From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen: A Novel by Dexter Palmer (Pantheon, $27.95, 9781101871935). "This is the story of Mary Toft, a woman who gave birth to dead rabbits in 1726. She did this more than 10 times, confounding surgeons and townsfolk alike. Is this a hoax, a curse, a miracle, or something in between? Based on a true story--if you are not familiar with it, don't look it up until you finish the book--we follow surgeon John Howard and apprentice Zachary as they try to understand what is going on with their stunning patient. Extremely readable while still evoking the language and atmosphere of the time period, the book takes readers from the small village of Godalming, England, to London as John Howard and Zachary recruit the help of the top surgeons of the day. I highly enjoyed this disturbing novel. It is brutal, unexpected, and unputdownable." --Katrina Bright-Yerges, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, Wis.
The Innocents: A Novel by Michael Crummey (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385545426). "Michael Crummey is a master chronicler of isolation, and The Innocents is a perfect example. Following an orphaned brother and sister trying to survive on the coast of Newfoundland, this is a spare and elemental novel about the power of family and the act of survival, even in the harshest circumstances." --Tyler Goodson, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.
NVK: A Novel by Temple Drake (Other Press, $15.99, 9781590519356). "A weirdly wonderful tale of love, tragedy, lust, and, yes, a new breed of vampire: the auto-created immortal creature. Set in modern-day Shanghai, NVK tells the story of a young businessman who meets and falls hard for an aloof foreign beauty. Their torrid affair transforms into one of mystery as well as unasked and unanswered questions as Drake seductively draws the reader into a world of secrets and death. Here is a different telling of the lone vampire story that will appeal to readers who believe, perhaps, that the undead do walk amongst us, seeking love and connection, and not necessarily looking for their next meal." --Helen Gregory, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, Colo.
For Ages 4 to 8
Wild Honey from the Moon by Kenneth Kraegel (Candlewick, $17.99, 9780763681692). "What would a mother do for her child? In this poignant and adventurous tale, Mother Shrew goes beyond the ends of the earth--to the moon--to fetch some wild honey for her son, who is sick at home. With cozy illustrations and just enough suspense for little listeners, this story will enchant children and their parents alike." --Heather Hebert, Children's Book World, Haverford, Pa.
For Ages 9 to 12
Shine! by J.J. and Chris Grabenstein (Random House, $16.99, 9781524717667). "Growing up can be tough, especially when your superstar mom died when you were young and you have to figure out how to shine at the private school where your dad now teaches. You miss your old friends, especially when Ainsley seems to be turning everyone against you. Shine! by husband and wife J.J. and Chris Grabenstein is a charming novel about the highs and lows of growing up and what it takes to truly shine!" --Marilyn Robbins, BookBar, Denver, Colo.
For Teen Readers
Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw (Simon Pulse, $18.99, 9781534439412). "In this spine-tingling young adult novel, Nora Walker is the last in a long line of witches but has never found her magic. She lives a quiet life across the lake from a camp for wayward boys. With the arrival of each full moon (and only at the full moon), she ventures into the darkest, most dangerous part of the woods, where she finds lost things. This time, the lost thing she finds is a boy. Very atmospheric and full of surprises." --Lisa Wright, Oblong Books and Music, Millerton, N.Y.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]