From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Close Enough to Touch: A Novel by Colleen Oakley (Gallery, $24.99, 9781501139260). "It was just a kiss, but it nearly killed her. Jubilee is allergic to people. She can't be touched by strangers, well-meaning or not. She retreats into her shell, away from the world, but her high school years pass, then her parents are gone, and, finally, she must move out into the world or die. She finds a home for her quiet life in a library, until Eric finds her and insists that she discover the truth of a life lived without fear. Close Enough is filled with real life, real people, and the search for happiness that we all recognize. It is a truly moving story from a rare gem of an author." --Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, Wash.
Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan (Norton, $27.95, 9780393246438). "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is the most evenhanded piece of ecological writing I've come across in a long time. It is an excellent account of the effects humankind has upon nature, in this case the Great Lakes, and of nature's own resiliency." --Pete Mock, McIntyre's Books, Pittsboro, N.C.
Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson (Norton, $16.95, 9780393353587). "Eruption is everything a nonfiction book should be: Marvelous storytelling mixed with a great cast of characters, fascinating science, and little-known history. Anyone with even a passing interest in the Pacific Northwest or volcanoes will love this book. I read it in three long, satisfying gulps, and, like all great books, its stories linger in the mind long after you've read the last page." --Tom Campbell, The Regulator Bookshop, Durham, N.C.
For Ages 4 to 8
I Just Want to Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora (Nancy Paulsen, $17.99, 9780399173844). "The day is done, and Lala's village prepares to go to bed. As her mother and father call her in, Lala stops again and again (to her parents' annoyance) to say goodnight to the fish, the cat, the ants, and the rocks. Finally, she's ready. She crawls into bed and says goodnight to her book, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown. Rachel Isadora's beautiful pastel illustrations bring to life the African savannah and her characters. I Just Want to Say Good Night is sure to tug on your heartstrings." --Jennifer Oleinik, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.
For Ages 9 to 12
Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez (Nobrow, $18.95, 9781910620137). "Nightlights is a stunning, richly detailed ode to the power of creativity to triumph over loneliness and self-doubt. With gorgeous illustrations that evoke the fantastic imagination of Miyazaki, Alvarez builds an enchanting story full of sylphs, school troubles, and one adorable pigtailed heroine. LOVE!" --Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale (Margaret K. McElderry, $17.99, 9781481488419). "In a world ruled by superstition, Alys is taught to fear the forest around her village, the mysterious beast who lives within, and the 'soul eaters' who kill by taking the souls of anyone who crosses their paths. One night, Alys is the sole witness to the destruction of her village by the soul eaters, with no adults left alive. Alys and the other children are sent to a neighboring village with strict religious laws against the Beast, the forest, and anything unusual. As she grows older, Alys begins to fear she has more in common with the Beast and the soul eaters than the other villagers. The Beast Is an Animal is creepy, unsettling, and suspenseful in the best way." --Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]