Monday, March 27, 2017

"Apartment 1986"

New from HarperCollins: Apartment 1986 by Lisa Papademetriou.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bestselling middle grade author Lisa Papademetriou is back with a playful, poignant story that will resonate with anyone who’s ever had to learn that love means accepting people—even yourself—for who they really are.

Callie never meant to let it go this far. Sure, she may have accidentally-on-purpose skipped a day at her fancy New York City prep school, but she never thought she’d skip the day after that! And the one after that ... and ... uh ... the one after that.

But when everything in your real life is going wrong (fighting parents! bullied little brother! girls at school who just. don’t. get. it!) skipping school starts to look like a valid mental-health strategy. And when Callie runs into Cassius, a mysterious and prickly “unschooled” kid doing research at museums all across the city, it seems only natural for her to join him. Because museums are educational, which means they’re as good as going to class. Right?

Besides, school can wait. What can’t wait is the mystery of why her grandmother seems to wish she could travel back in time to 1986, or what she wants so much to relive there. As Cassius helps Callie see the world in a whole new light, she realizes that the people she loves are far from perfect—and that some family secrets shouldn’t be secret at all.
Visit Lisa Papademetriou's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Vaudeville Melodies"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Vaudeville Melodies: Popular Musicians and Mass Entertainment in American Culture, 1870-1929 by Nicholas Gebhardt.

About the book, from the publisher:

If you enjoy popular music and culture today, you have vaudeville to thank. From the 1870s until the 1920s, vaudeville was the dominant context for popular entertainment in the United States, laying the groundwork for the music industry we know today.

In Vaudeville Melodies, Nicholas Gebhardt introduces us to the performers, managers, and audiences who turned disjointed variety show acts into a phenomenally successful business. First introduced in the late nineteenth century, by 1915 vaudeville was being performed across the globe, incorporating thousands of performers from every branch of show business. Its astronomical success relied on a huge network of theatres, each part of a circuit and administered from centralized booking offices. Gebhardt shows us how vaudeville transformed relationships among performers, managers, and audiences, and argues that these changes affected popular music culture in ways we are still seeing today. Drawing on firsthand accounts, Gebhardt explores the practices by which vaudeville performers came to understand what it meant to entertain an audience, the conditions in which they worked, the institutions they relied upon, and the values they imagined were essential to their success.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Song of the Lion"

New from Harper: Song of the Lion (Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito Series #3) by Anne Hillerman.

About the book, from the publisher:

A deadly bombing takes Navajo Tribal cops Bernadette Manuelito, Jim Chee, and their mentor, the legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, back into the past to find a vengeful killer in this riveting Southwestern mystery from the bestselling author of Spider Woman’s Daughter and Rock with Wings.

When a car bomb kills a young man in the Shiprock High School parking lot, Officer Bernadette Manuelito discovers that the intended victim was a mediator for a multi-million-dollar development planned at the Grand Canyon.

But what seems like an act of ecoterrorism turns out to be something far more nefarious and complex. Piecing together the clues, Bernadette and her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee, uncover a scheme to disrupt the negotiations and inflame tensions between the Hopi and Dine tribes.

Retired Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn has seen just about everything in his long career. As the tribal police’s investigation unfolds, he begins to suspect that the bombing may be linked to a cold case he handled years ago. As he, Bernadette, and Chee carefully pull away the layers behind the crime, they make a disturbing discovery: a meticulous and very patient killer with a long-simmering plan of revenge.

Writing with a clarity and grace that is all her own, Anne Hillerman depicts the beauty and mystery of Navajo Country and the rituals, myths, and customs of its people in a mystery that builds on and complements the beloved, bestselling mysteries of her acclaimed father, Tony Hillerman.
Learn more about the book and author at Anne Hillerman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Spider Woman's Daughter.

The Page 69 Test: Spider Woman's Daughter.

Writers Read: Anne Hillerman (October 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Chester and Gus"

New from HarperCollins: Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern.

About the book, from the publisher:

Chester has always wanted to become a service dog. When he fails his certification test, though, it seems like that dream will never come true—until a family adopts him. They want him to be a companion for their ten-year-old son, Gus, who has autism. But Gus acts so differently than anyone Chester has ever met. He never wants to pet Chester, and sometimes he doesn’t even want Chester in the room. Chester’s not sure how to help Gus since this isn’t exactly the job he trained for—but he’s determined to figure it out. Because after all, Gus is now his person.

In the spirit of beloved classics like Because of Winn-Dixie, Shiloh, and Old Yeller, Cammie McGovern’s heartfelt novel—told from Chester’s point of view—explores the extraordinary friendship between a child and a dog with a poignant and modern twist.
Visit Cammie McGovern's website.

Writers Read: Cammie McGovern (July 2014).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Blasphemous Modernism"

New from Oxford University Press: Blasphemous Modernism: The 20th-Century Word Made Flesh by Steve Pinkerton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Scholars have long described modernism as "heretical" or "iconoclastic" in its assaults on secular traditions of form, genre, and decorum. Yet critics have paid surprisingly little attention to the related category of blasphemy--the rhetoric of religious offense--and to the specific ways this rhetoric operates in, and as, literary modernism. United by a shared commitment to "the word made flesh," writers such as James Joyce, Mina Loy, Richard Bruce Nugent, and Djuna Barnes made blasphemy a key component of their modernist practice, profaning the very scriptures and sacraments that fueled their art. In doing so they belied T. S. Eliot's verdict that the forces of secularization had rendered blasphemy obsolete in an increasingly godless century ("a world in which blasphemy is impossible"); their poems and fictions reveal how forcefully religion endured as a cultural force after the Death of God. More, their transgressions spotlight a politics of religion that has seldom engaged the attention of modernist studies. Blasphemy respects no division of church and state, and neither do the writers who wield it to profane all manner of coercive dogmas--including ecclesiastical as well as more worldly ideologies of race, class, nation, empire, gender, and sexuality. The late-century example of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses affords, finally, a demonstration of how modernism persists in postwar anglophone literature and of the critical role blasphemy plays in that persistence. Blasphemous Modernism thus resonates with the broader cultural and ideological concerns that in recent years have enriched the scope of modernist scholarship.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 25, 2017

"The Scientology Murders"

New from Akashic Books: The Scientology Murders: A Dead Detective Novel by William Heffernan.

About the book, from the publisher:

A series of murders in Florida have left the police force baffled and Detective Harry Doyle’s much-loved adoptive father seriously wounded. As his investigation becomes personal, Doyle—known to his peers as the Dead Detective—finds he must penetrate one of the most private institutions in the country in order to track down those responsible.

Clearwater, Florida, is the spiritual center of Scientology, a religion that encourages its members to remain pure and true to their beliefs. One senior leader has a misguided young man in his employ, a twisted soul who will stop at nothing to make sure the rules are followed—even if it means shaming the very virtues espoused by the church.

With veils of secrecy surrounding the church’s inner sanctums, the detectives are stonewalled at every turn. Eventually, however, the investigation leads Doyle, his partner Vicky Stanopolis, and Clearwater Sergeant Max Abrams to the far reaches of Alaska, where they come face-to-face with death in a form they never expected.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Hearts & Other Body Parts"

New from Scholastic: Hearts & Other Body Parts by Ira Bloom.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sisters Esme, Katy, and Ronnie are smart, talented, and gorgeous, and better yet . . . all three are witches. They have high school wired until the arrival of two new students. The first is Norman, who is almost eight feet tall and appears to be constructed of bolts and mismatched body parts. Despite his intimidating looks, Esme finds herself strangely -- almost romantically -- drawn to both his oversized brain and oversized heart.

The second new arrival is Zack, an impossibly handsome late transfer from the UK who has the girls at school instantly mesmerized. Soon even sensible Esme has forgotten Norman, and all three sisters are in a flat-out hex war to win Zack. But while the magic is flying, only Norman seems to notice that students who wander off alone with Zack end up with crushed bones and memory loss. Or worse, missing entirely.

HEARTS & OTHER BODY PARTS is a wickedly addictive novel about love, monsters, and loyalty. And oh yeah, a Japanese corpse-eating demon cat.
Visit Ira Bloom's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 24, 2017

"Faith with Benefits"

New from Oxford University Press: Faith with Benefits: Hookup Culture on Catholic Campuses by Jason King.

About the book, from the publisher:
Hookup culture has become widespread on college campuses, and Catholic colleges are no exception. Indeed, despite the fact that most students on Catholic campuses report being unhappy with casual sexual encounters, most studies have found no difference between Catholic colleges and their secular counterparts when it comes to hooking up. Drawing on a survey of over 1000 students from 26 institutions, as well as in-depth interviews, Jason King argues that religious culture on Catholic campuses can, in fact, have an impact on the school's hookup culture, but when it comes to how that relationship works: it's complicated.

In Faith with Benefits, King shows the complex way these dynamics play out at Catholic colleges and universities. There is no straightforward relationship between orthodoxy and hookup culture--some of the schools with the weakest Catholic identities also have weaker hookup cultures. And not all students define the culture in the same way. Some see a hookup as just a casual encounter, where others see it as a gateway to a relationship.

Faith with Benefits gives voice to students, revealing how their faith, the faith of their friends, and the institutional structures of their campus give rise to different hookup cultures. In doing so, King addresses the questions of students who don't know where to turn for practical guidance on how to navigate ever-shifting campus cultures, reconciling their faith with their relationships. Students, parents, faculty, administrators-indeed, anyone who cares about Catholic teenagers and young adults-will find much of value in this book.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Dream Forever"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: Dream Forever: A Novel (The Dream Walker Trilogy, Volume 3) by Kit Alloway.

About the book, from the publisher:

Trying to control her powers as the True Dream Walker is hard enough with Feodor as her instructor. But trying to learn her strengths with a broken heart makes it nearly impossible for Josh. And when mysterious tears in the Veil separating the Dream from the waking world begin to appear, and with Peregrine still on the run and Haley trapped in Death, Josh finds herself truly in over her head. With the World threatening to crumble around her, Josh must figure out who she really is and what she wants in time to save it, herself, and everyone she loves.

Will Josh succeed in saving the world as we know it? Find out in Dream Forever, the exciting conclusion to Kit Alloway's The Dream Walker Trilogy.
Visit Kit Alloway's website.

The Page 69 Test: Dreamfire.

Writers Read: Kit Alloway (March 2015).

My Book, The Movie: Dreamfire.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 23, 2017

"Conviction"

New from Minotaur Books: Conviction: A Novel (Rebekah Roberts Novels, Volume 3) by Julia Dahl.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York City 1992: a year after riots exploded between black and Jewish neighbors in Brooklyn, a black family is brutally murdered in their Crown Heights home. A teenager is quickly convicted, and the justice system moves on.

Twenty-two years later, journalist Rebekah Roberts gets a letter: I didn't do it. Frustrated with her work at the city’s sleaziest tabloid, Rebekah starts to dig. But witnesses are missing, memories faded, and almost no one wants to talk about that grim, violent time in New York City—not even Saul Katz, a former NYPD cop and her source in Brooklyn’s insular Hasidic community.

So she goes it alone. And as she gets closer to the truth of that night, Rebekah finds herself in the path of a killer with two decades of secrets to protect.

From the author of the Edgar-nominated Invisible City comes another timely thriller that illuminates society’s darkest corners. Told in part through the eyes of a jittery eyewitness and the massacre’s sole survivor, Julia Dahl's Conviction examines the power—and cost—of community, loyalty, and denial.
Visit Julia Dahl's website.

--Marshal Zeringue