From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Dinner With Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship by Isabel Vincent (Algonquin, $23.95, 9781616204228). "Dinner With Edward is the charming story of the author's friendship with her friend's widower father. Vincent does a wonderful job evoking the sensuous details of the meals they shared, but this is more than just a foodie memoir: it is an exploration of the nature of friendship, aging, loss, and how we define our identities as the world changes around us. Despite the sadness of some of its topics, Dinner With Edward is ultimately a warm, feel-good story." --Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, Mich.
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper: A Novel by Phaedra Patrick (Mira, $24.99, 9780778319337). "Arthur Pepper has finally gotten around to cleaning out his deceased wife's clothes when he comes across her charm bracelet. He doesn't remember seeing it before, and the charms pique his curiosity about the life his wife led before they met. Thus begins an adventure that will have Arthur learning to embrace life more fully and becoming more present in the lives of those he cares about. Grab a seat and get lost in this charming read with characters you will cheer on, laugh with, and perhaps shed a tear for." --Lisa Fabiano, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, Mass.
Church of Marvels: A Novel by Leslie Parry (Ecco, $15.99, 9780062367563). "In this page-turner of a debut very little is what it first appears to be. Set in Coney Island and Manhattan at the end of the 19th century, Church of Marvels is populated with carnival folk and others living on the edge of society with either much to hide or much to discover. The characters are richly drawn and their circumstances exceptionally intriguing as they seek and find the complicated truths of their lives in the dark underbelly of New York." --Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, Colo.
For Ages 4 to 8
Wolf Camp by Andrea Zuill (Schwartz & Wade, $16.99, 9780553509120). "Oh, to step out of our routines, if only for a moment, and pretend to be someone else. Homer, a pampered pooch, gets to do just that when he goes off to Wolf Camp to experience life as a wolf. Homer and his fellow canine campers survive in the wild with all of its adventures and discomforts and make themselves into a temporary pack. When they take some of their new-found skills home, they enliven the neighborhood. Zuill's witty asides and comical artwork add humor to an already funny story." --Diann Fortune, the Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, N.C.
For Ages 9 to 12
Lily and Dunkin by Donna Gephart (Delacorte, $16.99, 9780553536744). "Lily Jo McGrother is about to start eighth grade, and she's determined that this will be the year she truly becomes Lily instead of Timothy. The year seems to start off on a positive note when Lily meets Dunkin, but Dunkin has his own issues and it appears he would rather get in with the popular crowd than swap secrets with a boy at the bottom of the middle school food chain. This book takes the usual middle school themes and puts gender identity and bipolar disorder in the mix with two special characters who want nothing more than to be accepted for who they are." --Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood (Roaring Brook Press, $17.99, 9781626723733). "If I told you that time travel is real, you would think I'm crazy, but for physics prodigy Gottie Oppenheimer, it is real. The emotional stress from the loss of her grandfather, rejection by her secret boyfriend when she needed him most, and the reemergence of her dorky-turned-dashing childhood best friend send her traveling through wormholes to critical moments in her past. With love, family, and friendships on the line, Gottie tempts fate to uncover the meaning behind the wormholes. The Square Root of Summer is as entertaining as it is insightful." --Clare Donovan, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, N.Y.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]