Sunday, July 31, 2022

"Heat 2"

New from William Morrow: Heat 2 by Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner.

About the book, from the publisher:

Michael Mann, four-time-Oscar-nominated writer-director of The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider, Ali, Miami Vice, Collateral, and Heat teams up with Edgar Award–winning author Meg Gardiner to deliver Mann’s first novel, an explosive return to the universe and characters of his classic crime film—with an all-new story unfolding in the years before and after the iconic movie

One day after the end of Heat, Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer) is holed up in Koreatown, wounded, half delirious, and desperately trying to escape LA. Hunting him is LAPD detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino). Hours earlier, Hanna killed Shiherlis’s brother in arms Neil McCauley (De Niro) in a gunfight under the strobe lights at the foot of an LAX runway. Now Hanna’s determined to capture or kill Shiherlis, the last survivor of McCauley’s crew, before he ghosts out of the city.

In 1988, seven years earlier, McCauley, Shiherlis, and their highline crew are taking scores on the West Coast, the US-Mexican border, and now in Chicago. Driven, daring, they’re pulling in money and living vivid lives. And Chicago homicide detective Vincent Hanna—a man unreconciled with his history—is following his calling, the pursuit of armed and dangerous men into the dark and wild places, hunting an ultraviolent gang of home invaders.

Meanwhile, the fallout from McCauley’s scores and Hanna’s pursuit cause unexpected repercussions in a parallel narrative, driving through the years following Heat.

Heat 2 projects its dimensional and richly drawn men and women into whole new worlds—from the inner sanctums of rival crime syndicates in a South American free-trade zone to transnational criminal enterprises in Southeast Asia. The novel brings you intimately into these lives. In Michael Mann’s Heat universe, they will confront new adversaries in lethal circumstances beyond all boundaries.

Heat 2 is engrossing, moving, and tragic—a masterpiece of crime fiction with the same extraordinary ambitions, scope, and rich characterizations as the epic film.
Follow Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Islamic Ethics"

New from Oxford University Press: Islamic Ethics: Fundamental Aspects of Human Conduct by Abdulaziz Sachedina.

About the book, from the publisher:

There have been two main traditions of writing on ethics in the Islamic tradition, one philosophical and related to the works of Aristotle and other Greek philosophers, represented by thinkers such as Avicenna, and one theological, represented by such figures as the famous theologian al-Qadi Abd al-Jabbar. Some later scholars attempted to combine those two traditions. For the most part, however, the views of the jurists have been ignored. Abdulaziz Sachedina here calls attention to this third tradition of ethics, which has its home in legal literature. The problem is that Islamic jurists did not produce a genre of ethical manuals, and their form of ethics, which Sachedina terms juridical ethics, must be derived or extracted from works that ostensibly treat legal rulings and obligations, or scriptural hermeneutics and legal theory. Presenting an outline of the version of Islamic ethics that is embedded in the textual legacy of the Islamic legal tradition, he argues that this juridical ethics is an important, even dominant form of ethics in modern Islam. He notes that this form of ethics has been challenged by modernity and examines the variety of ways in which legal ethical thinkers have reacted. How do Muslim religious leaders come to grips with modern demands of directing their communities to live as modern citizens of nation-states? What kind of moral and spiritual resources are being garnered by their scholars to respond to the new issues in sciences, more immediately in medicine, and constantly changing social relationships? To answer these pressing questions, it is necessary to go beyond the philosophical ethics of virtue and human character and acknowledge the importance of ethics to the formulation in Muslim interpretive jurisprudence of religious and moral decisions that are based on reason and revelation.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Midnight on the Marne"

New from Forge Books: Midnight on the Marne by Sarah Adlakha.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set during the heroism and heartbreak of World War I, and in an occupied France in an alternative timeline, Sarah Adlakha’s Midnight on the Marne explores the responsibilities love lays on us and the rippling impact of our choices.

France, 1918. Nurse Marcelle Marchand has important secrets to keep. Her role as a spy has made her both feared and revered, but it has also put her in extreme danger from the approaching German army.

American soldier George Mountcastle feels an instant connection to the young nurse. But in times of war, love must wait. Soon, George and his best friend Philip are fighting for their lives during the Second Battle of the Marne, where George prevents Philip from a daring act that might have won the battle at the cost of his own life.

On the run from a victorious Germany, George and Marcelle begin a new life with Philip and Marcelle’s twin sister, Rosalie, in a brutally occupied France. Together, this self-made family navigates oppression, near starvation, and unfathomable loss, finding love and joy in unexpected moments.

Years pass, and tragedy strikes, sending George on a course that could change the past and rewrite history. Playing with time is a tricky thing. If he chooses to alter history, he will surely change his own future—and perhaps not for the better.
Visit Sarah Adlakha's website.

The Page 69 Test: She Wouldn't Change a Thing.

--Marshal Zeringue

"From the New Deal to the War on Schools"

New from the University of North Carolina Press: From the New Deal to the War on Schools: Race, Inequality, and the Rise of the Punitive Education State by Daniel S. Moak.

About the book, from the publisher:

In an era defined by political polarization, both major U.S. parties have come to share a remarkably similar understanding of the education system as well as a set of punitive strategies for fixing it. Combining an intellectual history of social policy with a sweeping history of the educational system, Daniel S. Moak looks beyond the rise of neoliberalism to find the origin of today’s education woes in Great Society reforms.

In the wake of World War II, a coalition of thinkers gained dominance in U.S. policymaking. They identified educational opportunity as the ideal means of addressing racial and economic inequality by incorporating individuals into a free market economy. The passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1965 secured an expansive federal commitment to this goal. However, when social problems failed to improve, the underlying logic led policymakers to hold schools responsible. Moak documents how a vision of education as a panacea for society's flaws led us to turn away from redistributive economic policies and down the path to market-based reforms, No Child Left Behind, mass school closures, teacher layoffs, and other policies that plague the public education system to this day.
Visit Daniel S. Moak's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 30, 2022

"A Mother Would Know"

Coming December 13 from MIRA: A Mother Would Know: A Novel by Amber Garza.

About the book, from the publisher:

A woman questions everything she knows about her son when a local woman is found dead.

Valerie has been forgetting things. Her daughter worries about her being on her own in her big Victorian house—one rumored to be haunted after a tragedy decades earlier—and truth be told, she is a little lonely. With few options, she asks her adult son to move home, but it’s not quite the reunion she hoped for. Hudson is taciturn, moody and frequently gone.

The neighbors already hold a grudge against Hudson, and they aren’t happy about his return. When a young woman is found murdered a block away, suspicion falls on him immediately, without a shred of evidence. While Valerie fights to defend her son, she begins to wonder who she really invited into her home.

It’s a horrible thing for a mother to even think…but is it possible she’s enabled a monster? A monster she is living with, alone?
Visit Amber Garza's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Open Hand, Closed Fist"

New from the University of California Press: Open Hand, Closed Fist: Practices of Undocumented Organizing in a Hostile State by Kathryn Abrams.

About the book, from the publisher:

How does a group that lacks legal status organize its members to become effective political activists? In the early 2000s, Arizona's campaign of "attrition through enforcement" aimed to make life so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they would "self-deport." Undocumented activists resisted hostile legislation, registered thousands of new Latino voters, and joined a national movement to advance justice for immigrants. Drawing on five years of observation and interviews with activists in Phoenix, Arizona, Kathryn Abrams explains how the practices of storytelling, emotion cultures, and performative citizenship fueled this grassroots movement. Together these practices produced both the "open hand" (the affective bonds among participants) and the "closed fist" (the pragmatic strategies of resistance) that have allowed the movement to mobilize and sustain itself over time.
Kathryn Abrams is Herma Hill Kay Distinguished Professor of Law at University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Orphans of Mersea House"

New from Crooked Lane: The Orphans of Mersea House: A Novel by Marty Wingate.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the tradition of Kristin Harmel and Elise Hooper, USA Today bestseller Marty Wingate transports us to postwar England’s Suffolk coast in a rich historical drama about love lost—and promise found.

England, 1957.
Olive Kersey’s only love never returned from World War II, and now, she’s alone and penniless. Then, the last person she ever expected to see again returns to Southwold. Olive’s childhood friend, Margery Paxton, arrives to claim her inheritance: Mersea House, a stately old home she plans to turn into the town’s only lodging. Olive’s life takes a sunny turn when Margery hires her to run the establishment. But Mersea House holds its own mysteries—and its own dangers.

First, rumors begin to fly when two enigmatic lodgers move in: Hugh Hodson, manager of the town cinema, and Mrs. Abigail Claypool, a recluse and war widow. And then, the completely unexpected: Margery is informed she has a new ward, eleven-year-old Juniper Wyckes, the orphaned daughter of Margery’s first love. Mrs. Lucie Pagett, Children’s Officer at the local authority, informs Margery that Juniper was severely stricken with polio as a child, and makes clear that she could be taken away if her welfare is in jeopardy.

But the past is never far behind for the inhabitants of Mersea House, and looming secrets may destroy these friendships they’ve created.
Visit Marty Wingate's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Librarian Always Rings Twice.

The Page 69 Test: The Librarian Always Rings Twice.

Q&A with Marty Wingate.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Charged"

New from the University of Washington Press: Charged: A History of Batteries and Lessons for a Clean Energy Future by James Morton Turner.

About the book, from the publisher:

To achieve fossil fuel independence, few technologies are more important than batteries. Used for powering zero-emission vehicles, storing electricity from solar panels and wind turbines, and revitalizing the electric grid, batteries are essential to scaling up the renewable energy resources that help address global warming. But given the unique environmental impact of batteries—including mining, disposal, and more—does a clean energy transition risk trading one set of problems for another?

In Charged, James Morton Turner unpacks the history of batteries to explore why solving "the battery problem" is critical to a clean energy transition. As climate activists focus on what a clean energy future will create—sustainability, resiliency, and climate justice—the history of batteries offers a sharp reminder of what building that future will consume: lithium, graphite, nickel, and other specialized materials. With new insight on the consequences for people and communities on the frontlines, Turner draws on the past for crucial lessons that will help us build a just and clean energy future, from the ground up.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 29, 2022

"A Map for the Missing"

New from Penguin Press: A Map for the Missing: A Novel by Belinda Huijuan Tang.

About the book, from the publisher:

An epic, mesmerizing debut novel set against a rapidly changing post–Cultural Revolution China, A Map for the Missing reckons with the costs of pursuing one’s dreams and the lives we leave behind

Tang Yitian has been living in America for almost a decade when he receives an urgent phone call from his mother: his father has disappeared from the family’s rural village in China. Though they have been estranged for years, Yitian promises to come home.

When Yitian attempts to piece together what may have happened, he struggles to navigate China’s impenetrable bureaucracy as an outsider, and his mother’s evasiveness only deepens the mystery. So he seeks out a childhood friend who may be in a position to help: Tian Hanwen, the only other person who shared Yitian’s desire to pursue a life of knowledge. As a teenager, Hanwen was “sent down” from Shanghai to Yitian’s village as part of the country’s rustication campaign. Young and in love, they dreamed of attending university in the city together. But when their plans resulted in a terrible tragedy, their paths diverged, and while Yitian ended up a professor in America, Hanwen was left behind, resigned to life as a midlevel bureaucrat’s wealthy housewife.

Reuniting for the first time as adults, Yitian and Hanwen embark on the search for Yitian’s father, all the while grappling with the past—who Yitian’s father really was, and what might have been. Spanning the late 1970s to 1990s and moving effortlessly between rural provinces and big cities, A Map for the Missing is a deeply felt examination of family and forgiveness, and the meaning of home.
Visit Belinda Huijuan Tang's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"German Ways of War"

New from Rutgers University Press: German Ways of War: The Affective Geographies and Generic Transformations of German War Films by Jaimey Fisher.

About the book, from the publisher:

German Ways of War deploys theories of space, mobility, and affect to investigate how war films realize their political projects. Analyzing films across the decades, from the 1910s to 2000s, German Ways of War addresses an important lacuna in media studies: while scholars have tended to focus on the similarities between cinematic looking and weaponized targeting -- between shooting a camera and discharging a gun – this book argues that war films negotiate spaces throughout that frame their violence in ways more revealing than their battle scenes. Beyond that well-known intersection of visuality and violence, German Ways of War explores how the genre frames violence within spatio-affective operations. The production of novel spaces and evocation of new affects transform war films, including the genre’s manipulation of mobility, landscape, territory, scales, and topological networks. Such effects amount to what author Jaimey Fisher terms the films’ “affective geographies” that interweave narrative-generated affects, spatial depictions, and political processes.
--Marshal Zeringue

"After the Hurricane"

New from William Morrow: After the Hurricane: A Novel by Leah Franqui.

About the book, from the publisher:

Reminiscent of Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt, Leah Franqui brings us an engrossing, deeply personal novel with a mystery at its heart as a daughter returns to Puerto Rico to search for her troubled father, who has gone missing after Hurricane Maria.

From the outside, Elena Vega’s life appears to be an easy one: the only child of two professional parents, private school, NYU. But her twenties are aimless and lacking in connection. Something has always been amiss in her life: her father, the brilliant but deeply troubled Santiago Vega.

Born in rural Puerto Rico, Santiago arrived in New York as a small child. His harsh, mercurial father returned to the island, leaving Santiago to be raised by his mentally ill mother and his formidable grandmother. An outstanding student, he followed scholarships to Stanford, then Yale Law, marrying Elena’s mother along the way. Santiago is the shining star of his migrant family—the one who made it out and struck it rich. But he is a haunted man, plagued by trauma, bipolar disorder, and alcoholism. He’s lost contact with Elena over the years and returned to San Juan to wrestle his demons alone.

Then Hurricane Maria strikes, and Santiago vanishes. Desperate to know what happened to the father she once adored, Elena returns to Puerto Rico, a place she loved as a child but hasn’t seen in years. There she must unravel the truth about who her father is, crisscrossing the storm-swept island and reaching deep into his family tree to find relatives she’s never met, each of whom seems to possess a clue about Santiago’s fate.

A compelling mystery unfolds, as Elena is reunited with family, and with a place she loved and lost—the island of Puerto Rico, which is itself a character in this book. It’s a story of connection, migration, striving, love, and loss, illuminated by humor and affection, written by a novelist at the height of her gifts.
Visit Leah Franqui's website.

Writers Read: Leah Franqui (Augurst 2018).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Literary Mafia"

New from Yale University Press: The Literary Mafia: Jews, Publishing, and Postwar American Literature by Josh Lambert.

About the book, from the publisher:

An investigation into the transformation of publishing in the United States from a field in which Jews were systematically excluded to one in which they became ubiquitous

In the 1960s and 1970s, complaints about a “Jewish literary mafia” were everywhere. Although a conspiracy of Jews colluding to control publishing in the United States never actually existed, such accusations reflected a genuine transformation from an industry notorious for excluding Jews to one in which they arguably had become the most influential figures.

Josh Lambert examines the dynamics between Jewish editors and Jewish writers; how Jewish women exposed the misogyny they faced from publishers; and how children of literary parents have struggled with and benefited from their inheritances. Drawing on interviews and tens of thousands of pages of letters and manuscripts, The Literary Mafia offers striking new discoveries about celebrated figures such as Lionel Trilling and Gordon Lish, and neglected fiction by writers including Ivan Gold, Ann Birstein, and Trudy Gertler.

In the end, we learn how the success of one minority group has lessons for all who would like to see American literature become more equitable.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 28, 2022

"The Last Karankawas"

New from Henry Holt & Co.: The Last Karankawas: A Novel by Kimberly Garza.

About the book, from the publisher:

A blazing and kaleidoscopic debut about a tight-knit community of Mexican and Filipino American families on the Texas coast from a voice you won't soon forget.

Welcome to Galveston, Texas. Population 50,241.

A popular tourist destination and major shipping port, Galveston attracts millions of visitors each year. Yet of those who come to drink by the beach, few stray from the boulevards to Fish Village, the neighborhood home to individuals who for generations have powered the island.

Carly Castillo has only ever known Fish Village. Her grandmother claims that they descend from the Karankawas, an extinct indigenous Texan tribe, thereby tethering them to Galveston. But as Carly ages, she begins to imagine a life elsewhere, undefined by her family’s history. Meanwhile, her boyfriend and all-star shortstop turned seaman, Jess, treasures the salty, familiar air. He’s gotten chances to leave Galveston for bigger cities with more possibilities. But he didn’t take them then, and he sure as hell won’t now. When word spreads of a storm gathering strength offshore, building into Hurricane Ike, each Galveston resident must make a difficult decision: board up the windows and hunker down or flee inland and abandon their hard-won homes.

Moving through these characters’ lives and those of the extraordinary individuals who circle them, Kimberly Garza's The Last Karankawas weaves together a multitude of voices to present a lyrical, emotionally charged portrait of everyday survival. The result is an unforgettable exploration of familial inheritance, human resilience, and the histories we assign to ourselves, reminding us that the deepest bonds are forged not by blood, but by fire.
Visit Kimberly Garza's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Feminine Singularity"

New from Stanford University Press: Feminine Singularity: The Politics of Subjectivity in Nineteenth-Century Literature by Ronjaunee Chatterjee.

About the book, from the publisher:

What happens if we read nineteenth-century and Victorian texts not for the autonomous liberal subject, but for singularity—for what is partial, contingent, and in relation, rather than what is merely "alone"? Feminine Singularity offers a powerful feminist theory of the subject—and shows us paths to thinking subjectivity, race, and gender anew in literature and in our wider social world.

Through fresh, sophisticated readings of Lewis Carroll, Christina Rossetti, Charles Baudelaire, and Wilkie Collins in conversation with psychoanalysis, Black feminist and queer-of-color theory, and continental philosophy, Ronjaunee Chatterjee uncovers a lexicon of feminine singularity that manifests across poetry and prose through likeness and minimal difference, rather than individuality and identity. Reading for singularity shows us the ways femininity is fundamentally entangled with racial difference in the nineteenth century and well into the contemporary, as well as how rigid categories can be unsettled and upended.

Grappling with the ongoing violence embedded in the Western liberal imaginary, Feminine Singularity invites readers to commune with the subversive potentials in nineteenth-century literature for thinking subjectivity today.
Follow Ronjaunee Chatterjee on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Family Compound"

Coming August 23 from Lake Union: The Family Compound: A Novel by Liz Parker.

About the book, from the publisher:

A compassionate and insightful novel about family, broken dreams, and holding on to everything in life that matters.

Five cousins must band together to decide the future of their shared inheritance―the family’s sprawling property in Stowe, Vermont―but with each at a different place in life, reaching a unanimous decision seems unlikely.

Penny struggles with depression and craves stability in an unstable world. Halsey is divorced, raising her child, and contending with an unexpected realization about herself. William can be counted on only to fall in love as capriciously as he falls out of it. And both Laurie and Chris are floundering after betrayals―hers professional, his personal. With little in common except childhood memories, the five face impossible choices. It’s going to take sacrifice, compromise, and a plan for moving forward they can all agree to. Until then, the fate of the Nolan family compound is as uncertain as their paths in life.

As five lives in flux converge and tensions run high, the cousins will have to rely on each other if they’re to have any hope of preserving the past. From the author of All Are Welcome comes a novel about a family legacy worth fighting for.
Visit Liz Parker's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Still Broke"

Coming November 15 from PublicAffairs: Still Broke: Walmart's Remarkable Transformation and the Limits of Socially Conscious Capitalism by Rick Wartzman.

About the book, from the publisher:

How America’s biggest company began taking better care of its workers–and why such efforts will never be enough.

Fifteen years ago, Walmart was the most controversial company in America. By offering incredibly low prices, it had come to dominate the retail landscape. But with this dominance came a suite of ethical concerns. Walmart was accused of wiping out of mom-and-pop businesses across the country; ruthlessly pressuring suppliers to cut costs, even if it meant closing up U.S. factories and moving production overseas; and, above all, not taking adequate care of its own employees, who were paid so little that many wound up on public assistance.

Today, while Walmart remains America's largest employer, the picture is very different. It has become an environmental leader among businesses, and has taken many other steps to use its immense scale to have a positive social impact. Most notably, its starting wage has risen from $7.25 to $12, and employee benefits have improved. With internal and external threats to its business looming, the company began to change directions in 2005—a transformation that accelerated in 2014, with the arrival of CEO Doug McMillon. By undertaking such large-scale change without a legal mandate to do so, Walmart has joined a number of major corporations that say they are dedicated to practicing a new, socially conscious form of capitalism.

In Still Broke, award-winning author Rick Wartzman goes inside the company's transformation, showing in novelistic detail how the company has gotten to where it is. Yet he also asks a critical question: is it enough? With a still-simmering public debate around the minimum wage and widespread movements by workers demanding better treatment, how far will $12 an hour go in today's economy? Or even $15? Or Walmart’s average wage, which now hovers above $17—but, even so, doesn’t pencil out to so much as $32,000 a year for a fulltime worker?

In the richest nation on earth, how did the bar get set so low? How did America find itself relying on an army of low-wage workers without ever acknowledging their most basic needs? And if Walmart's brand of change is the best we have, how can we ever expect to build a healthy society?

With unparalleled access to the key executives and change-makers at Walmart, Still Broke does more than document a remarkable business makeover. It interrogates the role of business in American life, and asks what the future of our economy and country can be—and whose job it is to make it.
Follow Rick Wartzman on Twitter.

The Page 99 Test: Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

The Page 99 Test: The End of Loyalty.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

"Firestorm"

New from William Morrow: Firestorm: A Novel by Taylor Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:

DEA Special Agent Garrett Kohl must rescue a CIA officer when she’s kidnapped in Texas by a nefarious band of criminals in this pulse-pounding thriller for fans of C. J. Box.

Special Agent Garrett Kohl has just taken down a dangerous and deadly cartel boss when he finds trouble brewing back on his family’s homestead. A powerful energy consortium, Talon Corporation, has started an aggressive mining operation that threatens to destroy Garrett’s land, his family’s way of life, and everything they hold dear. To achieve its goals, Talon is flouting the law, bribing public officials, and meeting anyone who challenges it with physical violence. When the Kohls themselves are attacked by Talon guards, Garrett goes on the offensive, embarking on an investigation that he hopes will rid the Texas High Plains of the intruders once and for all.

Garrett soon discovers that the company has origins in the dark hinterlands of countries across the globe. Using coercion and assassination levied by men from former Russian special operations forces, Talon is working on a highly secretive scheme to commandeer precious U.S. resources. The tit for tat exchange between Talon and the Kohls erupts into a full-scale war when Russian spy, Alexi Orlov, kidnaps Garrett’s friend and ally, CIA operative Kim Manning. While Talon may be accustomed to getting its way in many places around the world, they have yet to encounter this rare breed of warrior down in Texas—a man who will fight to the death to protect those that he loves.
Visit Taylor Moore's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Global Politics of Jesus"

New from Oxford University Press: The Global Politics of Jesus: A Christian Case for Church-State Separation by Nilay Saiya.

About the book, from the publisher:

A unique, timely, and wide-ranging book that formulates and applies an ethic of Jesus to the realm of global politics.

Since the fourth century, Christians have wrestled with how they should interact with political authority. The most common view holds that while their ultimate loyalty rightfully belongs to God, Christians also have allegiance to their countries and a moral responsibility to transform their political systems. In The Global Politics of Jesus, Nilay Saiya provides a normative critique of this conventional view and advances an alternative approach. While it may seem natural for the church to fervently engage in political life and cultivate a close relationship with the state, Saiya argues that such beliefs result in a "paradox of privilege." As he shows, when the church yields to the seduction of political power when enjoying the benefits of an alliance with the state, it struggles to adhere to its tenets, and when it resists the allure of state power, it does its best work. This unique and wide-ranging book examines the paradox of privilege in some of the most important areas of global politics and considers its implications for the church itself.
--Marshal Zeringue

"A Dish to Die for"

New from Crooked Lane Books: A Dish to Die for by Lucy Burdette.

About the book, from the publisher:

National bestselling author Lucy Burdette returns to Key West for another delectable dish of secrets, intrigue, and murder.

Peace and quiet are hard to find in bustling Key West, so Hayley Snow, food critic for Key Zest magazine, is taking the afternoon off for a tranquil lunch with a friend outside of town. As they are enjoying the wild beach and the lunch, she realizes that her husband Nathan’s dog, Ziggy, has disappeared. She follows his barking, to find him furiously digging at a shallow grave with a man’s body in it. Davis Jager, a local birdwatcher, identifies him as GG Garcia, a rabble-rousing Key West local and developer. Garcia was famous for over-development on the fragile Keys, womanizing, and refusing to follow city rules—so it’s no wonder he had a few enemies.

When Davis is attacked in the parking lot of a local restaurant after talking to Hayley and her dear friend, the octogenarian Miss Gloria, Hayley is slowly but surely drawn into the case. Hayley’s mother, Janet, has been hired to cater GG’s memorial service reception at the local Woman’s Club, using recipes from their vintage Key West cookbook—and Hayley and Miss Gloria sign on to work with her, hoping to cook up some clues by observing the mourners.

But the real clues appear when Hayley begins to study the old cookbook, as whispers of old secrets come to life, dragging the past into the present—with murderous results.
Visit Lucy Burdette's website, Twitter perch, and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: An Appetite For Murder.

Writers Read: Lucy Burdette (January 2012).

The Page 69 Test: Death in Four Courses.

The Page 69 Test: A Scone of Contention.

My Book, The Movie: Unsafe Haven.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The History and Politics of Star Wars"

New from Routledge: The History and Politics of Star Wars: Death Stars and Democracy by Chris Kempshall.

About the book, from the publisher:

This book provides the first detailed and comprehensive examination of all the materials making up the Star Wars franchise relating to the portrayal and representation of real-world history and politics.

Drawing on a variety of sources, including films, published interviews with directors and actors, novels, comics, and computer games, this volume explores the ways in which historical and contemporary events have been repurposed within Star Wars. It focuses on key themes such as fascism and the Galactic Empire, the failures of democracy, the portrayal of warfare, the morality of the Jedi, and the representations of sex, gender, and race. Through these themes, this study highlights the impacts of the fall of the Soviet Union, the War on Terror, and the failures of the United Nations upon the ‘galaxy far, far away’. By analysing and understanding these events and their portrayal within Star Wars, it shows how the most popular media franchise in existence aims to speak about wider contemporary events and issues.

The History and Politics of Star Wars is useful for upper-level undergraduates, postgraduates, and scholars of a variety of disciplines such as transmedia studies, science fiction, cultural studies, and world history and politics in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Visit Chris Kempshall's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

"Are You Sara?"

New from William Morrow Paperbacks: Are You Sara?: A Novel by S.C. Lalli.

About the book, from the publisher:

Two women named Sara each get into a rideshare... but only one makes it home alive. Which Sara was the real target?

Law student Saraswati “Sara” Bhaduri holds down two jobs in order to make her way through school, but it’s still a struggle. She’s had to do things to pay the bills that most people wouldn’t expect from “a nice Indian girl.” It seems like an ordinary busy Tuesday night at the local dive bar until her boss demands Sara deal with a drunk girl in the bathroom.

The two become fast friends. Why? Because they both have the same name. And despite their different circumstances, the two connect. When they both order rideshares home, they tumble in the back of the cars and head out into the night.

But when Sara awakes in her rideshare, she finds she's on the wrong side of town—the rich side—and she realizes: she and Sarah took the wrong cars home.

With no money, Sara walks back to her apartment on the shady side of town only to discover police lights flashing and a body crumpled on her doorstep: Sarah.

Was Sarah Ellis or Sara Bhaduri the target? And why would anyone want either of them dead?

In this smart, twisty novel about ambition, wealth, and dangerous longing, the layers are peeled back on two young women desperate to break out of the expectations placed on them, with devastating results.
Visit S.C. Lalli's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Fishermen and the Dragon"

New from Viking: The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast by Kirk Wallace Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A gripping, twisting account of a small town set on fire by hatred, xenophobia, and ecological disaster—a story that weaves together corporate malfeasance, a battle over shrinking natural resources, a turning point in the modern white supremacist movement, and one woman’s relentless battle for environmental justice.

By the late 1970s, the fishermen of the Texas Gulf Coast were struggling. The bays that had sustained generations of shrimpers and crabbers before them were being poisoned by nearby petrochemical plants, oil spills, pesticides, and concrete. But as their nets came up light, the white shrimpers could only see one culprit: the small but growing number of newly resettled Vietnamese refugees who had recently started fishing.

Turf was claimed. Guns were flashed. Threats were made. After a white crabber was killed by a young Vietnamese refugee in self-defense, the situation became a tinderbox primed to explode, and the Grand Dragon of the Texas Knights of the Ku Klux Klan saw an opportunity to stoke the fishermen’s rage and prejudices. At a massive Klan rally near Galveston Bay one night in 1981, he strode over to an old boat graffitied with the words U.S.S. VIET CONG, torch in hand, and issued a ninety-day deadline for the refugees to leave or else “it’s going to be a helluva lot more violent than Vietnam!” The white fishermen roared as the boat burned, convinced that if they could drive these newcomers from the coast, everything would return to normal.

A shocking campaign of violence ensued, marked by burning crosses, conspiracy theories, death threats, torched boats, and heavily armed Klansmen patrolling Galveston Bay. The Vietnamese were on the brink of fleeing, until a charismatic leader in their community, a highly decorated colonel, convinced them to stand their ground by entrusting their fate with the Constitution.

Drawing upon a trove of never-before-published material, including FBI and ATF records, unprecedented access to case files, and scores of firsthand interviews with Klansmen, shrimpers, law enforcement, environmental activists, lawyers, perpetrators and victims, Johnson uncovers secrets and secures confessions to crimes that went unsolved for more than forty years. This explosive investigation of a forgotten story, years in the making, ultimately leads Johnson to the doorstep of the one woman who could see clearly enough to recognize the true threat to the bays—and who now represents the fishermen’s last hope.
Visit's Kirk Wallace Johnson website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Long Gone"

New from Minotaur Books: Long Gone: A Detective Annalisa Vega Novel (Volume 2) by Joanna Schaffhausen.

About the book, form the publisher:

Long Gone, the next installment of Joanna Schaffhausen's critically acclaimed Detective Annalisa Vega series.

Chicago detective Annalisa Vega shattered her life, personally and professionally, when she turned in her ex-cop father for his role in a murder. Her family can’t forgive her. Her fellow officers no longer trust her. So when detective Leo Hammond turns up dead in a bizarre murder, Annalisa thinks she has nothing to lose by investigating whatever secrets he hid behind the thin blue line.

Annalisa quickly zeroes in on someone who had good reason to want Hammond dead: a wealthy, fast-talking car salesman who’d gotten away with murder once and wasn’t about to let Hammond take a second shot. Moe Bocks remains the number one suspect in his girlfriend’s brutal unsolved death, and now he’s got a new woman in his sights—Annalisa’s best friend.

Annalisa is desperate to protect her friend and force Bocks to pay, either for Hammond’s death or his earlier crime. But when no one else believes the connection, she takes increasingly risky chances to reveal the truth. Because both Hammond and Bocks had secrets to die for, and if she doesn’t untangle them soon, Annalisa will be next.
Visit Joanna Schaffhausen's website.

The Page 69 Test: All the Best Lies.

Writers Read: Joanna Schaffhausen (February 2020).

Q&A with Joanna Schaffhausen.

My Book, The Movie: Gone for Good.

The Page 69 Test: Gone for Good.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Road Trip to Nowhere"

New from the University of California Press: Road Trip to Nowhere: Hollywood Encounters the Counterculture by Jon Lewis.

About the book, from the publisher:

How a new generation of counterculture talent changed the landscape of Hollywood, the film industry, and celebrity culture.

By 1967, the commercial and political impact on Hollywood of the sixties counterculture had become impossible to ignore. The studios were in bad shape, still contending with a generation-long box office slump and struggling to get young people into the habit of going to the movies. Road Trip to Nowhere examines a ten-year span (from 1967 to 1976) rife with uneasy encounters between artists caught up in the counterculture and a corporate establishment still clinging to a studio system on the brink of collapse. Out of this tumultuous period many among the young and talented walked away from celebrity, turning down the best job Hollywood—and America—had on offer: movie star.

Road Trip to Nowhere elaborates a primary-sourced history of movie production culture, examining the lives of a number of talented actors who got wrapped up in the politics and lifestyles of the counterculture. Thoroughly put off by celebrity culture, actors like Dennis Hopper, Christopher Jones, Jean Seberg, and others rejected the aspirational backstory and inevitable material trappings of success, much to the chagrin of the studios and directors who backed them. In Road Trip to Nowhere, film historian Jon Lewis details dramatic encounters on movie sets and in corporate boardrooms, on the job and on the streets, and in doing so offers an entertaining and rigorous historical account of an out-of-touch Hollywood establishment and the counterculture workforce they would never come to understand.
The Page 99 Test: Hard-Boiled Hollywood.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 25, 2022

"Sometimes People Die"

Coming September 2022 from Hanover Square Press: Sometimes People Die: A Novel by Simon Stephenson.

About the book, from the publisher:

When too many patients die under his watch, a troubled young doctor suspects murder. But are his instincts to be trusted?

Returning to practice after a suspension for stealing opioids, a young doctor takes the only job he can find: a post as a physician at the struggling St. Luke's Hospital in east London. Amid the maelstrom of sick patients, overworked staff and underfunded wards, a more insidious secret soon declares itself: too many patients are dying. And a murderer may be lurking in plain sight.

Drawing on his experiences as a physician, Simon Stephenson takes readers into the dark heart of life as a hospitalist to ask the question: Who are the people we gift the power of life and death, and what does it do to them?

As beautifully written and witty as it is propulsive, Sometimes People Die is an unforgettable thriller that will haunt you long after you turn the last page.
Visit Simon Stephenson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Path Lit by Lightning"

New from Simon & Schuster: Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe by David Maraniss.

About the book, from the publisher:

A riveting new biography of America’s greatest all-around athlete by the bestselling author of the classic biography When Pride Still Mattered.

Jim Thorpe rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport. He won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, was an All-American football player at the Carlisle Indian School, the star of the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and played major league baseball for John McGraw’s New York Giants. Even in a golden age of sports celebrities, he was one of a kind.

But despite his colossal skills, Thorpe’s life was a struggle against the odds. As a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, he encountered duplicitous authorities who turned away from him when their reputations were at risk. At Carlisle, he dealt with the racist assimilationist philosophy “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” His gold medals were unfairly rescinded because he had played minor league baseball. His later life was troubled by alcohol, broken marriages, and financial distress. He roamed from state to state and took bit parts in Hollywood, but even the film of his own life failed to improve his fortunes. But for all his travails, Thorpe did not succumb. The man survived, complications and all, and so did the myth.

Path Lit by Lightning is a great American story from a master biographer.
Learn more about the book and author at David Maraniss' website.

The Page 99 Test: Rome 1960.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Undead Truth of Us"

New from Disney Press: The Undead Truth of Us by Britney S. Lewis.

About the book, from the publisher:

Death was everywhere. They all stared at me, bumping into one another and slowly coming forward. Sixteen-year-old Zharie Young is absolutely certain her mother morphed into a zombie before her untimely death, but she can’t seem to figure out why. Why her mother died, why her aunt doesn’t want her around, why all her dreams seem suddenly, hopelessly out of reach. And why, ever since that day, she’s been seeing zombies everywhere. Then Bo moves into her apartment building-tall, skateboard in hand, freckles like stars, and an undeniable charm. Z wants nothing to do with him, but when he transforms into a half zombie right before her eyes, something feels different. He contradicts everything she thought she knew about monsters, and she can’t help but wonder if getting to know him might unlock the answers to her mother’s death. As Zharie sifts through what’s real and what’s magic, she discovers a new truth about the world: Love can literally change you-for good or for dead. In this surrealist journey of grief, fear, and hope, Britney S. Lewis’s debut novel explores love, zombies, and everything in between in an intoxicating amalgam of the real and the fantastic.
Visit Britney S. Lewis's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Necrofiction and The Politics of Literary Memory"

New from Liverpool University Press: Necrofiction and The Politics of Literary Memory by Oana Panaite.

About the book, from the publisher:

Contemporary literature gathers in a commemorative site the remains of H/history and its own story by erecting literary tombs. Necrofiction and The Politics of Literary Memory argues that current narratives of the aftermath enable writers to honour the past while casting off its burdensome legacy, and to dismantle while reassembling affective, political, and aesthetic communities. The genre is defined and discussed in relation to other literary forms such as trauma writing, historical novels, archival narratives, biofiction, or field literature. Necrofiction fulfils in distinct ways the social and artistic function of an individual or collective act of remembrance of a lost family member or a historical figure. At the same time, it offers a creative space in which the authors can overcome the burden of literary tradition by incorporating existing models and devices into their own poetic art while as demonstrated by the works of five writers whose personal and artistic trajectories transcend political, cultural, and linguistic frontiers: Linda Le, Patrick Modiano, Assia Djebar, Patrick Chamoiseau, and Maylis de Kerangal. By examining the ways in which fiction both reflects and resists what Achille Mbembe has defined as "necropolitics," Necrofiction and The Politics of Memory delves into the contentious yet intimate relationship between singular models of literary remembrance and the frameworks of hegemonic discourses.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 24, 2022

"Mother In the Dark"

New from Riverhead Books: Mother In the Dark: A Novel by Kayla Maiuri.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Anna’s sister calls with an urgent message, Anna doesn’t return the call. She knows it’s about their mother.

Growing up in working class Boston in an Italian American family, Anna’s childhood was sparse but comfortable—filled with homemade pasta sauce and a close-knit neighborhood. Anna and her sisters are devoted to their mother, orbiting her like the sun, trying to keep up with her loving but mercurial nature as she bounces between tenderness and bitterness.

When their father gets a new job outside the city, the family is tossed unceremoniously into a middle-class suburban existence. Anna’s mother is suddenly adrift, and the darkness lurking inside her expands until it threatens to explode. Her daughters, trapped with her in the new house, isolated, must do everything they can to keep her from unraveling.

Alternating between childhood and Anna’s twenties, when she receives a shattering call about her mother that threatens to blow up her own precariously constructed life in New York, Mother in the Dark asks whether we can ever really go back home when the idea of home is so unstable. Whether we can escape that instability or accept that our personalities are built around the defenses we put up. Maiuri is a master at revealing the fragile horrors of domestic family life and how the traumas of the past shape the present and generations of women.

A story about sisterhood, the complications of class, and the chains of inheritance between mothers and daughters, Mother in the Dark delivers an unvarnished portrayal of a young woman consumed by her past and a family teetering on the edge of a knife.
Visit Kayla Maiuri's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal"

New from Little, Brown: If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal: What Animal Intelligence Reveals About Human Stupidity by Justin Gregg.

About the book, from the publisher:

This funny, "extraordinary and thought-provoking" (The Wall Street Journal) book asks whether we are in fact the superior species. As it turns out, the truth is stranger—and far more interesting—than we have been led to believe.

If Nietzsche Were a Narwhal
overturns everything we thought we knew about human intelligence, and asks the question: would humans be better off as narwhals? Or some other, less brainy species? There’s a good argument to be made that humans might be a less successful animal species precisely because of our amazing, complex intelligence.

All our unique gifts like language, math, and science do not make us happier or more “successful” (evolutionarily speaking) than other species. Our intelligence allowed us to split the atom, but we’ve harnessed that knowledge to make machines of war. We are uniquely susceptible to bullshit (though, cuttlefish may be the best liars in the animal kingdom); our bizarre obsession with lawns has contributed to the growing threat of climate change; we are sexually diverse like many species yet stand apart as homophobic; and discriminate among our own as if its natural, which it certainly is not. Is our intelligence more of a curse than a gift?

As scientist Justin Gregg persuasively argues, there’s an evolutionary reason why human intelligence isn’t more prevalent in the animal kingdom. Simply put, non-human animals don’t need it to be successful. And, miraculously, their success arrives without the added baggage of destroying themselves and the planet in the process.

In seven mind-bending and hilarious chapters, Gregg highlights one feature seemingly unique to humans—our use of language, our rationality, our moral systems, our so-called sophisticated consciousness—and compares it to our animal brethren. Along the way, remarkable tales of animal smarts emerge, as you’ll discover:

The house cat who’s better at picking winning stocks than actual fund managers
Elephants who love to drink
Pigeons who are better than radiologists at spotting cancerous tissue
Bumblebees who are geniuses at teaching each other soccer

What emerges is both demystifying and remarkable, and will change how you look at animals, humans, and the meaning of life itself.
Visit Justin Gregg's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Thank You for Listening"

New from Avon: Thank You for Listening: A Novel by Julia Whelan.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of My Oxford Year, Julia Whelan’s uplifting novel tells the story of a former actress turned successful audiobook narrator—who has lost sight of her dreams after a tragic accident—and her journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance when she agrees to narrate one last romance novel.

For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger.

On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her.

As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more.

If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.
Visit Julia Whelan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Tangled Goods"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Tangled Goods: The Practical Life of Pro Bono Advertising by Iddo Tavory, Sonia Prelat and Shelly Ronen.

About the book, from the publisher:

A novel investigation of pro bono marketing and the relationship between goods, exploring the complex moral dimensions of philanthropic advertising.

The advertising industry may seem like one of the most craven manifestations of capitalism, turning consumption into a virtue. In Tangled Goods, authors Iddo Tavory, Sonia Prelat, and Shelly Ronen consider an important dimension of the advertising industry that appears to depart from the industry’s consumerist foundations: pro bono ad campaigns. Why is an industry known for biting cynicism and cutthroat competition also an industry in which people dedicate time and effort to “doing good”?

Interviewing over seventy advertising professionals and managers, the authors trace the complicated meanings of the good in these pro bono projects. Doing something altruistic, they show, often helps employees feel more at ease working for big pharma or corporate banks. Often these projects afford them greater creative leeway than they normally have, as well as the potential for greater recognition. While the authors uncover different motivations behind pro bono work, they are more interested in considering how various notions of the good shift, with different motivations and benefits rising to the surface at different moments. This book sheds new light on how goodness and prestige interact with personal and altruistic motivations to produce value for individuals and institutions and produces a novel theory of the relationship among goods: one of the most fraught questions in sociological theory.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 23, 2022

"A Simple Choice"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: A Simple Choice by David Pepper.

About the book, from the publisher:

A propulsive political thriller featuring two outsiders caught up in a stunning conspiracy, filled with details and twists that only a true political insider could write.

When one of the nation’s most prestigious senators jumps from a cliff in Maine, it is no surprise that the political elite and the media flock to the story, determined to uncover what has happened–and whether foul play was involved. Palmer Knight, a fast-rising TV news correspondent, is sent to cover the mysterious death, and finds himself embroiled in a plot that goes far beyond the Senate and onto the global stage.

Meanwhile, Army veteran and former Supreme Court clerk Amity Jones thought she had left the fast lane behind when she moved to Ohio to care for her cancer-stricken mother. But her dogged pursuit of a local medical mystery places bring her back to the world of politics, and ultimately into Palmer’s investigation of the senator’s death. The unlikely duo, brought together by seemingly unconnected events, soon find themselves enmeshed in a political conspiracy that reaches the highest levels of power, and places their lives—and many others—in terrible danger.
Visit David Pepper's website.

Q&A with David Pepper.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Lewis Carroll: Formed by Faith"

Coming September 20 from the University of Virginia Press: Lewis Carroll: Formed by Faith by Charlie Lovett.

About the book, from the publisher:

For Lewis Carroll, a deacon in the Church of England, faith in Christ and belief in a loving God stood at the core of his being, but little has been written about what the church or faith meant to the celebrated author of the Alice books. With Lewis Carroll: Formed by Faith, Charlie Lovett provides the first in-depth study of the religious life of the famous author, whose real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

By examining Dodgson’s religious education and core beliefs, this book shows how a deep Christian faith undergirded and guided every part of his life and work, from his relationships with children to his renowned writings, his work on logic, even his hobbies of photography and theatre going. The book includes a detailed account of the career of Dodgson’s father—an important figure in the Anglican church and a key influence on his son.

Family records give insight into Charles’s early education, and newly discovered manuscript materials paint a full picture of his religious education at Richmond and Rugby Schools. Lovett finds previously unknown influences in Dodgson’s life, analyzes his habits of preaching and prayer, explores his training for confirmation and ordination, analyzes his reasons for eschewing the priesthood, and concludes with an account of his death and funeral and his logically constructed theology of the afterlife. The book makes use of previously untapped sources and highlights new material, including a previously unknown sermon by Dodgson, the first ever discovered. The result is a major contribution offering new perspectives on this creator of fantastical fiction and the spiritual bedrock that informed his life and imagination.
Learn more about the book and author at Charlie Lovett's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Bookman's Tale.

My Book, The Movie: The Bookman's Tale.

The Page 69 Test: First Impressions.

My Book, The Movie: First Impressions.

My Book, The Movie: The Lost Book of the Grail.

The Page 69 Test: The Lost Book of the Grail.

Writers Read: Charlie Lovett (March 2017).

The Page 69 Test: Escaping Dreamland.

Q&A with Charlie Lovett.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Small Angels"

New from Random House: Small Angels: A Novel by Lauren Owen.

About the book, from the publisher:

The woods are stirring again. . . .

Lucia and her sisters grew up on the edge of Mockbeggar Woods. They knew it well—its danger, but also its beauty. As a lonely teenager, Kate was drawn to these sisters, who were unlike anyone she’d ever met. But when they brought her into the woods, something dark was awakened, and Kate has never been able to escape the terrible truth of what happened there.

Chloe has been planning her dream wedding for months. She has the dress, the flowers, and the perfect venue: Small Angels, a charming old church set alongside dense, green woods in the village that her fiancĂ©, Sam, and his sister, Kate, grew up in. But days before the ceremony, Chloe starts to learn of unsettling stories about Small Angels and Mockbeggar Woods. And worse, she begins to see, smell, and hear things that couldn’t possibly be real.

Now, Kate is returning home for the first time in years—for Sam and Chloe’s wedding. But the woods are stirring again, and Kate must reconnect with Lucia, her first love, to protect Chloe, the village, and herself. An unforgettable novel about the memories that hold us back and those that show us the way forward, this is storytelling at its most magical. Enter Small Angels, if you dare.
Visit Lauren Owen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Sloth Lemur's Song"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Sloth Lemur’s Song: Madagascar from the Deep Past to the Uncertain Present by Alison Richard.

About the book, from the publisher:

A moving account of Madagascar told by a researcher who has spent over fifty years investigating the mysteries of this remarkable island.

Madagascar is a place of change. A biodiversity hotspot and the fourth largest island on the planet, it has been home to a spectacular parade of animals, from giant flightless birds and giant tortoises on the ground to agile lemurs leaping through the treetops. Some species live on; many have vanished in the distant or recent past. Over vast stretches of time, Madagascar’s forests have expanded and contracted in response to shifting climates, and the hand of people is clear in changes during the last thousand years or so. Today, Madagascar is a microcosm of global trends. What happens there in the decades ahead can, perhaps, suggest ways to help turn the tide on the environmental crisis now sweeping the world.

The Sloth Lemur’s Song is a far-reaching account of Madagascar’s past and present, led by an expert guide who has immersed herself in research and conservation activities with village communities on the island for nearly fifty years. Alison Richard accompanies the reader on a journey through space and time—from Madagascar’s ancient origins as a landlocked region of Gondwana and its emergence as an island to the modern-day developments that make the survival of its array of plants and animals increasingly uncertain. Weaving together scientific evidence with Richard’s own experiences and exploring the power of stories to shape our understanding of events, this book captures the magic as well as the tensions that swirl around this island nation.
--Marshal Zeringue