Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Pg. 99: Alannah Tomkins's "Medical Misadventure"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Medical Misadventure in an Age of Professionalisation, 1780-1890 by Alannah Tomkins.

About the book, from the publisher:
This book looks at medical professionalisation from a new perspective, one of failure rather than success. It questions the existing picture of broad and rising medical prosperity across the nineteenth century to consider the men who did not keep up with professionalising trends. It unpicks the life stories of men who could not make ends meet or who could not sustain a professional persona of disinterested expertise, either because they could not overcome public accusations of misconduct or because they struggled privately with stress. In doing so it uncovers the trials of the medical marketplace and the pressures of medical masculinity. All professionalising groups risked falling short of rising expectations, but for doctors these expectations were inflected in some occupationally specific ways.
Learn more about Medical Misadventure at the publisher's website.

The Page 99 Test: Medical Misadventure in an Age of Professionalisation.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Zoë Sharp's "Fox Hunter"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Fox Hunter: A Charlie Fox Thriller by Zoë Sharp.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the latest novel in this energetic series, ex-special forces soldier Charlie Fox finds herself on a mission to the Iraqi countryside to track down a missing comrade-in-arms.

Special forces soldier-turned-bodyguard Charlotte “Charlie” Fox can never forget the men who put a brutal end to her military career, but a long time ago she vowed she would not go looking for them.

Now she doesn’t have a choice.

Her boss Sean Meyer is missing in Iraq, where one of those men was working as a private security contractor. When the man’s butchered body is discovered, Charlie fears that Sean may be pursuing a twisted vendetta on her behalf.

Charlie’s “close protection” agency in New York needs this dealt with—fast and quiet—before everything they’ve worked for goes to ruins. They send Charlie to the Middle East with very specific instructions: Find Sean Meyer and stop him—by whatever means necessary.

At one time Charlie thought she knew Sean better than she knew herself, but it seems he’s turned into a violent stranger. Always ruthless, is he really capable of such savage acts of slaughter?

As the trail grows ever more bloody, Charlie realizes that she is not the only one after Sean and, unless she can get to him first, the hunter may soon become the hunted.
Learn more about the author and her work at Zoë Sharp’s website, blog, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

The Page 69 Test: Third Strike.

The Page 69 Test: Fifth Victim.

My Book, The Movie: Fifth Victim.

The Page 99 Test: Die Easy.

My Book, The Movie: Fox Hunter.

The Page 69 Test: Fox Hunter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five of the best novels about anarchism

Margaret Killjoy's new book is The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion, the first installment in the Danielle Cain series.

At Tor.com she tagged five "amazing novels that explore anarchist society, philosophy, or struggle," including:
The Watch by Dennis Danvers

It’s possible that The Watch is my favorite time travel story I’ve ever read because it’s about one of my favorite historical characters—the Russian prince-turned-revolutionary-and-scientist Peter Kropotkin—transported to a time and place I’m more familiar with: the activist scene of Richmond, Virginia, 1999. It’s also possible that it’s my favorite time travel story because it’s so wonderfully low-key and Danvers is a master of having his characters from the past dropped into the present actually act realistically. Either way, it’s my favorite time travel story.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Abdi Nazemian reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Abdi Nazemian, author of The Authentics.

His entry begins:
I am currently reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and absolutely loving it. It's the story of a journalist who gets mysteriously chosen by a legendary movie star to write her biography. I am obsessed with classic Hollywood stars, so this book was pretty much made for me. When I first heard about the novel (through a comment on my Instagram, proof that social media can encourage reading), I rushed out to buy it. In the beginning of the book, I was caught in a game of wondering which mythic star most inspired the fictional Evelyn Hugo. She has a lot of Elizabeth Taylor and Rita Hayworth in her, and pieces of Lauren Bacall and Natalie Wood, among others. But about a hundred pages in...[read on]
About The Authentics, from the publisher:
The Authentics is a fresh, funny, and insightful novel about culture, love, and family—the kind we are born into and the ones we create.

Daria Esfandyar is Iranian-American and proud of her heritage, unlike some of the “Nose Jobs” in the clique led by her former best friend, Heidi Javadi. Daria and her friends call themselves the Authentics, because they pride themselves on always keeping it real.

But in the course of researching a school project, Daria learns something shocking about her past, which launches her on a journey of self-discovery. It seems everyone is keeping secrets. And it’s getting harder to know who she even is any longer.

With infighting among the Authentics, her mother planning an over-the-top sweet sixteen party, and a romance that should be totally off limits, Daria doesn’t have time for this identity crisis. As everything in her life is spinning out of control—can she figure out how to stay true to herself?
Visit Abdi Nazemian's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Authentics.

Writers Read: Abdi Nazemian.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 21, 2017

Six top high-concept YA novels

Sona Charaipotra is a New York City-based writer and editor with more than a decade’s worth of experience in print and online media. At the BN Teen blog she tagged six "delicious 'why didn’t I think of that' high-concept stories," including:
In Some Other Life, by Jessica Brody

We’ve all done things we regret for love. But Kennedy Rhodes didn’t regret her decision to decline her acceptance to the prestigious Windson Academy in favor of public school with her one true love Austin—that is, until she caught him hooking up with her BFF. If only she’d thought harder about giving up her future for a fling. One whack on the head later, and she’s been transported to another life, one in which she’s top of her class at Windsor, acing her app to Colombia, and part of the cool kids’ clique. But in this YA take on Sliding Doors, even her alt life isn’t as shiny as it looks on the surface.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Beth Cato's "Call of Fire"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Call of Fire (Blood of Earth) by Beth Cato.

About the book, from the publisher:
A resourceful young heroine must protect the world from her enemies—and her own power—in this thrilling sequel to the acclaimed Breath of Earth, an imaginative blend of alternative history, fantasy, science, magic, and adventure.

When an earthquake devastates San Francisco in an alternate 1906, the influx of geomantic energy nearly consumes Ingrid Carmichael. Bruised but alive, the young geomancer flees the city with her friends, Cy, Lee, and Fenris. She is desperate to escape Ambassador Blum, the cunning and dangerous bureaucrat who wants to use Ingrid’s formidable powers to help the Unified Pacific—the confederation of the United States and Japan—achieve world domination. To stop them, Ingrid must learn more about the god-like magic she inherited from her estranged father—the man who set off the quake that obliterated San Francisco.

When Lee and Fenris are kidnapped in Portland, Ingrid and Cy are forced to ally themselves with another ambassador from the Unified Pacific: the powerful and mysterious Theodore Roosevelt. But even TR’s influence may not be enough to save them when they reach Seattle, where the magnificent peak of Mount Rainier looms. Discovering more about herself and her abilities, Ingrid is all too aware that she may prove to be the fuse to light the long-dormant volcano ... and a war that will sweep the world.
Visit Beth Cato's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Clockwork Dagger.

My Book, The Movie: The Clockwork Crown.

The Page 69 Test: Breath of Earth.

The Page 69 Test: Call of Fire.

--Marshal Zeringue

Mary Miley's "Murder in Disguise," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Murder in Disguise by Mary Miley.

The entry begins:
This question, commonly posed to fiction authors and book club readers, is harder for me to answer than it would seem. The main character in Murder in Disguise (and in the entire Roaring Twenties series) is a young woman who has spent her life on the vaudeville stage playing kiddie roles into her mid twenties. Any actress playing Jessie would need to be petite and have a boyish 1920s silhouette—no curves—those traits, along with her acting skills, allow her to continue impersonating teenage girls, which is important to the stories. So the film version requires an actress who can believably become 16 with the right clothes and makeup. Not many fit that description. Drew Barrymore would have been perfect 15 years ago. Keira Knightley and Emma...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Mary Miley's website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Impersonator.

The Page 69 Test: Silent Murders.

My Book, The Movie: Silent Murders.

The Page 69 Test: Renting Silence.

My Book, The Movie: Murder in Disguise.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Gil G. Rosenthal's "Mate Choice"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Mate Choice: The Evolution of Sexual Decision Making from Microbes to Humans by Gil G. Rosenthal.

About the book, from the publisher:
A major new look at the evolution of mating decisions in organisms from protozoans to humans

The popular consensus on mate choice has long been that females select mates likely to pass good genes to offspring. In Mate Choice, Gil Rosenthal overturns much of this conventional wisdom. Providing the first synthesis of the topic in more than three decades, and drawing from a wide range of fields, including animal behavior, evolutionary biology, social psychology, neuroscience, and economics, Rosenthal argues that "good genes" play a relatively minor role in shaping mate choice decisions and demonstrates how mate choice is influenced by genetic factors, environmental effects, and social interactions.

Looking at diverse organisms, from protozoans to humans, Rosenthal explores how factors beyond the hunt for good genes combine to produce an endless array of preferences among species and individuals. He explains how mating decisions originate from structural constraints on perception and from nonsexual functions, and how single organisms benefit or lose from their choices. Both the origin of species and their fusion through hybridization are strongly influenced by direct selection on preferences in sexual and nonsexual contexts. Rosenthal broadens the traditional scope of mate choice research to encompass not just animal behavior and behavioral ecology but also neurobiology, the social sciences, and other areas.

Focusing on mate choice mechanisms, rather than the traits they target, Mate Choice offers a groundbreaking perspective on the proximate and ultimate forces determining the evolutionary fate of species and populations.
Learn more about Mate Choice at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Mate Choice.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Kathleen Barber's top 10 suspense novels, thrillers, & other creepy books

Kathleen Barber's debut novel Are You Sleeping is about "inventive and twisty psychological thriller about a mega-hit podcast that reopens a murder case—and threatens to unravel the carefully constructed life of the victim’s daughter."

One of the author's ten favorite "suspense novels, thrillers, and other creepy books...when it comes to all-night reading binges," as shared at Publishers Weekly:
The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

When television news producer Virginia Knightly sees a young woman’s face on a “MISSING” poster, she’s certain that she’s seen her before. What follows is an engrossing story of Virginia’s attempts to discover what became of the woman, and whether her disappearance is tied to something larger. Every single time I thought I had it figured out, a new piece of evidence would surface that would throw everything into doubt again, and I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough as I raced to uncover the truth alongside Virginia.
Read about another book on the list.

My Book, The Movie: The Cutaway.

The Page 69 Test: The Cutaway.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Rachel Kadish reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Rachel Kadish, author of The Weight of Ink.

Her entry begins:
I’m a huge James Baldwin fan, but somehow until now I’d never read The Fire Next Time. It’s riveting—and Baldwin’s bracing view of America is particularly helpful and timely right now.

There’s something about Baldwin’s voice: the largeness of his perspective, the clarity of his view, the sheer power in his cadences. That power is something I associate with religious text and religious speech, and when a writer is able to harness it for a non-religious topic...in my view, that’s as good as it gets. That’s one of the things I’ve always loved about Baldwin, in both his fiction and his essays—the way everything he writes is lit up and suffused by...[read on]
About The Weight of Ink, from the publisher:
An intellectual and emotional jigsaw puzzle of a novel for readers of A. S. Byatt’s Possession and Geraldine Brooks’s People of the Book

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of seventeenth-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph.”

Electrifying and ambitious, sweeping in scope and intimate in tone, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make in order to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.
Visit Rachel Kadish's official website.

The Page 69 Test: Tolstoy Lied.

My Book, The Movie: The Weight of Ink.

Writers Read: Rachel Kadish.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books to help prepare the soon-to-be-middle schooler

At the BN Kids Blog Rachel Sarah tagged five great books to help prepare the soon-to-be-middle schooler, including:
Forget Me Not, by Ellie Terry

This debut novel really moved me. I’ve never met a girl like Calliope June, a seventh-grader who has both Tourette syndrome and an unstable mother. After another break up, Callie’s mother says it’s time to move again, this time to St. George, Utah, where the kids at her new school quickly notice her facial tics and the noises she doesn’t mean to make.

It’s only Jinsong, her Asian-American neighbor and the student body president, who wants to get to know Callie better, even if he struggles with pressure from other kids to do otherwise. I like the way the chapters flip between verse and prose in Callie and Jinsong’s voices, like when Callie’s teacher asks her to tell the class about herself: “Teachers always do/And I hate it more each time….I wish this ugly carpet would swallow me whole.”

Author Ellie Terry, who has Tourette syndrome, clearly poured herself into these characters with much vulnerability. A beautiful character-driven story about self-acceptance and longing for connection.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pg. 69: Abdi Nazemian's "The Authentics"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Authentics is a fresh, funny, and insightful novel about culture, love, and family—the kind we are born into and the ones we create.

Daria Esfandyar is Iranian-American and proud of her heritage, unlike some of the “Nose Jobs” in the clique led by her former best friend, Heidi Javadi. Daria and her friends call themselves the Authentics, because they pride themselves on always keeping it real.

But in the course of researching a school project, Daria learns something shocking about her past, which launches her on a journey of self-discovery. It seems everyone is keeping secrets. And it’s getting harder to know who she even is any longer.

With infighting among the Authentics, her mother planning an over-the-top sweet sixteen party, and a romance that should be totally off limits, Daria doesn’t have time for this identity crisis. As everything in her life is spinning out of control—can she figure out how to stay true to herself?
Visit Abdi Nazemian's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Authentics.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books on America's problem with white supremacy

At the Guardian, Nadja Sayej shared books from "[f]ive history professors, pundits and human rights organizations [who] have recommended five historical titles that shed light on the history of white supremacy in the country," including:
White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism by Kevin M. Kruse

The winner of three book awards in 2007, this book takes us back to the 1960s and 1970s, a time when white Americans fled to Atlanta’s suburbs as a form of segregation in reaction to the civil rights movement. This was a time when southern conservatives resisted integration by opening their own private schools known as “segregation academies”. The book tracks white opposition to civil rights and links southern discrimination with suburban sprawl. “The lesson for today, I think, lies in how many whites dismissed civil rights activists as troublemakers who were creating disorder,” said Victoria Wolcott, chair of the history department at Buffalo University. “The activists, not the policies they opposed, were [deemed] responsible for any violence. The author helps us understand how mainstream conservative thought also has its roots in more openly racist policies.”
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Margaret Morganroth Gullette's "Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People by Margaret Morganroth Gullette.

About the book, from the publisher:
When the term “ageism” was coined in 1969, many problems of exclusion seemed resolved by government programs like Social Security and Medicare. As people live longer lives, today’s great demotions of older people cut deeper into their self-worth and human relations, beyond the reach of law or public policy. In Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People, award-winning writer and cultural critic Margaret Morganroth Gullette confronts the offenders: the ways people aging past midlife are portrayed in the media, by adult offspring; the esthetics and politics of representation in photography, film, and theater; and the incitement to commit suicide for those with early signs of “dementia.”

In this original and important book, Gullette presents evidence of pervasive age-related assaults in contemporary societies and their chronic affects. The sudden onset of age-related shaming can occur anywhere—the shove in the street, the cold shoulder at the party, the deaf ear at the meeting, the shut-out by the personnel office or the obtuseness of a government. Turning intimate suffering into public grievances, Ending Ageism, Or How Not to Shoot Old People effectively and beautifully argues that overcoming ageism is the next imperative social movement of our time.
Learn more about Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People at the Rutgers University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Agewise: Fighting the New Ageism in America.

The Page 99 Test: Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pg. 69: James Abel's "Vector"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Vector by James Abel.

About the book, from the publisher:
While studying new forms of malaria at an Amazon gold rush, Joe Rush’s best friend and partner, Eddie Nakamura, disappears. Learning that many of the sick miners have also vanished, Rush begins a search for Eddie that takes him into the heart of darkness–where while battling for his life, he discovers a secret that may change the world.

Thousands of miles away, sick people are starting to flood into U.S. hospitals. When the White House admits that it has received terrorist threats, cities across the Northeast begin to shut down. Rush and his team must journey from one of the most remote spots on Earth to one of the busiest, as the clock ticks toward a kind of annihilation not thought possible. They have even less time than they think to solve the mystery, for the danger–as bad as it is–is about to get even worse.
Visit James Abel's website.

The Page 69 Test: Protocol Zero.

My Book, The Movie: Protocol Zero.

The Page 69 Test: Cold Silence.

My Book, The Movie: Cold Silence.

My Book, The Movie: Vector.

The Page 69 Test: Vector.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten of the best road trip books

At LitHub Emily Temple tagged ten "essential road trip books that aren’t On the Road," including:
N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season

I mean sure: there’s no car. But there’s definitely a trip, and sometimes even a road. That is, until a Season comes, and then there’s really no counting on roads of any kind, or on the Earth to do anything you think it’s going to do. Still, there are some definite road trip markers here: unexpected strangers, wrong turns, a quest that shifts as suddenly and violently as the ground beneath these characters’ feet. It’s a deeply satisfying journey that will also, as a side note, make you think about how much gas you’re using. Plus, this is only the first in a trilogy, with the final book appearing in August, which makes it perfect to fuel a long trip.
Read about another entry on the list.

Also see Steph Post's ten classic (and perhaps not so classic) road trip books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Zoë Sharp's "Fox Hunter," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Fox Hunter: A Charlie Fox Thriller by Zoë Sharp.

The entry begins:
Charlie Fox herself is always hard for me to cast. Because I write in first person I look out through her eyes all the time, not at her from another viewpoint. And anybody who’s familiar with Charlie knows she doesn’t spend much time gazing into mirrors at her own reflection. The TV/film option held by Kathleen Rose Perkins has just expired, so I’m having to wean myself away from visualising her in the part. So, if not her then I’d love to see Gina...[read on]
Learn more about the author and her work at Zoë Sharp’s website, blog, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.

The Page 69 Test: Third Strike.

The Page 69 Test: Fifth Victim.

My Book, The Movie: Fifth Victim.

The Page 99 Test: Die Easy.

My Book, The Movie: Fox Hunter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Fourteen sophomore YA novels even better the authors' first

At the BN Teen Blog Dahlia Adler tagged books by "fourteen authors whose second novels have made it clear they’re only getting better as they go," including:
Some Girls Are, by Courtney Summers

The thing about Summers’ debut, Cracked Up to Be, is that it’s the book that really got me into YA. Until I met Parker Fadley, I had no idea how brutally hilarious and hilariously brutal girls in YA could be, how dangerously clever and cleverly dangerous. So you can imagine how rocked I was by Some Girls Are, about a dangerous girl pitted against her former clique. In its opening, main character Regina is sexually attacked by her best friend’s boyfriend at a party, but when she tells a mutual friend (and fellow Head Clique member) what happened, the girl spins it to make Regina seem responsible for a betrayal, one she’ll pay dearly for. Left with no friends, Regina is on her own in fighting back against her former partners in crime. But there might just be one person left who can put her previous bad behavior behind him, becoming the only guy in school who’s got her back.
Read about another entry on the list.

Some Girls Are is among seven of the best morally complex YA novels, Jenny Kawecki's top six YA novels that "take your stereotypical mean girl and give her agency, motives, an inner life" and Dahlia Adler's top five dark YA novels for Heathers fans and top five YA books told from the bully’s perspective.

The Page 69 Test: Some Girls Are.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pg. 69: Bill Crider's "Dead, to Begin With"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Dead, to Begin With: A Dan Rhodes Mystery by Bill Crider.

About the book, from the publisher:
Sheriff Dan Rhodes is back again in Bill Crider's thrilling Dead, to Begin With.

"Readers will cheer Rhodes along as he sorts through a tangle of old secrets and personal relationships en route to the satisfying solution." Publishers Weekly

In Clearview, Texas, a wealthy recluse has joined the community and is leading the restoration of an old opera house. When he falls to his death, Sheriff Dan Rhodes suspects that he’s been murdered, but there doesn’t seem to be a motive. Who would want to kill someone who’s helping the town and hasn’t been around long enough to make any enemies?

The Sheriff’s suspicion proves to be true, however, and he begins to look for motives buried in the past, meanwhile having to deal with people fighting over baseball cards at a yard sale, writers who want to talk to him about his sex life, and the Clearview Ghost Hunters, headed up by Seepy Benton, who believes that the old theater is haunted. Clearview might be a small town, but there’s no shortage of excitement.
Learn more about the book and author at Bill Crider's website and blog.

Read the Page 69 Test entries for Crider's A Mammoth Murder, Murder Among the OWLS, Of All Sad Words, Murder in Four Parts, Murder in the Air, The Wild Hog Murders, Murder of a Beauty Shop Queen, Compound Murder, Half in Love with Artful Death, Between the Living and the Dead, and Survivors Will Be Shot Again.

Learn about Crider's choice of actors to portray Dan Rhodes and Seepy Benton on the big screen.

Writers Read: Bill Crider.

The Page 69 Test: Dead, to Begin With.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Edgar Cantero reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Edgar Cantero, author of Meddling Kids.

His entry begins:
I recently moved houses (actually, moved cities, from Barcelona to New York), and I was forced to leave all my books behind. All of them. If you wonder about their fate, I was supposed to rent a storage unit, but in the end, a good friend offered me the attic of his family’s house in his hometown in Pla d’Urgell. There they are, sleeping inches below the roof under a scorching sun.

I’ve been living in Brooklyn for eighteen days now, and in my room there are already five books.

John Le Carré’s Call From The Dead (1961) I read on the plane to the US after forgetting to send it to my friend’s attic with the rest. I could have abandoned it in Spain, but I liked the edition too much. It’s a Spanish translation printed like a pulp magazine. I knew Smiley already from the recent film with Gary Oldman, which I loved. I liked Le Carré’s style too: so...[read on]
About Meddling Kids, from the publisher:
With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.

SUMMER 1977. The Blyton Summer Detective Club (of Blyton Hills, a small mining town in Oregon’s Zoinx River Valley) solved their final mystery and unmasked the elusive Sleepy Lake monster—another low-life fortune hunter trying to get his dirty hands on the legendary riches hidden in Deboën Mansion. And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

1990. The former detectives have grown up and apart, each haunted by disturbing memories of their final night in the old haunted house. There are too many strange, half-remembered encounters and events that cannot be dismissed or explained away by a guy in a mask. And Andy, the once intrepid tomboy now wanted in two states, is tired of running from her demons. She needs answers. To find them she will need Kerri, the one-time kid genius and budding biologist, now drinking her ghosts away in New York with Tim, an excitable Weimaraner descended from the original canine member of the club. They will also have to get Nate, the horror nerd currently residing in an asylum in Arkham, Massachusetts. Luckily Nate has not lost contact with Peter, the handsome jock turned movie star who was once their team leader . . . which is remarkable, considering Peter has been dead for years.

The time has come to get the team back together, face their fears, and find out what actually happened all those years ago at Sleepy Lake. It’s their only chance to end the nightmares and, perhaps, save the world.

A nostalgic and subversive trip rife with sly nods to H. P. Lovecraft and pop culture, Edgar Cantero’s Meddling Kids is a strikingly original and dazzling reminder of the fun and adventure we can discover at the heart of our favorite stories, no matter how old we get.
Visit Edgar Cantero's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Supernatural Enhancements.

Writers Read: Edgar Cantero.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Wendy L. Rouse's "Her Own Hero"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Her Own Hero: The Origins of the Women's Self-Defense Movement by Wendy L. Rouse.

About the book, from the publisher:
The surprising roots of the self-defense movement and the history of women’s empowerment.

At the turn of the twentieth century, women famously organized to demand greater social and political freedoms like gaining the right to vote. However, few realize that the Progressive Era also witnessed the birth of the women’s self-defense movement.

It is nearly impossible in today’s day and age to imagine a world without the concept of women’s self defense. Some women were inspired to take up boxing and jiu-jitsu for very personal reasons that ranged from protecting themselves from attacks by strangers on the street to rejecting gendered notions about feminine weakness and empowering themselves as their own protectors. Women’s training in self defense was both a reflection of and a response to the broader cultural issues of the time, including the women’s rights movement and the campaign for the vote.

Perhaps more importantly, the discussion surrounding women’s self-defense revealed powerful myths about the source of violence against women and opened up conversations about the less visible violence that many women faced in their own homes. Through self-defense training, women debunked patriarchal myths about inherent feminine weakness, creating a new image of women as powerful and self-reliant. Whether or not women consciously pursued self-defense for these reasons, their actions embodied feminist politics. Although their individual motivations may have varied, their collective action echoed through the twentieth century, demanding emancipation from the constrictions that prevented women from exercising their full rights as citizens and human beings. This book is a fascinating and comprehensive introduction to one of the most important women’s issues of all time.

This book will provoke good debate and offer distinct responses and solutions.
Learn more about Her Own Hero at the New York University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Her Own Hero.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top twists in fiction

Sophie Hannah's newest novel is Did You See Melody?

One of her top ten twists in fiction, as shared at the Guardian:
Innocent Blood by PD James

I know I don’t have to choose a No 1 - this is, after all, a top 10 - but this novel contains my favourite twist in all of crime fiction. Halfway through this story of an adopted young woman determined to trace her biological parents, there is a twist that made me leap up off my sun-lounger and yell at random holiday makers that they needed to read this book urgently. I won’t say any more - just, please, read it.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Pg. 69: Crystal King's "Feast of Sorrow"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome by Crystal King.

About the book, from the publisher:
Set amongst the scandal, wealth, and upstairs-downstairs politics of a Roman family, Crystal King’s seminal debut features the man who inspired the world’s oldest cookbook and the ambition that led to his destruction.

On a blistering day in the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar’s reign, a young chef, Thrasius, is acquired for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii. His purchaser is the infamous gourmet Marcus Gavius Apicius, wealthy beyond measure, obsessed with a taste for fine meals from exotic places, and a singular ambition: to serve as culinary advisor to Caesar, an honor that will cement his legacy as Rome's leading epicure.

Apicius rightfully believes that Thrasius is the key to his culinary success, and with Thrasius’s help he soon becomes known for his lavish parties and fantastic meals. Thrasius finds a family in Apicius’s household, his daughter Apicata, his wife Aelia, and her handmaiden, Passia, with whom Thrasius quickly falls in love. But as Apicius draws closer to his ultimate goal, his reckless disregard for any who might get in his way takes a dangerous turn that threatens his young family and places his entire household at the mercy of the most powerful forces in Rome.
Visit Crystal King's website.

The Page 69 Test: Feast of Sorrow.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is James Abel reading?

Featured at Writers Read: James Abel, author of Vector.

His entry begins:
Just now I've got three books on my table, all written by favorites, all there for different reasons, all there so I can learn.

Don Winslow's The Dawn Patrol, like all his books, has fantastic speed to it. Somehow Winslow manages to give us fully fleshed out characters, a complex plot, and a tour of a new area...all without...[read on]
About Vector, from the publisher:
While studying new forms of malaria at an Amazon gold rush, Joe Rush’s best friend and partner, Eddie Nakamura, disappears. Learning that many of the sick miners have also vanished, Rush begins a search for Eddie that takes him into the heart of darkness–where while battling for his life, he discovers a secret that may change the world.

Thousands of miles away, sick people are starting to flood into U.S. hospitals. When the White House admits that it has received terrorist threats, cities across the Northeast begin to shut down. Rush and his team must journey from one of the most remote spots on Earth to one of the busiest, as the clock ticks toward a kind of annihilation not thought possible. They have even less time than they think to solve the mystery, for the danger–as bad as it is–is about to get even worse.
Visit James Abel's website.

The Page 69 Test: Protocol Zero.

My Book, The Movie: Protocol Zero.

The Page 69 Test: Cold Silence.

My Book, The Movie: Cold Silence.

My Book, The Movie: Vector.

Writers Read: James Abel.

--Marshal Zeringue

Rachel Kadish's "The Weight of Ink," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish.

The entry begins:
For Ester Velasquez, who would have to radiate intelligence as well as a mix of passion and wariness, I’m going to go with Natalie Portman.

And Helen Watt? Judi Dench or Emma Thompson, each of whom would play her character quite differently…but either would bring out the intense force of Helen’s personality, her ability to intimidate others even as she isolates herself, and ultimately her vulnerability.

I was trying to think of the right actor for Rabbi ha-Coen Mendes, a beautifully gentle man blinded at the hands of Portuguese Inquisitors but nonetheless committed to a life of study. At first I imagined Ben...[read on]
Visit Rachel Kadish's official website.

The Page 69 Test: Tolstoy Lied.

My Book, The Movie: The Weight of Ink.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five books with bargains best declined

Emily Lloyd-Jones's latest novel is The Hearts We Sold. At Tor.com she shared her five "favorite books featuring deals you probably don’t want to make!" One title on the list:
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

All right, all right. I get it. You look in the mirror and see a—is that a strand of gray? A new wrinkle? Sun spot? We’ve all been there. But the solution is not wishing all of your aging on a portrait, locking that poor piece of artwork in your attic, and then murdering your struggling-artist best friend. Just start a good skin care routine—it’ll be less hassle in the long run.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Picture of Dorian Gray also appears on Eric Berkowitz's list of five top books on sex and society and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best locked rooms in literature, ten of the best mirrors in literature, ten of the best disastrous performances in fiction, and ten of the best examples of ekphrasis in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue