The December 2010 Indie Next List Preview

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Here’s a preview of the Indie Next List Great Reads and “Now In Paperback” titles, featured with jacket images, on the December Indie Next List flier, on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement.

In lieu of the usual Indie Next List Notables titles for December, a special 2010 Indie Next List Highlights compilation is in the works. Watch for the announcement of the 2010 Indie Next List Highlights with links to a downloadable flier and shelf-talkers in next week’s edition of Bookselling This Week.

The December 2010 Indie Next List Great Reads

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand
(Random House, $27.00, 9781400064168)
"Unbroken is a vivid story of Louis Zamperini who, as an athlete, ran in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and then became an airman when World War II broke out. When his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, he and two other crew members floated in a tiny raft across thousands of miles of ocean only to be rescued by the Japanese and placed in a POW camp. This book is about survival, emotional and physical endurance, hope, humor, and determination. An absolutely mesmerizing and incredible story." -- Pam Clarke, Edgartown Books, Edgartown, MA

The Neighbors Are Watching: A Novel, by Debra Ginsberg
(Shaye Areheart Books, $23.99, 9780307463869)
"Set against the backdrop of the devastating 2007 wildfires that forced the evacuation of thousands of San Diego residents, The Neighbors Are Watching shows the dark and dirty side of 'white picket fence' suburban life. This is a captivating domestic drama filled with flawed characters, all with secrets to hide. After reading this novel you will ask yourself, Who knows what goes on in people's homes when there are no neighbors watching?" -- Karin Beyer, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

Change: A Story for All Ages, by Judith Barnes, Erick James, Jeff Grader (Illus.)
(Staff Picks Press, available through Ingram and Bookazine, $14.95, 9781935534617)
"Reading this book, I can only think of the many people I want to share it with: my friend whose husband is dying, my granddaughter going off to a new school, and a staff member moving out of her big house into an apartment. Change encourages any reader to be flexible, to look for new directions and not get stuck in the 'old skin.'" -- Shirley Mullin, Kids Ink, Indianapolis, IN

Rescue: A Novel, by Anita Shreve
(Little, Brown and Company, $26.99, 9780316020725)
"Rookie paramedic Peter Webster is sent to the scene of a car accident where he encounters a badly injured and drunken Sheila. Despite her lack of remorse for the accident or gratitude for her rescue, naive Webster begins a relationship with the secretive Sheila. Soon he finds life moving way too fast for his taste until, once again, an accident turns their lives upside down. Fifteen years later, can Webster face his own role in a difficult decision and learn to offer forgiveness, or will he continue running from life's many challenges?" -- Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

An Object of Beauty: A Novel, by Steve Martin
(Grand Central Publishing, $26.99, 9780446573641)
"There are two main characters in Steve Martin's impossibly smart new novel: Lacey Yeager, a gorgeous and cunning up-and-comer in the art world, who will do anything for success; and the art world itself, with all of its glitz, varied characters, and high-stakes schmoozing. I am now certain that there is nothing Steve Martin cannot write authentically about. Even those who know little about contemporary art will enjoy this novel, and they will definitely learn something along the way." -- Kat Bailey, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy
(Nan A. Talese, $25.00, 9780385533577)
"Q: So why am I reading Pat Conroy's tales of his experiences with books when I have a stack of books waiting that I have yet to read and experience? A: Because Pat Conroy could make something as mundane as his grocery list fascinating. So imagine how compelling he is when expounding on books he's loved and the people who brought those books into his life!" -- Rosemary Pugliese, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman by Lisa Scottoline
(St. Martin's Press, $22.99, 9780312662295)
"Mother and daughter share the hilarious and touching content of the Philadelphia Inquirer 'Chick Lit' column they write so brilliantly, now combined with new essays. This perfect gift book will bring warm tears and wild laughter over the ruminations of a smart twenty-something making her way in New York City and her witty mom back on the farm. Both also have some delightful observations on eighty-something Mother Mary's happenings in Miami. No stone is left unturned in this book that hits all the right notes for all three generations." -- Mary Alice Gorman, Mystery Lovers Bookshop, Pittsburgh, PA

The Turquoise Ledge: A Memoir, by Leslie Marmon Silko
(Viking Adult, $25.95, 9780670022113)
"Novelist Silko's memoir invites readers to travel with her outside her home in the Tucson Mountains and deep into the arroyos and foothills of the Sonoran Desert. Where others see a barren landscape, she finds a lushness and a home. Even bits of the land, the turquoise, reach out to her. To read Silko's writing is to enter into a space in which our assumptions about time, family, relatedness, and nature are upended. The stories she tells are beautiful, haunting and true." -- Karen Maeda Allman, The Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle, WA

Music of the Distant Stars: An Aelf Fen Mystery, by Alys Clare
(Severn House Publishers, $28.95, 9780727869418)
"This medieval murder mystery wonderfully captures the dynamics of the time period and is infused with engaging characters and great dialogue. The young heroine, Lassair, is an apprentice healer -- endearing, exasperating, and true to both her age and era. A wonder of creative construction!" -- Eileen Charbonneau, Merritt Books, Millbrook, NY

Lost and Found in Russia: Lives in the Post-Soviet Landscape, by Susan Richards
(Other Press, $15.95, 9781590513484)
"Who are the Russian people now that they are no longer Communists? Richards explores the Russian world outside of the European-dominated cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg. For 16 years after the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian people have been full of both hope and despair. Here is a country in transition, evolving in unusual ways, with an outlook that is often bleak, but with a people who continue to persevere." -- Karen T. Harris, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA

Sea Change: A Novel, by Jeremy Page
(Viking Adult, $25.95, 9780670021901)
"Guy lives on an old barge, trolling around the North Sea's coast, lost in more ways than one. Five years earlier, his young daughter was killed in an accident and his marriage did not survive long after her death. Every night Guy sits in his boat and writes a diary of what might have been, each entry far more real to him than the physical world. A chance encounter with another woman and her daughter gives him a glimpse of a possible future. The question is, has that glimpse come in time?" -- Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO

Clouds Without Rain: An Amish-Country Mystery by P.L. Gaus
(Plume, $13.00, 9780452296688)
"Once again there is trouble in the Amish Community, as a series of robberies have been committed, perhaps by some of the young men of the community. When a buggy is hit by a truck, killing both drivers and severely injuring the sheriff, Professor Michael Branden is called in to help. The mystery unravels slowly, with a good many surprises along the way. Another excellent entry in this series!" -- Betty Barnes, River Reader LLC, Lexington, MO

Hull Zero Three, by Greg Bear
(Orbit, $19.99, 9780316072816)
"Hull Zero Three is a fast-paced story of cloned people aboard a colonist ship that is damaged and at war with itself. The clones have to piece together what has gone wrong in their world in order to survive the dangers of manufactured beasts that would kill them. This is one of the best science fiction novels that I have ever read. A real page turner!" -- Fran Wilson, Colorado State University Bookstore, Fort Collins, CO

Luka and the Fire of Life: A Novel, by Salman Rushdie
(Random House, $25.00, 9780679463368)
"Why ever do we read and tell those old tales of gods and godesses? Those has-beens are utterly silly! But Luka finds he needs them to save his father -- the Shah of Blah -- from his endless torpor. Master storyteller Rushdie wonderfully and delightfully reminds us why we need our stories, and of the sheer pleasure of words, upon words, upon words." -- Lauren Losaw, The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA

Scorpions: The Battles and Triumphs of FDR's Great Supreme Court Justices, by Noah Feldman
(Twelve, $30.00, 9780446580571)
"Franklin Roosevelt appointed the most Supreme Court justices of any president, but four -- Hugo Black, William Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, and Robert Jackson -- towered above the rest. The history of the judges and the development of their constitutional philosophies is also the story of social change in the United States during the middle of the 20th century, which culminated in the monumental Brown vs. Board of Education decision." -- Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Heliopolis, by James Scudamore
(Europa Editions, $15.00, 9781933372730)
"This is a sprawling, lively Dickensian story of love between a poor boy from the shantytowns and a girl whose father has a private helicopter. Set in in Sao Paulo, a city with more than 200 heliports and where the rich don't dare walk the streets, Heliopolis is a rags-to-riches tale like no other from the award-winning Scudamore." -- Nick DiMartino, University Book Store, Bellevue, WA

Born to Bark: My Adventures With an Irrepressible and Unforgettable Dog, by Stanley Coren
(Free Press, $24.00, 9781439189207)
"From the author of a number of well-regarded books on the way dogs think, this is the story of Flint, a Cairn Terrier, a breed full of zest and mischief. Flint was Stanley Coren's companion and friend for many years. The story of their life together is funny, challenging, inspiring, and a great read for those gifted with a love of dogs." -- Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

Hygiene and The Assassin, by Amelie Nothomb
(Europa Editions, $15.00, 9781933372778)
"In this debut novel, originally published in 1992, a Nobel Laureate novelist spars with several journalists he has agreed to meet upon learning that he has only two months to live. Each of the interviews ends with little satisfaction on either side until, finally, a young woman journalist manages to hold her own. She's the only one who has read his novels, and she raises questions about his life and work that lead to an unexpected conclusion. Written almost entirely in dialogue, the book reads like a brilliant and graceful fencing match, and we are pulled along, unsure who will win." -- Alice Meloy, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

How to Live: Or a Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, by Sarah Bakewell
(Other Press, $25.00, 9781590514252)
"Bakewell has written a thoroughly engaging look at the life and work of Michel de Montaigne, whose incessantly questioning approach to life is both remarkably modern and usefully instructive, even though he composed his famous essays more than 400 years ago." -- Dale Szczeblowski, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Love in a Headscarf, by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed
(Beacon Press, $15.00, 9780807000809)
"Here is an honest and enlightening look at the practice of modern-day arranged marriage, told by a devout British Muslim woman. With warmth and humor, Shelina takes the reader on her journey to find Mr. Right, through a minefield of Mr. Wrongs. A fascinating glimpse into a culture and tradition misunderstood and prejudged by many of us." -- Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

The December 2010 "Now in Paperback"

Dracula The Un-Dead, by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt (NAL Trade, 9780451230515, $15)

A Good Fall, by Ha Jin (Vintage, 9780307473943, $15)

Happy: A Memoir, by Alex Lemon (Scribner, 9781416550259, $16)

House Rules, by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square Press, 9780743296441, $16)

Just Kids, by Patti Smith (Ecco, 9780060936228, $16)

The Kingdom of Ohio, by Matthew Flaming (Berkley Trade, 9780452536949, $15)

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, by Helen Simonson (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780812981223, $15)

The Privileges, by Jonathan Dee (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780812980790, $15)

The Pursuit of Other Interests, by Jim Kokoris (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9780312650599, $14.99)

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt, by Beth Hoffman (Penguin, 9780143118572, $15)

Stones Into Schools, by Greg Mortenson (Penguin, 9780143118237, $16)

Wishin’ and Hopin’, by Wally Lamb (Harper Perennial, 9780061941016, $13.99)

Corrections to the Printed 2010 Indie Next List Flier

The printed December 2010 Indie Next List flier lists incorrect ISBNs for the following two titles. The ISBNs below and in the list above are correct.

  • For My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space, the correct ISBN is 9780312662295.
  • For Music of the Distant Stars, the correct ISBN is 9780727869418.

For Change: A Story for All Ages, the correct publisher is  Staff Picks Press, not Troy Book Makers. Staff Picks Press titles are available from Ingram and Bookazine.