Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, staff from Poor Richard’s Books in Colorado Springs recommend “The Cabinet of Dr. Leng,” “Cheap Land Colorado” and “Foster.”
The Cabinet of Dr. Leng
By Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Grand Central Publishing
From the publisher: Preston & Child continue their #1 bestselling series featuring FBI Special Agent Pendergast and Constance Greene, as they cross paths with New York’s deadliest serial killer: Pendergast’s own ancestor…and now his greatest foe. An incredible journey: Astoundingly, Constance has found a way back to the place of her origins, New York City in the late 1800s, leaping at the chance, although it means leaving the present forever. A desperate opportunity: Constance sets off on a quest to prevent the events that lead to the deaths of her sister and brother. But along the road to redemption, Manhattan’s most infamous serial killer, Dr. Enoch Leng, lies in wait, ready to strike at the slightest provocation. Unimaginable odds: Meanwhile, in contemporary New York, Pendergast feverishly searches for a way to reunite with Constance — but will he discover a way back to her before it’s too late?
From Jeffery Payne, Assistant Retail Manager: Sometimes we just need a story to carry us along so we can escape our little microcosms that we have created for ourselves. In Preston and Child’s Pendergast stories we can do just that. The quirky FBI agent and his enigmatic “ward” are again tackling seemingly insurmountable odds in the latest installment of the best-selling series. Somehow the reader can readily accept the time travel aspect. It feels believable. A fun and fast-paced read to distract and engage the reader.
Cheap Land Colorado: Off-Gridders at America’s Edge
By Ted Conover
From the publisher: From Pulitzer Prize finalist and National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of “Newjack,” a passage through an America lived wild and off the grid, where along with independence and stunning views come fierce winds, neighbors with criminal pasts, and minimal government and medical services.
From Jeffery Payne, Assistant Retail Manager: Many of us have driven over Wilkerson Pass and dipped into the eastern edge of South Park. We journey the solitary highway past grazing herds of antelope as we hustle to get to the “pretty parts” of Colorado — Salida, Buena Vista, the collegiate peaks and points beyond. That section of Highway 24, the hard scrabble prairie, is crisscrossed by gravel roads on both sides of the highway, neatly platted long ago by a developer’s dream. Today that area is just a pass-through with dilapidated trailers, rusty vans, frayed flags, fencing and boundaries marked by cast-off shipping pallets.
We speed through, and think, “Who the hell lives here…and why?”
Ted Conover’s exceptional and insightful book leans into that question, and, while there is no one answer, we gain a perspective that makes us appreciate another person’s journey.
From the San Luis Valley area of southern Colorado, Conover’s expert eye and experience breaks through stereotypes of all sorts, giving us some understanding of who…and why. The stories and reasons are plentiful and varied.
These people moved to the middle of nowhere, to be left alone so they can pursue their own beliefs without bother — that doesn’t quite work out for most of them but they hold on to that idea. In that pursuit, practically all of them discover that in order to be alone, they need the help of their neighbors and friends.What struck me the most is the humanity of each person we are introduced to. Despite the vast variety of personal beliefs and passions, this community comes together without question to help one another.
By Claire Keegan
From the publisher: An international bestseller, Claire Keegan’s piercing contemporary classic is a heartbreaking story of childhood, loss, and love; now released as a standalone book for the first time ever in the U.S. It is a hot summer in rural Ireland. A child is taken by her father to live with relatives on a farm, not knowing when or if she will be brought home again. In the Kinsellas’ house, she finds an affection and warmth she has not known and slowly, in their care, begins to blossom. But there is something unspoken in this new household — where everything is so well tended to — and this summer must soon come to an end. A story of astonishing emotional depth, “Foster” showcases Claire Keegan’s great talent and secures her reputation as one of our most important storytellers.
From Jeffery Payne, Assistant Retail Manager: Imagine discovering that missing element in your bare difficult life, and then not wanting to let it go, ever. This supremely potent and compact novel brings us surprise and awe as the story emerges and gently unfolds. Languid and lush, with concise narration and dialogue featuring brilliant writing at its finest. The magical and subtle way Keegan introduces us to the rainy season after a long and harsh dry spell in reality and figuratively, is breathtaking and sublime. An absolute gut-wrenching must-read.