Thursday, October 31, 2013

"Just Babies"

New from Crown: Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil by Paul Bloom.

About the book, from the publisher:

A leading cognitive scientist argues that a deep sense of good and evil is bred in the bone.

From John Locke to Sigmund Freud, philosophers and psychologists have long believed that we begin life as blank moral slates. Many of us take for granted that babies are born selfish and that it is the role of society—and especially parents—to transform them from little sociopaths into civilized beings. In Just Babies, Paul Bloom argues that humans are in fact hardwired with a sense of morality. Drawing on groundbreaking research at Yale, Bloom demonstrates that, even before they can speak or walk, babies judge the goodness and badness of others’ actions; feel empathy and compassion; act to soothe those in distress; and have a rudimentary sense of justice.

Still, this innate morality is limited, sometimes tragically. We are naturally hostile to strangers, prone to parochialism and bigotry. Bringing together insights from psychology, behavioral economics, evolutionary biology, and philosophy, Bloom explores how we have come to surpass these limitations. Along the way, he examines the morality of chimpanzees, violent psychopaths, religious extremists, and Ivy League professors, and explores our often puzzling moral feelings about sex, politics, religion, and race.

In his analysis of the morality of children and adults, Bloom rejects the fashionable view that our moral decisions are driven mainly by gut feelings and unconscious biases. Just as reason has driven our great scientific discoveries, he argues, it is reason and deliberation that makes possible our moral discoveries, such as the wrongness of slavery. Ultimately, it is through our imagination, our compassion, and our uniquely human capacity for rational thought that we can transcend the primitive sense of morality we were born with, becoming more than just babies.

Paul Bloom has a gift for bringing abstract ideas to life, moving seamlessly from Darwin, Herodotus, and Adam Smith to The Princess Bride, Hannibal Lecter, and Louis C.K. Vivid, witty, and intellectually probing, Just Babies offers a radical new perspective on our moral lives.
Visit Paul Bloom's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Cartographer of No Man's Land"

New from Liveright: The Cartographer of No Man's Land by P. S. Duffy.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a hardscrabble village in Nova Scotia to the collapsing trenches of France, a debut novel about a family divided by World War I.

In the tradition of Robert Goolrick’s A Reliable Wife and Karl Marlantes’s Matterhorn, P. S. Duffy’s astonishing debut showcases a rare and instinctive talent emerging in midlife. Her novel leaps across the Atlantic, between a father at war and a son coming of age at home without him.

When his beloved brother-in-law goes missing at the front in 1916, Angus defies his pacifist upbringing to join the war and find him. Assured a position as a cartographer in London, he is instead sent directly into the visceral shock of battle. Meanwhile, at home, his son Simon Peter must navigate escalating hostility in a fishing village torn by grief. With the intimacy of The Song of Achilles and the epic scope of The Invisible Bridge, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land offers a soulful portrayal of World War I and the lives that were forever changed by it, both on the battlefield and at home.
Visit P. S. Duffy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Engines of the Broken World"

New from Henry Holt and Co.: Engines of the Broken World by Jason Vanhee.

About the book, from the publisher:

Merciful Truth and her brother, Gospel, have just pulled their dead mother into the kitchen and stowed her under the table. It was a long illness, and they wanted to bury her—they did—but it’s far too cold outside, and they know they won’t be able to dig into the frozen ground. The Minister who lives with them, who preaches through his animal form, doesn’t make them feel any better about what they’ve done. Merciful calms her guilty feelings but only until, from the other room, she hears a voice she thought she’d never hear again. It’s her mother’s voice, and it’s singing a lullaby....

Engines of the Broken World is a chilling young adult novel from Jason Vanhee.
Visit Jason Vanhee's blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Want Not"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Want Not by Jonathan Miles.

About the book, from the publisher:

A compulsively readable, deeply human novel that examines our most basic and unquenchable emotion: want.

With his critically acclaimed first novel, Jonathan Miles was widely praised as a comic genius “after something bigger” (David Ulin, Los Angeles Times) whose fiction was “not just philosophically but emotionally rewarding” (Richard Russo, New York Times Book Review, front cover).

Now, in his much anticipated second novel, Want Not, Miles takes a giant leap forward with this highly inventive and corrosively funny story of our times, a three-pronged tale of human excess that sifts through the detritus of several disparate lives—lost loves, blown chances, countless words and deeds misdirected or misunderstood—all conjoined in their come-hell-or-high-water search for fulfillment.

As the novel opens on Thanksgiving Day, readers are telescoped into three different worlds in various states of disrepair—a young freegan couple living off the grid in New York City; a once-prominent linguist, sacked at midlife by the dissolution of his marriage and his father’s losing battle with Alzheimer’s; and a self-made debt-collecting magnate, whose brute talent for squeezing money out of unlikely places has yielded him a royal existence, trophy wife included.

Want and desire propel these characters forward toward something, anything, more, until their worlds collide, briefly, randomly, yet irrevocably, in a shattering ending that will haunt readers long after the last page is turned.

With a satirist’s eye and a romantic’s heart, Miles captures the morass and comedy of contemporary life in all its excess. Bold, unblinking, unforgettable in its irony and pathos, Want Not is a wicked, bighearted literary novel that confirms the arrival of a major voice in American fiction.
Read more about Want Not at Jonathan Miles's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"The Whole Golden World"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: The Whole Golden World: A Novel by Kristina Riggle.

About the book, from the publisher:

Kristina Riggle, the acclaimed author of Real Life & Liars, returns with a thought-provoking novel inspired by real-life events

Seventeen-year-old Morgan Monetti shocks her parents and her community with one simple act: She chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her—popular high school teacher TJ Hill. Quietly walking across a crowded courtroom to sit behind TJ, and not beside her parents, she announces herself as the adult she believes herself to be.

But her mother, Dinah, wants justice. Dinah is a fighter, and she believes with all her heart and soul that TJ is a man who took advantage of her daughter. He is a criminal who should be brought to justice, no matter what the cost to his family.

Rain, TJ's wife, is shocked that her handsome, loving, respected husband has been accused of a terrible crime. But has her desperation to start a family closed her eyes to the fault lines in her marriage? And can she face the painful truths about herself and her husband?

Told from the perspectives of these three remarkable women, The Whole Golden World navigates the precarious territory between childhood and adulthood, raising questions about love and manipulation, marriage and motherhood, consent and responsibility. It's a novel both shocking and unforgettable in its power.
Learn more about the book and author at Kristina Riggle's website.

The Page 69 Test: Real Life & Liars.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Kristina Riggle & Lucky.

Writers Read: Kristina Riggle (August 2010).

The Page 69 Test: The Life You've Imagined.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Price of Innocence"

New from Severn House: The Price of Innocence by Lisa Black.

About the book, from the publisher:

The key to Teresa MacLean's latest case lies in a 25-year-old unsolved murder

Called out to investigate a suspected suicide in a luxury high-rise apartment, forensic scientist Theresa MacLean only just escapes with her life when the building is blown to smithereens. An accident - or something more sinister? A mostly empty block of trendy apartments in downtown Cleveland seems an unlikely terrorist target.

The following day, Theresa is examining another suspected suicide in a wealthy neighbourhood when the cop accompanying her is shot dead by an unseen assailant. Could the two events be connected? As Theresa painstakingly pieces the clues she uncovers evidence of a dark secret in the murdered cop's past.
Learn more about the book and author at Lisa Black's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 28, 2013


New from Riverhead: Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II by Wil S. Hylton.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the fall of 1944, a massive American bomber carrying eleven men vanished over the Pacific islands of Palau, leaving a trail of mysteries. According to mission reports from the Army Air Forces, the plane crashed in shallow water—but when investigators went to find it, the wreckage wasn't there. Witnesses saw the crew parachute to safety, yet the airmen were never seen again. Some of their relatives whispered that they had returned to the United States in secret and lived in hiding. But they never explained why.

For sixty years, the U.S. government, the children of the missing airmen, and a maverick team of scientists and scuba divers searched the islands for clues. They trolled the water with side-scan sonar, conducted grid searches on the seafloor, crawled through thickets of mangrove and poison trees, and flew over the islands in small planes to shoot infrared photography. With every clue they found, the mystery only deepened.

Now, in a spellbinding narrative, Wil S. Hylton weaves together the true story of the missing men, their final mission, the families they left behind, and the real reason their disappearance remained shrouded in secrecy for so long. This is a story of love, loss, sacrifice, and faith—
of the undying hope among the families of the missing, and the relentless determination of scientists, explorers, archaeologists, and deep-sea divers to solve one of the enduring mysteries of World War II.
Visit Wil S. Hylton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Sourcebooks: Broken by C. J. Lyons.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons makes her YA debut with a taut, riveting thriller hailed as "an intense page-turner" by April Henry, bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die.


Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, Scarlet has come to terms with the fact that she's going to die. Literally of a broken heart. It could be tomorrow, or it could be next year. But the clock is ticking...

All Scarlet asks is for a chance to attend high school—even if just for a week-a chance to be just like everyone else. But Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with each slammed locker and vicious taunt. Is this normal? Really? Yet there's more going on than she knows. And finding out the truth might just kill Scarlet before her heart does...
Learn more about the author and her work at CJ Lyons' website.

Writers Read: CJ Lyons (February 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"The Baby Chase"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Baby Chase: How Surrogacy Is Transforming the American Family by Leslie Morgan Steiner.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Love comes a riveting new narrative about surrogate pregnancy from both sides of the equation—the parents and the gestational carrier.

Once considered a desperate, even morally suspect option, surrogacy is now sweeping headlines, transforming the lives of celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Nicole Kidman and Elton John, and changing the face of the American family. But how much do we really know about it? And is it really as easy and accessible – emotionally, financially, legally and physically – as magazines make it out to be? We often hear about successful outcomes, but little about the journey – about the precious hope that starts it all, the ups and downs of finding a surrogate, the heartache and obstacles, the risks and expenses at every step, or the unbelievable joy when years of determination pay off. In The Baby Chase, acclaimed writer Leslie Morgan Steiner weaves three stories together — of a nurse, a firefighter, and the Indian gestational carriers and doctors who helped them — to provide one intensely personal look at what makes surrogacy so controversial, fascinating, and in some cases, the only ray of hope for today's infertile parents-to-be.

Rhonda Wile and her husband Gerry struggled for years with infertility. With perseverance that shocked everyone around them, they tried every procedure and option available – unsuccessfully – until they finally decided to hire a surrogate. While surrogacy was being touted as a miracle for hopeful parents, for Rhonda and Gerry, it seemed an impossible and unaffordable dream. Until they came across the beaming smile of a beautiful Indian woman on the internet… and, within a few short months, embarked on a journey that would take them deep into the emerging world of Indian carriers, international medical tourism, and the global surrogacy community.

Moving, page-turning, and meticulously researched, this complex human story is paired with an examination of the issues—religious, legal, medical and emotional—that shapes surrogacy as a solution both imperfect and life-changing.
Read more about The Baby Chase at Leslie Morgan Steiner's website and Facebook page.

--Marshal Zeringue

"America Is Elsewhere"

New from Oxford University Press: America Is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture by Erik Dussere.

About the book, from the publisher:

America is Elsewhere provides a rigorous and creative reconsideration of hard-boiled crime fiction and the film noir tradition within three related postwar contexts: 1) the rise of the consumer republic in the United States after World War II 2) the challenge to traditional notions of masculinity posed by a new form of citizenship based in consumption, and 3) the simultaneous creation of "authenticity effects" -- representational strategies designed to safeguard an image of both the American male and America itself outside of and in opposition to the increasingly omnipresent marketplace. Films like Double Indemnity, Ace in the Hole, and Kiss Me Deadly alongside novels by Dashiel Hammett and Raymond Chandler provide rich examples for the first half of the study. The second is largely devoted to works less commonly understood in relation to the hard-boiled and noir canon. Examinations of the conspiracy films from the Seventies and Eighties -- like Klute and The Parallax View -- novels by Thomas Pynchon, Chester Himes and William Gibson reveal the persistence and evolution of these authenticity effects across the second half of the American twentieth century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 26, 2013


New from Sky Pony Press: Roses by G. R. Mannering.

About the book, from the publisher:

"As the gates clicked shut behind them, she heard the distant roar of a beast."

She bears no name. Her silvery appearance is freakish to the numerous inhabitants of Sago, the cosmopolitan capital of Pevorocco in a fantasy realm. With her mother vanishing at the instance of her birth, she is regrettably sent to live with the nouveau riche Ma Dane, where she is punished daily for something, though she knows not what. Tauntingly named Beauty, she flees Sago in a violent uprising that sets out to massacre all Magics and journeys to the furthest point of the country.

But Beauty cannot hide in the grassy Hillands forever. Before long, the State officials find her and threaten to take her back to war-torn Sago where death surely awaits. In a midnight blizzard she escapes them, running into a deep, enchanted forest to a great and terrible beast who will bargain for her life. But can Beauty accept Beast? Eternity is a long time.

G. R. Mannering's eloquent style and creative retelling of a timeless classic illuminates the plight of Beauty and the Beast and is sure to captivate fans of Cinder, Beauty, and others.
Visit G. R. Mannering's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Séance Society"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: The Séance Society: A Mystery by Michael Nethercott.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's 1956, and Lee Plunkett has taken over the family business as a private investigator despite his reluctance to follow in his father's footsteps. When murder intrudes on a group of ghost seekers, Lee is asked to solve the case by a cop on the verge of retirement. At the urging of his perpetual fiancée Audrey, Lee enlists the help of Mr. O'Nelligan, a scholarly Irishman with a keen eye for solving mysteries. The duo is drawn into a murder investigation involving the “Spectricator," a machine designed to communicate with the dead. Soon, Plunkett and O'Nelligan are knee-deep in a suspect pool that includes a surly medium, a former speakeasy queen, a mysterious Spanish widow, and a whole slew of eccentric servants. Engaging, charming, and smart, The Séance Society by Michael Nethercott is a fresh take on the traditional mystery genre for readers who love original characters, witty dialogue, and a great whodunit.
Visit Michael Nethercott's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 25, 2013

"Top Brain, Bottom Brain"

New from Simon & Schuster: Top Brain, Bottom Brain: Surprising Insights into How You Think by Stephen Kosslyn and G. Wayne Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:

IN THIS GROUNDBREAKING contribution to the literature on human personality, a celebrated psychologist and an award-winning author offer a novel way to learn about how each of us thinks. For the past fifty years, popular culture has led us to believe in the left brain vs. right brain theory of personality types. It would be an illumi­nating theory if it did not have one major drawback: It is simply not supported by science. In contrast, the Top Brain, Bottom Brain theory is based on solid research that has stayed within the confines of labs all over the world—until now.

With cowriter G. Wayne Miller, Stephen M. Kosslyn, PhD, a leader in the field of cognitive neuroscience, explains this exciting new theory for the first time. Kosslyn and Miller describe how the top and bottom parts of the brain work together, summarizing extensive research with ease and accessibility. In doing so, they introduce us to four modes of thought: Mover, Perceiver, Stimulator, and Adaptor.

These ways of thinking and behaving shape your personality, and with the scientifically developed test provided in the book, you’ll quickly be able to determine which mode best defines your dominant way of thinking. Once you’ve identified your dominant cognitive mode, you can reflect on the many possible practical applications from the way you conduct business to your relationships to your voyage of personal discovery.
Visit the Top Brain, Bottom Brain website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Curtsies & Conspiracies"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger.

About the book, from the publisher:

Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?

Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy--won't Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling Etiquette & Espionage, class is back in session with more petticoats and poison, tea trays and treason. Gail's distinctive voice, signature humor, and lush steampunk setting are sure to be the height of fashion this season.
Learn more about the book and author at Gail Carriger's website and blog.

Writers Read: Gail Carriger (February 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay"

New from Doubleday: The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran by Hooman Majd.

About the book, from the publisher:

With U.S.–Iran relations at a thirty-year low, Iranian-American writer Hooman Majd dared to take his young family on a year-long sojourn in Tehran. The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay traces their domestic adventures and closely tracks the political drama of a terrible year for Iran's government.

It was an annus horribilis for Iran's Supreme Leader. The Green Movement had been crushed, but the regime was on edge, anxious lest democratic protests resurge. International sanctions were dragging down the economy while talk of war with the West grew. Hooman Majd was there for all of it. A new father at age fifty, he decided to take his blonde, blue-eyed Midwestern yoga instructor wife Karri and his adorable, only-eats-organic infant son Khash from their hip Brooklyn neighborhood to spend a year in the land of his birth. It was to be a year of discovery for Majd, too, who had only lived in Iran as a child.

The book opens ominously as Majd is stopped at the airport by intelligence officers who show him a four-inch thick security file about his books and journalism and warn him not to write about Iran during his stay. Majd brushes it off—but doesn't tell Karri—and the family soon settles in to the rituals of middle class life in Tehran: finding an apartment (which requires many thousands of dollars, all of which, bafflingly, is returned to you when you leave), a secure internet connection (one that persuades the local censors you are in New York) and a bootlegger (self-explanatory). Karri masters the head scarf, but not before being stopped for mal-veiling, twice. They endure fasting at Ramadan and keep up with Khash in a country weirdly obsessed with children.

All the while, Majd fields calls from security officers and he and Karri eye the headlines—the arrest of an American "spy," the British embassy riots, the Arab Spring—and wonder if they are pushing their luck. The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay is a sparkling account of life under a quixotic authoritarian regime that offers rare and intimate insight into a country and its people, as well as a personal story of exile and a search for the meaning of home.
Visit Hooman Majd's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Ayatollah Begs to Differ.

Writers Read: Hooman Majd ()ctober 2010).

The Page 99 Test: The Ayatollahs' Democracy.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Tor Books: Allegiance: River of Souls (Volume 3 of 3) by Beth Bernobich.

About the book, from the publisher:

King Leos of Károví, the tyrannical despot whose magic made him near immortal and who controlled a tattered empire for centuries through fear and intimidation, is finally dead. Ilse Zhalina watched as the magical jewels that gave him such power reunited into a single essence, a manifestly God-like creature who then disappeared into the cosmic void. Ilse is now free to fulfill her promise to Valara Baussay, the rogue Queen of Morennioù, who wants to return to her kingdom and claim her throne.

Ilse will do all in her power to help Valara if only as a means to get to her home. Home to her lover, Raul Kosenmark, who is gathering forces in their homeland of Veraene now that Leos is dead in order to save them from an ill-advised war. Pulled by duty and honor, Ilse makes this long journey back to where her story began, to complete the journey she attempted lives and centuries before and bring peace between the kingdoms. Along the way she learns some hard truths and finally comes to a crossroads of power and magic. She must decide if duty is stronger than a love that she has sought through countless lifetimes.

Will Isle give up her heart’s desire so that her nation can finally know lasting peace?

Allegiance is the thrilling conclusion to Beth Bernobich's River of Souls trilogy.
Learn more about the book and author at Beth Bernobich's website.

The Page 69 Test: Passion Play.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


New from Balzer + Bray: Twinmaker by Sean Williams

About the book, from the publisher:

You can be improved....

Can you really change your body just by carrying around a coded note? Sure—the advanced technology of a d-mat booth will transport you anywhere instantly, but can it also make you taller, stronger, more beautiful? Clair is pretty sure the offer is too good to be true. But her best friend, Libby, is determined to give it a try, longing for a new, improved version of herself.

What starts as Libby's dream turns into Clair's nightmare when Libby falls foul of a deadly trap. With the help of Jesse, the school freak, and a mysterious—but powerful—stranger called Q, Clair's attempt to protect Libby leads her to an unimagined world of conspiracies and cover-ups. Soon her own life is at risk, and Clair is chased across the world in a desperate race against time.

Action and danger fuel Sean Williams's near-future tale of technology, identity, and the lengths one girl will go to in order to save her best friend.
Visit Sean Williams' website and blog.

Writers Read: Sean Williams (April 2008).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Naturals"

New from Hyperion Books for Children: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

About the book, from the publisher:

Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But, it's not a skill that she's ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they've begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn't realize is that there's more at risk than a few unsolved homicides-especially when she's sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

Think The Mentalist meets Pretty Little Liars-Jennifer Lynn-Barnes' The Naturals is a gripping psychological thriller with killer appeal, a to-die-for romance, and the bones of a gritty and compelling new series.
Visit the official Jennifer Lynn Barnes website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Novelty: A History of the New"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Novelty: A History of the New by Michael North.

About the book, from the publisher:

If art and science have one thing in common, it’s a hunger for the new—new ideas and innovations, new ways of seeing and depicting the world. But that desire for novelty carries with it a fundamental philosophical problem: If everything has to come from something, how can anything truly new emerge? Is novelty even possible?

In Novelty, Michael North takes us on a dazzling tour of more than two millennia of thinking about the problem of the new, from the puzzles of the pre-Socratics all the way up to the art world of the 1960s and ’70s. The terms of the debate, North shows, were established before Plato, and have changed very little since: novelty, philosophers argued, could only arise from either recurrence or recombination. The former, found in nature’s cycles of renewal, and the latter, seen most clearly in the workings of language, between them have accounted for nearly all the ways in which novelty has been conceived in Western history, taking in reformation, renaissance, invention, revolution, and even evolution. As he pursues this idea through centuries and across disciplines, North exhibits astonishing range, drawing on figures as diverse as Charles Darwin and Robert Smithson, Thomas Kuhn and Ezra Pound, Norbert Wiener and Andy Warhol, all of whom offer different ways of grappling with the idea of originality.

Novelty, North demonstrates, remains a central problem of contemporary science and literature—an ever-receding target that, in its complexity and evasiveness, continues to inspire and propel the modern. A heady, ambitious intellectual feast, Novelty is rich with insight, a masterpiece of perceptive synthesis.
--Marshal Zeringue


New from Tor Teen: Revelations: The Elysium Chronicles (Volume 2 of 3) by J.A. Souders.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Elysium Chronicles, J.A. Souders’ riveting SF series for teens which began with the psychological thriller Renegade, continues in Revelations.

Six weeks after her arrival on the Surface, Evelyn Winters is no closer to unlocking the memories lost in her subconscious than she was when she first came. Isolated in a strange new society, Evie has only Gavin Hunter to remind her of who she once was.

But even with a clean slate, it’s easy to see that Evie doesn’t fit in on the Surface. And as her differences make her feel more and more alone, she can’t help but yearn for that place she doesn’t remember: the isolated city hidden in the depths of the ocean. Elysium. Home.

But she can’t exactly tell Gavin what she’s feeling. Not when he’s the one who helped her escape Elysium in the first place, and has the scars to prove it. Though the doctors say otherwise, Gavin believes that Evie just needs time. And if her memories don’t come back, well, maybe she’s better off not remembering her past.

But the decision may be out of their hands when Evie’s ever-elusive memories begin to collide with reality. People and images from her past appear in the most unlikely places, haunting her, provoking her…and making her seem not only strange but dangerous.

Evie and Gavin can’t wait around for her memories to return. They’ll have to journey across the Outlands of the Surface to find help, and in the end, their search may just lead them back to the place it all started…
Visit the official J.A. Souders website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 21, 2013

"Two Serpents Rise"

New from Tor Books: Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Two Serpents Rise by Max Gladstone, shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc—casual gambler and professional risk manager—to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, Crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father—the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists—has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire...and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.
Visit Max Gladstone's website and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Henry Holt and Co.: Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment by Anita Elberse.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why the future of popular culture will revolve around ever bigger bets on entertainment products, by one of Harvard Business School’s most popular professors

What’s behind the phenomenal success of entertainment businesses such as Warner Bros., Marvel Entertainment, and the NFL—along with such stars as Jay-Z, Lady Gaga, and LeBron James? Which strategies give leaders in film, television, music, publishing, and sports an edge over their rivals?

Anita Elberse, Harvard Business School’s expert on the entertainment industry, has done pioneering research on the worlds of media and sports for more than a decade. Now, in this groundbreaking book, she explains a powerful truth about the fiercely competitive world of entertainment: building a business around blockbuster products—the movies, television shows, songs, and books that are hugely expensive to produce and market—is the surest path to long-term success. Along the way, she reveals why entertainment executives often spend outrageous amounts of money in search of the next blockbuster, why superstars are paid unimaginable sums, and how digital technologies are transforming the entertainment landscape.

Full of inside stories emerging from Elberse’s unprecedented access to some of the world’s most successful entertainment brands, Blockbusters is destined to become required reading for anyone seeking to understand how the entertainment industry really works—and how to navigate today’s high-stakes business world at large.
Visit the Blockbusters website and Facebook page and Anita Elberse's Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"The Perfect Match"

New from Harlequin: The Perfect Match by Kristan Higgins.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if the perfect match is a perfect surprise?

Honor Holland has just been unceremoniously rejected by
her lifelong crush. And now—a mere three weeks later—
Mr. Perfect is engaged to her best friend. But resilient, reliable Honor is going to pick herself up, dust herself off and get back out there...or she would if dating in Manningsport, NY, population 715, wasn’t easier said than done.

Charming, handsome British professor Tom Barlow just wants to do right by his unofficial stepson, Charlie, but his visa
is about to expire. Now Tom must either get a green card or leave the States—and leave Charlie behind.

In a moment of impulsiveness, Honor agrees to help Tom with a marriage of convenience—and make her ex jealous in the process. But juggling a fiancé, hiding out from her former best friend and managing her job at the family vineyard isn’t easy. And as sparks start to fly between Honor and Tom, they might discover that their pretend relationship is far too perfect to be anything but true love...
Learn more about the book and author at Kristan Higgins's website, blog, and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Somebody to Love.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Putnam: Drone by Mike Maden.

About the book, from the publisher:

Troy Pearce is the CEO of Pearce Systems, a private security firm that is the best in the world at drone technologies. A former CIA SOG operative, Pearce used his intelligence and combat skills to hunt down America’s sworn enemies in the War on Terror. But after a decade of clandestine special ops, Pearce opted out. Too many of his friends had been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Now Pearce and his team chose which battles he will take on by deploying his land, sea, and air drones with surgical precision.

Pearce thinks he’s done with the U.S. government for good, until a pair of drug cartel hit men assault a group of American students on American soil. New U.S. president Margaret Meyers then secretly authorizes Pearce Systems to locate and destroy the killers sheltered in Mexico. Pearce and his team go to work, and they are soon thrust into a showdown with the hidden powers behind the El Paso attack—unleashing a host of unexpected repercussions.

A Ph.D., lecturer, and consultant on political science and international conflict, Mike Maden has crafted an intense, page-turning novel that is action-packed and frighteningly real—blurring the lines between fiction and the reality of a new stage in warfare.
Follow Mike Maden on Facebook and Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 19, 2013


New from Gotham Books: Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever by Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O'Connell.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first in-depth look at Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal, the phenomenal business success built on the back of fraud, and the greatest conspiracy in the history of sports

Lance Armstrong won a record-smashing seven Tours de France after staring down cancer, and in the process became an international symbol of resilience and courage. In a sport constantly dogged by blood-doping scandals, he seemed above the fray. Then, in January 2013, the legend imploded. He admitted doping during the Tours and, in an interview with Oprah, described his “mythic, perfect story” as “one big lie.” But his admission raised more questions than it answered—because he didn’t say who had helped him dope or how he skillfully avoided getting caught.

The Wall Street Journal reporters Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell broke the news at every turn. In Wheelmen they reveal the broader story of how Armstrong and his supporters used money, power, and cutting-edge science to conquer the world’s most difficult race. Wheelmen introduces U.S. Postal Service Team owner Thom Weisel, who in a brazen power play ousted USA Cycling’s top leadership and gained control of the sport in the United States, ensuring Armstrong’s dominance. Meanwhile, sponsors fought over contracts with Armstrong as the entire sport of cycling began to benefit from the “Lance effect.” What had been a quirky, working-class hobby became the pastime of the Masters of the Universe set.

Wheelmen offers a riveting look at what happens when enigmatic genius breaks loose from the strictures of morality. It reveals the competitiveness and ingenuity that sparked blood-doping as an accepted practice, and shows how the Americans methodically constructed an international operation of spies and revolutionary technology to reach the top. At last exposing the truth about Armstrong and American cycling, Wheelmen paints a living portrait of what is, without question, the greatest conspiracy in the history of sports.
Visit the Wheelmen website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Death of Santini"

New from Nan A. Talese: The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son by Pat Conroy.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this powerful and intimate memoir, the beloved bestselling author of The Prince of Tides and his father, the inspiration for The Great Santini, find some common ground at long last.

Pat Conroy’s father, Donald Patrick Conroy, was a towering figure in his son’s life. The Marine Corps fighter pilot was often brutal, cruel, and violent; as Pat says, “I hated my father long before I knew there was an English word for ‘hate.’” As the oldest of seven children who were dragged from military base to military base across the South, Pat bore witness to the toll his father’s behavior took on his siblings, and especially on his mother, Peg. She was Pat’s lifeline to a better world—that of books and culture. But eventually, despite repeated confrontations with his father, Pat managed to claw his way toward a life he could have only imagined as a child.

Pat’s great success as a writer has always been intimately linked with the exploration of his family history. While the publication of The Great Santini brought Pat much acclaim, the rift it caused with his father brought even more attention. Their long-simmering conflict burst into the open, fracturing an already battered family. But as Pat tenderly chronicles here, even the oldest of wounds can heal. In the final years of Don Conroy’s life, he and his son reached a rapprochement of sorts. Quite unexpectedly, the Santini who had freely doled out physical abuse to his wife and children refocused his ire on those who had turned on Pat over the years. He defended his son’s honor.

The Death of Santini is at once a heart-wrenching account of personal and family struggle and a poignant lesson in how the ties of blood can both strangle and offer succor. It is an act of reckoning, an exorcism of demons, but one whose ultimate conclusion is that love can soften even the meanest of men, lending significance to one of the most-often quoted lines from Pat’s bestselling novel The Prince of Tides: “In families there are no crimes beyond forgiveness.”
Learn about a few books that made a difference to Pat Conroy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 18, 2013

"Provence, 1970"

New from Clarkson Potter: Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste by Luke Barr.

About the book, from the publisher:

Provence, 1970 is about a singular historic moment. In the winter of that year, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. They cooked and ate, talked and argued, about the future of food in America, the meaning of taste, and the limits of snobbery. Without quite realizing it, they were shaping today’s tastes and culture, the way we eat now. The conversations among this group were chronicled by M.F.K. Fisher in journals and letters—some of which were later discovered by Luke Barr, her great-nephew. In Provence, 1970, he captures this seminal season, set against a stunning backdrop in cinematic scope—complete with gossip, drama, and contemporary relevance.
Visit Luke Barr's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Accidental Species"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution by Henry Gee.

About The Accidental Species, from the publisher:

The idea of a missing link between humanity and our animal ancestors predates evolution and popular science and actually has religious roots in the deist concept of the Great Chain of Being. Yet, the metaphor has lodged itself in the contemporary imagination, and new fossil discoveries are often hailed in headlines as revealing the elusive transitional step, the moment when we stopped being “animal” and started being “human.” In The Accidental Species, Henry Gee, longtime paleontology editor at Nature, takes aim at this misleading notion, arguing that it reflects a profound misunderstanding of how evolution works and, when applied to the evolution of our own species, supports mistaken ideas about our own place in the universe.

Gee presents a robust and stark challenge to our tendency to see ourselves as the acme of creation. Far from being a quirk of religious fundamentalism, human exceptionalism, Gee argues, is an error that also infects scientific thought. Touring the many features of human beings that have recurrently been used to distinguish us from the rest of the animal world, Gee shows that our evolutionary outcome is one possibility among many, one that owes more to chance than to an organized progression to supremacy. He starts with bipedality, which he shows could have arisen entirely by accident, as a by-product of sexual selection, moves on to technology, large brain size, intelligence, language, and, finally, sentience. He reveals each of these attributes to be alive and well throughout the animal world—they are not, indeed, unique to our species.

The Accidental Species combines Gee’s firsthand experience on the editorial side of many incredible paleontological findings with healthy skepticism and humor to create a book that aims to overturn popular thinking on human evolution—the key is not what’s missing, but how we’re linked.
Visit Henry Gee's The End Of The Pier Show blog and follow the author on Twitter.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Henry Gee & Heidi and Saffron.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya"

New from Feiwel & Friends: The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya by Jane Kelley.

About the book, from the publisher:

An orphaned African grey parrot who can speak 127 words. A girl so sick, she has forgotten what it means to try. Fate––and a banana nut muffin––bring them together. Will their shared encounter help them journey through storms inside and out? Will they lose their way, or will they find what really matters?

Here is a story that will remind readers how navigating so many of life’s desperate adventures requires friendship and, above all, hope.
Visit Jane Kelley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Hidden White House"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Hidden White House: Harry Truman and the Reconstruction of America's Most Famous Residence by Robert Klara.

About the book, from the publisher:

Critically acclaimed author Robert Klara leads readers through an unmatched tale of political ambition and technical skill: the Truman administration’s controversial rebuilding of the White House.

In 1948, President Harry Truman, enjoying a bath on the White House’s second floor, almost plunged through the ceiling of the Blue Room into a tea party for the Daughters of the American Revolution. A handpicked team of the country’s top architects conducted a secret inspection of the troubled mansion and, after discovering it was in imminent danger of collapse, insisted that the First Family be evicted immediately. What followed would be the most historically significant and politically complex home-improvement job in American history. While the Trumans camped across the street at Blair House, Congress debated whether to bulldoze the White House completely, and the Soviets exploded their first atomic bomb, starting the Cold War.

Indefatigable researcher Robert Klara reveals what has, until now, been little understood about this episode: America’s most famous historic home was basically demolished, giving birth to today’s White House. Leaving only the mansion’s facade untouched, workmen gutted everything within, replacing it with a steel frame and a complex labyrinth deep below ground that soon came to include a top-secret nuclear fallout shelter.

The story of Truman’s rebuilding of the White House is a snapshot of postwar America and its first Cold War leader, undertaking a job that changed the centerpiece of the country’s national heritage. The job was by no means perfect, but it was remarkable—and, until now, all but forgotten.
Visit Robert Klara's website and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Snapshot Photography"

New from the MIT Press: Snapshot Photography: The Lives of Images by Catherine Zuromskis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Snapshots capture everyday occasions. Taken by amateur photographers with simple point-and-shoot cameras, snapshots often commemorate something that is private and personal; yet they also reflect widely held cultural conventions. The poses may be formulaic, but a photograph of loved ones can evoke a deep affective response. In Snapshot Photography, Catherine Zuromskis examines the development of a form of visual expression that is both public and private.

Scholars of art and culture tend to discount snapshot photography; it is too ubiquitous, too unremarkable, too personal. Zuromskis argues for its significance. Snapshot photographers, she contends, are not so much creating spontaneous records of their lives as they are participating in a prescriptive cultural ritual. A snapshot is not only a record of interpersonal intimacy but also a means of linking private symbols of domestic harmony to public ideas of social conformity.

Through a series of case studies, Zuromskis explores the social life of snapshot photography in the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century. She examines the treatment of snapshot photography in the 2002 film One Hour Photo and in the television crime drama Law and Order: Special Victims Unit; the growing interest of collectors and museum curators in "vintage" snapshots; and the"snapshot aesthetic" of Andy Warhol and Nan Goldin. She finds that Warhol's photographs of the Factory community and Goldin's intense and intimate photographs of friends and family use the conventions of the snapshot to celebrate an alternate version of "family values."

In today's digital age, snapshot photography has become even more ubiquitous and ephemeral — and, significantly, more public. But buried within snapshot photography's mythic construction, Zuromskis argues, is a site of democratic possibility.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Never Laugh As a Hearse Goes By"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Never Laugh As a Hearse Goes By: A Penny Brannigan Mystery by Elizabeth J. Duncan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Spa owner and habitual amateur sleuth Penny Brannigan finds herself at a clerical conference at Gladstone’s Library in North Wales. Also attending as a guest speaker is her boyfriend, DCI Gareth Davies, there to give a talk on theft prevention. But behind the ornate red sandstone façade of this most respectable of Victorian buildings, Penny encounters deception, blackmail, and murder.

When the bishop’s secretary dies of a suspicious case of food poisoning, Davies leads the investigation. At Penny’s suggestion, Florence Semble, a friend from Penny’s adopted hometown, is invited to the Library to decode the secretary’s shorthand notebook in the search for clues. As the conference continues, another body is found in the beautiful Library itself, and Penny must once again search for a killer.

Never Laugh as a Hearse Goes By is a fine entry in a series celebrated for its small-town charm, Welsh flavor, and lovable characters.
Visit Elizabeth J. Duncan's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Cold Light of Mourning.

The Page 69 Test: A Brush with Death.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Elizabeth J. Duncan and Dolly.

Writers Read: Elizabeth J. Duncan.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Confessions of a So-called Middle Child"

New from HarperCollins: Confessions of a So-called Middle Child by Maria T. Lennon.

About the book, from the publisher:

People, what you're holding in your greasy little hands is my manifesto, my confessions, written for all you misunderstood middle kids out there who have no room to shine. Yep, when you're sandwiched between an overachieving, superhairy older sister and a too-cute-for-his-own-good younger brother, how can you ever win, right?

I never really thought of myself as a "middle child." Gifted computer hacker? Check. Fashion trailblazer? Double check. Finest prankster in my sixth-grade class? Triple check.

But then something happened. Things got messy. I did something bad. And I mean really, really bad. Bad enough to get expelled for. Bad enough to have to move for, and even bad enough to be sent to a shrink for.

At first, I thought Dr. Scales was just a sad old man with a hazardous dandruff problem, but you know what? By the end of the summer, I was a changed woman. In our last session, the day before my brand-new middle-school life was to start, he gave me a mission:

I had to find the most bullied, friendless, hopeless, laughed-at, lonely girl in the entire school and be her friend. In public.

Just kill me now, please.
Visit the Confessions of a So-called Middle Child website, and follow Maria T. Lennon on Facebook.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Friday's Harbor"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: Friday's Harbor: A Novel by Diane Hammond.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hannah the elephant is thriving in her new home, peacemaker Truman Levy is the new director of the Max L. Biedelman Zoo, and life in Bladenham, Washington, has finally settled down ... or has it? From his eccentric aunt Ivy, Truman learns of the plight of a desperately sick, captive killer whale named Friday.

Reluctantly Truman agrees to give the orca a new home—and a new lease on life—at the zoo. But not everybody believes in his captivity. Soon the Max L. Biedelman Zoo is embroiled in a whale-size controversy and Friday's fate is up for grabs.

Like The Art of Racing in the Rain and Water for Elephants, Friday's Harbor beautifully illuminates the special bond between animals and humans.
Learn more about the book and author at Diane Hammond's website and follow her on Facebook.

The Page 69 TestHannah’s Dream.

The Page 69 Test: Seeing Stars.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Diane Hammond & Petey and Haagen.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 14, 2013

"The Mole"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Mole: The Cold War Memoir of Winston Bates: A Novel by Peter Warner.

About the book, from the publisher:

The fictitious memoir of an unlikely foreign spy planted in Washington, D.C., in the years after World War II

Recruited by a foreign power in postwar Paris and sent to Washington, Winston Bates is without training or talent. He might be a walking definition of the anti-spy. Yet he makes his way onto the staff of the powerful Senator Richard Russell, head of the Armed Services Committee. From that perch, Bates has extensive and revealing contacts with the Dulles brothers, Richard Bissell, Richard Helms, Lyndon Johnson, Joe Alsop, Walter Lippman, Roy Cohn, and even Ollie North to name but a few of the historical players in the American experience Winston befriends—and haplessly betrays for a quarter century.

A comedy of manners set within the circles of power and information, Peter Warner's The Mole is a witty social history of Washington in the latter half of the twentieth century that presents the question: How much damage can be done by the wrong person in the right place at the right time?

Written as Winston’s memoir, The Mole details the American Century from an angle definitely off center. From Suez, the U-2 Crash, the Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, and Watergate, the novel is richly and factually detailed, marvelously convincing, and offers the reader a slightly subversive character searching for identity and meaning (as well as his elusive handler) in a heady time during one of history's most defining eras.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Fallen Women"

New from St. Martin's Press: Fallen Women by Sandra Dallas.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the ballrooms and mansions of Denver’s newly wealthy, to the seamy life of desperate women, Fallen Women illuminates the darkest places of the human heart.

It is the spring of 1885 and wealthy New York socialite Beret Osmundsen has been estranged from her younger sister, Lillie, for a year when she gets word from her aunt and uncle that Lillie has died suddenly in Denver. What they do not tell her is that Lillie had become a prostitute and was brutally murdered in the brothel where she had been living. When Beret discovers the sordid truth of Lillie’s death, she makes her way to Denver, determined to find her sister’s murderer. Detective Mick McCauley may not want her involved in the case, but Beret is determined, and the investigation soon takes her from the dangerous, seedy underworld of Denver’s tenderloin to the highest levels of Denver society. Along the way, Beret not only learns the depths of Lillie’s depravity, but also exposes the sinister side of Gilded Age ambition in the process.

Sandra Dallas once again delivers a page-turner filled with mystery, intrigue, and the kind of intricate detail that truly transports you to another time and place.
Learn more about the book and author at Sandra Dallas's website.

The Page 69 Test: Prayers For Sale.

Writers Read: Sandra Dallas (May 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"The Last Dark"

New from Putnam: The Last Dark (Last Chronicles Series #4) by Stephen R. Donaldson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Compelled step by step to actions whose consequences they could neither see nor prevent, Thomas Covenant and Linden Avery have fought for what they love in the magical reality known only as "the Land." Now they face their final crisis. Reunited after their separate struggles, they discover in each other their true power--and yet they cannot imagine how to stop the Worm of the World’s End from unmaking Time. Nevertheless they must resist the ruin of all things, giving their last strength in the service of the world's continuance.
Visit Stephen R. Donaldson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Alzheimer Conundrum"

New from Princeton University Press: The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging by Margaret Lock.

About the book, from the publisher:

Because of rapidly aging populations, the number of people worldwide experiencing dementia is increasing and the projections are grim. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars invested in medical research, no effective treatment has been discovered for Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia. The Alzheimer Conundrum exposes the predicaments embedded in current efforts to slow down or halt Alzheimer's disease through early detection of presymptomatic biological changes in healthy individuals.

Based on a careful study of the history of Alzheimer's disease and extensive in-depth interviews with clinicians, scientists, epidemiologists, geneticists, and others, Margaret Lock highlights the limitations and the dissent implicated in this approach. She stresses that one major difficulty is the well-documented absence of behavioral signs of Alzheimer's disease in a significant proportion of elderly individuals, even when Alzheimer neuropathology is present in their brains. This incongruity makes it difficult to distinguish between what counts as normal versus pathological and, further, makes it evident that social and biological processes contribute inseparably to aging. Lock argues that basic research must continue, but it should be complemented by a realistic public health approach available everywhere that will be more effective and more humane than one focused almost exclusively on an increasingly frenzied search for a cure.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 12, 2013


New from Grand Central Publishing: Identical by Scott Turow.

About the book, from the publisher:

State Senator Paul Giannis is a candidate for Mayor of Kindle County. His identical twin brother Cass is newly released from prison, 25 years after pleading guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Dita Kronon. When Evon Miller, an ex-FBI agent who is the head of security for the Kronon family business, and private investigator Tim Brodie begin a re-investigation of Dita's death, a complex web of murder, sex, and betrayal-as only Scott Turow could weave-dramatically unfolds...
See: Scott Turow's five best legal novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy"

New from Knopf: Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bridget Jones—one of the most beloved characters in modern literature (v.g.)—is back! In Helen Fielding's wildly funny, hotly anticipated new novel, Bridget faces a few rather pressing questions:

What do you do when your girlfriend’s sixtieth birthday party is the same day as your boyfriend’s thirtieth?

Is it better to die of Botox or die of loneliness because you’re so wrinkly?

Is it wrong to lie about your age when online dating?

Is it morally wrong to have a blow-dry when one of your children has head lice?

Is it normal to be too vain to put on your reading glasses when checking your toy boy for head lice?

Does the Dalai Lama actually tweet or is it his assistant?

Is it normal to get fewer followers the more you tweet?

Is technology now the fifth element? Or is that wood?

If you put lip plumper on your hands do you get plump hands?

Is sleeping with someone after two dates and six weeks of texting the same as getting married after two meetings and six months of letter writing in Jane Austen’s day?

Pondering these and other modern dilemmas, Bridget Jones stumbles through the challenges of loss, single motherhood, tweeting, texting, technology, and rediscovering her sexuality in—Warning! Bad, outdated phrase approaching!—middle age.

In a triumphant return after fourteen years of silence, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is timely, tender, touching, page-turning, witty, wise, outrageous, and bloody hilarious.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 11, 2013


New from Orbit Books: Parasite by Mira Grant.

About the book, from the publisher:

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.
Visit Mira Grant's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words by John W. Pilley Jr. with Hilary Hinzmann.

About the book, from the publisher:

The amazing story of a very smart Border collie who is redefining animal intelligence.

Chaser has a way with words. She knows over a thousand of them—more than any other animal of any species except humans. In addition to common nouns like house, ball, and tree, she has memorized the names of more than one thousand toys and can retrieve any of them on command. Based on that learning, she and her owner and trainer, retired psychologist John Pilley, have moved on to further impressive feats, demonstrating her ability to understand sentences with multiple elements of grammar and to learn new behaviors by imitation.

John’s ingenuity and tenacity as a researcher are as impressive as Chaser’s accomplishments. His groundbreaking approach has opened the door to a new understanding of animal intelligence, one that requires us to reconsider what actually goes on in a dog’s mind. Chaser’s achievements reveal her use of deductive reasoning and complex problem-solving skills to address novel challenges.

Yet astonishingly, Chaser isn’t unique. John’s training methods can be adopted by any dog lover. Through the poignant story of how he trained Chaser, raised her as a member of the Pilley family, and proved her abilities to the scientific community, he reveals the positive impact of incorporating learning into play and more effectively channeling a dog’s natural drives.

John’s work with Chaser offers a fresh perspective on what’s possible in the relationship between a dog and a human. His story points us toward a new way of relating to our canine companions that takes into account our evolving understanding of the way animals and humans learn.
Visit John Pilley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 10, 2013


New from Tor Books: Copperhead by Tina Connolly.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set in an alternate version of early 1900s England, Copperhead is the sequel to Tina Connolly's stunning historical fantasy debut.

Helen Huntingdon is beautiful—so beautiful she has to wear an iron mask.

Six months ago her sister Jane uncovered a fey plot to take over the city. Too late for Helen, who opted for fey beauty in her face—and now has to cover her face with iron so she won’t be taken over, her personality erased by the bodiless fey.

Not that Helen would mind that some days. Stuck in a marriage with the wealthy and controlling Alistair, she lives at the edges of her life, secretly helping Jane remove the dangerous fey beauty from the wealthy society women who paid for it. But when the chancy procedure turns deadly, Jane goes missing—and is implicated in a murder.

Meanwhile, Alistair’s influential clique Copperhead—whose emblem is the poisonous copperhead hydra—is out to restore humans to their “rightful” place, even to the point of destroying the dwarvven who have always been allies.

Helen is determined to find her missing sister, as well as continue the good fight against the fey. But when that pits her against her own husband—and when she meets an enigmatic young revolutionary—she’s pushed to discover how far she’ll bend society’s rules to do what’s right. It may be more than her beauty at stake. It may be her honor...and her heart.
Visit Tina Connolly's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Crooked Numbers"

New from Minotaur Books: Crooked Numbers by Tim O'Mara.

About the book, from the publisher:

When one of Raymond Donne’s former students is found stabbed to death under the Williamsburg Bridge, Ray draws on his past as a cop to find the truth in Tim O'Mara’s second New York mystery.

Raymond Donne’s former student Douglas Lee had everything going for him thanks to a scholarship to an exclusive private school in Manhattan, but all of that falls apart when his body is found below the Williamsburg Bridge with a dozen knife wounds in it. That kind of violence would normally get some serious attention from the police and media except when it's accompanied by signs that it could be gang related. When that’s the case, the story dies and the police are happy to settle for the straightforward explanation. Dougie's mom isn’t having any of that and asks Ray, who had been a cop before an accident cut his career short, to look into it, unofficially. He does what he can, asking questions, doling out information to the press, and filling in some holes in the investigation, but he doesn’t get far before one of Dougie’s private school friends is killed and another is put in the hospital.

What kind of trouble could a couple of sheltered kids get into that would end like that? And what does is have to do with Dougie's death? None of it adds up, but there's no way Ray can just wait around for something to happen.

Following on the heels of his acclaimed debut, Tim O’Mara’s Crooked Numbers is another outstanding mystery that brings the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan to life and further solidifies O’Mara’s
Visit Tim O'Mara's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"Shadow of the Alchemist"

New from Minotaur Books: Shadow of the Alchemist: A Medieval Noir (Volume 6 of 6) by Jeri Westerson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Once a Knight of the Realm, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title and his lands and must now earn his meager living through his wits. With the help of his young apprentice, reformed thief Jack Tucker, Guest is known to certain populations as The Tracker, the man who can find anything—for a price. It is for that reason that Guest is sought out by Nicholas Flamel, an absent-minded alchemist. Both Flamel’s wife and his apprentice are missing, and he wants Guest to find them and bring them home.

Before he can even begin looking, Guest discovers that Flamel’s house has been ransacked. Then Flamel’s assistant turns up—dead, hanging from the rafters with a note pinned to his chest by a dagger. It is a ransom note that promises the safe return of his wife in exchange for the Philosopher’s Stone, which is reputed to turn lead into gold and create the elixir of life. And the kidnappers aren’t the only ones after it. From the highest nobility to Flamel’s fellow alchemists, everyone is seeking the stone for themselves. Guest must rescue the missing wife and find the stone before it falls into unworthy hands, in Jeri Westerson's Shadow of the Alchemist.
Learn more about the author and her work at Jeri Westerson's website and her "Getting Medieval" blog.

The Page 69 Test: Veil of Lies.

The Page 69 Test: Serpent in the Thorns.

The Page 69 Test: The Demon's Parchment.

Writers Read: Jeri Westerson.

My Book, The Movie: The Demon's Parchment.

The Page 69 Test: Troubled Bones.

The Page 69 Test: Blood Lance.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from the University of Nevada Press: Sunland: A Novel by Don Waters.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sid Dulaney, in his midthirties, between jobs and short on funds, has moved back to Tucson to take care of his beloved grandmother. To hold down the cost of her prescriptions, he reluctantly starts smuggling medications over the border. His picaresque misadventures involve the lovable eccentrics at her retirement village, Mexican gang threats, a voluptuous former babysitter, midnight voice mails from his exasperated ex-girlfriend, and, perplexingly, a giraffe. This first novel by the winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award proves Waters is an important new voice in American fiction. A big, rollicking, character-filled novel, Sunland is an entertaining and humane view at life on the margins in America today.
Visit Don Waters' website.

Writers Read: Don Waters (October 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"The Family"

New from Viking: The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century by David Laskin.

About the book, from the publisher:

The author of The Children’s Blizzard delivers an epic work of twentieth century history through the riveting story of one extraordinary Jewish family

With cinematic power and beauty, bestselling author David Laskin brings to life the upheavals of the twentieth century through the story of one family, three continents, two world wars, and the rise and fall of nations.

A century and a half ago, a Torah scribe and his wife raised six children in a yeshivatown at the western fringe of the Russian empire. Bound by their customs and ancient faith, the pious couple expected their sons and daughter to carry family traditions into future generations. But the social and political crises of our time decreed otherwise.

The torrent of history took the scribe’s family down three very different roads. One branch immigrated to America and founded the fabulously successful Maidenform Bra Company; another went to Palestine as pioneers and participated in the contentious birth of the state of Israel; the third branch remained in Europe and suffered the onslaught of the Nazi occupation.

In tracing the roots of this family—his own family—Laskin captures the epic sweep of the twentieth century. A modern-day scribe, Laskin honors the traditions, the lives, and the choices of his ancestors: revolutionaries and entrepreneurs, scholars and farmers, tycoons and truck drivers. The Family is a deeply personal, dramatic, and emotional account of people caught in a cataclysmic time in world history.
Learn more about the book and author at David Laskin's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: The Long Way Home.

--Marshal Zeringue