Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Future History"

New from Oxford University Press: Future History: Global Fantasies in Seventeenth-Century American and British Writings by Kristina Bross.

About the book, from the publisher:

Future History traces the ways that English and American writers oriented themselves along an East-West axis to fantasize their place in the world. The book builds on new transoceanic scholarship and recent calls to approach early American studies from a global perspective. Such scholarship has largely focused on the early national period; Bross's work begins earlier and considers the intertwined identities of America, other English colonial sites and metropolitan England during a period before nation-state identities were hardened into the forms we know them today, when an English empire was nascent, not realized, and when a global perspective such as we might recognize it was just coming into focus for early modern Europeans. The author examines works that imagine England on a global stage in the Americas and East Indies just as--and in some cases even before--England occupied such spaces in force. Future History considers works written from the 1620s to the 1670s, but the center of gravity of Future History is writing at the mid-century, that is, writings coincident with the Interregnum, a time when England plotted and launched ambitious, often violent schemes to conquer, colonize or otherwise appropriate other lands, driven by both mercantile and religious desires.
Visit Kristina Bross's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Riviera Set"

New from Pegasus Books: The Riviera Set: Glitz, Glamour, and the Hidden World of High Society by Mary S. Lovell.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Riviera Set reveals the story of the group of people who lived, partied, bed-hopped and politicked at the Château de l'Horizon near Cannes, over the course of forty years from the time when Coco Chanel made southern French tans fashionable in the twenties to the death of the playboy Prince Aly Khan in 1960.

At the heart of dynamic group was the amazing Maxine Elliott, the daughter of a fisherman from Connecticut, who built the beautiful art deco Château and brought together the likes of Noel Coward, the Aga Khan, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and two very saucy courtesans, Doris Castlerosse and Daisy Fellowes, who set out to be dangerous distractions to Winston Churchill as he worked on his journalism and biographies during his 'wilderness years' in the thirties. After the War the story continued as the Château changed hands and Prince Aly Khan used it to entertain the Hollywood set, as well as launch his seduction of and eventual marriage to Rita Hayworth

Bringing a bygone era back to life, Mary Lovell cements her spot as one of our top social historians in this captivating and evocative new book.
Visit Mary S. Lovell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Essence of Malice"

New from Minotaur Books: The Essence of Malice: A Mystery by Ashley Weaver.

About the book, from the publisher:

For pity’s sake, darling, let me finish my coffee before you begin concocting schemes.”

When Amory Ames’s husband Milo receives a troubling letter from his childhood nanny, Madame Nanette, the couple travel to Paris where they become embroiled in a mystery surrounding the death of a famous parfumier. Helios Belanger died suddenly, shortly before the release of his new, highly anticipated perfume, and Madame Nanette, who works for his family, is convinced that her employer’s death was not due to natural causes.

The more Amory and Milo look into the motives of industry rivals and the Belanger heirs who are vying for control of his perfume empire, the more they are convinced that Madame Nanette may be right. When secrets unfold and things take a dangerous turn, Amory and Milo must work quickly to uncover the essence of the matter and catch a killer before the scent goes cold.
Visit Ashley Weaver's website.

Writers Read: Ashley Weaver (November 2016).

The Page 69 Test: A Most Novel Revenge.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Lie to Me"

New from MIRA: Lie to Me: A Fast-Paced Psychological Thriller by J.T. Ellison.

About the book, from the publisher:

They built a life on lies.

Sutton and Ethan Montclair's idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.
Visit J.T. Ellison's website, or follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

The Page 69 Test: Edge of Black.

The Page 69 Test: When Shadows Fall.

My Book, The Movie: When Shadows Fall.

My Book, The Movie: What Lies Behind.

The Page 69 Test: What Lies Behind.

Writers Read: J. T. Ellison (March 2016).

The Page 69 Test: No One Knows.

My Book, The Movie: No One Knows.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Inheritors of the Earth"

New from PublicAffairs: Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction by Chris D. Thomas.

About the book, from the publisher:

Human activity has irreversibly changed the natural environment. But the news isn't all bad.

It's accepted wisdom today that human beings have permanently damaged the natural world, causing extinction, deforestation, pollution, and of course climate change. But in Inheritors of the Earth, biologist Chris Thomas shows that this obscures a more hopeful truth--we're also helping nature grow and change. Human cities and mass agriculture have created new places for enterprising animals and plants to live, and our activities have stimulated evolutionary change in virtually every population of living species. Most remarkably, Thomas shows, humans may well have raised the rate at which new species are formed to the highest level in the history of our planet.

Drawing on the success stories of diverse species, from the ochre-colored comma butterfly to the New Zealand pukeko, Thomas overturns the accepted story of declining biodiversity on Earth. In so doing, he questions why we resist new forms of life, and why we see ourselves as unnatural. Ultimately, he suggests that if life on Earth can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, it can survive the onslaughts of the technological age. This eye-opening book is a profound reexamination of the relationship between humanity and the natural world.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Fifth of July"

New from Sourcebooks: The Fifth of July by Kelly Simmons.

About the book, from the publisher:

After a tragic Fourth of July weekend, one upper-crust American family learns that some secrets never stay hidden, no matter how deeply you bury them…

Any of the Warners could have been behind the accident. Every one of them had a problem that threatened to tarnish more than their old-money silver.

Having spent the past three decades' worth of summers on Nantucket, the Warners are as much a part of the island as the crust of salt on the ferry. But this year is different: Tripp is no longer the father he was, and it becomes clear that nothing—not the beams that hold the house together, and not the values the family clings to—can survive the ravages of time. When tradition turns to tragedy, the creaky old house swirls with suspicion. There are just so many reasons to want someone gone.

With no easy answers as to how, why, or who, the Warners must face another frightening question: do they really want to know the truth?
Learn more about the book and author at Kelly Simmons' website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Standing Still.

My Book, The Movie: Standing Still.

Writers Read: Kelly Simmons (February 2011).

The Page 69 Test: The Bird House.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"Consuming Religion"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Consuming Religion by Kathryn Lofton.

About the book, from the publisher:

What are you drawn to like, to watch, or even to binge? What are you free to consume, and what do you become through consumption? These questions of desire and value, Kathryn Lofton argues, are questions for the study of religion. In eleven essays exploring soap and office cubicles, Britney Spears and the Kardashians, corporate culture and Goldman Sachs, Lofton shows the conceptual levers of religion in thinking about social modes of encounter, use, and longing. Wherever we see people articulate their dreams of and for the world, wherever we see those dreams organized into protocols, images, manuals, and contracts, we glimpse what the word “religion” allows us to describe and understand.

With great style and analytical acumen, Lofton offers the ultimate guide to religion and consumption in our capitalizing times.
The Page 99 Test: Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Friend Request"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Friend Request by Laura Marshall.

About the book, from the publisher:

A paranoid single mom is forced to confront the unthinkable act she committed as a desperate teenager in this addictive thriller with a social media twist.

Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston's dead. Isn't she?

1989. When Louise first notices the new girl who has mysteriously transferred late into their senior year, Maria seems to be everything Louise's other friends aren't. Authentic. Funny. Brash. Within just a few days, Maria and Louise are on their way to becoming fast friends.

2016. Louise receives a heart-stopping email: Maria Weston wants to be friends on Facebook. Long-buried memories quickly rise to the surface: Those first days of their budding friendship; cruel decisions made and dark secrets kept; the night that would change all their lives forever.

Louise has always known that if the truth ever came out, she could stand to lose everything. Her job. Her son. Her freedom. Maria's sudden reappearance threatens it all, and forces Louise to reconnect with everyone with whom she'd severed ties in order to escape the past. But as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night, Louise discovers there's more to the story than she ever knew. To keep her secret, Louise must first uncover the whole truth, before what's known to Maria-or whoever is pretending to be her-is known to all.

With her mesmerizing debut, Laura Marshall offers a timely and essential story of how who we were shapes who we become, the hidden cost of our increasingly connected world, and the dangerous shape that revenge can take in our modern era.
Visit Laura Marshall's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Pragmatist"

New from Oxford University Press: The Pragmatist: Bill de Blasio's Quest to Save the Soul of New York by Joseph P. Viteritti.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Michael Bloomberg handed over the city to Bill de Blasio, New York and the country were experiencing record levels of income inequality. De Blasio was the first progressive elected to City Hall in twenty years. Invoking Fiorello La Guardia's name, he pledged to improve the lives of those marginalized by poverty and prejudice. Unlike La Guardia, de Blasio did not have allies in Washington like President Franklin D. Roosevelt who could effectively support his progressive agenda.

As de Blasio approached the end of his first term, the situation worsened, with Donald Trump in the White House and a Republican-controlled Congress determined to further reduce social programs that help the needy. As a result, de Blasio's mayoralty is an illuminating case study of what mayors can and cannot do on their own to address economic and social inequality. As the Democratic Party attempts to reassemble a viable political coalition that cuts across boundaries of race, class and gender, de Blasio's efforts to redefine priorities in America's largest city is instructive.

Joseph P. Viteritti's The Pragmatist is the first in-depth look at de Blasio-both the man himself and his policies in crucial areas such as housing, homelessness, education, and criminal justice. It is a test case for the viability of progressivism itself. Along the way, Viteritti introduces the reader to every NYC mayor since La Guardia. He covers progressives who breathed life into the "soul of the city" before the devastating fiscal crisis of 1975 put it on the brink of bankruptcy, and those post-fiscal crisis chief executives who served during times of limiting austerity. This engaging story of the rise, fall, and rebirth of progressivism in America's major urban center demonstrates that the road to progress has been a long-and continuing-journey.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 28, 2017

"The Taking of K-129"

New from Dutton: The Taking of K-129: How the CIA Used Howard Hughes to Steal a Russian Sub in the Most Daring Covert Operation in History by Josh Dean.

About the book, from the publisher:

An incredible true tale of espionage and engineering set at the height of the Cold War—a mix between The Hunt for Red October and Argo—about how the CIA, the U.S. Navy, and America’s most eccentric mogul spent six years and nearly a billion dollars to steal the nuclear-armed Soviet submarine K-129 after it had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean; all while the Russians were watching.

In the early hours of February 25, 1968, a Russian submarine armed with three nuclear ballistic missiles set sail from its base in Siberia on a routine combat patrol to Hawaii. Then it vanished.

As the Soviet Navy searched in vain for the lost vessel, a small, highly classified American operation using sophisticated deep-sea spy equipment found it—wrecked on the sea floor at a depth of 16,800 feet, far beyond the capabilities of any salvage that existed. But the potential intelligence assets onboard the ship—the nuclear warheads, battle orders, and cryptological machines—justified going to extreme lengths to find a way to raise the submarine.

So began Project Azorian, a top-secret mission that took six years, cost an estimated $800 million, and would become the largest and most daring covert operation in CIA history.

After the U.S. Navy declared retrieving the sub “impossible,” the mission fell to the CIA’s burgeoning Directorate of Science and Technology, the little-known division responsible for the legendary U-2 and SR-71 Blackbird spy planes. Working with Global Marine Systems, the country’s foremost maker of exotic, deep-sea drilling vessels, the CIA commissioned the most expensive ship ever built and told the world that it belonged to the reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes, who would use the mammoth ship to mine rare minerals from the ocean floor. In reality, a complex network of spies, scientists, and politicians attempted a project even crazier than Hughes’s reputation: raising the sub directly under the watchful eyes of the Russians.

The Taking of K-129 is a riveting, almost unbelievable true-life tale of military history, engineering genius, and high-stakes spy-craft set during the height of the Cold War, when nuclear annihilation was a constant fear, and the opportunity to gain even the slightest advantage over your enemy was worth massive risk.
Visit Josh Dean's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Alan Cole Is Not a Coward"

New from Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins: Alan Cole Is Not a Coward by Eric Bell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Perfect for fans of Tim Federle and Gary Schmidt, this is a hilarious and poignant tale about the trials of middle school when you’re coming of age—and coming out.

Alan Cole can’t stand up to his cruel brother, Nathan. He can’t escape the wrath of his demanding father, who thinks he’s about as exceptional as a goldfish. And—scariest of all—he can’t let the cute boy across the cafeteria know he has a crush on him.

But when Nathan discovers Alan’s secret, his older brother announces a high-stakes round of Cole vs. Cole. Each brother must complete seven nearly impossible tasks; whoever finishes the most wins the game. If Alan doesn’t want to be outed to all of Evergreen Middle School, he’s got to become the most well-known kid in school, get his first kiss, and stand up to Dad. Alan’s determined to prove—to Nathan, to the world, to himself—that this goldfish can learn to swim.

May the best Cole win.
Visit Eric Bell's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Hamlet Fire"

New from The New Press: The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives by Bryant Simon.

About the book, from the publisher:

For decades, the small, quiet town of Hamlet, North Carolina, thrived thanks to the railroad. But by the 1970s, it had become a postindustrial backwater, a magnet for businesses searching for cheap labor with little or almost no official oversight. One of these businesses was Imperial Food Products. The company paid its workers a dollar above the minimum wage to stand in pools of freezing water for hours on end, scraping gobs of fat off frozen chicken breasts before they got dipped in battered and fried into golden brown nuggets and tenders. If a worker complained about the heat or the cold or missed a shift to take care of their children or went to the bathroom too often they were fired. But they kept coming back to work because Hamlet was a place where jobs were scarce. Then, on the morning of September 3, 1991, the day after Labor Day, this factory that had never been inspected burst into flame. Twenty-five people—many of whom were black women with children, living on their own—perished that day behind the plant’s locked and bolted doors.

Eighty years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, industrial disasters were supposed to have been a thing of the past. After spending several years talking to local residents, state officials, and survivors of the fire, award-winning historian Bryant Simon has written a vivid, potent, and disturbing social autopsy of this town, this factory, and this time that shows how cheap labor, cheap government, and cheap food came together in a way that was bound for tragedy.
Writers Read: Bryant Simon (September 2007).

The Page 99 Test: Everything But the Coffee.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"The Salt Line"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:

How far will they go for their freedom—once they decide what freedom really means?

In an unspecified future, the United States’ borders have receded behind a salt line—a ring of scorched earth that protects its citizens from deadly disease-carrying ticks. Those within the zone live safe, if limited, lives in a society controlled by a common fear. Few have any reason to venture out of zone, except for the adrenaline junkies who pay a fortune to tour what’s left of nature. Those among the latest expedition include a popstar and his girlfriend, Edie; the tech giant Wes; and Marta; a seemingly simple housewife.

Once out of zone, the group find themselves at the mercy of deadly ticks—and at the center of a murderous plot. They become captives in Ruby City, a community made up of outer-zone survivors determined to protect their hardscrabble existence. As alliances and friendships shift amongst the hostages, Edie, Wes, and Marta must decide how far they are willing to go to get to the right side of the salt line.
Visit Holly Goddard Jones' website.

Coffee with a Canine: Holly Goddard Jones & Bishop and Martha.

--Marshal Zeringue

"La Parisienne in Cinema"

New from Manchester University Press: La Parisienne in Cinema: Between Art and Life by Felicity Chaplin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Chic, sophisticated, seductive, and enigmatic, the Parisienne possesses a je ne sais quoi which makes her difficult to define. Who or what is the Parisienne and how she is depicted in cinema is the subject of this new and exciting book. In the first book-length publication to explore la Parisienne in cinema, Chaplin expands on existing scholarship on the Parisienne type in fields such as art history, literature, and fashion history, and builds on scholarship on the films discussed to both enrich and offer new perspectives on these films.Accessible and wide-ranging, this interdisciplinary and lively work will be of immediate interest to students and researchers working in Film Studies and French Studies and the broader humanities as well as a general interest audience. It is also essential reading for cinephiles and Francophiles alike.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Real Deceptions"

New from Oxford University Press: Real Deceptions: The Contemporary Reinvention of Realism by Jennifer Friedlander.

About the book, from the publisher:

Real Deceptions develops a new theory of realism through close consideration of myriad contemporary art, media, and cultural practices. Rather than focusing on transgressing deceptions which distort reality, the book argues that reality lies within the deceptions themselves. That is to say, realism's political potential emerges not by revealing deception but precisely by staging deceptions--particularly deceptions that imperil the very categories of true and false. In lieu of perceiving deception as an obstacle to truth, it shows how deception functions as the truth's necessary conduit. Categories invoked in realist works, such as trompe l'oeil, illusion, hypervirtuality, and simulation help to establish how realism can be seen as moving from the creation of mere epistemological uncertainty to radical ontologically-based indeterminacy. The book cultivates this schema by considering productive connections between insights from Jacques Lacan and Jacques Rancière. Real Deceptions not only applies these theoretical frameworks to art and media examples, but also engages in the reverse move of using the "cases" to further the theories. This dual approach points to the ways in which efforts to produce realist representations often give rise to the destabilizing Real.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 26, 2017

"Girls Made of Snow and Glass"

New from Flatiron Books: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust.

About the book, from the publisher:

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.
Visit Melissa Bashardoust's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Genuine Fraud"

New from Delacorte Press: Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of the unforgettable New York Times bestseller We Were Liars comes a masterful new psychological suspense novel—the story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.

Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.

An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.

A bad romance, or maybe three.

Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.

A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.

A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.
Visit E. Lockhart's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 25, 2017

"The Age of Perpetual Light"

New from Grove Press: The Age of Perpetual Light by Josh Weil.

About the book, from the publisher:

A dazzling new work that spans a century and eight tales of light, human progress, and the search for a better life from Josh Weil, one of “the most gifted writers of his generation” (Colum McCann), winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Following his debut Dayton Literary Peace Prize-winning novel, The Great Glass Sea, Josh Weil brings together stories selected from a decade of work in a stellar new collection. Beginning at the dawn of the past century, in the early days of electrification, and moving into an imagined future in which the world is lit day and night, The Age of Perpetual Light follows deeply-felt characters through different eras in American history: from a Jewish dry goods peddler who falls in love with an Amish woman while showing her the wonders of an Edison Lamp, to a 1940 farmers’ uprising against the unfair practices of a power company; a Serbian immigrant teenage boy in 1990’s Vermont desperate to catch a glimpse of an experimental satellite, to a back-to-the-land couple forced to grapple with their daughter’s autism during winter’s longest night.

Brilliantly hewn and piercingly observant, these are tales that speak to the all-too-human desire for advancement and the struggle of wounded hearts to find a salve, no matter what the cost. This is a breathtaking book from one of our brightest literary lights.
Visit Josh Weil's website.

Writers Read: Josh Weil (July 2014).

The Page 69 Test: The Great Glass Sea.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green"

New from Da Capo Press: Soul Survivor: A Biography of Al Green by Jimmy McDonough.

About the book, from the publisher:

The bestselling author of Shakey: Neil Young's Biography presents the first in-depth biography of the legendary soul singer Al Green.

Al Green has blessed listeners with some of the biggest hits of the past fifty years. "Love and Happiness," "I'm Still in Love with You," "Let's Get Married," and "I'm Tired of Being Alone" are but a sampling of the iconic songs that led a generation to embrace love in perhaps the most tumultuous period in this country's history, an unparalleled body of work that has many calling Green one of the greatest soul singers of all time. The music legend has sold over 20 million albums and been sampled by numerous rappers, and even President Obama has been known to sing a chorus or two. The now-Bishop Green is without a doubt one of the most beloved yet inscrutable figures ever to grace the popular music stage, and he has managed to magically sidestep being successfully scrutinized in print. Until now.

Acclaimed journalist and author Jimmy McDonough expertly tackles this most elusive of subjects and aims to present readers with the definitive portrait of a man everyone knows but few understand. McDonough manages to break through Green's joyous veneer to reveal the contrary, tortured, and solitary individual beneath, a man who spent decades dancing an uneasy tightrope between the sacred and the profane. From his childhood in the backwaters of Arkansas to commanding the stage in front of throngs of lusting fans to addressing a very different audience from the pulpit of his own church, readers will bear witness to the creation of some of the most electrifying soul music ever recorded; learn the hitherto untold real story behind Green's colorful down-home Memphis label, Hi Records; and--by way of countless in-depth interviews with major players in the story, some speaking for the very first time--unravel one of the last great mysteries in popular music: Al Green.
Visit Jimmy McDonough's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Keep of Ages"

New from Roaring Brook Press: The Keep of Ages: Book Three of the Vault of Dreamers Trilogy by Caragh M. O'Brien.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the fast-paced, high-stakes conclusion to Caragh M. O'Brien's Vault of Dreamers trilogy, Rosie travels to a derelict theme park to shut down dream mining once and for all.

Driven by fear when Dean Berg kidnaps her family, Rosie Sinclair strikes out across the country to rescue them. When an elusive trail leads her to Grisly Valley, the contaminated ruin of a horror theme park, Rosie has to consider that Berg may once again be manipulating her every move to make her fearful, priming her for a final, lethal dream mining procedure. As Rosie struggles to outmaneuver Berg, she unearths the ultimate vault of dreamers and the hint of a consciousness more powerful and dangerous than any she's imagined before. Faced with unspeakable suffering and otherworldly beauty, Rosie must discover how to trust her mind, her friends, and reality itself.

Propulsive and deeply speculative, The Keep of Ages concludes the Vault of Dreamers trilogy with stirring possibilities for what it means to be alive.
Learn more about the book and author at Caragh O'Brien's website.

My Book, The Movie: Birthmarked.

Writers Read: Caragh M. O'Brien (April 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 24, 2017


New from Yale University Press: Enraged: Why Violent Times Need Ancient Greek Myths by Emily Katz Anhalt.

About the book, from the publisher:

An examination of remedies for violent rage rediscovered in ancient Greek myths

Millennia ago, Greek myths exposed the dangers of violent rage and the need for empathy and self-restraint. Homer’s Iliad, Euripides’ Hecuba, and Sophocles’ Ajax show that anger and vengeance destroy perpetrators and victims alike. Composed before and during the ancient Greeks’ groundbreaking movement away from autocracy toward more inclusive political participation, these stories offer guidelines for modern efforts to create and maintain civil societies. Emily Katz Anhalt reveals how these three masterworks of classical Greek literature can teach us, as they taught the ancient Greeks, to recognize violent revenge as a marker of illogical thinking and poor leadership. These time-honored texts emphasize the costs of our dangerous penchant for glorifying violent rage and those who would indulge in it. By promoting compassion, rational thought, and debate, Greek myths help to arm us against the tyrants we might serve and the tyrants we might become.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Western Star"

New from Viking: The Western Star (Walt Longmire Series #13) by Craig Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

The thirteenth novel in Craig Johnson’s beloved New York Times bestselling Longmire series, the basis for the hit Netflix series Longmire

Sheriff Walt Longmire is enjoying a celebratory beer after a weapons certification at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy when a younger sheriff confronts him with a photograph of twenty-five armed men standing in front of a Challenger steam locomotive. It takes him back to when, fresh from the battlefields of Vietnam, then-deputy Walt accompanied his mentor Lucian to the annual Wyoming Sheriff’s Association junket held on the excursion train known as the Western Star, which ran the length of Wyoming from Cheyenne to Evanston and back. Armed with his trusty Colt .45 and a paperback of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, the young Walt was ill-prepared for the machinations of twenty-four veteran sheriffs, let alone the cavalcade of curious characters that accompanied them.

The photograph—along with an upcoming parole hearing for one of the most dangerous men Walt has encountered in a lifetime of law enforcement—hurtles the sheriff into a head-on collision of past and present, placing him and everyone he cares about squarely on the tracks of runaway revenge.
Learn more about the author and his work at Craig Johnson's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Page 69 Test: Kindness Goes Unpunished.

My Book, The Movie: The Cold Dish.

The Page 69 Test: The Dark Horse.

The Page 69 Test: Junkyard Dogs.

The Page 69 Test: Hell Is Empty.

Writers Read: Craig Johnson (September 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Feeling Jewish"

New from Yale University Press: Feeling Jewish (A Book for Just About Anyone) by Devorah Baum.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this sparkling debut, a young critic offers an original, passionate, and erudite account of what it means to feel Jewish—even when you’re not.

Self-hatred. Guilt. Resentment. Paranoia. Hysteria. Overbearing Mother-Love. In this witty, insightful, and poignant book, Devorah Baum delves into fiction, film, memoir, and psychoanalysis to present a dazzlingly original exploration of a series of feelings famously associated with modern Jews. Reflecting on why Jews have so often been depicted, both by others and by themselves, as prone to “negative” feelings, she queries how negative these feelings really are. And as the pace of globalization leaves countless people feeling more marginalized, uprooted, and existentially threatened, she argues that such “Jewish” feelings are becoming increasingly common to us all.

Ranging from Franz Kafka to Philip Roth, Sarah Bernhardt to Woody Allen, Anne Frank to Nathan Englander, Feeling Jewish bridges the usual fault lines between left and right, insider and outsider, Jew and Gentile, and even Semite and anti-Semite, to offer an indispensable guide for our divisive times.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


New from Scholastic: Unschooled by Allan Woodrow.

About the book, from the publisher:

This year's fifth graders are the worst Principal Klein has ever seen. But he's hoping that Spirit Week can teach them teamwork, with a top secret prize for the winning team as incentive.

Best friends George and Lilly have been looking forward to Spirit Week all year. They might be complete opposites, but they can't wait to be on the winning team together. When their classes end up rivals, with Lilly leading Team Red and George leading Team Blue, the friends swear they can compete and remain best friends.

But suddenly there are slimed lockers, sabotaged costumes, and class pets held hostage. As the pranks escalate, it threatens everything, including the prize. Because if Principal Klein finds out, Spirit Week will be cancelled and the students will spend the rest of the year in detention.

Can George and Lilly find a way to fix their friendship and get the entire fifth grade to play fair, or is the most awesome week of fifth grade about to make this the worst school year ever?
Visit Allan Woodrow's website.

Writers Read: Allan Woodrow (November 2015).

The Page 69 Test: Class Dismissed.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Soho Press: Sip by Brian Allen Carr.

About the book, from the publisher:

A lyrical, apocalyptic debut novel about addiction, friendship, and the struggle for survival

It started with a single child, and quickly spread: you could get high by drinking your own shadow. At night, lights were destroyed so that addicts could sip shadow in the pure light of the moon.

Gangs of shadow addicts chased down children on playgrounds, rounded up old ladies from retirement homes. Cities were destroyed and governments fell. And if your shadow was sipped entirely, you became one of them, had to find more shadow, at any cost, or go mad.

150 years later, what’s left of the world is divided between the highly regimented life of those inside dome-cities that are protected from natural light (and natural shadows), and those forced to the dangerous, hardscrabble life in the wilds outside. In rural Texas, Mira, her shadow-addicted friend Murk, and an ex-Domer named Bale, search for a possible mythological cure to the shadow sickness—but they must do so, it is said, before the return of Halley’s Comet, which is only days away.
Visit Brian Allen Carr's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"You Don't Know Me but I Know You"

New from HarperTeen: You Don't Know Me but I Know You by Rebecca Barrow.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rebecca Barrow’s bright, honest debut novel about chance, choice, and unconditional love is a heartfelt testament to creating the future you truly want, one puzzle piece at a time.

There’s a box in the back of Audrey’s closet that she rarely thinks about.

Inside is a letter, seventeen years old, from a mother she’s never met, handed to her by the woman she’s called Mom her whole life. Being adopted, though, is just one piece in the puzzle of Audrey’s life—the picture painstakingly put together by Audrey herself, full of all the people and pursuits that make her who she is.

But when Audrey realizes that she’s pregnant, she feels something—a tightly sealed box in the closet corners of her heart—crack open, spilling her dormant fears and unanswered questions all over the life she loves.

Almost two decades ago, a girl in Audrey’s situation made a choice, one that started Audrey’s entire story. Now Audrey is paralyzed by her own what-ifs and terrified by the distance she feels growing between her and her best friend Rose. Down every possible path is a different unfamiliar version of her life, and as she weighs the options in her mind, she starts to wonder—what does it even mean to be Audrey Spencer?
Visit Rebecca Barrow's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Broken World"

New from HarperTeen: The Broken World (Marked Girl Series #2) by Lindsey Klingele.

About the book, from the publisher:

An exciting sequel to The Marked Girl, filled with fantastical adventure and a quest to save two worlds…

In the fantasy world of Caelum, Liv, Cedric, and Kat attempt to defeat an evil traitor and his army to save their families and the kingdom. Meanwhile, Liv’s best friend and Cedric’s frenemy stick in LA to try and figure out how to fix Los Angeles. The city, thanks to the open portals between LA and Caelum, is breaking down: the sky is orange, gravity isn’t working right, and earthquakes shake the ground every few hours.

When the crew reunites in LA, it’s a race against time to restore the balance of magic between the two worlds.

The adventure that started in Lindsey Klingele’s The Marked Girl concludes in The Broken World!
Visit Lindsey Klingele's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade"

New from Scholastic: The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick.

About the book, from the publisher:

In sixth grade, bad things can happen to good kids. Bullies will find your weakness and jump on it. Teachers will say you did something wrong when really didn't mean to do anything wrong. The kids who joke the loudest can drown out the quieter, nicer kids.

Maverick wants to change all that. One of the last things his father left him was a toy sheriff's badge, back when Maverick was little. Now he likes to carry it around to remind him of his dad - and also to remind him to make school a better place for everyone... even if that's a hard thing to do, especially when his own home life is falling apart.
Visit Jordan Sonnenblick's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 21, 2017

"I'll Have What She's Having"

New from Hachette: I'll Have What She's Having: How Nora Ephron's Three Iconic Films Saved the Romantic Comedy by Erin Carlson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A backstage look at the making of Nora Ephron's revered trilogy--When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, and Sleepless in Seattle--which brought romantic comedies back to the fore, and an intimate portrait of the beloved writer/director who inspired a generation of Hollywood women, from Mindy Kaling to Lena Dunham.

In I'll Have What She's Having entertainment journalist Erin Carlson tells the story of the real Nora Ephron and how she reinvented the romcom through her trio of instant classics. With a cast of famous faces including Rob Reiner, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Billy Crystal, Carlson takes readers on a rollicking, revelatory trip to Ephron's New York City, where reality took a backseat to romance and Ephron--who always knew what she wanted and how she wanted it--ruled the set with an attention to detail that made her actors feel safe but sometimes exasperated crew members.

Along the way, Carlson examines how Ephron explored in the cinema answers to the questions that plagued her own romantic life and how she regained faith in love after one broken engagement and two failed marriages. Carlson also explores countless other questions Ephron's fans have wondered about: What sparked Reiner to snap out of his bachelor blues during the making of When Harry Met Sally? Why was Ryan, a gifted comedian trapped in the body of a fairytale princess, not the first choice for the role? After she and Hanks each separately balked at playing Mail's Kathleen Kelly and Sleepless' Sam Baldwin, what changed their minds? And perhaps most importantly: What was Dave Chappelle doing ... in a turtleneck? An intimate portrait of a one of America's most iconic filmmakers and a look behind the scenes of her crowning achievements, I'll Have What She's Having is a vivid account of the days and nights when Ephron, along with assorted cynical collaborators, learned to show her heart on the screen.
--Marshal Zeringue


New from Dutton: Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake by Kathryn Miles.

About the book, from the publisher:

A journey around the United States in search of the truth about the threat of earthquakes leads to spine-tingling discoveries, unnerving experts, and ultimately the kind of preparations that will actually help guide us through disasters. It’s a road trip full of surprises.

Earthquakes. You need to worry about them only if you’re in San Francisco, right? Wrong. We have been making enormous changes to subterranean America, and Mother Earth, as always, has been making some of her own.... The consequences for our real estate, our civil engineering, and our communities will be huge because they will include earthquakes most of us do not expect and cannot imagine—at least not without reading Quakeland. Kathryn Miles descends into mines in the Northwest, dissects Mississippi levee engineering studies, uncovers the horrific risks of an earthquake in the Northeast, and interviews the seismologists, structual engineers, and emergency managers around the country who are addressing this ground shaking threat.

As Miles relates, the era of human-induced earthquakes began in 1962 in Colorado after millions of gallons of chemical-weapon waste was pumped underground in the Rockies. More than 1,500 quakes over the following seven years resulted. The Department of Energy plans to dump spent nuclear rods in the same way. Evidence of fracking’s seismological impact continues to mount.... Humans as well as fault lines built our “quakeland”.

What will happen when Memphis, home of FedEx’s 1.5-million-packages-a-day hub, goes offline as a result of an earthquake along the unstable Reelfoot Fault? FEMA has estimated that a modest 7.0 magnitude quake (twenty of these happen per year around the world) along the Wasatch Fault under Salt Lake City would put a $33 billion dent in our economy. When the Fukushima reactor melted down, tens of thousands were displaced. If New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant blows, ten million people will be displaced. How would that evacuation even begin?

Kathryn Miles’ tour of our land is as fascinating and frightening as it is irresistibly compelling.
Visit Kathryn Miles's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"Thirteen Rising"

New from Razorbill: Thirteen Rising (Zodiac Series #4) by Romina Russell.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Romina Russell’s epic sci-fi fantasy series ZODIAC reaches its breathtaking conclusion with THIRTEEN RISING, the highly anticipated fourth and final novel.

The master has been unmasked. Rho’s world has been turned upside down. With her loved ones in peril and all the stars set against her, can the young Guardian from House Cancer muster the strength to keep fighting? Or has she finally found her match in a master whose ambition to rule knows no limits?
Visit Romina Russell's website.

The Page 69 Test: Wandering Star.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Lost Boys"

New from Henry Holt and Co. (BYR): Lost Boys by Darcey Rosenblatt.

About the book, from the publisher:

Based on historical events, this unforgettable and inspiring tale for middle-grade readers is about a young boy torn from the only life he’s ever known and held captive as a prisoner of war.

In 1982, twelve-year-old Reza has no interest in joining Iran’s war effort against Iraq. But in the wake of a tragedy and at his mother’s urging, he decides to enlist, assured by the authorities that he will achieve paradise should he die in service to his country.

War does not bring the glory the boys of Iran have been promised, and Reza soon finds himself held in a prisoner-of-war camp in Iraq, where the guards not only threaten violence—they act upon it. Will Reza make it out alive? And if he does, will he even have a home to return to?

Friendship, heartbreak, and Reza’s very survival are at stake as he finds solace through music and forges his own path—wherever that might take him.
Visit Darcey Rosenblatt's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Paul: The Pagans' Apostle"

New from Yale University Press: Paul: The Pagans' Apostle by Paula Fredriksen.

About the book, from the publisher:

A groundbreaking new portrait of the apostle Paul, from one of today’s leading historians of antiquity

Often seen as the author of timeless Christian theology, Paul himself heatedly maintained that he lived and worked in history’s closing hours. His letters propel his readers into two ancient worlds, one Jewish, one pagan. The first was incandescent with apocalyptic hopes, expecting God through his messiah to fulfill his ancient promises of redemption to Israel. The second teemed with ancient actors, not only human but also divine: angry superhuman forces, jealous demons, and hostile cosmic gods. Both worlds are Paul’s, and his convictions about the first shaped his actions in the second.

Only by situating Paul within this charged social context of gods and humans, pagans and Jews, cities, synagogues, and competing Christ-following assemblies can we begin to understand his mission and message. This original and provocative book offers a dramatically new perspective on one of history’s seminal figures.
The Page 99 Test: Sin: The Early History of an Idea.

Writers Read: Paula Fredriksen (July 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 19, 2017

"Things That Surprise You"

New from Balzer + Bray: Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari.

About the book, from the publisher:

A poignant, charming middle grade novel, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish and Fish in a Tree. A beautifully layered story about navigating the often shifting bonds of family and friendship, and learning how to put the pieces back together when things fall apart.

Emily Murphy is about to enter middle school. She's sort of excited…though not nearly as much as her best friend Hazel, who is ready for everything to be new. Emily wishes she and Hazel could just continue on as they always have, being the biggest fans ever of the Unicorn Chronicles, making up dance moves, and getting their regular order at The Slice.

But things are changing. At home, Emily and her mom are learning to move on after her parents' divorce. Hardest of all, her beloved sister Mina has been in a treatment facility to deal with her anorexia. Emily is eager to have her back, but anxious about her sister getting sick again.

Hazel is changing too. She has new friends from the field hockey team, is starting to wear makeup, and have crushes on boys. Emily is trying to keep up, but she keeps doing and saying the wrong thing. She wants to be the perfect new Emily. But who is that really?
Visit Jennifer Maschari's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Unraveling Oliver"

New from Soho Press: Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this “compelling, clever, and dark” (Heat magazine) thriller, a man’s shocking act of savagery stuns a local community—and the revelations that follow will keep you gripped until the very last page. This work of psychological suspense, a #1 bestseller in Ireland, is perfect for fans of Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Ware.

“I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel—a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

With its alternating points of view and deft prose, Unraveling Oliver is “a page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense” (Sunday Independent) that details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.
Visit Liz Nugent's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"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