From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
From The Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant: A Novel by Alex Gilvarry (Viking, $26.95, 9780670023196). "This is a bold book. It is bold in its style, its thesis, and its story. While Gilvarry's narrative and characters are big and playful, the underlying dilemmas are deadly serious: What happens to those falsely accused or mistakenly detained when the remedies of the American criminal justice system are unavailable to them? How does one prove one's innocence when the system is set up to prove one's guilt? Gilvarry skillfully navigates the space between black comedy and farce without delivering a polemic and instead gives us a novel that is delightful without being light." --Catherine Weller, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband by David Finch (Scribner, $25, 9781439189719). "After five years of a struggling marriage, Finch's wife, Kris, made a breakthrough guess--her husband had Asperger syndrome. The Journal of Best Practices is David Finch's well-documented attempt to go beyond his previous efforts at fitting in and to actually learn to do things like listen, empathize, and 'go with the flow.' Finch still doesn't like flying in a plane or unsolicited wetness, but the results of his determination are not just meaningful to his family, but also an enlightening, endearing, and amusing chronicle for the rest of us." --Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.
Blueprints of the Afterlife: A Novel by Ryan Boudinot (Black Cat, $14, 9780802170910). "It's not just that there's Seattle lurking, both familiar and eerily altered, in Boudinot's joltingly intense new novel set in a not-so-distant future; it's also that the people who inhabit Blueprints of the Afterlife take as given this strange new world. They give it battle, still going at life in full-tilted measure as much as anyone ever could--even if it means sometimes facing the clone of someone who is known or loved. This is a brave, daring, entrancing book, one that elicits empathy for the characters in it, even as it makes you look at the real world around you with different, startled eyes." --Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.
For Ages 9 to 12
An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo (Feiwel & Friends, $16.99, 9780312593698). "Confined to her nursing home bed, 82-year-old Lizzie tells an outrageous but true story to Karl and his mother. While awaiting the return of Papi from World War II, 16-year-old Lizzie, her young brother, Karli, and her mother make their garden home to a four-year-old orphaned elephant from the zoo. Dresden, Germany, is sure to be bombed, and the zoo will be forced to kill the larger animals that may pose a threat to the city. Marlene, the adored elephant, breaks loose, beginning a chase that leads them away from Dresden and saves them from warfare. Lizzie's story is laced with details that bring history to life." --Jane Morck, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]