From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The After Party: A Novel by Anton DiSclafani (Riverhead, $26, 9781594633164). "The real star of The After Party is the novel's setting: 1950s Texas, where wealthy housewives and Junior League debutantes rule the social landscape. At the center is Joan Fortier, an unconventional bachelorette who is not content to sit on the sidelines--or to stay in Houston. Joan's attitude causes conflict with her childhood best friend, CeCe Buchanan, and their relationship falters, exposing insecurities in both women. Fans of DiSclafani's first novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, will not be disappointed by this well-written, engaging new work." --Annie B. Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, Ga.
Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23, 9780544373419). "After an earthquake destroyed the oil refinery on Marrow Island and killed her father, Lucie Bowen left. Twenty years later, she returns to the Puget Sound and discovers her friend Kate is now living on this toxic island with members of 'The Colony.' Set in the Pacific Northwest, Marrow Island is a mystery/thriller that encompasses communal living, natural and man-made disasters, and what can happen when we tinker with the ecosystem and try to play a larger role." --Tracy Taylor, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.
How to Start a Fire: A Novel by Lisa Lutz (Mariner, $14.95, 9780544705180). "How to Start a Fire integrates Lutz's trademark humor, quippy dialog, and quirky characters with a story of three college friends who meet in Santa Cruz in 1993. Readers will fall in love with these three women as they experience failed marriages, career decisions, and other significant life events. Those who are new to Lutz will gobble up this standalone entry and then race to their bookstore to begin reading about the Spellman family in her earlier bestselling series." --Terry Gilman, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, Calif.
For Ages 4 to 8
Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Lynne Rae Perkins (Greenwillow, $17.99, 9780062373458). "From the very beginning, readers understand that Frank and Lucky are the best of friends. And then we discover that there is so much more. Both are learning all sorts of things: Frank is good at reading and Lucky is even better at listening. Perkins gives young readers the story of a dog and his boy, and gives adults a terrific opportunity to show that you can learn things in all sorts of ways! This is a charmer!" --Margaret Neville, The King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, Utah
For Ages 9 to 12
Sea Change: A TOON Graphic by Frank Viva (TOON Books, $18.95, 9781935179924). "Eliot is pretty sure his uncle's house in Nova Scotia is the worst place to spend the summer, especially since he isn't much of a swimmer. Early mornings on a fishing boat, gathering maggots for bait, dealing with a local bully--it's certainly not idyllic, but there is more to Point Aconi than Eliot imagined, and slowly the place begins to work its magic on him. Plunge into this book and prepare yourself for a story that will leave you emotionally drained yet refreshed--just like a good day at sea." --Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.
For Teen Readers
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley (Dial, $17.99, 9780525428183). "Though Lisa's motivation in approaching Solomon, her reclusive former classmate, is suspect, there is nothing suspect about the friendship that she, Solomon, and Clark have together. Solomon's anxiety and agoraphobia are treated with sensitivity, and Whaley manages the near impossible by showing the unexpected humor and humanity of his character's situation. If only we all had a Lisa or Clark in our lives to help us get out of our heads, and if only the Lisas and Clarks of the world had a Solomon to teach them the empathy that comes with true friendship." --Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First, Chicago, Ill.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]