Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"The Age of the Crisis of Man"

New from Princeton University Press: The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973 by Mark Greif.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a midcentury American cultural episode forgotten today, intellectuals of all schools shared a belief that human nature was under threat. The immediate result was a glut of dense, abstract books on the “nature of man.” But the dawning “age of the crisis of man,” as Mark Greif calls it, was far more than a historical curiosity. In this ambitious intellectual and literary history, Greif recovers this lost line of thought to show how it influenced society, politics, and culture before, during, and long after World War II.

During the 1930s and 1940s, fears of the barbarization of humanity energized New York intellectuals, Chicago protoconservatives, European Jewish émigrés, and native-born bohemians to seek “re-enlightenment,” a new philosophical account of human nature and history. After the war this effort diffused, leading to a rebirth of modern human rights and a new power for the literary arts.

Critics’ predictions of a “death of the novel” challenged writers to invest bloodless questions of human nature with flesh and detail. Hemingway, Faulkner, and Richard Wright wrote flawed novels of abstract man. Succeeding them, Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellow, Flannery O’Connor, and Thomas Pynchon constituted a new guard who tested philosophical questions against social realities—race, religious faith, and the rise of technology—that kept difference and diversity alive.

By the 1960s, the idea of “universal man” gave way to moral antihumanism, as new sensibilities and social movements transformed what had come before. Greif’s reframing of a foundational debate takes us beyond old antagonisms into a new future, and gives a prehistory to the fractures of our own era.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Devil Wins"

New from Princeton University Press: The Devil Wins: A History of Lying from the Garden of Eden to the Enlightenment by Dallas G. Denery II.

About the book, from the publisher:

Is it ever acceptable to lie? This question plays a surprisingly important role in the story of Europe’s transition from medieval to modern society. According to many historians, Europe became modern when Europeans began to lie—that is, when they began to argue that it is sometimes acceptable to lie. This popular account offers a clear trajectory of historical progression from a medieval world of faith, in which every lie is sinful, to a more worldly early modern society in which lying becomes a permissible strategy for self-defense and self-advancement. Unfortunately, this story is wrong.

For medieval and early modern Christians, the problem of the lie was the problem of human existence itself. To ask “Is it ever acceptable to lie?” was to ask how we, as sinners, should live in a fallen world. As it turns out, the answer to that question depended on who did the asking. The Devil Wins uncovers the complicated history of lying from the early days of the Catholic Church to the Enlightenment, revealing the diversity of attitudes about lying by considering the question from the perspectives of five representative voices—the Devil, God, theologians, courtiers, and women. Examining works by Augustine, Bonaventure, Martin Luther, Madeleine de Scudéry, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and a host of others, Dallas G. Denery II shows how the lie, long thought to be the source of worldly corruption, eventually became the very basis of social cohesion and peace.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

"The Providence of Fire"

New from Tor Books: The Providence of Fire: Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne (Volume 2) by Brian Staveley.

About the book, from the publisher:

Brian Staveley's Providence of Fire, the second novel in the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne, a gripping new epic fantasy series.

The conspiracy to destroy the ruling family of the Annurian Empire is far from over.

Having learned the identity of her father's assassin, Adare flees the Dawn Palace in search of allies to challenge the coup against her family. Few trust her, but when she is believed to be touched by Intarra, patron goddess of the empire, the people rally to help her retake the capital city. As armies prepare to clash, the threat of invasion from barbarian hordes compels the rival forces to unite against their common enemy. Unknown to Adare, her brother Valyn, renegade member of the empire's most elite fighting force, has allied with the invading nomads. The terrible choices each of them has made may make war between them inevitable.

Between Valyn and Adare is their brother Kaden, rightful heir to the Unhewn Throne, who has infiltrated the Annurian capital with the help of two strange companions. The knowledge they possess of the secret history that shapes these events could save Annur or destroy it.
Visit Brian Staveley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Slavers of the Savage Catacombs"

New from Baen: Slavers of the Savage Catacombs by Jon F. Merz.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ninjas versus Slave Drivers! Book 2 in the Shadow Warrior saga.

When Ran, the Shadow Warrior, is dispatched to investigate rumors of an invasion massing to the north, he signs on as protection for a trade caravan. But once underway, the caravan is attacked by an overwhelming force of slavers who take Ran and several others captive. Dragged into the bowels of the earth as slave labor for a despot‑in‑exile eager to reclaim his throne, Ran must make a desperate escape with his friends if he has any hope of uncovering the truth about the invasion above ground. But there's more at play than a mere power struggle in the catacombs, and the earth does not give up its secrets easily—even for Ran, the Shadow Warrior.
Visit Jon F. Merz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 29, 2014

"White Man's Problems"

New from Black Cat: White Man's Problems by Kevin Morris.

About the book, from the publisher:

In nine stories that move between nouveau riche Los Angeles and the working class East Coast, Kevin Morris explores the vicissitudes of modern life. Whether looking for creative ways to let off steam after a day in court or enduring chaperone duties on a school field trip to the nation's capital, the heroes of White Man's Problems struggle to navigate the challenges that accompany marriage, family, success, failure, growing up, and getting older.

The themes of these perceptive, wry and sometimes humorous tales pose philosophical questions about conformity and class, duplicity and decency, and the actions and meaning of an average man's life. Morris's confident debut strikes the perfect balance between comedy and catastrophe—and introduces a virtuosic new voice in American fiction.
Visit Kevin Morris's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman"

New from Minotaur Books: Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman: A Mystery by Tessa Arlen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Lady Montfort has been planning her annual summer costume ball for months, and with scrupulous care. Pulling together the food, flowers and a thousand other details for one of the most significant social occasions of the year is her happily accepted responsibility. But when her husband’s degenerate nephew is found murdered, it's more than the ball that is ruined. In fact, Lady Montfort fears that the official police enquiry, driven by petty snobbery and class prejudice, is pointing towards her son as a potential suspect.

Taking matters into her own hands, the rather over-imaginative countess enlists the help of her pragmatic housekeeper, Mrs. Jackson, to investigate the case, track down the women that vanished the night of the murder, and clear her son’s name. As the two women search for a runaway housemaid and a headstrong young woman, they unearth the hidden lives of Lady Montfort’s close friends, servants and family and discover the identity of a murderer hiding in plain sight.

In this enchanting debut sure to appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, Tessa Arlen draws readers into a world exclusively enjoyed by the rich, privileged classes and suffered by the men and women who serve them. Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman is an elegant mystery filled with intriguing characters and fascinating descriptions of Edwardian life—a superb treat for those who love British novels.
Visit Tessa Arlen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 28, 2014

"1995: The Year the Future Began"

New from the University of California Press: 1995: The Year the Future Began by W. Joseph Campbell.

About the book, from the publisher:

A hinge moment in recent American history, 1995 was an exceptional year. Drawing on interviews, oral histories, memoirs, archival collections, and news reports, W. Joseph Campbell presents a vivid, detail-rich portrait of those memorable twelve months. This book offers fresh interpretations of the decisive moments of 1995, including the emergence of the Internet and the World Wide Web in mainstream American life; the bombing at Oklahoma City, the deadliest attack of domestic terrorism in U.S. history; the sensational “Trial of the Century,” at which O.J. Simpson faced charges of double murder; the U.S.-brokered negotiations at Dayton, Ohio, which ended the Bosnian War, Europe’s most vicious conflict since the Nazi era; and the first encounters at the White House between Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, a liaison that culminated in a stunning scandal and the spectacle of the president’s impeachment and trial. As Campbell demonstrates in this absorbing chronicle, 1995 was a year of extraordinary events, a watershed at the turn of the millennium. The effects of that pivotal year reverberate still, marking the close of one century and the dawning of another.
--Marshal Zeringue


New from MIRA: Vanished by Elizabeth Heiter.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sometimes, the past can haunt you

Eighteen years ago, FBI profiler Evelyn Baine's best friend, Cassie Byers, disappeared, the third in a series of unsolved abductions. Only a macabre nursery rhyme was left at the scene, a nursery rhyme that claimed Evelyn was also an intended victim. Now, after all these years of silence, another girl has gone missing in South Carolina, and the Nursery Rhyme Killer is taking credit. But is Cassie's abductor really back, or is there a copycat at work?

Sometimes, the past is best forgotten

Evelyn has waited eighteen years for a chance to investigate, but when she returns to Rose Bay, she finds a dark side to the seemingly idyllic town. As the place erupts in violence and the kidnapper strikes again, Evelyn knows this is her last chance. If she doesn't figure out what happened to Cassie eighteen years ago, it may be Evelyn's turn to vanish without a trace.
Visit Elizabeth Heiter's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 27, 2014

"All the Bright Places"

New from Knopf Books for Young Readers: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.
Visit Jennifer Niven's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"After the War Is Over"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: After the War Is Over: A Novel by Jennifer Robson.

About the book, from the publisher:

The International bestselling author of Somewhere in France returns with her sweeping second novel—a tale of class, love, and freedom—in which a young woman must find her place in a world forever changed.

After four years as a military nurse, Charlotte Brown is ready to leave behind the devastation of the Great War. The daughter of a vicar, she has always been determined to dedicate her life to helping others. Moving to busy Liverpool, she throws herself into her work with those most in need, only tearing herself away for the lively dinners she enjoys with the women at her boarding house.

Just as Charlotte begins to settle into her new circumstances, two messages arrive that will change her life. One, from a radical young newspaper editor, offers her a chance to speak out for those who cannot. The other pulls her back to her past, and to a man she has tried, and failed, to forget.

Edward Neville-Ashford, her former employer and the brother of Charlotte’s dearest friend, is now the new Earl of Cumberland—and a shadow of the man he once was. Yet under his battle wounds and haunted eyes Charlotte sees glimpses of the charming boy who long ago claimed her foolish heart. She wants to help him, but dare she risk her future for a man who can never be hers?

As Britain seethes with unrest and post-war euphoria flattens into bitter disappointment, Charlotte must confront long-held insecurities to find her true voice . . . and the courage to decide if the life she has created is the one she truly wants.
Visit Jennifer Robson's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Jennifer Robson & Ellie.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 26, 2014

"A Seamless Murder"

New from Signet: A Seamless Murder: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery by Melissa Bourbon.

About the book, from the publisher:
With a needle and thread, Harlow Jane Cassidy is capable of magic. Her neighbors in Bliss, Texas, on the other hand, are capable of murder….

Any garment Harlow stitches together has the power to grant the deepest desire of whomever wears it. So when she’s asked to sew aprons for a local women’s group, Harlow must get to know each member. First up is Delta Lee Mobley, who doesn’t care much for Harlow’s family—or anyone else in Bliss, for that matter. Granting Delta’s greatest wish could only lead to trouble….

But trouble finds Delta all the same. The day after Harlow delivers her apron, Delta’s body is discovered in the cemetery. It seems one of the townsfolk harbored ill will toward one of their own. Harlow’s sleuthing skills are a cut above the rest, and with a few magical tricks up her sleeve, she is determined to cuff this killer once and for all.
Visit Melissa Bourbon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"It Was Me All Along"

New from Clarkson Potter: It Was Me All Along: A Memoir by Andie Mitchell.

About the book, from the publisher:

A heartbreakingly honest, endearing memoir of incredible weight loss by a young food blogger who battles body image issues and overcomes food addiction to find self-acceptance.

All her life, Andie Mitchell had eaten lustily and mindlessly. Food was her babysitter, her best friend, her confidant, and it provided a refuge from her fractured family. But when she stepped on the scale on her twentieth birthday and it registered a shocking 268 pounds, she knew she had to change the way she thought about food and herself; that her life was at stake.

It Was Me All Along takes Andie from working class Boston to the romantic streets of Rome, from morbidly obese to half her size, from seeking comfort in anything that came cream-filled and two-to-a-pack to finding balance in exquisite (but modest) bowls of handmade pasta. This story is about much more than a woman who loves food and abhors her body. It is about someone who made changes when her situation seemed too far gone and how she discovered balance in an off-kilter world. More than anything, though, it is the story of her finding beauty in acceptance and learning to love all parts of herself.
Visit Andie Mitchell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 25, 2014

"With Sails Whitening Every Sea"

New from Cornell University Press: With Sails Whitening Every Sea: Mariners and the Making of an American Maritime Empire by Brian Rouleau.

About the book, from the publisher:

Many Americans in the Early Republic era saw the seas as another field for national aggrandizement. With a merchant marine that competed against Britain for commercial supremacy and a whaling fleet that circled the globe, the United States sought a maritime empire to complement its territorial ambitions in North America. In With Sails Whitening Every Sea, Brian Rouleau argues that because of their ubiquity in foreign ports, American sailors were the principal agents of overseas foreign relations in the early republic. Their everyday encounters and more problematic interactions—barroom brawling, sexual escapades in port-city bordellos, and the performance of blackface minstrel shows—shaped how the United States was perceived overseas.

Rouleau details both the mariners' "working-class diplomacy" and the anxieties such interactions inspired among federal authorities and missionary communities, who saw the behavior of American sailors as mere debauchery. Indiscriminate violence and licentious conduct, they feared, threatened both mercantile profit margins and the nation’s reputation overseas. As Rouleau chronicles, the world’s oceans and seaport spaces soon became a battleground over the terms by which American citizens would introduce themselves to the world. But by the end of the Civil War, seamen were no longer the nation’s principal ambassadors. Hordes of wealthy tourists had replaced seafarers, and those privileged travelers moved through a world characterized by consolidated state and corporate authority. Expanding nineteenth-century America’s master narrative beyond the water’s edge, With Sails Whitening Every Sea reveals the maritime networks that bound the Early Republic to the wider world.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Don’t Blame Us"

New from Princeton University Press: Don’t Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party by Lily Geismer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Don’t Blame Us traces the reorientation of modern liberalism and the Democratic Party away from their roots in labor union halls of northern cities to white-collar professionals in postindustrial high-tech suburbs, and casts new light on the importance of suburban liberalism in modern American political culture. Focusing on the suburbs along the high-tech corridor of Route 128 around Boston, Lily Geismer challenges conventional scholarly assessments of Massachusetts exceptionalism, the decline of liberalism, and suburban politics in the wake of the rise of the New Right and the Reagan Revolution in the 1970s and 1980s. Although only a small portion of the population, knowledge professionals in Massachusetts and elsewhere have come to wield tremendous political leverage and power. By probing the possibilities and limitations of these suburban liberals, this rich and nuanced account shows that—far from being an exception to national trends—the suburbs of Massachusetts offer a model for understanding national political realignment and suburban politics in the second half of the twentieth century.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"Dead is Better"

New from Page Burner Press: Dead is Better by Jo Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:

Death is just the beginning for Charles Stone and the dog he names Rose.

When Charles finds himself in the afterlife with bullets in his chest and a strange dog at his side, he resolves to return to the world of the living to find out who killed him and why. His search takes him to L.A.'s Skid Row and beyond. Charles learns some uncomfortable truths about death and life, and uncovers a cruel crime in progress that me must stop before it is too late.
Visit Jo Perry's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"House Broken"

New from NAL: House Broken by Sonja Yoerg.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this compelling and poignant debut novel, a woman skilled at caring for animals must learn to mend the broken relationships in her family.…

For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.

Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm’s length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva’s husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship.

Geneva isn’t expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she’s been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive.
Visit Sonja Yoerg's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"F.B. Eyes"

New from Princeton University Press: F.B. Eyes: How J. Edgar Hoover’s Ghostreaders Framed African American Literature by William J. Maxwell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Few institutions seem more opposed than African American literature and J. Edgar Hoover’s white-bread Federal Bureau of Investigation. But behind the scenes the FBI’s hostility to black protest was energized by fear of and respect for black writing. Drawing on nearly 14,000 pages of newly released FBI files, F.B. Eyes exposes the Bureau’s intimate policing of five decades of African American poems, plays, essays, and novels. Starting in 1919, year one of Harlem’s renaissance and Hoover’s career at the Bureau, secretive FBI “ghostreaders” monitored the latest developments in African American letters. By the time of Hoover’s death in 1972, these ghostreaders knew enough to simulate a sinister black literature of their own. The official aim behind the Bureau’s close reading was to anticipate political unrest. Yet, as William J. Maxwell reveals, FBI surveillance came to influence the creation and public reception of African American literature in the heart of the twentieth century.

Taking his title from Richard Wright’s poem “The FB Eye Blues,” Maxwell details how the FBI threatened the international travels of African American writers and prepared to jail dozens of them in times of national emergency. All the same, he shows that the Bureau’s paranoid style could prompt insightful criticism from Hoover’s ghostreaders and creative replies from their literary targets. For authors such as Claude McKay, James Baldwin, and Sonia Sanchez, the suspicion that government spy-critics tracked their every word inspired rewarding stylistic experiments as well as disabling self-censorship.

Illuminating both the serious harms of state surveillance and the ways in which imaginative writing can withstand and exploit it, F.B. Eyes is a groundbreaking account of a long-hidden dimension of African American literature.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Is There Life After Football?"

New from NYU Press: Is There Life After Football? Surviving the NFL by James A. Holstein, Richard S. Jones and George E. Koonce, Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:

In January 2014, President Barack Obama made headlines when he confided to New Yorker reporter Davis Remnick that, if he had a son, he would discourage him from playing in the NFL. “I would not let my son play pro football,” he told the writer. Obama’s words came on the heels of a year of heightened awareness of the life-long consequences of a professional football career. In August 2013, the NFL agreed to a $765 million settlement with over 4,500 retired players seeking damages for head injuries sustained during play. Thousands of others are seeking disability benefits in the State of California for on-field injuries. But the possibility of lifelong disability is not the only problem facing professional football players after their playing careers—often brief to begin with—come to an end. Many players, having spent years focusing on football, find themselves at sea when they either leave or are forced out of the NFL, without any alternate life plans or even the resources to make them.

Is There Life After Football? draws upon the experiences of hundreds of former players as they describe their lives after their football days are over. It also incorporates stories about their playing careers, even before entering the NFL, to provide context for understanding their current situations.The authors begin with an analysis of the “bubble”-like conditions of privilege that NFL players experience while playing, conditions that often leave players unprepared for the real world once they retire and must manage their own lives. The book also examines the key issues affecting former NFL players in retirement: social isolation, financial concerns, inadequate career planning, psychological challenges, and physical injuries. From players who make reckless and unsustainable financial investments during their very few high-earning years, to players who struggle to form personal and professional relationships outside of football, the stories in the book put a very human face on the realities of the world of professional football. George Koonce Jr., a former NFL player himself, weaves in his own story throughout, explaining the challenges and setbacks he encountered and decisions that helped him succeed as an NFL Director of Player Development, PhD student, and university administrator after leaving the sport.

Ultimately, Is There Life After Football? concludes that, despite the challenges players face, it is possible for players to find success after leaving the NFL if they have the right support, education, and awareness of what might await them. But players themselves must also resist being totally engulfed by the NFL culture in which they live. A fascinating study with unprecedented insider access, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in the world of professional football.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 22, 2014

"Before I Go"

New from Gallery Books: Before I Go by Colleen Oakley.

About the book, from the publisher:

A heart-wrenching debut novel in the bestselling tradition of P.S. I Love You about a young woman with breast cancer who undertakes a mission to find a new wife for her husband before she passes away.

Twenty-seven-year-old Daisy already beat breast cancer three years ago. How can this be happening to her again?

On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.

With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?
Visit Colleen Oakley's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Entertaining Judgment"

New from Oxford University Press: Entertaining Judgment: The Afterlife in Popular Imagination by Greg Garrett.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nowadays references to the afterlife-angels strumming harps, demons brandishing pitchforks, God enthroned on heavenly clouds-are more often encountered in New Yorker cartoons than in serious Christian theological reflection. Speculation about death and its sequel seems to embarrass many theologians; however, as Greg Garrett shows in Entertaining Judgment, popular culture in the U.S. has found rich ground for creative expression in the search for answers to the question: What lies in store for us after we die?

The lyrics of Madonna, Los Lonely Boys, and Sean Combs; the plotlines of TV's Lost, South Park, and The Walking Dead; the implied theology in films such as The Dark Knight, Ghost, and Field of Dreams; the heavenly half-light of Thomas Kinkade's popular paintings; the ghosts, shades, and after-life way-stations in Harry Potter; and the characters, situations, and locations in the Hunger Games saga all speak to our hopes and fears about what comes next. In a rich survey of literature and popular media, Garrett compares cultural accounts of death and the afterlife with those found in scripture. Denizens of the imagined afterlife, whether in heaven, hell, on earth, or in purgatory, speak to what awaits us, at once shaping and reflecting our deeply held-if often somewhat nebulous-beliefs. They show us what rewards and punishments we might expect, offer us divine assistance, and even diabolically attack us.

Ultimately, we are drawn to these stories of heaven, hell, and purgatory--and to stories about death and the undead--not only because they entertain us, but because they help us to create meaning and to learn about ourselves, our world, and, perhaps, the next world. Garrett's deft analysis sheds new light on what popular culture can tell us about the startlingly sharp divide between what modern people profess to believe and what they truly hope and expect to find after death--and how they use those stories to help them understand this life.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 21, 2014


New from Harlequin Intrigue: Infiltration by Janie Crouch.

About the book, from the publisher:

She never expected to see her old flame again. Or be kidnapped by him.

The wrong place at the wrong time—that's the only way Sophia Reardon could explain her predicament. She wasn't even an FBI field agent and now she was being taken hostage. By her ex-boyfriend Cameron Branson. The moment Sophia walked into his undercover operation, Cameron warned her that his "employers" would want to break her. So keeping her by his side, pretending not to have feelings for her, was the best way to maintain his role in the dangerous organization, and the only way to keep them both safe. Because if they got their hands on her, she could expose him and his secrets. And then they'd no longer have any reason to keep her around…
Visit Janie Crouch's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Broken Regiment"

New from Louisiana State University Press: A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut's Civil War by Lesley J. Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Broken Regiment recounts the tragic history of one of the Civil War’s most ill-fated Union military units. Organized in the late summer of 1862, the 16th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was unprepared for battle a month later, when it entered the fight at Antietam. The results were catastrophic: nearly a quarter of the men were killed or wounded, and Connecticut’s 16th panicked and fled the field. In the years that followed, the regiment participated in minor skirmishes before surrendering en masse in North Carolina in 1864. Most of its members spent months in southern prison camps, including the notorious Andersonville stockade, where disease and starvation took the lives of over one hundred members of the unit.

The struggles of the 16th led survivors to reflect on the true nature of their military experience during and after the war, and questions of cowardice and courage, patriotism and purpose, were often foremost in their thoughts. Over time, competing stories emerged of who they were, why they endured what they did, and how they should be remembered. By the end of the century, their collective recollections reshaped this troubling and traumatic past, and the “unfortunate regiment” emerged as the "Brave Sixteenth,” their individual memories and accounts altered to fit the more heroic contours of the Union victory.

The product of over a decade of research, Lesley J. Gordon’s A Broken Regiment illuminates this unit’s complex history amid the interplay of various, and often competing, voices. The result is a fascinating and heartrending story of one regiment’s wartime and postwar struggles.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 20, 2014

"Paw and Order"

New from St. Martin's Paperbacks: Paw and Order (Paw Enforcement Series #2) by Diane Kelly.

About the book, from the publisher:

Police officer Megan Luz and her loyal K-9 partner Brigit are back on the beat-and under the gun-when the local rodeo show goes to the dogs. After capturing the notorious Fort Worth “Tunabomber,” Megan and Brigit are practically celebrities. Which is why the police chief lassoed them into doing rodeo duty -mostly as a public relations stunt for the department. Megan’s not a fan of calf roping, bull riding, or goat milking contests. But when a small-time thief appears to be working the circuit, her trusty K-9 partner starts sniffing for clues… Add an attractive mounted deputy to the mix and readers are in for a wild ride!
Visit Diane Kelly's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Diane Kelly & Reggie, Junior, and Brownie.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Amateur Cinema"

New from the University of California Press: Amateur Cinema: The Rise of North American Moviemaking, 1923-1960 by Charles Tepperman.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the very beginning of cinema, there have been amateur filmmakers at work. It wasn’t until Kodak introduced 16mm film in 1923, however, that amateur moviemaking became a widespread reality, and by the 1950s, over a million Americans had amateur movie cameras. In Amateur Cinema, Charles Tepperman explores the meaning of the “amateur” in film history and modern visual culture.

In the middle decades of the twentieth century—the period that saw Hollywood’s rise to dominance in the global film industry—a movement of amateur filmmakers created an alternative world of small-scale movie production and circulation. Organized amateur moviemaking was a significant phenomenon that gave rise to dozens of clubs and thousands of participants producing experimental, nonfiction, or short-subject narratives. Rooted in an examination of surviving films, this book traces the contexts of “advanced” amateur cinema and articulates the broad aesthetic and stylistic tendencies of amateur films.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 19, 2014

"Hoax Springs Eternal"

New from Cambridge University Press: Hoax Springs Eternal: The Psychology of Cognitive Deception by Peter Hancock.

About the book, from the publisher:

Unlike sleights of hand, which fool the senses, sleights of mind challenge cognition. This book defines and explains cognitive deception and explores six prominent potential historical instances of it: the Cross of King Arthur, Drake's Plate of Brass, the Kensington Runestone, the Vinland Map, the Piltdown Man, and the Shroud of Turin. In spite of evidence contradicting their alleged origins, their stories continue to persuade many of their authenticity. Peter Hancock uses these purported hoaxes as case studies to develop and demonstrate fundamental principles of cognitive psychology. By dissecting each ostensible artifact, he illustrates how hoaxes can deceive us and offers us defenses against them. This book further examines how and why we allow others to deceive us and how and why we even deceive ourselves at times. Accessible to beginner and expert alike, Hoax Springs Eternal provides an essential interdisciplinary guide to cognitive deception.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Broken Bonds"

New from MIRA: Broken Bonds by Karen Harper.

About the book, from the publisher:

Haunted by the past

Cold Creek is a place with a dark history, especially for the Lockwoods. Now adults, the three Lockwood sisters are still recovering from the events that led to the destruction of their family when they were children. Determined to move forward, Tess and Kate are making fresh starts, ready to put bad—even deadly—memories to rest and settle happily in the small but booming town. And they're hoping their older sister, Charlene, can do the same.

Char is back in town seeking comfort as she figures out her next move. A social worker used to difficult situations, she soon runs afoul of some locals who think she's sticking her nose where it doesn't belong. She's certain something sinister is being covered up, and when she witnesses Matt Rowan being run off the road, she knows she's right.

Working together, Matt and Char figure uncovering the truth will be dangerous, but living in Cold Creek won't be safe for any of them until its secrets are revealed.
Visit Karen Harper's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"Save Me"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Save Me by Kristyn Kusek Lewis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Daphne Mitchell has always believed in cause and effect, right and wrong, good and bad. The good: her dream job as a doctor; Owen, her childhood sweetheart and now husband; the beautiful farmhouse they're restoring together. In fact, most of her life has been good--until the day Owen comes home early from work to tell her he's fallen head over heels for someone else.

Unable to hate him, but also equally incapable of moving forward, Daphne's life hangs in limbo until the day Owen's new girlfriend sustains near-fatal injuries in a car accident. As Daphne becomes a pillar of support for the devastated Owen, and realizes that reconciliation may lie within her grasp, she has to find out whether forgiveness is possible and decide which path is the right one for her.
Visit Kristyn Kusek Lewis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Night After Night"

New from Atlantic Books: Night After Night by Phil Rickman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Liam Defford doesn't believe in ghosts. As the head of a production company, however, he does believe in high-impact TV. On the lookout for his next idea, he hires journalist Grayle Underhill to research the history of Knap Hall—a Tudor farmhouse turned luxury hotel, abandoned by its owners at the height of its success. The staff has been paid to keep quiet about what happened there, but the stories seep through. They're not conducive to a quick sale, but Defford isn't interested in keeping Knap Hall for more than a few months. Just long enough to make a reality TV show that will run nightly. A house isolated by its rural situation and its dark reputation; six people—known to the nation but strangers to one another—locked inside; but this time Big Brother is not in control.
Learn more about the book and author at Phil Rickman's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Bones of Avalon.

The Page 69 Test: The Bones of Avalon.

Writers Read: Phil Rickman (July 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

"Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences"

New from Columbia University Press: Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth by James Lawrence Powell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Over the course of the twentieth century, scientists came to accept four counterintuitive yet fundamental facts about the Earth: deep time, continental drift, meteorite impact, and global warming. When first suggested, each proposition violated scientific orthodoxy and was quickly denounced as scientific--and sometimes religious--heresy. Nevertheless, after decades of rejection, scientists and many in the public grew to acknowledge the truth of each theory.

The stories behind these four discoveries reflect more than the fascinating push and pull of scientific work. They reveal the provocative nature of science, which raises profound and uncomfortable truths as it advances. For example, the Earth and the solar system are older than all of human existence; the interactions among the moving plates and the continents they carry account for nearly all of the Earth's surface features; and nearly every important feature of our solar system results from the chance collision of objects in space. Most surprising of all, we have altered the climate of an entire planet and threaten the future of human civilization. This absorbing scientific history is the only book to describe the evolution of these four ideas from heresy to truth, showing how science works in practice and how it inevitably corrects the mistakes of its practitioners. Scientists can be wrong, but science can be trusted. In the process, astonishing ideas are born and, over time, take root.
Visit James L. Powell's website.

Writers Read: James L. Powell (March 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Yale University Press: Jealousy by Peter Toohey.

About the book, from the publisher:

Compete, acquire, succeed, enjoy: the pressures of living in today’s materialistic world seem predicated upon jealousy—the feelings of rivalry and resentment for possession of whatever the other has. But while our newspapers abound with stories of the sometimes droll, sometimes deadly consequences of sexual jealousy, Peter Toohey argues in this charmingly provocative book that jealousy is much more than the destructive emotion it is commonly assumed to be. It helps as much as it harms.

Examining the meaning, history, and value of jealousy, Toohey places the emotion at the core of modern culture, creativity, and civilization—not merely the sexual relationship. His eclectic approach weaves together psychology, art and literature, neuroscience, anthropology, and a host of other disciplines to offer fresh and intriguing contemporary perspectives on violence, the family, the workplace, animal behavior, and psychopathology. Ranging from the streets of London to Pacific islands, and from the classical world to today, this is an elegant, smart, and beautifully illustrated defense of a not-always-deadly sin.
The Page 99 Test: Peter Toohey's Boredom: A Lively History.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

"The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer"

New from Berkley: The Ghost and Mrs. Mewer (Paws and Claws Mystery Series #2) by Krista Davis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Wagtail, Virginia, the top pet-friendly getaway in the United States, is gearing up for a howling good Halloween—until a spooky murder shakes the town to its core...

Holly Miller doesn’t believe in spirits, but the Sugar Maple Inn is filled with guests who do. The TV series in development, Apparition Apprehenders, has descended on Wagtail’s annual Halloween festivities to investigate supernatural local legends, and Holly has her hands full showing the ghost hunters a scary-fun time.

But the frights turn real when Holly’s Jack Russell, Trixie, and kitten, Twinkletoes, find a young woman drowned in the Wagtail Springs Hotel’s bathhouse—the spot of the town’s most infamous haunting. The crime scene is eerily similar to the creepy legend, convincing Holly that the death wasn’t just accidental. Now she’ll have to race to catch a flesh-and-blood killer—before someone else in town gives up the ghost...
Visit Krista Davis's blog.

Coffee with a canine: Krista Davis & Han, Buttercup, and Queenie.

--Marshal Zeringue

"American Queen"

New from Da Capo Press: American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague--Civil War "Belle of the North" and Gilded Age Woman of Scandal by John Oller.

About the book, from the publisher:

Had People magazine been around during the Civil War and after, Kate Chase would have made its “Most Beautiful” and “Most Intriguing” lists every year. The charismatic daughter of Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln’s treasury secretary, Kate Chase enjoyed unprecedented political power for a woman. As her widowed father’s hostess, she set up a rival “court” against Mary Lincoln in hopes of making her father president and herself his First Lady. To facilitate that goal, she married one of the richest men in the country, the handsome “boy governor” of Rhode Island, in the social event of the Civil War. She moved easily between the worlds of high fashion, adorning herself in the most regal Parisian gowns, and politics, managing her father's presidential campaigns. "No Queen has ever reigned under the Stars and Stripes," one newspaper would write, "but this remarkable woman came closer to being a Queen than any American woman has."

But when William Sprague turned out to be less of a prince as a husband, Kate found comfort in the arms of a powerful married senator. The ensuing sex scandal ended her virtual royalty; after the marriage crumbled and the money disappeared, she was left only with her children and her ever-proud bearing. She became a social outcast and died in poverty, yet in her final years she would find both greater authenticity and the inner peace that had always eluded her.

Kate Chase’s dramatic story is one of ambition and tragedy, set against the seductive allure of the Civil War and Gilded Age, involving some of the most famous personalities in American history. In this beautifully written and meticulously researched biography, drawing on much unpublished material, John Oller captures the extraordinary life of a woman who was a century ahead of her time.
Visit John Oller's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 15, 2014

"Horses of the Dawn #2: Star Rise"

New from Scholastic: Horses of the Dawn #2: Star Rise by Kathryn Lasky.

About the book, from the publisher:

For the filly Estrella, nothing is more precious than freedom. She was born at sea, chattel to men sailing to the New World in search of gold. But Estrella and her herd escaped the conquerors and embarked on a journey across thousands of miles -- braving harsh terrains and fierce predators -- to a land where they can finally run wild.

But now, an unforeseen danger threatens to destroy the pack. A boy with a special gift is lost in the wilderness, and only the horses can keep him alive. But to save the boy, the herd will have to abandon their quest, and risk galloping straight back into the hands-and harnesses- of their captors.

And so, it's up to Estrella, the herd's unlikely leader, to make a life-changing decision. Should the horses accept the orphan boy as one of their own? How do you choose between freedom and friendship?
Learn more about the book and author at Kathryn Lasky's website.

Writers Read: Kathryn Lasky (August 2013).

My Book, The Movie: The Rise of a Legend.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Vanessa and Her Sister"

New from Ballantine Books: Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank comes a captivating novel that offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of Vanessa Bell, her sister Virginia Woolf, and the controversial and popular circle of intellectuals known as the Bloomsbury Group.

London, 1905: The city is alight with change, and the Stephen siblings are at the forefront. Vanessa, Virginia, Thoby, and Adrian are leaving behind their childhood home and taking a house in the leafy heart of avant-garde Bloomsbury. There they bring together a glittering circle of bright, outrageous artistic friends who will grow into legend and come to be known as the Bloomsbury Group. And at the center of this charmed circle are the devoted, gifted sisters: Vanessa, the painter, and Virginia, the writer.

Each member of the group will go on to earn fame and success, but so far Vanessa Bell has never sold a painting. Virginia Woolf’s book review has just been turned down by The Times. Lytton Strachey has not published anything. E. M. Forster has finished his first novel but does not like the title. Leonard Woolf is still a civil servant in Ceylon, and John Maynard Keynes is looking for a job. Together, this sparkling coterie of artists and intellectuals throw away convention and embrace the wild freedom of being young, single bohemians in London.

But the landscape shifts when Vanessa unexpectedly falls in love and her sister feels dangerously abandoned. Eerily possessive, charismatic, manipulative, and brilliant, Virginia has always lived in the shelter of Vanessa’s constant attention and encouragement. Without it, she careens toward self-destruction and madness. As tragedy and betrayal threaten to destroy the family, Vanessa must decide if it is finally time to protect her own happiness above all else.

The work of exciting young newcomer Priya Parmar, Vanessa and Her Sister exquisitely captures the champagne-heady days of prewar London and the extraordinary lives of sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.
Learn more about the book and author at Priya Parmar's website.

Writers Read: Priya Parmar (February 2011).

My Book, The Movie: Exit the Actress.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 14, 2014

"No Fortunate Son"

New from Dutton: No Fortunate Son: A Pike Logan Thriller by Brad Taylor.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the latest military thriller from the retired Delta Force Operator and New York Times bestselling author, a hostage situation places America’s most powerful political elite at the mercy of its worst enemies.

When veteran operator Pike Logan and partner Jennifer Cahill receive a letter from Blaisdell Consulting—the umbrella cover company for their real employer, a top secret counterterrorist unit called the Taskforce—they expect orders for their next mission-impossible tasking. Instead, they learn that their latest actions have gotten them fired, despite having saved thousands of innocent lives.

Pike’s shock and fury is redirected when their commander, Colonel Kurt Hale, asks him and Jennifer for help with a personal matter: His niece Kylie, an exchange student in England, has gone missing. Neither Pike nor Jennifer understands how critical her disappearance will become.

Meanwhile, all Taskforce teams have been redirected to a developing situation. A terrorist organization has targeted military relatives of key members of the US government, including the vice president’s son. Their seizure of hostages was far-reaching and meticulously coordinated, and the full extent of the threat—and potential demands—has thrown the government into turmoil. They face a terrible choice: Cease counter-terrorist operations, or watch hostages die one by one. How much is a single life worth? Unless the Taskforce can decipher the web of lies devised by their enemies, the United States is about to find out.
Visit Brad Taylor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Rosie Effect'

New from Simon & Schuster: The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion.

About the book, from the publisher:

The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Rosie Project, starring the same extraordinary couple now living in New York and unexpectedly expecting their first child. Get ready to fall in love all over again.

Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they’re about to face a new challenge because— surprise!—Rosie is pregnant.

Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.

As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia to reconcile, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business, and staying on the right side of Lydia the social worker, he almost misses the biggest problem of all: he might lose Rosie when she needs him the most.

Graeme Simsion first introduced these unforgettable characters in The Rosie Project, which NPR called “sparkling entertainment along the lines of Where’d You Go Bernadette and When Harry Met Sally.” The San Francisco Chronicle said, “sometimes you just need a smart love story that will make anyone, man or woman, laugh out loud.” If you were swept away by the book that’s captivated a million readers worldwide, you will love The Rosie Effect.
Learn more about the book and author at Graeme Simsion's website and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: The Rosie Project.

The Page 69 Test: The Rosie Project.

Writers Read: Graeme Simsion.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"Cinema of the Dark Side"

New from Edinburgh University Press: Cinema of the Dark Side: Atrocity and the Ethics of Film Spectatorship by Shohini Chaudhuri.

About the book, from the publisher:

A few days after 9/11, US Vice-President Dick Cheney invoked the need for the USA to work 'the dark side' in its global 'War on Terror'. In Cinema of the Dark Side, Shohini Chaudhuri explores how contemporary cinema treats state-sponsored atrocity, evoking multiple landscapes of state terror. She investigates the ethical potential of cinematic atrocity images, arguing that while films help to create and confirm normative perceptions about atrocities, they can also disrupt those perceptions and build different ones. Asserting a crucial distinction between morality and ethics, the book proposes a new conceptualisation of human rights cinema that repositions human rights morality within an ethical framework that reflects upon the causes and contexts of violence. It builds upon theories of embodied spectatorship to explore how films can implicate us in histories that may appear to be distant and unrelated to us, and how they draw connections between past and present patterns of oppression.

The book covers a diverse spectrum of 21st century cinema dealing with documentary or fictional representations of atrocity such as state-sanctioned torture, genocide, enforced disappearance, deportation, and apartheid, including Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Standard Operating Procedure (2008), Hotel Rwanda (2004), Sometimes in April (2005), Nostalgia for the Light (2010), Chronicle of an Escape (2006), Children of Men (2006), District 9 (2009), Waltz With Bashir (2008), and Paradise Now (2005). Cinema of the Dark Side provides readers with fresh insights into how we respond to atrocity images and the ethical issues at stake.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 12, 2014

"The Boy with the Hidden Name"

New from Sourcebooks: The Boy with the Hidden Name: Otherworld Book Two by Skylar Dorset.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Benedict Le Fay will betray you. And then he will die."

Betrayal and death—not quite the prophecy Selkie wanted about her first love. A half-faerie princess with a price on her head, Selkie Stewart just wants a little normal in her life. Not another crazy prophecy. Besides, she and Ben are a team. They're the two most wanted individuals in the Otherworld, and fated to bring down the Seelie Fairie Court and put an end to their reign of terror. Nothing can come between them.

Until Ben leaves.
And the sun goes out.
And the chiming bells deafen all of Boston.

The Seelies are coming. And only Selkie can stop them from destroying the world.
Visit Skylar Dorset's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books: Hidden by Donna Jo Napoli.

About the book, from the publisher:

A young girl must learn to survive and find her family against all odds in this heartbreaking companion to Hush from award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli.

Lost at sea when her sister is taken captive on a marauding slave ship, Brigid is far removed from the only life she knew as a princess and the pampered daughter of an Irish king.

Now Brigid has few choices. Alone and abandoned, she disguises herself as a boy and vows to find her innocent sister taken into slavery. Through her search many years pass and she grows from being a child to a woman, tough Brigid does not give up. She lives from the land, meets friend and foe along the way, and gains a reputation as a woman thought to be fierce enough to conquer men. It is not fierceness that guides her but the love of isster and the longing for her family to be united. One day she finds her way, knowing that her only real power comes from within herself.

Based on the legend of the first Norse woman pirate, award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli has told a remarkable survival story spanning years and continents and one that transports and transforms readers.
Visit Donna Jo Napoli's website.

Writers Read: Donna Jo Napoli (June 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 11, 2014


New from Razorbill: Zodiac by Romina Russell.

About the book, from the publisher:

At the dawn of time, there were 13 Houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now only 12 remain….

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancrian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

Embark on a dazzling journey with ZODIAC, the first novel in an epic sci-fi-meets-high-fantasy series set in a galaxy inspired by the astrological signs.
Visit Romina Russell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Perfect Mother"

New from Plume: The Perfect Mother: A Novel by Nina Darnton.

About the book, from the publisher:

When an American exchange student is accused of murder, her mother will stop at nothing to save her.

A midnight phone call shatters Jennifer Lewis’s carefully orchestrated life. Her daughter, Emma, who’s studying abroad in Spain, has been arrested after the brutal murder of another student. Jennifer rushes to her side, certain the arrest is a terrible mistake and determined to do whatever is necessary to bring Emma home. But as she begins to investigate the crime, she starts to wonder whether she ever really knew her daughter. The police charge Emma, and the press leaps on the story, exaggerating every sordid detail. One by one, Emma’s defense team, her father, and finally even Jennifer begin to have doubts.

A novel of harrowing emotional suspense, The Perfect Mother probes the dark side of parenthood and the complicated bond between mothers and daughters.
Visit Nina Darnton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"Fighting Back the Right"

New from Palgrave Macmillan Trade: Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason by David Niose.

About the book, from the publisher:

The political scene is changing rapidly in America. The religious right is on the defensive, acceptance of gay rights is at an all-time high, social conservatives are struggling for relevance, and more Americans than ever identify as nonreligious. What does this mean for the country and the future? With these demographic shifts, can truly progressive, reason-based public policy finally gain traction? Or will America continue to carry a reputation as anti-intellectual and plutocratic, eager to cater to large corporate interests but reluctant to provide universal health care to all its citizens? Fighting Back the Right reveals a new alliance in the making, a progressive coalition committed to fighting for rational public policy in America and reversing the damage inflicted by decades of conservative dominance. David Niose, Legal Director of the American Humanist Association (AHA), examines this exciting new dynamic, covering not only the rapidly evolving culture wars but also the twists and turns of American history and politics that led to this point, and why this new alliance could potentially move the country in a direction of sanity, fairness, and human-centered public policy.
Visit David Niose's blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A String of Beads"

New from Grove/Atlantic: A String of Beads by Thomas Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:

After two decades protecting innocent victims on the run, and a year after getting shot on a job that took a dangerous turn for the worse, Jane McKinnon, née Whitefield, has settled into the quiet life of a suburban housewife in Amherst, New York—or so she thinks.

One morning as she comes back from a long run, Jane is met by an unusual sight: all eight clan mothers, the female leaders of the Seneca clans, parked in her driveway in two black cars. A childhood friend of Jane’s from the reservation, Jimmy, is wanted by the police for the murder of a local white man. But instead of turning himself in, he's fled, and no one knows where he is hiding out. At the clan mothers’ request, Jane retraces a walking trip she and Jimmy took together when they were fourteen in hopes that he has gone the same way again. But it soon becomes clear that the police aren’t the only ones after him. As the chase intensifies, the number of people caught up in this twisted plot multiplies, and Jane is the only one who can protect those endangered by it. A String of Beads is an addictive, fast-paced thriller about how abandoning the past can sometimes be the hardest thing to do, even when your life—and the life of those you love—depends on it.
Learn more about the book and author at Thomas Perry's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Silence.

The Page 99 Test: Nightlife.

Writers Read: Thomas Perry (August 2007).

The Page 69/99 Test: Fidelity.

The Page 69/99 Test: Runner.

The Page 69 Test: Strip.

The Page 69 Test: The Informant.

Writer's Read: Thomas Perry (May 2011).

The Page 69 Test: The Boyfriend.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"Hope Rising"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Hope Rising by Stacy Henrie.

About the book, from the publisher:


In France at the height of World War I, American nurse Evelyn Gray is no stranger to suffering. She's helped save the life of many a soldier, but when she learns her betrothed has been killed, her own heart may be broken beyond repair. Summoning all her strength, Evelyn is determined to carry on-not just for herself and her country, but for her unborn child.

Corporal Joel Campbell dreams of the day the war is over and he can return home and start a family. When a brutal battle injury puts that hope in jeopardy, Joel is lost to despair . . . until he meets Evelyn. Beautiful, compassionate, and in need of help, she makes an unconventional proposal that could save their lives-or ruin them irrevocably. Now, amidst the terror and turmoil of the Western Front, these two lost souls will have to put their faith in love to find the miracle they've been looking for.
Visit Stacy Henrie's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: Descent: A Novel by Tim Johnston.

About the book, from the publisher:

The stunning vistas of the Rocky Mountains reveal a dark and deadly side in this brilliantly conceived thriller about family ties and the fight for survival.

Descent, the story of a family undone by the disappearance of a daughter who went out for a morning run and didn’t come back, is stunning in its emotional impact—a compulsively readable page-turner with a strong literary sensibility.

The girl’s vanishing—on a sunny, late-summer vacation morning—all the more devastating for its mystery, is the beginning of the family’s harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths, until all that continues to bind them to each other are the questions they can never bring themselves to ask: At what point does a family stop searching? At what point does a girl stop fighting for her life?

Johnston captures every emotion, every terrifying thought, every moment of loneliness, from the perspectives of everyone in the family—as each in his or her own way assumes responsibility for their collective loss. And in the father we see the last flicker of hope as he pursues every angle and refuses to give up in his belief that his daughter is still alive. Ultimately he finds an answer, in a climax that is stunning in both its execution and its resolution.

This combination of a great story and beautiful writing brings to mind the works of Tim Gautreaux, Dennis Lehane, and Russell Banks.
Visit Tim Johnston's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Secret of a Thousand Beauties"

New from Kensington: Secret of a Thousand Beauties by Mingmei Yip.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set against the vibrant and intrigue-laden backdrop of 1930s China, Mingmei Yip's enthralling novel explores one woman's defiant pursuit of independence.

Spring Swallow was promised in marriage while still in her mother's belly. When the groom dies before a wedding can take place, seventeen-year-old Spring Swallow is ordered to become a ghost bride to appease his spirit. Under her in-laws' protection, she will be little more than a servant, unable to know real love or bear children. Refusing to accept her fate as a "bad-luck woman," Spring Swallow flees on her wedding day.

In the city of Soochow, Spring Swallow joins a community of renowned embroiderers. The women work for Aunty Peony, whose exquisite stitching once earned her the Emperor's love. But when Aunty Peony agrees to replicate a famous painting--a lucrative assignment that will take a year to complete--betrayal and jealousy emerges within the group. Spring Swallow becomes entangled in each woman's story of heartbreak, even while she embarks on a dangerous affair with a young revolutionary. On a journey that leads from the remote hillsides around Soochow to cosmopolitan Peking, Spring Swallow draws on the secret techniques learned from Aunty Peony and her own indomitable strength, determined to forge a life that is truly her own.
Visit Mingmei Yip's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Murder at the Book Group"

New from Pocket Books: Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of Anne Canadeo comes a fun and sassy cozy mystery in which one woman must solve the murder of a book group member and untangle a web of secrets hidden by her bookish cohorts.

Hazel Rose never dreamed that the murder mystery book group she and her friend Carlene started would stage a real murder.

Nevertheless, the normally composed Carlene is unusually angry and rattled one night during a book group discussion and dies after drinking cyanide-spiked tea. Despite a suicide note, Hazel is skeptical; Carlene never seemed suicidal—she was busy making plans for her future. Incidentally, Carlene was married to Hazel’s ex-husband, and Hazel has always suspected there might be something more to her past than she let on.

How much does anyone really know about Carlene Arness? And did she die by her own hand or someone else’s? Hazel begins a search for the truth that produces no shortage of motives, as she unearths the past that Carlene took great pains to hide. And most of those motives belong to the members of her very own book group…

Featuring memorable characters and a wicked sense of humor, Murder at the Book Group shows the darker side of a book club where reading isn’t about pleasure—it’s about payback.
Visit Maggie King's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 7, 2014

"A Talent for Friendship"

New from Oxford University Press: A Talent for Friendship: Rediscovery of a Remarkable Trait by John Edward Terrell.

About the book, from the publisher:

This lively, provocative text presents a new way to understand friendship. Professor John Terrell argues that the ability to make friends is an evolved human trait not unlike our ability to walk upright on two legs or our capacity for speech and complex abstract reasoning. Terrell charts how this trait has evolved by investigating two unique functions of the human brain: the ability to remake the outside world to suit our collective needs, and our capacity to escape into our own inner thoughts and imagine how things might and ought to be. The text is richly illustrated and written in an engaging style, and will appeal to students, scholars, and general readers interested in anthropology, evolutionary and cognitive science, and psychology more broadly.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Kill 'Em with Cayenne"

New from Minotaur Books: Kill 'Em with Cayenne: Spice Shop Mystery Series (Volume 2) by Gail Oust.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brand new finger-lickin’ good mystery featuring small-town Georgia spice shop owner Piper Prescott, a smart and spunky amateur sleuth

Spices are flying off the shelves of Spice It Up!, and Piper Prescott couldn’t be happier. It’s that time of year again—time for the annual Brandywine Creek Barbecue Festival. Soon contestants and BBQ aficionados from all over the Southeast will converge on the town. Many of Brandywine Creek’s citizens plan to participate in the week-long festivities and are busily concocting savory rubs and sassy sauces. Among the locals vying for the grand prize are Becca Dapkins and Maybelle Humphries. The women have been arch enemies ever since Buzz Oliver dumped Maybelle after a thirteen-year courtship and started seeing Becca.

When Becca’s body is found near one of the festival booths, bludgeoned by a brisket, Maybelle becomes one of Chief Wyatt McBride’s top suspects. Determined to help clear her friend’s name, Piper begins her own investigation, much to McBride’s consternation. As the festival draws closer, will Piper and Reba Mae be able to find the real killer and clear Maybelle’s name? Will Piper make it to the annual shag contest with Doug Winters, the mild-mannered vet she’s been seeing? And, who will win the BBQ cook-off?
Learn more about the book and author at Gail Oust's website.

My Book, The Movie: Rosemary and Crime.

Writers Read: Gail Oust (December 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue