Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Pg. 69: Beth Morrey's "The Love Story of Missy Carmichael"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey.

About the book, from the publisher:
The world has changed around seventy-nine-year-old librarian Millicent Carmichael, aka Missy. Though quick to admit that she often found her roles as a housewife and mother less than satisfying, Missy once led a bustling life driven by two children, an accomplished and celebrated husband, and a Classics degree from Cambridge. Now her husband is gone, her daughter is estranged after a shattering argument, and her son has moved to his wife’s native Australia, taking Missy’s beloved only grandchild half-a-world away. She spends her days sipping sherry, avoiding people, and rattling around in her oversized, under-decorated house waiting for…what exactly?

The last thing Missy expects is for two perfect strangers and one spirited dog named Bob to break through her prickly exterior and show Missy just how much love she still has to give. In short order, Missy finds herself in the jarring embrace of an eclectic community that simply won’t take no for an answer–including a rambunctious mutt-on-loan whose unconditional love gives Missy a reason to re-enter the world one muddy paw print at a time.

Filled with wry laughter and deep insights, The Love Story of Missy Carmichael is a coming-of-old story that shows us it’s never too late to forgive yourself and, just as important, it’s never too late to love.
Visit Beth Morrey's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Love Story of Missy Carmichael.

--Marshal Zeringue

What is Amy Engel reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Amy Engel, author of The Familiar Dark: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
I’ve always been a big reader, but the pandemic and subsequent quarantine has given me even more time to dive into books. I recently finished Long Bright River by Liz Moore. I’m drawn to stories with a strong sense of place and this book, set in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, oozes with authentic atmosphere. Long Bright River is billed as a mystery, and the main character’s search for both a serial killer and her missing sister does propel the story forward. But at its heart this is a book about family, poverty, and the life-altering impact of...[read on]
About The Familiar Dark, from the publisher:
Sometimes the answers are worse than the questions. Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Set in the poorest part of the Missouri Ozarks, in a small town with big secrets, The Familiar Dark opens with a murder. Eve Taggert, desperate with grief over losing her daughter, takes it upon herself to find out the truth about what happened. Eve is no stranger to the dark side of life, having been raised by a hard-edged mother whose lessons Eve tried not to pass on to her own daughter. But Eve may need her mother’s cruel brand of strength if she’s going to face the reality about her daughter’s death and about her own true nature. Her quest for justice takes her from the seedy underbelly of town to the quiet woods and, most frighteningly, back to her mother’s trailer for a final lesson.

The Familiar Dark is a story about the bonds of family—women doing the best they can for their daughters in dire circumstances—as well as a story about how even the darkest and most terrifying of places can provide the comfort of home.
Visit Amy Engel's website.

Writers Read: Amy Engel.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Vincent Pecora's "Land and Literature in a Cosmopolitan Age"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Land and Literature in a Cosmopolitan Age by Vincent P. Pecora.

About the book, from the publisher:
European culture after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 was no stranger to ancient beliefs in an organic, religiously sanctioned, and aesthetically pleasing relationship to the land. The many resonances of this relationship form a more or less coherent whole, in which the supposed cosmopolitanism of the modern age is belied by a deep commitment to regional, nationalist, and civilizational attachments, including a justifying theological armature, much of which is still with us today. This volume untangles the meaning of the vital geographies of the period, including how they shaped its literature and intellectual life.
Learn more about Land and Literature in a Cosmopolitan Age at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Land and Literature in a Cosmopolitan Age.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six of the best books for bookish girls

Janice Hadlow worked at the BBC for more than two decades, and for ten of those years she ran BBC Two and BBC Four, two of the broadcaster’s major television channels. She was educated at Swanley School in Kent and graduated with a first class degree in history from King’s college, London. She is the author of A Royal Experiment, a biography of Great Britain's King George III. She currently lives in Edinburgh. The Other Bennet Sister is her first novel.

At LitHub, Hadlow recommended a reading list for bookish girls. One title on the list:
Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies

Christine was probably the first professional female writer in Europe, supporting herself and her family entirely by her pen. She worked in medieval France as a poet, biographer, and critic. She began by writing verse for wealthy patrons, but soon adopted a far bolder attitude, attacking contemporary portrayals of women as weak, stupid, and untrustworthy. In The Book of the City of Ladies, she imagines a town entirely run by women, with all the great questions of life addressed from a feminine point of view. She always had herself pictured in the manuscripts of her works with a pen in her hand; and proudly asserted her authorship of everything she wrote, beginning her autobiography with the ringing declaration, “I, Christine.” Having striven so hard to make her voice heard, she was determined that her name would always be attached to it; and was neither afraid nor embarrassed to claim her achievements as her own.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, April 06, 2020

Pg. 69: Ellen Meeropol's "Her Sister's Tattoo"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Her Sister's Tattoo by Ellen Meeropol.

About the book, from the publisher:
In August 1968, Rosa and Esther Cohen march through downtown Detroit protesting the war in Vietnam. The march is peaceful, but when a bloodied teenager describes a battle with mounted police a few blocks away, the sisters hurry to offer assistance. Trying to stop the violence, they instead intensify it. An officer is seriously injured. Rosa and Esther are arrested and charged with conspiracy and attempted murder.

For Rosa, their arrest offers an opportunity to make a political statement, another way to protest an unacceptable war. Esther wants to avoid prison and stay home with her infant daughter, Molly; the only way to do that is to accept a plea bargain and testify against Rosa at trial. The consequences of these actions lead one sister underground and to prison, the other to leave town to bury her past in a new life. Molly grows up unaware of her family history until she meets Rosa's daughter, her cousin Emma, at summer camp.

Told from multiple points of view and through the sisters' never-mailed letters, and bracketed by the Vietnam and Iraq wars, HER SISTER'S TATTOO explores the thorny intersection of sibling loyalty and clashing political decisions.
Visit Ellen Meeropol's website.

See Meeropol's list of five political novels to change the world.

The Page 69 Test: Kinship of Clover.

Writers Read: Ellen Meeropol (April 2017).

The Page 69 Test: Her Sister's Tattoo.

--Marshal Zeringue

Serena Burdick's "The Girls with No Names," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick.

The entry begins:
The Girls with No Names is told from three, first person perspectives, Effie, Mable and Jeanne.

In the role of Effie Tildon, a thirteen-year-old girl with an incurable heart condition, I’d cast Millie Bobbie Brown who has a perfect mix of innocence and strength. She’s a solid actor who could pull off this off well.

In the role of Mable Winter, a feisty, hardened sixteen-year-old who’s gone through sever trauma and loss...[read on]
Visit Serena Burdick's website.

My Book, The Movie: The Girls with No Names.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Nancy Campbell's "OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose by Nancy D. Campbell.

About the book, from the publisher:
The history of an unnatural disaster—drug overdose—and the emergence of naloxone as a social and technological solution.

For years, drug overdose was unmentionable in polite society. OD was understood to be something that took place in dark alleys—an ugly death awaiting social deviants—neither scientifically nor clinically interesting. But over the last several years, overdose prevention has become the unlikely object of a social movement, powered by the miracle drug naloxone. In OD, Nancy Campbell charts the emergence of naloxone as a technological fix for overdose and describes the remaking of overdose into an experience recognized as common, predictable, patterned—and, above all, preventable. Naloxone, which made resuscitation, rescue, and “reversal” after an overdose possible, became a tool for shifting law, policy, clinical medicine, and science toward harm reduction. Liberated from emergency room protocols and distributed in take-home kits to non-medical professionals, it also became a tool of empowerment.

After recounting the prehistory of naloxone—the early treatment of OD as a problem of poisoning, the development of nalorphine (naloxone's predecessor), the idea of “reanimatology”—Campbell describes how naloxone emerged as a tool of harm reduction. She reports on naloxone use in far-flung locations that include post-Thatcherite Britain, rural New Mexico, and cities and towns in Massachusetts. Drawing on interviews with approximately sixty advocates, drug users, former users, friends, families, witnesses, clinicians, and scientists—whom she calls the “protagonists” of her story—Campbell tells a story of saving lives amid the complex, difficult conditions of an unfolding unnatural disaster.
Learn more about OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose at the MIT Press website.

The Page 99 Test: OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten titles besides "To Kill a Mockingbird" that tackle racial injustice

The PBS NewsHour asked educators from different parts of the country to share their picks for books besides To Kill a Mockingbird that tackle racial injustice. One title on the list:
Internment by Samira Ahmed

I ask that “Internment” by Samira Ahmed receive its due for understanding the extreme dynamics of race in America from a Muslim perspective. It connects the detainment of immigrants at the borders now, the rise of ICE agents, the former internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, the separation of families, which still doesn’t compare to what occurred during slavery, and the horrific manner in which Muslims are treated worldwide (i.e. the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand months ago).
— Jean Darnell
Read about the another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, April 05, 2020

What is Jack Heath reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Jack Heath, author of The Truth App (Book #1 of Liars).

His entry begins:
I'm reading Either Side of Midnight by Ben Stevenson. It's a crime novel in which a late night TV show host kills himself live on air, and his twin brother enlists the help of a disgraced documentary filmmaker to prove that the host was somehow murdered.

The book...[read on]
About The Truth App, from the publisher:
In this pulse-pounding techno-thriller, Jack Heath creates a world where everyone knows when you lie—and telling the truth doesn’t always set you free.

Jarli likes to think he’s an honest guy. He’s a big believer in telling the truth, no matter what. So he develops The Truth App, a mobile application that listens in on your conversations and can tell when someone’s lying. Then his app goes viral and, suddenly, Jarli is an internet sensation.

But, soon enough, Jarli realizes that being famous can be dangerous—especially when you’ve just exposed everyone’s deepest, darkest secrets. Now his entire town is out to get him; kids at school, teachers, the police, even his own family.

Also, an underground network of criminals has just added Jarli to their hit list. Sometimes, exposing the truth comes with a price…
Visit Jack Heath's website.

Writers Read: Jack Heath.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Nicholas Daly's "Ruritania"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Ruritania: A Cultural History, from The Prisoner of Zenda to the Princess Diaries by Nicholas Daly.

About the book, from the publisher:
This is a book about the long cultural shadow cast by a single bestselling novel, Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), which introduced Ruritania, a colourful pocket kingdom. In this swashbuckling tale, Englishman Rudolf Rassendyll impersonates the king of Ruritania to foil a coup, but faces a dilemma when he falls for the lovely Princess Flavia. Hope's novel inspired stage and screen adaptations, place names, and even a board game, but it also launched a whole new subgenre, the "Ruritanian romance". The new form offered swordplay, royal romance, and splendid uniforms and gowns in such settings as Alasia, Balaria, and Cadonia.

This study explores both the original appeal of The Prisoner of Zenda, and the extraordinary longevity and adaptability of the Ruritanian formula, which, it is argued, has been rooted in a lingering fascination with royalty, and the pocket kingdom's capacity to hold a looking glass up to Britain and later the United States. Individual chapters look at Hope's novel and its stage and film adaptations; at the forgotten American versions of Ruritania; at the chocolate-box principalities of the musical stage; at Cold War reworkings of the formula; and at Ruritania's recent reappearance in young adult fiction and made-for-television Christmas movies. The adventures of Ruritania have involved a diverse list of contributors, including John Buchan, P.G Wodehouse, Agatha Christie, Vladimir Nabokov, and Ian Fleming among the writers; Sigmund Romberg and Ivor Novello among the composers; Erich Von Stroheim and David O. Selznick among the film-makers; and Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Peter Ustinov, Peter Sellers, and Anne Hathaway among the performers.
Follow Nick Daly on Twitter, and read more about Ruritania: A Cultural History.

The Page 99 Test: Ruritania: A Cultural History.

--Marshal Zeringue

Nine unabashed books about bodies

Cai Emmons is the author of the novels His Mother’s Son (Harcourt), The Stylist (HarperCollins), and Weather Woman (Red Hen Press). A sequel to Weather Woman, called Sinking Islands, is forthcoming.

Her latest book is the story collection, Vanishing, winner of the 2018 Leapfrog Fiction Contest.

At LitHub, Emmons tagged nine books that "are notable for the frank eye they bring to physical pleasure and pain, and the overall messiness of human bodies." One title on the list:
Mary Gaitskill, Bad Behavior

Mary Gaitskill’s short story collection, Bad Behavior, contains nine stories that feature lonely characters living in New York, working class and professional people, many of whom try to sedate themselves with drugs or sadomasochistic sex. Refusing the sensational, Gaitskill writes matter-of-factly, using plainspoken language to describe the sometimes shocking things her characters do to make their lonely lives more palatable. In the story “Romantic Weekend” she writes: “Queasily, he stripped off her clothes and put their bodies in a viable position. He fastened his teeth on her breast and bit her. She made a surprised noise and her body stiffened. He bit her again, harder. She screamed. He wanted to draw blood. Her screams were short and stifled. He could tell that she was trying to like being bitten, but that she did not. He gnawed her breast. She screamed sharply. They screwed. The broke apart and regarded each other warily.” Gaitskill’s objective, almost deadpan description of such scenes demands that the reader, too, does not turn away.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Pg. 69: Ed Ruggero's "Blame the Dead"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Blame the Dead by Ed Ruggero.

About the book, from the publisher:
Ed Ruggero's Blame the Dead is the thrilling start of an action-packed and timely World War II series by a former Army Officer for fans of compelling historical fiction.

Set against the heroism and heartbreak of World War II, former Army officer Ed Ruggero brilliantly captures, with grace and authenticity, the evocative and timeless stories of ordinary people swept up in extraordinary times.

Sicily, 1943. Eddie Harkins, former Philadelphia beat cop turned Military Police lieutenant, reluctantly finds himself first at the scene of a murder at the US Army’s 11th Field Hospital. There the nurses contend with heat, dirt, short-handed staffs, the threat of German counterattack, an ever-present flood of horribly wounded GIs, and the threat of assault by one of their own—at least until someone shoots Dr. Myers Stephenson in the head.

With help from nurse Kathleen Donnelly, once a childhood friend and now perhaps something more, it soon becomes clear to Harkins that the unit is rotten to its core. As the battle lines push forward, Harkins is running out of time to find one killer before he can strike again.
Visit Ed Ruggero's website.

Writers Read: Ed Ruggero.

My Book, The Movie: Blame the Dead.

The Page 69 Test: Blame the Dead.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Eugenia Lean's "Vernacular Industrialism in China"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Vernacular Industrialism in China: Local Innovation and Translated Technologies in the Making of a Cosmetics Empire, 1900–1940 by Eugenia Lean.

About the book, from the publisher:
In early twentieth-century China, Chen Diexian (1879–1940) was a maverick entrepreneur—at once a prolific man of letters and captain of industry, a magazine editor and cosmetics magnate. He tinkered with chemistry in his private studio, used local cuttlefish to source magnesium carbonate, and published manufacturing tips in how-to columns. In a rapidly changing society, Chen copied foreign technologies and translated manufacturing processes from abroad to produce adaptations of global commodities that bested foreign brands. Engaging in the worlds of journalism, industry, and commerce, he drew on literati practices associated with late-imperial elites but deployed them in novel ways within a culture of educated tinkering that generated industrial innovation.

Through the lens of Chen’s career, Eugenia Lean explores how unlikely individuals devised unconventional, homegrown approaches to industry and science in early twentieth-century China. She contends that Chen’s activities exemplify “vernacular industrialism,” the pursuit of industry and science outside of conventional venues, often involving ad hoc forms of knowledge and material work. Lean shows how vernacular industrialists accessed worldwide circuits of law and science and experimented with local and global processes of manufacturing to navigate, innovate, and compete in global capitalism. In doing so, they presaged the approach that has helped fuel China’s economic ascent in the twenty-first century. Rather than conventional narratives that depict China as belatedly borrowing from Western technology, Vernacular Industrialism in China offers a new understanding of industrialization, going beyond material factors to show the central role of culture and knowledge production in technological and industrial change.
Visit Eugenia Lean's website.

The Page 99 Test: Vernacular Industrialism in China.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thirteen top pandemic novels

The staff at Publishers Weekly tagged thirteen essential pandemic novels, including:
A Song for a New Day
Sarah Pinsker

Pinsker's novel is set in a post-pandemic U.S. where large gatherings are banned and the only way to experience live music is virtually. Kinda like now. But scrappy groups of musicians and fans get together in secret, in warehouses and basements and barns, bonding and building community. Reading the book now is a little unsettling since we’re in the before and the during, but it gives hope for what might come after.
Read about another entry on the list.

A Song for a New Day is among Mike Chen's five top novels about finding hope at the end of the world.

The Page 69 Test: A Song for a New Day.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, April 03, 2020

What is Clarissa Goenawan reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Clarissa Goenawan, author of The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida.

Her entry begins:
The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao.

The novel opens with Gwendolyn, still in comma, trying to retrace her memories. She is the sole survivor of a poisoning incident that wiped up her entire family and their circle of friends, some of the wealthiest Chinese Indonesian families. From the beginning, we know that the culprit was none other than her sister, Estella.

With such an impactful opening, I knew I couldn’t miss this book. Rather than a thriller, I would say it’s more of a family drama. The story itself is page-turning and Tiffany writes well, but what touched me the most is...[read on]
About The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida, from the publisher:
From the critically acclaimed author of Rainbirds comes a novel of tragedy and dark histories set in Japan.

University sophomore Miwako Sumida has hanged herself, leaving those closest to her reeling. In the months before her suicide, she was hiding away in a remote mountainside village, but what, or whom, was she running from?

Ryusei, a fellow student at Waseda who harbored unrequited feelings for Miwako, begs her best friend Chie to bring him to the remote village where she spent her final days. While they are away, his older sister, Fumi, who took Miwako on as an apprentice in her art studio, receives an unexpected guest at her apartment in Tokyo, distracting her from her fear that Miwako’s death may ruin what is left of her brother’s life.

Expanding on the beautifully crafted world of Rainbirds, Clarissa Goenawan gradually pierces through a young woman’s careful façade, unmasking her most painful secrets.
Visit Clarissa Goenawan's website.

Writers Read: Clarissa Goenawan.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Walker Robins's "Between Dixie and Zion"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Between Dixie and Zion: Southern Baptists and Palestine before Israel by Walker Robins.

About the book, from the publisher:
Explores the roots of evangelical Christian support for Israel through an examination of the Southern Baptist Convention

One week after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) repeatedly and overwhelmingly voted down resolutions congratulating fellow Southern Baptist Harry Truman on his role in Israel’s creation. From today’s perspective, this seems like a shocking result. After all, Christians—particularly the white evangelical Protestants who populate the SBC—are now the largest pro-Israel constituency in the United States. How could conservative evangelicals have been so hesitant in celebrating Israel’s birth in 1948? How did they then come to be so supportive?

Between Dixie and Zion: Southern Baptists and Palestine before Israel addresses these issues by exploring how Southern Baptists engaged what was called the “Palestine question”: whether Jews or Arabs would, or should, control the Holy Land after World War I. Walker Robins argues that, in the decades leading up to the creation of Israel, most Southern Baptists did not directly engage the Palestine question politically. Rather, they engaged it indirectly through a variety of encounters with the land, the peoples, and the politics of Palestine. Among the instrumental figures featured by Robins are tourists, foreign missionaries, Arab pastors, converts from Judaism, biblical interpreters, fundamentalist rebels, editorialists, and, of course, even a president. While all revered Palestine as the Holy Land, each approached and encountered the region according to their own priorities.

Nevertheless, Robins shows that Baptists consistently looked at the region through an Orientalist framework, broadly associating the Zionist movement with Western civilization, modernity, and progress over and against the Arabs, whom they viewed as uncivilized, premodern, and backward. He argues that such impressions were not idle—they suggested that the Zionists were bringing to fruition Baptists’ long-expressed hopes that Israel would regain the prosperity it had held in the biblical era, the Holy Land would one day be revived, and biblical prophecies preceding the return of Christ would be fulfilled.
Walker Robins is lecturer in history at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. His work has been published in the Journal of Church and State, Journal of Southern Religion, Baptist History & Heritage Journal, and Israel Studies.

The Page 99 Test: Between Dixie and Zion.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top novels in the complicated literature of daughters & mothers

Amy Engel is the author of The Roanoke Girls and The Book of Ivy series.

A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family.

Engel's new novel is The Familiar Dark.

At CrimeReads she tagged five of her "favorite novels that tackle the complicated bond between mothers and daughters," including:
Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

When I was a criminal defense attorney, I often represented women who stood by as the men in their lives did horrible things to their children. And almost without fail, these mothers made excuses for the men or blamed their own children for the abuse. I saw it over and over again, and it forever changed the way I view mothers. Not all of them are equipped to want the best for their children or to do whatever it takes to protect them. This book explores that idea and the impact it has on a daughter whose mother chooses a man over her. And it contains one of my favorite lines in all of modern fiction:

“…under that biscuit crust exterior she was all butter grief and hunger.”
Read about another entry on the list.

Bastard Out of Carolina is among six books that inspired Kristen Arnett's first novel, Stephen Graham Jones's twenty books as great today as they were in the 90s, and Hanna McGrath's five favorite child narrators.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Pg. 69: Elle Marr's "The Missing Sister"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Missing Sister by Elle Marr.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Paris, her twin sister has vanished, leaving behind three chilling words: Trust no one.

Shayna Darby is finally coming to terms with her parents’ deaths when she’s delivered another blow. The body of her estranged twin sister, Angela—the possible victim of a serial killer—has been pulled from the Seine. Putting what’s left of her life on hold, Shayna heads to Paris. But while cleaning out Angela’s apartment, Shayna makes a startling discovery: a coded message meant for her alone…

Alive. Trust no one.

Taking the warning to heart, Shayna maintains the lie. She makes a positive ID on the remains and works to find out where—and why—her missing sister is hiding. Shayna retraces her sister’s footsteps, and they lead her down into Paris’s underbelly.

As she gets closer to the truth—and to the killer—Shayna’s own life may now be in the balance…
Visit Elle Marr's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Missing Sister.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ed Ruggero's "Blame the Dead," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Blame the Dead by Ed Ruggero.

The entry begins:
Lieutenant Eddie Harkins, the protagonist of Blame the Dead, is a former Philadelphia beat cop investigating the murder of a US Army surgeon in the wake of the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943.

I’d like to see Eddie Harkins played by Lucas Hedges, an Academy Award nominee for Manchester by the Sea. Hedges is about the right age and looks like the kind of All-American kid who—like Eddie Harkins—stepped up to become a citizen soldier when his country needed him. In his role as a closeted gay teen in Ladybird, Hedges’ shows the kind of emotional and moral confusion Harkins exhibits as he investigates the murder of a particularly loathsome victim while dealing with his own personal demons. And because Harkins, a former patrolman, has never been a detective, he is in over his head from the start. Hedges can portray that confusion while still getting across the strong underlying sense of justice that drives Eddie.

Lieutenant Kathleen Donnelly is a US Army nurse who, along with her comrades, contends with heat, dirt, chaos and the constant threat of imminent, violent death as she cares for her patients in a field hospital in war-torn Sicily. Donnelly and Harkins grew up...[read on]
Visit Ed Ruggero's website.

Writers Read: Ed Ruggero.

My Book, The Movie: Blame the Dead.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Isaac Ariail Reed's "Power in Modernity"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Power in Modernity: Agency Relations and the Creative Destruction of the King's Two Bodies by Isaac Ariail Reed.

About the book, from the publisher:
In Power in Modernity, Isaac Ariail Reed proposes a bold new theory of power that describes overlapping networks of delegation and domination. Chains of power and their representation, linking together groups and individuals across time and space, create a vast network of intersecting alliances, subordinations, redistributions, and violent exclusions. Reed traces the common action of “sending someone else to do something for you” as it expands outward into the hierarchies that control territories, persons, artifacts, minds, and money.

He mobilizes this theory to investigate the onset of modernity in the Atlantic world, with a focus on rebellion, revolution, and state formation in colonial North America, the early American Republic, the English Civil War, and French Revolution. Modernity, Reed argues, dismantled the “King’s Two Bodies”—the monarch’s physical body and his ethereal, sacred second body that encompassed the body politic—as a schema of representation for forging power relations. Reed’s account then offers a new understanding of the democratic possibilities and violent exclusions forged in the name of “the people,” as revolutionaries sought new ways to secure delegation, build hierarchy, and attack alterity.

Reconsidering the role of myth in modern politics, Reed proposes to see the creative destruction and eternal recurrence of the King’s Two Bodies as constitutive of the modern attitude, and thus as a new starting point for critical theory. Modernity poses in a new way an eternal human question: what does it mean to be the author of one’s own actions?
Visit Isaac Ariail Reed's website.

The Page 99 Test: Power in Modernity.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top ten Irish gothic novels

Ruth Gilligan is a writer and academic from Dublin now based in the UK. She has published five books to date and was the youngest person ever to top the Irish Bestsellers’ List.

Her most recent novel, The Butchers, is set in 1996 during the BSE crisis and was published in March 2020.

At the Guardian, Gilligan tagged ten “Irish gothic” offerings from which she drew eerie inspiration for The Butchers, including:
Himself by Jess Kidd (2016)

If all this talk of repressed suffering and hidden wounds is sounding a bit grim, Kidd’s debut manages to be both gothic and great craic. Having grown up in a priest-ridden orphanage, handsome devil Mahony now returns to the small Mayo town of his birth to investigate his mother’s untimely death. The cast of local misfits he encounters are a hoot, as are their predecessors, for Kidd brings to (half) life the town’s quirky legions of ghosts; Mahony charms them all, the living and the dead.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

What is Ed Ruggero reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Ed Ruggero, author of Blame the Dead.

His entry begins:
Ernie Pyle in England by Ernie Pyle

The down-home, just-us-folks style that made Pyle one of the most famous correspondents of World War Two is everywhere apparent in this collection of columns, all written before Pearl Harbor, when England stood alone against Hitler. Pyle had a talent for painting pictures of the common people on whose heads the war fell. What strikes me now, reading this alongside more recently written accounts of the period, is how much Pyle sanitized things. In all his months traveling throughout besieged England and especially bomb-smashed London, he seems to meet no one other than plucky, defiant civilians who are uniformly happy to do their part and offer nothing but praise for isolationist America. Yet subsequent studies show that some people took advantage of the chaos to commit crimes, and certainly there had to be some English man or woman, somewhere, who was miffed that America was letting England fight on alone against the Nazis. Pyle was too sophisticated an observer to miss the tawdry side of England during the Blitz, which makes me...[read on]
About Blame the Dead, from the publisher:
Ed Ruggero's Blame the Dead is the thrilling start of an action-packed and timely World War II series by a former Army Officer for fans of compelling historical fiction.

Set against the heroism and heartbreak of World War II, former Army officer Ed Ruggero brilliantly captures, with grace and authenticity, the evocative and timeless stories of ordinary people swept up in extraordinary times.

Sicily, 1943. Eddie Harkins, former Philadelphia beat cop turned Military Police lieutenant, reluctantly finds himself first at the scene of a murder at the US Army’s 11th Field Hospital. There the nurses contend with heat, dirt, short-handed staffs, the threat of German counterattack, an ever-present flood of horribly wounded GIs, and the threat of assault by one of their own—at least until someone shoots Dr. Myers Stephenson in the head.

With help from nurse Kathleen Donnelly, once a childhood friend and now perhaps something more, it soon becomes clear to Harkins that the unit is rotten to its core. As the battle lines push forward, Harkins is running out of time to find one killer before he can strike again.
Visit Ed Ruggero's website.

Writers Read: Ed Ruggero.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Katy Simpson Smith's "The Everlasting"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: The Everlasting by Katy Simpson Smith.

About the book, from the publisher:
From a supremely talented author comes this brilliant and inventive novel, set in Rome in four different centuries, that explores love in all its various incarnations and ponders elemental questions of good and evil, obedience and free will that connect four unforgettable lives.

Spanning two thousand years, The Everlasting follows four characters whose struggles resonate across the centuries: an early Christian child martyr; a medieval monk on crypt duty in a church; a Medici princess of Moorish descent; and a contemporary field biologist conducting an illicit affair.

Outsiders to a city layered and dense with history, this quartet separated by time grapple with the physicality of bodies, the necessity for sacrifice, and the power of love to sustain and challenge faith. Their small rebellions are witnessed and provoked by an omniscient, time-traveling Satan who, though incorporeal, nonetheless suffers from a heart in search of repair.

As their dramas unfold amid the brick, marble, and ghosts of Rome, they each must decide what it means to be good. Twelve-year old Prisca defiles the scrolls of her father’s library. Felix, a holy man, watches his friend’s body decay and is reminded of the first boy he loved passionately. Giulia de’ Medici, a beauty with dark skin and limitless wealth, wants to deliver herself from her unborn child. Tom, an American biologist studying the lives of the smallest creatures, cannot pinpoint when his own marriage began to die. As each of these conflicted people struggles with forces they cannot control, their circumstances raise a profound and timeless question at the heart of faith: What is our duty to each other, and what will God forgive?
Visit Katy Simpson Smith's website.

Writers Read: Katy Simpson Smith.

My Book, The Movie: The Everlasting.

The Page 69 Test: The Everlasting.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Andrea Freeman's "Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice by Andrea Freeman.

About the book, from the publisher:
Born into a tenant farming family in North Carolina in 1946, Mary Louise, Mary Ann, Mary Alice, and Mary Catherine were medical miracles. Annie Mae Fultz, a Black-Cherokee woman who lost her ability to hear and speak in childhood, became the mother of America's first surviving set of identical quadruplets. They were instant celebrities. Their White doctor named them after his own family members. He sold the rights to use the sisters for marketing purposes to the highest-bidding formula company. The girls lived in poverty, while Pet Milk's profits from a previously untapped market of Black families skyrocketed.

Over half a century later, baby formula is a seventy-billion-dollar industry and Black mothers have the lowest breastfeeding rates in the country. Since slavery, legal, political, and societal factors have routinely denied Black women the ability to choose how to feed their babies. In Skimmed, Andrea Freeman tells the riveting story of the Fultz quadruplets while uncovering how feeding America's youngest citizens is awash in social, legal, and cultural inequalities. This book highlights the making of a modern public health crisis, the four extraordinary girls whose stories encapsulate a nationwide injustice, and how we can fight for a healthier future.
Learn more about Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice at the Stanford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Skimmed: Breastfeeding, Race, and Injustice.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten top scary good horror novels

At Bloody Disgusting, Meagan Navarro tagged ten scary good horror novels, including:
The Hunger – Alma Katsu

Everyone is familiar with the ill-fated Donner Party that resorted to cannibalism on the Oregon Trail after a series of mishaps. Katsu takes the well-documented tragedy and gives the historical tale a supernatural horror spin. After introducing a slew of characters in the Donner Party wagon train, the bubbling factions among the group, and a series of early signs of the future derailment, children start to go missing and mutilated bodies of livestock and humans pop up along the way. The group ignores all warning signs of danger, but what is the threat? Is Tamsin Donner truly an evil witch? Are the Native Americans responsible? Or is the land cursed by evil?
Read about another entry on the list.

The Hunger is among Jac Jemc's top ten haunting ghost stories and Mallory O'Meara's top thirteen spine-chilling books written by female authors.

My Book, The Movie: The Hunger.

The Page 69 Test: The Hunger.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Coffee with a canine: Kate O’Shaughnessy & Mo

Featured at Coffee with a Canine: Kate O’Shaughnessy & Mo.

The author, on how she and Mo were united:
We first spotted Mo’s profile on the website of a local rescue, and were immediately taken by her incredible smile. When we reached out to see if we could meet her, we were told that she was actually a part of their international program—and was located in Taiwan! At first we didn’t feel comfortable adopting a dog without meeting them first, but the rescue continued to send us videos of Mo and we fell increasingly in love with her. Finally, we decided to go for it—and picked her up at the San Francisco airport! It was a rough adjustment—she had a ton of trauma in her past, including abuse, abandonment, and the loss of her puppies—but with a lot of love and patience she’s completely bloomed...[read on]
About O’Shaughnessy's new novel The Lonely Heart of Maybelle Lane, from the publisher:
Maybelle Lane is looking for her father, but on the road to Nashville she finds so much more: courage, brains, heart–and true friends.

Eleven-year-old Maybelle Lane collects sounds. She records the Louisiana crickets chirping, Momma strumming her guitar, their broken trailer door squeaking. But the crown jewel of her collection is a sound she didn’t collect herself: an old recording of her daddy’s warm-sunshine laugh, saved on an old phone’s voicemail. It’s the only thing she has of his, and the only thing she knows about him.

Until the day she hears that laugh–his laugh–pouring out of the car radio. Going against Momma’s wishes, Maybelle starts listening to her radio DJ daddy’s new show, drinking in every word like a plant leaning toward the sun. When he announces he’ll be the judge of a singing contest in Nashville, she signs up. What better way to meet than to stand before him and sing with all her heart?

But the road to Nashville is bumpy. Her starch-stiff neighbor Mrs. Boggs offers to drive her in her RV. And a bully of a boy from the trailer park hitches a ride, too. These are not the people May would have chosen to help her, but it turns out they’re searching for things as well. And the journey will mold them into the best kind of family–the kind you choose for yourself.
Visit Kate O’Shaughnessy's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Kate O’Shaughnessy & Mo.

--Marshal Zeringue

Katy Simpson Smith's "The Everlasting," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: The Everlasting by Katy Simpson Smith.

The entry begins:
Ah, the fantasy of seeing words come to life! I don't have strong images of my characters when I write, but let's assume that a director comes calling (one who really gets women; Céline Sciamma, otherwise divine, might be a bit too stark, and Sofia Coppola might be too ethereal, so maybe Greta Gerwig for her sense of humor):

Tom, a biologist, mild-mannered and indecisive and overly vulnerable to romance: Ben Whishaw, Domhnall Gleeson, Tom Hiddleston; is there something about meek nerdiness that only British actors can pull off? All the Americans I know are...[read on]
Visit Katy Simpson Smith's website.

Writers Read: Katy Simpson Smith.

My Book, The Movie: The Everlasting.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: John M. Marzluff's "In Search of Meadowlarks"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: In Search of Meadowlarks: Birds, Farms, and Food in Harmony with the Land by John M. Marzluff.

About the book, from the publisher:
An ornithologist’s personal look at farming practices that finds practical solutions for sustainable food production compatible with bird and wildlife conservation

With predictions of a human population of more than nine billion by the middle of this century and eleven billion by 2100, we stand at a crossroads in our agricultural evolution. In this clear and engaging yet scientifically rigorous book, wildlife biologist John M. Marzluff takes a personal approach to sustainable agriculture.

He travels to farms and ranches across North and Central America, including a Nebraska corn and soybean farm, California vineyards, cattle ranches in Montana, and small sustainable farms in Costa Rica, to understand the unique challenges and solutions to sustainable food production. Agriculture and wildlife can coexist, he argues, if farmers are justly rewarded for conservation; if future technological advancements increase food production and reduce food waste; and if consumers cut back on meat consumption. Beginning with a look backwards at our evolutionary history and concluding with practical solutions for change that will benefit farmers and ranchers, Marzluff provides an accessible and insightful study for the ecologically minded citizen, farmer, rancher, or conservationist.
Learn more about In Search of Meadowlarks at the Yale University Press website.

See: Coffee with a Canine: Colleen and John Marzluff & Reese, Digit and Bellatrix.

The Page 99 Test: Dog Days, Raven Nights.

The Page 99 Test: In the Company of Crows and Ravens.

The Page 99 Test: Gifts of the Crow.

The Page 99 Test: In Search of Meadowlarks.

--Marshal Zeringue

Eight top novels where things disappear

Lincoln Michel is the author of Uiepright Beasts and the co-editor of the forthcoming crime anthology Tiny Crimes.

"The missing person is a classic mystery trope for a good reason," he writes at CrimeReads.
It immediately sets a story in motion while providing for a variety of plot paths. Is the person dead? Kidnapped? Running away? Hiding in plain sight? But people aren’t the only things that disappear in literature. Sometimes it is a vanishing cat or a disappearing novel that gets the story rolling.
One of "eight fantastic and strange novels that each have a unique spin on mysterious disappearances," according to Michel:
Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey

A literary mystery of a different sort, Novey’s first novel, Ways to Disappear, follows a Portuguese translator who flies from Pittsburgh to Brazil to track down a missing author named Beatriz Yagoda. (Novey is an acclaimed translator of several languages.) The fast-paced mystery is mixed with thoughts on writing and translation. It’s a witty and thoughtful book that never loses track of the plot.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 69 Test: Ways to Disappear.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, March 30, 2020

What is Patricia Marcantonio reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Patricia Marcantonio, author of Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace.

Her entry begins:
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

I'm a fan of Margaret Atwood and The Handmaid's Tale so I had to continue the story in The Testaments. Atwood's writing instantly takes you into this brutal world of Gilead. Her female characters are amazing and...[read on]
About Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace, from the publisher:
Heiress and amateur detective Felicity Carrol makes a perilous journey to apprehend a notorious murderer who has terrorized England–and now continues his vicious killing spree across the pond.

Felicity Carrol would rather be doing just about anything other than attending balls or seeking a husband. What she really wants to do is continue her work using the latest forensic methods and her photographic memory to help London police bring murderers to justice, so when her friend, Scotland Yard Inspector Jackson Davies, weak from injury, discovers a murder in a wild mining town in Montana that echoes the terrible crimes in England, Felicity decides to go herself.

In Placer, Montana, her first obstacle is handsome lawman Thomas Pike, who uses his intuition as much as his Colt in keeping law and order in this unruly town. When the murderer strikes again, Felicity begins to suspect Davies is correct: Jack the Ripper has come to America. Felicity sets out to find the killer in a town chock full of secrets, shadows, and suspects, but as the body count rises, this intrepid sleuth faces her most dangerous adversary yet–and discovers that not all killers are as they seem.
Visit Patricia Marcantonio's website.

The Page 69 Test: Felicity Carrol and the Murderous Menace.

Writers Read: Patricia Marcantonio.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 69: Taylor Brown's "Pride of Eden"

Featured at the Page 69 Test: Pride of Eden: A Novel by Taylor Brown.

About the book, from the publisher:
The enthralling new novel from the acclaimed author of Fallen Land, The River of Kings, and Gods of Howl Mountain

Retired racehorse jockey and Vietnam veteran Anse Caulfield rescues exotic big cats, elephants, and other creatures for Little Eden, a wildlife sanctuary near the abandoned ruins of a failed development on the Georgia coast. But when Anse’s prized lion escapes, he becomes obsessed with replacing her—even if the means of rescue aren’t exactly legal.

Anse is joined by Malaya, a former soldier who hunted rhino and elephant poachers in Africa; Lope, whose training in falconry taught him to pilot surveillance drones; and Tyler, a veterinarian who has found a place in Anse’s obsessive world.

From the rhino wars of Africa to the battle for the Baghdad Zoo, from the edges of the Okefenokee Swamp to a remote private island off the Georgia coast, Anse and his team battle an underworld of smugglers, gamblers, breeders, trophy hunters, and others who exploit exotic game.

Pride of Eden is Taylor Brown's brilliant fever dream of a novel: set on the eroding edge of civilization, rooted in dramatic events linked not only with each character’s past, but to the prehistory of America, where great creatures roamed the continent and continue to inhabit our collective imagination.
Visit Taylor Brown's website.

My Book, The Movie: The River of Kings.

The Page 69 Test: The River of Kings.

Writers Read: Taylor Brown.

My Book, The Movie: Pride of Eden.

The Page 69 Test: Pride of Eden.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Elizabeth Kadetsky's "The Memory Eaters"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: The Memory Eaters by Elizabeth Kadetsky.

About the book, from the publisher:
On autopsy, the brain of an Alzheimer’s patient can weigh as little as 30 percent of a healthy brain. The tissue grows porous. It is a sieve through which the past slips.

As her mother loses her grasp on their shared history, Elizabeth Kadetsky sifts through boxes of the snapshots, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and notebooks that remain, hoping to uncover the memories that her mother is actively losing as her dementia progresses. These remnants offer the false yet beguiling suggestion that the past is easy to reconstruct—easy to hold.

At turns lyrical, poignant, and alluring, The Memory Eaters tells the story of a family’s cyclical and intergenerational incidents of trauma, secret-keeping, and forgetting in the context of 1970s and 1980s New York City. Moving from her parents’ divorce to her mother’s career as a Seventh Avenue fashion model and from her sister’s addiction and homelessness to her own experiences with therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder, Kadetsky takes readers on a spiraling trip through memory, consciousness fractured by addiction and dementia, and a compulsion for the past salved by nostalgia.
Learn more about the book and author at Elizabeth Kadetsky's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: The Poison that Purifies You.

The Page 99 Test: The Memory Eaters.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five top books about time

Samantha Harvey is the author of four novels, The Wilderness, All Is Song, Dear Thief and The Western Wind, and of a memoir, The Shapeless Unease. She lives in Bath, UK, and is a Reader in creative writing at Bath Spa University.

At the Guardian, Harvey shared her favorite "books that play with present, past and future," including:
Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. I read it around the same time I read Kant, and it seemed to me a lucid, bright playing out of that subjectivity of time he describes – the way it sticks here and slips there, the way the present is saturated in past and future, the way it contracts and expands. The two protagonists’ experience of a single day is an experience of moments that seem to occupy centuries, and decades that collapse with a single thought. All the while, Big Ben strikes the hour, a metronome that holds all this flux in balance.
Read about another entry on the list.

Mrs. Dalloway also appears on Charlotte Mendelson's list of the best books to help with coming out, Alex Clark's list of the best books set over twenty-hours, Mary Gordon's ten favorite books list, Andrew O'Hagan's six favorite books list, Elizabeth Strout's six favorite books list, Juan Gabriel Vásquez's six favorite books list, Becky Ferreira's list of seven of the best fictional depictions of female friendship, Rebecca Jane Stokes's list of seven favorite fictional shopaholics, Suzette Field's top 10 list of literary party hosts, Jennie Rooney's top ten list of women travelers in fiction, John Mullan's list of ten of the best prime ministers in fiction, and among Michael Cunningham's 5 most important books, Dani Shapiro's ten favorite books, and Kate Walbert's best books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Taylor Brown's "Pride of Eden," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Pride of Eden: A Novel by Taylor Brown.

The entry begins:
For Malaya, the army vet and former anti-poaching ranger who comes to work at Little Eden, the book's exotic animal sanctuary, actors like Michelle Rodriguez, Toni Trucks, and Noomi Rapace come to mind, bringing the requisite attitude, intensity, and all-around "badass-ness" to their roles. However, Malaya is of Filipino descent, so an actor like Vanessa Lachey would be awesome, too!

For Anse Caulfield, the eccentric former racehorse jockey and soldier of fortune who owns Little Eden, I can think of no one better than...[read on]
Visit Taylor Brown's website.

My Book, The Movie: The River of Kings.

The Page 69 Test: The River of Kings.

Writers Read: Taylor Brown.

My Book, The Movie: Pride of Eden.

--Marshal Zeringue

Pg. 99: Paul Cairney & Emily St Denny's "Why Isn’t Government Policy More Preventive?"

Featured at the Page 99 Test: Why Isn't Government Policy More Preventive? by Paul Cairney and Emily St Denny.

About the book, from the publisher:
If 'prevention is better than cure', why isn't policy more preventive? Policymakers only have the ability to pay attention to, and influence, a tiny proportion of their responsibilities, and they engage in a policymaking environment of which they have limited understanding and even less control. This simple insight helps explain the gap between stated policymaker expectations and actual policy outcomes. Why Isn't Government Policy more Preventive? uses these insights to produce new empirical studies of 'wicked' problems with practical lessons. The authors find that the UK and Scottish governments both use a simple idiom - prevention is better than cure - to sell a package of profound changes to policy and policymaking. Taken at face value, this focus on 'prevention' policy seems like an idea 'whose time has come'. Yet, 'prevention' is too ambiguous until governments give it meaning. No government has found a way to turn this vague aim into a set of detailed, consistent, and defendable policies. This book examines what happens when governments make commitments without knowing how to deliver them. It compares their policymaking contexts, roles and responsibilities, policy styles, language, commitments, and outcomes in several cross-cutting policy areas (including health, families, justice, and employability) to make sense of their experiences. The book uses multiple insights from policy theory to help research and analyse the results. The results help policymakers reflect on how to avoid a cycle of optimism and despair when trying to solve problems that their predecessors did not.
Learn more about Why Isn't Government Policy More Preventive? at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Why Isn't Government Policy More Preventive?.

--Marshal Zeringue

Twenty-eight Irish writers' favorite funny books

An author and arts journalist, Declan Burke has previously published crime novels, including Slaughter’s Hound and the award-winning Absolute Zero Cool.

His latest book, The Lammisters, is a comic novel. Although set in Prohibition-era Hollywood, it is influenced by Irish comic novelists such as Laurence Sterne and Flann O’Brien.

Burke's favorite funny novel, as shared with The Irish Times:
“There was nothing more the world stood so much in need of as knights-errant,” claims the ludicrously deluded Don Quixote as he girds his loins to set out on his quest, the better to prove himself worthy of the favours of the local farmgirl that his febrile imagination has anointed the imperishable Dulcinea del Toboso. Donning a rusty suit of armour, and mounting his faithful mount Rocinante, the Knight of the Doleful Countenance rides out into immortality, aided and abetted by the wily menial Sancho Panza.

Quixote is infamous for tilting at windmills, of course, believing them to be giants, and novel is laugh-out-loud funny as the deluded Don’s adventures are recounted in a deadpan tone that cruelly parodies the excesses of the epic mediaeval romances. And yet, as Quixote and Sancho trek across Spain battling a variety of imaginary villains, the Don cuts an ever-more poignant figure, and his fantasy -–that he alone can save the world from itself – something to be cherished and celebrated.

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes is the great comic novel, the fons et origo of every kind of literary humour - slapstick and farce, parody, social satire and surrealism - since it was first published in 1605. Do your funny bone a favour and embark on the greatest of all quests with the self-styled “never-deservedly-enough-extolled knight-errant, Don Quixote de la Mancha.”
Read about another Irish writer's favorite funny novels.

Don Quixote was the second most popular book among prisoners at the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay. It is on Jeff Tweedy's list of six favorite books, Ben Okri's six best books list, Bruce Wagner's six favorite books list, Panayiota Kuvetakis's top ten list of fictional best friends we'd like to have as nonfictional best friends, and John Mullan's lists of ten of the best literary women dressed as men and ten of the best books written in prison.

Paul Auster always returns to Don Quixote; Claire Messud hasn't read it.

--Marshal Zeringue