The November 2017 Indie Next List Preview

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Indie Next List logoHere are the 20 Indie Next Great Reads and 12 Now in Paperback titles featured on the November 2017 Indie Next List flier, which is on its way to stores in the IndieBound movement.

Beginning November 1, these titles will be featured on downloadable fliers and shelf-talkers on and

The November 2017 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: The End We Start From, by Megan Hunter (Indies Introduce)
(Grove Press, 9780802126894, $22)
“As the floodwaters rise on London, a first-time mother takes her newborn son and flees for higher ground, seeking a safe haven from the environmental collapse and the chaos that will follow it. Luminous and sparse, heartbreaking yet hopeful, The End We Start From is a lyrical rumination on environment, normalcy in the midst of crisis, new motherhood, unavoidable endings, and tentative beginnings. A slim and stunning debut whose echoes will be thunderous.” —Rebecca Speas, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

Wonder Valley: A Novel, by Ivy Pochoda
(Ecco, 9780062656353, $26.99)
“A man running naked among the gridlocked cars of an L.A. freeway is the catalyst for this dark tale set in the rough neighborhoods of a decidedly unglamorous Los Angeles. In this version of the city, it’s not only the poor and the powerless who are desperate; even the better-off characters turn out to be broken sinners who crave hope and redemption. The gritty beauty of Pochoda’s writing, whether about cruelty and violence or about love, no matter how desperate, pulled me into the characters’ lives and compelled me to keep reading all night.” —Francesca De Stefano, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

Artemis: A Novel, by Andy Weir
(Crown, 9780553448122, $27)
“Jazz is a porter on Artemis, the only city on the moon, and her job is supplemented by smuggling minor contraband into the city. When she gets involved in a bigger game with a much bigger payout, she is not ready for the lengths to which others will go to get their own payday. Amidst murder, corporate sabotage, and the Brazilian mafia, the moon’s crisis brings Jazz to a new perspective: She must be a better person than she has ever been if she and Artemis’ society are to survive. Weir has created a great, sarcastic character who will be loved by fans the world over, and a cool and engaging book that is a worthy successor to The Martian.” —Raul Chapa, BookPeople, Austin, TX

It Devours!: A Welcome to Night Vale Novel, by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
(Harper Perennial, 9780062476050, $21.99)
“Even if you’ve never heard of Night Vale, I truly believe you’ll enjoy It Devours! It’s a book about science and religion. It’s a book about belonging and how sometimes to truly understand what is happening, you may need an outsider’s perspective. It’s also a book about a friendly desert town that finds its way into some of the strangest predicaments, and the people who live there. In other words, it’s superbly written science fiction that deserves to be read more than once.” —Allison Skaggs, Lowry’s Books, Three Rivers, MI

Heather, the Totality: A Novel, by Matthew Weiner
(Little, Brown and Company, 9780316435314, $25)
“In a landscape of despair, stuck in the logjam of the dull round of work, marriage, and raising a child, other emotions can command so much attention. This beautifully structured, spare study is Chekhovian, noirish, and quietly fraught. The minimal writing style is beautiful, and the tension is so carefully modulated that the aesthetic of rising unease is oddly comforting. But there is dread in the inevitable climax, and a thriller’s tautness to the possible resolutions that steadily arise. A reader’s delight — well-managed prose, excellent plotting, psychological suspense, and insightful character-building make this perfect for a winter night’s reading.” —John Evans, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Santa Monica, CA

Strange Weather: Four Short Novels, by Joe Hill
(William Morrow, 9780062663115, $27.99)
“Joe Hill delivers with Strange Weather, a collection of four novellas. Hill has developed a writing style akin to an oil slick — eerie sentences that leave behind something that shines unclean. There’s nothing clean about Strange Weather; each tale is a horrific glimpse just beyond normalcy. Horror can often be best delivered as an understatement, luring the reader into a world that seems just reasonable enough. When Hill reveals his tricks (whether a magical camera or a cloud that is not what it appears to be), they loom uncomfortably dark on the horizon. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft won’t be disappointed with this collection.” —Atticus Solomon, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West, by Nate Blakeslee
(Crown, 9781101902783, $28)
American Wolf uncovers the true legacy of the American wolf’s survival after its reintroduction into the Rockies after nearly becoming extinct in the 1920s. The book focuses on renowned wolf Six-O, who’s unlike any female wolf that Yellowstone park ranger Rick McIntyre has ever seen. Many of Six-O’s survival challenges are directly linked to the larger issue between those against the reintroduction of wolves and those who see wolves as an integral part of our ecosystem. Nate Blakeslee’s American Wolf is an essential read for anyone interested in a fascinating piece of American history and learning more about an important issue that continues to plague the West.” —Stephanie Coleman, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Seven Days of Us: A Novel, by Francesca Hornak
(Berkley, 9780451488756, $26)
“The holidays are always a stressful time, but imagine being with your immediate family for a full seven days of quarantine! This is the premise of Hornak’s Seven Days of Us. To ride out the weeklong quarantine imposed due to daughter Olivia’s work treating patients of an epidemic in Liberia, the Birch family plans to spend the Christmas holiday in mother Emma’s crumbling ancestral home, Weyfield Hall, in Norfolk. On top of isolation and the lack of escape, each member of the family is dealing with their own secrets. A wonderful tale full of humor and heartache and all the issues families deal with — love, longing, and regret. Sometimes being forced together gives you a new perspective on your family and yourself.” —Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, IL

It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree, by A.J. Jacobs
(Simon & Schuster, 9781476734491, $27)
“For anyone interested in climbing their own family tree, A.J. Jacobs’ It’s All Relative offers a lighthearted crash course into the addictive world of genealogy. Inspired by the record-breaking get-togethers of the Lilly clan and heartened by the theory that we’re all related, Jacobs embarks on a quest to hold the world’s largest family reunion. As Jacobs juggles the mechanics of such a massive undertaking, he interviews well-known researchers in the field, discovers famous ‘cousins,’ and considers some of the ethical issues of diving into an ancestor’s past. An enjoyable introduction to genealogy and the living family tree.” —Molly Gillespie, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel of Christmas Past, by Samantha Silva
(Flatiron Books, 9781250154040, $24.99)
“Full of fantastic period detail and delightful prose, Mr. Dickens and His Carol is a wonderful companion to the enduring holiday classic A Christmas Carol. A month before Christmas, Charles Dickens is informed that his latest serial is a failure and he must produce a holiday story in one month’s time or pay back his publishers for their losses. Beleaguered by his demanding relatives and expectant children, Dickens turns churlish and is unable to find any Christmas left within him to produce a fitting book. Fate intervenes when a mysterious woman crosses his path and becomes his much-needed muse, sending Dickens on a journey of inward reflection and reminding him not only of the joys of the season but how his cherished works are a gift for everyone who reads them.” —Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Kitty Hawk, NC

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker, by Gregory Maguire
(William Morrow, 9780062684387, $26.99)
“This origin story of The Nutcracker’s creator blurs the lines of fantasy. In it, we are treated to the best commentary on mythology, whether Greek or Germanic. Resurrected from death at a young age, Dirk Drosselmeier returns to the living with a gift from the great god Pan. As he grows older, Dirk remains young at heart and becomes a master figurine and toy maker. Maguire’s gift at fleshing out characters of beloved and classic tales is so evident in Hiddensee that it will keep you reading at all costs.” —TJ Byrnes, Oblong Books and Music, Millerton, NY

In the Midst of Winter: A Novel, by Isabel Allende
(Atria Books, 9781501178139, $28)
“By the end of In the Midst of Winter, I felt as though I’d had a south-of-the-border history lesson. The title, which comes from an Albert Camus quote, takes on many meanings in the story. Two NYU professors, Richard Bowmaster and his tenant, Lucía Maraz, both in their 60s, have each resigned themselves to a ho-hum existence. When a snowstorm accident brings Evelyn Ortega, a housekeeper for a wealthy family, into the picture, these three lives become entangled and anything but boring. The story takes the reader from Brooklyn to Mexico, Guatemala, Chile, and Brazil as the three characters bring their unique histories to the story. Allende’s new novel is both a love story and a story of the plight of the immigrant. This is a page-turner and a wonderful book club choice.” —Mamie Potter, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

Bonfire: A Novel, by Krysten Ritter
(Crown Archetype, 9781524759841, $26)
“In this fast-paced thriller, successful environmental lawyer Abby Williams is brought back to her small Indiana town for work, where Optimal Plastics, a company that has helped rebuild the town and its economy, is under suspicion for water pollution. While investigating the pollution claims, Abby also becomes obsessed with discovering what happened to a classmate who disappeared 10 years earlier after a scandal that left many unanswered questions — a disappearance that has haunted her for years. In both cases, the search for truth leads Abby down a dark path of corruption and secrets. This is a remarkable debut novel and the must-read thriller of this fall.” —Rebecca Olson, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

Uncommon Type: Some Stories, by Tom Hanks
(Knopf, 9781101946152, $26.95)
“Wow! Here is a collection of stories that are at times funny, often moving, and really, really good, if not great. ‘Welcome to Mars’ is perhaps my favorite. It’s Kirk’s 19th birthday, and he joins his father to go surfing on what turns out to be a defining day in his life. And then there’s ‘Alan Bean Plus Four,’ which is a hilarious telling of four friends’ journey to the moon. Read it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by Tom Hanks’ writing.” —Randy Schiller, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone, by Juli Berwald
(Riverhead Books, 9780735211261, $27)
“Reading Spineless made me think of Nabokov’s butterflies: The subject is distant to the extent that it feels almost extraterrestrial, but the author’s passion is contagious. The complexity, the evolution, and the mystery of the organism grows on you, and, suddenly, you’re excited about… well, jellyfish! Spineless gives climate change a story, and with it some much needed empathy.” —Sarah Reif, Kramerbooks, Washington, DC

Montaigne in Barn Boots: An Amateur Ambles Through Philosophy, by Michael Perry
(Harper, 9780062230560, $25.99)
“Michel de Montaigne may have created the essay form, but Michael Perry has perfected it. Readers will enjoy Perry’s astute meditations on life as he contemplates subjects as diverse as chickens, marriage, and kidney stones. Known for his trademark Midwestern wit and wisdom, Perry will have readers laughing out loud and then commenting on how profound he is. Well done!” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers, Foreword by Peter Lovesey
(Soho Crime, 9781616957759, $19.95)
“Soho Crime publishes a wide variety of consistently high-quality crime fiction, so I expected this collection to be a great read, and it didn’t disappoint. Not only does it feature holiday capers from a number of my favorite crime authors (Peter Lovesey, Stuart Neville, Helene Tursten, Mick Herron), it was also a great way to sample other Soho authors I haven’t read yet. Even if you’re not a fan of Christmas, you’ll love The Usual Santas!” —Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books, Okemos, MI

We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True, by Gabrielle Union
(Dey Street Books, 9780062693983, $26.99)
“I know what this book looks like, and it’s true that it’s a ’90s celebrity’s memoir. But the other parts of this book are so remarkable that to limit its description to that would be an injustice. Gabrielle Union is an honest writer and cultural critic. I’m ashamed I didn’t know this until now. Her reflections on race, gender, and authenticity in an industry that values anything but are refreshing and ring true. These are the portions of the book that really sparkle on the page. Writer to reader, friend to friend, Union simply shares some of her stories, and I was glad to be a part.” —Lindsay Crist-Lawson, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY

Smile: A Novel, by Roddy Doyle
(Viking, 9780735224445, $25)
“Roddy Doyle is best known for writing engaging dialogue that permeates the pages of his perfect Irish novels. Smile, his latest novel, is no exception. Except with this work, the playful Irish banter not only serves to transport you to the Irish pubs where recently divorced Victor Forde finds himself confronting his adolescence and current sense of belonging, it also leads you to question everything you just read once you turn the last page.” —Casey Protti, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

The Wine Lover’s Daughter: A Memoir, by Anne Fadiman
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374228088, $25)
“I loved this memoir! The reader does not need to care about wine or know who Anne Fadiman is or Clifton Fadiman was. This is a book about family and how the differences between us can be one of the many things that actually draw us together. It is also about the life of a man who became a literary critic, editor, and radio host and was also the author’s beloved father. Anne Fadiman is a fine writer with an ability to bring life to a variety of subjects, as has been shown in her previous essays and memoirs. One of the best memoirs to arrive on our scene in quite a while.” —Penny McConnel, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

November 2017 Indie Next List “Now in Paperback”

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay (Grove Press, 9780802127372, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Becky Gilmer, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, OR

The Fall Guy: A Novel by James Lasdun (W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393354942, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel (Penguin Books, 9780143111344, $18)
Recommended in hardcover by Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC

History of Wolves: A Novel by Emily Fridlund (Indies Introduce) (Grove Press, 9780802127389, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Sharon Flesher, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI

Mister Monkey: A Novel by Francine Prose (Harper Perennial, 9780062397843, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Melanie McNair, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC

The Mothers: A Novel by Brit Bennett (Riverhead Books, 9780399184529, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL

Perfect Little World: A Novel by Kevin Wilson (Ecco, 9780062450340, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Marisa Langlois, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

The Second Mrs. Hockaday: A Novel by Susan Rivers (Algonquin Books, 9781616207366, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Sherri Gallentine, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

To Capture What We Cannot Keep: A Novel by Beatrice Colin (Flatiron Books, 9781250138774, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Jennifer Gwydir, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South by Beth Macy (Back Bay Books, 9780316337526, $17.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Joan Grenier, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Who Watcheth: An Inspector Irene Huss Investigation by Helene Tursten, Marlaine Delargy (Trans.) (Soho Crime, 9781616958657, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Eileen McGervey, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

The Whole Town’s Talking: A Novel by Fannie Flagg (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780812977189, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Mary O’Malley, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL