Sunday, February 19, 2017

"The Dog Who Was There"

New from Thomas Nelson: The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco.

About the book, from the publisher:

No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.

Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman-occupied Judea.

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Politicizing Islam"

New from Oxford University Press: Politicizing Islam: The Islamic Revival in France and India by Z. Fareen Parvez.

About the book, from the publisher:

Home to the largest Muslim minorities in Western Europe and Asia, France and India are both grappling with crises of secularism. In Politicizing Islam, Fareen Parvez offers an in-depth look at how Muslims have responded to these crises, focusing on Islamic revival movements in the French city of Lyon and the Indian city of Hyderabad. Presenting a novel comparative view of middle-class and poor Muslims in both cities, Parvez illuminates how Muslims from every social class are denigrated but struggle in different ways to improve their lives and make claims on the state. In Hyderabad's slums, Muslims have created vibrant political communities, while in Lyon's banlieues they have retreated into the private sphere. Politicizing Islam elegantly explains how these divergent reactions originated in India's flexible secularism and France's militant secularism and in specific patterns of Muslim class relations in both cities. This fine-grained ethnography pushes beyond stereotypes and has consequences for burning public debates over Islam, feminism, and secular democracy.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Weight of This World"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: The Weight of This World by David Joy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Critically acclaimed author David Joy, whose debut, Where All Light Tends to Go, was hailed as “a savagely moving novel that will likely become an important addition to the great body of Southern literature” (The Huffington Post), returns to the mountains of North Carolina with a powerful story about the inescapable weight of the past.

A combat veteran returned from war, Thad Broom can’t leave the hardened world of Afghanistan behind, nor can he forgive himself for what he saw there. His mother, April, is haunted by her own demons, a secret trauma she has carried for years. Between them is Aiden McCall, loyal to both but unable to hold them together. Connected by bonds of circumstance and duty, friendship and love, these three lives are blown apart when Aiden and Thad witness the accidental death of their drug dealer and a riot of dope and cash drops in their laps. On a meth-fueled journey to nowhere, they will either find the grit to overcome the darkness or be consumed by it.
Visit David Joy's website.

Writers Read: David Joy (March 2015).

The Page 69 Test: Where All Light Tends to Go.

My Book, The Movie: Where All Light Tends to Go.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"Beautiful Broken Girls"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR): Beautiful Broken Girls by Kim Savage.

About the book, from the publisher:

Remember the places you touched me.

Ben touched seven parts of Mira Cillo: her palm, hair, chest, cheek, lips, throat, and heart. It was the last one that broke her. After Mira's death, she sends Ben on a quest to find notes she left him in the seven places where they touched—notes that explain why she and her sister, Francesca, drowned themselves in the quarry lake. How Ben interprets those notes has everything to do with the way he was touched by a bad coach years ago. But the truth behind the girls’ suicides is far more complicated, involving a dangerous infatuation, a deadly miracle, and a crushing lie. BEAUTIFUL BROKEN GIRLS is a stunning release from Kim Savage, the author of the critically acclaimed After the Woods.
Visit Kim Savage's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Shining City"

New from Ecco: Shining City: A Novel by Tom Rosenstiel.

About the book, from the publisher:

A polished and gripping political debut that Michael Connelly calls “an edge of your seat thriller,” Shining City is set in DC amid a harrowing Supreme Court nomination fight.

“Amazing.... Pulses with momentum.... A debut that will be remembered for years.” —Michael Connelly


Peter Rena is a “fixer.” He and his partner, Randi Brooks, earn their living making the problems of the powerful disappear. They get their biggest job yet when the White House hires them to vet the president’s nominee for the Supreme Court. Judge Roland Madison is a legal giant, but he’s a political maverick, with views that might make the already tricky confirmation process even more difficult. Rena and his team go full-bore to cover every inch of the judge’s past, while the competing factions of Washington D.C. mobilize with frightening intensity: ambitious senators, garrulous journalists, and wily power players on both sides of the aisle.

All of that becomes background when a string of seemingly random killings overlaps with Rena’s investigation, with Judge Madison a possible target. Racing against the clock to keep his nominee safe, the President satisfied, and the political wolves at bay, Rena learns just how dangerous Washington’s obsession with power—how to get it and how to keep it—can be.

Written with razor-sharp political insight and heart-pounding action, Shining City is a hugely impressive debut that announces a major new talent.
Visit Tom Rosenstiel's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 17, 2017

"The Skin Above My Knee"

New from Little, Brown: The Skin Above My Knee: A Memoir by Marcia Butler.

About the book, from the publisher:

The unflinching story of a professional oboist who finds order and beauty in music as her personal life threatens to destroy her.

Music was everything for Marcia Butler. Growing up in an emotionally desolate home with an abusive father and a distant mother, she devoted herself to the discipline and rigor of the oboe, and quickly became a young prodigy on the rise in New York City's competitive music scene.

But haunted by troubling childhood memories while balancing the challenges of a busy life as a working musician, Marcia succumbed to dangerous men, drugs and self-destruction. In her darkest moments, she asked the hardest question of all: Could music truly save her life?

A memoir of startling honesty and subtle, profound beauty, The Skin Above My Knee is the story of a woman finding strength in her creative gifts and artistic destiny. Filled with vivid portraits of 1970's New York City, and fascinating insights into the intensity and precision necessary for a career in professional music, this is more than a narrative of a brilliant musician struggling to make it big in the big city. It is the story of a survivor.
Visit Marcia Butler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Spook Street"

New from Soho Crime: Spook Street by Mick Herron.

About the book, from the publisher:

A shakeup at MI5 and a terrorist attack on British soil set in motion clandestine machinery known to few modern spies. David Cartwright isn’t a modern spy, however; he’s legend and a bonafide Cold War hero. He’s also in his dotage and losing his mind to Alzheimer’s. His stories of “stotes” hiding in the bushes, following his every move have been dismissed by friends and family for years. Cartwright may be losing track of reality but he’s certain about one thing: Old spooks don’t go quietly and neither do the secrets they keep.

What happens when an old spook loses his mind? Does the Service have a retirement home for those who know too many secrets but don’t remember they’re secret? Or does someone take care of the senile spy for good? These are the questions River Cartwright must ask when his grandfather, a Cold War–era operative, starts to forget to wear pants and begins to suspect everyone in his life has been sent by the Home Office to watch him.

But River has other things to worry about. A bomb has detonated in the middle of a busy shopping center and killed forty innocent civilians. The agents of Slough House have to figure out who is behind this act of terror before the situation escalates.
Visit Mick Herron's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Darwin's Unfinished Symphony"

New from Princeton University Press: Darwin's Unfinished Symphony: How Culture Made the Human Mind by Kevin N. Laland.

About the book, from the publisher:

Humans possess an extraordinary capacity for cultural production, from the arts and language to science and technology. How did the human mind—and the uniquely human ability to devise and transmit culture—evolve from its roots in animal behavior? Darwin's Unfinished Symphony presents a captivating new theory of human cognitive evolution. This compelling and accessible book reveals how culture is not just the magnificent end product of an evolutionary process that produced a species unlike all others—it is also the key driving force behind that process.

Kevin Laland shows how the learned and socially transmitted activities of our ancestors shaped our intellects through accelerating cycles of evolutionary feedback. The truly unique characteristics of our species—such as our intelligence, language, teaching, and cooperation—are not adaptive responses to predators, disease, or other external conditions. Rather, humans are creatures of their own making. Drawing on his own groundbreaking research, and bringing it to life with vivid natural history, Laland explains how animals imitate, innovate, and have remarkable traditions of their own. He traces our rise from scavenger apes in prehistory to modern humans able to design iPhones, dance the tango, and send astronauts into space.

This book tells the story of the painstaking fieldwork, the key experiments, the false leads, and the stunning scientific breakthroughs that led to this new understanding of how culture transformed human evolution. It is the story of how Darwin's intellectual descendants picked up where he left off and took up the challenge of providing a scientific account of the evolution of the human mind.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 16, 2017

"Found"

New from Feiwel & Friends: Found by S. A. Bodeen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Have the Robinsons found a way off the island?

Sarah Robinson and her family intended to have a vacation adventure aboard a boat but ended up stranded on a remote and mysterious island. Along with unusual, weird creatures, they met the “Curator,” a strange boy who may be an ... alien. And then they met Cash, a girl who may hold the key to why Shipwreck Island has been kept a secret for so long.

Is there treasure? And will the people hunting for treasure rescue the castaways? The Robinsons have only one chance to escape. Will they be trapped on Shipwreck Island forever?
Visit S.A. Bodeen's website.

Writers Read: S.A. Bodeen (July 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Season of Daring Greatly"

New from Greenwillow Books: A Season of Daring Greatly by Ellen Emerson White.

About the book, from the publisher:

Eighteen-year-old Jill Cafferty just made history. Her high school’s star pitcher, she is now the first woman drafted by a major league baseball team. Only days after her high school graduation, she’ll join the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Class A Short Season team ... but not everyone is happy to have her there.

On top of the pressure heaped on every pitcher, Jill must deal with defying conventions and living up to impossible expectations, all while living away from home for the first time. She’ll go head-to-head against those who are determined to keep baseball an all-male sport. Despite the reassurance of coaches and managers alike, a few of her teammates are giving her trouble. The media presence following her at each game is inescapable. And to top it all off, Jill is struggling with the responsibilities of being a national hero and a role model for young women everywhere. How can she be a role model when she’s not even sure she made the right choice for herself? Didn’t baseball used to be fun?

This literary and engrossing story of a young woman trying to mark out a place for herself in a male-dominated world will captivate fans of Friday Night Lights, The Art of Fielding, John Corey Whaley, and Laurie Halse Anderson.
Visit Ellen Emerson White's website.

--Marshal Zeringue