Saturday, January 20, 2018

"The Unicorn Quest"

New from Bloomsbury USA: The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko.

About the book, from the publisher:

An enchanting, exciting fantasy about a real-world girl searching for her sister in a land full of magic and strange creatures, blending the timeless feel of The Last Unicorn and Wildwood with Frozen's powerful themes of identity, enchantment, and sisterhood.

Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor ... until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden.

There, they find a world in turmoil. The four guilds of magic no longer trust each other, the beloved unicorns have disappeared, and terrible wraiths roam freely. Scared, the girls return home. But when Sophie vanishes in the night, it will take all of Claire's courage to climb back up the ladder, find her sister, and uncover the unicorns' greatest secret.
Visit Kamilla Benko's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, January 19, 2018

"Blood Sisters"

New from Pamela Dorman Books: Blood Sisters: A Novel by Jane Corry.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the bestselling author of My Husband’s Wife, a new thriller featuring three girls, one accident, and a lifetime of lies.

Three little girls set off to school one sunny morning. Within an hour, one of them is dead.

Fifteen years later, Kitty can’t speak and has no memory of the accident that’s to blame. She lives in an institution, unlikely ever to leave. But that doesn’t keep her from being frightened when she encounters an eerily familiar face.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. She’s struggling to make ends meet and to forget the past. When a teaching job at a prison opens up, she takes it, despite her fears. Maybe this is her chance to set things right. Then she starts to receive alarming notes; next, her classroom erupts in violence.

Meanwhile, someone is watching both Kitty and Alison. Someone who never forgot what happened that day. Someone who wants revenge. And only another life will do...
Follow Jane Corry on Twitter and Facebook.

My Book, The Movie: My Husband's Wife.

The Page 69 Test: My Husband's Wife.

Writers Read: Jane Corry (May 2017).

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Hazel Wood"

New from Flatiron Books: The Hazel Wood: A Novel by Melissa Albert.

About the book, from the publisher:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away—by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began—and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, January 18, 2018

"Transpacific Attachments"

New from Columbia University Press: Transpacific Attachments: Sex Work, Media Networks, and Affective Histories of Chineseness by Lily Wong.

About the book, from the publisher:

The figure of the Chinese sex worker—who provokes both disdain and desire—has become a trope for both Asian American sexuality and Asian modernity. Lingering in the cultural imagination, sex workers link sexual and cultural marginality, and their tales clarify the boundaries of citizenship, nationalism, and internationalism. In Transpacific Attachments, Lily Wong studies the mobility and mobilization of the sex worker figure through transpacific media networks, illuminating the intersectional politics of racial, sexual, and class structures.

Transpacific Attachments examines shifting depictions of Chinese sex workers in popular media—from literature to film to new media—that have circulated within the United States, China, and Sinophone communities from the early twentieth century to the present. Wong explores Asian American writers’ articulation of transnational belonging; early Hollywood’s depiction of Chinese women as parasitic prostitutes and Chinese cinema’s reframing the figure as a call for reform; Cold War–era use of prostitute and courtesan metaphors to question nationalist narratives and heteronormativity; and images of immigrant brides against the backdrop of neoliberalism and the flows of transnational capital. She focuses on the transpacific networks that reconfigure Chineseness, complicating a diasporic framework of cultural authenticity. While imaginations of a global community have long been mobilized through romantic, erotic, and gendered representations, Wong stresses the significant role sex work plays in the constant restructuring of social relations. “Chineseness,” the figure of the sex worker shows, is an affective product as much as an ethnic or cultural signifier.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The King of Bones and Ashes"

New from 47North: The King of Bones and Ashes (Witches of New Orleans) by J.D. Horn.

About the book, from the publisher:

Magic is seeping out of the world, leaving the witches who’ve relied on it for countless centuries increasingly hopeless. While some see an inevitable end of their era, others are courting madness—willing to sacrifice former allies, friends, and family to retain the power they covet. While the other witches watch their reality unravel, young Alice Marin is using magic’s waning days to delve into the mystery of numerous disappearances in the occult circles of New Orleans. Alice disappeared once, too—caged in an asylum by blood relatives. Recently freed, she fears her family may be more involved with the growing crisis than she ever dared imagine.

Yet the more she seeks the truth about her family’s troubled history, the more she realizes her already-fragile psyche may be at risk. Discovering the cause of the vanishings, though, could be the only way to escape her mother’s reach while determining the future of all witches.
Visit J.D. Horn's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Perish"

New from Kensington Books: 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.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"The Other Side of Everything"

New from Touchstone: The Other Side of Everything: A Novel by Lauren Doyle Owens.

About the book, from the publisher:

Laura Lippman meets Megan Abbott in this suspenseful literary debut about three generations of neighbors whose lives intersect in the aftermath of a crime.

Bernard White is a curmudgeonly widower who has lived in Seven Springs, Florida for decades and has kept to himself since his wife passed. When his neighbor is murdered, he emerges from his solitude to reconnect with his fellow octogenarians. These connections become a literal lifeline as a second, and then a third, elderly woman is murdered, and “the originals” as they call themselves, realize that they are being targeted.

Amy Unger is an artist and cancer survivor whose emotional recovery has not been as successful as her physical one. After the woman next door is murdered, she begins to paint imagined scenes from the murder in an effort to cope with her own loss. But when her paintings prove to be too realistic, her neighbors grow suspicious, and she soon finds herself in the crosshairs of the police.

And then there’s Maddie Lowe, a teenage waitress whose mother recently abandoned the family. As Maddie struggles to keep her family together and maintain the appearance of normal teenage life, she finds herself drawn to the man the police say is the killer.

As they navigate their increasingly dangerous and tumultuous worlds, Bernard, Amy, and Maddie begin to uncover the connections between them, and the past and present, in a novel that ultimately proves the power of tragedy to spark renewal.
Visit Lauren Doyle Owens's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"A Taste for the Beautiful"

New from Princeton University Press: A Taste for the Beautiful The Evolution of Attraction by Michael J. Ryan.

About the book, from the publisher:

From one of the world's leading authorities on animal behavior, the astonishing story of how the female brain drives the evolution of beauty in animals and humans

Darwin developed the theory of sexual selection to explain why the animal world abounds in stunning beauty, from the brilliant colors of butterflies and fishes to the songs of birds and frogs. He argued that animals have “a taste for the beautiful” that drives their potential mates to evolve features that make them more sexually attractive and reproductively successful. But if Darwin explained why sexual beauty evolved in animals, he struggled to understand how. In A Taste for the Beautiful, Michael Ryan, one of the world’s leading authorities on animal behavior, tells the remarkable story of how he and other scientists have taken up where Darwin left off and transformed our understanding of sexual selection, shedding new light on human behavior in the process.

Drawing on cutting-edge work in neuroscience and evolutionary biology, as well as his own important studies of the tiny Túngara frog deep in the jungles of Panama, Ryan explores the key questions: Why do animals perceive certain traits as beautiful and others not? Do animals have an inherent sexual aesthetic and, if so, where is it rooted? Ryan argues that the answers to these questions lie in the brain—particularly of females, who act as biological puppeteers, spurring the development of beautiful traits in males. This theory of how sexual beauty evolves explains its astonishing diversity and provides new insights about the degree to which our own perception of beauty resembles that of other animals.

Vividly written and filled with fascinating stories, A Taste for the Beautiful will change how you think about beauty and attraction.
--Marshal Zeringue

"Watch Me"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: Watch Me: A Gripping Psychological Thriller by Jody Gehrman.

About the book, from the publisher:

For fans of dark and twisty psychological thrillers, Watch Me is a riveting novel of suspense about how far obsession can go.

Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten years younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.

Except one.

Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.

As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?

A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.
Visit Jody Gehrman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"The Making and Unmaking of Francoist Kitsch Cinema"

New from Edinburgh University Press: The Making and Unmaking of Francoist Kitsch Cinema: From Raza to Pan's Labyrinth by Alejandro Yarza.

About the book, from the publisher:

In fascist Spain, Francoism - like German and Italian fascism - produced its own particular brand of kitsch. Deploying religious and historical iconography drawn from Spain's centuries-long struggle against Islam, Francoist ideologues created a kitsch interpretation of Spain's historical past designed to replace more complex and nuanced accounts, where religious and historical iconography combined with kitsch aesthetics to project a picturesque, clichéd image of Spain. The ultimate goal of this vast production of Francoist kitsch was to produce a submissive subject who, by identifying with Francoist aesthetics, would identify with state ideology.

This book engages with the making and unmaking of Francoist kitsch aesthetics through the analysis of Spanish cinema. It examines five highly influential Francoist films produced from 1938 until 1964 and three later films by critically acclaimed directors Luis Buñuel, Guillermo del Toro, and Alex de la Iglesia that attempt to undermine Francoist aesthetics by re-imagining its visual and narrative clichés.
--Marshal Zeringue