Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Wish"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR): Wish by Barbara O'Connor.

About the book, from the publisher:

Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

From award-winning author Barbara O'Connor comes a middle-grade novel about a girl who, with the help of a true-blue friend, a big-hearted aunt and uncle, and the dog of her dreams, unexpectedly learns the true meaning of family in the least likely of places.
Visit Barbara O'Connor's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Outsourced Children"

New from Stanford University Press: Outsourced Children: Orphanage Care and Adoption in Globalizing China by Leslie Wang.

About the book, from the publisher:

It's no secret that tens of thousands of Chinese children have been adopted by American parents and that Western aid organizations have invested in helping orphans in China—but why have Chinese authorities allowed this exchange, and what does it reveal about processes of globalization?

Countries that allow their vulnerable children to be cared for by outsiders are typically viewed as weaker global players. However, Leslie K. Wang argues that China has turned this notion on its head by outsourcing the care of its unwanted children to attract foreign resources and secure closer ties with Western nations. She demonstrates the two main ways that this "outsourced intimacy" operates as an ongoing transnational exchange: first, through the exportation of mostly healthy girls into Western homes via adoption, and second, through the subsequent importation of first-world actors, resources, and practices into orphanages to care for the mostly special needs youth left behind.

Outsourced Children reveals the different care standards offered in Chinese state-run orphanages that were aided by Western humanitarian organizations. Wang explains how such transnational partnerships place marginalized children squarely at the intersection of public and private spheres, state and civil society, and local and global agendas. While Western societies view childhood as an innocent time, unaffected by politics, this book explores how children both symbolize and influence national futures.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"How to See the World"

New from Basic Books: How to See the World: An Introduction to Images, from Self-Portraits to Selfies, Maps to Movies, and More by Nicholas Mirzoeff.

About the book, from the publisher:

Every two minutes, Americans alone take more photographs than were printed in the entire nineteenth century; every minute, people from around the world upload over 300 hours of video to YouTube; and in 2014, we took over one trillion photographs. From the funny memes that we send to our friends to the disturbing photographs we see in the news, we are consuming and producing images in quantities and ways that could never have been anticipated. In the process, we are producing a new worldview powered by changing demographics—one where the majority of people are young, urban, and globally connected.

In How to See the World, visual culture expert Nicholas Mirzoeff offers a sweeping look at history’s most famous images—from Velázquez’s Las Meninas to the iconic “Blue Marble”—to contextualize and make sense of today’s visual world. Drawing on art history, sociology, semiotics, and everyday experience, he teaches us how to close read everything from astronaut selfies to Impressionist self-portraits, from Hitchcock films to videos taken by drones. Mirzoeff takes us on a journey through visual revolutions in the arts and sciences, from new mapping techniques in the seventeenth century to new painting styles in the eighteenth and the creation of film, photography, and x-rays in the nineteenth century. In today’s networked world, mobile technology and social media enable us to exercise “visual activism”—the practice of producing and circulating images to drive political and social change. Whether we are looking at pictures showing the effects of climate change on natural and urban landscapes or an fMRI scan demonstrating neurological addiction, Mirzoeff helps us to find meaning in what we see.

A powerful and accessible introduction to this new visual culture, How to See the World reveals how images shape our lives, how we can harness their power for good, and why they matter to us all.
Visit Nicholas Mirzoeff's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Lion Island"

New from Atheneum Books for Young Readers: Lion Island: Cuba's Warrior of Words by Margarita Engle.

About the book, from the publisher:

In a haunting yet hopeful novel in verse, award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who became a champion of civil rights.

Asia, Africa, Europe—Antonio Chuffat’s ancestors clashed and blended on the beautiful island of Cuba. Yet for most Cubans in the nineteenth century, life is anything but beautiful. The country is fighting for freedom from Spain. Enslaved Africans and nearly-enslaved Chinese indentured servants are forced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields.

So Antonio feels lucky to have found a good job as a messenger, where his richly blended cultural background is an asset. Through his work he meets Wing, a young Chinese fruit seller who barely escaped the anti-Asian riots in San Francisco, and his sister Fan, a talented singer. With injustice all around them, the three friends are determined that violence will not be the only way to gain liberty.
Visit Margarita Engle's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Margarita Engle & Maggi and Chance.

My Book, The Movie: The Lightning Dreamer.

My Book, The Movie: Mountain Dog.

The Page 69 Test: Silver People.

The Page 99 Test: Enchanted Air.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Denying to the Grave"

New from Oxford University Press: Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us by Sara E. Gorman and Jack M. Gorman.

About the book, from the publisher:

Why do some parents refuse to vaccinate their children? Why do some people keep guns at home, despite scientific evidence of risk to their family members? And why do people use antibiotics for illnesses they cannot possibly alleviate? When it comes to health, many people insist that science is wrong, that the evidence is incomplete, and that unidentified hazards lurk everywhere.

In Denying to the Grave, Gorman and Gorman, a father-daughter team, explore the psychology of health science denial. Using several examples of such denial as test cases, they propose six key principles that may lead individuals to reject "accepted" health-related wisdom: the charismatic leader; fear of complexity; confirmation bias and the internet; fear of corporate and government conspiracies; causality and filling the ignorance gap; and the nature of risk prediction. The authors argue that the health sciences are especially vulnerable to our innate resistance to integrate new concepts with pre-existing beliefs. This psychological difficulty of incorporating new information is on the cutting edge of neuroscience research, as scientists continue to identify brain responses to new information that reveal deep-seated, innate discomfort with changing our minds.

Denying to the Grave explores risk theory and how people make decisions about what is best for them and their loved ones, in an effort to better understand how people think when faced with significant health decisions. This book points the way to a new and important understanding of how science should be conveyed to the public in order to save lives with existing knowledge and technology.
--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, August 22, 2016

"Lost in Hollywood"

New from Aladdin: Lost in Hollywood by Cindy Callaghan.

About the book, from the publisher:

Ginger is on a mission to find her family’s missing fortune in glamorous Hollywood in this M!X novel from the author of Lost in London, Lost in Paris, Lost in Rome, and Lost in Ireland (formerly titled Lucky Me).

Thirteen-year-old Ginger Carlson feels like she is the only normal one in her family. Her father is an inventor who sells his gadgets online, Mom is obsessed with classic movies, and her brother Grant thinks he is from outer space. Luckily, Ginger has a totally normal BFF, Payton, and they have big plans for the future—they plan to become doctors and open a practice together in a big city. But first, they’re partnering on the state Science Olympics where they’re sure to take home the gold for their eighth grade class with their model of the brain.

The Olympics training is interrupted when the Carlson family gets an urgent call that their eccentric Aunt Betty, a former actress who lives in Hollywood, is in serious trouble. The bank is going to take her house unless she can give them the money she owes. The Carlsons head to LA to sort things out for Aunt Betty, along with Payton, who tags along for the West Coast adventure.

In a moment alone with the girls, Aunt Betty tells them what’s really going on. Because she didn’t trust banks, Aunt Betty stashed her money in a secret hiding place. Only problem—it’s so secret, she can’t remember where that hiding place is! That’s what she’s been doing all around town—looking for her fortune. Can Ginger and Payton help find the money—and give Aunt Betty the Hollywood ending that she deserves?
Visit Cindy Callaghan's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

Writers Read: Cindy Callaghan.

The Page 69 Test: Lost in Paris.

My Book, The Movie: Lost in Paris.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Murder, Inc., and the Moral Life"

New from Oxford University Press: Murder, Inc., and the Moral Life: Gangsters and Gangbusters in La Guardia's New York by Robert Weldon Whalen.

About the book, from the publisher:

In 1940 and 1941 a group of ruthless gangsters from Brooklyn's Brownsville neighborhood became the focus of media frenzy when they--dubbed "Murder Inc.," by New York World-Telegram reporter Harry Feeney--were tried for murder. It is estimated that collectively they killed hundreds of people during a reign of terror that lasted from 1931 to 1940. As the trial played out to a packed courtroom, shocked spectators gasped at the outrageous revelations made by gang leader Abe "Kid Twist" Reles and his pack of criminal accomplices.

News of the trial proliferated throughout the country; at times it received more newspaper coverage than the unabated war being waged overseas. The heinous crimes attributed to Murder, Inc., included not only murder and torture but also auto theft, burglary, assaults, robberies, fencing stolen goods, distribution of illegal drugs, and just about any "illegal activity from which a revenue could be derived." When the trial finally came to a stunning unresolved conclusion in November 1941, newspapers generated record headlines.

Once the trial was over, tales of the Murder, Inc., gang became legendary, spawning countless books and memoirs and providing inspiration for the Hollywood gangster-movie genre. These men were fearsome brutes with an astonishing ability to wield power. People were fascinated by the "gangster" figure, which had become a symbol for moral evil and contempt and whose popularity showed no signs of abating. As both a study in criminal behavior and a cultural fascination that continues to permeate modern society, the reverberations of "Murder, Inc." are profound, including references in contemporary mass media.

The Murder, Inc., story is as much a tale of morality as it is a gangster history, and Murder, Inc., and the Moral Life by Robert Whalen meshes both topics clearly and meticulously, relating the gangster phenomenon to modern moral theory. Each chapter covers an aspect of the Murder, Inc., case and reflects on its ethical elements and consequences. Whalen delves into the background of the criminals involved, their motives, and the violent death that surrounded them; New York City's immigrant gang culture and its role as "Gangster City"; fiery politicians Fiorello La Guardia and Thomas E. Dewey and the choices they made to clean up the city; and the role of the gangster in popular culture and how it relates to "real life." Whalen puts a fresh spin on the two topics, providing a vivid narrative with both historical and moral perspective.
--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"The Dread Line"

New from Forge Books: The Dread Line: A Mulligan Novel by Bruce DeSilva.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Dread Line: the latest Liam Mulligan novel from award winning author Bruce DeSilva.

Since he got fired in spectacular fashion from his newspaper job last year, former investigative reporter Liam Mulligan has been piecing together a new life--one that straddles both sides of the law. He's getting some part-time work with his friend McCracken's detective agency. He's picking up beer money by freelancing for a local news website. And he's looking after his semi-retired mobster-friend's bookmaking business.

But Mulligan still manages to find trouble. He's feuding with a cat that keeps leaving its kills on his porch. He's obsessed with a baffling jewelry heist. And he's enraged that someone in town is torturing animals. All this keeps distracting him from a big case that needs his full attention. The New England Patriots, shaken by a series of murder charges against a star player, have hired Mulligan and McCracken to investigate the background of a college athlete they're thinking of drafting. At first, the job seems routine, but as soon as they begin asking questions, they get push-back. The player, it seems, has something to hide--and someone is willing to kill to make sure it remains secret.
Visit Bruce DeSilva's website and blog.

Coffee with a Canine: Bruce DeSilva and Brady.

Coffee with a Canine: Bruce DeSilva & Rondo and Brady.

The Page 69 Test: A Scourge of Vipers.

My Book, The Movie: A Scourge of Vipers.

--Marshal Zeringue

"One or the Other"

New from ECW Press: One or the Other by John McFetridge.

About the book, from the publisher:

In the weeks before hosting the 1976 Summer Olympics, the Montreal police are tightening security to prevent another catastrophe like the ’72 games in Munich. But it isn’t tight enough to stop nearly three million dollars being stolen in a bold daytime Brink’s truck robbery. As the high-profile heist continues to baffle the police, Constable Eddie Dougherty gets a chance to prove his worth as a detective when he’s assigned to assist the suburban Longueuil force in investigating the deaths of two teenagers returning from a rock concert across the Jacques Cartier Bridge. Were they mugged and thrown from the bridge? Or was it a murder-suicide?

With tensions running high in the city and his future career at stake, Dougherty faces the limits of the force and of his own policing, and has to decide when to settle and when justice is the only thing that should be obeyed.
Visit John McFetridge's website.

The Page 69 Test: Black Rock.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Memory of Things"

New from St. Martin's Griffin: The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner.

About the book, from the publisher:

On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first twin tower come down from the window of Stuyvesant High School. Moments later, terrified and fleeing home to safety across the Brooklyn Bridge, he stumbles across a girl perched in the shadows, covered in ash, and wearing a pair of costume wings. With his mother and sister in California and unable to reach his father, a NYC detective likely on his way to the disaster, Kyle makes the split-second decision to bring the girl home. What follows is their story, told in alternating points of view, as Kyle tries to unravel the mystery of the girl so he can return her to her family. But what if the girl has forgotten everything, even her own name? And what if the more Kyle gets to know her, the less he wants her to go home? The Memory of Things tells a stunning story of friendship and first love and of carrying on with our day-to-day living in the midst of world-changing tragedy and unforgettable pain—it tells a story of hope.
Visit Gae Polisner's website.

Writers Read: Gae Polisner (March 2014).

The Page 69 Test: The Summer of Letting Go.

--Marshal Zeringue