The June 2010 Indie Next List & Notables Preview

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Here's a preview of the Indie Next List Great Reads and 12 "Now In Paperback" titles, featured with jacket images, on the June Indie Next List flier, now on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement.

The June Indie Notables will be featured in a downloadable flier and shelf-talkers on, beginning June 1.

The June 2010 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 JUNE PICK: The Passage by Justin Cronin
(Ballantine Books, $27, 9780345504968)
"Justin Cronin's incredible imagination takes the reader on a ride that is engrossing, thought-provoking, terrifying and, above all, immensely entertaining. A diverse and engaging cast of characters dot the landscape in this sweeping novel that is both fantastical science fiction and heartbreaking drama. An absolutely thrilling read, The Passage is destined to reach a huge audience and leave everyone wanting more." -- Tiffany Miner, Book People, Austin, TX

Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson
(Grand Central Publishing, $24.99, 9780446582346)
"Jackson writes like a woman on fire, hooking you in the very first sentence ('It was an airport gypsy that told me I had to kill my husband') and demanding total absorption straight through to the novel's stunning conclusion. There is nothing predictable in Backseat Saints except Jackson's strong voice and her genius at the art of storytelling." -- Ellen Ward, FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock, GA

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
(Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385501125)
"Aimee Bender's keen eye and delightfully quirky sensibilities are enchanting reflected in this novel. When nine-year-old Rose discovers that she can taste people's emotions in the food they prepare, she learns of her mother's despair. Meanwhile, her older brother is increasingly remote and her father blissfully naive. As Rose advances awkwardly into young adulthood, the depth of her family's peculiarities is revealed. Heartbreaking, sweet, and thoroughly engrossing." -- Michael Keefe, Annie Bloom's Books, Portland, OR

The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse
(Free Press, $23, 9781439170809)
"This is a powerful, touching, and revelatory novel, reminiscent of The Bridge of San Luis Rey in its fatefully interrelated secret stories. These long-time Mexican-American residents of a changing L.A. neighborhood struggle for identity and are often almost invisible to the worlds they work in, but their compelling and sometimes shocking stories leave an indelible stamp on an increasingly gentrified neighborhood. Skyhorse is an important chronicler of a community that needs to be heard from." -- Kerry Slattery, Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA

First Contact: Or, It's Later Than You Think by Evan Mandery
(Harper Paperbacks, $13.99, 9780061749773)
"I am impressed with Mandery's concisely drawn yet vivid characters, with his 'translation' of the lives of aliens, and with the insightful commentary woven gently and insistently throughout the book. His handling of the post-modern, self-referential trope is masterful and refreshingly light. This could be confidently recommended to anyone who likes Vonnegut, Adams, Fforde, satire in general, and -- yes -- even Mr. Pratchett." -- Emma Aprile, Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, KY

So Cold the River by Michael Koryta
(Little Brown, $24.99, 9780316053631)
"Eric Shaw, once a promising filmmaker in Hollywood, has been reduced to filming weddings and funerals in Chicago. Offered a chance to make a documentary portrait of an ailing self-made millionaire, Eric finds himself in West Baden, Indiana, where abilities he has never been fully cognizant of draw him into an evil so powerful it reaches out to him from beyond the grave. Koryta's prose is fluid and masterful, making this a delightfully eerie and mesmerizing read!" -- Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

Junkyard Dogs: A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson
(Viking Adult, $25.95, 9780670021826)
"The bodies pile up almost as fast as the Valentine's Day snow in the award-winning author's sixth mystery featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire. When a severed thumb is found in the local junkyard, a collision course is set between the locals and multimillion-dollar developers eyeballing the adjacent property. All of Johnson's trademarks are here -- great characters, witty banter, serious sleuthing, and a love of Wyoming bigger than a stack of derelict cars." -- Brian Woodbury, The Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH

The Marrowbone Marble Company by Glenn Taylor
(Ecco, $24.99, 9780061923937)
"Gripping and raw, set between the moral compass of the '40s and the social revolution of the '60s, this novel follows a West Virginia family though their turbulent relationships with war, poverty, social injustice and racial segregation. It would be hard not to call this a piece of fine art, with its classic storytelling and brilliant writing." -- Scott Fultz, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs: Family, Friendships, and Faith in Small-Town Alaska by Heather Lende
(Algonquin Books, $22.95, 9781565125681)
"Reading Heather Lende's book feels like sharing coffee with a true friend, taking the time to celebrate and mourn life's pleasures and sorrows. In 2010, when friends and time are sometimes forgotten, it is a real pleasure to pick up a book and find such a friend, with her thoughtful reflections and great sense of humor so close at hand." -- Linda Ramsdell, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT

Seven Year Switch by Claire Cook
(voice, $24.99, 9781401341169)
"When you finish this delightful story you will want to grab your girlfriends, let your hair down, and call for a margarita! They say every seven years you reinvent yourself, and Jill Murray is ready to do just that. But first she must juggle two jobs, her 10-year-old daughter, an ex-husband, and an intriguing bike-riding entrepreneur. Get ready to laugh from the first page to the last." -- Karin Beyer, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

The Burning Wire: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel by Jeffery Deaver
(Simon & Schuster, $26.99, 9781439156339)
"In this latest novel featuring the quadriplegic criminologist hero and his amazing support team, they find themselves faced with tracking down a high tech villain whose agenda is murder, by means of high voltage electricity that can melt steel, electrocute his victims, or set them afire. A taut psychological thriller from a masterful crime writer, proving Deaver just gets better with each new novel." -- Carol Hicks, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
(Knopf, $25.95, 9780307592835)
"In her latest work, Egan presents a number of the kind of idiosyncrasies we tend to avoid, only in this collection of expertly layered stories, the flawed characters enrapture and entwine themselves in the reader's imagination. Egan's novel is a fresh form, the function of which merely hints at our own human imperfections and allows readers to forgive not just the characters in this collection, but themselves as well." -- Brette Weinkle, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
(DAW, $24.95, 9780756406172)
"Okorafor's latest novel, her first for adults, is a sharp, evocative story of a woman born of rape into a post-apocalyptic African landscape. Okorafor employs her considerable talent for creating ambiguous characterizations grappling with difficult questions of morality and power in an unjust world. Her prose is musical and emotionally raw, and her imagery brings the novel's rich magic and religion into vivid relief. " -- Gretchen Treu, A Room of One's Own Feminist Bookstore, Madison, WI

My Name Is Memory by Ann Brashares
(Riverhead Hardcover, $25.95, 9781594487583)
"Daniel is one of the few people fortunate enough to have the ability to remember past lives in vivid detail. He can recognize souls he has met in his previous lives, including Sophia, his soul mate through the centuries. Whenever Daniel manages to find her, fate rips them apart. Follow Daniel as he tries to locate Sophia, convince her to remember him, and fight the forces keeping them from loving each other. A love story unlike anything you've ever experienced!" -- Sarah Hill, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY

The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain
(Mira, $13.95, 9780778328537)
"Diane Chamberlain once more shows herself to be the mistress of family secrets! In this novel, two sisters are bound by a harrowing past, which took the lives of their parents. A full-throttle gothic, with a twisting plot sparked with the healing power of love and the strength of family, in all its forms." -- Eileen Charbonneau, Merritt Books, Millbrook, NY

The Great Lover: A Novel by Jill Dawson
(Harper Perennial, $13.99, 9780061924361)
"In 1909, Nell Golightly is a young maid in the employ of the family of poet Rupert Brooke. Alternating between the voices of Nell and Rupert himself, Jill Dawson (a poet herself) brings Brooke to life in this striking and affecting novel of the poet as a young man. " -- Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

Immortal Milk: Adventures in Cheese by Eric LeMay
(Free Press, $22, 9781439153048)
"As a 'Cheesehead', I must admit to some initial skepticism regarding this book. However, Eric LeMay's first three words, "Consider the Stilton," intrigued me. This book is a delightful cheese tour replete with international characters and places, literary references and yes, Wisconsin cheese curds. Foodies and travel junkies will salute this terrific tale, as will any reader in line for a fact-filled, fun read -- a winner!" -- Kathleen Dixon, Islandtime Books & More, Washington Island, WI

Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo by Vanessa Woods
(Gotham, $26, 9781592405466)
"This memoir left me wanting to donate all my money to Friends of Bonobos. The author has captured the spirit of an animal that so many of us knew nothing about. Her writing and research about the civil war in the Congo helps the reader to understand the impact that it has had on the bonobos. I can't wait for this to come out and for people to be made aware of her cause." -- Sarah Galvin, The Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, NY

Turn Left at the Trojan Horse: A Would-Be Hero's American Odyssey by Brad Herzog
(Citadel, $14.95, 9780806532028)
"This is the story of one man's journey across small towns in America's heartland that are named for places out of Greek mythology. The author is looking for meaning in his life, and what he finds is as true today as it was in ancient Greece. Heroes are everywhere if you just look for them, and the author finds his own heroic story along the way." -- Catherine Carpenter, Cate's Books and Stuff, Louisiana, MO

The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer
(Minotaur, $25.99, 9780312622879)
"Milo Weaver is an undercover spy for the CIA, and he doesn't know whom to trust, even within his own organization. His job requires blind obedience, but a burgeoning sense of empathy has compromised his callousness, and when he is instructed to kill a young girl, he balks, grappling with his own moral identity. A terrific sequel to The Tourist,, with powerful writing and unforgettable characters." -- Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

The June 2010 Now in Paperback

 Home Game: An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood by Michael Lewis (W.W. Norton, 9780393338096, $13.95)

Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival by Norman Ollestad (Ecco, 9780061766787, $14.99)

Far Bright Star by Robert Olmstead (Algonquin, 9781565129801, $13.95)

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon (Ballantine, 9780345476036, $15)

Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon (Harper Perennial, 9780061490194, $14.99)

Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo (Minotaur, 9780312374068, $7.99)

Tide, Feather, Snow: A Life in Alaska by Miranda Weiss (Harper Perennial, 9780061710261, $13.99)

Wanting by Richard Flanagan (Grove, 9780802144775, $14)

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Anchor, 9780767931113, $15.95)

A Plague of Secrets by John Lescroart (Signet, 9780451228321, $9.99)

The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane (Mariner, 9780547336121, $14.95)

April & Oliver by Tess Callahan (Grand Central Publishing, 9780446540605, $13.99)

The June 2010 Indie Next List Notables

(Featured in a downloadable flier and shelf-talkers on, beginning June 1)


American Music by Jane Mendelsohn (Knopf, $23.95, 9780307272669)

Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann (Speigel & Grau, $26, 9780385527149)

Beautiful Maria of My Soul by Oscar Hijuelos (Hyperion, $25.99, 9781401323349)

Brains: A Zombie Memoir by Robin Becker (Eos, $13.99, paper, 9780061974052)

Captivity by Deborah Noyes (Unbridled Books, $25.95, 9781936071630)

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (Knopf, $26.95, 9780307269997)

Leaving Rock Harbor by Rebecca Chace (Scribner, $25, 9781439141304)

The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins (NAL Trade, $15.95, paper, 9780451229489)

The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek (Viking, $25.95, 9780670021789)

Wildlives by Monique Proulx; David Homel and Fred A. Reed (trans.) (Douglas & McIntyre, $16.95, paper, 9781553654094)


Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between by Theresa Brown (HarperStudio, $19.99, 9780061791550)

Hitch 22: A Memoir by Christopher Hitchens (Twelve, $26.99, 9780446540339)

One More Theory About Happiness: A Memoir by Paul Guest (Ecco, $21.99, 9780061685170)

Where We Going, Daddy?: Life With Two Sons Unlike Any Other by Jean-Louis Fournier (Other Press, $12, paper, 9781590513385)

Where’s My Wand?: One Boy’s Magical Triumph Over Alienation and Shag Carpeting by Eric Poole (Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, $24.95, 9780399156557) 


Blood Oath by Christopher Farnsworth (Putnam, $24.95, 9780399156359)

Case Closed by Patrik Ourednik (Dalkey Archive Press, $13.95, paper, 9781564785770)

A Stranger in the Family by Robert Barnard (Scribner, $24, 9781439176740)

Strip by Thomas Perry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780151015221)