Sunday, December 16, 2018

Pg. 99: Sonja Thomas's "Privileged Minorities"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Privileged Minorities: Syrian Christianity, Gender, and Minority Rights in Postcolonial India by Sonja Thomas.

About the book, from the publisher:
Although demographically a minority in Kerala, India, Syrian Christians are not a subordinated community. They are caste-, race-, and class-privileged, and have long benefitted, both economically and socially, from their privileged position. Focusing on Syrian Christian women, Sonja Thomas explores how this community illuminates larger questions of multiple oppressions, privilege and subordination, racialization, and religion and secularism in India.

In Privileged Minorities, Thomas examines a wide range of sources, including oral histories, ethnographic interviews, and legislative assembly debates, to interrogate the relationships between religious rights and women's rights in Kerala. Using an intersectional approach, and US women of color feminist theory, she demonstrates the ways that race, caste, gender, religion, and politics are inextricably intertwined, with power and privilege working in complex and nuanced ways. By attending to the ways in which inequalities within groups shape very different experiences of religious and political movements in feminist and rights-based activism, Thomas lays the groundwork for imagining new feminist solidarities across religions, castes, races, and classes.
Learn more about Privileged Minorities at the University of Washington Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Privileged Minorities.

--Marshal Zeringue

Nine novels that examine the wounds of rural America

Susan Bernhard is a Massachusetts Cultural Council fellowship recipient and a graduate of the GrubStreet Novel Incubator program. She was born and raised in the Bitterroot Valley of western Montana, is a graduate of the University of Maryland, and lives with her husband and two children near Boston.

Winter Loon is her debut novel.

At Lithub she took "a look at contemporary fiction that taps into Americana mythology and storytelling, that is unafraid to turn the body over and examine the underbelly for wounds and scars," and tagged nine novels. One title on the list:
Susan Henderson, The Flicker of Old Dreams

Henderson explores the idea of the American Dream, how we pursue it, how we lose it, in this novel set in small town Montana. When a high school hero dies in a tragic farm accident, his brother disappears, only to return years later to a town dying and still dealing with the death of this boy. The narrator—a mortician daughter of a mortician, whose life has been about death from the moment of birth—lovingly breathes hope into this book of small gestures, of anguish and loneliness, about dying and grief, and the isolation of rural America.
Read about another title on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Flicker of Old Dreams.

My Book, The Movie: The Flicker of Old Dreams.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Debra H. Goldstein's "One Taste Too Many"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: One Taste Too Many: A Sarah Blair Mystery by Debra H. Goldstein.

About the book, from the publisher:
For culinary challenged Sarah Blair, there’s only one thing scarier than cooking from scratch—murder!

Married at eighteen, divorced at twenty eight, Sarah Blair reluctantly swaps her luxury lifestyle for a cramped studio apartment and a law firm receptionist job in the tired hometown she never left. With nothing much to show for the last decade but her feisty Siamese cat, RahRah, and some clumsy domestic skills, she’s the polar opposite of her bubbly twin, Emily—an ambitious chef determined to take her culinary ambitions to the top at a local gourmet restaurant...

Sarah knew starting over would be messy. But things fall apart completely when her ex drops dead, seemingly poisoned by Emily’s award-winning rhubarb crisp. Now, with RahRah wanted by the woman who broke up her marriage and Emily wanted by the police for murder, Sarah needs to figure out the right recipe to crack the case before time runs out. Unfortunately, for a gal whose idea of good china is floral paper plates, catching the real killer and living to tell about it could mean facing a fate worse than death—being in the kitchen!
Visit Debra H. Goldstein's website.

The Page 69 Test: One Taste Too Many.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Five books that shaped Louise Penny's life

Louise Penny shared with CBC Books "some of the books that have played an important role in her personal and professional life," including:
Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

"Charlotte's Web by E. B. White introduced me to the power of storytelling... I was a very fearful child. I was afraid of everything, so reading in my room was the only place on Earth I felt safe. I was reading Charlotte's Web and one of the things I was most afraid of was spiders. Like for most children, it almost was a phobia... But halfway through the book I realized that I really loved Charlotte. I didn't want anything bad to happen to her. And this was a spider! In that instant my fear of spiders disappeared. I understood, at that moment, the power of the word and the power of storytelling. For a fearful child to have such a principal fear lifted because of a story was beyond imagining. I knew I wanted to be part of that world forever. I'm not sure if I initially thought I wanted to be a writer then, but I knew I wanted to be a reader for the rest of my life. Writers start off as readers, and that's where it all began.
Read about another entry on the list.

Charlotte's Web is among Swapna Haddow top ten unappreciated animal heroes, Lara Williamson's top ten goodbyes in children’s literature, BBC.com Culture’s critics' eleven best children’s books (for ages 10 and under) ever published in English, Holly Webb's ten top children's books on death and bereavement, Sara Brady's top six talking-animal characters she’d like to have a drink with, Joel Cunningham's favorite talking animals in fiction, Scott Greenstone's top twenty books with fewer than 200 pages, Mohsin Hamid's six favorite books and Sarah Lean's top ten animal stories; it is a book Kate DiCamillo hopes parents will read to their kids.

Visit Louise Penny's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Louise Penny & Trudy.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Yona Zeldis McDonough reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Yona Zeldis McDonough, author of Courageous.

Her entry begins:
I just started The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall. Part of the novel takes places in 1949, and focuses on the Miss Subways beauty contest, which offered its contestants a shot at a little Park Avenue luster and local fame. I can still remember those seeing those placards for Miss Subways in the1960s and early 1970s and so I was immediately...[read on]
About Courageous, from the publisher:
Aiden is the son of a fisherman on the south coast of England, and he's been afraid of the ocean since his oldest brother was killed at sea. But that doesn't matter when he and his best friend, Sally, hear chatter on their radio. It's May 1940, and British troops, including Aiden's surviving brother, George, are trapped in northern France, surrounded by Nazi forces. The Allies have come up with a daring plan to rescue their troops. But in order to get their boys out of France and back across the Channel, they'll need every boat they can get their hands on.

Aiden's parents forbid him from volunteering, but he and Sally are determined to help, and they secretly set off to join Operation Dynamo. It's a deadly journey, and the friends are in grave danger as they help ferry the troops from Dunkirk, all the while desperately searching for George. But can Aiden find the courage to keep going, or will he, Sally, and George be lost forever?

From Yona Zeldis McDonough, author of The Bicycle Spy, comes a gripping story of courage under fire on the high seas.
Learn more about the author and her work at Yona Zeldis McDonough's website.

The Page 69 Test: You Were Meant For Me.

My Book, The Movie: You Were Meant for Me.

Coffee with a Canine: Yona Zeldis McDonough & Willa and Holden.

The Page 69 Test: The House on Primrose Pond.

My Book, The Movie: The House on Primrose Pond.

Writers Read: Yona Zeldis McDonough.

--Marshal Zeringue

Seven novels that tell the story of NYC's Gilded Age

Simon Baatz is a New York Times-bestselling author and award-winning historian.

His latest book is The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century.

At CrimeReads Baatz tagged seven novels that tell the story of Gilded Age New York City, including:
James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (1912)

Johnson, an editor at the New York Age, a weekly newspaper based in New York, wrote this fictional account of a young biracial man who moves from Georgia to New York sometime after the Civil War. The protagonist earns his living playing ragtime at clubs and private parties, then moves to Paris, and returns to the United States where he witnesses a lynching. He is able to pass as white and he marries a white woman, abandoning his calling as a musician and going into business.
Read about another entry on the list.

Also see Rosemary Simpson's six favorite historical crime novels set during The Gilded Age.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, December 14, 2018

Pg. 99: Adrienne Mayor's "Gods and Robots"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology by Adrienne Mayor.

About the book, from the publisher:
The fascinating untold story of how the ancients imagined robots and other forms of artificial life—and even invented real automated machines

The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, long before medieval automata, and centuries before technology made self-moving devices possible, Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life—and grappling with still-unresolved ethical concerns about biotechne, “life through craft.” In this compelling, richly illustrated book, Adrienne Mayor tells the fascinating story of how ancient Greek, Roman, Indian, and Chinese myths envisioned artificial life, automata, self-moving devices, and human enhancements—and how these visions relate to and reflect the ancient invention of real animated machines.

As early as Homer, Greeks were imagining robotic servants, animated statues, and even ancient versions of Artificial Intelligence, while in Indian legend, Buddha’s precious relics were defended by robot warriors copied from Greco-Roman designs for real automata. Mythic automata appear in tales about Jason and the Argonauts, Medea, Daedalus, Prometheus, and Pandora, and many of these machines are described as being built with the same materials and methods that human artisans used to make tools and statues. And, indeed, many sophisticated animated devices were actually built in antiquity, reaching a climax with the creation of a host of automata in the ancient city of learning, Alexandria, the original Silicon Valley.

A groundbreaking account of the earliest expressions of the timeless impulse to create artificial life, Gods and Robots reveals how some of today’s most advanced innovations in robotics and AI were foreshadowed in ancient myth—and how science has always been driven by imagination. This is mythology for the age of AI.
Learn more about Gods and Robots at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World.

The Page 99 Test: Gods and Robots.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Ann Howard Creel's "The River Widow"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The River Widow by Ann Howard Creel.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the bestselling author of The Whiskey Sea comes a stirring novel of a young woman’s survival and liberation during the Great Depression.

In 1937, with flood waters approaching, Adah Branch accidentally kills her abusive husband, Lester, and surrenders his body to the raging river, only to be swept away herself.

So begins her story of survival, return to civilization, defense against accusations of murder, and the fight to save herself and her stepdaughter, Daisy, from the clutches of her husband’s notoriously cruel family, who have their sights set on revenge for Lester’s death. Essentially trapped, Adah must plan an escape.

But when she develops feelings for the one person essential to her plan’s success, she faces a painful choice: Will she choose to risk everything saving Daisy or take the new life offered by a loving man?
Visit Ann Howard Creel's website.

The Page 69 Test: The River Widow.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six top ghost stories for a cold Christmas night

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 six "spectral tales best enjoyed during the most wonderful (and darkest) time of the year," including:
“The Reaper’s Image,” by Stephen King

More than a few of the stories in King’s literary canon would fit nicely on this list—the upsetting house-haunting in “It Grows On You,” the decidedly retro atmosphere of “The Breathing Method,” the isolated terror of the bathroom-set “Sneakers,” and any number of other stories from the exceptionally ghostly Skeleton Crew—all would be solid picks. But “The Reaper’s Image” gets by on just how eerie yet utterly simple it is: two men discuss a mirror’s supernatural history, something unsettling happens, and the ending is left ambiguous. There’s no “why,” no long history to explain what the mirror is, it’s just a haunted mirror, and we’re left with an odd sense that something upsetting has just occurred. It’s that simplicity that truly makes it a chilling story, and an excellent read.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sarah Bailey's "Into The Night," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Into the Night by Sarah Bailey.

The entry begins:
Seeing as Into The Night is the second book in the Detective Gemma Woodstock series, some of my casting inspiration was already set when I wrote the first book, The Dark Lake.

In saying that, the balance between evolving the characters and maintaining a sense of consistency is really important when writing any kind of series and seeing that Gemma is a little grittier in this instalment, and perhaps a little wilder and sassier, I thought that someone like Rose Byrne would do an amazing job of depicting the light and shade that the storyline provokes and is a great build on my original muse, Ellen Page.

This book introduces a new main character in Nick Fleet, the senior detective that Gemma is paired with in her new city squad in Melbourne. Nick is a really abrasive character, obnoxious and...[read on]
Visit Sarah Bailey's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Dark Lake.

My Book, The Movie: The Dark Lake.

The Page 69 Test: Into the Night.

My Book, The Movie: Into the Night.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Ellie Alexander reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Ellie Alexander, author of The Pint of No Return: A Sloan Krause Mystery.

Her entry begins:
It’s officially “reading season” in my house. Wait, who am I kidding? It’s always reading season in my house. I’ll rephrase that. It’s perhaps my favorite reading season. There’s nothing better than lighting a fire and curling up on the couch with a warm drink and a new read. Winter’s blowing winds, torrential rains, and dumping snow call for lazy days lingering over a great book.

Because I write multiple mystery series, I try to avoid reading the genre when I’m working on a manuscript. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on, but here are a few of my favorite recent reads.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I read this book in a day and then I quickly regretted devouring it. Now, I’m going to have to go back and read it again. Maybe with a glass of wine to remind myself to sip it slowly. The book follows Eleanor Oliphant on her daily routine working at dead-end job where her co-workers ridicule her awkward social interactions and inability to recognize that most of the time the joke’s on her. This is a book that must be read until the end. At the beginning of the book I found...[read on]
About The Pint of No Return, from the publisher:
Amateur sleuth Sloan Krause returns in The Pint of No Return, another delightful cozy by Ellie Alexander—this time investigating a movie star who's murdered not long after arriving in Leavenworth, WA to film his latest project.

No other festival compares to Oktoberfest in Leavenworth, Washington. The whole town is buzzing with excitement over this year’s activities and eagerly awaiting Nitro’s latest offering Cherrywizen, made with locally sourced cherries. But local brewmaster Sloan Krause is tapped out. Between trying to manage the pub, her pending divorce with Mac, and her mounting feelings for Garrett, she’s fermenting in internal turmoil.

To complicate matters, dreamy movie star Mitchell Morgan and his production crew have arrived in the village to film during the authentic Bavarian brewfest. Mitchell has his eye on Sloan and a taste for Nitro’s Cherrywizen. Sloan escapes his advances for good when she finds Mitchell slumped over the bar. Is this a case of one pint too many, or has Mitchell been murdered by microbrew?
Visit Ellie Alexander's website.

My Book, The Movie: Fudge and Jury.

The Page 69 Test: Fudge and Jury.

The Page 69 Test: Death on Tap.

My Book, The Movie: Another One Bites the Crust.

The Page 69 Test: The Pint of No Return.

Writers Read: Ellie Alexander.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five fantasy novels that can inspire hope in tough times

Laura Weymouth is a Canadian living in exile in America, and the sixth consecutive generation of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiled cat, and an indeterminate number of chickens. Her debut YA fantasy novel is The Light Between Worlds.

At Tor.com Weymouth tagged five books that can inspire hope in tough times, including:
Plain Kate by Erin Bow

In Erin Bow’s lovely YA fantasy debut Katerina Svetlana deals with prejudice, the loss of a loved one, and the loss of a piece of herself. A dark and winsome book, beautifully written, that never shies away from grief, but leaves readers hopeful and whole by the time you reach the bittersweet ending. Kate’s loss of her shadow, and subsequent need to conceal its absence, will be all too familiar to readers who’ve found it necessary to hide a part of themselves from the world. But Kate’s grit and determination offer a fortifying alternative to sorrow or despair—if she can attempt to face down a witch and regain her missing piece, surely those who journey with her can weather a little darkness, a little sadness, and come out on the other side.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Coffee with a canine: Kitty Zeldis & Dottie

Featured at Coffee with a Canine: Kitty Zeldis & Dottie.

The author, on how Dottie got her name:
My daughter and I just thought it was a cute name that suited her. We liked its retro quality. We sometimes call her just plain Dot. Or we give the name a Russian twist:...[read on]
About Not Our Kind, from the publisher:
With echoes of Rules of Civility and The Boston Girl, a compelling and thought-provoking novel set in postwar New York City, about two women—one Jewish, one a WASP—and the wholly unexpected consequences of their meeting.

One rainy morning in June, two years after the end of World War II, a minor traffic accident brings together Eleanor Moskowitz and Patricia Bellamy. Their encounter seems fated: Eleanor, a teacher and recent Vassar graduate, needs a job. Patricia’s difficult thirteen-year-old daughter Margaux, recovering from polio, needs a private tutor.

Though she feels out of place in the Bellamys’ rarefied and elegant Park Avenue milieu, Eleanor forms an instant bond with Margaux. Soon the idealistic young woman is filling the bright young girl’s mind with Shakespeare and Latin. Though her mother, a hat maker with a little shop on Second Avenue, disapproves, Eleanor takes pride in her work, even if she must use the name "Moss" to enter the Bellamys’ restricted doorman building each morning, and feels that Patricia’s husband, Wynn, may have a problem with her being Jewish.

Invited to keep Margaux company at the Bellamys’ country home in a small town in Connecticut, Eleanor meets Patricia’s unreliable, bohemian brother, Tom, recently returned from Europe. The spark between Eleanor and Tom is instant and intense. Flushed with new romance and increasingly attached to her young pupil, Eleanor begins to feel more comfortable with Patricia and much of the world she inhabits. As the summer wears on, the two women’s friendship grows—until one hot summer evening, a line is crossed, and both Eleanor and Patricia will have to make important decisions—choices that will reverberate through their lives.

Gripping and vividly told, Not Our Kind illuminates the lives of two women on the cusp of change—and asks how much our pasts can and should define our futures.
Kitty Zeldis is the pseudonym for a novelist and non-fiction writer of books for adults and children. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY.

My Book, The Movie: Not Our Kind.

Writers Read: Kitty Zeldis.

Coffee with a Canine: Kitty Zeldis & Dottie.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Sarah Bailey's "Into The Night"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Into the Night by Sarah Bailey.

About the book, from the publisher:
After the shocking murder of a high-profile celebrity, Gemma Woodstock must pull back the layers of a gilded cage to discover who among the victim’s friends and family can be trusted–and who may be the killer.

Troubled and brilliant, Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock finds herself lost and alone after a recent move to Melbourne, brokenhearted by the decisions she’s had to make. Her new workplace is a minefield and Detective Sergeant Nick Fleet, the partner she has been assigned, is uncommunicative and often hostile. When a homeless man is murdered and Gemma is put on the case, she can’t help feeling a connection with the victim and his lonely, isolated existence.

Then Sterling Wade, an up-and-coming actor filming his breakout performance in a closed-off city street, is murdered in the middle of an action-packed shot, and Gemma and Nick have to put aside their differences to unravel the mysteries surrounding the actor’s life and death. Who could commit such a brazen crime? Who stands to profit from it? Far too many people, and none of them can be trusted. Gemma can’t imagine a pair of victims with less in common–and yet as Gemma and Fleet soon learn, both men were keeping secrets that may have led to their deaths.

With riveting suspense, razor-sharp writing, and a fascinating cast of characters, INTO THE NIGHT proves Sarah Bailey is a major new talent to watch in the world of literary crime fiction.
Visit Sarah Bailey's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Dark Lake.

My Book, The Movie: The Dark Lake.

The Page 69 Test: Into the Night.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten of the best fictional booksellers

Bartholomew Bennett is the author of the debut horror novella, The Pale Ones. One of his top ten fictional booksellers, as shared at the Guardian:
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

In contrast to Corso [from The Dumas Club by Arturo PĂ©rez-Reverte], Florence Green, the proprietor of Penelope Fitzgerald’s eponymous concern, leads a quiet, modest life. But will her stoicism and resilience prove sufficient to overcome the obstacles ranged against her, from the salt dampness of her premises to the antagonistic attentions of the local grandee and the presence of the “rapper” haunting her premises
Read about another entry on the list.

The Bookshop is among Alison Moore's ten top seaside novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Scott E. Page's "The Model Thinker"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Model Thinker: What You Need to Know to Make Data Work for You by Scott E. Page.

About the book, from the publisher:
How anyone can become a data ninja

From the stock market to genomics laboratories, census figures to marketing email blasts, we are awash with data. But as anyone who has ever opened up a spreadsheet packed with seemingly infinite lines of data knows, numbers aren’t enough: we need to know how to make those numbers talk. In The Model Thinker, social scientist Scott E. Page shows us the mathematical, statistical, and computational models–from linear regression to random walks and far beyond–that can turn anyone into a genius. At the core of the book is Page’s “many-model paradigm,” which shows the reader how to apply multiple models to organize the data, leading to wiser choices, more accurate predictions, and more robust designs. The Model Thinker provides a toolkit for business people, students, scientists, pollsters, and bloggers to make them better, clearer thinkers, able to leverage data and information to their advantage.
Visit Scott E. Page's faculty webpage.

The Page 99 Test: The Model Thinker.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Nine thrillers featuring duplicitous spouses

Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling novelist. Her new book is For Better and Worse.

One of nine thrillers featuring untrustworthy spouses she tagged at CrimeReads:
The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

Amber Patterson is tired of being a nobody, and will do whatever it takes to reinvent her life. And not just any life. Amber has a very specific goal—to displace Daphne Parrish. Daphne is married to Jackson, and together they lead a golden existence of wealth and privilege. Amber insinuates herself into Daphne’s world, and then launches her plan to steal Jackson away. But is the Parrish’s marriage really the fairy tale Amber believes it to be? Or is the glossy glamour hiding a much darker reality?
Read about another entry on the list.

The Last Mrs. Parrish is among Jennifer Hillier's eight crime novels of women starting over.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Mrs. Parrish.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Kitty Zeldis reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Kitty Zeldis, author of Not Our Kind: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
After the Fire by Lauren Belfer. This is a novel that skillfully moves back and forth between the past and present, and has as its center a fictional piece of music written by J.S. Bach. Belfer did extensive research, but the novel is never weighed down by it; instead, it’s woven seamlessly into the prose. As a...[read on]
About Not Our Kind, from the publisher:
With echoes of Rules of Civility and The Boston Girl, a compelling and thought-provoking novel set in postwar New York City, about two women—one Jewish, one a WASP—and the wholly unexpected consequences of their meeting.

One rainy morning in June, two years after the end of World War II, a minor traffic accident brings together Eleanor Moskowitz and Patricia Bellamy. Their encounter seems fated: Eleanor, a teacher and recent Vassar graduate, needs a job. Patricia’s difficult thirteen-year-old daughter Margaux, recovering from polio, needs a private tutor.

Though she feels out of place in the Bellamys’ rarefied and elegant Park Avenue milieu, Eleanor forms an instant bond with Margaux. Soon the idealistic young woman is filling the bright young girl’s mind with Shakespeare and Latin. Though her mother, a hat maker with a little shop on Second Avenue, disapproves, Eleanor takes pride in her work, even if she must use the name "Moss" to enter the Bellamys’ restricted doorman building each morning, and feels that Patricia’s husband, Wynn, may have a problem with her being Jewish.

Invited to keep Margaux company at the Bellamys’ country home in a small town in Connecticut, Eleanor meets Patricia’s unreliable, bohemian brother, Tom, recently returned from Europe. The spark between Eleanor and Tom is instant and intense. Flushed with new romance and increasingly attached to her young pupil, Eleanor begins to feel more comfortable with Patricia and much of the world she inhabits. As the summer wears on, the two women’s friendship grows—until one hot summer evening, a line is crossed, and both Eleanor and Patricia will have to make important decisions—choices that will reverberate through their lives.

Gripping and vividly told, Not Our Kind illuminates the lives of two women on the cusp of change—and asks how much our pasts can and should define our futures.
Kitty Zeldis is the pseudonym for a novelist and non-fiction writer of books for adults and children. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, NY.

My Book, The Movie: Not Our Kind.

Writers Read: Kitty Zeldis.

--Marshal Zeringue

Constantine J. Singer's "Strange Days," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Strange Days by Constantine J. Singer.

The entry begins:
I live in Los Angeles and I’m married to a screenwriter, so I think about these things a lot. With adult-oriented manuscripts it’s pretty easy to come up with the faces that’ll go well with your names, but YA means finding kids and that means either watching a lot of children’s television or scouring IMDB by birth year.

Fortunately, I have a teenage daughter and I happen to love YA television so I didn’t have much trouble doing this.

My main character was a bit of a puzzle for me when it came to casting because there just weren’t that many Latinx actors in Hollywood yet while I was writing Strange Days. Outside of Jane the Virgin and East Los, there wasn’t much to pick from, but then came On My Block, which is a fantastic Netflix series you should watch. Alex Mata would be played perfectly by Jason Genao. He has the right combination of vulnerability, arrogance, and people-pleasing fear that Alex needs to have.

I would cast Alex’s best friend, Julio Santos, from the same show. Diego Tinoco would be ideal for the role.

Corina Hollifield was a little harder for me, but I finally settled on...[read on]
Visit Constantine J. Singer's website.

The Page 69 Test: Strange Days.

My Book, The Movie: Strange Days.

--Marshal Zeringue

Daniel Libeskind's six favorite inspiring books

Daniel Libeskind is an international figure in architectural practice and urban design. His practice extends from museums and concert halls to convention centers, universities, hotels, shopping centers, and residential projects. Born in Lodz, Poland in 1946, Libeskind was a virtuoso accordion player at a young age before giving up music to become an architect. Today he is universally known for introducing a new critical discourse into architecture and for his multidisciplinary approach. Libeskind has taught and lectured at universities all over the world, received numerous awards, and designed world-renowned projects, including the master plan for the World Trade Center in New York and the Jewish Museum in Berlin, among others. His new book is Edge of Order.

One of his favorite inspiring books, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth (2004).

Roth's novel is not just an alternative history. It is also a novel analysis of what the dark winds of fascism and anti-Semitism, unleashed, would do to the America we know. It reveals the vulnerability of a democracy. Democracies are very delicate and can easily drift toward something unwholesome and oppressive.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Plot Against America is on A.G. Lombardo's top ten list of novels about riots, Tara Sonin's list of twenty-five notable fictional presidents, James Miller's top ten list of conspiracy theories in fiction, Jeff Somers's six best list of insane presidents, D.J. Taylor's top ten list of counter-factual novelsKatharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders's top ten list of epic power struggles, Steven Amsterdam's list of five top books on worry, Stephen L. Carter's list of five top presidential thrillers, and David Daw's list of five American presidents in alternate history.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, December 10, 2018

Pg. 99: Ralina Joseph's "Postracial Resistance"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Postracial Resistance: Black Women, Media, and the Uses of Strategic Ambiguity by Ralina L. Joseph.

About the book, from the publisher:
How Black women in the spotlight negotiate the post-racial gaze of Hollywood and beyond

From Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, and Shonda Rhimes to their audiences and the industry workers behind the scenes, Ralina L. Joseph considers the way that Black women are required to walk a tightrope. Do they call out racism only to face accusations of being called “racists”? Or respond to racism in code only to face accusations of selling out? Postracial Resistance explores how African American women celebrities, cultural producers, and audiences employ postracial discourse—the notion that race and race-based discrimination are over and no longer affect people’s everyday lives—to refute postracialism itself. In a world where they’re often written off as stereotypical “Angry Black Women,” Joseph offers that some Black women in media use “strategic ambiguity,” deploying the failures of post-racial discourse to name racism and thus resist it.

In Postracial Resistance, Joseph listens to and observes Black women as they perform and negotiate race in strategic ambiguity. Using three methods of media analysis—textual readings of the media's representation of these women; interviews with writers, producers, and studio executives; and audience ethnographies of young women viewers—Joseph maps the tensions and strategies that all Black women must engage to challenge the racialized sexism of everyday life, on- and off-screen.
Learn more about Postracial Resistance at the NYU Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Postracial Resistance.

--Marshal Zeringue

Eight top reads about miniature worlds

Simon Garfield was born in London in 1960. He is the author of an appealingly diverse and unpredictable canon of non-fiction, including the bestsellers Mauve, Just My Type and On The Map. He is a trustee of Mass Observation, and is the editor of several books of diaries from the archive, including Our Hidden Lives and A Notable Woman. His study of AIDS in Britain, The End of Innocence, won the Somerset Maugham Prize, while To The Letter was one of the inspirations for the theatre shows Letters Live.

His most recent book is In Miniature: How Small Things Illuminate The World.

At the Guardian, Garfield tagged eight favorite reads about miniature worlds, including:

Jessie Burton had a smash a few years ago with The Miniaturist, a novel both lush and precise, and wholly engulfing in its sense of place (Amsterdam, late 17th century). A woman’s life is mirrored in the tiny ornate objects in a beautiful doll’s house, which is also a model of her own home. Who is the mystery puppetmaster sending her these things, and will they set her free from her stifling marriage?
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Sara Driscoll's "Storm Rising"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Storm Rising by Sara Driscoll.

About the book, from the publisher:
The heart-pounding thriller of a series continues as FBI Special Agent Meg Jennings and her search-and-rescue K-9 companion confront the fury of nature—and the more dangerous nature of man...

In the wake of a devastating hurricane, Special Agent Meg Jennings and her Labrador, Hawk—invaluable members of the FBI’s Human Scent Evidence Team—have been deployed to Virginia Beach. They have their work cut out for them. Amid graveyards of debris, and the buried cries for help, the search and rescue operation begins. The most alarming discovery is yet to come—a teenage girl hiding in the Great Dismal Swamp. Shaken by the storm, she has reason to be scared. But this young survivor is terrified of so much more.

Her name is Emma—a disheveled runaway lost to the sordid underbelly of a Virginia sex-trafficking ring. Its leader has disappeared in the chaos—along with other victims. With so much evidence, and so many witnesses, seemingly washed away, Meg joins forces with Special Agent Walter Van Cleave to ensure no further harm comes to their vulnerable charge. They soon discover that this is no small-time localized syndicate. Its branches are rooted in some of the most influential powers in Virginia. Now as Meg’s investigation digs deeper, she’s making some very dangerous enemies. And one by one, they’re coming out of the storm to stop her.
Learn more about Storm Rising: An FBI K-9 Novel.

The Page 69 Test: Lone Wolf.

Coffee with a Canine: M. Ann Vanderlaan & her dogs.

The Page 69 Test: Storm Rising.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six top coming-of age-memoirs

Christine O'Brien's new book is Crave: A Memoir of Food and Longing.

One of six favorite coming-of age-memoirs she tagged at LitHub:
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

In 1993 Ishmael Beah, age 12, sets off from his village in Sierra Leone with his brother and friends to another town, a day’s walk, to perform in a talent show. The civil war that has been raging on the outskirts of his awareness suddenly becomes real. The theme of innocence lost runs through Beah’s depiction of a world turned upside down as he is forced to become a child soldier. A naturally happy person, Beah’s overriding question—Can we remain happy in the face of tragedy?—gets answered in unexpected ways.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue