From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Birds of a Lesser Paradise: Stories by Megan Mayhew Bergman (Scribner, $24, 9781451643350). "Birds of a Lesser Paradise is a poignant collection of stories, each filled with vivid imagery, surprising wit, and elegant prose. My copy is filled with dog-eared pages of Bergman's brilliantly written observations on who we are and who we hope to be. She masterfully captures the fragility of human life by placing it within and against the natural world. Read these stories. You will be so thankful you did, and then you will read them again!" --Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, Ala.
By the Iowa Sea: A Memoir by Joe Blair (Scribner, $24, 9781451636055). "This is a perfectly written book about a very complicated family under extraordinary circumstances. A troubled couple, Joe and his wife, along with their four kids, live in Coralville, Iowa, at nightmarish flood tide. Blair knows how families work and knows the sorrow of families working poorly. He also learns the way tragedy can pull things together. His struggles with his wife and learning-disabled son are particularly moving. No one can teach someone to write with Blair's level of honesty and love." --Paul Ingram, Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, Iowa
Flatscreen: A Novel by Adam Wilson (Harper Perennial, $14.99, 9780062090331). "Reading Flatscreen in public without cracking up was a challenge, one that I did not meet, and I frequently looked like a crazy person reading the book. Wilson balances heartbreak with humor in a way that is affecting and real. In the books, we meet Eli Schwartz, college dropout, failed Hebrew, and culinary master. Eli's struggle to assert himself in a digitized world as a fleshed-out man is as frighteningly real as it is funny. Eli longs for what all twenty-somethings long for--a sense of belonging, to be loved, and perhaps, to be worshiped. Flatscreen is a treasure. Bravo, Mr. Wilson!" --Zach Sampinos, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, Utah
For Ages 9 to 12
The Case of the Deadly Desperados: Western Mysteries, Book One by Caroline Lawrence (Putnam, $16.99, 9780399256332). "P.K. Pinkerton is on the run from murdering thieves who want his deed to a silver mine. Scrambling through disguises, taverns, and dark alleys in a Wild West town, Pinky's biggest disadvantage is not being able to distinguish people's emotions, which makes it very hard to know who is lying and cheating and who, if anyone, is telling the truth. This is high-speed fun, with a sympathetic hero." --Ellen Davis, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, Wis.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]