic and a plethora of lovable and engrossing characters in telling the story of the surprising changes in Joyce Conway's life after her medical treatment following a terrible accident. Absolutely fabulous!
— Summer Moser, Summer's Stories, Kendallville, IN
Tom Standage's An Edible History of Humanity is filled with remarkable and intriguing facts about the history of food in human civilization. It will make you hungry just reading it!
— Jerry Fieldsted, Windows on the World-Books & Art, Mariposa, CA
Ruth Reichl does a wonderful job of showing us the person at the heart of her mother, Miriam Reichl -- a woman who struggled against the constraints of 1950s American culture and who encouraged her daughter to enter a world that she herself so desperately wanted to belong to but could not access.
— Lisa Stefanacci, The Book Works, Del Mar, CA
All Other Nights is a picture of the Civil War I've never seen before -- Jew divided from Jew, just like the rest of the country. Eccentric and highly memorable characters, tragedy, deep romance, and an intricate plot make this a thrilling read that I will be recommending to a broad swath of customers.
— Lilla G. Weinberger, Readers' Books, Sonoma, CA
During the 1930s Depression in the mining mountains of rural Colorado, two women form a close friendship while sharing their dark secrets of the past. Hennie, 86 and a widow, and Nit, 17 and newly married, tell of heartbreak, redemption, and forgiveness in this beautiful story that will deeply move its readers.
— Carol Hicks, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA
Segregated Revere, Mississippi, in the 1960s is struggling with the idea and reality of integration when a poor white man injured in a hunting accident is brought into the segregated Doctors Hospital. Deborah Johnson's novel is an engrossing story full of mysterious and interesting characters whom you will identify with and think about long after you have finished the book. A perfect, absorbing read.
— Lillian Kinsey, Bohannons' Books With a Past, Georgetown, KY
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