Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Death of an Avid Reader"

New from Minotaur Books: Death of an Avid Reader by Frances Brody.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Search for a Daughter
Lady Coulton gave up the baby that would have ruined her marriage, born when Lord Coulton was abroad. Now that her husband is dying, she asks Kate to find Sophia.

A Haunted Library
It is forty years since the ghost of a dead librarian haunted the old library, yet the stories have begun again. Kate does not believe in ghosts but obligingly takes part in a ceremony to expel the restless spirit. Shockingly, there is a body in the basement, strangled, and covered in dusty volumes from a fallen bookcase. It is Dr. Potter, a mathematician.

A Killer on the Loose
Dr. Potter’s body is taken away. The police find a sick man sheltering in the basement. He is an Italian, Umberto, an organ grinder and owner of a lively Capuchin monkey. Umberto becomes the prime suspect and will be charged with murder. Kate goes with Umberto to the infirmary. But he is too weak to be a suspect. And now Kate must set out to find the real culprit...
Learn more about the book and author at Frances Brody's website.

The Page 69 Test: Dying in the Wool.

The Page 69 Test: A Woman Unknown.

The Page 69 Test: Murder on a Summer's Day.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"The Life of the Madman of U"

New from Oxford University Press: The Life of the Madman of U by David M. DiValerio.

About the book, from the publisher:

The Life of the Madman of Ü tells the story of Künga Zangpo (1458-1532), a famous Tibetan Buddhist ascetic of the Kagyü sect. Having grown weary of the trials of human existence, Künga Zangpo renounced the world during his teenage years, committing himself to learning and practicing the holy Dharma as a monk. Some years later he would give up his monkhood to take on a unique tantric asceticism that entailed dressing in human remains, wandering from place to place, and provoking others to attack him physically, among other norm-overturning behaviors. It was because of this asceticism that Künga Zangpo came to be known as the Madman of Ü.

David M. Divalerio translates this biography, originally written in two parts in 1494 and 1537, making accessible to a modern audience a rich depiction of religious life in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Tibet. The book also details Künga Zangpo's many miracles, a testament to the spiritual perfection he attained. His final thirty years were spent at his monastery of Tsimar Pel, where he dispensed teachings to his numerous disciples and followers. The Life of this remarkable and controversial figure, now available in English for the first time, provides new means for understanding the tradition of the "holy madman" (smyon pa) in Tibetan Buddhism.
--Marshal Zeringue

"The Notorious Mrs. Clem"

New from the Johns Hopkins University Press: The Notorious Mrs. Clem: Murder and Money in the Gilded Age by Wendy Gamber.

About the book, from the publisher:

In September 1868, the remains of Jacob and Nancy Jane Young were found lying near the banks of Indiana’s White River. It was a gruesome scene. Part of Jacob’s face had been blown off, apparently by the shotgun that lay a few feet away. Spiders and black beetles crawled over his wound. Smoke rose from his wife’s smoldering body, which was so badly burned that her intestines were exposed, the flesh on her thighs gone, and the bones partially reduced to powder.

Suspicion for both deaths turned to Nancy Clem, a housewife who was also one of Mr. Young’s former business partners. In The Notorious Mrs. Clem, Wendy Gamber chronicles the life and times of this charming and persuasive Gilded Age confidence woman, who became famous not only as an accused murderess but also as an itinerant peddler of patent medicine and the supposed originator of the Ponzi scheme. Clem’s story is a shocking tale of friendship and betrayal, crime and punishment, courtroom drama and partisan politicking, get-rich-quick schemes and shady business deals. It also raises fascinating questions about women’s place in an evolving urban economy. As they argued over Clem’s guilt or innocence, lawyers, jurors, and ordinary citizens pondered competing ideas about gender, money, and marriage. Was Clem on trial because she allegedly murdered her business partner? Or was she on trial because she engaged in business?

Along the way, Gamber introduces a host of equally compelling characters, from prosecuting attorney and future U.S. president Benjamin Harrison to folksy defense lawyer John Hanna, daring detective Peter Wilkins, pioneering "lady news writer" Laura Ream, and female-remedy manufacturer Michael Slavin. Based on extensive sources, including newspapers, trial documents, and local histories, this gripping account of a seemingly typical woman who achieved extraordinary notoriety will appeal to true crime lovers and historians alike.
--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Eye of the Sixties"

New from Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Eye of the Sixties: Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art by Judith E. Stein.

About the book, from the publisher:

A man with a preternatural ability to find emerging artists, Richard Bellamy was one of the first advocates of pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art. The founder and director of the fabled Green Gallery on Fifty-Seventh Street, the witty, poetry-loving art lover became a legend of the avant-garde, showing the work of artists such as Mark di Suvero, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Donald Judd, and others.

Born to an American father and a Chinese mother in a Cincinnati suburb, Bellamy moved to New York and made a life for himself between the Beat orbits of Provincetown and white-glove events such as the Guggenheim's opening gala. He partied with Norman Mailer, was friends with Diane Arbus and Yoko Ono, and frequently hosted or performed in Allan Kaprow's happenings. Always more concerned with art than with making a profit, Bellamy withdrew when the market mushroomed around him, letting his contemporaries and friends, such as Leo Castelli and Sidney Janis, capitalize on the stars he first discovered. Bellamy's life story is a fascinating window into the transformation of art in the late twentieth century.

Based on decades of research and hundreds of interviews with artists, friends, dealers, and lovers, Judith Stein's Eye of the Sixties recovers the elusive Bellamy and tells the story of a counterculture that became the mainstream.
Visit the Eye of the Sixties website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Holding Up the Universe"

New from Knopf Books for Young Readers: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone—and love someone—for who they truly are.

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for EVERY POSSIBILITY LIFE HAS TO OFFER. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass ways, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.
Visit Jennifer Niven's website.

Writers Read: Jennifer Niven (January 2015).

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, September 26, 2016

"Today Will Be Different"

New from Little, Brown and Company: Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple.

About the book, from the publisher:

A brilliant novel from the author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor knows she's a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won't swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother's company. It's also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he's on vacation. Just when it seems like things can't go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.
Read the 2009 CftAR interview with Maria Semple.

Learn more about the book and author at Maria Semple's website.

The Page 69 Test: This One Is Mine.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Teetotaled"

New from Minotaur Books: Teetotaled by Maia Chance.

About the book, from the publisher:

After her philandering husband died and left her penniless in Prohibition-era New York, Lola Woodby escaped with her Swedish cook to the only place she could—her deceased husband’s secret love nest in the middle of Manhattan. Her only comforts were chocolate cake, dime store detective novels, and the occasional highball (okay, maybe not so occasional). But rent came due and Lola and Berta were forced to accept the first job that came their way, leading them to set up shop as private detectives operating out of Alfie’s cramped love nest.

Now Lola and Berta are in danger of losing the business they’ve barely gotten off the ground—work is sparse and money is running out. So when a society matron offers them a job, they take it—even if it means sneaking into a slimming and exercise facility and consuming only water and health food until they can steal a diary from Grace Whiddle, a resident at the “health farm.” But barely a day in, Grace and her diary escape from the facility—and Grace’s future mother-in-law is found murdered on the premises. Lola and Berta are promptly fired. But before they can climb into Lola’s brown and white Duesenberg Model A and whiz off the health farm property, they find themselves with a new client and a new charge: to solve the murder of Grace’s future mother-in-law.

Teetotaled, Maia Chance's sparkling new mystery will delight readers with its clever plotting, larger-than-life characters, and rich 1920s atmosphere.
Visit Maia Chance's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"Dogs and Their People"

New from G.P. Putnam’s Sons: Dogs and Their People: Photos and Stories of Life with a Four-Legged Love by BarkPost.

About the book, from the publisher:

From the humans that brought you BarkBox (and BarkPost and BarkShop) finally comes Dogs and Their People.

Finally, Bark & Co. has tapped the humans at BarkPost, the company’s publishing arm, to put into words and photographs the first official BarkBook, capturing the depth, spirit, and power of the extraordinary bond between humans and their pups.

Mostly community-sourced and filled with never-before-told anecdotes, stories, photos, and intimate insights, Dogs and Their People spotlights over 200 unique and remarkable dogs. Some are celebri-dogs while others are just making their debut; some will make your heart ache, while others will make it soar; and others simply look really dapper in color. All bring to life and celebrate the crazy, consuming, insatiable love we feel for the World’s Ultimate Best Friend in a book that is the perfect gift for Dog Lovers everywhere...
Visit the BarkPost website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Texas"

New from Dey Street Books: Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Texas: A Year in the Life of Lone Star Football, from High School to College to the Cowboys by Nick Eatman.

About the book, from the publisher:

A veteran Texas sports writer offers a lively, up-close look at football in Texas—the fullest portrait ever conceived—viewed through the interwoven stories of three teams, Plano Senior High School, Baylor University, and the Dallas Cowboys, during one season.

In Texas, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mean one thing: football. Dallas Cowboys’ writer Nick Eatman follows three teams in three leagues throughout the 2015 season blending their stories into a unique, eye-opening chronicle of Lone Star football. Eatman highlights the ups and downs and even the parallels that these teams experienced over the course of the year. Granted unique access to every level of the three teams, and drawing on his invaluable connections, he follows key players and coaches, including stars from Baylor and Plano, Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten, and head coaches Jason Garrett, Art Briles, and Jaydon McCullough.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Texas reveals the inextricable connections between the three teams and the players as the season unfolds. As high school athletes strive to win a spot at colleges like Baylor, college players fight for the chance to go pro, while Cowboys teammates reflect on their rise to the NFL. Though their challenges may differ—prepping for the SATs or Homecoming, working to get noticed by NFL scouts, or trying to prove themselves for that next contract in the pros—when the lights come on and they hit the field, they share one goal: to win.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Texas features sixteen pages of color photos that capture the highs and lows of the 2015 season. Combining the power of Friday Night Lights and the inspiring insight of Remember the Titans, it offers a fresh perspective on this beloved sport, and is a must for football fans.
Visit Nick Eatman's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

"The Murder of a Queen Bee"

New from Kensington Books: The Murder of a Queen Bee by Meera Lester.

About the book, from the publisher:

All abuzz about murder...

Former police officer Abigail Mackenzie has made a fresh start as a beekeeper and farmer in picturesque Las Flores, California—but she never suspected her new hometown would prove to be a hive of criminal activity.

When Abby invites her free-spirited friend, Fiona Mary Ryan, owner of Ancient Wisdom Botanicals, to her farmette for lunch, she never imagines that Fiona’s no-show will lead to a murder investigation.

Only hours after their lunch date, Fiona’s body is found in a burning car in what at first appears to be a tragic accident. But after the coroner’s report is issued, it’s clear she was dead before being placed in the vehicle. Someone has gone to great lengths to cover up a murder. But who—and why?

Driven by her loyalty to her friend, and her deeply ingrained skills as a trained investigator, Abby sorts through suspects—who seem to be sprouting up everywhere. Speculating that Fiona’s herbal business might hold the key to motive, Abby isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to smoke out a killer...
Visit Meera Lester's website.

--Marshal Zeringue