From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Ohio: A Novel by Stephen Markley (Simon & Schuster, $27, 9781501174476). "Stephen Markley's powerful debut plumbs the depths of the cruel trick played on small-town America during the recession, war, and political and cultural hostility of the last 15 years and delivers us the gift of surprising and exquisite beauty and hope. In this story of four former classmates and one summer night in 2013, Markley gives us insightful and gorgeous prose revealing the humanity that continues to carry on in the broken center of America. I hope to read this author's keen writing for many years to come." --Beth Albrecht, The Magic Tree Bookstore, Oak Park, Ill.
The Winter Soldier: A Novel by Daniel Mason (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316477604). "The depth and complexity of Daniel Mason's new three-dimensional tapestry of war and its consequences make for a remarkable read. There are the basic wartime themes of love, horror, and loss--of limbs and lives, of innocence and empire. A whole world just vanishes in bombs, guns, and smoke, and the reader is left clutching at hints, but the richness of the story makes it uplifting rather than melancholy. Everything is below the surface; you sink down, discover something new at every turn, and come away refreshed. How does that happen with a war story? Don't ask--just read." --Grace Bogart, Copperfield's Books, Petaluma, Calif.
Logical Family: A Memoir by Armistead Maupin (Harper Perennial, $16.99, 9780062391254). "Armistead Maupin's new memoir, Logical Family, tells the story of his life with the same humor and grace that have made his Tales of the City series so beloved. Fans will delight in reading about the inspirations for Barbary Lane and its inhabitants, but readers who are brand new to Maupin will also fall in love. His story is that of a young boy growing up in the old South, in the Navy, in Vietnam, and in the closet--at least until he found his home in 1970s San Francisco. Even if he weren't already an LGBT icon and literary hero, this memoir would be one to champion." --Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, D.C.
For Ages 4 to 8
Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick Press, $16.99, 9780763688424). "Every story time fan's favorite over-excited chicken is back. This time, as instructed by her teacher, Interrupting Chicken is on a mission to find the 'Elephant of Surprise' in every story. And if it's not there, she's going to put it there. I just sat at my desk and laughed. It's everything a real and proper kids' picture book should be. I can't wait to put Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise into people's hands." --Amy Brabenec, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass.
For Ages 9 to 12
Mascot by Antony John (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062835628). "Mascot is a hometown adventure story filled with new beginnings. When Noah returns to school after the accident that left him paralyzed and killed his father, his old Little League teammates are anything but kind. Luckily, Noah befriends new kid and fellow outcast Dee-Dub, and, with childhood pal Alyssa in tow, shenanigans unfold. Meanwhile, Noah's mother needs someone to talk to, but when a familiar face shows up, will he strike out with Noah? Secret plans, after-school rivalries, and awkward moments abound, with a bit of romance, too. A fun and heartwarming read for all." --Mary Wahlmeier, Raven Bookstore, Lawrence, Kan.
For Teen Readers
And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness, illustrated by Rovina Cai (HarperTeen, $19.99, 9780062860729). "I love Patrick Ness's writing. He generates great tension and his words resound with authority and weight. This story--a Moby Dick tale told from the viewpoint of the whales--follows the apprentice hunter Bathsheba and her pod as they swim down (that's right, down) to the ocean surface to hunt the very men who hunt them. In the process, they find something even more terrible than men. This novel reads like mythology and the theme is a marvelous one, delivered masterfully." --Brandon Breen, Bloomsbury Books, Ashland, Ore.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]