Recommended By Independent Booksellers

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The Mothers: A Novel

by Brit Bennett
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"The 'mothers' of this book's title refers to the gaggle of elderly churchgoing women who comment on the congregation around them, especially the trio of Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey. But The Mothers is about more than that -- it refers to the concept of motherhood, whether real, lost, aborted, adoptive, or conflicted. The three young people at the heart of this story are all flawed, but their portrayals are realistic and they are easy for readers to support. This is a book about salvation -- not the spiritual salvation that the gossiping, but well-intentioned mothers seek, but the kind that comes with self-acceptance and growth.

News of the World: A Novel

by Paulette Jiles
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"This short, powerful novel is historical fiction at its best. Captain Kidd, a 72-year-old war veteran and professional news reader, has been tasked with returning Johanna, a 10-year-old white girl kidnapped by the Kiowa when she was six and recently ransomed, to relatives living near San Antonio. The Captain knows the journey will not be easy but believes it is his duty to do the right thing, despite the dangers that lie ahead. What he doesn't expect is the strength of the bond that develops between him and Johanna, one so powerful that it defines the choice he makes at journey's end.

Small Great Things: A Novel

by Jodi Picoult
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"Picoult can be relied upon to find the themes that are most important to our national conversation and then to explore them with wit, warmth, and skill. In Small Great Things, she illuminates the racial divide in our country through the vivid stories of a black nurse, a white supremacist, and the public defender who intervenes when the worst happens. This excellent, timely novel is sure to be loved by Picoult's fans and is certain to create new ones.

Reputations: A Novel

by Juan Gabriel Vasquez
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"With direct and forceful narrative and a translation as smooth and peaceful as the quiet narrator himself, this book takes the reader on a days-long search for the past and the present in modern day Bogota. A prominent political cartoonist is shaken when a forgotten uncertainty from the past resurfaces. This psychological study of the concept that what we believe makes us who we are is a masterpiece.

The Other Einstein: A Novel

by Marie Benedict
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"To portray Einstein not as the scientific genius we have been led to know, but as a callous, manipulative human being is what Benedict brilliantly accomplishes. Could the highly intelligent Mileva Maric -- leading the bohemian life in 1890s Zurich -- pursue a nontraditional career in science and math and simultaneously maintain a traditional relationship with the young Albert Einstein. With historical flair, The Other Einstein presents a volatile life filled with moments of collaboration and sacrifice, humiliation and outrage, and a will to change forces to save one's own existence.

The Trespasser: A Novel

by Tana French
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"While French's mysteries stand alone, a minor character from the previous book always becomes the main character in the next one. In this case, it is Antoinette Conway, the lone female detective in the 'Boys Club' that is the Murder Squad of the Dublin Police Department. Antoinette is desperate to get ahead in her career as well as fit in with her colleagues, but it is not going well. She is partnered with Stephen Moran, a young and inexperienced detective, and assigned nothing but domestic disturbance cases.

Children of the New World : Stories

by Alexander Weinstein
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"Imaginative and articulate, Children of the New World envisions fascinating technologies and the cultures shaped by them. As in the best speculative fiction, Weinstein's stories are driven by a longing for deeper answers: What defines us as human. How will we maintain this humanity as our lives become increasingly interwoven with the digital. I am haunted by many of the characters in these stories and their search for the human connection in worlds where technology appears to supersede it, but I am comforted by Weinstein's implication that such connection will still be essential.

Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother's Quest: A True Story of the Jim Crow South

by Beth Macy
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"Award-winning journalist Macy is an unrelenting researcher who combed through a wide variety of primary sources to tell a fascinating and heartbreaking story. In the early 20th century, Albino African American brothers are kidnapped by unscrupulous and racist circus managers who not only steal their earnings from their work as freak show performers, but also tell their mother that they are dead. This occurs during the height of the Jim Crow South, when black lives didn't matter and lynching was at its peak. The mother's persistent and heroic fight through legal channels to recoup her sons' wages and achieve a better standard of living is at the heart of this true story, an inside look at the historical depths of American racism.

Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear ... and Why

by Sady Doyle
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"At its best, pop culture criticism forces us to reconsider a familiar product by placing it in a new context and, in doing so, imbuing it with new meaning. Trainwreck is just that. Doyle effectively and entertainingly litigates her case: that Western culture's fascination with 'fallen' female starlets --aka trainwrecks -- is simply a modern form of the patriarchal silencing and marginalization of women that has been going for centuries. With sly humor and lively prose, Doyle systematically punches through all the familiar straw-man arguments and convincingly illustrates that the 'harmless fun' of Internet clickbait and TMZ gossip are merely modern forms of public shaming.

Mercury: A Novel

by Margot Livesey
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"This riveting psychological novel delves into the lives of Donald and Vivian, a married couple whose stability is threatened and ultimately undermined when Vivian, whose former life as an aspiring equestrian was cut short, meets Mercury, a magnificent horse with a tragic history. What unfolds may seem like destiny to Vivian, but to Donald, a staid and deliberate ophthalmologist still mourning the death of his beloved father, it tests everything he's ever known, including his faculty for navigating the world. A truly remarkable study of human nature and the blindspots that hinder us all.