From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
For this week:
A Madness of Sunshine: A Novel by Nalini Singh (Berkley, $27, 9780593099131). "Singh brings us into the wild side of New Zealand, to a tiny village where the new cop knows everybody by name and really cares about protecting them. Maya has returned to find her old school friends greatly changed--and one may be a serial killer. This thriller is compelling; the characters are fresh and exciting but realistic. The tension builds with every page turned, right up to the finale--wow!" --Karen Bakshoian, Letterpress Books, Portland, Me.
Winter Grave: A Novel by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy (Soho Crime, $26.95, 9781641290760). "Helene Tursten has crafted a fast-paced Swedish police drama that is no-nonsense and utterly delightful. Two children turn up missing in a small town, and when the main suspect, a teenage boy, won't defend himself, the town turns on him. A spree of seemingly unconnected murders flusters the police, while young detective Embla sorts through the mess with panache and grace. The sharp, well-thought-out, complex plotting will keep you up at night. Very enjoyable." --Becky Reed, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, Mo.
The Paragon Hotel: A Novel by Lyndsay Faye (Putnam, $17, 9780735210776). "Good gracious. I just adore all things written by Lyndsay Faye. Like her glorious Gods of Gotham series, The Paragon Hotel is a clever, fast-paced read with a unique ensemble of characters. Set during the Prohibition era, the novel bounces between the mafia-ridden streets of Harlem and the racially tense community of Portland, Oregon. Steeped in historical detail, The Paragon Hotel is wickedly smart and wholly entertaining. Faye has given readers another deviously delicious story." --Anderson McKean, Page and Palette, Fairhope, Ala.
For Ages 4 to 8
Pluto Gets the Call by Adam Rex, illustrated by Laurie Keller (Beach Lane, $17.99, 9781534414532). "Pluto is happy to meet readers and show them around the neighborhood. When a call comes in from scientists on Earth, Pluto hears that it's no longer considered a planet. This prompts a journey through the solar system, where Pluto shares the sad news. Adam Rex's clever language paired with Laurie Keller's spirited illustrations make for a wonderful collaboration!" --Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, Tex.
For Ages 9 to 12
Fearless Felines: 30 True Tales of Courageous Cats by Kimberlie Hamilton (Scholastic, $9.99, 9781338355833). "What a fun and informative book! Not only do we have some great stories about cats, we also learn some superstitions and fun facts. Beautifully illustrated and a must for cat lovers." --Debbie Buck, Vintage Books, Vancouver, Wash.
For Teen Readers
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan (jimmy patterson, $18.99, 9780316528672). "A stunning sequel to Girls of Paper and Fire! This book is enticing, powerful, and filled with a fierce romance and a hungry struggle for survival. Hunted down and pursued to the ends of the kingdom, Lei and her fellow rebels work to overthrow the cruel king, who narrowly escaped their assassination. Turmoil dominates Lei's thoughts and actions: was their sacrifice in vain if the cruel demon king is replaced with an equal just as power-hungry and domineering? Brilliant and astounding, this book will take your breath away!" --Anna Rose Carleton, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
For next week:
Anyone: A Novel by Charles Soule (Harper Perennial, $21.99, 9780062890634). "In Anyone, Charles Soule takes what was so fun about his novel The Oracle Year and perfects it. This takes the high-paced adventure of a spy novel or an action film and pairs it with the thoughtfulness that is found in really good science fiction. Soule puts his characters through unimaginable stressors to make us evaluate our views on race, identity, humanity, and the very existence of the self." --Faith Parke-Dodge, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, N.C.
Labyrinth of Ice: The Triumphant and Tragic Greely Polar Expedition by Buddy Levy (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250182197). "There are very few narratives of the tribulations and deprivations of polar expedition. Ernest Shackleton's is the most well-known; the Franklin Expedition's is the most horrific, but we have no survivors to recount it for us. The Greely Expedition of 1881, however, remains largely unknown. Here, Buddy Levy has resurrected the forgotten story of the U.S. Army Signal Corps' participation in the First International Polar Year explorations using the recollections and diaries of the participants. That anyone survived is almost incredible; that we have their stories and photographs even more so. Gripping." --Jeff L. Battis, Sausalito Books by the Bay, Sausalito, Calif.
Not the Girl You Marry: A Novel by Andie J. Christopher (Berkley, $16, 9781984802682). "This is a fun and engaging read. Don't let the concept (a role reversal of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) or cute cover fool you. There is a lot more depth to this plot than meets the eye; it's about being seen and accepting your true self. Jack and Hannah both try to be what they think others want them to be but, because of their deceptions due to job obligations, are actually their natural selves. I can't wait for book two." --Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, Pa.
For Ages 4 to 8
Little Mole's Wish by Sang-Keun Kim (Schwartz & Wade, $17.99, 9780525581345). "Such a sweet story about a lonely mole who takes the idea of making friends quite literally! The illustrations depict Little Mole's imaginative nature as he turns a big ball of snow into a friend, someone with whom he can wait for the bus and keep warm with a new hat. The winter landscape, while soft and comforting, is also stark, allowing us to feel the chill Little Mole feels when he thinks he's lost his new friend. This will be the perfect book to read with loved ones while sipping hot cocoa. Yay to the power of imagination and friendship (and cheers to kind bus drivers and listening grandmas)!" --Sara Wigglesworth, Green Apple Books & Music, San Francisco, Calif.
For Ages 9 to 12
Voyage of the Frostheart by Jamie Littler (Viking, $15.99, 9780451481344). "I love a good, cold read on a hot day. What better way to spend it than with the crew of the Frostheart? When Ash and his new friends set out on a mission to find his family, we get to go along for a wild, chilly adventure in the imaginative landscape Littler has created. Keep sailing, Frostheart." --Rosemary Pugliese, Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, N.C.
For Teen Readers
The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White (Delacorte, $18.99, 9780525581673). "Absolutely stunning. This fantastic, original retelling will have you hooked as you journey alongside Arthur and Guinevere to root out the dark magic creeping into Camelot's borders. But reader, beware! Appearances can be deceiving, titles are not always telling, and sometimes you have to be your own knight in shining armor. Kiersten White throws twist upon epic twist into this classic Arthurian legend to create a Camelot all her own. White is a force to be reckoned with." --Kayla Roy, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, Mass.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]