The June 2015 Indie Next List Preview

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Here are 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 2015 Indie Next Great Reads

#1 Pick: Our Souls at Night: A Novel, by Kent Haruf
(Knopf, 9781101875896, $24)
“In his final novel, Haruf once again casts an aura of spiritual resonance over the small town of Holt, Colorado. When an elderly woman proposes to her equally old male neighbor that they spend their nights together in conversation, chastely, yet sharing her bed in slumber, the talk among townsfolk begins to stir. Neither Addie Moore nor Louis Waters will allow slurred observations to impact what, for them, has become a blessing encompassing memories and the comfort of having the warmth of another body close on cold and lonely nights. Matters take a dramatic turn, however, with the arrival of Addie’s grandson, Jamie. His presence in the ongoing arrangement brings the inevitable question of moral behavior to the surface. As in a minister’s benediction, Haruf extends a wise and compassionate resolution to this story, the quintessence of his life’s work.” —Mark Ingraham, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
(Del Rey, 9780804179034, $25)
“In this incredible fantasy, a young woman is taken from her village to serve a magician and finds out that she too possesses unknown gifts. Fans of Robin McKinley, Shannon Hale, and Novik’s own Temeraire series will find themselves pulled into Agnieszka’s world to face the dangers of the malevolent Wood, the follies of a kingdom, and the pulsing thread of magic woven into every living thing. Both exotic and familiar, Uprooted reads like a long-lost Grimms’ fairy tale written in rich, delicious detail. I absolutely devoured this book!” —Jennifer Oleinik, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

The Sunlit Night: A Novel, by Rebecca Dinerstein
(Bloomsbury, 9781632861122, $26)
“The endless daylight of a Norwegian summer is the perfect backdrop for this warm and quirky debut filled with unusual characters and situations, a setting that is real yet somehow out of time, visual and precise writing, emotional warmth, and faith in the healing power of love. This tale of Frances and Yasha, their families, and their companions during a transformative summer in perpetual Arctic light is a perfect read for fans of Nicole Krauss’ The History of Love or Bill Forsyth’s classic movie, Local Hero.” —Anmiryan Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA

The Invasion of the Tearling: A Novel, by Erika Johansen
(Harper, 9780062290397, $24.99)
“I loved Johansen’s first book, Queen of the Tearling, and was thrilled to find the sequel to be equally enjoyable. The new book focuses on the Mort invasion of the Tearling and Queen Kelsea’s growth, both as a queen and as a person. Faced with many difficult decisions, an enemy abroad, and a new enemy in the Church, Kelsea finds herself learning more about her powers and making some mistakes. She also finds herself overwhelmed by visions of a woman in a past time that could lead to answers about The Crossing. Cheers to Johansen for proving that the reign of Queen Kelsea will be thrilling from start to finish!” —Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

The Water Knife: A Novel, by Paolo Bacigalupi
(Knopf, 9780385352871, $25.95)
“The near-future depicted in The Water Knife is disturbing and disorienting in its familiarity. Imagine an America so scraped away by ecological disasters — hurricanes, dust storms, and drought — and the brutal struggle to control the water supply that results in a refugee crisis in the Southwest rivaling those that have devastated third world nations. This book moves like a high-octane thriller but includes a wealth of warnings about where America and the world at large may be headed: a dark future where the brutal reality of everyday survival makes people, corporations, and governments do terrible things. The Water Knife may turn out to be 2015’s most talked about book.” —Vladimir Verano, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Seveneves: A Novel, by Neal Stephenson
(William Morrow, 9780062190376, $35)
“In this exciting and cerebral epic spanning 5,000 years, Stephenson explores the effects of a devastating catastrophe on the course of humanity. After the moon is shattered by an unknown agent, small groups of humans survive the ensuing holocaust — some by digging deep underground, others by seeking refuge in space. Millennia later, the separate branches of mankind converge, inexorably changed. I was completely consumed by this book, terrified and awed by Stephenson’s vision of our future. This is essential science fiction.” —Emily Ring, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA

The Truth According to Us: A Novel, by Annie Barrows
(The Dial Press, 9780385342940, $28)
“In 1938, as America is in the throes of the Depression, Layla Beck, daughter of a senator, is sent to Macedonia, West Virginia, to write a history of the town under the auspices of the Writers’ Project of America. She boards with the unconventional Romeyn family, whose many members live under one roof. Willa, who is 12 years old and the inner voice of this intriguing story, will remind readers of Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird with her bravado and curiosity. As Macedonia’s history is written in an upstairs room, downstairs the family’s long-held secrets begin to unravel, and eventually each person has to take responsibility for events long kept under wraps. A compelling page-turner!” —Susan Diffenderfer, Tall Tales Book Shop, Atlanta, GA

A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel, by Paul Tremblay
(William Morrow, 9780062363237, $25)
“This is the kind of scary novel that has more in mind than just the scares. When a family believes their eldest daughter is possessed, they allow a reality TV show to air a program detailing their trauma. But is Marjorie actually possessed? Could she be seeking attention or actually developing schizophrenia? As seen through the eyes of her eight-year-old sister, the answers aren’t always easy, even when the younger sister is an adult looking back on her experience of watching her older sibling fall apart, and she tries to make sense of what happened through the tropes of horror films and gothic literature. A spooky story, but with a tragic, heart-felt difference.” —Bill Carl, The Booksellers on Fountain Square, Cincinnati, OH

The Travels of Daniel Ascher, by Déborah Lévy-Bertherat
(Other Press, 9781590517079, $22.95)
“Hélène, a young French girl, comes to Paris to study and is curious about her great-uncle, Daniel, who travels the world and writes adventure stories. As she seeks to discover who Daniel is, Hélène is drawn into a mystery involving his childhood years in war-torn Paris. This mesmerizing narrative gives a unique insight into what one man will do to live with the pain of the past. What is the true story of Daniel Ascher? Beautifully written and a riveting read.” —Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

Medicine Walk: A Novel, by Richard Wagamese
(Milkweed Editions, 9781571311153, $24)
“Nature versus nurture is an age-old controversy. Does a boy become the man he is because of his genes or his upbringing? Franklin Starlight is a 16-year-old Ojibway boy who was raised by a man who is not his father and is not Indian. He teaches Franklin self-reliance, the value of hard work, and integrity. Eldon, Franklin’s real father, is an alcoholic who he has rarely seen. Now Eldon is dying, and he wants Franklin to accompany him into the back country to help him die and be buried in the warrior way. This is a flawlessly written novel about the stories that make us who we are.” —Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Dietland: A Novel, by Sarai Walker
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544373433, $26)
“Meet Plum, a woman who has forever defined herself by her obesity and who gets through her daily routine by looking forward to the life that will come after her weight-loss surgery. When Plum discovers that she is being followed by a strange girl, her life is changed forever. While Plum embarks on her journey of self-acceptance, a violent feminist crusade takes the world by storm. As the two storylines converge, readers witness an unexpected transformation. This is a fun, no-apologies-offered debut!” —Tess Fahlgren, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT

The Meursault Investigation: A Novel, by Kamel Daoud
(Other Press, 9781590517512, paper, $14.95)
The Meursault Investigation is a complex and subtle reckoning with the legacy of colonialism and the silences it imposes. Although the novel was conceived in the shadow of Camus’ The Stranger, readers realize quickly that it haunts those shadows not because it lacks its own light, but because Daoud wants to plumb the depths of that darkness to tell a story that demands to be heard. I hope everyone listens.” —Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA

Thank You, Goodnight: A Novel, by Andy Abramowitz
(Touchstone, 9781476791777, $26)
“Teddy Tremble is the former lead singer of Tremble, a one-hit wonder band from the ‘90s. Now pushing 40 and working as a lawyer for a respectable firm, Teddy receives a phone call from an old friend who tells him to fly to London and see his ‘legacy hanging on a wall at the Tate.’ Teddy finds himself part of a photography exhibit entitled ‘Faded Glory: Where Do They Go When They Have Nowhere to Go?’ Enraged, Teddy travels to Switzerland to seek out and confront the artist, only to discover that he has a large contingent of fans urging him to record again. Returning home, he convinces the band to reunite and deals with the complicated relationships that ensue. This is a heartwarming, funny look at love, life, and second chances that often aren’t there for most of us.” —Georgette Coan, Barbara’s Bookstore, Chicago, IL

Enchanted August: A Novel, by Brenda Bowen
(Pamela Dorman Books, 9780525429050, $27.95)
“Four unlikely companions join together to rent Hopewell Cottage on Little Lost Island, Maine, for one glorious summer month during which they gradually open up to one another and rediscover their capacity to give and receive love. A brilliant homage to a beloved classic, Bowen’s debut novel is a sparkling read any month of the year.” —Rona Brinlee, The Book Mark, Neptune Beach, FL

Hold Still: A Memoir With Photographs, by Sally Mann
(Little, Brown & Company, 9780316247764, $32)
“Truth is indeed stranger than fiction. Mann’s no-holds-barred memoir is absolutely stunning in its honesty. If you thought her photography was provocative and shocking, you are in for quite a ride with her life story. Filled with a multitude of fascinating characters and enhanced with a wealth of photographs, Hold Still promises to be a major sensation. Hold on to your hat — this is a page-turner!” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Mislaid: A Novel, by Nell Zink
(Ecco, 9780062364777, $26.99)
“Where Zink’s debut novel, The Wallcreeper, defied easy plot summary, Mislaid is arguably even more hilariously audacious by shouting its plot so loudly. Peggy knows from an early age that she is a lesbian. Lust being a strange thing, however, she sometimes ends up pregnant by way of her gay poetry professor, Lee. Zink presses every button we’re often conditioned to avoid regarding gender, sex, and race and revels in the fluidity of our sense of self. It may very well be the case that the famously elusive novelist Thomas Pynchon has finally been revealed — and he is in fact an American female expat living outside Berlin named Nell Zink.” —Brad Johnson, DIESEL: A Bookstore, Oakland, CA

Dinner With Buddha: A Novel, by Roland Merullo
(Algonquin Books, 9781565129283, $24.95)
“Otto Ringling and Russian Buddhist monk Volya Rinpoche are on the road again! The third book in Merullo’s series is another divine combination of spirituality, adventure, and humor. While Otto is still pondering life’s big questions, Volya continues to try to get him to understand that life is just not as complicated as we make it. As with the first two books, I totally devoured the thought-provoking conversations, the random encounters with people along the way that leave a lasting impact, and Otto’s continued search to find a good meal ‘on the road.’ Rich, wise, and delightful!” —Jamie Hope Anderson, Duck’s Cottage, Duck, NC

Palace of Treason: A Novel, by Jason Matthews
(Scribner, 9781476793740, $26.99)
“Matthews’ debut, Red Sparrow, was only the first ‘date’ for Russian agent Dominika Egorova and the CIA’s Nate Nash. Now, in Palace of Treason, the spies and lovers find themselves on opposite sides of an even more dangerous game. Tight, authentic tradecraft was the hallmark of Matthews’ former career in the CIA and it shows in this twisty race to unravel moles in both America and in Putin’s Russia. Dominika is getting closer to Putin himself — close enough to catch his eye! — while Nate races to stop a man hell-bent on revenge on everyone. Spy versus spy, sex, trained assassins — here is everything you want in a summer read!” —Geoffrey Jennings, Rainy Day Books, Fairway, KS

The Rocks: A Novel, by Peter Nichols
(Riverhead Books, 9781594633317, $27.95)
“This enchanting tale set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mediterranean is a bittersweet double love story told in reverse. The Rocks begins with a dramatic, shocking event and then moves backward in time to reveal the 60-year-old secret that caused the unraveling of a marriage and forever altered the lives of the two families involved. A page-turning family saga with a mystery at its core, this is the perfect book to usher in a summer of great reading!” —Adrian Newell, Warwick‘s, La Jolla, CA

Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation, by Dean Jobb
(Algonquin Books, 9781616201753, $27.95)
“It was P.T. Barnum who said that ‘there’s a sucker born every minute,’ and there was never a better time to take advantage of that fact than during the Roaring 20s. This is the true story of the devious exploits of Leo Koretz, who forsook his Chicago law career to convince unsuspecting people to invest in a Panamanian oil field that he had concocted out of thin air, as well as an astute assessment of human nature. A fascinating tale of greed and gullibility.” —Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

The June 2015 Now in Paperback

The Bees: A Novel, by Laline Paull (Ecco, 9780062331175, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

The Book of Life: A Novel, by Deborah Harkness (Penguin Books, 9780143127529, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Marika McCoola, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands: A Novel, by Chris Bohjalian (Vintage, 9780307743930, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Liza Bernard, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

The Glass Kitchen: A Novel of Sisters, by Linda Francis Lee (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250049636, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Patricia Worth, River Reader, Lexington, MO

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette, by Hampton Sides (Anchor, 9780307946911, $16.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Michael Wallenfels, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

The Miniaturist: A Novel, by Jessie Burton (Ecco, 9780062306845, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Carol Hicks, The Bookshelf, Truckee, CA

Next Life Might Be Kinder: A Novel, by Howard Norman (Mariner, 9780544484061, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

Nora Webster: A Novel, by Colm Tóibín (Scribner, 9781439170939, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Susan Scott, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

Painted Horses: A Novel, by Malcolm Brooks (Grove Press, 9780802123817, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Cheryl McKeon, Book Passage, San Francisco, CA

Station Eleven: A Novel, by Emily St. John Mandel (Vintage, 9780804172448, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by John Christensen, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

The Vacationers: A Novel, by Emma Straub (Riverhead Trade, 9781594633881, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel, by Matthew Thomas (Simon & Schuster, 9781476756677, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Maria Roden, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA