Friday, August 17, 2018

What is Martha Wells reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Martha Wells, author of Rogue Protocol: The Murderbot Diaries.

Her entry begins:
I recently finished Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse, which I really enjoyed. It's a post-apocalyptic fantasy about a monster-hunter in a reborn Navajo nation with supernatural monsters, heroes, and mythic figures. It's an intense, gripping story in a very original and exciting world.

Next up I want...[read on]
About Rogue Protocol, from the publisher:
Who knew being a heartless killing machine would present so many moral dilemmas?

Sci-fi’s favorite antisocial A.I. is back on a mission. The case against the too-big-to-fail GrayCris Corporation is floundering, and more importantly, authorities are beginning to ask more questions about where Dr. Mensah's SecUnit is.

And Murderbot would rather those questions went away. For good.
___

Martha Wells' Rogue Protocol is the third in the Murderbot Diaries series, starring a human-like android who keeps getting sucked back into adventure after adventure, though it just wants to be left alone, away from humanity and small talk.

Read Rogue Protocol and find out why Hugo Award winner Ann Leckie wrote, "I love Murderbot!"
Visit Martha Wells's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Harbors of the Sun.

Writers Read: Martha Wells.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Liese O'Halloran Schwarz's "The Possible World"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Possible World: A Novel by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz.

About The Possible World, from the publisher:
A richly compelling and deeply moving novel that traces the converging lives of a young boy who witnesses a brutal murder, the doctor who tends to him, and an elderly woman guarding her long buried past.

It seems like just another night shift for Lucy, an overworked ER physician in Providence, Rhode Island, until six-year-old Ben is brought in as the sole survivor from a horrifying crime scene. He’s traumatized and wordless; everything he knows has been taken from him in an afternoon. It’s not clear what he saw, or what he remembers.

Lucy, who’s grappling with a personal upheaval of her own, feels a profound, unexpected connection to the little boy. She wants to help him…but will recovering his memory heal him, or damage him further?

Across town, Clare will soon be turning one hundred years old. She has long believed that the lifetime of secrets she’s been keeping don’t matter to anyone anymore, but a surprising encounter makes her realize that the time has come to tell her story.

As Ben, Lucy, and Clare struggle to confront the events that shattered their lives, something stronger than fate is working to bring them together.

An expertly stitched story that spans nearly a century—from the Great Depression through the Vietnam War era and into the present—The Possible World is a captivating novel about the complicated ways our pasts shape our identities, the power of maternal love, the loneliness born out of loss, and how timeless bonds can help us triumph over grief.
Visit Liese O'Halloran Schwarz's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Possible World.

Writers Read: Liese O'Halloran Schwarz.

The Page 69 Test: The Possible World.

--Marshal Zeringue

T. Greenwood's "Rust & Stardust," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Rust and Stardust by T. Greenwood.

The entry begins:
Because Rust & Stardust is based on a true crime (the 1948 kidnapping of eleven-year old Sally Horner – the crime that inspired Nabokov’s Lolita), I was writing with real people in mind. However, this novel is, in the end, a piece of historical fiction, and these characters have, in many ways taken on a life of their own.

I always love to imagine who might play the roles of the various characters if the novel were adapted for film. And this one was easy. (Here’s my all-star cast.)

Sally Horner:
I adored Brooklynn Prince as Moonee in The Florida Project. She’s both beautifully innocent and wise in that film; her performance was heart-breaking. She’s still a little young to play Sally, but luckily filmmaking takes time, so in a couple of years, she’d be perfect!

Frank La Salle:
Jackie Earle Haley brilliantly played a pedophile in Little Children. While he might not want to revisit that sort of role, I think he’d make a terrific Frank: able to portray a sick man who is simultaneously ominous and pathetic.

Ella Horner:
Sally’s mother would be...[read on]
Visit T. Greenwood's website.

My Book, The Movie: Rust and Stardust.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten books for fans of "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine"

At the Waterstones blog Martha Greengrass tagged ten books for fans of Gail Honeyman's debut novel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. One title on the list:
The Rosie Project
Graeme Simsion

A thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don's never had a second date. So he devises the Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie - 'the world's most incompatible woman' - throwing Don's safe, ordered life into chaos. But what is this unsettling, alien emotion he's feeling?
Read about another entry on the list.

The Rosie Project is among Jemma Forte's top ten books about love and Bill Gates's nine favorite books.

My Book, The Movie: The Rosie Project.

The Page 69 Test: The Rosie Project.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 16, 2018

What is Cherise Wolas reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Cherise Wolas, author of The Family Tabor: A Novel.

One title she tagged:
Property by Lionel Shriver. This is Shriver’s first collection (stories bookended by two novellas), and the stories are intelligent, insightful, ironic, dense with details, sharp, and often very funny. The collection feels unified to me, more than most, because Shriver thoroughly explores her theme which is about ownership: about how we do—or do not—possess things like homes, land, money, empty nests, and ourselves. This thematic commitment allows the stories to communicate with one another in unusual ways, and I’ve been finding there is a fluidity to...[read on]
About The Family Tabor, from the publisher:
The new novel from Cherise Wolas, acclaimed author of The Resurrection of Joan Ashby

Harry Tabor is about to be named Man of the Decade, a distinction that feels like the culmination of a life well lived. Gathering together in Palm Springs for the celebration are his wife, Roma, a distinguished child psychologist, and their children: Phoebe, a high-powered attorney; Camille, a brilliant social anthropologist; and Simon, a big-firm lawyer, who brings his glamorous wife and two young daughters.

But immediately, cracks begin to appear in this smooth facade: Simon hasn’t been sleeping through the night, Camille can’t decide what to do with her life, and Phoebe is a little too cagey about her new boyfriend. Roma knows her children are hiding things. What she doesn’t know, what none of them know, is that Harry is suddenly haunted by the long-buried secret that drove him, decades ago, to relocate his young family to the California desert. As the ceremony nears, the family members are forced to confront the falsehoods upon which their lives are built.

Set over the course of a single weekend, and deftly alternating between the five Tabors, this provocative, gorgeously rendered novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves and our family and the price we pay for second chances.
Visit Cherise Wolas's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Resurrection of Joan Ashby.

The Page 69 Test: The Family Tabor.

Writers Read: Cherise Wolas.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Jay Schiffman's "Game of the Gods"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Game of the Gods by Jay Schiffman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Jay Schiffman's Game of the Gods is a debut sci-fi/fantasy thriller of political intrigue and Speilberg-worthy action sequences in the vein of Pierce Brown's Red Rising.

Max Cone wants to be an ordinary citizen of the Federacy and leave war and politics behind. He wants the leaders of the world to leave him alone. But he’s too good a military commander, and too powerful a judge, to be left alone. War breaks out, and Max becomes the ultimate prize for the nation that can convince him to fight again.

When one leader gives the Judge a powerful device that predicts the future, the Judge doesn’t want to believe its chilling prophecy: The world will soon end, and he’s to blame. But bad things start to happen. His wife and children are taken. His friends are falsely imprisoned. His closest allies are killed. Worst of all, the world descends into a cataclysmic global war.

In order to find his family, free his friends, and save the world, the Judge must become a lethal killer willing to destroy anyone who stands in his way. He leads a ragtag band of warriors—a 13-year old girl with special powers, a mathematical genius, a religious zealot blinded by faith, and a former revolutionary turned drug addict. Together, they are the only hope of saving the world.
Visit Jay Schiffman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Game of the Gods.

The Page 69 Test: Game of the Gods.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: John A. Fliter's "Child Labor in America"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Child Labor in America: The Epic Legal Struggle to Protect Children by John A. Fliter.

About the book, from the publisher:
Child labor law strikes most Americans as a fixture of the country’s legal landscape, involving issues settled in the distant past. But these laws, however self-evidently sensible they might seem, were the product of deeply divisive legal debates stretching over the past century—and even now are subject to constitutional challenges. Child Labor in America tells the story of that historic legal struggle. The book offers the first full account of child labor law in America—from the earliest state regulations to the most recent important Supreme Court decisions and the latest contemporary attacks on existing laws.

Children had worked in America from the time the first settlers arrived on its shores, but public attitudes about working children underwent dramatic changes along with the nation’s economy and culture. A close look at the origins of oppressive child labor clarifies these changing attitudes, providing context for the hard-won legal reforms that followed. Author John A. Fliter describes early attempts to regulate working children, beginning with haphazard and flawed state-level efforts in the 1840s and continuing in limited and ineffective ways as a consensus about the evils of child labor started to build. In the Progressive Era, the issue finally became a matter of national concern, resulting in several laws, four major Supreme Court decisions, an unsuccessful Child Labor Amendment, and the landmark Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Fliter offers a detailed overview of these events, introducing key figures, interest groups, and government officials on both sides of the debates and incorporating the latest legal and political science research on child labor reform. Unprecedented in its scope and depth, his work provides critical insight into the role child labor has played in the nation’s social, political, and legal development.
Learn more about Child Labor in America at the University Press of Kansas website.

The Page 99 Test: Child Labor in America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top books about Americans abroad

Ian MacKenzie is the author of the novels Feast Days and City of Strangers.

One of his ten favorite books that both handle and complicate the theme of Americans abroad, as shared at the Guardian:
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid

In this reimagining of Albert Camus’s The Fall, Hamid depicts a pas-de-deux over the course of an evening in Lahore. The narrator, a Pakistani man who spent a formative period in New York working in finance in the years before 9/11, addresses his interlocutor, an unidentified American man who may be an intelligence officer, but who never gets a word in edgewise, so to speak. As sharp and clean as the blade of a knife, this is a story, like [Joan] Didion’s [Democracy], about the uncertain empire the US has built, and about the pain and disruption this uncertainty inflicts upon individual lives.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is among Emily Temple's ten top contemporary novels by and about Muslims, Laila Lalami's eight top books about Muslim life for a nation that knows little about Islam, Porochista Khakpour's top ten novels about 9/11, Jimmy So's five best 9/11 novels, and Ahmede Hussain's five top books in recent South Asian literature.

The Page 69 Test: The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What is Georgia Clark reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Georgia Clark, author of The Bucket List: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
I’m always reading a few books at once. Here’s a sample of what’s currently on my nightstand.

Inappropriation by Lexi Freiman. Fifteen-year-old Ziggy Klein struggles to find her place in the complex eco-systems of high school, family, the internet and society at large in this broadly eccentric satire of identity politics. It's meaty and smart but makes this fearless novel truly hilarious is Lexi’s dry, offbeat eye and (what I’m calling) New Australian sense of humor. The ridiculous is sublime and Ziggy’s search for her truth takes us everywhere from Sydney drag bars to rich bitch pool parties to the online alt right underbelly. A must for anyone who’s ever had a circling argument about...[read on]
About The Bucket List, from the publisher:
From the author of the critically acclaimed “lively and engrossing parable for women of all generations” (Harper’s Bazaar) The Regulars­ comes a deeply funny and thoughtful tale of a young woman who, after discovering she has the breast cancer gene, embarks on an unforgettable bucket list adventure

Twenty-five-old Lacey Whitman is blindsided when she’s diagnosed with the BCRA1 gene mutation: the “breast cancer” gene. Her high hereditary risk forces a decision: increased surveillance or the more radical step of a preventative double mastectomy. Lacey doesn't want to lose her breasts. For one, she’s juggling two career paths; her work with the prestigious New York trend forecaster Hoffman House, and her role on the founding team of a sustainable fashion app with friend/mentor, Vivian Chang. Secondly, small-town Lacey’s not so in touch with her sexuality: she doesn’t want to sacrifice her breasts before she’s had the chance to give them their hey-day. To help her make her choice, she (and her friends) creates a “boob bucket list”: everything she wants do with and for her boobs before a possible surgery.

This kicks off a year of sensual exploration and sexual entertainment for the quick-witted Lacey Whitman. The Bucket List cleverly and compassionately explores Lacey’s relationship to her body and her future. Both are things Lacey thought she could control through hard work and sacrifice. But the future, it turns out, is more complicated than she could ever imagine.

Featuring the pitch-perfect “compulsively delicious” (Redbook) prose of The Regulars, The Bucket List is perfect for fans of Amy Poeppel and Sophie Kinsella.
Visit Georgia Clark's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Bucket List.

The Page 69 Test: The Bucket List.

Writers Read: Georgia Clark.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Inman Majors's "Penelope Lemon: Game On!"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Penelope Lemon: Game On! by Inman Majors.

About the book, from the publisher:
Penelope Lemon is a recent divorcée, closet Metallica fan, and accidental subversive to all the expectations of suburban motherhood. After ending her marriage with James, a woodsy intellectual who favors silky kimonos too short for his knobby knees, Penelope finds herself, at forty, living with her randy mother in her childhood home. Broke and desperate for work, she waitresses at Coonskins, a frontier-themed restaurant where the decor is heavy on stuffed mammals and discarded peanut shells.

Despite the pitfalls of balancing parental duties, jobs, and the vagaries of middle-age life, Penelope pushes through one obstacle after another, trying to regain her independence. Whether fumbling through the world of online dating; coping with a bullying situation involving her son, Theo, something of a gastric wonder on the school bus; or wrestling with the discovery of nude photos from her carefree college days that are not quite as “artistic” as she remembers, Penelope gradually emerges as a modern-day heroine who navigates the assorted inanities of life with verve and humor.

Audacious and laugh-out-loud funny, Inman Majors’s new novel holds up a fun-house mirror to the relatable challenges of being a single parent in the digital age. All those who live by the beat of their own drum gain a coconspirator, an accomplice, and a champion in the unstoppable Penelope Lemon.
Visit Inman Majors's website.

The Page 69 Test: Penelope Lemon: Game On!.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: David R. Coon's "Turning the Page"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Turning the Page: Storytelling as Activism in Queer Film and Media by David R. Coon.

About the book, from the publisher:
Surprisingly, Hollywood is still clumsily grappling with its representation of sexual minorities, and LGBTQ filmmakers struggle to find a place in the mainstream movie industry. However, organizations outside the mainstream are making a difference, helping to produce and distribute authentic stories that are both by and for LGBTQ people.

Turning the Page introduces readers to three nonprofit organizations that, in very different ways, have each positively transformed the queer media landscape. David R. Coon takes readers inside In the Life Media, whose groundbreaking documentaries on the LGBTQ experience aired for over twenty years on public television stations nationwide. Coon reveals the successes of POWER UP, a nonprofit production company dedicated to mentoring filmmakers who can turn queer stories into fully realized features and short films. Finally, he turns to Three Dollar Bill Cinema, an organization whose film festivals help queer media find an audience and whose filmmaking camps for LGBTQ youth are nurturing the next generation of queer cinema.

Combining a close analysis of specific films and video programs with extensive interviews of industry professionals, Turning the Page demonstrates how queer storytelling in visual media has the potential to empower individuals, strengthen communities, and motivate social justice activism.
Learn more about Turning the Page at the Rutgers University Press website.

Writers Read: David R. Coon.

The Page 99 Test: Turning the Page.

--Marshal Zeringue

Jay Schiffman's "Game of the Gods," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Game of the Gods by Jay Schiffman.

The entry begins:
Game of the Gods is the story of Max Cone, a former military commander and judge in the Federacy. Max wants to leave war and politics behind, but when his family is taken he must fight. Max and a band of outcasts—a 13-year-old girl with mysterious powers, a math savant, a revolutionary turned drug addict, and the daughter of the world’s most powerful religious leader—must save their family, friends, and the world. Game of the Gods is a fast-paced action adventure that follows Max and his band as they travel through exotic lands and strange political landscapes.

In terms of bringing Game of the Gods to the screen, I would choose...[read on]
Visit Jay Schiffman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Game of the Gods.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books on self-obsession

Will Storr is an award-winning journalist and novelist. His latest book is Selfie: How the West Became Self-Obsessed.

One of Storr's five best books on self-obsession, as shared at the Guardian:
My favourite novel of our solipsistic times is easily The Nix by Nathan Hill. Laura Pottsdam is a student caught plagiarising by her literature professor, the protagonist of the novel Samuel Andresen-Anderson. Pottsdam is the crushing embodiment of our Trumpian age. Not only entirely unrepentant, she is vengeful, and becomes her professor’s nemesis, all the while keeping her massive social network updated on her mental wellbeing via her iFeel app, which offers a predefined selection of emotional states from which to choose. Her followers can then broadcast their emotional responses to her emotional responses via a convenient auto-response function.

If his debut is anything to go by, Hill may well one day be seen as the Charles Dickens of our self-obsessed age.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What is Laura van den Berg reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel.

Her entry begins:
I’ve been reading Andrés Neuman’s How to Travel Without Seeing: Dispatches from the New Latin America—while traveling myself, which seems fitting. After winning the Premio Alfaguara, Neuman is sent on a tour of nineteen countries in Latin America and...[read on]
About The Third Hotel, from the publisher:
In Havana, Cuba, a widow tries to come to terms with her husband’s death—and the truth about their marriage—in Laura van den Berg’s surreal, mystifying story of psychological reflection and metaphysical mystery.

Shortly after Clare arrives in Havana, Cuba, to attend the annual Festival of New Latin American Cinema, she finds her husband, Richard, standing outside a museum. He’s wearing a white linen suit she’s never seen before, and he’s supposed to be dead. Grief-stricken and baffled, Clare tails Richard, a horror film scholar, through the newly tourist-filled streets of Havana, clocking his every move. As the distinction between reality and fantasy blurs, Clare finds grounding in memories of her childhood in Florida and of her marriage to Richard, revealing her role in his death and reappearance along the way. The Third Hotel is a propulsive, brilliantly shape-shifting novel from an inventive author at the height of her narrative powers.
Visit Laura van den Berg's website.

Learn about Laura van den Berg's 6 favorite unconventional mystery novels.

Writers Read: Laura van den Berg.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Carrie Jones's "Escape from the Badlands"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Escape from the Badlands (Time Stoppers) by Carrie Jones.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the exhilarating conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Carrie Jones's sweeping middle-grade fantasy trilogy, Time Stopper Annie and her friends venture into the Badlands to stop the wicked Raiff once and for all.
Visit Carrie Jones's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Carrie Jones & Tala.

My Book, The Movie: Enhanced.

The Page 69 Test: Enhanced.

The Page 69 Test: Escape from the Badlands.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Lynn Hunt's "History: Why It Matters"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: History: Why it Matters by Lynn Hunt.

About the book, from the publisher:
We justify our actions in the present through our understanding of the past. But we live in a time when politicians lie brazenly about historical facts and meddle with the content of history books, while media differ wildly in their reporting of the same event. Frequently, new discoveries force us to re-evaluate everything we thought we knew about the past.

So how can any certainty about history be established, and why does it matter? Lynn Hunt shows why the search for truth about the past, as a continual process of discovery, is vital for our societies. History has an essential role to play in ensuring honest presentation of evidence. In this way, it can foster humility about our present-day concerns, a critical attitude toward chauvinism, and an openness to other peoples and cultures. History, Hunt argues, is our best defense against tyranny.
Learn more about Lynn Hunt and Why History Matters.

The Page 99 Test: Writing History in the Global Era.

Writers Read: Lynn Hunt.

The Page 99 Test: History: Why it Matters.

--Marshal Zeringue

Eight top dark fantasy noir novels

Sam Reader is a writer and conventions editor for The Geek Initiative. He also writes literary criticism and reviews at strangelibrary.com. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog he tagged "eight novels that blend the darker side of fantasy with the dark side of detective fiction," including:
This Body’s Not Big Enough for the Both of Us, by Edgar Cantero

Someone in the wretched hive of San Carnal is killing the sons of the Lyon, a ruthless Cartel boss. On the case are A. and Z. Kimrean, a formidable brother-and-sister private investigator team who unfortunately (for them) happen to share a single body between them. Cantero’s third English-language novel makes its intentions clear from the jump with a joke about Elmore Leonard’s rules of fiction writing, lunging forward in his trademark style as it switches back and forth between a script-format police interrogation with the Kimrean siblings and their narration of the case itself, a frothy, seedy adventure packed to the brim with (intentional) noir clichés, tough talkers, gunfights, ninjas, and all the lurid descriptions of people across the gender spectrum than anyone could ask for. Like Cantero’s other novels, Body approaches its subject with snark, blending chaotic action and comedy into a crime novel that treats its subject with affectionate charm while poking it with skewers.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 13, 2018

What is David R. Coon reading?

Featured at Writers Read: David R. Coon, author of Turning the Page: Storytelling as Activism in Queer Film and Media.

His entry begins:
Having recently finished a major research project, I spent the last few years reading only books and articles directly connected to that research. Now that the project is behind me, I have some time to read books that interest me, even if they have nothing to do with my work. In spite of this freedom, I find myself continuing to read in areas closely related to my research, but also starting to explore some new areas.

Sisters in the Life: A History of Out African American Lesbian Media-Making, edited by Yvonne Welbon and Alexandra Juhasz, is a collection of essays, interviews, and conversations about a group of women who have been largely overlooked or ignored by most scholars and critics. In an industry that has traditionally favored straight white men, lesbian women of color have faced significant hurdles in their attempts to make it as media producers. Sisters in the Life illuminates the...[read on]
About Turning the Page, from the publisher:
Surprisingly, Hollywood is still clumsily grappling with its representation of sexual minorities, and LGBTQ filmmakers struggle to find a place in the mainstream movie industry. However, organizations outside the mainstream are making a difference, helping to produce and distribute authentic stories that are both by and for LGBTQ people.

Turning the Page introduces readers to three nonprofit organizations that, in very different ways, have each positively transformed the queer media landscape. David R. Coon takes readers inside In the Life Media, whose groundbreaking documentaries on the LGBTQ experience aired for over twenty years on public television stations nationwide. Coon reveals the successes of POWER UP, a nonprofit production company dedicated to mentoring filmmakers who can turn queer stories into fully realized features and short films. Finally, he turns to Three Dollar Bill Cinema, an organization whose film festivals help queer media find an audience and whose filmmaking camps for LGBTQ youth are nurturing the next generation of queer cinema.

Combining a close analysis of specific films and video programs with extensive interviews of industry professionals, Turning the Page demonstrates how queer storytelling in visual media has the potential to empower individuals, strengthen communities, and motivate social justice activism.
Learn more about Turning the Page at the Rutgers University Press website.

Writers Read: David R. Coon.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Cherise Wolas's "The Family Tabor"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Family Tabor: A Novel by Cherise Wolas.

About the book, from the publisher:
The new novel from Cherise Wolas, acclaimed author of The Resurrection of Joan Ashby

Harry Tabor is about to be named Man of the Decade, a distinction that feels like the culmination of a life well lived. Gathering together in Palm Springs for the celebration are his wife, Roma, a distinguished child psychologist, and their children: Phoebe, a high-powered attorney; Camille, a brilliant social anthropologist; and Simon, a big-firm lawyer, who brings his glamorous wife and two young daughters.

But immediately, cracks begin to appear in this smooth facade: Simon hasn’t been sleeping through the night, Camille can’t decide what to do with her life, and Phoebe is a little too cagey about her new boyfriend. Roma knows her children are hiding things. What she doesn’t know, what none of them know, is that Harry is suddenly haunted by the long-buried secret that drove him, decades ago, to relocate his young family to the California desert. As the ceremony nears, the family members are forced to confront the falsehoods upon which their lives are built.

Set over the course of a single weekend, and deftly alternating between the five Tabors, this provocative, gorgeously rendered novel reckons with the nature of the stories we tell ourselves and our family and the price we pay for second chances.
Visit Cherise Wolas's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Resurrection of Joan Ashby.

The Page 69 Test: The Family Tabor.

--Marshal Zeringue

Michael J. Sullivan's Riyria Revelations series, the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan.

The entry begins:
When I first conceived of the Riyria Revelations, it was the 1990s. I saw Braveheart and The Man In The Iron Mask and thought Mel Gibson and Jeremy Irons could play Hadrian and Royce in the movie version. They are now 62 and 69 years of age, so that no longer works. And that’s my problem. Actors get old while my characters remain young. I had the characters cast, but alas, time ruined everything.

I gave up trying to cast them, until recently when two actors appeared on screen together that I thought would work. Chris Hemsworth and...[read on]
Visit Michael J. Sullivan's website.

My Book, The Movie: the Riyria Revelations series.

--Marshal Zeringue

Caitlin Moran's seven favorite books about youth, music, & fame

Caitlin Moran's new novel is How to Be Famous. One of her seven favorite books about youth, music, and fame, as shared at The Week magazine:
Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald

A simple idea — a book that describes and tells the story behind every Beatles song — becomes irresistible in the hands of a master. My go-to book for 20 years. I even read it whilst in labor.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 12, 2018

What is Craig DiLouie reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Craig DiLouie, author of One of Us.

His entry begins:
I recently finished Sisyphean, Japanese author Dempow Torishima’s biopunk novella collection. Torishima produced a highly inventive and wholly immersive universe in which genetically engineered life is both technology and economy.

Bizarre, grotesque, and difficult to understand, it’s a demanding but rewarding read. I have nothing but admiration for an author who can create an entirely convincing and strikingly original...[read on]
About One of Us, from the publisher:
They call it the plague

A generation of children born with extreme genetic mutations.

They call it a home

But it’s a place of neglect and forced labour.

They call him a Freak

But Dog is just a boy who wants to be treated as normal.

They call them dangerous

They might be right.
Visit Craig DiLouie's website.

My Book, The Movie: One of Us.

The Page 69 Test: One of Us.

Writers Read: Craig DiLouie.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Victoria M. Grieve's "Little Cold Warriors"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Little Cold Warriors: American Childhood in the 1950s by Victoria M. Grieve.

About the book, from the publisher:
Both conservative and liberal Baby Boomers have romanticized the 1950s as an age of innocence--of pickup ball games and Howdy Doody, when mom stayed home and the economy boomed. These nostalgic narratives obscure many other histories of postwar childhood, one of which has more in common with the war years and the sixties, when children were mobilized and politicized by the U.S. government, private corporations, and individual adults to fight the Cold War both at home and abroad. Children battled communism in its various guises on television, the movies, and comic books; they practiced safety drills, joined civil preparedness groups, and helped to build and stock bomb shelters in the backyard. Children collected coins for UNICEF, exchanged art with other children around the world, prepared for nuclear war through the Boy and Girl Scouts, raised funds for Radio Free Europe, sent clothing to refugee children, and donated books to restock the diminished library shelves of war-torn Europe.

Rather than rationing and saving, American children were encouraged to spend and consume in order to maintain the engine of American prosperity. In these capacities, American children functioned as ambassadors, cultural diplomats, and representatives of the United States. Victoria M. Grieve examines this politicized childhood at the peak of the Cold War, and the many ways children and ideas about childhood were pressed into political service. Little Cold Warriors combines approaches from childhood studies and diplomatic history to understand the cultural Cold War through the activities and experiences of young Americans.
Learn more about Little Cold Warriors at the Oxford University Press.

The Page 99 Test: Little Cold Warriors.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten titles to read after "The Handmaid's Tale"

At the Waterstones blog Martha Greengrass tagged ten books for readers "enthralled by Margaret Atwood's haunting dystopian vision in The Handmaid's Tale," including:
Gather the Daughters
Jennie Melamed

A frighteningly believable dystopian vision, Jennie Melamed’s debut imagines a world where resources are scarce, lives short and women’s fertility a valuable commodity. Before they are bound into a life of marriage and breeding four girls are offered one summer of freedom. With it comes a truth, a discovery that could bring their island world to its knees.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Ellison Cooper's "Caged"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Caged by Ellison Cooper.

About the book, from the publisher:
FBI profiler Sayer Altair hunts a brilliant serial killer with a dangerous obsession in Caged, a gripping thriller from debut author Ellison Cooper.

In a residential Washington, D.C. neighborhood, a young woman's body is found in the basement of an abandoned house--starved to death in a cage, along with the video footage of a dark and deadly ritual. The victim is identified as the daughter of a prominent D.C. politician, and it falls to the FBI to track down the unconscionable psychopath who murdered her.

FBI special agent Sayer Altair would rather conduct research on criminality than catch actual criminals. But when she's offered a promotion hinging on her next assignment, she reluctantly accepts the "Cage Killer" case. Taunted by a photo of another victim at the mercy of this vicious killer, Sayer and her team are driven to put an end to these grisly homicides.

During the investigation, clues emerge connecting the murders to Sayer's past. Now, the stakes are personal, and the deeper Sayer is drawn into the deadly web, the more she believes she is the only one who can uncover the killer's identity.

Told with devastating detail, shocking twists and unrelenting suspense, Cooper proves her exceptional ability to entertain and enthrall.
Visit Ellison Cooper's website.

My Book, The Movie: Caged.

The Page 69 Test: Caged.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 11, 2018

What is Meredith Miller reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Meredith Miller, author of How We Learned to Lie.

Her entry begins:
I read for at least three people; that is, there are at least three of me reading all the time. I teach at a university, so for work I read a lot of literary fiction (though I also teach popular genre stuff). That reading, whether literary or popular, requires a lot of thinking because I take the books apart with students, think about them critically and talk about them in detail. When I’m not working, I like to read for entertainment, or for the pleasurable kind of critical thinking that has nothing to do with my job. So I usually have something hefty going, as well as a couple of genre things. The genre reading I do for pleasure is a lot of eighteenth and nineteenth century novels, contemporary historical crime, urban fantasy, swords and sorcery fantasy and science fiction.

Three things I’m reading at the moment:

Amitav Ghosh, River of Smoke. This is the second book in a trilogy about the opium wars. So the setting for this one is China in the late 1830s. These books are amazing! He’s done so...[read on]
About How We Learned to Lie, from the publisher:
Sharp-edged and voice-driven, Meredith Miller’s How We Learned to Lie is a raw and unflinching look at friendship, violence, and life in a town on the brink. Perfect for fans of Lynn Weingarten and Meg Medina.

This isn't a love story, but it is a story about love.

This is the story of Joan Harris and Daisy McNamara and the year everything in their lives came apart.

It starts when Robbie McNamara appears at Joan’s house with someone else’s blood dripping from his hands. Then it all unravels from there in a string of bad angel dust, good biology teachers, rusty scalpels, and stunning car crashes. People keep disappearing, and everyone is lying.

There was always Joan and Daisy, just Daisy and Joan. The thing is, even if you love someone, how long should you hold on before letting go to save yourself?
Visit Meredith Miller's website.

The Page 69 Test: How We Learned to Lie.

Writers Read: Meredith Miller.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten essential steamy thrillers

Laura Griffin's latest novel is Desperate Girls.

One of her ten favorite sexy thrillers, as shared at Publishers Weekly:
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

In this clever kidnapping-gone-wrong story, we meet Mia Dennett, the daughter of a Chicago judge. Mia’s life spins out of control after she goes home from a bar with a man who later kidnaps her. Kubica skillfully uses multiple perspectives—Mia, her distraught mother, the detective, the kidnapper—and gives the reader a view into the strangely sensual relationship between Mia and her abductor. Kubica layers the plot and keeps the surprises coming until the very last page.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Good Girl is among Krysten Ritter's six favorite mystery novels and Jeff Somer's' six novels that explore Stockholm Syndrome.

--Marshal Zeringue

Susan Elia MacNeal's "The Prisoner in the Castle," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Prisoner in the Castle: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan Elia MacNeal.

The entry begins:
I’ve never really toyed around with the idea of a “perfect cast” for the Maggie Hope novels, as all the characters started out as composites of various friends and people I actually know, along with historical figures. They’re all, well, themselves, to me when I’m writing. That’s how I see them. It would be odd to suddenly start seeing them as a popular actor or actress.

However, I was absolutely gobsmacked when the actress Daisy Ridley (Star Wars, Murder on the Orient Express) bought the TV and film rights to the Maggie Hope series. And even more floored when I learned...[read on]
Visit Susan Elia MacNeal's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Prisoner in the Castle.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Rory Cormac's "Disrupt and Deny"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy by Rory Cormac.

About the book, from the publisher:
British leaders use spies and Special Forces to interfere in the affairs of others discreetly and deniably. Since 1945, MI6 has spread misinformation designed to divide and discredit targets from the Middle East to Eastern Europe and Northern Ireland. It has instigated whispering campaigns and planted false evidence on officials working behind the Iron Curtain, tried to ferment revolution in Albania, blown up ships to prevent the passage of refugees to Israel, and secretly funnelled aid to insurgents in Afghanistan and dissidents in Poland. MI6 has launched cultural and economic warfare against Iceland and Czechoslovakia. It has tried to instigate coups in Congo, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and elsewhere. Through bribery and blackmail, Britain has rigged elections as colonies moved to independence. Britain has fought secret wars in Yemen, Indonesia, and Oman--and discreetly used Special Forces to eliminate enemies from colonial Malaya to Libya during the Arab Spring.

This is covert action: a vital, though controversial, tool of statecraft and perhaps the most sensitive of all government activity. If used wisely, it can play an important role in pursuing national interests in a dangerous world. If used poorly, it can cause political scandal--or worse.

In Disrupt and Deny, Rory Cormac tells the remarkable true story of Britain's secret scheming against its enemies, as well as its friends; of intrigue and manoeuvring within the darkest corridors of Whitehall, where officials fought to maintain control of this most sensitive and seductive work; and, above all, of Britain's attempt to use smoke and mirrors to mask decline. He reveals hitherto secret operations, the slush funds that paid for them, and the battles in Whitehall that shaped them.
Learn more about Disrupt and Deny at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Disrupt and Deny.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 10, 2018

What is Lynn Hunt reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Lynn Hunt, author of History: Why it Matters.

Her entry begins:
I just finished Barbara Tuchman’s The Guns of August (1962), a history of the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Although it’s long and supposedly outdated, it remains a perennial favorite with readers for good reasons. I found it gripping. Tuchman puts most of us professional historians to shame; she manages to make the often dreary history of diplomatic maneuvering fascinating and tells the story of the first battles of the war in a way that captures the drama, uncertainty, pathos, terror and horror of events. I have talked about the war in my class on the history of Western civilization, but after reading her, I...[read on]
About History: Why it Matters, from the publisher:
We justify our actions in the present through our understanding of the past. But we live in a time when politicians lie brazenly about historical facts and meddle with the content of history books, while media differ wildly in their reporting of the same event. Frequently, new discoveries force us to re-evaluate everything we thought we knew about the past.

So how can any certainty about history be established, and why does it matter? Lynn Hunt shows why the search for truth about the past, as a continual process of discovery, is vital for our societies. History has an essential role to play in ensuring honest presentation of evidence. In this way, it can foster humility about our present-day concerns, a critical attitude toward chauvinism, and an openness to other peoples and cultures. History, Hunt argues, is our best defense against tyranny.
Learn more about Lynn Hunt and Why History Matters.

The Page 99 Test: Writing History in the Global Era.

Writers Read: Lynn Hunt.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Amanda Robson & Merlin

Featured at Coffee with a Canine: Amanda Robson & Merlin.

The author, on how her dog got his name:
Merlin is the name of a mythical magical wizard. My dog is so special to me it feels like...[read on]
About Amanda Robson's novel, Guilt:
Your sister. Her secret. The betrayal.

There is no bond greater than blood...

When the body of a woman is found stabbed to death, the blame falls to her twin sister. But who killed who? And which one is now the woman behind bars?

Zara and Miranda have always supported each other. But then Zara meets Seb, and everything changes. Handsome, charismatic and dangerous, Seb threatens to tear the sisters’ lives apart – but is he really the one to blame? Or are deeper resentments simmering beneath the surface that the sisters must face up to?

As the sisters’ relationship is stretched to the brink, a traumatic incident in Seb’s past begins to rear its head and soon all three are locked in a psychological battle that will leave someone dead. The question is, who?
Visit Amanda Robson's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Amanda Robson & Merlin.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Georgia Clark's "The Bucket List"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Bucket List: A Novel by Georgia Clark.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the author of the critically acclaimed “lively and engrossing parable for women of all generations” (Harper’s Bazaar) The Regulars­ comes a deeply funny and thoughtful tale of a young woman who, after discovering she has the breast cancer gene, embarks on an unforgettable bucket list adventure

Twenty-five-old Lacey Whitman is blindsided when she’s diagnosed with the BCRA1 gene mutation: the “breast cancer” gene. Her high hereditary risk forces a decision: increased surveillance or the more radical step of a preventative double mastectomy. Lacey doesn't want to lose her breasts. For one, she’s juggling two career paths; her work with the prestigious New York trend forecaster Hoffman House, and her role on the founding team of a sustainable fashion app with friend/mentor, Vivian Chang. Secondly, small-town Lacey’s not so in touch with her sexuality: she doesn’t want to sacrifice her breasts before she’s had the chance to give them their hey-day. To help her make her choice, she (and her friends) creates a “boob bucket list”: everything she wants do with and for her boobs before a possible surgery.

This kicks off a year of sensual exploration and sexual entertainment for the quick-witted Lacey Whitman. The Bucket List cleverly and compassionately explores Lacey’s relationship to her body and her future. Both are things Lacey thought she could control through hard work and sacrifice. But the future, it turns out, is more complicated than she could ever imagine.

Featuring the pitch-perfect “compulsively delicious” (Redbook) prose of The Regulars, The Bucket List is perfect for fans of Amy Poeppel and Sophie Kinsella.
Visit Georgia Clark's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Bucket List.

The Page 69 Test: The Bucket List.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten titles to read before getting divorced

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Reads blog he tagged ten books for those considering divorce, titles that "will offer perspective, advice, and entertainment, and just might make the decision easier for you, whatever you choose." One entry on the list:
The Rabbit Angstrom Novels, by John Updike

John Updike was a writer with myriad obsessions, and they all came together in the four-book, decades-in-the-writing saga of flawed but fascinating Harry “Rabbit” Angstrom, who attempts to abandon his young family in book one and doesn’t make life any less complicated for himself as the decades rush on. What you end up with is, in large part, one of the most finely-detailed accounts of the ups and downs of a marriage in literary history. Considered as a whole, Rabbit’s race through life offers the sort of minute study of a relationship that will force you to reconsider you own.
Read about the other books on the list.

Updike's Rabbit books figure among Peter Stanford's top ten Protestants in fiction, Eliza Kennedy's top ten merry adulterers in literature, Sue Townsend's six best books, Julian Barnes's best books to travel with, William Sutcliffe's top ten relationship novels, and Aifric Campbell's top ten favorite jobs in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 09, 2018

What is Tanya Katerí Hernández reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Tanya Katerí Hernández, author of Multiracials and Civil Rights: Mixed-Race Stories of Discrimination.

Her entry begins:
I have been re-reading Trevor Noah's memoir Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, in anticipation of the film version that Lupita Nyongo is slated to star in portraying Noah’s mother. The book has a special resonance for me as a comparative-race law scholar whose personal background as a black-identified mixed-race Afro-Latina traveling the globe informs her insights about the (in)significance of the growth of racial mixture to the pursuit of racial equality whether it be in the US, South Africa, or Latin America. Noah’s story of being mixed-race during and after apartheid ended in South Africa is both a poignant and humorous read (as you would expect from the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

Yet what brings me back to rereading it, are all his insights about how discrimination operates separate from one’s personal racial identity. For instance...[read on]
About Multiracials and Civil Rights, from the publisher:
Narratives of mixed-race people bringing claims of racial discrimination in court, illuminating traditional understandings of civil rights law

As the mixed-race population in the United States grows, public fascination with multiracial identity has promoted the belief that racial mixture will destroy racism. However, multiracial people still face discrimination. Many legal scholars hold that this is distinct from the discrimination faced by people of other races, and traditional civil rights laws built on a strict black/white binary need to be reformed to account for cases of discrimination against those identifying as mixed-race.

In Multiracials and Civil Rights, Tanya Katerí Hernández debunks this idea, and draws on a plethora of court cases to demonstrate that multiracials face the same types of discrimination as other racial groups. Hernández argues that multiracial people are primarily targeted for discrimination due to their non-whiteness, and shows how the cases highlight the need to support the existing legal structures instead of a new understanding of civil rights law. The legal and political analysis is enriched with Hernández's own personal narrative as a mixed-race Afro-Latina.

Coming at a time when explicit racism is resurfacing, Hernández’s look at multiracial discrimination cases is essential for fortifying the focus of civil rights law on racial privilege and the lingering legacy of bias against non-whites, and has much to teach us about how to move towards a more egalitarian society.
Learn more about Multiracials and Civil Rights at the NYU Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Racial Subordination in Latin America.

The Page 99 Test: Multiracials and Civil Rights.

Writers Read: Tanya Katerí Hernández.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: James Loeffler's "Rooted Cosmopolitans"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Rooted Cosmopolitans: Jews and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century by James Loeffler.

About the book, from the publisher:
A stunningly original look at the forgotten Jewish political roots of contemporary international human rights, told through the moving stories of five key activists

The year 2018 marks the seventieth anniversary of two momentous events in twentieth-century history: the birth of the State of Israel and the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Both remain tied together in the ongoing debates about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, global antisemitism, and American foreign policy. Yet the surprising connections between Zionism and the origins of international human rights are completely unknown today. In this riveting account, James Loeffler explores this controversial history through the stories of five remarkable Jewish founders of international human rights, following them from the prewar shtetls of eastern Europe to the postwar United Nations, a journey that includes the Nuremberg and Eichmann trials, the founding of Amnesty International, and the UN resolution of 1975 labeling Zionism as racism. The result is a book that challenges long-held assumptions about the history of human rights and offers a startlingly new perspective on the roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Learn more about Rooted Cosmopolitans at the Yale University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Rooted Cosmopolitans.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Craig DiLouie's "One of Us"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: One of Us by Craig DiLouie.

About the book, from the publisher:
They call it the plague

A generation of children born with extreme genetic mutations.

They call it a home

But it’s a place of neglect and forced labour.

They call him a Freak

But Dog is just a boy who wants to be treated as normal.

They call them dangerous

They might be right.
Visit Craig DiLouie's website.

My Book, The Movie: One of Us.

The Page 69 Test: One of Us.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ellison Cooper's "Caged," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Caged by Ellison Cooper.

The entry begins:
I don't know a single author who hasn't fantasized about their book being turned into a movie. Which is to say that I know exactly who I would love to cast in Caged.

My main character, Sayer Altair, is a biracial FBI neuroscientist and I would love for Zazie Beetz to play her! Beetz was fierce as Domino in Deadpool 2, tough but also funny and genuine.

I actually wrote Sayer's partner, Vic Devereaux, with...[read on]
Visit Ellison Cooper's website.

My Book, The Movie: Caged.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top novels about riots

A.G. Lombardo is the author of Graffiti Palace: A Novel.

One of his ten favorite novels about riots and rebellion, as shared at the Guardian:
Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley

The Watts riots have just ended, and LA smoulders. Black detective Ezekiel Rawlins walks the charred neighbourhoods. He’s as torn as his city; a lawman, he sat the riots out, but he knows the uprising was a revolt against LA’s sunny racism. A black woman has been murdered. The suspect is a white man, and Rawlins is afraid the city’s tensions will explode again. Mosley’s prose is dark and crisp, illuminating the inner riot that sometimes rages within us.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue