MOONGLOW tops December
Indie Next List

9780062225559_e399cMichael Chabon’s newest novel is the #1 pick by booksellers for the last month of the year, Moonglow (HC/Harper).

“The intersection of world history and family history, the interplay of memory and imagination, a tangle of humor and grief, and the blurred and shifting line that separates sanity and madness all come into play in this stunning book. In the months before his death, Chabon’s grandfather revealed much of his life to his grandson. On that foundation, Chabon has built a novel filled with family stories, World War II episodes — including an appearance by Wernher von Braun — an obsession with rocketry, and a vividly realized, against-all-odds love story. While all the characters are richly developed, the narrator’s grandfather — the brave, eccentric, anger-fueled, and deeply loving center of this novel — will remain with readers forever.” —Banna Rubinow, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

Additional Buzz: It is also a LibraryReads November selection and made the Carnegie Medal shortlist. It is a Fall reading pick of the Amazon Editors, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, and USA Today. Entertainment Weekly features the title, and the photos that inspired it.

9781594203985_d6a1aAs is evidenced by Moonglow‘s pub date, many of the Indie Next December picks are actually published in November. Another LibraryReads pick from that month also makes the bookseller’s December list, Swing Time (PRH/Penguin; Penguin Audio/BOT).

“In her gracefully written new work, the author of NW and White Teeth addresses the frustrations of family relations, the complications of race, the tyranny of celebrity, and the travesty of cultural appropriation. Smith looks at the fragile threads that tie friends together and how easily they can snap, and her prose flows without effort, granting even the most flawed characters — and there are many — a modicum of redemption.” —Peggy Latkovich, Mac’s Backs, Cleveland Heights, OH

Additional Buzz: It too made the Carnegie Medal shortlist and is a Fall reading pick from Amazon Editors, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, People, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. Yesterday, USA Today announced she “has another hit” and calls the novel “wise and illuminating.”  It is reviewed less favorably. by the NYT‘s critic, Michiko Kakutani. As we reported earlier, NYT‘s Style Magazine T features an interview with the author by fellow novelist Jeffrey Eugenides.

9781250071446_d89deAnother November title catching the eye of booksellers is To Capture What We Cannot Keep, Beatrice Colin (Macmillan/Flatiron Books).

“Societal constraints and expectations of the time impede the love affair of Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier from the moment they meet in a hot air balloon above the Champ de Mars in 1886. Émile’s ailing mother is pressuring him to marry, start a family, and take over the family business even as he is facing both public and professional stress as co-designer of the Eiffel Tower. Cait is a young Scottish widow forced to work as a chaperone to a wealthy brother and sister. Cait’s and Émile’s paths cross and crisscross as Colin vividly captures the sights and sounds of La Belle Epoque in this quiet, atmospheric novel.” —Jennifer Gwydir, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Additional Buzz: Bustle picks it as one of “The 9 Best Fiction Books Of November 2016 That Are As Delicious As Thanksgiving Dinner.” (Moonglow and Swing Time also make the list).

9780670016952_d26c8A true December title is The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars, Dava Sobel (PRH/Viking; Penguin Audio)

“Spectrography is a way of studying stars by taking pictures that separate astral light into different wavelengths. The practice was pioneered by Dr. Henry Draper of the Harvard Observatory in the late 1800s, but the long and detailed work of interpreting the images and classifying the stars was done by a group of women. In this long overdue tribute to Harvard’s ‘human computers,’ Sobel, author of the classic Longitude, brilliantly intertwines science, history, and biography, charting not only the advances in astrophysics from the 1870s to the 1940s, but also following the progress women made in establishing themselves in a notoriously male-dominated field.” —Laurie Greer, Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC

Additional Buzz: It made the Carnegie Medal Longlist.

Library Reads does not issue a list in December; they combine December and January titles on the January list.

For December, LibraryReads issues a Best of the Year list. Voting has yet to conclude so there is still time to weigh in.

The full Indie Next list is available online.

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