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

May 5, 2019

Off Next Week
I'm on vacation, so no Hut's Place next week. Look for the next installment on May 19 - until then, keep reading.

Final Thoughts from Sacks and More History from McCullough     
Everything in Its Place: First Loves and Last Tales by Oliver Sacks. Even though he died in 2015, the famed neurologist and best-selling author had  stockpiled enough writing to allow his publisher to keep books coming. In 2017, it was The River of Consciousness, a collection of 10 Sacks essays, some of which had appeare d previously in The New York Review of Books. Now we have what purports to  be a final volume of essays - 34 in all - that showcase Sacks's broad range of interests, from his passion for ferns, swimming, and horsetails, to his final case histories exploring schizophrenia, dementia, and Alzheimer's.  
In reviewing the book, the New York Journal of Books noted the author's formidable writing skill: "Sacks is a humanist author, one who has an amazing capacity to inspire awe and reawaken the reader to the beauty of the smallest and often most unforgotten (sic), disenfranchised aspects of life on earth. Above all, his greatest strength is how he skillfully allows the non-specialist to deeply delve into the field of neurological study. He is an author with a sense of constant questioning and bewilderment at the complexity of human existence."    
The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough. The acclaimed historian and two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner (for Truman and John Adams) brings to life the settling of the Northwest Territory and the dauntless pioneers who overcame incredib le hardships to build a community based on ideals that would come to define our country. As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
McCullough tells the story of the settlement of the region through five major characters: A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler; Revolutionary War veteran General Rufus Putnam; Cutler's son Ephraim; and two other men, one a carpenter turned architect, and the other a physician who became a prominent pioneer in American science. They and their families created a town in a primeval wilderness, while coping with such frontier realities as floods, fires, wolves and bears, no roads or bridges, no guarantees of any sort, all the while negotiating a contentious and sometimes hostile relationship with the native people. As usual, McCullough has done his homework and provides a story rich in historical detail.  
Latest Thrillers from Mystery Pros Now in Paperback

Past Tense by Lee Child. The latest Jack Reacher installment finds the lone wolf hero taking a detour from his cross-country trek to his father's hometown. While untangling family ancestry, he stumbles (naturally) on a sinister enterprise run out of a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, Reacher takes upon himself to figure out what's going on and exact his unique form of justice and retribution. As usual, Child reveals an insidious plot slowly and with solid tension. And needless to say, Reacher remains at the top of list of thriller protagonists.
Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly. In his last thriller, The Late Show, Connelly introduced a refreshingly interesting new character in kick-ass LAPD detective Renee Ballard. He has now partnered Ballard with his iconic cop, Harry Bosch, in the process breathing new life into the Bosch franchise that began in 1992. The pair take on the unsolved murder of a runaway, and the fight to bring a killer to justice in a police procedural that burnishes the author's reputation for superb storytelling and keen eye for detail. There is also a clear indication at the book's conclusion that the team of Ballard and Bosch may be around for awhile. 

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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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