From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Kind of Kin: A Novel by Rilla Askew (Ecco, $25.99, 9780062198792). "The nature of this wonderful novel set in small-town Oklahoma is like its characters--raucous, messy, uncertain, and foolishly brave. After a surprise immigration raid on Mexicans that scoops up even some respected citizens, everyone struggles to understand where they stand and how to act. This is a large, kind-hearted story of less than perfect folks caught in a maelstrom while still trying to abide by their ethical and spiritual beliefs. Askew's story is a most timely look at who is welcome into our lives and how we express and share compassion even when times are tough and language is a barrier." --Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, Calif.
Chanel Bonfire: A Memoir by Wendy Lawless (Gallery, $25, 9781451675368). "Lawless has written a compelling, engaging, sometimes funny, and at times shocking tale of her childhood. Her mother, Georgann Rea, was a narcissist of the highest order, and Wendy and her younger sister suffered terrible emotional deprivation at her hands. From a very young age, when her mother attempts suicide for the first time, Wendy struggles to protect her sister and herself from a woman who lived a life of decadence, alcoholism, adultery, and lies. Lawless ultimately makes peace with herself and learns to live on her own terms, a process remarkably recounted in this searing memoir." --Ellen Burns, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, Conn.
Dr. Brinkley's Tower: A Novel by Robert Hough (Steerforth, $16.99, 9781586422035). "The people of the tiny Mexican border town of Corazon de la Fuente have lived through a long, bloody revolution and have lost many loved ones. With the building of Dr. Brinkley's radio tower, they feel they have a chance at reviving their village and bringing prosperity and happiness to their lives. On the eve of the mayor handing Dr. Brinkley the key to their fair city, the village healer shouts, 'Stop! Can't you see the man is a liar, a peddler of myths and false hope?' Brinkley was an American con artist and the inspiration for this novel, but the focus of Hough's insightful and penetrating tale is the people of Corazon and how their lives are irrevocably changed. Highly recommended!" --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, Mich.
For Teen Readers
Black City by Elizabeth Richards (Putnam, $17.99, 9780399159435). "Richards hits it out of the park with her dystopian love story set in the aftermath of a bloody vampire war. The tale alternates between the voices of Natalie, the human, and Ash, the half-blood Darkling, allowing the reader a deeper look into two very different aspects of society. The wall that separates the Darklings and the humans gives the illusion that things are getting back on track, but one chance meeting between Natalie and Ash changes everything. Their story is part romance, part thriller, and completely amazing, and you will not be able to put this book down. I can't wait for the sequel!" --Alexis Duell, Market Block Books, Troy, N.Y.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]