The July 2017 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 20 Indie Next Great Reads and 12 Now in Paperback titles featured on the July 2017 Indie Next List flier, which is on its way to stores in the IndieBound movement.

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

The July 2017 Indie Next Great Reads

#1 Pick: The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.: A Novel, by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland
(William Morrow, 9780062409164, $35)
“For someone who approaches such serious scientific and technological subjects, Neal Stephenson can be outrageously funny. Combine that with Nicole Galland’s storytelling ability and you have a rollicking roller coaster of a novel. The authors mix together magic, witchcraft, time travel, science, and historical figures, both real and imagined, while delightfully skewering bumbling bureaucrats, pretentious academics, a rigid military, and other bastions of the establishment to produce a work that is both thought-provoking and totally entertaining.” —Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Silent Corner: A Novel of Suspense, by Dean Koontz
(Bantam, 9780345545992, $28)
“Koontz’s new heroine is Jane Stark, a kick-ass-and-take-names FBI agent who is out to discover why her husband took his own life. When she finds out that other people in key positions are also committing suicide, the more mysterious and complicated the circumstances become and the more attention she draws to herself — and not in a good way. Koontz is a master of suspense, creating sharp twists and turns with originality that will challenge your intellect. The Silent Corner is a gripping, enthralling thriller. I can’t wait for the next installment!” —Robin Allen, Forever Books, St. Joseph, MI

Meddling Kids: A Novel, by Edgar Cantero
(Doubleday, 9780385541992, $26.95)
“I have an abiding fondness for kooky premises executed well, and Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is as kooky as they come. In 1977, the tween members of the Blyton Summer Detective Club solved their last case and went their separate ways. Now it’s 1990 and the man they sent to jail has been paroled. These former detectives have unfinished business, so one of them resolves to get the gang back together to find out the dark truth behind that final case. Meddling Kids is a pop-culture savvy, uproarious romp but also an action-packed horror-thriller. Highly recommended for fans of Christopher Moore and Ernest Cline, or anyone seeking a little laughter, nostalgia, or escapism.” —Susan Tunis, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

The Breakdown: A Novel, by B.A. Paris
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250122469, $25.99, available July 18)
“After reading Behind Closed Doors I wasn’t sure B.A. Paris could match the suspense in another book. I was wrong! In The Breakdown, Cass passes a car on the side of the roadway during torrential rain; she sees a woman inside but not clearly enough to recognize her. The next day, she learns the woman has been murdered. The events throw Cass into deep despair and paranoia, as she begins to suspect that someone is stalking her. B.A. Paris is clearly becoming a master of suspense. Don’t miss The Breakdown!” —Cheryl Kravetz, Murder on the Beach, Delray Beach, FL

Spoonbenders: A Novel, by Daryl Gregory
(Knopf, 9781524731823, $27.95)
“The Amazing Telemachus Family is unlike any other. Patriarch Teddy is a con man whose adult children possess remarkable psychic gifts (telekinesis, lie detection, and clairvoyance), but the loss of their mother leaves the entire family reeling. Though the Telemachus crew’s misadventures attract the attention of everyone from the CIA to a scary local crime boss, Teddy and his children are more threatened by their own emotional damage and sketchy past than anything else. Gregory’s characters are sharply drawn and lovable, and he tells their story in a way that’s wise, warm, and entertaining throughout. With a strong sense of humor and an amazing climax, this is the kind of novel that’s an absolute blast to read.” —Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, IL

Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel, by Rachel Khong
(Henry Holt & Company, 9781250109163, $26)
“It seems impossible that Khong could tuck so much kindness, honesty, and eclectic humor into one little book! Questioning her life choices in the midst of a major breakup, Ruth, our narrator, returns home to care for her father, an Alzheimer’s patient, and gives daily dispatches full of love, rich observations, and clever, unique jokes. Stuffed with rich descriptions of food and cooking and anchored by imperfect-but-tireless familial love, this book goes down as smoothly as a cool glass of water and is as nourishing and thoughtful as it is fun at every turn.” —Annie Harvieux, Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, MN

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, by Roxane Gay
(Harper, 9780062362599, $25.99)
“This memoir is about trauma and privilege, self-loathing, and a silent fear kept secret for far too long. It’s about our obsession with body weight and body image, what happens when we internalize our pain and become self-destructive, and how very, very large people are treated in humiliating ways. The descriptions of addictive behavior and the journey to want to heal make this book more universal than I expected. When you decide that this is the day you’re going to change and you get out of bed and fail, that’s pretty normal. You’ll have another chance tomorrow — just remember to like yourself enough to overcome the fear of healing and try again. Highly recommend.” —Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

The Marsh King’s Daughter: A Novel, by Karen Dionne
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780735213005, $26)
“After a childhood in the wilds of Northern Michigan, where her rugged, brutal father was the center of her world, Helena has made a new life with a family who doesn’t know her past. Now she and her father are hunting each other and Helena must use all the skills he taught her to survive. Fascinating, dark, and disturbing, The Marsh King’s Daughter is a psychological thriller most compelling in its rich descriptions of the survivalist training of a very tough little girl.” —Patty Mullins, Oblong Books and Music, Millerton, NY

When the English Fall: A Novel, by David Williams
(Algonquin Books, 9781616205225, $24.95)
When the English Fall will have you holding your breath as you await impending tragedy. The story unfolds through the diary of an Amish farmer, whose young daughter has visions of the future — but what she sees does not bode well. She talks of the English falling from the sky. When a solar storm causes destruction to the power grid, the world is left in the dark. While the Amish are not immediately affected, once things start to fall apart, they are not safe from desperation. A thought-provoking read. Well done.” —Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, IL

The Graybar Hotel: Stories, by Curtis Dawkins
(Scribner, 9781501162299, $26)
“Discard the thought that Curtis Dawkins is serving a life sentence and insert the thought that this is an amazing short-story collection by a debut author. In The Graybar Hotel, we glimpse the emotional lives of the inmates of a Kalamazoo prison, who are cut off from the world and in a place where time moves and sounds different than before. One character calls random numbers just so he can hear a voice or any noise for his allotted 15 minutes, anything to connect to the outside world again. The Graybar Hotel reminded me of reading early Denis Johnson, in the way that the writing is so sparse I fell right into the stories and suffered along with the inmates. A captivating read that allowed me a glimpse of the humanity of prison life.” —Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

The Windfall: A Novel, by Diksha Basu
(Crown, 9780451498915, $26)
“The Jhas are a fairly normal family in Delhi, but when Mr. Jha sells his company for millions and decides to move himself and his wife to a fancy new neighborhood, he sets in motion changes for not only his wife, but also his son studying in New York and his former and future neighbors — changes that are sometimes good, sometimes bad, and uncomfortable either way. Jam-packed with fun and lovable characters, this novel is both a delicious, gossipy indulgence and a fascinating glimpse into the lives of people very different from one another. Those who loved the drama of The Nest will adore this warm, tender, and very funny debut from a fresh new voice.” —Kelly Morton, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

The Force: A Novel, by Don Winslow
(William Morrow, 9780062664419, $27.99)
“Denny Malone, veteran NYPD detective and leader of the elite Manhattan North Task Force, didn’t start out as a dirty cop. Over the years, however, the odd payoff and favor became routine, and a talented and effective cop slid past the point of no return, stealing millions in money and drugs. As Winslow shows us, keeping citizens safe isn’t always clean and easy work, but even Malone and his team’s corruption is chump change compared to the real players behind the scenes who are busy rebuilding the city after the September 11 attacks. A gutsy and uncompromising look at the dark heartbeat of modern America.” —Patrick Millikin, The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, AZ

The Reason You’re Alive: A Novel, by Matthew Quick
(Harper, 9780062424303, $25.99)
“David Granger is a 68-year-old, conservative war veteran with a bleeding-heart liberal son, a granddaughter who needs him, and a whole lot of emotional baggage from his time in Vietnam. He is patriotic and brash, and he has no problem expressing his opinion. In our current politically divided culture, where people with different views struggle to understand each other, this story has incredible value. I wanted to dislike this protagonist, whose views are so different from my own, but I couldn’t. He was kind and caring and his story pulled at my heart.” —Melanie Locke, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

South Pole Station: A Novel, by Ashley Shelby
(Picador, 9781250112828, $26)
“Prepare yourself for a frozen and fun adventure in the Antarctic. Cooper Gosling apparently does not have enough cold weather or oddball people in her Minneapolis life, so she heads to the South Pole Station to try to reclaim her career as a painter. Ashley Shelby has collected a wonderful cast of quirky characters in this southernmost ice box and readers are in for a treat when they meet this bunch of scientists, artists, medics, and misfits. Bundle up and enjoy the ride!” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Hum If You Don’t Know the Words: A Novel, by Bianca Marais
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780399575068, $26)
Hum If You Don’t Know the Words is a marvel. Set in South Africa in 1978, this is the story of Robin, a white child, and Beauty, a black mother, both of whom experience immense loss after the Soweto student uprising. Bianca Marais has written a book about apartheid — a book about tragedy, injustice, grief, and survival — that manages to sparkle with wit, warmth, and charming secondary characters. Readers will love this rare and rewarding gem.” —Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Drunks: An American History, by Christopher M. Finan
(Beacon Press, 9780807001790, $29.95)
“The long and evolving history of alcoholism and corresponding sobriety movements in America is fascinating, for both its colorful characters and its complex interface with religion and the sciences. In Finan’s astute, well-researched, and entertaining narrative, this story of sober drunks offers both understanding and insight into a critically important subject whose nature has long been occluded and subsumed in stigma.” —Kenny Brechner, Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Farmington, ME

The Waking Land, by Callie Bates
(Del Rey, 9780425284025, $27)
“In a debut as fresh as it is creative, we’re welcomed into the land of Eren, where a firm but kind king holds sway over the life of the kidnapped daughter of a rebel bent on installing a new and different man to the throne. It is a land where magick has been outlawed, and where Elanna is a joke to the other young folk at the palace, largely due to her love of gardening and of the plant life of this lush country. Even though King Antoine dotes on her, nothing can be done to help her when he is struck down, a victim of poison. When all eyes turn toward her and her tutor, Elanna is forced to defend herself in the only way she can. But is it too late?” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys Into Race, Motherhood, and History, by Camille T. Dungy
(W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393253757, $25.95)
“I approached Dungy’s book with the same feelings I had when starting Maggie Nelson’s Argonauts. I had very little in common with the writers of these two books or the experiences related in them, yet with each I found myself drawn in by the acute intelligence of the writing and pulled along by the sheer compulsion of a story well told. Not only is Dungy a more than capable storyteller, she writes like the poet she is, and, like all poets, she leads us across a boundary, expanding our worlds.” —Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA

A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause: Essays, by Shawn Wen
(Sarabande Books, 9781941411483, trade paper, $15.95)
“Shawn Wen’s A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause is a loving tribute to a most untranslatable figure: Marcel Marceau, the mime who defined his art for the 20th century. A connoisseur of silence who could out-talk Studs Terkel, Marceau presented contradictions that can make him hard to grasp, but these nimble essays rise to the task beautifully. You don’t need to know anything about miming, or Marceau, to appreciate Wen’s lyrical and innovative take on biography.” —Travis Smith, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Made for Love: A Novel, by Alissa Nutting
(Ecco, 9780062280558, $26.99)
“I don’t think I’ve gotten this much sheer pleasure from a book in a long while. Made for Love is freaking off-the-wall bonkers in the best way. We follow Hazel, a woman on the edge who recently escaped from her top-of-the-tech-world psycho of a husband (whom, she fears, desires to place a chip in her brain so that they may ‘meld’ consciousnesses), as she battles through hyper-surveillance for a life off the grid. Along the way, she meets a truly delightful cast of characters, gets into some absurd hijinks, and works through the piles of garbage the world has tossed her way. Ditch the jet skis — this is all the summer fun you’re going to need.” —Molly Moore, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Now in Paperback

Dinner With Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship, by Isabel Vincent (Algonquin Books, 9781616206949, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

The Fate of the Tearling: A Novel, by Erika Johansen (Harper Paperbacks, 9780062290441, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

Goodnight, Beautiful Women, by Anna Noyes (Grove Press, 9780802126795, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Melanie Fleishman, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, by Terry Tempest Williams (Picador, 9781250132147, $18)
Recommended in hardcover by Chuck Robinson, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

If I Forget You: A Novel, by Thomas Christopher Greene (Picador, 9781250112415, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Marrow Island: A Novel, by Alexis M. Smith (Mariner Books, 9781328710345, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Tracy Taylor, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

Miss Jane: A Novel, by Brad Watson (W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393354386, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Nancy Banks, City Stacks Books and Coffee, Denver, CO

News of the World: A Novel, by Paulette Jiles (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062409218, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Adrian Newell, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

Nicotine: A Novel, by Nell Zink (Ecco, 9780062441713, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Pierre Camy, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI

Pond, by Claire-Louise Bennett (Riverhead Books, 9780399575907, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Angela Spring, Politics & Prose, Washington, DC

Smoke: A Novel, by Dan Vyleta (Anchor, 9781101910405, $16.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

The Trouble With Goats and Sheep: A Novel, by Joanna Cannon (Scribner, 9781501121906, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO