Tuesday, October 19, 2021

"The Actual Star"

New from Harper Voyager: The Actual Star by Monica Byrne.

About the book, from the publisher:

David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas meets Octavia Butler’s Earthseed series, as acclaimed author Monica Byrne (The Girl in the Road) spins a brilliant multigenerational saga spanning two thousand years, from the collapse of the ancient Maya to a far-future utopia on the brink of civil war.

The Actual Star takes readers on a journey over two millennia and six continents —telling three powerful tales a thousand years apart, all of them converging in the same cave in the Belizean jungle.

Braided together are the stories of a pair of teenage twins who ascend the throne ofa Maya kingdom; a young American woman on a trip of self-discovery in Belize; and two dangerous charismatics vying for the leadership of a new religion and racing toward a confrontation that will determine the fate of the few humans left on Earth after massive climate change.

In each era, a reincarnated trinity of souls navigates the entanglements of tradition and progress, sister and stranger, and love and hate—until all of their age-old questions about the nature of existence converge deep underground, where only in complete darkness can they truly see.

The Actual Star is a feast of ideas about where humanity came from, where we are now, and where we’re going—and how, in every age, the same forces that drive us apart also bind us together.
Visit Monica Byrne's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 18, 2021

"The Trials of Orpheus"

New from Princeton University Press: The Trials of Orpheus: Poetry, Science, and the Early Modern Sublime by Jenny C. Mann.

About the book, from the publisher:

In ancient Greek mythology, the lyrical songs of Orpheus charmed the gods, and compelled animals, rocks, and trees to obey his commands. This mythic power inspired Renaissance philosophers and poets as they attempted to discover the hidden powers of verbal eloquence. They wanted to know: How do words produce action? In The Trials of Orpheus, Jenny Mann examines the key role the Orpheus story played in helping early modern writers and thinkers understand the mechanisms of rhetorical force. Mann demonstrates that the forms and figures of ancient poetry indelibly shaped the principles of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century scientific knowledge.

Mann explores how Ovid’s version of the Orpheus myth gave English poets and natural philosophers the lexicon with which to explain language’s ability to move individuals without physical contact. These writers and thinkers came to see eloquence as an aesthetic force capable of binding, drawing, softening, and scattering audiences. Bringing together a range of examples from drama, poetry, and philosophy by Bacon, Lodge, Marlowe, Montaigne, Shakespeare, and others, Mann demonstrates that the fascination with Orpheus produced some of the most canonical literature of the age.

Delving into the impact of ancient Greek thought and poetry in the early modern era, The Trials of Orpheus sheds light on how the powers of rhetoric became a focus of English thought and literature.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Last Guest"

New from Ballantine Books: The Last Guest: A Novel by Tess Little.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Elspeth Bell attends the fiftieth birthday party of her ex-husband, Richard Bryant, the Hollywood director who launched her acting career, all she wants is to pass unnoticed through the glamorous crowd in his sprawling Los Angeles mansion. Instead, there are only seven other guests—and Richard's pet octopus, Persephone, watching over them from her tank as the intimate party grows more surreal (and rowdy) by the hour. Come morning, Richard is dead—and all of the guests are suspects.

In the weeks that follow, each guest comes under suspicion: the school friend, the studio producer, the actress, the actor, the new partner, the manager, the cinematographer, and even Elspeth herself. What starts out as a locked-room mystery soon reveals itself to be much more complicated, as dark stories from Richard's past surface, colliding with memories of their marriage that Elspeth vowed never to revisit. She begins to wonder not just who killed Richard, but why these eight guests were invited—and what sort of man would desire to possess a creature as mysterious and unsettling as Persephone.

The Last Guest is a stylish exploration of power—the power of memory, the power of perception, the power of one person over another.
Visit Tess Little's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 17, 2021

"Useful Objects"

New from Oxford University Press: Useful Objects: Museums, Science, and Literature in Nineteenth-Century America by Reed Gochberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Useful Objects examines the history of American museums during the nineteenth century through the eyes of visitors, writers, and collectors. Museums of this period included a wide range of objects, from botanical and zoological specimens to antiquarian artifacts and technological models. Intended to promote “useful knowledge,” these collections generated broader discussions about how objects were selected, preserved, and classified. In guidebooks and periodicals, visitors described their experiences within museum galleries and marveled at the objects they encountered. In fiction, essays, and poems, writers embraced the imaginative possibilities represented by collections and proposed alternative systems of arrangement. These conversations interrogated many aspects of American culture, raising deep questions about how objects are interpreted--and who gets to decide their value.

Combining literary criticism, the history of science, and museum studies, Useful Objects examines the dynamic and often fraught debates that emerged during a crucial period in the history of museums by drawing on a wide range of archival materials and accounts in fiction, guidebooks, and periodicals. As museums gradually transformed from encyclopedic cabinets to more specialized public institutions, many writers, including J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Jane Johnston Schoolcraft, William Wells Brown, Walt Whitman, and Henry David Thoreau, questioned who would have access to collections and the authority to interpret them. Throughout this period, they considered loss and preservation, raised concerns about the place of new ideas, and resisted increasingly fixed categories. Their reflections shaped broader debates about the scope and purpose of museums in American culture that continue to resonate today.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Beneath a Starless Sky"

New from Harper Collins: Beneath a Starless Sky by Tessa Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:

Munich 1930: Smoke filled the air.

Lilli Sternberg’s quickening heart sounded an alarm as she rounded the street corner. Lifting her gaze to the rooftops, a roaring blaze of thick flames engulfed the side of the building and joined the stars to fill the black sky. Her father’s shop was no more.


Lilli Sternberg longs to be a ballet dancer. But outside the sanctuary of the theatre, Munich is no longer a place for dreams.

The Nazi party are gaining power and the threats to Jewish families increasing. Even Lilli’s family shop was torched because of their faith.

When Lilli meets Captain Marco Zeiller during a chance encounter, her heart soars. He is the perfect gentleman and her love for him feels like a bright hope under a bleak sky. But battle lines are being drawn, and Marco has been spotted by the Reich as an officer with potential. Lilli means more to him than anything and he knows he must find a way out.

With their lives on the line, will Marco and Lilli survive the growing Nazi threat, or do they risk losing everything in the fight to be free?

An absolutely gripping and emotional historical fiction novel about love, courage and betrayal for fans of My Name is Eva and A Woman of War
Visit Tessa Harris's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Devil's Breath.

The Page 69 Test: The Lazarus Curse.

My Book, The Movie: The Sixth Victim.

The Page 69 Test: The Angel Makers.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 16, 2021

"The Decarbonization Imperative"

New from Stanford University Press: The Decarbonization Imperative: Transforming the Global Economy by 2050 by Michael Lenox and Rebecca Duff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Time is of the essence. Climate change looms as a malignant force that will reshape our economy and society for generations to come. If we are going to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we are going to need to effectively "decarbonize" the global economy by 2050.

This doesn't mean a modest, or even a drastic, improvement in fuel efficiency standards for automobiles. It means 100 percent of the cars on the road being battery-powered or powered by some other non-carbon-emitting powertrain. It means 100 percent of our global electricity needs being met by renewables and other non-carbon-emitting sources such as nuclear power. It means electrifying the global industrials sector and replacing carbon-intensive chemical processes with green alternatives, eliminating scope-one emissions—emissions in production—across all industries, particularly steel, cement, petrochemicals, which are the backbone of the global economy. It means sustainable farming while still feeding a growing global population.

Responding to the existential threat of climate change, Michael Lenox and Rebecca Duff propose a radical reconfiguration of the industries contributing the most, and most harmfully, to this planetary crisis. Disruptive innovation and a particular calibration of industry dynamics will be key to this change. The authors analyze precisely what this might look like for specific sectors of the world economy—ranging from agriculture to industrials and building, energy, and transportation—and examine the possible challenges and obstacles to introducing a paradigm shift in each one. With regards to existent business practices and products, how much and what kind of transformation can be achieved? The authors assert that markets are critical to achieving the needed change, and that they operate within a larger scale of institutional rules and norms. Lenox and Duff conclude with an analysis of policy interventions and strategies that could move us toward clean tech and decarbonization by 2050.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Pighearted"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Pighearted by Alex Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:

Charlotte's Web meets My Sister's Keeper in this charming story told from the alternating perspectives of a boy with a fatal heart condition and the pig with the heart that could save his life.

Jeremiah’s heart skips a beat before his first soccer game, but it’s not nerves. It’s the first sign of a heart attack. He knows he needs to go to the hospital, but he’s determined to score a goal. Charging after the ball, he refuses to stop…even if his heart does.

J6 is a pig and the only one of his five brothers who survived the research lab. Though he's never left his cell, he thinks of himself as a therapy pig, a scholar, and a bodyguard. But when the lab sends him to live with Jeremiah's family, there’s one new title he’s desperate to have: brother.

At first, Jeremiah thinks his parents took in J6 to cheer him up. But before long, he begins to suspect there's more to his new curly-tailed companion than meets the eye. When the truth is revealed, Jeremiah and J6 must protect each other at all costs—even if their lives depend on it.
Visit Alex Perry's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 15, 2021

"The Mother Next Door"

New from Graydon House: The Mother Next Door: A Novel of Suspense by Tara Laskowski.

About the book, from the publisher:

GOOD MOTHERS…
Never show their feelings.
Never spill their secrets.
Never admit to murder.

The annual Halloween block party is the pinnacle of the year on idyllic suburban cul-de-sac Ivy Woods Drive. An influential group of neighborhood moms—known as the Ivy Five—plans the event for months.

Except the Ivy Five has been four for a long time.

When a new mother moves to town, eager to fit in, the moms see it as an opportunity to make the group whole again. This year’s block party should be the best yet... until the women start receiving anonymous messages threatening to expose the quiet neighborhood’s dark past—and the lengths they’ve gone to hide it.

As secrets seep out and the threats intensify, the Ivy Five must sort the loyal from the disloyal, the good from the bad. They’ll do anything to protect their families. But when a twisted plot is revealed, with dangerous consequences, their steady foundation begins to crumble, leaving only one certainty: after this year’s block party, Ivy Woods Drive will never be the same.

From award-winning author Tara Laskowski, The Mother Next Door is an atmospheric novel of domestic suspense in which the strive for perfection ends in murder…
Visit Tara Laskowski's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hell Hath No Fury"

New from Yale University Press: Hell Hath No Fury: Gender, Disability, and the Invention of Damned Bodies in Early Christian Literature by Meghan R. Henning.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first major book to examine ancient Christian literature on hell through the lenses of gender and disability studies

Throughout the Christian tradition, descriptions of hell’s fiery torments have shaped contemporary notions of the afterlife, divine justice, and physical suffering. But rarely do we consider the roots of such conceptions, which originate in a group of understudied ancient texts: the early Christian apocalypses.

In this pioneering study, Meghan Henning illuminates how the bodies that populate hell in early Christian literature—largely those of women, enslaved persons, and individuals with disabilities—are punished after death in spaces that mirror real carceral spaces, effectually criminalizing those bodies on earth. Contextualizing the apocalypses alongside ancient medical texts, inscriptions, philosophy, and patristic writings, this book demonstrates the ways that Christian depictions of hell intensified and preserved ancient notions of gender and bodily normativity that continue to inform Christian identity.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 14, 2021

"Cackle"

New from Berkley: Cackle by Rachel Harrison.

About the book, from the publisher:

A darkly funny, frightening novel about a young woman learning how to take what she wants from a witch who may be too good to be true, from the author of The Return.

All her life, Annie has played it nice and safe. After being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend, Annie seeks a fresh start. She accepts a teaching position that moves her from Manhattan to a small village upstate. She’s stunned by how perfect and picturesque the town is. The people are all friendly and warm. Her new apartment is dreamy too, minus the oddly persistent spider infestation.

Then Annie meets Sophie. Beautiful, charming, magnetic Sophie, who takes a special interest in Annie, who wants to be her friend. More importantly, she wants Annie to stop apologizing and start living for herself. That’s how Sophie lives. Annie can’t help but gravitate toward the self-possessed Sophie, wanting to spend more and more time with her, despite the fact that the rest of the townsfolk seem…a little afraid of her. And like, okay. There are some things. Sophie’s appearance is uncanny and ageless, her mansion in the middle of the woods feels a little unearthly, and she does seem to wield a certain power…but she couldn’t be…could she?
Visit Rachel Harrison's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Why Food Matters"

New from Yale University Press: Why Food Matters by Paul Freedman.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of Ten Restaurants That Changed America, an exploration of food’s cultural importance and its crucial role throughout human history

Why does food matter? Historically, food has not always been considered a serious subject on par with, for instance, a performance art like opera or a humanities discipline like philosophy. Necessity, ubiquity, and repetition contribute to the apparent banality of food, but these attributes don’t capture food’s emotional and cultural range, from the quotidian to the exquisite.

In this short, passionate book, Paul Freedman makes the case for food’s vital importance, stressing its crucial role in the evolution of human identity and human civilizations. Freedman presents a highly readable and illuminating account of food’s unique role in our lives, a way of expressing community and celebration, but also divisive with regard to race, cultural difference, gender, and geography. This wide-ranging book is a must-read for food lovers and all those interested in how cultures and identities are formed and maintained.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

"Every Hidden Thing"

New from Crooked Lane Books: Every Hidden Thing: A Novel by Ted Flanagan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Big city politics, nasty secrets, a dirty cop, and a deranged sociopath set the stage for a riveting journey deep into the urban jungle.

The last scion of a once-powerful political family, Worcester mayor John O’Toole has his sights set on vastly higher aspirations. When night shift paramedic Thomas Archer uncovers a secret that could upend the mayor’s career, O’Toole is set on silencing him, and sends Eamon Conroy, a brutal former cop, to ensure the truth remains under wraps.

But O’Toole doesn’t stop there. With bribes, buried secrets, and personal attacks, he wreaks havoc on Archer’s life in an attempt to save himself. Archer’s troubles continue to mount when domestic terrorist and militia member Gerald Knak, who blames Archer for his wife’s recent death, sets in motion a deadly plan for revenge.

With two forces of evil aligned against him, Archer doesn’t stand a chance. But things aren’t always what they seem–and he may just have a few tricks up his sleeve in a last gambit to get out alive.
Visit Ted Flanagan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"When the Sahara Was Green"

New from Princeton University Press: When the Sahara Was Green: How Our Greatest Desert Came to Be by Martin Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world, equal in size to China or the United States. Yet, this arid expanse was once a verdant, pleasant land, fed by rivers and lakes. The Sahara sustained abundant plant and animal life, such as Nile perch, turtles, crocodiles, and hippos, and attracted prehistoric hunters and herders. What transformed this land of lakes into a sea of sands? When the Sahara Was Green describes the remarkable history of Earth’s greatest desert—including why its climate changed, the impact this had on human populations, and how scientists uncovered the evidence for these extraordinary events.

From the Sahara’s origins as savanna woodland and grassland to its current arid incarnation, Martin Williams takes us on a vivid journey through time. He describes how the desert’s ancient rocks were first fashioned, how dinosaurs roamed freely across the land, and how it was later covered in tall trees. Along the way, Williams addresses many questions: Why was the Sahara previously much wetter, and will it be so again? Did humans contribute to its desertification? What was the impact of extreme climatic episodes—such as prolonged droughts—upon the Sahara’s geology, ecology, and inhabitants? Williams also shows how plants, animals, and humans have adapted to the Sahara and what lessons we might learn for living in harmony with the harshest, driest conditions in an ever-changing global environment.

A valuable look at how an iconic region has changed over millions of years, When the Sahara Was Green reveals the desert’s surprising past to reflect on its present, as well as its possible future.
Visit Martin Williams's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

"Trashlands"

New from MIRA / Harper Collins: Trashlands: A Novel by Alison Stine.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of Road Out of Winter, winner of the 2021 Philip K. Dick Award, comes a resonant, visionary novel about the power of art and the sacrifices we are willing to make for the ones we love

A few generations from now, the coastlines of the continent have been redrawn by floods and tides. Global powers have agreed to not produce any new plastics, and what is left has become valuable: garbage is currency.

In the region-wide junkyard that Appalachia has become, Coral is a “plucker,” pulling plastic from the rivers and woods. She’s stuck in Trashlands, a dump named for the strip club at its edge, where the local women dance for an endless loop of strangers and the club's violent owner rules as unofficial mayor.

Amid the polluted landscape, Coral works desperately to save up enough to rescue her child from the recycling factories, where he is forced to work. In her stolen free hours, she does something that seems impossible in this place: Coral makes art.

When a reporter from a struggling city on the coast arrives in Trashlands, Coral is presented with an opportunity to change her life. But is it possible to choose a future for herself?

Told in shifting perspectives, Trashlands is a beautifully drawn and wildly imaginative tale of a parent's journey, a story of community and humanity in a changed world.
Visit Alison Stine's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Borges and the Literary Marketplace"

New from Yale University Press: Borges and the Literary Marketplace: How Editorial Practices Shaped Cosmopolitan Reading by Nora C. Benedict.

About the book, from the publisher:

A fascinating history of Jorge Luis Borges’s efforts to revolutionize and revitalize literature in Latin America

Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) stands out as one of the most widely regarded and inventive authors in world literature. Yet the details of his employment history throughout the early part of the twentieth century, which foreground his efforts to develop a worldly reading public, have received scant critical attention. From librarian and cataloguer to editor and publisher, this writer emerges as entrenched in the physical minutiae and social implications of the international book world.

Drawing on years of archival research coupled with bibliographical analysis, this book explains how Borges’s more general involvement in the publishing industry influenced not only his formation as a writer, but also global book markets and reading practices in world literature. In this way it tells the story of Borges’s profound efforts to revolutionize and revitalize literature in Latin America through his varying jobs in the publishing industry.
Visit Nora C. Benedict's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 11, 2021

"Glimmer"

New from DAW: Glimmer by Marjorie B. Kellogg.

About the book, from the publisher:

This new cli-fi epic chronicles a future NYC wracked by climate change and follows the individuals who must make the most of what remains to survive.

It’s 2110, the Earth’s glaciers have melted, and there’s no climate fix in sight. As refugees stream inland from the inundated coasts, social structures and national economies are stressed to the point of fracture. Food production falters. Pandemics rage. Rising sea level and devastating superstorms have flooded much of Manhattan and wrecked its infrastructure. Its residents have mostly fled, but a few die-hards have bet their survival on the hope that digging in and staying local is a safer strategy.

As the weather worsens, can a damaged population of poor folk, artists, misfits, and loners work out their differences in time to create a sustainable long-term society? In a lawless city, where the well-armed rich have appropriated the high ground, can an ex-priest find a middle road between non-violence and all-out war? The lives of his downtown band of leftovers will depend on it.

Sheltering among them, a young girl named Glimmer struggles to regain a past lost to trauma. As her memory returns, she finds she must choose who and how to be, and who and what to believe in, even if it means giving up a love she has only recently found herself able to embrace.
Visit Marjorie B. Kellogg's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Walk With Me"

New from Oxford University Press: Walk with Me: A Biography of Fannie Lou Hamer by Kate Clifford Larson.

About the book, from the publisher:

She was born the 20th child in a family that had lived in the Mississippi Delta for generations, first as enslaved people and then as sharecroppers. She left school at 12 to pick cotton, as those before her had done, in a world in which white supremacy was an unassailable citadel. She was subjected without her consent to an operation that deprived her of children. And she was denied the most basic of all rights in America—the right to cast a ballot—in a state in which Blacks constituted nearly half the population.

And so Fannie Lou Hamer lifted up her voice. Starting in the early 1960s and until her death in 1977, she was an irresistible force, not merely joining the swelling wave of change brought by civil rights but keeping it in motion. Working with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which recruited her to help with voter-registration drives, Hamer became a community organizer, women's rights activist, and co-founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. She summoned and used what she had against the citadel—her anger, her courage, her faith in the Bible, and her conviction that hearts could be won over and injustice overcome. She used her brutal beating at the hands of Mississippi police, an ordeal from which she never fully recovered, as the basis of a televised speech at the 1964 Democratic Convention, a speech that the mainstream party—including its standard-bearer, President Lyndon Johnson—tried to contain. But Fannie Lou Hamer would not be held back. For those whose lives she touched and transformed, for those who heard and followed her voice, she was the embodiment of protest, perseverance, and, most of all, the potential for revolutionary change.

Kate Clifford Larson's biography of Fannie Lou Hamer is the most complete ever written, drawing on recently declassified sources on both Hamer and the civil rights movement, including unredacted FBI and Department of Justice files. It also makes full use of interviews with Civil Rights activists conducted by the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress, and Democratic National Committee archives, in addition to extensive conversations with Hamer's family and with those with whom she worked most closely. Stirring, immersive, and authoritative, Walk with Me does justice to Fannie Lou Hamer's life, capturing in full the spirit, and the voice, that led the fight for freedom and equality in America at its critical moment.
Visit Kate Clifford Larson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 10, 2021

"The Pessimists"

New from Grove Press: The Pessimists by Bethany Ball.

About the book, from the publisher:

Welcome to small town Connecticut, a place whose inhabitants seem to have it all — the status, the homes, the money, and the ennui. There’s Tripp and Virginia, beloved hosts whom the community idolizes, whose basement hides among other things a secret stash of guns and a drastic plan to survive the end times. There’s Gunter and Rachel, recent transplants who left New York City to raise their children, only to feel both imprisoned by the banality of suburbia. And Richard and Margot, community veterans whose extramarital affairs and battles with mental health are disguised by their enviably polished veneers and perfect children. At the center of it all is the Petra School, the most coveted of all the private schools in the state, a supposed utopia of mindfulness and creativity, with a history as murky and suspect as our character’s inner worlds.

With deep wit and delicious incisiveness, in The Pessimists, Bethany Ball peels back the veneer of upper class white suburbia to expose the destructive consequences of unchecked privilege and moral apathy in a world that is rapidly evolving without them. This is a superbly drawn portrait of a community, and its couples, torn apart by unmet desires, duplicity, hypocrisy, and dangerous levels of discontent.
Visit Bethany Ball's website.

The Page 69 Test: What To Do About The Solomons.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 9, 2021

"All Future Plunges to the Past"

New from Cornell University Press: All Future Plunges to the Past: James Joyce in Russian Literature by José Vergara.

About the book, from the publisher:

All Future Plunges to the Past explores how Russian writers from the mid-1920s on have read and responded to Joyce's work. Through contextually rich close readings, José Vergara uncovers the many roles Joyce has occupied in Russia over the last century, demonstrating how the writers Yury Olesha, Vladimir Nabokov, Andrei Bitov, Sasha Sokolov, and Mikhail Shishkin draw from Joyce's texts, particularly Ulysses and Finnegans Wake, to address the volatile questions of lineages in their respective Soviet, émigré, and post-Soviet contexts. Interviews with contemporary Russian writers, critics, and readers of Joyce extend the conversation to the present day, showing how the debates regarding the Irish writer's place in the Russian pantheon are no less settled one hundred years after Ulysses.

The creative reworkings, or "translations," of Joycean themes, ideas, characters, plots, and styles made by the five writers Vergara examines speak to shifting cultural norms, understandings of intertextuality, and the polarity between Russia and the West. Vergara illuminates how Russian writers have used Joyce's ideas as a critical lens to shape, prod, and constantly redefine their own place in literary history.

All Future Plunges to the Past offers one overarching approach to the general narrative of Joyce's reception in Russian literature. While each of the writers examined responded to Joyce in an individual manner, the sum of their methods reveals common concerns. This subject raises the issue of cultural values and, more importantly, how they changed throughout the twentieth century in the Soviet Union, Russian emigration, and the post-Soviet Russian environment.
Visit José Vergara's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 8, 2021

"Death at Greenway"

New from William Morrow: Death at Greenway: A Novel by Lori Rader-Day.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the award-winning author of The Day I Died and The Lucky One, a captivating suspense novel about nurses during World War II who come to Agatha Christie’s holiday estate to care for evacuated children, but when a body is discovered nearby, the idyllic setting becomes host to a deadly mystery.

Bridey Kelly has come to Greenway House—the beloved holiday home of Agatha Christie—in disgrace. A terrible mistake at St. Prisca’s Hospital in London has led to her dismissal as a nurse trainee, and her only chance for redemption is a position in the countryside caring for children evacuated to safety from the Blitz.

Greenway is a beautiful home full of riddles: wondrous curios not to be touched, restrictions on rooms not to be entered, and a generous library, filled with books about murder. The biggest mystery might be the other nurse, Gigi, who is like no one Bridey has ever met. Chasing ten young children through the winding paths of the estate grounds might have soothed Bridey’s anxieties and grief—if Greenway were not situated so near the English Channel and the rising aggressions of the war.

When a body washes ashore near the estate, Bridey is horrified to realize this is not a victim of war, but of a brutal killing. As the local villagers look among themselves, Bridey and Gigi discover they each harbor dangerous secrets about what has led them to Greenway. With a mystery writer’s home as their unsettling backdrop, the young women must unravel the truth before their safe haven becomes a place of death . . .
Visit Lori Rader-Day's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 7, 2021

"Policing the Big Apple"

New from Reaktion Books: Policing the Big Apple: The Story of the NYPD by Jules Stewart.

About the book, from the publisher:

As debates about defunding US police forces continue, this book offers an enlightening historical overview of one of the largest metropolitan contingents: the New York City Police Department.

The NYPD is America’s largest and most celebrated law enforcement agency. This book examines the history of policing in New York City, from colonial days and the formation of the NYPD at the turn of the twentieth century, through 1930s battles with the Mafia to the Zero Tolerance of the 1990s. Jules Stewart explores political influence, corruption, reform, and community relations through stories of the NYPD’s commissioners and the visions they had for the force and the city, as well as at the level of cops on the beat.

This book is an indispensable chronicle for anyone interested in policing and the history of New York.
Visit Jules Stewart's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

"Double Take"

New from Crooked Lane Books: Double Take: A Madison Kelly Mystery by Elizabeth Breck.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a young journalist goes missing in sunny San Diego , P.I. Madison Kelly learns the true price of knowing too much.

It’s a perfect San Diego fall–cool and crisp with bright blue skies. But not everything is right in the sunny idyll dubbed “America’s Finest City.” Young journalist Barrett Brown has been missing for a week, and her boyfriend hires private investigator Madison Kelly to find her. Right away, Barrett reminds Madison of a younger version of herself: smart, ambitious, and a loner.

As she launches her investigation, Madison realizes that Barrett’s disappearance is connected to a big story she was chasing–and she sets out to walk in Barrett’s footsteps to trace her whereabouts. As the trail grows colder, things begin to heat up between Madison and Barrett’s boyfriend. But he doesn’t seem to be telling everything he knows, and Madison gets the feeling that her every move is being watched. What dirty secrets lie at the heart of Barrett’s big lead?

If Madison can’t get to the bottom of the case in time, she could be in line to become the next victim.
Visit Elizabeth Breck's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 4, 2021

"Liberty Is Sweet"

New from Simon & Schuster: Liberty Is Sweet: The Hidden History of the American Revolution by Woody Holton.

About the book, from the publisher:

A sweeping reassessment of the American Revolution, showing how the Founders were influenced by overlooked Americans—women, Native Americans, African Americans, and religious dissenters.

Using more than a thousand eyewitness accounts, Liberty Is Sweet explores countless connections between the Patriots of 1776 and other Americans whose passion for freedom often brought them into conflict with the Founding Fathers. “It is all one story,” prizewinning historian Woody Holton writes.

Holton describes the origins and crucial battles of the Revolution from Lexington and Concord to the British surrender at Yorktown, always focusing on marginalized Americans—enslaved Africans and African Americans, Native Americans, women, and dissenters—and on overlooked factors such as weather, North America’s unique geography, chance, misperception, attempts to manipulate public opinion, and (most of all) disease. Thousands of enslaved Americans exploited the chaos of war to obtain their own freedom, while others were given away as enlistment bounties to whites. Women provided material support for the troops, sewing clothes for soldiers and in some cases taking part in the fighting. Both sides courted native people and mimicked their tactics.

Liberty Is Sweet gives us our most complete account of the American Revolution, from its origins on the frontiers and in the Atlantic ports to the creation of the Constitution. Offering surprises at every turn—for example, Holton makes a convincing case that Britain never had a chance of winning the war—this majestic history revivifies a story we thought we already knew.
The Page 69 Test: Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution.

Follow Woody Holton on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 3, 2021

"When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky"

New from Mariner Books: When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky by Margaret Verble.

About the book, from the publisher:

Louise Erdrich meets Karen Russell in this deliciously strange and daringly original novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Margaret Verble: set in 1926 Nashville, it follows a death-defying young Cherokee horse-diver who, with her companions from the Glendale Park Zoo, must get to the bottom of a mystery that spans centuries.

Two Feathers, a young Cherokee horse-diver on loan to Glendale Park Zoo from a Wild West show, is determined to find her own way in the world. Two’s closest friend at Glendale is Hank Crawford, who loves horses almost as much as she does. He is part of a high-achieving, land-owning Black family. Neither Two nor Hank fit easily into the highly segregated society of 1920s Nashville.

When disaster strikes during one of Two’s shows, strange things start to happen at the park. Vestiges of the ancient past begin to surface, apparitions appear, and then the hippo falls mysteriously ill. At the same time, Two dodges her unsettling, lurking admirer and bonds with Clive, Glendale’s zookeeper and a World War I veteran, who is haunted—literally—by horrific memories of war. To get to the bottom of it, an eclectic cast of park performers, employees, and even the wealthy stakeholders must come together, making When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky an unforgettable and irresistible tale of exotic animals, lingering spirits, and unexpected friendship.
Visit Margaret Verble's website.

My Book, The Movie: Maud's Line.

Writers Read: Margaret Verble (March 2019).

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 2, 2021

"Dogopolis"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Dogopolis: How Dogs and Humans Made Modern New York, London, and Paris (Animal Lives) by Chris Pearson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dogopolis suggests a surprising source of urban innovation in the history of three major cities: human-canine relationships.

Stroll through any American or European city today and you probably won’t get far before seeing a dog being taken for a walk. It’s expected that these domesticated animals can easily navigate sidewalks, streets, and other foundational elements of our built environment. But what if our cities were actually shaped in response to dogs more than we ever realized?

Chris Pearson’s Dogopolis boldly and convincingly asserts that human-canine relations were a crucial factor in the formation of modern urban living. Focusing on New York, London, and Paris from the early nineteenth century into the 1930s, Pearson shows that human reactions to dogs significantly remolded them and other contemporary western cities. It’s an unalterable fact that dogs—often filthy, bellicose, and sometimes off-putting—run away, spread rabies, defecate, and breed wherever they like, so as dogs became a more and more common in nineteenth-century middle-class life, cities had to respond to people’s fear of them and revulsion at their least desirable traits. The gradual integration of dogs into city life centered on disgust at dirt, fear of crime and vagrancy, and the promotion of humanitarian sentiments. On the other hand, dogs are some people’s most beloved animal companions, and human compassion and affection for pets and strays were equally powerful forces in shaping urban modernity. Dogopolis details the complex interrelations among emotions, sentiment, and the ways we manifest our feelings toward what we love—showing that together they can actually reshape society.
Follow Chris Pearson on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 1, 2021

"The Death of Jane Lawrence"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the Bram Stoker-nominated author of The Luminous Dead comes a gothic fantasy horror--The Death of Jane Lawrence.

Practical, unassuming Jane Shoringfield has done the calculations, and decided that the most secure path forward is this: a husband, in a marriage of convenience, who will allow her to remain independent and occupied with meaningful work. Her first choice, the dashing but reclusive doctor Augustine Lawrence, agrees to her proposal with only one condition: that she must never visit Lindridge Hall, his crumbling family manor outside of town.

Yet on their wedding night, an accident strands her at his door in a pitch-black rainstorm, and she finds him changed. Gone is the bold, courageous surgeon, and in his place is a terrified, paranoid man—one who cannot tell reality from nightmare, and fears Jane is an apparition, come to haunt him. By morning, Augustine is himself again, but Jane knows something is deeply wrong at Lindridge Hall, and with the man she has so hastily bound her safety to.

Set in a dark-mirror version of post-war England, Caitlin Starling crafts a new kind of gothic horror from the bones of the beloved canon. This Crimson Peak-inspired story assembles, then upends, every expectation set in place by Shirley Jackson and Rebecca, and will leave readers shaken, desperate to begin again as soon as they are finished.
Visit Caitlin Starling's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Luminous Dead.

Writers Read: Caitlin Starling (May 2019).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

"Unfree: Migrant Domestic Work in Arab States"

New from Stanford University Press: Unfree: Migrant Domestic Work in Arab States by Rhacel Salazar Parreñas.

About the book, from the publisher:

A stirring account of the experiences of migrant domestic workers, and what freedom, abuse, and power mean within a vast contract labor system.

In the United Arab Emirates, there is an employment sponsorship system known as the kafala. Migrant domestic workers within it must solely work for their employer, secure their approval to leave the country, and obtain their consent to terminate a job. In Unfree, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas examines the labor of women from the Philippines, who represent the largest domestic workforce in the country. She challenges presiding ideas about the kafala, arguing that its reduction to human trafficking is, at best, unproductive, and at worst damaging to genuine efforts to regulate this system that impacts tens of millions of domestic workers across the globe.

The kafala system technically renders migrant workers unfree as they are made subject to the arbitrary authority of their employer. Not surprisingly, it has been the focus of intense scrutiny and criticism from human rights advocates and scholars. Yet, contrary to their claims, Parreñas argues that most employers do not abuse domestic workers or maximize the extraction of their labor. Still, the outrage elicited by this possibility dominates much of public discourse and overshadows the more mundane reality of domestic work in the region. Drawing on unparalleled data collected over 4 years,this book diverges from previous studies as it establishes that the kafala system does not necessarily result in abuse, but instead leads to the absence of labor standards. This absence is reflected in the diversity of work conditions across households, ranging from dehumanizing treatment, infantilization, to respect and recognition of domestic workers.

Unfree shows how various stakeholders, including sending and receiving states, NGOs, inter-governmental organizations, employers and domestic workers, project moral standards to guide the unregulated labor of domestic work. They can mitigate or aggravate the arbitrary authority of employers. Parreñas offers a deft and rich portrait of how morals mediate work on the ground, warning against the dangers of reducing unfreedom to structural violence.
Visit Rhacel Salazar Parreñas's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 27, 2021

"Trailer Park Trickster"

New from Blackstone Publishing: Trailer Park Trickster by David R. Slayton.

About the book, from the publisher:

They are my harvest, and I will reap them all. Returning to Guthrie, Oklahoma, for the funeral of his mysterious and beloved aunt Sue, Adam Binder once again finds himself in the path of deadly magic when a dark druid begins to prey on members of Adam’s family. It all seems linked to the death of Adam’s father many years ago—a man who may have somehow survived as a warlock.

Watched by the police, separated from the man who may be the love of his life, compelled to seek the truth about his connection to the druid, Adam learns more about his family and its troubled history than he ever bargained for, and finally comes face-to-face with the warlock he has vowed to stop.

Meanwhile, beyond the Veil of the mortal world, Argent the Queen of Swords and Vic the Reaper undertake a dangerous journey to a secret meeting of the Council of Races . . . where the sea elves are calling for the destruction of humanity.
Visit David R. Slayton's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 25, 2021

"The Left-Handed Twin"

Coming soon from Mysterious Press: The Left-Handed Twin: A Jane Whitefield Novel by Thomas Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:

Rescue artist Jane Whitefield leads a deadly crime syndicate on a wild chase through the Northeast

Jane Whitefield helps people disappear. Fearing for their lives, fleeing dangerous situations, her clients come to her when they need to vanish completely—to assume a new identity and establish a new life somewhere they won’t be found. And when people are desperate enough to need her services, they come to the old house in rural western New York where Jane was raised to begin their escape.

It’s there that, one spring night, Jane finds a young woman fresh from LA with a whole lot of trouble behind her. After she cheated on her boyfriend, he dragged her to the home of the offending man and made her watch as he killed him. She testified against the boyfriend, but a bribed jury acquitted him, and now he’s free and trying to find and kill her.

Jane agrees to help, and it soon becomes clear that outsmarting the murderous boyfriend is not beyond Jane’s skills. But the boyfriend has some new friends: members of a Russian organized crime brotherhood. When they learn that Sara is traveling with a tall, dark-haired woman who disappears people, the Russians become increasingly interested in helping the boyfriend find the duo. They’ve heard rumors that such a woman existed—and believe that, if forcibly extracted, the knowledge she has of past clients could be worth millions.

Thus begins a bloodthirsty chase that winds through the cities of the northeast before finally plunging into Maine’s Hundred Mile Wilderness. But in a pursuit where nothing can be trusted, one thing is certain: only one party—Jane or her pursuers—will emerge alive.
Learn more about the book and author at Thomas Perry's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Silence.

The Page 99 Test: Nightlife.

The Page 69/99 Test: Fidelity.

The Page 69/99 Test: Runner.

The Page 69 Test: Strip.

The Page 69 Test: The Informant.

The Page 69 Test: The Boyfriend.

The Page 69 Test: A String of Beads.

The Page 69 Test: Forty Thieves.

The Page 69 Test: The Old Man.

The Page 69 Test: The Bomb Maker.

The Page 69 Test: The Burglar.

The Page 69 Test: A Small Town.

Writers Read: Thomas Perry (December 2019).

Q&A with Thomas Perry.

The Page 69 Test: Eddie's Boy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 23, 2021

"Find Me"

Coming soon from Harper: Find Me: A Novel by Alafair Burke.

About the book, from the publisher:

Some pasts won’t stay forgotten...

She calls herself Hope Miller, but she has no idea who she actually is. Fifteen years ago, she was found in a small New Jersey town thrown from an overturned vehicle, with no clue to her identity. Doctors assumed her amnesia was a temporary side effect of her injuries, but she never regained her memory. Hope eventually started a new life with a new name in a new town that welcomed her, yet always wondered what she may have left behind—or been running from. Now, she’s leaving New Jersey to start over once again.

Manhattan defense lawyer Lindsay Kelly, Hope’s best friend and the one who found her after the accident, understands why Hope wants a new beginning. But she worries how her friend will fare in her new East Hampton home, far away from everything familiar. Lindsay’s worst fears are confirmed when she discovers Hope has vanished without a trace—the only lead a drop of blood found where she was last seen. Even more ominously, the blood matches a DNA sample with a connection to a notorious Kansas murderer.

With nowhere else to turn, Lindsay calls NYPD homicide detective Ellie Hatcher, the daughter of the cop who dedicated his life to hunting the Kansas killer. Ellie has always believed there was more to the story of her father’s death twenty years earlier—and she now fears that Hope’s recent disappearance could be related.

In pursuit of answers, three women search for the truth beneath long-buried secrets. And when their searches converge, what they find will upend everything they’ve ever known.
Visit Alafair Burke's website.

The Page 69 Test: Dead Connection.

The Page 69 Test: Angel’s Tip.

The Page 69 Test: 212.

The Page 69 Test: All Day and a Night.

The Page 69 Test: The Ex.

The Page 69 Test: The Wife.

The Page 69 Test: The Better Sister.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

"The Killing Kind"

New from from HarperCollins: The Killing Kind by Jane Casey.

About the book, from the publisher:

He tells you you’re special…

As a barrister, Ingrid Lewis is used to dealing with tricky clients, but no one has ever come close to John Webster. After Ingrid defended Webster against a stalking charge, he then turned on her – following her, ruining her relationship, even destroying her home.

He tells you he wants to protect you…

Now, Ingrid believes she has finally escaped his clutches. But when one of her colleagues is run down on a busy London road, Ingrid is sure she was the intended victim. And then Webster shows up at her door…

But can you believe him?

Webster claims Ingrid is in danger – and that only he can protect her. Stalker or saviour? Murderer or protector? The clock is ticking for Ingrid to decide. Because the killer is ready to strike again.
Follow Jane Casey on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

"The Dare"

New from Ballantine Books: The Dare: A Novel by Lesley Kara.

About the book, from the publisher:

She thought she had put all the questions to rest. But someone from her past wants answers. From the bestselling author of The Rumor and Who Did You Tell? comes The Dare, an electrifying novel of suspense.

At the time it was exciting. A game of dare, but one that had motive and justification. Children can be so judgmental, can’t they? I can still hear her cry as she toppled forward, the dull thud of her body as it landed on the pavement.

Lizzie and Alice are the best of friends, as close as can be. Until the day when they’re out playing by the train tracks and a childish spat triggers Lizzie’s epilepsy. When she comes to, she finds an unimaginable horror: Alice has been killed. Lizzie is devastated, and as she tries to cope with her grief, she is shocked to find herself alienated from Alice’s friends and relatives, who are convinced Lizzie and “the dare” somehow had a role in her friend’s death.

I knew that whatever she wanted me to do, I’d do it. Like that first, dreadful dare.

Years later, Lizzie has tried to move on. She’s engaged to a wonderful man and is starting a new life in London. But someone from her past isn’t willing to forgive and forget. And they’ll do anything to pry answers from her. Even if Lizzie doesn’t know them herself.
Visit Lesley Kara's website.

Q&A with Lesley Kara.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

"Reading Veganism"

Coming November 2 from Oxford University Press: Reading Veganism: The Monstrous Vegan, 1818 to Present by Emelia Quinn.

About the book, from the publisher:

Reading Veganism: The Monstrous Vegan, 1818 to Present focuses on the iteration of the trope 'the monstrous vegan' across two hundred years of Anglophone literature. Explicating, through such monsters, veganism's relation to utopian longing and challenge to the conceptual category of the 'human,' the book explores ways in which ethical identities can be written, represented, and transmitted.

Reading Veganism proposes that we can recognise and identify the monstrous vegan in relation to four key traits. First, monstrous vegans do not eat animals, an abstinence that generates a seemingly inexplicable anxiety in those who encounter them. Second, they are hybrid assemblages of human and nonhuman animal parts, destabilising existing taxonomical classifications. Third, monstrous vegans are sired outside of heterosexual reproduction, the product of male acts of creation. And finally, monstrous vegans are intimately connected to acts of writing and literary creation. The principle contention of the book is that understandings of veganism, as identity and practice, are limited without a consideration of multiplicity, provisionality, failure, and insufficiency within vegan definition and lived practice. Veganism's association with positivity, in its drive for health and purity, is countered by a necessary and productive negativity generated by a recognition of the horrors of the modern world. Vegan monsters rehearse the key paradoxes involved in the writing of vegan identity.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

"Crazy Sorrow"

Coming September 14 from Simon & Schuster: Crazy Sorrow by Vince Passaro.

About the book, from the publisher:

A lyrical novel, spanning four decades in New York City, about a couple torn apart and the lengths to which they will go to be reunited.

Vince Passaro’s first novel, 2002’s Violence, Nudity, Adult Content, was a provocative book that explored the darkest human emotions and the traumas of mental illness, sexual assault, and murder. Now, nearly twenty years later, Passaro is back with his follow-up, Crazy Sorrow, a novel that is equally explosive and more grand in scope.

The story opens in the shadow of the new World Trade Center, on July 4, 1976, when students George and Anna meet on the weed- and wine-fueled night of the nation’s Bicentennial celebration. George, haunted by his upbringing, instantly falls for the sensual, magnetic Anna. Soon, they couple up, dropping acid, swapping music, exploring the city and each other. Yet their romance is short-lived, and they go their own ways.

Passaro chronicles the next four decades, following George and Anna through their various relationships, their sex lives both youthful and mature, their failed marriages, and the travails of parenthood and their careers. Yet as the years go by one thing remains constant: the former lovers wonder what happened to each other. Finally, miraculously, they reconnect as the new century is beginning, only to discover that history itself will have a say in whether they can stay together.

Crazy Sorrow is an ambitious examination of the forces that draw people together and drive them apart—yet it also expands beyond the points of view of its characters to capture the movement of time and to reveal a living, breathing New York that is both constantly changing and always familiar. Crazy Sorrow stands as Passaro’s powerful love letter to his characters and to the city that has shaped them.
Visit Vince Passaro's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 30, 2021

"Harlem Shuffle"

New from Doubleday: Harlem Shuffle: A Novel by Colson Whitehead.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s.

“Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked…” To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver’s Row don’t approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it’s still home.

Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time.

Cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace, Ray doesn’t ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who doesn’t ask questions, either.

Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa—the “Waldorf of Harlem”—and volunteers Ray’s services as the fence. The heist doesn’t go as planned; they rarely do. Now Ray has a new clientele, one made up of shady cops, vicious local gangsters, two-bit pornographers, and other assorted Harlem lowlifes.

Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he begins to see who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?

Harlem Shuffle’s ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem.

But mostly, it’s a joy to read, another dazzling novel from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Colson Whitehead.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 29, 2021

"Ends of War"

New from The University of North Carolina Press: Ends of War: The Unfinished Fight of Lee's Army after Appomattox by Caroline E. Janney.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Army of Northern Virginia’s chaotic dispersal began even before Lee and Grant met at Appomattox Court House. As the Confederates had pushed west at a relentless pace for nearly a week, thousands of wounded and exhausted men fell out of the ranks. When word spread that Lee planned to surrender, most remaining troops stacked their arms and accepted paroles allowing them to return home, even as they lamented the loss of their country and cause. But others broke south and west, hoping to continue the fight. Fearing a guerrilla war, Grant extended the generous Appomattox terms to every rebel who would surrender himself. Provost marshals fanned out across Virginia and beyond, seeking nearly 18,000 of Lee’s men who had yet to surrender. But the shock of Lincoln’s assassination led Northern authorities to see threats of new rebellion in every rail depot and harbor where Confederates gathered for transport, even among those already paroled. While Federal troops struggled to keep order and sustain a fragile peace, their newly surrendered adversaries seethed with anger and confusion at the sight of Union troops occupying their towns and former slaves celebrating freedom.

In this dramatic new history of the weeks and months after Appomattox, Caroline E. Janney reveals that Lee’s surrender was less an ending than the start of an interregnum marked by military and political uncertainty, legal and logistical confusion, and continued outbursts of violence. Janney takes readers from the deliberations of government and military authorities to the ground-level experiences of common soldiers. Ultimately, what unfolds is the messy birth narrative of the Lost Cause, laying the groundwork for the defiant resilience of rebellion in the years that followed.
The Page 99 Test: Remembering the Civil War.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Wolf's Curse"

Coming September 21 from Greenwillow Books: The Wolf's Curse by Jessica Vitalis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he cried Wolf and was accused of witchcraft. The Great White Wolf brings only death, Gauge’s superstitious village believes. If Gauge can see the Wolf, then he must be in league with it.

So instead of playing with friends in the streets or becoming his grandpapa’s partner in the carpentry shop, Gauge must hide and pretend he doesn’t exist. But then the Wolf comes for his grandpapa. And for the first time, Gauge is left all alone, with a bounty on his head and the Wolf at his heels.

A young feather collector named Roux offers Gauge assistance, and he is eager for the help. But soon the two—both recently orphaned—are questioning everything they have ever believed about their village, about the Wolf, and about death itself.

Narrated by the sly, crafty Wolf, Jessica Vitalis’s debut novel is a vivid and literary tale about family, friendship, belonging, and grief. The Wolf’s Curse will captivate readers of Laurel Snyder’s Orphan Island and Molly Knox Ostertag’s The Witch Boy.
Visit Jessica Vitalis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 28, 2021

"Her Cold War"

Coming September 30 from the University of North Carolina Press: Her Cold War: Women in the U.S. Military, 1945–1980 by Tanya L. Roth.

About the book, from the publisher:

While Rosie the Riveter had fewer paid employment options after being told to cede her job to returning World War II veterans, her sisters and daughters found new work opportunities in national defense. The 1948 Women’s Armed Services Integration Act created permanent military positions for women with the promise of equal pay. Her Cold War follows the experiences of women in the military from the passage of the Act to the early 1980s.

In the late 1940s, defense officials structured women’s military roles on the basis of perceived gender differences. Classified as noncombatants, servicewomen filled roles that they might hold in civilian life, such as secretarial or medical support positions. Defense officials also prohibited pregnant women and mothers from remaining in the military and encouraged many women to leave upon marriage. Before civilian feminists took up similar issues in the 1970s, many servicewomen called for a broader definition of equality free of gender-based service restrictions. Tanya L. Roth shows us that the battles these servicewomen fought for equality paved the way for women in combat, a prerequisite for promotion to many leadership positions, and opened opportunities for other servicepeople, including those with disabilities, LGBT and gender nonconforming people, noncitizens, and more.
Visit Tanya L. Roth's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Walter Does His Best"

New from Tommy Nelson: Walter Does His Best: A Frenchie Adventure in Kindness and Muddy Paws by Eva Pilgrim with illustrations by Jessica Gibson.

About the book, from the publisher:

What does it mean to be a good neighbor? From Central Park to Broadway to Times Square, Walter the French Bulldog is on a mission of kindness in this hilarious dog adventure story from ABC's Good Morning America's Eva Pilgrim.

Walter's heart is full of kindness, but this little dog's efforts to help his neighbors don't go as planned. Journalist Eva Pilgrim's charming narrative and Jessica Gibson's vibrant illustrations make Walter Does His Best a wonderful way to introduce kids ages 4-8 to new adventures in kindness.

Join Walter for a jaunt through Central Park, inside a Broadway theater, onto subway cars, through the Rockefeller Center gardens, and all the way to Coney Island as he tries his very, messy best to be a good dog--and learns that what matters most is the love you share with others every day.
Follow Eva Pilgrom on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 27, 2021

"Haiti Fights Back"

New from Rutgers University Press: Haiti Fights Back: The Life and Legacy of Charlemagne Péralte by Yveline Alexis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Haiti Fights Back: The Life and Legacy of Charlemagne Péralte is the first US scholarly examination of the politician and caco leader (guerrilla fighter) who fought against the US military occupation of Haiti. The occupation lasted close to two decades, from 1915-1934. Alexis argues for the importance of documenting resistance while exploring the occupation’s mechanics and its imperialism. She takes us to Haiti, exploring the sites of what she labels as resistance zones, including Péralte’s hometown of Hinche and the nation’s large port areas--Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haïtien. Alexis offers a new reading of U.S. military archival sources that record Haitian protests as banditry. Haiti Fights Back illuminates how Péralte launched a political movement, and meticulously captures how Haitian women and men resisted occupation through silence, military battles, and writings. She locates and assembles rare, multilingual primary sources from traditional repositories, living archives (oral stories), and artistic representations in Haiti and the United States. The interdisciplinary work draws on legislation, cacos’ letters, newspapers, and murals, offering a unique examination of Péralte’s life (1885-1919) and the significance of his legacy through the twenty-first century. Haiti Fights Back offers a new approach to the study of the U.S. invasion of the Americas by chronicling how Caribbean people fought back.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War by Samuel Moyn.

About the book, from the publisher:

A prominent historian exposes the dark side of making war more humane

In the years since 9/11, we have entered an age of endless war. With little debate or discussion, the United States carries out military operations around the globe. It hardly matters who’s president or whether liberals or conservatives operate the levers of power. The United States exercises dominion everywhere.

In Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War, Samuel Moyn asks a troubling but urgent question: What if efforts to make war more ethical—to ban torture and limit civilian casualties—have only shored up the military enterprise and made it sturdier? To advance this case, Moyn looks back at a century and a half of passionate arguments about the ethics of using force. In the nineteenth century, the founders of the Red Cross struggled mightily to make war less lethal even as they acknowledged its inevitability. Leo Tolstoy prominently opposed their efforts, reasoning that war needed to be abolished, not reformed—and over the subsequent century, a popular movement to abolish war flourished on both sides of the Atlantic. Eventually, however, reformers shifted their attention from opposing the crime of war to opposing war crimes, with fateful consequences.

The ramifications of this shift became apparent in the post-9/11 era. By that time, the US military had embraced the agenda of humane war, driven both by the availability of precision weaponry and the need to protect its image. The battle shifted from the streets to the courtroom, where the tactics of the war on terror were litigated but its foundational assumptions went without serious challenge. These trends only accelerated during the Obama and Trump presidencies. Even as the two administrations spoke of American power and morality in radically different tones, they ushered in the second decade of the “forever” war.

Humane is the story of how America went off to fight and never came back, and how armed combat was transformed from an imperfect tool for resolving disputes into an integral component of the modern condition. As American wars have become more humane, they have also become endless. This provocative book argues that this development might not represent progress at all.
Visit Samuel Moyn's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Last Utopia: Human Rights in History.

The Page 99 Test: Christian Human Rights.

--Marshal Zeringue