From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel by Elizabeth J. Church (Algonquin, $25.95, 9781616204846). "Church deftly traces the life of Meridian Wallace, an intelligent young woman who is searching for who she is and what she wants to become. As America braces for entrance into WWII, Meri falls for the ambitious Alden Whetstone, a much older but brilliant scientist. Aspiring to be a 'good wife,' Meri abandons her own academic pursuits in ornithology to follow Alden to Los Alamos, but the years that follow are filled with dashed hopes and compromises. Over the decades of her marriage, Meri attempts to fill the void of unrealized dreams by making a home and reclaiming her sense of self. Filled with sharp, poignant prose, the novel mimics the birds Meri studies, following her as she struggles to find her wings, let go, and take flight. Church gives readers a thoughtful and thought-provoking examination of the sacrifices women make in life and the courage needed for them to soar on their own." --Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, Ala.
Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
The Mirror Thief: A Novel by Martin Seay (Melville House, $27.95, 9781612195148). "Three stories are linked in this outstanding debut by criminal pursuits and Venice--not so much the actual place, but the idea of that place: in the late 1500s Venice, Italy, a man schemes to steal the most guarded technology of the day--a mirror; in 1950s Venice Beach, California, a thief discovers a mysterious text that seems to have unusual insights about that stolen mirror; and in 2015, a soldier purses the thief in the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas to retrieve the book about the mirror. As the stories draw together, Seay's thrilling novel dazzles at every turn. Unexpected and amazing, The Mirror Thief will leave readers breathless." --Jeremy Ellis, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Texas
The Book of Aron: A Novel by Jim Shepard (Vintage, $15.95, 9781101872741). "Shepard has performed a small miracle in channeling the voice of a young Jewish boy trapped in the Warsaw ghetto. He traces Aron's progression from country bumpkin and reluctant scholar to a 'macher' on the streets of Warsaw, where his cunning and courage prolong the lives of his increasingly oppressed and desperate family. Aron's story meshes with that of Janusz Korczak, well-known pediatrician, child rights advocate, and orphanage operator, when Aron is rescued from the streets after the death of all of his family members. The final scene of Korczak leading the ragtag parade of children to the train to Treblinka closes an astonishing portrayal of the Nazi evil viewed through the eyes of a very resourceful, tragic, but indefatigable child." --Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, Conn.
For Ages 4 to 8
Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer (Nancy Paulsen, $16.99, 9780399169137). "Stunning collage art and evocative, sensory writing will make Daniel Finds a Poem a favorite for teachers and families alike. Each full page spread has intricate visual interest perfectly paired with each animal's or insect's thoughts on life and poetry. Archer has created a true work of art that will be cherished by many new readers." --Johanna Albrecht, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.
For Ages 9 to 12
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor (Katherine Tegen, $16.99, 9780062333469). "Being raised in a minimum security prison is pretty unusual--his mother is an inmate--but Perry is happy. He learns so much from his inmate mentors and has a better understanding of the meaning of family than most adults. When he is taken from the only home he has ever known to be fostered by a 'proper' family, Perry is determined to show the world that he was really quite all right just where he was. Connor's message is that your family is made up of the people who care about you, look after you, and put you before themselves. The word 'family' encompasses all those people, whether they are blood-related or not. I love this book!" --Clarissa Murphy, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass.
For Teen Readers
A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry (Algonquin, $17.95, 9781616205218). "A Fierce and Subtle Poison is the Young Adult read I have been waiting for! This lush, gorgeous tribute to Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter is an awe-inspiring delight for YA readers. In the tropics of Puerto Rico, 17-year-old Lucas meets the mysterious inhabitants of a cursed mansion. His encounter will endanger his life, but possibly save the disappearing girls of San Juan. Prepare to read this novel at breakneck speed!" --Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, Minn.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]