New Books

4 November, 2018

ALMOST FAMILY, Roy Hoffman

The complex friendship between a black housekeeper and her Jewish employer is at the heart of Hoffman’s prize-winning novel about life in the civil rights era South–now in a 35th Anniversary Edition!

Winner of the Lillian Smith Book Award and Alabama Library Association Award for fiction

Nebraska Waters is black. Vivian Gold is Jewish. In an Alabama kitchen where, for nearly thirty years, they share cups of coffee, fret over their children, and watch the civil rights movement unfold out their window, and into their homes, they are like family—almost.

As Nebraska makes her way, day in and out, to Vivian’s house to cook and help tend the Gold children, the “almost” threatens to widen into a great divide. The two women’s husbands affect their relationship, as do their children, Viv Waters and Benjamin Gold, born the same year and coming of age in a changing South. The bond between the women both strengthens and frays.

Roy Hoffman’s Almost Family (University of Alabama Press) explores the relationship that begins when one person goes to work for another, and their friendship—across lines of race, income, and religion—develops degrees of understanding yet growing misunderstanding. This edition (2018) commemorates the 35th anniversary of the book’s publication and features a foreword by the author and includes a discussion guide for readers and book clubs.

Review

PRAISE FOR THE FIRST EDITION
“Hoffman never lets facts flatten characters; he has made them too human—too strong or too stubborn—for that.”
New Yorker

“Everything in this book rings true—the dialogue, the cadences, the deft-touch observations, the best and worst of human nature.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Hoffman has got it all exactly right: the interlocking of individual lives and great public events that made every Southerner feel as though he or she were living on the very edge of history.”—Washington Post

Roy Hoffman is the author of the novels Come Landfall and Chicken Dreaming Corn and the nonfiction books Back Home: Journeys through Mobile and Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post, and he was a long-time staff writer for the Mobile Press-Register. He received the Clarence Cason Award in nonfiction from The University of Alabama and is on the faculty of Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing Program.

1 November, 2018

BEYOND THE CALL, Eileen Rivers

A riveting account of three women who fought shoulder-to-shoulder with men and worked with local women to restore their lives and push back the Taliban

They marched under the heat with 40-pound rucksacks on their backs. They fired weapons out of the windows of military vehicles, defending their units in deadly battles. And they did things that their male counterparts could never do–gather intelligence on the Taliban from the women of Afghanistan. As females they could circumvent Muslim traditions and cultivate relationships with Afghan women who were bound by tradition not to speak with American military men. And their work in local villages helped empower Afghan women, providing them with the education and financial tools necessary to rebuild their nation–and the courage to push back against the insurgency that wanted to destroy it. For the women warriors of the military’s Female Engagement Teams (FET) it was dangerous, courageous, and sometimes heartbreaking work.

Beyond the Call (Da Capo/Hachette, November 2018) follows the groundbreaking journeys of three women as they first fight military brass and culture and then enemy fire and tradition. And like the men with whom they served, their battles were not over when they returned home.

A riveting story about three remarkable women soldiers and the incredible impact their service as a Female Engagement Team (FET) had on the war efforts in Afghanistan. They were able to win the trust of Afghan women and children, restoring faith in the future and improving quality of life…all this while still doing the heavy lifting required of a United States soldier in combat.”–General Ann Dunwoody (U.S. Army, Ret.), author of A Higher Standard

A compelling story, too long untold. Eileen Rivers reveals the power of women–of women in the U.S. military in Afghanistan, playing a crucial role in intelligence gathering that was impossible for their male counterparts. And the power of the Afghan women with whom they forged a bond. For the Afghan women, the war isn’t over, of course. And the American women faced battles of their own when they got home. If you start reading Eileen Rivers’s book, you won’t be able to stop. Some of it will make you angry. Much of it will make you proud.”–Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief, USA TODAY

“Today, women are on the front lines of our nation’s wars all over the globe. Yet little has been written about them or the struggles they endure–both on and off the battlefield. Until now. Eileen Rivers’s account of three women who served in Afghanistan is both a gripping narrative and a sharp analysis of a historic cultural shift in our nation’s military. We owe it to the men and women who serve in our armed forces to understand this pressing issue. This book is a great place to start.”–Jim Michaels, author of A Chance in Hell: The Men Who Triumphed Over Iraq’s Deadliest City and Turned the Tide of War

“[The] story of the fight for women’s rights in a country where the male power structure opposes them…Compelling. The author’s own military experience gives the book a perspective that is especially useful. A solid, fact-filled look at an underreported piece of the American military.“―Kirkus Reviews

Eileen Rivers is a USA Today editor and editorial board member. Formerly with the Washington Post, she has been writing and reporting for more than fifteen years and has produced several multimedia online interactives covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A veteran of the U.S. Army, she served in Kuwait following Desert Storm where she was sent into the former combat zone as an Arabic linguist, collecting and translating information from enemy targets. Rivers lives in Maryland.


30 October, 2018

MAROONED: Jamestown, Shipwreck, and a New History of America’s Origin, Joseph Kelly, Ph.D.

“The U.S. loves its creation myths, and this mythmaking, myth-breaking history gives us a new character, Stephen Hopkins… Though Hopkins and those like him left few records, Kelly fleshes out the available glimpses with a vivid, detailed description of the settlement and its English and Native American contexts…Kelly’s dynamic narrative brings Jamestown to life and shows how history reflects the present as well as the past.” ―starred review, Booklist

For readers of Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower, a groundbreaking history that makes the case for replacing Plymouth Rock with Jamestown as America’s founding myth. 

We all know the great American origin story. It begins with an exodus. Fleeing religious persecution, the hardworking, pious Pilgrims thrived in the wilds of New England, where they built their fabled city on a hill. Legend goes that the colony in Jamestown was a false start, offering a cautionary tale. Lazy louts hunted gold till they starved, and the shiftless settlers had to be rescued by English food and the hard discipline of martial law.

Neither story is true. In Marooned, Joseph Kelly reexamines the history of Jamestown and comes to a radically different and decidedly American interpretation of these first Virginians.

In this gripping account of shipwrecks and mutiny in America’s earliest settlements, Kelly argues that the colonists at Jamestown were literally and figuratively marooned, cut loose from civilization, and cast into the wilderness. The British caste system meant little on this frontier: those who wanted to survive had to learn to work and fight and intermingle with the nearby native populations. Ten years before the Mayflower Compact and decades before Hobbes and Locke, they invented the idea of government by the people. 150 years before Jefferson, they discovered the truth that all men were equal.

The epic origin of America was not an exodus and a fledgling theocracy. It is a tale of shipwrecked castaways of all classes marooned in the wilderness fending for themselves in any way they could–a story that illuminates who we are today.

“[A] stimulating history of Jamestown . . . a superb portrait of the founding, combining brilliant detail with epic sweep.” ―Starred review, Publishers Weekly

“An insightful re-examination of the 1607 Jamestown settlement . . . Kelly’s lively, heavily researched, frequently gruesome account gives a slight nod to Jamestown as the ‘better place to look for the genesis of American ideals.’” ―Starred review, Kirkus Reviews

“Joseph Kelley’s Marooned is a tale of intrigue, betrayal, and redemption from American’s colonial past. It is also a moving reimagining of the American story. Kelley’s history of Jamestown shows that America is a community born of marooned colonists, escaped slaves, and native inhabitants thrown together by an accident of history, and that the creed of liberty inscribed in the nation’s founding is not a foreign importation, but the unique inheritance of this potent brew.” ―William Egginton, author of THE SPLINTERING OF THE AMERICAN MIND

“Joseph Kelly’s Marooned re-tells the early American story with salutary attention to Native Americans, non-elite English settlers, and the dramas of shipwreck, maroonage, and self-determination. Familiar figures such as John Smith and Pocahontas get reinvented in the bloody story of Jamestown’s struggle against famine and incompetent leadership. Most excitingly, he offers new figures for the first English Americans, especially the rebellious commoner Stephen Hopkins, who lived, labored, and sometimes resisted authority in Bermuda, Jamestown, and eventually Plymouth Rock. Hopkins’s desire for liberty and struggle against aristocratic despotism make the marooned commoner a powerful figure for what was newly American about the early English experience of the New World.” ―Steve Mentz, author of SHIPWRECK MODERNITY: ECOLOGIES OF GLOBALIZATION 1550-1719


29 October, 2018

HUSHED IN DEATH (An Inspector Lamb Mystery), Stephen Kelly

In the third volume of the Inspector Lamb mystery series, a murder at a hospital for veterans in rural England leaves Lamb with a village full of suspects, each with a motive and secrets of their own.  (Pegasus Books, November 2019)

“This will appeal to fans of Rennie Airth and Charles Todd.”
Publishers Weekly

In the spring of 1942, with the war in Europe raging, a gruesome murder shocks the rural community of Marbury, where a once-grand estate called Elton House has been transformed into a hospital for “shell-shocked” officers sent back from the front lines. When Detective Chief Inspector Lamb arrives to solve the case, he quickly learns that the victim, Elton House’s gardener Joseph Lee, had plenty of enemies in Marbury—and so he and his team have plenty of suspects.
Along with his team of investigators, which includes his daughter Vera, Lamb begins to untangle the threads of rivalry and deceit that lie beneath the surface of the seemingly-peaceful countryside village. It soon becomes clear that Lee’s mysterious past is intertwined with the history of Elton House itself, which fell into disrepair a generation earlier after a shockingly similar murder, and the mystery deepens further when Lamb discovers that one of the prime suspects has seemingly committed suicide.

As Lamb pieces together the connections between the crimes of the present and those of the past, he must dive into the darkest, most secret corners of Elton House to discover who is committing murder, and why.

About Stephen Kelly:

I’ve always loved reading good mystery novels, especially those from the English masters — Conan Doyle, Dame Agatha, Colin Dexter, Peter Robinson and others. I’m also a huge fan of the Norwegian crime novelist, Karin Fossum. Before turning to writing fiction with a vengeance, though, I was, for nearly thirty years, a newspaper reporter, editor and columnist. My work has appeared in the Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, Baltimore Magazine, The Columbia Flier and Howard County Times. I have a Master’s from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and have taught writing and journalism at Hopkins, Towson University, in Baltimore, and Sweet Briar College, in Virginia. I live in Columbia, Maryland, with my wife, Cindy, and our daughters, Anna and Lauren.

6 October, 2018

Muppets Meet the Classics: Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, Erik Forrest Jackson

Some fairy tales are too silly. Others are too serious. But when the Muppets meet the classics? The stories are just right! Join Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the other Muppets as they bring favorite fairy tales to life in their own hilarious way.

Once upon a time, there was a pretty young chicken named Camillarella, who had very heavy shoes and an enchanting Chicken Dance. Or maybe you’d prefer to hear the story of Janice, the flower child with braided tresses as yellow as SpongeBob. With all the favorite characters–Kermit, Miss Piggy, and others–these fairy tales give a whole new meaning to the word “classic.”


2 October, 2018

PHARAOH’S TREASURE: THE ORIGIN OF PAPER AND THE RISE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, John Gaudet, Ph.D.

Just published from Pegasus Books!

“A lively overview of a medium that was central to public and private life in the ancient world.
An engaging journey to the distant past.”
– Kirkus Reviews

A thought-provoking history of papyrus paper―from its origins in Egypt to its spread throughout the world―revealing how it helped usher in a new era of human history.

For our entire history, humans have always searched for new ways to share information. This innate compulsion led to the origin of writing on the rock walls of caves and coffin lids or carving on tablets. But it was with the advent of papyrus paper when the ability to record and transmit information exploded, allowing for an exchanging of ideas from the banks of the Nile throughout the Mediterranean―and the civilized world―for the first time in human history.

In The Pharaoh’s Treasure, John Gaudet looks at this pivotal transition to papyrus paper, which would become the most commonly used information medium in the world for more than 4,000 years. Far from fragile, papyrus paper is an especially durable writing surface; papyrus books and documents in ancient and medieval times had a usable life of hundreds of years, and this durability has allowed items like the famous Nag Hammadi codices from the third and fourth century to survive.

The story of this material that was prized by both scholars and kings reveals how papyrus paper is more than a relic of our ancient past, but a key to understanding how ideas and information shaped humanity in the ancient and early modern world.

16 pages of color photographs; B&W illustrations throughout

About the Author
A Fulbright Scholar to both India and Malaya, John Gaudet is a writer and practicing ecologist. His early research on papyrus, funded in part by the National Geographic Society, took him to Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, and Ethiopia. A trained ecologist with a PhD from University of California at Berkeley, he is the author of Papyrus: The Plant that Changed the World, and his writing has appeared in Science, Nature, Ecology, the Washington Post, Salon and the Huffington Post. He lives in McLean, Virginia. Follow John on Twitter @BwanaPapyrus


2 October, 2018

HOGTOWN MARKET (Feral Seasons Volume 2), Marianne Kirby

The sequel to Kirby’s creepy and immersive DUST BATH REVIVAL (Curiosity Quills) Southern gothic horror novel!

The summer’s been hard on Hank Goodness. Family secrets upended the simple life she shared with her aunt and brother and set Hank on the road to a grim transformation in a hidden town. Now, Hank doesn’t know if she’s a monster or not. But she’s won her freedom and is on a mission: to rescue her brother Ben from a horrible fate. Hank is on the run. To stop what’s happening to her brother, she needs to figure out where to go next while navigating her new friendship with Jimmy and determining who in the world she can trust when everyone has betrayed her. Reborn – the risen and feral dead that rose with the Dust – aren’t even the worst of what’s hunting them. Predators are closing in, and they don’t all come in animal form. The dangerous women they meet might help, as long as Hank is willing to take the risk and pay the price. Unknown family history, government experiments, and her own hungry instincts conspire to change her relationship to the Reborn – and threaten her identity and her life.


1 October, 2018

THE DIVORCE HACKER’S GUIDE TO UNTYING THE KNOT, Ann E. Grant J.D

The best guide for protecting yourself through divorce now available from New World Library

Family law attorney Ann Grant presents the practical information every woman needs to protect herself as she navigates through a divorce. Feelings of loss, grief, and rage are common during divorce. But one of the most debilitating feelings experienced by women going through divorce is paralyzing impotence. Grant will help you take back your power and rights concerning finances, home, children, and work life. With compassion, insight, and tough-minded realism, she breaks down the process and provides step-by-step assessments, checklists, and inspiring stories of successful lives post-divorce. Her goal is to give you insider information that will not only make your divorce “successful” but also establish your life firmly and confidently on a positive, fresh new standing.

Ann E. Grant, JD, began her career as a corporate litigator specializing in unfair business practices and consumer fraud. After her divorce, she created her own firm, focusing on family law and a holistic approach to this life transition. She lives and practices in Manhattan Beach, California.  Check out the Divorce Hackers website and Facebook page for more information and support!

 

The Divorce Hacker’s Guide to Untying the Knot is terrific; it’s the quintessential road map for meeting change with courage and developing the skills to create a new life.”
— Linda Graham, MFT, author of Bouncing Back

“Wow! This is the comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about surviving a divorce with your sanity in check and your checkbook intact.”
— Lois P. Frankel, PhD, author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

“Ann Grant encourages divorcing women to ‘be better, not bitter.’ With her compassionate and levelheaded advice, she shows you how to reclaim your power, cultivate well-being, and forge a path to a better life.”
— Christine Hassler, author of Expectation Hangover


18 September, 2018

AN AFTERLIFE, Frances Bartkowski

An Afterlife, a debut novel, follows a young couple, Ilya and Ruby, who first meet in a displaced persons camp in Germany after the War. Both are lone survivors of their families as they travel to America to forge a future together. (Apprentice House, October 2018)

About the Author


3 July, 2018

AFTER ANATEVKA, Alexandra Silber

NOW IN PAPERBACK FROM PEGASUS!

A sweeping historical novel in the grand tradition of Russian literature that imagines what happens to the characters of Fiddler on the Roof after the curtain falls.

The world knows well the tale of Tevye, the beloved Jewish dairyman from the shtetl Anatevka of Tsarist Russia. In stories originally written by Sholem Aleichem and then made world-famous in the celebrated musical Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye, his wife Golde, and their five daughters dealt with the outside influences that were encroaching upon their humble lives. But what happened to those remarkable characters after the curtain fell?

In After Anatevka, Alexandra Silber picks up where Fiddler left off. Second-eldest daughter Hodel takes center stage as she attempts to join her Socialist-leaning fiancé Perchik to the outer reaches of a Siberian work camp. But before Hodel and Perchik can finally be together, they both face extraordinary hurdles and adversaries―both personal and political―attempting to keep them apart at all costs.

A love story set against a backdrop of some of the greatest violence in European history, After Anatevaka is a stunning conclusion to a tale that has gripped audiences around the globe for decades.

Reviews

About the Author