Monday, July 24, 2017

What is Gary Corby reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Gary Corby, author of Death on Delos.

His entry begins:
The Road To Gandolfo, by Michael Shepherd, who was in fact Robert Ludlum. This is the most un-Ludlum-like book that he ever wrote. It is in fact a comedy, almost a farce, about a crazy plot to kidnap the Pope!

As you can probably tell, I'm as likely to read books that are...[read on]
About Death on Delos, from the publisher:
In the seventh in Gary Corby’s Athenian Mystery series, Nico and Diotima must solve a murder case while also preparing to have a baby. Set on the sacred island of Delos in 5th century BC, Death on Delos is full of humor and historical intrigue.

Greece, 454 BC: The sacred isle of Delos, the birthplace of the divine twins Apollo and Artemis, has been a most holy pilgrimage site for centuries. Delos is also home to the military fund kept by the Delian League, the alliance of city-states that defended Greece against the Persians, and that vast treasury is protected only by the priests and priestesses of the tiny isle and a scant armed guard.

Then one day the charismatic Athenian statesman Pericles arrives at the head of a small army to forcibly take the treasury back to the safety of Athens. With him are Nico, the only private agent in ancient Athens, and his heavily pregnant wife and partner in sleuthing, the priestess Diotima. She has been selected to give this year’s annual offering to holy Artemis.

In the face of righteous resistance from the priests, Pericles assigns Nico to bribe their leader. But before he can get very far with this dubiously unholy task, Nico ends up with a murder on his hands.

It is a crime against the gods to die or be born on the sacred island. Thanks to the violence over the treasury, the first blasphemy has already been committed. Can Nico solve the murder and get Diotima off the island before they accidentally commit the second?
Visit Gary Corby's website.

Five books that changed Gary Corby.

The Page 69 Test: The Pericles Commission.

My Book, The Movie: The Pericles Commission.

My Book, The Movie: The Ionia Sanction.

The Page 69 Test: The Ionia Sanction.

The Page 69 Test: Sacred Games.

My Book, The Movie: Sacred Games.

The Page 69 Test: The Marathon Conspiracy.

My Book, The Movie: The Marathon Conspiracy.

My Book, The Movie: Death Ex Machina.

The Page 69 Test: Death Ex Machina.

My Book, The Movie: The Singer from Memphis.

The Page 69 Test: The Singer from Memphis.

My Book, The Movie: Death on Delos.

The Page 69 Test: Death on Delos.

Writers Read: Gary Corby.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Six top books about losing treasured stuffed animals

At the BN Kids Blog Erin Jones tagged six of the best books about losing treasured stuffed animals, including:
Olivia ... and the Missing Toy, by Ian Falconer

Our favorite precocious three-year-old pig, Olivia, has lost her favorite toy. The green and red rag doll goes missing, after Olivia insists it was last seen on her bed. A pighunt ensues and couches are lifted, cushions are moved, and a relentless piglet even looks under the family cat. Finally, on a dark and stormy night, Olivia hears a noise and sees a scary shadow. It turns out the family dog found the doll and has chewed it to bits. Rather than getting upset, Olivia mends her doll and adores it with all the imperfections. Your little detective will love following along with Olivia and searching for clever clues within the illustrations.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Beth McMullen's "Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen.

The entry begins:
This is a tough one! I’m finding out how few actresses under the age of fifteen I can actually identify.

For Abby Hunter, maybe Siena Agudong, who is…[read on]
Visit Beth McMullen's website.

The Page 69 Test: Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

My Book, The Movie: Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Jo Perry's "Dead Is Good"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Dead Is Good by Jo Perry.

About the book, from the publisher:
A woman opens fire on the North Hollywood Police Precinct and is almost immediately shot dead by the L.A.P.D.

Another woman throws herself off the edge of Santa Monica Pier.

One is suicide, one is art…

Welcome to the world of Charlie & Rose, everyone’s favourite ghost detectives.

Summoned once again from the afterlife, and cursed by death to only ever be on-lookers into the lives of the living, Charlie and his dog companion Rose do their best to protect the only woman Charlie has ever loved.

Life, it seems, is much more complicated than death, and very quickly Charlie & Rose find themselves attempting to untangle a complicated and deadly web of suicide, art, drug gangs and the illegal sweat-shops of downtown Los Angeles.
Visit Jo Perry's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Jo Perry & Lola and Lucy.

My Book, The Movie: Dead is Better.

The Page 69 Test: Dead is Better.

My Book, The Movie: Dead is Best.

The Page 69 Test: Dead is Best.

My Book, The Movie: Dead Is Good.

The Page 69 Test: Dead Is Good.

--Marshal Zeringue

Seven classic books about cycling

Bella Bathurst is a writer and photojournalist. Her books include The Lighthouse Stevensons, which won the 1999 Somerset Maugham Award, The Wreckers, which became a BBC Timewatch documentary, and The Bicycle Book, which was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2011.

For the Guardian she tagged seven of the best books about cycling, including:
Lance Armstrong: It’s Not About the Bike

Controversial. But in truth there can be very few keen cyclists who didn’t have a copy of this on their bookshelves at one time, and who since Armstrong’s Miltonian fall from grace have not hurled it with great force towards the nearest charity shop. Reading it now, knowing that every motivational phrase, every ultra-alpha anecdote, every straight-up clear-eyed statement is untrue, is like reading a reversed image of the original text. If nothing else, it functions as a perfect psychological template of the lengths to which fear can push us.
Read about another book on the list.

It’s Not About the Bike is one of Matt Seaton's top ten books about cycling.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 22, 2017

What is Claire Booth reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Claire Booth, author of Another Man's Ground.

Her entry begins:
Right now, I’m reading Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America, by Jill Leovy. Frankly, I’m embarrassed that I missed this when it first came out in 2015. It is an absolutely phenomenal piece of reporting. Leovy spent years covering South Central LA, and she turns her reporting into a tour de force indictment of how the system fails communities like South Central. She argues that...[read on]
About Another Man's Ground, from the publisher:
It starts out as an interesting little theft case. Branson, Missouri’s new Sheriff Hank Worth is called out to look at stands of trees that have been stripped of their bark, which the property owner had planned to harvest for the booming herbal supplement market. At first, Hank easily balances the demands of the investigation with his fledging political career. He was appointed several months earlier to the vacant sheriff position, but he needs to win the fast-approaching election in order to keep his job. He thinks the campaign will go well, as long as he’s able to keep secret the fact that a group of undocumented immigrants – hired to cut down the stripped trees – have fled into the forest and he’s deliberately not looking for them.

But then the discovery of a murder victim deep in the Ozark backwoods sets him in the middle of a generations-old feud that explodes into danger not only for him, but also for the immigrants, his deputies, and his family. He must rush to find a murderer before election day, and protect the vulnerable in Branson County, where politicking is hell and trespassing can get you killed.

In Another Man's Ground, her next novel featuring Sheriff Hank Worth, acclaimed author Claire Booth delivers a taut, witty mystery that will grip readers from the opening pages to the breathless conclusion.
Visit Claire Booth's website.

My Book, The Movie: Another Man's Ground.

The Page 69 Test: Another Man's Ground.

Writers Read: Claire Booth.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six crucial YA city stories

Darren Croucher writes YA novels with a partner, under the name A.D. Croucher. At the BN Teen blog he tagged six YA novels "that make particularly evocative use of their rich—and very real—urban settings," including:
Shadowshaper, by Daniel José Older

A long, hot summer in Brooklyn is where this tale of shadowshapers—people who can infuse their art with demon-fighting magic—is deeply and richly set. With Puerto Rican teenager Sierra Santiago as its compelling lead character, the novel dives deep into the rich histories of the borough and the people who live there. By filling this visceral version of Brooklyn with a rippling mirage of otherworldliness, the author gives us a truly magical take on a very real place. A wonderfully detailed urban fantasy that overflows with danger and wonder.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Leigh Fought's "Women in the World of Frederick Douglass"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Women in the World of Frederick Douglass by Leigh Fought.

About the book, from the publisher:
In his extensive writings, Frederick Douglass revealed little about his private life. His famous autobiographies present him overcoming unimaginable trials to gain his freedom and establish his identity-all in service to his public role as an abolitionist. But in both the public and domestic spheres, Douglass relied on a complicated array of relationships with women: white and black, slave-mistresses and family, political collaborators and intellectual companions, wives and daughters. And the great man needed them throughout a turbulent life that was never so linear and self-made as he often wished to portray it.

In Women in the World of Frederick Douglass, Leigh Fought illuminates the life of the famed abolitionist off the public stage. She begins with the women he knew during his life as a slave: his mother, from whom he was separated; his grandmother, who raised him; his slave mistresses, including the one who taught him how to read; and his first wife, Anna Murray, a free woman who helped him escape to freedom and managed the household that allowed him to build his career. Fought examines Douglass's varied relationships with white women-including Maria Weston Chapman, Julia Griffiths, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Ottilie Assing--who were crucial to the success of his newspapers, were active in the antislavery and women's movements, and promoted his work nationally and internationally. She also considers Douglass's relationship with his daughter Rosetta, who symbolized her parents' middle class prominence but was caught navigating between their public and private worlds. Late in life, Douglass remarried to a white woman, Helen Pitts, who preserved his papers, home, and legacy for history.

By examining the circle of women around Frederick Douglass, this work brings these figures into sharper focus and reveals a fuller and more complex image of the self-proclaimed "woman's rights man."
Learn more about Women in the World of Frederick Douglass at the Oxford University Press website.

My Book, The Movie: Women in the World of Frederick Douglass.

The Page 99 Test: Women in the World of Frederick Douglass.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Beth McMullen's "Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen.

About the book, from the publisher:
A girl discovers her boarding school is actually an elite spy-training program, and she must learn the skills of the trade in order to find her mother in this action-packed middle grade debut.

After a botched escape plan from her boarding school, Abigail is stunned to discover the school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring called The Center, along with being training grounds for future spies. Even more shocking? Abigail’s mother is a top agent for The Center and she has gone MIA, with valuable information that many people would like to have—at any cost. Along with a former nemesis and charming boy from her grade, Abigail goes through a crash course in Spy Training 101, often with hilarious—and sometimes painful—results. But Abigail realizes she might be a better spy-in-training than she thought—and the answers to her mother’s whereabouts are a lot closer than she thinks…A girl discovers her boarding school is actually an elite spy-training program, and she must learn the skills of the trade in order to find her mother in this action-packed middle grade debut. After a botched escape plan from her boarding school, Abigail is stunned to discover the school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring called The Center, along with being training grounds for future spies. Even more shocking? Abigail’s mother is a top agent for The Center and she has gone MIA, with valuable information that many people would like to have—at any cost. Along with a former nemesis and charming boy from her grade, Abigail goes through a crash course in Spy Training 101, often with hilarious—and sometimes painful—results. But Abigail realizes she might be a better spy-in-training than she thought—and the answers to her mother’s whereabouts are a lot closer than she thinks…
Visit Beth McMullen's website.

The Page 69 Test: Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 21, 2017

Five top SFF books written collaboratively

Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison are partners in life as well as in writing. The Ghost Line is their first fiction collaboration. One of their five best SFF books written collaboratively, as shared at Tor.com:
The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

Set a thousand years in the future, in a culture still recovering from the civil war that caused the fall of the first human empire, this novel is a classic of first contact and the first collaboration of many between Niven and Pournelle. After a slower-than-light alien spaceship arrives in a nearby system, a human expedition is scrambled to visit a red supergiant star called Murcheson’s Eye and investigate the spaceship’s origin. Unlike many aliens-meet-humans books, here first contact comes on human terms, and it’s wildly original. The aliens are complicated, secretive, and intriguingly other, and the book is a thoughtful page-turner.

After this success, Niven and Pournelle went on to write other classics together such as Lucifer’s Hammer, Inferno and Footfall (still one of the best and most realistic alien invasion novels out there). They’ve also both had fruitful collaborations with numerous other SF authors, including David Gerrold, Steven Barnes, Dean Ing, Poul Anderson, and Gregory Benford.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Deborah E. Kennedy reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Deborah E. Kennedy, author of Tornado Weather: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
A Very Private Eye: An Autobiography in Diaries and Letters, by Barbara Pym. Edited by Hazel Holt and Hilary Pym

I am always reading this book. I am never not reading it. A mash-up of letters, diary entries, and back-of-receipt jottings from the irreplaceable, inimitable Barbara Pym, it's the book equivalent of the perfect English breakfast – nourishing, funny, perfectly balanced. And there's always something new to discover and laugh about and sigh over. Critics often refer to Pym as the second-coming of Jane Austen, but...[read on]
About Tornado Weather, from the publisher:
Five-year-old Daisy Gonzalez’s father is always waiting for her at the bus stop. But today, he isn’t, and Daisy disappears.

When Daisy goes missing, nearly everyone in town suspects or knows something different about what happened. And they also know a lot about each other. The immigrants who work in the dairy farm know their employers’ secrets. The hairdresser knows everything except what’s happening in her own backyard. And the roadkill collector knows love and heartbreak more than anyone would ever expect. They are all connected, in ways small and profound, open and secret.

By turns unsettling, dark, and wry, Kennedy’s powerful voice brings the town’s rich fabric to life. Tornado Weather is an affecting portrait of a complex and flawed cast of characters striving to find fulfillment in their lives – and Kennedy brilliantly shows that there is nothing average about an average life.
Follow Deborah E. Kennedy on Facebook and Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: Tornado Weather.

The Page 69 Test: Tornado Weather.

Writers Read: Deborah E. Kennedy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Jo Perry's "Dead Is Good," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Dead Is Good by Jo Perry.

The entry begins:
I still think Jonah Hill would make a fine Charles Stone, my chunky, rueful, murdered protagonist, even though Hill is now extremely slim. Zach Galifianakis could step in as Charlie, too--he's good at playing self-deprecating, smart, and messed up men. And Charles is messed up in Dead Is Good, as he returns to to the living world help the one woman he truly loved in life, and whom still loves in death, Grace Morgan. Grace is a prickly, brave and complicated person––a performance artist who breaks barriers, who likes to shock, and who can be haughty and remote. I would love to see...[read on]
Visit Jo Perry's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Jo Perry & Lola and Lucy.

My Book, The Movie: Dead is Better.

The Page 69 Test: Dead is Better.

My Book, The Movie: Dead is Best.

The Page 69 Test: Dead is Best.

My Book, The Movie: Dead Is Good.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six fictional robots too smart for their own good

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog Nicole Hill tagged six robots too smart for their own good, including:
Raymond Electromatic (Killing Is My Business, by Adam Christopher)

It’s a lonely business, being the world’s last robot. Or at least it would be if Raymond Electromatic could feel emotions, or hold a memory inside his memory banks for longer than 24 hours. As it is, this hard-boiled private eye just gets on with his business, which, these days, happens to be as a hirable hitman. It’s a nasty line of work, but one Ray’s uniquely suited for, alongside his supercomputer Ada. In this second book of Christopher’s series, we learn Ray may be a little too good at his job, even if his memory resets every day.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Made to Kill (Ray Electromatic Mysteries, Volume 1).

My Book, The Movie: Made to Kill.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Pg. 69: Janelle Brown's "Watch Me Disappear"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:
The disappearance of a beautiful, charismatic mother leaves her family to piece together her secrets in this propulsive novel for fans of Big Little Lies—from the bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

Who you want people to be makes you blind to who they really are.

It’s been a year since Billie Flanagan—a Berkeley mom with an enviable life—went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. Her body was never found, just a shattered cellphone and a solitary hiking boot. Her husband and teenage daughter have been coping with Billie’s death the best they can: Jonathan drinks as he works on a loving memoir about his marriage; Olive grows remote, from both her father and her friends at the all-girls school she attends.

But then Olive starts having strange visions of her mother, still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive’s emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie’s past that bring into question everything he thought he understood about his wife. Who was the woman he knew as Billie Flanagan?

Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth—about Billie, but also about themselves, learning, in the process, about all the ways that love can distort what we choose to see. Janelle Brown’s insights into the dynamics of intimate relationships will make you question the stories you tell yourself about the people you love, while her nervy storytelling will keep you guessing until the very last page.
Learn more about the book and author at Janelle Brown's website.

The Page 69 Test: All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

The Page 69 Test: Watch Me Disappear.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Nancy Kress reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Nancy Kress, author of Tomorrow's Kin: Book 1 of the Yesterday's Kin Trilogy.

Her entry begins:
The last three books I’ve read have differed wildly from each other. A few weeks ago I finished Charlie Jane Anders’s Nebula-winning novel, All The Birds In The Sky. Although I’m not usually a fan of science-and-magic-alltogether-O, this book worked for three reasons: First, it is a romp, with the science not meant to be taken seriously. Second, the writing is so good. Anders has a genuine gift for metaphor. Third, the characters are affecting; I was rooting for them to win out, which...[read on]
About Tomorrow's Kin, from the publisher:
Tomorrow's Kin is the first volume in and all new hard science fiction trilogy by Nancy Kress based on the Nebula Award-winning Yesterday's Kin.

The aliens have arrived... they've landed their Embassy ship on a platform in New York Harbor, and will only speak with the United Nations. They say that their world is so different from Earth, in terms of gravity and atmosphere, that they cannot leave their ship. The population of Earth has erupted in fear and speculation.

One day Dr. Marianne Jenner, an obscure scientist working with the human genome, receives an invitation that she cannot refuse. The Secret Service arrives at her college to escort her to New York, for she has been invited, along with the Secretary General of the UN and a few other ambassadors, to visit the alien Embassy.

The truth is about to be revealed. Earth’s most elite scientists have ten months to prevent a disaster—and not everyone is willing to wait.
Follow Nancy Kress on Twitter and Facebook.

The Page 69 Test: Dogs.

The Page 69 Test: After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall.

The Page 69 Test: Tomorrow's Kin.

Writers Read: Nancy Kress.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top opening scenes in books

Catherine Lacey's most recent novel is The Answers.

One of her top ten opening scenes in books, as shared at The Guardian:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

“You don’t know about me, without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain’t no matter. That book was made by Mr Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things he stretched, but mainly he told the truth. That is nothing.”

It’s all about the voice and playfulness and warmth here. It’s another example of how Twain could transfer the sound of a story well-told to the page, giving it nuance and depth without losing any colloquial heat.
Read about another entry on the list.

Huckleberry Finn is among Saci Lloyd's ten top political books for teenagers, Dan Ariely's six top books about, or by, liars, Josh Lacey's top ten pseudonymous books, Katie Couric's favorite books, James Gray's six best books, and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best literary men dressed as women, ten of the best vendettas in literature and ten of the best child narrators in literature. It is one of Stephen King's top ten works of literature. Director Spike Jonze and the Where the Wild Things Are film team tagged Huckleberry Finn on their list of the top 10 rascals in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Sabine Frühstück's "Playing War"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Playing War: Children and the Paradoxes of Modern Militarism in Japan by Sabine Frühstück.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Playing War, Sabine Frühstück makes a bold proposition: that for over a century throughout Japan and beyond, children and concepts of childhood have been appropriated as tools for decidedly unchildlike purposes: to validate, moralize, humanize, and naturalize war, and to sentimentalize peace. She argues that modern conceptions of war insist on and exploit a specific and static notion of the child: that the child, though the embodiment of vulnerability and innocence, nonetheless possesses an inherent will to war, and that this seemingly contradictory creature demonstrates what it means to be human. In examining the intersection of children/childhood with war/military, Frühstück identifies the insidious factors perpetuating this alliance, thus rethinking the very foundations of modern militarism. She interrogates how essentialist notions of both childhood and war have been productively intertwined; how assumptions about childhood and war have converged; and how children and childhood have worked as symbolic constructions and powerful rhetorical tools, particularly in the decades between the nation- and empire-building efforts of the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries up to the uneven manifestations of globalization at the beginning of the twenty-first.
Learn more about Playing War at the University of California Press.

The Page 99 Test: Playing War.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pg. 69: Gary Corby's "Death On Delos"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Death on Delos by Gary Corby.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the seventh in Gary Corby’s Athenian Mystery series, Nico and Diotima must solve a murder case while also preparing to have a baby. Set on the sacred island of Delos in 5th century BC, Death on Delos is full of humor and historical intrigue.

Greece, 454 BC: The sacred isle of Delos, the birthplace of the divine twins Apollo and Artemis, has been a most holy pilgrimage site for centuries. Delos is also home to the military fund kept by the Delian League, the alliance of city-states that defended Greece against the Persians, and that vast treasury is protected only by the priests and priestesses of the tiny isle and a scant armed guard.

Then one day the charismatic Athenian statesman Pericles arrives at the head of a small army to forcibly take the treasury back to the safety of Athens. With him are Nico, the only private agent in ancient Athens, and his heavily pregnant wife and partner in sleuthing, the priestess Diotima. She has been selected to give this year’s annual offering to holy Artemis.

In the face of righteous resistance from the priests, Pericles assigns Nico to bribe their leader. But before he can get very far with this dubiously unholy task, Nico ends up with a murder on his hands.

It is a crime against the gods to die or be born on the sacred island. Thanks to the violence over the treasury, the first blasphemy has already been committed. Can Nico solve the murder and get Diotima off the island before they accidentally commit the second?
Visit Gary Corby's website.

Five books that changed Gary Corby.

The Page 69 Test: The Pericles Commission.

My Book, The Movie: The Pericles Commission.

My Book, The Movie: The Ionia Sanction.

The Page 69 Test: The Ionia Sanction.

The Page 69 Test: Sacred Games.

My Book, The Movie: Sacred Games.

The Page 69 Test: The Marathon Conspiracy.

My Book, The Movie: The Marathon Conspiracy.

My Book, The Movie: Death Ex Machina.

The Page 69 Test: Death Ex Machina.

My Book, The Movie: The Singer from Memphis.

The Page 69 Test: The Singer from Memphis.

My Book, The Movie: Death on Delos.

The Page 69 Test: Death on Delos.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Kathleen Anne Kenney reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Kathleen Anne Kenney, author of Girl on the Leeside.

Her entry begins:
I just read The Help – finally. I’ve seen the film twice and was ashamed I hadn’t read the novel, which I had bought years ago. It is truly an almost perfect novel. The character development, setting descriptions, situations, and depictions of personal stakes are drawn beautifully. For me as a reader, novels set in tumultuous historic periods are very compelling, if done well. Character development and an memorable setting are what I look for in a story. This novel had no stereotypes, no false steps, no...[read on]
About Girl on the Leeside, from the publisher:
A young, aspiring poet in a quiet Irish village thinks her life of books suits her perfectly until a charismatic newcomer from America broadens her horizons.

Siobhan Doyle grew up with her Uncle Kee at their family pub The Leeside, in rural Ireland. Kee has been staunchly overprotective of Siobhan ever since her mother’s death in an IRA bombing, but now that she’s an adult, it’s clear that in protecting her Kee has unwittingly kept her in a state of arrested development. The pair are content to remain forever in their quiet haven, reading and discussing Irish poetry, but for both Siobhan and Kee fate intervenes.

A visiting American literary scholar awakens Siobhan to the possibility of a fulfilling life away from The Leeside. And her relationship with Kee falters after the revelation that her father is still alive. In the face of these changes, Siobhan reaches a surprising decision about her future. Lyrical and heartfelt, Kathleen Anne Kenney’s Girl on the Leeside deserves a place alongside contemporary literature’s best-loved coming-of-age novels.
Visit Kathleen Anne Kenney's website.

My Book, The Movie: Girl on the Leeside.

Writers Read: Kathleen Anne Kenney.

--Marshal Zeringue

Jack Grimwood's "Moskva," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Moskva by Jack Grimwood.

The entry begins:
I think Casablanca era Humphrey Bogart for Tom Fox. Either that or early Bond Daniel Craig. Both have the cynicism and the damage and the need to do the right thing, at war with a wish for the world to leave them alone.

The Tom Hiddleston from Only Lovers Left Alive for Dennisov. Just the right mixture of dangerous, charming and barking mad for an alcoholic, ex special forces, son of a Soviet general. The CGI guys could probably have fun with his artificial leg made from a helicopter spring too.

I know everyone thinks of him as...[read on]
Visit Jack Grimwood's website.

My Book, The Movie: Moskva by Jack Grimwood.

--Marshal Zeringue

Fifty of the funniest books of all time

Whitney Collins is the author of The Hamster Won't Die: A Treasury of Feral Humor, creator of the website The Zen of Gen X. At B&N Reads she tagged fifty of the funniest books ever written:
Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About, by Mil Millington

Though the title sounds like a blog entry, this scream of a novel is actually fiction at its finest. Main character Pel, who lives with his feisty girlfriend Ursula, is unequipped to handle the downward spiral that occurs when he takes over his boss’s job. From run-ins with the Chinese mafia to stolen money and missing coworkers, Perl’s misadventures also include a series of laugh-out-loud arguments with his stalwart and stubborn love interest. This read proves a thriller can also be a killer comedy.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Pg. 69: Claire Booth's "Another Man's Ground"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Another Man's Ground: Sheriff Hank Worth Mysteries (Volume 2) by Claire Booth.

About the book, from the publisher:
It starts out as an interesting little theft case. Branson, Missouri’s new Sheriff Hank Worth is called out to look at stands of trees that have been stripped of their bark, which the property owner had planned to harvest for the booming herbal supplement market. At first, Hank easily balances the demands of the investigation with his fledging political career. He was appointed several months earlier to the vacant sheriff position, but he needs to win the fast-approaching election in order to keep his job. He thinks the campaign will go well, as long as he’s able to keep secret the fact that a group of undocumented immigrants – hired to cut down the stripped trees – have fled into the forest and he’s deliberately not looking for them.

But then the discovery of a murder victim deep in the Ozark backwoods sets him in the middle of a generations-old feud that explodes into danger not only for him, but also for the immigrants, his deputies, and his family. He must rush to find a murderer before election day, and protect the vulnerable in Branson County, where politicking is hell and trespassing can get you killed.

In Another Man's Ground, her next novel featuring Sheriff Hank Worth, acclaimed author Claire Booth delivers a taut, witty mystery that will grip readers from the opening pages to the breathless conclusion.
Visit Claire Booth's website.

My Book, The Movie: Another Man's Ground.

The Page 69 Test: Another Man's Ground.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Rick Wartzman's "The End of Loyalty"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The End of Loyalty: The Rise and Fall of Good Jobs in America by Rick Wartzman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Having a good, stable job used to be the bedrock of the American Dream. Not anymore.

In this richly detailed and eye-opening book, Rick Wartzman chronicles the erosion of the relationship between American companies and their workers. Through the stories of four major employers--General Motors, General Electric, Kodak, and Coca-Cola--he shows how big businesses once took responsibility for providing their workers and retirees with an array of social benefits. At the height of the post-World War II economy, these companies also believed that worker pay needed to be kept high in order to preserve morale and keep the economy humming. Productivity boomed.

But the corporate social contract didn't last. By tracing the ups and downs of these four corporate icons over seventy years, Wartzman illustrates just how much has been lost: job security and steadily rising pay, guaranteed pensions, robust health benefits, and much more. Charting the Golden Age of the '50s and '60s; the turbulent years of the '70s and '80s; and the growth of downsizing, outsourcing, and instability in the modern era, Wartzman's narrative is a biography of the American Dream gone sideways.

Deeply researched and compelling, The End of Loyalty will make you rethink how Americans can begin to resurrect the middle class.
Learn more about The End of Loyalty at the Hachette Book Group website.

The Page 99 Test: Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

The Page 99 Test: The End of Loyalty.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books that resemble science fiction

Karen Heuler’s stories have appeared in over 100 literary and speculative magazines and anthologies. She has published four novels and three story collections with university and small presses, and a recent collection was chosen for Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2013 list. She has received an O. Henry award, been shortlisted for a Pushcart prize, for the Iowa short fiction award, the Bellwether award, and twice for the Shirley Jackson award for short fiction. Her new novella, In Search of Lost Time, is about a woman who can steal time.

One of Heuler's five favorite books that "stand at the doorway between realistic and speculative," as shared at Tor.com:
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

In the 18th century some travel books were entirely made up by authors who never actually went on their fabled journey, travel being as arduous as it was. People were—and still are—delighted to believe just about anything when it comes to strangers. Travel is an unparalleled opportunity to champion one’s own personal beliefs about politics, race, class, gender, and cultural irregularities, and to give instances of the mindless rituals of people who are not like us. There is no greater sense of superiority than that of noting how every other society can be improved. They will never see the errors of their ways if we don’t point it out to them.
Read about another entry on the list.

Gulliver's Travels appears on David Dalglish's list of eight favorite airborne societies in fantasy fiction, Lindsay Taylor and Suzanne Smith's list of ten favorite fantasy realms, Conn Iggulden's top ten list of books about tiny people, Antonio Carluccio's list of his six favorite books, and John Mullan's lists of ten of the top imaginary meetings in literature and ten of the best vegetables in literature; it is one of Neil deGrasse Tyson's 5 most important books.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Kendra Elliot reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Kendra Elliot, author of  A Merciful Truth.

Her entry begins:
Over the last few weeks I read five fantasy books. I was finishing up my own book and needed something soothing for my brain. Since I write twisty suspense plots with murder, death, and violence, I often turn to historical romance to rest my neurons, but this time I got hooked on the Kingfountain series by Jeff Wheeler. I plowed through the first four and...[read on]
About A Merciful Truth, from the publisher:
Raised by a family of survivalists, FBI agent Mercy Kilpatrick can take on any challenge—even the hostile reception to her homecoming. But she’s not the only one causing chaos in the rural community of Eagle’s Nest, Oregon. At first believed to be teenage pranks, a series of fires takes a deadly turn with the murder of two sheriff’s deputies. Now, along with Police Chief Truman Daly, Mercy is on the hunt for an arsonist turned killer.

Still shunned by her family and members of the community, Mercy must keep her ear close to the ground to pick up any leads. And it’s not long before she hears rumors of the area’s growing antigovernment militia movement. If the arsonist is among their ranks, Mercy is determined to smoke the culprit out. But when her investigation uncovers a shocking secret, will this hunt for a madman turn into her own trial by fire?
Visit Kendra Elliot's website.

The Page 69 Test: A Merciful Truth.

Writers Read: Kendra Elliot.

--Marshal Zeringue