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
Freshwater: A Novel by Akwaeke Emezi (Grove Press, $24, 9780802127358). "A full and arresting examination of the search for a sense of belonging to one's self, Freshwater reads like the result of a successful dinner party hosted by Chimamanda Adichie, with a guest list featuring Octavia Butler, Neil Gaiman, Salman Rushdie, Helen Oyeyemi, and several preeminent cultural and sociological scholars. Freshwater follows Ada, a child born with 'a foot on the other side,' through her early life in Nigeria and her emigration to America, where she is trailed by many forces from the lands she left behind. It gives us new vocabulary and territories for exploring the awkwardness of intersections that we encounter--gender, culture, tradition, history, personal mythology--and how one might go about locating herself in the pull of so many competing influences." --Sarah Bumstead, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif.
Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces by Dawn Davies (Flatiron, $24.99, 9781250133700). "It has been many years since I can recall encountering such a moving collection of essays. Dawn Davies paints a searing account of her life, from the dating years through the joys and the darkness of motherhood. This engaging debut combines striking prose with fearless honesty to create a profound and thoughtful work. It is a completely immersive experience and one that will leave readers with much to contemplate long after they turn the last exquisite page." --Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, Minn.
This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062666154). "This book ravaged and then healed my weary soul. A micro and macro look at the exhaustion and triumph of black womanhood, Jerkins' essays are poignant enough on their own. When linked together in her book, the pieces become the subtle knife cutting through the membrane of gender and racial disparity that covers our country. Jerkins uses herself not simply as a reference point, but as a dissection, laid on the table and explained." --Hannah Oliver Depp, WORD, Brooklyn, N.Y.
For Ages 4 to 8
Stella Díaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez (Roaring Brook, $16.99, 9781626728585). "Stella is an endearing protagonist, with all the shyness, dreams, and fascinations of childhood. While especially relevant for readers from dual-language families and schools, everyone will root for Stella as she tries to make friends, ignore the haters, and create the best animal project ever. Crossing my fingers that this becomes a series!" --Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, D.C.
For Ages 9 to 12
Winterhouse by Ben Guterson, illustrated by Chloe Bristol (Holt, $16.99, 9781250123886). "Do you like curling up with a cup of cocoa and a puzzle on a snowy day? Winterhouse is for you. Warm and captivating, this story of a brainy orphan and a mysterious hotel is full of delightful word games, a deliciously wintery setting, and appealingly odd characters. A trip to an enchanting hotel full of secrets sends our hero, Elizabeth, on an unexpected journey to find out who she really is. Heartfelt and magical, this is a must-read for fans of Book Scavenger or the Mr. Lemoncello's Library series. It's the perfect book to be snowed in with!" --Moira Koskey, Green Bean Books, Portland, Ore.
For Teen Readers
Everless by Sara Holland (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062653659). "Welcome to a world where you can sell your blood and your time, where the rich stay young and the poor die young. Desperate to save her father, Jules returns to the one place where she is most in danger: Everless, home of the Gerlings. Holland has created complex characters and powerful women and done some impressive world-building, and each mystery that unfolds only increases the danger for Jules. As Jules discovers the truth behind the lies on which her past is built, she begins to see the world around her in a new light. A thrilling start to a new series!" --Kate Towery, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]