From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Passenger: A Novel by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster, $25.99, 9781451686630). "Thrilling and impossible to put down, this is the sharp, witty, and often sassy story of a woman, variously known as Norah/Jo/Tanya/Amelia/Debra/et al., on the run from events in her past for which she claims innocence. Her only chance of freedom is to run, and while running she changes identities and adds new troubles almost faster than readers can keep track. A meeting with a mysterious woman named Blue puts her on a new path, one that hopefully will lead her home and give her a chance to finally clear her name. Fast-paced and full of unexpected obstacles, this is a roller-coaster ride of a read you don't want to miss." --Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.
A Man Lies Dreaming: A Novel by Lavie Tidhar (Melville House, $25.95, 9781612195049). "Tidhar's brilliant novel channels pulp fiction conventions to grapple with the horrors of the Holocaust. In its opening pages, readers are dropped into late 1930s England where Oswald Mosley is about to become prime minister and Hitler, whose Nazi party was defeated by the Communists, is a down-at-the-heels private investigator, a sad and tortured little man. As it turns out, this alternate history is a fever dream of a prisoner at Auschwitz. Who is to say that turning the powerful into the defeated--even as a fantasy--isn't an important tool in coping with brutality and dehumanization?" --Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, Penn.
Margaret the First: A Novel by Danielle Dutton (Catapult, $15.95, 9781936787357). "Dutton's novel takes the already extraordinary life of Margaret Cavendish--17th century natural philosopher, author of The Blazing World, and Duchess of Newcastle--and transforms it into a stunning work of historical fiction. With women in the sciences a hot issue today, Margaret the First satisfies a craving for women's writing, women's voices, and women's stories, painting a portrait of a sensitive, thoughtful woman hungry not just for praise and recognition, but acknowledgment, affirmation, and validation. Margaret the First is a triumph!" --Liz Wright, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, Tex.
For Ages 4 to 8: Revisit & Rediscover
How to Heal a Broken Wing by Bob Graham (Candlewick, $16.99, 9780763639037). "How to Heal a Broken Wing is a gem of a picture book, geared to children ages 3-7, but one that can enrich readers of all ages with its message of the power of an act of kindness. With minimal text and exquisite illustrations that propel the simple story, a young boy brings home a bird with a broken wing and, with support from his parents, helps it recover from its injury. Graham says it best: 'With rest ... and time ... and a little hope ... a bird may fly again.' " --Sharon Hearn, Children's Book World, Los Angeles, Calif.
For Ages 9 to 12
Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062330659). "Nearly everyone knows a family with an autistic child, and the other kids in those families face their own challenges. Benny is a sweet and tender young soul who only wants to help the people around him. His experience with his autistic brother has taught him patience and compassion beyond his years. McGovern will reach a new audience with her first book for younger readers as Just My Luck is very poignant and will strike a familiar chord with readers of all ages." --Jennifer Armstrong, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt.
For Teen Readers: Revisit & Rediscover
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (Atheneum, $10.99, 9780689852237). "Told from the point of view of a boy whose sole purpose is to extend the life of a powerful drug lord, Farmer's story brings us a bleak and horrifying look at cloning, unethical medical intervention, class differences, immigration, and slavery. A dystopian tale that is more timely today than ever." --Collette Morgan, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, Minn.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]