The March 2011 Indie Next List Preview

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Here’s a preview of the Indie Next List Great Reads and Now in Paperback titles featured on the March 2011 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 March 1 on and

The March 2011 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 March Pick: The Tiger's Wife: A Novel, by Tea Obreht
(Random House, $25.00, 9780385343831)
"Very rarely does a first novel announce a major new talent, but so it is with The Tiger's Wife. Brilliantly using myth and legend from the Balkans, Tea Obreht tells the story of a young doctor, her grandfather, and their shared history against the backdrop of the area's decades of turmoil and sorrow. This brilliant effort evokes echoes of Borges and García Márquez, and is certain to mesmerize the reader." --Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Townie: A Memoir, by Andre Dubus III
(W. W. Norton & Company, $25.95, 9780393064667)
"This is an intensely courageous portrait of growing up after Dubus' renowned writer father leaves his mother, him, and his three siblings to confront the desolate, broken-down world of the mill towns of Massachusetts while he, in turn, teaches in nearby elitist colleges. Dubus bravely bares the veins of violence, fear, survival and love with a tender toughness, a linguistic grace, and an utter absence of rancor that places him among the most effective American memoirists writing today." --Margot Liddell, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain
(Ballantine, $25.00, 9780345521309)
"This beautifully written story captures that electric time, the 1920's in that electric city, Paris, through the eyes of Hadley Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's first wife. While Hadley reveals the strengths and, ultimately the weaknesses in her complex and fascinating marriage, readers are treated to a novel rich in detail and riddled with real-life characters who fascinate us all." --Jeanne Regentin, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI

Wingshooters: A Novel, by Nina Revoyr
(Akashic Books, $15.95, 9781936070718)
"An abandoned young girl narrates this tale set in 1974 in a small Wisconsin town as it plummets and tumbles into heartbreak. 'You don't belong here,' the townspeople tell the mixed-race schoolgirl and anyone else who is not like them. Revoyr's voice vibrates with the spiritual and physical isolation -- without adornment or illusion -- that is reminiscent of the writings of Carson McCullers. The pacing is perfect, and Wingshooters captures fully the tragedy of personal rejection resulting from racial tension as it explores both connection and loss and the enduring bonds of family." --James Harris, Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, IA

Sing You Home: A Novel, by Jodi Picoult
(Atria, $28.00, 9781439102725)
"Sing You Home is another intense, eye-opening book from bestselling author Picoult. This time she tackles what it means to be a parent, what being gay in today's society entails, and the definition of 'family.' The reader cannot help but be moved by the story of Zoe Baxter, a music therapist, and her attempt to have a child.The book is packaged with a CD of original songs corresponding to specific chapters, and the reader is able to follow Zoe on her journey of self-discovery and her mission create a family." --Amanda Snow, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

When the Killing's Done: A Novel, by T.C. Boyle
(Viking Adult, $26.95, 9780670022328)
"T.C. Boyle is so articulate and skillful at plotting that he has the reader turning the pages of this entertaining book at record pace. In an effort to restore the indigenous flora and fauna, scientists on the Channel Islands off the California coast are at work eliminating species that have been introduced to the islands. Meanwhile, an activist group attempts to stop the killing of any creatures. Opening with a calamitous boating accident in which only one survivor washes ashore, this book doesn't let up detailing the often fatal effects of man vs. nature until the very last page." --Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction That Changed America, by Les Standiford, Joe Matthews
(Ecco, $24.99, 9780061983900)
"As riveting as any thriller, as poignant as any memoir, and as powerful as any investigative journalism, Bringing Adam Home is impossible to put down. The key scenes are beautiful, simple renderings of vulnerability and truth laid bare. This is a gripping work which should become a classic of the genre, not because of the crimes it explores, but for how it casts light into darkness." --Aaron John Curtis, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Three Stages of Amazement: A Novel, by Carol Edgarian
(Scribner, $25.00, 9781439198308)
"I have nothing but praise for this wonderful novel! Edgarian's ability to capture the reality of the everyday routines and dilemmas of her characters results in a powerful connection with the reader. Her interconnected stories grip us not only because of the lessons they teach, but also because of her astonishing skill and wisdom as a storyteller who makes the mundane become so compelling. I truly couldn't stop thinking about these people long after turning the last page." --Roberta Rubin, The Book Stall at Chestnut, Winnetka, IL

Cleaning Nabokov's House: A Novel, by Leslie Daniels
(Touchstone, $24.00, 9781439195024)
"Barb Barrett leaves her loveless marriage -- she refers to her now former husband as the 'ex-person' -- and in the process manages to lose everything, including her two children. Trying to put her life back together, she moves into a house once occupied by Vladimir Nabokov and discovers a manuscript that may or not be his. Thus begins a sweet tale of a quirky, charming and very funny woman finding her way, seeking happiness and fulfillment by some rather unconventional ways." --Ellen Burns, Books on The Common, Ridgefield, CT

A Thousand Cuts: A Novel, by Simon Lelic
(Penguin, $15.00, 9780143118619)
"This is a very timely novel on the insidiousness of bullying and how it can affect all ages, not just kids on the playground. A Thousand Cuts opens with a school shooting committed by a teacher. An open-and-shut case becomes much more when Detective Inspector Lucia May pieces together the testimony from various witnesses and realizes that assigning the blame is not as easy as expected." --Laura Lucy, White Birch Books, North Conway, NH

Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef, by Gabrielle Hamilton
(Random House, $26.00, 9781400068722)
"This isn't your typical chef memoir. Gabrielle Hamilton has come to the stove by sheer force and tenacity, and it comes through on every page of her book. From a rural childhood with her large family hosting a lamb roast for 100 guests to owning one of the most respected restaurants in New York City, Hamilton's journey hasn't always been easy, but always surrounded by good 'real' food, which is where her passion lies. Hamilton writes so deliciously that your mouth will be watering as you read."  --Sherri Gallentine, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels--A Love Story, by Ree Drummond
(William Morrow, $25.99, 9780061997167)
"The Pioneer Woman is at it again, but this time she's not dishing up recipes, rather she's giving us the juicy details of her courtship and her first year of marriage with her own 'Marlboro Man.' It's not your conventional fairy tale -- Drummond went from designer clothes and spa days to becoming the hard working wife of a cowboy on an isolated ranch. But through it all, it's still clear that she landed one major prince. She traded her glass slippers for cowboy boots -- and she couldn't be happier." --Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO

Instruments of Darkness: A Novel, by Imogen Robertson
(Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, $26.95, 9780670022427)
"Shades of Jane Eyre meets Sherlock Holmes, circa 1776: two murders near a country manor in West Sussex; a Lord accused; and insanity, fire, orphans. Attempting to solve the mystery are an early forensic doctor, Gabriel Crowther, and his neighbor, Mrs. Westerman, the unconventional mistress of Caveley Park. This is the first in what I hope will be a long series featuring two fabulously appealing detectives." --Karen Corvello, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

A Widow's Story: A Memoir, by Joyce Carol Oates
(Ecco, $27.99, 9780062015532)
"This book details not only a 'siege,' as Oates puts it, but also a pilgrimage -- one that tracks the author's journey through the complicated stages of her grief. It is an intimate, unflinching portrait of a woman who has remained somewhat of an enigma, though a prolific and respected one. Raymond Smith, Oates' husband of 48 years and the editor of the Ontario Review, died unexpectedly in 2008. In a literary and yet wrenching account, Oates leaves nothing out as readers stumble along with her and discover what it means to be a 'widow.'" --Jenny Lyons, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

The Other Life, by Ellen Meister
(Putnam Adult, $24.95, 9780399157134)
"Quinn's artistic mother took her own life, leaving Quinn wondering why. To help her cope on this journey, Quinn has the ability to travel between two parallel worlds via hidden portals. One world is a safe, suburban life with her husband, Lewis, and their young son Isaac on Long Island, albeit a world filled with the reality of her mother's death. The other is a dramatic life in New York City with neurotic Eugene, a life in which her mother is still very much alive. The premise of these portals may seem strange, but Meister makes it work and does it very well." --Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

House of Prayer No. 2: A Writer's Journey Home, by Mark Richard
(Nan A. Talese, $23.95, 9780385513029)
"Mark Richard is the greatest writer you've probably never read, but with this book, that will thankfully change! Richard writes with an otherworldly grasp of voice and description and uses his prose to deconstruct everything familiar. The result for the reader is a hyper-colored world rendered with the senses turned up. Reading House of Prayer No. 2 is like having a bucket of icy water poured over you: it forces your eyes open, sets you gasping for air, and leaves you utterly refreshed!" --Rachel Meier, The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA

The Oracle of Stamboul: A Novel, by Michael David Lukas
(Harper, $24.99, 9780062012098)
"A baby is born with the signs of a sea of horses, a conference of birds, and the North Star in alignment with the moon. These signs fulfill an ancient prophecy that a young girl will put the world right again, on its axis. Eleanor Cohen, an eight-year-old child prodigy, learns of her fate just as the Sultan of Stamboul has requests her presence. He is so impressed by her that he asks for advice in matters of state. This is a tale of mystery and political intrigue set in the exotic locale of 1885 Istanbul, but it has definite significance for our own time and place." --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War, by Annia Ciezadlo
(Free Press, $26.00, 9781416583936)
"If you're expecting Day of Honey to read like a typical memoir, think again. A mix of memoir, history, foodie narrative, and war story, this book is really quite amazing. Ciezadlo has the perfect voice for her chosen mix of topics: she's obviously intelligent, insightful yet non-judgmental, and when needed, wickedly humorous. Who knew you could learn so much about war and culture in the Middle East while contemplating the recipe for Kibbeh Nayeh? Bravo!" --Roni K Devlin, Literary Life Bookstore & More, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI

The Devotion of Suspect X, by Keigo Higashino
(Minotaur, $24.99, 9780312375065)
"A chess game or a battle of the brains? A bestseller in Japan, this is a mystery about the aftermath of an unintentional murder. Ishigami, a mathematician, is in love with one of the murderers. He is coaching her on how to deal with the police to avoid suspicion. His old friend, a physicist, is helping the detective on the case. Two brilliant minds battle with each other - a fascinating game of cat and mouse. The ending has a twist that only increases the reader's pleasure. This is excellent!" --Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

The Terror of Living: A Novel, by Urban Waite
(Little, Brown and Company, $24.99, 9780316097895)
"Taut, fast paced, and gripping, this is a real page turner. Phil keeps his horse farm afloat by guiding the occasional illicit shipment across the border in the rugged North Cascades. He knows the land like the back of his hand, and with a quick ride over the mountain pass he is solvent again for a while. But this time they sent him a courier who is nothing but trouble. Bobby Drake is a lawman with a family history -- his father made a few extra dollars just like Phil. Bobby is trying to live it down, doing a good job of catching the bad guys. The paths of these two cross violently on a trip gone horribly wrong in this outstanding debut." --Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

The March 2011 Now in Paperback

Angelology: A Novel, by Danielle Trussoni (Penguin, 9780143118466, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Bite Me: A Love Story, by Christopher Moore (Harper Paperbacks, 9780061779732, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Mike Burns, Howard’s Bookstore, Bloomington, IN

False Mermaid: A Novel, by Erin Hart (Scribner, 9781416563778, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers Cincinnati, OH

Horns: A Novel, by Joe Hill (Harper Paperbacks, 9780061147968, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Whitney Spotts, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI 

Making Toast: A Family Story, by Roger Rosenblatt (Ecco, 9780061825958, $12.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Dana Brigham, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

So Much for That: A Novel, by Lionel Shriver (Harper Perennial, 9780061458590, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Alice Meyer, Beaverdale Books, Des Moines, IA

The House of Tomorrow: A Novel, by Peter Bognanni (Berkley Trade, 9780425238882, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

The Journal Keeper: A Memoir, by Phyllis Theroux (Grove Press, 9780802145284, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Barbara Meade, Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC

The Madonnas of Echo Park: A Novel, by Brando Skyhorse (Free Press, 9781439171847, $14)
Recommended in hardcover by Kerry Slattery, Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA

The Surrendered: A Novel, by Chang-rae Lee (Riverhead Trade, 9781594485015, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel, by David Mitchell (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780812976366, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Lynne Almeida, Spellbinder Books & Coffee Bar, Bishop, CA

Whiter Than Snow: A Novel, by Sandra Dallas (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9780312663162, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Laurie Krushenisky, MacDonald Book Shop, Estes Park, CO