Indies Choice Book Awards

2009 Indies Choice Book Award winners, chosen by the owners and staff at ABA member stores during more than four weeks of voting, are:


  • Best Indie Buzz Book (Fiction): The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (The Dial Press)
  • Best Conversation Starter (Nonfiction): The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell (Riverhead)
  • Best Author Discovery: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski (Ecco)
  • Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (Fiction): The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
  • Best New Picture Book: Bats at the Library, by Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin)
  • Most Engaging Author: Sherman Alexie


Five Indies Choice Book Awards honor recipients were also named in each category:

Best Indie Buzz Book (Fiction) Honor Books

  • City of Thieves, by David Benioff (Viking)
  • The Given Day, by Dennis Lehane (Morrow)
  • Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill (Pantheon)
  • People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks (Viking)
  • Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri (Knopf)

Best Conversation Starter (Nonfiction) Honor Books

  • American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon, by Steven Rinella (Spiegel & Grau)
  • The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins (Knopf)
  • Hurry Down Sunshine: A Memoir, by Michael Greenberg (Other Press)
  • A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists, and Other Adventurers in Early America, by Tony Horwitz (Holt)
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, by Haruki Murakami (Knopf)

Best Author Discovery (Debut) Honor Books

  • Child 44, by Tom Rob Smith (Grand Central)
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson (Knopf)
  • Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan (Algonquin)
  • The Story of Forgetting, by Stefan Merrill Block (Random House)
  • White Tiger, by Aravind Adiga (Free Press)

Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Honor Book (Fiction)

  • Graceling, by Kristin Cashore (HMH)
  • Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
  • Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow (Tor)
  • My Most Excellent Year, by Steve Kluger (Dial)
  • Savvy, by Ingrid Law (Dial)

Best New Picture Book Honor Books

  • Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken, by Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by Harry Bliss (HarperCollins)
  • Monkey and Me, by Emily Gravett (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Pout Pout Fish, by Deborah Diesen; illustrated by Dan Hanna (FSG)
  • Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, by Mem Fox; illustrated by Helen Oxenbury (Harcourt)
  • Wave, by Suzi Lee (Chronicle)

Most Engaging Author Honor Recipients

  • Michael Chabon
  • Ann Patchett
  • Jon Scieszka
  • David Sedaris
  • Terry Tempest Williams

Staff Pick Logo
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385341004
Availability: Available from our warehouse - 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Press - May 5th, 2009

January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name. - - - Written as copies of letters written by the characters. A beautiful story, sure to enthuse book clubs and all readers as a classic story of World War II.

The Wordy Shipmates Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594489990
Availability: Special Order
Published: Riverhead Hardcover - October 7th, 2008

A cultural profile of Puritan life covers a wide range of topics, from their covenant communities and deep-rooted ideologies to their beliefs about church and state and their perspectives on other faiths, in an account that also evaluates their legacy in today's world. To this day, America views itself as a Puritan nation, but Vowell investigates what that means” and what it should mean. What was this great political enterprise all about? Who were these people who are considered the philosophical, spiritual, and moral ancestors of our nation? What Vowell discovers is something far different from what their uptight shoe-buckles-and- corn reputation might suggest. The people she finds are highly literate, deeply principled, and surprisingly feisty. Their story is filled with pamphlet feuds, witty courtroom dramas, and bloody vengeance. Along the way she asks: * Was Massachusetts Bay Colony governor John Winthrop a communitarian, a Christlike Christian, or conformity's tyrannical enforcer? Answer: Yes! * Was Rhode Island's architect, Roger Williams, America's founding freak or the father of the First Amendment? Same difference. * What does it take to get that jezebel Anne Hutchinson to shut up? A hatchet. * What was the PuritansÂ' pet name for the Pope? The Great Whore of Babylon. Sarah Vowell's special brand of armchair history makes the bizarre and esoteric fascinatingly relevant and fun. She takes us from the modern-day reenactment of an Indian massacre to the Mohegan Sun casino, from old-timey Puritan poetry, where righteousness is rhymed with wilderness, to a Mayflower-themed waterslide. Throughout, The Wordy Shipmates is rich in historical fact, humorous insight, and social commentary by one of America's most celebrated voices. Thou shalt enjoy it.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle Cover Image
Email or please call for price
ISBN: 9780061768088
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: HarperLuxe - September 19th, 2008

A tale reminiscent of "Hamlet" that also celebrates the alliance between humans and dogs follows speech-disabled Wisconsin youth Edgar, who bonds with three yearling canines and struggles to prove that his sinister uncle is responsible for his father's death. Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life on his family's farm in remote northern Wisconsin where they raise and train an extraordinary breed of dog. But when tragedy strikes, Edgar is forced to flee into the vast neighboring wilderness, accompanied by only three yearling pups. Struggling for survival, Edgar comes of age in the wild, and must face the choice of leaving forever or revealing the terrible truth behind what has happened. A riveting family saga as well as a brilliant exploration of the limits of language, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is destined to become a modern classic.

The Graveyard Book Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (Illustrator)
Email or please call for price
ISBN: 9781410414410
Availability: Available from our warehouse - 1-5 Days
Published: Thorndike Press - April 1st, 2009

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his "New York Times" bestselling modern classic "Coraline." Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, the graveyard book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages. Neil Gaiman introduces Bod, a boy who is the only living resident of a graveyard. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own. Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack--who has already killed Bod's family. . . .

Bats at the Library Cover Image
ISBN: 9780618999231
Availability: Available from our warehouse - 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin - September 1st, 2008

Another inky evening's here-- The air is cool and calm and clear. Can it be true? Oh, can it be? Yes!--Bat Night at the library! Join the free-for-all fun at the public library with these book-loving bats! Shape shadows on walls, frolic in the water fountain, and roam the book-filled halls until it's time for everyone, young and old, to settle down into the enchantment of story time. Brian Lies' joyful critters and their nocturnal celebration cast library visits in a new light. Even the youngest of readers will want to join the batty book-fest! - - - Great read-aloud- I've read this one in the schools. Pat

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