The June 2014 Indie Next List Preview

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    Here are the titles on the June Indie Next List flier, on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement.

    A downloadable PDF version of the list will also be available beginning June 1 on and

    The June 2014 Indie Next Great Reads

    #1 Pick: We Are Called to Rise: A Novel, by Laura McBride
    (Simon & Schuster, 9781476738963, $25)
    “Bashkim, Avis, Roberta, and Luis introduce us to a Las Vegas not apparent to the casual tourist. Beyond being residents of the same city, it is hard to imagine what could possibly link a third-grade Albanian immigrant, a middle-aged woman on the brink of divorce, a dedicated volunteer in the Child Advocacy System, and a young Mexican war veteran recovering from physical and mental trauma. Through their stories, we see tragedy and hardship, and, ultimately, what the human heart is capable of and the inseparable link between being human and making humane choices for ourselves and others.” —Andrea Avantaggio, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

    Bird Box: A Novel, by Josh Malerman
    (Ecco, 9780062259653, $25.99)
    “Imagine a world invaded and devastated by a monster that, if gazed upon, makes the viewer insane and prone to acts of violence. Insert into this world a young mother living in a shrouded house with two young children whom she has trained from birth to listen, but never to look. Now, she is going to take them blindfolded on a trip 20 miles downriver in a canoe in hopes of a better life. This is the world of Bird Box that will keep you up reading well past your bedtime. Creepy, wonderful, and un-put-downable.” —Lori Haggbloom, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

    Goodnight June: A Novel, by Sarah Jio
    (Plume, 9780142180211, paper, $16)
    “June Anderson is a high-powered New York City banker specializing in business foreclosures when she learns that the aunt who raised her has died and left her iconic children’s bookstore in Seattle to her. Through an epistolary scavenger hunt, June discovers the answers to many secrets, not the least of which is how Aunt Ruby was the inspiration for Margaret Wise Brown’s classic bedtime story Goodnight Moon. This is a charming story of love, friendship, family, reconciliation, and finding your true place in this world. Delightful ‘comfort food’ for readers!” —Jennifer Gwydir, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

    Fourth of July Creek: A Novel, by Smith Henderson
    (Ecco, 9780062286444, $26.99)
    “Benjamin Pearl is a child being raised in the Montana wilderness who comes to the attention of Pete Snow, a local social worker. Mystery and darkness surround the boy and his survivalist father. Poverty and violence blend to make a bitter cocktail commonplace. While tracking the tragedies of the Pearl family, Pete is confronted with the limitations of his own relationship skills. Henderson balances the harshness of his tale with rich dialog and beautiful writing. This is an astounding debut that surprises until the very end.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

    The Girl With All the Gifts, by M.R. Carey
    (Orbit, 9780316278157, $25)
    “Meet Melanie, a child prodigy around whom circles a group of adults that protect, educate, covet, study, fear, and love her. She is the answer to the countless questions that have arisen since much of the planet and population have been destroyed by a fungal virus. Her intelligence, resilience, and chemical makeup could possibly shed a light on the future of the human race. In a near-future in which critical decisions must be made at a moment’s notice, Melanie and her four adult companions will find that their morality is constantly tested and changing. Humans become monsters, but monsters become human, too.” —Katie Capaldi, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI

    I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller, by Terry Hayes
    (Emily Bestler Books/Atria, 9781439177723, $26.99)
    “A fast-paced, chillingly believable suspense novel, I Am Pilgrim draws the reader completely into a shadowy world where U.S. intelligence is pitted against a modern terrorist on a more terrifying mission than that of a mere suicide bomber. Hayes compellingly depicts the desperation of the main characters, both the good and the evil, with a fine line dividing the two. This is a book whose style and storyline will haunt you for a long time.” —Carolyn Chesser, Bayou Book Company, Niceville, FL

    The Untold: A Novel, by Courtney Collins
    (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 9780399167096, $26.95)
    “Collins deftly navigates Cormac McCarthy territory right out of the gate with her searing novel of real-life horse thief Jessie Hickman. Set mainly in the brutal Australian outback, The Untold follows Hickman as she tries to escape her convict life and brutal husband while a fellow thief and the sheriff search for her. Collins’s writing is gorgeous and unflinching, conjuring magic from history, dust, and dirt.” —Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore, Portsmouth, NH

    Euphoria: A Novel, by Lily King
    (Atlantic Monthly Press, 9780802122551, $25)
    “Loosely based on Margaret Mead’s time in Papua New Guinea, this engaging, insightful novel features three young anthropologists in the 1930s who studied the remote, primitive Sepik River tribes. Euphoria is about cutting-edge research and revolutionary ideas, but inevitably it is also about the complications within the scholars’ relationships when societal norms are stripped away, and love, greed, jealousy, and control are left unfettered. Artfully narrated, alternating between first person and third person as well as journal entries, King’s novel offers a unique view into these rich and complicated characters.” —Katie McDougall, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

    The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair: A Novel, by Joel Dicker
    (Penguin Books, 9780143126683, paper, $18)
    “What at first glance appears to be another book by a promising young writer about the challenges of being a promising young writer quickly turns into a thrilling murder mystery. A blocked and struggling author sets out to prove his mentor’s innocence, and as the narrative slides back and forth through time, the truth proves to be as elusive as the innocence of any of the characters. In the end, everyone is guilty — not in a Murder on the Orient Express kind of way — but in the dozens of small ways the denizens of any town can be complicit in wrongdoings. A compelling read!” —Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT

    My Salinger Year, by Joanna Rakoff
    (Knopf, 9780307958006, $25.95)
    “Imagine that you’re a freshly minted graduate of a prestigious undergraduate writing program and the first job you apply for is at a famous, well-respected Manhattan literary agency. The agency avoids computers like the plague and the only two job requirements are fast and accurate typing on an IBM Selectric and answering J.D. Salinger’s fan mail. Yes, that Salinger! Rakoff aces the job interview and her regular conversations with Jim — as he is known in the office confines — as well as with other celebrity clients are recalled in what may be one of the most charming literary memoirs ever.” —Kathy Ashton, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

    Next Life Might Be Kinder: A Novel, by Howard Norman
    (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780547712123, $26)
    “Norman’s new novel has the elements that make all of his previous novels so superb: the elegant writing, an omnipresent sense of place, an exploration of love, and the tension of a quiet center punctuated by bursts of violence. The story of Sam Lattimore in the aftermath of his beloved wife’s murder is erotically charged, mysterious, and haunting. You shouldn’t miss it.” —Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

    Take This Man: A Memoir, by Brando Skyhorse
    (Simon & Schuster, 9781439170878, $26)
    “Skyhorse lived with his mother, grandmother, and, at one time or another, five of his mother’s husbands, some of whom arrived via her classified ads, and none of whom could succeed completely in becoming a father to him. His birth father and mother were Mexicans, but his mother thought he should take the name Skyhorse from a husband she wed while he was in jail for murder. When Marlon Brando refused an Oscar award in a protest sympathetic to Native Americans, she decided to change Skyhorse’s legal name to Brando, which was only the beginning of a host of incredible deceits purportedly made on his behalf.  This is simply an awesome story, told with breathtaking skill and originality, of a wily and courageous boy’s fight to find, and to know, his family.” —Richard Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS

    Jack of Spies: A Novel, by David Downing
    (Soho Crime, 9781616952686, $26.95)
    “This thought-provoking and moving historical epic about a British man with linguistic talents who gradually becomes a spy takes place in the year before World War I breaks out. Women were fighting for the right to vote and oppressed peoples all over the world were rebelling against colonial power structures. Downing captures all these complexities without slowing down the pace of this gripping thriller. Highly recommended!” —Bina Valenzano, The BookMark Shoppe, Brooklyn, NY

    I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You: A Novel, by Courtney Maum
    (Touchstone, 9781476764580, $25.99)
    “Sometimes a book’s characters grab you by the heart and make you ache with understanding and anticipation. You will laugh, wince, and relate as Maum’s debut plunges you into a visceral experience with her characters that is both familiar and agonizing. Love, trust, and creative expression are explored as a French lawyer and a British artist grapple with whether love can be rebuilt after betrayal. Gripping!” —Jesica Sweedler DeHart, Bookpeople of Moscow, Moscow, ID

    The Vacationers: A Novel, by Emma Straub
    (Riverhead, 9781594631573, $26.95)
    “Straub’s latest is a smart, delicious read. Each perfectly crafted character reveals the anxieties, missteps, and misfortunes we all face as we journey through each phase of life. Using alternating voices, Straub expertly reveals the flawed dynamics among families, the affairs and untruths that pull us apart, and the bonds that keep us together. The Vacationers is one of those unforgettable books that make you laugh at yourself, reflect on past decisions, and hug those you love.” —Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

    The Transcriptionist: A Novel, by Amy Rowland
    (Algonquin Books, 9781616202545, $24.95)
     “Lena works as a transcriptionist for The Record, a major newspaper based in New York City. Her job is to transcribe reporters’ stories and interviews in preparation for publication. Her life is a quiet one, full of other people’s voices. The reader is drawn into Lena’s isolated life where she’s haunted by the brutal stories she records every day, as well as memories of her childhood. This is a thoughtful, ultimately hopeful novel about the degree of tenderness we bring to the millions of fine details about other people’s lives we encounter every day.” —Julie Wernersbach, BookPeople, Austin, TX

    The Rise & Fall of Great Powers: A Novel, by Tom Rachman
    (Dial Press, 9781679643654, $27)
    “Rachman has an uncanny ability to create well-developed and fully realized characters. His debut, The Imperfectionists, was an indie favorite, and I have no doubt that this follow-up will be just as popular. The Rise & Fall of Great Powers has a wonderful sense of time and place — Bangkok in 1988, New York in 1999, and Wales in 2011 — and a great cast of characters. On the last page, I felt lucky to have met these newfound friends but sad to say goodbye.” —Shawn Donley, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

    The Late Starters Orchestra, by Ari L. Goldman
    (Algonquin Books, 9781565129924, $22.95)
    “This is a lovely and humorous memoir from Goldman, a journalist in New York City, who decides to take up his cello again after 25 years. After playing successfully in his eleven-year-old son’s youth orchestra, Ari decides it is time to join The Late Starters Orchestra, a group of adults who gather once a week to work on orchestral music. As adults, it can be overwhelming to push ourselves to try something new, from joining a local soccer league or training for a marathon, to writing a book or taking a computer course. Goldman proves it is truly never too late.” —Kelly Evert, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

    Summer House With Swimming Pool: A Novel, by Herman Koch
    (Hogarth, 9780804138819, $24)
    “If you enjoyed The Dinner, you will relish the strong, smart, sometimes chilling voice of the narrator in Koch’s new novel. Marc Schlosser, a successful but reluctant doctor for many theater people and artists in Amsterdam, is faced with the monotony of his practice and countless unwanted invitations. When Marc, his wife, and their beautiful teenage daughters agree to join a famous actor and his family for an innocent summer vacation at a rented house with a swimming pool on the Mediterranean, the scene is set for tragedy. Koch is at his very disturbing best in this story where little is what it seems. You will be left unable to put this book down.” —Andrea Bien, Books on the Square, Providence, RI

    The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street: A Novel, by Susan Jane Gilman
    (Grand Central Publishing, 9780446578936, $26)
    “In her first foray into fiction, Gilman offers a narrator who is by turns heartbreakingly sympathetic, stubborn, passionate, ruthless, ingratiating, exasperating, clever, and insufferable in an immigrant success story with many unexpected twists. Soon after young Lillian arrives from Russia with her family, her unreliable father disappears. When an accident cripples Lillian, she is abandoned by her unstable mother. Readers follow Lillian through her joining and losing a family, a marriage to an Errol Flynn look-alike, the creation of a wildly successful business, some highly questionable decisions, a visit to the White House, and an assault charge — at age 74! What a character! What a book!” —Banna Rubinow, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

    The June 2014 Now in Paperback

    The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown (Penguin Books, 9780143125471, $17)
    Recommended in hardcover by Carol Hicks, The Bookshelf, Truckee, CA

    The Cartographer of No Man’s Land: A Novel, by P.S. Duffy (Liveright, 9780871407771, $15.95)
    Recommended in hardcover by Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

    Guests on Earth: A Novel, by Lee Smith (A Shannon Ravenel Book/Algonquin, 9781616203801, $14.95)
    Recommended in hardcover by Jackie Willey, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

    In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods: A Novel, by Matt Bell (Soho Press, 9781616953720, $15)
    Recommended in hardcover by Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

    A Marker to Measure Drift: A Novel, by Alexander Maksik (Vintage, 9780345803863, $15)
    Recommended in hardcover by Amy Palmer, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel, by Neil Gaiman (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062255662, $14.99)
    Recommended in hardcover by Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

    On Sal Mal Lane: A Novel, by Ru Freeman (Graywolf Press, 9781555976767, $16)
    Recommended in hardcover by Ellen Richmond, Children’s Book Cellar, Waterville, ME

    The Rosie Project: A Novel, by Graeme Simsion (Simon & Schuster, 9781476729091, $15.99)
    Recommended in hardcover by Rachel King, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

    The Silver Star: A Novel, by Jeannette Walls (Scribner, 9781451661545, $16)
    Recommended in hardcover by Linda McLoughlin Figel, {pages} a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA

    The Tilted World: A Novel, by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062069191, $14.99)
    Recommended in hardcover by Sara Peyton, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

    We Need New Names: A Novel, by NoViolet Bulawayo (Back Bay Books, 9780316230841, $15)
    Recommended in hardcover by Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

    The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel, by Anton DiSclafani (Riverhead Trade, 9781594632709, $16)
    Recommended in hardcover by Terry Gilman, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA