The January 2018 Indie Next List Preview

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Indie Next List logoHere are the 20 Indie Next Great Reads and 12 Now in Paperback titles featured on the January 2018 Indie Next List flier, which is on its way to stores in the IndieBound movement.

Beginning January 1, these titles will be featured on downloadable fliers and shelf-talkers on and

The January 2018 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: The Immortalists: A Novel by Chloe Benjamin
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780735213180, $26)
“In 1969, four siblings visit a fortune teller, who tells each child the date of their death. We follow the Gold siblings both separately and together over the next four decades and see how these revelations affect their choices, their behavior, and their relationships with one another. Apart from raising the obvious question (would you want to know the date of your death?), Benjamin brilliantly explores how family members can be both close to and distant from one another, and ponders the point at which our actions cease to matter and fate steps in. I LOVED The Immortalists, and if there’s any justice in bookselling, this book will find the massive audience it so deserves.” —Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, IL

The Woman in the Window: A Novel by A.J. Finn
(William Morrow, 9780062678416, $26.99)
The Woman in the Window is being touted as one of the hottest releases of early 2018, and with excellent reason. A modern take on Hitchcock’s Rear Window, with many nods to classic noir film, A.J. Finn’s debut novel is told through the eyes of a narrator trapped inside her beautiful house by a severe case of agoraphobia and separated from her estranged husband and young daughter. She copes with her condition by spying on her neighbors and living vicariously through their drama, until the night she witnesses what appears to be a murder and finds herself swept up in its wake. Once this story gets rolling, it will bowl you over. Fans of psychological thrillers should take note of this banger of a tale!” —Whitney Spotts, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

The Wife Between Us: A Novel by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250130921, $26.99)
“Oh. My. God! For readers looking for a book that has an absorbing and unique plot line, intriguing but flawed characters, and commands attention until the end of the story, The Wife Between Us is perfect! Vanessa is suffering from a recent divorce when she learns that her ex will soon marry again. She simply cannot allow this to happen. Why? This amazing story gallops along at breakneck speed and its ending will smack you between the eyes and take your breath away. These authors are destined to become trailblazers in the genre of psychological suspense books.” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

Grist Mill Road: A Novel by Christopher J. Yates
(Picador, 9781250150288, $26)
“I love finding a new author who writes something so great that I’m compelled to find more of their work. Christopher Yates is my new guy. At the start of Grist Mill Road, the reader witnesses an event that changes the lives of three people, Hannah, Matthew, and Patrick, who each have their moment to narrate their side of the story. Saying there is great character depth here doesn’t do Yates justice; they become living, breathing human beings. This gripping story keeps your heart racing at just the right pace and the story concludes right where it should. Be prepared to put yourself in another person’s shoes — well, make that three pairs of shoes.” —Nichole Cousins, White Birch Books, North Conway, NH

Neon in Daylight: A Novel by Hermione Hoby
(Catapult, 9781936787753, trade paper, $16.95)
“There are plenty of novels about hedonistic young people, washed-up alcoholic writers, or aimless academics struggling to find themselves. Few of them are written with the intelligence, freshness, honesty, style, observational eye, and command of language on display in Hermione Hoby’s impressive debut, Neon in Daylight. As the lives of the three main characters (and a cat named Joni Mitchell) converge against the backdrop of a lonely, doomed, and dying downtown New York City, you’ll find yourself missing your bus stop because you cannot put down this book.” —Nadine Vassallo, Book Soup, West Hollywood, CA

The Job of the Wasp: A Novel by Colin Winnette
(Soft Skull Press, 9781593766801, trade paper, $16.95)
“What is it that stories about adolescent boys and orphanages so often seem abnormally rife with tragedy, allure, and horror? Such is the setting for Colin Winnette’s fantastic new novel, which follows a boy recently admitted to such an institution, only to uncover a murder mystery that will cause him to question his own existence and purpose. Winnette successfully balances an atmosphere of the fantastic alongside the gritty reality of 30-odd orphaned boys and their headmaster, creating a world where answers are nearly impossible to manufacture and wild theories percolate. Lord of the Flies meets Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone in this incredibly haunting book, which might leave you wondering about the possibility of the paranormal within your own life. You’ve been warned; now pick it up.” —John Gibbs, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA

Fire Sermon: A Novel by Jamie Quatro
(Grove Press, 9780802127044, $24)
“I’m presently gobsmacked by and head-over-heels in love with Jamie Quatro’s Fire Sermon, a gorgeous, searing first novel that takes on themes of grace, God, desire, truth, and family. Told in an array of tenses and forms that range from poetry to e-mail (and everything in between), Fire Sermon takes great risks stylistically, as well as topically, leaving nothing stable in its wake. It is unsparing and uncompromising, singular, innervating, and strong, and it is a deeply, wonderfully stirring work of art.” —Will Walton, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

The Afterlives: A Novel  by Thomas Pierce
(Riverhead Books, 9781594632532, $27)
“In The Afterlives, Thomas Pierce follows a man’s quest for what comes after death. The story skillfully intersects religion, technology, philosophy, humor, love, and fear, but love and fear are what really got to me. The novel celebrates the love we’re born into with our family and the love we find, but behind that is the fear of its loss. The novel doesn’t flinch. Pierce’s characters are so natural and so funny that at times it felt like I was reading Douglas Coupland or Elan Mastai. The Afterlives didn’t feel bleak or hopeless or preachy — it was sincere and hopeful.” —Myles Mickle, Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls, VT

Escape Artist: Memoir of a Visionary Artist on Death Row by William A. Noguera (Indies Introduce)
(Seven Stories Press, 9781609807979, $28.95)
“This memoir is rich with sincere storytelling. It is inspiring to know that even in a harsh and unforgiving place like prison, it is possible for someone to produce such a creative expression. Noguera’s art goes beyond the physical bars to express themes that represent his experiences and ideas. Readers will find that Noguera is not only an award-winning visual artist, but also a model of compassion and generosity.” —Alyson Turner, Source Booksellers, Detroit, MI

The Chalk Man: A Novel by C.J. Tudor
(Crown, 9781524760984, $27)
The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor is an unusually gripping mystery reminiscent of Arthur Conan Doyle’s story ‘The Adventure of the Dancing Men.’ It is amazingly well-written, and the pace does not let up, from the shocking beginning all the way through to the unsettling ending. This suspenseful page-turner is definitely a cut above and will keep you riveted. Highly recommended!” —Margo Conklin, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
(, 9780765393586, $17.99)
“McGuire’s Wayward Children series is a lush faerie-tale world in the vein of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. It is dark and lovely, vivid and painful, weird and subtle. Beneath the Sugar Sky reintroduces many characters we met in Every Heart a Doorway and takes us to new worlds in an exploration of friendship, family, and what is not possible when everything is possible. Rini exemplifies the lovely mix of what it means to be in that strange place between childhood belief and adult cynicism.” —Jessica Cox, Plot Twist Bookstore, Ankeny, IA

This Could Hurt: A Novel by Jillian Medoff
(Harper, 9780062660763, $26.99)
“Who knew that a novel about a faltering company’s HR department could be so gripping and compassionate? Anyone who has worked in a company with other people will appreciate the resentments, friendships, and competitions that develop in a long-time team. Medoff does a great job of making the reader care about each and every character.” —Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany NY

Green: A Novel by Sam Graham-Felsen
(Random House, 9780399591143, $27)
“Please read Green. You will fall in love with Graham-Felsen’s David from his first utterances on page one of this original, thought-provoking twist on an important subject — race relations. Thank God David has such a great voice and there are so many humorous moments, or else I may have felt extremely sad about his experiences of being such an outsider. A truly memorable moment-in-time novel and a great read.” —Sue Roegge, Chapter2Books, Hudson, WI

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey
(Soho Crime, 9781616957780, $26.95)
“This is a harrowing story — and the mystery is great, too! Life for a single woman in Bombay in 1916 is fraught. But Perveen Mistry has the support of her lawyer father and is educated as a lawyer, as very few women are in this time and place. She becomes essential when the law firm needs to interview three widows living in full purdah, secluded from the world in general and men in particular. When their house agent is murdered, the male police are stymied by the women’s inaccessibility. The backstory is disturbing in how the law favored even abusive men over women. A fascinating start to a new series.” —Lisa Wright, Oblong Books and Music, Millerton, NY

Beneath the Mountain: A Novel by Luca D’Andrea
(Harper Paperbacks, 9780062680174, trade paper, $16.99)
“This thriller starts off with a shock and then turns in an entirely different direction that will leave you torn between wishing the troubled filmmaker Salinger will drop his obsessive pursuit of a decades-old mystery and praying he doesn’t so you can see how the mystery unravels. D’Andrea’s characters and their relationships draw you into the story of how Salinger’s relentless pursuits affect those around him. This is a cleverly crafted thriller with twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the end.” —Brent Bunnell, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

The Perfect Nanny: A Novel by Leila Slimani
(Penguin Books, 9780143132172, trade paper, $16)
“With The Perfect Nanny, Moroccan author Leila Slimani channels her inner Ruth Rendell and offers a truly disturbing page-turner. The first chapter reveals that a nanny has killed her charges, a boy and a girl, then killed herself. The rest of the book details the way the nanny’s mind twists and turns as she becomes more and more damaged, leading up to the murder-suicide. It’s a grim tale filled with commentary on motherhood, family power struggles, and economic disparity. Although it sounds depressing, The Perfect Nanny is truly original, dark, and suspenseful as hell!” —William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

Two Girls Down: A Novel by Louisa Luna
(Doubleday, 9780385542494, $25.95)
“At last, a book with girl in the title that is about actual girls. Kylie and Bailey, ages 8 and 10, disappear from a strip mall. Their mother is frantic and the police are making no progress. When the family hires Alice Vega, an out-of-state bounty hunter, to find the girls, she teams up with Max Caplan, a former cop turned private investigator, and they combine their skills to try to find the missing girls before it is too late. A suspenseful and all-too-real scenario that will drive readers to finish the story before doing anything else.” —Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

The Wolves of Winter: A Novel by Tyrell Johnson
(Scribner, 9781501155673, $26)
“When all the terrible things imaginable — and unimaginable — happen, all that is left is your family, whether blood or those you bond with in the aftermath of devastation. Teenager Lynn McBride remembers the world before — before nuclear war, before the flu, and even before her family moved to the Canadian Yukon — and those memories tease and haunt her while giving us clues to her history. While her family struggles daily for food and warmth, they are together and they watch out for each other, never encountering strangers — until Jax shows up...” —Eileen McGervey, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

The Stowaway: A Young Man’s Extraordinary Adventure to Antarctica by Laurie Gwen Shapiro
(Simon & Schuster, 9781476753867, $26)
“The story of Billy Gawronski, the young man who repeatedly tried to join Richard Byrd’s Antarctic expedition, reads like an adventure novel. The reality of his life is beyond the realm of the wildest imagination. Shapiro brings this resilient and resourceful man to life against the changing world of the Roaring Twenties, and his story perfectly reflects a world undergoing vast change. Combining narrative, science, and portraits of outsized personalities, Shapiro treats the reader to a story that is not only relevant but a total joy.” —Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Heart Spring Mountain: A Novel by Robin MacArthur
(Ecco, 9780062444424, $25.99)
“Following her splendid 2016 short story collection, Half Wild (an Indies Introduce selection), Robin MacArthur’s first novel revisits rural Vermont and uses a mixture of lyrical and earthy prose to explore three generations of a family riddled by secrets and burdens of the past. This area of the country, previously overlooked by literature, proves to be rich ground that, while isolated, cannot avoid intrusions from the outside world in the form of man-made and natural disasters. The focus is on an extended family that can trace its roots back to Puritan ancestors but struggles against poverty, the unforgiving environment, and the lure of drugs. Heart Spring Mountain will introduce you to a host of memorable characters engaged in human folly and saved by redemptive love.” —Joe Strebel, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

The January 2018 Indie Next List “Now in Paperback”

Celine: A Novel by Peter Heller (Vintage, 9781101973486, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Katelyn Phillips, WORD, Jersey City, NJ

The Dry: A Novel by Jane Harper (Flatiron Books, 9781250105622, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

The Girl Before: A Novel by JP Delaney (Ballantine Books, 9780425285060, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

The Hearts of Men: A Novel by Nickolas Butler (Ecco, 9780062469694, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

The Lonely Hearts Hotel: A Novel by Heather O'Neill (Riverhead Books, 9780735213746, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel by Matthew Sullivan (Scribner, 9781501116858, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Will Bason, BookPeople, Austin, TX

The Midnight Cool: A Novel by Lydia Peelle (Harper Perennial, 9780062475473, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Mairead Small Staid, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Mississippi Blood: The Natchez Burning Trilogy by Greg Iles (William Morrow, 9780062311184, $9.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Veronica Brooks-Sigler, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

The Most Dangerous Place on Earth: A Novel by Lindsey Lee Johnson (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780812987126, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Nina Barrett, Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, IL

The Old Man by Thomas Perry (Mysterious Press, 9780802127532, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Barbara Kelly, Kelly’s Books to Go, South Portland, ME

Setting Free the Kites: A Novel by Alex George (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 9780399576485, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Amanda Zirn, Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach, DE

The Women in the Castle: A Novel by Jessica Shattuck (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062563675, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Dawn Rennert, The Concord Bookshop, Concord, MA