Monday, March 31, 2008

"The Stars Down Under"

New from Tor Books: Sandra McDonald's The Stars Down Under.

About the book, from the publisher:

Chief Terry Myell and Lieutenant Commander Jodenny Scott are in that most precarious of military situations, a mixed marriage. Enlisted and officer. It’s unnatural.

Terry and Jodenny have been assigned to duty on the planet Fortune, away from the huge ships that carry colonists from the wreckage of polluted Earth to clean new worlds across the galaxy.

But there’s another way besides spaceships to travel from world to world. A group within Team Space is exploring the Wondjina Spheres, a set of ancient alien artifacts that link places and times. Now those spheres have shut down and Team Space thinks that Terry and Jodenny are part of the key to make them work again —no matter how the two of them feel about it. They can volunteer, or be “volunteered.”

What the researchers can’t anticipate is that the status quo, in which Team Space holds the monopoly on travel between worlds, is about to change. And as a result, Terry and Jodenny will be tested to their limits and beyond….
Visit Sandra McDonald's website.

"Empty Ever After"

New from Bleak House Books: Empty Ever After by Reed Farrel Coleman.

About the book, from the publisher:

There are no second acts for the dead…or are there?

For over twenty years, retired NYPD officer and PI Moe Prager, has been haunted by the secret that would eventually destroy his family. Now, two years after the fallout from the truth, more than secrets are haunting the Prager family. Moe Prager follows a trail of graverobbers from cemetery to cemetery, from ashes to ashes and back again in order to finally solve the enigma of his dead brother-in-law Patrick. He plunges deeper into the dark recesses of his past than ever before, revisiting all of his old cases, in order to uncover the twisted alchemy of vengeance and resurrection. Will Moe, at last, put his past to rest? Will he find the man who belongs in that vacant grave or will it remain empty, empty ever after?

The Page 69 Test: Empty Ever After.

Visit Reed Farrel Coleman's website.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy"

New from Senses Five Press: Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy.

About the book, from the publisher:

The city has always been a place of mystery, of magic, and wonder. In cities past, present, and future, in metropoli real and imagined, meet mutilated warrior-women, dead boys, mechanical dogs, escape artists and more. From the dizzying heights of rooftops and spires to the sinister secrets of underpasses and gutters, some of the most talented authors writing today will take you on a trip through the urban fantastic. Edited by Ekaterina Sedia, author of The Secret History of Moscow and the forthcoming Alchemy of Stone.

Twenty-one original stories from Forrest Aguirre, Barth Anderson, Steve Berman, Darin Bradley, Stephanie Campisi, Hal Duncan, Mike Jasper, Vylar Kaftan, Jay Lake, Paul Meloy, Richard Parks, Ben Peek, Cat Rambo, Jenn Reese, David Schwartz, Cat Sparks, Anna Tambour, Mark Teppo, Catherynne M. Valente, Greg van Eekhout, and Kaaron Warren.

Visit Ekaterina Sedia's website.

"The Cold Spot"

New from Bantam: The Cold Spot by Tom Piccirilli.

About the book, from the publisher:

Chase was raised as a getaway driver by his grandfather, Jonah, a con man feared by even the hardened career criminals who make up his crew. But when Jonah crosses the line and murders one of his own, Chase goes solo, stealing cars and pulling scores across the country….And then he meets Lila, a strong-willed deputy sheriff with a beguiling smile who shows him what love can be. Chase is on the straight and narrow for the first time in his life—until tragedy hits, and he must reenter the dark world of grifters and crooks. Now Chase is out for revenge—and he’ll have to turn to the one man he hates most in the world. Only Jonah can teach Chase how to become a stone-cold killer. But even as the two men work together, Chase knows that their unresolved past will eventually lead them to a showdown of their own.
Visit Tom Piccirilli's website.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

"Thanking the Monkey"

Coming soon from Harper Paperbacks: Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way We Treat Animals by Karen Dawn.

About the book, from the publisher:

The animal rights movement has reached a tipping point. No longer a fringe extremist cause, it has become a social concern that leading members of society endorse and young people embrace. From Michael Vick's dog fighting scandal to the incredible success of the bestselling Skinny Bitch veggie diet book, animal rights issues have hit the headlines—and are being championed by students and senators, pop stars and producers, and actors and activists.

Don't you want to be part of the conversation? In Thanking the Monkey, Karen Dawn covers pets, fur, fashion, food, animal testing, activism, and more. But as the title playfully suggests, this isn't like any previous animal rights book. Thanking the Monkey is light on lectures meant to make you feel guilty if you're not a leather-eschewing vegan. It lets you have fun as you learn about Paul McCartney's love of lambs and why Prince won't wear wool. You'll meet Fall Out Boy's Andy Hurley and Pete Wentz—and their favorite traveling companion, Hemingway, Pete's dog. You'll read why Natalie Portman, Alicia Silverstone, and so many of those skinny but not bitchy actresses won't eat or wear animals. And you'll laugh over dozens of cartoons from Dan Piraro's Bizzaro to other animal-friendly comics.

This fun primer for a smart and socially committed generation delivers some serious surprises in the form of facts and figures about the treatment of animals. Yes, it will shock you with tales of primates still used in animal testing on nicotine or killed for oven cleaner. But it will also let you lighten up and laugh a little as we work out how to do a better job of thanking the monkey.
Visit Karen Dawn's website.

"The Painter from Shanghai"

New from W.W. Norton: The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

Reminiscent of Memoirs of a Geisha, a re-imagining of the life of Pan Yuliang and her transformation from prostitute to post-Impressionist.

Down the muddy waters of the Yangtze River and into the seedy backrooms of “The Hall of Eternal Splendor,” through the raucous glamour of prewar Shanghai and the bohemian splendor of 1920s Paris, and back to a China ripped apart by civil war and teetering on the brink of revolution: this novel tells the story of Pan Yuliang, one of the most talented—and provocative—Chinese artists of the twentieth century.

Jennifer Cody Epstein’s epic brings to life the woman behind the lush, Cezannesque nude self-portraits, capturing with lavish detail her life in the brothel and then as a concubine to a Republican official who would ultimately help her find her way as an artist. Moving with the tide of historical events, The Painter from Shanghai celebrates a singularly daring painting style—one that led to fame, notoriety, and, ultimately, a devastating choice: between Pan’s art and the one great love of her life.
Visit Jennifer Cody Epstein's website.

Friday, March 28, 2008


New from Harper: Unlocked: A Journey from Prison to Proust by Louis Ferrante.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the freewheeling rush of hijacking trucks to the brutal race wars that marked his decade-long stint in jail, former Mafia insider Louis Ferrante describes his remarkable journey from rising mobster to federal prison inmate to full-time writer.

As Louis Ferrante tells it, the bottom line was money—and his word was good. During his teenage years, Ferrante and his crew members hijacked delivery trucks and drove them to drop-offs all over New York, reselling the merchandise and pocketing thousands of dollars per load. For a seventeen-year-old who liked fist fighting and fast cars, it was the quickest money on the street, and it soon earned Ferrante the attention of the infamous Gambino crime family, led by late Mob boss John Gotti. In the early nineties, Ferrante's growing Mafia connections enabled him to pull off some of the most lucrative heists in American history—all by the age of twenty-one.

But the same handshakes that once sealed deals soon could no longer be trusted, and the betrayal by several of his close friends brought the feds banging down Ferrante's door. Symptomatic of the nation's larger crackdown on organized crime, indictments came from the Secret Service, the Nassau County Organized Crime Force, and the FBI. By 1994, Ferrante faced a life sentence in prison. He pleaded guilty and would serve nearly a decade in some of the most notorious penitentiaries in America. With raucous violence teeming around him, Ferrante relied on his Mob connections and street smarts to keep him alive—until an unexpected exchange with a guard propelled him to a painful self-reckoning: Who am I? What is it that makes me this way? Do I have a purpose?

Desperate to escape from his bleak surroundings, Ferrante immersed himself in the study of history and literature. Over the term of his incarceration, each book became a much-needed sanctuary from the brutal chaos of his everyday existence, each page a challenge to his rapidly expanding knowledge of the world. Ferrante read voraciously—a journey of the mind that took him from philosophy and ancient classics to nineteenth-century fiction. He also learned the art of writing and studied the major world religions, eventually deciding to become an Orthodox Jew. And with only limited access to legal texts, Ferrante taught himself enough about the American justice system to successfully appeal his own conviction, in a case that is now cited in courtrooms across the country.

Gritty and hard-hitting, Ferrante's memoir recounts his rapid rise to the upper echelons of the Mafia hierarchy, his time in prison, and his struggle to turn his life around. Unlocked is an astonishing journey—a true story of personal transformation that is both shocking and unforgettable.
Visit Louis Ferrante's website.

"Girls in Trucks"

Coming in April from Little, Brown: Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch.

About the book, from the publisher:

Sarah Walters is a less-than-perfect debutante. She tries hard to follow the time-honored customs of the Charleston Camellia Society, as her mother and grandmother did, standing up straight in Cotillion class and attending lectures about all the things that Camellias don't do (like ride with boys in pickup trucks).

But Sarah can't quite ignore the barbarism just beneath all that propriety, and as soon as she can she leaves South Carolina for a life in New York City. Th ere, she and her fellow displaced Southern friends try to make sense of city sophistication, to understand how much of their training applies to real life and how much to the strange and rarefied world they've left behind.

When life's complications become overwhelming, Sarah returns home to confront with matured eyes the motto "Once a Camellia, always a Camellia"—and to see how much fuller life can be, for good and for ill, among those who know you best.

Girls in Trucks introduces a narrative voice that is astonishing and irresistible—a true, sweet, and wise voice that heralds the arrival of an exciting new talent.
Watch a video of Katie Crouch talking about her novel.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"The Fourth Man"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Fourth Man by K.O. Dahl.

About the book, from the publisher:

Award-winning author Kjell Ola Dahl has attained cult status in his home country of Norway with his sharp, riveting bestsellers. Over the last decade he has found audiences in ten other countries and ?nally, with his gripping and intelligent novel, The Fourth Man, the master of Norwegian crime writing is crossing the Atlantic.

In the course of a routine police raid, Detective Inspector Frank Frølich of the Oslo Police saves the life of Elizabeth Faremo, a dark-haired beauty with mysterious eyes who was inadvertently caught in the crossfire. Some weeks later, Frølich coincidentally runs into her again---but their ensuing affair is no accident.

By the time he learns that she is no stranger---but rather the sister of a wanted member of a larceny gang---it is already too late.

In the middle of the night, Frølich receives a call that a young guard has been killed in the course of an attempted break-in. Scrambling to respond, he realizes that Elizabeth is no longer in his bed. And all at once, Frølich’s life has changed. In a turn of events cryptic, erotic, and complex, he finds himself a prime murder suspect and under the watch of his doubting colleagues.

Led through the dark underworld of Oslo and his own soul, Frølich---suspended from the force, blindly in love, and on the hunt for some hint of truth in a vortex of darkness and lies---must find out if he is being used . . . before his life unravels beyond repair.

The Fourth Man is a sexy, fast-paced psychological thriller that puts a modern twist on the classic noir story of the femme fatale. K. O. Dahl has crafted a dark, poetic, and incredibly complex crime novel for his U.S. debut---the first in a series of detective novels from this rising international mystery star.

"Marie-Therese, Child of Terror"

New from Bloomsbury Publishing: Marie-Therese, Child of Terror: The Fate of Marie Antoinette's Daughter by Susan Nagel.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first major biography of one of France’s most mysterious women—Marie Antoinette’s only child to survive the revolution.

Susan Nagel, author of the critically acclaimed biography Mistress of the Elgin Marbles, turns her attention to the life of a remarkable woman who both defined and shaped an era, the tumultuous last days of the crumbling ancien régime. Nagel brings the formidable Marie-Thérèse to life, along with the age of revolution and the waning days of the aristocracy, in a page-turning biography that will appeal to fans of Antonia Fraser’s Marie Antoinette and Amanda Foreman’s Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire.

In December 1795, at midnight on her seventeenth birthday, Marie-Thérèse, the only surviving child of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI, escaped from Paris’s notorious Temple Prison. To this day many believe that the real Marie-Thérèse, traumatized following her family’s brutal execution during the Reign of Terror, switched identities with an illegitimate half sister who was often mistaken for her twin. Was the real Marie-Thérèse spirited away to a remote castle to live her life as the woman called “the Dark Countess,” while an imposter played her role on the political stage of Europe? Now, two hundred years later, using handwriting samples, DNA testing, and an undiscovered cache of Bourbon family letters, Nagel finally solves this mystery. She tells the remarkable story in full and draws a vivid portrait of an astonishing woman who both defined and shaped an era. Marie-Thérèse’s deliberate choice of husbands determined the map of nineteenth-century Europe. Even Napoleon was in awe and called her “the only man in the family.” Nagel’s gripping narrative captures the events of her fascinating life from her very public birth in front of the rowdy crowds and her precocious childhood to her hideous time in prison and her later reincarnation in the public eye as a saint, and, above all, her fierce loyalty to France throughout.

Visit Susan Nagel's blog and her Marie Antoinette's Daughter blog.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"Mad, Bad and Sad"

New from W.W. Norton: Lisa Appignanesi's Mad, Bad and Sad: Women and the Mind Doctors.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brave and brilliantly researched intellectual history of the relationship between women and mental illness since 1800.

This is the story of how we have understood extreme states of mind over the last two hundred years and how we conceive of them today, from the depression suffered by Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath to the mental anguish and addictions of iconic beauties Zelda Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. From Mary Lamb, sister of Charles, who in the throes of a nervous breakdown turned on her mother with a kitchen knife, to Freud, Jung, and Lacan, who developed the new women-centered therapies, Lisa Appignanesi’s research traces how more and more of the inner lives and emotions of women have become a matter for medics and therapists. Here too is the story of how over the years symptoms and diagnoses have developed together to create fashions in illness and how treatments have succeeded or sometimes failed. Mad, Bad, and Sad takes us on a fascinating journey through the fragile, extraordinary human mind.
Visit Lisa Appignanesi's website.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Death of a Dream"

New from Pocket Star: Death of a Dream by Paul LaRosa and Erin Moriarty.

About the book, from the publisher:

Award-winning journalists from TV's 48 Hours Mystery go inside the case that shocked even jaded New Yorkers: the murder of aspiring dancer Catherine Woods.

She was a gifted midwestern beauty, the daughter of Ohio State University's marching band director: to dance on Broadway. Soon after high school graduation, Catherine left Columbus for New York City, determined to be a star. Three years later, she was dead -- murdered in cold blood in her East Side apartment. The shocking revelations that emerged from the police investigation made tabloid headlines: few knew that the struggling artist paid her bills by dancing in a topless club. But there was another hidden facet to Catherine's life -- a shattering love triangle with two men, one of whom would ultimately be convicted of her brutal stabbing death. It's a chilling account of obsession, violence, and the surprising, minute evidence on which the entire case hinged. For a talented young woman reaching for the top, and the heartbroken family she left behind, it is truly the death of a dream.

Visit Paul LaRosa's website.

"Antiques to Die For"

New from St. Martin's Minotaur: Antiques to Die For by Jane K. Cleland.

About the book, from the publisher:

Since Josie Prescott left a high-paying job in New York to set up shop as an antiques appraiser on the rugged New Hampshire coast, her life has not gone exactly according to plan. In many ways, it’s gone better: She has a booming business, good friends and neighbors, and even a promising romance.

But dead bodies do seem to keep crossing her path. And now her friend Rosalie has been killed just hours after confiding a secret to Josie, leaving a bereaved twelve-year-old sister, Paige, who reminds Josie of herself when her mother died. It turns out that Rosalie had other secrets too: a mysterious treasure she told her sister she was leaving behind—and a secret admirer who now seems to be turning his creepy attention to Josie!

As Josie races to solve the crime while helping Paige and trying to keep her business afloat, Jane K. Cleland brings us an irresistible new blend of coziness, crime, and collectibles.
Watch the Antiques to Die For trailer.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"Mean and Lowly Things"

Coming soon from Harvard University Press: Mean and Lowly Things: Snakes, Science, and Survival in the Congo by Kate Jackson.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 2005 Kate Jackson ventured into the remote swamp forests of the northern Congo to collect reptiles and amphibians. Her camping equipment was rudimentary, her knowledge of Congolese customs even more so. She knew how to string a net and set a pitfall trap, but she never imagined the physical and cultural difficulties that awaited her.

Culled from the mud-spattered pages of her journals, Mean and Lowly Things reads like a fast-paced adventure story. It is Jackson’s unvarnished account of her research on the front lines of the global biodiversity crisis—coping with interminable delays in obtaining permits, learning to outrun advancing army ants, subsisting on a diet of Spam and manioc, and ultimately falling in love with the strangely beautiful flooded forest.

The reptile fauna of the Republic of Congo was all but undescribed, and Jackson’s mission was to carry out the most basic study of the amphibians and reptiles of the swamp forest: to create a simple list of the species that exist there—a crucial first step toward efforts to protect them. When the snakes evaded her carefully set traps, Jackson enlisted people from the villages to bring her specimens. She trained her guide to tag frogs and skinks and to fix them in formalin. As her expensive camera rusted and her Western soap melted, Jackson learned what it took to swim with the snakes—and that there’s a right way and a wrong way to get a baby cobra out of a bottle.

"Last Last Chance"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Last Last Chance by Fiona Maazel.

About the book, from the publisher:

Last Last Chance, Fiona Maazel’s first novel, is one of the most distinctive debuts of recent years: a rollicking comic tale about (in no particular order) plague, narcotics recovery, and reincarnation.

A lethal strain of virus vanishes from a lab in Washington, D.C., unleashing an epidemic—and the world thinks Lucy Clark’s dead father is to blame. The plague may be the least of Lucy’s problems. There’s her mother, Isifrid, a peddler of high-end hatwear who’s also a crackhead and pagan theologist. There’s her twelve-year-old half sister, Hannah, obsessed with disease and Christian fundamentalism; and Lucy’s lover, Stanley, who’s hell-bent on finding a womb for his dead wife’s frozen eggs. Lastly, there’s her grandmother Agneth, who believes in reincarnation (and who turns out to be right). And then there is Lucy herself, whose wise, warped approach to life makes her an ideal guide to love among the ruins. Romping across the country, from Southern California to the Texas desert to rural Pennsylvania and New York City, Lucy tries to surmount her drug addiction and to keep her family intact—and tells us, uproariously, all about it.

Last Last Chance is a novel about survival and recovery, opportunity and despair, and, finally, love and faith in an age of anxiety. It introduces Maazel as a new writer of phenomenal gifts.
Visit Fiona Maazel's website.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

"Devil's Peak"

New from Little, Brown: Devil's Peak by Deon Meyer.

About the book, from the publisher:

A young woman makes a terrible confession to a priest. An honorable man takes his own revenge for an unspeakable tragedy. An aging inspector tries to get himself sober while taking on the most difficult case of his career. From this beginning, Deon Meyer weaves a story of astonishing complexity and suspense as Inspector Benny Griessel faces off against a dangerous vigilante who has everything on his side, including public sympathy.

A gruesome abuse case has hit the newsstands, and one man has taken it upon himself to stand up for the children of Cape Town. When the accused is found stabbed through the heart by a spear, it’s only the beginning of a string of bloody murders—and of a dangerous dilemma for detective Griessel. The detective is always just one step behind as someone slays the city’s killers. But the paths of Griessel and the avenger collide when a young prostitute lures them both into a dangerous plan—and the two find themselves with a heart-stopping problem that no system of justice could ever make right.

Visit Deon Meyer's website.


New from William Morrow & Company: Delusion by Peter Abrahams.

About the book, from the publisher:

A woman's world is turned upside down when new evidence frees a man she put in prison with her testimony years ago in this latest ingenious thriller from the author Publishers Weekly calls "one of the best contemporary thriller writers around."

Twenty years ago Nell Jarreau witnessed the murder of her boyfriend. Her testimony put a man behind bars—and led her to her husband, Clay, the gentle detective who solved the case. They've been happy ever since—and have raised a daughter together—but then one phone call changes everything.

New evidence has exonerated Alvin DuPree, aka Pirate—the man Nell helped to convict—and now he's a free man. Nell is consumed by feelings of guilt, and for the first time in their marriage, Clay is no help. The case is closed for him, this new turn of events a mistake, nothing more, and Nell's attempts to talk to him about the situation are met with anger. And to make matters worse, the whole ordeal is beginning to wear on her relationship with her daughter.

Nell is determined to find the answers to her questions, though. Is DuPree, now a much-changed man, really innocent? Could Nell have been wrong all those years ago? Does her husband—or her daughter—know something about the case Nell doesn't? But secrets buried for twenty years tend to grow roots, to burrow deep; and they are not unearthed easily. Every answer produces more questions, and Nell's search eventually leads her to the one person she hasn't approached: the freed man himself. As the pieces fall into place, Nell realizes that the truth—and very real danger—could be much closer than she ever imagined.
Visit Peter Abrahams' website.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"The Reluctant Communist"

New from the University of California Press: The Reluctant Communist: My Desertion, Court-Martial, and Forty-Year Imprisonment in North Korea by Charles Robert Jenkins with Jim Frederick.

About the book, from the publisher:

In January of 1965, twenty-four-year-old U.S. Army sergeant Charles Robert Jenkins abandoned his post in South Korea, walked across the DMZ, and surrendered to communist North Korean soldiers standing sentry along the world's most heavily militarized border. He believed his action would get him back to the States and a short jail sentence. Instead he found himself in another sort of prison, where for forty years he suffered under one of the most brutal and repressive regimes the world has known. This fast-paced, harrowing tale, told plainly and simply by Jenkins (with journalist Jim Frederick), takes the reader behind the North Korean curtain and reveals the inner workings of its isolated society while offering a powerful testament to the human spirit.
Read the brief review in The New Yorker.

"Sleight of Hand"

Coming in April from St. Martin's Minotaur: Sleight of Hand (A Jo Banks Mystery) by Robin Hathaway.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dr. Jo Banks is well settled in her rather unusual life as one of the few doctors in the New Jersey fields, her office in a motor inn run by a pair of friendly, elderly Jersey-ites. But New York City is where she grew up, and there are times when she thinks back to those days with her father. One day, as she is driving home from her rounds at the hospital in the nearby town, she hears a familiar sound coming from a barn. It is the hum of an out-of-date printing press, a brand her father used. On an impulse, Jo leaves her motorcycle in the road and walks down to the barn housing the machine.

But the printer is hardly welcoming. While she is trying to talk to him, he catches his hand in the press, and Jo bursts into action. Although she removes the screws from the roller that is clamping the man’s fingers and offers to drive him to the hospital, he refuses to go and insists she treat him in his home.

The strange episode leads to Jo’s calling daily to attend to the man’s injury. She learns that he’s living with his daughter—a grown woman who possesses the mind of a child—that they are from New York, and that his wife has mysteriously disappeared. The printer is roughly grateful for Jo’s care, but he has much on his mind, and he will not leave his house. Jo begins to suspect he is connected to a recent local murder.

Robin Hathaway rewards her readers with another rich story of the lives of people who live and work in the New Jersey farmland. Sleight of Hand is a worthy addition to this finely crafted series.

Visit Robin Hathaway's website.

Friday, March 21, 2008

"Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet"

New from Henry Holt and Metropolitan Books: Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy by Michael T. Klare.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of the now-classic Resource Wars, an indispensable account of how the world’s diminishing sources of energy are radically changing the international balance of power

Recently, an unprecedented Chinese attempt to acquire the major American energy firm Unocal was blocked by Congress amidst hysterical warnings of a Communist threat. But the political grandstanding missed a larger point: the takeover bid was a harbinger of a new structure of world power, based not on market forces or on arms and armies but on the possession of vital natural resources.

Surveying the energy-driven dynamic that is reconfiguring the international landscape, Michael Klare, the preeminent expert on resource geopolitics, forecasts a future of surprising new alliances and explosive danger. World leaders are now facing the stark recognition that all materials vital for the functioning of modern industrial societies (not just oil and natural gas but uranium, coal, copper, and others) are finite and being depleted at an ever-accelerating rate. As a result, governments rather than corporations are increasingly spearheading the pursuit of resources. In a radically altered world— where Russia is transformed from battered Cold War loser to arrogant broker of Eurasian energy, and the United States is forced to compete with the emerging “Chindia” juggernaut—the only route to survival on a shrinking planet, Klare shows, lies through international cooperation.

"Cold Plague"

Coming in April from Forge: Daniel Kalla's Cold Plague.

About the novel, from the publisher:

Pristine water — hidden for millions of years, untouched by pollution, and possessing natural healing powers — is found miles under Antarctic ice. The scientists who make this astonishing discovery stand to win worldwide acclaim and earn billions. While people around the world line up for a taste of the therapeutic water, a cluster of new cases of mad cow disease explodes in a rural French province. Dr. Noah Haldane and his World Health Organization team are urgently summoned.

Fresh from a brush with a pandemic flu, Noah recognizes the deadliness of a prion — the enigmatic microscopic protein responsible for mad cow disease — that kills with the speed and ferocity of a virus. Despite intense international pressure to declare the outbreak a random occurrence, Noah suspects that factors other than nature have ignited the prion’s spread among animals and people in France. Facing a spate of disappearances and unexplained deaths, Noah uncovers a conspiracy that stretches from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Beverly Hills, and from the North to the South Pole. He soon realizes that the scientific find of the century — a lake the size of Lake Superior buried three miles under Antarctica — might hold the key to a microscopic Jurassic Park.

With a billion-dollar industry hanging on his silence, Noah has to stay alive long enough to sound the alarm.
Visit Daniel Kalla's website.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


New from Farrar Straus Giroux: Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making by David Rothkopf.

About the book, from the publisher:

Each of them is one in a million. They number six thousand on a planet of six billion. They run our governments, our largest corporations, the powerhouses of international finance, the media, world religions, and, from the shadows, the world’s most dangerous criminal and terrorist organizations. They are the global superclass, and they are shaping the history of our time.

Today’s superclass has achieved unprecedented levels of wealth and power. They have globalized more rapidly than any other group. But do they have more in common with one another than with their own countrymen, as nationalist critics have argued? They control globalization more than anyone else. But has their influence fed the growing economic and social inequity that divides the world? What happens behind closeddoor meetings in Davos or aboard corporate jets at 41,000 feet? Conspiracy or collaboration? Deal-making or idle self-indulgence? What does the rise of Asia and Latin America mean for the conventional wisdom that shapes our destinies? Who sets the rules for a group that operates beyond national laws?

Drawn from scores of exclusive interviews and extensive original reporting, Superclass answers all of these questions and more. It draws back the curtain on a privileged society that most of us know little about, even though it profoundly affects our everyday lives. It is the first in-depth examination of the connections between the global communities of leaders who are at the helm of every major enterprise on the planet and control its greatest wealth. And it is an unprecedented examination of the trends within the superclass, which are likely to alter our politics, our institutions, and the shape of the world in which we live.

"Easy Innocence"

Coming in April from Bleak House Books: Easy Innocence by Libby Fischer Hellmann.

About the book, from the publisher:

When pretty, smart Sara Long is found bludgeoned to death, it’s easy to blame the man with the bat.

But Georgia Davis — former cop and newly-minted PI — is hired to look into the incident at the behest of the accused’s sister, and what she finds hints at a much different, much darker answer. It seems the privileged, preppy schoolgirls on Chicago’s North Shore have learned just how much their innocence is worth to hot-under-the-collar businessmen. But while these girls can pay for Prada pricetags, they don’t realize that their new business venture may end up costing them more than they can afford.

Visit Libby Fischer Hellmann's website.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"Millennial Makeover"

New from Rutgers University Press: Millennial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, and the Future of American Politics by Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais.

About the book, from the publisher:

It happens in America every four decades and it is about to happen again. America's demand for change in the 2008 election will cause another of our country's periodic political makeovers. This realignment, like all others before it, will result from the coming of age of a new generation of young Americans-the Millennial Generation-and the full emergence of the Internet-based communications technology that this generation uses so well. Beginning in 2008, almost everything about American politics and government will transform-voting patterns, the fortunes of the two political parties, the issues that engage the nation, and our government and its public policy.

Building on the seminal work of previous generational theorists, Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais demonstrate and describe, for the first time, the two types of realignments-"idealist" and "civic"-that have alternated with one another throughout the nation's history. Based on these patterns, Winograd and Hais predict that the next realignment will be very different from the last one that occurred in 1968. "Idealist" realignments, like the one put into motion forty years ago by the Baby Boomer Generation, produce, among other things, a political emphasis on divisive social issues and governmental gridlock. "Civic" realignments, like the one that is coming, and the one produced by the famous GI or "Greatest" Generation in the 1930s, by contrast, tend to produce societal unity, increased attention to and successful resolution of basic economic and foreign policy issues, and institution-building.

The authors detail the contours and causes of the country's five previous political makeovers, before delving deeply into the generational and technological trends that will shape the next. The book's final section forecasts the impact of the Millennial Makeover on the elections, issues, and public policies that will characterize America's politics in the decades ahead.

"Pinkerton's Secret"

New from Henry Holt & Company: Pinkerton's Secret by Eric Lerner.

About the book, from the publisher:

This romantic adventure conjures up the passionate life story of the Civil War era’s legendary private eye, recounting dramatic exploits and his clandestine love affair with his partner

Allan Pinkerton’s story opens in Chicago on the eve of the American Civil War. After battling con men, train robbers, and vicious gunmen, Pinkerton senses that change is in the air. Already committed to the abolitionist cause and the Underground Railroad, he allies himself with John Brown’s radical antislavery crusade. Upholding the law with one hand, he unapologetically breaks it with the other.

Kate Warne joins the Pinkerton Agency—its first female detective— and quickly takes her place as Allan’s closest confidante. He asks Kate to join him, and she embraces his cause in all its contradictions and extremes. Comrades-in-arms, their romantic passion becomes the most combustible and irresistible kind, the mutual affirmation of a world of two. Together they save the life of Abraham Lincoln on his inaugural journey to Washington, root out Confederate spies within the Union government, and establish the nation’s first Secret Service, sending their agents deep behind enemy lines. Blind to all consequences, the secret lovers learn too late that some battles, no matter how right the cause, cannot be won.
Visit the Pinkerton's Secret home page.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"So Wrong for So Long"

New from Union Square Press: So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits--And the President--Failed on Iraq by Greg Mitchell.

About the book, from the publisher:

In early 2003, Greg Mitchell was one of the few mainstream journalists to seriously question the stated reasons for invading Iraq. In the years since, he has repeatedly challenged the media to probe the conduct of the war and its toll on our troops. Now, after five years of war, he traces the conflict -- from the “runup” to the “surge” -- and the media’s coverage of it, in this important collection of commentaries with significant new additions: an original introduction and dozens of pages of fresh material that unify the essays.

If a free press is the watchdog of democracy, then Greg Mitchell must be the watchdog of the watchdogs, tracking the performance of the media at Editor & Publisher, the influential magazine of the newspaper industry. Over the past five years, in his widely read column, “Pressing Issues,” he has repeatedly been ahead of the curve in intensely scrutinizing both the president and the press—and the controversies swirling around Donald Rumsfeld, Pat Tillman, “Scooter” Libby, Ann Coulter and numerous other figures.

His book is a unique history of the entire war—and as topical as today’s headlines. Whether writing early warnings that anticipated a long and bloody war, analyzing Stephen Colbert’s in-his-face mockery of George W. Bush, or imagining the president confessing his sins to Oprah Winfrey, Greg Mitchell explores how we got into the war in Iraq—and why we just can’t seem to get out. With tens of thousands of American troops still in Iraq, debate over the war continues to rage on TV news and across editorial pages. Against this backdrop of controversy, Greg Mitchell is the rare journalist who has seen it all with clear eyes. In So Wrong for So Long, he can finally tell the whole story.

"Theft: Stories"

New from Back Bay Books: Theft: Stories by N. S. Koenings.

About the book
, from the publisher:

The path from Europe to Africa has been much traveled in literature but rarely in such an evocative, nuanced, and even playful way as in N. S. Köenings' THEFT. Here are five seductive tales that move with grace and subtlety between the continents, between moments of utter ignorance and complex harmony, maintaining all the while a hardy faith in the essential sameness of all human desire.

In "Pearls to Swine," a childless socialite invites her American goddaughter to spend the summer in her European mansion. In "Wondrous Strange," a British spirit medium is haunted by the ghost of an ancient African djinn. In "Setting Up Shop," a young woman from an Indian Ocean island dreams of traveling to the US, even as a local entrepreneur, promising to leave his other wives for her, courts her relentlessly. In the title story, a bus hijacking in an East African city brings about critical change in the lives of a local bus tout and a first-time tourist from Philadelphia.

Visit N. S. Koenings' MySpace page.

Monday, March 17, 2008

"The Panic Years"

New from Broadway Books: The Panic Years: A Guide to Surviving Smug Married Friends, Bad Taffeta, and Life on the Wrong Side of 25 Without a Ring by Doree Lewak.

About the book, from the publisher:

You know you’re in the Panic Years when:

Your mom slips you the number of her tennis partner’s son … for the fifth time.
You’ve walked down the aisle dozens of times—just not as a bride.
Your “concerned friends” chip in for a subscription to for your birthday.
It’s down to you and the five-year-old flower girl at the bouquet toss.
Upon hearing “Guess what? I’m engaged!” for the second time in one week, you disconnect your phone.
You actively scheme to win back your ex—even though he’s already engaged to someone else.

Have you ever found yourself thinking, “If one more friend gets engaged I’m going to scream”?

Do the words taffeta and crinoline make you break into a cold sweat?

Does reading the wedding announcements section in the newspaper induce outright hyperventilation?

If so, congratulations! You’ve hit the Panic Years.

According to author Doree Lewak, the Panic Years mark the point (usually around your twenty-sixth birthday) when your dating agenda fundamentally changes—from dating for a fling to dating for a ring. Suddenly your newly married friends feel more like enemies, weddings become mocking reminders of your own single status, and you contemplate going on a reality TV show to find true love. What’s a girl to do?

In The Panic Years, Lewak delivers a hilarious and helpful road map for conquering the Panic and finding Mr. Right. As Lewak shows, you can win the race to the altar by changing your tactics from Panicked to Proactive—and keeping your sense of humor along the way. You will learn how to:

Cope with Panic by Proxy—pushy friends and parents.
Successfully hunt for PFs (Potential Fiancés).
Project hotness and desirability.
Set—and stick to—dating time lines.
Avoid being bitter at your friends’ weddingsand ruining all their pictures with that scowl on your face.
Get the ring and the proposal and seal the deal!

Packed with true-life stories from the Panic trenches as well as indispensable advice, The Panic Years is the ultimate guide for anyone who wants to survive her single years (with sanity intact), snag her perfect guy, and remain fabulous throughout it all.

Visit the official The Panic Years website.

"Into the Dark"

New from Laura Geringer/HarperCollins: Into the Dark by Peter Abrahams.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Echo Falls, secrets buried in the past don't always stay there.

An idyllic day of snowshoeing on Grampy's land with Joey Strade turns out to be less than idyllic when thirteen-year-old super sleuth Ingrid Levin-Hill stumbles upon a body lying in the snow. This discovery sends the town of Echo Falls into a tailspin in which secrets long hidden are revealed and Grampy gets sent to jail. While Ingrid works to clear Grampy's name and uncover what really happened to the man in the snow, she discovers even more secrets she wishes she never knew. Just like the character Gretel, whom Ingid is playing in the Prescott Players' production of Hansel and Gretel, Ingrid must go deep into the darkness to find the truth.

In the third book in the Edgar Award–nominated and national bestselling Echo Falls series, Peter Abrahams's talent for building suspense shines as Ingrid embarks on her most harrowing adventure yet.

Visit Peter Abrahams' website.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"City of the Sun"

New from Doubleday Books: City of the Sun by David Levien.

About the book, from the publisher:

Riveting suspense in the tradition of Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly, City of the Sun introduces retired detective Frank Behr—an imposing, charismatic former cop who agrees to take the case of a boy who’s been missing for over a year.

Jamie Gabriel gets on his bike before dawn to deliver newspapers in his suburban Indianapolis neighborhood. He is twelve years old. Somewhere en route, as the October sky lightens, he vanishes without a trace.

Fourteen months later, Paul and Carol Gabriel are on the verge of abandoning all hope. Crushed by frustrating dead ends and exhausted by a police force that cannot (or will not) find their son, the Gabriels finally find a ray of hope: the name of an elusive private investigator who may represent their last chance.

Frank Behr is an enigmatic mountain of a man, a former cop who wants to help—but knows better than to give the Gabriels any hope of a happy ending. He has worked this kind of case too often. But Paul’s plea stirs up old personal demons that Behr can no longer ignore. Going against everything he fears, Behr enters into an uneasy partnership with Paul on a quest for the truth that is, in turn, dangerous … and haunting.

Richly textured and crackling with suspense on every page, City of the Sun weaves a moody narrative that hinges on the bond between a damaged detective and a lost father. From the antiseptic comforts of suburban Indianapolis to the city’s seamy underworld, David Levien introduces a private investigator as complex, idiosyncratic, and sympathetic as any in modern crime fiction. Levien is a gifted storyteller who will keep readers guessing right up until the final, explosive scene.

"Unknown Means"

New from Hyperion: Unknown Means by Elizabeth Becka.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Elizabeth Becka’s latest highly suspenseful novel, forensic scientist Evelyn James returns to investigate a harrowing series of crimes—only to find that no one is safe.

Evelyn James is a forensic specialist in the Cleveland Medical Examiner’s office who’s juggling a demanding workload, a teenage daughter from a failed marriage, and a homicide detective boyfriend. And somehow she always happens to be involved in some of the twistiest, most challenging crime scenes imaginable.

This time around she’s called in to investigate what appears to be a locked-room mystery: A wealthy woman is murdered in the penthouse suite of a luxurious, high-security building. The building’s intricate surveillance system didn’t pick up anything, the entrance wasn’t forced, and the victim’s husband has an airtight alibi. Cases like this, Evelyn knows, can turn on the most microscopic piece of evidence—if she can find any. Things look even trickier when another victim turns up in another penthouse suite. Then Evelyn’s best friend is attacked—and things get personal. And when a third person is found dead, Evelyn realizes that the killer’s choice of victim is anything but random...

Visit Elizabeth Becka's website.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

"The Dark Tide"

New from William Morrow: The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross.

About the book, from the publisher:

An explosion rips through New York City's Grand Central Station one morning, destroying the train Karen Friedman's husband, a successful hedge fund manager, is riding in to work. Days later, with many bodies still unidentifiable, Karen resigns herself to the awful truth: her husband of eighteen years is dead.

On that same day, a suspicious hit-and-run accident leaves a young man dead in Karen's hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut. Ty Hauck, a detective, becomes emotionally caught up in the case and finds a clue that shockingly connects the two seemingly unrelated events.

Months later, two men show up at Karen's home digging into Charles's business dealings. Hundreds of millions of dollars are missing — and the trail points squarely to Charles. With doubt suddenly cast on everything she has ever known, Karen, with Hauck, steps into a widening storm of hedge fund losses, international scams, and murder. And as the investigations converge, these two strangers touched by tragedy are pulled into a deepening relationship and unwittingly open the door to a twisted — and deadly — conspiracy.

With its breakneck pacing, plentiful twists, compelling characters, and abundant heart, The Dark Tide confirms Andrew Gross's place as a master storyteller at the top of his game.

"Amalia's Tale"

New from Houghton Mifflin: Amalia's Tale: A Poor Peasant, an Ambitious Attorney, and a Fight for Justice by David I. Kertzer.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

A courtroom drama and quest for justice in a country hurtling toward modernity, from the acclaimed author of the National Book Award finalist The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara

A quintessential David versus Goliath saga, Amalia’s Tale tells of a wholly unexpected triumph of the poor against the rich and of a crusading city attorney who fought on behalf of an impoverished peasant. Amalia Bagnacavalli, an illiterate young woman from the mountains near Bologna, is forced by poverty to take in a child from the city’s foundling home to wet-nurse. When she contracts syphilis from the sickly and malformed baby given to her, the city fathers callously dismiss her pleas for treatment and restitution.

Bewildered and frightened, Amalia seeks out Augusto Barbieri, an ambitious attorney looking to make a name for himself. The young lawyer takes up her cause, fighting the case for years through the Italian court system before winning an unprecedented victory for his by-now broken client. An unforgettable story and a landmark in the struggle for basic human rights -- A Civil Action in nineteenth-century Italy -- Amalia’s Tale is the story of a rural woman whose life was ruined and the man from the city who would not stop -- or so it seemed -- until he had seen justice done.
Visit David I. Kertzer's website.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Jack Wakes Up"

New from Breakneck Books: Jack Wakes Up by Seth Harwood.

About the book, from the publisher:

Four years ago, when his first action movie, Shake ‘Em Down, came out, Jack Palms had everything he could want. But after his wife brought him up on false charges of assault, then filed for a divorce, he bottomed out on drugs and his sequel got scrapped. No one in Hollywood would return Jack’s calls.

Since then, in the three years since Jack went clean—no drugs, no drinking, no life—he’s added seventeen pounds of muscle, read 83 books, and played it straight down the line. Now he’s bored, has gone through most of his money and doesn’t know what comes next, but wants to leave his self-imposed exile.

When an old friend offers him a chance to work one big score, a single drug trade that’s going to set them up for life, he finds himself introduced to a trio of Eastern Europeans looking to score enough coke to settle down and start their own business. All Jack has to do is keep them entertained and get them through their purchase. But when people start turning up dead, and an old nemesis on the police starts calling, Jack finds himself in danger. With the cop giving him just 24 hours to find San Francisco’s biggest drug supplier or face charges that will put him behind bars, Jack has to find out quickly which side of acting and action he’s really on.

Ad libbing his way through a minefield of Colombian drug men, San Francisco gangsters and ex-KGB agents, Jack comes to see that the only way to know exactly what’s real—who’s doing the killing, what’s actually going on, and where he’s headed with the beautiful bartender who brought him home—is to see this thing through to its end, no matter what. He’s waking up to a whole new version of his life… however long it’s going to last.
Visit Seth Harwood's website.

"The Blue Star"

New from Little, Brown: The Blue Star by Tony Earley.

About the book, from the publisher:

Seven years ago, readers everywhere fell in love with Jim Glass, the precocious 10-year-old at the heart of Tony Earley's bestseller Jim the Boy. Now a teenager, Jim returns in another tender and wise story of young love on the eve of World War II.

Jim Glass has fallen in love, as only a teenage boy can fall in love, with his classmate Chrissie Steppe. Unfortunately, Chrissie is Bucky Bucklaw's girlfriend, and Bucky has joined the navy on the eve of war. Jim vows to win Chrissie's heart in his absence, but the war makes high school less than a safe haven and gives a young man's emotions a grown man's gravity.

With the uncanny insight into the well-intentioned heart that made Jim the Boy a favorite novel for readers nationwide, Tony Earley has fashioned another nuanced and unforgettable portrait of America in another time—making it again even more real than our own day. This is a timeless and moving story of discovery, loss, and growing up, proving why Tony Earley's writing "radiates with a largeness of heart" (Esquire).

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Doubt is Their Product"

New from Oxford University Press: Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health by David Michaels.

About the book, from the publisher:

"Doubt is our product," a cigarette executive once observed, "since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy."

In this eye-opening expose, David Michaels reveals how the tobacco industry's duplicitous tactics spawned a multimillion dollar industry that is dismantling public health safeguards. Product defense consultants, he argues, have increasingly skewed the scientific literature, manufactured and magnified scientific uncertainty, and influenced policy decisions to the advantage of polluters and the manufacturers of dangerous products. To keep the public confused about the hazards posed by global warming, second-hand smoke, asbestos, lead, plastics, and many other toxic materials, industry executives have hired unscrupulous scientists and lobbyists to dispute scientific evidence about health risks. In doing so, they have not only delayed action on specific hazards, but they have constructed barriers to make it harder for lawmakers, government agencies, and courts to respond to future threats. The Orwellian strategy of dismissing research conducted by the scientific community as "junk science" and elevating science conducted by product defense specialists to "sound science" status also creates confusion about the very nature of scientific inquiry and undermines the public's confidence in science's ability to address public health and environmental concerns Such reckless practices have long existed, but Michaels argues that the Bush administration deepened the dysfunction by virtually handing over regulatory agencies to the very corporate powers whose products and behavior they are charged with overseeing.

In Doubt Is Their Product Michaels proves, beyond a doubt, that our regulatory system has been broken. He offers concrete, workable suggestions for how it can be restored by taking the politics out of science and ensuring that concern for public safety, rather than private profits, guides our regulatory policy.

"Child 44"

New from Grand Central Publishing: Tom Rob Smith's Child 44.

About the book, from the publisher:

An amazingly assured and exciting debut set in Soviet Russia in 1953, with a wonderfully realised sense of all-pervading fear and the desperateness of a chilling race against time. How do you solve an impossible crime?

MGB officer Leo is a man who never questions the Party Line. He arrests whomever he is told to arrest. He dismisses the horrific death of a young boy because he is told to, because he believes the Party stance that there can be no murder in Communist Russia. Leo is the perfect soldier of the regime.

But suddenly his confidence that everything he does serves a great good is shaken. He is forced to watch a man he knows to be innocent be brutally tortured. And then he is told to arrest his own wife.

Leo understands how the State works: Trust and check, but check particularly on those we trust. He faces a stark choice: his wife or his life.

And still the killings of children continue...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Gusher of Lies"

New from PublicAffairs: Gusher of Lies: The Dangerous Delusions of 'Energy Independence' by Robert Bryce.

About the book, from the publisher:

A surprising, irreverent, and scrupulously reported deconstruction of today's fashions in energy policy

Everybody is talking about "energy independence." But is it really achievable? Is it actually even desirable? In this controversial, meticulously researched book, Robert Bryce exposes the false promises behind the rhetoric while blasting nearly everybody— Republicans, Democrats, environmentalists, and war-mongering neoconservatives—for misleading voters about our energy needs.

Gusher of Lies explains why the idea of energy independence appeals to voters while also showing that renewable sources like wind and solar cannot meet America's growing energy demand. Along the way, Bryce eviscerates the ethanol scam. Whether the issue is cost, water consumption, or food prices, corn ethanol is one of the longest-running robberies ever perpetrated on American taxpayers.

Consumers concerned about peak oil and the future of global energy supplies need to understand that energy security depends on embracing free markets and the realities of interdependence. Gusher of Lies is illuminating, vital reading.

Visit Robert Bryce's website.

"The Undead Kama Sutra"

New from Eos Books: The Undead Kama Sutra by Mario Acevedo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Felix Gomez returned from the war in Iraq a changed man — once a soldier, now forever a vampire. So the undead underworld put his skills to work as a private detective, specializing in the sordid, the sexy, and the supernatural.

After surviving aliens, nymphomaniacs, and x-rated bloodsuckers, it's high time for a vacation. Now the aliens are back in a fiendish conspiracy with the U.S. government, and only Felix stands between them and the Earth women they covet. But when an army hit man attacks Felix and the bodacious vampire sexpert, Carmen, not even the astonishing erotic powers of the Kama Sutra for the Undead may be able to save them.
Visit Mario Acevedo's website.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


New from William Morrow: Twisted by Andrea Kane.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times bestselling novelist Andrea Kane leads you down a dark and twisted alleyway, littered with drugs, kidnapping, and murder. Navigating expertly between the mind of a deranged serial killer and the FBI special agents racing to end his lethal spree, Kane delivers a complex, unforgettable story based on extensive research with the FBI and its Crisis Negotiation and Behavioral Analysis Units. Twisted is Kane's most accomplished novel yet.

Who will be next?

Former FBI Special Agent Sloane Burbank survived a life-threatening injury sustained in the line of duty, only to face leaving a job she loves in order to recuperate. As an independent consultant, she now uses her specialized skills to train law enforcement and private organizations in crisis resolution. But when one of her closest childhood friends mysteriously disappears, and the woman's devastated parents beg for her help, Sloane takes the case—even though her ex-lover Derek Parker is the FBI agent in charge.

Special Agent Derek Parker, now assigned to the Asian Criminal Enterprise Task Force in the FBI's New York Field Office, has no time to spare for a year-old case he sees as a dead end—especially since it would mean working with a woman he never expected to see again. He's pursuing the leader of a Chinese gang and trying to solve a series of grisly murders in Chinatown, so he initially offers Sloane the case files and minimal cooperation.

But as more women disappear and others turn up brutally murdered, Derek's priorities shift, and he and Sloane come to the sickening realization that these random crimes are linked to the same crazed killer. No one can anticipate when he will strike again, but when Sloane becomes the target of the killer's twisted obsession, it's clear that his ultimate fantasy is even more psychotic than either of them ever imagined.

"The Girl Who Stopped Swimming"

New from Grand Central Publishing: The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Laurel Gray Hawthorne hasn't seen a ghost in the thirteen years she and her husband have lived in the beautiful gated neighborhood of Victorianna. Keeping her head down, she's managed to make a good life for her beloved daughter and husband while working on her nationally acclaimed art quilts. But in the dog days of a Florida August, she wakes to find a dead girl standing by her bed. It's the ghost of her daughter's best friend, Molly, who leads the way to her own small body, floating lifelessly in the Hawthornes' backyard pool. Now, with police on her lawn and neighbors peeking over the fence, Laurel's carefully constructed existence cracks, and her past seeps through.

Laurel and her sister, Thalia, grew up in what appears to be a typical blue-collar home, but the Grays have long been hiding a very literal skeleton in their closet. While Laurel built her pretty, pleasing life in the suburbs, Thalia became an actress with a capital A, about as unconventional as they come. She's the walking definition of mess, and no longer fits in Laurel's tidy world. Yet Molly can't rest until someone learns her secrets, and she has opened a door to the past that Laurel can't close alone. She turns to her wild and estranged sister, though asking for Thalia's help is like jumping into a hot frying pan protected only by a thin layer of Crisco. Together they set out on a life-altering journey that will reveal their family's buried history, the true state of Laurel's perfect marriage, and what really happened to the girl who stopped swimming.

Visit Joshilyn Jackson's website.

Monday, March 10, 2008


New from Doubleday: Donald Ray Pollock's Knockemstiff.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this unforgettable work of fiction, Donald Ray Pollock peers into the soul of a tough Midwestern American town to reveal the sad, stunted but resilient lives of its residents.

Spanning a period from the mid-sixties to the late nineties, the linked stories that comprise Knockemstiff feature a cast of recurring characters who are woebegone, baffled and depraved—but irresistibly, undeniably real. Rendered in the American vernacular with vivid imagery and a wry, dark sense of humor, these thwarted and sometimes violent lives jump off the page at the reader with inexorable force. A father pumps his son full of steroids so he can vicariously relive his days as a perpetual runner-up body builder. A psychotic rural recluse comes upon two siblings committing incest and feels compelled to take action. Donald Ray Pollock presents his characters and the sordid goings-on with a stern intelligence, a bracing absence of value judgments, and a refreshingly dark sense of bottom-dog humor.

With an artistic instinct honed on the works of Flannery O’Connor and Harry Crews, Pollock offers a powerful work of fiction in the classic American vein. Knockemstiff is a genuine entry into the literature of place.
Visit Donald Ray Pollock's website.


New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Jordan's prize-winning debut, prejudice takes many forms, both subtle and brutal. It is 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm—a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not—charming, handsome, and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It is the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion.

The men and women of each family relate their versions of events and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale. As Kingsolver says of Hillary Jordan, "Her characters walked straight out of 1940s Mississippi and into the part of my brain where sympathy and anger and love reside, leaving my heart racing. They are with me still."
Visit Hillary Jordan's website.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


New from Harper: Symmetry: A Journey Into the Patterns of Nature by Marcus Du Sautoy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Symmetry is all around us. Our eyes and minds are drawn to symmetrical objects, from the pyramid to the pentagon. Of fundamental significance to the way we interpret the world, this unique, pervasive phenomenon indicates a dynamic relationship between objects. In chemistry and physics, the concept of symmetry explains the structure of crystals or the theory of fundamental particles; in evolutionary biology, the natural world exploits symmetry in the fight for survival; and symmetry—and the breaking of it—is central to ideas in art, architecture, and music.

Combining a rich historical narrative with his own personal journey as a mathematician, Marcus du Sautoy takes a unique look into the mathematical mind as he explores deep conjectures about symmetry and brings us face-to-face with the oddball mathematicians, both past and present, who have battled to understand symmetry's elusive qualities. He explores what is perhaps the most exciting discovery to date—the summit of mathematicians' mastery in the field—the Monster, a huge snowflake that exists in 196,883-dimensional space with more symmetries than there are atoms in the sun.

What is it like to solve an ancient mathematical problem in a flash of inspiration? What is it like to be shown, ten minutes later, that you've made a mistake? What is it like to see the world in mathematical terms, and what can that tell us about life itself? In Symmetry, Marcus du Sautoy investigates these questions and shows mathematical novices what it feels like to grapple with some of the most complex ideas the human mind can comprehend.

"The Sexual Paradox"

New from Scribner: The Sexual Paradox: Men, Women and the Real Gender Gap by Susan Pinker.

About the book, from the publisher:

Susan Pinker, psychologist and award-winning columnist, has written a groundbreaking and controversial book that reveals why learning and behavioral gaps between boys and girls in the classroom are reversed in the workplace.

Pinker examines how fundamental sex differences play out over the life span. By comparing fragile boys who succeed later with high-achieving women who opt out or plateau in their careers, Pinker turns several assumptions upside down: that women and men are biologically equivalent, that intelligence is all it takes to succeed, and that women are just versions of men, with identical interests and goals. In lively prose, Pinker guides readers through the latest findings in neuroscience and economics while addressing these questions: Are males the more fragile sex? What do men with Asperger syndrome or dyslexia tell us about more average men? Which sex is the happiest at work? Why do some male college dropouts earn more than the bright girls who sat beside them in third grade? After three decades of women's educational coups, why do men outnumber women in corporate law, engineering, physical science, and politics? The answers to these questions are the opposite of what we expect.

A provocative examination of how and why learning and behavioral gaps in the nursery are reversed in the boardroom, this illuminating book reveals how sex differences influence career choices and ambition. Through the stories of real men and women, science, and examples from popular culture, Susan Pinker takes a new look at the differences between women and men.

Visit Susan Pinker's website.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"Pictures at a Revolution"

New from Penguin: Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:

The epic human drama behind the making of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967-Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Doolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde-and through them, the larger story of the cultural revolution that transformed Hollywood, and America, forever

It's the mid-1960s, and westerns, war movies and blockbuster musicals-Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music-dominate the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, is hanging strong, or so it would seem. Meanwhile, Warren Beatty wonders why his career isn't blooming after the success of his debut in Splendor in the Grass; Mike Nichols wonders if he still has a career after breaking up with Elaine May; and even though Sidney Poitier has just made history by becoming the first black Best Actor winner, he's still feeling completely cut off from opportunities other than the same "noble black man" role. And a young actor named Dustin Hoffman struggles to find any work at all.

By the Oscar ceremonies of the spring of 1968, when In the Heat of the Night wins the 1967 Academy Award for Best Picture, a cultural revolution has hit Hollywood with the force of a tsunami. The unprecedented violence and nihilism of fellow nominee Bonnie and Clyde has shocked old-guard reviewers but helped catapult Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway into counterculture stardom and made the movie one of the year's biggest box-office successes. Just as unprecedented has been the run of nominee The Graduate, which launched first-time director Mike Nichols into a long and brilliant career in filmmaking, to say nothing of what it did for Dustin Hoffman, Simon and Garfunkel, and a generation of young people who knew that whatever their future was, it wasn't in plastics. Sidney Poitier has reprised the noble-black-man role, brilliantly, not once but twice, in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night, movies that showed in different ways both how far America had come on the subject of race in 1967 and how far it still had to go.

What City of Nets did for Hollywood in the 1940s and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls for the 1970s, Pictures at a Revolution does for Hollywood and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. As we follow the progress of these five movies, we see an entire industry change and struggle and collapse and grow-we see careers made and ruined, studios born and destroyed, and the landscape of possibility altered beyond all recognition. We see some outsized personalities staking the bets of their lives on a few films that became iconic works that defined the generation-and other outsized personalities making equally large wagers that didn't pan out at all.

The product of extraordinary and unprecedented access to the principals of all five films, married to twenty years' worth of insight covering the film industry and a bewitching storyteller's gift, Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution is a bravura accomplishment, and a work that feels iconic itself.
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