June Midwest Connection Picks


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!


Loudermilk: Or, the Real Poet; Or, the Origin of the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781593763909
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soft Skull Press - May 7th, 2019

"Ives' satirical masterpiece follows poet Troy Augustus Loudermilk, a shallow Adonis recently admitted to the nation’s premiere creative-writing graduate program, located in the heart of America’s starchy middle . . . Laugh-out-loud funny and rife with keen cultural observations, Ives’ tale is a gloriously satisfying critique of education and creativity." ––Booklist (starred review)

​A tale of two idiots—the handsome, charismatic Troy Augustus Loudermilk and his unassuming, socially anxious friend Harry Rego—who, in the early days of the new millennium, scam their way into a fellowship at the most prestigious creative writing program in the country.

Midwest Connection: The book is set in the fictional town of Crete, a fictitious Midwestern town that plays host to “The Seminars,” a fictionalized Iowa Writers’ Workshop; Lucy Ives attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop

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The Summer Demands Cover Image
ISBN: 9781948226301
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - June 4th, 2019

“Shapiro’s prose is elegant, effortless, but it’s her characters that will keep you up late into the night, hoping you can save them.” —Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter

On the verge of her fortieth birthday, and shaken by a recent miscarriage, Emily inherits an abandoned summer camp in Massachusetts and discovers a magnetic young woman living undetected in a cabin whose presence will force her to question everything she thought she knew.

Midwest Connection: Deb Shapiro lives in Chicago IL

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Reflections on a Life in Exile Cover Image
ISBN: 9780825308932
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 2-6 business days
Published: Beaufort Books - May 1st, 2019

Reflections on a Life in Exile is a book that is easy to pick up for a quick dip in the morning or evening, but also holds up to a lovely afternoon in an adirondack chair soaking up the sun along with the reflections...This gentle volume encourages us to listen with a bit more open curiosity to the words of strangers and reminds us that we all belong to a culture of kindness if we only watch for it.” —Deb Wayman, Fair Isle Books, Washington Island, WI

Written in lyrical prose, Reflections on a Life in Exile captures and magnifies the passing beauty of the ordinary and the extraordinary that lingers near the surface of daily life. Although not about dogs, the book is permeated with dog stories, a love of nature, and an almost mystical sense of wonder

Midwest Connection: J.F. Riordan grew up in Wisconsin. Although her early career took her to Europe, she returned to the Midwest by choice. She lives there because she loves the culture of humility, hard work, and decency. All of her books are an expression of that love, but this one is, perhaps, the most personal. Ms. Riordan has written three award-winning novels in the North of the Tension Line series thus far, all set on Washington Island, Wisconsin: North of the Tension Line, The Audacity of Goats, and Robert’s Rules. The fourth book in the series, A Small Earnest Question, is due out in May 2020.

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The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534414471
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 2-6 business days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - June 4th, 2019

"If Scout Finch had had a sister, she would be future ‘world-famous lawyer’ Guinevere St. Clair....With the same nostalgia-tinged humor asDead End in Norvelt and A Long Way from Chicago, Makechnie's debut will have readers in stitches. Gwyn's voice is distinct and likable, carrying readers through the eventful narrative with ease. Guinevere St. Clair is indeed 100 percent unforgettable." – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Guinevere St. Clair is a lawyer, the fastest girl in NYC, an expert on the human brain, and, now that her family’s moved to her parents’ hometown of Crowe, Iowa— in hopes of curing her mother’s memory loss— she wants to ride into her first day of school on a cow named Willowdale Princess Deon Dawn. Since Gwyn was four, her mother hasn’t been able to remember anything—not even that she has two daughters. While Gwyn’s obsesses over helping her, Gwyn focuses on problems within her reach. Like proving their strange neighbor, Gaysie Cutter is behind her only friend’s disappearance. Soon, Gwyn’s quest to crack the case leads her to people and places she never expected, including one person she’s been running from.

Midwest Connection: Author Amy Makechnie grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and the book takes place in Crowe, Iowa.

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