Tuesday, April 30, 2013

"Love Me Anyway"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Love Me Anyway: A Novel by Tiffany Hawk.

About the book, from the publisher:

A darkly funny, compulsively readable debut novel about two young flight attendants coming of age at 35,000 feet

When twenty-three-year-old Emily Cavenaugh’s marriage to her abusive high school sweetheart ends, she trades in her dull smalltown life for an all-access pass to see the world as a flight attendant. Hoping for a new start, she moves to San Francisco to bunk with six other new flight attendants. Among them is KC Valentine, a free spirit who encourages Emily to shed her mousy ways and start collecting experiences as exciting as her passport stamps. Emily soon follows KC’s advice a little too well, falling in love with an older, married co-worker named Tien, a father to two young girls. But as Emily and Tien become more deeply entangled, KC grows distraught. Neither her friends nor co-workers know the real reason she became a flight attendant: to find her father who abandoned her as a child. As Emily and KC fly from Vegas to Boston, San Francisco to London, Chicago to Delhi, each searching for love and acceptance, they’re torn between passion and moral conviction, freedom and belonging.

An assured debut from a former flight attendant, Love Me Anyway deftly captures the complexities of love, friendship, and family, the excitement and loneliness that come from living everywhere and nowhere, and the surprising detours life can take when you set out to discover the world.
Visit Tiffany Hawk's website.

"On Sal Mal Lane"

New from Graywolf: On Sal Mal Lane: A Novel by Ru Freeman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of In the Time of the Butterflies and The Kite Runner, a tender, evocative novel about the years leading up to the Sri Lankan civil war

On the day the Herath family moves in, Sal Mal Lane is still a quiet street, disturbed only by the cries of the children whose triumphs and tragedies sustain the families that live there. As the neighbors adapt to the newcomers in different ways, the children fill their days with cricket matches, romantic crushes, and small rivalries. But the tremors of civil war are mounting, and the conflict threatens to engulf them all. In a heart-rending novel poised between the past and the future, the innocence of the children—a beloved sister and her over-protective siblings, a rejected son and his twin sisters, two very different brothers—contrasts sharply with the petty prejudices of the adults charged with their care. In Ru Freeman’s masterful hands, On Sal Mal Lane, a story of what was lost to a country and her people, becomes a resounding cry for reconciliation.
Learn more about the book and author at Ru Freeman's website and blog.

Writers Read: Ru Freeman (August 2009).

Monday, April 29, 2013

"The Glass Wives"

New from St. Martin’s Griffin: The Glass Wives: A Novel by Amy Sue Nathan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Evie and Nicole Glass share a last name. They also shared a husband.

When a tragic car accident ends the life of Richard Glass, it also upends the lives of Evie and Nicole, and their children. There’s no love lost between the widow and the ex. In fact, Evie sees a silver lining in all this heartache—the chance to rid herself of Nicole once and for all. But Evie wasn’t counting on her children’s bond with their baby half-brother, and she wasn’t counting on Nicole’s desperate need to hang on to the threads of family, no matter how frayed. Strapped for cash, Evie cautiously agrees to share living expenses—and her home—with Nicole and the baby. But when Evie suspects that Nicole is determined to rearrange more than her kitchen, Evie must decide who she can trust. More than that, she must ask: what makes a family?
Visit Amy Sue Nathan's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Amy Sue Nathan & Mitzi and Lizzie.

"The Anatomy of Violence"

New from Pantheon: The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime by Adrian Raine.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why do some innocent kids grow up to become cold-blooded serial killers? Is bad biology partly to blame? For more than three decades Adrian Raine has been researching the biological roots of violence and establishing neurocriminology, a new field that applies neuroscience techniques to investigate the causes and cures of crime. In The Anatomy of Violence, Raine dissects the criminal mind with a fascinating, readable, and far-reaching scientific journey into the body of evidence that reveals the brain to be a key culprit in crime causation.

Raine documents from genetic research that the seeds of sin are sown early in life, giving rise to abnormal physiological functioning that cultivates crime. Drawing on classical case studies of well-known killers in history—including Richard Speck, Ted Kaczynski, and Henry Lee Lucas—Raine illustrates how impairments to brain areas controlling our ability to experience fear, make good decisions, and feel guilt predispose us to violence. He contends that killers can actually be coldhearted: something as simple as a low resting heart rate can give rise to violence. But arguing that biology is not destiny, he also sketches out provocative new biosocial treatment approaches that can change the brain and prevent violence.

Finally, Raine tackles the thorny legal and ethical dilemmas posed by his research, visualizing a futuristic brave new world where our increasing ability to identify violent offenders early in life might shape crime-prevention policies, for good and bad. Will we sacrifice our notions of privacy and civil rights to identify children as potential killers in the hopes of helping both offenders and victims? How should we punish individuals with little to no control over their violent behavior? And should parenting require a license? The Anatomy of Violence offers a revolutionary appraisal of our understanding of criminal offending, while also raising provocative questions that challenge our core human values of free will, responsibility, and punishment.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Scatter, Adapt, and Remember"

New from Doubleday: Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz.

About the book, from the publisher:

In its 4.5 billion–year history, life on Earth has been almost erased at least half a dozen times: shattered by asteroid impacts, entombed in ice, smothered by methane, and torn apart by unfathomably powerful megavolcanoes. And we know that another global disaster is eventually headed our way. Can we survive it? How?

As a species, Homo sapiens is at a crossroads. Study of our planet’s turbulent past suggests that we are overdue for a catastrophic disaster, whether caused by nature or by human interference.

It’s a frightening prospect, as each of the Earth’s past major disasters—from meteor strikes to bombardment by cosmic radiation—resulted in a mass extinction, where more than 75 percent of the planet’s species died out. But in Scatter, Adapt, and Remember, Annalee Newitz, science journalist and editor of the science Web site io9.com explains that although global disaster is all but inevitable, our chances of long-term species survival are better than ever. Life on Earth has come close to annihilation—humans have, more than once, narrowly avoided extinction just during the last million years—but every single time a few creatures survived, evolving to adapt to the harshest of conditions.

This brilliantly speculative work of popular science focuses on humanity’s long history of dodging the bullet, as well as on new threats that we may face in years to come. Most important, it explores how scientific breakthroughs today will help us avoid disasters tomorrow. From simulating tsunamis to studying central Turkey’s ancient underground cities; from cultivating cyanobacteria for “living cities” to designing space elevators to make space colonies cost-effective; from using math to stop pandemics to studying the remarkable survival strategies of gray whales, scientists and researchers the world over are discovering the keys to long-term resilience and learning how humans can choose life over death.

Newitz’s remarkable and fascinating journey through the science of mass extinctions is a powerful argument about human ingenuity and our ability to change. In a world populated by doomsday preppers and media commentators obsessively forecasting our demise, Scatter, Adapt, and Remember is a compelling voice of hope. It leads us away from apocalyptic thinking into a future where we live to build a better world—on this planet and perhaps on others. Readers of this book will be equipped scientifically, intellectually, and emotionally to face whatever the future holds.
Visit Annalee Newitz's website.

Learn about Newitz's thirty-five essential posthuman novels.

"The Slippage"

New from Harper Perennial: The Slippage: A Novel by Ben Greenman.

About the book, from the publisher:

William and Louisa Day are a suburban husband and wife, with no children, confronting the question of what their relationship means to them and if and how it will survive. One day, after weeks of bizarre behavior—disappearing in the middle of parties, hoarding mail—Louisa approaches William with a stark request: "I want you to build us a house." Caught off guard, William is suddenly forced to reckon with his own hopes and desires, his growing discomfort at home and work, and, in the end, his wife's fight-or-flight ultimatum. The result is an emotionally powerful novel, marked by Ben Greenman's trademark blend of yearning and mordant wit.
Visit Ben Greenman's website.

The Page 99 Test: A Circle Is a Balloon and Compass Both.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope"

New from Ecco: The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope: A Novel by Rhonda Riley.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the waning months of World War II, young Evelyn Roe's life is transformed when she finds what she takes to be a badly burned soldier, all but completely buried in the heavy red-clay soil on her family's farm in North Carolina. When Evelyn rescues the stranger, it quickly becomes clear he is not a simple man. As innocent as a newborn, he recovers at an unnatural speed, and then begins to change—first into Evelyn's mirror image, and then into her complement, a man she comes to know as Adam.

Evelyn and Adam fall in love, sharing a connection that reaches to the essence of Evelyn's being. But the small town where they live is not ready to accept the likes of Adam, and his unusual origin becomes the secret at the center of their seemingly normal marriage.

Adam proves gifted with horses, and together he and Evelyn establish a horse-training business. They raise five daughters, each of whom possesses something of Adam's supernatural gifts. Then a tragic accident strikes the family, and Adam, in his grief, reveals his extraordinary character to the local community. Evelyn and Adam must flee to Florida with their daughters to avoid ostracism and prying doctors. Adrift in their new surroundings, they soon realize that the difference between Adam and other men is greater than they ever imagined.

Intensely moving and unforgettable, The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope captures the beauty of the natural world, and explores the power of abiding love and otherness in all its guises. It illuminates the magic in ordinary life and makes us believe in the extraordinary.

"Double Agents"

New from Columbia University Press: Double Agents: Espionage, Literature, and Liminal Citizens by Erin G. Carlston.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why were white bourgeois gay male writers so interested in spies, espionage, and treason in the twentieth century? Erin G. Carlston believes such figures and themes were critical to exploring citizenship and its limits, requirements, and possibilities in the modern Western state. Through close readings of Marcel Proust’s novels, W. H. Auden’s poetry, and Tony Kushner’s play Angels in America, which all reference real-life espionaage cases involving Jews, homosexuals, or Communists, Carlston connects gay men’s fascination with spying to larger debates about the making and contestation of social identity.

Carlston argues that in the modern West, a distinctive position has been assigned to those perceived to be marginal to the nation because of non-visible religious, political, or sexual differences. Because these “invisible Others” existed somewhere between the wholly alien and the fully normative, they evoked acute anxieties about the security and cohesion of the nation-state. Incorporating readings of nonliterary cultural artifacts, such as trial transcripts, into her analysis, Carlston pinpoints moments in which national self-conceptions in France, England, and the United States grew unstable. Concentrating specifically on the Dreyfus affair in France, the defections of Communist spies in the U.K., and the Rosenberg case in the United States, Carlston directly links twentieth-century tensions around citizenship to the social and political concerns of three generations of influential writers.

Friday, April 26, 2013

"Night Terrors"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Night Terrors: A Daniel Rinaldi Mystery by Dennis Palumbo.

About the book, from the publisher:

After twenty years spent inside the heads of the nation’s worst serial killers, retired FBI profiler Lyle Barnes is falling apart mentally. Psychologist and trauma expert Daniel Rinaldi thinks he can help Barnes through his terrible night visions. Barnes, however, is also the target of an unknown assassin whose mounting list of victims paralyzes the city and lands Lyle in protective custody. When Barnes flies the coop, he draws Daniel and the joint FBI-Pittsburgh PD Task Force into a desperate manhunt.

Meanwhile, a secondcase competes for Daniel’s attention. The mother of a youthful confessed killer awaiting trial is convinced that her son is innocent and appeals to Daniel for help. Against his better judgment, he becomes involved, and soon suspects that much about the case is not as it appears.

Daniel is faced with a number of questions. Can he and the law officials find the missing Barnes before the killer does? Will the danger closing in around him begin to affect his personal life, such as his deepening relationship with Detective Eleanor Lowrey? And are these two seemingly unconnected cases somehow linked?
Visit Dennis Palumbo's website.

"A Dual Inheritance"

New from Ballantine Books: A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon.

About the book, from the publisher:

For readers of Rules of Civility and The Marriage Plot, Joanna Hershon’s A Dual Inheritance is an engrossing novel of passion, friendship, betrayal, and class—and their reverberations across generations.

Autumn 1962: Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley meet in their final year at Harvard. Ed is far removed from Hugh’s privileged upbringing as a Boston Brahmin, yet his drive and ambition outpace Hugh’s ambivalence about his own life. These two young men form an unlikely friendship, bolstered by a fierce shared desire to transcend their circumstances. But in just a few short years, not only do their paths diverge—one rising on Wall Street, the other becoming a kind of global humanitarian—but their friendship ends abruptly, with only one of them understanding why.

Can a friendship define your view of the world? Spanning from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the present-day stock market collapse, with locations as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Boston, Shenzhen, and Fishers Island, A Dual Inheritance asks this question, as it follows not only these two men, but the complicated women in their vastly different lives. And as Ed and Hugh grow farther and farther apart, they remain uniquely—even surprisingly—connected.
Learn more about the author and her work at Joanna Hershon's website.

Joanna Hershon is also the author of Swimming, The Outside of August, and The German Bride. Her writing has appeared in One Story, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Post Road, the literary anthology Brooklyn Was Mine, and was shortlisted for the 2007 O. Henry Prize Stories.

The Page 69 Test: The German Bride.

My Book, The Movie: The German Bride.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Call Me Zelda"

New from NAL: Call Me Zelda by Erika Robuck.

About the book, from the publisher:

Everything in the ward seemed different now, and I no longer felt its calming presence. The Fitzgeralds stirred something in me that had been dormant for a long time, and I was not prepared to face it....

From New York to Paris, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald reigned as king and queen of the Jazz Age, seeming to float on champagne bubbles above the mundane cares of the world. But to those who truly knew them, the endless parties were only a distraction from their inner turmoil, and from a love that united them with a scorching intensity.

When Zelda is committed to a Baltimore psychiatric clinic in 1932, vacillating between lucidity and madness in her struggle to forge an identity separate from her husband, the famous writer, she finds a sympathetic friend in her nurse, Anna Howard. Held captive by her own tragic past, Anna is increasingly drawn into the Fitzgeralds’ tumultuous relationship. As she becomes privy to Zelda’s most intimate confessions, written in a secret memoir meant only for her, Anna begins to wonder which Fitzgerald is the true genius. But in taking ever greater emotional risks to save Zelda, Anna may end up paying a far higher price than she intended....
Learn more about the book and author at Erika Robuck's website and blog.

My Book, the Movie: Hemingway’s Girl.

"Is This Tomorrow"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: Is This Tomorrow: A Novel by Caroline Leavitt.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1956, Ava Lark rents a house with her twelve-year-old son, Lewis, in a desirable Boston suburb. Ava is beautiful, divorced, Jewish, and a working mom. She finds her neighbors less than welcoming. Lewis yearns for his absent father, befriending the only other fatherless kids: Jimmy and Rose. One afternoon, Jimmy goes missing. The neighborhood—in the throes of Cold War paranoia—seizes the opportunity to further ostracize Ava and her son.

Years later, when Lewis and Rose reunite to untangle the final pieces of the tragic puzzle, they must decide: Should you tell the truth even if it hurts those you love, or should some secrets remain buried?
View the trailer for Is This Tomorrow, and learn more about the book and author at Caroline Leavitt's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Pictures of You.

My Book, the Movie: Pictures of You.

Writers Read: Caroline Leavitt (January 2011).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


New from Simon Pulse: Criminal by Terra Elan McVoy.

About the book, from the publisher:

A searing and gripping read that explores the depths of desperation true love can inspire, from the author of Being Friends with Boys.

Nikki’s life is far from perfect, but at least she has Dee. Her friends tell her that Dee is no good, but Nikki can’t imagine herself without him. He’s hot, he’s dangerous, he has her initials tattooed over his heart, and she loves him more than anything. There’s nothing Nikki wouldn’t do for Dee. Absolutely nothing.

So when Dee pulls Nikki into a crime—a crime that ends in murder—Nikki tells herself that it’s all for true love. Nothing can break them apart. Not the police. Not the arrest that lands Nikki in jail. Not even the investigators who want her to testify against him.

But what if Dee had motives that Nikki knew nothing about? Nikki’s love for Dee is supposed to be unconditional…but even true love has a limit. And Nikki just might have reached hers.
Visit Terra Elan McVoy's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: The Summer of Firsts and Lasts.

My Book, The Movie: Being Friends with Boys.

"Deadly Harvest"

New from Harper Paperbacks: Deadly Harvest: A Detective Kubu Mystery by Michael Stanley.

About the book, from the publisher:

Girls are disappearing in Botswana. The rumor is they're being harvested for muti, a witch doctor's potion traditionally derived from plants and animals—and which, some believe, can be made more potent by adding human remains. Detective David "Kubu" Bengu joins the investigation with the police force's newest detective—and only woman—Samantha Khama, for whom the case is personal.

Soon one girl's father, convinced that his daughter's death is linked to the recent popularity of a political candidate, takes the law into his own hands. After the father flees, what Kubu and Samantha find in the politician's home confirms their worst fears: muti containing human DNA is real.

Now Kubu and Samantha are thrust into a harrowing race to stop a serial killer or killers—and those who would pay for their special, lethal muti.
Learn about Michael Stanley's top ten African crime novels.

Visit Michael Stanley's website.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Code White"

New from Forge Books: Code White by Scott Britz-Cunningham.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ali O’Day, a dedicated young neurosurgeon, might have a Nobel Prize in her future—if she can survive the next eleven hours.

Under the glare of live television cameras—and with her lover, Dr. Richard Helvelius, and her estranged husband, Kevin, both looking on—Ali is about to implant a revolutionary mini-computer into the brain of a blind boy. If it works, he will see again. But someone wants to stop her triumph. No sooner has she begun to operate than the hospital pagers crackle with the chilling announcement, “CODE WHITE.” A bomb has been found in the medical center.

But this is no ordinary bomb—and no ordinary bomber. As minutes tick off toward the deadline, Ali suspects that a vast, inhuman intellect lies behind the plot—and that she herself may be the true ransom demand.
Visit Scott Britz-Cunningham's website.

"The Clover House"

New from Ballantine Books: The Clover House: A Novel by Henriette Lazaridis Power.

About the book, from the publisher:

Perfect for fans of Tatiana de Rosnay’s Sarah’s Key, this stunning debut novel brings to life World War II-era and modern-day Greece—and tells the story of a vibrant family and the tragic secret kept hidden for generations.

Boston, 2000: Calliope Notaris Brown receives a shocking phone call. Her beloved uncle Nestor has passed away, and now Callie must fly to Patras, Greece, to claim her inheritance. Callie’s mother, Clio—with whom Callie has always had a difficult relationship—tries to convince her not to make the trip. Unsettled by her mother’s strange behavior, and uneasy about her own recent engagement, Callie decides to escape Boston for the city of her childhood summers. After arriving at the heady peak of Carnival, Callie begins to piece together what her mother has been trying to hide. Among Nestor’s belongings, she uncovers clues to a long-kept secret that will alter everything she knows about her mother’s past and about her own future.

Greece, 1940: Growing up in Patras in a prosperous family, Clio Notaris and her siblings feel immune to the oncoming effects of World War II, yet the Italian occupation throws their privileged lives into turmoil. Summers in the country once spent idling in the clover fields are marked by air-raid drills; the celebration of Carnival, with its elaborate masquerade parties, is observed at home with costumes made from soldiers’ leftover silk parachutes. And as the war escalates, the events of one fateful evening will upend Clio’s future forever.

A moving novel of the search for identity, the challenges of love, and the shared history that defines a family, The Clover House is a powerful debut from a distinctive and talented new writer.
Visit Henriette Lazaridis Power's website and blog.

Monday, April 22, 2013

"Where You Can Find Me"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Where You Can Find Me: A Novel by Sheri Joseph.

About the book, from the publisher:

A searing exploration of a family’s struggle to heal in the wake of unthinkable tragedy

A week after his eleventh birthday, Caleb Vincent vanishes with hardly a trace. After a three-year search, he is found living a seemingly normal life under a new name with a man he calls his father.

While outwardly stunned with joy at his safe recovery, Caleb's parents and sister are privately scrambling to gather together the pieces of a shattered family. To escape the relentless media attention surrounding her son’s return, Caleb’s mother, Marlene, decides to flee the country and seek refuge in Costa Rica with Caleb and his younger sister, against her estranged husband's wishes. There Marlene forms a makeshift household with her husband’s expat mother and his charming, aimless older brother, all residing in a broken-down hotel perched at the blustery apex of the continental divide. In the clouds of their new home, the mystery of Caleb’s time gone unfolds while new dangers threaten to pull him back toward his former life.

Where You Can Find Me, a darkly incandescent novel that progresses with page-turning suspense, is sure to establish award-winning author Sheri Joseph as a household name.
Visit Sheri Joseph's blog and Twitter perch.

"Bug Music"

New from St. Martin's Press: Bug Music: How Insects Gave Us Rhythm and Noise by David Rothenberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the spring of 2013 the cicadas in the Northeastern United States will yet again emerge from their seventeen-year cycle—the longest gestation period of any animal. Those who experience this great sonic invasion compare their sense of wonder to the arrival of a comet or a solar eclipse. This unending rhythmic cycle is just one unique example of how the pulse and noise of insects has taught humans the meaning of rhythm, from the whirr of a cricket’s wings to this unfathomable and exact seventeen-year beat.

In listening to cicadas, as well as other humming, clicking, and thrumming insects, Bug Music is the first book to consider the radical notion that we humans got our idea of rhythm, synchronization, and dance from the world of insect sounds that surrounded our species over the millions of years over which we evolved. Completing the trilogy he began with Why Birds Sing and Thousand Mile Song, David Rothenberg explores a unique part of our relationship with nature and sound—the music of insects that has provided a soundtrack for humanity throughout the history of our species. Bug Music continues Rothenberg’s in-depth research and spirited writing on the relationship between human and animal music, and it follows him as he explores insect influences in classical and modern music, plays his saxophone with crickets and other insects, and confers with researchers and scientists nationwide.

This engaging and thought-provoking book challenges our understanding of our place in nature and our relationship to the creatures surrounding us, and makes a passionate case for the interconnectedness of species.
Learn more about the book and author at David Rothernberg's website.

Writers Read: David Rothenberg (November 2011).

The Page 99 Test: Survival of the Beautiful.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


New from St. Martin's Press: Battleship: A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey, and America's Horse by Dorothy Ours.

About the book, from the publisher:

The moving story of a tough little horse, a gifted boy, and a woman ahead of her time.

The youngest jockey, the smallest horse, and an unconventional heiress who disliked publicizing herself. Together, near Liverpool, England, they made a leap of faith on a spring day in 1938: overriding the jockey’s father, trusting the boy and the horse that the British nicknamed the "American pony” to handle a race course that newspapers called “Suicide Lane.” There, Battleship might become the first American racer to win England’s monumental, century-old Grand National steeplechase. His rider, Great Britain’s Bruce Hobbs, was only 17 years old.

Hobbs started life with an advantage: his father, Reginald, was a superb professional horseman. But Reg Hobbs also made extreme demands, putting Bruce in situations that horrified the boy’s mother and sometimes terrified the child. Bruce had to decide just how brave he could stand to be.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the enigmatic Marion duPont grew up at the estate now known as James Madison’s Montpelier—the refuge of America’s “Father of the Constitution.” Rejecting her chance to be a debutante, denied a corporate role because of her gender, Marion chose a pursuit where horses spoke for her. Taking on the world’s toughest race, she would leave her film star husband, Randolph Scott, a continent away and be pulled beyond her own control. With its reach from Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight to Cary Grant’s Hollywood, Battleship is an epic tale of testing your true worth.
Visit Dorothy Ours's website and Facebook page.

"A Murder at Rosamund's Gate"

New from Minotaur Books: A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins.

About the book, from the publisher:

For Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century English chambermaid serving in the household of the local magistrate, life is an endless repetition of polishing pewter, emptying chamber pots, and dealing with other household chores until a fellow servant is ruthlessly killed, and someone close to Lucy falls under suspicion. Lucy can’t believe it, but in a time where the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, lawyers aren’t permitted to defend their clients, and—if the plague doesn't kill the suspect first—public executions draw a large crowd of spectators, Lucy knows she may never find out what really happened. Unless, that is, she can uncover the truth herself.

Determined to do just that, Lucy finds herself venturing out of her expected station and into raucous printers’ shops, secretive gypsy camps, the foul streets of London, and even the bowels of Newgate prison on a trail that might lead her straight into the arms of the killer.

In her debut novel Murder at Rosamund's Gate, Susanna Calkins seamlessly blends historical detail, romance, and mystery in a moving and highly entertaining tale.
Visit Susanna Calkins's website.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"The Unpredictable Species"

New from Princeton University Press: The Unpredictable Species: What Makes Humans Unique by Philip Lieberman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Unpredictable Species argues that the human brain evolved in a way that enhances our cognitive flexibility and capacity for innovation and imitation. In doing so, the book challenges the central claim of evolutionary psychology that we are locked into predictable patterns of behavior that were fixed by genes, and refutes the claim that language is innate. Philip Lieberman builds his case with evidence from neuroscience, genetics, and physical anthropology, showing how our basal ganglia--structures deep within the brain whose origins predate the dinosaurs--came to play a key role in human creativity. He demonstrates how the transfer of information in these structures was enhanced by genetic mutation and evolution, giving rise to supercharged neural circuits linking activity in different parts of the brain. Human invention, expressed in different epochs and locales in the form of stone tools, digital computers, new art forms, complex civilizations--even the latest fashions--stems from these supercharged circuits.

The Unpredictable Species boldly upends scientifically controversial yet popular beliefs about how our brains actually work. Along the way, this compelling book provides insights into a host of topics related to human cognition, including associative learning, epigenetics, the skills required to be a samurai, and the causes of cognitive confusion on Mount Everest and of Parkinson's disease.

"Bristol House"

New from Viking: Bristol House: A Novel by Beverly Swerling.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of Kate Mosse, a swiftly-paced mystery that stretches from modern London to Tudor England

In modern-day London, architectural historian and recovering alcoholic Annie Kendall hopes to turn her life around and restart her career by locating several long-missing pieces of ancient Judaica. Geoff Harris, an investigative reporter, is soon drawn into her quest, both by romantic interest and suspicions about the head of the Shalom Foundation, the organization sponsoring her work. He’s also a dead ringer for the ghost of a monk Annie believes she has seen at the flat she is subletting in Bristol House.

In 1535, Tudor London is a very different city, one in which monks are being executed by Henry VIII and Jews are banished. In this treacherous environment of religious persecution, Dom Justin, a Carthusian monk, and a goldsmith known as the Jew of Holborn must navigate a shadowy world of intrigue involving Thomas Cromwell, Jewish treasure, and sexual secrets. Their struggles shed light on the mysteries Annie and Geoff aim to puzzle out—at their own peril.

This riveting dual-period narrative seamlessly blends a haunting supernatural thriller with vivid historical fiction. Beverly Swerling, widely acclaimed for her City of Dreams series, delivers a bewitching and epic story of a historian and a monk, half a millennium apart, whose destinies are on a collision course.
Learn more about the book and author at Beverly Swerling's website and blog.

Writers Read: Beverly Swerling (August 2011).

Friday, April 19, 2013

"American Dream Machine"

New from Tin House: American Dream Machine by Matthew Specktor.

About the book, from the publisher:

American Dream Machine is the story of an iconic striver, a classic self-made man in the vein of Jay Gatsby or Augie March. It's the story of a talent agent and his troubled sons, two generations of Hollywood royalty. It's a sweeping narrative about parents and children, the movie business, and the sundry sea changes that have shaped Hollywood, and by extension, American life.

Beau Rosenwald—overweight, not particularly handsome, and improbably charismatic—arrives in Los Angles in 1962 with nothing but an ill-fitting suit and a pair of expensive brogues. By the late 1970s he has helped found the most successful agency in Hollywood. Through the eyes of his son, we watch Beau and his partner go to war, waging a seismic battle that redraws the lines of an entire industry. We watch Beau rise and fall and rise again, in accordance with the cultural transformations that dictate the fickle world of movies. We watch Beau's partner, the enigmatic and cerebral Williams Farquarsen, struggle to contain himself, to control his impulses and consolidate his power. And we watch two generations of men fumble and thrive across the LA landscape, learning for themselves the shadows and costs exacted by success and failure. Mammalian, funny, and filled with characters both vital and profound, American Dream Machine is a piercing interrogation of the role—nourishing, as well as destructive—that illusion plays in all our lives.
Visit Matthew Specktor's website.


New from Tor Books: Quintessence by David Walton.

About the book:

Quintessence is an alternate history/fantasy set in the Age of Exploration, full of arcane science, alchemy, human dissection, sea monsters, betrayal, torture, religious controversy, and magic. Scientists and explorers gamble with their lives to turn lead into gold and bring the dead back to life. In Europe, the magic is thin, but at the edge of the world, where the stars reach down close to the Earth, wonders abound. This drives the bravest among them to the alluring Western Ocean, where they just might find the secret to life and immortality.

An alchemist, Christopher Sinclair, who cares about only one thing: quintessence, a substance he believes will grant immortality and magical powers, has a ship.

Fleeing an inquisition for illegal dissection, Stephen Parris, the king’s physician, follows Sinclair to an island that perches on the edge of the world, bringing his daughter Catherine with him against his wife’s furious protests. The island is teeming with fantastical animals whose secrets they explore, using extracted powders and tinctures to make bread from sand, turn salt water into fresh, and–just possibly–find the secret of immortality.
Visit David Walton's website.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"The Gila Wars"

New from Berkley: The Gila Wars by Larry D. Sweazy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Texas Ranger Josiah Wolfe and his friend Scrap Elliot are ready to extinguish the loathsome Juan Cortina. Unfortunately, their direct orders are only to spy on Cortina’s cattle rustlers, which makes them two easy gringo targets. So much so that their first scuffle leaves Josiah seriously injured and Scrap on his own in his pursuit of Cortina.

Recovering from his deadly injury, Josiah is hit with a Dear John letter from his sweetheart. Luckily, a Mexican girl, Francesca, is there to help heal his wounds. But when Scrap returns full of malice directed toward his former comrade, Josiah can no longer tell who his friends are and where his heart lies. Only one thing is certain—he must put an end to Cortina’s reign before it’s too late.
Learn more about the book and author at Larry D. Sweazy's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Badger’s Revenge.

Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy and Brodi and Sunny.

Writers Read: Larry D. Sweazy (April 2011).

Writers Read: Larry D. Sweazy (March 2012).

The Page 69 Test: The Devil's Bones.

My Book, The Movie: The Devil’s Bones.

The Page 69 Test: The Coyote Tracker.

Writers Read: Larry D. Sweazy (August 2012).

"The Eclipse of Equality"

New from Stanford University Press: The Eclipse of Equality: Arguing America on Meet the Press by Solon Simmons.

About the book, from the publisher:

Red state vs. blue state. Republican vs. Democrat. Fox News vs. The Daily Show. The so-called culture wars have become such a fixture of American politics that dividing the country into rival camps seems natural and political gridlock seems inevitable. Entering the fray, Solon Simmons offers an intriguing twist on the debate: Our disagreements come not from unbridgeable divides, but from differing interpretations of a single underlying American tradition—liberalism. Both champions of traditional liberal values, Republicans have become the party of individual freedom while Democrats wear the mantle of tolerance. Lost in this battle of sides is the third pillar of liberalism—equality.

Simmons charts the course of American politics through the episodes of Meet the Press. On the air since 1945, Meet the Press provides an unparalleled record of living conversation about the most pressing issues of the day. In weekly discussions, the people who directly influenced policy and held the reins of power in Washington set the political agenda for the country. Listening to what these people had to say—and importantly how they said it—Meet the Press opens a window on how our political parties have become so divided and how notions of equality were lost in the process.

Telling the story of the American Century, Simmons investigates four themes that have defined politics and, in turn, debate on Meet the Press—war and foreign affairs, debt and taxation, race struggles, and class and labor relations—and demonstrates how political leaders have transformed these important political issues into symbolic pawns as each party advocates for their own understanding of liberty, whether freedom or tolerance. Ultimately, with The Eclipse of Equality, he looks to bring back to the debate the question lurking in the shadows—how can we ensure the protection of a peaceful civil society and equality for all?
Visit Solon Simmons's blog.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"The Golem and the Jinni"

New from Harper: The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel by Helene Wecker.

About the book, from the publisher:

Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

Struggling to make their way in this strange new place, the Golem and the Jinni try to fit in with their neighbors while masking their true natures. Surrounding them is a community of immigrants: the coffeehouse owner Maryam Faddoul, a pillar of wisdom and support for her Syrian neighbors; the solitary ice cream maker Saleh, a damaged man cursed by tragedy; the kind and caring Rabbi Meyer and his beleaguered nephew, Michael, whose Sheltering House receives newly arrived Jewish men; the adventurous young socialite Sophia Winston; and the enigmatic Joseph Schall, a dangerous man driven by ferocious ambition and esoteric wisdom.

Meeting by chance, the two creatures become unlikely friends whose tenuous attachment challenges their opposing natures, until the night a terrifying incident drives them back into their separate worlds. But a powerful menace will soon bring the Golem and the Jinni together again, threatening their existence and forcing them to make a fateful choice.

Marvelous and compulsively readable, The Golem and the Jinni weaves strands of folk mythology, historical fiction, and magical fable into a wondrously inventive and unforgettable tale.
View the video trailer for The Golem and the Jinni and visit Helene Wecker's website.

"From Stone to Flesh"

New from the University of Chicago Press: From Stone to Flesh: A Short History of the Buddha by Donald S. Lopez Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:

We have come to admire Buddhism for being profound but accessible, as much a lifestyle as a religion. The credit for creating Buddhism goes to the Buddha, a figure widely respected across the Western world for his philosophical insight, his teachings of nonviolence, and his practice of meditation. But who was this Buddha, and how did he become the Buddha we know and love today?

Leading historian of Buddhism Donald S. Lopez Jr. tells the story of how various idols carved in stone—variously named Beddou, Codam, Xaca, and Fo—became the man of flesh and blood that we know simply as the Buddha. He reveals that the positive view of the Buddha in Europe and America is rather recent, originating a little more than a hundred and fifty years ago. For centuries, the Buddha was condemned by Western writers as the most dangerous idol of the Orient. He was a demon, the murderer of his mother, a purveyor of idolatry.

Lopez provides an engaging history of depictions of the Buddha from classical accounts and medieval stories to the testimonies of European travelers, diplomats, soldiers, and missionaries. He shows that centuries of hostility toward the Buddha changed dramatically in the nineteenth century, when the teachings of the Buddha, having disappeared from India by the fourteenth century, were read by European scholars newly proficient in Asian languages. At the same time, the traditional view of the Buddha persisted in Asia, where he was revered as much for his supernatural powers as for his philosophical insights. From Stone to Flesh follows the twists and turns of these Eastern and Western notions of the Buddha, leading finally to his triumph as the founder of a world religion.
See Donald S. Lopez's five best books about Buddhism.

The Page 99 Test: Donald S. Lopez, Jr's Buddhism and Science.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

"The New Rules for Blondes"

New from It Books (HarperCollins): The New Rules for Blondes: Highlights from a Fair-Haired Life by Selena Coppock.

About the book, from the publisher:

Writer, comedienne, and full-time Blonde, Selena Coppock offers up adventures, misadventures, and golden-hued nuggets of wisdom in a laugh-out-loud anthem for those of us who really do have more fun....

The modern blonde is savvy, wise, confident, capable, and not afraid to laugh at herself when the occasion calls for it. She knows who she is and is prepared to subvert all stereotypes (although she's not above wielding her golden tresses to her advantage), and knows how to be both classy and a little brassy.

In the way only a Boston-bred New Yorker who once won "Best Hair" in her high school graduating class could, Coppock doles out tongue-in-cheek advice about avoiding hair disasters, the consequences of dating a man who cares a little too much about his own hair product, and so much more in an outrageous essay collection that will have even the staunchest of raven-haired beauties considering a trip to the nearest salon.
Visit Selena Coppock's website.

"I Can't Complain"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: I Can't Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays by Elinor Lipman.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the beloved and acclaimed novelist, a collection of witty, moving essays

In her two decades of writing, Elinor Lipman has populated her fictional universe with characters so utterly real that we feel like they’re old friends. Now she shares an even more intimate world with us—her own—in essays that offer a candid, charming take on modern life. Looking back and forging ahead, she considers the subjects that matter most: childhood and condiments, long marriage and solo living, career and politics.

Here you’ll find the lighthearted: a celebration of four decades of All My Children, a reflection on being Jewish in heavily Irish-Catholic Lowell on St. Patrick’s Day, a hilariously unflinching account of her tiptoe into online dating. But she also tackles the serious and profound in eloquent stories of unexpected widowhood and caring for elderly parents that use her struggles to illuminate ours. Whether for Lipman’s longtime readers or those who love the essays of Nora Ephron or Anna Quindlen, I Can't Complain is a diverting delight.
Learn more about the author and her work at Elinor Lipman's website.

Monday, April 15, 2013

"Holy Sh*t"

New from Oxford University Press: Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr.

About the book, from the publisher:

Almost everyone swears, or worries about not swearing, from the two year-old who has just discovered the power of potty mouth to the grandma who wonders why every other word she hears is obscene. Whether they express anger or exhilaration, are meant to insult or to commend, swear words perform a crucial role in language. But swearing is also a uniquely well-suited lens through which to look at history, offering a fascinating record of what people care about on the deepest levels of a culture--what's divine, what's terrifying, and what's taboo.

Holy Sh*t tells the story of two kinds of swearing--obscenities and oaths--from ancient Rome and the Bible to today. With humor and insight, Melissa Mohr takes readers on a journey to discover how "swearing" has come to include both testifying with your hand on the Bible and calling someone a *#$&!* when they cut you off on the highway. She explores obscenities in ancient Rome--which were remarkably similar to our own--and unearths the history of religious oaths in the Middle Ages, when swearing (or not swearing) an oath was often a matter of life and death. Holy Sh*t also explains the advancement of civility and corresponding censorship of language in the 18th century, considers the rise of racial slurs after World War II, examines the physiological effects of swearing (increased heart rate and greater pain tolerance), and answers a question that preoccupies the FCC, the US Senate, and anyone who has recently overheard little kids at a playground: are we swearing more now than people did in the past?

A gem of lexicography and cultural history, Holy Sh*t is a serious exploration of obscenity--and it also just might expand your repertoire of words to choose from the next time you shut your finger in the car door.

"Grail of the Summer Stars"

New from Tor Books: Grail of the Summer Stars by Freda Warrington.

About the book, from the publisher:

The climactic concluding novel in the spellbinding magical contemporary fantasy Aetherial Tales trilogy

A painting, depicting haunting scenes of a ruined palace and a scarlet-haired goddess in front of a fiery city, arrives unheralded in an art gallery with a cryptic note saying, “The world needs to see this.” The painting begins to change the lives of the woman who is the gallery's curator and that of an ancient man of the fey Aetherial folk who has mysteriously risen from the depths of the ocean. Neither human nor fairy knows how they are connected, but when the painting is stolen, both are compelled to discover the meaning behind the painting and the key it holds to their future.

In Grail of the Summer Stars, a haunting, powerful tale of two worlds and those caught between, Freda Warrington weaves an exciting story of suspense, adventure and danger that fulfills the promise of the Aetherial Tales as only she can.
Learn more about the book and author at Freda Warrington's website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Elfland.

The Page 69 Test: Midsummer Night.

My Book, The Movie: Midsummer Night.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"The Pink Hotel"

New from Picador: The Pink Hotel: A Novel by Anna Stothard.

About the book, from the publisher:

A seventeen-year-old girl pieces together the mystery of her mother’s life and death among the bars and bedrooms of Los Angeles in this dazzling debut novel.

A raucous, drug-fueled party has taken over a boutique hotel on Venice Beach—it’s a memorial for Lily, the now-deceased, free-spirited proprietress of the place. Little do the attendees know that Lily’s estranged daughter—and the nameless narrator of this striking novel—is among them, and she has just walked off with a suitcase of Lily’s belongings.

Abandoned by Lily many years ago, she has come a long way to learn about her mother, and the stolen suitcase—stuffed with clothes, letters, and photographs—contains not only a history of her mother’s love life, but perhaps also the key to her own identity. As the tough, resourceful narrator tracks down her mother’s former husbands, boyfriends, and acquaintances, a risky reenactment of her life begins to unfold. Lily had a knack for falling in love with the wrong people, and one man, a fashion photographer turned paparazzo, has begun to work his sinuous charms on the young woman.

Told with high style and noirish flare, Anna Stothard’s The Pink Hotel is a powerfully evocative debut novel about wish fulfillment, reckless impulse, and how we discover ourselves.
Visit Anna Stothard's website.

"Odds Against Tomorrow"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Odds Against Tomorrow: A Novel by Nathaniel Rich.

About the book, from the publisher:

NEW YORK CITY, the near future: Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician, is hired by a mysterious new financial consulting firm, FutureWorld. The business operates out of a cavernous office in the Empire State Building; Mitchell is employee number two. He is asked to calculate worst-case scenarios in the most intricate detail, and his schemes are sold to corporations to indemnify them against any future disasters. This is the cutting edge of corporate irresponsibility, and business is booming.

As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe—ecological collapse, global war, natural disasters—he becomes obsessed by a culture’s fears. Yet he also loses touch with his last connection to reality: Elsa Bruner, a friend with her own apocalyptic secret, who has started a commune in Maine. Then, just as Mitchell’s predictions reach a nightmarish crescendo, an actual worst-case scenario overtakes Manhattan. Mitchell realizes he is uniquely prepared to profit. But at what cost?

At once an all-too-plausible literary thriller, an unexpected love story, and a philosophically searching inquiry into the nature of fear, Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow poses the ultimate questions of imagination and civilization. The future is not quite what it used to be.
Visit Nathaniel Rich's website.

Writers Read: Nathaniel Rich (March 2008).

Saturday, April 13, 2013

"The Movement of Stars"

New from Riverhead: The Movement of Stars: A Novel by Amy Brill.

About the book, from the publisher:

A love story set in 1845 Nantucket, between a female astronomer and the unusual man who understands her dreams.

It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price has lived all twenty-four years of her life according to the principles of the Nantucket Quaker community in which she was raised, where simplicity and restraint are valued above all, and a woman’s path is expected to lead to marriage and motherhood. But up on the rooftop each night, Hannah pursues a very different—and elusive—goal: discovering a comet and thereby winning a gold medal awarded by the King of Denmark, something unheard of for a woman.

And then she meets Isaac Martin, a young, dark-skinned whaler from the Azores who, like herself, has ambitions beyond his expected station in life. Drawn to his intellectual curiosity and honest manner, Hannah agrees to take Isaac on as a student. But when their shared interest in the stars develops into something deeper, Hannah’s standing in the community begins to unravel, challenging her most fundamental beliefs about work and love, and ultimately changing the course of her life forever.

Inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America, The Movement of Stars is a richly drawn portrait of desire and ambition in the face of adversity.
Visit Amy Brill's website.

"The View from Penthouse B"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Unexpectedly widowed Gwen-Laura Schmidt is still mourning her husband, Edwin, when her older sister Margot invites her to join forces as roommates in Margot's luxurious Village apartment. For Margot, divorced amid scandal (hint: her husband was a fertility doctor) and then made Ponzi-poor, it's a chance to shake Gwen out of her grief and help make ends meet. To further this effort she enlists a third boarder, the handsome, cupcake-baking Anthony.

As the three swap money-making schemes and timid Gwen ventures back out into the dating world, the arrival of Margot's paroled ex in the efficiency apartment downstairs creates not just complications but the chance for all sorts of unexpected forgiveness. A sister story about love, loneliness, and new life in middle age, this is a cracklingly witty, deeply sweet novel from one of our finest comic writers.
Learn more about the author and her work at Elinor Lipman's website.

Friday, April 12, 2013

"From the Dragon's Mouth"

New from C.A. Press/Penguin: From the Dragon's Mouth: 10 True Stories that Unveil the Real China by Ana Fuentes.

About the book, from the publisher:


Through on-the-ground interviews, Ana Fuentes uncovers the real China and offers a panoramic look at Chinese culture from the point of view of its citizens. She spent nearly 4 years living and working in China and discovered a world few have written about ... until now.

FROM THE DRAGON’S MOUTH: Ten True Stories that Unveil the Real China is an exquisitely intimate look into the China of the 21st century as seen through the eyes of its people. This is the first time that a book combines the voices of everyday Chinese people from so many different layers of society: a dissident tortured by the police; a young millionaire devoted to nationalism; a peasant-turned-prostitute to pay for the best education for her son; a woman who married her gay friend to escape from social pressure, just like an estimated 16 million other women; a venerable Kung-Fu master unable to train outdoors because of the hazardous pollution; the daughter of two Communist Party officials getting rich coaching Chinese entrepreneurs in the ways of Capitalism; among others.
Visit Ana Fuentes's website.

"Distinguished Images"

New from Yale University Press: Distinguished Images: Prints and the Visual Economy in Nineteenth-Century France by Stephen Bann.

About the book, from the publisher:

This multifaceted book reviews the vast range of types of printmaking that flourished in France during the 19th century. Studies of this period’s printmaking tend to be confined to histories of individual processes, such as lithography or steel engraving. This study surveys the field as a whole and discusses the relationships between the various media in the context of an overall “visual economy.”

Lithography, etching, and engraving are all examined through new research on noteworthy artists of the period, including Hyacinthe Aubry-Lecomte, Léopold Flameng, Ferdinand Gaillard, Aimé de Lemud, Nadar, and Charles Waltner. Rather than simply tracing the rise of Modernism in the 19th century, Distinguished Images reconstitutes the period’s cultural milieu through a series of case studies written with an eye to overarching forces at play. The result is the most original analysis of printmaking to appear in many years—a striking new account of a system in which printmaking, printmakers, and art critics played heretofore unrecognized or misunderstood roles.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

"Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer.

About the book, from the publisher:

This is a story about accepting the people we love—the people we have to love and the people we choose to love, the families we’re given and the families we make. It’s the story of two women adrift in New York, a widow and an almost-orphan, each searching for someone she’s lost. It’s the story of how, even in moments of grief and darkness, there are joys waiting nearby.

Lorca spends her life poring over cookbooks, making croissants and chocolat chaud, seeking out rare ingredients, all to earn the love of her distracted chef of a mother, who is now packing her off to boarding school. In one last effort to prove herself indispensable, Lorca resolves to track down the recipe for her mother’s ideal meal, an obscure Middle Eastern dish called masgouf.

Victoria, grappling with her husband’s death, has been dreaming of the daughter they gave up forty years ago. An Iraqi Jewish immigrant who used to run a restaurant, she starts teaching cooking lessons; Lorca signs up.

Together, they make cardamom pistachio cookies, baklava, kubba with squash. They also begin to suspect they are connected by more than their love of food. Soon, though, they must reckon with the past, the future, and the truth—whatever it might be. Bukra fil mish mish, the Arabic saying goes. Tomorrow, apricots may bloom.
Visit Jessica Soffer's website.

"In the City of Bikes"

New from Harper Perennial: In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist by Pete Jordan.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Pete Jordan arrives in Amsterdam to study how to make America's cities more bicycle-friendly, he immediately falls in love with the city that already lives life on two wheels. His new bride, Amy Joy, joins Pete, and despite their financial hardships and instability, she eventually finds her own new calling as a bicycle mechanic as Pete discovers the untold history of cycling in Amsterdam.

From its beginnings as an elitis t pastime in the 1890s to the street-consuming craze of the 1920s, from the bicycle's role in a citywide resistance to the Nazi occupation to the White Bikes of the 1960s and the bike fishermen of today, Jordan chronicles the evolution of Amsterdam's cycling.

Part personal memoir, part history of cycling, part fascinating street-level tour of Amsterdam, In the City of Bikes is the story of a man who loves bikes—in a city that loves bikes.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Reconstructing Amelia"

New from Harper: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter.

Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension.

Her daughter Amelia is dead.

Despondent over having been caught cheating, Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of impulsive suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. In a state of shock and overcome by grief, Kate tries to come to grips with this life-shattering news. Then she gets an anonymous text:

Amelia didn't jump.

The moment she sees that message, Kate knows in her heart it's true. Clearly Amelia had secrets, and a life Kate knew nothing about. Wracked by guilt, Kate is determined to find out what those secrets were and who could have hated her daughter enough to kill. She searches through Amelia's e-mails, texts, and Facebook updates, piecing together the last troubled days of her daughter's life.

Reconstructing Amelia is a stunning debut page-turner that brilliantly explores the secret world of teenagers, their clandestine first loves, hidden friendships, and the dangerous cruelty that can spill over into acts of terrible betrayal.
Visit Kimberly McCreight's website and blog.

"A Nearly Perfect Copy"

New from Nan A. Talese: A Nearly Perfect Copy: A Novel by Allison Amend.

About the book, from the publisher:

Elm Howells has a loving family and a distinguished career at an elite Manhattan auction house. But after a tragic loss throws her into an emotional crisis, she pursues a reckless course of action that jeopardizes her personal and professional success. Meanwhile, talented artist Gabriel Connois wearies of remaining at the margins of the capricious Parisian art scene, and, desperate for recognition, he embarks on a scheme that threatens his burgeoning reputation. As these narratives converge, with disastrous consequences, A Nearly Perfect Copy boldly challenges our presumptions about originality and authenticity, loss and replacement, and the perilous pursuit of perfection.
Visit Allison Amend's website.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"Malled to Death"

New from Berkley: Malled to Death (Mall Cop Series #3) by Laura DiSilverio.

About the book, from the publisher:

Get ready for a second take.

With a famous action star for a father, mall cop EJ Ferris is used to the Hollywood hullabaloo. But when her mall becomes his movie set, the cameramen aren’t the only ones who start shooting...

Protecting the shoppers at the Fernglen Galleria may not be EJ’s dream job, but neither is working for her father’s film production company. That’s why EJ is less than thrilled when her dad arranges to shoot his upcoming film, Mafia Mistress, in her mall. With the arrival of the movie entourage, EJ suddenly has more than shoplifting teens to worry about.

Bombarded by overeager assistants and fan mail, EJ’s famous father makes for an easy target—especially after a scare involving a gun loaded with blanks. Zoe, the prop master, blames herself for the mistake. But when a real bullet is fired and Zoe is killed, Fernglen Galleria is shaken by more than just Hollywood drama. Cut the cameras—there’s a real gunman on the loose...
Learn more about the books and author at Laura DiSilverio's website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Laura DiSilverio (December 2011).

My Book, The Movie: Swift Run.

"Follow Her Home"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Follow Her Home by Steph Cha.

About the book, from the publisher:

A stunning, edgy debut introducing Juniper Song, an amateur sleuth taking on the darkness in the veins of L.A. with razor-sharp wit and a breaking heart.

Juniper Song knows secrets–how to keep them and how to search them out. As a girl, noir fiction was her favorite escape, and Philip Marlowe has always been her literary idol. So when her friend Luke asks her to investigate a possible affair between his father and a young employee, Juniper (or "Song" as her friends call her) finds an opportunity to play detective. Driving through L.A.'s side streets, following leads, tailing suspects-it all appeals to Song's romantic ideal of the noir hero. But when she's knocked out while investigating a mysterious car and finds a body in her own trunk, Song lurches back to the real L.A., becoming embroiled in a crime that goes far beyond role play. What's more, this isn't the first time Song has stuck her nose in other people's business. As she fights to discover the truth about her friend's family, Song reveals one of her own deeply hidden secrets, something dark and damaging, urging her to see the current mystery through, to rectify the mistakes of her past life.

A dazzling debut from fresh new talent Steph Cha, featuring a strong, modern, sharply observant heroine with an unforgettable voice, Follow Her Home takes readers through dangerous twists and turns, beyond the glittering high-rises and freeways of L.A. on a case that will stay with them long after the final page.
Learn more about Follow Her Home, and visit Steph Cha's website and Twitter perch.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Steph Cha and Duke.

My Book, The Movie: Follow Her Home.

Monday, April 8, 2013

"Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble"

New from Viking: Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble: A Novel by Ann B. Ross.

About the book, from the publisher:

With a crisp bite in the air, Miss Julia is enjoying a well-earned respite by her new fireplace. But autumn leaves aren’t the only things falling: James, Hazel Marie’s housekeeper, has had a nasty tumble down some stairs. How can Hazel Marie feed and take care of him—not to mention a husband and two babies—when she barely knows how to boil water?

Miss Julia jumps in to help by convincing the ladies of Abbotsville to put on their aprons and give cooking lessons. With success so close she can taste it, Miss Julia isn’t thrilled when an unexpected visitor shows up. Brother Vern Puckett, Hazel Marie’s no-good uncle, started life on the wrong foot and stayed there. What could he possibly want from his frazzled niece this time?

With a delightful helping of madcap antics, Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble is a perfect next course in this charming series.
Read more about Miss Julia Stirs Up Trouble at Ann B. Ross's Miss Julia website.

"A Map of Tulsa"

New from Penguin: A Map of Tulsa: A Novel by Benjamin Lytal.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first days of summer: Jim Praley is home from college, ready to unlock Tulsa's secrets. He drives the highways. He forces himself to get out of his car and walk into a bar. He's invited to a party. And there he meets Adrienne Booker; Adrienne rules Tulsa, in her way. A high-school dropout with a penthouse apartment, she takes a curious interest in Jim. Through her eyes, he will rediscover his hometown: its wasted sprawl, the beauty of its late nights, and, at the city's center, the unsleeping light of its skyscrapers.

In the tradition of Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Map of Tulsa is elegiac, graceful, and as much a story about young love as it is a love letter to a classic American city.
Find Benjamin Lytal on tumblr and Twitter.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Opportunity, Montana"

New from Beacon: Opportunity, Montana: Big Copper, Bad Water, and the Burial of an American Landscape by Brad Tyer.

About the book, from the publisher:

A memoir-meets-exposé that examines our fraught relationship with the West and our attempts to clean up a toxic environmental legacy

In 2002, Texas journalist Brad Tyer strapped a canoe on his truck and moved to Montana, a state that has long exerted a mythic pull on America's imagination as an unspoiled landscape. The son of an engineer who reclaimed wastewater, Tyer was looking for a pristine river to call his own. What he found instead was a century's worth of industrial poison clotting the Clark Fork River, a decades-long engineering project to clean it up, and a forgotten town named Opportunity.

At the turn of the nineteenth century, Montana exploited the richest copper deposits in the world, fueling the electric growth of twentieth-century America and building some of the nation's most outlandish fortunes. The toxic byproduct of those fortunes-what didn't spill into the river-was dumped in Opportunity.

In the twenty-first century, Montana's draw is no longer metal, but landscape: the blue-ribbon trout streams and unspoiled wilderness of the nation's "last best place." To match reality to the myth, affluent exurbanites and well-meaning environmentalists are trying to restore the Clark Fork River to its "natural state." In the process, millions of tons of toxic soils are being removed and dumped-once again-in Opportunity. As Tyer investigates Opportunity's history, he wrestles with questions of environmental justice and the ethics of burdening one community with an entire region's waste.

Stalled at the intersection of a fading extractive economy and a fledgling restoration boom, Opportunity's story is a secret history of the American Dream, and a key to understanding the country's-and increasingly the globe's-demand for modern convenience.

As Tyer explores the degradations of the landscape, he also probes the parallel emotional geography of familial estrangement. Part personal history and part reportorial narrative, Opportunity, Montana is a story of progress and its price, of copper and water, of father and son, and of our attempts to redeem the mistakes of the past.
Visit the Opportunity, Montana website.

"How to Create the Perfect Wife"

New from Basic: How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and his Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate by Wendy Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:

Thomas Day knew exactly the sort of woman he wanted to marry. Pure and virginal yet tough and hardy, she would live with him in an isolated cottage, completely subservient to his whims. As Day soon discovered, the woman of his dreams didn’t seem to exist in Georgian society—but rather than concede defeat, Day set out to create her. He adopted two young orphans and, guided by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the principles of the Enlightenment, attempted to teach them to be model wives. Day hoped to eventually marry one of his wards, but the experiment inevitably backfired—though not before he had taken his theories about marriage, education, and femininity to their most shocking extremes. In How to Create the Perfect Wife, acclaimed biographer Wendy Moore tells the captivating story of this bizarre experiment, illuminating the radicalism—and deep contradictions—at the heart of the Enlightenment.
Visit Wendy Moore's website.

Wendy Moore is a writer and journalist. Her work has been published in a range of newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, the Observer and the British Medical Journal and has won several awards. Her previous books include The Knife Man and Wedlock.

The Page 99 Test: Wedlock.