Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Poison Flower"

New from Mysterious Press: Poison Flower: A Jane Whitefield Novel by Thomas Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:

Poison Flower, the seventh in Thomas Perry’s celebrated Jane Whitefield series, opens as Jane spirits James Shelby, a man unjustly convicted of his wife’s murder, out of the heavily guarded criminal court building in downtown Los Angeles. But the price of Shelby’s freedom is high. Within minutes men posing as police officers kidnap Jane and, when she tries to escape, shoot her.

Jane’s captors are employees of the man who killed Shelby’s wife and framed him for the crime. The killer believes he won’t be safe until Shelby is dead, and his men will do anything to force Jane to reveal where Shelby is hiding. But Jane endures their torment, and is willing to die rather than betray Shelby. Jane escapes but she is alone, wounded, weak, and in pain, thousands of miles from home with no money and no identification, hunted by the police as well as her captors. She must rejoin Shelby, reach his sister before the hunters do, and get them both to safety. Jane is caught in a waking nightmare, as many of the pursuers Jane has eluded for years gather to bid for her in a multimillion- dollar auction. The winning bidder buys the chance to tear from Jane’s memory the names and addresses of all those she has helped disappear and begin new lives.

In this unrelenting, breathtaking cross-country battle, Jane survives by relying on the traditions of her Seneca ancestors. When at last Jane turns to fight, her enemies face a cunning and ferocious warrior who has one weapon that they don’t.
Visit Thomas Perry's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Silence.

The Page 99 Test: Nightlife.

Writers Read: Thomas Perry (August 2007).

The Page 69/99 Test: Fidelity.

The Page 69/99 Test: Runner.

The Page 69 Test: Strip.

The Page 69 Test: The Informant.

Writer's Read: Thomas Perry (May 2011).

"The Boiling Season"

New from Harper: The Boiling Season by Christopher Hebert.

About the book, from the publisher:

An ambitious young man struggles to define himself and his future in a Caribbean nation plunged into violent revolution.

Having spent his childhood trapped in the slums of a politically volatile Caribbean island, Alexandre dreams of escape. Within only a few years, he rises from being a valet for an important politician to becoming a caretaker for a derelict estate purchased by a wealthy foreign businesswoman. While the rest of the country copes with the rise of a brutal dictator, Alexandre flees to his new home in the remote mountains outside the capital. There he oversees the restoration of a manor house and gardens that evoke for him an innocent, unspoiled past.

When his new employer sees a chance to turn the estate into something more—a decadent, jet-setting resort—Alexandre views the undertaking as the culmination of his dreams. Eager to lose himself in the creation of this opulent Eden, Alexandre severs the last links to his unhappy past, including his family and friends. But as the outside world starts to crumble around him, Alexandre must face the limits of the utopia he has created. Soon he is trapped in the middle of a war he has tried to ignore, and discovers he will have to choose between preserving the estate he loves and protecting the people he has spent his life trying to escape.
Visit Christopher Hebert's website.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Forgotten Country"

New from Riverhead: Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung.

About the book, from the publisher:

On the night Janie waits for her sister, Hannah, to be born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, so Janie is charged with keeping Hannah safe. As time passes, Janie hears more stories, while facts remain unspoken. Her father tells tales about numbers, and in his stories everything works out. In her mother's stories, deer explode in fields, frogs bury their loved ones in the ocean, and girls jump from cliffs and fall like flowers into the sea. Within all these stories are warnings.

Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie embarks on a mission to find her sister and finally uncover the truth beneath her family's silence. To do so, she must confront their history, the reason for her parents' sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and ultimately her conflicted feelings toward her sister and her own role in the betrayal behind their estrangement.

Weaving Korean folklore within a modern narrative of immigration and identity, Forgotten Country is a fierce exploration of the inevitability of loss, the conflict between obligation and freedom, and a family struggling to find its way out of silence and back to one another.
Visit Catherine Chung's website.

"The CIA in Hollywood"

New from the University of Texas Press: The CIA in Hollywood: How the Agency Shapes Film and Television by Tricia Jenkins.

About the book, from the publisher:

What’s your impression of the CIA? A bumbling agency that can’t protect its own spies? A rogue organization prone to covert operations and assassinations? Or a dedicated public service that advances the interests of the United States? Astute TV and movie viewers may have noticed that the CIA’s image in popular media has spanned this entire range, with a decided shift to more positive portrayals in recent years. But what very few people know is that the Central Intelligence Agency has been actively engaged in shaping the content of film and television, especially since it established an entertainment industry liaison program in the mid-1990s.

The CIA in Hollywood offers the first full-scale investigation of the relationship between the Agency and the film and television industries. Tricia Jenkins draws on numerous interviews with the CIA’s public affairs staff, operations officers, and historians, as well as with Hollywood technical consultants, producers, and screenwriters who have worked with the Agency, to uncover the nature of the CIA’s role in Hollywood. In particular, she delves into the Agency’s and its officers’ involvement in the production of The Agency, In the Company of Spies, Alias, The Recruit, The Sum of All Fears, Enemy of the State, Syriana, The Good Shepherd, and more. Her research reveals the significant influence that the CIA now wields in Hollywood and raises important and troubling questions about the ethics and legality of a government agency using popular media to manipulate its public image.

Monday, February 27, 2012


New from Severn House: Deception by Adrian Magson.

About the book, from the publisher:

The explosive new Harry Tate thriller

Former MI5 officer Harry Tate's skill at tracking down runaways is second to none – and the Security Services need his help. When MI6 ask him to trace Vanessa Tan, a lieutenant with the Royal Logistics Corps who failed to report for her return flight to Afghanistan, Harry instinctively feels it's a mission to avoid. But when he learns of the involvement of his former boss, Henry Paulton – the man who tried to have him killed – he agrees to take the job, and events soon take an unexpected turn...
Learn more about the book and author at Adrian Magson's website.

The Page 69 Test: Adrian Magson's Tracers.


New from FSG Originals: Threats by Amelia Gray,

About the book, from the publisher:

David’s wife is dead. At least, he thinks she’s dead. But he can’t figure out what killed her or why she had to die, and his efforts to sort out what’s happened have been interrupted by his discovery of a series of elaborate and escalating threats hidden in strange places around his home—one buried in the sugar bag, another carved into the side of his television. These disturbing threats may be the best clues to his wife’s death:


Detective Chico is also on the case, and is intent on asking David questions he doesn’t know the answers to and introducing him to people who don’t appear to have David’s or his wife’s best interests in mind. With no one to trust, David is forced to rely on his own memories and faculties—but they too are proving unreliable.

In Threats, Amelia Gray builds a world that is bizarre yet familiar, violent yet tender. It is an electrifying story of love and loss that grabs you on the first page and never loosens its grip.
Visit Amelia Gray's website.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

"Arctic Rising"

New from Tor Books: Arctic Rising by Tobias S. Buckell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Global warming has transformed the Earth, and it's about to get even hotter. The Arctic Ice Cap has all but melted, and the international community is racing desperately to claim the massive amounts of oil beneath the newly accessible ocean.

Enter the Gaia Corporation. Its two founders have come up with a plan to roll back global warming. Thousands of tiny mirrors floating in the air can create a giant sunshade, capable of redirecting heat and cooling the earth's surface. They plan to terraform Earth to save it from itself—but in doing so, they have created a superweapon the likes of which the world has never seen.

Anika Duncan is an airship pilot for the underfunded United Nations Polar Guard. She’s intent on capturing a smuggled nuclear weapon that has made it into the Polar Circle and bringing the smugglers to justice.

Anika finds herself caught up in a plot by a cabal of military agencies and corporations who want Gaia Corporation stopped. But when Gaia Corp loses control of their superweapon, it will be Anika who has to decide the future of the world. The nuclear weapon she has risked her life to find is the only thing that can stop the floating sunshade after it falls into the wrong hands.
Visit Tobias S. Buckell's website.

Tobias Buckell's Ragamuffin, the movie.

"The Helios Conspiracy"

New from Forge Books: The Helios Conspiracy by Jim DeFelice.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rogue FBI agent Andy Fisher is visiting New York City for the first time after saving it from a terrorist attack when he discovers that the only woman he has ever loved has been murdered. Armed with a fresh cup of joe and his characteristic disdain for authority, Fisher disobeys orders and begins investigating.

His former lover was a key employee of Icarus Sun Works. Her death threatens to delay plans to launch a satellite to harvest solar energy and beam it to earth as electricity. When perfected, the technology will power entire cities for literally pennies. And the energy will be clean: no more BP disasters, no more Fukushima catastrophes.

When the rocket carrying the satellite into space mysteriously explodes, Fisher learns that the sabotage is only the start of a complicated Chinese government campaign to thwart the project and steal the technology. After falling in love with the woman who designed the rocket, the irascible and over-caffeinated FBI agent must find a way to save her from assassination—and protect the satellite system from a wide-ranging conspiracy that will stop at nothing to destroy it.

New York Times bestselling author Jim DeFelice delivers a gripping thriller inspired by real-life advances in clean energy technology in The Helios Conspiracy.
Learn more about the author and his work at Jim DeFelice's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Leopards Kill.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

"The Starboard Sea"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Starboard Sea by Amber Dermont.

About the book, from the publisher:

Amber Dermont's powerful first novel about life and death, friendship and love, as one young man must navigate the depths of his emotions.

JASON PROSPER grew up in the elite world of Manhattan penthouses, Maine summer estates, old-boy prep schools, and exclusive sailing clubs. A smart, athletic teenager, Jason maintains a healthy, humorous disdain for the trappings of affluence, preferring to spend afternoons sailing with Cal, his best friend and boarding-school roommate. When Cal commits suicide during their junior year at Kensington Prep, Jason is devastated by the loss and transfers to Bellingham Academy. There, he meets Aidan, a fellow student with her own troubled past. They embark on a tender, awkward, deeply emotional relationship.
When a major hurricane hits the New England coast, the destruction it causes brings with it another upheaval in Jason’s life, forcing him to make sense of a terrible secret that has been buried by the boys he considers his friends.

Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, The Starboard Sea is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing, and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and provocative novel about a young man finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love.
Visit Amber Dermont's Facebook page.

"The Royal Wulff Murders"

New from Viking: The Royal Wulff Murders by Keith McCafferty.

About the book, from the publisher:

Landscape painter, expert fly–fisherman, and former private detective Sean Stranahan has moved from the East Coast to Montana in the aftermath of a failed marriage and floundering career. He’s emotionally adrift and living in his art studio with a half–hearted private investigator sign etched on the door.

But Stranahan’s life gets a bit more interesting when Madison River fishing guide Rainbow Sam reels in the body of a young man with a Royal Wulff fly hooked to his lip and a stick jammed into his eye. It doesn’t look like an accident to Sheriff Martha Ettinger. And when the entrancing Velvet Lafayette—a Mississippi Delta saloon singer and pianist—shows up at Stranahan’s studio, he soon finds himself pulled deeper and deeper into a case that becomes both more complicated and far more dangerous than he could have imagined.

Keith McCafferty brings to life a colorful cast of characters in The Royal Wulff Murders, from the sharply observant and resourceful hero Sean Stranahan; the boisterous fishing guide Rainbow Sam; no–nonsense Sheriff Martha Ettinger with her foot–in–his–mouth deputy Walt Hess; the laconic tracker Harold Little Feather; and the mysterious and alluring siren, Velvet Lafayette.

A riveting page–turner, The Royal Wulff Murders is also a hymn to fly–fishing and nature. The novel reflects some of the most pressing issues of our time—the threat of species degradation or extinction; the greed that can override all other considerations; and the violence that can ensue from extreme family dysfunction. But it is also a story about community—and how one man risks everything to reclaim a sense of purpose after his life has fallen apart.
Visit Keith McCafferty's website and Facebook page.

Friday, February 24, 2012

"By Blood"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: By Blood by Ellen Ullman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The award-winning writer returns with a major, absorbing, atmospheric novel that takes on the most dramatic and profoundly personal subject matter

San Francisco in the 1970s. Free love has given way to radical feminism, psychedelic ecstasy to hard-edged gloom. The Zodiac Killer stalks the streets. A disgraced professor takes an office in a downtown tower to plot his return. But the walls are thin and he’s distracted by voices from next door—his neighbor is a psychologist, and one of her patients dislikes the hum of the white-noise machine. And so he begins to hear about the patient’s troubles with her female lover, her conflicts with her adoptive, avowedly WASP family, and her quest to track down her birth mother. The professor is not just absorbed but enraptured. And the further he is pulled into the patient’s recounting of her dramas—and the most profound questions of her own identity—the more he needs the story to move forward. The patient’s questions about her birth family have led her to a Catholic charity that trafficked freshly baptized orphans out of Germany after World War II. But confronted with this new self— “I have no idea what it means to say ‘I’m a Jew’”—the patient finds her search stalled. Armed with the few details he’s gleaned, the professor takes up the quest and quickly finds the patient’s mother in records from a German displaced-persons camp. But he can’t let on that he’s been eavesdropping, so he mocks up a reply from an adoption agency the patient has contacted and drops it in the mail. Through the wall, he hears how his dear patient is energized by the news, and so is he. He unearths more clues and invests more and more in this secret, fraught, triangular relationship: himself, the patient, and her therapist, who is herself German. His research leads them deep into the history of displaced-persons camps, of postwar Zionism, and—most troubling of all—of the Nazi Lebensborn program.

With ferocious intelligence and an enthralling, magnetic prose, Ellen Ullman weaves a dark and brilliant, intensely personal novel that feels as big and timeless as it is sharp and timely. It is an ambitious work that establishes her as a major writer.

"Five Bells"

New from Picador: Five Bells by Gail Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:

On a radiant day in Sydney, four adults converge on Circular Quay, site of the iconic Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Crowds of tourists mix with the locals, enjoying the glorious surroundings and the play of light on water.

But just as Circular Quay resonates with Australia’s past, each of the four carries a complicated history from elsewhere. Each person is haunted by past secrets and guilt. Ellie is preoccupied by her sexual experiences as a girl, James by a tragedy for which he feels responsible, Catherine by the loss of her beloved brother in Dublin, and Pei Xing by her imprisonment during China’s Cultural Revolution.

Told over the course of a single Saturday, Five Bells describes four lives that come to share not only a place and a time but also mysterious patterns and ambiguous symbols, including a barely glimpsed fifth figure, a young child. By nightfall, when Sydney is drenched in a summer rainstorm, each life will have been transformed by the events of this day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Four of a Kind"

New from Ballantine Books: Four of a Kind by Valerie Frankel.

About the book, from the publisher:

Besides the fact that their kids all attend the same fashionable Brooklyn Heights private school, Bess, Robin, Carla, and Alicia have little in common. Thrown together on the tony school’s Diversity Committee, the women impulsively turn their awkward first meeting into a boisterous game of poker. Instead of betting with chips or pocket change, however, they play for intimate secrets about their lives.

As the Diversity Commitee meetings become a highly anticipated monthly ritual, the new friends reveal more with each game. Picture-perfect housewife Bess struggles to relate to her surly teenage daughter and judgmental mother. Robin, a single mom, grapples with the truth concerning her child’s real father. Carla, an ambitious doctor, attempts to balance the colossal demands of her family with her dream of owning her own private practice. And to distract herself from her troubled marriage, shy copywriter Alicia fantasizes about an attractive younger colleague.

Putting all their cards on the table, the four women grow to rely on one another, bracing for one final showdown.
Learn more about the book and author at Valerie Frankel's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: It's Hard Not to Hate You.


New from W.W. Norton: Heft by Liz Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:

A heartwarming novel about larger-than-life characters and second chances.

Former academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn't left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away, in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career—if he can untangle himself from his family drama. The link between this unlikely pair is Kel’s mother, Charlene, a former student of Arthur’s. After nearly two decades of silence, it is Charlene’s unexpected phone call to Arthur—a plea for help—that jostles them into action. Through Arthur and Kel’s own quirky and lovable voices, Heft tells the winning story of two improbable heroes whose sudden connection transforms both their lives. Like Elizabeth McCracken’s The Giant’s House, Heft is a novel about love and family found in the most unexpected places.
Visit Liz Moore's website.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts"

New from Viking: Juliette Gordon Low: The Remarkable Founder of the Girl Scouts by Stacy A. Cordery.

About the book, from the publisher:

In celebration of the Girl Scouts' centennial, a lively salute to its maverick founder.

Born at the start of the Civil War, Juliette Gordon Low grew up in Georgia, where she struggled to reconcile being a good Southern belle with her desire to run barefoot through the fields. Deafened by an accident, "Daisy" married a dashing British aristocrat and moved to England. But she was ultimately betrayed by her husband and dissatisfied by the aimlessness of privileged life. Her search for a greater purpose ended when she met Robert Baden-Powell, war hero, adventurer, and founder of the Boy Scouts. Captivated with his program, Daisy aimed to instill the same useful skills and moral values in young girls-with an emphasis on fun. She imported the Boy Scouts' sister organization, the Girl Guides, to Savannah in 1912. Rechristened the Girl Scouts, it grew rapidly because of Juliette Low's unquenchable determination and energetic, charismatic leadership.

In Juliette Gordon Low, Cordery paints a dynamic portrait of an intriguing woman and a true pioneer whose work touched the lives of millions of girls and women around the world.
Visit Stacy A. Cordery's website.


New from Pantheon: Watergate by Thomas Mallon.

About the book, from the publisher:

From one of our most esteemed historical novelists, a remarkable retelling of the Watergate scandal, as seen through a kaleidoscope of its colorful perpetrators and investigators.

For all the monumental documentation that Watergate generated—uncountable volumes of committee records, court transcripts, and memoirs—it falls at last to a novelist to perform the work of inference (and invention) that allows us to solve some of the scandal’s greatest mysteries (who did erase those eighteen-and-a-half minutes of tape?) and to see this gaudy American catastrophe in its human entirety.

In Watergate, Thomas Mallon conveys the drama and high comedy of the Nixon presidency through the urgent perspectives of seven characters we only thought we knew before now, moving readers from the private cabins of Camp David to the klieg lights of the Senate Caucus Room, from the District of Columbia jail to the Dupont Circle mansion of Theodore Roosevelt’s sharp-tongued ninety-year-old daughter (“The clock is dick-dick-dicking”), and into the hive of the Watergate complex itself, home not only to the Democratic National Committee but also to the president’s attorney general, his recklessly loyal secretary, and the shadowy man from Mississippi who pays out hush money to the burglars.

Praised by Christopher Hitchens for his “splendid evocation of Washington,” Mallon achieves with Watergate a scope and historical intimacy that surpasses even what he attained in his previous novels, as he turns a “third-rate burglary” into a tumultuous, first-rate entertainment.
Visit Thomas Mallon's website.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


New from Pantheon: Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room by Geoff Dyer.

About the book, from the publisher:

From a writer whose mastery encompasses fiction, criticism, and the fertile realm between the two, comes a new book that confirms his reputation for the unexpected.

In Zona, Geoff Dyer attempts to unlock the mysteries of a film that has haunted him ever since he first saw it thirty years ago: Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. (“Every single frame,” declared Cate Blanchett, “is burned into my retina.”) As Dyer guides us into the zone of Tarkovsky’s imagination, we realize that the film is only the entry point for a radically original investigation of the enduring questions of life, faith, and how to live.

In a narrative that gives free rein to the brilliance of Dyer’s distinctive voice—acute observation, melancholy, comedy, lyricism, and occasional ill-temper—Zona takes us on a wonderfully unpredictable journey in which we try to fathom, and realize, our deepest wishes.

Zona is one of the most unusual books ever written about film, and about how art—whether a film by a Russian director or a book by one of our most gifted contemporary writers—can shape the way we see the world and how we make our way through it.
See Geoff Dyer's five top unusual histories.

"Dying in the Wool"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Dying in the Wool by Frances Brody.

About the book, from the publisher:

Take one quiet Yorkshire village

Bridgestead is a peaceful spot: a babbling brook, rolling hills and a working mill at its heart. Pretty and remote, nothing exceptional happens…

Add a measure of mystery

Until the day that Master of the Mill Joshua Braithwaite goes missing in dramatic circumstances, never to be heard of again.

A sprinkling of scandal

Now Joshua’s daughter is getting married and wants one last attempt at finding her father. Has he run off with his mistress, or was he murdered for his mounting coffers?

And Kate Shackleton—amateur sleuth extraordinaire!

Kate Shackleton has always loved solving puzzles. So who better to get to the bottom of Joshua’s mysterious disappearance? But as Kate taps into the lives of the Bridgestead dwellers, she opens cracks that some would kill to keep closed…
Visit Frances Brody's website.

Monday, February 20, 2012


New from Harper Perennial: Flatscreen by Adam Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Flatscreen tells the story of Eli Schwartz as he endures the loss of his home, the indifference of his parents, the success of his older brother, and the cruel and frequent dismissal of the opposite sex. He is a loser par excellence—pasty, soft, and high—who struggles to become a new person in a world where nothing is new.

Into this scene of apathy rolls Seymour J. Kahn. Former star of the small screen and current paraplegic sex addict, Kahn has purchased Eli’s old family home. The two begin a dangerous friendship, one that distracts from their circumstances but speeds their descent into utter debasement and, inevitably, YouTube stardom.

By story’s end, through unlikely acts of courage and kindness, roles will be reversed, reputations resurrected, and charges (hopefully) dropped. Adam Wilson writes mischief that moves the heart, and Flatscreen marks the wondrous debut of a truth-telling comic voice.

"The American Way of Eating"

New from Scribner: The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee's, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table by Tracie McMillan.

About the book, from the publisher:

What if you can’t afford nine-dollar tomatoes? That was the question award-winning journalist Tracie McMillan couldn’t escape as she watched the debate about America’s meals unfold, one that urges us to pay food’s true cost—which is to say, pay more. So in 2009 McMillan embarked on a groundbreaking undercover journey to see what it takes to eat well in America. For nearly a year, she worked, ate, and lived alongside the working poor to examine how Americans eat when price matters.

From the fields of California, a Walmart produce aisle outside of Detroit, and the kitchen of a New York City Applebee’s, McMillan takes us into the heart of America’s meals. With startling intimacy she portrays the lives and food of Mexican garlic crews, Midwestern produce managers, and Caribbean line cooks, while also chronicling her own attempts to live and eat on meager wages. Along the way, she asked the questions still facing America a decade after the declaration of an obesity epidemic: Why do we eat the way we do? And how can we change it? To find out, McMillan goes beyond the food on her plate to examine the national prio-rities that put it there. With her absorbing blend of riveting narrative and formidable investigative reporting, McMillan takes us from dusty fields to clanging restaurant kitchens, linking her work to the quality of our meals—and always placing her observations in the context of America’s approach not just to farms and kitchens but to wages and work.

The surprising answers that McMillan found on her journey have profound implications for our food and agriculture, and also for how we see ourselves as a nation. Through stunning reportage, Tracie McMillan makes the simple case that—city or country, rich or poor—everyone wants good food. Fearlessly reported and beautifully written, The American Way of Eating goes beyond statistics and culture wars to deliver a book that is fiercely intelligent and compulsively readable. Talking about dinner will never be the same again.
Visit Tracie McMillan's website.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

"Honor in the Dust"

New from NAL/Penguin: Honor in the Dust: Theodore Roosevelt, War in the Philippines, and the Rise and Fall of America's Imperial Dream by Gregg Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:

On the eve of a new century, an up-and-coming Theodore Roosevelt set out to transform the U.S. into a major world power. The Spanish-American War would forever change America's standing in global affairs, and drive the young nation into its own imperial showdown in the Philippines.

From Admiral George Dewey's legendary naval victory in Manila Bay to the Rough Riders' heroic charge up San Juan Hill, from Roosevelt's rise to the presidency to charges of U.S. military misconduct in the Philippines, Honor in the Dust brilliantly captures an era brimming with American optimism and confidence as the nation expanded its influence abroad.
Visit Gregg Jones's Facebook page.

"Throne of the Crescent Moon"

New from DAW/Penguin: Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Saladin Ahmed, finalist for the Nebula and Campbell Awards, comes one of the year's most anticipated fantasy debuts: THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON, a fantasy adventure with all the magic of The Arabian Nights.

The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron- fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings.

Doctor Adoulla Makhslood, "the last real ghul hunter in the great city of Dhamsawaat," just wants a quiet cup of tea. Three score and more years old, he has grown weary of hunting monsters and saving lives, and is more than ready to retire from his dangerous and demanding vocation. But when an old flame's family is murdered, Adoulla is drawn back to the hunter's path.

Raseed bas Raseed, Adoulla's young assistant, is a hidebound holy warrior whose prowess is matched only by his piety. But even as Raseed's sword is tested by ghuls and manjackals, his soul is tested when he and Adoulla cross paths with the tribeswoman Zamia.

Zamia Badawi, Protector of the Band, has been gifted with the near- mythical power of the lion-shape, but shunned by her people for daring to take up a man's title. She lives only to avenge her father's death. Until she learns that Adoulla and his allies also hunt her father's killer. Until she meets Raseed.

When they learn that the murders and the Falcon Prince's brewing revolution are connected, the companions must race against time-and struggle against their own misgivings-to save the life of a vicious despot. In so doing they discover a plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon that threatens to turn Dhamsawaat, and the world itself, into a blood-soaked ruin.
Visit Saladin Ahmed's website and blog.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Bleed for Me"

New from Mulholland Books: Bleed for Me by Michael Robotham.

About the book, from the publisher:

She’s standing at the front door. Covered in blood. Is she the victim of a crime? Or the perpetrator?

A teenage girl–Sienna, a troubled friend of his daughter–comes to Joe O’Loughlin’s door one night. She is terrorized, incoherent-and covered in blood.

The police find Sienna’s father, a celebrated former cop, murdered in the home he shared with Sienna. Tests confirm that it’s his blood on Sienna. She says she remembers nothing.

Joe O’Loughlin is a psychologist with troubles of his own. His marriage is coming to an end and his daughter will barely speak to him. He tries to help Sienna, hoping that if he succeeds it will win back his daughter’s affection. But Sienna is unreachable, unable to mourn her father’s death or to explain it.

Investigators take aim at Sienna. O’Loughlin senses something different is happening, something subterranean and terrifying to Sienna. It may be something in her mind. Or it may be something real. Someone real. Someone capable of the most grim and gruesome murder, and willing to kill again if anyone gets too close.

His newest thriller is further evidence that Michael Robotham is, as David Baldacci has said, “the real deal–we only hope he will write faster.”
Visit Michael Robotham's website.

"The Last Storyteller"

New from Random House: The Last Storyteller by Frank Delaney.

About the book, from the publisher:

Frank Delaney, New York Times bestselling author of Ireland, Shannon, Tipperary, Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show, and The Matchmaker of Kenmare, is the unparalleled master of Irish historical fiction, bringing Ireland to life with exceptional warmth, wisdom, and wit. Now, in The Last Storyteller, Delaney weaves an absorbing tale of lasting love, dangerous risk, and the healing power of redemption.

“Every legend and all mythologies exist to teach us how to run our days. In kind fashion. A loving way. But there’s no story, no matter how ancient, as important as one’s own. So if we’re to live good lives, we have to tell ourselves our own story. In a good way.” So says James Clare, Ben MacCarthy’s beloved mentor, and it is this fateful advice that will guide Ben through the tumultuous events of Ireland in 1956.

The national mood is downtrodden; poverty, corruption, and a fledgling armed rebellion rattle the countryside, and although Ben wants no part of the upstart insurrection along the northern border, he unknowingly falls in with an IRA sympathizer and is compromised into running guns. Yet despite his perilous circumstances, all he can think about is finding his former wife and true love, the actress Venetia Kelly.

Parted forcibly from Ben years ago, Venetia has returned to Ireland with her new husband, a brutal man and coarse but popular stage performer by the name of Gentleman Jack. Determined not to lose Venetia again, Ben calls upon every bit of his love, courage, and newfound gun-running connections to get her back. And as Ben fights to recapture his halcyon days with Venetia, he must finally reconcile his violent and flawed past with his hopes for a bright and loving future.

Brimming with fascinating Irish history, daring intrigue, and the drama of legendary love, The Last Storyteller is an unforgettable novel as richly textured and inspiring as Ireland itself.

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Literary Authors, Parliamentary Reporters"

New from Cambridge University Press: Literary Authors, Parliamentary Reporters: Johnson, Coleridge, Hazlitt, Dickens by Nikki Hessell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Samuel Johnson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Hazlitt and Charles Dickens all worked as parliamentary reporters, but their experiences in the press gallery have not received much scrutiny. Nikki Hessell's study is the first work to consider all four of these canonical writers as gallery reporters, providing a detailed picture of this intriguing episode in their careers. Hessell challenges preconceived notions about the role that emergent literary genius played in their success as reporters, arguing instead that they were consummate gallery professionals who adapted themselves to the journalistic standards of their day. That professional background fed in to their creative work in unexpected ways. By drawing on a wealth of evidence in letters, diaries and the press, this study provides fresh insights into the ways in which four great writers learnt the craft of journalism and brought those lessons to bear on their career as literary authors.
Nikki Hessell is Senior Lecturer in the School of English Film Theatre and Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.


New from William Morrow Paperbacks: Spin by Catherine McKenzie.

About the book, from the publisher:

Kate's To-Do List:

Go to rehab
Befriend/spy on "It Girl"
Write killer expose
Land dream job

Piece of cake!

When Kate Sandford lands an interview at her favorite music magazine, The Line, it's the chance of a lifetime. So Kate goes out to celebrate—and shows up still drunk to the interview the next morning. It's no surprise that she doesn't get the job, but her performance has convinced the editors that she'd be perfect for an undercover assignment for their gossip rag. All Kate has to do is follow "It Girl" Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop—and complete the thirty-day program—they'll reconsider her for the position at The Line. Kate takes the assignment, but when real friendships start to develop, she has to decide if what she has to gain is worth the price she'll have to pay.
Visit Catherine McKenzie's website.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life"

New from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Clover Adams: A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life by Natalie Dykstra.

About the book, from the publisher:

The hidden story of one of the most fascinating women of the Gilded Age

Clover Adams, a fiercely intelligent Boston Brahmin, married at twenty-eight the soon-to-be-eminent American historian Henry Adams. She thrived in her role as an intimate of power brokers in Gilded Age Washington, where she was admired for her wit and taste by such luminaries as Henry James, H. H. Richardson, and General William Tecumseh Sherman. Clover so clearly possessed, as one friend wrote, “all she wanted, all this world could give.”

Yet at the center of her story is a haunting mystery. Why did Clover, having begun in the spring of 1883 to capture her world vividly through photography, end her life less than three years later by drinking a chemical developer she used in the darkroom? The key to the mystery lies, as Natalie Dykstra’s searching account makes clear, in Clover’s photographs themselves.

The aftermath of Clover’s death is equally compelling. Dykstra probes Clover’s enduring reputation as a woman betrayed. And, most movingly, she untangles the complex, poignant — and universal — truths of her shining and impossible marriage.
Visit Natalie Dykstra's website.

"The Healing"

New from Doubleday: The Healing by Jonathan Odell.

About the book, from the publisher:

The pre-Civil War South comes brilliantly to life in this masterfully written novel about a mysterious and charismatic healer readers won’t soon forget

Mississippi plantation mistress Amanda Satterfield loses her daughter to cholera after her husband refuses to treat her for what he considers to be a “slave disease.” Insane with grief, Amanda takes a newborn slave child as her own and names her Granada, much to the outrage of her husband and the amusement of their white neighbors. Troubled by his wife’s disturbing mental state and concerned about a mysterious plague sweeping through his slave population, Master Satterfield purchases Polly Shine, a slave reputed to be a healer. But Polly’s sharp tongue and troubling predictions cause unrest across the plantation. Complicating matters further, Polly recognizes “the gift” in Granada, the mistress’s pet, and a domestic battle of wills ensues.

Seventy-five years later, Granada, now known as Gran Gran, is still living on the plantation and must revive the buried memories of her past in order to heal a young girl abandoned to her care. Together they learn the power of story to heal the body, the spirit and the soul.

Rich in mood and atmosphere, The Healing is the kind of novel readers can’t put down—and can’t wait to recommend once they’ve finished.
Visit Jonathan Odell's website.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Design After Modernism"

New from W. W.  Norton: Design After Modernism: Furniture and Interiors 1970-2010 by Judith Gura.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bauhaus, Postmodernism, High Tech, and Green Design: Judith Gura explains the important movements, forms, and furnishings from the 1950s to the present.

With the first decade of the twenty-first century behind us, it is time to reassess the concept of "modern," a term that dates to the Middle Ages, when it signified current or recent events. Not until the eighteenth century did it become a stylistic term; more recently it has generally referred to the aesthetic that evolved from the Bauhaus and flourished in the mid-twentieth century. Though proclaiming freedom from the limitations of style, it became as formulaic as most of its predecessors, as Modern architecture and furnishings conformed to prescribed specifications: geometric forms, industrially fabricated, unadorned, and studiously ahistorical.

Those guidelines are no longer relevant. As Midcentury Modernism has receded into history, Modernism has been redefined, reenergized, and in the process transformed. Today it embraces a cornucopia of design in an almost limitless range of materials: design studios are laboratories for experimentation; design concepts can be as important as finished objects; and furniture has crossed barriers to become a new art form. Tools and technologies never before possible have provided new approaches to decoration, and may incorporate influences from the past. The design profession has broadened its horizons; interiors and furniture are being created by architects, interior designers, furniture makers, industrial designers, artisans, artists, and even fashion designers.

Design After Modernism offers an overview of developments in design over the past four decades-some evolutionary, some expected, and some extraordinary. It identifies the diverse influences that have generated new directions in design and illustrates many of the most characteristic, most noteworthy, and most innovative objects in this rich and variegated mix. All are representative of their time, and many of the earlier designs have already gained iconic status. Of the more recent ones, whether or not they will be admired in decades to come is something that only time will tell.
Visit Judith Gura's website.

"The Wrecking Crew"

New from Thomas Dunne Books: The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret by Kent Hartman.

About the book, from the publisher:

If you were a fan of popular music in the 1960s and early ’70s, you were a fan of the Wrecking Crew—whether you knew it or not.

On hit record after hit record by everyone from the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and the Monkees to the Grass Roots, the 5th Dimension, Sonny & Cher, and Simon & Garfunkel, this collection of West Coast studio musicians from diverse backgrounds established themselves as the driving sound of pop music—sometimes over the objection of actual band members forced to make way for Wrecking Crew members. Industry insider Kent Hartman tells the dramatic, definitive story of the musicians who forged a reputation throughout the business as the secret weapons behind the top recording stars.

Mining invaluable interviews, the author follows the careers of such session masters as drummer Hal Blaine and keyboardist Larry Knechtel, as well as trailblazing bassist Carol Kaye—the only female in the bunch—who went on to play in thousands of recording sessions. Readers will discover the Wrecking Crew members who would forge careers in their own right, including Glen Campbell and Leon Russell, and learn of the relationship between the Crew and such legends as Phil Spector and Jimmy Webb. Hartman also takes us inside the studio for the legendary sessions that gave us Pet Sounds, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and the rock classic “Layla,” which Wrecking Crew drummer Jim Gordon cowrote with Eric Clapton for Derek and the Dominos. And the author recounts priceless scenes such as Mike Nesmith of the Monkees facing off with studio head Don Kirshner, Grass Roots lead guitarist (and future star of The Office) Creed Bratton getting fired from the group, and Michel Rubini unseating Frank Sinatra’s pianist for the session in which the iconic singer improvised the hit-making ending to “Strangers in the Night.”

The Wrecking Crew tells the collective, behind-the-scenes stories of the artists who dominated Top 40 radio during the most exciting time in American popular culture.
Visit the author's website.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"The Next One to Fall"

New from Forge Books: The Next One to Fall by Hilary Davidson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Hilary Davidson’s The Next One to Fall takes place three months after the events of her debut novel, the Anthony Award–winning The Damage Done.

Travel writer Lily Moore has been persuaded by her closest friend, photographer Jesse Robb, to visit Peru with him. Jesse is convinced that the trip will lure Lily out of her dark mood, but Lily is haunted by betrayal and loss. At Machu Picchu, the famous Lost City of the Incas, they discover a woman clinging to life at the bottom of an ancient stone staircase. Just before the woman dies, she tells Lily the name of the man who pushed her.

When the local police investigate, the forensic evidence they find doesn’t match what Lily knows. Unable to accept the official ruling of accidental death, Lily hunts down the wealthy man who was the dead woman’s traveling companion and discovers a pattern of dead and missing women in his wake.

Obsessed with getting justice for these women, Lily sets in motion a violent chain of events that will have devastating consequences.
Learn more about the book and author at Hilary Davidson's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Damage Done.

"Three Weeks in December"

New from Europa Editions: Three Weeks in December by Audrey Schulman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1899 Jeremy, a young engineer, leaves a small town in Maine to oversee the construction of a railroad across British East Africa. In charge of hundreds of Indian laborers, he becomes the reluctant hunter of two lions that are killing his men in nightly attacks on their camp. Plagued by fear, wracked with malaria, and alienated by a secret he can tell no one, he takes increasing solace in the company of an African man who scouts for him.

In 2000 Max, an American ethnobotonist, travels to Rwanda in search of an obscure vine that could become a lifesaving pharmaceutical. Stationed in the mountains, she shadows a family of gorillas—the last of their group to survive the merciless assault of local poachers. Max bears a striking gift for communicating with the apes. But soon the precarious freedom of both is threatened as a violent rebel group from the nearby Congo draws close.

Told in alternating perspectives that interweave the two characters and their fates, Audrey Schulman’s newest novel deftly confronts the struggle between progress and preservation, idiosyncrasy and acceptance. Evoking both Barbara Kingsolver and Andrea Barrett, this enthralling fiction, wise and generous, explores some of the crucial social and cultural challenges that, over the years, have come to shape our world.

The engaging story and memorable characters make this fine novel an ideal book club selection.
Visit Audrey Schulman's website.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck: Why We Can't Look Away by Eric Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why can’t we look away?

Whether we admit it or not, we’re fascinated by evil. Dark fantasies, morbid curiosities, Schadenfreude: As conventional wisdom has it, these are the symptoms of our wicked side, and we succumb to them at our own peril. But we’re still compelled to look whenever we pass a grisly accident on the highway, and there’s no slaking our thirst for gory entertainments like horror movies and police procedurals. What makes these spectacles so irresistible?

In Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck, the scholar Eric G. Wilson sets out to discover the source of our attraction to the caustic, drawing on the findings of biologists, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers, theologians, and artists. A professor of English literature and a lifelong student of the macabre, Wilson believes there’s something nourishing in darkness. “To repress death is to lose the feeling of life,” he writes. “A closeness to death discloses our most fertile energies.”

His examples are legion, and startling in their diversity. Citing everything from elephant graveyards and Susan Sontag’s On Photography to the Tiger Woods sex scandal and Steel Magnolias, Wilson finds heartening truths wherever he confronts death. In Everyone Loves a Good Train Wreck, the perverse is never far from the sublime. The result is a powerful and delightfully provocative defense of what it means to be human—for better and for worse.

"The Technologists"

New from Random House: The Technologists by Matthew Pearl.

About the book, from the publisher:


Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between the past and the present, tradition and technology. On a former marshy wasteland, the daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone of merit. But in Boston Harbor a fiery cataclysm throws commerce into chaos, as ships’ instruments spin inexplicably out of control. Soon after, another mysterious catastrophe devastates the heart of the city. Is it sabotage by scientific means or Nature revolting against man’s attempt to control it?

The shocking disasters cast a pall over M.I.T. and provoke assaults from all sides—rival Harvard, labor unions, and a sensationalistic press. With their first graduation and the very survival of their groundbreaking college now in doubt, a band of the Institute’s best and brightest students secretly come together to save innocent lives and track down the truth, armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training.

Led by “charity scholar” Marcus Mansfield, a quiet Civil War veteran and one-time machinist struggling to find his footing in rarefied Boston society, the group is rounded out by irrepressible Robert Richards, the bluest of Beacon Hill bluebloods; Edwin Hoyt, class genius; and brilliant freshman Ellen Swallow, the Institute’s lone, ostracized female student. Working against their small secret society, from within and without, are the arrayed forces of a stratified culture determined to resist change at all costs and a dark mastermind bent on the utter destruction of the city.

Studded with suspense and soaked in the rich historical atmosphere for which its author is renowned, The Technologists is a dazzling journey into a dangerous world not so very far from our own, as the America we know today begins to shimmer into being.
Learn more about the author and his work at Matthew Pearl's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Poe Shadow.

The Page 99 Test: The Last Dickens.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"The Ellington Century"

New from the University of California Press: The Ellington Century by David Schiff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Breaking down walls between genres that are usually discussed separately—classical, jazz, and popular—this highly engaging book offers a compelling new integrated view of twentieth-century music. Placing Duke Ellington (1899–1974) at the center of the story, David Schiff explores music written during the composer’s lifetime in terms of broad ideas such as rhythm, melody, and harmony. He shows how composers and performers across genres shared the common pursuit of representing the rapidly changing conditions of modern life. The Ellington Century demonstrates how Duke Ellington’s music is as vital to musical modernism as anything by Stravinsky, more influential than anything by Schoenberg, and has had a lasting impact on jazz and pop that reaches from Gershwin to contemporary R&B.

"The Underground Church"

New from New from John Wiley & Sons: The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus by Robin Meyers.

About the book, from the publisher:

A new way to follow Jesus that draws on old ways of following Him

The Underground Church proposes that the faithful recapture the spirit of the early church with its emphasis on what Christians do rather than what they believe. Prominent progressive writer, speaker, and minister Robin Meyers proposes that the best way to recapture the spirit of the early Christian church is to recognize that Jesus-following was and must be again subversive in the best sense of the word because the gospel taken seriously turns the world upside down.

No matter how the church may organize itself or worship, the defining characteristic of church of the future will be its Jesus-inspired countercultural witness.
  • Debunks commonly held beliefs about the early church and offers a vision for the future rooted in the past
  • Proposes that the church of the future must leave doctrinal tribalism behind and seek a unity of mission instead
  • Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said,"Robin Meyers has spoken truth to power, and the church he loves will never be the same."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

"That Woman"

New from St. Martin's Press: That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor by Anne Sebba.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first full scale biography of Wallis Simpson to be written by a woman, exploring the mind of one of the most glamorous and reviled figures of the Twentieth Century, a character who played prominently in the blockbuster film The King’s Speech.

This is the story of the American divorcee notorious for allegedly seducing a British king off his throne. “That woman,” so called by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, was born Bessie Wallis Warfield in 1896 in Baltimore. Neither beautiful nor brilliant, she endured an impoverished childhood, which fostered in her a burning desire to rise above her circumstances.

Acclaimed biographer Anne Sebba offers an eye-opening account of one of the most talked about women of her generation. It explores the obsessive nature of Simpson’s relationship with Prince Edward, the suggestion that she may have had a Disorder of Sexual Development, and new evidence showing she may never have wanted to marry Edward at all.

Since her death, Simpson has become a symbol of female empowerment as well as a style icon. But her psychology remains an enigma. Drawing from interviews and newly discovered letters, That Woman shines a light on this captivating and complex woman, an object of fascination that has only grown with the years.
Visit Anne Sebba's website and blog.


New from Beacon: Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Hetrosexuality by Hanne Blank.

About the book, from the publisher:

Like the typewriter and the light bulb, the heterosexual was invented in the 1860s and swiftly and permanently transformed Western culture. The idea of “the heterosexual” was unprecedented. After all, men and women had been having sex, marrying, building families, and sometimes even falling in love for millennia without having any special name for their emotions or acts. Yet, within half a century, “heterosexual” had become a byword for “normal,” enshrined in law, medicine, psychiatry, and the media as a new gold standard for human experience.

In this surprising chronicle, historian Hanne Blank digs deep into the past of sexual orientation, while simultaneously exploring its contemporary psyche. Illuminating the hidden patterns in centuries of events and trends, Blank shows how culture creates and manipulates the ways we think about and experience desire, love, and relationships between men and women. Ranging from Henry VIII to testicle transplants, from Disneyland to sodomy laws, and from Moby Dick to artificial insemination, the history of heterosexuality turns out to be anything but straight or narrow.

With an eclectic scope and fascinating detail, Straight tells the eye-opening story of a complex and often contradictory man-made creation that is all too often assumed to be an irreducible fact of biology.
The Page 69 Test: Hanne Blank's Virgin: The Untouched History.

Friday, February 10, 2012

"Liars and Outliers"

New from John Wiley & Sons: Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust that Society Needs to Thrive by Bruce Schneier.

About the book, from the publisher:

How does society function when you can't trust everyone?

When we think about trust, we naturally think about personal relationships or bank vaults. That's too narrow. Trust is much broader, and much more important. Nothing in society works without trust. It's the foundation of communities, commerce, democracy—everything.

In this insightful and entertaining book, Schneier weaves together ideas from across the social and biological sciences to explain how society induces trust. He shows how trust works and fails in social settings, communities, organizations, countries, and the world.

In today's hyper-connected society, understanding the mechanisms of trust is as important as understanding electricity was a century ago. Issues of trust and security are critical to solving problems as diverse as corporate responsibility, global warming, and our moribund political system. After reading Liars and Outliers, you'll think about social problems, large and small, differently.
Visit Bruce Schneier's website.

"Children of Wrath"

New from St. Martin's Press: Children of Wrath by Paul Grossman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Willi Kraus, the celebrated WWI and detective, returns in this prequel story about how he became the most famous Jewish Detective in Germany in the days of the Weimar Republic

In Children of Wrath Willi Kraus tackles the case of the Kinderfresser, the vicious Child-Eater of Berlin. Turning the clock back two years from The Sleepwalkers, the story starts out in the fall of 1929, the last days of prosperity. Berlin is deep in the throes of a giddy rush to forget its troubled past. But the same day the stock market crashes in New York, the dark underside of the German capital flushes to the surface in the form of a burlap sack spewed by floodwaters from the city sewer system. When Willi is called to investigate and discovers the sack is full of children’s bones with teeth marks on them--and a bible with a single phrase circled in red: children of wrath--he fears he’s run into “something darker than he’s ever known.”
Visit Paul Grossman's website.

Writers Read: Paul Grossman (October 2010).

The Page 69 Test: The Sleepwalkers.

My Book, The Movie: The Sleepwalkers.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn’t got a troop or even a badge to call her own. But she’s checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice (Uniforms, disposing of outgrown; The Right Use of Your Body; Finding Your Way When Lost) for tips to get off the Calle: that is, the Calle de las Flores, the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop.

Rory’s been told that she is one of the “third-generation bastards surely on the road to whoredom.” But she’s determined to prove the county and her own family wrong. Brash, sassy, vulnerable, wise, and terrified, she struggles with her mother’s habit of trusting the wrong men, and the mixed blessing of being too smart for her own good. From diary entries, social workers’ reports, half-recalled memories, arrest records, family lore, Supreme Court opinions, and her grandmother’s letters, Rory crafts a devastating collage that shows us her world even as she searches for the way out of it.

Tupelo Hassman’s Girlchild is a heart-stopping and original debut.
Visit Tupelo Hassman's website.

"The Ritual"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: The Ritual by Adam Nevill.

About the book, from the publisher:

When four old University friends set off into the Scandinavian wilderness of the Arctic Circle, they aim to briefly escape the problems of their lives and reconnect with one another. But when Luke, the only man still single and living a precarious existence, finds he has little left in common with his well-heeled friends, tensions rise. With limited experience between them, a shortcut meant to ease their hike turns into a nightmare scenario that could cost them their lives. Lost, hungry, and surrounded by forest untouched for millennia, Luke figures things couldn’t possibly get any worse. But then they stumble across an old habitation. Ancient artefacts decorate the walls and there are bones scattered upon the dry floors. The residue of old rites and pagan sacrifice for something that still exists in the forest. Something responsible for the bestial presence that follows their every step. As the four friends stagger in the direction of salvation, they learn that death doesn’t come easy among these ancient trees...
Visit Adam Nevill's website.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"Until the Next Time"

New from Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill: Until the Next Time: A Novel, by Kevin Fox.

About the book, from the publisher:

For Sean Corrigan the past is simply what happened yesterday, until his twenty-first birthday, when he is given a journal left him by his father’s brother Michael—a man he had not known existed. The journal, kept after his uncle fled from New York City to Ireland to escape prosecution for a murder he did not commit, draws Sean into a hunt for the truth about Michael’s fate.

Sean too leaves New York for Ireland, where he is caught up in the lives of people who not only know all about Michael Corrigan but have a score to settle. As his connection to his uncle grows stronger, he realizes that within the tattered journal he carries lies the story of his own life—his past as well as his future—and the key to finding the one woman he is fated to love forever.

With the appeal of The Time Traveler’s Wife and the classic Time and Again, this novel is a romance cloaked in mystery and suspense that takes readers inside the rich heritage of Irish history and faith. Until the Next Time is a remarkable story about time and memory and the way ancient myths affect everything—from what we believe to who we love.
Visit Kevin Fox's website.

"Anatomy of Murder"

New from Pamela Dorman Books/Viking: Anatomy of Murder by Imogen Robertson.

About the book, from the publisher:

London, 1781. Harriet Westerman anxiously awaits news of her husband, a ship's captain who has been gravely injured in the king's naval battles with France. As London's streets seethe with rumor, a body is dragged from the murky waters of the Thames.

Having gained a measure of fame as amateur detectives for unraveling the mysteries of Thornleigh Hall, the indomitable Mrs. Westerman and her reclusive sidekick, anatomist Gabriel Crowther, are once again called on to investigate. In this intricate novel, Harriet and Gabriel will discover that this is no ordinary drowning-the victim is part of a plot to betray England's most precious secrets.

The critics raved about their first adventure, comparing them with the characters of Tess Gerritsen in period clothes. Fans of Instruments of Darkness will find the smart and spirited pair's second outing just as riveting.
Learn more about the book and author at Imogen Robertson's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Instruments of Darkness.

Writers Read: Imogen Robertson.

My Book, The Movie: Instruments of Darkness.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Desert Wind"

New from Poisoned Pen Press: Desert Wind (#7 Lena Jones Series) by Betty Webb.

About the book, from the publisher:

When P.I. Lena Jones’ Pima Indian partner Jimmy Sisiwan is arrested in the remote northern Arizona town of Walapai Flats, Lena closes the Desert Investigations office and rushes to his aid. What she finds is a town up in arms over a new uranium mine located only ten miles from the magnificent Grand Canyon. Jimmy’s sister-in-law, founder of Victims of Uranium Mining, has been murdered, but the opposing side is taken hits, too. Ike Donohue, the mine’s public relations flak, is found shot to death, casting suspicion on Jimmy and his entire family. During Lena’s investigation, she finds not only a community decimated by dangerous mining practices, but a connection to actor John Wayne and the mysterious deaths resulting from the 1953 filming of “The Conqueror.” Gabe Boone, a wrangler on that doomed film, is still alive, but the only person the aged man will confide in is John Wayne’s ghost. It’s up to Lena to penetrate Gabe’s defenses and find out the decades-old tragedy no one in Walapai Flats wants to talk about. By delving into the area’s history, Lena learns that old sins never die; they’re still taking lives. As with “Desert Wives: Polygamy Can Be Murder,” this seventh book in the Lena Jones series exposes real life crimes, and the reason why high-ranking government officials want those crimes to remain under wraps.
Learn more about the author and her work at Betty Webb's website and her blog.

The Page 99 Test: Desert Cut.

"Available Dark"

New from Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books: Available Dark by Elizabeth Hand.

About the book, from the publisher:

Elizabeth Hand’s writing honors include the Shirley Jackson Award, the James Tiptree Award, the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and many others. Now, this uniquely gifted storyteller brings us a searing and iconoclastic crime novel, in which photographer Cass Neary, introduced in the underground classic Generation Loss, finds herself drawn into the shadowy world of crime in Scandinavia’s coldest corners.

As this riveting tour-de-force opens, the police already want to talk to Cass about a mysterious death she was involved with previously, but before they can bring her in, Cass accepts a job offer from overseas and hops on a plane.

In Helsinki, she authenticates a series of disturbing but stunning images taken by a famous fashion photographer who has cut himself off from the violent Nordic music scene where he first made his reputation. Paid off by her shady employer, she buys a one-way ticket to Reykjavik, in search of a lover from her own dark past.

But when the fashion photographer’s mutilated corpse is discovered back in Finland, Cass finds herself sucked into a vortex of ancient myth and betrayal, vengeance and serial murder, set against a bone-splintering soundtrack of black metal and the terrifying beauty of the sunless Icelandic wilderness. In this eagerly awaited sequel to the award-winning Generation Loss, Cass Neary finds her own worst fears confirmed: it’s always darkest before it turns completely black.
Visit Elizabeth Hand's website.

Learn about Elizabeth Hand's six favorite books.

Monday, February 6, 2012

"The Quiet Twin"

New from Bloomsbury USA: The Quiet Twin by Dan Vyleta.

About the book, from the publisher:

Political paranoia, dangerous liaisons, and defiant compassion mark Dan Vyleta's unforgettable journey into a cityscape of totalitarian dread and deception.

Vienna, 1939. Professor Speckstein's dog has been brutally killed, the latest victim in a string of unsolved murders. Speckstein wants answers-but these are uncharitable times, and one must be careful where one probes…

When an unexpected house call leads Dr. Beer to Speckstein's apartment, he finds himself in the bedroom of Zuzka, the professor's niece. Wide-eyed, flirtatious, and not detectably ill, Zuzka leads the young doctor to her window and opens up a view of their apartment block that Beer has never known. Across the shared courtyard, there is nine-year-old Anneliese, the lonely daughter of an alcoholic. Five windows to the left lives a secretive mime who comes home late at night and keeps something-or someone-precious hidden from view. From the garret drifts the mournful sound of a trumpet player, and a basement door swings closed behind the building's inscrutable janitor.

Does one of these enigmatic neighbors have blood on their hands?

Dr. Beer, who has his own reasons for keeping his private life hidden from public scrutiny, reluctantly becomes embroiled in an inquiry that forces him to face the dark realities of Nazi rule. By turns chilling and tender, The Quiet Twin explores a dystopian world of social paranoia, mistrust, and fear-and the danger of staying silent.
Visit Dan Vyleta's website.

"Behind the Beautiful Forevers"

New from Random House: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity by Katherine Boo.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities.

In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.

Annawadi is a makeshift settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are electric with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees “a fortune beyond counting” in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. Asha, a woman of formidable wit and deep scars from a childhood in rural poverty, has identified an alternate route to the middle class: political corruption. With a little luck, her sensitive, beautiful daughter—Annawadi’s “most-everything girl”—will soon become its first female college graduate. And even the poorest Annawadians, like Kalu, a fifteen-year-old scrap-metal thief, believe themselves inching closer to the good lives and good times they call “the full enjoy.”

But then Abdul the garbage sorter is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal. As the tenderest individual hopes intersect with the greatest global truths, the true contours of a competitive age are revealed. And so, too, are the imaginations and courage of the people of Annawadi.

With intelligence, humor, and deep insight into what connects human beings to one another in an era of tumultuous change, Behind the Beautiful Forevers carries the reader headlong into one of the twenty-first century’s hidden worlds, and into the lives of people impossible to forget.
Visit the Behind the Beautiful Forevers website.