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A good page turner is truly a gift that keeps on giving – whether the world you’re sending the recipient to involves fantasy, history, or even craft beer cuisine. And for those looking to give something local this season, Colorado is home to a thriving writing scene that produces great reads of all genres. From a comic series that follows post-apocalyptic indigenous heroes as they search for the death of Christopher Columbus to a bucket list of goodies to bake before you die, here are our picks for new and notable local books that you can give away this season.
Utah-based author Colin Clancy began writing his debut novel ski bum ($23), at the top of Copper Mountain over 15 years ago. On December 1st, readers can finally get their hands on this coming-of-age tale of “hot tub poaching, illegal sleigh rides, and a shabby and poor life in a place where rich people vacation,” according to the book’s description to get. Ten percent of pre-order sales made before December 1st will go to Protect Our Winters. Buy online.
Bestselling author and Blackfeet Indian Stephen Graham Jones is known for horror stories that center on indigenous voices. Last October, Jones launched a new comic book series, earth diver ($4 per issue) featuring art by Davide Gianfelice that follows four survivors of the indigenous apocalypse who must travel back in time to save the world. The mission: kill Christopher Columbus and prevent the founding of America. Buy at local comic stores or online.
Novelist Alexa Martin began writing novels based on her life as an NFL wife. And after the success of intercepted and its sequels, the latest book from the author of the Centennial State, Better than fiction ($17) follows protagonists Jasper and Drew as they meet at a book signing and fall in love while exploring the local Denver scene. Buy online or at local bookstores.
This week-old debut novel ($28) by Denver author Erika T. Wurth follows an indigenous protagonist who is haunted by her mother’s ghost and stalked by a monster as she tries to uncover her past. Wurth is an urban native of Apache, Chickasaw and Cherokee descent and weaves Stephen King-style horror with modern family connections in this ghostly thriller. Buy from local bookstores.
For the baker in your life, this book ($25) is by a local author (and frequently 5280 Contributor) Allyson Reedy provides an extensive bucket list of recipes from famous bakers like Christina Tosi and Tieghan Gerard. Start with the S’more’s-inspired top cake and keep KitchenAid buzzing all season long. Buy online or at local bookstores.
in the The Shortcut Book ($20), bestselling author and former Olympic luge athlete Ruben Gonzalez shares the secrets to reaching your goals as quickly as possible, becoming a stronger leader, and building a better life for yourself in the process. Good for CEOs, young adults and anyone looking to get ahead, this empowering read is a gift for any ambitious recipient. Buy online.
Earlier this fall, Denver-based author Calvin B. Fisher released the second book in The Northfield Saga Series: storm rise ($23). The book follows protagonist Mark Northfield as he meets a mysterious new ally in prison, against the bleak backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world filled with deadly gas. Buy online or at local bookstores.
in the The Craft Brewery Cookbook ($30), local beer connoisseur John Holl inspires drinkers to brew over 70 original recipes from independent breweries across the United States. Buy online or at local bookstores.
Young non-fiction fans should check out the colorful science-themed books by Boulder-based Steve Jenkins. His many works—many co-written with his wife Robin Page—take children from the depths of the ocean The Shark Book ($19) to the highest peaks in The top of the world ($8). Buy from local bookstores. – Courtney Holden
in the The Sizzle Paradox ($17) Mountain-based author Lily Menon tells a story of Lyric and Kian: roommates, friends, and fellow students studying sexual chemistry with romantic partners. As they offer each other help in their own love lives, they make new discoveries about each other. Buy online or at local bookstores.
Colorado Book Award and Chicano/Latino Literary Award winner—and 2021 inductee into the Colorado Authors’ Hall of Fame—Manuel Ramos is released angel in the wind ($19) out Spring 2021. The book follows crime-turned-private detective Gus Corral (starring the protagonist in this fourth novel) as he solves a thrilling murder mystery set between Denver and eastern Colorado. Buy from local bookstores.
In non-fiction volume Cheap Country Colorado ($30), Pulitzer Prize finalist Ted Conover describes the off-grid life of homesteaders in the San Luis Valley with his signature immersive reporting. After living and living in one of Colorado’s most desolate areas for five years, the resulting story is one of empathy and compassion for those living on the fringes of civilization. Buy from local bookstores.
This useful book for the spirits enthusiast in your life ($15) explores the stories of whiskey making around the world and recipes for all mixology skills. Sipping on a classic or contemporary creation (we like the paper airplane) goes well with delving into the book’s interesting trivia — such as exploring the difference between “whiskey” and “whisky.” Buy online or at local bookstores.