The June 2012 Indie Next List Preview

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Here’s a preview of the titles on the June Indie Next List flier, on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement.

A downloadable PDF version of the list will also be available beginning June 1 on and

The June 2012 Indie Next List Great Reads

Canada: A Novel, by Richard Ford
(Ecco, $27.99, 9780061692048)
Canada, Richard Ford’s long-awaited new novel, is not one to be rushed. While the plot sounds sensational — robbery, murders, a flight across the Canadian border — Ford’s laconic, measured prose forces the reader to slow the pace and savor the story. This is a novel about actions, intentions, and consequences as well as about belonging, introspection, and the solitary nature of life. Powerful and atmospheric, Canada will excite and gratify Ford’s fans and introduce newcomers to a masterful American writer.” — Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

Heading Out to Wonderful: A Novel, by Robert Goolrick
(Algonquin Books, $24.95, 9781565129238)
“True to what you’d expect from the author of A Reliable Wife, Goolrick’s characters are enigmatic, imperfect, and do not behave according to society’s dictates. The romance that erupts between Sylvan Glass, an unschooled country girl with dreams of Hollywood, and Charlie Beale, a newcomer to town, will change everyone in town in unexpected ways, most of all young Sam, who bears witness to their fiery, ill-fated affair. A great read!” — Connie Brooks, Battenkill Books, Cambridge, NY

The Chaperone: A Novel, by Laura Moriarty
(Riverhead Hardcover, $26.95, 9781594487019)
“Silent film star Louise Brooks was accustomed to being the center of attention, but that is not the case in this exquisite novel about the summer of 1922 when 15-year-old Louise traveled to New York for dance training. At the center of this story is her chaperone, 36-year-old Cora Carlisle, who has reasons of her own for traveling to New York that fateful summer. Cora’s story is one of casting after the classic American dream with a few unexpected twists, and Moriarty’s writing captures it perfectly.” — Katherine Osborne, Kennebooks, Kennebunk, ME

The Yard: A Novel, by Alex Grecian
(Putnam Adult, $26.95, 9780399149542)
“Hard on the heels of the failure of the Metropolitan police to catch Jack the Ripper, a London bobby is found murdered in a horrific fashion. With a style that is light and witty, juxtaposed with the grimness of the underbelly of 19th century London, Grecian has concocted a delightful recreation of the early days of Scotland Yard. Action, suspense, with characters both unsavory and sympathetic — this is a joy to read!” — Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

The Watch: A Novel, by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya
(Hogarth, $25, 9780307955890)
“From the very exciting launch of the British imprint Hogarth in the United States comes a raw and poignant tale of the war in Afghanistan. Inevitable repercussions for the soldiers and citizens of the country play out viscerally in a novel that takes its cues from the Antigone myth. There is much to learn and then to think about here.” — Dana Bringham, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

Equal of the Sun: A Novel, by Anita Amirrezvani
(Scribner, $26, 9781451660463)
“Persia in the 16th century is rife with intrigue and danger. The Shah has died without a successor, and his daughter and protégé, Princess Pari Khan Kanoom, maneuvers to secure a position of power in a man’s world. She is aided by the eunuch, Javaher, a man who loves the princess more than life. Based on historical figures, this sumptuous portrayal of the royal court of Persia is the story of a woman who took risks and made her mark on history.” — Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

Gone Girl: A Novel, by Gillian Flynn
(Crown, $25, 9780307588364)
“Told from the alternating perspectives of Amy and Nick whose marriage is falling apart in small-town Missouri, this is first a story of perfect young love in Manhattan, followed by its slow disintegration after both partners lose their jobs and move to Nick’s hometown to help his family through his mother’s terminal illness. When Amy disappears, who is innocent and who is guilty? Slowly, each spouse’s lies and deceptions are laid bare until the real foundation of their relationship is revealed. A tale reminiscent of Scott Turow, with a veneer of crazy all its own!” — Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

Capital: A Novel, by John Lanchester
(W.W. Norton & Company, $26.95, 9780393082074)
“Capital begins with the households of London’s Pepys Road each receiving a card that states, ‘We want what you have.’ Those menacing and mysterious notes are the jumping off point for Lanchester’s brilliant exploration of modern London. From the financial trader in the midst of growing midlife and career crises, to the Pakistani family struggling with faith and family, to a dying woman and her street artist son, Lanchester effortlessly weaves myriad stories into brief chapters to create a written tapestry of remarkable color and depth.” — Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT

The Green Shore: A Novel, by Natalie Bakopoulos
(Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781451633924)
“As we follow the current economic travails of Greece, it is hard not to recall its turbulent history, particularly The Regime of the Colonels that ruled from 1967 to 1974. Bakopoulos humanizes this period through the eyes of one family — a widowed doctor, her three children, and her brother, a notorious local poet. The personal and political mash up in this passionate story, at once a tale of a particular place and time, yet also a timeless mirror of the struggles of life under any repressive government. A compelling read.” — Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Wallflower in Bloom: A Novel, by Claire Cook
(Touchstone, $24.99, 9781451672763)
“Deirdre Griffin’s life is not her own. Her high-maintenance, charismatic brother, Tag, is a New Age guru and a national sensation. As his gatekeeper and personal assistant, Deidre’s frustrations with her family, and herself, bring her to a hysterical moment. After drowning her sorrows in vodka, Deidre gets herself voted onto Dancing With the Stars as a replacement by way of Tag’s online followers. This is a very funny read that will make you roll your eyes about family!” — Joanne Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

The Watchers: A Novel, by Jon Steele
(Blue Rider Press, $26.95, 9780399158742)
“Set in the gothic Lausanne Cathedral, this is a haunting and beautiful tale of fallen angels, the innocents and the not-so-innocent who fall prey to them, and those who are there to defend against evil. Steele offers a terrifyingly suspenseful yet mystical and extremely tender story, and the reader will wonder who and what are real and who and what they can trust.” — Lynn Pellerito Riehl, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar: A Novel, by Suzanne Joinson
(Bloomsbury USA, $26, 9781608198115)
“Two worlds collide with the discovery of a mysterious inheritance. On one side of the globe in the 1920s, three young women embark on an adventure along the famous Silk Road. On the other side of the world in present day London, two young strangers bond over a beautiful illustration with a history. Decades of family tradition and mystery become unraveled as the stories come crashing together.” — Morgan Kiedrowski, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

Istanbul Passage: A Novel, by Joseph Kanon
(Atria, $26, 9781439156414)
“Istanbul in 1945 — a cauldron of intrigue with layer upon layer of cultures, religions, security organizations, spies, police, foreign agents, and refugees — is the backdrop for this tale of moral ambiguity featuring Leon Bauer, an American tobacco company representative. He has spent the war years in Istanbul doing ‘favors’ for someone from the American Consulate from time to time. Now he is asked for one last favor — to arrange passage of a notorious Romanian Nazi collaborator on the run from the Russians. Istanbul Passage is atmospheric, believable, fast-paced, and elegantly written for a thoroughly absorbing read.” — Darwin Ellis, Books On The Common, Ridgefield, CT

The Lower River: A Novel, by Paul Theroux
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780547746500)
“As Ellis Hock nears the end of his long career — and his marriage — he does what many of us do at a time of great change: reassess the trajectory of our lives by going back to a time when we were truly happy. For Ellis that time was in his twenties, when he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Lower River of Malawi. He decides to return, but the Africa of his sixties is but a shadow of the Africa he left behind, and the idealism he arrives with quickly vanishes in the desperation that covers his beloved village.” — Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

The Innocents: A Novel, by Francesca Segal
(Voice, $25.99, 9781401341817)
“Although the plot of The Innocents follows the ‘man in love with his wife’s cousin’ formula, it is anything but stale and predictable. Caught in the loving web of his huge Jewish family, Adam Newman struggles to do the right thing while being true to himself and honest with others. Through wonderful, sometimes tragic and often quirky characters, Segal offers finely honed truths about humanity. I highly recommend this book — a wonderful summer read with some guts to it!” — Susan Tyler, The Book Bin, Onley, VA

The 500: A Novel, by Matthew Quirk
(Reagan Arthur Books, $25.99, 9780316198622)
“Wow, can Quirk write an intense thriller! Mike Ford is a reformed confidence man — which makes him perfectly suited to be a junior member of a Washington strategic consulting firm. Perfectly suited, that is, until his conscience gets the best of him and his bosses try to set him up to take a fall. Quirk knows just how to build up suspense with the right mix of insider knowledge, procedural description, and school-of-hard-knocks action, and the reader ends up rooting for the anti-Boy Scout to take down the big dogs.” — Nichole McCown, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Freeman: A Novel, by Leonard Pitts
(Agate Bolden, $16, 9781932841640)
“As the Civil War ends, many broken lives await their own personal reconstruction. Pitts weaves together the stories of former slaves seeking family members from whom they were long separated, abolitionists opening a school to educate Southern blacks for a new life, and defeated, still angry Confederate soldiers. The characters are multi-dimensional and the historical detail is astonishingly accurate. Freeman is an engrossing, moving read and an original portrayal of a pivotal time in our nation’s history.” — Terri Weiner, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

Seating Arrangements: A Novel, by Maggie Shipstead
(Knopf, $25.95, 9780307599469)
“This is the kind of character-driven, thoroughly enjoyable read I love! It easily compares to the family drama in J. Courtney Sullivan’s Maine and the humor in Richard Russo’s That Old Cape Magic. Just add lots of gin and tonics, men in pants with whales on them, and characters with names like Biddy, Fee, and Oatsie, and you’ve got the irresistible Seating Arrangements!” — Claire Benedict, Bear Pond Books of Montpelier, Montpelier, VT

The Bird Saviors: A Novel, by William J Cobb
(Unbridled Books, $25.95, 9781609530709)
“Set in the not-so-distant future, The Bird Saviors takes place in a destitute southern Colorado town where the characters are as damaged as the environment. Although stark and cruel, Cobb’s tale has enough scenes of dark humor and irony to keep the reader turning the pages. He also allows us to discover the amazing warmth that lies hidden beneath the grim exterior of some remarkable and memorable characters.” — Joni Montover, Paragraphs on Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX

The Red House: A Novel, by Mark Haddon
(Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385535779)
“Haddon is a master craftsman, and one of the great delights of The Red House is the way he seamlessly weaves together a narrative from the perspectives of a number of extremely different individuals. Focusing on two families on a trip to the country — each with their own issues and secrets — and the interplay between characters, Haddon has given us another wonderful and surprising novel.” — Carol Schneck, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

The June 2012 Now in Paperback

The Adjustment: A Novel, by Scott Phillips (Counterpoint, 9781582438238, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Scott Montgomery, BookPeople, Austin, TX

The Borrower: A Novel, by Rebecca Makkai (Penguin, 9780143120957, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Shuchi Saraswat, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

The Cat’s Table: A Novel, by Michael Ondaatje (Vintage, 9780307744418, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

Joy for Beginners: A Novel, by Erica Bauermeister (Berkley Trade, 9780425247426, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Sam Droke-Dickinson, Aaron’s Books, Lititz, PA

The Leftovers: A Novel, by Tom Perrotta (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9780312363550, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Ellen Burns, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

The Map of Time: A Novel, by Felix J. Palma (Atria, 9781439167410, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Shawn Bridges, Literary Lion, Stephenville, TX

Once Upon a River: A Novel, by Bonnie Jo Campbell (W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393341775, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Ready Player One: A Novel, by Ernest Cline (Broadway, 9780307887443, $14)
Recommended in hardcover by John Hoover, Misty Valley Books, Chester, VT

Reamde: A Novel, by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062191496, $18.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Karen Tallant, The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN

Salvage the Bones: A Novel, by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury, 9781608196265, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Stan Hynds, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case, by Debbie Nathan (Free Press, 9781439168288, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Whitney Spotts, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI

To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel, by Tom McNeal (Back Bay Book, 9780316127387, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Nancy Simpson-Brice, The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA