The March 2013 Indie Next List Preview

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Here’s a preview of the titles on the March 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 2013 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: Benediction: A Novel, by Kent Haruf
(Knopf, $25.95, 9780307959881)
“Any new novel by Haruf is cause for celebration, but for those of us who have been waiting patiently to reconnect with the Front Range of Colorado and its quirky inhabitants since reading Plainsong and Eventide, Benediction is the answer to our literary prayers. The main character is dying, but that doesn’t set a tone of great remorse or regret for a life in its last stages on Earth. Instead, it becomes a reflection of a family, of the place where they live, of the forces that formed them and made them into the strange, angry, resourceful, and engaging people who they have become. Haruf is a wonderful writer, and I can’t wait to celebrate the publication of this book with him and with our customers.” —Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

After Visiting Friends: A Son’s Story, by Michael Hainey
(Scribner, $25, 9781451676563)
“Hainey’s search for the truth about his father’s early death is one of the most compelling memoirs I’ve read. An insider’s tribute to the hard-working and hard-drinking big city newsmen of the 1950s and ’60s, After Visiting Friends is also an unsentimental love song to a Chicago of all-night bars, jazz clubs, and three major daily newspapers. I was engaged, moved, and kept guessing (as Hainey was for more than 10 years) until the truth won out. A brave, intimate, and honest portrait of a family and its secrets.” —Linda Bubon, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL

With or Without You: A Memoir, by Domenica Ruta
(Spiegel & Grau, $25, 9780812993240)
“There is a category of memoir that I think of as ‘childhood survival story’ in which, because of parental failure or absence, the author’s youth is so difficult that the reader is amazed that she or he made it to adulthood. Ruta’s is such a story, but it’s told with such matter of factness, understanding, and humor that one can’t help but like her mother, all the while recognizing that the mother was more the child in the relationship. This is a compassionate and eloquent story of twisted love and recovery.” —Lyn Roberts, Square Books, Oxford, MS

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel, by Mohsin Hamid
(Riverhead Hardcover, $26.95, 9781594487293)
“This is a slick, fast-paced novel that breaks the bounds of literary convention while immersing readers in the life of a poor young man trying to make his fortune. The characters and places remain nameless, which allows them to represent ‘Anywhere, Asia’ and yet somehow we come to know them deeply and believe in their specific reality. The young man’s fortunes rise and fall through a series of lucky encounters, chances taken, and circumstances both in and out of his control. In the end, this book is less about individual actions and more about the inexorable power and energy of Rising Asia. As in his previous novels, Hamid’s writing is taut and beautifully crafted.” —Caitlin Caulfield, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

A Thousand Pardons: A Novel, by Jonathan Dee
(Random House, $25, 9780812993219)
“Dee is a master at capturing the portrait of a contemporary family on the page. Manhattan attorney Ben, his wife, Helen, and their teenager, Sara, live in the New York suburbs. A lust-driven and disastrous misstep on Ben’s part destroys his already bedraggled marital relationship. The totally absorbing story of ‘what happens next’ to all three protagonists is told with riveting intensity by Dee. The emotional credibility of this novel will ensure that it finds a wide audience.” —Marian Nielsen, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA

Rage Against the Dying: A Novel, by Becky Masterman
(Minotaur, $24.99, 9780312622947)
“Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn is trying to live like a normal person, with a husband, dogs, and quaint domesticity, until one day a man claims to be a serial killer whom Quinn chased but could never catch. Just as the case seems to be finally closing, Quinn finds herself thrown back into the investigation and the apparent target of another murderer. Fast-paced, thrilling, and gritty, this is a tour de force of crime fiction that introduces us to a unique and intriguing female character.” —Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Duck, NC

The Obituary Writer: A Novel, by Ann Hood
(W.W. Norton & Company, $26.95, 9780393081428)
“Vivien, who suffered an incredible loss in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, helps others cope with their grief by making their lost loved ones come alive on the page. Claire, a young wife and mother in suburban Washington, D.C., who is caught up in the excitement of the 1960 Kennedy inauguration, wants ‘more’ but she’s not quite sure ‘more’ of what. Theirs are compelling lives of love and loss, romance and friendship, marriage and motherhood, promises made and unreasonable hopes kept alive, and the mystery that is their connection. Literary mystery, love story, and historical fiction — all beautifully told with expertly drawn characters make this one great novel!” —Judy Crosby, Island Books, Middletown, RI

The Beggar’s Opera: An Inspector Ramirez Novel, by Peggy Blair
(Pintail, $16, 9780143186427)
The Beggar’s Opera introduces readers to a once beautiful but now crumbling Havana and a cast of wonderful characters, including the sensitive and cunning Inspector Ricardo Ramirez and medical investigator Hector Apiro. The stark picture of life in modern day Cuba adds atmosphere and interest to the complex criminal investigation of the mystery — the rape and death of an eight-year-old boy. This is a totally captivating debut to a mystery series with an unforgettable setting and compelling characters.” —Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel, by Ruth Ozeki
(Viking Adult, $27.95, 9780670026630)
“Nao, a suicidal Japanese girl, postpones her death as she grows closer to her 104-year-old great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun. Ruth, an American author with writer’s block, discovers a diary washed ashore on her remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Ruth becomes obsessed with Nao and her diary, and readers will be drawn in as their stories intertwine. Ozeki’s creatively constructed novel, complete with footnotes, Japanese characters, and appendices, will have readers marveling at the leaps in time and connection that bring the two women together in this witty, daring, and thoughtful novel.” —Cheryl Krocker McKeon, Book Passage, San Francisco, CA

Fever: A Novel, by Mary Beth Keane
(Scribner, $26, 9781451693416)
“This is the story of Mary Mallon  —  the infamous ‘Typhoid Mary’ — who carried the typhus disease to an epidemic level among New York City residents during the first decade of the 1900s. Although perfectly healthy, it was believed that Mary was manufacturing typhoid bacilli inside her body and infecting those with whom she came in contact. She was forcibly hospitalized for three years until being released by the court under the condition she would never cook for hire again. Her Irish upbringing and talent as a cook caused her to defy that order, and she risked a return to the hospital. This is an intimate story and a compelling read.” —Carol Hicks, Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA

Ghana Must Go: A Novel, by Taiye Selasi
(The Penguin Press, $25.95, 9781594204494)
“Readers know when they are in the presence of something special and brilliant. It is a voice familiar and kind, a plot careful and unraveling, a set of characters whose hearts pound between the covers. Selasi delivers a powerful debut about family, race, and the nature of story in this contemporary novel, set in neighborhoods from Brookline, Massachusetts, to Lagos, Nigeria. A literary descendant of Zadie Smith and Arundhati Roy, Selasi is a new force in the global community of readers.” —Nicole Magistro, The Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, CO

The Demonologist: A Novel, by Andrew Pyper
(Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781451697414)
“Renowned Milton scholar David Ullman is offered a huge sum to travel abroad to document a phenomenon. With his personal life in tatters, he and his daughter, Tess, fly to Venice for a brief vacation and this one small project. David returns alone, caught up in the battle of a lifetime to rescue Tess from an enemy he can’t touch or see. Following clues from Paradise Lost, the book on which he built his reputation, David undertakes a desperate search to solve the puzzle and fight the unknown powers. Pyper combines non-stop action, metaphysical questions, a touch of conspiracy, and poetic references in a story that leaves readers breathless.” —Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow: A Novel, by Rita Leganski
(Harper Paperbacks, $14.99, 9780062113764)
“This is storytelling that grabs your heart, mind, and soul. Love, family, secrets, betrayals, and the magical power of listening make this a book that will remain with any reader for a long time. Bonaventure is an unforgettable boy, who captures readers from the first page. Pieces of his family’s mysteries unfold in the silence, yet no sound or word is ignored by this remarkable boy. Never has silence said or accomplished so much.” —Becky Anderson, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

Mary Coin: A Novel, by Marisa Silver
(Blue Rider Press, $25.95, 9780399160707)
“If a picture is worth a thousand words, this novel, in turn, speaks volumes about the iconic photograph The Migrant Mother by Dorothea Lange. Silver weaves a tale of human survival, passion, and will spanning several decades and involving Lange, a modern professor of cultural history, and the woman in the photograph she took. Evoking the desperate times of the Great Depression and the lives it affected, Silver brings to life the iconic image of the decade. Written with compassion and insight, Mary Coin deals with the will to survive at all costs.” —Frank Pester, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT

Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World, by Matthew Goodman
(Ballantine Books, $27, 9780345527264)
“Do you want to take a trip around the world without leaving your favorite chair? This is your chance! Goodman has created a vivid picture of the race to circumnavigate the globe made by two women journalists who were determined to turn Jules Verne’s fictional journey into a reality. This one has it all — a race between two formidable adventurers, visits to foreign lands, encounters with nature’s foibles, and 19th century society in all of its glory, full of hope and clamoring for recognition. A wonderful read!” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Frances and Bernard: A Novel, by Carlene Bauer
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9780547858241)
“The main characters in this lovely gem of a novel are loosely based on Flannery O’Connor and Robert Lowell. The story is told entirely in the form of letters — not an easy feat, but Bauer makes it work beautifully. Frances and Bernard meet in the late 1950s at a writer’s colony, and though they don’t immediately click, Bernard sends Frances a letter that begins an intense philosophical, spiritual, and physical relationship. A true treat for readers!” —Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

We Live in Water: Stories, by Jess Walter
(Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780061926624)
“I defy any reader to pick up this amazing collection of stories and not want to read every book Jess Walter has ever written. His writing is staggeringly good. I found myself reading long into the night, not wanting to miss a word.” —Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY

Her: A Memoir, by Christa Parravani
(Henry Holt & Co., $26, 9780805096538)
“Whether you are a fan of memoirs, a fiction reader, or just plain love great writing, this true story of twin sisters separated first by violence and then by tragedy is a must-read. Parravani offers a deep look inside the inner life of twins and shows how addiction can tear at the very heart of a family. A mesmerizing read.” —Laura Hansen, Bookin’ It, Little Falls, MN

I Want to Show You More: Stories, by Jamie Quatro
(Grove Press, $24, 9780802120755)
“With her wild and dark imagination, Quatro has crafted highly original, thought-provoking, and deeply moving stories about faith, marriage, infidelity, sex, and death. This is bold, daring fiction that will not leave readers indifferent. Quatro is a very talented author who is willing to take risks, and I am looking forward to reading more by her.” —Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

The Sound of Broken Glass: A Novel, by Deborah Crombie
(William Morrow, $25.99, 9780061990632)
“This is another strong entry from Crombie that will delight and enthrall readers. Scotland Yard Detectives Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James are once again on the case in the latest in this award-winning series. For all lovers of police procedurals done at the highest level, this is a must-read!” —Susie Wilmer, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

The March 2013 Now in Paperback

All Woman and Springtime: A Novel, by Brandon W. Jones (Algonquin Books, 9781616202767, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

The Book of Jonas: A Novel, by Stephen Dau (Plume 9780452298972, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

The Book of Lost Fragrances: A Novel of Suspense, by M.J. Rose (Atria 9781451621488, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir, by Joe Blair (Scribner 9781451636062, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, IA

Defending Jacob: A Novel, by William Landay (Dell, 9780440246138, $7.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

Equal of the Sun: A Novel, by Anita Amirrezvani (Scribner, 9781451660470, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, by Jenny Lawson,The Bloggess (Berkley Trade, 97804255261019, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Linda Grana, DIESEL: A Bookstore, Oakland, CA

The Mirage: A Novel, by Matt Ruff (Harper Perennial, 9780061976230, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Avenue Books, Seattle, WA

The Orchardist: A Novel, by Amanda Coplin (Harper Perennial, 9780062188519, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Nancy Felton, Broadside Bookshop, Northampton, MA

The Uninvited Guests: A Novel, by Sadie Jones (Harper Perennial, 9780062116512, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Karen T. Harris, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank: Stories, by Nathan Englander (Vintage, 9780307949608, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Laurie Greer, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, by Jeanette Winterson (Grove Press, 9780802120878, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Jennifer Indeliclae, Ebenezer Books, Johnson, VT