Friday, December 31, 2010

Pg. 99: J. P. Singh's "Globalized Arts"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Globalized Arts: The Entertainment Economy and Cultural Identity by J. P. Singh.

About the book, from the publisher:
Our interactive world can take a creative product, such as a Hollywood film, Bollywood song, or Latin American telenovela, and transform it into a source of cultural anxiety. What does this artwork say about the artist or the world she works in? How will these artworks evolve in the global market? Film, music, television, and the performing arts enter the same networks of exchange as other industries, and the anxiety they produce informs a fascinating area of study for art, culture, and global politics.

Focusing on the confrontation between global politics and symbolic creative expression, J. P. Singh shows how, by integrating themselves into international markets, entertainment industries give rise to far-reaching cultural anxieties and politics. With examples from Hollywood, Bollywood, French grand opera, Latin American television, West African music, postcolonial literature, and even the Thai sex trade, Singh cites not only the attempt to address cultural discomfort but also the effort to deny entertainment acts as cultural. He connects creative expression to clashes between national identities, and he details the effect of cultural policies, such as institutional patronage and economic incentives, on the making and incorporation of art into the global market. Ultimately, Singh shows how these issues affect the debates on cultural trade being waged by the World Trade Organization, UNESCO, and the developing world.
Read an excerpt from Globalized Arts, and learn more about the book at the publisher's website.

J. P. Singh is associate professor in the communication, culture, and technology program at Georgetown University. His books include UNESCO: Creating Norms in a Complex World; International Cultural Policies and Power; Negotiation and the Global Information Economy; Information Technologies and Global Politics (with James N. Rosenau); and Leapfrogging Development? The Political Economy of Telecommunications Restructuring.

The Page 99 Test: Globalized Arts.

--Marshal Zeringue

The top ten nonfiction books of 2010

One title on Time magazine's list of the top ten nonfiction books of 2010:
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee

In a year jammed with celebrity memoirs, this biography may be the most interesting life story of them all. Siddhartha Mukherjee, an oncologist and cancer researcher, has taken that most dread-inducing of human diseases and distilled its history into a riveting tale of medical breakthroughs and failures, politics and personalities, life and death. After starting with some brief mentions of cancer in antiquity, Mukherjee takes us to the mid-1800s with a visceral account of the early, bloody attempts at combatting cancer, in which surgeons "returned to the operating table and cut and cut again ... as cancer was slowly excavated out of the human body piece by piece." Later came X-ray and radiation therapy, the potent chemical-based attacks of chemotherapy and present-day targeted drug therapy. On parallel tracks are the tales of Mary Lasker and Sidney Farber — mid–20th century advocates who organized and politicized the fight against cancer — and several of Mukherjee's own patients. It's a heady juggling act. And like any great biographer, Mukherjee approaches his subject with both dispassionate analysis and unrestrained fascination, writing of cancer, "It lives desperately, inventively, fiercely, territorially, cannily, and defensively ... To confront cancer is to encounter a parallel species, one perhaps more adapted to survival than even we are."
Read about another entry on the list.

Learn more about The Emperor of All Maladies.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Libby Fischer Hellmann reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Libby Fischer Hellmann, author of Set the Night on Fire.

Her entry begins:
I just finished reading for the Mary Higgins Clark award, which is given out during “Edgars” week in New York. The submissions are supposed to be in the Mary Higgins Clark tradition, namely suspense novels with a female protagonist who is “just doing what she’s supposed to be doing” when extraordinary events befall her.

Given that I’ve read over 100 of them recently, you won’t be surprised that my personal reading has veered in a different direction.

I’m currently reading a nonfiction book called Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy by journalist Eamon Javers. This is a fascinating study of the private intelligence industry, its history, and its reach. I’m...[read on]
Among the early praise for Set the Night on Fire:
"A tremendous thriller, sweeping but intimate, elegiac but urgent, subtle but intense... this story really does set the night on fire."
—Lee Child, New York Times best-selling author of Worth Dying For

"Set the Night on Fire is a compelling story of love, truth and redemption. This will be a break-out novel for this talented writer. Highly recommended."
—Sheldon Siegel, New York Times best-selling author of Perfect Alibi

"A top-rate standalone thriller that taps into the antiwar protests of the 1960s and 70s... A jazzy fusion of past and present, Hellman's insightful, politically charged whodunit explores a fascinating period in American history."
Publishers Weekly

"Superior... Passion, pain, and protests emerge in vivid detail."
Chicago Tribune
Watch the video trailer for Set the Night on Fire, and visit Libby Fischer Hellmann's website and group blog, The Outfit.

My Book, The Movie: A Shot To Die For.

The Page 69 Test: Easy Innocence.

My Book, The Movie: Easy Innocence.

The Page 69 Test and the Page 99 Test: Doubleback.

My Book, The Movie: Set the Night on Fire.

Writers Read: Libby Fischer Hellmann.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Brian Leung's "Take Me Home," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Take Me Home by Brian Leung.

The entry begins:
While I’m writing I never think of my novels in terms of movies, but it’s hard to escape the issue once they are in print and readers make suggestions as to who they imagine playing the parts in a film.

For Take Me Home people have been stuck as to who would play Wing Lee (sheesh folks, Jackie Chan is too old and not handsome enough). A list of questionable/dubious suggestions for Addie Maine include The Olson Twins, Molly Ringwald, Nicole Kidman, and...[read on]
Learn more about Take Me Home at Brian Leung's website.

Brian Leung is the author of the acclaimed story collection World Famous Love Acts, and the novel Lost Me.

Writers Read: Brian Leung.

My Book, The Movie: Take Me Home.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top 10 books about books

John Sutherland is the Lord Northcliffe professor emeritus of Modern English Literature at UCL and author of the new book, 50 Literature Ideas You Really Need to Know.

For the Guardian, he named his top ten books about books, including:
Elaine Showalter, A Literature of their Own (1978)

Showalter was the critic who realised that after the breakthroughs of the women's movement in the 1960s a new map of literature was required. More particularly some mapping out of the zone in which women talk to women. Why does Jane Eyre mean more to a woman reader than a man? Or does it? Essentially, Showalter takes Virginia Woolf's "room of one's own" thesis and applies it to fiction. In her career she went on to help frame a whole new syllabus area.
Read about another book on Sutherland's list.

Learn more about Sutherland's list of the best books about listing.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Walter Greatshell's "Mad Skills"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Mad Skills by Walter Greatshell.

About the book:
Mad Skills is the story of Madeline Grant, a teenage girl who suffers severe brain injuries in an accident, but who is saved by an experimental treatment: her brain is interfaced with a computer. This not only restores her ability to think, it makes her the smartest person on Earth. But there is a serious downside: How do you cope with a world in which everyone but you is shallow and stupid? And what if the shallow, stupid people who made your new brain are still in control of it? In fact, what if they can make you do anything they want?
Walter Greatshell's books include Xombies: Apocalypticon and Xombies: Apocalypse Blues.

Visit Walter Greatshell's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Xombies: Apocalypse Blues.

The Page 69 Test: Xombies: Apocalypticon.

Writers Read: Walter Greatshell.

The Page 69 Test: Mad Skills.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Pg. 99: Ian Coller's "Arab France"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Arab France: Islam and the Making of Modern Europe, 1798-1831 by Ian Coller.

About the book, from the publisher:
Many think of Muslims in Europe as a twentieth century phenomenon, but this book brings to life a lost community of Arabs who lived through war, revolution, and empire in early nineteenth century France. Ian Coller uncovers the surprising story of the several hundred men, women, and children—Egyptians, Syrians, Greeks, and others—who followed the French army back home after Napoleon’s occupation of Egypt. Based on research in neglected archives, on the rediscovery of forgotten Franco-Arab authors, and on a diverse collection of visual materials, the book builds a rich picture of the first Arab France—its birth, rise, and sudden decline in the age of colonial expansion. As he excavates a community that was nearly erased from the historical record, Coller offers a new account of France itself in this pivotal period, one that transcends the binary framework through which we too often view history by revealing the deep roots of exchange between Europe and the Muslim world, and showing how Arab France was in fact integral to the dawn of modernity.
Learn more about Arab France at the publisher's website.

The Page 99 Test: Arab France.

--Marshal Zeringue

The ten best fictional hangovers

For the Guardian Sean O'Hagan named the ten best fictional hangovers in print, film and song.

One novel on the list:
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

The best hangover scene ever written, from a master of both writing and hangovers. “[Jim] Dixon was alive again. Consciousness was upon him before he could get out of the way… He lay sprawled, too wicked to move, spewed up like a broken spider-crab on the tarry shingle of the morning… His mouth had been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum. During the night, too, he’d somehow been on a cross-country run and then been expertly beaten up by secret police. He felt bad”
Read about another book on the list.

Lucky Jim also appears on Roger Rosenblatt's list of the five best satires of academic life and John Mullan's list of ten of the best professors in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Walter Greatshell reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Walter Greatshell, author of the newly released Mad Skills.

His entry begins:
I've been thinking about the new movie version of True Grit, so I'll mention the terrific Charles Portis novel on which the movie is based. True Grit is one of my favorite books of all time, and Portis is perhaps my favorite author—or at least in the top three. Anyone reading my work can probably hear the echo of Portis, and it is my goal, however futile, to someday write dialogue as beautifully, hilariously perfect as his. All of my favorite authors have a certain Portis thing going—an absurdly funny, grim, yet strangely hopeful sensibility. And they never write the same book twice. Names that spring to mind are: Kurt Vonnegut, Patrick McGinley, Joseph Heller, Thomas Berger, Cormac McCarthy, John Fowles, Robert Graves, Anne Tyler, Thomas Hardy, Joao Ubaldo Ribeiro (who wrote a little gem called...[read on]
Among the early praise for Mad Skills:
"Powered by an endearing heroine (whose ingenuity and resourcefulness make MacGyver look inept), pedal-to-the-metal pacing, and generous amounts of social commentary, this science fiction thrill ride is the literary equivalent of a syringe full of adrenaline."
--Publishers Weekly

"Expect great things from Mr. Greatshell."
--Nate Kenyon, author of Sparrow Rock
Walter Greatshell's books include Xombies: Apocalypticon and Xombies: Apocalypse Blues.

Read more about Mad Skills, and visit Walter Greatshell's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Xombies: Apocalypse Blues.

The Page 69 Test: Xombies: Apocalypticon.

Writers Read: Walter Greatshell.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pg. 69: Kathleen Hall's "Who Occupies This House"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Who Occupies This House by Kathleen Hall.

About the book, from the publisher:
Kathleen Hill’s finely wrought novel tells the story of four generations of an Irish-American family that has lived in the same house for almost a century. Grieving the death of her mother and the imminent sale of the house, the narrator sets out to re-create the hidden, intimate lives of those who came before. Through a series of vignettes she conjures a family devastated in each generation by the loss of a child. The narrator’s project, inspired at the outset by silences that extend backward to the untold story of the Famine, turns into a vast exploration of loss, inheritance, and the nature of memory. In a voice both stark and lyrical, the narrator calls up transformative, often tragic, moments in lives that have shaped her own. Remembering a past she never knew, she hopes to release from its sway the vanishing present.Who Occupies This House is a strikingly beautiful account of the difficult reckoning with one’s family legacy that every adult faces. Punctuated by photographs and images that bring the narrative into sharp focus, it will draw comparisons to such divergent writers as W.G. Sebald and Kate O’Brien.
Kathleen Hill teaches in the M.F.A. program at Sarah Lawrence College. Her novel Still Waters in Niger was named a notable book by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and was nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Award. The French translation, Eaux Tranquilles, was short-listed for the Prix Femina Étranger. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize XXV, and The Pushcart Book of Short Stories.

Visit the official website of Kathleen Hill.

Writers Read: Kathleen Hill.

The Page 69 Test: Who Occupies This House.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top five health & wellness books of 2010

At the Wall Street Journal, Laura Landro named her top five health and wellness books of 2010.

One title on the list:
"The Decision Tree: Taking Control of Your Health in the New Era of Personalized Medicine," by Tom Goetz

While exploring advances in personalized medicine, genome research and early disease detection, the executive editor of Wired magazine provides useful suggestions on how individuals can use data, the Web and technology to make better medical decisions and manage their own care: iPhone apps that track food intake; social-media site PatientsLikeMe, which creates communities of patients; and 23andMe, the controversial genetic-profiling company. The author is an advocate of knowing everything you can about your own DNA. While a profile of your genes may not tell you everything, he argues, it is a starting point for making behavior changes that can affect the environmental and lifestyle part of the health equation, such as keeping up the exercise and healthy diet if you have higher than average risks for obesity and type 2 diabetes. In starting your own health-care decision tree, he writes, "thinking about what lies before us and what we can do to have better health … may be the most significant decision of all."
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Anne Marshall's "Creating a Confederate Kentucky"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Creating a Confederate Kentucky: The Lost Cause and Civil War Memory in a Border State by Anne E. Marshall.

About the book, from the publisher:
Historian E. Merton Coulter famously said that Kentucky "waited until after the war was over to secede from the Union." In this fresh study, Anne E. Marshall traces the development of a Confederate identity in Kentucky between 1865 and 1925 that belied the fact that Kentucky never left the Union and that more Kentuckians fought for the North than for the South. Following the Civil War, the people of Kentucky appeared to forget their Union loyalties, embracing the Democratic politics, racial violence, and Jim Crow laws associated with formerly Confederate states. Although, on the surface, white Confederate memory appeared to dominate the historical landscape of postwar Kentucky, Marshall's closer look reveals an active political and cultural dialogue that included white Unionists, Confederate Kentuckians, and the state's African Americans, who, from the last days of the war, drew on Union victory and their part in winning it to lay claim to the fruits of freedom and citizenship.

Rather than focusing exclusively on postwar political and economic factors, Creating a Confederate Kentucky looks over the longer term at Kentuckians' activities--public memorial ceremonies, dedications of monuments, and veterans organizations' events--by which they commemorated the Civil War and fixed the state's remembrance of it for sixty years following the conflict.
Anne E. Marshall is assistant professor of history at Mississippi State University.

Learn more about Creating a Confederate Kentucky at the publisher's website.

The Page 99 Test: Creating a Confederate Kentucky.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 27, 2010

What is Brian Leung reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Brian Leung, author of Take Me Home.

His entry begins:
I think readers forget this, but in the first six months after a writer publishes their book, s/he is “reading” that novel. It becomes a very strange experience, a kind of practiced striptease duo. I suspect it’s not unlike a singer on concert tour. How many times has Lady Gaga sung “Bad Romance” in the past year? What do those lyrics mean to her now? What did they mean to her when she first sang them? I am currently asking myself these questions. But rather than discussing what I’m reading now, what if I mention the book everyone should be excited about in the Spring? I’ve got a little advance/inside info on it because I “blurbed” the book. It’s a collection of short stories by Adam McOmber, and it’s called This New and Poisonous Air (BOA Editions). The publisher is known for its poetry titles, but also comes out with just two fiction titles a year in a highly selective process. For readers tired of safe and /or conventional literary fiction, McOmber delivers an exceptional collection of short stories. Among these is a story that should make his career. It’s called “A Memory of His Rising,” and it’s the loveliest, strangest, most sincere...[read on]
Brian Leung is the author of the acclaimed story collection World Famous Love Acts, and the novel, Lost Me.

Among the early praise for Take Me Home:
Take Me Home is a riveting novel of two heroic people attempting to transcend the predjudices of their time and place.... Skillful artistry and empathy.”
—Ron Rash, author of Serena and One Foot in Eden

“Leung’s writing is exquisite, deceptively plain, deeply felt and spiritually high, with dead-on depictions of the world as it is.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“[A] lyrical sophomore novel ... Evocative ... Leung’s subtle, perceptive saga closes on notes both touching and patriotic.”
Publishers Weekly
Visit Brian Leung's website.

Writers Read: Brian Leung.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Wendy Orr & Harry

The current featured duo at Coffee with a Canine: Wendy Orr and Harry.

Orr, on how she and Harry were united:
My son’s girlfriend’s mother had rescued him from The Lort Smith Animal Shelter. He’d visited our house, and been shown around the garden by our late Border Collie; I was struck by what a nice little dog he was. When I heard that she’d had to surrender him again, because of ill health, I was on the Shelter’s doorstep...[read on]
Wendy Orr is a Canadian born Australian author, mostly of books for children and young adults. Her books include: Nim's Island (the book that the film was based on), Nim at Sea, Peeling the Onion, Ark in the Park, Spook's Shack, Mokie and BIk, and The Princess and Her Panther.

Among the early praise for The Princess and Her Panther:
"A warm and cozy tale of sisterly joy and sweet imagination."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Children will recognize the thrill of confronting fears when you know that cozy comforts are right there when you need them."

"Imagination is at the heart of this book as two sisters set out to camp in their backyard...This is a clever twist on the usual camping story and the fears that accompany it."
--School Library Journal
Visit Wendy Orr's blog.

Writers Read: Wendy Orr.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Wendy Orr and Harry.

--Marshal Zeringue

Keith Hollihan's "The Four Stages of Cruelty," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The Four Stages of Cruelty by Keith Hollihan.

The entry begins:
The Four Stages of Cruelty is set in a maximum security penitentiary, but its protagonist and first-person narrator is a female corrections officer. Kali Williams is as professional, efficient, jaded, and tough as any of her male co-workers but she also has a strong sense of right and wrong. Her voice showed up in my third draft of this book, and took over the story. To me she embodied the whistleblower who can no longer abide the corruption and systematic abuse around her.

To me, the role calls out for a strong female lead. Vera Farmiga showed that blue collar realism in Debra Granik’s Down to the BoneMichelle Monaghan had the integrity and sensitivity to go with her toughness in...[read on]
Read an excerpt from The Four Stages of Cruelty, and learn more about the book and author at Keith Hollihan's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top 10 Anglo-Asian books

Nikesh Shukla is a writer, performance poet and filmmaker. His first novel, Coconut Unlimited, is shortlisted for this year's Costa first novel award.

For the Guardian he named his top ten Anglo-Asian books, including:
Hari Kunzru - My Revolutions

Hari Kunzru takes a break from technology-obsessed India and colonial India to deliver a bittersweet tale of the realities that befall an activist commune, and the secrets and regrets that haunt them well into their dotage. The slow-burn reveal of how all the empassioned polemics and free love fell out is beautifully explored, from the impetuousness of their adolescent smugness into the 20-20 hindsight of guilt and regret. Refreshingly un-brown, which is a rare allowance by a publisher for an "ethnic" author.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pg. 69: Ruth Downie's "Caveat Emptor"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie.

About the book, from the publisher:
The newest novel in the bestselling Medicus series, featuring death, taxes, and angry barbarians.

In her fourth novel, Ruth Downie brings to life the corruption and treachery of Roman-occupied Britain, as it closes in on her winsome leading man, Gaius Petreius Ruso.

Ruso and Tilla, now newlyweds, have moved back to Britannia, where Ruso's old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work. But it isn't the kind of work he'd had in mind—Ruso is tasked with hunting down a missing tax man named Julius Asper.

Of course, there's also something else missing: money. And the council of the town of Verulamium is bickering over what's become of it. Compelled to delve deeper by a threat from his old sparring partner, Metellus, Ruso discovers that the good townsfolk may not be as loyal to Rome as they like to appear.

While Tilla tries to comfort Asper's wife, an anonymous well-wisher is busy warning the couple to get away from the case before they get hurt. Despite our hero's best efforts to get himself fired as investigator, he and his bride find themselves trapped at the heart of an increasingly treacherous conspiracy involving theft, forgery, buried treasure, and the legacy of Boudica, the Rebel Queen.
Learn more about the book and author at Ruth Downie's website.

The Page 69 Test: Caveat Emptor.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Colleen Murphy's "A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation by Colleen Murphy.

About the book, from the publisher:
Following extended periods of conflict or repression, political reconciliation is indispensable to the establishment or restoration of democratic relationships and critical to the pursuit of peacemaking globally. In this important new book, Colleen Murphy offers an innovative analysis of the moral problems plaguing political relationships under the strain of civil conflict and repression. Focusing on the unique moral damage that attends the deterioration of political relationships, Murphy identifies the precise kinds of repair and transformation that processes of political reconciliation ought to promote. Building on this analysis, she proposes a normative model of political relationships. A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation delivers an original account of the failure and restoration of political relationships, which will be of interest to philosophers, social scientists, legal scholars, policy analysts, and all those who are interested in transitional justice, global politics, and democracy.
Read an excerpt from A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation, and learn more about the book at the Cambridge University Press website.

Colleen Murphy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Texas A&M University.

The Page 99 Test: A Moral Theory of Political Reconciliation.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten great books about cycling

For the Christian Science Monitor, Marjorie Kehe came up with 10 great books about cycling, including:
"Bicycle Diaries," by David Byrne.

Talking Heads musician David Byrne tours with a fold-up bicycle and his years on the road have given him a chance to bike through cities including Detroit; Istanbul; London; San Francisco; Manila; and New York. While he rides, he thinks – and his musings on everything from mixed-use neighborhoods to music to art to football make for highly engaging reading.
Read about another book on the list.

Also see Matt Seaton's top 10 books about cycling and William Fotherham's top ten cycling novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Best crime fiction of 2010: Part II

The editors of January Magazine came up with a list (in two parts) of the best crime fiction of 2010. One title to make the grade:
Intelligence by Susan Hasler (Thomas Dunne/Minotaur) 320 pages

The brilliant thing about former Central Intelligence Agency analyst Susan Hasler’s debut novel about CIA analysts is that if you let yourself forget what the CIA does, it feels like an episode of The Office or Mike Judge’s brilliant office life satire, Office Space. Truly, the similarities are staggering. The hours suck, the pay isn’t as good as it should be, you have to deal with people you don’t like, and your managers and superiors demand impossible things or just want busy work that will make them look good. Splitting her narrative into several parts (one of which -- delivered by a dead CIA director -- is a bit too cute), Hasler introduces us to a small team of analysts as they try to stop a suspected major threat involving a terrorist cell known as the Perfumers. Hasler’s characters toss off cryptic phrases and jargon (fortunately, there’s a glossary in the back of the book), but there’s an astonishing absence of bullshit in these pages. The author presents her players authentically. You won’t find any conservative wet-dream characters like Jack Bauer or Mitch Rapp here, just normal folk engaged in very important jobs. They have real problems too, and genuine neuroses. They share familiar concerns, such as political in-fighting and their social lives. And they’re just as prone as the rest of us to fall apart and despair when horrible things happen. But that’s precisely when CIA personnel must push past their woes in order to make the machinery of national intelligence function. Although this is a piece of fiction, the author offers insight into why invading Iraq was such a disastrous idea and why torturing prisoners doesn’t work (terrorists lie, or they don’t tell the whole truth, no matter what punishment they receive). Often laugh-out-loud funny, Intelligence even manages to squeeze in a genuinely sweet romance. Susan Hasler does for the folks at the CIA what Joseph Wambaugh accomplishes with cops: she gives them human dimension. Sometimes sad, sometimes stupid, sometimes scary and at other times heroic, Hasler’s characters always seem achingly real. -- Cameron Hughes
Read about another book on the list.

Writers Read: Susan Hasler.

The Page 69 Test: Intelligence.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Keith Hollihan reading?

This weekend's featured contributor at Writers Read: Keith Hollihan, author of The Four Stages of Cruelty.

The entry begins:
My book club chose Charles Portis’ True Grit this month, and I’ve enjoyed re-reading that. It’s the narrative voice that really takes you along – the unlikely but believable bravery and stoicism of 14-year-old Mattie. It’s a spare, quick story but very evocative, not unlike Daniel Woodrell’s Winter’s Bone, and the incredible film by Debra Granik. Portis’ range also amazes me – like Walter Tevis and Thomas Berger, he has written strong books in a number of genres. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Coen Brothers do...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Four Stages of Cruelty:
“...a stunning, unforgettable story.”
--Kate Christensen, The Great Man

“This is one intense book, brutally sad and heartbreakingly brutal.... I found it impossible to put down...”
--Dan Chaon, Await Your Reply

“Hollihan’s astonishing debut...As thoughtful as it is violent...”
--Kirkus (starred review)

“Hollihan’s impressive first novel, a complex and atmospheric thriller...”
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Best Books of 2010”
--Publishers Weekly
Read an excerpt from The Four Stages of Cruelty, and learn more about the book and author at Keith Hollihan's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Four Stages of Cruelty.

Writers Read: Keith Hollihan.

--Marshal Zeringue

Best crime fiction of 2010: Part I

The editors of January Magazine came up with a list (in two parts) of the best crime fiction of 2010. One title to make the grade:
The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths (Mariner Books) 320 pages

A forensic archaeologist at England’s University of North Norfolk, Ruth Galloway is asked by a local police detective to help identify human remains discovered in a salt marsh near her home. Hopeful that they might be the bones of a victim of a killer from a decade earlier, the cop is disappointed to learn that those remains are actually ancient. When news of this discovery gets out, however, an archaeologist and former lover from Ruth’s past returns to the site, opening old wounds and raising new worries. Ruth has her hands full analyzing the remains, but when a second child suddenly disappears in circumstances eerily similar to the first, she is abruptly torn back to the present: Is there a murderer out there, using her backyard as his very own killing ground? The Crossing Places offers an interesting mix of strong, though not always likable leading characters, and a well-crafted, suspenseful plot. Yet it is the novel’s well-defined setting that makes it stand out from the herd of psychological thrillers. Much of this tale’s action takes place on the bleak and desolate Norfolk coast, and author Griffiths succeeds wonderfully in revealing to the reader the ominous beauty of this landscape and its effects upon those who live nearby. This is a classic case of a story’s setting driving its character, much in the tradition of Daphne du Maurier’s timeless novel, Rebecca. -- Jim Napier
Read about another book on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Crossing Places.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 24, 2010

Pg. 99: Michael Jones' "The Retreat"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Retreat: Hitler's First Defeat by Michael Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:
The gripping history of the ferocious turning point of World War Two, when Hitler’s armies were halted on the Eastern Front

At the moment of crisis in late 1941 on the Eastern Front, with the forces of Hitler massing on the outskirts of Moscow, the miraculous occurred: Moscow was saved. Yet this feat of endurance was a prelude to a long and arduous retreat in which Soviet troops, inspired by deep beliefs in the sacred Motherland, pushed back German forces steeled by the vision of the Ubermensch—the iron-willed fighter. Supported by tanks and ski battalions, Soviet troops engaged in this desperate struggle in the harshest Russian weather.

Michael Jones draws upon a wealth of new eyewitness testimonies from both sides of the conflict to vividly chronicle this pivotal chapter in the Second World War as he takes us from the German invasion of the Soviet Union on the morning of June 22 through the counteroffensive that carried into the spring of 1942. From the German soldier finding his comrades frozen into blocks of ice to the Russian lieutenant crying with rage at the senseless destruction of his unit, the author shows us the faces of war when the Wehrmacht was repelled and the titanic and cruel struggle of two world powers forged the fate of Europe.
Learn more about The Retreat at the publisher's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Retreat.

--Marshal Zeringue

Books that made a difference to Pat Conroy

Pat Conroy's books include The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, South of Broad, and the recently released memoir My Reading Life.

One book that made a difference to him, as told to O, The Oprah Magazine:
Gone With the Wind
by Margaret Mitchell

"This is a war novel, a historical romance, a comedy of manners, a bitter lamentation, a cry of the heart, and a long, coldhearted look at the character of a lovely, Machiavellian Southern woman," Conroy says. "It is beautifully constructed into fine, swiftly moving parts and 63 chapters. Mitchell possessed a playwright's ear for dialogue." First read to him by his beloved mother—who so admired the author she changed her middle name to Margaret in homage—the book is "operatic, biblical. The characters live, they breathe, you see 'em, you can touch 'em. That's what I always love in a book. I owe a personal debt to this novel. I became a novelist because of it. I think I learned about the relationship between books and life from Margaret Mitchell."
Read about another book that made a difference to Conroy.

Also see: Pat Conroy's six favorite contemporary Southern novelists.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Ann Littlewood's "Did Not Survive"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Did Not Survive by Ann Littlewood.

About the book, from the publisher:
Iris Oakley, pregnant and still recovering from her husband's murder, wants only to carry on as a keeper at Finley Memorial Zoo in Vancouver, Washington. But she is confronted by a terrifying situation: alone and with no elephant expertise, she must rescue her boss, Kevin Wallace, from being mauled by a zoo elephant. Though she gets him to safety, he dies of his injuries. No one understands why reliable old Damrey attacked the foreman, and Iris inadvertently misdirects the investigation. As zoo staff descend into anxiety and animosity, the welfare of the animals is threatened, as well as the lives of keepers. Rattled coworkers nominate Iris to find out what's going on. She finds a surprising number of motives to kill the foreman, but Damrey, the elephant, doesn't have one. Despite the distraction of trying to construct her new life as a single mother, Iris discovers that the elephant keepers are locked in a bitter feud, the new veterinarian is keeping secrets, and an old flame still hates Wallace. New-born clouded leopard cubs cheer up the troubled staff, but even that has its dark side. Adding to the chaos, animal rights activists are picketing the zoo. They want the elephants sent to a sanctuary, but is that a better option for them than the improved exhibit that is on the drawing board? Why isn't that exhibit under construction as planned? A new foreman shows up with alarming ideas, the police keep dropping by, and animals are disappearing into thin air...
Read an excerpt from Did Not Survive and watch the video trailer.

Learn more about the book and author at Ann Littlewood's website and blog.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Ann Littlewood and Murphy.

The Page 69 Test: Did Not Survive.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What is Liza Bakewell reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Liza Bakewell, author of Madre: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun.

Her entry begins:
What am I reading? I read books irregularly, generally after I’ve met a big deadline. Then I rush to the stack I’ve accumulated, and I read like crazy. When I’m working on a deadline, I hang out a lot inside JSTOR and other databases, reading research articles for days on end. Of books, I’m a slow reader because I ruminate. When I fall in love with a book, I’ll read it two or three times. I also try to read my friends’ books.

This past summer, I read mostly memoirs, because I am about to embark on writing a book that involves memoir, although it will not itself be a memoir, I don’t think. Nick Flynn, author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (2004) and The Ticking is the Bomb (2010), is one of my favorite memoirists, at the moment. What I love most about his two memoirs are not the biographical stories they tell, which are heart wrenching and engaging, but his storytelling style (the timing of his flashbacks and flash-forwards, the literary and philosophical interludes, the poetry of his prose). I also love his focus on social justice, his concern for...[read on]
Liza Bakewell is a writer and anthropologist, Director of The Mesolore Project at Brown University, and author of Madre: Perilous Journeys with a Spanish Noun, which was published in November with W.W. Norton.

Among the early praise for Bakewell's Madre:
“‘Madre hay una sola,’ we often say in Spanish, and so it is. There’s only one Madre: this precise book, at the same time humorous and profound, researched to extremes in a most personal and even picaresque fashion. Liza Bakewell is a linguistic anthropologist with the soul of a novelist and a daring curiosity well beyond that of Bluebeard’s bride.”
—Luisa Valenzuela, author of Black Novel With Argentines

“¡Padrísimo! No sooner does Liza Bakewell take the helm than it becomes obvious how much joy and enlightenment might come from the study of language. No one in the world puts the word “mother” to spin like Mexicans do, and the reasons why are not only philological but religious, political, and psychological.”
—Ilan Stavans, author of On Borrowed Words and Dictionary Days, and general editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature
Learn more about the book and author at Liza Bakewell's website.

The Page 99 Test: Madre.

Writers Read: Liza Bakewell.

--Marshal Zeringue

The ten best devils

For the Guardian Peter Stanford, author of The Devil: A Biography, picked the ten best devils in film and literature.

One entry on his list:
Paradise Lost

It was the 17th-century Puritan poet John Milton who produced the first psychologically compelling portrait of the devil, no longer the sly predator but (initially, at least) an edgy seductive hero. With his fine words, theatricality and swagger, the only physical sign of the evil within is the lightning scar on his face. In a device that is now all too familiar, the devil is first built up by Milton – "he above the rest/In shape and gesture proudly eminent/Stood like a tow'r" - and then debunked as a washed-up idealist turned cynical and out for revenge: "dismay mixt with obdurate pride and steadfast hate".
Read about another book on the list.

Satan from Paradise Lost is among the 50 greatest villains in literature according to the (London) Telegraph and appears on John Mullan's list ten of the best devils in literature.

Paradise Lost also appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best pieces of fruit in literature, ten of the best visions of hell in literature, ten of the best angels in literature, and ten of the best visions of heaven in literature; it is also on Diane Purkiss' critic's chart of the best books on the English Civil War.

--Marshal Zeringue

Gerry Bartlett's "Real Vampires Have More to Love," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Real Vampires Have More to Love by Gerry Bartlett.

The entry begins:
I actually have a group of fans who started a petition to have my Glory St. Clair books made into a movie or TV series. I can only dream. And it’s really fun to imagine actresses as Glory. She was bloating when she was turned vampire in 1604, but the voluptuous look so popular then is so…not in 2010. And Glory always stays current. I’ve often thought about Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary. She gained serious weight for that role. Perfect. Not many of today’s actresses are up for that, but my lead would have to be willing. Scarlett Johansson, plus a few pounds, would be an ideal Glory.

As for the hero…...[read on]
Read an excerpt from Real Vampires Have More to Love and visit Gerry Bartlet's website and blog.

See--Coffee with a Canine: Gerry Bartlett & Jet.

The Page 69 Test: Real Vampires Have More to Love.

Writers Read: Gerry Bartlett.

My Book, The Movie: Real Vampires Have More to Love.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pg. 99: Dyan deNapoli's "The Great Penguin Rescue"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Great Penguin Rescue: 40,000 Penguins, a Devastating Oil Spill, and the Inspiring Story of the World's Largest Animal Rescue.

About the book, from the publisher:
ON JUNE 23, 2000, the iron-ore carrier MV Treasure, en route from Brazil to China, foundered off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, spilling 1,300 tons of oil into the ocean and contaminating the habitat of 75,000 penguins. Realizing that 41 percent of the world's population of African penguins could perish, local conservation officials immediately launched a massive rescue operation, and 12,500 volunteers from around the globe rushed to South Africa in hopes of saving the imperiled birds.

Serving as a rehabilitation manager during the initial phase of the three-month rescue effort, Dyan deNapoli—better known as "the Penguin Lady" for her extensive work with penguins—and fellow volunteers de-oiled, nursed back to health, and released into the wild nearly all of the affected birds. Now, at the tenth anniversary of the disaster, deNapoli recounts this extraordinary true story of the world's largest and most successful wildlife rescue.

When she first entered the enormous warehouse housing most of the 19,000 oiled penguins, the birds' total silence told deNapoli all she needed to know about the extent of their trauma. African penguins are very vocal by nature, prone to extended fits of raucous, competitive braying during territorial displays and pair-bonding rituals, but these poor creatures now stood silently, shoulder to shoulder, in a state of shock. DeNapoli vividly details the harrowing rescue process and the heartbreaking scenarios she came up against alongside thousands of volunteers: unforgettable images of them laboriously scrubbing the oil from every penguin feather and force-feeding each individually; the excruciatingly painful penguin bites every volunteer received; and the wrenching decisions about birds too ill to survive. She draws readers headfirst into the exhausting physical and emotional experience and brings to life the cast of remarkable characters—from Big Mike, a compassionate Jiu-Jitsu champion with a booming voice, who worked every day of the rescue effort; to a man named Welcome, aka "the Penguin Whisperer," who had the amazing ability to calm any penguin he held in his arms; to Louis, a seventeen-year-old medical student who created a new formula for the highly effective degreaser used by the rescue mission—whose historic and heroic efforts saved the birds from near extinction. The extraordinary international collaboration of scientists, zookeepers, animal rescue groups, and thousands of concerned individuals helped save the African penguins—recently declared an endangered species—from an all-too-common man-made disaster.

DeNapoli's heartwarming and riveting story is not just a portrait of these captivating birds, nor is it merely a cautionary tale about the environment. It is also an inspirational chronicle of how following one's passion can lead to unexpected, rewarding adventures—and illustrates not only how people from around the world can unite for a greater purpose, but how they can be extraordinarily successful when doing so. The Great Penguin Rescue will inspire readers to believe they can make a difference.
Learn more about the book and author at The Penguin Lady website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: The Great Penguin Rescue.

--Marshal Zeringue

Eight books for the broken-hearted

At O, The Oprah Magazine, Ashley Hamilton came up with a list of eight great books to read when you're going through a breakup.

One title on the list:
Bridget Jones's Diary
by Helen Fielding

This classic chick lit book might be the ultimate tale of what not to do when you're single and lonely. Do not stare at your phone for an entire weekend, binge on chocolate Christmas tree decorations or have an affair with your cad of a boss. However, this book's plucky heroine also does quite a few things right. On Bridget's to-do list? Do lean on your fabulous friends, give that nice man (whom you once snubbed) a second chance and turn every humiliation into a laugh-out-loud moment, all in the name of finding love and "inner poise."
Read about another book on the list.

Bridget Jones's Diary appears on Christina Koning's list of the best of chick-lit.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Keith Hollihan's "The Four Stages of Cruelty"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: The Four Stages of Cruelty by Keith Hollihan.

About the book, from the publisher:

A female corrections officer works with a young male inmate to uncover a criminal organization that has taken control of a maximum security prison

Ditmarsh Penitentiary holds many secrets within its walls, and the inmates aren’t the only ones who keep them. Given absolute authority, the guards often slip across the divide from law enforcement to criminality.

Officer Kali Williams tries her best to stay on the right side of the law. Then she meets an inmate named Joshua who claims that another prisoner has drawn an elaborate comic book that holds a guide to Ditmarsh’s criminal underworld. At first Kali can’t take it seriously. But soon after, the artistinmate disappears completely.

Intense and arresting, The Four Stages of Cruelty is a powerful debut for fans of Umberto Eco and Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
Read an excerpt from The Four Stages of Cruelty, and learn more about the book and author at Keith Hollihan's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Four Stages of Cruelty.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What is Kathleen Hill reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Kathleen Hill, author of Who Occupies This House.

Her entry begins:
I stumbled on a review of Anne Enright’s novel, The Gathering, when I was finishing my own novel. I don’t remember a word of the review but was riveted by the subject matter: it was a story of a sister and a brother, or rather the sister’s attempt at a story after the brother, an alcoholic, has died of drowning. A suicide. I had never read a word written by Anne Enright although I knew she was Irish. I’d begun to follow Irish writers. My own book concerned several generations of an Irish –American family who live in the same house for almost a century.

On the first page I read: “ My brother Liam loved birds and, like all boys, he loved the bones of dead animals. I have no sons myself, so when I pass any small skull or skeleton I hesitate and think of him, how he admired their intricacies. A magpie’s ancient arms coming through the mess of feathers; stubby and light and clear. That is the word we use about bones: Clean.”

Immediately I thought of...[read on]
Among the early praise for Who Occupies This House:
This is a novel of great beauty. Step by step, it works its way deep into the interior lives of vanished family, sifting through evidence to solve mysteries, rejudge sorrows, and think, over and over, about forgiveness. An intense, ex-acting, and extraordinary book.
—Joan Silber

If you love Howards End, To the Lighthouse, Joyce’s Dubliners; if you keep returning to Proust’s Combray, this is the book for you. A work of pure and intense lyricism, it explores the question of American identity, calling upon the spirit of Emily Dickinson most particularly. And at the same time, with a truly original depth and breadth of imagination, it looks to the presence of Ireland and Irishness, a potent dream hovering over the lives of Irish Americans.
—Mary Gordon

Part history, and part hypothesis, Kathleen Hill’s family memoir is a lyrical evocation of three generations whose spirits live on in those dwelling places that they have loved. This is a haunted book in the best sense: these lives, these spirits, beautifully portrayed, will stay with you forever.
—Charles Baxter

Who Occupies This House asks us, brilliantly, to consider and reconsider the long lines of suffering and the legacies of the past. But it is also a narrative of passion and faith and sweetness and long affections as the Conroys and the Carmodys seek and find their family. With fierce intelligence and lustrous prose Kathleen Hill takes the reader on a remark-able journey stretching from Ireland to America and back again. I was transported by this book.
—Margot Livesey
Kathleen Hill teaches in the M.F.A. program at Sarah Lawrence College. Her novel Still Waters in Niger was named a notable book by the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and was nominated for the Dublin IMPAC Award. The French translation, Eaux Tranquilles, was short-listed for the Prix Femina Étranger. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize XXV, and The Pushcart Book of Short Stories.

Visit the official website of Kathleen Hill.

Writers Read: Kathleen Hill.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five best novels about time and memory

Edmund Morris is the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author of The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and Theodore Rex; the concluding book in the trilogy, Colonel Roosevelt, is now out from Random House.

For the Wall Street Journal, Morris named a five best list of novels on time and memory.

One title on the list:
The Magic Mountain
by Thomas Mann (1924)

Being both German and cerebral, Thomas Mann was better equipped than most writers in the early 20th century to make an imaginative construct of Albert Einstein's 1905 theory of relativity. Mann congratulated himself on having articulated the notion of pliant time in an early draft of his great novel, even before Einstein expanded the theory in 1916. "Der Zauberberg" ("The Magic Mountain") was not published until 1924. Helen Lowe-Porter had barely begun to translate it into English when Bertrand Russell issued a primer, "The ABC of Relativity," to help nonscientists understand the mystery of space-time. He used homely little parables. When Lowe-Porter's translation came out two years later, the novel's enormous metaphor of a TB sanitarium high in the Swiss Alps, where time expands and contracts as subjectively as the mercury in a consumptive's thermometer, made a mockery of Russell with his baskets and balloons. Mann's antihero, Hans Castorp, a young burgher from Hamburg, comes up to the sanitarium for seven days to visit a friend—and stays for seven years. At first, when all is new and strange to him, time passes with excruciating slowness. The book unfolds similarly, with such a wealth of institutional detail that the reader feels hospitalized too. But as daily routine merges into monthly, and monthly into yearly, time begins to accelerate (to quote Mann) "in a way to make the heart stop beating for fear."
Read about another book on the list.

The Magic Mountain
also appears on Brian Dillon's list of the five best books on hypochondria, Arthur Phillips' list of five novels about life during the collapse of the Hapsburg Empire, and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best visits to the cinema in literature and ten of the best depictions of the Alps.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Jonathan Harris' "The End of Byzantium"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The End of Byzantium by Jonathan Harris.

About the book, from the publisher:
By 1400, the once-mighty Byzantine Empire stood on the verge of destruction. Most of its territories had been lost to the Ottoman Turks, and Constantinople was under close blockade. Against all odds, Byzantium lingered on for another fifty years until 1453, when the Ottomans dramatically toppled the capital’s walls. During this bleak and uncertain time, ordinary Byzantines faced difficult decisions to protect their livelihoods and families against the death throes of their homeland. In this evocative and moving book, Jonathan Harris explores individual stories of diplomatic maneuverings, covert defiance, and sheer luck against a backdrop of major historical currents and offers a new perspective on the real reasons behind the fall of this extraordinarily fascinating empire.
Learn more about The End of Byzantium at the Yale University Press website.

Jonathan Harris is Reader in Byzantine History at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The Page 99 Test: The End of Byzantium.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pg. 69: Juliet Marillier's "Seer of Sevenwaters"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Seer of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier.

About the book, from the publisher:
Get swept away in the romantic fantasy of this national bestselling author's world of Sevenwaters

The young seer Sibeal is visiting an island of elite warriors, prior to making her final pledge as a druid. It's there she finds Felix, a survivor of a Viking shipwreck, who's lost his memory. The scholarly Felix and Sibeal form a natural bond. He could even be her soul mate, but Sibeal's vocation is her true calling, and her heart must answer.

As Felix fully regains his memory, Sibeal has a runic divination showing her that Felix must go on a perilous mission-and that she will join him. The rough waters and the sea creatures they will face are no match for Sibeal's own inner turmoil. She must choose between the two things that tug at her soul-her spirituality and a chance at love...
Read an excerpt from Seer of Sevenwaters, and visit Juliet Marillier's website to learn more about her books and works in progress.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Juliet Marillier & Pippa, Gretel, and Sara.

The Page 69 Test: Seer of Sevenwaters.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tim Vine's 6 best books

Tim Vine is an actor, writer and comedian who won the prize for the funniest joke at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.

He named his six best books for the Daily Express. One title on the list:
Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick

I’m a huge Elvis fan and this looks at the second half of his life and the way it tragically ended in his self-destruction. I’m the sort of person who devours books about their heroes and, while you know the ending to this story, it is still packed with fascinating detail.
Read about another book on the list and see the joke that won Vine the funniest joke prize at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe.

Careless Love is number one on Bob Stanley's critic's chart: top books about Elvis.

--Marshal Zeringue

Libby Hellmann's "Set the Night on Fire," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Set the Night on Fire by Libby Fischer Hellmann.

The entry begins:
As some of you may know, I studied film in graduate school, worked on a couple of features, and settled into the life of an industrial film/video producer before I started writing novels. So I’ve always approached novel writing like a film-maker. I can’t write a scene without imagining it edited and printed, complete with pans, dolly shots, close-ups, and dressed sets.

Set the Night on Fire was (and is) a film-maker’s dream: a wealth of colorful characters, locations, and, in the portion that goes back to the late Sixties, opportunities to recreate what came before. Frankly, while writing the book, I was more concerned with getting the Chicago settings right than the characters. I obsessed over the apartment/commune the characters inhabited in Old Town, the way Marshall Field’s would have looked, a community hospital on the North Side, Maxwell Street. I hope I’ve done them all justice.

But now comes the fun part. There are more characters in this novel than in some of my others, and some of them are portrayed both as young idealists in the Sixties, as well as more mature adults in the present. I haven’t chosen them all, but here’s what I have so far.

Lila Hilliard: My protagonist. A ‘30s professional financial manager.
In the present: definitely Natalie Portman

Casey Hilliard: Her father.
In the present: Robin Williams

Dar Gantner:
In the present: George Clooney (of course)
In the past:...[read on]
Libby Fischer Hellmann's crime fiction thrillers include An Eye For Murder, A Picture Of Guilt, An Image Of Death, A Shot To Die For, Easy Innocence, and Doubleback.

My Book, The Movie: A Shot To Die For.

The Page 69 Test: Easy Innocence.

My Book, The Movie: Easy Innocence.

The Page 69 Test and the Page 99 Test: Doubleback.

Watch the video trailer for Set the Night on Fire, and visit Libby Fischer Hellmann's website and group blog, The Outfit.

My Book, The Movie: Set the Night on Fire.

--Marshal Zeringue