From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
All This Could Be Yours: A Novel by Jami Attenberg (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544824256). "I am in love with Jami Attenberg's writing, and was gripped by All This Could Be Yours from the opening pages. Everything about the Tuchmans felt so true to me: Alex's confusion and anger toward the family's toxic, now-comatose patriarch, Victor; Barbra's isolation in her later years after a long marriage to a brute; Twyla and Gary's unwinding secret selves--all of it is so perfectly told and paced. Full of Attenberg's trademark dry wit and precise, uncomfortable insight into the psychology of family love (and its close cousin, family hate), this novel had me laughing with genuine joy and crying in real sadness at the same time." --Liv Stratman, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
Ordinary Girls: A Memoir by Jaquira Díaz (Algonquin, $26.95, 9781616209131). "Too often, those of us who grow up below the federal poverty line spend the rest of our lives erasing ourselves. If we manage to migrate out of poverty, we do so at a cost. The gatekeepers of academia, and of literature, often only want to hear our stories if we make a spectacle of our people, or if we tell our stories in the language of the elite at the expense of our own voices. I think this is one of the most powerful things about Ordinary Girls. Díaz tells her sad and beautiful stories in her own voice, a voice that still holds the people and the places that made her. What a gift. Growing up poor means that we are taught, every day and in a million tiny ways, that our families are wrong, our speech is ugly, our stories shameful. This is oppression and Díaz banishes it with beauty, love, honesty, and insight. Ordinary Girls is a book that makes me feel less alone in this world." --Tina Ontiveros, Klindt's Booksellers, The Dalles, Ore.
Come With Me: A Novel by Helen Schulman (Harper Perennial, $16.99, 9780062459145). "A gripping, expertly written story of love and fate, Helen Schulman's Come With Me resonates for all of us who are engaged in our modern, complex families; intrigued and confused by the technology in our lives; and curious enough to wonder how our lives might have turned out if we had made different choices." --Linda Kass, Gramercy Books, Bexley, Ohio
For Ages 4 to 8
Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler (Nancy Paulsen, $17.99, 9780399162909). "This heartwarming story of a family that works together to make a new home is enhanced by gentle illustrations that reflect the bettering of their situation as the seasons go by. This is a book that every child, hustled along by the fast pace of life today, needs to hear, a quiet affirmation of the simple joys of hearth and home." --Cindy Brewer, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C.
For Ages 9 to 12
Cog by Greg van Eekhout, illustrated by Beatrice Blue (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062686077). "Since its creation date some months before, android Cog, designed for realistic human cognition, has lived happily with Gina in a house in the suburbs. When a misunderstanding sends Cog to a new 'home' at the headquarters of the tech firm that funded its creation, Cog makes friends with a talking car, a trash-bot, a robo-dog, and a sibling. Cog quickly gets to the heart of artificial intelligence, morality, and a road-trip adventure. This will engage young readers at once and inspire them to question assumptions about appearances, the law, and family." --Myles Mickle, Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls, Vt.
For Teen Readers
Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry (Soho Teen, $18.99, 9781641290746). "Queer poet Brynne Rebele-Henry's debut novel is based upon the legend of Orpheus and Eurydice. Raya and Sarah, childhood friends in small-town Texas, discover that their feelings for each other go deeper. Queerness is ultra-taboo in their community, so much so that when the girls are found in a sexual act together, they are sent by their families to a gay conversion camp. Raya's obsession with myths leads her to view the challenge as if she is Orpheus--she must do whatever it takes to save her love and escape with her from Hell. A whirlwind of courage, love, and sacrifice, Orpheus Girl is a triumph." --Mary Wahlmeier, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, Kan.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]