The August Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 25 Indie Next List and 6 Now in Paperback picks on the August 2021 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 Indie Next Great Reads for August

#1 Pick: Once There Were Wolves: A Novel
By Charlotte McConaghy
(Flatiron Books, 9781250244147, $27.99, Fiction)

“Telling of the reintroduction of wolves to the Scottish highlands, Once There Were Wolves affirms the importance of our connections to the human and more-than-human worlds that sustain us, worlds we sever at our own peril.”
—Ben Platt, Jackson Hole Book Trader, Jackson, WY

Damnation Spring: A Novel
By Ash Davidson
(Scribner, 9781982144401, $28, Fiction)

“With this debut set in a Pacific Northwest logging town, Ash Davidson has immediately established herself as a true writer of the American experience, in all its potential for self-destruction and beauty.”
—Josh Popkin, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Nightbitch: A Novel
By Rachel Yoder
(Doubleday Books, 9780385546812, $26, Fiction)

“At once weird, darkly funny, moving, relatable, and deliciously messed up, Nightbitch is a rallying howl to women, and especially mothers, everywhere.”
—Danielle Raub, Itinerant Literate Books, Charleston, SC

She Who Became the Sun: A Novel
By Shelley Parker-Chan
(Tor Books, 9781250621801, $27.99, Fiction/Historical Fantasy)

“Zhu’s tooth-and-nail fight for her destiny merges hero and antihero into a transcendent figure with an incomparably strong will. She Who Became the Sun carves out a bold and bloody new genre of epic fantasy.”
—Jessie Prutisto-Chang, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

The Manningtree Witches: A Novel
By A.K. Blakemore
(Catapult, 9781646220649, $26, August 10, 2021, Historical Fiction)

“A brilliant story set in 17th-century England about a women’s community at the margins of society and the constant dangers of religious fervor. Dark, unsettling, and highly entertaining.”
—Ulrika Moats, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Intimacies: A Novel
By Katie Kitamura
(Riverhead Books, 9780399576164, $26, Fiction)

“A cool and precise portrait of a woman and system on the verge of breaking, this latest literary thriller from Kitamura quietly insinuates itself into readers’ consciousness with subtle and haunting force.”
—Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books, Point Reyes Station, CA

Afterparties: Stories (Indies Introduce)
By Anthony Veasna So
(Ecco, 9780063049901, $27.99, Short Stories)

“These stories of the members of a compact Cambodian-American community, from the refugees to the business owners to the gay teenagers, seamlessly balance humor with hardships.”
—Sofia Silva Wright, Phoenix Books, Burlington, VT

All’s Well: A Novel
By Mona Awad
(Simon & Schuster, 9781982169664, $27, Fiction)

“Gloriously bananas, dark and weird, and so, so good. All’s Well is a big, messy, strange journey about chronic pain, Shakespeare, friendship, mental health, witchcraft, and work.”
—Rachel Barry, WORD Bookstores, Brooklyn, NY

We Are the Brennans: A Novel
By Tracey Lange
(Celadon Books, 9781250796226, $26.99, Fiction)

“Tracey Lange has created some truly memorable characters and a wonderfully moving experience in seeing this tight-knit family cope with conflicts, setbacks, and the disclosure of long-buried secrets.”
—John Lynn, The Kennett Bookhouse, Kennett Square, PA

Mrs. March: A Novel (Indies Introduce)
By Virginia Feito
(Liveright, 9781631498619, $26, August 10, 2021, Fiction/Thriller)

“Virginia Feito has effortlessly updated the comedy of manners in this darkly funny mystery. This book will haunt you until you reach the breathtaking conclusion, and you’ll remember Mrs. March for a long time to come.”
—Olivia Edmunds-Diez, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO

Radiant Fugitives: A Novel
By Nawaaz Ahmed
(Counterpoint, 9781640094048, $27, Fiction)

“Two sisters and their mother are reunited as the eldest sister is about to give birth, but they struggle to find common ground. Brilliantly told through the voice of the unborn child, love, loss, politics, faith, sexuality, and race intersect across decades and continents.”
—Jan Blodgett, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC

Appleseed: A Novel
By Matt Bell
(Custom House, 9780063040144, $27.99, Fiction)

“This cross between a Shakespeare drama and a Grimm fairy tale is unsettling, attention-grabbing, and thought-provoking in the way stories do so well when reason often fails. A powerful read!”
—Helen Eddy, The Book Shoppe, Boone, IA

If the Shoe Fits: A Meant to Be Novel
By Julie Murphy
(Hyperion Avenue, 9781368050388, hardcover, $26.99; 9781368053372, paperback, $15.99, Fiction/Romance)

“There simply aren’t enough words in my vocabulary to explain how beautifully Julie Murphy is able to craft such sweet stories. If the Shoe Fits is the Cinderella twist readers have been waiting decades for.”
—Hannah Oxley, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI

It Happened One Summer: A Novel
By Tessa Bailey
(Avon, 9780063045651, paperback, $15.99, Fiction/Romance)

“This story opened its broad arms and admitted me into the recharging station that I needed so badly in 2021. It was cute. It was sweet. It was heart-wrenching. It was steamy. It was everything!”
—Stephanie Arrache, Waterwheel Gifts and Books, Dubois, WY

Clark and Division: A Novel
By Naomi Hirahara
(Soho Crime, 9781641292498, $27.95, Fiction/Mystery)

Clark and Division is a propulsive mystery and a heart-wrenching examination of Japanese internment and relocation in the 1940s. Hirahara beautifully weaves history and injustice into this fascinating and compelling crime novel.”
—Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Where the Truth Lies: A Novel
By Anna Bailey
(Atria Books, 9781982157166, $27, Fiction/Thriller)

“You’ll find yourself invested in and rooting for each of the young people in this book as they navigate secrets and prejudices to unravel the mystery of what happened to their sister and friend — and why.”
—Alana Haley, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI

Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor
By Anna Qu
(Catapult, 9781646220342, $26, Memoir)

Made in China is an emotionally wrenching and engrossing memoir about abuse, immigration, and the American dream. Qu’s pain is raw and unfinished, but her resiliency and growth are unforgettable.”
—Marie Cloutier, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

The Reading List: A Novel
By Sara Nisha Adams
(William Morrow, 9780063025288, $27.99, Fiction)

“A beautifully written novel about people connected by a local library and an amazing reading list. As the characters’ lives are revealed through interweaving storylines, readers will root for them, cry for them, and celebrate their victories.”
—Lisa Driban, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE

Goldenrod: Poems
By Maggie Smith
(Atria/One Signal Publishers, 9781982185060, $20, Poetry)

“Maggie Smith is the kind of magician who can make a poem breathe and sing. Goldenrod leaves the reader feeling as though the poet has gently struck their heart with a mallet, sending vibrations echoing throughout them for a long time.”
—Jennifer Wills Geraedts, Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, Park Rapids, MN

The Book of Accidents: A Novel
By Chuck Wendig
(Del Rey, 9780399182136, $28.99, Fiction/Horror)

“Despite the classically creepy content of a true horror tale, I found myself devouring these pages before going to sleep at night and seeking them out again first thing in the morning, nightmares be damned.”
—Sara Knight, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

The Turnout: A Novel
By Megan Abbott
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780593084908, $27, Fiction/Thriller)

The Turnout is a deliciously uncomfortable story, from the brutality imposed on dancers’ bodies to the uneasy dynamics of sisterly relationships and the tension when someone new intrudes on their domain.”
—Lexi Beach, The Astoria Bookshop, Astoria, NY

Born Into This: Stories
By Adam Thompson
(Two Dollar Radio, 9781953387042, $15.99, paperback, Short Stories)

“I am thrilled to have read Born Into This, which is filled with stories about Aboriginal people existing between cultural heritage and cultural change, and the seemingly inexorable loss of the natural world in which they live.”
—Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The Union of Synchronized Swimmers: A Novella
By Cristina Sandu
(Scribe US, 9781950354399, $15, paperback, Fiction)

“Six girls living behind the Iron Curtain turn their leisurely summer swimming routine into something more. Glimpses into their adult lives join atmospheric vignettes of their journey into synchronized swimming.”
—Maggie Henriksen, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

It’s Not What You Thought It Would Be
By Lizzy Stewart
(Fantagraphics, 9781683964353, $24.99, Graphic Novel)

“Through Lizzy Stewart’s wistful art, these stories feel like bruises that leave you tender, thoughtful, and forgiving for not living up to your own expectations when adulthood isn’t at all that you’d imagined.”
—Julie Jarema, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

The Hunter and the Old Woman: A Novel
By Pamela Korgemagi
(House of Anansi Press, 9781487008253, $18.99, paperback, Fiction)

“In this eerily beautiful tale of nature and humanity, we follow Cougar from birth to death, while the man hunting Cougar is drawn in by the echoing call of the forest and the stories told by the men of his town.”
—Lily Hunter, Skylark Books, Columbia, MO


The 6 Now in Paperback Titles

Betty: A Novel
By Tiffany McDaniel
(Vintage, 9781984897947, $16, Fiction)

Betty walks us through a childhood filled with good and evil, and shows us that one can survive and come out the other side in one piece, fractured and whole at the same time.”
—Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Confessions on the 745: A Novel
By Lisa Unger
(Park Row, 9780778389293, $16.99, Fiction)

“Lisa Unger is amazing at writing twisted thrillers that could pretty much be happening to someone you know. Confessions on the 7:45 may be my favorite one of her books yet!”
—Laura Taylor, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL

Impersonation: A Novel
By Heidi Pitlor
(Algonquin Books, 9781643751443, $16.95, Fiction)

“Struggling ghostwriter and solo mom Allie is trying to do everything right but inevitably feeling as though she’s getting it all wrong. I couldn’t stop turning the pages to see how far she’d go to survive.”
—Hannah Harlow, Book Shop of Beverly Farms, Beverly, MA

Milk Fed: A Novel
By Melissa Broder
(Scribner, 9781982142506, $17, Fiction)

“When calorie-obsessed Rachel, an unlikely but irresistible heroine, meets Miriam at the yogurt shop, sparks (and sprinkles!) fly. Unflinchingly honest, unexpectedly moving — I couldn’t put it down.”
—Kristen Iskandrian, Thank You Books, Birmingham, AL

Universe of Two: A Novel
By Stephen P. Kiernan
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062878458, $16.99, Fiction)

“This finely crafted love story weaves a well-researched history of the shrouded creation of the atomic bomb with the blossoming love of two people.”
—Renee Reiner, Phoenix Books Essex, Essex Junction, VT

White Ivy: A Novel
By Susie Yang
(Simon & Schuster, 9781982100605, $17, Fiction)

“Ivy Lin’s unassuming looks and demeanor hide a dark side: She is obsessed with the wealth and privilege she sees around her and will cross boundaries to get what she needs.”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN