The November 2011 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the titles on the November 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 November 1 on and

The November 2011 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: The Angel Esmeralda: Nine Stories, by Don DeLillo
(Scribner, $24, 9781451655841)
"This is the book DeLillo fans have been waiting for -- his first collection of short stories written between 1979 and 2011. In these stories, DeLillo takes global themes and ideas, the conflicts we often don't want to acknowledge, and makes them human. The subjects are true and resonant: a jogger who witnesses a kidnapping, an elderly nun working in poverty-stricken New York, an astronaut looking down on a war-ravaged Earth. Each story is textured in DeLillo's precise, startling voice, one that can shout and whisper at the same time." -- Michael Karpus, Books & Books at Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour, FL

The Lady of the Rivers: A Novel (The Cousins' War), by Philippa Gregory
(Touchstone, $27.99, 9781416563709)
"I was riveted from the beginning of this amazing novel, when Jaquetta, a powerful, passionate woman born in tumultuous times, is introduced to Joan of Arc. From Jaquetta's marriage at a young age to a much older duke, and how she negotiates their relationship and her place in court, to her falling in love with a brave knight, this story will keep you transfixed. A riveting read for lovers of historical fiction and fans of Philippa Gregory. You won't be disappointed!" -- Kym Havens, Wellesley Booksmith, Wellesley, MA

Zone One: A Novel, by Colson Whitehead
(Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385528078)
"Finally, a zombie novel that's a literary tour de force! Whitehead's post-apocalyptic world decimated by zombies has a resonance well beyond the supernatural. The narrator, Mark Spitz (not that Mark Spitz), who is working with a team trying to eliminate infected stragglers in Zone One of Manhattan, recounts his experiences since the beginning of the terror. This story stayed in my mind for weeks." -- Carole Horne, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

Aloha From Hell: A Sandman Slim Novel, by Richard Kadrey
(Voyager, $23.99, 9780061714320)
"I've laughed at the opening page of every one of Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim novels, and this one was no different. Kadrey's willfully angry, sarcastic, and borderline evil protagonist Stark is back, and he's here in style. With another war between heaven and hell brewing, Stark has some nasty business to take care of and he's going to have to go back downstairs to hell to deal with it. Kadrey wraps up a trilogy with this novel, and he does it the way he always has, with amusing, witty writing and a film noir patter that ranks up there with some of the best." -- Lincoln Eddy, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

The Marriage Plot: A Novel, by Jeffrey Eugenides
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 9780374203054)
"Have all the great love stories already been written? What relevance do Jane Austen or George Eliot have for today's woman? In the 1980s, Madeline is wrestling with these questions both for her college thesis and as a woman fielding the attentions of two young men. Leonard is charismatic, flawed, and tragic, so Madeline is, of course, drawn to him; Mitchell is a seeker who is trying to figure out how he fits into the general scheme of the universe, and he is totally smitten by Madeline. Eugenides has brilliantly succeeded in writing a new love story for our times!" -- Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

The Boy in the Suitcase, by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis
(Soho Crime, $24, 9781569479810)
"Not just another Scandinavian thriller, this book catches your attention from page one! Red Cross nurse Nina Borg gets caught up in a terrible series of events, when her erstwhile friend asks for help and leaves her a key to a public locker. The locker contains a suitcase that is unbearably awkward to carry, and when Nina opens it, she finds a naked, unconscious little boy. Who is this boy, and what does he have to be saved from? A great introduction to an award-winning team of Danish authors." -- Margaret Brennan Neville, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout, by Jill Abramson
(Times Books, $22, 9780805093421)
"While there seems to be a new dog or cat book every month, what this one has going for it is the author's track record as a popular blogger about dogs. Part memoir, part manual, part investigative report, The Puppy Diaries continues Abramson's intrepid and intelligent reporting on all things canine." -- Susan Thurin, Bookends on Main, Menomonie, WI

Triangles: A Novel, by Ellen Hopkins
(Atria, $26, 9781451626339)
"Fans of Ellen Hopkins know that her young adult books tackle tough issues without sugarcoating them. Her first adult novel is no different. Triangles is a hard look at three women and the paths they chose or blindly followed, and how those choices may change as they approach middle age. Written in Hopkins' signature poetic voice, this steamy entrance into the adult fiction genre will create a new generation of fans." -- Cathy Allard, BayShore Books LLC, Oconto, WI

And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut: A Life, by Charles J. Shields
(Henry Holt & Company, $30, 9780805086935)
"Shields' authorized portrayal of one of America's most beloved authors sheds light on the man behind the curtain. Readers for the first time gain insight into the progression of Vonnegut's works, from market-minded science fiction to artful literature. With a varied pace, spending just the right amount of time on each subject and detail, Shields effortlessly lays out Vonnegut's history as a story, an entertaining read complete with conversational asides. It is no wonder that Vonnegut himself chose Shields to expose his life to the masses." -- Nick Hodge, Read Between the Lynes, Inc., Woodstock, IL

White Truffles in Winter: A Novel, by N.M. Kelby
(W.W. Norton & Company, $24.95, 9780393079999)
"This richly layered novel is based on the life of legendary chef Auguste Escoffier, who popularized French cooking methods at his restaurants at The Savoy and The Ritz at the beginning of the 20th century. Escoffier's love for two women: the beautiful, iconic actress Sarah Bernhardt and his lovely, poetess wife, Delphine Daffis, is at the heart of this complex tale. The characters are vivid and the food -- oh, the food -- is delicious!" -- Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY

Ed King: A Novel, by David Guterson
(Knopf, $26.95, 9780307271068)
"A rollicking modern-day version of the classic tragedy Oedipus Rex, this wickedly funny story will leave you in stitches. It has the cynicism of Tom Wolfe mixed with the absurdity of Carl Hiassen. The novel begins with a slow and dangerous seduction, and then picks up speed as each new character is introduced. Guterson fearlessly takes on contemporary societal themes as his novel builds to a thrill-ride climax. Highly recommended!" -- Jane, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA

Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War, by Tony Horwitz
(Henry Holt & Co., $28, 9780805091533)
"The Civil War had its origins long before Fort Sumter, but possibly the biggest spark was provided by one extremely intense, driven man, John Brown. Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859 not only provided a frightening specter to nervous southern slave owners, it was also a moral slap in the face to the rest of the country, especially during his trial. The long-range effects of one man and his moral passion are superbly rendered by the award-winning Horwitz." -- Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Damned, by Chuck Palahniuk
(Doubleday, $24.95, 9780385533027)
"Palahniuk has penned another fun, oddly breezy read, considering it's set among the damned hordes of hell. Thirteen-year-old narrator Madison, the sassy, cynical offspring of a world-famous, self-absorbed actress and a billionaire, has been rather inexplicably sent to hell after dying of a marijuana overdose. Teaming up with a teen-movie superfecta of side characters -- the brain, the jock, the rebel, and the prom queen -- Madison must find her true place in the overall scheme of things, while praying all along that it's not an eternity of telemarketing." -- Whitney Spotts, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI

1Q84: A Novel, by Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel (Trans.)
(Knopf, $30, 9780307593313)
"A triple dose of classic Murakami, this new mega-novel takes us out of Orwell's 1984 and into the parallel world that our hero dubs 1Q84. A mysterious woman, a plagiarizing writer, and a beautiful dyslexic drive this tale of dystopian intrigue. Originally published in Japan as three books, the tale is combined here into one large volume. While the size of the tome is daunting, Murakami's spectacular prose and fantastic imagination carry the reader through brilliantly." -- Rebekah Rine, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

Men in the Making: Stories, by Bruce Machart
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24, 9780156034449)
"These exceptional stories take place mostly in Texas, but they are universal in nature as the men and boys portrayed discover the tools they need to grow into the men they should be. The collection includes tales of sawmill workers, a fatherless nine-year-old boy visiting his crotchety grandpa for the first time, and an out-of-work writer. Along the way, each character finds truth, beauty, and harsh reality embodied in the people, places, and eye-opening events in their lives." -- Carl Hoffman, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick
(Viking Adult, $25, 9780670022991)
"I read this delightful homage to Melville's classic twice in succession and enjoyed it greatly both times. Philbrick, an unabashed and encouraging fan, has penned the perfect combination of biography, history, and literary criticism. His book is both fun and informative, and it is hard not to be swept up by his enthusiasm. It is likely to inspire many readers to tackle the classic, as it did me!" -- Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

The Train of Small Mercies: A Novel, by David Rowell
(Putnam Adult, $25.95, 9780399157288)
"Old and young, black and white, nuns and bikers, girls in bikinis and men in military uniforms, all gathered to pay homage to Robert Kennedy as his funeral train passed by. This novel depicts a day in the lives of six characters who are looking for hope in an America overcome by grief. All ask the same question: Who now will stand up for those who need championing? A stunning debut!" -- Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Ghost Wave: The Discovery of Cortes Bank and the Biggest Wave on Earth, by Chris Dixon
(Chronicle Books, $24.95, 9780811876285)
"The quest for huge waves has taken surfers to many places, but the source of the biggest by far is Cortes Bank. An entirely submerged island, Cortes Bank sits 100 miles off the coast of Southern California. Here, a freak set of ocean conditions creates a wave that seemingly springs out of nowhere. Dixon unlocks the secrets of Cortes Bank and entertains readers with well-researched history and abundant tales of big wave surfing." -- Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

The Prague Cemetery: A Novel, by Umberto Eco
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780547577531)
"In Eco's latest work, we follow the exploits of a split-personality secret agent and forger who traipses around 19th-century Europe involving himself in many of the key events of the day. From Garibaldi's campaign for a united Italian Republic to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair, he plants bombs, attends black masses, and forges documents playing one conspiracy against another. As always, Eco spins this all into a riveting and engrossing tale." -- Conrad Silverberg, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion, by Robert Morgan
(A Shannon Ravenel Book, $29.95, 9781565126268)
"Following on the heels of his bestselling biography of Daniel Boone, Morgan gives readers an ambitious and authoritative work about the conquest of the American West and the 10 iconic figures who were determined to make Manifest Destiny a reality. Morgan's storytelling prowess always keeps the narrative lively, and characters like Thomas Jefferson, Sam Houston, Kit Carson, and others come beautifully to life. This is a rousing work that should be devoured by more than just history buffs." -- Sally Brewster, Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC

The November 2011 “Now in Paperback”

After the Falls: Coming of Age in the Sixties, by Catherine Gildiner (Penguin, 9780143119852, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY

Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, by Simon Winchester (Harper Perennial, 9780061702624, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

Best American Noir of the Century, James Ellroy and Otto Penzler (Eds.) (Mariner, 9780547577449, $16.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Carl Hoffman, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

City of Tranquil Light: A Novel, by Bo Caldwell (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9780312641801, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Marian Neilsen, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA

A Curable Romantic: A Novel, by Joseph Skibell (Algonquin, 9781616200831, $16.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights Bookstore, Iowa City, IA

Oogy: The Dog Only a Family Could Love, by Larry Levin (Grand Central Publishing, 9780446546300, $13.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Carol Schneck, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

Sea Change: A Novel, by Jeremy Page (Penguin, 9780143119845, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Sing You Home: A Novel, by Jodi Picoult (Emily Bestler Books, 9781439102732, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Amanda Snow, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Solomon’s Oak: A Novel, by Jo-Ann Mapson (Bloomsbury, 9781608194070, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

Sunset Park: A Novel, by Paul Auster (Picador, 9780312610678, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel, by Téa Obreht (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780385343848, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Travels in Siberia, by Ian Frazier (Picador, 9780312610609, $20)
Recommended in hardcover by Linda Ramsdell, Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT