From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Postmark Bayou Chene: A Novel by Gwen Roland (LSU Press, $25.95, 9780807161449). "As if a near-dead dog towed by an empty skiff wasn't enough to rattle the village of Bayou Chene, a misdirected letter returns, dragging a host of secrets in its wake. In the ensuing fracas, three young friends find out that the perils of their swamp are tame compared to the vagaries of the human heart--territory more dangerous than a wad of cottonmouths in high water. Roland's ear for dialogue and eye for detail bring the vanished community of Bayou Chene and the realities of love and loss on the river back to life in a well-crafted, bittersweet tribute." --Christine Curry, A Novel Experience, Zebulon, Ga.
Made to Kill: A Novel by Adam Christopher (Tor, $24.99, 9780765379184). "Meet Raymond Electromatic, private detective turned assassin. Oh, and he's also the world's last robot. It's just another day in 1965 Hollywood and business as usual for Ray and his boss, Ada. That is, until a mysterious woman shows up with a duffel bag full of unmarked gold bars and a request. Unable to pass up all that money, Ray takes the case. Soon, Ray discovers that this is no regular 'find him and assassinate him' kind of job. Made to Kill brings back noir with a stylish new twist in this captivating tale for people of all makes and models!" --Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.
The Country of Ice Cream Star: A Novel by Sandra Newman (Ecco, $16.99, 9780062227119). "Newman drops the reader into a small tribe of scavengers, hunting and thieving out a meager survival in the woods of Massachusetts, approximately 80 years after an unnamed plague has wiped out most of the U.S. population. The world Newman creates is original, richly detailed, and compellingly realized, including the patois in which the story is told. At turns violent, romantic, funny, and touching, The Country of Ice Cream Star wraps an exploration of power, American institutions, race, and human nature into a ripping, twisting, and turning post-apocalyptic tale that is epic in scope and achievement." --Matt Nixon, the Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, Tenn.
For Ages 3 to 5
Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781484730881). "Bruce, a grumpy bear who lives alone, is about to boil free-range, organic eggs for a special recipe he found on the Internet when he discovers that the eggs have hatched and are crying, 'Mama!' When he tries to return them to Mrs. Goose, he finds that she has flown south. What does a curmudgeon bear do with four baby goslings? Not what you would imagine! The vision and cleverness of Higgins and his delightful illustrations have produced an outrageously funny picture book that will make even the grumpiest readers laugh." --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, Minn.
For Ages 9 to 12
A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius by Stacey Matson (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $15.99, 9781492620747). "Arthur Bean is sure that he can write a brilliant, award-winning novel--just as soon as he gets an idea. With lots of warmth, humor, and sly wit, Canadian author Matson introduces readers to one of the funniest characters to ever cross the pages of middle-grade literature. With his story told through a series of e-mails, journal entries, and memos, Arthur Bean is a unique new voice not soon to be forgotten. My fingers are crossed for a sequel!" --Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, Minn.
For Teen Readers: Revisit & Rediscover
My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins, and Fenway Park by Steve Kluger (Speak, $8.99, 9780142413432). "Three high school seniors are given an assignment to reflect on their favorite times in high school and My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger is the funny, thoughtful, and oh-so-sweet product. Alejandra, T.C., and Augie tell their stories in alternating chapters, remembering school musicals, baseball games, Mary Poppins, social activism, and the year they made a little boy's dream come true." --Diane Capriola, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, Ga.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]