From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
I Am Radar: A Novel by Reif Larsen (Penguin Press, $29.95, 9781594206160). "I Am Radar revolves around questions of art, creation, love, heartbreak, performance, war, and regeneration. Sounds like heady stuff, and it is, but on an immensely readable level that culminates in a puzzling yet delightful climax. As Radar navigates his way through life as a black child, a white man, and a white/black man, he discovers that art can be perception and science can be art. The language used is delightfully beautiful, even in the war scenes. I Am Radar may also be the best book about personal definitions of art in our time, as well as how art can affect and change a person. I cannot recommend it highly enough!" --Bill Carl, The Booksellers on Fountain Square, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Aquarium by David Vann (Atlantic Monthly Press, $24, 9780802123527). "The world of the aquarium becomes a microcosm of a young girl's longings--some she can name, some she cannot--as her splintered family makes jagged efforts to reform itself. How kinship is expressed, both in the fish world and within 12-year-old Caitlin's difficult family, is at the heart of Vann's piercing and ultimately redemptive novel--one that remains vivid long after the last page." --Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, Calif.
The Room: A Novel by Jonas Karlsson (Hogarth, $14, 9780804139984). "An employee at a mundane office in Sweden, Bjorn knows that he is better than his contemporaries and does whatever it takes to get the recognition he feels he deserves. He finds that recognition in 'the room,' an otherwise unremarkable space between the elevators and the toilets, except for the fact that it seems to exist only for him. In 'the room,' Bjorn feels more powerful, more attractive, and able to take control of the work environment he finds upsettingly sloppy. Unfortunately for Bjorn, his coworkers only see him as a man staring at a wall for inordinate periods and try to keep him from this unsettling behavior. Brilliantly crafted and sharply funny." --Kelsey Myers, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo.
Stone Cove Island by Suzanne Myers (Soho Teen, $17.99, 9781616954376). "A catastrophic hurricane devastates Stone Cove Island, located off the coast of New England. As the islanders pull together to rebuild, 17-year-old Eliza discovers a typewritten letter when she volunteers to clean out the island lighthouse. Eliza soon learns her mother's best friend drowned 25 years ago and was apparently murdered. No one was arrested and the islanders decided to bury the secret. But why? Eliza, with the help of Charlie, a school mate, is determined to solve the murder, but no islander answers her questions. This is a stunning debut mystery that will attract young adult and adult readers alike." --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, Mich.
A Bed for Bear by Clive McFarland (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780062237057). "After concluding that his cave is too noisy, too big, and too crowded, Bernard the bear is on a search for the perfect bed. But every bed he encounters is perfect for its own inhabitant and not perfect for a bear. Bernard may find that his perfect bed is a little closer to home. With collages reminiscent of the work of Eric Carle and a lovely storyline, A Bed for Bear is sure to delight." --Tia Heywood, The Babbling Book, Haines, Ark.
Ages 4 to 8
The Mouse Mansion by Karina Schaapman (Dial Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780803740495). "This book is amazing and absolutely enchanting! I spent so much time poring over the pages, marveling at the tiniest details in the miniatures shown in each spread. This simply lovely and completely unique collection of short stories is sure to be enjoyed by everyone who opens it up!" --Kaley Degoursey, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]