The best new books this month chosen by us and other
independent booksellers across the country.

This Month's #1 Indie Next List Pick...

Three Women

By Lisa Taddeo

(Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, 9781451642292, $27)

"I can't recall the last time I've been reading a work of nonfiction and woken up excited purely by the fact that, today, I would get to read more. Compulsive and psychologically riveting, Three Women reads like a novel. I couldn't keep from dog-earing its pages each time Taddeo perfectly expressed something I'd felt but never had the words for. In Sloane, Maggie, and Lina, I recognized aspects of myself--namely the desire for connection and for love. When three women tell their uncensored truth, they can liberate a nation. I feel deeply grateful to Lisa Taddeo for giving us this gift of raw authenticity."

--Michaela Carter, Peregrine Book Company, Prescott, AZ

This Month's #1 Indie Next List Pick Author Interview

 

Booksellers across the country have chosen Three Women (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, July 9), journalist Lisa Taddeo's deeply reported feat of nonfiction, as their number-one pick on the July Indie Next List.

Based on eight years of immersive reporting, Three Women is an innovative portrait of erotic longing and female desire in modern America that exposes its fragility, complexity, and inequality. Readers are introduced to three very different women--Maggie in North Dakota, who falls in love with and is cruelly discarded by her high school teacher; Lina in Indiana, a depressed wife and mother who enters into an affair with a former teenage boyfriend; and Sloane in Rhode Island, an upper-class restaurant owner whose husband enjoys watching her have sex with other people. Full of empathy and insight, Three Women's exploration of these women's varied experiences is deeply intimate yet universally relatable, reminding us all that we are not alone.

Taddeo has contributed to New York Magazine, Esquire, Elle, Glamour, and numerous other publications. Her nonfiction has been included in the Best American Sports Writing and Best American Political Writing anthologies, and her short stories have won two Pushcart Prizes. She lives with her husband and daughter in New England.

Here, Taddeo discusses her exploration of three real women's inner lives.

How did you come to write this book?

My editor at Avid Reader, Jofie Ferrari-Adler, read an article I wrote for New York Magazine in 2010. It was a cover story called "The Half-Hooker Economy," a rather wild title, about the "bottle girls" who work in nightclubs, and it started with my doing a story about Tiger Woods and Rachel Uchitel. When I started interviewing and researching, I was really interested in the bottle girls and so I did a kind of immersive story about them and their milieu.

After my editor read that, he was interested in my writing a book, and he said I could write about anything I wanted, which was both amazing and haunting because what do you do when you can do whatever you want? So he sent me a number of books, most of them nonfiction, and among them were books by Janet Malcolm, Joan Didion, and Tracy Kidder. One of them was Gay Talese's Thy Neighbor's Wife. I read that one a couple of times, and every time I read it, the thing I was the most impressed with and drawn to was the immersive quality of the journalism and how deeply he had entrenched himself. That said, what also struck me was that the perspective was wildly male, and while I don't think there's anything wrong with that, I thought that a female voice on desire would be something that was needed. There is kind of a dearth of narrative-length stories, not necessarily about sex, but about desire itself, the emotions behind the intimate acts.

How did you start the process of finding the people you wanted to interview? How many women did you talk to initially before ending up with these three?

I spent hundreds of hours talking to hundreds of people. I probably spoke to about 20 to 30 at length, for over a couple of months; I moved seven or eight times. A lot of people dropped out because of fear early on; I was saying that I probably didn't want to change names, so that was a difficult thing for people to deal with. I drove across the country multiple times; I posted signs in hair salons and gas stations and supermarkets; I called editors, lawyers--I was just trying to cut a wide swath to find a cross-section of people.

I wasn't set on three women, or three men. In the town that I moved into where I found Sloane, I had been talking to multiple people there, so my idea was to write about the town itself. But because I already had these stories of the other two women who were included, I started feeling like it would be too weird to have these two stories and then to have this town, so there were a lot of different iterations and thoughts about how the book was going to end up, none of which really foretold how it did end up.

 

What were your interview methods? How were you able to cover the lives of these three different women in such minute, intimate detail?

The method was different for each of them. For Lina, for example, we went to dinner and for drinks and we went for drives; we would go to the river where she most often met Aidan [her lover], and she would take selfies for Facebook, she would change in the backseat of the car, and I would be there. I was there, I would say, for many of the scenes I wrote, although I was not there for the intimate scenes, but she would call me right after it was done or send me a Facebook message, or I would often go to the spot where she had just been to sort of have an understanding and to be able to describe it as closely to what she experienced as possible.

Was it difficult for you to completely devote your life to a project like this for eight years?

Yes, absolutely. At the same time, I didn't think that I was going to be doing it for eight years.   think the original contract was for two years, and a couple of years after I had Lina's story, I sent it to Jofie and he was like, this is great, just do this a couple more times. And by that point I was thinking, oh my god, I can't do this again, but Jofie said it was ok, it's just going to be a multi-year project, don't worry about the deadline. It wasn't like I made this decision to spend eight years; it was two years and then it was like, I have this, now I need more.

In your mind, what were the key thematic threads that tied these women's stories together?

What became clear to me very quickly was that our past trauma, and not just our traumas, but our past passions, our past desires, especially in the formative years of our lives, greatly inform the way we look at our desires and talk about our desires as we get older. The other thing was, one of the reasons that I started the book with a story about my mom is that everyone talks about daddy issues--it's a common part of the lexicon, whereas mommy issues are not. I think that for a lot of these women, mainly for Lina and Sloane, mommy issues were the largest thing. For Maggie, it was her mother who remained and sort of got her through everything. I think the way that mothers factor into our lives, either positively or negatively, the weight with which they press upon our lives, is bigger than we ever think about.

Did you find yourself relating to any of these three women in particular, or did you relate to any one of them in a way you didn't think you would?

I related to all of them, though not equally. The reason I chose them--chose them is the wrong word, because I also feel like they chose me in a way--was that their relatability separately and as a triad is kind of universal. They are not the same sexual orientation as some people; they're not the same race as some others; they're not at the same socioeconomic level as some others, but their stories, and the core of what they felt, is such a unifying principle for a lot of desire across the world, which was something I recognized because I did speak to these hundreds of other people. What I found in Maggie, Sloane, and Lina was this almost preternatural relatability that a lot of the other people I talked to didn't have in spades the way they did.

What would you say you learned about desire by talking to these women?

I think that men are entitled to their desire in a way that women are not. I was very clear about my father's desire, whereas my mom, I never really knew whether she had any, or even thought to ask. And my mom wasn't being silenced in any way in the present, but she had been in her past, so I think there is a history of patriarchy, obviously, that is hard to shake. What I learned is that women are incredibly organized about the way they hide the things that they want; they are worried about someone seeing them not getting it. This is obviously not all women, but that is what I saw the most over the course of my research.

Did you discover any independent bookstores you loved while you were moving around the country to write this book? Will you be visiting any of these on your upcoming book tour?

Yes! That was one of my favorite parts about moving--I would have a new local bookstore every time I moved. Just driving across the country, I would go to every bookstore that I passed. Small-town bookstores were my favorite. I remember going to the Marfa Book Company in Texas and Point Reyes Books in California. Marfa almost looks like an Apple store because it's so well-curated, and then there are the bookstores that have a million books everywhere. I liked seeing, in the middle of America where you don't expect to find something so sensational, that there are bookstores and people who love bookstores and books. And, yes, I'll definitely be returning to some on this tour that I discovered while I was traveling. --Liz Button

More Indie Next List Great Reads

Stay and Fight

By Madeline ffitch

(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374268121, $27)

"From the first page of this debut novel set deep in Appalachia, we know that Stay and Fight is aptly named, for the way it explores the constant struggle of its characters to stay where they are while fighting for a better existence. ffitch expertly shows us the romantic, albeit brutally raw, reality of living off the grid (on one's own terms, most importantly), a feat she somehow accomplishes in the most modestly ambitious way. Stay and Fight is fantastic."

--Caridad Cole, Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

The Most Fun We Ever Had

By Claire Lombardo

(Doubleday, 9780385544252, $28.95)

"Claire Lombardo has written a rich and rewarding novel brimming with the messiness of families. Secrets kept and revealed provide a backdrop for the life-long love affair of Marilyn and David Sorenson as they raise their four daughters. The years are filled with joy, angst, anger, longing, and love as the members of the Sorenson family struggle to define their place among the ones who are nearest and dearest to their hearts. The Most Fun We Ever Had will resonate with all readers who have experienced and celebrated the chaotic love of family."

--Betsy Von Kerens, The Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, NE

Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss

By Margaret Renkl

(Milkweed Editions, 9781571313782, $24)

"Margaret Renkl feels the lives and struggles of each creature that enters her yard as keenly as she feels the paths followed by her mother, grandmother, her people. Learning to accept the sometimes harsh, always lush natural world may crack open a window to acceptance of our own losses. In Late Migrations, we welcome new life, mourn its passing, and honor it along the way."

--Kat Baird, The Book Bin, Corvallis, OR

Indies Introduce -- outstanding debuts as selected by independent booksellers

Evvie Drake Starts Over

By Linda Holmes

(Ballantine Books, 9780525619246, $26)

"Evvie Drake is young and newly widowed, but no one knows that on the day her husband died, she had finally worked up the nerve to leave him. Dean Tenney is a major league baseball pitcher who has inexplicably lost the talent that made him a star. When Dean moves to Evvie's small town to escape the humiliating sports headlines, their friendship proves to be just what both of them need. This is an absolute treasure of a novel--big-hearted, funny, sweet, and utterly satisfying. I cannot wait to sell this charming gem."

--Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill

By Abbi Waxman

(Berkley, 9780451491879, $16, trade paper)

"What a joyous, charming, funny and beautiful celebration of books and the people who love them. There is so much detail in both the wonderful, wide-ranging cast of characters and in the setting. Quirky in the very best sense of the word. I will certainly return to the world of Nina Hill again and again."

--Leah Koch, The Ripped Bodice, Culver City, CA

The Travelers

By Regina Porter

(Hogarth Press, 9780525576198, $27)

"Spanning over 50 years and the intersection of two centuries, The Travelers weaves together the stories of two families and in the process gives an incisive portrait of a country and society in the midst of massive social change. The author artfully moves back and forth in time as the stories emerge and converge, probing the dynamics of love and family and the bounds and conflicts inherent in both. This novel is the story of two families but universal in the America it portrays."

--Bill Cusumano, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Indies Introduce -- outstanding debuts as selected by independent booksellers

The Need

By Helen Phillips

(Simon & Schuster, 9781982113162, $26)

"I firmly believe I will be hard-pressed to pick up a book in 2019 I love more than The Need, a genre-bending novel that explores motherhood and identity. Molly is the most authentic character I've had the pleasure of reading in quite some time, accompanied by baby Ben and lively Viv, the most fully realized fictional four-year-old ever. Is The Need a fever dream, a psychological thriller, a cosmic twist of fate unveiling a parallel world? The author leaves her readers to wonder while highlighting the dualities of domestic life. In gorgeous prose, Phillips shows how the mundane is often revealed to be just that, but sometimes that mundanity is sacred. A deeply immersive human story."

--Hanna Yost, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

The Lightest Object in the Universe

By Kimi Eisele

(Algonquin Books, 9781616207939, $26.95)

"Instead of focusing on what is dark and terrifying like most dystopian novels, love lights the way in The Lightest Objects in the Universe. Following a cataclysmic event, Beatrix is working with her neighbors to rebuild their community, while former school principal Carson travels across the country on foot to reach the woman he knows is his soul mate. Their individual stories are trying yet hopeful and celebrate the best parts of humanity. Highly recommended for book clubs and fans of dystopian literature."
--Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Indies Introduce -- outstanding debuts as selected by independent booksellers

The Islanders

By Meg Mitchell Moore

(William Morrow, 9780062840066, $26.99)

"In The Islanders, Moore tells a wonderful tale of forgiveness and love woven into the beautiful backdrop of Block Island, Rhode Island. A disgraced author must hit bottom before he can start to forgive himself and find his way back to life. A local shop owner must deal with the changes that have taken place in her life, including her daughter leaving home and some new competition that threatens her livelihood. Well-written with sharply drawn characters, this is more than a beach read but just as enjoyable."

--Robert Angell, Spring Street Bookstore, Newport, RI

The Gone Dead

By Chanelle Benz

(Ecco, 9780062490698, $26.99)

"Billie James travels to the Mississippi Delta from Philly for the first time since her father's mysterious death, some 30 years before. Although she was there that night, she has no recollection of the events that occurred, but learns later that she went missing afterwards. This new detail causes her to start digging into what really happened, which gets her into trouble with people who want the past to remain buried. An emotional and tense novel about racism, justice, family, and the truth, Benz's debut has so much edge to it that I could not stop reading!"

--Carl Kranz, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

FKA USA

By Reed King

(Flatiron Books, 9781250108890, $27.99)

"This book is a wild ride through a post-dissolution, post-apocalyptic United States beginning a mere decade from now and continuing to the end of the 21st century. The political, technological, and ecological disasters it envisions seem all too plausibly extrapolated from the headlines of today. Despite the litany of cascading disasters--mass extinctions, warring androids, southern California dropping into the ocean, conflicts between different corporations controlling different sections of the former USA, mind control, goat-human hybrids, and more--Reed King injects a measure of hilarity into his tale. At the same time harrowing and hysterical, this is a great book by a visionary author. Highly recommended."

--Edward Newton, The Literate Lizard, Sedona, AZ

The Last Book Party

By Karen Dukess

(Henry Holt and Co., 9781250225474, $27)

"Oh, to have the wisdom and perspective of age when one is young. In 1987, Eve Rosen joins an elite seaside community as the summer assistant for a prestigious author. As their relationship turns from professional to personal, Eve gains more insight into the publishing world than she ever thought possible. Full of wistful yearning for a time long ago, The Last Book Party is a tribute to youth and its folly, all wrapped up in a gorgeous novel."

--Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Say Say Say

By Lila Savage

(Knopf, 9780525655923, $24)

"Say Say Say is a small and subtle debut novel that packs an emotional wallop. Lila Savage's writing is so beautiful and vulnerable it's impossible to put down. This is the kind of novel that shines with such honestly and compassion you feel the need re-evaluate your life right along the main character, Ella. I eagerly await reading anything else Savage writes."

--Katerina Argyres, Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco, CA

Whisper Network

By Chandler Baker

(Flatiron Books, 9781250319470, $26.99)

"It was inevitable that, with the #MeToo movement sweeping America, someone would pen a novel encompassing the realities of working women in our country. What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the degree to which I'd become involved in Whisper Network, racing home to finish it because I loved the story. I haven't felt this strength of solidarity with other women since the march in D.C. I closed this book with a resounding, 'Oh, hell yes!'"

--Jill Miner, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

The Snakes

By Sadie Jones

(Harper, 9780062897022, $26.99)

"Breathless. This novel left me absolutely breathless. I found beauty in the multiple layers of sadness and tragedy of the characters and felt a unique sense of closeness to the main character. Jones has delivered an enthralling tale of personal exploration, leading us through scenes full of deep and raw emotion that leave the reader unsure where to place their alliance. Superb!"
--Jennifer Morrow, Bards Alley, Vienna, VA

Under Currents

By Nora Roberts

(St. Martin's Press, 9781250207098, $28.99)

"I know Nora Roberts is a prolific author with many titles under her belt, but every time I pick up a new one it's pure magic, and Under Currents was no different. I love how Nora didn't pull her punches during the hard moments and tough times, but the novel was still beautifully balanced with the sweet romance that developed. Without a doubt, Under Currents is a new Nora Roberts favorite. Whether they are old fans or new, I hope romance readers (and others!) will give this book a try. They won't be disappointed."
--Kimberly Huynh, Blue Bunny Books and Toys, Dedham, MA

The Stationery Shop

By Marjan Kamali

(Gallery Books, 9781982107482, $27)

"The Stationery Shop is one of the most beautifully written novels I have read in a long time. The masterful plot brings us to a lost time and culture, but also transcends time and country. In a story set against the upheaval of 1953 Tehran, we discover how events change the destiny of two teenagers who meet in a book and stationery shop and fall in love. This novel of political dreams, family loyalty, lingering memories, love, and fate will haunt you long after the story ends."

--Janet Hutchison, The Open Door Bookstore, Schenectady, NY

The Tenth Muse

By Catherine Chung

(Ecco, 9780062574060, $26.99)

"Catherine Chung's female protagonist is a mathematician, and it is thrilling to have a woman scientist who is a complex character in an even more complex novel. In trying to solve a math riddle, she ends up exploring the riddle of her own childhood, which is inextricably linked to one of the darkest episodes in human history. Catherine Chung has woven a rich tapestry mixing present and past, ambition, identity, and gender issues. A beautiful book."

--Francoise Brodsky, Shakespeare & Co., New York, NY

The Saturday Night Ghost Club

By Craig Davidson

(Penguin Books, 9780143133933, $16, trade paper)

"Good ghost stories are never really about ghosts. They are about memories, lessons learned, unfinished business, broken promises, potential unfulfilled, unthinkable tragedy, and everything that happened before we came on the scene. The Saturday Night Ghost Club is about all of these things and more. A heaping scoop of '80s nostalgia provides a solid and comfortable backdrop for the story of a kid growing up and learning that adults (even familiar loved ones) have complicated lives and histories of their own."
--Jen Richter, Inkwood Books, Haddonfield, NJ

The Cabin at the End of the World

By Paul Tremblay

(William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062679116, $15.99)

"Wen and her dads are taking a break from everything by visiting a remote cabin for vacation. Wen is studying grasshoppers in their yard when a man comes up and warns her that she and her dads are going to have to make a decision. And that's about all I can tell you without spoiling the story. This book was so creepy, in a very good way. I'd classify this as horror, but very realistic."
--Jennifer Jones, Bookmiser, Roswell, GA

Cherry

By Nico Walker

(Vintage, 9780525435938, $16.95)

"Cherry is a book for our times, a bit like if Jim Carroll, Denis Johnson, and Tim O'Brien had conspired to break your heart. Walker's writing is bare and essential, direct and unforgiving. Whether or not the reader has any sense of war, PTSD, or addiction, they will have a clearer one by the end of this blistering debut. I can't wait for an encore.

--Mathew Clouser, BookPeople, Austin, TX

The Ensemble

By Aja Gabel

(Riverhead Books, 9780735214774, $16)

"My goodness, I love the quartet of flawed and wonderful characters Aja Gabel brings to life. I felt the heartbreak and triumph each time the ensemble performed. The Ensemble captures everything from the relentless rehearsals to the particular hand injuries musicians worry over to the conflict within the group. Henry, Daniel, Jana, and Britt are each characters unto themselves, but together they create a fifth character: the quartet itself. An inventive novel about the lives of musicians and the world they inhabit, full of tension, ambition, confusion, and loyalty. The Ensemble is a remarkable achievement."

--Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

French Exit

By Patrick DeWitt

(Ecco, 9780062846938, $16.99)

"Quirky, wry, darkly witty, strange, and absolutely laugh-out-loud hilarious, Patrick deWitt's French Exit is the perfect remedy for those seeking a respite from the plethora of WWII historical fiction and genre thrillers out there. In deWitt's depiction of dysfunctional families at their absolute oddest, Malcom Price, his doting mother, Frances, and their cat, Little Frank, abandon New York City practically penniless and scurry off to Paris, where things only get stranger. Every page turned leaves the reader wondering what in the world they will do next. What a breath of fresh air is French Exit! Keep them coming, Patrick deWitt!"

--Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

If You See Me, Don't Say Hi: Stories

By Neel Patel

(Flatiron Books, 9781250183217, $14.99)

"Neel Patel's debut short story collection is filled with tales of imperfection and longing, of unfulfilled wishes that fight hard against expectations. His flawed characters know what they risk when their actions don't match the standard script of perfection they've been handed, but their need for love and acceptance always prevails, sometimes with heartbreaking results. Patel's empathy toward his characters is palpable, as is the effect of his gorgeously rendered sentences. A wonderful read: necessary, aching, and alive."

--Mo Daviau, Powell's Books for Home and Garden, Portland, OR

The Labyrinth of the Spirits

By Carlos Ruiz Zafón

(Harper Perennial, 9780062668707, $18.99)

"Zafón is one of my favorite authors of all time. I found his first book in the series, The Shadow of the Wind, years ago at an airport and was hooked forever; I have been entranced by the adventures of Daniel Sempere and Fermín and many others. In The Labyrinth of the Spirits, the horrors of the Spanish Civil War loom large over Daniel's family and those he loves. And Alicia Gris--what a story she has to tell. In the midst of this violent time in Spanish history, the love that the characters have for each other shines bright. Through it all, Zafón shares magnificent tales about books, booksellers, authors, and life. This is a must-read!"

--Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road

By Kate Harris

(Dey Street Books, 9780062846662, $16.99)

"What a terrific read! Kate Harris seamlessly intertwines science, history, geology, geography, and philosophy in this tale of her 10-month bike ride on the Silk Road. At times, this book reads more like a thriller than a memoir! Harris and her pal Melissa covered 10,000 kilometers and visited 10 countries, and their endurance, exploits, and experiences will amaze you. Along the way, the author explores the nature of boundaries, both real and imagined, and the meaningfulness of exploration and wildness. Is it appropriate to use the term 'badass' in a book review? If so, these gals are it!"

--Sara Reinert, The Homer Bookstore, Homer, AK

My Year of Rest and Relaxation

By Ottessa Moshfegh

(Penguin Books, 9780525522133, $16)

"At first, My Year of Rest and Relaxation feels like the end of something, like a novel about the end of someone's life. But Moshfegh has a way of affirming life unlike any other author. Repercussions of grief, emotional exhaustion, and the general anchors of life hurl a young woman into the warm embrace of the idea of hibernating for a year. Of course, this cannot be so simply done. In true Moshfegh fashion, this journey is brimming with laconic humor, her brand of ne'er-do-wells, and ample substance intake, which all lead to one of the most existentially satisfying reads in recent memory."

--Gregory Day, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Night of Miracles

By Elizabeth Berg

(Ballantine Books, 9780525509523, $17)

"I loved everything about this book--I wanted to live next door to Lucille in Mason and take her baking classes. Berg brought this small town and the characters living there to life. Highly recommended."

--Sherry Fritzsche, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Once Upon a River

By Diane Setterfield

(Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 9780743298087, $17)

"Time to settle down for a story. It begins, as good stories should, with the rescue of a pair of strangers on a winter night. Though all is not as it seems in Diane Setterfield's latest, as Once Upon a River quickly delves into a mystery. The young girl was dead when she was pulled from the river, but hours later she begins to breathe. As the story of her revival spreads, more than one member of the village feels mysteriously drawn to her. Could she be their missing child, estranged granddaughter, long-lost sister? Setterfield's work is the closest an adult can come to settling down for story time, and Once Upon a River has the same magic, timeless, and cozy charm of a tale that has been told through the ages. Simply lovely."

--Molly Gillespie, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

The Secrets Between Us

By Thrity Umrigar

(Harper Perennial, 9780062442215, $16.99)

"This wonderful novel--loosely a sequel to The Spaces Between Us--is the rich, moving story of an amazing friendship, one that would never have occurred under the old restrictions of India and in the new India feels its tentative way. The lives of Bhima and Parvati are ones of unbelievable poverty and struggle, but the dignity and richness their friendship manifests took my breath away. A bit Dickensian in the best ways, this novel had me in tears several times. These women are two I will not soon forget."

--Michael Coy, Third Place Books (Ravenna), Seattle, WA

Whiskey When We're Dry

By John Larison

(Penguin Books, 9780735220454, $16)

"A haunting and remarkable debut, John Larison's Whiskey When We're Dry stays true to the western genre while subverting many common themes of the American West, producing a wholly original narrative that will linger in your mind for days. I have never encountered a protagonist quite like Jess; she embodies the incredible strength and resolve required to survive in the West, but also the vulnerability necessary to retain humanity in the face of so much violence and brutality. Larison's prose goes down as smooth as a glass of whiskey, and I didn't want to stop reading until I'd finished every last drop."

--Tori Odea, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC