Christopher McDougall’s fast-paced look at running, Born To Run (Knopf, $24.95), is part adventure, part anthropology, and part physiology; it’s stuffed with amazing characters, incredible feats, and wow moments. Wondering why he couldn’t run without getting hurt, McDougall investigated the superhumans who run ultramarathons of 50 and 100 miles through blazing deserts, up mountains, and against horses. Some of these extreme athletes party as hard as they run; not discipline but spirit is their secret. This is also the key to the elusive Tarahumara, a cave-dwelling people of Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Natural ultramarathoners, these Indians run as a way of life. Despite traversing rocky, cactus-ridden terrain in thin-soled sandals, the Tarahumara are seldom injured, and McDougall’s research concludes that today’s high-tech running shoes cause rather than prevent injuries by not letting the foot work the way it was designed to. If you’re a runner, this book will have you craving more than the occasional 10K. If you’re not a runner, you’ll want to see what you’re missing.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307266309
Availability: Backordered
Published: Knopf - May 5th, 2009

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307279187
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - March 29th, 2011

The main character in the nine heart-stopping stories of Fine Just The Way It Is (Scribner, $25), is Wyoming. No one knows the region better than Annie Proulx, and she infuses her fiction with the geography, geology, flora, and fauna of the American West. Her characters are die-hards and schemers, hard-workers and losers. From early Native Americans living by catching buffalo, 19th-century settlers trying to survive on hope and cowboy songs, Depression-era homesteaders running out of hope, and on to contemporary youth with few options but joining the army and serving in Iraq, the region offers at best a hard and short life. If the harsh economic situation or the brutal weather doesn’t get you, your own poor judgment will. Yet Proulx is always sympathetic to her characters; these stories are rich and compelling, with much to offer in place of the romantic illusions of the unlimited frontier they leave trampled in the dust.

Fine Just the Way It Is: Wyoming Stories 3 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416571674
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - September 8th, 2009

Roseanne McNulty, neé Clear, is 100 years old and has lived in mental asylums for some 60 years. Yet on the evidence of the memoirs she records in The Secret Scripture (Viking, $24.95), there is nothing wrong with her mind. Rather, due to several misjudgments earlier in her life—errors that, had they not happened in an Ireland rife with sectarian conflict, anger, and long memories, would have been minor—she earned the enmity of the town’s powerful Catholic priest. As Sebastian Barry, the accomplished Irish playwright and novelist, tells her story, it becomes also the story of her doctor, connected to her in ways she can’t begin to guess, and of a once deeply divided Ireland. Barry’s strong plotting and complex characters combine to make for realistic and compelling psychological suspense. Short-listed for the Booker prize.

The Secret Scripture: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143115694
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Penguin Books - April 28th, 2009