Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pg. 69: Michael Nethercott's "The Haunting Ballad"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Haunting Ballad by Michael Nethercott.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Seance Society introduced mystery lovers to Mr. O’Nelligan and Lee Plunkett, an unlikely pair of sleuths on an equally unlikely case with a supernatural twist. Having taken over his father's PI business, Lee enlists O'Nelligan, a dapper Irishman with a flair for solving mysteries, to help catch a killer. Now, in Michael Nethercott's The Haunting Ballad, this sleuthing "odd couple" are back in another witty, charming, and wonderfully written mystery, this time set in 1957 in the burgeoning music scene of New York City's Greenwich Village.

It's the spring of 1957, and O'Nelligan and Plunkett are summoned to New York to investigate the death of a controversial folk song collector. The trail leads the pair to a diverse group of suspects including an eccentric Beat coffee house owner, a family of Irish balladeers (who may be IRA), a bluesy ex-con, a hundred-and-five-year-old Civil War drummer boy, and a self-proclaimed “ghost chanter” who sings songs that she receives from the dead. To complicate matters, there's a handsome, smooth-talking young folk singer who Lee's fiancée Audrey is enthralled by. And somewhere in the Bohemian swirl of the Village, a killer waits...
Visit Michael Nethercott's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Séance Society.

The Page 69 Test: The Haunting Ballad.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Charlotte Roberts's "Edward Gibbon and the Shape of History"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Edward Gibbon and the Shape of History by Charlotte Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:
Edward Gibbon's presentation of character in both the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and in his posthumously published Memoirs demonstrates a prevailing interest in the values of transcendent heroism and individual liberty, but also an insistent awareness of the dangers these values pose to coherence and narrative order. In this study, Charlotte Roberts demonstrates how these dynamics also inform the 'character' of the Decline and Fall: in which ironic difference confronts enervating uniformity; oddity counters specious lucidity; and revision combats repetition.

Edward Gibbon and the Shape of History explores the Decline and Fall as a work of scholarship and of literature, tracing both its expansive outline and its expressive details. A close examination of each of the three instalments of Gibbon's history reveals an intimate relationship between the style of Gibbon's narrative and the overall shape of his historiographical composition. The constant interplay between style and substance, or between the particular details of composition and the larger patterns of argument and narrative, informs every aspect of Gibbon's work: from his reception of established and innovative historiographical conventions to the expression of his narrative voice. Through a combination of close reading and larger literary and scholarly analysis, Charlotte Roberts conveys a sense of the Decline and Fall as a work more complex and conflicted, in its tone and structure, than has been appreciated by previous scholars, without losing sight of the grand contours of Gibbon's superlative achievement.
Learn more about Edward Gibbon and the Shape of History at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Edward Gibbon and the Shape of History.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top walks in books

Duncan Minshull is the editor of While Wandering: A Walking Companion.

One of his top ten walks in books, as shared at the Guardian:
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

Collecting material for While Wandering, I found that the early 20th century was a heyday for rambling in Britain – which also meant lots of knickerbockered bores going on about the miles covered and equipment used. In Gibbons’ satire, one of these types, Mr Mybug, rambles with Flora the heroine. But his points of reference are all sexual, with phallic symbols looming everywhere: buds are nipples, hills are breasts, hollows are navels … Yes, that’ll do. And it’s enough for Flora as well, who later vows to walk in solitude. Sometimes the world of walking is easy to spoof.
Read about another entry on the list.

Cold Comfort Farm is among Henry Alford's six favorite books, Belinda McKeon top ten farming novels, John Mullan's ten best parodies in literature, and Lisa Armstrong's top books on shoes.

--Marshal Zeringue

Mary Miley's "Silent Murders," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Silent Murders 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 Silent Murders (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—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.

Writers Read: Mary Miley.

The Page 69 Test: Silent Murders.

My Book, The Movie: Silent Murders.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ten top books about losing one's virginity

At the Daily Express, Radhika Sanghani recommended ten top books about losing one's virginity, including:

This novel tells the story of a boarding school and what happens when a young, sexy girl arrives.

All the boys assume she's had sex because of her provocative clothing and independence. She hasn't.

It's a lesson in appearances versus reality, and brings up the idea of slut-shaming.

But Aviva does eventually lose her virginity to Seung - but tragedy isn't far away.

The novel shows just how scary sexuality is to teens who are trying to figure out sex, combined with parental pressures.

A must-read for anyone who went to a boarding school.
Read about another entry on the list.

Writers Read: Pamela Erens (March 2008).

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Barry Lyga's "Blood of My Blood"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Blood of My Blood (I Hunt Killers Series #3) by Barry Lyga.

About the book, from the publisher:
Jazz Dent has been shot and left to die in New York City. His girlfriend Connie is in the clutches of Jazz's serial killer father, Billy. And his best friend Howie is bleeding to death on the floor of Jazz's own home in tiny Lobo's Nod. Somehow, these three must rise above the horrors their lives have become and find a way to come together in pursuit of Billy. But then Jazz crosses a line he's never crossed before, and soon the entire country is wondering: "Like father, like son?" Who is the true monster?

The chase is on, and beyond Billy there lurks something much, much worse. Prepare to meet...the Crow King.
Visit Barry Lyga's website.

The Page 69 Test: Blood of My Blood.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Dori Hillestad Butler & Mouse

Featured at Coffee with a Canine: Dori Hillestad Butler & Mouse.

The author, on how Mouse got his name:
I have to blame my older son for that. The shelter said his name was Mowgli, but that was too close to our other dog’s name (Molly). I was thinking I’d call him Shadow, but my son is a fan of the Dresden books. Harry Dresden has a big gray dog named Mouse. My son liked the irony of a huge dog named Mouse. And well…I guess I did, too. It worked well when we became a registered therapy dog team. Having a 102 pound dog named Mouse is...[read on]
About Dori Hillestad Butler's The Haunted Library, from the publisher:
When ghost boy Kaz’s haunt is torn down and he is separated from his ghost family, he meets a real girl named Claire, who lives above the town library with her parents and her grandmother. Claire has a special ability to see ghosts when other humans cannot and she and Kaz quickly form a friendship. The two join forces to solve the mystery of the ghost that’s haunting the library. Could it be one of Kaz’s lost family members?
Learn more about the book and author at Dori Hillestad Butler's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Haunted Library.

Coffee with a Canine: Dori Hillestad Butler & Mouse.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Meredith Gill's "Angels and the Order of Heaven in Medieval and Renaissance Italy"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Angels and the Order of Heaven in Medieval and Renaissance Italy by Meredith J. Gill.

About the book, from the publisher:
From earliest times, angels have been seen as instruments of salvation and retribution, agents of revelation, and harbingers of hope. In effect, angels are situated at the intersections of diverse belief structures and philosophical systems. In this book, Meredith J. Gill examines the role of angels in medieval and Renaissance conceptions of heaven. She considers the character of Renaissance angelology as distinct from the medieval theological traditions that informed it and from which it emerged. Tracing the iconography of angels in text and in visual form, she also uncovers the philosophical underpinnings of medieval and Renaissance definitions of angels and their nature. From Dante through Pico della Mirandola, from the images of angels depicted by Fra Angelico to those painted by Raphael and his followers, angels, Gill argues, are the touchstones and markers of the era's intellectual self-understanding, and its classical revival, theological doctrines, and artistic imagination.
Learn more about Angels and the Order of Heaven in Medieval and Renaissance Italy at the Cambridge University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Angels and the Order of Heaven in Medieval and Renaissance Italy.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is S. Craig Zahler reading?

Featured at Writers Read: S. Craig Zahler, author of Mean Business on North Ganson Street.

His entry begins:
Brittle paper life forms from the earlier part of the previous century are filling up my apartment.

Reading pulp magazines has changed from a growing interest to an outright addiction.

During my explorations of the pulpwood vastness, I read the May 1st 1931 issue of the Adventure pulp magazine, which will be the subject for this article. This highly-regarded publication is loaded with tales that were written by actual adventurers and well-traveled, worldly experts of that era. So yes, this publication is less "pulpy" than my favorite pulp magazines—The Spider, Operator #5, Dime Detective, Weird Tales, and Terror Tales—but I do not use the term "pulpy" in a pejorative sense, though many do. Melodrama and implausibility often cause something to feel "pulpy," but for me, creativity and passion regularly trump realism, so I...[read on]
About Mean Business on North Ganson Street, from the publisher:
A distraught businessman kills himself after a short, impolite conversation with a detective named Jules Bettinger. Because of this incident, the unkind (but decorated) policeman is forced to relocate himself and his family from Arizona to the frigid north, where he will work for an understaffed precinct in Victory, Missouri. This collapsed rustbelt city is a dying beast that devours itself and its inhabitants...and has done so for more than four decades. Its streets are covered with dead pigeons and there are seven hundred criminals for every law enforcer.

Partnered with a boorish and demoted corporal, Bettinger investigates a double homicide in which two policemen were slain and mutilated. The detective looks for answers in the fringes of the city and also in the pasts of the cops with whom he works—men who stomped on a local drug dealer until he was disabled.

Bettinger soon begins to suspect that the double homicide is not an isolated event, but a prelude to a series of cop executions...
Visit S. Craig Zahler's website.

Writers Read: S. Craig Zahler.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Six domestic chillers for fans of Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl"

At the Telegraph Siân Ranscombe tagged six domestic chillers for fans of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, including:
Before We Met, Lucie Whitehouse

Woman is swept off her feet by British man in New York and moves immediately back to London with him. Not sure how this could ever seem a good idea. Protagonist Hannah does exactly this, though, and soon regrets it. When new husband Mark fails to return from a business trip and she finds her bank account empty, she begins to regret it even harder. You will have seen this book in train stations everywhere since its release earlier this year and for good reason.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Emily Liebert's "When We Fall," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: When We Fall by Emily Liebert.

The entry begins:
This is the dream, right? Having your book turned into a movie (I’ll take TV too!). While I’d love to say I haven’t given this hours of thought—specifically when I can’t sleep in the middle of the night—that would be a big fat lie! So, here goes. Charlotte and Allison are the main characters in When We Fall, so I’d love to see two strong actresses play those roles. I’d have to say Natalie Portman for Allison. To me, they both embody beauty and grace, inside and out. For Charlotte, Amy...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Emily Liebert's website.

The Page 69 Test: When We Fall.

Writers Read: Emily Liebert.

My Book, The Movie: When We Fall.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Stuart Gibbs's "Space Case"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Space Case by Stuart Gibbs.

About the book, from the publisher:
It’s a murder mystery on the moon in this humorous and suspenseful space adventure from the author of Belly Up and Spy School.

Like his fellow lunarnauts—otherwise known as Moonies—living on Moon Base Alpha, twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is famous the world over for being one of the first humans to live on the moon.

And he’s bored out of his mind. Kids aren’t allowed on the lunar surface, meaning they’re trapped inside the tiny moon base with next to nothing to occupy their time—and the only other kid Dash’s age spends all his time hooked into virtual reality games.

Then Moon Base Alpha’s top scientist turns up dead. Dash senses there’s foul play afoot, but no one believes him. Everyone agrees Dr. Holtz went onto the lunar surface without his helmet properly affixed, simple as that. But Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important new discovery, Dash finds out, and it’s a secret that could change everything for the Moonies—a secret someone just might kill to keep...
Visit Stuart Gibbs's website.

The Page 69 Test: Space Case.

--Marshal Zeringue

Jay Rayner's 6 best books

Jay Rayner is a British journalist, writer, broadcaster and food critic.

One of his six best books, as shared at the Daily Express:
FATHERLAND by Robert Harris

Set in the 1960s this surmises that Hitler won the war and nobody knows about the Holocaust.

It brought together thoughts on how you could use real current affairs to write a page-turner, which became influential when I wrote The Apologist.
Read about another book on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pg. 99: Jonathan Darman's "Landslide"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America by Jonathan Darman.

About the book, from the publisher:
In politics, the man who takes the highest spot after a landslide is not standing on solid ground.

In this riveting work of narrative nonfiction, Jonathan Darman tells the story of two giants of American politics, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan, and shows how, from 1963 to 1966, these two men—the same age, and driven by the same heroic ambitions—changed American politics forever.

The liberal and the conservative. The deal-making arm twister and the cool communicator. The Texas rancher and the Hollywood star. Opposites in politics and style, Johnson and Reagan shared a defining impulse: to set forth a grand story of America, a story in which he could be the hero. In the tumultuous days after the Kennedy assassination, Johnson and Reagan each, in turn, seized the chance to offer the country a new vision for the future. Bringing to life their vivid personalities and the anxious mood of America in a radically transformative time, Darman shows how, in promising the impossible, Johnson and Reagan jointly dismantled the long American tradition of consensus politics and ushered in a new era of fracture. History comes to life in Darman’s vivid, fly-on-the wall storytelling.

Even as Johnson publicly revels in his triumphs, we see him grow obsessed with dark forces he believes are out to destroy him, while his wife, Lady Bird, urges her husband to put aside his paranoia and see the world as it really is. And as the war in Vietnam threatens to overtake his presidency, we witness Johnson desperately struggling to compensate with ever more extravagant promises for his Great Society.

On the other side of the country, Ronald Reagan, a fading actor years removed from his Hollywood glory, gradually turns toward a new career in California politics. We watch him delivering speeches to crowds who are desperate for a new leader. And we see him wielding his well-honed instinct for timing, waiting for Johnson’s majestic promises to prove empty before he steps back into the spotlight, on his long journey toward the presidency.

From Johnson’s election in 1964, the greatest popular-vote landslide in American history, to the pivotal 1966 midterms, when Reagan burst forth onto the national stage, Landslide brings alive a country transformed—by riots, protests, the rise of television, the shattering of consensus—and the two towering personalities whose choices in those moments would reverberate through the country for decades to come.
Visit Jonathan Darman's website and Twitter perch.

The Page 99 Test: Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five forgotten sci-fi novels that deserve to be rediscovered

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and We Are Not Good People from Pocket/Gallery. He has published over thirty short stories as well.

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog he tagged five forgotten sci-fi novels that deserve to be rediscovered, including:
Blood Music, by Greg Bear

It’s difficult to believe how thoroughly everyone outside of SF fandom seems to have forgotten this 1985 novel, the most recent entry on this list. While it has dated in the same way as William Gibson’s contemporary work, Bear’s study of nanotechnology, the nature of observable reality, and the crooked, unpredictable path life follows as it evolves through new and unexpected environments remains thoughtful, powerful, and a little bit scary. For a time, Blood Music was taught in college courses, but today it’s slid into the first stages of obscurity—which is a terrible shame.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Lynn Hunt reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Lynn Hunt, author of Writing History in the Global Era.

Her entry begins:
I always read more than one book at a time. I recently finished a novel by one of my favorite authors, the Malaysian novelist Tan Twan Eng. The Gift of Rain is about the Japanese occupation of Malaysia and its effect in particular on a half English, half Chinese young man. I read it because I loved the author's novel The Garden of the Evening Mists, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. I count it as one of the most beautiful and compelling novels I have ever read, and...[read on]
About Writing History in the Global Era, from the publisher:
Leading historian Lynn Hunt rethinks why history matters in today’s global world and how it should be written.

George Orwell wrote that “history is written by the winners.” Even if that seems a bit too cut-and-dried, we can say that history is always written from a viewpoint but that viewpoints change, sometimes radically.

The history of workers, women, and minorities challenged the once-unquestioned dominance of the tales of great leaders and military victories. Then, cultural studies—including feminism and queer studies—brought fresh perspectives, but those too have run their course.

With globalization emerging as a major economic, cultural, and political force, Lynn Hunt examines whether it can reinvigorate the telling of history. She hopes that scholars from East and West can collaborate in new ways and write wider-ranging works.

At the same time, Hunt argues that we could better understand the effects of globalization in the past if we knew more about how individuals felt about the changes they were experiencing. She proposes a sweeping reevaluation of individuals’ active role and their place in society as the keys to understanding the way people and ideas interact. She also reveals how surprising new perspectives on society and the self—from environmental history, the history of human-animal interactions, and even neuroscience—offer promising new ways of thinking about the meaning and purpose of history in our time.
Learn more about Writing History in the Global Era at the W. W. Norton website.

Writers Read: Lynn Hunt.

--Marshal Zeringue

Peter Thiel's six favorite books that predict the future

Facebook investor Peter Thiel is the author of the new book, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. One of his six favorite books that predict the future, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

You can't build new things just with technical know-how; you need imagination. Stephenson's is boundless: This novel is not just the most entertaining book you can read about artificial intelligence and nanotechnology; it will inspire inventions your kids will use — or create.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Diamond Age is among Jason Stoddard's top five positive science fiction novels, i.e. works about the transformative powers of science.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, September 26, 2014

Joe Gannon's "Night of the Jaguar," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Night of the Jaguar by Joe Gannon.

The entry begins:
I always had a very specific man in mind for my detective, Captain Ajax Montoya – he is on the cover of his memoir of his years with the Sandinistas. His name is Omar Cabezas, and his book, Fire from the Mountain, was a big hit when it was published in 1980’s.

But for the movie, I have always channeled Javier Bardem, who can play a fop, a super- sized James Bond villain, or the cool psychopathic killer from No Country for Old Men. He has the face of a man overcome by sadness, but not defeated by it. However...[read on]
Visit Joe Gannon's website.

The Page 69 Test: Night of the Jaguar.

My Book, The Movie: Night of the Jaguar.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Benjamin Whitmer's "Cry Father"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Cry Father by Benjamin Whitmer.

About the book, from the publisher:
In the tradition of Cormac McCarthy and Larry Brown comes a haunting story about men, their fathers, their sons, and the legacy of violence.

For Patterson Wells, disaster is the norm. Working alongside dangerous, desperate, itinerant men as a tree clearer in disaster zones, he’s still dealing with the loss of his young son. Writing letters to the boy offers some solace. The bottle gives more.

Upon a return trip to Colorado, Patterson stops to go fishing with an old acquaintance, only to find him in a meth-induced delirium and keeping a woman tied up in the bathtub. In the ensuing chain of events, which will test not only his future but his past, Patterson tries to do the right thing. Still, in the lives of those he knows, violence and justice have made of each other strange, intoxicating bedfellows.

Hailed as “the next great American writer” (Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana), Benjamin Whitmer has crafted a literary triumph that is by turns harrowing, darkly comic, and wise.
Visit Benjamin Whitmer's website.

The Page 69 Test: Cry Father.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top books for young danger lovers

Ross Montgomery, author of The Tornado Chasers, notes that "children’s books can demonstrate a somewhat lax approach to disaster and death." One of his favorite books for danger lovers, as shared at the Guardian:
Holes by Louis Sachar

Young Stanley Yelnats is sent to Camp Green Lake for a crime he didn’t commit, where the inmates are forced to dig holes in the desert all day to “build character” and the wardens don’t care if you live or die. Just in case that was too much like fun, there are also yellow-spotted lizards in the ground whose bites kill instantly.
Read about another entry on the list.

Holes is among Phil Earle's top ten zeros-to-heros in stories for children and young adults, Leah Hyslop's six best beverages in books, and Sarah Moore Fitzgerald's top ten books featuring grandparents.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Yong Zhao's "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World by Yong Zhao.

About the book, from the publisher:
The secrets behind China's extraordinary educational system – good, bad, and ugly

Chinese students' consistently stunning performance on the international PISA exams— where they outscore students of all other nations in math, reading, and science—have positioned China as a world education leader. American educators and pundits have declared this a "Sputnik Moment," saying that we must learn from China's education system in order to maintain our status as an education leader and global superpower.

Indeed, many of the reforms taking hold in United States schools, such as a greater emphasis on standardized testing and the increasing importance of core subjects like reading and math, echo the Chinese system. We're following in China's footsteps—but is this the direction we should take?

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? by award-winning writer Yong Zhao offers an entertaining, provocative insider's account of the Chinese school system, revealing the secrets that make it both "the best and worst" in the world. Born and raised in China's Sichuan province and a teacher in China for many years, Zhao has a unique perspective on Chinese culture and education. He explains in vivid detail how China turns out the world's highest-achieving students in reading, math, and science—yet by all accounts Chinese educators, parents, and political leaders hate the system and long to send their kids to western schools. Filled with fascinating stories and compelling data, Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon? offers a nuanced and sobering tour of education in China.
Visit Yong Zhao's website.

The Page 99 Test: Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon?.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Top twenty books they tried to ban

At the Telegraph Felicity Capon and Catherine Scott tagged twenty top famously banned books, including:
The Satanic Verses
by Salman Rushdie

Rushdie's notorious book, inspired in part by the life of the Prophet Mohammed, famously resulted in Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini placing a fatwa (death sentence) on Rushdie for "insulting Islam". Violent demonstrations erupted against Rushdie around the world and several UK bookshops were firebombed for stocking the book. Most shockingly, Rushdie’s Japanese translator was murdered, his Italian translator wounded in a knife attack and his Norwegian publisher was shot and injured.
Read about another book on the list.

The Satanic Verses is among Seth Satterlee's top six famously banned books, Diarmaid MacCulloch's five best books about blasphemy, Atul Gawande's favorite books, and Karl O. Knausgaard's top ten angel books.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Stephanie Feldman reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Stephanie Feldman, author of The Angel of Losses.

Her entry begins:
I read lots of contemporary fiction. This summer I read and loved Rene Denfeld's The Enchanted, Alexi Zentner's The Lobster Kings, and J.M. Ledgard's Submergence, and I'm excited to finally have my copy of David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks. But I’ll tell you about a few books I discovered this summer that are not literary novels.

I just finished Brain on Fire, Susannah Cahalan's memoir about the rare neurological disease that struck her when she was 24. I love popular science, and I'm fascinated by medical culture, but beyond that, the book is a harrowing and very human account of disease and identity. It's...[read on]
About The Angel of Losses, from the publisher:
The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters.

When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a magical figure named The White Rebbe, a miracle worker in league with the enigmatic Angel of Losses, protector of things gone astray, and guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God.

When his granddaughter, Marjorie, discovers Eli’s notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To find the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York City and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.

Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.
Visit Stephanie Feldman's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Angel of Losses made Nicole Hill's list of five of the best new girl-powered sci-fi and fantasy novels.

The Page 69 Test: The Angel of Losses.

Writers Read: Stephanie Feldman.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Elena Mauli Shapiro's "In the Red"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: In the Red: A Novel by Elena Mauli Shapiro.

About the book, from the publisher:
A darkly erotic novel about a good girl gone bad.

When Irina--Romanian by birth but brought up by American parents who have never understood her-arrives at college she quickly abandons ordinary student life for an affair with an older, mysterious Romanian man named Andrei.

Andrei awakens a powerful sensuality in Irina. And he has money - lots of it. For the first time, Irina feels free. But the longer she stays with Andrei, the more she is certain that she can't leave, and that may be complicit in Andrei's work - whatever that "work" might be. Then an unexpected friendship with a young Russian bride opens the door to escape, and also revenge.

A tantalizing, edgy exploration of women and love, power and money-interwoven with potent, unusual, and nervy Romanian fairy tales-In the Red asks what the legacy of love is, and who will be left unscathed.
Visit Elena Mauli Shapiro's website.

The Page 69 Test: In the Red.

--Marshal Zeringue

Interview: Jason McGraw

Author and professor Cara Caddoo interviewed the historian Jason McGraw about his new book, The Work of Recognition: Caribbean Colombia and the Postemancipation Struggle for Citizenship.

From the Q & A:
What led you to this topic (Afro-Colombians, Colombia, this era)? I was thinking of a question that gets to your personal story if you are comfortable with that. Did you say you backpacked around South America during college?

That’s right, I traveled across northern South America and Central America in the 1990s, mainly to see places my family had lived. But I was very wary of going through Colombia, since those years were the height of the conflict there, and as a typical person from the States with limited knowledge of the place, all I could think about was drugs, guns, bombings, and kidnappings. But I did go through the country (instead of around it). And it was incredible. I fell for the place.

The Caribbean coast of Colombia was particularly fascinating. It has some of the oldest European and African settlements in the Americas, and it is still home to some of the first peoples to make contact with Europeans after 1492. As I began to do research in Colombia, I found a lot of information about former slaves of African descent. That was a history I knew about from other places, and I was in school to study that subject. Yet despite Afro-Colombians make up about one-quarter of the population, there was little written that described what happened after slavery ended in 1852. So I thought to myself, “Job security!”

What I found in Colombia was a version of what happened in many countries after they freed their slaves. The time after slave emancipation was...[read on]
Learn more about The Work of Recognition at The University of North Carolina Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Work of Recognition.

--Marshal Zeringue

Neil Sagebiel's "Draw in the Dunes," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Draw in the Dunes: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World by Neil Sagebiel.

The entry begins:
Draw in the Dunes is about golf, and golf movies are tough to pull off. That's usually because the actors playing golfers are unconvincing.

Glenn Ford played Ben Hogan in Follow the Sun, the first Hollywood movie about a golfer. While the 1951 movie was a success at the box office, Hogan, a technical adviser on the film, was displeased with Ford because the leading man was so ungolferlike in his movements.

There are exceptions. Stephen Dillane was wonderful as Harry Vardon in The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005).

I would cast charismatic athletic men for the roles of American Jack Nicklaus and Englishman Tony Jacklin, the stars of my new book about the 1969 Ryder Cup.

A young Sean Connery would be a solid choice for Tony Jacklin. Connery was a good golfer. Interestingly, Connery and Jacklin were also good friends.

For Jack Nicklaus, I might cast...[read on]
Visit Neil Sagebiel's blog and follow him on Twitter.

My Book, The Movie: Draw in the Dunes.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Pg. 99: Harry Brighouse & Adam Swift's "Family Values"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Family Values: The Ethics of Parent-Child Relationships by Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift.

About the book, from the publisher:
The family is hotly contested ideological terrain. Some defend the traditional two-parent heterosexual family while others welcome its demise. Opinions vary about how much control parents should have over their children’s upbringing. Family Values provides a major new theoretical account of the morality and politics of the family, telling us why the family is valuable, who has the right to parent, and what rights parents should—and should not—have over their children.

Harry Brighouse and Adam Swift argue that parent-child relationships produce the “familial relationship goods” that people need to flourish. Children’s healthy development depends on intimate relationships with authoritative adults, while the distinctive joys and challenges of parenting are part of a fulfilling life for adults. Yet the relationships that make these goods possible have little to do with biology, and do not require the extensive rights that parents currently enjoy. Challenging some of our most commonly held beliefs about the family, Brighouse and Swift explain why a child’s interest in autonomy severely limits parents’ right to shape their children’s values, and why parents have no fundamental right to confer wealth or advantage on their children.

Family Values reaffirms the vital importance of the family as a social institution while challenging its role in the reproduction of social inequality and carefully balancing the interests of parents and children.
Learn more about Family Values at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Family Values.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Stephanie Feldman's "The Angel of Losses"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Angel of Losses: A Novel by Stephanie Feldman.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Tiger’s Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters.

When Eli Burke dies, he leaves behind a mysterious notebook full of stories about a magical figure named The White Rebbe, a miracle worker in league with the enigmatic Angel of Losses, protector of things gone astray, and guardian of the lost letter of the alphabet, which completes the secret name of God.

When his granddaughter, Marjorie, discovers Eli’s notebook, everything she thought she knew about her grandfather—and her family—comes undone. To find the truth about Eli’s origins and unlock the secrets he kept, she embarks on an odyssey that takes her deep into the past, from 18th century Europe to Nazi-occupied Lithuania, and back to the present, to New York City and her estranged sister Holly, whom she must save from the consequences of Eli’s past.

Interweaving history, theology, and both real and imagined Jewish folktales, The Angel of Losses is a family story of what lasts, and of what we can—and cannot—escape.
Visit Stephanie Feldman's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Angel of Losses made Nicole Hill's list of five of the best new girl-powered sci-fi and fantasy novels.

The Page 69 Test: The Angel of Losses.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thirteen notable, sometimes-banned, YA novels

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog, Shaun Byron Fitzpatrick tagged thirteen favorite, occasionally-banned, YA novels, including:
The Giver, by Lois Lowry

This award-winning dystopian novel is frequently challenged for being “violent” and “unsuitable for its age group.” Hey, parents and teachers, why not give your students a little credit and at least consider the idea that they can handle a book that’s a little dark and makes them think?
Read about another entry on the list.

The Giver made Guy Lodge's list of ten of the best dystopias in fiction, film, art, and television, Joel Cunningham's list of six great young adult book series for fans of The Hunger Games, and Lauren Davis's top ten list of science fiction’s most depressing futuristic retirement scenarios.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Lois Lowry & Alfie.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Annie Barrows reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Annie Barrows, author of Magic in the Mix.

Her entry begins:
I am currently reading Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant, which is the fifth of the twelve volumes that make up Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell. Everyone always compares Dance to Proust, specifically to The Guermantes Way, but I came to it via Knausgaard’s Struggle, with which it shares a preoccupation with loss and recurrence, as well as an instinct for social titration. Also, like Knausgaard, Powell is extremely funny, which you can’t say about Proust. “Proust—good for a few yuks!” That’s something you just never hear.

Even though I am perfectly happy reading Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant, I have to give it up on...[read on]
About Magic in the Mix, from the publisher:
Molly and Miri Gill are twins. They look the same, act the same, sometimes even think the same. But they weren't always twins. . . . Molly used to live in 1935, until Miri traveled back in time to save her from the clutches of Molly's evil adoptive family. Only they know about the magic, and its power to set things right. So when home repairs unleash more unexpected magic from their very special . . . very magical old house, the girls set off on another time-traveling adventure to the Civil War where they race against the clock to save two unusual soldiers and come to terms with the truth about Molly's real past.

Brimming with lovable characters and spine-tingling magic, this long-awaited sequel will bring a whole new batch of readers to Annie Barrows' highly acclaimed, wonderfully popular world of twin-inspired magic.
Visit Annie Barrows' website and blog.

Writers Read: Annie Barrows (December 2008).

Writers Read: Annie Barrows.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Russ Castronovo's "Propaganda 1776," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Propaganda 1776: Secrets, Leaks, and Revolutionary Communications in Early America by Russ Castronovo.

The entry begins:
The first casting agent for the movie version of Propaganda 1776 had to be fired. His problem was that he couldn’t get beyond seeing propaganda in negative terms. Ever since World War I, propaganda has been reduced to deceit and dishonesty in ways that impoverish the concept. This first casting agent kept thinking that Voldermort, as the embodiment of evil, would be perfect for the role of an American propagandist. If not Voldermort, then Don Draper was the next choice since his philandering and deceptions, not the least of which are his own self-deceptions, would make him ideal for the part of an oily flimflam man.

But, as I said, the casting agent’s assumptions didn’t match the story of Propaganda 1776. By looking at the colonial network of pamphleteers, letter writers, printers and poets, this book shows how propaganda can be integral to democratic practice. Prior to the twentieth century, men and women of the eighteenth-century Atlantic world used an array of rhetorical devices—satire, barbed attacks, plagiarism, and the theft of confidential documents—to communicate unofficial truths.

The most important scenes in the movie don’t focus on principal actors but on ink-stained printers, crowds clamoring for the latest issue of the Massachusetts Spy, and riotous taverns where Common Sense is being passed around along with pints of rum. So casting extras is going to crucial for this movie. Hopefully the director will ensure that this historical picture won’t be marred as is Spartacus (1960) where tennis shoes and wristwatches can be spotted among the legions of Greek soldiers.

Indeed, Propaganda 1776 shows how effective revolutionaries occupy the shadows and keep their identities submerged beneath the flood of print. What was important to eighteenth-century democracy in America was not the individual actor but the unregulated flow of information. So the trick for casting Propaganda 1776 will be to find actors who will fit into—as opposed to stand out from—the raucous world of inflammatory pamphlets and accusatory broadsides.

Ben Franklin: Although he is celebrated today as an exemplary American, Franklin studiously resisted occupying center stage to ensure that the sources of secret information could remain secret. Either Paul Giamatti or...[read on]
Learn more about Propaganda 1776 at the Oxford University Press website.

My Book, The Movie: Propaganda 1776.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Mary Miley's "Silent Murders"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Silent Murders: A Roaring Twenties Mystery by Mary Miley.

About the book, from the publisher:
Vaudeville actress Leah Randall took on her most daring role ever when she impersonated missing heiress Jessie Carr in order to claim Jessie’s inheritance in The Impersonator. Now that the dust has settled around that tumultuous time in her life, Leah has adopted Jessie’s name as her own and moved to Hollywood, where she's taken a modest but steady job in the silent film industry.

Jessie’s thrilled when Bruno Heilmann, a movie studio bigwig, invites her to a party. She’s even more delighted to run into a face from her past at that party. But the following day, Jessie learns that sometime in the wee hours of the morning both her old friend and Bruno Heilmann were brutally murdered. She’s devastated, but with her skill as an actress, access to the wardrobes and resources of a film studio, and a face not yet famous enough to be recognized, Jessie is uniquely positioned to dig into the circumstances surrounding these deaths. But will doing so put her own life directly in the path of a murderer?

With Silent Murders, MB/MWA First Crime Novel Competition winner Mary Miley has crafted another terrifically fun mystery, this time set in the dizzying, dazzling heart of jazz-age Hollywood.
Learn more about the book and author at Mary Miley's website, blog, and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Impersonator.

Writers Read: Mary Miley.

The Page 69 Test: Silent Murders.

--Marshal Zeringue

Four recent books to celebrate National Dog Day

It's not too late to honor National Dog Day (August 26, 2014). At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog Ellen Wehle tagged four recent books for the occasion, including:
Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park, by Matthew Gilbert

Matthew Gilbert used to be, in his own words, “that guy who rolled his eyes at people who treat their dogs like children.” A Boston writer and natural-born hermit, he kept the world at arm’s length, preferring to interact by cell phone. But that was before he fell in love, first with a human, then with a yellow Lab puppy named Toby. Off the Leash is Gilbert’s laugh-out-loud funny account of the personalities he encountered at his local park, where the real trick, as any dog lover knows, is making nice with the other owners. As Gilbert drolly points out, it’s not just the pups that get aggressive. Ordinary canine behaviors like humping or snarling can easily lead to human shouting matches, and the park comes complete with a bully: the badly trained whippet whose owner is in denial. Despite it all, this mismatched group of people, with nothing in common but their squeaky toys, inspires Gilbert to open up as he never has before.
Read about another book on the list.

Visit Matthew Gilbert's website and Twitter perch.

Coffee with a Canine: Matthew Gilbert & Toby.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Colin Adams's "Zombies & Calculus"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Zombies and Calculus by Colin Adams.

About the book, from the publisher:
How can calculus help you survive the zombie apocalypse? Colin Adams, humor columnist for the Mathematical Intelligencer and one of today's most outlandish and entertaining popular math writers, demonstrates how in this zombie adventure novel.

Zombies and Calculus is the account of Craig Williams, a math professor at a small liberal arts college in New England, who, in the middle of a calculus class, finds himself suddenly confronted by a late-arriving student whose hunger is not for knowledge. As the zombie virus spreads and civilization crumbles, Williams uses calculus to help his small band of survivors defeat the hordes of the undead. Along the way, readers learn how to avoid being eaten by taking advantage of the fact that zombies always point their tangent vector toward their target, and how to use exponential growth to determine the rate at which the virus is spreading. Williams also covers topics such as logistic growth, gravitational acceleration, predator-prey models, pursuit problems, the physics of combat, and more. With the aid of his story, you too can survive the zombie onslaught.

Featuring easy-to-use appendixes that explain the mathematics necessary to enjoy the book, Zombies and Calculus is suitable for recent converts to calculus as well as more advanced readers familiar with multivariable calculus.
Learn more about the book and author at Colin Adams's website and the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Zombies and Calculus.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 22, 2014

Eight top heroines in all of banned literature

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog, Shaun Byron Fitzpatrick tagged eight of the most badass ladies in all of banned literature, including:
Offred, The Handmaid’s Tale

We all agree that The Handmaid’s Tale is a terrifying book, right? So any lady that manages to live through that dystopia has to be one tough cookie. Offred is forced to face the probable murder of her husband and the loss of her daughter, and still finds the strength to fight against an oppressive regime that attempts to take away the rights of all women. Offred, you go, girl.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Handmaid's Tale made Guy Lodge's list of ten of the best dystopias in fiction, art, film, and television, Bethan Roberts's top ten list of novels about childbirth, Rachel Cantor's list of the ten worst jobs in books, Charlie Jane Anders and Kelly Faircloth's list of the best and worst childbirth scenes in science fiction and fantasy, Lisa Tuttle's critic's chart of the top Arthur C. Clarke Award winners, and PopCrunch's list of the sixteen best dystopian books of all time.

--Marshal Zeringue

Celine Kiernan's "Into the Grey," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan.

The entry begins:
I’m never too great at casting my own books because the characters are too strongly visualised in my head, so in the past I’ve left it up to my readers (as you can see in this illustration of all the fan selections for the 2010 Moorehawke Casting Competition.

Into the Grey is a particularly tough one for me. I think the thing that makes casting it so difficult is the fact that its set in 1974. No-one these days looks the way we did in 1974. Everyone now is so shiny and neat when compared to then – everyone has such wonderful hair! Nevertheless, I’ve done my best with all the main peripheral characters and I hope you like my choices.

This is an all Irish cast, by the way, which I think is perfectly appropriate to a film set in Ireland.

OK. So, here is the fantasy casting:

Pat and Dom: (had we a time machine) The wonderful Robert Sheehan.

I found it impossible to cast the main characters of 15 year old identical twins Dom and Pat. I think we might have to go with an unknown actor for this very demanding role. I have included a nice photo of a very young Robert Sheehan though, had he been young enough he would have been physically perfect to play the boys with his dark curly hair and slim build (not to mention his Dublin accent!) He would have to...[read on]
Visit Celine Kiernan's website.

The Page 69 Test: Into the Grey.

My Book, The Movie: Into the Grey.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Mindy McGinnis's "In a Handful of Dust"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: In a Handful of Dust by Mindy McGinnis.

About the book, from the publisher:
Fans of classic frontier survival stories as well as readers of dystopian literature will enjoy this futuristic story about an epic cross-country journey. In a Handful of Dust is set ten years after the first novel, Not a Drop to Drink, as a dangerous disease strikes the community where teenage Lucy lives. When her adoptive mother, Lynn, takes Lucy away from their home and friends in order to protect her, Lucy struggles to figure out what home means. During their journey west to find a new life, the two face nature's challenges, including hunger, mountains, and deserts.
Learn more about the book and author at Mindy McGinnis's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Not a Drop to Drink.

The Page 69 Test: In a Handful of Dust.

--Marshal Zeringue

Jason Segel's 6 favorite books

Actor Jason Segel's screenplays include Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 2011's The Muppets.

One of his six favorite books, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle

The story unfolds in a mental institution that may be haunted by the devil — or at least its patients think so. An entertaining read that also raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of institutions of all kinds.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Emily Liebert reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Emily Liebert, author of When We Fall.

Her entry begins:
Since I’m currently working on three books in different stages and have two young kids, it’s not always easy to find time to read for pleasure! That said, I try to sneak it in whenever I can. Right now, I have three books on my nightstand:

All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner. I’ve been a longtime fan of Jennifer’s. I think she’s a masterful storyteller with a vivid imagination. She creates true-to-life characters who are flawed, yet you still end up rooting for them. I’ve never read a novel of hers I didn’t like, so I’m really...[read on]
About When We Fall, from the publisher:

Ready for a fresh start, Allison Parker moves back to her hometown in the suburbs of New York. While she’d once savored the dynamic pace of city life, sadly, it lost its allure after her husband’s untimely death. Now, ready to focus on her art career accompanied by her ten-year-old son, Logan, Allison doesn’t anticipate that her past will resurface. When the wife of her husband’s best friend from summer camp takes her under her wing, things begin to spin out of control.

At one time, Charlotte Crane thought she had it all—a devoted husband, a beautiful little girl, and enough financial security to never have to worry. But behind her “perfect” facade lie a strained marriage and a fractured relationship with her sister. When “new girl” Allison arrives in Wincourt, Charlotte welcomes the chance to build a friendship. Before long, Charlotte begins to see her life through Allison’s eyes, and the cracks in her seemingly flawless existence become impossible to ignore.

As Allison heals from the loss of her husband—even wondering if she might be ready to date again—Charlotte feels more distant from her loved ones than ever before. The emerging friendship between the two women appears to be just the antidote both of them so desperately need…until everything falls apart.
Learn more about the book and author at Emily Liebert's website.

The Page 69 Test: When We Fall.

Writers Read: Emily Liebert.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pg. 99: Adrienne Mayor's "The Amazons"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World by Adrienne Mayor.

About the book, from the publisher:
Amazons--fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world--were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons.

But just who were these bold barbarian archers on horseback who gloried in fighting, hunting, and sexual freedom? Were Amazons real? In this deeply researched, wide-ranging, and lavishly illustrated book, National Book Award finalist Adrienne Mayor presents the Amazons as they have never been seen before. This is the first comprehensive account of warrior women in myth and history across the ancient world, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Great Wall of China.

Mayor tells how amazing new archaeological discoveries of battle-scarred female skeletons buried with their weapons prove that women warriors were not merely figments of the Greek imagination. Combining classical myth and art, nomad traditions, and scientific archaeology, she reveals intimate, surprising details and original insights about the lives and legends of the women known as Amazons. Provocatively arguing that a timeless search for a balance between the sexes explains the allure of the Amazons, Mayor reminds us that there were as many Amazon love stories as there were war stories. The Greeks were not the only people enchanted by Amazons--Mayor shows that warlike women of nomadic cultures inspired exciting tales in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Central Asia, and China.

Driven by a detective's curiosity, Mayor unearths long-buried evidence and sifts fact from fiction to show how flesh-and-blood women of the Eurasian steppes were mythologized as Amazons, the equals of men. The result is likely to become a classic.
Learn more about The Amazons at the Princeton University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The Amazons.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top adaptations

One of ten top adaptations tagged by Guardian and Observer critics:
The Long Goodbye

Robert Altman developed his version of The Long Goodbye as the story of "Rip van Marlowe" – what happens when the 1940s private dick is dropped into a 1970s Los Angeles he would barely recognize as home. Instead of Humphrey Bogart of The Big Sleep, he's now the unbuttoned, floppy-haired Elliott Gould. Instead of dealing with sharp-tongued women in pin curls and shoulder pads, he's working for a Malibu housewife in a big sun-dress and bare feet. By updating Marlowe's environment but not his personality, Altman reinvents the man for the 1970s, a detective whose wit and skills can't be diminished by a world far more corrupt than he.

Altman and screenwriter Leigh Brackett take immense liberties with Raymond Chandler's source novel, inventing entire characters (like the vicious Marty Augustine) and eliminating major ones, like Sylvia Lennox's billionaire father. Though Altman and Brackett borrow the basic structure of the novel, The Long Goodbye is essentially a riff on Chandler's entire work and his influence on film. It's a revisionist noir that manages to bring one of the genre's biggest icons in on its scheme, both thumbing its nose at and revering the beloved private detective.

Marlowe is hilariously out of step with his surroundings here, shuffling around his space-age apartment building and muttering at the hippie chicks doing yoga next door. But he's still the hero, the only man who cares enough to give Terry Lennox the justice he deserves, the guy who shrugs off a violent gangster to keep looking for his missing cat. The world has gone madder than Chandler ever imagined, but Marlowe proves he can stand the most difficult test of time – and he never has to give up his cigarettes or his 1948 Lincoln Continental to do it.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Long Goodbye is among Benjamin Black's five favorite works of noir, Melissa Albert's top four books that will drive all but the staunchest teetotaler to the nearest cocktail shaker, some Guardian readers' ten best writers in novels, David Nobbs's top five faked deaths in fiction, Malcolm Jones's ten favorite crime novels, David Nicholls' ten favorite film adaptations, and John Mullan's list of ten of the best fake deaths in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue

Jennifer Longo's "Six Feet Over It," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo.

The entry begins:
Six Feet Over It is a contemporary story set in a cemetery in Northern California. The story is fiction with a bunch of my own childhood memories mixed in (as so many debuts are) so the characters are mostly composites of fictional characters and people I grew up with. I’m a playwright first, and Six Feet Over It began as a grad school play script, so I imagine it as a play with fabulous stage actors no one knows. My daughter is helping me cast the movie, she’s eleven and has the best taste!

Leigh, the pained main character: A 15 year-old Ellen Page
Dario, the gravedigger: Jay Hernandez (from that jacked movie Hostel)
Emily, the Best Friend: A thirteen year old Lily...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Jennifer Longo's website.

The Page 69 Test: Six Feet Over It.

My Book, The Movie: Six Feet Over It.

--Marshal Zeringue