From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Magic for Liars: A Novel by Sarah Gailey (Tor, $25.99, 9781250174611). "When Ivy was a child, her sister went off to a school for mages, leaving her feeling abandoned in the non-magical world. So when her sister's boss turns up at Ivy's detective practice a couple of decades later and asks her to solve a murder, she's less than enthused. Mixing noir tropes with the classic setting of a school for practitioners of magic, Magic for Liars is by turns intriguing and unsettling. I was on the edge of my seat the whole way as Ivy attempted to comb through the lies and resist her own temptation to get too deeply embroiled in the mystery." --Shelby Daniel-Wayman, Fair Isle Books, Washington Island, Wis.
The Confessions of Frannie Langton: A Novel by Sara Collins (Harper, $26.99, 9780062851895). "Drawing on her experiences of growing up in the Cayman Islands, attending university in London, and practicing law, outstanding debut author Sara Collins has drawn a character one will not soon forget. Told with evocative language, Frannie Langton's confession is a life story not to be missed. Raised on a sugar plantation in Jamaica, then transported to a life of servitude in London, Frannie lives a life of twists and turns of love and betrayal that will both shock and intrigue you. I was as tense as she was waiting for the verdict to be handed down. Thank you, Sara Collins!" --Mary Mollman, Booked, Evanston, Ill.
Invitation to a Bonfire: A Novel by Adrienne Celt (Bloomsbury, $17, 9781635571530). "Adrienne Celt's Invitation to a Bonfire is a propulsive literary thriller masterfully constructed and written with an extraordinary, raw urgency that will leave readers breathless. Inspired by the marriage of Vladimir and Vera Nabokov, Celt explores the love and ambition of two strong-willed women who compete for the passions and artistic control of a literary icon. The novel's characters are original and vividly drawn, with all the complexity and contradictions of their emotions and intentions fully realized. This is a story that you will not be able to put down, and certainly one of the most memorable and satisfying reads of the year. Adrienne Celt is a writer to watch." --Lori Feathers, Interabang Books, Dallas, Tex.
For Ages 4 to 8
Llama Destroys the World by Jonathan Stutzman, illustrated by Heather Fox (Holt, $17.99, 9781250303172). "I love this book! It is a wonderful addition to the world of children's picture books and I can't wait to share it with the world. I laughed, I cried, and then I laughed again! Now I'm off to buy a pair of dancing pants, after I eat some cake (maybe all the cake)!" --Jessica Osborne, E. Shaver, Bookseller, Savannah, Ga.
For Ages 9 to 12
Spark by Sarah Beth Durst (Clarion, $17.99, 9781328973429). "This story is a triumph for every quiet person and those who feel a little out of step with their peers. Mina and her lightening beast, Pixit, are learning how to make the weather idyllic in her country. Mina doesn't like to be the center of attention but decides to make herself heard when it's important to her and to society. As she discovers that making things better in one place can have unforeseen consequences, one quiet girl learns that she can be strong and change the world." --Julie Karaganis, Cabot Street Books & Cards, Beverly, Mass.
For Teen Readers
The Beholder by Anna Bright (HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062845429). "Selah, seneschal-elect of Potomac, knows that she must find a husband for the good of her country. But when she is publicly rejected in front of her father's court and her stepmother takes the opportunity to send her across the Atlantic under the guise of securing an engagement, Selah realizes there are more things at play in her life than her own heart. Sweeping in scale and lushly romantic, The Beholder is a shimmering debut that whispers its magic to you, wraps you up in an old cloak of fairy tales, and carries you off across a brand-new ocean of its own making. A positively lovely book." --Rebecca Speas, One More Page Books, Arlington, Va.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]