The Pacific Crest Trail hasn’t been the same since Cheryl Strayed published “Wild” in 2013. An estimated 10 times as many hikers than usual have pounded its 2,663-mile length since her troubled memoir appeared, followed by Reese Witherspoon’s film version in 2014. The phenomenal increase is known as “the Wild Effect.” (Strayed’s book of inspirational quotes, “Brave Enough,” is due in October).
On the subject of trails:
“The Oregon Trail” by Rinker Buck (Simon & Schuster, $28, 464 pages): The 2,000-mile-long trail opened the West to settlement in the years before the Civil War, and doubled the size of our country. To honor its legend, Buck hitched a wagon to a team of mules and spent four months exploring.
In “The Mountain Story” by Lori Lansens, four disparate, troubled hikers are forced to bond when their wilderness trek at 8,000 feet becomes a struggle to get off the mountain alive (Simon & Schuster, $26, 320 pages).
Ready to read
“Green Hills of Africa: The Hemingway Library Edition” by Ernest Hemingway is the Nobel Prize-winning author’s “elaborately enhanced” travelogue-memoir of his 1933 safari in East Africa, with wife Pauline Pfeiffer. Included are Pauline’s diary entries, Hemingway’s journal notes and letters, deleted passages from the final draft, a foreword by Patrick Hemingway, the author’s son, and an introduction by grandson Sean Hemingway.
“For the Love of Mike” is the 15th entry in the “Molly Murphy” mystery series by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur, $16, 336 pages). Molly’s role as a P.I. in 1901 New York City has its problems, not the least of which is her gender. On stakeout, she’s mistaken for a prostitute and spends a night in jail, and that’s just the opener. Bowen has appeared for the Bee Book Club.
“Badlands” by C.J. Box departs from the author’s Joe Pickett series for a stand-alone set in a small town in North Dakota that’s suddenly awash in fracking-oil riches (Minotaur, $27, 288 pages). As new deputy sheriff Cassie Dewell finds, it’s also awash in murder and intrigue. Box appeared for the Bee Book Club in April.
“Genghis Khan” is Frank McLynn’s account of how the founder and leader of the Mongol Empire was a skilled strategist with a cowardly streak. (Da Capo, $23.50, 704 pages). The biographer returns to the 12th and 13th centuries to tell the bloody story of how an illiterate peasant came to rule the “largest contiguous land empire” the world has known.
“The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital” by journalist Alexandra Robbins takes readers behind locked doors inside four hospitals to find the truth about an abused profession (Workman, $25, 368 pages).
“Killing Maine” by Mike Bond (Mandevilla, $15, 390 pages): Superstar surfer and former Special Forces operative Pono Hawkins leaves the waves of Hawaii for the snow and ice of Maine to help a buddy who has been accused of murder.