Tuesday, April 7, 2020

"American Prophets"

New from HarperOne: American Prophets: The Religious Roots of Progressive Politics and the Ongoing Fight for the Soul of the Country by Jack Jenkins.

About the book, from the publisher:

From one of the country’s most respected religion reporters, a paradigm-shifting discussion of how the Religious Left is actually the moral compass that has long steered America’s political debates, including today.

Since the ascendancy of the Religious Right in the 1970s, common wisdom holds that it is a coalition of fundamentalist powerbrokers who are the “moral majority,” setting the standard for conservative Christian values and working to preserve the status quo.

But, as national religion reporter Jack Jenkins contends, the country is also driven by a vibrant, long-standing moral force from the left. Constituting an amorphous group of interfaith activists that goes by many names and takes many forms, this coalition has operated since America’s founding — praying, protesting, and marching for common goals that have moved society forward. Throughout our history, the Religious Left has embodied and championed the progressive values at the heart of American democracy—abolition, labor reform, civil rights, environmental preservation.

Drawing on his years of reporting, Jenkins examines the re-emergence of progressive faith-based activism, detailing its origins and contrasting its goals with those of the Religious Right. Today’s rapidly expanding interfaith coalition — which includes Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and other faiths — has become a force within the larger “resistance” movement. Jenkins profiles Washington political insiders—including former White House staffers and faith outreach directors for the campaigns of Barack Obama, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton—as well as a new generation of progressive faith leaders at the forefront today, including:
  • Rev. William Barber II, leader of North Carolina’s Moral Mondays and co-chair of the nationwide Poor People’s campaign
  • Linda Sarsour, co-chair of the Women’s March
  • Rev. Traci Blackmon, a pastor near Ferguson, Missouri who works to lift up black liberation efforts across the country
  • Sister Simone Campbell, head of the Catholic social justice lobby and the “Nuns on the Bus” tour organizer
  • Native American “water protectors” who demonstrated against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock
  • Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop

An exciting reevaluation of America’s moral center and an inspiring portrait of progressive faith-in-action, American Prophets will change the way we think about the intersection of politics and religion.
Visit Jack Jenkins's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Last Blue"

Coming soon from Pegasus Books: The Last Blue: A Novel by Isla Morley.

About the book, from the publisher:

A luminous narrative inspired by the fascinating real case of “the Blue People of Kentucky" that probes questions of identity, love, and family.

In 1937, there are recesses in Appalachia no outsiders have ever explored. Two government-sponsored documentarians from Cincinnati, Ohio—a writer and photographer—are dispatched to penetrate this wilderness and record what they find for President Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration. For photographer Clay Havens, the assignment is his last chance to reboot his flagging career. So when he and his journalist partner are warned away from the remote Spooklight Holler outside of town, they set off eagerly in search of a headline story. What they see will haunt Clay into his old age: Jubilee Buford, a woman whose skin is a shocking and unmistakable shade of blue. From this happenstance meeting between a woman isolated from society and persecuted her whole life, and a man accustomed to keeping himself at lens distance from others, comes a mesmerizing story in which the dark shades of betrayal, prejudice, fear, and guilt, are refracted along with the incandescent hues of passion and courage. Panning across the rich rural aesthetic of eastern Kentucky, The Last Blue is a captivating love story and an intimate portrait of what it is like to be truly one of a kind.
Learn more about the book and author at Isla Morley's website.

The Page 69 Test: Come Sunday.

Writers Read: Isla Morley (March 2014).

The Page 69 Test: Above.

My Book, The Movie: Above.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Passage West"

New from Ecco: Passage West: A Novel by Rishi Reddi.

About the book, from the publisher:

A sweeping, vibrant first novel following a family of Indian sharecroppers at the onset of World War I, revealing a little-known part of California history

1914: Ram Singh arrives in the Imperial Valley on the Mexican border, reluctantly accepting his friend Karak’s offer of work and partnership in a small cantaloupe farm. Ram is unmoored; fleeing violence in Oregon, he desperately longs to return to his wife and newborn son in Punjab—but he is duty bound to make his fortune first.

In the Valley, American settlement is still new and the rules are ever shifting. Alongside Karak; Jivan and his wife, Kishen; and Amarjeet, a U.S. soldier, Ram struggles to farm in the unforgiving desert. When he meets an alluring woman who has fought in Mexico’s revolution, he strives to stay true to his wife. The Valley is full of settlers hailing from other cities and different continents. The stakes are high and times are desperate—just one bad harvest or stolen crop could destabilize a family. And as anti- immigrant sentiment rises among white residents, the tensions of life in the west finally boil over.

In her ambitious debut novel, Rishi Reddi, award-winning author of Karma and Other Stories, explores an enduring question: Who is welcome in America? Richly imagined and beautifully rendered, Passage West offers a moving portrait of one man’s search for home.
Visit Rishi Reddi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 6, 2020

"The Silence of Bones"

New from Feiwel & Friends: The Silence of Bones by June Hur.

About the book, from the publisher:

June Hur's elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody YA historical mystery tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;
Ears, but I mustn't hear;
Eyes, but I mustn't see.


1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman's secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.
Visit June Hur's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Stone Motel"

New from the University Press of Mississippi: Stone Motel: Memoirs of a Cajun Boy by Morris Ardoin.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the summers of the early 1970s, Morris Ardoin and his siblings helped run their family's roadside motel in a hot, buggy, bayou town in Cajun Louisiana. The stifling, sticky heat inspired them to find creative ways to stay cool and out of trouble. When they were not doing their chores—handling a colorful cast of customers, scrubbing motel-room toilets, plucking chicken bones and used condoms from under the beds—they played canasta, an old ladies’ game that provided them with a refuge from the sun and helped them avoid their violent, troubled father.

Morris was successful at occupying his time with his siblings and the children of families staying in the motel’s kitchenette apartments but was not so successful at keeping clear of his father, a man unable to shake the horrors he had experienced as a child and, later, as a soldier. The preteen would learn as he matured that his father had reserved his most ferocious attacks for him because of an inability to accept a gay or, to his mind, broken, son. It became his dad’s mission to “fix” his son, and Morris’s mission to resist—and survive intact. He was aided in his struggle immeasurably by the love and encouragement of a selfless and generous grandmother, who provides his story with much of its warmth, wisdom, and humor. There’s also suspense, awkward romance, naughty French lessons, and an insider’s take on a truly remarkable, not-yet-homogenized pocket of American culture.
Visit Morris Ardoin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Unscripted"

New from Amulet Books: Unscripted by Nicole Kronzer.

About the book, from the publisher:

A funny and timely debut YA about the toxic masculinity at a famous improv comedy camp

Seventeen-year-old Zelda Bailey-Cho has her future all planned out: improv camp, then Second City, and finally Saturday Night Live. She’s thrilled when she lands a spot on the coveted varsity team at a prestigious improv camp, which means she’ll get to perform for professional scouts—including her hero, Nina Knightley. But even though she’s hardworking and talented, Zelda’s also the only girl on Varsity, so she’s the target for humiliation from her teammates. And her 20-year-old coach, Ben, is cruel to her at practice and way too nice to her when they’re alone. Zelda wants to fight back, but is sacrificing her best shot at her dream too heavy a price to pay? Equal parts funny and righteous, Unscripted is a moving debut novel that Printz Award winner Nina LaCour calls “a truly special book, written at exactly the right time.”
Visit Nicole Kronzer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 5, 2020

"Three Tigers, One Mountain"

New from St. Martin's Press: Three Tigers, One Mountain: A Journey Through the Bitter History and Current Conflicts of China, Korea, and Japan by Michael Booth.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People, a lively tour through Japan, Korea, and China, exploring the intertwined cultures and often fraught history of these neighboring countries.

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that states, “Two tigers cannot share the same mountain.” However, in East Asia, there are three tigers on that mountain: China, Japan, and Korea, and they have a long history of turmoil and tension with each other. In his latest entertaining and thought provoking narrative travelogue, Michael Booth sets out to discover how deep, really, is the enmity between these three “tiger” nations, and what prevents them from making peace. Currently China’s economic power continues to grow, Japan is becoming more militaristic, and Korea struggles to reconcile its westernized south with the dictatorial Communist north. Booth, long fascinated with the region, travels by car, ferry, train, and foot, experiencing the people and culture of these nations up close. No matter where he goes, the burden of history, and the memory of past atrocities, continues to overshadow present relationships. Ultimately, Booth seeks a way forward for these closely intertwined, neighboring nations.

An enlightening, entertaining and sometimes sobering journey through China, Japan, and Korea, Three Tigers, One Mountain is an intimate and in-depth look at some of the world’s most powerful and important countries.
Visit Michael Booth's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Pretty Things"

New from Random House: Pretty Things: A Novel by Janelle Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:

Two wildly different women—one a grifter, the other an heiress—are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear.

Nina once bought into the idea that her fancy liberal arts degree would lead to a fulfilling career. When that dream crashed, she turned to stealing from rich kids in L.A. alongside her wily Irish boyfriend, Lachlan. Nina learned from the best: Her mother was the original con artist, hustling to give her daughter a decent childhood despite their wayward life. But when her mom gets sick, Nina puts everything on the line to help her, even if it means running her most audacious, dangerous scam yet.

Vanessa is a privileged young heiress who wanted to make her mark in the world. Instead she becomes an Instagram influencer—traveling the globe, receiving free clothes and products, and posing for pictures in exotic locales. But behind the covetable façade is a life marked by tragedy. After a broken engagement, Vanessa retreats to her family’s sprawling mountain estate, Stonehaven: a mansion of dark secrets not just from Vanessa’s past, but from that of a lost and troubled girl named Nina.

Nina’s, Vanessa’s, and Lachlan’s paths collide here, on the cold shores of Lake Tahoe, where their intertwined lives give way to a winter of aspiration and desire, duplicity and revenge.

This dazzling, twisty, mesmerizing novel showcases acclaimed author Janelle Brown at her best, as two brilliant, damaged women try to survive the greatest game of deceit and destruction they will ever play.
Learn more about the book and author at Janelle Brown's website.

The Page 69 Test: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

The Page 69 Test: Watch Me Disappear.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Year 1000"

New from Scribner: The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World-and Globalization Began by Valerie Hansen.

About the book, from the publisher:

From celebrated Yale professor Valerie Hansen, a groundbreaking work of history showing that bold explorations and daring trade missions connected all of the world’s great societies for the first time at the end of the first millennium.

People often believe that the years immediately prior to AD 1000 were, with just a few exceptions, lacking in any major cultural developments or geopolitical encounters, that the Europeans hadn’t yet reached North America, and that the farthest feat of sea travel was the Vikings’ invasion of Britain. But how, then, to explain the presence of blonde-haired people in Maya temple murals at Chichén Itzá, Mexico? Could it be possible that the Vikings had found their way to the Americas during the height of the Maya empire?

Valerie Hansen, an award-winning historian, argues that the year 1000 was the world’s first point of major cultural exchange and exploration. Drawing on nearly thirty years of research, she presents a compelling account of first encounters between disparate societies, which sparked conflict and collaboration eerily reminiscent of our contemporary moment.

For readers of Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel and Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens, The Year 1000 is an intellectually daring, provocative account that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about how the modern world came to be. It will also hold up a mirror to the hopes and fears we experience today.
The Page 99 Test: The Silk Road.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 4, 2020

"Why We Swim"

New from Algonquin Books: Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui.

About the book, from the publisher:

An immersive, unforgettable, and eye-opening perspective on swimming—and on human behavior itself.

We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world.

Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what about water—despite its dangers—seduces us and why we come back to it again and again.
Visit Bonnie Tsui's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened"

New from Delacorte Books for Young Readers: Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened by Emily Blejwas.

About the book, from the publisher:

A poignant story of a boy picking up the pieces of his life after the unexpected death of his father, and the loyalty, concern, and friendship he finds in his small-town community.

Justin doesn’t know anything these days. Like how to walk down the halls without getting stared at. Or what to say to Jenni. Or how Phuc is already a physics genius in seventh grade. Or why Benny H. wanders around Wicapi talking to old ghosts. He doesn’t know why his mom suddenly loves church or if his older brother, Murphy, will ever play baseball again. Or if the North Stars have a shot at the playoffs. Justin doesn’t know how people can act like everything’s fine when it’s so obviously not. And most of all, he doesn’t know what really happened the night his dad died on the train tracks. And that sucks.

But life goes on. And as it does, Justin discovers that some things are just unknowable. He learns that time and space and memory are grander and weirder than he ever thought, and that small moments can hold big things, if you’re paying attention. Just like his math teacher said, even when you think you have all the information, there will be more. There is always more.

Set during the Gulf War era, Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened is a story about learning to go on after loss, told with a warmth that could thaw the coldest Minnesota lake.
Visit Emily Blejwas's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 3, 2020

"Truths I Never Told You"

New from Graydon House Books: Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say comes a poignant post-WWII novel that explores the expectations society places on women set within an engrossing family mystery that may unravel everything once believed to be true.

With her father recently moved to a care facility, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home and is surprised to discover the door to her childhood playroom padlocked. She’s even more shocked at what’s behind it—a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers and miscellaneous junk in the otherwise fastidiously tidy house.

As she picks through the clutter, she finds a loose journal entry in what appears to be her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing their mother died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker.

Beth soon pieces together a disturbing portrait of a woman suffering from postpartum depression and a husband who bears little resemblance to the loving father Beth and her siblings know. With a newborn of her own and struggling with motherhood, Beth finds there may be more tying her and her mother together than she ever suspected.
Visit Kelly Rimmer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Lightness of Hands"

New from Balzer + Bray: The Lightness of Hands by Jeff Garvin.

About the book, from the publisher:

A quirky and heartfelt coming-of-age story about a teen girl with bipolar II who signs her failed magician father up to perform his legendary but failed illusion on live TV in order to make enough money to pay for the medications they need—from the author of Symptoms of Being Human. Perfect for fans of Adi Alsaid, David Arnold, and Arvin Ahmadi.

Sixteen-year-old Ellie Dante is desperate for something in her life to finally go right. Her father was a famous stage magician until he attempted an epic illusion on live TV—and failed. Now Ellie lives with her dad in a beat-up RV, attending high school online and performing with him at birthday parties and bars across the Midwest to make ends meet.

But when the gigs dry up, their insurance lapses, leaving Dad’s heart condition unchecked and forcing Ellie to battle her bipolar II disorder without medication.

Then Ellie receives a call from a famous magic duo, who offer fifteen thousand dollars and a shot at redemption: they want her father to perform the illusion that wrecked his career—on their live TV special, which shoots in Los Angeles in ten days.

Ellie knows her dad will refuse—but she takes the deal anyway, then lies to persuade him to head west. With the help of her online-only best friend and an unusual guy she teams up with along the way, Ellie makes a plan to stage his comeback. But when her lie is exposed, she’ll have to confront her illness and her choices head-on to save her father—and herself.
Visit Jeff Garvin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 2, 2020

"Miss Aluminum"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Miss Aluminum: A Memoir by Susanna Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:

A revealing and refreshing memoir of Hollywood in the 1970s

In 1963 after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Susanna Moore leaves her home in Hawai’i with no money, no belongings, and no prospects to live with her Irish grandmother in Philadelphia. She soon receives four trunks of expensive clothes from a concerned family friend, allowing her to assume the first of many disguises she will need to find her sometimes perilous, always valorous way.

Her journey takes her from New York to Los Angeles where she becomes a model and meets Joan Didion and Audrey Hepburn. She works as a script reader for Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson, and is given a screen test by Mike Nichols. But beneath Miss Aluminum’s glittering fairytale surface lies the story of a girl’s insatiable hunger to learn and her anguished determination to understand the circumstances of her mother’s death. Moore gives us a sardonic, often humorous portrait of Hollywood in the seventies, and of a young woman’s hard-won arrival at selfhood.
Learn more about the book and author at Susanna Moore's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Life of Objects.

Writers Read: Susanna Moore (October 2012).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Death of an American Beauty"

New from Minotaur Books: Death of an American Beauty (A Jane Prescott Novel, Volume 3) by Mariah Fredericks.

About the book, from the publisher:

Death of an American Beauty is the third in Mariah Fredericks's compelling series, set in Gilded Age New York, featuring Jane Prescott.

Jane Prescott is taking a break from her duties as lady’s maid for a week, and plans to begin it with attending the hottest and most scandalous show in town: the opening of an art exhibition, showcasing the cubists, that is shocking New York City.

1913 is also the fiftieth anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation speech, and the city's great and good are determined to celebrate in style. Dolly Rutherford, heiress to the glamorous Rutherford’s department store empire, has gathered her coterie of society ladies to put on a play—with Jane’s employer Louise Tyler in the starring role as Lincoln himself. Jane is torn between helping the ladies with their costumes and enjoying her holiday. But fate decides she will do neither, when a woman is found murdered outside Jane’s childhood home—a refuge for women run by her uncle.

Deeply troubled as her uncle falls under suspicion and haunted by memories of a woman she once knew, Jane—with the help of old friends and new acquaintances, reporter Michael Behan and music hall pianist Leo Hirschfeld—is determined to discover who is making death into their own twisted art form.
Visit Mariah Fredericks's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Girl in the Park.

The Page 69 Test: A Death of No Importance.

Writers Read: Mariah Fredericks (April 2018).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

"No Going Back"

New from William Morrow: No Going Back: A Novel by Sheena Kamal.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Strand Critics Award winner Sheena Kamal, comes the third novel featuring the brilliant, fearless, deeply flawed Nora Watts whose vendetta against a triad enforcer escalates when he places a target on her daughter's back.

Find your enemy. Before he finds you.


Nora Watts has a talent for seeing what lies beneath strangers’ surfaces, and for knowing what they’re working hard to keep hidden. Somehow, it’s the people closest to her she has trouble truly connecting with. In the case of Bonnie, the teenage daughter Nora gave up for adoption, she has to keep trying. For Bonnie has a target on her back—and it’s all because of Nora.

Two years ago, Bonnie was kidnapped by the wealthy Zhang family. Though Nora rescued her, she made a powerful enemy in Dao, a mysterious triad enforcer and former head of the Zhangs’ private security. Now Dao is out for revenge, and she needs to track him down in order to keep herself—and Bonnie—safe.

On Dao’s trail, Nora forms an unlikely partnership with Bernard Lam, an eccentric playboy billionaire with his own mysterious grudge to bear, and reunites with Jon Brazuca, ex-cop turned private investigator and Nora’s occasional ally. From Canada to southeast Asia they pursue Dao, uncovering a shadowy criminal cabal. But soon, the trail will lead full circle to Vancouver, the only home Nora’s ever known, and right to the heart of her brutal past.
Visit Sheena Kamal's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Lost Ones.

My Book, The Movie: It All Falls Down.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Mary Underwater"

New from Amulet Books: Mary Underwater by Shannon Doleski.

About the book, from the publisher:

Inspired by Joan of Arc, a girl builds and pilots a submarine to prove just what girls can do in this masterful middle-grade debut

Mary Murphy feels like she’s drowning. Her violent father is home from prison, and the social worker is suspicious of her new bruises. An aunt she’s never met keeps calling. And if she can’t get a good grade on her science project, she’ll fail her favorite class.

But Mary doesn’t want to be a victim anymore. She has a plan: build a real submarine, like the model she’s been making with Kip Dwyer, the secretly sweet class clown. Gaining courage from her heroine, Joan of Arc, Mary vows to pilot a sub across the Chesapeake Bay, risking her life in a modern crusade to save herself.

Mary Underwater is an empowering tale of persistence, heroism, and hope from a luminous new voice in middle-grade fiction.
Visit Shannon Doleski's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Making it Personal"

New from Oxford University Press: Making it Personal: Algorithmic Personalization, Identity, and Everyday Life by Tanya Kant.

About the book, from the publisher:

Targeted advertisements, tailored information feeds, and recommended content are now common and somewhat inescapable components of our everyday lives. With the help of searches, browsing history, purchases, likes, and other digital interactions, technological experiences are now routinely "personalized." Companies with access to this information often downplay the fact that users' personal data serves as a key form of monetization, and their privacy policies tend to use the terms "personalization" and "customization" to legitimize the practice of tracking and algorithmically anticipating users' daily movements. In Making it Personal, Tanya Kant sheds light on the dilemmas of algorithmic personalization, exploring such key contemporary questions as: What do users really know about the algorithms that guide their online experiences and social media presence? And if personalization practices seek to act on our behalf, then how can users constitute, retain, or relinquish their autonomy and sense of self?

At the heart of the book are new interviews and focus groups with web users who-through a myriad of resistant, tactical, resigned or trusting engagements-encounter algorithmic personalization as part of their lived experience on the web. Tanya Kant proposes that for those who encounter it, algorithmic personalization creates epistemic uncertainties that can emerge as trust or anxiety, produces an ongoing struggle for autonomy between user and system, and even has the power to intervene in identity constitution. In doing so, algorithmic personalization does not just generate "filter bubbles" for individuals' worldviews, but also creates new implications for knowledge production, the deployment of cultural capital as an algorithmic tactic, and, above all, formations of identity itself.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

"The Last Bathing Beauty"

New from Lake Union: The Last Bathing Beauty by Amy Sue Nathan.

About the book, from the publisher:

A former beauty queen faces the secrets of her past—for herself and the sake of her family’s future—in a heartfelt novel about fate, choices, and second chances.

Everything seemed possible in the summer of 1951. Back then Betty Stern was an eighteen-year-old knockout working at her grandparents’ lakeside resort. The “Catskills of the Midwest” was the perfect place for Betty to prepare for bigger things. She’d head to college in New York City. Her career as a fashion editor would flourish. But first, she’d enjoy a wondrous last summer at the beach falling deeply in love with an irresistible college boy and competing in the annual Miss South Haven pageant. On the precipice of a well-planned life, Betty’s future was limitless.

Decades later, the choices of that long-ago season still reverberate for Betty, now known as Boop. Especially when her granddaughter comes to her with a dilemma that echoes Boop’s memories of first love, broken hearts, and faraway dreams. It’s time to finally face the past—for the sake of her family and her own happiness. Maybe in reconciling the life she once imagined with the life she’s lived, Boop will discover it’s never too late for a second chance.
Learn more about the book and author at Amy Sue Nathan's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Amy Sue Nathan & Mitzi and Lizzie.

My Book, The Movie: The Glass Wives.

The Page 69 Test: The Glass Wives.

The Page 69 Test: The Good Neighbor.

My Book, The Movie: The Good Neighbor.

Writers Read: Amy Sue Nathan (October 2015).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Ruritania"

New from Oxford University Press: Ruritania: A Cultural History, from The Prisoner of Zenda to the Princess Diaries by Nicholas Daly.

About the book, from the publisher:

This is a book about the long cultural shadow cast by a single bestselling novel, Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), which introduced Ruritania, a colourful pocket kingdom. In this swashbuckling tale, Englishman Rudolf Rassendyll impersonates the king of Ruritania to foil a coup, but faces a dilemma when he falls for the lovely Princess Flavia. Hope's novel inspired stage and screen adaptations, place names, and even a board game, but it also launched a whole new subgenre, the "Ruritanian romance". The new form offered swordplay, royal romance, and splendid uniforms and gowns in such settings as Alasia, Balaria, and Cadonia.

This study explores both the original appeal of The Prisoner of Zenda, and the extraordinary longevity and adaptability of the Ruritanian formula, which, it is argued, has been rooted in a lingering fascination with royalty, and the pocket kingdom's capacity to hold a looking glass up to Britain and later the United States. Individual chapters look at Hope's novel and its stage and film adaptations; at the forgotten American versions of Ruritania; at the chocolate-box principalities of the musical stage; at Cold War reworkings of the formula; and at Ruritania's recent reappearance in young adult fiction and made-for-television Christmas movies. The adventures of Ruritania have involved a diverse list of contributors, including John Buchan, P.G Wodehouse, Agatha Christie, Vladimir Nabokov, and Ian Fleming among the writers; Sigmund Romberg and Ivor Novello among the composers; Erich Von Stroheim and David O. Selznick among the film-makers; and Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Peter Ustinov, Peter Sellers, and Anne Hathaway among the performers.
Follow Nick Daly on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Last Summer of Ada Bloom"

New from Tin House Books: The Last Summer of Ada Bloom by Martine Murray.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a small country town during one long, hot summer, the Bloom family is beginning to unravel. Martha is straining against the confines of her life, lost in regret for what might have been, when an old flame shows up. In turn, her husband Mike becomes frustrated with his increasingly distant wife. Marital secrets, new and long-hidden, start to surface—with devastating effect. And while teenagers Tilly and Ben are about to step out into the world, nine–year-old Ada is holding onto a childhood that might soon be lost to her.

When Ada discovers an abandoned well beneath a rusting windmill, she is drawn to its darkness and danger. And when she witnesses a shocking and confusing event, the well’s foreboding looms large in her mind—a driving force, pushing the family to the brink of tragedy. For each family member, it’s a summer of searching—in books and trees, at parties, in relationships new and old—for the answer to one of life’s most difficult questions: how to grow up?

The Last Summer of Ada Bloom is an honest and tender accounting of what it means to come of age as a teen, or as an adult. With a keen eye for summer’s languor and danger, and a sharp ear for the wonder, doubt, and longing in each of her character’s voices, Martine Murray has written a beguiling story about the fragility of family relationships, about the secrets we keep, the power they hold to shape our lives, and about the power of love to somehow hold it all together.
Visit Martine Murray's website.

The Page 69 Test: Molly & Pim and the Millions of Stars.

Writers Read: Martine Murray (February 2017).

My Book, The Movie: Molly & Pim and the Millions of Stars.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 30, 2020

"American Avant-Garde Cinema's Philosophy of the In-Between"

Coming soon from Oxford University Press: American Avant-Garde Cinema's Philosophy of the In-Between by Rebecca A. Sheehan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Can films philosophize rather than simply represent philosophical ideas developed outside of the cinematic medium? Taking up this crucial question for the emergent field of film philosophy, American Avant-Garde Cinema's Philosophy of the In-Between argues that the films of the American avant-garde do in fact do philosophy and illuminates the ethical stakes of their aesthetic interventions. Author Rebecca A. Sheehan contends that American avant-garde cinema's characteristic self-reflexivity is an interrogation of the modes and stakes of our engagement with the world on and beyond the screen. The book demonstrates this with the theory of the in-between: a pervasive figure that helps clarify how avant-garde cinema's reflections on the creation of images construct an ethics of perception itself, a responsibility to perpetuate thought in an enduring re-encounter with the world and with meaning's unfinished production.

The book is structured by a taxonomy of the multiple in-betweens evident in American avant-garde filmmaking. Rather than systematically seeking reproductions of particular philosophers' ideas in avant-garde films, Sheehan derives categories of analysis and the philosophical claims they disclose from close readings of the films themselves. This methodology opposes mapping preconfigured philosophical concepts and values onto these films, as too many philosophical approaches to cinema have done, silencing the philosophies uniquely articulated by these films in the interest of making them ventriloquize philosophies advanced elsewhere. The chapters of this book trace three modes of the in-between that function philosophically in American avant-garde cinema: the material, the dimensional, and the conceptual. Although the chapters are organized around discrete aesthetic and philosophical preoccupations that unify several filmmakers, these three presentations of the in-between cut through all the chapters, allowing the subjects of each to converse over the course of the book.
--Marshal Zeringue

"You and Me and Us"

New from William Morrow: You and Me and Us: A Novel by Alison Hammer.

About the book, from the publisher:

The heartbreaking, yet hopeful, story of a mother and daughter struggling to be a family without the one person who holds them together—a perfect summer read for fans of Jojo Moyes and Marisa de los Santos.

Alexis Gold knows how to put the “work” in working mom. It’s the “mom” part that she’s been struggling with lately. Since opening her own advertising agency three years ago, Alexis has all but given up on finding a good work/life balance. Instead, she’s handed over the household reins to her supportive, loving partner, Tommy. While he’s quick to say they divide and conquer, Alexis knows that Tommy does most of the heavy lifting—especially when it comes to their teenage daughter, CeCe.

Their world changes in an instant when Tommy receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, and Alexis realizes everything she’s worked relentlessly for doesn’t matter without him. So Alexis does what Tommy has done for her almost every day since they were twelve-year-old kids in Destin, Florida—she puts him first. And when the only thing Tommy wants is to spend one last summer together at “their” beach, she puts her career on hold to make it happen…even if it means putting her family within striking distance of Tommy’s ex, an actress CeCe idolizes.

But Alexis and Tommy aren’t the only ones whose lives have been turned inside out. In addition to dealing with the normal ups and downs that come with being a teenager, CeCe is also forced to confront her feelings about Tommy’s illness—and what will happen when the one person who’s always been there for her is gone. When the magic of first love brings a bright spot to her summer, CeCe is determined not to let her mother ruin that for her, too.

As CeCe’s behavior becomes more rebellious, Alexis realizes the only thing harder for her than losing Tommy will be convincing CeCe to give her one more chance.

You and Me and Us is a beautifully written novel that examines the unexpected ways loss teaches us how to love.
Visit Alison Hammer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Land and Literature in a Cosmopolitan Age"

New from Oxford University Press: Land and Literature in a Cosmopolitan Age by Vincent P. Pecora.

About the book, from the publisher:

European culture after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 was no stranger to ancient beliefs in an organic, religiously sanctioned, and aesthetically pleasing relationship to the land. The many resonances of this relationship form a more or less coherent whole, in which the supposed cosmopolitanism of the modern age is belied by a deep commitment to regional, nationalist, and civilizational attachments, including a justifying theological armature, much of which is still with us today. This volume untangles the meaning of the vital geographies of the period, including how they shaped its literature and intellectual life.
Vincent P. Pecora is the Gordon B. Hinckley Presidential Professor of British Studies at the University of Utah. He is the author of Self and Form in Modern Narrative (1989), Households of the Soul (1997), Secularization and Cultural Criticism: Religion, Nation, and Modernity (2006), Secularization without End: Beckett, Mann, and Coetzee (2015), and he is the editor of Nations and Identities: Classic Readings (2001), and a founding co-editor of the on-line Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 29, 2020

"Three Hours in Paris"

New from Soho Press: Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black.

About the book, from the publisher:

In June of 1940, when Paris fell to the Nazis, Hitler spent a total of three hours in the City of Light—abruptly leaving, never to return. To this day, no one knows why.

The New York Times bestselling author of the Aimée Leduc investigations reimagines history in her masterful, pulse-pounding spy thriller, Three Hours in Paris.

Kate Rees, a young American markswoman, has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Führer. Wrecked by grief after a Luftwaffe bombing killed her husband and infant daughter, she is armed with a rifle, a vendetta, and a fierce resolve. But other than rushed and rudimentary instruction, she has no formal spy training. Thrust into the red-hot center of the war, a country girl from rural Oregon finds herself holding the fate of the world in her hands. When Kate misses her mark and the plan unravels, Kate is on the run for her life—all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up.

Cara Black, doyenne of the Parisian crime novel, is at her best as she brings Occupation-era France to vivid life in this gripping story about one young woman with the temerity—and drive—to take on Hitler himself.
The Page 69 Test: Murder at the Lanterne Rouge.

My Book, the Movie: Murder at the Lanterne Rouge.

The Page 69 Test: Murder below Montparnasse.

The Page 69 Test: Murder in Pigalle.

My Book, The Movie: Murder in Pigalle.

My Book, The Movie: Murder on the Champ de Mars.

Writers Read: Cara Black (June 2018).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Astonishing Life of August March"

New from Harper: The Astonishing Life of August March: A Novel by Aaron Jackson.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this enchanting first novel, an irrepressibly optimistic oddball orphan is thrust into the wilds of postwar New York City after an extraordinary childhood in a theater—Candide by way of John Irving, with a hint of Charles Dickens.

Abandoned as an infant by his actress mother in her theater dressing room, August March was raised by an ancient laundress. Highly intelligent, a tad feral, August is a true child of the theater –able to recite Shakespeare before he knew the alphabet.

But like all productions, August’s wondrous time inside the theater comes to a close, and he finds himself in the wilds of postwar New York City, where he quickly rises from pickpocket street urchin to star student at the stuffiest boarding school in the nation.

To survive, August must rely upon the kindness of strangers, only some of whom have his best interests at heart. As he grows up, his heart begins to yearn for love—which he may or may not finally find in Penny, a clever and gifted con artist.

Aaron Jackson has crafted a brilliant, enchanting story at once profound and delightfully entertaining. Like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The World According to Garp, and Be Frank with Me, this razor-sharp debut—a classic tale of a young innocent who finally finds his way, reminds us that everyone can find love. Even August March.
Follow Aaron Jackson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 28, 2020

"Titan’s Day"

New from DAW: Titan’s Day by Dan Stout.

About the book, from the publisher:

The second book in the acclaimed Carter Archives noir fantasy series returns to the gritty town of Titanshade, where danger lurks around every corner.

The city of Titanshade pulses with nervous energy. The discovery of new riches beneath its snowfields has given residents hope for prosperity, but it also means the arrival of federal troops, along with assurances that they are only there to “stabilize the situation”.

Newcomers flood the streets, dreaming of finding their fortunes, while in the backrooms and beer halls of the city, a populist resistance gains support, its leaders’ true motives hidden behind nativist slogans. And in an alley, a gruesome discovery: the mutilated body of a young woman, a recent immigrant so little-regarded that not even her lovers bothered to learn her name. But in death, she’s found a champion.

Detective Carter single-mindedly pursues the killer as he navigates political pressures and resists becoming a pawn in the struggles tipping the city toward anarchy. But when more innocent lives are lost and time runs short, he’s forced to decide if justice is worth sparking all-out war in the streets during the biggest celebration of the year: Titan’s Day.
Visit Dan Stout's website.

My Book, The Movie: Titanshade.

Writers Read: Dan Stout.

The Page 69 Test: Titanshade.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Love Story of Missy Carmichael"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey.

About the book, from the publisher:

The world has changed around seventy-nine-year-old librarian Millicent Carmichael, aka Missy. Though quick to admit that she often found her roles as a housewife and mother less than satisfying, Missy once led a bustling life driven by two children, an accomplished and celebrated husband, and a Classics degree from Cambridge. Now her husband is gone, her daughter is estranged after a shattering argument, and her son has moved to his wife’s native Australia, taking Missy’s beloved only grandchild half-a-world away. She spends her days sipping sherry, avoiding people, and rattling around in her oversized, under-decorated house waiting for…what exactly?

The last thing Missy expects is for two perfect strangers and one spirited dog named Bob to break through her prickly exterior and show Missy just how much love she still has to give. In short order, Missy finds herself in the jarring embrace of an eclectic community that simply won’t take no for an answer–including a rambunctious mutt-on-loan whose unconditional love gives Missy a reason to re-enter the world one muddy paw print at a time.

Filled with wry laughter and deep insights, The Love Story of Missy Carmichael is a coming-of-old story that shows us it’s never too late to forgive yourself and, just as important, it’s never too late to love.
Visit Beth Morrey's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Sin Eater"

New from Atria Books: Sin Eater: A Novel by Megan Campisi.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Sin Eater walks among us, unseen, unheard
Sins of our flesh become sins of Hers
Following Her to the grave, unseen, unheard
The Sin Eater Walks Among Us.


For the crime of stealing bread, fourteen-year-old May receives a life sentence: she must become a Sin Eater—a shunned woman, brutally marked, whose fate is to hear the final confessions of the dying, eat ritual foods symbolizing their sins as a funeral rite, and thereby shoulder their transgressions to grant their souls access to heaven.

Orphaned and friendless, apprenticed to an older Sin Eater who cannot speak to her, May must make her way in a dangerous and cruel world she barely understands. When a deer heart appears on the coffin of a royal governess who did not confess to the dreadful sin it represents, the older Sin Eater refuses to eat it. She is taken to prison, tortured, and killed. To avenge her death, May must find out who placed the deer heart on the coffin and why.
Visit Megan Campisi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, March 27, 2020

"St. Ivo"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: St. Ivo: A Novel by Joanna Hershon.

About the book, from the publisher:

Over the course of a weekend, two couples reckon with the long-hidden secrets that have shaped their families, in a charged, poignant novel of motherhood and friendship

It’s the end of summer when we meet Sarah, the end of summer and the middle of her life, the middle of her career (she hopes it’s not the end), the middle of her marriage (recently repaired). And despite the years that have passed since she last saw her daughter, she is still very much in the middle of figuring out what happened to Leda, what role she played, and how she will let that loss affect the rest of her life.

Enter a mysterious stranger on a train, an older man taking the subway to Brooklyn who sees right into her.Then a mugging, her phone stolen, and with it any last connection to Leda. And then an invitation, friends from the past and a weekend in the country with their new, unexpected baby.

Over the course of three hot September days, the two couples try to reconnect. Events that have been set in motion, circumstances and feelings kept hidden, rise to the surface, forcing each to ask not just how they ended up where they are, but how they ended up who they are.

Unwinding like a suspense novel, Joanna Hershon's St. Ivo is a powerful investigation into the meaning of choice and family, whether we ever know the people closest to us, and how, when someone goes missing from our lives, we can ever let them go.
Learn more about the author and her work at Joanna Hershon's website.

The Page 69 Test: The German Bride.

My Book, The Movie: The German Bride.

Writers Read: Joanna Hershon (May 2013).

The Page 69 Test: A Dual Inheritance.

My Book, The Movie: A Dual Inheritance.

--Marshal Zeringue

"300 Minutes of Danger"

New from Sterling Children's Books: 300 Minutes of Danger (Countdown to Disaster 1) by Jack Heath.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ten stories. Ten life-or-death situations. Ten brave kids.

And each hero has only 30 minutes to escape. What would you do? A new death-defying series written by an in internationally bestselling author.


George is trapped in a falling airplane with no engine and no pilot. Milla is covered in radioactive waste—and her hazmat suit is running out of air. Otto is in the darkest depths of the ocean, where something hungry is circling. How will they save themselves? This collection of ten linked short stories with a twist will thrill and terrify kids. Each nail-bitingly dangerous drama, set in the near future, takes 30 minutes to play out—and you get to read it in real time!

What would you do if you found yourself...
- Abducted by two thugs . . . who have locked you in the trunk of a car and abandoned it on the railroad tracks?
- In a mobile medical unit, ready to vaccinate people against a deadly disease—and a bomber demands all your medicine?
- Trapped in a burning building, with deadly smoke filling the air?
- Poisoned . . . with only 30 minutes more to live?
- In a spaceship with a punctured hull?
Visit Jack Heath's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, March 26, 2020

"The Glass Magician"

New from Tor Books: The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Reminiscent of The Golem and the Jinni, The Glass Magician by Caroline Stevermer is a magical and romantic tale set in New York’s Gilded Age.

New York 1905—The Vanderbilts. The Astors. The Morgans. They are the cream of society—and they own the nation on the cusp of a new century.

Thalia Cutler doesn’t have any of those family connections. What she does know is stage magic and she dazzles audiences with an act that takes your breath away.

That is, until one night when a trick goes horribly awry. In surviving she discovers that she can shapeshift, and has the potential to take her place among the rich and powerful.

But first, she’ll have to learn to control that power…before the real monsters descend to feast.
Visit Caroline Stevermer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"What I Like About You"

New from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers: What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter.

About the book, from the publisher:

Is it still a love triangle if there are only two people in it?

There are a million things that Halle Levitt likes about her online best friend, Nash.

He’s an incredibly talented graphic novelist. He loves books almost as much as she does. And she never has to deal with the awkwardness of seeing him in real life. They can talk about anything…

Except who she really is.

Because online, Halle isn’t Halle—she’s Kels, the enigmatically cool creator of One True Pastry, a YA book blog that pairs epic custom cupcakes with covers and reviews. Kels has everything Halle doesn’t: friends, a growing platform, tons of confidence, and Nash.

That is, until Halle arrives to spend senior year in Gramps’s small town and finds herself face-to-face with real, human, not-behind-a-screen Nash. Nash, who is somehow everywhere she goes—in her classes, at the bakery, even at synagogue.

Nash who has no idea she’s actually Kels.

If Halle tells him who she is, it will ruin the non-awkward magic of their digital friendship. Not telling him though, means it can never be anything more. Because while she starts to fall for Nash as Halle…he’s in love with Kels.
Visit Marisa Kanter's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Body in the Garden"

New from Crooked Lane Books: The Body in the Garden: A Lily Adler Mystery by Katharine Schellman.

About the book, from the publisher:

London 1815. Though newly-widowed Lily Adler is returning to a society that frowns on independent women, she is determined to create a meaningful life for herself even without a husband. She’s no stranger to the glittering world of London’s upper crust. At a ball thrown by her oldest friend, Lady Walter, she expects the scandal, gossip, and secrets. What she doesn’t expect is the dead body in Lady Walter’s garden.

Lily overheard the man just minutes before he was shot: young, desperate, and attempting blackmail. But she’s willing to leave the matter to the local constables–until Lord Walter bribes the investigating magistrate to drop the case. Stunned and confused, Lily realizes she’s the only one with the key to catching the killer.

Aided by a roguish navy captain and a mysterious heiress from the West Indies, Lily sets out to discover whether her friend’s husband is mixed up in blackmail and murder. The unlikely team tries to conceal their investigation behind the whirl of London’s social season, but the dead man knew secrets about people with power. Secrets that they would kill to keep hidden. Now, Lily will have to uncover the truth, before she becomes the murderer’s next target.
Visit Katharine Schellman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

"Hidden Valley Road"

New from Doubleday: Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker.

About the book, from the publisher:

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don’s work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins–aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony–and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?

What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family’s unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.
Visit Robert Kolker's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Best Laid Plans"

New from Razorbill: The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund.

About the book, from the publisher:

High school senior Keely Collins takes on firsts, lasts, and everything in between in this sweet, sex-positive rom-com for fans of Meg Cabot and Jenny Han.

It seemed like a good plan at first.

When the only other virgin in her group of friends loses it at Keely’s own eighteenth birthday party, she’s inspired to take things into her own hands. She wants to have that experience too (well, not exactly like that–but with someone she trusts and actually likes), so she’s going to need to find the guy, and fast. Problem is, she’s known all the boys in her small high school forever, and it’s kinda hard to be into a guy when you watched him eat crayons in kindergarten.

So she can’t believe her luck when she meets a ridiculously hot new guy named Dean. Not only does he look like he’s fallen out of a classic movie poster, but he drives a motorcycle, flirts with ease, and might actually be into her.

But Dean’s already in college, and Keely is convinced he’ll drop her if he finds out how inexperienced she is. That’s when she talks herself into a new plan: her lifelong best friend, Andrew, would never hurt or betray her, and he’s clearly been with enough girls that he can show her the ropes before she goes all the way with Dean. Of course, the plan only works if Andrew and Keely stay friends–just friends–so things are about to get complicated.

Cameron Lund’s delightful debut is a hilarious and heartfelt story of first loves, first friends, and first times–and how making them your own is all that really matters.
Visit Cameron Lund's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

"The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires"

New from Quirk Books: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix.

About the book, from the publisher:

Steel Magnolias meets Dracula in this ’90s-set horror novel about a women’s book club that must do battle with a mysterious newcomer to their small Southern town, perfect for murderinos and fans of Stephen King.

Patricia Campbell’s life has never felt smaller. Her husband is a workaholic, her teenage kids have their own lives, her senile mother-in-law needs constant care, and she’s always a step behind on her endless to-do list. The only thing keeping her sane is her book club, a close-knit group of Charleston women united by their love of true crime. At these meetings they’re as likely to talk about the Manson family as they are about their own families.

One evening after book club, Patricia is viciously attacked by an elderly neighbor, bringing the neighbor’s handsome nephew, James Harris, into her life. James is well traveled and well read, and he makes Patricia feel things she hasn’t felt in years. But when children on the other side of town go missing, their deaths written off by local police, Patricia has reason to believe James Harris is more of a Bundy than a Brad Pitt. The real problem? James is a monster of a different kind—and Patricia has already invited him in.

Little by little, James will insinuate himself into Patricia’s life and try to take everything she took for granted—including the book club—but she won’t surrender without a fight in this blood-soaked tale of neighborly kindness gone wrong.
Visit Grady Hendrix's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Lucky Ones"

New from Delacorte Press: The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of Thirteen Reasons Why, This Is How It Ends, and All the Bright Places, comes a new novel about life after. How do you put yourself back together when it seems like you’ve lost it all?

May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through–no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.

Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night. The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.

Which is how May meets Zach. And how Zach meets May. And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.
Visit Liz Lawson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 23, 2020

"Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me"

New from Wednesday Books: Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me: A Novel by Gae Polisner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Fifteen-year-old JL Markham’s life used to be filled with carnival nights and hot summer days spent giggling with her forever best friend Aubrey about their families and boys. Together, they were unstoppable. But they aren’t the friends they once were.

With JL’s father gone on long term business, and her mother struggling with her mental illness, JL takes solace in the tropical butterflies she raises, and in her new, older boyfriend, Max Gordon. Max may be rough on the outside, but he has the soul of a poet (something Aubrey will never understand). Only, Max is about to graduate, and he's going to hit the road - with or without JL.

JL can't bear being left behind again. But what if devoting herself to Max not only means betraying her parents, but permanently losing the love of her best friend? What becomes of loyalty, when no one is loyal to you?

Gae Polisner’s Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me is a story about the fragility of female friendship, of falling in love and wondering if you are ready for more, and of the glimmers of hope we find by taking stock in ourselves.
Visit Gae Polisner's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Summer of Letting Go.

The Page 69 Test: The Memory of Things.

Writers Read: Gae Polisner (March 2018).

The Page 69 Test: In Sight of Stars.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Crave"

New from Entangled Publishing: Crave by Tracy Wolff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Crave is a romantic and thrilling tale of forbidden love, about the undying battle between feeling nothing and feeling so much, it could destroy everyone you love.

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.

Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally―as the bait.
Visit Tracy Wolff's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 22, 2020

"The Silent Treatment"

New from William Morrow: The Silent Treatment: A Novel by Abbie Greaves.

About the book, from the publisher:

A lifetime together.
Six months of silence.
One last chance.


By all appearances, Frank and Maggie share a happy, loving marriage. But for the past six months, they have not spoken. Not a sentence, not a single word. Maggie isn’t sure what, exactly, provoked Frank’s silence, though she has a few ideas.

Day after day, they have eaten meals together and slept in the same bed in an increasingly uncomfortable silence that has become, for Maggie, deafening.

Then Frank finds Maggie collapsed in the kitchen, unconscious, an empty package of sleeping pills on the table. Rushed to the hospital, she is placed in a medically induced coma while the doctors assess the damage.

If she regains consciousness, Maggie may never be the same. Though he is overwhelmed at the thought of losing his wife, will Frank be able to find his voice once again—and explain his withdrawal—or is it too late?
Visit Abbie Greaves's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Let the People Pick the President"

New from St. Martin's Press: Let the People Pick the President: The Case for Abolishing the Electoral College by Jesse Wegman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The framers of the Constitution battled over it. Lawmakers have tried to amend or abolish it more than 700 times. To this day, millions of voters, and even members of Congress, misunderstand how it works. It deepens our national divide and distorts the core democratic principles of political equality and majority rule. How can we tolerate the Electoral College when every vote does not count the same, and the candidate who gets the most votes can lose?

Twice in the last five elections, the Electoral College has overridden the popular vote, calling the integrity of the entire system into question—and creating a false picture of a country divided into bright red and blue blocks when in fact we are purple from coast to coast. Even when the popular-vote winner becomes president, tens of millions of Americans—Republicans and Democrats alike—find that their votes didn't matter. And, with statewide winner-take-all rules, only a handful of battleground states ultimately decide who will become president.

Now, as political passions reach a boiling point at the dawn of the 2020 race, the message from the American people is clear: The way we vote for the only official whose job it is to represent all Americans is neither fair nor just. Major reform is needed—now. Isn't it time to let the people pick the president?

In this thoroughly researched and engaging call to arms, Supreme Court journalist and New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman draws upon the history of the founding era, as well as information gleaned from campaign managers, field directors, and other officials from twenty-first-century Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns, to make a powerful case for abolishing the antiquated and antidemocratic Electoral College. In Let the People Pick the President he shows how we can at long last make every vote in the United States count—and restore belief in our democratic system.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, March 21, 2020

"Her Sister's Tattoo"

New from Red Hen Press: Her Sister's Tattoo by Ellen Meeropol.

About the book, from he publisher:

In August 1968, Rosa and Esther Cohen march through downtown Detroit protesting the war in Vietnam. The march is peaceful, but when a bloodied teenager describes a battle with mounted police a few blocks away, the sisters hurry to offer assistance. Trying to stop the violence, they instead intensify it. An officer is seriously injured. Rosa and Esther are arrested and charged with conspiracy and attempted murder.

For Rosa, their arrest offers an opportunity to make a political statement, another way to protest an unacceptable war. Esther wants to avoid prison and stay home with her infant daughter, Molly; the only way to do that is to accept a plea bargain and testify against Rosa at trial. The consequences of these actions lead one sister underground and to prison, the other to leave town to bury her past in a new life. Molly grows up unaware of her family history until she meets Rosa's daughter, her cousin Emma, at summer camp.

Told from multiple points of view and through the sisters' never-mailed letters, and bracketed by the Vietnam and Iraq wars, HER SISTER'S TATTOO explores the thorny intersection of sibling loyalty and clashing political decisions.
Visit Ellen Meeropol's website.

See Meeropol's list of five political novels to change the world.

The Page 69 Test: Kinship of Clover.

Writers Read: Ellen Meeropol (April 2017).

--Marshal Zeringue