Sunday, May 28, 2017

"The Origin of the Jews"

New from Princeton University Press: The Origin of the Jews: The Quest for Roots in a Rootless Age by Steven Weitzman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first major history of the scholarly quest to answer the question of Jewish origins

The Jews have one of the longest continuously recorded histories of any people in the world, but what do we actually know about their origins? While many think the answer to this question can be found in the Bible, others look to archaeology or genetics. Some skeptics have even sought to debunk the very idea that the Jews have a common origin. In this book, Steven Weitzman takes a learned and lively look at what we know—or think we know—about where the Jews came from, when they arose, and how they came to be.

Scholars have written hundreds of books on the topic and have come up with scores of explanations, theories, and historical reconstructions, but this is the first book to trace the history of the different approaches that have been applied to the question, including genealogy, linguistics, archaeology, psychology, sociology, and genetics. Weitzman shows how this quest has been fraught since its inception with religious and political agendas, how anti-Semitism cast its long shadow over generations of learning, and how recent claims about Jewish origins have been difficult to disentangle from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He does not offer neatly packaged conclusions but invites readers on an intellectual adventure, shedding new light on the assumptions and biases of those seeking answers—and the challenges that have made finding answers so elusive.

Spanning more than two centuries and drawing on the latest findings, The Origin of the Jews brings needed clarity and historical context to this enduring and often divisive topic.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The End of Loyalty"

New from PublicAffairs: The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America by Rick Wartzman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Having a good, stable job used to be the bedrock of the American Dream. Not anymore.

In this richly detailed and eye-opening book, Rick Wartzman chronicles the erosion of the relationship between American companies and their workers. Through the stories of four major employers--General Motors, General Electric, Kodak, and Coca-Cola--he shows how big businesses once took responsibility for providing their workers and retirees with an array of social benefits. At the height of the post-World War II economy, these companies also believed that worker pay needed to be kept high in order to preserve morale and keep the economy humming. Productivity boomed.

But the corporate social contract didn't last. By tracing the ups and downs of these four corporate icons over seventy years, Wartzman illustrates just how much has been lost: job security and steadily rising pay, guaranteed pensions, robust health benefits, and much more. Charting the Golden Age of the '50s and '60s; the turbulent years of the '70s and '80s; and the growth of downsizing, outsourcing, and instability in the modern era, Wartzman's narrative is a biography of the American Dream gone sideways.

Deeply researched and compelling, The End of Loyalty will make you rethink how Americans can begin to resurrect the middle class.
The Page 99 Test: Rick Wartzman's Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Lies that Bind"

New from Severn House: Lies that Bind: A Cotswold murder mystery by Stella Cameron.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a young boy finds a body in a neighbouring village, once again Alex Duggins is drawn into a case of cold-blooded murder.

When a body is discovered in the neighbouring village of Underhill, Alex Duggins, owner of Folly-on-Weir’s premier pub, The Black Dog, is determined not to get involved – for once. But when she learns that the person who found the body was young Kyle Gammage, who helps out at her friend Tony’s veterinary clinic, she and Tony are reluctantly drawn into the murder investigation.

In her desire to protect Kyle and his elder brother Scoot, Alex finds herself withholding vital information from the police. It’s a misjudgement that will have far-reaching – and possibly fatal – consequences. Her relationship with Tony under strain, has Alex’s silence put her and those she loves in danger?
Visit Stella Cameron's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Stella Cameron & Millie.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 27, 2017

"Once, in Lourdes"

New from Spiegel & Grau: Once, in Lourdes: A Novel by Sharon Solwitz.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the turbulent summer of 1968, four high school friends make a pact that will change their lives forever.

As the Vietnam War rages overseas, four friends make a vow. For the next two weeks, they will live for each other and for each day. Then, at the end of the two weeks, they will sacrifice themselves on the altar of their friendship.

Loyal Kay, our narrator, dreams of being an artist and escaping her stifling family—the stepmother and stepsister she gained after her mother’s early death, and the father she no longer feels she knows. As she struggles with her weight, her schoolwork, and her longing for her mother, she feels loyalty only to her three friends, determined to keep their group together at any cost. Brilliant, charismatic CJ appears to have everything—though even those closest to him can’t see him as he really is. Steady, quiet Saint wants to do right by everyone, trying not to let his emotions destroy himself and those around him. And beautiful Vera’s family secrets are too dark to share, even with her closest friends; caught in a web of family dysfunction, she can only hope the others won’t get tangled up in the danger she senses around her.

In the two-week span in which the novel takes place, during the summer before their senior year of high school, the lives of Kay, CJ, Saint, and Vera will change beyond their expectations, and what they gain and lose will determine the novel’s outcome. Once, in Lourdes is a gripping, haunting novel about the power of teenage bonds, the story of four young people who will win your heart and transport you back to your own high school years. As the heady 1960s shift the ground beneath their feet, all of them must face who they are—and who they want to be.
Visit Sharon Solwitz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"It's All a Game"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: It's All a Game: The History of Board Games from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan by Tristan Donovan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Board games have been with us longer than even the written word. But what is it about this pastime that continues to captivate us well into the age of smartphones and instant gratification?

In It’s All a Game, British journalist and renowned games expert Tristan Donovan opens the box on the incredible and often surprising history and psychology of board games. He traces the evolution of the game across cultures, time periods, and continents, from the paranoid Chicago toy genius behind classics like Operation and Mouse Trap, to the role of Monopoly in helping prisoners of war escape the Nazis, and even the scientific use of board games today to teach artificial intelligence how to reason and how to win. With these compelling stories and characters, Donovan ultimately reveals why board games have captured hearts and minds all over the world for generations.
Visit Tristan Donovan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Romancing the Throne"

New from Katherine Tegen Books: Romancing the Throne by Nadine Jolie Courtney.

About the book, from the publisher:

For the first time ever, the Weston sisters are at the same boarding school. After an administration scandal at Libby’s all-girls school threatens her chances at a top university, she decides to join Charlotte at posh and picturesque Sussex Park. Social-climbing Charlotte considers it her sisterly duty to bring Libby into her circle: Britain’s young elites, glamorous teens who vacation in Hong Kong and the South of France and are just as comfortable at a polo match as they are at a party.

It’s a social circle that just so happens to include handsome seventeen-year-old Prince Edward, heir to Britain’s throne.

If there are any rules of sisterhood, “Don’t fall for the same guy” should be one of them. But sometimes chemistry—even love—grows where you least expect it. In the end, there may be a price to pay for romancing the throne...and more than one path to happily ever after.
Visit Nadine Jolie Courtney's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 26, 2017

"White Fur"

New from Crown/Archetype: White Fur by Jardine Libaire.

About the book, from the publisher:

A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City

When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore.

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love, but also for their lives.

White Fur follows these indelible characters on their wild race through Newport mansions and downtown NYC nightspots, SoHo bars and WASP-establishment yacht clubs, through bedrooms and hospital rooms, as they explore, love, play, and suffer. Jardine Libaire combines the electricity of Less Than Zero with the timeless intensity of Romeo and Juliet in this searing, gorgeously written novel that perfectly captures the ferocity of young love.
Visit Jardine Libaire's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Speaking in Subtitles"

New from Edinburgh University Press: Speaking in Subtitles: Revaluing Screen Translation by Tessa Dwyer.

About the book, from the publisher:

With over 6,000 languages in the world today, media speak is far from universal, but the complexities of translation are rarely acknowledged by the industry, or by audiences and scholars. Redressing this neglect, Speaking in Subtitles argues that the oddities and idiosyncrasies of translation are vital to screen media's global storytelling. Examining a range of examples from crowdsourced subtitling to avant-garde dubbing to the growing field of 'fansubbing', Tessa Dwyer proposes that film, television and video are fundamentally 'translational' media.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Small Treasons"

New from Gallery Books: Small Treasons by Mark Powell.

About the book, from the publisher:

With writing that is both devastating and tender, Mark Powell brings his acclaimed eye to an American marriage on the verge of rupture, spinning an all-too-current tale of the world we live in and the world we fear—and how we may not be able to tell the two apart—perfect for fans of Adam Johnson’s Fortune Smiles and Denis Johnson’s The Laughing Monsters.

Tess Maynard is coming apart. At home with her three young children in her husband’s Georgia hometown, people keep asking if she’s depressed, if she and John are okay.

Secretly, she’s becoming obsessed with the war on terror—an ISIS beheading video in particular. Something about the victim’s captivity on the computer screen resonates with her. Something inside of her demands endless prayers for a world gone mad.

The carefully constructed life of her husband is likewise beginning to unravel. Now a college counselor, John’s former life bears persistently into the present. Once a contractor at a CIA black site that interrogated suspected terrorists—and one innocent civilian—he is given a choice by the Justice Department: either help with a problem in the homeland, or they investigate.

Forced by an old colleague to spy on a new one, John’s experiences abroad come home to roost in Georgia. For his wife, for his family, he goes along with the game. But just as he and Tess work to salvage their life together, the world comes between them in the form of a young man slowly being radicalized by the professor John is reporting on.

In a moment Tess imagined and never wanted to see, the intersection of their three lives is as devastating as the bomber’s explosion of hate and metal, and as inevitable as the battle between powers great and personal.
The Page 69 Test: The Sheltering.

My Book, The Movie: The Sheltering.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Reminders"

New from Little, Brown and Company: The Reminders by Val Emmich.

About the book, from the publisher:

What happens when a girl who can't forget befriends a man who's desperate to remember?

Grief-stricken over his partner Sydney's death, Gavin sets fire to every reminder in the couple's home before fleeing Los Angeles for New Jersey, where he hopes to find peace with the family of an old friend. Instead, he finds Joan.

Joan, the family's ten-year-old daughter, was born Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, or HSAM: the rare ability to recall every day of her life in cinematic detail. Joan has never met Gavin until now, but she did know his partner, and waiting inside her uncanny mind are startlingly vivid memories to prove it.

Gavin strikes a deal with Joan: in return for sharing her memories of Sydney, Gavin will help her win a songwriting contest she's convinced will make her unforgettable. The unlikely duo set off on their quest until Joan reveals unexpected details about Sydney's final months, forcing Gavin to question not only the purity of his past with Sydney but the course of his own immediate future.

Told in the alternating voices of these two irresistible characters, The Reminders is a hilarious and tender exploration of loss, memory, friendship, and renewal.
Visit Val Emmich's website.

--Marshal Zeringue