The July 2020 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 2020 Indie Next List flier. The July title list is also viewable as an Excel file on BookWeb, as a collection on Edelweiss, and featured on downloadable fliers and shelf-talkers on and

The July flier also features ads encouraging customers to pre-order Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy (Flatiron Books, 9781250204028, Hardcover, $26.99, on sale August 4) and This Little Light by Lori Lansens (The Overlook Press, 9781419747212, Hardcover, $25, on sale August 11) from their indie bookstore. Learn more about the pre-order flier ads here.

Additionally, the June Indie Next Great Reads are now available for download on a flier and shelf-talkers, along with past lists, on the Indie Next List page on The June Indie Next List’s 12 Now in Paperback titles are also featured with bookseller quotes on a downloadable flier and shelf-talkers

#1 Pick: Mexican Gothic: A Novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
(Del Rey, 9780525620785, $27)
“Creepy and romantic, Mexican Gothic is easily one of my favorite books of 2020! Upon receiving a strange letter from her cousin, Noemi Taboada goes to investigate the happenings of High Place, a decaying manor filled with secrets, and is plagued by terrifying dreams and visions. Moreno-Garcia delivers a fresh take on a classic gothic novel that will grab your attention from the very first chapter!” —Tyrinne Lewis, Rakestraw Books, Danville, CA

Take a Hint, Dani Brown: A Novel by Talia Hibbert
(Avon, 9780062941237, trade paper, $15.99)
Take a Hint, Dani Brown is a heartwarming romance that shines a light in dark times. Talia Hibbert normalizes quirks, coping mechanisms, and other human conditions that can get glossed over in a happily ever after. She makes it clear that verbalizing needs, sharing them with a loved one, and having them accepted is the true meaning of love. The depth of the characters and their struggles to come together are wonderfully balanced with charm, humor, and a large dollop of sarcasm. Take a Hint, Dani Brown is a delight.” —Julie Karaganis, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

The Girl From Widow Hills: A Novel by Megan Miranda
(Simon & Schuster, 9781501165429, $26.99)
“How do you cope when the whole world knows your name and acts like they own a bit of your trauma story? Maybe you change your name, like Olivia does, and try to make a break from your past. Until one night when you find yourself sleepwalking. Like you did 20 years ago. And suddenly not only has your past caught up with you, it is legit stalking you. Now your secret is out, but there are even more deadly secrets hiding in the shadows. The final twists in this story are so sharp, you’ll check yourself for stab wounds! Another fantastic, twisty, thrilling read from Megan Miranda!” —Kate Towery, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

The Safe Place: A Novel by Anna Downes
(Minotaur Books, 9781250264800, $26.99)
The Safe Place is sure to captivate readers as they look to unearth the secret within the gates of an idyllic estate on the southern coast of France. From chapter one, I was hooked and transported to the luxurious lifestyle Downes creates in the book. Her storytelling and the myriad of clues she sprinkles throughout the story made this an unputdownable page-turner. A must for your 2020 reading list!” —Elise Lee, Away With Words Bookshop, Poulsbo, WA

The Only Good Indians: A Novel by Stephen Graham Jones
(Gallery/Saga Press, 9781982136451, $26.99)
“I loved this book. Jones has a unique narrative voice, allowing ‘the entity’ to step in and take over unexpectedly, amping up the horror. Also, each character has a distinct voice that brings them to life. Jones combines the culture and traditions of the Blackfeet and Crow people with the social truths of their contemporary life. It is refreshingly different from any other horror novel I’ve read. This book is gruesome and honestly scary. I couldn’t put it down.” —Kristine Jelstrom-Hamill, Buttonwood Books and Toys, Cohasset, MA

Survivor Song: A Novel by Paul Tremblay
(William Morrow, 9780062679161, $27.99)
“When a take-no-prisoners virus sweeps through the area, how will people react? Survivor Song is a thriller that follows a pair of friends trying to survive, but it also offers an interesting and realistic look at how society on a local scale may try to cope while also trying to maintain some semblance of order. On the other side of the coin, others don’t always have everyone’s best interests at heart. Can our characters make it? Can society withstand a disaster like this?” —Lydia Frederick, Owosso Books & Beans, Owosso, MI

Fresh Water for Flowers: A Novel by Valérie Perrin, Hildegarde Serle (Transl.) (Indies Introduce)
(Europa Editions, 9781609455958, $25)
“Valérie Perrin’s Fresh Water for Flowers is gorgeous. Reading it was almost like being baptized by Violette’s presence as a cemetery keeper, in its comfort, stability, and floral surroundings. Perrin takes us into the pool of Violette’s melancholic past, from first loves to devastating losses. It truly gripped each and every one of my emotions, from fear and sorrow to elation and sentimentality. Whatever I can write as a review, this book is still so much more. I’m so thankful to have read it and can’t wait to share it with readers.” —Cat Chapman, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL

The Lost and Found Bookshop: A Novel by Susan Wiggs
(William Morrow, 9780062914095, $27.99)
“This is an absolutely splendid novel that spoke volumes to me. You have a girl who experiences a tragedy that leads to a better life, despite issues and hardship along the way, and a guy right in front of her who is perfect for her though she assumes he is not. I highlighted so many passages in this book to savor and remember. This is a perfect story for bookstore lovers and lovers of books.” —Patty Reed, Ferguson Books & More, Grand Forks, ND

Florence Adler Swims Forever: A Novel by Rachel Beanland
(Simon & Schuster, 9781982132460, $25.99, 9781982132460)
“Florence Adler comes alive on the pages of this book, from the first page until the last. Told mainly through the perspective of her 7-year-old niece, Gussy, the characters are fully realized as sympathetic yet flawed human beings. I was drawn to all, but mostly to Florence’s mother, Esther. Esther’s fierce love for Florence and her sister, and her drive to protect them, propels her actions throughout the book, and she doesn’t allow the reader — or herself — to succumb to emotions until the end of the story. This may be the best book of the year.” —Camille Kovach, Completely Booked, Murrysville, PA

The Shadows: A Novel by Alex North
(Celadon Books, 9781250318039, $26.99)
“Paul Adams may have left behind his hometown and the tragedy that happened 25 years ago, but as we know, ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’ The murder that has haunted him for so long comes roaring back into his life when there’s a new killing and secrets are uncovered. Dreams really do come true, but this one may just kill Paul. Highly atmospheric and emotionally gripping, The Shadows is best read with all the lights on and well before you plan to go to sleep.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Filthy Beasts: A Memoir by Kirkland Hamill
(Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, 9781982122768, $27)
“Memoir enthusiasts will love Filthy Beasts by debut author Kirkland Hamill. East Coast wealth, glamorous locations, and a dysfunctional family make for a great blend of memoir and page-turner. Hamill, brought up by a loving but alcoholic mother, sets forth an honest and heartbreaking story that is well-written and well worth reading this summer.” —Sally Lovegrove, Barrett Bookstore, Darien, CT

Crooked Hallelujah: A Novel by Kelli Jo Ford (Indies Introduce)
(Grove Press, 9780802149121, $26)
“This astonishing debut fills the imagination with vivid scenes of life in Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation and in the oil country of Texas. Home can be hard to find, men can be forever unreliable, and poverty can be more brutal than the harsh rural landscape, but the bonds women form with their mothers, grandmothers, and daughters make life not just bearable but luminous. This is an astonishing debut novel, rich in Cherokee history and culture, full-bodied in terms of character, and as bighearted as the women it portrays.” —Betsy Burton, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

The Last Flight: A Novel by Julie Clark
(Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781728215723, $26.99)
“When two women from different backgrounds, each with good reason for wanting to escape her current life, meet by chance at JFK, they decide to switch plane tickets and identities. When one of the flights crashes, the action really begins. This is a unique thriller that draws you into both lives and will have you turning the pages until the unexpected but perfect ending. I loved it!” —Terry Gilman, Creating Conversations, Redondo Beach, CA

Utopia Avenue: A Novel by David Mitchell
(Random House, 9780812997439, $30)
“Another delightfully addictive novel from this masterful storyteller. We get in on the ground floor witnessing the formation and rise of a rock band in London just as the British Invasion is taking off. Filled with great characters and lots of fun, inside Mitchellisms fans will love — a character named De Zoet, an album with Cloud Atlas in the title — this is a wonderful book and perfect summer reading.” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

What You Wish For: A Novel by Katherine Center
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250219367, $27.99)
“Sam Casey loves her job as an elementary school librarian on Galveston Island. That is until the founder and principal suddenly passes away and is replaced by Sam’s former crush Duncan Carpenter, who has become a stickler for rules and safety rather than the carefree, charismatic leader he was when they worked together years ago. As Sam and her colleagues try to thwart Duncan’s initiatives, she digs deeper to learn why he’s changed. A lovely novel about moving through grief and choosing to find joy wherever you can.” —Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

The Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World by Sarah Stewart Johnson (Indies Introduce)
(Crown, 9781101904817, $28.99)
“I loved this quietly gorgeous book. Sarah Johnson Stewart brings her characters to vivid life —philosophers and scientists from the annals of Western history, family and teachers from her own life, or the dusty dunes of the ‘red planet’ itself — with clear, almost poetic prose, detailing the history of humanity’s fascination with Mars, as well as her own. You will leave these pages with a deeper understanding of interplanetary science and the wonder of humanity’s next discovery.” —Jocelyn Shratter, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Becoming Duchess Goldblatt: A Memoir by Anonymous
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780358216773, $24)
“After the collapse of her marriage and her whole life, the anonymous author of Becoming Duchess Goldblatt started a Twitter account, speaking in the voice of an imperious, slightly dotty, always caring 81-year-old writer. The Duchess became the focus of intense adoration and eventually helped her creator to reconnect with the ‘real world’ even as she kept her identity a secret. Becoming Duchess Goldblatt is a glorious memoir, a truly 21st-century tale of life both online and off.” —David Enyeart, Next Chapter Booksellers, St. Paul, MN

Friends and Strangers: A Novel by J. Courtney Sullivan
(Knopf, 9780525520597, $27.95)
“I will be recommending J. Courtney Sullivan’s newest to my friends and even perfect strangers this summer. It’s that good! So many of my best friends are new mothers right now and I can’t wait to get this book in their hands. It’s the perfect grass-is-always-greener story. It’s smart, it’s relevant, and it touches on so many relationships, from motherhood to marriage, from friendship to acquaintanceship. I loved it!” —Tim Ehrenberg, Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA

Nine Shiny Objects: A Novel by Brian Castleberry (Indies Introduce)
(Custom House, 9780062984395, $27.99)
“This debut novel is a puzzle worth working out — don’t give up! Castleberry cleverly entwines nine characters over 50 years — a tribute to America as we struggle to ‘become enlightened’ while at the same time understand those who reject new ideas. This book will make you think, work through the characters, and come out with a complex but beautiful story describing the American movement since 1947. Assume nothing about this book — or even its title. It’s beautiful!” —Kappy Kling, HearthFire Books, Evergreen, CO

The Beauty in Breaking: A Memoir by Michele Harper (Indies Introduce)
(Riverhead Books, 9780525537380, $27)
“This memoir is a fascinating examination of a life dedicated to helping others, and an illuminating, up-close view of what happens in emergency rooms. Moments of profound human connection exist alongside confrontations with dangerous and erratic patients, overzealous police demands, a lack of resources, and bureaucratic barriers. And the author’s perspective as one of few African American female ER doctors is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the profession.” —Mary Williams, Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA


The July 2020 Indie Next List Now in Paperback

Chances Are…: A Novel by Richard Russo
(Vintage, 9781101971994, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The Confessions of Frannie Langton: A Novel by Sara Collins
(Harper Perennial, 9780062851802, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Mary Mollman, Booked, Evanston, IL

The Editor: A Novel by Steven Rowley
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780525537984, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang
(Vintage, 9781101972083, $16.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Kasey Kane, Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, MT

Lady in the Lake: A Novel by Laura Lippman
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062390028, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Ann Berlin, The Ivy Bookshop, Baltimore, MD

The Lager Queen of Minnesota: A Novel by J. Ryan Stradal
(Penguin Books, 9780399563065, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Cheryl McKeon, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

The Last Train to London: A Novel by Meg Waite Clayton
(Harper Paperbacks, 9780062946942, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Marion Abbott, Mrs. Dalloway’s Literary & Garden Arts, Berkeley, CA

The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead
(Anchor, 9780345804341, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Michelle Malonzo, Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ

Say Say Say: A Novel by Lila Savage
(Vintage, 9780525565529, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Katerina Argyres, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

The Secrets We Kept: A Novel by Lara Prescott
(Vintage, 9780525566106, $16.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Aggie Zivaljevic, Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA

The Snakes: A Novel by Sadie Jones
(Harper Perennial, 9780062897039, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Jennifer Morrow, Bards Alley, Vienna, VA

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
(Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, 9781451642308, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Michaela Carter, Peregrine Book Company, Prescott, AZ