From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Twelve-Mile Straight by Eleanor Henderson (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062422088). "When asked what defines 'Southern' literature, most would put land and family on the top of the list. These also define Eleanor Henderson's The Twelve-Mile Straight, a story set in the 1930s in Georgia, where George Wilson owns the cotton mill and most of the land and Juke Jessop is a sharecropper on land that wouldn't support his family, but his renown fills the gap. Full of entanglements, violence, and vivid characters, both white and black, this gripping saga starts with a lynching and weaves back and forth in time and voice until a stasis, if not resolution, is reached." --Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, S.C.
The Vengeance of Mothers by Jim Fergus (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250093424). "One Thousand White Women was one of my favorite books and Jim Fergus does not disappoint with The Vengeance of Mothers. Meggie Kelly and her twin sister, Susie, are survivors of the 'Brides for Indians' program and of their Cheyenne village's massacre by the Army. When a new group of women are mistakenly sent west even though the government has abandoned the program, the twins help them adapt to the Cheyenne lifestyle while planning their revenge upon the soldiers that killed their family, including their newborn babies. Full of resilience, hope, sadness, and suspense, I was at the edge of my seat turning pages, worried about the outcome of these remarkable women. I loved it!"--Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, Ill.
Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch (Anchor, $16.95, 9781101973097). "Orphans of the Carnival is the story of a time when the oddities of nature could be a lucrative path to fame and fortune. Although heartbreaking, it is the wonderful journey of a talented woman who just wants a normal life, in spite of being alternately vilified and celebrated. Filled with many unforgettable characters and amazing writing, this is a book that will stay with readers for a long time." --Mary McBride, Rainy Day Books, Fairway, Kan.
For Ages 4 to 8
Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Shawn Harris (Chronicle Books, $19.99, 9781452162812). "Her Right Foot is not only informative and beautifully illustrated, it's also hilarious and really fun to read. I can imagine reading this aloud to kids and adults, and I think both would learn and gain understanding from it, as well as have a lot of fun. The message of the book is important and timely as well, as there are still many immigrants and children of immigrants in the U.S. (aren't almost all of us children of immigrants if we go back far enough?), and sending a message of understanding and welcoming is imperative." --Alissa Hugel, Folio Books, San Francisco, Calif.
For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99, 9780544876392). "If Wes Anderson wrote The Penderwicks, it might look like The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street. From the moment you step into the brownstone on 141st Street, the five Vanderbeeker children and their eccentric collection of family and friends will charm and delight you. Their attempts to keep their Scrooge-like landlord from evicting them from their beloved home are both hilarious and heartwarming. This modern-day classic-in-the-making will stay with you long after you've turned the final page." --Melissa Posten, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, Mo.
For Teen Readers
Release by Patrick Ness (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062403193). "In this beautifully written coming-of-age young adult novel, Adam Thorn, teenage son of a pastor, struggles to accept his sexuality. And a struggle it is, as his Christian parents, recognizing that he is different from his older brother, keep him at arm's length. They have done this for a number of years and Adam feels that his family does not love him. His acceptance and exploration of his sexuality leads him to be able to differentiate between lust and love. Ness' writing explores Adam's feelings and confusion with tenderness and empathy." --Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Bookshelf, Hockessin, Del.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]