From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Hearts of the Missing: A Mystery by Carol Potenza (Minotaur, $26.99, 9781250178282). "After being forced to move and give up law school, Nicky Matthews is finally doing something she really loves. She is a police sergeant with the Pueblo, New Mexico, police force and the liaison with the Fire-Skye Indian reservation. Nicky has made many friends on the res and is respected by the natives, but she is not liked at all by her boss, who can't wait to catch her doing something wrong. When a suicide seems to be linked to other missing Fire-Skye people, Nicky defies her boss and investigates. Ancient beliefs and culture, greed, revenge, and modern-day genetics all mix together in this beautifully written police procedural." --Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.
Radiant Shimmering Light: A Novel by Sarah Selecky (Bloomsbury, $27, 9781635571806). "Is it really possible to use all of our devices and social media to create truly grounded, peaceful, meaningful lives? In Selecky's latest, 40-year-old pet artist Lillian is the one to find out! Incorporating every self-help, holistic, new-age approach there is, she reconnects with her long-lost cousin (and women's lifestyle guru) to live a life that is truly Instagram-worthy!" --Andrea Jones, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt.
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobs (Touchstone, $16, 9781501175138). "Isaac Severy has died and taken the secret of his last mathematical equation with him. Except that he has also hidden clues to a hiding place for this final work and shares these clues with his adopted granddaughter, Hazel, who he has charged with finding his hidden treasure and getting it into the hands of a trusted colleague. But she's not the only one looking for his equation, and some of the other searchers are dangerous indeed. This inviting mystery allows us to follow along as Hazel makes her way toward the answer, so be prepared to put on your thinking cap and get out your best clue-solving approach--you'll need all the help you can get. I absolutely loved this debut!" --Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, Wash.
For Ages 4 to 8
Animalphabet by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Sharon King-Chai (Dial, $20.99, 9780525554158). "Practice maneuvering these flaps and showing off all the aspects of the gorgeous illustrations because Animalphabet would make a TREMENDOUS story time read!" --Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, Wash.
For Ages 9 to 12
Henry & Eva and the Castle on the Cliff by Andrea Portes (HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062560025). "An intelligently written story that will tickle your imagination, stretch your vocabulary, and exercise your mystery-solving muscles. A quirky sister and her analytical brother employ the help of ghostly ancestors to solve the mystery of their parents' untimely and tragic deaths. A delightfully Californian escape." --Kathy Blattman, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
For Teen Readers
Pulp by Robin Talley (Harlequin Teen, $18.99, 9781335012906). "Following two queer teen girls through defining moments in their lives, Pulp navigates parallel stories connected by the characters' encounters with lesbian pulp novels of the 1950s. Robin Talley deftly shifts between the two stories, showing the challenges both girls face, from breakups and fighting parents to fear of being outed and facing the consequences of the Lavender Scare. Pulp is many things: a coming-of-age novel, a story of fighting for social change, and a reminder that finding yourself in the pages of a book can make you feel like you're not alone in the world." --Lelia Nebeker, One More Page Books, Arlington, Va.
For next week:
The Dakota Winters: A Novel by Tom Barbash (Ecco, $26.99, 9780062258199). "In The Dakota Winters, Barbash delivers a sweeping family saga that transports readers to the New York City of the late '70s and early '80s, to Central Park, the Village, the restaurant and club scenes, from the Beatles to the Flying Lizards to your average dysfunctional family living at the Dakota--the Winters. The story follows two conflicting arcs: that of fading father and late-night host Buddy Winter and that of his emerging 23-year-old son Anton. I loved Barbash's first novel, The Last Good Time, and The Dakota Winters does not disappoint. You'll want to savor every sentence of this powerful chronicle of the times!" --Bill Reilly, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, N.Y.
The Adults: A Novel by Caroline Hulse (Random House, $26, 9780525511748). "What a fun read! Put a copy into the stocking of every adult family member (and rejoice when they all go off to their separate corners to read quietly). Exes, step-parents, vacation hijinks, secrets, and screw-ups--this funny novel has all the right ingredients to entertain and cut the tension surrounding big family holidays." --Mary Laura Philpott, Parnassus Books, Nashville, Tenn.
The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose (Algonquin, $15.95, 9781616208523). "Fascinating fiction based on the true story of artist Marina Abramović's 2010 art performance in which she sat face-to-face, eye-to-eye, with museum visitors, one at a time, for 75 days. She sat unmoving, in the same pose every day, her expression unchanged except for occasional tears. The performance had surprisingly deep effects on both visitors who sat with her and visitors who simply observed. The story focuses on several fictional characters' almost-obsessive attraction to the performance and its subsequent influence on their lives. Not unlike the apparent enchantment of the performance, it was hard to tear my eyes from the page." --Kay Wosewick, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.
For Ages 4 to 8
Harold Loves His Woolly Hat by Vern Kousky (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99, 9781524764678).
"This is a sweet story with even sweeter illustrations. Harold's beloved woolly hat is stolen by a crow who just won't give it back. But when Harold learns that his hat is being put to good use, as well as all the trinkets he's offered in trade, he's happy to have helped and realizes he doesn't need his hat to know that he's special. A great book that teaches that it's not what we have but what we do that matters." --Tildy Banker-Johnson, Belmont Books, Belmont, Mass.
For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Speechless by Adam P. Schmitt (Candlewick, $16.99, 9781536200928). "Taking place over a 24-hour period, Speechless starts fast and never slows down. When Jimmy arrives at his cousin's wake, he learns he has to speak at the funeral the next day. You know, about the cousin who always made things harder, who was hard to get along with, who was downright mean at times. It's unusual to have a book about grief, especially conflicted grief, for this age group. Adam P. Schmitt has pulled it off--he's an author to watch." --Buffy Cummins, Second Star to the Right Children's Books, Denver, Colo.
For Teen Readers
Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao (Philomel, $18.99, 9781524738327). "I LOVED the way folk tales were interwoven with the narrative in this worthy companion to Forest of a Thousand Lanterns. So much of this book is beautifully relevant to our world today. Lovely." --Rebecca Wells, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]