The December 2022 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 25 Indie Next List and 6 Now in Paperback picks on the December 2022 Indie Next List flier.

The December 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 November Indie Next List picks are available as a flier, along with past lists, on the Indie Next List page on      

The 25 December Indie Next List Picks

The Light Pirate, by Lily Brooks-Dalton#1 Pick: The Light Pirate: A Novel
By Lily Brooks-Dalton
(Grand Central Publishing, 9781538708279, $28, Dec. 6, Fiction)

“A survivor of a book. In the not-too-distant future, Florida is hurricane central, and Wanda (a hurricane namesake) is in the eye of this story that wraps around you; you’ll hold on for dear life, with everybody else.”
—Michelle Bear, Edmonds Bookshop, Edmonds, WA

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail: A Novel
By Ashley Herring Blake
(Berkley, 9780593336427, $17, paperback, Nov. 22, Romance)

“I think I loved this book even more than Delilah Green Doesn’t Care. There is something so comforting about returning to a group of characters for a second book. I can’t wait to read Iris’ story next!”
—Aedan Richter, Nowhere Bookshop, San Antonio, TX

Ship Wrecked: A Novel
By Olivia Dade
(Avon, 9780063215870, $16.99, paperback, Nov. 15, Romance)

“I love how Dade writes plus-sized heroines and how they are always strong, confident women. They always love themselves for who they are, not who society tells them they should be. This book is hilarious, adorable — and yes, very steamy.”
—Kaitlyn Craig, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

Tread of Angels
By Rebecca Roanhorse
(Gallery/Saga Press, 9781982166182, $22.99, Nov. 15, Fantasy)

“At this point, I’ll read anything Rebecca Roanhorse writes. This little book packs a powerhouse of a story! It’s 1920s noir with demons and angels, but with Rebecca’s personal twist. I loved it and I can’t wait to give it to everyone I know!”
—Annie Carl, The Neverending Bookshop, Edmonds, WA

How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures
By Sabrina Imbler
(Little, Brown and Company, 9780316540537, $27, Dec. 6, Essays)

“The only thing more impressive than Imbler’s marine knowledge is their knowledge of themselves. Searching the ocean for new ways of being, they describe personal, familial, and communal trauma with astonishing honesty and lyricism.”
—Amy Woolsey, Bards Alley, Vienna, VA

Stella Maris
By Cormac McCarthy
(Knopf, 9780307269003, $26, Dec. 6, Fiction)
Cormac McCarthy’s coda to The Passenger feels refreshingly different from, yet fully in-step with its predecessor. Stella Maris certainly makes The Passenger all the more tragic. If you read The Passenger, don’t skip dessert.”
—Mary Wahlmeier, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

Well Traveled
By Jen DeLuca
(Berkley, 9780593200469, $17, paperback, Dec. 6, Romance)

“Sweet as can be! Well Traveled is a warm, witty romance that will complement any reader’s shelves. Jen DeLuca has hit it out of the park with this one.”
—Kailey Fox, Kingfisher Bookstore, Coupeville, WA

The Lindbergh Nanny: A Novel
By Mariah Fredericks
(Minotaur Books, 9781250827401, $27.99, Nov. 15, Historical Fiction)

“Mariah Fredericks’s The Lindbergh Nanny is a fresh and profound take on America’s most notorious kidnapping. This engaging historical fiction novel vividly describes the secrets and sadness surrounding the Lindbergh kidnapping.”
—Susan McBeth, Adventures by the Book, San Diego, CA

A Dangerous Business: A Novel
By Jane Smiley
(Knopf, 9780525520337, $28, Dec. 6, Fiction)

“An incredibly thought-provoking new novel from Jane Smiley. Her characters are so well drawn out that I felt like I was living the narrative alongside them. The writing is evocative and makes the pages fly. I can't wait to sell this!”
—Brooke Beehler, Books Revisited, St. Cloud, MN

A Quiet Life: A Novel
By Ethan Joella
(Scribner, 9781982190972, $27, Nov. 29, Fiction)

“A touching novel that is meant to be read with a warm cup of tea. A Quiet Life beautifully explores how loss, in its many forms, can lead to new hope in the most unexpected places.”
—Angela Pursel, The Next Chapter Bookstore, Hermiston, OR

Winterland: A Novel
By Rae Meadows
(Henry Holt and Co., 9781250834522, $27.99, Nov. 29, Fiction)

“Rae Meadows’ Winterland is more than a story of women, and more than an expose of the abuse young gymnasts endure. It is a moving portrait of an authoritarian country and how hard it is to know when or how to stand up to what we know is wrong.
—Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS

They’re Going to Love You: A Novel
By Meg Howrey
(Doubleday, 9780385548779, $28, Nov. 15, Fiction)

They’re Going to Love You is simply wonderful. Perfect. The most trenchant and emotionally rich novel I’ve read this year.”
—Matt Nixon, A Cappella Books, Atlanta, GA

My Darkest Prayer: A Novel
By S. A. Cosby
(Flatiron Books, 9781250867636, $16.99, paperback, Dec. 6, Thriller)

“Former deputy Nathan Waymaker agrees to look into the sudden death of a beloved preacher of a Black church in a small Southern town. Cosby is a master of drawing you into a world where every knock on the door sounds like a harbinger of death.”
—Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

All the Broken Places: A Novel
By John Boyne
(Pamela Dorman Books, 9780593653067, $28, Nov. 29, Historical Fiction)

“Gretel Fernsby is a character for the ages! She’s a 91-year-old full of guilt with stories to tell. Boyne writes her with great compassion — maybe more than she deserves — and brings alive a story spanning decades and continents.”
—Claire Benedict, Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT

Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk
By Buddy Levy
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250274441, $29.99, Dec. 6, History)

“Imagining how it feels to watch your ship crushed by ice and leave you stranded on an ice floe at 30 degrees below zero is terrifying. Full of details, good and not-so-good characters, Levy brings us a great armchair adventure in the Arctic.”
—Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Have I Told You This Already?: Stories I Don’t Want to Forget to Remember
By Lauren Graham
(Ballantine Books, 9780593355428, $28, Nov. 15, Memoir)

“This book is like sitting down with an old friend! Learn about an actor’s climb to the top, what book she keeps by her bedside, and what she thinks about when she walks around town. I read it as quickly as her Lorelai Gilmore character talked!”
—Margaret Walker, Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN

Heart of the Sun Warrior: A Novel 
By Sue Lynn Tan
(Harper Voyager, 9780063031364, $27.99, Nov. 15, Fantasy)

“This was such a satisfying sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goddess. The pacing is fantastic and the story is unpredictably magical and exciting. I really loved the world building and appreciated the romance.”
—Hillary Smith, Black Walnut Books, Hudson Falls, NY

Idol, Burning: A Novel
By Rin Usami, Asa Yoneda (Transl.)
(HarperVia, 9780063213289, $24.99, Nov. 15, Fiction)

“A riveting exploration of fandoms and obsession, Idol, Burning is short but packs a real punch. It reads like a modern-day Mishima, using discomforting prose and slow-burn writing to set the tone for a melancholic and insightful read.”
—Katrina Wallace, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

Weightless: Making Space for My Resilient Body and Soul
By Evette Dionne
(Ecco, 9780063076365, $26.99, Dec. 6, Memoir)

“Dionne’s essays cover fat-shaming, plus-size characters, love and sex, the pain of weight loss due to illness, and weight-discrimination legislation. Based both on research and her own experiences, there’s much here to think about.”
—Susan Posch, The Book Shoppe, Boone, IA

Things We Found When the Water Went Down: A Novel
By Tegan Nia Swanson
(Catapult, 9781646221691, $22.95, paperback, Dec. 6, Fiction)

“Remarkable. This novel draws a parallel between missing/murdered Indigenous women and violence against the environment — all within a body-on-page-one murder mystery. It’s heavy lifting, but makes a lasting impression.”
—Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books, Mendocino, CA

A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings 
By Will Betke-Brunswick
(Tin House Books, 9781953534453, $18.95, paperback, Nov. 15, Graphic Memoir)

“Will Betke-Brunswick’s graphic memoir captures a family facing an unimaginable loss, without signposts or explanations. Readers feel an increasing connection to the characters as the story unfolds; a powerful reading experience.”
—Keith Mosman, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

How to Survive Everything: A Novel
By Ewan Morrison
(Harper Perennial, 9780063247321, $17, paperback, Nov. 15, Thriller)

“It's much too early to start naming the best pandemic novels of our uncanny reality, but I have a feeling that How to Survive Everything will be remembered as one of the greats.”
—Jordan Pulaski, Small Friend Records & Books, Richmond, VA

Shotgun Seamstress: An Anthology
By Osa Atoe
(Soft Skull, 9781593767396, $40, Nov. 29, Music/Graphic Anthology)

Shotgun Seamstress scratches a deep itch for more diverse representation in music writing and publishing. In eight collected zines written by and about marginalized punk trailblazers, Osa Atoe proves that form follows function.”
—Audrey Parks, New Dominion Bookshop, Charlottesville, VA

Grocery Shopping with My Mother: Poems
By Kevin Powell
(Soft Skull, 9781593767433, $24, Dec. 6, Poetry)

“Powell’s return to poetry shines a light on the small details of everyday life — fear, tenderness, and what really matters in this vulnerable world. He does not forget the figures that shaped his world and influenced this album of hope.”
—Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

On Browsing 
By Jason Guriel
(Biblioasis, 9781771965101, $13.95, paperback, Nov. 15, Social Science)

“Guriel tracks the change in consumer culture from buying in-person to online; he mourns the loss of connection to what we buy. Whether in small independent stores or shopping malls, discovery is a different experience in the flesh.”
—Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI


The 6 Now in Paperback Titles

Beasts of a Little Land: A Novel
By Juhea Kim
(Ecco, 9780063093584, $17.99, Dec. 6, Fiction)

“Encompassing 40+ years of Korea’s fight for independence from colonial powers, this book tore my heart out in the best way, and somehow — in the way that only great books can — pieced it back together fuller and more whole than when I began.”
—Amanda Hurley, Tombolo Books, St. Petersburg, FL

Bewilderment: A Novel
By Ricard Powers
(W.W. Norton & Company, 9781324036142, $17.95, Nov. 1, Fiction)

“Richard Powers is peerless when conveying the intimate and universal in family relationships. Bewilderment is tender, riveting, and true. It took my breath away.”
—Lesley Rains, City of Asylum Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA

Lost & Found: Reflections on Grief, Gratitude, and Happiness
By Kathryn Schulz

(Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780525512486, $18, Nov. 22, Memoir)
“Schulz explores love, loss, and everything in between with empathy and nuance. A feat of pure brilliance that speaks directly to our humanity in these challenging times. It found me at a necessary moment, and I will always be grateful.”
—Lesley Rains, City of Asylum Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA

Love in the Big City: A Novel (Indies Introduce)
By Sang Young Park, Anton Hur (Transl.)
(Grove Press, 9780802160379, $17, Nov. 15, Fiction)

“I’ve never read a book with a voice like Sang Young Park brings to this novel — young, queer, Korean, unafraid to tackle important issues while remaining funny, edgy, and approachable. I can’t wait to read whatever he writes next.” 
—Adam Possehl, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Sea State: A Memoir
By Tabitha Lasley
(Ecco, 9780063030848, $16.99, Dec. 6, Memoir)

“At its heart, this is a story about men whose lives are filled with toxic masculinity in a world without women — on oil rigs off Scotland. But it’s also a story of a woman looking for her place in the world who goes there to write about the men.”
—Scott Lange, The Bookman, Grand Haven, MI

The Violin Conspiracy: A Novel
By Brendan Slocumb
(Vintage, 9780593315422, $17, Dec. 6, Fiction)

“One of my new favorite novels. The book tells Ray’s story, a young Black man who just wants to play his violin in a world set to see him fail. You’ll root for Ray, get angry on his behalf, cry with him, and triumph with him.”
—Laney Sheehan, Epilogue: Books Chocolate Brews, Chapel Hill, NC