The October 2022 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 25 Indie Next List and 6 Now in Paperback picks on the October 2022 Indie Next List flier.

The October title list is also viewable as a collection on Edelweiss and on the Indie Next List page as an Excel file alongside PDFs for the month’s flier and shelf-talker templates. Learn more about ABA’s recent refresh for the Indie Next List program and visit Matchbook Marketing’s program page to sign up to send the free Indie Next List e-newsletter to customers.

Additionally, to mark the start of the new month, the September Indie Next List picks are available as a flier, along with past lists, on the Indie Next List page on      

The 25 October Indie Next List Picks

Our Missing Hearts: A Novel By Celeste Ng#1 Pick: Our Missing Hearts: A Novel
By Celeste Ng
(Penguin Press, 9780593492543, $29, Oct. 4, Fiction)

“Set in an uncomfortably plausible dystopian near-future, Our Missing Hearts pulls no punches. Ng wrestles with how to find hope for ourselves and our children against forces that bend toward authoritarianism and nationalism.”
—Allyson Howard, Invitation Bookshop, Gig Harbor, WA

Lucy by the Sea: A Novel
By Elizabeth Strout
(Random House, 9780593446065, $28, Sept. 20, Fiction)

“I’ve read quite a few pandemic books in the last year, but this one stands out. Strout has produced a meditation on memory as much as a character study as Lucy, William, and their neighbors grapple with the pandemic and political divides.”
—Emily Crowe, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

Hester: A Novel
By Laurie Lico Albanese
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250278555, $27.99, Oct. 4, Historical Fiction)

“A magical retelling of a strong woman coming into her power. I would have enjoyed The Scarlet Letter in high school if this was the book we were forced to read. I love the incorporation of synesthesia and the art of the needle and thread.”
—Sebya Gorre-Clancy, A Seat at the Table Books, Elk Grove, CA

The Whalebone Theatre: A Novel
By Joanna Quinn
(Knopf, 9780593321706, $29, Oct. 4, Historical Fiction)

“Best friends putting on Shakespeare plays in the bones of a whale! Secret agents fighting Nazis! Joanna Quinn has given us fearless and fearsome Cristabel Seagrave, a heroine for the ages. The Whalebone Theatre is a magical adventure.”—Chantel McCray, Rainy Day Books, Fairway, KS

Leech (Indies Introduce)
By Hiron Ennes
(Tordotcom, 9781250811189, $27.99, Sept. 27, Horror)

“This book slowly builds your sense of vertigo by combining body horror and gothic family drama. To find oneself empathizing with a parasite only heightens the sense of dis-ease. I’m still reeling.”
—Keith Glaeske, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

The Winners: A Novel (Beartown Series)
By Fredrik Backman
(Atria Books, 9781982112790, $28.99, Sept. 27, Fiction)

“I savored every page, every word of this well written story of a hockey community; love, death, marriage, human nature, and all for the love of Hockey. Fredrik Backman will take you out of the cold and into your heart.”
—Karen Piacentini, Fenton's Open Book, Fenton, MI

Lark Ascending: A Novel
By Silas House
(Algonquin Books, 9781643751597, $27, Sept. 27, Fiction)

“In a near future that seems closer and closer to becoming a reality, Lark Ascending follows Lark as he survives ordeal after ordeal. Silas House manages to imbue Lark’s story with humanity and hope. This will stick with you for a long time.”
—Chelsea Bauer, Union Avenue Books, Knoxville, TN

The Hero of This Book: A Novel
By Elizabeth McCracken
(Ecco, 9780062971272, $26.99, Oct. 4, Fiction)

“Is this a memoir or a novel? Does it matter? A very well-written story about memoir writing, following a writer who, in the wake of her mother’s death, travels to London. A great examination of the grieving process and what it does to art.”
—Alex Einhorn, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Less Is Lost
By Andrew Sean Greer
(Little, Brown and Company, 9780316498906, $29, Sept. 20, Fiction)

“The sincerity, heart, and pitch perfect humor that made me love Less are stronger than ever in the sequel. A beautiful, entertaining, and life-affirming read that’ll leave you smiling and pondering how to make the most of your life.”
—David Vogel, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Ghost Eaters: A Novel
By Clay McLeod Chapman
(Quirk Books, 9781683692171, $21.99, Sept. 20, Horror)

“A dark and chilling story about a group of friends who discover an addictive drug that allows them to see dead people. Well, more like forces, and it gets intense. This was impossible to put down, but please read it with the lights on!”
—Laura Harvey, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

We Spread: A Novel
By Iain Reid
(Gallery/Scout Press, 9781982169350, $26.99, Sept. 27, Thriller)

“A compact and powerful novel! Penny, an elderly widow, has moved into Six Cedars, where things might not necessarily be as they seem. Iain Reid treats Penny with great compassion as we slowly understand what is actually happening to her.”
—John Lynn, The Kennett Bookhouse, Kennett Square, PA

Dinosaurs: A Novel
By Lydia Millet
(W. W. Norton & Company, 9781324021469, $26.95, Oct. 11, Fiction)

“Only Lydia Millet can make me love a rich guy protagonist. Dinosaurs is a short, wonderful book told with keen sensitivity to the characters and the natural world around them. Millet’s brief and bright sentences carry so much in them.”
—Anton Bogomazov, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

A Merry Little Meet Cute: A Novel
By Julie Murphy, Sierra Simone
(Avon, 9780063222571, $21.99, Sept. 20, Romance)

“What do you get when Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone co-write a rom-com? You get the story of an adult film star and a former bad-boy boybander in a Hallmark-style holiday movie. It’s a sex-positive, body-postive romance full of good cheer!”
—Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

The Night Ship: A Novel
By Jess Kidd
(Atria Books, 9781982180812, $28, Oct. 4, Fiction)

“Jess Kidd connects the true history of a brutal 1629 shipwreck with the story of a lonely boy in modern day Western Australia with tenderness and vivid storytelling. Epic in scope and heart-wrenchingly detailed, this is Kidd at her best.”
—Yvette Olson, Magnolia’s Bookstore, Seattle, WA

Mistakes Were Made: A Novel
By Meryl Wilsner
(St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250841001, paperback, $16.99, Oct. 11, Romance)

“A one-night stand gets awkward when Cassie realizes the gorgeous older woman she hooked up with is her best friend’s mom. Whoops! I enjoyed the authentic characters and subversive plots. Watch out — the love scenes are scorching hot!”
—Stefani Kelley, The Book Nook, Brenham, TX

Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm: A Novel
By Laura Warrell
(Pantheon, 9780593316443, $28, Sept. 27, Fiction)

“Like the jazz in her debut novel, Warrell threads together the lyrical, effervescent story of trumpeter Circus Porter and, more importantly, the women who have marked his life. A beautiful, breakable, lovely mess; this novel is its song.”
—Melinda Powers, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Maybe We’ll Make It: A Memoir (American Music Series)
By Margo Price
(University of Texas Press, 9781477323502, $27.95, Oct. 4, Memoir)

“Margo Price’s memoir serves up what it takes to make it in country music. All the heartbreak, sacrifice, bad choices, late nights, triumphs, and travails that have made her one of the hardest working women in country music today are here.”
—Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Which Side Are You On: A Novel
By Ryan Lee Wong
(Catapult, 9781646221486, $24, Oct. 4, Fiction)

“An astounding novel that brings forth a tumultuous time between Asian and Black communities and the tensions between the two. Which Side Are You On underlines that the present is history in the making — and there’s still a long way to go.”
—Thu Doan, East Bay Booksellers, Oakland, CA

Deer Man: Seven Years of Living in the Wild
By Geoffroy Delorme, Shaun Whiteside (Transl.)
(Greystone Books, 9781771649797, $26.95, Sept. 27, Nature)

“This is a book to nourish your younger self that desperately wished to flee the human race for the wild. Delorme’s quiet insights into forest lore and intimacy with forest creatures weave an undeniable spell. Excellent for fans of Fox & I.”
—Amanda Qassar, Warwick's, La Jolla, CA

Tell Me I’m An Artist: A Novel
By Chelsea Martin
(Soft Skull, 9781593767211, $27, Sept. 20, Fiction)

“Chelsea Martin completely nails what it’s like to be in a creative space that is quietly but heavily divided by class. Who can focus on creativity when they worry about making rent? The protagonist is written with such care and insight.”
—Audrey Kohler, BookWoman, Austin, TX

The Kiss Curse: A Novel
By Erin Sterling
(Avon, 9780063027510, paperback, $16.99, Sept. 20, Romance)

“If you swooned over The Ex Hex, the sequel is here! This time featuring Gwen (and Sir Purrcival) with more witchy hijinks, quirky characters, and steamy scenes. This is an absolute Halloween treat; there better be a third book next year!”
—Carrie Deming, The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra, NY

Motherthing: A Novel
By Ainslie Hogarth
(Vintage, 9780593467022, paperback, $17, Sept. 27, Horror)

Motherthing is dark, witty, and absurd — the perfect combination! Abby and Ralph move in with Ralph’s mother, but Laura is conniving and prickly. This book will leave you gasping, and you might think twice about eating chicken à la king.”
—Caitlin Baker, Island Books, Mercer Island, WA

Mad Honey: A Novel
By Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan
(Ballantine Books, 9781984818386, $29.99, Oct. 4, Fiction)

“I’ve followed Jodi’s work for years — now she’s collaborated with the wonderful Jenny Boylan. This heart-thump of a mystery threatens the new-found happiness of our protagonist and her beloved son. It doesn’t get any better than this!”
—Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The Bullet That Missed: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery
By Richard Osman
(Pamela Dorman Books, 9780593299395, $27, Sept. 20, Mystery)

“The third installment of the Thursday Murder Club is every bit as enjoyable as the first two. In The Bullet That Missed, the aging sleuths investigate the apparent murder of a TV presenter whose body was never found. Highly recommended!
—Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books, Okemos, MI

Bindle Punk Bruja: A Novel
By Desideria Mesa
(Harper Voyager, 9780063056084, paperback, $17.99, Sept. 13, Fantasy)

“Half-Mexican, white-passing witch Rose dreams of owning her own illegal jazz club in 1920s Kansas City while refining her inherited powers in a sexist, racist society. Bindle Punk Bruja is fun, sexy, and downright dangerous — so is Rose.”
—Karen Valenzuela, Cellar Door Books, Riverside, CA


The 6 Now in Paperback Titles

Beautiful Country: A Memoir of an Undocumented Childhood
By Qian Julie Wang
(Anchor, 9780593313008, $17, Sept. 27, Memoir)

“In this brutally honest coming-of-age memoir, Qian Julie Wang comes to terms with the deprivations and struggles of her undocumented Chinese upbringing in New York City in the 1990s.”
—Kayleen Rohrer, InkLink Books, East Troy, WI

Cloud Cuckoo Land: A Novel
By Anthony Doerr
(Scribner, 9781982168445, $20, Sept. 27, Fiction)

“I haven’t felt this hopeful after closing a book in a very long time. What does it mean to be alive? An ageless question, yet throughout time the answer is always human connection and the stories we tell to live, thrive, survive.”
—Julie Slavinsky, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

Never Saw Me Coming: A Novel
By Vera Kurian
(Park Row, 9780778333241, $17.99, Sept. 20, Thriller)

“This stunning psychological suspense novel will have you reading well into the night. That ending! Fans of Gillian Flynn and Caroline Kepnes will love this intense book.”
—William Carl, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

Smile: A Memoir
By Sarah Ruhl

(Scribner/Marysue Rucci Books, 9781982150952, $17, Sept. 27, Memoir)
“Sarah Ruhl’s memoir about motherhood and illness is wise and true and generous. This is such a beautiful and important book; I know it will be a tremendously helpful and profound reading experience for many.”
—Keith Mosman, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

Still Life: A Novel
By Sarah Winman
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780593330760, $17, Sept. 13, Fiction)

“This is one of those books that captured my heart and would not let go — the characters will stay with you for a long time. A makeshift family story covering several decades that is beautifully developed and oh so funny and tender.”
—Jude Sales, Readers’ Books, Sonoma, CA

When Ghosts Come Home: A Novel
By Wiley Cash
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062313096, $17.99, Sept. 27, Fiction)

“This addictive, character-driven crime drama has an ending that will take your breath away. Written with subtlety and grace, When Ghosts Come Home will haunt you long after you read its final page.”
—Amanda Gawthorpe, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC