Wednesday, February 28, 2018

What is Joy Fielding reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Joy Fielding, author of The Bad Daughter: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
I recently finished reading Tina Brown’s wonderful The Vanity Fair Diaries and The last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad. While I generally prefer fiction, I tend to read more non-fiction when I’m working on a novel of my own. I don’t know if this has to do with not wanting the interference of another writer’s voice at that time or whether it’s just that I find non-fiction easier to read. It doesn’t require the same level of concentration and commitment, and it’s easier to pick up and put down at will. That said, both these books were...[read on]
About The Bad Daughter, from the publisher:
There was no shortage of words she could use to describe her father, almost none of them complimentary. Serves you damn right, she thought.

A voice mail from her estranged sister, Melanie, sends Robin’s heart racing and her mind spiraling in a full-blown panic attack. Melanie’s message is dire: Their father, his second wife, and his twelve-year-old stepdaughter have been shot—likely in a home invasion—and lie in the hospital in critical condition.

It’s been more than five years since Robin turned her back on her father when he married her best friend. Five years since she said goodbye to her hometown of Red Bluff, California, and became a therapist. More than two years since Robin and Melanie have spoken. Yet even with all that distance and time and acrimony, the past is always with Robin.

Now she must return to the family she left behind. As she attempts to mend fences while her father clings to life, Robin begins to wonder if there is more to the tragedy than a botched burglary attempt. It seems that everyone—Robin’s mercurial sister, her less-than-communicative nephew, her absent brother, and even Tara, her father’s wife—has something to hide. And someone may have put them all in grave danger.

New York Times bestselling author Joy Fielding has written a gripping edge-of-your-seat thriller of family intrigue and dark secrets. The Bad Daughter explores the deadly differences between the lies we want to believe and the truths we wish not to know.
Learn more about the book and author at Joy Fielding's website.

The Page 69 Test: Shadow Creek.

My Book, The Movie: Shadow Creek.

The Page 69 Test: Someone Is Watching.

My Book, The Movie: Someone Is Watching.

Writers Read: Joy Fielding.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Suzanne Schneider's "Mandatory Separation"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Mandatory Separation: Religion, Education, and Mass Politics in Palestine by Suzanne Schneider.

About the book, from the publisher:
Is religion a source of political stability and social continuity, or an agent of radical change? This question, so central to contemporary conversations about religion and extremism, has generated varied responses over the last century. Taking Jewish and Islamic education as its objects of inquiry, Mandatory Separation sheds light on the contours of this debate in Palestine during the formative period of British rule, detailing how colonial, Zionist, and Palestinian-Muslim leaders developed competing views of the form and function of religious education in an age of mass politics.

Drawing from archival records, school syllabi, textbooks, newspapers, and personal narratives, Suzanne Schneider argues that the British Mandatory government supported religious education as a supposed antidote to nationalist passions at the precise moment when the administrative, pedagogic, and curricular transformation of religious schooling rendered it a vital tool for Zionist and Palestinian leaders. This study of their policies and practices illuminates the tensions, similarities, and differences among these diverse educational and political philosophies, revealing the lasting significance of these debates for thinking about religion and political identity in the modern Middle East.
Learn more about Mandatory Separation at the Stanford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Mandatory Separation.

--Marshal Zeringue

Jennifer Frost's "Producer of Controversy," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Producer of Controversy: Stanley Kramer, Hollywood Liberalism, and the Cold War by Jennifer Frost.

The entry begins:
Producer-director Stanley Kramer was one of Hollywood’s earliest and most successful independent post-World War II producers. From the 1940s to the 1970s, he made thirty-five films. Six received nominations for the Best Picture Academy Award. High Noon (1952) and The Caine Mutiny (1954) he produced, and The Defiant Ones (1958), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Ship of Fools (1966), and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967) he also directed. In 1962, he received the Academy’s prestigious Thalberg Award, bestowed on “creative producers” for “consistent high quality of production.”

But what made Kramer most stand out was his forthright commitment to political liberalism. At the height of the Cold War, Kramer wore his liberal politics on his sleeve. Politics showed in the subjects of his films: American race relations, the threat of nuclear war, violations of free thought and expression, and the Holocaust. He also took public stances for civil rights and civil liberties and against the anticommunist Red Scare and the Hollywood blacklist. In the process, he and his movies provoked discussion and debate. So much so, by 1961, he came to be called “Hollywood’s producer of controversy.”

Framing my movie about Kramer’s high-stress, high-stakes career and politics would be the tales of two significant productions. High Noon (1952) was a western made in the midst of anticommunist investigations of Hollywood. These events drove the screenplay, written by Kramer’s early collaborator and business partner Carl Foreman, and led to their personal and professional fallout. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), an interracial “dramedy” starring Sidney Poitier, reflected and affected the social, cultural, and political changes of the 1960s.

Kramer: For the lead role, I’d cast Gary...[read on]
Learn more about Producer of Controversy at the publisher's website.

My Book, The Movie: Producer of Controversy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top new & upcoming college-set YA novels

At the BN Teen Blog Dahlia Adler tagged "ten new and forthcoming [college kid] books that highlight independence, long-distance relationships, growing up, identity, sexuality, marginalization, assault, roommates, and much more," including:
Nice Try, Jane Sinner, by Lianne Oelke

Irreverent, hilarious Jane has been expelled, which means it’s community college for her if she wants to graduate high school. She’ll do it, but there’s one thing she wants in return: to get out of her parents’ house and away from their scrutiny and their religious observance that doesn’t seem to be a fit for her. The only way to accomplish that is to have her rent covered elsewhere, which is where House of Orange comes in. All she has to do is make it onto the reality show set at Elbow River Community College and she’ll have a place to live and a shot at a car…if she wins, that is. Pairing up with housemate Robbie to ensure victory may give her an edge, but she’ll also have to face the past year and the mental health issues that pushed her to the edge.
Read about another entry on the list.

Nice Try, Jane Sinner is among Madeline Moore's seven YA novels that take on the journey from high school to college.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What is Willy Vlautin reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Willy Vlautin, author of Don't Skip Out on Me.

His entry begins:
A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines

A novel of such power and sadness its unforgettable. I’ve read it a handful of times over the years and always it’s a heartbreaking marvel. The story of Billy Casper, a kid from a broken home, who’s only future after school is a job in a coal mine. Set in a bleak mining community in an unnamed northern UK town, Billy is an outcast both at home and school. His only friend is a kestrel he has trained and keeps in a shed. A bird that flies above the sadness of the world, a bird free from the working-class constraints of spending one’s life in...[read on]
About Don't Skip Out on Me, from the publisher:
Horace Hopper has spent most of his life on a Nevada sheep ranch, but dreams of something bigger. Mr. and Mrs. Reese, the aging ranchers, took him in and treated him like a son, intending to leave the ranch in his hands. But Horace, ashamed not only of his half-Paiute, half-Irish heritage, but also of the fact his parents did not want him, feels as if he doesn’t belong on the ranch, or anywhere. Knowing he needs to make a name for himself, he decides to leave the only loving home he’s known to prove his worth as a championship boxer.

Mr. Reese is holding on to a way of life that is no longer sustainable. He’s a seventy-two-year-old rancher with a bad back. He’s not sure how he’ll keep things going without Horace but he knows the boy must find his own way.

To become a champion Horace must change not just the way he eats, trains, and thinks, but who he is. Reinventing himself as Hector Hildago, a scrappy Mexican boxer, he heads to Tucson and begins training and entering fights. His journey brings him to boxing rings across the Southwest and Mexico and finally, to the streets of Las Vegas, where Horace learns he can’t change who he is or outrun his destiny.

A beautiful, wrenching portrait of a downtrodden man, Don’t Skip Out on Me narrates the struggle to find one's place in a vast and lonely world with profound tenderness, and will make you consider those around you—and yourself—differently.
Visit Willy Vlautin's website.

Writers Read: Willy Vlautin.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Oana Panaïté's "The Colonial Fortune in Contemporary Fiction in French"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Colonial Fortune in Contemporary Fiction in French by Oana Panaïté.

About the book, from the publisher:
"The Colonial Fortune" highlights the features of a paracolonial aesthetics emanating from a significant body of contemporary Hexagonal and non-metropolitan texts. Authored by writers who are either directly involved in the debate about the colonial past and its remanence (J. M. G. Le Clézio, Paule Constant, Édouard Glissant, Tierno Monénembo, Marie NDiaye, and Leïla Sebbar) or who do not overtly manifest such concerns (Stéphane Audeguy, Marie Darrieussecq, Régis Jauffret, Pierre Michon, and Claude Simon), these works create a shared imaginary space permeated by the symbolic, rhetorical, and conceptual presence colonialism in our postcolonial era. The paracolonial describes the phenomena of revival, resurgence, remanence, and residue - in other words, the permanence of the colonial in contemporary imagination. It also addresses the re-imagining, revisiting, and recasting of the colonial in current works of literature (fiction, autobiography, and essay). The idea of the colonial fortune emerges as an interface between our era's concerns with issues of fate, economics, legacy, and debt stemming from the understudied persistence of the colonial in today's political and cultural conversation, and literature's ways of making sense of them both sensorially and sensibly.
Learn more about The Colonial Fortune in Contemporary Fiction in French at the publisher's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Colonial Fortune in Contemporary Fiction in French.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Geoff Herbach's "Hooper"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Hooper by Geoff Herbach.

About the book, from the publisher:
From Geoff Herbach, the critically acclaimed author of the Stupid Fast series, comes a compelling new YA novel about basketball, prejudice, privilege, and family, perfect for fans of Jordan Sonnenblick, Andrew Smith, and Matt de la Peña.

For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam’s basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother in Minnesota. When he’s tapped to play on a select AAU team along with some of the best players in the state, it just confirms that basketball is his ticket to the good life: to new friendships, to the girl of his dreams, to a better future.

But life is more complicated off the court. When an incident with the police threatens to break apart the bonds Adam’s finally formed after a lifetime of struggle, he must make an impossible choice between his new family and the sport that’s given him everything.
Visit Geoff Herbach's website.

Writers Read: Geoff Herbach.

The Page 69 Test: Hooper.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six of the best big, challenging reads

Jeff VanderMeer recently served as the 2016-2017 Trias Writer-in-Residence for Hobart-William Smith College. His latest novel is Borne, which Colson Whitehead called “a thorough marvel.” He is also the author of the NYT-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy (Annihilation, Authority, and Acceptance), which won the Shirley Jackson Award and Nebula Award. One of VanderMeer's six favorite big, challenging reads, as shared at The Week magazine:
2666 by Roberto Bolaño

In this mysterious, deeply human novel, an epidemic of murders of women in a Mexican city unfolds alongside — among other threads — the exploits of some traveling philosophers. The book's myriad loose ends convey a sense of the vast confusion, absurdity, and horror of life.
Read about another entry on the list.

2666 appears on Kevin Barry's 6 favorite books list, Alex Clark's top ten list of long reads, and Gillian Orr's reading list of top unfinished novels; it was #1 in one tabulation of the critics' consensus book of the year for 2008.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 26, 2018

What is Paul Howarth reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Paul Howarth, author of Only Killers and Thieves.

His entry begins:
I’m quite promiscuous when it comes to reading: I tend to pick up and put down a lot of books, dipping in and out, and when I do settle down to read one, I have no qualms giving it up if it’s not working for me. So my TBR pile is fairly chaotic! But, when a book clicks, the two of us are inseparable, and I thought I’d share two recent examples that very much did click with me: Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor, and The Heavenly Table, by Donald Ray Pollock.

Reservoir 13 is the story of a small town in rural England in the years following the unsolved disappearance of a young girl. But it isn’t a who-dunnit, a why-dunnit, or an anything-dunnit; in fact, it’s not really about the disappearance at all. This is the story of a community, the intersection of many lives across the years, the...[read on]
About Only Killers and Thieves, from the publisher:
Two brothers are exposed to the brutal realities of life and the seductive cruelty of power in this riveting debut novel—a story of savagery and race, injustice and honor, set in the untamed frontier of 1880s Australia—reminiscent of Philipp Meyer’s The Son and the novels of Cormac McCarthy.

An epic tale of revenge and survival, Only Killers and Thieves is a gripping and utterly transporting debut, bringing to vivid life a colonial Australia that bears a striking resemblance to the American Wild West in its formative years.

It is 1885, and a crippling drought threatens to ruin the McBride family. Their land is parched, their cattle starving. When the rain finally comes, it is a miracle that renews their hope for survival. But returning home from an afternoon swimming at a remote waterhole filled by the downpour, fourteen-year-old Tommy and sixteen-year-old Billy meet with a shocking tragedy.

Thirsting for vengeance against the man they believe has wronged them—their former Aboriginal stockman—the distraught brothers turn to the ruthless and cunning John Sullivan, the wealthiest landowner in the region and their father’s former employer. Sullivan gathers a posse led by the dangerous and fascinating Inspector Edmund Noone and his Queensland Native Police, an infamous arm of British colonial power charged with the "dispersal" of indigenous Australians to "protect" white settler rights. As they ride across the barren outback in pursuit, their harsh and horrifying journey will have a devastating impact on Tommy, tormenting him for the rest of his life—and will hold enduring consequences for a young country struggling to come into its own.

Recreating a period of Australian and British history as evocative and violent as the American frontier era, Only Killers and Thieves is an unforgettable story of family, guilt, empire, race, manhood, and faith that combines the insightfulness of Philipp Meyer’s The Son, the atmospheric beauty of Amanda Coplin’s The Orchardist, and the raw storytelling power of Ian McGuire’s The North Water.
Learn more about Only Killers and Thieves, and follow Paul Howarth on Twitter.

Writers Read: Paul Howarth.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Brian E. Crim's "Our Germans"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Our Germans: Project Paperclip and the National Security State by Brian E. Crim.

About the book, from the publisher:
Project Paperclip brought hundreds of German scientists and engineers, including aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun, to the United States in the first decade after World War II. More than the freighters full of equipment or the documents recovered from caves and hastily abandoned warehouses, the German brains who designed and built the V-2 rocket and other "wonder weapons" for the Third Reich proved invaluable to America’s emerging military-industrial complex. Whether they remained under military employment, transitioned to civilian agencies like NASA, or sought more lucrative careers with corporations flush with government contracts, German specialists recruited into the Paperclip program assumed enormously influential positions within the labyrinthine national security state.

Drawing on recently declassified documents from intelligence agencies, the Department of Defense, the FBI, and the State Department, Brian Crim’s Our Germans examines the process of integrating German scientists into a national security state dominated by the armed services and defense industries. Crim explains how the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency enticed targeted scientists, whitewashed the records of Nazis and war criminals, and deceived government agencies about the content of security investigations. Exploring the vicious bureaucratic rivalries that erupted over the wisdom, efficacy, and morality of pursuing Paperclip, Our Germans reveals how some Paperclip proponents and scientists influenced the perception of the rival Soviet threat by volunteering inflated estimates of Russian intentions and technical capabilities.

As it describes the project’s embattled legacy, Our Germans reflects on the myriad ways that Paperclip has been remembered in culture and national memory. As this engaging book demonstrates, whether characterized as an expedient Cold War program born from military necessity or a dishonorable episode, the project ultimately reflects American ambivalence about the military-industrial complex and the viability of an "ends justifies the means" solution to external threats.
Learn more about Our Germans at the Johns Hopkins University Press website.

My Book, The Movie: Our Germans.

The Page 99 Test: Our Germans.

--Marshal Zeringue

Rachel Lyon's "Self-Portrait with Boy," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Self-Portrait with Boy: A Novel by Rachel Lyon.

The entry begins:
There's a line in Self-Portrait with Boy that hints at this question. My protagonist Lu Rile is all dressed up for a gallery opening, and the gallery owner Fiona Clay comes over and quips, "Left Johnny Depp at home tonight, have you?" When Lu looks confused she laughs and says, "Come on, no one's ever told you you look like Winona Ryder?" It's a surprising moment for Lu, because she does not think of herself as attractive. In fact she think of herself as remarkably unattractive compared to the sexy art world types around her. But I've always thought of her as kind of sexy in her own right. She's short and thin, like Winona, with tousled dark Reality Bites-era hair. Today Winona Ryder is a little too old for the role, I guess, but it tickled me, writing the book, to think how funny that line in particular would be, if it were addressed to Winona Ryder herself.

Once I started thinking about who'd play Lu Rile, I got a little obsessive about...[read on]
Visit Rachel Lyon's website.

The Page 69 Test: Self-Portrait with Boy.

My Book, The Movie: Self-Portrait with Boy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six notable boarding-school thrillers

At the BN Teen blog, Nita Tyndall tagged six favorite thrillers set at boarding school, including:
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart

At just a decade old, this book is already considered a classic of the YA canon. Frankie Landau-Banks, aged 15, seems to be in a sweet spot: she’s a legacy student at her private school, she’s the girlfriend of gorgeous senior Matthew Livingston, she has developed a “figure” over the summer. But she’s less concerned about all that, and more perturbed by the fact that she’s barred from joining Matthew’s all-male secret society. The old Frankie? Probably would’ve let it go. But the new Frankie, a sharp-witted girl who knows she’s smarter than the boys she’s up against? Decides to get to the bottom of it—just how and when the secret society was founded, and who exactly the mastermind is behind all those pranks.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is among Alyssa Sheinmel's five favorite books set at boarding school, Jenny Kawecki's top seven YA books to beat your back to school blues and five kickass feminist YA books, Kayla Whaley's five best opening scenes in YA lit, Sona Charaipotra's five top YA books to read when you're burnt out on love, and Sabrina Rojas Weiss's ten favorite boarding school novels.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Pg. 69: Jane Lindskold's "Asphodel"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Asphodel by Jane Lindskold.

About Asphodel, from the author:
Prison or Refuge?

Nameless in a doorless tower graced with seven windows, she is imprisoned. Who is her jailer? What is her crime?

After she discovers the secret of the seven windows, the nameless one, accompanied by two impossible companions, sets forth on fantastical journeys of exploration. But, for the nameless one, learning her name may not be a welcome revelation, and the identity of her jailer will rock the foundations of a tower that has come to be as much refuge as prison.
Visit Jane Lindskold's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Thirteen Orphans.

The Page 69 Test: Five Odd Honors.

The Page 69 Test: Artemis Awakening.

The Page 69 Test: Artemis Invaded.

My Book, The Movie: Artemis Invaded.

Writers Read: Jane Lindskold.

The Page 69 Test: Asphodel.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Brendan Duffy reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Brendan Duffy, author of The Storm King.

His entry begins:
I’ve just finished reading Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. A longtime fan of Saunders’ extraordinary short stories, I was really interested in how he’d approach a long form project, and the answer is—uniquely! By turns hilarious, inspirational, and deeply moving, this novel deserves all of its accolades. After reading Saunders, I always find myself in awe of his inventiveness and his talent in balancing humor and...[read on]
About The Storm King, from the publisher:
Burying the past only gives it strength—and fury.

Nate McHale has assembled the kind of life most people would envy. After a tumultuous youth marked by his inexplicable survival of a devastating tragedy, Nate left his Adirondack hometown of Greystone Lake and never looked back. Fourteen years later, he’s become a respected New York City surgeon, devoted husband, and loving father.

Then a body is discovered deep in the forests that surround Greystone Lake.

This disturbing news finally draws Nate home. While navigating a tense landscape of secrets and suspicion, resentments and guilt, Nate reconnects with estranged friends and old enemies, and encounters strangers who seem to know impossible things about him. Haunting every moment is the Lake’s sinister history and the memory of wild, beautiful Lucy Bennett, with whom Nate is forever linked by shattering loss and youthful passion.

As a massive hurricane bears down on the Northeast, the air becomes electric, the clouds grow dark, and escalating acts of violence echo events from Nate’s own past. Without a doubt, a reckoning is coming—one that will lay bare the lies that lifelong friends have told themselves and unleash a vengeance that may consume them all.
Visit Brendan Duffy's website.

Writers Read: Brendan Duffy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Martin Shuster's "New Television"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: New Television: The Aesthetics and Politics of a Genre by Martin Shuster.

About the book, from the publisher:
Even though it’s frequently asserted that we are living in a golden age of scripted television, television as a medium is still not taken seriously as an artistic art form, nor has the stigma of television as “chewing gum for the mind” really disappeared.

Philosopher Martin Shuster argues that television is the modern art form, full of promise and urgency, and in New Television, he offers a strong philosophical justification for its importance. Through careful analysis of shows including The Wire, Justified, and Weeds, among others; and European and Anglophone philosophers, such as Stanley Cavell, Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, and John Rawls; Shuster reveals how various contemporary television series engage deeply with aesthetic and philosophical issues in modernism and modernity. What unifies the aesthetic and philosophical ambitions of new television is a commitment to portraying and exploring the family as the last site of political possibility in a world otherwise bereft of any other sources of traditional authority; consequently, at the heart of new television are profound political stakes.
Learn more about New Television at the University of Chicago Press website.

The Page 99 Test: New Television.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten of the best Native American novels

Brandon Hobson is the author of Where the Dead Sit Talking and other books. He is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and his work has appeared in such magazines as The Believer, The Paris Review Daily, Conjunctions, NOON, Post Road, Narrative Magazine, and in many other places. He holds a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University and is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation Tribe of Oklahoma.

One of his ten essential Native American novels, as shared at Publishers Weekly:
Pushing the Bear by Diane Glancy

In an old Cherokee myth, a bear is a representation of greed and satisfaction, so the title of this historical novel refers to the struggles the Cherokees endured on the Trail of Tears when they were removed from their land. As my own great-great-great grandmother walked and survived the Trail of Tears, I felt especially drawn to Maritole, the narrator, who serves as a voice for all the women as they are forced from their homes. Though Maritole serves as primary narrator, there are other voices throughout the book: Maritole’s husband, for example, who feels helpless; her father, who manages somehow to cling to hope; and other voices contribute to the desperation and helplessness. A very good novel detailing one of the saddest and cruelest episodes in U.S. history.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Coffee with a canine: Leslie Connor & Atticus and Broomis

Featured at Coffee with a Canine: Leslie Connor & Atticus and Broomis.

The author, on her dogs' names and nicknames:
We landed on the name Broomis after a few other names including, Pancake, Chickpea, and Sun Bear, failed somehow. (I know. What were we thinking?) Broomis was the name of a “roly-poly” bear in an old children’s song—spelled Brumus, actually—but we changed that because our guy is the color of broom straw. Atticus was named by his foster-family. We thought he’d been through enough changes in his young life already (picked up running in the wilds of Kentucky…) so we kept it. We like it, but he’s really more of a Scout.

Aliases? You bet. Nicknames happen endlessly at our house. Broomis is also known as: Broo, Broo-bacah-soda crackah...[read on]
About Connor's new novel for kids, The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle:
Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.

Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.

But will anyone believe him?
Visit Leslie Connor's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Leslie Connor & Atticus and Broomis.

--Marshal Zeringue

Twelve of the best sci-fi & fantasy film novelizations

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 twelve essential sci-fi & fantasy film novelizations, including:
The Shape of Water, by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus

What sets The Shape of Water apart is that it’s less a novelization than a parallel project, written in conjunction with the film, and co-written by the film’s writer and director. Add in the fact that the story is inspired by and an homage to a totally different film (1954’s The Creature from the Black Lagoon), and you’ve got a multi-layered timeline of inspiration and novelization that’s timey-wimey enough to confuse Doctor Who. All that matters is that del Toro has crafted a fantastic story that gets a much deeper treatment in the written version, making it the perfect companion to a day at the movies.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Lisa Black's "Perish"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Perish: A Gardiner and Renner Novel #3 by Lisa Black.

About the book, from the publisher:
Bestselling author Lisa Black takes readers on a nailbiting journey to the dark side of justice as forensic expert Maggie Gardiner discovers troubling new details about her colleague Jack Renner, a homicide detective with a brutal approach to law and order...

The scene of the crime is lavish but gruesome. In a luxurious mansion on the outskirts of Cleveland, a woman’s body lies gutted in a pool of blood on the marble floor. The victim is Joanna Moorehouse, founder of Sterling Financial. The killer could be any one of her associates.

Maggie knows that to crack the case, she and Jack will have to infiltrate the cutthroat world of high-stakes finance. But the offices of Sterling Financial seethe with potential suspects, every employee hellbent on making a killing. When another officer uncovers disturbing evidence in a series of unrelated murders, the investigation takes a surprising detour.

Only Maggie recognizes the blood-soaked handiwork of a killer who has committed the most heinous of crimes—and will continue killing until he is stopped. Burdened with unbearable secrets, Maggie must make an agonizing choice, while her conscience keeps telling her: she’s next.
Learn more about the book and author at Lisa Black's website.

The Page 69 Test: That Darkness.

My Book, The Movie: Unpunished.

The Page 69 Test: Unpunished.

My Book, The Movie: Perish.

Writers Read: Lisa Black.

The Page 69 Test: Perish.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Anne Raeff reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Anne Raeff, author of Winter Kept Us Warm.

Her entry begins:
Although I am an active reader of novels and short stories, I think that, though I have not written poetry since I was an adolescent it has had more influence on my writing than prose. In fact my recent novel, Winter Kept Us Warm is in some ways a tribute to two poems, Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" and Eliot's "The Wasteland," from which the title of the book is taken. I believe that good writing is at its core poetic and that writers have an obligation to beauty and to language. We must care about every word, every image, and our prose must contain its own meter and rhythm. I read poetry so that I never forget this beauty, and, I hope, so that poetry fills the pages of my prose.

When my wife, Lori Ostlund, and I first got together twenty-six years ago, we often stayed up until dawn reading our favorite poems to each other. We read some of them like Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach," and T.S. Eliot's "The Hollow Men" over and over and never tired of them. In December, 2017 we decided that poetry needs to be part of our daily life again, so we reinstated this tradition, though now we have a more staid approach and read for about twenty minutes every night before going to sleep. So far Lori has been doing the reading and has also taken on the responsibility of choosing the poetry, asking for suggestions from friends and other writers. Unlike in the early days of our relationship when we jumped from one poet to another, we are now reading complete books, lingering with each volume for a few nights. So far we have been focusing on contemporary work. We have read Louise Glück's A Village Life...[read on]
About Winter Kept Us Warm, from the publisher:
A bold and haunting novel that sets love against the brutality of WWII and post-war life

Ulli is a young woman, half-English and half-German, squatting in a dismal, empty Berlin apartment, one year after the war has ended. She’s scraping together a living as an interpreter between Berlin-based GIs and the wide-eyed local girls eager to meet them. One night, Ulli meets two American soldiers: Leo, handsome and ambitious and desperate to escape his small town upbringing; and intellectual, asthmatic Isaac, whose refugee parents had fled Russia and then Paris for New York.

Winter Kept Us Warm follows Ulli, Leo, and Isaac through the next six decades of their lives—from Berlin to post-war Manhattan, 1960s Los Angeles, and Morocco. A marriage. Two children. And yet, only one parent. At the core of this novel is the mystery of how this came to be; not a chronological narrative, we explore the dark corners and lantern slides of these characters’ lives, revealing in pieces and fragments what became of their long ago love triangle set against the brutality of post-war living.

Winter Kept Us Warm is an evocative story of family, strained by the cruelty of war and its generational repercussions. A novel of the heart, filled to the brim with unforgettable characters stitching together the deep threads of love, friendship, loyalty, and, of course, loss.
Visit Anne Raeff's website.

Writers Read: Anne Raeff.

Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 23, 2018

Jonathan Hyde's six best books

Jonathan Hyde is an Australian actor known for film roles Titanic, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Anaconda, Jumanji, The Mummy, and as Eldritch Palmer in the FX TV series The Strain. One of his six best books, as shared at the Daily Express:
CROSSING to SAFETY by Wallace Stegner

I found this jotted down in my Filofax last year so got a copy. It’s the story of two academic couples, one couple privileged and the other struggling. They all have crosses to bear at some point and I found their stoicism remarkable. It made me weep.
Read about another entry on the list.

Crossing to Safety is among J. Courtney Sullivan's six favorite books about marriage, Simon Winchester's five top novels on U.S. frontier social history, and Lan Samantha Chang's five best list of novels on friendship.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Benjamin F. Alexander's "The New Deal's Forest Army"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The New Deal's Forest Army: How the Civilian Conservation Corps Worked by Benjamin F. Alexander.

About the book, from the publisher:
Propelled by the unprecedented poverty of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established an array of massive public works programs designed to provide direct relief to America’s poor and unemployed. The New Deal’s most tangible legacy may be the Civilian Conservation Corps’s network of parks, national forests, scenic roadways, and picnic shelters that still mark the country’s landscape. CCC enrollees, most of them unmarried young men, lived in camps run by the Army and worked hard for wages (most of which they had to send home to their families) to preserve America’s natural treasures.

In The New Deal’s Forest Army, Benjamin F. Alexander chronicles how the corps came about, the process applicants went through to get in, and what jobs they actually did. He also explains how the camps and the work sites were run, how enrollees spent their leisure time, and how World War II brought the CCC to its end. Connecting the story of the CCC with the Roosevelt administration’s larger initiatives, Alexander describes how FDR’s policies constituted a mixed blessing for African Americans who, even while singled out for harsh treatment, benefited enough from the New Deal to become an increasingly strong part of the electorate behind the Democratic Party.

The CCC was the only large-scale employment program whose existence FDR foreshadowed in speeches during the 1932 campaign—and the dearest to his heart throughout the decade that it lasted. Alexander reveals how the work itself left a lasting imprint on the country’s terrain as the enrollees planted trees, fought forest fires, landscaped public parks, restored historic battlegrounds, and constructed dams and terraces to prevent floods. A uniquely detailed exploration of life in the CCC, The New Deal’s Forest Army compellingly demonstrates how one New Deal program changed America and gave birth to both contemporary forestry and the modern environmental movement.
Learn more about The New Deal's Forest Army at the Johns Hopkins University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: The New Deal's Forest Army.

--Marshal Zeringue

Brian E. Crim's "Our Germans, the movie"

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Our Germans: Project Paperclip and the National Security State by Brian E. Crim.

The entry begins:
The incomparable Wernher von Braun, Disney legend and skilled self-promoter, had two movies made about him while he was still alive. One was a glowing biopic called I Aim for the Stars (1960) starring Curd Jürgens. The film completely sanitized the SS Major’s past and portrayed von Braun as the great idealist the Cold War national security state hoped the American public would accept. Humorist Mort Sahl did not buy it and recommended a more appropriate title, I Aim for the Stars ... but sometimes I hit London. East German cinema produced a more negative portrayal of “America’s rocket baron” entitled Die gefrorene Blitze (Frozen Lightning) (1967), which was actually more accurate despite its obvious propagandizing. My ideal Wernher von Braun is Michael...[read on]
Learn more about Our Germans at the Johns Hopkins University Press website.

My Book, The Movie: Our Germans.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top books celebrating influential women in history

At B&N Reads Jen Harper tagged ten top "historical fiction books about some awesome women through the ages," including:
Circling the Sun, by Paula McLain

From the author of The Paris Wife comes another riveting read for historical fiction lovers. Paula McLain has crafted a compelling story about real-life female aviator and author Beryl Markham in 1920s colonial Kenya. Following an unconventional upbringing by her father and the native tribe who share his estate, the bold and fearless Beryl goes on to become a horse trainer—during a time when there were no female horse trainers—and later the first professional female pilot and a record-setting flyer. Beryl also finds herself tangled in a love triangle with hunter Denys Finch Hatton and writer Karen Blixen in this rich and passionate tale.
Read about another entry on the list.

Circling the Sun is among Nicole Hill's six fictional femmes who fatally fractured the glass ceiling.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 22, 2018

What is Jane Lindskold reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Jane Lindskold, author of Asphodel.

Her entry begins:
Lately, my reading has been mostly fiction. I just finished Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard by Lawrence M. Schoen. Although this book has been frequently compared both to Dune (because of the element precognition plays in the plot) and to Brin’s “Uplift” books (because most of the characters are “uplifted” animals), I felt that Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard has a strong identity of its own. The “Fant” and their culture are well-designed, and the aversion felt for them by the “furred” races is later revealed to have deep and sinister roots. I would definitely...[read on]
About Asphodel, from the author:
Prison or Refuge?

Nameless in a doorless tower graced with seven windows, she is imprisoned. Who is her jailer? What is her crime?

After she discovers the secret of the seven windows, the nameless one, accompanied by two impossible companions, sets forth on fantastical journeys of exploration. But, for the nameless one, learning her name may not be a welcome revelation, and the identity of her jailer will rock the foundations of a tower that has come to be as much refuge as prison.
Visit Jane Lindskold's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Thirteen Orphans.

The Page 69 Test: Five Odd Honors.

The Page 69 Test: Artemis Awakening.

The Page 69 Test: Artemis Invaded.

My Book, The Movie: Artemis Invaded.

Writers Read: Jane Lindskold.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Meg Gardiner's "Into the Black Nowhere"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Into the Black Nowhere: An UNSUB Novel by Meg Gardiner.

About the book, from the publisher:
In this exhilarating thriller inspired by real-life serial killer Ted Bundy, FBI profiler Caitlin Hendrix faces off against a charming, merciless serial killer.

In southern Texas, on Saturday nights, women are disappearing. One vanishes from a movie theater. Another is ripped from her car at a stoplight. Another vanishes from her home while checking on her baby. Rookie FBI agent Caitlin Hendrix, newly assigned to the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, fears that a serial killer is roaming the dark roads outside Austin.

Caitlin and the FBI’s serial crime unit discover the first victim’s body in the woods. She’s laid out in a bloodstained, white baby-doll nightgown. A second victim in a white nightie lies deeper in the forest’s darkness. Both bodies are surrounded by Polaroid photos, stuck in the earth like headstones. Each photo pictures a woman in a white negligee, wrists slashed, suicide-style–posed like Snow White awaiting her prince’s kiss.

To track the UNSUB, Caitlin must get inside his mind. How is he selecting these women? Working with a legendary FBI profiler, Caitlin searches for a homology–that elusive point where character and action come together. She profiles a confident, meticulous killer who convinces his victims to lower their guard until he can overpower and take them in plain sight. He then reduces them to objects in a twisted fantasy–dolls for him to possess, control, and ultimately destroy. Caitlin’s profile leads the FBI to focus on one man: a charismatic, successful professional who easily gains people’s trust. But with only circumstantial evidence linking him to the murders, the police allow him to escape. As Saturday night approaches, Caitlin and the FBI enter a desperate game of cat and mouse, racing to capture the cunning predator before he claims more victims.
Learn more about the book and author at Meg Gardiner's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

The Page 69 Test: The Dirty Secrets Club.

The Page 69 Test: The Memory Collector.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Evan Delaney series.

The Page 69 Test: The Liar's Lullaby.

My Book, The Movie: Meg Gardiner's Jo Beckett series.

The Page 69 Test: The Nightmare Thief.

The Page 69 Test: Ransom River.

The Page 69 Test: The Shadow Tracer.

The Page 69 Test: Phantom Instinct.

The Page 69 Test: UNSUB.

The Page 69 Test: Into the Black Nowhere.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Sam Rosenfeld's "The Polarizers"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era by Sam Rosenfeld.

About the book, from the publisher:
Even in this most partisan and dysfunctional of eras, we can all agree on one thing: Washington is broken. Politicians take increasingly inflexible and extreme positions, leading to gridlock, partisan warfare, and the sense that our seats of government are nothing but cesspools of hypocrisy, childishness, and waste. The shocking reality, though, is that modern polarization was a deliberate project carried out by Democratic and Republican activists.

In The Polarizers, Sam Rosenfeld details why bipartisanship was seen as a problem in the postwar period and how polarization was then cast as the solution. Republicans and Democrats feared that they were becoming too similar, and that a mushy consensus imperiled their agendas and even American democracy itself. Thus began a deliberate move to match ideology with party label—with the toxic results we now endure. Rosenfeld reveals the specific politicians, intellectuals, and operatives who worked together to heighten partisan discord, showing that our system today is not (solely) a product of gradual structural shifts but of deliberate actions motivated by specific agendas. Rosenfeld reveals that the story of Washington’s transformation is both significantly institutional and driven by grassroots influences on both the left and the right.

The Polarizers brilliantly challenges and overturns our conventional narrative about partisanship, but perhaps most importantly, it points us toward a new consensus: if we deliberately created today’s dysfunctional environment, we can deliberately change it.
Visit Sam Rosenfeld's website.

The Page 99 Test: The Polarizers.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top ten books about cheating

Jamie Quatro's debut novel is Fire Sermon. One of the author's ten top books about cheating, as shared with the Guardian:
The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante (2002)

I read this on vacation one summer, in a single sitting, paralysed with the exquisite literary sickness that comes from the combination of aesthetic appreciation on the one hand, and recognition of oneself on the other. An account of a woman’s mental unravelling after her husband leaves her for a much younger woman, the book’s power is in its fearless, closeup details (I can’t think of a more painful animal death scene) and in the ways the narrative subtly implicates the reader: given a certain set of horrific circumstances, I, too, might be capable of this psychic fury.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Joanne Serling's "Good Neighbors," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Good Neighbors by Joanne Serling.

The entry begins:
Good Neighbors explores the world of four suburban families who consider themselves “like family,” yet know very little about one another. When one of the couples, Paige and Gene Edwards, adopts a four-year-old girl from Russia, the group’s morality and loyalty are soon called into question. Are the Edwards unkind to their new daughter? Or is she a difficult child with hidden destructive tendencies?

The story is told in the first person by neighbor Nicole Westerhof, an insightful observer who is nonetheless insecure and highly anxious. She continually waffles about whether the Edwards deserve her friendship, or her suspicion. I have always considered Amanda Peet the perfect actor to play Nicole; she has incredible emotional range and can appear both likeable and emotionally unsteady, two essential qualities for this role. I’d love to see Peter...[read on]
Visit Joanne Serling's website.

Writers Read: Joanne Serling.

My Book, The Movie: Good Neighbors.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Geoff Herbach reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Geoff Herbach, author of Hooper.

His entry begins:
I usually read three books at a time (actually, listen to one, read one e-book, and read one in paper). Right now I'm listening to Hannah Tinti's The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. I love crime books and this is a really cool one. The life of Samuel's daughter, Loo, is opened up through these series of stories about the different bullet scars on her father's body. It's beautifully written and...[read on]
About Hooper, from the publisher:
From Geoff Herbach, the critically acclaimed author of the Stupid Fast series, comes a compelling new YA novel about basketball, prejudice, privilege, and family, perfect for fans of Jordan Sonnenblick, Andrew Smith, and Matt de la Peña.

For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam’s basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother in Minnesota. When he’s tapped to play on a select AAU team along with some of the best players in the state, it just confirms that basketball is his ticket to the good life: to new friendships, to the girl of his dreams, to a better future.

But life is more complicated off the court. When an incident with the police threatens to break apart the bonds Adam’s finally formed after a lifetime of struggle, he must make an impossible choice between his new family and the sport that’s given him everything.
Visit Geoff Herbach's website.

Writers Read: Geoff Herbach.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Rachel Lyon's "Self-Portrait with Boy"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Self-Portrait with Boy: A Novel by Rachel Lyon.

About the book, from the publisher:
A compulsively readable and electrifying debut about an ambitious young female artist who accidentally photographs a boy falling to his death—an image that could jumpstart her career, but would also devastate her most intimate friendship.

Lu Rile is a relentlessly focused young photographer struggling to make ends meet. Working three jobs, responsible for her aging father, and worrying that the crumbling warehouse she lives in is being sold to developers, she is at a point of desperation. One day, in the background of a self-portrait, Lu accidentally captures on film a boy falling past her window to his death. The photograph turns out to be startlingly gorgeous, the best work of art she’s ever made. It’s an image that could change her life…if she lets it.

But the decision to show the photograph is not easy. The boy is her neighbors’ son, and the tragedy brings all the building’s residents together. It especially unites Lu with his beautiful grieving mother, Kate. As the two forge an intense bond based on sympathy, loneliness, and budding attraction, Lu feels increasingly unsettled and guilty, torn between equally fierce desires: to use the photograph to advance her career, and to protect a woman she has come to love.

Set in early 90s Brooklyn on the brink of gentrification, Self-Portrait with Boy is a provocative commentary about the emotional dues that must be paid on the road to success, a powerful exploration of the complex terrain of female friendship, and a brilliant debut from novelist Rachel Lyon.
Visit Rachel Lyon's website.

The Page 69 Test: Self-Portrait with Boy.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top Vancouver crime novels

Sam Wiebe's novel Last of the Independents won the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize and an Arthur Ellis Award, and was nominated for a Shamus award. His second novel, Invisible Dead, was published by Random House Canada and Quercus USA. His short stories have appeared in Thuglit, Spinetingler, and subTerrain, and he was the 2016 Vancouver Public Library Writer in Residence. He lives in Vancouver.

At at The Strand Magazine he tagged ten "books that reflect some essential aspects of both Vancouver and crime fiction," including:
Eyes Like Mine [US title: The Lost Ones] by Sheena Kamal is a thriller that follows Nora Watts, a down-on-her-luck legal assistant who gave up her daughter for adoption years ago. When the adoptive parents tell her that her daughter has disappeared, Nora can’t help but involve herself in the case. Kamal’s strong-willed, funny, ass-kicking protagonist is the book’s greatest asset. Fans of thrillers will devour this, but there are also some great subtle character moments.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Lost Ones.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Elizabeth Crook's "The Which Way Tree," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook.

The entry begins:
A very early draft of The Which Way Tree found its way to Robert Duvall and I was flabbergasted when he offered to buy the option. I was so nervous the first time I talked to him on the phone I had to take beta blockers to get through it. We conferred about who should write the script, and I suggested my good friend Stephen Harrigan, who already knew the story since he had previously helped me brainstorm through the plot. He’s an award-winning screenwriter as well as journalist and novelist, so I knew he’d be the best at this.

But as it turned out, Steve was busy and said he could only take part if I would co-write the script with him. I didn’t have any experience with scripts, having never written one, and in fact having never read one, so I had a steep learning curve in front of me. But it was fun. Bob Duvall is terrific. We finished each draft, sent it to him and his partners, and...[read on]
Visit Elizabeth Crook's website.

The Page 69 Test: Monday, Monday.

The Page 69 Test: The Which Way Tree.

My Book, The Movie: The Which Way Tree.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Steven Parlato reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Steven Parlato, author of The Precious Dreadful.

His entry begins:
As a college English professor, much of my reading focuses on student work in my four classes each semester. Thousands of pages range from, well, awful, to sometimes remarkable in form and content. Reading in support of students becoming deeper thinkers and polished communicators is both exhausting and inspirational.

During the academic year, much of my reading is also rooted in the classroom, from essays by the likes of Nicholas Kristof to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. That play’s a particular favorite; I've played both the fickle lover, Demetrius, and that famous ass, Nick Bottom. I love introducing it to students, winning them over to Shakespeare.

A new addition to my 200-level lit class, Studies in Young Adult Fiction, was Angie Thomas's excellent The Hate U Give. Its focus on the murder of Blacks by police was handled with an unflinching truth and sense of fairness that impressed. Thomas spotlighted our...[read on]
About The Precious Dreadful, from the publisher:
Combining romance and humor with elements of the paranormal, this is a profound novel about one teenage girl’s decision to redefine her life in the wake of supernatural events.

Teddi Alder is just trying to figure out her life.

When she joins SUMMERTEENS, a library writing group, she’s only looking to keep herself busy, not go digging around in her subconscious. But as she writes, disturbing memories of her lost childhood friend Corey bubble to the surface, and Teddi begins to question everything: her friendship with her BFF Willa, how much her mom really knows, and even her own memories. Teddi fears she’s losing her grip on reality—as evidenced by that mysterious ghost-girl who emerges from the park pool one night, the one who won’t leave Teddi alone. To top it all off, she finds herself juggling two guys with potential, a quirky new boy named Joy and her handsome barista crush Aidan, who has some issues of his own.

As the summer unfolds, Teddi is determined to get to the bottom of everything—her feelings, the mysterious ghost-girl, and the memories of Corey that refuse to be ignored.
Visit Steven Parlato's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Precious Dreadful.

Writers Read: Steven Parlato.

--Marshal Zeringue

Seven YA novels on the journey to college from high school

At the BN Teen blog, Madeline Moore tagged seven YA novels that take on the journey from high school to college, including:
American Panda, by Gloria Chao

Mei is a seventeen-year-old Asian American girl attending MIT, majoring in biology, and on track to become a highly paid doctor. By her parents’ standard she’s successful, and that means she should be happy—right? Except Mei secretly prefers ballet slippers to bedpans, and dreams of owning a dance studio, not a doctorate. So it seems she must make a choice: her parent’s happiness, or her own. American Panda gives me feels similar to those I imagine I’d experience on hugging a panda: heartfelt and humorous. It’s a stunning exploration of identity, as Mei’s experiences her first year of independence in the modern world while trying to live a life defined by respect for ancient Taiwanese tradition. Throughout the novel Mei walks a line between wanting to be her parent’s perfect daughter and having the heart to fight for her right to be happy. Chao’s story of accepting and loving who you are is incredibly important, and I hope many other teens will find solace and strength in Mei.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: American Panda.

--Marshal Zeringue