Friday, June 22, 2012

Three Indie Next Picks for July That We Also Love--Gold, The Age of Miracles, and Monkey Mind.

Though I don't write about them every month, we are still keeping up with our Indie Bound section, highlighting the titles that are recommended by booksellers around the country. Last month, several booksellers commented that the texture of the brochure changed. I hope that they saved money on this change, because if the coordinators think this was an improvement, the consensus is that it wasn't.

We're also still highlighting our events that are Indie Next picks with a front page label. For the second time this year, we're hosting a #1 pick author. Chris Cleave, of Little Bee fame, is coming on Monday, June 16 for his new book Gold. We're doing a ticketed fundraiser for the event. If you've heard anything about the book, you'll understand why our partner is Pablove, a nonprofit that helps kids with cancer and their caregivers. If you don't know much about the book, perhaps it's time to read Bill's review.

#1 Pick: Gold: A Novel, by Chris Cleave (Simon and Schuster, on sale July 3rd)
“Cleave is one of the luminaries of modern fiction and his talent shines just as brightly as the title of Gold. In a novel based on the world of competitive cycling, Cleave offers all of the trauma, dedication, and courage of that elite society, but more importantly, shows us those same attributes in the lives of his other characters, particularly eight-year-old Sophie, who suffers from leukemia. This is a novel that both inspires and informs, providing sadness and exhilaration in equal measure and showing empathy for the human condition. Gold is a reading experience not to be missed.” — Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Needless to say, Gold is getting its own post. Heavens, Little Bee had about a dozen. Buy your ticket to our Chris Cleave talk here.

Folks who read the blog regularly know that I stop by Nicola's whenever I seemingly within 100 miles of Ann Arbor. Bill Cusumano's reading habits put mine to shame; I know this because we compared notes at Book Expo. What a resource to have read so many books!

I'm honored to note that Boswell got an entry in the July listings as well. Jason's been crazy about Karen Thompson Walker's The Age of Miracles. I will note just two other fans--Michiko Kakutani of The New York Times, and also our own Shane.

The Age of Miracles: A Novel, by Karen Thompson Walker (Random House, on sale next Tuesday, June 26th)
“The end of the world does not come with a bang but with a whisper in Walker’s wonderful debut novel. Earth’s rotation is slowing, the days are becoming longer, gravity mutates, radiation spikes, but still, life must go on. The narrator is 12-year-old Julia, and she chronicles everything she sees happening in the world around her, from shock and panic to people desperate to maintain normal routines. This is not a flashy, bombastic, apocalyptic novel, but rather the story of how a family manages through unimaginable circumstances.” — Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company

Another Boswell pick is Daniel Smith's Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety.

Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety, by Daniel Smith (Simon & Schuster, and I think this will also be out on or around July 3rd)
“This is the kind of memoir you’ve likely never read before. To be human is to understand what anxiety is, but few understand anxiety as a true mental disorder. Smith’s real strength is his ability to provide the reader with very clear descriptions of what it means to suffer from chronic anxiety in ways that are both bracingly honest and self-deprecatingly funny. For readers who suffer anxiety, the world just may feel a tiny less lonely; for others, the hope is that this book will give insight into, and compassion for, those who do.” — Jennifer Wills Geraedts, Beagle Books, Park Rapids, MN

In terms of geography, Minnesota is so close, but for someone in the southeast tip of Wisconsin, it feels a world away. Park Rapids is due west of Duluth. The family that owns Beagle Books and Bindery shares ownership with Sister Wolf Books, which is a seasonal bookstore outside of town. I'm told by sources that Park Rapids is notable for Itasca State Park, which is the source of the Mississippi River.

I think it's ok to link you to the July preview page.

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