The September 2009 Indie Next List Preview

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

The September Indie Next Great Reads

Day After Night: A Novel by Anita Diamant
(Scribner, $27, 9780743299848)
"Four women with four different stories of surviving the European Jewish Holocaust find themselves in an internment camp run by the British military in Palestine as illegals, Jews without papers. Based on the true story of a dramatic rescue in 1945 of more than 200 prisoners at the Atlit internment camp, this extraordinary novel is equal parts history, adventure, and celebration of the profound determination of the human psyche. I loved this book and will recommend it for reading groups." --Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books, Saint Louis, MO

A Duty to the Dead: A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd
(Morrow, $24.99, 9780061791765)
"A Duty to the Dead introduces Bess Crawford, a strong-willed young woman in the nursing corps during WWI. To fulfill a promise made to the charismatic dying soldier she fell in love with, Bess will have to uncover family secrets and a web of deception spanning years. Bess Crawford is a character I look forward to spending more time with." --Joni Montover, Paragraphs on Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX

Baking Cakes in Kigali: A Novel by Gaile Parkin
(Delacorte, $24, 9780385343435)
"Cake maker Angel Tungaraza lives in a multicultural community in Rwanda, where she finds healing after the losses of her two grown children as she helps others solve their own problems with equal doses of common sense and kindness. Tragedy and humor find balance in this thoroughly enjoyable novel." --Sandy Scott, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT

Waiting for Columbus by Thomas Trofimuk
(Doubleday, $26, 9780385529136)
"Christopher Columbus, institutionalized in an insane asylum in contemporary Spain, is sedated, isolated, and wishing for his cell phone so he can call the queen to check on his ships. In this back-and-forth between past and present, delusion and reality, the reader is swept into Columbus' world and empathizes with Nurse Consuela, whose friendship with her patient draws her into feelings she struggles to control. I loved the history -- and the mystery -- of Waiting for Columbus." --Cheryl McKeon, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Spooner by Pete Dexter
(Grand Central, $26.99, 9780446540728)
"Pete Dexter's tale of the troubled Warren Spooner and his court-martialed navy officer step-dad, Calmer Ottosson, defies comparison. Dexter's eye for detail, taste for the absurd, and dark and disturbing wit are all unparalleled in contemporary literature. Dexter has always deserved a much larger readership, and Spooner is just the book to bring it to him." --Dave Mallmann, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder
(Random House, $26, 9781400066216)
"Tracy Kidder shines a penetrating, compassionate light on Deo, a Burundian, whose extraordinary resume includes cow herder, medical student, target in the genocidal horror of the mid-1990s, refugee, homeless Manhattan grocery deliverer, Columbia University student, medical student again, and philanthropist. Kidder's portraits of Deo and the amazing people who helped him are appalling, enlightening, and inspiring." --Banna Rubinow, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY

Await Your Reply: A Novel by Dan Chaon
(Ballantine, $25, 9780345476029)
"Await Your Reply is an unsettling, heartbreaking examination of identity and relationships. Dan Chaon skillfully weaves three separate stories together, and, through well-drawn characters and fascinating subplots, he makes the reader both audience and sleuth, eager for the solution to the mystery, yet reluctant to leave the magic of the prose." --Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

Benny and Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti
(Penguin, $14 paper, 9780143115991)
"This international bestseller is about two quirky, funny, middle-age characters who meet on a bench in a cemetery. Can Benny, a bachelor dairy farmer, have a lasting relationship with a cultured, widowed librarian? With great fodder for book group discussions about relationships, this book is a treasure. I loved it." --Susan Wasson, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

Fear the Worst: A Novel by Linwood Barclay
(Bantam, $24, 9780553807165)
"When Tim's teenage daughter doesn't return home from work, he discovers that the place where she says she's been working doesn't even know her. Thus begins weeks of searching and layers upon layers of intrigue and lies -- which all come to a spine-tingling ending. Barclay, an internationally bestselling author, will soon be a favorite of many here in the U.S. -- guaranteed." --Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO

The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville
(Atlantic, $24, 9780802119162)
"Kate Grenville brings alive the rigors of life in the newly established penal colony in Sydney Harbor and the thrill and excitement of the first exchange of information across two unintelligible languages. The first encounters of two cultures are told from the unique perspective of a gentle mathematician, who begins to empathize with the native tribes, to the lasting detriment of his military and scientific career." --Darwin Ellis, Books on The Common, Ridgefield, CT

The Day the Falls Stood Still: A Novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan
(voice, $24.99, 9781401340971)
"Set against the powerful backdrop of Niagara Falls in the years surrounding World War I, The Day the Falls Stood Still tells the story of a privileged young woman whose life comes apart at the seams, the man she loves, and the river that both unites and divides them. Buchanan's debut novel immediately keeps you in its grip until the final page." --Jennifer Abbott, Lakewood Ranch Booksellers, Bradenton, FL

Red to Black by Alex Dryden
(Ecco, $25.99, 9780061803864)
"This terse spy thriller will sweep you through the shadowy halls of post-Soviet Russian history right up to today's rejuvenated petrostate under Vladimir Putin's iron rule. It does so through the eyes of Anna, the youngest female colonel in the KGB, who has been ordered to get close to MI6's key man in Moscow and his mole. The gripping pace will pull you along into blacker and blacker depths of intrigue." --Ben Gaunt, Bookshelf At Hooligan Rocks, Truckee, CA

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder: A Novel by Rebecca Wells
(HarperCollins, $25.99, 9780060175313)
"The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is a luminous account of love gained and lost, of life's beginning and end, and of finding the joy in each day. Wells' latest is full of characters you will want to spend time with, as well as to recommend to your friends and reading groups." --Rita Moran, Apple Valley Books, Winthrop, ME

Shakedown by Andie Ryan
(Lenox Road, $15.95 paper, 9781935365051)
"Andie Ryan's descriptions of the violence (and the passion) revolving around the meltdown-from-within of a respected securities firm is filled with vividly drawn characters and surprises on every page." --Randy Smith, Destinations Booksellers, New Albany, IN

The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed by Judy Shepard
(Hudson Street, $25.95, 9781594630576)
"More than 10 years after her son's murder in Wyoming, Judy Shepard tells Matthew's story with eloquence. Her memoir is both a moving portrayal of a strong family dealing with the grief of their loss and a powerful testimony for human rights and the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in society." --Blake Hardy, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, Atlanta, GA

Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
(Viking, $25.95, 9780670021208)
"This account from Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter, Ann, of their travels together in Greece and France has something for almost everyone: travel, mother/daughter relationships, growing older, and writing. And for those who just love her prose, this is Sue at her best." --Judy Dimock, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Under This Unbroken Sky: A Novel by Shandi Mitchell
(Harper, $25.99, 9780061774027)
"Set in 1938 in the unforgiving northern Canadian prairie, this debut novel is the story of a Ukrainian immigrant and his family, who find another ruthless war to fight. Mitchell weaves a haunting debut story with characters that sit in your soul, poignantly exposing their love and betrayal, strength and frailty. A stellar piece of storytelling that has you from beginning to end." --Helen Markus, HearthFire Books of Evergreen, Evergreen, CO

Gourmet Rhapsody by Muriel Barbery, Alison Anderson (trans.)
(Europa Editions, $15 paper, 9781933372952)
"The perfect foodie book! Monsieur Pierre Arthens, the food critic from The Elegance of the Hedgehog, has been given two days to live and so embarks on a gastric search as he recounts the food -- and people -- that he's devoured in an attempt to find one last, elusive flavor." --Mary Cowen, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL

The Anthologist: A Novel by Nicholson Baker
(Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781416572442)
"Paul Chowder, an infrequently-published poet, needs to come clean with his life (as well as his office). His girlfriend has left him, he's amassing an incredible credit card debt, and the deadline for an introduction to a poetry anthology he's editing is fast approaching. What ensues is a vivid collection of poetic insight, passages of anguished poets, and hilarious selections of Paul's daily misses and re-misses. The Anthologist is a story readers should not miss." --Michael Karpus, Books & Books at Bal Harbour Shops, Bal Harbour, FL

The Promised World: A Novel by Lisa Tucker
(Atria, $25, 9781416575382)
"Lila Cole's life was formed by her twin brother, Billy, and when he is killed by police, she comes apart at the seams. As Lila sinks into a morass of grief, dark secrets start bubbling to the surface. Complicated, fast-paced, and wonderfully readable, Lisa Tucker's latest novel a page-turner." --Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books, Sunriver, OR

The September Indie Notables


The Birthing House by Christopher Ransom (St. Martin's, $24.99, 9780312385842)
The Child Thief by Brom (Eos, $26.99, 9780061671333)
Emily's Ghost by Denise Giardina (Norton, $24.95, 9780393069150)
A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore (Knopf, $25.95, 9780375409288)
Henry's Sisters by Cathy Lamb (Kensington, $15 paper, 9780758229540)
The Island at the End of the World by Sam Taylor (Penguin, $14 paper, 9780143116257)
It Feels So Good When I Stop by Joe Pernice (Riverhead, $25.95, 9781594488740)
John the Revelator by Peter Murphy (Houghton, $25, 9780151014026)
The Last Day by James Landis (Steerforth, $14.99 paper, 9781586421656)
One Foot Wrong by Sofie Laguna (Other Press, $12.95 paper, 9781590513163)


The Natural Laws of Good Luck: A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage by Ellen Graf (Trumpeter, $22.95, 9781590306918)
Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains With the Smith Center Redmen by Joe Drape (Times Books, $25, 9780805088908)
Pictorial Webster's: A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities by Johnny Carrera (Chronicle, $35, 9780811867184)
The Slippery Year by Melanie Gideon (Knopf, $24.95, 9780307270672)
Young Woman and the Sea: How Trudy Ederle Conquered the English Channel and Inspired the World by Glenn Stout (Houghton, $25, 9780618858682)


The Merry Misogynist by Colin Cotterill (Soho, $24, 9781569475560)
Mortal Friends by Jane Stanton Hitchcock (HarperCollins, $25.99, 9780061173707)
Vanished by Joseph Finder (St. Martin's, $25.99, 9780312379087)

by Andie Ryan
(Lenox Road Publishing, 9781935365051)

Special Offers:

  • Promotional bookmarks are available on request or with any book order.  
  • One complimentary copy will be made available to a store for consideration by their mystery or thriller book clubs. This offer is limited to the first 100 respondents. 
  • Stores hosting author events or providing front-of-store table or window displays will receive a 45% publisher discount. Publisher pays ground shipping both ways; salable returns OK after 90 days.    

For any of these offers, booksellers should email