From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens by Steve Olson (Norton, $27.95, 9780393242799). "Eruption is everything a nonfiction book should be: Marvelous storytelling mixed with a great cast of characters, fascinating science, and little-known history. Anyone with even a passing interest in the Pacific Northwest or volcanoes will love this book. I read it in three long, satisfying gulps, and, like all great books, its stories linger in the mind long after you've read the last page." --Tom Campbell, the Regulator Bookshop, Durham, N.C.
All the Winters After: A Novel by Seré Prince Halverson (Sourcebooks Landmark, $24.99, 9781492615354). "This is the compelling story of a damaged young woman, Nadia, who has taken refuge in a cabin in the Alaskan woods for the last 10 years after escaping an abusive marriage. Kachemak Winkel, the cabin's owner, returns to Alaska after a long absence, still mourning for his parents and older brother who lost their lives in a plane crash 20 years earlier. Two young, damaged souls are at the heart of this beautifully written novel, and the wild and dangerous beauty of Alaska is present throughout. Perfect for book groups!" --Patricia Worth, River Reader Books, Lexington, Mo.
Blackass: A Novel by A. Igoni Barrett (Graywolf, $16, 9781555977337). "We have seen transformation handled masterfully in literature, and Blackass, with its black, Nigerian protagonist waking up in the body of a white man, immediately calls to mind Kafka's Metamorphosis. But this is something more, something different. There is a willingness here to confront how we create our identities--racially, politically, and even on social media. Barrett does this with intelligence and a playful humor that is by turns bright and biting. There is an edge to Blackass, a fire, the beginning of trouble. This is Kafka for the Kanye generation." --Kenny Coble, King's Books, Tacoma, Wash.
For Ages 4 to 8
Dylan the Villain by K.G. Campbell (Viking, $17.99, 9780451476425). "In his parent's eyes, Dylan is the greatest villain ever. But when he starts attending a villain academy, he meets his match in Addison Van Malice and must step up his game, especially if he wants to win the diabolical robot contest. Campbell's playful, rich storytelling and humorous illustrations combine to make an original story that is 'crazy-bananas' wonderful!" --Mark Adam, Mrs. Nelson's Book Fair Company, Pomona, Calif.
For Ages 9 to 12
Baker's Magic by Diane Zahler, illustrated by Mina Price (Capstone, $12.95, 9781623706425). "An orphan turned baker's apprentice, an evil mage, a captive princess, a hedge wizard and a hedgehog, and a band of pirates led by their female captain, all magically involved in an ecological adventure. Middle-grade reading doesn't get better than this!" --Amy Lacy, Petunia's Place, Fresno, Calif.
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (Greenwillow, $17.99, 9780062380753). "Finally, a time-travel novel for the non-sci-fi reader. Nix is the daughter of a Navigator--a person who, with a map, has the ability to sail through time to anywhere on Earth, real or fabled. Her father is determined to return to 19th century Hawaii to save Nix's mother's life--a journey that might erase not only Nix's past, but her birth as well. Well-defined characters, a race against time, a charming love interest, mystical maps, a boy next door who actually came for a fabled map, and a girl without a time on a race to save her life and find her place in the universe combine in this perfect YA read." --Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, Va.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]