From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Dragonfish: A Novel by Vu Tran (Norton, $26.95, 9780393077803). "Tran has written a highly original noir mystery involving Suzy, a Vietnamese immigrant, and her police officer ex-husband, Robert. Suzy goes missing in Las Vegas and her current husband, Sonny, enlists Robert's help to track her down. During his search for Suzy, Robert discovers a packet of letters written by her to Mai, Suzy's long-lost daughter, who is now a professional gambler living in Las Vegas. Suspenseful, cinematic, and haunting, Tran's storytelling is superb, and Dragonfish is an excellent debut." --Sherri Gallentine, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif.
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley (Bloomsbury, $26, 9781620408339). "It takes a special talent to have a reader truly suspend disbelief, but Pulley succeeds spectacularly well in this debut. In 1880s London, Thaniel Steepleton is a telegraphist whose life is saved by a very timely pocket watch. When he meets its maker, Keita Mori, his entire life is upended and made more beautiful--and dangerous. The clock is ticking on this new friendship, and Thaniel must use his ingenuity and previously untapped bravery to save Keita's life and his own future. Fans of David Mitchell and Erin Morgenstern will be intrigued, and I think it's safe to say that we can expect great things from Pulley." --Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, Fla.
Black Chalk by Christopher J. Yates (Picador, $16, 9781250075550). "In Black Chalk, Yates has taken the traditional novel and tweaked it to create something very special. In Thatcher-era England, six first-year Oxford University students have come together as friends. As they get to know each other, an idea forms and quickly gains traction: they should play a 'game,' with the loser facing a consequence. All six agree, and the dares begin as innocuous fun. As time goes on, however, something shifts within the group and the stakes become much higher--even deadly. Fourteen years later, the remaining players meet in New York City to finish the 'game,' but what has transpired for them in the interim? And is winning worth the price? A gripping, sinister, and suspenseful read." --Peggy Elefteriades, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.
For Ages 8 to 12
Murder Is Bad Manners: A Wells and Wong Mystery by Robin Stevens (Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 9781481422123). "Hong Kong transplant Hazel Wong serves as Watson to Daisy Wells' Sherlock Holmes in this debut middle-grade mystery series set in 1934 at Deepdean School for Girls. After Hazel finds the body of Miss Bell, the science teacher, it suddenly disappears, setting the Wells and Wong Detective Society on the case. Hazel narrates the story through her casebook, revealing that she is the more analytical of the pair. There are plenty of red herrings and wrong turns, but in the end Wells and Wong solve the case and leave readers eager to read more of their appealing tales." --Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex.
For Ages 4 to 8
Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99, 9780374380779). "In 1914, when Antonio was a little boy, he lived with his mother, who ran a three-story hotel in the woods of Ontario for lumberjacks, hunters, miners, and other people passing through. One summer day, a fire broke out in the surrounding woods, forcing everyone--people and the forest-dwelling animals alike--into the nearby lake for safety. As the fire raged on in the forest around them, everyone stood side by side, bonded by their shared catastrophe. Out of the Woods is a true story about the author's grandfather and his retelling of what happened in the woods on that summer day." --Jen Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.
For Teen Readers
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (Soho Teen, $18.99, 9781616955601). "In this tale set in the near future, when a procedure allows people to have specific memories removed for their own good, Aaron is dealing with the suicide of his father and the dawning realization that he might not be straight. He has a perfect girlfriend and a loving mother, but growing up in the Bronx is a struggle. When Aaron starts developing feelings for his new best friend, Thomas, he thinks about getting the procedure to make him forget that he likes boys. Silvera's debut is a beautifully different and heartfelt novel about family, class, sexuality, and self-acceptance." --Paige Mushaw, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]