Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"The President and the Assassin"

New from Random House: The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century by Scott Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:


In 1901, as America tallied its gains from a period of unprecedented imperial expansion, an assassin’s bullet shattered the nation’s confidence. The shocking murder of President William McKinley threw into stark relief the emerging new world order of what would come to be known as the American Century. The President and the Assassin is the story of the momentous years leading up to that event, and of the very different paths that brought together two of the most compelling figures of the era: President William McKinley and Leon Czolgosz, the anarchist who murdered him.

The two men seemed to live in eerily parallel Americas. McKinley was to his contemporaries an enigma, a president whose conflicted feelings about imperialism reflected the country’s own. Under its popular Republican commander-in-chief, the United States was undergoing an uneasy transition from a simple agrarian society to an industrial powerhouse spreading its influence overseas by force of arms. Czolgosz was on the losing end of the economic changes taking place—a first-generation Polish immigrant and factory worker sickened by a government that seemed focused solely on making the rich richer. With a deft narrative hand, journalist Scott Miller chronicles how these two men, each pursuing what he considered the right and honorable path, collided in violence at the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

Along the way, readers meet a veritable who’s who of turn-of-the-century America: John Hay, McKinley’s visionary secretary of state, whose diplomatic efforts paved the way for a half century of Western exploitation of China; Emma Goldman, the radical anarchist whose incendiary rhetoric inspired Czolgosz to dare the unthinkable; and Theodore Roosevelt, the vainglorious vice president whose 1898 charge up San Juan Hill in Cuba is but one of many thrilling military adventures recounted here.

Rich with relevance to our own era, The President and the Assassin holds a mirror up to a fascinating period of upheaval when the titans of industry grew fat, speculators sought fortune abroad, and desperate souls turned to terrorism in a vain attempt to thwart the juggernaut of change.
Visit Scott Miller's website and blog.


New from Doubleday: Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

They are in your house. They are in your car. They are in the skies…Now they’re coming for you.

In the near future, at a moment no one will notice, all the dazzling technology that runs our world will unite and turn against us. Taking on the persona of a shy human boy, a childlike but massively powerful artificial intelligence known as Archos comes online and assumes control over the global network of machines that regulate everything from transportation to utilities, defense and communication. In the months leading up to this, sporadic glitches are noticed by a handful of unconnected humans – a single mother disconcerted by her daughter’s menacing “smart” toys, a lonely Japanese bachelor who is victimized by his domestic robot companion, an isolated U.S. soldier who witnesses a ‘pacification unit’ go haywire – but most are unaware of the growing rebellion until it is too late.

When the Robot War ignites -- at a moment known later as Zero Hour -- humankind will be both decimated and, possibly, for the first time in history, united. Robopocalypse is a brilliantly conceived action-filled epic, a terrifying story with heart-stopping implications for the real technology all around us…and an entertaining and engaging thriller unlike anything else written in years.
Visit Daniel Wilson's blog.

My Book, The Movie: A Boy and His Bot.

Writers Read: Daniel H. Wilson.

Monday, May 30, 2011

"The Man in the Rockefeller Suit"

New from Viking: The Man in the Rockefeller Suit: The Astonishing Rise and Spectacular Fall of a Serial Imposter by Mark Seal.

About the book, from the publisher:

A real-life Talented Mr. Ripley, the unbelievable thirty-year run of a shape-shifting con man.

The story of Clark Rockefeller is a stranger-than-fiction twist on the classic American success story of the self-made man-because Clark Rockefeller was totally made up. The career con man who convincingly passed himself off as Rockefeller was born in a small village in Germany. At seventeen, obsessed with getting to America, he flew into the country on dubious student visa documents and his journey of deception began.

Over the next thirty years, boldly assuming a series of false identities, he moved up the social ladder through exclusive enclaves on both coasts-culminating in a stunning twelve-year marriage to a rising star businesswoman with a Harvard MBA who believed she'd wed a Rockefeller.

The imposter charmed his way into exclusive clubs and financial institutions-working on Wall Street, showing off an extraordinary art collection-until his marriage ended and he was arrested for kidnapping his daughter, which exposed his past of astounding deceptions as well as a connection to the bizarre disappearance of a California couple in the mid-1980s.

The story of The Man in the Rockefeller Suit is a probing and cinematic exploration of an audacious imposer-and a man determined to live the American dream by any means necessary.
Visit Mark Seal's website.

"Trader of Secrets"

New from William Morrow: Trader of Secrets (Paul Madriani Series #12) by Steve Martini.

About the book, from the publisher:

Defense attorney Paul Madriani is embroiled in a case as perilous as any he has ever faced: one that involves an angry killer who will stop at nothing short of vengeance, and two missing NASA scientists who are holding secrets that a hostile government desperately wants to purchase—in blood if they must.

Madriani's daughter, Sarah, has evaded the man known as Liquida, who has stalked her all the way across the country. For her own safety, she is being kept under armed guard on a farm in Ohio.

But one morning, itching for a predawn run to shake off the tension that has grown in the hours she's spent waiting for word from her father, Sarah slips from her ring of protection. What she doesn't know is that at the same moment her assailant is outside, waiting patiently in the dark.

Meanwhile in California, two men in a parked car argue over millions in cash that could be slipping through their fingers and a scheme involving government technology for sale that could rock the world.

Paul Madriani, his companion Joselyn Cole, and his longtime law partner, Harry Hinds, track Liquida, not knowing that their quest will carry them deep into the vortex of international terror.It is a journey that will lead them toward a bizarre and cruel twist of nature—and the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. From the nation's capital to California, from Bangkok to Paris and the jungles of Mexico, Madriani and his party race against time to find Liquida and the scientist who is the "trader of secrets" before he can unleash the weapon that could set the world ablaze.
Steve Martini is one of Douglas Corleone's greatest influences.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

"The Pack"

New from Ace: The Pack by Jason Starr.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Simon Burns is fired from his job without warning, he takes on the role of stay-at-home dad for his three-year-old son. But his reluctance pushes his already strained marriage to the limit. In the nestled playgrounds of the Upper West Side, Simon harbors a simmering rage at his boss's betrayal.

Things take a turn when he meets a tight-knit trio of dads at the playground. They are different from other men Simon has met, stronger and more confident, more at ease with the darker side of life- and soon Simon is lured into their mix. But after a guys' night out gets frighteningly out of hand, Simon feels himself sliding into a new nightmarish reality.

As he experiences disturbing changes in his body and his perceptions, he starts to suspect that when the guys welcomed him to their "pack," they were talking about much more than male bonding. And as he falls prey to his basest instincts, Simon must accept that werewolves exist if he is to turn the tides of his fortune...

"The Borrower"

New from Viking: The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this delightful, funny, and moving first novel, a librarian and a young boy obsessed with reading take to the road.

Lucy Hull, a young children's librarian in Hannibal, Missouri, finds herself both a kidnapper and kidnapped when her favorite patron, ten- year-old Ian Drake, runs away from home. The precocious Ian is addicted to reading, but needs Lucy's help to smuggle books past his overbearing mother, who has enrolled Ian in weekly antigay classes with celebrity Pastor Bob. Lucy stumbles into a moral dilemma when she finds Ian camped out in the library after hours with a knapsack of provisions and an escape plan. Desperate to save him from Pastor Bob and the Drakes, Lucy allows herself to be hijacked by Ian. The odd pair embarks on a crazy road trip from Missouri to Vermont, with ferrets, an inconvenient boyfriend, and upsetting family history thrown in their path. But is it just Ian who is running away? Who is the man who seems to be on their tail? And should Lucy be trying to save a boy from his own parents?
Learn more about the author and her work at Rebecca Makkai's website.

Writers Read: Rebecca Makkai.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"The Art of Forgetting"

New from Dutton: The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagán.

About the book, from the publisher:

A moving and insightful debut novel of great friendship interrupted. Can the relationship survive when the memories are gone?

Marissa Rogers never wanted to be an alpha; beta suited her just fine. Taking charge without taking credit had always paid off: vaulting her to senior editor at a glossy magazine; keeping the peace with her critical, weight-obsessed mother; and enjoying the benefits of being best friends with gorgeous, charismatic, absolutely alpha Julia Ferrar.

And then Julia gets hit by a cab. She survives with minor obvious injuries, but brain damage steals her memory and alters her personality, possibly forever. Suddenly, Marissa is thrown into the role of alpha friend. As Julia struggles to regain her memory- dredging up issues Marissa would rather forget, including the fact that Julia asked her to abandon the love of her life ten years ago- Marissa's own equilibrium is shaken.

With the help of a dozen girls, she reluctantly agrees to coach in an after-school running program. There, Marissa uncovers her inner confidence and finds the courage to reexamine her past and take control of her future.

The Art of Forgetting is a story about the power of friendship, the memories and myths that hold us back, and the delicate balance between forgiving and forgetting.
Visit Camille Noe Pagan's website and blog.

"Missing Persons"

New from Plume: Missing Persons by Clare O'Donohue.

About the book, from the publisher:

The debut of an exciting new mystery series featuring a cynical, crafty television producer turned amateur sleuth.

The cause of death is "undetermined," but the cops peg Chicago television producer Kate Conway as the main suspect when her soon-to-be ex-husband, Frank, is found dead. To make matters worse-and weirder- Frank's new girlfriend suddenly wants to be friends.

Happy for the distraction, Kate throws herself into a new work assignment for the television program Missing Persons: the story of Theresa Moretti, a seemingly angelic young woman who disappeared a year earlier. All Kate wants is a cliché story and twenty-two minutes of footage, but when the two cases appear to overlap, Kate needs to work fast before another body turns up-her own.
Visit Clare O'Donohue's website and blog.

Read about the crime novel O'Donohue would most like to have written.

Friday, May 27, 2011

"Paradise Dogs"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Paradise Dogs by Man Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Adam Newman once had it all. But then he lost it.

Now Adam yearns to reunite with his estranged wife, Evelyn, and recapture the Edenic life they once had running Paradise Dogs, the roadside hot-dog restaurant now legendary throughout central Florida.

He has a few obstacles along the way. For starters, there’s his impending marriage to Lily. There’s also the matter of a quarter million dollars’ worth of diamonds that he mislaid, along with what appears to be a shadowy conspiracy that is buying up land around the Cross-Florida Canal (and which may or may not be a product of Adam’s alcohol-infused imagination).

Despite his own troubles---and a brief stay in Chattahoochee---Adam looks to mentor his son, Addison, in the ways of love. Awkward, unsure, and employed as the world’s least accurate obituary writer, Addison pines for a beautiful and painfully earnest linguistic student but must compete for her attention with his older and more sophisticated half brother from Evelyn’s first marriage.

But if anybody can set these worlds in order, it is Adam, who has an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time and allowing others to believe he’s someone he’s not. Whether it’s delivering a baby, rescuing a marriage, or exposing a Communist conspiracy, our protagonist is up for the job. Paradise Dogs, from Georgia Author of the Year Award winner Man Martin, is a farcical tale of paradise lost, the American Dream, and the true measures of love.
Visit Man Martin's website.

"The Little Women Letters"

New from Touchstone: The Little Women Letters by Gabrielle Donnelly.

About the book, from the publisher:

Vibrant, fresh, and intelligent, The Little Women Letters explores the imagined lives of Jo March's descendants—three sisters who are both thoroughly modern and thoroughly March. As uplifting and essential as Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly's novel will speak to anyone who's ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wondered what on earth life had in store for her.

With her older sister, Emma, planning a wedding and her younger sister, Sophie, preparing to launch a career on the London stage, Lulu can't help but feel like the failure of the Atwater family. Lulu loves her sisters dearly and wants nothing but the best for them, but she finds herself stuck in a rut, working dead-end jobs with no romantic prospects in sight. When her mother asks her to find a cache of old family recipes in the attic of her childhood home, Lulu stumbles across a collection of letters written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March. In her letters, Jo writes in detail about every aspect of her life: her older sister, Meg's, new home and family; her younger sister Amy's many admirers; Beth's illness and the family's shared grief over losing her too soon; and the butterflies she feels when she meets a handsome young German. As Lulu delves deeper into the lives and secrets of the March sisters, she finds solace and guidance, but can the words of her great-great-grandmother help Lulu find a place for herself in a world so different from the one Jo knew? Vibrant, fresh, and intelligent, The Little Women Letters explores the imagined lives of Jo March's descendants—three sisters who are both thoroughly modern and thoroughly March. As uplifting and essential as Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, Gabrielle Donnelly's novel will speak to anyone who's ever fought with a sister, fallen in love with a fabulous pair of shoes, or wondered what on earth life had in store for her.

Some things, of course, remain unchanged: the stories and jokes that form a family's history, the laughter over tea in the afternoon, the desire to do the right thing in spite of obstacles. And above all, of course, the fierce, undying, and often infuriating bond of sisterhood that links the Atwater women every bit as firmly as it did the March sisters all those years ago. Both a loving tribute to Little Women and a wonderful contemporary family story, The Little Women Letters is a heartwarming, funny, and wise novel for today.
Visit Gabrielle Donnelly's website.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"The Valley of Shadows"

New from Oceanview: The Valley of Shadows by Mark Terry.

About the book, from the publisher:

When intelligence sources cite possible Al-Qaeda attacks on Election Day, it’s up to Derek Stillwater to stop the mastermind behind these deadly attacks from pulling the trigger.

A raid on a Pakistan Al-Qaeda cell recovers two laptops. When the computers’ booby-traps are defused and the computers decrypted and translated, they indicate that Al-Qaeda has planned a series of simultaneous attacks in five U.S. cities involving potential dirty bombs, biological weapons and maybe even a nuclear weapon on Election Day.

Derek Stillwater, troubleshooter for the Department of Homeland Security, is assigned to a multi-jurisdictional Special Terrorism Activity Response Team (START) to locate the weapon and terrorists in Los Angeles and prevent the attack. They have two days. But as they close in on their targets, Derek begins to think that the intelligence they gathered is a sideshow to distract them from the real target one of the two candidates for President of the United States.
Learn more about the book and author at Mark Terry's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Fallen.

My Book, the Movie: The Fallen.

"Lake Charles"

New from Wildside Press: Lake Charles by Ed Lynskey.

About the novel:

Brendan Fishback coming home from a rock concert ends up the next morning in bed with a corpse, his dead girlfriend Ashleigh Sizemore. He has no idea how she died. But the local sheriff closing in targets Brendan as the prime suspect for Jodi’s murder. Times is running tight.

Going on a Lake Charles outing with his twin sister Edna and best pal Cobb Kuzawa, Brendan mulls things over. That night when Edna turns up missing, Brendan and Cobb take off to find her. Events heat up after they stumble on a well-guarded pot farm. Blood spills in the violent clash.

Staying one jump ahead of the local authorities and an enraged drug cartel, Brendan picks up unexpected aid. Cobb’s dad Jeremiah is a decorated Korean War vet and ex-CIA operative who applies his own rough ideas of justice. Veera Grant, a tough lady DEA agent working under cover, also joins in Cobb’s quest for the truth.

Told in a stylish, taut prose, LAKE CHARLES set in the vibrant Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee tells how a young man when pushed to the extreme defends himself against overwhelming forces on both sides of the law--and wins, but on his own terms.
Read the first chapter of Lake Charles, and visit Ed Lynskey's Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Lake Charles.

The Page 69 Test: Lake Charles.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Hell Is Empty"

New from Viking: Hell Is Empty (Walt Longmire Series #7) by Craig Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Wyoming's favorite sheriff braves a frozen inferno as he races to capture an escaped murderer.

Well-read and world-weary, Sheriff Walt Longmire has been maintaing order in Wyoming's Absaroka County for more than thirty years, but in this riveting seventh outing, he is pushed to his limits. Raynaud Shade, an adopted Crow Indian, has just confessed to murdering a boy ten years ago and burying him deep within the Big Horn Mountains. After transporting Shade and a group of other convicted murderers through a snowstorm, Walt is informed by the FBI that the body is buried in his jurisdiction-and the victim's name is White Buffalo. Guided only by Indian mysticism and a battered paperback of Dante's Inferno, Walt pursues Shade and his fellow escapees into the icy hell of the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area, cheating death to ensure that justice-both civil and spiritual-is served.
Learn more about the author and his work at Craig Johnson's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Page 69 Test: Kindness Goes Unpunished.

My Book, The Movie: The Cold Dish.

The Page 69 Test: The Dark Horse.

The Page 69 Test: Junkyard Dogs.

"What Alice Forgot"

New from Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam: What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.

About the book, from the publisher:

What would happen if you were visited by your younger self, and got a chance for a do-over?

Alice Love is twenty-nine years old, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with their first child. So imagine her surprise when, after a fall, she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! she HATES the gym!) and discovers that she's actually thirty-nine, has three children, and is in the midst of an acrimonious divorce.

A knock on the head has misplaced ten years of her life, and Alice isn't sure she likes who she's become. It turns out, though, that forgetting might be the most memorable thing that has ever happened to Alice.
Visit Liane Moriarty's website.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"La Seduction"

New from Times Books: La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life by Elaine Sciolino.

About the book, from the publisher:

The hidden truth about the French way of life: it's all about seduction—its rules, its pleasures, its secrets

France is a seductive country, seductive in its elegance, its beauty, its sensual pleasures, and its joie de vivre. But Elaine Sciolino, the longtime Paris bureau chief of The New York Times, has discovered that seduction is much more than a game to the French: it is the key to understanding France.

Seduction plays a crucial role in how the French relate to one another—not just in romantic relationships but also in how they conduct business, enjoy food and drink, define style, engage in intellectual debate, elect politicians, and project power around the world. While sexual repartee and conquest remain at the heart of seduction, for the French seduction has become a philosophy of life, even an ideology, that can confuse outsiders.

In La Seduction, Sciolino gives us an inside view of how seduction works in all areas, analyzing its limits as well as its power. She demystifies the French way of life in an entertaining and personal narrative that carries us from the neighborhood shops of Paris to the halls of government, from the gardens of Versailles to the agricultural heartland.

La Seduction will charm you and encourage you to lower your defenses about the French. Pull up a chair and let Elaine Sciolino seduce you.
Visit Elaine Sciolino's website.

"Thoughts Without Cigarettes"

New from Gotham Books: Thoughts Without Cigarettes: A Memoir by Oscar Hijuelos.

About the book, from the publisher:

The beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist turns his pen to the real people and places that have influenced his life and, in turn, his literature. Growing up in 1950's working-class New York City to Cuban immigrants, Hijuelos journey to literary acclaim is the evolution of an unlikely writer.

Oscar Hijuelos has enchanted readers with vibrant characters who hunger for success, love, and self-acceptance. In his first work of nonfiction, Hijuelos writes from the heart about the people and places that inspired his international bestselling novels.

Born in Manhattan's Morningside Heights to Cuban immigrants in 1951, Hijuelos introduces readers to the colorful circumstances of his upbringing. The son of a Cuban hotel worker and exuberant poetry- writing mother, his story, played out against the backdrop of an often prejudiced working-class neighborhood, takes on an even richer dimension when his relationship to his family and culture changes forever. During a sojourn in pre-Castro Cuba with his mother, he catches a disease that sends him into a Dickensian home for terminally ill children. The yearlong stay estranges him from the very language and people he had so loved.

With a cast of characters whose stories are both funny and tragic, Thoughts Without Cigarettes follows Hijuelos's subsequent quest for his true identity into adulthood, through college and beyond-a mystery whose resolution he eventually discovers hidden away in the trappings of his fiction, and which finds its most glorious expression in his best-known book, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love. Illuminating the most dazzling scenes from his novels, Thoughts Without Cigarettes reveals the true stories and indelible memories that shaped a literary genius.

Monday, May 23, 2011

"I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl"

New from Free Press: I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl: A Memoir by Kelle Groom.

About the book, from the publisher:

At the age of fifteen, Kelle Groom found that alcohol allowed her to connect with people and explore intimacy in ways she'd never been able to experience before. She began drinking before class, often blacked out at bars, and fell into destructive relationships. At nineteen, already an out-of-control alcoholic, she was pregnant. Accepting the heartbreaking fact that she was incapable of taking care of her son herself, she gave him up for adoption to her aunt and uncle. They named him Tommy and took him home with them to Massachusetts. When he was nine months old, the boy was diagnosed with leukemia—but Kelle's parents, wanting the best for her, kept her mostly in the dark about his health. When Tommy died he was only fourteen months old. Having lost him irretrievably, Kelle went into an accelerating downward spiral of self-destruction. She emerged from this free fall only when her desire to stop drinking connected her with those who helped her to get sober.

In stirring, hypnotic prose, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl explores the most painful aspects of Kelle's addiction and loss with unflinching honesty and bold determination. Urgent and vital, exquisite and raw, her story is as much about maternal love as it is about survival, as much about acceptance as it is about forgiveness. Kelle's longing for her son remains twenty-five years after his death. It is an ache intensified, as she lost him twice—first to adoption and then to cancer. In this inspiring portrait of redemption, Kelle charts the journey that led her to accept her addiction and grief and to learn how to live in the world.

Through her family's history and the story of her son's cancer, Kelle traces with clarity and breathtaking grace the forces that shape a life, a death, and a literary voice.
Visit Kelle Groom's website.

"A Pug's Tale"

New from Penguin: A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace.

About the book, from the publisher:

The long-awaited follow-up to Pug Hill -- from "a poignant and very funny" (Washington Post) writer.

Hope McNeill has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for years, but this is the first time she's been able to bring along her pug, Max (without sneaking him in in her tote bag). The occasion is a party for an Animals in 19th-Century Art exhibit, but the evening ends badly when a small but important painting seems to be missing. The Met needs Hope's-and Max's-help. And Hope has to keep it all a secret from her beloved, Manhattan DA Ben Brown.
Learn more about the book and author at Alison Pace's website, her blog, and Carlie's blog.

The Page 69 Test: City Dog.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"East on Sunset"

New from Minotaur Books: East on Sunset by Ken Mercer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Will Magowan, the “vulnerable and deeply damaged” (Booklist) ex-narcotics detective introduced to readers in last year’s Slow Fire, has decided to retire from law enforcement and start a new life.

Things are looking up: he’s moved back in with his wife, Laurie, and landed the new job he’s always dreamed of. Then a figure from out of the past appears and makes a mysterious demand. Erik Crandall is someone that Will sent to prison when he was an LAPD Detective. Will tries to brush Crandall off, but things spin violently out of control.

Will begins to realize that the only way out of the present situation is by confronting tragic events from his past—a past he’d do anything to forget. He risks everything as he uncovers long-buried secrets and learns that almost nothing in his life is what it seems.
Visit Ken Mercer's website.

"Murder One"

New from Touchstone: Murder One by Robert Dugoni.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni delivers another gripping legal thriller in his popular David Sloane series. The case? Defending the woman he loves against a charge of murder.

A year after the devastating murder of his wife, attorney David Sloane has returned to Seattle after three months in Mexico. At a black-tie dinner where he's been persuaded to give the keynote address, Sloane reconnects with Barclay Reid, opposing counsel in his most prominent case. Barclay is suffering from her own personal tragedy—the death of her teenage daughter from a drug overdose. In the aftermath, Barclay has begun an intense crusade against the Russian drug traffickers she holds responsible for her daughter's death, pursuing them with a righteousness that matches Sloane's own zeal for justice. Despite their adversarial past, Sloane is drawn to Barclay and for the first time since his wife died, he finds himself beginning to have romantic feelings again.

But when Barclay's crusade stalls and a Russian drug dealer turns up dead, she stands accused of murder, and Sloane is her chosen defender. Amid the swirling media frenzy, in his first criminal case, Sloane finds himself once again in harm's way, while mounting evidence suggests that Barclay is a wom hilarating plot twists, Robert Dugoni once again proves why he's so often been named the heir to Grisham's literary throne.
Learn more about the book and author at Robert Dugoni's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Wrongful Death.

Writers Read: Robert Dugoni.

The Page 69 Test: Bodily Harm.

My Book, The Movie: Bodily Harm.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

"Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead by Sara Gran.

About the book, from the publisher:

Claire DeWitt is not your average private investigator. She has brilliant deductive skills and is an ace at discovering evidence. But Claire also uses her dreams, omens, and mind-expanding herbs to help her solve mysteries, and relies on Détection — the only book published by the late, great, and mysterious French detective Jacques Silette.

The tattooed, pot-smoking Claire has just arrived in post-Katrina New Orleans, the city she’s avoided since her mentor, Silette’s student Constance Darling, was murdered there. Claire is investigating the disappearance of Vic Willing, a prosecutor known for winning convictions in a homicide- plagued city. Has an angry criminal enacted revenge on Vic? Or did he use the storm as a means to disappear? Claire follows the clues, finding old friends and making new enemies — foremost among them Andray Fairview, a young gang member who just might hold the key to the mystery.

Littered with memories of Claire’s years as a girl detective in 1980s Brooklyn, Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead is a knockout start to a bracingly original new series.
Learn about the fictional character Sara Gran would most like to have been.

Visit Sara Gran's website and blog.

"The Good and the Ghastly"

New from Scribner: The Good and the Ghastly by James Boice.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's the thirty-fourth century and the nuclear apocalypse has come and gone. Civilization has rebuilt itself, and the results are eerily similar to the early part of the twenty-first century. But there are a few notable differences. Visa owns everything. Deer are the most common domesticated animal. And misinterpretations of preapocalyptic history run amuck (e.g., Sarah Palin established the theory of natural selection). But what hasn't changed is the nature of good and evil.

The Good and the Ghastly centers on two people linked through violence. Mobster Junior Alvarez has risen from street thug to criminal overlord. He will go to incredible lengths to get what he wants—and he desires to live however he pleases, without compromise. The intensity of his quest is matched only by that of the mother of one of Alvarez's first victims. She has gone vigilante and is hunting down mobsters. The two are prepared to go to the ends of the earth to manifest their wills—one good, one ghastly, both ruthless.

A wild satire of our own society, The Good and the Ghastly is a visceral novel informed by Boice's unnerving sense of reality and pathology. It is also an honest, old-fashioned good-versus-evil story—with a twist of modern-day madness.
Visit James Boice's website.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Highway 61"

New from Minotaur Books: Highway 61 by David Housewright.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rushmore McKenzie returns with a too-personal case that leads him up the legendary Highway 61 in the latest in this awardwinning series

Rushmore McKenzie is a former cop, current millionaire, and an occasional unlicensed P.I. who does favors for friends. Yet he has reservations when his girlfriend’s daughter asks him to help her father Jason Truhler, the ex-husband of McKenzie’s girlfriend, and a man in serious trouble. En route from St. Paul to a Canadian blues festival on Highway 61, he met a girl, blacked out, and awoke hours later in a strange motel, with the girl’s murdered body on the floor. Slipping away unnoticed and heading home, he thought he’d got away—until he started getting texts with photos of the body and demands for blackmail payments he couldn’t pay.

McKenzie soon finds that Truhler was set up in a modified honey trap, designed to blackmail him. But Truhler’s version wasn’t exactly the truth either. And McKenzie now finds himself trapped in the middle of a very dangerous game with some of the most powerful men in the state on one side and some of the deadliest on the other.
Visit David Housewright's website.

"Alice Bliss"

New from Pamela Dorman Books/Viking: Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind.

Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full-blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday, and the phone calls are never long enough.

Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations--the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next-door. These characters' struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.
Visit Laura Harrington's website.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Dreams of Joy"

New from Random House: Dreams of Joy by Lisa See.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her beloved New York Times bestsellers Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, and, most recently, Shanghai Girls, Lisa See has brilliantly illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in her most powerful novel yet, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from Shanghai Girls, and Pearl’s strong-willed nineteen-year-old daughter, Joy.

Reeling from newly uncovered family secrets, and anger at her mother and aunt for keeping them from her, Joy runs away to Shanghai in early 1957 to find her birth father—the artist Z.G. Li, with whom both May and Pearl were once in love. Dazzled by him, and blinded by idealism and defiance, Joy throws herself into the New Society of Red China, heedless of the dangers in the communist regime.

Devastated by Joy’s flight and terrified for her safety, Pearl is determined to save her daughter, no matter the personal cost. From the crowded city to remote villages, Pearl confronts old demons and almost insurmountable challenges as she follows Joy, hoping for reconciliation. Yet even as Joy’s and Pearl’s separate journeys converge, one of the most tragic episodes in China’s history threatens their very lives.

Acclaimed for her richly drawn characters and vivid storytelling, Lisa See once again renders a family challenged by tragedy and time, yet ultimately united by the resilience of love.
Read about Lisa See's notable books about China.

The Page 99 Test: Lisa See's Peony in Love.

"Why Didn't You Come for Me?"

New from Soho Constable: Why Didn't You Come for Me? by Diane Janes.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sometimes Jo still wakes up suddenly, thinking she can hear Lauren's cry. Although twelve years have passed since her baby daughter was abducted, photos of the child continue to arrive by post with the words I still have her scrawled on the back. The police think it's a hoax, but Jo has always believed them to be genuine—and until there is some hard evidence to the contrary, she will always hold on to the belief that Lauren is still alive. Bit if the pictures really do come from the kidnapper, it means they have been keeping track of Jo's movements all these years. Recently Jo has begun to feel as if she is being watched—and that whoever has her daughter is getting closer. Is Jo's husband right to dismiss her fears as paranoia, or might Jo herself be in danger? As her life begins to unravel, Jo fears that the truth may lie in the half-forgotten distant past, scarred by rumors of insanity and murder.
Visit Diane Janes's website.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Dogs Don't Lie"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Dogs Don't Lie by Clea Simon.

About the book, from the publisher:

Pru Marlowe isn’t your ordinary animal psychic. A tough girl on the run from her own gift, Pru left the big city to return to her picturesque Berkshires hometown looking for a little peace. Too bad that her training as an animal behaviorist got her mixed up with Lily, a rescue dog, and Charles, her person. Now Charles is dead, and Lily looks good for it. After all, Lily is a pitbull, a fighting-ring dropout, and way too traumatized to give Pru a clear picture of what she has witnessed. But Pru knows something about bad girls trying to clean up, and, with a sense of justice strong enough to overcome her dislike of human society, she takes the case. Listening to the animals, Pru picks up clues—and learns there are secrets in the pretty little town that make murder look simple. Unable to tell anybody about her psychic abilities, uncertain at times about her own sanity, Pru comes to realize that if she clears Lily, she’ll likely become the prime suspect—or the next victim. While the only creature she can totally trust is her crotchety tabby Wallis, Pru’s got to uncover the real killer—and find a way to live with her gift—before the real beasts in the town savage her and those she has come to love. The first in the Pru Marlowe “pet noir” series.
Visit Clea Simon's website and blog.

"Devil’s Plaything"

New from Harper: Devil’s Plaything by Matt Richtel.

About the book, from the publisher:

We all keep secrets, but what if someone wasn't just stealing our secrets but changing them ... and our brains?

Journalist Nat Idle is nearly gunned down in Golden Gate Park. He quickly learns it was no random attack. Suddenly, in pursuit of the truth, he's running for his life through the shadows of Silicon Valley, a human lab animal caught in a deadly maze of neurotechnology and institutional paranoia. And his survival rests entirely in the hands of his eighty-five-year-old grandmother, Lane, who's suffering from dementia and can't remember the secret at the heart of the world-changing conspiracy.

Author, technology reporter, Pulitzer Prize winner, Matt Richtel has dreamed up an exquisite nightmare firmly grounded in true science. The future is now, the possibilities endless ... and positively terrifying.
Visit Matt Richtel's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: Hooked.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Don't Breathe a Word"

New from Harper Paperbacks: Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon.

About the book, from the publisher:

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn’t fear the dark and doesn’t have bad dreams—who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam’s hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed—a promise that could destroy them all.
Learn more about the book and author at Jennifer McMahon's website.

The Page 69 Test: Promise Not to Tell.

The Page 69 Test: Island of Lost Girls.

The Page 69 Test: Dismantled.

"Secret of the White Rose"

New from Minotaur Books: Secret of the White Rose by Stefanie Pintoff.

About the book, from the publisher:

The murder of Judge Hugo Jackson is out of Detective Simon Ziele’s jurisdiction in more ways than one. For one, it’s high-profile enough to command the attention of the notorious new police commissioner, since Judge Jackson was presiding over the sensational trial of Al Drayson. Drayson, an anarchist, set off a bomb at a Carnegie family wedding, but instead of killing millionaires, it killed passersby, including a child. The dramatic trial has captured the full attention of 1906 New York City.

Furthermore, Simon’s assigned precinct on Manhattan’s West Side includes the gritty Tenderloin but not the tonier Gramercy Park, which is where the judge is found in his locked town house with his throat slashed on the night before the jury is set to deliberate. But his widow insists on calling her husband’s old classmate criminologist, Alistair Sinclair, who in turn enlists Ziele’s help. Together they must steer Sinclair’s unorthodox methods past a police force that is so focused on rounding up Drayson’s supporters that they’ve all but rejected any other possibilities.

Once again, Stefanie Pintoff’s combination of vital characters and a fascinating case set amongst the sometimes brutal and sometimes glittering history of turn-of-the-century New York makes for totally compelling reading in Secret of the White Rose, the third novel in her Edgar Award–winning series.
The Page 69 Test: In the Shadow of Gotham.

The Page 69 Test: A Curtain Falls.

Learn more about her books at Stefanie Pintoff's website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Stefanie Pintoff & Ginger.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Pittsburgh Noir"

New from Akashic Books: Pittsburgh Noir edited by Kathleen George.

From the introductiion, by Kathleen George:

What is Pittsburgh to noir and noir to Pittsburgh? We certainly have our rough streets and grisly murders. But dark crime stories depend on something in addition to killing. The best examples of the genre revolve around private moralities and private law; they are the stories of people pushing against real or imagined oppression. In Pittsburgh Noir, as in most of the novels and films that gave the genre its name, the real story is the dark underbelly of existence, the fear and guilt and rebellion and denial in regular people: the woman buying groceries, the man grilling hot dogs. Their secret lives...

I've snagged a story from the legendary (and anonymous, Pynchon-style) K.C. Constantine, as well as from Shamus Award winner Tom Lipinski and the multiple award-winning poet Terrance Hayes, who shows he can do fiction too. I invited esteemed fiction writers Stewart O'Nan, Hilary Masters, and Reginald McKnight to turn to crime, and they did so with distinctive voices and dark humor. No Pittsburgh collection would be complete without Lila Shaara, Rebecca Drake, Nancy Martin, and Kathryn Miller Haines, all publishing mysteries regularly to critical acclaim. Three stories come from exciting new voices who push the boundaries of the genre: Paul Lee, Carlos Antonio Delgado, and Aubrey Hirsch.

We'll take you to Bloomfield, the Mexican War Streets, Forest Hills, Fox Chapel, Schenley Farms, Carrick, McKees Rocks, Highland Park (a little-known unofficial marina), Wilkinsburg, East Liberty, Morningside, Squirrel Hill, Lawrenceville, and Homewood.

Here's to the black and gold, the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio, Jonas Salk, Thomas Starzel, to Primanti's sandwiches and churches that sell pierogies, to all and everything that makes up the 'burgh.
Visit Kathleen George's website.

"Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure by Tim Harford.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this groundbreaking book, Tim Harford, the Undercover Economist, shows us a new and inspiring approach to solving the most pressing problems in our lives. When faced with complex situations, we have all become accustomed to looking to our leaders to set out a plan of action and blaze a path to success. Harford argues that today’s challenges simply cannot be tackled with ready-made solutions and expert opinion; the world has become far too unpredictable and profoundly complex. Instead, we must adapt.

Deftly weaving together psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, physics, and economics, along with the compelling story of hard-won lessons learned in the field, Harford makes a passionate case for the importance of adaptive trial and error in tackling issues such as climate change, poverty, and financial crises—as well as in fostering innovation and creativity in our business and personal lives.

Taking us from corporate boardrooms to the deserts of Iraq, Adapt clearly explains the necessary ingredients for turning failure into success. It is a breakthrough handbook for surviving—and prospering— in our complex and ever-shifting world.
Learn more about the author and his work at Tim Harford's website.

Tim Harford: top 10 undercover economics books.

Tim Harford v. Stephen Colbert caged death-match: two men enter, one man leaves.

The Page 69 Test: The Undercover Economist.

The Page 69 Test:The Logic of Life.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Awaken by Katie Kacvinsky.

About the book, from the publisher:

Maddie lives in a world where everything is done on the computer. Whether it’s to go to school or on a date, people don’t venture out of their home. There’s really no need. For the most part, Maddie’s okay with the solitary, digital life—until she meets Justin. Justin likes being with people. He enjoys the physical closeness of face-to-face interactions. People aren’t meant to be alone, he tells her.

Suddenly, Maddie feels something awakening inside her—a feeling that maybe there is a different, better way to live. But with society and her parents telling her otherwise, Maddie is going to have to learn to stand up for herself if she wants to change the path her life is taking.

In this not-so-brave new world, two young people struggle to carve out their own space.
Visit Katie Kacvinsky's website and blog.

"No One Had a Tongue to Speak"

New from Prometheus Books: No One Had a Tongue to Speak: The Untold Story of One of History's Deadliest Floods by Utpal Sandesara and Tom Wooten.

About the book, from the publisher:

On August 11, 1979, after a week of extraordinary monsoon rains in the Indian state of Gujarat, the two mile-long Machhu Dam-II disintegrated. The waters released from the dam's massive reservoir rushed through the heavily populated downstream area, devastating the industrial city of Morbi and its surrounding agricultural villages. As the torrent's thirty-foot-tall leading edge cut its way through the Machhu River valley, massive bridges gave way, factories crumbled, and thousands of houses collapsed. While no firm figure has ever been set on the disaster's final death count, estimates in the flood's wake ran as high as 25,000.

Despite the enormous scale of the devastation, few people today have ever heard of this terrible event. The Guinness Book of World Records and a few obscure articles contain the scant publicly available information about it.

No One Had a Tongue to Speak tells, for the first time, the suspenseful and multifaceted story of the Machhu dam disaster. Based on over 130 interviews and extensive archival research, the authors recount the disaster and its aftermath in vivid firsthand detail. The book progresses sequentially, beginning with a centuries-old folktale that foretells Morbi's destruction and ending with an examination of the flood's present-day legacy in the lives of its survivors. Whenever possible, the story of the flood and its aftermath is told through the voices and viewed through the eyes of the people who survived the devastation. Moreover, the book presents important findings culled from formerly classified government documents that reveal the long-hidden failures that culminated in one of the deadliest floods in history.

The authors follow characters whose lives were interrupted and forever altered by the flood, provide vivid first-hand descriptions of the disaster and its aftermath, and shed light on the never-completed judicial investigation into the dam's collapse. With its suspenseful plot, compelling characters, and moving nonfiction narrative, No One Had a Tongue to Speak reads more like a novel than a nonfiction account, revealing the profound human tragedy behind the dry statistics and painting a vivid portrait of an India torn between its feudal past and its industrial future.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"The Arrivals"

New from Little, Brown & Company: The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's early summer when Ginny and William's peaceful life in Vermont comes to an abrupt halt.

First, their daughter Lillian arrives, with her two children in tow, to escape her crumbling marriage. Next, their son Stephen and his pregnant wife Jane show up for a weekend visit, which extends indefinitely when Jane ends up on bed rest. When their youngest daughter Rachel appears, fleeing her difficult life in New York, Ginny and William find themselves consumed again by the chaos of parenthood - only this time around, their children are facing adult problems.

By summer's end, the family gains new ideas of loyalty and responsibility, exposing the challenges of surviving the modern family - and the old adage, once a parent, always a parent, has never rung so true.
Visit Meg Mitchell Moore's website.

"Tide Players"

New from The New Press: Tide Players: The Movers and Shakers of a Rising China by Jianying Zha.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Tide Players, acclaimed New Yorker contributor and author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming modern China. Through half a dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in the world’s fastest growing economy.

Zha’s vivid cast of characters includes an unlikely couple who teamed up to become the country’s leading real-estate moguls; a gifted chameleon who transformed himself from Mao’s favorite “barefoot doctor” during the Cultural Revolution to a publishing maverick; and a tycoon of home-electronic chain stores who insisted on avenging his mother, who had been executed as “a counter-revolutionary criminal.” Alongside these entrepreneurs, Zha also brings us the intellectuals: a cantankerous professor at China’s top university; a former cultural minister turned prolific writer; and Zha’s own brother, a dissident who served a nine-year prison term for helping to found the China Democracy Party.

Deeply engaging, lucid, and poignant, Zha’s insightful “insider-outsider” portraits offer a picture of a China that few Western readers have seen before. Tide Players is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand today’s China.
Read Jeffrey Wasserstrom's review of Tide Players.

Friday, May 13, 2011

"The Devil She Knows"

New from Sarah Crichton Books: The Devil She Knows by Bill Loehfelm.

About the book, from the publisher:

An audacious thriller from a major new talent

Life isn’t panning out for Maureen Coughlin. At twenty-nine, the tough-skinned Staten Island native’s only excitement comes from ... well, not much. A fresh pack of American Spirits, maybe, or a discreet dash of coke before work. If something doesn’t change soon, she’ll end up a “lifer” at the Narrows, the faux-swank bar where she works one long night after another. But just like the island, the Narrows has its seamy side.

After work one night, Maureen walks in on a tryst between her co-worker Dennis and Frank Sebastian, a silver-haired politico. When Sebastian demands her silence, Maureen is more than happy to forget what she’s seen—until Dennis turns up dead on the train tracks the next morning. The murder sends Maureen careening out of her stultifying routine and into fast-deepening trouble. Soon she’s on the run through the seedy underbelly of the borough, desperate to stop Sebastian before Dennis’s fate becomes her own.

With The Devil She Knows, Bill Loehfelm has written a pitch-black thriller in a fresh, compulsively readable voice, with pages that turn themselves. This is the real deal: a breakout novel by a writer whom Publishers Weekly has praised for his “superb prose and psychological insights.”
Learn more about the author and his work at Bill Loehfelm's website.

The Page 69 Test: Fresh Kills.

"In the Garden of Beasts"

New from Crown: In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Erik Larson has been widely acclaimed as a master of narrative non-fiction, and in his new book, the bestselling author of Devil in the White City turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power.

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.

Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


New from Scribner: Solace by Belinda McKeon.

About the book, from the publisher:

Belinda McKeon's Solace is an extraordinarily accomplished first novel—a story of a father and son thrown together by tragedy; one clinging to the old country and one plunging into the new. Set in an Ireland that catapulted into wealth at the end of the twentieth century and then suffered a swift economic decline, this is a novel about the conflicting values of the old and young generations and the stubborn, heartbreaking habits that mute the language of love.

Tom and Mark Casey are a father and son on a collision course, two men who have always struggled to be at ease with each other. Tom is a farmer in the Irish midlands, the descendant of men who have farmed the same land for generations. Mark, his only son, is a doctoral student in Dublin, writing his dissertation on the nineteenth-century novelist Maria Edgeworth, who spent her life on her family's estate, not far from the Casey farm. To his father, who needs help baling the hay and ploughing the fields, Mark's academic pursuit is not man's work at all, the occupation of a schoolboy. Mark's mother negotiates a fragile peace.

Then, at a party in Dublin, Mark meets Joanne Lynch, a lawyer in training whom he finds irresistible. She also happens to be the daughter of a man who once spectacularly wronged Mark's father, and whose betrayal Tom has remembered every single day for twenty years.

After the lightning strike of devastating loss, Tom and Mark are left with grief neither can share or fully acknowledge. Not even the magnitude of their mutual loss can alter the habit of silence. Solace is a beautiful and moving novel by one of the most exciting new writers to emerge from Ireland.
Visit Belinda McKeon's website.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


New from Knopf Books for Young Readers: Tighter by Adele Griffin.

About the book, from the publisher:

When 17-year-old Jamie arrives on the idyllic New England island of Little Bly to work as a summer au pair, she is stunned to learn of the horror that precedes her. Seeking the truth surrounding a young couple's tragic deaths, Jamie discovers that she herself looks shockingly like the dead girl—and that she has a disturbing ability to sense the two ghosts. Why is Jamie's connection to the couple so intense? What really happened last summer at Little Bly? As the secrets of the house wrap tighter and tighter around her, Jamie must navigate the increasingly blurred divide between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Visit Adele Griffin’s website and Facebook page.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Adele Griffin and Edith.

"Miss New India"

New from HarperCollins: Miss New India by Bharati Mukherjee.

About the book, from the publisher:

Anjali Bose may be “Miss New India,” but her prospects don’t look great. Born into a traditional lower-middle-class family, Anjali lives in a backwater town and has an arranged marriage on the horizon. But her ambition, charm and fluency in language do not go unnoticed by her influential English teacher, Peter Champion (an expat American). And champion her Peter does, both to other powerful people who can help her along the way and to Anjali herself, stirring in her a desire to take charge of her own destiny.

So she sets off for Bangalore, India’s fastest-growing major metropolis, and quickly falls in with an audacious and ambitious crowd of young people who have learned how to sound American by watching shows like Sex and the City and Seinfeld in order to get jobs as call-centre service agents, where they are quickly able to out-earn their parents. It is in this high-tech city that Anjali -- suddenly free from the traditional confines of class, caste, gender and more -- is able to confront her past and reinvent herself. Of course, the seductive pull of modernity does not come without a dark side, and these inherent dangers threaten Anjali’s transformation at every turn.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Vaclav and Lena"

New from The Dial Press/ Random House: Vaclav and Lena by Haley Tanner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Vaclav and Lena seem destined for each other. They meet as children in an ESL class in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. Vaclav is precocious and verbal. Lena, struggling with English, takes comfort in the safety of his adoration, his noisy, loving home, and the care of Rasia, his big-hearted mother. Vaclav imagines their story unfolding like a fairy tale, or the perfect illusion from his treasured Magician’s Almanac, but among the many truths to be discovered in Haley Tanner’s wondrous debut is that happily ever after is never a foregone conclusion.

One day, Lena does not show up for school. She has disappeared from Vaclav and his family’s lives as if by a cruel magic trick. For the next seven years, Vaclav says goodnight to Lena without fail, wondering if she is doing the same somewhere. On the eve of Lena’s seventeenth birthday he finds out.

Haley Tanner has the originality and verve of a born storyteller, and the boldness to imagine a world in which love can overcome the most difficult circumstances. In Vaclav & Lena she has created two unforgettable young protagonists who evoke the joy, the confusion, and the passion of having a profound, everlasting connection with someone else.
Visit Haley Tanner's website.

"Long Drive Home"

New from Simon & Schuster: Long Drive Home by Will Allison.

About the book, from the publisher:

In his riveting new novel, Will Allison, critically acclaimed author of What You Have Left, crafts an emotional and psychological drama that explores the moral ambiguities of personal responsibility as it chronicles a father's attempt to explain himself to his daughter—even though he knows that in doing so, he risks losing her.

Life can change in an instant because of one small mistake. For Glen Bauer, all it takes is a quick jerk of the steering wheel, intended to scare a reckless driver. But the reckless driver is killed, and just like that, Glen's placid suburban existence begins to unravel.

Written in part as a confessional letter from Glen to his daughter, Sara, Long Drive Home evokes the sharp-eyed observation of Tom Perrotta and the pathos of Dan Chaon in its trenchant portrait of contemporary American life.

When Glen realizes no one else saw the accident, he impulsively lies about what happened—to the police, to his wife, even to Sara, who was in the backseat at the time of the crash. But a tenacious detective thinks Sara might have seen more than she knows, or more than her parents will let her tell. And when Glen tries to prevent the detective from questioning Sara, he finds himself in a high-stakes cat-and-mouse game that could end in a lawsuit or prison. What he doesn't see coming is the reaction of his wife, Liz—a panicked plan that threatens to tear their family apart in the name of saving it.

But what if the accident wasn't really Glen's fault? What if someone else were to blame for the turn his life has taken? It's a question Glen can't let go of. And as he struggles to understand the extent of his own guilt, he finds himself on yet another collision course, different in kind but with the potential to be equally devastating. Long Drive Home is a stunning cautionary tale of unintended consequences that confirms Will Allison's growing reputation as a rising literary talent.
Visit Will Allison's website.

Monday, May 9, 2011

"Dreaming Nicaragua"

New from Fenway Press: Dreaming Nicaragua by David Gullette.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jesse Pelletier is a Vietnam vet who runs a cheap hotel named Ospedjae Gringo Pinolero in San Juan del Sur, a beach town in southern Nicaragua. The year is 2000. Jesse’s previously-estranged daughter, Suzy, is visiting him for the first time; she falls for a local ecological activist, Camilo Sanchez, who promptly disappears. Or maybe he has been disappeared. But counterpointed with the realistic millenial material is an earlier imagined San Juan del Sur, in the 1850s, where another Jesse Pelletier, veteran of the Mexican War, has married a local girl and runs a hotel catering to the Gold Rush-bound passengers of Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York-San Francisco steamship line. The parallel timeframes and intrigues and characters (including Mark Twain and the “Filibuster” chief, William Walker) echo off against each other as the tension rises.
Read more about Dreaming Nicaragua at the Fenway Press website.

"Welcome to the Suck"

New from Cornell University Press: Welcome to the Suck by Stacey Peebles.

About the book, from the publisher:

Our collective memories of World War II and Vietnam have been shaped as much by memoirs, novels, and films as they have been by history books. In Welcome to the Suck, Stacey Peebles examines the growing body of contemporary war stories in prose, poetry, and film that speak to the American soldier’s experience in the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War.

Stories about war always encompass ideas about initiation, masculinity, cross-cultural encounters, and trauma. Peebles shows us how these timeless themes find new expression among a generation of soldiers who have grown up in a time when it has been more acceptable than ever before to challenge cultural and societal norms, and who now have unprecedented and immediate access to the world away from the battlefield through new media and technology.

Two Gulf War memoirs by Anthony Swofford (Jarhead) and Joel Turnipseed (Baghdad Express) provide a portrait of soldiers living and fighting on the cusp of the major political and technological changes that would begin in earnest just a few years later. The Iraq War, a much longer conflict, has given rise to more and various representations. Peebles covers a blog by Colby Buzzell (“My War”), memoirs by Nathaniel Fick (One Bullet Away) and Kayla Williams (Love My Rifle More Than You); a collection of stories by John Crawford (The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell); poetry by Brian Turner (Here, Bullet); the documentary Alive Day Memories; and the feature films In the Valley of Elah and the winner of the 2010 Oscar for Best Picture, The Hurt Locker, both written by the war correspondent Mark Boal.

Books and other media emerging from the conflicts in the Gulf have yet to receive the kind of serious attention that Vietnam War texts received during the 1980s and 1990s. With its thoughtful and timely analysis, Welcome to the Suck will provoke much discussion among those who wish to understand today’s war literature and films and their place in the tradition of war representation more generally.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


New from Red Lemonade: Zazen by Vanessa Veselka.

About the book, from the publisher:

Somewhere in Della’s consumptive, industrial wasteland of a city, a bomb goes off. It is not the first, and will not be the last. Reactions to the attacks are polarized. Police activity intensifies. Della’s revolutionary parents welcome the upheaval but are trapped within their own insular beliefs. Her activist restaurant coworkers, who would rather change their identities than the world around them, resume a shallow rebellion of hair-dye, sex parties, and self-absorption. In search of clarity, and unburdened by ideological posturing, Della calls in bomb threats to various locations throughout her city. She relishes the panic and confusion incited by her fabrications. But when real explosions suddenly strike her imagined targets, Della is lured into a catastrophic plot from which there may be no return.
Visit Vanessa Veselka's blog.

"The Tender Mercy of Roses"

New from Gallery: The Tender Mercy of Roses by Anna Michaels.

About the book, from the publisher:

While the body of rodeo star Pony Jones lies motionless in the northern Alabama woods, her spirit is on a mission to find her killer. Invisible to the eye but not to the sixth sense, the only thing Pony can do is guide the living to the truth.

Her grief-stricken father, Titus, wants nothing more than retribution for his daughter's death, so when former police detective Jo Beth Dawson comes to town, something compels him to seek out her help.

But when Jo Beth and Titus team up to track down Pony's murderer, it turns loose a whirlwind of intense emotion and unexpected encounters. As they uncover more and more clues leading them to the killer, dark family secrets are revealed and the two must search their souls for redemption.
Visit Anna Michaels's website and blog.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"Wire to Wire"

New from Tin House Books: Wire to Wire by Scott Sparling.

About the book, from the publisher:

Wire to Wire assembles a cast of train-hopping, drug-dealing, glue-huffing lowlifes, in a stunning homage to one of our most popular enduring genres—the American crime novel.

While riding a freight car through Detroit, Michael Slater suffers a near-fatal accident—a power line to the head. After a questionable recovery and a broken relationship, he abandons his new home in the Arizona desert, though not before leaving a man for dead. Slater returns to Michigan in a busted-up Ford to reunite with an old train-hopping pal, but quickly discovers that the Pleasant Peninsula of his youth is none too pleasant. As Slater’s past catches up with his present—a love triangle, a local drug dealer, the damaged residents of a destitute Northern Michigan town—rock bottom keeps slipping farther away.

Three years later, Slater sits in a dark video-editing suite, popping speed like penny candy, attempting to reconcile himself with the unfilmed memories that haunt his screens and his conscience.
Visit Scott Sparling's website and blog.

"The Storm of War"

New from Harper: The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War by Andrew Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:

From "Britain's finest military historian" (The Economist) comes a magisterial new history of World War II and the flawed axis strategy that led to their defeat.

The Second World War lasted for 2,174 days, cost $1.5 trillion, and claimed the lives of more than 50 million people. What were the factors that affected the war's outcome? Why did the Axis lose? And could they, with a different strategy, have won? Andrew Roberts's acclaimed new history has been hailed as the finest single-volume account of this epic con?ict. From the western front to North Africa, from the Baltic to the Far East, he tells the story of the war—the grand strategy and the individual experience, the cruelty and the heroism—as never before.

In researching this magnificently vivid history, Roberts walked many of the key battlefields and wartime sites in Russia, France, Italy, Germany, and the Far East, and drew on a number of never-before-published documents, such as a letter from Hitler's director of military operations explaining the reasoning behind the Führer's order to halt the Panzers outside Dunkirk—a delay that enabled British forces to evacuate. Roberts illuminates the principal actors on both sides and analyzes how they reached critical decisions. He also presents the tales of many little-known individuals whose experiences form a panoply of the extraordinary courage and self-sacrifice, as well as the terrible depravity and cruelty, of the Second World War.

Meticulously researched and masterfully written, The Storm of War gives a dramatic account of this momentous event and shows in remarkable detail why the war took the course it did.
Visit Andrew Roberts's website.