Saturday, August 19, 2017

"The Dogs of Avalon"

New from W.W. Norton: The Dogs of Avalon: The Race to Save Animals in Peril by Laura Schenone.

About the book, from the publisher:

After adopting an Irish sight hound, Laura Schenone discovers a remarkable and little-known fight to gain justice for dogs and for all animals. Greyhounds, bred to be the fastest racing dogs on earth, are streaks of lightning. Beautiful, astonishing creatures, countless numbers of them disappear each year once they can no longer compete and win. The Dogs of Avalon introduces us to the strong-willed Marion Fitzgibbon, born in rural Ireland, where animals are valued only for their utility. But Fitzgibbon believes that suffering is felt by all creatures, and she champions the cause of strays, baffling those around her—including her family—as she and a group of local women rescue any animal in need and taking on increasingly risky missions. When Fitzgibbon becomes head of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and focuses on the cause of the greyhound, she faces an entrenched racing industry protected by money and power. She joins forces with an American greyhound activist, a foxhunter’s wife, a British lady, and an influential German animal rescuer to create an international network to find these animals homes, confront the racing industry, and provide safe havens where animals can live in peace. The Dogs of Avalon brings forward the people on the other side of the tracks—Irish Travellers (a people whose Celtic history goes back centuries), dogmen who hope to win big—together with a host of animals on two continents—circus tigers in Ireland, wild monkeys in the Yucatan, dolphins in a marine animal park in Florida, and one very special Irish sight hound in New Jersey named Lily. In this potent David and Goliath story, Schenone’s journey helps us understand our deep connection to animals and gives us inspiration in the form of the unforgettable Fitzgibbon, who grapples with compassion and activism and shows the difference we are all capable of making in the world.
Visit Laura Schenone's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 18, 2017

"The Futilitarians"

New from Little, Brown & Co.: The Futilitarians: Our Year of Thinking, Drinking, Grieving, and Reading by Anne Gisleson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A memoir of friendship and literature chronicling a search for meaning and comfort in great books, and a beautiful path out of grief

Anne Gisleson had lost her twin sisters, had been forced to flee her home during Hurricane Katrina, and had witnessed cancer take her beloved father. Before she met her husband, Brad, he had suffered his own trauma, losing his partner and the mother of his son to cancer in her young thirties. "How do we keep moving forward," Anne asks, "amid all this loss and threat?" The answer: "We do it together."

Anne and Brad, in the midst of forging their happiness, found that their friends had been suffering their own losses and crises as well: loved ones gone, rocky marriages, tricky childrearing, jobs lost or gained, financial insecurities or unexpected windfalls. Together these resilient New Orleanians formed what they called the Existential Crisis Reading Group, jokingly dubbed "The Futilitarians." From Epicurus to Tolstoy, from Cheever to Amis to Lispector, each month they read and talked about identity, parenting, love, mortality, and life in post-Katrina New Orleans, gatherings that increasingly fortified Anne and helped her blaze a trail out of her well-worn grief. Written with wisdom, soul, and a playful sense of humor, The Futilitarians is a guide to living curiously and fully, and a testament to the way that even from the toughest soil of sorrow, beauty and wonder can bloom.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Dress Codes for Small Towns"

New from HarperTeen: Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens.

About the book, from the publisher:

As the tomboy daughter of the town’s preacher, Billie McCaffrey has always struggled with fitting the mold of what everyone says she should be. She’d rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee.

But when Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she’s in love with Woods, Billie’s filled with a nagging sadness as she realizes that she is also in love with Woods…and maybe with Janie Lee, too.

Always considered “one of the guys,” Billie doesn’t want anyone slapping a label on her sexuality before she can understand it herself. So she keeps her conflicting feelings to herself, for fear of ruining the group dynamic. Except it’s not just about keeping the peace, it’s about understanding love on her terms—this thing that has always been defined as a boy and a girl falling in love and living happily ever after. For Billie—a box-defying dynamo—it’s not that simple.

Readers will be drawn to Billie as she comes to terms with the gray areas of love, gender, and friendship, in this John Hughes-esque exploration of sexual fluidity.
Visit Courtney Stevens's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Faking Normal.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 17, 2017

"The First Rule of Punk"

New from Viking Books for Young Readers: The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez.

About the book, from the publisher:

From debut author and longtime zine-maker Celia C. Pérez, The First Rule of Punk is a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one’s watching.

There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school—you can’t fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malú (María Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School’s queen bee, violates the school’s dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself.

The real Malú loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malú finally begins to feel at home. She’ll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself!

Black and white illustrations and collage art throughout make The First Rule of Punk a perfect pick for fans of books like Roller Girl and online magazines like Rookie.
Visit Celia C. Pérez's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Evolution of Imagination"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Evolution of Imagination by Stephen T. Asma.

About the book, from the publisher:

Consider Miles Davis, horn held high, sculpting a powerful musical statement full of tonal patterns, inside jokes, and thrilling climactic phrases—all on the fly. Or think of a comedy troupe riffing on a couple of cues from the audience until the whole room is erupting with laughter. Or maybe it’s a team of software engineers brainstorming their way to the next Google, or the Einsteins of the world code-cracking the mysteries of nature. Maybe it’s simply a child playing with her toys. What do all of these activities share? With wisdom, humor, and joy, philosopher Stephen T. Asma answers that question in this book: imagination. And from there he takes us on an extraordinary tour of the human creative spirit.

Guided by neuroscience, animal behavior, evolution, philosophy, and psychology, Asma burrows deep into the human psyche to look right at the enigmatic but powerful engine that is our improvisational creativity—the source, he argues, of our remarkable imaginational capacity. How is it, he asks, that a story can evoke a whole world inside of us? How are we able to rehearse a skill, a speech, or even an entire scenario simply by thinking about it? How does creativity go beyond experience and help us make something completely new? And how does our moral imagination help us sculpt a better society? As he shows, we live in a world that is only partly happening in reality. Huge swaths of our cognitive experiences are made up by “what-ifs,” “almosts,” and “maybes,” an imagined terrain that churns out one of the most overlooked but necessary resources for our flourishing: possibilities. Considering everything from how imagination works in our physical bodies to the ways we make images, from the mechanics of language and our ability to tell stories to the creative composition of self-consciousness, Asma expands our personal and day-to-day forms of imagination into a grand scale: as one of the decisive evolutionary forces that has guided human development from the Paleolithic era to today. The result is an inspiring look at the rich relationships among improvisation, imagination, and culture, and a privileged glimpse into the unique nature of our evolved minds.
Visit Stephen T. Asma's website.

The Page 99 Test: Against Fairness.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu"

New from Oxford University Press: Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu: American Representations of India, 1721-1893 by Michael J. Altman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Today, there are more than two million Hindus in America. But before the twentieth century, Hinduism was unknown in the United States. But while Americans did not write about "Hinduism," they speculated at length about "heathenism," "the religion of the Hindoos," and "Brahmanism." In Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu, Michael J. Altman argues that this is not a mere sematic distinction-a case of more politically correct terminology being accepted over time-but a way that Americans worked out their own identities. American representations of India said more about Americans than about Hindus.

Cotton Mather, Hannah Adams, and Joseph Priestley engaged the larger European Enlightenment project of classifying and comparing religion in India. Evangelical missionaries used images of "Hindoo heathenism" to raise support at home. Unitarian Protestants found a kindred spirit in the writings of Bengali reformer Rammohun Roy. Popular magazines and common school books used the image of dark, heathen, despotic India to buttress Protestant, white, democratic American identity. Transcendentalists and Theosophists imagined the contemplative and esoteric religion of India as an alternative to materialist American Protestantism. Hindu delegates and American speakers at the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions engaged in a protracted debate about the definition of religion in industrializing America.

Heathen, Hindoo, Hindu is a groundbreaking analysis of American representations of religion in India before the turn of the twentieth century. Altman reorients American religious history and the history of Asian religions in America, showing how Americans of all sorts imagined India for their own purposes. The questions that animated descriptions of heathens, Hindoos, and Hindus in the past, he argues, still animate American debates today.
Visit Michael J. Altman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Reincarnation Blues"

New from Del Rey: Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore.

About the book, from the publisher:

First we live. Then we die. And then ... we get another try?

Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to “get it right.” Answer all the Big Questions. Achieve Wisdom. And Become One with Everything.

Milo has had 9,995 chances so far and has just five more lives to earn a place in the cosmic soul. If he doesn’t make the cut, oblivion awaits. But all Milo really wants is to fall forever into the arms of Death. Or Suzie, as he calls her.

More than just Milo’s lover throughout his countless layovers in the Afterlife, Suzie is literally his reason for living—as he dives into one new existence after another, praying for the day he’ll never have to leave her side again.

But Reincarnation Blues is more than a great love story: Every journey from cradle to grave offers Milo more pieces of the great cosmic puzzle—if only he can piece them together in time to finally understand what it means to be part of something bigger than infinity. As darkly enchanting as the works of Neil Gaiman and as wisely hilarious as Kurt Vonnegut’s, Michael Poore’s Reincarnation Blues is the story of everything that makes life profound, beautiful, absurd, and heartbreaking.

Because it’s more than Milo and Suzie’s story. It’s your story, too.
Visit Michael Poore's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Daughters of Ireland"

New from William Morrow: The Daughters of Ireland by Santa Montefiore.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ireland. 1925.

The war is over. But life will never be the same...


In the green hills of West Cork, Ireland, Castle Deverill has burned to the ground. But young Celia Deverill is determined to see her ruined ancestral home restored to its former glory — to the years when Celia ran through its vast halls with her cousin Kitty and their childhood friend Bridie Doyle.

Kitty herself is raising a young family, but she longs for Jack O’Leary — the long-ago sweetheart she cannot have. And soon Kitty must make a heartbreaking decision, one that could destroy everything she holds dear.

Bridie, once a cook's daughter in Castle Deverill, is now a well-heeled New York City socialite. Yet her celebrity can't erase a past act that haunts her still. Nor can it keep her from seeking revenge upon the woman who wronged her all those years ago.

As these three daughters of Ireland seek to make their way in a world once again beset by dark forces, Santa Montefiore shows us once more why she is one of the best-loved storytellers at work today.
Learn about Santa Montefiore's six best books.

The Page 69 Test: The Perfect Happiness.

The Page 69 Test: The Mermaid Garden.

My Book, The Movie: The Mermaid Garden.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Fast Falls the Night"

New from Minotaur Books: Fast Falls the Night by Julia Keller.

About the book, from the publisher:

Based on a real-life event, Pulitzer Prize-winner Julia Keller’s latest Bell Elkins novel Fast Falls the Night takes place in a single 24-hour period, unfurling against the backdrop of a shattering personal revelation that will change Bell’s life forever.

The first drug overdose comes just after midnight, when a young woman dies on the dirty floor of a gas station bathroom. To the people of the small town of Acker’s Gap, West Virginia, it is just another tragedy. It is sad—but these days, depressingly familiar.

But then there is another overdose. And another. And another.

Prosecutor Bell Elkins soon realizes that her Appalachian hometown is facing its starkest challenge yet: a day of constant heroin overdoses from a batch tainted with a lethal tranquilizer. While the clock ticks and the bodies fall, Bell and her colleagues desperately track the source of the deadly drug—and engage in fierce debates over the wisdom of expending precious resources to save the lives of self-destructive addicts.
Learn more about the book and author at Julia Keller's website.

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2012).

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2013).

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2014).

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2015).

Writers Read: Julia Keller (September 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"How to Change a Life"

New from Berkley: How to Change a Life by Stacey Ballis.

About the book, from the publisher:

A dare between friends leads to startling revelations and simmering tensions in the latest novel from the author of Wedding Girl.

Eloise is happy with her life as a successful private chef. She has her clients, her corgi, and a recipe for the world’s most perfect chocolate cream pie. What more could she need? But when her long-lost trio of high school friends reunites, Eloise realizes how lonely she really is.

Eloise, Lynne, and Teresa revamp their senior-class assignment and dare one another to create a list of things to accomplish by the time they each turn forty in a few months. Control freak Lynne has to get a dog, Teresa has to spice up her marriage, and Eloise has to start dating again.

Enter Shawn, a hunky ex-athlete and the first man Eloise could see herself falling for. Suddenly forty doesn’t seem so lonely—until a chance encounter threatens the budding romance and reveals the true colors of her friends. Will the bucket listers make it to forty still speaking to one another? Or do some friendships come with an expiration date?
Visit Stacey Ballis's website.

Writers Read: Stacey Ballis (March 2015).

My Book, The Movie: Recipe for Disaster.

The Page 69 Test: Recipe for Disaster.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People"

New from Rutgers University Press: Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People by Margaret Morganroth Gullette.

About the book, from the publisher:

When the term “ageism” was coined in 1969, many problems of exclusion seemed resolved by government programs like Social Security and Medicare. As people live longer lives, today’s great demotions of older people cut deeper into their self-worth and human relations, beyond the reach of law or public policy. In Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People, award-winning writer and cultural critic Margaret Morganroth Gullette confronts the offenders: the ways people aging past midlife are portrayed in the media, by adult offspring; the esthetics and politics of representation in photography, film, and theater; and the incitement to commit suicide for those with early signs of “dementia.”

In this original and important book, Gullette presents evidence of pervasive age-related assaults in contemporary societies and their chronic affects. The sudden onset of age-related shaming can occur anywhere—the shove in the street, the cold shoulder at the party, the deaf ear at the meeting, the shut-out by the personnel office or the obtuseness of a government. Turning intimate suffering into public grievances, Ending Ageism, Or How Not to Shoot Old People effectively and beautifully argues that overcoming ageism is the next imperative social movement of our time.
The Page 99 Test: Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Plague Diaries"

New from Atria Books: The Plague Diaries--Keeper of Tales Trilogy: Book Three by Ronlyn Domingue.

About the book, from the publisher:

The astounding, epic conclusion to the Keeper of Tales Trilogy brings together the cryptic prophecy in The Mapmaker’s War and the troubling mysteries in The Chronicle of Secret Riven—leading to an unforgettable reckoning between lies and truth.

We are all born made of gold.

Secret Riven—the mystically gifted heroine who now represses her uncanny telepathic power—works for the mysterious magnate Fewmany as an archivist in his private library. There, she stumbles upon the arcane manuscript that had vanished following her mother’s untimely death. She suspects the manuscript contains a profound secret, and she is yet unaware of its link to a thousand-year-old war and her own family’s legacy.

The tasks before her are clear: Secret must finally learn what Fewmany wants from her as well as the meaning of a strange symbol she’s dreamed of since childhood. At last, she must confront the questions haunting her and depart on a quest to find the truth about herself, her dead mother, and her fate—to unleash a Plague of Silences meant to destroy, and transform, the world as all have known it.

A dazzling, genre-bending masterwork, The Plague Diaries illuminates the power of our choices, the scars they leave, and the wounds they heal.
Learn more about the book and author at Ronlyn Domingue's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Mapmaker's War.

My Book, The Movie: The Mapmaker's War.

The Page 69 Test: The Chronicle of Secret Riven.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Stay with Me"

New from Knopf: Stay with Me: A Novel by Ayobami Adebayo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage–after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures–Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time–until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does–but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. An electrifying novel of enormous emotional power, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.
Visit Ayobami Adebayo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Eastman Was Here"

New from Viking: Eastman Was Here by Alex Gilvarry.

About the book, from the publisher:

The year is 1973, and Alan Eastman, a public intellectual, accidental cultural critic, washed-up war journalist, husband, and philanderer; finds himself alone on the floor of his study in an existential crisis. His wife has taken their kids and left him to live with her mother in New Jersey, and his best work feels as though it is years behind him. In the depths of despair, he receives an unexpected and unwelcome phone call from his old rival dating back to his days on the Harvard literary journal, offering him the chance to go to Vietnam to write the definitive account of the end of America’s longest war. Seeing his opportunity to regain his wife’s love and admiration while reclaiming his former literary glory, he sets out for Vietnam. But instead of the return to form as a pioneering war correspondent that he had hoped for, he finds himself in Saigon, grappling with the same problems he thought he’d left back in New York.

Following his widely acclaimed debut, From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, Alex Gilvarry employs the same thoughtful, yet dark sense of humor in Eastman Was Here to capture one irredeemable man’s search for meaning in the face of advancing age, fading love, and a rapidly-changing world.
Learn more about the book and author at Alex Gilvarry's website.

The Page 69 Test: From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"A Map for Wrecked Girls"

New from Dial Books for Young Readers: A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Emma has always orbited Henri, her fierce, magnetic queen bee of an older sister, and the two have always been best friends. Until something happens that wrecks them.

I’d trusted Henri more than I’d trusted myself. Wherever she told me to go, I’d follow.

Then the unthinkable occurs—a watery nightmare off the dazzling coast. The girls wash up on shore, stranded. Their only companion is Alex, a troubled boy agonizing over his own secrets. Trapped in a gorgeous hell, Emma and Alex fall together as Emma and Henri fall catastrophically apart. To find their way home, the sisters must find their way back to each other. But there’s no map for this. Can they survive the unearthing of the past and the upheaval of the present?

For the first time, I was afraid we’d die on this shore.
Visit Jessica Taylor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Ghost of the Innocent Man"

New from Little, Brown & Company: Ghost of the Innocent Man: A True Story of Trial and Redemption by Benjamin Rachlin.

About the book, from the publisher:

During the last two decades, more than two thousand American citizens have been wrongfully convicted. Ghost of the Innocent Man brings us one of the most dramatic of those cases and provides the clearest picture yet of the national scourge of wrongful conviction and of the opportunity for meaningful reform.

When the final gavel clapped in a rural southern courtroom in the summer of 1988, Willie J. Grimes, a gentle spirit with no record of violence, was shocked and devastated to be convicted of first-degree rape and sentenced to life imprisonment. Here is the story of this everyman and his extraordinary quarter-century-long journey to freedom, told in breathtaking and sympathetic detail, from the botched evidence and suspect testimony that led to his incarceration to the tireless efforts to prove his innocence and the identity of the true perpetrator. These were spearheaded by his relentless champion, Christine Mumma, a cofounder of North Carolina's Innocence Inquiry Commission. That commission-unprecedented at its inception in 2006-remains a model organization unlike any other in the country, and one now responsible for a growing number of exonerations.

With meticulous, prismatic research and pulse-quickening prose, Benjamin Rachlin presents one man's tragedy and triumph. The jarring and unsettling truth is that the story of Willie J. Grimes, for all its outrage, dignity, and grace, is not a unique travesty. But through the harrowing and suspenseful account of one life, told from the inside, we experience the full horror of wrongful conviction on a national scale. Ghost of the Innocent Man is both rare and essential, a masterwork of empathy. The book offers a profound reckoning not only with the shortcomings of our criminal justice system but also with its possibilities for redemption.
Visit Benjamin Rachlin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 12, 2017

"The World Broke in Two"

New from Henry Holt and Co.: The World Broke in Two: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster and the Year That Changed Literature by Bill Goldstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

A revelatory narrative of the intersecting lives and works of revered authors Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster and D. H. Lawrence during 1922, the birth year of modernism

The World Broke in Two tells the fascinating story of the intellectual and personal journeys four legendary writers, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, and D. H. Lawrence, make over the course of one pivotal year. As 1922 begins, all four are literally at a loss for words, confronting an uncertain creative future despite success in the past. The literary ground is shifting, as Ulysses is published in February and Proust’s In Search of Lost Time begins to be published in England in the autumn. Yet, dismal as their prospects seemed in January, by the end of the year Woolf has started Mrs. Dalloway, Forster has, for the first time in nearly a decade, returned to work on the novel that will become A Passage to India, Lawrence has written Kangaroo, his unjustly neglected and most autobiographical novel, and Eliot has finished—and published to acclaim—“The Waste Land."

As Willa Cather put it, “The world broke in two in 1922 or thereabouts,” and what these writers were struggling with that year was in fact the invention of modernism. Based on original research, Bill Goldstein's The World Broke in Two captures both the literary breakthroughs and the intense personal dramas of these beloved writers as they strive for greatness.
Visit Bill Goldstein's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore"

New from Scribner: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore: A Novel by Matthew Sullivan.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a bookshop patron commits suicide, his favorite store clerk must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the BookFrogs—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.

But when Joey Molina, a young, beguiling BookFrog, kills himself in the bookstore’s upper room, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions. Trinkets and books; the detritus of a lonely, uncared for man. But when Lydia flips through his books she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?

As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop, and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago and, as she soon discovers, never completely left. Bedazzling, addictive, and wildly clever, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore is a heart-pounding mystery that perfectly captures the intellect and eccentricity of the bookstore milieu and will keep you guessing until the very last page.​
Visit Matthew Sullivan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Laird Takes a Bride"

New from Avon: The Laird Takes a Bride (The Penhallow Dynasty, volume 2) by Lisa Berne.

About the book, from the publisher:

Alasdair Penhallow, laird of his clan and master of Castle Tadgh, is forced to end his carefree bachelorhood, thanks to an ancient decree that requires him to marry. But Alasdair’s search for a biddable wife comes to a screeching halt when Fate serves up Fiona Douglass. Prickly as a thistle, Fiona challenges him at every turn, rendering herself surprisingly irresistible. Her love would be a prize indeed ... if Alasdair could accept it.

Fiona gave her heart once, and doesn’t plan to repeat that folly. Yet she finds herself drawn to Alasdair’s intelligence and strength, and the passion he incites goes well beyond her expectations for what’s only a marriage of expedience. Despite herself, she’s falling in love with her husband.

But there’s a high wall between them—and Fiona’s not sure it can ever be torn down.
Visit Lisa Berne's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 11, 2017

"Imperial Affects"

New from Rutgers University Press: Imperial Affects: Sensational Melodrama and the Attractions of American Cinema by Jonna Eagle.

About the book, from the publisher:

Imperial Affects is the first sustained account of American action-based cinema as melodrama. From the earliest war films through the Hollywood Western and the late-century action cinema, imperialist violence and mobility have been produced as sites of both visceral pleasure and moral virtue. Suffering and omnipotence operate as twinned affects in this context, inviting identification with an American national subject constituted as both victimized and invincible—a powerful and persistent conjunction traced here across a century of cinema.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Cohabitation Nation"

New from the University of California Press: Cohabitation Nation: Gender, Class, and the Remaking of Relationships by Sharon Sassler and Amanda Jayne Miller.

About the book, from the publisher:

“We have fun and we enjoy each other’s company, so why shouldn’t we just move in together?”—Lauren, from Cohabitation Nation

Living together is a typical romantic rite of passage in the United States today. In fact, census data shows a 37 percent increase in couples who choose to commit to and live with one another, forgoing marriage. And yet we know very little about this new “normal” in romantic life. When do people decide to move in together, why do they do so, and what happens to them over time?

Drawing on in-depth interviews, Sharon Sassler and Amanda Jayne Miller provide an inside view of how cohabiting relationships play out before and after couples move in together, using couples’ stories to explore the he said/she said of romantic dynamics. Delving into hot-button issues, such as housework, birth control, finances, and expectations for the future, Sassler and Miller deliver surprising insights about the impact of class and education on how relationships unfold. Showcasing the words, thoughts, and conflicts of the couples themselves, Cohabitation Nation offers a riveting and sometimes counterintuitive look at the way we live now.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Fox Hunter"

New from Pegasus Books: Fox Hunter: A Charlie Fox Thriller by Zoë Sharp.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the latest novel in this energetic series, ex-special forces soldier Charlie Fox finds herself on a mission to the Iraqi countryside to track down a missing comrade-in-arms.

Special forces soldier-turned-bodyguard Charlotte “Charlie” Fox can never forget the men who put a brutal end to her military career, but a long time ago she vowed she would not go looking for them.

Now she doesn’t have a choice.

Her boss Sean Meyer is missing in Iraq, where one of those men was working as a private security contractor. When the man’s butchered body is discovered, Charlie fears that Sean may be pursuing a twisted vendetta on her behalf.

Charlie’s “close protection” agency in New York needs this dealt with—fast and quiet—before everything they’ve worked for goes to ruins. They send Charlie to the Middle East with very specific instructions: Find Sean Meyer and stop him—by whatever means necessary.

At one time Charlie thought she knew Sean better than she knew herself, but it seems he’s turned into a violent stranger. Always ruthless, is he really capable of such savage acts of slaughter?

As the trail grows ever more bloody, Charlie realizes that she is not the only one after Sean and, unless she can get to him first, the hunter may soon become the hunted.
Learn more about the author and her work at Zoë Sharp’s website, blog, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

The Page 69 Test: Third Strike.

The Page 69 Test: Fifth Victim.

Writers Read: Zoë Sharp (March 2012).

My Book, The Movie: Fifth Victim.

Writers Read: Zoë Sharp (March 2013).

The Page 99 Test: Die Easy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"The Rat Catchers' Olympics"

New from Soho Crime: The Rat Catchers' Olympics by Colin Cotterill.

About the book, from the publisher:

The boycotting of the 1980 Olympic games in Moscow has given the Democratic People’s Republic of Laos the chance they needed to field their first-ever team. It’s also just the sort of opportunity the now retired, and therefore very bored, ex-National Coroner of Laos, the venerable Dr. Siri Paiboun, to visit a city he has long wanted to see. He just needs to get the band back together first.

1980: The People’s Democratic Republic of Laos is proud to be competing in its first-ever Olympics. Of course, half the world is boycotting the Moscow Summer Olympic Games to protest the Soviet Union’s recent invasion of Afghanistan, but that has made room for athletes from countries that are usually too small or underfunded to be competitive—like Laos.

Ex-national coroner of Laos Dr. Siri Paiboun may be retired, but he and his wife, Madame Daeng, would do just about anything to have a chance to visit Moscow, so Siri finagles them a trip by getting them hired as medical advisers to the Olympians. Most of the athletes are young and innocent village people who have never worn running shoes, much less imagined anything as marvelous as the Moscow Olympic Village. As the competition heats up, however, Siri begins to suspect that one of the athletes is not who he says he is. Fearing a conspiracy, Siri and his friends investigate, liaising in secret with Inspector Phosy back home in Laos to see if the man might be an assassin. Siri’s progress is derailed when a Lao Olympian is accused of murder. Now in the midst of a murky international incident, Dr. Siri must navigate not one but two paranoid government machines to make sure justice is done.
Learn more about the book and author at Colin Cotterill's website.

The Page 69 Test: Killed at the Whim of a Hat.

My Book, The Movie: Killed at the Whim of a Hat.

The Page 69 Test: The Axe Factor.

The Page 69 Test: I Shot the Buddha.

Writers Read: Colin Cotterill (August 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The One That Got Away"

New from St. Martin's Press: The One That Got Away: A Novel by Melissa Pimentel.

About the book, from the publisher:

Melissa Pimentel delivers smart, funny, and modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, where a young woman comes face-to-face with a lost love, proving that the one that got away is sometimes the one you get back.

Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren't.

Ten years later, Ruby's single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There's barely time for a trip to England for her little sister's wedding. And there's certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can't help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there's nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past...
Visit Melissa Pimentel's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"The Weight of Ink"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish.

About the book, from the publisher:

An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A. S. Byatt’s Possession and Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph.”

Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.
Visit Rachel Kadish's official website.

The Page 69 Test: Tolstoy Lied.

--Marshal Zeringue

"League of American Traitors"

New from Sky Pony Press: League of American Traitors by Matthew Landis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it....

When seventeen year-old Jasper is approached at the funeral of his deadbeat father by a man claiming to be an associate of his deceased parents, he’s thrust into a world of secrets tied to America’s history—and he’s right at the heart of it.

First, Jasper finds out he is the sole surviving descendant of Benedict Arnold, the most notorious traitor in American history. Then he learns that his father’s death was no accident. Jasper is at the center of a war that has been going on for centuries, in which the descendants of the heroes and traitors of the American Revolution still duel to the death for the sake of their honor.

His only hope to escape his dangerous fate on his eighteenth birthday? Take up the research his father was pursuing at the time of his death, to clear Arnold’s name.

Whisked off to a boarding school populated by other descendants of notorious American traitors, it’s a race to discover the truth. But if Jasper doesn’t find a way to uncover the evidence his father was hunting for, he may end up paying for the sins of his forefathers with his own life.

Like a mash-up of National Treasure and Hamilton, Matthew Landis’s debut spins the what-ifs of American history into a heart-pounding thriller steeped in conspiracy, clue hunting, and danger.
Visit Matthew Landis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

"The Authentics"

New from Balzer + Bray: The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Authentics is a fresh, funny, and insightful novel about culture, love, and family—the kind we are born into and the ones we create.

Daria Esfandyar is Iranian-American and proud of her heritage, unlike some of the “Nose Jobs” in the clique led by her former best friend, Heidi Javadi. Daria and her friends call themselves the Authentics, because they pride themselves on always keeping it real.

But in the course of researching a school project, Daria learns something shocking about her past, which launches her on a journey of self-discovery. It seems everyone is keeping secrets. And it’s getting harder to know who she even is any longer.

With infighting among the Authentics, her mother planning an over-the-top sweet sixteen party, and a romance that should be totally off limits, Daria doesn’t have time for this identity crisis. As everything in her life is spinning out of control—can she figure out how to stay true to herself?
Visit Abdi Nazemian's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Rebellion"

New from Harper: Rebellion: A Novel by Molly Patterson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A sweeping debut that crosses continents and generations, Rebellion tells the story of Addie, Louisa, Hazel, and Juanlan: four women whose rebellions, big and small, are as unexpected as they are unforgettable.

At the heart of the novel lies a mystery: In 1900, Addie, an American missionary in China, goes missing during the Boxer Rebellion, leaving her family back home to wonder at her fate. Her sister Louisa—newly married and settled in rural Illinois—anticipates tragedy, certain that Addie’s fate is intertwined with her own legacy of loss.

In 1958, Louisa’s daughter Hazel has her world upended by the untimely death of her husband. It’s harvest time, and with two small children and a farm to tend, she is determined to keep her land and family intact. Yet even while she learns to enjoy her independence, Hazel realizes that the tradeoff for some freedoms is more precious than expected.

Nearly half a century later, Juanlan has returned to her parents’ home in Heng’an. With her father ill, her sister-in-law soon to give birth, and the construction of a new highway rapidly changing the town she once knew, she feels pressured on every side by powers outside her control. Frustrated by obligation and the smallness of her own dreams, Juanlan at last dares to follow desire, only to discover an anger that cannot be contained.

Moving from rural Illinois to the far reaches of China, Rebellion brilliantly links through action and consequence the story of four women, spanning more than a century. From the secrets they keep and the adventures they embark on, to the passions that ultimately drive them forward, the characters at the center of this electric debut dramatically fight against expectation in pursuit of their own thrilling fates.
Visit Molly Patterson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 7, 2017

"Bad Girl Gone"

New from Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin: Bad Girl Gone: A Novel by Temple Mathews.

About the book, from the publisher:

A recently deceased girl must solve her own murder in order to escape purgatory in Bad Girl Gone by Temple Mathews.

Sixteen year-old Echo Stone awakens in a cold sweat in a dark room, having no idea where she is or how she got there. But she soon finds out she’s in Middle House, an orphanage filled with mysteriously troubled kids.

There’s just one problem: she’s not an orphan. Her parents are very much alive.

She explains this to everyone, but no one will listen. After befriending a sympathetic (and handsome) boy, Echo is able to escape Middle House and rush home, only to discover it sealed off by crime scene tape and covered in the evidence of a terrible and violent crime. As Echo grapples with this world-shattering information, she spots her parents driving by and rushes to flag them down. Standing in the middle of street, waving her arms to get their attention, her parents’ car drives right through her.

She was right. Her parents are alive—but she’s not.

She’s a ghost, just like all the other denizens of Middle House. Desperate to somehow get her life back and reconnect with her still-alive boyfriend, Echo embarks on a quest to solve her own murder. As the list of suspects grows, the quest evolves into a journey of self-discovery in which she learns she wasn’t quite the girl she thought she was. In a twist of fate, she’s presented with one last chance to reclaim her life and must make a decision which will either haunt her or bless her forever.­­­­
Visit Temple Mathews's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Improbable Destinies"

New from Riverhead Books: Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution by Jonathan B. Losos.

About the book, from the publisher:

A major new book overturning our assumptions about how evolution works

Earth’s natural history is full of fascinating instances of convergence: phenomena like eyes and wings and tree-climbing lizards that have evolved independently, multiple times. But evolutionary biologists also point out many examples of contingency, cases where the tiniest change—a random mutation or an ancient butterfly sneeze—caused evolution to take a completely different course. What role does each force really play in the constantly changing natural world? Are the plants and animals that exist today, and we humans ourselves, inevitabilities or evolutionary flukes? And what does that say about life on other planets?

Jonathan Losos reveals what the latest breakthroughs in evolutionary biology can tell us about one of the greatest ongoing debates in science. He takes us around the globe to meet the researchers who are solving the deepest mysteries of life on Earth through their work in experimental evolutionary science. Losos himself is one of the leaders in this exciting new field, and he illustrates how experiments with guppies, fruit flies, bacteria, foxes, and field mice, along with his own work with anole lizards on Caribbean islands, are rewinding the tape of life to reveal just how rapid and predictable evolution can be.

Improbable Destinies will change the way we think and talk about evolution. Losos’s insights into natural selection and evolutionary change have far-reaching applications for protecting ecosystems, securing our food supply, and fighting off harmful viruses and bacteria. This compelling narrative offers a new understanding of ourselves and our role in the natural world and the cosmos.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Eat Only When You're Hungry"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Eat Only When You're Hungry by Lindsay Hunter.

About the book, from the publisher:

A father searches for his addict son while grappling with his own choices as a parent (and as a user of sorts)

Achingly funny and full of feeling, Eat Only When You’re Hungry follows fifty-eight-year-old Greg as he searches for his son, GJ, an addict who has been missing for three weeks. Greg is bored, demoralized, obese, and as dubious of GJ’s desire to be found as he is of his own motivation to go looking. Almost on a whim, Greg embarks on a road trip to central Florida—a noble search for his son, or so he tells himself.

Greg takes us on a tour of highway and roadside, of Taco Bell, KFC, gas-station Slurpees, sticky strip-club floors, pooling sweat, candy wrappers and crumpled panes of cellophane and wrinkled plastic bags tumbling along the interstate. This is the America Greg knows, one he feels closer to than to his youthful idealism, closer even than to his younger second wife. As his journey continues, through drive-thru windows and into the living rooms of his alluring ex-wife and his distant, curmudgeonly father, Greg’s urgent search for GJ slowly recedes into the background, replaced with a painstaking, illuminating, and unavoidable look at Greg’s own mistakes—as a father, as a husband, and as a man.

Brimming with the same visceral regret and joy that leak from the fast food Greg inhales, Eat Only When You’re Hungry is a wild and biting study of addiction, perseverance, and the insurmountable struggle to change. With America’s desolate underbelly serving as her guide, Lindsay Hunter elicits a singular type of sympathy for her characters, using them to challenge our preconceived notions about addiction and to explore the innumerable ways we fail ourselves.
Visit Lindsay Hunter's website.

The Page 69 Test: Ugly Girls.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 6, 2017

"Bombing the Marshall Islands"

New from Cambridge University Press: Bombing the Marshall Islands: A Cold War Tragedy by Keith M. Parsons and Robert A. Zaballa.

About the book, from the publisher:

During the Cold War, the United States conducted atmospheric tests of nuclear weapons in the Marshall Islands of the Pacific. The total explosive yield of these tests was 108 megatons, equivalent to the detonation of one Hiroshima bomb per day over nineteen years. These tests, particularly Castle Bravo, the largest one, had tragic consequences, including the irradiation of innocent people and the permanent displacement of many native Marshallese. Keith M. Parsons and Robert Zaballa tell the story of the development and testing of thermonuclear weapons and the effects of these tests on their victims and on the popular and intellectual culture. These events are also situated in their Cold War context and explained in terms of the prevailing hopes, fears, and beliefs of that age. In particular, the narrative highlights the obsessions and priorities of top American officials, such as Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream"

New from One World: Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream by Joe Tone.

About the book, from the publisher:

The dramatic true story of two brothers living parallel lives on either side of the U.S.-Mexico border—and how their lives converged in a major criminal conspiracy

José and Miguel Treviño were bonded by blood and a shared vision of a better life. But they chose different paths that would end at the same violent crossroads—with considerable help from the FBI and an enigmatic, all-American snitch.

José was a devoted family man who cut no corners in his pursuit of the American dream. Born in Nuevo Laredo, a Mexican border town on a crucial smuggling route, José was one of thirteen children raised by a hardworking ranch hand. He grew up loving the sprawling countryside and its tough, fast quarter horses, but in search of opportunity he crossed the border into Texas to look for work as a bricklayer. He kept his nose clean. He stayed out of trouble.

Back in Mexico, José’s younger brother Miguel was leading a different life. While José struggled to make ends meet, Miguel ascended to the top ranks of Los Zetas, a notoriously bloody drug cartel—his crimes had become the stuff of legend and myth on both sides of the border. He was said to have burned rivals alive, murdered Mexican and American law enforcement officers, and launched grenades at a U.S. consulate.

José, married with kids and now a U.S. citizen, gave every indication of rejecting his brother’s criminal lifestyle. Then one day he showed up at a quarter-horse auction and bid close to a million dollars for a horse—the largest amount ever paid for a quarter horse at an auction. The humble bricklayer quickly became a major player in the quarter-horse racing scene that thrived in the American Southwest and Mexico. That caught the attention of an eager young FBI agent named Scott Lawson. He enlisted Tyler Graham, an American rancher who would eventually breed José’s champion horse—nicknamed Bones—to help the FBI infiltrate what was revealing itself to be a major money-laundering operation, with the ultimate goal of capturing the infamous Miguel Treviño.

Joe Tone’s riveting, exquisitely layered crime narrative, set against the high-stakes world of horse racing, is an intimate story about family, loyalty, and the tragic costs of a failed drug war. Compelling and complex, Bones sheds light on the perilous lives of American ranchers, the morally dubious machinery of drug and border enforcement, and the way greed and fear mingle with race, class, and violence along America’s vast Southwestern border.
Visit Joe Tone's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Clockwork Dynasty"

New from Doubleday: The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

An ingenious new thriller that weaves a path through history, following a race of human-like machines that have been hiding among us for untold centuries, written by the New York Times bestselling author of Robopocalypse.

Present day: When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncovers a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundred-year-old mechanical doll, she is thrown into a hidden world that lurks just under the surface of our own. With her career and her life at stake, June Stefanov will ally with a remarkable traveler who exposes her to a reality she never imagined, as they embark on an around-the-world adventure and discover breathtaking secrets of the past…

Russia, 1725: In the depths of the Kremlin, the tsar’s loyal mechanician brings to life two astonishingly humanlike mechanical beings. Peter and Elena are a brother and sister fallen out of time, possessed with uncanny power, and destined to serve great empires. Struggling to blend into pre-Victorian society, they are pulled into a legendary war that has raged for centuries.

The Clockwork Dynasty seamlessly interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings designed to live by ironclad principles, yet constantly searching for meaning. As June plunges deeper into their world, her choices will ultimately determine their survival or extermination. Richly-imagined and heart-pounding, Daniel H. Wilson’s novel expertly draws on his robotics and science background, combining exquisitely drawn characters with visionary technology—and riveting action.
Learn more about the book and author at Daniel Wilson's website.

My Book, The Movie: A Boy and His Bot.

The Page 69 Test: Robopocalypse.

My Book, The Movie: Amped.

The Page 69 Test: Robogenesis.

My Book, The Movie: Robogenesis.

Writers Read: Daniel H. Wilson (June 2014).

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 5, 2017

"The Walls"

New from Orbit: The Walls by Hollie Overton.

About the book, from the publisher:

WOULD YOU KILL TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY?

Working on death row is far from Kristy Tucker's dream, but she is grateful for a job that allows her to support her son and ailing father.

When she meets Lance Dobson, Kristy begins to imagine a different kind of future. But after their wedding, she finds herself serving her own life sentence---one of abuse and constant terror.

But Kristy is a survivor, and as Lance's violence escalates, the inmates she's worked with have planted an idea she simply can't shake.

Now she must decide whether she'll risk everything to protect her family.

Does she have what it takes to commit the perfect crime?
Visit Hollie Overton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Bettencourt Affair"

New from Dutton: The Bettencourt Affair: The World’s Richest Woman and the Scandal That Rocked Paris by Tom Sancton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Heiress to the nearly forty-billion-dollar L’Oréal fortune, Liliane Bettencourt is the world’s richest woman and the fourteenth wealthiest person. But her gilded life has taken a dark yet fascinating turn in the past decade. At ninety-four, she’s now embroiled in what has been called the Bettencourt Affair, a scandal that dominated the headlines in France. Why? It’s a tangled web of hidden secrets, divided loyalties, frayed relationships, and fractured families, set in the most romantic city—and involving the most glamorous industry—in the world.

The Bettencourt Affair started as a family drama but quickly became a massive scandal, uncovering L’Oréal’s shadowy corporate history and buried World War II secrets. From the Right Bank mansions to the Left Bank artist havens; and from the Bettencourts’ servant quarters to the office of President Nicolas Sarkozy; all of Paris was shaken by the blockbuster case, the shocking reversals, and the surprising final victim.

It all began when Liliane met François-Marie Banier, an artist and photographer who was, in his youth, the toast of Paris and a protégé of Salvador Dalí. Over the next two decades, Banier was given hundreds of millions of dollars in gifts, cash, and insurance policies by Liliane. What, exactly, was their relationship? It wasn’t clear, least of all to Liliane’s daughter and only child, Françoise, who became suspicious of Banier’s motives and filed a lawsuit against him. But Banier has a far different story to tell…

The Bettencourt Affair is part courtroom drama; part upstairs-downstairs tale; and part characterdriven story of a complex, fascinating family and the intruder who nearly tore it apart.
Visit Tom Sancton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Vexed with Devils"

New from NYU Press: Vexed with Devils: Manhood and Witchcraft in Old and New England by Erika Gasser.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stories of witchcraft and demonic possession from early modern England through the last official trials in colonial New England.

Those possessed by the devil in early modern England usually exhibited a common set of symptoms: fits, vomiting, visions, contortions, speaking in tongues, and an antipathy to prayer. However, it was a matter of interpretation, and sometimes public opinion, if these symptoms were visited upon the victim, or if they came from within. Both early modern England and colonial New England had cases that blurred the line between witchcraft and demonic possession, most famously, the Salem witch trials. While historians acknowledge some similarities in witch trials between the two regions, such as the fact that an overwhelming majority of witches were women, the histories of these cases primarily focus on local contexts and specifics. In so doing, they overlook the ways in which manhood factored into possession and witchcraft cases.

Vexed with Devils is a cultural history of witchcraft-possession phenomena that centers on the role of men and patriarchal power. Erika Gasser reveals that witchcraft trials had as much to do with who had power in the community, to impose judgement or to subvert order, as they did with religious belief. She argues that the gendered dynamics of possession and witchcraft demonstrated that contested meanings of manhood played a critical role in the struggle to maintain authority. While all men were not capable of accessing power in the same ways, many of the people involved—those who acted as if they were possessed, men accused of being witches, and men who wrote possession propaganda—invoked manhood as they struggled to advocate for themselves during these perilous times. Gasser ultimately concludes that the decline of possession and witchcraft cases was not merely a product of change over time, but rather an indication of the ways in which patriarchal power endured throughout and beyond the colonial period.

Vexed with Devils reexamines an unnerving time and offers a surprising new perspective on our own, using stories and voices which emerge from the records in ways that continue to fascinate and unsettle us.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 4, 2017

"Murder in Disguise"

New from Severn House: Murder in Disguise: A Roaring Twenties mystery by Mary Miley.

About the book, from the publisher:

1920s script girl Jessie Beckett investigates the murder of a movie projectionist in this absorbing historical mystery.

A projectionist is shot dead and his grieving widow asks Jessie if she can find out who killed him, but who shot Joe Petrovitch? And how did the murderer leave the movie theatre without being seen? Jessie must go into the dead man's past and uncover dark secrets from another continent and another era...
Learn more about the book and author at Mary Miley's website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Impersonator.

The Page 69 Test: Silent Murders.

My Book, The Movie: Silent Murders.

The Page 69 Test: Renting Silence.

Writers Read: Mary Miley (January 2017).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Ferocious"

New from Tor Teen: Ferocious by Paula Stokes.

About the book, from the publisher:

Paula Stokes returns to the world of Vicarious in this sequel, a high-action psychological thriller with a protagonist out for vengeance.

When Winter Kim finds out that her sister is dead and that she has a brother she never knew about, only two things matter—finding what’s left of her family and killing the man who destroyed her life. Her mission leads her from St. Louis to Los Angeles back to South Korea, where she grew up.

Things get increasingly dangerous once Winter arrives in Seoul. Aided by her friends Jesse and Sebastian, Winter attempts to infiltrate an international corporation to get close to her target, a nefarious businessman named Kyung. But keeping her last remaining loved ones out of the line of fire proves difficult, and when all seems to be lost, Winter must face one last devastating decision: is revenge worth sacrificing everything for? Or can she find a spark of hope in the darkness that threatens to engulf her?
Learn more about the book and author at Paula Stokes's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Art of Lainey.

The Page 69 Test: Girl Against the Universe.

The Page 69 Test: Vicarious.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 3, 2017

"Call of Fire"

New from Harper Voyager: Call of Fire (Blood of Earth) by Beth Cato.

About the book, from the publisher:

A resourceful young heroine must protect the world from her enemies—and her own power—in this thrilling sequel to the acclaimed Breath of Earth, an imaginative blend of alternative history, fantasy, science, magic, and adventure.

When an earthquake devastates San Francisco in an alternate 1906, the influx of geomantic energy nearly consumes Ingrid Carmichael. Bruised but alive, the young geomancer flees the city with her friends, Cy, Lee, and Fenris. She is desperate to escape Ambassador Blum, the cunning and dangerous bureaucrat who wants to use Ingrid’s formidable powers to help the Unified Pacific—the confederation of the United States and Japan—achieve world domination. To stop them, Ingrid must learn more about the god-like magic she inherited from her estranged father—the man who set off the quake that obliterated San Francisco.

When Lee and Fenris are kidnapped in Portland, Ingrid and Cy are forced to ally themselves with another ambassador from the Unified Pacific: the powerful and mysterious Theodore Roosevelt. But even TR’s influence may not be enough to save them when they reach Seattle, where the magnificent peak of Mount Rainier looms. Discovering more about herself and her abilities, Ingrid is all too aware that she may prove to be the fuse to light the long-dormant volcano ... and a war that will sweep the world.
Visit Beth Cato's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Clockwork Dagger.

My Book, The Movie: The Clockwork Crown.

The Page 69 Test: Breath of Earth.

Writers Read: Beth Cato (September 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Godblind"

New from Talos: Godblind by Anna Stephens.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods. Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth.

Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbors deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village.

Meanwhile, more and more of Rilpor’s most powerful figures are turning to the dark rituals and bloody sacrifices of the Red Gods, including the prince, who plots to wrest the throne from his dying father in the heart of the kingdom. Can Rillirin, with her inside knowledge of the Red Gods and her shocking ties to the Mireces King, help Rilpor win the coming war?
Visit Anna Stephens's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

"The Locals"

New from Random House: The Locals by Jonathan Dee.

About the book, from the publisher:

A rural working-class New England town elects as its mayor a New York hedge fund millionaire in this inspired novel for our times—fiction in the tradition of Jonathan Franzen and Jennifer Egan.

Mark Firth is a contractor and home restorer in Howland, Massachusetts, who feels opportunity passing his family by. After being swindled by a financial advisor, what future can Mark promise his wife, Karen, and their young daughter, Haley? He finds himself envying the wealthy weekenders in his community whose houses sit empty all winter.

Philip Hadi used to be one of these people. But in the nervous days after 9/11 he flees New York and hires Mark to turn his Howland home into a year-round “secure location” from which he can manage billions of dollars of other people’s money. The collision of these two men’s very different worlds—rural vs. urban, middle class vs. wealthy—is the engine of Jonathan Dee’s powerful new novel.

Inspired by Hadi, Mark looks around for a surefire investment: the mid-decade housing boom. Over Karen’s objections, and teaming up with his troubled brother, Gerry, Mark starts buying up local property with cheap debt. Then the town’s first selectman dies suddenly, and Hadi volunteers for office. He soon begins subtly transforming Howland in his image—with unexpected results for Mark and his extended family.

Here are the dramas of twenty-first-century America—rising inequality, working class decline, a new authoritarianism—played out in the classic setting of some of our greatest novels: the small town. The Locals is that rare work of fiction capable of capturing a fraught American moment in real time.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Performing Queer Modernism"

New from Oxford University Press: Performing Queer Modernism by Penny Farfan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Focusing on some of the best-known and most visible stage plays and dance performances of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, Penny Farfan's interdisciplinary study demonstrates that queer performance was integral to and productive of modernism, that queer modernist performance played a key role in the historical emergence of modern sexual identities, and that it anticipated, and was in a sense foundational to, the insights of contemporary queer modernist studies. Chapters on works from Vaslav Nijinsky's Afternoon of a Faun to Noël Coward's Private Lives highlight manifestations of and suggest ways of reading queer modernist performance. Together, these case studies clarify aspects of both the queer and the modernist, and how their co-productive intersection was articulated in and through performance on the late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century stage. Performing Queer Modernism thus contributes to an expanded understanding of modernism across a range of performance genres, the central role of performance within modernism more generally, and the integral relation between performance history and the history of sexuality. It also contributes to the ongoing transformation of the field of modernist studies, in which drama and performance remain under-represented, and to revisionist historiographies that approach modernist performance through feminist and queer critical perspectives and interdisciplinary frameworks and that consider how formally innovative as well as more conventional works collectively engaged with modernity, at once reflecting and contributing to historical change in the domains of gender and sexuality.
--Marshal Zeringue