The February 2023 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 25 Indie Next List and 6 Now in Paperback picks on the February 2023 Indie Next List flier.

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

The 25 February Indie Next List Picks

#1 Pick: How to Sell a Haunted House: A Novel
By Grady Hendrix
(Berkley, 9780593201268, $28, Jan. 17, Horror)

“Imagine returning to the hometown you couldn’t wait to leave, then staying in a haunted house while you’re there. Now imagine horror, humor, and entirely believable characters. Grady Hendrix does it best. I’m crazy about this book!”
—Robert Hawthorn, Gallery Bookshop & Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books, Mendocino, CA

Big Swiss: A Novel
By Jen Beagin
(Scribner, 9781982153083, $27, Feb. 7, Fiction)

Big Swiss is an I-can’t-stop-thinking-about-this kind of book. When I first read the concept, I was shocked, but intrigued. Now that I’ve read the book, I want everyone else to share in my cringing, laughing, and heart palpitations.”
—Lily Sadighmehr, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Exiles: A Novel
By Jane Harper
(Flatiron Books, 9781250235350, $27.99, Jan. 31, Mystery)

“What do you look for in a mystery? I look for Jane Harper’s name under the title. Detective Aaron Falk returns in Exiles, set in lush Australian wine country; despite his ‘clues,’ you’ll not guess the ending!”
—Mary Hembree, House of Books, Kent, CT

Don’t Fear the Reaper
By Stephen Graham Jones
(Gallery/Saga Press, 9781982186593, $27.99, Feb. 7, Horror)

“Not just a worthy sequel to My Heart is a Chainsaw, but one that, after you’ve read it, you can’t imagine the first book without. Jones has a true gift — he can make you shudder in horror and tear up in the same sentence.”
—Olivia Morris, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

Secretly Yours: A Novel
By Tessa Bailey
(Avon, 9780063238985, $17.99, paperback, Feb. 7, Romance)

“Charming, with great small-town vibes. Our main characters have two distinct, largely opposing personalities that provide most of the tension; watching those personalities begin to flourish together is a delight.”
—Joanna Szabo, Annie Bloom’s Books, Portland, OR

By Susan Stokes-Chapman
(Harper Perennial, 9780063280021, $17, paperback, Jan. 17, Historical Fiction)

Pandora is the best kind of historical novel, filled with mystery, a cursed artifact, dashing academics, and a hint of romance. This novel will appeal equally to readers of myth and mystery.”
—Keith Glaeske, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Georgie, All Along
By Kate Clayborn
(Kensington, 9781496737298, $16.95, paperback, Jan. 24, Romance)

“Kate Clayborn always delivers, and Georgie, All Along is no different. The writing is engrossing and diverting and it’s impossible not to love Georgie as she finds herself and her way. This is an excellent winter read to curl up with.”
—Preet Singh, Eagle Eye Book Shop, Decatur, GA

Brutes: A Novel (Indies Introduce)
By Dizz Tate
(Catapult, 9781646221677, $27, Feb. 7, Fiction)

“In her outstanding debut, Dizz Tate has created a searing look at a group of young friends, the Brutes, who move as one and disrupt as they go. Set in Florida and traveling across time, Brutes illustrates childhood devoid of innocence.”
—Caitlin Baker, Island Books, Mercer Island, WA

Maame: A Novel
By Jessica George
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250282521, $27.99, Jan. 31, Fiction)

Maame is a deeply moving story about growing up, moving on, grief, and tradition. Jessica George has created a deeply funny and tragic protagonist, and perfectly conveys the challenges of a twenty-five-year-old navigating modern life.”
—Kyle Churman, Werner Books, Erie, PA

The Guest Lecture: A Novel
By Martin Riker
(Grove Press, Black Cat, 9780802160416, $17, paperback, Fiction)

“Riker’s smart and offbeat story takes place over one night, as a newly-unemployed economics professor mulls over a lecture she’s about to give and explores her consciousness as though wandering through her own house. Funny and unique.” 
—Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, IL

B.F.F.: A Memoir of Friendship Lost and Found
By Christie Tate
(Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, 9781668009420, $28, Feb. 7, Memoir)

“Tate’s honesty leaves me in awe of her. In B.F.F., she writes about her struggle to form and maintain close female friendships and the work she does to fix it. In this memoir, she brings the reader in to see all the darkest parts of herself.”
—Mallory Melton, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Radiant Sin (Dark Olympus #4)
By Katee Robert
(Sourcebooks Casablanca, 9781728257006, $16.99, paperback, Feb. 7, Romance)

“The Dark Olympus series is a must read! I loved every moment of Radiant Sin, and read until the wee hours because I NEEDED to know how it would end; what an ending it was. High romance, intrigue, and fun — this is one of my favorites in the series!”
—Alexis Sky, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

The Reunion: A Novel
By Kayla Olson
(Atria Books, 9781668001943, $17, paperback, Jan. 17, Romance)

“Liv and Ransom were co-stars on one of the most successful teen shows ever. When they reunite for a reunion special, they must face the past and being in love both on and off set. A warm blanket of a book that will make you smile.” 
—Cara Dyne-Gores, The Bookshelf, Cincinnati, OH

Looking for Jane: A Novel
By Heather Marshall
(Atria Books, 9781668013687, $27.99, Feb. 7, Historical Fiction)

“The life-changing choices faced by the women in Looking for Jane could not be more relevant. Stretching across five decades and three generations, this powerful novel is for anyone who cares about a woman’s right to decide her future.”
—Beth Stroh, Viewpoint Books, Columbus, IN

Stone Blind: A Novel
By Natalie Haynes
(Harper, 9780063258396, $30, Feb. 7, Fiction)

Stone Blind offers Medusa deserved sympathy, and asks: What makes a monster, and on whose authority? What does it mean to to have your authority stripped? And what does it look like when old stories get reclaimed through a little empathy?”
—Ebony Purks, Nowhere Bookshop, San Antonio, TX

The Mitford Affair: A Novel
By Marie Benedict
(Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781728229362, $27.99, Jan. 17, Historical Fiction)

“Larger than life, the six Mitford sisters provide a page-turning historical fiction. Bound by family, torn by treason, and astoundingly controversial, this glamorous family makes for an epic story. The Mitford Affair is a sizzler.”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN

Our Share of Night: A Novel
By Mariana Enriquez, Megan McDowell (Transl.), Pablo Gerardo Camacho (Illus.)
(Hogarth, 9780451495143, $28.99, Feb. 7, Horror)

“A vibrantly translated epic of family and mystery, friendship and sexual awakenings, history and monsters, full of images I won’t forget: golden nails on a clawed hand, a boy watching two men embrace, and the scariest door-close ever.”
—Drew Broussard, The Golden Notebook, Woodstock, NY

The Applicant: A Novel (Indies Introduce)
By Nazlı Koca
(Grove Press, 9780802160546, $26, Feb. 14, Fiction)

“Leyla’s life swallowed me whole. As she waits for a decision about her visa, she’s torn between countries, dreams, and selves. This book speaks to the working class, to millennials, to anyone who’s been lost between a dream and a harsh reality.”
—Laura Kendall, Second Flight Books, Lafayette, IN

Really Good, Actually: A Novel
By Monica Heisey
(William Morrow, 9780063235410, $27.99, Jan. 17, Fiction)

“This book follows a woman’s first year of singledom after her brief marriage unceremoniously falls apart. Depression, delusion, and self-pity all star here, but the author handles it all with tenderness and a dash of humor.” 
—Tracy Affonso, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

The House of Eve: A Novel
By Sadeqa Johnson
(Simon & Schuster, 9781982197360, $27.99, Feb. 7, Historical Fiction)

The House of Eve follows two young Black women in the 1950’s as they struggle with racism, colorism, and the many paths to motherhood. It will break your heart and make you realize everyone is fighting their own battle. Incredible.”
—Andrea Richardson, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Decent People: A Novel 
By De'Shawn Charles Winslow
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635575323, $28, Jan. 17, Fiction)

Decent People captures what a horrific crime can do to a small rural community. You’ll want to cheer for the characters, and you know that someone is responsible for a triple murder. How many secrets can someone hold before they break?”
—Shane Mullen, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone: A Novel
By Benjamin Stevenson
(Mariner Books, 9780063279025, $30, Jan. 17, Mystery)

“This is the best mystery I’ve read. The narrator understood that just because he was telling the story, it didn’t make the story about him. Every member of this family was given a story arc that also directly connected to the whole! So good!
—Hannah Oxley, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI

The Chinese Groove: A Novel
By Kathryn Ma
(Counterpoint, 9781640095663, $27, Jan. 24, Fiction)

“Having suffered the profound loss of his mother during childhood, Shelley is his father’s last hope and is sent to San Francisco to achieve the American Dream. Nothing in America is as he thought. This is a funny, sweet, delightful book.”
—Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Hourglass: A Novel
By Keiran Goddard
(Europa Editions, 9781609458171, $25, Feb. 14, Fiction)

Hourglass is a psalm for anyone who’s ever loved and lost and loved again. Messy, darkly funny, and gut-wrenching, this poem-meets-novella will remind you just how fragile a heart can be. I will come back to it time and time again.”
—Holly Voorsanger, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

By Maylis De Kerangal, Jessica Moore (Transl.)
(Archipelago, 9781953861504, $18, paperback, Feb. 7, Fiction)

“An emotional thriller in miniature, this slim, brisk book had me on the edge of my seat and emotionally invested in these characters until the very end. The poetic language is the work of a singular and transfixing talent.”
—David Vogel, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI


The 6 Now in Paperback Titles

Joan Is Okay: A Novel
By Weike Wang
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780525563952, $17, Feb. 7, Fiction)

“A smart, moving, and entertaining book. Joan is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and an ICU doctor in New York City. There’s a pandemic looming, but Joan’s going to be okay. A witty and insightful story.”
—Claire Benedict, Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT

Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love
By Kim Fay
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780593419359, $17, Feb. 7, Fiction)

Love & Saffron reminds us of the beauty of letter writing. I loved the simplicity of this book — it filled my heart with love and connection to the human spirit, and left me with the desire to kindle a friendship by sending a letter.”
—Annette Avery, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

Notes on an Execution: A Novel
By Danya Kukafka
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780063052741, $17.99, Jan. 24, Fiction)

Notes on an Execution flows like a quiet river coming to a waterfall — lyrical, tense, and quietly explosive. This book is full of compassion for each character, even the killer to be executed. Kukafka has outdone herself with this book.”
—Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Seasonal Work: Stories
By Laura Lippman
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780063144026, $17.99, Jan. 31, Short Stories)

“What is there to say about a new Laura Lippman story collection except for: More, please! Each tale is a gem, and Tess Monaghan makes a couple of appearances. Laura Lippman knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men…and women.”
—Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

The School for Good Mothers: A Novel
By Jessamine Chan
(Scribner/Marysue Rucci Books, 9781982156138, $17.99, Feb. 7, Fiction)

“A mother leaves her toddler alone for hours and pays the price for the rest of her life. Chan took me from being a judgmental spectator to understanding how the system is stacked against mothers. A Handmaid’s Tale and 1984 for Generation Z.”
—Cathy Fiebach, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA

Something Wilder
By Christina Lauren
(Gallery Books, 9781982173418, $17.99, Feb. 7, Romance)

“Well paced and hilarious, this romantic adventure reunites soulmates on the treasure hunt of a lifetime, and surprising twists raise the stakes. Something Wilder shows the power of staying true to yourself to find your happy ending.”
—Erin Pastore, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH