Sunday, August 1, 2021

"The Maternalists"

New from the University of Pennsylvania Press: The Maternalists: Psychoanalysis, Motherhood, and the British Welfare State by Shaul Bar-Haim.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Maternalists is a study of the hitherto unexplored significance of utopian visions of the state as a maternal entity in mid-twentieth century Britain. Demonstrating the affinities between welfarism, maternalism, and psychoanalysis, Shaul Bar-Haim suggests a new reading of the British welfare state as a political project.

After the First World War, British doctors, social thinkers, educators, and policy makers became increasingly interested in the contemporary turn being made in psychoanalytic theory toward the role of motherhood in child development. These public figures used new notions of the "maternal" to criticize modern European culture, and especially its patriarchal domestic structure. This strand of thought was pioneered by figures who were well placed to disseminate their ideas into the higher echelons of British culture, education, and medical care. Figures such as the anthropologists Bronislaw Malinowski and Geza Róheim, and the psychiatrist Ian Suttie—to mention only a few of the "maternalists" discussed in the book—used psychoanalytic vocabulary to promote both imagined perceptions of motherhood and their idea of the "real" essence of the "maternal." In the 1930s, as European fascism took hold, the "maternal" became a cultural discourse of both collective social anxieties and fantasies, as well as a central concept in many strands of radical, and even utopian, political thinking. During the Second World War, and even more so in the postwar era, psychoanalysts such as D. W. Winnicott and Michael Balint responded to the horrors of the war by drawing on interwar maternalistic thought, making a demand to "maternalize" British society, and providing postwar Britain with a new political idiom for defining the welfare state as a project of collective care.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 31, 2021

"A Gingerbread House"

New from Severn House: A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson.

About the book, from the publisher:

An invitation you can't refuse. You should...

When shy, lonely Ivy meets a woman who claims to be her long-lost sister, she knows it's too good to be true. She decides to trust Kate anyway. She wants a family. She wants someone to love. She's making a mistake. Ivy enters Kate's Scottish fairytale cottage . . . and she doesn't come out. She's the first to go missing. She won't be the last.
Visit Catriona McPherson's website.

The Page 69 Test: Go to My Grave.

Writers Read: Catriona McPherson (November 2018).

My Book, The Movie: The Turning Tide.

The Page 69 Test: The Turning Tide.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Innocence of Pontius Pilate"

New from Oxford University Press: The Innocence of Pontius Pilate: How the Roman Trial of Jesus Shaped History by David Lloyd Dusenbury.

About the book, from the publisher:

The gospels and ancient historians agree: Jesus was sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, the Roman imperial prefect in Jerusalem. To this day, Christians of all churches confess that Jesus died 'under Pontius Pilate'. But what exactly does that mean?

Within decades of Jesus' death, Christians began suggesting that it was the Judaean authorities who had crucified Jesus--a notion later echoed in the Qur'an. In the third century, one philosopher raised the notion that, although Pilate had condemned Jesus, he'd done so justly; this idea survives in one of the main strands of modern New Testament criticism. So what is the truth of the matter? And what is the history of that truth?

David Lloyd Dusenbury reveals Pilate's 'innocence' as not only a neglected theological question, but a recurring theme in the history of European political thought. He argues that Jesus' interrogation by Pilate, and Augustine of Hippo's North African sermon on that trial, led to the concept of secularity and the logic of tolerance emerging in early modern Europe. Without the Roman trial of Jesus, and the arguments over Pilate's innocence, the history of empire--from the first century to the twenty-first--would have been radically different.
Visit David Lloyd Dusenbury's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The King of Infinite Space"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: The King of Infinite Space by Lyndsay Faye.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this lush, magical, queer, and feminist take on Hamlet in modern-day New York City, a neuro-atypical philosopher, along with his best friend Horatio and artist ex-fiancé Lia, are caught up in the otherworldly events surrounding the death of his father.

Meet Ben Dane: brilliant, devastating, devoted, honest to a fault (truly, a fault). His Broadway theater baron father is dead–but by purpose or accident? The question rips him apart.

Unable to face alone his mother’s ghastly remarriage to his uncle, Ben turns to his dearest friend, Horatio Patel, whom he hasn’t seen since their relationship changed forever from platonic to something…other. Loyal to a fault (truly, a fault), Horatio is on the first flight to NYC when he finds himself next to a sly tailor who portends inevitable disaster. And who seems ominously like an architect of mayhem himself.

Meanwhile, Ben’s ex-fiancé Lia, sundered her from her loved ones thanks to her addiction recovery and torn from her art, has been drawn into the fold of three florists from New Orleans–seemingly ageless sisters who teach her the language of flowers, and whose magical bouquets hold both curses and cures. For a price.

On one explosive night these kinetic forces will collide, and the only possible outcome is death. But in the masterful hands of Lyndsay Faye, the story we all know has abundant surprises in store. Impish, captivating, and achingly romantic, this is Hamlet as you’ve never seen it before.
Learn more about the book and author at Lyndsay Faye's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Gods of Gotham.

The Page 69 Test: Seven for a Secret.

My Book, The Movie: The Fatal Flame. 

Writers Read: Lyndsay Faye (March 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 30, 2021

"Reign of Terror"

New from Viking: Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump by Spencer Ackerman.

About the book, from the publisher:

An examination of the profound impact that the War on Terror had in pushing American politics and society in an authoritarian direction

For an entire generation, at home and abroad, the United States has waged an endless conflict known as the War on Terror. In addition to multiple ground wars, it has pioneered drone strikes and industrial-scale digital surveillance, as well as detaining people indefinitely and torturing them. These conflicts have yielded neither peace nor victory, but they have transformed America. What began as the persecution of Muslims and immigrants has become a normalized, paranoid feature of American politics and security, expanding the possibilities for applying similar or worse measures against other targets at home. A politically divided country turned the War on Terror into a cultural and then tribal struggle, first on the ideological fringes and ultimately expanding to conquer the Republican Party, often with the timid acquiescence of the Democratic Party. Today’s nativist resurgence walked through a door opened by the 9/11 era.

Reign of Terror will show how these policies created a foundation for American authoritarianism and, though it is not a book about Donald Trump, it will provide a critical explanation of his rise to power and the sources of his political strength. It will show that Barack Obama squandered an opportunity to dismantle the War on Terror after killing Osama bin Laden. That mistake turns out to have been portentous. By the end of his tenure, the war metastasized into a broader and bitter culture struggle in search of a demagogue like Trump to lead it.

A union of journalism and intellectual history, Reign of Terror will be a pathbreaking and definitive book with the power to transform how America understands its national security policies and their catastrophic impact on its civic life.
Follow Spencer Ackerman on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"In the Wild Light"

New from Crown Books for Young Readers: In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the award-winning author of The Serpent King comes a beautiful examination of grief, found family, and young love.

Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. Cash lost his mother to an opioid addiction and his Papaw is dying slowly from emphysema. Dodging drug dealers and watching out for his best friend, Delaney, is second nature. He’s been spending his summer mowing lawns while she works at Dairy Queen.

But when Delaney manages to secure both of them full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he would have to leave behind.
Visit Jeff Zentner's website.

Writers Read: Jeff Zentner (March 2016).

My Book, The Movie: The Serpent King.

The Page 69 Test: The Serpent King.

The Page 69 Test: Goodbye Days.

--Marshal Zeringue

"An African American Dilemma"

New from Oxford University Press: An African American Dilemma: A History of School Integration and Civil Rights in the North by Zoë Burkholder.

About the book, from the publisher:

An African American Dilemma offers the first social history of northern Black debates over school integration versus separation from the 1840s to the present.

Since Brown v. Board of Education in 1954 Americans have viewed school integration as a central tenet of the Black civil rights movement. Yet, school integration was not the only--or even always the dominant--civil rights strategy. At times, African Americans also fought for separate, Black controlled schools dedicated to racial uplift and community empowerment.

An African American Dilemma offers a social history of these debates within northern Black communities from the 1840s to the present. Drawing on sources including the Black press, school board records, social science studies, the papers of civil rights activists, and court cases, it reveals that northern Black communities, urban and suburban, vacillated between a preference for either school integration or separation during specific eras. Yet, there was never a consensus. It also highlights the chorus of dissent, debate, and counter-narratives that pushed families to consider a fuller range of educational reforms.

A sweeping historical analysis that covers the entire history of public education in the North, this work complicates our understanding of school integration by highlighting the diverse perspectives of Black students, parents, teachers, and community leaders all committed to improving public education. It finds that Black school integrationists and separatists have worked together in a dynamic tension that fueled effective strategies for educational reform and the Black civil rights movement, a discussion that continues to be highly charged in present-day schooling choices.
Follow Zoë Burkholder on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 29, 2021

"An Empty Grave"

New from Swallow Press: An Empty Grave: An Andy Hayes Mystery by Andrew Welsh-Huggins.

About the book, from the publisher:

Private investigator Andy Hayes takes the assignment against his better judgment.

In 1979, a high-profile burglar shot a cop, was apprehended, and then disappeared without ever being prosecuted. Forty years later, after the wounded cop’s suicide, his son, Preston Campbell, is convinced there’s been a cover-up that allowed his father’s attacker to go free. At first, Hayes dismisses Campbell’s outlandish conspiracy theories. But when a mysterious Cold War connection to the burglar emerges, the investigation heats up, and Hayes discovers a series of deaths that seem to be connected, one way or another, to the missing criminal. Nothing seems to add up, though, and Hayes finds himself hurtling headlong down a decades-old path of deadly secrets.

In the midst of cracking the cold case, Hayes has another mystery to solve closer to home: What’s been troubling his younger son, Joe, and why is his ex-wife so eager to have the boy out of her house? Further complicating matters, Hayes learns that another private eye, the captivating but inscrutable Hillary Quinne, is also on the trail of the vanished burglar and needs Hayes’s help. As their professional and personal lives blur, Hayes wonders what he’s gotten himself into, and whether he really wants out.
Visit Andrew Welsh-Huggins's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Four Thousand Weeks"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Time is our biggest worry: there is too little of it. The acclaimed Guardian writer Oliver Burkeman offers a lively, entertaining philosophical guide to time and time management, setting aside superficial efficiency solutions in favor of reckoning with and finding joy in the finitude of human life.

The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.

Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.

Drawing on the insights of both ancient and contemporary philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual teachers, Oliver Burkeman delivers an entertaining, humorous, practical, and ultimately profound guide to time and time management. Rejecting the futile modern fixation on “getting everything done,” Four Thousand Weeks introduces readers to tools for constructing a meaningful life by embracing finitude, showing how many of the unhelpful ways we’ve come to think about time aren’t inescapable, unchanging truths, but choices we’ve made as individuals and as a society—and that we could do things differently.
Visit Oliver Burkeman's website.

The Page 99 Test:  The Antidote.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Cajun Kiss of Death"

New from Crooked Lane Books: Cajun Kiss of Death: A Cajun Country Mystery by Ellen Byron.

About the book, from the publisher:

The next shot from Cupid’s bow may be fatal in USA Today bestselling, Agatha Award-winning author Ellen Byron’s hearty and delightful seventh Cajun Country mystery.

In Pelican, Louisiana, Valentine’s Day has a way of warming the heart, despite the February chill. But the air at Crozat Plantation B&B turns decidedly frigid when celebrity chef Phillippe Chanson checks in. And when the arrogant Phillippe–in town to open his newest Cajun-themed restaurant–perishes in a fiery boat crash, Maggie Crozat’s dear friend JJ lands in very cold water.

Did JJ, proprietor of Junie’s Oyster Bar and Dance Hall, murder Phillippe because he feared the competition? Might Maggie’s mother, Ninette, have bumped off the chef for stealing one of her cherished recipes? Or was the culprit a local seafood vendor, miffed because Phillippe was somehow able to sell oysters for a remarkably reasonable price, despite an oyster shortage?

Maggie had planned to devote her February to art lessons in New Orleans, a present from her sweetheart, Bo. But now she has to focus on helping her friend and her mother cross a murder charge off the menu. Meanwhile, Maggie receives a series of anonymous gifts that begin as charming but grow increasingly disturbing. Does Maggie have an admirer–or a stalker? And are these mysterious gifts somehow related to Phillippe’s murder?

Blood may be thicker than water, but this case is thicker than gumbo. And solving it will determine whether Maggie gets hearts and roses–or hearse and lilies–this Valentine’s Day.
Visit Ellen Byron's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Ellen Byron & Wiley and Pogo.

Q&A with Ellen Byron.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

"Queen Victoria: This Thorny Crown"

New from Oxford University Press: Queen Victoria: This Thorny Crown by Michael Ledger-Lomas.

About the book, from the publisher:

This biography evokes the pervasive importance of religion to Queen Victoria's life but also that life's centrality to the religion of Victorians around the globe. The first comprehensive exploration of Victoria's religiosity, it shows how moments in her life--from her accession to her marriage and her successive bereavements--enlarged how she defined and lived her faith. It portrays a woman who had simple convictions but a complex identity that suited her multinational Kingdom: a determined Anglican who preferred Presbyterian Scotland; an ardent Protestant who revered her husband's Lutheran homeland but became sympathetic towards Roman Catholicism and Islam; a moralizing believer in the religion of the home who scorned Sabbatarianism. Drawing on a systematic reading of her journals and a rich selection of manuscripts from British and German archives, Michael Ledger-Lomas sheds new light not just on Victoria's private beliefs but also on her activity as a monarch, who wielded her powers energetically in questions of church and state. Unlike a conventional biography, this book interweaves its account of Victoria's life with a panoramic survey of what religious communities made of it. It shows how different churches and world religions expressed an emotional identification with their Queen and Empress, turning her into an embodiment of their different and often rival conceptions of what her Empire ought to be. The result is a fresh vision of a familiar life, which also explains why monarchy and religion remained close allies in the nineteenth-century British world.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Gone for Good"

New from Minotaur Books: Gone for Good: A Novel by Joanna Schaffhausen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Gone For Good is the first in a new mystery series from award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen, featuring Detective Annalisa Vega, in which a cold case heats up.

The Lovelorn Killer murdered seven women, ritually binding them and leaving them for dead before penning them gruesome love letters in the local papers. Then he disappeared, and after twenty years with no trace of him, many believe that he’s gone for good.

Not Grace Harper. A grocery store manager by day, at night Grace uses her snooping skills as part of an amateur sleuth group. She believes the Lovelorn Killer is still living in the same neighborhoods that he hunted in, and if she can figure out how he selected his victims, she will have the key to his identity.

Detective Annalisa Vega lost someone she loved to the killer. Now she’s at a murder scene with the worst kind of déjà vu: Grace Harper lies bound and dead on the floor, surrounded by clues to the biggest murder case that Chicago homicide never solved. Annalisa has the chance to make it right and to heal her family, but first, she has to figure out what Grace knew—how to see a killer who may be standing right in front of you. This means tracing his steps back to her childhood, peering into dark corners she hadn’t acknowledged before, and learning that despite everything the killer took, she has still so much more to lose.
Visit Joanna Schaffhausen's website.

The Page 69 Test: All the Best Lies.

Writers Read: Joanna Schaffhausen (February 2020).

Q&A with Joanna Schaffhausen.

--Marshal Zeringue

"You Can Never Tell"

New from Crooked Lane Books: You Can Never Tell: A Novel by Sarah Warburton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Joshilyn Jackson, Sarah Warburton’s chilling thriller, inspired by the Moors Murders, explores the twisted side of suburbia.

Framed for embezzlement by her best friend Aimee, museum curator Kacy Tremain and her husband Michael move from New Jersey to a charming Texas suburb to escape their past. Kacy quickly makes new friends–preppy, inscrutable Elizabeth, chatty yet evasive Rahmia, and red-headed, unapologetic Lena. But good friends aren’t always what they seem.

As she navigates the unexpectedly cutthroat social scene of her new town, Kacy begins to receive taunting postcards–and worse, discovers cameras hidden in the wall of her home. Lena and her husband, Brady, reassure her that the cameras are just relics of the paranoid previous homeowner . Once the cameras are removed and Kacy’s fears are quelled, Kacy and Michael make the happy discovery that they are going to be new parents.

Months after the birth of their daughter, Michael accidentally makes a shocking discovery about Brady’s past. And when Lena suddenly goes missing, Kacy and Michael begin to uncover the truth about their neighbors–and it’s more terrible than anyone could have imagined.

Interlaced with transcripts of a chilling “true crime” podcast that follow the tangled threads of the drama, You Can Never Tell is a taut and complex psychological thriller that never lets up until its breathless conclusion.
Visit Sarah Warburton's website.

My Book, The Movie: Once Two Sisters.

Q&A with Sarah Warburton.

The Page 69 Test: Once Two Sisters.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

"Cul-de-sac"

New from Ballantine Books: Cul-de-sac: A Novel by Joy Fielding.

About the book, from the publisher:

Someone on this quiet, unassuming cul-de-sac will be shot dead in the middle of a sultry July night.

Will it be Maggie, the perfectionist wife, or Craig, the husband who can’t quite live up to her expectations? They’ve packed up their two children and fled their life in California, hoping for a fresh start in Florida, only to find the demons of the past hovering on their doorstep.

Maybe it will be Nick, a highly respected oncologist, or his wife, Dani, a successful dentist, both with well-kept secrets of their own.

Or Julia, an elderly widow, whose troubled grandson has recently moved in with her, introducing unsavory habits and even more unsavory acquaintances into her formerly quiet existence.

Then there’s Olivia and her husband, Sean. Having lost his job at a prestigious advertising agency, Sean is depressed, resentful of his working wife, and drinking heavily. He is also prone to increasingly violent fantasies.

And what of the newlyweds, Aiden and Heidi, whose marriage is already on the rocks, due to Aiden’s reluctance to stand up to his intrusive mother? Matters aren’t helped when Heidi befriends Julia’s grandson, setting the stage for a major blowup.

A diverse group of neighbors, to be sure. Yet all harbor secrets. All bear scars. And all have access to guns.

Not all will survive the night.
Learn more about the book and author at Joy Fielding's website.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow Creek.

My Book, The Movie: Shadow Creek.

The Page 69 Test: Someone Is Watching.

My Book, The Movie: Someone Is Watching.

My Book, The Movie: The Bad Daughter.

The Page 69 Test: The Bad Daughter.

My Book, The Movie: All the Wrong Places.

The Page 69 Test: All the Wrong Places.

Writers Read: Joy Fielding (March 2019).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Killing Kind"

Coming September 21 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

"To Deter and Punish"

New from Columbia University Press: To Deter and Punish: Global Collaboration Against Terrorism in the 1970s by Silke Zoller.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, governments in North America and Western Europe faced a new transnational threat: militants who crossed borders with impunity to commit attacks. These violent actors cooperated in hijacking planes, taking hostages, and organizing assassinations, often in the name of national liberation movements from the decolonizing world. How did this form of political violence become what we know today as “international terrorism”—lacking in legitimacy and categorized first and foremost as a crime?

To Deter and Punish examines why and how the United States and its Western European allies came to treat nonstate “terrorists” as a key threat to their security and interests. Drawing on a multinational array of sources, Silke Zoller traces Western state officials’ attempts to control the meaning of and responses to terrorism from the first Palestinian hijacking in 1968 to Ronald Reagan’s militarization of counterterrorism in the early 1980s. She details how Western states sought to criminalize border-crossing nonstate violence—and thus delegitimized offenders’ political aspirations. U.S. and European officials pressured states around the world to join agreements requiring them to create and enforce criminal laws against alleged individual terrorists. Zoller underscores how recently decolonized states countered that only a more equitable global system capable of addressing political grievances would end the violence.

To Deter and Punish offers a new account of the emergence of modern counterterrorism that pinpoints its international dimensions—a story about diplomats and bureaucrats as well as national liberation militancy and the processes of decolonization.
Visit Silke Zoller's webpage.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 26, 2021

"Damnation Spring"

New from Scribner: Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson.

About the book, from the publisher:

An epic, immersive debut, Damnation Spring is the deeply human story of a Pacific Northwest logging town wrenched in two by a mystery that threatens to derail its way of life.

For generations, Rich Gundersen’s family has chopped a livelihood out of the redwood forest along California’s rugged coast. Now Rich and his wife, Colleen, are raising their own young son near Damnation Grove, a swath of ancient redwoods on which Rich’s employer, Sanderson Timber Co., plans to make a killing. In 1977, with most of the forest cleared or protected, a grove like Damnation—and beyond it 24-7 Ridge—is a logger’s dream.

It’s dangerous work. Rich has already lived decades longer than his father, killed on the job. Rich wants better for his son, Chub, so when the opportunity arises to buy 24-7 Ridge—costing them all the savings they’ve squirreled away for their growing family—he grabs it, unbeknownst to Colleen. Because the reality is their family isn’t growing; Colleen has lost several pregnancies. And she isn’t alone. As a midwife, Colleen has seen it with her own eyes.

For decades, the herbicides the logging company uses were considered harmless. But Colleen is no longer so sure. What if these miscarriages aren’t isolated strokes of bad luck? As mudslides take out clear-cut hillsides and salmon vanish from creeks, her search for answers threatens to unravel not just Rich’s plans for the 24-7, but their marriage too, dividing a town that lives and dies on timber along the way.

Told from the perspectives of Rich, Colleen, and Chub, in prose as clear as a spring-fed creek, this intimate, compassionate portrait of a community clinging to a vanishing way of life amid the perils of environmental degradation makes Damnation Spring an essential novel for our time.
Visit Ash Davidson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Devil Makes Three"

New from Page Street: The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino.

About the book, from the publisher:

Tess Matheson only wants three things: time to practice her cello, for her sister to be happy, and for everyone else to leave her alone.

Instead, Tess finds herself working all summer at her boarding school library, shelving books and dealing with the intolerable patrons. The worst of them is Eliot Birch: snide, privileged, and constantly requesting forbidden grimoires. After a bargain with Eliot leads to the discovery of an ancient book in the library's grimoire collection, the pair accidentally unleash a book-bound demon.

The demon will stop at nothing to stay free, manipulating ink to threaten those Tess loves and dismantling Eliot’s strange magic. Tess is plagued by terrible dreams of the devil and haunting memories of a boy who wears Eliot's face. All she knows is to stay free, the demon needs her... and he'll have her, dead or alive.
Visit Tori Bovalino's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Automation Anxiety"

New from Oxford University Press: Automation Anxiety: Why and How to Save Work by Cynthia Estlund.

About the book, from the publisher:

Are super-capable robots and algorithms destined to devour our jobs and idle much of the adult population? Predictions of a jobless future have recurred in waves since the advent of industrialization, only to crest and retreat as new jobs-usually better ones-have replaced those lost to machines. But there's good reason to believe that this time is different. Ongoing innovations in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotics are already destroying more decent middle-skill jobs than they are creating, and may be leading to a future of growing job scarcity. But there are many possible versions of that future, ranging from utterly dystopian to humane and broadly appealing. It all depends on how we respond.

This book confronts the hotly-debated prospect of mounting job losses due to automation, and the widely-divergent hopes and fears that prospect evokes, and proposes a strategy for both mitigating the losses and spreading the gains from shrinking demand for human labor. We should set our collective sights, it argues, on ensuring access to adequate incomes, more free time, and decent remunerative work even in a future with less of it. Getting there will require not a single "magic bullet" solution like universal basic income or a federal job guarantee but a multi-pronged program centered on conserving, creating, and spreading work. What the book proposes for a foreseeable future of less work will simultaneously help to address growing economic inequality and persistent racial stratification, and makes sense here and now but especially as we face the prospect of net job losses.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 25, 2021

"The Show Girl"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Show Girl: A Novel by Nicola Harrison.

About the book, from the publisher:

Nicola Harrison's The Show Girl gives a glimpse of the glamorous world of the Ziegfeld Follies, through the eyes of a young midwestern woman who comes to New York City to find her destiny as a Ziegfeld Follies star.

It's 1927 when Olive McCormick moves from Minneapolis to New York City determined to become a star in the Ziegfeld Follies. Extremely talented as a singer and dancer, it takes every bit of perseverance to finally make it on stage. And once she does, all the glamour and excitement is everything she imagined and more—even worth all the sacrifices she has had to make along the way.

Then she meets Archie Carmichael. Handsome, wealthy—the only man she's ever met who seems to accept her modern ways—her independent nature and passion for success. But once she accepts his proposal of marriage he starts to change his tune, and Olive must decide if she is willing to reveal a devastating secret and sacrifice the life she loves for the man she loves.
Visit Nicola Harrison's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The President and the Frog"

New from Knopf: The President and the Frog: A Novel by Carolina De Robertis.

About the book, from the publisher:

An incandescent novel—political, mystical, timely, and heartening—about the power of memory, and the pursuit of justice, from the acclaimed author of Cantoras.

At his modest home on the edge of town, the former president of an unnamed Latin American country receives a journalist in his famed gardens to discuss his legacy and the dire circumstances that threaten democracy around the globe. Once known as the Poorest President in the World, his reputation is the stuff of myth: a former guerilla who was jailed for inciting revolution before becoming the face of justice, human rights, and selflessness for his nation. Now, as he talks to the journalist, he wonders if he should reveal the strange secret of his imprisonment: while held in brutal solitary confinement, he survived, in part, by discussing revolution, the quest for dignity, and what it means to love a country, with the only creature who ever spoke back—a loud-mouth frog.

As engrossing as it is innovative, vivid, moving, and full of wit and humor, The President and the Frog explores the resilience of the human spirit and what is possible when danger looms. Ferrying us between a grim jail cell and the president’s lush gardens, the tale reaches beyond all borders and invites us to reimagine what it means to lead, to dare, and to dream.
Visit Carolina De Robertis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Asteroids"

New from Yale University Press: Asteroids: How Love, Fear, and Greed Will Determine Our Future in Space by Martin Elvis.

About the book, from the publisher:

A unique, wide-ranging examination of asteroid exploration and our future in space

Human travel into space is an enormously expensive and unforgiving endeavor. So why go? In this accessible and authoritative book, astrophysicist Martin Elvis argues that the answer is asteroid exploration, for the strong motives of love, fear, and greed.

Elvis’s personal motivation is one of scientific love—asteroid investigations may teach us about the composition of the solar system and the origins of life. A more compelling reason may be fear—of a dinosaur killer–sized asteroid hitting our planet.

Finally, Elvis maintains, we should consider greed: asteroids likely hold vast riches, such as large platinum deposits, and mining them could provide both a new industry and a funding source for bolder space exploration. Elvis explains how each motive can be satisfied, and how they help one another. From the origins of life, to “space billiards,” and space sports, Elvis looks at how asteroids may be used in the not-so-distant future.
Visit Martin Elvis's webspage.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 24, 2021

"The Turnout"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: The Turnout by Megan Abbott.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bestselling and award-winning author Megan Abbott’s revelatory and mesmerizing new novel set against the hothouse of a family-run ballet studio.

With their long necks and matching buns and pink tights, Dara and Marie Durant have been dancers since they can remember. Growing up, they were homeschooled and trained by their glamorous mother, founder of the Durant School of Dance. After their parents’ death in a tragic accident nearly a dozen years ago, the sisters began running the school together, along with Charlie, Dara’s husband and once their mother’s prized student.

Marie, warm and soft, teaches the younger students; Dara, with her precision, trains the older ones; and Charlie, sidelined from dancing after years of injuries, rules over the back office. Circling around one another, the three have perfected a dance, six days a week, that keeps the studio thriving. But when a suspicious accident occurs, just at the onset of the school’s annual performance of The Nutcracker—a season of competition, anxiety, and exhilaration—an interloper arrives and threatens the sisters’ delicate balance.

Taut and unnerving, The Turnout is Megan Abbott at the height of her game. With uncanny insight and hypnotic writing, it is a sharp and strange dissection of family ties and sexuality, femininity and power, and a tale that is both alarming and irresistible.
Learn more about the book and author at Megan Abbott's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Fever.

The Page 69 Test: Bury Me Deep.

The Page 69 Test: The End of Everything.

--Marshal Zeringue

"News for the Rich, White, and Blue"

New from Columbia University Press: News for the Rich, White, and Blue: How Place and Power Distort American Journalism by Nikki Usher.

About the book, from the publisher:

As cash-strapped metropolitan newspapers struggle to maintain their traditional influence and quality reporting, large national and international outlets have pivoted to serving readers who can and will choose to pay for news, skewing coverage toward a wealthy, white, and liberal audience. Amid rampant inequality and distrust, media outlets have become more out of touch with the democracy they purport to serve. How did journalism end up in such a predicament, and what are the prospects for achieving a more equitable future?

In News for the Rich, White, and Blue, Nikki Usher recasts the challenges facing journalism in terms of place, power, and inequality. Drawing on more than a decade of field research, she illuminates how journalists decide what becomes news and how news organizations strategize about the future. Usher shows how newsrooms remain places of power, largely white institutions growing more elite as journalists confront a shrinking job market. She details how Google, Facebook, and the digital-advertising ecosystem have wreaked havoc on the economic model for quality journalism, leaving local news to suffer. Usher also highlights how the handful of likely survivors—well-funded media outlets such as the New York Times—increasingly appeal to a global, “placeless” reader.

News for the Rich, White, and Blue concludes with a series of provocative recommendations to reimagine journalism to ensure its resiliency and its ability to speak to a diverse set of issues and readers.
Visit Nikki Usher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hide and Don't Seek"

New from Quill Tree Books: Hide and Don't Seek: And Other Very Scary Stories by Anica Mrose Rissi.

About the book, from the publisher:

A contemporary collection of original short stories by Anica Mrose Rissi that is sure to elicit chills, laughs, and screams, even from the most devoted fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark!

A game of hide-and-seek goes on far too long…

A look-alike doll makes itself right at home…

A school talent-show act leaves the audience aghast…

And a summer at camp takes a turn for the braaaains…

This collection of all-new spooky stories is sure to keep readers up past their bedtimes, looking over their shoulders to see what goes bump in the night.

So if you’re feeling brave, turn the page.
Visit Anica Mrose Rissi's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Anica Mrose Rissi & Arugula.

The Page 69 Test: Anna, Banana, and the Monkey in the Middle.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 23, 2021

"What Are the Chances?"

New from Columbia University Press: What Are the Chances?: Why We Believe in Luck by Barbara Blatchley.

About the book, from the publisher:

Most of us, no matter how rational we think we are, have a lucky charm, a good-luck ritual, or some other custom we follow in the hope that it will lead to a good result. Is the idea of luckiness just a way in which we try to impose order on chaos? Do we live in a world of flukes and coincidences, good and bad breaks, with outcomes as random as a roll of the dice—or can our beliefs help change our luck?

What Are the Chances? reveals how psychology and neuroscience explain the significance of the idea of luck. Barbara Blatchley explores how people react to random events in a range of circumstances, examining the evidence that the belief in luck helps us cope with a lack of control. She tells the stories of lucky and unlucky people—who won the lottery multiple times, survived seven brushes with death, or found an apparently cursed Neanderthal mummy—as well as the accidental discoveries that fundamentally changed what we know about the brain. Blatchley considers our frequent misunderstanding of randomness, the history of luckiness in different cultures and religions, the surprising benefits of magical thinking, and many other topics. Offering a new view of how the brain handles the unexpected, What Are the Chances? shows why an arguably irrational belief can—fingers crossed—help us as we struggle with an unpredictable world.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Death in Castle Dark"

New from Berkley: Death in Castle Dark (A Dinner and a Murder Mystery) by Veronica Bond.

About the book, from the publisher:

Actor Nora Blake finds her dream job when she is cast in a murder-mystery troupe that performs in an imposing but captivating old castle. When she stumbles upon a real murder, things take a nightmarish turn in this first book in an exciting new series.

Maybe it was too good to be true, but when Nora Blake accepted the job from Derek Corby, proprietor of Castle Dark, she could not see any downsides. She would sink her acting chops into the troupe’s intricately staged murder-mystery shows, earn free room and board in the fairy tale–like castle, and make friends with her new roommates, which include some seriously adorable kittens.

But something sinister lurks behind the walls of Castle Dark. During Nora’s second performance, one of her castmates plays the part of the victim a little too well. So well, in fact, that no one can revive him. He has been murdered. Not ready to give up her dream gig—or to be the next victim—Nora sets out to see which one of her fellow actors has taken the role of a murderous real-life villain.
Follow Veronica Bond on Facebook.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Clark and Division"

New from Soho Crime: Clark and Division by Naomi Hirahara.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set in 1944 Chicago, Edgar Award-winner Naomi Hirahara’s eye-opening and poignant new mystery, the story of a young woman searching for the truth about her revered older sister’s death, brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from mass incarceration at Manzanar during World War II.

Chicago, 1944: Twenty-year-old Aki Ito and her parents have just been released from Manzanar, where they have been detained by the US government since the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, together with thousands of other Japanese Americans. The life in California the Itos were forced to leave behind is gone; instead, they are being resettled two thousand miles away in Chicago, where Aki’s older sister, Rose, was sent months earlier and moved to the new Japanese American neighborhood near Clark and Division streets. But on the eve of the Ito family’s reunion, Rose is killed by a subway train.

Aki, who worshipped her sister, is stunned. Officials are ruling Rose’s death a suicide. Aki cannot believe her perfect, polished, and optimistic sister would end her life. Her instinct tells her there is much more to the story, and she knows she is the only person who could ever learn the truth.

Inspired by historical events, Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime fiction plot with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history.
Visit Naomi Hirahara's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 22, 2021

"The Ancient Greek Roots of Human Rights"

New from the University of Texas Press: The Ancient Greek Roots of Human Rights by Rachel Hall Sternberg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Although the era of the Enlightenment witnessed the rise of philosophical debates around benevolent social practice, the origins of European humane discourse date further back, to Classical Athens. The Ancient Greek Roots of Human Rights analyzes the parallel confluences of cultural factors facing ancient Greeks and eighteenth-century Europeans that facilitated the creation and transmission of humane values across history. Rachel Hall Sternberg argues that precursors to the concept of human rights exist in the ancient articulation of emotion, though the ancient Greeks, much like eighteenth-century European societies, often failed to live up to those values.

Merging the history of ideas with cultural history, Sternberg examines literary themes upholding empathy and human dignity from Thucydides’s and Xenophon’s histories to Voltaire’s Candide, and from Greek tragic drama to the eighteenth-century novel. She describes shared impacts of the trauma of war, the appeal to reason, and the public acceptance of emotion that encouraged the birth and rebirth of humane values.
--Marshal Zeringue

"In My Dreams I Hold a Knife"

New from Sourcebooks: In My Dreams I Hold a Knife: A Novel by Ashley Winstead.

About the book, from the publisher:

Six friends.
One college reunion.
One unsolved murder.

Ten years after graduation, Jessica Miller has planned her triumphant return to her southern, elite Duquette University, down to the envious whispers that are sure to follow in her wake. Everyone is going to see the girl she wants them to see—confident, beautiful, indifferent. Not the girl she was when she left campus, back when Heather Shelby's murder fractured everything, including the tight bond linking the six friends she'd been closest to since freshman year.

But not everyone is ready to move on. Not everyone left Duquette ten years ago, and not everyone can let Heather's murder go unsolved. Someone is determined to trap the real killer, to make the guilty pay. When the six friends are reunited, they will be forced to confront what happened that night—and the years' worth of secrets each of them would do anything to keep hidden.

Told in racing dual timelines, with a dark campus setting and a darker look at friendship, love, obsession, and ambition, In My Dreams I Hold A Knife is an addictive, propulsive read you won't be able to put down.
Visit Ashley Winstead's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Mercury Boys"

New from Soho Teen: Mercury Boys by Chandra Prasad.

About the book, from the publisher:

History and the speculative collide with the modern world when a group of high school girls form a secret society after discovering they can communicate with boys from the past, in this powerful look at female desire, jealousy, and the shifting lines between friendship and rivalry.

After her life is upended by divorce and a cross-country move, 16-year-old Saskia Brown feels like an outsider at her new school—not only is she a transplant, but she’s also biracial in a population of mostly white students. One day while visiting her only friend at her part-time library job, Saskia encounters a vial of liquid mercury, then touches an old daguerreotype—the precursor of the modern-day photograph—and makes a startling discovery. She is somehow able to visit the man in the portrait: Robert Cornelius, a brilliant young inventor from the nineteenth century. The hitch: she can see him only in her dreams.

Saskia shares her revelation with some classmates, hoping to find connection and friendship among strangers. Under her guidance, the other girls steal portraits of young men from a local college’s daguerreotype collection and try the dangerous experiment for themselves. Soon, they each form a bond with their own “Mercury Boy,” from an injured Union soldier to a charming pickpocket in New York City.

At night, the girls visit the boys in their dreams. During the day, they hold clandestine meetings of their new secret society. At first, the Mercury Boys Club is a thrilling diversion from their troubled everyday lives, but it’s not long before jealousy, violence and secrets threaten everything the girls hold dear.
Visit Chandra Prasad's website.

The Page 69 Test: On Borrowed Wings.

Writers Read: Chandra Prasad (February 2009).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

"Rock and Rhapsodies: The Music of Queen"

New from Oxford University Press: Rock and Rhapsodies: The Music of Queen by Nick Braae.

About the book, from the publisher:

Since 1973, Queen have captivated listeners through the intense sonic palette of voices and guitars, the sprawling and epic journeys of songs, and charismatic splendour of their live performances. Rock and Rhapsodies is the first book to undertake a musicological study of the band's output, with a fundamental aim of discovering what, exactly, gave Queen's songs their magical and distinct musical identity. Focusing on the material written, recorded, and released between 1973 and 1991, author Nick Braae provides readers with an in-depth and nuanced analytical account of the group's individual musical style (or "idiolect"), and illuminates the multifaceted stylistic and historical contexts in which Queen's music was created. Aspects of Queen's songs are also used as a springboard for exploring a range of further analytical and discursive issues: the nature of a musical style; the conceptual relationship between an artist, style, and genre; form in popular songs; and the character and identity of a singing voice.

Following an introduction and "primer" on Queen's idiolect, Rock and Rhapsodies presents ten further chapters, each of which offers a snapshot of a particular musical element (form, the voice), a particular subset of repertoire (Freddie Mercury's large-scale 1970s songs), or a particular era (post-1991), thus painting a rich overall picture of both the band's history and their ongoing presence in popular culture. Along the way, there is an underlying focus on interrogating and substantiating the themes and ideas that emerge from the writing, documentaries and other media on Queen, using a variety of analytical tools and close readings of songs, to demonstrate how aspects of critical reception align (or not) with musical details. Rock and Rhapsodies will reward any reader who has been enchanted by the myriad and complex musical components that make up any Queen song.
Visit Nick Braae's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Dead and the Dark"

New from Wednesday Books: The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Dark has been waiting—and it won't stay hidden any longer.

Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just come to town.

Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV's ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before. But the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there's more than ghosts plaguing this small town. Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his ghost following her ever since. Although everyone shuns the Ortiz-Woodleys, the mysterious Logan may be the only person who can help Ashley get some answers.

When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.
Visit Courtney Gould's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"When Ghosts Come Home"

Coming September 21 from William Morrow: When Ghosts Come Home: A Novel by Wiley Cash.

About the book, from the publisher:

The eagerly awaited novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home, a tender and haunting story of a father and daughter, crime and forgiveness, race and memory

When the roar of a low-flying plane awakens him in the middle of the night, Sheriff Winston Barnes knows something strange is happening at the nearby airfield on the coast of North Carolina. But nothing can prepare him for what he finds: a large airplane has crash-landed and is now sitting sideways on the runway, and there are no signs of a pilot or cargo. When the body of a local man is discovered—shot dead and lying on the grass near the crash site—Winston begins a murder investigation that will change the course of his life and the fate of the community that he has sworn to protect.

Everyone is a suspect, including the dead man. As rumors and accusations fly, long-simmering racial tensions explode overnight, and Winston, whose own tragic past has followed him like a ghost, must do his duty while facing the painful repercussions of old decisions. Winston also knows that his days as sheriff may be numbered. He’s up for re-election against a corrupt and well-connected challenger, and his deputies are choosing sides. As if these events weren’t troubling enough, he must finally confront his daughter Colleen, who has come home grieving a shattering loss she cannot fully articulate.

As the suspense builds and this compelling mystery unfolds, Wiley Cash delves deep into the hearts of these richly drawn, achingly sympathetic characters to reveal the nobility of an ordinary man struggling amidst terrifying, extraordinary circumstances.
Learn more about the book and author at Wiley Cash's website.

My Book, The Movie: A Land More Kind Than Home.

My Book, The Movie: This Dark Road to Mercy.

Writers Read: Wiley Cash (October 2017).

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

"The Lure of the Image"

New from the University of California Press: The Lure of the Image: Epistemic Fantasies of the Moving Camera by Daniel Morgan.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Lure of the Image shows how a close study of camera movement challenges key assumptions underlying a wide range of debates within cinema and media studies. Highlighting the shifting intersection of point of view and camera position, Daniel Morgan draws on a range of theoretical arguments and detailed analyses across cinemas to reimagine the relation between spectator and camera—and between camera and film world. With sustained accounts of how the camera moves in films by Fritz Lang, Guru Dutt, Max Ophuls, and Terrence Malick and in contemporary digital technologies, The Lure of the Image exposes the persistent fantasy that we move with the camera within the world of the film and examines the ways that filmmakers have exploited this fantasy. In so doing, Morgan provides a more flexible account of camera movement, one that enables a fuller understanding of the political and ethical stakes entailed by this key component of cinematic style.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The People We Keep"

New from Gallery Books: The People We Keep by Allison Larkin.

About the book, from the publisher:

Little River, New York, 1994: April Sawicki is living in a motorless motorhome that her father won in a poker game. Failing out of school, picking up shifts at Margo’s diner, she’s left fending for herself in a town where she’s never quite felt at home. When she “borrows” her neighbor’s car to perform at an open mic night, she realizes her life could be much bigger than where she came from. After a fight with her dad, April packs her stuff and leaves for good, setting off on a journey to find a life that’s all hers.

Driving without a chosen destination, she stops to rest in Ithaca. Her only plan is to survive, but as she looks for work, she finds a kindred sense of belonging at Cafe Decadence, the local coffee shop. Still, somehow, it doesn’t make sense to her that life could be this easy. The more she falls in love with her friends in Ithaca, the more she can’t shake the feeling that she’ll hurt them the way she’s been hurt.

As April moves through the world, meeting people who feel like home, she chronicles her life in the songs she writes and discovers that where she came from doesn’t dictate who she has to be.

This lyrical, unflinching tale is for anyone who has ever yearned for the fierce power of found family or to grasp the profound beauty of choosing to belong.
Visit Allie Larkin's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Allie Larkin & Stella.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Smashing the Liquor Machine'

New from Oxford University Press: Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition by Mark Lawrence Schrad.

About the book, from the publisher:

This is the history of temperance and prohibition as you've never read it before: redefining temperance as a progressive, global, pro-justice movement that affected virtually every significant world leader from the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries.

When most people think of the prohibition era, they think of speakeasies, rum runners, and backwoods fundamentalists railing about the ills of strong drink. In other words, in the popular imagination, it is a peculiarly American history.

Yet, as Mark Lawrence Schrad shows in Smashing the Liquor Machine, the conventional scholarship on prohibition is extremely misleading for a simple reason: American prohibition was just one piece of a global phenomenon. Schrad's pathbreaking history of prohibition looks at the anti-alcohol movement around the globe through the experiences of pro-temperance leaders like Vladimir Lenin, Leo Tolstoy, Thomás Masaryk, Kemal Atatürk, Mahatma Gandhi, and anti-colonial activists across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Schrad argues that temperance wasn't "American exceptionalism" at all, but rather one of the most broad-based and successful transnational social movements of the modern era. In fact, Schrad offers a fundamental re-appraisal of this colorful era to reveal that temperance forces frequently aligned with progressivism, social justice, liberal self-determination, democratic socialism, labor rights, women's rights, and indigenous rights. Placing the temperance movement in a deep global context, forces us to fundamentally rethink its role in opposing colonial exploitation throughout American history as well. Prohibitionism united Native American chiefs like Little Turtle and Black Hawk; African-American leaders Frederick Douglass, Ida Wells, and Booker T. Washington; suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Frances Willard; progressives from William Lloyd Garrison to William Jennings Bryan; writers F.E.W. Harper and Upton Sinclair, and even American presidents from Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln to Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Progressives rather than puritans, the global temperance movement advocated communal self-protection against the corrupt and predatory “liquor machine” that had become exceedingly rich off the misery and addictions of the poor around the world, from the slums of South Asia to the beerhalls of Central Europe to the Native American reservations of the United States.

Unlike many traditional "dry" histories, Smashing the Liquor Machine gives voice to minority and subaltern figures who resisted the global liquor industry, and further highlights that the impulses that led to the temperance movement were far more progressive and variegated than American readers have been led to believe.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 19, 2021

"We Are the Brennans"

New from Celadon Books: We Are the Brennans: A Novel by Tracey Lange.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the vein of Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes and Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest, Tracey Lange’s We Are the Brennans explores the staying power of shame—and the redemptive power of love—in an Irish Catholic family torn apart by secrets.

When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they've got questions.

Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.
Visit Tracey Lange's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dark Roads"

New from St. Martin's Press: Dark Roads: A Novel by Chevy Stevens.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Cold Creek Highway stretches close to five hundred miles through British Columbia’s rugged wilderness to the west coast. Isolated and vast, it has become a prime hunting ground for predators. For decades, young women traveling the road have gone missing. Motorists and hitchhikers, those passing through or living in one of the small towns scattered along the region, have fallen prey time and again. And no killer or abductor who has stalked the highway has ever been brought to justice.

Hailey McBride calls Cold Creek home. Her father taught her to respect nature, how to live and survive off the land, and to never travel the highway alone. Now he’s gone, leaving her a teenage orphan in the care of her aunt whose police officer husband uses his badge as a means to bully and control Hailey. Overwhelmed by grief and forbidden to work, socialize, or date, Hailey vanishes into the mountainous terrain, hoping everyone will believe she’s left town. Rumors spread that she was taken by the highway killer—who’s claimed another victim over the summer.

One year later, Beth Chevalier arrives in Cold Creek, where her sister Amber lived—and where she was murdered. Estranged from her parents and seeking closure, Beth takes a waitressing job at the local diner, just as Amber did, desperate to understand what happened to her and why. But Beth’s search for answers puts a target on her back—and threatens to reveal the truth behind Hailey’s disappearance…
Visit the official Chevy Stevens website.

My Book, The Movie: Still Missing.

The Page 69 Test: That Night.

My Book, The Movie: That Night.

The Page 69 Test: Never Let You Go.

Writers Read: Chevy Stevens.

My Book, The Movie: Never Let You Go.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 18, 2021

"Give My Love to the Savages"

New from Amistad / Harper Collins: Give My Love to the Savages: Stories by Chris Stuck.

About the book, from the publisher:

A provocative and raw debut collection of short fiction reminiscent of Junot Diaz’s Drown.

A Black man’s life, told in scenes—through every time he’s been called nigger. A Black son who visits his estranged white father in Los Angeles just as the ’92 riots begin. A Black Republican, coping with a skin disease that has turned him white, is forced to reconsider his life. A young Black man, fetishized by an older white woman he’s just met, is offered a strange and tempting proposal.

The nine tales in Give My Love to the Savages illuminate the multifaceted Black experience, exploring the thorny intersections of race, identity, and Black life through an extraordinary cast of characters. From the absurd to the starkly realistic, these stories take aim at the ironies and contradictions of the American racial experience. Chris Stuck traverses the dividing lines, and attempts to create meaning from them in unique and unusual ways. Each story considers a marker of our current culture, from uprisings and sly and not-so-sly racism, to Black fetishization and conservatism, to the obstacles placed in front of Black masculinity and Black and interracial relationships by society and circumstance.

Setting these stories across America, from Los Angeles, Phoenix and the Pacific Northwest, to New York and Washington, DC, to the suburbs and small Midwestern towns, Stuck uses place to expose the absurdity of race and the odd ways that Black people and white people converge and retreat, rub against and bump into one another.

Ultimately, Give My Love to the Savages is the story of America. With biting humor and careful honesty, Stuck riffs on the dichotomy of love and barbarity—the yin and yang of racial experience—and the difficult and uncertain terrain Black Americans must navigate in pursuit of their desires.
Visit Chris Stuck's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Seeing Justice"

New from Oxford University Press: Seeing Justice: Witnessing, Crime and Punishment in Visual Media by Mary Angela Bock.

About the book, from the publisher:

A behind-the-scenes look at the struggles between visual journalists and officials over what the public sees--and therefore much of what the public knows--of the criminal justice system.

In the contexts of crime, social justice, and the law, nothing in visual media is as it seems. In today's mediated social world, visual communication has shifted to a democratic sphere that has significantly changed the way we understand and use images as evidence. In Seeing Justice, Mary Angela Bock examines the way criminal justice in the US is presented in visual media by focusing on the grounded practices of visual journalists in relationship with law enforcement. Drawing upon extended interviews, participant observation, contemporary court cases, and critical discourse analysis, Bock provides a detailed examination of the way digitization is altering the relationships between media, consumers, and the criminal justice system. From tabloid coverage of the last public hanging in the US to Karen-shaming videos, from mug shots to perp walks, she focuses on the practical struggles between journalists, police, and court officials to control the way images influence their resulting narratives. Revealing the way powerful interests shape what the public sees, Seeing Justice offers a model for understanding how images are used in news narrative.
Visit Mary Angela Bock's website.

--Marshal Zeringue