The 2010 February Indie Next List

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Here's a preview of the titles on the February Indie Next List flier, now on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement. A downloadable PDF version of the list will also be available beginning February 1 on and

The February 2010 Indie Next Great Reads

1) Union Atlantic: A Novel by Adam Haslett
(Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $26, 9780385524476)
"Adam Haslett's debut novel is the story of four diverse characters -- a banker, a retired teacher and her brother, and a high school student -- who are thrown together in unexpected ways. Through this powerful and prescient novel, Haslett is asking what it means to be American today." --Susan Fox, Red Fox Books, Glens Falls, NY

The Postmistress: A Novel by Sarah Blake
(Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, $25.95, 9780399156199)
"This compelling story is the perfect answer to that request, 'I want a really good book I can get lost in!' This WWII story of three memorable women has a strong sense of place -- from the shores of Cape Cod to war-torn London. The reader will relish every word and then want to pass this novel along to a friend." --Elizabeth Merritt, Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky: A Novel by Heidi W. Durrow
(Algonquin, $22.95, 9781565126800)
"The child of a black GI father and a Danish mother, Rachel never felt that she had to choose between her parents until a tragic event results in her living with her black grandmother. In this new setting, she discovers that she doesn't measure up to others' standards of 'blackness,' but she's not 'white' either. Durrow's deft portrait of Rachel's struggles are a resonant reminder of the stereotypes that are perpetuated, often despite the best intentions." --Sandy Scott, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT

The Bricklayer: A Novel by Noah Boyd
(Morrow, $24.99, 9780061827013)
"Steve Vail, now a bricklayer, was once an FBI agent, until his attitude got him fired. But the FBI has come calling again because they need someone who can work outside the box, and get results. Noah Boyd has written a smart, sexy, thrill-ride of a read." --Laura Lucy, White Birch Books, North Conway, NH

Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave
(Simon & Schuster, $14 paper, 9781416589648)
"This stunning and compassionate novel brings faraway places near and makes incredible experiences real. As the story moves from London to Nigeria, you'll grip the book tightly in your hands and hold its characters close to your heart: a young girl; a tormented, idealistic journalist; and a fearless mother whose fierce love is a wonder." --Mark David Bradshaw, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

Shadow Tag: A Novel by Louise Erdrich
(Harper, $25.99, 9780061536090)
"Knowing her unstable husband has been reading her diary, a desperate woman uses it to manipulate him, creating a false tale, obscuring her true motives, and pushing him closer to the edge. Shadow Tag is Erdrich's most compelling novel in years, a gripping portrait of an marriage stumbling towards its inevitable, yet shocking dissolution." --Rich Rennicks, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: A Novel by Beth Hoffman
(Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, $25.95, 9780670021390)
"Saving CeeCee Honeycutt is a story quilted with the patterns of vibrant characters whose lives become intricately connected to the emotional healing of 12-year-old CeeCee. Beth Hoffman's first novel is a tribute to the strength of women who have survived tragedy and loss to become beacons for others who suffer from emotional scars." --Nancy Baker, The Blue Marble, Fort Thomas, KY

Ordinary Thunderstorms: A Novel by William Boyd
(Harper, $26.99, 9780061876745)
"When Adam Kindred returns to London after years in the U.S. to interview for a research position at Imperial College, a chance encounter at a restaurant sets off his dizzying descent from academic to vagabond murder suspect in a matter of days. Sleeping rough and trolling the underworld of London just to survive, Adam attempts to prove his innocence and escape assassination by a crazed hired killer. William Boyd is a great storyteller." --Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

A Common Pornography: A Memoir by Kevin Sampsell
(Harper Perennial, $13.99 paper, 9780061766107)
"This book is different--a personal [look at the author's] family and his life as a young man that he calls 'a memory experiment.' Written primarily in short vignettes, A Common Pornography is brutally honest and gritty. Sampsell glosses over nothing--abuse, drugs, sex, relationships of all sorts. He's not the sort to change much of anything to protect the innocent because frankly, none of them are that innocent. This book is bold and brave and extremely difficult to put down." -Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

The Kingdom of Ohio: A Novel by Matthew Flaming
(Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, $24.95, 9780399155604)
"Peter Force is in New York City in the early 1900s working underground to dig subway tunnels. When he meets a beautiful woman with a fantastic story -- and through her meets J.P. Morgan, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla -- he begins a quest to discover if travel to another world is possible. Get ready to be transported through time yourself as you read this book." --Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

Secrets of Eden: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
(Shaye Areheart Books, $25, 9780307394972)
"On the same day as her baptism by the Rev. Stephen Drew, Alice Hayward is murdered by her alcoholic husband, who then kills himself. The true facts of this story are subtly and gradually revealed from the perspective of four characters, including the district attorney who suspects murder. The beauty of this novel comes through in the way the true facts are revealed and in Bohjalian's understanding of the flaws in the human condition. This will be a fantastic book group read." --Carol Katsoulis, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL

The Book of Fires: A Novel by Jane Borodale
(Viking, $26.95, 9780670021062)
"Unwed and pregnant in 1752, but possessing a fertile imagination and a bit of luck, Agnes Trussel flees from Sussex to London, where she finds work as an assistant to a fireworks maker. In this unusual trade, she blossoms, becoming adept and indispensable to her master. The Book of Fires is a vividly told story that animates the 18th century." --Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

Settled in the Wild: Notes From the Edge of Town by Susan Hand Shetterly
(Algonquin, $21.95, 9781565126183)
"Settled in the Wild is a delightful book about living in the woods, enjoying what's outside your window, and finding pleasure in taking the time to notice the little things right in front of us. Shetterly provides a unique window into a world of wonder." --Sue Richardson, Maine Coast Book Shop, Inc., Damariscotta, ME

I Want to Be Left Behind: Finding Rapture Here on Earth by Brenda Peterson
(Da Capo, $25, 9780306818042)
"Brenda Peterson's latest book is the story of her unique upbringing, both in nature (her father was with the Forest Service) and in the evangelistic Southern Baptist religion. At once precocious and thoughtful, she weaves her way through the contradictions of growing up to find her own spiritual place in the world. 'Glowing' would not be too strong of an adjective for this book!" --Maurine Barnett, Darvill's Bookstore, Eastsound, WA

Winter Garden: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
(St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9780312364120)
"Kristin Hannah has created her best novel to date, a story of a complex bound between a mother and her daughters. Hannah's characters will capture your heart and enter your soul. Amazing!" --Summer Moser, Summer's Stories, Kendallville, IN

Best European Fiction 2010 by Aleksandar Hemon (ed.)
(Dalkey Archive Press, $15.95 fiction, 9781564785435)
"Dalkey Archive, one of the top publishers of books in translation, has released a new collection with the best short stories from 30 countries throughout Europe. This is one of the best general collections of short stories out there right now." --Nick Buzanski, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, CA

The Room and the Chair: A Novel by Lorraine Adams
(Knopf, $25.95, 9780307272416)
"Using the disparate elements of the newsroom of a moribund newspaper, a test pilot involved in a mysterious crash, and an anonymous intelligence agent, Lorraine Adams crafts a riveting story of modern society. As the various threads coalesce, a morally bankrupt and totally dystopian world is revealed. This is fiction serving the purpose of reflecting stark reality." --Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

City of Dragons: A San Francisco Mystery by Kelli Stanley
(Minotaur, $24.99, 9780312603601)
"Kelli Stanley makes 1940s San Francisco shine in the first book of her new series, City of Dragons. Miranda Corbie is a noir detective complete with feminine wits and ingenuity. Kinsey, VI, and Aimee Leduc should watch out. There's a new girl in town!" --Linda Dewberry, Whodunit? Books, Olympia, WA

Apparition & Late Fictions: A Novella and Stories by Thomas Lynch
(Norton, $24.95, 9780393042078)
"In Apparition & Late Fictions Thomas Lynch has created a collection of beautifully written and quirky stories about the allure, allusiveness, and redemptive powers of love and the variety and finality of death. These evocative tales, set mostly in the Midwest, are filled with memorable characters who will keep anyone who loves good writing turning the pages." --Nancy Fontaine, The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, VT

Beneath the Lion's Gaze: A Novel by Maaza Mengiste
(Norton, $24.95, 9780393071764)
"Beneath the Lion's Gaze is a riveting novel focused on the primacy of family relationships set against the violent backdrop of Ethiopia's 1974 revolution. Hailu, a prominent doctor, and his two grown sons experience their country's tragedy and their own family's grief through very different prisms of understanding, yet they remain connected, even through the gruesome terror overtaking their city. Very hard to put down!" --Caitlin Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

The February 2010 Indie Next List Notables


The Fifth Servant: A Novel by Kenneth Wishnia (Morrow, $25.99, 9780061725371)

I Love You, I Hate You, I'm Hungry: A Collection of Cartoons by Bruce Eric Kaplan (Simon & Schuster, $12.99, 9781416556947)

The Information Officer: A Novel by Mark Mills (Random House, $25, 9781400068180)

Ransom: A Novel by David Malouf (Pantheon, $24, 9780307378774)

Roses: A Novel by Leila Meacham (Grand Central Publishing, $24.99, 9780446550000)

Veracity: A Novel by Laura Bynum (Pocket, $25, 9781439123348)


Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson (Random House, $28, 9781400067589)

Get Me Out: A History of Childbirth From the Garden of Eden to the Sperm Bank by Randi Hutter Epstein (Norton, $24.95, 9780393064582)

The Harvard Psychedelic Club: How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America by Don Lattin (HarperOne, $24.99, 9780061655937)

I Don't Care About Your Band: What I Learned From Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Self-Loathing Hipsters, and Other Guys I've Dated by Julie Klausner (Gotham, $15 paper, 9781592405619)

Just Kids by Patti Smith (Ecco, $27, 9780066211312)

Marriage and Other Acts of Charity: A Memoir by Kate Braestrup (Little, Brown, $24.99, 9780316031912)

Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson (Viking, $26.95, 9780670021154)

To Hell on a Fast Horse: Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and the Epic Chase to Justice in the Old West by Mark Lee Gardner (Morrow, $26.99, 9780061368271)


Skin: A Novel by Mo Hayder (Grove, $22, 9780802119308)

Deeper Than The Dead by Tami Hoag (Dutton, $26.95, 9780525951308)

Impact by Douglas Preston (Forge, $25.99, 9780765317681)