New Books Network

Chip Jacobs, “Arroyo” (Rare Birds Books, 2019)
Two guys named Nick Chance, both with clairvoyant dogs named Royo, both inventors living in Pasadena, California – in 1913 and 1993. The original Nick, who starts out working on an ostrich farm, is drawn to the Colorado Street Bridge and manages to meet some of the great personalities of... Read More
Janice Hadlow, “The Other Bennet Sister” (Henry Holt, 2020)
It is well known that the novels of Jane Austen (1775–1817), which enjoyed at best a modest success during her lifetime, have become ever more popular in the last fifty years or so. They support a small industry of remakes, spinoffs, and retellings. As Janice Hadlow notes while discussing The... Read More
Mari Coates, “The Pelton Papers” (She Writes Press, 2020)
Like the better-known and perhaps luckier Georgia O’Keeffe, the American painter Agnes Pelton also found her unique vision in the western desert. As Mari Coates details in our conversation, Pelton and O’Keeffe took art classes from the same teacher and had parallel careers in several ways, yet Pelton is relatively unknown... Read More
Maya Rodale, “An Heiress to Remember” (Avon Books, 2020)
As Maya Rodale notes early in this interview, romance novels tend not to get the same respect as other categories of fiction, historical or otherwise. Here, and in her Dangerous Books for Girls, she argues persuasively that this bad reputation is an attempt by life’s insiders to undermine the central message... Read More
Laura Waterman, “Starvation Shore” (U Wisconsin Press, 2019)
Laura Waterman talks about her novel, Starvation Shore (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019), which relies upon memoirs, letters, and diaries to reconstruct the life of the Greely Party as it attempted to survive impossible conditions. Waterman is a climber, conservationist, and author who has written many books with her husband Guy Waterman about... Read More
Emily Strelow, “The Wild Birds” (Rare Bird Books, 2018)
An orphaned young woman disguises herself as a boy in order to escape the dangers of being alone in 1870’s San Francisco. A group of castoffs destroy the bird population of the Farallon Island by stealing and selling their eggs. A young woman raped in the 1980’s struggles to raise... Read More
Gabrielle Mathieu, “Girl of Fire” (Five Directions Press, 2019)
In the fantasy medieval land of Trea—a conservative society that despite its worship of the goddess Amur respects her human daughters only as wives and mothers—eighteen-year-old Berona has limited expectations for her future. Securing a handsome husband who will win her heart and teach her to dance seems like enough... Read More
Joan Schweighardt, “Gifts for the Dead” (Five Directions Press, 2019)
Last summer, massive fires in the Amazon rain forest provoked environmental concerns around the world. But the history of exploitation—of the natural world of the rain forest and the people living in it—goes back at least to the rubber boom of the early twentieth century. This setting forms the backdrop... Read More