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Grace Notes: My Recollections Cover Image
ISBN: 9781476796710
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - March 21st, 2017

Gripping, singular, and gorgeously reflective, Grace Notes is a memoir told in essays by beloved actress, Hollywood veteran, and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal—perfect for fans of Mary Louise Parker’s Dear Mr. You and Patti Smith’s M Train.

Popular and award-winning star Katey Sagal chronicles the rollercoaster ride of her life in this series of evocative and beautifully written vignettes, resulting in a life story recounted unlike any other Hollywood memoir you’ve read before.

Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children.

Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age fifty-two with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. Intimate, candid, and offering an inside look at a remarkable life forged within the entertainment industry, Grace Notes offers unprecedented access to the previously unknown life of a woman whom audiences have loved for over thirty years

Vicious Circle Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399176616
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 21st, 2017

In his 17th adventure, Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett (Off the Grid, 2016, etc.) goes another 15 rounds with surviving members of the toxic Cates family.

Joe has run into ex-everything Dave Farkus too many times in too many unsavory ways to expect any favors from him. So he’s doubly surprised when Farkus phones him from Stockman’s Bar to say he’s overheard a conversation about Joe and his family before he’s abruptly cut off. Joe’s concern turns to alarm when Farkus disappears from a hunting trip, and his blood is curdled by the discoveries of dead Farkus and disconcertingly alive Dallas Cates, the disgraced rodeo star who ran off with Joe’s daughter April, dumped her out of his truck, and ended up in the prison he’s just been released from, hungry for vengeance for the deaths of his father and two brothers. County attorney Dulcie Schalk has no trouble linking Dallas to the dead man, but high-priced defense attorney Marcus Hand, now married to Joe’s scheming, useless mother-in-law, Miss Vankueren, has even less trouble getting the charges dropped, leaving Dallas and his two hirelings free to roam the trails of Ten Sleep County, virtually immune from prosecution, as they ponder new ways to menace the Picketts. Can Joe gather enough evidence to neutralize Dallas before the charismatic sociopath, whose paralyzed mother, Brenda, is the queen bee of the Wyoming Department of Corrections’ Women’s Center, neutralizes Joe and his whole family?

Bracingly familiar pleasures expertly packaged. The two families’ fraught history, tangled enough to fuel a whole season of high-country soap opera, keeps this installment from being the best place to take the initial plunge into the franchise, but first-timers will be intrigued and fans amply rewarded.

Mississippi Blood Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062311153
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - March 21st, 2017

About the Book

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author

The endgame is at hand for Penn Cage, his family, and the enemies bent on destroying them in this revelatory volume in the epic trilogy set in modern-day Natchez, Mississippi—Greg Iles's epic tale of love and honor, hatred and revenge that explores how the sins of the past continue to haunt the present.

Shattered by grief and dreaming of vengeance, Penn Cage sees his family and his world collapsing around him. The woman he loves is gone, his principles have been irrevocably compromised, and his father, once a paragon of the community that Penn leads as mayor, is about to be tried for the murder of a former lover. Most terrifying of all, Dr. Cage seems bent on self-destruction. Despite Penn's experience as a prosecutor in major murder trials, his father has frozen him out of the trial preparations--preferring to risk dying in prison to revealing the truth of the crime to his son.

During forty years practicing medicine, Tom Cage made himself the most respected and beloved physician in Natchez, Mississippi. But this revered Southern figure has secrets known only to himself and a handful of others. Among them, Tom has a second son, the product of an 1960s affair with his devoted African American nurse, Viola Turner. It is Viola who has been murdered, and her bitter son--Penn's half-brother--who sets in motion the murder case against his father. The resulting investigation exhumes dangerous ghosts from Mississippi's violent past. In some way that Penn cannot fathom, Viola Turner was a nexus point between his father and the Double Eagles, a savage splinter cell of the KKK. More troubling still, the long-buried secrets shared by Dr. Cage and the former Klansmen may hold the key to the most devastating assassinations of the 1960s. The surviving Double Eagles will stop at nothing to keep their past crimes buried, and with the help of some of the most influential men in the state, they seek to ensure that Dr. Cage either takes the fall for them, or takes his secrets to an early grave.

Tom Cage's murder trial sets a terrible clock in motion, and unless Penn can pierce the veil of the past and exonerate his father, his family will be destroyed. Unable to trust anyone around him--not even his own mother--Penn joins forces with Serenity Butler, a famous young black author who has come to Natchez to write about his father's case. Together, Penn and Serenity--a former soldier--battle to crack the Double Eagles and discover the secret history of the Cage family and the South itself, a desperate move that risks the only thing they have left to gamble: their lives.

Mississippi Blood is the enthralling conclusion to a breathtaking trilogy seven years in the making--one that has kept readers on the edge of their seats. With piercing insight, narrative prowess, and a masterful ability to blend history and imagination, New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles illuminates the brutal history of the American South in a highly atmospheric and suspenseful novel that delivers the shocking resolution his fans have eagerly awaited.

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Smarter Faster Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812983593
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade - March 7th, 2017

Barack Obama is a life hacker. When interviewed by Michael Lewis a few years ago, Obama explained that he wears only gray or blue suits so as to cut down the choices he has to make each day, and then he cited research showing that “you need to focus your decision-making energy. You need to routinize yourself.” The studies that Obama was referring to suggest that if you exhaust your decision-making capacity with unnecessary ­choices, you’ll end up making mistakes when it really matters.

Like many of us, Obama is influenced by the literature that draws upon psychology, neuroscience and behavioral economics to tell us how to be happier and more successful. The New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg has already contributed to this genre with his first book, “The Power of Habit,” which was an engagingly deep dive into the psychology of how routines are formed and modified.

His newest book is broader in scope. It has eight main chapters, each focusing on a single idea about how to increase productivity in business or in life, each telling a story of how the idea works in practice. Many of the stories are terrific; my favorites were about the early seasons of “Saturday Night Live,” F.B.I. agents racing to rescue a kidnapping victim, and a poker player competing in a $2 million winner-take-all tournament. And Duhigg is a pleasure to read. Unlike a lot of contributors to this genre, he’s a journalist, not a professor, and it shows in his prose, as when he casually describes someone as having “a passion for long skirts and Hooters chicken wings.”

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But it’s not clear that his book lives up to its subtitle, “The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.” Many of Duhigg’s conclusions seem less like secrets and more like common sense. He reminds us that it’s important to set goals, both specific and long-term. We learn that it’s good for an organization to allow people to participate and express their views. I enjoyed reading about ­Annie Duke, cognitive scientist turned poker player, but the upshot of this chapter was: When you plan for the future, try to reason in terms of probability, not certainty. Are there really many people who need reminding that we live in an uncertain world?

Other suggestions are less obvious, but they might not be that reliable as practical advice. Duhigg tells of a pilot who landed an Airbus during a huge system failure by thinking about the plane in a different way, as if it were a single-engine Cessna. “Get into the habit of telling yourself stories,” Duhigg writes — these stories will tell us what to focus on and what to ignore. But one can easily find cases in which stories make us stupid — indeed, one of the main themes of Maria Konnikova’s recent book, “The Confidence Game,” is that our appetite for narrative can blind us to reality and make us easy prey to con men.

Or consider choices. Duhigg talks about how the act of making choices invigorates and motivates us, and suggests that we add opportunities for ­decision-making into our lives. This really is interesting and unintuitive research. But, as Obama realized, choices can also exhaust us, so it’s not clear whether the advantages of additional choices exceed the costs.

Certainly, Duhigg is sensitive to these sorts of nuances. He tells us about a kidnapping case that was solved in part because an F.B.I. agent acted on his own initiative, and he argues that organizations work better if employees have more autonomy. But he then concedes that “there are good reasons companies don’t decentralize authority,” and he notes that the agent might have wasted time by following the wrong hunch. As he puts it elsewhere, “an instinct for decisiveness is great — until it’s not.”

He suggests that “forcing people to commit to ambitious, seemingly out-of-reach objectives can spark outsize jumps in innovation and productivity” — but then, on the next page, he worries that such goals might “cause panic and convince people that success is impossible because the goal is too big.”

Duhigg ends his book with “A ­Reader’s Guide to Using These Ideas,” and while some of his proposals are clever — there are some good tips about handling email overload — most have a fortune-cookie flavor, such as “Envision multiple ­futures.”

Why can’t a writer as astute as Duhigg come up with less ambiguous advice? One concern is his method. While his book contains an occasional failure ­story, the main focus of each chapter is on a person or organization that did well. This makes intuitive sense. If you want to be good at tennis, watch a champion tennis player; if you want to learn the secrets of a successful marriage, look at happy ­couples. Few of us approach people who do poorly and ask them the secrets of their failure.