Saturday, June 30, 2018

Five great astronaut memoirs

At the B&N Reads blog Molly Schoemann-McCann tagged five of the best astronaut memoirs, including:
Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery, by Scott Kelly

For some, going to space is a once- or twice-in-a-career occurrence. For Scott Kelly, going to space is his career. This dude has spent about as much time in space as you’ve spent in an office. He’s been on four different space flights and no American has ever spent more time in space. He’s the perfect guinea pig—and now literary expert—on the effects of long-term spaceflight on the human body, brain, and spirit. He writes unflinchingly about being in space, and the difficulty of returning to civilian life. Especially interesting is Kelly’s report of a fascinating experiment in which he took part. To study exactly what space does to the body, NASA studied his earthbound twin brother and compared his aging process to that of Kelly…who spent an entire year in the outer limits.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery is among Jeff Somers's top twenty books by people who experienced something few others have.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 29, 2018

Five top books by Indigenous speculative fiction authors

Rebecca Roanhorse's new novel is Trail of Lightning.

One of five speculative fiction books written by Indigenous to the Americas authors that she recommended at
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

The Marrow Thieves has won a ton of awards in Canada and the United States, including the coveted Kirkus prize for 2017, and for good reason.

It’s a YA novel set in a dystopian future where the non-Indigenous population have lost the ability to dream. Indigenous people can still dream and they are hunted by government goon squads for the marrow in their bones, which is used to make a dreaming cure. Our protagonist is a boy named Frenchie who meets up with a ragtag crew of other Indigenous people on the run as they all head north to the places rumored to be safer than the cities. Each crew member has their own story of horror and survival and loss, but together they are strong.

It’s a beautifully written but exceedingly creepy tale that mirrors almost too closely the very real exploitation of natural resources on Indigenous land and the history of forcing children into boarding schools to force assimilation and destroy their culture. Not everyone makes it out alive, but the story still manages to resonate with hope and found family.

Dimaline also has another YA novel from 2013 called The Girl Who Grew A Galaxy about a girl whose emotions become planets that circle around her head. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s going on my TBR.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Five hilarious Thurber Prize-winning books

At the B&N Reads blog Brian Boone tagged five hilarious Thurber Prize-winning reads, including:
2006: The Other Shulman, by Alan Zweibel

Shulman, a middle-aged guy with a lifelong weight problem always joked that he’s lost and re-gained the same 35 pounds since he was a teenager…which added up forms a complete separate person, a.k.a. Another Shulman. That’s his fictional alter ego, until he meets his real alter ego, a guy named Shulman who made all the good choices when our Shulman had made all the bad ones. In this inspirational, relatable tale of personal triumph and self-acceptance, scores are settled in the New York City marathon in this book written by a guy who knows comedy. Zweibel was on the initial writing staff of Saturday Night Live, and in the ‘80s, he co-created the innovative, fourth-wall busting sitcom It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top ten books about unrequited love

Kirsty Gunn is an internationally awarded writer of novels, short stories, as well as a collection of fragments and meditations, and essays. Her latest novel is Caroline's Bikini.

One of Gunn's top ten books about unrequited love, as shared at the Guardian:
Middlemarch by George Eliot

Whirring away like the great engines of intelligence and imagination that they are, are the novels riven through with love that is never quite fulfilled because of the way life and chance get in the way. First, Eliot’s great novel, with the wonderfully wilful and misguided Dorothea and the man who she is barely aware loves her, the ever hopeful but ultimately disappointing Will Ladislaw, who flits away at her back trying to woo while she chooses another suitor before him.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Middlemarch also made Jeff Somers's top five memorable books set on New Year’s Eve (and Day), Lauren Groff's list of six favorite portrayals of marriage in literature, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best bankers in literature, ten of the best marital rows, ten of the best examples of unrequited love, ten of the best funerals in literature, and ten of the best deathbed scenes in literature. It is among Emrys Westacott's five top books on philosophy & everyday living, Selma Dabbagh's top 10 stories of reluctant revolutionaries, Philip Pullman's six best books, Rebecca Goldstein's five best of novels of ideas, Tina Brown's five best books on reputation, Elizabeth Kostova favorite books, and Miss Manners' favorite novels. John Banville and Nick Hornby have not read it.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Eight mysteries with images that might stay with you forever

Sarah J. Harris's new novel is The Color of Bee Larkham's Murder. At CrimeReads she tagged eight mysteries with images that might stay with you forever, including:
The Dry, by Jane Harper

The Dry was Harper’s debut novel. It has become an international bestseller and been optioned for film by Reese Witherspoon’s production company. Which actor should play the lead role— federal police officer Aaron Falk, who returns to his hometown after 20 years for a funeral only to become embroiled in a murder investigation—remains open to debate. However, it is the parched Australian landscape that will prove the biggest star. The searing heat raises the stress levels of the characters—and readers—while blowflies swarm, cattle die, and the inhabitants of Kiewarra are seemingly driven to madness and murder. Aaron mourns the river where he and his friends used to gather, which is now “nothing more than a dusty scar in the land,” an image mirroring the scars found on drowned teenager Ellie Deacon’s arms years before. No one is spared the trauma of the relentless heat—children at school draw never-ending brown fields and stick figures of cows with “angel wings.” Readers will feel the heat on their necks and dust on their clothes as two mysteries begin to unspool in this tinderbox ready to ignite at any moment. The climate is just as merciless and brutal as the murderer’s weapons, yet we can’t tear our eyes away from the pages of this outstanding novel.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Dry is among Fiona Barton's eight favorite cold-case mysteries.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Five books about intricate games

A Korean-American sf/f writer who received a B.A. in math from Cornell University and an M.A. in math education from Stanford University, Yoon Ha Lee finds it a source of continual delight that math can be mined for story ideas.

His new novel is Revenant Gun.

One of five books about intricate games Lee tagged at
Sharps by K.J. Parker

Sharps is, on the surface, about a diplomatic mission carried out by a fencing team. (The sword kind of fencing, not the backyard kind of fencing.) But because this is K.J. Parker, this rapidly devolves into intrigue, mishaps, and unlikely romance. It’s also a meditation on the difference between what is real (like a “sharp”) vs. an image (like a fencing foil, which is blunt). I liked this a lot when I read it initially, although it probably benefits from being read just after the related novel The Folding Knife, and now that I am taking fencing, I’d love to reread it to see how much more I get out of the fencing descriptions!
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five books on how to achieve gender equality

Laura Bates is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, a collection of more than 80,000 women's daily experiences of gender inequality. One of her five (plus) books on how to achieve gender equality, as shared at the Guardian:
They say “don’t get mad, get even”. But what if we need to get mad first? What if we can’t begin to imagine equality until we’ve first been allowed to find an outlet for our long-silenced, unacknowledged, righteous fury? Rage Becomes Her, a love letter to women’s anger by Soraya Chemaly, gives women everywhere the permission to get mad as hell … and then to get even.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 25, 2018

Six horror books that will make you think twice about riding the subway

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 "six tales of terror that travel the dark pathways beneath us, and burrow into our imaginations," including:
Awakened, by James S. Murray and Darren Wearmouth

The Z train is a new state-of-the-art subway line that promises to bridge the New York transit system with New Jersey’s, creating one unified line. It’s a marvel of engineering and city planning—up until the train’s maiden voyage ends with an empty train car full of blood. With methane gas reaching explosive levels in the Z train tunnels and whispers that the incident was a terrorist attack, it falls to the mayor of New York City, the president, and a team of technicians to figure out what really happened on the train, and keep it from happening again. But it turns out terrorism is too simple an answer: there’s something twisted and hungry lurking in the dark beneath the Z train, something that’s been waiting a very long time for its day in the sun. James Murray and Darren Wearmouth’s co-written novel takes off quickly, blending disaster novel tropes with gruesome horror at a pace as fast as the high-tech train line at its center.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Eleven great crime books featuring investigative reporters

J. G. Hetherton's new novel is Last Girl Gone. At CrimeReads he tagged eleven great crime books featuring investigative reporters, including:
Heartsick, by Chelsea Cain

The twisted, borderline-romantic relationship between detective Archie Sheridan and his quarry, serial killer Gretchen Lowell, is the meat of this thriller. Kidnapped, tortured, and seduced by Lowell—but also spared by her—Sheridan is a broken man drawn back into the fray before he’s ready. His sudden return draws the attention of young and intrepid reporter Susan Ward, and she shadows him into the Portland’s darkest corners. Together they struggle to find their footing, solve the case, and to sever the heartstrings connecting Sheridan and Lowell once and for all. Chelsea Cain’s years as a contributor to The Oregonian certainly informed her choice for Sheridan’s unorthodox partner.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Laurence Tribe's six book recommendations

Laurence Tribe is a Harvard law professor and leading constitutional scholar. His latest book, co-authored with Joshua Matz, is To End A Presidency, an examination of presidential impeachment. One of six books he recommended at The Week magazine:
Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills

We all know Lincoln's masterpiece, but until I read this gripping account of its making and of its way of linking our Constitution and Declaration of Independence, I had not fully grasped the genius of Lincoln's ringing reformulation of our nation's meaning.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five SFF books in which art matters

C.L. Polk's debut novel is Witchmark. At she tagged five SFF "stories where art matters—to the story, to its society, and to its character," including:
Carnival by Elizabeth Bear

Bear’s super spy SF novel begins with two operatives reuniting after many years to deliver a shipment of stolen artwork to a matriarchal colony planet after years of diplomatic tension—but really they are there to get intelligence for old earth’s government. Don’t walk into this book expecting good vs. evil or any simple, reductive morality—everyone possesses virtues beside their flaws. Come for the art reclamation, stay for the culture building, which won’t be anything like you expect.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Five genre-bending science-fictional crime novels

Amanda Bridgeman is an Aurealis Award finalist and author of seven science fiction novels, including the best-selling space opera Aurora series and apocalyptic drama The Time of the Stripes. One of five genre-bending science-fictional crime novels she tagged at the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog:
Lock In, by John Scalzi

Set in the near future, the world has been shaped by what’s known as “Haden’s syndrome,” a disease that causes “Lock In”: Victims are fully awake and aware, but unable to move or respond to stimulus. Rookie FBI agent Chris Shane is paired with veteran agent Leslie Vann, and the two are assigned what appears to be a Haden-related murder. The suspect is an “integrator” – someone who can let the ‘locked in’ borrow their bodies for a time. But if the Integrator was carrying a Haden client at the time of the murder, then naming the suspect suddenly becomes much more complicated. Lock In was followed this year by a sequel, Head On, that presents Shane and Vann’s next case.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 22, 2018

Ten essential southern books you probably haven’t read

A native of Mississippi, Nick White is the author of the novel How to Survive a Summer and the newly released short story collection, Sweet & Low.

At Publishers Weekly he tagged ten "vital, and quintessentially Southern, titles that deserve to sit on the shelf alongside the classics," including:
Long Division by Kiese Laymon

Laymon’s extraordinary debut novel is a tale of two Cities—two boys named City, that is, who live in Mississippi at different times. The story opens in present-day Jackson with the first City (short for Citoyen) as he gears up to compete in the national televised competition, "Can You Use That Word in a Sentence," with his rival, LaVander Peeler. City discovers a book, titled Long Division, that appears to be narrated by another City from the 1980s. From there, the novel becomes a wild adventure story involving time travel, as well as a bold exploration of Mississippi’s racist legacies and how the effects of segregation and slavery continue to hold consequence for our narrators and the places they call home. (Also, dear reader, remember Kiese Laymon’s name: later this year, his memoir, Heavy, will be published by Scribner and promises to light the world on fire.)
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Five top books about motherhood and dystopia

Siobhan Adcock is the author of the novels The Barter and The Completionist. One of five top books about motherhood and dystopia she tagged at
The Children of Men by P.D. James

It’s been twenty years since a human child has been born, and humanity lives in terror of its own extinction, fetishizing a memory of motherhood and babies. Meanwhile, an authoritarian government ruthlessly redistributes resources and strips away basic freedoms. The action in a dystopian novel often kicks off with a miracle that threatens to upend the “new normal,” and in P.D. James’s trenchant 1992 bestseller (which inspired the very different—but still exciting—2006 Alfonso Cuaron film of the same name), it’s the revelation that a woman might actually be pregnant. This secret pulls Theo, a disillusioned academic, into a dangerous scheme to help a dissident group protect the mother-to-be—ultimately by exposing her. The brilliant premise and the heartbreakingly hopeful finish have made this the other classic dystopian novel of motherhood, on the shelf right next to Atwood’s.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Children of Men is on M.R. Carey's list of five favorite apocalyptic novels, Jeff Somers's top ten list of books with plausible fictional apocalypses, Justin Cronin's list of ten top world-ending novels, Anita Singh's list of five P.D. James novels you should read, Torie Bosch's top twelve list of great pandemic novels, Joel Cunningham's list of eleven scary fictional diseases, John Mullan's list of the ten most notable New Years in literature, Amanda Yesilbas and Charlie Jane Anders's list of the twelve most unfaithful movie versions of science fiction and fantasy books, Ben H. Winters' list of three books to read before the end of the world, and John Sutherland's list of the five best books about the end of England.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top ten books about the afterlife

Tim Thornton is the author of the novels The Alternative Hero, Death of An Unsigned Band, and Felix Romsey's Afterparty. He also plays drums for the band Fink. Among his ten top books about the afterlife, as shared at the Guardian:
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (2002)

The felt-pen drawing by Susie Salmon’s kid brother inadvertently reveals her new celestial whereabouts: “A thick blue line separated the air and the ground… I became convinced that the line was a real place… where heaven’s horizon met Earth’s.” Susie, recently murdered, watches her family, friends and neighbours from this ethereal viewing platform, but with frustratingly inconsistent ability to influence anything. Sebold handles her novel’s central irony – that the power of Susie’s desire to live is what eventually enables her to enjoy her death – with delicacy and passion.
Read about the other books on the list.

The Lovely Bones is among Jeff Somers's top eight speculative works with dead narrators, Nadiya Hussain's six best books, Judith Claire Mitchell's ten best (unconventional) ghosts, Laura McHugh's ten favorite books about serial killers, and Tamzin Outhwaite's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Five books about the domestic lives of people in the past

Lucy Worsley's latest books are a non-fiction book for adults called Jane Austen at Home, and a novel for younger readers called My Name is Victoria. At the Guardian she tagged "five volumes that help you understand the domestic lives of people in the past – and why they came to matter," including:
Mark Girouard was one of the first architectural historians who started to think that there was more to the history than connoisseurship and assigning buildings to particular architects. His exploration of the development of things such as the dessert course, or the mechanics of plumbing, in his groundbreaking Life in the English Country House (1978) underpins a lot of the information you’ll come across if you visit a historical house. Of course, since it was first published, historians’ interests have broadened out from the stately pile to a whole range of dwellings, from workers’ houses to the streetscapes you might find in living history museums.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Six top books about the advertising industry

Ken Auletta is The New Yorker's senior media correspondent and author of Googled, Three Blind Mice, and other nonfiction best-sellers. One of six books that shaped his new book Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else), as shared at The Week magazine:
The Hidden Persuaders by Vance Packard

In 1957, this powerful best-selling exposé of the ad business indicted the industry for treating consumers like 6-year-olds. Less than a decade later, a celebrated Coca-Cola commercial featured children of all colors and nationalities on a hilltop harmonizing "I'd like to teach the world to sing." It was a great example of Packard's thesis, providing emotional uplift but also zero information about the product.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five fantastical heroines in great children’s books

Lavie Tidhar's latest novels are the forthcoming Unholy Land (2018) and his first children’s novel, Candy (2018). He is the author of many other novels, novellas and short stories. At he tagged five fantastical heroines in great children’s books, including:
Pippi Longstocking, from Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

A beloved childhood classic, Pippi lives alone in a big old house, eats messy spaghetti whenever she wants, has a pet monkey, superhuman strength, and treasure from her father, a sea captain lost at sea. Together with Lindgren’s Master Detective Kalle Blomkvist, the two have definitely shaped my ideas on how stories work, and combining them seemed like a perfect opportunity.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Pippi Longstocking is among Cerys Matthews' six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 18, 2018

Marisha Pessl's 6 favorite stories of suspense

Marisha Pessl's new novel is Neverworld Wake. One of her six favorite stories of suspense, as shared at The Week magazine:
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I love how Tartt runs the mystery of a stolen 16th-century goldfinch painting through her sprawling narrative like a gleaming thread of gold as she explores life, death, art, the isolation of modern existence, and everything in between. The novel is a grand, roaring orchestra with a little haunting theme running throughout. Just beautiful.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Goldfinch is one of Sophie Ward's six best books.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Eight crime novels of women starting over

Jennifer Hillier's new novel is Jar of Hearts. At CrimeReads she tagged eight psychological thrillers of women starting over, including:
The Last Mrs. Parrish, Liv Constantine

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine tackles this topic, too, but from the other side. If you’ve ever been “the third party” in someone’s relationship, you might feel guilty pangs of familiarity while reading this novel about Amber, who covertly goes after her new friend Daphne’s husband by transforming herself into someone he’s convinced is better for him. However, Daphne isn’t the clueless wife Amber assumes she is, and the ending is satisfying in all the ways these real-life situations never are.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Mrs. Parrish.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Antony Beevor's 6 best books

The military historian Antony Beevor has written both novels and non-fiction. His latest book is Arnhem: The Battle for the Bridges, 1944. One of his six best books, as shared at the Daily Express:

Marías's novel in three volumes constitutes one of the greatest works in modern European literature. His protagonist works for a secret department whose task is to attempt to predict people's future actions.

Twisting like the double helix of human DNA, it is an unashamed novel of ideas.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Five books about magical apocalypses

Peng Shepherd was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where she rode horses and trained in classical ballet. She earned her M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, and has lived in Beijing, London, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York.

The Book of M is her first novel.

One of Shepherd's five favorite books about magical apocalypses, as shared at
Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse

This YA debut seamlessly weaves together the magic of fantasy and the technology of sci-fi into something completely its own. When a portal to another world suddenly opens, our own is irrevocably changed. But even as things on our side of the divide begin to take a turn for the worse, with rising inflation, uncontrollable global warming, and insidious new technologies, the mystical tether refuses to let go—and perhaps is not as benevolent as it first had seemed. The story has a fascinating structure; it’s told through the eyes of a series of linked protagonists, each several decades ahead of the previous. The potential futures Peevyhouse imagines in this book are at once bizarre, a little terrifying, and most of all, hauntingly possible.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 15, 2018

Eleven books to help children cope with the loss of a parent

The B&N Editors pulled together a list of eleven books to help children cope with the loss of a parent, including:
The Goodbye Book, by Todd Parr

When a fish loses its green fish-companion in their fishbowl, “It’s hard to say goodbye to someone.”

Todd Parr, one of our family’s favorite picture book authors, wrote and illustrated this book on grief and loss without mentioning the word “death.” Because this story is told through the voice of a fish, it might be the perfect way for young children to relate to losing someone. Say, a father who moves out of the home during a divorce. Or, a mother who recently died.

In the end, Parr comforts his readers with the reminder that “there will always be someone to love you and hold you tight.”
Read about the other titles on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Ten books about contemporary queer life in America

Michelle Tea's new book is Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions & Criticisms. One of ten books about contemporary queer life in America she tagged at Publishers Weekly:
Harmless Medicine by Justin Chin

We lost the prolific, punk poet Justin Chin in 2015, to complications of HIV+ status. Justin wrote copiously about living with AIDs, as well as family, love and heartbreak, poverty, illegal drugs and transgressive sex, immigration and ethnicity. If this sounds dour, prepare to have your mind blown by the humor packed into every piece, shoulder to shoulder with real angst and political outrage. Justin Chin was a Queen, and his shrewd humor is a defining characteristic of his singular voice. Any of his works is a great place to start but I’m selecting Harmless Medicine for its nine-part "Imagining America," which calls out to Ginsberg’s "America"–I create my culture everyday. / I write a bible of diaspora. / I piss in the embrace of men. / I bruise the broken speech.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Top ten lost women's classics

Caroline O'Donoghue's debut novel is Promising Young Women. One of her top ten lost women's classics, as shared at the Guardian:
Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin

I have limited interest in adjectives, and food writing is full of them. Even good food writing I find hard going. Or at least, I did, until someone gifted me this slim little paperback. It’s full of gross references to 80s food, such as creamed spinach. Regardless, it’s a tragicomic exploration of life and friendship through food, something every food writer wants to achieve, but Colwin truly pulled out of the bag.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Five of the best books about soccer

Richard Williams, author of The Perfect 10, tagged his five favorite books about soccer at the Guardian. One title on the list:
The World Cup is football’s biggest money geyser – the organisers declared a profit of $2.6bn on revenues of $4.8bn from the 2014 edition, held in Brazil –and the tawdry consequences are analysed in David Conn’s The Fall of the House of Fifa. Readers of this newspaper will note the author’s identity and be prepared for a forensic account of 20 years of murky dealings among the leaders of the world governing body, its controlled anger infused with a fan’s sorrow.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Twelve great fantasy heist novels

At the B&N Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, Meghan Ball tagged twelve great fantasy heist stories, including:
The Legend of Eli Monpress, by Rachel Aaron

Maybe you like your thieves to be a little magical as well? In that case, Eli Monpress has you covered. Eli’s goal is to become the most wanted, most infamous thief in all the land. His strong magic, which allows him to do things like charm locks to open, helps him pull of incredible feats of thievery. Joined by a famed swordsman and a girl burdened by demons, he risks everything to be the best criminal he can be. His first heist? Stealing a king! This series is a joy, and a bargain: three books are included in this hefty omnibus edition.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Spirit Thief (Book One in The Legend of Eli Monpress).

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 11, 2018

Five memorable houses in fiction

Louise Candlish's latest novel is Our House. One of five memorable houses in fiction she tagged at the Waterstones blog:
Howard’s End by EM Forster

The passionate attachment Ruth Wilcox has to her house feels as relevant today as it must have done when Forster was writing, during a period of great societal and cultural tension. Finding a home, a place of true belonging, is crucial to his characters’ emotional well being. After Mrs Wilcox’s death, Howard’s End is the source of ethical dilemma and the setting of terrible tragedy, but it also, in the end, is a place of reunion and healing. I love the line when Margeret Schlegel asks Mr Wilcox, ‘Aren’t you ever amused at the solemnity with which we middle classes approach the subject of houses?’

Oh yes.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Howards End is among Fiona Stafford's ten top books about trees and John Mullan's ten best concerts in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Six queer historical YA romances

At the BN Teen Blog, Nicole Brinkley tagged six top queer historical YA romances, including:
Honey Girl, by Lisa Freeman

Picture a queer romance set on the beach. In 1972. With surfing, an intense Mean Girls vibe, and mentions of star signs on every page. Sound up your alley? Congratulations: you need Honey Girl! After her father dies and her mother uproots and moves them to Santa Monica, Nani’s only wish is to follow her own set of rules, an unspoken list that turned her into queen of the beach when she lived in Hawaii. But with secrets of her own piling up alongside a growing affection for Rox, the current queen supreme, becoming head of this beach might be more difficult than she anticipated.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Five books to understand Marxism

Aaron Bastani is co-founder and senior editor at Novara Media. He holds a PhD from the New Political Communication Unit, University of London, examining social movements in the digital environment which fail to correspond to the traditional logic of collective action. His research interests include new media, social movements, asymmetric strategies and post-scarcity political economy. His new book is Fully Automated Luxury Communism.

One of Bastani's five books to better understand Marxism, as shared at the Guardian:
If [David Harvey’s Companion to Marx’s Capital] is a good way to become acquainted with Marxist economics, Francis Wheen’s Karl Marx allows the reader to situate his output within the context of 19th-century Europe. While far from politically sympathetic, the biography is informative and light, humanising a figure diminished for much of the last 100 years.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Friday, June 8, 2018

Seven picture books about learning to handle anger

At the BN Kids Blog Angie Brown tagged seven picture books about learning to handle anger, including:
The Way I Feel, by Janan Cain

All types of feelings, from happy to sad, angry to proud, are depicted in this picture book, making it a great tool for reminding little ones that a wide range of feelings, including anger, are a normal part of our emotions—not necessarily bad, or good, but simply part of life. It can also help with teaching your child to recognize and name some of the many different kinds of feelings they have.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Twelve essential Miami crime novels

Alex Segura is a novelist and comic book writer. He is the author of the Pete Fernandez Miami Mystery novels, all via Polis Books.

Segura's latest book is Blackout.

One of the author's twelve essential Miami crime novels, as shared at CrimeReads:
Vicki Hendricks, Miami Purity

Hands down, the purest, most evocative piece of Miami noir ever. An ode to James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice with a dollop of crackling sexuality to boot, Miami Purity doesn’t wallow in the tourist-y trappings of Miami some might expect, instead giving you a harsh dose of reality from the perspective of sexy, sharp and conflicted laundromat employee Sherri Parlay. You can easily get lost in Hendricks’s delectable wordplay, even as you’re ensnared by a story so soaked in noir it hurts.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Five books that get inside the minds of dictators

Daniel Kalder is the author of The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy.

One of his five top books that get inside the minds of dictators, as shared at the Guardian:
Simon Leys’ Chinese Shadows has just over 200 elegantly written pages, and yet cuts to the heart of Mao’s Cultural Revolution with precision. Leys exposed the destructive evil of Mao’s regime at a time when “useful idiots” ranging from Jean-Paul Sartre to Shirley MacLaine were singing its praises in the west. His narrative fuses insights from his own travels in China with profound but lightly worn erudition. One moment Leys is discussing Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse‑tung, the next he is reaching back to its 14th‑century precursor, the Ming Ta kao.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Top ten working-class heroes in books

Marc Mulholland is a professor of modern history at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. He specialises in the development of international socialism, the history of political thought, revolution and modern Ireland. He is the author of The Murderer of Warren Street, a study of Emmanuel Barthélemy. At the Guardian, tagged ten top working-class heroes in books, including:
The Chimes by Charles Dickens

For decades this Christmas story was at least as famous and beloved as A Christmas Carol. Its hero, Trotty, scrapes a living delivering messages for well-heeled customers. They tell him that his people are ungrateful and degraded. Trotty contemplates suicide, but supernatural visions teach him the importance of working-class pride and self-reliance. This is an inspiring story reminding workers never to give up.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Five top books about first love

André Aciman is the New York Times bestselling author of Call Me By Your Name, Out of Egypt, Eight White Nights, False Papers, Alibis, and Harvard Square, and most recently Enigma Variations. He's the editor of The Proust Project and teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

One of Aciman's five favorite books about the intensity of a once-in-a-lifetime love, as shared at the Guardian:
[T]he novel that best captures first love is The Princesse de Clèves, by Madame de Lafayette. This is the story of Mademoiselle de Chartres who is 16 and destined to marry the Prince de Clèves. He is madly in love, she is not. He is fully aware of this, she is too young to know. But as soon as she spots the Duke de Nemours she is as taken by him as he is by her. There are so many obstacles thrown between them that they hardly ever speak. Besides, they are always in public, seldom alone, and yet they are constantly reading each other’s moves and motives, always intercepting signals that shout their love – which is never consummated.
Read about the other books on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Five books about fandoms and fan culture

Britta Lundin is a TV writer, novelist, and comic book writer. Her New young adult novel is Ship It. At she tagged five top books about fandoms and fan culture, including:
Dear Rachel Maddow by Adrienne Kisner

Angst / Pining

Told in a series of unsent email drafts from lesbian teenager Brynn to her hero Rachel Maddow, this book captures how turbulent teen years can be, and how having a celebrity to look up to can be emotionally grounding, even if you never speak to them directly. Brynn admires Maddow’s activism and outspokenness, even as she tries to resist taking up the mantle against injustice in her own school. But eventually, Brynn realizes she must take charge and find the activist spirit within herself. It’s a story about how loving a celebrity can actually make you a better person. After all, no one wants to disappoint their hero. Sweet and empowering, and effortlessly very queer, Dear Rachel Maddow will make you want to use your voice for good.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Six notable social satires

Kevin Kwan's critically-acclaimed debut novel Crazy Rich Asians became an international bestseller in 2013 and is now being made into a major motion picture by director Jon M. Chu and Warner Brothers Studios. Its sequel China Rich Girlfriend also became a smash hit around the world, and the final book in the trilogy, Rich People Problems, was released in May 2017.

One of Kwan's six favorite social satires, as shared at The Week magazine:
Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope

If you ever thought that Trollope, the greatest chronicler of the Victorian age, might be too stuffy, read this deliciously captivating page-turner. An heir to a noble but cash-strapped family is told from the day he is born that he "must marry money!" Naturally, he falls in love with a girl of no fortune and a dubious pedigree.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue

Monday, June 4, 2018

Five of the best sibling stories for children

Sarah Driver's fantasy adventure trilogy for kids is called The Huntress. One set of her favorite fictional siblings, as shared at the Waterstones blog:
The Mortmain sisters. I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith

The deliciously described tale of opinionated teenage writer Cassandra and her ‘bitter with life,’ waifishly beautiful sister Rose, who eggs the weather on, ‘positively encouraging forked lightning.’ Cassandra and Rose live in a crumbling castle and have to cope with their dysfunctionally-eccentric elders, as well as a poverty that sees them eating meagre portions of bread and margarine, without any dining room furniture as it has all been sold.

The sisters share a draughty bedroom, warm their feet with hot bricks and take it in turns to have a week sleeping in the four poster, the other relegated to the iron bedstead. It is in the dark that they confide in each other most. These intimate conversations showcase both their poverty, and the differences in their character.

Rose: ‘I’d marry him even if I hated him…did you ever see anything as beautiful as Mrs Cotton’s bathroom?’

Cassandra: ‘Yes, lots of things…and no bathroom on earth will make up for marrying a bearded man you hate.’
Read about the other entries on the list.

I Capture the Castle is among Gail Honeyman's five favorite idiosyncratic characters, Anna Wilson's top ten embarrassing parents in books, Rose Mannering’s top five books, Diane Johnson's six favorite books, and Sophia Bennett's top ten stylish reads.

--Marshal Zeringue