The December 2017 Indie Next List Preview

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Indie Next List logoHere are the 20 Indie Next Great Reads and 12 Now in Paperback titles featured on the December 2017 Indie Next List flier, which is on its way to stores in the IndieBound movement.

Beginning December 1, these titles will be featured on downloadable fliers and shelf-talkers on and

The December 2017 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: Future Home of the Living God: A Novel, by Louise Erdrich
(Harper, 9780062694058, $28.99)
“Powerful, prophetic, and absolutely pertinent to our times, Louise Erdrich’s new novel, Future Home of the Living God, is a horrifying, haunting story about the lengths the government will go to control women’s reproductive rights and ensure the success of mankind as we know it. Riveting, repulsive, and revealing at the same time, Erdrich captures the essence of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and spins a new twist sure to tantalize and terrorize readers’ thoughts and play on their fears. Once again, Erdrich challenges societal constraints and conceives a novel guaranteed to leave you guessing. I highly recommend it!” —Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

The City of Brass: A Novel, by S.A. Chakraborty
(Harper Voyager, 9780062678102, $25.99)
“S.A. Chakraborty introduces a fantasy set in the Middle East that thrusts us into the magical world of Daevabad. The City of Brass follows, in parallel, Nahri, a con artist and naturally gifted healer, and Ali, prince of Daevabad and fiercely trained soldier. Nahri and Ali find themselves learning new lessons on how to survive changing environments and difficult challenges, while trying to figure out the complexities of their lives. I found myself turning page after page, following Nahri’s and Ali’s story while deciphering the fantastic terminology and the world that is Daevabad. The City of Brass is a wonderfully written, mystical adventure that keeps you guessing about what will happen next.” —Barry Nelipowitz, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Year One: Chronicles of the One, Book 1, by Nora Roberts
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250122957, $27.99)
“This new novel from legendary romance author Nora Roberts feels entirely fresh and utterly compelling. A plague that starts on a small farm manages to destroy almost the entire human population on Earth, and those who are left find themselves changed — some for better, some for worse. The scattered bits of humanity that remain struggle to fight the chaos that descends, as some characters — Lana and Max, Arlys and Fred, and Rachel and Jonah — find themselves immune to the plague. This fabulous departure from Roberts’ usual storytelling is refreshing and compulsively readable!” —Annie Carl, The Neverending Bookshop, Bothell, WA

The Story of Arthur Truluv: A Novel, by Elizabeth Berg
(Random House, 9781400069903, $26)
“If ever there were a perfect ointment to soothe the increasing incivility of today’s world, Elizabeth Berg’s The Story of Arthur Truluv could provide that salve. A warm story about elderly neighbors Arthur and Lucille and a teenage outsider, Maddy, this book demonstrates that all love and kindness have not disappeared, that there are pockets of caring living in certain people. Complete with cemeteries, warm cranberry-nut bars, a bully boyfriend, loneliness, and a baseball bat, Arthur Truluv is the right book at the right time. Let your heart soar!” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

Reservoir 13: A Novel, by Jon McGregor
(Catapult, 9781936787708, trade paper, $16.95)
Reservoir 13 is deeply stirring and incredibly poetic. While the intricacies of relationships and the echo of sorrow over one family’s loss ripples through years of ordinary days, the simple flow of daily life in a small town will resonate with everyone who has lived in or visited a rural area. This beautiful and melancholic book is perfect for anyone who wants to explore the deep connections of a small but tight-knit community.” —Ashley Dickson, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY

A Hundred Small Lessons: A Novel, by Ashley Hay
(Atria Books, 9781501165139, $26)
“This a beautifully written, important, quiet gem of a novel that takes hold of you and wends its way into your psyche. It tells the story of two families who live in the same house at different times in Brisbane, plumbing the relationships between mothers and children, husbands and wives. Marriage and motherhood are explored in-depth within the context of the story’s rich character development. A Hundred Small Lessons is a welcome addition to the genre of thoughtful novels with much wisdom to offer the reader. I highly recommend this novel, whose life lessons will continue to live with me for years to come.” —Sarajane Giddings, Blue Door Books, Cedarhurst, NY

Three Daughters of Eve: A Novel, by Elif Shafak
(Bloomsbury USA, 9781632869951, $27)
“Elif Shafak’s Three Daughters of Eve depicts a sophisticated and compelling story of modern Istanbul. Peri is now a rich and glamorous woman living a comfortable life. While suffering through a tedious dinner party with the international elite, she ponders her days as a student at Oxford, when her life was profoundly impacted by two friends and a charismatic professor. As a young, unformed student, Peri felt lost in her search for faith and self. Looking back on these years from the perspective of adulthood, Peri must confront her past before it collides with the present. Compelling, poignant, and highly relevant, Three Daughters of Eve is a modern exploration of identity in a changing world.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Into the Drowning Deep, by Mira Grant
(Orbit, 9780316379403, $26)
“In Into the Drowning Deep, Mira Grant has conjured up scary mermaids living in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. An expedition sets out to learn if mermaids truly exist and to uncover the fate of a previous expedition. The new crew is being recorded for a documentary, with the hope it will prove mermaids are real and clear the network of wrongdoing. Both Tory, whose sister was killed on the first expedition, and Jillian, who has been teaching about mermaids for years, are going out on the state-of-the-art ship; however, that ship has one major flaw. You will not look at The Little Mermaid the same way again!” —Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel, by Dean Koontz
(Bantam, 9780345546807, $28)
“If you haven’t read Dean Koontz’s exciting new action-thriller series, you must! The first was The Silent Corner, and now, with The Whispering Room, I was totally blown away! Koontz is a master of the thriller, and FBI agent Jane Hawke is a kick-ass kind of woman that you will root for all the way!” —Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL

The Ice House: A Novel, by Laura Lee Smith
(Grove Press, 9780802127082, $25)
“Laura Lee Smith continues to impress with her second novel, The Ice House. It’s a lovely story full of heart and wry humor that manages to convey life in all its rich, messy, tragic wonder. Johnny MacKinnon has it good but seems to be on the verge of losing it all. The ice company he runs in Florida is in trouble with OSHA, and then he discovers that he may have a brain tumor. While he is supposed to be taking it easy as he waits to find out the diagnosis, Johnny decides he must try to mend his estranged relationship with his son in Scotland and with the granddaughter he’s never met. The result is a touching, funny, heartbreaking ride you won’t soon forget.” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us: Essays, by Hanif Abdurraqib
(Two Dollar Radio, 9781937512651, trade paper, $16.99)
“With the depth and versatility of an immensely talented poet and the strong, perceptive wit of a cultural critic, Hanif Abdurraqib shows us his tremendous ability to bend language to his will in this collection of essays. For him, like for many of us, music is an entrance into a larger discussion of our emotions and our collective cultural understanding. Deftly moving from ruminations on Chance the Rapper, Atmosphere, and Future, to Bruce Springsteen, Fall Out Boy, and Johnny Cash, Abdurraqib is able to traverse conversations on black excellence, grief, and hope. This book taught me something fresh about humanity with every turn of the page, and it will stay with me for a long time to come.” —Matt Keliher, SubText Books, St. Paul, MN

Silence: In the Age of Noise, by Erling Kagge
(Pantheon, 9781524733230, $19.95)
“Kagge’s deceptively simple meditation on silence complicates something we all think we understand. Quoting from a wide range of artists and thinkers, Kagge constructs a graceful mosaic of definitions, statements, and paradoxes. We all have a ‘primal need for’ silence, Kagge states, and in this noisy world, it’s ‘the new luxury.’ Though it’s found inside of us, Kagge, an explorer and publisher, traveled to Japan to look for it in meditation and yoga; he walked to Antarctica in search of it, spending 50 days alone. Made up of 33 brief sections and ending in a blank page, Kagge leaves plenty of room for the reader’s own reflections, demonstrating the kind of active engagement he believes silence invites.” —Laurie Greer, Politics and Prose, Washington, DC

The Vanishing Season: A Mystery, by Joanna Schaffhausen
(Minotaur Books, 9781250126047, $24.99)
“Officer Ellery Hathaway is the ultimate damaged character. Kidnapped at age 14 and tortured by a serial killer before being rescued by FBI agent Reed Markham, Hathaway is now a woman who fiercely protects her privacy. But, every year on her birthday, three people have disappeared, and no one, including the sheriff, believes they are connected. To get to the bottom of the mystery, Hathaway reaches out to Markham. The Vanishing Season is a thriller, a police procedural, and a psychological study of PTSD and workforce burnout. It is a look at serial killers and the impossibility of knowing who will become one and why. But, most of all, The Vanishing Season is a terrific read that you won’t be able to put down once you start.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Improvement: A Novel, by Joan Silber
(Counterpoint, 9781619029606, $26)
Improvement is a wide-ranging novel told in stories that connect disparate people through time and place to one tragic accident. Kiki, a free-spirited young adult of the 1970s turned wise woman, is the novel’s lodestar. Silber masterfully pulls together the threads of lives in places as remote as rural Turkey and as common and close as New York City like a finely made Persian rug.” —Arsen Kashkashian, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO

Mrs. Caliban, by Rachel Ingalls
(New Directions, 9780811226691, trade paper, $13.95)
“This book, which New Directions has unearthed from the 1980s, is such a surprising, delightful gem. It’s like a mix of Lucia Berlin’s knack for character, dialogue, and tone with the sci-fi realism that’s become so popular lately. A strange, beautiful book by a writer who’s getting her rightful recognition (and who may have predicted the current avocado craze?!).” —Jacob Rogers, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC

Elmet: A Novel, by Fiona Mozley
(Algonquin Books, 9781616208424, trade paper, $15.95)
Elmet is a great read. The writing is beautiful, and I found myself totally entranced by both the characters and the scenery. I’m stilling mulling over the end. I love having something to think through after finishing a story!” —Randy Schiller, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Ultraluminous: A Novel, by Katherine Faw
(MCD, 9780374279660, $25)
“No one is just one thing. Take K, for instance: She spends her days getting just high enough and managing the men who pay her for sex. Time passes in a blur of heroin, hedonism, and risky sushi from Duane Reade, but underneath that routine is something else. And it is this something else that is with K all the time, throughout the manicures and the art films and the stain on the ceiling above her bed and the memories of what came before. Who is K, really? Ultraluminous is raw, hideous, and beautiful, an open wound of a book.” —Lauren Peugh, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Exact Thinking in Demented Times: The Vienna Circle and the Epic Quest for the Foundations of Science, by Karl Sigmund
(Basic Books, 9780465096954, $32)
“When the heirs of physicists and philosophers Ernst Mach and Ludwig Boltzmann came together in Vienna, little did they realize that their intellectual enterprise would figure so greatly in the annals of history and science. Over the years, the group, corralled by Moritz Schlick and Hans Hahn, grew to include such names as Kurt Godel, Karl Popper, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Sigmund provides a vivid account of the personalities involved in these debates on the philosophy of science and whether philosophy belongs in science, and breathes new life and energy into this important time period. In this extremely readable and accessible volume, Sigmund’s familiarity with the Vienna Circle makes for fascinating observations about the people who made this part of science history possible.” —Raul Chapa, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Strangers in Budapest: A Novel, by Jessica Keener
(Algonquin Books, 9781616204976, $26.95)
“With the fall of the communist regime, Budapest let in the light of new ideas and new people. Into this world of new opportunity move Americans Annie and Will. They are excited to create a new life together when then they meet mysterious, dangerous Edward. Will’s instincts warn him to stay away from this new acquaintance, but Annie is compelled to help him. As she and Will go deeper into the darkness of this stranger’s plan for revenge against his daughter’s supposed murderer, the tension becomes almost unbearable. Make no mistake — Strangers in Budapest is a tight, well-written thrill of a story you will not forget.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Signal Loss, by Garry Disher
(Soho Crime, 9781616958596, $26.95)
“Set in Australia, the seventh in Disher’s Challis and Destry series is just as action-packed and exciting as the previous books. Meth kingpins, hit men, and a serial rapist are the villains of this installment, and the Australian location adds interest and flavor.” —Susan Taylor, The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

The December 2017 Indie Next List “Now in Paperback”

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living: A Novel, by Louise Miller (Penguin Books, 9781101981214, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Rebecca Speas, One More Page, Arlington, VA

Dragon Teeth: A Novel, by Michael Crichton (Harper, 9780062473363, $9.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Susan Tunis, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1: 19201963, by Ed Ward (Flatiron Books, 9781250138491, $19.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Joe Turner, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Homesick for Another World: Stories, by Ottessa Moshfegh (Penguin Books, 9780399562907, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Becca Chavez, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

I Will Send Rain: A Novel, by Rae Meadows (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250145932, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Lori Fazio, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

I’ll Take You There: A Novel, by Wally Lamb (Harper Perennial, 9780062656308, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Chrysler Szarlan, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

The Impossible Fortress: A Novel, by Jason Rekulak (Simon & Schuster, 9781501144424, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Carol Spurling, BookPeople of Moscow, Moscow, ID

Nobody’s Son: A Memoir, by Mark Slouka (W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393354751, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

Out of Bounds: A Karen Pirie Novel, by Val McDermid (Grove Press, 9780802127266, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

Young Adult Crossover Favorites

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, by Chelsea Sedoti (Sourcebooks Fire, 9781492652755, $10.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Holly Frakes, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

A List of Cages, by Robin Roe (Disney-Hyperion, 9781484776407, $9.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Scythe, by Neal Shusterman (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442472433, $11.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Kris Stephens, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS