From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
All That Followed: A Novel by Gabriel Urza (Holt, $25, 9781627792431). "All That Followed sheds some much-needed light on a region with an incredibly rich cultural history and a painful, tormented political past. The story is told in short chapters from three different perspectives: Joni, an American who fell in love with a Basque woman and has lived in Muriga, a small Basque town, since the 1940s; Mariana, a young woman from Muriga whose husband belonged to the wrong political party and was kidnapped and murdered; and Iker, the young man who is in jail for that crime. Each voice has its own weight, an almost sultry flirtation between acknowledging history as it was while needing to create its own version of the story. An impressively nuanced debut." --Elayna Trucker, Napa Bookmine, Napa, Calif.
The Girl Who Slept With God: A Novel by Val Brelinski (Viking, $27.95, 9780525427421). "A cautionary tale, a coming-of-age story, a family drama, a religious and social commentary, and an examination of the bond between two sisters, Brelinski's debut is remarkably multilayered and complex. At times audacious and even disturbing, it is above all an honest novel, tackling the definitions of love and morality and challenging the things we seem to never want to think or talk about. This demands to be read!" --Belinda Roddie, Copperfield's Books, San Rafael, Calif.
The Pope's Daughter: A Novel by Dario Fo (Europa Editions, $16, 9781609452742). "This is a delicious narrative that refutes the traditional belief that Lucrezia Borgia was an absolute villain. As Fo declares, 'there are two sides to every story,' and this retelling offers the positive side of Borgia's accomplishments, revealing both her humanity and her compassion. In his first novel, Nobel laureate and Italian playwright Fo weaves an engaging tale both informative and humorous, while also portraying the violence of the Borgia family and the times in which Lucrezia lived, holding a mirror to the abuses of power in our own time." --Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, Ala.
For Ages 4 to 8
Bernice Gets Carried Away by Hannah E. Harrison (Dial, $16.99, 9780803739161). "Nothing says disappointment like being the only one at the birthday party to get the plain white, no-frosting-flower piece of the cake, and Bernice's day just gets worse from there. She takes matters into her own hands, and with the help of too many balloons and a grumpy rain cloud, Bernice discovers a way to lift her mood. Fun illustrations and a non-didactic, solution-oriented story make this perfect for anyone who has ever had a bad day." --Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, Va.
For Ages 9 to 12
Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Ellis Smith (Schwartz & Wade, $16.99, 9780553511932). "Zavion and Henry are each recovering from tragedies. Zavion's house has disappeared with Hurricane Katrina and Henry has just lost his best friend on a favorite mountain in Vermont. In this remarkable debut, told in alternating voices, Smith weaves together each of the boys' stories, allowing readers to feel sad about the circumstances but renewed by the love of others who support the boys and rally to bring new joy to those who have suffered." --Arna Lewis, Buttonwood Books & Toys, Cohasset, Mass.
For Teen Readers
Conviction by Kelly Gilbert (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781423197386). "Wow! The pressure of the situation that 17-year-old Braden finds himself in when his father is arrested for murder and Braden is the crucial witness builds and builds throughout the novel as the author slowly reveals what really happened that night. My heart is still bleeding for Braden, days after finishing Conviction, which I highly recommend for both adults and teens." --Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]