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October 2017 Indie Next List
The Indie Next List, drawn from bookseller-recommended favorite handsells, epitomizes the heart and soul of passionate bookselling. Independent booksellers are and have always been discoverers of the next big thing, the next great read, the next bestseller, and the next undiscovered gem.

10/02/2017
Her Body and Other Parties: Stories
"Reading the stories in Her Body and Other Parties has been among the greatest literary pleasures of 2017 for me. Carmen Maria Machado writes with fearless exploration, precision, and tenderness, which would prompt envy if gratitude and admiration weren't first to arrive on scene. From the lovely apocalyptic love story 'Inventory' to the dizzying and original 'Especially Heinous,' Machado's work is curious, inventive, and thrilling. It's feminist and pop culture, classic and weird; the stories are complex and the characters are haunting. What a debut!" -- Chorel Centers, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA


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10/02/2017
The Last Ballad: A Novel
"Ella May has never had much of anything. She labors long hours in a textile mill in North Carolina trying to feed her four young children on nine dollars a week. When Ella sings one of her songs at a meeting of workers who are hoping to form a union, she finds herself something of a local celebrity. Written in beautifully evocative prose, this novel about bigotry and labor unrest in the 1930s exerts a powerful impact that pulls the reader into the vortex of the struggle for social justice. It deserves a place of honor in the canon of great Southern literature." -- Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT


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10/02/2017
Manhattan Beach: A Novel
"Jennifer Egan's Manhattan Beach captures a time and place on the verge of momentous change. Set in Brooklyn in the 1940s, the novel tells the story of Anna Kerrigan, a young woman who has dropped out of Brooklyn College to contribute what she can to the American war effort. Unsatisfied with her job of inspecting and measuring machine parts, she attempts to enter the male-only world of deep-sea diving. Manhattan Beach is rich and atmospheric, highlighting a period when gangs controlled the waterfront, jazz streamed from the doors of nightclubs, and the future for everyone was far from certain." -- Mark LaFramboise, Politics & Prose Books and Coffee Shop, Washington, DC


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10/09/2017
The Rules of Magic
"In a dazzling, emotive prequel to her bestselling novel Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman brings the reader back into the world of the Owens family. The Rules of Magic takes us back two generations with practical Franny, who must learn how to love; sensitive Jet, who must learn how to persevere; and restless Vincent, who must learn how to be happy. Hoffman's writing is frank, tender, vivid, and elusive all at once. Full of sorrow and beauty and courage, The Rules of Magic is a delicious, satisfying read." -- Heather Herbaugh, Mitzi's Books, Rapid City, SD


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09/11/2017
The Twelve-Mile Straight: A Novel
"When asked what defines 'Southern' literature, most would put land and family on the top of the list. These also define Eleanor Henderson's The Twelve-Mile Straight, a story set in the 1930s in Georgia, where George Wilson owns the cotton mill and most of the land and Juke Jessop is a sharecropper on land that wouldn't support his family, but his renown fills the gap. Full of entanglements, violence, and vivid characters, both white and black, this gripping saga starts with a lynching and weaves back and forth in time and voice until a stasis, if not resolution, is reached." -- Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC


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10/02/2017
The Glass Eye: A Memoir
"The Glass Eye, at its heart, is a memoir of Jeannie's relationship with her late father and the grief she experienced after his death. But it's also about her half-sister, Jeanne, who died before she was born; it's about mental illness; and it's about family and what that means. This is memoir at its best. The prose is powerful and often breathtaking - it'll make your heart break, it might make you cry, and you'll probably even laugh a few times. This is an elegy fierce and lyrical and raw, like none I've read before." -- Sarah Malley, Newtonville Books, Newton, MA


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10/02/2017
Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York
"Having grown up in Mark Twain country on the Mississippi River, New York City was as foreign to me as Cairo, Egypt. Due to the dumb luck of having a very intelligent and ambitious relative, I was able to go to New York City when I was a very impressionable and enthusiastic 14-year-old. The experience changed my life. Roz Chast's Going Into Town reminds me, in one nostalgic and thoroughly entertaining sitting, of the most endearing aspects of the city. From moments of, 'Wait, is this an entire block of stores that sell ribbons?' to 'Humanity is both supremely lovely and frightening,' Going Into Town is a love letter to New York City for natives, newcomers, and wannabes alike." -- Nicole Sullivan, BookBar, Denver, CO


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09/11/2017
The Vengeance of Mothers
"One Thousand White Women was one of my favorite books and Jim Fergus does not disappoint with The Vengeance of Mothers. Meggie Kelly and her twin sister, Susie, are survivors of the 'Brides for Indians' program and of their Cheyenne village's massacre by the Army. When a new group of women are mistakenly sent west even though the government has abandoned the program, the twins help them adapt to the Cheyenne lifestyle while planning their revenge upon the soldiers that killed their family, including their newborn babies. Full of resilience, hope, sadness, and suspense, I was at the edge of my seat turning pages, worried about the outcome of these remarkable women. I loved it!" -- Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, IL


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09/18/2017
Caroline: Little House, Revisited
"In Caroline, Sarah Miller recreates Little House on the Prairie from Ma's point of view. An oft-overlooked character, in Caroline we find a rich inner life that rarely breaks her smooth surface. She is constantly wrestling with fears and doubts about this journey and everything that it means (she was actually pregnant during it). Although Caroline seems consumed by caregiving, childbearing, and constant tasks for others, we get a glimpse of her true self through her thoughts on her childhood, her relationship with Charles, and her time as a teacher. Miller draws out the quiet richness of Caroline as a character, showing her to be as integral to the story as Pa or Laura." -- Jordan Barnes, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA


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09/11/2017
Forest Dark: A Novel
"No surprise: Forest Dark was worth the wait. Tapping into intellectual and deeply personal moments, the two main characters are ones to identify with even as the circumstances they find themselves in are fantastic. Krauss' reflections about marriage are poignant, and there is a lot to contemplate. At first, I enjoyed having moments when I wasn't reading to think, but toward the end I found myself not being able to put it down." -- Kira Wizner, Merritt Books, Millbrook, NY


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