From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Wangs vs. the World: A Novel by Jade Chang (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544734098). "Simultaneously tongue-in-cheek and earnest, The Wangs vs. the World is one hell of a ride. Literally. Join the Wang family patriarch, Charles, as he and his family drive across the country from Los Angeles to New York in shame after his cosmetic company is destroyed by a doomed business investment. Homeless, penniless, yet still fiercely proud, Charles sets out to reunite his children and reclaim the ancestral land of the Wangs from the Chinese Communists. A hilarious, moving, and rollicking tale of family, ancestry, and a worn-out Mercedes station wagon, The Wangs vs. the World is not to be missed!" --Michelle Chen, WORD, Brooklyn, N.Y.
All That Man Is: A Novel by David Szalay (Graywolf Press, $26, 978155597753). "All That Man Is was recently longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and with good reason. The novel's parade of characters, ranging from teenagers to a man in his twilight years, when taken as a whole, represents an 'everyman' in whom readers can easily see pieces of themselves. With prose reminiscent of Amis, Kundera, and Nabokov, Szalay offers a collection of related stories that speak to the mundane qualities of modern life with a sympathetic tone, a reflection of our struggle to move forward in a world increasingly unfamiliar to most of us, but not without hope." --Tom Beans, Dudley's Bookshop Café, Bend, Ore.
Paperback: An Indies Introduce Title
The Clay Girl by Heather Tucker (ECW Press, $16.95, 9781770413030). "Ari Appleton has been dealt the worst hand ever in terms of parents: her dad is an incestuous pedophile who is both charismatic and cruel, and her mother is an incredibly egocentric addict who bore six girls and has not one iota of love for anyone but herself. Ari moves away from the drug culture and sexual revolution in Toronto in the 1960s to Pleasant Cove, an idyllic place where she is surrounded by love and nurturing. This novel is full of take-your-breath-away writing, and Ari joins the ranks of heroines who take the worst society has to offer and turn it into strength and kindness." --Linda Shermna-Nurick, Cellar Door Books, Riverside, Calif.
For Ages 4 to 8: A Revisit and Rediscover Title
King Bridgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood and Don Wood (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $7.99, 9780152054359). "King Bridgood's in the Bathtub is one of those perfect picture books that is both a treat for the eye and fun to read aloud. King Bridgood enjoys his bath so much that he won't get out! Join him in the tub as the sun rises, for lunch midday, and for fishing and dancing as the sun goes down. Both the singsong text and the 'I Spy' type illustrations will delight as you read, read, read with King Bridgood in his bath." --Liesl Freudenstein, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo.
For Ages 9 to 12
Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino (Roaring Brook Press, $16.99, 9781626723368). "Under the reign of Nezerra, all artists have been sundered from their genius spirits and left to waste away. Giacomo, an orphan who desperately wants to be an artist, finds himself with the dangerous blessing of a genius spirit and must flee for his life. This magical adventure ties together art and powerful magic with the rich storytelling we would expect from DiMartino, the co-creator of the award-winning Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender." --Laura DeLaney, Rediscovered Books, Boise, Idaho
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland (Putnam, $17.99, 9780399546563). "Fans of John Green will gobble up this top-notch writing from a new writer to watch. Yes, it's another 'doomed love' story, but Sutherland has several underlying themes that undercut the clichés usually found in teen romances, most notably 'you're not in love with who I am, you're in love with your fantasy of who I am.' I have a very short list of YA authors that I drop everything to read, and Krystal Sutherland is now on that list." --MaryJo Schimelpfenig, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]