Saturday, October 31, 2009

"The Fleet Street Murders"

New from Minotaur Books: The Fleet Street Murders by Charles Finch.

About the book, from the publisher:

The third book in the Charles Lenox series finds the gentleman detective trying to balance a heated race for Parliament with the investigation of the mysterious simultaneous deaths of two veteran reporters.

It’s Christmas, 1866, and amateur sleuth Charles Lenox, recently engaged to his best friend, Lady Jane Grey, is happily celebrating the holiday in his Mayfair townhouse. Across London, however, two journalists have just met with violent deaths--one shot, one throttled. Lenox soon involves himself in the strange case, which proves only more complicated as he digs deeper. However, he must leave it behind to go north to Stirrington, where he is fulfilling a lifelong dream: running for a Parliamentary seat. Once there, he gets a further shock when Lady Jane sends him a letter whose contents might threaten their nuptials.

In London, the police apprehend two unlikely and unrelated murder suspects. From the start, Lenox has his doubts; the crimes, he is sure, are tied, but how? Racing back and forth between London and Stirrington, Lenox must negotiate the complexities of crime and politics, not to mention his imperiled engagement. As the case mounts, Lenox learns that the person behind the murders might be closer to him--and his beloved--than he knows.
The Page 69 Test: A Beautiful Blue Death.

"Jaclyn the Ripper"

New from Forge Books: Jaclyn the Ripper by Karl Alexander.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Time After Time, H.G. Wells used his time machine to chase after Jack the Ripper who was on a killing spree in 1979 San Francisco. After H.G. met Amy Catherine Robbins, the love of his life, and banished the serial killer to the indefinite future, H.G. and Amy returned to 1893 London, believing they could live happily ever after.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. In Jaclyn the Ripper, Amy returns to the present to tell her parents what happened to their missing daughter, accidentally freeing Jack from his prison in the far future while also transforming Jack into a woman. Jaclyn the Ripper sets out on a new killing spree in 2010 Los Angeles, vowing revenge on H.G. and Amy.

H.G. follows Amy to modern L.A., but neither he nor Amy knows Jaclyn is on their trail. In the brave new world of the new millennium, H.G. must navigate a world of cell phones, the internet, and identity theft and find his wayward wife ... before the Ripper slays her. With the panache, excitement, and thrills that made Time After Time so popular, Karl Alexander has penned another winning tale of Wells: author, inventor, and unlikely hero.
Visit Karl Alexander's website.

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Shoptimism"

New from Free Press: Shoptimism: Why the American Consumer Will Keep on Buying No Matter What by .

About the book, from the publisher:

In this smart, engaging book, Lee Eisenberg, best-selling author of The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think about the Rest of Your Life, leads us on a provocative and entertaining tour of America's love/hate affair with shopping, a pursuit that, even in hard times, remains a true national pastime.

Why do we shop and buy the way we do? In a work that will explain much about the American character, Eisenberg chronicles the dynamics of selling and buying from almost every angle. Neither a cheerleader for consumption nor an anti-consumerist scold, he explores with boundless curiosity the vast machinery aimed at inducing us to purchase everything from hair mousse to a little black dress. He leads us, with understated humor, into the broad universe of marketing, retailing, advertising, and consumer and scientific research--an arsenal of powerful forces that combine to form what he calls "The Sell Side."

Through the rest of the book, Eisenberg leads us through the "Buy Side" -- a journey directly into our own hearts and minds, asking among other questions: What are we really looking for when we buy? Why are we alternately excited, guilt-ridden, satisfied, disappointed, and recklessly impulsive? What are our biases, need for status, impulses to self-express, that lead us individually to buy what we buy?

Are you a classic buyer (your head wants to do the right thing), or a romantic buyer (your heart just wants to have fun)? How do men and women differ in their attitudes towards shopping, and does the old cliche -- "Women shop, men buy" -- apply any longer?

Of special interest are the author's findings on the subject of What Makes a Good Buy? We all purchase things that we sooner or later regret, but what are the guidelines for making purchases that we'll never regret? What, for instance, defines the perfect gift?

Brimming with wit and surprise, Shoptimism will be delightful and instructive reading for anyone with a credit card and a healthy curiosity about American culture, through good times and bad. For here, in one vivid journey, is a memorable, panoramic portrait of our everyday self-delusions, desires, and dreams.
Visit the Shoptimism website and blog.

"The Mirror and the Mask"

New from Minotaur Books: The Mirror and the Mask by Ellen Hart.

About the book, from the publisher:

Minneapolis restaurateur Jane Lawless is at crossroads. The rough economy has put her plans for a third restaurant on hold, and her long distance romance is on the rocks and quite possibly unsalvageable. Unsure of what to do next, she takes her good friend A. J. Nolan up on his standing offer to take her on as a private investigator.

While still in training, her first job seems simple enough. All she had to do is find Annie Archer’s stepfather. Jane tracks down a likely match—a man who has made a small fortune in real estate. While she’s happy to close her first case, she finds it hard to reconcile the difference between PI work—finding what people pay you to find—and uncovering the truth, the whole truth, especially when clues in this seemingly simple case point to more threatening family secrets than where Annie’s father has been hiding out.

Ellen Hart’s The Mirror and the Mask is another engrossing mystery filled with the deceit and psychological intrigue that fans have come to expect from this Lambda and Minnesota Book Award--winning author.
Visit Ellen Hart's website.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Burn Me Deadly"

New from Tor Books: Burn Me Deadly by Alex Bledsoe.

About the book, from the publisher:

Alex Bledsoe’s first novel, The Sword-Edged Blonde, drew rave reviews for its ingenious blend of fantasy and hard-boiled detective fiction. Now Bledsoe returns with an all-new tale of mean streets and medieval intrigue.

Above Angelina’s Tavern in down-and-dirty Neceda you’ll find the office of Eddie LaCrosse, a freelance sword jockey who, for twenty-five gold pieces a day, will take on any task short of murder for hire. Eddie’s on his way back from a routine investigation when his horse almost runs down a half-naked blonde in serious trouble. Against his better judgment, he promises to protect the frightened young woman, only to find himself waylaid by unknown assailants and left for dead beside her mutilated body.

Eddie isn’t the kind of guy to just let something like this pass. But who killed Laura Lesperitt? Eddie’s quest for payback leads him to a tangled mystery involving a notorious crime lord, a backwoods dragon cult, royal scandals, and a duplicitous femme fatale who has trouble keeping her clothes on. As bodies pile up, attracting the unwelcome attention of the king’s guards, Eddie must use all his wits if he hopes to survive...
Learn more about the book and author at Alex Bledsoe's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Blood Groove.

"The Ragged End of Nowhere"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Ragged End of Nowhere by Roy Chaney.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hagen thought his family had left Las Vegas for good. He had joined the CIA and moved to Berlin, while his younger brother had followed in their father’s footsteps and joined the French Foreign Legion. For a while they had seemed free from the criminal underworld upon which the Vegas strip was built. But five days after his brother returns from his tour of duty, his body is found on the outskirts of the city. Word is that he’d returned from Europe with a valuable—and possibly stolen—ancient relic to sell. Now, Hagen has no choice but to come back and track down that missing item—and with it, his brother’s killer.

A quick-moving, fast-talking mystery in the vein of Elmore Leonard, the second Tony Hillerman Prizewinner offers a look at Vegas from beyond the casino floors. The Ragged End of Nowhere follows after the critically acclaimed first Hillerman winner, Christine Barber’s The Replacement Child.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Night of Demons"

New from Eos/HarperCollins: Night of Demons by Tony Richards.

About the book, from the publisher:

Centuries ago, the Salem witches founded the village of Raine's Landing, then cloaked it in magic to hide it from sight. Many of their descendants still practice the supernatural arts—and no one who lives here can ever leave.

Now evil has breached its boundaries once again...

A serial killer with a corrupt and twisted soul, Cornelius Hanlon has freely entered Raine's Landing, undeterred by the ancient magical safeguards. And when he chooses the town's oldest adept as his first victim, the maniac inadvertently gains possession of a powerful "gift" more terrible than anything he could have sadistically dreamed.

Ex-town cop Ross Devries and his Harley-riding sometime-partner, Cassandra Mallory, have no supernatural abilities. But they are the last line of defense in this village of secrets and shadows—facing a psychopath who now wields the power to bend the living and the dead to his will.
Visit Tony Richards' website.

The Page 69 Test: Dark Rain.

My Book, The Movie: Dark Rain.

"It Takes Two"

New from Scribner: It Takes Two by Patrizia Chen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Francesca Rivabuona is fifty and exhausted by the monotony of her life. Stuck in a stale marriage with grown children who have long since fled the coop, and desperate to escape the endless cycle of Upper East Side dinner parties and charity luncheons, she jumps at the chance to write an article about Buenos Aires for a glossy travel magazine.

Francesca is instantly captivated by Buenos Aires's palpable rhythm. She explores the city with her new friends -- a group of tango dancers who give her an insider's scoop into the best Buenos Aires has to offer -- and rediscovers the sense of passion and excitement she thought she had relinquished forever.As Francesca learns to master the sensual movements of tango dancing, she begins to let down her guard -- on the dance floor, in the bedroom, and in her personal life. Embarking on a steamy love affair with Argentina's most famous plastic surgeon, she knows that she has been irrevocably transformed by the pulsing, erotic thrill of life in Argentina.

At once a tale of a middle-aged woman taking a stand against the disappointments of her life and a sexy, fast-paced, entertaining novel about the ecstasy of tango dancing, It Takes Two reads like a soulful tango: irresistible, exotic, and sensual.
Visit Patrizia Chen's website.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Jarrettsville"

New from Counterpoint: Jarrettsville by Cornelia Nixon.

About the book, from the publisher:

Based on a true story from the author’s family history, Jarrettsville begins in 1869, just after Martha Jane Cairnes has shot and killed her fiancé, Nicholas McComas, in front of his Union cavalry militia as they were celebrating the anniversary of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox.

To find out why she murdered him, the story steps back to 1865, six days after the surrender, when President Lincoln has just been killed by John Wilkes Booth. Booth belongs to the same Rebel militia as Martha’s hot-headed brother Richard, who has gone missing along with Booth. Martha is loyal to her brother but in love with Nicholas McComas, a local hero of the Union cause, and their affair is fraught with echoes of the bloody conflict just ended.

The story is set in Northern Maryland, six miles below the Mason-Dixon line, where brothers literally fought on opposing sides, and former slave-owners live next door to abolitionists and freed men. Such tension proves key to Martha’s motives in killing the man she loves, and why — astonishingly — she is soon acquitted by a jury of her peers, despite more than fifty eyewitnesses to the crime.

"Love Under Cover"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: Love Under Cover by Jessica Brody.

About the book, from the publisher:

Can a former fidelity inspector tear herself away from her old calling for the sake of the perfect guy, or is the temptation to conduct love under cover just too strong?

Jennifer Hunter never saw herself as the relationship type. After all, she’d spent the last two years of her life as an undercover fidelity inspector, hired to test men’s faithfulness—not exactly the kind of job that lends itself to intimacy. But when Jamie Richards walked into her life, everything changed, and Jennifer vowed to trade in her undercover lifestyle for something more normal. That’s why she formed the Hawthorne Agency: five full-time fidelity inspectors, hired to carry out Jennifer’s mission while she manages the process from a safe (relationship-saving) distance. Jen's business is booming, and just when it seems like things can’t possibly get any better, Jamie proposes. Despite her lifelong issues with trust and commitment, Jen says yes. But can a woman who’s seen nothing but failed marriages ever come to terms with tying the knot herself? And when Jen receives a frantic phone call from one of her employees in trouble, she’s forced to make a choice. A choice that lands her in an all-too familiar place—a strange hotel room, kissing another man. And she knows that nothing will be the same.
Visit Jessica Brody's website and blog.

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Sugarless"

New from Terrace Books/University of Wisconsin Press: Sugarless by James Magruder.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Magruder is a writer of immense gifts, with a voice--smart, playful, lyrical, subtle, unsparing--utterly unlike anyone else's.
--Tony Kushner, playwright of Angels in America
Things look bad for Rick Lahrem, a high school sophomore in a cookie-cutter Chicago suburb in 1976. His mother's second husband is a licensed psychologist who eats like an ape, his stepsister is a stoner slut, and his father is engaged to a Southern belle. Rick's only solace is his growing collection of original Broadway-cast LPs, bought on the sly at Wax Trax.

After he brings two girls in speech class to tears by reading a story aloud, Rick is coaxed onto the interscholastic forensics team to perform an eight-minute dramatic interpretation of The Boys in the Band, the controversial sixties play about homosexuality. Unexpectedly successful at this oddball event, Rick begins winning tournaments and making friends with his teammates.

Rick also discovers the joys of sex--with a speech coach from a rival school--just as his mother, reacting to a deteriorating home environment, makes an unnerving commitment to Christ. The newly confident Rick assumes this too shall pass--until the combined forces of family, sex, and faith threaten to undo him at the state meet in Peoria.

James Magruder's Sugarless offers a ruefully entertaining take on the simultaneous struggles of coming-out, coming-of-age, and coming-to-Jesus.
Visit James Magruder's website.

"A Friend of the Family"

New from Algonquin Books: A Friend of the Family by Lauren Grodstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

Pete Dizinoff has spent years working toward a life that would be, by all measures, deemed successful. A skilled internist, he’s built a thriving practice in suburban New Jersey. He has a devoted wife, a network of close friends, and an impressive house, and most important, he has a son, Alec, on whom he’s pinned all his hopes. Pete has afforded Alec every opportunity, bailed him out of close calls with the law, and even ensured his acceptance into a good college.

But Pete never counted on the wild card: Laura, his best friend's daughter—ten years older than Alec, irresistibly beautiful, with a past so shocking that it’s never spoken of. When Laura sets her sights on Alec, Pete sees his plans for his son not just unraveling but being destroyed completely. Believing he has only the best of intentions, he sets out to derail this romance and rescue his son. He could never have foreseen how his whole world would shatter in the process.

Lauren Grodstein delivers a riveting story in the tradition of The Ice Storm, American Beauty, and Little Children, charting a father's fall from grace as he struggles to save his family, his reputation, and himself.
Visit Lauren Grodstein’s website.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"A Young Man Without Magic"

New from Tor Books: A Young Man Without Magic by Lawrence Watt-Evans.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lawrence Watt-Evans, author of the acclaimed Legends of Ethshar and Worlds of Shadows novels invites readers to embark on a rollicking journey in a brand-new fantasy series.

Anrel Murau is a scholar, a young man with no magical ability even though he is the son of two powerful sorcerers. Anrel’s lack of talent bars him from the ruling classes, but he is content to be a simple clerk.

Upon returning to his childhood home after years of study in the capital, Anrel finds his friends and family held under the thumb of the corrupt local lord. When this lord murders a dear friend, Anrel finds that although he’s not a sorcerer, he is not without other means to demand justice.

If he can survive life on the run, that is.

Carrying only his sword, a few coins, and his wit, Anrel must leave behind everything he has ever known, trust himself to unexpected allies, and outmaneuver leagues of enemies who will stop at nothing to keep his dangerous ideas from ever being heard. Magic and intrigue collide in a swashbuckling tale of daring escapes, beautiful witches, and one quiet young man’s rise to hero—or traitor. Nothing will ever be simple for Anrel again, as his personal quest may provide more peril for those he holds dear.
Visit Lawrence Watt-Evans' website and blog.

"Xombies: Apocalypse Blues"

New from Penguin/Ace: Xombies: Apocalypse Blues by Walter Greatshell.

About the book, from the publisher:

When the Agent X plague struck, it infected women first, turning them into mindless killers intent only on creating an army of “Xombies” by spreading their disease.

Running for her life, seventeen-year-old Lulu is rescued by the father she has never known and taken aboard a refitted nuclear submarine that has one mission: to save a little bit of humanity.
Read an excerpt from Xombies: Apocalypse Blues.

Visit Walter Greatshell's website.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

"The Lacuna"

New from Harper: The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her most accomplished novel, Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities.

Born in the United States, reared in a series of provisional households in Mexico—from a coastal island jungle to 1930s Mexico City—Harrison Shepherd finds precarious shelter but no sense of home on his thrilling odyssey. Life is whatever he learns from housekeepers who put him to work in the kitchen, errands he runs in the streets, and one fateful day, by mixing plaster for famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. He discovers a passion for Aztec history and meets the exotic, imperious artist Frida Kahlo, who will become his lifelong friend. When he goes to work for Lev Trotsky, an exiled political leader fighting for his life, Shepherd inadvertently casts his lot with art and revolution, newspaper headlines and howling gossip, and a risk of terrible violence.

Meanwhile, to the north, the United States will soon be caught up in the internationalist goodwill of World War II. There in the land of his birth, Shepherd believes he might remake himself in America's hopeful image and claim a voice of his own. He finds support from an unlikely kindred soul, his stenographer, Mrs. Brown, who will be far more valuable to her employer than he could ever know. Through darkening years, political winds continue to toss him between north and south in a plot that turns many times on the unspeakable breach—the lacuna—between truth and public presumption.

With deeply compelling characters, a vivid sense of place, and a clear grasp of how history and public opinion can shape a life, Barbara Kingsolver has created an unforgettable portrait of the artist—and of art itself. The Lacuna is a rich and daring work of literature, establishing its author as one of the most provocative and important of her time.

"Stuff to Spy For"

New from Oceanview Publishing: Stuff to Spy For by Don Bruns.

About the book, from the publisher:

Best friends James Lessor and Skip Moore are still stuck in dead-end jobs, still living in their ratty apartment in Carol City, Florida but still dreaming of hitting the big time. It seems those dreams are finally within reach when Skip lands a job to install a state-of-the-art security system for Synco Systems. There’s a huge commission—and plenty of strings—attached. To collect on the cash, Skip will have to provide “additional services” by assuming the role of the pretend boyfriend of Sarah Crumbly, an employee who’s having an affair with Sandler Conroy, Synco’s married president.

When Sandler’s wife offers Skip a tidy sum for the dirty details about what’s going on at Synco, James and Skip resurrect their entrepreneurial dreams and go into the business of being spies. The spy-mobile—their beloved, bedraggled box truck—is on its last legs, and they’ll have to spend a small fortune on spy equipment, but there‘s no business like spy business.

With their eyes on the prize, these two private eyes are in for a surprise when they discover the cold, hard truth about Synco’s software business.

In this spy game, James and Skip may be the ones who get played ... or worse.
The Page 99 Test: Stuff to Die For.

My Book, The Movie: Stuff Dreams Are Made Of.

Visit Don Bruns' website.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"The Fight to Survive"

New from Kaplan/Simon & Schuster: The Fight to Survive: A Young Girl, Diabetes, and the Discovery of Insulin by Caroline Cox.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1919, when 11-year-old Elizabeth Evan Hughes was first diagnosed with what we now know is Type 1 or juvenile diabetes, the medical community considered it a death sentence. In The Fight to Survive, Caroline Cox weaves the heart-wrenching story of Hughes’ role in a medical discovery that stopped the disease in its tracks—only weeks before her imminent death.

The only account of one of the very fi rst patients to be successfully treated with insulin for juvenile diabetes, this book tells two fascinating stories in tandem: that of Hughes’ personal struggle, and the medical detective story that occurred during a time when endocrinology research made significant strides. It was Frederick Banting and John Macleod, doctors and researchers, who were finally able to create a testable version of insulin treatment to save Hughes’ life. She lived until the age of 74, and Banting and Macleod won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work. The Fight to Survive draws on primary sources to vividly bring the era to life, including interviews, newspaper reports, and Hughes’ own letters. Readers with an interest in medical history, pathographies, biography, diabetes, and American history will constitute this audience.

"Let It Bleed"

New from Spingboard: Let It Bleed: The Rolling Stones, Altamont, and the End of the Sixties by Ethan A. Russell.

About the book, from the publisher:

LET IT BLEED takes you where no Rolling Stones book has before. Author and photographer Ethan Russell was one of only sixteen people--including the Rolling Stones--who made up the 1969 tour. He was with them in their hotel rooms, at rehearsals, and on stage. He tells the story of this monumental and historic tour firsthand, including recollections from band members, crew, security, and other sixties icons--like Abbie Hoffman and Little Richard--they met along the way. And he also includes amazing photos of the performers who toured with the Stones that year: the legendary Tina Turner and B. B. King.

Through vivid quotes taken from his interviews with the band and crew, and through more than 220 revealing photographs, Russell takes you behind the scenes for an uncensored look inside the Rolling Stones' world at the end of the sixties. It was an idealistic time, with an overarching belief that music could bring us all together. But the events that led to the terrible violence and stabbing death at Altamont would change rock and roll forever.
Visit Ethan A. Russell's website.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Abandoned"

New from Bantam: Abandoned by Cody Mcfadyen.

About the book, from the publisher:

He doesn’t kill for thrills, for sex, or even for power. It’s far more twisted than that….

Cody McFadyen, acclaimed author of The Darker Side, The Face of Death, and Shadow Man, delivers this shocking new thriller that brings to light a psychopath unlike any we’ve ever seen—a killer who thrives in absolute darkness and doesn’t derive pleasure from the kill. And only one woman has the ability to see him coming…even if it’s already too late to stop her own murder.

For FBI Special Agent Smoky Barrett, the wedding of one of their own was cause for celebration. Until a woman staggered down the aisle, incoherent, emaciated, head shaved, and wearing only a white nightgown.

No one knows who she is or where she’s come from—or why she’s chosen to appear in a church filled with law enforcement agents. Then a fingerprint check determines that the woman has been missing for nearly eight years—that once she was someone’s wife, someone’s mother…and a cop. Imprisoning her in a dark cell, depriving her of any contact with the outside world, her enigmatic captor was a man she didn’t know and who seldom spoke, who punished her only when she failed to follow his most basic instructions designed to keep her alive.

Cold, businesslike, seemingly indifferent to his victims, he’s a predator with an M.O. as terrifyingly inscrutable as any Smoky has ever encountered. As she fits together the pieces of what remains of his victim’s fractured life, a chilling picture emerges of a killer every bit as calculating, masterful, and professional as Smoky and the team she leads—a professional psychopath who doesn’t take murder personally and never makes a mistake.

There’s a reason he let one of his victims go free. And by the time Smoky pierces the darkness of his twisted mind, it may cost her more than she can bear to lose to escape. For a trap snapped closed the moment she took this case too much to heart.
Visit Cody Mcfadyen's website.

"Picking Bones from Ash"

New from Graywolf Press: Picking Bones from Ash by Marie Mutsuki Mockett.

About the book, from the publisher:

My mother always told me that there is only one way a woman can be truly safe in this world. And that is to be fiercely, inarguably and masterfully talented.

No one knows who fathered eleven-year-old Satomi, and the women of her 1950s Japanese mountain town find her mother’s restless sensuality a threat. Satomi’s success in piano competitions has always won respect, saving the two from complete ostracism. But when her mother’s growing ambition tests this delicate social balance, Satomi’s gift is not enough to protect them. Eventually, Satomi is pushed to make a drastic decision in order to begin her life anew. Years later, Satomi’s choices echo in the life of her American daughter, Rumi, a gifted authenticator of Asian antiques. Rumi has always believed her mother to be dead, but when Rumi begins to see a ghost, she wonders: is this the spirit of her mother? If so, what happened to Satomi?

Picking Bones from Ash explores the struggles women face in accepting their talents, and asks what happens when mothers and daughters dare to question the debt owed each other. Fusing imagination and suspense, Mockett builds a lavish world in which characters journey from Buddhist temples to the gilded chateaux of France to the black market of international antiques in California, as they struggle to understand each other across cultures and generations.
Visit Marie Mutsuki Mockett's website and blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"In Big Trouble"

New from William Morrow: In Big Trouble by Laura Lippman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Tess Monaghan has learned the hard way how to survive on the streets of Baltimore—first as a fearless investigative reporter and lately as a PI. But a new case is about to take her way out of her element.

What begins with a tantalizing shard of a newspaper headline—"In Big Trouble"—above a photograph of an old boyfriend will end far away in another world, where people dress and talk differently ... and rich people's games can have lethal consequences. Here where the sun is merciless—and curiosity can kill faster than a rattler's bite—Tess is going to have to confront her past and, hopefully, live to tell about it. For the answers she seeks about a man she thought she knew may be somehow linked to a murderer who two-steps to a very deadly drummer.
Visit Laura Lippman's website.

Laura Lippman's top 10 memorable memoirs.

The Page 69 Test: Another Thing to Fall.

The Page 69 Test: What the Dead Know.

The Page 69 Test/Page 99 Test: Life Sentences.

"Good Without God"

New from William Morrow: Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe by Greg Epstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

An inspiring and provocative exploration of an alternative to traditional religion by the Humanist chaplain at Harvard University

With the current state of the economy, the ongoing wars that rage across the globe, and the unsettling changes to the earth's climate, questions about the role of God and religion in world affairs have never been more relevant or felt more powerfully. Many of us are searching for a place where we can find not only facts and scientific reason but also hope and the moral courage needed to overcome such challenges. For some, answers to the most challenging questions are found in the divine. For others, including the New Atheists, religion has no place in the world and is, in fact, an "enemy."

But in Good Without God, Greg Epstein presents another, more balanced and inclusive response: Humanism. With a focus on the positive, he highlights humanity's potential for goodness and the ways in which Humanists lead lives of purpose and compassion. Humanism can offer the sense of community we want and often need in good times and bad, as we celebrate marriages and the birth of our children, and as we care for those who are elderly or sick. In short, Humanism teaches us that we can lead good and moral lives without supernaturalism, without higher powers ... without God.

In this constructive response not only to his fellow atheists Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris but also to contemporary religious leaders such as Rick Warren and Jim Wallis, Epstein makes a bold claim for what nonbelievers do share and believe. At a time when the debate about morality rages more fiercely than ever—and when millions are searching for something they can put their faith in—Humanism offers a comfort and hope that affirms our ability to live ethical lives of personal fulfillment, aspiring together for the greater good of all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Rizzo's War"

New from Minotaur Books: Rizzo's War by Lou Manfredo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rizzo’s War, Lou Manfredo’s stunningly authentic debut, partners a rookie detective with a seasoned veteran on his way to retirement in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

“There’s no wrong, there’s no right, there just is.” This is the refrain of Joe Rizzo, a decades-long veteran of the NYPD, as he passes on the knowledge of his years of experience to his ambitious new partner, Mike McQueen, over a year of riding together as detectives in the Sixty-second Precinct in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. McQueen is fresh from the beat in Manhattan, and Bensonhurst might as well be China for how different it is. They work on several cases, some big, some small, but the lesson is always the same. Whether it’s a simple robbery or an attempted assault, Rizzo’s saying always seems to bear out.

When the two detectives are given the delicate task of finding and returning the runaway daughter of a city councilman, who may or may not be more interested in something his daughter has taken with her than in her safety, the situation is much more complex. By the end of Rizzo and McQueen’s year together, however, McQueen is not surprised to discover that even in those more complicated cases, Rizzo is still right—there’s no wrong, there’s no right, there just is.

Rizzo’s War is an introduction to a wonderful new voice in crime fiction in the Big Apple, ringing with authenticity, full of personality, and taut with the suspense of real, everyday life in the big city.

"Power Trip"

New from Harper: Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells--Our Ride to the Renewable Future by Amanda Little.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation and Thomas L. Friedmam's Hot, Flat, and Crowded, prominent journalist Amanda Little maps out the history and future of America's energy addiction in a wonk-free, big-picture, solutions-oriented adventure story.

After covering the environment and energy beat for more than a decade, Amanda Little decided that the only way to really understand America's energy crisis was to travel into the heart of it. She embarks on a daring cross-country power trip, and describes in vivid, fast-paced prose the most extreme and exciting frontiers of our energy landscape.

At her side we visit an offshore oil rig, the cornfields of Kansas, the Pentagon's fuel-logistics division, the Talladega Superspeedway, New York City's electrical grid, and laboratories creating the innovations of a clean-energy future. As Little explains, energy is everything: It grows our crops, fights our wars, makes our plastics and medicines, warms our homes, moves our products and vehicles, and animates our cities.

How did we develop this insatiable appetite for fossil fuels? Little travels through history to track the evolution of America's energy addiction: the 1897 installation of the world's first power plant (a Thomas Edison–J. P. Morgan venture); the 1901 Spindletop gusher that threw open the era of cheap American fuel; FDR's encounter with a Saudi king that set the stage for our dependence on Middle Eastern oil; General Motors' early decision to sell big guzzlers rather than small, efficient cars.

Little illustrates how abundant oil and coal built the American superpower—even as they posed political and environmental dangers to the nation and the world. More important, we learn how the same American ingenuity that got us into this mess can get us out of it. With next-generation candor and optimism, Little explores the most promising clean-energy solutions on the horizon, arguing that everything we know about our past teaches us that we can solve the problems of our future.

Hard-hitting yet forward-thinking, Power Trip is a lively and impassioned travel guide for all readers trying to navigate our shifting landscape and a clear-eyed manifesto for the younger generations who are inheriting the earth.
Visit Amanda Little's website and blog.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Sasha"

New from Pyr: Sasha by Joel Shepherd.

About the book, from the publisher:

Spurning her royal heritage to be raised by the great warrior, Kessligh, her exquisite swordplay astonishes all who witness it. But Sasha is still young, untested in battle and often led by her rash temper. In the complex world of Lenayin loyalties, her defiant wilfulness is attracting the wrong kind of attention.

Lenayin is a land almost divided by its two faiths: the Verenthane of the ruling classes and the pagan Goeren-yai, amongst whom Sasha now lives. The Goeren-yai worship swordplay and honour and begin to see Sasha as the great spirit—the Synnich—who will unite them. But Sasha is still searching for what she believes and must choose her side carefully.

When the Udalyn people—the symbol of Goeren-yai pride and courage—are attacked, Sasha will face her moment of testing. How will she act? Is she ready to lead? Can she be the saviour they need her to be?
Learn more about the author and his work at Joel Shepherd's website and blog.

"Typhoon"

New from St. Martin's Press: Typhoon by Charles Cumming.

About the book, from the publisher:

Charles Cumming, lauded internationally as the successor to John le Carré, returns with his biggest, most ambitious thriller to date. Beginning in 1997, just as the British are about to re - turn Hong Kong to Chinese rule, Joe Lennox, a young opera tive for SIS (MI6), loses both his girlfriend and his first high profile asset—a prominent defector who disappears from a safe house. The girlfriend he lost to Miles Coolidge, a hard-bitten CIA agent; the asset to collusion between his bosses and the CIA. Over ten years later, during the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, Lennox is back in China, facing his old nemeses. With the CIA plotting to use an Islamic group to destabilize China, the SIS seeking to thwart them and his old asset the key to all of this, Joe Lennox, Miles Coolidge, and the girlfriend they shared are all hopelessly intertwined in a plot where trust is impossible and truth is unknowable.
Learn more about the author and his work at Charles Cumming's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Spy By Nature.

My Book, The Movie: The Spanish Game.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Eating the Dinosaur"

New from Scribner: Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Book of All-New Pop Culture Pieces by Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman has chronicled rock music, film, and sports for almost fifteen years. He's covered extreme metal, extreme nostalgia, disposable art, disposable heroes, life on the road, life through the television, urban uncertainty and small-town weirdness. Through a variety of mediums and with a multitude of motives, he's written about everything he can think of (and a lot that he's forgotten). The world keeps accelerating, but the pop ideas keep coming.

In Eating the Dinosaur, Klosterman is more entertaining and incisive than ever. Whether he's dissecting the boredom of voyeurism, the reason why music fan's inevitably hate their favorite band's latest album, or why we love watching can't-miss superstars fail spectacularly, Klosterman remains obsessed with the relationship between expectation, reality, and living history. It's amateur anthropology for the present tense, and sometimes it's incredibly funny.
Read an excerpt from Eating the Dinosaur.

"The Owl Killers"

New from Delacorte Press: The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland.

About the novel, from the publisher:

From the author of Company of Liars, hailed as “a jewel of a medieval mystery” and “an atmospheric tale of treachery and magic,” comes a magnificent new novel of an embattled village and a group of courageous women who are set on a collision course—in an unforgettable storm of secrets, lust, and rage.

England, 1321. The tiny village of Ulewic teeters between survival and destruction, faith and doubt, God and demons. For shadowing the villagers’ lives are men cloaked in masks and secrecy, ruling with violence, intimidation, and terrifying fiery rites: the Owl Masters.

But another force is touching Ulewic—a newly formed community built and served only by women. Called a beguinage, it is a safe harbor of service and faith in defiance of the all-powerful Church.

Behind the walls of this sanctuary, women have gathered from all walks of life: a skilled physician, a towering former prostitute, a cook, a local convert. But life in Ulewic is growing more dangerous with each passing day. The women are the subject of rumors, envy, scorn, and fury…until the daughter of Ulewic’s most powerful man is cast out of her home and accepted into the beguinage—and battle lines are drawn.

Into this drama are swept innocents and conspirators: a parish priest trying to save himself from his own sins…a village teenager, pregnant and terrified…a woman once on the verge of sainthood, now cast out of the Church.…With Ulewic ravaged by flood and disease, and with villagers driven by fear, a secret inside the beguinage will draw the desperate and the depraved—until masks are dropped, faith is tested…and every lie is exposed.
Learn more about the author and her work at Karen Maitland's website.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

"SuperFreakonomics"

New from HarperCollins: SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.

About the book, from the publisher:

The New York Times best-selling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling over four million copies in thirty-five languages and changing the way we look at the world. Now, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with SuperFreakonomics, and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first.

Four years in the making, SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones: What's more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it's so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary?

SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as:

* How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?
* Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands?
* How much good do car seats do?
* What's the best way to catch a terrorist?
* Did TV cause a rise in crime?
* What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common?
* Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness?
* Can eating kangaroo save the planet?
* Which adds more value: a pimp or a Realtor?

Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is – good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, super freaky.

Freakonomics has been imitated many times over – but only now, with SuperFreakonomics, has it met its match.
The Freakonomics guys: best books.

"Mark Twain's Book of Animals"

New from the University of California Press: Mark Twain's Book of Animals, edited with Introduction, Afterword, and Notes by Shelley Fisher Fishkin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Longtime admirers of Mark Twain are aware of how integral animals were to his work as a writer, from his first stories through his final years, including many pieces that were left unpublished at his death. This beautiful volume, illustrated with 30 new images by master engraver Barry Moser, gathers writings from the full span of Mark Twain's career and elucidates his special attachment to and regard for animals. What may surprise even longtime readers and fans is that Twain was an early and ardent animal welfare advocate, the most prominent American of his day to take up that cause. Edited and selected by Shelley Fisher Fishkin, who has also supplied an introduction and afterword, Mark Twain's Book of Animals includes stories that are familiar along with those that are appearing in print for the first time.
Read more about the book: "Twain’s Tales Reveal Ardent Animal Welfare Advocate in their Author."

Friday, October 16, 2009

"The Long Division"

New from Minotaur Books: The Long Division by Derek Nikitas.

About the book, from the publisher:

An Atlanta housecleaner flees her nowhere life to reunite with the son she gave up for adoption. The teenage boy joins his longlost mother on an unlawful road trip that proves how much they both have to lose by finding each other. Elsewhere, a deputy must track down the shooter in a drug-related double murder before other investigators discover the deputy’s illicit ties to the case. The killer is an unbalanced college kid hunted by vengeful drug dealers and the police, haunted by loves both dead and for bidden. When the renegade mother and son arrive, past sins and present gambits will ensnare them in the violent endgame between the deputy and the desperate killer.
Visit the official Derek Nikitas website and blog.

"Last Night in Twisted River"

New from Random House: Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1954, in the cookhouse of a logging and sawmill settlement in northern New Hampshire, an anxious twelve-year-old boy mistakes the local constable’s girlfriend for a bear. Both the twelve-year-old and his father become fugitives, forced to run from Coos County–to Boston, to southern Vermont, to Toronto–pursued by the implacable constable. Their lone protector is a fiercely libertarian logger, once a river driver, who befriends them.

In a story spanning five decades, Last Night in Twisted River–John Irving’s twelfth novel–depicts the recent half-century in the United States as “a living replica of Coos County, where lethal hatreds were generally permitted to run their course.” From the novel’s taut opening sentence–“The young Canadian, who could not have been more than fifteen, had hesitated too long”–to its elegiac final chapter, Last Night in Twisted River is written with the historical authenticity and emotional authority of The Cider House Rules and A Prayer for Owen Meany. It is also as violent and disturbing a story as John Irving’s breakthrough bestseller, The World According to Garp.

What further distinguishes Last Night in Twisted River is the author’s unmistakable voice–the inimitable voice of an accomplished storyteller. Near the end of this moving novel, John Irving writes: “We don’t always have a choice how we get to know one another. Sometimes, people fall into our lives cleanly–as if out of the sky, or as if there were a direct flight from Heaven to Earth–the same sudden way we lose people, who once seemed they would always be part of our lives.”
Visit John Irving's website.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"The Pursuit of Other Interests"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Pursuit of Other Interests by Jim Kokoris.

About the book, from the publisher:

Charlie Baker is a neurotic but charming 50-year-old workaholic CEO of a major Chicago ad agency who seems to have it all: an impressive house in an upscale suburb, an equally impressive salary, the requisite pretty wife and accomplished son. All of this comes crashing down when Charlie is unceremoniously fired. In an instant, his life is transformed from corporate titan to just another out of work American.

For Charlie—an admitted workaholic—a world without a job is a strange world indeed. Rather then tell his family, every morning Charlie leaves home to spend his days at an outplacement firm, where he meets a cast of equally desperate corporate misfits. As Charlie reluctantly embarks on a journey of self-discovery, he finds out what happens when his work life is lost and his real life begins.

Humorous, poignant, and honest, The Pursuit of Other Interests offers a glimpse into the lives, hearts, and minds of the 21st-century American family.
Visit Jim Kokoris's website.

"Gratitude"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Gratitude by Joseph Kertes.

About the book, from the publisher:

March 1944: War’s darkest period descends upon Hungary’s Jews. By the time it ends in January 1945, over half a million Jews will have been murdered. Gratitude tells the story of that period, through the eyes of the wealthy Beck family, whose lives and loves are saved and lost. At the center of it all is Paul Beck, a young lawyer whose chance meeting with a visiting Swede, Raoul Wallenberg, may alter the inevitability of the Jews’ fate. Like The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Gratitude captures forever the pain and passion of one’s family precious moment in time.
Visit Joseph Kertes's website.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Master of Shadows"

New from Nan A. Talese: Master of Shadows: The Secret Diplomatic Career of the Painter Peter Paul Rubens by Mark Lamster.

About the book, from the publisher:

The true story of how seventeenth-century Europe's most famous painter doubled as a secret agent and negotiated a peace between superpowers.

Peter Paul Rubens is best remembered as the Old Master with the penchant for fleshy, pink nudes whose popularity was eclipsed by that of Rembrandt van Rijn. In his time, however, Rubens had no equal; his contemporaries revered him as the greatest painter of his era, if not in all history. His undeniable artistic genius, bolstered by a modest disposition and a reputation as a man of tact and discretion, made him a favorite among monarchs and political leaders across Europe, and gave him perfect cover for the clandestine activities that shaped the landscape of seventeenth-century politics.

In Master of Shadows, Mark Lamster tells the story of Rubens' life and brilliantly re-creates the culture, religious conflicts, and political intrigues of his time. Commissions to paint military and political leaders drew Rubens from his Antwerp home to London, Madrid, Paris, and Rome. The Spanish crown, recognizing the value of his easy access to figures of power, enlisted him into diplomatic service. His uncommon intelligence, preternatural charm, and ability to navigate through ever-shifting political winds allowed him to negotiate a long-sought peace treaty between England and Spain even as Europe's shrewdest statesmen plotted against him.

Master of Shadows weaves a gripping drama of cloak-and-dagger diplomacy with an insightful, authoritative exploration of Rubens' art and the private passions that influenced it.

"The Last Will of Moira Leahy"

New from Shaye Areheart Books: The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh.

About the book, from the publisher:

This haunting debut novel explores the intense bond of sisterhood as a grieving twin searches for her own identity in the ruins of her sister's past.

A LOST SHADOW

Moira Leahy struggled growing up in her prodigious twin's shadow; Maeve was always more talented, more daring, more fun. In the autumn of the girls' sixteenth year, a secret love tempted Moira, allowing her to have her own taste of adventure, but it also damaged the intimate, intuitive relationship she'd always shared with her sister. Though Moira's adolescent struggles came to a tragic end nearly a decade ago, her brief flirtation with independence will haunt her sister for years to come.

A LONE WOMAN

When Maeve Leahy lost her twin, she left home and buried her fun-loving spirit to become a workaholic professor of languages at a small college in upstate New York. She lives a solitary life now, controlling what she can and ignoring the rest–the recurring nightmares, hallucinations about a child with red hair, the unquiet sounds in her mind, her reflection in the mirror. It doesn't help that her mother avoids her, her best friend questions her sanity, and her not-quite boyfriend has left the country. But at least her life is ordered. Exactly how she wants it.

A SHARED PAST

Until one night at an auction when Maeve wins a keris, a Javanese dagger that reminds her of her lost youth and happier days playing pirates with Moira in their father's boat. Days later, a book on weaponry is nailed to her office door, followed by the arrival of anonymous notes, including one that invites her to Rome to learn more about the blade and its legendary properties. Opening her heart and mind to possibility, Maeve accepts the invitation and, with it, also opens a window into her past.

Ultimately, she will revisit the tragic November night that shaped her and Moira's destinies–and learn that nothing can be taken at face value–as one sister emerges whole and the other's score is finally settled.

The Last Will of Moira Leahy is a mesmerizing and romantic consideration of the bonds of family, the impossibility of forgetting, and the value of forgiveness.
Visit Therese Walsh's website and blog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"The Boy from Baby House 10"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Boy from Baby House 10: From the Nightmare of a Russian Orphanage to a New Life in America by Alan Philps and John Lahutsky.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1990, a young boy afflicted with cerebral palsy was born, prematurely, in Russia. His name was Vanya. His mother abandoned him to the state childcare system and he was sent to a bleak orphanage called Baby House 10. Once there, he entered a nightmare world he was not to leave for more than eight years. Housed in a ward with a group of other children, he was clothed in rags, ignored by most of the staff and given little, if any, medical treatment. He was finally, and cruelly, confined for a time to a mental asylum where he lived, almost caged, lying in a pool of his own waste on a locked ward surrounded by psychotic adults. But, that didn’t stop Vanya.

Even in these harsh conditions, he grew into a smart and persistent young boy who reached out to everyone around him. Two of those he reached out to—Sarah Philps, the wife of a British journalist, and Vika, a young Russian woman—realized that Vanya was no ordinary child and they began a campaign to find him a home. After many twists and turns, Vanya came to the attention of a single woman living in the United States named Paula Lahutsky. After a lot of red tape and more than one miracle, Paula adopted Vanya and brought him to the U.S. where he is now known as John Lahutsky, an honors student at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and a member of the Boy Scouts of America Order of the Arrow.

In The Boy From Baby House 10, Sarah’s husband, Alan Philps, helps John Lahutsky bring this inspiring true-life story of a small boy with a big heart and an unquenchable will to readers everywhere.
Visit Alan Philps' website.

"The Gray Man"

New from Jove Books: The Gray Man by Mark Greaney.

About the book, from the publisher:

Court Gentry is known as The Gray Man—a legend in the covert realm, moving silently from job to job, accomplishing the impossible, and then fading away. And he always hits his target. But there are forces more lethal than Gentry in the world. And in their eyes, Gentry has just outlived his usefulness.

Now, he is going to prove that for him, there’s no gray area between killing for a living—and killing to stay alive.
Read an excerpt from The Gray Man.

Visit Mark Greaney's website and blog.

Monday, October 12, 2009

"A Touch of Dead"

New from Ace Books: A Touch of Dead by Charlaine Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:

Every Sookie Stackhouse short story ever written—in one special volume—from the New York Times bestselling author.

New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris has re-imagined the supernatural world with her “spunky” (Tampa Tribune) Southern Vampire novels starring telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse. Now, for the first time, here is every Sookie Stackhouse short story ever written—together in one volume.

Stories include “Fairy Dust,” “One Word Answer,” “Dracula Night,” “Lucky,” and “Giftwrap.”
Read the introduction to A Touch of Dead.

Visit the official Charlaine Harris website.

"Queene of Light"

New from Mira Books: Queene of Light by Jennifer Armintrout.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a time not long from now, the veil between fantasy and reality is ripped asunder—creatures of myth and fairy tale spill into the mortal world. Enchanted yet horrified, humans force the magical beings Underground, to colonize the sewers and abandoned subway tunnels beneath their glittering cities.

But even magic folk cannot dwell in harmony, and soon two Worlds emerge: the Lightworld, home to faeries, dragons and dwarves; and the Darkworld, where vampires, werewolves, angels and demons lurk.

Now, in the dank and shadowy place between Lightworld and Darkworld, a transformation is about to begin….

Ayla, a half faery, half human assassin, is stalked by Malachi, a Death Angel tasked with harvesting mortal souls. They clash. Immortality evaporates, forging a bond neither may survive. And in the face of unbridled ambitions and untested loyalties, an ominous prophecy is revealed that will shake the Worlds.
Visit Jennifer Armintrout's website and blog.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Abigail Adams"

New from Free Press: Abigail Adams by Woody Holton.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this vivid new biography of abigail adams, the most illustrious woman of America's founding era, prize-winning historian Woody Holton offers a sweeping reinterpretation of Adams's life story and of women's roles in the creation of the republic.

Using previously overlooked documents from a host of archives, Abigail Adams shows that the wife of the second president of the United States was far more charismatic and influential than historians have realized. One of the finest writers of her age, Adams passionately campaigned for women's education, denounced sex discrimination, and matched wits not only with her brilliant husband, John, but with Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. When male Patriots ignored her famous appeal to "Remember the Ladies," she accomplished her own personal declaration of independence: Defying centuries of legislation that assigned married women's property to their husbands, she amassed a fortune in her own name.

Adams's life story encapsulates the history of the founding era, for she defined herself in relation to the people she loved or hated (she was never neutral): her mother, whom she considered terribly overprotective; Benjamin Franklin, who schemed to clip her husband's wings; her sisters, whose dependence upon Abigail's charity strained the family bond; James Lovell, her husband's bawdy congressional colleague, who peppered her with innuendo about John's "rigid patriotism"; her financially naïve husband (Abigail earned money in ways the president considered unsavory, took risks that he wished to avoid -- and made him a rich man); Phoebe Abdee, her father's former slave, who lived free in an Adams property but defied Abigail's prohibition against sheltering others even more desperate than herself; and her son John Quincy, who worried her with his tendency to "study out of spight" but who fueled her pride by following his father into public service, rising to the presidency after her death.

At once epic and intimate, Abigail Adams sheds light on a complicated, fascinating woman, one of the most beloved figures of American history.
Woody Holton is an associate professor of history at the University of Richmond and the author of the award-winning book Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia and the National Book Award finalist Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution.

"Frostbitten"

New from Random House: Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong.

About the book, from the publisher:

Smart, sexy, supernatural—the men and women of the Otherworld live and love, fight and die, among us. Unseen and unsuspected, this realm of witches, ghosts, and werewolves is now threatened with exposure by a brutal series of bizarre murders that has left even the supernatural world baffled—and cold with terror….

Being the world’s only female werewolf has its advantages, such as having her pick of the Otherworld’s most desirable males. And Elena Michaels couldn’t have picked a more dangerously sexy and undyingly loyal mate than Clayton Danvers. Now their bond will be put to the ultimate test as they follow a bloody trail of gruesome slayings deep into Alaska’s frozen wilderness.

There’s nothing the werewolf community dislikes more than calling attention to itself. So when a pair of rogue man-eaters begins hunting humans, it’s up to Elena and Clayton to track down the predators. But any illusions their task would be simple are quickly dispelled. For even in werewolf terms, there’s something very disturbing taking place in the dark Alaskan forests. A werewolf more wolf than human and more unnatural than supernatural is on the hunt—a creature whose origins seem to spring from ancient legends of the shape-shifting Wendigo.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Clayton and Elena find themselves confronting painful ghosts from their pasts—and an issue neither of them is eager to discuss. For one of them has been chosen to become the new Pack leader, and as every wolf knows, there can be only one Alpha. They’ve always been equals in everything. Now, when their survival depends more than ever on perfect teamwork, will instinct allow one of them to lead…and the other to follow?
Learn more about the author and her work at Kelley Armstrong's website.

Kelley Armstrong is the author of the internationally bestselling The Otherworld series and other works.

The Page 69 Test: No Humans Involved.

The Page 69 Test: Living with the Dead.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

"A Village Life"

New from Farrar Straus Giroux: A Village Life by Louise Glück.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Village Life, Louise Glück’s eleventh collection of poems, begins in the topography of a village, a Mediterranean world of no definite moment or place:

All the roads in the village unite at the fountain.

Avenue of Liberty, Avenue of the Acacia Trees—

The fountain rises at the center of the plaza;

on sunny days, rainbows in the piss of the cherub.

—from “tributaries”

Around the fountain are concentric circles of figures, organized by age and in degrees of distance: fields, a river, and, like the fountain’s opposite, a mountain. Human time superimposed on geologic time, all taken in at a glance, without any undue sensation of speed. Glück has been known as a lyrical and dramatic poet; since Ararat, she has shaped her austere intensities into book-length sequences. Here, for the first time, she speaks as “the type of describing, supervising intelligence found in novels rather than poetry,” as Langdon Hammer has written of her long lines—expansive, fluent, and full—manifesting a calm omniscience. While Glück’s manner is novelistic, she focuses not on action but on pauses and intervals, moments of suspension (rather than suspense), in a dreamlike present tense in which poetic speculation and reflection are possible.

"Stylized"

New from Touchstone Books: Stylized: A Slightly Obsessive History of Strunk & White's the Elements of Style by Mark Garvey.

About the book, from the publisher:

A LIVELY, WITTY, AND PASSIONATE CELEBRATION OF THE "LITTLE BOOK" THAT HAS DONE MORE TO SHAPE WRITING IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE THAN ANY OTHER GUIDE IN MODERN TIMES

Since 1959, The Elements of Style has been required reading for aspiring writers, English majors, and anyone with a love of language. Strunk and White's guidelines for good grammar and style have been discussed, debated, and occasionally even debunked...but they cannot be dismissed.

A Strunk and White devotee since high school, writer and editor Mark Garvey has long appreciated Elements for its character, its attitude, and its bracing good sense. The book is not only a helpful guide to creating better prose, it is also a compelling reminder of the virtues of clarity, simplicity, and truth in writing -- and an inspiring celebration of the individual voice. To tell the story of this timeless, beloved, sometimes controversial book, and the men behind it, Garvey digs deep into the Cornell University archives and the personal letters of E. B. White and his professor William Strunk Jr.

Stylized is a lovingly crafted history that explores Elements' staying power and takes us from the hallowed halls of academia to the bustling offices of The New Yorker magazine to the dazzling days of old Hollywood -- and into the hearts and minds of some of the most respected writers working today.

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Cowboy & Wills"

New from Simon Spotlight Entertainment: Cowboy & Wills: A Love Story by Monica Holloway.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this exceptionally touching memoir, critically acclaimed author Monica Holloway shares the extraordinary, deeply moving story of Cowboy, the golden retriever puppy who changed her son's life.

The day Monica learns that her lovable, brilliant three-year-old son, Wills, has autism spectrum disorder, she takes him to buy an aquarium. It's the first in a string of impulsive trips to the pet store to buy animals as a distraction from the uncontrollable, crushing reality of Wills's diagnosis. But while Wills diligently tends to the growing menagerie, what he really wants is a puppy. And one Christmas, when Wills is six, Cowboy Carol Lawrence joins their family.

Like all dynamic duos, Cowboy and Wills complement each other perfectly. Wills is cautious, fastidious, and irresistibly tenderhearted. Cowboy, a rambunctious golden retriever, is overeager, affectionate, and impulsive. And from the moment Cowboy enters their lives, Monica sees her son step a little farther into the world.

Soon, the boy who could barely say hello to his classmates in kindergarten is sharing stories of his new "sister" Cowboy during morning circle. Children crowd around them at the park, and instead of running away, Wills, holding Cowboy's leash in his sweaty fist, proudly answers all of their questions. With Cowboy, he finds the courage to invite kids over for playdates, overcomes his debilitating fear of water to swim along beside her in the family pool, and, after years of gentle coaxing, Wills finally sleeps in his own bed with Cowboy's paws draped across his small chest.

Through it all, Cowboy is there, dragging him toward other children, giving him the confidence to try new things and the courage to face his worst fears. And when Cowboy turns out to need her new family as much as they need her, they discover just how much she has taught them -- about devotion, about loyalty, and about never giving up.

Sometimes it's what you don't know to hope for that saves you. For Monica, her husband, Michael, and their son, Wills, salvation came in the form of a puppy with pale blond fur, chocolate brown eyes, a fondness for chewing the crotch out of underpants, and a limitless capacity for love.
Visit Monica Holloway's website.