The December 2008 Indie Next List & Notables Preview

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Here's a preview of the December Indie Next List now on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement.

The December 2008 Indie Next List

The Hour I First Believed: A Novel by Wally Lamb
(HarperCollins, $29.95, 9780060393496 / 0060393491)
"In The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb captures the essence of modern America through the events of the past decade. Though sweeping, the story resonates in a powerfully intimate and personal way, at once heart-wrenching and hopeful, with characters so deeply conceived that you will think of them and their lives long after you have finished reading the book." --Suzy Staubach, UConn Co-op, Storrs, CT

Blindspot: A Novel by Jane Kamensky and Jill Lepore
(Spiegel & Grau, $24.95, 9780385526197 / 0385526199)
"In a masterpiece of teamwork, Kamensky and Lepore, both history professors, have brought alive pre-Revolutionary Boston in the most charming way imaginable by telling the story of an exiled Scottish portraitist and his surprising apprentice. Blindspot kept me guessing (and laughing) from beginning to end -- it is the most entertaining historical novel I've ever read." --Jake Hallman, A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland, CA

American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon by Steven Rinella
(Spiegel & Grau, $24.95, 9780385521680 / 0385521685)
"American Buffalo is a fascinating, panoramic account of buffalo, their evolution, and the long history of their relationship with humans. Rinella's enthusiasm for his subject is evident as he skillfully juxtaposes his personal experience as a proficient and dedicated hunter with sections on archaeology and history, all accessibly and engagingly written." --Lynne Almeida, Spellbinder Books, Bishop, CA

A House in Fez: Building a Life in the Ancient Heart of Morocco by Suzanna Clarke
(Pocket, $15 paper, 9781416578932 / 1416578935)
"Suzanna Clarke's account of restoring a dilapidated house in Fez is full of wonderful descriptions and characters. She's given us a refreshing change from the way we usually view the Muslim world." --Susan Porter, Maine Coast Book Shop, Inc., Damariscotta, ME

Made From Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich
(Storey, $20.95, 9781603420860 / 160342086X)
"Jenna Woginrich writes an honest and humorous account of her efforts to bring more self-reliance into her life, and by not sparing us her beginner's mistakes, she really encourages the reader to plant a garden, raise some chicks, or learn to play an instrument. Woginrich provides amateur homesteaders an instructive start, and an entertaining read to boot!" --Sherri Gallentine, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman by Hank Winger, Christopher Golden, Stephen R. Bissette
(St. Martin's, $29.95, 9780312387655 / 0312387652)
"A bibliography, a biography, and a miscellany of Neil Gaiman and his work. For new readers or devotees, here's a host of background information and insights." --Brian Grover, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, Brookfield, WI

The Private Patient: An Adam Dalgleish Mystery by P. D. James
(Knopf, $25.95, 9780307270771 / 0307270777)
"The scorpion tail of P.D. James' prose has lost none of its sting in this, her 17th novel. The setting is a lovely English manor in Dorset that has been converted to a surgical clinic, and the victim is a well-known investigative journalist who has come to the clinic. The suspects are as deeply complex as any characters James has created, and Commander Dalgleish exposes their motives with a surgical finesse. The Private Patient is intricate, novelistic, and engrossing." --Betsy Burton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange by Mark Barrowcliffe
(Soho, $25, 9781569475225 / 1569475229)
"Mark Barrowcliffe's memoir of his teenage years playing fantasy role-playing games champions the cause of a widely unacknowledged population of geeks, nerds, and dorks. The Elfish Gene is touching, hilarious, and far too familiar." --Bridget Allison, Phoenix Books, Essex, VT

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
(Portfolio, $19.95, 9781591842330 / 1591842336)
"Not your parent's book on leadership. Seth Godin outlines the many aspects of leading a tribe -- a diverse group of people with a shared interest, none of whom may work for you. This is a handbook for anyone who seeks to influence others, is considering starting a blog, or has a hard time explaining their job at a party." --Rich Rennicks, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

2666: A Novel by Roberto Bolano
(FSG, $30, 9780374100148 / 0374100144; three-volume boxed set, $30 paper, 9780374531553 / 0374531552)
"2666 is the culmination of Roberto Bolano's expansive brilliance, as traces of such previous works as The Savage Detectives have been perfected and fused together seemlessly as part of a larger whole. This is a daring book that takes major risks throughout, and its overall impact is impossible to ignore or ever forget." --Nathan Halter, The Doylestown Bookshop, Doylestown, PA

An Irish Country Christmas: A Novel by Patrick Taylor
(Forge, $24.95, 9780765320704 / 0765320703)
"Returning to Ballybucklebo, with its doctors and local life, is like slipping into your most comfy slippers and favorite robe. An Irish Country Christmas is winter reading at its most cozy and comforting." --Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks: A Novel by William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac
(Grove, $24, 9780802118769 / 0802118763)
"Unlike most rediscovered works by well-known authors, this collaboration between two of the best-known Beat writers is well done and extremely readable. Based on actual events and told in alternating chapters, this will not disappoint fans of either writer."--Carol Schneck, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

Blood Island: A Matt Royal Mystery by H. Terrell Griffin
(Oceanview, $24.95, 9781933515212 / 193351521X)
"Matt Royal, an ex-cop and retired lawyer, discovers in a bird sanctuary a dead body that will eventually be a clue in the case of his ex-wife's missing stepdaughter. I really enjoyed Blood Island and will be definitely recommending it." --Andra Tracy, Out Word Bound, Indianapolis, IN

Righting the Mother Tongue: From Olde English to Email, the Tangled Story of English Spelling by David Wolman
(Collins, $24.95, 9780061369254 / 006136925X)
"An informative and humorous look at how we ended up with our English orthography. This is a book for many of us who find that English words never look quite right -- even when correctly spelled. A wonderful weekend read!" --Fran Wilson, Colorado State Univ. Bookstore, Fort Collins, CO

I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto by Dave Thompson
(Backbeat Books, $22.95, 9780879309350 / 0879309350)
"Dave Thompson has written a book for anyone who can remember being excited by an entire album and its artwork. Thompson is truly volcanic in his unadulterated contempt for modern pop/rock and goes to enormous and hilarious pains to explain why the classic rock of the late '60s - '70s is the Holy Grail of rock music." --Amjad Saleh Faur, Nightbird Books, Fayetteville, AR

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English by John McWhorter
(Gotham, $22.50, 9781592403950 / 1592403956)
"John McWhorter's Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue offers very interesting ideas about the history of the English language and why it has come to be the way it is today. This very readable book will make you think about English in a new way." --Catherine Carpenter, Cate's Books and Stuff, Louisiana, MO

Impermanence: Embracing Change by David Hodge
(Snow Lion, $29.95, 9781559393072 / 1559393076)
"In 2005, multi-media artists David and Hi-Jin Hodge created an installation on 'Impermanence' for an exhibit honoring the Dalai Lama. This beautifully designed book -- which includes an interactive DVD -- features photographs of the various speakers, along with their often moving reflections, and wonderfully recreates the gallery experience." --Karl Pohrt, Shaman Drum Bookshop, Ann Arbor, MI

Stray Dog Winter: A Novel by David Francis
(MacAdam/Cage, $24, 9781596923157 / 1596923156)
"David Francis has created a flashback to 1980s Communist Russia filled with suspense, intrigue, and a good deal of sexiness. Stray Dog Winter is a novel of breathless moments, passion, politics, and atmosphere so thick you can feel the cold." --Calvin Crosby, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

The Better World Shopping Guide, 2nd Edition: Every Dollar Makes a Difference by Ellis Jones
(New Society, $9.95 paper, 9780865716308 / 0865716307)
"The Better World Shopping Guide is an important little book that calls for changes in all our shopping habits. The book rates American companies based on 15 years' research of their records on the environment, human rights, community involvement, and other criteria. I'll soon be switching my credit card company, just one of the many changes I'll make to be a more responsible consumer." --Nancy Olson, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

The Spy Who Came for Christmas: A Novel by David Morrell
(Vanguard, $15.95, 9781593154875 / 1593154879)
"In The Spy Who Came for Christmas, David Morrell has woven the Christmas story into an entertaining, modern-day spy novel. This is a great little stocking stuffer for the thriller reader on your Christmas list!"--Carl Wichman, Varsity Mart, Fargo, ND

The December 2008 Indie Next List Notables


Another Mother's Life by Rowan Coleman (Pocket, $15 paper, 9781416583028 / 1416583025)

The Charlemagne Pursuit: A Novel by Steve Berry (Ballantine, $26, 0345485793/ 9780345485793)

Death With Interruptions by Jose Saramago (Harcourt, $24, 9780151012749 / 0151012741)

Disquiet: A Story by Julia Leigh (Penguin, $13 paper, 9780143113508 / 014311350X)

Fault Lines by Nancy Huston (Grove Press, Black Cat, $14 paper, 9780802170514 / 080217051X)

The Glass of Time by Michael Cox (Norton, $24.95, 9780393067736 / 0393067734)

The Hero of Ages: Book Three of Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (Tor, $27.95, 9780765316899 / 0765316897)

Lulu in Marrakech by Diane Johnson (Dutton, $25.95, 9780525950370 / 0525950370)

Nothing With Strings: NPR's Beloved Holiday Stories by Bailey White (Scribner, $24, 9781439102268 / 1439102260)

November 22, 1963 by Adam Braver (Tin House, $14.95 paper, 9780980243628 / 0980243629)

Testimony by Anita Shreve (Little Brown, $25.99, 9780316059862 / 0316059862)

Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch (Shaye Areheart Books, $23, 9780307408570 / 0307408574)


Al' America: Travels Through America's Arab and Islamic Roots by Jonathan Curiel (New Press, $25.95, 9781595583529 / 1595583521)

Asian Dining Rules: Essential Strategies for Eating Out at Japanese, Chinese, Southeast Asian, Korean, and Indian Restaurants by Steven A. Shaw (Morrow Cookbooks, $15.95, 9780061255595 / 0061255599)

The Tillamook Cheese Cookbook: Celebrating 100 Years of Excellence by Tillamook County Creamery Association, Kathy Holstad (Arnica, $24.95, 9780980194241 / 0980194245)

Twisted Head: An Italian American Memoir by Carl Capotorto (Broadway, $23.95, 9780767928618 / 076792861X)

The Vertigo Years: Europe 1900 - 1914 by Philipp Blom (Basic Books, $29.95, 9780465011162 / 0465011160)

The Wreck of the Carl D.: A True Story of Loss, Survival, and Rescue at Sea by Michael Schumacher (Bloomsbury, $26, 9781596914841 / 159691484X)


The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly (Little Brown, $26.99, 9780316166294 / 0316166294)

Hurting Distance by Sophie Hannah (Soho, $25, 9781569475218 / 1569475210)