Indies First Recommendations from Camille DeAngelis

Camille DeAngelisCamille DeAngelis is the author of the novels Immaculate Heart (a religious vision drives people mad!), Petty Magic (witchy hijinks!), Mary Modern (human clones locked in a basement laboratory!), and the Alex Award-winning Bones & All (teen cannibal road trip!). She's also written a second-edition guidebook, Moon Ireland (coming April 2017) and a book of practical philosophy, Life Without Envy: Ego Management for Creative People. Camille does most of her scribbling at the Writers’ Room of Boston, and lives in Somerville just up the street from Porter Square Books.

Here are some of Camille's Indies First recommendations:

Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little: Fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl will definitely like Little's debut novel—though if you were disappointed by either of those titles, you'll probably prefer this one. Jane Jenkins is a much more satisfyingly unlikeable narrator, the plot is less predictable, and the supporting characters are fully realized, with plenty of intriguing secrets of their own. Little, who lives in Los Angeles, has a lot of fun roasting the vapidity of celebrity culture, making it even more enjoyable to zip through than other popular thrillers of late.

Light Without Fire: The Making of America's First Muslim College by Scott Korb: A sympathetic and beautifully-written profile of the scholars and students at America's first Muslim liberal arts institution, Zaytuna College in Berkeley, California. Zaytuna's mission goes beyond educating young Muslims in Islamic law and the Arabic language: founders Hamza Yusuf and Zaid Shakir wish to prove that one can be a devout Muslim and a loyal American. Korb's approach is intellectually curious and genuinely humble, making this book a very good choice for those of us wishing to learn more about a tragically misunderstood religion and culture.

Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce: This cozy time-slip fantasy is beloved in England but not so well known here, and it's my all-time favorite comfort read. When his brother gets the measles, Tom is sent to live with his aunt and uncle, who live in an apartment in a converted old mansion. Late at night, when the grandfather clock in the front hall strikes thirteen, Tom ventures out the back door to find the ugly trash bins and concrete vanished, a beautiful sprawling garden in its place—and a mysterious young girl, Hatty. Delightful adventures ensue.