The September 2014 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the titles on the July Indie Next List flier, - See more at:

Here are the titles on the September 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 September 1 on and

The September 2014 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: The Bone Clocks: A Novel, by David Mitchell
(Random House, 9781400065677, $30)
“Once again, Mitchell’s inventiveness and imagination prove to be nothing short of genius. He combines dark fantasy, boldly original prose, and finely drawn characters who will keep the reader riveted from Holly Sykes’ initial angst-ridden teen thought to the very last, hopeful sentence. Mitchell proves once again that he is a writer of no equal when it comes to the invention of language, place, and time, taking the reader to the edge of both the real and the imagined as if he were guiding you personally by the hand. I will not have to persuade anyone into enjoying The Bone Clocks!”  —Javier Ramirez, City Lit Books, Chicago, IL

Station Eleven: A Novel, by Emily St. John Mandel
(Knopf, 9780385353304, $24.95)
“This is a harrowing and wonderful book — blunt and elegant, wise and frightening, and utterly plausible at every turn. The characters are complicated, but their stories, short or long, are always deeply engaging. We — our species — always find ways, little by little, not just to survive but also to reestablish a sense of place, of community, and of compassion.  Unsentimental yet deeply moving, Station Eleven is a terrific achievement.” —John Christensen, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

Neverhome: A Novel, by Laird Hunt
(Little, Brown, 9780316370134, $26)
“Leaving her beloved husband behind to tend their Indiana farm, Constance Thompson binds her breasts and dons men’s clothing to become Ash, nicknamed ‘Gallant Ash’ by her fellow Union soldiers. With spare, poetic, transcendent prose, Hunt portrays the horror of the Civil War and the fallout from the trauma experienced by soldiers, their families, and the country at large. Ash is a fascinating and enigmatic character, keeping secrets from everyone she encounters and keeping the reader enthralled as her shocking story unfolds. Neverhome will surely join the ranks of the brilliant novels not just of the Civil War, but of war writ large.” —Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel, by Matthew Thomas
(Simon & Schuster, 9781476756660, $28)
“This is simply the most perfect, brilliantly written novel I have read in a long time! Suspenseful, full of heartwarming moments of lightness and love intertwined with dark moments of foreboding, it is the story of a marriage, a family, and the struggle to attain the American Dream. Most of all, it is the story of Eileen Leary, the daughter of Irish immigrants, and her unwavering strength, love, loyalty, and hopes for herself, her husband, Ed, and their son, Connell. The novel spans from 1951 to 2011 and is set primarily in New York, but the unexpected tragedy that befalls the Learys could happen in any town in any country.  Immensely moving and thought-provoking!” —Maria Roden, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA

The Miniaturist: A Novel, by Jessie Burton
(Ecco, 9780062306814, $26.99)
“When 18-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam in 1686 as the wife of a rich merchant trader, she finds herself living in a city that glitters with wealth and sharing a beautiful home that holds dark secrets with a distant husband and his sharp-tongued sister. When her husband gives Nella a perfect replica of their home as a wedding present, she employs a miniaturist to furnish the cabinet-sized piece but those creations bring about eerie and unexpected events.  This is a beautiful and intriguing tale, highly recommended for fans of both historical fiction and suspense.”  —Carol Hicks, The Bookshelf, Truckee, CA

Accidents of Marriage: A Novel, by Randy Susan Meyers
(Atria, 9781451673043, $25)
“When is the time when ‘enough is enough?’  Meyers deftly explores the issue of emotional abuse in her new novel. This is the story of Maddy and Ben and their three children. Maddy, a working mother, struggles to balance both career and family. Ben, a public defender, lives with a short fuse and drives the car that sends Maddy to the hospital in critical condition after a road rage encounter. Told from the points of view of Maddy, Ben, and Emma, the oldest sibling, Accidents of Marriage is an engrossing and provocative read.” —Fran Keilty, Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT

Dear Committee Members: A Novel, by Julie Schumacher
(Doubleday, 9780385538138, $24)
“Told brilliantly through a beleaguered creative writing professor’s letters of recommendation for students over the course of one school year, Dear Committee Members is a hilarious and surprisingly poignant pleasure to read. From postscripts directed to his ex-wife to rants about the lauded economics department at his university to sincere interest in an advisee’s success, Jay Fitger’s letters are blisteringly honest, if not always flattering. This book delightfully critiques the state of the humanities in American universities with erudite allusion and dry wit.” —Mary-Catherine Breed, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

One Kick: A Kick Lannigan Novel, by Chelsea Cain
(Simon & Schuster, 9781476749785, $25.99)
“Cain’s newest is a gut-wrenching tale of crimes against children and of an unlikely hero, a victim-turned-survivor. Kathleen ‘Kick’ Lannigan was kidnapped at age six, and spent almost six years with a child pornographer who forced her to become a child porn film star. Now 21, she is damaged yet self-reliant, trained in self-preservation and security techniques. Kick is approached by a mysterious stranger who is determined to use her to help him find two kidnapped children. What follows is a story of how the past both helps and hurts us, the blurred lines of justice, and ultimate resilience in the face of evil.” —Marquietta Buffaloe, Books & Books, Bal Harbour, FL

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Notes From the Crematory, by Caitlin Doughty
(W.W. Norton, 9780393240238, $24.95)
“Doughty writes with an intimate voice, using candid humor and raw emotion to take us by the hand and guide us into the underworld of the American funeral industry. This book doesn’t lack for laughs, which are vital as we follow Doughty through some rather ghoulish American death rites. She tells a masterful story of our relationship — or lack thereof — with death, crafted with both cultural references and personal memories. Ultimately, Doughty wants us to be comfortable enough to invite death into our lives, and I urge you to take the first steps by inviting this book into yours.” —Neé Rose, Grass Roots Books & Music, Corvallis, OR

The Story of Land and Sea: A Novel, by Katy Simpson Smith
(Harper, 9780062335944, $26.99)
“Simpson’s debut novel is a quiet and radiant book. This story of love and loss is set during the later part of the American Revolutionary War and is told from the shifting viewpoints of a 10-year-old white girl, Tabitha; her family; their slave, Moll; and Moll’s young son, Davy. While we can never know exactly what it felt like to be living on the North Carolina coast, on land and sea, at the end of the 18th century, Smith’s graceful writing seems to capture the very essence of a different way of being in the world. This is an exceptionally written novel with characters whose hard lives are redeemed by moments of both beauty and mercy.” —Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

Fives and Twenty-Fives: A Novel, by Michael Pitre
(Bloomsbury, 9781620407547, $27)
“An unforgettable tale of war, Fives and Twenty-Fives tells the story of a Marine Corps engineering platoon assigned to the dangerous and unending task of repairing road damage caused by improvised explosives on Iraqi highways. The unit travels with a bomb disposal team because secondary explosives are nearly always found at every scene.  Told through the flashbacks of Marines struggling to find their place back in the States, the incidents coalesce in a devastating story of heroism, sacrifice, and vulnerability.  The author served as a captain in the Marines, and his story is both textured and emotionally searing.” —Mark LaFramboise, Politics and Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC

The Thing About December: A Novel, by Donal Ryan
(Steerforth Press, 9781586422288, paper $15)
“Pick this book up and what you’ll be holding is the quintessential Irish novel. It is both tragic and brilliant, rich with wit and humor, and full of true-to-life, complex characters who will leave indelible marks on your conscience. First and foremost, there is Johnsey Cunliffe, a sweet and simple soul who tolerates town bullies and schemers and strives to understand a cruel world that is beyond his comprehension. This novel is a shining example of literary fiction that resonates long after the last page is turned.” —Mary Toni, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

The Invention of Exile: A Novel, by Vanessa Manko
(Penguin Press, 9781594205880, $26.95)
“Manko’s debut novel is the beautifully written story of Austin Voronkov, a Russian inventor who immigrates to the U.S., but, through a series of unfortunate events, finds himself to be a man without a country. Filled with poignant insights on what it means to belong, The Invention of Exile gives readers a sweeping, masterfully told story spanning continents and years, all expressed through the tender voice of this determined immigrant and engineer, who relentlessly works to reverse his fate and return home.” —Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

Hold the Dark: A Novel, by William Giraldi
(Liveright, 9780871406675, $24.95)
“In a remote Alaskan village where wolves have been taking the local children, a mother calls for a stranger to help locate her missing son. This is the beginning of a harrowing tale of loyalty, dark secrets, and violence, set in the uttermost regions of the Alaskan frontier. Giraldi weaves a sinister story that involves family secrets, ritual, and the wildness of a remote land. Perfect for lovers of the works of Cormac McCarthy and Donald Ray Pollack.” —Helen Gregory, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

Island of a Thousand Mirrors: A Novel, by Nayomi Munaweera
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250043931, $24.99)
“This beautifully written novel relates the story of two families on opposite sides of the conflict on the island of Sri Lanka.  Readers experience the passions and brutalities of the civil war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese Sri Lankan military.  This conflict began in 1948, when the British left the island formerly named Ceylon, and ended in 2009.  The customs, foods, and colors of the island permeate the descriptions of the daily life of the people in this excellent book.” —Sally Van Wert, MacDonald Book Shop, Estes Park, CO

Diary of the Fall: A Novel, by Michel Laub, Margaret Jull Costa (Trans.)
(Other Press, 9781590516515, $20)
“This novel is an emotional hand grenade, one of the most devastating and powerful works I’ve read in some time. As Laub’s narrator traces his own downfall and delves into the trauma that ripples through his family history, I found myself propelled forward and backward with him, unable to resist this small novel’s terrible gravity or the narrator’s powerful honesty. Diary of the Fall is one of those rare books that doesn’t just hold your attention, it demands it. I simply couldn’t stop reading.” —Tom Flynn, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel, by Louise Penny
(Minotaur, 9781250022066, $27.99)
“Penny’s 10th novel shows us a different side of Armand Gamache. He has retired from the Sûreté du Québec, and he and his wife have moved to Three Pines so he can recover both mentally and physically. Not one to be long without a mystery to solve, Gamache agrees to investigate the disappearance of Peter Morrow, a neighbor and friend. Once again, Penny provides an intriguing puzzle but more importantly she offers another installment in the lives of those characters that I and countless other readers have come to love so well.” —Sharon Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

The Secret Place: A Novel, by Tana French
(Viking, 9780670026326, $27.95)
“In her fourth novel, French maintains her masterful prose, engaging characters, and complex but lucid plotting. While the story revolves around the murder of a male student on the grounds of an exclusive Dublin girls’ school, it gains richness and depth with its exploration of the thorny relationship between the investigators, plus the rivalries, adolescent anxieties, and barbed dialogue of the students. The plot launches when the daughter of Detective Frank Mackey — first introduced in French’s Faithful Place — brings to the police an anonymous claim about the identity of the murderer of the student a year earlier. A gripping addition to the Dublin Murder Squad series.” —Joe Stebel, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

Acceptance: A Novel, by Jeff VanderMeer
(FSG Originals, 9780374104115, paper, $15)
“The hungry anomaly of Area X is spilling over its borders. Now a woman devoured by the zone must join a man intent on understanding it and journey back inside. But will they unravel its secrets, or will it unravel them? The final book in VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy brings the series to a satisfying, if mind-blowing close.” —Jim Tremlett, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

Not Fade Away: A Memoir of Senses Lost and Found, by Rebecca Alexander with Sascha Alper
(Gotham Books, 9781592408313, $27)
“In this time of many memoirs, this one stands out beautifully. As a bookseller, I know the demand for books to encourage and teach living in the moment, living a vibrant and mindful life, and approaching life with grace. Alexander is right there with her own story of loss and obstacles overcome with tenacity, honesty, and humor. As with Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire, you will not be able to put this book down and will have a new perspective on life when you finish it.” —Dana Brigham, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

The September 2014 Now in Paperback

After I’m Gone: A Novel, by Laura Lippman (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062083418, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Diana Randolph, Redbery Books, Cable, WI

Babayaga: A Novel of Witches in Paris, by Toby Barlow (Picador, 9781250050298, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Sarah Hinckley, Hudson Booksellers, Marietta, GA

The Heart of Everything That Is: The Untold Story of Red Cloud, an American Legend, by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin (Simon & Schuster, 9781451654684, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by George Rishel, The Sly Fox, Virden, IL

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse, by Sebastian Faulks (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250049063, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

The Last Days of California: A Novel, by Mary Miller (Liveright, 9780871408419, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Stacie M. Williams, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

The Lion Seeker: A Novel, by Kenneth Bonert (Mariner, 9780544334519, $14.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Men We Reaped: A Memoir, by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury, 9781608197651, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Caitlin Caulfield, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Orfeo: A Novel, by Richard Powers (W.W. Norton, 9780393349849, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Lauren Wiser, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

The Snow Hunters: A Novel, by Paul Yoon (Simon & Schuster, 9781476714820, $15)
Recommended in hardcover by Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT

Someone Else’s Love Story: A Novel, by Joshilyn Jackson (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062105660, $14.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

We Are Water: A Novel, by Wally Lamb (Harper Perennial, 9780061941030, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Lynn Beeson, Loganberry Books, Cleveland, OH

The Wind Is Not a River: A Novel, by Brian Payton (Ecco, 9780062279989, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Chris Wilcox, City Lights Bookstore, Sylva, NC