IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover: An Indies Introduce Title
Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee (Pamela Dorman Books, $26, 9780735221963). "Told from alternating points of view, this novel is about the relationship between sisters Miranda and Lucia and the impact of mental illness upon their personal bond. Lucia is an artistic free spirit and has lived independently, in large part, because her sister, Miranda, has always been her caretaker. When Lucia's lucidity begins to shift, Miranda's responsibility to her sister does as well. Everything Here Is Beautiful explores the boundaries of our responsibilities to those we love, and how we might go about honoring someone's self-determination when that person may not be stable enough to be up to the task. At what point does taking care of someone else cease to serve anyone involved, and how do you know when you're there? Mira T. Lee's debut work is necessary--a generous, beautiful, and frank examination of a very difficult subject." --Sarah Bumstead, Vroman's Bookstore, Pasadena, Calif.

The Afterlives: A Novel by Thomas Pierce (Riverhead Books, $27, 9781594632532). "In The Afterlives, Thomas Pierce follows a man's quest for what comes after death. The story skillfully intersects religion, technology, philosophy, humor, love, and fear, but love and fear are what really got to me. The novel celebrates the love we're born into with our family and the love we find, but behind that is the fear of its loss. The novel doesn't flinch. Pierce's characters are so natural and so funny that at times it felt like I was reading Douglas Coupland or Elan Mastai. The Afterlives didn't feel bleak or hopeless or preachy--it was sincere and hopeful." --Myles Mickle, Village Square Booksellers, Bellows Falls, Vt.

The Midnight Cool: A Novel by Lydia Peelle (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062475473). "The journey of middle-aged swindler Billy and his young, idealistic partner Charles is a journey into the history and heart of the oft-maligned American dream. As the nation considers whether it will join World War I, Billy and Charles must weigh the merits of freedom against patriotic obligation, their life on the road against the temptation of putting down roots, and their diverging desires against the love and loyalty they bear for each other. As Billy says, 'I reckon that's the beauty and the shame of it, all at once.' Peelle's exploration of this beauty and shame is exquisitely wrought, richly populated, and ultimately devastating. I finished the novel in tears." --Mairead Small Staid, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.

For Ages 4 to 8
Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! by Marikka Tamura, illustrated by Daniel Rieley (Nancy Paulsen Books, $16.99, 9781101996966). "This is the perfect book for the children of environmentally aware parents! I was expecting a silly story, but this book is so much more. It is a true story about how people around the world knitted sweaters for penguins after an oil spill. The author also makes a point to mention that even though it was a great movement to gain awareness of oil spills and the havoc they cause, the sweaters were not the best way to help these penguins. The simple, repetitive text mixed with the fun, graphic illustrations and the overall message of environmental awareness makes this a great read for young children." --Emma McAndrew, University Book Store, Seattle, Wash.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham (Crown, $16.99, 9781524700201). "Fans of Percy Jackson will devour this hilarious adventure story of a brave gargoyle named Penhallow (don't call him Goyle!) and his human friend Viola. Penhallow takes seriously the protection of his Wards, the people living in the home he lives on, and when a mysterious Boneless King starts releasing all the scary creatures that go bump in the night, it is his job to get to the bottom of the problem before it is too late." --Jessica Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, Calif.

For Teen Readers: An Indies Introduce Title
Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Soho Teen, $18.99, 9781616958473). "Sometimes you pick up a book that makes you laugh. Sometimes you pick up a book that makes you cry. Sometimes you pick up a book that makes you love. And sometimes, just sometimes, you are lucky enough to pick up a book that makes you do all three. Love, Hate & Other Filters is that book. It is filled with the power of expectations. Some are expectations Maya sets for herself, some are expectations her parents place upon her, and some are expectations that classmates jump to because of prejudice. Ahmed has written a book that will sucker-punch you with emotions--much like teen life, it is cute one minute and raw the next. It is a masterpiece." --Rachel Strolle, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, Ill.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

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