Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff"

New from Oceanview: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by Don Bruns.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s official: stumbling, bumbling James Lessor and Skip Moore are licensed private investigators. Now, that’s some scary stuff. It could take time to get More or Less Investigations off the ground, so James takes a job with a traveling carnival show. But this show has a dubious reputation, having had a string of accidents and at least one death in the past year.

When they’re hired to investigate what’s caused the carnival chaos, James and Skip set into motion a dizzying, roller coaster chain of events. After a terrifying trip on the Dragon Tail ride, a not-so-fun dust-up in Freddy’s Fun House, and a host of threats, James and Skip realize they’ll get anything but cooperation from this cantankerous cast of carnies.

But when a carnival worker is murdered, James and Skip will have to act fast . . . because they might be next in line. For James and Skip, the only thing sweeter than the smell of corndogs and fried dough will be the sweet smell of success—but in this case, ‘success’ means getting out alive.
Learn more about the book and author at Don Bruns' website.

The Page 99 Test: Stuff to Die For.

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

The Page 69 Test: Stuff to Spy For.

The Page 69 Test: Don't Sweat the Small Stuff.

"Every Bitter Thing"

New from Soho Crime: Every Bitter Thing: A Chief Inspector Mario Silva Investigation Set in Brazil by Leighton Gage.

About the book, from the publisher:

The son of the Foreign Minister to Venezuela is found dead in his apartment. Due to the political nature of the crime, Chief Inspector Mario Silva of Brazil's Federal Police is called in to investigate. As he delves deeper into the murder, he discovers that a chain of murders have occurred throughout Brazil, all with the same MO: victims are first shot in the stomach, then brutally beaten to death, and they were all passengers on TAB flight 8101 from Miami to Sao Paulo. What sinister motive connects these killings? And why does it appear that a fifteen-year-old boy, also a passenger on that flight who was later raped and killed in prison, is at the heart of it all?
Learn more about the author and his work at Leighton Gage's website and the Murder is Everywhere blog.

The Page 69 Test: Blood of the Wicked.

My Book, The Movie: Buried Strangers.

The Page 69 Test: Dying Gasp.

Monday, November 29, 2010

"The Diver"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Diver by Alfred Neven DuMont.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Diver is a beautifully written and observed novel about Albert—eighty-two and suffering from Parkinson’s, following the death of his beloved twenty-year-old daughter, Glorie, who disappeared during a scuba dive off the Cayman Islands. Glorie had suffered from a potentially inherited and untreatable depression, and her death effectively destroyed her father and his marriage.

The Diver is a tender and insightful look into Albert’s struggle with faith, his attempts to come to terms with retirement, his failing health, and the difficulties in his ossified marriage to his wife. DuMont leads him on a journey to selfdiscovery, acceptance, and under-standing, as well as a fleeting glimpse of love with Glorie’s best friend’s mother, Lena, late in life.

This is a story about variations of love: the desperate love of an older man for this daughter, the stagnant love in a long-time marriage, and the surprising and rejuvenating love that can’t last. DuMont has delivered a delicate and sure-handed debut, elements of which are based on his own life.

"The Finkler Question"

New from Bloomsbury USA: The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A staggeringly brilliant new novel from bestselling and award-winning giant of literature Howard Jacobson, shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize.

"He should have seen it coming. His life had been one mishap after another. So he should have been prepared for this one…"

Julian Treslove, a professionally unspectacular and disappointed BBC worker, and Sam Finkler, a popular Jewish philosopher, writer and television personality, are old school friends. Despite a prickly relationship and very different lives, they've never quite lost touch with each other - or with their former teacher, Libor Sevick, a Czechoslovakian always more concerned with the wider world than with exam results.

Now, both Libor and Finkler are recently widowed, and with Treslove, his chequered and unsuccessful record with women rendering him an honorary third widower, they dine at Libor's grand, central London apartment.

It's a sweetly painful evening of reminiscence in which all three remove themselves to a time before they had loved and lost; a time before they had fathered children, before the devastation of separations, before they had prized anything greatly enough to fear the loss of it. Better, perhaps, to go through life without knowing happiness at all because that way you had less to mourn? Treslove finds he has tears enough for the unbearable sadness of both his friends' losses.

And it's that very evening, at exactly 11:30pm, as Treslove hesitates a moment outside the window of the oldest violin dealer in the country as he walks home, that he is attacked. After this, his whole sense of who and what he is will slowly and ineluctably change.

The Finkler Question is a scorching story of exclusion and belonging, justice and love, aging, wisdom and humanity. Funny, furious, unflinching, this extraordinary novel shows one of our finest writers at his brilliant best.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Nights of the Red Moon"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Nights of the Red Moon by Milton T. Burton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Small town, meet big crime.

It’s not hard for longtime Sheriff Bo Handel to keep Texas' Caddo County in line. He handles petty crimes and rabble rousers, runs a competent police force and maintains a relationship with his steady girlfriend while keeping things quiet.

But when the local minister’s wife, Amanda Twiller, is murdered and dumped on the church’s front, Bo suddenly finds himself with his hands full. Unfortunately for Bo, finding Amanda’s killer won’t be as easy as rounding up the town’s usual suspects. He’ll have to get past sleazy attorneys and drug lords first. When he discovers that Amanda was not only addicted to narcotics but also having an affair with one of the roughest men in town, the lazy days of his past are a distant memory.

Soon, Bo realizes there are only so many cocaine kings and Mob bosses that one man can juggle. But the murderer is out there, and it’s up to Bo to find out who it is. This small town sheriff is used to a light workload. So what happens when heavy crime comes to town?

"A Rope and a Prayer"

New from Viking: A Rope and a Prayer: A Kidnapping from Two Sides by David Rohde and Kristen Mulvihill.

About the book, from the publisher:

The compelling and insightful account of a New York Times reporter's abduction by the Taliban, and his wife's struggle to free him.

Invited to an interview by a Taliban commander, New York Times reporter David Rohde and two Afghan colleagues were kidnapped in November 2008 and spirited to the tribal areas of Pakistan. For the next seven months, they lived in an alternate reality, ruled by jihadists, in which paranoia, conspiracy theories, and shifting alliances abounded. Held in bustling towns, they found that Pakistan's powerful military turned a blind eye to a sprawling Taliban ministate that trained suicide bombers, plotted terrorist attacks, and helped shelter Osama bin Laden.

In New York, David's wife of two months, Kristen Mulvihill, his family, and The New York Times struggled to navigate the labyrinth of issues that confront the relatives of hostages. Their methodical, Western approach made little impact on the complex mix of cruelty, irrationality, and criminality that characterizes the militant Islam espoused by David's captors.

In the end, a stolen piece of rope and a prayer ended the captivity. The experience tested and strengthened Mulvihill and Rohde's relationship and exposed the failures of American effort in the region. The tale of those seven months is at once a love story and a reflection of the great cultural divide-and challenge-of our time.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"The Sherlockian"

New from Grand Central Publishing: The Sherlockian by Graham Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:

In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines, anticipating the detective's next adventure, only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning -- crowds sported black armbands in grief -- and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.

Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had "murdered" Holmes in "The Final Problem," he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.

Or has it?

When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world's leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold - using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories - who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer.
Visit Graham Moore's website.

"Bald Spots & Blue Suits"

New from Other Islands Press: Bald Spots & Blue Suits by Henry Henkel.

About the book, from the publisher:

In his debut collection of short stories, Bald Spots & Blue Suits: Modern Fables, Henry Henkel leads his characters through a labyrinth of transformation where ordinary events have extraordinary repercussions. An unexpected romance interrupts the dreary routine of an embittered middle-aged traveling salesman; a mysterious windfall from a penitent sinner enables a blind priest to realize the parish of his dreams; a successful prospector struggles to free himself from the fetters of his riches. Each of the characters in these ten stories searches desperately for an escape from Thoreau’s life of “quiet desperation;” those fortunate enough to find the exit must then wrestle with the unexpected consequences.

Using the framework of the fable, Henkel explores man’s struggle with alienation and loneliness, his search for truth and love in an illusory world. He draws on Hawthorne’s themes of salvation and redemption to upend our perceptions of good and evil, freedom and bondage.

Friday, November 26, 2010

"Stieg Larsson"

New from Pegasus Books: Stieg Larsson: Our Days in Stockholm by Kurdo Baksi.

About the book, from the publisher:

An intimate memoir that provides a unique perspective on the life and legacy of Stieg Larsson, author of The Millennium Trilogy. “He was both a dream and a nightmare to work with. He was not only involved in the struggle against intolerance, he was obsessed with it” are the words used to describe the now world-famous author Stieg Larsson by his friend and close colleague, Kurdo Baksi, who himself was a prominent character in The Millennium Trilogy. During Larsson’s career as a journalist he was a crucial figure in the battle against racism and for democracy in Sweden as one of the founders of the anti-fascist magazine Expo. Baksi first met Larsson in 1992, triggering an intense friendship and a fruitful, but challenging, working relationship.

In this candid memoir, Baksi answers the questions a multitude of Larsson’s fans have already asked about his childhood, the recurring death tretas, his insomnia, his vices, and his feminism—so evident in his books— as well as his own personal dogma. What was he like as an individual and author? Who provided the inspiration for his now-immortal characters (Baksi is one of the few who appears in the trilogy as himself), and of course, who was Lisbeth Salander?

"As Always, Julia"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto: Food, Friendship, and the Making of a Masterpiece by Joan Reardon (editor).

About the book, from the publisher:

With her outsize personality, Julia Child is known around the world by her first name alone. But despite that familiarity, how much do we really know of the inner Julia?

Now more than 200 letters exchanged between Julia and Avis DeVoto, her friend and unofficial literary agent memorably introduced in the hit movie Julie & Julia, open the window on Julia’s deepest thoughts and feelings. This riveting correspondence, in print for the first time, chronicles the blossoming of a unique and lifelong friendship between the two women and the turbulent process of Julia’s creation of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, one of the most influential cookbooks ever written.

Frank, bawdy, funny, exuberant, and occasionally agonized, these letters show Julia, first as a new bride in Paris, then becoming increasingly worldly and adventuresome as she follows her diplomat husband in his postings to Nice, Germany, and Norway.

With commentary by the noted food historian Joan Reardon, and covering topics as diverse as the lack of good wine in the United States, McCarthyism, and sexual mores, these astonishing letters show America on the verge of political, social, and gastronomic transformation.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

"The Bards of Bone Plain"

New from Ace/Penguin: The Bards of Bone Plain by Patricia A. McKillip.

About the book, from the publisher:

The newest novel from the World Fantasy Award-winning author of The Bell at Sealey Head.

With "her exquisite grasp of the fantasist's craft"* (Publishers Weekly) Patricia A. McKillip now invites readers to discover a place that may only exist in the mystical wisdom of poetry and music.

Scholar Phelan Cle is researching Bone Plain-which has been studied for the last 500 years, though no one has been able to locate it as a real place. Archaeologist Jonah Cle, Phelan's father, is also hunting through time, piecing history together from forgotten trinkets. His most eager disciple is Princess Beatrice, the king's youngest daughter. When they unearth a disk marked with ancient runes, Beatrice pursues the secrets of a lost language that she suddenly notices all around her, hidden in plain sight.

"Sea Change"

New from Viking: Sea Change by Jeremy Page.

About the book, from the publisher:

After experiencing a devastating tragedy, Guy sets out to sea in an old Dutch barge that has now become his home. Every night, he writes the imagined diary of the man he might have been-and the family he should have had.

As he embarks upon the stormy waters of the North Sea-writing about a trip through the small towns and nightclubs of the rural American South-Guy's stories begin to unfold in unexpected ways. And when he meets a mother and daughter, he realizes that it might just be possible to begin his life again.

Haunting and exquisitely crafted, Sea Change is a deeply affecting novel of love and family by an acclaimed young writer.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Critical Condition"

New from Penguin/Jove: Critical Condition by C.J. Lyons.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the middle of a New Year's Eve blizzard, the staff and patients of Angels of Mercy Hospital are held hostage by armed gunmen. Their target is Dr. Gina Freeman, who is holding vigil over her wounded fiancé, Detective Jerry Boyle. Stranded outside the hospital is ER physician Linda Fiore, whose past holds the secret the hitmen are willing to kill for. With the cold-blooded killers in control, no one may live to see the New Year.
Learn more about the author and her work at C.J. Lyons' website.

Read C.J. Lyons' story of how she went from doctor to novelist, in January Magazine.

The Page 99 Test: Lifelines.

"Nuns Behaving Badly"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art, and Arson in the Convents of Italy by Craig A. Monson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Witchcraft. Arson. Going AWOL. Some nuns in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy strayed far from the paradigms of monastic life. Cloistered in convents, subjected to stifling hierarchy, repressed, and occasionally persecuted by their male superiors, these women circumvented authority in sometimes extraordinary ways. But tales of their transgressions have long been buried in the Vatican Secret Archive. That is, until now.

In Nuns Behaving Badly, Craig A. Monson resurrects forgotten tales and restores to life the long-silent voices of these cloistered heroines. Here we meet nuns who dared speak out about physical assault and sexual impropriety (some real, some imagined). Others were only guilty of misjudgment or defacing valuable artwork that offended their sensibilities. But what unites the women and their stories is the challenges they faced: these were women trying to find their way within the Catholicism of their day and through the strict limits it imposed on them. Monson introduces us to women who were occasionally desperate to flee cloistered life, as when an entire community conspired to torch their convent and be set free. But more often, he shows us nuns just trying to live their lives. When they were crossed—by powerful priests who claimed to know what was best for them—bad behavior could escalate from mere troublemaking to open confrontation.

In resurrecting these long-forgotten tales and trials, Monson also draws attention to the predicament of modern religious women, whose “misbehavior”—seeking ordination as priests or refusing to give up their endowments to pay for priestly wrongdoing in their own archdioceses—continues even today. The nuns of early modern Italy, Monson shows, set the standard for religious transgression in their own age—and beyond.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Rescue"

New from Little, Brown & Company: Rescue by Anita Shreve.

About the book, from the publisher:

A rookie paramedic pulls a young woman alive from her totaled car, a first rescue that begins a lifelong tangle of love and wreckage. Sheila Arsenault is a gorgeous enigma--streetwise and tough-talking, with haunted eyes, fierce desires, and a never-look-back determination. Peter Webster, as straight an arrow as they come, falls for her instantly and entirely. Soon Sheila and Peter are embroiled in an intense love affair, married, and parents to a baby daughter. Like the crash that brought them together, it all happened so fast.

Can you ever really save another person? Eighteen years later, Sheila is long gone and Peter is raising their daughter, Rowan, alone. But Rowan is veering dangerously off track, and for the first time in their ordered existence together, Webster fears for her future. His work shows him daily every danger the world contains, how wrong everything can go in a second. All the love a father can give a daughter is suddenly not enough.

Sheila's sudden return may be a godsend--or it may be exactly the wrong moment for a lifetime of questions and anger and longing to surface anew. What tore a young family apart? Is there even worse damage ahead? The questions lifted up in Anita Shreve's utterly enthralling new novel are deep and lasting, and this is a novel that could only have been written by a master of the human heart.
Visit Anita Shreve's website.

"The Evolutionary World"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Evolutionary World: How Adaptation Explains Everything from Seashells to Civilization by Geerat J. Vermeij.

About the book, from the publisher:

“One of the master naturalists of our time” (American Scientist) reveals how evolutionary theory explains and affects not just the natural world but our society---and its future.

Evolution has outgrown its original home in biology and geology. The Evolutionary World shows how evolution---descent with modification---is a concept that organizes, explains, and predicts a multitude of unconnected facts and phenomena. Adaptation plays a role not only in the development of new species but the development of human civilization. By understanding how evolutionary theory has played out in areas such as our economic system, our preparation for catastrophes, and even the development of communities, we can learn not just how these systems work but also what challenges lie ahead.

Blind since the age of three, Dr. Geerat J. Vermeij has become renowned for his unique abilities to recognize details in the natural world that other scientists would never have noticed. In this book, he presents a new argument for evolution's broader importance. He explores similarities between genomes and languages, the contrasting natural economies of islands and continents, the emergence and importance of human values, the long-range consequences of global warming, and the perils of monopoly. He also shows that the lessons of evolution have implications for education, our system of laws, and economic growth.

The Evolutionary World makes a fascinating argument about the broad-reaching impact and importance of evolution. It offers a way for us to understand and work with evolution's principles so that we can devise better solutions for our own lives, society, and the environment around us.

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Miss Dimple Disappears"

New from Minotaur Books: Miss Dimple Disappears by Mignon F. Ballard.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s 1942, almost a year since the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and the residents of the small town of Elderberry, Georgia, have been rattled down to their worn, rationed shoes. For young teacher Charlie Carr, life and love aren’t going exactly as planned—her head dictates loyalty to the handsome corpsman, Hugh, but whenever she thinks of her best friend’s beau, Will, her heart does the Jersey Bounce. Charlie is doubly troubled by the disappearance of beloved schoolmistress Miss Dimple Kilpatrick one frosty November morning just before Thanksgiving. Miss Dimple, who has taught the town’s first graders—including Charlie—for almost forty years, would never just skip town in the middle of the school year, and Charlie and her best friend, Annie, are determined to prove it.
Visit Mignon F. Ballard's website.

"The Shadow War"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Shadow War by Glen Scott Allen.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of The Da Vinci Code, a brilliant new talent delivers a sweeping thriller that turns the entire history of America upside down.

Colonial historian Benjamin Wainwright is summoned to a secretive think tank in western Massachusetts by an old school friend who researches war-game theory. Upon his arrival, Wainwright discovers that his friend is dead and suspected of having leaked information. When the security analyst hired to investigate the case is targeted for assassination, Benjamin wonders: Was his friend’s death an accident—or murder?

A series of codes, forged documents, and secret family histories all point to the existence of a centuries-old conspiracy. Benjamin teams up with a beautiful Russian cultural attaché named Natalya Orlova, whose own family has a dark history with the KGB, to unravel the truth. The two set off on a dangerous mission that stretches from Washington, DC, to the French Riviera, to deep within the Siberian wilderness. Together, they discover the sinister forces that have pulled the strings of power in America—perhaps all the way back to its very founding. What our characters learn will make us question everything we thought we knew about American history, from the Revolution to the Cold War, and what lies in store for the fate of the nation.

With a gripping pace and enigmatic plot that drives the reader from one page to the next, The Shadow War is a highly intelligent thriller that asks: Who really runs the country, who controls our enemies, and to what lengths will they go to conceal their hidden agendas?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Palace of Justice"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Palace of Justice by Susanne Alleyn.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Known for her impeccable plotting and fully defined characters,” says Library Journal in a starred review about acclaimed author Susanne Alleyn, and in this newest installment featuring Aristide Ravel, freelance investigator for the Paris police, Alleyn brings her sharpest voice and most keenly crafted mystery yet.

Louis XVI is in his grave, and Marie-Antoinette is on her way to trial. Paris is hungry, restless, and fearful in the autumn of 1793, and the guillotine’s blade is beginning to fall daily on the necks of enemies of the French Republic. Not even members of the Republican government are safe from the threat of the Revolutionary Tribunal, where the only sentence for the guilty is death.

In this atmosphere of distrust and anxiety, police agent Ravel, while coming to terms with personal tragedy, must stop a ruthless killer who is terrorizing the city. Ravel soon learns, however, that hunting a murderer who strikes at random and leaves headless corpses on the streets, paralleling the ever more numerous victims of the guillotine, is a task that will lead him to dark, painful secrets and echoes from an even darker past.

From the author of The Cavalier of the Apocalypse, A Treasury of Regrets, and Game of Patience comes the fourth Aristide Ravel mystery, unfolding amid the bloody events and murderous politics of the Reign of Terror.
Learn more about the book and author at Susanne Alleyn's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: The Cavalier of the Apocalypse.

The Page 69 Test: The Cavalier of the Apocalypse.

"Berried to the Hilt"

New from Midnight Ink: Berried to the Hilt (Gray Whale Inn Series #4) by Karen MacInerney.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a lobsterman discovers a sunken ship, Cranberry Island is abuzz with excitement. Is the wreck the remains of the Myra Barton, the missing ship of island sea captain Jonah Selfridge? Or the elusive Black Marguerite, which belonged to one of the most notorious pirates of the 17th century and vanished without a trace—except for the ghost ship that old-timers say roams the water on fog-shrouded nights?

Soon the island is swarming with marine archaeologists and treasure hunters. It’s good news for Natalie—and for the Gray Whale Inn—until a body turns up floating near the wreck. Natalie finds herself immersed in the world of pirates and sunken treasure, both past and present. Will she solve the mystery and find the killer in time? Or will Natalie be the next to join the lost ship’s crew, down in Davy Jones’ locker?
Visit Karen MacInerney's website and blog.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"Port Mortuary"

New from Putnam: Port Mortuary (Kay Scarpetta Series #18) by Patricia Cornwell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Port Mortuary, the title of Patricia Cornwell's eighteenth Scarpetta novel, is literally a port for the dead. In this fast-paced story, a treacherous path from Scarpetta's past merges with the high- tech highway she now finds herself on. We travel back to the beginning of her professional career, when she accepted a scholarship from the Air Force to pay off her medical school debt. Now, more than twenty years and many career successes later, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base, where she has been immersed in a training fellowship.

As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments, MIT and Harvard, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally.

"An Object of Beauty"

New from Grand Central Publishing: An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby's and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights--and, at times, the dark lows--of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.

Friday, November 19, 2010

"The Convent"

New from W.W. Norton: The Convent by Panos Karnezis.

About the book, from the publisher:

"An impressive addition to the works of a master storyteller."—The Independent

The crumbling convent of Our Lady of Mercy stands alone in an uninhabited part of the Spanish sierra, hidden on a hill among dense forest. Its inhabitants are devoted to God, to solitude and silence—six women cut off from a world they've chosen to leave behind. This all changes on the day that Mother Superior Maria Ines discovers a suitcase punctured with air holes at the entrance to the retreat: a baby, abandoned to its fate. Is it a miracle? Soon she will find that the baby's arrival has consequences beyond her imagining, and that even in her carefully protected sanctuary she is unable to keep the world, or her past, at bay.

In this beautifully told novel, "we witness justice and injustice, theological controversy, the politics of a tiny enclosed society, despair, cruelty, generosity, scandal, suspicion and suicide, all told with immense verve and skill" (London Sunday Times).

"Midsummer Night"

New from Tor Books: Midsummer Night by Freda Warrington.

About the book, from the publisher:

A sensuous, suspenseful modern fantasy of love, betrayal, and redemption

Decades ago, in a place where the veil between our world and the world of the Aetherials—the fair folk—is too easily breached, three young people tricked their uncle by dressing as the fey. But their joke took a deadly turn when true Aetherials crossed into our world, took one of the pranksters, and literally scared their uncle to death.

Many years later, at the place of this capture lies a vast country estate that holds a renowned art facility owned by a visionary sculptor. One day, during a violent storm, a young woman studying art at the estate stumbles upon a portal to the Otherworld. A handsome young man comes through the portal and seeks shelter with her. Though he can tell her nothing of his past, his innocence and charm capture her heart. But he becomes the focus of increasingly violent arguments among the residents of the estate. Is he as innocent as he seems? Or is he hiding his true identity so that he can seek some terrible vengeance, bringing death and heartbreak to this place that stands between two worlds? Who is this young man?

The forces of magic and the power of love contend for the soul of this man, in this magical romantic story of loss and redemption.
Learn more about the author and her work at Freda Warrington's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Elfland.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"The Great Penguin Rescue"

New from Free Press: The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil Spill, and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue.

About the book, from the publisher:

ON JUNE 23, 2000, the iron-ore carrier MV Treasure, en route from Brazil to China, foundered off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, spilling 1,300 tons of oil into the ocean and contaminating the habitat of 75,000 penguins. Realizing thJuneat 41 percent of the world's population of African penguins could perish, local conservation officials immediately launched a massive rescue operation, and 12,500 volunteers from around the globe rushed to South Africa in hopes of saving the imperiled birds.

Serving as a rehabilitation manager during the initial phase of the three-month rescue effort, Dyan deNapoli—better known as "the Penguin Lady" for her extensive work with penguins—and fellow volunteers de-oiled, nursed back to health, and released into the wild nearly all of the affected birds. Now, at the tenth anniversary of the disaster, deNapoli recounts this extraordinary true story of the world's largest and most successful wildlife rescue.

When she first entered the enormous warehouse housing most of the 19,000 oiled penguins, the birds' total silence told deNapoli all she needed to know about the extent of their trauma. African penguins are very vocal by nature, prone to extended fits of raucous, competitive braying during territorial displays and pair-bonding rituals, but these poor creatures now stood silently, shoulder to shoulder, in a state of shock. DeNapoli vividly details the harrowing rescue process and the heartbreaking scenarios she came up against alongside thousands of volunteers: unforgettable images of them laboriously scrubbing the oil from every penguin feather and force-feeding each individually; the excruciatingly painful penguin bites every volunteer received; and the wrenching decisions about birds too ill to survive. She draws readers headfirst into the exhausting physical and emotional experience and brings to life the cast of remarkable characters—from Big Mike, a compassionate Jiu-Jitsu champion with a booming voice, who worked every day of the rescue effort; to a man named Welcome, aka "the Penguin Whisperer," who had the amazing ability to calm any penguin he held in his arms; to Louis, a seventeen-year-old medical student who created a new formula for the highly effective degreaser used by the rescue mission—whose historic and heroic efforts saved the birds from near extinction. The extraordinary international collaboration of scientists, zookeepers, animal rescue groups, and thousands of concerned individuals helped save the African penguins—recently declared an endangered species—from an all-too-common man-made disaster.

DeNapoli's heartwarming and riveting story is not just a portrait of these captivating birds, nor is it merely a cautionary tale about the environment. It is also an inspirational chronicle of how following one's passion can lead to unexpected, rewarding adventures—and illustrates not only how people from around the world can unite for a greater purpose, but how they can be extraordinarily successful when doing so. The Great Penguin Rescue will inspire readers to believe they can make a difference.
Visit The Penguin Lady website and blog.

"George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream"

New from Oxford University Press: George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream: A Psychological Portrait by Dan P. McAdams.

About the book, from the publisher:

George W. Bush remains a highly controversial figure, a man for whom millions of Americans have very strong feelings. Dan McAdams' book offers an astute psychological portrait of Bush, one of the first biographies to appear since he left office as well as the first to draw systematically from personality science to analyze his life. McAdams, an international leader in personality psychology and the narrative study of lives, focuses on several key events in Bush's life, such as the death of his sister at age 7, his commitment to sobriety on his 40th birthday, and his reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11, and his decision to invade Iraq. He sheds light on Bush's life goals, the story he constructed to make sense of his life, and the psychological dynamics that account for his behavior. Although there are many popular biographies of George W. Bush, McAdams' is the first true psychological analysis based on established theories and the latest research. Short and focused, written in an engaging style, this book offers a truly penetrating look at our forty-third president.
The Page 99 Test: George W. Bush and the Redemptive Dream.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Hollywood Hills"



New from Little, Brown and Company: Hollywood Hills (Hollywood Station Series #4) by Joseph Wambaugh.

About the book, from the publisher:

The legendary Hollywood Hills are home to wealth, fame, and power--passing through the neighborhood, it's hard not to get a little greedy.

LAPD veteran "Hollywood Nate" Weiss could take or leave the opulence, but he wouldn't say no to onscreen fame. He may get his shot when he catches the appreciative eye of B-list director Rudy Ressler, and his troublemaking fiancée, Leona Brueger, the older-but-still-foxy widow of a processed-meat tycoon. Nate tries to elude her crafty seductions, but consents to keep an eye on their estate in the Hollywood Hills while they're away.

Also minding the mansion is Raleigh Dibble, a hapless ex-con trying to put the past behind him. Raleigh is all too happy to be set up for the job--as butler-cum-watchdog--by Nigel Wickland, Leona's impeccably dressed art dealer. What Raleigh doesn't realize is that under the natty clothes and posh accent, Nigel has a nefarious plan: two paintings hanging on the mansion's walls will guarantee them more money than they've ever seen.

Everyone's dreams are just within reach--the only problem is, this is Hollywood. A circle of teenage burglars that the media has dubbed The Bling Ring has taken to pillaging the homes of Hollywood celebutants like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, and when a pair of drug-addled young copycats stumbles upon Nigel's heist, that's just the beginning of the disaster to come. Soon Hollywood Nate, surfer cops Flotsam and Jetsam, and the rest of the team at Hollywood Station have a deadly situation on their hands.

Hollywood Hills is a raucous and dangerous roller coaster ride that showcases Joseph Wambaugh in vintage form.

"Once Before Time"

New from Knopf: Once Before Time: A Whole Story of the Universe by Martin Bojowald.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 2000, Martin Bojowald, then a twenty-seven-year-old post-doc at Pennsylvania State University, used a relatively new theory called loop quantum gravity—a cunning combination of Einstein’s theory of gravity with quantum mechanics—to create a simple model of the universe. Loop quantum cosmology was born, and with it, a theory that managed to do something even Einstein’s general theory of relativity had failed to do—illuminate the very birth of the universe.

Ever since, loop quantum cosmology, or LQC, has been tantalizing physicists with the idea that our universe could conceivably have emerged from the collapse of a previous one. Now the theory is poised to formulate hypotheses we can actually test. If they are verified, the big bang will give way to the big bounce. Instead of a universe that emerged from a point of infinite density, we will have one that recycles, possibly through an eternal series of expansions and contractions, with no beginning and no end.

Bojowald’s major realization was that unlike general relativity, the physics of LQC do not break down at the big bang. The greatest mystery surrounding the origin of the universe is what cosmologists call the big bang “singularity”—the point at the beginning of the universe, prior to the existence of space and time, when gravity, along with the temperature and density of the universe, becomes infinite. The equations of general relativity can’t cope with such infinities, and as a result big bang theory has never been able to give any explanation for the initial condition of our universe, succeeding only in describing and explaining the evolution of the universe from that instant onward. Bojowald’s theory takes us right up to the first moment of the universe—and then back, even before the big bang itself.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Who Occupies This House"

New from from Triquarterly Books/ Northwestern University Press: Who Occupies This House.

About the book, from the publisher:

Kathleen Hill’s finely wrought novel tells the story of four generations of an Irish-American family that has lived in the same house for almost a century. Grieving the death of her mother and the imminent sale of the house, the narrator sets out to re-create the hidden, intimate lives of those who came before. Through a series of vignettes she conjures a family devastated in each generation by the loss of a child. The narrator’s project, inspired at the outset by silences that extend backward to the untold story of the Famine, turns into a vast exploration of loss, inheritance, and the nature of memory. In a voice both stark and lyrical, the narrator calls up transformative, often tragic, moments in lives that have shaped her own. Remembering a past she never knew, she hopes to release from its sway the vanishing present.Who Occupies This House is a strikingly beautiful account of the difficult reckoning with one’s family legacy that every adult faces. Punctuated by photographs and images that bring the narrative into sharp focus, it will draw comparisons to such divergent writers as W.G. Sebald and Kate O’Brien.
Visit the official website of Kathleen Hill.

"Music of the Distant Stars"

New from Severn House Publishers: Music of the Distant Stars by Alys Clare.

About the book, from the publisher:

Very early one summer morning, Lassair slips out of her Fenland village on a deeply personal mission and discovers the body of a young woman, hidden where it has no place to be. The girl's identity is quickly discovered but, as she wonders who killed her and why, Lassair swiftly becomes mystified and frightened. Why did a sweet-natured seamstress have to die? Suspicion soon creeps uncomfortably close to home; then another body is found...
Visit the official website of Alys Clare.

Monday, November 15, 2010

"America's Medicis"

New from Harper: America's Medicis: The Rockefellers and Their Astonishing Cultural Legacy by Suzanne Loebl.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first book to explore the immense cultural contributions of one of America's wealthiest and most influential families: the Rockefellers.

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller sparked her family's passion for art, but it was her husband, John D. Rockefeller Jr., who once was hailed as the "greatest friend and patron of the arts since Florence's Lorenzo de Medici." Together and separately they, as well as their descendents, became a major force on the American art scene. The dozen Rockefeller-sponsored museums, including MoMA and the Cloisters, are among the world's finest. Their architectural projects—Rockefeller Center, the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg, Lincoln Center—are equally stellar. The family also enriched existing institutions with entire collections of modern, Asian, "primitive," and folk art, in addition to ancient artifacts.

Based on a wealth of information culled from the family's extensive archives, America's Medicis traces the Rockefellers' artistic philanthropies from their beginnings to the present. As author Suzanne Loebl makes clear, the Rockefellers did more than simply provide money and artworks; they also devoted themselves to the causes they believed in—a commitment that helped define and direct America's artistic tastes. In spite of all these material gifts, the Rockefellers' most lasting contribution was to teach America that art does not belong to a rarefied elite, but can be enjoyed and understood by all. Erudite and engaging, America's Medicis is a remarkable account of the twentieth-century American art world and the extraordinary family at its center.
Visit Suzanne Loebl's website.

"Missing You, Metropolis"

New from Graywolf Press: Missing You, Metropolis by Gary Jackson.

About the book, from the publisher:

With humor and the serious collector's delight, Gary Jackson imagines the comic-book worlds of Superman, Batman, and the X-Men alongside the veritable worlds of Kansas, racial isolation, and the gravesides of a sister and a friend.
Among the praise for Missing You, Metropolis:
"Gary Jackson's Miss you, Metropolis embodies a voice uniquely shaped and tuned for the twenty-first century. Playful, jaunty, rueful, and highly serious —sometimes within a singular poem —this persona has been forged in the caldron of popular iconography, especially in the culture of the comic book. Anything is possible in such created time and space; immediate tension exists in a climate where other worldly figures are defined by earthly matters and concerns. The funny-book world is a perfect landscape for inuuencdo and signification, and Jackson uses these aptly. This first collection of poems is gauged by a sophisticated heart."
— YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA, from the introduction

Sunday, November 14, 2010

"Tories"

New from Harper: Tories: Fighting for the King in America’s First Civil War by Thomas B. Allen.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Sweeping, Dramatic History of the Americans Who Chose to Side with the British in the Revolution

The American Revolution was not simply a battle between independence-minded colonists and the oppressive British. As Thomas B. Allen reminds us, it was also a savage and often deeply personal civil war, in which conflicting visions of America pitted neighbor against neighbor and Patriot against Tory on the battlefield, the village green, and even in church.

In this outstanding and vital history, Allen tells the complete story of these other Americans, tracing their lives and experiences throughout the revolutionary period. New York City and Philadelphia were Tory strongholds through much of the war, and at times in the Carolinas and Georgia there were more trained and armed Tories than Redcoats. The Revolution also produced one of the greatest—and least known—migrations in Western history. More than 80,000 Tories left America, most of them relocating to Canada.

John Adams once said that he feared there would never be a good history of the American Revolution because so many documents had left the country with the Tories. Based on documents in archives from Nova Scotia to London, Tories adds a fresh perspective to our knowledge of the Revolution and sheds an important new light on the little-known figures whose lives were forever changed when they remained faithful to their mother country.
Visit Thomas B. Allen's website.

"After the Falls"

New from Viking: After the Falls: Coming of Age in the Sixties by Catherine Gildiner.

About the book, from the publisher:

The vivid and touching sequel to the bestselling memoir Too Close to the Falls.

It's 1960 and twelve-year-old Cathy McClure has just been thrown out of Catholic school for-among other transgressions-filling the holy water fount with vodka. In the hopes of giving Cathy a fresh start away from their small town, the McClures leave behind Niagara Falls and the family pharmacy to start over in suburban Buffalo. But life in a subdivision and a school filled with "pubescent cheddar" holds little appeal for a girl who began working at four and smoking at nine. As the quaint world of 1950s America recedes into history, Cathy dives headfirst into the 1960s. Along the way, she adopts many personas with gusto-vandal, HoJo hostess, FBI suspect, civil rights demonstrator- but when tragedy strikes at home, Cathy must take on her most challenging role yet.

As candid and compelling as Mary Karr's The Liars' Club and Jeanette Walls's The Glass Castle, After the Falls is an irresistible account of one girl's comingof-age during a tumultuous era and the moving tale of a rebellious spirit learning what it means to be a daughter.
Visit Catherine Gildiner's website and blog.

Writers Read: Catherine Gildiner.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"Faery Tale"

New from Penguin/Perigee: Faery Tale: One Woman's Search for Enchantment in a Modern World by Signe Pike.

About the book, from the publisher:

In search of something to believe in once more, Signe Pike left behind a career in Manhattan to undertake a magical journey-literally. In a sweeping tour through Mexico, England, Ireland, Scotland, and beyond, she takes readers to dark glens and abandoned forests, ancient sacred sites, and local pubs, seeking people who might still believe in the elusive beings we call faeries. As Pike attempts to connect with the spirit world-and reconnect with her sense of wonder and purpose-she comes to view both herself and the world around her in a profoundly new light.

Captivating, full of heart, and unabashedly whimsical, Faery Tale is more than a memoir-it's the story of rekindling that spark of belief that makes even the most skeptical among us feel like a child again.
Visit Signe Pike's website, blog, and Facebook page.

"The Christmas Journey"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Christmas Journey by Donna VanLiere.

About the book, from the publisher:

The eighty-mile journey of a common carpenter and a simple peasant girl is one of the most powerful stories in history. As books go out of print and stories fade from memory, the journey of Joseph and Mary and her delivery inside a common barn continues to bless and inspire hope in people around the world.

Accompanied by moving and beautifully rendered illustrations throughout, Donna VanLiere’s retelling shows that the story of the Nativity is alive in our modern world.
Learn more about the book and author at Donna VanLiere's website.

Donna VanLiere is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series and Angels of Morgan Hill.

The Page 69 Test: The Christmas Secret.

The Page 69 Test: Finding Grace.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"The Emperor of All Maladies"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane "biography" of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective, and a biographer's passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with—and perished from—for more than five thousand years.

The story of cancer is a story of human ingenuity, resilience, and perseverance, but also of hubris, paternalism, and misperception. Mukherjee recounts centuries of discoveries, setbacks, victories, and deaths, told through the eyes of his predecessors and peers, training their wits against an infinitely resourceful adversary that, just three decades ago, was thought to be easily vanquished in an all-out "war against cancer." The book reads like a literary thriller with cancer as the protagonist.

From the Persian Queen Atossa, whose Greek slave cut off her malignant breast, to the nineteenth-century recipients of primitive radiation and chemotherapy to Mukherjee's own leukemia patient, Carla, The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive—and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease.

Riveting, urgent, and surprising, The Emperor of All Maladies provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments. It is an illuminating book that provides hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.

"The Snow Globe"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Snow Globe by Sheila Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:

On a blustery afternoon, Kylie Gray wanders into an antique shop and buys an enchanting snow globe. “There’s a story behind that snow globe,” the antique dealer tells her. The original owner, he explains, was a German toymaker who lost his wife and son right before Christmas. When the grieving widower received the handcrafted snow globe as a Christmas gift, he saw the image of a beautiful woman beneath the glass—a woman who would come into his life, mend his broken heart and bring him back to the world of the living. For years, the snow globe has passed from generation to generation, somehow always landing in the hands of a person in special need of a Christmas miracle.

Kiley could use a miracle herself. This year, all she wants for Christmas is someone to love. A hopeful shake leads her on an adventure that makes a believer out of her. When Kylie shares the story of the snow globe with her best friends—two women with problems of their own—they don’t believe it. But they’re about to discover that at Christmastime, sometimes the impossible becomes possible and miracles really do come true.
Visit Sheila Roberts' website and blog.

Writers Read: Sheila Roberts.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"The Demon's Parchment"

New from Minotaur Books: The Demon's Parchment by Jeri Westerson.

About the book, from the publisher:

In fourteenth century London, Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight convicted of treason and stripped of his land, title and his honor. He has become known as the “Tracker”—a man who can find anything, can solve any puzzle and, with the help of his apprentice, Jack Tucker, an orphaned street urchin with a thief ’s touch—will do so for a price. But this time, even Crispin is wary of taking on his most recent client. Jacob of Provencal is a Jewish physician at the King’s court, even though all Jews were expelled from England nearly a century before. Jacob wants Crispin to find stolen parchments that might be behind the recent, ongoing, gruesome murders of young boys, parchments that someone might have used to bring forth a demon which now stalks the streets and alleys of London.
Learn more about the book and author at Jeri Westerson's website, her "Getting Medieval" blog, and the Crispin Guest Medieval Noir blog.

Westerson wrote about Crispin Guest's place among fictional detectives for The Rap Sheet.

The Page 69 Test: Veil of Lies.

The Page 69 Test: Serpent in the Thorns.

"The Half-Made World"

New from Tor Books: The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman.

About the book, from the publisher:

A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism

The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared—the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they’re just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope.

To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping the Gun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.
Read an excerpt from The Half-Made World.

Visit Felix Gilman's website and blog.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"The Accountant's Guide to the Universe"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Accountant's Guide to the Universe: Heaven and Hell by the Numbers by Craig Hovey.

About the book, from the publisher:

They said it couldn’t be done, but The Accountant’s Guide to the Universe is the first entertaining book on accounting written for a general audience.

The book opens with a wild premise: Heaven and Hell have been outsourced to a giant company in a distant galaxy and they are now in charge of determining who goes where after death. The entire universe is scoured for an objective system that can be adapted to the task, and it is found, in the form of accounting, in the least civilized backwater of the universe, Earth!

The book is also a morality tale. It demonstrates how financial scandals (a la Bernie Madoff and many others) can be pulled off with “creative accounting,” and how much a person adds or subtracts from the universe by their actions.

Written for anybody who has taken an accounting class, practices it for a living, or is simply interested in seeing how a system designed to record finances can also be used to judge the entire universe will be enlightened by The Accountant’s Guide to the Universe.

"Lord of Misrule"

New from McPherson & Company: Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:

At the rock-bottom end of the sport of kings sits the ruthless and often violent world of cheap horse racing, where trainers and jockeys, grooms and hotwalkers, loan sharks and touts are all struggling to take an edge, or prove their luck, or just survive. Equal parts Nathanael West, Damon Runyon and Eudora Welty, Lord of Misrule follows five characters -- scarred and lonely dreamers in the American grain -- through a year and four races at Indian Mound Downs, downriver from Wheeling, West Virginia.

Horseman Tommy Hansel has a scheme to rescue his failing stable: He'll ship four unknown but ready horses to Indian Mound Downs, run them in cheap claiming races at long odds, and then gut out fast before anyone notices. The problem is, at this rundown riverfront half-maile racetrack in the Northern Panhandle, everybody notices -- veteran groom Medicine Ed, Kidstuff the blacksmith, old lady "gyp" Deucey Gifford, stall superintendent Suitcase Smithers, eventually even the ruled-off "racetrack financier" Two-Tie and the ominous leading trainer, Joe Dale Bigg. But no one bothers to factor in Tommy Hansel's go-fer girlfriend, Maggie Koderer. Like the beautiful, used-up, tragic horses she comes to love, Maggie has just enough heart to wire everyone's flagging hopes back to the source of all luck.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity"

New from Faber and Faber: Starstruck: The Business of Celebrity by Elizabeth Currid-Halkett.

About the book, from the publisher:

How was Nike able to take a gamble on an unknown Michael Jordan and transform itself from a $900 million company to a $9.19 billion company in less than fifteen years? Why did the artist Jeff Koons’s Balloon Flower (Magenta) sell for a record $25.7 million in 2008? What does the high school football star have in common with the Hollywood headliner? And why should an actor never, ever go to Las Vegas?

Celebrity—our collective fascination with particular people—is everywhere and takes many forms, from the sports star, notorious Wall Street tycoon, or film icon, to the hometown quarterback, YouTube sensation, or friend who compulsively documents his life on the Internet. We follow with rapt attention all the minute details of stars’ lives: their romances, their spending habits, even how they drink their coffee. For those anointed, celebrity can translate into big business and top social status, but why do some attain stardom while millions of others do not? Why are we simply more interested in certain people?

In Starstruck, Elizabeth Currid-Halkett presents the first rigorous exploration of celebrity, arguing that our desire to “celebrate” some people and not others has profound implications, elevating social statuses, making or breaking careers and companies, and generating astronomical dividends. Tracing the phenomenon from the art world to tabletop gaming conventions to the film industry, Currid-Halkett looks at celebrity as an expression of economics, geography (both real and virtual), and networking strategies.

Starstruck brings together extensive statistical research and analysis, along with interviews with top agents and publicists, YouTube executives, major art dealers and gallery directors, Bollywood players, and sports experts. Laying out the enormous impact of the celebrity industry and identifying the patterns by which individuals become stars, Currid-Halkett successfully makes the argument that celebrity is an important social phenomenon and a driving force in the worldwide economy.
The Page 99 Test: Elizabeth Currid's The Warhol Economy: How Fashion, Art, and Music Drive New York City.

"Bridge of Spies"

New from Broadway Books: Bridge of Spies: A True Story of the Cold War by Giles Whittell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Who were the three men the American and Soviet superpowers exchanged at Berlin's Glienicke Bridge and Checkpoint Charlie in the first and most legendary prisoner exchange between East and West? Bridge of Spies vividly traces their paths to that exchange on February 10, 1962, when their fate helped to define the conflicts and lethal undercurrents of the most dangerous years of the Cold War.

Bridge of Spies is the true story of three extraordinary characters – William Fisher, alias Rudolf Abel, a British born KGB agent arrested by the FBI in New York City and jailed as a Soviet superspy for trying to steal America’s most precious nuclear secrets; Gary Powers, the American U-2 pilot who was captured when his plane was shot down while flying a reconnaissance mission over the closed cities of central Russia; and Frederic Pryor, a young American graduate student in Berlin mistakenly identified as a spy, arrested and held without charge by the Stasi, East Germany’s secret police.

By weaving the three strands of this story together for the first time, Giles Whittell masterfully portrays the intense political tensions and nuclear brinkmanship that brought the United States and Soviet Union so close to a hot war in the early 1960s. He reveals the dramatic lives of men drawn into the nadir of the Cold War by duty and curiosity, and the tragicomedy of errors that eventually induced Khrushchev to send missiles to Castro. Two of his subjects — the spy and the pilot — were the original seekers of weapons of mass destruction. The third, an intellectual, fluent in German, unencumbered by dependents, and researching a Ph.D. thesis on the foreign trade system of the Soviet bloc, seemed to the Stasi precisely the sort of person the CIA should have been recruiting. He was not. In over his head in the world capital of spying, he was wrongly charged with espionage and thus came to the Agency’s notice by a more roundabout route. The three men were rescued against daunting odds by fate and by their families, and then all but forgotten. Yet they laid bare the pathological mistrust that fueled the arms race for the next 30 years.

Drawing on new interviews conducted in the United States, Europe and Russia with key players in the exchange and the events leading to it, among them Frederic Pryor himself and the man who shot down Gary Powers, Bridge of Spies captures a time when the fate of the world really did depend on coded messages on microdots and brave young men in pressure suits. The exchange that frigid day at two of the most sensitive points along the Iron Curtain represented the first step back from where the superpowers had stood since the building of the Berlin Wall the previous summer – on the brink of World War III.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Empress of Eternity"

New from Tor Books: Empress of Eternity by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the far future, an indestructible and massive canal more than 2,000 miles long spans the mid-continent of Earth. Nothing can mar it, move it, or affect it in any fashion. At its western end, where it meets the sea, is an equally indestructible structure comprising three levels of seemingly empty chambers.

Scientists from three different civilizations, separated in time by hundreds of thousands of years, are investigating the canal. In the most distant of these civilizations, religious rebellion is brewing. A plot is hatched to overthrow the world government of the Vanir, using a weapon that can destroy anything-except the canal. If used at full power it might literally unravel the universe and destroy all life forever. The lives and fates of all three civilizations become intertwined as the forces behind the canal react to the threat, and all three teams of scientists find their lives changed beyond belief.
Learn more about the author and his work at L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s website and his blog.

L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is the bestselling author of over forty novels encompassing two science fiction series and three fantasy series, as well as several other novels in the science fiction genre.

My Book, The Movie: L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s Flash.

The Page 69 Test: The Lord-Protector's Daughter.

"The Pericles Commission"

New from Minotaur Books: The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nicolaos walks the mean streets of Classical Athens as an agent for the promising young politician Pericles. His mission is to find the assassin of the statesman Ephialtes, the man who brought democracy to Athens and whose murder has thrown the city into uproar. It’s a job not made any easier by the depressingly increasing number of dead witnesses.

But murder and mayhem don’t bother Nico; what’s really on his mind is how to get closer (much closer) to Diotima, the intelligent and annoyingly virgin priestess of Artemis, and how to shake off his irritating twelve year-old brother Socrates.

The Pericles Commission is the first in an exciting new series by first-time novelist Gary Corby, who takes us to Ancient Greece at one of the most exciting times in history. In this wonderfully approachable, historically rich novel, Athens is brought vividly to life in a mystery engaging from the first page to last.
Visit Gary Corby's blog.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Seed Seeker"

New from Tor Books: Seed Seeker by Pamela Sargent.

About the book, from the publisher:

An adventure in colonization and conflict from acclaimed SF writer Pamela Sargent

Several hundred years ago, Ship, a sentient starship, settled humans on the planet Home before leaving to colonize other worlds, promising to return one day. Over time, the colony on Home divided into those who live in the original domed buildings of the colony, who maintain the library and technology of Ship, and those who live by the river, farming and hunting to survive. The Dome Dwellers consider themselves the protectors of “true humanity” and the River People “contaminated,” and the two sides interact solely through ritualized trade: food and goods from the River People in exchange for repairs and recharges by the Dome Dwellers.

Then a new light appears in the night sky. The River People believe it might be Ship, keeping its promise to return, but the Dome Dwellers, who have a radio to communicate with Ship, are silent. So Bian, a seventeen-year-old girl from a small village, travels upriver to learn what they know. As she travels through the colony of Home, gaining companions and gathering news, Bian ponders why the Dome Dwellers have said nothing. Has Ship commanded them to be silent, in preparation for some judgment on the River People? Or are the Dome Dwellers lying to Ship, turning Ship against their rivals?

Whatever the answer, life is about to change radically on both sides of the divide.
Visit Pamela Sargent's website.

"The Distant Hours"

New from Atria: The Distant Hours by Kate Morton.

About the book, from the publisher:

A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WW II. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Juniper, who hasn't been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941.

Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother's past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in 'the distant hours' of the past has been waiting a long time for someone to find it.

Morton once again enthralls readers with an atmospheric story featuring unforgettable characters beset by love and circumstance and haunted by memory, that reminds us of the rich power of storytelling.
Visit Kate Morton's website.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"Trio of Sorcery"

New from Tor Books: Trio of Sorcery by Mercedes Lackey.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mercedes Lackey presents three exciting short urban fantasy novels featuring three resourceful heroines and three different takes on the modern world and on magics both modern and ancient.

Arcanum 101: Diana Tregarde, practicing witch, romance novelist, Guardian of the Earth. Studying at Harvard, Diana is approached by Joe O’Brian, a young cop who has already seen more than one unusual thing during his budding career. The distraught mother of a kidnap victim is taking advice from a “psychic” and interfering in the police investigation. Will Diana prove that the psychic is a fake? Unfortunately, the psychic is not a fake, but a very wicked witch—and the child’s kidnapper.

Drums: Jennifer Talldeer, shaman, private investigator, member of the Osage tribe. Most of Jennie’s work is regular PI stuff, but Nathan Begay brings her a problem she’s never seen before. His girlfriend, Caroline, is Chickasaw to his Navaho, but that’s not the problem. Somehow, Caroline has attracted the attention of an angry Osage ghost. Thwarted in love while alive, the ghost has chosen Caroline to be his bride in death.

Ghost in the Machine: Ellen McBridge: computer programmer extraordinaire, techno-shaman. The programmers and players of a new MMORPG find that the game’s “boss,” a wendigo, is “killing” everyone—even the programmers’ characters with their god-like powers. A brilliant debugger, Ellen discoveres that the massive computing power of the game’s servers have created a breach between the supernatural world and our own. This wendigo isn’t a bit of code, it’s the real thing ... and it’s on the brink of breaking out of the computers and into the real world.
Visit Mercedes Lackey's website and blog.

"Corrag"

New from W.W. Norton: Corrag by Susan Fletcher.

About the book, from the publisher:

A breathtaking novel of passion and betrayal in seventeenth-century Scotland, and the portrait of an unforgettable heroine accused of witchcraft.

February 13, 1692. Thirty-eight members of the MacDonald clan are killed by soldiers who had previously enjoyed the clan's hospitality. Many more die from exposure. Forty miles south, the captivating Corrag is imprisoned for her involvement in the massacre. Accused of witchcraft and murder, she awaits her death. Lonesome, she tells her story to Charles Leslie, an Irish propagandist who seeks information to condemn the Protestant King William, rumored to be involved in the massacre. Hers is a story of passion, courage, love, and the magic of the natural world. By telling it, she transforms both their lives.

As in her award-winning debut novel, Eve Green, Susan Fletcher shows that she is "a novelist with the soul of a poet" (Booklist). This deeply philosophical and dramatic book is about an epic historic event and the difference a single heart can make—how deep and lasting relationships can come from the most unlikely places.