Monday, January 17, 2022

"The Misfit Soldier"

Coming February 22 from Harper Voyager: The Misfit Soldier (Misfits, 1) by Michael Mammay.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ocean’s Eleven meets John Scalzi in this funny, action-filled, stand-alone sci-fi adventure from the author of Planetside, in which a small team of misfit soldiers takes on a mission that could change the entire galaxy.

Sergeant Gastovsky—Gas to everyone but his superior officers—never wanted to be a soldier. Far from it. But when a con goes wrong and he needs a place to lay low for a while, he finds himself wearing the power armor of the augmented infantry.

After three years on a six-year contract, Gas has found his groove running low-level cons and various illegal activities that make him good money on the side. He’s the guy who can get you what you need. But he’s always had his eye out for a big score—the one that might set him up for life after the military.

When one of his soldiers is left behind after a seemingly pointless battle, Gas sees his chance. He assembles a team of misfit soldiers that would push the term “ragtag” to its limits for a big con that leads them on a daring behind-the-lines mission, pitting him not only against enemy soldiers but against the top brass of his own organization.

If he pulls this off, not only will he save his squadmate, he might just become the legend he’s always considered himself. He might also change the way the entire galaxy looks at this war. But for any of that to happen, he has to live through this insane plan.

And charm rarely stops bullets.
Visit Michael Mammay's website.

Q&A with Michael Mammay.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Death Tango"

Coming soon from Rowman & Littlefield: Death Tango: Ariel Sharon, Yasser Arafat, and Three Fateful Days in March by Yossi Alpher.

About the book, from the publisher:

Death Tango traces the Middle East dynamic back to the events of March 27–29, 2002. March 27, Passover Eve, witnessed the most bloody and traumatic Arab terrorist attack in Israel’s history, the Park Hotel bombing in Netanya. On March 28, an Arab League summit in Beirut adopted the Arab Peace Initiative, the most far-reaching Arab attempt to set parameters for ending the Israel-Arab conflict. The next day, Israel invaded and reoccupied the West Bank in Operation Defensive Shield.

Alpher illustrates the interaction between these three critical events and depicts the key personalities—politicians, generals, and a star journalist—involved on all sides. It moves from a suicide bombing to the deliberations of Arab leaders; from the Israel Prime Minister’s Office—where Ariel Sharon fulminated against Yasser Arafat—to Washington, where the United States fumbled and misunderstood the dynamics at work; and on to the Jenin refugee camp, where Israeli soldiers won a bloody military battle but Israel lost the media battle of public opinion.

Based on extensive interviews and his deep personal knowledge, Alpher analyzes the three days in late March 2002 as a catalyst of extensive change in the Middle East, concluding that Arabs and Israelis are dancing a kind of “death tango.”
Visit Yossi Alpher's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dead Wind"

Coming April 2022 from Severn House: Dead Wind by Tessa Wegert.

About the book, from the publisher:

Senior Investigator Shana Merchant must dredge up dark secrets and old grudges if she’s to solve the murder of a prominent local citizen in the Thousand Islands community she now calls home.

The body is discovered on Wolfe Island, under the shadow of an enormous wind turbine. Senior Investigator Shana Merchant, arriving on the scene with fellow investigator Tim Wellington, can’t shake the feeling that she knows the victim – and the subsequent identification sends shockwaves through their community in the Thousand Islands of Upstate New York.

Politics, power, passion . . . there are dark undercurrents in Shana’s new home, and finding the killer means dredging up her new friends and neighbors’ old grudges and long-kept secrets.

That is, if the killer is from the community at all. For Shana’s keeping a terrible secret of her own: eighteen months ago she escaped from serial killer Bram Blake’s clutches. But has he followed her . . . to kill again?

The Shana Merchant novels are a brilliant blend of chilling psychological thriller and gripping police procedural, set in an atmospheric island community with a small-town vibe.
Visit Tessa Wegert's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Dead Season.

The Page 69 Test: The Dead Season.

Q&A with Tessa Wegert.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, January 16, 2022

"Romare Bearden in the Homeland of His Imagination"

Coming May 10 from the University of North Carolina Press: Romare Bearden in the Homeland of His Imagination: An Artist's Reckoning with the South (A Ferris and Ferris Book) by Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore.

About the book, from the publisher:

Romare Bearden (1911–1988), one of the most prolific, original, and acclaimed American artists of the twentieth century, richly depicted scenes and figures rooted in the American South and the Black experience. Bearden hailed from North Carolina but was forced to relocate to the North when a white mob harassed them in the 1910s. His family story is a compelling, complicated saga of Black middle-class achievement in the face of relentless waves of white supremacy. It is also a narrative of the generational trauma that slavery and racism inflicted over decades. But as Glenda Gilmore reveals in this trenchant reappraisal of Bearden’s life and art, his work reveals his deep imagination, extensive training, and rich knowledge of art history.

Gilmore explores four generations of Bearden’s family and highlights his experiences in North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Harlem. She engages deeply with Bearden's art and considers it as an alternative archive that offers a unique perspective on the history, memory, and collective imagination of Black southerners who migrated to the North. In doing so, she revises and deepens our appreciation of Bearden’s place in the artistic canon and our understanding of his relationship to southern, African American, and American cultural and social history.
The Page 99 Test: Glenda E. Gilmore's Defying Dixie.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Fields"

New from Flatiron Books: The Fields: A Novel by Erin Young.

About the book, from the publisher:

Some things don't stay buried.

It starts with a body—a young woman found dead in an Iowa cornfield, on one of the few family farms still managing to compete with the giants of Big Agriculture.

When Sergeant Riley Fisher, newly promoted to head of investigations for the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, arrives on the scene, an already horrific crime becomes personal when she discovers the victim was a childhood friend, connected to a dark past she thought she’d left behind.

The investigation grows complicated as more victims are found. Drawn deeper in, Riley soon discovers implications far beyond her Midwest town.
Visit Erin Young's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, January 15, 2022

"The Wuhan Lockdown"

Coming soon from Columbia University Press: The Wuhan Lockdown by Guobin Yang.

About the book, from the publisher:

A metropolis with a population of about 11 million, Wuhan sits at the crossroads of China. It was here that in the last days of 2019, the first reports of a mysterious new form of pneumonia emerged. Before long, an abrupt and unprecedented lockdown was declared—the first of many such responses to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.

This book tells the dramatic story of the Wuhan lockdown in the voices of the city’s own people. Using a vast archive of more than 6,000 diaries, the sociologist Guobin Yang vividly depicts how the city coped during the crisis. He analyzes how the state managed—or mismanaged—the lockdown and explores how Wuhan’s residents responded by taking on increasingly active roles. Yang demonstrates that citizen engagement—whether public action or the civic inaction of staying at home—was essential in the effort to fight the pandemic. The book features compelling stories of citizens and civic groups in their struggle against COVID-19: physicians, patients, volunteers, government officials, feminist organizers, social media commentators, and even aunties loudly swearing at party officials. These snapshots from the lockdown capture China at a critical moment, revealing the intricacies of politics, citizenship, morality, community, and digital technology. Presenting the extraordinary experiences of ordinary people, The Wuhan Lockdown is an unparalleled account of the first moments of the crisis that would define the age.
The Page 99 Test: The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Deep Dive"

New from Angry Robot: Deep Dive by Ron Walters.

About the book, from the publisher:

When your reality shatters, what will you do to put it back together again?

Still reeling from the failure of his last project, videogame developer Peter Banuk is working hard to ensure his next game doesn’t meet the same fate. He desperately needs a win, not only to save his struggling company, but to justify the time he’s spent away from his wife and daughters.

So when Peter’s tech-genius partner offers him the chance to beta-test a new state-of-the-art virtual reality headset, he jumps at it. But something goes wrong during the trial, and Peter wakes to find himself trapped in an eerily familiar world where his children no longer exist.

As the lines between the real and virtual worlds begin to blur, Peter is forced to reckon with what truly matters to him. But can he escape his virtual prison before he loses his family forever?
Visit Ron Walters's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The New Female Antihero"

New from the University of Chicago Press: The New Female Antihero: The Disruptive Women of Twenty-First-Century US Television by Sarah Hagelin and Gillian Silverman.

About the book, from the publisher:

The New Female Antihero examines the hard-edged spies, ruthless queens, and entitled slackers of twenty-first-century television.

The last ten years have seen a shift in television storytelling toward increasingly complex storylines and characters. In this study, Sarah Hagelin and Gillian Silverman zoom in on a key figure in this transformation: the archetype of the female antihero. Far from the sunny, sincere, plucky persona once demanded of female characters, the new female antihero is often selfish and deeply unlikeable.

In this entertaining and insightful study, Hagelin and Silverman explore the meanings of this profound change in the role of women characters. In the dramas of the new millennium, they show, the female antihero is ambitious, conniving, even murderous; in comedies, she is self-centered, self-sabotaging, and anti-aspirational. Across genres, these female protagonists eschew the part of good girl or role model. In their rejection of social responsibility, female antiheroes thus represent a more profound threat to the status quo than do their male counterparts. From the devious schemers of Game of Thrones, The Americans, Scandal, and Homeland, to the joyful failures of Girls, Broad City, Insecure, and SMILF, female antiheroes register a deep ambivalence about the promises of liberal feminism. They push back against the myth of the modern-day super-woman—she who “has it all”—and in so doing, they give us new ways of imagining women’s lives in contemporary America.
--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 14, 2022

"Two Storm Wood"

Coming March 29 from W.W. Norton: Two Storm Wood: A Novel by Philip Gray.

About the book, from the publisher:

In this thriller set on the battlefields of the Somme after the end of World War I, a woman investigates the disappearance of her fiancé.

The Great War has ended, but for Amy Vanneck there is no peace. Her fiancé, Edward Haslam, a lieutenant in the 7th Manchesters, is missing, presumed dead. Amy travels to the desolate battlefields of northern France to learn his fate and recover his body.

She’s warned that this open-air morgue is no place for a civilian, much less a woman, but Amy is willing to brave the barbed wire, the putrid water, and the rat-infested tunnels that dot the landscape. Her search is upended when she discovers the scene of a gruesome mass murder. What does it signify? Soon Amy begins to have suspicions that Edward might not really be dead. Disquieting and yet compulsively readable, Two Storm Wood builds to an ending that is both thrilling and emotionally riveting.
Visit Philip Gray's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"For the Freedom of Zion"

New from Yale University Press: For the Freedom of Zion: The Great Revolt of Jews against Romans, 66–74 CE by Guy MacLean Rogers.

About the book, from the publisher:

A definitive account of the great revolt of Jews against Rome and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple

This deeply researched and insightful book examines the causes, course, and historical significance of the Jews’ failed revolt against Rome from 66 to 74 CE, including the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. Based on a comprehensive study of all the evidence and new statistical data, Guy Rogers argues that the Jewish rebels fought for their religious and political freedom and lost due to military mistakes.

Rogers contends that while the Romans won the war, they lost the peace. When the Romans destroyed the Jerusalem Temple, they thought that they had defeated the God of Israel and eliminated Jews as a strategic threat to their rule. Instead, they ensured the Jews’ ultimate victory. After their defeat Jews turned to the written words of their God, and following those words led the Jews to recover their freedom in the promised land. The war's tragic outcome still shapes the worldview of billions of people today.
--Marshal Zeringue