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    Indies Introduce Winter / Spring 2018

    Independent Booksellers’ Debut Picks of the Season

    Do what indies do best—find and showcase undiscovered authors and compelling books. Two panels of booksellers chose the Indies Introduce titles—10 adult and 10 children’s—as the best of the Winter / Spring 2018 debuts. Publishers offer special terms on these books just for participating indie booksellers.

    " I felt like a pioneer book explorer!  Each day brings another adventure. Just think I may have been part of the discovery of the new J.K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins!"
    Hannah Moushabeck from Odyssey Books, South Hadley, MA

    Promotional terms are visible to logged-in ABA Bookseller Members only.

    Fiction

    • Everything Here is Beautiful, Mira T. Lee
      Pamela Dorman Books, 9780735221963, January 16, 2018 (Fiction)

      Told from alternating points of view, this novel is about the relationship between sisters Miranda and Lucia and the impact of mental illness upon their personal bond. Lucia is an artistic free spirit and has lived independently, in large part, because her sister, Miranda, has always been her caretaker. When Lucia’s lucidity begins to shift, Miranda’s responsibility to her sister does as well. Everything Here Is Beautiful explores the boundaries of our responsibilities to those we love, and how we might go about honoring someone’s self-determination when that person may not be stable enough to be up to the task. At what point does taking care of someone else cease to serve anyone involved, and how do you know when you’re there? Mira T. Lee’s debut work is necessary — a generous, beautiful, and frank examination of a very difficult subject.”

      – Sarah Bumstead, Vroman’s Bookstore (Pasadena, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, Tom Malmquist
      Melville House, 9781612197111, January 30, 2018 (Fiction)

      "Malmquist’s writing style is unlike any I’ve recently experienced. He captures the ordinariness of daily life and of systems—medical, government—and the mundane choices we must make as citizens of these worlds. His ear for dialogue, be it in sterile hospital quarters or with family and friends, makes you feel present and privileged to be part of the conversation.

      – Janine De Boisblanc, Orinda Books (Orinda, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Only Killers and Thieves, Paul Howarth
      HarperCollins, 9780062690968, February 6, 2018 (Fiction)

      “A heart-wrenching story of a child forced to lose his innocence. Set in the Australian outback in the years of settlement, Only Killers and Thieves is a brutal filleting of frontier life, race relations, and the ambition of men. The characters are unforgettable, and the writing is effortless yet juicy. Such a great read.”

      – Chris Morrow, Northshire Bookstore (Manchester Center, VT)


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    • Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi
      Grove Press, 9780802127358, February 13, 2018 (Fiction)

      “An arresting, fiery book that’s ambitious in its aims, an inherently metaphysical novel that illustrates a singular worldview with confidence and verve. And it’s all done with a focused, original voice."

      – Justin Souther, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café (Asheville, NC)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Tangerine, Christine Mangan
      Ecco, 9780062686664, March 20, 2018 (Fiction)

      “I couldn’t put Tangerine down! It gives you a dark, sometimes sinister vibe that’s hard to shake—a far cry from other tales of close friendship between women who were college roommates. By leaving you in suspense until the very end over exactly what happened between them, Christine Mangan creates tension as the secrets between the women come to light. I wanted to dive inside the world of this book, even as the characters fought to escape it.”

      – Abby Fennewald, BookPeople (Austin, TX)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • A Lucky Man: Stories, Jamel Brinkley
      Graywolf Press, 9781555978051, May 1, 2018 (Fiction)

      A Lucky Man is a short story collection I plan to recommend to everyone I know. Rarely do collections capture as many different voices as this one does, and each story is powerful on its own and as part of the whole. Jamel Brinkley has brought us characters from all walks of life who are recognizable in their struggles and their humanity. These people could be anyone you see on the street, yet Brinkley uses them to show us profound truths about ourselves and those around us.”

      – Abby Fennewald, BookPeople (Austin, TX)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • MEM: A Novel, Bethany C. Morrow
      Unnamed Press, 9781944700553, May 22, 2018 (Fiction)

      Staged in an alternate possibility of the last century, MEM is the story of what could happen if we found a way to remove our bad memories and store them in a surrogate. Of course, these surrogates would be kept in a vault and only brought out for special occasions, maybe to impress your friends at a cocktail party. But what if one of them—let’s call her Dolores Extract #1—did not conform to the rules of the process. What if instead of only having one memory to live out over and over and over again like a bad dream she discovered how to make her own new memories? What then? Well, she might be removed from the vault and allowed to live a life of sorts, under the watchful eye of the program’s staff. This is a searing tale of consequences, of unexpected results to a science some might think has gone off the rails. But it’s also an insightful look into what makes us who we are and what happens when we can dispose of parts of ourselves we no longer want around to haunt us. This is a book that will dig its way into your own memories and keep you up at night with thoughts you just can’t turn off. What a page-turner!”

      – Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane, WA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    Non-Fiction

    • Escape Artist: A Memoir of An Artist on Death Row, William A. Noguera
      Seven Stories Press, 9781609807979, January 9, 2018 (Non-Fiction)

      “Escape Artist is a gripping, sad, inspirational, and amazing story of being on death row in America’s worst prison and, more interestingly, the emotional journey that got Mr. Noguera into prison and how he evolved into a world-class artist and rehabilitated human being.”

      – Chris Morrow, Northshire Bookstore (Manchester Center, VT)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces, Dawn Davies
      Flatiron Books, 9781250133700, January 30, 2018 (Non-Fiction)

      “In her debut memoir, Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces, Dawn Davies’ voice is so unique and strong, I felt like I was in the company of a straight-shooting best friend—one who tells it like it is, never withholding the often messy, terrifying experiences women and mothers must face. Davies takes on all subjects—spirituality, desire and dreams, divorce, children in peril—and she invites you into her private meditation on life and her search for answers to the experiences she has endured. Often gritty and raw, Davies’ essays have the feisty gravitas of works by Roxane Gay. For readers faced with keeping up appearances and hiding the complexity and difficulties in their lives, Mothers of Sparta is liberating and will help many feel less alone. You can’t help but have tremendous compassion for Davies as she processes her past, present, and future. Davies inspires the reader to set aside pretense in order to save one’s spirit. Mothers of Sparta stays with you for weeks, months, and likely years because of Davies’ ability to dig and deliver. I will be passionately promoting this spectacular debut. It is the most powerful memoir I have read in years.”

      – Janine De Boisblanc, Orinda Books (Orinda, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Educated: A Memoir, Tara Westover
      Random House, 9780399590504, February 20, 2018 (Non-Fiction)

      “This memoir does what the best memoirs do: It takes us inside a world we have never been, shows us around, and gives us a sense of what it’s really like to live in a place that has heretofore felt so foreign and remote. Westover’s authorial voice is compelling and engaging, and she provides powerful proof that education changes lives.”

      – Lynn Rosen, Open Book Bookstore (Elkins Park, PA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    Middle Grade

    • Just Like Jackie, Lindsey Stoddard
      HarperCollins, 9780062652911, January 2, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      “Robbie’s spirit grows fierce as she confronts grown-up problems too large for a young kid in braids and a baseball cap. She fights to protect her family and honor, but realizes she must stop battling those who have her best interest at heart. Learning to trust others is sometimes the hardest lesson of all. Robbie is brave beyond her years and has become my hero!”

      – Stacey Haerr, Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Like Vanessa, Tami Charles
      Charlesbridge, 9781580897778, March 13, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      “All I can say is thank goodness the ’80s are back in fashion, because this gem of a book is best read sitting in front of a TV tray in a recliner. Inspired by Vanessa Williams’ 1983 Miss America win, a headstrong and pushy teacher, and a supportive and scheming grandfather, Vanessa Martin braves the small-town pageant circuit, the potential disappointment of her father, and the challenge of being dark skinned. Vanessa touches the dreamer spirit in all of us, and I cheered her on right through to the end.”

      – Kim Bissell, Broadway Books (Portland, OR)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Hurricane Child, Kheryn Callender
      Scholastic Press, 9781338129304, March 27, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      “Being a hurricane child myself, I instantly connected with Caroline and her bad luck. Caroline is used to being the outsider who can see ghosts, but she can’t accept that her mom left her one day and never came back. When a new, charismatic girl who may see ghosts, too, starts at her school, Caroline desperately wants to befriend her. Soon the two are inseparable, and together they search for Caroline’s mother. This wonderful, mystical tale takes the reader on a journey filled with grief and loss but also love, friendship, and hope.”

      – Holly Alexander, The Book Stall (Winnetka, IL)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • The Boy, the Bird, & the Coffin Maker, Matilda Woods
      Philomel Books, 9780525515210, May 15, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      “A gentle tale—with a healthy dose of magic—about friendship, hope, and looking to the future. It reads like a newly discovered folktale that, once found, becomes essential. Sure to delight questing readers of all ages.”

      – Sam Miller, Carmichael’s Bookstore (Louisville, KY)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • The Mortification of Fovea Munson, Mary Winn Heider
      Disney-Hyperion, 9781484780541, June 5, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      “Quirky is an understatement for this rollicking ride of a story! Cadavers, talking heads, barbershop quartets, and one plucky eighth-grader by the name of Fovea Munson make this fun from start to finish!”

      – Kathleen Carey, Little Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza (Albany, NY)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    Young Adult

    • You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, Rachel Lynn Solomon
      Simon Pulse, 9781481497732, January 2, 2018 (Young Adult)

      “This story unfolds as twin sisters search for common ground while navigating the complexities of life, love, and the devastating realization that their fates are already sealed. I cried knowing that each twin would suffer immeasurable loss, yet only one would succumb.”

      – Stacey Haerr, Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Love, Hate & Other Filters, Samira Ahmed
      Soho TEEN, 9781616958473, January 16, 2018 (Young Adult)

      “This compelling contemporary read features an unapologetic Indian-American heroine trying to navigate crushes, dreams for her future, and the expectations of her family in a world where her culture is routinely misunderstood. A timely read that deftly tempers difficult topics with levity and a wonderful narrative voice!”

      – Rebecca Wells, Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert
      Flatiron Books, 9781250147905, January 30, 2018 (Young Adult)

      The Hazel Wood is flawless, fully realized, and gorgeously written. It has brilliant plot twists, a sweet story of love and friendship, and complex family drama. It seems to have sprung fully formed from the pen of an author at the top of her game, not a debut novelist. This is the book everyone’s going to be reading."

      – Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop and Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books (Mendocino, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • The Dangerous Art of Blending In, Angelo Surmelis
      Balzer + Bray, 9780062659002, January 30, 2018 (Young Adult)

      “This book is not an easy read. The Dangerous Art of Blending In is brutally painful, both in its depictions of Evan Panos’ family and his awkward, lonely life at school. But read it anyway! Because Evan is a kid worth rooting for as he decides in his senior year to take risks and stand out. His realistic struggle to move beyond pain and open up to friends, love and his future, is an honest, heart-wrenching testament to human resilience.”

      – Katie McGinley, Wild Rumpus (Minneapolis, MN)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • The Astonishing Color of After, Emily X.R. Pan
      Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316463997, March 20, 2018 (Young Adult)

      “‘Astonishing’ is the perfect description for this book, which follows Leigh from America to Taiwan, where she meets her grandparents for the first time after her mother’s death. I was stunned by the beautiful and engaging writing in this book; the story consumed me from start to finish. It’s hard to believe that this is Emily X.R. Pan’s debut novel, especially with the perfectly executed deep and complex themes. It will definitely be a favorite among both adults and teen readers!

      – Kristen Beverly, Half Price Books (Dallas, TX)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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