From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko: A Novel by Scott Stambach (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250081865). "Seventeen-year-old Ivan Isaenko has spent his entire life in a cloistered world, but he possesses a keen intellect and an understanding of humanity that far exceeds the confines of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. Severely physically handicapped due to radiation poisoning, Ivan has never had a friend beyond his caregivers at the hospital--until Polina is admitted. The two teens form a fast and indelible bond that will leave readers in awe of the tenacity of their commitment. Heartbreaking and awe-inspiring." --Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, Minn.
The Muse: A Novel by Jessie Burton (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062409928). "Burton's follow-up to The Miniaturist also takes place in the art world, but this time the settings alternate between London in the 1960s and pre-Civil War Spain in the 1930s. In 1967, a long-lost work by a dead Spanish painter turns up in London. Is it really an original Isaac Robles? Or is there a more complicated story behind the intriguing painting? A fun read with interesting meditations on the purpose and making of art." --Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, N.Y.
Riverine: A Memoir From Anywhere But Here by Angela Palm (Graywolf Press, $16, 9781555977467). "Haunting and surprising yet immediately relatable, Palm's striking memoir sinks its roots deep into readers and holds fast. Everything ordinary, Palm reveals, is extraordinary--tragic, profound, amusing, brutal--when examined up close. In reflecting on her own formative years, growing up 'between points on the map' in small-town Indiana, Palm paints a measured, unforgettable portrait of the forces that break us free of our origins and those that inevitably call us back." --Sam Kaas, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.
For Ages 4 to 8
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel (Katherine Tegen, $17.99, 9780062354853). "This lilting, fun picture book explodes with energetic drawings in a riff on folk tales of old. Author Bernstrom's debut, which is reminiscent of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, is perfectly suited to Wenzel's colorful, animated illustrations. Storytime readers will find much to do in this imaginative eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree!" --Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, Calif.
For Ages 9 to 12
What Elephants Know: A Novel by Eric Dinerstein (Disney-Hyperion, $16.99, 9781484728543). " 'My mother is an elephant and my father is an old man with one arm.' So begins this absolute gem of a book set in Nepal. It is a masterfully written, poignant story of an orphan boy, Nandu, who finds home and family with the head of an elephant stable. When the king orders the stable to be closed, Nandu must find a way to save it. This is a brilliant and unforgettable story filled with action and universal truths." --Vicky Titcomb, Titcomb's Bookshop, East Sandwich, Mass.
For Teen Readers
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin's Griffin, $18.99, 9781250085474). "A princess cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction becomes an empowered queen of the Otherworld in Chokshi's darkly romantic debut, inspired by Indian and Greek mythology. Richly imaginative, lyrical, sensuous, and lush, The Star-Touched Queen is a spellbinding tale of love, betrayal, and redemption--perfect for fans of Rosamund Hodge, Laini Taylor, and Bree Despain." --Alyssa Raymond, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]