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Johnson, the son of an African-American mother and an Irish-American father, has just written Loving Day, a funny, sometimes absurd look at what it means to grow up mixed heritage in the U.S.
Naomi Novik's latest is a reworked "Beauty and the Beast," with a powerful female friendship at its heart. Reviewer Amal El-Mohtar calls it "moving, heartbreaking, and thoroughly satisfying."
M.G. Vassanji's book, The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, wrestles with questions of identity in a story about a young Indian boy coming of age in 1950s Kenya, a time of great political unrest.
It's Chinatown meets Mad Max in writer Paolo Bacigalupi's new desert dystopia, filled with climate refugees, powerful state border patrols, and secret agents called water knives.
In Nell Zink's new book, Mislaid, a young woman marries her male professor. It's 1965. She likes women; he likes men. What follows is a biting satire about gender, race and sexuality.
Sarai Walker's new novel centers on Alicia "Plum" Kettle, a 20-something writer who's saving up for weight loss surgery when she joins an underground feminist collective.
Heather Dixon's novel is a rough roller-coaster of magic and conspiracy, centered on a boy battling a deadly plague. Reviewer Tasha Robinson says it seems more like a movie treatment than a book.
Things That Matter, a collection of essays from conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer, appears at No. 9.
Ruth Reichl tells a story of food, love and redemption in Delicious!, which appears at No. 15.
Photographer Sally Mann tells her family's history through images and words in Hold Still. It debuts at No. 8.
In Anne Enright's The Green Road, Rosaleen Madigan's four grown children find themselves reunited under their mother's roof after she announces she's selling their childhood home. It debuts at No. 14.
The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.
In So We Read On, Maureen Corrigan looks at the story behind The Great Gatsby, from F. Scott Fitzgerald's life to the era in which it's set. Originally broadcast Sept. 8, 2014.