The April 2024 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 25 Indie Next List and 6 Now in Paperback picks on the April 2024 Indie Next List flier.

The April title list is also viewable as a collection on Edelweiss and on the Indie Next List page as an Excel file alongside PDFs for the month’s flier and shelf-talker templates. Learn more and visit Matchbook Marketing’s program page to sign up to send the free Indie Next List e-newsletter to customers.

Additionally, to mark the start of the new month, the March Indie Next List picks are available as a flier, along with past lists, on the Indie Next List page on      

The 25 April Indie Next List Picks

#1 Pick: James: A Novel
By Percival Everett
(Doubleday, 9780385550369, $28, Mar. 19, Fiction)

“Percival Everett, deep into his brilliant career, adds another indelible novel into his vast canon. James reimagines an emblematic — and yes, problematic — American classic and asks about life, history, and our cultural psyche.”
—Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books, Point Reyes Station, CA

Expiration Dates: A Novel
By Rebecca Serle
(Atria Books, 9781982166823, $27, Mar. 19, Fiction)

“I came for Rebecca Serle’s signature magical realism and romance, and stayed for the free will vs. determinism conversation. A quick, enjoyable read that I cried during. Love is a net. It can catch you long after someone is gone.”
—Lindsay Makowicki, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

The Husbands: A Novel
By Holly Gramazio
(Doubleday, 9780385550611, $29, Apr. 2, Fiction)

“Lauren is faced with a troubling situation — not only is she married to a complete stranger, she can also trade her husband in for a new one. The story leans into the wacky possibilities and bittersweet potentials that could tempt many of us.”
—Erin Pastore, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

A Short Walk Through a Wide World: A Novel
By Douglas Westerbeke
(Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, 9781668026069 $28.99, Apr. 2, Fiction)

A Short Walk Through a Wide World is an epic novel charting the adventurous journey of one woman trying to outrun a mysterious curse. Douglas Westerbeke’s debut captures the imagination. A dazzling read!”
—Linda Kass, Gramercy Books, Bexley, OH

Clear: A Novel
By Carys Davies
(Scribner, 9781668030660, $24, Apr. 2, Fiction)

“Insightful and memorable, Clear is an elemental portrayal of loneliness, language, and unlikely companionship. Set on a harsh and unforgiving isle in northern Scotland, Davies elegantly shares how regular daily moments can be profound.”
—Miriam Roskam, Mountain Shire: Books & Gifts, Winter Park, CO

The Familiar: A Novel
By Leigh Bardugo
(Flatiron Books, 9781250884251, $29.99, Apr. 9, Fantasy)

“Luzia and Santángel, a duo for the ages! A scullion and an immortal familiar team up to win the king’s competition in the Spanish Golden Age as the Inquisition looms. The Familiar will lead you down new paths you won’t ever forget.”
—Coco Zephir, Phoenix Books, Essex Junction, VT

Worry: A Novel
By Alexandra Tanner
(Scribner, 9781668018613, $27, Mar. 26, Fiction)

“Insidious millennial malaise and the exhaustion of performative activism are contrasted through the story of two sisters who overstay their welcome in one another’s orbit. The dialogue will split you, gut you, and stitch you back up again.”
—Kyle Rea, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

Rainbow Black: A Novel
By Maggie Thrash
(Harper Perennial, 9780063286870, $18.99, Paperback, Mar. 19, Fiction)

“The setting: 1980s New Hampshire, a society roiled by suppressed memories. The characters: two young teens, parents convicted of child abuse arising from these memories. Maggie Thrash does not shy away in this compelling story.”
—Willard Williams, Balin Books, Nashua, NH

Annie Bot: A Novel
By Sierra Greer
(Mariner Books, 9780063312692, $28, Mar. 19, Fiction)

“Annie is an AI-enabled sex doll that learns from her mistakes to please humans. What happens when her intelligence turns inward?  A novel about power, intimacy, artificial intelligence, and an imperfect relationship under patriarchy.”
—Jennifer Carney, Sidetrack Bookshop, Royal Oak, MI

The Emperor and the Endless Palace (Indies Introduce)
By Justinian Huang
(Mira Books, 9780778305231, $28.99, Mar. 26, Fantasy)

The Emperor and the Endless Palace is a hard novel to sum up, but let me try: an erotic love story, three eras, loyalty, betrayal, intrigue, mythology. The story is gloriously addictive and will keep you turning page after page!”
—Kathy Baum, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

The Prospects: A Novel
By KT Hoffman
(Dial Press Trade Paperback, 9780593596869, $18, Paperback, Apr. 9, Romance)

“A joyful, heartfelt debut! Gene loves baseball and his team, even in the minors. It’s enough to be the first openly trans player. When a face from the past joins his team, it upsets the life Gene’s made for himself. Can he restore the balance?”
—Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Marietta, GA

Just for the Summer: A Novel
By Abby Jimenez
(Forever, 9781538704431, $17.99, Paperback, Apr. 2, Romance)

“Justin and Emma share the same curse: everyone they date goes on to meet and marry their soulmate. They decide to date just for the summer to break the curse. Abby Jimenez writes characters working through their traumas with humor and joy.”
—Chantalle Carles, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

I Cheerfully Refuse: A Novel
By Leif Enger
(Atlantic Monthly Press, 9780802162939, $28, Apr. 2, Fiction)

“Haunting yet hopeful, this futuristic tale will hit close to home with its honesty and pertinent observation of what it is to be human. I Cheerfully Refuse is proof of the power of a well-told story to ask the reader to live and feel deeply.”
—Katrina Mendrey, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, MT

The Age of Magical Overthinking: Notes on Modern Irrationality
By Amanda Montell
(Atria/One Signal Publishers, 9781668007976, $28.99, Apr. 9, Memoirs)

“Exploring our current culture of overthinking and the language surrounding it, these essays are fascinating and enlightening. Peppered with anecdotes and self-evaluation, this is the book Montell was meant to write.”
—Mallory Melton, BookPeople, Austin, TX

The Cemetery of Untold Stories: A Novel
By Julia Alvarez
(Algonquin Books, 9781643753843, $28, Apr. 2, Fiction)

“Alvarez’s beautiful new novel synthesizes her familiar themes: storytelling, sisters, family differences, the violent legacy of the Dominican Republic, the allure of ‘home’, and of ‘up North’, and the craft of writing itself.”
—Melanie Fleishman, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

Memory Piece: A Novel
By Lisa Ko
(Riverhead Books, 9780593542101, $28, Mar. 19, Fiction)

“I finished Memory Piece on a family trip, and found myself thinking of it when I woke up and itching to get back to it. I’ll remember Giselle, Ellen, and Jackie — their friendships, art and community making, and survival — for a long time!”
—Jhoanna Belfer, Bel Canto Books, Long Beach, CA

There’s Always This Year: On Basketball and Ascension
By Hanif Abdurraqib
(Random House, 9780593448793, $32, Mar. 26, Social Science)

“Using basketball as a vehicle for reflection of East Columbus history and personal memoir, There’s Always This Year is a triumph of contemplative, emotionally-rich writing that will have you wiping tears and on the edge of your seat.”
—Gary Lovely, Prologue Bookshop, Columbus, OH

Table for Two: Fictions
By Amor Towles
(Viking, 9780593296370, $32, Apr. 2, Short Stories)

“This collection of stories and a novella is the perfect thing to tide over Amor Towles’ legion of fans till the next novel. There’s even an Evelyn Ross appearance, from The Rules of Civility, which is worth the price of admission alone.”
—Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Women! In! Peril! (Indies Introduce)
By Jessie Ren Marshall
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781639732272, $17.99, Paperback, Apr. 2, Short Stories)

Women! In! Peril! is a sharply written, eclectically bizarre collection that starts with a bang and ends in tender tears, and everything in-between. A fantastic debut from an author to watch out for!”
—Jessie Wright, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

The Woods All Black
By Lee Mandelo
(Tordotcom, 9781250790316, $19.99, Mar. 19, Fantasy)

“A visceral queer revenge story wrapped in the mists of Post-WWI Appalachia. Mandelo’s rabid, religious community unsettles with its modern parallels. But it’s his eerie, possibly unhealthy forest that will drag you in and refuse to let go.”
—Christy Peterson, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

The Wives: A Memoir
By Simone Gorrindo
(Gallery/Scout Press, 9781982178499, $29.99, Apr. 9, Memoir)

“With courage and raw truth, Simone Gorrindo conveys the stress, anxiety, and pain of military marriage. She illustrates the importance of the friendships that are formed among those left behind and the camaraderie of those in the Unit.”
—Laura Edwards, The Little Bookshop, Midlothian, VA

Like Happiness: A Novel
By Ursula Villarreal-Moura
(Celadon Books, 9781250882837, $28, Mar. 26, Fiction)

“With fantastic prose and a compelling story and protagonist, Like Happiness grabbed my attention from page one and never let go. I cannot wait to follow Ursula Villarreal-Moura’s career; I know I will eagerly read anything she writes!”
—Christine Bollow, Loyalty Bookstores, Washington, DC

Secrets of the Octopus
By Sy Montgomery
(National Geographic, 9781426223723, $30, Mar. 19, Nature)

“If you’re not already in love with octopuses, Montgomery’s new book will seduce you. For those in love, you’ll be filled with more. Perhaps most interesting are the funny, weird, and intense emotional human-octopus relationships.”
—Kay Wosewick, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

The Tree Doctor: A Novel
By Marie Mutsuki Mockett
(Graywolf Press, 9781644452776, $17, Paperback, Mar. 19, Fiction)

“Verdant, potent, real, The Tree Doctor explores so much about relationships as one woman lives through the isolation — the unexpected wintering of one pandemic year along the California coast. This book is the spring that arrives at last.”
—Melinda Powers, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

A Good Happy Girl: A Novel
By Marissa Higgins
(Catapult, 9781646221974, $27, April 2, Fiction)

“Higgins’ debut is a pull on the cigarette you shouldn’t be having, the shot of adrenaline you get when you wake up through the daze of a hangover and remember your bad dreams. A Good Happy Girl is a pitch-perfect entry into the lesbian canon.”
—Gaby Iori, Epilogue: Books Chocolate Brews, Chapel Hill, NC


The 6 Now in Paperback Titles

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi: A Novel
By Shannon Chakraborty
(Harper Voyager, 9780062963512, $19.99, Mar. 26, Fantasy)

“I didn’t know I could love a book so much. Chakraborty gives us a pirate adventure with a charming and sarcastic female lead, the most lovable crew, and ancient magic. Sheer perfection from start to finish — this is a guaranteed five star read!”
—Stephanie Skees, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO 

The Great Reclamation: A Novel
By Rachel Heng
(Riverhead Books, 9780593420126, $18, Mar. 26, Fiction)

“An epic historical fiction in an area most Americans know little about. Ah Boon and Siok Mei’s paths diverge between fighting oppression and moving Singapore into the ‘modern’ world. So many relevant issues in this thought-provoking read.”
—Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA     

Hang the Moon: A Novel
By Jeannette Walls
(Scribner, 9781501117305, $18, Mar. 26, Fiction)

“A rollicking adventure set in the Virginia mountains during Prohibition, starring the unforgettable Sallie Kincaid. To say she is bold and fearless would be unjust to her wit and vulnerability. This is a fun and thrilling read.”
—Sarah Goddin, McIntyre's Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC

Homecoming: A Novel
By Kate Morton
(Mariner Books, 9780063020900, $19.99, Apr. 2, Fiction)

Homecoming provides the perfect atmosphere and suspense to immerse readers in a tale of family both lost and found. The book will take you on a trip down under to a rich, satisfying and surprising conclusion.”
—Betsy Von Kerens, The Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, NE

Romantic Comedy: A Novel
By Curtis Sittenfeld
(Random House Trade Paperbacks,
9780399590962, $18, Mar. 26, Fiction)
“It’s a joy to read Curtis Sittenfeld’s fun new novel. Clearly written as a healing project during the pandemic, it emphasizes the magical nature of crushes and human connection, and how we come together with other people against all odds.”
—Pete Dyer, McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY

The Secret Book of Flora Lea: A Novel
By Patti Callahan Henry
(Atria Books, 9781668011843, $17.99, Apr. 2, Fiction)

“This book is pure magic about the power of story, the bond between sisters, hope, perseverance, mystery, and an unexpected twist. Not to be missed, it may be Patti Callahan Henry’s best yet!”
—Pam Sparks, Covered Treasures Bookstore, Monument, CO