From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!: A Novel by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin, $25.95, 9781616202613). "With This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, Evison has crafted an instant classic. Recently widowed 78-year-old Harriet embarks on an Alaskan cruise that proves to be the vehicle for her own self-discovery. As one shocking truth after another is revealed about Harriet's life, readers come to love this woman who is anything but perfect, and whose life is anything but ordinary. With an inventive, addictive structure and prose that surges with life, humor, and compassion, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance! is one to move to the very top of your reading list." --Rob Dougherty, Clinton Book Shop, Clinton, N.J.
In the Dark Places: An Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson (Morrow, $25.99, 9780062240545). "In the Dark Places, Robinson's 22nd Inspector Banks novel, is still rich in the landscape and culture of Yorkshire. Still populated with characters moving through their lives, reacting to events, reaching for experiences, skills, relationships--and justice for victims. Still ingeniously plotted, challenging even the astute reader to keep up through the nerve-racking suspense. Still flush with the musicality of Robinson's prose and with the love of music that is so much a part of Banks' personality. And still shaping the story with local history and landmarks so that In the Dark Places, like each Banks novel before it, is unique, yet contributing to a remarkable portrait of modern Britain in all its insularity and diversity." --Barbara Peters, the Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones: A Memoir by Charles M. Blow (Mariner, $14.95, 9780544570115).
"Mirroring so many of the memories, feelings, and imaginings from my own childhood in small-town Arkansas, Blow's moving memoir tells the pitiless Southern experience of a black man coming of age in Louisiana in a world and time when the legacy of slavery's grip is slipping away ever so slowly but still leaves its searing sting. An important book." --Chris Crawley, That Bookstore in Blytheville, Blytheville, Ark.
For Ages 4 to 8
Lizard From the Park by Mark Pett (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781442483217). "In the deepest part of Central Park, Leonard finds an egg. The egg doesn't stay an egg for long, however, and when it hatches, Buster the lizard appears. Leonard and Buster are inseparable friends until Buster starts to get bigger and bigger. Pett delights us with this ode to New York City in a story reminiscent of Steven Kellogg's The Mysterious Tadpole. Fall in love with New York City all over again as you discover this charming tale of friendship." --Hannah Moushabeck, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass.
For Ages 9 to 12
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (Aladdin Books, $17.99, 9781481446518). "Christopher Rowe is an apothecary's apprentice. Master Apothecary Benedict Blackthorn is kind, caring, and a more generous master than Christopher ever dared dream for. When Benedict becomes another casualty in what appears to be a series of murders of apothecaries, Christopher sets out to unravel the clues his master left behind. Filled with the perfect blend of adventure, humor, puzzles and ciphers, the occasional alchemical explosion, and an enormous amount of heart, The Blackthorn Key is the best kind of middle-grade read and a truly special book." --Hana Boxberger, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.
For Teen Readers
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith (Poppy, $18, 9780316334426). "With her smart and realistic dialogue, Smith paints an emotionally charged and convincing portrait of the last day before departing for college. The joy of anticipation and the heartache of leaving behind friends and memories make for a touching backdrop to the story of Clare and Aidan. They take a roller coaster ride of an evening to figure out once and for all if they should try for a long-distance relationship or break up to fully experience everything college has to offer. Witty, tender, and often hilarious." --Ashley Despain, Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]