Friday, September 30, 2011

"The Sandburg Connection"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: The Sandburg Connection by Mark de Castrique.

About the book, from the publisher:

A simple assignment for private investigator Sam Blackman and his partner Nakayla Robertson: follow Professor Janice Wainwright, who’s suing a surgeon for malpractice, and catch her in activities that undercut her claim.

When Wainwright visits Connemara, Carl Sandburg’s home in Flat Rock, N.C., and climbs the arduous trail to the top of Glassy Mountain, Sam believes he has the evidence needed to expose her—until he finds the woman semi-conscious and bleeding. Her final words: “It’s the Sandburg verses. The Sandburg verses.”

As the first person to discover the dying woman, Sam becomes the prime suspect. When an autopsy reveals painkillers in her blood and solid proof of the surgeon’s errors, Sam is left with the haunting questions: why did this suffering woman attempt to climb the mountain? Did someone cause her death?

A break-in at the Wainwright farmhouse and the theft of Sandburg volumes convince Sam someone is seeking information worth killing for. But what did Pulitzer-Prize-winner Sandburg have in his literary collection that has inspired multiple murders? And who will be targeted next? This is the third installment in the Sam Blackman series.
Visit Mark de Castrique's website.

"Falling Together"

New from Wiliam Morrow: Falling Together by Marisa de los Santos.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if saying hello to an old friend meant saying good-bye to life as you know it?

It’s been six years since Pen Calloway watched her best friends walk out of her life. And through the birth of her daughter, the death of her father, and the vicissitudes of single motherhood, she has never stopped missing them.

Pen, Cat, and Will met on their first day of college and formed what seemed like a magical and lifelong bond, only to see their friendship break apart amid the realities of adulthood. When, after years of silence, Cat—the bewitching, charismatic center of their group—e-mails Pen and Will with an urgent request to meet at their college reunion, they can’t refuse. But instead of a happy reconciliation, what awaits is a collision of past and present that sends Pen and Will, with Pen’s five-year-old daughter and Cat’s hostile husband in tow, on a journey across the world.

With her trademark wit, vivid prose, and gift for creating authentic, captivating characters, Marisa de los Santos returns with an emotionally resonant novel about our deepest human connections. As Pen and Will struggle to uncover the truth about Cat, they find more than they bargained for: startling truths about who they were before and who they are now. They must confront the reasons their friendship fell apart and discover how—and if—it can ever fall back together.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Bin Laden's Bald Spot & Other Stories"

New from Red Hen Press: Bin Laden's Bald Spot & Other Stories by Brian Doyle.

About the book, from the publisher:

Welcome to the peculiar and headlong world of Brian Doyle's fiction, where the odd is happening all the time, reported upon by characters of every sort and stripe. Swirling voices and skeins of story, laughter and rage, ferocious attention to detail and sweeping nuttiness, tears and chortling - these stories will remind readers of the late giant David Foster Wallace, in their straightforward accounts of anything-but-straightforward events; of modern short story pioneer Raymond Carver, a bit, in their blunt, unadorned dialogue; and of Julia Whitty, a bit, in their willingness to believe what is happening, even if it absolutely shouldn't be.

Funny, piercing, unique, memorable, this is a collection of stories readers will find nearly impossible to forget. Along the way, readers will meet:

... The barber who shaves the heads of the thugs in Bin Laden's cave tells cheerful stories of life with the preening video-obsessed leader, who has a bald spot shaped just like Iceland.

... A husband gathers all of his wife's previous boyfriends for a long day on a winery-touring bus.

... A teenage boy drives off into the sunset with his troubled sister's small daughters . . . and the loser husband locked in the trunk of the car.

... The late Joseph Kennedy pours out his heart to a golf-course bartender moments before the stroke that silenced him forever.

... A man digging in his garden finds a brand-new baby boy, still alive, and has a chat with the teenage neighbor girl whose son it is.

... A man born on a Greyhound bus eventually buys the entire Greyhound Bus Company and revolutionizes Western civilization.

... A mountainous bishop dies and the counting of the various keys to his house turns . . . tense.

... A man discovers his wife having an affair, takes up running to grapple with his emotions, and discovers everyone else on the road is a cuckold too.

"Cemetery Girl"

New from NAL/Penguin: Cemetery Girl by David Bell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Tom and Abby Stuart had everything: a perfect marriage, successful careers, and a beautiful twelve-year-old daughter, Caitlin. Then one day Caitlin vanished without a trace. For a while they grasped at every false hope and followed every empty lead, but the tragedy ended up changing their lives, overwhelming them with guilt and dread, and shattering their marriage.

Four years later, Caitlin is found alive—dirty and disheveled yet preternaturally calm. She won’t discuss where she was or what happened. Then the police arrest a suspect connected to the disappearance, but Caitlin refuses to testify, leaving the Stuarts with a choice: Let the man who may be responsible for destroying their lives walk away, or take matters into their own hands. And when Tom decides to try to uncover the truth for himself, he finds that nothing that has happened yet can prepare him for what he is about to discover.
Visit David Bell's website.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius"

New from Simon & Schuster: Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a sweeping narrative, the author of the megabestseller A Beautiful Mind takes us on a journey through modern history with the men and women who changed the lives of every single person on the planet. It's the epic story of the making of modern economics, and of how economics rescued mankind from squalor and deprivation by placing its material fate in its own hands rather than in Fate.

Nasar's account begins with Charles Dickens and Henry Mayhew observing and publishing the condition of the poor majority in mid-nineteenth-century London, the richest and most glittering place in the world. This was a new pursuit. She describes the often heroic efforts of Marx, Engels, Alfred Marshall, Beatrice and Sydney Webb, and the American Irving Fisher to put those insights into action—with revolutionary consequences for the world.

From the great John Maynard Keynes to Schumpeter, Hayek, Keynes's disciple Joan Robinson, the influential American economists Paul Samuelson and Milton Freedman, and India's Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen, she shows how the insights of these activist thinkers transformed the world—from one city, London, to the developed nations in Europe and America, and now to the entire planet. In Nasar's dramatic narrative of these discoverers we witness men and women responding to personal crises, world wars, revolutions, economic upheavals, and each other's ideas to turn back Malthus and transform the dismal science into a triumph over mankind's hitherto age-old destiny of misery and early death. This idea, unimaginable less than 200 years ago, is a story of trial and error, but ultimately transcendent, as it is rendered here in a stunning and moving narrative.

"The Very Picture of You"

New from Bantam: The Very Picture of You by Isabel Wolff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Where the eye sees the brushstroke, the heart sees the truth.

From Isabel Wolff, the internationally bestselling author of A Vintage Affair, comes a beguiling novel about artistic inspirations, family secrets, and the courage to turn one’s life into a masterpiece.

At thirty-five, Gabriella Graham—“Ella” to her family and friends—has already made a name for herself as a successful portrait artist in London. She can capture the essential truth in each of her subjects’ faces—a tilt of the chin, a glint in the eye—and immortalize it on canvas. This gift has earned Ella commissions from royals and regular folks alike.

But closer to home, Ella finds the truth more elusive. Her father abandoned the family when she was five, and her mother has remained silent on the subject ever since. Ella’s sister, Chloe, is engaged to Nate, an American working in London, but Ella suspects that he may not be so committed. Then, at Chloe’s behest, Ella agrees to paint Nate’s portrait.

From session to session, Ella begins to see Nate in a different light, which gives rise to conflicted feelings. In fact, through the various people she paints—an elderly client reflecting on her life, another woman dreading the prospect of turning forty, a young cyclist (from a photograph) who met a tragic end—Ella realizes that there is so much more to a person’s life than what is seen on the surface, a notion made even clearer when an unexpected email arrives from the other side of the world. And as her portraits of Nate and the others progress, they begin to reveal less about their subjects than the artist herself.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in Isabel Wolff’s vibrant and textured story, these words are brilliantly crafted to convey the humor, mystery, and beauty that exists within each of us.
Visit Isabel Wolff's website.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"The Sacred Band"

New from Doubleday: The Sacred Band (Acacia Series #3) by David Anthony Durham.

About the book, from the publisher:

With the first two books in the Acacia Trilogy, Acacia and The Other Lands, David Anthony Durham has created a vast and engrossing canvas of a world in turmoil, where the surviving children of a royal dynasty are on a quest to realize their fates—and perhaps right ancient wrongs once and for all. As The Sacred Band begins, one of them, Queen Corinn, bestrides the world as a result of her mastery of spells found in the ancient Book of Elenet. Her younger brother, Dariel, has been sent on a perilous mis­sion to the Other Lands, while her sister, Mena, travels to the far north to confront an invasion of the feared race of the Auldek. Their separate trajectories will converge in a series of world-shaping, earth-shattering battles, all ren­dered with vividly imagined detail and in heroic scale.

David Anthony Durham concludes his tale of kingdoms in collision in an exciting fashion. His fictional world is at once realistic and fantastic, informed with an eloquent and dis­tinctively Shakespearean sensibility.
Learn more about the book and author at David Anthony Durham's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Acacia.

The Page 69 Test: The Other Lands.

"Choke Hold"

New from Hard Case Crime: Choke Hold by Christa Faust.

About the book, from the publisher:


Angel Dare went into Witness Protection to escape her past—not as a porn star, but as a killer who took down the sex slavery ring that destroyed her life. But sometimes the past just won’t stay buried. When a former co-star is murdered, it’s up to Angel to get his son, a hotheaded MMA fighter, safely through the unforgiving Arizona desert, shady Mexican bordertowns, and the seductive neon mirage of Las Vegas...
Visit Christa Faust's website and blog to learn more about her work.

My Book, The Movie: Christa Faust's Hoodtown.

Monday, September 26, 2011

"The Kitchen Counter Cooking School"

New from Viking: The Kitchen Counter Cooking School: How a Few Simple Lessons Transformed Nine Culinary Novices into Fearless Home Cooks by Kathleen Flinn.

About the book, from the publisher:

The author of The Sharper Your Knife tells the inspiring story of how she helped nine others find their inner cook.

After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, writer Kathleen Flinn returned with no idea what to do next, until one day at a supermarket she watched a woman loading her cart with ultraprocessed foods. Flinn's "chefternal" instinct kicked in: she persuaded the stranger to reload with fresh foods, offering her simple recipes for healthy, easy meals.

The Kitchen Counter Cooking School includes practical, healthy tips that boost readers' culinary self-confidence, and strategies to get the most from their grocery dollar, and simple recipes that get readers cooking.
Visit Kathleen Flinn's website and blog.

"Taking a Stand"

New from Palgrave Macmillan: Taking a Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights by Juan E. Méndez with Marjory Wentworth.

About the book, from the publisher:

Juan Méndez has experienced human rights abuse first hand. As a result of his work with political prisoners in the late 1970s, the Argentinean military dictatorship arrested, tortured, and held him for more than a year. During that time, Amnesty International adopted him as a “Prisoner of Conscience.” After his release, he moved to the United States and continued his lifelong fight for the rights of others, and the lessons he has gleaned over the decades can help us with our current struggles. Here, he sets forth an authoritative and incisive examination of torture, detention, exile, armed conflict, and genocide, whose urgency is even greater in the wake of America's recent disastrous policies. Méndez offers a new strategy for holding governments accountable for their actions, providing an essential blueprint for different human rights groups to be able to work together to effect change.
See Juan E. Méndez's list of five notable books on torture.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


New from Berkley: Ballistic by Mark Greaney.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ex-CIA assassin Court Gentry thought he could find refuge living in the Amazon rain forest. But his bloody past finds him when a vengeful Russian crime lord forces him to go on the run once again. Court makes his way to one of the only men in the world he can trust-and arrives too late. His friend is dead and buried.

Years before, Eddie Gamboa had saved Court's life. Now, Eddie has been murdered by the notorious Mexican drug cartel he fought to take down. And Court soon finds himself drawn into a war he never wanted. But in this war, there are no sides- only survivors...
Learn more about the book and author at Mark Greaney's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Gray Man.

My Book, The Movie: The Gray Man.

"The Lost Women of Lost Lake"

New from Minotaur Books: The Lost Women of Lost Lake (Jane Lawless Mysteries, Volume 19) by Ellen Hart.

About the book, from the publisher:

Restaurateur and part-time P.I. Jane Lawless is taking some much-needed time off at her family’s lodge when her best friend, Cordelia, arrives with news that Tess, one of their good friends, has taken a nasty fall and needs their help with rehearsals for a play that is set to open in a week. When Tess isn’t on crutches, she helps run the Thunderhook Lodge, the premier resort on Lost Lake. And while she clearly needs Jane and Cordelia’s assistance, she isn’t exactly acting all that grateful.

A man who claims to be a journalist has arrived in Lost Lake with an old photograph and some questions for Tess that go back decades. His questions have put her on edge, and when he shows up peeking through her kitchen window, everyone else is right there with her. As beloved as Tess is, there are plenty of people who don’t care about any so-called journalist and are happy to protect her, but how far are they willing to take it? And when will they need answers to questions that that only Tess can provide?

In The Lost Women of Lost Lake—the most engrossing mystery yet from Lambda and Minnesota Book Award–winning author Ellen Hart—Jane’s only hope of protecting her friends from the secrets that are surfacing all around them is to uncover the whole truth before anyone else can.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"But Will the Planet Notice?"

New from Hill and Wang: But Will the Planet Notice?: How Smart Economics Can Save the World by Gernot Wagner.

About the book, from the publisher:

You are one of seven billion people on Earth. Whatever you or I do personally—eat tofu in a Hummer or hamburgers in a Prius—the planet doesn’t notice. In our confrontation with climate change, species preservation, and a planet going off the cliff, it is what several billion people do that makes a difference. The solution? It isn't science, politics, or activism. It's smarter economics.

The hope of mankind, and indeed of every living thing on the planet, is now in the hands of the dismal science. Fortunately, we’ve been there before. Economists helped crack the acid rain problem in the 1990s (admittedly with a strong assist from a phalanx of lawyers and activists). Economists have helped get lead out of our gas, and they can explain why lobsters haven’t disappeared off the coast of New England but tuna is on the verge of extinction. More disquietingly, they can take the lessons of the financial crisis and model with greater accuracy than anyone else the likelihood of environmental catastrophe, and they can help save us from global warming, if only we let them.
Visit Gernot Wagner's website and blog.

"When She Woke"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hannah Payne’s life has been devoted to church and family, but after her arrest, she awakens to a nightmare: she is lying on a table in a bare room, covered only by a paper gown, with cameras broadcasting her every move to millions at home, for whom observing new Chromes—criminals whose skin color has been genetically altered to match the class of their crime—is a new and sinister form of entertainment. Hannah is a Red; her crime is murder. The victim, according to the State of Texas, was her unborn child, and Hannah is determined to protect the identity of the father, a public figure with whom she’s shared a fierce and forbidden love.

When She Woke is a fable about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future—where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are no longer imprisoned and rehabilitated but chromed and released back into the population to survive as best they can. In seeking a path to safety in an alien and hostile world, Hannah unknowingly embarks on a path of self-discovery that forces her to question the values she once held true and the righteousness of a country that politicizes faith.
Learn more about the author and her work at Hillary Jordan's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Mudbound.

My Book, The Movie: Mudbound.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"The Funny Man"

New from Soho Press: The Funny Man by John Warner.

About the book, from the publisher:

The funny man is a middling comic in an unnamed city. By day he takes care of his infant son, by night he performs in small clubs, sandwiched between other aspiring comics. His wife waits tables to support the family. It doesn’t sound like much, but they’re happy, more or less. Until the day he comes up with it. His thing. His gimmick. And everything changes. He’s a headliner, and the venues get bigger fast. Pretty soon it’s Hollywood and a starring role in a blockbuster, all thanks to the gimmick.

Which is: He performs with his fist in his mouth to the wrist. Jokes, impressions, commercials—all with his fist in his mouth to the wrist. The people want him—are crazy for him—but only with his fist in his mouth.

And the funny man, he is tired of having his fist in his mouth.

Thus, as the novel begins, his career’s in tatters, his family’s left him, and he’s on trial for shooting an unarmed man six times. But for the second time in his life, against all odds, he’s found love. This time with another celebrity, who may or may not be sending him coded messages, and may or may not be equally in love—or even know he exists. A coruscating satire of our culture of celebrity, this debut novel documents one individual’s slide from everyman to monster, even as it reveals the potential for grace—and mercy—in his life.

"Salvage the Bones"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward.

About the book, from the publisher:

A stunning new voice from the Gulf Coast delivers a gritty but tender novel about family and poverty in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina.

A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch's father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn't show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn't much to save. Lately, Esch can't keep down what food she gets; she's fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull's new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. Meanwhile, brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child's play and short on parenting.

As the twelve days that make up the novel's framework yield to their dramatic conclusion, this unforgettable family-motherless children sacrificing for one another as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce-pulls itself up to face another day. A big-hearted novel about familial love and community against all odds, and a wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bones is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.
Visit Jesmyn Ward's blog.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

"The Ninth Day"

New from Harper: The Ninth Day by Jamie Freveletti.

About the book, from the publisher:

In less than nine days, terror crosses the border...

Hiking in Arizona, biochemist Emma Caldridge inadvertently interrupts the operations of dangerous traffickers in human cargo—and is chased south into the arms of millionaire drug merchants. Suddenly a prisoner of Mexico’s most feared cartel, Emma makes a shocking discovery in the marijuana fields outside Ciudad Juarez: plants rotting with a flesh-eating toxin that causes a truly horrible death within nine days of exposure. And there is no antidote.

The cartel believes that U.S. agents contaminated the plants, and, determined to make their enemy pay, they prepare to spread their lethal product across America. Emma Caldridge searches desperately for a cure, but time is running out more quickly than she anticipated. For Emma herself has been infected—and, barring a miracle, she will die before the terrible dawning of...
Learn more about the book and author at Jamie Freveletti's website and blog.

Jamie Freveletti is a trial attorney, martial artist, and runner. She has crewed for an elite ultra-marathon runner at 50 mile, 100 mile, and twenty-four hour races across the country, and both practices and teaches Aikido, a Japanese martial art.

The Page 69 Test: Running from the Devil.

"We Meant Well"

New from Metropolitan Books: We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People by Peter Van Buren.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a State Department insider, the first book recounting our misguided efforts to rebuild Iraq—a shocking and rollicking true-life cross between Catch-22 and The Ugly American

Charged with rebuilding Iraq, would you spend taxpayer money on a sports mural in Baghdad's most dangerous neighborhood to promote reconciliation through art? How about an isolated milk factory that cannot get its milk to market? Or a pastry class training women to open cafés on bombed-out streets without water or electricity?

According to Peter Van Buren, we bought all these projects and more in the most expensive hearts-and-minds campaign since the Marshall Plan. We Meant Well is his eyewitness account of the civilian side of the surge—that surreal and bollixed attempt to defeat terrorism and win over Iraqis by reconstructing the world we had just destroyed. Leading a State Department Provincial Reconstruction Team on its quixotic mission, Van Buren details, with laser-like irony, his yearlong encounter with pointless projects, bureaucratic fumbling, overwhelmed soldiers, and oblivious administrators secluded in the world's largest embassy, who fail to realize that you can't rebuild a country without first picking up the trash.

Darkly funny while deadly serious, We Meant Well is a tragicomic voyage of ineptitude and corruption that leaves its writer—and readers—appalled and disillusioned but wiser.
Visit the official We Meant Well website and blog.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Shakespeare's Great Stage of Fools"

New from Palgrave Macmillan: Shakespeare's Great Stage of Fools by Robert H. Bell.

About the book, from the publisher:

This lively, lucid book undertakes a detailed study of Shakespeare’s fascination with clowns, fools, and fooling. From the knockabout clowns of the early comedies, through the wise fools of the mature plays, to disturbing tragic figures who play the fool, Shakespeare dramatizes the pleasures and perils of fooling and folly, and evokes the mysterious possibilities of “foolosophy.” Esteemed scholar Robert H. Bell highlights the fun, wit, insight, and mystery of some of Shakespeare’s most vibrant and sometimes vexing figures.

"Luminous Airplanes"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Luminous Airplanes by Paul La Farge.

About the novel, from the publisher:

A decade after the publication of Haussmann, or the Distinction, his acclaimed novel about nineteenth-century Paris, Paul La Farge turns his imagination to America at the dawn of the twenty-first century.

In September 2000, a young programmer comes home from a fes­tival in the Nevada desert and learns that his grandfather has died, and that he has to return to Thebes, a town which is so isolated that its inhabitants have their own language, in order to clean out the house where his family lived for five generations. While he’s there, he runs into Yesim, a Turkish American woman whom he loved as a child, and begins a romance in which past and present are dangerously confused. At the same time, he remembers San Francisco in the wild years of the Internet boom, and mourns the loss of Swan, a madman who may have been the only person to understand what was happening to the city, and to the world.

Luminous Airplanes has a singular form: the novel, complete in itself, is accompanied by an online “immersive text,” which continues the story and complements it. Nearly ten years in the making, La Farge’s ambitious new work considers large worlds and small ones, love, mem­ory, family, flying machines, dance music, and the end of the world.
Visit Paul La Farge's website.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"The Barbarian Nurseries"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: The Barbarian Nurseries by Héctor Tobar.

About the novel, from the publisher:

The great panoramic social novel that Los Angeles deserves—a twenty-first century, West Coast Bonfire of the Vanities by the only writer qualified to capture the city in all its glory and complexity

With The Barbarian Nurseries, Héctor Tobar gives our most misunderstood metropolis its great contemporary novel, taking us beyond the glimmer of Hollywood and deeper than camera-ready crime stories to reveal Southern California life as it really is, across its vast, sunshiny sprawl of classes, languages, dreams, and ambitions.

Araceli is the live-in maid in the Torres-Thompson household—one of three Mexican employees in a Spanish-style house with lovely views of the Pacific. She has been responsible strictly for the cooking and cleaning, but the recession has hit, and suddenly Araceli is the last Mexican standing—unless you count Scott Torres, though you’d never suspect he was half Mexican but for his last name and an old family photo with central L.A. in the background. The financial pressure is causing the kind of fights that even Araceli knows the children shouldn’t hear, and then one morning, after a particularly dramatic fight, Araceli wakes to an empty house—except for the two Torres-Thompson boys, little aliens she’s never had to interact with before. Their parents are unreachable, and the only family member she knows of is Señor Torres, the subject of that old family photo. So she does the only thing she can think of and heads to the bus stop to seek out their grandfather. It will be an adventure, she tells the boys. If she only knew...

With a precise eye for the telling detail and an unerring way with character, soaring brilliantly and seamlessly among a panorama of viewpoints, Tobar calls on all of his experience—as a novelist, a father, a journalist, a son of Guatemalan immigrants, and a native Angeleno—to deliver a novel as broad, as essential, as alive as the city itself.
Visit Héctor Tobar's website.

"A More Perfect Heaven"

New from Walker & Company: A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos by Dava Sobel.

About the book, from the publisher:

Named Best Science Book for Fall 2011 by Publishers Weekly

The bestselling author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter tells the story of Nicolaus Copernicus, and the revolution he inspired, in an utterly original and groundbreaking new book.

By 1514, the reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had written and hand-copied an initial outline of his heliocentric theory—in which he defied common sense and received wisdom to place the sun, not the earth, at the center of our universe, and set the earth spinning among the other planets. Over the next two decades, Copernicus expanded his theory through hundreds of observations, while compiling in secret a book-length manuscript that tantalized mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe. For fear of ridicule, he refused to publish.

In 1539, a young German mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, drawn by rumors of a revolution to rival the religious upheaval of Martin Luther's Reformation, traveled to Poland to seek out Copernicus. Two years later, the Protestant youth took leave of his aging Catholic mentor and arranged to have Copernicus's manuscript published, in 1543, as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)—the book that forever changed humankind's place in the universe.

In her elegant, compelling style, Dava Sobel chronicles, as nobody has, the conflicting personalities and extraordinary discoveries that shaped the Copernican Revolution. At the heart of the book is her play And the Sun Stood Still, imagining Rheticus's struggle to convince Copernicus to let his manuscript see the light of day. As she achieved with her bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Sobel expands the bounds of narration, giving us an unforgettable portrait of scientific achievement, and of the ever-present tensions between science and faith.
Learn about Dava Sobel's heroine from outside literature.

See Dava Sobel's five best list of books which record extraordinary journeys of discovery.

Monday, September 19, 2011


New from Thomas Dunne Books: Vacation by Matthew Costello.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the near future after a global crisis causes crops to fail and species to disappear ... something even more deadly happens. Groups of humans around the world suddenly become predators, feeding off their own kind. These “Can Heads” grow to such a threat that fences, gated compounds, and SWAT-style police protection become absolutely necessary in order to live.

After one Can Head attack leaves NYPD cop Jack Murphy wounded, Jack takes his wife and kids on a much-needed vacation. Far up north, to a camp where families can still swim and take boats out on a lake, and pretend that the world isn’t going to hell.

But the Can Heads are never far away, and nothing is quite what it seems in Paterville....
Visit Matthew Costello's website.

"Defensive Wounds"

New from William Morrow: Defensive Wounds by Lisa Black.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this fourth novel in Lisa Black’s captivating suspense series, forensic investigator Theresa MacLean finds herself embroiled in a case in which everyone has a motive and everyone is a suspect—especially when high-powered defense attorneys start turning up dead.

When Marie Corrigan, a Cleveland defense attorney with a history of falsifying evidence and no shortage of enemies, is found dead in the presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton, most people would agree that she had it coming. Forensic investigator Theresa MacLean is summoned to the crime scene by her daughter, Rachel, who is working the front desk. But even before Theresa enters the room, she knows that she’s walking into a forensic nightmare—for crime scenes at hotels, even the most luxurious, are teeming with trace evidence that has been left behind by innumerable guests and may or may not be related to the murder. But what Theresa finds is even worse than she imagined.

Given the positioning of Marie’s body, everyone assumes the same thing—that it’s a lovers’ tryst turned lethal. But large questions remain: How did the killer gain access to the room without anyone’s knowledge? And has the scene been staged for their benefit? The little evidence Theresa has is conflicting at best. What’s more, a legal convention at the hotel provides an endless list of suspects—and potential victims.

When two more bodies show up in quick succession, each in a similar state, Theresa’s investigation takes on a whole new urgency as she fears they may have a serial killer on their hands—a serial killer with a vendetta. But as she searches for the threads that tie the cases together, Theresa begins to suspect that she and her daughter are closer to danger than they realize. And a mother will stop at nothing to protect the life of her child.
Learn more about the book and author at Lisa Black's website.

Black's previous Theresa MacLean novels include Trail of Blood.

My Book, The Movie: Trail of Blood.

The Page 69 Test: Trail of Blood.

Writers Read: Lisa Black.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend"

New from Simon & Schuster: Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend by Susan Orlean.

About the book, from the publisher:

He believed the dog was immortal.

So begins Susan Orlean's sweeping, powerfully moving story of Rin Tin Tin's journey from orphaned puppy to movie star and international icon. From the moment in 1918 when Corporal Lee Duncan discovers Rin Tin Tin on a World War I battlefield, he recognizes something in the pup that he needs to share with the world. Rin Tin Tin's improbable introduction to Hollywood leads to the dog's first blockbuster film and over time, the many radio programs, movies, and television shows that follow. The canine hero's legacy is cemented by Duncan and a small group of others who devote their lives to keeping him and his descendants alive.

At its heart, Rin Tin Tin is a poignant exploration of the enduring bond between humans and animals. But it is also a richly textured history of twentieth-century entertainment and entrepreneurship and the changing role of dogs in the American family and society. Almost ten years in the making, Susan Orlean's first original book since The Orchid Thief is a tour de force of history, human interest, and masterful storytelling—the ultimate must-read for anyone who loves great dogs or great yarns.
Visit Susan Orlean's website.

"Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars"

New from Palgrave Macmillan: Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug Wars by Sylvia Longmire.

About the book, from the publisher:

Having followed Mexico's cartels for years, border security expert Sylvia Longmire takes us deep into the heart of their world to witness a dangerous underground that will do whatever it takes to deliver drugs to a willing audience of American consumers. The cartels have grown increasingly bold in recent years, building submarines to move up the coast of Central America and digging elaborate tunnels that both move drugs north and carry cash and U.S. high-powered assault weapons back to fuel the drug war. Channeling her long experience working on border issues, Longmire brings to life the very real threat of Mexican cartels operating not just along the southwest border, but deep inside every corner of the United States. She also offers real solutions to the critical problems facing Mexico and the United States, including programs to deter youth in Mexico from joining the cartels and changing drug laws on both sides of the border.
Visit Sylvia Longmire's website.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"Following Atticus"

New from William Morrow: Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan.

About the book, from the publisher:

“In the mountains Atticus became more of what he’d always been, and I became less—less frantic, less stressed, less worried, and less harried. I felt comfortable letting him lead, and he seemed to know what I needed. He always chose the best route, if ever there was a question, and my only job was to follow.”

Middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan and miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. In a rare test of endurance, Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home....

At the heart of this remarkable journey is an extraordinary relationship that blurs the line between man and dog, an indelible bond that began when Tom, following the advice of Atticus’s breeder, carried the pup wherever he went for the first month of their life together. Following Atticus is ultimately a story of transformation: how a five-pound puppy pierced the heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman, opening his eyes to the world’s beauty and its possibilities. It was a change that led to a new life among the mountains; an unforgettable saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family; and an inspiring tale of finding love and discovering your true self.
Visit Tom Ryan's blog.

"Where All the Dead Lie"

New from Mira Books: Where All the Dead Lie (Taylor Jackson Series #7) by J. T. Ellison.

About the book, from the publisher:

In her showdown with the murderous Pretender, a bullet taken at close range severed the connection between Taylor's thoughts and speech. Effectively mute, there's no telling if her voice will ever come back. Trapped in silence, she is surrounded by ghosts—of the past, of friendships and trusts lost...of a lost faith in herself and her motives that night.

When Memphis Highsmythe offers Taylor his home in the Scottish Highlands to recuperate, her fiancé can't refuse her excitement, no matter his distrust of the man. At first, Memphis's drafty and singularly romantic castle seems the perfect place for healing. But shortly the house itself surrounds her like a menacing presence. As Taylor's sense of isolation and vulnerability grows, so, too, does her grip on reality.

Someone or something is coming after Taylor. But is she being haunted by the dead…or hunted by the living?
Learn more about the book and author at J.T. Ellison's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: All the Pretty Girls.

The Page 99 Test: 14.

The Page 69 Test: 14.

The Page 99 Test: Judas Kiss.

My Book, The Movie: the Taylor Jackson series.

The Page 69 Test: The Cold Room.

My Book, The Movie: The Cold Room.

The Page 69 Test: So Close the Hand of Death.

Writers Read: J.T. Ellison.

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music"

New from Hyperion: Lennon: The Man, the Myth, the Music - The Definitive Life by Tim Riley.

About the book, from the publisher:

In his commanding new book, the eminent NPR critic Tim Riley takes us on the remarkable journey that brought a Liverpool art student from a disastrous childhood to the highest realms of fame.

Riley portrays Lennon’s rise from Hamburg’s red light district to Britain’s Royal Variety Show; from the charmed naiveté of “Love Me Do” to the soaring ambivalence of “Don’t Let Me Down”; from his shotgun marriage to Cynthia Powell in 1962 to his epic media romance with Yoko Ono. Written with the critical insight and stylistic mastery readers have come to expect from Riley, this richly textured narrative draws on numerous new and exclusive interviews with Lennon’s friends, enemies, confidantes, and associates; lost memoirs written by relatives and friends; as well as previously undiscovered City of Liverpool records. Riley explores Lennon in all of his contradictions: the British art student who universalized an American style, the anarchic rock ’n’ roller with the moral spine, the anti-jazz snob who posed naked with his avant-garde lover, and the misogynist who became a househusband. What emerges is the enormous, seductive, and confounding personality that made Lennon a cultural touchstone.

In Lennon, Riley casts Lennon as a modernist hero in a sweeping epic, dramatizing rock history anew as Lennon himself might have experienced it.
Visit Tim Riley's website.

"The Revisionists"

New from Mulholland Books: The Revisionists by Thomas Mullen.

About the book, from the publisher:

A fast-paced literary thriller that recalls dystopian classics such as 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, from the award-winning author of The Last Town on Earth.

Zed is an agent from the future. A time when the world’s problems have been solved. No hunger. No war. No despair.

His mission is to keep it that way. Even if it means ensuring every cataclysm throughout history runs its course-especially The Great Conflagration, an imminent disaster in our own time that Zed has been ordered to protect at all costs.

Zed’s mission will disrupt the lives of a disgraced former CIA agent; a young Washington lawyer grieving over the loss of her brother, a soldier in Iraq; the oppressed employee of a foreign diplomat; and countless others. But will he finish his final mission before the present takes precedence over a perfect future? One that may have more cracks than he realizes?

The Revisionists puts a fresh spin on today’s global crises, playing with the nature of history and our own role in shaping it. It firmly establishes Mullen as one of the most exciting and imaginative writers of his generation.
Visit Thomas Mullen's website and blog.

Read about the book that Mullen would take to a desert island.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

"Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America"

New from W.W. Norton: Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America by Adam Winkler.

About the book, from the publisher:

A provocative history that reveals how guns-not abortion, race, or religion-are at the heart of America's cultural divide.

Gunfight promises to be a seminal work in its examination of America's four-centuries-long political battle over gun control and the right to bear arms. In the tradition of Gideon's Trumpet, Adam Winkler uses the landmark 2008 case District of Columbia v. Heller, which invalidated a law banning handguns in the nation's capital, as a springboard for a groundbreaking historical narrative. From the Founding Fathers and the Second Amendment to the origins of the Klan, ironically as a gun control organization, the debate over guns has always generated controversy. Whether examining the Black Panthers' role in provoking the modern gun rights movement or Ronald Reagan's efforts to curtail gun ownership, Winkler brilliantly weaves together the dramatic stories of gun rights advocates and gun control lobbyists, providing often unexpected insights into the venomous debate that now cleaves our nation.


New from William Morrow: Reamde by Neal Stephenson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Neal Stephenson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Anathem, returns to the terrain of his groundbreaking novels Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon to deliver a high-intensity, high-stakes, action-packed adventure thriller in which a tech entrepreneur gets caught in the very real crossfire of his own online war game.

In 1972, Richard Forthrast, the black sheep of an Iowa farming clan, fled to the mountains of British Columbia to avoid the draft. A skilled hunting guide, he eventually amassed a fortune by smuggling marijuana across the border between Canada and Idaho. As the years passed, Richard went straight and returned to the States after the U.S. government granted amnesty to draft dodgers. He parlayed his wealth into an empire and developed a remote resort in which he lives. He also created T’Rain, a multibillion-dollar, massively multiplayer online role-playing game with millions of fans around the world.

But T’Rain’s success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold by unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player’s electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game’s virtual universe—and Richard is at ground zero.

Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho and points in between, Reamde is a swift-paced thriller that traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which unforgettable villains and unlikely heroes face off in a battle for survival, it is a brilliant refraction of the twenty-first century, from the global war on terror to social media, computer hackers to mobsters, entrepreneurs to religious fundamentalists. Above all, Reamde is an enthralling human story—an entertaining and epic page-turner from the extraordinary Neal Stephenson.
According to Charlie Jane Anders of io9, Neal Stephenson is one of the twenty biggest science fiction movers-and-shakers.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Knocking on Heaven's Door"

New from Ecco: Knocking on Heaven's Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World by Lisa Randall.

About the book, from the publisher:

From one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world, a rousing defense of the role of science in our lives

The latest developments in physics have the potential to radically revise our understanding of the world: its makeup, its evolution, and the fundamental forces that drive its operation. Knocking on Heaven’s Door is an exhilarating and accessible overview of these developments and an impassioned argument for the significance of science.

There could be no better guide than Lisa Randall. The bestselling author of Warped Passages is an expert in both particle physics (the study of the smallest objects we know of) and cosmology (the study of the largest). In Knocking on Heaven’s Door, she explores how we decide which scientific questions to study and how we go about answering them. She examines the role of risk, creativity, uncertainty, beauty, and truth in scientific thinking through provocative conversations with leading figures in other fields (such as the chef David Chang, the forecaster Nate Silver, and the screenwriter Scott Derrickson), and she explains with wit and clarity the latest ideas in physics and cosmology. Randall describes the nature and goals of the largest machine ever built: the Large Hadron Collider, the enormous particle accelerator below the border of France and Switzerland—as well as recent ideas underlying cosmology and current dark matter experiments.

The most sweeping and exciting science book in years, Knocking on Heaven’s Door makes clear the biggest scientific questions we face and reveals how answering them could ultimately tell us who we are and where we came from.
Visit Lisa Randall's faculty webpage.

"Last Man in Tower"

New from Knopf: Last Man in Tower by Aravind Adiga.

About the book, from the publisher:

Searing. Explosive. Lyrical. Compassionate. Here is the astonishing new novel by the Man Booker Prize–winning author of The White Tiger, a book that took rage and anger at injustice and turned it into a thrilling murder story. Now, with the same fearlessness and insight, Aravind Adiga broadens his canvas to give us a riveting story of money and power, luxury and deprivation, set in the booming city of Mumbai.

At the heart of this novel are two equally compelling men, poised for a showdown. Real estate developer Dharmen Shah rose from nothing to create an empire and hopes to seal his legacy with a building named the Shanghai, which promises to be one of the city’s most elite addresses. Larger-than-life Shah is a dangerous man to refuse. But he meets his match in a retired schoolteacher called Masterji. Shah offers Masterji and his neighbors—the residents of Vishram Society’s Tower A, a once respectable, now crumbling apartment building on whose site Shah’s luxury high-rise would be built—a generous buyout. They can’t believe their good fortune. Except, that is, for Masterji, who refuses to abandon the building he has long called home. As the demolition deadline looms, desires mount; neighbors become enemies, and acquaintances turn into conspirators who risk losing their humanity to score their payday.

Here is a richly told, suspense-fueled story of ordinary people pushed to their limits in a place that knows none: the new India as only Aravind Adiga could explore—and expose—it. Vivid, visceral, told with both humor and poignancy, Last Man in Tower is his most stunning work yet.
The Page 69 Test: Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Death in the City of Light"

New from Crown: Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King.

About the book, from the publisher:

Death in the City of Light is the gripping, true story of a brutal serial killer who unleashed his own reign of terror in Nazi-Occupied Paris. As decapitated heads and dismembered body parts surfaced in the Seine, Commissaire Georges-Victor Massu, head of the Brigade Criminelle, was tasked with tracking down the elusive murderer in a twilight world of Gestapo, gangsters, resistance fighters, pimps, prostitutes, spies, and other shadowy figures of the Parisian underworld.

The main suspect was Dr. Marcel Petiot, a handsome, charming physician with remarkable charisma. He was the “People’s Doctor,” known for his many acts of kindness and generosity, not least in providing free medical care for the poor. Petiot, however, would soon be charged with twenty-seven murders, though authorities suspected the total was considerably higher, perhaps even as many as 150.

Who was being slaughtered, and why? Was Petiot a sexual sadist, as the press suggested, killing for thrills? Was he allied with the Gestapo, or, on the contrary, the French Resistance? Or did he work for no one other than himself? Trying to solve the many mysteries of the case, Massu would unravel a plot of unspeakable deviousness.

When Petiot was finally arrested, the French police hoped for answers.

But the trial soon became a circus. Attempting to try all twenty-seven cases at once, the prosecution stumbled in its marathon cross-examinations, and Petiot, enjoying the spotlight, responded with astonishing ease. His attorney, René Floriot, a rising star in the world of criminal defense, also effectively, if aggressively, countered the charges. Soon, despite a team of prosecuting attorneys, dozens of witnesses, and over one ton of evidence, Petiot’s brilliance and wit threatened to win the day.

Drawing extensively on many new sources, including the massive, classified French police file on Dr. Petiot, Death in the City of Light is a brilliant evocation of Nazi-Occupied Paris and a harrowing exploration of murder, betrayal, and evil of staggering proportions.
Visit David King's website.

"Getting Off"

New from Titan: Getting Off by Lawrence Block.

About the book, from the publisher:


...and when she walks out there's a man with her. She goes to bed with him, and she likes that part. Then she kills him, and she likes that even better. On her way out, she cleans out his wallet. She keeps moving, and has a new name for each change of address. She's been doing this for a while, and she's good at it.

And then a chance remark gets her thinking of the men who got away, the lucky ones who survived a night with her. She starts writing down names. And now she's a girl with a mission. Picking up their trails. Hunting them down. Crossing them off her list...
Visit Lawrence Block's website and blog.

Monday, September 12, 2011

"American Anthrax"

New from Times Books: American Anthrax: Fear, Crime, and the Investigation of the Nation's Deadliest Bioterror Attack by Jeanne Guillemin.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Jeanne Guillemin, one of the world's leading experts on anthrax and bioterrorism, the definitive account of the anthrax investigation

It was the most complex case in FBI history. In what became a seven-year investigation that began shortly after 9/11—with America reeling from the terror attacks of al Qaeda—virulent anthrax spores sent through the mail killed Bob Stevens, a Florida tabloid photo editor. His death and, days later, the discovery in New York and Washington, D.C. of letters filled with anthrax sent shock waves through the nation. Federal agencies were blindsided by the attacks, which eventually killed five people. Taken off guard, the FBI struggled to combine on-the-ground criminal investigation with progress in advanced bioforensic analyses of the letters' contents.

While the criminal eluded justice, disinformation swirled around the letters, erroneously linking them to Iraq's WMD threat and foreign bioterrorism. Without oversight, billions were lavished on biomedical defenses against anthrax and other exotic diseases. Worst of all, faith in federal justice faltered.

American Anthrax is a gripping tale of terror, intrigue, madness, and cover-up.


New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Touch: Poems by Henri Cole.

About the book, from the publisher:

Henri Cole’s last three books have shown a continuously mounting talent. In his new book, Touch, written with an almost invisible but ever-present art, he continues to render his human topics—a mother’s death, a lover’s addiction, war—with a startling clarity. Cole’s new poems are impelled by a dark knowledge of the body—both its pleasures and its discontents—and they are written with an aesthetic asceticism in the service of truth. Alternating between innocence and violent self-condemnation, between the erotic and the elegiac, and between thought and emotion, these poems represent a kind of mid-life selving that chooses life. With his simultaneous impulses to privacy and to connection, Cole neutralizes pain with understatement, masterful cadences, precise descriptions of the external world, and a formal dexterity rarely found in contemporary American poetry.
Visit Henri Cole's website.

Writers Read: Henri Cole.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

"America's Quarterback"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: America's Quarterback: Bart Starr and the Rise of the National Football League by Keith Dunnavant.

About the book, from the publisher:

A powerful biography of one of the greatest football players of all time, in the spirit of Johnny U and Namath

No one can touch Bart Starr's record setting 5 NFL Championships including 3 straight. America's Quarterback tells the story of the man who helped create the legend of Vince Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers. Set against the changing landscape of the last half of the 20th century, this biography traces Starr’s life from childhood in Alabama to stardom in Green Bay and beyond. Not a simple sports story, Dunnavant traces the story of one man reaching for the American dream while professional football emerged from the shadows to capture the nation’s imagination. It’s a story of the tension between a coach and a player as different as fire and ice, and how they came to trust and revere each other. It’s a story of triumph tempered by tragedy, and the world-class athlete who quietly, persistently, achieved a level of greatness unsurpassed by any quarterback since.

A remarkable blend of personal memory and historical narrative, America’s Quarterback is a tribute to an American hero and the perfect companion to the classic When Pride Still Mattered.
Visit Keith Dunnavant's website.

"The Ballad of Tom Dooley"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Ballad of Tom Dooley by Sharyn McCrumb.

About the book, from the publisher:

A literary triumph—what began as a fictional re-telling of the historical account of one of the most famous mountain ballads of all time became an astonishing revelation of the real culprit responsible for the murder of Laura Foster

Hang down your head, Tom Dooley…The folk song, made famous by the Kingston Trio, recounts a tragedy in the North Carolina mountains after the Civil War. Laura Foster, a simple country girl, was murdered and her lover Tom Dula was hanged for the crime. The sensational elements in the case attracted national attention: a man and his beautiful, married lover accused of murdering the other-woman; the former governor of North Carolina spearheading the defense; and a noble gesture from the prisoner on the eve of his execution, saving the woman he really loved.

With the help of historians, lawyers, and researchers, Sharyn McCrumb visited the actual sites, studied the legal evidence, and uncovered a missing piece of the story that will shock those who think they already know what happened—and may also bring belated justice to an innocent man. What seemed at first to be a sordid tale of adultery and betrayal was transformed by the new discoveries into an Appalachian Wuthering Heights. Tom Dula and Ann Melton had a profound romance spoiled by the machinations of their servant, Pauline Foster.

Bringing to life the star-crossed lovers of this mountain tragedy, Sharyn McCrumb gifts understanding and compassion to her compelling tales of Appalachia, and solidifies her status as one of today's great Southern writers.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"City of Secrets"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: City of Secrets by Kelli Stanley.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Pandora Blake is murdered at San Francisco's 1940 World Fair and her body marked with an anti-Semitic slur, Miranda is soon entangled in a web of deceit and betrayal that is only overshadowed by the threat of impending war. With a strong female protagonist more steel than silk and a mystery that will grip you until the last page, this sequel to the critically-acclaimed City of Dragons will appeal to fans of noir and historical mysteries.
Learn more about the novel and author at Kelli Stanley's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Nox Dormienda.

The Page 69 Test: City of Dragons.

My Book, The Movie: City of Dragons.

Coffee with a Canine: Kelli Stanley & Bertie.

The Page 69 Test: The Curse-Maker.

My Book, The Movie: The Curse-Maker.

"Vegetables: A Biography"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Vegetables: A Biography by Evelyne E. Bloch-Dano.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Michael Pollan to locavores, Whole Foods to farmer’s markets, today cooks and foodies alike are paying more attention than ever before to the history of the food they bring into their kitchens—and especially to vegetables. Whether it’s an heirloom tomato, curled cabbage, or succulent squash, from a farmer’s market or a backyard plot, the humble vegetable offers more than just nutrition—it also represents a link with long tradition of farming and gardening, nurturing and breeding.

In this charming new book, those veggies finally get their due. In capsule biographies of eleven different vegetables—artichokes, beans, chard, cabbage, cardoons, carrots, chili peppers, Jerusalem artichokes, peas, pumpkins, and tomatoes—Evelyne Bloch-Dano explores the world of vegetables in all its facets, from science and agriculture to history, culture, and, of course, cooking. From the importance of peppers in early international trade to the most recent findings in genetics, from the cultural cachet of cabbage to Proust’s devotion to beef-and-carrot stew, to the surprising array of vegetables that preceded the pumpkin as the avatar of All Hallow’s Eve, Bloch-Dano takes readers on a dazzling tour of the fascinating stories behind our daily repasts.

Spicing her cornucopia with an eye for anecdote and a ready wit, Bloch-Dano has created a feast that’s sure to satisfy gardeners, chefs, and eaters alike.

Friday, September 9, 2011

"The Highest Frontier"

New from Tor Books: The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski.

About the book, from the publisher:

One of the most respected writers of hard SF, it has been more than ten years since Joan Slonczewski's last novel. Now she returns with a spectacular tour de force of the college of the future, in orbit. Jennifer Ramos Kennedy, a girl from a rich and politically influential family (a distant relation descended from the famous Kennedy clan), whose twin brother has died in an accident and left her bereft, is about to enter her freshman year at Frontera College.

Frontera is an exciting school built with media money, and a bit from tribal casinos too, dedicated to educating the best and brightest of this future world. We accompany Jenny as she proceeds through her early days at school, encountering surprises and wonders and some unpleasant problems. The Earth is altered by global warming, and an invasive alien species called ultraphytes threatens the surviving ecosystem. Jenny is being raised for great things, but while she's in school she just wants to do her homework, go on a few dates, and get by. The world that Jenny is living in is one of the most fascinating and creative in contemporary SF, and the problems Jenny faces will involve every reader, young and old.

"It's Hard Not to Hate You"

New from St. Martin's Press: It's Hard Not to Hate You by Valerie Frankel.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of THIN IS THE NEW HAPPY comes a hilarious new memoir about embracing your Inner Hater. In the midst of a health and career crisis, Valerie uncorks years of pent up rage, and discovers you don't have to be happy to be happy. You don’t have to love everyone else to like yourself. And that your Bitchy Twin might just be your funniest, most valuable and honest ally.

“The hate in you has got to come out.” After being advised to reduce stress by her doctor, humorist Valerie Frankel realized the biggest source of pressure in her life was maintaining an unflappable easing-going persona. After years of glossing over the negative, Frankel goes on a mission of emotional honesty, vowing to let herself feel and express all the toxic emotions she’d long suppressed or denied: jealousy, rage, greed, envy, impatience, regret. Frankel reveals her personal History of Hate, from mean girls in junior high, selfish boyfriends in her twenties and old professional rivals. Hate stomps through her current life, too, with snobby neighbors, rude cell phone talkers, scary doctors and helicopter moms. Regarding her husband, she asks, “How Do I Hate You? Let Me Count the Ways.” (FYI: There are three.) By the end of her authentic emotional experience, Frankel concludes that toxic emotions are actually good for you. The positive thinkers, aka, The Secret crowd, have it backwards. Trying to ward off negativity was what’d been causing Frankel’s career stagnation, as well as her health and personal problems. With the guidance of celebrity friends like Joan Rivers and psychic Mary T. Browne, Frankel now uses anger, jealousy and impatience as tools to be a better, balanced and deeper person. IT'S HARD NOT TO HATE YOU sends the message that there are no wrong emotions, only wrong ways of dealing with them.
Visit Valerie Frankel's website and Facebook page.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


New from Faber and Faber: Noon by Aatish Taseer.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rehan Tabassum has grown up in a world of privilege in Delhi. His mother is a successful lawyer and her new husband is a wealthy industrialist whose way of doing business is at the heart of the New India everyone is talking about. But there is a marked absence in Rehan’s life: his real father, a Pakistani Muslim who owns a telecommunications empire in Pakistan.Noon follows Rehan’s attempts to negotiate this loss as he journeys, both physically and emotionally, toward the heart of his father’s world. From the atavistic scenes of a childhood in Delhi to the city’s boom and bust; from an earthquake in Pakistan to threats of violence in the sinister city of Port Bin Qasim; from the lives of servants at home in Delhi to blackmail and menace within Rehan’s father’s company– this extraordinary family saga interrogates the nature of power in two changing countries. Aatish Taseer tells the story of a man who comes of age as his country does, in an atmosphere of political quicksand and moral danger.
Visit Aatish Taseer's website.

"A Killer's Essence"

New from The Overlook Press: A Killer's Essence by Dave Zeltserman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stan Green is a New York City Homicide Detective who has seen better days. As his family life threatens to disintegrate and his work partner disappears, he is assigned to the most shocking case of his career–a strange and remarkably violent murder. Stan must look into the crime alone. He finds just one witness, a neurologically disabled recluse who sees through the souls of others as demonic hallucinations. As more murders occur, and he drifts further from his family and friends, Stan's suspicion and rage escalate. Soon he realizes that the deaths fall into the pattern of a serial killer--and starts to believe that his witness is not at all insane, but terrifyingly perceptive...
Learn more about the author and his work at Dave Zeltserman's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Small Crimes.

The Page 69 Test: Pariah.

The Page 69 Test: Outsourced.

Writers Read: Dave Zeltserman

My Book, The Movie: Outsourced.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


New from Gotham Books: Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue by Marc Spitz.

About the book, from the publisher:

A biography and cultural examination of the Rolling Stones' frontman Mick Jagger's spectacular life and the cultural revolution he led.

As the Rolling Stones' legendary front man Mick Jagger remains an enigma. He hasn't given an in-depth interview for a decade and a half and never commented on his friend and partner, Keith Richard's often critical biography. Drawing on firsthand recollections from rockers, filmmakers, writers, radicals, and other artists who have been transformed by Mick Jagger's work, acclaimed music journalist Marc Spitz has created a unique examination of the Jagger legacy, debunking long held myths and restoring his status as a complicated artist. Combining biography with cultural history, Jagger unfolds like a captivating documentary, a series of episodes tracing the icon's rise from his childhood in middle-class postwar London to his status as a jet-setting knight.

A culturally astute, often funny, and painstakingly researched read, Jagger offers a far richer portrait than biographies published previously. The book reveals much about his relationships (with Marianne Faithfull and ex-wives Bianca Jagger and Jerry Hall); his complex, creative partnership with Keith Richards; his friends like John Lennon and David Bowie; and enemies like Hells Angels leader Sonny Barger. Spitz goes even deeper, exploring Jagger's many roles: an authentic soul man; powerful social commentator; sexual liberator; would-be movie star; and yes, sometimes, a shrewd businessman with an enthusiasm for much younger women. The myth of Mick is examined and rebooted for the twenty-first century.

"Or the Bull Kills You"

New from Minotaur Books: Or the Bull Kills You by Jason Webster.

About the book, from the publisher:

An accomplished debut mystery set in the high-stakes and decidedly murky world of bullfighting in Valencia, Spain

"Either you kill the bull, or the bull kills you." Chief Inspector Max Cámara thinks in proverbs,and he hates one thing above all: bullfighting. One hot afternoon in Valencia, however, he has to stand in for his boss, judging a festival corrida starring Spain’s most famous young matador. That night, he is back in the bullring, and what he finds on the blood-stained sand shocks the city of Valencia to its core. Cámara is roped into investigating a grisly murder while dealing with violent shadows from his own past, as well as confronting the suspiciousness of the bullfighting community and the stonewalling of local politicians in full electoral campaign. To top it all, Fallas, the loudest fiesta in the country, has just got underway. For Cámara, it seems his problems have only just begun...
Visit Jason Webster's website and blog.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"The Night Circus"

New from Doubleday: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

About the book, from the publisher:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
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"Yankee Doodle Dixie"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: Yankee Doodle Dixie by Lisa Patton.

About the book, from the publisher:

A charmingly funny testament to second chances in life and love from the acclaimed author of Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter

Lisa Patton won the hearts of readers last year, her book Whistlin’ Dixie in a Nor’easter became a sleeper-success. Building on a smashing debut, Lisa’s poised to go to the next level—because whether in Vermont snow or in Memphis heat, Dixie heroine Leelee Satterfield is never too far from misadventure, calamity...and ultimately, love.

Having watched her life turn into a nor’easter, 34-year-old Leelee Satterfield is back home in the South, ready to pick back up where she left off. But that’s a task easier said then done…Leelee’s a single mom, still dreaming of the Vermonter who stole her heart, and accompanied by her three best friends who pepper her with advice, nudging and peach daiquiris, Leelee opens another restaurant and learns she has to prove herself yet again. Filled with heart and humor, women’s fiction fans will delight in this novel.
The Page 69 Test: Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter.