The October 2010 Indie Next List Preview

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Here's a preview of the Indie Next List Great Reads and 12 "Now In Paperback" titles, featured with jacket images, on the October Indie Next List flier, on its way to ABA member stores in the IndieBound movement.

The October Indie Notables will be featured in a downloadable flier and shelf-talkers on, beginning October 1.

The October 2010 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick for October: Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel by Tom Franklin
(William Morrow, $24.99, 9780060594664)
"This is a spellbinding novel about friendship, honesty and race relations in Mississippi. The two main characters, Silas Jones and Larry Ott, are childhood friends who have been separated by circumstance and time. Now, adults, they are thrust in each other's path again when a girl goes missing and the past must be confronted. A thriller as well as a character study, this powerful and redemptive novel, reminiscent of Dennis Lehane and Attica Locke, is unforgettable." -- Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

The Mullah's Storm by Thomas W. Young
(Putnam Adult, $25.95, 9780399156922)
"Air Force navigator Michael Parson is transporting a prisoner, a Taliban mullah, out of Afghanistan when his plane is shot down. On foot in a bitter, blinding snowstorm, Parson, the mullah, and the mullah's female interpreter, Army Sergeant Gold, must evade the enemy long enough for a rescue team to airlift them to safety. This is a story that draws you into the pulsing heart of the war in Afghanistan, a story of courage and gripping adventure, and a moving and timely glimpse into a soldier's mind." -- Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean by Susan Casey
(Doubleday, $27.95, 9780767928847)
"As with Devil's Teeth, her earlier study of great white sharks, Casey's newest effort combines engaging hard-science with adrenaline-infused raw action. Drop into The Wave and charge these monstrous ocean creatures with an eclectic cast of sun-bleached watermen and intrepid researchers. This read will definitely pull you out of your beach chair and into the water. Surf's way up!" -- Jamie Reiner, Elliot Bay Book Co., Seattle, WA

Safe From the Sea by Peter Geye
(Unbridled Books, $24.95, 9781609530082)
"Peter Geye brings to life images of maritime history from a time when the ore ships plied the waters of the Great Lakes to feed the great industrial heart of America. Classic themes of redemption,reconciliation, and family ties are set against the awesome power and beauty of the north shore of Lake Superior. In the final weeks of his life, Olaf relives the story of his survival in an ore boat wreck decades earlier, and acknowledges his feelings of guilt and regret, while his estranged son Noah discovers that things are not always as they seem." -- Joni Montover, Paragraphs on Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX

The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26.00, 9780151014439)
"Brutal but beautiful, this book held me captive. Machart's writing is so hallowed it works like a salve on the brutality he levels on his characters, the farm animals, and the landscape. Four brothers, raised by a father made mean from a broken heart, are both physically and emotionally damaged by his neglect. The sibling bond is broken apart when three of the four brothers marry and seemingly land well, while the fourth and youngest struggles to reconcile his divergent lifestyle. Ultimately, there is a grace that comes out of all the violence and chaos." -- Rebecca Fitting, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

The Bells: A Novel by Richard Harvell
(Shaye Areheart Books, $24.00, 9780307590527)
"Young Moses Froben sings like an angel and possesses an otherworldly sense of hearing. These gifts carry him through a life rich in opportunity, while burdening him with unimaginable pain. Set in the Swiss Alps and Vienna in the mid-18th century, Harvell's first novel is a feat of storytelling and rich, descriptive writing. Most striking is his ability to describe sounds and music--an achievement that brings the story and characters to vibrant life in a unique way." -- Stan Hynds, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
(Doubleday, $28.95, 9780767919388)
"This literary horn-of-plenty is brimming with an astonishing amount of information, all relayed with Bryson's trademark clarity and humor. To read this is to embark on a wonderfully meandering journey through history, sociology, science, and more. The thread that connects it all is Bryson's own house. He guides us through his home, a charming former church rectory in a small English village. His kitchen, for example, inspires writing on the rise of tea as a favored beverage, the huge portions consumed by Victorian diners, the grueling work expected of servants, and even the use of imported ice as a food preservative. Enjoy the tour!" -- Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

How to Read the Air by Dinaw Mengestu
(Riverhead Hardcover, $25.95, 9781594487705)
"This is a remarkable, multi-layered novel about the fictions we create and the lies we tell to fashion our identities for the sake of love and family. Mengestu's prose is beautiful. He tells both a grand-sweeping tale of the African immigrant experience as well as a deeply intimate story, one that illustrates a second-generation American's experience negotiating his footing as he seeks a sense of place." -- Cindy Dach, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

The False Friend by Myla Goldberg
(Doubleday, $25.95, 9780385527217)
"Arrested by a childhood memory triggered 21 years later, Celia Durst decides it's time to tell the truth about her part in the events that led to the disappearance of her childhood friend Djuna. After telling her overwhelmed partner, Huck, she goes home to confess her lie to her parents, her friend's mother, and the other girls who formed their clique. No one believes her new version of events. Goldberg does not shy away from the cruelties that strong girls inflict on their prey. Each character pushes Celia to acknowledge truths she'd rather not know. The ending, in all its perfect brevity, will keep you awake, hoping that Celia can go back to her life." -- Helen Sinoradzki, Annie Bloom's Books, Portland, OR

Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny
(Minotaur, $24.99, 9780312377045)
"Timing is critical in a mystery. Just how much is revealed and when is what keeps the reader turning pages. Louise Penny nails both in this book, the sixth in the series featuring the Canadian Inspector Gamache. Engaging characters from previous books make their appearances, but it isn't necessary to have read the others to totally enjoy this book. Those who have read the others are eagerly awaiting this book, and those who start with this one will quickly turn to the other titles in the series. Heartily recommended for all lovers of good mysteries." -- Ann Carlson, Harborwalk Books, Georgetown, SC

Adam & Eve: A Novel by Sena Jeter Naslund
(William Morrow, $26.99, 9780061579271)
"A futuristic Eden is inhabited by Adam and Eve (also known as Lucy) who are both recovering from physical and emotional injuries. They find themselves in an oasis of warm sun, where plants bear fruit and animals give milk. But Lucy is secretly carrying a different version of the beginning of life that was newly discovered under the sands of Egypt, and is being sought by those who would kill to keep it from being released. This is an enchanting tale powerfully told, incorporating romance, adventure and suspense. Another original novel from a marvelous author." -- Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Salvation City by Sigrid Nunez
(Riverhead Hardcover, $25.95, 9781594487668)
"In the latest work by the author of The Last of Her Kind, a deadly flu pandemic has devastated America. After the flu claims his parents, young Cole Vining is taken in by the evangelical pastor of tiny, isolated Salvation City. Though this new life is the opposite of his liberal upbringing in Chicago, Cole begins to settle in. Then something unexpected turns Cole's world upside down again, and he is caught between two opposing forces. As Cole struggles to reconcile his past with his present, he begins, at last, to carve his own path into the future." -- Erin Kurup, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

Great House: A Novel by Nicole Krauss
(W. W. Norton & Company, $24.95, 9780393079982)
"The best books haunt and sometimes confuse you. They will make you think, feel, wonder, go back to earlier chapters, and finally, fully experience the story being told. Nicole Krauss's new book does just that and more. This powerful novel contains multiple stories of loves lost, families torn apart, and secrets kept and revealed. The suffering of many in Nazi Germany, in Pinochet's Chile, and those seeking a new life in Israel are woven together by the narrative thread of a stolen desk. This is a powerful book that will leave you reeling." -- Ellen Burns, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

A Lily of the Field: A Novel by John Lawton
(Atlantic Monthly Press, $24.00, 9780802119568)
"Lawton's latest (and perhaps best) thriller begins in 1934 Vienna when Meret Voytek, a child prodigy, becomes the pupil of the world-class concert cellist Viktor Rosen. Even as Rosen flees to London in advance of the Nazis, Karel Szabo, a Hungarian physicist, is interned in a camp on the Isle of Man, where his path crosses not just Rosen's but also that of the brother to then-Sargent Troy, the man at the center of all Lawton's books. The mystery that lies at the heart of this convoluted tale centers on the two musicians, Meret and Victor, both uprooted, and adrift in a world changed utterly by war and by science." -- Betsy Burton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

To Fetch a Thief: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn
(Atria, $25.00, 9781439157077)
"Hooray! Chet and Bernie are back! Chet is the most lovable narrator in all of crime fiction, and he doesn't disappoint in this third installment in the series. Neither does Quinn, and he keeps the suspense churning as our heroes investigate a missing person -- and an elephant! There's excitement, warmth, and laughs aplenty. The dog says it best: 'Chet the Jet! You go!'" -- Beth Simpson, Cornerstone Books, Salem, MA

By Nightfall: A Novel by Michael Cunningham
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25.00, 9780374299088)
"Peter Harris, a mid-40s New York art dealer, realizes his life is reflected perfectly in one artist's offhand comment: 'The art we produce is never as scintillating as the art we imagine in our minds.' But Peter's world receives a stimulating jolt when his wife's handsome younger brother comes to visit, and Peter responds in ways he never imagined he would." -- Chris Brussat, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO

The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick's Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption by Jim Gorant
(Gotham, $26.00, 9781592405503)
"NFL quarterback Michael Vick and his minions set up a major dog-fighting operation, and the details of what the dogs had to endure are all here. It's not a cozy read, but it is gripping and emotionally intense, and the drama is real. Gorant shares not only the story of the dogfights, but also the story of the people who discovered and rescued these animals. Reading about those who risked so much to help animals that much of society shuns was enthralling and inspiring. I loved this book!" -- Jennifer Sorensen, Literary Life Bookstore & More, Inc., Grand Rapids, MI

A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell
(Algonquin, $26.95, 9781565129290)
"Joseph Skibell is one of America's great unsung writers. His new novel, A Curable Romantic, is funny, dark, and profound. If there is justice in the world, it will win a major prize next year. Skibell writes amazing prose that carries you like a dream through a complicated plot without ever leaving you impatient. Fine literary tears will be cried." -- Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, IA

The Fall: Book Two of the Strain Trilogy by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
(William Morrow, $26.99, 9780061558221)
"This book, the second in the high-tech vampire trilogy that began with The Strain, picks up where the last one left off. New York City is lost as the vampire virus is spreading faster than hope can sustain. Even with the complicated help of The Ancients, things are going very, very badly for the human race. The Rogue Master vampire who unleashed this plague has a very specific agenda, and the literal time bombs within that plan are already ticking. The answers lie in a cursed silver-plated book, but getting it isn't easy, and understanding it may take too long. It's a thrill ride on every page -- dystopia at its vampiric best." -- Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO

Vestments by John Reimringer
(Milkweed Editions, $25.00, 9781571310804)
"Father Jim Dressler is a young Catholic priest having a very difficult time keeping his vow of celibacy. Aside from being tempted by his high school girlfriend, Father Jim meets a beautiful barmaid at a tavern in his parish and develops a relationship with her. Reimringer does not fall back on easy, cliched descriptions of Dressler's struggles with women, but gets to the heart of how Father Jim occupies himself to try to stay on the straight and narrow. He also doesn't let the story dwell on the details of the struggle for too long, injecting hilarious scenes of Dressler with his working-class family. This is truly a masterful and flawless first novel." -- Carl Hoffman, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

The October 2010 “Now in Paperback”

America’s Prophet by Bruce Feiler (Harper Perennial, 9780061726279, $14.99)

Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne (Penguin, 9780143117964, $16)

The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville (Soho Crime, 9781569478578, $14)

The Gift of an Ordinary Day by Katrina Kenison (Grand Central, 9780446409490, $13.99)

Going Away Shoes: Stories by Jill McCorkle (Algonquin, 9781616200145, $13.95)

The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? by Padgett Powell (Ecco, 9780061859434, $13.99)

The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville (Grove Press, 9780802145031, $14.95)

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett (Riverhead Trade, 9781594484810, $15)

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro (Vintage, 9780307455789, $15)

Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout (Mariner, 9780547386379, $16.95)

The Privileges by Jonathan Dee (Random House Trade Paperbacks, 9780812980790, $15)

The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris (Back Bay Books, 9780316034005, $13.99)

The October 2010 Indie Next Notables


All Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang (W. W. Norton, 9780393063066, $23.95)

City of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell (Holt, 9780805092288, $25)

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett (Dutton, 9780525951650, $36)

The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai by Ruiyan Xu (St. Martin’s, 9780312586546, $24.99)

Man in the Woods by Scott Spencer (Ecco, 9780061466557, $24.99)

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780151013913, $19.95)

Solomon’s Oak by Jo-Ann Mapson (Bloomsbury, 9781608193301, $25)

Stranger Here Below by Joyce Hinnefeld (Unbridled Books, 9781609530044, $24.95)

Take Me Home by Brian Leung (Harper, 9780061769078, $24.99)

To the End of the Land by David Grossman (Knopf, 9780307592972, $27.95)

The Truth-Teller’s Lie by Sophie Hannah, previously published as Hurting Distance (Penguin, 978-143115854, paper, $15)

The Wrong Blood by Manuel De Lope (Other Press, 9781590513095, paper, $14.95)


The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball (Scribner, 9781416551607, $24)

Growing Up Laughing: My Story and the Story of Funny by Marlo Thomas (Hyperion, 9781401323912, $26.99)

My Thoughts Be Bloody: The Bitter Rivalry Between Edwin and John Wilkes Booth That Led to an American Tragedy by Nora Titone (Free Press, 9781416586050, $30)

The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist’s Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan (Morrow, 9780061803789, $25,99)

Mystery / Thriller

Blood of the Prodigal: An Amish-Country Mystery by P.L. Gaus (Plume, 9780452296466, paper, $13)

Kill the Dead: A Sandman Slim Novel by Richard Kadrey (Eos, 9780061714313, $22.99)

The Sleepwalkers by Paul Grossman (St. Martin’s, 9780312601904, $24.99)

The Thieves of Darkness by Richard Doetsch (Atria, 9781416598954, $25)