Book List, Indie Next

Holiday Gift Giving: BECKY’S PICKS

It’s time for our annual holiday gift giving recommendations! Check out all of the picks on display in the front corner of the store across from the wine bar! Each cover image links to the book’s page on our website for purchase and is followed by our staff blurb and publisher description.

A Praying Life by Paul E. Miller

As a Christian, prayer is one of the most fundamental aspects of my daily life. It can also be one of the hardest aspects of daily life. This book is full of short and easy to digest chapters. This the best book I’ve ever read on prayer!

Prayer is hard. Often, unless circumstances demand it–such as an illness or saying grace before a meal–most of us simply do not pray. This kind of prayerlessness can leave us with a distressed spirit and practical unbelief characterized by fear, anxiety, joylessness, and spiritual depression.

A Praying Life has encouraged thousands of Christians to pursue a vibrant prayer life full of joy and power. A life of prayer invites you to a life of connection to God. When Jesus describes the intimacy that He seeks with us, He talks about joining us for dinner (Revelation 3:20). This book reminds readers that prayer is simply making conversation with God a rhythm of life.

Now with added chapters addressing prayers of lament and further guidance for using prayer cards, Paul Miller invites you to foster prayer that regularly hopes, trusts, and expects God to act. Learn to develop helpful habits and approaches to prayer that will enable you to return to a childlike faith and witness spiritual growth today

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The classic story you already love, but with beautiful folkloric illustrations! This gorgeous book is sure to be the perfect gift for yourself or the Jane Austen lover in your life!

Experience this amazing reimagining of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s classic story of love and misunderstanding—featuring the colorful and contemporary illustrations of Alice Pattullo.

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has stood the test of time as one of her best novels. Biting commentary, romance, and misunderstanding abound in this classic story. Pride and Prejudice follows the romantic adventures of Bennett sisters, Mr. Bingley, and his dour friend Mr. Darcy. Pattullo’s full-color, folkloric, multi-faceted pieces of art breathe new life into this engaging, romantic novel, making it a collectible for book and art lovers everywhere.

The Classics Reimagined series is a library of stunning collector’s editions of unabridged classic novels illustrated by contemporary artists from around the world. Each artist offers his or her own unique, visual interpretation of the most well-loved, widely read, and avidly collected literature from renowned authors. From The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and from Edgar Allan Poe to the Brothers Grimm, collect every beautiful volume.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

If you’re an ally and have no idea where to start, this book is for you. How to be an Antiracist is told with stories from Kendi’s childhood coupled with real history. I learned so much. Kendi ends the book with easy actionable steps.

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson

Two indigenous children in the foster system in Canada stumble into an icy world from their attic. They find a community of talking animals who are starving; they’re world ruined by the last selfish human who came into their realm. The children must go on a journey to fix what the last human destroyed. Along the way, they’ll learn the importance of community and family heritage.

Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle-grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.

Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home — until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything — including them.

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Inspired by You’ve Got Mail, Hana works part-time at her family’s halal restaurant—the only one in their close knit community. Hana really wants to work in radio. She’s torn between supporting her family and their business and living her dream. Things get complicated when a handsome stranger arrives to start a competing halal restaurant in their neighborhood. Oh this means war! I laughed out loud multiple times while reading! This light read was so enjoyable!

For fans of “You’ve Got Mail,” a young woman juggles pursuing her dream job in radio while helping her family compete with the new halal restaurant across the street, in this sparkling new rom-com by the author of Ayesha at Last

Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighborhood of Toronto. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening her mother’s restaurant.

When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighborhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant–who might not be a complete stranger after all.

As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Inspired by ancient Rome, the Martial Empire is cruel and controlling to anyone who isn’t a Martial. Laia is a lowly scholar healer. When her brother is taken as a prisoner, Laia must find a way to rescue him. She begins spying by becoming a slave to the cruel Commandant. She meets the soldier Elias who is looking for a way to leave his brutal culture. Deadly alliances must be made. This fantasy series is incredible!

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

In the near future, a tech billionaire has discovered a way to travel through earth’s 380 multiverses. The only catch, you can only travel if you’re doppelganger has already died. Cara is a traverser whose doppelgangers are dead on 372 other worlds. When Cara’s parallel self mysteriously dies in one of the few worlds she’s alive in, Cara will travel and set in motion a journey through the multiverse that uncovers many secrets!

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this dystopian Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now what once made her marginalized has finally become an unexpected source of power. She has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world but the entire multiverse.

Jesus and John Wayne by Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Having grown up in the Evangelical Christian national movement full of all its patriarchy, culture wars, and racist adjacent rhetoric, this book was a historical journey to how and why 81% of white evangelicals voted for arguably the least “Christian-like” presidential candidate in recent history. This book looks at culture and Christianity from the early 1900s till today. This is a great read for history buffs, political junkies, and yes, even Christians.

The “paradigm-influencing” book (Christianity Today) that is fundamentally transforming our understanding of white evangelicalism in America.

Jesus and John Wayne is a sweeping, revisionist history of the last seventy-five years of white evangelicalism, revealing how evangelicals have worked to replace the Jesus of the Gospels with an idol of rugged masculinity and Christian nationalism—or in the words of one modern chaplain, with “a spiritual badass.”

As acclaimed scholar Kristin Du Mez explains, the key to understanding this transformation is to recognize the centrality of popular culture in contemporary American evangelicalism. Many of today’s evangelicals might not be theologically astute, but they know their VeggieTales, they’ve read John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart, and they learned about purity before they learned about sex—and they have a silver ring to prove it. Evangelical books, films, music, clothing, and merchandise shape the beliefs of millions. And evangelical culture is teeming with muscular heroes—mythical warriors and rugged soldiers, men like Oliver North, Ronald Reagan, Mel Gibson, and the Duck Dynasty clan, who assert white masculine power in defense of “Christian America.” Chief among these evangelical legends is John Wayne, an icon of a lost time when men were uncowed by political correctness, unafraid to tell it like it was, and did what needed to be done.

Challenging the commonly held assumption that the “moral majority” backed Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020 for purely pragmatic reasons, Du Mez reveals that Trump in fact represented the fulfillment, rather than the betrayal, of white evangelicals’ most deeply held values: patriarchy, authoritarian rule, aggressive foreign policy, fear of Islam, ambivalence toward #MeToo, and opposition to Black Lives Matter and the LGBTQ community. A much-needed reexamination of perhaps the most influential subculture in this country, Jesus and John Wayne shows that, far from adhering to biblical principles, modern white evangelicals have remade their faith, with enduring consequences for all Americans.

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