The July 2018 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 2018 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 BookWeb.org and IndieBound.org.

The July Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: My Year of Rest and Relaxation: A Novel by Ottessa Moshfegh
(Penguin Press, 9780525522119, $26)
“At first, My Year of Rest and Relaxation feels like the end of something, like a novel about the end of someone’s life. But Moshfegh has a way of affirming life unlike any other author. Repercussions of grief, emotional exhaustion, and the general anchors of life hurl a young woman into the warm embrace of the idea of hibernating for a year. Of course, this cannot be so simply done. In true Moshfegh fashion, this journey is brimming with laconic humor, her brand of ne’er-do-wells, and ample substance intake, which all lead to one of the most existentially satisfying reads in recent memory.”
—Gregory Day, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Spinning Silver: A Novel by Naomi Novik
(Del Ray, 9780399180989, $28)
“In her second standalone fantasy, Novik once again mines the tales we know to create something completely modern yet timeless. This reimagined version of Rumpelstiltskin, set in a tsarist, Eastern Europe-like country called Litvas, is breathtaking. It explores female autonomy, class, Jewish life, and oppression while telling a compelling and richly realized fantasy tale. If anything, I just wanted to spend more time with Miryem, Wanda, Irina, and the story’s other vibrant, compelling voices. If you loved Uprooted, don’t hesitate to dive into this one. If you haven’t read Novik’s earlier work, begin here—you’ll be hooked.”
—Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA

The Great Believers: A Novel by Rebecca Makkai
(Viking, 9780735223523, $27)
“This flawlessly written and lovingly told story depicts the immediate toll AIDS took on the Chicago gay community in the ’80s and the long-term impact on survivors and their families. Makkai threads it all compellingly together with art world intrigue and institutional drama. I don’t want to diminish it in any way with comparisons, but The Great Believers brought to my mind several of my favorite contemporary novels: A Little Life, Three Junes, and The Goldfinch. Rebecca Makkai, in my opinion, has launched herself into a whole new category of literary achievement with this.”
—Becky Dayton, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT

Bearskin: A Novel by James A. McLaughlin
(Ecco, 9780062742797, $26.99)
“This powerful debut is a novel of terrible beauty. Using evocative prose, the author perfectly describes the lush landscape of the Virginia Appalachians while juxtaposing them against a world of primal violence. The caretaker at a private preserve is hiding from a Mexican drug cartel but finds himself drawn back into a life of conflict when he encounters bear poachers. A world of pristine beauty is altered by the intrusion of man-made violence, and the caretaker has no choice but to become part of it himself. The clash of nature and humanity is portrayed brilliantly.”
—Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Clock Dance: A Novel by Anne Tyler
(Knopf, 9780525521228, $26.95)
“Anne Tyler’s extraordinary ability to tell a story in the simplest language has helped her become one of our most beloved authors. In Clock Dance, she brings us Willa Drake, who has been seeking something all her life, it seems. It’s not until she’s reached middle age that she finally opens a new door in her heart and welcomes in the most unusual group of people: an entire neighborhood, ready to bring her a new perspective and an understanding of life that will change her forever. Tyler’s newest is one for book groups, one for book lovers, and one for you, too.”
—Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The Summer Wives: A Novel by Beatriz Williams
(William Morrow, 9780062660343, $26.99)
“When her mother marries one of the wealthy summer residents in 1951, 18-year-old Miranda enters the exclusive world of Winthrop Island. A perfect summer beach read, the story moves from 1930 to 1951 to 1969, when Miranda returns to the island. The year-round residents and the summer people don’t mix much, but long-buried secrets won’t stay buried forever. Love, scandal, murder, jealousy—The Summer Wives has it all!”
—Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

The Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel by Paul Tremblay
(William Morrow, 9780062679109, $26.99)
“Wen and her dads are taking a break from everything by visiting a remote cabin for vacation. Wen is studying grasshoppers in their yard when a man comes up and warns her that she and her dads are going to have to make a decision. And that’s about all I can tell you without spoiling the story. This book was so creepy, in a very good way. I’d classify this as horror, but very realistic.”
—Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA

The Secrets Between Us: A Novel by Thrity Umrigar
(Harper, 9780062442208, $27.99)
“This wonderful novelloosely a sequel to The Spaces Between Us—is the rich, moving story of an amazing friendship, one that would never have occurred under the old restrictions of India and in the new India feels its tentative way. The lives of Bhima and Parvati are ones of unbelievable poverty and struggle, but the dignity and richness their friendship manifests took my breath away. A bit Dickensian in the best ways, this novel had me in tears several times. These women are two I will not soon forget.”
—Michael Coy, Third Place Books (Ravenna), Seattle, WA

Bring Me Back: A Novel by B.A. Paris
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250151339, $26.99)
“A dark, mysterious thriller, Paris’ latest novel demands to be binge-read. Through seamless transitions between past and present, the reader learns the ever-darkening love story of Finn and Layla. Fast enough to keep you reading but slow enough to keep you guessing, Paris carefully reveals secrets that build new theories as quickly as they destroy others. Paris is smart, knowing exactly what to tell you to make you believe that you’re ahead before you realize you’re actually three steps behind. A mystery that keeps you guessing until the end, filled with the ominous imagery of Russian nesting dolls, Bring Me Back is destined to be a hit.”
—Levi Arney, Austy’s, Salem, IN

The Lost Vintage: A Novel by Ann Mah
(William Morrow, 9780062823311, $26.99)
“Reminiscent of Sweetbitter and The Nightingale, The Lost Vintage combines a coming-of-age romance with family and historical drama and a delicious tour of the wines and cheese of Burgundy, France. Switching between World War II and the present, Mah explores what can happen when families—and a nation—keep secrets and fail to acknowledge the tragedies of the past. Part modern mystery and part historical novel, this book will have you turning pages in anticipation of discovering secret passages, missing journals, or those lost bottles of 1939 Côte d’Or white Burgundy.”
—Ariel Jacobs, Solid State Books, Washington, DC

The Ruin: A Novel by Dervla McTiernan (Indies Introduce)
(Penguin Books, 9780143133124, trade paper, $16)
“Cormac Reilly, an honest and likable 20-year veteran detective recently relocated to Galway, Ireland, is trying to figure out where he fits in at his new police station. Reilly’s investigation of a cold case from his rookie days soon intersects with the current case of an apparent suicide that proves to be much more than it appears. With a detailed setting, McTiernan introduces readers to a mystery rife with intriguing characters and tense, suspenseful plot twists. The Ruin will compel readers to keep turning the pages until they reach the satisfying conclusion, which will leave them impatiently waiting for the next installment in this promising series.”
—Betsy Von Kerens, The Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, NE

The Lido: A Novel by Libby Page
(Simon & Schuster, 9781501182037, $25)
“What a fun read! Libby Page does a great job telling the story of a small London town pool and the people who make it an important part of their lives. The friendship between Kate and Rosemary, despite their age difference, is so well-developed and plays an integral role in the story. The Lido is a book that every summer reader will enjoy and one that will be great to talk about at book clubs. Very well done, Libby Page!”
—Anna Flynn, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS

An Ocean of Minutes: A Novel by Thea Lim
(Touchstone, 9781501192555, $26)
“Polly signs on as a bondswoman with a time travel company to save the life of her boyfriend, Frank. They plan to meet in the future, but Polly is off by five years and arrives disoriented, vulnerable, and alone, with Frank nowhere to be found. This imagined future is as disorienting to the reader as it is to Polly, as Lim leaves us with no hints about who to trust and no understanding of societal rules. I was absolutely blown away by the layered depths of Lim’s story. The ending left me reeling and wanting more, and my mind keeps returning to the way Lim describes the power of time to change a person. How many lives do we live in the course of one lifetime?”
—Susan Scott, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

Number One Chinese Restaurant: A Novel by Lillian Li
(Henry Holt and Co., 9781250141293, $27)
“Growing up in a small town in the ’60s, my first experience of Chinese food served tableside in a grand manner was on our annual vacation to visit family. The Empress restaurant—near the White House!—boasted about its Peking duck, just like the suburban D.C. Duck House in Number One Chinese Restaurant. The Duck House connects three generations of a restaurant dynasty and three star-crossed pairs of lovers, who are about to find out that, like a good stir fry, timing is everything. This is a masterful debut. I came for the fun Chinese restaurant setting, but I stayed for the characters.”
—Carla Bayha, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

From the Corner of the Oval: A Memoir by Beck Dorey-Stein
(Spiegel & Grau, 9780525509127, $28)
“A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting book that makes public service, working for POTUS, or a job in the White House seem like a worthy occupation. An insider’s personal account, From the Corner of the Oval gives details about the president and numerous others, some identified and some disguised, as well as the inevitable personal potholes that make the book a sort of novelization. By the way, who knew that ‘stenographer’ is still an active job title? Fans of Madame Secretary, political junkies of many stripes, and those longing for a return to a sense of normalcy in the White House will pick up this book with gratitude.”
—Susan Thurin, Bookends on Main, Menomonie, WI

Providence: A Novel by Caroline Kepnes
(Lenny, 9780399591433, $27)
Providence, a novel for the Stranger Things audience, is a fun and interesting blend of light fantasy and soft horror themes. I am a huge Lovecraft fan and devour fan fiction or books that reference Lovecraft, and author Caroline Kepnes does a nice job creating a weird and entertaining ride while explaining Lovecraft and The Dunwich Horror to those who may not be familiar. Overall, I found this book to be exactly what I needed: a nice escape from the confines of the horror genre. I’m also happy to see more female writers bringing their own voices to horror in new and interesting ways.”
—Guy Lopez, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

The Last Cruise: A Novel by Kate Christensen
(Doubleday, 9780385536288, $26.95)
“The vintage ocean liner Queen Isabella is taking her final voyage before retirement, joined by passengers Christine Thorne, a farmer from Maine invited onboard by her friend Valerie, a journalist who is writing a piece on the treatment of cruise employees; Mick Szabo, a Hungarian sous-chef who was supposed to be on vacation; and Miriam Koslow, an elderly Israeli violinist who is part of a string quartet hired to entertain the passengers. When things start to go wrong, we learn a great deal about these characters in how they react to a disaster. Not to give anything away, but the ending will have you booking your next vacation by airplane, train, or car.”
—Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi: Stories by Neel Patel
(Flatiron Books, 9781250183194, $24.99)
“Neel Patel’s debut short story collection is filled with tales of imperfection and longing, of unfulfilled wishes that fight hard against expectations. His flawed characters know what they risk when their actions don’t match the standard script of perfection they’ve been handed, but their need for love and acceptance always prevails, sometimes with heartbreaking results. Patel’s empathy toward his characters is palpable, as is the effect of his gorgeously rendered sentences. If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi is a wonderful read: necessary, aching, and alive.”
—Mo Daviau, Powell’s Books for Home and Garden, Portland, OR

A Carnival of Losses: Notes Nearing Ninety by Donald Hall
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9781328826343, $25)
“Reading poet Donald Hall’s A Carnival of Losses is like visiting with an old friend. The essays run the gamut, from his opinion on the resurgence of beards to the origin story for his infamous children’s book, Ox-Cart Man, which was originally a poem. Anecdotes about dinner parties with T.S. Eliot, driving around Oregon with James Dickey, and how Theodore Roethke was a self-serving operator are in stark contrast to an essay titled ‘Losing My Teeth,’ in which he talks about constantly losing his dentures. Hall has lived an extraordinary life, and his thoughts as he nears 90 years old are a treasure.”
—Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Witchmark: A Novel by C.L. Polk
(Tor.com, 9781250162687, trade paper, $15.99)
“Magic, adventure, dastardly plots, otherworldly creatures, conspiracies, romance, bicycle chases—all of this and more awaits readers in this dazzling debut. Half fantasy, half steampunk, the enchanting world of Aeland is a place where anything can happen—and does. With dry wit, Polk draws you into the mind of Miles, a doctor who must keep his magical abilities secret as he tries to unravel the mystery of why so many of Aeland’s soldiers are returning from war traumatized and murderous. Complicating his search for answers are his high-society sister, a possibly murdered newspaper reporter, and an irresistible but dubious being from a realm beyond the living. Witchmark is magically engaging from the first sentence to the last and will have you turning pages long after you should have gone to bed.”
—Holly Roberts, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO

The July 2018 Indie Next List “Now in Paperback”

The Address: A Novel by Fiona Davis
(Dutton, 9781524742010, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Joy Preble, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Artemis: A Novel by Andy Weir
(Broadway Books, 9780553448146, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Raul Chapa, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062685353, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Jordan Barnes, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

The City of Brass: A Novel by S.A. Chakraborty
(Harper Voyager, 9780062678119, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Barry Nelipowitz, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

The Dark Net: A Novel by Benjamin Percy
(Mariner Books, 9781328915375, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Nathan White, Content Bookstore, Northfield, MN

The Half-Drowned King: A Novel by Linnea Hartsuyker
(Harper Paperbacks, 9780062563705, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Giovanni Boivin, The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
(Harper Perennial, 9780062420718, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Todd Miller, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

The Red-Haired Woman: A Novel by Orhan Pamuk
(Vintage, 9781101974230, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Jenny Lyons, The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury, VT

The Rules of Magic: A Novel by Alice Hoffman
(Simon & Schuster, 9781501137488, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi’s Books, Rapid City, SD

See What I Have Done: A Novel by Sarah Schmidt
(Grove Press, 9780802128133, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Steve Iwanski, Turnrow Book Co., Greenwood, MS

Spoonbenders: A Novel by Daryl Gregory
(Vintage, 9780525432418, $16.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, IL

Wonder Valley: A Novel by Ivy Pochoda
(Ecco, 9780062656360, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Francesca De Stefano, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA