January Midwest Connections


Bookseller selected, Midwest approved! Indie booksellers throughout the Midwest have hand-selected these titles based on their discoverability and regional value. From small towns to bustling cities, many of the most celebrated writers have roots in the middle of the country and explore this distinctly American landscape and experience. Discover your next great read and explore a whole region of amazing literature.


Prefer audiobooks? We are now partnered with libro.fm to bring you an incredible selection of audiobooks, including these Midwest Connections titles!


Laurentian Divide: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781517905620
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 2-6 business days
Published: Univ Of Minnesota Press - September 18th, 2018

"Hilarious, smart, moving, and kind, Laurentian Divide is good for the soul, or anyway, it was good for mine."—Richard Russo

Bitter winters are nothing new in Hatchet Inlet, hard up against the ridge of the Laurentian Divide, but the advent of spring can’t thaw the community’s collective grief, lingering since a senseless tragedy the previous fall. Weaving in and out of each other’s reach, trying hard to do their best (all the while wondering what that might be), the residents of this remote town in all their sweetness and sorrow remind us once more of the inescapable lurches of the heart and unexpected turns of our human comedy.

Midwest Connection: Sarah Stonich lives in Minneapolis, MN and writes about a fictional small town nestled against Northern Minnesota wilderness

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Limetown: The Prequel to the #1 Podcast Cover Image
By Cote Smith, Zack Akers (Contributions by), Skip Bronkie (Contributions by)
ISBN: 9781501155642
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 2-6 business days
Published: Simon & Schuster - November 13th, 2018

“Though this book is a prequel to the podcast of the same name, it can be read independently….entertaining….a breezy lead-in to the second season…its family themes come across strongly and at times affectingly.” --Kirkus Reviews

From the creators of the #1 podcast Limetown, an explosive prequel about a teenager who learns of a mysterious research facility where over three hundred people have disappeared—including her uncle—with clues that become the key to discovering the secrets of this strange town.

Midwest Connection: Author Cote Smith grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas, and earned his MFA from the University of Kansas. He currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where the main characters in his second novel, Limetown (written with the creators of the podcast of the same name) also come of age.

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Speechless Cover Image
ISBN: 9781536200928
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 2-6 business days
Published: Candlewick - November 6th, 2018

“Brilliant, breathtaking, insightful and absolutely impossible to put down, Speechless is Jimmy's story, Patrick's story, Sophia's story. Is everyone's story who has been asked to do the impossible.” --Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

As if being stuffed into last year's dress pants at his cousin's wake weren't uncomfortable enough, thirteen-year-old Jimmy has just learned from his mother that he has to say a few words at the funeral the next day. Why him? What could he possibly say about his cousin, who ruined everything they did? He can't recall one birthday party, family gathering, or school event with Patrick that didn't result in injury or destruction. As Jimmy attempts to navigate the odd social norms of the wake, he draws on humor, heartfelt concern, and a good deal of angst while racking his brain and his memory for a decent and meaningful memory to share. But it's not until faced with a microphone that the realization finally hits him: it's not the words that are spoken that matter the most, but those that are truly heard.

Midwest Connection: Adam lives in Oswego, Illinois, and teaches in the suburban Chicago area.

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We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250174536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - October 16th, 2018

"A fantastic essay collection... Blending personal reflection with historical analysis and cultural and literary criticism, these essays are a sharp, illuminating response to the nation’s continuing racial conflicts."--Ron Charles, The Washington Post

In eight wide-ranging and penetrating essays, Asim explores such topics as the twisted legacy of jokes and falsehoods in black life; the importance of black fathers and community; the significance of black writers and stories; and the beauty and pain of the black body. What emerges is a rich portrait of a community and culture that has resisted, survived, and flourished despite centuries of racism, violence, and trauma.

Midwest Connection: Jabari Asim was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He now owns his childhood home there and returns several times a year. Portions of the book touch on his childhood and family life in St. Louis

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