Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pg. 99: Wendy Moore's "How to Create the Perfect Wife"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain's Most Ineligible Bachelor and his Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate by Wendy Moore.

About the book, from the publisher:
Thomas Day knew exactly the sort of woman he wanted to marry. Pure and virginal yet tough and hardy, she would live with him in an isolated cottage, completely subservient to his whims. As Day soon discovered, the woman of his dreams didn’t seem to exist in Georgian society—but rather than concede defeat, Day set out to create her. He adopted two young orphans and, guided by the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the principles of the Enlightenment, attempted to teach them to be model wives. Day hoped to eventually marry one of his wards, but the experiment inevitably backfired—though not before he had taken his theories about marriage, education, and femininity to their most shocking extremes. In How to Create the Perfect Wife, acclaimed biographer Wendy Moore tells the captivating story of this bizarre experiment, illuminating the radicalism—and deep contradictions—at the heart of the Enlightenment.
Learn more about the book and author at Wendy Moore's website.

Wendy Moore is a writer and journalist. Her work has been published in a range of newspapers and magazines, including the Guardian, the Observer and the British Medical Journal and has won several awards. Her previous books include The Knife Man and Wedlock.

The Page 99 Test: Wedlock.

The Page 99 Test: How to Create the Perfect Wife.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Manil Suri's "The City of Devi"

Today's feature at the Page 69 Test: The City of Devi by Manil Suri.

About the novel:
A dazzling, multilayered novel that not only encompasses a searing love story but, with its epic reach, encapsulates the fate of the entire world.

Mumbai has emptied under the threat of imminent nuclear annihilation; gangs of marauding Hindu and Muslim thugs rove the desolate streets; yet Sarita can think of only one thing: buying the last pomegranate that remains in perhaps the entire city. She is convinced that the fruit holds the key to reuniting her with her physicist husband, Karun, who has been mysteriously missing for more than a fortnight.

Searching for his own lover in the midst of this turmoil is Jaz—cocky, handsome, and glib. “The Jazter,” as he calls himself, is Muslim, but his true religion has steadfastly been sex with men. Dodging danger at every step, both he and Sarita are inexorably drawn to Devi ma, the patron goddess who has reputedly appeared in person to save her city. What they find will alter their lives more fundamentally than any apocalypse to come.

A wickedly comedic and fearlessly provocative portrayal of individuals balancing on the sharp edge of fate, The City of Devi brilliantly upends assumptions of politics, religion, and sex, and offers a terrifying yet exuberant glimpse of the end of the world.
Learn more about the book and author at Manil Suri's website.

Read about Manil Suri's top ten books about Mumbai.

The Page 69 Test: The City of Devi.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top 10 books about cities

Leo Hollis was born in London in 1972, was educated at Stoneyhurst College and studied history at university. He is the author of number books on London including London Rising: The Men Who Made Modern London and Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis.

For the Guardian he tagged ten top books about cities, including:
Night Walks, by Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was perhaps the greatest chronicler of the sentimental city; he makes the reader empathise with Victorian London, charting its emotional geography as much as its physical. In Night Walks, he attempts to cure his insomnia by trudging through the streets. Like every city, London looked completely different under the flicker of gas lamps.
Read about another book on the list.

Learn about Hollis's list of five notable books on why cities are good for you.

Also see: The top 10 cities in literature, Simon Jenkins's five best books on cities, and Pete Hamill's five best books about cities.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Blythe Woolston reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Blythe Woolston, author of Black Helicopters.

Her entry begins:
From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón

I sought out this book because The Blue Fox enchanted me. I have not been disappointed; The Mouth of the Whale is luminous. The words, sentences, and puzzles of this story click together like the tumblers of a lock. It is that word- and sentence-level artistry that blows my circuits, especially since this is a work in translation. (I am adding more books translated by Victoria Cribb to my TBR list.) I anticipate...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
Ever since Mabby died while picking beans in their garden -- with the pock-a-pock of a helicopter overhead -- four-year-old Valley knows what her job is: hide in the underground den with her brother, Bo, while Da is working, because Those People will kill them like coyotes. But now, with Da unexpectedly gone and no home to return to, a teenage Valley (now Valkyrie) and her big brother must bring their message to the outside world -- a not-so-smart place where little boys wear their names on their backpacks and young men don’t pat down strangers before offering a lift. Blythe Woolston infuses her white-knuckle narrative, set in a day-after-tomorrow Montana, with a dark, trenchant humor and a keen psychological eye. Alternating past-present vignettes in prose as tightly wound as the springs of a clock and as masterfully plotted as a game of chess, she ratchets up the pacing right to the final, explosive end.

A teenage girl. A survivalist childhood. And now a bomb strapped to her chest. See the world through her eyes in this harrowing and deeply affecting literary thriller.
Learn more about the book and author at Blythe Woolston's website and blog.

Writers Read: Blythe Woolston.

--Marshal Zeringue

Patricia Bracewell's "Shadow on the Crown," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Shadow on the Crown by Patricia Bracewell.

The entry begins:
With Game of Thrones on HBO and Vikings on the History Channel, Medieval seems to be all the rage right now. In thinking about a film of Shadow on the Crown, which is set in 11th century England, it’s hard not to be drawn to actors who I’ve seen already dressed for the part and ready to go!

That being said, I’ve tried to think outside of that box, just a little. In the role of Emma of Normandy I would cast Mia Wasikowska, who starred in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland in 2010 and in Jane Eyre in 2011. She appears vulnerable at first, but she also demonstrates a core of steel that is absolutely necessary for the character of Emma.

I find myself stuck inside that Medieval box, though, with the casting of Æthelred. Sean...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Patricia Bracewell's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow on the Crown.

Writers Read: Patricia Bracewell.

My Book, The Movie: Shadow on the Crown.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pg. 99: David Malet's "Foreign Fighters"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Foreign Fighters: Transnational Identity in Civil Conflicts by David Malet.

About the book, from the publisher:
In conflict zones around the world, the phenomenon of foreign insurgents fighting on behalf of local rebel groups is a common occurrence. They have been an increasing source of concern because they engage in deadlier attacks than local fighters do. They also violate international laws and norms of citizenship. And because of their zeal, their adversaries - often the most powerful countries in the world - are frequently incapable of deterring them.

Foreign fighters have made headlines in recent wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, and the term is widely equated with militant Islamists. However, foreign fighters are not a new phenomenon. Throughout modern history, outside combatants have fought on behalf of causes ranging from international communism to aggrieved ethnic groups. Analyzing the long history of foreign fighters in the modern era helps us understand why they join insurgencies, what drives their behavior, and what policymakers can do in response.

In Foreign Fighters, David Malet examines how insurgencies recruit individuals from abroad who would seem to have no direct connection to a distant war. Remarkably, the same recruiting strategies have been employed successfully in all foreign fighter cases, regardless of the particular circumstances of a conflict. Malet also catalogues foreign fighters in civil wars over the past two centuries, providing data indicating that they are disproportionately successful and growing in number. Detailed case histories constructed from archival material and original interviews demonstrate the same recruitment patterns in highly diverse conflicts including the Texas Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, the Israeli War of Independence, and the Afghanistan War. The results show that foreign fighters from Davy Crockett to George Orwell to Osama bin Laden create and respond to strategically crafted appeals to defend transnational communities under dire threat.
Learn more about Foreign Fighters at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Foreign Fighters.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Ted Kosmatka's "Prophet of Bones"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Prophet of Bones: A Novel by Ted Kosmatka.

About the book, from the publisher:
Paul Carlson, a brilliant young scientist, is summoned from his laboratory job to the remote Indonesian island of Flores to collect DNA samples from the ancient bones of a strange, new species of tool user unearthed by an archaeological dig. The questions the find raises seem to cast doubt on the very foundations of modern science, which has proven the world to be only 5,800 years old, but before Paul can fully grapple with the implications of his find, the dig is violently shut down by paramilitaries.

Paul flees with two of his friends, yet within days one has vanished and the other is murdered in an attack that costs Paul an eye, and very nearly his life. Back in America, Paul tries to resume the comfortable life he left behind, but he can't cast the questions raised by the dig from his mind. Paul begins to piece together a puzzle which seems to threaten the very fabric of society, but world's governments and Martial Johnston, the eccentric billionaire who financed Paul's dig, will stop at nothing to silence him.
Learn more about the book and author at Ted Kosmatka's website.

Kosmatka is also the author of the novel The Games. His short fiction has been nominated for both the Nebula Award and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and appeared in numerous Year's Best collections.

Writers Read: Ted Kosmatka (March 2012).

The Page 69 Test: The Games.

My Book, the Movie: The Games.

My Book, the Movie: Prophet of Bones.

Writers Read: Ted Kosmatka.

The Page 69 Test: Prophet of Bones.

--Marshal Zeringue

David Chase's 6 favorite books

David Chase is the creator of The Sopranos and the writer-director of the 2012 feature film Not Fade Away.

One of his six favorite books, as told to The Week magazine:
Freddy's Book by John Gardner

Gardner's 1980 novel is an amazing work of invention. A professor on a lecture tour is staying at the home of a fellow academic when the host's big, weird, painfully shy son shares a book he's written about 16th-century Sweden and the devil coming in to straighten out affairs. This is a great, great book, and strange as can be.
Read about another novel on Chase's list.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Janice Steinberg reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Janice Steinberg, author of The Tin Horse.

Her entry begins:
The Lotus Eaters is one of those books that makes me glad there are still at least a few bookstores where one can browse and touch. Somehow this novel by Tatjana Soli escaped my notice when it came out in 2010; I missed the raves in the New York Times and elsewhere. But I spotted it in Warwick’s in La Jolla and was drawn by the cover photograph: a limpid bay that, close in, is tightly packed with fishing boats, but further out loses definition; water and sky dissolve into a dreamlike mist. Similarly, Soli’s story offers both richly detailed everyday reality and the sense of entering a dream.

The Lotus Eaters takes place in Vietnam during the American military involvement there, from the mid-1960s through the fall of Saigon in 1975. Helen Adams goes there in 1965 as a freelance photojournalist, though she’s such a novice that initially she has to ask for help loading film into her fancy new camera. Shortly after she arrives, she gets involved with an older, experienced photographer, Sam Darrow. The attraction is sexual, but...[read on]
About The Tin Horse, from the publisher:
In the stunning tradition of Lisa See, Maeve Binchy, and Alice Hoffman, The Tin Horse is a rich multigenerational story about the intense, often fraught bond sisters share and the dreams and sorrows that lay at the heart of the immigrant experience.

It has been more than sixty years since Elaine Greenstein’s twin sister, Barbara, ran away, cutting off contact with her family forever. Elaine has made peace with that loss. But while sifting through old papers as she prepares to move to Rancho Mañana—or the “Ranch of No Tomorrow” as she refers to the retirement community—she is stunned to find a possible hint to Barbara’s whereabouts all these years later. And it pushes her to confront the fierce love and bitter rivalry of their youth during the 1920s and ’30s, in the Los Angeles Jewish neighborhood of Boyle Heights.

Though raised together in Boyle Heights, where kosher delis and storefront signs in Yiddish lined the streets, Elaine and Barbara staked out very different personal territories. Elaine was thoughtful and studious, encouraged to dream of going to college, while Barbara was a bold rule-breaker whose hopes fastened on nearby Hollywood. In the fall of 1939, when the girls were eighteen, Barbara’s recklessness took an alarming turn. Leaving only a cryptic note, she disappeared.

In an unforgettable voice layered with humor and insight, Elaine delves into the past. She recalls growing up with her spirited family: her luftmensch of a grandfather, a former tinsmith with tales from the Old Country; her papa, who preaches the American Dream even as it eludes him; her mercurial mother, whose secret grief colors her moods—and of course audacious Barbara and their younger sisters, Audrey and Harriet. As Elaine looks back on the momentous events of history and on the personal dramas of the Greenstein clan, she must finally face the truth of her own childhood, and that of the twin sister she once knew.

In The Tin Horse, Janice Steinberg exquisitely unfolds a rich multigenerational story about the intense, often fraught bonds between sisters, mothers, and daughters and the profound and surprising ways we are shaped by those we love. At its core, it is a book not only about the stories we tell but, more important, those we believe, especially the ones about our very selves.
Learn more about the book and author at Janice Steinberg's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Tin Horse.

Writers Read: Janice Steinberg.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Larry D. Sweazy & Brodi and Sunny

The current featured trio at Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy & Brodi and Sunny.

The author, when asked if his dogs help or hinder his writing:
I can't think of a way they hinder my writing at all. The walks help get me outside, away from my desk, and keep me in shape (mostly) as much as it does them. Their presence is a great comfort. One, or both, are usually not far away from me. I think they make me a better human being, so hopefully, that helps me...[read on]
About The Gila Wars, the latest novel in Sweazy's Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series:
Texas Ranger Josiah Wolfe and his friend Scrap Elliot are ready to extinguish the loathsome Juan Cortina. Unfortunately, their direct orders are only to spy on Cortina’s cattle rustlers, which makes them two easy gringo targets. So much so that their first scuffle leaves Josiah seriously injured and Scrap on his own in his pursuit of Cortina.

Recovering from his deadly injury, Josiah is hit with a Dear John letter from his sweetheart. Luckily, a Mexican girl, Francesca, is there to help heal his wounds. But when Scrap returns full of malice directed toward his former comrade, Josiah can no longer tell who his friends are and where his heart lies. Only one thing is certain—he must put an end to Cortina’s reign before it’s too late.
Learn more about the book and author at Larry D. Sweazy's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Badger’s Revenge.

Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy and Brodi and Sunny (April 2011).

Writers Read: Larry D. Sweazy (April 2011).

Writers Read: Larry D. Sweazy (March 2012).

The Page 69 Test: The Devil's Bones.

My Book, The Movie: The Devil’s Bones.

The Page 69 Test: The Coyote Tracker.

Writers Read: Larry D. Sweazy (August 2012).

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Larry D. Sweazy & Brodi and Sunny.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Selena Coppock's "The New Rules for Blondes," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The New Rules for Blondes by Selena Coppock.

The entry begins:
The New Rules for Blondes is a collection of humorous essays celebrating and subverting the blonde stereotype and the personal essays are real stories from my life. I've had lots of insane adventures with my life-long best friend Suzanne and I always pictured us as a sort of Romy & Michele duo (Mira Sorvino and Lisa Kudrow from the fantastic 1997 film). But most of these stories come from back when we were in our early 20s, so I'd probably want two young actresses to capture that youthful energy and naivete:...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Selena Coppock's website and blog.

A natural blonde who is (now) more faithful to her colorist than she has ever been to any boyfriend, Selena Coppock is a standup comedian, storyteller, and writer based in New York City. When not pushing her pro-blonde agenda, Coppock can usually be found in a dive bar lamenting the breakup of Guns N' Roses and putting Bob Seger's "Night Moves" on the jukebox.

Writers Read: Selena Coppock.

My Book, The Movie: The New Rules for Blondes.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Michael Stanley's "Deadly Harvest"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Deadly Harvest by Michael Stanley.

About the book, from the publisher:
Girls are disappearing in Botswana. The rumor is they're being harvested for muti, a witch doctor's potion traditionally derived from plants and animals—and which, some believe, can be made more potent by adding human remains. Detective David "Kubu" Bengu joins the investigation with the police force's newest detective—and only woman—Samantha Khama, for whom the case is personal.

Soon one girl's father, convinced that his daughter's death is linked to the recent popularity of a political candidate, takes the law into his own hands. After the father flees, what Kubu and Samantha find in the politician's home confirms their worst fears: muti containing human DNA is real.

Now Kubu and Samantha are thrust into a harrowing race to stop a serial killer or killers—and those who would pay for their special, lethal muti.
Learn more about the book and authors at Michael Stanley's website.

Read: Michael Stanley's top ten African crime novels.

The Page 69 Test: Deadly Harvest.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Elinor Lipman's "I Can't Complain"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: I Can't Complain: (All Too) Personal Essays by Elinor Lipman.

About the book, from the publisher:
From the beloved and acclaimed novelist, a collection of witty, moving essays

In her two decades of writing, Elinor Lipman has populated her fictional universe with characters so utterly real that we feel like they’re old friends. Now she shares an even more intimate world with us—her own—in essays that offer a candid, charming take on modern life. Looking back and forging ahead, she considers the subjects that matter most: childhood and condiments, long marriage and solo living, career and politics.

Here you’ll find the lighthearted: a celebration of four decades of All My Children, a reflection on being Jewish in heavily Irish-Catholic Lowell on St. Patrick’s Day, a hilariously unflinching account of her tiptoe into online dating. But she also tackles the serious and profound in eloquent stories of unexpected widowhood and caring for elderly parents that use her struggles to illuminate ours. Whether for Lipman’s longtime readers or those who love the essays of Nora Ephron or Anna Quindlen, I Can't Complain is a diverting delight.
Learn more about the author and her work at Elinor Lipman's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Family Man.

The Page 99 Test: I Can't Complain.

--Marshal Zeringue

Danny Wallace's 6 best books

Danny Wallace is a writer, producer, and award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. He has written a weekly column in the U.K. magazine ShortList since 2007, and his past books include Join Me and Yes Man, which was made into a feature film starring Jim Carrey.

Wallace's novel Charlotte Street was the third bestselling debut novel of 2012 in the U.K.

One of his six favorite books, as told to the Daily Express:
LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding

Such a fast read, such a great story… it's a classic, obviously. However, I bet there are people who won't read it because they think it's just a black and white film about kids stranded on an island. Golding created something very exciting here that tells us exactly who we are.
Read about another novel on Wallace's list.

Lord of the Flies is on Gemma Malley's top ten list of dystopian novels for teenagers, AbeBooks' list of 20 books of shattered childhoods and is one of the top ten works of literature according to Stephen King. It appears on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best pigs in literature, ten of the best pairs of glasses in literature, and ten of the best horrid children in literature, Katharine Quarmby's top ten list of disability stories, and William Skidelsky's list of ten of the best accounts of being marooned in literature. It is a book that made a difference to Isla Fisher and is one of Suzi Quatro's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Patricia Bracewell reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Patricia Bracewell, author of Shadow on the Crown.

Her entry begins:
I recently finished reading Robert Low’s Viking novel Crowbone. The 10th century world that Low creates in this book is harsh and unforgiving – as are the men who inhabit it. Even the women of that world, and there are very few of them in this book, have little in the way of softness or warmth. Witches and women warriors are the order of the day. What struck and impressed me the most about this book, though, was the language. Robert Low writes like a modern day skald, mimicking in English something akin to the kennings that were so popular with the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse. Dogs are ‘fur bundles with a mouthful of filthy blades’, a frightened face is ‘a great rune of terror’, and a man’s mind is his ‘thought cage’. It is like nothing I’ve ever read before, except in Anglo-Saxon poetry. I found something to surprise and delight me on every page. Filled with...[read on]
About Shadow on the Crown, from the publisher:
A rich tale of power and forbidden love revolving around a young medieval queen

In 1002, fifteen­-year-old Emma of Normandy crosses the Narrow Sea to wed the much older King Athelred of England, whom she meets for the first time at the church door. Thrust into an unfamiliar and treacherous court, with a husband who mistrusts her, stepsons who resent her and a bewitching rival who covets her crown, Emma must defend herself against her enemies and secure her status as queen by bearing a son.

Determined to outmaneuver her adversaries, Emma forges alliances with influential men at court and wins the affection of the English people. But her growing love for a man who is not her husband and the imminent threat of a Viking invasion jeopardize both her crown and her life.

Based on real events recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Shadow on the Crown introduces readers to a fascinating, overlooked period of history and an unforgettable heroine whose quest to find her place in the world will resonate with modern readers.
Learn more about the book and author at Patricia Bracewell's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow on the Crown.

Writers Read: Patricia Bracewell.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Pg. 69: JoeAnn Hart's "Float"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Float by JoeAnn Hart.

About Float, from the publisher:
When everything around you is sinking, sometimes it takes desperate measures to stay afloat

When Duncan Leland looks down at the garbage-strewn beach beneath his office window, he sees the words God Help Us scrawled in the sand. While it seems a fitting message—not only is Duncan’s business underwater, but his marriage is drowning as well—he goes down to the beach to erase it. Once there, he helps a seagull being strangled by a plastic six-pack holder—the only creature in worse shape than he is at the moment.

Duncan rescues the seagull, not realizing that he’s being filmed by a group of conceptual artists and that the footage will soon go viral, turning both him and the gull into minor celebrities. And when an unsavory yet very convincing local, Osbert Marpol, talks him into a not-quite-legitimate loan arrangement, Duncan can’t help but agree in a last-ditch attempt to save the jobs of his employees.

For a while, it seems as if things are finally looking up for Duncan—yet between his phone-sex-entrepreneur ex-girlfriend’s very public flirtations and the ever-mysterious terms of his new loan, Duncan realizes that there’s no such thing as strings-free salvation—and that it’s only a matter of time before the tide rises ominously around him again.

A wry tale of financial desperation, conceptual art, insanity, infertility, seagulls, marital crisis, jellyfish, organized crime, and the plight of a plastic-filled ocean, JoeAnn Hart’s novel takes a smart, satirical look at family, the environment, and life in a hardscrabble seaside town in Maine.
Learn more about the book and author at JoeAnn Hart's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: JoeAnn Hart and Daisy.

The Page 69 Test: Float.

--Marshal Zeringue

Free book: "Death in the Baltic"

Palgrave Macmillan and the Campaign for the American Reader are giving away a copy of Death in the Baltic: The World War II Sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff by Cathryn J. Prince.

HOW TO ENTER: (1) send an email to this address:

(2) In the subject line, type Death in the Baltic.

(3) Include your name (or alias or whatever you wish to be called if I email you to tell you you've won the book) in the body of the email.

[I will not sell or share your email address; nor will I be in touch with you unless it is to tell you you have won the book.  I promise.]

Contest closes on Tuesday, April 30th.

Only one entry per person, please.

Winner must have a US mailing address.

Learn more about the book and author at Cathryn J. Prince's website and blog.

The Page 99 Test: Death in the Baltic.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Philip Lieberman's "The Unpredictable Species"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Unpredictable Species: What Makes Humans Unique by Philip Lieberman.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Unpredictable Species argues that the human brain evolved in a way that enhances our cognitive flexibility and capacity for innovation and imitation. In doing so, the book challenges the central claim of evolutionary psychology that we are locked into predictable patterns of behavior that were fixed by genes, and refutes the claim that language is innate. Philip Lieberman builds his case with evidence from neuroscience, genetics, and physical anthropology, showing how our basal ganglia--structures deep within the brain whose origins predate the dinosaurs--came to play a key role in human creativity. He demonstrates how the transfer of information in these structures was enhanced by genetic mutation and evolution, giving rise to supercharged neural circuits linking activity in different parts of the brain. Human invention, expressed in different epochs and locales in the form of stone tools, digital computers, new art forms, complex civilizations--even the latest fashions--stems from these supercharged circuits.

The Unpredictable Species boldly upends scientifically controversial yet popular beliefs about how our brains actually work. Along the way, this compelling book provides insights into a host of topics related to human cognition, including associative learning, epigenetics, the skills required to be a samurai, and the causes of cognitive confusion on Mount Everest and of Parkinson's disease.
Learn more about The Unpredictable Species at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Unpredictable Species.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books on artists who have captivated our culture

One title on the Barnes & Noble Review's list of five top books on artists who have captivated our culture:
Theft: A Love Story
by Peter Carey

Michael "Butcher" Boone -- heir to a successful Australian slaughterhouse and a criminal whose weapon of choice is brash art -- has just emerged from a short stay in prison. Eager to go relatively straight and begin a painting career, he's thrown marvelously off course by his mentally challenged brother, Hugh -- the book's co-narrator -- and Marlene, a sexual dynamo with mysterious connections to Picassoesque legend Jacques Leibovitz. Marlene enlists Boone for a wild-goose chase through Japan, forgery of Leibovitz's paintings, and a war of words with the "art police" whose detectives would be their downfall. Carey's exhilarating, profane, and highly experimental novel is a master class in the joy of painting, the pitfalls of fame, and life-as-performance art.
Read about another novel on the list.

Also see: "Cultural cringe" and Peter Carey's "Theft".

--Marshal Zeringue

Amy Brill's "The Movement of Stars," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill.

The entry begins:
If I had a dollar for every person who told me that my book should be a movie, I’d buy an island and retire. Since I’m too polite to collect, though, I’ll have to wait for a greenlight like everyone else. In the meantime, I’m happy to offer some casting ideas for the movie version of The Movement of Stars, which is set in 1845 Nantucket, in the era of tall ships and whaling voyages. It’s about the relationship between an aspiring female astronomer, an ambitious black whaler, and the forces that divide and bind them. There are Quakers, sailors, stars, suitors, an enormous fire, a secret wedding, a forbidden romance, and so much more!

For the main character, 25-year-old Hannah Gardner Price, I see Anne Hathaway, or, if she is too old by the time the greenlight arrives—which will probably be around the time the unicorns return from exile in Neverland—maybe Kristen...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Amy Brill's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Movement of Stars.

Writers Read: Amy Brill.

My Book, The Movie: The Movement of Stars.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 26, 2013

Free book: "Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol"

Touchstone and the Campaign for the American Reader are giving away a copy of Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol by Gyles Brandreth.

HOW TO ENTER: (1) send an email to this address:

(2) In the subject line, type "Oscar Wilde".

(3) Include your name (or alias or whatever you wish to be called if I email you to tell you you've won the book) in the body of the email.

[I will not sell or share your email address; nor will I be in touch with you unless it is to tell you you have won the book.  I promise.]

Contest closes on Friday, May 17th.

Only one entry per person, please.

Winner must have a US mailing address.

Learn more about Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol at the publisher's website.

Visit the official website for the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Kimberly McCreight's "Reconstructing Amelia"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.

About the book, from the publisher:
When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter.

Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension.

Her daughter Amelia is dead.

Despondent over having been caught cheating, Amelia has jumped from the school's roof in an act of impulsive suicide. At least that's the story Grace Hall and the police tell Kate. In a state of shock and overcome by grief, Kate tries to come to grips with this life-shattering news. Then she gets an anonymous text:

Amelia didn't jump.

The moment she sees that message, Kate knows in her heart it's true. Clearly Amelia had secrets, and a life Kate knew nothing about. Wracked by guilt, Kate is determined to find out what those secrets were and who could have hated her daughter enough to kill. She searches through Amelia's e-mails, texts, and Facebook updates, piecing together the last troubled days of her daughter's life.

Reconstructing Amelia is a stunning debut page-turner that brilliantly explores the secret world of teenagers, their clandestine first loves, hidden friendships, and the dangerous cruelty that can spill over into acts of terrible betrayal.
Watch the trailer for Reconstructing Amelia, and learn more about the book and author at Kimberly McCreight's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Reconstructing Amelia.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Laura DiSilverio reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Laura DiSilverio, author of Malled to Death.

Her entry begins:
In thinking about the books I’ve read the past couple of weeks, I notice there’s more variety than usual. Don’t take the below list as being indicative of my usual habits; I tend to read far more mystery/suspense fiction than anything else, although lately I’ve been branching into women’s fiction, historical fiction, and more literary works. I find that I expand my writing sensibilities and toolbox when I read outside my comfort zone, in addition to opening myself to new views of the world. Reading continues to be exhilarating and I am grateful, as always, for books and stories.

Suspect, by Robert Crais

I have long admired and enjoyed Crais’ books, but this is the first one I’ve loved. It tells the story of a German shepherd, Maggie, who was injured in the line of duty, and a young cop, Scott—ditto. They both suffer from PTSD and the relationship they build is hugely affecting as they try to track down the killers who shot Scott and killed...[read on]
About Malled to Death, from the publisher:
Get ready for a second take.

With a famous action star for a father, mall cop EJ Ferris is used to the Hollywood hullabaloo. But when her mall becomes his movie set, the cameramen aren’t the only ones who start shooting...

Protecting the shoppers at the Fernglen Galleria may not be EJ’s dream job, but neither is working for her father’s film production company. That’s why EJ is less than thrilled when her dad arranges to shoot his upcoming film, Mafia Mistress, in her mall. With the arrival of the movie entourage, EJ suddenly has more than shoplifting teens to worry about.

Bombarded by overeager assistants and fan mail, EJ’s famous father makes for an easy target—especially after a scare involving a gun loaded with blanks. Zoe, the prop master, blames herself for the mistake. But when a real bullet is fired and Zoe is killed, Fernglen Galleria is shaken by more than just Hollywood drama. Cut the cameras—there’s a real gunman on the loose...
Learn more about the books and author at Laura DiSilverio's website and Facebook page.

Writers Read: Laura DiSilverio (December 2011).

My Book, The Movie: Swift Run.

Writers Read: Laura DiSilverio.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Drew Maciag's "Edmund Burke in America"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Edmund Burke in America: The Contested Career of the Father of Modern Conservatism by Drew Maciag.

About the book, from the publisher:
The statesman and political philosopher Edmund Burke (1729–1797) is a touchstone for modern conservatism in the United States, and his name and his writings have been invoked by figures ranging from the arch Federalist George Cabot to the twentieth-century political philosopher Leo Strauss. But Burke's legacy has neither been consistently associated with conservative thought nor has the richness and subtlety of his political vision been fully appreciated by either his American admirers or detractors. In Edmund Burke in America, Drew Maciag traces Burke’s reception and reputation in the United States, from the contest of ideas between Burke and Thomas Paine in the Revolutionary period, to the Progressive Era (when Republicans and Democrats alike invoked Burke’s wisdom), to his apotheosis within the modern conservative movement.

Throughout, Maciag is sensitive to the relationship between American opinions about Burke and the changing circumstances of American life. The dynamic tension between conservative and liberal attitudes in American society surfaced in debates over the French Revolution, Jacksonian democracy, Gilded Age values, Progressive reform, Cold War anticommunism, and post-1960s liberalism. The post–World War II rediscovery of Burke by New Conservatives and their adoption of him as the "father of conservatism" provided an intellectual foundation for the conservative ascendancy of the late twentieth century. Highlighting the Burkean influence on such influential writers as George Bancroft, E. L. Godkin, and Russell Kirk, Maciag also explores the underappreciated impact of Burke’s thought on four U.S. presidents: John Adams and John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson. Through close and keen readings of political speeches, public lectures, and works of history and political theory and commentary, Maciag offers a sweeping account of the American political scene over two centuries.
Learn more about Edmund Burke in America at the Cornell University Press website.

My Book, The Movie: Edmund Burke in America.

The Page 99 Test: Edmund Burke in America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top 10 books about being different

Gillian Cross won the 1990 Carnegie Medal for Wolf and the 1992 Whitbread Children's Book Award for The Great Elephant Chase.

For the Guardian she named her top ten books that throw everything you think you know upside down.

One title on the list:
Small Island by Andrea Levy

A completely different kind of book about immigration. It's told by four distinctive characters: Gilbert and Hortense, from Jamaica, who are hoping for new opportunities in Britain; warm-hearted Queenie Bligh; and her racist husband, Bernard. Because it's set in a real place and time – Britain in 1948 – it gives a longer perspective on immigration. Whatever our roots are, all four characters are separated from us by the passage of time and the huge changes in culture since 1948.
Read about another book on the list.

Small Island is among Martin Fletcher's five best books on nations & lives in transition.

--Marshal Zeringue

Free book: "Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots"

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and the Campaign for the American Reader are giving away two copies (ie, one copy each to two winners) of Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots by Jessica Soffer.

HOW TO ENTER: (1) send an email to:

(2) In the subject line, type Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.

(3) Include your name (or alias or whatever you wish to be called if I email you to tell you you've won the book) in the body of the email.

[I will not sell or share your email address; nor will I be in touch with you unless it is to tell you you have won the book.  I promise.]

Contest closes on Tuesday, April 30th.

Only one entry per person, please.

Winner must have a US mailing address.

Learn more about Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots.

Visit Jessica Soffer's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Pg. 69: Sophie Littlefield's "Garden of Stones"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Garden of Stones by Sophie Littlefield.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the dark days of war, a mother makes the ultimate sacrifice

Lucy Takeda is just fourteen years old, living in Los Angeles, when the bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor. Within weeks, she and her mother, Miyako, are ripped from their home, rounded up—along with thousands of other innocent Japanese-Americans—and taken to the Manzanar prison camp.

Buffeted by blistering heat and choking dust, Lucy and Miyako must endure the harsh living conditions of the camp. Corruption and abuse creep into every corner of Manzanar, eventually ensnaring beautiful, vulnerable Miyako. Ruined and unwilling to surrender her daughter to the same fate, Miyako soon breaks. Her final act of desperation will stay with Lucy forever…and spur her to sins of her own.
Learn more about the book and author at Sophie Littlefield's website and blog.

Littlefield's crime novels include A Bad Day for Sorry and A Bad Day for Pretty.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Sorry.

Writers Read: Sophie Littlefield.

The Page 69 Test: A Bad Day for Pretty.

My Book, The Movie: A Bad Day for Pretty.

The Page 69 Test: Aftertime.

My Book, The Movie: Aftertime.

The Page 69 Test: Garden of Stones.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Selena Coppock reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Selena Coppock, author of The New Rules for Blondes: Highlights from a Fair-Haired Life.

Her entry begins:
My Appetite for Destruction: Sex & Drugs & Guns 'N Roses by Steven Adler with Lawrence J. Spagnola

From my life, you'll quickly learn that I'm a bit of a pop culture junkie, plus a nonfiction lover. And I'm a lifelong Guns 'N Roses fan, so when I heard that Steven Adler (the original drummer of GnR) was writing a memoir, I was thrilled. I find artist/performer memoirs so interesting--knowing how long and hard they were grinding it out at crummy clubs or back rooms. It's very inspiring to me, as a standup comedian. While Adler shares crazy stories of touring, performing, and hard partying, he also comes off as such a kind-hearted, likeable guy in this book. His drumming on "Appetite for Destruction" is so brilliant and unique that I was eager to...[read on]
About The New Rules for Blondes, from the publisher:
Writer, comedienne, and full-time Blonde, Selena Coppock offers up adventures, misadventures, and golden-hued nuggets of wisdom in a laugh-out-loud anthem for those of us who really do have more fun....

The modern blonde is savvy, wise, confident, capable, and not afraid to laugh at herself when the occasion calls for it. She knows who she is and is prepared to subvert all stereotypes (although she's not above wielding her golden tresses to her advantage), and knows how to be both classy and a little brassy.

In the way only a Boston-bred New Yorker who once won "Best Hair" in her high school graduating class could, Coppock doles out tongue-in-cheek advice about avoiding hair disasters, the consequences of dating a man who cares a little too much about his own hair product, and so much more in an outrageous essay collection that will have even the staunchest of raven-haired beauties considering a trip to the nearest salon.
Learn more about the book and author at Selena Coppock's website and blog.

Writers Read: Selena Coppock.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Daniel Kilbride's "Being American in Europe, 1750–1860"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: Being American in Europe, 1750–1860 by Daniel Kilbride.

About the book, from the publisher:
While visiting Europe In 1844, Harry McCall of Philadelphia wrote to his cousin back home of his disappointment. He didn't mind Paris, but he preferred the company of Americans to Parisians. Furthermore, he vowed to be "an American, heart and soul" wherever he traveled, but "particularly in England." Why was he in Europe if he found it so distasteful? After all, travel in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was expensive, time consuming, and frequently uncomfortable.

Being American in Europe, 1750–1860 tracks the adventures of American travelers while exploring large questions about how these experiences affected national identity. Daniel Kilbride searched the diaries, letters, published accounts, and guidebooks written between the late colonial period and the Civil War. His sources are written by people who, while prominent in their own time, are largely obscure today, making this account fresh and unusual.

Exposure to the Old World generated varied and contradictory concepts of American nationality. Travelers often had diverse perspectives because of their region of origin, race, gender, and class. Americans in Europe struggled with the tension between defining the United States as a distinct civilization and situating it within a wider world. Kilbride describes how these travelers defined themselves while they observed the politics, economy, morals, manners, and customs of Europeans. He locates an increasingly articulate and refined sense of simplicity and virtue among these visitors and a gradual disappearance of their feelings of awe and inferiority.
Learn more about Being American in Europe, 1750–1860 at the Johns Hopkins University Press website.

Daniel Kilbride is an associate professor of history at John Carroll University in Ohio. He is also the author of An American Aristocracy: Southern Planters in Antebellum Philadelphia.

The Page 99 Test: Being American in Europe, 1750–1860.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten of the greatest prison breaks in sci-fi & fantasy

Charlie Jane Anders, editor at io9, named the ten greatest prison breaks in science fiction and fantasy. Most are from film and television, but the  literary escapes include:
The Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold

In this novella, Miles Vorkosigan is sent to infiltrate a Cetagandan prison camp to get out one important prisoner — Colonel Guy Tremont, who the Barrayarans hope will start a new resistance movement against the Cetagandans. There's just one problem: the prison is covered with an impenetrable force dome. Okay, two problems: Tremont is dying. Soon enough, Vorkosigan is stripped naked and his hand is broken — but he still manages to organize the anarchic prisoners into a unified group, setting up a new food distribution system that is secretly aimed at preparing their escape plan. In the end, he gets almost all the prisoners out of there.
Read about another literary prison break.

--Marshal Zeringue

Drew Maciag's "Edmund Burke in America," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Edmund Burke in America: The Contested Career of the Father of Modern Conservatism by Drew Maciag.

The entry begins:
Edmund Burke in America (The Movie) would call for a "cast of dozens." Options that spring quickly to mind are Anthony Hopkins as the inscrutable John Adams, Daniel Day Lewis as the wacky Rufus Choate, and (a middle-aged) Dustin Hoffman as the conservative alchemist Russell Kirk. Although Johnny Depp is the obvious choice for Tom Paine, I'd rather see Charlie Chaplin (talkie version) inhabit that role. Who better than Spencer Tracy to portray the twin sides of Theodore Roosevelt (Rough Rider/frontier adventurer and presidential Victorian-Progressive)? Vincent Kartheiser (of Mad Men) will be at his inconsequential best playing any of the younger Burkean conservatives of the 1990s (frustrated little characters!). All these men (there are no significant parts for women in this ideological war movie) must ultimately act in the shadow of the legendary British statesman, Edmund Burke.

Actually there are several Edmund Burkes; that is, there are multiple sides to his personality and political philosophy. The actor best able to project each of them while remaining true to the character's core identity was Raymond...[read on]
Learn more about Edmund Burke in America at the Cornell University Press website.

My Book, The Movie: Edmund Burke in America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pg. 69: Susanna Calkins's "A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: A Murder at Rosamund's Gate by Susanna Calkins.

About the book, from the publisher:
For Lucy Campion, a seventeenth-century English chambermaid serving in the household of the local magistrate, life is an endless repetition of polishing pewter, emptying chamber pots, and dealing with other household chores until a fellow servant is ruthlessly killed, and someone close to Lucy falls under suspicion. Lucy can’t believe it, but in a time where the accused are presumed guilty until proven innocent, lawyers aren’t permitted to defend their clients, and—if the plague doesn't kill the suspect first—public executions draw a large crowd of spectators, Lucy knows she may never find out what really happened. Unless, that is, she can uncover the truth herself.

Determined to do just that, Lucy finds herself venturing out of her expected station and into raucous printers’ shops, secretive gypsy camps, the foul streets of London, and even the bowels of Newgate prison on a trail that might lead her straight into the arms of the killer.

In her debut novel Murder at Rosamund's Gate, Susanna Calkins seamlessly blends historical detail, romance, and mystery in a moving and highly entertaining tale.
Learn more about the book and author at Susanna Calkins's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: A Murder at Rosamund's Gate.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Amy Brill reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: Amy Brill, author of The Movement of Stars.

Her entry begins:
I always have a towering pile of books to be read—but since I have two kids under five, my time for actual reading is pathetically slim. That said, I’m involved in a few great books right now. First and foremost is Matt Bell’s incredible new novel, In the House Upon the Dirt by The Lake in the Woods, which will be out in June. It’s a wild and powerful fable that on its surface is about a couple trying to begin a family in an odd, desolate setting. The writing is so spare and magnificent and the events therein so...[read on]
About the book, from the publisher:
A love story set in 1845 Nantucket, between a female astronomer and the unusual man who understands her dreams.

It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price has lived all twenty-four years of her life according to the principles of the Nantucket Quaker community in which she was raised, where simplicity and restraint are valued above all, and a woman’s path is expected to lead to marriage and motherhood. But up on the rooftop each night, Hannah pursues a very different—and elusive—goal: discovering a comet and thereby winning a gold medal awarded by the King of Denmark, something unheard of for a woman.

And then she meets Isaac Martin, a young, dark-skinned whaler from the Azores who, like herself, has ambitions beyond his expected station in life. Drawn to his intellectual curiosity and honest manner, Hannah agrees to take Isaac on as a student. But when their shared interest in the stars develops into something deeper, Hannah’s standing in the community begins to unravel, challenging her most fundamental beliefs about work and love, and ultimately changing the course of her life forever.

Inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America, The Movement of Stars is a richly drawn portrait of desire and ambition in the face of adversity.
Learn more about the book and author at Amy Brill's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Movement of Stars.

Writers Read: Amy Brill.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Steven Nadler's "The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter: A Portrait of Descartes by Steven Nadler.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the Louvre museum hangs a portrait of a middle-aged man with long dark hair, a mustache, and heavy-lidded eyes, and he is dressed in the starched white collar and black coat of the typical Dutch burgher. The painting is now the iconic image of René Descartes, the great seventeenth-century French philosopher. And the painter of the work? The Dutch master Frans Hals--or so it was long believed, until the work was downgraded to a copy of an original. But where, then, is the authentic version located, and who painted it? Is the man in the painting--and in its original--really Descartes?

A unique combination of philosophy, biography, and art history, The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter investigates the remarkable individuals and circumstances behind a small portrait. Through this image--and the intersecting lives of a brilliant philosopher, a Catholic priest, and a gifted painter--Steven Nadler opens up a fascinating portal into Descartes's life and times, skillfully presenting an accessible introduction to Descartes's philosophical and scientific ideas, and an illuminating tour of the volatile political and religious environment of the Dutch Golden Age. As Nadler shows, Descartes's innovative ideas about the world, about human nature and knowledge, and about philosophy itself, stirred great controversy. Philosophical and theological critics vigorously opposed his views, and civil and ecclesiastic authorities condemned his writings. Nevertheless, Descartes's thought came to dominate the philosophical world of the period, and can rightly be called the philosophy of the seventeenth century.

Shedding light on a well-known image, The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter offers an engaging exploration of a celebrated philosopher's world and work
Learn more about the book and author at Steven Nadler's website.

Nadler is the William H. Hay II Professor of Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. His books include Rembrandt's Jews, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Spinoza: A Life, which won the Koret Jewish Book Award; The Best of All Possible Worlds: A Story of Philosophers, God, and Evil, and A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza's Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age.

The Page 99 Test: The Best of All Possible Worlds.

The Page 99 Test: A Book Forged in Hell.

Writers Read: Steven Nadler.

The Page 99 Test: The Philosopher, the Priest, and the Painter.

--Marshal Zeringue

Free books: "Pieces of Light"

Harper and the Campaign for the American Reader are giving away three copies (one each to three different winners) of Pieces of Light: How the New Science of Memory Illuminates the Stories We Tell About Our Pasts by Charles Fernyhough.

HOW TO ENTER: (1) send an email to this address:

(2) In the subject line, type Pieces of Light.

(3) Include your name (or alias or whatever you wish to be called if I email you to tell you you've won the book) in the body of the email.

[I will not sell or share your email address; nor will I be in touch with you unless it is to tell you you have won the book.  I promise.]

Contest closes on Friday, April 26th.

Only one entry per person, please.

Winner must have a US mailing address.

Read more about Pieces of Light at the publisher's website.

Visit Charles Fernyhough's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Katie Preston Toepfer & Violet and Mr. Darcy

photo credit: Kristy Toepfer Photography
The current featured trio at Coffee with a Canine: Katie Preston Toepfer & Violet and Mr. Darcy.

The author, on how her dogs got their names:
Violet is a little flower, so Violet is the perfect name for her. She gets V, Bubba, Bubbalish, Noosh, Lish, Bubalicious.

Mr Darcy is truly a gentleman, so the name suits. He gets Mr D, Doogan, Darcy Doogan, Little Man and D....[read on]
About Katie Preston Toepfer's new book, Wedding Dogs: A Celebration of Holy Muttrimony:
Wedding Dogs captures man’s best friend at 75 weddings—dogs as the best man, maid of honor, ring bearer, or another member of the wedding party! Decked out in little doggy tuxedos or sporting a wreath of roses around their necks, these pooches share in the wedding couple’s big day.

Each photograph is accompanied by a brief essay telling the dog’s (and the couple’s) story. A perfect wedding, bridal shower, or groom’s gift, Wedding Dogs shares the joy of the moment when dogs join in the celebration of their owners’ most special day.
Visit the Wedding Dogs website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Katie Preston Toepfer & Violet and Mr. Darcy.

--Marshal Zeringue