Tuesday, October 31, 2023

"Only She Came Back"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Only She Came Back by Margot Harrison.

About the book, from the publisher:

A chilling thriller about an unlikely friendship between a true-crime fan and a former high school classmate suspected of murdering her influencer boyfriend, perfect for fans of Holly Jackson and Courtney Summers.

On July 28 at 6:30 p.m., Kiri Dunsmore walks out of the desert wearing her boyfriend’s sweatshirt, covered in his blood. Dazed and on the verge of unconsciousness, she tells a cashier that he’s still out there and most likely dead. The disappearance of Callum Massey, a “survival guru” with hundreds of thousands of YouTube followers, rocks the nation. And Kiri is a prime suspect.

Back in Kiri's hometown, true-crime fanatic Sam is completely hooked on the case—especially now that she recognizes the suspect as shy Katie from high school. Although they didn’t know each other well, that doesn’t stop Sam from reaching out to befriend her old classmate.

But when Kiri starts to confide in her, Sam realizes there’s more to the story than she had imagined. Can she keep Kiri’s secrets even though revealing them could put her where she's always longed to be—at the center of the story's
Visit Margot Harrison's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Killer in Me.

Q&A with Margot Harrison.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Accidental Equalizer"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Accidental Equalizer: How Luck Determines Pay after College by Jessi Streib.

About the book, from the publisher:

A startling discovery—that job market success after college is largely random—forces a reappraisal of education, opportunity, and the American dream.

As a gateway to economic opportunity, a college degree is viewed by many as America’s great equalizer. And it’s true: wealthier, more connected, and seemingly better-qualified students earn exactly the same pay as their less privileged peers. Yet, the reasons why may have little to do with bootstraps or self-improvement—it might just be dumb luck. That’s what sociologist Jessi Streib proposes in The Accidental Equalizer, a conclusion she reaches after interviewing dozens of hiring agents and job-seeking graduates.

Streib finds that luck shapes the hiring process from start to finish in a way that limits class privilege in the job market. Employers hide information about how to get ahead and force students to guess which jobs pay the most and how best to obtain them. Without clear routes to success, graduates from all class backgrounds face the same odds at high pay. The Accidental Equalizer is a frank appraisal of how this “luckocracy” works and its implications for the future of higher education and the middle class. Although this system is far from eliminating American inequality, Streib shows that it may just be the best opportunity structure we have—for better and for worse.
Visit Jessi Streib's website.

The Page 99 Test: Privilege Lost.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 30, 2023

"The Gilded Crown"

New from Harper Voyager: The Gilded Crown by Marianne Gordon.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first time Hellevir visited Death, she was ten years old…

Since she was a little girl, Hellevir has been able to raise the dead. Every creature can be saved for a price, a price demanded by the shrouded figure who rules the afterlife, who takes a little more from Hellevir with each soul she resurrects.

Such a gift can rarely remain a secret. When Princess Sullivain, sole heir to the kingdom’s throne, is assassinated, the Queen summons Hellevir to demand she bring her granddaughter back to life. But once is not enough; the killers might strike again. The Princess’ death would cause a civil war, so the Queen commands that Hellevir remain by her side.

But Sullivain is no easy woman to be bound to, even as Hellevir begins to fall in love with her. With the threat of war looming, Hellevir must trade more and more of herself to keep the princess alive.

But Death will always take what he is owed.
Visit Marianne Gordon's blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Your Money or Your Life"

New from Oxford University Press: Your Money or Your Life: Debt Collection in American Medicine by Luke Messac.

About the book, from the publisher:

A riveting exposé of medical debt collection in America ― and the profound financial and physical costs eroding patient trust in medicine

For the crime of falling sick without wealth, Americans today face lawsuits, wage garnishment, home foreclosure, and even jail time.

Yet who really profits from aggressive medical debt collection? And how does this predatory system affect patients and doctors responsible for their care?

Your Money or Your Life reveals how medical debt collection became a multibillion-dollar industry and how everyday Americans are made to pay the price. Emergency physician and historian Luke Messac weaves patient stories into a history of law, finance, and medicine to show how debt and debt collection are destroying the foundational trust between doctors and patients at the heart of American healthcare. The fight to stop aggressive collection tactics has brought together people from all corners of the political spectrum. But if we want to better protect the sick from financial ruin, we have to understand how we got here.

With wit and clarity, Your Money or Your Life asks us all to rethink the purpose of our modern healthcare system and consider whom it truly serves.
Visit Luke Messac's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord"

New from Minotaur Books: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord: A Mystery by Celeste Connally.

About the book, from the publisher:

Bridgerton meets Agatha Christie in Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Lord, a dazzling first entry in a captivating new Regency-era mystery series with a feminist spin from Celeste Connally.

London, 1815.
Lady Petra Forsyth, daughter of the Earl of Holbrook, has made a shocking proclamation. After losing her beloved fiancé in an accident three years earlier, she announces in front of London’s loosest lips that she will never marry. A woman of independent means—and rather independent ways—Petra sees no reason to cede her wealth and freedom to any man now that the love of her life is gone. Instead, she plans to continue enjoying the best of society without any expectations.

But when ballroom gossip suggests that a longtime friend has died of a fit due to her “melancholia” while in the care of a questionable physician, Petra vows to use her status to dig deeper—uncovering a private asylum where men pay to have their wives and daughters locked away, or worse. Just as Petra has reason to believe her friend is alive, a shocking murder proves more danger is afoot than she thought. And the more determined Lady Petra becomes in uncovering the truth, the more her own headstrong actions and desire for independence are used against her, putting her own freedom—and possibly her life—in jeopardy.
Visit Celeste Connally's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Gator Country"

New from Flatiron Books: Gator Country: Deception, Danger, and Alligators in the Everglades by Rebecca Renner.

About the book, from the publisher:

David Grann meets Susan Orlean in this page-turning true story of an underground operation into the mysterious world of alligator poaching and its larger than life Floridian characters

To catch a Florida Man, you have to become one, and that’s what Officer Jeff Babauta did. As his ponytailed, whiskey-soaked alter ego, he established Sunshine Alligator Farm. His goal? Infiltrate the shady world of illegal poachers in the Florida Everglades in order to protect the natural world.

A head-spinning adventure soon unfolds. Jeff deals with glow-in-the-dark alligators and high-speed airboat rides, but quickly learns that not all poachers are villains. They’re simply people trying to survive, fighting against the poverty and greed holding them down. Jeff wants to solve the mystery of alligator poachers, and in doing so he must venture deeper into a strange ecosystem where right is wrong, and justice comes at the cost of those who’ve welcomed him into their world.

Gator Country is the twisting true story of the impossible choices individuals must make to stay afloat in this world. Through its wholly unique blend of reporting, nature writing, and personal narrative, this book transports readers to vibrant and dangerous Florida landscapes and offers intimate portraits of those who call the region home. Broad in scope and vivid in detail, Gator Country is a fast paced tale of the risks people will take to survive in one of the world's most beautiful yet formidable landscapes and the undercover investigation that threatens to topple the whole scheme.
Visit Rebecca Renner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 29, 2023

"Above the Salt"

New from Flatiron Books: Above the Salt: A Novel by Katherine Vaz.

About the book, from the publisher:

An irresistible and sweeping love story that follows two Portuguese refugees who flee religious violence and reignite their budding romance in Civil-War America.

John Alves, son of a famous Presbyterian martyr on the Portuguese island of Madeira, spends his childhood in jail and in poverty. When he meets Mary Freitas—though the adopted daughter of a master botanist, her true lineage is the subject of dangerous rumor—a spark kindles a lasting bond. But soon their families must confront the rising blood tide of warfare between Catholics and Protestants. Fleeing with only what they can carry, John and Mary are separated and arrive at different times and places in a rapidly growing and changing mid-nineteenth-century Illinois.

Years later, John settles into his life as an educator at Jacksonville’s nationally renowned school for the deaf, and Mary is a gardener in Springfield for handsome, wealthy Edward Moore. After John and Mary reconnect, the home of rising politician Abraham Lincoln provides a prime setting for their courtship. But conflict looms on the horizon, and John is torn. Should he join the Union army to prove his loyalty to his new country, or should he stay to fight for the chance to make a life with the one he loves?

And should Mary accept Edward’s marriage proposal since he is a partner in her business of selling the miracle-berry fruit she transported from Madeira, or should she choose her passion for John? Social jealousies and betrayals compound the obstacles unleashed by the Civil War.

In poignant and lyrical prose, Katherine Vaz’s Above the Salt is a captivating and beautiful tribute to the power of true love and the sacrifices we make to harness it.
Visit Katherine Vaz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Eyeliner: A Cultural History"

New from Penguin Books: Eyeliner: A Cultural History by Zahra Hankir.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the acclaimed editor of Our Women on the Ground comes a dazzling exploration of the intersections of beauty and power around the globe, told through the lens of an iconic cosmetic

From the distant past to the present, with fingers and felt-tipped pens, metallic powders and gel pots, humans have been drawn to lining their eyes. The aesthetic trademark of figures ranging from Nefertiti to Amy Winehouse, eyeliner is one of our most enduring cosmetic tools; ancient royals and Gen Z beauty influencers alike would attest to its uniquely transformative power. It is undeniably fun—yet it is also far from frivolous.

Seen through Zahra Hankir’s (kohl-lined) eyes, this ubiquitous but seldom-examined product becomes a portal to history, proof both of the stunning variety among cultures across time and space and of our shared humanity. Through intimate reporting and conversations—with nomads in Chad, geishas in Japan, dancers in India, drag queens in New York, and more—Eyeliner embraces the rich history and significance of its namesake, especially among communities of color. What emerges is an unexpectedly moving portrait of a tool that, in various corners of the globe, can signal religious devotion, attract potential partners, ward off evil forces, shield eyes from the sun, transform faces into fantasies, and communicate volumes without saying a word.

Delightful, surprising, and utterly absorbing, Eyeliner is a fascinating tour through streets, stages, and bedrooms around the world, and a thought-provoking reclamation of a key piece of our collective history.
Visit Zahra Hankir's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Second Stranger"

New from Pegasus Books: The Second Stranger: A Novel by Martin Griffin.

About the book, from the publisher:

An electric, locked-room suspense thriller set in the remote Scottish Highlands, where icy temperatures and a terrible blizzard prevent any ideas of escape—from a brilliant new voice in crime fiction.

One bitterly cold February night at the remote MacKinnon Hotel, Remie Yorke begins her last shift at the front desk as the snow begins to fall. She has booked a one-way flight for the next day—and she's never coming back to Scotland. Or so she thinks.

As the storm quickly invades the surrounding Highlands, the roads become impassable and the phone lines fall dead. When the icy temperatures plummet further, an injured man stumbles into the hotel lobby from the blizzard. Police Constable Don Gaines has been in a car accident on the mountain road, and Remie welcomes him to safety. Gaines tells her that the other survivor of the accident is a dangerous prisoner who is now at-large; and Gaines is sure he is heading their way.

Then a second injured visitor arrives—also introducing himself as Constable Don Gaines. Both claim to want to protect Remie and the hotel's remaining guests. Both are convincing. Remie doesn't know who to trust.

But she must endure a deadly night before dawn breaks, and if she doesn't succumb to the cold, one of these men will surely kill her first. And she has no idea why they have chosen to come to the MacKinnon Hotel . . .
Visit Martin Griffin's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Home after Fascism"

New from Indiana University Press: Home after Fascism: Italian and German Jews after the Holocaust by Anna Koch.

About the book, from the publisher:

Home after Fascism draws on a rich array of memoirs, interviews, correspondence, and archival research to tell the stories of Italian and German Jews who returned to their home countries after the Holocaust. The book reveals Jews' complex and often changing feelings toward their former homes and highlights the ways in which three distinct national contexts—East German, West German, and Italian—shaped their answers to the question, is this home?

Returning Italian and German Jews renegotiated their place in national communities that had targeted them for persecution and extermination. While most Italian Jews remained deeply attached to their home country, German Jews struggled to feel at home in the "country of murderers." Yet, some retained a sense of belonging through German culture and language or felt attached to a specific region or city. Still others looked to the future; socialist and communists of Jewish origin hoped to build a better Germany in the Soviet Occupied Zone. In all three postwar states, surviving Jews fought against persistent antisemitism, faced the challenge of recovering lost homes and possessions, struggled to make sense of their persecution, and tried to find ways to reclaim a sense of belonging.

Wide ranging and moving, Home after Fascism enriches our understanding of Jews' homecoming experiences after 1945. It reveals the deep affection and persistent love people feel for their homes, the suffering that comes with losing them, and the challenges of a return.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 28, 2023

"The Porcelain Maker"

New from St. Martin's Press: The Porcelain Maker: A Novel by Sarah Freethy.

About the book, from the publisher:

An epic story of love, betrayal, and art that spans decades, through the horrors of World War II to 21st century America, inspired by an actual porcelain factory in Dachau.

Two lovers caught at the crossroads of history.

A daughter’s search for the truth.

Germany, 1929. At a festive gathering of young bohemians in Weimar, two young artists, Max, a skilled Jewish architect, and Bettina, a celebrated avant-garde painter, are drawn to each other and begin a whirlwind romance. Their respective talents transport them to the dazzling lights of Berlin, but this bright beginning is quickly dimmed by the rising threat of Nazism. Max is arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Dachau where only his talent at making exquisite porcelain figures stands between him and seemingly certain death. Desperate to save her lover, Bettina risks everything to rescue him and escape Germany.

America, 1993. Clara, Bettina’s daughter, embarks on a journey to trace her roots and determine the identity of her father, a secret her mother has kept from her for reasons she’s never understood. Clara’s quest to piece together the puzzle of her origins transports us back in time to the darkness of Nazi Germany, where life is lived on a razor’s edge and deception and death lurk around every corner. Survival depends on strength, loyalty, and knowing true friend from hidden foe. And as Clara digs further, she begins to question why her mother was so determined to leave the truth of her harrowing past behind...

The Porcelain Maker is a powerful novel of enduring love and courage in the face of appalling brutality as a daughter seeks to unlock the mystery of her past.
Visit Sarah Freethy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"So Much Stuff"

New from the University of Chicago Press: So Much Stuff: How Humans Discovered Tools, Invented Meaning, and Made More of Everything by Chip Colwell.

About the book, from the publisher:

How humans became so dependent on things and how this need has grown dangerously out of control.

Over three million years ago, our ancient ancestors realized that rocks could be broken into sharp-edged objects for slicing meat, making the first knives. This discovery resulted in a good meal, and eventually changed the fate of our species and our planet.

With So Much Stuff, archaeologist Chip Colwell sets out to investigate why humankind went from self-sufficient primates to nonstop shoppers, from needing nothing to needing everything. Along the way, he uncovers spectacular and strange points around the world—an Italian cave with the world’s first known painted art, a Hong Kong skyscraper where a priestess channels the gods, and a mountain of trash that rivals the Statue of Liberty. Through these examples, Colwell shows how humanity took three leaps that led to stuff becoming inseparable from our lives, inspiring a love affair with things that may lead to our downfall. Now, as landfills brim and oceans drown in trash, Colwell issues a timely call to reevaluate our relationship with the things that both created and threaten to undo our overstuffed planet.
Visit Chip Colwell's website.

The Page 99 Test: Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, October 27, 2023

"The Madstone"

New from Little, Brown and Company: The Madstone: A Novel by Elizabeth Crook.

About the book, from the publisher:

Texas hill country, 1868. As nineteen-year-old Benjamin Shreve tends to business in his workshop, he witnesses a stagecoach strand a passenger. When the man, a treasure hunter, persuades Benjamin to help track down the vanished coach—and a mysterious fortune left aboard—Benjamin is drawn into a drama whose scope he could never have imagined, for they discover on reaching the coach that its passengers include Nell, a pregnant young woman, and her four-year-old son, Tot, who are fleeing Nell’s brutal husband and his murderous brothers.

Having told the Freedmen’s Bureau the whereabouts of her husband’s gang—a sadistic group wanted for countless acts of harassment and violence against Black citizens—Nell is in grave danger. If her husband catches her, he will kill her and take their son. Learning of their plight, Benjamin offers to deliver Nell and Tot to a distant port on the Gulf of Mexico, where they can board a ship to safety. He is joined in this chivalrous act by two other companions: the treasure hunter whose stranding began this endeavor and a restless Black Seminole who is a veteran of wars on both sides of the Rio Grande and who has an escape plan of his own.

Fraught with jeopardy from the outset, the trek across Texas becomes still more dangerous as buried secrets, including a cursed necklace, emerge. And even as Benjamin falls in love with Nell and imagines a life as Tot’s father, vengeful pursuers are never far behind. With its vivid characters and expansive canvas, The Madstone calls to mind Lonesome Dove, yet Elizabeth Crook’s new novel is a singular achievement. Told in Benjamin’s resolute and unforgettable voice, it is full of eccentric action, unrelenting peril, and droll humor—a thrilling and beautifully rendered story of three people sharing a hazardous and defining journey that will forever bind them together.
Visit Elizabeth Crook's website.

The Page 69 Test: Monday, Monday.

The Page 69 Test: The Which Way Tree.

My Book, The Movie: The Which Way Tree.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Divine Might"

Coming January 2 from Harper Perennial: Divine Might: Goddesses in Greek Myth by Natalie Haynes.

About the book, from the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Natalie Haynes returns to the world of ancient Greek myth in this scintillating follow-up to Pandora’s Jar.

Few writers today have reshaped our view of the ancient Greek myths more than revered bestselling author Natalie Haynes. Divine Might is a female-centered look at Olympus and the Furies, focusing on the goddesses whose prowess, passions, jealousies, and desires rival those of their male kin, including:
  • Athene, who sprang fully formed from her father’s brow (giving Zeus a killer headache in the process), the goddess of war and provider of wise counsel.
  • Aphrodite, born of the foam (and sperm released from a Titan’s castrated testicles), the most beautiful of all the Olympian goddesses, the epitome of love who dispenses desire and inspires longing—yet harbors a fearsome vengeful side, doling out brutal punishments to those who displease her.
  • Hera, Zeus’s long-suffering wife, whose jealousy born of his repeated dalliances with mortals, nymphs, and other goddesses, leads her to wreak elaborate and often painful revenge on those she believes have wronged her. (Well, wouldn’t you?)
  • Demeter, goddess of the harvest and mother of Persephone; Artemis, the hunter and goddess of wild spaces; the Muses, the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory; and Hestia, goddess of domesticity and sacrificial fire.
Infused with Haynes’s engaging charm and irrepressible wit, Divine Might is a refreshing take on the legends and stories we thought we knew.
Visit Natalie Haynes's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Furies.

My Book, The Movie: The Furies.

The Page 69 Test: A Thousand Ships.

The Page 69 Test: Stone Blind.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock"

New from Crooked Lane Books: Viviana Valentine and the Ticking Clock by Emily J. Edwards.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of Ashley Weaver and Rhys Bowen, when Viviana Valentine and Tommy Fortuna head to Times Square for New Year’s Eve, they didn’t expect their resolution to involve catching a killer.

New York City, 1950.
Viviana Valentine and Tommy Fortuna have a lot of resolutions for the new year—whether it’s continuing to build up their detective agency or planning their wedding, the two are looking forward to the future. On their way to Times Square to celebrate, the two witness a brutal stabbing. When Tommy tries to chase down the culprit, Viviana tries her best to save the man. She’s unsuccessful, but Viviana hears his final words: a whispered apology to an unknown friend.

Clues are hard to come by, with the only leads being the fraught last words and a few nondescript matchbooks in the victim’s overcoat. Their investigation is halted when Detective Jack Lawson of the New York Police Department arrives, immediately ruffling Viviana’s feathers and bumping chests with Tommy, who he nearly arrested for murder just months earlier. The two know there’s more to the story, but there are other pressing matters at hand.

Clients are clamoring to get the detectives to work on their cases: a man is being blackmailed by a criminal who only writes in code, Tommy’s old friend needs his fiancée tailed, and an investment banker has mysteriously vanished. To add to their workload, Viviana knows something strange is happening at her boarding house. Will all of this—plus planning for a wedding—be too much for one Girl Friday?
Visit Emily J. Edwards's website.

My Book, The Movie: Viviana Valentine Gets Her Man.

Q&A with Emily J. Edwards.

My Book, The Movie: Viviana Valentine Goes Up the River.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Marx for Cats: A Radical Bestiary"

New from Duke University Press: Marx for Cats: A Radical Bestiary by Leigh Claire La Berge.

About the book, from the publisher:

At the outset of Marx for Cats, Leigh Claire La Berge declares that “all history is the history of cat struggle.” Revising the medieval bestiary form to meet Marxist critique, La Berge follows feline footprints through Western economic history to reveal an animality at the heart of Marxism. She draws on a twelve-hundred-year arc spanning capitalism’s feudal prehistory, its colonialist and imperialist ages, the bourgeois revolutions that supported capitalism, and the communist revolutions that opposed it to outline how cats have long been understood as creatures of economic critique and liberatory possibility. By attending to the repeated archival appearance of lions, tigers, wildcats, and “sabo-tabbies,” La Berge argues that felines are central to how Marxists have imagined the economy, and by asking what humans and animals owe each other in a moment of ecological crisis, La Berge joins current debates about the need for and possibility of eco-socialism. In this playful and generously illustrated radical bestiary, La Berge demonstrates that class struggle is ultimately an interspecies collaboration.
Follow Marx for Cats on Instagram.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, October 26, 2023

"All We Could Still Have"

New from Lake Union Publishing: All We Could Still Have: A Novel by Diane Barnes.

About the book, from the publisher:

In their attempts to have a child, a husband and wife must contend with personal desires, crossed boundaries, and broken trust as they reimagine what it truly means to be a family.

Nikki and Kyle Sebastian have a loving and healthy marriage. It’s only missing one thing they want―children. When the couple is diagnosed with “unexplained infertility” and endures several failed rounds of IVF, Kyle, for both their sakes, is unwilling to bury them deeper in emotional and financial debt.

Desperate to have a baby, Nikki betrays Kyle’s trust in an attempt to try IVF one more time. The choice fractures their once-stable union. Now burdened with suspicion, resentment, and further grief, their little family is falling apart.

Picking up the pieces of their broken home means reassessing their dreams for the future―dreams that Nikki’s not ready to give up. If she can’t find a way to forge a new path forward with Kyle, she may find herself alone at the end of the family tree she longs to help grow.
Visit Diane Barnes's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Circle of Stars"

New from Yale University Press: Circle of Stars: A History of the EU and the People Who Made It by Dermot Hodson.

About the book, from the publisher:

A compelling new history of the EU and the people who sought to shape and challenge it—from Maastricht to today

The European Union is the most ambitious, and one of the most contentious, international organizations ever created. Decisions made in Brussels shape the lives of over 500 million Europeans, and its laws and policies resonate around the world. But how has the EU endured over three turbulent decades marred by crises at home and abroad?

In this major account, Dermot Hodson traces the development of the EU from its establishment in 1993 through to Brexit, Covid-19, and the invasion of Ukraine. Hodson shows how the union has been held together not by faceless technocrats but national leaders who stood together in times of turmoil despite a fierce backlash from a new generation of right-wing populists. Circle of Stars offers a rich appraisal of Europe’s troubled past and turbulent present—focusing on the people who built the EU as we know it today.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Forgotten Trail"

New from Crooked Lane Books: Forgotten Trail by Claire Kells.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this third installment of Claire Kells’s thrilling National Park mystery series, Investigative Services Branch agent Felicity Harland ventures through volcanic wilderness to investigate a murder at a new hike-in lodge at Pinnacles National Park.

When a guest turns up dead at the newly opened Pinnacles Grand Hotel, ISB agent Felicity Harland finds herself summoned to a peculiar scene. A gentle breeze blows in from the balcony window, belying the violence of a man stabbed to death in his hotel room. It’s clear to Harland that this murder was personal, especially when the victim’s wife admits that she wanted him dead.

But Harland isn’t so sure that this was a domestic dispute gone bad. When she hears about the Park Service searching for a missing person out on the trails, she sets out with her partner, Ferdinand “Hux” Huxley, to see if the two cases are connected.

As Harland and Hux take on the rocky, exposed terrain of California’s ancient volcanic wonderland, they soon realize that the mystery at the Pinnacles Grand is not at all what it seems—and that a predator may be closing in.
Visit Claire Kells's website.

The Page 69 Test: Girl Underwater.

Writers Read: Claire Kells (April 2015).

My Book, The Movie: Girl Underwater.

The Page 69 Test: An Unforgiving Place.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Consistent Democracy"

New from Oxford University Press: Consistent Democracy: The "Woman Question" and Self-Government in Nineteenth-Century America by Leslie Butler.

About the book, from the publisher:
What did it mean that in the world's first mass democracy only a minority ruled? Women--free and enslaved, white and Black, single and married--constituted the bulk of those barred from full self-government in nineteenth-century America. The seeming anomaly of this exclusion fostered basic questions about the possibilities and limits of popular rule during the decades of democracy's worldwide ascendancy.

Consistent Democracy examines how these wide-ranging discussions about self-government and the so-called woman question developed in published opinion from the 1830s through the 1890s. Ranging beyond the organized women's rights movement, it places in conversation travel writers and domestic advice gurus, activists and educators, novelists and journalists, as well as countless others who explored contested aspects of democratic womanhood. Across the expansive world of print, these writers explored women's individual autonomy, their familial roles, and their participation in the polity with the franchise and without it. An array of theorists, reformers, and critics--including foreign observers Alexis de Tocqueville and Harriet Martineau, educator Catharine Beecher, political theorist John Stuart Mill, African American author and activist Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, and historian Francis Parkman--compelled Americans to assess and reassess their popular political ideas and assumptions against the backdrop of a turbulent century that witnessed the violent end of slavery.

Combining intellectual, political, and cultural history, Consistent Democracy illuminates how--in the nineteenth century and since--woman questions were democracy questions.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, October 25, 2023


New from The Unnamed Press: Upcountry by Chin-Sun Lee.

About the book, from the publisher:

A middle-class ex-Manhattanite, a cash-strapped single mother, and a young member of an obscure religious “sect,” become entangled in a Catskills town.

Claire Pedersen and her husband are relocating from NYC to the Catskills—they have found a terrific deal on a property in foreclosure. The house has been in April Ives’ family for three generations, but the single mother of three children from two different fathers needs the money. Claire and April are instantly antagonistic, but the sale proceeds, and renovations begin.

Soon after, Claire’s husband develops an erotic fascination with Anna, a young member of a nearby religious community called The Eternals. Two marriages—and one pregnancy—swiftly and dramatically end. Claire is left to finish the renovation and salvage the life she had imagined. April, meanwhile, is dealing with her ex who has just been released from prison on a drug charge and the decision of whether or not to let him build a relationship with the son he has never known.

Life “upcountry” means close encounters between disparate social classes: Claire and April navigate mutual dislike and unanticipated empathy. The house remains a sore point for both. Anna is the unhappy fulcrum between the two older women. Shunned from The Eternals since the incident with Claire’s husband, she yearns to return to their protection. Anna’s strict views on transgression and penance are baffling to April; for Claire, Anna remains the embodiment of her ruined marriage.
Visit Chin-Sun Lee's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Claiming Space"

New from Utah State University Press: Claiming Space: Performing the Personal through Decorated Mortarboards by Sheila Bock.

About the book, from the publisher:

Claiming Space examines the growing tradition of decorating mortarboards at college graduations, offering a performance-centered approach to these material sites of display. Taking mortarboard displays seriously as public performances of the personal, this book highlights the creative, playful, and powerful ways graduates use their caps to fashion their personal engagement with notions of self, community, education, and the unknown future.

Claiming the space of these graduation caps is a popular and widespread way that individuals make their voices heard, or rather seen, in the visual landscape of commencement ceremonies. The forms and meanings of these material displays take shape in relation to broader, ongoing conversations about higher education in the United States, conversations grounded in discourses of belonging, citizenship, and the promises of the American Dream. Integrating observational fieldwork with extensive interviews and surveys, author Sheila Bock highlights the interpretations of individuals participating in this tradition. She also attends to the public framings of this tradition, including how images of mortarboards have grounded online enactments of community through hashtags such as #LatinxGradCaps and #LetTheFeathersFly, as well as what rhetorical framings are employed in news coverage and legal documents in cases where the value of the practice is both called into question and justified.

As university administrators and cultural commentators seek to make sense of the current state of higher education, these forms of material expression offer insight into how students themselves are grappling with higher ed's promises and shortcomings. Claiming Space is a meaningful contribution to folklore, cultural studies, media studies, and education.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Perfect Shot"

New from Minotaur Books: Perfect Shot: A Thriller (Special Agent Alexandra Martel, Volume 1) by Steve Urszenyi.

About the book, from the publisher:

A former Army sniper must fall back on her Special Ops skills when a friend’s death uncovers a global nuclear threat, in Steve Urszenyi's Perfect Shot, the first in an electrifying new series featuring Special Agent Alexandra Martel.

Special Agent Alexandra Martel has put her days on the battlefield behind her. Charming and disarming, relentless and lethal, she earned a reputation as one of the most renowned and decorated Army snipers in the service before stepping away. But when Alex, now an FBI special agent on loan to Interpol, learns that an old friend, an MI5 officer, has been killed under mysterious circumstances, she’s pulled back into the dangerous world she left behind: a world where some people fear her, some want to recruit her, and everyone seems to want her dead.

Following a trail of clues left behind by the dead woman, Alex pieces together a terrifying conspiracy that only escalates when a nuclear warhead goes missing. Dodging death at every turn, she reluctantly joins forces with a CIA officer, but he has plans of his own for her—and will stop at nothing to achieve them.

Chasing the truth through the streets of London and bustling Turkish markets to the underbelly of Paris, Alex is unrelenting in her pursuit of justice. But as the clock ticks down and the world edges closer to doom, she must fall back on her Special Ops skills to stop the unthinkable. She thought her life as a sniper was over—but with stakes this high, she must use whatever means necessary to render the world safe.
Visit Steve Urszenyi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Execution, State and Society in England, 1660–1900"

New from Cambridge University Press: Execution, State and Society in England, 1660–1900 by Simon Devereaux.

About the book, from the publisher:

This book provides the first comprehensive account of execution practices in England and their extraordinary transformation from 1660 to 1900. Agonizing execution rituals were once common. Male traitors were hanged, disembowelled while still alive, then decapitated and quartered. Female traitors were burned alive. And common criminals slowly choked to death beneath wooden crossbeams erected at the margins of towns. Some of their bodies were either left to rot on roadside gibbets or dissected by anatomy instructors. Two centuries later, only murderers and traitors were executed – both by hanging – and they died alone, usually quickly, and behind prison walls. In this major contribution to the history of crime and punishment in England, Simon Devereaux reveals how urban growth, and the unique public culture it produced, challenged and largely displaced those traditional elites who valued the old 'Bloody Code' as an instrument of their rule.
Simon Devereaux is Associate Professor of History at the University of Victoria.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

"Emergency Contact"

New from Blackstone Publishing: Emergency Contact by Lauren Layne and Anthony Ledonne.

About the book, from the publisher:

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne -- and her real life husband and high school sweetheart, Anthony LeDonne -- comes a new holiday romcom that is sure to warm even the coldest heart.

Katherine, an ambitious NYC attorney, gets diagnosed with a concussion and must be monitored for 48 hours to make sure it doesn't get worse. Unfortunately, she forgot to updated her emergency contact so the person they call is her ex-husband, Tom. Unable to be left alone, Katherine reluctantly agrees to travel to Chicago with Tom for the holidays. But thanks to a blizzard, what should have been a quick plane ride turns into an antagonistic overnight misadventure that stirs up old feelings even as Tom prepares to propose to his girlfriend on Christmas Eve.

A delightful meet-cute between The Proposal and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Emergency Contact is perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne.
Visit Lauren Layne's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Social Anarchism and the Rejection of Moral Tyranny"

New from Cambridge University Press: Social Anarchism and the Rejection of Moral Tyranny by Jesse Spafford.

About the book, from the publisher:

Outside philosophy departments, most self-identified anarchists are social anarchists who reject both the legitimacy of the state and private property. By contrast, most anarchist philosophers are of the pro-market variety. As a result, a philosopher has yet to write an analytic defence of social anarchism. Jesse Spafford fills this gap by arguing that social anarchism is a coherent philosophical position that follows from a more basic, plausible principle that constrains which moral theories are acceptable. In the process of articulating and defending social anarchism Spafford stakes out a number of bold and original positions (e.g. that people own themselves and nothing else), while providing novel solutions to some of classic problems of political philosophy (e.g. luck egalitarianism's problem of stakes). His distinctive study offers an overarching, unified political theory while also advancing many of the more fine-grained debates that occupy political philosophers.
Visit Jesse Spafford's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Gorgeous Gruesome Faces"

New from Roaring Brook Press: Gorgeous Gruesome Faces by Linda Cheng.

About the book, from the publisher:

You’ll love them to death...


Sunny Lee is on the top of the world. She’s one third of Sweet Cadence, the hottest up-and-coming teen pop group, alongside her new BFFs, Candie and Mina. The three are inseparable as they ride their way to the top of the charts, even as Candie and Sunny fight to resist the growing spark between them. But when a shocking scandal breaks, the group is suddenly torn apart. Then the unthinkable – Mina dies tragically right before Sunny and Candie’s eyes. And Sunny suspects the dark and otherworldly secrets she and Candie were keeping may have had something to do with it . . .


For the past two years, Sunny has spent her days longing for her former life and her nights wondering just what caused Mina's death. So when she discovers that Candie is attending a new K-pop workshop right in her hometown, Sunny has no choice but to follow her there. Candie might be chasing stardom again, but Sunny is only after one thing: answers.

At the workshop, the lines between nightmare and reality start to blur as Sunny is haunted by ghostly visions and her competitors' bodies turn up bizarrely maimed and mutilated. To survive the twisted carnage, Sunny will have to expose the ugly truth behind the workshop’s spotlights and the sinister forces swirling around Candie. Stitched with cutting commentary on the ugly side of stardom and impossible beauty standards, Linda Cheng’s mind-bending thriller will have readers screaming and swooning for more.
Visit Linda Cheng's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Becoming Irish American"

New from Yale University Press: Becoming Irish American: The Making and Remaking of a People from Roanoke to JFK by Timothy J. Meagher.

About the book, from the publisher:

The origins and evolution of Irish American identity, from colonial times through the twentieth century

As millions of Irish immigrants and their descendants created community in the United States over the centuries, they neither remained Irish nor simply became American. Instead, they created a culture and defined an identity that was unique to their circumstances, a new people that they would continually reinvent: Irish Americans.

Historian Timothy J. Meagher traces the Irish American experience from the first Irishman to step ashore at Roanoke in 1585 to John F. Kennedy’s election as president in 1960. As he chronicles how Irish American culture evolved, Meagher looks at how various groups adapted and thrived—Protestants and Catholics, immigrants and American born, those located in different geographic corners of the country. He describes how Irish Americans made a living, where they worshiped, and when they married, and how Irish American politicians found particular success, from ward bosses on the streets of New York, Boston, and Chicago to the presidency.

In this sweeping history, Meagher reveals how the Irish American identity was forged, how it has transformed, and how it has held lasting influence on American culture.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, October 23, 2023


New from Minotaur Books: Betrayal: A Robin Lockwood Novel (Volume 7) by Phillip Margolin.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Phillip Margolin's Betrayal, attorney Robin Lockwood finds herself defending her old nemesis in a multiple murder case with too many suspects, where success might cost her own life.

Robin Lockwood is now a prominent defense attorney in Portland, Oregon but a decade ago, she was a ranked and rising MMA fighter. Her career came to a quick end when she was knocked out and concussed in the first round by Mandy Kerrigan, a much more talented fighter.

Now the situation couldn't be more different, with Kerrigan on her last legs, her career nearly over, arrested for the quadruple murder of the entire Finch family...and Kerrigan's only possible friend is the attorney she beat so many years ago.

For Robin, it's no simple case: Margaret Finch was a lawyer working for vicious Russian mobsters, and was in the cross-hairs of both the mobsters and the widower of a woman a client killed; her husband Nathan Finch was deeply in debt to a bookie who threatened his life; her son Ryan was the one who sold Kerrigan illegal performance enhancing drugs and was beaten severely by her when Kerrigan failed her drug test. To complicate matters further, the DA that Robin is facing is the man she's just started dating, the first person she's begun seeing seriously after her husband was killed.

In a case where the stakes are high and the truth is elusive, where each new fact twists the case in a new direction, there is seemingly no way to win or direction to turn that will leave Robin Lockwood unscathed.
Visit Phillip Margolin's website and Facebook page.

My Book, The Movie: Woman with a Gun.

The Page 69 Test: Woman with a Gun.

The Page 69 Test: Violent Crimes.

My Book, The Movie: Violent Crimes.

My Book, The Movie: The Third Victim.

The Page 69 Test: The Third Victim.

The Page 69 Test: The Perfect Alibi.

The Page 69 Test: A Reasonable Doubt.

My Book, The Movie: A Reasonable Doubt.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at Black Oaks.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Growing Up Graphic"

New from Ohio State University Press: Growing Up Graphic: The Comics of Children in Crisis by Alison Halsall.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Growing Up Graphic, Alison Halsall considers graphic texts for young readers to interrogate how they help children develop new ideas about social justice and become potential agents of change. With a focus on comics that depict difficult experiences affecting young people, Halsall explores the complexities of queer graphic memoirs, narratives of belonging, depictions of illness and disability, and explorations of Indigenous experiences. She discusses, among others, Child Soldier by Jessica Dee Humphreys and Michel Chikwanine, War Brothers by Sharon E. McKay, Baddawi by Leila Abdelrazaq, Matt Huynh’s interactive adaptation of Nam Le’s The Boat, and David Alexander Robertson’s 7 Generations. These examples contest images of childhood victimization, passivity, and helplessness, instead presenting young people as social actors who attempt to make sense of the challenges that affect them. In considering comics for children and about children, Growing Up Graphic centers a previously underexplored vein of graphic narratives and argues that these texts offer important insights into the interests and capabilities of children as readers.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Anything for a Friend"

New from Lake Union: Anything for a Friend: A Novel by Kathleen M. Willett.

About the book, from the publisher:

For two old friends with so much to hide, playing catch-up is a dangerous game in a propulsive novel of suspense by the author of Mother of All Secrets.

Writer Carrie Colts hopes a move to Montauk will be a rejuvenating change of pace for her family. The last thing she expects to see is her former college roommate on her doorstep. Newly widowed, and with a daughter of her own, Maya would love to reconnect. As a gesture to an old friend in mourning, Carrie extends an invitation to stay. Just for a few days. After all, there are reasons that Carrie and Maya are estranged.

Carrie soon regrets her impulsive offer. Someone has taken a pair of scissors to her college yearbook. Her herb garden is destroyed. She’s starting to receive sinister texts. And Maya is making herself a little too much at home. What does Maya really want? What is she hiding? Carrie’s afraid to ask. Because Maya knows all her secrets, and exposing them comes with a price Carrie can’t afford to pay.
Visit Kathleen M. Willett's website.

Q&A with Kathleen M. Willett.

The Page 69 Test: Mother of All Secrets.

My Book, The Movie: Mother of All Secrets.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Afterlives of Endor"

New from Cornell University Press: Afterlives of Endor: Witchcraft, Theatricality, and Uncertainty from the "Malleus Maleficarum" to Shakespeare by Laura Levine.

About the book, from the publisher:

Afterlives of Endor offers an analysis of the way early modern English literature addressed the period's anxieties about witchcraft and theatricality. What determined whether or not a demonologist imagined a trial as a spectacle? What underlying epistemological constraints governed such choices and what conceptions of witchcraft did these choices reveal? Pairing readings of demonological texts with canonical plays and poetry, Laura Levine examines such questions. Through analyses of manuals and pamphlets about the prosecution of witches―including Reginald Scot's skeptical The Discoverie of Witchcraft (1584), King James VI/I's Daemonologie (1597), and Jean Bodin's De la Demonomanie des Sorciers (1580)―Afterlives of Endor examines the way literary texts such as Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and The Tempest, Spenser's The Faerie Queene, and Marlowe's Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus address anxieties about witchcraft, illusion, and theatricality. Afterlives of Endor attends to the rhetorical tactics, argumentative investments, and underlying tensions of demonological texts with the scrutiny ordinarily reserved for literary texts.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, October 22, 2023

"The Engagement Party"

New from Crooked Lane Books: The Engagement Party: A Novel by Finley Turner.

About the book, from the publisher:

A lavish engagement party turns deadly and the bride-to-be is the primary suspect in this heart-stopping thriller exploring the dark underbelly of the uber wealthy and just how far people will go for revenge, in the vein of Sarah Pinborough and Ruth Ware.

Kass Baptiste is newly engaged to her fiancé Murray Sedgemont after a whirlwind romance. Before they even get to share the news, an invitation arrives via messenger - to an engagement party hosted by Murray’s parents. When Kass and Murray arrive at the Sedgemont Estate, she is astonished to learn that Murray’s family is one of the most powerful families in North Carolina. As Kass’s future mother-in-law, Beatrice, whips herself into a frenzy over the perfect party for the state’s elite, Kass begins to receive anonymous threatening social media messages.

On the night of the event, as champagne is popped and the celebrations begin, a body is found in the lavish home. All eyes are on Kass, the interloper amongst the rich and powerful guests. Over the course of the party , Kass’s dark past unexpectedly becomes intertwined with the murder, and in order to prove her innocence, she must finally come to terms with her secrets.

As Murray’s family secrets are revealed, Kass must prove herself innocent while evading the anonymous threats that haunt her every move.
Visit Finley Turner's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Sisterhood"

New from Columbia University Press: The Sisterhood: How a Network of Black Women Writers Changed American Culture by Courtney Thorsson.

About the book, from the publisher:

One Sunday afternoon in February 1977, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, and several other Black women writers met at June Jordan’s Brooklyn apartment to eat gumbo, drink champagne, and talk about their work. Calling themselves “The Sisterhood,” the group—which also came to include Audre Lorde, Paule Marshall, Margo Jefferson, and others—would get together once a month over the next two years, creating a vital space for Black women to discuss literature and liberation.

The Sisterhood tells the story of how this remarkable community transformed American writing and cultural institutions. Drawing on original interviews with Sisterhood members as well as correspondence, meeting minutes, and readings of their works, Courtney Thorsson explores the group’s everyday collaboration and profound legacy. The Sisterhood advocated for Black women writers at trade publishers and magazines such as Random House, Ms., and Essence, and eventually in academic departments as well—often in the face of sexist, racist, and homophobic backlash. Thorsson traces the personal, professional, and political ties that brought the group together as well as the reasons for its dissolution. She considers the popular and critical success of Sisterhood members in the 1980s, the uneasy absorption of Black feminism into the academy, and how younger writers built on the foundations the group laid. Highlighting the organizing, networking, and community building that nurtured Black women’s writing, this book demonstrates that The Sisterhood offers an enduring model for Black feminist collaboration.
Visit Courtney Thorsson's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Paleontologist"

New from Atria Books: The Paleontologist by Luke Dumas.

About the book, from the publisher:

A haunted paleontologist returns to the museum where his sister was abducted years earlier and is faced with a terrifying and murderous spirit in this chilling novel.

Curator of paleontology Dr. Simon Nealy never expected to return to his Pennsylvania hometown, let alone the Hawthorne Museum of Natural History. He was just a boy when his six-year-old sister, Morgan, was abducted from the museum under his watch, and the guilt has haunted Simon ever since. After a recent breakup and the death of the aunt who raised him, Simon feels drawn back to the place where Morgan vanished, in search of the bones they never found.

But from the moment he arrives, things aren’t what he expected. The Hawthorne is a crumbling ruin, still closed amid the ongoing pandemic, and plummeting toward financial catastrophe. Worse, Simon begins seeing and hearing things he can’t explain. Strange animal sounds. Bloody footprints that no living creature could have left. A prehistoric killer looming in the shadows of the museum. Terrified he’s losing his grasp on reality, Simon turns to the handwritten research diaries of his predecessor and uncovers a blood-soaked mystery 150 million years in the making that could be the answer to everything.
Visit Luke Dumas's website.

The Page 69 Test: A History of Fear.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Simply Responsible"

New from Oxford University Press: Simply Responsible: Basic Blame, Scant Praise, and Minimal Agency by Matt King.

About the book, from the publisher:

We evaluate people all the time for a wide variety of activities. We blame them for miscalculations, uninspired art, and committing crimes. We praise them for detailed brushwork, a superb pass, and their acts of kindness. We accomplish things, from solving crosswords to mastering guitar solos. We bungle our endeavors, whether this is letting a friend down or burning dinner. Sometimes these deeds are morally significant, but many times they are not.

Simply Responsible defends the radical proposal that the blameworthy artist is responsible in just the same way that the blameworthy thief is. We can be responsible for all kinds of different activities, from lip-synching to long division, from murders to meringues, but the relation involved, what author Matt King calls the basic responsibility relation, is the same in every case. We are responsible for the things we do first, then blameworthy or praiseworthy for having done them in light of whether they're good or bad, according to a variety of standards.

Why is this a radical proposal? Firstly, because so much of the contemporary literature on moral responsibility has moralized its nature. According to most accounts, moral responsibility is either a special species of responsibility or else depends on moralized capacities. In contrast, King argues that we get a more complete and unifying picture of responsible agency from a more general theory of responsibility. Secondly, the proposal is radical due to its drastic simplicity. King foregoes many of the complications that feature in other accounts of responsibility, arguing that we can make do with less demanding theoretical elements.
Visit Matt King's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, October 21, 2023


New from the University of New Orleans Press: Kells: A novel of the eighth century by Amy Crider.

About the book, from the publisher:

With the death of his father, Connachtach is finally free: Free to leave the family farm, free to return to the monastery of his youth, and free to scribe―a skill held by few in eighth-century Scotia. But answering what he hopes is God's call to create a new, glorified book of the gospel is not without sacrifice: in leaving all earthly matters behind, Connachtach also leaves his sister Oona and niece Deirdre, who are not so eager to let him disappear from their lives. From the Celtic shores of Iona to the amber sands of newly founded Baghdad; from the eerie decrepitude of fallen Rome to the hallowed stairs of Jerusalem, what begins as Connachtach's quest to scribe soon ranges beyond even his most beatific vision.

In this transporting testament to the power of the written word, Amy Crider offers a richly imagined early medieval odyssey ripe with purpose and rife with danger―whether from marauding Vikings, treacherous fellow wayfarers, or one's own innermost doubts.
Visit Amy Crider's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Leicester's Men and their Plays"

New from Cambridge University Press: Leicester's Men and their Plays: An Early Elizabethan Playing Company and its Legacy by Laurie Johnson.

About the book, from the publisher:

For three decades, the Earl of Leicester's Men dominated the early Elizabethan stage and helped develop the main features of Shakespearean theatre. Leicester's Men and their Plays is the first book-length study of this foundational playing company, who toured more widely than any other company, performed more often for Queen Elizabeth's court than any other adult troupe, and established the first major playhouses near London. Building on decades of established scholarship, Laurie Johnson makes exciting new discoveries from primary sources and unearths the rich and fascinating life stories of the first Elizabethan players. His findings overturn fundamental assumptions of theatre history and provide new understandings of the players' circumstances and family origins. Through incisive research and engaging storytelling, Johnson shows how the players and their families adapted to life working under one of the most powerful nobles in the volatile Elizabethan court.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Midnight Garden"

New from Lake Union Publishing: The Midnight Garden: A Novel by Elaine Roth.

About the book, from the publisher:

From debut author Elaine Roth comes a hopeful and heartfelt story about a young widow who uncovers the magic of everyday life―and the power of second chances.

After the sudden death of her husband, Hope finds herself reeling from the loss in more ways than one. First a young wife and now a grieving widow, she feels like fodder for never-ending town gossip.

But when Hope meets Will, a screenwriter back in town to run his family’s inn, she sees in him another resident oddball. And like her, Will has been navigating a loss of his own.

As Hope falls for Will, she seeks out another enigma in town: Maeve, an eccentric woman who makes healing teas and communes with the dead. Some of the townspeople think she’s a grifter, a fake. Will, too, is skeptical.

Hope yearns for closure and forgiveness, seeing in Maeve the chance to trust herself again―and in Will, a chance to rediscover the enchantment in the world around her…

And the courage to build a bigger life than she ever thought possible.
Visit Elaine Roth's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Bridge and Tunnel Boys"

New from Rutgers University Press: Bridge and Tunnel Boys: Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and the Metropolitan Sound of the American Century by Jim Cullen.

About the book, from the publisher:

Born four months apart, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel both released their debut albums in the early 1970s, quickly becoming two of the most successful rock stars of their generation. While their critical receptions have been very different, surprising parallels emerge when we look at the arcs of their careers and the musical influences that have inspired them.

Bridge and Tunnel Boys compares the life and work of Long Islander Joel and Asbury Park, New Jersey, native Springsteen, considering how each man forged a distinctive sound that derived from his unique position on the periphery of the Big Apple. Locating their music within a longer tradition of the New York metropolitan sound, dating back to the early 1900s, cultural historian Jim Cullen explores how each man drew from the city’s diverse racial and ethnic influences. His study explains how, despite frequently releasing songs that questioned the American dream, Springsteen and Joel were able to appeal to wide audiences during both the national uncertainty of the 1970s and the triumphalism of the Reagan era. By placing these two New York–area icons in a new context, Bridge and Tunnel Boys allows us to hear their most beloved songs with new appreciation.
Visit Jim Cullen's website.

The Page 99 Test: Sensing the Past.

Writers Read: Jim Cullen (February 2013).

The Page 99 Test: From Memory to History.

The Page 99 Test: Martin Scorsese and the American Dream.

The Page 69 Test: Best Class You Never Had.

--Marshal Zeringue