Wednesday, July 6, 2022

"Fire Season"

New from Viking: Fire Season: A Novel by Leyna Krow.

About the book, from the publisher:

The propulsive story of three scheming opportunists—a banker, a conman, and a woman with an extraordinary gift—whose lives collide in the wake of a devastating fire in the American West

For the citizens of Spokane Falls, the fire of 1889 that destroyed their frontier boomtown was no disaster; it was an opportunity. Barton Heydale, manager of the only bank in Spokane Falls, is on the verge of ending his short, unpopular life. But when his city goes up in flames, he sees an ember of hope shimmering on the horizon, headed right for him. As citizens flock to the bank to cash out insurance policies and take out loans, he realizes he can command the power he craves—and it’s not by following the rules. Here is his reason to live.

When Quake Auchenbaucher, a career con man hired to investigate the cause of the fire, arrives in Spokane Falls, he employs his usual shady tactics. But this time, with Washington Territory vying for statehood, the sudden attention to due process jeopardizes Quake’s methods of manipulation.

And then there’s Roslyn Beck, whose uncanny ability to see the future has long driven her to drink, and with whom both Barton and Quake have fallen madly and dangerously in love. She is known as a “certain kind of woman,” in possession of unique talents and influence, if only she can find the right ways to wield them. As their paths collide, diverge, and collide again, Barton, Quake, and Roslyn come to terms with their own needs for power, greed, and control, leading one to total ruin, one to heartbreak, and one, ultimately, to redemption.

With masterful precision, devious originality, and dark whimsy, Fire Season freshly imagines the greed and misogyny of the American West to tell a rollicking, bewitching story about finding purpose in the face of injustice.
Visit Leyna Krow's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's Forgotten Shore"

New from Cornell University Press: Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's Forgotten Shore by Abigail Perkiss.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's Forgotten Shore brings to life the individual and collective voices of a community: victims, volunteers, and state and federal agencies that came together to rebuild the Bayshore after the Superstorm Sandy in 2013.

After the tumultuous night of October 29, 2012, the residents of Monmouth, Ocean, and Atlantic Counties faced an enormous and pressing question: What to do? The stories captured in this book encompass their answer to that question: the clean-up efforts, the work with governmental and non-governmental aid agencies, and the fraught choices concerning rebuilding. Through a rich and varied set of oral histories that provide perspective on disaster planning, response, and recovery in New Jersey, Abigail Perkiss captures the experience of these individuals caught in between short-term preparedness initiatives that municipal and state governments undertook and the long-term planning decisions that created the conditions for catastrophic property damage.

Through these stories, Hurricane Sandy on New Jersey's Forgotten Shore lays bare the ways that climate change and sea level rise are creating critical vulnerabilities in the most densely populated areas in the nation, illuminating the human toll of disaster and the human capacity for resilience.
Visit Abigail Perkiss's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

"The Swell"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: The Swell by Allie Reynolds.

About the book, from the publisher:

The waves are to die for.

Three years ago, passionate surfer Kenna Ward lost her two great loves—after her boyfriend drowned, she hung up her surfboard and swore off the water for good. But she is drawn back to the beach when her best friend, Mikki, announces her sudden engagement to a man Kenna has never met—a member of a tight-knit group of surfers. Kenna travels to a remote Australian beach, entering a dangerous world far from civilization where the waves, weather, and tides are all that matter. Kenna is tempted back into the surf, and drawn into the dazzling group and the beach they call their own.

But this coastal paradise has a dark side, and members of the group begin to go missing. Kenna realizes that in order to protect Mikki and learn more about the surfers, she must become one of them…without becoming one of their victims. What follows is an adrenaline-fueled thriller packed with twists and turns, exploring the dangerous edge between passion and obsession.
Visit Allie Reynolds's website.

Q&A with Allie Reynolds.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Why Would I Be Married Here?"

New from Cornell University Press: Why Would I Be Married Here?: Marriage Migration and Dispossession in Neoliberal India by Reena Kukreja.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why Would I Be Married Here? examines marriage migration undertaken by rural bachelors in North India, unable to marry locally, who travel across the breadth of India seeking brides who do not share the same caste, ethnicity, language, or customs as themselves. Combining rich ethnographic evidence with Dalit feminist and political economy frameworks, Reena Kukreja connects the macro-political violent process of neoliberalism to the micro-personal level of marriage and intimate gender relations to analyze the lived reality of this set of migrant brides in cross-region marriages among dominant-peasant caste Hindus and Meo Muslims in rural North India.

Why Would I Be Married Here? reveals how predatory capitalism links with patriarchy to dispossess many poor women from India's marginalized Dalit and Muslim communities of marriage choices in their local communities. It reveals how, within the context of the increasing spread of capitalist relations, these women's pragmatic cross-region migration for marriage needs to be reframed as an exercise of their agency that simultaneously exposes them to new forms of gender subordination and internal othering of caste discrimination and ethnocentrism in conjugal communities. Why Would I Be Married Here? offers powerful examples of how contemporary forces of neoliberalism reshape the structural oppressions compelling poor women from marginalized communities worldwide into making compromised choices about their bodies, their labor, and their lives.
Visit Reena Kukreja's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


New from Atria Books: Shmutz: A Novel by Felicia Berliner.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this witty, provocative, and unputdownable debut novel a young Hasidic woman on a quest to get married fears she will never find a groom because of her secret addiction to porn.

Like the other women in her Brooklyn Hasidic community, Raizl expects to find a husband through an arranged marriage. Unlike the other women, Raizl has a secret.

With a hidden computer to help her complete her college degree, she falls down the slippery slope of online pornography. As Raizl dives deeper into the world of porn at night, her daytime life begins to unravel. Between combative visits with her shrink to complicated arranged dates, Raizl must balance her growing understanding of her sexuality with the more conventional expectations of the family she loves.

A singular, stirring, and compulsively readable debut novel, Shmutz explores what it means to be a fully realized sexual and spiritual being caught between the traditional and modern worlds.
Visit Felicia Berliner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Sonorous Desert"

New from Princeton University Press: Sonorous Desert: What Deep Listening Taught Early Christian Monks—and What It Can Teach Us by Kim Haines-Eitzen.

About the book, from the publisher:

For the hermits and communal monks of antiquity, the desert was a place to flee the cacophony of ordinary life in order to hear and contemplate the voice of God. But these monks discovered something surprising in their harsh desert surroundings: far from empty and silent, the desert is richly reverberant. Sonorous Desert shares the stories and sayings of these ancient spiritual seekers, tracing how the ambient sounds of wind, thunder, water, and animals shaped the emergence and development of early Christian monasticism.

Kim Haines-Eitzen draws on ancient monastic texts from Egypt, Sinai, and Palestine to explore how noise offered desert monks an opportunity to cultivate inner quietude, and shows how the desert quests of ancient monastics offer profound lessons for us about what it means to search for silence. Drawing on her own experiences making field recordings in the deserts of North America and Israel, she reveals how mountains, canyons, caves, rocky escarpments, and lush oases are deeply resonant places. Haines-Eitzen discusses how the desert is a place of paradoxes, both silent and noisy, pulling us toward contemplative isolation yet giving rise to vibrant collectives of fellow seekers.

Accompanied by Haines-Eitzen’s evocative audio recordings of desert environments, Sonorous Desert reveals how desert sounds taught ancient monks about solitude, silence, and the life of community, and how they can help us understand ourselves if we slow down and listen.
Visit Kim Haines-Eitzen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 4, 2022


Coming September 27 from Regal House: Mirth by Kathleen George.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mirth chronicles the struggles of a writer, Harrison Mirth, a romantic man who writes about love and tries to find it through three marriages, in three cities, and always with renewable hope. Amanda is first—New York city and youth. Maggie is second and spans the middle age years—Upstate New York. Liz is third—Pittsburgh and the senior years. Harrison Mirth doesn’t say much to Liz about life before her—a thoughtful comment here and there, funny stories, very little casting of blame. But like a quilt maker, Liz puts these scraps together to make a story—how she thinks he was—a boy, then a man sheltering a secret lake of sadness, but somehow always upbeat, cheerful, a willful optimist, forever innocent. To her, that is irresistible. She wants him, all in all.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathleen George's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Blues Walked In.

Writers Read: Kathleen George (May 2018).

My Book, The Movie: The Blues Walked In.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Administering Affect"

New from Stanford University Press: Administering Affect: Pop-Culture Japan and the Politics of Anxiety by Daniel White.

About the book, from the publisher:

How do the worlds that state administrators manage become the feelings publics embody? In Administering Affect, Daniel White addresses this question by documenting the rise of a new national figure he calls "Pop-Culture Japan." Emerging in the wake of Japan's dramatic economic decline in the early 1990s, Pop-Culture Japan reflected the hopes of Japanese state bureaucrats and political elites seeking to recover their country's standing on the global stage. White argues that due to growing regional competitiveness and geopolitical tension in East Asia in recent decades, Japan's state bureaucrats increasingly targeted political anxiety as a national problem and built a new national image based on pop-culture branding as a remedy.

Based on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork among rarely accessible government bureaucrats, Administering Affect examines the fascinating connection between state administration and public sentiment. White analyzes various creative policy figures of Pop-Culture Japan, such as anime diplomats, "Cool Japan" branding campaigns, and the so-called "Ambassadors of Cute," in order to illustrate a powerful link between practices of managing national culture and the circulation of anxiety among Japanese publics. Invoking the term "administering affect" to illustrate how anxiety becomes a bureaucratic target, technique, and unintended consequence of promoting Japan's national popular culture, the book presents an ethnographic portrait of the at-times surprisingly emotional lives of Japan's state bureaucrats. In examining how anxious feelings come to drive policymaking, White delivers an intimate anthropological analysis of the affective forces interconnecting state governance, popular culture, and national identity.
--Marshal Zeringue

"All the Dirty Secrets"

New from Forge Books: All the Dirty Secrets by Aggie Blum Thompson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set in the upscale DC private school scene, where silence can easily be bought, Aggie Blum Thompson's All the Dirty Secrets asks how far you would go to protect your status and your family, and if some secrets should ever be revealed.

One warm summer night twenty-five years ago, Liza Gold and her friends celebrated their high school graduation with a party on the beach. It should have been the best night of their lives, only one of them never came back out of the ocean.

The tragedy haunted Liza Gold for years. Now, she's a recently divorced working mom struggling to connect with her standoffish teenager daughter Zoe when history repeats itself. Another young woman has drowned at Beach Week, and this time the victim is Zoe’s secret best friend.

Liza begins to suspect that the two deaths are somehow related, which causes her to face hard truths and take an unflinching look at the people she’s called her closest friends for the past two decades. She must discover what really happened to both women before it’s too late.
Visit Aggie Blum Thompson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Tudor Sheriff"

New from Oxford University Press: The Tudor Sheriff: A Study in Early Modern Administration by Jonathan McGovern.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sheriffs were among the most important local office-holders in early modern England. They were generalist officers of the king responsible for executing legal process, holding local courts, empanelling juries, making arrests, executing criminals, collecting royal revenue, holding parliamentary elections, and many other vital duties. Although sheriffs have a cameo role in virtually every book about early modern England, the precise nature of their work has remained something of a mystery.

The Tudor Sheriff offers the first comprehensive analysis of the shrieval system between 1485 and 1603. It demonstrates that this system was not abandoned to decay in the Tudor period, but was effectively reformed to ensure its continued relevance. Jonathan McGovern shows that sheriffs were not in competition with other branches of local government, such as the Lords Lieutenant and justices of the peace, but rather cooperated effectively with them. Since the office of sheriff was closely related to every other branch of government, a study of the sheriff is also a study of English government at work.
Follow Jonathan McGovern on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue