The June 2009 Indie Next List Preview

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Here's a preview of the June Indie Next List, now on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement, and a reminder that May Notable titles are now featured in a flier and shelf-talkers, downloadable here and from

The June 2009 Next List Great Reads

The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane: A Novel by Katherine Howe
(voice, $25.95, 9781401340902 / 1401340903)
"Connie Goodwin should be writing her Ph.D. dissertation. Instead, her mother has asked her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, Massachusetts. While cleaning up the years of dust and cobwebs, Connie makes discoveries that lead her back to the world of the Salem witch trials. Howe does a superb job at combining modern day language with the 17th century voices, pulling you even deeper into a story of mystery and witches. Marvelous and terrifying at the same time. I loved it!" --Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Last Night in Montreal: A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel
(Unbridled, $24.95, 9781932961683 / 1932961682)
"Last Night in Montreal is a rare achievement, a gripping, mysterious, and original literary novel about family secrets and the unbearable weight they place on young shoulders. Emily St. John Mandel is a wonderful and refreshingly unorthodox writer, and this should be the start of a brilliant career." --Rich Rennicks, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro, Chuck Hogan
(Morrow, $26.99, 9780061558238 / 0061558230)
"The Strain begins with a newly landed plane stopping dead on the runway. When the rescue crews arrive, they discover that all the passengers and crew are dead in their seats, with their necks cut and their bodies devoid of blood. This utterly original novel is absolutely fantastic and like no vampire novel I've read. You will love it!" --Jon Tobin, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival by Norman Ollestad
(Ecco, $25.99, 9780061766725 / 0061766720)
"Crazy for the Storm is a riveting account of survival. Norman Ollestad weaves the story of his unconventional early childhood and the details of a horrible airplane crash into a brilliant tribute to his adventurous father." --Jamie Robinson, Bestsellers Books & Coffee Co., Mason, MI

Far Bright Star: A Novel by Robert Olmstead
(Algonquin, $23.95, 9781565125926 / 1565125924)
"Napoleon Childs, a veteran soldier, is on the hunt for Pancho Villa in the rough terrain of northern Mexico. Accompanying him is a group of young soldiers who have not yet seen the brutality of war. After a terrible encounter with a band of renegade soldiers in search of vengeance, Napoleon, beaten and shot, is left stranded to try to survive on his own. Olmstead is incredibly adept at describing the horrors of battle contrasted with the beauty of reflection and hope, and he is at his best in Far Bright Star." --Sherri Gallentine, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

The Dark Horse: A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson
(Viking, $24.95, 9780670020874 / 0670020877)
"Mary Barsad is accused of having shot her husband six times as partial retribution for his setting fire to their barn and killing her horses. But Sheriff Walt Longmire is not convinced she did it, and he sets off to see if he's right. Craig Johnson's latest is another winner in this compelling western mystery series. '" --Sue Tank, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters, OR

The Signal: A Novel by Ron Carlson
(Viking, $25.95, 9780670021000 / 0670021008)
"A fishing and back-packing trip into the mountains had become a ritual for Mack and his one-time wife, Vonnie -- however, their reunion not only engenders old feelings and personal troubles, but the probability of danger. This glorious novel encompasses the beauty of the outdoors while also portraying the dark side of human behavior." --Kathleen Dixon, Islandtime Books & More, Washington Island, WI

The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan
(Canongate, $14 paper, 9781847671929 / 1847671926)
"Twelve-year-old Gwenni can fly in her sleep, and, from this unusual perspective, she sees many things that others overlook. When her neighbor in a small Welsh village disappears, Gwenni begins an investigation to find him. Along the way, she uncovers her own family's secrets, but she never wavers from her determination to discover the truth. Gwenni is an unforgettable character and seeing life through her eyes is the true magic in this novel." --Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY

Into the Beautiful North: A Novel by Luis Alberto Urrea
(Little, Brown, $24.99, 9780316025270 / 0316025275)
"What do you do if the men have left your village? Nayeli and her friends leave their Mexican village on a quest to bring a few good men home. Luis Alberto Urrea's latest novel is beautifully written, and is full of humor and humanity." --Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts: A Memoir by Neil White
(Morrow, $25.99, 9780061351600 / 0061351601)
"Mississippi wheeler-dealer Neil White, after years of snowballing financial deals and deceptions, finds himself assigned to a year in a Federal correction facility in Carville, Louisiana, home to the last people in the continental U.S. with Hansen's Disease -- better known as leprosy. From the unlikely combination of inmates and patients, White struggles to discover new values and to understand a little-known world." --Carolyn Chesser, Bayou Book Company, Niceville, FL

Shanghai Girls: A Novel by Lisa See
(Random House, $25, 9781400067114 / 1400067111)
"Beginning in prewar Shanghai of the 1930s, Shanghai Girls tells an emotional story of two sisters who are 'pawned' in arranged marriages and sent to America as payment for a family debt. Lisa See has written a novel of sacrifice and newfound dreams that you must read." --Carol Hicks, Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA

The City & the City by China Mieville
(Del Rey, $26, 9780345497512 / 0345497511)
"A labyrinthine mystery as well as a visionary look at identity, politics, and geography, The City & the City is simply stunning. Mieville juggles a murder, two cities' mysterious pasts, and a tense political situation with deft prose and compelling characters. Mieville's latest is utterly enthralling, absorbing, and, ultimately, unforgettable." --Jenn Northington, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos by Margaret Mascarenhas
(Grand Central Publishing, $13.99 paper, 9780446541107 / 0446541109)
"Set against the backdrop of political upheaval in contemporary Venezuela, this debut novel is entertaining yet profoundly serious, rich with religious and cultural mythology, and peopled with lovable, flawed characters -- poets, rebels, maids, and midwives -- who reveal the complex strata of Venezuelan society as well as their own humanity. Margaret Mascarenhas has arrived on the literary scene with a sizzle." --Linda Bubon, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL

The Walking People: A Novel by Mary Beth Keane
(Houghton, $25, 9780547126524 / 0547126522)
"As a child in her beloved Ireland, Greta Cahill is so awkward she's called 'Goose.' In her new home of America, she blossoms into a young woman of self-worth, finding love and family. While she longs to return to Ireland, a secret from her former life prevents the trip back, until her children decide to reunite her two lives, much to Greta's fear. Mary Beth Keane has given us an impressive debut novel." --Kathleen Creamer, Maine Coast Book Shop, Damariscotta, ME

Gone Tomorrow: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child
(Delacorte, $27, 9780385340571 / 0385340575)
"Jack Reacher is back. It's 2:00 a.m. on a New York City subway, and something is not quite right, as Jack spots a passenger who might not be what she seems. In his most intensely gripping novel yet, Lee Child takes us on the ride of a lifetime through the dark warrens of NYC." --Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

Wanting: A Novel by Richard Flanagan
(Atlantic, $24, 9780802119001 / 080211900X)
"Richard Flanagan has now written five great novels including the stunning, highly praised Gould's Book of Fish. His latest is a simple tale based in history, in which Flanagan takes three sensational events, well-known to Victorian England, and imagines how they were played out by the iconic characters involved: Sir John Franklin, governor of the penal colony of Van Diemen's Land and later a doomed Arctic explorer; Charles Dickens; and Mathinna, a beautiful, charismatic aboriginal child adopted by the Franklins in an infamous experiment. Wanting is about desire, and about lack, and the very real tragedy of colonization. How Flanagan brings these events and themes to life is genius." --Lisa Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Vanessa & Virginia: A Novel by Susan Sellers
(Houghton, $23, 9780151014743 / 0151014744)
"Vanessa & Virginia is written from the point of view of Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf's sister, and the novel reads as a lyrical account of their relationship. Sibling rivalries, artistic collaborations, and tender moments between the sisters are contrasted by the individual events (both good and bad) that influence their moods, their relationships, and their works." --Roni K. Devlin, Literary Life Bookstore & More, Grand Rapids, MI

I'm Down: A Memoir by Mishna Wolff
(St. Martin's, $23.95, 9780312378554 / 0312378556)
"Mishna Wolff's father totally immersed himself and his daughters in black culture. (They are totally white....) Her memoir tells of her trials trying to please her father and stay afloat in different worlds. You will not stop reading I'm Down once you have read the first page." --Judith Lafitte, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis
(Norton, $23.95, 9780393069013 / 039306901X)
"Michael Lewis has written a hilarious, yet moving account of his coming to terms with fatherhood. No mushy tribute to the joys of fatherhood, Lewis' book addresses the good, the bad, and the merely baffling about having kids. A wonderful read." --Mitch Gaslin, Food For Thought Books, Amherst, MA

East of the Sun: A Novel by Julia Gregson
(Touchstone, $16 paper, 9781439101124 / 1439101124)
"Julia Gregson's second novel is set in the late 1920s and tells the story of three women traveling to India as part of the 'Fishing Fleet,' English women in search of husbands. A fascinating novel." --Lilo Eder, Fort Ashby Books, Fort Ashby, WV

The June 2009 Indie Next List Notables


The Brothers Boswell by Philip Baruth (Soho, $24, 9781569475591 / 1569475598)
Buffalo Lockjaw by Greg Ames (Hyperion, $14.95 paper, 9781401309800 / 1401309801)
The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips (Pocket, $25, 9781416527398 / 1416527397)
The Family Man by Elinor Lipman (Houghton, $25, 9780618644667 / 0618644660)
The Great Perhaps by Joe Meno (Norton, $24.95, 9780393067965 / 0393067963)
The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire by C.M. Mayo (Unbridled, $26.95, 9781932961645 / 193296164X)
Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner, Lazer Lederhendler (trans.) (Trumpeter, $14.95 paper, 9781590307144 / 1590307143)
Right of Thirst by Frank Huyler (Harper Perennial, $14.99 paper, 9780061687549 / 0061687545)
Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji (NAL, $15 paper, 9780451226815 / 045122681X)
Stone's Fall by Iain Pears (Spiegel & Grau, $27.95, 9780385522847 / 0385522843)
A Thread of Truth by Marie Bostwick (Kensington, $15 paper, 9780758232151 / 0758232152)
Trouble by Kate Christensen (Doubleday, $26, 9780385527309 / 0385527306)


After America: Narratives for the Next Global Age by Paul Starobin (Viking, $26.95, 9780670020942 / 067002094X)
Eiffel's Tower: And the World's Fair Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes (Viking, $27.95, 9780670020607 / 0670020605)
The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride by Daniel James Brown (Morrow, $25.99, 9780061348105 / 0061348104)
Love in Condition Yellow: A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage by Sophia Raday (Beacon, $23.95, 9780807072837 / 0807072834)
The Mad Ones: Crazy Joe Gallo and the Revolution at the Edge of the Underworld by Tom Folsom (Weinstein, $24.95, 9781602860810 / 1602860815)
Retail Superstars: Inside the 25 Best Independent Stores in America by George Whalin (Portfolio, $26.95, 9781591842606 / 1591842603)
Tales of Wonder: Adventures Chasing the Divine, an Autobiography by Huston Smith, with Jeffery Paine (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780061154263 / 0061154261)
Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart, Briony Morrow-Cribbs (illus.) (Algonquin, $18.95, 9781565126831 / 1565126831)