The October 2009 Indie Next List Preview

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Here's a preview of the October Indie Next List, now on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement, and a reminder that September Notable titles are now featured in a flier and shelf-talkers downloadable here and from

The October Indie Next Great Reads

Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls
(Scribner, $26, 9781416586289)
"Jeannette Walls has written another blockbuster. I could not put down this story of her grandmother, Lily Casey Smith, and her determination to survive and to help others around her to survive, too. This story will grab you immediately and continue in a compelling and forceful way all the way to the end." --Roberta Rubin, The Book Stall At Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL

Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel by Audrey Niffenegger
(Scribner, $26.99, 9781439165393)
"Her Fearful Symmetry is an enchanting, ghostly entertainment. Setting the novel in and around London's Highgate Cemetery, Niffenegger manipulates lives in time and space in a concoction of twins, sisters, and lost loves, along with some delightfully quirky neighbors, who provide another dimension to the meaning of love." --Marian Nielsen, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA

The Children's Book: A Novel by A.S. Byatt
(Knopf, $26.95, 9780307272096)
"The Children's Book is rich with history and generous with story, detailing the lives of a group of English free thinkers, beginning in the 1890s and continuing to the onset of World War I. The wonderfully detailed period and Byatt's characters make for an enormously satisfying story." --Mark LaFramboise, Politics & Prose Books & Coffee, Washington, DC

Going Away Shoes: Stories by Jill McCorkle
(Algonquin, $19.95, 9781565126329)
"Going Away Shoes is a collection of short story gems written by master craftswoman Jill McCorkle. Each story deserves savoring, as melancholy and humor work beautifully together in this artful collection." --Dana Brigham, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

Juliet, Naked: A Novel by Nick Hornby
(Riverhead, $25.95, 9781594488870)
"Two decades after their prime, a washed-up rock musician, an overzealous fan, and the woman at the crossroads between them all must face the reality of adulthood. You will want to spend time with these characters -- and see how things unfold for them." --Andi Allen, Piece of Mind Books, Edwardsville, IL

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Obsession by Allison Hoover Bartlett
(Riverhead, $24.95, 9781594488917)
"Allison Hoover Bartlett has written an excellent account of an obsessed book collector who steals the books he wants, and a self-styled biblio-detective, a bookseller who can't stand the thought of someone stealing books. This one is full of good information andis a riveting story, to boot." --Rich Chasse, The Kennebunk Book Port, Kennebunkport, ME

Stardust: A Novel by Joseph Kanon
(Atria, $27.99, 9781439156148)
"I always look forward to a new Joseph Kanon novel, and Stardust does not disappoint. This novel of Hollywood, political intrigue, and the beginning of the McCarthy era should fascinate every reader who cares about the darker sides of America. And, as always, Kanon's writing is superb." --Deal Safrit, Literary Book Post, Salisbury, NC

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot by Craig Ferguson
(Harper, $25.99, 9780061719547)
"Craig Ferguson is a great storyteller, whether he's detailing the ups and downs of his Scottish childhood, his longing for America, his wild life as a punk rock drummer, his substance abuse and eventual recovery, or the path to his success on television. Through it all, he is absolutely hilarious." --Carol Schneck, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

Stitches: A Memoir by David Small
(Norton, $24.95, 9780393068573)
"This dark and brilliant graphic novel memoir is an exploration of a troubled childhood that brilliantly conveys the loneliness of a family for whom intimacy is the greatest sin." --William Graff, UCLA Bookzone, Los Angeles, CA

The Brutal Telling: An Armand Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
(Minotaur, $24.99, 9780312377038)
"Louise Penny just keeps getting better and better. In her latest installment in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, she creates a satisfying read that is impossible to put down. Once again set in the remote Canadian village of Three Pines, Gamache's team is summoned when an unknown dead man is found in the town's favorite bistro. Gamache searches near and far to unravel the mystery, yet the most intriguing journey is the one into the killer's mind." --Sally Morrison, Sierra Madre Books, Sierra Madre, CA

A Quiet Belief in Angels: A Novel by R.J. Ellory
(Overlook, $24.95, 9781590202500)
"R.J. Ellory's imagery and evocative style are the perfect vehicle for this murder mystery, set in the South during the 1940s. In a story that is full of surprises, the horrors of WWII stand alongside the horrific killings in a quiet Georgia town." --Gayle Wingerter, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA

Generosity: An Enhancement by Richard Powers
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25, 9780374161149)
"From laugh-out-loud whimsy to reeling philosophical depth, Generosity tells the story of an unusually contented young woman and the people who wish to possess her, or at least her DNA, to create the world's first happiness gene. I read this stunning book with such rapt attention and awe that when I finished it I wanted to start again. Generosity is both exquisitely timely and for the ages." --Sheryl Cotleur, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

The Year of the Flood: A Novel by Margaret Atwood
(Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385528771)
"The Year of the Flood beautifully combines the stories of two women, Ren and Toby, who simultaneously grapple with the new world they are suddenly faced with. As they peel away the layers still left, we as readers do so, too, and we uncover piece by piece their fragmented pasts. Atwood has once again written a novel filled with a mystery that she brilliantly nourishes with fantastic answers." --Ella Maslin, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY

The Last Train From Paris by Stacy Cohen
(Greenleaf Book Group Press, $21.95, 9781929774524)
"Stacy Cohen interweaves fact and fiction in this novel, set in World War II Paris during the Nazi occupation. Loosely basing her tale on the real-life adventures of artist Jean Miro, Cohen unfolds a forbidden love story as France fights for its liberation. Lovers of art, history, and romance will find this novel a real page-turner." --Julie Pekrul, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI

31 Hours: A Novel by Masha Hamilton
(Unbridled, $24.95, 9781932961836)
"31 Hours is so beautifully written it nearly took my breath away. The tension grows slowly as the reader gradually learns of the life of Jonas Meitzner and the 'assignment' he has undertaken, the important people in his life, and a most likable homeless man who haunts the subways of New York. I love this book, which is so timely and relevant to our troubled times." --Carol Katsoulis, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL

As God Commands by Niccolo Ammaniti, Jonathan Hunt (trans.)
(Black Cat, $14.95 paper, 9780802170675)
"As God Commands is not an Italian romance: No one is rebuilding Tuscan villas or falling in love at the Trevi Fountain. In this story of desperation and madness in a bitterly depressed industrial town, the forces of religion and family play violently in the lives of young Rino, his father, and the rough characters whose obsessions and addictions are harbingers of their ultimate destruction. This book will rock you." --Lisa Stefanacci, The Book Works, Del Mar, CA

Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son by Michael Chabon
(Harper, $25.99, 9780061490187)
"This collection of essays offers Michael Chabon's thoughts and observations on a wide range of topics from various vantage points in his life: son, grandson, brother, lover, husband, and father. The subjects are varied, but the writing is consistently sharp, poignant, humorous, and a pure joy to read." --Anne Miley, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
(Morrow, $25.99, 9780061730320)
"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is wonderful on so many levels -- an introduction to village life in Malawi, a funny and inspiring memoir and, above all, a shining example of the capacity of books to change lives. I can't stop thinking and talking about it." --Mary Gleysteen, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA

Jarrettsville: A Novel by Cornelia Nixon
(Counterpoint, $15.95 paper, 9781582435121)
"Cornelia Nixon's novel begins in 1869 as Martha Jane Cairnes murders Nicholas McComas in front of many witnesses in Jarrettsville, Maryland, a town just below the Mason-Dixon Line and a microcosm of America in the years following the Civil War. This tale of two lovers and why it ends so badly for them is the story of neighbor fighting neighbor, old customs and quarrels dying hard, passion, friendship, and the complicated relationships between whites and blacks, all told exquisitely." --Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO

Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis and Christos Papadimitriou
(Bloomsbury, $22.95 paper, 9781596914520)
"Logicomix presents the complex life of legendary philosopher Bertrand Russell as an easy-to-understand graphic novel rich with details and ideas. This compelling book is both a fantastic historical take on the foundation of modern logic and a penetrating look into one of the 20th century's brightest minds." --Jerry Fieldsted, Windows on the World - Books & Art, Mariposa, CA

The October Indie Next List Notables


Dreaming in French by Megan McAndrew (Scribner, $25, 9781416599722)
Girl Trouble: Stories by Holly Goddard Jones (Harper Perennial, $14.99 paper, 9780061776304)
In the Valley of the Kings: Stories by Terrence Holt (Norton, $23.95, 9780393071214)
Isis: A Tale of the Supernatural by Douglas Clegg (Vanguard, $14.95 paper, 9781593155407)
The Letter From Death by Lillian Moats, David J. Moats (illus.) (Three Arts Press, $17.95 paper, 9780966957631)
Love and Summer by William Trevor (Viking, $25.95, 9780670021239)
More of This World or Maybe Another: Stories by Barb Johnson (Harper Perennial, $13.99 paper, 9780061732270)
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro (Knopf, $25, 9780307271020)
The Order of Good Cheer by Bill Gaston (House of Anansi Press, $15.95 paper, 9780887848162)
The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley (Bloomsbury, $14 paper, 9781596917033)


Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne (Viking, $25.95, 9780670021147)
Friends Like These: My Worldwide Quest to Find My Best Childhood Friends, Knock on Their Doors, and Ask Them to Come Out and Play by Danny Wallace (Little, Brown, $24.99, 9780316042772)
The Locust and the Bird: My Mother's Story by Hanan Al-Shaykh (Pantheon, $24.95, 9780307378200)
The Lost Child: A Mother's Story by Julie Myerson (Bloomsbury, $26, 9781596917002)
The Upside of Fear: How One Man Broke the Cycle of Prison, Poverty, and Addiction by Weldon Long (Greenleaf Book Group Press, $19.95, 9781608320004)
A World Without Ice by Henry Pollack, Ph.D. (Avery, $26, 9781583333570)


Breathing Water: A Bangkok Thriller by Timothy Hallinan (Morrow, $24.99, 9780061672231)
Dead Man's Share: An Inspector Llob Mystery by Yasmina Khadra (Toby, $14.95 paper, 9781592642694)
The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind (Putnam, $27.95, 9780399156045)
Tower by Ken Bruen and Reed Farrel Coleman (Busted Flush Press, $15 paper, 9781935415077)