Friday, October 31, 2014

"Best to Laugh"

New from the University of Minnesota Press: Best to Laugh: A Novel by Lorna Landvik.

About the book, from the publisher:

No one steps up to life’s banquet, holds out her tray, and orders, “Grief, please!” But as a child, Candy Pekkala was served a heaping helping of it. Every buffet line has a dessert section, however, and when a cousin calls with a Hollywood apartment to sublet, it seems as though Candy is finally offered something sweet. It’s good-bye to Minnesota and hello to California, where a girl who has always lived by her wits has a real chance of making a living with them. With that, the irrepressible Lorna Landvik launches her latest irresistible character onto the world stage—or at least onto the dimly lit small stage where stand-up comedy gets its start.

Herself a comic performer, Landvik taps her own adventurous past and Minnesota roots to conjure Candy’s life in this strange new Technicolor home. Her fellow tenants at Peyton Hall include a female bodybuilder, a ruined nightclub impresario, and a well-connected Romanian fortune-teller. There are game show appearances and temp jobs at a record company and an establishment suspiciously like the Playboy Mansion, and of course the alluring but not always welcoming stage of stand-up comedy. As she hones her act, Candy is tested by humiliation, hecklers, and the inherent sexism that insists “chicks aren’t funny.”

Written with the light touch and quiet wisdom that have made her works so popular, this is classic Lorna Landvik—sometimes so funny, you’ll cry; sometimes so sad, you might as well laugh; and always impossible to put down.
Visit Lorna Landvik's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Waistcoats & Weaponry"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School Series #3) by Gail Carriger.

About the book, from the publisher:

Class is back in session...

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine's proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.
Learn more about the book and author at Gail Carriger's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Soulless.

The Page 69 Test: Changeless.

Writers Read: Gail Carriger (November 2010).

Writers Read: Gail Carriger (February 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Bad Country"

New from Minotaur Books: Bad Country by CB McKenzie.

About the book, from the publisher:

The newest winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize, a debut mystery set in the Southwest starring a former rodeo cowboy turned private investigator, told in a transfixingly original style.

Rodeo Grace Garnet lives with his old dog in a remote corner of Arizona known to locals as El Hoyo. He doesn't get many visitors in The Hole, but a body found near his home has drawn police attention to his front door. The victim is not one of the many undocumented immigrants who risk their lives to cross the border in Rodeo's harsh and deadly "backyard," but a member of a major Southwestern Indian tribe, whose death is part of a mysterious rompecabeza—a classic crime puzzler—that includes multiple murders, cold-blooded betrayals, and low-down scheming, with Rodeo caught in the middle.

Retired from the rodeo circuit and scraping by on piecework as a bounty hunter, warrant server, and divorce snoop, Rodeo doesn't have much choice but to say yes when offered an unusual case. An elderly Indian woman from his own Reservation has hired him to help discover who murdered her grandson, but she seems strangely uninterested in the results. Her attitude seems heartless, but as Rodeo pursues interrelated cases, he learns that the old woman's indifference is nothing compared to true hatred, and aligned against a variety of creative and cruel foes, the hard-pressed PI is about to discover just how far hate can go.

CB McKenzie's Bad Country is a noir novel that is as deep and twisty as a desert arroyo. With confident, accomplished prose, McKenzie captures the rough-and-tumble outer reaches of the Southwest in a transfixingly original style that transcends the traditional crime novel.
--Marshal Zeringue


New from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Sublime by Christina Lauren.

About the book, from the publisher:

True love may mean certain death in a ghostly affair of risk and passion from New York Times bestselling duo Christina Lauren, authors of Beautiful Bastard. Tahereh Mafi, New York Times bestselling author of Shatter Me, calls Sublime “a beautiful, haunting read.

When Lucy walks out of a frozen forest, wearing only a silk dress and sandals, she isn’t sure how she got there. But when she sees Colin, she knows for sure that she’s here for him.

Colin has never been captivated by a girl the way he is by Lucy. With each passing day their lives intertwine, and even as Lucy begins to remember more of her life—and her death—neither of them is willing to give up what they have, no matter how impossible it is. And when Colin finds a way to physically be with Lucy, taking himself to the brink of death where his reality and Lucy’s overlap, the joy of being together for those brief stolen moments drowns out everything in the outside world. But some lines weren’t meant to be crossed…
Visit Christina Lauren's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

"The Forgers"

New from The Mysterious Press: The Forgers by Bradford Morrow.

About the book, from the publisher:

From acclaimed novelist Bradford Morrow, called “a mesmerizing storyteller who casts an irresistible spell” by Joyce Carol Oates, and “one of America’s major literary voices” by Publishers Weekly, comes a richly told literary thriller about the dark side of the bibliophile community.

The rare book world is stunned when a reclusive collector, Adam Diehl, is found on the floor of his Montauk home: hands severed, surrounded by valuable inscribed books and original manuscripts that have been vandalized beyond repair. Adam’s sister, Meghan, and her lover, Will—a convicted if unrepentant literary forger—struggle to come to terms with the incomprehensible murder. But when Will begins receiving threatening handwritten letters, seemingly penned by long-dead authors but really from someone who knows secrets about Adam’s death and Will’s past, he understands his own life is also on the line—and attempts to forge a new beginning for himself and his beloved Meg.
Learn more about the book and author at Bradford Morrow's website.

Writers Read: Bradford Morrow (February 2011).

The Page 69 Test: The Diviner’s Tale.

--Marshal Zeringue

"My Sister's Grave"

New from Thomas & Mercer: My Sister's Grave by Robert Dugoni.

About the book, from the publisher:

Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah's disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn't believe that Edmund House-a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah's murder-is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah's remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past and open the door to deadly danger.
Learn more about the book and author at Robert Dugoni's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Wrongful Death.

The Page 69 Test: Bodily Harm.

My Book, The Movie: Bodily Harm.

The Page 69 Test: Murder One.

My Book, The Movie: Murder One.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"The Firelight Girls"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: The Firelight Girls by Kaya McLaren.

About the book, from the publisher:

The summers you spend at summer camp are indelibly etched on your heart. But what happens when the camp you love is about to close? Can you ever really say goodbye to the place that made you who you are? These are the questions that plagues Ethel, the seventy-year-old former camp director who is nursing a broken heart after losing the love of her life as she now faces the impending closure of the camp on Lake Wenatchee that she called home. It's also a question that inspires change in forty-year-old Shannon, who spent the summers of her youth as a vibrant, capable camp counselor and is now directionless after watching her career implode. And there's Laura, who has lost all intimacy with her husband and doesn't know if she can save what seems to be gone forever. Finally, Ruby, who betrayed Ethel years ago and hasn't spoken to her since, hopes this will be her chance to make amends. When the four women learn that a homeless teen has been hiding at camp, they realize camp is something much more immediate for all: survival.

And so the three generations of women search for a way to save the place that saved them all, finding in the process a way back to themselves and each other in The Firelight Girls, Kaya McLaren's novel of love and loss, heartbreak and healing.
Visit Kaya McLaren's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"What the Lady Wants"

New from NAL: What the Lady Wants: A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age by Renee Rosen.

About the book, from the publisher:

In late-nineteenth-century Chicago, visionary retail tycoon Marshall Field made his fortune wooing women customers with his famous motto: “Give the lady what she wants.” His legendary charm also won the heart of socialite Delia Spencer and led to an infamous love affair.

The night of the Great Fire, as seventeen-year-old Delia watches the flames rise and consume what was the pioneer town of Chicago, she can’t imagine how much her life, her city, and her whole world are about to change. Nor can she guess that the agent of that change will not simply be the fire, but more so the man she meets that night.…

Leading the way in rebuilding after the fire, Marshall Field reopens his well-known dry goods store and transforms it into something the world has never seen before: a glamorous palace of a department store. He and his powerhouse coterie—including Potter Palmer and George Pullman—usher in the age of robber barons, the American royalty of their generation.

But behind the opulence, their private lives are riddled with scandal and heartbreak. Delia and Marshall first turn to each other out of loneliness, but as their love deepens, they will stand together despite disgrace and ostracism, through an age of devastation and opportunity, when an adolescent Chicago is transformed into the gleaming White City of the Chicago’s World’s Fair of 1893.
Visit Renée Rosen's website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 99 Test: Every Crooked Pot.

My Book, The Movie: Dollface.

Writers Read: Renée Rosen.

The Page 69 Test: Dollface.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 27, 2014

"The Happiest People in the World"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: The Happiest People in the World: A Novel by Brock Clarke.

About the book, from the publisher:

Take the format of a spy thriller, shape it around real-life incidents involving international terrorism, leaven it with dark, dry humor, toss in a love rectangle, give everybody a gun, and let everything play out in the outer reaches of upstate New York—there you have an idea of Brock Clarke’s new novel, The Happiest People in the World.

Who are “the happiest people in the world”? Theoretically, it’s all the people who live in Denmark, the country that gave the world Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales and the open-face sandwich. But Denmark is also where some political cartoonists got into very unhappy trouble when they attempted to depict Muhammad in their drawings, which prompted protests, arson, and even assassination attempts.

Imagine, then, that one of those cartoonists, given protection through the CIA, is relocated to a small town in upstate New York where he is given a job as a high school guidance counselor. Once there, he manages to fall in love with the wife of the high school principal, who himself is trying to get over the effects of a misguided love affair with the very CIA agent who sent the cartoonist to him. Imagine also that virtually every other person in this tiny town is a CIA operative.

The result is a darkly funny tale of paranoia and the all-American obsession with security and the conspiracies that threaten it, written in a tone that is simultaneously filled with wonder and anger in almost equal parts.
Visit Brock Clarke's website.

The Page 99 Test: An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Birth of a Nation"

New from PublicAffairs: The Birth of a Nation: How a Legendary Filmmaker and a Crusading Editor Reignited America's Civil War by Dick Lehr.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1915, two men—one a journalist agitator, the other a technically brilliant filmmaker—incited a public confrontation that roiled America, pitting black against white, Hollywood against Boston, and free speech against civil rights.

Monroe Trotter and D. W. Griffith were fighting over a film that dramatized the Civil War and Reconstruction in a post-Confederate South. Almost fifty years earlier, Monroe’s father, James, was a sergeant in an all-black Union regiment that marched into Charleston, South Carolina, just as the Kentucky cavalry—including Roaring Jack Griffith, D. W.’s father—fled for their lives. Griffith’s film, The Birth of a Nation, included actors in blackface, heroic portraits of Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and a depiction of Lincoln’s assassination. Freed slaves were portrayed as villainous, vengeful, slovenly, and dangerous to the sanctity of American values. It was tremendously successful, eventually seen by 25 million Americans. But violent protests against the film flared up across the country.

Monroe Trotter’s titanic crusade to have the film censored became a blueprint for dissent during the 1950s and 1960s. This is the fiery story of a revolutionary moment for mass media and the nascent civil rights movement, and the men clashing over the cultural and political soul of a still-young America standing at the cusp of its greatest days.
Visit Dick Lehr's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 26, 2014

"For the Dead"

New from Soho Crime: For the Dead by Timothy Hallinan.

About the book, from the publisher:

After seven years in Bangkok, American travel writer Poke Rafferty finally feels settled: his family is about to grow larger, and his adopted Thai daughter, Miaow, seems to have found her place at junior high school at last. All that is endangered when Miaow helps her boyfriend buy a stolen iPhone that contains photographs of two murdered police officers. As Miaow’s carefully constructed personal life falls apart, Rafferty discovers that the murders are part of a conspiracy that reaches the top rungs of Bangkok law enforcement and beyond. Miaow’s discovery threatens the entire family, and in order to survive, they may ultimately have to depend on someone who has betrayed them in the past.
Learn more about the book and author at Timothy Hallinan's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: A Nail Through the Heart.

The Page 69 Test: The Fourth Watcher.

My Book, The Movie: The Fourth Watcher.

The Page 69 Test: Breathing Water.

Writers Read: Timothy Hallinan (August 2010).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Guilty?: Crime, Punishment, and the Changing Face of Justice"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Guilty?: Crime, Punishment, and the Changing Face of Justice by Teri Kanefield.

About the book, from the publisher:

When does strategy become cheating? Can good luck be theft? Is killing always a crime? Real-world cases show there are often no clear-cut answers in this fascinating look at the ever-evolving world of law and order, and crime and punishment.

"An extraordinary book . . . that could well be mind-blowing to the thoughtful young reader who is ready to move beyond the black-and-white notion that a particular act is wrong simply because it is illegal." --Richie Partington
Visit Teri Kanefield's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 25, 2014

"Sweet Sunday"

New from Grove/Atlantic: Sweet Sunday by John Lawton.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Sweet Sunday, John Lawton turns his talents to the United States in a standalone thriller that Lawton’s American fans will be intrigued by and that is an ideal book for readers new to Lawton’s work.

Turner Raines is in his thirties, but he’s already a has-been—among the things he has been are a broken civil rights worker, a law school dropout, and a tenth-rate journalist. But as a private eye, he’s found his niche. In the hot summer of 1969, the Vietnam War is ripping the country to pieces. If your kid dodges the draft, hooks up with a hippie commune, makes a dash for Canada, Raines is the man to find him. That turbulent May of 1969, as Norman Mailer stands for mayor of New York, Raines leaves the city, chasing a draft-dodging punk all the way to Toronto. Nothing goes as planned. By the time Raines gets back to NYC, his oldest friend, a reporter for the Village Voice, is dead, and Raines’s life has changed forever. Following the trail of his friend’s death, he finds himself blasted back to the Texas of his childhood, confronted anew with his divided family and blown into the path of people who know about secret goings-on in Vietnam, stories they may now be willing to tell. Lucky for Raines, he’s a good listener.
Learn more about the book and author at John Lawton's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Then We Take Berlin.

Writers Read: John Lawton (October 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Coming Home"

New from Ace: Coming Home by Jack McDevitt.

About the book, from the publisher:

Thousands of years ago, artifacts of the early space age were lost to rising oceans and widespread turmoil. Garnett Baylee devoted his life to finding them, only to give up hope. Then, in the wake of his death, one was found in his home, raising tantalizing questions. Had he succeeded after all? Why had he kept it a secret? And where is the rest of the Apollo cache?

Antiquities dealer Alex Benedict and his pilot, Chase Kolpath, have gone to Earth to learn the truth. But the trail seems to have gone cold, so they head back home to be present when the Capella, the interstellar transport that vanished eleven years earlier in a time/space warp, is expected to reappear. With a window of only a few hours, rescuing it is of the utmost importance. Twenty-six hundred passengers—including Alex’s uncle, Gabriel Benedict, the man who raised him—are on board.

Alex now finds his attention divided between finding the artifacts and anticipating the rescue of the Capella. But time won’t allow him to do both. As the deadline for the Capella’s reappearance draws near, Alex fears that the puzzle of the artifacts will be lost yet again. But Alex Benedict never forgets and never gives up—and another day will soon come around…
Learn more about the book and author at Jack McDevitt's website.

Writers Read: Jack McDevitt (February 2009).

The Page 69 Test: Firebird.

Writers Read: Jack McDevitt (November 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 24, 2014


New from HarperCollins: Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

About the book, from the publisher:

A sweeping, epic saga of romance and hardship, set against the dramatic backdrop of ancient Mesopotamia—perfect for fans of Cleopatra's Moon or the adult bestseller The Red Tent.

In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden's tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden's turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe's leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family's position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden's heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden's heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb's increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden's every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family's survival on the line, Jayden must finish the deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find true love for herself.
Visit Kimberley Griffiths Little's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Balzer + Bray: Crashland: A Twinmaker Novel by Sean Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:

M. T. Anderson meets Cory Doctorow in the exciting sequel to Twinmaker, from #1 New York Times bestseller Sean Williams, who also coauthors the Troubletwisters series with Garth Nix.

Clair and Jesse have barely been reunited when the world is plunged into its biggest crisis since the Water Wars. The d-mat network is broken. The world has ground to a halt. People are trapped, injured, dying. It's the end of the world as Clair knows it—and it's partly her fault. Now she's been enlisted to track down her friend Q, the rogue AI who repeatedly saved her life—and who is the key to fixing the system. Targeted by dupes, abandoned by her friends, and caught in a web of lies that strike at the very essence of who she is, Clair quickly finds powerful and dangerous allies. But if she helps them, will she be leading her friend straight into a trap? Caught between pro- and anti-d-mat philosophies, in a world on the brink of all-out war, Clair must decide where she stands—and who she stands with, at the end.
Writers Read: Sean Williams (April 2008).

Visit Sean Williams' website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Mortal Heart"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin Series #3) by Robin LaFevers.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever's New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.
Visit Robin LaFevers's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Aladdin: Everblaze by Shannon Messenger.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sophie uncovers shocking secrets—and faces treacherous new enemies—in this electrifying third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster is ready to fight back.

Her talents are getting stronger, and with the elusive Black Swan group ignoring her calls for help, she’s determined to find her kidnappers—before they come after her again.

But a daring mistake leaves her world teetering on the edge of war, and causes many to fear that she has finally gone too far. And the deeper Sophie searches, the farther the conspiracy stretches, proving that her most dangerous enemy might be closer than she realizes.

In this nail-biting third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must fight the flames of rebellion, before they destroy everyone and everything she loves.
Visit Shannon Messenger's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"The Walled City"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Walled City by Ryan Graudin.

About the book, from the publisher:

There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.

Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there traffic drugs or work in brothels--or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.
Visit Ryan Graudin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dreamer’s Pool"

New from NAL: Dreamer's Pool: A Blackthorn & Grim Novel by Juliet Marillier.

About the book, from the publisher:

Award-winning author Juliet Marillier “weaves magic, mythology, and folklore into every sentence on the page” (The Book Smugglers). Now she begins an all-new and enchanting series that will transport readers to a magical vision of ancient Ireland….

In exchange for help escaping her long and wrongful imprisonment, embittered magical healer Blackthorn has vowed to set aside her bid for vengeance against the man who destroyed all that she once held dear. Followed by a former prison mate, a silent hulk of a man named Grim, she travels north to Dalriada. There she’ll live on the fringe of a mysterious forest, duty bound for seven years to assist anyone who asks for her help.

Oran, crown prince of Dalriada, has waited anxiously for the arrival of his future bride, Lady Flidais. He knows her only from a portrait and sweetly poetic correspondence that have convinced him Flidais is his destined true love. But Oran discovers letters can lie. For although his intended exactly resembles her portrait, her brutality upon arrival proves she is nothing like the sensitive woman of the letters.

With the strategic marriage imminent, Oran sees no way out of his dilemma. Word has spread that Blackthorn possesses a remarkable gift for solving knotty problems, so the prince asks her for help. To save Oran from his treacherous nuptials, Blackthorn and Grim will need all their resources: courage, ingenuity, leaps of deduction, and more than a little magic.
Learn more about the book and author at Juliet Marillier's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Juliet Marillier & Pippa, Gretel, and Sara.

Writers Read: Juliet Marillier (November 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Commander Will Cushing"

New from W.W. Norton: Commander Will Cushing: Daredevil Hero of the Civil War by Jamie Malanowski.

About the book, from the publisher:

The lead writer of the New York Times’s award-winning “Disunion” series introduces William Barker Cushing, the Civil War’s most celebrated naval hero.

October 1864. The confederate ironclad CSS Albemarle had sunk two federal warships and damaged seven others, taking control of the Roanoke River and threatening the Union blockade. Twenty-one-year-old navy lieutenant William Barker Cushing hatched a daring plan: to attack the fearsome warship with a few dozen men in two small wooden boats. What followed, the close-range torpedoing of the Albemarle and Cushing’s harrowing two-day escape downriver from vengeful Rebel posses, is one of the most dramatic individual exploits in American military history.

Theodore Roosevelt said that Cushing “comes next to Farragut on the hero roll of American naval history,” but most have never heard of him today. Tossed out of the Naval Academy for “buffoonery,” Cushing proved himself a prodigy in behind-the-lines warfare. Given command of a small union ship, he performed daring, near-suicidal raids, “cutting out” confederate ships and thwarting blockade runners. With higher commands and larger ships, Cushing’s exploits grow bolder, culminating in the sinking of the Albemarle.

A thrilling narrative biography, steeped in the tactics, weaponry, and battle techniques of the Union Navy, Commander Will Cushing brings to life a compelling yet flawed figure. Along with his three brothers, including one who fell at Gettysburg, Cushing served with bravery and heroism. But he was irascible and complicated—a loveable rogue, prideful and impulsive, who nonetheless possessed a genius for combat.

In telling Cushing’s story, Malanowski paints a vivid, memorable portrait of the army officials, engineers, and politicians scrambling to win the war. But he also goes deeper into the psychology of the daredevil soldier—and what this heroic and tragic figure, who died before his time, can tell us about the ways we remember the glories of war.
Learn more about the book and author at Jamie Malanowski's blog.

Malanowski is a writer and editor. A member of the original staff of Spy, where he worked seven years, Malanowski has also been an editor at Time, Esquire and most recently Playboy, where he was Managing Editor.

Writers Read: Jamie Malanowski (July 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption"

New from Spiegel & Grau: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 20, 2014

"A Billion Ways to Die"

New from The Permanent Press: A Billion Ways to Die by Chris Knopf.

About the book, from the publisher:

Arthur Cathcart and Natsumi Fitzgerald wanted to believe they were free of the nearly invisible, malignant forces they had pursued, and been pursued by, across continents and oceans. The slightly brain-damaged, tech freak researcher and the black-jack dealing psychologist had convinced themselves that life aboard a sail boat in the Caribbean, incognito and in love, could be a lasting refuge. The death of that illusion was as brutal as it was abrupt. Even people who knew how to dodge ruthless outlaws and relentless law enforcement learned there were powers from which no one could ever hide.

Not in the 21st century. Not if you wanted more than to simply exist. To truly live in the world, you had to have a world that allows you to live. Soldiers fighting in Vietnam had a saying when pinned down under enemy fire: The only way out is through. And so it is that Arthur and Natsumi take to the fight, where the full expanse of both the virtual and material world is the field of engagement. Nearly blind to the threats that surround them, yet searching for that impossible path back to the ordinary lives they'd been forced to abandon.

Wiser, stronger and more experienced than they ever imagined they'd be in the art of clandestine combat, Arthur and Natsumi understand what makes you strong can also get you killed in a hurry. That the reserves of resilience and determination aren't limitless, that the power of intellect and craft dwindles in the face of a pitiless and resolute foe.

That there are a billion ways to die, but only one way to live.
Visit Chris Knopf's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Empire of Sin"

New from Crown: Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist.

About the book, from the publisher:

From bestselling author Gary Krist, a vibrant and immersive account of New Orleans’ other civil war, at a time when commercialized vice, jazz culture, and endemic crime defined the battlegrounds of the Crescent City

Empire of Sin re-creates the remarkable story of New Orleans’ thirty-years war against itself, pitting the city’s elite “better half” against its powerful and long-entrenched underworld of vice, perversity, and crime. This early-20th-century battle centers on one man: Tom Anderson, the undisputed czar of the city's Storyville vice district, who fights desperately to keep his empire intact as it faces onslaughts from all sides. Surrounding him are the stories of flamboyant prostitutes, crusading moral reformers, dissolute jazzmen, ruthless Mafiosi, venal politicians, and one extremely violent serial killer, all battling for primacy in a wild and wicked city unlike any other in the world.
Learn more about the book and author at Gary Krist's website.

The Page 69 Test: The White Cascade.

Writers Read: Gary Krist (May 2012).

The Page 99 Test: City of Scoundrels.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"White Tiger on Snow Mountain"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: White Tiger on Snow Mountain: Stories by David Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:

Thirteen hilarious, moving, and beautifully brutal stories by David Gordon, the award-winning author of Mystery Girl and The Serialist.

In these funny, surprising, and touching stories, Gordon gets at the big stuff — art and religion, literature and madness, the supernatural, and the dark fringes of sexuality — in his own unique style, described by novelist Rivka Galchen as “Dashiell Hammett divided by Don DeLillo, to the power of Dostoyevsky — yet still pure David Gordon.”

Gordon's creations include ex-gangsters and terrifying writing coaches, Internet girlfriends and bogus memoirists, Chinatown ghosts, and vampires of Queens. “The Amateur” features a cafe encounter with a terrible artist who carries a mind-blowing secret. In the long, beautifully brutal title story, a man numbed by life finds himself flirting with and mourning lost souls in the purgatory of sex chatrooms. The result is both unflinching and hilarious, heartbreaking and life-affirming.
Learn more about the book and author at David Gordon's blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Serialist.

Writers Read: David Gordon (July 2013).

The Page 69 Test: Mystery Girl.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Tree of Water"

New from Starscape: The Tree of Water: The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme (Volume 4) by Elizabeth Haydon.

About the book, from the publisher:

The epic voyages continue in The Tree of Water, the fourth adventure in bestselling author Elizabeth Haydon’s acclaimed fantasy series for young readers, The Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme.

As Royal Reporter of the land of Serendair, it is the duty of young Charles Magnus "Ven" Polypheme to travel the world and seek out magic hiding in plain sight. But Ven needs to escape the clutches of the nefarious Thief Queen, ruler of the Gated City, whose minions are hunting for him. His friend, the merrow Amariel, has the perfect solution to his dilemma: Ven and Char will join her to explore the world beneath the sea.

As they journey through the sea, Ven finds himself surrounded by wonders greater than he could have ever imagined. But the beauty of the ocean is more than matched by the dangers lurking within its depths, and Ven and his friends soon realize that in order to save thousands of innocent lives, they may have to sacrifice their own. For everything in the ocean needs to eat…
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 18, 2014

"The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man"

New from Forge Books: The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ruddy McCann, former college football star, has experienced a seismic drop in popularity; he is now Kalkaska, Michigan’s full-time repo man and part-time bar bouncer. His best friend is his low-energy Basset hound Jake, with whom he shares a simple life of stealing cars.

Simple, that is, until Ruddy starts hearing a voice in his head.

The voice introduces himself as Alan Lottner, a dead realtor. Ruddy isn’t sure if Alan is real, or if he’s losing his mind. To complicate matters, it turns out Katie, the girl he’s fallen for, is Alan’s daughter.

When Alan demands Ruddy find his murderers, Ruddy decides a voice in your head seeking vengeance is best ignored. When Alan also demands he clean up his act, and apartment, Ruddy tells him to back off, but where can a voice in your head go?

With a sweet romance, a murder mystery, a lazy but loyal dog and a town full of cabin-fevered characters you can’t help but love, New York Times bestselling novelist W. Bruce Cameron’s The Midnight Plan of the Repo Man is yet another laugh-out-loud, keep-you-up-late, irresistible read.
Visit W. Bruce Cameron's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys"

New from Crown: When Lions Roar: The Churchills and the Kennedys by Thomas Maier.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first comprehensive history of the deeply entwined personal and public lives of the Churchills and the Kennedys and what their “special relationship” meant for Great Britain and the United States

When Lions Roar begins in the mid-1930s at Chartwell, Winston Churchill's country estate, with new revelations surrounding a secret business deal orchestrated by Joseph P. Kennedy, the soon-to-be American ambassador to Great Britain and the father of future American president John F. Kennedy. From London to America, these two powerful families shared an ever-widening circle of friends, lovers, and political associates – soon shattered by World War II, spying, sexual infidelity, and the tragic deaths of JFK's sister Kathleen and his older brother Joe Jr. By the 1960s and JFK's presidency, the Churchills and the Kennedys had overcome their bitter differences and helped to define the “greatness” in each other.

Acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier tells this dynastic saga through fathers and their sons – and the remarkable women in their lives – providing keen insight into the Churchill and Kennedy families and the profound forces of duty, loyalty, courage and ambition that shaped them. He explores the seismic impact of Winston Churchill on JFK and American policy, wrestling anew with the legacy of two titans of the twentieth century. Maier also delves deeply into the conflicted bond between Winston and his son, Randolph, and the contrasting example of patriarch Joe Kennedy, a failed politician who successfully channeled his personal ambitions to his children. By approaching these iconic figures from a new perspective, Maier not only illuminates the intricacies of this all-important cross-Atlantic allegiance but also enriches our understanding of the tumultuous time in which they lived and the world events they so greatly influenced.

With deeply human portraits of these flawed but larger-than-life figures, When Lions Roar explores the “special relationship” between the Churchills and Kennedys, and between Great Britain and the United States, highlighting all of its emotional complexity and historic significance.
Learn more about the book and author at Thomas Maier's website.

The Page 99 Test: Masters of Sex.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 17, 2014

"An Island Christmas"

New from Ballantine Books: An Island Christmas by Nancy Thayer.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this enchanting holiday novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer, family and friends gather on Nantucket for a gorgeous winter wedding with plenty of merry surprises in store.

As Christmas draws near, Felicia returns to her family’s home on the island to marry her adventurous, rugged boyfriend, Archie. Every detail is picture-perfect for a dream wedding: the snow-dusted streets, twinkling lights in the windows, a gorgeous red and white satin dress. Except a lavish ceremony is not Felicia’s dream at all; it’s what her mother, Jilly, wants. Jilly’s also worried that her daughter’s life with daredevil Archie will be all hiking and skydiving. Wondering if their handsome neighbor Steven Hardy might be a more suitable son-in-law, Jilly embarks on a secret matchmaking campaign for Felicia and the dashing stockbroker.

As the big day approaches and Jilly’s older daughter, Lauren, appears with rambunctious kids in tow, tensions in the household are high. With the family careening toward a Yuletide wedding disaster, an unexpected twist in Nancy Thayer’s heartwarming tale reminds everyone about the true meaning of the season.
Learn more about the book and author at Nancy Thayer's website.

The Page 69 Test: Summer House.

Writers Read: Nancy Thayer.

The Page 69 Test: Beachcombers.

My Book, The Movie: Beachcombers.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dodging Extinction"

New from the University of California Press: Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money, and the Future of Life on Earth by Anthony D. Barnosky.

About the book, from the publisher:
Paleobiologist Anthony D. Barnosky weaves together evidence from the deep past and the present to alert us to the looming Sixth Mass Extinction and to offer a practical, hopeful plan for avoiding it. Writing from the front lines of extinction research, Barnosky tells the overarching story of geologic and evolutionary history and how it informs the way humans inhabit, exploit, and impact Earth today. He presents compelling evidence that unless we rethink how we generate the power we use to run our global ecosystem, where we get our food, and how we make our money, we will trigger what would be the sixth great extinction on Earth, with dire consequences.

Optimistic that we can change this ominous forecast if we act now, Barnosky provides clear-cut strategies to guide the planet away from global catastrophe. In many instances the necessary technology and know-how already exist and are being applied to crucial issues around human-caused climate change, feeding the world’s growing population, and exploiting natural resources. Deeply informed yet accessibly written, Dodging Extinction is nothing short of a guidebook for saving the planet.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"Beware the Wild"

New from HarperTeen: Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker.

About the book, from the publisher:

Southern Gothic gets a whole new twist in this debut novel, sure to appeal to fans of the New York Times bestselling Beautiful Creatures series.

The swamp in Sterling's small Louisiana town proves to have a power over its inhabitants when her brother disappears and no one but Sterling even remembers that he existed. Now Sterling, with the help of brooding loner Heath, who's had his own creepy experience with the swamp, must fight back and reclaim what—and who—the swamp has taken.

Beware the Wild is a riveting and atmospheric page-turner readers won't want to miss.
Visit Natalie C. Parker's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Serving the Reich"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Serving the Reich: The Struggle for the Soul of Physics under Hitler by Philip Ball.

About the book, from the publisher:

After World War II, most scientists in Germany maintained that they had been apolitical or actively resisted the Nazi regime, but the true story is much more complicated. In Serving the Reich, Philip Ball takes a fresh look at that controversial history, contrasting the career of Peter Debye, director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin, with those of two other leading physicists in Germany during the Third Reich: Max Planck, the elder statesman of physics after whom Germany’s premier scientific society is now named, and Werner Heisenberg, who succeeded Debye as director of the institute when it became focused on the development of nuclear power and weapons.

Mixing history, science, and biography, Ball’s gripping exploration of the lives of scientists under Nazism offers a powerful portrait of moral choice and personal responsibility, as scientists navigated “the grey zone between complicity and resistance.” Ball’s account of the different choices these three men and their colleagues made shows how there can be no clear-cut answers or judgement of their conduct. Yet, despite these ambiguities, Ball makes it undeniable that the German scientific establishment as a whole mounted no serious resistance to the Nazis, and in many ways acted as a willing instrument of the state.

Serving the Reich considers what this problematic history can tell us about the relationship of science and politics today. Ultimately, Ball argues, a determination to present science as an abstract inquiry into nature that is “above politics” can leave science and scientists dangerously compromised and vulnerable to political manipulation.
Learn more about Philip Ball and his work at his website and blog.

Writers Read: Philip Ball (May 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Blue Warrior"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Blue Warrior by Mike Maden.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brutal conflict in Mali and an international race for rare elements sets the stage for Troy Pearce and his drone technology to rescue an old friend in this adrenaline-fueled series.

Blue Warrior is set in the remote Sahara Desert, where a recently discovered deposit of strategically indispensable Rare Earth Elements (REEs) ignites an international rush to secure them.

Standing in the way are the Tuaregs, the fierce tribe of warrior nomads of the desert wasteland, who are fighting for their independence. The Chinese offer to help the Malian government crush the rebellion by the Tuaregs in order to gain a foothold in the area, and Al-Qaeda jihadis join the fight. In the midst of all this chaos are Troy Pearce’s closest friend and a mysterious woman from his past who ask him for help.

Deploying his team and his newest drones to rescue his friends and save the rebellion, Troy finds that he might need more than technology to survive the battle and root out the real puppet masters behind the Tuareg genocide.
Follow Mike Maden on Facebook and Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: Drone by Mike Maden.

The Page 69 Test: Drone.

Writers Read: Mike Maden (November 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dangerous Deception"

New from Dutton Children’s Books: Dangerous Deception by Peg Kehret.

About the book, from the publisher:

Peg Kehret includes humor, animal rescue, and heart-pounding suspense in this story about good intentions gone wrong.

Sixth-grader Emmy Rushford decides to provide food for a needy family, but the project turns perilous when Emmy must deal with a car crash, a cat thrown into a Dumpster, and a belligerent neighbor. Then she discovers an apartment full of stolen goods. Her courageous efforts to help hungry children, rescue the cat, and break up a ring of thieves soon put her life at risk.
Visit Peg Kehret's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"The Missing Place"

New from Gallery Books: The Missing Place by Sophie Littlefield.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set against the backdrop of North Dakota’s oil boom, two very different mothers form an uneasy alliance to find their missing sons in this heartrending and suspenseful novel from the Edgar Award–nominated author of Garden of Stones.

The booming North Dakota oil business is spawning “man camps,” shantytowns full of men hired to work on the rigs, in towns without enough housing to accommodate them. In such twilight spaces, it’s easy for a person to vanish. And when two young men in their first year on the job disappear without a trace, only their mothers believe there’s hope of finding them. Despite reassurances that the police are on the case, the two women think the oil company is covering up the disappearances—and maybe something more.

Colleen, used to her decorous life in a wealthy Massachusetts suburb, is determined to find her son. And hard-bitten Shay, from the wrong side of the California tracks, is the only person in town even willing to deal with her—because she’s on the same mission. Overtaxed by worry, exhaustion, and fear, these two unlikely partners question each other’s methods and motivations, but must work together against the town of strangers if they want any chance of finding their lost boys. But what they uncover could destroy them both...

Sure to please fans of Sandra Brown and Gillian Flynn, The Missing Place is a moving chronicle of survival, determination, and powerful bonds forged in the face of adversity.
Learn more about the book and author at Sophie Littlefield's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Sorry.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Pretty.

My Book, The Movie: A Bad Day for Pretty.

The Page 69 Test: Aftertime.

My Book, The Movie: Aftertime.

The Page 69 Test: Garden of Stones.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Trust Me, I'm Lying"

New from Delacorte Press: Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society novels will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.
Visit Mary Elizabeth Summer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 13, 2014

"The Scent of Death"

New from HarperCollins: The Scent of Death by Andrew Taylor.

About the book, from the publisher:

‘This is the story of a woman and a city. I saw the city first, shimmering from afar like the new Jerusalem in the setting sun. It was Sunday, 2nd August 1778.’

Edward Savill, a London clerk from the American Department, is assigned to New York to investigate the claims of dispossessed loyalists caught on the wrong side of the American War of Independence.

Surrounded by its enemies, British Manhattan is a melting pot of soldiers, profiteers, double agents and a swelling tide of refugees seeking justice from the Crown.

Savill lodges with the respected Wintour family: the old Judge, his ailing wife and their enigmatic daughter-in-law Arabella. The family lives in limbo, praying for the safe return of Jack Wintour, Arabella's husband, who is missing behind rebel lines.

The discovery of a body in the notorious slums of Canvas Town thrusts Savill into a murder inquiry. But in the escalating violence of a desperate city, why does one death matter? Because the secret this killing hides could be the key to power for whoever uncovers it…
Writers Read: Andrew Taylor (September 2010).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Lost Tribe of Coney Island"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Lost Tribe of Coney Island: Headhunters, Luna Park, and the Man Who Pulled Off the Spectacle of the Century by Claire Prentice.

About the book, from the publisher:

Readers of Erik Larson will love this tale of sex, greed, and the American dream: A huckster imports a tribe of Filipinos to Coney Island’s Luna Park, and two cultures collide.

The Lost Tribe of Coney Island unearths the forgotten story of the Igorrotes, a group of “headhunting, dog-eating savages” from the Philippines, who were transported to New York in 1905 to appear as “human exhibits” alongside the freaks and curiosities at Coney Island’s Luna Park. Millions of fair-goers delighted in their tribal dances and rituals, near-nudity, tattoos, and stories of headhunting.

Journalist Claire Prentice, who has spent years researching the topic, brings the story to life with her fluid prose and vivid descriptions. The book boasts a colorful cast of characters, including the disgraced lieutenant turned huckster Truman K. Hunt; his Filipino interpreter, Julio Balinag; the theme park impresarios behind Luna Park, Fred Thompson and Elmer “Skip” Dundy; and Dogmena, a beautiful girl who became a favorite with New York’s social elite. The Lost Tribe of Coney Island is a fascinating social history and a tale of adventure, culture-clash, and the American dream.
Visit Claire Prentice's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Crooked River"

New from William Morrow: Crooked River: A Novel by Valerie Geary.

About the book, from the publisher:

With the inventiveness and emotional power of Promise Not to Tell, The Death of Bees, and After Her, a powerful literary debut about family and friendship, good and evil, grief and forgiveness.

He is not evil. I am not good.

We are the same: broken and put back together again.

Still grieving the sudden death of their mother, Sam and her younger sister Ollie McAlister move from the comforts of Eugene to rural Oregon to live in a meadow in a teepee under the stars with Bear, their beekeeper father. But soon after they arrive, a young woman is found dead floating in Crooked River, and the police arrest their eccentric father for the murder.

Fifteen-year-old Sam knows that Bear is not a killer, even though the evidence points to his guilt. Unwilling to accept that her father could have hurt anyone, Sam embarks on a desperate hunt to save him and keep her damaged family together.

I see things no one else does.

I see them there and wish I didn’t. I want to tell and can’t.

Ollie, too, knows that Bear is innocent. The Shimmering have told her so. One followed her home from her mom’s funeral and refuses to leave. Now, another is following Sam. Both spirits warn Ollie: the real killer is out there, closer and more dangerous than either girl can imagine.

Told in Sam and Ollie’s vibrant voices, Crooked River is a family story, a coming of age story, a ghost story, and a psychological mystery that will touch reader’s hearts and keep them gripped until the final thrilling page.
Visit Valerie Geary's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War"

New from Forge Books: An Irish Doctor in Peace and at War: An Irish Country Novel by Patrick Taylor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Long before Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Reilly became a fixture in the colourful Irish village of Ballybucklebo, he was a young M.B. with plans to marry midwife Dierdre Mawhinney. Those plans were complicated by the outbreak of World War II and the call of duty. Assigned to the HMS Warspite, a formidable 30,000-ton battleship, Surgeon Lieutenant O’Reilly soon found himself face-to-face with the hardships of war, tending to the dreadnought’s crew of 1,200 as well as to the many casualties brought aboard.

Life in Ballybuckebo is a far cry from the strife of war, but over two decades later O’Reilly and his younger colleagues still have plenty of challenges: an outbreak of German measles, the odd tropical disease, a hard-fought pie-baking contest, and a local man whose mule-headed adherence to tradition is standing in the way of his son’s future. Now older and wiser, O’Reilly has prescriptions for whatever ails…until a secret from the past threatens to unravel his own peace of mind.

Shifting deftly between two very different eras, Patrick Taylor’s latest Irish Country novel reveals more about O’Reilly’s tumultuous past, even as Ballybucklebo faces the future in its own singular fashion.
Visit Patrick Taylor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 11, 2014

"The Lodger"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Lodger: A Novel by Louisa Treger.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dorothy Richardson is existing just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work at a dentist's office and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend. Jane has recently married a writer who is hovering on the brink of fame. His name is H.G. Wells, or Bertie, as they call him.

Bertie appears unremarkable at first. But then Dorothy notices his grey-blue eyes taking her in, openly signaling approval. He tells her he and Jane have an agreement which allows them the freedom to take lovers, although Dorothy can tell her friend would not be happy with that arrangement.

Not wanting to betray Jane, yet unable to draw back, Dorothy free-falls into an affair with Bertie. Then a new boarder arrives at the house—beautiful Veronica Leslie-Jones—and Dorothy finds herself caught between Veronica and Bertie. Amidst the personal dramas and wreckage of a militant suffragette march, Dorothy finds her voice as a writer.

Louisa Treger's The Lodger is a beautifully intimate novel that is at once an introduction to one of the most important writers of the 20th century and a compelling story of one woman tormented by unconventional desires.
Visit Louisa Treger's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Electric City"

New from Counterpoint: Electric City: A Novel by Elizabeth Rosner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Upstate New York, at the confluence of the great Hudson River and its mighty tributary the Mohawk —from this stunning landscape came the creation of a new world of science. In 1887, Thomas Edison moved his Edison Machine Works here and in 1892, it became the headquarters of a major manufacturing company, giving the town its nickname: Electric City.

The peak of Autumn, 1919: The pull of scientific discovery brings Charles Proteus Steimetz, a brilliant mathematician and recent arrival from Ellis Island, to town. His ability to capture lightning in a bottle earns him the title “Wizard of Electric City.” Barely four feet tall with a deeply curving spine, Steinmetz’s physical deformity belies his great intellect. Allied with his Mohawk friend Joseph Longboat and his adopted eleven-year-old granddaughter Midget, the advancements he makes in Electric City will, quite simply, change the world.

The peak of Autumn, 1965: Sophie Levine, the daughter of a company man, one of the many scientists working at The Company, whose electric logo can be seen from everywhere in town. Her family escaped Europe just before World War II, leaving behind a wake of annihilation and persecution. Ensconced in Electric City, Sophie is coming of age just as the town is gasping its last breaths. The town, and America as a whole, is on the cusp of great instability: blackouts, social unrest over Vietnam, and soon the advent of the seventies. Into her orbit drifts Henry Van Curler, the favored son of one of Electric City’s founding Dutch families, as well as Martin Longboat, grandson of Joseph Longboat. This new generation of Electric City will face both the history of their town and their own uncertain future, struggling to bridge the gap between the old world and the new.

Electric City is a vital, pulsing, epic novel of America, of its great scientific ingenuity and its emotional ambition; one that frames the birth and evolution of its towns against the struggles of its indigenous tribes, the immigrant experience, a country divided, and the technological advancements that ushered in the modern world.
Visit Elizabeth Rosner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 10, 2014

"The Quantum Moment"

New from W.W. Norton: The Quantum Moment: How Planck, Bohr, Einstein, and Heisenberg Taught Us to Love Uncertainty by Robert P. Crease and Alfred Scharff Goldhaber.

About the book, from the publisher:

The fascinating story of how quantum mechanics went mainstream.

The discovery of the quantum—the idea, born in the early 1900s in a remote corner of physics, that energy comes in finite packets instead of infinitely divisible quantities—planted a rich set of metaphors in the popular imagination.

Quantum imagery and language now bombard us like an endless stream of photons. Phrases such as multiverses, quantum leaps, alternate universes, the uncertainty principle, and Schrödinger's cat get reinvented continually in cartoons and movies, coffee mugs and T-shirts, and fiction and philosophy, reinterpreted by each new generation of artists and writers.

Is a "quantum leap" big or small? How uncertain is the uncertainty principle? Is this barrage of quantum vocabulary pretentious and wacky, or a fundamental shift in the way we think?

All the above, say Robert P. Crease and Alfred Scharff Goldhaber in this pathbreaking book. The authors—one a philosopher, the other a physicist—draw on their training and six years of co-teaching to dramatize the quantum’s rocky path from scientific theory to public understanding. Together, they and their students explored missteps and mistranslations, jokes and gibberish, of public discussion about the quantum. Their book explores the quantum’s manifestations in everything from art and sculpture to the prose of John Updike and David Foster Wallace. The authors reveal the quantum’s implications for knowledge, metaphor, intellectual exchange, and the contemporary world. Understanding and appreciating quantum language and imagery, and recognizing its misuse, is part of what it means to be an educated person today.

The result is a celebration of language at the interface of physics and culture, perfect for anyone drawn to the infinite variety of ideas.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Very Bad Things"

New from Delacorte Press: Very Bad Things by Susan McBride.

About the book, from the publisher:

A dark, moody, boarding-school murder mystery teens won’t be able to put down.

Katie never thought she’d be the girl with the popular boyfriend. She also never thought he would cheat on her—but the proof is in the photo that people at their boarding school can’t stop talking about. Mark swears he doesn’t remember anything. But Rose, the girl in the photo, is missing, and Mark is in big trouble. Because it looks like Rose isn’t just gone . . . she’s dead.

Maybe Mark was stupid, but that doesn’t mean he’s a killer.

Katie needs to find out what really happened, and her digging turns up more than she bargained for, not just about Mark but about someone she loves like a sister: Tessa, her best friend. At Whitney Prep, it’s easy to keep secrets . . . especially the cold-blooded kind.
Learn more about the book and author at Susan McBride's website.

Writers Read: Susan McBride (September 2011).

The Page 69 Test: Little Black Dress.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered"

New from Knopf: The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered by Laura Auricchio.

About the book, from the publisher:

A major biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution, who, at age nineteen, volunteered to fight under George Washington; a biography that looks past the storybook hero and selfless champion of righteous causes who cast aside family and fortune to advance the transcendent aims of liberty and justice commemorated in America’s towns, streets, parks, and schools named after the French nobleman. Laura Auricchio gives us a rich portrait of the man, fully revealed, a man driven by dreams of glory and felled by tragic, human weaknesses.

In The Marquis, we come to understand the personal struggles, social quandaries, and idealistic visions that inspired an orphaned young man to cross an ocean and fight a war that was none of his concern; we see a guileless provincial whose unexpected inheritance allowed him to marry into the highest echelons of the French aristocracy, and become a self-consciously awkward presence at the palace of Versailles. Here is the young Lafayette, removed from the French army as a result of sweeping reforms, trapped in a gilded cage until American emissaries reached Paris seeking support for their revolution. In the American cause, Lafayette, whose only vision had been of martial glory, saw a way to reach his dreams, and seized it with gusto. Americans welcomed him with open arms, and he returned their affection fully. His American éclat was so brilliant and his enthusiasm so great that he quickly became the symbol of the Franco-American alliance that ultimately defeated Great Britain.

We see how Lafayette’s reputation rose to great heights during the American Revolution but collapsed during the French; that when the Bastille fell on July 14, 1789, Parisians hailed Lafayette as the French Washington and appointed him commander of their National Guard, hoping that he would be able to restore order to a city wracked by starvation and violence. As revolutionaries hurtled in radical directions and staunch monarchists dug in their heels, Lafayette lost control, remaining steadfast in his belief that the French monarchy needed to be reformed but not abolished, and doing everything in his power to prevent an American-style republic from taking root in his native land. Formerly seen as France’s heroic figure, Lafayette was now viewed as opportunistic, a dreamer, and a traitor to his nation--and today remains a murky figure in French memory.

In America, Lafayette’s momentous departure from his homeland for the War of Independence has long been hailed as the start of an extraordinary career to be celebrated for generations. In France, it is often seen as just one of his many misbegotten undertakings. Yet no one has managed to offer a satisfactory answer to the crucial question of why: Why did Americans shower Lafayette with so much acclaim in his own time that he remains a hero today, being named an honorary U.S. citizen in 2002—becoming only the seventh person ever granted this distinction? And why, in contrast, does his memory continue to be denigrated in his own land?

Auricchio, drawing on substantial new research conducted in libraries, archives, museums, and private homes in France and the United States, gives us history on a grand scale as she answers these crucial questions, revealing the man and his complex life, and challenging and exploring the complicated myths that have surrounded his name for more than two centuries.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Birth of the Pill"

New from W.W. Norton: The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig.

About the book, from the publisher:

The fascinating story of one of the most important scientific discoveries of the twentieth century.

We know it simply as "the pill," yet its genesis was anything but simple. Jonathan Eig's masterful narrative revolves around four principal characters: the fiery feminist Margaret Sanger, who was a champion of birth control in her campaign for the rights of women but neglected her own children in pursuit of free love; the beautiful Katharine McCormick, who owed her fortune to her wealthy husband, the son of the founder of International Harvester and a schizophrenic; the visionary scientist Gregory Pincus, who was dismissed by Harvard in the 1930s as a result of his experimentation with in vitro fertilization but who, after he was approached by Sanger and McCormick, grew obsessed with the idea of inventing a drug that could stop ovulation; and the telegenic John Rock, a Catholic doctor from Boston who battled his own church to become an enormously effective advocate in the effort to win public approval for the drug that would be marketed by Searle as Enovid.

Spanning the years from Sanger’s heady Greenwich Village days in the early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, this is a grand story of radical feminist politics, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes. Brilliantly researched and briskly written, The Birth of the Pill is gripping social, cultural, and scientific history.
Learn more about the book and author at Jonathan Eig's website.

The Page 99 Test: Get Capone.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"First Impressions"

New from Viking: First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen by Charlie Lovett.

About the book,from the publisher:

A thrilling literary mystery costarring Jane Austen from the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman’s Tale

Charlie Lovett first delighted readers with his New York Times bestselling debut, The Bookman’s Tale. Now, Lovett weaves another brilliantly imagined mystery, this time featuring one of English literature’s most popular and beloved authors: Jane Austen.

Book lover and Austen enthusiast Sophie Collingwood has recently taken a job at an antiquarian bookshop in London when two different customers request a copy of the same obscure book: the second edition of Little Book of Allegories by Richard Mansfield. Their queries draw Sophie into a mystery that will cast doubt on the true authorship of Pride and Prejudice—and ultimately threaten Sophie’s life.

In a dual narrative that alternates between Sophie’s quest to uncover the truth—while choosing between two suitors—and a young Jane Austen’s touching friendship with the aging cleric Richard Mansfield, Lovett weaves a romantic, suspenseful, and utterly compelling novel about love in all its forms and the joys of a life lived in books.
Learn more about the book and author at Charlie Lovett's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Bookman's Tale.

Writers Read: Charlie Lovett.

My Book, The Movie: The Bookman's Tale.

--Marshal Zeringue