Thursday, August 29, 2013

Stacie Said to Me That I Wouldn't Be Happy Until All Twenty Indie Next Great Reads Had Events At Boswell...

I processed the statement that I would love to have every Indie Next Great Read in a month at Boswell, and in the end I decided it was not true. I think it's nice to have two or three of the featured titles per month on the list, just so we can bedazzle the brochures with our event stickers. But once you get to six featured authors, which is what we have for September, the brochure starts getting crammed with information. Plus you have all the paperback originals, the nonfiction titles that wouldn't make this kind of list, and the authors with local ties, and you realize there aren't enough days in the month.

It turns out one of the featured titles, Louise Penny, already had her event with us. But we've got five other wonderful authors coming, and I wanted to share them with you, along with their Indie Next recommendations from booksellers around the country. All are at Boswell.

Tuesday, September 10, 7 pm:
Let Him Go: A Novel (Milkweed), by Larry Watson .
“Like far-off black clouds with the faint sound of thunder on the horizon, Let Him Go crescendos into a violent Northern Plains thunderstorm as grandparents George and Margaret Blackledge set out on a journey to ‘rescue’ their grandson from his new stepfather. Confronting the hardscrabble Weboy clan that is equally determined to keep Jimmy can only have violent, tragic consequences. Watson has written a novel that rivals his earlier work, Montana 1948, in character development, storyline, and excitement. Stunning and riveting, Let Him Go will not be soon forgotten!”
—Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

Tuesday, September 24, 7 pm:
The President’s Hat (Gallic), by Antoine Laurain.
“Daniel Mercier is dining at a Parisian brasserie when Francois Mitterrand, the president of France, is seated at the next table. Mitterrand and his friends eat, talk of world affairs, and finally depart, but Mitterrand leaves his hat behind. The dazed Mercier promptly dons the hat and the next day at work he finds himself uncharacteristically eloquent, as if under a spell. The result is a job promotion that he feels he owes to his newly acquired hat. When Mercier inadvertently leaves the hat on a train, it falls into the hands of … well, to say more would be telling too much. A charming French confection, irresistibly witty and whimsical.”
—Betsy Burton, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

Wednesday, September 25, 7 pm:
Enon: A Novel (Random House), by Paul Harding
“Charlie Crosby has to face what no parent should ever have to — the death of a child. Enon is the town where Charlie, his wife, Susan, and daughter, Kate, lived until one September day Kate is run over while riding her bike home from the beach. Kate’s birth had bound Charlie and Susan back together and, according to Susan, was supposed to make them both better people. What now? Harding pulls no punches when describing Charlie’s life after Kate’s death. A moving meditation on living in a small town, the seasons of New England, and the mysteries of life, Enon is profound, powerful, and heartbreaking. Not to be missed.”
—Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Thursday, September 26, 7 pm:
#1 Pick: Burial Rites: A Novel (Little, Brown), by Hannah Kent (appearing with Kathleen Kent)
“Set against the desolate fire-and-ice landscape of 19th century Iceland, Burial Rites is a brilliant, multifaceted novel that traverses dark, psychological terrain while providing pitch-perfect historical detail. Debut author Kent is equally skilled at delving into the mind of Agnes Magnusdottir — a servant woman convicted of murder and condemned to beheading — as she is at rendering the domestic life of the poor farmers charged with sharing their tiny hovel with Agnes because there are no prisons in Iceland. At once a brooding morality tale and a ferocious page-turner, Burial Rites is the kind of novel that asks serious questions while remaining superbly entertaining.”
—Keaton Patterson, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Saturday, September 28, 11 am (note new time):
Someone: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), by Alice McDermott
“‘Who’s going to love me?’ Marie asks her brother after she is dumped by her first boyfriend. ‘Someone,’ he tells her. ‘Someone will.’ Love is only one of the themes that weave together the stories that make up McDermott’s latest mesmerizing novel. The tale is told through Marie’s memories as a little girl, a mother, and an old woman. Snapshot after snapshot of events in a Brooklyn neighborhood come together seamlessly to tell the endlessly fascinating story of ‘someone’s’ life.” —Sharon K. Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Hey, that's Sharon! Congratulations. You'll be seeing that quote again, for sure, but it will be mixed with recommendations with me, Jane, and Anne. Interestingly enough, we've had multiple reads on all of these upcoming event books. I told Stacie it was our Accidental Book Festival. If someone told me I could see Antoine Laurain, Paul Harding, Hannah and Kathleen (not sisters) Kent, and Alice McDermott in a week, I'd definitely adjust my vacation plans. And I haven't even mentioned Karen Joy Fowler, who is appearing for her recent novel on Monday, September 23.

You can read the rest of the Indie Next recommendations for September here.

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