Friday, October 31, 2008

"Obsession: A History"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Lennard J. Davis' Obsession: A History.

About the book, from the publisher:

We live in an age of obsession. Not only are we hopelessly devoted to our work, strangely addicted to our favorite television shows, and desperately impassioned about our cars, we admire obsession in others: we demand that lovers be infatuated with one another in films, we respond to the passion of single-minded musicians, we cheer on driven athletes. To be obsessive is to be American; to be obsessive is to be modern.

But obsession is not only a phenomenon of modern existence: it is a medical category—both a pathology and a goal. Behind this paradox lies a fascinating history, which Lennard Davis tells in Obsession. Beginning with the roots of the disease in demonic possession and its secular successors, Davis traces the evolution of obsessive behavior from a social and religious fact of life into a medical and psychiatric problem. From obsessive aspects of professional specialization to obsessive sex and nymphomania, no variety of obsession eludes Davis’s graceful analysis. Obsession also considers the clinical definition of the condition: Davis investigates the huge increase (estimates suggest up to 600-fold) in diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder over the past thirty years. Surveying the many ways in which doctors today treat OCD, he points out the limitations of and contradictions within the biological definitions of the disease.

Impassioned, witty, and learned, Obsession is for anyone—from compulsive hand washers to professional psychologists—who has been fascinated by, struggled with, or cultivated obsession.

"The Victoria Vanishes"

New from Bantam Books: The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s a case tailor-made for the Peculiar Crimes Unit. A lonely hearts killer is targeting middle-aged women at some of England’s most well-known pubs—including one torn down eighty years ago. What’s more, Arthur Bryant happened to see one of the victims only moments before her death at the pub that doesn’t exist. Indeed, this case is littered with clues that defy everything the veteran detectives know about the habits of serial killers, the methodology of crime, and the odds of making an arrest. Now, with the public on the verge of panic and their superiors determined to shut the PCU down for good, Detectives Bryant and May must rise to the occasion in defense of two great English traditions—the pub and the Peculiar Crimes Unit.

That’s easier said than done. A lost funeral urn, the eighteenth-century mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, the Knights Templars, the secret history of pubs, and the discovery of an astounding religious relic may be enough to convince one of the pair to take back his resignation letter. But with Bryant consulting a memory specialist and May encountering a brush with mortality, do the Peculiar Crimes Unit’s two living legends have enough life left to stop a murderous conspiracy…and a deadly cupid targeting one of their own.
Visit Christopher Fowler's website.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Good Luck"

New from Bantam Discovery: Good Luck by Whitney Gaskell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lucy Parker wins the lottery on the worst day of her life. But can all the money in the world make up for a cheating boyfriend, a derailed career, and ending up in the middle of a media circus? Everyone wants a piece of Lucy…and all she wants is to escape from it all.

After life as she knows it falls apart, Lucy heads off to Palm Beach to hide out at the home of an old college friend. There, living in a tropical paradise of millionaires, Lucy acquires a new hair color, a new social set, and enough anonymity to put her notoriety behind her. Soon she's courted by two men who don’t know her history. But just as Lucy begins to envision a new life for herself, the past catches up with her. Lucy would give up every penny to have her old life back—but just as she’s ready to cash it all in, fate has one last surprise in store for her…one that will show her exactly what she’s worth.
Visit Whitney Gaskell's website.

"Hannah's Dream"

New from Harper Paperbacks: Hannah's Dream by Diane Hammond.

About the book, from the publisher:

An elephant never forgets ... but can she dream?

For forty-one years, Samson Brown has been caring for Hannah, the lone elephant at the down-at-the-heels Max L. Biedelman Zoo. Having vowed not to retire until an equally loving and devoted caretaker is found to replace him, Sam rejoices when smart, compassionate Neva Wilson is hired as the new elephant keeper. But Neva quickly discovers what Sam already knows: that despite their loving care, Hannah is isolated from other elephants and her feet are nearly ruined from standing on hard concrete all day. Using her contacts in the zookeeping world, Neva and Sam hatch a plan to send Hannah to an elephant sanctuary—just as the zoo's angry, unhappy director launches an aggressive revitalization campaign that spotlights Hannah as the star attraction, inextricably tying Hannah's future to the fate of the Max L. Biedelman Zoo.

A charming, poignant, and captivating novel certain to enthrall readers of Water for Elephants, Diane Hammond's Hannah's Dream is a beautifully told tale rich in heart, humor, and intelligence.
Visit Diane Hammond's website.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


New from William Morrow: Beef: The Untold Story of How Milk, Meat, and Muscle Shaped the World by Andrew Rimas and Evan D. G. Fraser.

About the book, from the publisher:

The cow. The most industrious animal in the world. A beast central to human existence since time began, it has played a vital role in our history not only as a source of food, but also as a means of labor, an economic resource, an inspiration for art, and even as a religious icon. Prehistoric people painted it on cave walls; explorers, merchants, and landowners traded it as currency; many cultures worshipped it as a god. So how did it come to occupy the sorry state it does today—more factory product than animal?

In Beef, Andrew Rimas and Evan D. G. Fraser answer that question, telling the story of cattle in its entirety. From the powerful auroch, a now extinct beast once revered as a mystical totem, to the dairy cows of seventeenth-century Holland to the frozen meat patties and growth hormones of today, the authors deliver an engaging panoramic view of the cow's long and colorful history.

Peppered with lively anecdotes, recipes, and culinary tidbits, Beef tells a story that spans the globe, from ancient Mediterranean bullfighting rings to the rugged grazing grounds of eighteenth-century England, from the quiet farms of Japan's Kobe beef cows to crowded American stockyards to remote villages in East Africa, home of the Masai, a society to which cattle mean everything. Leaving no stone unturned in its exploration of the cow's legacy, the narrative serves not only as a compelling story but as a call to arms, offering practical solutions for confronting the current condition of the wasteful beef and dairy industries.

Beef is a captivating history of an animal whose relationship with humanity has shaped the world as we know it, and readers will never look at steak the same way again.

"Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?"

New from Delacorte Press: Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?: Bodies, Behavior, and Brains--The Science Behind Sex, Love, and Attraction by Jena Pincott.

About the book, from the publisher:

How long does it take to decide if a person is hot? Is your lover more likely to get you pregnant than your husband? Can men tell when a woman is fertile?

If you’ve ever wondered how scientists measure love—or whether men really prefer blondes over brunettes—this smart, sexy book provides real answers to these and many other questions about our most baffling dating and mating behaviors. Based on the latest research in biology, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, and cognitive science, Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? dares to explain the science behind sex—and opens a fascinating window on the intriguing phenomenon of love and attraction.

Covering the areas of bodies, brains, and behavior, this eye-opening guide reveals the genetic, hormonal, and psychological secrets behind what makes us tick sexually. For example, do you know why a man’s body chemistry and behavior change when he’s in a committed relationship? And why, when he becomes a daddy, his testosterone level seems to plummet? And did you know…

• When a couple first fall in love, their brains are indistinguishable from those of the clinically insane
• You can tell a lot about a person’s sexual chemistry just by looking at his or her hands
• Your genes influence whose body odors you prefer
• Being around breast-feeding women may increase a woman's sex drive

Viewed through the lens of science and instinct, your love life might be seen in a completely different way. Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? provides both an in-depth exploration into our sexual psyches—and fresh advice for men and women who want to discover the secrets of successful relationships.
Visit Jena Pincott's website and blog.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"The Darker Side"

New from Bantam: The Darker Side by Cody McFadyen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Everyone has a secret they don’t dare tell anyone.
He’ll kill you for yours.

Cody McFadyen has shocked even the most jaded suspense fans with Shadow Man and The Face of Death. Now comes a thriller that outdoes them all, featuring a psychopath on a perverse crusade of murder. And the one woman who can stop him has a secret that will change her from the hunter to the hunted.…

A lie, a long-ago affair, a dark desire—everyone has secrets they take to the grave. No one knew that better than FBI special agent Smoky Barrett. But what secret was a very private young woman keeping that led to her very public murder? And what kind of killer was so driven and so brazenly daring that he’d take her life on a commercial airliner thirty thousand feet in midair, a killer so accomplished that he’d leave only a small souvenir behind?

These are the questions that bring Smoky and her hand-picked team of experienced manhunters from L.A. to the autumn chill of Washington, D.C., by order of the FBI director himself—and at the special request of a high-powered grieving D.C. mother.

As a mother, Smoky knows the pain of losing a child—it nearly killed her once before. As a cop with her own twisted past, she takes every murder personally, which is both her greatest strength and her only weakness. Brilliant, merciless, righteous, the killer Smoky is hunting this time is on his own personal mission, whose cost in innocent human lives he’s only begun to collect. For in his eyes no one is innocent; everyone harbors a secret sin, including Smoky Barrett.

Soon Smoky will have to face what she’s so carefully hidden even from her own team—and confront a flawless killer who knows her flaws with murderous intimacy.
Visit Cody McFadyen's website.

"New York Nocturne"

New from Princeton University Press: New York Nocturne: The City After Dark in Literature, Painting, and Photography, 1850-1950 by William Chapman Sharpe.

About the book, from the publisher:

As early as the 1850s, gaslight tempted New Yorkers out into a burgeoning nightlife filled with shopping, dining, and dancing. Electricity later turned the city at night into an even more stunning spectacle of brilliantly lit streets and glittering skyscrapers. The advent of artificial lighting revolutionized the urban night, creating not only new forms of life and leisure, but also new ways of perceiving the nocturnal experience. New York Nocturne is the first book to examine how the art of the gaslit and electrified city evolved, and how representations of nighttime New York expanded the boundaries of modern painting, literature, and photography. Exploring the myriad images of Manhattan after dark, New York Nocturne shows how writers and artists took on the city's nocturnal blaze and transformed the scintillating landscape into an icon of modernity.

The book traces key metaphors of the nighttime city: a seductive Babylon in the mid-1850s, a misty fairyland colonized by an empire of light in the early twentieth century, and a skyscraper-studded land of desire that became a stage for the voyeurism and violence of the 1940s and 1950s. The epilogue suggests how these themes have continued to shape our vision of nighttime New York ever since. Abundantly illustrated, New York Nocturne includes original readings of works by Whitman, Poe, Whistler, Riis, Stieglitz, Abbott, O'Keeffe, Stella, Hopper, Weegee, Ellison, Jacquette, and many others. Collectively, they tell a fascinating story about the relationship between night, art, and modern urban life.
Read an excerpt from New York Nocturne.

Monday, October 27, 2008


New from Tor Books: Ex-KOP by Warren Hammond.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this hardboiled science fiction thriller, Juno, having been booted off the police force, is barely getting by as a low-level bagman and photographer for the scandal rags. But it gets worse: his wife is in critical condition at the hospital and Juno doesn’t have the money to pay her bills. Desperate for cash, Juno agrees to help his ex-partner, Maggie Orzo, solve a difficult case. A young girl sits on death row, accused of brutally murdering her own parents. She’s confessed to the murders, but Maggie isn’t buying it, so she sends Juno out to get some answers.

Working with Maggie, Juno comes into contact with her new partner, Ian. As dirty as they come, Ian is eager to rise in the police force no matter what the cost. Somehow Ian, a vicious serial killer, and the girl on death row are all connected. It is up to Juno and Maggie to find out how before more people die.
Visit Warren Hammond's website.

The Page 99 Test: KOP.

"The Four Seasons"

New from Hyperion: The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice by Laurel Corona.

About the book, from the publisher:

In glittering 18th-century Venice, music and love are prized above all else—and for two sisters coming of age, the city’s passions blend in intoxicating ways.

Chiaretta and Maddalena are as different as night and day. The two sisters were abandoned as babies on the steps of the Ospedale della Pietá, Venice’s world-famous foundling hospital and musical academy. High-spirited and rebellious, Chiaretta marries into a great aristocratic Venetian family and eventually becomes one of the most powerful women in Venice. Maddalena becomes a violin virtuoso and Antonio Vivaldi’s muse. The Four Seasons is a rich, literary imagination of the world of 18th-century Venice and the lives and loves of two extraordinary women.
Visit Laurel Corona's website.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

"A Partisan's Daughter"

New from Knopf: A Partisan's Daughter by Louis de Bernières.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the acclaimed author of Corelli’s Mandolin and Birds Without Wings (“de Bernières has reached heights that few modern novelists ever attempt” —The Washington Post Book World) comes an intimate new novel, a love story at once raw and sweetly funny, wry and heartbreakingly sad.

He’s Chris: bored, lonely, trapped in a loveless, sexless marriage. In his forties, he’s a stranger inside the youth culture of London in the late 1970s, a stranger to himself on the night he invites a hooker into his car.

She’s Roza: Yugoslavian, recently moved to London, the daughter of one of Tito’s partisans. She’s in her twenties but has already lived a life filled with danger, misadventure, romance, and tragedy. And although she’s not a hooker, when she’s propositioned by Chris, she gets into his car anyway.

Over the next months Roza tells Chris the stories of her past. She’s a fast-talking, wily Scheherazade, saving her own life by telling it to Chris. And he takes in her tales as if they were oxygen in an otherwise airless world. But is Roza telling the truth? Does Chris hear the stories through the filter of his own need? Does it even matter?

This deeply moving novel of their unlikely love—narrated both in the moment and in recollection, each of their voices deftly realized—is also a brilliantly subtle commentary on storytelling: its seductions and powers, and its ultimately unavoidable dangers.
Visit Louis de Bernières' website.

"Conspiracy of Silence"

New from Oceanview Publishing: Conspiracy of Silence by Martha Powers.

About the book, from the publisher:

On a sunny day in July, Clare Prentice arrives in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Although she is on assignment to interview the town’s notoriously reclusive novelist Nate Hanssen, Clare is really in search of a different story–her story.

Just months before, Clare was a bride-to-be, living in Chicago, and looking to the future…until the day she learned her entire life had been a lie.

Not only was Clare adopted, but there is no record that she or her adoptive mother ever existed. The only clue is a class ring from Grand Rapids Senior High School. Unable to get on with her future until she reconciles her past, Clare breaks off her engagement.

Unraveling the mystery is like trying to sculpt fog–until the first piece of the puzzle unexpectedly drops into place: Clare’s birth mother, Lily Gundersen, was murdered in Grand Rapids.

Lily’s murder was one of the most talked-about events in the town’s history, but no one is talking now.

Clare doesn’t know the whole story – and someone intends to keep it that way.
Visit Martha Powers' website.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Night Kill"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Ann Littlewood's Night Kill.

About the book, from the publisher:

Iris Oakley, a young zookeeper at the Finley Memorial Zoo in Vancouver, Washington, hopes to reconcile with her newly sober husband, Rick. But when he’s found dead—and dead drunk—in the lion exhibit, a paralyzing mix of grief and anger at his betrayal keeps Iris from questioning the assumptions around his death. But Iris’ friends motivate her to prove that her husband could not have died the way it appears. Soon, however, these same friends impede her progress as she follows ambiguous clues and sorts through unlikely motives. Meanwhile, Iris must also adjust to losing her beloved job as feline keeper and instead learn to be a bird keeper. The zoo’s veterinarian respects her skills, but the foreman would far rather she get a job elsewhere—and the senior bird keeper seems to agree. After Iris survives a series of near-fatal “accidents,” she begins to understand what really happened to Rick. But Iris must survive to prove it....
Visit Ann Littlewood's website and blog.

"Alex & Me"

New from Collins: Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--And Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene Pepperberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

On September 6, 2007, an African Grey parrot named Alex died prematurely at age thirty-one. His last words to his owner, Irene Pepperberg, were "You be good. I love you."

What would normally be a quiet, very private event was, in Alex's case, headline news. Over the thirty years they had worked together, Alex and Irene had become famous—two pioneers who opened an unprecedented window into the hidden yet vast world of animal minds. Alex's brain was the size of a shelled walnut, and when Irene and Alex first met, birds were not believed to possess any potential for language, consciousness, or anything remotely comparable to human intelligence. Yet, over the years, Alex proved many things. He could add. He could sound out words. He understood concepts like bigger, smaller, more, fewer, and none. He was capable of thought and intention. Together, Alex and Irene uncovered a startling reality: We live in a world populated by thinking, conscious creatures.

The fame that resulted was extraordinary. Yet there was a side to their relationship that never made the papers. They were emotionally connected to one another. They shared a deep bond far beyond science. Alex missed Irene when she was away. He was jealous when she paid attention to other parrots, or even people. He liked to show her who was boss. He loved to dance. He sometimes became bored by the repetition of his tests, and played jokes on her. Sometimes they sniped at each other. Yet nearly every day, they each said, "I love you."

Alex and Irene stayed together through thick and thin—despite sneers from experts, extraordinary financial sacrifices, and a nomadic existence from one univer­sity to another. The story of their thirty-year adventure is equally a landmark of scientific achievement and of an unforgettable human-animal bond.

Friday, October 24, 2008

"The Max"

New from Hard Case Crime: The Max by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr.

About the book, from the publisher:

When last we saw Max Fisher and Angela Petrakos, Max was being arrested by the NYPD for drug trafficking and Angela was fleeing the country in the wake of a brutal murder. Now both are headed for eye-opening encounters with the law—Max in the cell blocks of Attica, Angela in a quaint little prison on the Greek island of Lesbos...
Read a sample chapter from The Max.

"The Airplane"

New from Collins: The Airplane: How Ideas Gave Us Wings by Jay Spenser.

About the book, from the publisher:

The inside story of how people invented and refined the airplane.

Who were aviation's dreamers and from where did they draw their inspiration? What lessons did inventors learn from birds, insects, marine mammals, and fish that helped us fly? How did the bicycle lead to the airplane, and hot water heaters to metal fuselages?And who figured out how to fly without seeing the ground, setting the stage for scheduled airline services in all weather conditions?

In this entertaining history of the jetliner, Jay Spenser follows the flow of simple yet powerful ideas to trace aviation's challenges. He introduces us to pioneers across continents and centuries, sheds new insights on their contributions, and evokes those key moments in history when, piece by piece, such innovators as Otto Lilienthal, Igor Sikorsky, Louis Blériot, Hugo Junkers, and Jack Northrop collectively solved the puzzle of flight.

Along the way, Spenser demystifies the modern jetliner. From wings to flight controls to fuselages to landing gear, he examines the parts of the airplane to show how they came into being and have evolved over time. The Airplane culminates in a discussion of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and explores the possibilities for aviation's future.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Hardly Knew Her"

New from William Morrow: Laura Lippman's Hardly Knew Her: Stories.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman has been hailed as one of the best crime fiction writers in America today, winning virtually every major award in the genre. The author of the enormously popular series featuring Baltimore P.I. Tess Monaghan as well as three critically lauded stand-alone novels, Lippman now turns her attention to short stories—and reveals another level of mastery.

Lippman sets many of the stories in this sterling anthology, Hardly Knew Her, in familiar territory: her beloved Baltimore, from downtown to its affluent suburbs, where successful businessmen go to shocking lengths to protect what they have or ruthlessly expand their holdings, while dissatisfied wives find murderous ways to escape their lives. But Lippman is also unafraid to travel—to New Orleans, to an unnamed southwestern city, and even to Dublin, the backdrop for the lethal clash of two not-so-innocents abroad. Tess Monaghan is here, in two stories and a profile, aligning herself with various underdogs. And in her extraordinary, never-before-published novella, Scratch a Woman, Lippman takes us deep into the private world of a high-priced call girl/madam and devoted soccer mom, exploring the mystery of what may, in fact, be written in the blood.

Each of these ingenious tales is a gem—sometimes poignant, sometimes humorous, always filled with delightfully unanticipated twists and reversals. For people who have yet to read Lippman, get ready to experience the spellbinding power of "one of today's most pleasing storytellers, hailed for her keen psychological insights and her compelling characterizations," (San Diego Union-Tribune), who has "invigorated the crime fiction arena with smart, innovative, and exciting work" (George Pelecanos). As for longtime devotees of her multiple award-winning novels, you'll discover that you hardly know her.
Visit Laura Lippman's website.

"Every Last Drop"

New from Del Ray Books: Charlie Huston's Every Last Drop.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s like this: a series of bullet-riddled bad breaks has seen rogue Vampyre and terminal tough guy Joe Pitt go from PI for hire to Clan-connected enforcer to dead man walking in a New York minute. And after burning all his bridges, the only one left to cross leads to the Bronx, where Joe’s brass knuckles and straight razor can’t keep him from running afoul of a sadistic old bloodsucker with a bad bark and a worse bite. Even if every Clan in Manhattan is hollering for Joe’s head on a stick, it’s got to be better than trying to survive in the outer-borough wilderness.

So it’s a no-brainer when Clan boss Dexter Predo comes looking to make a deal. All Joe has to do to win back breathing privileges on his old turf is infiltrate an upstart Clan whose plan to cure the Vyrus could expose the secret Vampyre world to mortal eyes and set off a panic-driven massacre. Not cool. But Joe’s all over it. To save the Undead future, he just has to wade neck-deep through all the archenemies, former friends, and assorted heavy hitters he’s crossed in the past. No sweat? Maybe not, but definitely more blood than he’s ever seen or hungered for. And maybe even some tears–over the horror and heartbreaking truth about the evil men do no matter who or what they are.
Visit Charlie Huston's website.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Bowling Across America"

New from St. Martin's Press: Bowling Across America: 50 States in Rented Shoes by Mike Walsh.

About the book, from the publisher:

Inspired by his father’s unexpected passing, Mike Walsh, a 27 year-old Chicago advertising executive, quits his job to embark on a one-of-a-kind quest. The destination: bowling alleys in each of the 50 states. Though dubbed "career suicide" by colleagues, the endeavor soon touches a nerve among many people­—­from frustrated middle managers to radio talk show hosts to a woman who merely identifies herself as "Bowling Spice" in an innuendo-laden email.

Conversations and adventures with the people he finds in bowling alleys at all hours of the day and night—retired Maine lobstermen, saucy European nannies, recovering addicts, former bowling champions, college students, World War II vets and lingerie saleswomen, to name a few—combine to form a picture of what America looks like while standing in a pair of rented shoes.

Hilarious, insightful and at times moving, BOWLING ACROSS AMERICA is an epic journey that will enthrall readers everywhere.
Visit the Bowling Across America website and blog.

"The Dracula Dossier"

New from William Morrow & Company: The Dracula Dossier by James Reese.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stalled in his writing career and feeling overwhelmed by his charismatic, successful boss Sir Henry Irving, Bram Stoker returns to London in the summer of 1888 determined to turn his life around.

Late one night Stoker decides to take a stroll through the streets of Whitechapel, an impoverished district of London known for its many prostitutes as well as the citizenry crowding its shadowy alleys. Amid the shadows, he spies a seemingly familiar figure, a man resembling a quack American "doctor" of his acquaintance. But before Stoker can be certain, the man disappears.

Little does he know that just a few steps away, the crime spree of the century has begun: a vicious killer has claimed his first victim, a local prostitute. And Stoker somehow becomes the prime suspect. To clear his name, he enlists some of his illustrious friends, including Walt Whitman, Lady Jane Wilde (mother of Oscar), and the million-copy-selling Victorian novelist Sir Thomas Henry Hall Caine. When they discover that the murder weapon is a Gurkha knife owned by Stoker and recently stolen from his home, there can be no doubt that the elusive American doctor—Francis Tumblety—is the very same man terrorizing and taunting London as Jack the Ripper.

Moving from Manhattan to London's West End and Whitechapel, from Dublin to a ritualistic denouement in Edinburgh, this sweeping, magnificent novel is a suspenseful trip into the heart of literature and history, as Stoker sets out on the "true" adventure that will later inspire him to write Dracula. James Reese has been praised for his "sweeping narrative" (Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, MS), "vivid characters" (Washington Post Book World), and "imaginative wizardry" (Orlando Sentinel), and The Dracula Dossier is perhaps his most stunning achievement to date.
Visit James Reese's website.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Point No Point"

New from Bleak House Books: Point No Point by Mary Logue.

About the book, from the publisher:

The seventh book in the Claire Watkins mystery series. Deputy Sheriff Claire Watkins is faced with a difficult case when a friend of the family is suspected of killing his wife. Her investigation puts a great stress on her relationship with her husband. Things are further strained when the suspect attempts suicide, solidifying his guilt in Claire’s mind. But what if she’s wrong?
Visit Mary Logue's website.

"Mama Does Time"

New from Midnight Ink: Deborah Sharp's Mama Does Time.

About the book, from the publisher:

Meet Mama: a true Southern woman with impeccable manners, sherbet-colored pantsuits, and four prior husbands, able to serve sweet tea and sidestep alligator attacks with equal aplomb. Mama's antics — especially her penchant for finding trouble — drive her daughters Mace, Maddie, and Marty to distraction.

One night, while settling in to look for ex-beaus on COPS, Mace gets a frantic call from her mother. This time, the trouble is real: Mama found a body in the trunk of her turquoise convertible and the police think she's the killer. It doesn't help that the handsome detective assigned to the case seems determined to prove Mama's guilt or that the cowboy who broke Mace's heart shows up at the local Booze ‘n' Breeze in the midst of the investigation. Before their mama lands in prison — just like an embarrassing lyric from a country-western song — Mace and her sisters must find the real culprit.
Visit Deborah Sharp's website.

Monday, October 20, 2008

"The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs"

New from The Penguin Press: The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs by Charles D. Ellis.

About the book, from the publisher:

The jury is still out on what the future of Goldman Sachs will look like, but no one can argue that the 139 year old firm has been (and, if Warren Buffett has his way, will be) the dominant investment banker and dealer on Wall Street. What does Buffett see that we on the outside do not? It’s all about the people.

Charles D. Ellis has written a landmark book that couldn’t come at a better time. The Partnership: The Making of Goldman Sachs is the colorful and fascinating story of Goldman’s rise to power through many life-threatening changes in markets, competition, and regulation. It tells the personal history of the men and women who built the world’s leading financial powerhouse from a firm that was disgraced and nearly destroyed in 1929, limped along as a break-even operation through the Depression and WWII, and, with only one special service and one improbable banker, began the rise that, in half a century, took Goldman Sachs to global leadership.

"Ghost Radio"

New from William Morrow & Company: Ghost Radio by Leopoldo Gout.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ghost Radio is a terrifying novel about a ghost-story call-in radio show that inadvertently opens a doorway into the paranormal, giving voice to the dead and instigating an epic battle for the souls of the living

From the cramped bowels of a dimly lit radio station, Ghost Radio is beamed onto the airwaves. More than a call-in show to tell scary stories about vampires and poltergeists, Ghost Radio is a sanctuary for those sleepless denizens of the night, lost halfway between this world and the next.

Joaquin, the hip, melancholy host, sits deep in a fog of cigarette smoke, fielding calls from believers and detractors alike. He is joined in the booth by his darkly beautiful girlfriend, Alondra, and his engineer, Watts. Soon what began as an underground cult sensation is primed to break out to mainstream audiences. When a huge radio conglomerate offers to syndicate the show and Ghost Radio becomes a national hit with an expanding legion of hardcore fans, neither Joaquin, Alondra, nor Watts is remotely prepared for what is about to happen.

Though a charismatic host, Joaquin remains a skeptic even as he begins to notice a curious and troubling phenomenon—he feels himself drawn further and further into the terrifying stories he solicits on the radio. Slowly he loses control over his reality and finds himself unable to distinguish between the real world and the world populated by the nightmares on Ghost Radio. He is forced to confront his past and his own mortality in order to save that which is most precious to him and repair the crumbling wall between the living and the dead.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Veil of Lies"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Jeri Westerson's Veil of Lies.

About the book, from the publisher:

Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight, stripped of his rank and his honor - but left with his life - for plotting against Richard II. Having lost his bethrothed, his friends, his patrons and his position in society. With no trade to support him and no family willing to acknowledge him, Crispin has turned to the one thing he still has - his wits - to scrape a living together on the mean streets of London. In 1383, Guest is called to the compound of a merchant - a reclusive mercer who suspects that his wife is being unfaithful and wants Guest to look into the matter. Not wishing to sully himself in such disgraceful, dishonorable business but in dire need of money, Guest agrees and discovers that the wife is indeed up to something, presumably nothing good. But when he comes to inform his client, he is found dead - murdered in a sealed room, locked from the inside. Now Guest has come to the unwanted attention of the Lord Sheriff of London and most recent client was murdered while he was working for him. And everything seems to turn on a religious relic - a veil reported to have wiped the brow of Christ - that is now missing.
Visit Jeri Westerson's "Getting Medieval" blog and the Crispin Guest Medieval Noir blog.

"Hard-Boiled Sentimentality"

New from Columbia University Press: Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Fiction by Leonard Cassuto.

About the book, from the publisher:

Leonard Cassuto's cultural history links the testosterone-saturated heroes of American crime stories to the sensitive women of the nineteenth-century sentimental novel. From classics like The Big Sleep and The Talented Mr. Ripley to neglected paperback gems, Cassuto chronicles the dialogue—centered on the power of sympathy—between these popular genres and the sweeping social changes of the twentieth century, ending with a surprising connection between today's serial killers and the domestic fictions of long ago.
Visit Leonard Cassuto's website.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

"Things That Make Us (Sic)"

New from St. Martin's Press: Things That Make Us (Sic): The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar Takes on Madison Avenue, Hollywood, the White House, and the World by Martha Brockenbrough.

About the book, from the publisher:

This book is for people who experience heartbreak over love notes with subject-verb agreements…for anyone who’s ever considered hanging up the phone on people who pepper their speech with such gems as “irregardless,” “expresso,” or “disorientated”…and for the earnest souls who wonder if it’s “Woe is Me,” or “Woe is I,” or even “Woe am I.”

Martha Brockenbrough’s Things That Make Us (Sic) is a laugh-out-loud guide to grammar and language, a snarkier, American answer to Lynn Truss’s runaway success Eats, Shoots & Leaves. Brockenbrough is the founder of National Grammar Day and SPOGG -- the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar -- and as serious as she is about proper usage, her voice is funny, irreverent, and never condescending. Things That Make Us (Sic) addresses common language stumbling stones such as evil twins, clichés, jargon, and flab, and offers all the spelling tips, hints, and rules that are fit to print. It’s also hugely entertaining, with letters to high-profile language abusers, including David Hasselhoff, George W. Bush, and Canada’s Maple Leafs [sic], as well as a letter to – and a reply from – Her Majesty, the Queen of England.

Brockenbrough has written a unique compendium combining letters, pop culture references, handy cheat sheets, rants, and historical references that is as helpful as it is hilarious.
Visit Martha Brockenbrough's website.

"The Long Thaw"

New from Princeton University Press: The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate by David Archer.

About the book, from the publisher:

If you think that global warming means slightly hotter weather and a modest rise in sea levels that will persist only so long as fossil fuels hold out (or until we decide to stop burning them), think again. In The Long Thaw, David Archer, one of the world's leading climatologists, predicts that if we continue to emit carbon dioxide we may eventually cancel the next ice age and raise the oceans by 50 meters. By comparing the global warming projection for the next century to natural climate changes of the distant past, and then looking into the future far beyond the usual scientific and political horizon of the year 2100, Archer reveals the hard truths of the long-term climate forecast.

Archer shows how just a few centuries of fossil-fuel use will cause not only a climate storm that will last a few hundred years, but dramatic climate changes that will last thousands. Carbon dioxide emitted today will be a problem for millennia. For the first time, humans have become major players in shaping the long-term climate. In fact, a planetwide thaw driven by humans has already begun. But despite the seriousness of the situation, Archer argues that it is still not too late to avert dangerous climate change--if humans can find a way to cooperate as never before.

Revealing why carbon dioxide may be an even worse gamble in the long run than in the short, this compelling and critically important book brings the best long-term climate science to a general audience for the first time.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"In the Country of Brooklyn"

New from William Morrow: In the Country of Brooklyn: Inspiration to the World by Peter Golenbock.

About the book, from the publisher:

One of every seven people in the United States can trace their family back to Brooklyn, New York—all seventy-one square miles of it; home to millions of people from every corner of the globe over the last 150 years. Now Peter Golenbock, the author of the acclaimed book Bums: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers, returns to Kings County to collect the firsthand stories of the life and times of the people of Brooklyn—and how they changed the world.

The nostalgic myth that is Brooklyn is all about egg creams and stickball, and, of course, the Dodgers. The Dodgers left fifty years ago, but Brooklyn is still here—transformed by waves of suburban flight, new immigrants, urban homesteaders, and gentrification. Deep down, Brooklyn has always been about new ideas—freedom and tolerance paramount among them—that have changed the world, all the way back to Lady Deborah Moody, who escaped religious persecution in both Old and New England, and founded Coney Island and the town of Gravesend in the 1600s.

So why was Jackie Robinson embraced by Brooklynites of all colors, and so despised everywhere else? Why was Brooklyn one of the first urban areas to decay into slums—and one of the first to be reborn? And what was it that made Brooklynites fight for their rights, for their country, for their ideas—sometimes to the detriment of their own well-being? In the Country of Brooklyn, filled with rare photos, is history at its very best—engaging, personal, fascinating—a social history and a history of social justice; an oral history of a land and its people spanning the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; a microcosm of how Americans there faced and defeated discrimination, oppression, and unjust laws, and fought for what was right. And the voices and stories are as amazing as they are varied.

Meet: Daily Worker sportswriter Lester Rodney • rock and roll DJ "Cousin Brucie" Morrow • labor leader Henry Foner • Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa • journalist and author Pete Hamill • Black Panther–turned-politician Charles Barron • Hall of Fame baseball player Monte Irvin • Spanish Civil War veteran Abe Smorodin • borough president Marty Markowitz • real estate developer Joseph Sitt • jujitsu world champion Robert Crosson • songwriter Neil Sedaka • NYPD officer John Mackie • ACLU president Ira Glasser • and many others!

It's Brooklyn as we've never seen it before, a place of social activism, political energy, and creative thinking—a place whose vitality has spread around the world for more than 350 years. And a place where you can still get a decent egg cream.
Visit Peter Golenbock's website.

"The Body in the Record Room"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: The Body in the Record Room by Joe Barone.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s 1954. When a mental patient who calls himself Roy Rogers finds a body in the hospital record room, his investigation leads him to the murder of Marcia Weinhart. Twenty years earlier, authorities found her mutilated corpse lying on the altar of St. Adrian's Catholic Church in Sunrise, Missouri.

Roy, his friend Harry, and Harry’s beloved dog, Bullet, move through the buildings and grounds of the Sunrise Mental Hospital, a thousand-acre facility with more than two thousand patients and eight hundred employees. They go from the record room to the hospital’s Catholic chapel, from the blacksmith shop to the hospital cemetery, looking for victims of the terrible abuse behind the Weinhart murder.

In the process, Roy comes to better understand the strength and moral stature of his hero, the real Roy Rogers. He is able to overcome the terror of his past, choosing to forgo violence and work within the law.

Joe Barone’s debut makes for an intriguing mystery while also elevating old-time heroes and their values.
Visit Joe Barone's website and blog.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Michelle: A Biography"

New from Simon & Schuster: Liza Mundy's Michelle: A Biography.

About the book, from the publisher:

She can be funny and sharp-tongued, warm and blunt, empathic and demanding. Who is the woman Barack Obama calls "the boss"? In Michelle, Washington Post writer Liza Mundy paints a revealing and intimate portrait, taking us inside the marriage of the most dynamic couple in politics today. She shows how well they complement each other: Michelle, the highly organized, sometimes intimidating, list-making pragmatist; Barack, the introspective political charmer who won't pick up his socks but shoots for the stars. Their relationship, like those of many couples with two careers and two children, has been so strained at times that he has had to persuade her to support his climb up the political ladder. And you can't blame her for occasionally regretting it: In this campaign, it is Michelle who has absorbed much of the skepticism from voters about Obama. One conservative magazine put her on the cover under the headline "Mrs. Grievance."

Michelle's story carries with it all the extraordinary achievements and lingering pain of America in the post-civil rights era. She grew up on the south side of Chicago, the daughter of a city worker and a stay-at-home mom in a neighborhood rocked by white flight. She was admitted to Princeton amid an angry debate about affirmative action and went on to Harvard Law School, where she was more comfortable doing pro-bono work for the poor than gunning for awards with the rest of her peers. She became a corporate lawyer, then left to train community leaders. She is modern in her tastes but likes to watch reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Brady Bunch.

In this carefully reported biography, drawing upon interviews with more than one hundred people, including one with Michelle herself, Mundy captures the complexity of this remarkable woman and the remarkable life she has lived.
Read an excerpt from Michelle: A Biography.

Visit Liza Mundy's website.

"The Lost Temple"

New from Thomas Dunne Books/ St. Martin's Press: The Lost Temple by Tom Harper.

About the book, from the publisher:

For three thousand years, the world’s most dangerous treasure has been lost. Now the code that reveals its hiding place is about to be broken ...

Greece, 1947. Europe is just beginning to heal after World War II, but the fighting in Greece continues as a civil war is waged. Sam Grant, a disgraced ex–Special Operations Executive soldier and an adventurer by trade, is lured back to the Mediterranean by a secret from his past: six years ago, a dying archaeologist entrusted him with his life’s work—a leather notebook full of unintelligible notes written in Ancient Greek. When the KGB show up looking for the notebook, Grant sets out to protect the discoveries that the archaeologist lost his life for—and to find out what could be so valuable that the CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service want it as well.

With help from a brilliant Oxford professor and a beautiful Greek archaeologist with her own secrets to hide, Grant follows the notebook to a hidden cave on Crete, where a tablet of mysterious writing has lain hidden for thousands of years. Deciphered, it could lead to one of the greatest prizes in history. But the treasure is as dangerous as it is valuable.

Seeking the places where history and myth collide, following the trail left by Homer in his epic poems of heroic warriors, vengeful gods, and treasure beyond anything known to man, Grant is plunged into a labyrinth of ancient cults, forgotten mysteries, and lost civilizations. But time is running out.

The secrets of the distant past may hold the key to the newest threats of the modern world....
Visit Tom Harper's website.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"The Glass of Time"

New from W.W. Norton: Michael Cox's The Glass of Time.

About the book, from the publisher:

Building on his "superb" (Washington Post) debut, The Meaning of Night, Michael Cox returns to a murderous nineteenth-century England.

Like its "beguiling" and "intelligent" (New York Times Book Review) predecessor, The Glass of Time is a pageturning period mystery about identity, the nature of secrets, and what happens when past obsessions impose themselves on an unwilling present. In the autumn of 1876, nineteenyear-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives at the great country house of Evenwood to become a lady's maid to the twenty-sixth Baroness Tansor. But Esperanza is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de l'Orme, to uncover the secrets that her new mistress has sought to conceal, and to set right a past injustice in which Esperanza's own life is bound up. At Evenwood she meets Lady Tansor's two dashing sons, Perseus and Randolph, and finds herself enmeshed in a complicated web of seduction, intrigue, deceit, betrayal, and murder. Few writers are as gifted at evoking the sensibility of the nineteenth century as Michael Cox, who has made the world of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins his own.
Visit Michael Cox's website.

"Chasing Science at Sea"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living Undersea with Ocean Experts by Ellen Prager.

About the book, from the publisher:

To the average office-dweller, marine scientists seem to have the good life: cruising at sea for weeks at a time, swimming in warm coastal waters, living in tropical paradises. But ocean scientists who go to sea will tell you that it is no vacation. Creature comforts are few and the obstacles seemingly insurmountable, yet an abundance of wonder and discovery still awaits those who take to the ocean. Chasing Science at Sea immerses readers in the world of those who regularly go to sea—aquanauts living underwater, marine biologists seeking unseen life in the deep ocean, and the tall-ship captains at the helm, among others—and tells the fascinating tale of what life—and science—is like at the mercy of Mother Nature.

With passion and wit, well-known marine scientist Ellen Prager shares her stories as well as those of her colleagues, revealing that in the field ingenuity and a good sense of humor are as essential as water, sunblock, and GPS. Serendipity is invaluable, and while collecting data is the goal, sometimes just getting back to shore means success. But despite the physical hardship and emotional duress that come with the work, optimism and adventure prompt a particularly hardy species of scientist to return again and again to the sea.

Filled with firsthand accounts of the challenges and triumphs of dealing with the extreme forces of nature and the unpredictable world of the ocean, Chasing Science at Sea is a unique glimpse below the water line at what it is like and why it is important to study, explore, and spend time in one of our planet’s most fascinating and foreign environments.
Read an excerpt from Chasing Science at Sea.

Visit Ellen Prager's website.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"All the Windwracked Stars"

New from Tor Books: All the Windwracked Stars by Elizabeth Bear.

About the book, from the publisher:

It all began with Ragnarok, with the Children of the Light and the Tarnished ones battling to the death in the ice and the dark. At the end of the long battle, one Valkyrie survived, wounded, and one valraven – the steeds of the valkyrie.

Because they lived, Valdyrgard was not wholly destroyed. Because the valraven was transformed in the last miracle offered to a Child of the Light, Valdyrgard was changed to a world where magic and technology worked hand in hand.

2500 years later, Muire is in the last city on the dying planet, where the Technomancer rules what’s left of humanity. She's caught sight of someone she has not seen since the Last Battle: Mingan the Wolf is hunting in her city.
Visit Elizabeth Bear's website and blog.

"Once Were Cops"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Ken Bruen's Once Were Cops.

About the book, from the publisher:

Michael O'Shea is a member of Ireland's police force, known as The Guards. He's also a sociopath who walks a knife edge between sanity and all-out mayhem. When an exchange program is initiated and twenty Guards come to America and twenty cops from the States go to Ireland, Shay, as he's known, has his lifelong dream come true--he becomes a member of the NYPD. But Shay's dream is about to become New York's nightmare.

Paired with an unstable cop nicknamed Kebar for his liberal use of a short, lethal metal stick called a K-bar, the two unlikely partners become a devastatingly effective force in the war against crime.

But Kebar harbors a dangerous secret: he's sold out to the mob to help his sister. Her rape and beating leaves her in a coma and pushes an already unstable Kebar over the edge just as Shea’s dark secrets threaten boil over and into the streets of New York.

Once Were Cops melds the street poetry of Brooklyn and Dublin into a fast-paced, incomparable hard-boiled novel. This is Ken Bruen at his best.
Visit Ken Bruen's website.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"Scorsese by Ebert"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Scorsese by Ebert by Roger Ebert, with a Foreword by Martin Scorsese.

About the book, from the publisher:

Roger Ebert wrote the first film review that director Martin Scorsese ever received—for 1967’s I Call First—when both men were just embarking on their careers. Ebert had never been touched by a movie in quite the same way before, and this experience created a lasting bond that made him one of Scorsese’s most appreciative and perceptive commentators. Scorsese by Ebert offers the first record of America’s most respected film critic’s engagement with the works of America’s greatest living director. The book chronicles every single feature film in Scorsese’s considerable oeuvre, from his aforementioned debut to his 2008 release, the Rolling Stones documentary, Shine a Light.

Here Ebert puts Scorsese’s career in illuminating perspective, exploring the different phases of his development and the abiding themes (many of which reflect Scorsese’s Catholicism) that give his work such complexity and depth. All of Ebert’s incisive reviews of Scorsese’s individual films are here, of course, but there is much more. In the course of eleven interviews done over almost forty years, the book includes Scorsese’s own insights on both his accomplishments and disappointments. One of these interviews, the single longest ever conducted with Scorsese, appears here for the first time. Ebert has also written and included six new reconsiderations of the director’s less commented upon films, as well as a substantial introduction that provides a framework for understanding both Scorsese and his profound impact on American cinema.

As Scorsese himself notes in his foreword to this volume, history is the only critic that counts, but the dialogue from which its judgments arise begins with the kind of emotionally alert, historically informed, and intellectually honest writing that Ebert has collected here in this, the ideal pairing of filmmaker and critic.
Read an excerpt from Scorsese by Ebert.

"The Bookmaker"

New from Harper: The Bookmaker: A Memoir of Money, Luck, and Family from the Utopian Outskirts of New York City by Michael J. Agovino.

About the book, from the publisher:

Marking the debut of a gifted new writer, The Bookmaker teems with humanity, empathy, humor, and insight.

At the heart of Michael J. Agovino's powerful, layered memoir is his family's struggle for success in 1970s, '80s, and '90s New York City—and his father's gambling, which brought them to exhilarating highs and crushing lows. He vividly brings to life the Bronx, a place of texture and nuance, of resignation but also of triumph.

The son of a buttoned-up union man who moonlighted as a gentleman bookmaker and gambler, Agovino grew up in the Bronx's Co-op City, the largest and most ambitious state-sponsored housing development in U.S. history. When it opened, it landed on the front page of The New York Times and in Time magazine, which described it as "relentlessly ugly."

Agovino's Italian American father was determined not to let his modest income and lack of a college education define him, and was dogged in his pursuit of the finer things in life. When the point spreads were on his side, he brought his family to places he only dreamed about in his favorite books and films: the Uffizi, the Tate, the Rijksmuseum; St. Peter's, Chartres, Teotihuacán. With bad luck came shouting matches, unpaid bills, and eviction notices.

The Bookmaker is both a bold, loving portrait of a family and their metropolis and an intimate look into some of the most turbulent decades of New York City. In elegant and soaring prose, it transcends the personal to illuminate the ways in which class distinctions shaped America in the last half of the twentieth century.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Orphan's Alliance"

New from Little Brown Orbit: Orphan's Alliance by Robert Buettner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Humans have been discovered on the Outworlds. And the Army decides to send emissaries. Emissaries like Jason Wander.

As intraplanetary conflicts rage around him, and the personal stakes get ever higher, Jason finds that playing planet-hopping politician can be harder than commanding armies.

When united mankind squares off to battle the Slugs for a precious interstellar crossroad, Jason will discover that the most dangerous enemy may be the one he least expects.
Visit Robert Buettner's website and blog.

"Final Exposure"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Final Exposure by Steve Carlson.

About the book, from the publisher:

The future looks great for David and Rebecca Collier. They are moving into more creative careers and moving to a beach house north of San Francisco. But life is altered considerably one day when Rebecca answers the door to a stranger, who calmly raises a silenced pistol and shoots her dead.

In the subsequent chase, David is wounded. He will never walk without a limp and he is nearly deaf when not wearing his rather temperamental hearing aid. He’s plagued by questions, most significantly: Why would anyone want to kill Rebecca? She was the sweetest person in the world---a photographer doing a photo/essay piece on “Northern California Mansions of the ’30s.” Someone wants him dead, too---a second attempt on his life is made before he even gets out of the hospital.

With the help of Chuck, his best friend from high school and a cop, David is determined to find the man who killed his beloved wife. Eventually they discover that Rebecca’s murder appears to be tied to one of the old houses she photographed, which guards a mysterious operation by some very dangerous men.

Steve Carlson’s debut mystery is a thrilling, emotional ride that signals a new and energetic talent in crime fiction.
Visit Steve Carlson's website.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"Hitler's Private Library"

New from Knopf: Hitler's Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life by Timothy W. Ryback.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brilliantly original exploration of some of the formative influences in Hitler’s life—the books he most revered, and how they shaped the man and his thinking.

Hitler’s education and worldview were formed largely from the books in his private library. Recently, hundreds of those books were discovered in the Library of Congress by Timothy Ryback, complete with Hitler’s marginalia on their pages—underlines, question marks, exclamation points, scrawled comments. Ryback traces the path of the key phrases and ideas that Hitler incorporated into his writing, speeches, conversations, self-definition, and actions.

We watch him embrace Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and the works of Shakespeare. We see how an obscure treatise inspired his political career and a particular interpretation of Ibsen’s epic poem Peer Gynt helped mold his ruthless ambition. He admires Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic tract, The International Jew, and declares it required reading for fellow party members. We learn how his extensive readings on religion and the occult provide the blueprint for his notion of divine providence, how the words of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer are reborn as infamous Nazi catchphrases, and, finally, how a biography of Frederick the Great fired the destructive fanaticism that compelled Hitler to continue fighting World War II when all hope of victory was lost.

Hitler’s Private Library, a landmark in the study of the Third Reich, offers a remarkable view into Hitler’s intellectual world and personal evolution. It demonstrates the ability of books to preserve in vivid ways the lives of their collectors, underscoring the importance of the tactile in the era of the digital.

"Personal Record: A Love Affair With Running"

New from the University of Nebraska Press: Personal Record: A Love Affair with Running by Rachel Toor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rachel Toor was a bookish egghead who ran only to catch a bus. How such an unlikely athlete became a runner of ultramarathons is the story of Personal Record, an exhilarating meditation on the making, and the minutiae, of a runner’s life. The food, the clothes, the races, the injuries, the watch (and Toor loves her watch) are all essential to the runner, as readers discover here, and discover why.

A chronicle of Toor’s relationship with the sport of running, from her early incarnation as an Oreo-eating couch potato to her emergence as a hard-bodied marathoner, this book explores the sport of running, the community it brings into being, and the personal satisfaction of pursuing it to its limit. Alternating with Toor’s account of becoming a runner are the stories—meditations, examinations, celebrations—of how runners become a pack. An homage to running, a literary take on how an activity can turn into a passion, and how a passion can become a way of life, this book runs all the way from individual achievement—a personal record—to the world of friendship and belonging, the community that runners inevitably find.
Visit Rachel Toor's website.

Friday, October 10, 2008

"The Wettest County in the World"

New from Scribner: The Wettest County in the World: A Novel Based on a True Story by Matt Bondurant.

About the book, from the publisher:

Based on the true story of Matt Bondurant's grandfather and two granduncles, The Wettest County in the World is a gripping tale of brotherhood, greed, and murder. The Bondurant Boys were a notorious gang of roughnecks and moonshiners who ran liquor through Franklin County, Virginia, during Prohibition and in the years after. Forrest, the eldest brother, is fierce, mythically indestructible, and the consummate businessman; Howard, the middle brother, is an ox of a man besieged by the horrors he witnessed in the Great War; and Jack, the youngest, has a taste for luxury and a dream to get out of Franklin. Driven and haunted, these men forge a business, fall in love, and struggle to stay afloat as they watch their family die, their father's business fail, and the world they know crumble beneath the Depression and drought.

White mule, white lightning, firewater, popskull, wild cat, stump whiskey, or rotgut -- whatever you called it, Franklin County was awash in moonshine in the 1920s. When Sherwood Anderson, the journalist and author of Winesburg, Ohio, was covering a story there, he christened it the "wettest county in the world." In the twilight of his career, Anderson finds himself driving along dusty red roads trying to find the Bondurant brothers, piece together the clues linking them to "The Great Franklin County Moonshine Conspiracy," and break open the silence that shrouds Franklin County.

In vivid, muscular prose, Matt Bondurant brings these men -- their dark deeds, their long silences, their deep desires -- to life. His understanding of the passion, violence, and desperation at the center of this world is both heartbreaking and magnificent.
Visit Matt Bondurant's website.

"Global Catastrophic Risks"

New from Oxford University Press: Global Catastrophic Risks, edited by Nick Bostrom and Milan Cirkovic, foreword by Martin J. Rees.

About the book, from the publisher:

A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again.

In Global Catastrophic Risks, 26 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issues - policy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes.

This is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the big issues of our time; for students focusing on science, society, technology, and public policy; and for academics, policy-makers, and professionals working in these acutely important fields.
Visit Nick Bostrom's website and Milan M. Ćirković's webpage.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Ghost at Work"

New from William Morrow: Ghost at Work by Carolyn Hart.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bailey Ruth Raeburn has always been great at solving mysteries. Why should a little thing like her death change anything? In fact, being dead gives her more of an opportunity to be on top of events. Bailey Ruth is delighted that her unique position as a ghost makes it possible for her to lend a helping hand, sometimes seen and sometimes not. And if anybody needs a little help, it's Kathleen, the pastor's wife. There's a dead man on her porch, and once the body is discovered, the pastor is sure to become a suspect.

Uncharitable people might call it meddling, but Bailey Ruth knows Kathleen needs her help! As a member of Heaven's Department of Good Intentions, Bailey Ruth goes back to earth to extricate Kathleen from a dire situation. If Bailey Ruth has to bend a few rules to help Kathleen save her family, Wiggins, her fussbudget supervisor, will make sure it all turns out right in the end.
Visit Carolyn Hart's website.

"The Hero of Ages"

New from Tor Books: The Hero of Ages (Book Three of the Mistborn trilogy) by Brandon Sanderson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Who is the Hero of Ages?

To end the Final Empire and restore freedom, Vin killed the Lord Ruler. But as a result, the Deepness---the lethal form of the ubiquitous mists---is back, along with increasingly heavy ashfalls and ever more powerful earthquakes. Humanity appears to be doomed.

Having escaped death at the climax of The Well of Ascension only by becoming a Mistborn himself, Emperor Elend Venture hopes to find clues left behind by the Lord Ruler that will allow him to save the world. Vin is consumed with guilt at having been tricked into releasing the mystic force known as Ruin from the Well. Ruin wants to end the world, and its near omniscience and ability to warp reality make stopping it seem impossible. She can’t even discuss it with Elend lest Ruin learn their plans!

The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will leave readers rubbing their eyes in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.
Learn more about the Mistborn books--Mistborn: The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages-- and Brandon Sanderson and his work, at his website and his blog.

My Book, The Movie: the Mistborn trilogy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"The Big Necessity"

New from Metropolitan Books: The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George.

About the book, from the publisher:

An utterly original exploration of the world of human waste that will surprise, outrage—and entertain

Produced behind closed doors, disposed of discreetly, and hidden by euphemism, bodily waste is something common to all and as natural as breathing, yet we prefer not to talk about it. But we should—even those of us who take care of our business in pristine, sanitary conditions. For it’s not only in developing countries that human waste is a major public health threat: population growth is taxing even the most advanced sewage systems, and the disease spread by waste kills more people worldwide every year than any other single cause of death. Even in America, 1.95 million people have no access to an indoor toilet. Yet the subject remains unmentionable.

The Big Necessity takes aim at the taboo, revealing everything that matters about how people do—and don’t—deal with their own waste. Moving from the deep underground sewers of Paris, London, and New York—an infrastructure disaster waiting to happen—to an Indian slum where ten toilets are shared by 60,000 people, Rose George stops along the way to explore the potential saviors: China’s five million biogas digesters, which produce energy from waste; the heroes of third world sanitation movements; the inventor of the humble Car Loo; and the U.S. Army’s personal lasers used by soldiers to zap their feces in the field.

With razor-sharp wit and crusading urgency, mixing levity with gravity, Rose George has turned the subject we like to avoid into a cause with the most serious of consequences.
Visit Rose George's website and blog.