Send Your Customers ABA’s Summer Reading Group Guide E-newsletter

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The American Booksellers Association’s Summer Reading Group Guide is taking a new format this year and will be available to booksellers as a free e-newsletter that can be delivered to customers by email, courtesy of Matchbook Marketing.

Four emails are being sent, with each featuring specific categories, as follows:

  • Thursday, June 11: Dazzling Debuts and Other Worlds (sent)
  • Thursday, July 9: Coming of Age, Family Ties, and Young Adult (sent)
  • Thursday, August 13: Nonfiction and Historical Fiction (sent)
  • Thursday, September 10: Mystery & Thriller and Small Bites

Titles will be announced in Bookselling This Week a month ahead of the e-newsletter send date; titles will also be available as collections in Edelweiss. No printed version of the Summer Reading Group Guide will be created. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting shelter-in-place orders, many stores are reporting a significant uptick in online sales as well as customer demand for content.

Stores that would like to join the program for the September 10 newsletter should fill out this form by September 1. This program is currently only available to IndieCommerce and IndieLite stores. Stores that are already working with Matchbook Marketing can update their information here.

Titles for the September 10 Indie Next Reading Group Picks e-newsletter (all trade paperback unless otherwise noted) are:

Mystery & Thriller

The Gone Dead: A Novel
By Chanelle Benz
(Ecco, 9780062490735, $16.99) On Sale Date: 3/24/2020
The Gone Dead is a haunted mystery set in the ghostly Mississippi Delta, which is not only a setting but a character in this gritty, emotional novel by Chanelle Benz. It’s not hard to get pulled into this suspense novel as Billie returns to her father’s homeland to discover the truth behind his death. She meets all kinds of rundown, enigmatic characters along the way, and discovers herself among the ruins of her past. You will want answers as you enter the minds of the plethora of dubious characters in the fictional, but almost real, town of Greendale.” —Steve Iwanski, Charter Books, Newport, RI

Recursion: A Novel
By Blake Crouch
(Ballantine Books, 9781524759797, $17) On Sale Date: 3/10/2020
“This book felt like science fiction/mystery at the beginning, but turned into psychological thriller. Like a roller coaster, it was a slow ride up the hill and then a quick drop into a Groundhog Day from hell. Barry starts investigating False Memory Syndrome, while Helena works towards finding a way to save memories for people like her mother, who has Alzheimer’s. The line between what is real and what is memory blurs, and humanity may not be able to handle it.” —Kalli King, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID

The Sentence Is Death: A Novel
By Anthony Horowitz
(Harper Perennial, 9780062676849, $16.99) On Sale Date: 5/26/2020
“Private investigator Daniel Hawthorne has a new case, so he tracks down Anthony Horowitz to be his sidekick and write up the notes for their three-book deal as he investigates. Richard Pryce, a highly sought-after divorce attorney known for both his well-publicized success and his strict ethics, was bludgeoned to death with an excessively expensive bottle of wine, a 1982 Chateau Lafite worth thousands — high-priced and odd murder weapon. By all accounts he was a prince of a guy, yet he was in a field riddled with high emotions and grudges. Hawthorne, the curmudgeonly detective, will get to the bottom of the case, and Horowitz will write a rip-snorting yarn exposing the guilty.” —Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

The Turn of the Key
By Ruth Ware
(Gallery/Scout Press, 9781501188787, $16.99) On Sale Date: 5/12/2020
“Ruth Ware layers on the creepiness in this breathtaking tale of a woman paid an exorbitant sum to be a nanny to three girls in the Scottish Highlands. The catch: The previous nannies quickly resigned, and the parents are rarely there. This novel is both humorous and diabolically dark, and the ending will definitely make your jaw drop.” —Timothy Benz, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

The Whisper Man: A Novel
By Alex North
(Celadon Books, 9781250318008, $16.99) On Sale Date: 6/9/2020
“Yikes...this one will keep you up at night! Alex North has crafted an ideal thriller, complete with a spine-tingling premise (a serial killer lures his victims outside by whispering outside their windows), a compelling protagonist (a struggling widower with a sweet young son), and two well-drawn detectives. Fans of Jane Harper, Tana French, and Thomas Harris, take note.” —Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Small Bites

“Cat Person” and Other Stories
By Kristen Roupenian
(Gallery/Scout Press, 9781982101640, $16) On Sale Date: 4/14/2020
“This collection of twisted stories peels back the layers of the human mind and reveals the often dark, often obsessive qualities kept in the shadows. Each story adds a touch of surrealism to the everyday, from birthday parties to listening to music in the park to the more manipulative forms of relationships.” —Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana, Frederick, MD

Homie: Poems
By Danez Smith
(Graywolf Press, 9781644450109, $16) On Sale Date: 1/21/2020
“It takes a certain grace to hold inconceivable amounts of pain and the fiercest kinds of joy in your heart at once, and to write about it with the elegance, clarity, humor that Danez Smith does is something else entirely. Homie carries a kind of weight no one collection should have to, yet each poem is a reminder that there are infinite ways to love through ache and cut through anguish. These poems are a gift.” —Sophia Kaufman, Book Culture, New York, NY

Imaginary Museums: Stories
By Nicolette Polek
(Soft Skull Press, 9781593765866, $15.95) On Sale Date: 1/14/2020
“These sentences zag when you expect them to zig. And don’t get me started on the zigging. Trying to recount any of these stories will take way longer than it will to read them; they are masterworks of compression that unfold into sagas of falconers and an air conditioning museum. But they also finish with tidy endings, landing the dismount from each impossible trick with a word, a gesture that somehow makes sense of the fantasia preceding. Oh, yeah: and it’s really, really funny.” —Benjy Caplan, Green Apple Books & Music, San Francisco, CA

Lot: Stories (Indies Introduce title)
By Bryan Washington
(Riverhead Books, 9780525533689, $16) On Sale Date: 3/17/2020
“Bryan Washington has crafted a debut that illuminates how community can shape and shelter the self. Lot explores identity, queerness, and the racial divide with such emotional resonance that you will finish the book feeling deeply connected to the characters and to the city of Houston.” —Cristina Rodriguez, Deep Vellum Books, Dallas, TX

Mouthful of Birds: Stories
By Samanta Schweblin
(Riverhead Books, 9780399184635, $16) On Sale Date: 1/7/2020
“All the discomfort conjured by the title of this collection of short stories precisely describes the sensation of reading it. The stories are not for the faint of heart: humorous and fanciful at times, but bloody, bizarre, and cringeworthy throughout. These dark, clever tales leave the reader unsettled, but never unsatisfied.” —Karen Rasure, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO