From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
A Whole Life: A Novel by Robert Seethaler (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $23, 9780374289867). "Andreas Egger lived his whole life with nature as his most trusted companion. When humans, war, and debilitating events threatened him, he quietly climbed mountains, bathed in icy streams, watched the sun streak its intense color into the sky, and then put his head down and forged ahead. He lived eight decades, mostly alone, and faced death and privation with heroism, stoicism, and a depth of character rarely seen in the 'modern' 20th century. In this short novel, Seethaler has poetically created a character and a way of looking at the natural world that readers will never forget." --Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, Ariz.
Little Nothing: A Novel by Marisa Silver (Blue Rider Press, $27, 9780399167928). "Silver turns the oral tradition into fine literature with Little Nothing, a masterful work of fairy tale and folklore. Pavla, a dwarf born in Eastern Europe in the early 20th century, is a survivor who magically adapts time and again in order to overcome cruelty. Danilo loves her and is obsessed only with protecting her. This is a story of the power of transformation and the gift of finding the love we need, if not the love we seek." --Maureen Stinger, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va.
The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood by Belle Boggs (Graywolf Press, $16, 9781555977498). "Boggs tackles a variety of challenging topics throughout this cohesive collection of essays. With a knowledgeable, considerate, and honest mind, Boggs is somehow able to transform the clinical and sedate language of infertility treatments into a beautiful song of hope and transformation. The metaphors Boggs finds for her travails sing, and the patient quality of her narration stuns. The candidness of her voice, combined with her ability to find the perfect words to sum up data, studies, statistics, and personal experience, make The Art of Waiting a gift for all readers." --John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn.
For Ages 4 to 8
Panda Pants by Jacqueline Davies, illustrated by Sydney Hanson (Knopf, $17.99, 9780553535761). "Perhaps a most persistent panda can persuade his panda parent that a pair of pants--with pockets--would be a positively perfect piece of apparel. 'No,' says the parent repeatedly, 'Pandas don't wear pants.' Young Panda provides more and more proof to perpetuate his plan. Papa Panda remains firm: 'No pants!' Which panda will prevail? Davies' wry tale is delightful, and Hanson's expressive illustrations are charming--a productive pairing! This is a great book!" --Christopher Rose, The Spirit of '76 Bookstore, Marblehead, Mass.
For Ages 9 to 12
One Half From the East by Nadia Hashimi (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062421906). "Acclaimed author Hashimi has turned her attention to children's literature and her first book in her new genre is a beautiful one. Exploring the tradition of 'bacha posh'--dressing your daughter as a boy--the life of Obayda, who becomes Obayd, unfolds, as does the friendship between two special children. Hashimi's tale does a masterful job of showing readers the richness of Afghanistan, while also exploring the difficult life for women there. It is a sensitive, thoughtful, inspiring story." --Laurie Mullarky, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.
For Teen Readers: Revisit & Rediscover
The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer (Scholastic, $7.99, 9780545356619). Originally published in 2004. "The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm are detectives in the year 2194, who have been exposed to nuclear waste, giving them unique and special powers. They have been called in to find three children who escaped from a powerful Zimbabwe family and then disappeared. Farmer mixes ancient African mythology with dystopian elements to create a science fiction/fantasy adventure full of weight. A Newbery Honor book, this is an excellent choice for a young adult reader!" --Kirsten Hess, Let's Play Books, Emmaus, Pa.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]