The June 2013 Indie Next List Preview

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

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 2013 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: The Son: A Novel, by Philipp Meyer
(Ecco, 9780062120397, $27.95)
“Epic yet intimate, Meyer’s The Son is the best kind of historical fiction. Vivid characters and great storytelling bring to life a distant time and place, while the themes and issues explored are completely relevant to our time. The interwoven perspectives of the three generations of the McCullough family create a counterpoint as each comments on the others, their mores, and their expectations and how these change over time. This is what great literature should be: a page-turner with a serious moral purpose.” —Scott Kinberger, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

We Need New Names: A Novel, by NoViolet Bulawayo
(Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown, 9780316230810, $25)
“Bulawayo gives her character Darling an emotionally powerful voice while telling her story in such sparse and brilliantly crafted sentences, I had to put the book down just to savor the writing and take a break from the heartbreaking scenes of the strife in Zimbabwe. Bulawayo takes us on one young immigrant’s journey from a country being destroyed by violence to one where the grandness and wealth are overwhelming and the Midwestern cold is piercing. This is a debut novel not to be missed!” —Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

The Silver Star: A Novel, by Jeannette Walls
(Scribner, 9781451661507, $26)
“In this novel by bestselling memoirist Walls, 12-year-old Bean and her older sister Liz are left to fend for themselves when their musically inclined mother takes her leave of them to ‘sort things out.’ The sisters embark on a trip from California to Virginia to find their Uncle Tinsley and, hopefully, some stability. Bean’s impetuous enthusiasm and clear sense of what is right are the girls’ best defense against the prejudices, injustices, and abuse that await them in 1970s Byler, Virginia. Scout Finch has met her match in Bean in this wonderfully woven tale of perseverance, strong family bonds, the triumph of love and loyalty, and the emergence of unlikely heroes. Pitch perfect and pure pleasure!” —Linda McLoughlin Figel, Pages: A Bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA

TransAtlantic: A Novel, by Colum McCann
(Random House, 9781400069590, $27)
TransAtlantic is a thoughtful and thought-provoking novel spanning the better part of two centuries. Weaving bits of history — such as Brown and Alcock’s first transatlantic flight, Frederick Douglass’ visit to Ireland while still a runaway slave, and diplomat George Mitchell brokering the peace in Ireland in 1998 — with fictional players, McCann shows us how the magic of the everyday is related to the momentous. Events circle around and family stories overlap as mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons pass their personal history from one generation to the next. This is a novel to be savored.” —Liza Bernard, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

Norwegian by Night: A Novel, by Derek Miller
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780547934877, $26)
“Sheldon Horowitz, an 80-year-old Korean War veteran, has a touch of dementia and goes to live with his daughter and son-in-law in Norway, where he becomes further disoriented. One day, what sounds like violence breaks out in the upstairs apartment and a young boy’s life appears to be at risk. Sheldon becomes the boy’s protector/abductor, fleeing in disguise through the countryside as exiled Serbian war criminals and Norwegian cops give pursuit and the old man’s Marine sniper skills come back to him. A wild, compelling, politically complex, and sometimes funny tale that is a very rich read, this is highly recommended.” —Richard Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS

And the Mountains Echoed: A Novel, by Khaled Hosseini
(Riverhead, 9781594631764, $28.95)
“Spanning decades, continents, and generations, Hosseini’s latest exquisite novel resembles a colorful tapestry, a seamlessly woven tale of sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers, and the unbreakable bonds between them. The story of each character individually is compelling, but they are interconnected so beautifully that they burst with emotion. The fluid prose that defined Hosseini’s previous novels is even more passionate and thought-provoking in this highly anticipated work. I cannot think of another writer or novel that so artfully balances moments of profound loss and sacrifice with such poignant images of beauty and grace.” —Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

On Sal Mal Lane: A Novel, by Ru Freeman
(Graywolf Press, 9781555976422, $26)
“In 1983, the Sri Lankan tensions between the Tamils and the Sinhalese broke into civil war. On quiet, secluded Sal Mal Lane, the Horvaths and their neighbors are not sheltered from the turmoil, and the prejudices of the greater world find their way onto their secluded street. The coming of age of the children on Sal Mal Lane and the loss of one innocent in particular shatters their world. On Sal Mal Lane is a beautifully written, heartbreaking story of a foreign yet somehow familiar time and place.” —Ellen Richmond, Children’s Book Cellar, Waterville, ME

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel, by Anton Disclafani
(Riverhead, 9781594486401, $27.95)
“In 1930, at the height of the Great Depression, Theadora Atwell is forced to leave the only home she has ever known and the family she cherishes to attend the Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Not only has she been banished to a world she knows nothing about, but also her life until this point has been lived mostly in seclusion with her nuclear family on a thousand-acre orange ranch in Florida, an environment that could not be more different than the one in which she finds herself. The reason for her banishment is a secret slowly revealed. This is a coming-of-age story you won’t soon forget.” —Terry Gilman, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA

Time Flies: A Novel, by Claire Cook
(Touchstone, 9781451673678, $24.99)
“Newly single metal sculptor Melanie isn’t up for her high school reunion, but when her best friend insists and an old flame contacts her, she tells herself that revisiting the past might help her find her way into the future. It’s only after a raucous road trip replete with tunes that will get readers of a certain age humming under their breath, however, that Melanie does find a way forward — just not the one she expected. Like all of Cook’s novels, Time Flies will make you laugh and cry, get you thinking, and leave you with the feeling that the best part of your own life has only just begun!” —Jill Miner, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

The Last Summer of the Camperdowns: A Novel, by Elizabeth Kelly
(Liveright, 9780871403407, $25.95)
“Twelve-year-old Riddle’s world starts to crumble when she witnesses a terrible crime but doesn’t report it. Set on Cape Cod in the rarified circles of old-money political dynasties, this story’s characters are larger than life, brilliant, infuriating, and compelling. They have constituencies and causes, servants in their seaside mansions, famous artwork on their walls, and horse habits, yet they struggle with the shame of overstretched finances, an infamous love triangle, and buried secrets. The Last Summer of the Camperdowns is the perfect summer page-turner.” —Sara Hinckley, Hudson Booksellers, Marietta, GA

Looking for Me: A Novel, by Beth Hoffman
(Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, 9780670025831, $27.95)
Looking for Me grabs the reader from the first paragraph as Hoffman weaves a magical tale of the love of family and nature, the loss of innocence, and the hope that in the future all will be revealed. Set in rural Kentucky and Charleston, South Carolina, this is the story of the gifted and determined Teddi Overman, a furniture restorer, and her missing brother. Teddi’s courage and belief both in herself and in her vanished brother, Josh, inspire all who come in contact with her. Enter the world of the Overmans and emerge with a new perspective on hope and love!” —Lynne LeBlanc, The Fountainhead Bookstore, Hendersonville, NC

If You Were Here: A Novel of Suspense, by Alafair Burke
(Harper, 9780062208354, $25.99)
If You Were Here is the story of a New York City prosecutor long fallen from grace, now working as a news reporter. McKenna Jordan unexpectedly stumbles across a recent photo of a close friend who disappeared nearly 10 years ago. Nothing is as it seems, not even the case that cost McKenna her career. Clever plot twists kept my nose buried until the very last page. Highly recommended for fans of Harlan Coben and Lisa Unger.” —Bina Valenzano, The BookMark Shoppe, Brooklyn, NY

Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm, by Mardi Jo Link
(Knopf, 9780307596918, $24.95)
“Webster’s definition of bootstrap is ‘carried out with minimum resources or advantages.’ Link picked the perfect title for her memoir, revealing the guts and gumption she exhibited to secure what was most important for herself and her three sons. Unwilling to let a divorce drive her family from their small working farm in northern Michigan, Link is relentless in facing down the seemingly never-ending obstacles. Her belief in the virtues of hard work, family, and self-sufficiency are tested every day in a year relived with humor and intimacy in full-moon chapters.” —Marla Van Hook, Horizon Books, Traverse City, MI

A Place at the Table: A Novel, by Susan Rebecca White
(Touchstone, 9781451608878, $25)
“This is an intricate yet accessible story of three characters — a young gay man disowned by his parents, a chef who was born the daughter of slaves, and a well-heeled woman in a troubled marriage — whose lives converge at a venerable restaurant in Manhattan. Their life stories unfold at Café Andres, leading to a stunning revelation that proves that there are no real coincidences in life. Heartfelt but not sappy, tragic but not disastrous, A Place at the Table celebrates the ultimate triumph of life and spirit. Book clubs and foodies will eat this one up!” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

Taipei: A Novel, by Tao Lin
(Vintage, 9780307950178, paper, $14.95)
Taipei follows Paul, a young writer living in New York, over a period of several months as he wanders and stumbles his way through a world of drugs, anxiety, ennui, and desperation. Lin chronicles these experiences in a style that retains his recognizable dryness, but with an intense, thoughtful dedication to the articulation of Paul’s thoughts and feelings. Taipei achieves a complexity only hinted at in Lin’s previous work and finds an ideal balance between irony and sincerity. Funny and deeply intelligent, this new work by a ‘deadpan literary trickster’ is also genuinely moving.” —Ami Tian, Ravenna Third Place Books, Seattle, WA

Red Sparrow: A Novel, by Jason Matthews
(Scribner, 9781476706122, $26.99)
“If you have found that good spy novels are few and far between since the end of the cold war, your quest is over. Matthews, himself retired from the CIA, tells a great tale of espionage in the Putin era, with strong characters and plot twists that will leave you wanting even more — which the author then gives you in the form of story-related recipes at the end of each chapter! Highly recommended!” —Rita Moran, Apple Valley Books, Winthrop, ME

Good Kings Bad Kings: A Novel, by Susan Nussbaum
(Algonquin Books, 9781616202637, $23.95)
“Set in an institution for kids with disabilities, this story unfolds in first-person narratives by the kids themselves as well as some of the adults who work there. Instances of indignity, injustice, and lack of care abound in this important story, but what comes across most powerfully is the complexity and uniqueness of each character. What they have in common on the surface is some form of disability, but what they share more deeply with each other and with the reader is the universal desire for respect, understanding, and the freedom to make their own decisions and manage their own lives. Nussbaum minces no words in exposing harsh realities, but her language for those who struggle, survive, and advocate on behalf of themselves and others is triumphant. In a word — terrific!” —Ann Christophersen, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler
(Marian Wood Books/Putnam, 9780399162091, $26.95)
“Rosemary is not yet six when her sister, Fern, is removed to a center for research. Fern and Rosemary were inseparable, and her family falls apart after the removal: Lowell, her brother, disappears when he discovers where Fern was sent; their father becomes a distant, brooding man; and their mother is a shell of her former self. Why a research facility? Because Fern is a chimpanzee. In this extraordinary novel written by a gifted author, Fowler opens our eyes to the inhumane treatment of animals by humans and helps us to identify what it truly means to be human.” —Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Flat Water Tuesday: A Novel, by Ron Irwin
(Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 9781250030030, $24.99)
“Rob, Connor, John, and Chris are the ‘God Four’ crew of the famed varsity boat at the Fenton Prep School. These four, along with their coxswain, Ruth, form a tight group with one common goal — to defeat their strongest rival, the Warwick School. This beautifully written novel explores the camaraderie, competition, joy, sorrow, and unbelievable guilt that follow this crew team from their youth to adulthood. Irwin skillfully weaves the past with the present in this story of pain and forgiveness that brings the reader to a heart-wrenching conclusion. A compelling read with a poignant message.” —Beverly Bartczak, The Fine Print, Lakeside, OH

The Blood of Heaven: A Novel, by Kent Wascom
(Grove Press, 9780802121189, $25)
“Bloody and brilliant, this epic novel is not for the faint of heart. At once a page-turning, cinematic adventure, tearing through the oft-forgotten wilds of 19th century West Florida and a poetic masterpiece in which each sentence stretches and works at full capacity, The Blood of Heaven explores the intersection of religion, redemption, brotherhood, violence, love, and what it meant to come of age at the same time as America. Wascom rages onto the literary scene in this passionate and powerful debut.” —Alise Hamilton, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

The June 2013 Now in Paperback

The Art Forger: A Novel, by B.A. Shapiro (Algonquin Books, 9781616203160, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

Capital: A Novel, by John Lanchester (W.W. Norton, 9780393345094, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT

The Chaperone: A Novel, by Laura Moriarty (Riverhead Trade, 9781594631436, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Katherine Osborne, Kennebooks, Kennebunk, ME

Eight Girls Taking Pictures: A Novel, by Whitney Otto (Scribner, 9781451682724, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

The End of Your Life Book Club, by Will Schwalbe (Vintage, 9780307739780, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Laurie Paul, The Elliott Bay Book Company,
Seattle, WA

Flight Behavior: A Novel, by Barbara Kingsolver (Harper Perennial, 9780062124272, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY

In the Shadow of the Banyan: A Novel, by Vaddey Ratner (Simon & Schuster, 9781451657715, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Caitlin Caulfield, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

The Innocents: A Novel, by Francesca Segal (Voice, 9781401341893, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Susan Tyler, The Book Bin, Onley, VA

Live by Night: A Novel, by Dennis Lehane (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062197757, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Elizabeth Houghton Barden, Big Hat Books,
Indianapolis, IN

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving: A Novel, by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin Books, 9781616203153, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Lynn Riggs, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI

Sutton: A Novel, by J.R. Moehringer (Hyperion, 9781401312688, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

When We Were the Kennedys: A Memoir From Mexico, Maine, by Monica Wood (Mariner Books, 9780544002326, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Barbara Kelly, University of Southern Maine Bookstore, Portland, ME