Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Coffee with a canine: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley & Polly

Featured at Coffee with a Canine: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley & Polly.

The author, about whether Polly helps or hinders her writing:
It depends on the day. Usually she sits in the windowseat of my office and lets me know if anyone is coming up the driveway. Sometimes, especially in winter when the heating vent under my desk is blowing warm air, she comes and lays on my feet. I find that very companionable. Sometimes, however, she falls asleep and snores so loudly that I have to go wake her up. I can't write with...[read on]
About Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's The War I Finally Won, from the publisher:
Like the classic heroines of Sarah, Plain and Tall and Little Women, Ada conquers the homefront as her World War II journey continues in this sequel to the Newbery Honor–winning The War that Saved My Life

When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. What is she?

World War II continues, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton—along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of the war become far more frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex. Who is Ada now? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

Ada’s first story, The War that Saved My Life, won a Newbery Honor, the Schneider Family Book Award, and the Josette Frank Award, in addition to appearing on multiple best-of-the-year lists. This second, marvelous volume continues Ada’s powerful, uplifting story.
Visit Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley & Polly.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 25, 2017

Ten top books for non-geek parents of geeks

At B&N Reads Jeff Somers tagged ten books non-geek parents of geeks need to read, including:
Neuromancer, by William Gibson

Another sci-fi classic that offers clues to the cyberpunk and programming subculture that your geeky kid is somehow magically well-versed in. Although dated, Gibson’s novel established so many of the tropes that reign in modern-day sci-fi, it’s essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the thrill of hacking together your first app—or simply hijacking the neighbors’ Netflix password.
Read about another entry on the list.

Neuromancer made Soman Chainani's top five list of SFF novels with perfect opening lines, Abhimanyu Das and Gordon Jackson list of eleven science fiction books regularly taught in college classes, Steve Toutonghi's list of six top books that expand our mental horizons, Ann Leckie's top ten list of science fiction books, Madeleine Monson-Rosen's list of 15 books that take place in science fiction and fantasy versions of the most fascinating places on Earth, Becky Ferreira's list of the six most memorable robots in literature, Joel Cunningham's top five list of books that predicted the internet, Sean Beaudoin's list of ten books that changed his life before he could drive, Chris Kluwe's list of six favorite books, Inglis-Arkell's list of ten of the best bars in science fiction, PopCrunch's list of the sixteen best dystopian books of all time and Annalee Newitz's lists of ten great American dystopias and thirteen books that will change the way you look at robots.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Jeremi Suri's "The Impossible Presidency"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Impossible Presidency: The Rise and Fall of America's Highest Office by Jeremi Suri.

About the book, from the publisher:
A bold new history of the American presidency, arguing that the successful presidents of the past created unrealistic expectations for every president since JFK, with enormously problematic implications for American politics

In The Impossible Presidency, celebrated historian Jeremi Suri charts the rise and fall of the American presidency, from the limited role envisaged by the Founding Fathers to its current status as the most powerful job in the world. He argues that the presidency is a victim of its own success-the vastness of the job makes it almost impossible to fulfill the expectations placed upon it. As managers of the world’s largest economy and military, contemporary presidents must react to a truly globalized world in a twenty-four-hour news cycle. There is little room left for bold vision.

Suri traces America’s disenchantment with our recent presidents to the inevitable mismatch between presidential promises and the structural limitations of the office. A masterful reassessment of presidential history, this book is essential reading for anyone trying to understand America’s fraught political climate.
Visit Jeremi Suri's website.

The Page 99 Test: Henry Kissinger and the American Century.

The Page 99 Test: The Impossible Presidency.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Jacob Stone's "Crazed"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Crazed by Jacob Stone.

About the book, from the publisher:
L.A. detective Morris Brick has seen the face of evil. He has witnessed the grisly handiwork of a deranged sadist known as SCK-the Skull Cracker Killer. But Brick isn't the only one watching. A crazed lunatic's interest in the case has turned into a deadly obsession. This sicko vows to outdo SCK and reach new heights of macabre mayhem. The mounting body count is a personal challenge to Brick. But as he lays his trap, he can hardly imagine the evil he is about to face...
Jacob Stone is the byline chosen by award-winning author Dave Zeltserman for his Morris Brick series of serial-killer thrillers. Visit Zeltserman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Deranged.

The Page 69 Test: Deranged.

My Book, The Movie: Crazed.

Writers Read: Jacob Stone.

The Page 69 Test: Crazed.

--Marshal Zeringue

Alys Clare's "The Devil's Cup," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Devil's Cup: A Medieval mystery by Alys Clare.

The entry begins:
When I started the Hawkenlye Series seventeen books ago, I had a clear image of Josse d’Acquin in mind, and he looked very like the actor Robert Lindsay. As, like all of us, he’s matured and life’s experiences and trials show in his face, he goes on looking just as I imagine the older Josse, and I still think he’d be just right. For Helewise, who we first meet when she’s Abbess of Hawkenlye, I would cast the luminous Juliet...[read on]
Learn more about The Devil's Cup at the publisher's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Devil's Cup.

Writers Read: Alys Clare.

My Book, The Movie: The Devil's Cup.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Ten YA books that tackle racism

Dhonielle Clayton is the co-author of the Tiny Pretty Things series and the forthcoming The Belles. A former teacher and middle school librarian, Clayton is co-founder of CAKE Literary—a creative development company whipping up decidedly diverse books for a wide array of readers—and COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books. At Paste magazine, she tagged ten top YA books that tackle racism, including:
Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

Under the backdrop of the 1937 New London school explosion, one of the worst disasters in American history, this book pushes two kids together across the most powerful line at the time: the color line. In East Texas, you don’t mix with people who aren’t your kind. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller understand this deeply. These kinds of things are reinforced and there are painful consequences for failing to understand—even death. But sometimes love pushes you to cross the boundaries of everything you’ve ever known despite the risk. This book unpacks the complicated history of the school explosion and challenges readers to dig into how the forces of love, community and segregation shape people.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Cora Harrison reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Cora Harrison, author of Beyond Absolution: A mystery set in 1920s Ireland.

Her entry begins:
Currently I am reading Hilary Mantel’s book on the French Revolution, A Place of Greater Safety. It’s not at all as well-known as her Wolf Hall and its sequel, but oddly I find myself enjoying it very much, more so, I think, than her more famous work. I was led to it by an article about Hilary Mantel that I read, in the Guardian, I think, which describes how this, her first novel, was written almost accidentally. She had intended to write a non-fiction book about the French Revolution, had done a tremendous amount of research, filing cabinets full of tantalizing snippets of information, and, no doubt, books, with post-it notes or cards stuck into relevant pages, lying around on tables and desk.

And then, suddenly, her non-fiction book turned into fiction. The three main characters of her research, Robespierre, Danton and Camille began to come alive for her; began to talk; had, in her mind’s eye, childhoods that modelled their future actions; had developed...[read on]
About Beyond Absolution, from the publisher:
Ireland. 1925. The body of the priest is found wedged in a confessional cubicle. Loved by all, Father Dominic had lent a listening ear to sinners of all kinds, but who inserted a deadly weapon into that listening ear? The Reverend Mother Aquinas can do nothing for Father Dominic, but find out who killed him, and why.
Visit Cora Harrison's website.

My Book, The Movie: Cross of Vengeance.

My Book, The Movie: Beyond Absolution.

Writers Read: Cora Harrison.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top dark romances for adventurous readers

At B&N Reads Amanda Diehl tagged five gritty and twisted dark romances for adventurous readers, including:
Asking for It, by Lilah Pace

Vivienne Charles has overcome a devastating moment of trauma and is now living a pretty average life as an graduate student. There’s just one problem: her sex life. She remains constantly unfulfilled save for the rape fantasies she hides from her previous partners. When she meets mysterious Jonah Marks at a party, she’s stunned to find that he’ll help her with her fantasies. In a no-strings-attached arrangement, Viv and Jonah begin an affair there’s no coming back from, until Jonah discovers the source of Viv’s desires. Bonus points for scenes where Viv visits her therapist in an effort to make sense of her conflicting history versus sexual needs.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Pg. 99: Katja Maria Vogt's "Desiring the Good"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Desiring the Good: Ancient Proposals and Contemporary Theory by Katja Maria Vogt.

About the book, from the publisher:
Desiring the Good defends a novel and distinctive approach in ethics that is inspired by ancient philosophy. Ethics, according to this approach, starts from one question and its most immediate answer: "what is the good for human beings?"—"a well-going human life." Ethics thus conceived is broader than moral philosophy. It includes a range of topics in psychology and metaphysics. Plato's Philebus is the ancestor of this approach. Its first premise, defended in Book I of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, is that the final agential good is the good human life. Though Aristotle introduces this premise while analyzing human activities, it is absent from approaches in the theory of action that self-identify as Aristotelian. This absence, Vogt argues, is a deep and far-reaching mistake, one that can be traced back to Elizabeth Anscombe's influential proposals. And yet, the book is Anscombian in spirit. It engages with ancient texts in order to contribute to philosophy today, and it takes questions about the human mind to be prior to, and relevant to, substantive normative matters. In this spirit, Desiring the Good puts forward a new version of the Guise of the Good, namely that desire to have one's life go well shapes and sustains mid- and small-scale motivations. A theory of good human lives, it is argued, must make room for a plurality of good lives. Along these lines, the book lays out a non-relativist version of Protagoras's Measure Doctrine and defends a new kind of realism about good human lives.
Visit Katja Maria Vogt's website.

The Page 99 Test: Desiring the Good.

--Marshal Zeringue

Nose in a book: Katy Perry


Who: Katy Perry

What: The Destruction of Hillary Clinton by Susan Bordo

When: May 2017

Where: Mexico

Photo credit: Katy Perry's Instagram account

Visit Susan Bordo's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Brad Abraham's "Magicians Impossible"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Magicians Impossible: A Novel by Brad Abraham.

About the book, from the publisher:
Twenty-something bartender Jason Bishop’s world is shattered when his estranged father commits suicide, but the greater shock comes when he learns his father was a secret agent in the employ of the Invisible Hand; an ancient society of spies wielding magic in a centuries-spanning war. Now the Golden Dawn—the shadowy cabal of witches and warlocks responsible for Daniel Bishop’s murder, and the death of Jason’s mother years before—have Jason in their sights. His survival will depend on mastering his own dormant magic abilities; provided he makes it through the training.

From New York, to Paris, to worlds between worlds, Jason's journey through the realm of magic will be fraught with peril. But with enemies and allies on both sides of this war, whom can he trust? The Invisible Hand, who’ve been more of a family than his own family ever was? The Golden Dawn, who may know the secrets behind his mysterious lineage? For Jason Bishop, only one thing is for certain; the magic he has slowly been mastering is telling him not to trust anybody.
Visit Brad Abraham's website.

The Page 69 Test: Magicians Impossible.

--Marshal Zeringue

Alastair Campbell's 6 best books

Alastair Campbell was born in Keighley, Yorkshire in 1957, the son of a vet. Having graduated from Cambridge University in modern languages, he went into journalism, principally with the Mirror Group. When Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party, Campbell worked for him first as press secretary, then as official spokesman and director of communications and strategy from 1994 to 2003. He continued to act as an advisor to Blair and the Labour Party, including during the 2005 and subsequent election campaigns. He is now engaged mainly in writing, public speaking and consultancy and is an ambassador for a number of mental health charities. His new book is Diaries Volume 6: From Blair to Brown, 2005 - 2007.

One of Campbell's six best books, as shared at the Daily Express:
MADAME BOVARY by Gustave Flaubert

The story of doctor’s wife Emma Bovary, her affairs and her attempts to escape a banal provincial life. It made me fall in love with the French language, a love that’s endured rather longer than hers did for her husband.
Read about another book on the list.

Madame Bovary is on Paul Theroux's six favorite books list, Peter Brooks's list of favorite Flaubert's works (at #1), Ed Sikov's list of eight great books that got slammed by critics, BBC.com Culture's list of the three of the worst mothers in literature, Alex Preston's top ten list of sex scenes from film, TV and literature, Rachel Holmes's top ten list of books on the struggle against gender-based inequality, Jill Boyd's list of six memorable marriage proposals in literature, Julia Sawalha's six best books list, Jennifer Gilmore's list of the ten worst mothers in books, Amy Sohn's list of six favorite books, Sue Townsend's 6 best books list, Helena Frith Powell's list of ten of the best sexy French books, the Christian Science Monitor's list of six novels about grand passions, John Mullan's lists of ten landmark coach rides in literature, ten of the best cathedrals in literature, ten of the best balls in literature, ten of the best bad lawyers in literature, ten of the best lotharios in literature, and ten of the best bad doctors in fiction, Valerie Martin's list of six novels about doomed marriages, and Louis Begley's list of favorite novels about cheating lovers. It tops Peter Carey's list of the top ten works of literature and was second on a top ten works of literature list selected by leading writers from Britain, America and Australia in 2007. It is one of John Bowe's six favorite books on love.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 22, 2017

Pg. 99: Mara Einstein's "Advertising: What Everyone Needs to Know"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Advertising: What Everyone Needs to Know by Mara Einstein.

About the book, from the publisher:
3000. That's the number of marketing messages the average American confronts on a daily basis from TV commercials, magazine and newspaper print ads, radio commercials, pop-up ads on gaming apps, pre-roll ads on YouTube videos, and native advertising on mobile news apps. These commercial messages are so pervasive that we cannot help but be affected by perpetual come-ons to keeping buying. Over the last decade, advertising has become more devious, more digital, and more deceptive, with an increasing number of ads designed to appear to the untrained eye to be editorial content. It's easy to see why. As we have become smarter at avoiding ads, advertisers have become smarter about disguising them.

Mara Einstein exposes how our shopping, political, and even dating preferences are unwittingly formed by brand images and the mythologies embedded in them. Advertising: What Everyone Needs to Know® helps us combat the effects of manipulative advertising and enables the reader to understand how marketing industries work in the digital age, particularly in their uses and abuses of "Big Data.' Most importantly, it awakens us to advertising's subtle and not-so-subtle impact on our lives--both as individuals and as a global society. What ideas and information are being communicated to us--and to what end?
Learn more about Advertising: What Everyone Needs to Know at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Compassion, Inc.

The Page 99 Test: Advertising: What Everyone Needs to Know.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Jacob Stone reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Jacob Stone, author of Crazed.

His entry begins:
I've been reading John Lutz's Quinn series out of order, and the last book I finished was the second book in this series, In for the Kill. Lutz has a breezy witty style, and he's a masterful crime thriller writer, and I'm reading these books both because they're a lot of fun, and also to study them. I think a lot of crime thriller writers could improve their craft studying Lutz....[read on]
About Crazed, from the publisher:
L.A. detective Morris Brick has seen the face of evil. He has witnessed the grisly handiwork of a deranged sadist known as SCK-the Skull Cracker Killer. But Brick isn't the only one watching. A crazed lunatic's interest in the case has turned into a deadly obsession. This sicko vows to outdo SCK and reach new heights of macabre mayhem. The mounting body count is a personal challenge to Brick. But as he lays his trap, he can hardly imagine the evil he is about to face...
Jacob Stone is the byline chosen by award-winning author Dave Zeltserman for his Morris Brick series of serial-killer thrillers. Visit Zeltserman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Deranged.

The Page 69 Test: Deranged.

My Book, The Movie: Crazed.

Writers Read: Jacob Stone.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ismée Williams's "Water in May," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Water in May by Ismée Amiel Williams.

The entry begins:
I’ve fantasized about Water in May becoming a movie since I started writing it! In fact, I pictured Reese Witherspoon as Helen, the woman Mari shares a hospital experience with, from the very beginning. She would do an amazing job playing the mother of a baby in distress. And I always hoped she would like the book since I once saw her say that if she couldn’t be an actor she would be a pediatric cardiologist (look up Reese Witherspoon, Vogue’s 73 questions video).

For Dr. Love, my vote would be Scott...[read on]
Visit Ismée Williams's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Ismée Amiel Williams & Rowan.

My Book, The Movie: Water in May.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six top memoirs by funny, awkward women

Sarah Skilton is the author of Bruised, a martial arts drama for young adults; and High and Dry, a hardboiled teen mystery. At the B&N Reads blog she tagged six funny, awkward memoirs by funny, awkward women, including:
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, by Issa Rae

After producing an award-winning web series, but prior to launching her successful HBO show Insecure (now in its second season), Rae published a collection of clever and entertaining essays about her inability to act, feel, or be cool. This inability bothered her, because society told her coolness is supposedly intrinsic to black people. As a guide for fellow Awks, she covers race and relationships, her introverted style, her parents’ divorce, and how to deflect unsolicited questions and opinions.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pg. 99: Anna Alexandrova's "A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being by Anna Alexandrova.

About the book, from the publisher:
Well-being, happiness and quality of life are now established objects of social and medical research. Does this science produce knowledge that is properly about well-being? What sort of well-being? The definition and measurement of these objects rest on assumptions that are partly normative, partly empirical and partly pragmatic, producing a great diversity of definitions depending on the project and the discipline. This book, written from the perspective of philosophy of science, formulates principles for the responsible production and interpretation of this diverse knowledge. Traditionally, philosophers' goal has been a single concept of well-being and a single theory about what it consists in. But for science this goal is both unlikely and unnecessary. Instead the promise and authority of the science depends on it focusing on the well-being of specific kinds of people in specific contexts. Skeptical arguments notwithstanding, this contextual well-being can be measured in a valid and credible way - but only if scientists broaden their methods to make room for normative considerations and address publicly and inclusively the value-based conflicts that inevitably arise when a measure of well-being is adopted. The science of well-being can be normative, empirical and objective all at once, provided that we line up values to science and science to values.
Learn more about A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: A Philosophy for the Science of Well-Being.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Alys Clare reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Alys Clare, author of The Devil's Cup: A Medieval mystery.

Her entry begins:
This question has come at an opportune moment, since I’ve just been enjoying a short break from writing and have caught up with a great deal of reading. One of my early mentors used to say that a writer needs to breathe in as well as breathe out, and ever since in the course of my 28 years as a professional writer, I’ve tried to have regular breathing-in breaks in my work schedule.

I’ve read quite a stack of recent best-sellers, as another good piece of advice for writers is to stay aware of what’s doing well. With the exception of Ruth Hogan’s charming and delightfully idiosyncratic The Keeper of Lost Things, however, I’ve been disappointed, since the rave reviews clearly saw something in the fast-paced and often shallow thrillers and psychological mysteries that clearly I was missing. With relief, then, I...[read on]
About The Devil's Cup, from the publisher:
1216. England has been invaded. The country is divided. Some support Prince Louis of France; others remain loyal to the king. King John summons Sir Josse d'Acquin to support him, but can Josse save the king from himself? Meanwhile, Meggie attends a sick patient, who tasks her with retrieving a cursed treasure...
Learn more about The Devil's Cup at the publisher's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Devil's Cup.

Writers Read: Alys Clare.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Cora Harrison's "Beyond Absolution"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Beyond Absolution: A mystery set in 1920s Ireland by Cora Harrison.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ireland. 1925. The body of the priest is found wedged in a confessional cubicle. Loved by all, Father Dominic had lent a listening ear to sinners of all kinds, but who inserted a deadly weapon into that listening ear? The Reverend Mother Aquinas can do nothing for Father Dominic, but find out who killed him, and why.
Visit Cora Harrison's website.

My Book, The Movie: Cross of Vengeance.

My Book, The Movie: Beyond Absolution.

The Page 69 Test: Beyond Absolution.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top books about consciousness

Adrian Owen is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at The Brain and Mind Institute, Western University, Canada, and author of Into the Grey Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death. One of his top ten books about consciousness, as shared at the Guardian:
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith

Written by a philosopher, yet borrowing heavily from evolutionary biology, this unique and fascinating book – which was shortlisted for this year’s Royal Society science book prize – asks us to rethink intelligence and how we conceptualise “other minds” – notably, that of the octopus. While the octopus evolved independently of humans, it has a similar number of neurons and exhibits highly intelligent patterns of behaviour that allow it to do things like opening screwtop jars from the inside. Yet unlike humans, more than half of an octopus’s neurons are in its arms, suggesting that in searching for intelligent life, we need look beyond those whose form resembles our own.
Read about another entry on the list.

Writers Read: Peter Godfrey-Smith (December 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Pg. 99: Alvaro Jarrín's "The Biopolitics of Beauty"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Biopolitics of Beauty: Cosmetic Citizenship and Affective Capital in Brazil by Alvaro Jarrín.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Biopolitics of Beauty examines how beauty became an aim of national health in Brazil. Using ethnographic fieldwork carried out in Brazilian hospitals, the author shows how plastic surgeons and patients navigate the public health system to transform beauty into a basic health right. The book historically traces the national concern with beauty to Brazilian eugenics, which established beauty as an index of the nation’s racial improvement. From here, Jarrín explains how plastic surgeons became the main proponents of a raciology of beauty, using it to gain the backing of the Brazilian state. Beauty can be understood as an immaterial form of value that Jarrín calls “affective capital,” which maps onto and intensifies the social hierarchies of Brazilian society. Patients experience beauty as central to national belonging and to gendered aspirations of upward mobility, and they become entangled in biopolitical rationalities that complicate their ability to consent to the risks of surgery. The Biopolitics of Beauty explores not only the biopolitical regime that made beauty a desirable national project, but also the subtle ways in which beauty is laden with affective value within everyday social practices—thus becoming the terrain upon which race, class, and gender hierarchies are reproduced and contested in Brazil.
Learn more about The Biopolitics of Beauty at the University of California Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Biopolitics of Beauty.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Scott Reintgen reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Scott Reintgen, author of Nyxia.

His entry begins:
I’m always reading several books at a time. Right now, I’m halfway through Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb. I’ll humble brag and say that I picked the series back up after sitting down for drinks with Robin and a handful of other authors at San Diego Comic Con. She is such a delight, and her writing always casts a spell over me. It’s such traditional fantasy, and follows a character in Fitz who...[read on]
About Nyxia, from the publisher:
Every life has a price in this sci-fi thriller that has the nonstop action of The Maze Runner and the high-stakes space setting of Illuminae. This is the first in a new three-book series called the Nyxia Triad that will take a group of broken teens to the far reaches of the universe and force them to decide what they’re willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune.

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.
Visit Scott Reintgen's website.

The Page 69 Test: Nyxia.

Writers Read: Scott Reintgen.

--Marshal Zeringue

Jacob Stone's "Crazed," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Crazed by Jacob Stone.

From the entry:
Morris Brick, my ex-LAPD homicide detective and serial killer hunter, is tough, smart, and relentless, and Jason Isaacs showed from the Showtime series Brotherhood showed that he could play all that brilliantly, plus he physically looks like my Morris.

Evangeline Lilly would be a good choice to play Natalie Brick, Morris’s beautiful and charming wife.

Sheila Proops, the wheelchair-bound serial killer who escaped prosecution from Deranged and is back in Crazed. Elizabeth...[read on]
Jacob Stone is the byline chosen by award-winning author Dave Zeltserman for his Morris Brick series of serial-killer thrillers. Visit Zeltserman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Deranged.

The Page 69 Test: Deranged.

My Book, The Movie: Crazed.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books about magic

Brad Abraham's new novel is Magicians Impossible.

One of his five top books about magic, as shared at Tor.com:
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Has urban fantasy ever been as groundbreaking (or influential) as Neil Gaiman’s modern classic Neverwhere? Its DNA is etched into everything from Harry Potter to Fables. What makes Neverwhere such a seminal work is its juxtaposition of gods and goddesses, ancient beasts, and hidden societies against the seemingly mundane travails of one Richard Mayhew, recently transplanted from Scotland to London, who stops and helps a bleeding and distressed young woman on a dark street. This act of kindness plunges Richard into the magical realm of London Below, and into the middle of a battle between angels and devils, with the fate existence hanging in the balance. Gaiman took the themes of his groundbreaking Sandman comic book series and expanded on them here first, and kick started a genre in the process.
Read about another entry on the list.

Neverwhere is among Nicole Hill's eight fantastical destinations she'd like to visit and Monique Alice's top seven books for readers who love Haruki Murakami.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pg. 69: Alys Clare's "The Devil's Cup"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Devil's Cup: A Medieval mystery by Alys Clare.

About the book, from the publisher:
1216. England has been invaded. The country is divided. Some support Prince Louis of France; others remain loyal to the king. King John summons Sir Josse d'Acquin to support him, but can Josse save the king from himself? Meanwhile, Meggie attends a sick patient, who tasks her with retrieving a cursed treasure...
Learn more about The Devil's Cup at the publisher's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Devil's Cup.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Gideon Reuveni's "Consumer Culture and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Consumer Culture and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity by Gideon Reuveni.

About the book, from the publisher:
Antisemitic stereotypes of Jews as capitalists have hindered research into the economic dimension of the Jewish past. The figure of the Jew as trader and financier dominated the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But the economy has been central to Jewish life and the Jewish image in the world; Jews not only made money but spent money. This book is the first to investigate the intersection between consumption, identity, and Jewish history in Europe. It aims to examine the role and place of consumption within Jewish society and the ways consumerism generated and reinforced Jewish notions of belonging from the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the new millennium. It shows how the advances of modernization and secularization in the modern period increased the importance of consumption in Jewish life, making it a significant factor in the process of redefining Jewish identity.
Gideon Reuveni is Reader in History and Director of the Centre for German-Jewish studies at the University of Sussex. His central research and teaching interest is the cultural and social history of modern European and Jewish history.

Learn more about Consumer Culture and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity at the Cambridge University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Consumer Culture and the Making of Modern Jewish Identity.

--Marshal Zeringue

Fifty novels that changed how later novels were conceived

At B&N Reads Jeff Somers tagged fifty novels that changed novels, including:
The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler

How It Changed Novels: Chandler’s novel is one of the first noir detective stories to hit the big time, and in many ways remains the source for many of the noir tropes still in use today. Its famously complicated plot (which Chandler himself admitted had huge holes) mapped out what a noir story should contain, and just about every noir work that follows adheres to that basic outline.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Big Sleep also appears on a list of four books that changed David Free, Jeff Somers's list of five famous books that contain huge mistakes, John Sweeney's top ten list of books on corruption, the Telegraph's top 23 list of amazing--and short--classic books, Lucy Worsley's ten best list of fictional detectives, Becky Ferreira's list of seven of the best books set in Los Angeles, Ian Rankin's list of five perfect mysteries, Kathryn Williams's reading list on greed, Gigi Levangie Grazer's list of six favorite books that became movies, Megan Wasson's list of five top books on Los Angeles, Greil Marcus's six recommended books list, Barry Forshaw's critic's chart of six American noir masters, David Nicholls' list of favorite film adaptations, and the Guardian's list of ten of the best smokes in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Lisa Berne reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Lisa Berne, author of The Laird Takes a Bride.

Her entry begins:
I’m slowly making my way through Jane Austen’s Letters, a great thick volume which is so interesting — so funny — so revelatory — and also such an important contrapuntal to her fiction, that I’m in no rush to finish it. I’ve long felt that a true understanding of Austen’s work depends on having at least a passing familiarity with her life and times, and her letters provide tremendous illumination — particularly so as she left behind no diary or journal and remains, essentially, a....[read on]
About The Laird Takes a Bride, from the publisher:
Alasdair Penhallow, laird of his clan and master of Castle Tadgh, is forced to end his carefree bachelorhood, thanks to an ancient decree that requires him to marry. But Alasdair’s search for a biddable wife comes to a screeching halt when Fate serves up Fiona Douglass. Prickly as a thistle, Fiona challenges him at every turn, rendering herself surprisingly irresistible. Her love would be a prize indeed ... if Alasdair could accept it.

Fiona gave her heart once, and doesn’t plan to repeat that folly. Yet she finds herself drawn to Alasdair’s intelligence and strength, and the passion he incites goes well beyond her expectations for what’s only a marriage of expedience. Despite herself, she’s falling in love with her husband.

But there’s a high wall between them—and Fiona’s not sure it can ever be torn down.
Visit Lisa Berne's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Laird Takes a Bride.

The Page 69 Test: The Laird Takes a Bride.

Writers Read: Lisa Berne.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 18, 2017

Christopher Kimball's six favorite books about food

Christopher Kimball is the author of Christopher Kimball's Milk Street: The New Home Cooking. One of his six favorite books about food, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace

Wallace's doubts about the authenticity of a $156,000 bottle of Bordeaux — purportedly once owned by Thomas Jefferson — led him into the dark side of the wine world. This book reads like a lucid, well-paced murder mystery, but it also conveys the complexity of a business that is only loosely regulated. It's good fun.
Read about another book on the list.

The Page 99 Test: The Billionaire’s Vinegar.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Scott Reintgen's "Nyxia"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Nyxia by Scott Reintgen.

About the book, from the publisher:
Every life has a price in this sci-fi thriller that has the nonstop action of The Maze Runner and the high-stakes space setting of Illuminae. This is the first in a new three-book series called the Nyxia Triad that will take a group of broken teens to the far reaches of the universe and force them to decide what they’re willing to risk for a lifetime of fortune.

Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.
Visit Scott Reintgen's website.

The Page 69 Test: Nyxia.

--Marshal Zeringue

Cora Harrison's "Beyond Absolution," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Beyond Absolution: A mystery set in 1920s Ireland by Cora Harrison.

The entry begins:
I had no hesitation here. I have immediately chosen Angela Lansbury to star in the movie of my book.

The main character in Beyond Absolution is an elderly Reverend Mother, superior of an order of nuns whose main task is to provide an education for the children of the poor. Cork city in the south of Ireland was, at that time, a place where terrible poverty and dreadful slums co-existed with wealth and splendid houses, built by the merchant princes on the hills well outside the filth and fog that envelope the city and its slums.

The Reverend Mother is by birth and upbringing one of the merchant princes’ class, but...[read on]
Visit Cora Harrison's website.

My Book, The Movie: Cross of Vengeance.

My Book, The Movie: Beyond Absolution.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Randy M. Browne's "Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean by Randy M. Browne.

About the book, from the publisher:
Atlantic slave societies were notorious deathtraps. In Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean, Randy M. Browne looks past the familiar numbers of life and death and into a human drama in which enslaved Africans and their descendants struggled to survive against their enslavers, their environment, and sometimes one another. Grounded in the nineteenth-century British colony of Berbice, one of the Atlantic world's best-documented slave societies and the last frontier of slavery in the British Caribbean, Browne argues that the central problem for most enslaved people was not how to resist or escape slavery but simply how to stay alive.

Guided by the voices of hundreds of enslaved people preserved in an extraordinary set of legal records, Browne reveals a world of Caribbean slavery that is both brutal and breathtakingly intimate. Field laborers invoked abolitionist-inspired legal reforms to protest brutal floggings, spiritual healers conducted secretive nighttime rituals, anxious drivers weighed the competing pressures of managers and the condition of their fellow slaves in the fields, and women fought back against abusive masters and husbands. Browne shows that at the core of enslaved people's complicated relationships with their enslavers and one another was the struggle to live in a world of death.

Provocative and unflinching, Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean reorients the study of Atlantic slavery by revealing how differently enslaved people's social relationships, cultural practices, and political strategies appear when seen in the light of their unrelenting struggle to survive.
Visit Randy M. Browne's website.

The Page 99 Test: Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 17, 2017

What is Robin Merrow MacCready reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Robin Merrow MacCready, author of A Lie For A Lie.

Her entry begins:
My reading list is a combination of books for kids and whatever my current writing project requires. At school I’m reading Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos. This book is set in the sixties and is partially based on the author’s life, though obviously (and hysterically) exaggerated. There’s nobody who does cringeworthy growing pains better than Gantos. It’s a great read aloud and has...[read on]
About A Lie For A Lie, from the publisher:
People say that when you have a life-altering experience, your brain takes a picture, and that snapshot stays forever in your memory to retrieve again. And again, and again.

Kendra Sullivan loves taking pictures. But when a photograph reveals something unexpected, she sets out to investigate the situation. Before long, Kendra is torn between destroying her family as she's known it and keeping a very dark secret that might ultimately destroy her. This emotionally charged young adult mystery pushes the boundaries between truth and deception and explores the consequences of uncovering life-changing information.
Visit Robin Merrow MacCready's website.

My Book, The Movie: A Lie for a Lie.

The Page 69 Test: A Lie For A Lie.

Writers Read: Robin Merrow MacCready.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Ismée Amiel Williams & Rowan

Featured at Coffee with a Canine: Ismée Amiel Williams & Rowan.

The author, on how Rowan got his name:
There are five of us in the family. And we are all rather stubborn and opinionated. We must have gone through a hundred names. Finally, we settled on Rowan. It was my suggestion, based on the character from Sarah J. Maas’s amazing Throne of Glass series. I thought we would end up with an honorable, brave, stoic dog. My eldest daughter just this summer tore through the Throne of Glass series and announced that our pup Rowan could not be more different than Sarah J. Maas’s Rowan! Oh well. But there’s more to the story. My husband wants to point out that Rowan was the one name he didn't like. He was out of town when the final decisions were made. My 6-year announced the verdict to him over the phone and...[read on]
About Wlliams's new novel, Water in May, from the publisher:
Fifteen-year-old Mari Pujols believes that the baby she’s carrying will finally mean she’ll have a family member who will love her deeply and won’t ever leave her—not like her mama, who took off when she was eight; or her papi, who’s in jail; or her abuela, who wants as little to do with her as possible. But when doctors discover a potentially fatal heart defect in the fetus, Mari faces choices she never could have imagined.

Surrounded by her loyal girl crew, her off-and-on boyfriend, and a dedicated doctor, Mari navigates a decision that could emotionally cripple the bravest of women. But both Mari and the broken-hearted baby inside her are fighters; and it doesn’t take long to discover that this sick baby has the strength to heal an entire family.

Inspired by true events, this gorgeous debut has been called “heartfelt, heartbreaking and—yes!—even a little heart-healing, too” by bestselling YA novelist Carolyn Mackler.
Visit Ismée Williams's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Ismée Amiel Williams & Rowan.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Wayne Sumner's "Physician-Assisted Death"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Physician-Assisted Death: What Everyone Needs to Know by Wayne Sumner.

About the book, from the publisher:
The issue of physician-assisted death is now firmly on the American public agenda. Already legal in five states, it is the subject of intense public opinion battles across the country. Driven by an increasingly aging population, and a baby boom generation just starting to enter its senior years, the issue is not going to go away anytime soon. In Physician-Assisted Death, L.W. Sumner equips readers with everything they need to know to take a reasoned and informed position in this important debate.

The book provides needed context for the debate by situating physician-assisted death within the wider framework of end-of-life care and explaining why the movement to legalize it now enjoys such strong public support. It also reviews that movement's successes to date, beginning in Oregon in 1994 and now extending to eleven jurisdictions across three continents.

Like abortion, physician-assisted death is ethically controversial and the subject of passionately held opinions. The central chapters of the book review the main arguments utilized by both sides of the controversy: on the one hand, appeals to patient autonomy and the relief of suffering, on the other the claim that taking active steps to hasten death inevitably violates the sanctity of life.

The book then explores both the case in favor of legalization and the case against, focusing in the latter instance on the risk of abuse and the possibility of slippery slopes. In this context the experience of jurisdictions that have already taken the step of legalization is carefully reviewed to see what lessons might be extracted from it. It then identifies some further issues that lie beyond the boundaries of the current debate but will have to be faced sometime down the road: euthanasia for patients who are permanently unconscious or have become seriously demented and for severely compromised newborns.

The book concludes by considering the various possible routes to legalization, both political and judicial. Readers will then be prepared to decide for themselves just where they stand when they confront the issue both in their own jurisdiction and in their own lives.
Learn more about Physician-Assisted Death at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Physician-Assisted Death.

--Marshal Zeringue

Eight top contemporary YAs set amid high-stakes competition

At the BN Teen Blog Dahlia Adler tagged eight "contemporary YAs [that] lay it all on the line with intense competitions, life-changing prizes, and vicious rivalries," including:
Rites of Passage, by Joy Hensley

Military school is tough enough, but joining up in its first class to include females? Sam McKenna may not quite have grasped what she was signing on for when she enrolled on a dare from her now-deceased brother, but she’s certainly ready to rise to the task. As Sam toughs it out through grueling training, classmates faltering, and all the abuse the other cadets and staff can dish out, there’s no ignoring that all her endeavors may be pointless if she’s been set up to fail. What do you do when the one person you trust is the last person you should? This authoritatively written debut has its high stakes and pacing nailed down beautifully, and while Sam and her journey and strength are absolutely the heart of the novel, I’d be remiss not to mention that it’s got one of my favorite slow-burn romances, too.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 16, 2017

What is Jamie Ford reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Jamie Ford, author of Love and Other Consolation Prizes.

His entry begins:
I just finished The Burning Women of Far Cry by Rick DeMarinis.

Darkly comic and masterfully written, this is one of those books that defies categorization. Like a richer, funnier, more textured version of Confederacy of Dunces, with a bit of Thomas McGuane and Tom Robbins thrown into the mix. It’s your classic, coming-of-age tale, like the journey of...[read on]
About Love and Other Consolation Prizes, from the publisher:
For twelve-year-old Ernest Young, a charity student at a boarding school, the chance to go to the World’s Fair feels like a gift. But only once he’s there, amid the exotic exhibits, fireworks, and Ferris wheels, does he discover that he is the one who is actually the prize. The half-Chinese orphan is astounded to learn he will be raffled off—a healthy boy “to a good home.”

The winning ticket belongs to the flamboyant madam of a high-class brothel, famous for educating her girls. There, Ernest becomes the new houseboy and befriends Maisie, the madam’s precocious daughter, and a bold scullery maid named Fahn. Their friendship and affection form the first real family Ernest has ever known—and against all odds, this new sporting life gives him the sense of home he’s always desired.

But as the grande dame succumbs to an occupational hazard and their world of finery begins to crumble, all three must grapple with hope, ambition, and first love.

Fifty years later, in the shadow of Seattle’s second World’s Fair, Ernest struggles to help his ailing wife reconcile who she once was with who she wanted to be, while trying to keep family secrets hidden from their grown-up daughters.

Against a rich backdrop of post-Victorian vice, suffrage, and celebration, Love and Other Consolations is an enchanting tale about innocence and devotion—in a world where everything, and everyone, is for sale.
Visit Jamie Ford's website.

Writers Read: Jamie Ford.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Lisa Berne's "The Laird Takes a Bride"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Laird Takes a Bride (The Penhallow Dynasty, volume 2) by Lisa Berne.

About the book, from the publisher:
Alasdair Penhallow, laird of his clan and master of Castle Tadgh, is forced to end his carefree bachelorhood, thanks to an ancient decree that requires him to marry. But Alasdair’s search for a biddable wife comes to a screeching halt when Fate serves up Fiona Douglass. Prickly as a thistle, Fiona challenges him at every turn, rendering herself surprisingly irresistible. Her love would be a prize indeed ... if Alasdair could accept it.

Fiona gave her heart once, and doesn’t plan to repeat that folly. Yet she finds herself drawn to Alasdair’s intelligence and strength, and the passion he incites goes well beyond her expectations for what’s only a marriage of expedience. Despite herself, she’s falling in love with her husband.

But there’s a high wall between them—and Fiona’s not sure it can ever be torn down.
Visit Lisa Berne's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Laird Takes a Bride.

The Page 69 Test: The Laird Takes a Bride.

--Marshal Zeringue