Sunday, December 31, 2023

"Sons of Darkness"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Sons of Darkness by Gourav Mohanty.

About the book, from the publisher:


Bled dry by violent confrontations with the Magadhan Empire, the Mathuran Republic simmers on the brink of oblivion. Senator Krishna and his third wife Satyabhama have put their plans in motion, both within and beyond the Republic's blood-soaked borders, to protect it from total annihilation.

But they are soon to discover that neither gold nor alliances last forever – and that they are not the only players on the board.

Mati, Pirate-Princess of Kalinga, has decided to mend her ways and become a good wife. But old habits die hard, especially when one habitually uses murder to settle old scores.

Brooding and beautiful Karna hopes to bury his brutal past, but finds that destiny is a miser when it comes to granting second chances.

Hero-turned-torturer Shakuni limps through a path of daggers. Meanwhile, his foes and woes multiply, leaving little time for vengeance.

Their lives are about to become yet more difficult, as a cast of sinister queens, naive kings, pious assassins and ravenous priests are converging where the Son of Darkness is prophesied to rise... even as forgotten Gods prepare to play their hand.
Visit Gourav Mohanty's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Thomas Jefferson and the Fight against Slavery"

New from the University Press of Kansas: Thomas Jefferson and the Fight against Slavery by Cara Rogers Stevens.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this groundbreaking work, Cara Rogers Stevens examines the fascinating life of Thomas Jefferson’s book, Notes on the State of Virginia, from its innocuous composition in the early 1780s to its use as a political weapon by both pro- and antislavery forces in the early nineteenth century. Initially written as a brief statistical introduction to Virginia for French readers, Jefferson’s book evolved to become his comprehensive statement on almost all facets of the state’s natural and political realms. As part of an antislavery education strategy, Jefferson also decided to include a treatise on the nature of racial difference, as well as a manifesto on the corrupting power of slavery in a republic and a plan for emancipation and colonization. In consequence, his book—for better or worse—defined the boundaries of future debates over the place of African-descended people in American society.

Although historians have rightly criticized Jefferson for his racism and failure to free his own slaves, his antislavery intentions for the Notes have received only cursory notice, partly because the original manuscript was not available for detailed examination until recently.

By analyzing Jefferson’s complex revision process, Thomas Jefferson and the Fight against Slavery traces the evolution of Jefferson’s views on race and slavery as he considered how best to persuade younger slaveholders to embrace emancipation. Rogers Stevens then moves beyond Jefferson to examine contemporary responses to the Notes from white and black intellectuals and politicians, concluding with an attempt by Jefferson’s grandson to implement elements of the Notes’s emancipation plan during Virginia’s 1831–1832 slavery debates.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Holiday Country"

New from Flatiron Books: Holiday Country: A Novel by Inci Atrek.

About the book, from the publisher:

A seductive and lyrical debut following a young woman’s dangerous summer romance during an idyllic vacation on the Aegean coast

Ada adores spending every summer in a Turkish seaside town with her mother and grandmother at the family villa. The glittering waters, endless olive groves, and her spirited friends make it easy to leave her idle life in California behind. But no matter how much Ada feels she belongs to the country where her mother grew up, deep down, her connection to the culture feels as fleeting as the seasons.

When Levent, a mysterious man from her mother’s past, shows up in their town, Ada can’t help but imagine a different future for her mother—one that promises a return to home, to love, to happiness. But while playing matchmaker, Ada has to come to terms with her own intensifying attraction to Levent. Does the future she’s fighting for belong to her mother—or to her alone?

Lush and evocative, İnci Atrek’s Holiday Country is a rapturous meditation about what it means to experience being of two worlds, the limitations and freedom of a life in translation, and the intricacies of a love triangle that stretches across generations and continents.
Visit Inci Atrek's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Our Enemies Will Vanish"

New from Penguin Press: Our Enemies Will Vanish: The Russian Invasion and Ukraine's War of Independence by Yaroslav Trofimov.

About the book, from the publisher:

A revelatory eyewitness account of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and heroism of the Ukrainian people in their resistance by Yaroslav Trofimov, the Ukrainian chief foreign-affairs correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Yaroslav Trofimov has spent months on end at the heart of the conflict, very often on its front lines. In this authoritative account, he traces the war’s decisive moments—from the battle for Kyiv to more recently the gruelling and bloody arm wrestle involving the Wagner group over Bakhmut—to show how Ukraine and its allies have turned the tide against Russia, one of the world’s great military powers, in a modern-day battle of David and Goliath. Putin had intended to conquer and annex Ukraine with a vicious blitzkrieg, redrawing the map of Europe in a few short weeks with seismic geopolitical consequences. But in the face of this existential threat, the Ukrainian people fought back, turning what looked like certain defeat into a great moral victory, even as the territorial battle continues to seesaw to this day. This is the story of the epic bravery of the Ukrainian people—people Trofimov knows very well.

For Trofimov, this war is deeply personal. He grew up in Kyiv and his family has lived there for generations. With deep empathy and local understanding, Trofimov tells the story of how everyday Ukrainian citizens—doctors, computer programmers, businesspeople, and schoolteachers—risked their lives and lost loved ones. He blends their brave and tragic stories with expert military analysis, providing unique insight into the thinking of Ukrainian leadership and mapping out the decisive stages of what has become a perilous war for Ukraine, the Putin regime, and indeed, the world.

This brutal, catastrophic struggle is unfolding on another continent, but the United States and its NATO allies have become deeply implicated. As the war drags on, it threatens to engulf the world. We cannot look away. At once heart-breaking and inspiring, Our Enemies Will Vanish is a riveting, vivid, and first-hand account of the Ukrainian refusal to surrender. It is the story of ordinary people fighting not just for their homes and their families but for justice and democracy itself.
Follow Yaroslav Trofimov on Threads.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 30, 2023

"River East, River West"

New from William Morrow: River East, River West: A Novel by Aube Rey Lescure.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set against the backdrop of developing modern China, this mesmerizing literary debut is part coming-of-age tale, part family and social drama, as it follows two generations searching for belonging and opportunity in a rapidly changing world—perfect for readers of Behold the Dreamers, White Ivy, and The Leavers.

Shanghai, 2007: Fourteen-year-old Alva has always longed for more. Raised by her American expat mother, she’s never known her Chinese father, and is certain a better life awaits them in America. But when her mother announces her engagement to their wealthy Chinese landlord, Lu Fang, Alva’s hopes are dashed, and so she plots for the next best thing: the American School in Shanghai. Upon admission, though, Alva is surprised to discover an institution run by an exclusive community of expats and the ever-wilder thrills of a city where foreigners can ostensibly act as they please.

1985: In the seaside city of Qingdao, Lu Fang is a young, married man and a lowly clerk in a shipping yard. Though he once dreamed of a bright future, he is one of many casualties in his country’s harsh political reforms. So when China opens its doors to the first wave of foreigners in decades, Lu Fang’s world is split wide open after he meets an American woman who makes him confront difficult questions about his current status in life, and how much will ever be enough.

In a stunning reversal of the east-to-west immigrant narrative and set against China’s political history and economic rise, River East, River West is an intimate family drama and a sharp social novel. Alternating between Alva and Lu Fang’s points of view, this is a profoundly moving exploration of race and class, cultural identity and belonging, and the often-false promise of the American Dream.
Visit Aube Rey Lescure's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Classical Hollywood, American Modernism"

New from Cambridge University Press: Classical Hollywood, American Modernism: A Literary History of the Studio System by Jordan Brower.

About the book, from the publisher:

Classical Hollywood, American Modernism charts the entwined trajectories of the Hollywood studio system and literary modernism in the United States. By examining the various ways Hollywood's industry practices inflected the imaginations of authors, filmmakers, and studios, Jordan Brower offers a new understanding of twentieth-century American and ultimately world media culture. Synthesizing archival research with innovative theoretical approaches, this book tells the story of the studio system's genesis, international dominance, decline, and continued symbolic relevance during the American postwar era through the literature it influenced. It examines the American film industry's business practices and social conditions, demonstrating how concepts like anticipated adaptation, corporate authorship, systemic development, and global distribution inflected the form of some of the greatest works of prose fiction and nonfiction by modernist writers, such as Anita Loos, F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Patsy Ruth Miller, Nathanael West, Parker Tyler, Malcolm Lowry, and James Baldwin.
--Marshal Zeringue


New from Counterpoint: Goldenseal: A Novel by Maria Hummel.

About the book, from the publisher:

A Gentleman in Moscow meets My Brilliant Friend in this novel of two estranged friends who reunite to confront each other and the devastating betrayal that tore them apart

Downtown Los Angeles, 1990. Alone in her luxury hotel suite, the reclusive Lacey Crane receives a message: Edith is waiting for her in the lobby. Former best friends, Lacey and Edith haven’t spoken to one another in over four decades.

As young adults meeting at summer camp in Maine, and later making their way in the glitzy spotlight of postwar Hollywood, Edith and Lacey share a deep-rooted bond that once saved them from isolation and despair, providing comfort from the public and private traumas that they had each endured and which a newly optimistic world was eager to forget. Told through a continuous, twisting conversation that unfolds over the course of a single evening, in which each woman tells her story and reveals long-hidden secrets, the narratives of Edith and Lacey burn with atmosphere, mystery, resentment, and regret.

Set against the vivid landscapes of Los Angeles and unfolding with the evanescence of a dream or a memory, Goldenseal peels away the layers of an intimate female friendship to reveal a stirring and haunting story about the search for connection and the lingering echoes of lost love.
Visit Maria Hummel's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Myth and Menagerie"

New from Yale University Press: Myth and Menagerie: Seeing Lions in the Nineteenth Century by Katie Hornstein.

About the book, from the publisher:

An innovative examination of encounters between humans and lions and representations of these charismatic animals in the visual culture of postrevolutionary France

In artistic traditions that stretch back to antiquity, lions have been associated with strength and authority. The figure of the lion in nineteenth-century France stood at a crossroads between these historical meanings and contemporary developments that recast the animal’s significance, such as the literal presence of lions in public menageries.

In this highly original study, Katie Hornstein explores the relationships among animals, spectatorship, and visual production. She examines the fascinating encounters between artists, viewers, and lions that took place—in menageries and circuses, on canvases, and on the pages of books—and out of which, she argues, new perceptions of power, empire, and the natural world emerged.

Myth and Menagerie considers a range of visual objects, bringing into dialogue photographs of circus animals, hunting manuals, and zoo guidebooks with sculptures, drawings, and paintings by artists such as Théodore Géricault, Eugène Delacroix, Édouard Manet, and Rosa Bonheur. Illuminating the lives of individual lions against the backdrop of societal change and colonial expansion, Hornstein constructs a fresh theoretical framework for thinking about animals as more than symbols or passive subjects and for acknowledging a history in which both humans and animals had a stake.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 29, 2023

"Sugar, Baby"

New from Bloomsbury USA: Sugar, Baby by Celine Saintclare.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the vein of Luster and Queenie, an unflinching portrayal of high-paid sex work in the age of the internet-an intoxicating, bold debut from a dazzling new voice.

Sugar, Baby follows Agnes, a mixed-race 21-year-old whose life seems to be heading nowhere. Still living at home, she works as a cleaner and spends all her money in clubs on the weekends searching for distractions from her mundane life. That is until she meets Emily, daughter of one of her cleaning clients, who lives in London and works as a model . . . and a sugar baby, dating rich older men for money.

Emily's life is the escape Agnes has been longing for-extravagant tasting menus, champagne on tap, glamorous hotels with unlimited room service, designer gifts from dates who call her beautiful. But this new lifestyle is the last straw for her religious mother Constance.

Kicked out of her family home, Agnes moves in with Emily and the other sugar babies in their fancy London flat and is drawn deeper and deeper into their world. But these women come from money: they possess a safety net Agnes does not. And as she is thrown from one precarious relationship to the next-a married man who wants to show off the glamourous, exotic girl on his arm; a Russian billionaire's wife who makes Agnes central to a sex party in Miami-she finds herself searching for fulfillment just as desperately as she was before.

A compelling journey of self-discovery that offers sharp commentary on race, beauty, and class, Sugar, Baby is an electric, original, spellbinding novel that will keep readers turning the pages until the very end.
Visit Celine Saintclare's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Happy Days"

New from Rutgers University Press: Happy Days: Images of the Pre-Sixties Past in Seventies America by Benjamin L. Alpers.

About the book, from the publisher:

After the techno-futurism of the 1950s and the utopian 1960s vision of a “great society,” the 1970s saw Americans turning to the past as a source for both nostalgic escapism and serious reflection on the nation’s history. While some popular works like Grease presented the relatively recent past as a more innocent time, far away from the nation’s post-Vietnam, post-Watergate malaise, others like Roots used America’s bicentennial as an occasion for deep soul-searching.

Happy Days investigates how 1970s popular culture was obsessed with America’s past but often offered radically different interpretations of the same historical events and icons. Even the figure of the greaser, once an icon of juvenile delinquency, was made family-friendly by Henry Winkler’s Fonzie at the same time that he was being appropriated in more threatening ways by punk and gay subcultures. The cultural historian Benjamin Alpers discovers similar levels of ambivalence toward the past in 1970s neo-noir films, representations of America’s founding, and neo-slave narratives by Alex Haley and Octavia Butler. By exploring how Americans used the 1970s to construct divergent representations of their shared history, he identifies it as a pivotal moment in the nation’s ideological fracturing.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 28, 2023

"The Magic All Around"

Coming January 16 from Harper Muse: The Magic All Around by Jennifer Moorman.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this latest enchanting novel from bestselling magical realism author Jennifer Moorman, a treasure hunt through the past reveals one woman’s extraordinary gift for arranging the future.

The Russell women have always lived in a house that is as special as they are—a century-old Victorian with a radio that tunes itself to the listener’s mood and a pantry that rearranges to provide just the right ingredients for any baking need. Lilith Russell was the exception. She left the family home in Ivy Ridge, Georgia, and has been flitting like a hummingbird from place to place with her daughter, Mattie, in the decades since, only returning each summer to drop Mattie off with Lilith’s sister, Penelope.

When Lilith dies suddenly, Mattie is left without her sole companion and the captain who steered her ship. That is, until she visits Ivy Ridge and learns Lilith charted one last course for Mattie: a series of tasks that she must complete to earn her inheritance, with Penelope overseeing the process.

Both Mattie and Penelope are outraged by Lilith’s seemingly random stipulations: throw a Halloween party, take a local pizza cooking class, share secrets with someone . . . But Mattie soon realizes that if she completes the tasks, she may unearth her mother’s secrets, including the identity of Mattie’s father. She may also discover more about the Russell family “gifts” and why Lilith chose Penelope’s former love to be the executor of the will. She may even learn how and why Jonathan Carlisle, the boy who stole her heart ten summers ago, also happens to be back in town.

Mattie can only hope that Lilith’s final map will finally point her home.
Visit Jennifer Moorman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Purpose and Power"

New from Cambridge University Press: Purpose and Power: US Grand Strategy from the Revolutionary Era to the Present by Donald Stoker.

About the book, from the publisher:

Across the full span of the nation's history, Donald Stoker challenges our understanding of the purposes and uses of American power. From the struggle for independence to the era of renewed competition with China and Russia, he reveals the grand strategies underpinning the nation's pursuit of sovereignty, security, expansion, and democracy abroad. He shows how successive administrations have projected diplomatic, military, and economic power, and mobilized ideas and information to preserve American freedoms at home and secure US aims abroad. He exposes the myth of American isolationism, the good and ill of America's quest for democracy overseas, and how too often its administrations have lacked clear political aims or a concrete vision for where they want to go. Understanding this history is vital if America is to relearn how to use its power to meet the challenges ahead and to think more clearly about political aims and grand strategy.
The Page 99 Test: The Grand Design.

My Book, The Movie: Clausewitz: His Life and Work.

The Page 99 Test: Clausewitz: His Life and Work.

The Page 99 Test: Why America Loses Wars.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Sun Seekers"

New from Alcove Press: Sun Seekers: A Novel by Rachel McRady.

About the book, from the publisher:

From Emmy Award-winning writer Rachel McRady comes a vital, illuminating debut novel of a broken family uniting in the face of terrifying crisis, for fans of This is Us and Parenthood.

Six-year-old Gracie Lynn is perpetually curious and big-hearted. Convinced she knows how to save her beloved grandfather John from the “worm” that is eating his brain—a metaphor her mother once used to explain John’s dementia and sundown syndrome—she helps him break out of his nursing home, and the two disappear together on a quest to chase the sun. But what’s an adventure for Gracie is a nightmare scenario for her estranged parents, LeeAnn and Dan. There’s no way to predict where John might have taken their young daughter, or if he’s capable of keeping her safe.

Jaded beyond her years, and struggling with her own mental health, LeeAnn has no delusions about what might happen if they don’t locate Gracie soon. Dan is no less frantic, but communicating with LeeAnn isn’t easy, even under the circumstances—too much stands between the hopeful young couple they once were and the people they’ve become.

An emotionally resonant novel for fans of Fredrik Backman and Mark Haddon, Sun Seekers artfully explores the truths of parenthood, the ways in which we sometimes hurt those we love most, and the universal experience of deep loss—even when the person is still here.
Visit Rachel McRady's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Fractured Voice"

New from the University of Wisconsin Press: The Fractured Voice: Silence and Power in Imperial Roman Literature by Amy A. Koenig.

About the book, from the publisher:

Imperial Rome privileged the elite male citizen as one of sound mind and body, superior in all ways to women, noncitizens, and nonhumans. One of the markers of his superiority was the power of his voice, both literal (in terms of oratory and the legal capacity to represent himself and others) and metaphoric, as in the political power of having a “voice” in the public sphere. Muteness in ancient Roman society has thus long been understood as a deficiency, both physically and socially.

In this volume, Amy Koenig deftly confronts the trope of muteness in Imperial Roman literature, arguing that this understanding of silence is incomplete. By unpacking the motif of voicelessness across a wide range of written sources, she shows that the Roman perception of silence was more complicated than a simple binary and that elite male authors used muted or voiceless characters to interrogate the concept of voicelessness in ways that would be taboo in other contexts. Paradoxically, Koenig illustrates that silence could in fact be freeing—that the loss of voice permits an untethering from other social norms and expectations, thus allowing a freedom of expression denied to many of the voiced.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

"The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years"

New from Viking: The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years: A Novel by Shubnum Khan.

About the book, from the publisher:

“A dark and heady dream of a book” (Alix E. Harrow) about a ruined mansion by the sea, the djinn that haunts it, and a curious girl who unearths the tragedy that happened there a hundred years previous

Akbar Manzil was once a grand estate off the coast of South Africa. Nearly a century later, it stands in ruins: an isolated boardinghouse for eclectic misfits, seeking solely to disappear into the mansion’s dark corridors. Except for Sana. Unlike the others, she is curious and questioning and finds herself irresistibly drawn to the history of the mansion: To the eerie and forgotten East Wing, home to a clutter of broken and abandoned objects—and to the door at its end, locked for decades.

Behind the door is a bedroom frozen in time and a worn diary that whispers of a dark past: the long-forgotten story of a young woman named Meena, who died there tragically a hundred years ago. Watching Sana from the room’s shadows is a besotted, grieving djinn, an invisible spirit who has haunted the mansion since her mysterious death. Obsessed with Meena’s story, and unaware of the creature that follows her, Sana digs into the past like fingers into a wound, dredging up old and terrible secrets that will change the lives of everyone living and dead at Akbar Manzil. Sublime, heart-wrenching, and lyrically stunning, The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years is a haunting, a love story, and a mystery, all twined beautifully into one young girl’s search for belonging.
Visit Shubnum Khan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Big Brands Are Watching You"

Coming soon from the University of California Press: Big Brands Are Watching You: Marketing Social Justice and Digital Culture by Francesca Sobande.

About the book, from the publisher:

How is morality understood in the marketplace? Why do brands speak out about certain issues of injustice and not others? And what is influencer culture’s role in social and political activism? Big Brands Are Watching You investigates corporate culture, from the branding of companies and nations to television portrayals of big business and the workplace. Francesca Sobande analyzes media, interviews, survey responses, and ephemera from the history of advertising as well as exhibitions in London, brand stores in Amsterdam, a music festival in Las Vegas, and archives in Washington, DC, to illuminate the world of branding.
Visit Francesca Sobande's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Three Eight One"

Coming soon from Solaris: Three Eight One by Aliya Whiteley.

About the book, from the publisher:

An astonishing literary crossover novel about the pressures of growing up and the nature of authorship.

In January 2314, Rowena Savalas – a curator of the vast archive of the twenty-first century’s primitive internet – stumbles upon a story posted in the summer of 2024. She’s quickly drawn into the mystery of the text: Is it autobiography, fantasy or fraud? What’s the significance of the recurring number 381?

In the story, the protagonist Fairly walks the Horned Road – a quest undertaken by youngsters in her village when they come of age. She is followed by the “breathing man,” a looming presence, dogging her heels every step of the way. Everything she was taught about her world is overturned.

Following Fairly’s quest, Rowena comes to question her own choices, and a predictable life of curation becomes one of exploration, adventure and love. As both women’s stories draw to a close, she realises it doesn’t matter whether the story is true or not: as with the quest itself, it’s the journey that matters.
Visit Aliya Whiteley's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Arrival of Missives.

The Page 69 Test: Skyward Inn.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Gift"

Coming soon from Cambridge University Press: The Gift: How Objects of Prestige Shaped the Atlantic Slave Trade and Colonialism by Ana Lucia Araujo.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Gift explores how objects of prestige contributed to cross-cultural exchanges between Africans and Europeans during the Atlantic slave trade. An eighteenth-century silver ceremonial sword, commissioned in the port of La Rochelle by French traders, was offered as a gift to an African commercial agent in the port of Cabinda (Kingdom of Ngoyo), in twenty-first century Angola. Slave traders carried this object from Cabinda to Abomey, the capital of the Kingdom of Dahomey in twenty-first century's Republic of Benin, from where French officers looted the item in the late nineteenth century. Drawing on a rich set of sources in French, English, and Portuguese, as well as artifacts housed in museums across Europe and the Americas, Ana Lucia Araujo illuminates how luxury objects impacted European–African relations, and how these economic, cultural, and social interactions paved the way for the European conquest and colonization of West Africa and West Central Africa.
Visit Ana Lucia Araujo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 26, 2023


New from Atria/Emily Bestler Books: Northwoods: A Novel by Amy Pease.

About the book, from the publisher:

The dark underbelly of an idyllic Midwestern resort town is revealed in the aftermath of a murder with ties to America’s opioid epidemic in this unputdownable and thrilling debut that is perfect for fans of James Lee Burke, William Kent Krueger, and Mindy Mejia.

Eli North is not okay.

His drinking is getting worse by the day, his emotional wounds after a deployment to Afghanistan are as raw as ever, his marriage and career are over, and the only job he can hold down is with the local sheriff’s department. And that’s only because the sheriff is his mother—and she’s overwhelmed with small town Shaky Lake’s dwindling budget and the fallout from the opioid epidemic. The Northwoods of Wisconsin may be a vacationer’s paradise, but amidst the fishing trips and campfires and Paul Bunyan festivals, something sinister is taking shape.

When the body of a teenage boy is found in the lake, it sets in motion an investigation that leads Eli to a wealthy enclave with a violent past, a pharmaceutical salesman, and a missing teenage girl. Soon, Eli and his mother, along with a young FBI agent, are on the hunt for more than just a killer.

If Eli solves the case, could he finally get the shot at redemption he so desperately needs? Or will answers to this dark case elude him and continue to bring destruction to the Northwoods?
Visit Amy Pease's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Making the Radical University"

Coming soon from the University of Massachusetts Press: Making the Radical University: Identity and Politics on the American College Campus, 1966–1991 by Elizabeth M. Kalbfleisch.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the 1960s, professors, students, and activists on the political Left viewed college curricula as useful sites for political transformation. They coordinated efforts to alter general education requirements at the college level to foster change in American thought, with greater openness toward people who had previously been excluded, including women, people of color, the poor and working classes, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community. Their work reshaped American culture and politics, while prompting a significant backlash from conservatives attempting to, in their view, protect classical education from modern encroachment.

Elizabeth M. Kalbfleisch details how American universities became a battleground for identity politics from the 1960s through the 1980s. Focusing on two case studies at Stanford University and the University of Texas at Austin, Making the Radical University examines how curricular changes led to polarizing discussions nationwide around academic standards and identity politics, including the so-called canon wars. Today, these debates have only become more politically charged, complex, and barbed.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Sign of Four Spirits"

New from Crooked Lane Books: The Sign of Four Spirits by Vicki Delany.

About the book, from the publisher:

Gemma Doyle won’t be spooked when a body shows up at the psychic fair in bestselling author Vicki Delany’s ninth Sherlock Holmes Bookshop mystery.

When a psychic fair arrives in West London, Gemma Doyle, owner of the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop and Emporium, wants nothing to do with it. But somehow, at the urging of Donald Morris, an enthusiastic Sherlockian, she finds herself talked into attending a séance, along with baker and best friend Jayne Wilson, store assistant, Ashleigh, and former pop star Bunny Leigh.

But to her surprise, Gemma finds herself banned from the séance and shown the door. Curious, she listens in from outside the room. The medium informs a disappointed Donald that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle will not be able to make it tonight. Then, Gemma hears a voice cut off, a cry for help, a scream. Gemma bursts into the library to see that someone has collapsed on the table—dead. The windows are all locked, and Gemma was guarding the only door. Someone in this room is a murderer. But who?

The game is once again afoot for Gemma Doyle, as she hunts a killer. But, this time, is the killer of flesh and blood or had the medium summoned doom from beyond the veil?
Visit Vicki Delany's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen.

The Page 69 Test: A Scandal in Scarlet.

The Page 69 Test: Murder in a Teacup.

Writers Read: Vicki Delany (September 2021).

The Page 69 Test: Deadly Summer Nights.

The Page 69 Test: The Game is a Footnote.

Writers Read: Vicki Delany (January 2023).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Paul and the Resurrection of Israel"

Coming soon from Cambridge University Press: Paul and the Resurrection of Israel: Jews, Former Gentiles, Israelites by Jason A. Staples.

About the book, from the publisher:

The gospel promoted by Paul has for many generations stirred passionate debate. That gospel proclaimed equal salvific access to Jews and gentiles alike. But on what basis? In making sense of such a remarkable step forward in religious history, Jason Staples reexamines texts that have proven thoroughly resistant to easy comprehension. He traces Paul's inclusive theology to a hidden strand of thinking in the earlier story of Israel. Postexilic southern Judah, he argues, did not simply appropriate the identity of the fallen northern kingdom of Israel. Instead, Judah maintained a notion of 'Israel' as referring both to the north and the ongoing reality of a broad, pan-Israelite sensibility to which the descendants of both ancient kingdoms belonged. Paul's concomitant belief was that northern Israel's exile meant assimilation among the nations – effectively a people's death – and that its restoration paradoxically required gentile inclusion to resurrect a greater 'Israel' from the dead.
Visit Jason A. Staples's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 25, 2023

"After Death"

Coming soon from Thomas & Mercer: After Death by Dean Koontz.

About the book, from the publisher:

A modern-day Lazarus is humanity’s last hope in a breathtaking novel about the absolute powers of good and evil by Dean Koontz, the #1 New York Times bestselling master of suspense.

Michael Mace, head of security at a top-secret research facility, opens his eyes in a makeshift morgue twenty-four hours following an event in which everyone perished―including him and his best friend, Shelby Shrewsberry.

Having awakened with an extraordinary ability unlike anything he―or anyone else―has ever imagined, Michael is capable of being as elusive as a ghost. He sets out to honor his late friend by helping Nina Dozier and her son, John, whom Shelby greatly admired. Although what Michael does for Nina is life changing, his actions also evoke the wrath of John’s father, a member of one of the most violent street gangs in Los Angeles.

But an even greater threat is descending: the Internal Security Agency’s most vicious assassin, Durand Calaphas. Calaphas will stop at nothing to get his man. If Michael dies twice, he will not live a third time.

From the tarnished glamour of Beverly Hills to the streets of South Central to a walled estate in Rancho Santa Fe, only Michael can protect Nina and John―and ensure that light survives in a rapidly darkening world.
Visit Dean Koontz's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Everyday Life in the Spectacular City"

Coming soon from the University of California Press: Everyday Life in the Spectacular City: Making Home in Dubai by Rana AlMutawa.

About the book, from the publisher:

Everyday Life in the Spectacular City is a groundbreaking urban ethnography that reveals how middle-class citizens and longtime residents of Dubai interact with the city's so-called superficial spaces to create meaningful social lives. Rana AlMutawa shows that inhabitants adapt themselves to top-down development projects, from big malls to megaprojects. These structures serve residents' evolving social needs, transforming Dubai's spectacular spaces into personally important cultural sites. These practices are significant because they expand our understanding of agency as not only subversive but also adaptive. Through extensive fieldwork, AlMutawa, herself an Emirati native to Dubai, finds a more nuanced story of belonging. This story does not seek to uncover the "real" city that lies beneath the veneer of the spectacle, but rather to demonstrate that social meanings and forms of belonging take place within the spectacle itself. By offering an alternative to the discourse of authenticity and elucidating the dynamics of ambivalent belonging, AlMutawa belies stereotypes that portray Dubai's developments as alienating and inherently disempowering. Everyday Life in the Spectacular City speaks beyond the Middle East to a globalized phenomenon, for Dubai's spectacles are unexceptional in today's changing world.
Visit Rana AlMutawa's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 24, 2023

"Bonfire Night"

New from Kensington Books: Bonfire Night: A Gripping and Emotional WW2 Novel of Star Crossed Love by Anna Bliss.

About the book, from the publisher:

Spanning from England's anti-fascism protests of 1936 through the aftermath of WWII, this moving, intricately wrought historical novel brings together a young Irish Catholic photographer and a British Jewish medical student, each discovering the price of love, art, and ambition…

London, 1936: At twenty-one, Kate Grifferty is a press photographer in a Fleet Street agency, an unusual job for a young woman. But Kate is both talented and daring, recklessly going wherever the story might be—including, one October day, to an anti-fascism protest in East London. There, she meets David Rabatkin, a brilliant Jewish medical student. While his idealistic brother is eager to go to Spain and join the fight for the Republic, David knows where his path lies: at home, fulfilling the expectations of his profession and his family.

Kate is exposed for the first time to the dangers and demands of David’s world, where marrying within the Jewish faith is seen as not only preferable, but key to survival. Kate neither expects nor wants to be any man’s wife, hampered by convention. And though she and David are both outsiders, as war looms, other differences between them are thrown into sharp relief.

Brighton, 1940: Catastrophe forces Kate to flee London and the onslaught of war finds her working at her sister’s seaside boarding house, while David tends patients at a busy London hospital as the Blitz rages. But Kate’s challenges and disappointments have only deepened her desire to capture images of life unfurling around her, the beauty and violence, struggles and surprising joys. And soon fate and ambition will align, providing her with the chance to make her mark at last...
Visit Anna Bliss's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hidden Hate"

New from Columbia University Press: Hidden Hate: The Resilience of Xenophobia by Mathew Creighton.

About the book, from the publisher:

Opposition to immigration has fueled a spate of populist movements in the United States and Europe. The potency of xenophobic politics is often explained in terms of factors such as economic insecurity, material competition, group identity, cultural conflicts, and social changes. These explanations have proven to be inadequate, particularly in often affluent and pluralistic contexts with relatively low levels of unemployment and poverty. How can these seemingly tolerant societies harbor intense antipathy toward migrants?

Mathew Creighton develops a new model for understanding xenophobia by shining a light on the layers of intolerance concealed beneath the surface. Drawing on rich empirical evidence from innovative survey experiments conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, and the Netherlands, he argues that prejudice is often present but intentionally and strategically hidden. What can change, however, are the norms that govern the social acceptability of xenophobia. When the public expression of previously impermissible beliefs is pursued by politicians and society more broadly, the stigma of open intolerance lifts to reveal the true face of this once-masked xenophobia. Creighton challenges the assumption that overt anti-immigrant sentiment is mostly attributable to economic or social crises, showing that this narrative overlooks a substantial and largely stable reservoir of intolerance.

Deeply researched, comparative, and generative, Hidden Hate provides timely and vital insight into the persistence of xenophobia.
--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 23, 2023

"A Love Song for Ricki Wilde"

Coming February 6 from Grand Central Publishing: A Love Song for Ricki Wilde by Tia Williams.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this enchanting love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Seven Days in June, a free-spirited florist and an enigmatic musician are irreversibly linked through the history, art, and magic of Harlem.

Leap years are a strange, enchanted time. And for some, even a single February can be life-changing.

Ricki Wilde has many talents, but being a Wilde isn’t one of them. As the impulsive, artistic daughter of a powerful Atlanta dynasty, she’s the opposite of her famous socialite sisters. Where they’re long-stemmed roses, she’s a dandelion: an adorable bloom that’s actually a weed, born to float wherever the wind blows. In her bones, Ricki knows that somewhere, a different, more exciting life awaits her.

When regal nonagenarian, Ms. Della, invites her to rent the bottom floor of her Harlem brownstone, Ricki jumps at the chance for a fresh beginning. She leaves behind her family, wealth, and chaotic romantic decisions to realize her dream of opening a flower shop. And just beneath the surface of her new neighborhood, the music, stories and dazzling drama of the Harlem Renaissance still simmers.

One evening in February as the heady, curiously off-season scent of night-blooming jasmine fills the air, Ricki encounters a handsome, deeply mysterious stranger who knocks her world off balance in the most unexpected way.

Set against the backdrop of modern Harlem and Renaissance glamour, A Love Song for Ricki Wilde is a swoon-worthy love story of two passionate artists drawn to the magic, romance, and opportunity of New York, and whose lives are uniquely and irreversibly linked.
Visit Tia Williams's website.

-Marshal Zeringue


New from the University of Chicago Press: Countermobilization: Policy Feedback and Backlash in a Polarized Age by Eric M. Patashnik.

About the book, from the publisher:

An essential look at how and why backlash movements are inherent to US policymaking.

The most successful policies not only solve problems. They also build supportive coalitions. Yet, sometimes, policies trigger backlash and mobilize opposition. Although backlash is not a new phenomenon, today’s political landscape is distinguished by the frequency and pervasiveness of backlash in nearly every area of US policymaking, from abortion rights to the Affordable Care Act.

Eric M. Patashnik develops a policy-centered theory of backlash that illuminates how policies stimulate backlashes by imposing losses, overreaching, or challenging existing arrangements to which people are strongly attached. Drawing on case studies of issues from immigration and trade to healthcare and gun control, Countermobilization shows that backlash politics is fueled by polarization, cultural shifts, and negative feedback from the activist government itself. It also offers crucial insights to help identify and navigate backlash risks.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 22, 2023

"The Royal Game"

Coming January 30 from Blackstone Publishing: The Royal Game by Linda Keir.

About the book, from the publisher:

American pop singer Jennie Jensen is ready to marry the love of her life, England’s Prince Hugh, but someone is determined to keep her from becoming a princess—any way they can. To give her fairy tale a happy ending, she’ll have to play the royal game.

Jennie Jensen is touring Europe, already living her dream, when Prince Hugh of Wales—the future King of England—appears at a gig and requests his favorite song. He’s already smitten, and soon so is she. After a secretive, whirlwind romance, Hugh proposes, and when Jennie accepts, her world changes overnight. She’s still learning to navigate the minefield of constant scrutiny, barbed social interactions, and royal protocol (there are rules about pantyhose), as she learns that not everyone in England is excited about the prospect of an American princess.

When Jennie receives a threatening note, she can’t help but see the parallels between herself and another young woman who struggled to adjust to royal life: Hugh’s mother, Princess Penelope, who was killed in a mysterious plane crash. And as the threats to Jennie grow more serious, she digs into Penelope’s past, discovering a woman who also suspected someone in the palace was out to get her. Was Penelope murdered? And is Jennie next? With the eyes of a nation on her as the royal wedding approaches, she’s in a race against time to save her marriage … and her own life.

Both a charming love story and a thrilling mystery, The Royal Game reveals one woman’s determination to find happily ever after—on her own terms.
Linda Keir is the pen name for the writing team of Linda Joffe Hull and Keir Graff.

My Book, The Movie: The Three Mrs. Wrights.

The Page 69 Test: The Three Mrs. Wrights.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Trust: A Philosophical Study"

New from Oxford University Press: Trust: A Philosophical Study by Thomas W. Simpson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Trust and trustworthiness are core social phenomena, at the heart of most everyday interactions. Yet they are also puzzling: while it matters to us that we place trust well, trusting people who will not let us down, both also seem to involve morally driven attitudes and behaviours. Confronted by whether I should trust another, this tension creates very practical dilemmas.

In Trust, Thomas Simpson addresses the foundational question, why should I trust? Philosophical treatments of trust have tended to focus on trying to identify what the attitude of trust consists in. Simpson argues that this approach is misguided, giving rise to merely linguistic debates about how the term 'trust' is used. Instead, he focuses attention on the ways that trust is valuable. The answer defended comprises two claims, which at first seem to be in tension. One is a form of evidentialism about trust: normally, your trust should be based on the evidence you have for someone's trustworthiness. But, second, someone's word is normally enough to settle for you whether you should trust them. Social norms of trustworthiness explain why both are normal.

Methodologically innovative, Trust also applies the account, addressing how cultures of trust can be sustained, and the implications of trust in God. While it is a philosophical essay, the book is written in a way that presumes no prior knowledge of philosophy, to be accessible to the scholars from the many disciplines also attracted and puzzled by trust.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 21, 2023

"The Guests"

New from Thomas & Mercer: The Guests: A Thriller by Margot Hunt.

About the book, from the publisher:

From USA Today bestselling author Margot Hunt comes the chilling tale of what happens when a family besieged by a storm must play host to uninvited guests.

When a Category 5 hurricane is poised to hit their coastal Florida town, the Davies family takes refuge in their waterfront manse. Marlowe, Lee, and their teenage twins invite their close friends to wait out the storm in comfort and style.

Uninvited are the three strangers who dock on the family’s shore right before the storm descends. Brothers Jason and Bo―and Bo’s girlfriend, Darcy―are a charming, helpful trio in need of a safe haven that the family is only too happy to provide.

But as the storm outside grows more threatening, so does the tension in the house.

Soon, the lines between family, friends, and strangers blur. Danger mounts with every pointed finger and broken confidence, and long-held secrets are revealed one after another until only one truth remains: not everyone is going to make it out alive.
Visit Margot Hunt's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The City in the City"

New from the MIT Press: The City in the City: Architecture and Change in London's Financial District by Amy Thomas.

About the book, from the publisher:

An exploration of the dramatic transformation of London’s financial district after 1945, viewed at four spatial scales: city, street, facade, interior.

In The City in the City, Amy Thomas offers the first in-depth architectural and urban history of London’s financial district, the City of London, from the period of rebuilding after World War II to the explosive climax of financial deregulation in the 1980s and its long aftermath. Thomas examines abstract financial ideas, political ideology, and invisible markets as concrete realities; working on four spatial scales—city, street, facade, and interior—the book explores the grand plans, hidden alleys, neo-Georgian elevations, and sweaty dealing floors that have made the financial center work.

Moving from politics to sociology, institutions to bodies, development plans to office desks, Thomas unravels the rich entanglements between the structure of the UK’s financial system and the structure of the environment in which it operates. Despite its physical and political centrality, this period of the City’s architectural history occupies an academic lacuna. Longstanding prejudices about developer-led architecture and the real estate industry have obscured the postwar City’s relevance. The book shows how, as currents of local government reform, nation-building, and globalization swept across Britain, the City became an ideological battleground for debates between politicians and financial institutions, real estate developers and architects, preservationists and so-called “proactive” planners throughout the latter half of the century.

The City of London is a place steeped in rich cultural and architectural heritage of immense national significance, yet it is also a highly privileged citadel at the core of global financial networks. The City in the City is both a critique and a celebration of this unique and complex place.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Lost Van Gogh"

New from Sourcebooks: The Lost Van Gogh: A Novel by Jonathan Santlofer.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of the much-praised The Last Mona Lisa comes another thrilling story of masterpieces, masterminds, and mystery.

For years, there have been whispers that, before his death, Van Gogh completed a final self-portrait. Curators and art historians have savored this rumor, hoping it could illuminate some of the troubled artist's many secrets, but even they have to concede that the missing painting is likely lost forever.

But when Luke Perrone, artist and great-grandson of the man who stole the Mona Lisa, and Alexis Verde, daughter of a notorious art thief, discover what may be the missing portrait, they are drawn into a most epic art puzzles. When only days later the painting disappears again, they are reunited with INTERPOL agent John Washington Smith in a dangerous and deadly search that will not only expose secrets of the artist's last days but draws them into one of history's darkest eras.

Beneath the paint and canvas, beneath the beauty and the legend, the artwork has become linked with something evil, something that continues to flourish on the dark web and on the shadiest corridors of the underground art world.
Visit Jonathan Santlofer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Age of Deer"

New from Catapult Books: The Age of Deer: Trouble and Kinship with our Wild Neighbors by Erika Howsare.

About the book, from the publisher:

A masterful hybrid of nature writing and cultural studies that investigates our connection with deer—from mythology to biology, from forests to cities, from coexistence to control and extermination—and invites readers to contemplate the paradoxes of how humans interact with and shape the natural world

Deer have been an important part of the world that humans occupy for millennia. They’re one of the only large animals that can thrive in our presence. In the 21st century, our relationship is full of contradictions: We hunt and protect them, we cull them from suburbs while making them an icon of wilderness, we see them both as victims and as pests. But there is no doubt that we have a connection to deer: in mythology and story, in ecosystems biological and digital, in cities and in forests.

Delving into the historical roots of these tangled attitudes and how they play out in the present, Erika Howsare observes scientists capture and collar fawns, hunters show off their trophies, a museum interpreter teaching American history while tanning a deer hide, an animal-control officer collecting the carcasses of deer killed by sharpshooters, and a woman bottle-raising orphaned fawns in her backyard. As she reports these stories, Howsare’s eye is always on the bigger picture: Why do we look at deer in the ways we do, and what do these animals reveal about human involvement in the natural world? For readers of H is for Hawk and Fox & I, The Age of Deer offers a unique and intimate perspective on a very human relationship.
Visit Erika Howsare's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

"Courtesy of Cupid"

New from Alladin: Courtesy of Cupid by Nashae Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this middle grade rom-com sprinkled with a dash of magic, a girl uses her newfound ability to make people fall in love to sabotage her rival.

Erin Johnson’s thirteenth birthday unfolds like any other day, from her mom’s quirky and embarrassing choice of outfit to racing her nemesis, Trevor Jin, to the best seat in class—front row, center. But her gifts this year include something very out of the ordinary: magical powers.

Erin discovers her mysterious father is actually the love god Cupid and she’s inherited his knack for romance. It’s not the most useful ability for an overachiever with lofty academic and extracurricular goals...or is it? Erin desperately wants to be elected president of the Multicultural Leadership Club, and as usual, Trevor is her fiercest competition. He’s never backed down from a challenge before, but if Erin makes him fall in love with her, maybe he'd drop out of the race and let her win.

With her magical pedigree, wrapping Trevor around her finger is a snap, and having him around all the time is a small price to pay for victory. But without their cutthroat rivalry bringing out the worst in each other, Erin realizes Trevor may not be as bad as she thought, and suddenly her first foray into love gets a lot more complicated...
Visit Nashae Jones's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Rise, Fall, and Influence of the Tea Party Insurgency"

New from Cambridge University Press: The Rise, Fall, and Influence of the Tea Party Insurgency by Patrick Rafail and John D. McCarthy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Emerging in 2009, the Tea Party movement had an immediate and profound impact on American politics and society. This book draws on a decade's worth of original, extensive data collection to understand why the Tea Party emerged, where it was active, and why it disappeared so quickly. Patrick Rafail and John McCarthy link the Tea Party's rise to prominence following the economic collapse that came to be known as the Great Recession. Paying special attention to the importance of space and time in shaping the Tea Party's activities, Rafail and McCarthy identify and explain the movement's disappearance from the political stage. Even though grassroots Tea Party activism largely ceased by 2014, they demonstrate the movement's effect on the Republican Party and American democracy that continues today.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Accidental Joe"

Coming May 14 from Regalo Press: The Accidental Joe: The Top-Secret Life of a Celebrity Chef by Tom Straw.

About the book, from the publisher:

A maverick celebrity chef reluctantly agrees to let the CIA use his hugely popular international food, culture, and travel TV series as cover for a dangerous espionage mission.

When the CIA approaches celebrity chef Sebastian Pike about using his award-winning food and culture travel show as cover for espionage, the outspoken bad-boy host says no. When they point out how roaming the globe interviewing foodies, heads of state, rock stars, journalists-in-exile, poets, subversives, supermodels—even the pope—gives him perfect cover, Pike smiles and says, “F@#! no.”

They push. Promising it’s only one mission. Vowing he won’t be in danger. Calling him the MVB: Most Valuable Bystander. They’d embed their top agent in his crew to do the spy work.

It’s still no. But when they hit him with the patriotism card, he weakens. And when romantic sparks crackle between him and the female agent, Pike’s all in, kicking off a romantic spy thriller in which the globetrotting celebrity chef uses his TV series to help sneak Putin’s accountant out of Russia before he’s exposed as a mole for US intelligence.

The high-stakes mission quickly puts Pike in harm’s way. So much for MVB. There’s danger, there’s double dealing, there’s torture, there’s shooting with real bullets. Plus, a minefield of complications from the hot romance that grows between Pike and his gutsy CIA handler-producer, Cammie Nova.

From Paris to Provence, this chef is no bystander. Beyond their attraction, Pike and Nova become an operational team, not only to survive the perils they face but to pull off an operation fraught with one twist after another, capped by a shocking, emotional climax.
Visit Tom Straw's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Long War on Drugs"

New from Duke University Press: The Long War on Drugs by Anne L. Foster.

About the book, from the publisher:

Since the early twentieth century, the United States has led a global prohibition effort against certain drugs in which production restriction and criminalization are emphasized over prevention and treatment as means to reduce problematic usage. This “war on drugs” is widely seen to have failed, and periodically decriminalization and legalization movements arise. Debates continue over whether the problems of addiction and crime associated with illicit use of drugs stem from their illegal status or the nature of the drugs themselves. In The Long War on Drugs Anne L. Foster explores the origin of the punitive approach to drugs and its continued appeal despite its obvious flaws. She provides a comprehensive overview, focusing not only on a political history of policy developments but also on changes in medical practices and understanding of drugs. Foster also outlines the social and cultural changes prompting different attitudes about drugs; the racial, environmental, and social justice implications of particular drug policies; and the international consequences of US drug policy.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

"To Conjure a Killer"

New from Polis Books: To Conjure a Killer: A Witch Cats of Cambridge Mystery by Clea Simon.

About the book, from the publisher:

It’s kitten season in Cambridge, and the results can be murder.

Becca Colwin is coming home from her job at Charm and Cherish when she sees a tortoiseshell kitten run down an alley - leading to a dead body.

As a connection between Becca and that corpse is confirmed, Becca comes under suspicion — and is dragged into a cyberware scandal, thanks to her cheating ex, Jeff. The unfaithful computer geek and his high-power investor were working on stealth software designed to record and transmit personal data – a new form of spyware that would be of interest to everyone from the police and security agencies to cybercriminals. And when Jeff’s former friends and colleagues approach her, Becca finds the police aren’t the only ones watching her.

Meanwhile, Becca is sheltering the little tortie, who seems to have some powers of her own, much to the dismay of her three resident cats. These powers may help Becca discern friend from foe, solve the murder, and clear her name - with the help of her mystical feline friends.
Visit Clea Simon's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Stories of Origins in the Bible and Ancient Mediterranean Literature"

New from Cambridge University Press: Stories of Origins in the Bible and Ancient Mediterranean Literature by Guy Darshan.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this book, Guy Darshan explores stories of origins that lie at the heart of Pentateuchal sources in the context of literature created in neighboring societies of the ancient Mediterranean world. A comparative study, his volume analyses the parallels between Biblical origin stories – the narrative traditions arranged in geneaological sequence that recount the beginnings of humanity and origins of peoples -- in tandem with ancient Greek genealogical writings from the 7–5th centuries BCE onwards. He also considers Phoenician and Anatolian sources from the first millennium, several of which have only been published in recent years. This is the first scholarly study to trace the origins of this genre of narrative and the circumstances that led to appearances in the Hebrew Bible and ancient Mediterranean literature. It sheds new light on our knowledge of the history of literature, as well as the interconnections and interrelations between civilizations of the pre-Hellenistic eastern Mediterranean and Near East.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Storm We Made"

New from S&S/Marysue Rucci Books: The Storm We Made: A Novel by Vanessa Chan.

About the book, from the publisher:

A spellbinding, sweeping novel about a Malayan mother who becomes an unlikely spy for the invading Japanese forces during WWII—and the shocking consequences that rain upon her community and family.

Malaya, 1945. Cecily Alcantara’s family is in terrible danger: her fifteen-year-old son, Abel, has disappeared, and her youngest daughter, Jasmin, is confined in a basement to prevent being pressed into service at the comfort stations. Her eldest daughter Jujube, who works at a tea house frequented by drunk Japanese soldiers, becomes angrier by the day.

Cecily knows two things: that this is all her fault; and that her family must never learn the truth.

A decade prior, Cecily had been desperate to be more than a housewife to a low-level bureaucrat in British-colonized Malaya. A chance meeting with the charismatic General Fuijwara lured her into a life of espionage, pursuing dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” Instead, Cecily helped usher in an even more brutal occupation by the Japanese. Ten years later as the war reaches its apex, her actions have caught up with her. Now her family is on the brink of destruction—and she will do anything to save them.

Spanning years of pain and triumph, told from the perspectives of four unforgettable characters, The Storm We Made is a dazzling saga about the horrors of war; the fraught relationships between the colonized and their oppressors, and the ambiguity of right and wrong when survival is at stake.
Visit Vanessa Chan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue