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“Reading . . . a vacation for the mind.”
Dave Barry

Covered Treasures Bookstore-Babes Recommended

March Mystery Madness

“Reading mysteries: the recreation of intelligent minds.” Donna Andrews

March is a month of basketball and Spring Break. It’s also a great time to hunker down with some good mysteries, whether you are staying at home or traveling.

Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna

By Mario Giordano (Mariner Books) $15.99

 Auntie Poldi is ready for some peace and quiet in Sicily. When the water supply to her neighborhood is cut off and a dear friend’s dog is poisoned (telltale signs that a certain familial organization is flexing its muscles) Poldi knows there will be no resolution without her help. She soon finds a body in a vineyard, tangles with the Mafia, and yet again makes herself unpopular in the pursuit of justice.

 An Unwanted Guest

By Shari Lapena (Penguin Books) $16

It’s winter in the Catskills and Mitchell’s Inn, nestled deep in the woods, is the perfect setting for a relaxing weekend away. When a blizzard cuts off all contact with the outside world, the guests settle in and try to make the best of it. Soon one of the guests turns up dead. It looks like an accident, but when a second guest dies, they start to panic. Within the snowed-in paradise, something, or someone, is picking off the guests one by one. There’s nothing they can do but hunker down, hoping they can survive the storm, and one another.

The Body in Griffith Park: An Anna Blanc Mystery

By Jennifer Kincheloe (Seventh Street Books) $15.95

It’s 1908; ex-heiress Anna Blanc works for the Los Angeles Police Department. What she really wants is to hunt criminals and be alone with Detective Joe Singer, both of which could get her fired. Anna and Joe discover the body of a young gambler. As Anna’s murder investigation stalls, strange floral arrangements begin arriving from an unknown admirer. Following the petals leads Anna to another crime. Suddenly pitted against Joe, Anna must examine her loyalties and solve the crimes. The historical details of the crimes are taken from actual cases.

How Quickly She Disappears

By Raymond Fleischmann (Berkley Books) $26

Twenty years ago Elisabeth’s twin sister, Jacqueline, disappeared without a trace. Now 30-year-old Elisabeth is living far from home in a small Alaskan town. She’s in a loveless marriage and has a young daughter who reminds her of Jacqueline. But then Alfred, a dangerous stranger with a plan of his own, arrives in town and offers a startling revelation. he knows exactly what happened to Jacqueline, but he’ll reveal this truth only if Elisabeth fulfills his three requests. Doing so means putting herself and her family in danger.

 The Woman in the Window

By A.J. Finn (William Morrow & Company) $16.99

Anna Fox lives alone, unable to venture outside. She spends her days drinking wine, watching old movies, recalling happier times, and spying on her neighbors. The Russells move into the house across the way and seem like the perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble. In this gripping thriller, no one and no thing is what it seems.

The Cuckoo’s Calling: A Cormoran Strike Novel

By Robert Galbraith (Mulholland Books) $18

Published under a pseudonym, J.K. Rowling’s adult mystery series features Detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant, Robin Ellicott.  Cuckoo’s Calling sets up the relationship between the two, as he investigates a legendary supermodel’s death. The police ruled it a suicide, but her brother refuses to believe that. These fast-paced books inspired Strike, the BBC crime drama series that has captivated millions of viewers worldwide.


By Anthony Horowitz (Harper Perennial) $10

This mystery, sanctioned by the Conan Doyle estate, explores what really happened when Sherlock Holmes and his arch nemesis Professor Moriarty tumbled to their doom at the Reichenbach Falls. Frederick Chase, a senior investigator at New York’s Pinkerton Detective Agency, and Inspector Athelney Jones, a Scotland Yard detective and devoted student of Holmes’s methods of deduction, join forces. They fight their way through the streets of Victorian London in pursuit of a sinister man, much feared but seldom seen, who is determined to stake his claim as Moriarty’s successor in London’s criminal underworld.

“Very few of us are what we seem.” Agatha Christie

Until next month, happy reading!


A Perfect Time to Read Aloud

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child.” Dr. Seuss

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, or a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” Kate Dicamillo

These are interesting times. With all the time together as a family at home, reading aloud is one of the best ways to be fully present with our children, even long after they can read themselves. All ages benefit.

The Read-Aloud Family: Making Meaningful and Lasting Connections with Your Kids

By Sarah Mackenzie (Zondervan), $16.99

In this handy resource Sarah Mackenzie champions the lifelong benefits of reading aloud to children and offers book lists, strategies, and tools parents can use to form deep and lasting connections with their children. The stories we read, and the conversations we have about them, help shape family traditions, create lifelong memories, and become part of our legacy.

This is a perfect time to start a series. Some wonderful choices for all ages include:

Harry Potter

By J.K. Rowling (Scholastic)

This magical series has been entertaining all ages for more than 20 years. You can find the seven volumes individually or together in boxed sets. There are also illustrated editions available through volume four, however they will have the illustrated editions for all seven eventually.

Chronicles of Narnia

By C.S. Lewis (Harper Collins)

For over 60 years this series has transcended the fantasy genre to become part of the canon of classic literature. Epic battles between good and evil, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in this unforgettable world. The seven volumes in this series can be found individually and in boxed sets.

Fudge Series

By Judy Blume (Puffin Books)

Fans young and old will laugh out loud at the irrepressible wit of Peter Hatcher, the hilarious antics of mischievous Fudge, and the unbreakable confidence of know-it-all Sheila Tubman in Judy Blume’s five Fudge books.

Ralph Mouse Series and Ramona Series

By Beverly Cleary (Harper Collins)

Newberry Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary’s Ralph Mouse Series features a young mouse named Ralph who is thrown into a world of excitement and adventure when a boy, Keith, and his shiny toy motorcycle check into the Mountain View Inn. With a pal like Keith always looking out for him, there’s nothing this little mouse can’t handle. In the Ramona series, Beverly Cleary delivers a humorous portrayal of the ups and downs of sisterhood. Both the younger and older siblings of the family will enjoy these series.

More great choices include the classics, for example:

Anne of Green Gables: Complete and Unabridged

By L.M. Montgomery (Puffin Classics), $6.99

 This complete and unabridged edition contains a behind-the-scenes journey, including an author profile, a guide to who’s who, activities, and more. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert are in for a big surprise. They’re waiting for an orphan boy to help with the work at Green Gables—but a skinny, red-haired girl turns up instead. Feisty and full of spirit, it’s not long before Anne Shirley finds herself in all kinds of trouble. But soon it’s impossible to imagine life at Green Gables without her.

 Treasure Island

By Robert Louis Stevenson (Sterling Publishing) $9.95

Young and old have been thrilled by this timeless classic since it was first published in 1883. This gripping story of young Jim Hawkins’ perilous encounters with the treacherous Long John Silver and his fellow pirates is filled with mystery and adventure for the whole family.

Around the World in Eighty Days

By Jules Verne (Sterling Publishing) $9.95

“I will bet twenty thousand pounds against anyone who wishes that I will make the tour of the world in eighty days or less.” So says Phileas Fogg in Jules Verne’s unforgettable adventure tale. Journey with Fogg and his French servant Passepartout as they race across the globe in an attempt to win the legendary wager.

The One and Only Ivan

By Katherine Applegate (Harper Collins) $8.99

This Newberry Award winning novel is soon to be a major motion picture. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, it celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship, art, and hope.

Matilda, and Boy: Tales of Childhood, and The BFG

By Roald Dahl (Puffin Books)

Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter-pilot, chocolate historian, and medical inventor. He was also the author of Matilda, Boy Tales of Childhood, The BFG, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many more brilliant stories. His books are always a good choice for reading aloud.

Until next month, happy reading.

Get Out There!

In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now is a wonderful time to get outside, especially as a safe way to spend time with family and friends.

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Denver and Boulder: Including Fort Collins and Rocky Mountain National Park (Revised 3rd Edition)

By Mindy Sink (Menasha Ridge Press) $22.95

Blending popular trails and hidden gems, this full-color edition features trails that transport you to scenic overlooks, wildlife hot spots, and historical settings that renew your spirit and recharge your body. Each hike description features information on: distance, difficulty, scenery, traffic, hiking time, detailed directions, GPS-based trail maps, elevation profiles, tips on nearby activities, and more.

Colorado Day Trips by Theme

By Aimee Heckel (Adventure Publications), $16.95

Jam-packed with more than 170 of Colorado’s best destinations, this guidebook helps you take a simple day trip, or string together a longer vacation of activities that catch your interest. Destinations are organized by themes, such as Annual Festivals and Outdoor Adventures. Discover hot springs, mountain peaks, museums, national parks, and more.

Thrasher’s Fly Fishing Guide: An Essential Handbook for All Skill Levels

By Susan Thrasher (Menasha Ridge Press) $16.95

Expert angler Susan Thrasher provides your all-in-one resource on fly fishing with success. Covering beginner to advanced knowledge, various methods, tips and techniques, how to teach kids, and so much more, you will find this an essential guide.

Colorado Journey Guide: A Driving & Hiking Guide to Ruins, Rock Art, Fossils & Formations

By Jon Kramer and Julie Martinez (Adventure Publications) $16.95

This resource helps you discover some of Colorado’s best: majestic mountains, ancient ruins, secret canyons, hidden waterfalls, and exotic places. The author’s rating system for significance in archaeology, geology, and paleontology ensures that you find the places that are right for you and your interests. Illustrations by Vernon Morris depict pottery, prehistoric animals, and more.

Family Camping: Everything You Need to Know for a Night Outdoors with Loved Ones

By Charlie and Cheryl Ess (Falcon Press) $24.95

This just might be the ultimate camping handbook, whether you’re with family or friends, camping or in your backyard. Part inspiration, part practical knowledge, this book is a whole lot of fun, offering up food and drink recipes, family activities, nature hacks, expert know-how, and more.

Mountain Biking Colorado’s Front Range: A Guide to the Area’s Greatest Off-Road Bicycle Rides (2nd edition)

By Stephen Hlawaty (Falcon Press), $21.95

Featuring 45 off-road bicycle rides along Colorado’s Front Range, this guide includes rides from Fort Collins south to Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and everywhere in between. Readers will find maps, route directions, vivid descriptions, and much more. A mountain biking atlas to the Front Range regions, this one-of-a-kind guidebook details each trail in relation to local history, geology, archeology, legend, and lore.

Night Sky: A Field Guide to the Constellations Revised and Expanded (with Card Flashlight)

By Jonathan Poppele (Adventure Publications) $16.95

Revised and expanded, this award-winning book takes a simple approach to finding 64 constellations by focusing on one constellation at a time, teaching how to locate any constellation in relation to the Big Dipper, the North Star, and the top of the sky. It also introduces mythology, facts, details about the planets, solar system, and more.

The Daring Book for Girls

By Andrea Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz (William Morrow & Company) $16.99

For every girl here is a hands-on guide to adventure, imagination, and fun. Have fun, take risks, learn a variety of skills, activities, games, how to put up your hair with a pencil, whistle with two fingers, build a good campfire, make paper airplanes, clubhouses and forts, public speaking, famous women in history, and more.

Dangerous Book for Boys

By Gonn and Hal Iggulden (William Morrow & Company) $22.99

Now a Prime Original Series, this bestselling book for every boy from eight to 80 covers essential skills such as building tree houses, learning how to fish, tying knots, skimming stones, and stories of incredible courage. It’s a wonderful collection of all things that make being young or young at heart fun—building go-carts and electromagnets, identifying insects and spiders, and flying the world’s best paper airplanes.

Until next month, happy reading.

New Fall Releases

The publishing industry has been hit hard by Covid-19. As a result, there have been many delays to all suppliers of books, including online and independent bookstores. Many publication dates for new books have been delayed. There are now some great books coming out in the next few weeks.

All the Devils Are Here

By Louise Penny (Minotaur Books) $28.99

Inspector Gamache’s godfather, billionaire Stephen Horowitz, is critically injured in what Gamache knows is no accident. Solving this mystery will take Gamache from the top of the Eiffel Tower to the bowels of the Paris Archives, from luxury hotels to odd, coded works of art. To find the truth, Gamache will have to decide whether he can trust his friends, his colleagues, his instincts, his own past, his own family. For even the City of Light casts long shadows. And in the darkness devils hide.

Next to Last Stand: A Longmire Mystery

By Craig Johnson (Viking), $28

One of the most viewed paintings in American History, Custer’s Last Fight, was destroyed in a fire in 1946. Or was it? When Charley Lee Stillwater dies at the Wyoming Home for Soldiers & Sailors, Walt Longmire is called in to try and make sense of a piece of a painting and a Florsheim shoebox containing a million dollars, sending the good sheriff on the trail of a dangerous art heist.

Hanging Falls: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery

By Margaret Mizushima (Crooked Lane Books) $26.99

Officer Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo stumble upon a body floating at the edge of a lake. An unexpected visit from members of Mattie’s long-lost family sheds new light on her childhood abduction. The tangled threads of the investigation and family dynamics begin to intertwine, but darkness threatens to claim a new victim before Mattie and Robo can track down the killers.

Mesa Verde Victim

By Scott Graham (Torrey House Press) $15.95

Hounded by false accusations of murder, archaeologist Chuck Bender and his family risk their lives to track down an unknown killer in a rugged canyon on the remote western edge of Mesa Verde National Park, where ancient stone villages and secret burial sites, abandoned centuries ago by the Ancestral Puebloan people, harbor artifacts so rare and precious they’re worth killing over.

Elway: A Relentless Life

By Jason Cole (Hachette Books) $28

This biography of John Elway, Hall of Fame Quarterback, two-time Super Bowl Champion, and current President of Football Operations and General Manager of the Denver Broncos is the most complete look at one of the most accomplished legends in the history of American sports.

The Midnight Library

By Matt Haig (Viking), $26

“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices. . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?” Nora Seed must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

A Time for Mercy

By John Grisham (Doubleday Books) $29.95

Jake Brigance, the hero of A Time to Kill, one of the most popular novels of our time, returns. Jake finds himself embroiled in a deeply divisive trial when the court appoints him attorney for Drew Gamble, a timid 16-year-old boy accused of murdering a local deputy. Jake’s fierce commitment to saving Drew from the gas chamber puts his career, his financial security, and the safety of his family on the line. In what may be the most personal and accomplished legal thriller of John Grisham’s storied career, there is a time to kill and a time for justice. Now comes A Time for Mercy.

When We Were Young & Brave

By Hazel Gaynor (William Morrow & Company) $27.99

Bestselling author Hazel Gaynor sets her unforgettable new novel in China during WWII, inspired by true events surrounding the Japanese Army’s internment of teachers and children from a British-run missionary school. As Gaynor says in the Afterward, “No matter the time or distance from an historical event, the universal themes of love, grief, friendship, regret and resilience are what connect us all across the decades.”

Until next month, happy reading.

New Releases for the Gift-Giving Days Ahead

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.”…. Garrison Keillor

The Silver Arrow

By Lev Grossman (Little Brown) $16.99

Kate’s humdrum life is transformed when her eccentric Uncle Herbert, whom she’s never met, surprises her with a colossal locomotive train, the Silver Arrow, for her 11th birthday. Soon Kate and her brother are on a mysterious quest to distant lands along magical rail lines in the company of an assortment of exotic animals who can talk. They just might end up saving the world.

Before the Ever After

By Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books) $17.99

For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of fans. But lately his dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time due to the head injuries he sustained during his career. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions.

Everything Sad is Untrue

By Daniel Nayeri (Levine Querido), $17.99

At the front of a middle school classroom in Oklahoma, a boy named Khosrou, whom everyone calls Daniel, is trying to tell a story. Khosrou’s stories, stretching back years, and decades, and centuries, are beautiful, and terrifying, from the moment his family fled Iran, back to refugee camps of Italy, and even further back. Daniel has written an autobiographical novel, united by hope.

The Inheritance Games

By Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Little Brown) $17.99

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive.

What We’ll Build: Plans for Our Together Future

By Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books), $19.99

A father and his young daughter gather their tools and begin building a future where love can be set aside until it is needed, enemies become friends, and exploration is key. A rare and enduring story about a parent’s boundless love, life’s endless opportunities, and all we need to build a together future.

Wreck This Picture Book

By Keri Smith (Dial Books) $17.99

Keri Smith has helped millions of people free their creativity and find their own voice with her interactive books, and now she brings that sensibility to children and the act of reading. Kids will discover that reading can engage all five senses and that what they themselves bring to a book is an important contribution.

The Highlights Book of Things to Do: Discover, Explore, Create, and Do Great Things

By Highlights (Highlights Press) $24.99

Kids will find creativity and inspiration with hundreds of ways to build, play, experiment, craft, cook, dream, think. This highly visual, hands-on activity book shows kids some of the best ways to do great things as well as become caring, confident problem solvers who just might change the world.

How to Astronaut: An Insider’s Guide to Leaving Planet Earth

By Terry Virts (Workman Publishing) $27.95

Former NASA astronaut Terry Virts offers an insider’s guide to “astronauting.” This behind-the-scenes look at the training, basic rules, lessons, and procedures of space travel, including how to deal with a dead body in space, what it’s like to film an IMAX movie in orbit, what to do when nature calls, and much more. He captures all the highs, lows, humor, and wonder of an experience few will ever know firsthand.

Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do about It

By Bob Goff (Thomas Nelson) $26.99

New York Times bestselling author Bob Goff is on a mission to help people recapture the version of their lives they dreamed about before fear started calling the shots. In this revealing yet practical book, Goff takes you on a life-proven journey to rediscover your dreams and turn them into reality.

Until next month, happy reading.

Last Minute Ideas for the Hard to Buy for Person

“Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world!”…. Neil Gaiman

Ex Libris: 100+ Books to Read and Reread

By Michiko Kakutani (Clarkson Potter Publishers) $25

Readers will discover a variety of books worth reading and rereading in this beautifully illustrated resource by Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic Michiko Kakutani. As she says in the introduction: “In a world riven by political and social divisions, literature can connect people across time zones and zip codes, across cultures and religions, national boundaries and historical eras. It can give us an understanding of lives very different from our own, and a sense of the shared joys and losses of human experience.”

Colorado’s Highest: The History of Naming the 14,000-Foot Peaks

By Jeri L. Norgren and John Fielder (John Fielder Publishing) $45

This may be John Fielder’s finest history book. Through extensive research Jeri Norgren has written about how the names were chosen for the 58 highest mountains in Colorado. But, it’s not only words, it’s Fielder’s photographs, many never before published, Robert Wogrin’s oil paintings and sketches, and the historical sketches from the 1870s by the artists of the Hayden Survey.


By Matthew McConaughey (Crown Publishing Group), $30

Matthew McConaughey has written an unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction. It’s a love letter to life and a guide to catching more greenlights—and to realizing that the yellows and reds eventually turn green too.

Modern Comfort Food

By Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter Publishers) $35

Ina Garten shares 85 new recipes that will feed your deepest cravings. Home cooks can always count on Ina’s dependable, easy-to-follow instructions, with lots of side notes for cooking and entertaining. From cocktails to dessert, from special weekend breakfasts to quick weeknight dinners, you’ll find yourself making these delicious recipes over and over again.

The Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential

By Wim Hof (Sounds True), $25.99

Wim Hof shares the life-changing technique that anyone can use to supercharge their capacity for strength, health, and happiness. He provides in-depth instructions, the science supporting his techniques, his incredible personal story, and much more. Wim Hof has a message for each of us: “You can literally do the impossible. You can overcome disease, improve your mental health and physical performance, and even control your physiology so you can thrive in any stressful situation.”

If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future

By Jill Lepore (Liveright Publishing) $28.95

The Simulmatics Corporation, founded in 1959, used computers to mine data, target voters, accelerate news, manipulate consumers, destabilize politics, and disorder knowledge—decades before Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Cambridge Analytica. Silicon Valley likes to imagine it has no past but the scientists of Simulmatics are their long-dead grandfathers. Jill Lepore, distinguished Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, unearthed and deeply researched this corporation and the history. Readers will find this book highly relevant to today.

This Just Speaks to Me: Words to Live By Every Day

By Hoda Kotb (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) $24

In this all-new collection of beloved quotes, Hoda Kotb offers inspiration, wisdom, and hope 365 days a year. Kotb writes about everything from motherhood and friendship to love and loss. This book also celebrates the countless acts of kindness that unfolded during these uniquely challenging times.

The Silence

By Don Delillo (Scribner) $22

A timely and compelling novel set in the year 2022, featuring five people, dinner, a Manhattan apartment, and a couple joining them from a dramatic flight from Paris. Then something happens and the digital connections that have transformed our lives are severed.

The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design

By Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt (Houghton Mifflin) $30

In this deeply researched treasure trove the authors zoom in on the various unique, often unnoticed yet essential elements that make our cities work. They explore the origins and other fascinating stories behind everything from power grids and fire escapes to drinking fountains and street signs, to raccoons and squirrels.

Until next month, happy reading.

Gobsmacked (Astounded) by Nature

 “I go to books and to nature as the bee goes to a flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey.”….John Burroughs

Here are some books that will help you get gobsmacked by nature.

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Milkweed Editions) $25

Award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil brings readers a collection of essays about the natural world and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us. For this is the way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts. Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated, this is a book of sustenance and joy.

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

By Robin Wall Kimmerer (Milkweed Editions) $18

Robin Wall Kimmerer is a botanist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She brings these two lenses of knowledge together to show us how nature offers gifts and lessons. Also available is a new 40th anniversary, updated hardcover special edition; It is beautifully bound with a new cover, bookmark ribbon, deckled edge, and colored illustrations.

Native American Prayer Trees of Colorado

By John Wesley Anderson (Old Colorado City Historical Society) $37.95

Local author John Wesley Anderson takes his readers on a journey of discovery through his study of the Native American tradition of modifying trees for navigational, medicinal, burial, educational, and spiritual purposes. He worked in close association with members and elders of the Southern Ute Reservation, the study of previous researchers, and people familiar with these culturally modified trees, to create this work which moves forth the documentation and preservation of these landmarks.

Easy Hikes to the Hidden Past

By Rocky Shockley and T. Duran Jones (Rocky Shockley), $14.99

This unique book offers well-researched, often hidden, historic discoveries with easy trail walks, hikes, and bike rides. It covers Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Cripple Creek, Canon City, and Palmer Lake, and features photos, trail maps, and fun history trivia.

The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

By Sy Montgomery (Atria), $16.99

In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, naturalist Sy Montgomery has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico. This award-winning bestseller explores the emotional and physical world of the complex, intelligent octopus and the remarkable connections it makes with humans and what they can teach us.

Our Wild Calling: How Connecting with Animals Can Transform Our Lives—and Save Theirs

By Richard Louv (Algonquin Books) $16.95

Louv interviews researchers, theologians, wildlife experts, indigenous healers, psychologists, and others to show how people are connecting with animals in ancient and new ways, and how this serves as an antidote to the growing epidemic of human loneliness; how dogs can teach children ethical behavior; how animal-assisted therapy may yet transform the mental health field; and what role the human-animal relationship plays in our spiritual health. He reports on wildlife relocation and how the growing populations of wild species in urban areas are blurring the lines between domestic and wild animals.


By Charlotte McConaghy (Flatiron Books) $26.99

Franny Stone has always been the kind of woman who is able to love but unable to stay. Leaving behind everything but her research gear, she arrives in Greenland with a singular purpose: to follow the last Arctic terns in the world on what might be their final migration to Antarctica. But as Franny’s history begins to unspool, it becomes clear that she is chasing more than just the birds. It’s an ode to a disappearing world and a breathtaking page-turner about the possibility of hope against all odds.

Natural Wonders of Colorado

By Todd Caudle (Skyline Press) $12.95

As our own local photographer Todd Caudle says in his introduction, this collection “is the vision of one photographer who loves his home state with a passion, and cannot even conceive of a day when he will not actively seek out its beauty, whether with a camera or not. It is also a snapshot of what Colorado currently is, and in some places, what it used to be.”

Until next month, happy reading.

Timeless Treasures

 “If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.”….Francois Mauriac

For us these are timeless, meaningful books to read, re-read, and share with generations. We’d love to hear about some of yours!

Tommie’s favorites include:

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee (Harper Perennial) $15.99

Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork is one of the most cherished stories of all time. A gripping tale of the Deep South through the eyes of a young girl as her father, a crusading local lawyer, risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.  Tommie loves the multiple stories and lessons of this book, summed up by the wisdom of Atticus, the father: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. … Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

The Poisonwood Bible

By Barbara Kingsolver (Harper Perennial) $18.99

Kingsolver’s national bestseller paints an intimate portrait of a crisis-ridden family amid the larger backdrop of an African nation in chaos. Tommie particularly appreciates Barbara Kingsolver’s use of language in this book; her use of tone, word choices, and literary devices, to bring the characters and the Congo to life.


By Roald Dahl (Puffin Books) $7.99

The Big Friendly Giant is one of Roald Dahl’s most lovable characters. Whether galloping off with Sophie; speaking his delightful, jumbled, squib-fangled patois; or whizzpopping for the Queen, he leaves an indelible impression of bigheartedness. The blending of silliness with a moral message is what makes this one of Tommie’s favorite children’s books.

Paula’s favorites include:

East of Eden

By John Steinbeck (Penguin Books) $18

This masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years is a work in which he created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes. Paula enjoys how Steinbeck brings together the human heart and the land—isolation, loneliness, and even failure. Characters are real and relatable as they embrace life with compassion, humility, and spirit.

Little House in the Big Woods

By Laura Ingalls Wilder (Harper Collins) $8.99

Anything by Laura Ingalls Wilder is wonderful, but her Little House on the Prairie Series has stood the test of time and tells the story of Laura’s real childhood as an American pioneer. Paula notes that these stories teach children about a simple, rustic life, friendship, beauty, quiet moments, and a strong work ethic.

Misty of Chincoteague

By Marguerite Henry (Aladdin Paperbacks) $7.99

This Newbery Honor Book is set on an island off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland where a band of wild ponies has lived for centuries. It focuses on a mare, Phantom, and her colt, Misty. Paula enjoys Marguerite Henry’s books because they have historical authenticity and are suspenseful stories about real horses; visiting Chincoteague is on her bucket list.

Pam’s favorites include:

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis (HarperCollins) $8.99

This is the second book in the classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia that has been drawing readers of all ages for over 60 years. Four adventurous siblings step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia. Pam discovered the series as a child and has re-read it many times. Full of great adventure, mythical beasts, and talking animals, this series transports the reader to a land where magic meets reality, and good conquers evil.

The Phantom Tollbooth

By Norton Juster (Yearling Classic) $8.99

For Milo, everything’s a bore until a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room. Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes life is exciting beyond his wildest dreams! Pam’s favorite things are the wordplay, puns, paradoxes, and problem-solving adventures. She says it’s just as much for adults as kids with its encouraging deeper messages. One of her favorite quotes is, “so many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.”

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

By Erik Larson (Crown Publishing) $32

Erik Larson brings history to life once again, this time in an intimate portrait of Churchill: his strengths and weaknesses, triumph over tragedy, and his leadership during London’s darkest year.  Pam is a fan of Erik Larson not only because of his thorough research, but for his talent of writing nonfiction that reads like novels.

Until next month, happy reading.

Heart and Body Health

“It’s impossible,” said pride. “It’s risky,” said experience. “It’s pointless,” said reason. “Give it a try,” whispered the heart. Unknown

February is Heart Month as well as the month of Valentine’s Day. Why not read some books that help you toward optimal health and longevity with your loved ones. Making small lifestyle changes can have huge health benefits and can change the entire trajectory of your life.

How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss

By Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM (Flatiron Books) $32.50

Dr. Michael Greger, internationally-renowned nutrition expert and physician hones in on the optimal criteria to enable weight loss, while considering how specific foods actually affect our health and longevity. He lays out the key ingredients of the ideal weight-loss diet, but goes beyond food to identify 21 weight-loss accelerators that maximize our natural fat-burning capabilities.

The Blue Zones Kitchen: 100 Recipes to Live to 100

By Dan Buettner (National Geographic) $30

 Building on decades of research, longevity expert Dan Buettner has gathered 100 recipes inspired by the Blue Zones, home to the healthiest and happiest communities in the world. Each dish uses ingredients and cooking methods proven to increase longevity, wellness, and mental health. The recipes also include lifestyle tips.

Smart Plants: Power Foods & Natural Nootropics for Optimized Thinking, Focus & Memory

By Julie Morris (Sterling Publishing) $29.95

This book reveals the dietary secrets to better brain performance. Combining scientific research with the wisdom of ancient remedies, it showcases an array of cognition-enhancing plants—from everyday foods to natural nootropics. Her recipes make it easy to incorporate these powerful foods into your daily diet.

Half the Sugar, All the Love: 100 Easy, Low-Sugar Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

By Jennifer Tyler Lee and Anisha Patel, M.D., MSPH (Workman Publishing) $22.95

Our children consume three times the recommended daily allowance of added sugar, which puts them at an unprecedented risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, excess weight, and more. This book features 100 doctor-approved recipes that cut the sugar by half or more without sacrificing the flavors our families love. It’s an eye-opening education, a program of healthy eating, and a cookbook chock-full of easy, delicious recipes all in one.

Cannabis and CBD for Health and Wellness: An Essential Guide for Using Nature’s Medicine to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Chronic Pain, Inflammation, and More

By Aliza Sherman and Dr. Junella Chin (Ten Speed Press) $16.99

A safe, comprehensive guide to using cannabis to ease chronic and acute health issues such as pain, insomnia, inflammation, depression, anxiety, grief, stress, and more, from the founder of a global cannabis wellness network and an osteopathic physician. With information on cannabis forms, methods of ingestion, dosing and microdosing, safety and storage, caregiving and effectiveness for self-care, physical fitness, aging, and more, this is the only book you need to start using cannabis for better health.

No Gluten, No Problem Pizza: 75+ Recipes for Every Craving—From Thin Crust to Deep Dish, New York to Naples

By Kelli and Peter Bronski (Experiment) $24.95

With more than a decade of gluten-free recipe experience, the Bronskis bring 75 recipes with all of the authentic flavor and texture of traditional pizza, but none of the gluten. Every step of the process is explained. You will find 15 kinds of dough covering all the major pizza styles, grain-free and nutrient-rich pizzas, and pizzas for every meal.

Stretching: 30th Anniversary Edition

By Bob Anderson (Shelter Publications) $19.95

Bob Anderson is the world’s most popular stretching authority and he is one of our local authors. For over 35 years, Bob has taught millions of people, including the Denver Broncos and Olympic athletes, his simple approach to stretching. His book features stretching routines specific to a variety of people, including sports enthusiasts, travelers, children, gardeners, and people in wheelchairs. There is also an abbreviated version of each routine for people in a hurry, new information on the stretching vs. warming up debate, and new and improved drawings. A new section focuses on office fitness exercises, helpful for both home and office computer users.

“Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic and miracles.” Roy T. Bennett

Until next month, happy reading!


Time to Start Those Gardens!

“Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint and the soil and sky as canvas.” Elizabeth Murray

After our long, snow-filled winter, and Coronavirus warnings filling our minds, planning a garden might be the perfect escape.  Here are some great books, with expert advice from professional Colorado gardeners; we’ve also included one for children.

Rocky Mountain Month-by-Month Gardening

By John Cretti (Cool Springs Press), $26.99

Help take the guesswork out of gardening with this month-by-month guide that includes detailed instructions on everything from watering and fertilizing to pruning and problem solving. No matter your gardening level, from beginner to expert, you will reap the benefits of Coloradan John Cretti’s more than 32 years of gardening. Complete with specific advice on growing annuals, perennials, bulbs, grasses, roses, ground covers, trees, shrubs, and vines.

Homegrown Herbs: A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying More than 100 Herbs

By Tammi Hartung (Storey Publishing), $19.95

The Hartungs own Desert Canyon Farm in Colorado, which has been certified organic since 1996. Tammi has great advice and multiple books for gardening in Colorado. In this one she provides in-depth profiles of 101 popular herbs, including information on seed selection, planting, maintenance, harvesting, and drying. You will also learn how to use your herbs in a variety of foods, home remedies, body care products, and crafts. Whether you’re a seasoned herbalist or planting your first garden, Homegrown Herbs will help you get the most out of your herbs.

The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Food in Harmony with Nature

By Tammi Hartung (Storey Publishing), $16.95

This is a guide to creating harmony between the vegetable garden and the wildlife who consider it part of their habitat. It explains how to start with a healthy garden, create beneficial relationships through thoughtful planting, attract beneficial insects, pollinators, and butterflies, and how to purposefully create habitats for wildlife with strategies to help garden and wildlife peacefully coexist, including blocking access to unwelcome guests.

The Undaunted Gardener: Planting for Weather Resilient Beauty (2nd edition)

By Lauren Springer Ogden (Fulcrum Publishing) $34.95

Lauren Springer Ogden offers well-adapted plants, practical and environmental perspectives, and a uniquely aesthetic approach to gardening in a challenging climate. You will find more than 370 new full-color photographs; 100 portraits of underused, exceptional plants; information on drought-tolerant and deer-resistant plants; and insights and lessons from Lauren’s three personal gardens. Lauren and her husband Scott design public and private gardens. Together they tend two intensive gardens in Fort Collins and Austin, overseen by cats, wildlife, and three mildly interested children.

Mini Meadows: Grow a Little Patch of Colorful Flowers Anywhere Around Your Yard

By Mike Lizotte (Storey Publishing) $16.95

A mini meadow can be any size, any location, or even multiple locations. With as little as 50 square feet and less than $20, gardeners can plant a colorful meadow that demands little in the way of space or maintenance, drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, and provides habitat for pollinators. From choosing the right variety of seeds, preparing the soil, sowing evenly, and watering well, author Mike Lizotte guides readers through the process of successfully creating a miniature meadow that suits their climate, soil, and growing goals.

Xeriscape Handbook: A How-To Guide to Natural, Resource-Wise Gardening

By Gayle Weinstein (Fulcrum Publishing) $24.95

Xeriscape plant materials are water-conserving, beautiful, and thrive in specific environments. You will find an easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach to creating a water-wise garden. Environmental gardening factors are combined with the seven principles of Xeriscape and good gardening techniques. Gayle Weinstein has worked with Denver Botanic Gardens in their Xeriscape Experimental Garden, as well as other areas of the public garden. She makes her home in Denver.

We Are the Gardeners

By Joanna Gaines and Kids (Thomas Nelson) $19.99

Joanna and the kids chronicle the adventures of starting their own family garden. From failed endeavors, obstacles (bunnies that eat everything!), and lessons learned, the Gaines family shares how they grew a happy, successful garden. As it turns out, trying something new isn’t always easy, but the hardest work often yields the greatest reward.

“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.” Unknown

Until next month, happy reading.

Books to Keep You and Your Family Sane & Productive

“Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. Mary Oliver, poet

 These are difficult days, but there is help out there!  Books can take you on adventures without leaving home. No matter what your age or circumstances, you can travel the world, learn a new hobby, learn how to plant a garden, and travel back in time through historical fiction and non-fiction. Challenge your mind with Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and activity books; explore new hikes, and so much more is at your fingertips.

For adults and kids of all ages, consider games and activities that spark conversation. For example, there is a series of games called After Dinner Amusements that feature a variety of conversation starters and different topic areas. Mad Libs have been great fun for many generations and all ages.

Start a series of books to read aloud as a family. Or pick some classics to read aloud.

Teens and adults might consider starting a mystery series. There are so many great ones available. You might want to consider the Aunt Dimity series by Nancy Atherton, the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series by Margaret Mizushima, the Chief Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny, and the Longmire mystery series by Craig Johnson.  Pick a book series that has been made into a television series; Read the books and compare them. Which do you like better?

Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: Edible Edition: 52 Mouth-Watering Recipes and the Everyday Science That Makes Them Taste Amazing

By Liz Lee Heinecke (Quarry Books), $24.99            

Make science fun for all ages with fifty-two edible, delicious ways to explore food science in your own kitchen. You might want to combine it with Heinecke’s book Kitchen Science Lab for Kids: 52 Family-Friendly Experiments from Around the House.

Art Lab for Kids: 52 Creative Adventures in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Paper, and Mixed Media for Budding Artists of All Ages (Lab for Kids #1)

By Susan Schwake (Quarry Books), $22.99              

Kids and adults will enjoy these lessons for art projects of varying styles including drawing, printmaking, and mixed media.

Tell Me Why? (Tell Me Series)

By Isabelle Fougere (B.E.S. Publishing), $14.99                   

The Tell Me Series offers fun-filled books packed with more than 180+ answers to all kinds of questions kids ask. Plus there are lots of games and stickers. Other books in the series are: Tell Me How?, ..Science and Inventions, ..What is That?,  ..How Many?, ..Earth and Sky.

The Boy’s Book of Adventure: The Little Guidebook for Smart and Resourceful Boys

By Michele Lecreux with Celia Gallais and Clemence Roux de Luze (B.E.S. Publishing) $14.99

This guidebook (great for girls, as well!) offers more than 40 ideas for outdoor activities and fun-to-do crafts projects that will get you acquainted with facts about nature, how to identify different insects and birds, recognize different kinds of rocks, read a map, protect yourself against the weather when camping out, and much more.

How to Build Treehouses, Huts & Forts

By David Stiles (Lyons Press) $17.95

Filled with fun projects and step-by-step instructions for kids and their parents to build outdoors,  it also has a section on “cool stuff for kids to make” such as treasure chests, cannons, catapults, and several fun projects to build in the snow.

Learn Chess the Right Way Book 1: Must Know Check-Mates

By Susan Polgar (Russell Enterprises) $19.95

Learn Chess the Right Way is a five-volume series aimed at the novice, beginner, and intermediate level player, using the unique methods of the award-winning coach and former world champion Susan Polgar. Each volume contains over 500 puzzles.

Yes, these are challenging times we are in; however, we can look at this as a time of opportunity to bond closer with our families. To paraphrase Mary Oliver, “What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Until next month, happy reading.

Reading the West Award Winners

Reading the West Book Awards honor the best fiction, nonfiction, and illustrated books for adults and children set in one of 12 western and mid-western states, created by an author or artist living or working in the region. This is the 30th Annual Reading the West Book Awards.

Sabrina & Corina

By Kali Fajardo-Anstine (One World) $17

Fiction Winner. Against the backdrop of Denver, Latinas of Indigenous descent living in the America West take center stage in this debut story collection on friendship, mothers and daughters, and an exploration of the experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home.

Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power

By Pekka Hamalainen (Yale University Press), $35

Narrative Nonfiction Winner. The first comprehensive history of the Lakota Indians and their profound role in shaping America’s history, tracing their rich and often surprising history from the early 16th to the early 21st century.

National Geographic Atlas of the National Parks

By Jon Waterman (National Geographic Society) $65

Visual Nonfiction Winner. The first book of its kind, this stunning atlas showcases America’s spectacular park system from coast to coast, richly illustrated with an inspiring and informative collection of maps, graphics, and photographs.

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

By Ben Philippe (Balzer & Bray/Harperteen) $10.99

Young Adult Fiction Winner. Norris Kaplan, a Black French Canadian, moves to Austin, Texas and finds himself cataloging everyone he meets. Yet against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris. He eventually realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life along with the people who have found their way into his heart.

Dear Sweet Pea

By Julie Murphy (Balzer & Bray/Harperteen) $16.99

Young Reader Middle-Grade Winner. Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco wasn’t sure what to expect when her parents announced they were getting a divorce and living in nearly identical houses on the same street. Her neighbor Flora, famed advice columnist, leaves for a trip and asks Sweet Pea to forward the letters for the column. Sweet Pea recognizes the handwriting on one of the envelopes. What she decides to do with that letter sets off a chain of events that will forever change the lives of Sweet Pea, her family, and many of the readers of Flora’s column.

The Little Snowplow Wishes for Snow

By Lora Koehler, illustrated by Jake Parker (Candlewick Press), $16.99

Best Picture Book Winner. The little snowplow loves his job on the Mighty Mountain Road Crew, but the work he loves best is plowing snow. Will the little snowplow’s birthday dreams come true?

The Prairie Homestead Cookbook

By Jill Winger (Flatiron Books) $35

Eating the West Winner. Winger’s debut cookbook features over 100 recipes made with fresh ingredients to bring the flavors and spirit of homestead cooking to any kitchen table. Beyond the recipes, Jill shares the tools and tips she has learned from life on the homestead.  The runner-up in this category is Centennial Celebrations Cookbook by Junior League of Denver.

 Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country

By Pam Houston (W.W. Norton & Company) $15.95


Reading the West Advocacy Award and also the Winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Creative Nonfiction.  In essays from living on her 120-acre homestead outside Creede, Colorado, Pam Houston delivers meditations on what it means to care for a piece of land and the creatures on it.

Lonesome Dove

By Larry McMurtry (Simon & Schuster) $19.99

Spirit of the West Literary Achievement Award Winner.  Of his Pulitzer Prize winning novel Lonesome Dove, and this award, McMurtry says, “I am deeply grateful for this award from the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association. My writings represent a long involvement with the landscape, politics and culture of the West. I decided to write my novel Lonesome Dove in an attempt on my part to understand my father, William Jefferson McMurtry ~ a villager, a cattleman, and a thinker, who was captivated his entire life with the West, in particular the Plains West. He was the consummate working cowboy and was intrigued with the American steppe. I garnered my keen interest in the philosophy of the western plains from him.”

Until next month, happy reading.

Step Back in Time with History Books

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

We are living in historic times, and this is a great time to look back at history and learn from it. Here are some compelling, well researched nonfiction and historical fiction books to start.

Without Warning: The Saga of Gettysburg

By Terry C. Pierce (Heart Ally Books) $29.95

Written by local resident Terry Pierce, Without Warning is the gripping saga of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Union patriots who fought it, and the man who led them. It scrutinizes the role character plays in leadership and the challenge of the unexpected.  Built firmly upon the annals of history, this historical novel brings to vivid life seven unforgettable days in the lives and trials of General George Meade and his men as they brave the winds of war to save the United States of America.

Reich Child: A Lebensborn Life

By David Bugno (Entrust Source Publishers), $17.99

This memoir by David Bugno, a Lebensborn child, tells the fascinating and eye-opening story of a woman and her son trapped in Hitler’s monstrous ambitions. Lebensborn babies were slated to become leading citizens of the Third Reich. David’s mother’s heroic efforts saved them and they immigrated to America. He did not discover the truth until late adulthood. David shares his journey from disorienting confusion to understanding, from crushing pain to hope. There has not been much written about this and readers will gain insight into the lesser known inner workings of Hitler’s regime.

Something Worth Doing

By Jane Kirkpatrick (Revell) $15.99

In 1853, Abigail Scott was a school teacher in Oregon Territory when she married Ben Duniway. Marriage meant giving up on teaching, but Abigail always believed she was meant to be more. When Abigail becomes the primary breadwinner for her growing family, what she sees as a working woman appalls her and prompts her to devote her life to fighting for the rights of women, including the right to vote. This is based on a true story.

Bad Old Days of Colorado: Untold Stories of the Wild West

By Randi Samuelson-Brown (Two Dot Books) $19.95

Many people born and bred here relish just how “bad” things used to be: the terrain, the inhabitants… the quality of whiskey. It almost goes without saying that Colorado had all the characteristic Wild West elements in abundance. It is no secret that Colorado was settled by the adventurous willing to brave harsh conditions and to prevail. Whether on the right or the wrong side of the law, all settlers and pioneers made unique contributions to the state’s complex culture.

Stagecoach Women: Brave and Daring Women of the West

By Cheryl Mullenbach (Two Dot Books), $18.95

Prepare for the surprising stories about women and stagecoaches that jolt away preconceived notions and is filled with twists and turns. Though women’s contributions to stagecoach history were often overlooked, women were shrewd owners, plucky drivers, and even ruthless robbers, all in addition to fulfilling their traditional roles as housekeepers, cooks, laundresses, and mothers to multiple children. This book offers an expansive overview of stagecoach history enriched by the personal stories of women who contributed to the evolution and success of a captivating facet of American history.

The Order of the Day

By Eric Vuillard (Other Press) $14.99

February 20, 1933: a meeting of 24 German captains of industry and senior Nazi officials is being held in secret. 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. Named a “Best Book of the Year” by NPR, Boston Globe, and Literary Hub, and winner of the Prix Goncourt, this behind-the-scenes account tells of the manipulation, hubris, and greed that together led to Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria.

My Dear Hamilton

By Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie (William Morrow & Company) $16.99

In this edge-of-your-seat immersion into historical events, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources. They tell Eliza Hamilton’s story as it’s never been told before, not just as the wronged wife at the center of America’s first political sex scandal, but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.

Until next month, happy reading.

Make a Resolution to Read Some Classics

“’Classic’—a book which people praise and don’t read.”…. Mark Twain

Don’t let that be you! These not-to-be-missed classics are great whether you are reading them for the first time or re-reading them.

West with the Night

By Beryl Markham (North Point Press) $16

This underappreciated classic deserves the same acclaim as the work of her contemporaries Ernest Hemingway, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and Isak Dinesen. In fact, Ernest Hemingway said, “Markham can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers … It is really a bloody wonderful book.” Beryl and her father moved to Kenya when she was a girl. She would spend most of her life in East Africa as an adventurer, a racehorse trainer, and an aviatrix. She became the first person to fly nonstop from Europe to America, the first woman to fly solo east to west across the Atlantic. Hers was indisputably a life full of adventure and beauty.

Watership Down

By Richard Adams (Simon & Schuster) $19.99

One of the most beloved novels of all time, this award winning timeless classic is set in England. A tale of adventure, courage, and survival, it follows a band of rabbits as they journey forth through the trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

By Betty Smith (Harper Perennial), $16.99

From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff:  growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Betty Smith created a rich classic that cuts right to the heart of life.

The Count of Monte Cristo

By Alexandre Dumas (Oxford University Press) $13.95

A timeless tale of endurance, courage, and revenge, this is one of the best-loved novels of all time. Thrown in prison for a crime he did not commit, Edmond Dantes learns of a great treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and becomes determined not only to escape but to unearth the treasure and use it to plot revenge. Duma was inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment when writing his epic tale.

Travels with Charley in Search of America

By John Steinbeck (Penguin Classics), $15

In 1960, John Steinbeck, with his dog, Charley, embarked on a journey across America. He felt that he might have lost touch with the country, with its speech, the smell of its grass and trees, its color and quality of light, the pulse of its people. The result is a self-portrait of a man who never wrote an explicit autobiography.

O Pioneers!

By Willa Cather (Penguin Classics) $10

Cather’s masterpiece faithfully conveys the sharp physical realities and mythic sweep of the transformation of the American frontier and the people who settled it. A story of people who do not claim a land so much as they submit to it and, in the process, become greater than they were.

The Once and Future King

By T.H. White (Ace Books) $9.99

This legendary story has enchanted readers for generations. Once upon a time, a young boy was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen, and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values. A future that would see him crowned and known for all time as Arthur, King of the Britons.

Atlas Shrugged

By Ayn Rand (Signet) $9.99

Larger-than-life heroes and villains; towering questions of good and evil; this is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus. It is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder and rebirth of man’s spirit. This is the book that has made Rand not only one of the most popular novelists of modern times, but also one of its most influential and controversial thinkers.

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee (Harper Perennial) $15.99

No classics list would be complete without Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South. A gripping, heart-wrenching tale seen through the eyes of a young girl as her father, a crusading local lawyer, risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.

Until next month, happy reading.

Planning and Preparing Your Garden

 “If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”….Marcus Tullius Cicero

 With spring arriving, it’s time to go from dreaming to doing. It is possible to have beautiful and productive flower and vegetable gardens in Colorado, you just need the right guidance. These books are helpful resources.

Rocky Mountain Month-By-Month Gardening: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year

By John Cretti (Cool Springs Press) $26.99

Take the guesswork out of gardening. Included are detailed instructions on everything from watering and fertilizing to pruning and problem solving. Complete with specific advice on growing annuals, perennials, bulbs, grasses, roses, ground covers, trees, shrubs, and vines, you will reap the benefits of the gardening successes of John Cretti, who has more than 32 years of gardening experience. Discover the when and how of growing, caring for, and maintaining your Rocky Mountain garden.

The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardner: How to Grow Food in Harmony with Nature

By Tammi Hartung (Storey Publishing) $16.95

Tammi Hartung and her husband have more than 40 years of experience on their organic farm in Colorado, plus she is a frequent teacher and lecturer. This specific guide helps you create harmony between the vegetable garden and the wildlife who consider it part of their habitat. It explains how to start with a healthy garden, how to create beneficial relationships through thoughtful planting, how to attract beneficial insects and pollinators, and how to purposefully create habitats for wildlife with strategies to help garden and wildlife peacefully coexist.

Homegrown Herbs: A Complete Guide to Growing, Using, and Enjoying More Than 100 Herbs

By Tammi Hartung (Storey Publishing) $19.95

Enjoy a thriving, fragrant herb garden and use your harvest to bring beauty, flavor, and health to your everyday life. Tammi Hartung provides in-depth profiles of 101 popular herbs, including information on seed selection, planting, maintenance, harvesting, and drying. Hartung also shows you how to use your herbs in a variety of foods, home remedies, body care products, and crafts.

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre

Edited by Carleen Madigan (Storey Publishing), $18.95

Put your backyard to work. Enjoy fresher, organic, better-tasting food. Grow vegetables and fruits; keep bees, raise chickens, goats, or even a cow. And when the harvest is in, cook, preserve, cure, brew, or pickle the fruits of your labor. This comprehensive guide to homesteading provides a wealth of information with easy-to-follow instructions.

Mountain States Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 100 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness

By Briana Wiles (Timber Press) $27.95

Whether you are just starting out or are looking to deepen your herbal knowledge, this book is your companion for finding, identifying, harvesting, and safely using 120 of the region’s most powerful medicinal wild plants. Plant profiles include color photographs, identification tips, medicinal uses, herbal preparations, and harvesting suggestions. Lists of what to forage for each season are useful year-round.

Mini Meadows: Grow a Little Patch of Colorful Flowers Anywhere Around Your Yard

By Mike Lizotte (Storey Publishing) $16.95

With as little as 50 square feet and for less than $20, gardeners can plant a colorful meadow that demands little in the way of space, mowing, or maintenance, uses less water, and provides a habitat for pollinators. From choosing the right variety of seeds, preparing the soil, sowing, and watering, gardeners of all levels will be able to reap the rewards of thriving meadows through the seasons, year after year.

Firescaping: Protecting Your Home with a Fire-Resistant Landscape

By Douglass Kent (Wilderness Press) $21.95

This unique form of landscaping design keeps your property healthy, clean, and clear. Land management expert Douglas Kent, who has been on the front lines of wildfires, shares decades of experience working in many of the nation’s most flammable areas. With this edition he uses all his years of fire experience to create a comprehensive resource that homeowners and at-risk communities nationwide can use to create more fire-resistant landscapes and structures. Kent also has more than 30 years of gardening experience and has worked on hundreds of landscape projects.

Until next month, happy reading.