Saturday, October 31, 2015

"All the Houses"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: All the Houses: A Novel by Karen Olsson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A bittersweet, biting, sharply observed family drama from the author of Waterloo

After her father has a heart attack and subsequent surgery, Helen Atherton returns to her hometown of Washington, D.C., to help take care of him and, perhaps more honestly, herself. She's been living in Los Angeles, trying to work in Hollywood, slowly spiraling into a depression fueled by hours spent watching C-SPAN-her obsession with politics a holdover from a childhood interrupted by her father's involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal. "I don't know whether to think of him as a coconspirator or a complicit bystander or just someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time." Though the rest of the world has forgotten that scandal, the Atherton family never quite recovered. While living with her father in her childhood home, Helen tries to piece together the political moves that pulled her family apart.

All the Houses is, at its heart, a father-daughter story. With razor-sharp prose, an alluring objectivity, and a dry sense of humor, Karen Olsson writes about the shape-shifting of our family relationships when outside forces work their way in-how Washington turns people into unnatural versions of themselves, how problematic and overbearing sisters can be, and how familial nostalgia that sets in during early adulthood can prove counterproductive to actually becoming an adult.
Visit Karen Olsson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Big Question"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Big Question: Why We Can't Stop Talking About Science, Faith and God by Alister McGrath.

About the book, from the publisher:

Richard Dawkins's groundbreaking book The God Delusion created an explosion of interest in the relation of science and faith. This often troubled relationship between science and religion was seemingly damaged by the rise of the New Atheism, which insisted that science had essentially disproved not just God but also the value of religion. There is increasing skepticism towards its often glib and superficial answers; and the big questions about faith, God and science haven't gone away--in fact, we seem to talk about them more than ever.

Alister McGrath's The Big Question is an accessible, engaging account of how science relates to faith, exploring how the working methods and assumptions of the natural sciences can be theologically useful. McGrath uses stories and analogies, as well as personal accounts, in order to help readers understand the scientific and theological points he makes, and grasp their deeper significance. An extremely accomplished scientist and scholar, McGrath criticizes the evangelism of the New Atheists and paves a logical well-argued road to the compatibility between science and faith.

Some of his main discussion points include:
1. There is much more convergence between science and faith than is usually appreciated
2. How the three great models of scientific explanation can be adapted to religious belief
3. Belief in God provides a 'big picture' of reality, making sense of science's successes
Visit Alister McGrath's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Lies About Truth"

New from HarperTeen: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the same vein as Jandy Nelson and Gayle Forman comes a novel from the gifted author of Faking Normal, Courtney C. Stevens, about hope and courage and the struggle to overcome the pain of loss.

Sadie Kingston is living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can't move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent's brother, Max.

As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him. But Max looks at her scars and doesn't shy away. And Max knows about the list she writes in the sand at the beach every night, the list of things that Sadie knows she must accomplish before she can move on from the accident. And while he can help her with number six (kiss someone without flinching), she knows she's on her own with number three (forgive Gina and Gray) and the rest of the seemingly impossible tasks that must be made possible before she can live in the now again.
Visit Courtney C. Stevens's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Faking Normal.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 30, 2015

"After Buddhism"

New from Yale University Press: After Buddhism: Rethinking the Dharma for a Secular Age by Stephen Batchelor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Some twenty-five centuries after the Buddha started teaching, his message continues to inspire people across the globe, including those living in predominantly secular societies. What does it mean to adapt religious practices to secular contexts?

Stephen Batchelor, an internationally known author and teacher, is committed to a secularized version of the Buddha’s teachings. The time has come, he feels, to articulate a coherent ethical, contemplative, and philosophical vision of Buddhism for our age. After Buddhism, the culmination of four decades of study and practice in the Tibetan, Zen, and Theravada traditions, is his attempt to set the record straight about who the Buddha was and what he was trying to teach. Combining critical readings of the earliest canonical texts with narrative accounts of five members of the Buddha’s inner circle, Batchelor depicts the Buddha as a pragmatic ethicist rather than a dogmatic metaphysician. He envisions Buddhism as a constantly evolving culture of awakening whose long survival is due to its capacity to reinvent itself and interact creatively with each society it encounters.

This original and provocative book presents a new framework for understanding the remarkable spread of Buddhism in today’s globalized world. It also reminds us of what was so startling about the Buddha’s vision of human flourishing.
Visit Stephen Batchelor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Solar Express"

New from Tor Books: Solar Express by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.

About the book, from the publisher:

You can't militarize space. This one rule has led to decades of peaceful development of space programs worldwide. However, increasing resource scarcity and a changing climate on Earth's surface is causing some interested parties to militarize, namely India, the North American Union, and the Sinese Federation.

The discovery of a strange artifact by Dr. Alayna Wong precipitates a crisis. What appears to be a hitherto undiscovered comet is soon revealed to be an alien structure on a cometary trajectory toward the sun. Now there is a race between countries to see who can study and control the artifact dubbed the "Solar Express" before it perhaps destroys itself.

Leading the way for the North American Union is Alayna's friend, Captain Christopher Tavoian, one of the first shuttle pilots to be trained for combat in space. But, as the alien craft gets closer to its destination, it begins to alter the surface of the sun in strange new ways, ways that could lead Alayna to revolutionary discoveries-provided Chris can prevent war from breaking out as he navigates among the escalating tensions between nations.

Solar Express is a thrilling, new, hard science fiction novel from New York Times bestselling author L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
Learn more about the author and his work at L. E. Modesitt, Jr.'s website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything"

New from Minotaur Books: Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything by Nancy Martin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rich and flamboyant Honeybelle Hensley, the most colorful character in Mule Stop, Texas, dies a suspicious death and enrages the whole town by leaving her worldly fortune to the most undeserving recipient-her dog. The incorrigible Miss Ruffles is a Texas Cattle Cur, not a cuddly lapdog, and when Honeybelle was alive, Miss Ruffles liked nothing better than digging up Honeybelle's famous rose garden after breakfast, chasing off the UPS man before lunch and terrorizing the many gentleman callers who came knocking at cocktail hour.

But now Miss Ruffles is in danger, and it's up to Sunny McKillip, the unwilling dogsitter, to keep her safe. Sunny is new to Texas, and sometimes she feels as if she's fallen into an alien world. If it isn't the pistol-packing football fans and the sweet-talking, yet ruthless ladies of the garden club who confound her, it's the rowdy rodeo hounds and the tobacco-spitting curmudgeon at Critter Control who have her buffaloed. With a killer on the loose and a cowboy lawyer keeping a suspicious eye on her every move, Sunny needs all the help she can get understanding how Texans think. There's more to Honeybelle's death than meets this Yankee's eye, and Sunny has Miss Ruffles to protect, too. It's a bucking bull ride of an adventure for Sunny, and if she's not careful she might just get killed . . . or her heart lassoed.
Learn more about the book and author at Nancy Martin's website.

The Page 69 Test: Our Lady of Immaculate Deception.

The Page 69 Test: Sticky Fingers.

Writers Read: Nancy Martin (March 2011).

Writers Read: Nancy Martin (August 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 29, 2015

"The Mulberry Bush"

New from The Mysterious Press: The Mulberry Bush by Charles McCarry.

About the book, from the publisher:

Author of The Tears of Autumn and The Shanghai Factor, Charles McCarry is widely regarded as one of the finest espionage novelists writing today. His latest masterpiece, The Mulberry Bush, burns with the fury of the wronged, as personal vendetta and political idealism collide. In a rose garden in Buenos Aires, an unnamed American spy meets the beautiful daughter of a famous Argentinean revolutionary. He becomes infatuated, and so does she. But he is no ordinary spy—he is an off-the-books lone wolf who spent his first five years at “Headquarters” hunting terrorists in the Middle East. Unbeknownst to his lenient handlers, he is loyal to a hidden agenda: to avenge his father, who was laughed out of Headquarters many years before and died a street person. In the sultry young Argentinean, Luz, the spy thinks he has found an ally. Like his father, her parents also met a terrible fate. But as his life becomes further entwined with hers, the spy finds himself caught in a perilous web of passions, affiliations, and lies that spans three continents and stretches back to the Cold War.

Steeped in the knowledge of modern-day tradecraft, The Mulberry Bush is a potent and seductive novel that explores what happens when the most powerful political motivator is revenge.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Manners & Mutiny"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Manners & Mutiny by Gail Carriger.

About the book, from the publisher:

If one must flirt...flirt with danger.

Lessons in the art of espionage aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine's floating dirigible have become tedious without Sophronia's sweet sootie Soap nearby. She would much rather be using her skills to thwart the dastardly Picklemen, yet her concerns about their wicked intentions are ignored, and now she's not sure whom to trust. What does the brusque werewolf dewan know? On whose side is the ever-stylish vampire Lord Akeldama? Only one thing is certain: a large-scale plot is under way, and when it comes to fruition, Sophronia must be ready to save her friends, her school, and all of London from disaster--in decidedly dramatic fashion, of course.

What will become of our proper young heroine when she puts her years of training to the test? Find out in this highly anticipated and thrilling conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Finishing School series!
Learn more about the book and author at Gail Carriger's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Soulless.

The Page 69 Test: Changeless.

The Page 69 Test: Waistcoats & Weaponry.

The Page 69 Test: Prudence.

My Book, The Movie: Prudence.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Tower of Thorns"

New from Roc: Tower of Thorns (Blackthorn and Grim Series #2) by Juliet Marillier.

About the book, from the publisher:

Disillusioned healer Blackthorn and her companion, Grim, have settled in Dalriada to wait out the seven years of Blackthorn’s bond to her fey mentor, hoping to avoid any dire challenges. But trouble has a way of seeking out Blackthorn and Grim.

Lady Geiléis, a noblewoman from the northern border, has asked for the prince of Dalriada’s help in expelling a howling creature from an old tower on her land—one surrounded by an impenetrable hedge of thorns. Casting a blight over the entire district, and impossible to drive out by ordinary means, it threatens both the safety and the sanity of all who live nearby. With no ready solutions to offer, the prince consults Blackthorn and Grim.

As Blackthorn and Grim begin to put the pieces of this puzzle together, it’s apparent that a powerful adversary is working behind the scenes. Their quest is about to become a life and death struggle—a conflict in which even the closest of friends can find themselves on opposite sides.
Learn more about the book and author at Juliet Marillier's website.

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

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Woody: The Biography"

New from St. Martin's Press: Woody: The Biography by David Evanier.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this first biography of Woody Allen in over a decade, David Evanier discusses key movies, plays and prose as well as Allen's personal life. Evanier tackles the themes that Allen has spent a lifetime sorting through in art: morality, sexuality, Judaism, the eternal struggle of head and heart. Woody will be the definitive word on a major American talent as he begins his ninth decade, and his sixth decade of making movies.
Visit David Evanier's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo)"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo) by C. Joseph Greaves.

About the book, from the publisher:

The year is 1936. Charles "Lucky" Luciano is the most powerful gangster in America. Thomas E. Dewey is an ambitious young prosecutor hired to bring him down, and Cokey Flo Brown--grifter, heroin addict, and sometimes prostitute--is the witness who claims she can do it. Only a wily defense attorney named George Morton Levy stands between Lucky and a life behind bars, between Dewey and the New York governor's mansion.

As the Roaring Twenties give way to the austere reality of the Great Depression, four lives, each on its own incandescent trajectory, intersect in a New York courtroom, introducing America to the violent and darkly glamorous world of organized crime and leaving our culture, laws, and politics forever changed.

Based on a trove of newly discovered documents, Tom & Lucky (and George & Cokey Flo) tells the true story of a singular trial in American history: an epic clash between a crime-busting district attorney and an all-powerful mob boss who, in the crucible of a Manhattan courtroom, battle for the heart and soul of a dispirited nation. Blending elements of political thriller, courtroom drama, and hard-boiled pulp, author C. Joseph Greaves introduces readers to the likes of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz, Meyer Lansky, and Bugsy Siegel while taking readers behind the scenes of a corrupt criminal justice system in which sinners may be saints and heroes may prove to be the biggest villains of all.
Learn more about the book and author at C. Joseph Greaves's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Please Don't Bite the Baby"

New from Seal Press: Please Don't Bite the Baby (and Please Don't Chase the Dogs): Keeping Our Kids and Our Dogs Safe and Happy Together by Lisa Edwards.

About the book, from the publisher:

Please Don't Bite the Baby (and Please Don't Chase the Dogs), chronicles certified professional dog trainer Lisa Edwards’ endearing and entertaining journey to ensure that her household survives and thrives when she introduces her son to her motley pack of animals. As Lisa knows all too well, the dog/child relationship is simultaneously treasured, misunderstood, and sometimes feared. In a twist, Lisa's dog training techniques inevitably seep into how she navigates her first year with baby to mixed but enlightening results.

Lisa includes her best training techniques for the everyday pet owner itemized at the end of each chapter. This book is important for parents, grandparents, and caregivers who have dogs and young children together and want to ensure safety for all.
Visit Lisa J. Edwards's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Lisa Edwards & Boo, Porthos, and Pinball.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

"Realizing the Witch"

New from Fordham University Press: Realizing the Witch: Science, Cinema, and the Mastery of the Invisible by Richard Baxstrom and Todd Meyers.

About the book, from the publisher:

Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan (The Witch, 1922) stands as a singular film within the history of cinema. Deftly weaving contemporary scientific analysis and powerfully staged historical scenes of satanic initiation, confession under torture, possession, and persecution, Häxan creatively blends spectacle and argument to provoke a humanist re-evaluation of witchcraft in European history as well as the contemporary treatment of female “hysterics” and the mentally ill.

In Realizing the Witch, Baxstrom and Meyers show how Häxan opens a window onto wider debates in the 1920s regarding the relationship of film to scientific evidence, the evolving study of religion from historical and anthropological perspectives, and the complex relations between popular culture, artistic expression, and concepts in medicine and psychology. Häxan is a film that travels along the winding path of art and science rather than between the narrow division of “documentary” and “fiction.” Baxstrom and Meyers reveal how Christensen’s attempt to tame the irrationality of “the witch” risked validating the very “nonsense” that such an effort sought to master and dispel. Häxan is a notorious, genre-bending, excessive cinematic account of the witch in early modern Europe. Realizing the Witch not only illustrates the underrated importance of the film within the canons of classic cinema, it lays bare the relation of the invisible to that which we cannot prove but nevertheless “know” to be there.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Penguin Lessons"

New from Ballantine Books: The Penguin Lessons: What I Learned from a Remarkable Bird by Tom Michell.

About the book, from the publisher:

A unique and moving real-life story of the extraordinary bond between a young teacher and a penguin, this book will delight readers who loved Marley & Me, Dewey the Library Cat, The Good Good Pig, and any book by Jon Katz.

In 1975, twenty-three-year-old Englishman Tom Michell follows his wanderlust to Argentina, where he becomes assistant master at a prestigious boarding school. But Michell’s adventures really begin when, on a weekend in Uruguay, he rescues a penguin covered in oil from an ocean spill, cleans the bird up, and attempts to return him to the sea. The penguin refuses to leave his rescuer’s side. “That was the moment at which he became my penguin, and whatever the future held, we’d face it together,” says Michell in this charming memoir.

Michell names the penguin Juan Salvador (“John Saved”), but Juan Salvador, as it turns out, is the one who saves Michell.

After Michell smuggles the bird back to Argentina and into his campus apartment, word spreads about the young Englishman’s unusual roommate. Juan Salvador is suddenly the center of attention—as mascot of the rugby team, confidant to the dorm housekeeper, co-host of Michell’s parties, and an unprecedented swimming coach to a shy boy. Even through the collapse of the Perónist government and amid the country’s economic and political strife, Juan Salvador brings joy to everyone around him—especially Michell, who considers the affectionate animal a compadre and kindred spirit.

Witty and heartwarming, The Penguin Lessons is a classic in the making, a story that is both absurd and wonderful, exactly like Juan Salvador.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 26, 2015

"The Shards of Heaven"

New from Tor Books: The Shards of Heaven by Michael Livingston.

About the book, from the publisher:

Julius Caesar is dead, assassinated on the senate floor, and the glory that is Rome has been torn in two. Octavian, Caesar's ambitious great-nephew and adopted son, vies with Marc Antony and Cleopatra for control of Caesar's legacy. As civil war rages from Rome to Alexandria, and vast armies and navies battle for supremacy, a secret conflict may shape the course of history.

Juba, Numidian prince and adopted brother of Octavian, has embarked on a ruthless quest for the Shards of Heaven, lost treasures said to possess the very power of the gods-or the one God. Driven by vengeance, Juba has already attained the fabled Trident of Poseidon, which may also be the staff once wielded by Moses. Now he will stop at nothing to obtain the other Shards, even if it means burning the entire world to the ground.

Caught up in these cataclysmic events, and the hunt for the Shards, are a pair of exiled Roman legionnaires, a Greek librarian of uncertain loyalties, assassins, spies, slaves . . . and the ten-year-old daughter of Cleopatra herself.

Michael Livingston's The Shards of Heaven reveals the hidden magic behind the history we know, and commences a war greater than any mere mortal battle.
Visit Michael Livingston's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"All Men Fear Me"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: All Men Fear Me: An Alafair Tucker Mystery by Donis Casey.

About the book, from the publisher:

The U.S. has finally entered the First World War and scheduled the first draft lottery. No one in Boynton, Oklahoma, is unaffected by the clash between rabid pro-war, anti-immigrant “patriots” and anti-conscription socialists, who are threatening an uprising rather than submit to the draft.

Alafair Tucker is caught in the middle when her brother, a union organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World, pays her a visit. Rob Gunn is fresh out of an internment camp for participants in an Arizona miners’ strike. He assures Alafair that he’s only come to visit family, but she’s not so sure. More unsettling, Alafair’s eldest son enlists, and a group calling itself the “Knights of Liberty” vandalizes the farm of Alafair’s German-born son-in-law.

Alafair’s younger son, 16-year-old Charlie, is wildly patriotic and horrified by his socialist uncle. With his father’s permission Charlie takes a part-time war job at the Francis Vitric Brick Company. Soon several suspicious machine breakdowns delay production, and a couple of shift supervisors are murdered. Everyone in town suspects sabotage, some blaming German spies, others blaming the unionists and socialists. But Charlie Tucker is sure he knows who the culprit is and comes up with a plan to catch him red-handed.

And then there is old Nick—a mysterious guy in a bowler hat who’s been hanging around town.
Visit Donis Casey's website.

Writers Read: Donis Casey (June 2014).

The Page 69 Test: Hell with the Lid Blown Off.

My Book, The Movie: Hell With the Lid Blown Off.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 25, 2015

"Samuel Johnson and the Journey into Words"

New from Oxford University Press: Samuel Johnson and the Journey into Words by Lynda Mugglestone.

About the book, from the publisher:

Popular readings of Johnson as a dictionary-maker often see him as a writer who both laments and attempts to control the state of the language. Lynda Mugglestone looks at the range of Johnson's writings on, and the complexity of his thinking about, language and lexicography. She shows how these reveal him probing problems not just of meaning and use but what he considered the related issues of control, obedience, and justice, as well as the difficulties of power when exerted over the 'sea of words'. She examines his attitudes to language change, loan words, spelling, history, and authority, describing, too, the evolution of his ideas about the nature, purpose, and methods of lexicography, and shows how these reflect his own and others' thinking about politics, culture, and society. The book offers a careful reassessment of Johnson's prescriptive practice, examining in detail his commitment to evidence, and the uses to which this might be put.

Dictionary-making, for Johnson, came to be seen as a long and difficult voyage round the world of the English language. While such images play their own role in lexicographical tradition, Johnson would, as this volume explores, also make them very much his own in a range of distinctive, and illuminating, ways. Johnson's metaphors invite us to consider-and reconsider-the processes by which a dictionary might be made and the kind of destination it might seek, as well as the state of language that might be reached by such endeavours. For Johnson, where the dictionary-maker might go, and what should be accomplished along the way, can often seem to raise pertinent and perhaps troubling questions.

Lynda Mugglestone's generous, wide-ranging account casts new light on Johnson's life in language and provides a convincing reassessment of his impact on English culture, the making of dictionaries, and their role in a nation's identity. She ends by considering the power of Johnson's legacy and the degree to which his work continues to guide our attitudes to language and what we variously expect dictionaries to be and do.
--Marshal Zeringue

"White Collar Girl"

New from NAL: White Collar Girl by Renée Rosen.

About the book, from the publisher:

The latest novel from the bestselling author of Dollface and What the Lady Wants takes us deep into the tumultuous world of 1950s Chicago where a female journalist struggles with the heavy price of ambition…

Every second of every day, something is happening. There’s a story out there buried in the muck, and Jordan Walsh, coming from a family of esteemed reporters, wants to be the one to dig it up. But it’s 1955, and the men who dominate the city room of the Chicago Tribune have no interest in making room for a female cub reporter. Instead Jordan is relegated to society news, reporting on Marilyn Monroe sightings at the Pump Room and interviewing secretaries for the White Collar Girl column.

Even with her journalistic legacy and connections to luminaries like Mike Royko, Nelson Algren, and Ernest Hemingway, Jordan struggles to be taken seriously. Of course, that all changes the moment she establishes a secret source inside Mayor Daley’s office and gets her hands on some confidential information. Now careers and lives are hanging on Jordan’s every word. But if she succeeds in landing her stories on the front page, there’s no guarantee she’ll remain above the fold.…
Visit Renée Rosen's website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 99 Test: Every Crooked Pot.

My Book, The Movie: Dollface.

The Page 69 Test: Dollface.

Writers Read: Renée Rosen.

The Page 69 Test: What the Lady Wants.

My Book, The Movie: What the Lady Wants.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 24, 2015

"Prince of Darkness"

New from St. Martin's Press: Prince of Darkness: The Untold Story of Jeremiah G. Hamilton, Wall Street's First Black Millionaire by Shane White.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the middle decades of the nineteenth century Jeremiah G. Hamilton was a well-known figure on Wall Street. Cornelius Vanderbilt, America's first tycoon, came to respect, grudgingly, his one-time opponent. The day after Vanderbilt's death on January 4, 1877, an almost full-page obituary on the front of the National Republican acknowledged that, in the context of his Wall Street share transactions, "There was only one man who ever fought the Commodore to the end, and that was Jeremiah Hamilton."

What Vanderbilt's obituary failed to mention, perhaps as contemporaries already knew it well, was that Hamilton was African American. Hamilton, although his origins were lowly, possibly slave, was reportedly the richest colored man in the United States, possessing a fortune of $2 million, or in excess of two hundred and $50 million in today's currency.

In Prince of Darkness, a groundbreaking and vivid account, eminent historian Shane White reveals the larger than life story of a man who defied every convention of his time. He wheeled and dealed in the lily white business world, he married a white woman, he bought a mansion in rural New Jersey, he owned railroad stock on trains he was not legally allowed to ride, and generally set his white contemporaries teeth on edge when he wasn't just plain outsmarting them. An important contribution to American history, Hamilton's life offers a way into considering, from the unusual perspective of a black man, subjects that are usually seen as being quintessentially white, totally segregated from the African American past.
--Marshal Zeringue


New from Feiwel & Friends: Gabriel by Nikki Kelly.

About the book, from the publisher:

Gabriel is an angel descendant. He's also an ally to a generation of vampires who want to break away from the demon who controls them. His faith in the power of good over evil wavers, however, when he discovers that Lailah, the woman he considers his only true love, may be both angel and demon. Is their love enough to overcome the dark forces who are ready to go to war with Gabriel, the vampire Jonah, and the angel and vampire forces? And can Gabriel compete with Jonah, who is also in love with Lailah?

Once again, Nikki Kelly looks deeply into the heart and soul of good and evil to create a romantic, action-packed reading adventure.
Visit Nikki Kelly's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Nikki Kelly & Alfie and Goose.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 23, 2015

"Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America"

New from Harper: Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America by Diane Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:

Part introspective soul searching, part cultural analysis, Tribal tackles the controversies plaguing college athletics, tracing the dubious historical underpinnings of Americans’ most popular sport, offering a visceral and often funny analysis of its tribal thrills and deep contradictions.

Florida State’s football team is always in the headlines, producing Heisman Trophy candidates, winning championships, and, at the same time, dealing with federal investigations into corruption and rape. Same as many big time collegiate sports programs. Seems no matter how the team transgresses off the field, if they excel on the field, everyone forgives them. Writer, professor and conflicted Seminole Diane Roberts looks at the problems plaguing her campus in Tallahassee, examining them within the context of college football itself and its significance in American life, and explores how the game shapes our culture.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Boy Who Knew Everything"

New from Feiwel & Friends: The Boy Who Knew Everything by Victoria Forester.

About the book, from the publisher:

Conrad Harrington III doesn’t want to be a super genius; he just wants to live a normal life. But with Conrad’s father the newly-elected President of the United States, he knows being normal isn’t really an option. When suspicious disasters suddenly start happening all over the globe, his best friend Piper McCloud knows the world needs Conrad’s gifts—and that all of the exceptional children need him to lead them in order to put a stop to it.

Can they work together to save themselves...and the world?

Find out in this action-packed sequel to The Girl Who Could Fly.
Visit Victoria Forester's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Frosted Kisses"

New from Scholastic: Frosted Kisses by Heather Hepler.

About the book, from the publisher:

Former Manhattan girl Penny has quickly discovered that life in a small town is never dull. Not when there's a festival for every occasion, a Queen Bee to deal with, an animal shelter to save, and a cute boy to crush on.

There's a new girl in town: Esmeralda. She's beautiful, French, and just happens to be Queen Bee Charity's best friend. Penny hopes the arrival of Esmeralda means Charity might be too busy to keep making her life miserable.

But Penny doesn't have a lot of time to worry about Charity. Her best friend, Tally, has recruited her to help raise money to save the local animal shelter. Then there's Marcus, the adorable and mysterious boy who Penny thinks maybe likes her as much as she likes him. Plus, this is Penny's first holiday season as a "divorced" kid, although she has no idea what this means.

Can Penny help her friends save the shelter, navigate her new family dynamics, and get the boy, or will Charity and Esmeralda find a way to ruin everything?
Visit Heather Hepler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"Two Hours"

New from Simon & Schuster: Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon by Ed Caesar.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first major work about marathon running—including the current heated battle among the world’s elite runners to reach the two-hour barrier—and how psychology, technology, economics, and the latest science affect the potential of human performance.

Two hours, to cover 26 miles and 385 yards. It is running’s Everest, a feat once seen as impossible for the human body. But now we can glimpse the mountaintop. The sub-two hour marathon will require an exceptional feat of speed, mental strength, and endurance. The pioneer will have to endure more, live braver, plan better, and be luckier than any who has run before. So who will it be?

In this spellbinding book, Ed Caesar takes us into the world of elite runners: the greatest marathoners on earth. Through the stories of these rich characters, like Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, he traces the history of the marathon as well as the science, physiology, and psychology involved in running so fast, for so long. And he shows us why this most democratic of races retains its savage, enthralling appeal—and why we are drawn to test ourselves to the limit. From big-money races in the United States to remote villages in Kenya, Two Hours is a book about a beautiful sport that few people understand. It’s about talent, heroism, and refusing to accept defeat. It’s a book about running that is about much more than running…this is a human drama like no other.
Visit Ed Caesar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Death in the Family"

New from Minotaur Books: A Death in the Family: A Detective Kubu Mystery by Michael Stanley.

About the book, from the publisher:

"There's no easy way to say this, Kubu. Your father's dead. I'm afraid he's been murdered."

Faced with the violent death of his own father, Assistant Superintendent David 'Kubu' Bengu, the smartest detective in the Botswana police, is baffled. Who would kill such a frail old man? Kubu's frustration grows as his boss, Director Mabaku, bans him from being involved in the investigation.

The picture becomes even murkier with the apparent suicide of a government official. Are Chinese mine-owners involved? And what role does the US Embassy have to play?

Set amidst the dark beauty of modern Botswana, A Death in the Family is a thrilling insight into a world of riots, corruption, and greed, as a complex series of murders presents the opera-loving detective with his most challenging case yet. When grief-stricken Kubu defies orders and sets out on the killers' trail, startling and chilling links emerge, spanning the globe and setting a sequence of shocking events in motion. Will Kubu catch the killers in time?
Learn more about the book and authors at Michael Stanley's website.

Read: Michael Stanley's top ten African crime novels.

The Page 69 Test: Deadly Harvest.

My Book, The Movie: Deadly Harvest.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Horse"

New from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion by Wendy Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:

The book horse-lovers have been waiting for

Horses have a story to tell, one of resilience, sociability, and intelligence, and of partnership with human beings. In The Horse, the journalist and equestrienne Wendy Williams brings that story brilliantly to life.

Williams chronicles the 56-million-year journey of horses as she visits with experts around the world, exploring what our biological affinities and differences can tell us about the bond between horses and humans, and what our longtime companion might think and feel. Indeed, recent scientific breakthroughs regarding the social and cognitive capacities of the horse and his ability to adapt to changing ecosystems indicate that this animal is a major evolutionary triumph.

Williams charts the course that leads to our modern Equus-from the protohorse to the Dutch Warmbloods, Thoroughbreds, and cow ponies of the twenty-first century. She observes magnificent ancient cave art in France and Spain that signals a deep respect and admiration for horses well before they were domesticated; visits the mountains of Wyoming with experts in equine behavior to understand the dynamics of free-roaming mustangs; witnesses the fluid gracefulness of the famous Lipizzans of Vienna; contemplates what life is like for the sure-footed, mustachioed Garrano horses who thrive on the rugged terrain of Galicia; meets a family devoted to rehabilitating abandoned mustangs on their New Hampshire farm; celebrates the Takhi horses of Mongolia; and more. She blends profound scientific insights with remarkable stories to create a unique biography of the horse as a sentient being with a fascinating past and a finely nuanced mind.

The Horse is a revealing account of the animal who has been at our side through the ages, befriending us and traveling with us over the mountains and across the plains. Enriched by Williams's own experience with horses, The Horse is a masterful work of narrative nonfiction that pays tribute to this treasure of the natural world.
Visit Wendy Williams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

"Class Dismissed"

New from Scholastic: Class Dismissed by Allan Woodrow.

About the book, from the publisher:

Class 507 is the worst class Ms. Bryce has ever taught. And she would know -- she's been teaching forever. They are so terrible that when a science experiment goes disastrously wrong (again), Ms. Bryce has had it and quits in the middle of the lesson. But through a mix-up, the school office never finds out.

Which means ... Class 507 is teacher-free!

The class figures if they don't tell anyone, it'll be one big holiday. Kyle and his friends can play games all day. Samantha decides she'll read magazines and give everyone (much needed) fashion advice. Adam can doodle everywhere without getting in trouble. Eric will be able to write stories with no one bothering him. And Maggie ... well, as the smartest kid in the class she has an ambitious plan for this epic opportunity.

But can Class 507 keep the principal, the rest of the students, and their parents from finding out ... or will the greatest school year ever turn into the worst disaster in school history?
Visit Allan Woodrow's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Harper: Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War by Linda Hervieux.

About the book, from the publisher:

The injustices of 1940s Jim Crow America are brought to life in this extraordinary blend of military and social history—a story that pays tribute to the valor of an all-black battalion whose crucial contributions at D-Day have gone unrecognized to this day.

In the early hours of June 6, 1944, the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, a unit of African-American soldiers, landed on the beaches of France. Their orders were to man a curtain of armed balloons meant to deter enemy aircraft. One member of the 320th would be nominated for the Medal of Honor, an award he would never receive. The nation’s highest decoration was not given to black soldiers in World War II.

Drawing on newly uncovered military records and dozens of original interviews with surviving members of the 320th and their families, Linda Hervieux tells the story of these heroic men charged with an extraordinary mission, whose contributions to one of the most celebrated events in modern history have been overlooked. Members of the 320th—Wilson Monk, a jack-of-all-trades from Atlantic City; Henry Parham, the son of sharecroppers from rural Virginia; William Dabney, an eager 17-year-old from Roanoke, Virginia; Samuel Mattison, a charming romantic from Columbus, Ohio—and thousands of other African Americans were sent abroad to fight for liberties denied them at home. In England and Europe, these soldiers discovered freedom they had not known in a homeland that treated them as second-class citizens—experiences they carried back to America, fueling the budding civil rights movement.

In telling the story of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, Hervieux offers a vivid account of the tension between racial politics and national service in wartime America, and a moving narrative of human bravery and perseverance in the face of injustice.
Visit Linda Hervieux's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

"Brand Luther"

New from Penguin Press: Brand Luther: How an Unheralded Monk Turned His Small Town into a Center of Publishing, Made Himself the Most Famous Man in Europe--and Started the Protestant Reformation by Andrew Pettegree.

About the book, from the publisher:

A revolutionary look at Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the birth of publishing, on the eve of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary

When Martin Luther posted his “theses” on the door of the Wittenberg church in 1517, protesting corrupt practices, he was virtually unknown. Within months, his ideas spread across Germany, then all of Europe; within years, their author was not just famous, but infamous, responsible for catalyzing the violent wave of religious reform that would come to be known as the Protestant Reformation and engulfing Europe in decades of bloody war.

Luther came of age with the printing press, and the path to glory of neither one was obvious to the casual observer of the time. Printing was, and is, a risky business—the questions were how to know how much to print and how to get there before the competition. Pettegree illustrates Luther’s great gifts not simply as a theologian, but as a communicator, indeed, as the world’s first mass-media figure, its first brand. He recognized in printing the power of pamphlets, written in the colloquial German of everyday people, to win the battle of ideas.

But that wasn’t enough—not just words, but the medium itself was the message. Fatefully, Luther had a partner in the form of artist and businessman Lucas Cranach, who together with Wittenberg’s printers created the distinctive look of Luther’s pamphlets. Together, Luther and Cranach created a product that spread like wildfire—it was both incredibly successful and widely imitated. Soon Germany was overwhelmed by a blizzard of pamphlets, with Wittenberg at its heart; the Reformation itself would blaze on for more than a hundred years.

Publishing in advance of the Reformation’s 500th anniversary, Brand Luther fuses the history of religion, of printing, and of capitalism—the literal marketplace of ideas—into one enthralling story, revolutionizing our understanding of one of the pivotal figures and eras in human history.
The Page 99 Test: The Book in the Renaissance.

The Page 99 Test: The Invention of News.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Underneath Everything"

New from Balzer + Bray: Underneath Everything by Marcy Beller Paul.

About the book, from the publisher:

Underneath Everything is a seductive, gorgeously written debut about two girls bound by an obsessive and toxic friendship, perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and Courtney Summers.

Mattie shouldn't be at the bonfire. She should be finding new maps for her collection, hanging out with Kris, and steering clear of almost everyone else, especially Jolene. After all, Mattie and Kris dropped off the social scene the summer after sophomore year for a reason. But now Mattie is a senior, and she's sick of missing things. So here she is. And there's Jolene: Beautiful. Captivating. Just like the stories she wove. Mattie would know—she used to star in them. She and Jolene were best friends. Mattie has the scar on her palm to prove it, and Jolene has everything else, including Hudson.

But when Mattie runs into Hudson and gets a glimpse of what could have been, she decides to take it all back: the boyfriend, the friends, the life she was supposed to live. Problem is, Mattie can't figure out where Jolene's life ends and hers begins. Because there's something Mattie hasn't told anyone: She walked away from Jolene over a year ago, but she never really left.
Visit Marcy Beller Paul's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs"

New from Ecco: Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe by Lisa Randall.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this brilliant exploration of our cosmic environment, the renowned particle physicist and New York Times bestselling author of Warped Passages and Knocking on Heaven’s Door uses her research into dark matter to illuminate the startling connections between the furthest reaches of space and life here on Earth.

Sixty-six million years ago, an object the size of a city descended from space to crash into Earth, creating a devastating cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs, along with three-quarters of the other species on the planet. What was its origin? In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Lisa Randall proposes it was a comet that was dislodged from its orbit as the Solar System passed through a disk of dark matter embedded in the Milky Way. In a sense, it might have been dark matter that killed the dinosaurs.

Working through the background and consequences of this proposal, Randall shares with us the latest findings—established and speculative—regarding the nature and role of dark matter and the origin of the Universe, our galaxy, our Solar System, and life, along with the process by which scientists explore new concepts. In Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs, Randall tells a breathtaking story that weaves together the cosmos’ history and our own, illuminating the deep relationships that are critical to our world and the astonishing beauty inherent in the most familiar things.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 19, 2015


New from Henry Holt and Co.: Tenacity A Thriller by J. S. Law.

About the book, from the publisher:

Two hundred meters below the ocean's surface, you can't run, you can't hide, and the truth won't set you free.

An officer hangs himself in the engine room of naval submarine HMS Tenacity. A woman's murder bears disturbing similarities to an old case. Lieutenant Danielle "Dan" Lewis grasps for the truth before it submerges in the gray waters of the English Channel.

Cramped, claustrophobic, and under strict command, the confines of HMS Tenacity are unwelcoming in the best of circumstances. For Dan, the only female aboard, who must methodically interrogate a tightknit and hostile crew, it's her own special place in hell.

Recently reassigned to the Special Investigation Branch's Kill Team, Dan's hardheaded reputation precedes her. But facing an obstinate ship's company, a commanding officer too eager to close the case, and a constant threat of unfriendly male interest, she learns that under enough pressure everyone has their breaking point.
Visit J. S. Law's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Betrayal"

New from Oxford University Press: The Betrayal: The 1919 World Series and the Birth of Modern Baseball by Charles Fountain.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the most famous scandal of sports history, eight Chicago White Sox players--including Shoeless Joe Jackson--agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the promise of $20,000 each from gamblers reportedly working for New York mobster Arnold Rothstein. Heavily favored, Chicago lost the Series five games to three. Although rumors of a fix flew while the series was being played, they were largely disregarded by players and the public at large. It wasn't until a year later that a general investigation into baseball gambling reopened the case, and a nationwide scandal emerged.

In this book, Charles Fountain offers a full and engaging history of one of baseball's true moments of crisis and hand-wringing, and shows how the scandal changed the way American baseball was both managed and perceived. After an extensive investigation and a trial that became a national morality play, the jury returned not-guilty verdicts for all of the White Sox players in August of 1921. The following day, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, baseball's new commissioner, "regardless of the verdicts of juries," banned the eight players for life. And thus the Black Sox entered into American mythology. Guilty or innocent? Guilty and innocent? The country wasn't sure in 1921, and as Fountain shows, we still aren't sure today. But we are continually pulled to the story, because so much of modern sport, and our attitude towards it, springs from the scandal.

Fountain traces the Black Sox story from its roots in the gambling culture that pervaded the game in the years surrounding World War I, through the confusing events of the 1919 World Series itself, to the noisy aftermath and trial, and illuminates the moment as baseball's tipping point. Despite the clumsy unfolding of the scandal and trial and the callous treatment of the players involved, the Black Sox saga was a cleansing moment for the sport. It launched the age of the baseball commissioner, as baseball owners hired Landis and surrendered to him the control of their game. Fountain shows how sweeping changes in 1920s triggered by the scandal moved baseball away from its association with gamblers and fixers, and details how American's attitude toward the pastime shifted as they entered into "The Golden Age of Sport."

Situating the Black Sox events in the context of later scandals, including those involving Reds manager and player Pete Rose, and the ongoing use of steroids in the game up through the present, Fountain illuminates America's near century-long fascination with the story, and its continuing relevance today.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 18, 2015

"The Secret Lives of Bats"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Secret Lives of Bats: My Adventures with the World's Most Misunderstood Mammals by Merlin Tuttle.

About the book, from the publisher:

A lifetime of adventures with bats around the world reveals why these special and imperiled creatures should be protected rather than feared.

From menacing moonshiners and armed bandits to charging elephants and man-eating tigers, Merlin Tuttle has stopped at nothing to find and protect bats on every continent they inhabit. Enamored of bats ever since discovering a colony in a cave as a boy, Tuttle saw how effective photography could be in persuading people not to fear bats, and he has spent his career traveling the world to document them.

Few people realize how sophisticated and intelligent bats are. Tuttle shares research showing that frog-eating bats can identify frogs by their calls, that vampire bats have a social order similar to that of primates, and that bats have remarkable memories. Bats also provide enormous benefits by eating crop pests, pollinating plants, and carrying seeds needed for reforestation. They save farmers billions of dollars annually and are essential to a healthy planet.

Sharing highlights from a lifetime of adventure and discovery, Tuttle takes us to the frontiers of bat research and conservation and forever changes the way we see these poorly understood yet fascinating creatures.
Visit Merlin D. Tuttle's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"No True Echo"

New from Amulet Books: No True Echo by Gareth P. Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:

Eddie thinks nothing ever happens in his small, boring town. Every day is exactly the same, down to what the bus driver will say when he picks each kid up in the morning. But then, one day, someone new, and very pretty, walks onto the bus. At least, Eddie thinks she’s new, but there is something oddly familiar about Scarlett. Intrigued (and smitten), Eddie starts to follow Scarlett—and what he discovers is odder still. Scarlett is a Senior Echo Time Agent from the future, come to his town to investigate the origin of time travel, which, unbeknownst to Eddie, was invented right in his hometown, by someone he knew. Soon Eddie is swept up in the investigation and in time. But time travel is a dangerous business, and Eddie will learn more than he wants to know about his long-dead mother.

This psychologically rich thriller redefines the time travel novel for a teen audience.
Visit Gareth P. Jones's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Just Killing Time"

New from Berkley: Just Killing Time by Julianne Holmes.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ruth Clagan may be an expert clockmaker, but she’s always had a tendency to lose track of time. And when trying to solve a murder, every minute counts…

Ruth’s beloved grandfather instilled in her a love of timepieces. Unfortunately after her grandmother died and he remarried, Ruth and Grandpa Thom became estranged. She’s wanted to reconnect after her recent divorce, but sadly they’ve run out of time. Her grandfather has been found dead after a break-in at his shop—and the police believe he was murdered.

Now Ruth has been named the heir to Grandpa Thom’s clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, in the small Berkshire town of Orchard, Massachusetts. As soon as she moves into the small apartment above the shop and begins tackling the heaps of unfinished work, Ruth finds herself trying to stay on the good side of Grandpa’s bossy gray cat, Bezel, while avoiding the step-grandmother she never wanted. But as old secrets and grudges start to surface, Ruth will have to kick into high gear to solve the killer case before someone else winds up dead…
Visit Julianne Holmes's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 17, 2015

"Tell the Story to Its End"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: Tell the Story to Its End by Simon P. Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Tell the story to its end," says Eren with a grin.
His yellow eyes are glowing like embers in the night.
"When I reach the end," I say, "what happens? You'll have the whole story."
"Hmm," he says, looking at me and licking his lips with a dry, grey tongue. "What happens then? Why don't we find out?"

People are keeping secrets from Oli. His mum has brought him to stay with his aunt and uncle in the countryside, but nobody will tell him why his dad isn't there, too. Why hasn't he come with them? Has something happened? Why won't anyone talk about it? Oli has a hundred questions, and only an old, empty house in the middle of an ancient forest for answers. But then he finds a secret of his own: there is a creature that lives in the attic...

Eren is not human.
Eren is hungry for stories.
Eren has been waiting for him.

With Eren to listen, Oli starts to make sense of what's happening. But Eren is powerful, and though he's willing to help Oli, he's not willing to do it for free; he wants something in return. Oli must make a choice: he can learn the truth -- but to do so he must abandon himself to Eren's world, forever.

From striking new voice Simon P. Clark comes Tell the Story to Its End; richly atmospheric, moving, unsettling, and told in gorgeous prose, it is a modern classic in the making.
Visit Simon P. Clark's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary"

New from Duke University Press: Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led by Transgression by Margaret Randall.

About the book, from the publisher:

Taking part in the Cuban Revolution's first armed action in 1953, enduring the torture and killings of her brother and fiancé, assuming a leadership role in the underground movement, and smuggling weapons into Cuba, Haydée Santamaría was the only woman to participate in every phase of the Revolution. Virtually unknown outside of Cuba, Santamaría was a trusted member of Fidel Castro's inner circle and friend of Che Guevara. Following the Revolution's victory Santamaría founded and ran the cultural and arts institution Casa de las Americas, which attracted cutting-edge artists, exposed Cubans to some of the world's greatest creative minds, and protected queer, black, and feminist artists from state repression. Santamaría's suicide in 1980 caused confusion and discomfort throughout Cuba; despite her commitment to the Revolution, communist orthodoxy's disapproval of suicide prevented the Cuban leadership from mourning and celebrating her in the Plaza of the Revolution. In this impressionistic portrait of her friend Haydée Santamaría, Margaret Randall shows how one woman can help change the course of history.
Visit Margaret Randall's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 16, 2015

"Dead Investigation"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Dead Investigation by Charlie Price.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this standalone follow-up to an Edgar winner's acclaimed debut novel, Murray Kiefer is a boy who lives in a cemetery and can talk with those buried beneath the tombstones. He'd rather no one knew, but word got out once he helped solve a fellow student's murder. Now people think he's nuts, or want to use his ability for their own ends, or don't care that he might not want to get tangled in another police investigation all over again. But there's been a brutal killing--maybe more than one--and Murray may be able to help unravel the crime, although not without risking his own life, and those of the only friends he has.
Visit Charlie Price's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Thing about Jellyfish"

New from Little, Brown: The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin.

About the book, from the publisher:

A stunning debut about how grief can open the world in magical ways.

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.
Visit Ali Benjamin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Lions in the Balance"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Lions in the Balance: Man-Eaters, Manes, and Men with Guns by Craig Packer.

About the book, from the publisher:

If you are a morani (warrior), you have your spear at the ready—you could be the hero, but you will have to wait until the morning light before you can go out and prove yourself. If it is a lion, you want to be the first to spear it—and if the lion turns on you, make sure it mauls you on your chest or stomach, on your face, shins, or throat. Any place where you can show your scars with pride, show the incontrovertible evidence of courage. A scar on your back would be a permanent reminder of cowardice, an ineradicable trace of shame.

Monsters take many forms: from man-eating lions to the people who hunt them, from armed robbers to that midnight knock at the door of a cheap hotel room in Dar es Salaam. And celebrated biologist Craig Packer has faced them all. Head on.

With Lions in the Balance, Packer takes us back into the complex, tooth-and-claw world of the African lion, offering revealing insights into both the lives of one of the most iconic and dangerous animals on earth and the very real risks of protecting them. A sequel to his prize-winning Into Africa—which gave many readers their first experience of fieldwork in Africa, of cooperative lions on dusty savannas, and political kidnappings on the shores of Lake Tanganyika—this new diary-based chronicle of cutting-edge research and heartbreaking corruption will both alarm and entertain. Packer’s story offers a look into the future of the lion, one in which the politics of conservation will require survival strategies far more creative and powerful than those practiced anywhere in the world today.

Packer is sure to infuriate millionaires, politicians, aid agencies, and conservationists alike as he minces no words about the problems he encounters. But with a narrative stretching from far flung parts of Africa to the corridors of power in Washington, DC, and marked by Packer’s signature humor and incredible candor, Lions in the Balance is a tale of courage against impossible odds, a masterly blend of science, adventure, and storytelling, and an urgent call to action that will captivate a new generation of readers.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Becoming Nicole"

New from Random House: Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt.

About the book, from the publisher:

The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter for The Washington Post

When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, they thought their lives were complete. But it wasn’t long before they noticed a marked difference between Jonas and his brother, Wyatt. Jonas preferred sports and trucks and many of the things little boys were “supposed” to like; but Wyatt liked princess dolls and dress-up and playing Little Mermaid. By the time the twins were toddlers, confusion over Wyatt’s insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart. In the years that followed, the Maineses came to question their long-held views on gender and identity, to accept and embrace Wyatt’s transition to Nicole, and to undergo an emotionally wrenching transformation of their own that would change all their lives forever.

Becoming Nicole chronicles a journey that could have destroyed a family but instead brought it closer together. It’s the story of a mother whose instincts told her that her child needed love and acceptance, not ostracism and disapproval; of a Republican, Air Force veteran father who overcame his deepest fears to become a vocal advocate for trans rights; of a loving brother who bravely stuck up for his twin sister; and of a town forced to confront its prejudices, a school compelled to rewrite its rules, and a courageous community of transgender activists determined to make their voices heard. Ultimately, Becoming Nicole is the story of an extraordinary girl who fought for the right to be herself.

Granted wide-ranging access to personal diaries, home videos, clinical journals, legal documents, medical records, and the Maineses themselves, Amy Ellis Nutt spent almost four years reporting this immersive account of an American family confronting an issue that is at the center of today’s cultural debate. Becoming Nicole will resonate with anyone who’s ever raised a child, felt at odds with society’s conventions and norms, or had to embrace life when it plays out unexpectedly. It’s a story of standing up for your beliefs and yourself—and it will inspire all of us to do the same.
Visit Amy Ellis Nutt's website.

The Page 99 Test: Shadows Bright as Glass.

Writers Read: Amy Ellis Nutt (April 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dark Reservations"

New from Minotaur Books: Dark Reservations: A Mystery by John Fortunato.

About the book, from the publisher:

"An insightful take on life in the Southwest." —Gene Hackman

Bureau of Indian Affairs special agent Joe Evers still mourns the death of his wife and, after a bungled investigation, faces a forced early retirement. What he needs is a new career, not another case. But when Congressman Arlen Edgerton's bullet-riddled Lincoln turns up on the Navajo reservation—twenty years after he disappeared during a corruption probe—Joe must resurrect his failing career to solve the mysterious cold case.

Joe partners with Navajo tribal officer Randall Bluehorse, his investigation antagonizes potential suspects, including a wealthy art collector, a former president of the Navajo Nation, a powerful U.S. senator, and Edgerton's widow, who is now the front-runner in the New Mexico governor's race. An unexpected romance further complicates both the investigation and Joe's troubled relationship with his daughter, forcing him to confront his emotional demons while on the trail of a ruthless killer.

Joe uncovers a murderous conspiracy that leads him from ancient Anasazi burial grounds on the Navajo Nation to backroom deals in Washington, D.C. Along the way, he delves into the dangerous world of black market trade in Native American artifacts. Can he unravel the mystery and bring the true criminal to justice, or will he become another silenced victim?
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"The Secret of Our Success"

New from Princeton University Press: The Secret of Our Success: How Culture Is Driving Human Evolution, Domesticating Our Species, and Making Us Smarter by Joseph Henrich.

About the book, from the publisher:

Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often failing to overcome even basic challenges, like obtaining food, building shelters, or avoiding predators. On the other hand, human groups have produced ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have permitted us to successfully expand into a vast range of diverse environments. What has enabled us to dominate the globe, more than any other species, while remaining virtually helpless as lone individuals? This book shows that the secret of our success lies not in our innate intelligence, but in our collective brains—on the ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another over generations.

Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscientific findings, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich demonstrates how our collective brains have propelled our species’ genetic evolution and shaped our biology. Our early capacities for learning from others produced many cultural innovations, such as fire, cooking, water containers, plant knowledge, and projectile weapons, which in turn drove the expansion of our brains and altered our physiology, anatomy, and psychology in crucial ways. Later on, some collective brains generated and recombined powerful concepts, such as the lever, wheel, screw, and writing, while also creating the institutions that continue to alter our motivations and perceptions. Henrich shows how our genetics and biology are inextricably interwoven with cultural evolution, and how culture-gene interactions launched our species on an extraordinary evolutionary trajectory.

Tracking clues from our ancient past to the present, The Secret of Our Success explores how the evolution of both our cultural and social natures produce a collective intelligence that explains both our species’ immense success and the origins of human uniqueness.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Death Wears a Mask"

New from Minotaur Books: Death Wears a Mask: A Mystery by Ashley Weaver.

About the book, from the publisher:

Amory Ames is looking forward to a tranquil period of reconnecting with reformed playboy husband Milo after an unexpected reconciliation following the murderous events at the Brightwell Hotel. Amory hopes a quiet stay at their London flat will help mend their dysfunctional relationship. However, she soon finds herself drawn into another investigation when Serena Barrington asks her to look into the disappearance of valuable jewelry snatched at a dinner party.

Unable to say no to an old family friend, Amory agrees to help lay a trap to catch the culprit at a lavish masked ball hosted by the notorious Viscount Dunmore. But when one of the illustrious party guests is murdered, Amory is pulled back into the world of detection, enlisted by old ally Detective Inspector Jones. As she works through the suspect list, she struggles to fend off the advances of the very persistent viscount even as rumors swirl about Milo and a French film star. Once again, Amory and Milo must work together to solve a mystery where nothing is as it seems, set in the heart of 1930s society London.

Death Wears a Mask is the second novel in Ashley Weaver's witty and stylish Amory and Milo Ames mystery series.
Visit Ashley Weaver's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Midnight Jesus"

New from Thomas Nelson: Midnight Jesus: Where Struggle, Faith, and Grace Collide... by Jamie Blaine.

About the book, from the publisher:

The heart of God can be found in the unlikeliest places, in the unlikeliest people.

It’s three a.m. in the side yard of a shack in the worst part of town. I’ve got a dirty-faced baby on my hip and there’s a pit bull standing on the septic tank in the next yard over barking his head off. My patient sits on the hood of her ex-husband’s low rider smoking a cigarette and dumping her pills into a mud hole by the right front tire. Airbrushed across the hood of the car is a cross-eyed Jesus with open arms. She lays her hand on top of his as the still-hot engine ticks. Through tears she pleads, “Help me Jesus, please.”

The dog is silent. Sirens approach. “Just breathe,” I tell her. “Everything’s gonna be all right.”

The baby fidgets, resting her head against me, staring up into my eyes. I raise one finger and she holds it tight.

I fumble for the words again. “Just breathe.”

Midnight Jesus shares fascinating, bizarre, and sometimes humorous true-life stories of everyday people looking for hope in their darkest hours. Poignant and unpretentious, Jamie paints beauty where at times it seems none exists—from skating rinks and bars, late-night highways and lonely apartments, broken churches and rundown trailer parks, jail cells, bridge rails, ERs, psych wards, and that place over the levee where God laughs and walks through the cool dark night.
Visit the Midnight Jesus website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

"Trust Me, I'm Trouble"

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

About the book, from the publisher:

The sequel to TRUST ME, I’M LYING

Staying out of trouble isn’t possible for Julep Dupree. She has managed not to get kicked out of her private school, even though everyone knows she’s responsible for taking down a human-trafficking mob boss—and getting St. Agatha’s golden-boy Tyler killed in the process. Running cons holds her guilty conscience at bay, but unfortunately, someone wants Julep to pay for her mistakes ... with her life.

Against her better judgment, Julep takes a shady case that requires her to infiltrate a secretive organization that her long-gone mother and the enigmatic blue fairy may be connected to. Her best friend, Sam, isn’t around to stop her, and Dani, her one true confidante, happens to be a nineteen-year-old mob enforcer whose moral compass is as questionable as Julep’s. But there’s not much time to worry about right and wrong—or to save your falling heart—when there’s a contract on your head.

Murders, heists, secrets and lies, hit men and hidden identities . . . If Julep doesn’t watch her back, it’s her funeral. No lie.
Visit Mary Elizabeth Summer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Blue Voyage"

New from Viking Books for Young Readers: Blue Voyage by Diana Renn.

About the book, from the publisher:

An intricately crafted mystery set in the contemporary Middle East.

Zan is a politician’s daughter and an adrenaline junkie. Whether she’s rock climbing or shoplifting, she loves to live on the edge. But she gets more of a rush than she bargained for on a forced mother–daughter bonding trip to Turkey, where she finds herself in the crosshairs of an antiquities smuggling ring. These criminals believe that Zan can lead them to an ancient treasure that’s both priceless and cursed. Until she does so, she and her family are in grave danger. Zan’s quest to save the treasure—and the lives of people she cares about—leads her from the sparkling Mediterranean, to the bustle of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, to the eerie and crumbling caves of Cappadocia. But it seems that nowhere is safe, and there’s only so high she can climb before everything comes tumbling down.
Visit Diana Renn's website.

--Marshal Zeringue