Wednesday, October 4, 2023

"The Harbour Lights Mystery"

New from Thomas & Mercer: The Harbour Lights Mystery (A Shell House Detectives Mystery) by Emylia Hall.

About the book, from the publisher:

As The Shell House Detectives try to solve a family mystery, their investigation runs dangerously close to a murder case. Are the two linked?

It’s December in Cornwall, and Mousehole harbour is illuminated with its famous Christmas lights. Ally Bright is among the crowd listening to the carol singers―and then to the piercing screams that rip through the darkness. A body has been found, brutally murdered and dumped in a fisherman’s boat.

The victim is chef JP Sharpe and there is no shortage of people who might have wanted him dead. Eager for a new case for The Shell House Detectives, Ally calls ex-cop Jayden, but he’s keen to leave it to the police―until a letter in Sharpe’s pocket draws them into a seemingly unconnected family mystery. As they take on this highly charged mission, the duo can’t help scrutinising the murder suspects. Who among the close-knit community has reason to kill, and how far will they go to protect themselves?

As fear spreads, Ally and Jayden need answers―fast. Could the letter offer a clue to the murder case or will it reveal a terrible truth? And when a new witness comes to light, Jayden closes in on a desperate killer…but can he warn Ally in time?
Visit Emylia Hall's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Evolving Tomorrow"

New from Oxford University Press: Evolving Tomorrow: Genetic Engineering and the Evolutionary Future of the Anthropocene by Asher D. Cutter.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Anthropocene defines the here-and-now time period on Earth of indelible (and possibly irreversible) human disturbance to the natural world, from habitat destruction and mass extinction to global climate change. To ameliorate and repair the damage that threatens the world's dwindling resources and our very existence, humanity is enacting massive interventions to fuse modern technologies with long established natural processes. Advances in genetic engineering have put us on the cusp of directly shaping the DNA of every living organism (including ourselves), as well as determining the evolution of completely novel species. The author invites the reader to explore how humans have manipulated the ancient forces of evolution and the future possibilities of genetic engineering for conservation and rewilding, de-extinction, and even the creation of viable populations of entirely new species. To entertain such possibilities of synthetic biology, he forces us to wrestle with the threats and ethical conundrums that surround the unintended consequences, as well as the values that humanity places on authenticity in nature. In so doing, this accessible and thought-provoking book explores the potential future of life on planet Earth.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

"Why the Bible Began"

New from Cambridge University Press: Why the Bible Began: An Alternative History of Scripture and its Origins by Jacob L. Wright.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why did no other ancient society produce something like the Bible? That a tiny, out of the way community could have created a literary corpus so determinative for peoples across the globe seems improbable.

For Jacob Wright, the Bible is not only a testimony of survival, but also an unparalleled achievement in human history. Forged after Babylon's devastation of Jerusalem, it makes not victory but total humiliation the foundation of a new idea of belonging. Lamenting the destruction of their homeland, scribes who composed the Bible imagined a promise-filled past while reflecting deeply on abject failure. More than just religious scripture, the Bible began as a trailblazing blueprint for a new form of political community. Its response to catastrophe offers a powerful message of hope and restoration that is unique in the Ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman worlds.

Wright's Bible is thus a social, political, and even economic roadmap - one that enabled a small and obscure community located on the periphery of leading civilizations and empires not just to come back from the brink, but ultimately to shape the world's destiny. The Bible speaks ultimately of being a united yet diverse people, and its pages present a manual of pragmatic survival strategies for communities confronting societal collapse.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Shanghai Immortal"

New from Hodder & Stoughton: Shanghai Immortal: A richly told debut fantasy novel set in Jazz Age Shanghai by A. Y. Chao.

About the book, from the publisher:

Half vampire. Half fox-spirit. All trouble.

Pawned by her mother to the King of Hell as a child, Lady Jing is half-vampire, half-hulijing fox-spirit and all sasshole. As the King's ward, she has spent the past ninety years running errands, dodging the taunts of the spiteful hulijing courtiers, and trying to control her explosive temper - with varying levels of success.

So when Jing overhears the courtiers plotting to steal a priceless dragon pearl from the King, she seizes her chance to expose them, once and for all.

With the help of a gentle mortal tasked with setting up the Central Bank of Hell, Jing embarks on a wild chase for intel, first through Hell and then mortal Shanghai. But when her hijinks put the mortal in danger, she must decide which is more important: avenging her loss of face, or letting go of her half-empty approach to life for a chance to experience tenderness - and maybe even love.
Visit A.Y. Chao's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Dictionary People"

New from Knopf: The Dictionary People: The Unsung Heroes Who Created the Oxford English Dictionary by Sarah Ogilvie.

About the book, from the publisher:

A history and celebration of the many far-flung volunteers who helped define the English language, word by word.

The Oxford English Dictionary is one of mankind’s greatest achievements, and yet, curiously, its creators are almost never considered. Who were the people behind this unprecedented book? As Sarah Ogilvie reveals, they include three murderers, a collector of pornography, the daughter of Karl Marx, a president of Yale, a radical suffragette, a vicar who was later found dead in the cupboard of his chapel, an inventor of the first American subway, a female anti-slavery activist in Philadelphia . . . and thousands of others.

Of deep transgenerational and broad appeal, a thrilling literary detective story that, for the first time, unravels the mystery of the endlessly fascinating contributors the world over who, for over seventy years, helped to codify the way we read and write and speak. It was the greatest crowdsourcing endeavor in human history, the Wikipedia of its time.

The Dictionary People is a celebration of words, language, and people, whose eccentricities and obsessions, triumphs, and failures enriched the English language.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The House of Doors"

New from Bloomsbury USA: The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the bestselling author of The Garden of Evening Mists, a spellbinding novel about love and betrayal, colonialism and revolution, storytelling and redemption.

The year is 1921. Lesley Hamlyn and her husband, Robert, a lawyer and war veteran, are living at Cassowary House on the Straits Settlement of Penang. When “Willie” Somerset Maugham, a famed writer and old friend of Robert's, arrives for an extended visit with his secretary Gerald, the pair threatens a rift that could alter more lives than one.

Maugham, one of the great novelists of his day, is beleaguered: Having long hidden his homosexuality, his unhappy and expensive marriage of convenience becomes unbearable after he loses his savings-and the freedom to travel with Gerald. His career deflating, his health failing, Maugham arrives at Cassowary House in desperate need of a subject for his next book. Lesley, too, is enduring a marriage more duplicitous than it first appears. Maugham suspects an affair, and, learning of Lesley's past connection to the Chinese revolutionary, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, decides to probe deeper. But as their friendship grows and Lesley confides in him about life in the Straits, Maugham discovers a far more surprising tale than he imagined, one that involves not only war and scandal but the trial of an Englishwoman charged with murder. It is, to Maugham, a story worthy of fiction.

A mesmerizingly beautiful novel based on real events, The House of Doors traces the fault lines of race, gender, sexuality, and power under empire, and dives deep into the complicated nature of love and friendship in its shadow.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 2, 2023

"Novels by Aliens"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Novels by Aliens: Weird Tales and the Twenty-First Century by Kate Marshall.

About the book, from the publisher:

A wide-ranging account of the twenty-first century’s fascination with the weird.

Twenty-first-century fiction and theory have taken a decidedly weird turn. They both show a marked interest in the nonhuman and in the preternatural moods that the nonhuman often evokes. Writers of fiction and criticism are avidly experimenting with strange, even alien perspectives and protagonists. Kate Marshall’s Novels by Aliens explores this development broadly while focusing on problems of genre fiction. She identifies three key generic hybrids that harness a longing for the nonhuman: the old weird, an alternative tradition within naturalism and modernism for the twenty-first century’s cowboys and aliens; cosmic realism, the reach for words legible only from space in otherwise terrestrial narratives; and pseudoscience fiction, which imagines speculative futures beyond human life on earth. Offering sharp and surprising insights about a breathtaking range of authors, from Edgar Rice Burroughs to Kazuo Ishiguro, Willa Cather to Maggie Nelson, Novels by Aliens tells the story of how genre became mood in the twenty-first century.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Dreaming of Water"

New from Lake Union Publishing: Dreaming of Water: A Novel by A. J. Banner.

About the book, from the publisher:

A woman’s investigation into her past reveals family secrets and lies in this novel of discovery, redemption, and the mutability of memory by the bestselling author of The Good Neighbor and In Another Light.

Astrid Johansen swore she would never return to Heron Bay, Washington. In that idyllic coastal town, her little sister, Nina, drowned in a reflecting pool under Astrid’s watch seventeen years ago. Though guilt has kept her away, Astrid can’t ignore her aunt Maude’s urgent plea to come back. Maude claims to have found a letter that will change everything about the past.

When Astrid arrives in Heron Bay, she finds Maude unconscious, perhaps the victim of an attack. As Maude lingers in a coma, Astrid uncovers alarming evidence that Nina’s drowning that tragic night was no accident. But in a town rife with secrets, and in a family still fractured by grief, who knows the truth?

Astrid’s investigation leads her down a trail of dark memories, lies, and betrayals that will shatter her perception of everyone she thought she knew―even herself.
Visit A.J. Banner's website.

The Page 69 Test: After Nightfall.

Writers Read: A.J. Banner (September 2018).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Why SNAP Works"

New from the University of California Press: Why SNAP Works: A Political History―and Defense―of the Food Stamp Program by Christopher John Bosso.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first book to tell the whole story of SNAP and to explain why all Americans should support it.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the nation’s largest government effort for helping low-income Americans obtain an adequate diet. How did SNAP, formerly the food stamp program, evolve from a Depression-era effort to use up surplus goods into America’s foundational food assistance program? And how does SNAP survive? Incisive and original, Why SNAP Works is the first book to provide a comprehensive history and evaluation of the nation’s most important food insecurity and poverty alleviation effort.

Everyone has an opinion about SNAP, not all of them positive, but its benefits are felt broadly and across party lines. Christopher Bosso makes a clear, nuanced, and impassioned case for protecting this unique food program, exploring its history and breaking down the facts for readers across the political spectrum. Why SNAP Works is an essential book for anyone concerned about food access, poverty, and the “welfare system” in the United States.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Hurricane Wars"

New from Harper Voyager: The Hurricane Wars: A Novel by Thea Guanzon.

About the book, from the publisher:

The fates of two bitter enemies with opposing magical abilities are swept together in The Hurricane Wars, the spellbinding debut in a fantasy romance trilogy set in a Southeast Asia–inspired world ravaged by storms, perfect for fans of Fourth Wing and A Court of Thorns and Roses

The heart is a battlefield.

All Talasyn has ever known is the Hurricane Wars. Growing up an orphan in a nation under siege by the ruthless Night Emperor, she found her family among the soldiers who fight for freedom. But she is hiding a deadly secret: light magic courses through her veins, a blazing power believed to have been wiped out years ago that can cut through the Night Empire’s shadows.

Prince Alaric, the emperor’s only son and heir, has been tasked with obliterating any threats to the Night Empire’s rule with the strength of his armies and mighty shadow magic. He discovers the greatest threat yet in Talasyn: a girl burning brightly on the battlefield with the magic that killed his grandfather, turned his father into a monster, and ignited the Hurricane Wars. He tries to kill her, but in a clash of light and dark, their powers merge and create a force the likes of which has never been seen.

This war can only end with them. But an even greater danger is coming, and the strange magic they can create together could be the only way to overcome it. Talasyn and Alaric must decide… are they fated to join hands, or destroy each other?

An exquisite fantasy brimming with unforgettable characters and sizzling enemies-to-lovers romance set in a richly drawn world, The Hurricane Wars marks the breathtaking debut of an extraordinary new writer.
Visit Thea Guanzon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 1, 2023

"Home at Night"

New from Minotaur Books: Home at Night: A Mercy Carr Mystery (Volume 5) by Paula Munier.

About the book, from the publisher:

Beware the blackbirds…

It’s Halloween in Vermont, winter is coming, and five humans, two dogs, and a cat are a crowd in Mercy Carr’s small cabin. She needs more room—and she knows just the place: Grackle Tree Farm, with thirty acres of woods and wetlands and a Victorian manor to die for. They say it’s haunted by the ghosts of missing children and lost poets and a murderer or two, but Mercy loves it anyway. Even when Elvis finds a dead body in the library.

There’s something about Grackle Tree Farm that people are willing to kill for—and Mercy needs to figure out what before they move in. A coded letter found on the victim points to a hidden treasure that may be worth a fortune—if it’s real. She and Captain Thrasher conduct a search of the old place—and end up at the wrong end of a Glock. A masked man shoots Thrasher, and she and Elvis must take him down before he murders them all. Under fire, she and Elvis manage to run the guy off, but not before they are wounded, leaving Thrasher fighting for his life in the hospital, Mercy on crutches, and Elvis on the mend.

Now it’s up to Mercy and Troy and the dogs to track down the masked murderer in a county overflowing with leaf peepers, Halloween revelers, and treasure hunters and bring him to justice before he strikes again and the treasure is lost forever, along with the good name of Grackle Tree Farm….
Visit Paula Munier's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Paula Munier & Bear.

My Book, The Movie: A Borrowing of Bones.

The Page 69 Test: A Borrowing of Bones.

Writers Read: Paula Munier (October 2019).

My Book, The Movie: Blind Search.

The Page 69 Test: Blind Search.

My Book, The Movie: The Hiding Place.

The Page 69 Test: The Hiding Place.

Q&A with Paula Munier.

My Book, The Movie: The Wedding Plot.

The Page 69 Test: The Wedding Plot.

Writers Read: Paula Munier (July 2022).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Gospel of Church"

New from Oxford University Press: The Gospel of Church: How Mainline Protestants Vilified Christian Socialism and Fractured the Labor Movement by Janine Giordano Drake.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1908, Unitarian pastor Bertrand Thompson observed the momentous growth of the labor movement with alarm. "Socialism," he wrote, "has become a distinct substitute" for the church. He was not wrong.

In the generation after the Civil War, few of the migrants who moved North and West to take jobs in factories and mines had any association with traditional Protestant denominations. In the place of church, workers built a labor movement around a shared commitment to a Christian commonwealth. They demanded an expanded local, state and federal infrastructure which supported collective bargaining for better pay, shorter work-days, and an array of municipal services. Protestant clergy worried that if the labor movement kept growing in momentum and cultural influence, socialist policies would displace the need for churches and their many ministries to the poor. Even worse, they feared that the labor movement would render the largest Protestant denominations a relic of the nineteenth century.

In The Gospel of Church, Janine Giordano Drake carefully traces the relationships which Protestant ministers built with labor unions and working class communities. She finds that Protestant ministers worked hard to assert their cultural authority over Catholic, Jewish, and religiously-unaffiliated working-class communities. Moreover, they rarely supported the most important demands of labor, including freedom of speech and the right to collective bargaining. Despite their heroic narratives of Christian social reform, Protestant reformers' efforts to assert their authority over industrial affairs directly undermined workers' efforts to bring about social democracy in the United States.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 30, 2023

"The Witch's Lens"

New from 47North: The Witch's Lens: A Novel (The Order of the Seven Stars) by Luanne G. Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

As World War I rages, there are evils―both living and dead―that only a witch can see in a spellbinding novel by the Amazon Charts and Washington Post bestselling author of The Raven Spell.

With her husband off fighting at World War I’s eastern front, Petra Kurková embraces her fleeting freedom, roaming the city at night with her camera. A born witch, she’s discovered that she can capture the souls of the dead on film. Her supernatural skills don’t go unnoticed by the enigmatic Josef Svoboda. He’s recruiting a team of sorcerers to infiltrate the front lines, where the bloodshed of combat has resurrected foul creatures. Petra’s unique abilities will be needed against the most dangerous enemies of all―those ever present, undead, and unseen.

Deep in the cursed Carpathian Mountains, the ragtag team meets with an emissary of an ancient organization founded to maintain balance between worlds. Photographing the escalating horrors is beyond anything Petra imagined. So are the secrets among her fellow witches. But Petra can’t turn back. Not before she discovers her husband’s fate and the myriad ways her magic is manifesting. To defeat an occult foe, Petra must release the power she’s been concealing for so long, or risk damning a war-torn world to ashes.
Visit Luanne G. Smith's website.

Q&A with Luanne G. Smith.

The Page 69 Test: The Raven Spell.

The Page 69 Test: The Raven Song.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Re-envisioning the Everyday"

New from Penn State University Press: Re-envisioning the Everyday: American Genre Scenes, 1905-1945 by John Fagg.

About the book, from the publisher:

Often seen as backward-looking and convention-bound, genre painting representing scenes of everyday life was central to the work of twentieth-century artists such as John Sloan, Norman Rockwell, Jacob Lawrence, and others, who adapted such subjects to an era of rapid urbanization, mass media, and modernist art. Re-envisioning the Everyday asks what their works do to the tradition of genre painting and whether it remains a meaningful category through which to understand them.

Working with and against the established narrative of American genre painting’s late nineteenth-century decline into obsolescence, John Fagg explores how artists and illustrators used elements of the tradition to picture everyday life in a rapidly changing society, whether by appealing to its nostalgic and historical connotations or by updating it to address new formal and thematic concerns. Fagg argues that genre painting enabled twentieth-century artists to look slowly and carefully at scenes of everyday life and, on some occasions, to understand those scenes as sites of political oppression and resistance. But it also limited them to anachronistic ways of seeing and tied them to a freighted history of stereotyping and condescension.

By surveying genre painting when its status and relevance were uncertain and by looking at works that stretch and complicate its boundaries, this book considers what the form is and probes the wider practice of generic categorization. It will appeal to students and scholars of American art history, art criticism, and cultural studies.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Let the Dead Bury the Dead"

Coming soon from Doubleday: Let the Dead Bury the Dead by Allison Epstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

An urgent, immersive alternate history set in an imperial Russia on the brink of disaster, following a surprising cast of characters seeking a better future as Saint Petersburg struggles in the wake of Napoleon’s failed invasion.

Saint Petersburg, 1812. Russian forces have defeated Napoleon at great cost, and the tsar’s empire is once again at peace. Sasha, a captain in the imperial army, returns home to Grand Duke Felix, the disgraced second son of the tsar and his irrepressibly charming lover, but their reunion is quickly interrupted by the arrival of Sofia, a mysteriously persuasive figure whose disruptive presence Sasha suspects to be something more than human. Felix, insisting that Sasha’s old-fashioned superstitions are misplaced, takes Sofia into his confidence—a connection that quickly becomes both personal and political. On her incendiary advice, Felix confronts his father about the brutal conditions of the common people in the aftermath of the war, to disastrous results, separating him from Sasha and setting him on a collision course with a vocal group of dissidents: the Koalitsiya.

Meanwhile, the Koalitsiya plan to gridlock Saint Petersburg with a citywide strike in hopes of awakening the upper classes to the grim circumstances of the laboring people. Marya, a resourceful sometimes-thief and trusted lieutenant of the Koalitsiya, also falls under Sofia’s spell and, allied with Felix and her fellow revolutionaries, she finds herself in the middle of a battle she could never have predicted. As Sofia’s influence grows and rising tensions threaten the tsar’s peace, Sasha, Felix, and Marya are forced to choose between the ideals they hold close and the people they love.

Allison Epstein combines cleverly constructed plot with unforgettable characters in this exuberant historical page-turner, intercut with fractured retellings of traditional Eastern European folk stories that are equal parts deadly dark and slyly illuminating. Vividly written and emotionally intense, Let the Dead Bury the Dead reminds us that the concerns of the past aren’t quite as far behind us as we like to believe.
Visit Allison Epstein's website.

My Book, The Movie: A Tip for the Hangman.

The Page 69 Test: A Tip for the Hangman.

Q&A with Allison Epstein.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Antipodean Laboratory"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Antipodean Laboratory: Making Colonial Knowledge, 1770–1870 by Anna Johnston.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this compelling study, Anna Johnston shows how colonial knowledge from Australia influenced global thinking about convicts, natural history and humanitarian concerns about Indigenous peoples. These were fascinating topics for British readers, and influenced government policies in fields such as prison reform, the history of science, and humanitarian and religious campaigns. Using a rich variety of sources including natural history and botanical illustrations, voyage accounts, language studies, Victorian literature and convict memoirs, this multi-disciplinary account charts how new ways of identifying, classifying, analysing and controlling ideas, populations, and environments were forged and circulated between colonies and through metropolitan centres. They were also underpinned by cultural exchanges between European and Indigenous interlocutors and knowledge systems. Johnston shows how colonial ideas were disseminated through a global network of correspondence and print culture.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 29, 2023

"You Always Come Back"

New from Crooked Lane Books: You Always Come Back: A Novel by Emily Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the vein of Kathleen Barber and Julia Heaberlin comes an electrifying debut suspense that pits the inhabitants of a small town against each other.

Nine years ago, July Weaver’s little sister was one of the first victims of the Pacific Lake Killer, a serial killer in Georgia. When other girls began to disappear and were found dead, it was July’s testimony that put her own father into prison for the crimes. After the sentencing, she fled to Nashville to focus on her music career and to try to forget the horrible past. But when her brother tries to kill himself, July is forced to come back home and reunite with her four remaining siblings.

What she isn’t expecting is to uncover new evidence that makes her question everything that happened to her sister nine years ago. Is it possible that July blamed the wrong person? Is it possible that the Pacific Lake Killer is still out there? As the linchpin to the case against her father—and the reason the Pacific Lake Killer case is closed—July knows it isn’t long before the killer will set their eyes back on her.

If they’re really still out there.
Visit Emily Smith's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Investigating Families"

New from Princeton University Press: Investigating Families: Motherhood in the Shadow of Child Protective Services by Kelley Fong.

About the book, from the publisher:

How our reliance on Child Protective Services makes motherhood precarious for those already marginalized

It’s the knock on the door that many mothers fear: a visit from Child Protective Services (CPS), the state agency with the power to take their children away. Over the last half-century, these encounters have become an all-too-common way of trying to address family poverty and adversity. One in three children nationwide—and half of Black children—now encounter CPS during childhood.

In Investigating Families, Kelley Fong provides an unprecedented look at the inner workings of CPS and the experiences of families pulled into its orbit. Drawing on firsthand observations of CPS investigations and hundreds of interviews with those involved, Fong traces the implications of invoking CPS as a “first responder” to family misfortune and hardship. She shows how relying on CPS—an entity fundamentally oriented around parental wrongdoing and empowered to separate families—organizes the response to adversity around surveilling, assessing, and correcting marginalized mothers. The agency’s far-reaching investigative apparatus undermines mothers’ sense of security and shapes how they marshal resources for their families, reinforcing existing inequalities. And even before CPS comes knocking, mothers feel vulnerable to a system that jeopardizes their parenthood. Countering the usual narratives of punitive villains and hapless victims, Fong’s unique, behind-the-scenes account tells a revealing story of how we try to protect children by threatening mothers—and points the way to a more productive path for families facing adversity.
Visit Kelley Fong's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 28, 2023

"Shoot the Moon"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Shoot the Moon by Isa Arsén.

About the book, from the publisher:

How far would you travel for love?

Intelligent but isolated recent physics graduate Annie Fisk feels an undeniable pull toward space. Her childhood memories dimmed by loss, she has left behind her home, her family, and her first love in pursuit of intellectual fulfillment. When she finally lands a job as a NASA secretary during the Apollo 11 mission, the work is everything she dreamed, and while she feels a budding attraction to one of the engineers, she can’t get distracted. Not now.

When her inability to ignore mistaken calculations propels her into a new position, Annie finds herself torn between her ambition, her heart, and a mysterious discovery that upends everything she knows to be scientifically true. Can she overcome her doubts and reach beyond the limits of time and space?

Affecting, immersive, and kaleidoscopic, Shoot the Moon tells the story of one singular life at multiple points in time, one woman’s quest to honor both her head and her heart amid the human toll of scientific progress.
Visit Isa Arsén's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Narcomedia"

New from the University of Texas Press: Narcomedia: Latinidad, Popular Culture, and America's War on Drugs by Jason Ruiz.

About the book, from the publisher:

Exploring representations of Latinx people from Scarface to Narcos, this book examines how pop culture has framed Latin America as the villain in America’s long and ineffectual War on Drugs.

If there is an enemy in the War on Drugs, it is people of color. That is the lesson of forty years of cultural production in the United States. Popular culture, from Scarface and Miami Vice to Narcos and Better Call Saul, has continually positioned Latinos as an alien people who threaten the US body politic with drugs. Jason Ruiz explores the creation and endurance of this trope, its effects on Latin Americans and Latinx people, and its role in the cultural politics of the War on Drugs.

Even as the focus of drug anxiety has shifted over the years from cocaine to crack and from methamphetamines to opioids, and even as significant strides have been made in representational politics in many areas of pop culture, Latinx people remain an unshakeable fixture in stories narrating the production, distribution, and sale of narcotics. Narcomedia argues that such representations of Latinx people, regardless of the intentions of their creators, are best understood as a cultural front in the War on Drugs. Latinos and Latin Americans are not actually America’s drug problem, yet many Americans think otherwise—and that is in no small part because popular culture has largely refused to imagine the drug trade any other way.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Bittersweet in the Hollow"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers: Bittersweet in the Hollow by Kate Pearsall.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this beautifully dark and enthralling YA, four sisters with unusual talents investigate a mysterious disappearance in their secluded Appalachian town. For fans of House of Hollow and Wilder Girls!

In rural Caball Hollow, surrounded by the vast National Forest, the James women serve up more than fried green tomatoes at the Harvest Moon diner, where the family recipes are not the only secrets.

Like her sisters, Linden was born with an unusual ability. She can taste what others are feeling, but this so-called gift soured her relationship with the vexingly attractive Cole Spencer one fateful night a year ago . . . A night when Linden vanished into the depths of the Forest and returned with no memories of what happened, just a litany of questions—and a haze of nightmares that suggest there’s more to her story than simply getting lost.

Now, during the hottest summer on record, another girl in town is gone, and the similarities to last year’s events are striking. Except, this time the missing girl doesn’t make it home, and when her body is discovered, the scene unmistakably spells murder.

As tempers boil over, Linden enlists the help of her sisters to find what’s hiding in the forest . . . before it finds her. But as she starts digging for truth—about the Moth-Winged Man rumored to haunt the Hollow, about her bitter rift with Cole, and even about her family—she must question if some secrets are best left buried.
Visit Kate Pearsall's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Two-Parent Privilege"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Two-Parent Privilege: How Americans Stopped Getting Married and Started Falling Behind by Melissa S. Kearney.

About the book, from the publisher:

The surprising story of how declining marriage rates are driving many of the country’s biggest economic problems.

In The Two-Parent Privilege, Melissa S. Kearney makes a provocative, data-driven case for marriage by showing how the institution’s decline has led to a host of economic woes—problems that have fractured American society and rendered vulnerable populations even more vulnerable. Eschewing the religious and values-based arguments that have long dominated this conversation, Kearney shows how the greatest impacts of marriage are, in fact, economic: when two adults marry, their economic and household lives improve, offering a host of benefits not only for the married adults but for their children. Studies show that these effects are today starker, and more unevenly distributed, than ever before. Kearney examines the underlying causes of the marriage decline in the US and draws lessons for how the US can reverse this trend to ensure the country’s future prosperity.

Based on more than a decade of economic research, including her original work, Kearney shows that a household that includes two married parents—holding steady among upper-class adults, increasingly rare among most everyone else—functions as an economic vehicle that advantages some children over others. As these trends of marriage and class continue, the compounding effects on inequality and opportunity grow increasingly dire. Their effects include not just children’s behavioral and educational outcomes, but a surprisingly devastating effect on adult men, whose role in the workforce and society appears intractably damaged by the emerging economics of America’s new social norms.

For many, the two-parent home may be an old-fashioned symbol of the idyllic American dream. But The Two-Parent Privilege makes it clear that marriage, for all its challenges and faults, may be our best path to a more equitable future. By confronting the critical role that family makeup plays in shaping children’s lives and futures, Kearney offers a critical assessment of what a decline in marriage means for an economy and a society—and what we must do to change course.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

"Close Enough to Hurt"

New from Crooked Lane Books: Close Enough to Hurt: A Novel by Katherine A. Olson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Revenge meets Promising Young Woman in this thrilling debut about a vigilante on a mission to take down predatory men, perfect for fans of Jeneva Rose and Layne Fargo.

Dylan Truman, better known under her alias Lady Justice, is the bane of every grifter, cheater, and bully in the Bay Area. Alongside her best friend and hacktivist, Daniel Haas, she works as a revenge-for-hire vigilante, seeking retribution on behalf of her (predominantly female) clientele. When a prospective client brings up a fraud complaint against pharmaceutical CEO Brent Wilder, Dylan's business becomes personal: Years earlier, Wilder assaulted Dylan’s sister and got away with it. And now it's time to make him pay.

But she may be doing it alone. Daniel is ready to leave the business and settle down with a stable and safe job. Dylan is devastated—not only is she losing her partner and one of the most talented digital private investigators in the city, she’s beginning to realize her feelings for Daniel are deeper than she thought. But with Brent’s increasing paranoia comes life-threatening danger, and Dylan must keep her head in the game.

With the clock running out fast, Lady Justice must choose between vengeance at any cost—and giving it all up for the man who may actually love her back. Dylan’s always tried to protect those she loves by walking her path alone, but perhaps there is another way to ensure justice is served.
Visit Katherine A. Olson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Vintage Crime"

New from the University of California Press: Vintage Crime: A Short History of Wine Fraud by Rebecca Gibb.

About the book, from the publisher:

How fakes, fraudsters, and grape crusaders have shaped the world of wine.

This novel take on the history of wine reveals that, whether by adding toxic sweeteners or passing off counterfeit bottles, wine fraud is abundant—and as old as wine itself. Vintage Crime will intrigue even the most sated of wine drinkers with its juicy tales of deception, raising interesting questions along the way: what counts as wine, why do we drink it, and what makes a wine truly authentic?

The world of wine prides itself on its aura of respectability, but it has always had a murky side. Packed with engaging vignettes, Vintage Crime brings to life famous enthusiasts and crafty con artists from ancient Rome to modern-day California. It also introduces us to lesser-known industry figures: the scrupulous merchants, honest growers, and cutting-edge scientists who have led the fight against fraudsters. Author Rebecca Gibb holds the rare, sought-after distinction of Master of Wine, yet she writes in an engaging style that doesn’t require any prior wine knowledge, skillfully synthesizing popular wine histories for amateur sleuths and armchair sommeliers alike.
Visit Rebecca Gibb's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Imperfect Lives"

New from Little A: Imperfect Lives: A Novel by C. J. Washington.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of The Intangible comes a powerful story of double lives, hidden truths, and the desire to have the perfect life, no matter the price.

When contract killer Cooper Franklin makes a deathbed confession, his revelations upend the lives of two strangers, setting them on an intersecting and ruinous path that imperils them both.

Widow and single mom Tamara Foster must reckon with the mystery of her late husband’s death and the secrets he left behind. As she digs deeper into his past to discover that she never truly knew him at all, her carefully reconstructed world begins to crumble all over again.

Cindy Fremont has worked hard for the perfect life, and she’s working even harder to keep it. So when Tamara shows up at her door seeking answers about her husband’s past, Cindy must reexamine the tracks she thought she’d carefully covered.

As the two women scramble to keep their lives together in the wake of Cooper’s confession, they soon realize that no matter how deeply the past is buried, it can always come back to find you.
Visit C. J. Washington's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Gone Girls, 1684-1901"

New from Oxford University Press: Gone Girls, 1684-1901: Flights of Feminist Resistance in the Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century British Novel by Nora Gilbert.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Gone Girls, 1684-1901, Nora Gilbert argues that the persistent trope of female characters running away from some iteration of 'home' played a far more influential role in the histories of both the rise of the novel and the rise of modern feminism than previous accounts have acknowledged. For as much as the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novel may have worked to establish the private, middle-class, domestic sphere as the rightful (and sole) locus of female authority in the ways that prior critics have outlined, it was also continually showing its readers female characters who refused to buy into such an agenda--refusals which resulted, strikingly often, in those characters' physical flights from home.

The steady current of female flight coursing through this body of literature serves as a powerful counterpoint to the ideals of feminine modesty and happy homemaking it was expected officially to endorse, and challenges some of novel studies' most accepted assumptions. Just as the #MeToo movement has used the tool of repeated, aggregated storytelling to take a stand against contemporary rape culture, Gone Girls, 1684-1901 identifies and amplifies a recurrent strand of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British storytelling that served both to emphasize the prevalence of gendered injustices throughout the period and to narrativize potential ways and means for readers facing such injustices to rebel, resist, and get out.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

"Last to Leave the Room"

New from St. Martin's Press: Last to Leave the Room: A Novel by Caitlin Starling.

About the book, from the publisher:

Last to Leave the Room is a new novel of genre-busting speculative horror from Caitlin Starling, the acclaimed author of The Death of Jane Lawrence.

The city of San Siroco is sinking. The basement of Dr. Tamsin Rivers, the arrogant, selfish head of the research team assigned to find the source of the subsidence, is sinking faster.

As Tamsin becomes obsessed with the distorting dimensions of the room at the bottom of the stairs, she finds a door that didn’t exist before - and one night, it opens to reveal an exact physical copy of her. This doppelgänger is sweet and biddable where Tamsin is calculating and cruel. It appears fully, terribly human, passing every test Tamsin can devise. But the longer the double exists, the more Tamsin begins to forget pieces of her life, to lose track of time, to grow terrified of the outside world.

With her employer growing increasingly suspicious, Tamsin must try to hold herself together long enough to figure out what her double wants from her, and just where the mysterious door leads…
Visit Caitlin Starling's website.

Writers Read: Caitlin Starling (May 2019).

The Page 69 Test: The Luminous Dead.

The Page 69 Test: The Death of Jane Lawrence.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Seriously Mad"

New from the University of Michigan Press: Seriously Mad: Mental Distress and the Broadway Musical by Aleksei Grinenko.

About the book, from the publisher:

Theatermakers in the United States have long been drawn to madness as a source of dramatic spectacle. During the Broadway musical’s golden age in the mid-twentieth century, creative teams used the currently in-vogue psychoanalytic ideas about mental life to construct troubled characters at odds with themselves and their worlds. As the clinical and cultural profile of madness transformed over the twentieth century, musicals continued to delve into the experience of those living with mental pain, trauma, and unhappiness.

Seriously Mad offers a dynamic account of stage musicals’ engagement with historically significant theories about mental distress, illness, disability, and human variance in the United States. By exploring who is considered mad and what constitutes madness at different moments in U.S. history, Aleksei Grinenko shows how, in attempts to bring the musicals closer to highbrow sophistication, theater dramatized serious medical conditions and social problems. Among the many Broadway productions discussed are Next to Normal, A Strange Loop, Sweeney Todd, Man of La Mancha, Gypsy, Oklahoma!, and Lady in the Dark.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Just Stay Away"

New from Thomas & Mercer: Just Stay Away by Tony Wirt.

About the book, from the publisher:

When a mysterious neighborhood boy befriends his young daughter, stay-at-home dad Craig considers him a godsend―until it becomes clear that there’s nothing angelic about him at all.

Craig Finnigan is determined to finish his book this summer, but being an aspiring writer while wrangling his seven-year-old daughter is not easy. So when Alice makes fast friends with a neighborhood boy, Levi, Craig is happy she has a distraction from her constant visits to his home office.

But that happiness soon turns to misgivings as Levi’s behavior evolves from that of a shy, odd boy into something far more disturbing. Strange noises in the middle of the night and things disappearing from their home could be explained away―maybe it’s the water heater, or maybe Craig simply misplaced his flash drive. Craig can’t explain his paranoia, but he feels sure Levi is behind it.

As Levi’s visits to their backyard become more and more frequent, Craig finds himself the unwilling participant in a game he never asked to play…and one he’s not sure he can win.
Visit Tony Wirt's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Born of Ice and Fire"

New from Yale University Press: Born of Ice and Fire: How Glaciers and Volcanoes (with a Pinch of Salt) Drove Animal Evolution by Graham Shields.

About the book, from the publisher:

An exploration of how the Cryogenian Period, when our planet was covered in ice for millions of years, created today’s remarkable biodiversity

More than half a billion years ago, our world was completely covered by glaciers, a “Snowball Earth” that persisted for millions of years. Incredibly, this unimaginable cold led to the remarkable diversification of life on earth known as the Cambrian explosion. With a geologist’s eye and a knack for storytelling, Graham Shields explores when and how such inhospitable conditions enabled animals to evolve, radiate, and diversify into our earliest ancestors.

This journey navigates the wild swings between hot and cold climates, oxygenation and asphyxiation, biological radiations and extinctions, asking how such instability relates to grander forces that brought our planet to its modern state. Shields guides readers through evidence found in the Australian outback, Mongolia, Scotland, and other locales, revealing how geologists can trace glaciation, the atmosphere, oceans, mountain building, and more through the earth’s rocks, providing a comprehensive theory of how life evolved and diversified.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 25, 2023

"Deadlands"

New from Lake Union: Deadlands: A Novel by Victoria Miluch.

About the book, from the publisher:

From debut author Victoria Miluch comes the riveting story of a girl on the cusp of womanhood living in an arid wasteland and the encounter with two outsiders that upends her understanding of the world beyond it.

Only the most hardened survivalists can endure living in the scorched deadlands of the former state of Arizona. Among them is nineteen-year-old Georgia Reno, who lives in an isolated desert settlement with her father and younger brother. Roads don’t exist here; visitors are more dark fairy tale than reality.

But when two mysterious strangers arrive on their land, Georgia begins to question her sheltered existence. Soon, her tentative curiosity blooms into a fledgling desire to leave the settlement, even if it means venturing into a world her father has only ever warned against.

As their tenuous situation deteriorates, Georgia uncovers secrets about the visitors that could threaten her family’s fragile existence in the desert. But to leave the newcomers at the hands of her father could put everyone’s lives at risk―and force Georgia into an impossible decision.

Welcome to the deadlands, where survival is never guaranteed…and loyalty is put to the ultimate test.
Visit Victoria Miluch's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dominion"

Coming October 10 from Doubleday Canada: Dominion: The Railway and the Rise of Canada by Stephen Bown.

About the book, from the publisher:

Stephen R. Bown continues to revitalize Canadian history with this thrilling account of the engineering triumph that created a nation.

In The Company, his bestselling work of revisionist history, Stephen Bown told the dramatic, adventurous and bloody tale of Canada’s origins in the fur trade. With Dominion he continues the nation’s creation story with an equally gripping and eye-opening account of the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway.

In the late 19th century, demand for fur was in sharp decline. This could have spelled economic disaster for the venerable Hudson’s Bay Company. But an idea emerged in political and business circles in Ottawa and Montreal to connect the disparate British colonies into a single entity that would stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific. With over 3,000 kilometers of track, much of it driven through wildly inhospitable terrain, the CPR would be the longest railway in the world and the most difficult to build. Its construction was the defining event of its era and a catalyst for powerful global forces.

The times were marked by greed, hubris, blatant empire building, oppression, corruption and theft. They were good for some, hard for most, disastrous for others. The CPR enabled a new country, but it came at a terrible price.

In recent years Canadian history has been given a rude awakening from the comforts of its myths. In Dominion, Stephen Bown again widens our view of the past to include the adventures and hardships of explorers and surveyors, the resistance of Indigenous peoples, and the terrific and horrific work of many thousands of labourers. His vivid portrayal of the powerful forces that were molding the world in the late 19th century provides a revelatory new picture of modern Canada’s creation as an independent state.
Learn more about the book and author at Stephen R. Bown's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: The Last Viking.

The Page 99 Test: White Eskimo.

My Book, The Movie: Island of the Blue Foxes.

Writers Read: Stephen R. Bown (November 2017).

The Page 99 Test: Island of the Blue Foxes.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Leftover Woman"

New from William Morrow: The Leftover Woman: A Novel by Jean Kwok.

About the book, from the publisher:

Jasmine Yang arrives in New York City from her rural Chinese village without money or family support, fleeing a controlling husband, on a desperate search for the daughter who was taken from her at birth—another female casualty of China’s controversial One Child Policy. But with her husband on her trail, the clock is ticking, and she’s forced to make increasingly risky decisions if she ever hopes to be reunited with her daughter.

Meanwhile, publishing executive Rebecca Whitney seems to have it all: a prestigious family name and the wealth that comes with it, a high-powered career, a beautiful home, a handsome husband, and an adopted Chinese daughter she adores. She’s even hired a nanny to help her balance the demands of being a working wife and mother. But when an industry scandal threatens to jeopardize not only Rebecca’s job but her marriage, this perfect world begins to crumble and her role in her own family is called into question.

The Leftover Woman finds these two unforgettable women on a shocking collision course. Twisting and suspenseful and surprisingly poignant, it's a profound exploration of identity and belonging, motherhood and family. It is a story of two women in a divided city—separated by severe economic and cultural differences yet bound by a deep emotional connection to a child.
Visit Jean Kwok's website.

The Page 69 Test: Searching for Sylvie Lee.

Writers Read: Jean Kwok (August 2019).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Fool: In Search of Henry VIII's Closest Man"

New from Princeton University Press: Fool: In Search of Henry VIII's Closest Man by Peter K. Andersson.

About the book, from the publisher:

In some portraits of Henry VIII there appears another, striking figure—a gaunt and morose-looking man with a shaved head and, in one case, a monkey on his shoulder. This is William or “Will” Somer, the king’s fool, a celebrated wit who reportedly could raise Henry’s spirits and spent many hours with him, often alone. Was Somer an “artificial fool,” a cunning comic who could speak freely in front of the king, or a “natural fool,” someone with intellectual disabilities, like many other members of the profession? And what role did he play in the tumultuous and violent Tudor era? Fool is the first biography of Somer—and perhaps the first of a Renaissance fool.

After his death, Somer disappeared behind his legend, and historians struggled to separate myth from reality. Unearthing as many facts as possible, Peter K. Andersson pieces together the fullest picture yet of an enigmatic and unusual man with a very strange job. Somer’s story provides new insights into how fools lived and what exactly they did for a living, how monarchs and courtiers related to commoners and people with disabilities, and whether aspects of the Renaissance fool live on in the modern comedian. But most of all, we learn how a commoner without property or education managed to become the court’s chief mascot and a continuous presence at the center of Tudor power from the 1530s to the reign of Elizabeth I.

Looking beyond stereotypes of the man in motley, Fool reveals a little-known world, surprising and disturbing, when comedy was something crueler and more unpleasant than we like to think.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 24, 2023

"The 30th Candle"

New in the US from Lake Union: The 30th Candle by Angela Makholwa.

About the book, from the publisher:

They thought they would be friends forever―but what comes first, friendship or love?

Linda, Dikeledi, Nolwazi and Sade spent their twenties pursuing fast-paced careers and love lives in vibrant Johannesburg. Now, with their thirties just around the corner, they know the one thing they can count on is each other, but it turns out even the firmest friendships have secrets…

On the cusp of their thirtieth birthdays, just when everything should be going to plan, their lives start to derail. Dikeledi is still waiting for her boyfriend to propose, while Linda finds herself single again, wondering if she’ll ever meet her perfect man. Hiding behind their drama, Nolwazi has a secret she’s too scared to reveal, and Sade thinks she’s finally found ‘the one’―but is he too good to be true?

As secrets are spilled, relationships are tested to their limits. When they’re forced to make the choice, who will win―love or friendship?
Visit Angela Makholwa's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Before Fanfiction"

Coming soon from LSU Press: Before Fanfiction: Recovering the Literary History of American Media Fandom by Alexandra Edwards.

About the book, from the publisher:

Before Fanfiction investigates the overlapping cultures of fandom and American literature from the late 1800s to the mid-1940s, exploding the oft-repeated myth that fandom has its origins in the male-dominated letter columns of science fiction pulp magazines in the 1930s. By reexamining the work of popular American women writers and their fans, Alexandra Edwards recovers the literary history of American media fandom, drawing previously ignored fangirls into the spotlight.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 23, 2023

"The Refugee Ocean"

New from Simon & Schuster: The Refugee Ocean by Pauls Toutonghi.

Abou the book, from the publisher:

Two refugees find that their lives are inextricably linked—over time and distance—by the perils of history and a single haunting piece of music.

Born in Beirut in 1922, Marguerite Toutoungi lives a life of loss and sacrifice. She dreams of traveling to Europe and studying music at the Conservatoire de Paris but her family—and her society—hold her back. When she meets the son of a Cuban tobacco farmer at a formal dance, love transforms her life. Together with him, she flees across the Pacific Ocean. She’s hoping for a new beginning. Instead, she finds revolution and chaos.

Over fifty years later, Naïm Rahil is a teenage refugee from Aleppo, Syria. A former piano prodigy who struggles to thrive in America—and who has lost part of his hand in the war—he dreams of a simple, normal life.

Moving from Aleppo on the brink of civil war, to Lebanon in the late 1940s, to Havana during the Cuban Revolution, to the suburbs of Washington, DC, The Refugee Ocean grapples with what it means to be an immigrant, shows how wounds can heal, and highlights the role of music and art in the resilience of the human spirit.
Visit Pauls Toutonghi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Mothers on American Television"

New from Manchester University Press: Mothers on American Television: From Here to Maternity by Kim Akass.

About the book, from the publisher:

Mothers on American Television takes an in-depth look at how motherhood is represented on some of the most popular television series produced this century. Adopting a feminist, Marxist, cultural studies and psychoanalytical approach, the book offers a history of the positioning of mothers within American society. It provides detailed analysis of The Sopranos, Sex and the City, The Handmaid’s Tale and more, while reflecting on the newspaper ‘mommy wars’, employment patterns and alternative views of motherhood.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Fortune"

New from Lake Union: Fortune: A Novel by Ellen Won Steil.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this explosive novel about a decades-old mystery, shocking revelations of the past and the secrets of three women will be spilled when a small Midwest town announces a DNA lottery.

One drop of blood for a chance at a multimillion-dollar windfall. Is it a philanthropic gesture from a billionaire widow? Some suspect a darker motive behind the DNA lottery―one tied to the eighteen-year-old mystery of an infant’s unidentified remains that mars the history of idyllic Rosemary Hills, Iowa. Right after the blood lottery is announced, three local women fall under suspicion of knowing something about that night, and their carefully kept secrets threaten to spill out too.

Cleo is a divorced single mom forced to return to her hometown and accept a strange job reading to an invalid recluse; Jemma is a controversial state senator whose reelection campaign and teenage daughter have her on edge; and Alex, a divorce attorney, copes with a crumbling marriage of her own and the suffocating presence of a cold, overbearing mother.

Soon, unimaginable revelations of the past will collide with the present―and not just for Cleo, Jemma, and Alex. In this seemingly ordinary community, they aren’t the only ones with long-buried secrets.
Visit Ellen Won Steil's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Appealing to the Crowd"

New from Oxford University Press: Appealing to the Crowd: The Ethical, Political, and Practical Dimensions of Donation-Based Crowdfunding by Jeremy Snyder.

About the book, from the publisher:

This book offers a close examination of the ethical, political, and practical dimensions of donation-based online crowdfunding for basic needs including medical treatment, housing, food, and education. Crowdfunding uses online platforms and social networks to raise money from friends, family, and complete strangers for a variety of projects and needs. This practice has grown massively worldwide in recent years in terms of the numbers of crowdfunding campaigns and donors, money raised, visibility, and cultural influence.

While the money raised through crowdfunding has helped millions of recipients, there is also reason for concern around how it may undermine campaigners' privacy and dignity, mirror and exacerbate social inequities, mask and deepen social injustice, defraud donors, and spread misinformation and hate. Author Jeremy Snyder places this discussion of crowdfunding in the wider historical and ethical context of giving practices. In doing so, Snyder shows that crowdfunding can repeat and exacerbate problems with traditional giving practices while creating other, new problems.

Snyder concludes by presenting nine values that should guide donation-based crowdfunding: benefit, choice, solidarity, privacy, dignity, equity, social justice, non-maleficence, and accountability. These values can help crowdfunding donors, campaigners, recipients, platforms, and policy makers preserve the good that can come from crowdfunding while addressing some of its many negative aspects.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 22, 2023

"Plan A"

New from Labyrinth Road: Plan A by Deb Caletti.

About the book, from the publisher:

A sixteen-year-old girl’s road trip across the country to get an abortion becomes a transformative journey of vulnerability, strength, and above all, choice. From the acclaimed author of A Heart in a Body in the World, this is both an achingly tender love story and a bold, badly needed battle cry about bodily autonomy and the experiences that connect us.

Ivy can’t entirely believe it when the plus sign appears on the test. She didn’t even know it was possible from . . . what happened. But it is, and now she is, and instead of spending the summer working at the local drugstore and swooning over her boyfriend, Lorenzo, suddenly she’s planning a cross-country road trip to her grandmother’s house on the West Coast, where she can legally obtain an abortion.

Escaping her small Texas town and the judgment of her friends and neighbors, Ivy hits the road with Lorenzo, who, determined to make the best of their “abortion road trip love story,” has transformed the journey into a whirlwind tour of the world: all the way from Paris, Texas, to Rome, Oregon . . . and every rest-stop diner and corny roadside attraction along the way.

And while Ivy can’t run from the incessant pressure of others’ opinions about her body or from her own expectations and insecurities, she discovers a new world of healing and hope. As the women she encounters share their stories, she chips away at the stigma, silence, and shame surrounding reproductive rights while those collective experiences guide her to her own rightful destination.
Learn more about the book and author at Deb Caletti's website and Facebook page.

Coffee with a Canine: Deb Caletti and Tucker.

The Page 69 Test: He's Gone.

Writers Read: Deb Caletti (April 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue