The July Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 25 Indie Next List and six Now in Paperback picks on the July 2021 Indie Next List flier.

The July title list is also viewable as a collection on Edelweiss and on the Indie Next List page as an Excel file alongside PDFs for the month’s flier and shelf-talker templates. Learn more about ABA’s recent refresh for the Indie Next List program and visit Matchbook Marketing’s program page to sign up to send the free Indie Next List e-newsletter to customers.

Additionally, to mark the start of the new month, the June Indie Next List picks are available as a flier, along with past lists, on the Indie Next List page on

The 25 Indie Next Great Reads for July

#1 Pick: Falling: A Novel
By T. J. Newman
(Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, 9781982177881, $28, July 6, 2021, Fiction/Thriller)

Falling is an absolute masterclass in unique suspense fiction. From the first few lines, I could tell this was going to be a stunner, and boy, was I right. I'll be anxiously waiting until Newman releases her next novel!”
—Shelby Roth, Naughty Dog Books, Nashville, IN

A Psalm for the Wild-Built
By Becky Chambers
(Tordotcom, 9781250236210, $20.99, July 13, 2021, Science Fiction)

“What do you do when you have everything you could ever need or want, but still aren't satisfied with what your life is? A Psalm for the Wild-Built is a short and sweet odd-couple road trip set in a beautiful world that could be our world — if we wanted it to be.”
—Joey Puente, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Santa Monica, CA

Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship (Indies Introduce)
By Catherine Raven
(Spiegel & Grau, 9781954118003, $28, July 6, 2021, Memoir)

“On the surface, this is a story about a woman befriending a fox, which is in and of itself remarkable enough, but it is also a powerful meditation on nature, living in the world with and without people, as well as the power of literature.”
—Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness
By Kristen Radtke
(Pantheon Books, 9781524748067, $30, July 13, 2021,
Graphic Nonfiction)
“In Seek You, Kristen Radtke approaches the epidemic of American loneliness from a variety of angles. A thoughtful exploration of a complex problem that offers understanding, not easy answers.”
—Keith Mosman, Powell's Books, Portland, OR

Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead: A Novel
By Emily Austin
(Atria Books, 9781982167356, $26, July 6, 2021, Fiction)

“Gilda never wants to disappoint anyone, which is exactly how she ends up with a job as a secretary at a Catholic church. As a gay atheist, it's problematic. Alternatively hilarious and tragic, Gilda’s story is one that stays with you.”
—Laura Cummings, White Birch Books, North Conway, NH

The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear
By Kate Moore
(Sourcebooks, 9781492696728, $27.99, June 22, 2021, Biography)

“As this country waged war against slavery, a quiet heroine fought for the rights of women. A must read for all!”
—Fran Ziegler, Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

The Personal Librarian: A Novel
By Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
(Berkley, 9780593101537, $27, June 29, 2021,
Historical Fiction)
“I dearly loved this historical fiction based on the life of J.P. Morgan's personal librarian. My favorite combination of entertaining and educational!”
—Elizabeth Barnhill, Fabled Bookshop & Café, Waco, TX

Nowhere Girl: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood
By Cheryl Diamond
(Algonquin Books, 9781616208202, $27.95, June 15, 2021, Memoir)

“This was such a deftly paced story; often incredibly touching and funny, yet heavily laced with intrigue and terror. No memoir has gripped me more since Kiese Laymon's Heavy.”
—Rob Fuller, Seminary Co-Op Bookstore, Chicago, IL

The Final Girl Support Group: A Novel
By Grady Hendrix
(Berkley, 9780593201237, $26, July 13, 2021, Fiction/Horror)

“Lynnette has been going to the same support group for years — only  this isn't a normal support group. It’s a secret group for final girls. This is a fast-paced and shocking thriller that I couldn't put down!”
—Katie Cerqua, Gramercy Books, Bexley, OH

Such a Quiet Place: A Novel
By Megan Miranda
(Simon & Schuster, 9781982147280, $26.99, July 13, 2021, Fiction/Thriller)

“A once tranquil suburb is shocked by two horrible deaths.  As the accused killer returns to live in the community, its residents are increasingly uneasy. Pick this book up and you won't want to put it down!”
—Jane Stiles, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

The Paper Palace: A Novel
By Miranda Cowley Heller
(Riverhead Books, 9780593329825, $27, July 6, 2021, Fiction)

“Elle and her family gather each summer at the ‘Paper Palace’ family cabins; but this one day will be anything but a relaxing vacation retreat. This will be the buzz of book clubs and a perfect traveling companion for summers by the seaside.”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN

The Therapist: A Novel
By B.A. Paris
(St. Martin's Press, 9781250274120, $27.99, July 13, 2021, Fiction/Thriller)

“B.A. Paris is at the top of her game with her latest novel! I dare you to read just one chapter and try to put this twisty thriller down!”
—Toni Chase, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI

The Startup Wife: A Novel  
By Tahmima Anam
(Scribner, 9781982156183, $26, July 13, 2021, Fiction)

“The concept of an app that offers custom-made rituals got me to pick up this new novel, but the fact that the protagonist is a woman of color leading a tech start up alongside her very charismatic husband got me to read it. A great summer read.”
—Amber Taylor, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

Dear Miss Metropolitan: A Novel
By Carolyn Ferrell
(Henry Holt and Co., 9781250793614, $27.99, July 6, 2021, Fiction)

“This novel is, in a word, heartbreaking. Dear Miss Metropolitan is going right to the top of my recommendation list for 2021.”
—Kelsey Jagneaux, Tombolo Books, St. Petersburg, FL

The Sweetness of Water: A Novel
By Nathan Harris
(Little, Brown and Company, 9780316461276, $28, June 15, 2021, Historical Fiction)

“I was holding my breath through this beautifully woven story of love, family, belonging, and loss set in the South at the end of the Civil War. There's so much heart and soul in this book. It is destined for awards.”
—Jamie Southern, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Songs in Ursa Major: A Novel
By Emma Brodie
(Knopf, 9780593318621, $26.95, June 22, 2021, Fiction)

Songs in Ursa Major is the perfect summer book recommendation. It should be read with music right out of Laurel Canyon playing in the background.”
—Linda McLoughlin Figel, pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA

Filthy Animals: Stories
By Brandon Taylor
(Riverhead Books, 9780525538912, $26, June 22, 2021, Short Stories)

“These stories about human relationships range from those between lovers, friends, and family. How is it that Taylor can write so that we can see the interior crevices of these characters’ souls?”
—Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

The World Gives Way: A Novel
By Marissa Levien
(Redhook, 9780316592413, $28, June 15, 2021, Fiction)

The World Gives Way gave me so many things: a crime novel, a science fiction epic, but also something that explores the beauties of love and the strive to survive through it all. This is an adventure that I won't be forgetting any time soon.”
—Christian Vega, The Astoria Bookshop, Astoria, NY

The Forest of Vanishing Stars: A Novel
By Kristin Harmel
(Gallery Books, 9781982158934, $28, July 6, 2021, Historical Fiction)

“A little girl is kidnapped from her parents and raised in the wilderness. As a young woman, she uses her skills to help Jewish refugees survive in the forests of Poland. From the first page, I didn't want to put the book down.”
—Jill Gregory, A Likely Story, Sykesville, MD

Dream Girl: A Novel
By Laura Lippman
(William Morrow, 9780062390073, $28.99, June 22, 2021, Fiction/Thriller)

“Carve out a lot of time for when you start Dream Girl, because you're not going to want to stop! Haunting, atmospheric  and often funny — this is one of Lippman's best, which is saying a lot!”
—Jason Hafer, Reads & Company, Phoenixville, PA

Island Queen: A Novel
By Vanessa Riley
(William Morrow, 9780063002845, $27.99, July 6, 2021, Historical Fiction)

“Both sweeping and intimate, beautiful and painful, this novel based on the life of Dorothy Kirwan Thomas is exquisite. Riley’s research is palpable in the detail of each chapter, and readers will find themselves compulsively turning the pages until the end.”
—Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

The Natural Mother of the Child: A Memoir of Nonbinary Parenthood
By Krys Malcolm Belc
(Counterpoint, 9781640094383, $26, June 15, 2021,
“One of the best memoirs I've ever read about the messiness about parenthood, especially as a parent who gives birth both outside of and within ‘motherhood.’ I — we — so needed this book.”
—Anna Weber, White Whale Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA

The Way She Feels
By Courtney Cook
(Tin House Books, 9781951142599, $18.95, trade paper, June 29, 2021,
Graphic Memoir)
“This memoir is vital in that it humanizes one of the most commonly misunderstood and highly stigmatized mental illnesses — borderline personality disorder. The Way She Feels beautifully illustrates the incredible strength and perseverance it can take to cope with mental illness.”
—Mary Wahlmeier, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

The Tangleroot Palace: Stories
By Marjorie Liu
(Tachyon Publications, 9781616963521, $16.95, trade paper, June 15, 2021,
Short Stories/Fantasy)
“These small bites of fantasy and dark magic and even more dangerous characters are the best. Whether you devour it all at once or take those small bites and relish each short story, you will thoroughly enjoy this short story collection.”
—Sandi Cararo, The Book Dragon, Staunton, VA

No Hiding in Boise: A Novel
By Kim Hooper
(Keylight Books, 9781684426232, $17.99, trade paper, June 15, 2021, Fiction)

“Following three women and their connection to a shooting, No Hiding in Boise is an excellent novel for recognizing growth in difficult circumstances and the human connection that lies beyond tragedy. All the feels.”
—Addy Bowman, Wild Geese Bookshop, Franklin, IN


The 6 Now in Paperback Titles

Anxious People: A Novel
By Fredrik Backman
(Washington Square Press, 9781501160844, $17, July 6, 2021, Fiction)

“This book made me feel all the feels! It was sad, it was funny, it was hopeful, it was everything. The character development is incredible at revealing what’s inside each of the characters, and the way their stories link and interconnect is genius. It’s a story about sadness and hope and human connections. I couldn’t put it down and barreled to the end, but now I am sad it’s over. Anxious People is truly the best thing I’ve read in a long time!”
—Lisa Driban, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE

Black Sun: A Novel
By Rebecca Roanhorse
(Gallery/Saga Press, 9781534437685, $16.99, June 29, 2021, Fiction)

“As an avid fantasy reader and an Indigenous person, I cannot adequately describe how much it meant to read Black Sun and be immersed in a non-white fantasy based on cultures from the Americas If you’re looking for murderous sea women, larger-than-life crows, gods returning to avenge past violence, political intrigue, and dash of romance, look no further. I also really appreciate the way that queer and nonbinary characters are portrayed. Roanhorse has written a perfect high fantasy novel and I cannot wait to see where this series takes us next!”
—Hillary Smith, Copperfield’s Books, Calistoga, CA

The Exiles: A Novel
By Christina Baker Kline
(Custom House, 9780062356338, $16.99, July 6, 2021, Fiction)

“One of the best books I’ve read this year! This is a meticulously researched historical fiction based on the lives of three women convicted of petty theft in England who are shipped to the convict colony of Australia, never to return to their home country. We also meet a young Aboriginal girl who weaves through this story like a phantom. There are aspects of Les Mis and The Forgotten Garden in this beautiful book. I simply adored it.”
—Elizabeth Barnhill, Fabled Bookshop & Café, Waco, TX

The Jane Austen Society: A Novel
y Natalie Jenner
(St. Martin's Griffin, 9781250797179, $16.99, July 6, 2021, Fiction)

“Utterly and wonderfully charming! The residents of Chawton, England, who seem to have nothing in common, are brought together by their love for the writings of Jane Austen. They quickly come to realize that true friendship depends on nothing but a caring heart and the willingness and courage to be open to others. This is a book to read again and again whenever your faith in humanity is threatened.”
—Sandi Madore, Magnolia’s Bookstore, Seattle, WA

Transcendent Kingdom: A Novel
By Yaa Gyasi
(Vintage, 9781984899767, $16, July 6, 2021, Fiction)

“Gifty immigrated from Ghana, grew up in Alabama, and is working on a PhD in neuroscience at Stanford, where she experiments with mice. She has always felt she wasn’t cool enough or white enough and tries to prove her value through her brilliance. She tells her raw and powerful story of racism, addiction, mental illness, and especially faith and prayer, all while trying hard to mend a complicated relationship with her mother. This second novel from the author of the award-winning Homegoing is compelling and so, so beautifully written.”
—Sally Weitzen, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

Winter Counts: A Novel
By David Heska Wanbli Weiden
(Ecco, 9780062968951, $16.99, July 6, 2021, Fiction)

“Weiden’s book is a thriller with an important social and political message. Following a Lakota ‘enforcer’ who enacts extrajudicial punishment to fill the gaps in the legal system, Winter Counts is a twisty new addition to the growing Indigenous literature canon. Weiden’s exploration of the injustices of reservation life are vital.”
—Ashley Baeckmann, Briars & Brambles Books, Windham, NY