Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Exit Ghost"

New from Houghton Mifflin: Philip Roth's Exit Ghost.

About the book, from the publisher:

Like Rip Van Winkle returning to his hometown to find that all has changed, Nathan Zuckerman comes back to New York, the city he left eleven years before. Alone on his New England mountain, Zuckerman has been nothing but a writer: no voices, no media, no terrorist threats, no women, no news, no tasks other than his work and the enduring of old age.

Walking the streets like a revenant, he quickly makes three connections that explode his carefully protected solitude. One is with a young couple with whom, in a rash moment, he offers to swap homes. They will flee post-9/11 Manhattan for his country refuge, and he will return to city life. But from the time he meets them, Zuckerman also wants to swap his solitude for the erotic challenge of the young woman, Jamie, whose allure draws him back to all that he thought he had left behind: intimacy, the vibrant play of heart and body.

The second connection is with a figure from Zuckerman’s youth, Amy Bellette, companion and muse to Zuckerman’s first literary hero, E. I. Lonoff. The once irresistible Amy is now an old woman depleted by illness, guarding the memory of that grandly austere American writer who showed Nathan the solitary path to a writing vocation.

The third connection is with Lonoff’s would-be biographer, a young literary hound who will do and say nearly anything to get to Lonoff’s “great secret.” Suddenly involved, as he never wanted or intended to be involved again, with love, mourning, desire, and animosity, Zuckerman plays out an interior drama of vivid and poignant possibilities.

Haunted by Roth’s earlier work The Ghost Writer, Exit Ghost is an amazing leap into yet another phase in this great writer’s insatiable commitment to fiction.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

"The Snake Stone"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Sarah Crichton Books: The Snake Stone by Jason Goodwin.

About the book, from the publisher:

The captivating return of Yashim, the eunuch investigator from the intelligent, elliptical and beguilingly written" (The Times, London) bestseller The Janissary Tree

When a French archaeologist arrives in 1830s Istanbul determined to track down a lost Byzantine treasure, the local Greek communities are uncertain how to react; the man seems dangerously well informed. Yashim Togalu, who so brilliantly solved the mysterious murders in The Janissary Tree, is once again enlisted to investigate. But when the archaeologist’s mutilated body is discovered outside the French embassy, it turns out there is only one suspect: Yashim himself.

The New York Times celebrated The Janissary Tree as “the perfect escapist mystery,” and The Daily Telegraph called it “[A] tremendous first novel . . . Beautifully written, perfectly judged, humane, witty and captivating.”

With The Snake Stone, Jason Goodwin delights us with another transporting romp through the back streets of nineteenth-century Istanbul. Yashim finds himself racing against time once again, to uncover the startling truth behind a shadowy society dedicated to the revival of the Byzantine Empire, encountering along the way such vibrant characters as Lord Byron’s doctor and the sultan’s West Indies–born mother, the Valide. Armed only with a unique sixteenth-century book, the dashing eunuch leads us into a world where the stakes are high, betrayal is death — and the pleasure to the reader is immense.

"Sword of God"

New from Jove Books: Chris Kuzneski's Sword of God.

About the book, from the author's website:

Off the coast of South Korea, a young boy discovers a cave that is soaked in human blood. Less than a week later, everyone in his village disappears….

In Saudi Arabia, a female archaeologist unearths an artifact that threatens the historical foundation of Islam. To some Muslims, it is a discovery that must be silenced at all costs.

Meanwhile, in a secret bunker run by U.S. intelligence, the unthinkable has happened. While interrogating one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, a former member of the MANIAC Special Forces squad is brutally executed.

Jonathon Payne and D.J. Jones, his former commanders, offer to spearhead the investigation. They quickly realize that there is more to this atrocity than terrorist reprisal — there is a plot in motion that will burn the world in the fires of a holy war. And it's up to them to stop it.

Friday, September 28, 2007

"Have a Nice Doomsday"

Coming in October from HarperCollins: Have a Nice Doomsday: Why Millions of Americans Are Looking Forward to the End of the World by Nicholas Guyatt.

About the book
, from the publisher:

In Have a Nice Doomsday, Nicholas Guyatt searches for the truth behind a startling statistic: 50 million Americans have come to believe that the apocalypse will take place in their lifetime. They're convinced that, any day now, Jesus will snatch up his followers and spirit them to heaven. The rest of us will be left behind to endure massive earthquakes, devastating wars, and the terrifying rise of the Antichrist. But true believers aren't sitting around waiting for the Rapture. They're getting involved in debates over abortion, gay rights, and even foreign policy. Are they devout or deranged? Does their influence stretch beyond America's religious heartland — perhaps even to the White House?

Journeying from Texas megachurches to the southern California deserts — and stopping off for a chat with prophecy superstar Tim LaHaye — Guyatt looks for answers to some burning questions: When will Russia attack Israel and ignite the Tribulation? Does the president of Iran appear in Bible prophecy? And is the Antichrist a homosexual?

Bizarre, funny, and unsettling in equal measure, Have a Nice Doomsday uncovers the apocalyptic obsessions at the heart of the world's only superpower.

"Angels of a Lower Flight"

New from Touchstone Books: Angels of a Lower Flight: One Woman's Mission to Save a Country ... One Child at a Time by Susan Scott Krabacher.

About the book, from the publisher:

"In this world, you were loved."

The inspiring story of how one woman's message of hope and opportunity will change the lives of an entire generation.

Three schools, two orphanages, a hospital, and an abandoned-infant home -- constructed in the poorest country in the western hemisphere -- were the result of one quick television commercial. The ad was for a charity, asking for donations to help impoverished children in a third world country. Though author Susie Scott Krabacher had a little money to give, what she wanted was to hold the hand of every child she saw and tell them that they were not forgotten and that they too were important. When Susie called the charity, it wanted only monetary donations -- and every other overseas nonprofit she contacted couldn't or wouldn't take on an inexperienced volunteer. So Susie set out to change the children's lives on her own.

In this heartbreaking and inspiring memoir, Susie Scott Krabacher tells how the pain in her past caused her to doubt if God really loved and protected her. From her abusive childhood to her experiences as a Playboy centerfold during the 1980s, Susie details with frank honesty how she lost her faith along the way and how her experiences helping children in Haiti, an impoverished nation only five hundred miles from Florida, brought God back into her life.

In a country where 10 percent of all children die before the age of four, Susie mounted a brave effort to provide not just charity but opportunity. By treating the children she helps as individuals, Susie gives them the tools to save their own country. Although some of the children she's tirelessly worked to rescue do not survive, Susie will never again lose her faith.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

"God and Gold"

Coming in October from Knopf: God and Gold: Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World by Walter Russell Mead.

About the book, from the publisher:

An illuminating account of the birth and rise of the global political and economic system that, sustained first by Britain and now by America, created the modern world.

Walter Russell Mead, one of our most distinguished foreign policy experts, makes clear that the key to the predominance of the two countries has been the individualistic ideology of the prevailing Anglo-American religion. Mead explains how this helped create a culture uniquely adapted to capitalism, a system under which both countries thrived. We see how, as a result, the two nations were able to create the liberal, democratic system whose economic and social influence continues to grow around the world.

With wit, verve, and stunning insight, Mead recounts what is, in effect, the story of a centuries-long war between the English-speaking peoples and their enemies. Sustained by control of the oceans that surround them, the British and their American heirs built a global system of politics, power, investment, and trade over the past three hundred years. Along the way, the two nations developed a sophisticated grand strategy that brought the English-speaking powers to a pinnacle of global power and prestige unmatched in the history of the world.

Since Oliver Cromwell's day, the English-speakers have seen their enemies as haters of liberty and God who care nothing for morality, who will do anything to win, and who rely on a treacherous fifth column to assure victory. Those enemies, from Catholic Spain and Louis XIV to the Nazis, communists, and Al-Qaeda, held similar beliefs about their British and American rivals, but we see that though the Anglo-Americans have lost small wars here and there, they have won the major conflicts. So far.

The stakes today are higher than ever; technological progress makes new and terrible weapons easier for rogue states and terror groups to develop and deploy. Where some see an end to history and others a clash of civilizations, Mead sees the current conflicts in the Middle East as the latest challenge to the liberal, capitalist, and democratic world system that the Anglo-Americans are trying to build. What we need now, he says, is a diplomacy of civilizations based on a deeper understanding of the recurring conflicts between the liberal world system and its foes. In practice, this means that Americans generally, and especially the increasingly influential evangelical community, must develop a better sense of America's place in the world.

Mead's emphasis on the English-speaking world as the chief hero (and sometimes villain) in modern history changes the way we see the world. Authoritative and lucid, God and Gold weaves history, literature, philosophy, and religion together into an eminently important work — a dazzling book that helps us understand the world we live in and our tumultuous times.

"Baby Crimes"

New from Wordslinger Press: Baby Crimes by Randall Hicks.

About the book, from the author's website:

Toby Dillon is hired by a wealthy and powerful couple being blackmailed over the illegal adoption of their daughter sixteen years ago. No one — not even their own daughter — knows the truth ... except the birth mother. But Toby's search for her leads only to dead bodies, one of them almost his own, as he learns there may be more buried secrets than even his own clients know — secrets people are killing to keep. Read Chapter One.
Read James R. Winter's review of Baby Crimes in January Magazine.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Murder on the Rebound"

New from ECW Press: Jeffrey Miller's Murder on the Rebound.

About the novel, from the author's website:

"Hemlock for Herskowitz!" That's what the students write in the law-school toilets about their drill-sergeant professor, Mack Herskowitz. Then, Tony Albinoni, a mouthy "first year," is poisoned at dinner in the professor's penthouse. Was the noxious drink meant for the unpopular prof - a man widely known behind his back as "Jerk-O-Twit"?

So begins the newest mystery for Amicus and his companion human, Justice Ted Mariner, both of them "outlawed" to the suburban law school after last spring's "incidents" downtown - Justice Mariner's very public wrestling match, in the toney Pasta La Vista restaurant, with a fellow judge, not to mention the day he was seen bussing his comely young clerk in a not-so-toney Yorkville bar.

It's classic, uproarious Amicus, with his caustic shin's-eye view of "Homo allegedly sapiens" and their justice system. As usual, the Falstaffian feline narrates a seriously funny (and profoundly serious) tale in which the search for whodunnit intersects with the deeper mystery of the nature of "truth" itself.

"The Shotgun Rule"

New from Ballantine Books: The Shotgun Rule by Charlie Huston.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first stand-alone thriller by critically acclaimed author Charlie Huston, The Shotgun Rule is a raw tale of four teenage friends who go looking for a little trouble – and find it.

Blood spilled on the asphalt of this town long years gone has left a stain, and it’s spreading.

Not that a thing like that matters to teenagers like George, Hector, Paul, and Andy. It’s summer 1983 in a northern California suburb, and these working-class kids have been killing time the usual ways: ducking their parents, tinkering with their bikes, and racing around town getting high and boosting their neighbors’ meds. Just another typical summer break in the burbs. Till Andy’s bike is stolen by the town’s legendary petty hoods, the Arroyo brothers. When the boys break into the Arroyos’ place in search of the bike, they stumble across the brothers’ private industry: a crank lab. Being the kind of kids who rarely know better, they do what comes naturally: they take a stash of crank to sell for quick cash. But doing so they unleash hidden rivalries and crimes, and the dark and secret past of their town and their families.

The spreading stain is drawing local drug lords, crooked cops, hard-riding bikers, and the brutal history of the boys’ fathers in its wake.
Visit Charlie Huston's website.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"California Sorrow"

New from Knopf: California Sorrow by Mary Kinzie.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this exceptional new collection, acclaimed poet Mary Kinzie opens her attention to the landscapes of the earth. Her poems of richly varied line lengths develop phrases at the syncopated pace of the observing mind: “Slag and synthesis and traveling fire / so many ways the groundwaves of distortion / pulse / through bedrock traffic and the carbon chain” she writes in the opening poem, “The Water-brooks.” Here, and throughout, her reflection on the natural world embraces the damages of time to which we can bear only partial witness but to which the human memory is bound.

In the collection’s title poem, Kinzie goes on to explore her own romantic griefs alongside the adventures of T. S. Eliot, “inadvertently working on a suntan” as he tours the desert in the roadster of his American girlfriend, whose heart he will break. Kinzie’s conviction that sorrow, too, is a form of passion allows her to lift poems from shattered thoughts and long-ago losses, at times blending prose and verse in a combustible mixture.

Determined not to prettify but still expressing fresh wonder at the beauty we stumble across in spite of our shortcomings, Kinzie delivers her bravest work yet in these new poems.

O God invisible as air

My tears have been my meat

because no noxious thing runs with themonly
fragrant naïveté of the reflective midday when
bank herb and wood flower and water from the pool
can best be gathered
also the knowledge
that these gifts are tenuous and that the mouth
and the harp
might soon be strange to play

"Snitch Jacket"

New from the Rookery Press: Snitch Jacket by Christopher Goffard.

About the book, from the publisher:

Benny Bunt is an over-educated misfit, ex-speed addict, and barfly who makes pocket money snitching on his friends. You will like him.

“Everyone knows that California sunshine is the world’s loneliest light,” says Benny, who inhabits an underworld of desperados and grotesques and spends much of his free time at the Greasy Tuesday, a squalid, southern California neighborhood dive teeming with local legends.

One night, one of these legends walks through the door: Gus “Mad Dog” Miller, a huge, tattoo-laden Vietnam vet who sports a necklace of severed ears and whose job at the Greasy Tuesday is “to keep the riffraff out.” “But everyone’s riffraff here,” Benny protests. Six months later, Benny, transfixed by this twisted Falstaffian personality, is arrested on suspicion of double murder after attending the freak “Howling Head” festival in the Mojave Desert.

Combining elements of classic noir, dark comedy, and a misfit’s memoir reminiscent of Notes from Underground, Christopher Goffard, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, brings life to the darker side of west coast counter-culture in a literary crime novel that will be a delight for fans of Elmore Leonard, the Coen brothers, Carl Hiassen, and Charles Bukowski.
The Page 99 Test: Snitch Jacket.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 24, 2007

"Bones to Ashes"

New from Scribner Books: Kathy Reichs' Bones to Ashes.

About the book, from the publisher:

Temperance Brennan, like her creator Kathy Reichs, is a brilliant, sexy forensic anthropologist called on to solve the toughest cases. But for Tempe, the discovery of a young girl's skeleton in Acadia, Canada, is more than just another assignment. Évangéline, Tempe's childhood best friend, was also from Acadia. Named for the character in the Longfellow poem, Évangéline was the most exotic person in Tempe's eight-year-old world. When Évangéline disappeared, Tempe was warned not to search for her, that the girl was "dangerous."

Thirty years later, flooded with memories, Tempe cannot help wondering if this skeleton could be the friend she lost so many years ago. And what is the meaning of the strange skeletal lesions found on the bones of the young girl?

Meanwhile, Tempe's beau, Ryan, investigates a series of cold cases. Three girls dead. Four missing. Could the New Brunswick skeleton be part of the pattern? As Tempe draws on the latest advances in forensic anthropology to penetrate the past, Ryan hunts down a serial predator.

"People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture"

New from Oxford University Press: People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture by Terryl C. Givens.

About the book, from the publisher:

In People of Paradox, Terryl Givens traces the rise and development of Mormon culture from the days of Joseph Smith in upstate New York, through Brigham Young's founding of the Territory of Deseret on the shores of Great Salt Lake, to the spread of the Latter-Day Saints around the globe.

Throughout the last century and a half, Givens notes, distinctive traditions have emerged among the Latter-Day Saints, shaped by dynamic tensions -- or paradoxes -- that give Mormon cultural expression much of its vitality. Here is a religion shaped by a rigid authoritarian hierarchy and radical individualism; by prophetic certainty and a celebration of learning and intellectual investigation; by existence in exile and a yearning for integration and acceptance by the larger world. Givens divides Mormon history into two periods, separated by the renunciation of polygamy in 1890. In each, he explores the life of the mind, the emphasis on education, the importance of architecture and urban planning (so apparent in Salt Lake City and Mormon temples around the world), and Mormon accomplishments in music and dance, theater, film, literature, and the visual arts. He situates such cultural practices in the context of the society of the larger nation and, in more recent years, the world. Today, he observes, only fourteen percent of Mormon believers live in the United States.

Mormonism has never been more prominent in public life. But there is a rich inner life beneath the public surface, one deftly captured in this sympathetic, nuanced account by a leading authority on Mormon history and thought.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

"The Kingdom of Bones"

New from Shaye Areheart Books: The Kingdom of Bones by Stephen Gallagher.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Kingdom of Bones is the haunting story of Tom Sayers, a former boxing champion who must continue to fight — to clear his name after a series of gruesome murders, for the heart and soul of a leading lady, and to uncover the truth behind a legend as old as evil itself.

Wrongly accused of the slaughter of pauper children in the wake of the touring theater company he manages, Tom Sayers is forced to disappear into a twilight world of music halls and traveling boxing booths. Beginning with a chance encounter in a Philadelphia pleasure park one weekend in 1903, this brilliantly macabre mystery traces Sayers’ journey from England’s provincial playhouses through London’s mighty Lyceum Theatre and on to the high society of a transforming American South — with many a secret to be uncovered in the dark alleyways, backstage areas, and houses of ill repute that lie along the way.

As Sayers seeks the truth behind the killings, he is pursued in turn by the tireless Detective Inspector Sebastian Becker. Desperate to ensure the safety of actress Louise Porter, Sayers calls on an old friend, Bram Stoker, for help. But Stoker’s links with the world of the Victorian occult lead Sayers to discover a danger even greater than he could have imagined.

Thrown into a maelstrom of obsession, betrayal, and sacrifice — where even the pure may not escape damnation — Sayers must face the implications of an unthinkable bargain: the exchange of a soul for a chance at eternal life.

With action that spans continents, decades, and every level of society, The Kingdom of Bones follows the troubled lives of those touched by Tom Sayers, ultimately weaving their stories into a harrowing climax that stirs the mind — and the blood.
Visit Stephen Gallagher's blog.

"First Class Citizenship"

Coming soon from Henry Holt and Times Books: First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson, edited by Michael G. Long.

About the book, from the publisher:

Never-before-published letters offer a rich portrait of the baseball star as a fearless advocate for racial justice at the highest levels of American politics

Jackie Robinson’s courage on the baseball diamond is one of the great stories of the struggle for civil rights in America, and his Hall of Fame career speaks for itself. But we no longer hear Robinson speak for himself; his death at age fifty-three in 1972 robbed America of his voice far too soon.

In First Class Citizenship, Jackie Robinson comes alive on the page for the first time in decades. The scholar Michael G. Long has unearthed a remarkable trove of Robinson’s correspondence with — and personal replies from — such towering figures as Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Hubert Humphrey, Nelson Rockefeller, and Barry Goldwater. These extraordinary conversations reveal the scope and depth of Robinson’s effort during the 1950s and 1960s to rid America of racism.

Writing eloquently and with evident passion, Robinson charted his own course, offering his support to Democrats and to Republicans, questioning the tactics of the civil rights movement, and challenging the nation’s leaders when he felt they were guilty of hypocrisy — or worse. Through his words as well as his actions, Jackie Robinson truly personified the “first class citizenship” that he considered the birthright of all Americans, whatever their race.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Interred With Their Bones"

New from Dutton: Jennifer Lee Carrell's Interred With Their Bones.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

A long-lost work of Shakespeare, newly found. A killer who stages the Bard’s extravagant murders as flesh-and-blood realities. A desperate race to find literary gold, and just to stay alive....

On the eve of the Globe’s production of Hamlet, Shakespeare scholar and theater director Kate Stanley’s eccentric mentor Rosalind Howard gives her a mysterious box, claiming to have made a groundbreaking discovery. But before she can reveal it to Kate, the Globe burns to the ground and Roz is found dead . . . murdered precisely in the manner of Hamlet’s father. Inside the box Kate finds the first piece in a Shakespearean puzzle, setting her on a deadly, high-stakes treasure hunt.

From London to Harvard to the American West, Kate races to evade a killer and decipher a tantalizing string of clues, hidden in the words of Shakespeare, that may unlock literary history’s greatest secret. At once suspenseful and elegantly written, Interred with Their Bones is poised to become the next bestselling literary adventure in the tradition of The Thirteenth Tale and The Historian.
Visit Jennifer Lee Carrell's website.

"Jews and Power"

New from Schocken Books: Ruth Wisse's Jews and Power.

About the book, from the publisher:

Taking in everything from the Kingdom of David to the Oslo Accords, Ruth Wisse offers a radical new way to think about the Jewish relationship to power. Traditional Jews believed that upholding the covenant with God constituted a treaty with the most powerful force in the universe; this later transformed itself into a belief that, unburdened by a military, Jews could pursue their religious mission on a purely moral plain. Wisse, an eminent professor of comparative literature at Harvard, demonstrates how Jewish political weakness both increased Jewish vulnerability to scapegoating and violence, and unwittingly goaded power-seeking nations to cast Jews as perpetual targets.

Although she sees hope in the State of Israel, Wisse questions the way the strategies of the Diaspora continue to drive the Jewish state, echoing Abba Eban's observation that Israel was the only nation to win a war and then sue for peace. And then she draws a persuasive parallel to the United States today, as it struggles to figure out how a liberal democracy can face off against enemies who view Western morality as weakness. This deeply provocative book is sure to stir debate both inside and outside the Jewish world. Wisse's narrative offers a compelling argument that is rich with history and bristling with contemporary urgency.

Friday, September 21, 2007

"Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade"

New from Delacorte Press: Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her much-anticipated new novel, the New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander saga brings back one of her most compelling characters: Lord John Grey — soldier, gentleman, and no mean hand with a blade. Here Diana Gabaldon brilliantly weaves together the strands of Lord John’s secret and public lives — a shattering family mystery, a love affair with potentially disastrous consequences, and a war that stretches from the Old World to the New....

In 1758, in the heart of the Seven Years’ War, Britain fights by the side of Prussia in the Rhineland. For Lord John and his titled brother Hal, the battlefield will be a welcome respite from the torturous mystery that burns poisonously in their family’s history. Seventeen years earlier, Lord John’s late father, the Duke of Pardloe, was found dead, a pistol in his hand and accusations of his role as a Jacobite agent staining forever a family’s honor.

Now unlaid ghosts from the past are stirring. Lord John’s brother has mysteriously received a page of their late father’s missing diary. Someone is taunting the Grey family with secrets from the grave, but Hal, with secrets of his own, refuses to pursue the matter and orders his brother to do likewise. Frustrated, John turns to a man who has been both his prisoner and his confessor: the Scottish Jacobite James Fraser.

Fraser can tell many secrets — and withhold many others. But war, a forbidden affair, and Fraser’s own secrets will complicate Lord John’s quest. Until James Fraser yields the missing piece of an astounding puzzle — and Lord John, caught between his courage and his conscience, must decide whether his family’s honor is worth his life.
Visit Diana Gabaldon's website.

"The Art Thief"

New from Atria Books: The Art Thief by Noah Charney.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rome: In the small Baroque church of Santa Giuliana, a magnificent Caravaggio altarpiece disappears without a trace in the middle of the night.

Paris: In the basement vault of the Malevich Society, curator Geneviéve Delacloche is shocked to discover the disappearance of the Society's greatest treasure, White-on-White by Suprematist painter Kasimir Malevich.

London: At the National Gallery of Modern Art, the museum's latest acquisition is stolen just hours after it was purchased for more than six million pounds.

In The Art Thief, three thefts are simultaneously investigated in three cities, but these apparently isolated crimes have much more in common than anyone imagines. In Rome, the police enlist the help of renowned art investigator Gabriel Coffin when tracking down the stolen masterpiece. In Paris, Geneviéve Delacloche is aided by Police Inspector Jean-Jacques Bizot, who finds a trail of bizarre clues and puzzles that leads him ever deeper into a baffling conspiracy. In London, Inspector Harry Wickenden of Scotland Yard oversees the museum's attempts to ransom back its stolen painting, only to have the masterpiece's recovery deepen the mystery even further.

A dizzying array of forgeries, overpaintings, and double-crosses unfolds as the story races through auction houses, museums, and private galleries -- and the secret places where priceless works of art are made available to collectors who will stop at nothing to satisfy their hearts' desires.

Full of fascinating art-historical detail, crackling dialogue, and a brain-teasing plot, Noah Charney's debut novel is a sophisticated, stylish thriller, as irresistible and multifaceted as a great work of art.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Agnes & the Hitman"

New from St. Martin's Press: Agnes & the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.

About the book, from Bob Mayer's website:

Agnes Crandall, a food columnist better known as Cranky Agnes, is getting ready for the big society wedding that’s going to be held in her back yard when a guy with a gun breaks into her kitchen and tries to kidnap her dog. Agnes accidentally kills him. Shortly after that, a guy with a gun (Shane, just Shane) breaks into her bedroom and tells her he’s there to protect her. Good thing, too, because then things go really badly and it’s pretty much Agnes and Shane against the world, at least the part of it that’s armed and coming for Agnes.
My Book, The Movie: Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer's Agnes and the Hitman.

"American Band"

New from Gotham Books: Kristen Laine's American Band: Music, Dreams, and Coming of Age in the Heartland.

About the book, from the author's website:

A portrait of life in the nation’s heartland as seen through the lens of a unique American ritual.

Every fall, high school marching bands take to the field. For millions of teenagers, the experience is more than a show. It’s a rite of passage — a first foray into leadership and adult responsibility, and a chance to learn what it means to be part of a community.

Part documentary, part coming-of-age story, American Band describes the lives inside one of the best of those bands. In the final year of a legendary director’s career, amid conflicting notions of greatness, the band marches through a season that starts in hope and promise, progresses through uncertainty and disappointment, and ends, ultimately, in redemption.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"God of Luck"

New from Soho Press: Ruthanne Lum McCunn's God of Luck.

About the book, from the author's website:

Ah Lung and his beloved wife, Bo See, are separated by a cruel fate when, like thousands of other Chinese men in the nineteenth century, he is kidnapped, enslaved, and sent to the deadly guano mines off the shore of Peru. Praying to the God of Luck and using their own ingenuity, the couple never loses hope of some day being reunited.

"With God of Luck, Ruthanne Lum McCunn has turned her descriptive and sensitive storytelling skills to the little known coolie trade to Peru. She beautifully combines the hardships and brutality of the kidnapping of a Chinese man, conditions on the slave ships, and the bitterness of back-breaking labor in a foreign land with the sadness and determination of a wife and family back home. Never separating history from its impact on individual people, McCunn has reached into her characters' hearts to bring readers a story of emotional depth and truth."
--Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

"An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: Brock Clarke's An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England.

About the book, from the official website:

“I, Sam Pulsifer, would like you to know that I take full responsibility for burning down the home of Emily Dickinson. However, I cannot take credit for the other literary blazes that were inspired by mine. At least, I don't think I can.”

As a teenager, it was never Sam Pulsifer’s intention to torch an American landmark. He certainly never planned to kill two people in the blaze. To this day, he still wonders why that young couple was upstairs in bed in the Emily Dickinson house after hours.

After serving ten years in prison for his crime, Sam is determined to put the past behind him. He finishes college, begins a career, falls in love, gets married, has two adorable kids, and buys a nice home. His low-profile life is chugging along quite nicely until the past comes crashing through his front door.

As the homes of Robert Frost, Edith Wharton, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and even a replica of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond go up in smoke, Sam becomes the number one suspect. Finding the real culprit is the only way to clear his name — but sometimes there’s a terrible price to pay for the truth.

An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England is a literary tour de force — a brilliant skewering of every memoir every written and a novel that will have readers underlining their favorite passages and reading them aloud.

The Page 99 Test: An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"The Devil, The Lovers & Me"

New from Dutton: Kimberlee Auerbach's The Devil, The Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot.

About the book, from the author's website:

An irresistible memoir for anyone who's ever wondered what's coming next...

Kimberlee Auerbach has tried everything. She's been in therapy. She's seen a Reiki Master. She's even given hypnosis a try. Nobody can give her what she wants... to know her future is going to be bright, that everything will be okay. So she makes an appointment with Iris Goldblatt, "tarot card reader and mirror of the soul." Instead of predicting the future, each card sparks a memory: like the time Kimberlee tried to be wild, and caught crabs from an Argentine painter; or the night her father "proposed" at Morton's Steakhouse (presenting her with an engagement ring for her boyfriend to use); or the moment Kimberlee found the strength to kick out her freeloading ex. In a Wizard of Oz-like twist of fate, Kimberlee realizes she had the answers all along-that's it's not about looking to the future, it's about trusting yourself along the way.

Exuberantly alive and refreshingly candid, The Devil, The Lovers & Me, will take you on a journey down one woman's path, only to reflect yours back. You, too, will see yourself in the cards ... The Devil, The Lovers, even the Fool.
Check out Auerbach's list of "five books I'm head-over-heels in love with."


New from Bleak House Books: Steve Brewer's Cutthroat.

About the book, from the author's website:

Solomon Gage is a "troubleshooter" for billionaire Dominick Sheffield and his family, handling the shadier aspects of their international business, along with assorted interpersonal problems. When fetching third-generation Sheffield Abby Maynes from an Oakland crackhouse, Solomon is subjected to her drug-fueled mumblings, and hears something he shouldn't have. Always vigilant and fiercely loyal to Dominick, Solomon asks around about the "Africa deal." Turns out the Sheffield sons are involved in some dirty dealings in an effort to gain a stranglehold on the global urnium market.

Solomon's troubles only increase when he can't convince his boss of the boys' scheming, and African mercenaries arrive in San Francisco to protect the interests of the Nigerian government.

Monday, September 17, 2007

"Chicago Blues"

Coming in October from Bleak House Books: Chicago Blues, edited by Libby Fischer Hellmann.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nobody does Blues like Chicago. This collection of dark stories, from today’s best Chicago crime fiction authors, captures the depths to which people sink when they run out of options. The emptiness and pain spawned by greed. The violence — or occasionally, the bittersweet redemption — that springs from a broken heart.

The writers who live and breathe in Chicago make Chicago live and breathe in this stunning collection. Contributors include Sara Paretsky, Stuart Kaminsky, Barbara D’Amato, Max Allan Collins, Marcus Sakey, Sean Chercover, Michael Black, JA Konrath, Libby Fischer Hellmann, and others. With an introduction by Rick Kogan.

"The Big Con"

New from Houghton Mifflin: The Big Con: The True Story of How Washington Got Hoodwinked and Hijacked by Crackpot Economics by Jonathan Chait.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brilliantly revealing look at how a small group of economic hucksters have taken over the American political system and perverted our nation’s policies.

American politics has been hijacked. Not by “neocons” or “theocons,” but by a fringe group of economic extremists obsessed with radical ideas that favor no one but themselves and their business interests. With dark and engaging wit, Jonathan Chait shows how over the last three decades these canny zealots have gamed the political system and the media so that once unthinkable policies — without a shred of academic, expert, or even popular support — now drive the American agenda, regardless of which party is in power.

Why have these ideas succeeded in Washington? How did a subset of fringe radicals take control of American policy and sell short the country’s future? And how do they continue to do so despite repeated electoral setbacks? Chait tells the outrageous and eye-opening story, expertly explaining just how politics and economics work in Washington. Through vivid portraits of self-interested politicians and pseudo-economists, and in wry analysis of their bogus theories, Chait gives us the tools to understand what’s really behind economic policy debates in Washington: a riveting drama of greed and deceit.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"The Girl with Braided Hair"

New from Berkley Publishing Group: Margaret Coel's The Girl with Braided Hair.

About the book, from the author's website:

The skeleton of a young woman is discovered in a dry gully on the Wind River Reservation. Remnants of a long, black braid are mixed with the bones. There is a bullet hole in the skull. Forensics determine the woman was shot-to-death in 1973.

1973, the year of AIM. The American Indian Movement had occupied the town of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Afterward, Indians under federal indictment had gone into hiding on other reservations, including Wind River. A year of fear and violence, when no one could be trusted, when anyone might be an FBI snitch.

Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley are determined to find the identity of the forgotten woman and see that she is laid to rest in the traditional Arapaho Way. Their search leads them into the 1970s and the dark underbelly of an organization that had spoken out on behalf of Indian rights. They soon run into a wall of silence. No one wants to talk about a time when many crimes, including murder, went unsolved. No one wants to admit the part they may have played, or the guilt they may still carry. No one wants to remember a young woman accused of being a snitch.

As the life and death of the woman begin to come into view, Vicky and Father John realize that the killer who has gotten away with murder for more than thirty years is still on the reservation and that they are about to be his next victims.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"Night Work"

New from from St. Martin's Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Steve Hamilton's Night Work.

About the book, from the author's website:

Joe Trumbull is not a man who scares easily. As a juvenile probation officer in Kingston, New York, he’s half cop, half social worker to the most high-risk youth in the city. And when he’s not pounding the streets, trying to keep his kids out of jail, he’s pounding a heavy bag in the gym to stay in shape.

But tonight Joe Trumbull is scared to death.

It’s been two years since his fiancée, Laurel, was brutally murdered. Two years of grief and loneliness. On this hot summer night, he’s finally going out on a blind date, his first date since Laurel’s death. He’s not looking for love, just testing the waters to see if it’s possible to live a normal life again. The thought of it is turning his knees to jelly.

Marlene Frost is a beautiful woman. She’s warm and funny, with a smile to match. After the first awkward minutes, Joe finally starts to think this isn’t such a bad idea after all. In fact, maybe this blind date will turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to him.

He couldn’t be more wrong. Because somehow, for reasons Joe can barely understand, this one evening will mark the beginning of a new nightmare. A nightmare that will lead him to the faceless man in the shadows, and to the most terrible realization of all...

For Joe Trumbull, the past is never past. And the worst is yet to come.

"Nothing to See Here"

New from Beckham Publication Group: Nothing to See Here by David L. Post.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nothing to See Here by David Post chronicles one man’s descent into the world of borderline psychosis, mimicking with increasing fury the delusional world of his own patients. This devastating portrait of a cocky, successful psychiatrist who goes off the deep end will leave you gasping for breath. The shocking final scenes of the novel are tautly written, utterly gripping and shot through with psychological insight. David Post has created a modern tragedy such as Shakespeare or Sophocles would write if they lived in the suburbs of 21st-century Boston.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"The Shock Doctrine"

New from Henry Holt and Metropolitan Books: Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.

About the book, from the publisher:

The bestselling author of No Logo shows how the global “free market” has exploited crises and shock for three decades, from Chile to Iraq

In her groundbreaking reporting over the past few years, Naomi Klein introduced the term “disaster capitalism.” Whether covering Baghdad after the U.S. occupation, Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami, or New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed something remarkably similar. People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic “shock treatment,” losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers.

The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman’s free market economic revolution. In contrast to the popular myth of this movement’s peaceful global victory, Klein shows how it has exploited moments of shock and extreme violence in order to implement its economic policies in so many parts of the world from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia, and Iraq.

At the core of disaster capitalism is the use of cataclysmic events to advance radical privatization combined with the privatization of the disaster response itself. Klein argues that by capitalizing on crises, created by nature or war, the disaster capitalism complex now exists as a booming new economy, and is the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for fifty years.

"A Grave Breach"

Coming soon from Oceanview Publishing: A Grave Breach by James Macomber.

About the book, from the publisher:

John Cann could never defend a war criminal – especially one he’s seen engaged in horrendous acts. But when Arthur Matsen, a trusted friend, mentor and colleague needs his help, Cann must make an impossible choice.

Forced to find the blurred boundaries between blind trust and what is seen, Cann is haunted by thoughts of Janie Reston, a young college girl savagely brutalized and left for dead all because of her connection to him.

As Cann is consumed with complex legal and ethical issues, Janie is in grave danger. Will she fall prey to an unscrupulous psychiatrist intent on exploiting her horrific ordeal to further his own misguided theories of repressed memory?

In the dark places where past, present and future collide, memory has both the power to transform – and destroy.

Deeply textured, remarkably intense and resplendent with rich historical detail, A Grave Breach brims with raw emotion. With exquisite characters and a plot that moves deftly through time and place, A Grave Breach shines in its powerful portrayal of heroism, memory, loyalty and sacrifice.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"Beans: A History"

New from Berg Publishers: Beans: A History by Ken Albala.

About the book, from the publisher:

This is the story of the bean, the staple food cultivated by humans for over 10,000 years. From the lentil to the soybean, every civilization on the planet has cultivated its own species of bean.

The humble bean has always attracted attention - from Pythagoras' notion that the bean hosted a human soul to St. Jerome's indictment against bean-eating in convents (because they "tickle the genitals"), to current research into the deadly toxins contained in the most commonly eaten beans.

Over time, the bean has been both scorned as "poor man's meat" and praised as health-giving, even patriotic. Attitudes to this most basic of foodstuffs have always revealed a great deal about a society.

Beans: A History takes the reader on a fascinating journey across cuisines and cultures.

"Noble Lies"

New this month from Poisoned Pen Press: Charles Benoit's Noble Lies.

About the book, from the author's website:

For Mark Rohr, a decorated Desert Storm vet, the last ten years have been filled with shady jobs and countless misadventures around the globe, the low point being his current stint as a bouncer at a nameless whorehouse bar in Thailand. When the beautiful and naïve Robin Antonucci arrives from the States and hires him to help find Shawn, her brother missing since the tsunami, Mark sees the chance to make some easy money. Guide her around until she gets bored or until the money runs out and she heads home. Simple.

But what should be an easy job in a tropical paradise quickly sours when they meet Pim, the stunning Thai prostitute who claims to be Shawn’s wife. Within hours two men are dead and Jarin, southern Thailand’s most notorious gangster, wants Mark to pay. Getting away alone would be difficult. Getting away with Robin and Pim, plus an old man and a small boy – the only members of Pim’s family to survive the tsunami – might prove impossible.

With nowhere to hide and no idea where they are heading, they set off around the Thai coast, racing through beach resorts and remote villages, staying one step ahead of Jarin’s men as they all move closer to finding the truth about Shawn.
Watch the video trailer for Noble Lies at Charles Benoit's website.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

"Southern Fatality"

New from from St. Martin's Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: T. Lynn Ocean's Southern Fatality.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jersey Barnes thinks she has retired from a risk-filled career as a private security specialist. A sexy, hard-hitting brunette, she’s ready to enjoy her newfound free time and is looking forward to leaving home without a weapon.

But when her boyfriend asks her for a simple favor, she can’t turn him down. What should be a routine surveillance job lands Jersey smack-dab in the middle of a high-stakes cover-up, a double kidnapping, and a scheme that may steal millions of dollars from hard-working Americans.

With input from her business partner, Ox (a Lumbee Indian whose savory looks she can’t quite ignore), a comedic group of her aging father’s poker buddies, a computer hacker named Soup, and a faithful dog, Jersey sets out to prevent what might be the cyber crime of the century

In Southern Fatality, T. Lynn Ocean serves up an action-packed, sun-soaked adventure set in the historic port city of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


New from Pantheon: David Plante's ABC.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the critically acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels comes a luminous and haunting story about grief and obsession, and about the need for meaning at the center of all of out lives.

In ABC’s unforgettable opening scene, Gerard, Peggy, and their 6-year-old son Harry are canoeing in a New Hampshire cove and come upon an abandoned wreck of a house they have observed for years but never entered. When Harry presses his parents to let him go and explore, Gerard follows him in and watches in horror as a freak accident he is powerless to stop unfolds before him, and a summer family idyll becomes, in an incalculable instant, the beginning of unbearable anguish.

Moments before Harry died, Gerard had picked up a crumpled piece of paper with letters of an unknown alphabet, which he later learns is Sanskrit. In the weeks following the accident he becomes obsessed with the origins of Indo-European alphabets, his fascination growing as boundless as his grief -- and soon taking its place. Now, in pursuit of the story of the alphabet, he leaves his home, Peggy, his teaching job, and bands together with other grief-stricken “abecedarians” who believe that the alphabet as we know it had in its origins a meaning they are intent on uncovering. Their quest takes them to England, Greece, and finally, to an ancient site in the Syrian desert where the alphabet was incised on clay tablets some 4000 years ago. Yet what Gerard seeks is something beyond historical knowledge, and his journey itself has a meaning only revealed to him at its end.

A signally original and radiant novel, ABC illuminates the mysteries human life is full of, both in its horror and its joy.

"Second Shot"

New this month from St. Martin's Minotaur/Dunne: Zoë Sharp's Second Shot.

About the book, from the author's website:

'Take it from me, getting yourself shot hurts like hell.'

When the latest assignment of ex-Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard, Charlie Fox, ends in a bloody shoot-out in a frozen forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, she's left fighting for her life, with her client dead.

Simone had just become a lottery millionairess but she never lived long enough to enjoy her newfound riches. Charlie was supposed to be keeping Simone's troublesome ex-boyfriend at bay and accompanying her on a trip to New England to track down the father Simone had never really known. A relatively low-risk job.

But Simone's former SAS father has secrets in his past that are about to come back and haunt him, and the arrival of his long-lost daughter may be the catalyst that blows his whole world apart. Was the prospect of getting hold of Simone's money tempting enough to make him engineer her death? And what happens now to Simone's baby daughter, Ella?

With Simone gone, Ella's safety becomes Charlie's main concern. She's determined, despite her injuries, not to let anything happen to the child. But the closer Charlie gets to the truth, the bigger threat she becomes. Only, this time she's in no fit state to protect anyone, least of all herself....

Monday, September 10, 2007

"The Jihad Next Door"

New from PublicAffairs Books: The Jihad Next Door: The Lackawanna Six and Rough Justice in an Age of Terror by Dina Temple-Raston.

About the book, from the publisher:

The acclaimed author of A Death in Texas tells the riveting, morally complex story of a group of young Yemeni-American men from an upstate New York steel town who may, or may not, have been America's first "sleeper cell"

They called themselves the Arabian Knights. They were six Yemeni-American friends, a gang of high-school soccer stars, a band of brothers on the grim side streets of Lackawanna's First Ward, just a stone's throw from Buffalo.

Later, people would argue about why they left western New York in the spring of 2001 to attend an al-Qaeda camp. Some said they traveled to Afghanistan to become America's first sleeper cell — terrorists slumbering while they awaited orders from on high. Others said that their ill-fated trip was a lark, an adventurous extension of their youthful wrestling with what it meant to be Muslim in America.

Dina Temple-Raston returns to Lackawanna to tell the story of a group of young men — born and brought up in small town America — who left otherwise unremarkable lives to attend an al-Qaeda camp. Though they sought to quietly slip back into their roles as middle class Americans, the 9/11 attacks made that impossible.

The Jihad Next Door is the story of pre-emptive justice in the age of terror. It follows a handful of ordinary men through an extraordinary time when Muslims in America are often instantly suspect, their actions often viewed through the most sinister lens.

"The Spanish Bow"

New this month from Harcourt: The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax.

About the book, from the author's website:

In a dusty, turn-of-the-century Catalan village, the bequest of a cello bow sets young Feliu Delargo on the unlikely path of becoming a musician. Anarchist Barcelona and the court of the embattled monarchy in Madrid teach him his first serious lessons in creativity, principle, and passion — and their consequences. When he meets up with the charming and eccentric piano prodigy Justo Al-Cerraz, their lifelong friendship and rivalry orchestrate a tumultuous course for them both. Over the span of half a century of creative struggle and international turmoil that sees them paying house calls on Picasso one year and being courted by dictators the next, they make glorious music together, and clash over virtually everything else: love, politics, and the purpose of art. When the tensions propelling a war-torn world toward catastrophe bring Aviva, an Italian violinist with a haunted past, into their lives, Feliu and Justo embark upon their final and most dangerous collaboration.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

"The First Wave"

New from Soho Press: The First Wave by James R. Benn.

About the book, from the author's website:

The pursuit of truth in wartime is never as dangerous as when it forces a choice between the greater good and the life of a loved one. For Lt. Billy Boyle, that choice is as hard as the unforgiving rocky landscape of Algeria where the American Army receives its baptism of fire in the Second World War. A headquarters staff officer serving with General Eisenhower, Billy finds himself in the lead landing craft of the invasion of French Northwest Africa on a wet November morning in 1942. Having wished for a safe desk job, Billy finds that his police background and family connections have instead landed him in the role of Special Investigator charged with looking into low crimes in high places for his “Uncle Ike”. With one mission already under his belt, Billy finds himself in the vanguard of the first invasion of the war and rapidly entangled in French politics as Allied forces attempt to ready themselves for Rommel’s vaunted Afrika Korps. When corpses begin to appear before the Germans have even appeared, Billy is put on the case to find out if the cause is enemy action, or plain old-fashioned greed. Torn between solving this case and finding the missing Diana Seaton, a British spy held by renegade French fascists, Billy seeks a way to deal with both, hoping that “some Frenchie doesn’t put a bullet in my head before I give the Germans and Italians their chance at it.”

The First Wave is a novel about the ultimate choice that war can force on an individual, and how one man struggles to make that choice an honorable one. Billy Boyle tells his story in his unique voice, a reluctant hero slowly coming to grips the moral and physical minefields of the Second World War.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

"Bad Thoughts"

Published in July by Gale/Five Star: Bad Thoughts by Dave Zeltserman.

About the book, from the publisher:

When he was thirteen years old, Billy Shannon came home from school one day to find his mother being murdered in their California home. Dying slowly of asphyxia, she drowned in her own blood. Twenty years pass, and Bill Shannon is a cop in Cambridge, Massachusetts, living with his wife, Susie and trying to get a handle on the nightmares that have plagued him for most of his adult life. Every year, as the anniversary of his mother's death approaches, the nightmares of his mother's killer get progressively worse until the blackouts come, and then Shannon disappears to return home days later without a clue of what he has done while gone. The twentieth anniversary of his mother's death is quickly approaching and Shannon desperately needs to figure out what he has been doing during his black outs, especially since women have started dying in the same grisly manner as his mother. His nightmares are getting worse and the evidence against him is stacking up . . .

Dave Zeltserman's dark short crime fiction has been published in many venues. His first novel, Fast Lane, received numerous praise, including Ken Bruen calling it one of "the most entertaining debuts since Jim Thompson" and Poisoned Pen Bookstore including it as one of their top hardboiled books of the year. Dave lives in the Boston area with his wife, Judy.


Coming soon from the University of Chicago Press: Custerology: The Enduring Legacy of the Indian Wars and George Armstrong Custer by Michael A. Elliott.

About the book
, from the publisher:

On a hot summer day in 1876, George Armstrong Custer led the Seventh Cavalry to the most famous defeat in U.S. military history. Badly outnumbered and exhausted from a day of forced marches, Custer’s forces were quickly overwhelmed by warriors from the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes. The Seventh Cavalry lost more than half of the 400 men who rode into the Indian camp, and every soldier under Custer’s direct command was killed.

It’s easy to understand why this tremendous defeat shocked the American public at the time. But with Custerology, Michael A. Elliott tackles the far more complicated question of why the battle retains such power for Americans today. Weaving vivid historical accounts of Custer at Little Bighorn with contemporary commemorations that range from battle reenactments to the unfinished Crazy Horse memorial, Elliott reveals a Custer and a West whose legacies are still vigorously contested. He takes readers to each of the important places of Custer’s life, from his Civil War home in Michigan to the site of his famous demise, to show how more than a century later, the legacy of Custer still haunts the American imagination. Along the way, Elliott introduces us to Native American activists, Park Service rangers, and devoted history buffs; draws us into the arcana of Custerology and the back rooms of High Plains bars; and reveals how Custer and the Indian Wars continue to be both a powerful symbol of America’s bloody past and a crucial key to understanding the nation’s multicultural present.

By turns dramatic and meditative, Custerology moves seamlessly between past and present, delivering both a bracing narrative and a potent reminder of why we care so much about history in the first place.
Read an excerpt from Custerology.

Friday, September 7, 2007


New from Pegasus Books: Hitman by Parnell Hall.

About the book, from the author's website:

Stanley Hastings, the world's most reluctant private eye, is a failed actor/writer, who chases ambulances for a negligence lawyer in between gigs, which is most of the time. In Hitman, Stanley tries to help a businessman who is being blackmailed for having served time for killing a man in a bar fight.
Read an excerpt from Hitman.

"Head Games"

New this month from Bleak House Books: Craig McDonald's Head Games.

About the book, from the author's website:

In a dusty cantina on the far side of the Rio Grande, larger-than-life and recently widowed crime writer Hector Lassiter and Bud Fiske, a callow young poet sent by True Magazine to profile Hector, are handed a carpet bag. Inside they find the stolen head of Mexican general Francisco "Pancho" Villa — a long missing relic that may point the way to a fortune in lost treasure or a blood-and-thunder death...

In the dank, hallowed halls of Yale University creep the members of the Skull & Bones, a secret society shrouded in whispers. They are a fraternity whose members include media barons, ueber executives and politicians, including three generations of men called Bush — and their sanctum sanctorum's trophy cabinet is purportedly packed with the stolen bones of long-dead luminaries...

In a '57 Bel Air, Hector, Bud, and the beautiful Alicia tear through the desert with a trunk full of human heads. Caught in a crazy crossfire, they lead all manner of headhunters on a breakneck chase across Lost America. U.S. intelligence services, murderous frat boys, the soldier of fortune who stole Pancho's head from its grave, and the specter of a dead Mexican legend all want Villa's head — though they might settle for Hector's...
Visit Craig McDonald's website.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

"Grave Imports"

New this month from Bleak House Books: Eric Stone's Grave Imports.

About the book, from the author's website:

The second in the Ray Sharp series of detective thrillers

A routine investigation into a Chinese art supplies company unearths a smuggling ring. The trail leads through a warehouse filled with looted antiquities in the boomtown of Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong; to the lair of a vicious ex-South Vietnamese general now living in Thailand; and finally to the murderous Khmer Rouge in the ancient temples and more recent killing fields of Cambodia. Based on the sordid facts of the illegal trade in stolen Cambodian art, Grave Imports is a hotpot of high adventure in exotic locales, fascinating characters, international commerce, terrible crime and one mixed-up, reluctant hero trying to shed light into some of the darkest corners of Asia.

"Songs without Words"

New from Knopf: Ann Packer's Songs without Words.

About the book, from the cover:

Ann Packer’s debut novel The Dive from Clausen’s Pier was a nationwide best seller that established her as one of our most gifted chroniclers of the interior lives of women. Now, in her long-awaited second novel, she takes us on a journey into a lifelong friendship pushed to the breaking point. Expertly, with the keen introspection and psychological nuance that are her hallmarks, she explores what happens when there are inequities between friends, and when the hard won balances of a long relationship are disturbed, perhaps irreparably, by a harrowing crisis.

Liz and Sarabeth were childhood neighbors in the suburbs of northern California, brought as close as sisters by the suicide of Sarabeth’s mother when the girls were just sixteen. In the decades that followed — through Liz’s marriage and the birth of her children, through Sarabeth’s attempts to make a happy life for herself despite the shadow cast by her mother’s act — their relationship remained a source of continuity and strength. But when Liz’s adolescent daughter enters dangerous waters that threaten to engulf the family, the fault lines in the women’s friendship are revealed, and both Liz and Sarabeth are forced to reexamine their most deeply held beliefs about their connection. Songs Without Words is about the sometimes confining roles we take on in our closest relationships, about the familial myths that shape us both as children and as parents, and about the limits — and the power — of the friendships we create when we are young.

Once again, Ann Packer has written a novel of singular force and complexity: thoughtful, moving, and absolutely gripping, it more than confirms her prodigious literary gifts.

Visit Ann Packer's website.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"King's Gambit"

New from Hyperion: Paul Hoffman's King's Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game.

About the book, from the publisher:

As a child, Paul Hoffman lost himself in chess. The award-winning author of the international bestseller The Man Who Loved Only Numbers played to escape the dissolution of his parents’ marriage, happily passing weekends with his brilliant bohemian father in New York’s Greenwich Village, the epicenter of American chess. But he soon learned that such single-minded focus came at a steep price, as the pressure of competition drove him to the edge of madness.

As an adolescent, Hoffman loved the artistic purity of the game -- and the euphoria he felt after a hard-fought victory -- but he was disturbed by the ugly brutality and deceptive impulses that tournament chess invariably brought out in his opponents and in himself. Plagued by strange dreams in which attractive women moved like knights and sinister men like bishops, he finally gave up the game entirely in college, for the next twenty-five years.

In King’s Gambit, Hoffman interweaves gripping tales from the history of the game and revealing portraits of contemporary chess geniuses into the emotionally charged story of his own recent attempt to get back into tournament chess as an adult -- this time without losing his mind or his humanity. All the while, he grapples with the bizarre, confusing legacy of his own father, who haunts Hoffman’s game and life.

In this insider’s look at the obsessive subculture of championship chess, the critically acclaimed author applies the techniques that garnered his earlier work such lavish praise -- the novelistic storytelling and the keen insights -- to his own life and the eccentric, often mysterious lives of the chess pros he knew and has come to know. Intimate, surprising, and often humorous, it’s both Hoffman’s most personal work and his most compelling.

"Tales from the Teachers' Lounge"

New from Delacorte Press: Robert Wilder's Tales from the Teachers' Lounge: An Irreverent View of What It Really Means to Be a Teacher Today.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the critically acclaimed author of Daddy Needs a Drink — hailed by the Los Angeles Times as “consistently hilarious”— comes a series of irreverent, wickedly observant essays about what it really means to be a teacher today. With his trademark wit and wisdom, Robert Wilder dissects the world’s noblest profession — whether he’s taming a classroom full of hormonal teenagers or going one-on-one with the school bully.

Wilder was twenty-six when he found his true calling. Leaving a lucrative advertising career in New York, he got a job as an assistant first-grade teacher at a Santa Fe alternative school — and never looked back. Now he brings his unique perspective — as a teacher, parent, and former student — to a series of laugh-out-loud essays that show teaching at its most absurd…and most rewarding. With brutal candor he chronicles his own lively adventures in modern education, from navigating cutthroat kindergarten sign-ups to subbing for a class experiment gone wrong – and dares to tell about it.

He shares the surprising lessons he’s learned in the trenches of his profession, including how to bribe a four-year-old (his own) to stop swearing in a Lutheran preschool and the best way to teach moody teenagers…manage “helicopter” parents…and cope with bullies — whether of the school-yard, Internet, or parental kind. And he offers tough love for cheaters who log on to, then puts to rest forever the question of why new teachers gain weight (hint: the free donuts don’t help).

In Tales from the Teachers’ Lounge, Robert Wilder charts life’s learning curve with a warmth and humor you don’t find in textbooks. By turns heartwarming, eye-opening, and uproariously funny, these pitch-perfect essays offer priceless lessons in life, family, learning, and teaching from a true lover of education.