Recommended By Independent Booksellers

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Circling the Sun: A Novel

by Paula McLain
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"Reading Circling the Sun reminded me of the deep pleasure of solid storytelling: the vast landscape of colonial Kenya, complicated and compelling historical characters, love, suffering, and adventure combine to create a captivating narrative. McLain imagines the African childhood and early adulthood of real-life horse trainer and pioneering female aviator, Beryl Markham, as well as her social milieu which included Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who, as Isak Dinesen, wrote Out of Africa. Markham lived a fascinating and uncompromising life filled with danger, ill-fated romance, and stunning bravery, and McLain does justice to her memory with this sensitive and beautifully written portrayal.

Kitchens of the Great Midwest: A Novel

by J. Ryan Stradal
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"In the story of Midwestern chef savant Eva Thorvald and the people -- and foods -- that touch her life, Stradal has created a picture of the American foodie revolution of the past 25 years and of its intersections with class, economics, family, and culture. Along with irresistible characters and stories, this is a novel about the potential that food and cooking offer for joy and empowerment, for snobbery and shame, and for identity and reinvention. Beautifully structured and affectionately and hilariously written, this is a novel that -- like Thorvald's exclusive pop-up supper club -- everyone is going to be talking about.

Fishbowl: A Novel

by Bradley Somer
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"Somer uses the unusual device of a goldfish plunging off of a high-rise balcony to tie together the disparate stories of the building's inhabitants. As our hero, Ian, plummets past floor after floor, he glimpses the lives of the residents -- witnessing birth, heartbreak, new love, and all of the pathos and wonder that comprise human existence. Although Ian has only a goldfish's seconds-long capacity for memory, readers will find themselves returning to the essential truths of Somer's characters again and again.

Armada: A Novel

by Ernest Cline
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"This new work from Cline definitely will not disappoint the myriad fans of Ready Player One. On the contrary, it is another magical, nerdy romp through science fiction and fantasy pop culture where the thing that happens to the hero is exactly the thing every sci-fi lover secretly -- or not so secretly -- dreams will happen to them. A successful screenwriter, Cline fills this tale with super-cool action, relatable characters, and inventive plots. I loved it.

The Girl Who Slept with God: A Novel

by Val Brelinski
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"A cautionary tale, a coming-of-age story, a family drama, a religious and social commentary, and an examination of the bond between two sisters, Brelinski's debut is remarkably multilayered and complex. At times audacious and even disturbing, it is above all an honest novel, tackling the definitions of love and morality and challenging the things we seem to never want to think or talk about. This demands to be read.

You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost): A Memoir

by Felicia Day
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"Day has penned what is sure to be an instant cult classic. By turns funny, insightful, inspiring, and all-too-familiar, she maps her rise from lonely homeschooled girl to internet darling, along the way revealing her struggles, her insecurities, her stubbornness, and, most transparently, her utterly relatable story of finding her way while not fitting in. For anyone who has woken up to realize they are not where they wanted to be, Day's honest book is for you.

Barefoot to Avalon: A Brother's Story

by David Payne
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"This memoir is the most courageous book I have ever read. The author takes readers with him as he endeavors to make sense of his relationships with his parents and siblings, mental illness, personal shortcomings, and the journey to becoming a writer. The book leaves readers amazed at how much pain the heart can hold and still emerge peaceful, whole, and full of hope. Payne holds nothing back, and his depictions of events are real and full of all that makes us human, both the good and the bad.

Dragonfish: A Novel

by Vu Tran
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"Tran has written a highly original noir mystery involving Suzy, a Vietnamese immigrant, and her police officer ex-husband, Robert. Suzy goes missing in Las Vegas and her current husband, Sonny, enlists Robert's help to track her down. During his search for Suzy, Robert discovers a packet of letters written by her to Mai, Suzy's long-lost daughter, who is now a professional gambler living in Las Vegas. Suspenseful, cinematic, and haunting, Tran's storytelling is superb, and Dragonfish is an excellent debut.

Orphan # 8: A Novel

by Kim van Alkemade
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"In 1919, tragedy strikes in New York City and four-year-old Rachel is separated from her brother Sam and sent to a Jewish orphanage, where Dr. Mildred Solomon, in the name of research, subjects her to experiments with X-rays, leaving Rachel disfigured, bald, and the brunt of cruelty by other orphans. To Dr. Solomon, Rachel is just a number, Orphan Number Eight.

Mrs. Sinclair's Suitcase: A Novel

by Louise Walters
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"Working in a used bookstore, Roberta has a habit of keeping letters or notes she may discover in the used books she receives. One day, her father brings her an old suitcase filled with books that belonged to her grandmother. In one of the books, Roberta finds a letter written by her grandfather to her grandmother, months after he supposedly died in the war, referencing a dark secret from over 70 years ago. A story of love lost, secret love, and love found, set in the English countryside during WWII and in a bookstore in modern England, Mrs.