From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Blackout: A Novel by Marc Elsberg (Sourcebooks Landmark, $26.99, 9781492654414). "Already a huge bestseller internationally, Marc Elsberg's Blackout is poised to be a sensation in the U.S. this June. In Blackout, hackers are able to take down all the electrical grids across Europe, resulting in a total blackout more far-reaching than anything previously thought possible. Once it becomes clear that this event is not a glitch and the depths of the crisis--no lights, no heat, no Internet, no cell service--become evident, chaos ensues. Piero Manzano is an activist and a former hacker whose investigation into the cause of the disaster soon makes him a prime suspect and forces him to run from the authorities. This is a taut, fast-paced thriller about a frighteningly plausible scenario." --Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.
Shadow Man: A Novel by Alan Drew (Random House, $27, 9781400067800). "Shadow Man is supposed to be the story of a serial killer who was horribly abused as a child and the efforts of the police to track him down and keep him from killing others. However, this book is really about Ben Wade, one of the detectives on the case. While the victims of the serial killer greatly affect Wade, who gives his all to catch him, it is the apparent suicide of a young teenager that really shakes up his world. Much more than just a search for a killer, Shadow Man is about living in the shadows of what happened in the past. Shadow Man could be called a thriller, but it is really much more than that, with characters that are so real you can feel their pain." --Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.
My Last Continent: A Novel by Midge Raymond (Scribner, 9781501124716, $16). "Suspense and love intertwine against the starkly beautiful backdrop of Antarctica in this wonderful debut. Deb is a researcher devoting her life to the magnificent penguins that populate this remote corner of the world, where the ice-choked waters set the stage for the tragic collision of a supersized cruise liner and mountainous iceberg. When Deb discovers the man she loves is aboard the doomed ship, the poles of her world shift, as she must now focus on rescuing the one person who has saved her from her self-inflicted solitude. Raymond does a masterful job building the tension while the dramas of both the past and present unfold." --Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, Calif.
For Ages 4 to 8
Toad on the Road: A Cautionary Tale by Stephen Shaskan (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780062393470). "Stephen Shaskan knows how to make a book for story time! Toad on the Road is full of the great rhymes, vibrant illustrations, funny jokes, and ample sound effects that are trademarks of his books. A great story to share with toddlers and preschoolers, or for the emerging reader to try on her own." --Angela Whited, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, Minn.
For Ages 9 to 12
The Girl With the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano (Bloomsbury, $16.99, 9781681194448). "The Girl With the Ghost Machine is quite a touching story. For children who are working through a loss, this book is like a good friend who has been through the same and understands just how you feel. The characters are well developed and the relationships ring true. I truly enjoyed this book. I lost my father when I was young and this book helped me to play the 'what if' game with Emmaline, her father, and her friends and to become engrossed in their ideas of a ghost machine." --Dwi Grandison, Hockessin Bookshelf, Hockessin, Del.
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster, $18.99, 9781481499248). "In an ideal world, Saints and Misfits wouldn't need to be an important tent-pole book of Muslim representation; it would be one of many books about Muslim teens doing all sorts of things. And then we could just talk about how it's a funny, sharp, feminist book that tackles real issues with grace. It's just really good. Read it, for that reason and more." --Anna Kaufman, DIESEL: A Bookstore, Santa Monica, Calif.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]