Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ten new and upcoming college-set YA novels

At the BN Teen Blog Dahlia Adler tagged "ten new and forthcoming [college kid] books that highlight independence, long-distance relationships, growing up, identity, sexuality, marginalization, assault, roommates, and much more," including:
American Panda, by Gloria Chao

Mei’s a seventeen-year-old freshman at MIT, where she’s supposed to major in biology, find a Taiwanese boy to marry, and devote all her free time to studying. But none of that is who she is or wants to be, no matter how hard she tries. And she does try: shadowing a doctor, keeping up with her studies, trying not to fall too hard for adorable but Japanese Darren. But the more she tries to be who her mother wants her to be, the more Mei realizes it’s just not in the cards. She’ll have to do the seeming impossible and find a way to be true to herself and the family she loves. From impossible expectations to sexually transmitted infections, this delightful debut definitely nails aspects of college living, including the challenge of developing relationships when you’re younger than your peers.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: American Panda.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Six big, challenging reads

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

This sprawling graphic novel starts, more or less, with a plane crash, then opens up to include the existential travails of snakes and birds drawn to the crash site. The initial disaster transitions into an unsettling yet mesmerizing examination of both nature and culture.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 26, 2018

Six top boarding-school thrillers

At the BN Teen blog, Nita Tyndall tagged six favorite thrillers set at boarding school, including:
S.T.A.G.S., by M.A. Bennett

Greer MacDonald struggles to fit in at her elite boarding school, St. Aidan the Great, known to students simply as S.T.A.G.S. So when she receives an invitation from none other than Henry de Warlencourt, the most popular (and richest) boy at school, for a weekend of “huntin’, shootin’, fishin’,” she accepts it without question. After all, what better way to gain acceptance than through Henry? But when she and a few other students—outcasts like herself—arrive, something immediately feels off. Henry’s parents are nowhere to be found, and the only adults around are several too-compliant servants. Things take an even worse turn as Greer realizes who, exactly, it is that Henry will be hunting…
Read about the other entries on the list.

Also see Alyssa Sheinmel's five favorite books set at boarding school, Ruth Ware's six favorite books about boarding school, Sabrina Rojas Weiss's ten favorite boarding school novels, James Browning's ten best boarding school books, and Robin Stevens's top ten boarding school stories.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Ten essential Native American novels

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

One of his ten essential Native American novels, as shared at Publishers Weekly:
House Made of Dawn by N. Scott Momaday

Momaday's House Made of Dawn won the Pulitzer Prize in 1969, which alone should tell you how great it is. It's the story of a World War II veteran named Abel who returns home to try and adjust to living back in the world he once lived in, but he struggles, gets drunk a lot and fights and then commits a murder that lands him in jail for a while. Once he gets out of jail his struggles only continue. While all that may sound dark, this is ultimately a novel of hope as Abel learns to embrace his Native American heritage. Sad and beautiful, required reading.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Twelve top sci-fi & fantasy film novelizations

Jeff Somers is the author of Lifers, the Avery Cates series from Orbit Books, Chum from Tyrus Books, and the Ustari Cycle from Pocket/Gallery, including We Are Not Good People. At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog he tagged twelve essential sci-fi & fantasy film novelizations, including:
Alien, by Alan Dean Foster

Foster is something of a Godfather in novelizations—a successful author in his own right, he also penned many of the best-regarded examples of the form. Included on that list is Foster’s take on Ridley Scott’s Alien—which is remarkable, since he wrote it in just a few weeks with only an unfinished screenplay to work with, and never even got to see the final effects for the Alien itself before finishing the book. Foster manages to shade in the characters with motivations and backstories not onscreen while maintaining the pacing and sense of dread that made the film an instant horror classic. The book is a master class in technically accomplished writing, as Foster uses the tools of his trade to translate the sparse details of a script into a lush, horrifyingly detailed haunted spaceship tale, populated by characters you’ll feel for.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 23, 2018

Jonathan Hyde's 6 best books

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

War And Peace for the 20th century.

An amazing story and a real insight into the sheer chill of Stalin.

It’s got tremendous romance and pathos as well. I'm fascinated by how the Russian Revolution was perverted and destroyed by Stalinism.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten books celebrating influential women in history

At B&N Reads Jen Harper tagged ten top "historical fiction books about some awesome women through the ages," including:
Vanessa and Her Sister, by Priya Parmar

History remembers writer Virginia Woolf much more so than her sister, painter Vanessa Bell. But Priya Parmar’s elegant and dazzling novel, set in early 20th-century London, brings Vanessa out of her sister’s shadow to show just how truly gifted and multidimensional Vanessa was as well as the profound influence she had on Virginia. The story is told through Vanessa’s invented journal entries and correspondence and follows the siblings as they buck convention and forge their own path toward artistic success. But when Vanessa unexpectedly falls in love, Virginia careens into madness, having been ever-dependent on her sister as a steadying force in her life.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Ten top books about cheating

Jamie Quatro's debut novel is Fire Sermon. One of the author's top ten books about cheating, as shared with the Guardian:
We Don’t Live Here Anymore by André Dubus (1984)

This triptych of novellas centres on two married couples, Hank and Edith Allison, and Jack and Terry Linhart. In the title novella, each of them cheats with the other’s partner. In the middle story, Adultery, Edith falls in love with a dying priest. In the final piece, Hank is divorced and trapped in his alternately self-aggrandising and self-pitying habits, unable to find happiness or peace. As a whole, the book asks, as Dubus’s son André III noted: “How can a man and woman ever be truly married to one another without losing their very souls?”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Top ten Vancouver crime novels

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

At The Strand Magazine he tagged ten "books that reflect some essential aspects of both Vancouver and crime fiction," including:
The Nicole Charles series by Linda Richards includes two books so far: If It Bleeds and When Blood Lies. Amateur sleuth Nicole Charles is an ambitious rookie reporter stuck on the gossip column for a Vancouver newspaper. Covering high society inadvertently throws her into the midst of the biggest story of her career, testing her mettle as both a journalist and a detective. Richards is a master of voice and style, and the Charles books are breathlessly paced, packed with thrills and puzzles.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Seven YA novels on the journey from high school to college

At the BN Teen blog, Madeline Moore tagged seven YA novels that take on the journey from high school to college, including:
Nice Try, Jane Sinner, by Lianne Oelke

Jane Sinner needs a change. After a personal crisis leads to her replacing days at high school with binge-watches of America’s Next Top Model, she decides to head to community college early—but under one condition: she gets to move out of her parents’ house. She moves, not into a dorm, but into the House of Orange, the set of a fledgling reality TV show offering its cast free rent. Though Jane’s experience involves more on-camera challenges than classes, Oelke has gifted us with something I’ve been searching for for so long: a YA novel set at a community college. Jumping head-first into a four-year academic career right out of high school isn’t the best choice for everyone, so it was refreshing to finally have some divergent representation. Jane’s path to contentedness and confidence offers an accessible story for so many college-bound seniors (again, aside from the whole living-in-an-reality-TV-house thing).
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 19, 2018

Melba Pattillo Beals's six favorite books

Melba Pattillo Beals was one of nine African-American high school students to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Under protection of the 101st Airborne Division of the Army, dispatched by President Eisenhower, she and eight other African-American youths integrated the previously all-white Central High School. She has written two new books about the experience, I Will Not Fear and March Forward, Girl.

One of Beals's six favorite books, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Coelho's allegorical tale teaches you to stick to what your gut and soul tell you is your specific pathway. When The Alchemist was first published in Brazil, Coelho was advised it would never be a best-seller, but he went door-to-door selling it. Today, the book is a world classic, translated into 70 languages.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Seven YA novels with undercover spies

At the BN Teen blog, Jenny Kawecki tagged seven YA titles with undercover spies, including:
Orphan Monster Spy, by Matt Killeen

When Sarah’s mother is shot at a Nazi checkpoint as they attempt to escape Germany, Sarah is rescued by British spy Jeremy Floyd. Realizing petite blonde Sarah looks more Aryan than Jewish, Floyd takes her under his wing and gives her the opportunity to infiltrate a Nazi boarding school. Her mission seems simple: befriend the daughter of an important German scientist and steal his secrets. If only it were that easy. Haunting and dark, Orphan Monster Spy is a must-read hitting shelves next month.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Top ten novels about novelists

Lisa Halliday grew up in Medfield, Massachusetts and currently lives in Milan, Italy. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review and she is the recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award for Fiction. Asymmetry is her first novel.

One of ten novels about novelists the author tagged at Publishers Weekly:
Democracy by Joan Didion

Though nominally about a senator’s wife and her affair with a CIA agent, Democracy’s real protagonist is the novelist Joan Didion, who annotates the action with commentary on the artistic process. “This is a hard story to tell,” concludes the first chapter. The second begins: “Call me the author. Let the reader be introduced to Joan Didion, upon whose character and doings much will depend of whatever interest these pages may have, as she sits at her writing table in her own room in her own house on Welbeck Street. So Trollope might begin this novel.” Novelists summoning novelists: In Down and Out in Paris and London, Orwell does something similarly invocatory when he writes, of a Parisian hotel: “Then the grand turmoil of the day started—the dinner hour. I wish I could be Zola for a little while, to describe that dinner hour.”
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six picture books for Presidents' Day

In honor of Presidents' Day, at the BN Kids Blog Angie Brown tagged six picture books penned by a former President, First Lady, or First Daughter, including:
It Takes a Village, by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Marla Frazee

Former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton noteshow it can sometimes take a group or a community gathered together to get a job done through her picture book, It Takes a Village. Kindness and teamwork are encouraged as the book unfolds to reveal people working together toward a common goal, in this case a playground for the children to enjoy.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 16, 2018

Five books with female protagonists you'll love if you hate romances

At Cultura Colectiva, María Isabel Carrasco Cara Chards tagged five books with female protagonists you'll love if you hate romances. One title on the list:
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (1992)

Set in the late twenty-first century, a time when time travel is actually possible, the novel tells the story of Kivrin Engle, a young historian specialized in medieval history. Kivrin is so passionate about history that she asks the authorities of the time traveling project to allow her to go back to fourteenth-century Oxford. After a lot of trouble she manages to convince them to send her, but just as she’s sent to the past, the technician who set the machine falls terribly ill from a new type of influenza there’s no cure for. As Kivrin arrives in Oxford, she also falls terribly ill losing consciousness. She forgets the drop point to go back, and as she tries to find it, she will be integrated into society, while people in the present try desperately to bring her back, since they’ve noticed that she was actually sent to the times of the Black Death. I don’t want to go further because I don’t really want to spoil this awesome novel.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Doomsday Book is among Charlie Jane Anders's fifteen moments from science fiction and fantasy that will make absolutely anyone cry.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Top ten books about South Korea

An American author of Korean descent living in London, Mary Lynn Bracht grew up in a large ex-pat community of women who came of age in postwar South Korea. In 2002, she visited her mother’s childhood village, and it was during this trip she first learned of the “comfort women.”

Her debut novel is White Chrysanthemum.

One of the author's ten top books about South Korea, as shared at the Guardian:
Please Look After Mother by Kyung-Sook Shin (2011), translated by Chi-Young Kim

An elderly woman, visiting her family in Seoul, is separated from them on a metro platform. When the train pulls away, her family are mortified to realise she has been left behind. Shin reveals the relationships between the mother, her husband and their life in the countryside, as well as with each of her children as they all search for their missing matriarch. It reveals the lives of young and old, while asking big questions about the bonds of family and the struggles with the passage of time. It was a bestseller in South Korea and won the 2012 Man Asian literary prize.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Five fearsome families in literature

Jane Corry is a writer and journalist and has spent time as the writer in residence of a high-security prison for men–an experience that helped inspire My Husband’s Wife, her suspense debut.

Corry's latest novel is Blood Sisters.

One of five fearsome fictional families the author tagged at The Strand Magazine:
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

The reason that Harry Potter became such a resounding success (well, one of them) is that the series gave another slant to the whole subject of families. No one is quite who they seem, apart perhaps from the uncle and aunt who brought up Harry who don’t try to hide the fact that they’re downright nasty. There’s the Weasley family who have their own secrets. Harry’s dead parents. And, of course, Hogwarts itself, which promises parents a family atmosphere for their precious offspring—though in reality, it’s a hotbed of magic and malice, just waiting to explode. No one does it better than the British boarding school. Trust me.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Harry Potter books made Meghan Ball's top ten list of the unluckiest characters in science fiction & fantasy, Anna Bradley's list of the ten best literary quotes in a crisis, Nicole Hill's list of seven of the best literary wedding themes, Tina Connolly's top five list of books where the girl saves the boy, Ginni Chen's list of the eight grinchiest characters in literature, Molly Schoemann-McCann's top five list of fictional workplaces more dysfunctional than yours, Sophie McKenzie's top ten list of mothers in children's books, Nicole Hill's list of five of the best fictional bookstores, Sara Jonsson's list of the six most memorable pets in fiction, Melissa Albert's list of more than eight top fictional misfits, Cressida Cowell's list of ten notable mythical creatures, and Alison Flood's list of the top 10 most frequently stolen books.

Professor Snape is among Sophie Cleverly's ten top terrifying teachers in children’s books.

Hermione Granger is among Brooke Johnson top five geeky heroes in literature, Nicole Hill's nine best witches in literature, and Melissa Albert's top six distractible book lovers in pop culture.

Neville Longbottom is one of Ellie Irving's top ten quiet heroes and heroines.

Mr. Weasley is one of Melissa Albert's five weirdest fictional crushes.

Hedwig (Harry's owl) is among Django Wexler's top ten animal companions in children's fiction.

Scabbers the rat is among Ross Welford's ten favorite rodents in children's fiction.

Butterbeer is among Leah Hyslop's six best fictional drinks.

Albus Dumbledore is one of Rachel Thompson's ten greatest deaths in fiction.

Lucius Malfoy is among Jeff Somers's five best evil lieutenants (or "dragons") in SF/F.

Dolores Umbridge is among Melissa Albert's six more notorious teachers in fiction, Emerald Fennell's top ten villainesses in literature, and Derek Landy's top 10 villains in children's books. The Burrow is one of Elizabeth Wilhide's nine most memorable manors in literature.

Remus Lupin is among Aimée Carter's top ten shapeshifters in fiction.

Fang (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) is among Brian Boone's six best fictional dogs.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban appears on Amanda Yesilbas and Katharine Trendacosta's list ot twenty great insults from science fiction & fantasy and Charlie Jane Anders's list of the ten greatest prison breaks in science fiction and fantasy.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone also appears on Nicole Hill's list of nine top meet cutes in YA lit, Kenneth Oppel's top ten list of train stories, Jeff Somers's top five list of books written in very unlikely places, Phoebe Walker's list of eight mouthwatering quotes from the greatest literary feasts, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best owls in literature, ten of the best scars in fiction and ten of the best motorbikes in literature, and Katharine Trendacosta and Charlie Jane Anders's list of the ten greatest personality tests in sci-fi & fantasy, Charlie Higson's top 10 list of fantasy books for children, Justin Scroggie's top ten list of books with secret signs as well as Charlie Jane Anders and Michael Ann Dobbs's list of well-known and beloved science fiction and fantasy novels that publishers didn't want to touch. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire made Chrissie Gruebel's list of six top fictional holiday parties and John Mullan's list of the ten best graveyard scenes in fiction.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Twenty-five unhappy books for Valentine’s Day

At B&N Reads Tara Sonin tagged twenty-five unhappy books for Valentine’s Day. One entry on the list:
In the Woods, by Tana French

Mystery writer extraordinare French’s novel about a detective who returns to the town in which he himself was the survivor of a violent crime to investigate another. But the present is often a mirror of the past, and he finds himself growing unstable in the proximity of the case.
Read about the other entries on the list.

In the Woods is among Krysten Ritter's six favorite mysteries, Megan Reynolds's top ten books you must read if you loved Gone Girl, Emma Straub's ten top books that mimic the feeling of a summer vacation, the Barnes & Noble Review's five top books from Ireland's newer voices, and Judy Berman's ten fantastic novels with disappointing endings.

The Page 69 Test: In the Woods.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 12, 2018

Six top books that feature animals

Sigrid Nunez's new novel is The Friend.

One of her six favorite books that feature animals, as shared at The Week magazine:
Flush: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

Probably the great novelist's least-read work today, this mock biography of English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel was an instant best-seller in 1933. Written as a relaxation after the hard labor Woolf invested in The Waves, the novella includes, among other delights, marvelous descriptions, from a canine point of view, of London and Florence during the Victorian era.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Flush is among Ellen Cooney's top ten canine-human literary duos.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Twenty-five top fictional presidents

At B&N Reads Tara Sonin tagged twenty-five fictional presidents. One entry on the list:
Lucy, by Ellen Feldman

[T]his novel is about a president who was in love with someone who wasn’t his wife. Before he was President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt loved Lucy Mercer…Eleanor’s social secretary. Through polio, a world war, and two presidential terms, despite his promises to Eleanor, Franklin and Lucy remain connected. Heartbreaking, romantic, and beautiful.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Also see: Jeff Somers's list of six insane fictional presidents and David Daw's five American presidents in alternate history.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Top 10 books about the Scottish Highlands and Islands

Kerry Andrew is a London-based composer, performer and writer. She has a PhD in Composition from the University of York and has won four British Composer Awards. As a composer, she specialises in experimental vocal and choral music, music-theatre and community music. She performs with the award-winning Juice Vocal Ensemble and with her alt-folk band You Are Wolf. Her debut novel Swansong was released last month. One of Andrew's top ten books about the Scottish Highlands and Islands, as shared at the Guardian:
Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith

A typical book by one of our wonderfully atypical writers, full of her usual play of language and her treatment of profound subjects with the lightest and most dazzling of touches. It transposes the myth of Iphis from Ovid’s Metamorphoses to modern-day Inverness, takes ecology, consumerism and gender fluidity along for the ride, and is (spoiler alert) a gay love story with a happy ending.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six must-read YA westerns

At the BN Teen blog, Jenny Kawecki tagged six top YA westerns, including:
Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

Rebel of the Sands is half Middle Eastern fantasy, half western, all action-adventure. Amani wants nothing more than to get out of Dustwalk, and to do that she needs money. Hoping to put her sharpshooter skills to good use, she enters a shooting competition. That’s where she meets Jin, a mysterious stranger who may be Amani’s best chance at leaving town. Teaming up with Jin has its complications: namely, the hot pursuit of the Sultan’s entire army. Add in secret magical powers and a horse made of sand, and you’ve got a crossover read you won’t be able to put down.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 9, 2018

Six notable books about cities

John Banville's latest novel is Mrs. Osmond. One of his six favorite books about cities, as shared at The Week magazine:
Venice by Jan Morris

This travel writer's work may seem a little too much on the chatty side for some readers, but her lovingly detailed portrait of La Serenissima is as appealing as it is encyclopedic. Although the book was published nearly 60 years ago, it is still as fresh as a breeze over the lagoon on a spring morning.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Eight YA books about defying parental expectations

Sona Charaipotra is a New York City-based writer and editor with more than a decade’s worth of experience in print and online media. At the BN Teen blog she tagged eight YA books about defying parental expectations, including:
The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo

Perhaps one of the most anticipated debuts of the year, this novel in verse centers on Dominican American Xiomara, a young girl growing up in Harlem as part of a religious immigrant family. Her mom is overbearing in impressing Catholicism on Xio and her twin brother, but Xio spills her soul in the pages of her journal, documenting the dramas and traumas of first-generation life, addressing religion, crises of faith, sexual harassment, and the rush of first love (and lust).
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Five books in which magic has consequences

Melissa Albert's new novel is The Hazel Wood. At she tagged five tales in which magic has a price, including:
Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

The peril of messing with magic in Porter’s Russian myth-inspired tale is a mortal one: not everyone gets away with their head. Vassa is an underloved sister in an overstretched family in a magical alt Brooklyn, where the manipulations of a barely disguised Baba Yaga have made the nights go elastic and endless, stretching far beyond the hours between dusk and dawn. Baba Yaga is reimagined as Babs, proprietor of 24-hour convenience store BY’s, which claims to cater to night owl customers but mainly frames them for shoplifting and beheads them. Vassa manages to escape decapitation, but is pressed into three nights’ service at BY’s, where she fights to hold onto her life and to discover the secrets behind the endless nights–while putting the person (so to speak) most dear to her on the line.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Top ten mysteries set in the British countryside

William Shaw’s latest novel, The Birdwatcher, is set in Kent, in the south of England on the isolated stony promontory of Dungeness. One of the author's ten top mysteries set in the British countryside, as shared at The Strand Magazine:
Quiet and underpopulated, Scottish islands suffer few murders in real life. The Shetlands, however, have suffered more than a few fictional deaths since Ann Cleeves began setting novels there. Raven Black is a slow but brilliant mystery that uses the setting wonderfully. But it also explores the dark side of isolated communities: how they conspire against both outsiders and their own youngsters who dream of bigger worlds.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 99 Test: Raven Black.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, February 5, 2018

Six books to convince you that you can’t trust anyone

At the Tor Teen Blog Julia Bergen tagged six books that prove you can’t trust anyone, including:
To Right the Wrongs by Sheryl Scarborough

What could go wrong at CSI summer camp? For Erin Blake, just because she made it out of her last murder investigation alive (See Sheryl Scarborough’s killer debut To Catch a Killer for deets), doesn’t mean she’ll make it through this summer, especially when she’s determined to prove her boyfriend’s father shouldn’t be in jail for murder. But what happens at CSI summer does not necessarily stay there (or keep you from getting murdered).
Read about the other entries on the list.

My Book, The Movie: To Catch a Killer.

The Page 69 Test: To Catch a Killer.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Five top Super Bowl books

Mark J. Miller tagged five Super Bowl books at The Barnes & Noble Review, including:
Cover-Up: Mystery at the Super Bowl by John Feinstein

The third in prolific (and talented) journalist Feinstein’s series of sports mysteries for young adults finds his fresh-faced protagonists, Steve Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson, busting open the biggest sports story of the decade: a huge steroids cover-up by one of the teams in the big game.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Seven books to keep your focus on Puerto Rico

One title from Electric Lit's list of seven books to keep your focus on Puerto Rico:
War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony by Nelson A. Denis

As unconscionable as it is to deny aid to families who are suffering after a natural disaster, this isn’t the U.S. government’s worst offense against Puerto Rico. Denis dives into a tumultuous time in the island’s history, including a failed insurrection against the mainland, an attempted presidential assassination, covert CIA operations, and the first ever U.S. bomb strike against U.S. citizens.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Five books for fans of "Altered Carbon"

Sam Reader is a writer and conventions editor for The Geek Initiative. He also writes literary criticism and reviews at At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog he tagged five of the best books for fans of Netflix's adaptation of Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon, including:
Mindplayers by Pat Cadigan

Mindplayers might not deal with consciousness transfer, but its emphasis on mind and consciousness—not to mention Pat Cadigan’s place as one of the foundational writers of cyberpunk (and thus, one of the writers who inspired Altered Carbon‘s style)—makes it a perfect companion read. It’s the story of a young hacker who uses an illegal psychological “madcap” that accidentally gets stuck in a psychotic state. When she’s finally cleaned out, she’s forced to become a “mindplayer,” helping others with their own psychological problems, or face life as a criminal under the Brain Police. Cadigan has a distinct gift for tight prose, which, combined with deadpan sarcasm and an interesting spin on mind-sharing, makes for a mind-bending book. There are similar pleasures to be found in the Arthur C. Clarke Award-winner Synners, in which the line between the human mind and technology blurs to the point of nonexistence.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, February 2, 2018

Four books that changed Katrina Lawrence

Katrina Lawrence, one of Australia's most awarded beauty writers, is the author of Paris Dreaming. One of four books that changed her, as shared at the Sydney Morning Herald:
Françoise Sagan

I was your typical petulant teenage girl when I discovered this novel, but also naive and awkward, so I found the precocious, world-weary tone of 17-year-old Cecile absolutely enthralling at first. I swooned over her glamorous Parisian life and social freedom, believing it the definition of joy. I had interpreted the stability of my suburban life as boredom, and it took a book about "sadness" to teach me that I was already perfectly happy.
Learn about the other books on the list.

Bonjour Tristesse is among Alex Christofi's ten top books on postwar France and Helena Frith Powell's five notable books on glamour.

--Marshal Zeringue

Nine hopeful books about schizophrenia

Sandra Allen's new book is A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia. One of nine "works that speak about schizophrenia honestly, and yet do so with a measure of hope" that she tagged at Electric Lit:
The Voices Within by Charles Fernyhough

An engaging popular science book that examines how little we understand the internal experiences of people generally — not only those diagnosed with schizophrenia. What is thought? How do scientists study thought? This book also provides an introduction to the Hearing Voices movement, a civil rights movement for self-identified voice-hearers that has emerged over the last three decades. Fernyhough contemplates the voices “heard” by creative writers such as myself, and closely examines several historical and literary examples of this other sort of voice hearing.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Top ten errant teenagers in fiction

Danny Denton's new novel is The Earlie King & the Kid in Yellow. One of his ten best bad girls and boys in books, as shared at the Guardian:
Tetsuo in Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo

Tetsuo is a boy who quite literally contains apocalypse, badness bursting out of him so furiously that he fears his head will explode. The manga series’ antagonist, he is unremarkable at first: best friends with Kaneda, insignificant in the gang hierarchy, and suffering from inferiority issues. After an encounter with a strange, ancient-looking child, Tetsuo gains supernatural powers; powers that amplify (catastrophically) the hormonal unpredictability of the adolescent. The pill-popping teens of Akira are lost, alienated, hopeless, set against authority. Tetsuo is their worst incarnation and, over six volumes, the iconic artwork brings potent clarity to his turmoil.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue