Monday, June 30, 2008

"Napoleon's Privates"

New from HarperEntertainment: Napoleon's Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped by Tony Perrottet.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Tony Perrottet heard that Napoleon's "baguette" had been stolen by his disgruntled doctor a few days after the Emperor's death, he rushed out to New Jersey. Why? Because that's where an eccentric American collector who had purchased Napoleon's member at a Parisian auction now kept the actual relic in an old suitcase under his bed.

The story of Napoleon's privates triggered Perrottet's quest to research other such exotic sagas from history, to discover the actual evidence behind the most famous age-old mysteries: Did Churchill really send condoms of a surprising size to Stalin? Were champagne glasses really molded upon Marie Antoinette's breasts? What was JFK's real secret service? What were Casanova's best pickup lines? Napoleon's Privates is filled with offbeat, riotously entertaining anecdotes that are guaranteed to amaze, shock, and enliven any dinner party.
Visit Tony Perrottet's website.

"Central Park in the Dark"

New from Farrar Straus Giroux: Central Park in the Dark: More Mysteries of Urban Wildlife.

About the book, from the publisher:

Love and loss, life and death, among the nighttime creatures of the city that never sleeps

Like her bestseller Red-Tails in Love, Marie Winn’s Central Park in the Dark explores a once-hidden world in a series of interlocking narratives about the extraordinary denizens, human and animal, of an iconic American park. Her beguiling account of a city’s lakes and woodlands at night takes the reader through the cycle of seasons as experienced by nocturnal active beasts (raccoons, bats, black skimmers, and sleeping robins among them), insects (moths, wasps, fireflies, crickets), and slugs (in all their unexpected poetical randiness). Winn does not neglect her famous protagonists Pale Male and Lola, the hawks that captivated readers years ago, but this time she adds an exciting narrative about thirty-eight screech owls in Central Park and their lives, loves, and tragedies there.

An eye-popping amount of natural history is packed into this entertaining book—on bird physiology, spiders, sunsets, dragonflies, meteor showers, and the nature of darkness. But the human drama is never forgotten, for Central Park at night boasts a floating population not only of lovers, dog walkers, and policemen but of regulars young and old who, like Winn, hope to unlock the secrets of urban nature. These “night people” are drawn into a peculiar kind of intimacy. While exploring the astonishing variety of wildlife in the city park, they end up revealing more of their inner lives than they expected.
Visit Marie Winn's website.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Black & White"

New from Subterranean Press: Black & White by Lewis Shiner.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Michael follows his dying father to North Carolina, a lifetime of lies begins to unravel. His pursuit of his father's past--haunted by voodoo, adultery and murder--takes him to a place called Hayti, once the most prosperous black community in the South. Now the mysteries of Michael's own heritage become a matter of life and death, as racial conflicts barely restrained since the 1960s erupt again.

Rooted in the true story of the US government's urban renewal policy and its disastrous aftermath, Black & White is a literary thriller, a family saga, and a searing portrait of institutionalized hatred.
Visit Lewis Shiner's website.

"Walk the Blue Fields: Stories"

New from Black Cat and Grove/Atlantic: Walk the Blue Fields: Stories by Claire Keegan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Claire Keegan’s brilliant debut collection, Antarctica, was a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year, and earned her resounding accolades on both sides of the Atlantic. Now she has delivered her next, much-anticipated book, Walk the Blue Fields, an unforgettable array of quietly wrenching stories about despair and desire in the timeless world of modern-day Ireland.

In stories brimming with Gothic shadows and ancient hurts, Claire Keegan tells of “a rural world of silent men and wild women who, for the most part, make bad marriages, and vivid, uncomprehending children” (Anne Enright, The Guardian). In the never-before-published story “The Long and Painful Death,” a writer awarded a stay to work in Heinrich Böll’s old cottage has her peace interrupted by an unwelcome intruder, whose ulterior motives only emerge as the night progresses. In the title story, a priest waits at the altar to perform a marriage and, during the ceremony and the festivities that follow, battles his memories of a love affair with the bride that led him to question all to which he has dedicated his life; later that night, he finds an unlikely answer in the magical healing powers of a seer.

A masterful portrait of a country wrestling with its past and of individuals eking out their futures, Walk the Blue Fields is a breathtaking collection from one of Ireland’s greatest talents, and a resounding articulation of all the yearnings of the human heart.

“These stories are pure magic. They add, using grace, intelligence and an extraordinary ear for rhythm, to the distinguished tradition of the Irish short story. They deal with Ireland now, but have a sort of timeless edge to them, making Claire Keegan both an original and a canonical presence in Irish fiction.” —Colm Tóibín, author of The Master and Mothers and Sons

Saturday, June 28, 2008

"Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse"

New from Touchstone Books: Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mortimer Tate was a recently divorced insurance salesman when he holed up in a cave on top of a mountain in Tennessee and rode out the end of the world. Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse begins nine years later, when he emerges into a bizarre landscape filled with hollow reminders of an America that no longer exists. The highways are lined with abandoned automobiles; electricity is generated by indentured servants pedaling stationary bicycles. What little civilization remains revolves around Joey Armageddon's Sassy A-Go-Go strip clubs, where the beer is cold, the lap dancers are hot, and the bouncers are armed with M16s.

Accompanied by his cowboy sidekick Buffalo Bill, the gorgeous stripper Sheila, and the mountain man Ted, Mortimer journeys to the lost city of Atlanta -- and a showdown that might determine the fate of humanity.
Visit Victor Gischler's Blogpocalypse.

The Page 69 Test: Shotgun Opera.

My Book, The Movie: Shotgun Opera.

"Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All: A New Zealand Story by Christina Thompson.

About the book, from the publisher:

An extraordinary love story between a Maori man and an American woman, that inspires a graceful, revelatory search for understanding about the centuries-old collision of two wildly different cultures.

Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All is the story of the cultural collision between Westerners and the Maoris of New Zealand, told partly as a history of the complex and bloody period of contact between Europeans and the Maoris in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and partly as the story of Christina Thompson’s marriage to a Maori man. As an American graduate student studying literature in Australia, Thompson traveled on holiday to New Zealand, where she met a Maori known as “Seven.” Their relationship was one of opposites: he was a tradesman, she an intellectual; he came from a background of rural poverty, she from one of middle-class privilege; he was a “native,” she descended directly from “colonizers.” Nevertheless, they shared a similar sense of adventure and a willingness to depart from the customs of their families and forge a life together on their own.

In this extraordinary book, which grows out of decades of research, Thompson explores the meaning of cross-cultural contact and the fascinating history of Europeans in the South Pacific, beginning with AbelTasman’s discovery of New Zealand in 1642 and James Cook’s famous circumnavigations of 1769—79. Transporting us back and forth in time and around the world, from Australia to Hawaii to tribal New Zealand and finally to a house in New England that has ghosts of its own, Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All brings to life a lush variety of characters and settings. Yet at its core, it is the story of two people who, in making a life and a family together, bridge the gap between two worlds.
Visit Christina Thompson's website.

The Page 99 Test: Come on Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All.

Friday, June 27, 2008

"Undiscovered Country"

Coming soon from Little, Brown: Undiscovered Country by Lin Enger.

About the book, from the publisher:

Unaware that his life is about to change in ways he can't imagine, seventeen-year-old Jesse Matson ventures into the northern Minnesota woods with his father on a cold November afternoon. Perched on individual hunting stands a quarter-mile apart, they wait with their rifles for white-tailed deer. When the muffled crack of a gunshot rings out, Jesse unaccountably knows something is wrong-and he races through the trees to find his dad dead of a rifle wound, apparently self-inflicted.

But would easygoing Harold Matson really kill himself? If so, why?

Haunted by the ghost of his father, Jesse delves into family secrets, wrestles with questions of justice and retribution, and confronts the nature of his own responsibility. And just when he's decided that he alone must shoulder his family's burden, the beautiful and troubled Christine Montez enters his life, forcing him to reconsider his plans.

In spare, elegant prose, Lin Enger tells the story of a young man trying to hold his family together in a world tipped suddenly upside down. Set among pristine lakes and beneath towering pines, Undiscovered Country is at once a bold reinvention of Shakespeare's Hamlet and a hair-bristling story of betrayal, revenge, and the possibilities of forgiveness.

"The Ridiculous Race"

Coming soon from Holt Paperbacks: The Ridiculous Race by Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran.

About the book, from the publisher:

The most absurd, hilarious, and ridiculous travelogue ever told, by two hit-TV comedy writers who raced each other around the world—for bragging rights and a very expensive bottle of Scotch

It started as a friendly wager: two old friends from The Harvard Lampoon, now hotshot Hollywood scribes, challenged each other to a race around the globe in opposite directions. There was only one rule: no airplanes. The first man to cross every line of longitude and arrive back in L.A. would win Scotch and infamy. But little did one racer know that the other planned to cheat him out of the big prize by way of a ride on a quarter-million-dollar jet pack.

What follows is a pair of hilarious, hazardous, and eye-opening journeys into the farthest corners of the world. From the West Bank to the Aleutian Islands, the slums of Rio to the steppes of Mongolia, traveling by ocean freighter and the Trans-Siberian Railway (pranking each other mercilessly along the way), Vali and Steve plunge eagerly and ill-prepared into global adventure.

The Ridiculous Race is a comic travelogue unlike any other, an outrageous tale of two gentlemen travelers who can’t wait to don baggy cardigan sweaters, clench corncob pipes between their teeth, and yell at their sons, “You lazy bums! When we were your age, we raced around the world without airplanes!”

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"I'm with Stupid"

Coming soon from 5 Spot: I'm with Stupid by Elaine Szewczyk.

About the book, from the official website:

When Kas meets William while on safari in South Africa he seems perfect: a hot park ranger, both heroic and kind. Kas’s two best friends, Max and Libby, compete for William’s attention, but he only has eyes for Kas, a lowly assistant at a struggling literary agency in New York City who thinks William is out of her league. The two have a fling in Africa, and Kas returns home wondering if she'll hear from William again. So when he finally sends an email, she's delighted.

Until she opens it.

The email is not quite the love missive Kas expected. William suddenly seems… different. A miscommunication between them ensues, triggering a rapid-fire series of developments that, within days, bring William to NYC, under the impression that Kas has offered him a place to live and help him with his plan to take Manhattan by storm. In the coming weeks, as Max plots (unnecessarily elaborate) revenge against an ex and Libby is wooed by a 17-year-old heir to a tube sock fortune, Kas struggles to cope with William’s multiplying eccentricities, including a preoccupation with astrology charts and a passion for collecting Big Apple-themed souvenirs, and the realization that he’s not exactly playing with a full deck.
Visit Elaine Szewczyk's website.

"Try Darkness"

New from Center Street: Try Darkness by James Scott Bell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ty Buchanan is living on the peaceful grounds of St. Monica's, far away from the glamorous life he led as a rising trial lawyer for a big L.A. firm. Recovering from the death of his fiancée and a false accusation of murder, Buchanan has found his previous ambitions unrewarding. Now he prefers offering legal services to the poor and the under-represented, from his "office" at local coffee bar The Freudian Sip. A mysterious woman with a six year old daughter comes to him for help. She's being illegally evicted from a downtown transient hotel, an interest represented by his old law firm and former best friend, Al Bradshaw. Buchanan won't back down. He's going to fight for the woman's rights.

But then she ends up dead, and the case moves from the courtroom to the streets. Determined to find the killer and protect the little girl, who has no last name and no other family, Buchanan finds he must depend on skills he never needed in the employ of a civil law firm.
James Scott Bell is the award winning author of several novels of suspense and historical intrigue.

The Page 69 Test: Try Dying.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Swan Peak"

Coming soon from Simon & Schuster: Swan Peak by James Lee Burke.

About the book, from the publisher:

Trouble follows Dave Robicheaux.

James Lee Burke's new novel, Swan Peak, finds Detective Robicheaux far from his New Iberia roots, attempting to relax in the untouched wilderness of rural Montana. He, his wife, and his buddy Clete Purcell have retreated to stay at an old friend's ranch, hoping to spend their days fishing and enjoying their distance from the harsh, gritty landscape of Louisiana post-Katrina.

But the serenity is soon shattered when two college students are found brutally murdered in the hills behind where the Robicheauxs and Purcell are staying. They quickly find themselves involved in a twisted and dangerous mystery involving a wealthy, vicious oil tycoon, his deformed brother and beautiful wife, a sexually deviant minister, an escaped con and former country music star, and a vigilante Texas gunbull out for blood. At the center of the storm is Clete, who cannot shake the feeling that he is being haunted by the ghosts from his past -- namely Sally Dio, the mob boss he'd sabotaged and killed years before.

In this expertly drawn, gripping story, Burke deftly weaves intricate, engaging plotlines and original, compelling characters with his uniquely graceful prose. He transcends genre yet again in the latest thrilling addition to his New York Times bestselling series.
The Page 69 Test: The Tin Roof Blowdown.

Visit James Lee Burke's website.

"The Richest Season"

New from Hyperion: The Richest Season by Maryann McFadden.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sometimes you have to leave your life to find yourself again...

After more than a dozen moves in twenty-five years of marriage, Joanna Harrison is lonely and tired of being a corporate wife. Her children are grown and gone, her husband is more married to his job than to her, and now they’re about to pack up once more. Panicked at the thought of having to start all over again, Joanna commits the first irresponsible act of her life. She runs away to Pawleys Island, South Carolina, a place she’s been to just once.

She finds a job as a live-in companion to Grace Finelli, a widow who has come to the island to fulfill a girlhood dream. Together the two women embark on the most difficult journey of their lives: Joanna struggling for independence, roots, and a future of her own, as her family tugs at her from afar; and Grace, choosing to live the remainder of her life for herself alone, knowing she may never see her children again.

Entwined is Paul Harrison’s story as he loses his wife, his job, and everything that defines him as a man. He takes off on his own journey out west, searching for the answers to all that has gone wrong in his life. One thing remains constant: He wants his wife back.

Joanna, however, is moving farther away from her old life as she joins a group dedicated to rescuing endangered loggerhead turtles, led by a charismatic fisherman unlike anyone she’s ever met.

The Richest Season is a stunning debut about three very different people, each changing their lives when such transformations are usually long over. It will resonate with any woman who’s ever fantasized about leaving home to find herself.
Visit Maryann McFadden's website.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"The Man Who Ate the World"

New from Henry Holt: The Man Who Ate the World: In Search of the Perfect Dinner by Jay Rayner.

About the book, from the publisher:

An astronomical gastronomical undertaking —one of the world’s preeminent restaurant critics takes on the giants of haute cuisine, one tasting menu at a time

Like the luxury fashion companies Gucci and Chanel, high-end dining has gone global, and Jay Rayner has watched, amazed, as the great names of the restaurant business have turned themselves from artisans into international brands.

Long suspecting that his job was too good to be true, Rayner uses his entrée into this world to probe the larger issues behind the globalization of dinner. Combining memoir with vivid scenes at the table; interviews with the world’s most renowned chefs, restaurateurs, and eaters; and a few well-placed rants and raves about life as a paid gourmand, Rayner puts his thoughtful, innovative, and hilarious stamp on food writing. He reports on high-end gastronomy from Vegas to Dubai, Moscow to Tokyo, London to New York, ending in Paris where he attempts to do with Michelin-starred restaurants what Morgan Spurlock did with McDonald’s in Super Size Me—eating at those establishments on consecutive days and never refusing a sixteen-course tasting menu when it’s offered.

The Man Who Ate the World is a fascinating and riotous look at the business and pleasure of fine dining.

"On the Laps of Gods"

New from Crown Publishing: On the Laps of Gods: The Red Summer of 1919 and the Struggle for Justice That Remade a Nation by Robert Whitaker.

About the book, from the publisher:

They shot them down like rabbits . . .

September 30, 1919. The United States teetered on the edge of a racial civil war. During the previous three months, racial fighting had erupted in twenty-five cities. And deep in the Arkansas Delta, black sharecroppers were meeting in a humble wooden church, forming a union and making plans to sue their white landowners, who for years had cheated them out of their fair share of the cotton crop. A car pulled up outside the church . . .
What happened next has long been shrouded in controversy.

In this heartbreaking but ultimately triumphant story of courage and will, journalist Robert Whitaker carefully documents—and exposes—one of the worst racial massacres in American history. Over the course of several days, posses and federal troops gunned down more than one hundred men, women, and children.

But that is just the beginning of this astonishing story. White authorities also arrested more than three hundred black farmers, and in trials that lasted only a few hours, all-white juries sentenced twelve of the union leaders to die in the electric chair. One of the juries returned a death verdict after two minutes of deliberation.

All hope seemed lost, and then an extraordinary lawyer from Little Rock stepped forward: Scipio Africanus Jones. Jones, who’d been born a slave, joined forces with the NAACP to mount an appeal in which he argued that his clients’ constitutional rights to a fair trial had been violated. Never before had the U.S. Supreme Court set aside a criminal verdict in a state court because the proceedings had been unfair, so the state of Arkansas, confident of victory, had a carpenter build coffins for the men.

We all know the names of the many legendary heroes that emerged from the civil rights movement: Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr. among them. Whitaker’s important book commemorates a legal struggle, Moore v. Dempsey, that paved the way for that later remaking of our country, and tells too of a man, Scipio Africanus Jones, whose name surely deserves to be known by all Americans.
Visit Robert Whitaker's website.

Monday, June 23, 2008


New from Farrar Straus Giroux: Cost by Roxana Robinson.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Julia Lambert, an art professor, settles into her idyllic Maine house for the summer, she plans to spend the time tending her fragile relationships with her father, a repressive neurosurgeon, and her gentle mother, who is descending into Alzheimer’s. But a shattering revelation intrudes: Julia’s son Jack has spiraled into heroin addiction.

In an attempt to save him, Julia marshals help from her looseknit clan: elderly parents; remarried ex-husband; removed sister; and combative eldest son. Ultimately, heroin courses through the characters’ lives with an impersonal and devastating energy, sweeping the family into a world in which deceit, crime, and fear are part of daily life.

Roxana Robinson is the author of Sweetwater, which Booklist called a “hold-your-breath novel of loss and love.” Billy Collins praised Robinson as “a master at moving from the art of description to the work of excavating the truths about ourselves.”

In Cost, Robinson tackles addiction and explores its effects on the bonds of family, dazzling us with her hallmark subtlety and precision in evoking the emotional interiors of her characters. The result is a work in which the reader’s sense of discovery and compassion for every character remains unflagging to the end, even as the reader, like the characters, is caught up in Cost’s breathtaking pace.
Visit Roxana Robinson's website.

"The Lolita Effect"

New from Overlook Press: The Lolita Effect: The Media Sexualization of Young Girls and What You Can Do About It by M. Gigi Durham.

About the book, from the publisher:

Americans are bombarded with perplexing and alarming media images: brand name thong underwear for ten-year-olds with the slogans “Wink Wink” and “Eye Candy” written on them; oversexed and underdressed celebrities gone wild; Bratz dolls and their “sexy” clothing line for preteen girls. How do we raise sexually healthy young women in this kind of environment?

In The Lolita Effect, University of Iowa professor and journalist M. Gigi Durham offers new insight into media myths and spectacles of sexuality. Using examples from popular TV shows, fashion and beauty magazines, movies, and Web sites, Durham shows for the first time all the ways in which sexuality is rigidly and restrictively defined in media—often in ways detrimental to girls’ healthy development. The Lolita Effect offers parents, teachers, counselors, and other concerned adults effective and progressive strategies for resisting the violations and repressions that render girls sexually subordinate. Durham provides us with the tools to navigate this media world effectively without censorship or moralizing, and then to help our girls to do so in strong and empowering ways.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"A Summer of Hummingbirds"

New from Penguin: A Summer of Hummingbirds: Love, Art, and Scandal in the Intersecting Worlds of Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade by Christopher Benfey.

About the book, from the publisher:

A surprising and scandalous story of how the interaction within a group of exceptional and uniquely talented characters shaped and changed American thought

At the close of the Civil War, the United States took a deep breath to lick wounds and consider the damage done. A Summer of Hummingbirds reveals how, at that tender moment, the lives of some of our most noted writers, poets, and artists-including Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Martin Johnson Heade-intersected to make sense of it all. Renowned critic Christopher Benfey maps the intricate web of friendship, family, and romance that connects these larger than life personalities to one another, and in doing so discovers a unique moment in the development of American character.

In this meticulously researched and creatively imagined work, Benfey takes the seemingly arbitrary image of the hummingbird and traces its "route of evanescence" as it travels in circles to and from the creative wellsprings of the age: from the naturalist writings of abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson to the poems of his wayward pupil Emily Dickinson; into the mind of Henry Ward Beecher and within the writings and paintings of his famous sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe. A Summer of Hummingbirds unveils how, through the art of these great thinkers, the hummingbird became the symbol of an era, an image through which they could explore their controversial (and often contradictory) ideas of nature, religion, sexuality, family, time, exoticism, and beauty.

Benfey's complex tale of interconnection comes to an apex in Amherst, Massachusetts, during the summer of 1882, a time when loyalties were betrayed and thoughts exchanged with the speed of a hummingbird's wings. Here in the wake of the very public Henry Ward Beecher and Elizabeth Tilton sex scandal, Mabel Loomis Todd-the young and beautiful protegee to the hummingbird painter Martin Johnson Heade-begins an affair with Austin Dickinson and leaves her mentor heartbroken; Emily Dickinson is found in the arms of her father's friend Judge Otis Lord, and that's not all.

As infidelity and lust run rampant, the incendiary ghost of Lord Byron is evoked, and the characters of A Summer of Hummingbirds find themselves caught in the crossfire between the Calvinist world of decorum, restraint, and judgment and a romantic, unconventional world in which nature prevails and freedom is all.
Read an excerpt from A Summer of Hummingbirds, and listen to Christopher Benfey read Emily Dickenson's poem, "A Route of Evanescence."

"Love & Lies"

Coming in July from Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing: Love & Lies: Marisol's Story by Ellen Wittlinger.

About the book, from the publisher:

Marisol Guzman has deferred college for a year to accomplish two things: She will write a novel and she will fall in love. How hard could that be? She gets her very own apartment (with her high school best friend as roommate) and a waitressing job at a classic Harvard Square coffeehouse. When she enrolls in an adult education class -- "How to Write Your First Novel" -- there are two big surprises waiting for her: John Galardi, aka "Gio," a fellow zine writer who fell head over heels for her last spring (despite the fact that she's a lesbian) and her instructor, Olivia Frost, the most exquisitely beautiful woman she's ever seen.

But as Marisol ventures into what seems to be her storybook romance with Olivia, things start to go off track. Between the ups and downs of her new relationship, her strained friendship with Lee (a newly out lesbian who is crushing big-time on Marisol), and her roommate's new boyfriend (who is equally afraid of Marisol and their cat) moving in, Marisol starts losing sight of her goals. Is she too blinded by love to see the lies?

In this long-anticipated companion novel to the Printz Honor Book Hard Love, which critics called "A bittersweet tale of self-expression and the struggle to achieve self-love," Ellen Wittlinger offers a novel just as emotionally honest and deeply felt.
Visit Ellen Wittlinger's website.

Writers Read: Ellen Wittlinger.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

"Finding Nouf"

New from Houghton Mifflin: Finding Nouf by Zoë Ferraris.

About the book, from the publisher:

Zoë Ferraris’s electrifying debut of taut psychological suspense offers an unprecedented window into Saudi Arabia and the lives of men and women there. When sixteen-year-old Nouf goes missing, along with a truck and her favorite camel, her prominent family calls on Nayir al-Sharqi, a desert guide, to lead a search party. Ten days later, just as Nayir is about to give up in frustration, her body is discovered by anonymous desert travelers. But when the coroner’s office determines that Nouf died not of dehydration but from drowning, and her family seems suspiciously uninterested in getting at the truth, Nayir takes it upon himself to find out what really happened to her. This mission will push gentle, hulking, pious Nayir, a Palestinian orphan raised by his bachelor uncle, to delve into the secret life of a rich, protected teenage girl -- in one of the most rigidly gender-segregated of Middle Eastern societies. Initially horrified at the idea of a woman bold enough to bare her face and to work in public, Nayir soon realizes that if he wants to gain access to the hidden world of women, he will have to join forces with Katya Hijazi, a lab worker at the coroner’s office. Their partnership challenges Nayir, bringing him face to face with his desire for female companionship and the limitations imposed by his beliefs. It also ultimately leads them both to surprising revelations. Fast-paced and utterly transporting, Finding Nouf offers an intimate glimpse inside a closed society and a riveting literary mystery.
Visit Zoë Ferraris' website.

"The Dirty Secrets Club"

New from Dutton Books: The Dirty Secrets Club by Meg Gardiner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Introducing the writer Stephen King trumpets as “the next suspense superstar”

Recently Stephen King devoted an entire Entertainment Weekly column to Meg Gardiner, proclaiming her “as good as Michael Connelly and far better than Janet Evanovich.” How is it possible, he wondered, that this Californian was published only in Britain? Starting now, suspense fans on this side of the pond can get their fix right here: Dutton is proud to introduce Gardiner’s brand-new series heroine, Jo Beckett, in The Dirty Secrets Club.

An ongoing string of high-profile and very public murder-suicides has San Francisco even more rattled than a string of recent earthquakes: A flamboyant fashion designer burns to death, clutching the body of his murdered lover. A superstar 49er jumps off the Golden Gate Bridge. And most shocking of all, a U.S. attorney launches her BMW off a highway overpass, killing herself and three others.

Enter forensic psychiatrist Jo Beckett, hired by the SFPD to cut open not the victim’s body but the victim’s life. Jo’s job is to complete the psychological autopsy, shedding light on the circumstances of any equivocal death. Soon she makes a shocking discovery: All the suicides belonged to something called the Dirty Secrets Club, a group of A-listers with nothing but money and plenty to hide. As the deaths continue, Jo delves into the disturbing motives behind this shadowy group—until she receives a letter containing a dark secret Jo thought she’d left deep in her past, and ending with the most chilling words of all: “Welcome to the Dirty Secrets Club.”
Visit Meg Gardiner's website and blog.

Friday, June 20, 2008

"Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World"

New from Simon & Schuster: Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World by David Maraniss.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the critically acclaimed and bestselling author David Maraniss, a groundbreaking book that weaves sports, politics, and history into a tour de force about the 1960 Rome Olympics, eighteen days of theater, suspense, victory, and defeat

David Maraniss draws compelling portraits of the athletes competing in Rome, including some of the most honored in Olympic history: decathlete Rafer Johnson, sprinter Wilma Rudolph, Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila, and Louisville boxer Cassius Clay, who at eighteen seized the world stage for the first time, four years before he became Muhammad Ali.

Along with these unforgettable characters and dramatic contests, there was a deeper meaning to those late-summer days at the dawn of the sixties. Change was apparent everywhere. The world as we know it was coming into view.

Rome saw the first doping scandal, the first commercially televised Summer Games, the first athlete paid for wearing a certain brand of shoes. Old-boy notions of Olympic amateurism were crumbling and could never be taken seriously again. In the heat of the cold war, the city teemed with spies and rumors of defections. Every move was judged for its propaganda value. East and West Germans competed as a unified team less than a year before the Berlin Wall. There was dispute over the two Chinas. An independence movement was sweeping sub-Saharan Africa, with fourteen nations in the process of being born. There was increasing pressure to provide equal rights for blacks and women as they emerged from generations of discrimination.

Using the meticulous research and sweeping narrative style that have become his trademark, Maraniss reveals the rich palate of character, competition, and meaning that gave Rome 1960 its singular essence.
Visit David Maraniss' website.

"Exile Trust"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Exile Trust by Vincent H. O'Neil.

About the book, from the publisher:

Things are about to heat up in the sleepy town of Exile, Florida. When fact-checker Frank Cole is asked to help the Exile Bank update its safe-deposit records, it sounds like a nice, simple job. With the aid of retiree Gray Toliver, Frank starts tracking down bank customers who left the area without emptying their safe-deposit boxes.

That’s when the temperature starts to rise. Frank learns that an impostor tricked his way into the safe-deposit room a few days earlier, and that he may have emptied one of the boxes. No one can get in touch with the box owner, Dorothea Freehoffer, so Frank decides to go knock on a few doors. The mercury climbs a few more notches when Frank finds out that Dorothea died of an accidental fall shortly before the impostor visited the bank.

Frank begins to dig into the accident, only to find more questions than answers. A shady lawyer is making inquiries in Dorothea’s neighborhood. A sultry district attorney starts dogging Frank’s footsteps. A sealed envelope that Dorothea had hidden with a friend appears, but all it contains is a map of a real estate development that never happened.

Throw in a crooked geologist who disappeared in the area twenty years ago, a pair of smooth-talking land speculators, and a visitor from Frank’s past who is in no hurry to leave, and Exile is well on its way to the boiling point

The third installment of Vincent H. O'Neil's mystery series continues the story of amateur sleuth Frank Cole as he tries to identify a phantom, track down some missing bank customers, solve a murder, and earn a little Exile Trust.
Visit Vincent H. O'Neil's website.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

"President Lincoln's Spy"

New from Kensington Books: President Lincoln's Spy by Steven Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

1861. As the Civil War rages on, one man is determined to prove himself on the front lines of battle. But destiny has far greater plans for him…

On the battlefield, Captain Fitz Dunaway is a man of action with a keen, intellectual prowess. But when he humiliates his commanding officer, he finds himself facing a court martial for his maverick behavior. Now his only chance to redeem himself is by working as a spy to uncover a plot to assassinate President Lincoln. Searching through gas-lit alleyways for traitors who will embrace him as one of their own, Fitz discovers just how fine the line is between allegiance to your cause—and allegiance to your country...

In this rousing novel of loyalty and patriotism, betrayal and scandal, honor and valor, Lincoln scholar and expert Steven Wilson blends meticulous detail with captivating characters, taking readers back to one of America’s most defining moments in history.
Visit Steven Wilson's website.


New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Singularity by Kathryn Casey.

About the book, from the publisher:

Profiler Sarah Armstrong knows what it’s like to be in a sticky situation. As a single mother and one of the few female Rangers in Texas history, she has had to work twice as hard to rank among the best cops in the Lone Star State. But when megawealthy businessman Edward Lucas III is found murdered along with his mistress, their bodies posed in grotesque ways, Sara quickly senses that this will be the deadliest case of her career. While others focus the investigation on Lucas’s estranged wife, Sarah disagrees and hunts a suspect only she believes in. Yet nothing in her career could have prepared her for the horror of a young man who believes he has been sent from heaven to massacre innocent people. When Sarah picks up on the killer’s elusive trail, following his scent all over Texas, the psychopath makes her his next target. And as Sarah closes in, the madman sets his sights on all she holds dear. Singularity features a feisty, funny, and tough heroine and a truly creepy killer, as it races along to a chilling and unexpected climax.
Visit Kathryn Casey's website.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"The Girl I Left Behind"

New from Harper: The Girl I Left Behind: A Narrative History of the Sixties by Judith Nies.

About the book, from the publisher:

At the height of the Vietnam War protests, twenty-eight-year-old Judith Nies and her husband lived a seemingly idyllic life. Both were building their respective careers in Washington—Nies as the speechwriter and chief staffer to a core group of antiwar congressmen, her husband as a Treasury department economist. They lived in the carriage house of the famed Marjorie Merriweather Post estate. But when her husband brought home a list of questions from an FBI file with Judith's name on the front, Nies soon realized that her life was about to take a radical turn. Shocked to find herself the focus of an FBI investigation into her political activities, Nies began to reevaluate her role as grateful employee and dutiful wife. In The Girl I Left Behind, she chronicles the experiences of those women who, like herself, reinvented their lives in the midst of a wildly shifting social and political landscape.

In a fresh, candid look at the 1960s, Nies pairs illuminating descriptions of feminist leaders, women's liberation protests, and other pivotal social developments with the story of her own transformation into a staunch activist and writer. From exposing institutionalized sexism on Capitol Hill in her first published article to orchestrating the removal of a separate "Ladies Gallery" on the House floor to taking leadership of the Women in Fellowships Committee, Nies discusses her own efforts to enlarge women's choices and to change the workplace—and how the repercussions of those efforts in the sixties can still be felt today.

A heartfelt memoir and piercing social commentary, The Girl I Left Behind recounts one woman's courageous journey toward independence and equality. It also evaluates the consequences of the feminist movement on the same women who made it happen—and on the daughters born in their wake.
Visit Judith Nies' website.

"Don't Tell a Soul"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Don't Tell a Soul by David Rosenfelt.

About the book, from the publisher:

Tim Wallace’s wife died in a boating accident several months ago. Tim was the only eye witness, and one New Jersey cop is sure he killed her. He didn’t, but even if the police eventually clear his name, he’ll never get over this terrible tragedy.

On New Year’s Eve, his two best friends and business partners finally convince him to go out for the first time since Maggie’s death, and at their neighborhood pub just a few minutes before midnight, things in Tim Wallace’s life go from bad to worse. “Can you keep a secret? A really big one?” a drunken stranger asks him. Before Tim can say anything or turn away, the man confesses to a months-old murder, even offering as proof the location of the woman’s body. “Now it’s your problem,” he says and walks away.

When the man turns out to have been telling the truth, Tim’s life and work are put under the microscope again by the cops, and this time they’re not giving up. But neither is Tim, even when things keep getting worse for him, and eventually he realizes he’s the only person who can figure out what’s really going on---even if it kills him.
Visit David Rosenfelt's website.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"A Patent Lie"

New from Doubleday Books: A Patent Lie by Paul Goldstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

Forced out of his high-powered Manhattan law firm and stuck in a dead-end solo practice, Michael Seeley, the tough-but-wounded hero of Errors and Omissions, cannot say no when his estranged brother, Leonard, head of research at upstart biotech Vaxtek, Inc., flies in from California to beg him to take over the company’s lawsuit for patent infringement of its pathbreaking AIDS vaccine after the sudden death of the lead trial lawyer. The financial and moral stakes of the case are staggering, and Seeley suspects that murder cannot be ruled out as a hardball litigation tactic of big-pharma adversary St. Gall Laboratories.

As Seeley travels between San Francisco and Silicon Valley to prepare for trial, dark facts surface concerning the vaccine’s discovery by Vaxtek scientist Alan Steinhardt and its alleged theft by St. Gall researcher Lily Warren. Ethical quandaries deepen into mortal danger as the trial, under the stern prodding of federal judge Ellen Farnsworth, rushes to its unexpected end. A timely and fascinating look at how the law operates at its most arcane yet financially consequential, A Patent Lie is further evidence that Paul Goldstein is an emerging master of the legal thriller.

"More Than It Hurts You"

Coming in July from Dutton Books: More Than It Hurts You by Darin Strauss.

About the book, from the publisher:

The acclaimed author of Chang and Eng returns with a literary showstopper— a beautifully realized novel that at its heart is the story of a woman who will risk everything to feel something; a doctor whose diagnosis brings her entire life into question; and a man who suddenly realizes that being a good husband and a good father can no longer comfortably coexist.

Josh Goldin was savoring a Friday afternoon break in the coffee room, harmlessly flirting with coworkers while anticipating the weekend at home where his wife, Dori, waited with their eight-month-old son, Zack. And then Josh’s secretary rushed in, using words like intensive care, lost consciousness, blood....

That morning, Dori had walked into the emergency room with her son in severe distress. Enter Dr. Darlene Stokes: an African-American physician and single mother whose life is dedicated both to her own son and navigating the tricky maze of modern-day medicine. But something about Dori stirred the doctor’s suspicions. Darlene had heard of the sensational diagnosis of Munchausen by Proxy, where a mother intentionally harms her baby, but had never come upon a case of it before. It was rarely diagnosed and extraordinarily controversial. Could it possibly have happened here?

As their four lives intersect with dramatic consequences, Darlene, Dori, and Josh are pushed to their breaking points as they confront the nightmare that has become their new reality. Darin Strauss’s extraordinary novel is set in a world turned upside down—where doctors try to save babies from their parents, police use the law to tear families apart, and the people you know the best end up surprising you the most.
Visit Darin Strauss' website and his book blog at Newsweek.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"Ancient Highway"

Coming soon from Random House: Ancient Highway by Bret Lott.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the bestselling author of Jewel and The Difference Between Women and Men comes a haunting novel of home, family, and the pursuit of lost dreams. Ancient Highway brilliantly weaves together the hopes and regrets of three characters from three generations as they reconcile who they are and who they might have been.

In 1925, a fourteen-year-old boy leaves his family’s farm and hops a boxcar in a dusty Texas field, heading for Hollywood and a life in the “flickers.”
In 1947, a ten-year-old girl aches for a real home with a real family in a wide-open space, far from the crowded Los Angeles streets where her handsome cowboy father chases stardom and her mother holds a secret.
In 1980, a young man just out of the Navy visits his elderly yet colorful grandparents in Los Angeles, eager to uncover his family’s silent history.

For the Holmeses, a longing for something else–another place, a second chance–seems to run in the family DNA. From Earl’s journey west toward Hollywood glory, to his daughter Joan’s wish for a normal existence away from the bright lights, to his grandson Brad’s yearning for truth, this deep-rooted desire sustains them, no matter how much the goal eludes them. But ultimately, in each generation, a family crisis forces a turning away from the horizon and the acceptance of a reality that is by turns harsh and healing.

Inspired by stories of his own family, Bret Lott beautifully renders the lives of ordinary people with extraordinary faith in a mesmerizing and finely wrought tale of love and letting go.

"Shining City"

Coming soon from Bloomsbury USA: Shining City by Seth Greenland.

About the book, from the publisher:

A witty and sexy satire about how contemporary American culture defines right and wrong, good and bad, from the acclaimed author of The Bones.

When good guy Marcus Ripps takes over his black sheep brother’s lucrative dry cleaning business, he has no idea what he’s in for. Before long, he is running one of the most popular escort services in West Hollywood. As the money starts pouring in, he revitalizes his marriage, buys a new Mercedes, and gives his son a bar mitzvah he’ll never forget. But, when his conscience—and the law—starts to catch up with him, Marcus must decide if his sudden financial windfall is worth all the risk. A wild, clever, consistently hysterical romp, Shining City is an L.A. adventure that will keep you guessing to the very end.
Visit Seth Greenland's website and watch the Shining City video.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

"Buried Too Deep"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Buried Too Deep by Jane Finnis.

About the book, from the publisher:

The spring of 98 AD is a time of optimism in the turbulent frontier province of Britannia. Business is brisk at the mansio (inn) that Aurelia Marcella runs with her twin brother Lucius on the road to York.

Then a wagon arrives bearing a local farmer with a grievous sword wound who is seeking treatment with the local Greek doctor. And Lucius appears at the mansio on a mission. When the farmer dies, the twins head for the coast to return the man to his family and to check out a shipwreck bearing valuable official cargo. A band of outlawed sea-raiders led by a Gaul are suspected of stealing it along with killing the farmer.

It all adds to the feuding that has erupted between the colonists and the natives. The natives claim the newcomers are stealing the best farmland, while the settlers accuse the locals of plotting rebellion against Rome. Both sides are using terrorist tactics: burning, kidnapping, and even murder. The trouble escalates and long-buried grudges are revived as counsellors, citizens, chiefs, and slaves mix in. But a subtle, personal agenda is at work as well—one or more of the combatants may have hired the Gauls to orchestrate the violence. The third novel in the Aurelia Marcella series.
Visit Jane Finnis' website.

"The Drifter's Wheel"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: The Drifter's Wheel by Phillip DePoy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Fever Devilin, born and raised amongst the hill country folk of the Georgia Appalachians, left home a long time ago and pursued an education, then a career, in the wider outside world. A folklorist by inclination and profession, he left the strange world of academia behind to return to his family-home in the if-anything-stranger mountain town he grew up in. But oddness follows Fever wherever he goes and Blue Mountain, Georgia is no different.

When a man shows up at his house, claiming to be over a hundred years old even though he looks like he’s in his 30’s, Fever is pretty sure his guest is not right. When the man starts to wave a gun around, then falls suddenly asleep immediately afterward, Fever thinks he’s both "not right" and "dangerous" and slips out to call the sheriff. The sheriff, Fever’s childhood friend, has been hearing reports of this particular vagrant all day but before he can get out there, the man disappears.

In the early morning, the body of man that fits the description of the mysterious vagrant is found by the side of the road, shot to death. But, although the body is wearing the same clothes that the vagrant was, it isn’t the same person.
Visit Phillip DePoy's website.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

"Stealing Athena"

New from Doubleday Books: Stealing Athena by Karen Essex.

About the book, from the publisher:

The author of the bestselling Leonardo’s Swans traverses the centuries into the hearts of two extraordinary women to reveal the passions, ambitions, and controversies surrounding the Elgin Marbles.

The Elgin Marbles have been displayed in the British Museum for nearly two hundred years, and for just as long they have been the center of a raging controversy. In Stealing Athena, Karen Essex chronicles the Marbles’ amazing journey through the dynamic narratives of Mary Nisbet, wife of the Earl of Elgin, the British ambassador to Constantinople, and Aspasia, the mistress of Perikles, the most powerful man in Athens during that city’s Golden Age.
At the height of the Napoleonic Wars, the twenty-one-year-old, newly wed Countess of Elgin, a Scottish heiress and celebrated beauty, enchanted the power brokers of the Ottoman Empire, using her charms to obtain their permission for her husband’s audacious plan to deconstruct the Parthenon and bring its magnificent sculptures to England. Two millennia earlier, Aspasia, a female philosopher and courtesan, and a central figure in Athenian life, plied her wits, allure, and influence with equal determination, standing with Perikles at the center of vehement opposition to his vision of building the most exquisite monuments the world had ever seen.

Rich in romance and intrigue, greed and glory, Stealing Athena is an enthralling work of historical fiction and a window into the intimate lives of some of history’s most influential and fascinating women.
Visit Karen Essex's website.

"A Poisoned Mind"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: A Poisoned Mind by Natasha Cooper.

About the book, from the publisher:

“I don’t know how you’ve survived at the Bar this long,” Anthony said to Trish. “Caring for your clients to the point of derangement is bad enough; but to start fretting over the opposition. . . . ”

In spite of the barristers’ rule that any suitably qualified member of the Bar who is free to take an offered case must do so, QC Trish Maguire can’t quite understand how her head of chambers, Anthony Shelley, can accept a case defending the corrupt Clean World Waste Management company. So when the brilliant and cynical Anthony is nearly killed in an accident, Trish is faced with a painful dilemma: Does she take over the company’s defense, or threaten her hard-won career by refusing to appear in court against Angie Fortwell, the impoverished widow of a hard-working farmer? As Trish delves deeper into the case, she grows more and more troubled by a nagging thought: Was the explosion that killed Angie’s husband really an accident, or the result of sabotage?

With all this going on at work, the last thing Trish needs is the possibility of explosions at home. Yet she can’t simply walk away from Jay, the clever but damaged fourteen-year-old boy who has attached himself to her family---especially when his mother is found beaten and close to death.

A brilliant novel of crime and its consequences, A Poisoned Mind demonstrates the full range of Natasha Cooper’s emotional intelligence and storytelling powers.
Visit Natasha Cooper's website.

Friday, June 13, 2008

"The Score"

New from Avery/Penguin: The Score: How The Quest For Sex Has Shaped The Modern Man by Faye Flam.

About the book, from the publisher:

A smart, witty, and fresh look at the male side of the male-female relationship from a science writer and sex columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Beginning with a “boot camp” for wannabe pickup artists—where men pay thousands of dollars for three days of classroom seminars on how to get women into bed—Faye Flam’s quest for a deeper understanding of men takes her back through the evolutionary history of the human male.

Sweeping from the birth of the first male and female organisms to the sexual foibles of twenty-first-century humans, Flam shows how a small difference in the size of the first sperm and eggs set off a war between the sexes that we’re still fighting today. Since this primordial split, a consistent pattern of behavior has emerged: males use a stunning variety of strategies to make themselves attractive to females, and females put them through the wringer.

By placing the human male in the context of the natural world, Flam highlights some intriguing resemblances among males of all species, but also the unique challenges that men face when courting women—whether for a lifelong partnership or a one-night stand. Flam ultimately reveals that millions of years of evolution have left the love lives of humans suspended somewhere between monogamy and promiscuity, and that it is this eons-old tension between males and females that has created the modern man.

"Have You No Shame?"

New from Villard Books: Have You No Shame? And Other Regrettable Stories by Rachel Shukert.

About the book, from the publisher:

Growing up in white-bread Omaha, Nebraska, Rachel Shukert was one of thirty-seven students (circa 1990) in Nebraska’s only Jewish elementary school. She spent her days dreaming of a fantasy Aryan boyfriend named Chris McPresbyterian, a tall blond god whose family spoke softly in public and did not inquire after his bowel movements. She spent her nights frantically plastering her bedroom with pictures of intimidating co-religionists such as Henry Kissinger and Bette Midler, hoping to repel the Gestapo officers she was certain were lurking behind the drywall.

Even back then, Rachel knew she was destined for greatness. After winning the Omaha Metropolitan Area Theater Arts Guild Award for Best Youth Actress–and imagining herself as the biggest talent to come out of Nebraska since Montgomery Clift–Rachel finally arrives in Manhattan. Intent on making her mark in the glittering world of Show Biz, she is thwarted at every turn by episodes of anorexia, verbally abusive sock puppets, and a certain terrorist attack you may have heard of. She nevertheless soldiers on, as her people have done from time immemorial.

In this hilarious, mordant, and moving memoir, Rachel Shukert tackles topics as diverse and weighty as life, death, love, Jewish paranoia, and errant feminine hygiene products with a fresh and irresistible mixture of humor, brains, and candor, proving that having no shame can sometimes be a very good thing indeed.
Visit Rachel Shukert's website.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"The Evil That Men Do"

New from Three Rivers Press: The Evil That Men Do by Dave White.

About the book, from the publisher:

Even generations later, you can't escape. . .the evil that men do.

Stripped of his private investigator’s license and slumming it as a night security guard at a Jersey storage facility, Jackson Donne thinks he’s finally hit rock bottom. Then the bottom really falls out: The sister he hasn’t seen in years shows up, needing help.

Turns out Donne’s Alzheimer’s-stricken mother has begun hinting at long-buried family secrets from her hospital bed, suggesting a sinister–even murderous–past. Meanwhile, Donne’s relatives are suddenly being greeted by blackmail, car bombs, and bullets to the back of the skull.

All Donne wants is to disappear–preferably into a nice frosty pint glass–but he soon realizes that his only chance at saving his family, and himself, is by solving a mystery more than sixty years old. Now he needs to figure out how a hit man, crooked cops, corrupt politics, a kidnapping, and the city of Bayonne all fit together. He’ll discover that old family secrets still have the power to kill in this razor-sharp PI story that makes classic noir new again.
Visit Dave White's website and his blog.

The Page 69 Test: When One Man Dies.

"Armed & Magical"

New from Ace Books: Armed & Magical by Lisa Shearin.

About the book, from the publisher:

My name is Raine Benares. Until last week I was a seeker—a finder of things lost and people missing. Now I’m psychic roommates with the Saghred, an ancient stone with cataclysmic powers. Just me, the stone, and all the souls it’s ingested over the centuries. Crowded doesn’t even begin to describe it. All I want is my life back—which means getting rid of the stone and the power it possesses. To sort things out, I head for the Isle of Mid, home to the most prestigious sorcery school, as well as the Conclave, the governing body for all magic users. It’s also home to power- grubbing mages who want me dead and goblins who see me as a thief. As if that’s not enough, Mid’s best student spellsingers are disappearing left and right, and I’m expected to find them. Lives are at stake, goblins are threatening to sue, mages are getting greedier, and the stone’s power is getting stronger by the hour. This could get ugly.
Visit Lisa Shearin's website and her blog.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Bending Science"

New from Harvard University Press: Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research by Thomas O. McGarity & Wendy E. Wagner.

About the book, from the publisher:

What do we know about the possible poisons that industrial technologies leave in our air and water? How reliable is the science that federal regulators and legislators use to protect the public from dangerous products? As this disturbing book shows, ideological or economic attacks on research are part of an extensive pattern of abuse.

Thomas O. McGarity and Wendy Wagner reveal the range of sophisticated legal and financial tactics political and corporate advocates use to discredit or suppress research on potential human health hazards. Scientists can find their research blocked, or find themselves threatened with financial ruin. Corporations, plaintiff attorneys, think tanks, even government agencies have been caught suppressing or distorting research on the safety of chemical products.

With alarming stories drawn from the public record, McGarity and Wagner describe how advocates attempt to bend science or “spin” findings. They reveal an immense range of tools available to shrewd partisans determined to manipulate research.

Bending Science exposes an astonishing pattern of corruption and makes a compelling case for reforms to safeguard both the integrity of science and the public health.
The Page 99 Test: Bending Science.

"The Last Days of Old Beijing"

New from Walker and Company: The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed by Michael Meyer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Soon we wiil be able to say about old Beijing that... "what emperors, warlords, Japanese invaders, and Communist planners couldn't eradicate, the market economy has,". Nobody has been more aware of this than Michael Meyer. A longtime resident, Meyer has, for the past two years, lived as no other westerner-in a shared courtyard home in Beijing's oldest neighborhood, Dazhalan, on one of its famed hutong (lanes). There he volunteered to teach English at the local grade school and immersed himself in the community, recording with affection the life stories of the Widow, who shares his courtyard; co-teacher Miss Zhu and student Little Liu; and the migrants Recycler Wang and Soldier Liu; among the many others who, despite great differences in age and profession, make up the fabric of this unique neighborhood.

Their bond is rapidly being torn, however, by forced evictions as century-old houses and ways of life are increasingly destroyed to make way for shopping malls, the capital's first Wal-Mart, high-rise buildings, and widened streets for cars replacing bicycles. Beijing has gone through this cycle many times, as Meyer reveals, but never with the kind of dislocation and overturning of its storied culture now occurring as the city prepares to host the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Weaving historical vignettes of Beijing and China over a thousand years through his narrative, Meyer captures the city's deep past as he illuminates its present. With the kind of insight only someone on the inside can provide, The Last Days of Old Beijing is an invaluable witness to history, and brings this moment and the ebb and flow of daily lives on the other side of the planet into shining focus.
Visit The Last Days of Old Beijing website.

Read Jeffrey Wasserstrom's Newsweek review of The Last Days of Old Beijing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle"

New from Ecco: David Wroblewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.

About the book, from the publisher:

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm—and into Edgar's mother's affections.

Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires—spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.

David Wroblewski is a master storyteller, and his breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful vision rendered in the falling rain—create a riveting family saga, a brilliant exploration of the limits of language, and a compulsively readable modern classic.
Visit David Wroblewski's website.

"A Nuclear Family Vacation"

New from Bloomsbury USA: A Nuclear Family Vacation: Travels in the World of Atomic Weaponry by Sharon Weinberger and Nathan Hodge.

About the book, from the publisher:

Two Washington, D.C., defense reporters do for nukes what Sarah Vowell did for presidential assassinations in this fascinating, kaleidoscopic portrait of nuclear weaponry.

In A Nuclear Family Vacation, husband-and-wife journalists Sharon Weinberger and Nathan Hodge hit the open road to explore the secretive world of nuclear weaponry. Along the way, they answer the questions most nuclear tourists don’t get to ask: Are nuclear weapons still on hair-trigger alert? Is there such a thing as a suitcase nuke? Is Iran really building the bomb? Together, Weinberger and Hodge visit top-secret locations like the Isfahan Uranium Conversion Facility in Iran, the United States’ Kwajalein military outpost in the Marshall Islands, the Y-12 facility in Tennessee, and “Site R,” a bunker known as the “Underground Pentagon,” rumored to be Vice President Cheney’s personal “undisclosed location” of choice. Their atomic road trip reveals plans to revitalize the U.S. nuclear arsenal, even as the United States pushes other countries to disarm. Weaving together travel writing with world-changing events, A Nuclear Family Vacation unearths unknown—and often quite entertaining—stories about the nuclear world.
Visit the official website for A Nuclear Family Vacation.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Clubbed to Death"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Clubbed to Death by Ruth Dudley Edwards.

About the book, from the publisher:

Robert Amiss is persuaded by his friend Detective Sergeant Pooley of the CID to take a job as a waiter in ffeatherstonehaugh’s (pronounced Fanshaw’s), a gentlemen’s club in St James’. The club secretary has allegedly jumped to his death from the gallery of this imposing building. Against most of the evidence, Pooley believes he was murdered.

Amiss finds himself in a bizarre caricature of a club, run by and for debauched geriatrics, with skeletons rattling in every cupboard. Why are there so few members? How are they financed? Will Amiss keep his job despite the enmity of the ferocious, snuff-covered Colonel Fagg?
Visit Ruth Dudley Edwards's website.

"The Alchemy of Stone"

New from Prime Books: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia.

About the book, from the author's website:

A steampunk novel of romance, political intrigue, and alchemy, The Alchemy of Stone represents a new and intriguing direction by the author of the critically-acclaimed The Secret History of Moscow: Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets-secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. However, this doesn't sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart ... literally.
Visit Ekaterina Sedia's website.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You"

New from Basic Books: Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You by Sam Gosling.

About the book, from the publisher:

Does what’s on your desk reveal what’s on your mind? Do those pictures on your walls tell true tales about you? And is your favorite outfit about to give you away? For the last ten years psychologist Sam Gosling has been studying how people project (and protect) their inner selves. By exploring our private worlds (desks, bedrooms, even our clothes and our cars), he shows not only how we showcase our personalities in unexpected-and unplanned-ways, but also how we create personality in the first place, communicate it others, and interpret the world around us. Gosling, one of the field’s most innovative researchers, dispatches teams of scientific snoops to poke around dorm rooms and offices, to see what can be learned about people simply from looking at their stuff. What he has discovered is astonishing: when it comes to the most essential components of our personalities-from friendliness to flexibility-the things we own and the way we arrange them often say more about us than even our most intimate conversations. If you know what to look for, you can figure out how reliable a new boyfriend is by peeking into his medicine cabinet or whether an employee is committed to her job by analyzing her cubicle. Bottom line: The insights we gain can boost our understanding of ourselves and sharpen our perceptions of others. Packed with original research and fascinating stories, Snoop is a captivating guidebook to our not-so-secret lives.
Visit Sam Gosling's website.