From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Meet Me at the Museum: A Novel by Anne Youngson (Flatiron, $23.99, 9781250295163). "This charming novel is told entirely in correspondence between Tina, a woman of a certain age in England who is questioning her place in the world after her best friend's death, and Kristian, a Danish museum curator who is adrift after the death of his wife. As their correspondence evolves and their friendship develops, they realize that the world may have more to offer than they initially thought. Meet Me at the Museum is sweet without being cloying, gentle without insulting the reader's intelligence, and a completely enjoyable read." --Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books, Okemos, Mich.
Chesapeake Requiem: A Year With the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island by Earl Swift (Dey Street, $28.99, 9780062661395). "I was so impressed with this story of Tangier, an exploration of science, history, religion, and culture driven by emotionally salient commentary from people who live there today. I thought it was particularly interesting to learn that the community is conservative both religiously and politically, but their home is being swept away by rising sea levels thanks to climate change, which is usually a politically charged topic. It was also interesting to have insight into what is likely the United States' first group of 'climate refugees'--terms that are also politically charged. Thoughtfully, lovingly, and intelligently done. An important read!" --Chloe Groth, Content Bookstore, Northfield, Minn.
The Hidden Light of Northern Fires: A Novel by Daren Wang (Picador, $16, 9781250166029). "In The Hidden Light of Northern Fires, a town on the Underground Railroad secedes from the Union after it becomes fractured by the politics of the American Civil War. As a huge geek on the subject, I'm often skeptical of historical fiction relating to it. While Wang's tale benefits from being based on truth, that is a moot point. His well-developed, very real characters and masterful writing are all that's needed for an incredible debut. Though a novel of the home front, it is nonetheless a war novel focusing on how conflict brings out the best and worst in people. It is one of the best works of historical fiction on the Civil War that I've ever read, and perhaps even that exists." --Carl Kranz, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va.
For Ages 4 to 8
Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang (Random House, $17.99, 9780553537864). "When Jim is in a grumpy mood for no reason, his jungle friends offer their best advice. But putting on a smile and doing the things they suggest doesn't make him feel any better, so what's next? I am in LOVE with this story. Everyone has their grumpy days, and you know what? A grumpy day now and then is absolutely okay." --Hana Boxberger, Village Books, Bellingham, Wash.
For Ages 9 to 12
Nightbooks by J.A. White (Katherine Tegen, $16.99, 9780062560087). "Unlike his 'normal' sports-loving brother, Alex has always loved monsters and scary stories. His favorite movie? Night of the Living Dead. His favorite hobby? Writing spooky stories. When things at school push him to make a change--to act more 'normal'--things take a turn toward the unexpected. Because apartment 4E is not what it seems. Alex finds himself in the middle of a story, and a spooky one at that. Can he escape with the help of some new friends, or will he run out of stories first? Dark magic, fairy tales, and witches swirl together in a spellbinding new mystery from J.A. White." --Clarissa Murphy, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, Mass.
For Teen Readers
The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green (Viking, $18.99, 9780425290217). "The Smoke Thieves is a brilliant opening salvo in a new trilogy. Featuring five very different characters whose stories weave together in unexpected ways, this book is a rapid-fire read full of pulse-pounding action. The world-building feels effortless as Sally Green creates a land filled with brutal kings, demons, and political machinations. I was not ready to leave this world at the end of the first book and will be waiting very impatiently for the sequel!" --Carrie Deming, The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra, N.Y.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]