From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
The Parisian: A Novel by Isabella Hammad (Grove Press, $27, 9780802129437). "The Parisian, a captivating novel of cultural assimilation, deprivation, and sacrifice in times of war, is quite simply a beautifully vivid, immersive love story. While these attributes alone would make The Parisian a compelling read, it is Hammad's writing that marks this work as one of the greatest novels I've read in recent years. The descriptions are sharp and lush, and her depictions of her characters feel recognizably familiar yet are expressed with a felicity for language that is altogether exceptional. This is a novel for everyone who craves a timeless love story and admires superb writing." --Lori Feathers, Interabang Books, Dallas, Tex.
The Light Years: A Memoir by Chris Rush (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27, 9780374294410). "Rush's memoir depicts the wild, drug-filled days of his youth with such luminous prose it feels as though we're with him, careening from one adventure to another. That this book exists is proof that Rush makes it through every situation he encounters, and he brings such generosity to those who were alongside him that it's impossible not to care about him or his family and loved ones. The Light Years offers a perfect glimpse into the counterculture of the '60s and '70s, and that time came alive for me through his writing. A perfect pick for those who lived through that time and those who wish they could." --Katie Orphan, The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, Calif.
Lawn Boy: A Novel by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin, $15.95, 9781616209230). "Mike Muñoz is a broke, unemployed, sexually confused 22-year-old Chicano man living in Washington State, just trying to find the right path to his American dream. One setback after another is laid in front of him, and Mike wonders if he will ever make the leap from survival mode to working toward his goals. I loved this book for the sincere, engaging way the author addresses the issues of class distinction and cultural discrimination, and Mike is such a funny, tenacious, lovable human that you can't help but ache for his disappointments and cheer for his victories. I hope everyone reads this inspiring novel." --Cassie Clemans, Roundabout Books, Bend, Ore.
For Ages 4 to 8
The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol (Roaring Brook, $17.99, 9781626724426). "These little guys are just about the cutest things in all the forest, and when they band together, they can do just about anything, can take just about anything... can get all they need. But just how much is too much? And just where do the needs of the whole forest come in? These little guys will warm your heart as they open their hearts to the needs of others both big and little." --Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, N.C.
For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Nikki on the Line by Barbara Carroll Roberts (Little, Brown, $16.99, 9780316521901). "Nikki on the Line thrums with life, energy, and adolescent self-discovery. With a relatable, driven protagonist, Roberts deftly weaves a story of realistic struggles through the themes of genetic gifts and curses--and their complicated relationship with who we choose to be. Fun and perfectly balanced, this book is impossible to put down, even for readers who know nothing about basketball." --Heather Smith, Linden Tree Children's Books, Los Altos, Calif.
For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman (Disney-Hyperion, $18.99, 9781368024969). "When mutilated bodies start to show up in the small town of Four Paths in rural upstate New York, the townsfolk know it can only mean one thing: The Gray is back. Existing on an alternate plane, The Gray (not unlike the Demogorgon/Upside Down in Stranger Things) has been terrorizing the town since its inception but the founding families of Four Paths have always been able to keep it from crossing over. This time, dark familial secrets could allow The Gray to break through, and it's up to four teen descendants of the founders to set aside their differences to keep the terror at bay. Gripping and terrifying, The Devouring Gray will have you sleeping with one eye open, if at all." --Javier Ramirez, The Book Table, Oak Park, Ill.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]