Small-town America may or may not be the heart of the country, but it sure is at the heart of many of the books suggested by the independent booksellers this year.
The booksellers' picks cover a territory wide and wild, from the snow-covered terrain of North Dakota in Chuck Klosterman's Downtown Owl, to the forests of 1929 North Carolina in Ron Rash's Serena. Oh, and for the Scrooge on your list? How about The Man Who Invented Christmas, the story of how Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol helped create the holiday spirit?
Rona Brinlee, The Bookmark
Recommendations from a store by the sea, The Bookmark in Atlantic Beach, Fla.
Chris Livingston, The Book Shelf
Chris Livingston is the owner of The Book Shelf in Winona, Minn., and the vice president of the Midwest Booksellers Association.