Thursday, July 18, 2024

"Five-Star Stranger"

New from Scribner: Five-Star Stranger: A Novel by Kat Tang.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Kat Tang’s exciting and resonant debut, a “Rental Stranger”—a companion hired under various guises—walks the line between personal and professional in surprising new ways.

Would you hire someone to be the best man at your wedding? Your stand-in brother? Your husband?

In an age where online ratings are all-powerful, Five-Star Stranger follows the adventures of a top-rated man on the Rental Stranger app—a place where users can hire a pretend fiancé, a wingman, or an extra mourner for a funeral. Referred to only as Stranger, the narrator navigates New York City under the guise of characters he plays, always maintaining a professional distance from his clients.

But, when a nosy patron threatens to upend his long-term role as father to a young girl, Stranger begins to reckon with his attachment to his pretend daughter, her mother, and his own fraught past. Now, he must confront the boundaries he has drawn and explore the legacy of abandonment that shaped his life.

Five-Star Stranger is a strikingly vivid novel about the commodification of relationships in a gig economy, isolation in a hyperconnected world, and the risk of asking for what we want from those who cannot give. This is the story of a man who finds out who he is by being anyone but himself.
Visit Kat Tang's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"How Hip Hop Became Hit Pop"

New from the University of California Press: How Hip Hop Became Hit Pop: Radio, Rap, and Race by Amy Coddington.

About the book, from the pulisher:

How Hip Hop Became Hit Pop examines the programming practices at commercial radio stations in the 1980s and early 1990s to uncover how the radio industry facilitated hip hop's introduction into the musical mainstream. Constructed primarily by the Top 40 radio format, the musical mainstream featured mostly white artists for mostly white audiences. With the introduction of hip hop to these programs, the radio industry was fundamentally altered, as stations struggled to incorporate the genre's diverse audience. At the same time, as artists negotiated expanding audiences and industry pressure to make songs fit within the confines of radio formats, the sound of hip hop changed. Drawing from archival research, Amy Coddington shows how the racial structuring of the radio industry influenced the way hip hop was sold to the American public, and how the genre's growing popularity transformed ideas about who constitutes the mainstream.
Visit Amy Coddington's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hum"

New from S&S/Marysue Rucci Books: Hum: A Novel by Helen Phillips.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a city addled by climate change and populated by intelligent robots called “hums,” May loses her job to artificial intelligence. In a desperate bid to resolve her family’s debt and secure their future for another few months, she becomes a guinea pig in an experiment that alters her face so it cannot be recognized by surveillance.

Seeking some reprieve from her recent hardships and from her family’s addiction to their devices, she splurges on passes that allow them three nights’ respite inside the Botanical Garden: a rare green refuge where forests, streams, and animals flourish. But her insistence that her son, daughter, and husband leave their devices at home proves far more fraught than she anticipated, and the lush beauty of the Botanical Garden is not the balm she hoped it would be. When her children come under threat, May is forced to put her trust in a hum of uncertain motives as she works to restore the life of her family.

Written in taut, urgent prose, Hum is a work of speculative fiction that unflinchingly explores marriage, motherhood, and selfhood in a world compromised by global warming and dizzying technological advancement, a world of both dystopian and utopian possibilities. As New York Times bestselling author Jeff VanderMeer says, “Helen Phillips, in typical bravura fashion, has found a way to make visible uncomfortable truths about our present by interrogating the near-future.”
Visit Helen Phillips's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Beautiful Bureaucrat.

Writers Read: Helen Phillips (September 2019).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Hope and Struggle in the Policed City"

New from NYU Press: Hope and Struggle in the Policed City: Black Criminalization and Resistance in Philadelphia by Menika B. Dirkson.

About the book, from the publisher:

Explores how concerns about poverty-induced Black crime cultivated by police, journalists, and city officials sparked a rise in tough-on-crime policing in Philadelphia

During the Great Migration of African Americans to the North, Philadelphia’s police department, journalists, and city officials used news media to create and reinforce narratives that criminalized Black people and led to police brutality, segregation, and other dehumanizing consequences for Black communities. Over time, city officials developed a system of racial capitalism in which City Council financially divested from social welfare programs and instead invested in the police department, promoting a “tough on crime” policing program that generated wealth for Philadelphia’s tax base in an attempt to halt white flight from the city.

Drawing from newspapers, census records, oral histories, interviews, police investigation reports, housing project pamphlets, maps, and more, Hope and Struggle in the Policed City draws the connective line between the racial bias African Americans faced as they sought opportunity in the North and the over-policing of their communities, of which the effects are still visible today. Menika B. Dirkson posits that the tough-on-crime framework of this time embedded itself within every aspect of society, leading to enduring systemic issues of hyper-surveillance, the use of excessive force, and mass incarceration.

Hope and Struggle in the Policed City makes important contributions to our understanding of how a city government’s budgetary strategy can function as racial capitalism that relies on criminal scapegoating. Most cogently, it illustrates how this perpetuates the cycle of poverty-induced crime, inflates rates of incarceration and police brutality, and marginalizes poor people of color.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

"In Any Lifetime"

Coming soon from Lake Union: In Any Lifetime: A Novel by Marc Guggenheim.

About the book, from the publisher:

A devoted husband defies fate and risks everything to find the one universe where his beloved wife is still alive in this bold and thought-provoking novel.

Dr. Jonas Cullen has spent his career as a groundbreaking physicist defying the odds. But on the best night of his life―the night his wife, Amanda, tells him they’re finally having a baby―everything is taken away when a tragic car accident claims the lives of Amanda and their unborn child.

Gutted by pain, Jonas sets out to find a way to bring back Amanda―or rather, find a parallel universe in which she’s still alive. But that’s easier said than done. As Jonas comes to understand all too well, the universe favors certain outcomes…and Amanda’s death is one of them.

Guggenheim’s novel takes readers on a suspenseful journey, intercutting scenes of Jonas’s frantic, present-day search across multiple realities with glimpses from the past of his unfolding romance and eventual marriage. Will Jonas and Amanda reunite in some other world, or will fate succeed in taking her from him forever?
Visit Marc Guggenheim's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Colonial Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship"

New from Cambridge University Press: Colonial Origins of Democracy and Dictatorship by Alexander Lee and Jack Paine.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why are some countries more democratic than others? For most non-European countries, elections began under Western colonial rule. However, existing research largely overlooks these democratic origins. Analyzing a global sample of colonies across four centuries, this book explains the emergence of colonial electoral institutions and their lasting impact. The degree of democracy in the metropole, the size of the white settler population, and pressure from non-Europeans all shaped the timing and form of colonial elections. White settlers and non-white middle classes educated in the colonizer's language usually gained early elections but settler minorities resisted subsequent franchise expansion. Authoritarian metropoles blocked elections entirely. Countries with lengthy exposure to competitive colonial institutions tended to consolidate democracies after independence. By contrast, countries with shorter electoral episodes usually shed democratic institutions and countries that were denied colonial elections consolidated stable dictatorships. Regime trajectories shaped by colonial rule persist to the present day.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow"

New from HarperVia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow: A Novel by Damilare Kuku.

About the book, from the publisher:

In Nigerian families, none of your business is private. Not even if it's about your bumbum.

Freshly out of Obafemi Awolowo University, 20-year-old Temi has a clear plan for her future: she is going to surgically enlarge her backside like all the other Nigerian women, move from Ile-Ife to Lagos, and meet a man who will love her senseless.

But when she finally finds the courage to tell her mother, older sister, and aunties, her announcement causes an uproar. As each of the other women try to cure Temi of what seems like temporary insanity, they begin to spill long-buried secrets, including the truth of Temi’s older sister’s mysterious disappearance five years earlier.

In the end, it seems like Temi might be the sanest of them all…

In Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow, Damilare Kuku brings her signature humor, boldness, and compassion to each member of this loveable but exasperating family, whose lives reveal the ways in which a woman’s physical appearance can dictate her life and relationships and show just how sharp the double-edged sword of beauty can be.
Follow Damilare Kuku on Instagram and Threads.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Pop Convergence"

New from Oxford University Press: Pop Convergence: Musical Multimedia in Manila by James Gabrillo.

About the book, from the publisher:

What do the power rock band Aegis, multimedia superstar Vice Ganda, queer zombie film Zombadings, and glocalized movement P-Pop have in common? These subjects of Philippine pop culture embody novel convergences in aesthetics, style, tone, and thematic content culled from local, regional, and global ideas.

Pop Convergence explores the contemporary pop music and related multimedia cultures of Manila, the center for commercial entertainment industries in the Philippines. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the country was recovering from decades of political mayhem and economic turbulence against a backdrop of swelling class divide and the maturation of mass media. Distinct from the somberness of nationalist anthems, Western music covers, and protest songs of prior years, the creative industries of new-millennium Manila generated a multimedia movement emphasizing kitsch, parody, and overstatement. These works, author James Gabrillo claims, can be read as complex expressions of consumer fatigue, ironic self-consciousness, and instinctive reclamation of social power by the creative working class.

This entertainment industry developed a buoyant system of mass culture, filtered through the demands of postcolonial, postmodern Manila's broadening capitalist media enterprises. Pop Convergence locates the hallmarks and contributions of this scene within an assortment of platforms--on screens, via streams, and on the streets-- to explore musical sequences in cinema, reality television spectacles, melismatic power ballads, song-and-dance contests, musical comedy bars, and viral virtual sensations. Dissecting these arenas of musical articulation and negotiation, Pop Convergence metaphorizes the interplay within Manila's contemporary networks of artistic production, power, and spectatorship as a complex patchwork of convergence. This multimedia patchwork is framed not simply as a culmination of tradition stained by outside influence but as a fascinating force resulting from endless confrontation.
Visit James Gabrillo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

"Gathering Mist"

Coming October 8 from Crooked Lane Books: Gathering Mist (A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery) by Margaret Mizushima.

About the book, from the publisher:

Secrets hide within the fog deep in the mossy forests of the Pacific Northwest in this ninth thrilling installment in award-winning author Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 mystery series.

Deputy Mattie Wray, formerly Mattie Cobb, is summoned to Washington’s Olympic peninsula for an urgent search and rescue mission to find a celebrity’s missing child. With only a week left before her wedding, Mattie is hesitant to leave Timber Creek, but her K-9 partner Robo’s tracking skills are needed.

Dense forest, chilling rain, and unfriendly locals hamper their efforts, and soon Mattie suspects something more sinister than a lost child is at play. When one of the SAR dogs becomes ill, her fiancé, Cole Walker, suspects poison. Fearing for Mattie’s and Robo’s safety, Cole joins the search and rescue team as veterinary support.

Secrets that have lain hidden within the rugged terrain come to light, and when it is uncovered that the missing child was kidnapped, the search becomes a full-blown crime scene investigation, forcing Mattie, Robo, and Cole into a desperate search to find the missing child before it's too late.
Visit Margaret Mizushima's websiteTwitter perch, and Facebook and Instagram pages.

Coffee with a Canine: Margaret Mizushima & Hannah, Bertie, Lily and Tess.

Coffee with a Canine: Margaret Mizushima & Hannah.

My Book, The Movie: Burning Ridge.

The Page 69 Test: Burning Ridge.

The Page 69 Test: Tracking Game.

My Book, The Movie: Hanging Falls.

The Page 69 Test: Hanging Falls.

Q&A with Margaret Mizushima.

The Page 69 Test: Striking Range.

The Page 69 Test: Standing Dead.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Never By Itself Alone"

New from Oxford University Press: Never By Itself Alone: Queer Poetry, Queer Communities in Boston and the Bay Area, 1944―Present by David Grundy.

About the book, from the publisher:

Providing an unprecedented exploration of key moments in queer literary history, Never By Itself Alone changes our sense of both the American literary and political landscapes from the late 1940s through the 21st century. Grundy presents the first comprehensive history of post-war queer writing in Boston and San Francisco, intertwining analysis of lesbian, gay, and queer writing, and insisting on the link between activism and literature.

The book centers a host of underrepresented writers, especially writers of color and those with gender non-conforming identities, and challenges the Stonewall exceptionalism of queer historiography. Starting with Robert Duncan's 1944 essay, 'The Homosexual in Society', one of the first significant public defenses of homosexuality in the US, Grundy takes the reader through pioneering works by queer voices of the era, including Adrian Stanford's Black and Queer, the first published book by an out, Black gay poet in the US; the Boston collective Fag Rag and their radical reconsideration of family, private property and the State; the Combahee River Collective, whose Black Feminist analysis drew together race, class, and sexuality; the anthology This Bridge Called My Back, in which women of color spoke truth to power, together; and New Narrative writing, which audaciously mixed Marxism, porn and gossip while uniting against the New Right. Linking these works to the context which produced them, Grundy uncovers the communities formed around activism and small press publishing during this era and elevates neglected voices to narrate a history that before now has never been told in its entirety.

Drawing on extensive archival research, Never By Itself Alone is a rigorous and unmatched work of both literary criticism and queer scholarship which underscores the vital importance of radical accounts of race, class, and gender in any queer studies worthy of the name.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Agony Hill"

Coming soon from Minotaur Books: Agony Hill: A Mystery (Frank Warren, 1) by Sarah Stewart Taylor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Set in rural Vermont in the volatile 1960s, Agony Hill is the first novel in a new historical series full of vivid New England atmosphere and the deeply drawn characters that are Sarah Stewart Taylor's trademark.

In the hot summer of 1965, Bostonian Franklin Warren arrives in Bethany, Vermont, to take a position as a detective with the state police. Warren's new home is on the verge of monumental change; the interstates under construction will bring new people, new opportunities, and new problems to Vermont, and the Cold War and protests against the war in Vietnam have finally reached the dirt roads and rolling pastures of Bethany.

Warren has barely unpacked when he's called up to a remote farm on Agony Hill. Former New Yorker and Back-to-the-Lander Hugh Weber seems to have set fire to his barn and himself, with the door barred from the inside, but things aren’t adding up for Warren. The people of Bethany—from Weber’s enigmatic wife to Warren's neighbor, widow and amateur detective Alice Bellows — clearly have secrets they’d like to keep, but Warren can’t tell if the truth about Weber’s death is one of them. As he gets to know his new home and grapples with the tragedy that brought him there, Warren is drawn to the people and traditions of small town Vermont, even as he finds darkness amidst the beauty.
Visit Sarah Stewart Taylor's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Mountains Wild.

The Page 69 Test: A Distant Grave.

Q&A with Sarah Stewart Taylor.

The Page 69 Test: The Drowning Sea.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Future of Police Reform"

New from NYU Press: The Future of Police Reform: The U.S. Justice Department and the Promise of Lawful Policing by Samuel Walker.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first thorough study of the Justice Department’s pattern or practice program, examining how it works and how court-imposed consent decrees implement needed reforms

American society grapples with an enduring crisis in policing which is inextricably intertwined with the nation’s deeply rooted racial issues. While there have been great strides in policing over the past five decades, the United States continues to wrestle with serious crime and strained relations between law enforcement and African American communities.

In this comprehensive analysis, Samuel Walker, a leading figure in the study of criminal justice, focuses on the pivotal federal effort behind police reform―the US Justice Department’s pattern or practice program. Created by Congress in 1994, this program gives the Justice Department the authority to investigate police departments that display patterns of unconstitutional practices, initiate civil suits, and secure court-enforced consent decrees that mandate reform. Walker meticulously examines the reforms dictated by these consent decrees, delves into the challenges of their implementation, and evaluates the progress made by various departments in enhancing police services. Despite various obstacles, the program has proven successful.

The Future of Police Reform also considers the broader societal, political, and legal issues that profoundly influence reform efforts, such as an entrenched police subculture hindering change, the formidable power of police unions, and a lack of full support from local political leaders.

In conclusion, Walker celebrates reform efforts across the country and foresees a network of local and state centers of activity fostering continued optimism for the future of police reform in the US. A collective effort holds the promise of genuine and lasting change.
Writers Read: Samuel Walker (June 2012).

My Book, The Movie: Presidents and Civil Liberties From Wilson to Obama.

The Page 99 Test: Presidents and Civil Liberties.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 15, 2024

"Between Friends & Lovers"

New from Avon: Between Friends & Lovers: A Novel by Shirlene Obuobi.

About the book, from the publisher:

Kennedy Ryan meets Carley Fortune in this swoon-worthy story of love and friendship in the age of social media—where what you see might not be all you get.

To thousands of Instagram followers Josephine Boateng is the dazzling Dr. Jojo, and her opinions on health and self-love matter. Her message: be smart, be significant, and do not put up with foolish men.

Off-camera, Jo’s story is more complicated. She's grappling with depression and the pressures of her career, and her love life is nonexistent thanks to a longtime unrequited crush on her best friend, romcom heartthrob Ezra Adelman. But when Ezra shows up to his thirtieth birthday party with her childhood bully on his arm, Jo realizes enough is enough. It’s time to take her own advice and prioritize herself.

No one is more shocked than Malcolm Waters when his debut novel turns him into a literary darling, the type who gets invited to a swanky penthouse party to discuss film opportunities. Rubbing elbows with the elite of entertainment will be great for his career—except he's terrible with people, and even worse at networking.

Just when Malcolm is ready to throw in the towel, he’s rescued by none other than Dr. Jojo. He’s been following her on social media for years, and she’s even more impressive in real life. And to his bewilderment, the feeling is mutual.

But Jo, Ezra, and Malcolm exist in a world where the line between private and public is as blurred as the line between friendship and love. The question is, can they risk defining those lines to create something real?
Visit Shirlene Obuobi's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Gold Dust on the Air"

New from the University of Texas Press: Gold Dust on the Air: Television Anthology Drama and Midcentury American Culture by Molly A. Schneider.

About the book, from the publisher:

How mid-century television anthologies reflected and shaped US values and identities.

From the late 1940s to the early 1960s, anthology dramas presented “quality” television programming in weekly stand-alone television plays meant to entertain and provide cultural uplift to American society. Programs such as Playhouse 90, Studio One, and The Twilight Zone became important emblems of American creative potential on television. But their propensity for addressing matters of major social concern also meant that they often courted controversy. Although the anthology’s tenure would be brief, its importance in the television landscape would be great, and the ways the format negotiated ideas about “Americanness” at midcentury would be a crucial facet of its significance.

In Gold Dust on the Air, Molly Schneider traces a cultural history of the “Golden Age” anthology, addressing topics such as the format’s association with Method acting and debates about “authentic” American experience, its engagement with ideas about “conformity” in the context of Cold War pressures, and its depictions of war in a medium sponsored by defense contractors. Drawing on archival research, deep textual examination, and scholarship on both television history and broader American culture, Schneider posits the anthology series as a site of struggle over national meaning.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Off the Books"

New from Henry Holt and Co.: Off the Books: A Novel by Soma Mei Sheng Frazier.

About the book, from the publisher:

A captivating debut following a cross-country road trip that will make you believe in the goodness of people, Off the Books sheds light on the power in humanity during the most troubled of times.

Recent Dartmouth dropout Mei, in search of a new direction in life, drives a limo to make ends meet. Her grandfather convinces her to allow her customers to pay under the table, and before she knows it, she is working as a routine chauffeur for sex workers. Mei does her best to mind her own business, but her knack for discretion soon leads her on a life changing trip from San Francisco to Syracuse with a new client.

Handsome and reserved, Henry piques Mei’s interest. Toting an enormous black suitcase with him everywhere he goes, he’s more concerned with taking frequent breaks than making good time on the road. When Mei discovers Henry's secret, she does away with her usual close-lipped demeanor and decides she has no choice but to confront him. What Henry reveals rocks her to her core and shifts this once casual, transactional road trip to one of moral stakes and dangerous consequences.

An original take on the great American road trip, Off the Books is a beautifully crafted coming of age story that showcases the resilience of the human spirit and the power of doing the right thing. The spirit of Frazier’s characters will stay with readers long after they have arrived at their destination.
Visit Soma Mei Sheng Frazier's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Art Monster"

New from Columbia University Press: Art Monster: On the Impossibility of New York by Marin Kosut.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why do people choose the life of an artist, and what happens when they find themselves barely scraping by? Why does New York City, even in an era of hypergentrification, still beckon to aspiring artists as a place to make art and remake yourself?

Art Monster takes readers to the margins of the professional art world, populated by unseen artists who make a living working behind the scenes in galleries and museums while making their own art to little acclaim. Writing in a style that is by turns direct and poetic, personal and lyrical, Marin Kosut reflects on the experience of dedicating your life to art and how the art world can crush you. She examines the push toward professionalization, the devaluing of artistic labor, and the devastating effects of gentrification on cultural life. Her nonlinear essays are linked by central themes―community, nostalgia, precarity, alienation, estrangement―that punctuate working artists’ lives. The book draws from ten years of fieldwork among artists and Kosut’s own experiences curating and cofounding artist-run spaces in Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Chinatown. At once ethnography, memoir, tirade, and love letter, Art Monster is a street-level meditation on the predicament of artists in the late capitalist metropolis.
Visit Marin Kosut's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 14, 2024

"Not What She Seems"

Coming soon from Thomas & Mercer: Not What She Seems: A Novel by Yasmin Angoe.

About the book, from the publisher:

She left home as the local pariah at twenty-two, but when a family tragedy brings her back, she must confront her tortured past―and a new danger in town that no one seems to understand but her.

After years of self-exile, Jacinda “Jac” Brodie is back in Brook Haven, South Carolina. But the small cliffside town no longer feels like home. Jac hasn’t been there since the beloved chief of police fell to his death―and all the whispers said she was to blame.

That chief was Jac’s father.

Racked with guilt, Jac left town with no plans to return. But when her granddad lands in the hospital, she rushes back to her family, bracing herself to confront the past.

Brook Haven feels different now. Wealthy newcomer Faye Arden has transformed the notorious Moor Manor into a quaint country inn. Jac’s convinced something sinister lurks beneath Faye’s perfect exterior, yet the whole town fawns over their charismatic new benefactor. And when Jac discovers one of her granddad’s prized possessions in Faye’s office, she knows she has to be right.

But as Jac continues to dig, she stumbles upon dangerous truths that hit too close to home. With not only her life but also her family’s safety on the line, Jac discovers that maybe some secrets are better left buried.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Democracy, Theatre and Performance"

New from Cambridge University Press: Democracy, Theatre and Performance: From the Greeks to Gandhi by David Wiles.

About the book, from the publisher:

Democracy, argues David Wiles, is actually a form of theatre. In making his case, the author deftly investigates orators at the foundational moments of ancient and modern democracy, demonstrating how their performative skills were used to try to create a better world. People often complain about demagogues, or wish that politicians might be more sincere. But to do good, politicians (paradoxically) must be hypocrites - or actors. Moving from Athens to Indian independence via three great revolutions – in Puritan England, republican France and liberal America – the book opens up larger questions about the nature of democracy. When in the classical past Plato condemned rhetoric, the only alternative he could offer was authoritarianism. Wiles' bold historical study has profound implications for our present: calls for personal authenticity, he suggests, are not an effective way to counter the rise of populism.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Like Mother, Like Daughter"

New from Knopf: Like Mother, Like Daughter: A Novel by Kimberly McCreight.

About the book, from the publisher:

When Cleo, a student at NYU, arrives late for dinner at her childhood home in Brooklyn, she finds food burning in the oven and no sign of her mother, Kat. Then Cleo discovers her mom’s bloody shoe under the sofa. Something terrible has happened.

But what? The polar opposite of Cleo, whose “out of control” emotions and “unsafe” behavior have created a seemingly unbridgeable rift between mother and daughter, Kat is the essence of Park Slope perfection: a happily married, successful corporate lawyer. Or so Cleo thinks.

Kat has been lying. She’s not just a lawyer; she’s her firm’s fixer. She’s damn good at it, too. Growing up in a dangerous group home taught her how to think fast, stay calm under pressure, and recognize a real threat when she sees one. And in the days leading up her disappearance, Kat has become aware of multiple threats: demands for money from her unfaithful soon-to-be ex-husband; evidence that Cleo has slipped back into a relationship that’s far riskier than she understands; and menacing anonymous messages from her past—all of which she’s kept hidden from Cleo...

Like Mother, Like Daughter is a thrilling novel of emotional suspense that questions the damaging fictions we cling to and the hard truths we avoid. Above all, it’s a love story between a mother and a daughter, each determined to save the other before it’s too late.
Visit Kimberly McCreight's website.

The Page 69 Test: Reconstructing Amelia.

The Page 69 Test: The Scattering.

The Page 69 Test: The Collide.

Q&A with Kimberly McCreight.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Depletion: The Human Costs of Caring"

New from Oxford University Press: Depletion: The Human Costs of Caring by Shirin M. Rai.

About the book, from the publisher:

When thinking about the work of caring for others we often neglect the human cost born by those performing this care. Feminists have long talked about the ways in which unpaid work, particularly performed in the home, is habitually undervalued by society; but the work of caring for people, both paid and unpaid, can also take a toll on the health of individuals, households, and communities when we give more than we receive. This lopsided gap between outflows and inflows, as this book argues, is depletion.

In Depletion, Shirin M. Rai examines the human costs of care work and how these are reproduced across the boundaries of class, race, gender, and generation. Depletion can be physical, as measured by the body mass index, exhaustion, sleeplessness, and vital health signs. It can also be mental, manifesting as self-doubt, guilt and apprehension, and the failure to take time for oneself, family, friends, and community. Moreover, depletion has effects that extend well beyond the individual, to households and communities.

Including case studies from different parts of the world and building on various methodologies, Rai looks at the costs of care work, or what she calls "social reproduction" in several forms: biological reproduction, unpaid work in the home, and cultural and ideological work necessary to maintain social relations beyond the household. Various chapters examine the costs of commuting to work and for care, the value of unpaid work performed by women of different classes, the costs of household work performed by children, and the costs to communities when local economies are challenged by corporate interests. Lastly, Rai argues that depletion must be recognized in order for it to be reversed--the struggles to reverse depletion are struggles for a good life, generative of new imaginings of how care work, both draining and joyful, can be reorganized for a better future for all.
Visit Shirin M. Rai's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 13, 2024

"Becoming Marlow Fin"

New from Lake Union: Becoming Marlow Fin: A Novel by Ellen Won Steil.

About the book, from the publisher:

The pieces of a troubled actress’s mysterious life come together in a riveting novel about family secrets and unspeakable lies by the bestselling author of Fortune.

Marlow Fin is as famous for her beauty and success as she is infamous for her past, some of which is a mystery even to her. Is the public ready for the truth? Is she?

In 1995, young Isla Baek finds an abandoned six-year-old Marlow in the woods near the Baek family’s lakeside cabin. With little memory of where she came from or how she got there, Marlow is soon adopted by the Baeks into a seemingly idyllic Midwest life as Isla’s enigmatic new sister. But no one is prepared for how unnerving and disruptive Marlow’s presence will be over the years. Nor could any of them have foreseen the shocking tragedy that upended all their lives forever.

Now the whole world is watching as Marlow reveals everything in a hotly anticipated prime-time interview. In her harrowing story, spanning decades, the truth finally emerges―about Marlow herself, the damages of family secrets, and the unthinkable things people do in the name of love.
Visit Ellen Won Steil's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Memory of '76"

New from Yale University Press: The Memory of '76: The Revolution in American History by Michael D. Hattem.

About the book, from the publisher:

The surprising history of how Americans have fought over the meaning and legacy of the Revolution for nearly two and a half centuries

Americans agree that their nation’s origins lie in the Revolution, but they have never agreed on what the Revolution meant. For nearly two hundred and fifty years, politicians, political parties, social movements, and ordinary Americans have constantly reimagined the Revolution to fit the times and suit their own agendas.

In this sweeping take on American history, Michael D. Hattem reveals how conflicts over the meaning and legacy of the Revolution—including the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—have influenced the most important events and tumultuous periods in the nation’s history; how African Americans, women, and other oppressed groups have shaped the popular memory of the Revolution; and how much of our contemporary memory of the Revolution is a product of Cold War–era propaganda.

By exploring the Revolution’s unique role in American history as a national origin myth, The Memory of ’76 shows how remembering the nation’s founding has often done far more to divide Americans than to unite them, and how revising the past is an important and long-standing American political tradition.
Visit Michael D. Hattem's website.

The Page 99 Test: Past and Prologue.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Recruiter"

New from Blackstone Publishing: The Recruiter: A Rick Carter Novel by Gregg Podolski.

About the book, from the publisher:

An action-packed debut from Gregg Podolski, The Recruiter is a thrilling and unique adventure through the European underworld.

When bad guys need good help, they call Rick Carter.

He’s a criminal recruiter, searching for contract killers, hackers, gun smugglers, and any other assorted villains-for-hire a European crime boss might need. But, when the family he left behind in New Jersey is caught up in a client’s plot to monopolize the black market, Rick has to save them from two of his own top candidates: deadly assassins known only as Ghost and The Persian.

Fixing his own mess will require a set of skills he doesn’t have—not a problem, as finding qualified help is where he excels. But stepping into action, becoming the hero his family needs, that’s new territory. For a man who’s spent the last ten years being the best at helping the worst, this may be his last chance to do something right.
Visit Gregg Podolski's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Slum and the City"

New from the University of Pittsburgh Press: The Slum and the City: Culture and Dissidence in the Villas Miseria of Buenos Aires by Agnese Codebò.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Argentine capital is largely perceived as a middle-class space. Yet in reality, urban poverty and precarious settlements are defining features of the city. Agnese Codebò investigates how slums have produced culture as well as their representation in literature and the visual arts from the 1950s to the present. Looking at government-led urban projects, as well as novels, artworks, films, militant magazines, poems, and music, she tells the story of how villas miseria have mattered culturally and socially as spaces that produce new aesthetics, cultural trends, and social alliances, while offering a vantage point to understand the city and its problems. Slums represent a heterogeneous urban space, and Codebò makes the case for their relevance in Argentine culture, demonstrates the need to rethink spaces of production, and develops a new premise for a decolonial approach to Argentine cultural production.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 12, 2024

"A Dream in the Dark"

New from Crooked Lane Books: A Dream in the Dark (A Wrongful Conviction Novel) by Robert Justice.

About the book, from the publisher:

With striking prose and inspired by real wrongful conviction cases, this layered takedown of the criminal justice system follows one woman’s quest for answers as the fate of an innocent man hangs in the balance, perfect for fans of S. A. Cosby.

Denver, 1992.
Claudette Cooper and Moses King have been failed by the justice system. Claudette was sexually assaulted and brutally attacked—blinded by the perpetrator, she’s not able to identify him until she has a dream about the attack where she sees the face of Moses King. When Claudette testifies that she’s identified her attacker from her dream, Moses is wrongfully convicted and sent to prison for the crime.

Lawyer Liza Brown has seen firsthand the failings and shortcomings of the justice system—her father also suffered the injustice of a wrongful conviction. As she’s working at a nonprofit to free those who have been wrongfully imprisoned, Moses reaches out to her. Liza sees the obvious cracks in the evidence against Moses, and when he confesses that he knew her father, she’s determined to help. Recruiting her old friend Eli Stone to assist, Liza sets out to prove Moses’s innocence. But Eli is dealing with demons of his own: corrupt cops are targeting Black residents of Denver, and when his nephew is beaten by the police, Eli doubles down on his efforts to expose them.

Frustrated, Liza turns to Moses’s accuser, Claudette, for help. But Claudette is hiding a dark secret, and as tensions in Denver rise, the city erupts in protests and riots. This rich, impactful novel paints a portrait not only of injustice and desperation—but of hope.
Visit Robert Justice's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Join the Conspiracy"

Coming September 3 from Fordham University Press: Join the Conspiracy: How a Brooklyn Eccentric Got Lost on the Right, Infiltrated the Left, and Brought Down the Biggest Bombing Network in New York by Jonathan Butler.

About the book, from the publisher:

Dive into the electrifying tale of a Brooklyn-born patriot turned radical activist, in an era when America was torn by its ideological extremes

In the shadow of recent turmoil, Join the Conspiracy transports readers to a pivotal moment of division and dissent in American history: the late 1960s. Against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and a nation grappling with internal conflict, this compelling narrative follows the life of George Demmerle, a factory worker whose political odyssey encapsulates the era’s tumultuous spirit. From his roots as a concerned citizen wary of his country’s leftward tilt, Demmerle’s journey takes a dramatic turn as he delves into the heart of radical activism.

Participating in iconic protests from the March on Washington to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Demmerle’s story is a whirlwind of political fervor, embodying the struggle against what was perceived as imperialist war and racial injustice. His transformation is marked by alliances with key figures of the time, including Abbie Hoffman, and an eventual leadership role within an East Coast Black Panther affiliate. Yet, beneath his radical veneer lies a secret: Demmerle is an FBI informant.

Join the Conspiracy reveals Demmerle’s complex role in a society at war with itself, where his deepening involvement with the radical left and a bombing collective forces him to confront his loyalties. The narrative, enriched by a rare trove of period documents, candid photos taken from inside the radical movement, and underground art―more than a hundred of which are included in the book―not only charts Demmerle’s saga but also reflects the broader story of a nation struggling to find its moral compass amidst chaos.

As Demmerle navigates the dangerous waters of political extremism, readers are invited to ponder the price of ideology, the nature of loyalty, and the fine line between activism and betrayal. This book is not just a recounting of historical events but a vibrant portrait of a man and a movement that sought to reshape America.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Very Long, Very Strange Life of Isaac Dahl"

New from Kensington: The Very Long, Very Strange Life of Isaac Dahl by Bart Yates.

About the book, from the publisher:

Both sweeping and exquisitely intimate, award-winning author Bart Yates blends historical fact and fiction in a surprising, thought-provoking saga spanning 12 significant days across nearly 100 years in the life of a single man, beginning in 1920s Utah.

“Each day is a story, whether or not that story makes any damn sense or is worth telling to anyone else.”

At the age of ninety-six, Isaac Dahl sits down to write his memoir. For Isaac, an accomplished journalist and historian, finding the right words to convey events is never a problem. But this book will be different from anything he has written before. Focusing on twelve different days, each encapsulated in a chapter, Isaac hopes to distill the very essence of his life.

There are days that begin like any other, only to morph through twists of fate. An avalanche strikes Bingham, Utah, and eight-year-old Isaac and his twin sister, Agnes, survive when they are trapped in an upside-down bathtub. Other days stand apart in history—including a day in 1942, when Isaac, stationed on the USS Houston in the Java Sea as a rookie correspondent, confronts the full horror of war. And there are days spent simply, with his lifelong friend, Bo, or with Danny, the younger man whose love transforms Isaac’s later years—precious days with significance that grows clear only in hindsight.

From the Oklahoma Dust Bowl to a Mississippi school at the apex of the civil rights movement, Isaac tells his story with insight, wisdom, and emotional depth. The Very Long, Very Strange Life of Isaac Dahl is a wonderful, singular narrative that will spark conversation and reflection—a reminder that there is no such thing as an ordinary life, and the greatest accomplishment of all is to live and love fully.
Visit Bart Yates's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Worlds of Victor Sassoon"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The Worlds of Victor Sassoon: Bombay, London, Shanghai, 1918–1941 by Rosemary Wakeman.

About the book, from the publisher:

An interpretative history of global urbanity in the 1920s and 1930s, from the vantage point of Bombay, London, and Shanghai, that follows the life of business tycoon Victor Sassoon.

In this book, historian Rosemary Wakeman brings to life the frenzied, crowded streets, markets, ports, and banks of Bombay, London, and Shanghai. In the early twentieth century, these cities were at the forefront of the sweeping changes taking the world by storm as it entered an era of globalized commerce and the unprecedented circulation of goods, people, and ideas. Wakeman explores these cities and the world they helped transform through the life of Victor Sassoon, who in 1924 gained control of his powerful family’s trading and banking empire. She tracks his movements between these three cities as he grows his family’s fortune and transforms its holdings into a global juggernaut. Using his life as its point of entry, The Worlds of Victor Sassoon paints a broad portrait not just of wealth, cosmopolitanism, and leisure but also of the discrimination, exploitation, and violence wreaked by a world increasingly driven by the demands of capital.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 11, 2024

"The Great Cool Ranch Dorito in the Sky"

New from Henry Holt and Co. (BYR): The Great Cool Ranch Dorito in the Sky by Josh Galarza.

About the book, from the publisher:

Perfect for fans of Mark Oshiro and Adam Silvera comes a fiercely funny and hopeful story of one boy's attempts to keep everything under control while life has other plans.

Ever since cancer invaded his adoptive mother’s life, Brett feels like he’s losing everything, most of all control. To cope, Brett fuels all of his anxieties into epic fantasies, including his intergalactic Kid Condor comic book series, which features food constellations and characters not unlike those in his own life.

But lately Brett’s grip on reality has started to lose its hold. The fictions he’s been telling himself – about his unattractive body, the feeling that he’s a burden to his best friend, that he’s too messed up to be loved – have consumed him completely, and Brett will do anything to forget about the cosmic-sized hole in his chest, even if it's unhealthy.

But when Brett’s journal and deepest insecurities are posted online for the whole school to see, Brett realizes he can no longer avoid the painful truths of his real-life narrative. As his eating disorder escalates, Brett must be honest with the people closest to him, including his new and fierce friend Mallory who seems to know more about Brett’s issues than he does. With their support, he just might find the courage to face the toughest reality of all.
Visit Josh Galarza's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Making Makers"

New from Oxford University Press: Making Makers: The Past, the Present, and the Study of War by Michael P. M. Finch.

About the book, from the publisher:

Making Makers presents a comprehensive history of a seminal work of scholarship which has exerted a persistent attraction for scholars of war and strategy: Makers of Modern Strategy. It reveals the processes by which scholars conceived and devised the book, considering both successful and failed attempts to make and remake the work across the twentieth century, and illuminating its impact and legacy. It explains how and why these influential volumes took their particular forms, unearths the broader intellectual processes that shaped them, and reflects on the academic parameters of the study of war in the twentieth century. In presenting a complete genesis of the Makers project in the context of intellectual trends and historical contingency, this book reflects on a more complex and nuanced appraisal of the development of scholarship on war. In so doing it also offers contributions to the intellectual biographies of key figures in the history of war in the twentieth century, such as Edward Mead Earle, Peter Paret, Gordon Craig, and Theodore Ropp. Making Makers contributes to an intellectual history of military history and contextualises the place of history and historians in strategic and security studies. It is not only a history of the book, but a history of the networks of scholars involved in its creation, their careers, and lines of patronage, crossing international boundaries, from Europe to the USA, to Asia and Australia. It is an investigation of ideas, individuals, and groups, of work completed and scholarship produced, as well as contingency and opportunities missed.
--Marshal Zeringue

"I Will Never Leave You"

New from Delacorte Press: I Will Never Leave You by Kara A. Kennedy.

About the book, from the publisher:

This emotional debut thriller follows a teen girl being haunted by the ghost of her toxic ex-girlfriend, who gives her a chilling ultimatum—help her possess another girl or go down for her murder.

Maya has always belonged to Alana. After four years of dating, and on the precipice of graduating high school, Maya has been too terrified to consider the idea of life outside of their volatile relationship. Until she finds the courage to break up with Alana while they’re hiking in Southern California.

Then Alana goes missing. As the police get involved and the media run wild with the story, everyone seems to think that Maya is lying about Alana’s disappearance. Secretly, Maya knows they’re right: if Alana’s dead, she’s the one to blame.

But that’s not Maya’s only secret. Alana isn’t gone, not really—and she isn’t going to let Maya go so easily…
Visit Kara A. Kennedy's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Spanish Louisiana"

New from the LSU Press: Spanish Louisiana: Contest for Borderlands, 1763–1803 by Frances Kolb Turnbell.

About the book, from the publisher:

Frances Kolb Turnbell’s study of Spanish colonial Louisiana is the first comprehensive history of the colony. It emphasizes the Lower Mississippi valley’s status as a borderland contested by empires and the region’s diverse inhabitants in the era of volatility that followed the Seven Years’ War. As Turnbell demonstrates, the Spanish era was characterized by tremendous transition as the colony emerged from the neglect of the French period and became slowly but increasingly centered on plantation agriculture. The transformations of this critical period grew out of the struggles between Spain and Louisiana’s colonists, enslaved people, and Indians over issues related to space and mobility. Many borderland peoples, networks, and alliances sought to preserve Louisiana as a flexible and fluid zone as the colonial government attempted to control and contain the region’s inhabitants for its own purposes through policy and efforts to secure loyalty and its own advantageous alliances.

Turnbell first examines the period from 1763 through the American Revolution, when the Mississippi River was a boundary between empires. The river’s designation as an imperial border ran counter to the topography of North America and counter to the practices of the valley’s inhabitants, who employed its waterways to trade, communicate, migrate, and survive. Turnbell pays special attention to the Revolt of 1768, the burgeoning trade along the Mississippi prior to the American Revolution that involved British and American merchants, Spanish preparation for war, and the crucial involvement of the borderland’s diverse inhabitants as the war played out on the Lower Mississippi.

Turnbell then explains how the activity of borderland peoples evolved after the Revolutionary War when the Lower Mississippi was no longer an imperial boundary. She considers the instability and fluidity of postwar years in Louisiana, American trade and migration, Louisiana’s experience of the Age of Revolutions—from pro-French sentiments to plans for rebellion among the enslaved—and ultimately, Spain’s political demise in the Mississippi River valley.
--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

"The Last Line"

New from Crooked Lane Books: The Last Line by Scott Lyerly.

About the book, from the publisher:

Featuring a neurodiverse lead living with Tourette's syndrome, Ellie Marlowe is ready for a curtain call as her latest production sells out, but when the starring male lead drops dead, and everyone in the cast is a potential suspect or the next victim, she must catch a killer before they pull another show-stopping murder.

The new production at Ellie Marlowe’s community theater could save her from financial ruin, but her overbearing lead, Reginald Thornton IV, is determined to antagonize every cast member. Nervous and with her Tourette’s syndrome flaring, Ellie is relieved when opening night seems to be going well. But then Reginald’s death scene at the end of the play turns out to be all too real.

The state police write the death off as a heart attack, but several things don't add up, and Ellie and her childhood friend, Bill Starlin, the local chief of police, begin investigating. When another person linked to the theater is attacked, they’re convinced a killer is on the loose.

As Ellie and Bill reveal connections between cast members, they uncover dark secrets and must race to find the killer before it’s curtains for someone else.
Visit Scott Lyerly's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Bring Judgment Day"

New from Cambridge University Press: Bring Judgment Day: Reclaiming Lead Belly's Truths from Jim Crow's Lies by Sheila Curran Bernard.

About the book, from the publisher:

Known worldwide as Lead Belly, Huddie Ledbetter (1889–1949) is an American icon whose influence on modern music was tremendous – as was, according to legend, the temper that landed him in two of the South's most brutal prisons, while his immense talent twice won him pardons. But, as this deeply researched book shows, these stories were shaped by the white folklorists who 'discovered' Lead Belly and, along with reporters, recording executives, and radio and film producers, introduced him to audiences beyond the South. Through a revelatory examination of arrest, trial, and prison records; sharecropping reports; oral histories; newspaper articles; and more, author Sheila Curran Bernard replaces myth with fact, offering a stunning indictment of systemic racism in the Jim Crow era of the United States and the power of narrative to erase and distort the past.
Visit Sheila Curran Bernard's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"So Witches We Became"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: So Witches We Became by Jill Baguchinsky.

About the book, from the publishers:

A queer, feminist spin on Stephen King’s The Mist, this ode to female-rage is a perfect pick for fans of She Is a Haunting, and a reminder that if "boys will be boys", girls will fight back.

For high school senior Nell and her friends, a vacation house on a private Florida island sounds like the makings of a dream spring break. But Nell brings secrets with her—secrets that fuse with the island's tragic history, trapping them all with a curse that surrounds the island in a toxic, vengeful mist and the surrounding waters with an unseen, devouring beast.

Getting out alive means risking her friendships, her sanity, and even her own life. In order to save herself and her friends, Nell will have to face memories she'd rather leave behind, reveal the horrific truth behind the encounter that changed her life one year ago, and face the shadow that's haunted her since childhood.

Easier said than done. But when Nell's friends reveal that they each brought secrets of their own, a solution even more dangerous than the curse begins to take shape. Reading like a YA feminist spin on Stephen King’s The Mist, So Witches We Became is a diverse, queer horror about female friendship, the emotional aftermath of surviving assault, and how to find power in the shadows of your past.

Step into your witchy power or be swallowed by the curse–the choice is yours.
Visit Jill Baguchinsky's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Selfish Genes to Social Beings"

New from Oxford University Press: Selfish Genes to Social Beings: A Cooperative History of Life by Jonathan Silvertown.

About the book, from the publisher:

For all the "selfishness" of genes, they team up to survive. Is the history of life in fact a story of cooperation?

Amid the violence and brutality that dominates the news, it's hard to think of ourselves as team players. But cooperation, Jonathan Silvertown argues, is a fundamental part of our make-up, and deeply woven into the whole four-billion-year history of life. Starting with human society, Silvertown digs deeper, to show how cooperation is key to the cells forming our organs, to symbiosis between organisms, to genes that band together, to the dawn of life itself. Cooperation has enabled life to thrive and become complex. Without it, life would never have begun.
Visit Jonathan Silvertown's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

"The Dissonance"

New from Pantheon: The Dissonance: A Novel by Shaun Hamill.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the acclaimed author of A Cosmology of Monsters ("I loved it" —Stephen King) comes an epic contemporary fantasy, a mixture of The Magicians and It: a story of dark magic, terrible mistakes, and second chances.

"You can never go home again," the saying goes—but Hal, Athena, and Erin have to. In high school, the three were students of the eccentric Professor Marsh, trained in a secret system of magic known as the Dissonance, which is built around harnessing negative emotions: alienation, anger, pain. Then, twenty years ago, something happened that shattered their coven, scattering them across the country, stuck in mundane lives, alone.

But now, terrifying signs and portents (not to mention a pointed Facebook invite) have summoned them back to Clegg, Texas. There, their paths will collide with that of Owen, a closeted teenager from Alabama whose aborted cemetery seance with his crush summoned something far worse: a murderous entity whose desperate, driving purpose includes kidnapping Owen to serve as its Renfield. As Owen tries to outwit his new master, and Hal, Athena, and Erin reckon with how the choices they made as teens might connect to the apocalyptic event unfurling over the Lone Star State, shocking alliances form, old and new romances brew, and three unsuccessful adults and one frightened teen are all that stand between reality and oblivion.

From one of the boldest, most brilliant voices in modern fantastical horror, The Dissonance is a thrilling and beautifully written story of magic and monsters, forgiveness and friendship.
Visit Shaun Hamill's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"America's Cold Warrior"

New from Cornell University Press: America's Cold Warrior: Paul Nitze and National Security from Roosevelt to Reagan by James Graham Wilson.

About the book, from the publisher:

In America's Cold Warrior, James Graham Wilson traces Paul Nitze's career path in national security after World War II, a time when many of his mentors and peers returned to civilian life. Serving in eight presidential administrations, Nitze commanded White House attention even when he was out of government, especially with his withering criticism of Jimmy Carter during Carter's presidency. While Nitze is perhaps best known for leading the formulation of NSC-68, which Harry Truman signed in 1950, Wilson contends that Nitze's most significant contribution to American peace and security came in the painstaking work done in the 1980s to negotiate successful treaties with the Soviets to reduce nuclear weapons while simultaneously deflecting skeptics surrounding Ronald Reagan. America's Cold Warrior connects Nitze's career and concerns about strategic vulnerability to the post-9/11 era and the challenges of the 2020s, where the United States finds itself locked in geopolitical competition with the People's Republic of China and Russia.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Broken Bayou"

New from Thomas & Mercer: Broken Bayou by Jennifer Moorhead.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this debut thriller, a troubled child psychologist returns to a small Louisiana town to protect her secrets but winds up having to protect her life.

Dr. Willa Watters is a prominent child psychologist at the height of her career. But when a viral video of a disastrous television interview puts her reputation on the line, Willa retreats to Broken Bayou, the town where she spent most of her childhood summers. There she visits her aunts’ old house and discovers some of her unstable mother’s belongings still languishing in the attic―dusty mementos harboring secrets of her harrowing past.

Willa’s hopes for a respite are quickly crushed, not only by what she finds in that attic but also by what’s been found in the bayou.

With waters dropping due to drought, mysterious barrels containing human remains have surfaced, alongside something else from Willa’s past, something she never thought she’d see again. Divers, police, and media flood the area, including a news reporter gunning for Willa and Travis Arceneaux―a local deputy and old flame.

Willa’s fate seems eerily tied to the murders. And with no one to trust, she must use her wits to stay above water and make it out alive.
Visit Jennifer Moorhead's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Body, History, Myth"

New from Princeton University Press: Body, History, Myth: Early Modern Murals in South India by Anna Lise Seastrand.

About the book, from the publisher:

The first major exploration of the mural tradition in early modern South India

An astonishing variety of murals greet visitors to the temples and palaces of southern India. Beautiful in execution and extensive in scope, murals painted on walls and ceilings adorn the most important spaces of early modern religious and political performance. Scene by scene, histories of holy sites, portraits that incorporate historical figures into mythic landscapes, and Tamil and Telugu inscriptions that evoke the imagined topographies of devotional poetry unfold before the mobile spectator. Body, History, Myth reconceives the relationship between art and devotion in South India by describing how the extraordinary sensory experience of a viewing body in motion unfurls a sacred narrative exquisitely designed to teach, impress, and inspire.

Anna Lise Seastrand offers new insights into the arts of early modern southern India, bringing to life one of the most culturally vibrant yet least understood periods in Indian art. She shows how temple visitors become active participants in the paintings through their somatic engagement with visual stories and devotional landscapes. Seastrand highlights the significance of textuality in early modern South Asia by examining the status of professional scribes and the prominence given to authorship of religious literature and art. Her insights are presented alongside new translations of the texts that accompany mural paintings.

Featuring a wealth of stunning images published here for the first time, Body, History, Myth provides a multidimensional reading of temple art that fundamentally reframes the artistic, intellectual, religious, and political histories of early modern India.
--Marshal Zeringue