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
The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy (Norton, $26.95, 9780393608717). "This memoir of a life spent driving trucks full of strangers' personal belongings across the country is the book I didn't know I needed. Finn Murphy writes engaging slice-of-life stories about his time as a long-haul truck driver while also showing the changes in the trucking industry and American life in the decades he's spent pulling thousands of pounds up mountains, through storms, and across plains. Trucking is a solitary life, but Murphy grabbed me like a friend and took me with him on his journey." --Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First, Chicago, Ill.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Atria, $26, 9781501139239). "Steeped in the glory of Hollywood when marriages were made for reasons other than love and could be slipped on and off like a fine dinner jacket, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo reveals the behind-the-scenes stories of lives full of hunger, self-pity, jealousy, and rage, as well as lost love. This is a story that could have been pulled from the pages of fan magazines of the '50s. It's so entertainingly real that you will be wondering why you can't remember the great star Evelyn Hugo and the movies she made famous. Read for pure pleasure, and you'll be tempted to play the game of, 'Who is this about, really?' What fun!" --Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, Wash.
Mercury: A Novel by Margot Livesey (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062437518). "This riveting psychological novel delves into the lives of Donald and Vivian, a married couple whose stability is threatened and ultimately undermined when Vivian, whose former life as an aspiring equestrian was cut short, meets Mercury, a magnificent horse with a tragic history. What unfolds may seem like destiny to Vivian, but to Donald, a staid and deliberate ophthalmologist still mourning the death of his beloved father, it tests everything he's ever known, including his faculty for navigating the world. A truly remarkable study of human nature and the blindspots that hinder us all." --Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, Mass.
For Ages 4 to 8
Colette's Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault (Random House, $17.99, 9780553536591). "Colette's Lost Pet is whimsical, funny, and quietly beautiful. Arsenault's picture books are among my favorites; her illustrations always hold such a tender sweetness. When Colette is tasked with making friends in her new neighborhood, she is a bit shy. To make herself feel better, she creates an elaborate lie about a lost parakeet named Marie Antoinette. All of the neighbor children help her search for this enormous bird that can surf, speak, and otherwise dazzle. Arsenault's artwork, done largely in black and white with sudden bursts of color, is as magical as the lie Colette creates--stunningly vibrant yet interspersed with the mundane shades of everyday life. Lovely." --Sarah Sorensen, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, Mich.
For Ages 9 to 12
The Dragon With a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis (Bloomsbury, $16.99, 9781681193434). "Have your hot chocolate ready before you start reading this book, because I guarantee you won't want to stop reading to make a cup once you've begun this delightful (and delicious) tale of friendship and growing up. Aventurine is a young dragon whose scales aren't hard enough to protect her yet, but, tired of being stuck at home, she runs away. When she tries to eat a human, the delicious smell of cooking chocolate reaches her nostrils first and she drinks his hot chocolate instead. It is the most wonderful thing she has tasted, but it turns out it was enchanted and now Aventurine is a human girl. Feeling like she has failed her family, Aventurine travels to the closest city in search of more chocolate. With the help of a new friend and a chocolatier boss, she finds so much more than that." --Lindsey Pattavina, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.
For Teen Readers
Be True to Me by Adele Griffin (Algonquin, $18.95, 9781616206758). "Adele Griffin knows how to do flawed characters in an authentic way, as she shows with the alternating narrators of Be True to Me--petty, privileged Jean and rough, impulsive Fritz. The young women are spending another summer in Sunken Haven, a place where the elite gather for lazy days, drunken nights, and party traditions. Between them is Gil, a surprise addition to the close-knit community and a handsome, young rising star at his uncle's law firm. If you like stories of summertime, blossoming love, secrets, and betrayal, this is for you. But beware: Adele Griffin's tales come with a darker edge to all the glitter of a perfect private island." --Danielle Borsch, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]