From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Empire of Wild: A Novel by Cherie Dimaline (Morrow, $27.99, 9780062975942). "Cherie Dimaline's latest novel packs a wallop of a story. Absolutely stunning in every way, this latest offering follows the story of Joan, whose husband has disappeared, and her courage when confronted with truths and lies. She and her husband, Victor, live in a Métis community, close and tight knit. As Joan deals with the fallout of her emotions after Victor disappears, she comes across another man, Eugene Wolff, who bears her husband's face. He does not carry Victor's memories and insists he has no idea who Joan's husband is. Turning over rocks to find the truth, Joan reaches out to whomever she can in her community for help. What waits for her at the end of her quest is incredible. This novel will have you at the edge of your seat!" --Annie Carl, The Neverending Bookshop, Edmonds, Wash.
True Story: A Novel by Kate Reed Petty (Viking, $26, 9781984877680). "A brilliant mind-bender of a novel that uses different methods of storytelling to illustrate how storytelling creates different versions of truth (if truth even exists) and reality. Are we the stories we tell ourselves? Or do we become the stories that are told about us? This is the question True Story asks as it peels away layer after layer of the narrative. Part fever dream, part timely comment on sexual assault, and part psychological thriller, True Story will keep you turning pages and guessing until the genius, puzzle-completing ending. I LOVED this book!" --Debra Ginsberg, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Santa Monica, Calif.
FKA USA: A Novel by Reed King (Flatiron Books, $17.99, 9781250108913). "This book is a wild ride through a post-dissolution, post-apocalyptic United States beginning a mere decade from now and continuing to the end of the 21st century. The political, technological, and ecological disasters it envisions seem all too plausibly extrapolated from the headlines of today. Despite the litany of cascading disasters--mass extinctions, warring androids, southern California dropping into the ocean, conflicts between different corporations controlling different sections of the former USA, mind control, goat-human hybrids, and more--Reed King injects a measure of hilarity into his tale. At the same time harrowing and hysterical, this is a great book by a visionary author. Highly recommended." --Edward Newton, The Literate Lizard, Sedona, Ariz.
For Ages 4 to 8
The Blue House by Phoebe Wahl (Knopf, $17.99, 9781984893369). "What makes a home? In this beautiful picture book, Wahl explores the emotional arc of moving. But her story goes beyond the simple act of packing and leaving: A child and father are pushed out of their home due to gentrification, and their family is just the two of them. Small details, such as the records the child and father rock out to when they need to dance and scream out their emotions, will captivate readers. Though a subject many authors have dealt with, The Blue House offers a creative, alternative way of looking at moving, one with clear Pacific Northwest details and a family we don't often see on the page. Warm, welcoming, and lovely!" --Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.
For Ages 9 to 12
Lightfall: The Girl & the Galdurian by Tim Probert (HarperAlley, $22.99, 9780062990471). "With flavors of Amulet, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and the world of Shannara, Lightfall delivers a rich and exciting quest that feels epic yet thoroughly cheeky, accessible, and adorable all at once. So many themes are handled with delicate gusto, such as Bea's anxiety and her grandfather's failing memory. Above all, there is such a positive mindset it makes me wish I had a friend like Cad who would help me face my fears. I am SO excited to read the next book in the series (hello, cliffhanger!) and push these into our readers' hands." --Grace Menary-Winefield, Booked, Evanston, Ill.
For Teen Readers
Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera (Bloomsbury, $18.99, 9781547603732). "In this fresh remix, Lilliam Rivera deftly combines original details with contemporary Afro-Latinx life in the Bronx, from the flirty bounce of bachata to the weight of Hurricane Maria and its impact on island communities and diaspora. I love how this character-driven romance humanizes Pheus and Eury--they are accessible, complex teens distinctly of our time who face an ancient and destructive threat with equal parts assuredness and fearful trepidation. A satisfyingly feminist ending rounds out this myth retextured for our modern moment. Immersive and intense, Never Look Back will make you want Rivera to retell all of your favorite classics." --Niki Marion, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]