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:

Don't Skip Out on Me: A Novel by Willy Vlautin (Harper Perennial, $22.99, 9780062684455). "Horace Hopper, the Irish-Paiute Indian protagonist in Don't Skip Out on Me, dreams of erasing the shame of childhood abandonment by reinventing himself as a professional boxer. His boss and surrogate father, an elderly sheep rancher, wrestles with the choices of his own history, and does his best to maintain a way of life that is rapidly disappearing. Vlautin intertwines the lives and fates of these two men in a work of astonishing beauty and heartbreak, and guides the reader to an ending that is as true and real as it gets. Willy Vlautin has been literature's best-kept secret for far too long. He may well be our own Steinbeck, but with a haunting steel-guitar sensibility all his own." --Patrick Millikin, The Poisoned Pen Bookstore, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Sometimes I Lie: A Novel by Alice Feeney (Flatiron Books, $26.99, 9781250144843). "I feel messed up after finishing this, which is what I look for in a thriller. The twists and turns are dizzying, leading to an ending you won't see coming. Amber is recovering from a car crash, and since she's not quite out of her coma, we get to see flashbacks of her life and the events that brought her to where she is today. Everything--her radio job, her writer husband, and her perfect sister, Claire--is not what it seems. But then, neither is Amber. A perfect thriller to discuss and deconstruct with your book club!" --Kate Towery, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va.

Registers of Illuminated Villages: Poems by Tarfia Faizullah (Graywolf Press, $16, 9781555978006). " 'Why do you always ask what can't be answered?' Registers of Illuminated Villages is a collection of immense physical, emotional, and spiritual hunger. Faizullah explores the boundaries of open, unending questions as she looks for a timeline for grief, a god to fulfill the duties of a god, and a home that doesn't resemble home anymore. Contemplative and beautiful, this book should be held close to feel the power of its vulnerability." --Nicole McCarthy, King's Books, Tacoma, Wash.

For Ages 4 to 8
Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings (Random House, $16.99, 9780399554520). "This is just the sweetest dog story--without making your teeth hurt. It has a wonderful dog, funny people, and a great ending. I couldn't ask for more." --Anne Whalen, Barrington Books, Barrington, R.I.

For Ages 9 to 12: An Indies Introduce Title
Like Vanessa by Tami Charles (Charlesbridge, $16.99, 9781580897778). "All I can say is thank goodness the '80s are back in fashion, because this gem of a book is best read sitting in front of a TV tray in a recliner. Inspired by Vanessa Williams' 1983 Miss America win, a headstrong and pushy teacher, and a supportive and scheming grandfather, Vanessa Martin braves the small-town pageant circuit, the potential disappointment of her father, and the challenge of being dark skinned. Vanessa touches the dreamer spirit in all of us, and I cheered her on right through to the end." --Kim Bissell, Broadway Books, Portland, Ore.

For Teen Readers
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough (Dutton, $17.99, 9780735232112). "Artemisia Gentileschi was one of the greatest painters of her generation, but she also lived in 17th-century Italy, where women had no power and little recourse when wronged. When one of her father's friends assaults her, Artemisia must decide whether to keep the secret or force him to face justice, no matter the cost she'll have to pay. Written in gorgeous verse, this book is heartbreaking, brilliant, and tragically relevant today. Read this book even if you don't care about art history. Read this book even if you don't usually like verse novels or historical fiction. Just read this book. It will haunt you." --Lillian Tschudi-Campbell, The Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, Minn.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

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