Off the Shelves – May 4

New items are available at the Hancock County Public Library.

Adult Fiction

“Huck Out West: a novel,” by Robert Coover

“Huck Out West” takes up the story of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn at the end of “Huckleberry Finn” as the two boys decide to escape “sivilization” and “light out for the Territory.” The two ride for the Pony Express, then work as scouts for both sides in the war. They are suddenly separated when Tom decides to return east with his new wife, Becky Thatcher. Huck, abandoned and lonely, rides shotgun on coaches, wrangles horses on a Chisholm Trail cattle drive, joins a gang of bandits, guides wagon trains, gets dragged into U.S. Army massacres and suffers a series of romantic and barroom misadventures. History from the middle of the Civil War to the centennial year of 1876 was a time of grand adventure, but also one of greed, mass slaughter, widespread poverty and ignorance and ruthless military leadership. Only Huck’s sympathetic and comical voice can makes it bearable.

Story continues below gallery

Adult Nonfiction

“The Chosen Few: a company of paratroopers and its heroic struggle to survive in the mountains of Afghanistan,” by Gregg Zoroya

A single company of US paratroopers — the “Chosen Few” — arrived in eastern Afghanistan in late 2007 hoping to win the hearts and minds of the remote mountain people and extend the Afghan government’s reach into this wilderness. Instead, they spent the next 15 months living under almost continuous attack, forced into a slow and grinding withdrawal and outnumbered by Taliban fighters descending on them from all sides. When the Battle of Wanat ended, those who survived came home to a different kind of victory — not of enemies destroyed or cities captured but of acclaim as one of the most decorated fighting units in America’s modern wars.