Hut's Place
 Weekly Words about New Books in
Independent Bookstores

June 17, 2018

Now On Paperback Displays - A Trucker's Life on the Road and How To Sleep Better
The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tales of Life on the Road by Finn Murphy. More
than 30 years ago, Murphy dropped out of college to become a "bedbugger" -
a driver of long-distance moving trucks. Since then, he's covered more than a million miles packing, loading, and hauling people's belongings all over America.  Known by his trucker handle as U-Turn, he spends his days (and many of his nights) in a 53-foot eighteen-wheeler he calls Cassidy. In   The Long Haul, Murphy offers a trucker's-eye view of America on the move. As he crisscrosses the country, Murphy recounts with wit and candor an America that has changed over the decades, from the shrinkage of small town vitality to evolving tastes in culture and home furnishings.  
Independent booksellers fell in love with this rollicking ride, making the book an Indie Next pick when it was first published last summer. Here's the review chosen to reflect bookstore enthusiasm:  
"This memoir of a life spent driving trucks full of strangers' personal belongings across the country is the book I didn't know I needed. Finn Murphy writes engaging slice-of-life stories about his time as a long-haul truck driver while also showing the changes in the trucking industry and American life in the decades he's spent pulling thousands of pounds up mountains, through storms, and across plains. Trucking is a solitary life, but Murphy grabbed me like a friend and took me with him on his journey."
- Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First, Chicago, IL
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams by Matthew Walker. This timely book became something of a surprise bestseller, possibly since sleeping problems impact more and more people of all ages and walks of life. Now, neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker gives us a new understanding of the vital importance of sleep and dreaming. He answers important questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage? Calling on cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs and decades of research, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to, among other things, improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; enhance the education and lifespan of our children; and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses.  
In reviewing the book, The New York Times Book Review wrote: "A thoughtful tour through the still dimly understood state of being asleep ...  Why We Sleep  is a book on a mission. Walker is in love with sleep and wants us to fall in love with sleep, too. And it is urgent. He makes the argument, persuasively, that we are in the midst of a 'silent sleep loss epidemic' that poses 'the greatest public health challenge we face in the 21st century' ...  Why We Sleep   mounts a persuasive, exuberant case for addressing our societal sleep deficit and for the virtues of sleep itself. It is recommended for night-table reading in the most pragmatic sense."  
Obama Insider Recounts Foreign Policy Challenges and Decisions   
The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes. There have been a numb er of political memoirs over the past year or two; this one is interesting in part  because the focus is on American foreign policy du ring the Obama presidency. From 2009 to 2017, Rhodes served as deputy nation al security advisor to President Barack Obama, o verseeing the administration's national security communications,  speechwritin g, public diplomacy, and global engagement programming. He started every morning in the Oval Office with the President's Daily Briefing, traveled the world with Obama, and was at the center of some of the most consequential and controversial moments of the presidency.  
As with other books of this ilk, part of the appeal here is feeling like a fly on the wall. But Rhodes' emphasis on some of President Obama's toughest global decisions makes this more substantive than the usual I-was-there narrative. Whether it was waiting out the
bin Laden raid in the Situation Room, responding to the Arab Spring, reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, leading secret negotiations with the Cuban government to normalize relations, or myriad other challenges, the narrative provides an up close and personal view of these pivotal and consequential moments. Rhodes shares both the optimism and disillusionment experienced by those in the president's inner circle and offers a vivid portrayal of Obama's worldview. 

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Hi, I'm Hut Landon, and I work as a bookseller in an independent bookstore in BerkeIey, California.

My goal with this newsletter is to keep readers up to date about new books hitting the shelves, share what indie booksellers are recommending in their stores, and pass on occasional news about the book world.

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