Cinthia Ritchie's Dolls Behaving Badly Grab a Great Review from Booklist

January 9, 2013

Fresh in: a great Booklist write-up for Dolls Behaving Badly by Cinthia Ritchie (Grand Central, Feb 5):

An out-of-the-ordinary setting and cast of characters are the backbone of Ritchie’s compelling debut novel. Divorced mom Carla lives in an Anchorage trailer park with her precocious eight-year-old son; waitresses at a Mexican restaurant while mourning her art career; and makes explicit, anatomically correct “dirty” dolls to help pay the bills. She maintains an overinvolved relationship with her chef ex-husband, and, over the course of the book, takes in her teenage babysitter, who was kicked out by her addict mother, and her once-perfect sister, who is now pregnant with a baby that is not her husband’s. When Carla is stressed or wants to show her misfit family love, she turns to her Polish grandmother’s comforting recipes, which are shared in the book, and she spends nights working on a secret series of paintings. Ritchie depicts her characters’ often bleak circumstances with humor and grace, and Carla makes for an atypical but eminently sympathetic heroine.

Posted by waleslit on January 9, 2013  |  Permalink

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Starred Publishers Weekly Review for Bill Streever's Heat

December 14, 2012

Fantastic starred review for Heat: Adventures in the World's Fiery Places by Bill Streever (Little, Brown, Jan 2013) in  Publishers Weekly:


Streever's follow-up to his 2010 New York Times bestseller, Heat... (is) delivered in funny, matter-of-fact prose, as when describing his ineptitude at starting a fire ("If the world were populated by people like me, we would still be living in trees and eating fruit. Climate change would not be an issue"). In this worthy companion to Cold, Streever is able to mix the pop science, personal experiences, and historic asides into a fun and informative commentary on a subject that few people think about despite its inherent life and death implications.



Posted by waleslit on December 14, 2012  |  Permalink

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Dolls Behaving Badly, a novel by Cinthia Ritchie: a tale of female triumph

December 14, 2012

Great Publishers Weekly review for Cinthia Ritchie's debut novel, Dolls Behaving Badly (Grand Central, Feb. 2013):


Ritchie’s quirky debut concerns 38-year-old Carla Richards, whose many years of waitressing and motherhood have derailed her dreams of becoming an artist. After Carla begins making erotic dolls to supplement her income, she rediscovers her passion for painting.... Ritchie’s tale of female triumph makes for a fun read. 


You can catch the full review on Cinthia's blog.

Posted by waleslit on December 14, 2012  |  Permalink

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Kirsten Grind's The Lost Bank: Library Journal Best Nonfiction Pick

December 10, 2012

Library Journal tapped The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual, the Biggest Bank Failure in American History by Kirsten Grind (Simon and Schuster, 2012) as one of the five best business books of 2012.


Posted by waleslit on December 10, 2012  |  Permalink

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Leela Corman's Unterzakhn lands on's List of Great Graphic Novels from 2012

December 5, 2012

Unterzakhn by Leela Corman (Schocken/Pantheon, 2012) grabbed the #2 spot on's list of the top 10 graphic novels from 2012.

Here's the review:

Twin sisters in early-20th-century New York's Lower East Side meet very different fates as they grow to adulthood in the roaring '20s. Corman's title, Yiddish for "underwear," alludes to the way each girl's life is determined by sex, men and the vulnerability and power inherent in the female body. Fanya becomes the apprentice of a "lady-doctor" (a sort of amateur OB-GYN), but bridles at her mentor's puritanical refusal to provide contraception and other care to unmarried women. Esther, dazzled by the stage, becomes a maid and eventually the star performer at a burlesque house that doubles as a brothel. (There's also a flashback interlude depicting their gentle father's flight from the pogroms in Russia.) Corman's bold, simple art can nevertheless display remarkable subtlety and for all the intimacy of its subject matter, "Unterzakhn" conveys a sumptuously textured swath of Jewish immigrant life at that time.


Posted by waleslit on December 5, 2012  |  Permalink

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Heat scores great Booklist review

November 21, 2012

Bill Streever's second book, Heat: Adventures in the World's Fiery Places (Little, Brown, Jan 2013), scored a great pre-pub review:

"With engaging storytelling skill and deep scientific knowledge, Streever offers a fascinating exploration of one of the basic necessities of everyday life. A detailed notes section is as fascinating as the text."

The full review will be published in the Dec. 1 issue of Booklist.

Posted by waleslit on November 21, 2012  |  Permalink

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Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain, stories by Lucia Perillo: A PW Top 10 Pick

November 2, 2012

Lucia Perillo's story collection, Happiness is a Chemical in the Brain (W.W. Norton, 2012), won a Top Ten spot on Publisher's Weekly's Best Books of 2012.

Write-up and  starred, boxed review can be found here, and the list is here.

Congratulations Lucia!

Posted by waleslit on November 2, 2012  |  Permalink

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Seattle Times Interview with David Montgomery

September 17, 2012

Great Q&A between David Montgomery and Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor, about The Rocks Don't Lie (W. W. Norton, 2012). From the interview:

Q: Most people probably think creationism is a pretty old belief system, but in the book you clearly lay out that it's not. Briefly describe how it developed.

A: George McCready Price was the guy who championed flood geology (the theory that Noah's flood was real) in its darkest hours through the early 20th century. He was not a trained geologist, but he argued that geologists had the whole theory wrong. His arguments evolved into (John) Whitcomb and (Henry) Morris' book, 1961's "The Genesis Flood." The thing that surprised me about that book was that the guys who wrote it had a really insightful critique of '50s geology. They looked at the key flaws, the shortcomings, the things geology couldn't address: How do mountains form? How do you get fossils of tropical organisms at the poles? In those days, nobody was buying continental drift. They said, geologists can't explain certain basic aspects of geology; we have a better idea.

Gwinn asks great, probing questions and you can catch the full interview here.

Montgomery was also interviewed on Fox & Friends this week and you can view that segment on their website.

Posted by waleslit on September 17, 2012  |  Permalink

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It Gets Better Wins the Governors Award

September 7, 2012

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors awarded the "It Gets Better" project their 2012 Governors Award this year.

From an article in Deadline:

“The It Gets Better Project is a great example of strategically, creatively and powerfully utilizing the media to educate and inspire,” said [Bruce] Rosenblum. “This is television moving well beyond the traditional physical set in the viewer’s living room to the intimacy of the monitor, laptop, tablet or mobile device and delivering the ideal mix of inspiration and creativity to affect awareness and, ultimately, change. The Academy is proud to celebrate the success the Project is already having on LGBT youth, and, to hopefully, drive more visibility for this important cause.”

Such an honor for Dan Savage, Terry Miller, and all the other hundreds of contributors! We are glad to see the project continue to move people, on YouTube, in book form, on MTV and elsewhere.


Posted by waleslit on September 7, 2012  |  Permalink

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The Daily Beast Likes The Rocks Don't Lie

August 29, 2012

Another fantastic review for The Rocks Don't Lie by David Montgomery (W.W. Norton, August 27):

Montgomery’s book is anything but a softening of religion’s deliberate persecution and denial of scientific inquiry, which remains very much with us. But he wants to complicate the picture. Religion has been both the antagonist and the ally of science. It has persecuted “heretics.” But it has also provided imaginative fictions that preserve historical events and provoked intense curiosity about the natural world. If Montgomery wants to correct religion’s anti-intellectualism, he also wants to unsettle science’s potential for calcifying into orthodoxies of its own. That can be done, he shows, by simply looking more closely at the lives and passions of explorers past.

Read the rest at The Daily Beast.

David is reading at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, WA at 7PM on September 6.

Posted by Waleslit on August 29, 2012  |  Permalink

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