Sunday, July 3, 2022

"Killing Field"

New from Polis Books: Killing Field by Meghan Holloway.

About the book, from the publisher:

Annie Between Lodges knows who murdered her sister and why. She has proof. She also knows that if she comes forward with the evidence she has stolen, she will not survive long enough to tell the truth. She needs an ally, someone unflinching and unafraid, someone who knows how to make enemies and remain unscathed. But Hector Lewis is no hero, and one lie catapults her into deeper danger.

Hector has chased his missing wife’s trail of secrets to the end. He has no answers, no job, and no patience for the girl who has been following him. Her claim to be his lost daughter sets the town ablaze and forges an unexpected alliance with his most bitter enemy, his wife’s family. But the girl’s secrets have placed a target on her back. When history repeats itself, Hector is left to grapple with a choice: Can he set aside revenge in order to save the girl whose lies have forced him to confront the past?

Wildfire season has engulfed Yellowstone in flames, and Raven’s Gap is in the crosshairs. As the tension and heat escalate, the truth becomes clear—Betrayal lies far closer to home than Hector could have ever imagined.
Visit Meghan Holloway's website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

My Book, The Movie: Once More Unto the Breach.

The Page 69 Test: Once More Unto the Breach.

Writers Read: Meghan Holloway (May 2019).

Q&A with Meghan Holloway.

The Page 69 Test: Hunting Ground.

My Book, The Movie: Hunting Ground.

The Page 69 Test: Hiding Place.

My Book, The Movie: Hiding Place.

Writers Read: Meghan Holloway (December 2021).

--Marshal Zeringue

"Medieval Marvels and Fictions in the Latin West and Islamic World"

New from the University of Chicago Press: Medieval Marvels and Fictions in the Latin West and Islamic World by Michelle Karnes.

About the book, from the publisher:

A cross-cultural study of magical phenomena in the Middle Ages.

Marvels like enchanted rings and sorcerers’ stones were topics of fascination in the Middle Ages, not only in romance and travel literature but also in the period’s philosophical writing. Rather than constructions of belief accepted only by simple-minded people, Michelle Karnes shows that these spectacular wonders were near impossibilities that demanded scrutiny and investigation.

This is the first book to analyze a diverse set of writings on such wonders, comparing texts from the Latin West—including those written in English, French, Italian, and Castilian Spanish —with those written in Arabic as it works toward a unifying theory of marvels across different disciplines and cultures. Karnes tells a story about the parallels between Arabic and Latin thought, reminding us that experiences of the strange and the unfamiliar travel across a range of genres, spanning geographical and conceptual space and offering an ideal vantage point from which to understand intercultural exchange. Karnes traverses this diverse archive, showing how imagination imbues marvels with their character and power, making them at once enigmatic, creative, and resonant. Skirting the distinction between the real and unreal, these marvels challenge readers to discover the highest capabilities of both nature and the human intellect. Karnes offers a rare comparative perspective and a new methodology to study a topic long recognized as central to medieval culture.
Follow Michelle Karnes on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Great Man Theory"

New from Bloomsbury USA: The Great Man Theory by Teddy Wayne.

About the book, from the publisher:

From acclaimed, Whiting Award-winning author Teddy Wayne, the hilarious, incisive, yet deeply poignant story of a liberal armchair-revolutionary desperate to save America from itself.

Paul is a recently demoted adjunct instructor of freshman comp, a divorced but doting Brooklyn father, and a self-desc­ribed “curmudgeonly crank” cataloging his resentment of the priorities of modern life in a book called The Luddite Manifesto. Outraged by the authoritarian creeps ruining the country, he is determined to better the future for his young daughter, one aggrieved lecture at a time.

Shockingly, others aren't very receptive to Paul's scoldings. His child grows distant, preferring superficial entertainment to her father's terrarium and anti-technological tutelage. His careerist students are less interested than ever in what he has to say, and his last remaining friends appear ready to ditch him. To make up for lost income, he moonlights as a ride-share driver and moves in with his elderly mother, whose third-act changes confound and upset him. As one indignity follows the next, and Paul's disaffection with his circumstances and society mounts, he concocts a dramatic plan to right the world's wrongs and give himself a more significant place in it.

Dyspeptically funny, bubbling over with insights into America's cultural landscape and a certain type of cast-aside man who wants to rectify it, The Great Man Theory is the work of a brilliant, original writer at the height of his powers.
Learn more about the book and author at Teddy Wayne's website.

The Page 69 Test: Kapitoil.

Writers Read: Teddy Wayne (February 2020).

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 2, 2022

"Earthly Order"

New from Oxford University Press: Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life by Saleem H. Ali.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Covid-19 Pandemic has brought forth global anxiety about linkages between the environment and society at a fundamental structural level. Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life provides an accessible exposition of the latest foundational knowledge on how natural and social systems science can inform planetary crises. Humanity has either tried to conquer or capitulate to natural order, whereas we should be seeking to understand latent structures and patterns that permeate all systems and develop an "earthly order," that is socially functional and sustainable.

Current debates in politics often present what should constitute a "world order" while scientists have wrestled with what are fundamental conditions of "natural order." Author Saleem H. Ali provides a readable synthesis of these debates with practical guidance for the public with a host of current examples around environmental decision-making by consumers, the government and industry.
The Page 99 Test: Treasures of the Earth.

Follow Saleem H. Ali on Twitter.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Peril at the Exposition"

New from Minotaur Books: Peril at the Exposition: A Mystery by Nev March.

About the book, from the publisher:

Captain Jim Agnihotri and his new bride, Diana Framji, return in Nev March's Peril at the Exposition, the follow up to March's award-winning, Edgar finalist debut, Murder in Old Bombay.

1893: Newlyweds Captain Jim Agnihotri and Diana Framji are settling into their new home in Boston, Massachusetts, having fled the strict social rules of British Bombay. It's a different life than what they left behind, but theirs is no ordinary marriage: Jim, now a detective at the Dupree Agency, is teaching Diana the art of deduction he’s learned from his idol, Sherlock Holmes.

Everyone is talking about the preparations for the World's Fair in Chicago: the grandeur, the speculation, the trickery. Captain Jim will experience it first-hand: he's being sent to Chicago to investigate the murder of a man named Thomas Grewe. As Jim probes the underbelly of Chicago’s docks, warehouses, and taverns, he discovers deep social unrest and some deadly ambitions.

When Jim goes missing, young Diana must venture to Chicago's treacherous streets to learn what happened. But who can she trust, when a single misstep could mean disaster?

Award-winning author Nev March mesmerized readers with her Edgar finalist debut, Murder in Old Bombay. Now, in Peril at the Exposition, she wields her craft against the glittering landscape of the Gilded Age with spectacular results.
Visit Nev March's website.

Q&A with Nev March.

The Page 69 Test: Murder in Old Bombay.

My Book, The Movie: Murder in Old Bombay.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 1, 2022

"American Crusade"

New from Cornell University Press: American Crusade: Christianity, Warfare, and National Identity, 1860–1920 by Benjamin J. Wetzel.

About the book, from the publisher:

When is a war a holy crusade? And when does theology cause Christians to condemn violence? In American Crusade, Benjamin Wetzel argues that the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I shared a cultural meaning for white Protestant ministers in the United States, who considered each conflict to be a modern-day crusade.

American Crusade examines the "holy war" mentality prevalent between 1860 and 1920, juxtaposing mainline Protestant support for these wars with more hesitant religious voices: Catholics, German-speaking Lutherans, and African American Methodists. The specific theologies and social locations of these more marginal denominations made their ministries highly critical of the crusading mentality. Religious understandings of the nation, both in support of and opposed to armed conflict, played a major role in such ideological contestation. Wetzel's book questions traditional periodizations and suggests that these three wars should be understood as a unit. Grappling with the views of America's religious leaders, supplemented by those of ordinary people, American Crusade provides a fresh way of understanding the three major American wars of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Page 99 Test: Theodore Roosevelt: Preaching from the Bully Pulpit.

--Marshal Zeringue

"We Made It All Up"

New from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: We Made It All Up by Margot Harrison.

About the book, from the publisher:

A contemporary, high-stakes thriller about how reality becomes more twisted than the fantasy novel two friends are writing when the real-life subject of their fiction turns up dead and they’re the suspects, for fans of Mare of Easttown and One of Us Is Lying.

Celeste is the talk of the town when she moves to Montana from Montreal, but the only friend she makes is Vivvy, the heir to the town’s founder and a social pariah. Inspired by a passion-fueled school incident, they begin writing a love-story fanfic between the popular guy and the school stoner, one that gradually reveals Celeste’s past. While her bond with Vivvy makes Celeste feel safe and alive again, Vivvy keeps prodding Celeste to turn fantasy into reality. When they finally try, one drunken night on a dark mountainside, Celeste is the one who ends up kissing golden boy Joss. And Joss ends up dead.

Celeste doesn’t remember the end of that night and can’t be sure she didn’t deliver the killing blow. Could she still be that scared of getting close to a boy? Secrets are hard to keep in a small town, and even Vivvy seems to suspect her. Exploring the winding passages of the cave where Joss died, Celeste learns he had his own dark secrets, as does Vivvy. The town isn’t as innocent as it appears.
Visit Margot Harrison's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Killer in Me.

Q&A with Margot Harrison.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Marriage Unbound"

New from Stanford University Press: Marriage Unbound: State Law, Power, and Inequality in Contemporary China by Ke Li.

About the book, from the publisher:

China after Mao has undergone vast transformations, including massive rural-to-urban migration, rising divorce rates, and the steady expansion of the country's legal system. Today, divorce may appear a private concern, when in fact it is a profoundly political matter—especially in a national context where marriage was and has continued to be a key vehicle for nation-state building. Marriage Unbound focuses on the politics of divorce cases in contemporary China, following a group of women seeking judicial remedies for conjugal grievances and disputes.

Drawing on extensive archival and ethnographic data, paired with unprecedented access to rural Chinese courtrooms, Ke Li presents not only a stirring portrayal of how these women navigate divorce litigation, but also a uniquely in-depth account of the modern Chinese legal system. With sensitive and fluid prose, Li reveals the struggles between the powerful and the powerless at the front lines of dispute management; the complex interplay between culture and the state; and insidious statecraft that far too often sacrifices women's rights and interests. Ultimately, this book shows how women's legal mobilization and rights contention can forge new ground for our understanding of law, politics, and inequality in an authoritarian regime.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 30, 2022

"Half Outlaw"

New from Blackstone: Half Outlaw by Alex Temblador.

About the book, from the publisher:

Looking for the missing half of herself, a woman goes on one last ride with the motorcycle club that raised her, and gets more than she bargained for.

After the tragic death of her parents when she was just four years old, Raqi is sent to live with her uncle Dodge in Escondido, California. Taking after her Mexican father, Raqi immediately faces hostility from the members of Dodge’s all-white, 1 percenter motorcycle club, the Lawless, and from her uncle himself. Being raised by a drug addict is no picnic, and Raqi must quickly learn how to survive. She manages to form a few friendships. Still, as soon as she can, she leaves the violence and bigotry behind and doesn’t look back.

Years later, Raqi is a successful partner at a law firm in Los Angeles. She gets a call from Billy, the leader of the Lawless. Dodge is dead, and Billy wants her to go on the Grieving Ride, a special ride taken for all deceased members, and one that strictly follows the deceased’s wishes. There is no way Raqi would ever attend, except for one thing: Billy promises to give her the address of her grandfather if she goes on the ride. It’s the address of her father’s father, her Mexican grandfather. Learning for the first time that she has other family and desperate to connect, she agrees. But this will be no ordinary Grieving Ride. Raqi is reacquainted with her old bike and with the various club members. During the cross-country trek, she will learn more about her uncle, and about herself, than she ever imagined possible.

Alternating between Raqi’s childhood and a present 90s setting, and accented by moments of magical realism, Half Outlaw is the story of one woman’s quest to find a better future while still wrestling with a tumultuous past. In her first adult novel, Alex Temblador gives readers an immersive look into a dangerous subculture at the end of an era, and a powerful and heartfelt story that explores self-knowledge, acceptance, and the meaning of family.
Visit Alex Temblador's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"On Believing"

New from Oxford University Press: On Believing: Being Right in a World of Possibilities by David Hunter.

About the book, from the publisher:

Developing original accounts of the many aspects of belief, On Believing puts the believer at the heart of the story. Hunter argues that to believe something is to be in position to do, think, and feel things in light of a possibility whose obtaining would make one right. The logical aspect is that being right depends only on whether that possibility obtains. The psychological one concerns how that possibility can rationalise what one does, thinks, and feels. But, Hunter argues, beliefs are not causes, capacities, or dispositions. Rather, believing rationalises because possibilities are potential reasons. Hunter also denies that believing is a form of representing. The objects of belief are possibilities, not representations, and belief states are not themselves true or false. Hunter defends this modal view against familiar objections and explores how objective and subjective limits to belief generate credal illusions and ground credal necessities. Developing a novel account of the normativity of belief, he argues that voluntary acts of inference make us responsible for our beliefs. While denying that believing is intrinsically normative, Hunter grounds the ethics of belief in attributive goodness. Believing something is to our credit when it shows us to be good in some way, and what we ought to believe depends on what we ought to know, and not on the evidence we have. The ethics of belief, Hunter argues, concern how a believer ought to be positioned in a world of possibilities.
Visit David Hunter's website.

--Marshal Zeringue