Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Seven medical thrillers that go beyond the emergency room

Joel Shulkin, MD, is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and United States Air Force veteran with a master’s in public health. Having been lucky enough to be mentored by the legendary Michael Palmer, his short stories have appeared in various print and online journals, and he has won several national and local writing awards for fiction and poetry. He lives in Florida with his wife and twin daughters.

Shulkin's new medical thriller is Adverse Effects.

At CrimeReads he tagged seven medical thrillers set outside the emergency room, including:
Gravity by Tess Gerritsen

While most know Gerritsen for her Rizzoli & Isles series, she wrote a number of terrifying standalone medical thrillers. Harvest is my favorite, but to finish off this list, I chose Gravity, which takes readers far beyond the ER to the final frontier. Again, cheating a little as there are a few ER scenes in the beginning, but they’re really just the appetizer before the main course. When an experiment aboard a space station goes wrong, a physician researcher must stop an outbreak of mutated cells before all the astronauts aboard the station die. Gerritsen’s research on NASA is impressive, and the medical suspense boosts this novel out of the stratosphere.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 21, 2020

Annie Lampman's "Sins of the Bees," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Sins of the Bees: A Novel by Annie Lampman.

The entry begins:
Sins of the Bees begins with main character Isabelle who is an artist who has disappeared into a religious doomsday cult to complete commissioned paintings of child brides called the Twelve Maidens, and also “to make sense of my past, to understand myself, to make amends for the wreckage of my own life.” Main character Silva is Isabelle’s granddaughter who is trying to find and track Isabelle down in order to remake a family for herself. But both women are asking the same questions of themselves on the path of their separate journeys—trying to understand who they are after suffering trauma and loss. And unbeknownst to them, they are both mourning two specific things: the loss of the same man—Isabelle’s husband and bonsai artist Eamon, who after Isabelle abandoned him, raised Silva by himself; and the trauma of suffering sexual assault that resulted in pregnancy. And tied into both Isabelle and Silva is character Nick Larkins—an outfitter and beekeeper and Silva’s eventual love interest.

My dreamcasting for Sins of the Bees would therefore include four main actors: Nicole Kidman for Isabelle, Scarlett Johansson for Silva, Daniel...[read on]
Visit Annie Lampman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Sins of the Bees.

My Book, The Movie: Sins of the Bees.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top books of autofiction

Nina Bouraoui was born in 1967 to a French mother and an Algerian father. She lived in Algiers until the age of fourteen before moving to France and becoming a writer. She is one of France's most renowned living novelists, and has won several prestigious literary prizes, including the Prix Emmanuel Robles, the Prix du Livre Inter and the Prix Renaudot, and she was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

Her novel All Men Want to Know is translated by Aneesa Abbas Higgins.

Onbe title on her list of ten favorite books of autofiction ("It may not be the absolute truth the author is telling, but it is her truth as she lived and experienced it") as shared at the Guardian:
A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgård, translated by Don Bartlett

Norwegian writer Knausgård has constructed an autofictional edifice. The master of detail, he writes not only about life as it is being lived, but also about the roots of that life: childhood, adolescence, the death of his tyrannical father. Knausgård’s work, considered by some to be sensationalistic, is the ultimate in provocative, brutally honest autobiographical writing.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Imraan Coovadia's "Revolution and Non-Violence in Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Revolution and Non-Violence in Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela by Imraan Coovadia.

About the book, from the publisher:
The dangers of political violence and the possibilities of non-violence were the central themes of three lives which changed the twentieth century--Leo Tolstoy, writer and aristocrat who turned against his class, Mohandas Gandhi who corresponded with Tolstoy and considered him the most important person of the time, and Nelson Mandela, prisoner and statesman, who read War and Peace on Robben Island and who, despite having led a campaign of sabotage, saw himself as a successor to Gandhi.

Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela tried to create transformed societies to replace the dying forms of colony and empire. They found the inequalities of Russia, India, and South Africa intolerable yet they questioned the wisdom of seizing the power of the state, creating new kinds of political organisation and imagination to replace the old promises of revolution. Their views, along with their ways of leading others, are closely connected, from their insistence on working with their own hands and reforming their individual selves to their acceptance of death. On three continents, in a century of mass mobilization and conflict, they promoted strains of nationalism devoid of antagonism, prepared to take part in a general peace.

Looking at Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela in sequence, taking into account their letters and conversations as well as the institutions they created or subverted, placing at the centre their treatment of the primal fantasy of political violence, this volume reveals a vital radical tradition which stands outside the conventional categories of twentieth-century history and politics.
Learn more about Revolution and Non-Violence in Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Revolution and Non-Violence in Tolstoy, Gandhi, and Mandela.

--Marshal Zeringue

Q&A with Jenny Milchman

From my Q&A with Jenny Milchman, author of The Second Mother:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

Oh, how I hope the title takes readers into the story! We struggled with it like crazy, and the original title was completely different. It was the name of the island where The Second Mother is set.

My editor pointed out that all of my previous titles concern nature, setting, weather, and that while those are elements in my work, they miss a psychological dimension that is also there.

When The Second Mother came to me, it was like a jab to the skin. I hope it opens up all sorts of mysterious questions in the reader’s mind. What is meant by the “second” mother? Who will she turn out to be in the book? Is there a “first” mother? And if so, what happened to her?

The Second Mother is about the mystery of...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Jenny Milchman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Cover of Snow.

The Page 69 Test: Cover of Snow.

The Page 69 Test: Ruin Falls.

My Book, The Movie: Ruin Falls.

My Book, The Movie: The Second Mother.

The Page 69 Test: The Second Mother.

Q&A with Jenny Milchman.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Nine of the most unforgettable antagonists in fiction

L.C. Shaw is the pen name of internationally bestselling author Lynne Constantine who also writes psychological thrillers with her sister as Liv Constantine. Her family wonder if she is actually a spy, and never knows what to call her. She has explored coral reefs all over the world, sunken wrecks in the South Pacific, and fallen in love with angelfish in the Caribbean. Constantine is a former marketing executive and has a Master’s in Business from Johns Hopkins University. When editing her work, she loves to procrastinate by spending time on social media, and when stuck on a plot twist has been known to run ideas by her Silver Labrador and Golden Retriever who wish she would stop working and play ball with them. Her work has been translated into 27 languages and is available in over 31 countries.

Shaw's new novel is The Silent Conspiracy.

[Coffee with a Canine: Lynne Constantine & Greyson; The Page 69 Test: The Network; My Book, The Movie: The Network.]

At CrimeReads, she tagged "nine antagonists so memorable that they’ve gone beyond the pages of the book and become famous in their own right." One entry on the list:
The Shark in Peter Benchley’s Jaws

The shark is the antagonist in the tale of an unseen monster fish hiding beneath swimmers and waiting to attack. We are in the head of the shark, watching the next victim from beneath the water’s surface. We know what’s coming, are unable to give warning, almost as if we are complicit in the death that will soon occur.
Read about another entry on the list.

Jaws is among Kat Rosenfield's list of eight books that’ll make you scared to go back in the water, Rebecca Jane Stokes's seven books not to bring to the beach, the Barnes & Noble Review's five top books set at the beach, and six hugely popular books that accidentally screwed the world.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Erica Wright's "Snake"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Snake by Erica Wright.

About the book, from the publisher:
Feared and worshiped in equal measure, snakes have captured the imagination of poets, painters, and philosophers for centuries. From Ice Age cave drawings to Snakes on a Plane, this creature continues to enthrall the public. But what harm has been caused by our mythologizing? While considering the dangers of stigma, Erica Wright moves from art and pop culture to religion, fetish, and ecologic disaster. This book considers how the snake has become more symbol than animal, a metaphor for how we treat whatever scares us the most, whether or not our panic is justified.
Visit Erica Wright's website.

My Book, The Movie: Famous in Cedarville.

The Page 99 Test: Snake.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Annie Lampman's "Sins of the Bees"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Sins of the Bees: A Novel by Annie Lampman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sins of the Bees blends natural majesty, mystery, and compelling characterizations to present the lives of two very different women and their tumultuous interactions with a dangerous doomsday cult.

Other than her bonsai trees, twenty-year-old arborist Silvania August Moonbeam Merigal is alone in the world. After first her mother dies and then her grandfather—the man who raised her and the last of her family—Silva suffers a sexual assault and becomes pregnant. Then, ready to end her own life, she discovers evidence of a long-lost artist grandmother, Isabelle.

Desperate to remake a family for herself, Silva leaves her island home on the Puget Sound and traces her grandmother’s path to first a hippie beekeeper named Nick Larkins with secrets of his own, and then to a religious, anti-government, Y2K cult embedded deep in the wilds of Hells Canyon. Len Dietz is the charismatic leader of the Almost Paradise compound, a place full of violence and drama: impregnated child brides called the Twelve Maidens, an armed occupation of a visitor’s center, shot-up mountain sheep washing up along with a half-drowned dog, and men transporting weapons in the middle of the night.

As tensions erupt into violence, Silva, Isabelle, Nick, and the members of Almost Paradise find themselves disastrously entangled, and Silva is forced to face both her own history of loss, and the history of loss she’s stepped into: ruinous stories of family that threaten to destroy them all.
Visit Annie Lampman's website.

The Page 69 Test: Sins of the Bees.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Five unforgettable books involving amnesia

At Tor.com James Davis Nicoll tagged five memorable books involving amnesia, including:
Cold-Forged Flame by Marie Brennan (2016)

The swordswoman finds herself in the warrior’s version of the actor’s nightmare, with no idea who or what she might be, despite which she is magically compelled to perform an arduous quest for reasons unclear. The one certainty: she must collect blood from the cauldron of the Lhian. Who this Lhian might be and what views they might have about blood being collected from their cauldron—both are unknown. The revelation that most of the people who try to win a prize from the Lhian never return is cold comfort.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: James R. Skillen's "This Land is My Land"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: This Land is My Land: Rebellion in the West by James R. Skillen.

About the book, from the publisher:
Among American conservatives, the right to own property free from the meddling hand of the state is one of the most sacred rights of all. But in the American West, the federal government owns and oversees vast patches of land, complicating the narrative of western individualism and private property rights. As a consequence, anti-federal government sentiment has animated conservative politics in the West for decades upon decades.

In This Land Is My Land, James R. Skillen tells the story of conservative rebellion-ranging from legal action to armed confrontations-against federal land management in the American West over the last forty years. He traces the successive waves of conservative insurgency against federal land authority-the Sagebrush Rebellion (1979-1982), the War for the West (1991-2000), and the Patriot Rebellion (2009-2016)-and shows how they evolved from regional revolts waged by westerners with material interests in federal lands to a national rebellion against the federal administrative state. Cumulatively, Skillen explains how ranchers, miners, and other traditional users of federal lands became powerful symbols of conservative America and inseparably linked to issues of property rights, gun rights, and religious expression.

Not just a book about property rights battles over Western lands, This Land is My Land reveals how the evolving land-based conflicts in the West since the 1980s reshaped the conservative coalition in America-a development that ultimately helped lead to the election of President Donald J. Trump in 2016.
Learn more about This Land is My Land at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: This Land is My Land.

--Marshal Zeringue

Q&A with Marieke Nijkamp

From my Q&A with Marieke Nijkamp, author of Even If We Break:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?
photo credit: Karin Nijkamp

I’m fairly good at titling short stories, but my novel titles are rarely mine alone. In this case, the working title for the book was All The Darkest Parts Of Us. And it’s true enough—it’s a story about a group of teens who go to a cabin in the woods one last time to play the RPG that bound them, only for their game to turn deadly, with their secrets threatening to break them.

But it’s not just a thriller about secrets, self-discovery, and growing up. It’s also what happens when friendships start to fragment and all those hairline fractures none of the characters wanted to acknowledge, grow.

Hence, Even If We Break. With much gratitude to my editor, who is...[read on]
Visit Marieke Nijkamp's website.

The Page 69 Test: This Is Where It Ends.

The Page 69 Test: Before I Let Go.

Q&A with Marieke Nijkamp.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 18, 2020

Nathan Makaryk's "Lionhearts," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Lionhearts (Nottingham, Volume 2) by Nathan Makaryk.

The entry begins:
I’m in something of a unique position, because most of the characters in my books have already been performed! Lionhearts is a sequel to Nottingham, which I novelized from my stage play, The Legend of Robin Hood. So I was writing with very specific actors in mind, who first brought this story to life in the original theatrical production.

However, I think it would be fun to look at famous Robin Hood movie actors and see who they would be best suited to play in Lionhearts. I’ve jokingly given Lionhearts the nickname of Into the Robin-verse, as there are multiple characters who each take on the mantle of Robin Hood in their own way, which lets me tackle Robin Hood tropes from many different incarnations of the story. These aren’t all perfect comparisons, but a reader wouldn’t be far off if they made the following mental casting choices while reading the book:

Errol Flynn as Lord Robert of Huntingdon: A dashing and charming earl, who some historians argue might have been the source of the actual Robin Hood legend. Flynn’s swordsmanship is perfect for this nobleman who moonlights as a swashbuckling gentleman thief.

Cary Elwes as Alfred Fawkes: Another charismatic showman … although this suave gang leader is something closer to the Dread Pirate Roberts than the leader of the Men in Tights.

Taron Egerton as Will Scarlet: The youngest and brashest of the novel’s Robin Hoods (and...[read on]

Visit Nathan Makaryk's website.

The Page 69 Test: Lionhearts.

My Book, The Movie: Lionhearts.

--Marshal Zeringue

Eight great books about women who disappear

Wendy Walker is the author of the psychological suspense novels All Is Not Forgotten, Emma In the Night, The Night Before and Don’t Look For Me. Her novels have been translated into 23 foreign languages and topped bestseller lists both nationally and abroad. They have been selected by the Reese Witherspoon Book Club, The Today Show and The Book of the Month Club, and have been optioned for both television and film.

[The Page 69 Test: Don't Look for Me; Q&A with Wendy Walker.]

At CrimeReads, Walker tagged eight favorite thrillers in which a woman is missing, including:
And Now She’s Gone, Rachel Howzell Hall
Missing Woman: The Mysterious Girlfriend of a Renowned Surgeon

I love this tagline: Isabel Lincoln is gone. But is she missing? What is so fascinating about the missing woman set-up in this novel, is how deep it delves into the reasons why most women who disappear leave of their own volition. With sharp, witty dialogue, and a story that takes us backward into investigator Grayson Sykes’ past, and then forward into the complex web of lies and misdirection as the search for Isabel heats up, And Now She’s Gone is unique in its storytelling and narrative voice. And there are plenty of psychological issues to sink your teeth into about why women decide they need to run, hide, and reinvent themselves.

Read about another entry on the list.

And Now She’s Gone is among Alyssa Cole's five crime novels that explore social issues.

Hall's Lou Norton series is among Amy Stuart's five deeply flawed characters you’ll learn to appreciate and Sara Sligar's seven California crime novels with a nuanced view of of race, class, gender & community. Land of Shadows is among Steph Cha's top ten books about trouble in Los Angeles.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Mary Rizzo's "Come and Be Shocked"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Come and Be Shocked: Baltimore beyond John Waters and The Wire by Mary Rizzo.

About the book, from the publisher:
Baltimore seen through the eyes of John Waters, Anne Tyler, Charles S. Dutton, Barry Levinson, David Simon—and also ordinary citizens.

The city of Baltimore features prominently in an extraordinary number of films, television shows, novels, plays, poems, and songs. Whether it's the small-town eccentricity of Charm City (think duckpin bowling and marble-stooped row houses) or the gang violence of "Bodymore, Murdaland," Baltimore has figured prominently in popular culture about cities since the 1950s.

In Come and Be Shocked, Mary Rizzo examines the cultural history and racial politics of these contrasting images of the city. From the 1950s, a period of urban crisis and urban renewal, to the early twenty-first century, Rizzo looks at how artists created powerful images of Baltimore. How, Rizzo asks, do the imaginary cities created by artists affect the real cities that we live in? How does public policy (intentionally or not) shape the kinds of cultural representations that artists create? And why has the relationship between artists and Baltimore city officials been so fraught, resulting in public battles over film permits and censorship?

To answer these questions, Rizzo explores the rise of tourism, urban branding, and citizen activism. She considers artists working in the margins, from the East Baltimore poets writing in Chicory, a community magazine funded by the Office of Economic Opportunity, to a young John Waters, who shot his early low-budget movies on the streets, guerrilla-style. She also investigates more mainstream art, from the teen dance sensation The Buddy Deane Show to the comedy-drama Roc to the crime show The Wire, from Anne Tyler's award-winning book The Accidental Tourist to Barry Levinson's movie classic Diner.
Visit Mary Rizzo's website.

The Page 99 Test: Come and Be Shocked.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Margaret Mizushima's "Hanging Falls"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Hanging Falls: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery by Margaret Mizushima.

About the book, from the publisher:
Murder stalks the rugged Colorado high country–and sends Mattie Cobb on a quest to uncover the darkest secrets from her past in the sixth gripping installment of Margaret Mizushima’s Timber Creek K-9 mysteries

A deluge has flooded the high ground near Hanging Falls–but heavy rains aren’t the only menace descending on Timber Creek. While on a scouting mission to pinpoint trail damage, officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo stumble upon a body floating at the edge of a lake. Robo catches human scent, which leads to an enigmatic forest-dweller who quickly becomes suspect number one.

With help from veterinarian Cole Walker, Mattie identifies the victim, and discovers an odd religious cult whose dress and manners harken back to the 19th century. As the list of suspects grows, an unexpected visit from members of Mattie’s long-lost family sheds new light on her childhood as they help Mattie piece together details of the fateful night when she was abducted at age two.

The tangled threads of the investigation and family dynamics begin to intertwine–but darkness threatens to claim a new victim before Mattie and Robo can track down the killers.
Visit Margaret Mizushima's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Margaret Mizushima & Hannah, Bertie, Lily and Tess.

Coffee with a Canine: Margaret Mizushima & Hannah.

My Book, The Movie: Burning Ridge.

The Page 69 Test: Burning Ridge.

The Page 69 Test: Tracking Game.

My Book, The Movie: Hanging Falls.

The Page 69 Test: Hanging Falls.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Q&A with Wendy Walker

From my Q&A with Wendy Walker, author of Don't Look for Me:
How much work does your title do to take readers into the story?

The title does a lot of work highlighting the theme of the book and also the basic set-up for the plot. Molly Clarke disappears on a back road far from home. A note is found that says “Don’t look for me” and explains that she is leaving because she feels her family will be better off without her. When she is not found, the search is called off and she is presumed to have walked away from her life. But, of course, that is not the case. When taken alone, the title might not be quite as effective as it is. However, because my books fall squarely in the thriller genre, and when taken together with the book’s cover which depicts a woman running away from an approaching vehicle, the fact that this is a book about a missing woman is quickly conveyed.

What's in a name?

I spend a lot of time finding names for my characters, and even the towns and streets in the story. I keep a spreadsheet with names I’ve used in prior books so I don’t repeat them, and then I grab an old phone book (which has last names) and pull up a website with baby names for...[read on]
Learn more about the author and her books at Wendy Walker's website.

The Page 69 Test: Four Wives.

The Page 99 Test: Social Lives.

The Page 69 Test: Don't Look for Me.

Q&A with Wendy Walker.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Meredith Wadman's "The Vaccine Race"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Vaccine Race: Science, Politics, and the Human Costs of Defeating Disease by Meredith Wadman.

About the book, from the publisher:
The epic and controversial story of a major breakthrough in cell biology that led to the conquest of rubella and other devastating diseases.

Until the late 1960s, tens of thousands of American children suffered crippling birth defects if their mothers had been exposed to rubella, popularly known as German measles, while pregnant; there was no vaccine and little understanding of how the disease devastated fetuses. In June 1962, a young biologist in Philadelphia, using tissue extracted from an aborted fetus from Sweden, produced safe, clean cells that allowed the creation of vaccines against rubella and other common childhood diseases. Two years later, in the midst of a devastating German measles epidemic, his colleague developed the vaccine that would one day wipe out homegrown rubella. The rubella vaccine and others made with those fetal cells have protected more than 150 million people in the United States, the vast majority of them preschoolers. The new cells and the method of making them also led to vaccines that have protected billions of people around the world from polio, rabies, chicken pox, measles, hepatitis A, shingles and adenovirus.

Meredith Wadman’s masterful account recovers not only the science of this urgent race, but also the political roadblocks that nearly stopped the scientists. She describes the terrible dilemmas of pregnant women exposed to German measles and recounts testing on infants, prisoners, orphans, and the intellectually disabled, which was common in the era. These events take place at the dawn of the battle over using human fetal tissue in research, during the arrival of big commerce in campus labs, and as huge changes take place in the laws and practices governing who “owns” research cells and the profits made from biological inventions. It is also the story of yet one more unrecognized woman whose cells have been used to save countless lives.

With another frightening virus—measles—on the rise today, no medical story could have more human drama, impact, or urgency than The Vaccine Race.
Visit Meredith Wadman's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Vaccine Race.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten books about doomed love

Eleanor Boudreau is a poet who has worked as a dry-cleaner and as a radio reporter. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Tin House, Barrow Street, Waxwing, Willow Springs, FIELD, Copper Nickel, and other journals. Currently, she is finishing her PhD and teaching creative writing at Florida State University.

Boudreau's first book, Earnest, Earnest? (2020), won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize.

At Electric Lit she tagged ten books about doomed love, including:
The House of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland

After the dissolution of her marriage and the loss of her job, Elizabeth DeWitt is forced to move back to River Bend, Michigan, the small town where she grew up, but—because of the color of her skin—never quite felt she belonged. Beth’s return is an unhappy one, and it leads her to reunite with her first doomed love, a man who dated her and her best friend simultaneously, and, ultimately, married her friend. The novel confronts not just the consequences of being the other woman, but also the consequences of being labeled other in the place you call home—it’s an exploration of how trauma and loneliness, like everything else in America, are not equally distributed.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Pg. 69: Nathan Makaryk's "Lionhearts"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Lionhearts: (Nottingham, Volume 2) by Nathan Makaryk.

About the book, from the publisher:
History and myth collide in Nathan Makaryk's Lionhearts, a riveting story of vengeance, redemption and war, perfect for fans of Game of Thrones.

All will be well when King Richard returns . . . but King Richard has been captured.

To raise the money for his ransom, every lord in England is raising taxes, the French are eyeing the empty throne, and the man they called, “Robin Hood,” the man the Sherriff claims is dead, is everywhere and nowhere at once.

He’s with a band of outlaws in Sherwood Forest, raiding guard outposts. He’s with Nottingham’s largest gang, committing crimes to protest the taxes. He’s in the lowest slums of the city, conducting a reign of terror against the city's most vulnerable. A hero to some, a monster to others, and an idea that can't simply be killed.

But who's really under the hood?
Visit Nathan Makaryk's website.

The Page 69 Test: Lionhearts.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Jennifer Hull's "Shook"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Shook: An Earthquake, a Legendary Mountain Guide, and Everest's Deadliest Day by Jennifer Hull.

About the book, from the publisher:
Dave Hahn, a local of Taos, New Mexico, is a legendary figure in mountaineering. Elite members of the climbing community have likened him to the Michael Jordan, Cal Ripkin, or Michael Phelps of the climbing world. The 2015 expedition he would lead came just one short year after the notorious Khumbu Icefall avalanche claimed the lives of sixteen Sherpas. Dave and his team—sherpa sirdar Chhering Dorjee, assistant guide JJ Justman, base-camp manager Mark Tucker, and the eight clients who had trained for the privilege to attempt to summit with Dave Hahn—spent weeks honing the techniques that would help keep them alive through the Icefall and the Death Zone. None of this could have prepared them for the earthquake that shook Everest and all of their lives on the morning of April 25, 2015. Shook tells their story of resilience, nerve, and survival on the deadliest day on Everest.
Visit Jennifer Hull's website.

The Page 99 Test: Shook.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five novels about destructive romantic friendships

Micah Nemerever was trained as an art historian. He wrote his master’s thesis on queer identity and gender anxiety in the art of the Weimar Republic. He is an avid home chef and amateur historian of queer cinema.

After studying in rural Connecticut and Austin, Texas, he now resides in the Pacific Northwest.

These Violent Delights is his first novel.

At CrimeReads, Nemerever tagged "five books [that] invite the reader to surrender again to the intoxication of a destructive relationship, and to follow it to a nightmarishly logical end," including:
The Lightness by Emily Temple

“You should not, under any circumstances, expect me to be the hero of this story.” The protagonist of The Lightness, Olivia, makes it clear from the start that she is aware of her own culpability. In a narrative voice as elusive and unreliable as memory itself, The Lightness immerses the reader in a toxic obsession that its protagonist is all too eager to embrace. Early on in her stay at a therapeutic Buddhist summer school program, Olivia is pulled into the orbit of her magnetic classmate Serena, a self-styled mystic determined to achieve transcendence through human flight. Serena’s friends are acolytes as much as companions, and Olivia participates without question in the group’s increasingly esoteric endurance tests and devotionals. But Olivia’s motives are more complex than loyalty or faith. She yearns less to remake herself in Serena’s image because it would be a way of absorbing her—Olivia’s attraction to her is an unbroken synthesis of wanting and wanting to be. Her idolization of Serena is possessive and greedy, and Olivia asserts an insidious influence over her friend that throws their power dynamic into constant doubt.
Read about another entry on the list.

My Book, The Movie: The Lightness.

The Page 69 Test: The Lightness.

--Marshal Zeringue