Thursday, January 31, 2008


New from Jeremy P. Tarcher: Nerds: Who They Are and Why We Need More of Them by David Anderegg.

About the book, from the publisher:

A lively, thought-provoking book that zeros in on the timely issue of how anti-intellectualism is bad for our children and even worse for America.

Why are our children so terrified to be called "nerds"? And what is the cost of this rising tide of anti-intellectualism to both our children and our nation? In Nerds, family psychotherapist and psychology professor David Anderegg examines why science and engineering have become socially poisonous disciplines, why adults wink at the derision of "nerdy" kids, and what we can do to prepare our children to succeed in an increasingly high-tech world.

Nerds takes a measured look at how we think about and why we should rethink "nerds," examining such topics as: - our anxiety about intense interest in things mechanical or technological;
- the pathologizing of "nerdy" behavior with diagnoses such as Asperger syndrome;
- the cycle of anti-nerd prejudice that took place after the Columbine incident;
- why nerds are almost exclusively an American phenomenon;
- the archetypal struggles of nerds and jocks in American popular culture and history;
- the conformity of adolescents and why adolescent stereotypes linger into adulthood long after we should know better; and nerd cultural markers, particularly science fiction.

Using education research, psychological theory, and interviews with nerdy and non-nerdy kids alike, Anderegg argues that we stand in dire need of turning around the big dumb ship of American society to prepare rising generations to compete in the global marketplace.


New from Berkley Publishing Group: Unpredictable by Eileen Cook.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sophie Kintock isn't crazy, she just wants her guy back. And posing as a psychic to give his new girlfriend a face reading designed to break them up isn't going overboard, is it? Don't answer that.

Faking psychic powers turns out to be easy and fun, especially after a few lessons from Nick, the cute (if a bit nerdy) skeptic, who knows all the tricks of the trade. But her readings do a lot more than she could have predicted, and soon Sophie needs to figure out whether the answers lie in the stars-or in herself.
Visit Eileen Cook's website.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"The Age of Shiva"

New from W.W. Norton: Manil Suri's The Age of Shiva.

About the book, from the publisher:

Following his spectacular debut, The Death of Vishnu, Manil Suri returns with a mesmerizing story of modern India, richly layered with themes from Hindu mythology. The Age of Shiva is at once a powerful story of a country in turmoil and an extraordinary portrait of maternal love.

Meera, the narrator, is seventeen years old when she catches her first glimpse of Dev, performing a song so infused with passion that it arouses in her the first flush of erotic longing. She wonders if she can steal him away from Roopa, her older, more beautiful sister, who has brought her along to see him.

When Meera’s reverie comes true, it does not lead to the fairy-tale marriage she imagined. She escapes her overbearing father only to find herself thrust into the male-dominated landscape of India after independence. Dev’s family is orthodox and domineering, his physical demands oppressive. His brother Arya lusts after her with the same intensity that fuels his right-wing politics. Although Meera develops an unexpected affinity with her sister-in-law Sandhya, the tenderness they share is as heartbreaking as it is fleeting.

It is only when her son is born that Meera begins to imagine a life of fulfillment. She engulfs him with a love so deep, so overpowering, that she must fear its consequences.

Meera's unforgettable story, embodying Shiva as a symbol of religious upheaval, places The Age of Shiva among the most compelling novels to emerge from contemporary India.

"Desert Cut"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Desert Cut by Betty Webb.

About the book, from the publisher:

While scouting locations for a film documentary on the Arizona's Apache Wars, private investigator Lena Jones and Oscar-winning director Warren Quinn, discover the mutilated body of a young girl. The gruesome manner of the child's death evokes memories of Lena’s own rough childhood. Clashing with the local law, Lena's investigation uncovers a small town with a big secret. Los Perdidos is not the Eden it first appears. Founded by the descendants of pioneers who fought Geronimo, the townspeople have now armed themselves against the hordes of illegal immigrants streaming across the Arizona/Mexico border. A significant population of documented foreign-born residents also lives and works in Los Perdedos at a modern plant. Lena senses a sinister force at work in the town — but where? Then two more girls disappear from Los Perdidos, and as the death toll mounts, Lena is tempted to implement some frontier justice of her own. When she finally unmasks the killer, she discovers a chain of horrific crimes responsible for subjugating millions of girls and women around the globe. In Desert Cut, the still vivid memory of Geronimo's war mixes with the modern immigration war, the hard life on the Arizona/Mexico border contrasts with Hollywood's slick production meetings, and the cruelty of an ancient practice is tempered by a growing underground railroad fighting to save its young victims.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

"Money Shot"

New from Hard Case Crime: Money Shot by Christa Faust.

About the book, from the publisher:


It all began with the phone call asking former porn star Angel Dare to do one more movie. Before she knew it, she’d been shot and left for dead in the trunk of a car. But Angel is a survivor. And that means she’ll get to the bottom of what’s been done to her even if she has to leave a trail of bodies along the way...
Read a sample chapter from Money Shot.

Visit Christa Faust's website and her blog.

My Book, The Movie: Christa Faust's Hoodtown.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 28, 2008


Coming soon from St. Martin's Minotaur: Brian Freeman's Stalked.

About the novel, from the author's website:


Lieutenant Jonathan Stride knows his partner Maggie Bei is in trouble when she reports a deadly crime on a bitter winter night. She's obviously hiding a terrible secret. And her silence only feeds suspicion.

Maggie isn't the only one keeping secrets in Duluth. A seductive young woman has disappeared, leaving behind a stash of lurid fantasies and a cryptic message. I know who it is.

Following a twisted trail, Stride uncovers a sordid web of violence and voyeurism that someone is willing to kill to keep hidden. Stride isn't alone. His lover Serena Dial – a homicide cop turned private investigator – is chasing a blackmailer who knows all the city's dirty secrets. Even Maggie's.

But as Stride and Serena hunt for a killer, a predator with a vicious past is hunting them – with a terrifying plan for revenge. Now every step they take to expose the truth brings them closer to a showdown amid the howling winds of a winter storm. Where survival in the blinding snow is measured in seconds. Where crimes can be buried forever.
Read an excerpt from Stalked.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"God Save the Fan"

New from Harper: God Save the Fan: How Preening Sportscasters, Athletes Who Speak in the Third Person, and the Occasional Convicted Quarterback Have Taken the Fun Out of Sports (And How We Can Get It Back) by Will Leitch.

About the book, from the publisher:

ESPN thinks its viewers are stupid. The Olympics claw at your inner sap. Barbaro, after all, was just a horse. So says Will Leitch, founding editor of, whose God Save the Fan is your new manifesto.

Arch and unrepentant, Leitch is the mouthpiece for all the frustrated fans who just want their games back from big money, bloated egos, and blathering sportscasters. Always a fan first and a journalist second, Leitch considers the perfection of fantasy leagues, the meaninglessness of the steroids debate, and the aching permanence of loyalty to just one team. He'll tell you why, long before that dogfighting mess, Michael Vick's undercover STD clinic name was Ron Mexico; why athletes persist in publicly praising God; and what the beer companies really think about you. Share Leitch's dread as he spends twenty-four hours watching ESPN. Sit and have a beer with John Rocker and his surprising girlfriend. Be inspired by Rick Ankiel's phoenixlike rise, and fall.

With a voice strengthened by the success of Deadspin and its chorus of commenters, Leitch has written all-new material for God Save the Fan. If you or a fan you love is suffering from the sense of listless dissatisfaction brought on by the leagues and networks, this is your restorative tonic. Packed with lists, glossaries, confessions, and rages, Leitch's manifesto sings a rallying cry for fan empowerment. The games, after all, belong to us.

"The Risk of Infidelity Index"

New from Atlantic Monthly Press: The Risk of Infidelity Index by Christopher G. Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the nearly twenty years he has lived in Bangkok, Christopher G. Moore has written nine novels starring Vincent Calvino, a disbarred American lawyer working as a P.I. in the dark and steamy Thai capital. Internationally acclaimed, the prize-winning novels have been translated into ten languages. With The Risk of Infidelity Index, the wonderful series will finally be launched in North America.

When his surveillance of a major drug piracy ring ends in definitive video evidence, it looks like Calvino’s fortunes are about to turn. The money from the job will be enough to buy out the massage parlor downstairs and restore some dignity to his place of marginal employment. But when the client dies of a heart attack and Calvino finds the body of a murdered massage girl downstairs, the authorities get suspicious of the farang who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. To make matters worse, with the dead man unable to pay, Calvino is desperate and forced to take on a job he doesn’t want.

Calvino’s new clients are three expat housewives who want him to trail their spouses. Having read “The Risk of Infidelity Index,” a guide that ranks Bangkok as the city where husbands are most likely to stray, they are rattled, haunted by the idea of their men in the bars on Patpong and Soi Cowboy. Unfortunately for Calvino, jealous wives tend to be unhappy, regardless of the results, and drug pirates aren’t the type to play nice.

Featuring a brilliant cast of characters including a wealthy Thai celebrity protected by important political connections, a lawyer with a perfect memory, a Shakespeare-quoting police colonel, and Calvino’s loyal assistant, Ratana, and set in a superbly textured, masterfully realized Bangkok, The Risk of Infidelity Index is a thrilling read and the North American debut of an important name in literary crime fiction.
Visit Christopher G. Moore's website.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

"The Bloody Shirt"

New from Viking Books: The Bloody Shirt: Terror After Appomattox by Stephen Budiansky.

About the book, from the publisher:

An intimate and gripping look at terrorist violence during the Reconstruction era

Between 1867, when the defeated South was forced to establish new state governments that fully represented both black and white citizens, and 1877, when the last of these governments was overthrown, more than three thousand African Americans and their white allies were killed by terrorist violence. That violence was spread by roving vigilantes connected only by ideology, and by the hateful invective printed in widely read newspapers and pamphlets. Amid all the chaos, however, some men and women struggled to establish a “New South” in which former slaves would have new rights and a new prosperity would be shared by all. In his vivid, fast-paced narrative of the era now known as Reconstruction, Stephen Budiansky illuminates the lives of five remarkable men — two Union officers, a Confederate general, a Northern entrepreneur, and a former slave — whose idealism in the face of overwhelming hatred would not be matched for nearly a century. The Bloody Shirt is a story of violence, racism, division, and heroism that sheds new light on a crucial time in America’s history.
Visit Stephen Budiansky's website.

Friday, January 25, 2008

"The Big Switch"

New from W. W. Norton: The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr.

About the book, from the author's website:

His last book shook up the high-tech industry. Now, Nicholas Carr is back with The Big Switch, a sweeping and often disturbing look at how a new computer revolution is reshaping business, society and culture.

A hundred years ago, companies stopped generating their own power with steam engines and dynamos and plugged into the newly built electric grid. The cheap power pumped out by electric utilities didn’t just change how businesses operate. It set off a chain reaction of economic and social transformations that brought the modern world into existence. Today, a similar revolution is under way. Hooked up to the Internet’s global computing grid, massive information-processing plants have begun pumping data and software code into our homes and businesses. This time, it’s computing that’s turning into a utility.

The shift is already remaking the computer industry, bringing new competitors like Google and to the fore and threatening stalwarts like Microsoft and Dell. But the effects will reach much further. Cheap, utility-supplied computing will ultimately change society as profoundly as cheap electricity did. We can already see the early effects — in the shift of control over media from institutions to individuals, in debates over the value of privacy, in the export of the jobs of knowledge workers, even in the growing concentration of wealth. As information utilities expand, the changes will only broaden, and their pace will only accelerate.

Nicholas Carr is the ideal guide to explain this historic upheaval. Writing in a lucid, engaging style, he weaves together history, economics and technology to describe how and why computers are changing — and what it means for all of us. From the software business to the newspaper business, from job creation to community formation, from national defense to personal identity, The Big Switch provides a panoramic view of the new world being conjured from the circuits of the “World Wide Computer.”

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"The Perfect Scent"

Coming in February from Henry Holt: The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York by Chandler Burr.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the New York Times perfume critic, a stylish, fascinating, unprecedented insider’s view of an industry and its charismatic characters

No journalist has ever been allowed into the ultrasecretive, highly pressured process of originating a perfume. But Chandler Burr, the New York Times perfume critic, spent a year behind the scenes observing the creation of two major fragrances. Now, writing with wit and elegance, he juxtaposes the stories of the perfumes — one created by a Frenchman in Paris for an exclusive luxury-goods house, the other made in New York by actress Sarah Jessica Parker and Coty, Inc., a giant international corporation. We follow Coty’s mating of star power to the marketing of perfume, watching Sex and the City’s Parker heading a hugely expensive campaign to launch a scent into the overcrowded celebrity market. Will she match the success of Jennifer Lopez? Does she have the international fan base to drive worldwide sales?

In Paris at the elegant Hermès, we see Jean Claude Ellena, his company’s new head perfumer, given a challenge: he must create a scent to resuscitate Hermès’s perfume business and challenge le monstre of the industry, bestselling Chanel No. 5. Will his pilgrimage to a garden on the Nile supply the inspiration he needs? The answer lies in Burr’s informative and mesmerizing portrait of some of the extraordinary personalities who envision, design, create, and launch the perfumes that drive their billion-dollar industry.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Naming the World"

New from Random House: Naming the World: And Other Exercises for the Creative Writer, edited by Bret Anthony Johnston.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

You already have the tools to become a gifted writer; what you need is the spark. Harvard creative writing professor and acclaimed author Bret Anthony Johnston brings you an irresistible interactive guide to the craft of narrative writing. From developing characters to building conflict, from mastering dialogue to setting the scene, Naming the World jump-starts your creativity with inspiring exercises that will have you scrambling for pen and paper. Every chapter is a master class with the country’s most eminent authors, renowned editors, and dedicated teachers.

• Infuse emotion into your fiction with three key strategies from Margot Livesey.
• Christopher Castellani dumps the “write what you know” maxim and challenges you to really delve into the imagination.
• A point-of-view drill from Susan Straight can be just the breakthrough you need to flesh out your story.
• Jewell Parker Rhodes shares how good dialogue is not just about what is being said but about what is being left unsaid.

Brimming with imaginative springboards and hands-on exercises, Naming the World has everything you need to become a stronger, more inventive writer.

"The Eye of Jade"

Coming soon from Simon & Schuster: The Eye of Jade: A Mei Wang Mystery by Diane Wei Liang.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Having her own detective agency would give her
the independence she had always longed for. It
would also give her the chance to show those people
who shunned her that she could be successful. People
were getting rich. They owned property, money,
business, and cars. With new freedom and opportunities
came new crimes. There would be much that
she could do."

Present day, Beijing. Mei Wang is a modern, independent woman. She has her own apartment. She owns a car. She has her own business with that most modern of commodities -- a male secretary. Her short career with China's prestigious Ministry for Public Security has given her intimate insight into the complicated and arbitrary world of Beijing's law enforcement. But it is her intuition, curiosity, and her uncanny knack for listening to things said -- and unsaid -- that make Mei Beijing's first successful female private investigator.

Mei is no stranger to the dark side of China. She was six years old when she last saw her father behind the wire fence of one of Mao's remote labor camps. Perhaps as a result, Mei eschews the power plays and cultural mores -- guanxi -- her sister and mother live by...for better and for worse.

Mei's family friend "Uncle" Chen hires her to find a Han dynasty jade of great value: he believes the piece was looted from the Luoyang Museum during the Cultural Revolution -- when the Red Guards swarmed the streets, destroying so many traces of the past -- and that it's currently for sale on the black market. The hunt for the eye of jade leads Mei through banquet halls and back alleys, seedy gambling dens and cheap noodle bars near the Forbidden City. Given the jade's provenance and its journey, Mei knows to treat the investigation as a most delicate matter; she cannot know, however, that this case will force her to delve not only into China's brutal history, but also into her family's dark secrets and into her own tragic separation from the man she loved in equal parts.

The first novel in an exhilarating new detective series, The Eye of Jade is both a thrilling mystery and a sensual and fascinating journey through modern China.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"The Betrayal Game"

New from Bantam Books: The Betrayal Game by David L. Robbins.

About the book, from the publisher:

The breathtaking new thriller by suspense master David L. Robbins of a conspiracy so explosive, it could only be told as fiction. You know only half the story. Now the other half will blow you away.

Can one man make history — and can another change it with a single bullet? It was a question that Professor Mikhal Lammeck had devoted his life to answering. An expert on history’s great political assassinations, he’s come to Havana in the spring of 1961 to seek the answer firsthand. For the more he sees of Cuba’s charismatic revolutionary leader, Fidel Castro, the more he’s convinced that he’s witnessing that rarest anomaly: the man who can change history … and who therefore must be murdered.

The wild CIA plots, the treacherous double crosses, the near- miraculous escapes, are already legendary, but it seems as if Castro’s number is finally up. With a massive U.S.-backed invasion of the island looming, a trap has been set that not even Castro can escape. The players of this deadly assassination game are as varied as they are lethal — organized-crime figures, CIA agents, the Cuban underground, even a reclusive American billionaire. And now, perhaps most unlikely of all, a distinguished history professor.

Mikhal Lammeck is thrust dead-center between a Cuban secret-police captain and a chillingly amoral American CIA agent. It’s a devil’s bargain, one that Lammeck has no choice but to accept, and it will give him unprecedented access to the secret history of one of the twentieth century’s greatest coups. Lammeck suddenly finds himself no longer only studying history, but making it. He soon becomes the unwilling mentor of a young man who’s arrived in Cuba — a confused marine sharpshooter determined to become the century’s most infamous assassin.

Seamlessly blending history and fiction into an electrifying page-turner, The Betrayal Game is that rarest of all thrillers — a novel so vividly real, it might very well be true.
Visit David L. Robbins' website.

Monday, January 21, 2008

"Your Inner Fish"

New from Pantheon Books: Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body by Neil Shubin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why do we look the way we do? What does the human hand have in common with the wing of a fly? Are breasts, sweat glands, and scales connected in some way? To better understand the inner workings of our bodies and to trace the origins of many of today's most common diseases, we have to turn to unexpected sources: worms, flies, and even fish.

Neil Shubin, a leading paleontologist and professor of anatomy who discovered Tiktaalik — the "missing link" that made headlines around the world in April 2006 — tells the story of evolution by tracing the organs of the human body back millions of years, long before the first creatures walked the earth. By examining fossils and DNA, Shubin shows us that our hands actually resemble fish fins, our head is organized like that of a long-extinct jawless fish, and major parts of our genome look and function like those of worms and bacteria.

Shubin makes us see ourselves and our world in a completely new light. Your Inner Fish is science writing at its finest — enlightening, accessible, and told with irresistible enthusiasm.

"Keeper and Kid"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Keeper and Kid by Edward Hardy.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

Eight years ago, James Keeper fell in love with his upstairs neighbor in Boston, a sassy pastry chef with gray eyes and a fierce attitude. They got married, found a dog, and shopped for cilantro. But conflicting schedules and a real estate deal gone bad took its toll on the twenty-somethings in love. One divorce later, the hand-me-down chairs were separated, the potato masher custody settled, and Keeper moved to Providence to work with his best friend selling antiques at a quirky shop called Love and Death.

A new job, a new love, and a new life now in place, Keeper is in a comfortable situation. Business is steady, Leah (the new love) is intriguing and passionate, and Keeper’s friends always turn up for Sunday evening Card Night.

But one phone call from his former mother-in-law changes everything. And so days later, Keeper comes away with a son he never knew he had, and life all of a sudden takes on a new meaning.

Leo, the precocious three-year-old who sports Keeper’s square chin, is more than a handful -- he eats only round foods, refuses to bathe, thinks he’s a bear, and refers to Leah as “that man.” For a guy who never thought he’d be a parent, Keeper is thrown headfirst into fatherhood -- and has no idea what to do. As Keeper and Leo adjust to the shock of each other and their suddenly very different lives, Keeper begins to let the people in his life in, in turns strange and heartwarming, funny and painful. But some, like Leah, aren’t so eager for change.

In this humorous and poignant novel, Edward Hardy explores the depths of modern love, parenthood, and compromise. Keeper and Kid is the story of how a normal guy receives an unexpected gift and in turn must learn to ask more of others and himself. A coming-of-age story for the guy who thought he had already grown up, Keeper and Kid is a sharp and witty account of what we do for love.

Visit Edward Hardy's website.

The Page 69 Test: Keeper and Kid.

My Book, The Movie: Keeper and Kid.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

"You Must Be This Happy to Enter"

Coming soon from Akashic Books: You Must Be This Happy to Enter, stories by Elizabeth Crane.

About the book, from the publisher:

Whether breathlessly enthusiastic serenely calm, or really concentrating on their personal zombie issues, Crane's happy cast explore the complexities behind personal satisfaction. You Must Be This Happy to Enter exists in a world very much like our own but infused with more joy and magic. It's a place where the happy are jailed, the sincere cause confusion, and pop culture so seamlessly melds with real life that characters can walk right out of the television and come live with you.

Crane's third collection, aims to convey something fresh in literature: utter sincerity. With a trademark mix of hyperreality, humor, and heartfelt emotion, You Must Be This Happy to Enter asks readers to connect with the loopy ways of her characters. Because even though they're occasionally severed from reality, they still seem to know something you don't about keeping upbeat in a strange and crumbling environment.

The opening story features a woman who can speak only in exclamations. Betty may be a zombie on a reality TV show, but she's a woman willing to work on herself. Sally is just plain old freaking happy. (You shouldn't even read this story.) Another woman gives birth to a baby who turns into Ethan Hawke, but by golly, she's not going to let that stop her from being a good parent. What happens when a town turns transparent overnight? Do people run away just because they're basically naked? No. What would you do if your perfect man was jailed for being happy? What would you do if you had words on your forehead? You'd use it to your advantage, that's what! How does a couple manage their differences over bananas? They freak out, and then they laugh. Do you have a better idea?

Visit Elizabeth Crane's website.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Against Happiness"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy by Eric G. Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Americans are addicted to happiness. When we’re not popping pills, we leaf through scientific studies that take for granted our quest for happiness, or read self-help books by everyone from armchair philosophers and clinical psychologists to the Dalai Lama on how to achieve a trouble-free life: Stumbling on Happiness; Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment; The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. The titles themselves draw a stark portrait of the war on melancholy.

More than any other generation, Americans of today believe in the transformative power of positive thinking. But who says we’re supposed to be happy? Where does it say that in the Bible, or in the Constitution? In Against Happiness, the scholar Eric G. Wilson argues that melancholia is necessary to any thriving culture, that it is the muse of great literature, painting, music, and innovation — and that it is the force underlying original insights. Francisco Goya, Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, and Abraham Lincoln were all confirmed melancholics. So enough Prozac-ing of our brains. Let’s embrace our depressive sides as the wellspring of creativity. What most people take for contentment, Wilson argues, is living death, and what the majority takes for depression is a vital force. It’s time to throw off the shackles of positivity and relish the blues that make us human.

Friday, January 18, 2008

"The Logic of Life"

New from Random House: The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World by Tim Harford.

About the book, from the publisher:

Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational, and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom: Why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions – and you might be surprised to hear the answers coming from an economist.

But Tim Harford, award-winning journalist and author of the bestseller The Undercover Economist, likes to spring surprises. In this deftly reasoned book, Harford argues that life is logical after all. Under the surface of everyday insanity, hidden incentives are at work, and Harford shows these incentives emerging in the most unlikely places.

Using tools ranging from animal experiments to supercomputer simulations, an ambitious new breed of economist is trying to unlock the secrets of society. The Logic of Life is the first book to map out the astonishing insights and frustrating blind spots of this new economics in a way that anyone can enjoy.

The Logic of Life presents an X-ray image of human life, stripping away the surface to show us a picture that is revealing, enthralling, and sometimes disturbing. The stories that emerge are not about data or equations but about people: the athlete who survived a shocking murder attempt, the computer geek who beat the hard-bitten poker pros, the economist who defied Henry Kissinger and faked an invasion of Berlin, the king who tried to buy off a revolution.

Once you’ve read this quotable and addictive book, life will never look the same again.
Watch a brief video of Harford talking about the book.

Visit Tim Harford's website.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"The Fault Tree"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: The Fault Tree by Louise Ure.

About the book, from the author's website:

How do you catch a killer if you can’t see him? How do you know he's not waiting beside you right now?

The Shamus-Award winning author of Forcing Amaryllis returns with the riveting, page-turning story of a blind woman's race against a killer.

Arizona auto mechanic Cadence Moran is no stranger to darkness. Eight years ago, she was blinded in a horrific car accident that also took the life of her three-year old niece. When she is almost run down by a speeding car on the way home from work, Cadence at first thinks that she is the victim of road rage or a bad driver. The chilling truth is much worse: Cadence is the only witness to the murder of her elderly neighbor, and now the killer believes that she's seen the getaway car.

Louise Ure paints the glare of a Southwestern summer with the brush of a blind woman's darkness in this novel of jeopardy and courage — and the fine line between them — as Cadence fights to stop a killer she can't see.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Daydream Believers"

Coming in February from Wiley: Daydream Believers: How a Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power by Fred Kaplan.

About the book, from the publisher:

America's power is in decline, its foreign policy adrift, its allies alienated, its soldiers trapped in a war that even generals regard as unwinnable. What has happened these past eight years is well-known. Why it happened continues to puzzle. In Daydream Believers, celebrated Slate columnist Fred Kaplan combines in-depth reporting and razor-sharp analysis to explain just how George W. Bush and his aides got so far off track -- and why much of the nation followed.

For eight years, Kaplan reminds us, the White House -- and many of the nation's podiums and opinion pages -- rang out with appealing but deluded claims: that we live in a time like no other and that, therefore, the lessons of history no longer apply; that new technology has transformed warfare; that the world's peoples will be set free, if only America topples their dictators; and that those who dispute such promises do so for partisan reasons. They thought they were visionaries, but they only had visions. And they believed in their daydreams.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Light Fell"

New from Soho Press: Light Fell by Evan Fallenberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Twenty years have passed since Joseph left behind his entire life — his wife Rebecca, his five sons, his father, and the religious Israeli farming community where he grew up — when he fell in love with a man, the genius rabbi Yoel Rosenzweig. Their affair is long over, but its echoes continue to reverberate through the lives of Joseph, Rebecca, and their sons in ways that none of them could have predicted.

Now, for his fiftieth birthday, Joseph is preparing to have his five sons and the daughter-in-law he has never met spend the Sabbath with him in the Tel Aviv penthouse that he shares with a man — who is conveniently out of town that weekend. This will be the first time Joseph and all his sons will be together in nearly two decades.

The boys’ lives have taken widely varying paths. While some have become extremely religious, another is completely cosmopolitan and secular, and their feelings toward their father range from acceptance to bitter resentment. As they prepare for this reunion, Joseph, his sons, and even Rebecca, must confront what was, what is and what could have been.

Monday, January 14, 2008

"A Ticket to Ride"

New from Ecco: A Ticket to Ride by Paula McLain.

About the book, from the publisher:

Remember that girl? The one who was impossibly cool, who taught you how to blow smoke rings, cut school, sneak out of the house? Remember how you turned yourself inside out trying to be just like her — and then she broke your heart?

Set in the long, hot summer of 1973, Paula McLain’s lyrical debut novel explores what happens when an insecure, motherless teenager falls under the dangerous spell of "that girl" — her older cousin Fawn. Fawn’s worldly ways are mesmerizing to Jamie, who submits to a makeover — both inside and out — to win Fawn’s approval. But over the course of a summer wrecked with tragedy and loss, Jamie learns that Fawn will use anything and anyone to further her own motives. When a local girl goes missing, Jamie realizes how dangerous Fawn truly is, and recognizes, too late, her own complicity in the disaster that unfolds around them.

Paula McLain’s poignant debut is a compelling family portrait that explores the darker sides of love and loyalty.

Visit Paula McLain's website.

"Killing Fear"

New from Ballantine Books: Killing Fear by Allison Brennan.

About the book, from the author's website:

Fear Never Dies

Theodore Glenn is bright, charismatic, and loves to inflict pain ... both on his victims before they die and on those who later find their mutilated corpses. At his trial seven years ago, Glenn vowed vengeance on his persecutors: Detective Will Hooper, the cop who nabbed him, and beautiful Robin McKenna, the stripper whose testimony put him behind bars.

When a catastrophic disaster sets convict Glenn free, he blazes a freshly-bloodied path across San Diego County. But the death he craves most is Robin McKenna's.

Putting aside their past troubled relationship, Will rushes to protect Robin, now a savvy businesswoman operating her own upscale club. As the killings mount and Glenn proves a master manipulator, Robin and Will become snared in a twisted web of horror. But the shocking truth is even worse, for this macabre mystery has a twist: the evil they face is even more deadly than they fear.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

"Half the Blood of Brooklyn"

New from Del Ray Books: Half the Blood of Brooklyn by Charlie Huston.

About the book, from the publisher:

There’s only so much room on the Island, only so much blood, and Manhattan’s Vampyre Clans aren’t interested in sharing. So when the Vyrus-infected dregs of New York’s outer boroughs start creeping across the bridges and through the tunnels, the Clans want to know why.

Bad luck for PI and general hard case Joe Pitt.

See, Joe used to be a Rogue, used to work off his own dime, picked his own gigs, but tight times and a terminally ill girlfriend pushed him into the arms of the renegade Society Clan. Now he has all the cash and blood he needs, but at a steep price. The price tonight is crossing the bridge, rolling to Coney Island, finding the Freak Clan, and figuring out what’s driving that bunch of savages to scratch at the Society’s door. No need to look far. The answer lies around the corner in Gravesend. Convenient, all those graves.

From uptown to the boardwalk, war drums are beating. Murderous family feuds and personal grudges are being drawn and brandished, along with the long knives. Blood will spill and, big surprise, Joe’s in the middle. But hey, why should this night be different from any other?

Sunset to sunrise: put off a war, keep your head attached to your neck, and save your girl. Check. Joe’s on the case.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

"The Jewel Trader of Pegu"

New from William Morrow: The Jewel Trader of Pegu by Jeffrey Hantover.

About the book, from the publisher:

A melancholy young Jewish gem merchant, Abraham, born in Venice, has lived his life behind the ghetto walls of that damp, oppressive city. He has lost a wife and the son whose difficult birth killed her. Now there is nothing left for him there.

In the autumn of 1598, Abraham chooses to seek his fortune far from the painful familiarity of Europe and travels halfway across the world to the lush and exotic Burmese kingdom of Pegu. An overpoweringly strange mélange of sodden heat, colorful customs, and odd superstitions, it is a place and a people completely alien to him. Yet in Pegu, the jewel trader is not hated or shunned for his faith. Here Abraham is a man. Here he is free.

But there is a price for his newfound freedom. Local custom demands that foreigners perform a duty Abraham finds both troubling and barbaric. While it is a responsibility many men would embrace eagerly, it mocks Abraham's moral beliefs and fills him with dread and despair ... until Mya arrives to briefly share his bed.

Barely more than a girl, she awakens something within him far more profound — and more pleasurable — than the guilt he anticipated. And when tragedy destroys the future that was planned for her, Abraham takes Mya in, offering her his home, his protection, and, unexpectedly, his love. But great social and political upheaval threatens to violently transform the entire Peguan empire — and the actions of the powerful will force fateful choices that could have devastating consequences for Abraham and Mya and their dreams for the future.

Visit Jeffrey Hantover's website.

Friday, January 11, 2008

"Brand NFL"

Recently from the University of North Carolina Press: Michael Oriard's Brand NFL: Making and Selling America's Favorite Sport.

About the book
, from the publisher:

Professional football today is a $6 billion sports entertainment industry. In this astute field-level view of the National Football League since 1960, Michael Oriard looks closely at the development of the sport and at the image of the NFL and its unique place in American life. At the heart of this story is a question with no simple answer: has the extraordinary commercializing and "branding" of NFL football since the late 1980s ironically weakened the cultural power of a sport whose appeal for more than a century was fundamentally noncommercial?

Oriard skillfully traces the evolution of the Super Bowl, the development of NFL Films and ESPN, the rise of the commissioner as corporate CEO, the management of player demands, changing attitudes toward race, and the roles of icons such as Vince Lombardi, Joe Namath, and Deion Sanders. As a former member of the Kansas City Chiefs (1970- 1973) who lost his job at the end of the first players' strike, Oriard offers unique insight as both insider and historian. He details how the game is marketed as entertainment rather than sport, making the NFL ripe for popular consumption. This repackaging, Oriard warns, also risks alienating those passionate fans drawn to the game on the field and its larger-than-life heroes.

"King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop"

New from Hill and Wang: King: Pilgrimage to the Mountaintop by Harvard Sitkoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Stunning Reappraisal of King and His Increased Relevance

Might Martin Luther King Jr.’s greatest accomplishments have been ahead of him? His murder in April 1968 did far more than cut tragically short the life of one of America’s most remarkable civil rights leaders. In this concise biography, Harvard Sitkoff presents a stunningly relevant King. The 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, King’s 1963 soul-stirring address from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and the 1965 history-altering Selma march are all recounted. But these are not treated as predetermined high points in a life celebrated for its role in a civil rights struggle too many Americans have quickly relegated to the past. Carefully presented alongside King’s successes are his failures — as an organizer in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida; as a leader of ever more strident activists; as a husband. Together, high and low points are interwoven to capture King’s lifelong struggle, through disappointment and epiphany, with his own injunction: “Let us be Christian in all our actions.” By telling King’s life as one on the verge of reaching its fullest fulfillment, Sitkoff powerfully shows where King’s faith and activism were leading him — to a direct confrontation with a president over an immoral war and with an America blind to its complicity in economic injustice.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intern by Sandeep Jauhar.

About the book, from the publisher:

Intern is Sandeep Jauhar’s story of his days and nights in residency at a busy hospital in New York City, a trial that led him to question our every assumption about medical care today. Residency — and especially the first year, called internship—is legendary for its brutality. Working eighty hours or more per week, most new doctors spend their first year asking themselves why they wanted to be doctors in the first place.

Jauhar’s internship was even more harrowing than most: he switched from physics to medicine in order to follow a more humane calling — only to find that medicine put patients’ concerns last. He struggled to find a place among squadrons of cocky residents and doctors. He challenged the practices of the internship in The New York Times, attracting the suspicions of the medical bureaucracy. Then, suddenly stricken, he became a patient himself — and came to see that today’s high-tech, high-pressure medicine can be a humane science after all.

Now a thriving cardiologist, Jauhar has all the qualities you’d want in your own doctor: expertise, insight, a feel for the human factor, a sense of humor, and a keen awareness of the worries that we all have in common. His beautifully written memoir explains the inner workings of modern medicine with rare candor and insight.
Visit Sandeep Jauhar’s website.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"Now You See Him"

New from William Morrow: Now You See Him by Eli Gottlieb.

About the book, from the publisher:

His name was Rob Castor. Quite possibly, you've heard of him. He became a minor cult celebrity in his early twenties for writing a book of darkly pitch-perfect stories set in a stupid upstate New York town. About a dozen years later, he murdered his writer-girlfriend and committed suicide....

The deaths of Rob Castor and his girlfriend begin a wrenching and enthrallingly suspenseful story that mines the explosive terrains of love and paternity, marriage and its delicate intricacies, family secrets and how they fester over time, and ultimately the true nature of loyalty and trust, friendship and envy, deception and manipulation.

As the media takes hold of this sensational crime, a series of unexpected revelations unleashes hidden truths in the lives of those closest to Rob. At the center of this driving narrative is Rob's childhood best friend, Nick Framingham, whose ten-year marriage to his college sweetheart is faltering. Shocked by Rob's death, Nick begins to reevaluate his own life and his past, and as he does so, a fault line opens up beneath him, leading him all the way to the novel's startling conclusion.

In this ambitious and thrilling novel, award-winning author Eli Gottlieb — with extraordinarily luxuriant and evocative prose — takes us deep into the human psyche, where the most profound of secrets are kept.

"Bleeding Kansas"

New from Putnam Publishing: Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky.

About the book, from the author's website:

Bleeding Kansas is about how the lives of ordinary people are effected by events over which they have little control. The book centers on the Grelliers and the Schapens, two families who have been farming in the Kaw River Valley for over a hundred-fifty years, and how their lives are affected by war and by the changing sexual and religious mores of the day. Susan Grellier, who yearns for the large sacrifices made by her husband’s pioneer ancestors in the battle against slavery, causes major upheavals in the lives of her husband and two children.

When Gina Haring, who may or may not be a Lesbian, and who practices pagan rites, moves into an empty house near both the Schapen and Grellier properties, Susan’s involvement with her also stirs up the wrath of the Schapen clan, who are extremely conservative in their Christianity. Susan’s decision to join Gina in opposing the Iraq war has cataclysmic results for her family. Gina has her own secrets, her own reasons for being in the Kansas countryside, and they’re not necessarily what the people around her imagine.

Susan Grellier’s ardor for the anti-war cause so infuriates her son that he enlists and is killed, much to the glee of the Schapens, who celebrate every disaster that affects the Grelliers. His death devastates Susan, who retreats into a lethargy that nothing can shake. Not even the problems of her daughter, Lara, can rouse her.

The Schapens are dairy farmers; one of their cows gives birth to what they think may be the Perfect Red Heifer, which the Torah requires for temple sacrifices. The extreme fundamentalism to which the Schapens subscribe means they want the temple rebuilt in Jerusalem — only then can Christ return, since he has to have a temple to destroy to fulfill New Testament prophecies. When the calf starts speaking ancient Hebrew, their dairy farm becomes a nine-day wonder.

The book comes to its climax in the little shed the Schapens have built for their calf. Susan ultimately has to rouse herself to rescue her daughter from imminent danger, but no one leaves the book completely unscathed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


New from Bantam Books: Touchstone by Laurie R. King.

About the novel, from the publisher:

Hailed for her rich and powerful works of psychological suspense as well as her New York Times bestselling mysteries, Laurie R. King now takes us to a remote cottage in Cornwall where a gripping tale of intrigue, terrorism, and explosive passions begins with a visit to a recluse upon whom the fate of an entire nation may rest — a man code-named ...

It’s eight years after the Great War shattered Bennett Grey’s life, leaving him with an excruciating sensitivity to the potential of human violence, and making social contact all but impossible. Once studied by British intelligence for his unique abilities, Grey has withdrawn from a rapidly changing world — until an American Bureau of Investigation agent comes to investigate for himself Grey’s potential as a weapon in a vicious new kind of warfare. Agent Harris Stuyvesant desperately needs Grey’s help entering a world where the rich and the radical exist side by side — a heady mix of the powerful and the celebrated, among whom lurks an enemy ready to strike a deadly blow at democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here, among a titled family whose servants dress in whimsical costumes and whose daughter conducts an open affair with a man who wants to bring down the government, Stuyvesant finds himself dangerously seduced by one woman and — even more dangerously — falling in love with another. And as he sifts through secrets divulged and kept, he uncovers the target of a horrifying conspiracy, and wonders if he can trust his touchstone, Grey, to reveal the most dangerous player of all ….

Building to an astounding climax on an ancient English estate, Touchstone is both a harrowing thriller by a master of the genre and a thought-provoking exploration of the forces that drive history — and human destinies.
Read Laurie R. King's January 2008 guestblogging posts at The Rap Sheet.

Monday, January 7, 2008


New this month from Bantam Books: Traci L. Slatton's Immortal.

About the book, from the author's website:

Immortal is the fascinating story of a mysterious young orphan named Luca Bastardo who is swept by history through almost two hundred tumultuous years.

Luca rises from his poverty on the streets to wealth and power in Florence, meeting such figures as Giotto, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Cosimo and Lorenzo de Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and Ficino.

Luca meets and eventually marries the ravishing woman of his dreams, only to lose her, and everything, at the hands of the Roman Inquisition, when his deepest secrets are revealed.


New from St. Martin's Press: Afterimage by Kathleen George.

About the book, from the author's website:

A new thriller featuring Pittsburgh homicide detective Richard Christie and his new colleague, Colleen Greer...

In the humid dog days of a Pittsburgh summer weekend, Richard Christie, Head of Homicide, faces not one, but two mysterious murders. The victims — a polite woman and an angelic child — do not seem to be connected in any obvious way. Christie is short-handed, the clues don't stack up, and he's got a rookie detective, Colleen Greer, to look out for. These are his problems.

Colleen has problems, too. Her boyfriend is trying to break up with her, she's got a serious crush on her mentor, Christie, and it turns out she knew both victims slightly. Early in the investigation, she gets an alarming idea about the perpetrator's identity, but the man she suspects has no obvious connection to the victims. She has to move carefully with nothing but a gut feeling to go on — all the while disturbed by a series of memories of her own childhood.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

"The Book of Old Houses"

New from Bantam: The Book of Old Houses by Sarah Graves.

About the book, from the publisher:

Once upon a time, Jacobia "Jake" Tiptree was a hotshot money manager to Manhattan's rich and dreadful — until she left city life behind for a centuries-old fixer-upper in the quaint seaside town of Eastport, Maine. But even this tiny haven has its hazards — and they can be astonishingly deadly....

When a mysterious book is unearthed from the foundation of Jake's 1823 fixer-upper, she immediately sends it off to local book historian Horace Robotham. After all, there must be a logical explanation for why the long-buried volume has her name in it — written in what looks suspiciously like blood. But all logic goes out the window when the book disappears — and Horace turns up dead.

The suspects include Horace's spoiled daughter, who has enough credit card debt to give killing her rich daddy a certain appeal. And just about everyone's pointing fingers at a local crackpot with a penchant for black magic and an unholy lust for its artifacts — including antique texts inked in blood. To complicate matters further, there's a mysterious stranger in town with vengeance in his heart and a gun in his pocket.

Never mind that Jake's just taken a sledgehammer to her ancient bathroom. Or that she forgot she's set to host a party for Eastport's most treasured teacher. She's also about to lose her beloved housekeeper on account of her father's hasty marriage proposal ... and her son, Sam, has just taken his first tentative steps toward sobriety.

But all that will have to wait, because when two more victims turn up in a town better known for its scenic views and historic homes than its body count, she and her comrade-in-sleuthing, Ellie White, need to go on the prowl to find someone who may believe that the pages of an ancient book are the blueprint for a perfect murder.
Visit Sarah Graves' website.

"My Enemy's Cradle"

New from Harcourt: My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young.

About the book, from the publisher:

Cyrla's neighbors have begun to whisper. Her cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the rigorous exams for admission to the Lebensborn, a maternity home for girls carrying German babies. But Anneke's soldier has disappeared, and Lebensborn babies are only ever released to their father's custody -- or taken away.

A note is left under the mat. Someone knows that Cyrla, sent from Poland years before for safekeeping with her Dutch relatives, is Jewish. The Nazis are imposing more and more restrictions; she won't be safe there for long.

And then in the space of an afternoon, life falls apart. Cyrla must choose between certain discovery in her cousin's home and taking Anneke's place in the Lebensborn -- Cyrla and Anneke are nearly identical. If she takes refuge in the enemy's lair, can Cyrla fool the doctors, nurses, guards, and other mothers-to-be? Can she escape before they discover she is not who she claims?

Mining a lost piece of history, Sara Young takes us deep into the lives of women living in the worst of times. Part love story and part elegy for the terrible choices we must often make to survive, My Enemy's Cradle keens for what we lose in war and sings for the hope we sometimes find.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

"The Last Cowgirl"

New from William Morrow: The Last Cowgirl by Jana Richman.

About the book, from the publisher:

They say you can't go home again, but sometimes, you don't have a choice

Dickie Sinfield was seven years old when her father decided to become a cowboy and move his family from their comfortable suburban home to a small run-down ranch in Clayton, Utah. From her first stock show to the day she turns eighteen and flees for the comforts of the city, Dickie bucks the cattle-ranching lifestyle and yearns for manicured lawns, housebroken pets, and neighborhood playmates. Yet she reluctantly finds herself drawn to the vast, desolate landscape of the desert and the solitude it offers — a feeling she won't acknowledge even within herself.

Now a grown woman, Dickie is a respected reporter in Salt Lake City, convinced that physical distance and a convenient but passionless relationship will erase the memory of her painful childhood. But when her brother dies in a tragic accident, Dickie finds herself back in the farmhouse she tried so desperately to abandon. Suddenly, she is faced with her family's past and a love she's never admitted to, bringing down the walls of her carefully contrived existence.

Accustomed to the physical boundaries city life entails, Dickie feels emotionally exposed by the fenceless expanse of the ranch. As she navigates her past, piecing together relationships, romance, and the pull of the mountains themselves, she finally confronts the pivotal moment of her childhood — the horrifying discovery that made her flee the desert so many years ago.

A novel that spans two generations and vast landscapes, The Last Cowgirl brings to mind the writing of Pam Houston and Barbara Kingsolver. Richman's provocative prose, pulled from personal experience, will strike a chord with anyone who has been faced with demons from their past and found solace in the space around them.

"Atomic Lobster"

Coming soon from William Morrow: Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why is everyone rushing to flee Tampa on a cruise ship to hell?

Serge is back with a bullet, torn between homicide and souvenirs. So is Coleman, torn between getting hammered and getting more hammered. Then there's good ol' Jim Davenport, the E-Team, the Diaz Brothers, and Johnny Vegas, the Accidental Virgin, cranking up the fevered action as the pot boils over on a street called Lobster Lane.

It's reunion time in the Sunshine State, and we're not just talking the family jamboree of that blood-soaked criminal clan, the McGraws, whose nastiest, meanest member is finally released from prison and heads south bent on revenge. On top of it all, the government is covering up a growing list of mysterious victims across Florida who may or may not be connected to a nefarious plot being hatched against national security.

But wait! There's more on the horizon! Who is the oddly familiar femme fatale named Rachael? Is Serge wrong that guns, drugs, and strippers don't mix? What sets the Non-Confrontationalists off on a rampage? What finally brings Coleman and Lenny together? Will they succeed in building the biggest bong ever? And can Serge surf a rogue wave to victory?

So batten the hatches, don the life jackets, and take cover as all these questions and more are answered in the latest adventure from the acclaimed author of Hurricane Punch.

Friday, January 4, 2008

"The Good Liar"

New from Mira Books: The Good Liar by Laura Caldwell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Kate Livingston and Liza Kingsley have been best friends since their childhood in the suburbs of Chicago. They know everything about each other. Or do they?

When Liza sets up the newly divorced Kate with Michael Waller, an elegant man sixteen years her senior, neither woman expects Kate to fall for him so soon. The relationship is a whirlwind that enthralls Kate…and frightens Liza. Because Liza knows she may have introduced Kate to more than her dream man; she may have unwittingly introduced her to a dangerous world of secrets.

And yet Kate marries Michael and follows him to a French-Canadian town called St. Marabel, where she begins to suspect that Michael isn't exactly who he seems. As each new suspicion arises, Kate finds herself investigating her husband, but what she doesn't know is that she's about to steer her friendship with Liza on a collision course that will race from the U.S. to Russia and from Canada to Brazil, and the betrayals she uncovers could cause the end of all of them.
Visit Laura Caldwell's website.

"Trail of Crumbs"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Trail of Crumbs: Hunger, Love, and the Search for Home by Kim Sunée.

About the book, from the publisher:

Already hailed as 'brave, emotional, and gorgeously written' by Frances Mayes and 'like a piece of dark chocolate — bittersweet, satisfying, and finished all too soon' by Laura Fraser, author of An Italian Affair, this is a unique memoir about the search for identity through love, hunger, and food. Jim Harrison says, 'TRAIL OF CRUMBS reminds me of what heavily costumed and concealed waifs we all are.

Kim Sunée tells us so much about the French that I never learned in 25 trips to Paris, but mostly about the terrors and pleasure of that infinite octopus, love. A fine book.' When Kim Sunée was three years old, her mother took her to a marketplace, deposited her on a bench with a fistful of food, and promised she'd be right back. Three days later a policeman took the little girl, clutching what was now only a fistful of crumbs, to a police station and told her that she'd been abandoned by her mother. Fast-forward almost 20 years and Kim's life is unrecognizable.

Adopted by a young New Orleans couple, she spends her youth as one of only two Asian children in her entire community. At the age of 21, she becomes involved with a famous French businessman and suddenly finds herself living in France, mistress over his houses in Provence and Paris, and stepmother to his eight year-old daughter. Kim takes readers on a lyrical journey from Korea to New Orleans to Paris and Provence, along the way serving forth her favorite recipes. A love story at heart, this memoir is about the search for identity and a book that will appeal to anyone who is passionate about love, food, travel, and the ultimate search for self.
Visit Kim Sunée's website.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

"Death Song"

New from Dutton Books: Death Song by Michael McGarrity.

About the book, from the author's website:

The bushwhack killing of a deputy sheriff in Lincoln County and the brutal murder of the deputy’s wife in Santa Fe, bring Police Chief Kevin Kerney and his Mescalero Apache son, Sergeant Clayton Istee, back together in a double homicide investigation that is soon linked to a major drug trafficking scheme and the cold blooded slaughter of two women in Albuquerque. With few clues, no known motives, and no suspects, the investigation turns into a search for the son of the slain officer, eighteen year-old Brian Riley, who left Santa Fe before his father’s death under suspicious circumstances.

Due to retire at the end of the month, Kevin Kerney isn’t about to let the murder of a police officer’s wife go unsolved on his watch, especially since the dead woman was the sister of a dear friend, and crime scene facts strongly suggest that the killer may have also ambushed the deputy sheriff. Kerney assumes command of the combined investigation and calls upon Clayton to find Brian Riley, discover what triggered the murders, and give him the ammunition he needs to bring a multiple murderer to justice.

Read an excerpt from Death Song.

"The Blue Door"

New from Harcourt Books: The Blue Door by David Fulmer.

About the book, from the publisher:

As welterweight boxer Eddie Cero makes his way home through a dark Philadelphia alley, he steps in on two punks beating up an older man. It’s a favor that’s going to turn Eddie’s life upside down. Sal Giambroni buys Eddie a round and offers him a part-time gig helping with his private-detective work. Despite Eddie’s reluctance, a few days on the job reveal that he has a knack for snooping — and then he stumbles onto a cold case involving a missing soul singer. A music lover with a budding interest in the singer’s attractive, talented sister, Eddie finds himself involved in a violent, twisted story of betrayal and intrigue, power and passion — all set to the beat of rock and roll.

David Fulmer’s acclaimed Storyville series brought us a New Orleans teeming with jazz. The Dying Crapshooter’s Blues took fans to Atlanta and the blues. The Blue Door now brings us the vibrant city of Philadelphia and the early days of its famous soul.
Visit David Fulmer's website for an excerpt. Read the starred review for The Blue Door at Library Journal.

The Page 99 Test: The Blue Door.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

"Beginner's Greek"

New from Little, Brown: Beginner's Greek by James Collins.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

When Peter Russell finally meets the woman of his dreams he falls as madly in love as you can on a flight from New York to LA. Her name is Holly. She's achingly pretty with strawberry-blonde hair, and reads Thomas Mann for pleasure. She gives Peter her phone number on a page of The Magic Mountain, but in his room that night Peter finds the page is inexplicably, impossibly, enragingly ... gone.

So begins the immensely entertaining story of Peter and his unrequited love for his best friend's girl; of Charlotte and her less-than-perfect marriage to a man in love with someone else; of Jonathan and his wicked and fateful debauchery; and of Holly, the impetus for it all. Along the way, there's the evil boss, the desirable temptress, miscommunications, misrepresentations, fiendish behavior, letters gone astray, and ultimately, an ending in which every character gets his due.

Both incisive and wonderfully funny, this is a brilliantly understated comedy of manners in which love lost is found again. 'James Collins has written a romantic, funny and insightful page turner about love in modern times, missed opportunities and the wheel of fate (with a blow-out!) that is so engaging and real, you will find it impossible to put down. Peter Russell is an everyman filled with longing, lust and good sense. I promise you will root for him as fate throws him curves aplenty on his path to true love.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

"Death Was the Other Woman"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Death Was the Other Woman by Linda L. Richards.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

As the lawlessness of Prohibition pushes against the desperation of the Depression, there are two ways to make a living in Los Angeles: join the criminals or collar them. Kitty Pangborn has chosen the crime-fighters, becoming secretary to Dexter J. Theroux, one of the hard-drinking, tough-talking PIs who pepper the city's stew. But after Dex takes an assignment from Rita Heppelwaite, the mistress of Harrison Dempsey, one of L.A.'s shadiest -- and richest -- businessmen, Kitty isn't so sure what side of the law she's on.

Rita suspects Dempsey has been stepping out and asks Dex to tail him. It's an easy enough task, but Dex's morning stroll with Johnnie Walker would make it tough for him to trail his own shadow. Kitty insists she go along for the ride, keeping her boss -- and hopefully her salary -- safe. However, she's about to realize that there's something far more unpleasant than a three-timing husband at the end of this trail, and that there's more at risk than her paycheck.

Richly satisfying and stylishly gritty, Death Was the Other Woman gives a brand-new twist to the hard-boiled style, revealing that while veteran PIs like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe spent their time slugging scotch and wooing women, it may well have been the Girl Fridays of the world who really cracked the cases.
Visit the Death Was the Other Woman website.