Tuesday, July 31, 2007

"The First Word"

New from Viking Books: Christine Kenneally's The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language.

About the book
, from the publisher:

A compelling look at the quest for the origins of human language from an accomplished linguist

Language is a distinctly human gift. However, because it leaves no permanent trace, its evolution has long been a mystery, and it is only in the last fifteen years that we have begun to understand how language came into being.

The First Word is the compelling story of the quest for the origins of human language. The book follows two intertwined narratives. The first is an account of how language developed — how the random and layered processes of evolution wound together to produce a talking animal: us. The second addresses why scientists are at last able to explore the subject. For more than a hundred years, language evolution was considered a scientific taboo. Kenneally focuses on figures like Noam Chomsky and Steven Pinker, along with cognitive scientists, biologists, geneticists, and animal researchers, in order to answer the fundamental question: Is language a uniquely human phenomenon?

The First Word is the first book of its kind written for a general audience. Sure to appeal to fans of Steven Pinker’s The Language Instinct and Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel, Kenneally’s book is set to join them as a seminal account of human history.
Visit Christine Kenneally's website.


Coming soon from HarperCollins: Mark Billingham's Buried.

About the book, from the publisher:

Teenager Luke Mullen is missing. He was last seen by schoolmates getting into a car with an older woman, and it is unclear whether he has disappeared voluntarily or been abducted.

Police looking for the boy are pretty certain they are dealing with a missing-persons case. The son of a former police officer, Luke has no history of being out of touch, no track record of truancy or misbehavior. And they know that the longer he is missing, the more likely he is to turn up dead.

Then the videotape arrives. . . .

On special assignment, Detective Inspector Tom Thorne searches desperately for the boy and for anyone who might have a grudge against him or his father, former detective Tony Mullen. As someone responsible for convicting many tough villains in his time, Luke's father is asked to list a few potential suspects. But it is the names Mullen carefully omits from the list that intrigue Thorne. Has Mullen simply forgotten about the criminal who threatened him? Is he so distraught in the emotional trauma of his son's disappearance? Or is he hiding something?

When the kidnapper demonstrates, shockingly, that he is not reluctant to kill, Thorne knows he does not have the luxury of time. He must dig hard and deep into old cases and past lives. He learns that secrets are as easily hidden as bodies, and that even if Luke Mullen is still alive, making assumptions is the quickest way to get him dead and buried.

Monday, July 30, 2007

"Sin in the Second City"

New from Random House: Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul by Karen Abbott.

About the book, from the publisher:

Step into the perfumed parlors of the Everleigh Club, the most famous brothel in American history – and the catalyst for a culture war that rocked the nation. Operating in Chicago’s notorious Levee district at the dawn of the last century, the Club’s proprietors, two aristocratic sisters named Minna and Ada Everleigh, welcomed moguls and actors, senators and athletes, foreign dignitaries and literary icons, into their stately double mansion, where thirty stunning Everleigh “butterflies” awaited their arrival. Courtesans named Doll, Suzy Poon Tang, and Brick Top devoured raw meat to the delight of Prince Henry of Prussia and recited poetry for Theodore Dreiser. Whereas lesser madams pocketed most of a harlot’s earnings and kept a “whipper” on staff to mete out discipline, the Everleighs made sure their girls dined on gourmet food, were examined by an honest physician, and even tutored in the literature of Balzac.

Not everyone appreciated the sisters’ attempts to elevate the industry. Rival Levee madams hatched numerous schemes to ruin the Everleighs, including an attempt to frame them for the death of department store heir Marshall Field, Jr. But the sisters’ most daunting foes were the Progressive Era reformers, who sent the entire country into a frenzy with lurid tales of “white slavery”— the allegedly rampant practice of kidnapping young girls and forcing them into brothels. This furor shaped America’s sexual culture and had repercussions all the way to the White House, including the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

With a cast of characters that includes Jack Johnson, John Barrymore, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., William Howard Taft, “Hinky Dink” Kenna, and Al Capone, Sin in the Second City is Karen Abbott’s colorful, nuanced portrait of the iconic Everleigh sisters, their world-famous Club, and the perennial clash between our nation’s hedonistic impulses and Puritanical roots. Culminating in a dramatic last stand between brothel keepers and crusading reformers, Sin in the Second City offers a vivid snapshot of America’s journey from Victorian-era propriety to twentieth-century modernity.
Visit the Sin in the Second City website.

"Napoleon's Egypt"

Coming soon from Palgrave Macmillan: Juan Cole's Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this vivid and timely history, Juan Cole tells the story of Napoleon's invasion of Egypt. Revealing the young general's reasons for leading the expedition against Egypt in 1798 and showcasing his fascinating views of the Orient, Cole delves into the psychology of the military titan and his entourage. He paints a multi-faceted portrait of the daily travails of the soldiers in Napoleon's army, including how they imagined Egypt, how their expectations differed from what they found, and how they grappled with military challenges in a foreign land. Cole ultimately reveals how Napoleon's invasion, the first modern attempt to invade the Arab world, invented and crystallized the rhetoric of liberal imperialism.
Visit the Napoleon's Egypt blog.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

"Letter from Point Clear"

Coming in August from Henry Holt: Dennis McFarland's Letter from Point Clear.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brother and sister return to their Southern hometown to rescue their younger sister from her marriage to an evangelical preacher — only to find their expectations turned completely upside down

The Owen children long ago left their gracious family home in Point Clear, Alabama, in favor of points north. But when their father takes ill, the youngest, Bonnie, who has spent a decade in Manhattan as an unsuccessful actress, returns to care for him. Soon after his death — unbeknownst to her siblings — she falls in love with and marries a handsome evangelical preacher, and together the couple takes up residence in the stately Owen mansion.

When they receive Bonnie’s letter announcing her marriage, Ellen and Morris head for Alabama, believing they must extricate their troublesome sister from her latest mistake. To their surprise, they find that Bonnie’s charismatic young husband, Pastor, has already saved her from her self-destructive ways, and Bonnie is now nearly three months pregnant. But Bonnie has only recently informed Pastor that Morris is gay, and Pastor quickly undertakes a campaign to “save” him as well ....

With grace, warmth, and humor, Dennis McFarland reveals the common ground shared by these flawed yet captivating characters — setting them all, and the reader with them, on an unlikely course toward redemption.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

"Dark Flight"

New from Hodder & Stoughton: Dark Flight by Lin Anderson.

About the book, from the author's website:

'... the face that stared at him through the glass was his mum's, but it didn't look like her. Stephen's mouth dropped open and real fear grabbed his stomach. His mum's face was chalk white, her mouth twisted in pain. Behind her was a dark shadow. Stephen dropped the bones.'

A six year-old boy has vanished, his mother and grandmother horrifically murdered. At the scene, forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod finds a chilling African talisman, made from the bones of a child. Can she decipher its meaning and track Stephen down before he becomes the next link in the killers' chain?
Visit Lin Anderson's website.

Friday, July 27, 2007

"The Late Bloomer's Revolution"

New from Hyperion: Amy Cohen's The Late Bloomer's Revolution.

About the book, from the publisher:

Amy Cohen always imagined that by age thirty she would be juggling a thriving career, a devoted English husband, and two adorable children who had shag haircuts and a room in their loft where they could play the drums. But at thirty-five, as she struggled to come to terms with the loss of her adored mother, she found herself “between jobs” (she’d been fired), “between boyfriends” (she’d been dumped), and “between apartments.” She didn’t know how to cook. She didn’t even know how to ride a bicycle.

Amy felt as if her life was behind schedule ... way behind. The more time passed, the more difficult it became for her to believe that she would ever come into her own. The only thing that made her feel hopeful -- and even determined -- was the idea that she might be a Late Bloomer. She kept telling herself that things would change, that everything would happen for her, just not in the time she expected.

As it turns out, she was right.

A sparkling and reassuring memoir, The Late Bloomer’s Revolution is funny, heartwarming, and above all, real. Filled with observations sweet, bittersweet, and laugh-out-loud funny, this delightful book will be irresistible to all who believe their greatest moments are yet to come.
Visit Amy Cohen's website.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

"The Scandal of the Season"

Coming August from Scribner: Sophie Gee's The Scandal of the Season.

About the book, from the publisher:

London, 1711. As the rich, young offspring of the city's most fashionable families þll their days with masquerade balls and clandestine court-ships, Arabella Fermor and Robert, Lord Petre, lead the pursuit of pleasure. Beautiful and vain, Arabella is a clever coquette with a large circle of beaus. Lord Petre, seventh Baron of Ingatestone, is a man-about-town with his choice of mistresses. Drawn together by an overpowering attraction, the two begin an illicit affair.

Alexander Pope, sickly and nearly penniless, is peripheral by birth, yet his uncommon wit and ambition gain him unlikely entrance into high society. Once there, privy to every nuance and drama, he is a ruthless observer. He longs for the success that will cement his place in society; all he needs is one poem grand enough to make his reputation.

As the forbidden passion between Arabella and Lord Petre deepens, an intrigue of a darker nature threatens to overtake them. Fortunes change and reputations -- even lives -- are imperiled. In the aftermath, Pope discovers the idea for a daring poem that will catapult him to fame and fortune.

"Global Outlaws"

New from the University of California Press: Global Outlaws: Crime, Money, and Power in the Contemporary World by Carolyn Nordstrom.

About the book, from the publisher:

Carolyn Nordstrom explores the pathways of global crime in this stunning work of anthropology that has the power to change the way we think about the world. To write this book, she spent three years traveling to hot spots in Africa, Europe, Asia, and the United States investigating the dynamics of illegal trade around the world -- from blood diamonds and arms to pharmaceuticals, exotica, and staples like food and oil. Global Outlaws peels away the layers of a vast economy that extends from a war orphan in Angola selling Marlboros on the street to powerful transnational networks reaching across continents and oceans. Nordstrom's extraordinary fieldwork includes interviews with scores of informants, including the smugglers, victims, power elite, and profiteers who populate these economic war zones. Her compelling investigation, showing that the sum total of extra-legal activities represents a significant part of the world's economy, provides a new framework for understanding twenty-first-century economics and economic power. Global Outlaws powerfully reveals the illusions and realities of security in all areas of transport and trade and illuminates many of the difficult ethical problems these extra-legal activities pose.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Like Son"

Published in April by Akashic Books: Like Son by Felicia Luna Lemus.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set amidst the outsider worlds of present-day downtown New York, 1990s Los Angeles, and 1940s Mexico City, Like Son is the not-so-simple story of a father, a son, and the love-blindness shared between them.

Meet Frank Cruz: a post-punk, sardonic, thirty-year-old who unwittingly inherits his dead father's legacy. Born a bouncing baby girl named Francisca to parents tangled in a doomed love affair, Frank grows up in both the poorest barrios and poshest hills of Southern California. A defiant loner, Frank leaves home at the age of eighteen for the big city, but instead is sucked back into helping his estranged and blind father navigate an untimely death. On his deathbed, Frank's father gives him a mysterious crumbling photograph of a woman with a stunning gaze: Nahui Olin, a fierce member of the early-20th-century Mexican avant-garde who once brought tragedy upon the Cruz family.

Punctured to his core by Nahui, Frank takes her portrait and flees to New York City to start anew -- this time for real. There he meets eccentric, gorgeous, and sharp-tongued Nathalie. The two fall in love, but after seven years of happy-go-lucky life together, in September 2001 the New York skyline tumbles, and Frank finds himself smack in the middle of his predestined fate.

Visit the website of Felicia Luna Lemus.

"By George"

Coming in August from Little, Brown: Wesley Stace's By George.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the illustrious history of the theatrical Fishers, there are two Georges. One is a peculiar but endearing 11-year-old, raised in the seedy world of `70s boarding houses and backstages, now packed off to school for the first time; the other, a garrulous ventriloquist's dummy who belonged to George's grandfather, a favorite traveling act of the British troops in World War II. The two Georges know nothing of each other — until events conspire to unite them in a search to uncover the family's deepest secrets.

While the dummy lays dusty, silent, and abandoned, his young namesake sets out to learn about his dead grandfather's past as a world-famous ventriloquist, his magical powers, and their family's curious history. Weaving the boy's tale and the puppet's 'memoirs,' By George unveils the fascinating Fisher family — its weak men, its dominant women, its disgruntled boys, and its shocking and dramatic secrets. At once bitingly funny and exquisitely tender, Stace's novel is the unforgettable journey of two young boys separated by years but driven by the same desires: to find a voice, and to be loved.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

"The Last Jew Standing"

Coming soon from Viking: The Last Jew Standing by Michael Simon.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

Will detective Dan Reles arrest his own father ... or will the mob find him first?

Lieutenant Dan Reles has a new house, a wife, and a son, and a great career as head of Austin Homicide, but it’s funny how your past catches up with you. When Dan’s deadbeat father Ben Reles, a Mafia legbreaker who’s spent the last twenty years on the run, shows up on Dan’s doorstep with an escaped prostitute in tow, trouble is sure to follow.

That trouble is Sam Zelig, a sociopathic godfather with limitless resources and boundless rage. In several diabolical strokes, he now holds Austin hostage, forcing Dan to choose between the town he’s sworn to protect, his new family, and his father. In the process he faces trial by fire, bullet, bridge embankment, and one very angry woodchipper. Sure to satisfy Simon’s core devotees as well as fans of Dennis Lehane and James Ellroy, Last Jew Standing is fastpaced and suspenseful from start to finish.
Visit Michael Simon's MySpace page.

"At Large and At Small"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Anne Fadiman's At Large and At Small: Familiar Essays.

About the book, from the publisher:

In At Large and At Small, Anne Fadiman returns to one of her favorite genres, the familiar essay — a beloved and hallowed literary tradition recognized for both its intellectual breadth and its miniaturist focus on everyday experiences. With the combination of humor and erudition that has distinguished her as one of our finest essayists, Fadiman draws us into twelve of her personal obsessions: from her slightly sinister childhood enthusiasm for catching butterflies to her monumental crush on Charles Lamb, from her wistfulness for the days of letter-writing to the challenges and rewards of moving from the city to the country.

Many of these essays were composed “under the influence” of the subject at hand. Fadiman ingests a shocking amount of ice cream and divulges her passion for Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Chocolate Chip and her brother’s homemade Liquid Nitrogen Kahlúa Coffee (recipe included); she sustains a terrific caffeine buzz while recounting Balzac’s coffee addiction; and she stays up till dawn to write about being a night owl, examining the rhythms of our circadian clocks and sharing such insomnia cures as her father’s nocturnal word games and Lewis Carroll’s mathematical puzzles. At Large and At Small is a brilliant and delightful collection of essays that harkens a revival of a long-cherished genre.

Monday, July 23, 2007

"The Cleaner"

New from Delacorte Press: The Cleaner by Brett Battles.

About the book, from the author's website:

Jonathan Quinn is a professional cleaner. His job? Nothing too violent, just disposing of bodies, doing a little cleanup if necessary. But in Brett Battles' electrifying debut novel, Quinn's latest assignment will change everything, igniting a harrowing journey of violence, betrayal, and revenge.

The job seemed simple enough: investigating a suspicious case of arson. But when a dead body turns up where it doesn't belong — and Quinn's handlers at "the Office" turn strangely silent — he knows he's in over his head.

With only a handful of clues, Quinn scrambles for cover, struggling to find out why someone wants him dead ... and if it's linked to a larger attempt to wipe out the Office.

His only hope may be Orlando, a woman from his past who's reluctant to help but who may hold the key to solving the case. Suddenly the two are prying into old crimes, crisscrossing continents, struggling to stay alive long enough to unbury the truth. But as the hunt intensifies, Quinn is stunned by what he uncovers: a chilling secret ... and a brilliantly orchestrated conspiracy — with an almost unimaginable goal.

Furiously paced, filled with superbly drawn characters and pitch-perfect dialogue, The Cleaner puts a powerful twist on all our expectations as it confirms Brett Battles' place as one of the most exciting new talents in suspense fiction today.

"Playing America's Game"

New from the University of California Press: Playing America's Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line by Adrian Burgos, Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:

Although largely ignored by historians of both baseball in general and the Negro leagues in particular, Latinos have been a significant presence in organized baseball from the beginning. In this benchmark study on Latinos and professional baseball from the 1880s to the present, Adrian Burgos tells a compelling story of the men who negotiated the color line at every turn -- passing as "Spanish" in the major leagues or seeking respect and acceptance in the Negro leagues.

Burgos draws on archival materials from the U.S., Cuba, and Puerto Rico, as well as Spanish- and English-language publications and interviews with Negro league and major league players. He demonstrates how the manipulation of racial distinctions that allowed management to recruit and sign Latino players provided a template for Brooklyn Dodgers' general manager Branch Rickey when he initiated the dismantling of the color line by signing Jackie Robinson in 1947. Burgos's extensive examination of Latino participation before and after Robinson's debut documents the ways in which inclusion did not signify equality and shows how notions of racialized difference have persisted for darker-skinned Latinos like Orestes ("Minnie") Miñoso, Roberto Clemente, and Sammy Sosa.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Still Summer"

Coming in August from Grand Central Publishing: Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard.

About the book, from the author's website:

When four friends who ruled the school twenty years ago gather for an idyllic sailing vacation – meant to comfort Olivia, who has returned home a widow after twenty years abroad – they expect two weeks of gossip, sunbathing and drinks with little umbrellas.

Instead, two days into their crossing, a single small mistake turns paradise a sun-baked hell.

The same elements that combined to make this trip an adventure in paradise combine in for survival. Surrounded by water, but with almost none to drink, with refrigerators filled with gourmet food rotting before they can used it, and a deluxe communication system ruined in an instant, the women must hide from the punishing sun and use all their strength and intelligence to try to outwit nature, their own demons and human predators.

What happens when friendship must face the ultimate test? Does the better nature prevail or is it everyone for herself?
Visit Jacquelyn Mitchard's website.

"The Economic Naturalist"

Published this summer by Basic Books: Robert H. Frank's The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why do the keypads on drive-up cash machines have Braille dots? Why are round-trip fares from Orlando to Kansas City higher than those from Kansas City to Orlando?For decades, Robert Frank has been asking his economics students to pose and answer questions like these as a way of learning how economic principles operate in the real world-which they do everywhere, all the time. Once you learn to think like an economist, all kinds of puzzling observations start to make sense. Drive-up ATM keypads have Braille dots because it’s cheaper to make the same machine for both drive-up and walk-up locations. Travelers from Kansas City to Orlando pay less because they are usually price-sensitive tourists with many choices of destination, whereas travelers originating from Orlando typically choose Kansas City for specific family or business reasons. The Economic Naturalist employs basic economic principles to answer scores of intriguing questions from everyday life, and, along the way, introduces key ideas such as the cost benefit principle, the “no cash left on the table” principle, and the law of one price. There is no more delightful and painless way of learning these fundamental principles.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

"Bad Monkeys"

New from HarperCollins: Matt Ruff's Bad Monkeys.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jane Charlotte has been arrested for murder.

She tells police that she is a member of a secret organization devoted to fighting evil; her division is called the Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons — "Bad Monkeys" for short.

This confession earns Jane a trip to the jail's psychiatric wing, where a doctor attempts to determine whether she is lying, crazy — or playing a different game altogether. What follows is one of the most clever and gripping novels you'll ever read.

Visit Matt Ruff's website and his MySpace page.

"Capitol Offense"

Due out in mid-August from Putnam: Mike Doogan's Capitol Offense.

About the book, from the publisher:

Detective Nik Kane investigates a deadly mystery at Alaska's political heart. The second in a new series from the author of Lost Angel.

A beautiful young woman is found strangled in the office of an Alaskan state senator. Standing over her dead body is gifted young legislator Matthew Hope. Before this unfortunate event, he was the most promising native Alaskan politician in the state. Now he's facing serious time, and he's not talking to anyone.

In desperation, a mysterious, wealthy patron hires Nik Kane, disgraced ex-cop, to investigate the crime. What Kane discovers is a political culture corrupted by the influence of oil and big money. At the core is a secret so great that Kane may have to pay for it with something more precious than his soul.
Visit Mike Doogan's website.

Friday, July 20, 2007

"Fashionably Late"

Published in May by Forge Books: Nadine Dajani's Fashionably Late.

About the book, from the publisher:

Convinced you’re having a quarter-life crisis? Think maybe a soul-searching trip might help?

Aline Hallaby, a nice, obedient Arab girl, has it all -- a budding career at one of Montreal’s most prestigious accounting firms, a loving family, and a boyfriend of three years who has finally proposed. To top it all off, she’s about to fly to Cancún with her accounting classmates to celebrate passing the Uniform Final Examination. There’s just one tiny problem: Ali has failed the exam. She hasn’t told a soul. Not her parents. Not her boyfriend. And definitely not her boss, who will boot Ali out the door as soon as she finds out.

So rather than suffer through seven days in Cancún with her drunken-yet-successful classmates, Ali grabs her best friends, Sophie and Jasmin, and flees to the farthest place her airfare cancellation insurance will carry her: the resort town of Varadero Beach, Cuba....

The sea, sand, and sun, not to mention the attentions of a certain Cuban dive instructor, soon have Ali feeling wonderfully careless and increasingly reckless. Caught up in a whirlwind of rum-soaked nights and moonlit Havana strolls, this good Muslim girl gets her very first taste of what it would be like to be bad, really bad. But will what happens in Cuba stay in Cuba? Or is Ali finally ready to break out of the good-girl mold and grow into the woman she was meant to be?
Visit Nadine Dajani's blog.


New from Hyperion: Linda Greenlaw's Slipknot.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

The exciting debut of a snappy, spirited, and irresistible mystery series from beloved and bestselling author Linda Greenlaw

In her bestselling nonfiction book All Fishermen Are Liars, Linda Greenlaw confessed a desire to write fiction -- and readers responded with an enthusiastic “Please do!” At last, she satisfies their hunger with this sharp-witted, compulsively readable mystery, the first in a series featuring marine investigator Jane Bunker.

When Jane moves back to the sleepy Maine fishing community where she was born, it’s to escape the seamy crime scenes and unsavory characters that crossed her path in Miami. Surely whatever crimes are committed in touristy, idyllic Green Haven won’t involve anything as nasty as what she saw in Florida. It’s a bit of a shock, then, when Nick Dow, the town drunk, turns up dead, and it’s not the simple accident that everyone assumes it to be. Jane soon discovers that Dow wasn’t even a drunk -- it was all an act. But why? And what does it have to do with a heated town hall meeting about fishing rights and paternity suits? The more Jane digs, the more confused she gets. Only two things are certain: Nothing is what it seems; and the whole town is in each other’s business. But it’s not until Jane impulsively hops on a boat with the killer -- a boat that suddenly heads out to sea -- that things become downright dangerous . . .

As she proved in The Hungry Ocean, no one knows the sea like Linda Greenlaw. And as she proved in The Lobster Chronicles, no one has a better way with the telling details of Maine village life. This new mystery series features everything readers want: a great setting, wonderful characters, an authentic and original detective -- and a story that will keep them on the edge of their seats.
Visit Linda Greenlaw's website.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"In Secret Service"

Published in May by Touchstone: Mitch Silver's In Secret Service.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this debut of a uniquely talented novelist, Ian Fleming's real world of spies, love, passion, and danger is brought to life when a young woman inherits Fleming's long-hidden account of spying during World War II and must finish it to find out why people are trying to kill her.

In 1964, James Bond's creator sealed a package containing a manuscript he thought no one would read until fifty years after his death. Ian Fleming was an officer in Britain's Naval Intelligence during World War II, and he had his own adventures to recount. His family ties and his career had taken him to the upper echelons of British and American society and espionage, a world where passionate affairs, exotic locations, and polite cocktail chatter were interlaced with danger, betrayal, and deceit. He'd replicated that world in his famous novels, but this manuscript contained a real spy story that would explode history when its secrets were revealed. He'd chosen the reader, and he'd have to trust she would serve the truth.

In 2005, Amy Greenberg -- a young American academic with a glittering future -- is summoned to Ireland to claim the contents of her grandfather's safe deposit box, in which she finds only one thing: a manuscript by Ian Fleming. The pages detail Fleming's involvement in Allied spycraft and contain information so confidential, so potentially explosive, that Amy soon discovers that people on both sides of the Atlantic are willing to kill to maintain its secrecy. As she journeys back home with her precious cargo, Amy finds herself in a race against time -- she must unlock the manuscript's shocking and fascinating secrets and outwit the unknown assailants who would do anything to bury the truth and protect a traitor's name.

Peopled with characters including Winston Churchill, Princess Diana, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Anthony Blunt, and FDR and illustrated with authenticating documents, In Secret Service is a historical mystery inside a contemporary thriller. The debut of an exciting new writer, this book combines impeccable research with thrilling action, in a brand-new take on espionage suspense.


New from Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing: Pete Hautman's All-In.

About the book, from the publisher:

"You know how they say you can't climb out of a hole till you hit bottom?"


"I'm trying to find the bottom."

At seventeen, Denn Doyle isn't old enough to gamble legally, but thanks to his talent for reading tells, he's made a fortune -- and along the way, he's upset some of the most notorious Texas holdem players in Las Vegas, including Artie Kingston, who had already lost his nightclub to Denn. But now Denn's luck has run out and he's just about broke. His only chance is a million-dollar, winner-take-all tournament at Artie's new casino, but Denn can't play unless he comes up with the $10,000 entry fee. Denn's future all comes down to one hand of poker.

National Book Award-winning author Pete Hautman introduced Denn Doyle in No Limit, of which School Library Journal said, "Fast paced and powerfully delivered ... as taut and suspenseful as a high-stakes game." Here he deals another hand of love, luck, and greed in the high-stakes world of poker.

"The House the Rockefellers Built"

New from Henry Holt: The House the Rockefellers Built: A Tale of Money, Taste, and Power in Twentieth-Century America by Robert F. Dalzell and Lee Baldwin Dalzell.

About the book, from the publisher:

What it was like to be as rich as Rockefeller: How a house gave shape and meaning to three generations of an iconic American family

One hundred years ago America’s richest man established a dynastic seat, the granite-clad Kykuit, high above the Hudson River. Though George Vanderbilt’s 255-room Biltmore had recently put the American country house on the money map, John D. Rockefeller, who detested ostentation, had something simple in mind — at least until his son John Jr. and his charming wife, Abby, injected a spirit of noblesse oblige into the equation. Built to honor the senior Rockefeller, the house would also become the place above all others that anchored the family’s memories. There could never be a better picture of the Rockefellers and their ambitions for the enormous fortune Senior had settled upon them.

The authors take us inside the house and the family to observe a century of building and rebuilding — the ebb and flow of events and family feelings, the architecture and furnishings, the art and the gardens. A complex saga, The House the Rockefellers Built is alive with surprising twists and turns that reveal the tastes of a large family often sharply at odds with one another about the fortune the house symbolized.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"Four Seasons in Rome"

New from Scribner: Anthony Doerr's Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

Anthony Doerr has received many awards -- from the New York Public Library, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the American Library Association. Then came the Rome Prize, one of the most prestigious awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and with it a stipend and a writing studio in Rome for a year. Doerr learned of the award the day he and his wife returned from the hospital with newborn twins.

Exquisitely observed, Four Seasons in Rome describes Doerr's varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats -- the chroniclers of Rome who came before him -- and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighborhood, whose clamor of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself.

This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood, and a fascinating story of a writer's craft -- the process by which he transforms what he sees and experiences into sentences.

Visit Anthony Doerr's website.


New this month from Little, Brown: Elin Hilderbrand's Barefoot.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's summer on Nantucket, and as the season begins, three women arrive at the local airport, observed by Josh, a local boy, home from college. Burdened with small children, unwieldy straw hats, and some obvious emotional issues, the women — two sisters and one friend — make their way to the sisters' tiny cottage, inherited from an aunt.

They're all trying to escape from something: Melanie, after seven failed in-vitro attempts, discovered her husband's infidelity and then her own pregnancy; Brenda embarked on a passionate affair with an older student that got her fired from her prestigious job as a professor in New York; and her sister Vickie, mother to two small boys, has been diagnosed with cancer. Soon Josh is part of the chaotic household, acting as babysitter, confidant, and, eventually, something more, while the women confront their pasts and map out their futures.

Read an excerpt from Barefoot.

"Radio's America"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Radio's America: The Great Depression and the Rise of Modern Mass Culture by Bruce Lenthall.

About the book, from the publisher:

Orson Welles’s greatest breakthrough into the popular consciousness occurred in 1938, three years before Citizen Kane, when his War of the Worlds radio broadcast succeeded so spectacularly that terrified listeners believed they were hearing a genuine report of an alien invasion — a landmark in the history of radio’s powerful relationship with its audience. In Radio’s America, Bruce Lenthall documents the enormous impact radio had on the lives of Depression-era Americans and charts the formative years of our modern mass culture.

Many Americans became alienated from their government and economy in the twentieth century, and Lenthall explains that radio’s appeal came from its capability to personalize an increasingly impersonal public arena. His depictions of such figures as proto-Fascist Charles Coughlin and medical quack John Brinkley offer penetrating insight into radio’s use as a persuasive tool, and Lenthall’s book is unique in its exploration of how ordinary Americans made radio a part of their lives. Television inherited radio’s cultural role, and as the voting tallies for American Idol attest, broadcasting continues to occupy a powerfully intimate place in American life. Radio’s America reveals how the connections between power and mass media began.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

"Full of It"

New from Forge Books: Wendy French's Full of It.

About the book, from the author's website:

Lauren Peterson has a brand new life, but no idea what to do with it.

After calling off her engagement, she's single for the first time in years and ready to take on the world. Instead, she discovers that starting over isn't all it's cracked up to be.

When a spinster aunt she barely remembers bequeaths her a house in Portland, Oregon, Lauren intends to fix it up and flip it for a tidy profit. However, her big mouth (which is always a step ahead of her brain) has other ideas, and before she knows it, she's moving in.

As Lauren takes on the task of making the house into home, she discovers plenty of surprises and colorful neighbors to shake things up. From faulty wiring and a new sinkhole in the living room, to the salty curmudgeon next door, Lauren's new life is heading in unexpected directions. Her friends and family think she's making a grave mistake, but for the first time ever, it might not be Lauren's mouth, but her heart that will finally come out ahead.

Read an excerpt from Full of It.

"The Culture of Calamity"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Culture of Calamity: Disaster and the Making of Modern America by Kevin Rozario.

About the book, from the publisher:

Turn on the news and it looks as if we live in a time and place unusually consumed by the specter of disaster. The events of 9/11 and the promise of future attacks, Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans, and the inevitable consequences of environmental devastation all contribute to an atmosphere of imminent doom. But reading an account of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, with its vivid evocation of buildings “crumbling as one might crush a biscuit,” we see that calamities — whether natural or man-made — have long had an impact on the American consciousness.

Uncovering the history of Americans’ responses to disaster from their colonial past up to the present, Kevin Rozario reveals the vital role that calamity — and our abiding fascination with it — has played in the development of this nation. Beginning with the Puritan view of disaster as God’s instrument of correction, Rozario explores how catastrophic events frequently inspired positive reactions. He argues that they have shaped American life by providing an opportunity to take stock of our values and social institutions. Destruction leads naturally to rebuilding, and here we learn that disasters have been a boon to capitalism, and, paradoxically, indispensable to the construction of dominant American ideas of progress.

As Rozario turns to the present, he finds that the impulse to respond creatively to disasters is mitigated by a mania for security. Terror alerts and duct tape represent the cynical politician’s attitude about 9/11, but Rozario focuses on how the attacks registered in the popular imagination — how responses to genuine calamity were mediated by the hyperreal thrills of movies; how apocalyptic literature, like the best-selling Left Behind series, recycles Puritan religious outlooks while adopting Hollywood’s style; and how the convergence of these two ways of imagining disaster points to a new postmodern culture of calamity. The Culture of Calamity will stand as the definitive diagnosis of the peculiarly American addiction to the spectacle of destruction.

Monday, July 16, 2007

"The Master Bedroom"

New from Henry Holt: Tessa Hadley's The Master Bedroom.

About the book, from the publisher:

A single woman at loose ends becomes the object of two men’s affections — a father and his teenage son — in this sly, richly drawn novel

After more than twenty years in London, Kate Flynn has returned to her family home in Wales to care for her aging mother. Having cast off her academic career, she is unmoored, and when she runs into a childhood friend, David Roberts, at a concert, she finds herself falling for him, although she knows she’s grasping at anything to fill the sudden emptiness of her life.

For his part, David’s marriage isn’t as solid as it looks — his wife, Suzie, has begun acting strangely, moving out of their bedroom, neglecting their children, and disappearing for days at a time — and he begins to seek refuge with Kate from the newfound chaos of his life.

David’s seventeen-year-old son, Jamie, is also drawn to Kate’s eccentricity and her strange, glamorous old house full of books and music and history. As both father and son set about their parallel courtships, Tessa Hadley’s intricate, graceful novel explores the tangled web of connections between parents and children, revealing how each generation replays the stories of the one that came before, in new and sometimes startling patterns.

"Brush with Death"

New this month from Signet: Hailey Lind's Brush with Death.

About the book, from the author's website:

Working nights to restore murals in a building full of cremated remains is strange enough, but chasing a crypt-robbing ghoul through a graveyard is downright creepy. In Brush with Death, San Francisco artist Annie Kincaid finds herself drawn into a decades-old mystery involving some illustrious graveyard residents and Raphael's most intimate portrait, dubbed La Fornarina, or "the little baker girl". Could the Raphael "copy" hanging amidst funerary urns actually be the priceless original? Is the masked crypt-robber somehow connected to the Raphael? Or is the painting part of a larger puzzle involving Annie's unrepentant grandfather, master art forger Georges LeFleur, and an Italian "fakebuster" out to ruin him? Annie's under pressure to figure things out ... before she finds her permanent home amongst the ashes.

"An Intimate Affair"

New from the University of California Press: Jill Fields's An Intimate Affair: Women, Lingerie, and Sexuality.

About the book, from the publisher:

Intimate apparel, a term in use by 1921, has played a crucial role in the development of the "naughty but nice" feminine ideal that emerged in the twentieth century. Jill Fields's engaging, imaginative, and sophisticated history of twentieth-century lingerie tours the world of women's intimate apparel and arrives at nothing less than a sweeping view of twentieth-century women's history via the undergarments they wore. Illustrated throughout and drawing on a wealth of evidence from fashion magazines, trade periodicals, costume artifacts, Hollywood films, and the records of organized labor, An Intimate Affair is a provocative examination of the ways cultural meanings are orchestrated by the "fashion-industrial complex," and the ways in which individuals and groups embrace, reject, or derive meaning from these everyday, yet highly significant, intimate articles of clothing.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

"The Execution Channel"

Now out from Tor Books: Ken MacLeod's The Execution Channel.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's after 9/11. After the bombing. After the Iraq war. After 7/7. After the Iran war. After the nukes. After the flu. After the Straits. After Rosyth. In a world just down the road from our own, on-line bloggers vie with old-line political operatives and new-style police to determine just where reality lies.

James Travis is a British patriot and a French spy. On the day the Big One hits, Travis and his daughter must strive to make sense of the nuclear bombing of Scotland and the political repercussions of a series of terrorist attacks. With the information war in full swing, the only truth they have is what they're able to see with their own eyes. They know that everything else is- - or may be -- a lie.
Visit Ken MacLeod's blog.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

"The Sons of Heaven"

New this month from Tor Books: The Sons of Heaven by Kage Baker.

About the book, from the publisher:

This is the Kage Baker novel everyone has been waiting for: the conclusion to the story of Mendoza and The Company.

In The Sons of Heaven, the forces gathering to seize power finally move on the Company. The immortal Lewis wakes to find himself blinded, crippled, and left with no weapons but his voice, his memory, and the friendship of one extraordinary little girl. Edward Alton Bell-Fairfax, resurrected Victorian superman, plans for world domination. The immortal Mendoza makes a desperate bargain to delay him. Enforcer Budu, assisted by Joseph, enlists an unexpected ally in his plans to free his old warriors and bring judgment on his former masters.

Executive Facilitator Suleyman uses his intelligence operation to uncover the secret of Alpha-Omega, vital to the mortals’ survival. The mortal masters of the Company, terrified of a coup, invest in a plan they believe will terminate their immortal servants. And they awaken a powerful AI whom they call Dr Zeus.

This web of a story is filled with great climaxes, wonderful surprises, and gripping characters many readers have grown to love or hate. It's a triumph of SF!

"Henry Kissinger and the American Century"

New from Harvard University Press: Henry Kissinger and the American Century by Jeremi Suri.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Page 99 Test: Henry Kissinger and the American Century.

Friday, July 13, 2007

"Spying Blind"

Forthcoming from Princeton University Press: Amy Zegart's Spying Blind: The CIA, the FBI, and the Origins of 9/11.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this pathbreaking book, Amy Zegart provides the first scholarly examination of the intelligence failures that preceded September 11. Until now, those failures have been attributed largely to individual mistakes. But Zegart shows how and why the intelligence system itself left us vulnerable.

Zegart argues that after the Cold War ended, the CIA and FBI failed to adapt to the rise of terrorism. She makes the case by conducting painstaking analysis of more than three hundred intelligence reform recommendations and tracing the history of CIA and FBI counterterrorism efforts from 1991 to 2001, drawing extensively from declassified government documents and interviews with more than seventy high-ranking government officials. She finds that political leaders were well aware of the emerging terrorist danger and the urgent need for intelligence reform, but failed to achieve the changes they sought. The same forces that have stymied intelligence reform for decades are to blame: resistance inside U.S. intelligence agencies, the rational interests of politicians and career bureaucrats, and core aspects of our democracy such as the fragmented structure of the federal government. Ultimately failures of adaptation led to failures of performance. Zegart reveals how longstanding organizational weaknesses left unaddressed during the 1990s prevented the CIA and FBI from capitalizing on twenty-three opportunities to disrupt the September 11 plot.

Spying Blind is a sobering account of why two of America's most important intelligence agencies failed to adjust to new threats after the Cold War, and why they are unlikely to adapt in the future.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

"Heart Like Water"

New from Free Press: Joshua Clark's Heart Like Water: Surviving Katrina and Life in Its Disaster Zone.

About the book, from the publisher:

Try it. Right now. Picture the lights going off in the room you're sitting in. The computer, the air conditioning, phones, everything. Then the people, every last person in your building, on the street outside, the entire neighborhood, vanished. With them go all noises: chitchat, coughs, cars, and that wordless, almost impalpable hum of a city. And animals: no dogs, no birds, not even a cricket's legs rubbing together, not even a smell. Now bump it up to 95 degrees. Turn your radio on and listen to 80 percent of your city drowning. You're almost there. Only twenty-eight days to go.

Joshua Clark never left New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, choosing instead to band together with fellow holdouts in the French Quarter, pooling resources and volunteering energy in an effort to save the city they loved. When Katrina hit, Clark, a key correspondent for National Public Radio during the storm, immediately began to record hundreds of hours of conversations with its victims, not only in the city but throughout the Gulf: the devastated poor and rich alike; rescue workers from around the country; reporters; local characters who could exist nowhere else but New Orleans; politicians; the woman Clark loved, in a relationship ravaged by the storm. Their voices resound throughout this memoir of a unique and little-known moment of anarchy and chaos, of heartbreaking kindness and incomprehensible anguish, of mercy and madness as only America could deliver it.

Paying homage to the emotional power of Joan Didion, the journalistic authority of Norman Mailer, and the gonzo irreverence of Tom Wolfe, Joshua Clark takes us through the experiences of loss and renewal, resilience and hope, in a city unlike any other. With lyrical sympathy, humility, and humor, Heart Like Water marks an astonishing and important national debut.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Haunting of Cambria"

New from Tor books: The Haunting of Cambria by Richard Taylor.

About the book, from the publisher:

A novel of love, redemption, and second chances.

"Lily died the day we signed the escrow papers," Theo Parker writes of his bride and of Monroe House, the bed-and-breakfast they'd just bought in the picturesque coastal town of Cambria. Theo soon learns he can no more bring his beautiful wife back than he can kill the thing that haunts his new home.

Riddled with guilt but making the best of his recuperation from the car accident that killed Lily, Theo and his property manager, dowdy Eleanor Gacy, begin to investigate strange occurrences in Monroe House. And as they do, both Theo and Eleanor begin to see a bit of hope for a second chance at love and redemption.
Read Chapter One at Richard Taylor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"The Tin Roof Blowdown"

New this month from Simon & Schuster: The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the waning days of summer, 2005, a storm with greater impact than the bomb that struck Hiroshima peels the face off southern Louisiana.

This is the gruesome reality Iberia Parish Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux discovers as he is deployed to New Orleans. As James Lee Burke's new novel, The Tin Roof Blowdown, begins, Hurricane Katrina has left the commercial district and residential neighborhoods awash with looters and predators of every stripe. The power grid of the city has been destroyed, New Orleans reduced to the level of a medieval society. There is no law, no order, no sanctuary for the infirm, the helpless, and the innocent. Bodies float in the streets and lie impaled on the branches of flooded trees. In the midst of an apocalyptical nightmare, Robicheaux must find two serial rapists, a morphine-addicted priest, and a vigilante who may be more dangerous than the criminals looting the city.

In a singular style that defies genre, James Lee Burke has created a hauntingly bleak picture of life in New Orleans after Katrina. Filled with complex characters and depictions of people at both their best and worst, The Tin Roof Blowdown is not only an action-packed crime thriller, but a poignant story of courage and sacrifice that critics are already calling Burke's best work.

Visit James Lee Burke's website.

"The Persistence of Poverty"

New from Yale University Press: The Persistence of Poverty: Why the Economics of the Well-Off Can't Help the Poor by Charles Karelis.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this important book, one of our boldest and most original thinkers charges that conventional explanations of poverty are mistaken, and that the anti-poverty policies built upon them are doomed to fail. Using science, history, fables, philosophical analysis, and common observation, Charles Karelis engages us and takes us to a deeper grasp of the link between consumption and satisfaction — and from there to a new and persuasive explanation of what keeps poor people poor. Above all, he shows how this fresh perspective can reinspire the long-stalled campaign against poverty.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Free Food for Millionaires"

New from Warner Books: Min Jin Lee's Free Food for Millionaires.

About the book, from the publisher:

Casey Han's four years at Princeton gave her many things, 'But no job and a number of bad habits.' Casey's parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold on to their culture and their identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships. But after graduation, Casey sees the reality of having expensive habits without the means to sustain them.

As she navigates Manhattan, we see her life and the lives around her, culminating in a portrait of New York City and its world of haves and have-nots. Free Food for Millionaires offers up a fresh exploration of the complex layers we inhabit both in society and within ourselves. Inspired by 19th century novels such as Vanity Fair and Middlemarch, Min Jin Lee examines maintaining one's identity within changing communities in what is her remarkably assured debut.
Visit Min Jin Lee's website.

Monday, July 9, 2007


New from Tor Books: Tobias S. Buckell's Ragamuffin.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Benevolent Satrapy rule an empire of forty-eight worlds, linked by thousands of wormholes strung throughout the galaxy. Human beings, while technically “free,” mostly skulk around the fringes of the Satrapy, struggling to get by. The secretive alien Satraps tightly restrict the technological development of the species under their control. Entire worlds have been placed under interdiction, cut off from the rest of the universe.

Descended from the islanders of lost Earth, the Ragamuffins are pirates and smugglers, plying the lonely spaceways around a dead wormhole. For years, the Satraps have tolerated the Raga, but no longer. Now they have embarked on a campaign of extermination, determined to wipe out the unruly humans once and for all.

But one runaway woman may complicate their plans. Combat enabled, Nashara is more machine than flesh, and she carries inside her a doomsday weapon that could reduce the entire galaxy to chaos. A hunted fugitive, she just wants to get home before she’s forced to destroy civilization -- and herself.
Read the first 1/3 of Ragamuffin free at the author's website.

"Fleeing Hitler: France 1940"

Coming this summer from Oxford University Press: Hanna Diamond's Fleeing Hitler: France 1940.

About the book, from the publisher:

As Hitler's victorious armies approached Paris, panic gripped the city and the roads heading south filled with millions of French citizens, fleeing for their lives, with scant supplies and often no destination in mind. All hoped, as famed author Simone de Beauvoir wrote in her diary, "not to be taken like a rat in Occupied Paris."

In Fleeing Hitler , historian Hanna Diamond paints a gripping picture of the harrowing escape from Paris, highlighting the hardships people suffered in their desperate flight, and underscoring the impact this exodus had on life under Vichy rule. Using eyewitness accounts, memoirs, and diaries, Diamond shows how this ordeal became for civilians and soldiers alike the defining experience of the war. She tells how, in the Paris region alone, close to four million people left their homes and fled south, swelling the numbers of refugees until is was impossible to direct the flow of humanity. The result was total chaos with an enormous price to pay in terms of human misery and suffering. Many lost their lives as this vast caravan of predominantly women, children, and the elderly faced truly harsh conditions, and even starvation. Then, after the German offer of peace, as the traumatized population returned home, preoccupied by the desire for safety and bewildered by the unexpected turn of events, they put their faith in Marshall Petain, who was able to establish his collaborative Vichy regime largely unopposed, while the Germans consolidated their occupation.

The first time this important story has been told in the English, Fleeing Hitler captures in moving detail the devastating flight and early days of occupation after the fall of France.
Read Diamond's account at the OUP blog about "how difficult it was to get into the French psyche" even though she has lived and taught in Paris for many years and has spent her career researching the lives of the French people.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

"House Lights"

New from W.W. Norton: Leah Hager Cohen's House Lights.

About the book, from the publisher:

A poignant novel, reminiscent of Alice McDermott and Sue Miller, about how secrets threaten the stability of a family.

Late in her twentieth year, Beatrice mails a letter on the sly, sparking events that will change her life forever. The addressee is her grandmother, a legendary stage actress long estranged from her daughter, Bea's mother. Though Bea wants to become an actress herself, it is the desire to understand the old family rift that drives her to work her way into her grandmother's graces.

But just as she establishes a precarious foothold in her grandmother's world, Bea's elite Boston home life begins to crumble. Her beloved father is accused of harassment by one of his graduate students; her usually composed mother shows vulnerabilities and doubt; and Bea is falling in love with a man more than twice her age.

Written with lyricism and narrative reach, House Lights is psychologically intricate, powerfully capturing the weight of family secrets on the lives of children and the struggle to find truth, forgiveness, and love.
Visit Leah Hager Cohen's website.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


New from Tor Books: Warren Hammond's KOP.

About the book, from the author's website:

Juno is a dirty cop with a difficult past and an uncertain future. When his family and thousands of others emigrated to the colony world of Lagarto, they were promised a bright future on a planet with a booming economy. But before the colonists arrived, everything changed. An opportunistic Earth-based company developed a way to produce a cheaper version of Lagarto’s main export, thus effectively paupering the planet and all its inhabitants.

Growing up on post-boom Lagarto, Juno is but one of the many who live in despair. Once he was a young cop in the police department of the capital city of Koba. That was before he started taking bribes from Koba’s powerful organized crime syndicate. Yet despite his past sins, some small part of him has not given up hope. So he risks his life, his marriage and his job to expose a cabal that would enslave the planet for its own profit.

But he's got more pressing problems, when he's confronted with a dead man, a short-list of leads, and the obligatory question: who done it? Set up for a fall, partnered with a beautiful young woman whose main job is to betray him, and caught in a squeeze between the police chief and the crooked mayor, Juno is a compelling, sympathetic hero on a world that has no heroes.

An exciting science fiction adventure and a dark, gritty noir thriller told in taut, powerful prose, this is a remarkable debut novel.

Friday, July 6, 2007

"Inside the Red Mansion"

Coming this month from Houghton Mifflin: Oliver August's Inside the Red Mansion.

About the book, from the publisher:

Inside the Red Mansion is a suspenseful, slyly entertaining journey into the heart of the new China. Due to a mix-up in a routine reporting assignment, Oliver August stumbles onto the hunt for China’s most wanted man, Lai Changxing, an illiterate tycoon on the run from corruption charges. Sensing something emblematic in this outsized tale of rise and fall, August sets out to find the self-made billionaire, hoping that if he can understand how Lai reinvented himself, he will also better understand the tectonic forces transforming modern China. Lai embodies the story of China’s recent success as well as its Achilles’ heel: its command economy, blended with the free market, is riddled with corruption. Moving ever closer to the elusive tycoon, August introduces us to a people in the midst of head-spinning self-transformation. We meet a nightclub hostess and her gaggle of “Miss Temporaries”; powerful businessmen on a debt-settling round of nocturnal golf; and a foie gras king who markets his goose liver by the ton and prefers it deep fried. This is a China seething with desire, engaged in a slapstick fight with its past, and hell-bent on the future. Inside the Red Mansion is the first book to capture the giddy vibe of contemporary China and its darker vulnerabilities.
Visit Oliver August's website to learn more about Inside the Red Mansion.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

"Kushiel's Justice"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Justice.

About the book, from the publisher:

Imriel de la Courcel's blood parents are history's most reviled traitors, while his adoptive parents, Phedre and Joscelin, are Terre d'Ange's greatest champions. Stolen, tortured, and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood, third in line for the throne in a land that revels in beauty, art, and desire.

After a year abroad to study at university, Imriel returns from his adventures a little older and somewhat wiser. But perhaps not wise enough. What was once a mere spark of interest between himself and his cousin Sidonie now ignites into a white-hot blaze. But from commoner to peer, the whole realm would recoil from any alliance between Sidonie, heir to the throne, and Imriel, who bears the stigma of his mother's misdeeds and betrayals.

Praying that their passion will peak and fade, Imriel and Sidonie embark on an intense, secret affair. Blessed Elua founded Terre d'Ange and bestowed one simple precept to guide his people, love as thou wilt. When duty calls, Imriel honors his role as a member of the royal family by leaving to marry a lovely, if merely sweet, Alban princess.

By choosing duty over love, Imriel and Sidonie may have unwittingly trespassed against Elua's law. But when dark powers in Alba, who fear an invasion by Terre d'Ange, seek to use the lovers' passion to bind Imriel, the gods themselves take notice. Before the end, Kushiel's justice will be felt in heaven and on earth.

"Revenge of the Homecoming Queen"

New this month from Berkley Jam: Stephanie Hale's Revenge of the Homecoming Queen.

About the book, from the author's website:

I, the flawless Aspen Brooks, was born to be Homecoming Queen. Naturally, I'm dating Lucas Riley, the quarterback, and the most popular guy in school. Blessed with stunning good looks, excellent style, and mega brains, I had that crown in the bag.

So please tell me why, oh why, the tiara is being placed on the skanky head of Angel Ives and not me? My confusion only grows after I hear that the school didn't vote my hottie bf to be Homecoming King, but ultra-dork Rand Bachrach instead. To my total shock and horror, Angel actually accuses me of being behind this! As if! Then she goes all Carrie on me, vowing revenge. Like, I'm really worried.

But then something goes terribly, terribly wrong. Strange things are happening-even stranger than Angel beating me out. And now someone's leaving me threatening messages and slashing the tires on my precious car. I know it's that beyotch Angel doing these things, so if she wants a war, by Dooney & Bourke she'll get one!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

"I Heart My In-Laws"

New this summer from Henry Holt and Owl Books: Dina K. Poch's I Heart My In-Laws.

About the book, from the author's website:

A practical, laugh-out-loud guide to adopting your man’s family -- from your first date to your firstborn

Girlfriends, fiancées, and wives rejoice! Here, at last, is a book you can turn to in times of stress, panic, and family vacations to the smallest cottage ever built on the island of Nantucket. Mirroring the natural progression of a relationship and incorporating interviews from women just like you, this hilarious, savvy guide will help you survive your first meeting with future in-laws, from the holidays, weddings, and new babies, to the day they retire to the house next door because “it’s a great real estate investment.”

Discover a wide array of sanity-retention techniques and tips on scoring major points with each and every in-law. Learn how to sweet-talk his sister, mollify his mother, and defuse potentially explosive situations -- like when your pumpkin pie gives Nana a bad case of hives. Stories range from the tragic “my father-in-law just pinched my ass and not in that sportsmanship kind of way,” to the triumphant “I’m now CEO of my grandfather-in-law’s cement company -- Thanks Pupup!”

Offering handy translation charts with curse words in Persian and compliments in Cantonese, a list of gifts and how to interpret their hidden meaning, tips for reclaiming the holidays one Bastille Day at a time, and your very own set of Mother-in-Law MadLibs, I Heart My In-laws embodies the old saying, “It’s funny because it’s true.”

"The Pursuit of Glory"

New from Penguin/Viking: The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648-1815 by Tim Blanning.

About the book, from the publisher:

The new volume in the acclaimed Penguin History of Europe series takes on the greater eighteenth century in all its revolutionary glory

Here is an enormously entertaining, rich, and provocative account of a vivid and magnificent era in Europe’s history. Tim Blanning has for many years been one of the foremost writers on the eighteenth century. The culmination of many years’ work, The Pursuit of Glory is an accessible and enjoyable account of Europe from the end of the Thirty Years’ War to the Battle of Waterloo — an era of immense change and cultural, political, and technological ferment. Spanning the years 1648–1815, The Pursuit of Glory takes us from the Enlightenment through the French Revolution and Napoleonic era. As interested in the art and music of the period as in the great dynastic and revolutionary wars, as concerned with the lives of ordinary people as with the great rulers on horseback, The Pursuit of Glory turns a compelling spotlight on one of history’s most unique and fascinating eras.