Sunday, October 1, 2023

On My Radar:

Unmasked: My Life Solving America's Cold Cases
Trade Paperback



I order another bourbon, neat. This is the drink that will flip the switch. I don’t even know how I got here, to this place, to this 
point. Something is happening to me lately. I’m drinking too much. My sheets are soaking wet when I wake up from nightmares of decaying corpses. I order another drink and swig it, trying to forget about the latest case I can’t shake.

Crime solving for me is more complex than the challenge of the hunt, or the process of piecing together a scientific puzzle. The thought of good people suffering drives me, for better or worse, to the point of obsession. People always ask how I am able to detach from the horrors of my work. Part of it is an innate capacity to compartmentalize; the rest is experience and exposure, and I’ve had plenty of both. But I have always taken pride in the fact that I can keep my feelings locked up to get the job done. It’s only been recently that it feels like all that suppressed darkness is beginning to seep out.

When I look back at my long career, there is a lot I am proud of. I have caught some of the most notorious killers of the twenty-first century and brought justice and closure for their victims and families. I want to tell you about a lifetime solving these cold cases, from Laci Peterson to Jaycee Dugard to the Pittsburg homicides to, yes, my twenty-year-long hunt for the Golden State Killer.

But a deeper question eats at me as I ask myself, at what cost? I have sacrificed relationships, joy—even fatherhood—because the pursuit of evil always came first. Did I make the right choice? It’s something I grapple with every day. Yet as I stand in the spot where a young girl took her last breath, as I look into the eyes of her family, I know that, for me, there has never been a choice. “I don’t know if I can solve your case,” I whisper. “But I promise I will do my best.”

Saturday, September 30, 2023

On My Radar:

Making It So: A Memoir
Hardcover



From his acclaimed stage triumphs to his legendary onscreen work in the Star Trek and X-Men franchises, Sir Patrick Stewart has captivated audiences around the world and across multiple generations with his indelible command of stage and screen. Now, he presents his long-awaited memoir,
 Making It So, a revealing portrait of an artist whose astonishing life—from his humble beginnings in Yorkshire, England, to the heights of Hollywood and worldwide acclaim—proves a story as exuberant, definitive, and enduring as the author himself.

Friday, September 29, 2023

On My Radar:

Summer of Hamn: Hollowpointlessness Aiding Mass Nihilism 
Hardcover



In Summer of Hamn, 
legendary hip-hop artist Chuck D takes on gun violence with rhythmic, inventive writing and passionately raw art. He has long spoken out against gun violence, including how it intersects with rap and hip-hop culture. Summer of Hamn is the bound journal Chuck D carried with him in the summer of 2022—a summer marked by a particularly high rate of gun death.

In these pages, victims are memorialized, politicians are skewered, and vehement pleas to eradicate gun violence are made. Jaw-dropping statistics (40% of all personal guns in the world are owned by US citizens; there are 100 million more guns in the US than there are citizens) intersect with poetic reflections (“Another mall shooting seems normalized in Columbus / Raining outside in Ohio / Raining inside folks panic / Inside hearing shots bust”), all written in Chuck’s hand over vibrant, utterly original, neoexpressionist ink and watercolor art.

This book is the follow-up to STEWdio the debut trilogy on Chuck D’s Enemy Books imprint, in which he invented a new medium—the “naphic grovel”—a bound journal brimming with his observations and reflections of current events in both art and prose. Summer of Hamn is the second release on the imprint.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

On My Radar:

Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos, and The Washington Post
Hardcover



Marty Baron took charge of 
The Washington Post newsroom in 2013, after nearly a dozen years leading The Boston Globe. Just seven months into his new job, Baron received explosive news: Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, would buy the Post, marking a sudden end to control by the venerated family that had presided over the paper for 80 years. Just over two years later, Donald Trump won the presidency.

Now, the capital’s newspaper, owned by one of the world’s richest men, was tasked with reporting on a president who had campaigned against the press as the “lowest form of humanity.” Pressures on Baron and his colleagues were immense and unrelenting, having to meet the demands of their new owner while contending with a president who waged a war of unprecedented vitriol and vengeance against the media.

In the face of Trump’s unceasing attacks, Baron steadfastly managed the Post’s newsroom. Their groundbreaking and award-winning coverage included stories about Trump’s purported charitable giving, misconduct by the Secret Service, and Roy Moore’s troubling sexual history. At the same time, Baron managed a restive staff during a period of rapidly changing societal dynamics around gender and race.

In Collision of Power, Baron recounts this with the tenacity of a reporter and the sure hand of an experienced editor. The result is elegant and revelatory—an urgent exploration of the nature of power in the 21st century.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

On My Radar:

The Hank Show: How a House-Painting, Drug-Running DEA Informant Built the Machine That Rules Our Lives
Hardcover



The world we live in today, where everything is tracked by corporations and governments, originates with one manic, elusive, utterly unique man—as prone to bullying as he was to fits of surpassing generosity and surprising genius. His name was Hank Asher, and his life was a strange and spectacular show that changed the course of the future.


In The Hank Show, critically acclaimed author and journalist McKenzie Funk relates Asher's stranger-than-fiction story—he careened from drug-running pilot to alleged CIA asset, only to be reborn as the pioneering computer programmer known as the father of data fusion. He was the multimillionaire whose creations now power a new reality where your every move is tracked by police departments, intelligence agencies, political parties, and financial firms alike. But his success was not without setbacks. He truly lived nine lives, on top of the world one minute, only to be forced out of the companies he founded and blamed for data breaches resulting in major lawsuits and market chaos.

In the vein of the blockbuster movie Catch Me if You Can, this spellbinding work of narrative nonfiction propels you forward on a forty year journey of intrigue and innovation, from Colombia to the White House and from Silicon Valley to the 2016 Trump campaign, focusing a lens on the dark side of American business and its impact on the everyday fabric of our modern lives.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

On My Radar:

American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15
Hardcover



In the 1950s, an obsessive firearms designer named Eugene Stoner invented the AR-15 rifle in a California garage. High-minded and patriotic, Stoner sought to devise a lightweight, easy-to-use weapon that could replace the M1s touted by soldiers in World War II. What he did create was a lethal handheld icon of the American century.


In American Gun, the veteran Wall Street Journal reporters Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson track the AR-15 from inception to ubiquity. How did the same gun represent the essence of freedom to millions of Americans and the essence of evil to millions more? To answer this question, McWhirter and Elinson follow Stoner—the American Kalashnikov—as he struggled mightily to win support for his invention, which under the name M16 would become standard equipment in Vietnam. Shunned by gun owners at first, the rifle’s popularity would take off thanks to a renegade band of small-time gun makers. And in the 2000s, it would become the weapon of choice for mass shooters, prompting widespread calls for proscription even as the gun industry embraced it as a financial savior. Writing with fairness and compassion, McWhirter and Elinson explore America’s gun culture, revealing the deep appeal of the AR-15, the awful havoc it wreaks, and the politics of reducing its toll. The result is a moral history of contemporary America’s love affair with technology, freedom, and weaponry.

Monday, September 25, 2023

On My Radar:

The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty
Hardcover



Meet the Murdochs and the disastrously dysfunctional family of Fox News. Until recently, they formed the most powerful media and political force in the land, for better or worse. Now their empire is cracking up and crashing down.


For almost three decades, Fox News has not only made political careers (see: President Donald J. Trump) but also fundamentally altered the political landscape of the United States. It is a truism: as Fox goes, so goes the nation—into further divisiveness and awash in fake news, a gleefully polarizing company. But just as Fox has pushed America apart, now it too is coming apart. As is the family dynasty behind it.

In his irresistible trilogy on the chaotic presidency of Donald Trump—Fire and FurySiege, and Landslide—the gadfly journalist Michael Wolff led readers deep into the twisted corridors of the White House. Now, drawing on years of unprecedented access to the Murdoch family and key players in the world of Fox, he plunges us behind the scenes of another empire of influence, and the result is astonishing and unforgettable.

Here is Rupert Murdoch, the ninety-two-year-old Australian billionaire—a fading titan, concerned about his legacy but more concerned about profits. Here are his contentious progeny, jockeying to take over when the old man is gone. Here is star anchor Tucker Carlson, hiding out in his island homes, considering a run for the presidency while his bosses have other plans for him. Sean Hannity, the richest man in television, has his own plans: to put the former POTUS back in office, against the bosses’ wishes. Meanwhile, Laura Ingraham is just trying to survive in the last man’s man’s world.

Empires fall. Kingdoms come to an end. As lawsuits pummel the financial bedrock and reputation of the network, anchors scramble, and the battling Murdoch heirs make the Roys of TV’s Succession seem downright Brady Bunch, Michael Wolff documents, in riveting and revelatory real time, the final days of Fox News.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

On My Radar:

The World According to Joan Didion
Hardcover



Joan Didion was a writer’s writer; not only a groundbreaking journalist, essayist, novelist and screenwriter, but a keen observer who honed her sights on life’s telling details. Her insights continue to influence creatives and admirers, encouraging them to become close observers of the world, unsentimental critics, and meticulous stylists.

An antidote to a global view that narrows our vision to the smallest screens, The World According To Joan Didion is a meditation on the people, places, and objects that propelled Didion’s prose and an invitation to journalists, storytellers, and life adventurers to “throw themselves into the convulsions of the world,” as she once said.

Evelyn McDonnell, the acclaimed journalist, essayist, critic, feminist, native Californian, and university professor who regularly teaches Didion’s work, is attuned to interpret Didion’s vision for readers today. Inspired by Didion’s own words—from her works both published and unpublished—and informed by the people who knew Didion and those whose lives she shaped, The World According to Joan Didion is an illustrated journey through her life, tracing the path she carved from Sacramento, Portuguese Bend, Los Angeles, and Malibu to Manhattan, Miami, and Hawaii. McDonnell reveals the world as it was seen through Didion’s eyes and explores her work in chapters keyed to the singular physical motifs of her writing: Snake. Typewriter. Hotel. Notebook. Girl. Etc.

One of the first books to be published after the revered writer’s death in 2021, The World According to Joan Didion is a literary companion for those embarking on new journeys and a guide to innovative ways of being. It will radically transform the way you explore the world, and will help you answer the question as you sit in a caf√©, or on a plane or train, pondering the future: What would Joan Didion have seen?

Saturday, September 23, 2023

On My Radar:

Enough

by Cassidy Hutchinson

Simon & Schuster

Hardcover


From the publisher's website:


Ever since a childhood visit to Washington, DC, Cassidy Hutchinson aspired to serve her country in government. Raised in a working-class family with a military background, she was the first in her immediate family to graduate from college. Despite having no ties to Washington, Hutchinson landed a vital position at the center of the Trump White House.


Her life took a dramatic turn on January 6th, 2021, when, at twenty-four, she found herself in one of the most extraordinary and unprecedented calamities in modern political history.

Hutchinson was faced with a choice between loyalty to the Trump administration or loyalty to the country by revealing what she saw and heard in the attempt to overthrow a democratic election. She bravely came forward to become the pivotal witness in the House January 6 investigations, as her testimony transfixed and stunned the nation. In her memoir, Hutchinson reveals the struggle between the pressures she confronted to toe the party line and the demands of the oath she swore to defend American democracy.

Enough reaches far beyond the typical insider political account. It’s the saga of a woman whose fierce determination helped her overcome childhood challenges to get her dream job, only to face a crisis of conscience—one that more senior White House aides tried to evade—and, in the process, find her voice and herself. This is a portrait of how the courage of one person can change the course of history. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Today's Featured Book:

Sign Here

by Claudia Lux

Berkley Books

Trade Paperback


From the publisher's website:


Peyote Trip has a pretty good gig in the deals department on the fifth floor of Hell. Sure, none of the pens work, the coffee machine has been out of order for a century, and the only drink on offer is J√§germeister, but Pey has a plan—and all he needs is one last member of the Harrison family to sell their soul.

 
When the Harrisons retreat to the family lake house for the summer, with their daughter Mickey’s precocious new friend, Ruth, in tow, the opportunity Pey has waited a millennium for might finally be in his grasp. And with the help of his charismatic coworker Calamity, he sets a plan in motion.
 
But things aren’t always as they seem, on Earth or in Hell. And as old secrets and new dangers scrape away at the Harrisons’ shiny surface, revealing the darkness beneath, everyone must face the consequences of their choices. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Today's Featured Book:

Round Here and Over Yonder: A Front Porch Travel Guide by Two Progressive Hillbillies (Yes, That's a Thing)

by Trae Crowder and Corey Ryan Forrester 

Harper Horizon

Hardcover


From the publisher's website:


Trae and Corey will take you from the smallest of small towns to major US metropolises (or is it metropoli? We haven't a fartin' clue!). They'll even cross the pond to sip tea in some of them fancy kings-and-castles places that PBS Viewers Like You can't stop yapping about. From Chickamauga to Cheyenne, New York to New Orleans, Seattle to Scotland—no matter where these two wandering jesters go, there's something to roast, something to toast, and something to learn about what ties us together as humans. Even the most outrageous of us.

In this book you'll find:

  • Loads of eccentric things folks say.
  • Seriously well-informed tips on exactly where to eat and what to order in each city.
  • Anecdotes from Corey about everything from "German Mardi Gras" in Helen, Georgia, to eatin' over-priced rabbit in Napa, California.
  • Travel bingo boards and ad-libs for your own adventures.
  • And as many off-the-beaten-path jokes as can be packed into 256 pages!

Perfect for anyone who:

  • Likes to travel.
  • Loathes to travel.
  • Any Southerner who's both a little proud and a little ashamed of the South (that's all the sane ones).
  • Any Northerner, Midwesterner, or West Coaster who wants to know what two self-proclaimed rednecks have to say about their own hometown.
  • Anyone from the UK who thinks us Yanks are the craziest folks on God's green earth (cause this book will likely confirm that stereotype, yup).

Monday, September 18, 2023

Today's Featured Book:

Down the Hill: My Descent into the Double Murder in Delphi 

by Susan Hendricks

Hachette Books

Hardcover


From the publisher's website:


On February 13, 2017, two teenage girls—13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Libby German—decided to enjoy a day off from school by exploring the popular hiking trails near the Monon High Bridge just a few minutes’ drive from Libby’s home in Delphi, Indiana. Libby’s sister, Kelsi, dropped the two girls off at the head of the trail and waved to them as they walked down the path, which was the last time they’d ever be seen alive. Less than 24 hours later, their bodies were found on the north bank of Deer Creek, about a mile from where they were last seen. There were few clues and little to go on in terms of physical evidence, except for the visual and audio remnants of a strange encounter the girls had with a stranger just hours before their disappearance, an encounter unsettling enough that Libby had thought to record it on her cellphone as it unfolded. In the years since the murders were first made public, Libby’s audio and video recordings have been released and two very different composite sketches of the suspect have been shown, but local law enforcement remained vague about developments for years—until finally, in October 2022, the long-awaited suspect was arrested and a trial date was set.


Longtime anchor and journalist Susan Hendricks was one of the first reporters to cover the case. A broadcast veteran with decades’ worth of experience under her belt, she was no stranger when it came to sharing the tragedies of the day with viewers. But there was something about this case that rattled her to her core. A year after the murders, Susan went to Delphi to interview the victims’ families for an in-depth special report where Kelsi drove Susan down the same path that she drove her sister down on the last day of her life. Over the years, Susan has built close relationships with family members, and law enforcement officials and armchair detectives alike who are determined to get justice for Abby and Libby.

In Down the Hill, Hendricks digs deeper in into the mystery that has captivated our nation for years, exploring the family's enduring resilience and advocacy, as well as the rippling impact the case has had on not just Delphi, but the very heart of the American heartland. As a result, this book is more than just a book about a double homicide; it’s about a small town in middle America that’s been haunted by an unfathomable act of violence; it’s about the ways families and communities cope with grief and move forward after tragedy; it’s about the limitations of local law enforcement and the rise of technology in helping to solve cases in new ways. But it’s also about compassion, connection, empathy, and resilience—on a very real, very human level.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Today's Featured Book:

 Bartleby & Me: Reflections of an Old Scrivener

by Gay Talese

Mariner Books

Hardcover


From the publisher's website:


“New York is a city of things unnoticed,” ayoung reporter named Gay Talese wrote sixty years ago. He would spend the rest of his legendary career defying that statement by celebrating the people most reporters overlooked, understanding that it was through these minor characters that the epic story of New York and America unfolded. Inspired by Herman Melville’s great short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” Talese now revisits the unforgettable “nobodies” he has profiled in his celebrated career—from the New York Times’s anonymous obituary writer to Frank Sinatra’s entourage. In the book’s final act, a remarkable piece of original reporting titled “Dr. Bartha’s Brownstone,” Talese presents a new “Bartleby,” an unknown doctor who made his mark on the city one summer day in 2006. 

Rising within the city of New York are about one million buildings. These include skyscrapers, apartment buildings, bodegas, schools, churches, and homeless shelters. Also spread through the city are more than 19,000 vacant lots, one of which suddenly appeared some years ago—at 34 East 62nd Street, between Madison and Park Avenues—when the unhappy owner of a brownstone at that address blew it up (with himself in it) rather than sell his cherished nineteenth-century high-stoop Neo-Grecian residence in order to pay the court-ordered sum of $4 million to the woman who had divorced him three years earlier. This man was a physician of sixty-six named Nicholas Bartha. On the morning of July 10, 2006, Dr. Bartha filled his building with gas that he had diverted from a pipe in the basement, and then he set off an explosion that reduced the fivestory premises into a fiery heap that would injure ten firefighters and five passersby and damage the interiors of thirteen apartments that stood to the west of the crumbled brownstone.

Talese has been obsessed with Dr. Bartha’s story and spent the last seventeen years examining this single 20 x 100 foot New York City building lot, its serpentine past, and the unexpected triumphs and disasters encountere by its residents and owners—an unlikely cast featuring society wannabes, striving immigrants, Gilded Age powerbrokers, Russian financiers, and even a turncoat during the War of Independence—just as he has been obsessed with similar “nobodies” throughout his career. Concise, elegant, tragic, and whimsical, Bartleby and Me is the valedictory work of a master journalist.