Monday, May 17, 2021

"The Accidental History of the U.S. Immigration Courts"

New from the University of California Press: The Accidental History of the U.S. Immigration Courts: War, Fear, and the Roots of Dysfunction by Alison Peck.

About the book, from the publisher:

How the immigration courts became part of the nation’s law enforcement agency—and how to reshape them.

During the Trump administration, the immigration courts were decried as more politicized enforcement weapon than impartial tribunal. Yet few people are aware of a fundamental flaw in the system that has long pre-dated that administration: The immigration courts are not really “courts” at all but an office of the Department of Justice—the nation’s law enforcement agency.

This original and surprising diagnosis shows how paranoia sparked by World War II and the War on Terror drove the structure of the immigration courts. Focusing on previously unstudied decisions in the Roosevelt and Bush administrations, the narrative laid out in this book divulges both the human tragedy of our current immigration court system and the human crises that led to its creation. Moving the reader from understanding to action, Alison Peck offers a lens through which to evaluate contemporary bills and proposals to reform our immigration court system. Peck provides an accessible legal analysis of recent events to make the case for independent immigration courts, proposing that the courts be moved into an independent, Article I court system. As long as the immigration courts remain under the authority of the attorney general, the administration of immigration justice will remain a game of political football—with people’s very lives on the line.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Chosen and the Beautiful"

New from Tordotcom / Tor/Forge: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo.

About the book, from the publisher:

Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society—she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.

Nghi Vo’s debut novel The Chosen and the Beautiful reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.
Visit Nghi Vo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 16, 2021

"Malibu Rising"

New from Ballantine Books: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo ... Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.
Learn more about the book and author at Taylor Jenkins Reid's website.

The Page 69 Test: Forever, Interrupted.

Writers Read: Taylor Jenkins Reid (June 2014).

The Page 69 Test: After I Do.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Playing with History"

New from Rutgers University Press: Playing with History: American Identities and Children’s Consumer Culture by Molly Rosner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Since the advent of the American toy industry, children’s cultural products have attempted to teach and sell ideas of American identity. By examining cultural products geared towards teaching children American history, Playing With History highlights the changes and constancies in depictions of the American story and ideals of citizenship over the last one hundred years. This book examines political and ideological messages sold to children throughout the twentieth century, tracing the messages conveyed by racist toy banks, early governmental interventions meant to protect the toy industry, influences and pressures surrounding Cold War stories of the western frontier, the fractures visible in the American story at a mid-century history themed amusement park. The study culminates in a look at the successes and limitations of the American Girl Company empire.
Follow Molly Rosner on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 15, 2021

"Kiss and Repeat"

New from Feiwel & Friends / Swoon Reads: Kiss and Repeat by Heather Truett.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Heather Truett's Kiss and Repeat, a teen uses the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father to begin a kissing experiment. Only the experiment gets messy, and Stephen will have to come clean if he wants to win one girl's heart in this heartfelt and funny YA debut.

Stephen Luckie isn't so lucky in love. He's completely inexperienced when it comes to girls, and wonders if his tics - caused by Tourette's Syndrome – are the reason.

Then a game at a party reveals that his body goes still while kissing. Using the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father, Steven begins the best experiment ever--one that involves kissing as many girls as possible. Who knew science could be so fun?

But when the experiment gets underway, Stephen begins to question how he treats girls - and if his tics have been standing in his way at all. With two girls interested in him, he has to figure out what really matters to him and what he'll risk - and gain - by being his true self.
Visit Heather Truett's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 14, 2021

"Feeling Like It"

New from Oxford University Press: Feeling Like It: A Theory of Inclination and Will by Tamar Schapiro.

About the book, from the publisher:

You may have an inclination to do it, but there is still a moment when you can decide to do it or not. This "moment of drama" is more puzzling than it first appears. When you are inclined to do something, are you related to your inclination as rider to horse? As ruler to subject? As thinker to thoughts? Schapiro shows that these familiar pictures fail to confront the central puzzle. Inclinations are motives with respect to which we are distinctively passive. But to be motivated is to be active—to be self-moved. How can you be passive in relation to your own activity? Schapiro puts forward an "inner animal" view, inspired by Kant, which holds that when you are merely inclined to act, the instinctive part of yourself is already active, while the rest of you is not. At this moment, your will is at a crossroads. You can humanize your inclination, or you can dehumanize yourself. Feeling Like It provides a concise and accessible investigation of a new problem at the intersection of ethics, philosophy of action, and philosophy of mind.
Tamar Schapiro holds a BA from Yale and a PhD in Philosophy from Harvard. She taught in the department of philosophy at Stanford for many years before joining MIT, where she is currently Associate Professor of Philosophy. She has published articles on Kantian ethics, the theory of action, and motivational psychology.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 13, 2021

"The Bone Field"

New from Kensington Books: The Bone Field by Debra Bokur.

About the book, from the publisher:

Celebrated travel writer Debra Bokur reveals the dark side of paradise while exploring the nuanced culture and captivating beauty of Hawaii in The Bone Field, the second installment in her acclaimed series featuring Maui detective and Hawaiian cultural expert Kali Māhoe.

A series of strange cold-case ritual murders leads Maui detective Kali Māhoe on a trail of legendary vengeful spirits and more human monsters in paradise.


Kali Māhoe, Hawaiian cultural expert and detective with the Maui Police Department, has been called to a bizarre crime scene. In the recesses of a deep trench on Lanai Island, a derelict refrigerator has been unearthed. Entombed inside are the skeletal remains of someone buried decades ago. Identification is a challenge. The body is headless, the skull replaced with a chilling adornment: a large, ornately carved wooden pineapple.

The old field soon yields more long-buried secrets, and Kali is led along an increasingly winding path that brings to light an unlikely suspect, an illegal cock-fighting organization, and a strange symbol connected to a long-disbanded religious cult. Her task is to dispel the dark shadows lingering over the Palawai Basin plains, and to solve a puzzle that no one wants exposed by the bright, hot tropical light.

To discover the answer, Kali will be drawn deeper in the mysteries of the island's ancient legends—stories that tell of an enraged rooster god and man-eating monsters. For Kali, a detective of sound logic and reason, it's not easy to consider the unknown for explanations for what appears to be a series of illogical links in a twisting chain of deadly events. Or safe. Because the dormant pineapple fields of Lanai have yet to give up their darkest and most terrifying secrets.
Visit Debra Bokur's website.

Q&A with Debra Bokur.

The Page 69 Test: The Fire Thief.

My Book, The Movie: The Fire Thief.

--Marshal Zeringue

"We the Gamers"

New from Oxford University Press: We the Gamers: How Games Teach Ethics and Civics by Karen Schrier.

About the book, from the publisher:

Distrust. Division. Disparity. Is our world in disrepair?

Ethics and civics have always mattered, but perhaps they matter now more than ever before. Recently, with the rise of online teaching and movements like #PlayApartTogether, games have become increasingly acknowledged as platforms for civic deliberation and value sharing. We the Gamers explores these possibilities by examining how we connect, communicate, analyze, and discover when we play games. Combining research-based perspectives and current examples, this volume shows how games can be used in ethics, civics, and social studies education to inspire learning, critical thinking, and civic change.

We the Gamers introduces and explores various educational frameworks through a range of games and interactive experiences including board and card games, online games, virtual reality and augmented reality games, and digital games like Minecraft, Executive Command, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, Fortnite, When Rivers Were Trails, Politicraft, Quandary, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The book systematically evaluates the types of skills, concepts, and knowledge needed for civic and ethical engagement, and details how games can foster these skills in classrooms, remote learning environments, and other educational settings. We the Gamers also explores the obstacles to learning with games and how to overcome those obstacles by encouraging equity and inclusion, care and compassion, and fairness and justice.

Featuring helpful tips and case studies, We the Gamers shows teachers the strengths and limitations of games in helping students connect with civics and ethics, and imagines how we might repair and remake our world through gaming, together.
Visit Karen Schrier's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

"Lights Out in Lincolnwood"

Coming July 6 from Harper Perennial: Lights Out in Lincolnwood: A Novel by Geoff Rodkey.

About the book, from the publisher:

A mordantly funny, all-too-real novel in the vein of Tom Perotta and Emma Straub about a suburban American family who have to figure out how to survive themselves and their neighbors in the wake of a global calamity that upends all of modern life.

It’s Tuesday morning in Lincolnwood, New Jersey, and all four members of the Altman family are busy ignoring each other en route to work and school. Dan, a lawyer turned screenwriter, is preoccupied with satisfying his imperious TV producer boss’s creative demands. Seventeen-year-old daughter Chloe obsesses over her college application essay and the state tennis semifinals. Her vape-addicted little brother, Max, silently plots revenge against a thuggish freshman classmate. And their MBA-educated mom Jen, who gave up a successful business career to raise the kids, is counting the minutes until the others vacate the kitchen and she can pour her first vodka of the day.

Then, as the kids begin their school day and Dan rides a commuter train into Manhattan, the world comes to a sudden, inexplicable stop. Lights, phones, laptops, cars, trains…the entire technological infrastructure of 21st-century society quits working. Normal life, as the Altmans and everyone else knew it, is over.

Or is it?

Over four transformative, chaotic days, this privileged but clueless American family will struggle to hold it together in the face of water shortages, paramilitary neighbors, and the well-mannered looting of the local Whole Foods as they try to figure out just what the hell is going on.
Visit Geoff Rodkey's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"It Could Lead to Dancing"

New from Stanford University Press: It Could Lead to Dancing: Mixed-Sex Dancing and Jewish Modernity by Sonia Gollance.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dances and balls appear throughout world literature as venues for young people to meet, flirt, and form relationships, as any reader of Pride and Prejudice, War and Peace, or Romeo and Juliet can attest. The popularity of social dance transcends class, gender, ethnic, and national boundaries. In the context of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Jewish culture, dance offers crucial insights into debates about emancipation and acculturation. While traditional Jewish law prohibits men and women from dancing together, Jewish mixed-sex dancing was understood as the very sign of modernity––and the ultimate boundary transgression.

Writers of modern Jewish literature deployed dance scenes as a charged and complex arena for understanding the limits of acculturation, the dangers of ethnic mixing, and the implications of shifting gender norms and marriage patterns, while simultaneously entertaining their readers. In this pioneering study, Sonia Gollance examines the specific literary qualities of dance scenes, while also paying close attention to the broader social implications of Jewish engagement with dance. Combining cultural history with literary analysis and drawing connections to contemporary representations of Jewish social dance, Gollance illustrates how mixed-sex dancing functions as a flexible metaphor for the concerns of Jewish communities in the face of cultural transitions.
Visit Sonia Gollance's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

"A Peculiar Combination"

New from Minotaur Books: A Peculiar Combination: An Electra McDonnell Novel by Ashley Weaver.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first in the Electra McDonnell series from Edgar-nominated author Ashley Weaver, set in England during World War II, A Peculiar Combination is a delightful mystery filled with spies, murder, romance, and the author's signature wit.

Electra McDonnell has always known that the way she and her family earn their living is slightly outside of the law. Breaking into the homes of the rich and picking the locks on their safes may not be condoned by British law enforcement, but World War II is in full swing, Ellie's cousins Colm and Toby are off fighting against Hitler, and Uncle Mick's more honorable business as a locksmith can't pay the bills any more.

So when Uncle Mick receives a tip about a safe full of jewels in the empty house of a wealthy family, he and Ellie can’t resist. All goes as planned—until the pair are caught redhanded. Ellie expects them to be taken straight to prison, but instead they are delivered to a large townhouse, where government official Major Ramsey is waiting with an offer: either Ellie agrees to help him break into a safe and retrieve blueprints that will be critical to the British war effort, before they can be delivered to a German spy, or he turns her over to the police.

Ellie doesn’t care for the Major's imperious manner, but she has no choice, and besides, she's eager to do her bit for king and country. She may be a thief, but she's no coward. When she and the Major break into the house in question, they find instead the purported German spy dead on the floor, the safe already open and empty. Soon, Ellie and Major Ramsey are forced to put aside their differences to unmask the double-agent, as they try to stop allied plans falling into German hands.
Visit Ashley Weaver's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Most Novel Revenge.

The Page 69 Test: An Act of Villainy.

Writers Read: Ashley Weaver (September 2019).

The Page 69 Test: A Dangerous Engagement.

--Marshal Zeringue

"From Memory to History"

New from Rutgers University Press: From Memory to History: Television Versions of the Twentieth Century by Jim Cullen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Our understanding of history is often mediated by popular culture, and television series set in the past have provided some of our most indelible images of previous times. Yet such historical television programs always reveal just as much about the era in which they are produced as the era in which they are set; there are few more quintessentially late-90s shows than That ‘70s Show, for example.

From Memory to History takes readers on a journey through over fifty years of historical dramas and sitcoms that were set in earlier decades of the twentieth century. Along the way, it explores how comedies like M*A*S*H and Hogan’s Heroes offered veiled commentary on the Vietnam War, how dramas ranging like Mad Men echoed current economic concerns, and how The Americans and Halt and Catch Fire used the Cold War and the rise of the internet to reflect upon the present day. Cultural critic Jim Cullen is lively, informative, and incisive, and this book will help readers look at past times, present times, and prime time in a new light.
Visit Jim Cullen's website.

The Page 99 Test: Sensing the Past.

Writers Read: Jim Cullen (February 2013).

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 10, 2021

"All Are Welcome"

Coming from Lake Union in August 2021: All Are Welcome: A Novel by Liz Parker.

About the book, from the publisher:

A darkly funny novel from a fresh new voice in fiction about brides, lovers, friends, and family, and all the secrets that come with them.

Tiny McAllister never thought she’d get married. Not because she didn’t want to, but because she didn’t think girls from Connecticut married other girls. Yet here she is with Caroline, the love of her life, at their destination wedding on the Bermuda coast. In attendance―their respective families and a few choice friends. The conflict-phobic Tiny hopes for a beautiful weekend with her bride-to-be. But as the weekend unfolds, it starts to feel like there’s a skeleton in every closet of the resort.

From Tiny’s family members, who find the world is changing at an uncomfortable speed, to Caroline’s parents, who are engaged in conspiratorial whispers, to their friends, who packed secrets of their own―nobody seems entirely forthcoming. Not to mention the conspicuous no-show and a tempting visit from the past. What the celebration really needs now is a monsoon to help stir up all the long-held secrets, simmering discontent, and hidden agendas.

All Tiny wanted was to get married, but if she can make it through this squall of a wedding, she might just leave with more than a wife.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Words Composed of Sea and Sky"

New from Running Press Kids/Hachette: Words Composed of Sea and Sky by Erica George.

About the book, from the publisher:

This modern summer romance set on Cape Cod features two young adult poets divided by centuries.

Michaela Dunn, living on present day Cape Cod, dreams of getting into an art school, something her family just doesn't understand. When her stepfather refuses to fund a trip for a poetry workshop, Michaela finds the answer in a local contest searching for a poet to write the dedication plaque for a statue honoring Captain Benjamin Churchill, a whaler who died at sea 100 years ago.

She struggles to understand why her town venerates Churchill, an almost mythical figure whose name adorns the school team and various tourist traps. When she discovers the 1862 diary of Leta Townsend, however, she gets a glimpse of Churchill that she didn't quite anticipate. In 1862, Leta Townsend writes poetry under the name Benjamin Churchill, a boy who left for sea to hunt whales. Leta is astonished when Captain Churchill returns after his rumored death. She quickly falls for him. But is she falling for the actual captain or the boy she constructed in her imagination?
Visit Erica George's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 9, 2021

"The Guncle"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: The Guncle by Steven Rowley.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.

Patrick, or Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP, for short), has always loved his niece, Maisie, and nephew, Grant. That is, he loves spending time with them when they come out to Palm Springs for weeklong visits, or when he heads home to Connecticut for the holidays. But in terms of caretaking and relating to two children, no matter how adorable, Patrick is, honestly, overwhelmed.

So when tragedy strikes and Maisie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick finds himself suddenly taking on the role of primary guardian. Despite having a set of “Guncle Rules” ready to go, Patrick has no idea what to expect, having spent years barely holding on after the loss of his great love, a somewhat-stalled acting career, and a lifestyle not-so-suited to a six- and a nine-year-old. Quickly realizing that parenting–even if temporary–isn’t solved with treats and jokes, Patrick’s eyes are opened to a new sense of responsibility, and the realization that, sometimes, even being larger than life means you’re unfailingly human.

With the humor and heart we’ve come to expect from bestselling author Steven Rowley, The Guncle is a moving tribute to the power of love, patience, and family in even the most trying of times.
Visit Steven Rowley's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Steven Rowley & Tilda Swinton.

My Book, The Movie: Lily and the Octopus.

Writers Read: Steven Rowley (June 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream"

Coming July 13 from Algonquin Books: The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer by Dean Jobb.

About the book, from the publisher:

”When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream murdered as many as ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedent. Poison was his weapon of choice. Largely forgotten today, this villain was as brazen as the notorious Jack the Ripper.

Structured around the doctor’s London murder trial in 1892, when he was finally brought to justice, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream exposes the blind trust given to medical practitioners, as well as the flawed detection methods, bungled investigations, corrupt officials, and stifling morality of Victorian society that allowed Dr. Cream to prey on vulnerable and desperate women, many of whom had turned to him for medical help.

Dean Jobb transports readers to the late nineteenth century as Scotland Yard traces Dr. Cream’s life through Canada and Chicago and finally to London, where new investigative tools called forensics were just coming into use, even as most police departments still scoffed at using science to solve crimes. But then, most investigators could hardly imagine that serial killers existed—the term was unknown. As the Chicago Tribune wrote, Dr. Cream’s crimes marked the emergence of a new breed of killer: one who operated without motive or remorse, who “murdered simply for the sake of murder.” For fans of Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City, all things Sherlock Holmes, or the podcast My Favorite Murder, The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream is an unforgettable true crime story a master of the genre.
Visit Dean Jobb's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 8, 2021

"The Siren"

New from Grand Central Publishing: The Siren by Katherine St. John.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Katherine St. John, author of The Lion's Den, comes another sublimely escapist thriller: When Hollywood heartthrob Cole Power hires his ex-wife, Stella Rivers, to act in his son's film, he sparks a firestorm on an isolated island that will unearth long-buried secrets—and unravel years of lies.

In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood's most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. The surefire blockbuster promises to entice audiences with its sultry storyline and intimately connected cast.

Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. Stella, an infamously unstable actress, is struggling to reclaim the career she lost in the wake of multiple, very public breakdowns. Taylor, a fledgling producer, is anxious to work on a film she hopes will turn her career around after her last job ended in scandal. And Felicity, Stella's mysterious new assistant, harbors designs of her own that threaten to upend everyone's plans.

With a hurricane brewing offshore, each woman finds herself trapped on the island, united against a common enemy. But as deceptions come to light, misplaced trust may prove more perilous than the storm itself.
Visit Katherine St. John's website.

Q&A with Katherine St. John.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Cinematic TV: Serial Drama goes to the Movies"

New from Oxford University Press: Cinematic TV: Serial Drama goes to the Movies by Rashna Wadia Richards.

About the book, from the publisher:

For decades after its invention, television was considered by many to be culturally deficient when compared to cinema, as analyses rooted in communication studies and the social sciences tended to focus primarily on television's negative impact on consumers. More recently, however, denigration has largely been replaced by serious critical consideration of what television represents in the post-network era. Once derided as a media wasteland, TV is now praised for its visual density and complexity. In the last two decades, media scholars have often suggested that television has become cinematic. Serial dramas, in particular, are acclaimed for their imitations of cinema's formally innovative and narratively challenging conventions. But what exactly does "cinematic TV" mean?

In Cinematic TV, author Rashna Wadia Richards takes up this question comprehensively, arguing that TV dramas quote, copy, and appropriate (primarily) American cinema in multiple ways and toward multiple ends. Constructing an innovative theoretical framework by combining intertextuality and memory studies, Cinematic TV focuses on four modalities of intermedial borrowings: homage, evocation, genre, and parody. Through close readings of such exemplary shows as Stranger Things, Mad Men, Damages, and Dear White People, the book demonstrates how serial dramas reproduce and rework, undermine and idolize, and, in some cases, compete with and outdo cinema.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, May 7, 2021

"Yes, Daddy"

New from HMH Books: Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage.

About the book, from the publisher:

A propulsive, scorching modern gothic, Yes, Daddy follows an ambitious young man who is lured by an older, successful playwright into a dizzying world of wealth and an idyllic Hamptons home where things take a nightmarish turn.

Jonah Keller moved to New York City with dreams of becoming a successful playwright, but, for the time being, lives in a rundown sublet in Bushwick, working extra hours at a restaurant only to barely make rent. When he stumbles upon a photo of Richard Shriver—the glamorous Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and quite possibly the stepping stone to the fame he craves—Jonah orchestrates their meeting. The two begin a hungry, passionate affair.

When summer arrives, Richard invites his young lover for a spell at his sprawling estate in the Hamptons. A tall iron fence surrounds the idyllic compound where Richard and a few of his close artist friends entertain, have lavish dinners, and—Jonah can’t help but notice—employ a waitstaff of young, attractive gay men, many of whom sport ugly bruises. Soon, Jonah is cast out of Richard’s good graces and a sinister underlay begins to emerge. As a series of transgressions lead inexorably to a violent climax, Jonah hurtles toward a decisive revenge that will shape the rest of his life.

Riveting, unpredictable, and compulsively readable, Yes, Daddy is an exploration of class, power dynamics, and the nuances of victimhood and complicity. It burns with weight and clarity—and offers hope that stories may hold the key to our healing.
Visit Jonathan Parks-Ramage's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Lily's Promise"

New from Quill Tree Books: Lily's Promise by Kathryn Erskine.

About the book, from the publisher:

From National Book Award–winning author Kathryn Erskine comes a heartfelt, poignant novel that tackles grief, change, and the struggle to let your voice be heard. Perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Erin Entrada Kelly, and Ali Benjamin.

Shy, eleven-year-old Lily made her dad an important promise before he passed away—that she would “Strive for Five” and speak her mind at least five times. But speaking up one time, let alone five, is easier said than done. It’ll be even harder now that Lily must attend public school for the first time. Fortunately, she meets curling-obsessed Hobart and quiet Dunya at the beginning of sixth grade. Their kindness gives Lily hope that life without Dad might just be bearable.

But when Lily and her friends are bullied by Ryan and his mean clique, she quickly discovers the true meaning of friendship and speaking out. Despite the anxiety she feels, Lily knows she needs to stand up for herself and others. And she’ll use the tools her dad gave her to not only keep her final promise but bring her whole school together.
Learn more about the book and author at Kathryn Erskine's website.

Check out Erskine's top 10 first person narratives.

Coffee with a Canine: Kathryn Erskine & Fletcher.

The Page 69 Test: The Badger Knight.

My Book, The Movie: The Badger Knight.

The Page 69 Test: The Incredible Magic of Being.

Writers Read: Kathryn Erskine.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, May 6, 2021

"The Stars We Share"

New from Pamela Dorman Books: The Stars We Share: A Novel by Rafe Posey.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set against the backdrop of World War II, a sweeping, atmospheric novel of sacrifice, ambition, and commitment, and the secrets we keep from the ones we love

It’s 1927 when Alec and June meet as children in a tranquil English village. Alec, an orphan, anchors himself in the night sky and longs for adventures. June memorizes maps and railway timetables, imagining a future bright with possibilities.

As the years pass, their loves feels inevitable, but soon the Second World War separates them. Alec enlists as a Royal Air Force pilot flying daredevil fighter sorties at night; June finds her calling as a codebreaker at Bletchley Park, covert work that will mean keeping her contribution to the war effort a secret from Alec forever. Each is following a dream—but those dreams force them apart for years at a time.

Their postwar reunion is bittersweet: Alec, shot down and imprisoned in a series of POW camps, grapples with his injuries and the loss of his RAF career. June, on the other hand, has found her vocation and struggles to follow the expected path to domesticity, as much as she loves Alec. But Alec wants nothing more than to make a life and a family together.

With the war behind them, their scars—both visible and unseen—make them strangers to each other. Now each must decide how much to reveal to the other, which dreams can be sacrificed, and which secrets are too big to bear alone.

Spanning forty years and shifting from bustling Indian ports to vibrant gardens in Edinburgh to a horse farm in Kenya, The Stars We Share is a poignant, heart-wrenching novel about the decisions and concessions that make a life and a love worth having.
Visit Rafe Posey's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Privilege"

Coming June 22 from Polis Books: The Privilege by D.W. Buffa.

About the book, from the publisher:

Joseph Antonelli, who never lost a case he should have won and won nearly every case he should have lost, is about to see his client, Justin Friedrich, convicted for a crime he did not commit. His wife was found shot to death in the bedroom of their yacht in the San Francisco marina, and Friedrich does not have a chance. But then the real killer approaches Antonelli…

Famous and enigmatic, James Michael Redfield, the head of a high tech company that leads the world in the development of artificial intelligence, Redfield gives Antonelli evidence that proves Friedrich is innocent. But why did Redfield wait until the last minute to give Antonelli this proof?

Before Antonelli can even begin to solve that riddle, there is another murder, and Antonelli finds himself an unwilling participant in a conspiracy he does not understand. Antonelli has never known anyone like James Michael Redfield. Because for Redfield, it isn’t about murder at all; it is all about the trial. Because only a trial can show the world what Redfield believes it needs to know…no matter how many people need to die.
Visit D.W. Buffa's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

"Death of an American Showman"

New from Minotaur Books: Death of an American Showman (A Jane Prescott Novel, Volume 4) by Mariah Fredericks.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Mariah Fredericks's Death of a Showman, the fourth in this absorbing series set in Gilded Age New York, lady’s maid Jane Prescott is thrust into the world of show business, where a killer is stalking Broadway.

It is the summer of 1914 and lady’s maid Jane Prescott is back in New York with the Tylers after a glittering society wedding in Europe. On their return, Jane learns another wedding has taken place. Her old dancing partner, Leo Hirschfeld, has married a chorus girl in his new Broadway musical.

Jane and Louise Tyler are pulled into the sparkling and scandalous world of Broadway, as a star struck Louise invests in Leo's show, and Jane chaperones her at rehearsals. But behind the glittering facade of the theater, there are rivalries, secret romances, and some very dodgy business practices. When the show's abusive producer, Sidney Warburton, is murdered, the list of suspects is long. Was it the comedic star or her gambler boyfriend? The disgruntled costume designer? The beautiful, blond dancer, her jealous husband? Or was it Leo himself, who had more reason than anyone to hate Sidney Warburton?

As the First World war looms in the distance, Jane and tabloid reporter Michael Behan must strip back the masks of these consummate performers before one of them kills again.
Visit Mariah Fredericks's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Girl in the Park.

The Page 69 Test: A Death of No Importance.

My Book, The Movie: Death of an American Beauty.

The Page 69 Test: Death of an American Beauty.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Defending the Arctic Refuge"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: Defending the Arctic Refuge: A Photographer, an Indigenous Nation, and a Fight for Environmental Justice by Finis Dunaway.

About the book, from the publisher:

Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Alaska is one of the most contested landscapes in all of North America: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Considered sacred by Indigenous peoples in Alaska and Canada and treasured by environmentalists, the refuge provides life-sustaining habitat for caribou, polar bears, migratory birds, and other species. For decades, though, the fossil fuel industry and powerful politicians have sought to turn this unique ecosystem into an oil field. Defending the Arctic Refuge tells the improbable story of how the people fought back. At the center of the story is the unlikely figure of Lenny Kohm (1939–2014), a former jazz drummer and aspiring photographer who passionately committed himself to Arctic Refuge activism. With the aid of a trusty slide show, Kohm and representatives of the Gwich’in Nation traveled across the United States to mobilize grassroots opposition to oil drilling. From Indigenous villages north of the Arctic Circle to Capitol Hill and many places in between, this book shows how Kohm and Gwich’in leaders and environmental activists helped build a political movement that transformed the debate into a struggle for environmental justice.

In its final weeks, the Trump administration fulfilled a long-sought dream of drilling proponents: leasing much of the Arctic Refuge coastal plain for fossil fuel development. Yet the fight to protect this place is certainly not over. Defending the Artic Refuge traces the history of a movement that is alive today—and that will continue to galvanize diverse groups to safeguard this threatened land.
Follow Finis Dunaway on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

"The End of Men"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird.

About the book, from the publisher:

Only men carry the virus. Only women can save us all.

The year is 2025, and a mysterious virus has broken out in Scotland–a lethal illness that seems to affect only men. When Dr. Amanda MacLean reports this phenomenon, she is dismissed as hysterical. By the time her warning is heeded, it is too late. The virus becomes a global pandemic–and a political one. The victims are all men. The world becomes alien–a women’s world.

What follows is the immersive account of the women who have been left to deal with the virus’s consequences, told through first-person narratives. Dr. MacLean; Catherine, a social historian determined to document the human stories behind the “male plague”; intelligence analyst Dawn, tasked with helping the government forge a new society; and Elizabeth, one of many scientists desperately working to develop a vaccine. Through these women and others, we see the uncountable ways the absence of men has changed society, from the personal–the loss of husbands and sons–to the political–the changes in the workforce, fertility, and the meaning of family.

In The End of Men, Christina Sweeney-Baird turns the unimaginable into the unforgettable.
Follow Christina Sweeney-Baird on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hawking Hawking"

New from Basic Books: Hawking Hawking: The Selling of a Scientific Celebrity by Charles Seife.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stephen Hawking was widely recognized as the world’s best physicist and even the most brilliant man alive–but what if his true talent was self-promotion?

When Stephen Hawking died, he was widely recognized as the world’s best physicist and even its smartest person.

He was neither.

In Hawking Hawking, science journalist Charles Seife explores how Stephen Hawking came to be thought of as humanity’s greatest genius. Hawking spent his career grappling with deep questions in physics, but his renown didn’t rest on his science. He was a master of self-promotion, hosting parties for time travelers, declaring victory over problems he had not solved, and wooing billionaires. In a wheelchair and physically dependent on a cadre of devotees, Hawking still managed to captivate the people around him—and use them for his own purposes.

A brilliant exposé and powerful biography, Hawking Hawking uncovers the authentic Hawking buried underneath the fake. It is the story of a man whose brilliance in physics was matched by his genius for building his own myth.
Visit Charles Seife's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, May 3, 2021

"In Royal Service to the Queen"

Coming June 29 from Berkley: In Royal Service to the Queen: A Novel of the Queen's Governess by Tessa Arlen.

About the book, from the publisher:

The revealing story of Queen Elizabeth II’s beloved governess, Marion Crawford, who spent more than sixteen years of her life in loyal service to the royal family and was later shunned by those she has loved and served.

Marion Crawford can remember each of the wonderful years when she was governess to the little Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose: included in their lives, confided in, needed, trusted, and loved. These memories will never dim, ever. In Marion’s mind, she will always be their Crawfie.

But things become increasingly complicated as the young royals navigate adulthood. It is May 1945 and Princess Elizabeth–the heiress presumptive to the British throne–has fallen in love, and the only member of her family who is happy for her is her governess. No one in the young princess’s life thinks that Prince Philip of Greece would be a suitable husband for the future Queen of England. No one that is, except for Marion Crawford.

Crawfie wholeheartedly supports Elizabeth in her determination to marry Philip. She too has fallen in love–and has convinced her fiancé, George, that they must wait for Elizabeth and Philip to receive the King’s blessing before she can leave her service to the Crown.

Over the next two years Crawfie is caught between loyalty to Princess Elizabeth; running the risk of alienating her royal employer, Queen Elizabeth; and losing the man she loves. But as Crawfie prevails to marry George and stands with him in Westminster Abbey on Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding day, she is unaware that her troubled relationship with Queen Elizabeth is far from over. And just around the corner is a betrayal that will sever her bond with the royal family forever.
Visit Tessa Arlen's website.

See Tessa Arlen’s top five historical novels.

Coffee with a Canine: Tessa Arlen & Daphne.

The Page 69 Test: Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman.

My Book, The Movie: Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman.

The Page 69 Test: Death Sits Down to Dinner.

My Book, The Movie: Death Sits Down to Dinner.

The Page 69 Test: A Death by Any Other Name.

The Page 69 Test: Death of an Unsung Hero.

Writers Read: Tessa Arlen (November 2019).

The Page 69 Test: Poppy Redfern and the Midnight Murders.

Q&A with Tessa Arlen (April 2020).

The Page 69 Test: Poppy Redfern and the Fatal Flyers.

Q&A with Tessa Arlen (December 2020).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The War Beat, Pacific"

New from Oxford University Press: The War Beat, Pacific: The American Media at War Against Japan by Steven Casey.

About the book, from the publisher:

The definitive history of American war reporting in the Pacific theater of World War II, from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

After almost two years slogging with infantrymen through North Africa, Italy, and France, Ernie Pyle immediately realized he was ill-prepared for covering the Pacific War. As Pyle and other war correspondents discovered, the climate, the logistics, and the sheer scope of the Pacific theater had no parallel in the war America was fighting in Europe.

From Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The War Beat, Pacific provides the first comprehensive account of how a group of highly courageous correspondents covered America's war against Japan, what they witnessed, what they were allowed to publish, and how their reports shaped the home front's perception of some of the most pivotal battles in American military history. In a dramatic and fast-paced narrative based on a wealth of previously untapped primary sources, Casey takes us from MacArthur's doomed defense on the Philippines and the navy's overly strict censorship policy at the time of Midway, through the bloody battles on Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Tarawa, Saipan, Leyte and Luzon, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, detailing the cooperation, as well as conflict, between the media and the military, as they grappled with the enduring problem of limiting a free press during a period of extreme crisis.

The War Beat, Pacific shows how foreign correspondents ran up against practical challenges and risked their lives to get stories in a theater that was far more challenging than the war against Nazi Germany, while the US government blocked news of the war against Japan and tried to focus the home front on Hitler and his atrocities.
Learn more about The War Beat, Pacific at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: When Soldiers Fall.

The Page 99 Test: The War Beat, Europe.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Hunting Wives"

New from Berkley: The Hunting Wives by May Cobb.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Hunting Wives share more than target practice, martinis, and bad behavior in this novel of obsession, seduction, and murder.

Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless.

Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers.

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control.
Visit May Cobb's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, May 2, 2021

"Crossing"

New from Stanford University Press: Crossing: How We Label and React to People on the Move by Rebecca Hamlin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Today, the concept of "the refugee" as distinct from other migrants looms large. Immigration laws have developed to reinforce a dichotomy between those viewed as voluntary, often economically motivated, migrants who can be legitimately excluded by potential host states, and those viewed as forced, often politically motivated, refugees who should be let in. In Crossing, Rebecca Hamlin argues against advocacy positions that cling to this distinction. Everything we know about people who decide to move suggests that border crossing is far more complicated than any binary, or even a continuum, can encompass. Drawing on cases of various "border crises" across Europe, North America, South America, and the Middle East, Hamlin outlines major inconsistencies and faulty assumptions on which the binary relies. The migrant/refugee binary is not just an innocuous shorthand—indeed, its power stems from the way in which it is painted as apolitical. In truth, the binary is a dangerous legal fiction, politically constructed with the ultimate goal of making harsh border control measures more ethically palatable to the public. This book is a challenge to all those invested in the rights and study of migrants to move toward more equitable advocacy for all border crossers.
Follow Rebecca Hamlin on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: Let Me Be a Refugee.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Local Woman Missing"

New from Park Row Books: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica.

About the book, from the publisher:

People don't just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they'll find…

In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.
Visit Mary Kubica's website.

The Page 69 Test: Every Last Lie.

The Page 69 Test: When the Lights Go Out.

The Page 69 Test: The Other Mrs..

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Lure of the Beach"

New from the University of California Press: The Lure of the Beach: A Global History by Robert C. Ritchie.

About the book, from the publisher:

A human and global take on a beloved vacation spot.

The crash of surf, smell of salted air, wet whorls of sand underfoot. These are the sensations of the beach, that environment that has drawn humans to its life-sustaining shores for millennia. And while the gull’s cry and the cove’s splendor have remained constant throughout time, our relationship with the beach has been as fluid as the runnels left behind by the tide’s turning.

The Lure of the Beach is a chronicle of humanity's history with the coast, taking us from the seaside pleasure palaces of Roman elites and the aquatic rituals of medieval pilgrims, to the venues of modern resort towns and beyond. Robert C. Ritchie traces the contours of the material and social economies of the beach throughout time, covering changes in the social status of beach goers, the technology of transport, and the development of fashion (from nudity to Victorianism and back again), as well as the geographic spread of modern beach-going from England to France, across the Mediterranean, and from nineteenth-century America to the world. And as climate change and rising sea levels erode the familiar faces of our coasts, we are poised for a contemporary reckoning with our relationship—and responsibilities—to our beaches and their ecosystems. The Lure of the Beach demonstrates that whether as a commodified pastoral destination, a site of ecological resplendency, or a flashpoint between private ownership and public access, the history of the beach is a human one that deserves to be told now more than ever before.
Visit Robert C. Ritchie's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 1, 2021

"Dream Girl"

Coming June 22 from William Morrow: Dream Girl: A Novel by Laura Lippman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the end, has anyone really led a blameless life?

Injured in a freak fall, novelist Gerry Andersen is confined to a hospital bed in his glamorous high-rise apartment, dependent on two women he barely knows: his incurious young assistant, and a dull, slow-witted night nurse.

Then late one night, the phone rings. The caller claims to be the “real” Aubrey, the alluring title character from his most successful novel, Dream Girl. But there is no real Aubrey. She’s a figment born of a writer’s imagination, despite what many believe or claim to know. Could the cryptic caller be one of his three ex-wives playing a vindictive trick after all these years? Or is she Margot, an ex-girlfriend who keeps trying to insinuate her way back into Gerry’s life?

And why does no one believe that the call even happened?

Isolated from the world, drowsy from medication, Gerry slips between reality and a dreamlike state in which he is haunted by his own past: his faithless father, his devoted mother; the women who loved him, the women he loved.

And now here is Aubrey, threatening to visit him, suggesting that she is owed something. Is the threat real or is it a sign of dementia? Which scenario would he prefer? Gerry has never been so alone, so confused – and so terrified.

Chilling and compulsively readable, touching on timely issues that include power, agency, appropriation, and creation, Dream Girl is a superb blend of psychological suspense and horror that reveals the mind and soul of a writer.
Visit Laura Lippman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Another Thing to Fall.

The Page 69 Test: What the Dead Know.

The Page 69 Test/Page 99 Test: Life Sentences.

The Page 69 Test: I'd Know You Anywhere.

The Page 69 Test: The Most Dangerous Thing.

The Page 69 Test: Hush Hush.

The Page 69 Test: Wilde Lake.

My Book, the Movie: Wilde Lake.

The Page 69 Test: Sunburn.

The Page 69 Test: Lady in the Lake.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Power of Pastiche"

New from Clemson University Press in association with Liverpool University Press: The Power of Pastiche: Musical Miscellany and the Cultural Identity in Early Eighteenth-Century England by Alison DeSimone.

About the book, from the publisher:

In eighteenth-century England, "variety" became a prized aesthetic in musical culture. Not only was variety-of counterpoint, harmony, melody, and orchestration-expected for good composition, but it also manifested in cultural mediums such as songbook anthologies, which compiled miscellaneous songs and styles in single volumes; pasticcio operas, which were cobbled together from excerpts from other operas; and public concerts, which offered a hodgepodge assortment of different types and styles of performance. I call this trend of producing music through the collection, assemblage, and juxtaposition of various smaller pieces as musical miscellany; like a jigsaw puzzle (also invented in the eighteenth century), the urge to construct a whole out of smaller, different parts reflected a growing desire to appeal to a quickly diversifying England.

This book explores the phenomenon of musical miscellany in early eighteenth-century England both in performance culture and as an aesthetic. Chapters offer analyses of concert programming, early music criticism, the compilation of pasticcio operas and songbook miscellanies, and even the ways in which composers and performers shaped their freelancing careers. Musical miscellany, in its many forms, juxtaposed foreign and homegrown musical practices and styles in order to stimulate discourse surrounding English musical culture during a time of cosmopolitan transformation as the eighteenth century unfolded.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 30, 2021

"Cool for the Summer"

New from Wednesday Books: Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dahlia Adler's Cool for the Summer is a story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.

Lara's had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He's tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he's talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe...flirting, even? No, wait, he's definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara's wanted out of life.

Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.

Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she's finally got the guy, why can't she stop thinking about the girl?
Visit Dahlia Adler's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Mahjong"

New from Oxford University Press: Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture by Annelise Heinz.

About the book, from the publisher:

How has a game brought together Americans and defined separate ethnic communities? This book tells the first history of mahjong and its meaning in American culture.

Click-click-click. The sound of mahjong tiles connects American expatriates in Shanghai, Jazz Age white Americans, urban Chinese Americans in the 1930s, incarcerated Japanese Americans in wartime, Jewish American suburban mothers, and Air Force officers' wives in the postwar era.

Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture illustrates how the spaces between tiles and the moments between games have fostered distinct social cultures in the United States. This mass-produced game crossed the Pacific, creating waves of popularity over the twentieth century. Annelise Heinz narrates the history of this game to show how it has created a variety of meanings, among them American modernity, Chinese American heritage, and Jewish American women's culture. As it traveled from China to the United States and caught on with Hollywood starlets, high society, middle-class housewives, and immigrants alike, mahjong became a quintessentially American game. Heinz also reveals the ways in which women leveraged a game to gain access to respectable leisure. The result was the forging of friendships that lasted decades and the creation of organizations that raised funds for the war effort and philanthropy. No other game has signified both belonging and standing apart in American culture.

Drawing on photographs, advertising, popular media, and dozens of oral histories, Heinz's rich and colorful account offers the first history of the wildly popular game of mahjong.
Visit Annelise Heinz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 29, 2021

"A Summer to Remember"

New from St. Martin's Press: A Summer to Remember: A Novel by Erika Montgomery.

About the book, from the publisher:

For thirty-year-old Frankie Simon, selling movie memorabilia in the shop she opened with her late mother on Hollywood Boulevard is more than just her livelihood—it’s an enduring connection to the only family she has ever known. But when a mysterious package arrives containing a photograph of her mother and famous movie stars Glory Cartwright and her husband at a coastal film festival the year before Frankie’s birth, her life begins to unravel in ways unimaginable.

What begins is a journey along a path revealing buried family secrets, betrayals between lovers, bonds between friends. And for Frankie, as the past unlocks the present, the chance to learn that memories define who we are, and that they can show us the meaning of home and the magic of true love.

Experience the salty breeze of a Cape Cod summer as it sweeps through this sparkling, romantic, and timeless debut novel tinged with a love of old Hollywood.
Visit Erika Montgomery's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Mary Jane"

New from Custom House: Mary Jane: A Novel by Jessica Anya Blau.

About the book, from the publisher:

Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones & The Six in this funny, wise, and tender novel about a fourteen-year-old girl’s coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for—who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer.

In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family’s subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she’s glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. A respectable job, Mary Jane’s mother says. In a respectable house.

The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it’s a literal and figurative mess: clutter on every surface, Impeachment: Now More Than Ever bumper stickers on the doors, cereal and takeout for dinner. And even more troublesome (were Mary Jane’s mother to know, which she does not): the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job—helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in.

Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she’s always known and the future she’s only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she’s going to be.
Learn more about the book and author at Jessica Anya Blau's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Jessica Anya Blau and Pippa.

The Page 69 Test: The Wonder Bread Summer.

My Book, The Movie: The Wonder Bread Summer.

The Page 69 Test: The Trouble with Lexie.

My Book, The Movie: The Trouble with Lexie.

Writers Read: Jessica Anya Blau (June 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

"Endings"

New from Oceanview Publishing: Endings by Linda L. Richards.

About the book, from the publisher:

How far can a profound personal loss drive someone toward darkness?

What would it take for you to kill someone for money? And if you did, who—or what—would you have become? These are the question one woman faces when she loses everyone she loves and everything she has. When the opportunity arrives to reinvent herself as a killer for hire, she takes it. She’s good at it—and if she doesn’t do it, someone else will.

Then everything changes when she learns about a serial killer so horrible she vows to find him and kill him until—overcome by self-doubt—she seeks redemption rather than vengeance.

Fans of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Dexter will love Endings
Visit Linda L. Richards's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Ariadne"

New from Flatiron Books: Ariadne: A Novel by Jennifer Saint.

About the book, from the publisher:

A mesmerizing debut novel for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

Ariadne, Princess of Crete, grows up greeting the dawn from her beautiful dancing floor and listening to her nursemaid’s stories of gods and heroes. But beneath her golden palace echo the ever-present hoofbeats of her brother, the Minotaur, a monster who demands blood sacrifice.

When Theseus, Prince of Athens, arrives to vanquish the beast, Ariadne sees in his green eyes not a threat but an escape. Defying the gods, betraying her family and country, and risking everything for love, Ariadne helps Theseus kill the Minotaur. But will Ariadne’s decision ensure her happy ending? And what of Phaedra, the beloved younger sister she leaves behind?

Hypnotic, propulsive, and utterly transporting, Jennifer Saint's Ariadne forges a new epic, one that puts the forgotten women of Greek mythology back at the heart of the story, as they strive for a better world.
Visit Jennifer Saint's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

"The Life She Wished to Live"

New from W.W. Norton: The Life She Wished to Live: A Biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, author of The Yearling by Ann McCutchan.

About the book, from the publisher:

A comprehensive and engaging biography of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the beloved classic The Yearling.

Washington, DC, born and Wisconsin educated, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was an unlikely author of a coming-of-age novel about a poor central Florida child and his pet fawn—much less one that has become synonymous with Florida literature writ large.

Rawlings was a tough, ambitious, and independent woman who refused the conventions of her early-twentieth-century upbringing. Determined to forge a literary career beyond those limitations, she found her voice in the remote, hardscrabble life of Cross Creek, Florida. There, Rawlings purchased a commercial orange grove and discovered a fascinating world out of which to write—and a dialect of the poor, swampland community that the literary world had yet to hear. She employed her sensitive eye, sharp ear for dialogue, and philosophical spirit to bring to life this unknown corner of America in vivid, tender detail, a feat that earned her the Pulitzer Prize in 1938. Her accomplishments came at a price: a failed first marriage, financial instability, a contentious libel suit, alcoholism, and physical and emotional upheaval.

With intimate access to Rawlings’s correspondence and revealing early writings, Ann McCutchan uncovers a larger-than-life woman who writes passionately and with verve, whose emotions change on a dime, and who drinks to excess, smokes, swears, and even occasionally joins in on an alligator hunt. The Life She Wished to Live paints a lively portrait of Rawlings, her contemporaries—including her legendary editor, Maxwell Perkins, and friends Zora Neale Hurston, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald—and the Florida landscape and people that inspired her.
Visit Ann McCutchan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue