The October 2013 Indie Next List Preview

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Here’s a preview of the titles on the October 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 October 1 on and

The October 2013 Indie Next Great Reads

#1 Pick: The Rosie Project: A Novel, by Graeme Simsion
(Simon & Schuster, 9781476729084, $24)
“Don Tillman is a brilliant geneticist, but he has always been rather socially maladroit. Imagine his surprise when a friend tells him that he would make a wonderful husband. Intrigued, he starts The Wife Project and commences the search for the perfect spouse. While in the midst of his extremely precise hunt for a wife, Rosie Jarman blows into Don’s life like a wild wind. Rosie is on a quest of her own — The Father Project — the search for her biological father. Rosie is the antithesis of Don's image of the perfect wife of his scientific calculations, but somehow he finds himself putting The Wife Project on the back burner to aid Rosie. Much ado about a comedy of errors ensues in this hilarious, quirky romance!” —Rachel King, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

The Tilted World: A Novel, by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
(William Morrow, 9780062069184, $25.99)
“In a compelling, poetic, and detailed manner, Franklin and Fennelly bring to life a little-known catastrophe in American history. The Tilted World weaves together the stories of two endearing characters — an orphan who grows up to be a decorated World War I hero turned Prohibition revenuer and a bootlegging firecracker of a woman who yearns for her lost child. Add the setting of a town on the brink of destruction by deluge and some unsavory characters looking to profit from calamity, and the reader will be swept away by their story.” —Sara Peyton, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

The Lowland: A Novel, by Jhumpa Lahiri
(Knopf, 9780307265746, $27.95)
“In this epic tale, two brothers close in age but of very different temperaments are inseparable in their younger years in Calcutta. They become more distant as they mature, however, due to the political passions and ideology of the older, more outgoing brother. An ensuing tragedy forces the younger brother to evaluate his strong bond to his brother and to take on responsibilities he never expected. This is a story of decisions and consequences, family ties and separation, deceit and honesty, as well as cultural differences and similarities. Lahiri’s exquisite prose is like quicksilver, sometimes shocking and sometimes warm and comforting.” —Janice Shannon, BookTowne, Manasquan, NJ

Quiet Dell: A Novel, by Jayne Anne Phillips
(Scribner, 9781439172537, $28)
“Award-winning author Phillips has been haunted by this story for 40 years. Her novel is based on the murder of the Chicago widow Asta Eicher and her three children in 1931. Lonely and out of money, Asta corresponds with a seemingly moneyed and well-mannered stranger named Harry Powers. She is lured to West Virginia, where, within a few days, the family is brutally murdered. Emily Thornhill is the Chicago journalist who becomes deeply involved in solving the sensational case, during which she falls into a passionate but problematic love affair. Phillips portrays the Eicher family so charmingly, especially the youngest child, Annabelle, that our horror and outrage are tenfold. This earns a place on the shelf with such classics as Night of the Hunter and In Cold Blood.” —Lisa Howorth, Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Signature of All Things: A Novel, by Elizabeth Gilbert
(Viking, 9780670024858, $28.95)
“This novel spans two centuries and offers the reader details of travel, adventure, love, family dysfunction, and science. Alma Whitaker is born in 1800 to a self-made man who becomes the richest man in Philadelphia. Alma is brilliant but homely, and during her long, loveless life she pursues the study of botany, ultimately proposing one of the first theories of evolution. Gilbert expertly tracks Alma’s travels around the world, her struggles with her family and the man with whom she falls in love, and her desperate need to understand the mechanisms behind all life.” —Kate Mai, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

The Last Banquet: A Novel, by Jonathan Grimwood
(Europa Editions, 9781609451387, $26.95)
“In the pre-dawn of the French Revolution, Jean-Marie d’Aumont strives to wrest an ounce of immortality from every experience, taste, and sensation this world has to offer. From his rescue as a child at the foot of a dung heap to his appointment as Lord Master of the Menagerie, d’Aumont’s life is ‘built almost entirely on a foundation of events colliding.’ Grimwood takes us on a tour through French history, from the death of the Sun King to the Revolution, but at its heart The Last Banquet is a beautiful — and, at times, macabre — meditation on the inexorable march of history and man’s struggle to leave an indelible mark before his own time is spent.” —Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

Mrs. Poe: A Novel, by Lynn Cullen
(Gallery Books, 9781476702919, $26)
“Readers who enjoyed imagining the private lives of famous figures in Loving Frank and The Paris Wife will savor the behind-the-scenes peek into the intimacies of Edgar Allen Poe, his infirm young wife, and Frances Osgood, the writer who stole his heart. As compulsively readable — and often as dark — as Poe’s works, Mrs. Poe is a well-researched and detailed novel whose supporting cast of characters include Margaret Fuller, Horace Greely, and other literati of mid-19th century New York.” —Cheryl McKeon, Book Passage, San Francisco, CA

Longbourn: A Novel, by Jo Baker
(Knopf, 9780385351232, $25.95)
“This is the very enjoyable ‘downstairs’ version of Pride and Prejudice — the lives of maids, housekeepers, and footmen at the Longbourn estate. Even Jane Austen herself would be enthralled with this tale filled with fully realized characters, a very romantic plot, and tantalizing glimpses of all our favorite literary figures. I savored each and every moment and I trust you will too!” —Mary Toni, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

Mud Season: How One Woman’s Dream of Moving to Vermont, Raising Children, Chickens, and Sheep & Running the Old Country Store Pretty Much Led to One Calamity After Another, by Ellen Stimson
(Countryman Press, 9781581572049, $23.95)
“Have you ever dreamed of moving to rural Vermont? Imagined the good life away from traffic, noise, and the difficulties of city life? Stimson and her husband did exactly that, moving from St. Louis with children and dogs and cats in tow. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Mud Season is the story of their immersion into a small town populated with crusty Vermonters who view ‘flatlanders’ with a combination of suspicion and amusement. This is a funny, self-deprecating memoir of making a new life in a beautiful place.” —Ellen Burns, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

Dark Lies the Island: Stories, by Kevin Barry
(Graywolf Press, 9781555976514, $24)
“Barry’s collection of stories crackles with intelligence, wicked humor, and the woes of modern life. Populated by misfits, hapless husbands, and characters whose worst enemies are themselves, the 13 stories that make up this collection are compulsively readable and, like all great fiction, seem effortless. Barry loves the cadence and sound of human speech and his ear for dialogue and narrative is astounding. The stories brim with humor and lines so quotable they demand to be read again. Barry puts a beating heart into each of these stories, a collection that is a must for fans of Irvine Welsh and V.S. Pritchett.” —Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Men We Reaped: A Memoir, by Jesmyn Ward
(Bloomsbury, 9781608195213, $26)
Men We Reaped is one of the rare nonfiction books that seem destined to become a literary classic. National Book Award-winner Ward intertwines the story of her life growing up poor and black in rural coastal Mississippi with the lives of five young men she was close to — including her brother — who died within a two-year span soon after she finished college. Ward writes with fire and passion as she captures the day-to-day systemic injustices and struggles that she and her family faced. Also clear is the deep love and roots that tie her to the people and place where she was raised. This book will break your heart, make you think, and get you angry. In the tradition of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, this is memoir at its finest." —Caitlin Caulfield, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

The Paris Architect: A Novel, by Charles Belfoure
(Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781402284311, $25.99) See Special Offer.
“In 1942, the city of Paris was overrun by German soldiers and security troops who were on the lookout for Jews. There were some Parisians who wanted to hide the Jews, and some who wanted to turn them in. In the middle was Lucien Bernard, one of the few men capable of assisting either side if he so chose. Lucien was an architect who built secret hiding spaces for Jews in old homes. He was also short on cash and willing to risk his life for the city he loved. When something went terribly wrong, Lucien was forced to rethink his dedication and come up with a way to make amends in this powerful and gripping story.” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Three Can Keep a Secret: A Joe Gunther Novel, by Archer Mayor
(Minotaur, 9781250026132, $25.99)
“The hunt for a serial killer is further complicated in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene as Joe Gunther and his Vermont Bureau of Investigation team help in flood rescue efforts and the search for a missing mental patient. The swirling waters soon unearth a host of secrets and a possible political cover-up. Three Can Keep a Secret is another worthy addition to a well-written mystery series.” —David Lampe-Wilson, Mystery on Main Street, Brattleboro, VT           

The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman: A Novel, by Sena Jeter Naslund
(William Morrow, 9780061579325, $26.99)
“This is a fascinating tale of two women artists — writer Kathryn Callaghan in this century and painter Elizabeth Vigee-Le Brun who lived during the French Revolution. Vigee-Le Brun was a real-life portraitist who included Marie Antoinette among her subjects. Callaghan is 70 and brings the wisdom of her age to the story. Naslund offers a very perceptive look at two women as they progress through their art and their lives. A great read!” —Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

Guests on Earth: A Novel, by Lee Smith
(Algonquin Books, 9781616202538, $25.95)
“This is a haunting story about the treatment of mental illness in the early 1900s. Focusing on Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina, where Zelda Fitzgerald died in the fire that destroyed the hospital in 1948, the story is told through the voice of Evalina Toussaint who was sent to the hospital as a young child. Evalina’s narrative is an example of the brutal early treatment of mental illness, when some patients became subjects for medical experiments. Any fan of the Fitzgeralds, the medical profession, or the history of medicine in the early 1900s will enjoy this book.” —Jackie Willey, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

The Night Guest: A Novel, by Fiona McFarlane
(Faber & Faber, 9780865477735, $26)
“You will be hard-pressed to find a more unsettling read this year. From the very beginning, this tale of a widow living alone in an isolated locale and the mysterious woman who comes to take care of her is filled with a subtle haunting menace that lurks behind even the most simple of day-to-day events. It is the rare kind of novel that is genuinely unexpected and surprising. More than once while reading, you will have to put the book down, pick up the phone, and call your mom to make sure she's alright.” —Robert Sindelar, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Lighthouse Island: A Novel, by Paulette Jiles
(William Morrow, 9780062232502, $26.99)
“A century and a half into a worldwide drought finds Earth to be a bleak, dry, decaying urban landscape, precarious for everyone but especially for Parentless Dependent Children like Nadia. Nadia is a loner, a lover of books in a television-addicted world, who dreams of escaping to Lighthouse Island, an improbable haven of trees, rain, and wilderness somewhere to the northwest. This dystopian novel is beautifully written and Jiles’ scenes of Nadia navigating the crumbling cityscape and her surreal interactions with the many desperate characters are vivid, shocking, and often darkly funny, all the while lit by Nadia’s energy, guile, and hope.” —Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Survival Lessons, by Alice Hoffman
(Algonquin Books, 9781616203148, $13.95)
Survival Lessons is a wise and beautiful book in which Hoffman shares openly and honestly about coping with illness. But don't wait for the difficult moments in life before reading this book! It's full of wonderful advice for anyone who wishes to live life fully. I plan on giving this to all of my friends this holiday season.”  —Adrian Newell, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

Seven for a Secret, by Lyndsay Faye
(Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam, 9780399158384, $26.95)
“This sequel to the delightfully fresh and entertaining Gods of Gotham is even more compelling and enjoyable as it brings 1840s Manhattan to vivid life. ‘Copper star’ policeman Timothy Wilde sets out to help a woman whose sister and son have been stolen by slave-catchers. With the help of a charming cast of street denizens, Wilde does his best to protect the people who need his help, including his decadent brother Valentine, while ruthless and dangerous people — possibly even his brother — try to stop him. Absolutely wonderful!” —Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

Thursdays in the Park, by Hilary Boyd
(Quercus Publishing, 9781623650964, paper, $15.95)
“George and Jeanie had been married for 22 years when he suddenly abandoned his marital bed without any explanation. Ten years later, living in a celibate marriage and with a seemingly amicable relationship, George opts for them to sell the family home and move to the country. Jeanie, however, has found a new spark in her life when she meets Ray in the park on the Thursdays she spends with her two-year-old granddaughter. Can she light that spark and enter into a late-in-life romance with Ray? Single or married, young or on the other side of young, read and ride along on this delightful, romantic journey.” —Carol Hicks, Bookshelf at Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA

The October 2013 Now in Paperback

Accelerated: A Novel, by Bronwen Hruska (Pegasus, 9781605985190, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Because I Said So: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids, by Ken Jennings (Scribner, 9781476706962, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, by Bee Wilson (Basic Books, 9780465056972, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Lucy Beeching, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

In Sunlight and in Shadow: A Novel, by Mark Helprin (Mariner Books, 9780544102606, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Karen Frank, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

It’s Fine by Me: A Novel, by Per Petterson, Don Barlett (Trans.) (Picador, 9780312595340, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Linda Milleman, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel, by Robin Sloan (Picador, 9781250037756, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Andrea Aquino, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Mrs. Queen Takes the Train: A Novel, by William Kuhn (Harper Perennial, 9780062208293, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Jody Misner Chwatun, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

The Obituary Writer: A Novel, by Ann Hood (W. W. Norton, 9780393346770, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Judy Crosby, Island Books, Middletown, RI

The Round House: A Novel, by Louise Erdrich (Harper Perennial, 9780062065254, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Jenny Lyons, The King’s English Bookstore, Salt Lake City, UT

Schroder: A Novel, by Amity Gaige (Twelve, 9781455512126, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Vicki DeArmon, Copperfield’s Books, Sebastopol, CA

Truth in Advertising: A Novel, by John Kenney (Touchstone, 9781451675559, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Tova Beiser, Brown University Bookstore, Providence, RI

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie: A Novel, by Ayana Mathis (Vintage, 9780307949707, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

SPECIAL OFFER:  The Paris Architect: A Novel, by Charles Belfoure (Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781402284311, $25.99) has been chosen for the October 2013 Indie Next List.  Accounts may order 3 or more copies at 50%, free freight, with no minimum order required.  Offer valid through Friday, October 4.