Thursday, May 31, 2007

"MacGregor Tells the World"

New in June from Random House: MacGregor Tells the World by Elizabeth McKenzie.

About the novel, from the author's website:

A masterfully plotted debut novel -- at once a mystery of identity, sly literary satire and coming of age story -- capturing a young man's impossible and heroic first love. Macgregor West, orphaned as a boy, is on quest to understand the mystery surrounding his mother’s untimely death. On a foggy San Francisco evening, guided by a stack of old envelopes, Mac finds himself at the mansion of cultural icon Charles Ware and encounters the writer’s beautiful and enigmatic daughter, Carolyn. Soon Mac is seduced into the world of the eccentric Ware family and a love affair with a woman whose murky history may be closely linked to his own.

MacGregor Tells the World
is a poignant and hilarious ride through present day San Francisco, a city brimming with memorable characters who help Mac discover just what story is his to tell.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


New from Carroll & Graf: Monstering: Inside America's Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War by Tara McKelvey.

About the book:

In April 2004, the Abu Ghraib photographs set off an international scandal. Yet until now, the full story has never been told. Tara McKelvey — the first U.S.journalist to speak with female prisoners from Abu Ghraib — traveled to the Middle East and across the United States to seek out victims and perpetrators. McKelvey tells how soldiers, acting in an atmosphere that encouraged abuse and sadism, were unleashed on a prison population of which the vast majority, according to army documents, were innocent civilians.

Drawing upon critical sources, she discloses a series of explosive revelations: An exclusive jailhouse interview with Lynndie England connects the Abu Ghraib pictures to lewd vacation photos taken by England's boyfriend Charles Graner; formerly undisclosed videotapes show soldiers "Robotripping" on cocktails of over-the-counter drugs while pretending to stab detainees; new material sheds light on accusations against an American suspected of raping an Iraqi child; and first-hand accounts suggest the use of high-voltage devises, sexual humiliation and pharmaceutical drugs on Iraqi prisoners. She also provides an inside look at Justice Department theories of presidential power to show how the many abuses were licensed by the government.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

"More Than Fiends"

New from NAL: Maureen Child's More than Fiends.

About the book, from the publisher:

Cassidy Burke is finding it hard to believe that she's next in a long line of demon dusters-Burke women paired with centuries-old cleaning solution to shine windows and spot demons. Sure, her "Clean Sweep" maid service is taking off, but wiping out supernatural bad guys? Come on.

But Cassie's surprised by her sudden fighting instincts and fierce new strength...both of which she's going to need. For one thing, her teenage daughter thinks her dad is dead, but in truth he just never knew about her...and now he's moved back to town. And after many dateless years, men are finally lining up on Cassie's doorstep. Sadly, most of them aren't human.

Monday, May 28, 2007

"The Beautiful Miscellaneous"

Out on June 5 from Atria Books, The Beautiful Miscellaneous by Dominic Smith.

About the book, from the author's website:

NATHAN NELSON IS THE AVERAGE SON OF A GENIUS. His father, a physicist of small renown, has prodded him toward greatness from an early age—enrolling him in whiz kid summer camps, taking him to the icy tundra of Canada to track a solar eclipse, and teaching him college algebra. But despite Samuel Nelson’s efforts, Nathan remains ordinary.

Then, in the summer of 1987, everything changes. While visiting his small-town grandfather in Michigan, Nathan is involved in a terrible accident. After a brief clinical death — which he later recalls as a lackluster affair lasting less than the length of a Top-40 pop song — he falls into a coma. When he awakens, Nathan finds that everyday life is radically different. His perceptions of sight, sound, and memory have been irrevocably changed. The doctors and his parents fear permanent brain damage. But the truth of his condition is more unexpected and leads to a renewed chance for Nathan to find his place in the world.

Thinking that his son's altered brain is worthy of serious inquiry, Samuel arranges for Nathan to attend the Brook-Mills Institute — a Midwestern research center where savants, prodigies, and neurological misfits are studied and their specialties applied. Immersed in this strange atmosphere — where an autistic boy can tell you what day Christmas falls on in 3026 but can't tie his shoelaces, where a medical intuitive can diagnose cancer during a long-distance phone call with a patient — Nathan begins to unravel the mysteries of his new mind. He also tries to make peace with the crushing weight of his father's expectations.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

"Cruel Poetry"

New from Serpent's Tail: Vicki Hendricks's Cruel Poetry.

About the book, from the author's website:

Renata is young, beautiful, and enjoys sex for money and kicks. Few are immune to her intoxicating allure – even her pet Burmese python, Pepe, seems captive to her charm. Richard, a poetry professor with a wife and two sons, refuses to give up his erotic fascination with Rennie, though it threatens his home and career. Julie, a shy wannabe-novelist, spies from her next door room, lusting for Rennie between bouts of frustrated writing. Both would do anything to save Rennie from her dangerous occupation and become her one true love.
Visit Vicki Hendricks's website to read an excerpt from the novel.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

"Blood Lies"

Coming June 12 from Forge Books: Daniel Kalla's Blood Lies.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ben Dafoe, a young emergency-room doctor and part-time crime-scene consultant for the Seattle Police Department, is haunted by addiction. Two years earlier, a cocaine and crystal-meth habit claimed the life of his identical twin, Aaron. Now Ben walks onto the scene of a savage stabbing to find that the victim is his former fiancée, Emily Kenmore — another loved one who fell prey to drugs. Part of the carnage in Emily’s bedroom is a single streak of blood caked on the wall.

When the DNA from that sample matches Ben’s, he becomes the prime suspect.

Convinced his identical twin is still alive and somehow involved in Emily’s death, Ben goes on the run, aiming to find Aaron. Working under an assumed identity at an inner-city clinic, Ben desperately searches for Aaron while playing cat-and-mouse with the authorities.

But someone is determined to thwart his hunt at any cost. In the story’s final twist, the truth hits closer to home and more lethally than Ben ever imagined.

Set against the backdrop of the ER, Blood Lies is a medical thriller and a Fugitive-style suspense novel with a major twist. As Ben struggles to solve a tragic mystery from his past and clear his name, he might just learn that, sometimes, blood lies....

Friday, May 25, 2007


New this month from Henry Holt and Metropolitan Books: 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East by Tom Segev.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Israel’s leading historian, a sweeping history of 1967 — the war, what led up to it, what came after, and how it changed everything

Tom Segev’s acclaimed works One Palestine, Complete and The Seventh Million overturned accepted views of the history of Israel. Now, in 1967 — a number-one bestseller in Hebrew — he brings his masterful skills to the watershed year when six days of war reshaped the country and the entire region.

Going far beyond a military account, Segev re-creates the crisis in Israel before 1967, showing how economic recession, a full grasp of the Holocaust’s horrors, and the dire threats made by neighbor states combined to produce a climate of apocalypse. He depicts the country’s bravado after its victory, the mood revealed in a popular joke in which one soldier says to his friend, “Let’s take over Cairo”; the friend replies, “Then what shall we do in the afternoon?”

Drawing on unpublished letters and diaries, as well as government memos and military records, Segev reconstructs an era of new possibilities and tragic missteps. He introduces the legendary figures — Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir, Gamal Abdul Nasser, and Lyndon Johnson — and an epic cast of soldiers, lobbyists, refugees, and settlers. He reveals as never before Israel’s intimacy with the White House as well as the political rivalries that sabotaged any chance of peace. Above all, he challenges the view that the war was inevitable, showing that a series of disastrous miscalculations lie behind the bloodshed.

A vibrant and original history, 1967 is sure to stand as the definitive account of that pivotal year.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"The Virgin's Guide to Mexico"

Coming in June: Eric B. Martin's The Virgin's Guide to Mexico.

About the book, from the publisher:

A novel about crossing the border in the opposite direction: from wealthy, suburban Texas into the wild heart of Mexico.

Alma Price is seventeen — she’s smart, she’s angry, and she’s going to Mexico. Her grandfather lives there, or so she thinks, although it’s hard to know what’s true with a lying mother who raised her amongst the blond brigade of their rich Texas neighborhood. Sick of suburbia, Alma hops a bus, crosses the border, gets a disguise, and winds through the thugs and witches and whores, ultimately disappearing in the heart of Mexico City.

Her parents, Hermelinda and Truitt, are right behind her, swerving their big SUV around hallucinogenic cacti and through herds of wild pigs, trying to save their daughter and maybe even their marriage. But in her effort to bring her daughter home to Texas, Hermelinda finds that Mexico is slowly drawing her back in, reminding her of who she is and where she’s from, and just maybe leading her toward a reconciliation with both her past and her estranged daughter.

Confident, vicious, funny, and filled with the wild leaps of imagination, The Virgin’s Guide to Mexico unleashes the full arsenal of an explosive, daring writer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

"Volk's Game"

Coming in June from Henry Holt: Brent Ghelfi's Volk's Game.

About the book, from the author's website:

The explosive debut introducing Russian gangster Alexei Volkovoy -- not since Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne has a hero shifted so effortlessly between hunter and hunted

A firefight reverberates through Moscow’s dark, rain-soaked streets; shattered glass and screams echo in the air. In the lawless ways of Russia’s capital city, the gunmen melt away into the night. Two men are dead, the targets not what they seem.

A shadowy figure lopes along the riverbank outside the Kremlin walls. Known to all as Volk, a battle-hardened veteran of Russia’s brutal war in Chechnya, he prowls Moscow’s grim alleyways, a knife concealed in his prosthetic foot at all times.

As both a major player in the black market and a covert agent for the Russian military, Volk serves two masters: Maxim, a psychotic Azeri mafia kingpin with hordes of loyal informers; and a man known only as the General, to whom Volk is mysteriously indebted. By his side is Valya, an exotic beauty charged with protecting her lover from his unsavory associates. Valya is the most dangerous weapon in Volk’s arsenal.

Together they are commissioned to steal a long-lost da Vinci painting called Leda and the Swan from St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum. Leda’s ethereal radiance is undeniably captivating and incalculably dangerous. Volk must choose which powerful man he will betray in order to escape with the painting -- and with his life.

With the high-octane rush and vivid intensity of a feature film, Volk’s Game delivers at every turn, announcing Alexei Volkovoy as the boldest hero of a new generation.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

"Late Night Talking"

New from Atria Books: Leslie Schnur's Late Night Talking.

About the book, from the author's website:

Late Night Talking is a tender and funny novel about bad behavior, the fragility of friendship and family, and how we cannot choose who we love.

Jeannie Sterling, host of a late night NYC talk show, vents with her listeners about everyday injustices, from rude cell phone users and poor gym etiquette, to bad drivers and many other annoyances of modern urban life. An idealistic California girl raised by two free-spirited parents, Jeannie believes in a life of value through activism. She's passionate about making a difference, about making the world a better place, one annoying person at a time.

For as long as she can remember, success in her career has been more than enough. But after all these years of being single, Jeannie realizes that some of the pieces of her perfect puzzle aren't fitting quite right. The people she thought she knew best all harbor secrets, secrets Jeannie can't be prepared for, secrets that can't be digested, processed, and solved in the neat three-hour window of her show. Her best friend, Luce, is growing distant and distracted; her wayward father unexpectedly moves in; and an ambiguous relationship with her college crush ignites.

When the radio station is bought by a maverick mogul, Jeannie's career, her one safe haven, descends into chaos. She is pushed to increase ratings and goes too far, risking the loss of everything and everyone important to her.

Delightfully real and deliciously flawed, Jeannie Sterling is a character we can't help but root for as she faces her life's biggest -- and both hilarious and heartbreaking -- challenges.

Monday, May 21, 2007

"A Journeyman to Grief"

New this month from McClelland & Stewart: Maureen Jennings's A Journeyman to Grief.

About the book, from the author's website:

In 1858, a young woman on her honeymoon is forcibly abducted accross the Canadian border into United States and is sold into slavery. Thirty-eight years later, Detective Murdoch's latest case is a murder that it will take all of his resourcefulness to solve. The owner of one of Toronto's livery stables has been found dead. He has been horsewhipped and left hanging from his wrists in his tack room, and his wife claims that a considerable sum of money has been stolen. Then a second man is also murdered, his body strangely tied as if he were a rebellious slave. Murdoch has to find out whether Toronto's small "coloured" community has a vicious murderer in its midst – an investigation that puts his own life in danger.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"Pretty Little Mistakes"

New from Harper Collins: Heather McElhatton's Pretty Little Mistakes.

About the book, from the author's website:

A Choose-Your-Own-Ending novel for adults!

Heather McElhatton’s singularly-original debut novel has more than 150 possible endings. From your first choice – where to go after school - you decide which of your dreams to chase. Should you travel abroad or get a masters degree? Marry or stay single? Become an artist, an entrepreneur, a homemaker, a doctor, or a drug dealer? There are hundreds of lives sewn inside one book, some end fabulously and others in total disaster.

You may end up in an opulent mansion or homeless down by the river. Happily married with your own corporation, or alone and pecked to death by ducks in London. As a Zen master in Japan or morbidly obese in a trailer park. The book asks, is it destiny or decision that controls our fate? In real life you can’t go back and do your life over – but in Pretty Little Mistakes, you can.

The genesis of this book is the age-old game we all play called the What if Game. What if I would have taken that job? What if I hadn’t broken up with that guy? What if I quit my job and took a trip around the world? We can’t stop wondering if we’ve made the right choices in our life. If it’s decision or destiny running our lives. In real life we can’t stop, turn back and get a do over – but in Pretty Little Mistakes, you can.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Keep it Real"

New this month: Bill Bryan's Keep it Real.

About the book, from the author's website:

Ted used to be an investigative reporter — a good one. But that was before the divorce, the meltdown, the subsequent supervised visitation of his adorable little girl. Now he’s one of several peon producers for the inexplicably successful reality show, ‘The Mogul.’ Ted’s not a happy man. Unlike his viewers, he takes no joy in the vapid “reality” he helps edit together for ratings. That is, until it lands him in the middle of a murder investigation.
Among the advance praise for the novel:

"If you like to laugh, and you hate reality TV, you will love this wonderfully, viciously hilarious book."
--Dave Barry

“If Carl Hiaasen and Joseph Heller collaborated on a book to satirize reality TV, you’d get Bill’s Bryan’s ‘Keep It Real.’ An instant classic.”
--Ken Bruen, author of The Guards

"'Keep It Real' is a wild, riotous romp. A piercing satire of the excesses (and abscesses) of the entertainment industry. The best skewering of Hollywood since 'The Player.' Bill Bryan keeps it real and keeps it funny, and I hope he keeps it coming."
--Paul Levine, author of Solomon vs. Lord

"Hilarious, profane, and dead-on funny. ‘Keep It Real’ is a brilliant comic mystery which skewers the world of Reality TV, rap music, and Hollywood lawyers. Run out and buy it now and be prepared to stay up all night, choking with dark laughter."
--Robert Ward, author of Red Baker and Four Kinds of Rain, Writer/Producer of “Hill St. Blues” and “Miami Vice”

"’Keep It Real’ is one of the funniest crime novels I've ever read. If you like Westlake, you'll love this. I did."
--JA Konrath, author of Whiskey Sour

Friday, May 18, 2007

"Up in Honey's Room"

New this month from William Morrow: Elmore Leonard's Up in Honey's Room.

About the book, from the publisher:

The odd thing about Walter Schoen, German born but now running a butcher shop in Detroit, he's a dead ringer for Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS and the Gestapo. They even share the same birthday.

Honey Deal, Walter's American wife, doesn't know that Walter is a member of a spy ring that sends U.S. war production data to Germany and gives shelter to escaped German prisoners of war. But she's tired of telling him jokes he doesn't understand — it's time to get a divorce.

Along comes Carl Webster, the hot kid of the Marshals Service. He's looking for Jurgen Schrenk, a former Afrika Korps officer who escaped from a POW camp in Oklahoma. Carl's pretty sure Walter's involved with keeping Schrenk hidden, so Carl gets to know Honey, hoping she'll take him to Walter. Carl then meets Vera Mezwa, the nifty Ukrainian head of the spy ring who's better looking than Mata Hari, and her tricky lover Bohdan with the Buster Brown haircut and a sly way of killing.

Honey's a free spirit; she likes the hot kid marshal and doesn't much care that he's married. But all Carl wants is to get Jurgen Schrenk without getting shot. And then there's Otto — the Waffen-SS major who runs away with a nice Jewish girl. It's Elmore Leonard's world — gritty, funny, and full of surprises.


Coming in June from Hard Case Crime: the re-issue of George Axelrod's Blackmailer.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the Academy Award-Nominated Screenwriter of
Comes a Breathtaking Story of Murder and Mischief...

IT’S THE STORY of a big-game hunter, fisherman, fighter, visitor to Cuba, drunk, and Nobel Prize-winning author, recently deceased of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, whose final unpublished manuscript could fetch a mint...

IT’S THE STORY of a short, balding man with a high-pitched voice and a vicious wit, whose cocktail parties are the talk of the town, especially when a beautiful woman dies at one of them...

IT’S THE STORY of Hollywood’s sexiest starlet, who manages to conceal things even when she’s wearing nothing but a towel...

...and it's the story of Dick Sherman, intrepid New York publisher, on the trail of the literary find of the century—and the killer who will stop at nothing to keep it from being found.

  • First publication in almost 50 years!
  • George Axelrod is the legendary, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, The Seven-Year Itch, The Manchurian Candidate, and Frederick Forsyth’s The Fourth Protocol
  • Axelrod also wrote for television and radio, and penned the Broadway plays "Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?" and "Goodbye Charlie"
  • Booklist on BLACKMAILER: "[A] classic thriller...everyone smokes, ice buckets are always full, a good suit costs $100, and a copy of the Daily News costs a nickel.... Think Thin Man films with Mickey Spillane-ish hard cases standing in for the suave uptown types.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Coming in June from Grove/Black Cat: Mark Haskell Smith's Salty.

About the book, from the publisher:

Turk Henry is overweight, unemployed, and unafraid to have a cold beer for breakfast. He’s also a rock star (the bassist for the defunct megaplatinumselling Metal Assassin), married to a supermodel, and rich beyond his wildest dreams, and right now his pampered paunch is plopped on the beach in Phuket. Turk has discovered that Thailand is probably the last place a recovering sex addict should go on vacation, yet here he is, surrounded by topless groupies and haunted by the stares of hundreds of luscious bar girls. It is a catalytic environment cranked up to eleven. What would his therapist say?

Turk’s struggles with monogamy pale beside a greater challenge when his wife is abducted by a group of renegade, shipless Thai pirates. The U.S. government won’t help — they suspect the pirates are terrorists — and the law forbids Turk from paying the ransom. As Turk, his life skills limited to playing bass and partying, navigates the back alleys of Bangkok and the deadly jungles of Southeast Asia to save his wife, Salty heats up and sweats bullets.

Featuring skinflint American tourists, topless beaches, a hypochondriac U.S. government agent, suitcases loaded with cash, an overeager “full service” personal assistant, a horny Australian commando, inventive prostitutes, and an urbane pirate with a fetish for alabaster skin, this is a hilariously entertaining, thoroughly debauched novel — with a happy finish.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"When the Press Fails"

New from the University of Chicago Press: When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina, by W. Lance Bennett, Regina G. Lawrence, and Steven Livingston.

About the book, from the publisher:

During the gravest moments of George W. Bush’s tenure — the response to 9/11, the buildup to war with Iraq, the Abu Ghraib scandal — the media largely reported reality as his administration scripted it. Why, in these times when we most need a critical, independent press, does this essential pillar of democracy fail us? A sobering look at the intimate relationship between political power and the news media, When the Press Fails argues that reporters’ dependence on official sources disastrously thwarts coverage of dissenting voices from outside the beltway.

The result is both an indictment of official spin and an urgent call to action that begins by questioning why the mainstream press neglected to cover considerable evidence against the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Drawing on hard-hitting interviews with journalists and analysis of content from major news outlets, the authors show that such catastrophic blind spots, particularly during the Abu Ghraib controversy, have stemmed from a lack of high-level sources within government willing to question the administration publicly. Contrasting these grave failures with the refreshingly critical reporting on Hurricane Katrina — a rare event that caught officials off guard, enabling journalists to enter a no-spin zone — When the Press Fails concludes by proposing new practices to reduce reporters’ dependence on power.

The authors ultimately contend that if ordinary Americans start to hear alternative perspectives aired in the legitimizing arena of the mainstream press, they just might begin to act as a public — no longer suffering with private shock and awe as world-changing events unfold before their eyes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

"Extremely Pale Rosé"

New in paperback in June: Jamie Ivey's Extremely Pale Rosé.

About the book, from the publisher:

Extremely Pale Rosé follows Jamie Ivey’s charming journey as he, his wife, Tanya, and their hilariously debauched friend, Peter, travel the south of France in search of the palest of rosés. Far from the plonk he’s used to, Jamie finds something fantastic about a cool, pale rosé on a hot day. Due to a translation mishap, Jamie is taunted by a local vintner that there is no paler rosé than hers and embarks on a quest to find one. Setting off on a ramshackle tour of France in search of the elusive bottle that meets the standards set, they visit main rosé producing areas and through eccentric locals discover much the regions have to offer. With wit, candor, and wonderful storytelling, Jamie Ivey maintains a tradition of excellence in food and travel writing. Readers are left with dreams of France, summer days, baguettes, and -- extremely pale rosé.

Monday, May 14, 2007

"Hot Rocks"

New from Lev Raphael: Hot Rocks, the latest in the Nick Hoffman Mystery series.

About the book, from the author's website:

Fitness = Death when Nick Hoffman heads back to the gym right after a vacation, finding himself caught in a Desperate Housewives-type mystery. Michigan Muscle is a state-of-the-art health club adjacent to the State University of Michigan. Boasting luxurious facilities, the latest equipment, and topnotch personal trainers, it's a palatial complex for fitness. But every palace has its intrigue, and when Nick stumbles across a dead trainer, he's drawn into a web of passion and privilege unlike anything he's ever experienced before. The prime suspect because he's the one who discovered the body, Nick has to work this mystery out to its bitter end.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


New from Vintage Contemporaries: Ben Dolnick's Zoology.

About the book, from the publisher:

Zoology is the story of Henry Elinsky, a college flunk-out who takes a job at the Central Park Zoo and discovers that becoming an adult takes a lot more than just a weekly paycheck.
Read some of the considerable praise for this debut novel.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

"Buried in the Bitter Waters"

Published in March by Basic Books: Elliot Jaspin's Buried in the Bitter Waters: The Hidden History of Racial Cleansing in America.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Leave now, or die!" From the heart of the Midwest to the Deep South, from the mountains of North Carolina to the Texas frontier, words like these have echoed through more than a century of American history. The call heralded not a tornado or a hurricane, but a very unnatural disaster -- a manmade wave of racial cleansing that purged black populations from counties across the nation. We have long known about horrific episodes of lynching in the South, but the story of widespread racial cleansingabove and below the Mason-Dixon line -- has remained almost entirely unknown. Time after time, in the period between Reconstruction and the 1920s, whites banded together to drive out the blacks in their midst. They burned and killed indiscriminately and drove thousands from their homes, sweeping entire counties clear of blacks to make them racially "pure." The expulsions were swift-in many cases, it took no more than twenty-four hours to eliminate an entire African-American population. Shockingly, these areas remain virtually all-white to this day. Based on nearly a decade of painstaking research in archives and census records, Buried in the Bitter Waters provides irrefutable evidence that racial cleansing occurred again and again on American soil, and fundamentally reshaped the geography of race. In this groundbreaking book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Elliot Jaspin has rewritten American history as we know it.

Friday, May 11, 2007

"Everything Is Miscellaneous"

New from Henry Holt and Times Books: Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder by David Weinberger.

About the book, from the publisher:

Human beings are information omnivores: we are constantly collecting, labeling, and organizing data. But today, the shift from the physical to the digital is mixing, burning, and ripping our lives apart. In the past, everything had its one place — the physical world demanded it — but now everything has its places: multiple categories, multiple shelves. Simply put, everything is suddenly miscellaneous.
In Everything Is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger charts the new principles of digital order that are remaking business, education, politics, science, and culture.

In his rollicking tour of the rise of the miscellaneous, he examines why the Dewey decimal system is stretched to the breaking point, how Rand McNally decides what information not to include in a physical map (and why Google Earth is winning that battle), how Staples stores emulate online shopping to increase sales, why your children’s teachers will stop having them memorize facts, and how the shift to digital music stands as the model for the future in virtually every industry. Finally, he shows how by “going miscellaneous,” anyone can reap rewards from the deluge of information in modern work and life.

From A to Z, Everything Is Miscellaneous will completely reshape the way you think — and what you know — about the world.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"The Border of Truth"

New from Counterpoint: Victoria Redel's The Border of Truth.

About the book, from the publisher:

During the 1940s a seventeen-year-old European Jewish refugee aboard a ship being returned to Nazi-occupied Brussels, after having been denied American port, writes a series of letters to Eleanor Roosevelt. He beseeches her intervention and tells his own story (the girls he’s kissed, the movies he’s seen). The minutiae of this young boy’s life mix with the mortal realities of the time in his communiqués. Decades later, in contemporary Manhattan, Sara is uncovering the secrets of her parents-secrets in which, through silence, she’s been complicit. The Border of Truth is a multi-faceted exploration of the experience of first-generation children of refugees (in this case of the Holocaust), and the ways in which the stories of their parents define their lives. Ultimately, these two very separate timelines converge as Sara can no longer keep her self-made promise not to ask her father what happened to him and his family during the war. When he thwarts her questions, the pieces of his puzzle find their way to her on their own. Fascinating, mesmerizing, and gorgeously told, The Border of Truth is a riveting read-sure to bring Victoria Redel to the wide and appreciative audience she so handsomely earns in these pages.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

"Brutal Journey"

New in paperback this month from Henry Holt: Brutal Journey: Cabeza de Vaca and the Epic First Crossing of North America by Paul Schneider.

About the book, from the publisher:

A gripping survival epic, Brutal Journey tells the story of an army of would-be conquerors, bound for glory, who landed in Florida in 1528. But only four of the four hundred would survive: eight years and some five thousand miles later, three Spaniards and a black Moroccan wandered out of the wilderness to the north of the Rio Grande and into Cortes’s gold-drenched Mexico. The survivors brought nothing back other than their story, but what a tale it was. They had become killers and cannibals, torturers and torture victims, slavers and enslaved. They became faith healers, arms dealers, canoe thieves, spider eaters. They became, in other words, whatever it took to stay alive.
Visit the author's website to read an introduction and an excerpt.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

"Hard Man"

Available now in the U.K. and coming on June 4 in the U.S.: Allan Guthrie's Hard Man.

About the book, from the publisher:

Pearce, an ex-con and Edinburgh hard man who’s still recovering from the recent loss of his mother, is invited by the dysfunctional Baxter family to protect their pregnant sixteen-year-old daughter from her martial-arts-expert husband, Wallace—a man ten years her senior with a penchant for killing family pets. Having found out that the baby’s not his, Wallace has sworn vengeance. Pearce declines the job: He’s no babysitter. But when Wallace kills Pearce’s dog, he goes too far. Now it’s personal.
Revenge is part of the grieving process. But has Pearce finally met his match?
Time to find out how many psychedelic drugs one man can take.
Time to find out why Jesus is living in a cage in Wallace’s basement.
Time to find out who the real hard man is.

Monday, May 7, 2007

"The Lisbon Crossing"

Just released from William Morrow: Tom Gabbay's The Lisbon Crossing.

About the book, from the publisher:

Teeming with Nazis, spies, and ambiguous loyalties, the early days of World War II come alive with dark intrigue and heart-stopping action in this brilliant second tale from the author of the hit thriller The Berlin Conspiracy.

It's the summer of 1940 and Europe is in the grip of the Nazi war machine. Jack Teller arrives in neutral Lisbon on the arm of international screen legend Lili Sterne, to help her search for her childhood friend, Eva Lange. Having escaped Germany, staying one step ahead of the Nazi terror, Eva is believed to be hiding among the thousands of desperate refugees who have descended upon Lisbon. But Jack isn't the first on her trail. Top Hollywood detective Eddie Grimes had been on the case — until he turned up dead.

Instead of answers, Jack uncovers a series of lies that leads from Estoril's glittering nightclubs — rubbing elbows with the likes of Edward, Duke of Windsor, and his scheming wife, Wallis Simpson — into Lisbon's dank and dangerous backstreets. Along the way, Jack makes a shocking discovery that takes him from Portugal to the perilous boulevards of Nazi-occupied Paris, where his actions could change the course of the war.

The Lisbon Crossing brilliantly evokes a time of terror and uncertainty, and establishes Tom Gabbay's place among the best of modern suspense novelists.

"Life's Little Annoyances"

New in paperback from Henry Holt and Times Books: Ian Urbina's Life's Little Annoyances: True Tales of People Who Just Can't Take It Anymore.

About the book, from the publisher:

For some of us, it’s the automated voice that answers the phone when we’d rather talk to a real person. For others, it’s the fact that Starbucks insists on calling its smallest-sized coffee “tall.” Each of us finds some aspect of everyday life to be particularly maddening, and we often long to lash out at these stubborn irritants of modern life.

In Life’s Little Annoyances, Ian Urbina chronicles the lengths to which some people will go when they have endured their pet peeves long enough and are not going to take it anymore. It is a compen-dium of human inventiveness, by turns juvenile and petty, but in other ways inspired and deeply satisfying.

A celebration of the endless variety of passive-aggressive behavior, Life’s Little Annoyances revels in the tactics people use to vent their anger at telemarketers, loud cell-phone talkers, spammers, and others against whom we feel powerless — until now.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

"Darwin, Literature, and Victorian Respectability"

Published last month by Cambridge University Press: Gowan Dawson's Darwin, Literature, and Victorian Respectability.

About the book, from the publisher:

The success of Charles Darwin's evolutionary theories in mid-nineteenth-century Britain has long been attributed, in part, to his own adherence to strict standards of Victorian respectability, especially in regard to sex. Gowan Dawson contends that the fashioning of such respectability was by no means straightforward or unproblematic, with Darwin and his principal supporters facing surprisingly numerous and enduring accusations of encouraging sexual impropriety. Integrating contextual approaches to the history of science with recent work in literary studies, Dawson sheds new light on the well-known debates over evolution by examining them in relation to the murky underworlds of Victorian pornography, sexual innuendo, unrespectable freethought and artistic sensualism. Such disreputable and generally overlooked aspects of nineteenth-century culture were actually remarkably central to many of these controversies. Focusing particularly on aesthetic literature and new legal definitions of obscenity, Dawson reveals the underlying tensions between Darwin's theories and conventional notions of Victorian respectability.

• An innovative new interpretation of Victorian attitudes to Darwin and his theories

• Uses an interdisciplinary approach and many unpublished sources

• Reveals a surprising new context for the many cartoons depicting Darwin, eight of which are included

Saturday, May 5, 2007

"The Purchase of Intimacy"

New in paperback from Princeton University Press: Viviana A. Zelizer's The Purchase of Intimacy.

About the book, from the publisher:

In their personal lives, people consider it essential to separate economics and intimacy. We have, for example, a long-standing taboo against workplace romance, while we see marital love as different from prostitution because it is not a fundamentally financial exchange. In The Purchase of Intimacy, Viviana Zelizer mounts a provocative challenge to this view. Getting to the heart of one of life's greatest taboos, she shows how we all use economic activity to create, maintain, and renegotiate important ties -- especially intimate ties -- to other people.

In everyday life, we invest intense effort and worry to strike the right balance. For example, when a wife's income equals or surpasses her husband's, how much more time should the man devote to household chores or child care? Sometimes legal disputes arise. Should the surviving partner in a same-sex relationship have received compensation for a partner's death as a result of 9/11?

Through a host of compelling examples, Zelizer shows us why price is central to three key areas of intimacy: sexually tinged relations; health care by family members, friends, and professionals; and household economics. She draws both on research and materials ranging from reports on compensation to survivors of 9/11 victims to financial management Web sites and advice books for same-sex couples.

From the bedroom to the courtroom, The Purchase of Intimacy opens a fascinating new window on the inner workings of the economic processes that pervade our private lives.


New from Chuck Palahniuk: Rant.

About the book, from the publisher:

“Like most people I didn’t meet Rant Casey until after he was dead. That’s how it works for most celebrities: After they croak, their circle of friends just explodes.…”

Rant is the mind-bending new novel from Chuck Palahniuk, the literary provocateur responsible for such books as the generation-defining classic Fight Club and the pedal-to-the-metal horrorfest Haunted. It takes the form of an oral history of one Buster “Rant” Casey, who may or may not be the most efficient serial killer of our time.

“What ‘Typhoid Mary’ Mallon was to typhoid, what Gaetan Dugas was to AIDS, and Liu Jian-lun was to SARS, Buster Casey would become for rabies.”

A high school rebel who always wins (and a childhood murderer?), Rant Casey escapes from his small hometown of Middleton for the big city. He becomes the leader of an urban demolition derby called Party Crashing. On appointed nights participants recognize one another by such designated car markings as “Just Married” toothpaste graffiti and then stalk and crash into each other. Rant Casey will die a spectacular highway death, after which his friends gather testimony needed to build an oral history of his short, violent life. Their collected anecdotes explore the possibility that his saliva caused a silent urban plague of rabies and that he found a way to escape the prison house of linear time.…

“The future you have, tomorrow, won’t be the same future you had, yesterday.” —Rant Casey

Expect hilarity, horror, and blazing insight into the desperate and surreal contemporary human condition as only Chuck Palahniuk can deliver it. He's the postmillennial Jonathan Swift, the visionary to watch to learn what's —uh-oh—coming next.

Friday, May 4, 2007

"Matters of Exchange"

New from Yale University Press: Matters of Exchange: Commerce, Medicine, and Science in the Dutch Golden Age by Harold J. Cook.

About the book, from the publisher:

Click here to listen to an interview with Harold Cook on the Yale Press Podcast.

In this wide-ranging and stimulating book, a leading authority on the history of medicine and science presents convincing evidence that Dutch commerce—not religion—inspired the rise of science in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Harold J. Cook scrutinizes a wealth of historical documents relating to the study of medicine and natural history in the Netherlands and elsewhere in Europe, Brazil, South Africa, and Asia during this era, and his conclusions are fresh and exciting. He uncovers direct links between the rise of trade and commerce in the Dutch Empire and the flourishing of scientific investigation.

Cook argues that engaging in commerce changed the thinking of Dutch citizens, leading to a new emphasis on such values as objectivity, accumulation, and description. The preference for accurate information that accompanied the rise of commerce also laid the groundwork for the rise of science globally, wherever the Dutch engaged in trade. Medicine and natural history were fundamental aspects of this new science, as reflected in the development of gardens for both pleasure and botanical study, anatomical theaters, curiosity cabinets, and richly illustrated books about nature. Sweeping in scope and original in its insights, this book revises previous understandings of the history of science and ideas.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

"Prophet of Innovation"

Recently published by Harvard University Press: Thomas K. McCraw's Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the rave review in the Economist:
Now [Schumpeter] has received yet another accolade: a fat, learned biography by Thomas McCraw, one of America's most respected business historians, the author of a Pulitzer prize-winning history of the rise of regulation. He has found the perfect subject in Schumpeter. He succeeds in getting inside the economist's head, explaining not just what he thought but why he thought it. Beyond this, he also succeeds in painting a portrait of his times. Fin de siècle Vienna, Weimar Germany, Harvard University (where he is seen in our photograph) before and after the first world war: all come to life on these pages. [read more]

"Cut to the Bone"

Coming in June from Pinnacle: Shane Gericke's Cut to the Bone.

About the book, from the publisher:

With Blown Away, Shane Gericke established himself as a master of suspense in the tradition of New York Times bestselling authors Thomas Harris and Dean Koontz. His latest thriller, Cut to the Bone, delves into the mind of a twisted and terrifying psychopath…

No judge. No jury. No mercy.

The victims bear a madman’s grisly marks. Each one is cut with chilling precision and then savagely mutilated...

Martin Benedetti, detective commander for the Naperville, Illinois, sheriff’s office, is no stranger to ruthless killers. Two years ago Marty and local police detective Emily Thompson solved a particularly brutal case of serial murder. But this time it’s different. This time, the carnage that has been wrought is only the horrific prelude to another more shocking act of evil — an act that will strike at the heart of everything Marty cherishes most…

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

"Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"

Released yesterday: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere by John McFetridge.

About the book, from the publisher:

The joke?

Toronto thinks it’s the centre of some multicultural universe, always bragging about how people come from every part of the world to live there.

The punch line?

Some of them are coming to commit crimes.

So yeah, Sharon MacDonald’s got a problem.

And no, it’s not being trapped in her apartment, tethered to a court-ordered tracking device. It’s not the guy who just fell 25 stories and through the roof of a car. Not the cops preventing her from getting to the grow rooms. It’s not even the mystery man who shows up with a life-saving plan that just might work.

Sharon’s problem is Ray: he’s too good-looking.

Detective Gord Bergeron has problems too. Maybe it’s his new partner, Ojibwa native Detective Armstrong. Or maybe it’s the missing ten-year-old girl, or the unidentified torso dumped in an alley behind a motel, or what looks like corruption deep within the police force.

Bergeron and Armstrong are two of the cops poking around Sharon MacDonald’s place. They want to know whether the Arab-looking dead guy jumped, or if he was pushed. When it turns out he’s got no ID, no one knows him, and a couple of the 9/11 terrorists once lived in the building, they dig deeper, trying to make connections all over the new Toronto, in the Asian massage parlours, the street-dealer-led housing projects, and the mafia-run private clubs.

Or maybe they’ll just stay close to Sharon. She knows what everybody knows. The whole world might be coming here, but this is nowhere.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

"Shakespeare's Kitchen"

Published last month by The New Press: Shakespeare's Kitchen by Lore Segal.

About the book, from the publisher:

The thirteen interrelated stories of Shakespeare’s Kitchen concern the universal longing for friendship, how we achieve new intimacies for ourselves, and how slowly, inexplicably, we lose them. Featuring six never-before-published pieces, Lore Segal’s stunning new book evolved from seven short stories that originally appeared in the New Yorker (including the O. Henry Prize–winning “The Reverse Bug”).

Ilka Weisz has accepted a teaching position at the Concordance Institute, a think tank in Connecticut, reluctantly leaving her New York circle of friends. After the comedy of her struggle to meet new people, Ilka comes to embrace, and be embraced by, a new set of acquaintances, including the institute’s director, Leslie Shakespeare, and his wife, Eliza. Through a series of memorable dinner parties, picnics, and Sunday brunches, Segal evokes the subtle drama and humor of the outsider’s loneliness, the comfort and charm of familiar companionship, the bliss of being in love, and the strangeness of our behavior in the face of other people’s deaths.

A magnificent and deeply moving work, Shakespeare’s Kitchen marks the long-awaited return of a writer at the height of her powers.