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
Hum If You Don't Know the Words: A Novel by Bianca Marais (Putnam, $26, 9780399575068). "Hum If You Don't Know the Words is a marvel. Set in South Africa in 1978, this is the story of Robin, a white child, and Beauty, a black mother, both of whom experience immense loss after the Soweto student uprising. Bianca Marais has written a book about apartheid--a book about tragedy, injustice, grief, and survival--that manages to sparkle with wit, warmth, and charming secondary characters. Readers will love this rare and rewarding gem." --Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, D.C.
Made for Love: A Novel by Alissa Nutting (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062280558). "I don't think I've gotten this much sheer pleasure from a book in a long while. Made for Love is freaking off-the-wall bonkers in the best way. We follow Hazel, a woman on the edge who recently escaped from her top-of-the-tech-world psycho of a husband (whom, she fears, desires to place a chip in her brain so that they may 'meld' consciousnesses), as she battles through hyper-surveillance for a life off the grid. Along the way, she meets a truly delightful cast of characters, gets into some absurd hijinks, and works through the piles of garbage the world has tossed her way. Ditch the jet skis--this is all the summer fun you're going to need." --Molly Moore, BookPeople, Austin, Tex.
A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause: Essays by Shawn Wen (Sarabande Books, $15.95, 9781941411483). "Shawn Wen's A Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause is a loving tribute to a most untranslatable figure: Marcel Marceau, the mime who defined his art for the 20th century. A connoisseur of silence who could out-talk Studs Terkel, Marceau presented contradictions that can make him hard to grasp, but these nimble essays rise to the task beautifully. You don't need to know anything about miming, or Marceau, to appreciate Wen's lyrical and innovative take on biography." --Travis Smith, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, N.C.
For Ages 4 to 8
Now by Antoinette Portis (Roaring Brook Press, $17.99, 9781626721371). "A wonderful picture book for kids that demonstrates the importance of staying in the moment and enjoying life as it happens. A great book for teachers and parents to help children focus on the beauty around them and appreciate the here and now." --Lisa Nehs, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis.
For Ages 9 to 12
Orphan Train Girl by Christina Baker Kline (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780062445940). "If you are interested in historical fiction, Orphan Train Girl is perfect for you as it parallels the situation of a modern-day foster care child with the situation of an orphan in the 1920s. This book is so moving and, in the end, heartwarming. It shows how much of history goes undocumented and untold, until authors like Christina Baker Kline share these stories with us." --Makenna Castor, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, N.C.
For Teen Readers
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (Philomel, $15.99, 9780399547010). "I thoroughly loved this book! Flora is someone you root for from the beginning as she follows her journey towards the boy who she thinks has, with his kiss, unlocked her brain's ability to remember. The story keeps you guessing whether something has really happened or not, as you're not sure you can trust Flora's memory. There are several plot twists I didn't see coming dealing with her brain injury, how it was caused, and how her mother deals with her own fear and guilt. The poignant relationship with her brother is profound and the message that resonates throughout the story is one we all need: be brave." --Dea Lavoie, Second Star to the Right Books, Denver, Colo.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]