The September 2018 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 20 Indie Next Great Reads and 12 Now in Paperback titles featured on the September 2018 Indie Next List flier, which is on its way to stores in the IndieBound movement.

Beginning September 1, these titles will be featured on downloadable fliers and shelf-talkers on and

The September Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: She Would Be King: A Novel by Wayétu Moore
(Graywolf Press, 9781555978174, $26)
“It’s hard to describe a novel as wholly original as She Would Be King. A retelling of the birth of Liberia through interconnected stories, the novel combines history, magic, and myth in one engrossing story. Moore’s novel takes you from West Africa to the plantations of Virginia, from Jamaica to Liberia, weaving together the stories of three characters who yearn for power and true freedom. Guided by the ancient wind, all of Moore’s characters challenge and transcend the many faces of oppression, and the story’s profound culmination will leave you in awe. She Would Be King is the kind of novel that lingers with you for days. A must-read!” —Morgan McComb, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

Whiskey When We’re Dry: A Novel by John Larison
(Viking, 9780735220447, $26)
“A haunting and remarkable debut, John Larison’s Whiskey When We’re Dry stays true to the western genre while subverting many common themes of the American West, producing a wholly original narrative that will linger in your mind for days. I have never encountered a protagonist quite like Jess; she embodies the incredible strength and resolve required to survive in the West, but also the vulnerability necessary to retain humanity in the face of so much violence and brutality. Larison’s prose goes down as smooth as a glass of whiskey, and I didn’t want to stop reading until I’d finished every last drop.” —Tori Odea, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Vox: A Novel by Christina Dalcher
(Berkley, 9780440000785, $26)
“This ambitious debut scared me so much that I started reading it in very small portions. In Dalcher’s version of the future, women have lost all of their rights and are limited (via electronic handcuffs) to speaking only 100 words per day. Their entire purview has been relegated to the home and family, where even girls may not speak more than their allotted words. Women cannot work, female representation in government has dropped precipitously, and the Bible Belt has become a bible corset as men have sought to reclaim their masculinity through dominance of women in all areas. While we are consumed with the unthinkable changes in the current political environment, this book reminds us to keep our eyes open and our voices heard.” —Terry Gilman, Creating Conversations, Redondo Beach, CA

The Winter Soldier: A Novel by Daniel Mason
(Little, Brown and Company, 9780316477604, $28)
“The depth and complexity of Daniel Mason’s new three-dimensional tapestry of war and its consequences make for a remarkable read. There are the basic wartime themes of love, horror, and loss—of limbs and lives, of innocence and empire. A whole world just vanishes in bombs, guns, and smoke, and the reader is left clutching at hints, but the richness of the story makes it uplifting rather than melancholy. Everything is below the surface; you sink down, discover something new at every turn, and come away refreshed. How does that happen with a war story? Don’t ask—just read.” —Grace Bogart, Copperfield’s Books, Petaluma, CA

Lake Success: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart
(Random House, 9780812997415, $28)
“When Barry Cohen’s marriage and hedge fund company begin to crumble, he hops a Greyhound bus to El Paso, hoping to find himself among the ‘real Americans’ of the Trump era. Meanwhile, the wife he left behind struggles to build a solo life among the one percent. Together, their stories are a biting portrait of a country unimproved by the best of intentions. Equal parts Sense and Sensibility, A Confederacy of Dunces, and Bonfire of the Vanities, Lake Success is a wickedly funny satire and a rollicking good story for tough times.” —David Enyeart, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN

Ohio: A Novel by Stephen Markley
(Simon & Schuster, 9781501174476, $27)
“Stephen Markley’s powerful debut plumbs the depths of the cruel trick played on small-town America during the recession, war, and political and cultural hostility of the last 15 years and delivers us the gift of surprising and exquisite beauty and hope. In this story of four former classmates and one summer night in 2013, Markley gives us insightful and gorgeous prose revealing the humanity that continues to carry on in the broken center of America. I hope to read this author’s keen writing for many years to come.” —Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, IL

French Exit: A Novel by Patrick deWitt
(Ecco, 9780062846921, $25.99)
“Quirky, wry, darkly witty, strange, and absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious, Patrick deWitt’s French Exit is the perfect remedy for those seeking a respite from the plethora of WWII historical fiction and genre thrillers out there. In deWitt’s depiction of dysfunctional families at their absolute oddest, Malcom Price, his doting mother, Frances, and their cat, Little Frank, abandon New York City practically penniless and scurry off to Paris, where things only get stranger. Every page turned leaves the reader wondering what in the world they will do next. What a breath of fresh air is French Exit! Keep them coming, Patrick deWitt!” —Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

Severance: A Novel by Ling Ma
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374261597, $26)
“Candace Chen is a first-generation Chinese millennial immigrant who tries to make a life in New York City by succumbing to the role of the office drone who helps create cheap bibles. But when Shen Fever—a plague that causes its victims to perform a rote task until death—hits, only a few survive, including Candace. She soon finds herself in a cult-like band of other survivors heading to the Midwest while also trying to come to terms with her past and the unknowns of her future. With dark humor, sharp intelligence, and compassion, Ling Ma has written a well-constructed, biting satire of capitalism and a moving glimpse into the roles of memory, place, and identity in a life.” —Kelsey Westenberg, The Dial Bookshop, Chicago, IL

The Silence of the Girls: A Novel by Pat Barker
(Doubleday, 9780385544214, $27.95)
“The women in Homer’s Iliad hardly ever speak; we are not privy to their thoughts, feelings, or anguish as expressed in their own words. Until now. The Silence of the Girls depicts moments of the Trojan War through the eyes of the female captives at the mercy of the men who have slaughtered their husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons, as they carve out new lives in the wake of war’s devastation. The focus of Barker’s novel is Briseis, through whose eyes we see, up close, the rift between Agamemnon and Achilles, the bond between Achilles and Patroclus, and the complex, beautiful support system the captured women weave together. Barker’s novel is a masterpiece of resilience, determination, fury, healing, and complicated, completely human characters.” —Anna Eklund, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson
(Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635571370, $27)
“Far from an isolated event, the 2016 election was the culmination of generations of efforts to prevent communities of color from taking part in elections and having the full weight of their votes counted. One Person, No Vote comes at a time when we need every piece of knowledge available to turn the tide of voter suppression and reclaim our democracy. Through exhaustive research deconstructing and explaining decades of policy, Carol Anderson provides a clear look at how laws were bent through the slow degradation of democracy and how circumstances can be righted once more.” —Amanda Ibarra, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King
(Abrams Press, 9781419727726, $30)
“A wonderful biography of an American icon who seemed too good to be true. And yet, believe it or not, he was an even better, more caring man than he portrayed on television. If you are a fan of Fred Rogers and want to understand what drove him to create Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, this is an essential read. Learning more about Rogers’ life through the words of his family and friends in this well-researched and comprehensive biography will give you even more reason to admire the man. And when’s the last time a biography made you cry tears of joy?” —James Wilson, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

In Pieces: A Memoir by Sally Field
(Grand Central Publishing, 9781538763025, $29)
“I have watched Sally Field ever since her early days as the Flying Nun. I thought I knew Sally Field, but her memoir, In Pieces, reveals a Sally Field I didn’t know. She writes bravely and eloquently about her struggles growing up and making her way in Hollywood. Field holds nothing back, and that only elevates her, in my opinion. This isn’t just another celebrity memoir; it’s a clear-eyed look at an industry and a life beset by challenges. Field emerges as likeable, strong, and inspiring—an altogether remarkable woman.” —Stephanie Hochschild, The Book Stall, Winnetka, IL

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
(Melville House, 9781612197241, $25.99)
“When you enter The Book Shop in Wigtown, Scotland, you enter Shaun Bythell’s world. You’ll recognize his colorful staff and quirky customers immediately and fall in love with them instantly. The Diary of a Bookseller was written for book buyers, booksellers, and book lovers everywhere (you must be one of them!). While books and The Book Shop occupy much of Bythell’s hilarious story, it is made whole with priceless pieces on gardening, fishing with his dad, cycling, and, of course, music, food, and drink. Cheers!” —Bill Reilly, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road by Kate Harris
(Dey Street Books, 9780062839343, $24.99)
“What a terrific read! Kate Harris seamlessly intertwines science, history, geology, geography, and philosophy in this tale of her 10-month bike ride on the Silk Road. At times, this book reads more like a thriller than a memoir! Harris and her pal Melissa covered 10,000 kilometers and visited 10 countries, and their endurance, exploits, and experiences will amaze you; I found myself eagerly looking up maps and pictures to track their journey. Along the way, the author explores the nature of boundaries, both real and imagined, and the meaningfulness of exploration and wildness. Is it appropriate to use the term ‘badass’ in a book review? If so, these gals are it!” —Sara Reinert, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK

A Key to Treehouse Living: A Novel by Elliot Reed (Indies Introduce)
(Tin House Books, 9781947793040, $19.95)
“Brilliant in form and content, this is a coming-of-age story that uses the format of an alphabetical index to illustrate the way that our adolescent and young adult minds try to make sense of the world: we categorize and define, put feelings and inanimate objects on equal footing, and do our best to make sense of the chaos around us the way textbooks and encyclopedias have taught. References from one entry to another mimic the links between our memories that seem to make our lives a continuum rather than a series of isolated incidents. Life doesn’t occur in alphabetical order, but there’s no reason your story can’t be told that way. This is a book that drives you to connect the dots yourself, because, really, that’s half the fun, isn’t it?” —Christian Brandt, The Book Table, Oak Park, IL

Miss Kopp Just Won’t Quit: A Kopp Sisters Novel by Amy Stewart
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9781328736512, $26)
“I have enjoyed Amy Stewart’s Miss Kopp adventures since the beginning, and this fourth novel is just as good as the first. With a feminist edge and true historical details, Amy Stewart has brought Constance Kopp to life in such a well-developed and interesting manner; not only are the characters exemplary, but the story is grabbing and exciting as well. I hope this is not the end of Constance and her sisters, because WWI is on the brink and I think they would be the perfect small-town heroines for the fight.” —Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana, Frederick, MD

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel by Heather Morris
(Harper Paperbacks, 9780062797155, trade paper, $16.99)
“I devoured The Tattooist of Auschwitz, a powerful book based on a true story, in two sittings. Lale, a Slovakian Jew at Auschwitz-Birkenau, becomes the Tatowierer—the man responsible for tattooing every prisoner who arrives at the concentration camp. Seen by some as a collaborator, Lale must make impossible choices to keep himself and his friends alive. Incredibly, Lale tattoos the woman who will become the love of his life. The power of their love in the face of unmitigated horror makes for one of the most compelling WWII books I have ever read.” —Carrie Deming, The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra, NY

The Dinner List: A Novel by Rebecca Serle
(Flatiron Books, 9781250295187, $27.99)
“Everyone has played the game of selecting five favorite people to attend their ultimate dinner party. For Sabrina, however, the game has become a reality. The Dinner List is a magical night full of wistfulness, nostalgia, love, and loss. Who among us has not wished for an opportunity to reconnect with a loved one or converse with someone admired from afar? Readers everywhere will sink their teeth into this delicious and heart-warming tale of one enchanted evening.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Leave No Trace: A Novel by Mindy Mejia
(Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 9781501177361, $26)
Leave No Trace captures the brutal cold and harsh winter conditions of the Boundary Wilderness area in Minnesota, where psychiatric hospital speech therapist Maya is assigned to Lucas Blackthorne, who has been missing and presumed dead for the past 10 years. The extreme conditions for both staff and patients are eye-opening, and Maya’s previous life unravels in layers as she tries to uncover truths from Lucas. Your body will instinctively curl up for warmth as Mejia deftly and elegantly describes how the wonder, beauty, majesty, and cruel nature of the Boundary Wilderness invades your soul. Highly propulsive storytelling with revealing truths parsed out until the very end, this is suspense at new and arresting heights!” —Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Tragedy Plus Time: A Tragi-Comic Memoir by Adam Cayton-Holland
(Touchstone Books, 9781501170164, $26)
“Cayton-Holland isn’t afraid to be funny in this book about his sister’s suicide, and the combination—the tragicomedy, if you will—results in a memoir like nothing I’ve read before: tender but witty, sensitive but cutting, curious and honest and self-aware. This book will be billed as a guide to navigating life after grief and I think that’s a mistake—it’s not a guide so much as it is a much-needed admission that there is no guide, that there will be no easy answers, but that it is still okay to see the humor and absurdities in life. Tragedy Plus Time feels like the book I didn’t know I was waiting for.” —Sarah Malley, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, MA

The September 2018 Indie Next List “Now in Paperback”

Home Fire: A Novel by Kamila Shamsie
(Riverhead Books, 9780735217690, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

In the Midnight Room: A Novel by Laura McBride
(Touchstone, 9781501157790, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

In the Midst of Winter: A Novel by Isabel Allende
(Atria Books, 9781501178146, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Mamie Potter, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

Logical Family: A Memoir by Armistead Maupin
(Harper Perennial, 9780062391254, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

The Ninth Hour: A Novel by Alice McDermott
(Picador, 9781250192745, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Lori Feathers, Interabang Books, Dallas, TX

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
(Vintage, 9781101911945, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Randy Schiller, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Young Adult Crossover Favorites

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
(Scholastic Press, 9780545930819, $10.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Rebecca Speas, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

Dear Martin: A Novel by Nic Stone
(Ember, 9781101939529, $9.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Karin Schott, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Farmington, ME

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue: A Novel by Mackenzi Lee
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062382818, $9.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Release: A Novel by Patrick Ness
(HarperTeen, 9780062403209, $9.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Bookshelf, Hockessin, DE

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
(Speak, 9780142424988, $10.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Kate Towery, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
(Ember, 9780399559402, $10.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Rachel Strolle, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL