Monday, September 23, 2019

"Polygamy: An Early American History"

New from Yale University Press: Polygamy: An Early American History by Sarah M. S. Pearsall.

About the book, from the publisher:

A groundbreaking examination of polygamy showing that monogamy was not the only form marriage took in early America

Today we tend to think of polygamy as an unnatural marital arrangement characteristic of fringe sects or uncivilized peoples. Historian Sarah Pearsall shows us that polygamy’s surprising history encompasses numerous colonies, indigenous communities, and segments of the American nation. Polygamy—as well as the fight against it—illuminates many touchstones of American history: the Pueblo Revolt and other uprisings against the Spanish; Catholic missions in New France; New England settlements and King Philip’s War; the entrenchment of African slavery in the Chesapeake; the Atlantic Enlightenment; the American Revolution; missions and settlement in the West; and the rise of Mormonism.

Pearsall expertly opens up broader questions about monogamy’s emergence as the only marital option, tracing the impact of colonial events on property, theology, feminism, imperialism, and the regulation of sexuality. She shows that heterosexual monogamy was never the only model of marriage in North America.
--Marshal Zeringue

"I Know You Remember"

New from Razorbill: I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Zahra Gaines is missing.

After three long years away, Ruthie Hayden arrives in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to this devastating news. Zahra was Ruthie’s best friend–the only person who ever really understood her–and she vows to do whatever it takes to find her.

Zahra vanished from a party just days before Ruthie’s return, but the more people she talks to, the more she realizes that the Zahra she knew disappeared long before that fateful night. Gone is the whimsical, artistic girl who loved books and knew Ruthie’s every secret. In her place is an athlete, a partier, a girl with secrets of her own. Darker still are the rumors that something happened to Zahra while Ruthie was gone, something that changed her forever…

As Ruthie desperately tries to piece together the truth, she falls deeper and deeper into her friend’s new world, circling closer to a dangerous revelation about what happened to Zahra in the days before her disappearance–one that might be better off buried.

In her stunning follow-up to Lies You Never Told Me, Jennifer Donaldson once again delivers a propulsive thriller with a masterful twist, skillfully creating a world where nothing is quite as it seems.
Follow Jennifer Donaldson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 22, 2019

"The Athena Protocol"

New from HarperTeen: The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sarif.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bourne Identity meets Karen McManus in this action-packed series opener about a spy gone rogue, perfect for fans of Ally Carter and Killing Eve.

Jessie Archer is a member of the Athena Protocol, an elite organization of female spies who enact vigilante justice around the world.

Athena operatives are never supposed to shoot to kill—so when Jessie can’t stop herself from pulling the trigger, she gets kicked out of the organization, right before a huge mission to take down a human trafficker in Belgrade.

Jessie needs to right her wrong and prove herself, so she starts her own investigation into the trafficking. But going rogue means she has no one to watch her back as she delves into the horrors she uncovers. Meanwhile, her former teammates have been ordered to bring her down. Jessie must face danger from all sides if she’s to complete her mission—and survive.
Visit Shamim Sarif's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hymns of the Republic"

Coming soon from Scribner: Hymns of the Republic: The Story of the Final Year of the American Civil War by S. C. Gwynne.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the New York Times bestselling, celebrated, and award-winning author of Empire of the Summer Moon and Rebel Yell comes the spellbinding, epic account of the dramatic conclusion of the Civil War.

The fourth and final year of the Civil War offers one of that era’s most compelling narratives, defining the nation and one of history’s great turning points. Now, S.C. Gwynne’s Hymns of the Republic addresses the time Ulysses S. Grant arrives to take command of all Union armies in March 1864 to the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox a year later. Gwynne breathes new life into the epic battle between Lee and Grant; the advent of 180,000 black soldiers in the Union army; William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea; the rise of Clara Barton; the election of 1864 (which Lincoln nearly lost); the wild and violent guerrilla war in Missouri; and the dramatic final events of the war, including the surrender at Appomattox and the murder of Abraham Lincoln.

Hymns of the Republic offers angles and insights on the war that will surprise many readers. Robert E. Lee, known as a great general and southern hero, is presented here as a man dealing with frustration, failure, and loss. Ulysses S. Grant is known for his prowess as a field commander, but in the final year of the war he largely fails at that. His most amazing accomplishments actually began the moment he stopped fighting. William Tecumseh Sherman, Gwynne argues, was a lousy general, but probably the single most brilliant man in the war. We also meet a different Clara Barton, one of the greatest and most compelling characters, who redefined the idea of medical care in wartime. And proper attention is paid to the role played by large numbers of black union soldiers—most of them former slaves. They changed the war and forced the South to come up with a plan to use its own black soldiers.

Popular history at its best, from Pulitzer Prize finalist S.C. Gwynne, Hymns of the Republic reveals the creation that arose from destruction in this thrilling read.
Visit S.C. Gwynne's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 21, 2019

"The Wake of Crows"

New from Columbia University Press: The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds by Thom van Dooren.

About the book, from the publisher:

Crows can be found almost everywhere that people are, from tropical islands to deserts and arctic forests, from densely populated cities to suburbs and farms. Across these diverse landscapes, many species of crow are doing well: their intelligent and adaptive ways of life have allowed them to thrive amid human-driven transformations. Indeed, crows are frequently disliked for their success, seen as pests, threats, and scavengers on the detritus of human life. But among the vast variety of crows, there are also critically endangered species that are barely hanging on to existence, some of them the subjects of passionate conservation efforts.

The Wake of Crows is an exploration of the entangled lives of humans and crows. Focusing on five key sites, Thom van Dooren asks how we might live well with crows in a changing world. He explores contemporary possibilities for shared life emerging in the context of ongoing processes of globalization, colonization, urbanization, and climate change. Moving among these diverse contexts, this book tells stories of extermination and extinction alongside fragile efforts to better understand and make room for other species. Grounded in the careful work of paying attention to particular crows and their people, The Wake of Crows is an effort to imagine and put into practice a multispecies ethics. In so doing, van Dooren explores some of the possibilities that still exist for living and dying well on this damaged planet.
Learn more about the book and author at Thom van Dooren's website.

The Page 99 Test: Flight Ways.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Divide Me by Zero"

Coming soon from Tin House Books: Divide Me by Zero by Lara Vapnyar.

About the book, from the publisher:

As a young girl, Katya Geller learned from her mother that math was the answer to everything. Now, approaching forty, she finds this wisdom tested: she has lost the love of her life, she is in the middle of a divorce, and has just found out that her mother is dying. Half-mad with grief, Katya turns to the unfinished notes for her mother’s last textbook, hoping to find guidance in mathematical concepts.

With humor, intelligence, and unfailing honesty, Katya traces back her life’s journey: her childhood in Soviet Russia, her parents’ great love, the death of her father, her mother’s career as a renowned mathematician, and their immigration to the United States. She is, by turns, an adrift newlywed, an ESL teacher in an office occupied by witches and mediums, a restless wife, an accomplished writer, a flailing mother of two, a grieving daughter, and, all the while, a woman in love haunted by a question: how to parse the wild, unfathomable passion she feels through the cool logic of mathematics?

Award-winning author Lara Vapnyar delivers an unabashedly frank and darkly comic tale of coming-of-age in middle age. Divide Me by Zero is almost unclassifiable―a stylistically original, genre-defying mix of classic Russian novel, American self-help book, Soviet math textbook, sly writing manual, and, at its center, an intense romance that captures the most common misfortune of all: falling in love.
Visit Lara Vapnyar's Facebook page.

Writers Read: Lara Vapnyar (August 2016).

The Page 69 Test: Still Here.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 20, 2019

"The Widow of Rose House"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: The Widow of Rose House: A Novel by Diana Biller.

About the book, from the publisher:

A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age romantic comedy debut

It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time.

However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor Samuel Moore appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life—especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam. Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history—and her heart.

Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.
Visit Diana Biller's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Doctor Dogs"

New from Dutton: Doctor Dogs: How Our Best Friends Are Becoming Our Best Medicine by Maria Goodavage.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Maria Goodavage takes us on a thrilling, delightful, globe-trotting journey to discover the heartwarming and fascinating new world of doctor dogs.

In this groundbreaking book, Goodavage brings us behind the scenes of cutting-edge science at top research centers, and into the lives of people whose well-being depends on their devoted, highly skilled personal MDs (medical dogs). With her signature wit and passion, Goodavage explores how doctor dogs are becoming our happy allies in the fight against dozens of physical and mental conditions.

We meet dogs who detect cancer and Parkinson’s disease, and dogs who alert people to seizures and diabetic lows or highs and other life-threatening physical ailments. Goodavage reveals the revolutionary ways dogs are helping those with autism, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. And she introduces us to intrepid canines who are protecting us from antibiotic-resistant bugs, and to dogs who may one day help keep us safe from epidemic catastrophe. Their paycheck for their lifesaving work? Heartfelt praise and a tasty treat or favorite toy.

The emotional element in Doctor Dogs delivers as powerfully as the science. You don’t have to be a dog lover to care deeply about what these dogs are doing and what we are learning from them—although if you’re not a dog lover, you probably will be by the end of the book.
Visit Maria Goodavage's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 19, 2019

"A Song for a New Day"

New from Berkley: A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this captivating science fiction novel from an award-winning author, public gatherings are illegal making concerts impossible, except for those willing to break the law for the love of music, and for one chance at human connection.

In the Before, when the government didn’t prohibit large public gatherings, Luce Cannon was on top of the world. One of her songs had just taken off and she was on her way to becoming a star. Now, in the After, terror attacks and deadly viruses have led the government to ban concerts, and Luce’s connection to the world–her music, her purpose–is closed off forever. She does what she has to do: she performs in illegal concerts to a small but passionate community, always evading the law.

Rosemary Laws barely remembers the Before times. She spends her days in Hoodspace, helping customers order all of their goods online for drone delivery–no physical contact with humans needed. By lucky chance, she finds a new job and a new calling: discover amazing musicians and bring their concerts to everyone via virtual reality. The only catch is that she’ll have to do something she’s never done before and go out in public. Find the illegal concerts and bring musicians into the limelight they deserve. But when she sees how the world could actually be, that won’t be enough.
Visit Sarah Pinsker's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Kosher Capones"

New from Cornell University Press: The Kosher Capones: A History of Chicago's Jewish Gangsters by Joe Kraus.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Kosher Capones tells the fascinating story of Chicago's Jewish gangsters from Prohibition into the 1980s. Author Joe Kraus traces these gangsters through the lives, criminal careers, and conflicts of Benjamin "Zuckie the Bookie" Zuckerman, last of the independent West Side Jewish bosses, and Lenny Patrick, eventual head of the Syndicate's "Jewish wing."

These two men linked the early Jewish gangsters of the neighborhoods of Maxwell Street and Lawndale to the notorious Chicago Outfit that emerged from Al Capone's criminal confederation. Focusing on the murder of Zuckerman by Patrick, Kraus introduces us to the different models of organized crime they represented, a raft of largely forgotten Jewish gangsters, and the changing nature of Chicago's political corruption. Hard-to-believe anecdotes of corrupt politicians, seasoned killers, and in-over-their-heads criminal operators spotlight the magnitude and importance of Jewish gangsters to the story of Windy City mob rule.

With an eye for the dramatic, The Kosher Capones takes us deep inside a hidden society and offers glimpses of the men who ran the Jewish criminal community in Chicago for more than sixty years.
--Marshal Zeringue