From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Seven Days of Us: A Novel by Francesca Hornak (Berkley, $26, 9780451488756). "The holidays are always a stressful time, but imagine being with your immediate family for a full seven days of quarantine! This is the premise of Hornak's Seven Days of Us. To ride out the weeklong quarantine imposed due to daughter Olivia's work treating patients of an epidemic in Liberia, the Birch family plans to spend the Christmas holiday in mother Emma's crumbling ancestral home, Weyfield Hall, in Norfolk. On top of isolation and the lack of escape, each member of the family is dealing with their own secrets. A wonderful tale full of humor and heartache and all the issues families deal with--love, longing, and regret. Sometimes being forced together gives you a new perspective on your family and yourself." --Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, Ill.
We're Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062693983). "I know what this book looks like, and it's true that it's a '90s celebrity's memoir. But the other parts of this book are so remarkable that to limit its description to that would be an injustice. Gabrielle Union is an honest writer and cultural critic. I'm ashamed I didn't know this until now. Her reflections on race, gender, and authenticity in an industry that values anything but are refreshing and ring true. These are the portions of the book that really sparkle on the page. Writer to reader, friend to friend, Union simply shares some of her stories, and I was glad to be a part." --Lindsay Crist-Lawson, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, Ky.
Perfect Little World: A Novel by Kevin Wilson (Ecco, $16.99, 9780062450340). "Izzy Poole is 18, pregnant with her erratic art teacher's baby, and without any family or money to help her raise her child. Dr. Preston Grind is tragically widowered and estranged from his parents, who raised him using unconventional and unhealthy methods in the name of science. Dr. Grind invites Izzy and nine other couples also expecting their first child to join the Infinite Family Project, an experiment in communal parenting and an attempt to rebuild Dr. Grind's broken family. This is a fascinating and touching exploration of what makes or breaks a family." --Marisa Langlois, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
For Ages 4 to 8
Pup and Bear by Kate Banks, illustrated by Naoko Stoop (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99, 9780399554094). "When a wolf pup becomes separated from his pack in the Arctic spring, a polar bear cares for him until he is old enough to be on his own. Stoop's beautiful and sweeping illustrations accompany Banks' charming narrative of an animal family united in kindness, acceptance, and love. Fall into this gentle story as it leads you 'across the tundra, along the path that [goes] round and round in the wondrous wheel of life.' " --Jennifer Oleinik, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.
For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez (Viking, $16.99, 9780425290408). "What do you do when your mom moves you to Chicago, far away from your friends, your dad, and his record shop? If you're Malu, you make zines to express your feelings, find your people at school, and start a punk band to reinvent traditional Mexican music. This tour-de-force debut will have you smiling, singing, and cheering for Malu as she explores her family history, culture, and community and comes to better understand herself. A must-have middle-grade book." --Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, D.C.
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis (Harlequin Teen, $18.99, 9780373212446). "In a dystopian future in which almost all words and gestures have been copyrighted and citizens are charged for even the most basic forms of communication, the ultimate act of resistance may be to choose silence. In this richly imagined novel, Katsoulis explores ideas of free speech and the consequences of intellectual property law through characters that are sympathetic, tough, and thoroughly believable. All Rights Reserved is an excellent sci-fi thriller (with some of the best world-building I've seen in ages) with a great sense of humor and a political conscience. For anyone who feels the need for a little bit of revolution in their fiction, this book is just the thing." --Annie Farrell, Labyrinth Books, Princeton, N.J.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]