SNAP, by Regan Gillespie. What would it take to make you snap? To become so consumed with bloodlust and rage that you begin thinking twisted and bizarre thoughts… doing unthinkable things. Quinn Darby reluctantly moves from a thriving metropolitan area to her husband Aiden’s rural Midwestern hometown following the economic crisis of 2008. While the community quickly embraces its native son, Quinn is labeled an outsider who doesn’t belong. While Quinn struggles to accept her lost career and deal with Aiden’s dysfunctional, bipolar father, Aiden begins to revert to a younger self – carefree, rebellious. He abandons professional ambitions, falls back in with old high school friends and garners the aggressive attention of local women with less-than-innocent intentions. One afternoon, Quinn stumbles across one of Aiden’s social media accounts and is blindsided with details of what appears to be a torrid affair between her husband and a married neighbor named Charmella. The more Quinn obsessively digs, the more she learns about how she’s become the talk of the town… the butt of the jokes… the outlier… and it’s more than she can take. She simultaneously attempts to right her mental health and save her marriage with the help of a therapist, while plotting and carrying out elaborate and sinister revenge plans against those she feels have wronged her.
The Bottoms and Hills: Virginia Tales, by Arthenia J. Bates Millican. A collection of tales hinged upon “a way of life” in Southside Virginia, the “Old Dominion,” in the authentic language as heard by the author and originally written down in the late 1950s. This treasure is re-published posthumously in cooperation with the Arthenia J. Bates Literary Foundation, in celebration of the author’s 99th birthday. With the original foreword by Charles H. Rowell and afterword by Jerry Ward, these sixteen stories capture “those haunted Black Virginia voices” that “constrained her to write about them, and she willingly became an instrument, as it were, through which the folk preserved their culture and traditions, including their art of story telling.” This edition faithfully recaptures the original, with new commentary and introductions by some of the great voices in Black America today. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the AJBM Literary Foundation, whose mission is to promote creative writing, and “to utilize Millican’s literary work to help the parents, students and members of the community reclaim their pride in the creative imaginings of South Carolina.” Watch for updates on the book’s Facebook page, here: http://www.facebook.com/thevirginiatales
The Impish Humor of Marlon Brando, by Aubrey Malone. A fascinating biography that reveals the comic side of the actor who some have described as one of the greatest who ever lived. An enigma, with his share of dark moments, Brando nevertheless was described by more than one colleague as a comic or even a practical joker, both on and off the set. “Anyone who’s studied Marlon Brando’s behavior over the years,” a writer surmised, “knows that to sort out the guy’s umpteen complexes would take the combined efforts of Sigmund Freud and King Solomon, with an assist from Dorothy Dix.” Most of his biographers either ignore or sideline his sense of humor, preferring to concentrate on Brando the rebel, the brooder or the sulker, despite the fact that after he died in 2004, among his personal effects there were a collection of humorous videos: a concert performed by the stand-up comedian Richard Pryor, one called The Best of British Comedy, and a sizeable number of films featuring Abbot & Costello and Laurel and Hardy. He’d often confessed to watching old footage of the latter duo for hours on end with tears rolling down his cheeks. Brando’s madcap humor, tinged with absurdity, has only been glimpsed briefly in the acres of space devoted to him over the years, not only in biographies but in the hundreds (if not thousands) of newspaper and magazine articles that purport to define the greatest actor of his era. But it was often that sense of humor that sustained him through many of the tragedies in his life. Within the pages of this meticulously researched book, Brando comes back to life, and we are given a rare behind-the-scenes view of the world he knew, with sparks of hilarity with which he often enlivened those around him.
Watch for these to be released in the next few months. Happy reading!