Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Why Not Say What Happened"

New from Liveright: Why Not Say What Happened: A Sentimental Education by Morris Dickstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

A renowned cultural critic tells his own deeply engaging story of growing up in the turbulent American culture of the postwar decades.

At once a coming-of-age story, an intellectual autobiography, and vivid cultural history, Why Not Say What Happened is an eloquent, gripping account of an intellectual and emotional education from one of our leading critics. In this "acutely observed, slyly funny memoir" (Molly Haskell), Morris Dickstein evokes his boisterous and close-knit Jewish family, his years as a yeshiva student that eventually led to fierce rebellion, his teenage adventures in the Catskills and in a Zionist summer camp, and the later education that thrust him into a life-changing world of ideas and far-reaching literary traditions. Dickstein brilliantly depicts the tension between the parochial religious world of his youth and the siren call of a larger cosmopolitan culture, a rebellion that manifested itself in a yarmulka replaced by Yankees cap, a Shakespeare play concealed behind a heavy tractate of the Talmud, and classes cut on Wednesday afternoons to take in the Broadway theater.

Tracing a path from the Lower East Side to Columbia University, Yale, and Cambridge, Dickstein leaves home, travels widely, and falls in love, breaking through to new experiences of intimacy and sexual awakening, only to be brought low by emotional conflicts that beset him as a graduate student—homesickness, a sense of cultural dislocation—issues that come to a head during a troubled year abroad. In Why Not Say What Happened we see Dickstein come into his own as a teacher and writer deeply engaged with poetry: the "daringly modern" Blake, the bittersweet "negotiations of time and loss" in Wordsworth, and the "shifting turns of consciousness itself" in Keats. While eloquently evoking the tumult of the sixties and a culture in flux, Why Not Say What Happened is enlivened by Dickstein's "Zelig-like presence at nearly every significant aesthetic and political turning of the second half of the American twentieth century" (Cynthia Ozick). Dickstein crafts memorable portraits of his own mentors and legendary teachers like Lionel Trilling, Peter Gay, F. R. Leavis, and Harold Bloom, who become inimitable role models. They provide him with a world-class understanding of how to read and nourish his burgeoning feeling for literature and history. In the tradition of classic memoirs by Alfred Kazin and Irving Howe, this frank and revealing story, at once keenly personal and broadly cultural, sheds light on the many different forms education can take.
Visit Morris Dickstein's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Dress Shop of Dreams"

New from Ballantine Books: The Dress Shop of Dreams: A Novel by Menna van Praag.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of Alice Hoffman, Sarah Addison Allen, and Adriana Trigiani, The Dress Shop of Dreams is a captivating novel of enduring hopes, second chances, and the life-changing magic of true love.

Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.

Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.
Visit Menna van Praag's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 30, 2015

"When Reason Breaks"

New from Bloomsbury Children’s Books USA: When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz's English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson's poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel that is equal parts literary and commercial, with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls fighting for their lives.
Visit Cindy L. Rodriguez's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Disgruntled: A Novel by Asali Solomon.

About the book, from the publisher:

An elegant, vibrant, startling coming-of-age novel, for anyone who’s ever felt the shame of being alive

Kenya Curtis is only eight years old, but she knows that she’s different, even if she can’t put her finger on how or why. It’s not because she’s black—most of the other students in the fourth-grade class at her West Philadelphia elementary school are too. Maybe it’s because she celebrates Kwanzaa, or because she’s forbidden from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Maybe it’s because she calls her father—a housepainter-slash-philosopher—“Baba” instead of “Daddy,” or because her parents’ friends gather to pour out libations “from the Creator, for the Martyrs” and discuss “the community.”

Kenya does know that it’s connected to what her Baba calls “the shame of being alive”—a shame that only grows deeper and more complex over the course of Asali Solomon’s long-awaited debut novel. Disgruntled, effortlessly funny and achingly poignant, follows Kenya from West Philadelphia to the suburbs, from public school to private, from childhood through adolescence, as she grows increasingly disgruntled by her inability to find any place or thing or person that feels like home.

A coming-of-age tale, a portrait of Philadelphia in the late eighties and early nineties, an examination of the impossible double-binds of race, Disgruntled is a novel about the desire to rise above the limitations of the narratives we’re given and the painful struggle to craft fresh ones we can call our own
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"A Woman Unknown"

New from Minotaur Books: A Woman Unknown by Frances Brody.

About the book, from the publisher:

A winning combination of both intricate plotting and nostalgic post-WWI English country setting, Frances Brody's A Woman Unknown will appeal to fans of both classic murder mysteries in the vein of Agatha Christie as well as readers of historical mystery series set in 1920s England, two popular subgenres. The Woman Unknown: Deirdre Fitzpatrick is married to a man who wants to know where she really goes when supposedly taking care of her sick mother and calls on the expertise of Kate Shackleton, amateur sleuth extraordinaire to investigate. The Gentleman: Everett Runcie is a banker facing ruin and disgrace. His American heiress wife will no longer pay for his mistakes, or tolerate his infidelity, and is seeking a divorce. The Murder: When a chambermaid enters Runcie's hotel room, she is shocked to find that he is alone - and dead! Suddenly Kate is thrown into the depths of an altogether more sinister investigation. Can she uncover the truth of her most complex, and personal, case to date?
Learn more about the book and author at Frances Brody's website.

The Page 69 Test: Dying in the Wool.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Utopia, Iowa"

New from Candlewick: Utopia, Iowa by Brian Yansky.

About the book, from the publisher:

For the most part, aspiring screenwriter Jack Bell is just your typical Midwestern kid. He’s got a crush on his hot best friend, Ash. He’s coping with a sudden frostiness between his once crazy-in-love parents. He’s debating where to go to college next year—or whether to go at all. But then there’s his gift (or curse): Jack can see dead people, just like the kid in The Sixth Sense. Lately, the ghosts are more distracting than usual, demanding that Jack get to the bottom of their mysterious deaths—all while avoiding the straitlaced Detective Bloodsmith, who doesn’t believe in gifts or curses and can’t help wondering why Jack keeps turning up at crime scenes. Is there a happily-ever-after in Jack’s future, or is that only the stuff of movies?
Visit Brian Yansky's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

"Across a Green Ocean"

New from Kensington Books: Across a Green Ocean by Wendy Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:

Michael Tang and his sister, Emily, have both struggled to forge a sense of identity in their parents’ adopted homeland. Emily, an immigration lawyer in New York City, baffles their mother, Ling, by refusing to have children. At twenty-six, Michael is unable to commit to a relationship or a career, or to come out to his family. And now their father, after a lifetime of sacrifice, has passed away.

When Michael finds a letter to his father from a long-ago friend, he impulsively travels to China in the hopes of learning more about a man he never really knew. In this rapidly modernizing country he begins to understand his father’s decisions, including one whose repercussions can be felt into the present day. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Ling and Emily question their own choices, trying to forge a path that bends toward new loves and fresh beginnings.
Visit Wendy Lee's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Bon Appétempt"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Bon Appetempt: A Coming-of-Age Story (with Recipes!).

About the book, from the publisher:

When Amelia Morris saw a towering, beautiful chocolate cake in Bon Appétit and took the recipe home to recreate it for a Christmas day brunch she was hosting, it resulted in a terrible (but tasty) mess that had to be served in an oversize bowl. It was also a revelation. Both delicious and damaged, it seemed a physical metaphor for the many curious and unexpected situations she's found herself in throughout her life, from her brief career as a six-year-old wrestler to her Brady Bunch-style family (minus the housekeeper and the familial harmony) to her ill-fated twenty-something job at the School of Rock in Los Angeles.

As a way to bring order to chaos and in search of a more meaningful lifestyle, she finds herself more and more at home in the kitchen, where she begins to learn that even if the results of her culinary efforts fall well short of the standard set by glossy food magazines, they can still bring satisfaction (and sustenance) to her and her family and friends.

Full of hilarious observations about food, family, unemployment, romance, and the extremes of modern L.A., and featuring recipes as basic as Toasted Cheerios and as advanced as gâteau de crêpes, BON APPÉTEMPT is sure to resonate with anyone who has tried and failed, and been all the better for it.
Visit the Bon Appétempt website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Making Nice"

New from Henry Holt and Co.: Making Nice by Matt Sumell.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Matt Sumell’s blazing first book, our hero Alby flails wildly against the world around him—he punches his sister (she deserved it), "unprotectos" broads (they deserved it and liked it), gets drunk and picks fights (all deserved), defends defenseless creatures both large and small, and spews insults at children, slow drivers, old ladies, and every single surviving member of his family. In each of these stories Alby distills the anguish, the terror, the humor, and the strange grace—or lack of—he experiences in the aftermath of his mother’s death. Swirling at the center of Alby’s rage is a grief so big, so profound, it might swallow him whole. As he drinks, screws, and jokes his way through his pain and heartache, Alby’s anger, his kindness, and his capacity for good bubble up when he (and we) least expect it. Sumell delivers "a naked rendering of a heart sorting through its broken pieces to survive.*"

Making Nice is a powerful, full-steam-ahead ride that will keep you laughing even as you try to catch your breath; a new classic about love, loss, and the fine line between grappling through grief and fighting for (and with) the only family you’ve got.

*Mark Richard
Visit Matt Sumell's website.

Marshal Zeringue

"The Infernal"

New from Graywolf Press: The Infernal: A Novel by Mark Doten.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the early years of the Iraq war, a severely burned boy appears on a remote rock formation in the Akkad valley. A shadowy, powerful group within the US government speculates: Who is he? Where did he come from? And, crucially, what does he know? In pursuit of that information, an interrogator is summoned from his prison cell, and a hideous and forgotten apparatus of torture, which extracts “perfect confessions,” is retrieved from the vaults. Over the course of four days, a cavalcade of voices rises up from the Akkad boy, each one striving to tell his or her own story. Some of these voices are familiar: Osama Bin Laden, L. Paul Bremer, Condoleezza Rice, Mark Zuckerberg. Others are less so. But each one has a role in the world shaped by the war on terror. Each wants to tell us: this is the world as it exists in our innermost selves. This is what has been and what might be. This is The Infernal.
Visit Mark Doten's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 26, 2015

"The Price of Blood"

New from Viking: The Price of Blood: A Novel by Patricia Bracewell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Menaced by Vikings and enemies at court, Queen Emma defends her children and her crown in a riveting medieval adventure

Readers first met Emma of Normandy in Patricia Bracewell’s gripping debut novel, Shadow on the Crown. Unwillingly thrust into marriage to England’s King Æthelred, Emma has given the king a son and heir, but theirs has never been a happy marriage. In The Price of Blood, Bracewell returns to 1006 when a beleaguered Æthelred, still haunted by his brother’s ghost, governs with an iron fist and a royal policy that embraces murder.

As tensions escalate and enmities solidify, Emma forges alliances to protect her young son from ambitious men—even from the man she loves. In the north there is treachery brewing, and when Viking armies ravage England, loyalties are shattered and no one is safe from the sword.
Rich with intrigue, compelling personalities, and fascinating detail about a little-known period in history, The Price of Blood will captivate fans of both historical fiction and fantasy novels such as George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.
Learn more about the book and author at Patricia Bracewell's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow on the Crown.

Writers Read: Patricia Bracewell (April 2013).

My Book, The Movie: Shadow on the Crown.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Mr. Wilson Makes It Home"

New from Skyhorse: Mr. Wilson Makes It Home: How One Little Dog Brought Us Hope, Happiness, and Closure by Michael Morse.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Story of a Small Dog Who Needed a Home and the Couple Who Needed Him

When Michael and Cheryl Morse slowly drifted apart amid an empty nest, her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, his symptoms of PTSD, and the grief of losing their two beloved dogs—put down on the same day three years prior—it became apparent their lives were in need of a little joy. Enter an energetic, white ball of fluff known as Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Wilson’s story begins in Arkansas, where he was left in a leaky, drafty barn for days—the result of a child who couldn’t care for him and a woman who wouldn’t. An escape artist, he eventually found himself on a country road where he was discovered by a neighbor. Familiar with his current living conditions, she took him in, cleaned him up, and created an online adoption profile for him. In Rhode Island, Cheryl Morse clicked on Mr. Wilson’s photo and instantly fell in love.

A few days later, Mr. Wilson arrived in Rhode Island by a tractor trailer full of dogs needing homes. Upon meeting the Morses, he was happy, affectionate, and excited—but how long would it last? Would they be able to care for him and themselves? Had he finally found his forever home? What if they had cats?

In Mr. Wilson Makes It Home, the joy Michael and Cheryl so badly needed comes in the form of an adorable schnoodle named Mr. Wilson. This animal rescue story tells of the love, recovery, faith, and hope that a pet can bring to a brokenhearted family.
Visit the Mr. Wilson Makes it Home blog.

See: Coffee with a Canine: Michael Morse & Mr. Wilson.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 25, 2015


New from Feiwel & Friends: Shutter by Courtney Alameda.

About the book, from the publisher:

Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat -- a girl who sees the auras of the undead in a prismatic spectrum. As one of the last descendants of the Van Helsing lineage, she has trained since childhood to destroy monsters both corporeal and spiritual: the corporeal undead go down by the bullet, the spiritual undead by the lens. With an analog SLR camera as her best weapon, Micheline exorcises ghosts by capturing their spiritual energy on film. She's aided by her crew: Oliver, a techno-whiz and the boy who developed her camera's technology; Jude, who can predict death; and Ryder, the boy Micheline has known and loved forever.

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn't exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she's faced before . . . or die trying.

Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.
Visit Courtney Alameda's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Hunger of the Wolf"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Hunger of the Wolf: A Novel by Stephen Marche.

About the book, from the publisher:

A breakout book from Stephen Marche, The Hunger of the Wolf is a novel about the way we live now: a sweeping, genre-busting tale of money, morality, and the American Dream—and the men and monsters who profit in its pursuit—set in New York, London, and the Canadian wilderness.

Hunters found his body naked in the snow…

So begins this bold and breathtakingly ambitious new novel from Stephen Marche, the provocative Esquire columnist and regular contributor to The Atlantic whose last work of fiction was described by the New York Times Book Review as “maybe the most exciting mash-up of literary genres since David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.” In The Hunger of the Wolf, Marche delivers a modern morality tale about the rapacity of global capitalism that manages to ask the most important questions we face about what it means to live in the new Gilded Age.

The body in the snow belonged to Ben Wylie, the heir to America’s second-wealthiest business dynasty, and it is found in a remote patch of northern Canada. Far away, in post-crash New York, Jamie Cabot, the son of the Wylie family’s housekeepers, must figure out how and why Ben died. He knows the answer lies in the tortured history of the Wylie family, who over three generations built up their massive holdings into several billion dollars’ worth of real estate, oil, and information systems despite a terrible family secret they must keep from the world. The threads of the Wylie men’s destinies, both financial and supernatural, lead twistingly but inevitably to the naked body in the snow and a final, chilling revelation.

The Hunger of the Wolf is a novel about what it means to be a man in the world of money. It is a story of fathers and sons, about secrets that are kept within families, and about the cost of the tension between the public face and the private soul. Spanning from the mills of Depression-era Pittsburgh to the Swinging London of the 1960s, from desolate Alberta to the factories of present-day China, it is a powerfully affecting work of fiction that uses the story of a single family to capture the way we live now: an epic, genre-busting tale of money, morality, and the American Dream.
The Page 99 Test: How Shakespeare Changed Everything.

Visit Stephen Marche's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"The Marauders"

New from Crown: The Marauders: A Novel by Tom Cooper.

About the book, from the publisher:

When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette, these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. His quest brings him into contact with a wide array of memorable characters, ranging from a couple of small time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter, to the smooth-talking Oil company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother, to some drug smuggling psychopath twins, to a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina. As the story progresses, these characters find themselves on a collision course with each other, and as the tension and action ramp up, it becomes clear that not all of them will survive these events.
Visit Tom Cooper's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Of Irish Blood"

New from Forge Books: Of Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s 1903. Nora Kelly, twenty-four, is talented, outspoken, progressive, and climbing the ladder of opportunity, until she falls for an attractive but dangerous man who sends her running back to the Old World her family had fled. Nora takes on Paris, mixing with couturiers, artists, and "les femmes Americaines" of the Left Bank such as Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Beach. But when she stumbles into the centuries-old Collège des Irlandais, a good-looking scholar, an unconventional priest, and Ireland’s revolutionary women challenge Nora to honor her Irish blood and join the struggle to free Ireland.

Author Mary Pat Kelly weaves historical characters such as Maud Gonne, William Butler Yeats, Countess Markievicz, Michael Collins, and Eamon de Valera, as well as Gabrielle Chanel, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, and Nora Barnicle, into Of Irish Blood, a vivid and compelling story inspired by the life of her great-aunt.
Visit Mary Pat Kelly's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 23, 2015


New from Riverhead: Prudence: A Novel by David Treuer.

About the book, from the publisher:

A haunting and unforgettable novel about love, loss, race, and desire in World War II–era America.

On a sweltering day in August 1942, Frankie Washburn returns to his family’s rustic Minnesota resort for one last visit before he joins the war as a bombardier, headed for the darkened skies over Europe. Awaiting him at the Pines are those he’s about to leave behind: his hovering mother; the distant father to whom he’s been a disappointment; the Indian caretaker who’s been more of a father to him than his own; and Billy, the childhood friend who over the years has become something much more intimate. But before the homecoming can be celebrated, the search for a German soldier, escaped from the POW camp across the river, explodes in a shocking act of violence, with consequences that will reverberate years into the future for all of them and that will shape how each of them makes sense of their lives.

With Prudence, Treuer delivers his most ambitious and captivating novel yet. Powerful and wholly original, it’s a story of desire and loss and the search for connection in a riven world; of race and class in a supposedly more innocent era. Most profoundly, it’s about the secrets we choose to keep, the ones we can’t help but tell, and who—and how—we’re allowed to love.
Visit David Treuer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Henry Holt & Co.: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.
Visit Cat Hellisen's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"The Kind Worth Killing"

New from William Morrow: The Kind Worth Killing: A Novel by Peter Swanson.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of the acclaimed The Girl with a Clock for a Heart—hailed by the Washington Post as crime fiction’s best first novel of 2014”—a devious tale of psychological suspense involving sex, deception, and an accidental encounter that leads to murder that is a modern reimagining of Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train.

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse....

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda's demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.
Visit Peter Swanson's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Question of Miracles"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Question of Miracles by Elana K. Arnold.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sixth-grader Iris Abernathy hates life in Corvallis, Oregon, where her family just moved. It’s always raining, and everything is so wet. Besides, nothing has felt right since Iris’s best friend, Sarah, died.

When Iris meets Boris, an awkward mouth-breather with a know-it-all personality, she’s not looking to make a new friend, but it beats eating lunch alone. Then she learns that Boris’s very existence is a medical mystery, maybe even a miracle, and Iris starts to wonder why some people get miracles and others don’t. And if one miracle is possible, can another one be too? Can she possibly communicate with Sarah again?
Learn more about the book and author at Elana K. Arnold's website and blog.

Writers Read: Elana K. Arnold (November 2012).

Writers Read: Elana K. Arnold (June 2013).

The Page 69 Test: Burning.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"My Sunshine Away"

New from Putnam Books: My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh.

About the book, from the publisher:

It was the summer everything changed.…

My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson—free spirit, track star, and belle of the block—experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too.

In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.
Visit M.O. Walsh's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Monday's Lie"

New from Gallery Books: Monday's Lie by Jamie Mason.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the acclaimed author of the “ripping good” (The New York Times) debut novel Three Graves Full comes a new thriller about a woman who digs into her unconventional past to confirm what she suspects: her husband isn't what she thought he was.

Dee Aldrich rebelled against her off-center upbringing when she married the most conventional man she could imagine: Patrick, her college sweetheart. But now, years later, her marriage is falling apart and she’s starting to believe that her husband has his eye on a new life...a life without her, one way or another.

Haunted by memories of her late mother Annette, a former covert operations asset, Dee reaches back into her childhood to resurrect her mother’s lessons and the “spy games” they played together, in which Dee learned memory tricks and, most importantly, how and when to lie. But just as she begins determining the course of the future, she makes a discovery that will change her life: her mother left her a lot of money and her own husband seems to know more about it than Dee does. Now, before it’s too late, she must investigate her suspicions and untangle conspiracy from coincidence, using her mother’s advice to steer her through the blind spots. The trick, in the end, will be in deciding if a “normal life” is really what she wants at all.

With pulse-pounding prose and atmospheric settings, Monday’s Lie is a thriller that delivers more of the “Hitchcockian menace” (Peter Straub) that made Three Graves Full a critical hit. For fans of the Coen brothers or Gillian Flynn, this is a book you won’t want to miss.
Visit Jamie Mason's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"Waste of a White Skin"

New from the University of California Press: Waste of a White Skin: The Carnegie Corporation and the Racial Logic of White Vulnerability by Tiffany Willoughby-Herard.

About the book, from the publisher:

A pathbreaking history of the development of scientific racism, white nationalism, and segregationist philanthropy in the U.S. and South Africa in the early twentieth century, Waste of a White Skin focuses on the American Carnegie Corporation’s study of race in South Africa, the Poor White Study, and its influence on the creation of apartheid.

This book demonstrates the ways in which U.S. elites supported apartheid and Afrikaner Nationalism in the critical period prior to 1948 through philanthropic interventions and shaping scholarly knowledge production. Rather than comparing racial democracies and their engagement with scientific racism, Willoughby-Herard outlines the ways in which a racial regime of global whiteness constitutes domestic racial policies and in part animates black consciousness in seemingly disparate and discontinuous racial democracies. This book uses key paradigms in black political thought—black feminism, black internationalism, and the black radical tradition—to provide a rich account of poverty and work. Much of the scholarship on whiteness in South Africa overlooks the complex politics of white poverty and what they mean for the making of black political action and black people’s presence in the economic system.

Ideal for students, scholars, and interested readers in areas related to U.S. History, African History, World History, Diaspora Studies, Race and Ethnicity, Sociology, Anthropology, and Political Science.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life"

New from Oxford University Press: Lucy Stone: An Unapologetic Life by Sally G. McMillen.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the rotunda of the nation's Capital a statue pays homage to three famous nineteenth-century American women suffragists: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott. "Historically," the inscription beneath the marble statue notes, "these three stand unique and peerless." In fact, the statue has a glaring omission: Lucy Stone. A pivotal leader in the fight for both abolition and gender equality, her achievements marked the beginning of the women's rights movement and helped to lay the groundwork for the eventual winning of women's suffrage. Yet, today most Americans have never heard of Lucy Stone.

Sally McMillen sets out to address this significant historical oversight in this engaging biography. Exploring her extraordinary life and the role she played in crafting a more just society, McMillen restores Lucy Stone to her rightful place at the center of the nineteenth-century women's rights movement. Raised in a middle-class Massachusetts farm family, Stone became convinced at an early age that education was key to women's independence and selfhood, and went on to attend the Oberlin Collegiate Institute. When she graduated in 1847 as one of the first women in the US to earn a college degree, she was drawn into the public sector as an activist and quickly became one of the most famous orators of her day. Lecturing on anti-slavery and women's rights, she was instrumental in organizing and speaking at several annual national woman's rights conventions throughout the 1850s. She played a critical role in the organization and leadership of the American Equal Rights Association during the Civil War, and, in 1869, cofounded the American Woman Suffrage Association, one of two national women's rights organizations that fought for women's right to vote. Encompassing Stone's marriage to Henry Blackwell and the birth of their daughter Alice, as well as her significant friendships with Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, and others, McMillen's biography paints a complete picture of Stone's influential and eminently important life and work.

Self-effacing until the end of her life, Stone did not relish the limelight the way Elizabeth Cady Stanton did, nor did she gain the many followers whom Susan B. Anthony attracted through her extensive travels and years of dedicated work. Yet her contributions to the woman's rights movement were no less significant or revolutionary than those of her more widely lauded peers. In this accessible, readable, and historically-grounded work, Lucy Stone is finally given the standing she deserves.
The Page 99 Test: Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women’s Rights Movement by Sally McMillen.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 19, 2015


New from Ace: Deadeye by William C. Dietz.

About the book, from the publisher:

The national bestselling author of the Legion of the Damned novels, “a must-read for any fan of Mil Fic,” (Archaeologist’s Guide to the Galaxy) begins a brand new science fiction police procedural series…

In the year 2038, an act of bioengineered terrorism decimated humanity. Those who survived were either completely unaffected or developed horrible mutations. Across the globe, nations are now divided between areas populated by “norms” and lands run by “mutants”…

Detective Cassandra Lee of Los Angeles’s Special Investigative Section has built a fierce reputation taking down some of the city’s most notorious criminals. But the serial cop killer known as Bonebreaker—who murdered Lee’s father—is still at large. Officially, she’s too personally involved to work on the Bonebreaker case. Unofficially, she’s going to hunt him to the ends of the earth.

In the meantime, duty calls when the daughter of Bishop Screed, head of the Church of Human Purity, is kidnapped by mutants and taken into the red zone to be used for breeding. Assigned to rescue her, Lee must trust her new partner—mutant lawman Deputy Ras Omo—to guide her not only through the unfamiliar territory but through the prejudicial divisions between mutants and norms…
Learn more about the book and author at William C. Dietz's website.

The Page 69 Test: Andromeda's Fall.

My Book, The Movie: Andromeda's Fall.

The Page 69 Test: Andromeda's Choice.

Writers Read: William C. Dietz.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from 47North: Ourselves by S. G. Redling.

About the book, from the publisher:

They have always been among us.

An ancient, enigmatic race, the Nahan have protected their secret world by cultivating the myths of fanged, bloodsucking monsters that haunt legends. Yet they walk through our world as our coworkers and our neighbors, hiding in plain sight and coexisting in peace. They survive…and they prosper.

A shy young dreamer, Tomas wanders through his life with help from his good friends and influential family on the ruling Council. Now, he’s decided his future lies with the Nahan’s most elite class: the mysterious Storytellers. But his family is troubled by his new choice—and by his new girlfriend, Stell, a wild, beautiful, and deadly outcast from a fanatical Nahan sect.

As Tomas descends into the dark wonders of the Nahan’s most powerful culture, Stell answers her own calling as an exceptional assassin. But when a lethal conspiracy threatens their destinies, Tomas and Stell must unite their remarkable talents against the strongest—and most sinister—of their kind.
Visit S.G. Redling's Facebook page and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Deliver Us"

New from Harper: Deliver Us: Three Decades of Murder and Redemption in the Infamous I-45/Texas Killing Fields by Kathryn Casey.

About the book, from the publisher:

Critically acclaimed author Kathryn Casey delivers a riveting account of the brutal murders of young women in the I-45/Texas Killing Fields

Over a three-decade span, more than twenty women—many teenagers—died mysteriously in the small towns bordering Interstate 45, a fifty-mile stretch of highway running from Houston to Galveston. The victims were strangled, shot, or savagely beaten. Six met their demise in pairs. They had one thing in common: being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The day she vanished, Colette Wilson waited for her mother after band practice. Best friends Debbie Ackerman and Maria Johnson loved to surf and were last seen hitchhiking. Laura Kate Smither dreamed of becoming a ballerina and disappeared just weeks before her thirteenth birthday.

In this harrowing true crime exposition, award-winning journalist Kathryn Casey tracks these tragic cases, investigates the evidence, interviews the suspects, and pulls back the cloak of secrecy in search of elusive answers.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathryn Casey's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Singularity.

The Page 99 Test: Blood Lines.

The Page 69 Test: The Killing Storm.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Train to Crystal City"

New from Scribner: The Train to Crystal City: FDR's Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America's Only Family Internment Camp During World War II by Jan Jarboe Russell.

About the book, from the publisher:

The dramatic and never-before-told story of a secret FDR-approved American internment camp in Texas during World War II, where thousands of families—many US citizens—were incarcerated.

From 1942 to 1948, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas, a small desert town at the southern tip of Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during World War II, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called “quiet passage.” During the course of the war, hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City, including their American-born children, were exchanged for other more important Americans—diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, physicians, and missionaries—behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany.

Focusing her story on two American-born teenage girls who were interned, author Jan Jarboe Russell uncovers the details of their years spent in the camp; the struggles of their fathers; their families’ subsequent journeys to war-devastated Germany and Japan; and their years-long attempt to survive and return to the United States, transformed from incarcerated enemies to American loyalists. Their stories of day-to-day life at the camp, from the ten-foot high security fence to the armed guards, daily roll call, and censored mail, have never been told.

Combining big-picture World War II history with a little-known event in American history that has long been kept quiet, The Train to Crystal City reveals the war-time hysteria against the Japanese and Germans in America, the secrets of FDR’s tactics to rescue high-profile POWs in Germany and Japan, and how the definition of American citizenship changed under the pressure of war.
Visit Jan Jarboe Russell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"The Chosen Prince"

New from HarperCollins: The Chosen Prince by Diane Stanley.

About the book, from the publisher:

From master storyteller Diane Stanley comes a spellbinding tale based on Shakespeare's The Tempest of two princes—one chosen, one lost—and a mysterious girl on a magical island, all caught in a great web of destiny.

On the day of his birth, Prince Alexos is revealed to be the long-awaited champion of Athene. He grows up lonely, conscious of all that is expected of him. But Alexos discovers that being a champion isn't about fame and glory—it's about sacrifice and courage.

Alexos follows the course of his destiny through war and loss and a deadly confrontation with his enemy to its end: shipwreck on a magical, fog-shrouded island. There he meets the unforgettable Aria and faces the greatest challenge of his life.
Learn more about the book and author at Diane Stanley's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Princess of Cortova.

Writers Read: Diane Stanley.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Genius in France"

New from Princeton University Press: Genius in France: An Idea and Its Uses by Ann Jefferson.

About the book, from the publisher:

This engaging book spans three centuries to provide the first full account of the long and diverse history of genius in France. Exploring a wide range of examples from literature, philosophy, and history, as well as medicine, psychology, and journalism, Ann Jefferson examines the ways in which the idea of genius has been ceaselessly reflected on and redefined through its uses in these different contexts. She traces its varying fortunes through the madness and imposture with which genius is often associated, and through the observations of those who determine its presence in others.

Jefferson considers the modern beginnings of genius in eighteenth-century aesthetics and the works of philosophes such as Diderot. She then investigates the nineteenth-century notion of national and collective genius, the self-appointed role of Romantic poets as misunderstood geniuses, the recurrent obsession with failed genius in the realist novels of writers like Balzac and Zola, the contested category of female genius, and the medical literature that viewed genius as a form of pathology. She shows how twentieth-century views of genius narrowed through its association with IQ and child prodigies, and she discusses the different ways major theorists—including Sartre, Barthes, Derrida, and Kristeva—have repudiated and subsequently revived the concept.

Rich in narrative detail, Genius in France brings a fresh approach to French intellectual and cultural history, and to the burgeoning field of genius studies.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 16, 2015

"Mr. America: The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon"

New from the University of Texas Press: Mr. America: The Tragic History of a Bodybuilding Icon by John D. Fair.

About the book, from the publisher:

For most of the twentieth century, the “Mr. America” image epitomized muscular manhood. From humble beginnings in 1939 at a small gym in Schenectady, New York, the Mr. America Contest became the world’s premier bodybuilding event over the next thirty years. Rooted in ancient Greek virtues of health, fitness, beauty, and athleticism, it showcased some of the finest specimens of American masculinity. Interviewing nearly one hundred major figures in the physical culture movement (including twenty-five Mr. Americas) and incorporating copious printed and manuscript sources, John D. Fair has created the definitive study of this iconic phenomenon.

Revealing the ways in which the contest provided a model of functional and fit manhood, Mr. America captures the event’s path to idealism and its slow descent into obscurity. As the 1960s marked a turbulent transition in American society—from the civil rights movement to the rise of feminism and increasing acceptance of homosexuality—Mr. America changed as well. Exploring the influence of other bodily displays, such as the Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia contests and the Miss America Pageant, Fair focuses on commercialism, size obsession, and drugs that corrupted the competition’s original intent. Accessible and engaging, Mr. America is a compelling portrayal of the glory days of American muscle.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Magician's Lie"

New from Sourcebooks: The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister.

About the book, from the publisher:

Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician’s Lie, a debut novel in which the country’s most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband's murder —and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence.

The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden’s husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear.

But when Virgil happens upon the fleeing magician and takes her into custody, she has a very different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless—and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding. Over the course of one eerie night, Virgil must decide whether to turn Arden in or set her free… and it will take all he has to see through the smoke and mirrors.
Visit Greer Macallister's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 15, 2015

"A Killer Retreat"

New from Midnight Ink: A Killer Retreat: A Downward Dog Mystery #2 by Tracy Weber.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Kate Davidson gets an offer to teach yoga classes at the Elysian Springs resort, she jumps at the opportunity—even if it means enduring the wedding ceremony of the center’s two caretakers. But avoiding the M-word turns out to be the least of Kate’s problems when a wedding guest is found floating face-down in the resort’s hot tub, shortly after a loud, public fight with Kate.

The police pick Kate as their number-one suspect, so she teams up with her boyfriend Michael, best friend Rene, and German shepherd sidekick Bella to find the real killer. They must solve the crime before the police arrest Kate, or her next gig may last a lifetime—behind bars.
Visit Tracy Weber's website, blog, and Facebook page.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Tracy Weber and Tasha.

The Page 69 Test: Murder Strikes a Pose.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Strategist"

New from PublicAffairs: The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security by Bartholomew Sparrow.

About the book, from the publisher:

For more than thirty years, Brent Scowcroft has played a central role in American foreign policy. Scowcroft helped manage the American departure from Vietnam, helped plan the historic breakthrough to China, urged the first President Bush to repel the invasion of Kuwait, and worked to shape the West’s skillful response to the collapse of the Soviet empire. And when US foreign policy has gone awry, Scowcroft has quietly stepped in to repair the damage. His was one of the few respected voices in Washington to publicly warn the second President Bush against rushing to war in Iraq.

The Strategist offers the first comprehensive examination of Brent Scowcroft’s career. Author Bartholomew Sparrow details Scowcroft’s fraught relationships with such powerful figures as Henry Kissinger (the controversial mentor Scowcroft ultimately outgrew), Alexander Haig (his one-time rival for Oval Office influence), and Condoleezza Rice (whose career Scowcroft helped launch—and with whom he publicly broke over Iraq).

Through compelling narrative, in-depth research, and shrewd analysis, The Strategist brings color and focus to the complex and often secretive nature of US foreign policy—an intellectual battlefield on which personalities, ideas, and worldviews clash, dramatically shaping the world in which we live.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Shadow of the Raven"

New from Kensington: Shadow of the Raven by Tessa Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ensconced in the woods of rural England, 1784, American anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone hunts for justice amid a maelstrom of madness, murder, and social upheaval…

In the notorious mental hospital known as Bedlam, Dr. Thomas Silkstone seeks out a patient with whom he is on intimate terms. But he is unprepared for the state in which he finds Lady Lydia Farrell. Shocked into action, Thomas vows to help free Lydia by appealing to the custodian of her affairs, Mr. Nicholas Lupton. But when Silkstone arrives at the Boughton Estate to speak to Lupton, he finds that another form of madness has taken over the village…

Sweeping changes to the Boughton Estate threaten to leave many villagers, who are rightfully angry, destitute. After a single shot rings out and a man dies in the woods, it appears that the desperate villagers have turned to murder to avenge their cause. But for Thomas, a post-mortem on the victim raises more questions than answers. Although he manages to save an innocent man from the gallows, a second murder warns him of his potentially fatal situation. Soon he discovers a conspiracy far more sinister than anything he has ever faced…
Visit Tessa Harris's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Devil's Breath.

The Page 69 Test: The Lazarus Curse.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Stronghold"

New from Yale University Press: The Stronghold: How Republicans Captured Congress but Surrendered the White House by Thomas F. Schaller.

About the book, from the publisher:

Once the party of presidents, the GOP in recent elections has failed to pull together convincing national majorities. Republicans have lost four of the last six presidential races and lost the popular vote in five of the last six. In their lone victory, the party incumbent won—during wartime—by the slimmest of margins. In this fascinating and important book, Thomas Schaller examines national Republican politics since President Ronald Reagan left office in 1989. From Newt Gingrich’s ascent to Speaker of the House through the defeat of Mitt Romney in 2012, Schaller traces the Republican Party’s institutional transformation and its broad consequences, not only for Republicans but also for America.

Gingrich’s “Contract with America” set in motion a vicious cycle, Schaller contends: as the GOP became more conservative, it became more Congress-centered, and as its congressional wing grew more powerful, the party grew more conservative. This dangerous loop, unless broken, may signal a future of increasing radicalization, dependency on a shrinking pool of voters, and less viability as a true national party. In a thought-provoking conclusion, the author discusses repercussions of the GOP decline, among them political polarization and the paralysis of the federal government.
Follow Thomas F. Schaller on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"The Burma Spring"

New from Pegasus: The Burma Spring: Aung San Suu Kyi and the New Struggle for the Soul of a Nation by Rena Pederson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Aung San Suu Kyi—Burma's "woman of destiny” and one of the most admired voices for freedom in the world today—comes alive through this brilliant rendering of Burma's tumultuous history

Award-winning journalist and former State Department speechwriter Rena Pederson brings to light fresh details about the charismatic Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi: the inspiration for Burma’s (now Myanmar) first steps towards democracy. Suu Kyi's party will be a major contender in the 2015 elections, a revolutionary breakthrough after years of military dictatorship. Using exclusive interviews with Suu Kyi since her release from fifteen years of house arrest, as well as recently disclosed diplomatic cables, Pederson uncovers new facets to Suu Kyi’s extraordinary story. The Burma Spring will also surprise readers by revealing the extraordinary steps taken by First Lady Laura Bush to help Suu Kyi, and also how former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton injected new momentum into Burma’s democratic rebirth. Pederson provides a never before seen view of the harrowing hardships the people of Burma have endured and the fiery political atmosphere in which Suu Kyi’s has fought a life-and-death struggle for liberty in this fascinating part of the world.
Visit Rena Pederson's website.

Rena Pederson's The Burma Spring, the movie.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Uncle Janice"

New from Doubleday: Uncle Janice: A Novel by Matt Burgess.

About the book, from the publisher:

Twenty-four-year-old Janice Itwaru is an “uncle”—NYPD lingo for an undercover narcotics officer—and the heroine of the most exuberantand original cop novel in years.

A New York City cop who can last eighteen months in Narcotics, without getting killed or demoted first, will automatically get promoted to detective. Undercover narc Janice Itwaru is at month seventeen. Ambitious, desperate for that promotion, she hits the sidewalks of Queens in her secondhand hoochie clothes, hoping to convince potential criminals—drug dealers, addicts, dummies, whomever—to commit a felony on her behalf. And things aren’t any easier back at the narco office, where she has to keep up with the bantering lies and inventively cruel pranks of her fellow uncles while coping with the ridiculous demands of her NYPD bosses.

With an ailing mother at home, her cover nearly blown, quota pressures from her superiors, and rumors circulating that Internal Affairs has her unit under surveillance, Janice is running terribly short on luck as her promotion deadline approaches. Now she has to decide which evil to confront: the absurd bureaucrats at One Police Plaza, or the violent drug dealers who may already be on to her identity.

Bursting with the glorious chaos of the New York City streets, Uncle Janice is both a deeply funny portrait of how undercover cops really talk and act, and a compelling story of their crazy, dangerous, and complicated lives.
Visit the official Matt Burgess website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, January 12, 2015

"Fear the Darkness"

New from Minotaur Books: Fear the Darkness: Brigid Quinn Series #2 by Becky Masterman.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s hard to recognize the devil when his hand is on your shoulder. That’s because a psychopath is just a person before he becomes a headline….Psychopaths have preferences for Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, denim or linen, Dickens or…well, you get the point.

Ex-FBI agent Brigid Quinn has seen more than her share of psychopaths. She is ready to put all that behind her, building a new life in Tucson with a husband, friends, and some nice quiet work as a private investigator. Sure, she could still kill a man half her age, but she now gets her martial arts practice by teaching self-defense at a women's shelter.

But sometimes it isn't that simple. When her sister-in-law dies, Brigid take in her seventeen-year-old niece, Gemma Kate. There has always been something unsettling about Gemma-Kate, but family is family. Which is fine, until Gemma-Kate starts taking an unhealthy interest in dissecting the local wildlife.

Meanwhile, Brigid agrees to help a local couple by investigating the death of their son—which also turns out not to be that simple. Her house isn't the sanctuary it used to be, and new dangers—including murder—seem to lurk everywhere. Brigid starts to wonder if there is anyone she can trust, or if the devil has simply moved closer to home.
Learn more about Fear the Darkness at Becky Masterman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Rage Against the Dying.

The Page 69 Test: Rage Against the Dying.

Writers Read: Becky Masterman.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Bloomsbury Spark: Inked by Eric Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sometimes your only chance to survive, and what you most fear… is to be INKED.

Tattoos once were an act of rebellion.
Now they decide your destiny the moment the magical Ink settles under your skin.

And in a world where Ink controls your fate, Caenum can't escape soon enough. He is ready to run from his family, and his best friend Dreya, and the home he has known, just to have a chance at a choice.

But when he upsets the very Scribe scheduled to give him his Ink on his eighteenth birthday, he unwittingly sets in motion a series of events that sends the corrupt, magic-fearing government, The Citadel, after him and those he loves.

Now Caenum, Dreya, and their reluctant companion Kenzi must find their way to the Sanctuary, a secret town where those with the gift of magic are safe. Along the way, they learn the truth behind Ink, its dark origins, and why they are the only ones who can stop the Citadel.

Eric Smith takes you on a fast-paced fantasy adventure, perfect for anyone who has dreamed of being different…only to discover that destiny is more than skin deep.
Visit Eric Smith's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"Island on Fire"

New from Pegasus Books: Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World by Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe.

About the book, from the publisher:

Can a single explosion change the course of history? An eruption at the end of the 18th century led to years of climate change while igniting famine, disease, even perhaps revolution. Laki is one of Iceland’s most fearsome volcanoes.

Laki is Iceland’s largest volcano. Its eruption in 1783 is one of history’s great, untold natural disasters. Spewing out sun-blocking ash and then a poisonous fog for eight long months, the effects of the eruption lingered across the world for years. It caused the deaths of people as far away as the Nile and created catastrophic conditions throughout Europe. Island on Fire is the story not only of a single eruption but the people whose lives it changed, the dawn of modern volcanology, as well as the history—and potential—of other super-volcanoes like Laki around the world. And perhaps most pertinently, in the wake of the eruption of another Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull, which closed European air space in 2010, acclaimed science writers Witze and Kanipe look at what might transpire should Laki erupt again in our lifetime.
Visit the Island on Fire website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"An Appetite for Violets"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: An Appetite for Violets: A Novel by Martine Bailey.

About the book, from the publisher:

“That’s how it is for us servants. No one pays you much heed; mostly you're invisible as furniture. Yet you overhear a conversation here, and add a little gossip there. Then you find something, something you should not have found.”

Irrepressible Biddy Leigh, under-cook at forbidding Mawton Hall, only wants to marry her childhood sweetheart and set up her own tavern. But when her elderly master marries young Lady Carinna, Biddy is unwittingly swept up in a world of scheming, secrets, and lies. Forced to accompany her new mistress to Italy, she documents her adventures and culinary discoveries in an old household book of recipes, The Cook’s Jewel. Biddy grows intrigued by her fellow travelers, but her secretive and unconventional mistress is the most intriguing of all.

In London, Biddy finds herself attracted to her mistress’s younger brother. In France, she discovers her mistress’s dark secret. At last in Italy, Biddy becomes embroiled in a murderous conspiracy, knowing the secrets she holds could be a key to a better life, or her downfall.

Inspired by eighteenth-century household books of recipes and set at the time of the invention of the first restaurants, An Appetite for Violets is a literary feast for lovers of historical fiction. Martine Bailey's novel opens a window into the fascinating lives of servants, while also delivering a suspenseful tale of obsession and betrayal.
Visit Martine Bailey's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"The Quirks and the Quirkalicious Birthday"

New from Bloomsbury USA Childrens: The Quirks and the Quirkalicious Birthday by Erin Soderberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Things get a little (okay, a lot) Quirky as twins Molly and Penelope prepare to turn ten. It all starts with Grandpa Quill's annual birthday scavenger hunt, when Gramps hides mini-presents for the girls to find leading up to a SUPER-special big present. This year they're hoping for another family pet. But the girls can't agree on what kind of pet, and soon they're fighting non-stop. It's always been The Quirks vs. The World . . . but what happens when it's a Quirk vs. a Quirk? Will the girls learn how to get along in time for a truly magical birthday?
Visit Erin Soderberg's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"James Northcote, History Painting, and the Fables"

New from Yale University Press: James Northcote, History Painting, and the Fables by Mark Ledbury.

About the book, from the publisher:

The artistic accomplishments of James Northcote (1746–1831) have tended to be overshadowed by his role as a biographer of Joshua Reynolds, first president of the Royal Academy of Arts, with whom Northcote apprenticed for five years. Here, Mark Ledbury constructs a very different image of Northcote: that of a prolific member of the Royal Academy and an active participant in the cultural and political circles of the Romantic era, as well as a portrait and history painter in his own right. This book pays particular attention to Northcote’s One Hundred Fables (1828), a masterpiece of wood engraving, and the unconventional, collaged manuscripts for the volume, now at the Yale Center for British Art. Along with another series of collages now at The Morgan Library & Museum and a second volume of fables published posthumously in 1833, these collages and printed works constitute the most ambitious project of the artist’s later years. An underappreciated and courageously eccentric masterpiece, the Fables were an early experiment in what is now a familiar multimedia practice and are extensively published here for the first time. Idiosyncratic, personal, and visionary, the Fables serve as a lens through which to examine Northcote’s long, complex, and fruitful artistic career.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 9, 2015

"The Ghosts of Heaven"

New from Roaring Brook Press: The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick.

About the book, from the publisher:

Timeless, beautiful, and haunting, spirals connect the four episodes of The Ghosts of Heaven, the mesmerizing new novel from Printz Award winner Marcus Sedgwick. They are there in prehistory, when a girl picks up a charred stick and makes the first written signs; there tens of centuries later, hiding in the treacherous waters of Golden Beck that take Anna, who people call a witch; there in the halls of a Long Island hospital at the beginning of the 20th century, where a mad poet watches the oceans and knows the horrors it hides; and there in the far future, as an astronaut faces his destiny on the first spaceship sent from earth to colonize another world. Each of the characters in these mysterious linked stories embarks on a journey of discovery and survival; carried forward through the spiral of time, none will return to the same place.
Visit Marcus Sedgwick's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"I Was Here"

New from Viking Children’s Books: I Was Here by Gayle Forman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Cody and Meg were inseparable…
Until they weren’t.

When her best friend, Meg, drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, and some secrets of his own. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
Learn more about the book and author at Gayle Forman's website.

The Page 69 Test: If I Stay.

The Page 69 Test: Where She Went.

Writers Read: Gayle Forman (April 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 8, 2015

"Alex as Well"

New from Henry Holt & Co.: Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Alex is ready for things to change, in a big way. Everyone seems to think she’s a boy, but for Alex the whole boy/girl thing isn’t as simple as either/or, and when she decides girl is closer to the truth, no one knows how to react, least of all her parents. Undeterred, Alex begins to create a new identity for herself: ditching one school, enrolling in another, and throwing out most of her clothes. But the other Alex—the boy Alex—has a lot to say about that. Heartbreaking and droll in equal measures, Alex As Well is a brilliantly told story of exploring gender and sexuality, navigating friendships, and finding a place to belong.
Visit Alyssa Brugman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Undertaker's Daughter"

New from Gallery Books: The Undertaker's Daughter by Kate Mayfield.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if the place you called “home” happened to be a funeral home? Kate Mayfield explores what it meant to be the daughter of a small-town undertaker in this fascinating memoir evocative of Six Feet Under and The Help, with a hint of Mary Roach’s Stiff.

The first time I touched a dead person, I was too short to reach into the casket, so my father picked me up and I leaned in for that first, empty, cold touch. It was thrilling, because it was an unthinkable act.

After Kate Mayfield was born, she was taken directly to a funeral home. Her father was an undertaker, and for thirteen years the family resided in a place nearly synonymous with death. A place where the living and the dead entered their house like a vapor. The place where Kate would spend the entirety of her childhood. In a memoir that reads like a Harper Lee novel, Mayfield draws the reader into a world of Southern mystique and ghosts.

Kate’s father set up shop in a small town where he was one of two white morticians during the turbulent 1960s. Jubilee, Kentucky, was a segregated, god-fearing community where no one kept secrets—except the ones they were buried with. By opening a funeral home, Kate’s father also opened the door to family feuds, fetishes, and victims of accidents, murder, and suicide. The family saw it all. They also saw the quiet ruin of Kate’s father, who hid alcoholism and infidelity behind a cool, charismatic exterior. As Mayfield grows from trusting child to rebellious teen, she begins to find the enforced hush of the funeral home oppressive, and longs for the day she can escape the confines of her small town.

In The Undertaker’s Daughter, Kate has written a triumph of a memoir. This vivid and stranger-than-fiction true story ultimately teaches us how living in a house of death can prepare one for life.
Visit Kate Mayfield's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


New from Delacorte Books for Young Readers: Infected by Sophie Littlefield.

About the book, from the publisher:

The race-against-the-clock feel of TV’s popular show 24 meets the action-packed romance of the film Run Lola Run. This high-concept teen thriller sends readers on the race of their lives.

Carina’s senior year is spiraling downward. Fast. Both her mother and her uncle, the only two family members she’s ever known, are dead. Their deaths were accidents, unfortunate results of the highly confidential research they performed for a national security organization. Or so she’s been told.

She’s not buying it.

After finding a unique code hidden beneath the stone in a ring her mother left to her, Carina goes straight to the only family she has left: her boyfriend, Tanner.

The people Carina loved kept dangerous secrets. Secrets that make her question the life she’s been living up to now. Her life is on the line, but more importantly, so is Tanner’s. And if she fails? He dies.
Learn more about the book and author at Sophie Littlefield's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Sorry.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Pretty.

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

The Page 69 Test: Aftertime.

My Book, The Movie: Aftertime.

The Page 69 Test: Garden of Stones.

The Page 69 Test: The Missing Place.

--Marshal Zeringue