Wednesday, August 31, 2011


New from William Morrow: Sanctus by Simon Toyne.

About the book, from the publisher:

One man’s sacrifice shocks the world...

One woman’s courage threatens a conspiracy as old as humankind...

And some will do anything—anything—to keep their secrets in the dark.


A man climbs a cliff face in the oldest inhabited place on earth, a mountain known as the Citadel, a Vatican-like city-state that towers above the city of Ruin in modern-day Turkey. But this is no ordinary ascent. It is a dangerous, symbolic act. And thanks to the media, it is an event witnessed by the entire world.

Few people understand its consequence. But for foundation worker Kathryn Mann and a handful of others, it’s evidence that a revolution is at hand. For the Sancti, the cowled and secretive monks who live inside the Citadel, it could mean the end of everything they have built. They will stop at nothing to keep what is theirs, and they will break every law in every country and even kill to hold it fast. For American reporter Liv Adamsen, it spurs the memory of the beloved brother she lost years before, setting her on a journey across the world and into the heart of her own identity.

There, she will make a discovery so shocking that it will change everything....
Visit Simon Toyne's website.


New from Egmont: Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick.

About the book, from the publisher:

It could happen tomorrow...

An electromagnetic pulse flashes across the sky, destroying every electronic device, wiping out every computerized system, and killing billions.

Alex hiked into the woods to say good-bye to her dead parents and her personal demons. Now desperate to find out what happened after the pulse crushes her to the ground, Alex meets up with Tom—a young soldier—and Ellie, a girl whose grandfather was killed by the EMP.

For this improvised family and the others who are spared, it’s now a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human.

Author Ilsa J. Bick crafts a terrifying and thrilling novel about a world that could be ours at any moment, where those left standing must learn what it means not just to survive, but to live amidst the devastation.
Visit Ilsa J. Bick's website.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"The Art of Fielding"

New from Little, Brown & Company: The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach.

About the book, from the publisher:

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners' team captain and Henry's best friend, realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert's daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others.

"A Killing in China Basin"

New from Severn House: A Killing in China Basin by Kirk Russell.

About the book, from the publisher:

First in a brand-new series featuring Homicide Inspector Ben Raveneau

Many consider Homicide Inspector Ben Raveneau to be at the tail end of his career - not least his ambitious young partner, Elizabeth la Rosa. But Raveneau's long experience proves invaluable during the pair's investigation of a murder in San Francisco's China Basin district. The body of a young woman has been found in a derelict building, her ankles and wrists tied. Who was she, and what was she doing there? The more Raveneau uncovers, the clearer it becomes that the dead girl was involved in something sinister indeed...
Visit Kirk Russell's website.

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Damage Control"

New from Scribner: Damage Control by Denise Hamilton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Critically acclaimed author Denise Hamilton weaves an engrossing story of teenage friendship and adult betrayal, featuring a high-powered crisis consultant who gets swept up in murder and scandal involving a wealthy political family.

Maggie Silver is solidly middle class, with a mortgage to pay and an ill mother to support. She is doing her best to scramble up the ladder at an elite PR firm in Southern California whose clients include movie stars and famous athletes. Now, Maggie tackles her toughest client yet: Senator Henry Paxton, a distinguished statesman who also happens to be the father of Anabelle, Maggie's estranged best friend from high school.

Senator Paxton's young female aide has been found murdered, and Maggie must run damage control to prevent the scandal from growing. Thrown back into the Paxtons' glamorous world, Maggie is unexpectedly flooded with memories from the stormy years in high school when her friendship with Anabelle was dramatically severed after a tragedy that neither of them has been able to forget. As Maggie gets further embroiled in the lives of the Paxtons, she realizes that the ties of her old friendship are stronger than she thinks.

Riveting and suspense-filled, Damage Control examines our craving for celebrity and spectacle, and how far the bonds of friendship can stretch before they break forever.
Visit Denise Hamilton's website.

The Page 69 Test: Denise Hamilton's Prisoner of Memory.

"Record Collecting for Girls"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Record Collecting for Girls: Unleashing Your Inner Music Nerd, One Album at a Time by Courtney E. Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

You never leave home without your iPod. You’re always on the lookout for new bands, and you have strong opinions when it comes to music debates, like Beatles vs. Stones. For years, you’ve listened to men talk about all things music, but the female perspective has been missing. Until now.

Drawing on her personal life as a music enthusiast, as well as her experience working at MTV and in radio, Courtney E. Smith explores what music can tell women about themselves—and the men in their lives. She takes on a range of topics, from the romantic soundtracks of Romeo and Juliet to the evolution of girl bands. She shares stories from her own life that shed light on the phenomenon of guilty pleasure music and the incredible power of an Our Song. Along the way, she evaluates the essential role that music plays as we navigate life’s glorious victories and its soul-crushing defeats. Finally, here is a voice that speaks to women—because girls get their hearts broken and make mix tapes about it, too.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"The Neighborhood Project"

New from Little, Brown & Company: The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time by David Sloan Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

After decades studying creatures great and small, evolutionary biologist David Sloan Wilson had an epiphany: Darwin's theory won't fully prove itself until it improves the quality of human life in a practical sense. And what better place to begin than his hometown of Binghamton, New York? Making a difference in his own city would provide a model for cities everywhere, which have become the habitat for over half of the people on earth.

Inspired to become an agent of change, Wilson descended on Binghamton with a scientist's eye and looked at its toughest questions, such as how to empower neighborhoods and how best to teach our children. He combined the latest research methods from experimental economics with studies of holiday decorations and garage sales. Drawing upon examples from nature as diverse as water striders, wasps, and crows, Wilson's scientific odyssey took him around the world, from a cave in southern Africa that preserved the dawn of human culture to the Vatican in Rome. Along the way, he spoke with dozens of fellow scientists, whose stories he relates along with his own.

Wilson's remarkable findings help us to understand how we must become wise managers of evolutionary processes to accomplish positive change at all scales, from effective therapies for individuals, to empowering neighborhoods, to regulating the worldwide economy.

With an ambitious scope that spans biology, sociology, religion, and economics, The Neighborhood Project is a memoir, a practical handbook for improving the quality of life, and an exploration of the big questions long pondered by religious sages, philosophers, and storytellers. Approaching the same questions from an evolutionary perspective shows, as never before, how places define us.
The Page 69 Test: David Sloan Wilson's Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives.

"The Call"

New from Harper Perennial: The Call by Yannick Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:

The daily rhythm of a veterinarian’s family in rural New England is shaken when a hunting accident leaves their eldest son in a coma. With the lives of his loved ones unhinged, the veterinarian struggles to maintain stability while searching for the man responsible. But in the midst of their great trial an unexpected visitor arrives, requesting a favor that will have profound consequences—testing a loving father’s patience, humor, and resolve and forcing husband and wife to come to terms with what “family” truly means.

The Call is a gift from one of the most talented and extraordinary voices in contemporary fiction—a unique and heartfelt portrait of a family, poignant and rich in humor and imagination.
Learn more about the book and author at Yannick Murphy's website.

The Page 69 Test: Yannick Murphy's Signed, Mata Hari.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

"Getting Wasted"

New from New York University Press: Getting Wasted: Why College Students Drink Too Much and Party So Hard by Thomas Vander Ven.

About the book, from the publisher:

Most American college campuses are home to a vibrant drinking scene where students frequently get wasted, train-wrecked, obliterated, hammered, destroyed, and decimated. The terms that university students most commonly use to describe severe alcohol intoxication share a common theme: destruction, and even after repeated embarrassing, physically unpleasant, and even violent drinking episodes, students continue to go out drinking together. In Getting Wasted, Thomas Vander Ven provides a unique answer to the perennial question of why college students drink.

Vander Ven argues that college students rely on “drunk support:” contrary to most accounts of alcohol abuse as being a solitary problem of one person drinking to excess, the college drinking scene is very much a social one where students support one another through nights of drinking games, rituals and rites of passage. Drawing on over 400 student accounts, 25 intensive interviews, and one hundred hours of field research, Vander Ven sheds light on the extremely social nature of college drinking. Giving voice to college drinkers as they speak in graphic and revealing terms about the complexity of the drinking scene, Vander Ven argues that college students continue to drink heavily, even after experiencing repeated bad experiences, because of the social support that they give to one another and due to the creative ways in which they reframe and recast violent, embarrassing, and regretful drunken behaviors. Provocatively, Getting Wasted shows that college itself, closed and seemingly secure, encourages these drinking patterns and is one more example of the dark side of campus life.

"Little Black Dress"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: Little Black Dress by Susan McBride.

About the book, from the publisher:

Two sisters whose lives seemed forever intertwined are torn apart when a magical little black dress gives each one a glimpse of an unavoidable future

Antonia Ashton has worked hard to build a thriving career and a committed relationship, but she realizes her life has gone off track. Forced to return home to Blue Hills when her mother, Evie, suffers a massive stroke, Toni finds the old Victorian where she grew up as crammed full of secrets as it is with clutter. Now she must put her mother’s house in order—and uncover long-buried truths about Evie and her aunt, Anna, who vanished fifty years earlier on the eve of her wedding. By shedding light on the past, Toni illuminates her own mistakes and learns the most unexpected things about love, magic, and a little black dress with the power to break hearts ... and mend them.
Visit Susan McBride's website.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"The Black Stiletto"

New from Oceanview Publishing: The Black Stiletto by Raymond Benson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Was Martin Talbot’s elderly, Alzheimer’s-stricken mother really the Black Stiletto? When he discovers several hidden volumes of her diaries, he is stunned beyond all imagination. In them, Judy Talbot claims to be the renowned underground heroine who operated in late 1950s New York City, battled Communist spies, took on the Mafia, and stalked common crooks.

In a fascinating story that alternates between past and present, the Black Stiletto’s legend unfolds. What caused her to begin her quest for justice? Why did she decide to act outside the law? What are the facts behind her feats as the infamous and feared crime-fighter?

As Talbot struggles with shocking revelations, the reappearance of one of the Stiletto’s old enemies with a thirst for merciless revenge threatens to jeopardize his mother’s closely-guarded secret—and her life.
Visit Raymond Benson's website.

"Just My Type: A Book about Fonts"

New from Gotham Books: Just My Type: A Book about Fonts by Simon Garfield.

About the book, from the publisher:

A hugely entertaining and revealing guide to the history of type that asks, What does your favorite font say about you?

Fonts surround us every day, on street signs and buildings, on movie posters and books, and on just about every product we buy. But where do fonts come from, and why do we need so many? Who is responsible for the staid practicality of Times New Roman, the cool anonymity of Arial, or the irritating levity of Comic Sans (and the movement to ban it)?

Typefaces are now 560 years old, but we barely knew their names until about twenty years ago when the pull-down font menus on our first computers made us all the gods of type. Beginning in the early days of Gutenberg and ending with the most adventurous digital fonts, Simon Garfield explores the rich history and subtle powers of type. He goes on to investigate a range of modern mysteries, including how Helvetica took over the world, what inspires the seeming ubiquitous use of Trajan on bad movie posters, and exactly why the all-type cover of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus was so effective. It also examines why the "T" in the Beatles logo is longer than the other letters and how Gotham helped Barack Obama into the White House. A must-have book for the design conscious, Just My Type's cheeky irreverence will also charm everyone who loved Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Schott's Original Miscellany.
Visit Simon Garfield's website.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Good Graces"

New from Dutton: Good Graces by Lesley Kagen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lesley Kagen returns with the sequel to her national bestselling debut, Whistling in the Dark.

Whistling in the Dark captivated readers with the story of ten-year-old Sally O'Malley and her sister, Troo, during Milwaukee's summer of 1959. The novel became a New York Times bestseller and was named a Midwest Honor Award winner.

In Good Graces, it's one year later, and a heat wave has everyone in the close-knit Milwaukee neighborhood on edge. None more so than Sally O'Malley, who remains deeply traumatized by the sudden death of her daddy and her near escape from a murderer and molester the previous summer. Although outwardly she and her sister, Troo, are more secure, Sally's confidence in her own judgment and much of her faith have been whittled away. When a series of disquieting events unfold in the neighborhood-a string of home burglaries, the escape from reform school of a nemesis, and the mysterious disappearance of an orphan, crimes that may involve the increasingly rebellious Troo-Sally is called upon to rise above her inner demons. She made a deathbed promise to her daddy to keep Troo safe, a promise she can't break, even if her life depends on it. But when events reach a crisis point, will Sally have the courage and discernment to make the right choices? Or will her false assumptions lead her and those she loves into danger once again?

Lesley Kagen's gift for imbuing her child narrators with compelling authenticity shines as never before in Good Graces, a novel told with sensitivity, wit, and warmth.
Visit Lesley Kagen's website.

Writers Read: Lesley Kagen.

"The Orchard"

New from Grand Central Publishing: The Orchard by Theresa Weir.

About the book, from the publisher:

THE ORCHARD is the story of a street-smart city girl who must adapt to a new life on an apple farm after she falls in love with Adrian Curtis, the golden boy of a prominent local family whose lives and orchards seem to be cursed. Married after only three months, young Theresa finds life with Adrian on the farm far more difficult and dangerous than she expected. Rejected by her husband's family as an outsider, she slowly learns for herself about the isolated world of farming, pesticides, environmental destruction, and death, even as she falls more deeply in love with her husband, a man she at first hardly knew and the land that has been in his family for generations. She becomes a reluctant player in their attempt to keep the codling moth from destroying the orchard, but she and Adrian eventually come to know that their efforts will not only fail but will ultimately take an irreparable toll.
Visit Theresa Weir's website.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Murder Most Persuasive"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Murder Most Persuasive by Tracy Kiely.

About the book, from the publisher:

After the death of Elizabeth Parker's great-uncle Martin Reynolds, the family’s house in the picturesque Maryland town of St. Michaels is sold. When the new owners dig up the pool, they find the body of the man thought to have run off eight years earlier after embezzling over a million dollars from the family business.

This grisly discovery not only unearths old questions about what really happened to the stolen money, but it brings Detective Joe Muldoon back into the family’s lives. Eight years earlier, Elizabeth’s cousin Ann reluctantly broke off her relationship with Joe due to family pressure. Ann always regretted that decision and now fears that it is too late for her and Joe–especially after she becomes the main suspect.

In Murder Most Persuasive, a clever and entertaining story with echoes of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Elizabeth tries to not only match wits against a killer who’s had an eight year head-start, but to also try her hand at matchmaking.
Learn more about the book and author at Tracy Kiely's website.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at Longbourn.

The Page 69 Test: Murder on the Bride's Side.

"Scorch City"

New from St. Martin's Press: Scorch City by Toby Ball.

About the book, from the publisher:

The dazzling follow-up to Toby Ball's acclaimed period thriller, The Vaults, takes us back to his dystopian City, fifteen years later...

Journalist Frank Frings rouses Lieutenant Piet Westermann in the middle of the night with an unusual request: move the body of a dead blonde from where she was found on the bank of a river near the utopian Uhuru Community, a Negro shantytown under threat from a deadly coalition of racists and anti-communists -- and find out how the body actually got there. As the investigation deepens, complicated by a string of possibly related deaths and disappearances, and ever-more-heated racial, religious and political factors come to bear, Westermann’s rationalist worldview is challenged by the ecstatic religious experiences he encounters in the Community, led by the charismatic Father Wome. All the while, Frank Frings works to stay ahead of a more venal journalist competitor to salvage the Uhuru Community’s reputation before its enemies can achieve its final destruction.
Toby Ball works at the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. The Vaults, his first novel, was published in September 2010 by St. Martin's Press.

Visit Toby Ball's website and blog.

Writers Read: Toby Ball.

My Book, The Movie: The Vaults.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Thirteen Loops"

New from the University of Alabama Press: Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence, and the Last Lynching in America by B. J. Hollars.

About the book, from the publisher:

Thirteen Loops: Race, Violence, and the Last Lynching in America recounts the story of three innocent victims, all of whom suffered violent deaths through no fault of their own: Vaudine Maddox in 1933 in Tuscaloosa, Sergeant Gene Ballard in 1979 in Birmingham, and Michael Donald in 1981 in Mobile.

The death of Vaudine Maddox--and the lynchings that followed--serves as a cautionary tale about the violence that occurred in the same region nearly fifty-years later, highlighting the cowardice, ignorance, and happenstance that sustained a culture of racial intolerance far into the future.

Nearly half a century later, after a black bank robber was acquitted for the murder of police Sergeant Gene Ballard, two Klansmen took it upon themselves to exact revenge on an innocent victim--nineteen-year-old African American Michael Donald. Donald's murder--deemed the last lynching in America--reignited the race debate in America and culminated in a courtroom drama in which the United Klans of America were at long last put on trial.

While tracing the relationships among these murders, B. J. Hollars's research led him deep into the heart of Alabama’s racial, political, and legal landscapes. A work of literary journalism, Thirteen Loops draws upon rarely examined primary sources, court documents, newspaper reports, and first-hand accounts in an effort to unravel the twisted tale of a pair of interconnected murders that forever altered United States' race relations.
Visit B. J. Hollars's website.

"We the Animals"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: We the Animals by Justin Torres.

About the book, from the publisher:

An exquisite, blistering debut novel

Three brothers tear their way through childhood— smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn—he’s Puerto Rican, she’s white—and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times.

Life in this family is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense familial unity felt by a child to the profound alienation he endures as he begins to see the world, this beautiful novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sly and punch-in-the-stomach powerful.

Written in magical language with unforgettable images, this is a stunning exploration of the viscerally charged landscape of growing up, how deeply we are formed by our earliest bonds, and how we are ultimately propelled at escape velocity toward our futures.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Liquid Smoke"

New from Tyrus Books: Liquid Smoke by Jeff Shelby.

About the book, from the publisher:

The third novel in the Noah Braddock series!

Private eye Noah Braddock has finally found peace in his once tumultuous relationship with Detective Liz Santangelo and has called a tentative truce with his alcoholic mother, Carolina. So when lawyer Darcy Gill demands that he look into a hopeless death row case, he’s more interested in catching some waves before San Diego’s rare winter weather takes hold. Then Darcy plays her trump card: the man scheduled to die—convicted of killing two men in cold blood—is the father Noah never knew.
Visit Jeff Shelby's website and Facebook page.

"Black Diamond"

New from Knopf: Black Diamond by Martin Walker.

About the book, from the publisher:

The third installment in Martin Walker's delightful, internationally acclaimed series featuring Chief of Police Bruno.

Something dangerous is afoot in St. Denis. In the space of a few weeks, the normally sleepy village sees attacks on Vietnamese vendors, arson at a local Asian restaurant, subpar truffles from China smuggled into outgoing shipments at a nearby market—all of it threatening the Dordogne’s truffle trade, worth millions of dollars each year, and all of it spelling trouble for Benoît “Bruno” Courrèges, master chef, devoted oenophile, and, most important, beloved chief of police. When one of his hunting partners, a noted truffle expert, is murdered, Bruno’s investigation into the murky events unfolding around St. Denis becomes infinitely more complicated. His friend wasn’t just a connoisseur of French delicacies, he was a former high-profile intelligence agent—and someone wanted him dead.

As the strange crimes continue, Bruno’s detective work takes him from sunlit markets to dim cafés, from luxurious feasts to tense negotiations—from all of the paradisial pleasures of the region to its shadowy underworld—and reunites him with a lost love, an ambitious policewoman also assigned to the case. Filled with an abundance of food and wine (including, bien sûr, many, many truffles) and a soupçon of romance, Black Diamond is a deliciously entertaining concoction.
Visit Martin Walker's website.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"The Leftovers"

New from St. Martins Press: The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if—whoosh, right now, with no explanation—a number of us simply vanished? Would some of us collapse? Would others of us go on, one foot in front of the other, as we did before the world turned upside down?

That’s what the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, who lost many of their neighbors, friends and lovers in the event known as the Sudden Departure, have to figure out. Because nothing has been the same since it happened—not marriages, not friendships, not even the relationships between parents and children.

Kevin Garvey, Mapleton’s new mayor, wants to speed up the healing process, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized community. Kevin’s own family has fallen apart in the wake of the disaster: his wife, Laurie, has left to join the Guilty Remnant, a homegrown cult whose members take a vow of silence; his son, Tom, is gone, too, dropping out of college to follow a sketchy prophet named Holy Wayne. Only Kevin’s teenaged daughter, Jill, remains, and she’s definitely not the sweet “A” student she used to be. Kevin wants to help her, but he’s distracted by his growing relationship with Nora Durst, a woman who lost her entire family on October 14th and is still reeling from the tragedy, even as she struggles to move beyond it and make a new start.

With heart, intelligence and a rare ability to illuminate the struggles inherent in ordinary lives, Tom Perrotta has written a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection and loss.
See: Tom Perrotta's ten favorite books.

"A Trick of the Light"

New from Minotaur Books: A Trick of the Light (Armand Gamache Series #7) by by Louise Penny.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Hearts are broken,” Lillian Dyson carefully underlined in a book. “Sweet relationships are dead.”

But now Lillian herself is dead. Found among the bleeding hearts and lilacs of Clara Morrow's garden in Three Pines, shattering the celebrations of Clara's solo show at the famed Musée in Montreal. Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide at the Sûreté du Québec, is called to the tiny Quebec village and there he finds the art world gathered, and with it a world of shading and nuance, a world of shadow and light. Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart. And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they've found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light.
Visit Louise Penny's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Still Life.

My Book, The Movie: A Fatal Grace.

The Page 99 Test: The Cruelest Month.

The Page 99 Test: A Rule Against Murder.

The Page 69 Test: The Brutal Telling.

Coffee with a Canine: Louise Penny & Trudy.

Writers Read: Louise Penny.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


New from Plume: Pretty by Jillian Lauren.

About the book, from the publisher:

An electrifying debut novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls.

Bebe Baker is an ex-everything: ex-stripper, ex-Christian, ex-drug addict, ex-pretty girl.

It's been one year since the car accident that killed her boyfriend left her scarred and shaken. Flanked by an eccentric posse of friends, she is serving out a self-imposed sentence at a halfway house, while trying to finish cosmetology school. Amid the rampant diagnoses, over-medication, compulsive eating, and acrylic nails of Los Angeles, Bebe looks for something to believe in before something--her past, the dangerously magnetic men in her life, her own bad choices--knocks her off course again.
Learn more about the book and author at Jillian Lauren's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: Some Girls.

"Train Dreams"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Train Dreams by Denis Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Denis Johnson’s Train Dreams is an epic in miniature, one of his most evocative and poignant fictions.

Robert Grainer is a day laborer in the American West at the start of the twentieth century—an ordinary man in extraordinary times. Buffeted by the loss of his family, Grainer struggles to make sense of this strange new world. As his story unfolds, we witness both his shocking personal defeats and the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime.

Suffused with the history and landscapes of the American West—its otherworldly flora and fauna, its rugged loggers and bridge builders—the new novella by the National Book Award-winning author of Tree of Smoke captures the disappearance of a distinctly American way of life.

Friday, August 19, 2011

"You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl: Observations on Life from the Shallow End of the Pool by Celia Rivenbark.

About the book, from Publishers Weekly:

Rivenbark (You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning) naps in yoga class, supports airport profiling by the TSA, and is delighted that her Twitter antics ticked off model Kathy Ireland. In this new addition to her essay collection catalogue, she's as rebellious, irreverent, and comical as ever. The author's signature blend of social satire, quizzical musings on human nature, and over-the-top down-home humor are directed at everything from Bernie Madoff to Snuggies to people who (slowly) write (Disney character embellished) checks even when they're in an exceptionally long line at Wal-Mart. In and among the wackiness, she tempers the snark with some sweet, like her belief that President Obama's version of date night is making men everywhere look bad by comparison, her appreciation and envy of David Sedaris, and her simple yet romantic 20th wedding anniversary. Recipes and Southernisms like "crazier 'n a sprayed roach" round out the fun.
Visit Celia Rivenbark's website and Facebook page.

"Dust & Decay"

New from Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing: Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry.

About the book, from the publisher:

Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It's also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny's zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny's best friend Lou Chong are going with them.

Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive?

In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny's small band of travelers will make it out alive.
Visit Jonathan Maberry's website.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Death of an Empire"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Death of an Empire: The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America’s Richest City by Richard Booth.

About the book, from the publisher:

Most readers know Salem only for the city’s notorious witch trials. But years later it became a very different city, one that produced America’s first millionaire (still one of history’s 75 wealthiest men) and boasted a maritime trade that made it the country’s richest city. Westward expansion and the industrial revolution would eventually erode Salem’s political importance, but it was a shocking murder and the scandal that followed which led at last to its fall from national prominence.

Death of an Empire is a finely-written tale of a little-known but remarkably rich era of American history, drawing in characters such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster.

"Coming Up for Air"

New from St. Martin's Press: Coming Up for Air by Patti Callahan Henry.

About the book, from the publisher:

On the coast of Alabama, there is a house cloaked in mystery, a place that reveals the truth and changes lives...

Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn’t quite seem to fit into her own life.

But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie’s world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother’s funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie’s not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother’s things, she discovers a hidden diary – and a window onto stories buried long ago.

As Ellie and Hutch start speaking for the first time in years, Ellie’s closed heart slowly begins to open. Fighting their feelings, they set out together to dig into Lillian’s history. Using both the diary and a trip to the Summer House, a mysterious and seductive bayside home, they gamble that they can work together and not fall in love again. But in piecing together a decades-old unrequited-love story, they just might uncover the secrets in their own hearts…
Visit Patti Callahan Henry's website and blog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"The Tempering of Men"

New from Tor Books: The Tempering of Men by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Iskryne, the war against the Trollish invasion has been won, and the lands of men are safe again…at least for a while. Isolfr and his sister, the Konigenwolf Viradechtis, have established their own wolfhaell. Viradechtis has taken two mates, and so the human pack has two war leaders. And in the way of the pack, they must come to terms with each other, must become brothers instead of rivals--for Viradechtis will not be gainsaid.

She may even be prescient.

A new danger comes to Iskryne. An army of men approaches, an army that wishes to conquer and rule. The giant trellwolves and their human brothers have never hunted men before. They will need to learn if they are to defend their homes.
Visit Sarah Monette's website and Elizabeth Bear's blog.

"The Brink of Fame"

New from Minotaur Books: The Brink of Fame by Irene Fleming.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1913, Emily Daggett Weiss is left stranded and destitute. Film tycoon Carl Laemmle comes to her rescue with a job offer directing a film in Hollywood, provided she can track down and bring back Laemmle’s own missing star actor...
Learn more about the book and author at Irene Fleming's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Edge of Ruin.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"What It Is Like to Go to War"

New from Grove/Atlantic: What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1969, at the age of twenty-two, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced second lieutenant in command of a platoon of forty Marines who would live or die by his decisions. Marlantes was a bright young man who was well trained for the task at hand but, as he was to discover, far from mentally prepared for what he was about to experience. In his thirteen-month tour he saw intense combat. He killed the enemy and he watched friends die. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his experiences.

In What It Is Like to Go to War, Marlantes takes a deeply personal and candid look at the experience and ordeal of combat, critically examining how we might better prepare our young soldiers for war. War is as old as humankind, but in the past, warriors were prepared for battle by ritual, religion, and literature—which also helped bring them home. In a compelling narrative, Marlantes weaves riveting accounts of his combat experiences with thoughtful analysis, self-examination, and his readings—from Homer to the Mahabharata to Jung. He tells frankly about how he is haunted by the face of a young North Vietnamese soldier he killed at close quarters and how he finally finds a way to make peace with his past. Marlantes discusses the daily contradictions that warriors face in the grind of war, where each battle requires them to take life or spare life, and where they enter a state he likens to the fervor of religious ecstasy. He makes it clear just how poorly prepared our nineteen-year-old warriors—mainly men but increasingly women—are for the psychological and spiritual aspects of the journey.

Just as Matterhorn is already being acclaimed as a classic of war literature, What It Is Like to Go to War is set to become required reading for anyone—soldier or civilian—interested in this visceral and all too essential part of the human experience.
Is Matterhorn more or less autobiographical?

See Karl Marlantes's top ten war stories.

"The Cut"

New from Reagan Arthur Books: The Cut by George Pelecanos.

About the book, from the publisher:

Spero Lucas has a new line of work. Since he returned home after serving in Iraq, he has been doing special investigations for a defense attorney. He's good at it, and he has carved out a niche: recovering stolen property, no questions asked. His cut is forty percent.

A high-profile crime boss who has heard of Lucas's specialty hires him to find out who has been stealing from his operation. It's the biggest job Lucas has ever been offered, and he quickly gets a sense of what's going on. But before he can close in on what's been taken, he tangles with a world of men whose amorality and violence leave him reeling. Is any cut worth your family, your lover, your life?

Spero Lucas is George Pelecanos's greatest creation, a young man making his place in the world one battle and one mission at a time. The first in a new series of thrillers featuring Spero Lucas, The Cut is the latest confirmation of why George Pelecanos is "perhaps America's greatest living crime writer." (Stephen King)
See George Pelecanos's five most important crime novels.

Monday, August 15, 2011


New from Thomas Dunne Books: Legacy (Event Group Series #6) by David L. Golemon.

About the book, from the publisher:

The New York Times bestselling author of Leviathan and Primeval is back at full throttle with an adrenaline-pumping addition to the Event Group Thriller Series.

The United States is ready to make a triumphant return to the moon, striking out boldly into the solar system in an attempt to regain the confidence of the heady days of the Apollo program. The first of what are to be many missions to the lunar surface was designed to find the frozen water needed to prepare to build a base to launch an assault on Mars.

But a shocking discovery at Shackleton Crater brings the first Prometheus mission to an abrupt halt. Remote robots uncover human skeletal remains and a base that had been destroyed countless millennia ago. The information is sent back to earth where forensic analysis at NASA reveals the corpse to be over seven hundred million years old.

A secret this devastating cannot be kept forever, and the news is leaked to the world. Soon nations are thrown into a head-long collision, pitting governments against their own citizens as the flames of fundamentalism start a conflagration that threatens to engulf the world as a race to return the moon is on.

The Event Group is tasked to unravel the mystery and to offer something that can either explain our ancient visitor or, at least, keep the world from descending into chaos. Colonel Jack Collins once again leads a team of the world's greatest scientists and philosophers on a journey that will take the Event Group to the airless world of space. But while a battle rages over the truth of our heritage, the Event Group realizes that this may not be humanity’s war alone. Could something else—someone else—be coming to finish a war that they started almost a billion years ago?

"Outlaws Inc."

New from Bloomsbury USA: Outlaws Inc.: Under the Radar and on the Black Market with the World's Most Dangerous Smugglers by Matt Potter.

About the book, from the publisher:

Espionage, smuggling, and secret ransoms are at the center of this nonfiction thriller about the outlaws who go where our government won't.

This riveting account reveals the secret corners of our supposedly flat world: black markets where governments are never seen but still spend outrageous amounts of money. Journalist Matt Potter tells the story of Yuri and his crew, a gang of Russian military men who, after the collapse of the Soviet Union found themselves without work or prospects. So they bought a decommissioned Soviet plane-at liquidation prices, straight from the Russian government-and started a shipping business. It wasn't long before Yuri, and many pilots like him, found themselves an unlikely (and ethically dubious) hub of global trading. Men like these are paid by the U.S., the Taliban, and blue-chip multinational companies to bring supplies- some legal, some not-across dangerous borders.

In a feat of daring reportage, Potter gets onto the flight deck with these outlaws and tells the story of their fearless missions. Dodging gunfire, Potter is taken from place to place by men trafficking everything from illicit weapons to emergency aid, making enemies everywhere but no reliable friends. As the world changes, we see the options for the crew first explode, then slowly diminish, until, in a desperate maneuver, they move their operations to the most lawless corners of Africa, where they operate to this day.

The story of these outlaws is a microcosm of the world since the end of the cold war: secret contracts, guerrilla foreign policy, and conflicts too thorny to be handled in public. Potter uses the story of these men to articulate an underground history of the globalized world. At once thrilling, provocative, and morally circumspect, this book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in espionage, or in how the world works today.
Visit Matt Potter's website.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

"Rip Tide"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Rip Tide (Liz Carlyle Series #6) by Stella Rimington.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this suspenseful and timely new novel by MI5's first female director, Stella Rimington, the map of terror is changing, and Liz Carlyle must learn to navigate it before it's too late.

Spycraft, intrigue, and danger abound in Stella Rimington's newest Liz Carlyle novel. When a British-born Pakistani is discovered among a gang of pirates attacking a cargo ship off the Somalian coast, alarm bells start ringing at London's Thames House. MI5 intelligence officer Carlyle is brought in to establish how and why a British Muslim could go missing from his well-to-do family and wind up on a pirate skiff in the Indian Ocean, armed with a Kalashnikov rifle. And why do these pirates seem to be targeting ships carrying supplies for a charitable NGO?

An undercover operative connected to the case soon turns up dead in Athens, and it looks like piracy is the least of the Service's problems. As Liz and her team work to unravel the connections between Pakistan, Greece, and Somalia, there is bigger, more explosive trouble brewing-and far closer to home. A riveting story full of treachery, Rip Tide is also a reminder that terror lurks in the unlikeliest places. This is a relevant, insightful novel with a unique perspective on a crucially important issue, here and abroad.
Read about Stella Rimington's hero from outside literature.

Also see Stella Rimington's 6 favorite secret agent novels, five best list of books about spies in Britain and a 2009 list of her six best books.

"The Most Dangerous Thing"

New from William Morrow: The Most Dangerous Thing by Laura Lippman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Some secrets can’t be kept....

The Most Dangerous Thing

Years ago, they were all the best of friends. But as time passed and circumstances changed, they grew apart, became adults with families of their own, and began to forget about the past—and the terrible lie they all shared. But now Gordon, the youngest and wildest of the five, has died and the others are thrown together for the first time in years.

And then the revelations start.

Could their long-ago lie be the reason for their troubles today? Is it more dangerous to admit to what they’ve done or is it the strain of keeping the secret that is beginning to wear on them and everyone close to them? Each one of these old friends has to wonder if their secret has been discovered—and if someone within the circle is out to destroy them.
Learn more about the book and author at Laura Lippman's website.

Laura Lippman's top 10 memorable memoirs.

The Page 69 Test: Another Thing to Fall.

The Page 69 Test: What the Dead Know.

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

The Page 69 Test: I'd Know You Anywhere.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


New from Bloomsbury USA: You: A Novel by Joanna Briscoe.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of Sleep with Me, a lush, intergenerational story of improbable love and inescapable choices on the romantic moors of England.

Dora Bannan hopes for a new life when she moves her husband and their three children to the wild moorland. She finds a job teaching music at a progressive school, where she also enrolls the children- their fellow students the progeny of back-to-the-land bohemians. But when the school's elegant art teacher, Elisabeth Dahl, offers Dora a seductive alternative to her domestic routine, Dora finds that real change is far from easy. Meanwhile, her precocious only daughter, Cecilia, longs for a more traditional life, especially the formal education her new school can't offer. Cecilia becomes obsessed with her English teacher, James Dahl-an errant representative of the establishment she craves, and husband of the dangerous Elisabeth.

Twenty years later, the adult Cecilia brings her partner and daughters back home to the moors and her aging mother. Moving between past and present, You slowly reveals how far Dora and Cecilia once let their private, impossible desires lead them-and how much further the consequences extend. Sensual, unnerving, and gripping, You is a novel about the lives we think we want, the choices we can't unmake, and the loves and losses we never forget.
Visit Joanna Briscoe's website.

"The Omen Machine"

New from Tor Books: The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hannis Arc, working on the tapestry of lines linking constellations of elements that constituted the language of Creation recorded on the ancient Cerulean scroll spread out among the clutter on his desk, was not surprised to see the seven etherial forms billow into the room like acrid smoke driven on a breath of bitter breeze. Like an otherworldly collection of spectral shapes seemingly carried on random eddies of air, they wandered in a loose clutch among the still and silent mounted bears and beasts rising up on their stands, the small forest of stone pedestals holding massive books of recorded prophecy, and the evenly spaced display cases of oddities, their glass reflecting the firelight from the massive hearth at the side of the room.

Since the seven rarely used doors, the shutters on the windows down on the ground level several stories below stood open as a fearless show of invitation. Though they frequently chose to use windows, they didn’t actually need the windows any more than they needed the doors. They could seep through any opening, any crack, like vapor rising in the early morning from the stretches of stagnant water that lay in dark swaths through the peat barrens.

The open shutters were meant to be a declaration for all to see, including the seven, that Hannis Arc feared nothing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Saint's Gate"

New from Mira: Saint's Gate by Carla Neggers.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Emma Sharpe is summoned to a convent on the Maine coast, it's partly for her art crimes work with the FBI, partly because of her past with the religious order. At issue is a mysterious painting depicting scenes of Irish lore and Viking legends, and her family's connection to the work. But when the nun who contacted her is murdered, it seems legend is becoming deadly reality.

Colin Donovan is one of the FBI's most valuable assets—a deep-cover agent who prefers to go it alone. He's back home in Maine after wrapping up his latest mission, but his friend Father Bracken presents him with an intrigue of murder, international art heists and a convent's long-held secrets that is too tempting to resist. As the danger spirals ever closer, Colin is certain of only one thing—the very intriguing Emma Sharp is at the center of it all.

A ruthless killer has Emma and Colin in the crosshairs, plunging them into a race against time and drawing them deeper into a twisted legacy of betrayal and deceit.
Visit Carla Neggers' website and Facebook page.

"The Buddha in the Attic"

New from Knopf The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka.

About the book, from the publisher:

Julie Otsuka’s long awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine (“To watch Emperor catching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what must have happened at the outset for novels like Lord of the Flies and To Kill a Mockingbird” —The New York Times) is a tour de force of economy and precision, a novel that tells the story of a group of young women brought over from Japan to San Francisco as ‘picture brides’ nearly a century ago.

In eight incantatory sections, The Buddha in the Attic traces their extraordinary lives, from their arduous journey by boat, where they exchange photographs of their husbands, imagining uncertain futures in an unknown land; to their arrival in San Francisco and their tremulous first nights as new wives; to their backbreaking work picking fruit in the fields and scrubbing the floors of white women; to their struggles to master a new language and a new culture; to their experiences in childbirth, and then as mothers, raising children who will ultimately reject their heritage and their history; to the deracinating arrival of war.

In language that has the force and the fury of poetry, Julie Otsuka has written a singularly spellbinding novel about the American dream.
Visit Julie Otsuka's website.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


New from Viking: Mice by Gordon Reece.

About the book, from the publisher:

An electrifying psychological thriller about a mother and daughter pushed to their limits.

Shelley and her mom have been menaced long enough. Excused from high school where a trio of bullies nearly killed her, and still reeling from her parents' humiliating divorce, Shelley has retreated with her mother to the quiet of Honeysuckle Cottage in the countryside. Thinking their troubles are over, they revel in their cozy, secure life of gardening and books, hot chocolate and Brahms by the fire. But on the eve of Shelley's sixteenth birthday, an unwelcome guest disturbs their peace and something inside Shelley snaps. What happens next will shatter all their certainties-about their safety, their moral convictions, the limits of what they are willing to accept, and what they're capable of.

Debut novelist Gordon Reece has written a taut tale of gripping suspense, packed with action both comic and terrifying. Shelley is a spellbinding narrator, and her delectable mix of wit, irony, and innocence transforms the major current issue of bullying into an edge- of-your-seat story of fear, violence, family loyalty, and the outer reaches of right and wrong.
Visit Gordon Reece's website.

"Sweet Heaven When I Die"

New from W.W. Norton: Sweet Heaven When I Die: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country In Between by Jeff Sharlet.

About the book, from the publisher:

Linked narrative nonfiction from the best-selling author of The Family.

No one explores the borderlands of belief and skepticism quite like Jeff Sharlet. He is ingenious, farsighted, and able to excavate the worlds of others, even the flakiest and most fanatical, with uncanny sympathy. Here, he reports back from the far reaches of belief, whether in the clear mountain air of "Sweet Fuck All, Colorado" or in a midnight congregation of urban anarchists celebrating a victory over police.

From Dr. Cornel West to legendary banjo player Dock Boggs, from the youth evangelist Ron Luce to America's largest "Mind, Body, Spirit Expo," Sharlet profiles religious radicals, realists, and escapists. Including extended journeys published here for the first time, Sweet Heaven When I Die offers a portrait of our spiritual landscape that calls to mind Joan Didion's classic Slouching Towards Bethlehem.
Visit Jeff Sharlet's website and blog.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"Garden of Secrets Past"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Garden of Secrets Past (English Garden Mystery Series #5) by Anthony Eglin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Can Lawrence Kingston unearth the key to a deadly secret hidden by a mysterious ancient garden inscription in the newest English Garden Mystery?

Codebreakers have tried for centuries to decipher the enigmatic inscription on a strange monument in the garden at Sturminster Hall, but no one has ever succeeded. When a murder occurs on the garden grounds, the intellectual puzzle becomes all too real, and Dr. Lawrence Kingston—retired professor of botany and reluctant sleuth—is called in to investigate.

Other than a scrap of paper bearing a random sequence of letters found on the victim, the police have no meaningful clues. Convinced that the crime must be linked to the seemingly unbreakable centuries-old code, Kingston begins hunting for clues that will help him unmask the murderer’s identity as well as the arcane mystery of the monument. But he quickly finds himself swept along in the dangerous undertow of a centuries’ old family conflict and a second murder, by poisoning. What could be so valuable, so important to justify such extreme measures and complex codes to keep sacrosanct for over two centuries?

To unlock the garden’s dark secret, Kingston must delve into the brilliant minds of three famous men to fathom what part each may have played in masterminding the riddle: an Admiral hailed as father of Britain’s navy, the author of England’s most celebrated poem, and Great Britain’s first Prime Minister. But as Kingston’s investigation into an England’s past leads him closer to a killer in the very dangerous present, his own prospects for survival start to look less and less assured.
Visit Anthony Eglin's website.

"Death and the Maiden"

New from Minotaur Books: Death and the Maiden (Daniel Jacobus Series #3) by Gerald Elias.

About the book, from the publisher:

As the New Magini String Quartet prepares for a performance of Schubert's masterpiece, "Death and the Maiden," which it hopes will resuscitate its faltering career, someone starts picking off members of the string quartet a la Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None.

Dogged by internal dissension and by a potentially devastating lawsuit from its fired second violinist, the famed New Magini String Quartet is on the brink of professional and personal collapse. The quartet pins its hopes on a multi-media Carnegie Hall performance of Franz Schubert’s masterpiece, “Death and the Maiden,” to resurrect its faltering fortunes. But as the fateful downbeat approaches, a la Agatha Christie, one by one the quartet’s musicians mysteriously vanish, including second violinist, Yumi Shinagawa, former student of renowned blind pedagogue and amateur sleuth, Daniel Jacobus.It is left up to the begrudging Jacobus, with his old friend, Nathaniel Williams, and a new member of the detective team, Trotsky the bulldog, to unravel the deadly puzzle. As usual, it ends up more than Jacobus bargained for.
Learn more about the book and author at Gerald Elias' website.

Interview: Gerald Elias.

The Page 69 Test: Devil's Trill.

Writers Read: Gerald Elias.

The Page 69 Test: Danse Macabre.

My Book, The Movie: Devil's Trill and Danse Macabre.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


New from the University of New Mexico Press: Rode by Thomas Fox Averill.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Thomas Fox Averill first heard Jimmy Driftwood's ballad "Tennessee Stud," he found the song hauntingly compelling. As he began to imagine the story behind the lyrics, he set out to research the song's history--a tale from "along about eighteen and twenty-five" of the legendary exploits of the greatest horse that ever lived, the "Tennessee Stud," and his owner.

Traveling the same route the song chronicles, from Tennessee into Arkansas, through Texas and into Mexico, Averill visited racetracks, Spanish missions, historical museums, a living history farm, and national parks, inventing characters of his own along the way. His novel captures the spirit of the ballad while telling the story of Robert Johnson, a man who holds love in his heart though adventure rules his time. Pursued by a bounty hunter, Indians, and his conscience, Johnson and his horse are tested, strengthened, and made resolute.
Visit Thomas Fox Averill's website.

"Low Town"

New from Doubleday: Low Town by Daniel Polansky.

About the book, from the publisher:

Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops ... and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.

In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street ... set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.

Daniel Polansky has crafted a thrilling novel steeped in noir sensibilities and relentless action, and set in an original world of stunning imagination, leading to a gut-wrenching, unforeseeable conclusion. Low Town is an attention-grabbing debut that will leave readers riveted ... and hun­gry for more.
Visit Daniel Polansky's website.

Monday, August 8, 2011

"The Unincorporated Woman"

New from Tor Books: The Unincorporated Woman (Unincorporated Series #3) by Dani Kollin and, Eytan Kollin.

About the book, from the publisher:

There’s a civil war in space and the unincorporated woman is enlisted! The epic continues.

The award-winning saga of a revolutionary future takes a new turn. Justin Cord, the unincorporated man, is dead, betrayed, and his legacy of rebellion and individual freedom is in danger. General Black is the great hope of the military, but she cannot wage war from behind the President’s desk. So there must be a new president, anointed by Black, to hold the desk job, and who better than the only woman resurrected from Justin Cord’s past era, the scientist who created his resurrection device, the only born unincorporated woman. The perfect figurehead. Except that she has ideas of her own, and secrets of her own, and the talent to run the government her way. She is a force that no one anticipated, and no one can control.

The first novel in this thought-provoking series, The Unincorporated Man, won the 2009 Prometheus Award for best novel.
Learn more about the book and authors at Dani Kollin's blog and The Unincorporated Man website.

Writer's Read: Dani Kollin.

The Page 69 Test: The Unincorporated War.

My Book, The Movie: The Unincorporated War.

"The Oil Kings"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East by Andrew Scott Cooper.

About the book, from the publisher:

Increasing oil prices ... America struggling with a recession ... European nations at risk of defaulting on their loans ... A possible global financial crisis. It happened before, in the 1970s.

Oil Kings is the story of how oil came to dominate U.S. domestic and international affairs. As Richard Nixon fought off Watergate inquiries in 1973, the U.S. economy reacted to an oil shortage initiated by Arab nations in retaliation for American support of Israel in the Arab- Israeli war. The price of oil skyrocketed, causing serious inflation. One man the U.S. could rely on in the Middle East was the Shah of Iran, a loyal ally whose grand ambitions had made him a leading customer for American weapons. Iran sold the U.S. oil; the U.S. sold Iran missiles and fighter jets. But the Shah’s economy depended almost entirely on oil, and the U.S. economy could not tolerate annual double-digit increases in the price of this essential commodity. European economies were hit even harder by the soaring oil prices, and several NATO allies were at risk of default on their debt.

In 1976, with the U.S. economy in peril, President Gerald Ford, locked in a tight election race, decided he had to find a country that would sell oil to the U.S. more cheaply and break the OPEC monopoly, which the Shah refused to do. On the advice of Treasury Secretary William Simon and against the advice of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Ford made a deal to sell advanced weaponry to the Saudis in exchange for a modest price hike on oil.

Ford lost the election, but the deal had lasting consequences. The Shah’s economy was destabilized, and disaffected elements in Iran mobilized to overthrow him. The U.S. had embarked on a long relationship with the autocratic Saudi kingdom that continues to this day.

Andrew Scott Cooper draws on newly declassified documents and interviews with some key figures of the time to show how Nixon, Ford, Kissinger, the CIA, and the State and Treasury departments—as well as the Shah and the Saudi royal family— maneuvered to control events in the Middle East. He details the secret U.S.-Saudi plan to circumvent OPEC that destabilized the Shah. He reveals how close the U.S. came to sending troops into the Persian Gulf to break the Arab oil embargo. The Oil Kings provides solid evidence that U.S. officials ignored warning signs of a potential hostage crisis in Iran. It discloses that U.S. officials offered to sell nuclear power and nuclear fuel to the Shah. And it shows how the Ford Administration barely averted a European debt crisis that could have triggered a financial catastrophe in the U.S. Brilliantly reported and filled with astonishing details about some of the key figures of the time, The Oil Kings is the history of an era that we thought we knew, an era whose momentous reverberations still influence events at home and abroad today.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Bad Intentions"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Bad Intentions by Karin Fossum.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the wake of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novels, readers are discovering the rich trove of modern Scandinavian crime fiction. If you’ve devoured the Millennium trilogy and are looking for your next read, Karin Fossum and her bone-chillingly bleak psychological thrillers have won the admiration of the likes of Ruth Rendell and Colin Dexter (of Inspector Morse fame).

In Bad Intentions, the newest installment in the Inspector Sejer series since The Water’s Edge in 2009, Konrad Sejer must face down his memories and fears as he struggles to determine why the corpses of troubled young men keep surfacing in local lakes.

The first victim, Jon Moreno, was getting better. His psychiatrist said so, and so did his new friend at the hospital, Molly Gram, with her little-girl-lost looks. He was racked by a mysterious guilt that had driven him to a nervous breakdown one year earlier. But when he drowns in Dead Water Lake, Sejer hesitates to call it a suicide.

Then another corpse is found in a lake, a Vietnamese immigrant. And Sejer begins to feel his age weigh on him. Does he still have the strength to pursue the elusive explanations for human evil?

"The Twelfth Enchantment"

New from Random House: The Twelfth Enchantment by David Liss.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lucy Derrick is a young woman of good breeding and poor finances. After the death of her beloved father, she is forced to maintain a shabby dignity as the unwanted boarder of her tyrannical uncle, fending off marriage to a local mill owner. But just as she is on the cusp of accepting a life of misery, events take a stunning turn when a handsome stranger—the poet and notorious rake Lord Byron—arrives at her house, stricken by what seems to be a curse, and with a cryptic message for Lucy. Suddenly her unfortunate circumstances are transformed in ways at once astonishing and seemingly impossible.

With the world undergoing an industrial transformation, and with England on the cusp of revolution, Lucy is drawn into a dangerous conspiracy in which her life, and her country’s future, are in the balance. Inexplicably finding herself at the center of cataclysmic events, Lucy is awakened to a world once unknown to her: where magic and mortals collide, and the forces of ancient nature and modern progress are at war for the soul of England ... and the world. The key to victory may be connected to a cryptic volume whose powers of enchantment are unbounded. Now, challenged by ruthless enemies with ancient powers at their command, Lucy must harness newfound mystical skills to prevent catastrophe and preserve humanity’s future. And enthralled by two exceptional men with designs on her heart, she must master her own desires to claim the destiny she deserves.

The Twelfth Enchantment is the most captivating work to date of a master literary conjurer.
Visit David Liss's website and blog.