From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky: Stories by Lesley Nneka Arimah (Riverhead, $26, 9780735211025). "Intense, haunting, and exquisitely rendered, the stories in Lesley Nneka Arimah's debut collection exist in a category of their own. They are individual worlds linked together by familiar themes--self-discovery, yearnings to love and be loved, generational divides, and the meanings of home and place--refashioned in a fresh, new light. Arimah shines in this debut, whose magic will surely live with you beyond the final page. Absolutely stunning." --Purvis Cornish, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.
Our Short History: A Novel by Lauren Grodstein (Algonquin, $26.95, 9781616206222). "Our Short History is a letter from a dying woman to her six-year-old son, and it totally shredded me. Yes, it is a sad story. But it is so much more than that. Readers will love the spirit of Karen Neulander. She is smart and thoughtful and fierce, and Jake is squirmy and tough and tender--just like six-year-old boys can be. Lauren Grodstein takes you to the edge of what you can bear, then shows you that strength comes from fragility and that hope still lives in despair." --Susan Thomas, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, Ky.
Disappearance at Devil's Rock: A Novel by Paul Tremblay (Morrow, $14.99, 9780062363275). "When a young boy goes missing, his mother and sister begin finding pages from his diary revealing secrets they had never suspected. Where did he go, and why won't his friends tell anyone the truth? Tremblay peels back the layers of a quaint New England town to expose the ugly underbelly of family life in the U.S. Disappearance at Devil's Rock is a shocking, scary, and disturbing read, the result of a powerful storyteller at work, and it solidifies Tremblay's reputation as a master of psychological suspense." --William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass.
For Ages 4 to 8
Pass It On by Sophy Henn (Philomel, $16.99, 9780399547751). "Pass It On's bright illustrations, which feature little faces from all sorts of backgrounds, pair with simple text to make it the perfect read-aloud for smaller children. The story's message reminds me of the lovely Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein." --Janet Geddis, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.
For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
How to Stage a Catastrophe by Rebecca Donnelly (Capstone, $12.95, 9781623708078). "A heartwarming ode to the power of community, theater, and, most especially, community theater! Aspiring director Sidney makes for a unique narrator who surrounds himself with a cast of quirky and inspiring characters. How to Stage a Catastrophe is a delightfully old-fashioned, let's-put-on-a-show story that still feels firmly grounded in the realities of today and will leave you smiling from ear to ear." --Bill Grace, Buttonwood Books & Toys, Cohasset, Mass.
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
Grendel's Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan (Knopf, $17.99, 9780399555541). "Tom Grendel cannot catch a break. His long-time crush, Willow, has moved into the house next door, Willow's brother (a bro if ever there was one) has started throwing wild parties every night, and Tom's dad, an Iraq war veteran, is suffering from PTSD triggered by the noise from the parties. What's an introverted young lawn-mower to do? Retaliate, of course, with the help of his best friend, college-age sister, and an artisinal pig farm...This couldn't possibly end badly...With shades of John Green and Jesse Andrews (without the rip-your-heart-out tragedy), this novel will delight new and old fans of contemporary YA alike." --Emily Hall, Main Street Books, St. Charles, Mo.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]