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“I cannot live without books”
Thomas Jefferson

NEW RELEASES

Breath
By James Nestor

Riverhouse Books $28

 

No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how resilient your genes are, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you’re not breathing properly. There is nothing more essential to our health and wellbeing than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat 25,000 times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences. Science journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong with our breathing and how to fix it.

Hamnet
By Maggie O’Farrell
Penguin Random House $26.95

A thrilling departure: a short, piercing, deeply moving novel about the death of Shakespeare’s 11 year old son Hamnet–a name interchangeable with Hamlet in 15th century Britain–and the years leading up to the production of his great play. England, 1580. A young Latin tutor–penniless, bullied by a violent father–falls in love with an extraordinary, eccentric young woman–a wild creature who walks her family’s estate with a falcon on her shoulder and is known throughout the countryside for her unusual gifts as a healer. Agnes understands plants and potions better than she does people, but once she settles with her husband on Henley Street in Stratford she becomes a fiercely protective mother and a steadfast, centrifugal force in the life of her young husband, whose gifts as a writer are just beginning to awaken when his beloved young son succumbs to bubonic plague. A luminous portrait of a marriage, a shattering evocation of a family ravaged by grief and loss, and a hypnotic recreation of the story that inspired one of the greatest masterpieces of all time, Hamnet is mesmerizing, seductive, impossible to put down–a magnificent departure from one of our most gifted novelists.

Beach Read
By Emily Henry
Penguin Random House $16

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters. Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They’re polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. But as the summer stretches on, January discovers a gaping plot hole in the story she’s been telling herself about her own life, and begins to wonder what other things she might have gotten wrong, including her ideas about the man next door.

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?
By Beverly Daniel Tatum
Basic Books $18.99

Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America. “An unusually sensitive work about the racial barriers that still divide us in so many areas of life.

Love
By Roddy Doyle
Harper Collins $29.99

One summer’s evening, two men meet up in a Dublin restaurant.Drinking pals back in their youth, now married and with grown up children, their lives have taken seemingly similar paths. But Joe has a secret he needs to tell Davy, and Davy has a sorrow he wants to keep from Joe. Both are not the men they used to be.Joe has left his wife and family for another woman, Jessica. Davy knows her too, or should – she was the girl of their dreams four decades earlier, the girl with the cello in George’s pub. As Joe’s story unfolds across Dublin – pint after pint, pub after pub – so too do the memories of what eventually drove Davy from Ireland: his first encounter with Faye, the lively woman who would become his wife; his father’s somber disapproval; the pained spaces left behind when a parent dies.As the two friends try to reconcile their versions of the past over the course of one night, Love offers a delightfully comic yet moving portrait of the many forms love can take throughout our lives.

What Makes a Marriage Last offers practical and heartfelt wisdom for couples of all ages, and a rare glimpse into the lives of husbands and wives we have come to know and love. Marlo and Phil’s frequently funny, often touching, and always engaging conversations span the marital landscape–from that first rush of new love to keeping that precious spark alive, from navigating hard times to celebrating triumphs, from balancing work and play and family to growing better and stronger together. At once intimate, candid, revelatory, hilarious, instructive, and poignant, this book is a beautiful gift for couples of every age and stage.

Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World

By Chris Wallace and Mitch Weiss
Simon and Schuster $30

Countdown 1945, Chris Wallace, the veteran journalist and anchor of Fox News Sunday, takes readers inside the minds of the iconic and elusive figures who join the quest for the bomb, each for different reasons: the legendary Albert Einstein, who eventually calls his vocal support for the atomic bomb “the one great mistake in my life”; lead researcher J. Robert “Oppie” Oppenheimer and the Soviet spies who secretly infiltrate his team; the fiercely competitive pilots of the plane selected to drop the bomb; and many more.Perhaps most of all, Countdown 1945 is the story of an untested new president confronting a decision that he knows will change the world forever. Truman’s journey during these 116 days is a story of high drama: from the shock of learning of the bomb’s existence, to the conflicting advice he receives from generals like Dwight D. Eisenhower and George Marshall, to wrestling with the devastating carnage that will result if he gives the order to use America’s first weapon of mass destruction.But Countdown 1945 is more than a book about the atomic bomb. It’s also an unforgettable account of the lives of ordinary American and Japanese civilians in wartime–from “Calutron Girls” like Ruth Sisson in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to ten-year-old Hiroshima resident Hideko Tamura, who survives the blast at ground zero but loses her mother and later immigrates to the United States, where she lives to this day–as well as American soldiers fighting in the Pacific, waiting in fear for the order to launch a possible invasion of Japan.

Order of the Day
By Eric Vuillard (translator Mark Polizzotti)
Other Books $14.99

February 20, 1933, an unremarkable day during a harsh Berlin winter: A meeting of twenty-four German captains of industry and senior Nazi officials is being held in secret in the plush lounge of the Reichstag. They are there to extract funds for the accession to power of the National Socialist Party and its Chancellor. This opening scene sets a tone of consent that will lead to the worst possible repercussions.March 12, 1938, the annexation of Austria is on the agenda: A grotesque day intended to make history–the newsreels capture a motorized army on the move, a terrible, inexorable power. But behind Goebbels’s splendid propaganda, an ersatz Blitzkrieg unfolds, the Panzers breaking down en masse on the roads into Austria. The true behind-the-scenes account of the Anschluss–a patchwork of minor flourishes of strength and fine words, fevered telephone calls, and vulgar threats–all reveal a starkly different picture. It is not strength of character or the determination of a people that wins the day, but rather a combination of intimidation and bluff.With this vivid, compelling history, Éric Vuillard warns against the peril of willfully blind acquiescence, and offers a reminder that, ultimately, the worst is not inescapable.

100 Hikes of a Lifetime
By Kate Siber
National Geographic $35

 

Filled with beautiful National Geographic photography, wisdom from expert hikers like Andrew Skurka, need-to-know travel information, and practical wildlife-spotting tips, this inspirational guide offers the planet’s best experiences for hikers and sightseers. From short day hikes–California’s Sierra High Route, Lake Agnes Teahouse in Alberta, Norway’s Mt. Skala–to multiday excursions like Mt. Meru in Tanzania and multi-week treks (Egypt’s Sinai Trail, Bhutan’s Snowman Trek, and the Bibbulum Track in Australia), you’ll find a hike that matches your interests and skill level. Crossing all continents and climates (from the jungles of Costa Rica to the ice fields in Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Parks), as well as experiences (a wine route through Switzerland or moose spotting on the Teton Crest Trail in Wyoming, ) there is a trail for everyone in these pages. So pack your gear and lace your boots: this comprehensive and innovative guide will lead you to experience the best hikes of your life!