The January 2009 Indie Next List & Notables Preview

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Here's a preview of the first Indie Next List of 2009, now on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement, and a reminder that December Notable titles are now featured in a downloadable flier and shelf-talkers on

The January 2009 Indie Next List

Beat the Reaper: A Novel by Josh Bazell
(Little Brown, $24.99, 9780316032223 / 0316032220)
"Josh Bazell's story of a young Manhattan emergency room doctor with an unusual past goes down like a good Bloody Mary with a powerful kick. The briskly paced thriller offers an entertaining plot, quirky characters, and a shocking ending that will haunt the reader for a long while." --Amy Pierson, Toad Hall Bookstore, Rockport, MA

Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
(Atlantic, $24, 9780871139634 / 0871139634)
"When a tornado dips into Emlyn Springs, Nebraska, it swoops up Hope Jones and never sets her down. Decades later, her grown children are still looking ... for the lives left incomplete. This epic moves expertly between the pre- and post-tornado years, and among the three siblings and the townspeople. As in her debut novel, Broken For You, Stephanie Kallos carefully weaves a complex tale featuring quirky, sympathetic characters." --Cheryl McKeon, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County: A Novel by Tiffany Baker
(Grand Central, $24.99, 9780446194204 / 0446194204)
"Truly Plaice is definitely larger-than-life -- in body and in her personality. Motherless from birth, with a perfect sister, Truly's life is mostly a disaster. Almost like a fairy tale, this book has it all -- giants; wicked (sort of) stepmothers; of course, and magic. How Truly makes sense of her life and finds a place in a world that just doesn't seem to have room for her makes for one splendid book." --Kym Havens, Wellesley Booksmith, Wellesley, MA

Two Rivers: A Novel by T. Greenwood
(Kensington, $15 paper, 9780758228772 / 0758228775)
"The Vietnam war, discrimination, and family secrets combine in this story of forgiveness and redemption. Greenwood effortlessly balances tenderness and grit, resulting in a moving portrait of Harper Montgomery's efforts to make good on past actions and regain a sense of integrity." --Bev Denor, LaDeDa Books, Manitowoc, WI

Still Alice: A Novel by Lisa Genova
(Pocket, $15 paper, 9781439102817 / 1439102813)
"This wonderful debut novel tells the story of 50-year-old Harvard professor Alice Howland as she grapples with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Lisa Genova's writing style, and her compelling story, will leave you thinking of, and wanting to talk about, Alice after finishing this powerful, beautiful work." --Caitlin Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

The Book of Unholy Mischief: A Novel by Elle Newmark
(Atria, $26, 9781416590545 / 1416590544)
"The Book of Unholy Mischief is a delicious thriller set in Venice in 1498. Luciano is a street kid -- using his wits and his friends to survive until a master chef literally plucks him from the street and takes him to live in the doge's kitchen. There, Luciano learns about food, life, and integrity -- and also about a mysterious book. The quest for the book and surviving its impact bring chills and thrills in this fantastic novel." --Linda Dewberry, Whodunit? Books, Olympia, WA

A Day and a Night and a Day: A Novel by Glen Duncan
(Ecco, $24.99, 9780061239991 / 0061239992)
"Glen Duncan's A Day and a Night and a Day is one of the most challenging books I have read in years, pushing a reader to consider what it means to be human and to be moral in the world today. Combining a love story with contemporary politics, Duncan has crafted a flawlessly written story -- honest and unflinching -- as impossible to put down as it is to forget." --Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell
(Putnam, $24.95, 9780399155147 / 0399155147)
"Carol O'Connell's first stand-alone book is a winner -- an intricately plotted story of an unsolved murder of a teenage boy. This extraordinary thriller will keep you hooked." --Patricia Worth, River Reader LLC, Lexington, MO

Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
(Avon, $14.99 paper, 9780061673399 / 0061673390)
"This debut novel features family, friends, and grief in a touchingly warm and funny way. I cried and laughed with Janie LaMarche as she figures out how to go on living without her beloved husband. Fay's characters run the gamut and could live next door to any of us." --Judy Manzo, Book Ends, Winchester, MA

Tinkers by Paul Harding
(Bellevue Literary Press, $14.95 paper, 9781934137123 / 193413712X)
"This debut novel is a slim treasure that, through the lives of a New England father and his son, quietly takes on nothing less than the measure of a life and the sublime and fearful notes that make it up. Harding lifts the face off small moments in quiet lives with a language both heartbreaking and exhilarating." --Ty Wilson, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, CA

Couch by Benjamin Parzybok
(Small Beer Press, $16 paper, 9781931520546 / 1931520542)
"This funny novel of furniture moving gone awry is a magical realism quest for modern times. Parzybok's touching story explores the aimlessness of our culture, a society of jobs instead of callings, replete with opportunities and choices but without the philosophies and vocations we need to make meaningful decisions." --Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Never Tell a Lie: A Novel of Suspense by Hallie Ephron
(Morrow, $24.99, 9780061567155 / 0061567159)
"High school sweethearts David and Ivy, expecting their first child, meet a former classmate at their garage sale. When the classmate disappears after David takes her on a tour of their house, their lives start to unravel. Vengeance -- and its havoc -- is the subject of this taut and exciting thriller." --Kathy Ashton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

The Piano Teacher: A Novel by Janice Y.K. Lee
(Viking, $25.95, 9780670020485 / 0670020486)
"Janice Y.K. Lee makes a powerful entry into the literary world with this lush, intriguing novel of Hong Kong on the edge of World War II and, then, its aftermath. Creating characters as exotic and mysterious as the story's locale, she portrays a society that was lost, a facade that eventually brought horrific costs to most of its members." --Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Daemon by Daniel Suarez
(Dutton, $26.95, 9780525951117 / 0525951113)
"Daemon is a terrifying thriller about rogue technology by an author who really knows his tech. You'll never watch someone playing an Internet game again without wondering what real-world consequences their online actions might be having." --Caleb Wilson, Pages for All Ages Bookstore, Savoy, IL

Miles From Nowhere by Nami Mun
(Riverhead, $21.95, 9781594488542 / 1594488541)
"It's New York in the '80s, and Joon is a teenage Korean immigrant living in the Bronx who is now on the run. Rarely does a first novel blaze across our dark night with the brilliance and fury of lightning -- but Mun's Miles From Nowhere is just that electric. A debut to cheer." --Nick Petrulakis, Books Inc., Alameda, CA

Going to See the Elephant: A Novel by Rodes Fishburne
(Delacorte, $22, 9780385342391 / 038534239X)
"Slater Brown arrives in San Francisco with dreams of writing the great American novel. However, fate has different ideas, handing Slater the ability to find great stories and restore a newspaper to its former glory. Throw in a beautiful woman and a mad scientist, and you have a debut novel that's hilarious, unpredictable, and lovely." --Meaghan Leenaarts, Island Bookstore, Corolla, NC

Lucky Billy: A Novel About Billy the Kid by John Vernon
(Houghton, $24, 9780547074238 / 0547074239)
"In John Vernon's compelling novel, the bright, brief flame of Billy the Kid's life illuminates all the excess and anxiety of the Wild West itself. From our first glimpse of him to the pathos of his final descent into paranoia, Billy disturbs and seduces us, and Vernon's haunting tale pursues us long after we've closed the book." --Marjorie Darraugh, Pegasus Fine Books & CDs, Berkeley, CA

Nemesis by Jo Nesbo
(Harper, $25.99, 9780061655500 / 0061655503)
"Meet police detective Harry Hole and travel the streets of Oslo in the latest thriller from Norway's bestselling Jo Nesbo. This is the best kind of mystery, impossible to put down as you read on to see if Harry will expose his own nemesis in the police force while solving a crime that exposes deeper layers and networks of criminals." --Linda Ramsdell, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT

The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin
(Atlantic, $25, 9780871139931 / 0871139936)
"Another great book from the authors who gave us Halsey's Typhoon. Their latest effectively captures the savagery, command mistakes, courage, and tenacity of a company of Marines and those who supported them during the Korean War." --Richard Daley, Pass Christian Books, Pass Christian, MS

Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love by Julie Moir Messervy
(Taunton, $30, 9781600850080 / 1600850081)
"Since I can't get landscape and garden designer Julie Moir Messervy to come overhaul my house, this great guide is the next best thing." --Diana Portwood, Bob's Beach Books, Lincoln City, OR

The January 2009 Indie Next List Notables


A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (Atria, $25, 9781416586203 / 1416586202)
In the Convent of Little Flowers: Stories by Indu Sundaresan (Atria, $22, 9781416586098 / 1416586091)
Jack London in Paradise by Paul Malmont (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781416547228 / 1416547223)
Kill Your Friends by John Niven (Harper Perennial, $14.99 paper, 9780061690617 / 0061690619)
The Love We Share Without Knowing by Christopher Barzak (Bantam, $12 paper, 9780553385649 / 055338564X)
This One Is Mine by Maria Semple (Little Brown, $24.99, 9780316031165 / 031603116X)
Night Huntress by Yasmine Galenorn (Berkley, $7.99 paper, 9780425225462 / 0425225461)
The Suicide Collectors by David Oppegaard (St. Martin's, $23.95, 9780312381103 / 0312381107)
Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons (illus.) (DC Comics, $39.99, 9781401219260 / 1401219268)


The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson, Ph.D. (Viking, $25.95, 9780670020478 / 0670020478)
The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems by Van Jones (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780061650758 / 0061650757)
The Memoirs of a Beautiful Boy by Robert Leleux (St. Martin's Griffin, $14.95 paper, 9780312361693 / 0312361696)
Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton (Norton, $24.95, 9780393067224 / 039306722X)
Stuck: Why We Can't (or Won't) Move On by Anneli Rufus (Tarcher, $23.95, 9781585426676 / 1585426679)
That Went Well: Adventures in Caring for My Sister by Terrell Harris Dougan (Hyperion, $24.95, 9781401323295 / 1401323294)
Unknown Soldiers: Reliving World War II in Europe by Joseph E. Garland (Protean Press, $29.95, 9780962578038 / 0962578037)


Bad Traffic: An Inspector Jian Novel by Simon Lewis (Scribner, $24, 9781416593539 / 1416593535)
Chasing Smoke by Bill Cameron (Bleak House Books, $14.95 paper, 9781606480199 / 1606480197)
The Face of a Killer by Robin Burcell (Poisoned Pen, $24.95, 9781590583746 / 1590583744)
The Kiss Murder by Mehmet Murat Somer (Penguin, $14 paper, 9780143114727 / 0143114727)