From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Milk Blood Heat: Stories by Dantiel W. Moniz (Grove Press, $25, 9780802158154). "Milk Blood Heat grabbed me and wouldn't let go. The prose blisters with a beauty so raw and intense it borders on horrifying. With widely differing characters, voices, and settings, each story makes its own unique contribution to the collection, yet each propels the reader onward in turn. Dantiel W. Moniz is a jaw-dropping new star on the literary stage." --Audrey Beatty, River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, Conn.
Zorrie: A Novel by Laird Hunt (Bloomsbury, $26, 9781635575361). "Zorrie's life was not an extraordinary one for a woman of her generation. She experienced the trials of the Depression and loss brought by war. Most of her years were spent tending a farm in rural Indiana. Her quiet life, with its disappointments and possibilities, heartbreaks and hopes, is held before the reader unadorned until, in its simplicity, one comes to see a nearly sacred beauty. This is a stunning work, and one that I believe will hold an important place in American literature."--Janis Herbert, Face in a Book, El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Grown Ups: A Novel by Emma Jane Unsworth (Gallery/Scout Press, $16.99, 9781982141943). "Grown Ups is told with humor and angst (both causing laughter and anxiety) in traditional prose supplemented with e-mails, texts, and social media columns and comments--much like our lives today. Jenny is living in London and tethered to her Instagram as her real life is slightly falling apart. This book is filled with fantastic writing and insights relevant to the modern balance of social media life with real life. I don't want to say too much more, other than I will miss Jenny now that I've finished reading." --Melissa Summers, Main Street Books, Davidson, N.C.
For Ages 4 to 8
Sunny-Side Up by Jacky Davis, illus. by Fiona Woodcock (Greenwillow, $17.99, 9780062573070). "The images and color palette of this book really help to illustrate the feelings of a rainy day and the joy that can be found in imaginative play. I also love that the father is represented as the caregiver while the mother is the one coming home from a day of work." --Dana Grimes, Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers, Columbus, Ohio
For Ages 9 to 12
The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as Told to His Brother) by David Levithan (Knopf, $16.99, 9781984848598). "The whole town is in an uproar when Aidan, Lucas's older brother, completely vanishes. When Aidan is found in the attic almost a week later, that concern turns into frustration. None of the adults believe what Aidan is telling them, that he accessed another world through the old attic wardrobe, a portal that has now closed. What Lucas finds hardest to believe is that when Aidan describes the green skies and foreign creatures of Aveinieu, it seems that he would rather be back there than home with his family. A thought-provoking novel of magical realism that leaves much to the imagination in both the ordinary and extraordinary. Bound to become a modern classic." --Andrew King, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.
For Teen Readers
As Far As You'll Take Me by Phil Stamper (Bloomsbury, $17.99, 9781547600175). "As Far As You'll Take Me is a profound and relatable coming-of-age story about leaving home for the first time in search of true belonging. When closeted, socially anxious, oboe-playing Marty Pierce flees his small Kentucky hometown for London, he reinvents himself, going on to find an LGBTQ-friendly community of musicians and have a meet-cute with a guy coincidentally named Pierce. Stamper's follow-up to The Gravity of Us will resonate strongly with readers struggling to break out of their shell or start over when they feel stuck." --Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, Mass.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]