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

January 12, 2020

Pulitzer-Winning Biography and Memoir of Pulitzer Biographer Now in Paperback
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David Blight. The winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in History is now in paperback, telling the extraordinary story of Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. Historian David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historians have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass's newspapers. The result is a definitive biography that The New York Times Book Review called "cinematic and deeply engaging."
In reviewing the book for the Wall Street Journal, John Stauffer wrote, "Mr. Blight's biography deserves full immersion. Though long, it is absorbing and even moving, and the payoff is enormous, for Mr. Blight displays his lifelong interest in Douglass on almost every page, and his own voice is active and eloquent throughout the narrative. It is a book that speaks to our own time as well as Douglass's... It is a brilliant book."
Working by Robert Caro. This noted author has won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award twice for his biographies of urban planner Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson. Now Caro has given us a glimpse into his own life and writing process with a collection of evocative personal essays that also provide behind-the-scenes anecdotes about his biographical subjects.   
Caro's The Power Broker, written in 1974, is credited with helping change what had been a generally positive public perception of Moses, the New York public official who wielded enormous political influence during the middle of the 20th century. Moses favored highways over public transportation - no matter their impact on neighborhoods - and, despite some early accomplishments, became increasingly obsessed with his own power. (If you've seen the movie Motherless Brooklyn, the character played by Alec Baldwin was modeled after Moses.) With that background, Caro's description of what it was like to interview the mighty developer and discover the extent of his political reach and financial autonomy is fascinating. Because Caro is also a Lyndon Johnson expert (with four biographies of the president under his belt and #5 in the works), it's also interesting to read about his feelings of both discouragement and exhilaration when he first saw the vast holdings of the Lyndon B. Johnson Library. There are also pieces about the writing process itself and Caro's approach to biography writing. Good stuff.  
New Thriller About a Mysterious Man Keeps Pages Turning
Mr. Nobody by Catherine Steadman.Thriller
writer Steadman is a London-based actress and the author of Something in the Water, published in 2017. With her second twist-filled suspense novel, she proves that she's more than a one-act writer.  
When a man is found on a British beach, drifting in and out of consciousness, mute and with no  identification, interest in him is sparked immediately. From the hospital staff who find themselves inexplicably drawn to him, to international medical experts who are baffled by him, to the national press who call him Mr. Nobody, everyone wants answers. Who is this man? And what happened to him? 
Neuropsychiatrist Emma Lewis is asked to assess the patient in a small town deep in the English countryside. This is her field of expertise, this is the chance she's been waiting for, and this case could make her name known across the world. But this is also the same small town that a teenage Emma and her family fled 14 years ago following a horrible tragedy. She's changed her name and her life, and yet her new patient seems to recognize her...
In praising Mr. Nobody, trade magazine Kirkus Review wrote, "Steadman once again brilliantly paces the action from the very first scene. . . . As in all good thrillers, lights unexpectedly snap out, a creepy house is hidden down a tree-woven lane, and long-buried secrets emerge. . . . A spellbinding thriller perfect for those dark and stormy nights." 

Many of you already have a favorite local bookstore, but for those of you without such a relationship, you can click here to find the
nearest indie bookstore by simply entering your postal code.  

Join the  
Mailing List to  
Get Hut's Place 
Every Week - No Charge! Or email me at asking to be added. 

If You're Already a Subscriber, How About Forwarding to a Friend?

Your e-mail will
never be shared!

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.

I'm not into long, wordy reviews or literary criticism; I'd like HUT'S PLACE to be a quick, fun read for book buyers. If you have any friends who you think might like receiving this column, simply click on "Forward 
this email" below and enter their email address. There is also a box in which to add a short message.
COMMENTS, FEEDBACK                    
I always love hearing from folks, so please feel free to let me know what you're reading, make a comment, or ask a question. Email me anytime.