From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs: A Novel by Janet Peery (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250125088). "Long-suffering Hattie Campbell and her irascible husband, Abel, are in their 80s and still manipulating, enabling, and worrying about their four adult children, all of whom suffer, to some degree or other, from addiction, jealousy, and neediness. The sun around which they circle is Billy, the youngest of the siblings, who is both the most likable and most damaged. As Abel's health declines and Billy deteriorates, the remaining siblings compete to win their parents' favor. Peery's long-awaited follow-up to her National Book Award-finalist The River Beyond the World is a sympathetic portrait of a dysfunctional, complex, and often funny clan who, although they try, can't slip the family ties that bind." --Cindy Pauldine, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, N.Y.
The Prague Sonata: A Novel by Bradford Morrow (Atlantic Monthly Press, $27, 9780802127150). "A rich, sweeping novel that moves through history, from World War I to World War II, into the fall of the Soviet Union, and up to the present day. Weaving throughout the story is a hauntingly beautiful anonymous piano sonata that has been broken up into three parts. With rich and complex characters and multilayered writing that moves seamlessly throughout, The Prague Sonata touches deep into the human heart." --Richard Corbett, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.
Writing to Save a Life: The Louis Till File by John Edgar Wideman (Scribner, $16, 9781501147296). "This is a powerful meditation on the life of Louis Till, the father of Emmett Till whose brutal murder in 1955 spurred the Civil Rights Movement forward. It is not common knowledge today that Louis Till was convicted of a crime and executed in Italy while serving in the Army during World War II. Wideman was 14 years old--the same age as Emmett when he died--the year he saw pictures of Emmett Till's body in Jet magazine. When he found out decades later about Louis Till's fate, Wideman set out to investigate the tragic lives of both father and son. The result is a profound and moving exploration of race, manhood, violence, and injustice in our society." --Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.
For Ages 4 to 8
Windows by Julia Denos, illustrated by E.B. Goodale (Candlewick, $15.99, 9780763690359). "A young boy walks his dog in his neighborhood at dusk in Denos' Windows, which combines the familiar evening walk with all the possibilities of the stories that happen inside the houses one passes. This perfect, gentle book is a breath of fresh air before bed, and a welcoming hug of coming home." --Cynthia Compton, 4 Kids Books & Toys, Zionsville, Ind.
For Ages 9 to 12
Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic by Armand Baltazar (Katherine Tegen, $19.99, 9780062402363). "Timeless is every young adventurer's dream come true--a drop-your-jaw-gorgeous, picture-filled cinematic story, lovingly written, with characters you want to hang out with and filled with dinosaurs, hoverboards, fighter pilots, and robots. There isn't room in this book for anything else wonderful--Baltazar already put it all in." --Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, Ill.
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali (Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster, $18.99, 9781481499248). "In an ideal world, Saints and Misfits wouldn't need to be an important tent-pole book of Muslim representation; it would be one of many books about Muslim teens doing all sorts of things. And then we could just talk about how it's a funny, sharp, feminist book that tackles real issues with grace. It's just really good. Read it, for that reason and more." --Anna Kaufman, DIESEL: A Bookstore, Brentwood, Calif.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]