The August 2023 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 25 Indie Next List and 6 Now in Paperback picks on the August 2023 Indie Next List flier.

The August 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 about ABA’s recent refresh for the Indie Next List program 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 July Indie Next List picks are available as a flier, along with past lists, on the Indie Next List page on      

The 25 August Indie Next List Picks

Shark Heart: A Love Story by Emily Habeck#1 Pick: Shark Heart: A Love Story (Indies Introduce)
By Emily Habeck
(Simon Element/Marysue Rucci Books, 9781668006498, $28, Aug. 8, Fiction)

Shark Heart is fascinating. The premise — some people genetically mutate into wild animal species — is told through stunning, poetic prose. Wholly original, heartbreaking yet hopeful, it explores how one woman meets loss with love.”
—Alana Haley, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI

Tom Lake: A Novel
By Ann Patchett
(Harper, 9780063327528, $30, Aug. 1, Fiction)

“This is a story of love for family, of past passions and people once loved, and their continuing influence on the present. With Ann Patchett’s wit and wryness finely tuned, Tom Lake is the perfect book for a summer weekend read.”
—Jenny Stroyeck, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK

None of This Is True: A Novel
By Lisa Jewell
(Atria Books, 9781982179007, $28, Aug. 8, Thriller)

None of This Is True is the best Lisa Jewell yet. The action is nonstop and builds suspense from the first page. You think you have it figured out, then she wows you. She’s outdone herself on this one.”
— Margaret Holdman, The Bookhouse, Cameron Park, CA

By T. Kingfisher
(Tor Books, 9781250244093, $19.99, Aug. 15, Fantasy)

“A rare, precious, perfect book. A retelling that understands the meaning of the word retelling, that twists and turns so new facets get to shine. I love Toadling with my whole heart — this might be my very favorite Sleeping Beauty ever.”
—Nicole Szmyd, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

Crook Manifesto: A Novel
By Colson Whitehead
(Doubleday, 9780385545150, $29, Jul. 18, Fiction)

“Colson Whitehead has given us all the gift of Ray Carney’s Harlem. Crook Manifesto is one of 2023’s finest crime novels, not to mention one of the best overall novels of the year. Colson, we cannot wait for what’s next!”
—Berkley McDaniel, Shelf Life Bookstore, Richmond, VA

The Invisible Hour: A Novel
By Alice Hoffman
(Atria Books, 9781982175375, $27.99, Aug. 15, Fiction)

“Alice Hoffman has outdone herself with this book. It’s a love letter to readers and book lovers everywhere. I wanted to race though this book because the story is so compelling, but I made myself savor every word. This one has my heart.”
—Karen Schwettman, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, GA

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store: A Novel
By James McBride
(Riverhead Books, 9780593422946, $28, Aug. 8, Fiction)

“McBride’s latest is full of hope, grace, and humor. With a propulsive plot about power, race, and belonging in 1920s America, it’s the characters you’ll remember most: caretakers, troublemakers, soothsayers. I miss them already.”
—Nick Pauley, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Looking Glass Sound
By Catriona Ward
Tor Nightfire, 9781250860026, $27.99, Aug. 8, Thriller)
“A mind-bending plot mixed with overall unease, with secrets that will keep you guessing until the very end. Looking Glass Sound is no exception to what we have come to expect of a Catriona Ward thriller — simply excellent.”
—Kirsten Benjamin, Browseabout Books, Rehoboth Beach, DE

The Great Transition: A Novel
By Nick Fuller Googins
(Atria Books, 9781668010754, $27.99, Aug. 15, Fiction)

“A beautiful story about rebuilding and sacrifice, in the name of love and in the face of disaster. This hopeful rendition of climate fiction will tug at heartstrings you didn’t even know you had.”
—Alden Zeff, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

Immortal Longings: A Novel
By Chloe Gong
(Gallery/Saga Press, 9781668000229, $28.99, Jul. 18, Fantasy)

“In Immortal Longings, Chloe Gong takes inspiration from Shakespeare and builds a fully imagined and detailed world. Her ability to create place, characters, and intrigue is astonishing. This story will leave you breathless.”
—Calvin Crosby, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

The Last Ranger: A Novel
By Peter Heller
(Knopf, 9780593535110, $27, Jul. 25, Fiction)

“When a national park ranger discovers his friend in an animal trap, it sets up a mystery to be solved — pitting the local ranchers against the park. With a brilliant twist and unexpected humor, this might be Peter Heller’s best book yet.”
—Alice Hutchinson, Byrd’s Books, Bethel, CT

Mister Magic: A Novel
By Kiersten White
(Del Rey, 9780593359266, $28, Aug. 8, Thriller)

“This is my favorite book I’ve read this year. I love how the book plays with the idea of collective nostalgia, and how insidious things can be passed off as wholesome. A haunting, creepy, and propulsive read!”
—Ann Branson, Beach Books, Seaside, OR

Camp Damascus: A Novel
By Chuck Tingle
(Tor Nightfire, 9781250874627, $25.99, Jul. 18, Horror)

“Something as horrible as a gay conversion camp is made even more terrifying in this sinister novel! With the claustrophobia and paranoia of Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, I will recommend this book to every horror lover!”
—Brandy Herr, Arts & Letters Bookstore, Granbury, TX

Silver Nitrate: A Novel
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
(Del Rey, 9780593355367, $28, Jul. 18, Thriller)

“I was pulled in by the premise and stayed for the story. I found myself wanting answers as intensely as Montserrat, and as concerned as Tristán. This book is the perfect combination of atmosphere, mystery, and the supernatural.”
—Lauren Simonis-Hunter, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI

Kala: A Novel
By Colin Walsh
(Doubleday, 9780385549639, $28, Jul. 25, Fiction)

Kala is a literary thriller at its best — you are at once consumed with the characters, the place, the mystery. Colin Walsh gives us layer upon layer: past and present; characters, now and then; all of it building suspense and intimacy. Wow.”
—Amanda Hall, Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA

The Woman in the Castello: A Novel
By Kelsey James
(A John Scognamiglio Book, 9781496742919, $16.95, paperback, Jul. 25, Historical Fiction)

“Vividly written, boldly suspenseful, and gorgeously set in an Italian castle, this is the perfect book to take on holiday! Let this book sweep you away into 1960s Italy with its swirling mystery full of family history, secrets, and drama.”
—Ashleigh Howland, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

The Connellys of County Down: A Novel
By Tracey Lange
(Celadon Books, 9781250865373, $28.99, Aug. 1, Fiction)

“Do yourself a favor and meet The Connellys of County Down. Beautifully written, smartly plotted, and populated with fascinating characters, Tracey Lange’s sophomore novel proves that she is a master of the family drama.”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN

The Blonde Identity: A Novel
By Ally Carter
(Avon, 9780063276642, $24.99, Aug. 8, Romance)

“This wonderfully bonkers, deliciously slow-burning romance is marvelous! With witty banter, a grumpy spy and a sunshiny amnesiac, fake dating, oodles of feelings, and a beautiful narrative, Carter’s adult debut cannot be missed!”
—Lucy Perkins-Wagel, Blinking Owl Books, Arcadia, FL

Whalefall: A Novel
By Daniel Kraus
(MTV Books, 9781665918169, $27.99, Aug. 8, Science Fiction)

“This masterfully researched thriller weaves the story of a young diver’s tumultuous relationship with his father with the primal terrors of the deep sea. A heart-pounding tale of humanity, science, and survival you won’t soon forget.”
—Mary Powers, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Time’s Mouth: A Novel
By Edan Lepucki
(Counterpoint, 9781640095724, $28, Aug. 1, Fiction)

“The premise of Time’s Mouth — what would you do if you could travel back in time to revisit old memories? — may be speculative, but the characters are beautifully, frustratingly real as they struggle to be good and create lives of their own.”
—Lizzy Rolando, Salmonberry Books, Port Orchard, WA

Cruel Seduction (Dark Olympus)
By Katee Robert
(Sourcebooks Casablanca, 9781728262765, $16.99, paperback, Aug. 8, Romance)

“Another sexy tale from within the walls of Olympus, with even more political scheming and toe-curling intimate moments. This poly-knot romance has so many moving parts, but Katee hits the mark every time.”
—Sam Butler, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

Prophet: A Novel
By Sin Blaché, Helen Macdonald
(Grove Press, 9780802162021, $29, Aug. 8, Science Fiction)

Prophet hooked me with its uncanny Twin Peaks x Twilight Zone mise-en-scène. This page-turning thriller is deceptively fun despite a deadly serious, thought-provoking core. I was delighted by the sly pop culture nostalgia!”
—Amanda Qassar, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth
By Elizabeth Rush
(Milkweed Editions, 9781571313966, $30, Aug. 15, Science)

“In The Quickening, Elizabeth Rush shares accounts of climate change on a journey to Antarctica with a crew from all over the world. A beautiful, compelling, hopeful work that will help us understand how climate change shapes the world and us.”
—Lisa Valentino, Ink Fish Books, Warren, RI

Family Lore: A Novel
By Elizabeth Acevedo
(Ecco, 9780063207264, $30, Aug. 1, Fiction)

“Reminiscent of Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, and Elena Ferrante, Family Lore is a gorgeous multigenerational saga that follows the powerful, magical women in a Dominican-American family over the course of three days, but spans lifetimes.”
—Olivia Marchese, Author’s Note, Medina, NY

The Forest Brims Over: A Novel
By Maru Ayase, Haydn Trowell (Transl.)
(Counterpoint, 9781640095373, $16.95, paperback, Jul. 25, Fiction)

“In an act of resistance towards her husband’s exploitation, Rui eats a bowl of seeds that sprout from her body. The Forest Brims Over is a surreal unfolding of a marriage exploring how gender affects our relationships with others and ourselves.”
—Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA


The 6 Now in Paperback Titles

The Fortunes of Jaded Women: A Novel
By Carolyn Huynh
(Atria Books, 9781982188740, $17, Aug. 1, Fiction)
“A story about the pushes and pulls of first-generation Americans, of grandmothers, mothers, sisters, and daughters. There is love, accomplishment, community, and it’s laugh out loud funny. Give yourself the gift of reading this book.”
—Holly Hendricks, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

A Map for the Missing: A Novel
By Belinda Huijuan Tang
(Penguin Books, 9780593300688, $18, Aug. 8, Fiction)

“A poignant exploration of home, love, and ambition, set against the backdrop of Cultural Revolutionary China. Tang has a keen eye for familial conflict, and portrays regret with deftness. This is a beautiful, bittersweet debut.”
—Ellen McLaren, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA

The Night Ship: A Novel
By Jess Kidd
(Washington Square Press, 9781982180829, $17.99, Aug. 8, Fiction)

“Jess Kidd connects the true history of a brutal 1629 shipwreck with the story of a lonely boy in modern day Western Australia with tenderness and vivid storytelling. Epic in scope and heart-wrenchingly detailed, this is Kidd at her best.”
—Yvette Olson, Magnolia’s Bookstore, Seattle, WA

Now Is Not the Time to Panic: A Novel
By Kevin Wilson
(Ecco, 9780062913517, $18.99, Aug. 1, Fiction)

Now Is Not the Time to Panic is a tender coming-of-age novel on the power of art, the short-lived innocence of adolescence, and the nostalgia of first loves. Wilson’s beautiful, funny, sad novel is one that I’ll recommend again and again.”
—Alex Brubaker, Midtown Scholar Bookstore, Harrisburg, PA

Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
By Sidik Fofana
(Scribner, 9781982145828, $17, Aug. 1, Fiction)

“From the first sentence, we are immersed in the cadence of Harlem. We are one of the tenants struggling with autonomy and groping for success. These engaging stories offer insight into the lives and aspirations of inner-city people.”
—Sarajane Giddings, Blue Door Books, Cedarhurst, NY

The Work Wife: A Novel
By Alison B. Hart
(Graydon House, 9781525804915, $18.99, Jul. 18, Fiction)

“Three women, a Hollywood high roller, and an explosive day set the stage for a novel that will blow you away. Any woman whose work has been overlooked, underestimated, uncredited, or unrewarded needs a copy of The Work Wife. Hear her roar!”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN