Friday, June 14, 2024

"Find Me in California"

New from Lake Union: Find Me in California: A Novel by Kerry Lonsdale.

About the book, from the publisher:

An achingly romantic novel about chance meetings, buried secrets, and the multiple facets of love and family bonds by Wall Street Journal bestselling author Kerry Lonsdale.

Raised by her fiercely passionate and free-spirited grandmother, Julia Hope has never gone without love. But as she tends to her only living relative during her final days, Julia struggles to overcome her fear of being alone.

A thousand miles away, Matt Gatlin has managed to avoid the coldhearted grandmother with whom he once lived. But after twelve years of her being blessedly out of sight, she needs him. His resentments still raw, Matt packs up his car and reluctantly heads to California to confront a bitter past he thought was long gone.

Over the next six days, Julia’s and Matt’s fates intersect. An old diary exposes the tragedy of a long-lost love. A history of secrets in two families comes to light. And on a lonely back road, Matt picks up an unusual yet captivating hitchhiker with a secret of her own.

For Julia and Matt, something heartbreaking and heartwarming, mysterious and beautiful, will touch their lives―with neither of them realizing that maybe they’re destined for each other.
Visit Kerry Lonsdale's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Power of Chinatown"

New from the University of California Press: The Power of Chinatown: Searching for Spatial Justice in Los Angeles Laureen D. Hom.

About the book, from the publisher:

Urban Chinatowns are dynamic, contested spaces that have persevered amid changes in the American cityscape. These neighborhoods are significant for many, from the residents and workers who rely on them for their livelihoods to the broader Chinese American community and political leaders who recognize their cultural heritage and economic value. In The Power of Chinatown, Laureen D. Hom provides a critical examination of the politics shaping the trajectory of development in Los Angeles Chinatown, one of the oldest urban Chinatowns in the United States.

Working from ethnographic fieldwork, Hom chronicles how Chinese Americans continue to gravitate to this space—despite being a geographically dispersed community—and how they have both resisted and encouraged processes of gentrification and displacement. The Power of Chinatown bridges understandings of community, geography, political economy, and race to show the complexities and contradictions of building community power, illuminating how these place-based ethnic politics might give rise to a more expansive vision of Asian American belonging and a just city for all.
Visit Laureen D. Hom's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Girls Like Her"

New from Balzer + Bray: Girls Like Her by Melanie Sumrow.

About the book, from the publisher:

A raw, gripping, authentic, and boldly original novel about a fifteen-year-old Texas girl set to stand trial for murder—and the one person who might be able to help her clear her name.

A wealthy businessman is dead, and fifteen-year-old Ruby Monroe is in a Dallas jail awaiting trial for his murder. Ruby has no one she can count on—no one, except her state-appointed caseworker, a woman named Cadence Ware. In Ruby’s experience, that’s not anyone she can trust.

Cadence is familiar with the cold reality of Ruby’s situation, even before Ruby was arrested. Angry and alone, homeless and hungry, breaking the law just to survive, she is the kind of girl no one wants to listen to, especially not the prosecutor who wants to put her away for life.

But no one knows the story—the real story—of what happened the day Ruby met the man who would end up dead. As the layers of truth are peeled away and time is running out, Ruby and Cadence will both have desperate choices to make—choices that could mean the difference between Ruby spending her life in prison or her name being cleared.

Told through a collection of letters, meeting notes, news articles, court transcripts, and more, Girls Like Her is a riveting and unflinching tale of the truths so often lost in the American justice system, and one girl’s fight to be heard.
Visit Melanie Sumrow's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The AI Mirror"

New from Oxford University Press: The AI Mirror: How to Reclaim Our Humanity in an Age of Machine Thinking by Shannon Vallor.

About the book, from the publisher:

For many, technology offers hope for the future―that promise of shared human flourishing and liberation that always seems to elude our species. Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies spark this hope in a particular way. They promise a future in which human limits and frailties are finally overcome―not by us, but by our machines.

Yet rather than open new futures, today's powerful AI technologies reproduce the past. Forged from oceans of our data into immensely powerful but flawed mirrors, they reflect the same errors, biases, and failures of wisdom that we strive to escape. Our new digital mirrors point backward. They show only where the data say that we have already been, never where we might venture together for the first time.

To meet today's grave challenges to our species and our planet, we will need something new from AI, and from ourselves.

Shannon Vallor makes a wide-ranging, prophetic, and philosophical case for what AI could be: a way to reclaim our human potential for moral and intellectual growth, rather than lose ourselves in mirrors of the past. Rejecting prophecies of doom, she encourages us to pursue technology that helps us recover our sense of the possible, and with it the confidence and courage to repair a broken world. Vallor calls us to rethink what AI is and can be, and what we want to be with it.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 13, 2024

"Two Good Men"

Coming October 8 from Blackstone: Two Good Men by S. E. Redfearn.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the internationally bestselling author of In an Instant and Hadley & Grace comes Two Good Men, a searing drama about two men on a quest for justice—from opposite sides of the law.

Dick Raynes feared this day would come. Otis Parsons, a violent pedophile, has been released from prison, and Dick’s sister Dee is the one who helped put him behind bars. Dick’s marriage is over, and his career is in shambles, so with nothing to lose, he sets out to do whatever it takes to keep Dee and her son Jesse safe. But Otis is just the beginning. Dick quickly discovers the dark truth about repeat sex offenders and finds himself unable to turn away. Using his knowledge as a scientist to develop a formula able to predict those most likely strike again, he sets out to protect future victims the law is powerless to defend.

FBI agent Steve Patterson investigates crimes against sex offenders, running a department he created after his son was killed by a vigilante mother who targeted the wrong person. Recognizing a disturbing pattern of untimely deaths in recently released felons, he sets out to figure out who’s behind it. What he doesn’t expect to find is another chance at love—with the sister of the man he is chasing.

Dick’s strong sense of right and wrong is tested as he pursues and neutralizes the most dangerous threats, while Steve makes it his mission to stop this vigilante serial killer before he is labeled a hero. Both men’s pursuits are noble, but only one can prevail.
Visit Suzanne Redfearn's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Suzanne Redfearn and Cooper.

My Book, The Movie: Hush Little Baby.

The Page 69 Test: Hush Little Baby.

The Page 69 Test: No Ordinary Life.

Writers Read: Suzanne Redfearn (February 2016).

My Book, The Movie: No Ordinary Life.

My Book, The Movie: In an Instant.

The Page 69 Test: In an Instant.

Q&A with Suzanne Redfearn.

My Book, The Movie: Hadley and Grace.

The Page 69 Test: Hadley & Grace.

Writers Read: Suzanne Redfearn (March 2022).

The Page 69 Test: Moment in Time.

My Book, The Movie: Moment in Time.

Writers Read: Suzanne Redfearn (February 2024).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Camps: A Global History of Mass Confinement"

New from the University of Toronto Press: Camps: A Global History of Mass Confinement by Aidan Forth.

About the book, from the publisher:

The concentration of terrorists, political suspects, ethnic minorities, prisoners of war, enemy aliens, and other potentially “dangerous” populations spans the modern era. From Konzentrationslager in colonial Africa to strategic villages in Southeast Asia, from slave plantations in America to Uyghur sweatshops in Xinjiang, and from civilian internment in World War II to extraordinary rendition at Guantanamo Bay, mass detention is as diverse as it is ubiquitous.

Camps offers a short but compelling guide to the varied manifestations of concentration camps in the last two centuries, while tracing provocative transnational connections with related institutions such as workhouses, migrant detention centers, and residential schools.
The Page 99 Test: Barbed-Wire Imperialism.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Practice"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Practice: A Novel by Rosalind Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:

An astonishing first novel about a day in the life of a young student who experiences her thoughts, fantasies, and wishes as she writes about—or tries to write about—Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Rosalind Brown's Practice shows us just one day. Annabel, sitting in her small student room, attempts to write an essay about Shakespeare. She follows a meticulous, solitary routine but finds it repeatedly thrown off course as the day progresses: by family and friends who demand her attention and time, by thoughts of her much older boyfriend and his impending visit, by wild sexual fantasies and stories of her own invented characters—and by darker crises, obliquely glimpsed but capable of derailing Annabel's carefully laid plans.
Visit Rosalind Brown's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Keeping the Peace in the Village"

New from Oxford University Press: Keeping the Peace in the Village: Conflict and Peacemaking in Germany, 1650-1750 by Marc R. Forster.

About the book, from the publisher:

Keeping the Peace in the Village is a study of how rural society evolved in the century after 1650. Based on extensive research in German archives, particularly in local court records, the book examines how rural people sought peace in the aftermath of the Thirty Years' War. An understandable desire for peace and order co-existed with the reality of day-to-day conflicts common to any face-to-face community. An important consequence of the tension between conflict and the desire for peace was that people increasingly used local courts to help in resolving conflicts.

One focus of the book is on the nature of conflicts in rural society. While the majority conflicts that appear in the archival record are between propertied men, women, farm laborers, and servants also found reasons for conflict and also brought their cases to court. Honor disputes were ubiquitous in this society and everyone defended their honor, in court, with their fists, and with their words. Slander cases made up a large part of each court session.

Despite high levels of conflict, people placed great value on peace. Local people and state officials constantly searched for settlements of conflicts. These settlements were often negotiated informally, sometimes involved the intervention of intermediaries, and sometimes were reached formally through a court decision. Every court decision ended with an appeal for peace between the parties and a handshake and promise of friendship between the parties. Local courts and officials were well aware of the dangers of conflicts, especially if they were public, and tried to prevent the spread of gossip and rumor. Of course, peacemaking was not always successful, and feuds and on-going conflicts were common.

The interplay of peacemaking and conflict at the local level, and the growing role of local courts, had important implications for the growth of state power. Although study examines developments in several small and lightly governed southwest German states, there is nevertheless clear evidence of state formation in the century after 1650. Key to this process was the way local people used local officials and local judicial institutions to solve local conflicts. The result was a kind of state formation from below. This study argues that a local perspective is vital for understanding the development of the state and provides evidence of popular support for a state that provided important services to rural people.
--Marshal Zeringue

"You're Safe Here"

New from Gallery/Scout Press: You're Safe Here by Leslie Stephens.

About the book, from the publisher:

Wellness, motherhood, and technology converge in a near future California, as three women’s seemingly innocuous decisions have further-reaching consequences than any of them could imagine in this timely, clever, and white-knuckled thriller.

In 2060, the WellPod is the latest launch from the largest tech company the world has ever seen—a fleet of floating personal paradises scattered throughout the Pacific Ocean, focused entirely on health, solitude, and relaxation. Created by an enigmatic founder who will stop at nothing to ensure her company’s success, it is the long-awaited pinnacle of wellness technology. For newly pregnant Maggie, the six-week program is the perfect chance to get away...especially since the baby isn’t her partner’s.

Noa Behar isn’t a perfect fiancĂ©e. She’s too distracted, too focused on her work in helping program the WellPod to give Maggie the attention she deserves. But when she discovers something rotten beneath WellPod’s shiny exterior—a history of faulty tech and dangerous cover-ups—she knows one thing: she’ll do whatever it takes to keep Maggie safe.

The problem? The malfunctioning WellPods are already at sea. And there’s a storm coming...
Visit Leslie Stephens's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Cue the Sun!"

New from Random House: Cue the Sun!: The Invention of Reality TV by Emily Nussbaum.

About the book, from the publisher:

The rollicking saga of reality television—an ambitious cultural history of America’s most influential, most divisive artistic phenomenon, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning New Yorker writer

Who invented reality television, the world’s most dangerous pop-culture genre? And why can’t we look away? In this revelatory, deeply reported account of the rise of “dirty documentary”—from its contentious roots in radio to the ascent of Donald Trump—Emily Nussbaum unearths the origin story of the genre that ate the world, as told through the lively voices of the people who built it. At once gimlet-eyed and empathetic, Cue the Sun! explores the morally charged, funny, and sometimes tragic consequences of the hunt for something real inside something fake.

In sharp, absorbing prose, Nussbaum traces the jagged fuses of experimentation that exploded with Survivor at the turn of the millennium. She introduces the genre’s trickster pioneers, from the icy Allen Funt to the shambolic Chuck Barris; Cops auteur John Langley; cynical Bachelor ringmaster Mike Fleiss; and Jon Murray and Mary-Ellis Bunim, the visionaries behind The Real World—along with dozens of stars from An American Family, The Real World, Big Brother, Survivor, and The Bachelor. We learn about the tools of the trade—like the Frankenbite, a deceptive editor’s best friend—and ugly tales of exploitation. But Cue the Sun! also celebrates reality’s peculiar power: a jolt of emotion that could never have come from a script.

What happened to the first reality stars, the Louds—and why won’t they speak to the couple who filmed them? Which serial killer won on The Dating Game? Nussbaum explores reality TV as a strike-breaker, the queer roots of Bravo, the dark truth behind The Apprentice, and more. A shrewd observer who adores television, Nussbaum is the ideal voice for the first substantive history of the genre that, for better or worse, made America what it is today.
Visit Emily Nussbaum's website.

--Marshal Zeringue