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A good page-turner really is a gift that keeps on giving—whether the world you’re sending the recipient to involves fantasy, history, or even a craft beer concoction. And for those who want local offerings this season, Colorado is home to a thriving book scene that produces great reads spanning all genres. From a comic book series that follows post-apocalyptic indigenous heroes on their quest to kill Christopher Columbus to a bucket list of treats to bake before you die, here are our picks for new and noteworthy homegrown books to offer this season.
Utah-based author Colin Clancy is writing his first novel, ski bum ($23), has been on top of Copper Mountain for over 15 years. On December 1, readers can finally get their hands on this coming-of-age story about “hot tub poaching, poaching, and living poor and poor in a place where the rich vacation,” according to the book’s description. Ten percent of pre-order sales made before December 1 go to Protect Our Winters. buy online.
Bestselling author and American Blackfeet Stephen Graham Jones is best known for his horror stories that focus on Indigenous voices. This past October, Jones launched a new comic book series, Earth divers ($4 per issue), with art by Davide Gianfelice, which follows four Aboriginal survivors of the apocalypse who must go back in time to save the world. Mission: Kill Christopher Columbus and prevent the creation of America. Purchase from local comic book stores or online.
Romance writer Alexa Martin got her start writing novels based on her life as an NFL quarterback. After success I objected and its sequels, the latest book by the Centennial State author, Better than imagination ($17) follows protagonists Jasper and Drew, who meet sweetly at a book signing and fall in love by exploring the local Denver scene. Buy online or at your local bookstore.
This Weeks Old debut novel ($28) from Denver author Erica T. Worth follows an Indigenous heroine who is haunted by her mother’s spirit and pursued by a monster as she seeks to uncover her past. An urbanite of Apache, Chickasaw, and Cherokee descent, Wurth weaves Stephen King-style horror with modern family relationships in this thrilling ghost story. Purchase from local bookstores.
For the bakers in your life, this book ($25) by a local (and frequent 5280 Contributor) Allyson Reedy offers a comprehensive list of recipes from famous bakers like Christina Tosi and Tieghan Gerard. Start with this S’more-inspired cover cake and keep KitchenAid running all season long. Buy online or at your local bookstore.
in abbreviation book ($20), bestselling author and former Olympic luge athlete Ruben Gonzalez shares the secrets to achieving your goals as quickly as possible, becoming a stronger leader, and creating a better life for yourself along the way. Useful for executives, young adults, and anyone looking to get ahead, this empowering read is a gift for any aspiring recipient. buy online.
Ealier This fall, Denver-based author Calvin B. Fisher released the second book in Ealier Northfield epic series: storm ($23). The book follows protagonist Mark Northfield as he meets a mysterious new ally while imprisoned, against the desolate backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world filled with deadly gas. Buy online or at your local bookstore.
in The craft beer cookbook ($30) Local beer aficionado John Hall inspires jugglers to craft more than 70 original recipes from indie breweries around the corner The Part USA Cookbook, part beer pairing guide, is a must-read for anyone on your list. Buy online or at your local bookstore.
Young nonfiction buffs should check out Boulder’s Steve Jenkins collection of science-themed colorful books. His many works—co-written with his wife, Robin Page—take children from the depths of the ocean to the interior Shark book ($19) for Top Peaks in Top of the world ($8). Purchase from local bookstores. —Courtney Holden
in The sizzling paradox ($17) From the Mountain writer Lily Menon writes the story of Lyric and Kian: roommates, friends, and classmates who examine sexual chemistry in romantic partners. As they offer to help each other with their love lives, they make new discoveries about each other along the way. Buy online or at your local bookstore.
Winner of the Colorado Book Award and Chicano/Latino Literary Award—and 2021 Inductee to the Colorado Authors Hall of Fame—Released Manuel Ramos Angels in the wind ($19) out in spring 2021. The book follows criminal turned private eye Gus Coral (in this fourth novel featuring the protagonist) as he solves a crime thriller set between Denver and eastern Colorado. Purchase from local bookstores.
In the non-fiction book cheap land colorado ($30), Pulitzer Prize winner Ted Conover describes life off the grid by St. Louis Valley homeowners using his signature immersive reporting. After spending five years living in and out of one of Colorado’s most desolate regions, the resulting tale is one of empathy and compassion for those living on the edge of civilization. Purchase from local bookstores.
For the liquor enthusiast in your life, this handy book ($15) explores whiskey-making stories around the world and recipes for all blending abilities. Sipping on a classic or contemporary creation (we like Paper Plane) pairs well with diving into interesting trivia in the book—like exploring the difference between “whiskey” and “whiskey.” Buy online or at your local bookstore.