Saturday, July 21, 2018

Pg. 69: Sibel Hodge's "Into the Darkness"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Into the Darkness by Sibel Hodge.

About the book, from the publisher:
The Missing…

In a hidden basement, eighteen-year-old Toni is held captive and no one can hear her screams. She’s been abducted after investigating unspeakable things in the darkest corners of the Internet.

The Vigilante…

Fearing the worst, Toni’s mother turns to ex-SAS operative Mitchell to help find her missing daughter. And when Mitchell discovers Toni’s fate rests in the hands of pure evil, he races against the clock to find Toni and bring her out alive. But even that might not be enough to save her.

The Detective…

DS Warren Carter is looking forward to a new job and a simpler life. But when he’s called in to investigate the brutal murder of a seemingly normal couple, he becomes entangled in lives that are anything but simple. And as he digs deeper, he uncovers a crime more twisted than he could ever have imagined.
Visit Sibel Hodge's website.

My Book, The Movie: Untouchable.

My Book, The Movie: Into the Darkness.

The Page 69 Test: Into the Darkness.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Sheila Murnaghan & Deborah H. Roberts's "Childhood and the Classics"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Childhood and the Classics: Britain and America, 1850-1965 by Sheila Murnaghan and Deborah H. Roberts.

About the book, from the publisher:
The dissemination of classical material to children has long been a major form of popularization with far-reaching effects, although until very recently it has received almost no attention within the growing field of classical reception studies. This volume explores the ways in which children encountered the world of ancient Greece and Rome in Britain and the United States over a century-long period beginning in the 1850s, as well as adults' literary responses to their own childhood encounters with antiquity. Rather than discussing the role of classics in education, it focuses on books read for enjoyment, and on two genres of children's literature in particular: the myth collection and the historical novel. The tradition of myths retold as children's stories is traced in the work of writers and illustrators from Nathaniel Hawthorne and Charles Kingsley to Roger Lancelyn Green and Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire, while the discussion of historical fiction focuses particularly on the roles of nationality and gender in the construction of an ancient world for modern children. The book concludes with an investigation of the connections between childhood and antiquity made by writers for adults, including James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and H.D. Recognition of the fundamental role in children's literature of adults' ideas about what children want or need is balanced throughout by attention to the ways in which child readers have made such works their own. The formative experiences of antiquity discussed throughout help to explain why despite growing uncertainty about the appeal of antiquity to modern children, the classical past remains perennially interesting and inspiring.
Learn more about Childhood and the Classics at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Childhood and the Classics.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 20, 2018

Four books that changed Pamela Hart

Pamela Hart is the author of The Soldier’s Wife, The War Bride, A Letter from Italy, and The Desert Nurse. As Pamela Freeman, she's written children’s fiction, epic fantasy, crime fiction and children’s poetry.

One of four books that changed the author, as shared at the Sydney Morning Herald:
NATIVE TONGUE
Suzette Haden Elgin

I'm picking this as representative of a whole lot of dystopian science fiction written by women in the '60s and '70s. It deserves to be read alongside The Handmaid's Tale. It centres on a group of women linguists who are developing a women's language. It started me thinking about the development of the self and violence and language and connections between women and romantic love … ideas I'm still playing with in my fiction today.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Rob Hart reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Rob Hart, author of Potter’s Field.

His entry begins:
I recently finished There There by Tommy Orange, which is about a dozen Native Americans living in Oakland and converging on a powwow. Some of them are planning to rob it but it’s not a heist novel—it’s more about the Native American experience in this country, and it’s really thoughtful and beautifully-written and just slams...[read on]
About Potter's Field, from the publisher:
The final book in Rob Hart's acclaimed Ash McKenna series shows that Ash can go home again...but it might cost him everything.

Amateur private investigator Ash McKenna is home. After more than a year on the road he's ready to face the demons he ran away from in New York City. And he’s decided what he wants to do with his life: Become a private investigator, for real. Licensed and everything. No more working as a thug for hire. But within moments of stepping off the plane, Ginny Tonic, the drag queen crime lord who once employed him―and then tried to have him killed―asks to see him.

One of her newest drag queen soldiers has gone missing, and Ginny suspects she’s been ensnared by the burgeoning heroin scene on Staten Island. Ginny wants Ash to find her. Because he’s the best, and because he knows Staten Island, his home borough. Ash is hesitant―but Ginny’s offer of $10,000 is enough to get him on his feet. And the thought of a lost kid and a bereft family is too much for him to bear.

He accepts, and quickly learns there’s something much bigger at play. Some very dangerous people are vying for control of the heroin trade on Staten Island, which is recording the highest rate of overdose deaths in the city. As Ash navigates deadly terrain, he find his most dangerous adversary might be his own past. Because those demons he ran away from have been waiting for him to come back.
Visit Rob Hart's website.

My Book, The Movie: Potter's Field.

The Page 69 Test: Potter's Field.

Writers Read: Rob Hart.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Carola Dunn's "The Corpse at the Crystal Palace"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Corpse at the Crystal Palace: A Daisy Dalrymple Mystery (Volume 23) by Carola Dunn.

About the book, from the publisher:
A casual outing to the Crystal Palace in London takes a mysterious and murderous turn in The Corpse at the Crystal Palace, the latest mystery in Carola Dunn’s beloved Daisy Dalrymple series.

April 1928: Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is visited in London by her young cousins. On the list of must-see sites is the Crystal Palace. Discovering that her children's nanny, Nanny Gilpin, has never seen the Palace, Daisy decides to make a day of it—bringing her cousins, her 3-year-old twins, her step-daughter Belinda, the nurserymaid, and Nanny Gilpin. Yet this ordinary outing goes wrong when Mrs. Gilpin goes off to the ladies’ room and fails to return. When Daisy goes to look for her, she doesn't find her nanny but instead the body of another woman dressed in a nanny's uniform.

Meanwhile, Belinda and the cousins spot Mrs. Gilpin chasing after yet another nanny. Intrigued, they trail the two through the vast Crystal Palace and into the park. After briefly losing sight of their quarry, they stumble across Mrs. Gilpin lying unconscious in a small lake inhabited by huge concrete dinosaurs.

When she comes to, Mrs. Gilpin can't remember what happened after leaving the twins in the nurserymaid's care. Daisy's husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the murdered nanny. Worried about her children's own injured nanny, Daisy is determined to help. First she has to discover the identity of the third nanny, the presumed murderer, and to do so, Daisy must uncover why the amnesic Mrs. Gilpin deserted her charges to follow the missing third nanny.
Learn more about the book and author at Carola Dunn's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Carola Dunn and Trillian.

The Page 69 Test: Heirs of the Body.

The Page 69 Test: Superfluous Women.

The Page 69 Test: The Corpse at the Crystal Palace.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tiffany Brownlee's "Wrong in All the Right Ways," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Wrong in All the Right Ways: A Novel by Tiffany Brownlee.

The entry begins:
When I wrote Wrong in All the Right Ways, I didn’t have any specific actors or actresses in mind. It wasn’t until I turned in the final edits for this novel that my friends got me to think about who the dream cast would be in a film adaptation. I’ve probably given this casting way more thought than I should have, but here goes:

Emma Ellenburg: Sabrina Carpenter

Dylan McAndrews: Nick Robinson

Karmin Ortega: Victoria...[read on]
Visit Tiffany Brownlee's website.

My Book, The Movie: Wrong in All the Right Ways.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Pg. 99: Amy Carney's "Marriage and Fatherhood in the Nazi SS"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Marriage and Fatherhood in the Nazi SS by Amy Carney.

About the book, from the publisher:
From 1931 to 1945, leaders of the SS, a paramilitary group under the Nazi party, sought to transform their organization into a racially-elite family community that would serve as the Third Reich’s new aristocracy. They utilized the science of eugenics to convince SS men to marry suitable wives and have many children.

Marriage and Fatherhood in the Nazi SS by Amy Carney is the first work to significantly assess the role of SS men as husbands and fathers during the Third Reich. The family community, and the place of men in this community, started with one simple order issued by SS leader Heinrich Himmler. He and other SS leaders continued to develop the family community throughout the 1930s, and not even the Second World War deterred them from pursuing their racial ambitions.

Carney’s insight into the eugenic-based measures used to encourage SS men to marry and to establish families sheds new light on their responsibilities not only as soldiers, but as husbands and fathers as well.
Learn more about Marriage and Fatherhood in the Nazi SS at the University of Toronto Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Marriage and Fatherhood in the Nazi SS.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Randi Hutter Epstein reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Randi Hutter Epstein, author of Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything.

Her entry begins:
I have a stack of books on my night table that balloon until my husband complains when I flail my arm and they go flying off in a noisy avalanche in the middle of the night. Then I have to prune—weeding out the ones I’m not really reading at the moment and putting them back on the bookshelf. I read a mix of non-fiction and fiction, saving the novels for bedtime reading. That’s so I can drift off to sleep mulling over the lives of the imaginary characters rather than worry about the minutiae of my own forthcoming schedule.

I recently pulled out a weathered copy of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov [image, right] that I bought and read in 1981. Dostoyevsky is the perfect antidote whenever I feel that I overthink about overthinking. (Am I thinking too much? Worrying too much?) No, his characters overthink. But this time around...[read on]
About Aroused, from the publisher:
A guided tour through the strange science of hormones and the age-old quest to control them.

Metabolism, behavior, sleep, mood swings, the immune system, fighting, fleeing, puberty, and sex: these are just a few of the things our bodies control with hormones. Armed with a healthy dose of wit and curiosity, medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein takes us on a journey through the unusual history of these potent chemicals from a basement filled with jarred nineteenth-century brains to a twenty-first-century hormone clinic in Los Angeles.

Brimming with fascinating anecdotes, illuminating new medical research, and humorous details, Aroused introduces the leading scientists who made life-changing discoveries about the hormone imbalances that ail us, as well as the charlatans who used those discoveries to peddle false remedies. Epstein exposes the humanity at the heart of hormone science with her rich cast of characters, including a 1920s doctor promoting vasectomies as a way to boost libido, a female medical student who discovered a pregnancy hormone in the 1940s, and a mother who collected pituitaries, a brain gland, from cadavers as a source of growth hormone to treat her son. Along the way, Epstein explores the functions of hormones such as leptin, oxytocin, estrogen, and testosterone, demystifying the science of endocrinology.

A fascinating look at the history and science of some of medicine’s most important discoveries, Aroused reveals the shocking history of hormones through the back rooms, basements, and labs where endocrinology began.
Visit Randi Hutter Epstein's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Randi Hutter Epstein, Ellie and Dexter.

The Page 99 Test: Aroused.

Writers Read: Randi Hutter Epstein.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Lisa Jensen's "Beast"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen.

About Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge, from the publisher:
They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen's multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.
Visit Lisa Jensen's website.

Writers Read: Lisa Jensen.

The Page 69 Test: Beast.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten of the best fantasy books steeped in the Southern Gothic

Craig DiLouie’s new fantasy novel is One of Us.

One of the author's ten top fantasy books steeped in the Southern Gothic, as shared at the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog:
Blood Meridian, by Cormac McCarthy

In 1849, a boy joins a scalp hunting gang whose spiritual leader (the Judge) may be God or the Devil, taking him through a hellish Wild West landscape filled with violence.
Read about another entry on the list.

Blood Meridian is one authority's pick for the Great Texas novel; it is among Graham McTavish's six best books, ShortList's roundup of literature's forty greatest villains, Brian Boone's five great novels that will probably never be made into movies, Sarah Porter's five best books with unusual demons and devils, Chet Williamson's top ten novels about deranged killers, Callan Wink's ten best books set in the American West, Simon Sebag Montefiore's six favorite books, Richard Kadrey's five books about awful, awful people, Jason Sizemore's top five books that will entertain and drop you into the depths of despair, Robert Allison's top ten novels of desert war, Alexandra Silverman's top fourteen wrathful stories, James Franco's six favorite books, Philipp Meyer's five best books that explain America, Peter Murphy's top ten literary preachers, David Vann's six favorite books, Robert Olmstead's six favorite books, Michael Crummey's top ten literary feuds, Philip Connors's top ten wilderness books, six books that made a difference to Kazuo Ishiguro, Clive Sinclair's top 10 westerns, Maile Meloy's six best books, and David Foster Wallace's five direly underappreciated post-1960 U.S. novels. It appears on the New York Times list of the best American fiction of the last 25 years and among the top ten works of literature according to Stephen King.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Prentis Rollins's "The Furnace," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Furnace: A Graphic Novel by Prentis Rollins.

The entry begins:
When I was writing the script for The Furnace, I was picturing Nick Nolte as the protagonist Walton Honderich—in fact, for a while I was planning to basically draw Honderich as Nolte. Nolte (I’m thinking of Nolte at about 45 years of age here) is handsome, affable, masculine—but I always found him able to project a sense of helpless, floundering desperation really well (just watch 15 or so minutes of Cape Fear if in doubt). And that’s Walton Honderich. I ended up designing Honderich without referring to Nolte, precisely because I wanted the character to not be so handsome—I wanted him to...[read on]
Visit Prentis Rollins's website.

Learn about Rollins's five top novels dealing with time travel.

My Book, The Movie: The Furnace.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Zoje Stage reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Zoje Stage, author of Baby Teeth.

Her entry begins:
I just finished reading Beartown by Fredrik Backman. I admit that even though I'd heard so many superlatives in regard to this book, it took a while before I was convinced to read it because the setting of a town that's obsessed with hockey didn't resonate with me. Once I started it though, I realized it was an effective device to explore some very timely issues. Perhaps because I grew up in Pittsburgh, where sports are an obsession, some aspects of the novel felt overdone and a bit stale – particularly the repetitive explanations of just how important hockey was to Beartown as a whole. However, I really enjoyed this book, and the thing I appreciated most was...[read on]
About Baby Teeth, from the publisher:
A battle of wills between mother and daughter reveals the frailty and falsehood of familial bonds in award-winning playwright and filmmaker Zoje Stage’s tense novel of psychological suspense, Baby Teeth.

Afflicted with a chronic debilitating condition, Suzette Jensen knew having children would wreak havoc on her already fragile body. Nevertheless, she brought Hanna into the world, pleased and proud to start a family with her husband Alex. Estranged from her own mother, Suzette is determined to raise her beautiful daughter with the love, care, and support she was denied.

But Hanna proves to be a difficult child. Now seven-years-old, she has yet to utter a word, despite being able to read and write. Defiant and anti-social, she refuses to behave in kindergarten classes, forcing Suzette to homeschool her. Resentful of her mother’s rules and attentions, Hanna lashes out in anger, becoming more aggressive every day. The only time Hanna is truly happy is when she’s with her father. To Alex, she’s willful and precocious but otherwise the perfect little girl, doing what she’s told.

Suzette knows her clever and manipulative daughter doesn’t love her. She can see the hatred and jealousy in her eyes. And as Hanna’s subtle acts of cruelty threaten to tear her and Alex apart, Suzette fears her very life may be in grave danger…
Visit Zoje Stage's website.

Writers Read: Zoje Stage.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Christopher Grasso's "Skepticism and American Faith"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Skepticism and American Faith: From the Revolution to the Civil War by Christopher Grasso.

About the book, from the publisher:
Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, the dialogue of religious skepticism and faith shaped struggles over the place of religion in politics. It produced different visions of knowledge and education in an "enlightened" society. It fueled social reform in an era of economic transformation, territorial expansion, and social change. Ultimately, as Christopher Grasso argues in this definitive work, it molded the making and eventual unmaking of American nationalism.

Religious skepticism has been rendered nearly invisible in American religious history, which often stresses the evangelicalism of the era or the "secularization" said to be happening behind people's backs, or assumes that skepticism was for intellectuals and ordinary people who stayed away from church were merely indifferent. Certainly the efforts of vocal "infidels" or "freethinkers" were dwarfed by the legions conducting religious revivals, creating missions and moral reform societies, distributing Bibles and Christian tracts, and building churches across the land. Even if few Americans publicly challenged Christian truth claims, many more quietly doubted, and religious skepticism touched--and in some cases transformed--many individual lives. Commentators considered religious doubt to be a persistent problem, because they believed that skeptical challenges to the grounds of faith--the Bible, the church, and personal experience--threatened the foundations of American society.

Skepticism and American Faith examines the ways that Americans--ministers, merchants, and mystics; physicians, schoolteachers, and feminists; self-help writers, slaveholders, shoemakers, and soldiers--wrestled with faith and doubt as they lived their daily lives and tried to make sense of their world.
Learn more about Skepticism and American Faith at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Skepticism and American Faith.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top YA novels about immigrants & immigration

At Bustle Kerri Jarema tagged five YA novels about immigration that every teen (and adult) should read, including:
American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street begins with Fabiola and her mother arriving in Detroit from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, only for them to be separated when Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration. What follows is an unflinching portrayal of Fabiola's life in the U.S., as she attempts to navigate her loud American cousins, the grittiness of her new neighborhood, a new school, and more — all on her own. Never more relevant than now, this look at what it's like for children to be separated from their parents in a strange new world is a must-read.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Coffee with a canine: Caryn Lix & Aleiah and Archer

Featured at Coffee with a Canine: Caryn Lix & Aleiah and Archer.

The author, on how she and Aleiah and Archer were united:
I saw Aleiah at a dog adoption event. They were trying to introduce me to another dog and all I could focus on was the baby girl dragging one of her legs around and looking like everyone was out to get her. Six months later, the leg had been amputated, and she was living in my house. Archer came to me when his family...[read on]
About Sanctuary by Caryn Lix, from the publisher:
Alien meets Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds in this thrilling debut novel about prison-guard-in-training, Kenzie, who is taken hostage by the superpowered criminal teens of the Sanctuary space station—only to have to band together with them when the station is attacked by mysterious creatures.

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.
Visit Caryn Lix's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Caryn Lix & Aleiah and Archer.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Lisa Jensen reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Lisa Jensen, author of Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge.

Her entry begins:
Right this minute, I'm in the thick of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. It's the epic tales of Thor, Odin, Loki and the gang, streamlined to their essence, and retold in Gaiman's droll voice. He infuses each god and goddess with human foibles, and renders magical stories of gods, giants, and dwarves with life-sized precision. Great...[read on]
About Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge, from the publisher:
They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier's cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen's multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.
Visit Lisa Jensen's website.

Writers Read: Lisa Jensen.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Ruthanna Emrys's "Deep Roots"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ruthanna Emrys’ Innsmouth Legacy, which began with Winter Tide and continues with Deep Roots, confronts H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos head-on, boldly upturning his fear of the unknown with a heart-warming story of found family, acceptance, and perseverance in the face of human cruelty and the cosmic apathy of the universe. Emrys brings together a family of outsiders, bridging the gaps between the many people marginalized by the homogenizing pressure of 1940s America.

Aphra Marsh, descendant of the People of the Water, has survived Deep One internment camps and made a grudging peace with the government that destroyed her home and exterminated her people on land. Deep Roots continues Aphra’s journey to rebuild her life and family on land, as she tracks down long-lost relatives. She must repopulate Innsmouth or risk seeing it torn down by greedy developers, but as she searches she discovers that people have been going missing. She will have to unravel the mystery, or risk seeing her way of life slip away.
Visit Ruthanna Emrys's website.

The Page 69 Test: Deep Roots.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books about cycling

Jon Day, writer, academic and cyclist, is the author of Cyclogeography. He worked as a bicycle courier in London for several years, and is now a lecturer in English Literature at King's College London. Two of his five (or so) best books about cycling, as shared at the Guardian:
At its best cycling, like bicycle writing, provides a way of encountering familiar places in new and surprising ways. “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,” wrote Ernest Hemingway, “since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.” Two of the best books to celebrate this kind of discovery are Dervla Murphy’s Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, her classic account of a ride undertaken in 1963, armed with her bicycle, named Roz, and a pistol; and Emily Chappell’s What Goes Around.

Chappell’s book is a memoir of the years she worked as a bicycle courier, a difficult and dangerous job often thought to be dominated by men. She writes beautifully about the freedom provided by cycling and the way in which riding a bike allowed her to rediscover both the London she thought she knew, and also herself.
Read about another entry on the list.

Also see Bella Bathurst's seven stone-cold classics about cycling, Jon Day's ten best books about cycling, the Barnes & Noble Review's five top books on cycling, John Mullan's list of ten of the best bicycles in literature, Marjorie Kehe's list of ten great books about cycling, Matt Seaton's top 10 books about cycling, and William Fotherham's top ten cycling novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, July 16, 2018

Derek Milman's "Scream All Night," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Scream All Night by Derek Milman.

The entry begins:
So this is actually something happening with Scream All Night, and I can't discuss specifics just yet, but I write without ever seeing faces or actors. And I'm grateful for that, so I can focus on their inner lives. That said, I did see a film called Hereditary with some friends, and everyone agreed the boy in that movie, played by Alex Wolff, would be a great Dario; he has the right intensity and the brooding dark looks, and the right edge to his humor and his speech. The same could be said of...[read on]
Visit Derek Milman's website.

My Book, The Movie: Scream All Night.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Alex White reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Alex White, author of A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe.

His entry begins:
At this moment, I'm re-reading Heather Kaczynski's Dare Mighty Things, the story of Cassandra Gupta, a young NASA intern that gets selected for humanity's first interstellar mission. They take her to a compound along with twenty-five other college-age kids and have them compete in a series of mysterious challenges. The administrators promptly begin playing mind games with the participants, eliminating them one by one, until only a few remain.

I enjoy this work for Kaczynski's lightning-quick prose and...[read on]
About A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe, from the publisher:
Furious and fun, the first book in this bold, new science fiction adventure series follows a crew of outcasts as they try to find a legendary ship that just might be the key to saving themselves-and the universe.

Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she got something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.

Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses Mother murder a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah has only one lead: the killer also hunts Boots.

On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice.
Visit Alex White's website.

My Book, The Movie: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe.

The Page 69 Test: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe.

Writers Read: Alex White.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Randi Hutter Epstein's "Aroused"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything by Randi Hutter Epstein.

About the book, from the publisher:
A guided tour through the strange science of hormones and the age-old quest to control them.

Metabolism, behavior, sleep, mood swings, the immune system, fighting, fleeing, puberty, and sex: these are just a few of the things our bodies control with hormones. Armed with a healthy dose of wit and curiosity, medical journalist Randi Hutter Epstein takes us on a journey through the unusual history of these potent chemicals from a basement filled with jarred nineteenth-century brains to a twenty-first-century hormone clinic in Los Angeles.

Brimming with fascinating anecdotes, illuminating new medical research, and humorous details, Aroused introduces the leading scientists who made life-changing discoveries about the hormone imbalances that ail us, as well as the charlatans who used those discoveries to peddle false remedies. Epstein exposes the humanity at the heart of hormone science with her rich cast of characters, including a 1920s doctor promoting vasectomies as a way to boost libido, a female medical student who discovered a pregnancy hormone in the 1940s, and a mother who collected pituitaries, a brain gland, from cadavers as a source of growth hormone to treat her son. Along the way, Epstein explores the functions of hormones such as leptin, oxytocin, estrogen, and testosterone, demystifying the science of endocrinology.

A fascinating look at the history and science of some of medicine’s most important discoveries, Aroused reveals the shocking history of hormones through the back rooms, basements, and labs where endocrinology began.
Visit Randi Hutter Epstein's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Randi Hutter Epstein, Ellie and Dexter.

The Page 99 Test: Aroused.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six top books based on true crimes

Megan Abbott's new novel is Give Me Your Hand. One of her six favorite books based on true crimes, as shared at The Week magazine:
Legs by William Kennedy

The master novelist of the demimonde takes on the violent death and gaudy life of gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond in this dazzling tale. Particular attention is devoted to the wild and woolly love triangle involving Legs, his wife, and his showgirl mistress. "How boring it is," the narrator opines, "not to fire machine guns."
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, July 15, 2018

What is Scott Reintgen reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Scott Reintgen, author of Nyxia Unleashed.

His entry begins:
I've actually just returned from the beach and thankfully I got a lot of reading done. The first book I tackled was The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin. It's a breathtaking and brutal world that centers around the concept of fifth seasons-- or regular apocalyptic events that threaten to wipe out humanity. Jemisin's world building is transcendent. I'm...[read on]
About Nyxia Unleashed, from the publisher:
Emmett Atwater thought Babel’s game sounded easy. Get points. Get paid. Go home. But it didn’t take long for him to learn that Babel’s competition was full of broken promises, none darker or more damaging than the last one.

Now Emmett and the rest of the Genesis spaceship survivors must rally and forge their own path through a new world. Their mission from Babel is simple: extract nyxia, the most valuable material in the universe, and play nice with the indigenous Adamite population.

But Emmett and the others quickly realize they are caught between two powerful forces-Babel and the Adamites-with clashing desires. Will the Genesis team make it out alive before it’s too late?
Visit Scott Reintgen's website.

The Page 69 Test: Nyxia.

Writers Read: Scott Reintgen.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Rob Hart's "Potter's Field"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Potter's Field by Rob Hart.

About the book, from the publisher:
The final book in Rob Hart's acclaimed Ash McKenna series shows that Ash can go home again...but it might cost him everything.

Amateur private investigator Ash McKenna is home. After more than a year on the road he's ready to face the demons he ran away from in New York City. And he’s decided what he wants to do with his life: Become a private investigator, for real. Licensed and everything. No more working as a thug for hire. But within moments of stepping off the plane, Ginny Tonic, the drag queen crime lord who once employed him―and then tried to have him killed―asks to see him.

One of her newest drag queen soldiers has gone missing, and Ginny suspects she’s been ensnared by the burgeoning heroin scene on Staten Island. Ginny wants Ash to find her. Because he’s the best, and because he knows Staten Island, his home borough. Ash is hesitant―but Ginny’s offer of $10,000 is enough to get him on his feet. And the thought of a lost kid and a bereft family is too much for him to bear.

He accepts, and quickly learns there’s something much bigger at play. Some very dangerous people are vying for control of the heroin trade on Staten Island, which is recording the highest rate of overdose deaths in the city. As Ash navigates deadly terrain, he find his most dangerous adversary might be his own past. Because those demons he ran away from have been waiting for him to come back.
Visit Rob Hart's website.

My Book, The Movie: Potter's Field.

The Page 69 Test: Potter's Field.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten fantasy novels starring books, readers, & amazing libraries

At Unbound Worlds Matt Staggs tagged ten "fantasy novels that bibliophiles will love," including:
The Lost Plot
Genevieve Cogman

Scattered across the multiverse are infinite editions of every book you’ve ever read, each subtly different from the other. Finding them is the job of the daring librarians of the Invisible Library. In The Lost Plot, Librarian Irene and her assistant Kai are dispatched to Prohibition-era New York where they’re caught in the crossfire of warring mobsters, dragons, and Fair Folk.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Pg. 99: John M. Coggeshall's "Liberia, South Carolina"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Liberia, South Carolina: An African American Appalachian Community by John M. Coggeshall.

About the book, from the publisher:
In 2007, while researching mountain culture in upstate South Carolina, anthropologist John M. Coggeshall stumbled upon the small community of Liberia in the Blue Ridge foothills. There he met Mable Owens Clarke and her family, the remaining members of a small African American community still living on land obtained immediately after the Civil War. This intimate history tells the story of five generations of the Owens family and their friends and neighbors, chronicling their struggles through slavery, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, and the desegregation of the state. Through hours of interviews with Mable and her relatives, as well as friends and neighbors, Coggeshall presents an ethnographic history that allows members of a largely ignored community to speak and record their own history for the first time. This story sheds new light on the African American experience in Appalachia, and in it Coggeshall documents the community’s 150-year history of resistance to white oppression, while offering a new way to understand the symbolic relationship between residents and the land they occupy, tying together family, memory, and narratives to explain this connection.
Learn more about Liberia, South Carolina at The University of North Carolina Press website.

My Book, The Movie: Liberia, South Carolina.

The Page 99 Test: Liberia, South Carolina.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sibel Hodge's "Into the Darkness," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Into the Darkness by Sibel Hodge.

The entry begins:
When I'm writing a novel I see the scene playing out in my head exactly like a movie so I always have a visual of my characters. Of course, I'd love every book of mine to star the fantastic Tom Hardy if they were ever made into films, and for Into the Darkness, I think he would play an amazing Mitchell, ex-SAS operative who is searching for his missing goddaughter. He may be a little young for the role, though, so as a second I'd choose Ray Winston. It's a gritty British thriller so they would both be perfect.

For Mitchell's opposite, Detective Sergeant Carter, who is a maverick and someone very disillusioned with the police force, I'd choose...[read on]
Visit Sibel Hodge's website.

My Book, The Movie: Untouchable.

My Book, The Movie: Into the Darkness.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top alt-history World War II novels

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog he tagged ten "of the most ambitious, imaginative, and flat-out cool speculative takes on a World War II that never actually happened," including:
V-S Day, by Allen Steele

Steele’s big idea is elegant in its simplicity—and plausibility. This novel is set in the same universe as the author’s The Tranquility Alternative, in which the space race began in the 1940s between Germany and the U.S. instead of the 1960s between the U.S. and Russia. In 1941, Hitler issues a historic order: work on the V2 Rocket is to cease, and work on an orbital spacecraft capable of attacking the United States directly is to begin. When spy networks get word of this new plan to President Roosevelt, he sees just one reasonable response: begin work on his own spacecraft to counteract the Nazi plan. The desperate race to dominate space has a profound effect on the future of humanity in general, but in the meantime, Steele delivers a tense and exciting alternate history that really could have happened.
Read about another entry on the list.

My Book, The Movie: V-S Day.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, July 13, 2018

What is Gail Carriger reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Gail Carriger, author of Competence.

Her entry begins:
I recently finished two books, pretty different from each other, and here they are.

Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane

This is a charming twisted retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and a real tear-jerker. It's as if Lane took Robin McKinley's Beauty and combined it with The Song of Achilles. There's an element of the Hunchback of Notre Dame thrown in there for good measure. If you're a fan of alternate fairy stories, true love at all costs, and the ultimate melodrama of self-sacrifice then...[read on]
About Competence, from the publisher:
From New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger comes the delightful sequel to Imprudence.

Accidentally abandoned!

All alone in Singapore, proper Miss Primrose Tunstell must steal helium to save her airship, the Spotted Custard, in a scheme involving a lovesick werecat and a fake fish tail.

When she uncovers rumors of a new kind of vampire, Prim and the Custard crew embark on a mission to Peru. There, they encounter airship pirates and strange atmospheric phenomena, and are mistaken for representatives of the Spanish Inquisition. Forced into extreme subterfuge (and some rather ridiculous outfits) Prim must also answer three of life’s most challenging questions:

Can the perfect book club give a man back his soul?

Will her brother ever stop wearing his idiotic velvet fez?

And can the amount of lard in Christmas pudding save an entire species?
Learn more about the book and author at Gail Carriger's website and blog.

My Book, The Movie: Soulless.

The Page 69 Test: Changeless.

The Page 69 Test: Waistcoats & Weaponry.

The Page 69 Test: Prudence.

My Book, The Movie: Prudence.

The Page 69 Test: Manners & Mutiny.

Writers Read: Gail Carriger.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Alex White's "A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White.

About the book, from the publisher:
Furious and fun, the first book in this bold, new science fiction adventure series follows a crew of outcasts as they try to find a legendary ship that just might be the key to saving themselves-and the universe.

Boots Elsworth was a famous treasure hunter in another life, but now she’s washed up. She makes her meager living faking salvage legends and selling them to the highest bidder, but this time she got something real–the story of the Harrow, a famous warship, capable of untold destruction.

Nilah Brio is the top driver in the Pan Galactic Racing Federation and the darling of the racing world–until she witnesses Mother murder a fellow racer. Framed for the murder and on the hunt to clear her name, Nilah has only one lead: the killer also hunts Boots.

On the wrong side of the law, the two women board a smuggler’s ship that will take them on a quest for fame, for riches, and for justice.
Visit Alex White's website.

My Book, The Movie: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe.

The Page 69 Test: A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top novels dealing with time travel

Prentis Rollins has over twenty years of experience working as a writer and artist in the comics industry. The Furnace is his debut full-length graphic novel.

One of his five top novels dealing with time travel, as shared at Tor.com:
11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King is a more recent (2011) time travel story, one of the strongest in decades. In it, Jake Epping, an English teacher, uses a time portal to travel back to 1958 (the only year the portal opens onto), in an attempt to prevent the assassination of John Kennedy. The time portal is a naturally-occurring phenomenon (likened at one point to a bubble floating in ginger ale)—there’s no question of the user having to do anything but step into it; this tale is very much in the brute force camp. King’s initial description of Epping’s experience of 1958 is one of the most evocative pieces of writing I know of—you are transported, via King’s prose, as surely as Epping is. But King’s ultimate slap-down of the “everything would be fine if only JFK had lived” school of thought is what makes the book significant, and deeply haunting.
Read about another entry on the list.

11/22/63 is among Peter May's six best books and Molly Driscoll's top six novels that explore a slightly alternate version of very familiar events.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pg. 99: Loka Ashwood's "For-Profit Democracy"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: For-Profit Democracy: Why the Government Is Losing the Trust of Rural America by Loka Ashwood.

About the book, from the publisher:
A fascinating sociological assessment of the damaging effects of the for-profit partnership between government and corporation on rural Americans

Why is government distrust rampant, especially in the rural United States? This book offers a simple explanation: corporations and the government together dispossess rural people of their prosperity, and even their property. Based on four years of fieldwork, this eye-opening assessment by sociologist Loka Ashwood plays out in a mixed-race Georgia community that hosted the first nuclear power reactors sanctioned by the government in three decades. This work serves as an explanatory mirror of prominent trends in current American politics. Churches become havens for redemption, poaching a means of retribution, guns a tool of self-defense, and nuclear power a faltering solution to global warming as governance strays from democratic principles. In the absence of hope or trust in rulers, rural racial tensions fester and divide. The book tells of the rebellion that unfolds as the rights of corporations supersede the rights of humans.
Visit Loka Ashwood's website.

Writers Read: Loka Ashwood.

The Page 99 Test: For-Profit Democracy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sheena Kamal's "It All Falls Down," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: It All Falls Down: A Novel by Sheena Kamal.

The entry begins:
I don't write to actors, but sometimes it's fun to let my mind wander in that direction. Every now and then I get asked who I would cast as my main character, Nora Watts. The truth is, I don't know who could play Nora. I would absolutely love for an intrepid producer to take a chance on an indigenous actor for this part--and there are a few names that kick around in my mind--but it can be tough when you write a character of mixed-heritage.

The other important characters are much easier. I'd love to see Nora's love interest, Jon Brazuca, played by Vancouver actor Ryan Reynolds. Deadpool fame aside, he was in a fantastic movie called Buried where it was just him in...[read on]
Visit Sheena Kamal's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Lost Ones.

My Book, The Movie: It All Falls Down.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top books about self-reinvention

Liese O'Halloran Schwarz grew up in Washington, DC after an early childhood overseas. She attended Harvard University and then medical school at University of Virginia. While in medical school, she won the Henfield/Transatlantic Review Prize and also published her first novel, Near Canaan.

The newly released The Possible World is her second novel.

One of the author's top ten books about self-reinvention, as shared at the Guardian:
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (2014)

The riveting saga of Ursula Todd, who is born and dies in 1910 and is then reborn again and again into the same life, things going a little bit differently each time. She carries memories forward, and as the world marches through one war and then into another, the reader wonders if she will be able to budge the course of history. It is a masterpiece. I strongly recommend the audiobook; the narrator Fenella Woolgar’s performance is a tour de force of its own.
Read about another entry on the list.

Life After Life is among Caitlin Kleinschmidt tagged twelve moving novels of the Second World War, Jenny Shank's top five innovative novels that mess with chronology, Dell Villa's top twelve books from 2013 to give your mom, and Judith Mackrell's five best young fictional heroines in coming-of-age novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is James Brydon reading?

Featured at Writers Read: James Brydon, author of The Moment Before Drowning.

His entry begins:
Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry is without doubt the most striking, original and haunting book I’ve read recently. These interlinked yet fragmentary stories from the Soviet-Polish war present, as one of the narrators puts it, “a chronicle of […] humdrum evil doings” from a conflict steeped in violence: beheadings, slit throats, the numberless and nameless dead strewing the battlefields.

The book’s shifting narrators correspond to different sides of Babel’s character. There is the bespectacled, intellectual journalist horrified by the slaughter, but also a Bolshevik taking pleasure in the protracted killing of his master, who he tramples to death for over an hour. Babel unsettlingly interrogates the moral values we ascribe to acts of violence. When the journalist is incapable of shooting a soldier whose...[read on]
About The Moment Before Drowning, from the publisher:
December 1959: A furious anticolonial war rages in Algeria. Captain Jacques le Garrec, a former detective and French Resistance hero, returns to France in disgrace. Traumatized after two years of working in the army intelligence services, he’s now accused of a brutal crime.

As le Garrec awaits trial in the tiny Breton town where he grew up, he is asked to look into a disturbing and unsolved murder committed the previous winter. A local teenage girl was killed and her bizarrely mutilated body was left displayed on the heathland in a way that no one could understand.

Le Garrec’s investigations draw him into the dark past of the town, still haunted by memories of the German occupation. As he tries to reconstruct the events of the murder, the violence of this crime and his recollections of Algeria intertwine, threatening to submerge him.
Learn more about The Moment Before Drowning at the Akashic Books website.

The Page 69 Test: The Moment Before Drowning.

Writers Read: James Brydon.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Pg. 69: Kimberly McCreight's "The Collide"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Collide by Kimberly McCreight.

About the book, from the publisher:
KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSE.

Wylie is finally out of the detention center, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe. As much as she wants to forget everything that's happened and return to her normal life, Wylie knows that true freedom means discovering, once and for all, who is hunting the girls who are Outliers—and why.

Armed with only a few clues and a handful of trusted allies, Wylie sets out to separate fact from fiction. But soon she is unearthing long-buried secrets and finds herself entangled in a conspiracy that is much bigger and more dangerous than she ever could have imagined. Worse yet, the nearer Wylie gets to discovering the truth, the closer her enemies get to silencing her and the other girls. This time, maybe forever.

In the explosive conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight’s Outliers series, Wylie learns that when danger lurks in unexpected places, fighting for who and what you believe in can matter even more than you realized ... and that trusting yourself might be the one thing that saves you.
Visit Kimberly McCreight's website.

The Page 69 Test: Reconstructing Amelia.

The Page 69 Test: The Scattering.

The Page 69 Test: The Collide.

--Marshal Zeringue

Coffee with a canine: Danielle Banas & Cooper

Featured at Coffee with a Canine: Danielle Banas & Cooper.

The author, on Cooper's impact on her writing:
Cooper loves to snuggle. Cooper also loves to snuggle on my lap while I’m trying to write, so then I have to move my laptop onto the arm of the couch and turn awkwardly to type while he’s sleeping – then my back starts to hurt. So he definitely hinders more than helps, but I still gave him a shout-out on the acknowledgments page of my book. If nothing else, he’s...[read on]
About Danielle Banas's The Supervillain and Me, from the publisher:
Never trust a guy in spandex.

In Abby Hamilton’s world, superheroes do more than just stop crime and save cats stuck in trees—they also drink milk straight from the carton and hog the television remote. Abby’s older brother moonlights as the famous Red Comet, but without powers of her own, following in his footsteps has never crossed her mind.

That is, until the city’s newest vigilante comes bursting into her life.

After saving Abby from an attempted mugging, Morriston’s fledgling supervillain Iron Phantom convinces her that he’s not as evil as everyone says, and that their city is under a vicious new threat. As Abby follows him deeper into their city’s darkest secrets, she comes to learn that heroes can’t always be trusted, and sometimes it’s the good guys who wear black.

Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan's young adult imprint Swoon Reads, The Supervillain and Me is a hilarious, sweet, and action-packed novel by debut author Danielle Banas that proves no one is perfect, not even superheroes.
Visit Danielle Banas's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Danielle Banas & Cooper.

--Marshal Zeringue