Tuesday, September 30, 2014


New from Tor Books: Silverblind by Tina Connolly.

About the book, from the publisher:

The stunning historical fantasy series that began with the Nebula finalist Ironskin continues in Tina Connolly’s Silverblind

Dorie Rochart has been hiding her fey side for a long time. Now, finished with University, she plans to study magical creatures and plants in the wild, bringing long-forgotten cures to those in need. But when no one will hire a girl to fight basilisks, she releases her shape-changing fey powers—to disguise herself as a boy.

While hunting for wyvern eggs, she saves a young scientist who's about to get steamed by a silvertail—and finds her childhood friend Tam Grimsby, to whom she hasn't spoken in seven years. Not since she traded him to the fey. She can't bear to tell him who she really is, but every day grows harder as he comes to trust her.

The wyverns are being hunted to extinction for the powerful compounds in their eggs. The fey are dying out as humans grow in power. Now Tam and Dorie will have to decide which side they will fight for. And if they end up on opposite sides, can their returning friendship survive?
Learn more about the book and author at Tina Connolly's website, blog, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Copperhead.

Writers Read: Tina Connolly (October 2013).

The Page 69 Test: Copperhead.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Jesus Jackson"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Jesus Jackson by James Ryan Daley.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jonathan Stiles is a 14-year-old atheist who is coping with his first day of ninth grade at the fervently religious St. Soren’s Academy when his idolized older brother Ryan is found dead at the bottom of a ravine behind the school. As his world crumbles, Jonathan meets an eccentric stranger who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesus Christ (except for his white linen leisure suit and sparkling gold chains). Jesus Jackson, as he calls himself, offers to provide faith to Jonathan. He also suggests that Ryan’s death may not have been an accident after all.

Jonathan teams up with Henry, his new best friend at St. Soren’s, to investigate. The two boys find footprints leading to the ravine that match Ryan’s sneakers. They are assisted by Ryan’s grieving girlfriend, Tristan, who also thinks the accident theory is bunk. The police, however, will not listen. But Jonathan knows something the police do not know: Shortly before his death, Ryan was doing cocaine with fellow footballer and number one suspect Alistair not far from the ravine where his body was found.

An inspired Jonathan battles sanctimonious school psychologists, overzealous administrators, and a cavalry of Christian classmates on his quest to discover the truth about Ryan’s death –and about God, high school, and the meaning of life, while he’s at it. But he keeps getting distracted by Cassie –Alistair’s quirky younger sister –who holds the keys to the answers Jonathan is searching for, but who also makes him wonder if he should be searching for them at all.
Visit James Ryan Daley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 29, 2014

"You Were Meant For Me"

New from NAL: You Were Meant For Me by Yona Zeldis McDonough.

About the book, from the publisher:

What do you do when you have to give up the person you love most?

Thirty-five-year-old Miranda is not an impulsive person. She’s been at Domestic Goddess magazine for eight years, she has great friends, and she’s finally moving on after a breakup. Having a baby isn’t even on her radar—until the day she discovers an abandoned newborn on the platform of a Brooklyn subway station. Rushing the little girl to the closest police station, Miranda hopes and prays she’ll be all right and that a loving family will step forward to take her.

Yet Miranda can’t seem to get the baby off her mind and keeps coming up with excuses to go check on her, until finally a family court judge asks whether she’d like to be the baby’s foster parent—maybe even adopt her. To her own surprise, Miranda jumps at the chance. But nothing could have prepared her for the ecstasy of new-mother love—or the heartbreak she faces when the baby’s father surfaces….
Learn more about the author and her work at Yona Zeldis McDonough's website.

My Book, The Movie: Two of a Kind.

The Page 69 Test: Two of a Kind.

Coffee with a Canine: Yona Zeldis McDonough & Queenie, Willa and Holden (October 2012).

Coffee with a Canine: Yona Zeldis McDonough & Willa and Holden (September 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind"

New from Princeton University Press: The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind: How Self-Interest Shapes Our Opinions and Why We Won't Admit It by Jason Weeden & Robert Kurzban.

About the book, from the publisher:

When it comes to politics, we often perceive our own beliefs as fair and socially beneficial, while seeing opposing views as merely self-serving. But in fact most political views are governed by self-interest, even if we usually don’t realize it. Challenging our fiercely held notions about what motivates us politically, this book explores how self-interest divides the public on a host of hot-button issues, from abortion and the legalization of marijuana to same-sex marriage, immigration, affirmative action, and income redistribution.

Expanding the notion of interests beyond simple economics, Jason Weeden and Robert Kurzban look at how people’s interests clash when it comes to their sex lives, social status, family, and friends. Drawing on a wealth of data, they demonstrate how different groups form distinctive bundles of political positions that often stray far from what we typically think of as liberal or conservative. They show how we engage in unconscious rationalization to justify our political positions, portraying our own views as wise, benevolent, and principled while casting our opponents’ views as thoughtless and greedy.

While many books on politics seek to provide partisans with new ways to feel good about their own side, The Hidden Agenda of the Political Mind illuminates the hidden drivers of our politics, even if it’s a picture neither side will find flattering.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"The Lost Key"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: The Lost Key by Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison.

About the book, from the publisher:

Freshly minted FBI agent Nicholas Drummond is barely out of his Quantico training when he and his partner, Mike Caine, are called to investigate a stabbing on Wall Street.

Their investigation, however, yields more questions than answers. It quickly becomes clear that the victim, John Pearce, was more than the naval historian and antiquities dealer he appeared to be. What Drummond doesn’t know is that buying and selling rare books was Pearce’s cover, and that he had devoted his life to discovering the whereabouts of a missing World War I U-boat concealing a stash of gold bullion, and an unexpected surprise that only raises more questions. When Drummond and Caine find both of Pearce’s adult children have disappeared, the case assumes a new sense of urgency. The FBI agents know their best lead lies in the victim’s cryptic final words—“The key is in the lock.” But what key? What lock?

The search for Adam and Sophia Pearce takes them on an international manhunt, which threatens to run them afoul of an eccentric billionaire industrialist with his own plans not only for the lost gold, but the creation of a weapon unlike anything the world has ever seen.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons: The Emerald Shore"

New from Katherine Tegen Books: The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons: The Emerald Shore by Barbara Mariconda.

About the book, from the publisher:

Readers who love seafaring adventures like Avi’s The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle or the American Girl books will love Barbara Mariconda’s The Emerald Shore. This book is the marvelous conclusion to the Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons trilogy, a series that Newbery Award–winning author Katherine Applegate calls “a grand and adventurous tale.”

Lucy is trapped between two powerful magics. The glittering magic that’s protected her ever since her parents died, and the dark magic of the Simmons family curse. Lucy’s fight to survive the curse has led her to sail on an epic journey across the globe. Now finding Mary Maude Lee’s stolen pirate treasure on the rocky shores of Ireland is the only way for Lucy to break the curse and protect herself and everyone she loves.

But time is running out. Danger looms closer than ever before, and Lucy will need courage stronger than magic to save herself from the fate that awaits her.
Visit Barbara Mariconda's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"The Groom Says Yes"

New from Avon: The Groom Says Yes by Cathy Maxwell.

About the book, from the publisher:

He had a noose around his neck and a price on his head...

Sabrina Davidson, dutiful daughter, avowed spinster, thought she'd secured a place for herself in Aberfeldy society— until her hard-earned acceptance of her fate is challenged by the arrival of Cormac Enright, earl of Ballin, trained physician, soldier of fortune, and convicted felon.

A prim and proper miss was the last thing he needed...

Mac is determined to clear his name, but first he has to find the man whose testimony sentenced him to a hangman's noose. Of course, Robert Davidson is missing and protecting Mac is Davidson's daughter, the most entrancing, frustrating, beguiling, stubborn woman Mac has ever met.

And it doesn't help that he has already tasted her kisses. Or that he has found in her a passion for life and adventure to rival his own.

Mac has turned Sabrina's world inside out—but what will happen when he leaves?

Or will the Groom Say Yes?
Visit Cathy Maxwell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Radovan Karadžič: Architect of the Bosnian Genocide"

New from Cambridge University Press: Radovan Karadžič: Architect of the Bosnian Genocide by Robert J. Donia.

About the book, from the publisher:

Radovan Karadžić, leader of the Bosnian Serb nationalists during the Bosnian War (1992–1995), stands accused of genocide and other crimes of war before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. This book traces the origins of the extreme violence of the war to the utopian national aspirations of the Serb Democratic Party and Karadžić's personal transformation from an unremarkable family man to the powerful leader of the Bosnian Serb nationalists. Based on previously unused documents from the tribunal's archives and many hours of Karadžić's cross-examination at his trial, the author shows why and how the Bosnian Serb leader planned and directed the worst atrocities in Europe since the Second World War. This book provocatively argues that postcommunist democracy was a primary enabler of mass atrocities because it provided the means to mobilize large numbers of Bosnian Serbs for the campaign to eliminate non-Serbs from conquered land.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 26, 2014

"A Brief History of Seven Killings"

New from Riverhead: A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel by Marlon James.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the acclaimed author of The Book of Night Women comes one of the year’s most anticipated novels, a lyrical, masterfully written epic that explores the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the late 1970s.

On December 3, 1976, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert, gunmen stormed his house, machine guns blazing. The attack nearly killed the Reggae superstar, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Marley would go on to perform at the free concert on December 5, but he left the country the next day, not to return for two years.

Deftly spanning decades and continents and peopled with a wide range of characters—assassins, journalists, drug dealers, and even ghosts—A Brief History of Seven Killings is the fictional exploration of that dangerous and unstable time and its bloody aftermath, from the streets and slums of Kingston in the ‘70s, to the crack wars in ‘80s New York, to a radically altered Jamaica in the ‘90s. Brilliantly inventive and stunningly ambitious, this novel is a revealing modern epic that will secure Marlon James’ place among the great literary talents of his generation.
Follow Marlon James on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Close to the Bone"

New from Severn House Publishers: Close to the Bone: A Theresa MacLean forensic mystery by Lisa Black.

About the book, from the publisher:

Forensic scientist Theresa MacLean stumbles across a murder too close for comfort when she returns to the Medical Examiner's office to find one deskman missing and the other dead. Written in blood above the dead man's head is one word: 'Confess'. Theresa soon realizes she must solve a crime from the past, if she is to remain alive herself...
Learn more about the book and author at Lisa Black's website.

My Book, The Movie: Trail of Blood.

The Page 69 Test: Trail of Blood.

My Book, The Movie: Defensive Wounds.

The Page 69 Test: Defensive Wounds.

My Book, The Movie: Blunt Impact.

The Page 69 Test: Blunt Impact.

The Page 69 Test: The Price of Innocence.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Mean Business on North Ganson Street"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Mean Business on North Ganson Street: A Novel by S. Craig Zahler.

About the book, from the publisher:

A distraught businessman kills himself after a short, impolite conversation with a detective named Jules Bettinger. Because of this incident, the unkind (but decorated) policeman is forced to relocate himself and his family from Arizona to the frigid north, where he will work for an understaffed precinct in Victory, Missouri. This collapsed rustbelt city is a dying beast that devours itself and its inhabitants...and has done so for more than four decades. Its streets are covered with dead pigeons and there are seven hundred criminals for every law enforcer.

Partnered with a boorish and demoted corporal, Bettinger investigates a double homicide in which two policemen were slain and mutilated. The detective looks for answers in the fringes of the city and also in the pasts of the cops with whom he works—men who stomped on a local drug dealer until he was disabled.

Bettinger soon begins to suspect that the double homicide is not an isolated event, but a prelude to a series of cop executions...
Visit S. Craig Zahler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Florence Gordon"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Florence Gordon by Brian Morton.

About the book, from the publisher:

A wise and entertaining novel about a woman who has lived life on her own terms for seventy-five defiant and determined years, only to find herself suddenly thrust to the center of her family’s various catastrophes

Meet Florence Gordon: blunt, brilliant, cantankerous and passionate, feminist icon to young women, invisible to almost everyone else. At seventy-five, Florence has earned her right to set down the burdens of family and work and shape her legacy at long last. But just as she is beginning to write her long-deferred memoir, her son Daniel returns to New York from Seattle with his wife and daughter, and they embroil Florence in their dramas, clouding the clarity of her days and threatening her well-defended solitude. And then there is her left foot, which is starting to drag….

With searing wit, sophisticated intelligence, and a tender respect for humanity in all its flaws, Brian Morton introduces a constellation of unforgettable characters. Chief among them, Florence, who can humble the fools surrounding her with one barbed line, but who eventually finds there are realities even she cannot outwit.
Follow Brian Morton on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Juliet's Nurse"

New from Atria/Emily Bestler Books: Juliet's Nurse: A Novel by Lois Leveen.

About the book, from the publisher:

An enthralling new telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet—told from the perspective of Juliet’s nurse.

In Verona, a city ravaged by plague and political rivalries, a mother mourning the death of her day-old infant enters the household of the powerful Cappelletti family to become the wet-nurse to their newborn baby. As she serves her beloved Juliet over the next fourteen years, the nurse learns the Cappellettis’ darkest secrets. Those secrets—and the nurse’s deep personal grief—erupt across five momentous days of love and loss that destroy a daughter, and a family.

By turns sensual, tragic, and comic, Juliet’s Nurse gives voice to one of literature’s most memorable and distinctive characters, a woman who was both insider and outsider among Verona’s wealthy ruling class. Exploring the romance and intrigue of interwoven loyalties, rivalries, jealousies, and losses only hinted at in Shakespeare’s play, this is a never-before-heard tale of the deepest love in Verona—the love between a grieving woman and the precious child of her heart.

In the tradition of Sarah Dunant, Philippa Gregory, and Geraldine Brooks, Juliet’s Nurse is a rich prequel that reimagines the world’s most cherished tale of love and loss, suffering and survival.
Visit Lois Leveen's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Bitter Greens"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Bitter Greens: A Novel by Kate Forsyth.

About the book, from the publisher:

The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens...

After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.

Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.

Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.
Visit Kate Forsyth's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"The High Divide"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: The High Divide: A Novel by Lin Enger.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1886, Gretta Pope wakes one morning to discover that her husband is gone. Ulysses Pope has left his family behind on the far edge of Minnesota’s western prairie, with only the briefest of notes and no explanation for why he left or where he’s headed. It doesn’t take long for Gretta’s young sons, Eli and Danny, to set off after him, following the scant clues they can find, jumping trains to get where they need to go, and ending up in the rugged badlands of Montana.

Short on money and beleaguered by a treacherous landlord, Gretta has no choice but to seek out her sons and her husband as well, leading her to the doorstep of a woman who seems intent on making Ulysses her own. While out in the Western wilderness, the boys find that the closer they come to Ulysses’ trail, the greater the perils that confront them–until each is faced with a choice about whom they will defend, and who they become.

Enger’s breathtaking portrait of the vast plains landscape is matched by the rich expanse of his characters’ emotional terrain, as pivotal historical events–the bloody turmoil of expansionism, the near total demise of the bison herds, and the subjugation of the Plains Indians–blend seamlessly with the intimate story of a family’s sacrifice and devotion.
Visit Lin Enger's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Nine Days"

New from Minotaur Books: Nine Days: A Mystery by Minerva Koenig.

About the book, from the publisher:

She's short, round, and pushing forty, but Julia Kalas is a damned good criminal. For 17 years she renovated historic California buildings as a laundry front for her husband's illegal arms business. Then the Aryan Brotherhood made her a widow, and witness protection shipped her off to the tiny town of Azula, Texas. Also known as the Middle of Nowhere.

The Lone Star sticks are lousy with vintage architecture begging to be rehabbed. Julia figures she'll pick up where she left off, but she's got a federal watchdog now: police chief Teresa Hallstedt, who is none too happy to have another felon in her jurisdiction. Teresa wants Julia where she can keep an eye on her, which turns out to be behind the bar at the local watering hole. The bar's owner, Hector Guerra, catches Julia's eye, so she takes the job. But before she can get to know him as well as she'd like, they find a dead body on the bar's roof.

The county sheriff begins trying to pin the murder on Hector for reasons that Julia discovers are both personal and nefarious. Unfortunately, the evidence cooperates, but Julia's finely-honed personal radar tells her Hector isn't a killer. She risks reconnecting with the outlaw underground to prove it and learns the hard way that she's not nearly as tough--or as right--as she thinks she is.

Nine Days, Koenig's debut, is atmospheric, gutsy and fun, and Julia Kalas is an intriguing new heroine in crime fiction.
Visit Minerva Koenig's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Faithful to Science"

New from Oxford University Press: Faithful to Science: The Role of Science in Religion by Andrew Steane.

About the book, from the publisher:

Science and religious faith are two of the most important and influential forces in human life, yet there is widespread confusion about how, or indeed whether, they link together. This book describes this combination from the perspective of one who finds that they link together productively and creatively. The situation is not one of conflict or uneasy tension, or even a respectful dialogue. Rather, a lively and well-founded faith in God embraces and includes science, and scientific ways of thinking, in their proper role. Science is an activity right in the bloodstream of a reasonable faith.

The book interprets theism broadly, and engages carefully with atheism, while coming from a Christian perspective. The aim is to show what science is, and what it is not, and at the same time give some pointers to what theism is or can be. Philosophy, evolution and the nature of science and human life are discussed in the first part of the book, questions of origins in the second.

It is the very mind-set of scientific thinking that is widely supposed to be antagonistic to religious faith. But such suspicions are too sweeping. They misunderstand both faith and science. Faith can be creative and intellectually courageous; science is not the all-embracing story that it is sometimes made out to be. It is not that science fails to explain some things, but rather, it does not explain anything at all, on its own. It is part of a larger explanation. And even explanation has to take a humble place; it is not the purpose of life.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America"

New from Random House: Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America by Jonathan Darman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In politics, the man who takes the highest spot after a landslide is not standing on solid ground.

In this riveting work of narrative nonfiction, Jonathan Darman tells the story of two giants of American politics, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, and shows how, from 1963 to 1966, these two men—the same age, and driven by the same heroic ambitions—changed American politics forever.

The liberal and the conservative. The deal-making arm twister and the cool communicator. The Texas rancher and the Hollywood star. Opposites in politics and style, Johnson and Reagan shared a defining impulse: to set forth a grand story of America, a story in which he could be the hero. In the tumultuous days after the Kennedy assassination, Johnson and Reagan each, in turn, seized the chance to offer the country a new vision for the future. Bringing to life their vivid personalities and the anxious mood of America in a radically transformative time, Darman shows how, in promising the impossible, Johnson and Reagan jointly dismantled the long American tradition of consensus politics and ushered in a new era of fracture. History comes to life in Darman’s vivid, fly-on-the wall storytelling.

Even as Johnson publicly revels in his triumphs, we see him grow obsessed with dark forces he believes are out to destroy him, while his wife, Lady Bird, urges her husband to put aside his paranoia and see the world as it really is. And as the war in Vietnam threatens to overtake his presidency, we witness Johnson desperately struggling to compensate with ever more extravagant promises for his Great Society.

On the other side of the country, Ronald Reagan, a fading actor years removed from his Hollywood glory, gradually turns toward a new career in California politics. We watch him delivering speeches to crowds who are desperate for a new leader. And we see him wielding his well-honed instinct for timing, waiting for Johnson’s majestic promises to prove empty before he steps back into the spotlight, on his long journey toward the presidency.

From Johnson’s election in 1964, the greatest popular-vote landslide in American history, to the pivotal 1966 midterms, when Reagan burst forth onto the national stage, Landslide brings alive a country transformed—by riots, protests, the rise of television, the shattering of consensus—and the two towering personalities whose choices in those moments would reverberate through the country for decades to come.
Visit Jonathan Darman's website and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 21, 2014

"On Immunity: An Inoculation"

New from Graywolf Press: On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why do we fear vaccines? A provocative examination by Eula Biss, the author of Notes from No Man’s Land, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award

Upon becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear—fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child’s air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines. She finds that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world.

In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body. As she hears more and more fears about vaccines, Biss researches what they mean for her own child, her immediate community, America, and the world, both historically and in the present moment. She extends a conversation with other mothers to meditations on Voltaire’s Candide, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Susan Sontag’s AIDS and Its Metaphors, and beyond. On Immunity is a moving account of how we are all interconnected—our bodies and our fates.
Visit Eula Biss' website.

Writers Read: Eula Biss (June 2010).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Witch: And Other Tales Re-Told"

New from Blue Rider Press: The Witch: And Other Tales Re-Told by Jean Thompson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Great fairy tales are not always stories designed for children. The lurking wolf in “Little Red Riding Hood,” the gingerbread house that lures Hansel and Gretel, the beauty asleep in her castle—these fables represent some of our deepest, most primeval fears and satisfy our longing for good to win out over evil (preferably in the most gruesome way possible). In this captivating new collection, critically acclaimed author Jean Thompson takes the classic fairy tale and brings it into the modern age with stories that capture the magic and horror in everyday life. The downtrodden prevail, appearances deceive, and humility and virtue triumph in The Witch, as lost children try to find their way home, adults cursed by past unspeakable acts are fated to experience their own horror in the present, and true love—or is it enchantment?—conquers all. The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told is a haunting and deeply entertaining collection, showcasing the inimitable Thompson at the height of her storytelling prowess.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"The Day of Atonement"

New from Random House: The Day of Atonement by David Liss.

About the book, from the publisher:

The bestselling author of such novels as A Conspiracy of Paper and The Whiskey Rebels continues his masterly run of “atmospheric” (The Washington Post), “page-turning” (The Baltimore Sun), “tremendously smart” (Newsweek) historical thrillers. In The Day of Atonement, David Liss blends meticulous period detail with crackling adventure in the tale of one man’s quest for justice—and retribution.

Sebastião Raposa is only thirteen when his parents are unjustly imprisoned, never to be seen again, and he is forced to flee Portugal lest he too fall victim to the Inquisition. But ten years in exile only serve to whet his appetite for vengeance. Returning at last to Lisbon, in the guise of English businessman Sebastian Foxx, he is no longer a frightened boy but a dangerous man tormented by violent impulses. Haunted by the specter of all he has lost—including his exquisite first love—Foxx is determined to right old wrongs by punishing an unforgivable enemy with unrelenting fury.

Well schooled by his benefactor, the notorious bounty hunter Benjamin Weaver, in the use of wits, fists, and a variety of weapons, Foxx stalks the ruthless Inquisitor priest Pedro Azinheiro. But in a city ruled by terror and treachery, where money and information can buy power and trump any law, no enemy should be underestimated and no ally can be trusted. Having risked everything, and once again under the watchful eye of the Inquisition, Foxx finds his plans unraveling as he becomes drawn into the struggles of old friends—and new enemies—none of whom, like Lisbon itself, are what they seem.

Compelled to play a game of deception and greed, Sebastian Foxx will find himself befriended, betrayed, tempted by desire, and tormented by personal turmoil. And when a twist of fate turns his carefully laid plans to chaos, he will be forced to choose between surrendering to bloodlust or serving the cause of mercy.
Learn more about the book and author at David Liss's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Twelfth Enchantment.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Planet of the Bugs"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Planet of the Bugs: Evolution and the Rise of Insects by Scott Richard Shaw.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dinosaurs, however toothy, did not rule the earth—and neither do humans. But what were and are the true potentates of our planet? Insects, says Scott Richard Shaw—millions and millions of insect species. Starting in the shallow oceans of ancient Earth and ending in the far reaches of outer space—where, Shaw proposes, insect-like aliens may have achieved similar preeminence—Planet of the Bugs spins a sweeping account of insects’ evolution from humble arthropod ancestors into the bugs we know and love (or fear and hate) today.

Leaving no stone unturned, Shaw explores how evolutionary innovations such as small body size, wings, metamorphosis, and parasitic behavior have enabled insects to disperse widely, occupy increasingly narrow niches, and survive global catastrophes in their rise to dominance. Through buggy tales by turns bizarre and comical—from caddisflies that construct portable houses or weave silken aquatic nets to trap floating debris, to parasitic wasp larvae that develop in the blood of host insects and, by storing waste products in their rear ends, are able to postpone defecation until after they emerge—he not only unearths how changes in our planet’s geology, flora, and fauna contributed to insects’ success, but also how, in return, insects came to shape terrestrial ecosystems and amplify biodiversity. Indeed, in his visits to hyperdiverse rain forests to highlight the current insect extinction crisis, Shaw reaffirms just how crucial these tiny beings are to planetary health and human survival.

In this age of honeybee die-offs and bedbugs hitching rides in the spines of library books, Planet of the Bugs charms with humor, affection, and insight into the world’s six-legged creatures, revealing an essential importance that resonates across time and space.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 19, 2014

"Skink--No Surrender

New from Random House Children's Books: Skink--No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen.

About the book, from the publisher:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Carl Hiaasen serves up his unique brand of swamp-justice in Skink—No Surrender.

Classic Malley—to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard—he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink—he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

Carl Hiaasen first introduced readers to Skink more than twenty-five years ago in Double Whammy, and he quickly became Hiaasen’s most iconic and beloved character, appearing in six novels to date. Both teens and adults will be thrilled to catch sight of the elusive “captain” as he finds hilariously satisfying ways to stop internet predators, turtle-egg poachers, and lowlife litterbugs in their tracks. With Skink at the wheel, the search for a missing girl is both nail-bitingly tense and laugh-out-loud funny.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Epilogue: A Memoir"

New from Liveright: Epilogue: A Memoir by Will Boast.

About the book, from the publisher:

Will Boast thought he'd lost his family, until a deeply held secret revealed a second chance he never thought he’d have.

Having already lost his mother and only brother, twenty-four-year-old Will Boast finds himself absolutely alone when his father dies of alcoholism. Numbly settling the matters of his father's estate, Boast is deep inside his grief when he stumbles upon documents revealing a secret his father had intended to keep: He’d had another family before Will's—a wife and two sons in England.

This revelation leads to a flood of new questions. Did his father abandon this first family, or was he pushed away? Still reeling from loss, Boast is forced to reconsider the fundamental truths of his childhood and to look for traces of the man his father might truly have been. Setting out in search of his half brothers, he attempts to reconcile their family history with his own, testing each childhood memory under the weight of his father's secret. Moving between the Midwest and England, from scenes of his youth to the tentative discovery of his new family, Boast writes with visceral beauty about grief, memory, and his slow and tender journey to a new kind of love.

With the piercing gaze of a novelist, Boast transforms the pain and confusion of his family history into an achingly poignant portrait of resilience, revising the stories he's inherited to refashion both his past and his present. Heartbreaking and luminous, Epilogue is the stunning account of a young man’s struggle to understand all that he has lost and found, and to forge a new life for himself along the way.
Visit Will Boast's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 18, 2014

"The Haunting Ballad"

New from Minotaur Books: The Haunting Ballad: A O'Nelligan and Plunkett Mystery (Volume 2) by Michael Nethercott.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Seance Society introduced mystery lovers to Mr. O’Nelligan and Lee Plunkett, an unlikely pair of sleuths on an equally unlikely case with a supernatural twist. Having taken over his father's PI business, Lee enlists O'Nelligan, a dapper Irishman with a flair for solving mysteries, to help catch a killer. Now, in Michael Nethercott's The Haunting Ballad, this sleuthing "odd couple" are back in another witty, charming, and wonderfully written mystery, this time set in 1957 in the burgeoning music scene of New York City's Greenwich Village.

It's the spring of 1957, and O'Nelligan and Plunkett are summoned to New York to investigate the death of a controversial folk song collector. The trail leads the pair to a diverse group of suspects including an eccentric Beat coffee house owner, a family of Irish balladeers (who may be IRA), a bluesy ex-con, a hundred-and-five-year-old Civil War drummer boy, and a self-proclaimed “ghost chanter” who sings songs that she receives from the dead. To complicate matters, there's a handsome, smooth-talking young folk singer who Lee's fiancée Audrey is enthralled by. And somewhere in the Bohemian swirl of the Village, a killer waits...
Visit Michael Nethercott's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Séance Society.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Zombies and Calculus"

New from Princeton University Press: Zombies and Calculus by Colin Adams.

About the book, from the publisher:

How can calculus help you survive the zombie apocalypse? Colin Adams, humor columnist for the Mathematical Intelligencer and one of today's most outlandish and entertaining popular math writers, demonstrates how in this zombie adventure novel.

Zombies and Calculus is the account of Craig Williams, a math professor at a small liberal arts college in New England, who, in the middle of a calculus class, finds himself suddenly confronted by a late-arriving student whose hunger is not for knowledge. As the zombie virus spreads and civilization crumbles, Williams uses calculus to help his small band of survivors defeat the hordes of the undead. Along the way, readers learn how to avoid being eaten by taking advantage of the fact that zombies always point their tangent vector toward their target, and how to use exponential growth to determine the rate at which the virus is spreading. Williams also covers topics such as logistic growth, gravitational acceleration, predator-prey models, pursuit problems, the physics of combat, and more. With the aid of his story, you too can survive the zombie onslaught.

Featuring easy-to-use appendixes that explain the mathematics necessary to enjoy the book, Zombies and Calculus is suitable for recent converts to calculus as well as more advanced readers familiar with multivariable calculus.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Gutenberg's Apprentice"

New from Harper: Gutenberg's Apprentice: A Novel by Alix Christie.

About the book, from the publisher:

An enthralling literary debut that evokes one of the most momentous events in history, the birth of printing in medieval Germany—a story of invention, intrigue, and betrayal, rich in atmosphere and historical detail, told through the lives of the three men who made it possible.

Youthful, ambitious Peter Schoeffer is on the verge of professional success as a scribe in Paris when his foster father, wealthy merchant and bookseller Johann Fust, summons him home to corrupt, feud-plagued Mainz to meet “a most amazing man.”

Johann Gutenberg, a driven and caustic inventor, has devised a revolutionary—and to some, blasphemous—method of bookmaking: a machine he calls a printing press. Fust is financing Gutenberg’s workshop and he orders Peter, his adopted son, to become Gutenberg’s apprentice. Resentful at having to abandon a prestigious career as a scribe, Peter begins his education in the “darkest art.”

As his skill grows, so, too, does his admiration for Gutenberg and his dedication to their daring venture: copies of the Holy Bible. But mechanical difficulties and the crushing power of the Catholic Church threaten their work. As outside forces align against them, Peter finds himself torn between two father figures: the generous Fust, who saved him from poverty after his mother died; and the brilliant, mercurial Gutenberg, who inspires Peter to achieve his own mastery.

Caught between the genius and the merchant, the old ways and the new, Peter and the men he admires must work together to prevail against overwhelming obstacles—a battle that will change history ... and irrevocably transform them.
Visit Alix Christie's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Silent Murders"

New from Minotaur Books: Silent Murders: A Roaring Twenties Mystery by Mary Miley

About the book, from the publisher:

Vaudeville actress Leah Randall took on her most daring role ever when she impersonated missing heiress Jessie Carr in order to claim Jessie’s inheritance in The Impersonator. Now that the dust has settled around that tumultuous time in her life, Leah has adopted Jessie’s name as her own and moved to Hollywood, where she's taken a modest but steady job in the silent film industry.

Jessie’s thrilled when Bruno Heilmann, a movie studio bigwig, invites her to a party. She’s even more delighted to run into a face from her past at that party. But the following day, Jessie learns that sometime in the wee hours of the morning both her old friend and Bruno Heilmann were brutally murdered. She’s devastated, but with her skill as an actress, access to the wardrobes and resources of a film studio, and a face not yet famous enough to be recognized, Jessie is uniquely positioned to dig into the circumstances surrounding these deaths. But will doing so put her own life directly in the path of a murderer?

With Silent Murders, MB/MWA First Crime Novel Competition winner Mary Miley has crafted another terrifically fun mystery, this time set in the dizzying, dazzling heart of jazz-age Hollywood.
Learn more about the book and author at Mary Miley's website, blog, and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Mary Miley (September 2013).

The Page 69 Test: The Impersonator.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"The Amazons"

New from Princeton University Press: The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Amazons--fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world--were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons.

But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China.

Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. Combining classical myth and art, nomad traditions, and scientific archaeology, she reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women known as Amazons. Provocatively arguing that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazons--Mayor shows that warlike women of nomadic cultures inspired exciting tales in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia, and China.

Driven by a detective's curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men. The result is likely to become a classic.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Wouldn't It Be Deadly"

New from Minotaur Books: Wouldn't It Be Deadly: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery by D.E. Ireland.

About the book, from the publisher:

Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins make an incomparable pair of sleuths in the start of a delightful new series

Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball—where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins’ bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess—Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck. After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard’s prime suspect. However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck’s pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turns up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor’s name is to discover which of Nepommuck’s many enemies is the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer.

This reimagining of George Bernard Shaw’s beloved characters is sheer pleasure. Wouldn’t It Be Deadly transports readers to Edwardian London, from the aristocratic environs of Mayfair to the dangerous back alleys of the East End. Eliza and Henry steal the show in this charming traditional mystery.
Visit D. E. Ireland's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 15, 2014

"A Deadly Wandering"

New from William Morrow: A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Matt Richtel, a brilliant, narrative-driven exploration of technology’s vast influence on the human mind and society, dramatically-told through the lens of a tragic “texting-while-driving” car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006.

In this ambitious, compelling, and beautifully written book, Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving. Richtel follows Reggie through the tragedy, the police investigation, his prosecution, and ultimately, his redemption.

In the wake of his experience, Reggie has become a leading advocate against “distracted driving.” Richtel interweaves Reggie’s story with cutting-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains, proposing solid, practical, and actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society.

A propulsive read filled with fascinating, accessible detail, riveting narrative tension, and emotional depth, A Deadly Wandering explores one of the biggest questions of our time—what is all of our technology doing to us?—and provides unsettling and important answers and information we all need.
Learn more about the book and author at Matt Richtel's website.

Richtel is a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times technology journalist and novelist. His first book, Hooked, was a critically acclaimed bestseller. His fiction, like his journalism, focuses on the impact of technology on how people live, behave, and love in the 21st century. He won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for his series on distracted driving.

The Page 99 Test: Hooked.

The Page 69 Test: Devil’s Plaything.

--Marshal Zeringue

"In a Handful of Dust"

New from Katherine Tegen Books: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Fans of classic frontier survival stories as well as readers of dystopian literature will enjoy this futuristic story about an epic cross-country journey. In a Handful of Dust is set ten years after the first novel, Not a Drop to Drink, as a dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature's challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts.
Learn more about the book and author at Mindy McGinnis's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Not a Drop to Drink.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"When We Fall"

New from NAL: When We Fall by Emily Liebert.

About the book, from the publisher:


Ready for a fresh start, Allison Parker moves back to her hometown in the suburbs of New York. While she’d once savored the dynamic pace of city life, sadly, it lost its allure after her husband’s untimely death. Now, ready to focus on her art career accompanied by her ten-year-old son, Logan, Allison doesn’t anticipate that her past will resurface. When the wife of her husband’s best friend from summer camp takes her under her wing, things begin to spin out of control.

At one time, Charlotte Crane thought she had it all—a devoted husband, a beautiful little girl, and enough financial security to never have to worry. But behind her “perfect” facade lie a strained marriage and a fractured relationship with her sister. When “new girl” Allison arrives in Wincourt, Charlotte welcomes the chance to build a friendship. Before long, Charlotte begins to see her life through Allison’s eyes, and the cracks in her seemingly flawless existence become impossible to ignore.

As Allison heals from the loss of her husband—even wondering if she might be ready to date again—Charlotte feels more distant from her loved ones than ever before. The emerging friendship between the two women appears to be just the antidote both of them so desperately need…until everything falls apart.
Visit Emily Liebert's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Plume: Enchantress: A Novel of Rav Hisda's Daughter by Maggie Anton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Fantastic tales of demons and the Evil Eye, magical incantations, and powerful attractions abound in Enchantress, a novel that weaves together Talmudic lore, ancient Jewish magic, and a timeless love story set in fourth-century Babylonia.

One of the most powerful practitioner of these mysterious arts is Rav Hisda’s daughter, whose innate awareness allows her to possess the skills men lack. With her husband, Rava–whose arcane knowledge of the secret Torah enables him to create a “man” out of earth and to resurrect another rabbi from death–the two brave an evil sorceress, Ashmedai the Demon King, and even the Angel of Death in their quest to safeguard their people, even while putting their romance at risk.

The author of the acclaimed Rashi’s Daughters series and the award-winning Rav Hisda’s Daughter: Apprentice has conjured literary magic in the land where “abracadabra” originated. Based on five years of research and populated with characters from the Talmud, Enchantress brings a pivotal era of Jewish and Christian history to life from the perspective of a courageous and passionate woman.
Visit Maggie Anton's website and blog.

Writers Read: Maggie Anton (December 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"Echoing Helicon"

New from Oxford University Press: Echoing Helicon: Music, Art and Identity in the Este Studioli, 1440-1530 by Tim Shephard.

About the book, from the publisher:

The private studioli of Italian rulers are among the most revealing interior spaces of the Renaissance. In them, ideals of sober recreation met with leisured reality in the construction of a private princely identity performed before the eyes of a select public. The decorative schemes installed in such rooms were carefully designed to prompt, facilitate and validate the performances through which that identity was constituted. Echoing Helicon reconstructs, through the (re)interpretation of painted and intarsia decoration, the role played by music, musicians and musical symbolism in those performances. Drawing examples from the Este dynasty - despotic rulers of Ferrara throughout the Renaissance who employed such musicians as Pietrobono, Tromboncino and Willaert, and such artists as Tura, Mantegna and Titian - author Tim Shephard reaches new conclusions about the integration of musical and visual arts within the courtly environment of renaissance Italy, and about the cultural work required of music and of images by those who paid for them.

Relying on Renaissance-era source material from a wide range of disciplines as well as new approaches derived from critical and cultural theory, Shephard provides a fresh look at the music of this ninety-year period of the Italian Renaissance. While much has been written about the studiolo by historians of art and architecture, it has only recently become a growing area of interest among musicologists. As the first English language monograph devoted to the music of the studiolo, Echoing Helicon is a significant contribution to this developing area of research and essential reading for both musicologists and art historians specializing in the Italian Renaissance.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Vault of Dreamers"

New from Roaring Brook Press: The Vault of Dreamers by Caragh M. O'Brien.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Forge School is the most prestigious arts school in the country. The secret to its success: every moment of the students' lives is televised as part of the insanely popular Forge Show, and the students' schedule includes twelve hours of induced sleep meant to enhance creativity. But when first year student Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill, she discovers there is something off about Forge. In fact, she suspects that there are sinister things going on deep below the reaches of the cameras in the school. What's worse is, she starts to notice that the ridges of her consciousness do not feel quite right. And soon, she unearths the ghastly secret that the Forge School is hiding—and what it truly means to dream there.

From Caragh M. O'Brien, author of the Birthmarked trilogy comes the first book in a new series, The Vault of Dreamers, a fast-paced, psychologically thrilling novel about what happens when your dreams are not your own.
Learn more about the book and author at Caragh O'Brien's website.

My Book, The Movie: Birthmarked.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Space Case"

New from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers: Space Case by Stuart Gibbs.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s a murder mystery on the moon in this humorous and suspenseful space adventure from the author of Belly Up and Spy School.

Like his fellow lunarnauts—otherwise known as Moonies—living on Moon Base Alpha, twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is famous the world over for being one of the first humans to live on the moon.

And he’s bored out of his mind. Kids aren’t allowed on the lunar surface, meaning they’re trapped inside the tiny moon base with next to nothing to occupy their time—and the only other kid Dash’s age spends all his time hooked into virtual reality games.

Then Moon Base Alpha’s top scientist turns up dead. Dash senses there’s foul play afoot, but no one believes him. Everyone agrees Dr. Holtz went onto the lunar surface without his helmet properly affixed, simple as that. But Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important new discovery, Dash finds out, and it’s a secret that could change everything for the Moonies—a secret someone just might kill to keep...
Visit Stuart Gibbs's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Cry Father"

New from Gallery Books: Cry Father by Benjamin Whitmer.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Larry Brown comes a haunting story about men, their fathers, their sons, and the legacy of violence.

For Patterson Wells, disaster is the norm. Working alongside dangerous, desperate, itinerant men as a tree clearer in disaster zones, he’s still dealing with the loss of his young son. Writing letters to the boy offers some solace. The bottle gives more.

Upon a return trip to Colorado, Patterson stops to go fishing with an old acquaintance, only to find him in a meth-induced delirium and keeping a woman tied up in the bathtub. In the ensuing chain of events, which will test not only his future but his past, Patterson tries to do the right thing. Still, in the lives of those he knows, violence and justice have made of each other strange, intoxicating bedfellows.

Hailed as “the next great American writer” (Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana), Benjamin Whitmer has crafted a literary triumph that is by turns harrowing, darkly comic, and wise.
Visit Benjamin Whitmer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Edward Gibbon and the Shape of History"

New from Oxford University Press: Edward Gibbon and the Shape of History by Charlotte Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:

Edward Gibbon's presentation of character in both the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and in his posthumously published Memoirs demonstrates a prevailing interest in the values of transcendent heroism and individual liberty, but also an insistent awareness of the dangers these values pose to coherence and narrative order. In this study, Charlotte Roberts demonstrates how these dynamics also inform the 'character' of the Decline and Fall: in which ironic difference confronts enervating uniformity; oddity counters specious lucidity; and revision combats repetition.

Edward Gibbon and the Shape of History explores the Decline and Fall as a work of scholarship and of literature, tracing both its expansive outline and its expressive details. A close examination of each of the three instalments of Gibbon's history reveals an intimate relationship between the style of Gibbon's narrative and the overall shape of his historiographical composition. The constant interplay between style and substance, or between the particular details of composition and the larger patterns of argument and narrative, informs every aspect of Gibbon's work: from his reception of established and innovative historiographical conventions to the expression of his narrative voice. Through a combination of close reading and larger literary and scholarly analysis, Charlotte Roberts conveys a sense of the Decline and Fall as a work more complex and conflicted, in its tone and structure, than has been appreciated by previous scholars, without losing sight of the grand contours of Gibbon's superlative achievement.
--Marshal Zeringue

"In the Red"

New from Little, Brown and Company: In the Red: A Novel by Elena Mauli Shapiro.

About the book, from the publisher:

A darkly erotic novel about a good girl gone bad.

When Irina--Romanian by birth but brought up by American parents who have never understood her-arrives at college she quickly abandons ordinary student life for an affair with an older, mysterious Romanian man named Andrei.

Andrei awakens a powerful sensuality in Irina. And he has money - lots of it. For the first time, Irina feels free. But the longer she stays with Andrei, the more she is certain that she can't leave, and that may be complicit in Andrei's work - whatever that "work" might be. Then an unexpected friendship with a young Russian bride opens the door to escape, and also revenge.

A tantalizing, edgy exploration of women and love, power and money-interwoven with potent, unusual, and nervy Romanian fairy tales-In the Red asks what the legacy of love is, and who will be left unscathed.
Visit Elena Mauli Shapiro's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Magic in the Mix"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Magic in the Mix by Annie Barrows.

About the book, from the publisher:

Molly and Miri Gill are twins. They look the same, act the same, sometimes even think the same. But they weren't always twins. . . . Molly used to live in 1935, until Miri traveled back in time to save her from the clutches of Molly's evil adoptive family. Only they know about the magic, and its power to set things right. So when home repairs unleash more unexpected magic from their very special . . . very magical old house, the girls set off on another time-traveling adventure to the Civil War where they race against the clock to save two unusual soldiers and come to terms with the truth about Molly's real past.

Brimming with lovable characters and spine-tingling magic, this long-awaited sequel will bring a whole new batch of readers to Annie Barrows' highly acclaimed, wonderfully popular world of twin-inspired magic.
Visit Annie Barrows' website.

Writers Read: Annie Barrows (December 2008).

--Marshal Zeringue

"My Life as a Foreign Country"

New from W.W. Norton: My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir by Brian Turner.

About the book, from the publisher:

A war memoir of unusual literary beauty and power from the acclaimed poet who wrote the poem “The Hurt Locker.”

In 2003, Sergeant Brian Turner crossed the line of departure with a convoy of soldiers headed into the Iraqi desert.

Now he lies awake each night beside his sleeping wife, imagining himself as a drone aircraft, hovering over the terrains of Bosnia and Vietnam, Iraq and Northern Ireland, the killing fields of Cambodia and the death camps of Europe.

In this breathtaking memoir, award-winning poet Brian Turner retraces his war experience—pre-deployment to combat zone, homecoming to aftermath. Free of self-indulgence or self-glorification, his account combines recollection with the imagination's efforts to make reality comprehensible. Across time, he seeks parallels in the histories of others who have gone to war, especially his taciturn grandfather (World War II), father (Cold War), and uncle (Vietnam). Turner also offers something that is truly rare in a memoir of violent conflict—he sees through the eyes of the enemy, imagining his way into the experience of the "other." Through it all, he paints a devastating portrait of what it means to be a soldier and a human being.
Visit Brian Turner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?"

New from Wiley: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World by Yong Zhao.

About the book, from the publisher:

The secrets behind China's extraordinary educational system – good, bad, and ugly

Chinese students' consistently stunning performance on the international PISA exams— where they outscore students of all other nations in math, reading, and science—have positioned China as a world education leader. American educators and pundits have declared this a "Sputnik Moment," saying that we must learn from China's education system in order to maintain our status as an education leader and global superpower.

Indeed, many of the reforms taking hold in United States schools, such as a greater emphasis on standardized testing and the increasing importance of core subjects like reading and math, echo the Chinese system. We're following in China's footsteps—but is this the direction we should take?

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? by award-winning writer Yong Zhao offers an entertaining, provocative insider's account of the Chinese school system, revealing the secrets that make it both "the best and worst" in the world. Born and raised in China's Sichuan province and a teacher in China for many years, Zhao has a unique perspective on Chinese culture and education. He explains in vivid detail how China turns out the world's highest-achieving students in reading, math, and science—yet by all accounts Chinese educators, parents, and political leaders hate the system and long to send their kids to western schools. Filled with fascinating stories and compelling data, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? offers a nuanced and sobering tour of education in China.
Visit Yong Zhao's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon"

New from Tor Books: Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon by David Barnett.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire, a teeming metropolis where steam-power is king and airships ply the skies, and where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world—including the east coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.

Young Gideon Smith has seen things that no green lad of Her Majesty’s dominion should ever experience. Through a series of incredible events Gideon has become the newest Hero of the Empire. But Gideon is a man with a mission, for the dreaded Texas pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen the mechanical clockwork girl Maria, along with a most fantastical weapon—a great brass dragon that was unearthed beneath ancient Egyptian soil. Maria is the only one who can pilot the beast, so Cockayne has taken girl and dragon off to points east.

Gideon and his intrepid band take to the skies and travel to the American colonies hot on Cockayne’s trail. Not only does Gideon want the machine back, he has fallen in love with Maria. Their journey will take them to the wilds of the lawless lands south of the American colonies – to free Texas, where the mad King of Steamtown rules with an iron fist (literally), where life is cheap and honor even cheaper.

Does Gideon have what it takes to not only save the day but win the girl?

David Barnett's Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon is a fantastical steampunk fable set against an alternate historical backdrop: the ultimate Victoriana/steampunk mash-up!
Visit David Barnett's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Love Me Back"

New from Doubleday: Love Me Back: A Novel by Merritt Tierce.

About the book, from the publisher:

From "5 Under 35" honoree and Rona Jaffe Award-winner comes an urgent, intensely visceral debut novel about a young waitress whose downward spiral is narrated in electric prose

Marie, a young single mother, lands a job at an upscale Dallas steakhouse. She is preternaturally attuned to the appetites of her patrons, but quickly learns to hide her private struggle behind an easy smile and a crisp white apron. In a world of long hours and late nights, where everything runs on a currency of favors, cash and cachet, Marie gives in to brutally self-destructive impulses. She loses herself in a tangle of bodies and the kind of coke that 'napalms your emotional synapses.' But obliteration—not pleasure—is her goal. Pulsing with fierce, almost feral energy, Love Me Back is an unapologetic portrait of a woman cutting a precarious path through early adulthood. In the words of Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, "Tierce roams like an avenging angel across the landscape of twenty-first century American decadence, and the truths she writes achieve a state of near-sacred subversion."
Visit Merritt Tierce's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Blood of My Blood"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Blood of My Blood (I Hunt Killers Series #3) by Barry Lyga.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jazz Dent has been shot and left to die in New York City. His girlfriend Connie is in the clutches of Jazz's serial killer father, Billy. And his best friend Howie is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz's own home in tiny Lobo's Nod. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. But then Jazz crosses a line he's never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: "Like father, like son?" Who is the true monster?

The chase is on, and beyond Billy there lurks something much, much worse. Prepare to meet...the Crow King.
Visit Barry Lyga's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Draw in the Dunes"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Draw in the Dunes: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World by Neil Sagebiel; foreword by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1969, the 42-year history of biennial golf matches between the United States and Great Britain reached its climax. The U.S., led by Jack Nicklaus, had dominated competitive golf for years; Great Britain, led by Tony Jacklin, was the undisputed underdog. But in spite of having lost 14 of 17 Ryder Cups in the past, the British entered the 1969 Ryder Cup as determined as the Americans were dominant. What followed was the most compelling, controversial, and contentious Ryder Cup the sport had ever seen.

Draw in the Dunes is a story of personal and professional conflict, from the nervousness displayed at the very beginning of the Ryder Cup matches—when one man could not tee his golf ball—to the nerve displayed by Nicklaus and Jacklin, who battled each other all the way to the final moment of the final match. Throughout the Cup, 17 of the 32 matches were not decided until the final hole. Most electrifying was Nicklaus and Jacklin’s contest, which decided the fate of the Ryder Cup. At the last putt, Nicklaus conceded to Jacklin, keeping the cup for the Americans while letting the British walk away with their most successful Ryder Cup result in years. From this event, which came to be known as “The Concession,” Nicklaus and Jacklin forged a lifelong friendship and ushered in a new era of golf.

From the author of the critically acclaimed golf history The Longest Shot, Draw in the Dunes is the gripping account of a legendary Cup competition, and the story of golf’s greatest act of sportsmanship.
Visit Neil Sagebiel's blog and follow him on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Summer of the Dead"

New from Minotaur Books: Summer of the Dead (Bell Elkins Series #3) by Julia Keller.

About the book, from the publisher:

High summer in Acker's Gap, West Virginia—but no one's enjoying the rugged natural landscape. Not while a killer stalks the small town and its hard-luck inhabitants. County prosecutor Bell Elkins and Sheriff Nick Fogelsong are stymied by a murderer who seems to come and go like smoke on the mountain. At the same time, Bell must deal with the return from prison of her sister, Shirley—who, like Bell, carries the indelible scars of a savage past.

In Summer of the Dead, the third Julia Keller mystery chronicling the journey of Bell Elkins and her return to her Appalachian hometown, we also meet Lindy Crabtree—a coal miner's daughter with dark secrets of her own, secrets that threaten to explode into even more violence.

Acker's Gap is a place of loveliness and brutality, of isolation and fierce attachments—a place where the dead rub shoulders with the living, and demand their due.
Learn more about the book and author at Julia Keller's website.

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2012).

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue