From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins (Crown, $26, 9780553418606). "Mindblowing, outrageous, and visionary, this is without question the best fantasy I have read in many moons! Hawkins has penned a tale that both opens the reader up to new perceptions of the universe, its creation, and ascendency, and gives the adage 'absolute power corrupts absolutely' an entirely singular meaning. He has imagined characters who are simultaneously loveable and despicable and presents them in a way that is both terrifying and darkly funny. Whether or not fantasy is your genre of choice, The Library at Mount Char will amaze you!" --Lynn Riggs, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis.
As Night Falls: A Novel by Jenny Milchman (Ballantine, $26, 9780553394818). "If you want to experience a great psychological thriller, you must read As Night Falls. Sandy has tried to leave her past behind and start a new life, but it comes crashing in on her in a vicious way. Two convicts break into her house, and that is just the beginning of the terror as Sandy must try to face the past and save her family. I could not put this book down!" --Melissa Wade, Vero Beach Book Center, Vero Beach, Fla.
The Girl Who Wrote in Silk: A Novel by Kelli Estes (Sourcebooks Landmark, $14.99, 9781492608332). "In 1886, a young Chinese woman is forced out of the only home she has ever known in Seattle. Liu Mei Lin must overcome prejudices and terror while struggling to keep the traditional beliefs that are close to her heart. On contemporary Orcas Island, Inara deals with an overbearing father who will throw up every roadblock he can to get her to do what he wants. As Inara prepares to turn a family home into a hotel, she finds an embroidered silk sleeve hidden below a stair step. Wanting to learn more about the sleeve and the figures depicted on it, she begins a search to find out more about the woman who made it. This story is compelling, heart-wrenching, and an absolutely beautiful read." --Debbie Buck, Vintage Books, Vancouver, Wash.
For Teen Readers
Conviction by Kelly Gilbert (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781423197386). "Wow! The pressure of the situation that 17-year-old Braden finds himself in when his father is arrested for murder and Braden is the crucial witness builds and builds throughout the novel as the author slowly reveals what really happened that night. My heart is still bleeding for Braden, days after finishing Conviction, which I highly recommend for both adults and teens." --Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.
Anything Could Happen by Will Walton (Push, $17.99, 9780545709545). "The reason books like this need to be written is to remind us that everyone deserves to be loved unconditionally. The character of Tretch is your brother, your son, your favorite co-worker, your nephew. He is one of the most kind, true, genuine teenage boys you'll ever meet. It takes great courage to be honest, and Walton's main character realizes that being truly honest opens you up to being loved. When you read Anything Could Happen, you'll hold your breath, your heart will break, and you'll wish you could see Tretch's dance moves!" --Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.
For Ages 9 to 12
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, illustrated by Katie Kath (Knopf, $16.99, 9780385755528). "Sophie Brown inherits her uncle's unusual chickens when her family inherits his farm. What makes these chickens unusual, you ask? Super speed, telepathy, and invisibility, among other traits. If that isn't enough to deal with, someone is trying to steal Sophie's new feathered friends. This whimsically illustrated diverse book is told in the format of letters to Sophie's abuela and her late uncle. Fans of Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary will love this thrill-a-minute tale of rural adventure." --Sarah Sawyers-Lovett, Big Blue Marble Bookstore, Philadelphia, Pa.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]