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
In Every Moment We Are Still Alive: A Novel by Tom Malmquist (Melville House, $25.99, 9781612197111). "Malmquist's debut autobiographical novel opens at top speed as we meet Tom in the hospital and learn that his pregnant girlfriend's life is in danger. With a velocity unlike any hospital drama, Malmquist captures the chill of the medical staff and his forced navigation of a clinical, emotionless world. Malmquist's writing style is unlike any I've recently experienced. He captures the ordinariness of daily life and the mundane choices we must make as citizens of this world. His ear for dialogue makes you feel present and privileged to be part of the conversation. I have not experienced such skillful, unrelenting examination by a writer tackling life-and-death circumstances and what it means to live in a changed world as I have with this book." --Janine de Boisblanc, Orinda Books, Orinda, Calif.
The Mitford Murders: A Mystery by Jessica Fellowes (Minotaur, $25.99, 9781250170781). "I am not the main mystery reader in my household, but I loved The Mitford Murders. With perfect timing for all things Great Britain, Jessica Fellowes definitely deserves her uncle Julian's blessing to place the real-life Mitfords in a fictional Downton Abbey-like setting. It absolutely kept me guessing and satisfied all my English cravings. Well, at least until the royal wedding in May!" --Sue Roegge, Chapter2Books, Hudson, Wis.
Fever Dream: A Novel by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell (Riverhead, $16, 9780399184604). "Haunting, foreboding, eerie, and ominous, Schweblin's Fever Dream is the first of the Argentine author's books to appear in English. Despite its brevity, Fever Dream throbs with a quickened pulse, as heightening tension is its most effective quality. An intriguing yet purposefully vague plot adds to the story's mystique, one of peril, poison, and the unexplained terror of worms. Metaphorical in scope, Schweblin's impressively constructed tale leaves much to the imagination but is all the richer for doing so. Unsettling and compelling, this is a delirious, potent novel not to be overlooked." --Jeremy Garber, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.
For Ages 4 to 8
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jen Hill (Roaring Brook, $17.99, 9781626723214). "An excellent picture book about empathy and kindness, both how to show it and how it can be challenging. Simple text and engaging illustrations make this perfect for kids in pre-K to third grade. I think some adults could use it, too. Timely, necessary, yet also heartwarming." --Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y.
For Ages 9 to 12
Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett (Little, Brown, $16.99, 9780316433990). "Marabel's twin brother, Marco, is the Chosen One, prophesied by the Book of Fate to save the kingdom of Magikos. For Marabel, that means always being in Marco's shadow. But when an evil queen kidnaps Marco on their very important 13th birthday, Marabel knows that she has to rescue her brother. With help from her best friend and a talking unicorn, Marabel treks across kingdoms to find her brother, a journey that teaches her about friendship and fate, good and evil, and that sometimes a different perspective can help you save the day. For fans of humorous fairy tale classics like Ella Enchanted, and for anyone who is tired of waiting around for their day in the sun." --Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.
For Teen Readers
American Panda by Gloria Chao (Simon Pulse, $17.99, 9781481499101). "American Panda is the cutest book I have read in a long time. Mei's parents want her to become a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer. When Mei goes off to college, she doesn't want her family to find out that she sleeps through biology and hates germs, or that she's met Darren, who is not Taiwanese. Readers follow Mei as she struggles between keeping secrets from her parents and going after what she loves. When she reconnects with her brother Xing, who was estranged for dating the wrong girl, Mei realizes that it might not be worth it to keep her secrets. American Panda is packed with culture, romance, and family." --Emily Matz, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, Mich.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]