From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Book of Speculation: A Novel by Erika Swyler (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250054807). "Hauntingly beautiful, The Book of Speculation weaves a spectacular multigenerational story of magic, love, betrayal, and redemption. The story follows Simon, a young librarian and the descendant of circus mermaids, whose family is steeped in loss. Alongside his story is woven another's: Amos, a mute boy from the 1700s with a special gift. As histories are unveiled and unlikely connections are discovered, Simon is sent a mysterious book with a sinister message. Can he discover the secret that haunts his family in time? Fantastical history, engaging characters, and a love of the written word combine in this compelling novel." --Jax Caldwell-Dunn, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.
The Truth and Other Lies: A Novel by Sascha Arango (Atria, $24.99, 9781476795553). "Henry Hayden has it all: loving wife, faithful dog, money, fame, and the respect of those lucky enough to be called his friends. Henry is actually someone who will go to extreme lengths to protect the one thing that truly matters to him: himself. When his mistress tells Henry that she is pregnant, the news sets off a chain of events that causes Henry to commit the biggest mistake of his life and forces him to stay one step ahead of the law. Arango's novel is twisty, cynical, and brilliant." --Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo.
Accidents of Marriage: A Novel by Randy Susan Meyers (Washington Square Press, $16, 9781451673050). "When is the time when 'enough is enough?' Meyers deftly explores the issue of emotional abuse in her new novel. This is the story of Maddy and Ben and their three children. Maddy, a working mother, struggles to balance both career and family. Ben, a public defender, lives with a short fuse and drives the car that sends Maddy to the hospital in critical condition after a road rage encounter. Told from the points of view of Maddy, Ben, and Emma, the oldest sibling, Accidents of Marriage is an engrossing and provocative read." --Fran Keilty, Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, Conn.
For Ages 9 to 12
Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley (Dial, $17.99, 9780525428435). "Who doesn't love the circus? Thrilling performances, exotic animals, and the constant promise of surprise make circuses seem magical. In Circus Mirandus the magic isn't an illusion, but rather very real--and astounding! Raised by his beloved Grandpa Ephraim, Micah has grown up hearing tales of his grandpa's visit to an incredible circus as a boy. It was during that visit that Ephraim was promised a miracle, and now, many decades later, Ephraim is ill and needs that miracle. Can Micah find Circus Mirandus and obtain the promised wish that could save his grandfather? Micah is a wonderfully appealing young hero--vulnerable and almost desperate, yet he shows bravery, resilience, and a decency that never flags. His selfless quest to save his grandfather is the stuff of classic hero tales. While it honors the old epics, Beasley's glorious debut is fresh, unique, and completely original." --Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, Mass.
For Ages 3 to 5
Rude Cakes by Rowboat Watkins (Chronicle, $16.99, 9781452138510). "Rude Cakes is a fun and silly book that is sure to cause a laugh riot. While rude cakes misbehave, giant cyclopses are the model of good behavior. Fortunately, one rude cake's encounter with a giant cyclops--where he's mistaken for a jaunty dancing hat--is what that cake needs to change his not-so-sweet ways. The playful text and humorous illustrations blend perfectly to create a top-notch read." --Mark Adam, Mrs. Nelson's Book Fair Company, Pomona, Calif.
For Teen Readers
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (Dial, $17.99, 9780803740709). "Minnow Bly has spent the last 12 years of her life in the Montana wilderness with the Kevinian cult. She has no family, no education, no hands, and virtually no self worth. When the cult compound is burned down and the Prophet is found dead, the authorities turn to Minnow for answers. As she adjusts to life in juvenile detention and struggles with the decision to help the FBI, Minnow is finally able to educate herself and dream. Oakes has created a wonderfully strong female character in Minnow--one who isn't scared to think for herself and who is able to dream, even after years of being told she cannot. Highly recommended!" --Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]