new books

Straddling the Wilderness Between Russia and China in Colin Thubron’s ‘Amur River’

Lee Polevoi

During his travels, Thubron crosses more than 1,100 miles along this vast waterway—not only on horseback, but by train, car, and boat. His trek encompasses visits to desolate villages and decaying monasteries, with encounters that range from friendly and well-meaning, to more sinister interactions with local police. Who says no one is intrepid anymore? Colin Thubron is intrepid.

Chronicling the Inner Workings of Guillermo del Toro’s Brilliant Mind and Career

Ulises Duenas

Guillermo del Toro was never shy about being upfront about his interests, and he has shown that he wants to make dumb, trashy, popcorn-chomping movies on top of his more thought-out, artistic pieces. Saving the Pan’s Labyrinth section of the book for later ended up being a smart move as it’s given more context from the previous parts. I wouldn’t say Nathan’s style of writing is perfect, but it’s an ideal fit this kind of book.

A Love Letter to the American Southwest

Darden Smith

The idea of using such an outdated way of capturing images struck me as the perfect antidote to the hectic digital nature of these times. My usual way of working was to see something, stop the car, take the photo then immediately get back in and drive off, letting it develop in a box on the front seat as the miles clicked over. I had one shot, maybe two, for each idea and there were many, many mistakes. Part of the joy was the randomness of it.

A Father’s Quest to Save His Son in Trevor J. Houser’s New Book

Trevor J. Houser

Later my father put on a gray sweater. We ate chili by a fire. We talked about baseball. My father smiled. He was growing a beard. One day he would be smiling in the Denver Airport of Death, but today he was smiling under normal non-death conditions; breathing without making fearful choking faces, with his bowl of chili, and his facial hair, that together signified peerless health and stability or something like stability.

Snakes, Arm Wrestling, and Childhood Adventures in Padgett Powell’s ‘Indigo’

Lee Polevoi

And now Powell’s fans get a different view of the stubbornly individualistic author. The essays in Indigo encompass, among other things, a profile of Cleve Dean, a one-time arm-wrestling champion who has “ballooned to nearly seven hundred pounds”; memories of an eventful childhood in Florida; a quirky tour of the French Quarter in New Orleans; and insightful (though frustratingly brief) assessments of writers like Flannery O’Connor, Donald Barthelme, and William Trevor.

Will Burtin: An Overlooked Designer Whose Legacy Is Still Relevant Today

R. Roger Remington and Sheila Pontis

With more than 20 years of experience in the design field, he was well versed in scientific, industrial, economic, geographic and social topics. These qualities made Burtin a strong candidate, not unnoticed by Fortune’s managers. In 1945, Fortune approached the military to ask that Burtin be released from his service commitment to serve “the national interest” in a different way.

Murder Comes to the Holler in Chris Offutt’s ‘Killing Hills’

Lee Polevoi

Mick Hardin, a military homicide investigator on leave from government service, has come home to try and salvage a failing marriage. He agrees to take part in the murder investigation led by his sister Linda, recently promoted to sheriff of Rocksalt. From there, the body count quickly escalates. Is the killer Curtis Tanner, arrested by an FBI agent on a tip called in by a local politician?

A Chronicle of the Never-Ending Virus in Lawrence Wright’s ‘Plague Year’

Lee Polevoi

As months passed, that reading grew more problematic. Too many people were still becoming infected and far too many were still dying. Cynical, opportunistic politicians jumped on an anti-vaccine bandwagon, while the voters they claimed to represent were succumbing to the terrible disease. People were (and still are) inexplicably rejecting science, clinging to a demagogue-inspired belief that somehow, in some way, vaccines against this deadly disease threaten their “individual freedom.”

A Doctor Slowly Unravels at the Height of the Vietnam War in ‘All Bleeding Stops’

Michael J. Collins

His war begins with a quiet palette of turquoise and green; soft, shaded layers of blue and white layered like quicklime over all the darkness to follow. The plane banks left. Their shadow, a hundred yards behind them, flits over the shimmering surface of the South China Sea. Ahead, blue waters lap against brilliant white sand. A canopy of jungle fronting the beach glows green in the slanting rays of the late-afternoon sun.

Love, Friendship Are Forged Amidst Conflict in ‘War With No Name’

Adam Gravano

The final installment of the series that is on the shelf, D'Arc, resumes Sebastian and Sheba’s story, just after Mort(e) has come to its dramatic end. The friends are pressed into service once more, for a more developed society that has resurfaced after the close of the main events of the War With No Name. Our friend, Sebastian, at this stage, would like to be left alone, but trouble finds him – and Sheba, too.

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