From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Wonder Women: 25 Innovators, Inventors, and Trailblazers Who Changed History by Sam Maggs, illustrated by Sophia Foster-Dimino (Quirk Books, $16.999, 9781594749254). "In this delightful book, Maggs introduces readers to amazing women who changed history through their creativity, inventions, and remarkable paths of service in areas overwhelmed by men. From Huang Daopo, Chinese textile pioneer, to Brita Tott, Danish spy and forger, and from Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell, American doctors and hospital administrators, to Bessie Coleman, African-American aviatrix, the intelligence and stamina of these women is amazing. In many cases they had to apply for patents under the names of men or retreat into the background so that men could take credit for their work. In each article, Maggs highlights the dichotomy of what these women did and how they were acknowledged for their work." --Sally Van Wert, MacDonald Book Shop, Estes Park, Colo.
The Fall Guy: A Novel by James Lasdun (Norton, $25.95, 9780393292329). "The Fall Guy, which starts innocently enough, introduces its three main characters as they leave the hustle and bustle of New York City for a calm summer sojourn upstate. Things take a Lynchian turn when Charlie and Chloe's guest, Charlie's cousin Matthew, notices what appears to be duplicitous behavior within and outside their home. Lasdun does an incredible job of slowly ratcheting up the suspense, earning the reader's trust with his spare, pitch-perfect language, and upending expectations on every page. Morally complex characters, a sly and inventive take on the guilt and shame of modern-day banking, and prose as sensuous as some of the novel's sexiest scenes are just a few of the many rewards of Lasdun's latest, and greatest, novel." --John Francisconi, Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn.
The Loved Ones: A Novel by Sonya Chung (Relegation Books, $18, 9780984764846). "Chung offers readers an intelligent, compassionate story that crosses all kinds of divides. The pages turn quickly as the story of two families, their pasts, and the consequences of their current actions are presented. Each character is empathetic and compelling, and the prose is, at some points, heart-breaking in its simplicity. This novel brings a unique perspective to immigration history in the U.S., and the contrasting cultures, as well as the contrast in generations, makes for a fast read and a powerful narrative. Long for This World made Chung a writer to watch, but with this book she should jump right to the top of everyone's must-read pile." --Abby Fennewald, BookPeople, Austin, Tex.
For Ages 4 to 8
How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781423152200). "Ever wonder what the book you are reading went through to get into your hands? Did you realize that the author and illustrator had to face tigers, angry mobs, pirates, and worse? This is a wonderful book for reading aloud to curious young ones, and for older students and adults who have a keen sense of humor, it is guaranteed to make them laugh out loud. Most important is the message that 'a book still isn't a book, not really, until it has a reader.' That's you!" --Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, Mich.
For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.99, 9780374302610). "Gertie has a plan. She will be the best fifth-grader in the whole world and if she is, maybe her estranged mother won't leave town. Not that Gertie cares. She has a great dad, good friends, and is awesome all on her own, but she's still going to try. Of course, things go awry when a new girl arrives in school and stirs up trouble. Gertie is an utterly winning heroine, plucky and stubborn, and hers is a thoroughly charming, funny, and heartfelt story. I loved it." --Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.
For Teen Readers
Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (Viking, $18.99, 9780451470782). "Sixteen-year-old Vic Benucci suffers from a condition called Moebius syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes facial paralysis, which means he cannot blink, smile, or frown. Bullied by his classmates and often assumed to be stupid by adults, Vic is actually witty and intelligent, a lover of art and opera. What Vic's face cannot show but what he needs to say is that he still grieves for his father who died two years ago. When his mother takes up with a new boyfriend, Vic runs away on a quest to scatter his father's ashes. Along the way, Vic bumps into a ragtag group of homeless kids and young adults called the Kids of Appetite who take him in, feed and shelter him, and treat him with kindness just because he asks for help. This is a book about accepting loss, finding family, finding love, and discovering that we are all chapters in each other's stories." --Jill Zimmerman, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]