For Indies First, Vermont Authors Recommend…

Independent booksellers are exceedingly good at recommending books. They also go out of their way to support local authors, and in turn, the authors return the favor, coming for events, offering personalized signed copies of their books (Chris Bohjalian, Julia Alvarez, Katherine Arden to name a few) and speaking up in support of us, their local independent bookstore and indie bookstores all across the country. 

INDIES FIRST, Saturday, November 30 (also Small Business Saturday) is a national day celebrating and recognizing independent bookstores. We ask that you consider shopping Indies First for your holiday gift giving and other shopping needs. We don't expect you to shift all your spending to local independently-owned businesses, but shifting some of your spending helps keep us here.

In honor of this occasion, we asked some of our favorite Vermont authors to recommend a few books to you, our customers and readers. Here is our For Indies First, Vermont Authors Recommend…

Note: If authors recommended more than one title, the first title is in book list below and the rest of their recommendations are linked in the review below. (You can also download a PDF of this list, HERE)

Go, Went, Gone Cover Image
By Jenny Erpenbeck, Susan Bernofsky (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780811225946
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions - September 26th, 2017

From Julia Alvarez: "Hands down my favorite this past year is Jenny Erpenbeck’s Go, Went, Gone." She also loved Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Sabrina and Corina: Stories, Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous, and Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X. She added, "I could go on and on!"

The Gifted School: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525534969
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - July 2nd, 2019

Chris Bohjalian proffered a list of new(ish) books he just loved! The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger, Toil & Trouble by Augusten Burroughs, The Testaments by Margaret Atwood, plus a fewer older ones he recently read and loved: Nuclear Family by Susanna Fogel, Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham.

There There Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525436140
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 7th, 2019

Tommy Orange's award-winning novel There There is being recommended by THREE Vermont authors, Katy Farber (Salamander Sky), Jeremy Holt (Before Houdini), and Meg Little Reilly (Everything That Follows). Even Margaret Atwood is a fan, calling the book "an astonishing literary debut." 

The History of Love: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393328622
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2006

Besides recommending her own new collection of essays, Made Holy (which Jenny also recommends), author Emily Casey said if she were a bookseller, she would handsell The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, Once The Shore by Paul Yoon, The Boys of My Youth JoAnn Beard, The Maytrees by Annie Dillard, and On Looking by Lia Purpura.

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416590316
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 16th, 2018

Tal Birdsey (Hearts of the Mountain), recommends the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History, David Blight's biography Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom. He also recommends Brown: Poems by Kevin Young.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316421997
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Redhook - September 10th, 2019

Katherine Arden (Winternight trilogy) recommends The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow, a tale set primarily in early-20th-century Vermont, but also in an alternative world called the City of Nin.

Junkyard at No Town Cover Image
ISBN: 9781578690152
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rootstock Publishing - May 25th, 2019


Doug Wilhelm (Street of Storytellers) recommends Junkyard at No Town by J. C. Myers. "This hilarious, outrageous novel is about a backroads town full of crazy rednecks and vivid characters. It's also about finding love, mystery and meaning in life—and it's a story you won't forget."

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501126079
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - May 8th, 2018

Dede Cummings, author, poet and publisher/designer at Green Writers Press & The Hopper Literary Magazine recommends Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward.

Nightwoods: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812978803
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - June 12th, 2012

Jon Clinch (Marley) recommends Charles Frazier’s Nightwoods. It’s one of his all-time favorite novels.

Last Witnesses: An Oral History of the Children of World War II Cover Image
By Svetlana Alexievich, Richard Pevear (Translated by), Larissa Volokhonsky (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780399588754
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House - July 2nd, 2019

Leath Tonino (The West Will Swallow You) recommends Last Witnesses by Svetlana Alexievich. 

Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143125884
Availability: Special Order, Hard to Find
Published: Penguin Books - August 26th, 2014

Garret Keizer (The World Pushes Back: Poems) recommends Darling: A Spiritual Autobiography by Richard Rodriguez, author of Hunger of Memory, Brown, and Days of Obligation.

Indie Next List

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