Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"Noteworthy"

New from Amulet Books: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight. But then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped . . . revered . . . all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.
Visit Riley Redgate's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Against Harmony"

New from Oxford University Press: Against Harmony: Progressive and Radical Buddhism in Modern Japan by James Mark Shields.

About the book, from the publisher:

Against Harmony traces the history of progressive and radical experiments in Japanese Buddhist thought and practice, from the mid-Meiji period through the early Showa. Perhaps the two best representations of progressive Buddhism during this time were the New Buddhist Fellowship (1899-1915) and the Youth League for Revitalizing Buddhism (1931-1936), both non-sectarian, lay movements well-versed in both classical Buddhist texts and Western philosophy and religion. Their work effectively collapsed commonly held distinctions between religion, philosophy, ethics, politics, and economics. Unlike many others of their day, they did not regard the novel forces of modernization as problematic and disruptive, but as opportunities.

James Mark Shields examines the intellectual genealogy and alternative visions of progressive and radical Buddhism in the decades leading up to the Pacific War. Exposing the variety in the conceptions and manifestations of progress, reform, and modernity in this period, he outlines their important implications for postwar and contemporary Buddhism in Japan and elsewhere.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Windfall"

New from Delacorte Press: Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined ... and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.
Visit Jennifer E. Smith's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"A Sovereign People"

New from Basic Books: A Sovereign People: The Crises of the 1790s and the Birth of American Nationalism by Carol Berkin.

About the book, from the publisher:

How George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams navigated the nation through four major crises and caused the first stirrings of American nationalism

Americans like to believe that the Constitution miraculously brought the United States into being, as though the framers established, in one stroke, the nation we know today. Yet when George Washington delivered his First Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789, he expressed worry about the challenges that lay ahead. He was right to be concerned: the existence of the new nation was anything but secure. Without the support of the American people, after all, the Constitution was only a piece of paper.

In A Sovereign People, her brilliant new political history of the 1790s, the acclaimed historian Carol Berkin argues that the young nation would not have survived absent the interventions of the Federalists, above all Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and John Adams. In power throughout the decade, they faced four successive crises of sovereignty. The Whiskey Rebellion was a domestic revolt over the right of the federal government to levy taxes. The Genet Affair saw a reckless French diplomat appeal directly to the American people, in opposition to Washington. The XYZ Affair involved foreign threats intended to draw the United States into a European war. The final crisis was self-inflicted, the result of the Federalists' desire to silence their critics in the press, in the form of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

In each instance, the Federalists demonstrated the necessity of the federal government established by the Constitution, and by decade's end, the American people understood that without an "energetic government," there could be no United States. As Berkin ultimately reveals, while the Revolution freed the states and the Constitution linked them as never before, it was the Federalists who transformed them into an enduring nation.
My Book, The Movie: Wondrous Beauty.

Writers Read: Carol Berkin.

The Page 99 Test: The Bill of Rights.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Every Other Wednesday"

New from Kensington: Every Other Wednesday by Susan Kietzman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Three women, each facing an empty nest, come together to cheer and challenge one another in this insightful, poignant new novel from acclaimed author Susan Kietzman.

For years, Ellie, Alice, and Joan enjoyed a casual friendship while volunteering at their children’s Connecticut high school. Now, with those children grown and gone to college, a local tragedy brings the three into contact again. But what begins as a catch-up lunch soon moves beyond small talk to the struggles of this next stage of life.

Joan Howard has spent thirty years of marriage doing what’s expected of Howard women: shopping, dressing well, and keeping a beautiful home. Unfulfilled, her boredom and emptiness eventually find a secret outlet at the local casino. Meanwhile, Ellie’s efforts to expand her accounting business lead to a new friendship that clashes with her family’s traditional worldview. And Alice, feeling increasingly distant from her husband, and alienated from her once fit body, takes up running again. But a terrifying ordeal shatters her confidence and spurs a decision that will affect all three women in different ways.

Over the course of an eventful year, Ellie, Alice, and Joan will meet every other Wednesday to talk, plan—and find the freedom, and the courage, to redefine themselves.
Visit Susan Kietzman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Managed Speech"

New from Oxford University Press: Managed Speech: The Roberts Court's First Amendment by Gregory P. Magarian.

About the book, from the publisher:

Our constitutional freedom to speak out against government and corporate power is always fragile, but today it faces unprecedented hazards. In Managed Speech: The Roberts Courts First Amendment, leading First Amendment scholar, Gregory Magarian, explores and critiques how the present U.S. Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice John Roberts, has reshaped and degraded the law of expressive freedom.

This timely book shows how the Roberts Court's free speech decisions embody a version of expressive freedom that Professor Magarian calls "managed speech". Managed speech empowers stable, responsible institutions, both government and private, to manage public discussion; disfavors First Amendment claims from social and political outsiders; and, above all, promotes social and political stability. Professor Magarian examines all of the more than forty free speech decisions the Supreme Court handed down between Chief Justice Roberts' ascent in 2005 and Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016. Those decisions, taken together, aggressively advance stability at a steep cost to robust public debate.

Professor Magarian proposes a theoretical alternative to managed speech, one that would aim to increase the range of ideas and voices in public discussion: "dynamic diversity." A First Amendment doctrine based on dynamic diversity would prioritize political dissent and the rights of journalists, allow for reasonable regulations of money in politics, and work to broaden opportunities for speakers to be heard. This book offers a fresh, critical perspective on the crucial question of what the First Amendment should mean and do. Professor Magarian proposes a theoretical alternative to managed speech, one that would aim to increase the range of ideas and voices in public discussion.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 24, 2017

"Count All Her Bones"

New from Henry Holt and Co. (BYR): Count All Her Bones by April Henry.

About the book, from the publisher:

April Henry masterminds another edge-of-your-seat thriller in this much-anticipated sequel to Girl, Stolen.

Six months ago, Griffin Sawyer meant to steal a car, but he never meant to steal the girl asleep in the backseat. Panicked, he took her home. His father, Roy, decided to hold Cheyenne—who is blind—for ransom. Griffin helped her escape, and now Roy is awaiting trial. As they prepare to testify, Griffin and Cheyenne reconnect and make plans to meet. But the plan goes wrong and Cheyenne gets captured by Roy’s henchmen—this time for the kill. Can Cheyenne free herself? And is Griffin a pawn or a player in this deadly chase?

April Henry masterminds another edge-of-your-seat thriller in Count All Her Bones.
Learn more about the book and author at April Henry's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Girl, Stolen.

The Page 69 Test: The Body in the Woods.

The Page 69 Test: Blood Will Tell.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Broken Ladder"

New from Viking: The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne.

About the book, from the publisher:

A timely examination by a leading scientist of the physical, psychological, and moral effects of inequality

Today’s inequality is on a scale that none of us has seen in our lifetimes, yet this disparity between rich and poor has ramifications that extend far beyond mere financial means. In The Broken Ladder psychologist Keith Payne examines how inequality divides us not just economically, but also has profound consequences for how we think, how our cardiovascular systems respond to stress, how our immune systems function, and how we view moral ideas such as justice and fairness.

Experiments in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics have not only revealed important new insights on how inequality changes people in predictable ways, but have also provided a corrective to our flawed way of viewing poverty as the result of individual character failings. Among modern developed societies, economic inequality is not primarily about money, but rather about relative status: where we stand in relation to other people. Regardless of their average income, countries or states with greater levels of income inequality have much higher rates of all the social problems we associate with poverty, including lower average life expectancies, serious health issues, mental illness, and crime.

The Broken Ladder explores such issues as why women in poor societies often have more children, and have them younger; why there is little trust among the working class that investing for the future will pay off; why people’s perception of their relative social status affects their political beliefs, and why growing inequality leads to greater political divisions; how poverty raises stress levels in the same way as a physical threat; inequality in the workplace and how it affects performance; why unequal societies become more religious; and finally offers measures people can take to lessen the harm done by inequality in their own lives and the lives of their children.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Baker's Secret"

New from William Morrow: The Baker's Secret by Stephen P. Kiernan.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the multiple-award-winning, critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day.

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

In the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.
Learn more about the book and author at Stephen Kiernan's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Curiosity.

Writers Read: Stephen Kiernan (July 2013).

The Page 69 Test: The Curiosity.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"The Pearl Thief"

New from Disney Press: The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein.

About the book, from the publisher:

Before Verity ... there was Julie.

When fifteen-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart wakes up in the hospital, she knows the lazy summer break she'd imagined won't be exactly what she anticipated. And once she returns to her grandfather's estate, a bit banged up but alive, she begins to realize that her injury might not have been an accident. One of her family's employees is missing, and he disappeared on the very same day she landed in the hospital.

Desperate to figure out what happened, she befriends Euan McEwen, the Scottish Traveller boy who found her when she was injured, and his standoffish sister, Ellen. As Julie grows closer to this family, she witnesses firsthand some of the prejudices they've grown used to-a stark contrast to her own upbringing-and finds herself exploring thrilling new experiences that have nothing to do with a missing-person investigation.

Her memory of that day returns to her in pieces, and when a body is discovered, her new friends are caught in the crosshairs of long-held biases about Travellers. Julie must get to the bottom of the mystery in order to keep them from being framed for the crime.

This exhilarating coming-of-age story, a prequel to the Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, returns to a beloved character just before she first takes flight.
Visit Elizabeth Wein's website.

The Page 69 Test: Black Dove, White Raven.

Writers Read: Elizabeth Wein (May 2015).

--Marshal Zeringue