From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Arrangement: A Novel by Ashley Warlick (Viking, $26, 9780525429661). "Ostensibly the story of M.F.K. Fisher and the years when she honed her skills as America's first food essayist, The Arrangement is actually a story about the fragility of relationships. As Fisher grows in renown, her marriage crumbles and she boldly takes a lover who represents everything antithetical to her husband--his best friend. This is a sensual novel in every sense of the word, and the reader experiences all the excitement of both food and sexuality as Fisher becomes a more independent woman and discovers her writing abilities. What a woman! What a novel!" --William Carl, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass.
My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir by Chris Offutt (Atria Books, $26, 9781501112461). "This fascinating memoir of Offutt's difficult relationship with his father is complicated by the realization that his father was a prolific writer of pornography. Author Andrew Offutt was known as a science fiction writer, but, with his death, his son discovers that his family's income was due to the astounding abundance of writing in this other genre. As he catalogs his father's library of writings, drawings, and more, Offutt tries to understand the man that kept his family walking on eggshells. Difficult to read at times, but complex, intriguing, and hard to put down." --Nona Camuel, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, Ken.
Of Things Gone Astray: A Novel by Janina Matthewson (The Friday Project, $14.99, 9780008137557). "In London, a group of people have lost that which they hold most dear. A girl stands in the airport waiting for her lover while her feet turn to roots and her skin to bark. A recluse loses the front wall of her home, while a workaholic cannot find his office building. Piano keys, a sense of direction, and a boy's relationship with his father all have gone astray. Slowly, each victim adapts, unwittingly helping one another during the briefest encounters. Each loss is heartbreaking and each character's struggle to survive is inspiring. With stunning prose and insight, Matthewson uses magic to illuminate truth in this hauntingly beautiful debut novel." --Amelia Stymacks, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
For Ages 4 to 8: Revisit & Rediscover
A Story for Bear by Dennis Haseley, illustrated by Jim LaMarche (Harcourt Brace, $17.99, 9780152002398). "This story of a bear who finds himself captivated by the sound of a woman reading to him outside her cabin in the woods perfectly captures the pleasures of shared reading. Evocative illustrations and a gentle, lilting tone further accentuate this moving tribute to the power of giving voice to books." --Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Farmington, Maine
For Ages 9 to 12
The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99, 9781492623243). "A death curse looms over Saki's grandmother's house because Saki used the wrong branch in a fire to honor the dead. She now has only three nights to undo the curse or say goodbye to the world of the living forever. The Night Parade is the biggest celebration of the year, when spirits travel from far and wide to pay homage at the shrine on the mountaintop overlooking Saki's grandmother's house. The Night Parade is full of adventures and unusual creatures that will grab the attention of middle-grade readers and also introduce them to Japanese culture. Not to be missed!" --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, Minn.
For Teen Readers
Soundless by Richelle Mead (Razorbill, $19.99, 9781595147639). "This fantasy informed by Chinese folklore is full of new ideas and breathtaking moments. Fei lives in a world where no one can hear, and people are starting to go blind. High atop a mountain with no way down and no link to the outside world except a zipline that delivers scant rations in exchange for the metals that they mine, Fei and her people are trapped by injustices. That is until, suddenly, Fei can hear. She is ready to climb down the mountain to ask for some changes, but what she finds there is not at all what she expected." --Alison Nolen, Linden Tree Children's Books, Los Altos, Calif.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]