Saturday, October 21, 2017

"Wonder Valley"

New from Ecco: Wonder Valley: A Novel by Ivy Pochoda.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a teen runs away from his father’s mysterious commune, he sets in motion a domino effect that will connect six characters desperate for hope and love, set across the sun-bleached canvas of Los Angeles.

From the acclaimed author of Visitation Street, a visionary portrait of contemporary Los Angeles in all its facets, from the Mojave Desert to the Pacific, from the 110 to Skid Row.

During a typically crowded morning commute, a naked runner is dodging between the stalled cars.  The strange sight makes the local news and captures the imaginations of a stunning cast of misfits and lost souls.
There's Ren, just out of juvie, who travels to LA in search of his mother. There's Owen and James, teenage twins who live in a desert commune, where their father, a self-proclaimed healer, holds a powerful sway over his disciples. There's Britt, who shows up at the commune harboring a dark secret. There's Tony, a bored and unhappy lawyer who is inspired by the runner. And there's Blake, a drifter hiding in the desert, doing his best to fight off his most violent instincts.  Their lives will all intertwine and come crashing together in a shocking way, one that could only happen in this enchanting, dangerous city.

Wonder Valley is a swirling mix of angst, violence, heartache, and yearning—a masterpiece by a writer on the rise.
Learn more about the book and author at Ivy Pochoda's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Art of Disappearing.

Writers Read: Ivy Pochoda (July 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 20, 2017

"Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness"

New from Princeton University Press: Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness by Rhodri Lewis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hamlet and the Vision of Darkness is a radical new interpretation of the most famous play in the English language. By exploring Shakespeare’s engagements with the humanist traditions of early modern England and Europe, Rhodri Lewis reveals a Hamlet unseen for centuries: an innovative, coherent, and exhilaratingly bleak tragedy in which the governing ideologies of Shakespeare’s age are scrupulously upended.

This book establishes that life in Elsinore is measured not by virtue but by the deceptions and grim brutality of the hunt. It also shows that Shakespeare most vividly represents this reality in the character of Hamlet: his habits of thought and speech depend on the cultures of pretence that he affects to disdain, ensuring his alienation from both himself and the world around him.

Lewis recovers a work of far greater magnitude than the tragedy of a young man who cannot make up his mind. He shows that in Hamlet, as in King Lear, Shakespeare confronts his audiences with a universe that received ideas are powerless to illuminate—and where everyone must find their own way through the dark.

A major contribution to Shakespeare studies, this book is required reading for all students of early modern literature, drama, culture, and history.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Smoke and Mirrors"

New from Severn House: Smoke and Mirrors by Casey Daniels.

About the book, from the publisher:

Introducing museum curator and amateur sleuth Miss Evie Barnum in the first of a deliciously quirky new historical mystery series.

Evie Barnum is in charge of her brother's museum, a place teeming with scientific specimens and wonders, including Jeffrey, the Lizard Man. When an old friend shows up and begs for her help, but is then found dead in front of the exhibit of the Feejee Mermaid, suspicion for the murder falls on Jeffrey, and Evie becomes determined to solve the mystery of her friend's murder.
Visit Casey Daniels's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Going Viral"

New from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: Going Viral by Amy Alward.

About the book, from the publisher:

After the royal tour, Samantha Kemi thought she could take a break from saving the day. Her grandfather Ostanes is healthy, she’s about to be named a Master Alchemist, and Princess Evelyn is happily married to Prince Stefan.

Except—Sam has no proof that Evelyn is happily married because she hasn’t seen the princess in days…Prince Stefan is now the public face of the Royal family.

Princess Evelyn has gone MIA just when Nova (and Sam) needs her most. A surge of magic is spreading across the country—like a virus—and every Talented person is suddenly more powerful. With the Talenteds getting stronger, Ordinary people begin to worry about an imbalance in the magic streams—and in society. When a group of Talented kids—Sam’s sister Molly Among them—are attacked with a powerful sleeping potion, Prince Stefan is convinced that the Ordinary people are taking a radical stand against Talenteds and reinstates the old ban on traditional alchemy.

Now Sam’s hands are tied. Does she trust Nova’s scientists to find a synthetic cure to this curse, or does she break Stefan’s royal decree and use her skills to save her little sister—and possibly all of Nova—from a forever sleep?
Visit Amy Alward's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 19, 2017

"Her Last Day"

New from Thomas & Mercer: Her Last Day by T.R. Ragan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ten years ago, PI Jessie Cole and reporter Ben Morrison each suffered a tragedy that changed their lives—and now these two strangers are about to share a nightmare.

For Jessie, who makes her living finding missing persons, no case has consumed her more than the disappearance of her younger sister, Sophie. But left alone to raise Sophie’s daughter, she realizes that solving the case has become an unhealthy obsession.

For Ben, a horrific car accident resulted in scars both physical and emotional—and amnesia that has made his life a mystery. But curiously, out of his shattered memories, there’s one person he recognizes without a doubt: Jessie’s sister. He just doesn’t know why. Yet.

But Sophie isn’t the only phantom drawing Jessie and Ben together. An elusive serial murderer known as the Heartless Killer has reemerged from the shadows. His next move will cut even deeper into Jessie’s worst fears. And for Ben, what happens this time is going to be unforgettable.
Visit T.R. Ragan's website.

The Page 69 Test: Furious.

Writers Read: T.R. Ragan (May 2016).

My Book, The Movie: Furious.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Knit to Kill"

New from Kensington: Knit to Kill by Anne Canadeo.

About the book, from the publisher:

A relaxing girls’ getaway turns deadly for the Black Sheep Knitters when a pushy killer is on the prowl...

As their beloved Black Sheep member Lucy Binger prepares to tie the knot, the closely knit group decide they need a weekend to unwind before the big day. Suzanne Cavanaugh has just the spot—her friend Amy lives in a luxury New England community on Osprey Island, renowned for its famous cliff walk and spectacular ocean views, and she would be happy to host the knitters.

Shortly after their arrival, however, the idyllic setting turns into a crime scene. The body of a prominent resident of Osprey Shores is discovered on the rocky coastline below the cliffs and evidence suggests his fatal misstep was no accident.

The well-known victim was not so well liked, it turns out, with many enemies eager to send him into an early—and permanent—retirement. When the investigation focuses on Amy’s husband, the knitters step in to untangle the clues.

But with this crafty killer on the edge, the Black Sheep must walk a fine line—and look before they leap to any deadly conclusions.
Visit Anne Canadeo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Rift Frequency"

New from Harper Voyager: The Rift Frequency by Amy S. Foster.

About the book, from the publisher:

To save her love and unlock the mystery of who she is, a brave young woman must travel between alternate realities in The Rift Frequency, the exciting second book in Amy S. Foster's The Rift Uprising Trilogy.

She didn’t mean to, but...

Teenage super-solider Ryn Whittaker started an uprising.

For three years Ryn was stationed at The Battle Ground Rift site—one of the fourteen mysterious and unpredictable tears in the fabric of the universe that serve as doorways to alternate Earths—and then she met Ezra Massad.

Falling in love and becoming a rebel Citadel wasn’t part of Ryn’s life plan, but with Ezra there asking all the right questions, they began to decode what’s really going on with the Allied Rift Coalition, and what they discovered was enough to start a civil war.

When the base explodes with infighting and Ezra gets caught in the fray, he is accidentally pushed through the Rift, taking a stolen laptop—and the answers it could give Ryn—with him.

Now all Ryn wants is to locate Ezra and get back to her Earth. But that’s not easy when she’s traveling the multiverse with Levi, the painfully guarded Citadel who shoved Ezra through in the first place. And Ryn is quickly learning that inside the multiverse there is no normal—it’s adapt, or die—and the one weapon she really needs to win the war back home is the truth.
Visit Amy Foster's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"Girl in a Bad Place"

New from Scholastic: Girl in a Bad Place by Kaitlin Ward.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mailee and Cara take care of each other. Mailee is the star of the high school plays; Cara is the stage manager. Mailee can't keep her life together; Cara has enough organizational skills for the both of them.

So when the girls are invited to visit the Haven, a commune in the mountains near their suburban Montana homes, it seems like an adventure. Until Cara starts spending every waking minute there ... and Mailee thinks it's creepy, almost like a cult. When Cara decides she's going to move to the Haven permanently, Mailee knows it's a bad idea. But how far will she go to save her best friend ... from herself?
Visit Kaitlin Ward's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Forbidden Suns"

New from Orbit Books: Forbidden Suns by D. Nolan Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the cold of space, the fire of revenge still burns.

Aleister Lanoe has been on a mission since before he can remember. Honing his skills as a fighter pilot and commander through three centuries of constant warfare, he has never met a foe he cannot best.

But now he faces a mission which may be his last: take vengeance on the alien race who has coldly and systematically erased all the sentient life in its path.

In all his years at war, the stakes have never been higher…
Learn more about the book and author at David Wellington's website.

The Page 69 Test: Forsaken Skies.

The Page 69 Test: Forgotten Worlds.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Mr. Dickens and His Carol"

New from Flatiron Books: Mr. Dickens and His Carol: A Novel by Samantha Silva.

About the book, from the publisher:

Laced with humor, rich historical detail from Charles Dickens’ life, and clever winks to his work, Samantha Silva's Mr. Dickens and His Carol is an irresistible new take on a cherished classic.

Charles Dickens is not feeling the Christmas spirit. His newest book is an utter flop, the critics have turned against him, relatives near and far hound him for money. While his wife plans a lavish holiday party for their ever-expanding family and circle of friends, Dickens has visions of the poor house. But when his publishers try to blackmail him into writing a Christmas book to save them all from financial ruin, he refuses. And a serious bout of writer’s block sets in.

Frazzled and filled with self-doubt, Dickens seeks solace in his great palace of thinking, the city of London itself. On one of his long night walks, in a once-beloved square, he meets the mysterious Eleanor Lovejoy, who might be just the muse he needs. As Dickens’ deadlines close in, Eleanor propels him on a Scrooge-like journey that tests everything he believes about generosity, friendship, ambition, and love. The story he writes will change Christmas forever.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Sucking Up"

New from The University of Virginia Press: Sucking Up: A Brief Consideration of Sycophancy by Deborah Parker and Mark Parker.

About the book, from the publisher:

Suck-up. Ass-kisser. Brownnoser. Bootlicker. Lickspittle. Toadeater... Found in every walk of life, both real and imagined, sycophants surround us. But whether we grumble about sycophancy or grudgingly tolerate it as a price of getting along in a complex society, we rarely examine it closely. This book humorously considers that slavish art from the historical past to our current political environment, and particularly through the revealing lens of literature. Some of the grandest examples of yes-men appear in these pages--from Dante’s flatterers and Dickens’s Uriah Heep to Kellyanne Conway, who urged us to "go buy Ivanka’s stuff," and the obsequious soul who apologized to Vice President Cheney for being shot by him.

More relevant now than ever, as sucking up becomes the master trope of the Trump era, this choice romp through the spectacular world of bowing and scraping will entertain and enlighten.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Siege Line"

New from Ace: Siege Line by Myke Cole.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Myke Cole’s latest high-octane, action-packed military fantasy, the fate of undead Navy SEAL James Schweitzer will be decided—one way or another…

The Gemini Cell took everything from Jim Schweitzer: his family, his career as a Navy SEAL, even his life. Hounded across the country, Schweitzer knows the only way he can ever stop running, the only way his son can ever be safe, is to take the fight to the enemy and annihilate the Cell once and for all.

But the Cell won’t be easily destroyed. Out of control and fighting a secret war with the government it once served, it has dispatched its shadowy Director to the far reaches of the subarctic in search of a secret magic that could tip the balance of power in its favor. Schweitzer must join with the elite warriors of both America and Canada in a desperate bid to get there first—and avert a disaster that could put the Cell in control.
Learn more about the book and author at Myke Cole's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Control Point.

Writers Read: Myke Cole (January 2014).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Wolf Season"

New from Bellevue Literary Press: Wolf Season by Helen Benedict.

About the book, from the publisher:

After a hurricane devastates a small town in upstate New York, the lives of three women and their young children are irrevocably changed. Rin, an Iraq War veteran, tries to protect her blind daughter and the three wolves under her care. Naema, a widowed doctor who fled Iraq with her wounded son, faces life-threatening injuries. Beth, who is raising a troubled son, waits out her marine husband’s deployment in Afghanistan, equally afraid of him coming home and of him never returning at all. As they struggle to maintain their humanity and find hope, their war-torn lives collide in a way that will affect their entire community.
Learn more about Helen Benedict and her work at her official website.

Writers Read: Helen Benedict (July 2009).

My Book, The Movie: Sand Queen.

Writers Read: Helen Benedict (September 2011).

The Page 69 Test: Sand Queen.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 16, 2017

"The Secret, Book & Scone Society"

New from Kensington Books: The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams.

About the book, from the publisher:

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.

Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over...
Visit Ellery Adams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Murder in an English Village"

New from Kensington Books: Murder in an English Village: A Beryl & Edwina Mystery by Jessica Ellicott.

About the book, from the publisher:

As friends, the boisterous and brash American Beryl couldn’t be less alike than the prim and proper British Edwina. But as sleuths in an England recovering from the Great War, they’re the perfect match...

1920: Flying in the face of convention, legendary American adventuress Beryl Helliwell never fails to surprise and shock. The last thing her adoring public would expect is that she craves some peace and quiet. The humdrum hamlet of Walmsley Parva in the English countryside seems just the ticket. And, honestly, until America comes to its senses and repeals Prohibition, Beryl has no intention of returning stateside and subjecting herself to bathtub gin.

For over three decades, Edwina Davenport has lived comfortably in Walmsley Parva, but the post–World War I bust has left her in dire financial straits and forced her to advertise for a lodger. When her long-lost school chum Beryl arrives on her doorstep—actually crashes into it in her red motorcar—Edwina welcomes her old friend as her new roommate.

But her idyllic hometown has a hidden sinister side, and when the two friends are drawn in, they decide to set up shop as private inquiry agents, helping Edwina to make ends meet and satisfying Beryl’s thirst for adventure. Now this odd couple will need to put their heads together to catch a killer—before this sleepy English village becomes their final resting place...
Visit Jessica Ellicott's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Empress"

New from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: The Empress (Part of The Diabolic) by S.J. Kincaid.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?
Visit S.J. Kincaid's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 15, 2017

"Bad Rabbi"

New from Stanford University Press: Bad Rabbi: And Other Strange but True Stories from the Yiddish Press by Eddy Portnoy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stories abound of immigrant Jews on the outside looking in, clambering up the ladder of social mobility, successfully assimilating and integrating into their new worlds. But this book is not about the success stories. It's a paean to the bunglers, the blockheads, and the just plain weird—Jews who were flung from small, impoverished eastern European towns into the urban shtetls of New York and Warsaw, where, as they say in Yiddish, their bread landed butter side down in the dirt. These marginal Jews may have found their way into the history books far less frequently than their more socially upstanding neighbors, but there's one place you can find them in force: in the Yiddish newspapers that had their heyday from the 1880s to the 1930s. Disaster, misery, and misfortune: you will find no better chronicle of the daily ignominies of urban Jewish life than in the pages of the Yiddish press.

An underground history of downwardly mobile Jews, Bad Rabbi exposes the seamy underbelly of pre-WWII New York and Warsaw, the two major centers of Yiddish culture in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. With true stories plucked from the pages of the Yiddish papers, Eddy Portnoy introduces us to the drunks, thieves, murderers, wrestlers, poets, and beauty queens whose misadventures were immortalized in print. There's the Polish rabbi blackmailed by an American widow, mass brawls at weddings and funerals, a psychic who specialized in locating missing husbands, and violent gangs of Jewish mothers on the prowl—in short, not quite the Jews you'd expect. One part Isaac Bashevis Singer, one part Jerry Springer, this irreverent, unvarnished, and frequently hilarious compendium of stories provides a window into an unknown Yiddish world that was.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Innocence Treatment"

New from Roaring Brook Press: The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman.

About the book, from the publisher:

You may believe the government protects you, but only one girl knows how they use you.

Lauren has a disorder that makes her believe everything her friends tell her—and she believes everyone is her friend. Her innocence puts her at constant risk, so when she gets the opportunity to have an operation to correct her condition, she seizes it. But after the surgery, Lauren is changed. Is she a paranoid lunatic with violent tendencies? Or a clear-eyed observer of the world who does what needs to be done?

Told in journal entries and therapy session transcripts, Ari Goelman's The Innocence Treatment is a collection of Lauren's papers, annotated by her sister long after the events of the novel. A compelling YA debut thriller that is part speculative fiction and part shocking tell-all of genetic engineering and government secrets, Lauren's story is ultimately an electrifying, propulsive, and spine-tingling read.
Visit Ari Goelman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 14, 2017

"The Child Finder"

New from Harper: The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld.

About the book, from the publisher:

A haunting, richly atmospheric, and deeply suspenseful novel from the acclaimed author of The Enchanted about an investigator who must use her unique insights to find a missing little girl.

"Where are you, Madison Culver? Flying with the angels, a silver speck on a wing? Are you dreaming, buried under snow? Or—is it possible—you are still alive?"

Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight-years-old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as "the Child Finder," Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl, too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?

Told in the alternating voices of Naomi and a deeply imaginative child, The Child Finder is a breathtaking, exquisitely rendered literary page-turner about redemption, the line between reality and memories and dreams, and the human capacity to survive.
Visit Rene Denfeld's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hitler in Los Angeles"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America by Steven J. Ross.

About the book, from the publisher:

The chilling, little-known story of the rise of Nazism in Los Angeles, and the Jewish leaders and spies they recruited who stopped it.

No American city was more important to the Nazis than Los Angeles, home to Hollywood, the greatest propaganda machine in the world. The Nazis plotted to kill the city's Jews and to sabotage the nation's military installations: plans existed for hanging twenty prominent Hollywood figures such as Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, and Samuel Goldwyn; for driving through Boyle Heights and machine-gunning as many Jews as possible; and for blowing up defense installations and seizing munitions from National Guard armories along the Pacific Coast.

U.S. law enforcement agencies were not paying close attention--preferring to monitor Reds rather than Nazis--and only Leon Lewis and his daring ring of spies stood in the way. From 1933 until the end of World War II, attorney Leon Lewis, the man Nazis would come to call "the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles," ran a spy operation comprised of military veterans and their wives who infiltrated every Nazi and fascist group in Los Angeles. Often rising to leadership positions, this daring ring of spies uncovered and foiled the Nazi's disturbing plans for death and destruction.

Featuring a large cast of Nazis, undercover agents, and colorful supporting players, Hitler in Los Angeles, by acclaimed historian Steven J. Ross, tells the story of Lewis's daring spy network in a time when hate groups had moved from the margins to the mainstream.
The Page 99 Test: Hollywood Left and Right.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Agnès Varda between Film, Photography, and Art"

New from the University of California Press: Agnès Varda between Film, Photography, and Art by Rebecca J. DeRoo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Agnès Varda is a prolific film director, photographer, and artist whose cinematic career spans more than six decades. Today she is best known as the innovative “mother” of the French New Wave film movement of the 1950s and '60s and for her multimedia art exhibitions. Varying her use of different media, she is a figure who defies easy categorization. In this extensively researched book, Rebecca J. DeRoo demonstrates how Varda draws upon the histories of art, photography, and film to complicate the overt narratives in her works and to advance contemporary cultural politics. Based on interviews with Varda and unparalleled access to Varda's archives, this interdisciplinary study constructs new frameworks for understanding one of the most versatile talents in twentieth and twenty-first century culture.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 13, 2017

"Enhanced"

New from Tor Teen: Enhanced: Flying Series (Volume 2) by Carrie Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:

The adventures of cheerleader-turned-alien-hunter Mana continue in this sequel to Flying by the New York Times bestselling author of Need, Carrie Jones.

Seventeen-year-old Mana has found and rescued her mother, but her work isn't done yet. Her mother may be out of alien hands, but she's in a coma, unable to tell anyone what she knows.

Mana is ready to take action. The only problem? Nobody will let her. Lyle, her best friend and almost-boyfriend (for a minute there, anyway), seems to want nothing to do with hunting aliens, despite his love of Doctor Who. Bestie Seppie is so desperate to stay out of it, she's actually leaving town. And her mom's hot but arrogant alien-hunting partner, China, is ignoring Mana's texts, cutting her out of the mission entirely.

They all know the alien threat won't stay quiet for long. It's up to Mana to fight her way back in.
Visit Carrie Jones' website.

Coffee with a Canine: Carrie Jones & Tala.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Ghost in the Tamarind"

New from the University Of Hawai'i Press: Ghost in the Tamarind: A Novel by S. Shankar.

About the book, from the publisher:

Who can you love? What do you owe to love and what to the world at large?

Such are the questions that drive the story of Ramu, a Brahmin man, and Ponni, a woman of the Dalit “untouchable” caste. Set against the backdrop of twentieth-century South India, the novel takes readers from the 1890s village where Ramu’s grandmother grew up to the Emergency years of 1970s Madras. Against this sweeping canvas unfolds the drama of Ramu and Ponni’s forbidden love, inescapably intertwined with the great struggle against caste oppression. Caught up in the entanglements of love and politics, the couple risk everything to fight for a better society. Will they succeed?

Steeped in history, this memorable inter-caste love story shows ordinary people moved to uncommon courage in their desire to make a difference in a ruthless world.
Visit S. Shankar's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Texan Duke"

New from Avon: The Texan Duke by Karen Ranney.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Karen Ranney’s third book in her Duke series spins the tale of a reluctant duke who must choose between his life in America—and the Scottish woman he’s destined to love…

As the ward to the late Duke of Lothian, Elsbeth Carew resides at the ancestral estate of Bealadair. Fiercely attached to the manor, she loves it more than anyone else. When Connor McCraight—the new Duke of Lothian—arrives, Elsbeth does not quite know what to make of the American who has inherited the title but has never even set foot on Scottish soil. The tall, ruggedly handsome Texan sweeps through Bealadair with an air of authority Elsbeth has never encountered.

Connor has no intention of making Scotland his home and hopes to sell the estate as soon as possible. But his plan is jeopardized when he meets Elsbeth. A sweet, gray-eyed beauty, she tempts him in ways no other woman has. As word spreads of Connor’s intention to sell Bealadair, his life is threatened—and the only woman who can save him may be the one he has hopelessly lost his heart to.
Visit Karen Ranney's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 12, 2017

"Even If It Kills Her"

Coming soon from Harper Paperbacks: Even If It Kills Her: A Bailey Weggins Mystery by Kate White.

About the book, from the publisher:

Kate White returns to her New York Times bestselling Bailey Weggins’ Mystery series, with this favorite true-crime journalist turned sleuth’s most chilling case to date.

Bailey Weggins’ great new friend in college, Jillian Lowe, had everything going for her. Pretty, popular, and whip-smart, she lit up any room that she walked into. All of that dramatically changed during her sophomore year, when a neighbor became unhinged and murdered her family. Jillian immediately left school, and ever since, Bailey has felt guilty for not staying in closer contact and being a greater support to her friend.

Now, sixteen years later, Bailey is shocked to see Jillian at her book event, and even more stunned when her still-gorgeous friend approaches her with a case. The man accused of murdering her family is on the brink of being cleared of the crime through new DNA evidence. With the real killer walking free, Jillian is desperate for Bailey’s help to identify him and allow her the closure she yearns for.

As the two women return to Jillian’s childhood town to investigate, it doesn’t take long for their sleuthing to cause shock waves. Someone starts watching their every move. As they uncover deeply-guarded secrets, so shocking that they make Jillian rethink her entire relationship to her family, Bailey and Jillian find themselves in great peril. They must decide just how much they’re willing to risk to finally discover the truth about the Lowe family’s murder.
Visit Kate White's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Meant to Be"

New from Feiwel & Friends: Meant to Be by Julie Halpern.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if your soul mate was decided for you?

It started happening a few years ago: the names of MTBs—“meant to be” mates—appeared emblazoned on the skin at age eighteen. Agatha’s best friend has embraced the phenomenon and is head over heels in love with her MTB. But Aggy isn’t so sure.

As she struggles with accepting her MTB fate, she finds herself falling for a coworker at the local amusement park. Is he a better match? What does Agatha really want in a mate, and moreover, what does she want for herself?

With her trademark wit and irreverence, acclaimed author Julie Halpern explores an age-old question: Who are we meant to be with?
Visit Julie Halpern's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Second Coming of the KKK"

New from Liveright: The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s and the American Political Tradition by Linda Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:

By legitimizing bigotry and redefining so-called American values, a revived Klan in the 1920s left a toxic legacy that demands reexamination today.

A new Ku Klux Klan arose in the early 1920s, a less violent but equally virulent descendant of the relatively small, terrorist Klan of the 1870s. Unknown to most Americans today, this "second Klan" largely flourished above the Mason-Dixon Line—its army of four-to-six-million members spanning the continent from New Jersey to Oregon, its ideology of intolerance shaping the course of mainstream national politics throughout the twentieth century.

As prize-winning historian Linda Gordon demonstrates, the second Klan’s enemies included Catholics and Jews as well as African Americans. Its bigotry differed in intensity but not in kind from that of millions of other WASP Americans. Its membership, limited to white Protestant native-born citizens, was entirely respectable, drawn from small businesspeople, farmers, craftsmen, and professionals, and including about 1.5 million women. For many Klanspeople, membership simultaneously reflected a protest against an increasingly urban society and provided an entrée into the new middle class.

Never secret, this Klan recruited openly, through newspaper ads, in churches, and through extravagant mass "Americanism" pageants, often held on Independence Day. These "Klonvocations" drew tens of thousands and featured fireworks, airplane stunts, children’s games, and women’s bake-offs—and, of course, cross-burnings. The Klan even controlled about one hundred and fifty newspapers, as well as the Cavalier Motion Picture Company, dedicated to countering Hollywood’s "immoral"—and Jewish—influence. The Klan became a major political force, electing thousands to state offices and over one hundred to national offices, while successfully lobbying for the anti-immigration Reed-Johnson Act of 1924.

As Gordon shows, the themes of 1920s Klan ideology were not aberrant, but an indelible part of American history: its "100% Americanism" and fake news, broadcast by charismatic speakers, preachers, and columnists, became part of the national fabric. Its spokespeople vilified big-city liberals, "money-grubbing Jews," "Pope-worshipping Irish," and intellectuals for promoting jazz, drinking, and cars (because they provided the young with sexual privacy).

The Klan’s collapse in 1926 was no less flamboyant, done in by its leaders’ financial and sexual corruption, culminating in the conviction of Grand Dragon David Stephenson for raping and murdering his secretary, and chewing up parts of her body. Yet the Klan’s brilliant melding of Christian values with racial bigotry lasted long after the organization’s decline, intensifying a fear of diversity that has long been a dominant undercurrent of American history.

Documenting what became the largest social movement of the first half of the twentieth century, The Second Coming of the Ku Klux Klan exposes the ancestry and helps explain the dangerous appeal of today’s welter of intolerance.
Visit Linda Gordon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

"Calling My Name"

New from Greenwillow Books: Calling My Name by Liara Tamani.

About the book, from the publisher:

Calling My Name, by debut author Liara Tamani, is a striking, luminous, and literary exploration of family, spirituality, and self—ideal for readers of Jacqueline Woodson, Jandy Nelson, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Sandra Cisneros.

This unforgettable novel tells a universal coming-of-age story about Taja Brown, a young African American girl growing up in Houston, Texas, and it deftly and beautifully explores the universal struggles of growing up, battling family expectations, discovering a sense of self, and finding a unique voice and purpose.

Told in fifty-three short, episodic, moving, and iridescent chapters, Calling My Name follows Taja on her journey from middle school to high school. Literary and noteworthy, this is a beauty of a novel that deftly captures the multifaceted struggle of finding where you belong and why you matter.
Visit Liara Tamani's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Glass Spare"

New from Balzer + Bray: The Glass Spare: by Lauren DeStefano.
https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062491282/the-glass-spare
About the book, from the publisher:

The first in a new fantasy duology, The Glass Spare is a gorgeously told tale of love, loss, and deadly power from Lauren DeStefano, the bestselling author of the Chemical Garden series. Perfect for fans of Shannon Hale and Renee Ahdieh.

Wilhelmina Heidle, the fourth child and only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, though, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with Wil’s power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?
Visit Lauren DeStefano's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Secret Lives of Color"

New from Penguin: The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair.

About the book, from the publisher:

The unforgettable, unknown history of colors and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-colored volume

The Secret Lives of Color tells the unusual stories of seventy-five fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso’s blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history.

In this book, Kassia St. Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colors and where they come from (whether Van Gogh’s chrome yellow sunflowers or punk’s fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilization. Across fashion and politics, art and war, the secret lives of color tell the vivid story of our culture.
Visit Kassia St Clair's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"The Nowhere Girls"

New from Simon Pulse: The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed.

About the book, from the publisher:

Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Told in alternating perspectives, this groundbreaking novel is an indictment of rape culture and explores with bold honesty the deepest questions about teen girls and sexuality.
Learn more about the book and author at Amy Reed's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Amy Reed (October 2009).

Writers Read: Amy Reed (August 2011).

Writers Read: Amy Reed (July 2012).

Writers Read: Amy Reed (October 2014).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Alt-America"

New from Verso: Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump by David Neiwert.

https://www.versobooks.com/books/2535-alt-americaAbout the book, from the publisher:

The story of the remarkable resurgence of right-wing extremists in the United States

Just as Donald Trump’s victorious campaign for the US presidency shocked the world, the seemingly sudden national prominence of white supremacists, xenophobes, militia leaders, and mysterious “alt-right” figures mystifies many. But the American extreme right has been growing steadily in number and influence since the 1990s with the rise of patriot militias. Following 9/11, conspiracy theorists found fresh life; and in virulent reaction to the first black US president, militant racists have come out of the woodwork. Nurtured by a powerful right-wing media sector in radio, TV, and online, the far right, Tea Party movement conservatives, and Republican activists found common ground. Figures such as Stephen Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Alex Jones, once rightly dismissed as cranks, now haunt the reports of mainstream journalism.

Investigative reporter David Neiwert has been tracking extremists for more than two decades. In Alt-America, he provides a deeply researched and authoritative report on the growth of fascism and far-right terrorism, the violence of which in the last decade has surpassed anything inspired by Islamist or other ideologies in the United States. The product of years of reportage, and including the most in-depth investigation of Trump’s ties to the far right, this is a crucial book about one of the most disturbing aspects of American society.
Visit David Neiwert's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 9, 2017

"Devils Within"

New from Sky Pony Press: Devils Within by S.F. Henson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Killing isn’t supposed to be easy. But it is. It’s the after that’s hard to deal with.

Nate was eight the first time he stabbed someone; he was eleven when he earned his red laces—a prize for spilling blood for “the cause.” And he was fourteen when he murdered his father (and the leader of The Fort, a notorious white supremacist compound) in self-defense, landing in a treatment center while the state searched for his next of kin. Now, in the custody of an uncle he never knew existed, who wants nothing to do with him, Nate just wants to disappear.
Visit S.F. Henson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Start Without Me"

New from William Morrow: Start Without Me: A Novel by Joshua Max Feldman.

https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062668721/start-without-meAbout the book, from the publisher:

The author of the critically acclaimed The Book of Jonah explores questions of love and choice, disappointment and hope in the lives of two strangers who meet by chance in this mesmerizing tale that unfolds over one Thanksgiving Day.

Adam is a former musician and recovering alcoholic who is home for Thanksgiving for the first time in many years. Surrounded by his parents and siblings, nieces and nephews—all who have seen him at his worst—he can’t shake the feeling that no matter how hard he tries, he’ll always be the one who can’t get it right.

Marissa is a flight attendant whose marriage is strained by simmering tensions over race, class, and ambition. Heading to her in-laws for their picture-perfect holiday family dinner, her anxiety is intensified by the knowledge she is pregnant from an impulsive one-night-stand.

In an airport restaurant on Thanksgiving morning, Adam and Marissa meet. Over the course of this day fraught with emotion and expectation, these two strangers will form an unlikely bond as they reckon with their family ties, their pasts, and the choices that will determine their way forward.

Joshua Max Feldman focuses his knowing eye on one of the last bastions of classical American idealism, the Thanksgiving family gathering, as he explores our struggles to know—and to be—our best selves. Hilarious and heartrending, Start Without Me is a thoughtful and entertaining page-turner that will leave its indelible mark on your heart.
Visit Joshua Max Feldman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Jack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio Comedy"

New from the University of California Press: Jack Benny and the Golden Age of American Radio Comedy by Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley.

About the book, from the publisher:

The king of radio comedy from the Great Depression through the early 1950s, Jack Benny was one of the most influential entertainers in twentieth-century America. A master of comic timing and an innovative producer, Benny, with his radio writers, developed a weekly situation comedy to meet radio’s endless need for new material, at the same time integrating advertising into the show’s humor. Through the character of the vain, cheap everyman, Benny created a fall guy, whose frustrated struggles with his employees addressed midcentury America’s concerns with race, gender, commercialism, and sexual identity. Kathryn H. Fuller-Seeley contextualizes her analysis of Jack Benny and his entourage with thoughtful insight into the intersections of competing entertainment industries and provides plenty of evidence that transmedia stardom, branded entertainment, and virality are not new phenomena but current iterations of key aspects in American commercial cultural history.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 8, 2017

"Death in the Air"

New from Hachette Books: Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, the Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City by Kate Winkler Dawson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A real-life thriller in the vein of The Devil in the White City, Kate Winkler Dawson’s debut Death in the Air is a gripping, historical narrative of a serial killer, an environmental disaster, and an iconic city struggling to regain its footing.

In winter 1952, London automobiles and thousands of coal-burning hearths belched particulate matter into the air. But the smog that descended on December 5th of 1952 was different; it was a type that held the city hostage for five long days. Mass transit ground to a halt, criminals roamed the streets, and 12,000 people died. That same month, there was another killer at large in London: John Reginald Christie, who murdered at least six women. In a braided narrative that draws on extensive interviews, never-before-published material, and archival research, Dawson captivatingly recounts the intersecting stories of the these two killers and their longstanding impact on modern history.
Visit Kate Winkler Dawson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Midnight Dance"

New from Swoon Reads: The Midnight Dance by Nikki Katz.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set against the fascinating and moody backdrop of a mysterious boarding school, this intricately crafted novel is filled with magical realism, gothic settings, and the perfect hint of romance.

Seventeen-year-old Penny is a lead dancer at the Grande Teatro, a finishing school where she and eleven other young women are training to become the finest ballerinas in Italy. Tucked deep in the woods, the school is overseen by the mysterious and handsome young Master, who keeps the girls ensconced in the estate – and in the only life Penny has ever known.

But when flashes of memories – memories of a life very different from the one she thinks she’s been leading – start to appear, Penny begins to question the Grande Teatro and the motivations of Master. With a kind and attractive kitchen boy, Cricket, at her side, Penny vows to escape the confines of her school and the strict rules that dictate every step she takes. But at every turn, Master finds a way to stop her, and Penny must uncover the secrets of her past before it’s too late.
Visit Nikki Katz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Sidekicks"

New from Harlequin Teen: The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ryan, Harley and Miles are very different people—the swimmer, the rebel and the nerd. All they've ever had in common is Isaac, their shared best friend.

When Isaac dies unexpectedly, the three boys must come to terms with their grief and the impact Isaac had on each of their lives. In his absence, Ryan, Harley and Miles discover things about one another they never saw before, and realize there may be more tying them together than just Isaac.

In this intricately woven story told in three parts, award-winning Australian author Will Kostakis makes his American debut with a heartwarming, masterfully written novel about grief, self-discovery and the connections that tie us all together.
Visit Will Kostakis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 7, 2017

"Strange Lies"

New from Simon Pulse: Strange Lies (Strange Truth Series #2) by Maggie Thrash.

About the book, from the publisher:

Critically acclaimed author Maggie Thrash’s second novel in the Strange Truth series blends crackling suspense, subversive humor, and biting social commentary to become the “definition of a page-turner” (John Corey Whaley).

Only at Winship Academy would an evening science expo turn into a criminal fiasco. First, there’s the anonymous boy in the girls’ bathroom handing out drugs to anyone with the secret password. Then the student body president is maimed in a horrifying and tragic accident—but was it an accident or an attack?

Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds are right at the center of it all. And so is the headmaster’s son, Calvin Harker, an oddball poet whose interest in Virginia sets off alarm bells for Benny. As the case bleeds from Winship Academy to the surrounding city, the deep fault lines of racial tension in Atlanta’s history reveal explosive hatred still simmering under the city’s surface.

Once again, Maggie Thrash (author of Honor Girl) delivers a uniquely compelling, thought-provoking, and entirely riveting story.
Visit Maggie Thrash's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Summer of Owen Todd"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR): The Summer of Owen Todd by Tony Abbott.

About the book, from the publisher:

Owen and his best friend, Sean, are both eleven years old. They’ve lived on Cape Cod all their lives, and now that they’re a little older, they’ll finally be free to spend some time on their own. But Sean’s mother has a different idea—she hires a babysitter to look after Sean. Paul is in his twenties, and a well-liked guy from church.

Paul starts doing things that just feel wrong. Because they’ve always been as close as brothers, Sean tells Owen, and no one else. What’s not certain to Owen is what he should do. Sean warns him not to tell anyone what is happening. But if Owen doesn’t tell, could something even worse happen to Sean?

This harrowing and sensitively told tale of child abuse is a must-read for anyone who might ever be called upon to help a friend in need.
Learn more about the book and author at Tony Abbott's website.

Writers Read: Tony Abbott (August 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Suzanne's Children"

New from Simon & Schuster: Suzanne's Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris by Anne Nelson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A story of courage in the face of evil. The tense drama of Suzanne Spaak who risked and gave her life to save hundreds of Jewish children from deportation from Nazi Paris to Auschwitz. This is one of the untold stories of the Holocaust.

Suzanne Spaak was born into the Belgian Catholic elite and married into the country’s leading political family. Her brother-in-law was the Foreign Minister and her husband Claude was a playwright and patron of the painter Renée Magritte. In Paris in the late 1930s her friendship with a Polish Jewish refugee led her to her life’s purpose. When France fell and the Nazis occupied Paris, she joined the Resistance. She used her fortune and social status to enlist allies among wealthy Parisians and church groups.

Under the eyes of the Gestapo, Suzanne and women from the Jewish and Christian resistance groups “kidnapped” hundreds of Jewish children to save them from the gas chambers.

In the final year of the Occupation Suzanne was caught in the Gestapo dragnet that was pursuing a Soviet agent she had aided. She was executed shortly before the liberation of Paris. Suzanne Spaak is honored in Israel as one of the Righteous Among Nations.
Writers Read: Anne Nelson (May 2009).

The Page 99 Test: Red Orchestra.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 6, 2017

"The Tethered Mage"

New from Orbit Books: The Tethered Mage by Melissa Caruso.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the Raverran Empire, magic is scarce and those born with power are strictly controlled — taken as children and conscripted into the Falcon Army.

Zaira has lived her life on the streets to avoid this fate, hiding her mage-mark and thieving to survive. But hers is a rare and dangerous magic, one that threatens the entire empire.

Lady Amalia Cornaro was never meant to be a Falconer. Heiress and scholar, she was born into a treacherous world of political machinations.

But fate has bound the heir and the mage. And as war looms on the horizon, a single spark could turn their city into a pyre.
Visit Melissa Caruso's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Seven"

New from Harper Voyager: The Seven by Peter Newman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Years have passed since the Vagrant journeyed to the Shining City, Vesper in arm and Gamma’s sword in hand.

Since then the world has changed. Vesper, following the footsteps of her father, journeyed to the breach and closed the tear between worlds, protecting the last of humanity, but also trapping the infernal horde and all those that fell to its corruptions: willing or otherwise.

In this new age it is Vesper who leads the charge towards unity and peace, with seemingly nothing standing between the world and a bright new future.

That is until eyes open.

And The Seven awaken.
Visit Peter Newman's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Vagrant.

The Page 69 Test: The Vagrant.

Writers Read: Peter Newman (June 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Quantum Labyrinth"

New from Basic Books: The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality by Paul Halpern.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1939, Richard Feynman, a brilliant graduate of MIT, arrived in John Wheeler's Princeton office to report for duty as his teaching assistant. A lifelong friendship and enormously productive collaboration was born, despite sharp differences in personality. The soft-spoken Wheeler, though conservative in appearance, was a raging nonconformist full of wild ideas about the universe. The boisterous Feynman was a cautious physicist who believed only what could be tested. Yet they were complementary spirits. Their collaboration led to a complete rethinking of the nature of time and reality. It enabled Feynman to show how quantum reality is a combination of alternative, contradictory possibilities, and inspired Wheeler to develop his landmark concept of wormholes, portals to the future and past. Together, Feynman and Wheeler made sure that quantum physics would never be the same again.
Visit The Quantum Labyrinth website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 5, 2017

"American Wolf"

New from Crown: American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee.

About the book, from the publisher:

The enthralling story of the rise and reign of O-Six, the celebrated Yellowstone wolf, and the people who loved or feared her

Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.

With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.

But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park’s stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley.

These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West—between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.
--Marshal Zeringue

"I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter"

New from Knopf Books for Young Readers: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?
Visit Erika L. Sánchez's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Reckless Daughter"

New from Sarah Crichton Books: Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell by David Yaffe.

About the book, from the publisher:

Joni Mitchell may be the most influential female recording artist and composer of the late twentieth century. In Reckless Daughter, the music critic David Yaffe tells the remarkable, heart-wrenching story of how the blond girl with the guitar became a superstar of folk music in the 1960s, a key figure in the Laurel Canyon music scene of the 1970s, and the songwriter who spoke resonantly to, and for, audiences across the country.

A Canadian prairie girl, a free-spirited artist, Mitchell never wanted to be a pop star. She was nothing more than “a painter derailed by circumstances,” she would explain. And yet, she went on to become a talented self-taught musician and a brilliant bandleader, releasing album after album, each distinctly experimental, challenging, and revealing. Her lyrics captivated listeners with their perceptive language and naked emotion, born out of Mitchell’s life, loves, complaints, and prophecies. As an artist whose work deftly balances narrative and musical complexity, she has been admired by such legendary lyricists as Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen and beloved by such groundbreaking jazz musicians as Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock. Her hits—from “Big Yellow Taxi” to “Both Sides, Now” to “A Case of You”—endure as timeless favorites, and her influence on the generations of singer-songwriters who would follow her, from her devoted fan Prince to Björk, is undeniable.

In this intimate biography, drawing on dozens of unprecedented in-person interviews with Mitchell, her childhood friends, and a cast of famous characters, Yaffe reveals the backstory behind the famous songs—from Mitchell’s youth in Canada, her bout with polio at age nine, and her early marriage and the child she gave up for adoption, through the love affairs that inspired masterpieces, and up to the present—and shows us why Mitchell has so enthralled her listeners, her lovers, and her friends. Reckless Daughter is the story of an artist and an era that have left an indelible mark on American music.
Visit David Yaffe's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

"The 57 Bus"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR): The 57 Bus: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives by Dashka Slater.

About the book, from the publisher:

One teenager in a skirt.
One teenager with a lighter.
One moment that changes both of their lives forever.

If it weren’t for the 57 bus, Sasha and Richard never would have met. Both were high school students from Oakland, California, one of the most diverse cities in the country, but they inhabited different worlds. Sasha, a white teen, lived in the middle-class foothills and attended a small private school. Richard, a black teen, lived in the crime-plagued flatlands and attended a large public one. Each day, their paths overlapped for a mere eight minutes. But one afternoon on the bus ride home from school, a single reckless act left Sasha severely burned, and Richard charged with two hate crimes and facing life imprisonment.

The 57 Bus is Dashka Slater's true account of the case that garnered international attention and thrust both teenagers into the spotlight.
Visit Dashka Slater's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Butchering Art"

New from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine by Lindsey Fitzharris.

About the book, from the publisher:

The gripping story of how Joseph Lister’s antiseptic method changed medicine forever

In The Butchering Art, the historian Lindsey Fitzharris reveals the shocking world of nineteenth-century surgery on the eve of profound transformation. She conjures up early operating theaters—no place for the squeamish—and surgeons, working before anesthesia, who were lauded for their speed and brute strength. These medical pioneers knew that the aftermath of surgery was often more dangerous than their patients’ afflictions, and they were baffled by the persistent infections that kept mortality rates stubbornly high. At a time when surgery couldn’t have been more hazardous, an unlikely figure stepped forward: a young, melancholy Quaker surgeon named Joseph Lister, who would solve the deadly riddle and change the course of history.

Fitzharris dramatically recounts Lister’s discoveries in gripping detail, culminating in his audacious claim that germs were the source of all infection—and could be countered by antiseptics. Focusing on the tumultuous period from 1850 to 1875, she introduces us to Lister and his contemporaries—some of them brilliant, some outright criminal—and takes us through the grimy medical schools and dreary hospitals where they learned their art, the deadhouses where they studied anatomy, and the graveyards they occasionally ransacked for cadavers.

Eerie and illuminating, The Butchering Art celebrates the triumph of a visionary surgeon whose quest to unite science and medicine delivered us into the modern world.
Visit Lindsey Fitzharris's website.

--Marshal Zeringue