From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (Atlantic Monthly Press, $26, 9780802126597). "See What I Have Done is a spellbinding historic reimagining of a Gothic tale many of us grew up knowing about. Schmidt brings to life all the characters in Lizzie Borden's world and takes the reader on an adventure through time and the investigation into the murder of her parents. Schmidt uses context to make the moment in history as much of a character as the people in the story, and the lively characters will keep you transfixed on the murder mystery. It is hard to say that a book about a murder is delightful, but See What I Have Done is a delightful, suspenseful, and satisfying read." --Steve Iwanski, Turnrow Book Co., Greenwood, Miss.
The Marriage Pact: A Novel by Michelle Richmond (Bantam, $27, 9780385343299). "The world has gone wacko lately, and in the fictional world of The Marriage Pact a secret group forms that ostensibly seeks to protect the integrity of marriage. With guidelines to follow to keep the worst from happening, it isn't long before newlyweds Alice and Jake find themselves in trouble. One of them breaks a rule and the consequences are, well, scary. A thriller like no other, this book may make you take a second look at your neighbors and ask yourself: how far you would go to keep your marriage intact?" --Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, Wash.
If the Creek Don't Rise: A Novel by Leah Weiss (Sourcebooks Landmark, $15.99, 9781492647454). "This debut novel set in a small North Carolina Appalachian village is full of strong Southern voices. Among them is Sadie Blue, a child bride who realizes in a matter of days that she has made a mistake in marrying the ne'er-do-well Roy Lupkin, and Kate Shaw, who answers Minister Eli Perkins' ad for a teacher for the children of Baines Creek. As Kate begins to make a difference in the lives of her students, she realizes they are returning the compliment. Kate offers to teach Sadie Blue to read, helping her to make another life for herself. Each of the characters will touch your heart, and you will cheer for their victories!" --Elizabeth Merritt, Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass.
For Ages 4 to 8
A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui (Capstone, $15.95, 9781623708030). "A strong, quiet story about love, family connection, and the way community is built on small shared moments. Bao Phi's clear prose tells a story where perhaps not much seems to happen, but in which the whole world is illuminated for a child by his father. Thi Bui's illustrations bring the reader into the life of a boy, a family, and the community where they live." --Shannon McMaster, The Bookman, Grand Haven, Mich.
For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez (Viking, $16.99, 9780425290408). "What do you do when your mom moves you to Chicago, far away from your friends, your dad, and his record shop? If you're Malu, you make zines to express your feelings, find your people at school, and start a punk band to reinvent traditional Mexican music. This tour-de-force debut will have you smiling, singing, and cheering for Malu as she explores her family history, culture, and community and comes to better understand herself. A must-have middle-grade book." --Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, D.C.
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis (Harlequin Teen, $18.99, 9780373212446). "In a dystopian future in which almost all words and gestures have been copyrighted and citizens are charged for even the most basic forms of communication, the ultimate act of resistance may be to choose silence. In this richly imagined novel, Katsoulis explores ideas of free speech and the consequences of intellectual property law through characters that are sympathetic, tough, and thoroughly believable. All Rights Reserved is an excellent sci-fi thriller (with some of the best world-building I've seen in ages) with a great sense of humor and a political conscience. For anyone who feels the need for a little bit of revolution in their fiction, this book is just the thing." --Annie Farrell, Labyrinth Books, Princeton, N.J.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]