Monday, December 31, 2007

"At the City's Edge"

New in January from St. Martin's Minotaur: Marcus Sakey's At the City's Edge.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

Jason Palmer loved being a soldier. But after returning home from Iraq with an "other than honorable" discharge, he's finding rebuilding his life the toughest battle yet.

Elena Cruz is a talented cop, the first woman to make Chicago's prestigious Gang Intelligence Unit. She's ready for anything the job can throw at her.

Until Jason's brother, a prominent community activist, is murdered in front of his own son.

Now, stalked by brutal men with a shadowy agenda, Jason and Elena must unravel a conspiracy stretching from the darkest alleys of the ghetto to the manicured lawns of the city's power brokers. In a world where corruption and violence are simply the cost of doing business, two damaged people are all that stand between an innocent child -- and the killers who will stop at nothing to find him.
Visit Marcus Sakey's website.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"Killer Year: Stories to Die For"

New in January from St. Martin's Minotaur: Killer Year: Stories to Die For ... from the Hottest New Crime Writers, edited by Lee Child.

About the book, from the publisher:

Killer Year is a group of 13 debut crime/mystery/suspense authors whose books will be published in 2007. The graduating class includes such rising stars as Robert Gregory Browne, Toni McGee Causey, Marcus Sakey, Derek Nikitas, Marc Lecard, JT Ellison, Brett Battles, Jason Pinter, Bill Cameron, Sean Chercover, Patry Francis, Gregg Olsen, and David White. Each of the short stories displaying their talents are introduced by their Killer Year mentors, some of which include bestselling authors Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen and Jeffrey Deaver, with additional stories by Ken Bruen, Allison Brennan and Duane Swierczynski. Bestselling authors Laura Lippman and MJ Rose contribute insightful essays. Inside you'll read about a small time crook in over his head, a story told backwards with a heroine not to be messed with, a tale of boys and the trouble they will get into over a girl, and many more stories of the highest caliber in murder, mayhem, and sheer entertainment. This amazing anthology, edited by the grandmaster Lee Child, is sure to garner lots of attention and keep readers coming back for more.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

"An Ordinary Spy"

New from Bloomsbury USA: An Ordinary Spy by Joseph Weisberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

An Ordinary Spy is the thrilling story of two CIA Case Officers whose lives are permanently changed by the agents they recruit and run.

Mark Ruttenberg is a young, slightly naïve new officer who is about to go on his first international assignment. Before he leaves for , however, he learns about a former operative, Bobby Goldstein, whose relationship with his informant LXMALIBU led to his termination. Mark is able to determine that something went seriously wrong with the operation, but that's as far as he gets before he has to leave.

While abroad, Mark tries to forget about LXMALIBU and focus on his job at the CIA Station. It's a life of hobnobbing, high security, and courting potential informants like , high-ranking dignitaries, and powerful generals. But when he falls for the wrong woman, Mark finds himself sent back to the United States. Not sure how to integrate into his old life, Mark is in limbo until he receives a postcard with just an address on it. Who sent the postcard, and where is it supposed to lead him? Could this all be an ops test, with Mark's future hanging in the balance?

When he gets a call from Bobby Goldstein, Mark agrees to meet him and finds himself in , and in the middle of a still very active operation. Soon, he'll have to decide if righting an old wrong is worth taking a terrible and very personal risk.

Visit Joseph Weisberg's website.

Friday, December 28, 2007

"Seeing Me Naked"

Coming in January from Grand Central Publishing: Seeing Me Naked by Liza Palmer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Elisabeth Page is the daughter of Ben Page, yes, that's right, THE world famous novelist. And yes, she's also the sister of Rascal Page, world famous novelist in his own right. So what does Elisabeth do? Much to her family's disappointment, Elisabeth is a pastry chef. And a pretty damn good one, at Beverly, the hottest restaurant in LA. The last relationship Elisabeth had was with Will, a man she grew up with and whose family ran in the same social circles as her family. But Will's constant jaunts around the world have left her lonely and brokenhearted in L.A.

That is until Daniel Sullivan bids on one of Elisabeth's pastry tutorials at a charity auction. Daniel is everything her family is not: a basketball coach, a non-intellectual, his family doesn't summer on Martha's Vineyard, and the only metaphors he uses are about passing the ball and being a team player. But somehow they fit. Between her family, Will, and the new cooking show that Elisabeth is recruited to star in, Elisabeth's life is suddenly incredibly new and different—the question is, can she embrace being happy or has her family conditioned her to think she's just not good enough?
Visit Liza Palmer's website.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

"The Secret Between Us"

Coming in January from Doubleday Books: The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky.

About the book, from the author's website:

Physician Deborah Monroe and her teenage daughter Grace are driving home one night in a raging rainstorm when their car hits a man who is on foot on the road. He subsequently dies, throwing Deborah and Grace into emotional turmoil. They share a secret concerning the accident, a lie that takes on a life of its own and threatens both their everyday lives and the special bond between them. And it refuses to go away, growing larger with each denial, jeopardizing ties Deborah has with her renegade sister and their father, a recent widower, and with the ex-husband whose role in their children's lives is at stake. As details emerge about the accident victim - an aloof local teacher who wove his own web of secrecy - Deborah must find a way to reconcile her worst fears with the truth of that terrible night.

The Secret Between Us is about a lie gone wrong, about making bad choices for the right reasons. This book explores the limits of responsibility - mother to daughter, daughter to father, husband to wife. It examines the price that we pay for denying the truth.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"Blood of the Wicked"

Coming in January from Soho Press: Blood of the Wicked by Leighton Gage.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the remote Brazilian town of Cascatas do Pontal, where landless peasants are confronting the owners of vast estates, the the bishop arrives by helicopter to consecrate a new church and is assassinated.

Mario Silva, Chief Inspector for Criminal Matters of the Federal Police of Brazil, is dispatched to the interior to find the killer. The Pope himself has called Brazil’s president; the pressure is on Silva to perform. Assisted by his nephew, Hector Costa, also a federal policeman, Silva must battle the state police and a corrupt judiciary as well as criminals who prey on street kids, the warring factions of the Landless League, the big landowners and the Church itself, in order to solve the initial murder and several brutal killings that follow. Justice is hard to come by. An old priest, a secret liberation theologist, finally metes it out. Here is a Brazil that tourists never encounter.

Visit Leighton Gage's website.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Coming in January from Little, Brown: Sway by Zachary Lazar.

About the novel, from the publisher:

Three dramatic and emblematic stories intertwine in Zachary Lazar's extraordinary new novel, Sway -- the early days of the Rolling Stones, including the romantic triangle of Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg, and Keith Richards; the life of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger; and the community of Charles Manson and his followers.

Lazar illuminates an hour in American history when rapture found its roots in idolatrous figures and led to unprovoked and inexplicable violence. Connecting all the stories in this novel is Bobby Beausoleil, a beautiful California boy who appeared in an Anger film and eventually joined the Manson 'family.' With great artistry, Lazar weaves scenes from these real lives together into a true but heightened reality, making superstars human, giving demons reality, and restoring mythic events to the scale of daily life.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"The First Campaign"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The First Campaign: Globalization, the Web, and the Race for the White House by Garrett M. Graff.

About the book, from the publisher:

How the "flattening of the world" has transformed politics--and what it means for the 2008 election

The 2008 presidential campaign will be like none in recent memory: the first campaign in fifty years in which both the Democrats and the Republicans must nominate a new candidate, and the first ever in which the issues of globalization and technology will decide the outcome.

Garrett M. Graff represents the people that all the candidates want to engage: young, technologically savvy, concerned about the future. In this far-reaching book, he asks: Will the two major parties seize the moment and run the first campaign of the new era, or will they run the last campaign all over again?

Globalization, Graff argues, has made technology both the medium and the message of 2008. The usual domestic issues (the economy, health care, job safety) are now global issues. Meanwhile, the emergence of the Web as a political tool has shaken up the campaign process, leaving front-runners vulnerable right up until Election Day.

Which candidate will dare to run a new kind of race? Combining vivid campaign-trail reporting with a provocative argument about the state of American politics, Graff makes clear that whichever party best meets the challenges of globalization will win the election — and put America back on course.

The First Campaign is required reading for the presidential candidates — and for the rest of us, too.

Friday, December 21, 2007

"Saturday's Child"

Coming in January from Harcourt Books: Saturday's Child by Ray Banks.

About the novel, from the publisher:

Cal Innes is fresh out of prison and ducking a past muddied with ties to local gang lord "Uncle" Morris Tiernan. But when Tiernan finds out Innes is working as an unlicensed PI and calls in a favor Innes doesn’t owe, Innes is thrust into a cat-and-mouse game with Tiernan’s psychotic son, Mo. Ordered to track down a rogue casino dealer who’s absconded with a hefty chunk of cash, Innes finds that the case points north to Newcastle. With Tiernan’s son on his tail and a Manchester cop determined to put Innes back in jail, Saturday’s child has to work hard to keep living.
Learn more about the book at Ray Banks' website.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

"The Crazy School"

Coming in January from Grand Central Publishing: The Crazy School by Cornelia Read.

About the book, from the author's website:

From the acclaimed author of A Field of Darkness comes another compelling novel featuring the acerbic and memorable voice of ex-debutante Madeline Dare. Madeline Dare has finally escaped rust-belt Syracuse, New York, for the lush Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts. After her husband's job offer falls through, Maddie signs on as a teacher at the Santangelo Academy, a boarding school for disturbed teenagers. Behind the academy's ornate gates, she discovers a disturbing realm where students and teachers alike must submit to the founder's bizarre therapeutic regimen.

From day one, Maddie feels uneasy about smooth-talking Dr. Santangelo but when she questions his methods, she's appalled to find that her fellow teachers would rather turn on each other than stand up for themselves, much less protect the students in their care. A chilling event confirms Maddie's worst suspicions, then hints at an even darker secret history, one that twines through the academy's very heart.

Cut off from the outside world, Maddie must join forces with a small band of the school's most violently rebellious students-kids whose troubled grip on reality may well prove to be her only chance of salvation.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"Twisted Justice"

New from Oceanview Publishing: Twisted Justice by Patricia Gussin.

About the book, from the author's website:

Laura Nelson has it all – a successful career as a surgeon, five well-adjusted kids, and a gorgeous, prominent husband Steve whose career as a nightly news anchor is skyrocketing.

Laura’s seemingly perfect world shatters when she discovers that Steve is sharing much more than a news desk and a billboard with Kim, his sexy co-anchor at the Tampa TV News. But Steve’s torrid fling with his coworker is about to come to an abrupt end….

When Kim is murdered, Laura is left holding the smoking gun. How far would Laura go to preserve her perfect life? That’s about to become yesterday’s news.

Now, Laura must fight to protect her freedom as lies, deception and dark secrets threaten to close in on her, and change her perfect life into a perfect nightmare.

But, looks can be deceiving. And deceit can be deadly.

Sexy, alluring and provocative, Twisted Justice delivers fiery hot action, pulse-pounding suspense, and a razor-sharp plot full of dangerous curves and tantalizing turns.
Visit Patricia Gussin's website and view the Twisted Justice trailer.

"Deadly Beloved"

New from Hard Case Crime: Deadly Beloved by Max Allan Collins.

About the book, from the publisher:


Marcy Addwatter killed her husband — there’s no question about that. Shot him dead in the motel room where he was trysting with a blonde hooker. Shot the hooker, too.

But where the cops might see an open-and-shut case, private eye Michael Tree — Ms. Michael Tree — sees a conspiracy. For Ms. Tree, digging into it could mean digging her own grave...and digging up her own murdered husband’s.

Based on the longest-running private-eye comic book series of all time, DEADLY BELOVED brings you an all-new adventure of the legendary Ms. Tree — the groundbreaking female P.I. who put the ‘graphic’ into graphic novel...

Read a sample chapter from Deadly Beloved.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"The Fattening of America"

Coming in January from John Wiley and Sons: The Fattening of America: How The Economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What To Do About It by Eric A. Finkelstein and Laurie Zuckerman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Eric Finkelstein is a renowned health economist who has spent much of his career studying the economics of obesity. Now, with the help of coauthor Laurie Zuckerman, he skillfully reveals the economic drivers behind America's growing obesity epidemic, its impact on society, and what can be done to get the epidemic under control. The Fattening of America brings a complex topic to a broad general audience with engaging examples that are relatable to economists and non-economists alike. Declining food costs and sedentary lifestyles contribute to rising obesity rates, damaging America's economy. It's making our businesses less competitive, pushing good jobs overseas, hurting our military readiness, increasing our taxes, and bankrupting the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In addition, the obesity epidemic has created a tremendous demand for all sorts of new products and services, creating a flourishing new market that the authors have termed "The ObesEconomy." The Fattening of America outlines the issues we must address in order to confront obesity and provides sensible strategies for reducing this burden. It explains how successful obesity prevention strategies, whether driven by business or government, can create an economy that helps America slim down and save money.


Coming January 1, 2008 from Simon & Schuster: Matala by Craig Holden.

About the book, from the publisher:

Darcy Arlen, a beautiful young American, is dangerously bored. Though she's on a very pricey tour of Europe, she's already sick of museums and ruins, and eager for distraction. After slipping away from the group one afternoon, she meets Will, an attractive young drifter who carries about him the scent of true adventure.

Will invites Darcy back to the hostel where he's been staying and introduces her to Justine, his darkly seductive lover and mentor. Justine, a master of the con, senses a grand opportunity in this amenable blonde. She and Will manage to turn things so that Darcy not only accompanies them to Venice, but finances the trip as well. There they meet Maurice, a shady figure who offers them a job smuggling an important package to Greece.

As the threesome travels across Europe toward the island of Crete, what unfolds is an astonishing tale of shifting alliances and shocking betrayals, of sexual obsession and mercenary enterprise, of conflicting passions and fateful choices. When the adventurers finally reach the village of Matala with the package in hand, they learn that what they have delivered is more valuable, and the repercussions of their involvement more terrifying, than they ever could have imagined.

Endlessly surprising and altogether riveting, Matala is an unforgettable novel about the intersection of love and ruthlessness.

Visit Craig Holden's website.

Monday, December 17, 2007

"The Kept Man"

New from Riverhead Books: Jami Attenberg's The Kept Man.

About the book, from the author's website:

There was the ambulance, and a lot of noise, and me and Martin in the hospital, paint on his face, paint on my knees, the two of us the weirdest people in the room, as usual, only this time I didn't have anyone to talk to but myself.

Six years ago, Jarvis Miller's husband, an artist whose career was poised to take off, fell into a coma. And ever since, she's been waiting. She has waited at his bedside, leaning against the nursing home's yellow walls and then waited a day for her depression to subside after every visit. She has waited for doctors and prescriptions, all the newest and best; for cars to take her home; for checks to sign; and most of all she has waited for her husband to wake up. But after six years of dwindling hope, living as a half-widow, and selling off pieces of her husband's artwork to pay for the machines that keep him alive, Jarvis has come to admit that she's waiting for her husband to die.

Then one spring day when her washing machine breaks down, Jarvis meets the members of the Kept Man Club: three handsome, interesting men, all married to readwinner wives, who meet once a week at a local laundromat. Their companionship opens her eyes to the possibilities of family, warmth, and friendship she's been missing, and they become her first new friends in six years. At the same time, her husband's best friend and his art dealer pressure Jarvis to gather the remainder of his work for a retrospective - a proposition that produces mixed feelings, since it's an honor usually reserved for the already dead. Sorting through a hidden box of photographs, she uncovers evidence of a shocking betrayal that calls into question her idealized vision of the past.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"Lady of the Snakes"

Coming in January from Harcourt Books: Lady of the Snakes by Rachel Pastan.

About the book
, from the publisher:

Jane Levitsky is a bright light in the field of nineteenth-century Russian literature, making her name as an expert on the novels of Grigory Karkov and the diaries of his wife, the long-suffering Masha Karkova. Jane is also wife to sweet, reasonable Billy and mother to lovable (if demanding) Maisie, roles she’s finding surprisingly challenging to juggle along with her ambitions. But when Jane uncovers evidence that Masha may have been more than muse and helpmeet to her famous husband, she seizes her ticket to academic superstardom. Little does she know that she has set in motion a chain of events that will come perilously close to unraveling both her marriage and her career. Lady of the Snakes will be instantly familiar — and instantly unforgettable — to any woman who has ever aspired to have it all.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

"How the Dead Dream"

New from Counterpoint: How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet.

About the book, from the publisher:

T. is a young Los Angeles real estate developer consumed by power and political ambitions. His orderly, upwardly mobile life is thrown into chaos by the sudden appearance of his nutty mother, who’s been deserted by T.’s now out-of-the-closet father. After his mother’s suicide attempt and two other deaths, T. finds himself increasingly estranged from his latest project: a retirement community in the middle of the California desert. As he juggles family, business, and social responsibilities, T. begins to nurture a curious obsession with vanishing species. Soon he’s living a double life, building sprawling subdivisions by day and breaking into zoos at night to be near the animals. A series of calamities forces T. to a tropical island, where he takes a Conrad-esque journey up a river into the remote jungle. Millet’s devastating wit, psychological acuity, and remarkable empathy for flawed humankind contend with her vision of a world slowly murdering itself.

Friday, December 14, 2007

"Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance"

Coming in January from Touchstone: Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth.

About the book, from the publisher:

One of Britain's premier royal biographers pens the first in a series of fiendishly clever and stylish historical murder mysteries

Lovers of historical mystery will relish this chilling Victorian tale based on real events and cloaked in authenticity. Best of all, it casts British literature's most fascinating and controversial figure as the lead sleuth.

A young artist's model has been murdered, and legendary wit Oscar Wilde enlists his friends Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Sherard to help him investigate. But when they arrive at the scene of the crime they find no sign of the gruesome killing -- save one small spatter of blood, high on the wall. Set in London, Paris, Oxford, and Edinburgh at the height of Queen Victoria's reign, here is a gripping eyewitness account of Wilde's secret involvement in the curious case of Billy Wood, a young man whose brutal murder served as the inspiration for The Picture of Dorian Gray. Told by Wilde's contemporary -- poet Robert Sherard -- this novel provides a fascinating and evocative portrait of the great playwright and his own "consulting detective," Sherlock Holmes creator, Arthur Conan Doyle.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Free Lunch"

New from Penguin/Portfolio: Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) by David Cay Johnston.

About the book, from the publisher:

The bestselling author of Perfectly Legal returns with a powerful new exposé

How does a strong and growing economy lend itself to job uncertainty, debt, bankruptcy, and economic fear for a vast number of Americans? Free Lunch provides answers to this great economic mystery of our time, revealing how today’s government policies and spending reach deep into the wallets of the many for the benefit of the wealthy few.

Johnston cuts through the official version of events and shows how, under the guise of deregulation, a whole new set of regulations quietly went into effect — regulations that thwart competition, depress wages, and reward misconduct. From how George W. Bush got rich off a tax increase to a $100 million taxpayer gift to Warren Buffett, Johnston puts a face on all of the dirty little tricks that business and government pull. A lot of people appear to be getting free lunches — but of course there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and someone (you, the taxpayer) is picking up the bill.

Johnston’s many revelations include:
• How we ended up with the most expensive yet inefficient health-care system in the world
• How homeowners’ title insurance became a costly, deceitful, yet almost invisible oligopoly
• How our government gives hidden subsidies for posh golf courses
• How Paris Hilton’s grandfather schemed to retake the family fortune from a charity for poor children
• How the Yankees and Mets owners will collect more than $1.3 billion in public funds

In these instances and many more, Free Lunch shows how the lobbyists and lawyers representing the most powerful 0.1 percent of Americans manipulated our government at the expense of the other 99.9 percent.

With his extraordinary reporting, vivid stories, and sharp analysis, Johnston reveals the forces that shape our everyday economic lives — and shows us how we can finally make things better.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"The Murderers' Club"

New from Mira Books: P.D. Martin's The Murderers' Club.

About the book, from the author's website:

Sophie Anderson takes a week off to visit colleague and friend, Detective Darren Carter, in Tucson Arizona. But she’s not in Arizona for ten minutes before murder interrupts their well-laid plans – and her visions suddenly return for the first time in six months.

Sophie and Darren investigate the murder, and a week later the killer strikes again – there’s a serial killer in Tucson. The pair follows leads to Chicago and Las Vegas, trying to find out what the victims had in common and why the killer targeted them.

Meanwhile, Sophie’s visions of a woman’s horrific death haunt her and she pushes herself harder in an attempt to save the woman she suspects may be the next victim.

With time running out, a startling discovery is made … one that changes everything and redefines cybercrime.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Salamander Cotton"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Salamander Cotton by Richard Kunzmann.

About the book, from the publisher:

A dark, chilling mystery set in the brooding, atmospheric lands of South Africa

In his debut thriller, Bloody Harvests, Richard Kunzmann gave readers a glimpse into the turbulent South African landscape. Now Detective Inspector Jacob Tshabalala and his former colleague Harry Mason return with another beautifully spellbinding thriller combining murder, revenge, greed, and the classic struggle between good and evil.

A wealthy ex-mining boss has been found beaten and burned to death at his home in suburban Johannesburg. His estranged wife, however, does not seem particularly surprised by this cold-blooded murder, but keeps insisting that the killer will be found in the Northern Cape, where the victim owned a farm with a dark secret. It’s a remote and desolate landscape of extreme poverty, burdened with a bleak history as an asbestos-mining community.

When Tshabalala persuades Mason to investigate a link between the man’s murder and the disappearance of his daughter thirty years before, Harry has no way of knowing he will soon be plunged into a menacing world of rumored supernatural attacks, corporate cover-ups, ruthless hijackers, and bitter vengeance.

Kunzmann returns with a strong force, capturing the bitter landscape and people of Johannesburg and beyond -- captivating readers with his plot twists, dramatic action, and engaging characters. Salamander Cotton is a representation of poverty and a portrait of a country whose values of freedom and justice are only just emerging.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"Smile When You're Lying"

New from Henry Holt: Smile When You're Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer by Chuck Thompson.

About the book, from the author's website:

From Bangkok to Bogotá, a hilarious behind-the-brochures tour of picture-perfect locales, dangerous destinations, and overrated hellholes from a guy who knows the truth about travel.

Travel writer, editor, and photographer Chuck Thompson has spent more than a decade traipsing through thirty-five (and counting) countries across the globe, and he’s had enough. Enough of the half-truths demanded by magazine editors, enough of the endlessly recycled clichés regarded as good travel writing, and enough of the ugly secrets fiercely guarded by the travel industry. But mostly, he’s had enough of returning home from assignments and leaving the most interesting stories and the most provocative insights on the editing-room floor. From getting swindled in Thailand to running afoul of customs inspectors in Belarus, from defusing hostile Swedish rockers backstage in Germany to a closed-door meeting with travel execs telling him why he’s about to be fired once again, Thompson’s no-holds-barred style is refreshing, invigorating, and all those other adjectives travel writers use to describe spa vacations where the main attraction is a daily colonic.

Smile When You’re Lying takes readers on an irresistible series of adventures in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and beyond; details the effects of globalization on the casual traveler and ponders the future of travel as we know it; and offers up a treasure trove of travel-industry secrets collected throughout a decidedly speckled career.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

"The Great Funk"

New from Farrar Straus Giroux: The Great Funk: Falling Apart and Coming Together (on a Shag Rug) in the Seventies by Thomas Hine.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the sixties, as the nation anticipated the conquest of space, the defeat of poverty, and an end to injustice at home and abroad, no goal seemed beyond America’s reach.

Then the seventies arrived — bringing oil shocks and gas lines, the disgrace and resignation of a president, defeat in Vietnam, terrorism at the 1972 Munich Olympics, urban squalor, bizarre crimes, high prices, and a bad economy. The country fell into a great funk.

But when things fall apart, you can take the fragments and make something fresh. Avocado kitchens and Earth Shoes may have been ugly, but they signaled new modes of seeing and being. The first generation to see Earth from space found ways to make life’s everyday routines — eating, keeping warm, taking out the trash — meaningful, both personally and globally. And many decided to reinvent themselves.

In Populuxe, a “textbook of consumerism in the Push Button Age” (Alan J. Adler, Los Angeles Times), Thomas Hine scrutinized the looks and life of the 1950s and 1960s, revealing the hopes and fears expressed in that era’s design. In the same way, The Great Funk: Falling Apart and Coming Together (on a Shag Rug) in the Seventies maps a complex era by looking at its ideas, feelings, sex, fashions, textures, gestures, colors, demographic forces, artistic expressions, and other phenomena that shaped our lives. Hine gets into the shoes and heads of those who experienced the seventies — exploring their homes, feeling the beat of their music, and scanning the ads that incited their desires.

But The Great Funk is more than a lavish catalogue of seventies culture: it’s a smart, informed, lively look at the “Me decade” through the eyes of the man House & Garden called “America’s sharpest design critic.”

Saturday, December 8, 2007

"Souls of Angels"

New from Random House: Souls of Angels by Thomas Eidson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set amid the haciendas and fragrant orange groves of Los Angeles in the 1880s, Souls of Angels is an enthralling story of family and faith, loyalty and betrayal.

When Isadora Lugo learns her that father has been convicted of murder, she reluctantly travels home for the first time in ten years. At age seventeen she’d fled her troubled home life in Los Angeles to serve Christ in India as Sister Ria, never planning to return. Yet as a child, Isadora had promised her dying mother that in times of trouble she would care for her father, the eccentric Don Maximiato Lugo. And trouble had indeed come. Following a haphazard investigation and speedy trial for the brutal killing of a local prostitute, Don awaits his fate in the family hacienda, sketching and painting and sinking into madness.

Believing it is too late to save her father’s life, Sister Ria urges him to confess his sins and save his soul. But he only mocks her efforts. Those around Don Lugo–the loyal Mexicans who consider him a saint; his eldest daughter, Milagros; and the family’s longtime housekeeper, Aba – are adamant about the patrón’s innocence.

For her own peace of mind, Sister Ria seeks evidence of her father’s innocence or guilt in the side streets and back alleys of Mexican Los Angeles. But every clue she finds hints at something darker and more sinister and weakens her faith, as her very life is threatened by an ominous unseen figure that shadows her every move.

Souls of Angels captures the vibrant and conflicting cultures of Anglo and Hispanic Los Angeles at the end of the nineteenth century. Brilliantly balancing emotion and suspense, Thomas Eidson takes us deep into the heart of an extraordinary woman as she faces the ultimate test of family loyalty and risks her soul to uncover the truth.

Friday, December 7, 2007

"A Hell of a Woman"

New from Busted Flush Press: A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir edited by Megan Abbott with an introduction by Val McDermid.

About the book, from the publisher:

Featuring original stories by Lynne Barrett, Charlotte Carter, Christa Faust, Alison Gaylin, Sara Gran, Libby Fischer Hellmann, Vicki Hendricks, Naomi Hirahara, Annette Meyers, Donna Moore, Vin Packer, Rebecca Pawel, Cornelia Read, Lisa Respers France, S. J. Rozan, Sandra Scoppettone, Zoë Sharp, Sarah Weinman, Ken Bruen, Stona Fitch, Allan Guthrie, Charlie Huston, Eddie Muller, Daniel Woodrell.

"As a statement on contemporary noir and as a barometer of the culture, A Hell of A Woman tells the whole story and then some."
—Woody Haut, London-based journalist and author of Neon Noir: Contemporary American Crime Fiction

"The next time some jackass smirks and tells me that women can't write noir, I'm going to knock him upside the head with a copy of A Hell of a Woman. Megan Abbott, our leading Queenpin of crime, has assembled a powerhouse collection of noir by the best dames in the business. (And the stories by the dudes ain't half bad, either.) I've fallen hard for this antho, even though it's destined to clean out my savings account, sleep with my best friend and break my heart."
—Duane Swierczynski, author of The Blonde and Severance Package

"A Hell of a Woman is a brilliant and riveting new take on noir — a 21st century Female noir. Tales of resilient women faced with life's cards, shuffling and dealing the deck their own way. The tensions notch, the plots twist in a stranglehold, and it's one hell of an anthology."
—Cara Black, best-selling author of Murder on the Ile-Saint Louis

"Beautiful, bold and bloody — the dames in this collection rock, and when they do, heads roll. This anthology of compelling stories about members of the 'fairer sex' with a proclivity for deadly schemes is a must-read for all lovers of noir. Each story is a gem."
—Carolyn Haines, author of Penumbra and Fever Moon

Thursday, December 6, 2007


New from Farrar Straus Giroux and Hill and Wang: Irreligion: A Mathematician Explains Why the Arguments for God Just Don't Add Up by John Allen Paulos.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Lifelong Unbeliever Finds No Reason to Change His Mind

Are there any logical reasons to believe in God? Mathematician and bestselling author John Allen Paulos thinks not. In Irreligion he presents the case for his own worldview, organizing his book into twelve chapters that refute the twelve arguments most often put forward for believing in God’s existence. The latter arguments, Paulos relates in his characteristically lighthearted style, “range from what might be called golden oldies to those with a more contemporary beat. On the playlist are the firstcause argument, the argument from design, the ontological argument, arguments from faith and biblical codes, the argument from the anthropic principle, the moral universality argument, and others.” Interspersed among his twelve counterarguments are remarks on a variety of irreligious themes, ranging from the nature of miracles and creationist probability to cognitive illusions and prudential wagers. Special attention is paid to topics, arguments, and questions that spring from his incredulity “not only about religion but also about others’ credulity.” Despite the strong influence of his day job, Paulos says, there isn’t a single mathematical formula in the book.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

"Gods Behaving Badly"

New from Little, Brown: Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips.

About the book, from the publisher:

Being a Greek god is not all it once was. Yes, the twelve gods of Olympus are alive and well in the twenty-first century, but they are crammed together in a London townhouse-and none too happy about it. And they've had to get day jobs: Artemis as a dog-walker, Apollo as a TV psychic, Aphrodite as a phone sex operator, Dionysus as a DJ. Even more disturbingly, their powers are waning, and even turning mortals into trees-a favorite pastime of Apollo's-is sapping their vital reserves of strength.

Soon, what begins as a minor squabble between Aphrodite and Apollo escalates into an epic battle of wills. Two perplexed humans, Alice and Neil, who are caught in the crossfire, must fear not only for their own lives, but for the survival of humankind. Nothing less than a true act of heroism is needed-but can these two decidedly ordinary people replicate the feats of the mythical heroes and save the world?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"The Anatomist"

New from Ballantine Books: The Anatomist: A True Story of Gray's Anatomy by Bill Hayes.

About the book, from the publisher:

The classic medical text known as Gray’s Anatomy is one of the most famous books ever written. Now, on the 150th anniversary of its publication, acclaimed science writer and master of narrative nonfiction Bill Hayes has written the fascinating, never-before-told true story of how this seminal volume came to be. A blend of history, science, culture, and Hayes’s own personal experiences, The Anatomist is this author’s most accomplished and affecting work to date.

With passion and wit, Hayes explores the significance of Gray’s Anatomy and explains why it came to symbolize a turning point in medical history. But he does much, much more. Uncovering a treasure trove of forgotten letters and diaries, he illuminates the astonishing relationship between the fiercely gifted young anatomist Henry Gray and his younger collaborator H. V. Carter, whose exquisite anatomical illustrations are masterpieces of art and close observation. Tracing the triumphs and tragedies of these two extraordinary men, Hayes brings an equally extraordinary era – the mid-1800s – unforgettably to life.

But the journey Hayes takes us on is not only outward but inward – through the blood and tissue and organs of the human body – for The Anatomist chronicles Hayes’s year as a student of classical gross anatomy, performing with his own hands the dissections and examinations detailed by Henry Gray 150 years ago. As Hayes’s acquaintance with death deepens, he finds his understanding and appreciation of life deepening in unexpected and profoundly moving ways.

The Anatomist is more than just the story of a book. It is the story of the human body, a story whose beginning and end we all know and share but that, like all great stories, is infinitely rich in between.

Monday, December 3, 2007

"99 Coffins"

New from Three Rivers Press: 99 Coffins: A Historical Vampire Tale by David Wellington.

About the book, from the publisher:

Laura Caxton vowed never to face them again. The horror of what the vampires did is too close, the wounds too fresh. But when Jameson Arkeley, broken and barely recognizable, comes to her with an unfathomable, unholy discovery, her resolve crumbles.

Arkeley leads Caxton to a tomb in Gettysburg recently excavated by a local archaeology professor. While the town, with its legendary role in the Civil War’s worst battle, is no stranger to cemeteries, this one is remarkably, eerily different. In it lie 100 coffins — 99 of them occupied by vampires, who, luckily, are missing their hearts. But one of the coffins is empty and smashed to pieces.

Who is the missing vampire? Does he have access to the 99 hearts that, if placed back in the bodies of their owners, could reanimate an entire bloodthirsty army? How did the vampires end up there, undisturbed and undiscovered for 150 years? The answer lies in Civil War documents that contain sinister secrets about the newly found coffins — secrets that Laura Caxton is about to uncover as she is thrown into a deadly, gruesome mission of saving an entire town from a mass invasion of the undead....
Visit David Wellington's website.

My Book, The Movie: 99 Coffins.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

"The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes"

New from Free Press: The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Andrew Lycett.

About the book, from the publisher:

Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's name is recognized the world over, for decades the man himself has been overshadowed by his better understood creation, Sherlock Holmes, who has become one of literature's most enduring characters. Based on thousands of previously unavailable documents, Andrew Lycett, author of the critically acclaimed biography Dylan Thomas, offers the first definitive biography of the baffling Conan Doyle, finally making sense of a long-standing mystery: how the scientifically minded creator of the world's most rational detective himself succumbed to an avid belief in spiritualism, including communication with the dead.

Conan Doyle was a man of many contradictions. Always romantic, energetic, idealistic and upstanding, he could also be selfish and fool-hardy. Lycett assembles the many threads of Conan Doyle's life, including the lasting impact of his domineering mother and his wayward, alcoholic father; his affair with a younger woman while his wife lay dying; and his nearly fanatical pursuit of scientific data to prove and explain various supernatural phenomena. Lycett reveals the evolution of Conan Doyle's nature and ideas against the backdrop of his intense personal life, wider society and the intellectual ferment of his age. In response to the dramatic scientific and social transformations at the turn of the century, he rejected traditional religious faith in favor of psychics and séances -- and in this way he embodied all of his late-Victorian, early-Edwardian era's ambivalence about the advance of science and the decline of religion.

The first biographer to gain access to Conan Doyle's newly released personal archive -- which includes correspondence, diaries, original manuscripts and more -- Lycett combines assiduous research with penetrating insight to offer the most comprehensive, lucid and sympathetic portrait yet of Conan Doyle's personal journey from student to doctor, from world-famous author to ardent spiritualist.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

"Macachiavellian Intelligence"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Macachiavellian Intelligence: How Rhesus Macaques and Humans Have Conquered the World by Dario Maestripieri.

About the book, from the publisher:

Judged by population size and distribution, homo sapiens are clearly the most successful primates. A close second, however, would be rhesus macaques, who have adapted to — and thrived in — such diverse environments as mountain forests, dry grasslands, and urban sprawl. Scientists have spent countless hours studying these opportunistic monkeys, but rhesus macaques have long been overshadowed in the public eye by the great apes, who, because of their greater intelligence, are naturally assumed to have more to teach us, both about other primates and about humans as well.

Dario Maestripieri thinks it is high time we shelve that misperception, and with Macachiavellian Intelligence he gives rhesus macaques their rightful turn in the spotlight. The product of more than twenty years studying these fascinating creatures, Macachiavellian Intelligence caricatures a society that is as much human as monkey, with hierarchies and power struggles that would impress Machiavelli himself. High-status macaques, for instance, maintain their rank through deft uses of violence and manipulation, while altruism is almost unknown and relationships are perpetually subject to the cruel laws of the market. Throughout this eye-opening account, Maestripieri weds his thorough knowledge of macaque behavior to his abiding fascination with human society and motivations. The result is a book unlike any other, one that draws on economics as much as evolutionary biology, politics as much as primatology.

Rife with unexpected connections and peppered with fascinating anecdotes, Macachiavellian Intelligence has as much to teach us about humans as it does about macaques, presenting a wry, rational, and wholly surprising view of our humanity as seen through the monkey in the mirror.