The August 2017 Indie Next List Preview

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Here are the 20 Indie Next Great Reads and 12 Now in Paperback titles featured on the August 2017 Indie Next List flier, which is on its way to stores in the IndieBound movement.

Beginning August 1, these titles will be featured on downloadable fliers and shelf-talkers on and

The August 2017 Indie Next List Great Reads

#1 Pick: The Almost Sisters: A Novel, by Joshilyn Jackson
(William Morrow, 9780062105714, $26.99)
“Leia Birch is pretty much a rock star in the comic world, but her personal life has taken over the drama of her heroines, Violet and Violence. Leia is pregnant with a biracial child after too much tequila and a one-night stand at Comic-Con, her sister’s perfect marriage is imploding, and it appears her sweet, proper Southern grandmother has been hiding all kinds of improper things, including advancing dementia. As always, Jackson is witty and charming, and her characters are so wonderfully drawn, it’s hard to believe you don’t actually know these people. The Almost Sisters is a hopeful book about our ability to preserve the dignity of one another while still helping them grow and change.” —Susan Thomas, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

Indies Introduce logoThe Readymade Thief: A Novel, by Augustus Rose
(Viking, 9780735221833, $26)
“Much to the chagrin of my household, once I started this book I refused to put it down. I let my children fend for themselves while I walked along the Philly streets with Lee and Tomi, solving the age-old puzzle in the midst of which 17-year-old Lee has found herself. She has many of the same struggles and life choices to make as high school seniors across the country, but with a mysterious conspiracy thrown in. I love a book that is both well-written and completely absorbing. This is a great read for vacation, for a long plane ride, or for an escape while in the comfort of your own home.” —Jessica Fowle, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI

If the Creek Don’t Rise: A Novel, by Leah Weiss
(Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781492647454, trade paperback, $15.99)
“This debut novel set in a small North Carolina Appalachian village is full of strong Southern voices. Among them is Sadie Blue, a child bride who realizes in a matter of days that she has made a mistake in marrying the ne’er-do-well Roy Lupkin, and Kate Shaw, who answers Minister Eli Perkins’ ad for a teacher for the children of Baines Creek. As Kate begins to make a difference in the lives of her students, she realizes they are returning the compliment. Kate offers to teach Sadie Blue to read, helping her to make another life for herself. Each of the characters will touch your heart, and you will cheer for their victories!” —Elizabeth Merritt, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

The Dark Net: A Novel, by Benjamin Percy
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544750333, $26)
“In The Dark Net, Benjamin Percy’s best work yet, the author takes the poorly understood underbelly of the Internet and brings it to terrifying life in Portland, Oregon, in a tale complete with hipsters and homeless people, supernatural beings, hardcore geeks, a journalist, and a blind 12-year-old girl. As a former resident of Portland and a technologist, I was particularly impressed with Percy’s nuanced portrayal of downtown Portland and its landmarks, including Powell’s Books. Percy does a masterful job of making the Internet scary in a thriller that feels like a combination of American Gods and the Stephen King books I tore through as a teenager. Highly recommended.” —Nathan White, Content Bookstore, Northfield, MN

The Library of Light and Shadow: A Novel, by M.J. Rose
(Atria Books, 9781476778129, $26)
“The novels of M.J. Rose are always rich in sensual detail, and her latest is no exception. Though the other senses are hardly neglected, in The Library of Light and Shadow the sense of vision is central to Delphine Duplessi, a young Frenchwoman who is a painter as well as a witch, and who sees both the surface of things and their hidden secrets. Thanks to the author’s rich descriptions, readers, too, will see beyond their ordinary abilities, to the passion between Delphine and the man she loves but feels she must give up forever.” —Pamela Grath, Dog Ears Books, Northport, MI

Indies Introduce logoGirl in Snow: A Novel, by Danya Kukafka
(Simon & Schuster, 9781501144370, $26)
“Perfectly paced and completely compelling, Girl in Snow by newcomer Danya Kukafka immerses you in a chilling small-town tale in which star high-school student Lucinda Hayes is found dead on a school playground. Most clues point to Cameron, an obsessed, window-peeping classmate who often lives in an ‘alternate’ state of mind. Conflicting clues come from the backstories of classmate Jade, the questionably motivated policeman Russ, and Cameron himself. Readers will be spellbound and remain puzzled as the characters expose the town’s secrets. Told in spare, haunting prose, this is a not-to-be-missed story!” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

Mrs. Fletcher: A Novel, by Tom Perrotta
(Scribner, 9781501144028, $26)
“With son Brendan off to college at Berkshire State and ex-husband Ted remarried, Eve Fletcher is feeling a bit unfulfilled, despite her sometimes-trying job as the director of a senior center — until she finds a new and decidedly adult pastime. Neither mother nor son knows what to make of their new lives, and all they know about relationships, to say nothing of sex, seems to be up for discussion. What I love about Tom Perrotta’s books is how uncomfortable they can make me feel, while at the same time making me laugh hysterically; Mrs. Fletcher shows Mr. Perrotta in top form on both counts.” —Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Fierce Kingdom: A Novel, by Gin Phillips
(Viking, 9780735224278, $25)
“Joan and her four-year-old son, Lincoln, are just about to conclude a day at the zoo when Joan notices an unnatural stillness and a lack of other people. She hears sounds, loud popping noises, and cannot quite determine what they might be. Then she notices the bodies. How quickly life shifts from a dream to a nightmare. She shushes Lincoln and hurries away, back into the zoo she knows so well, intent on finding a hiding spot until help arrives. This is an absolutely gripping exploration of what it is like to be hunted, to be trapped and awaiting rescue but still able to connect, with cell phone glimpses, to that other life that now seems so tenuous in the midst of real danger.” —Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

Indies Introduce logoSee What I Have Done, by Sarah Schmidt
(Atlantic Monthly Press, 9780802126597, $26)
See What I Have Done is a spellbinding historic reimagining of a Gothic tale many of us grew up knowing about. Schmidt brings to life all the characters in Lizzie Borden’s world and takes the reader on an adventure through time and the investigation into the murder of her parents. Schmidt uses context to make the moment in history as much of a character as the people in the story, and the lively characters will keep you transfixed on the murder mystery. It is hard to say that a book about a murder is delightful, but See What I Have Done is a delightful, suspenseful, and satisfying read.” —Steve Iwanski, Turnrow Book Co., Greenwood, MS

The Half-Drowned King: A Novel, by Linnea Hartsuyker
(Harper, 9780062563699, $27.99)
“A fast-paced and harrowing saga of a sibling pair, both trying to do what is right for the other while navigating the physical and political terrain around them. Ragnvald and his sister, Svanhild, are our protagonists, and the book contains alternating chapters about each of their adventures. One fights a war on the battlefield while the other fights a war in the bedroom, and, fighting internal conflicts, each grows into adulthood quickly in this harsh environment. Rich with battles, love stories, and the breathtaking landscapes of Norway, The Half-Drowned King is a must-read for fans of literary fiction, adventure tales, and well-paced storytelling.” —Giovanni Boivin, The Bookloft, Great Barrington, MA

The Bedlam Stacks: A Novel, by Natasha Pulley
(Bloomsbury USA, 9781620409671, $26)
The Bedlam Stacks is a gorgeously detailed historical fantasy novel that spans from England to China to Peru. The year is 1859, and Merrick Tremayne is enlisted by his former employer, the East India Trading Company, to smuggle ingredients for a crucial malaria treatment past the monopoly holders in Peru. Along the way, his story slips into fantasy as easily as sliding into warm water. Though Merrick begins his trip loyal only to the Company, his loyalties shift the longer he’s away. Richly described and quietly romantic, this book is an absorbing and beautiful read.” —Lillian Tschudi-Campbell, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned With the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler, by Bruce Henderson
(William Morrow, 9780062419095, $28.99)
“Fans of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat will be thrilled to know that that there is at least one more thrilling tale of WWII heroism able to leave readers nearly breathless. Sons and Soldiers is the remarkable story of German-born Jews who escaped the country during Hitler’s rise to power. After training with the U.S. military, these same men returned to their homeland to fight the Nazis. Their knowledge of German culture, geography, and language made them uniquely skilled at gathering enemy intelligence, but also especially vulnerable should they be captured. Bruce Henderson has written a masterpiece, an inspiring and gripping tale of selfless men who risked everything to defeat unspeakable evil.” —Christopher Rose, The Spirit of ’76 Bookstore, Marblehead, MA

The Address: A Novel, by Fiona Davis
(Dutton, 9781524741990, $26)
“Like in her debut, The Dollhouse, Fiona Davis meshes historical fiction, thriller, mystery, and love story in her sophomore novel, moving back and forth between the late 1800s and the mid-1980s and putting her own juicy and highly readable literary spin on classic ‘women’s’ fiction, this time set in New York’s storied and infamous Upper West Side apartment building The Dakota. The Address juxtaposes the stories of two women whose lives are disrupted, in danger, and intertwined through circumstances the reader progressively learns more about during the course of the novel. There’s illicit love, an illegitimate child, drug abuse, a mysterious murder weapon, wealthy wrong-doers, a severed finger, a stay in an insane asylum, and a guest appearance by none other than famed feminist reporter Nelly Bly! Plus the hulking Dakota, which is gorgeous and lavish and reeking of secrets, many of them deadly.” —Joy Preble, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After — A Memoir, by Heather Harpham
(Henry Holt and Co., 9781250131560, $27)
“Heather Harpham’s beautiful memoir is a deeply moving testament to love, commitment, and happiness. It might be difficult to find happiness while parenting a sick child alone, but Harpham’s honesty about her struggles and fears allows us to connect to this story and see the beauty and happiness she finds. We watch in awe as she digs deep to do the difficult work, allows herself to be vulnerable as she seeks support, and practices patience in the face of anger. Harpham has found the happiness in moments, and her skillful prose will make your heart burst as you feel that happiness with her.” —Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

The Talented Ribkins: A Novel, by Ladee Hubbard
(Melville House, 9781612196367, $25.99)
“In this debut novel, Ladee Hubbard has created an African-American family, outrageously gifted in very strange ways, headed by a 72-year-old gentleman who is searching all over the state of Florida for buried money. His backstory involves The Justice Committee, a group involved in civil rights, plus a life of crime and $100,000 owed to a man searching for him. Now he discovers he has a 13-year-old niece who wants to accompany him on his travels and use her talent to help him. Their journey has its ups and downs but is so intriguing that the reader gets caught up in the history of the state and the search for treasure. I really enjoyed this story about family, fun, Florida, and life.” —Kathleen Dixon, Fair Isle Books, Washington Island, WI

Beast: A Novel, by Paul Kingsnorth
(Graywolf Press, 9781555977795, trade paper, $16)
“Paul Kingsnorth follows up the utter linguistic feat of his debut, The Wake, with another breathless and confounding work. Beast is comprised entirely of the hallucinatory ramblings of a self-imposed modern hermit, a Zarathustra or Thoreau kind of character who has left the modern world behind in search of communion with nature, the meaning of life, connection with a shadowy past, or maybe something more. Soon, he begins having surreal experiences in a strangely featureless and seemingly inescapable landscape and becomes obsessed with the only other living thing he can find — a large, mysterious cat roaming the moor. Written with a relentless intensity that will speed you along to the enigmatic ending, Beast traverses the realms of the mind and questions humanity’s perceived place in the natural world.” —Keaton Patterson, Brazos Books, Houston, TX

Emma in the Night: A Novel, by Wendy Walker
(St. Martin’s Press, 9781250141439, $26.99)
“Suspense novelist Wendy Walker is back with an enthralling tale of lies and intrigue. What really happened the night that two sisters went missing? After three years, younger sister Cass returns with a troubling tale of abduction, and the hunt begins for the still-missing Emma. Told in the alternating voices of the teenage Cass and a forensic psychologist with her own emotional baggage, Emma in the Night is the ultimate unreliable narrator experience. This story will grip readers from page one, up until an ending so shocking it will knock you sideways. Trust no one.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Home Fire: A Novel, by Kamila Shamsie
(Riverhead Books, 9780735217683, $26)
“One finishes reading Kamila Shamsie’s extraordinary Home Fire completely stunned. She has written a brilliant story about two families who share geography and become linked by fate — one that has known exile, death, and family mystery, and another that has adapted to the so-called mainstream. Family, religion, the politics of media, various forms of seduction, and present-day devices all bring themselves to bear in utterly telling form. The U.S., London, Karachi, Syria, and Istanbul all figure into this book, which is of this time and age and beyond. One of the finest writers at work in English today, Kamila Shamsie has written her most heartbreaking, beautiful, necessary book yet.” —Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

What We Lose: A Novel, by Zinzi Clemmons
(Viking, 9780735221710, $22)
What We Lose is a quietly brilliant book detailing the way loss manifests itself in the life of its narrator, Thandi, and the reader, as Clemmons’ writing shines back on you, too. The death of Thandi’s mother brings about the loss of childhood innocence, her connection with her past, and her identity as a black woman. Clemmons’ book is told in vignettes, stories and thoughts, with the narrative of this time in Thandi’s life slowly swirling through it. It’s as powerful a meditation on grief as I’ve ever read.” —Stefanie Schmidt, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

The Marriage Pact: A Novel, by Michelle Richmond
(Bantam, 9780385343299, $27)
“The world has gone wacko lately, and in the fictional world of The Marriage Pact a secret group forms that ostensibly seeks to protect the integrity of marriage. With guidelines to follow to keep the worst from happening, it isn’t long before newlyweds Alice and Jake find themselves in trouble. One of them breaks a rule and the consequences are, well, scary. A thriller like no other, this book may make you take a second look at your neighbors and ask yourself: how far you would go to keep your marriage intact?” —Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Now in Paperback

All Is Not Forgotten: A Novel, by Wendy Walker (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250097934, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Nancy McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Arrowood: A Novel, by Laura McHugh (Spiegel & Grau, 9780812986419, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Brenda Jordan, Murder by the Book, Houston, TX

As Good as Gone: A Novel, by Larry Watson (Algonquin Books, 9781616206956, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Kathi Kirby, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

The Bones of Paradise: A Novel, by Jonis Agee (William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062413482, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

The Book That Matters Most: A Novel, by Ann Hood (W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393354096, $15.95)
Recommended in hardcover by Jenny Stroyeck, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK

Faithful: A Novel, by Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster, 9781476799223, $16.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Tarah Jennings, Mitzi’s Books, Rapid City, SD

The German Girl: A Novel, by Armando Lucas Correa (Washington Square Press, 9781501121234, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, OR

The Heavenly Table: A Novel, by Donald Ray Pollock (Anchor, 9781101971659, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

A Hundred Thousand Worlds: A Novel, by Bob Proehl (Penguin Books, 9780399562235, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Cat Nichols, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Mr. Eternity: A Novel, by Aaron Thier (Bloomsbury USA, 9781632860958, $17)
Recommended in hardcover by Ed Conklin, Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, CA

The River at Night: A Novel, by Erica Ferencik (Gallery/Scout Press, 9781501143205, $16)
Recommended in hardcover by Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The Summer That Melted Everything: A Novel, by Tiffany McDaniel (St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250131676, $15.99)
Recommended in hardcover by Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI