The February 2009 Indie Next List

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

Cutting for Stone: A Novel by Abraham Verghese
(Knopf, $26.95, 9780375414497 / 0375414495)
"Cutting for Stone resists easy categorization -- it is just as much the chronicle of a bond between twin brothers and family as it is a book about medicine, or a story of grace. Verghese's carefully drawn characters are compelling and unforgettable -- this is a book you will have to share with others, if you can bear parting with your copy." --Meredith Allison, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave
(Simon & Schuster, $24, 9781416589631 / 1416589635)
"Little Bee -- this novel's small but powerful narrator -- begins her story as a Nigerian refugee in England who is looking for a British couple whom she met during a horrific episode in Nigeria -- a moment that unleashes a chain of events that will make you smile, cry, think, and, ultimately, pray for the best in humanity to win." --Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

The Help: A Novel by Kathryn Stockett
(Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, $24.95, 9780399155345 / 0399155341)
"The Help recreates a time -- Mississippi in 1962 -- that is totally engrossing and pitch-perfect. This story of women in the South, black and white, in the eye of a hurricane of monumental change is thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable." --Sheila Burns, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR

The School of Essential Ingredients: A Novel by Erica Bauermeister
(Putnam, $24.95, 9780399155437 / 0399155430)
"Lillian, a restaurant owner, teaches Monday night cooking classes as much for herself as for the students. With magical language, first-time novelist Bauermeister weaves the lives of the students in Lillian's class with the meals prepared and life lessons learned. Strong, sensuous writing leaves the reader hungry for more." --Holly Smith, Wide World Books & Maps, Seattle, WA

Dog on It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn
(Atria, $25, 9781416585831 / 1416585834)
"Dog on It is the debut of a new, hilarious, hard-hitting crime-fighting duo -- Bernie (a human private investigator) and Chet (an almost completely trained police dog). It's Chet who narrates the story, full of interesting clues and the charm of a storytelling style that can't be beat." --Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO

The Leisure Seeker: A Novel by Michael Zadoorian
(Morrow, $24.99, 9780061671784 / 0061671789)
"John and Ella Robina are an infirm, elderly couple who refuse to go quietly into that dark night, and The Leisure Seeker is a funny, touching tribute to their spirit." --Rhoda Wolff, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel by Jamie Ford
(Ballantine, $24, 9780345505330 / 0345505336)
"The Japanese internment of WWII comes alive in this timeless story, set in 1940s Seattle, of the power of the human heart to rise above hatred and bigotry. This is a book to share with others." --Marilyn Scheer, East West Bookshop, Seattle, WA

Addition: A Novel by Toni Jordan
(Morrow, $24.99, 9780061582578 / 0061582573)
"Grace Vandenburg's self-described 'counting thing' goes far beyond a charming quirk. Often funny, always lovable, this endearing novel of OCD and romance is outstanding!" --Caitlin Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

Irreplaceable: A Novel by Stephen Lovely
(Voice, $24.99, 9781401322823 / 1401322824)
"Told in four sections and over the course of three years, Irreplaceable is set in Iowa and Chicago and vividly realizes the casualties and rebirths that occur when an organ is donated after a fatal accident. Lovely explores the nature of grief and guilt, salvation and healing." --Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

Hands of My Father: A Hearing Boy, His Deaf Parents, and the Language of Love by Myron Uhlberg
(Bantam, $23, 9780553806885 / 0553806882)
"Myron Uhlberg is the hearing son who was brought up by deaf parents in a loving household, and the only thing more expressive than the beautiful sign language of the deaf is this writer's ability to describe the depth of emotion and perception in this splendid memoir." --Karen M. Frank, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Town that Raised Them by Amy Dickinson
(Hyperion, $22.99, 9781401322854 / 1401322859)
"Anyone who likes to start the day with some common sense from Amy Dickinson's advice column, 'Ask Amy' (her motto is 'I make the mistakes so you don't have to'), will delight in getting to know the small town and big-hearted family that made her who she is." --Ellen Sandmeyer, Sandmeyer's Bookstore, Chicago, IL

The Housekeeper and the Professor: A Novel by Yoko Ogawa
(Picador, $14 paper, 9780312427801 / 0312427808)
"Set in Japan, Yoko Ogawa's novel tells the story of a housekeeper and her son, and how they are drawn into the world of a brilliant professor of mathematics with severe memory impairment. A beautiful, tender novel." --Lisa Stefanacci, The Book Works, Del Mar, CA

A Rule Against Murder: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
(St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95, 9780312377021 / 0312377029)
"This is the fourth book in the utterly charming, utterly compelling series featuring Quebec's Chief Inspector Gamache. In this one, he and his wife visit an isolated resort for their wedding anniversary, becoming embroiled in the inner workings of a more-than-dysfunctional family. Penny's gorgeous prose and stunning skill with character development take this book to the top of the genre." --Robin Agnew, Aunt Agatha's, Ann Arbor, MI

The Rose Variations: A Novel by Marisha Chamberlain
(Soho, $24 paper, 9781569475386 / 1569475385)
"Marisha Chamberlain's novel tells the story of classical musician Rose MacGregor, who weaves her way through triumphs and tribulations looking for answers, fulfillment, and the possibility of happiness. We cheer Rose as she composes her way through life in this well-written and engaging novel." --Ann Carlson, Harborwalk Books, Georgetown, SC

Captain Freedom: A Superhero's Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves by G. Xavier Robillard
(Harper Paperbacks, $13.99 paper, 9780061650680 / 0061650684)
"Captain Freedom may be super strong and able to fly, but that doesn't seem to help him make the right choices with his career, secret identity, sidekick, or political decisions. (Can you say, 'Governor Freedom of California'?) This fantastic fantastical novel brings superherodom into a whole new light." --Calvin Crosby, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

Land of Marvels: A Novel by Barry Unsworth
(Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $26, 9780385520072 / 0385520077)
"Barry Unsworth's historical novels consistently manage to evoke comparisons with our own time. In his latest, as WWI becomes inevitable, competing American and European interests in Middle Eastern oil set off a complex chain of events that continues to resonate today." --Russ Lawrence, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, MT

Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting by Kitty Burns Florey
(Melville House, $22.95, 9781933633671 / 1933633670)
"Tracing the story from the earliest cave scribblings to the Palmer Method to today's text-message-composed novels, this is a great read for anyone who has ever agonized over their signature, wondered what the slant on their 'l' means, or deplored the state of penmanship in today's typing world." --Jenn Northington, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals by Temple Grandin, with Catherine Johnson
(Houghton, $26, 9780151014897 / 0151014892)
"In Animals Make Us Human, Temple Grandin's special connection to animals is obvious once again, and she has written, with Catherine Johnson, a great reference for animal lovers and animal behaviorists. Like Helen Keller, the autistic author shows that having disabilities does not mean that you are an incapable human being -- rather, she proves the contrary." --Rachel Olin-Levy, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

The Other Side of Desire: Four Journeys Into the Far Realms of Lust and Longing by Daniel Bergner
(Ecco, $24.99, 9780060885564 / 0060885564)
"I very nearly couldn't put down Bergner's profile of four stories of desire, whether the account enthralled or repulsed me. His writing is captivating and fluid, telling of his discovery of concepts of desire that are new and unorthodox to him." --Brent Humphreys, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Nashville, TN

The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten
(Portfolio, $25.95, 9781591842408 / 1591842409)
"From the moment I began this book, I was hooked. Combining a great concept and format, two business book experts extraordinaire tell you what books are worth reading and how they can help. If you read any business books, this should be the next one." --Chuck Robinson, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

The February 2009 Indie Next List Notables Preview


The Domino Men by Jonathan Barnes (Morrow, $24.99, 9780061671401 / 0061671401)
Drood by Dan Simmons (Little, Brown, $26.99, 9780316007023 / 0316007021)
Eve: A Novel of the First Woman by Elissa Elliott (Delacorte, $24, 9780385341448 / 038534144X)
Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo (Guideposts Books, $14.99 paper, 9780824947712 / 0824947711)
Lark & Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips (Knopf, $24, 9780375401954 / 0375401954)
The Nightingale by Morgana Gallaway (Kensington, $14 paper, 9780758227287 / 0758227280)
Tokyo Fiancee by Amelie Nothomb (Europa Editions, $15 paper, 9781933372648 / 1933372648)
Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani (Harper, $25.99, 9780061257056 / 0061257052)


The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World by Niall Ferguson (Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594201929 / 1594201927)
The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks by Robin Romm (Scribner, $22, 9781416567882 / 1416567887)
Nature's Second Chance: Restoring the Ecology of Stone Prairie Farm by Steven I. Apfelbaum (Beacon, $25.95, 9780807085820 / 0807085820)
Sand: The Never-Ending Story by Michael Welland (University of California Press, $24.95, 9780520254374 / 0520254376)
The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in U.S. History -- and How We Can Fight Back by Alan Michael Collinge (Beacon, $22.95, 9780807042298 / 0807042293)
Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin by Norah Vincent (Viking, $25.95, 9780670019717 / 0670019712)


Runner: A Jane Whitefield Novel by Thomas Perry (Houghton, $26, 9780151015283 / 0151015287)
The Shanghai Moon: A Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Novel by S.J. Rozan (St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95, 9780312245566 / 0312245564)
Three Weeks to Say Goodbye by C.J. Box (St. Martin's Minotaur, $24.95, 9780312365721 / 0312365721)