The November 2012 Indie Next List Preview

    Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionSend by emailSend by email

    Here is a preview of the titles on the November 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 November 1 on BookWeb.org and IndieBound.org.

    The November 2012 Indie Next Great Reads

    #1 Pick: The Art Forger: A Novel, by B.A. Shapiro
    (Algonquin, $23.95, 9781616201326)
    The Art Forger is a clever and gripping story. Claire Roth, a talented artist, finds herself intricately involved in the seedier side of art forgeries when she makes a questionable deal to forge a Degas masterpiece. Just like a fine painting, this is a many-layered literary thriller about love, betrayal, and authenticity. Shapiro builds the story with pitch-perfect suspense and plot twists that you don’t see coming. While you are drawn deeply into the story, Shapiro outlines big questions about morality, fame, and truth in a world that is all about creating illusion for the sake of beauty. A masterpiece!” —Lanora Haradon, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

    Flight Behavior: A Novel, by Barbara Kingsolver
    (Harper, $28.99, 9780062124265)
    “Dellarobia Turnbow, who is ready to run away from her unsatisfactory life on a Tennessee farm, comes across a river of flame on the mountain behind her home: millions of Monarch butterflies. The insects, wintering in Appalachia instead of their traditional Mexican grounds, open Dellarobia’s circumscribed life, slowly drawing her out into the wider world. Kingsolver’s precise prose, deep characters, and provocative questions — evidence versus faith, duty versus choice, facts versus perception — will resonate with readers as they contemplate the real world and its global changes.” —Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY

    Sweet Tooth: A Novel, by Ian McEwan
    (Nan A. Talese, $26.95, 9780385536820)
    “Cold War espionage, illicit love affairs, and a coming-of-age story all wrapped into one? Only McEwan could pull off this ambitious story. Meet Serena: just out of university, recruited for MI5, and chosen for a special project with the code name Sweet Tooth. Serena is beautiful, intelligent, and becoming sure of herself as she settles into her adult life. Her confidence is shaken, however, as Sweet Tooth gets underway and the truth about friends, lovers, and MI5 colleagues comes to the surface. Once again, McEwan presents a beautifully crafted novel, one that keeps you turning the pages while encouraging deeper thoughts about love and trust.” —Kate Bonilla, Third Street Books, McMinnville, OR

    Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness, by Susannah Cahalan
    (Free Press, $25, 9781451621372)
    “A young reporter’s near-death experience started with what seemed to be a bedbug bite, followed by an out-of-character migraine. Cahalan forgot a pitch meeting. She snooped on her boyfriend’s email. Beloved newspaper clippings were tossed. Garbage piled up in her apartment. And then the seizures began. This compelling story of one woman’s descent into madness and the equally horrifying journey of her family to find suitable help works both as a great literary memoir as well as a well-reported medical mystery. You might say the result is Girl, Interrupted with a dash of The Hot Zone and a sprinkling of The Exorcist!” —Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

    The Stockholm Octavo: A Novel, by Karen Engelmann
    (Ecco, $26.99, 9780061995347)
    “Emil Larsson, a mid-level bureaucrat in late 18th century Stockholm, is drawn into a web of intrigue and magic when Mrs. Sparrow, the proprietress of his favorite gambling den, insists on reading his cards because he is a ‘Seeker’ who must find his ‘Eight’ to ensure a positive outcome in an event of historical importance. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this sumptuous novel and appreciate the expertly explored Scandinavian setting.” —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

    The Twelve: A Novel, by Justin Cronin
    (Ballantine Books, $28, 9780345504982)
    “The second book in the trilogy begun with The Passage does not disappoint. New details emerge about the events immediately following the catastrophe that destroyed the United States as we know it. Background stories are filled in, and additional details lead to a new confrontation between the virals and the survivors that is truly epic in scope. What a thriller!” —Linda Walonen, Bay Books, San Ramon, CA

    Mrs. Queen Takes the Train: A Novel, by William Kuhn
    (Harper, $25.99, 9780062208286)
    “The Queen has tried to stay up to date, practicing yoga and learning to surf the Internet, but decades of pomp and circumstance have taken their toll and Her Majesty needs a break. She sets off alone — well-disguised in a skull-motif hoodie — on a train to Scotland, only to be pursued by a motley crew of royal attendants determined to bring her home before she creates a royal scandal. This debut novel is thoroughly fresh and charming, an imaginative story about the most famous woman who almost no one really knows.” —Jody Misner Chwatun, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

    Elsewhere: A Memoir, by Richard Russo
    (Knopf, $25.95, 9780307959539)
    “This is a heartfelt and intimate portrait of Russo’s relationship with his troubled mother and his coming to terms with what he could — or could not — have done differently, starting when he was a young boy and his parent’s marriage failed. In the late 1960s anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder were not often diagnosed or treated, and effective coping strategies were not taught to families. Russo struggled with how to balance his mother’s needs with his own concerns — his wife and daughters and his teaching and writing. Insightful and painful in turns, this is a real life tale from one of our best storytellers.” —Liza Bernard, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

    Leon and Louise, by Alex Capus, John Brownjohn (Trans.)
    (Haus Publishing, $15, 9781908323132)
    “On the cusp of World War I, while visiting the seashore on the coast of France, Leon and his new love, Louise, lose touch with one another when they are caught in the crosshairs of battle. Each believes the other is dead. Years later they discover they have both been living in Paris, blocks from each other. During World War II, Leon and his family struggle with living in a Nazi-occupied city, while Louise is encamped in Africa, working to protect French gold from the enemy. This charming novel follows the two through the decades as they continue to live their lives apart, yet never out of each other’s hearts.” —Robin Allen, Forever Books, Saint Joseph, MI

    Eight Girls Taking Pictures: A Novel, by Whitney Otto
    (Scribner, $24, 9781451682694)
    “Otto is masterful in telling the stories of eight women photographers — their creative lives, their struggles balancing family and work, their politics (sexual and otherwise), and their place within the art community and the world events of the 20th century. All are skillfully presented and intricately woven together to create an unforgettable novel. Yes, it is fiction, but Otto has drawn from the real lives of gifted, renowned photographers, and the stories behind the images, whether real or imagined are compelling, inspiring and very entertaining. What a feast of a novel!” —Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

    Magnificence: A Novel, by Lydia Millet
    (W. W. Norton & Company, $25.95, 9780393081701)
    “Susan is a serial adulterer whose life is shattered by her husband’s sudden death. As she struggles to maintain a healthy relationship with her grown, paraplegic daughter, she unexpectedly inherits a mansion from a distant relative who had filled the magnificent house with stuffed and mounted animals from around the world. The novel explores the many forms that loss can take — a loved one’s death when it is too late to make amends; a daughter’s loss of a life filled with possibilities if not for her accident; the slow deterioration of personality in the elderly with dementia; and the loss of animals in the wild to extinction. At once funny and touching.” —Karen Vail, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

    Astray, by Emma Donoghue
    (Little, Brown and Company, $25.99, 9780316206297)
    “The short story is the most demanding of arts, and it takes a brilliant practitioner to succeed. Donoghue meets the description with this collection examining immigrants and the dispossessed through the centuries. Lives filled with hope, fear, uncertainty, and desperation are portrayed succinctly, with precise language that tells the stories of those who have dared or been forced to uproot their normal existence.” —Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

    The Middlesteins: A Novel, by Jami Attenberg
    (Grand Central Publishing, $24.99, 9781455507214)
    “Just when you think you’re done reading about dysfunctional American families, a novel like The Middlesteins comes along and blows you away. You will become deeply invested in the loves and longings of the eponymous, semi-chaotic Jewish clan from Chicago. There’s Edie, the tough, fierce matriarch who can’t stop eating; Richard, the husband who leaves her; and Robin and Benny, the adult children, distracted by troubles of their own. Attenberg proves that there is still much more left to say — about family, heartache, and food — and so many fresh and funny ways to say it.” —Elizabeth Sher, Politics & Prose Books and Coffee Shop, Washington, DC

    Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, by Bee Wilson
    (Basic Books, $26.99, 9780465021765)
    “Interest in the evolution of human food culture has always been popular. In Consider the Fork, Wilson invites readers to examine this evolution in a new light. She discusses the transformation of kitchen tools and utensils throughout human existence as well as the implications these transformations have on how humans cook and eat. Wilson’s air of curiosity and amusement makes for an enjoyable read; pots and pans have never been more interesting, and the intermingling of anthropology, history, and sociology is certain to spark further thought next time a spork or a blender is encountered.” —Lucy Beeching, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

    This Is How You Lose Her, by Junot Díaz
    (Riverhead Hardcover, $26.95, 9781594487361)
    “Please believe me when I say that Dí­az is one of our greatest living writers, and that This Is How You Lose Her is, in a word, stunning. In this, his second book of short stories, Dí­az explores love in many of its manifestations and the ways in which we are prone to sabotaging ourselves. His prose is clear and compelling, his insight acute, and when I reached the last page I wanted to start all over again.” —Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

    Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man, by Brian McGrory
    (Crown, $24, 9780307953063)
    “Buddy was hatched as a science experiment and then was to be kept as a pet, but rather than the hen that was expected, Buddy turned out to be a rooster — an alpha rooster. McGrory, who was soon to marry the veterinarian who owned Buddy with her two young daughters, must come to terms with this male rival. In doing so, McGrory learns to accept his new family, and all the changes to his life. A great read for all!” —Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

    The Cold Cold Ground: A Detective Sean Duffy Novel, by Adrian McKinty
    (Seventh Street Books, $15.95, 9781616147167)
    “McKinty drew on his own childhood in war-torn Northern Ireland to write this police procedural featuring Sean Duffy, a Roman Catholic cop stationed in a small Protestant police station outside Belfast in 1981, who is assigned to solve a gruesome murder that may be the work of a serial killer. McKinty evokes the everyday life of a community that is never too far from a bomb blast. The dry humor of the police station and the smart, complicated character of Duffy himself add extra layers of interest. A brilliant writer at the top of his already formidable game!” —Seana Graham, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

    Marmee & Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother, by Eve LaPlante
    (Free Press, $26, 9781451620665)
    “In this intriguing dual biography fans of Louisa May Alcott may be surprised to learn what a gifted writer her mother was. Despite the nearly nonexistent educational opportunities for young women of her time, Abigail read and wrote with fervor, and as she grew older, these skills became a passion. Her words enabled self-expression and the ability to question, both of which were unexpected of 19th century women. LaPlante’s lineage — she is descended from the Alcott family — enriches her gifts as a talented chronicler, and telling the story of Louisa’s life by examining that of her mother is a fascinating structure.” —Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

    A Question of Identity: A Simon Serrailler Mystery, by Susan Hill
    (Overlook Hardcover, $25.95, 9781468300505)
    “Hill’s Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler mysteries don’t just create an almost unbearable atmosphere of brooding suspense; they also take you deeply into the lives, hearts, and minds of Serrailler, his family, and others, including some killers — in the British cathedral town of Lafferton. In this latest story, elderly women are being killed by someone whose methods match those of a man charged in previous killings, a man whose name has now vanished from all public records. Stunning!” —Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

    Crossing on the Paris: A Novel, by Dana Gynther
    (Gallery, $15, 9781451678239)
    “This story chronicles five days on a steamer ship, the Paris, crossing the Atlantic from Le Havre to New York in 1921. Three women from different stations in life each traveling alone meet, and their actions impact each other’s lives during the journey. There is young Julie Vernet, who is leaving her grieving parents behind to take a job in the service sector of the ship; Constance Stone, a woman in her 30s returning from an unsuccessful trip to Paris to persuade her gypsy sister to come home; and Vera Sinclair, a rich, ailing sophisticate, who is traveling back to her hometown after many years abroad. A fascinating look at the emerging independence of women, wonderfully told.” —Lori Gascon, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

    The November 2012 Now in Paperback

    And So It Goes Kurt Vonnegut: A Life, by Charles J. Shields (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250012180, $16.99)
    Recommended in hardcover by Nick Hodge, Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock, IL

    Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories, by Megan Mayhew Bergman (Scribner, 9781451643367, $15)
    Recommended in hardcover by Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

    Carry the One: A Novel, by Carol Anshaw (Simon & Schuster, 9781451656930, $15)
    Recommended in hardcover by Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

    The Demi-Monde: A Novel, by Rod Rees (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062210814, $16.99)
    Recommended in hardcover by Billie Bloebaum, Powells Books at PDX, Portland, OR

    The Healing: A Novel, by Jonathan Odell (Anchor, 9780307744562, $15.95)
    Recommended in hardcover by Julia Barth, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

    History of a Pleasure Seeker: A Novel, by Richard Mason (Vintage, 9780307949288, $15.95)
    Recommended in hardcover by Stesha Brandon, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

    Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir, by Donna M. Johnson (Gotham, 9781592407354, $16)
    Recommended in hardcover by Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

    Lightning Rods: A Novel, by Helen DeWitt (New Directions, 9780811220347, $14.95)
    Recommended in hardcover by Rachel Haisley, The King’s English Bookshop Salt Lake City, UT

    Running the Rift: A Novel, by Naomi Benaron (Algonquin Books, 9781616201944, $14.95)
    Recommended in hardcover by Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

    Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art, by Christopher Moore (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780061779756, $16.99)
    Recommended in hardcover by Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

    Three-Day Town: A Deborah Knott Mystery, by Margaret Maron (Grand Central Publishing, 9780446555777, $7.99)
    Recommended in hardcover by Rosemary Pugliese, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

    The Wedding Quilt: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel, by Jennifer Chiaverini (Plume, 9780452298491, $16)
    Recommended in hardcover by Cheryl Kroger, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, NE