IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

A Ladder to the Sky: A Novel by John Boyne (Hogarth, $27, 9781984823014). "Maurice Swift is a man you won't soon forget: handsome and charming, but above all else ambitious. He dreams of being the greatest writer of his generation and has no qualms about using the people in his orbit and conning his way to the top of his field. John Boyne has given us a truly memorable character in Maurice, but more than that, he's given us a novel with an ingenious structure and terrific dialogue that entertains the larger question of who can ever really own a story. This is a fantastic, thoughtful tale that even in its darkest moments is a thrill to read." --Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, Ill.

Family Trust: A Novel by Kathy Wang (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062855251). "Family Trust is a novel that I did not want to end. From the start, I was completely immersed in the Huang family dynamic, complicated as most families tend to be. In one sentence you feel real sympathy for a character, and in the next you are laughing out loud. It is a true gem. From the first pages, I was completely swept in to the lives of the Huang family. I have a feeling this will be my go-to hand-sell for the fall! Those who loved The Nest and Crazy Rich Asians will eat this right up! A very well-written, highly enjoyable read." --Kaitlin Smith, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, Calif.

Fire Sermon: A Novel by Jamie Quatro (Grove Press, $16, 9780802128980). "I'm presently gobsmacked by and head-over-heels in love with Jamie Quatro's Fire Sermon, a gorgeous, searing first novel that takes on themes of grace, God, desire, truth, and family. Told in an array of tenses and forms that range from poetry to e-mail (and everything in between), Fire Sermon takes great risks stylistically, as well as topically, leaving nothing stable in its wake. It is unsparing and uncompromising, singular, innervating, and strong, and it is a deeply, wonderfully stirring work of art." --Will Walton, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.

For Ages 4 to 8
P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever by Raj Haldar and Chris Carpenter, illustrated by Maria Beddia (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $17.99, 9781492674313). "This is not your mother's alphabet book! This is not for a young child just learning their alphabet. It could be used in classes as young as second grade but all the way to junior high due to the items mentioned, like bdellium (pronounced DEL-ee-yum). It would make a great gift for someone who collects alphabet books. There is a glossary at the end to help with the words (looking at you, Qatar) and fantastic illustrations. Next time I get a pet zebra I am calling it Zhivago, and I hope the next pterodactyl I see is called Ptolemy, but that it does not have psoriasis." --Jeanette Sessions, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.

For Ages 9 to 12
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott (Random House, $16.99, 9781524770457). "Did you know there's a portal to other dimensions right at the entrance to Prospect Park? And that time travel exists? A marvelous boy is dropped off with a strange woman for the day while his mother goes off to navigate real-world problems (a single mother fighting eviction from their apartment). The woman he is dropped off with turns out to be a witch, and together they set out to deliver three small dragons back to their realm because there's no magic left in our world and they won't survive here. I love the magical escape from the complexity of life as a city kid, that real city-kid issues are addressed in the backstory, and that this is subtle enough to not feel pedantic." --Rebecca Fitting, Greenlight Bookstore (Fort Greene), Brooklyn, N.Y.

For Teen Readers
Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean (HMH, $17.99, 9780544530942). "What a fantastic fantasy read! Author Emiko Jean makes full use of Japanese words and mystical elements of the yokai to craft a feudal-like world of historical emperor-led Japan featuring a kick-ass young woman with powers beyond mortal humans. Her Hunger Games-like quest of survival of the fittest in the bewitched Season Rooms brings together themes of love, trust, and loyalty. A real page-turner, this young adult fantasy is sure to be hit." --Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, Calif.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

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