The Indie Gift Guide For Genre Lovers Preview

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Indie Gift Guide coverThe American Booksellers Association’s Indie Gift Guide for Genre Lovers will be available both in print and as a free e-newsletter delivered to customers by email via Matchbook Marketing. Print editions of the guide will be mailed to stores the first week of November. On October 21, the e-newsletter will be sent to customers of stores that have signed up to send the Indie Next for Reading Groups lists.

This guide includes the following categories: Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Mystery/Thriller, Graphic Works, and Poetry. The tiles are also available as an Edelweiss collection here. All titles are trade paperback unless otherwise noted.

The titles appearing in the Indie Gift Guide are:


The Heart Principle
By Helen Hoang
(Berkley, 9780593197837/9780451490841, Hardcover/Paperback, $26.00/$16.00, August 31, 2021)
“A heartfelt contemporary romance of characters who seem an unlikely match, but have the potential to lift each other up in ways neither could have anticipated. Deftly addresses concepts of love, loyalty, family, and mental health.”
—Catherine Hamilton-Genson, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC

A Lot Like Adiós: A Novel
By Alexis Daria
(Avon, 9780062959966, Paperback, $15.99, September 14, 2021)
“Alexis Daria has become one of my new favorite romance writers! Her storytelling and the romance/passion her characters have just make me swoon! Readers who love the best friend trope definitely won’t be disappointed.”
—Deanna Bailey, Story on The Square, McDonough, GA

Neon Gods
By Katee Robert
(Sourcebooks, 9781728231730, Paperback, $14.99, June 1, 2021)
“If you are a fan of Lore Olympus or A Touch of Darkness and want something a little more mature with more spice, then this is for you. A modern retelling of Hades and Persephone puts a fresh twist on Olympus. Spice level: 3 peppers.”
—Van-Lam Tran, Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ

One Last Stop
By Casey McQuiston
(St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250244499, Paperback, $16.99, June 1, 2021)
“Not only a delightfully paranormal twist on the classic meet cute, it’s also a story of love among friends and found family. This book has so much heart you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away from August and Jane’s perfect love story.”
—Christy Rogers, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Payback’s a Witch (The Witches of Thistle Grove #1)
By Lana Harper
(Berkley, 9780593336069, Paperback, $16.00, October 5, 2021)
“A fun and sexy romp through the Halloweentown many of us wish we lived in. Emmy comes home after years in Chicago and is struck by how much she still loves her little town. All of the characters are gorgeous and magical, even the rotten ones.”
—Rebecca Crosswhite, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID

The Queer Principles of Kit Webb: A Novel
By Cat Sebastian
(Avon, 9780063026216, Paperback, $15.99, June 8, 2021)
“I absolutely adore this beautifully written novel that is a historical romance reader’s dream. Cat Sebastian draws you in with her humor and wit and keeps you enthralled with her compassionate characters.”
—Ashley Fennessey, Lark and Owl Booksellers, Georgetown, TX

Science Fiction & Fantasy

The Chosen and the Beautiful
By Nghi Vo
(Tordotcom, 9781250784780, Hardcover, $26.99, June 1, 2021)
“This book is a glamorous fever dream, dark and hypnotic, more rich than The Great Gatsby. Whether Jordan Baker is floating in the air, sipping the blood of demons, or turning paper cuttings into reality, this book is spellbinding.”
—Mattie Shepard, The Book Loft of German Village, Columbus, OH

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina: A Novel
By Zoraida Córdova
(Atria Books, 9781982102548, Hardcover, $27.00, September 7, 2021)
“If you thought your family tree was complex, wait till you meet the Montoyas. When the grandmother summons them to collect their inheritance, they don’t realize they’re about to dive into a family history of magic, loss, and resilience.”
—Abby Rice, Foggy Pine Books, Boone, NC

Light From Uncommon Stars
By Ryka Aoki
(Tor Books, 9781250789068, Hardcover, $25.99, September 28, 2021)
“It made me hungry in a way no other book has — and not just for doughnuts, which this book has plenty of, but for music, and love, and more. The cover roped me in, but I stayed for the narrative voice and beautifully heartbreaking characters.”
—Valeria Salas Ibarra, Front Street Books, Alpine, TX

No Gods, No Monsters (Convergence Saga #1)
By Cadwell Turnbull
(Blackstone Publishing, 9781982603724, Hardcover, $26.99, September 7, 2021)
“This is the future of speculative fiction, extending the innovation of Jemisin, Okorafor, Chiang, Liu, and so many others who are changing our expectations of storytelling. It’s ambitious, impressive, and powerful.”
—Kyra Wilson Cook, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA

A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot #1)
By Becky Chambers
(Tordotcom, 9781250236210, Hardcover, $20.99, July 13, 2021)
“This optimistic solarpunk novella was like a ray of sunshine on my heart. Anyone feeling burnt out, alone, or unsure of their direction in life will appreciate this one — I know it was exactly what I needed.”
—Ellie Eaton, Busboys and Poets, Washington, DC

She Who Became the Sun
By Shelley Parker-Chan
(Tor Books, 9781250621801, Hardcover, $27.99, July 20, 2021)
“Fate and power collide in this epic story. The first pages gripped me by the stomach as I hungered with Zhu, then burrowed into my bones as grudges and prejudices were revealed; finally leaving my heart cracked open between anger and love.”
—Jessica Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Mystery & Thriller

All Her Little Secrets: A Novel
By Wanda M. Morris
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780063082465, Paperback, $16.99, November 2, 2021)
“A legal mystery and thriller of murder and corporate corruption that creeps and shivers with the secrets unfolding in the present and past. Ellice Littlejohn breathes with complex life and a will to survive and thrive, no matter what.”
—Jocelyn Shratter, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Clark and Division
By Naomi Hirahara
(Soho Crime, 9781641292498, Hardcover, $27.95, August 3, 2021)
“A different perspective with solid noir roots; the story of the post-Manzanar experience of the Ito family in Chicago, and Aki’s search for the truth about her sister’s death, bring a dimension of history alive to this West Coast reader.”
—Maryelizabeth Yturralde, Creating Conversations, Redondo Beach, CA

Murder at Mallowan Hall (A Phyllida Bright Mystery #1)
By Colleen Cambridge
(Kensington Publishing Corporation, 9781496732446, Hardcover, $26.00, October 26, 2021)
“Happy news for cozy mystery lovers — a truly interesting new amateur detective has arrived. Phyllida Bright, housekeeper for none other than Agatha Christie herself, quickly gets enmeshed in solving not one but two murders.”
—Jan Blodgett, Main Street Books (NC), Davidson, NC

My Heart Is a Chainsaw
By Stephen Graham Jones
(Gallery / Saga Press, 9781982137632, Hardcover, $26.99, August 31, 2021)
“Jade is a half-indigenous girl of 17, obsessed with slasher films. She knows them all. And, now she feels like she is living in one and she knows who the Final Girl is. Her job is to prepare her for the bloodbath that is destined to come.”
—Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Razorblade Tears: A Novel
By S. A. Cosby
(Flatiron Books, 9781250252708, Hardcover, $26.99, July 6, 2021)
“An intense piece of crime fiction and revenge. Social themes like racism, economics, and family are explored in this modern western of two unlikely fathers wanting justice for their dead sons. It’s a thrill ride from the very beginning.”
—Gerard Villegas, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

Velvet Was the Night
By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
(Del Rey Books, 9780593356821, Hardcover, $28.00, August 17, 2021)
“Moreno-Garcia captures the genre wonderfully. The plot, the pacing, the characters all make for good noir fiction. Add the unique setting of Mexico City post-Corpus Christi Massacre during the Dirty War, and it’s also educational!”
—Kristine Jelstrom-Hamill, Buttonwood Books and Toys, Cohasset, MA

Graphic Works

Ballad for Sophie
By Filipe Melo, Juan Cavia (Illus.), Gabriela Soares (Transl.)
(Top Shelf Productions, 9781603094986, Paperback, $24.99, November 2, 2021)
“In Ballad for Sophie, an interview turns into a life story, full of drama and doubt, regret and hope. This stunning collaboration between Filipe Melo and Juan Cavia will sweep you off your feet and surprise you with its unexpected ending.”
—Christy Peterson, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

By Manuele Fior, Jamie Richards (Transl.)
(Fantagraphics, 9781683964384, Hardcover, $29.99, July 20, 2021)
“Sure that I knew exactly what was going on yet always on the cusp of being completely lost, I was captivated by the beautiful art and skillful pacing. Where most speculative fiction overexplains, Fior provides elegant understatement.”
—Keith Mosman, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Ex Libris
By Matt Madden
(Uncivilized Books, 9781941250440, Hardcover, $29.95, November 23, 2021)
“In a world made of one locked room, the protagonist tries to find an escape through a bookshelf of graphic novels. As each book taunts the main character with their past, they also show the rich history of graphic novels and literature.”
—Nikita Imafidon, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

Lore Olympus: Volume One
By Rachel Smythe
(Del Rey Books, 9780593160299/9780593356074, Hardcover/Paperback, $26.99/$19.99, November 2, 2021)
“A sleek and sexy update to the Hades/Persephone story, and a reminder what makes these myths so irresistible. With gorgeously rendered art and beautiful use of color, this will entrance readers eager for a modern take on a classic story.”
—Julia DeVarti, McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY

Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness
By Kristen Radtke
(Pantheon Books, 9781524748067, Hardcover, $30.00, July 13, 2021)
“Kristen Radtke blends the socioeconomic and cultural history of loneliness with her own family’s legacy, offering insight and compassion. There may be no perfect cure for loneliness, but Seek You is most definitely a balm.”
—Em Perper, Curious Iguana, Frederick, MD

The Waiting
By Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, Janet Hong (Transl.)
(Drawn and Quarterly, 9781770464575, Paperback, $24.95, November 2, 2021)
“My first time reading a heavier historical graphic novel and I loved it. It opened my eyes to the Korean War, the families lost to each other, and the people alive today who still don’t know the status of their loved ones. Beautifully told!”
—Alex White, As The Page Turns, Travelers Rest, SC


All The Names Given: Poems
By Raymond Antrobus
(Tin House Books, 9781951142926, Paperback, $16.95, November 30 2021)
“These meditations on family, history, nature, grief, disability, and love are heart wrenching and poignant. With powerful usage of the idea of closed captioning they invite the reader to consider — what does sound mean to us?”
—Meghan Carmichael, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

Blood on the Fog: Pocket Poets Series No. 62 (City Lights Pocket Poets #62)
By Tongo Eisen-Martin
(City Lights Books, 9780872868755, Paperback, $15.95, September 21, 2021)
“Eisen-Martin’s poems spark and burst with images that dig deeply into the soil of power and culture, politics and survival, anger and justice. His poems feel both fresh and ancient, both powerful and approachable.”
—Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Goldenrod: Poems
By Maggie Smith
(Atria/One Signal Publishers, 9781982185060, Hardcover, $20.00, July 27, 2021)
“Another charmer from Maggie Smith. I can’t wait to sell all the copies of this one. Lyrical without feeling overwrought. So personal and altogether universal. She is just magic as a poet.”
—Alissa Redmond, South Main Book Company, Salisbury, NC

I Hope This Finds You Well: Poems
By Kate Baer
(Harper Perennial, 9780063137998, Paperback, $12.00, November 9, 2021)
“These lovely poems profess love and resilience and humor. But paired with the messages that are their source material, they are profound testaments to the power of words and of art, unearthing beauty buried in the most hateful speech.”
—Sarah Fischer, Downbound Books, Cincinnati, OH

A Quilt for David
By Steven Reigns
(City Lights Books, 9780872868816, Paperback, $16.95, September 8 2021)
“Reigns compassionately tells the story of David Acer and those whose stories will forever be tied with his. This is a powerful, poetic, and heartwrenching examination of the dark ages of the AIDS crisis told with penetrating insight.”
—Casey Mensing, The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA

Worldly Things
By Michael Kleber-Diggs
(Milkweed Editions, 9781571315168, Hardcover, $22.00, June 8, 2021)
“From now on, if someone asks me why I’m never moving away from Saint Paul I’m just going to hand them a copy of Worldly Things. Michael captures the nuances of our black and brown community here with unfiltered authenticity.”
—Riley Jay Davis, Next Chapter Booksellers, St. Paul, MN