Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010 Colorado Book Award Winners!

Congratulations to the 2010 Colorado Book Award winners, including Fort Collins authors Laura Resau and Karla Oceanak and illustrator Kendra Spanjer!


A Dozen on Denver: Stories, Rocky Mountain News (editor), Fulcrum Publishing


Rosalie Edge, Hawk of Mercy: The Activist Who Saved Nature from the Conservationists, by Dyana Z. Furmansky, The University of Georgia Press

Children’s Literature

Grandmother, Have the Angels Come? by Denise Vega, illustrated by Erin Eitter Kono, Little, Brown and Company

Creative Nonfiction

Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America by Helen Thorpe, Scribner

General Nonfiction

Voices of the American West by Corinne Platt and Meredith Ogilby, Fulcrum Publishing

Genre Fiction - Historical & Romance

A Land Beyond Ravens: Book 4 of the Macsen’s Treasure Series by Kathleen Cunningham Guler, Bardsong Press

Genre Fiction - Mystery/Thriller & Science Fiction/Fantasy

The Radio Magician and Other Stories by James Van Pelt, Fairwood Press


First Kill Your Family: Child Soldiers of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army by Peter Eichstaedt, Lawrence Hill Books

Juvenile Literature

Artsy-Fartsy: An Aldo Zelnick Comic Novel by Karla Oceanak, illustrated by Kendra Spanjer, Bailiwick Press

Literary Fiction

Spoon by Robert Greer, Fulcrum Publishing


Phlogs: Journey to the heart of the human predicament by George Stranahan and Nicole Beinstein Strait, People’s Press


Theory of Mind: New & Selected Poems by Bin Ramke, Omnidawn Publishing

Young Adult Literature

The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau, Delacorte Press

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Petty Magic Review

Phew! Kathleen is reading circles around us! Here is a new review for Petty Magic by Camille DeAngelis:

In Petty Magic, Camille DeAngelis gives readers a slightly new perspective on the life of awitch. Imagine living with the opinions and interjections of ancestors long dead as well as theinterference of a host of well meaning aunts, uncles, sisters and cousins for hundreds of years –not to mention the members of the coven! With one sister, Helena, accused of a heinous crime,a new – possibly reincarnated – beau, and an evil nemesis bent on destroying her family Evelynhas a lot to keep up with. She manages with humor and aplomb, but remember – not all storiesworth reading end with “happily ever after”.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Plain Kate Review

Here's another Kathleen Ivy review. This one is for a teen book, but I know I want to read it.

Set in a medieval world, Plain Kate by Erin Bow takes the reader on a journey that explores the edges of things and considers the true nature of what knits us together – and what tears us apart. Though written for a young audience, Kate and her adventures has a lot to say to every reader. Full of multidimensional characters hemmed in by a creeping, misty terror as well as the stresses and striving of day to day survival. Pushed by forces she struggles to understand, and harried by gifts that are as startling to her as they are to those around her, Kate travels from market town to hillside, stream and forest seeking answers – seeking peace. With her sleek gray cat, Taggle, for company Kate finds pain and healing, friendship mingled with betrayal, and magic mingled with common needs. It is a tale well told, and a tale worth keeping.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Craig Johnson: Hollywood Calling

Thank you to Craig Johnson and all of those who came out on Saturday! We had a great time!

And to keep you updated, we've just received word from Craig about Walt Longmire and his future in Hollywood:

“If they make a television series or movie about Walt Longmire, who’s going to play him?” I get asked that question a lot about the Absaroka County Sheriff from my series of books—I usually pawn the question off by saying Gary Cooper.

I’m not going to be able to do that for much longer.

I was at the Autry Western Heritage Center in Los Angeles promoting JUNKYARD DOGS as part of their book club just last week. They moved me to a larger venue, a portico downstairs with a massive mural that intertwined factual and fictitious characters of the American West; Jim Bridger standing next to Gene and Roy—you get the picture. The artists were illustrators from Disney who’d been sent over to, well, illustrate and, as one of the organizers and my buddy, Scott Frank, explained, “They put themselves in the mural.” There was a pretty, blonde pioneer woman prominently displayed, along with a mountain man whose features appeared to be a bit more defined than the others… Hmm.

Everybody wants to get in on the act.

A lot of times I have readers who meet me, ask the question above, and then posit the thought that I should play Walt. It’s at this point that I start wondering about the mental health of my readership and explain that no, if such an opportunity should arise, we’d like for it to be a success. Generally, I feel like a disappointment when people meet me in person in that I’m not movie-star handsome, six foot-five, or do I carry the easy affability of my protagonist. I may be the only six foot, two hundred and ten pound author with a physical inferiority complex.
You probably know where I’m going with this by now.

I’m happy to say that the question is in the hands of the professionals, and they are truly a charming bunch--smart, talented, insightful and funny; just the group of individuals I’d hoped for in the development of a cinematic version of Walt, Henry, Vic, and crew. I’ve been mincing words out on the tour, but I’m really excited that we’ve been given the go-ahead in reporting the following.

A television series based on Craig Johnson’s Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire from the Viking/Penguin novels is in development with Warner Horizon Television and TNT. Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin (The Shephard/Robin Company) are executive producing alongside Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny, who are adapting the novel for the screen. Greg Yaitanes is attached to direct. Shephard and Robin are currently executive producers on The Closer (TNT). Among other projects, they executive produced Nip/Tuck (FX) and Trust Me (TNT), the latter created and produced by Baldwin and Coveny. Yaitanes is an executive producer and Emmy Award-winning director on House (Fox). Johnson is currently on tour with Junkyard Dogs, the sixth novel in the award-winning series. When asked who he thought should play the tough but tender sheriff, Johnson, who has been retained as a creative consultant, replied, “Gary Cooper, but he’s not returning our calls.”

I know what you’re thinking, but I think we can get Gary to put on about forty pounds in donuts—and besides, they’re doing amazing things with CGI these days.

See ya on the trail,


Harlequin Afternoon

Sometimes living in the middle of nowhere has its perks. Take, for example, my drive home yesterday afternoon. The sun was starting to dip lower on the horizon and was turning everything a lovely shade of gold as I turned onto the dirt road that winds its way toward my home. I pulled over to open the gate that deters casual tresspassers and noticed there was a rider on horseback approaching me. At which point I was promptly transported straight into an odd Harlequin-esque scenario.

A handsome man, bare chested and blonde, was riding up to me on a chestnut horse. And he was carrying in one hand a fistful of wildflowers plucked from the side of the road, yellow and blue blooms resting against his thigh. He smiled at me, teeth perfectly white and straight, and said, "Hello" in exactly the voice you would imagine.

Being ever the charmer all I managed to sputter was a confused, "Hi." I think it was the flowers that pushed it all over the edge for me.

He smiled again and began to ride past me. I just watched him go, my head cocked and mouth hanging open. At the last moment he turned to me and said, "I like your hat," before riding off down the road (into the sunset per se).

This, ladies, could be taken as a story to illustrate the importance of the perfect fedora in everyone's waredrobe. Or, alternatively, an illustration of how social skills atrophy when you live in an isolated corner of the mountains. But I choose to think of it more as a story that demonstates how just about anything can happen if you wait long enough. The old adages of truth being stranger than fiction, and life imitating art, come to mind. So as you kick back this summer, perhaps enjoying a book in Old Town Square, be sure to wear that perfect hat or pair of shoes. You never know who might wander across your path, flowers in hand.


Some Summer Romance Reading: (all reviews reproduced from the bookcovers)

Her Officer and Gentleman

No ordinary highwayman...

A mere whisper of the name "Gentleman James" sends chills throughout the ton (and thrills the ladies who have heard rumors of his amorous exploits). But the dashing brigand never dreamed that the passing of the father he never knew would leave him with a title, a fortune...and a mission.

Savage Skies

Shirleen has always been self-reliant and adventurous, but after dealing with a husband who beat her, the disappearance of her four-year-old daughter and kidnapping at the hands of the notorious Comanche renegade Big Nose, shes almost given up hope. When the most handsome man shes ever seen sweeps in to rescue her, she sees a man in whom she can finally put her trust. Her troubles might seem an overwhelming burden, but Chief Blue Thunders broad shoulders are equal to the task. And his hard body promises to lift her on wings of pleasure and send her soaring amid - Savage Skies.

Feather in the Wind

Praying for the strength to guide his people, Native American leader Black Wind sees the image of a strange white woman, twentieth-century writer Susannah, who is transported back in time to help his cause.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Let's Talk Zombies

Okay, so, here's the thing. It has become exceedingly apparent that Zombies have won over the world's hearts, and nightmares. But, I have to wonder, what would most of us do if a Zombie Apocalypse ever actually occurred? How would we react? Heck, at this point I wouldn't be surprised if we were all enthralled! A quarter of the population would be thrilled that they were right, probably saying "I told you so" right up until being surrounded by the living dead.

But, humorous speculation gets old after a while. I mainly came to talk about a few books which illustrate, both realistically and not so much, the Zombie mythos. At the forefront of these books is, of course, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, by Seth Grahame-Smith. Turning the Regency era on its head is the book about Elizabeth Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy, who are both trained martial artists and Zombie killers. "The Stricken" roam the english countryside, and so on, and are viewed by the general public as little more than a deadly nuisance. The story is at once dramatic, action-packed, and hilarious, as only Quirk Classics could muster. The book already has a movie in the works, a published sequel, and has single-handed ignited a long and explosive movement of classic mash-ups. Let's just say you're going to want to read this book.

Next on my list would be good ol' World War Z, by Max Brooks. This hauntingly realistic, yet somehow fictional, account of the "Zombie War" is frightening, exhilarating, well conceived, and pretty epic if I may say so. The story begins with one Max Brooks fielding government questions concerning, and lobbying for production of, his complete documentation of  The Zombie War. The reader is then thrust into several accounts of the very beginnings of the worldwide Zombie outbreak. These alone are enough to make you want to put the book down for a day or two, yet you're compelled to keep reading. Then, of course, the journey expands and elaborates in every way possible, until culminating in battles simultaneously intense, emotional, and jaw-dropping. World War Z makes you wonder how--in this world of advanced technology, pharmacology, and politics--this hasn't happened already. This book is a very important must-read!

Now, I feel like commenting a bit on a couple (out of many) of the probably-humorous-zombie-guide-type-books, which unfortunately surprised next to nobody by hitting the market. Arguably the best, and most often purchased, of these would be the one also by Max Brooks, entitled "Zombie Survival Guide". He jogs through organized lists of survival tactics, equipment, weapons, and so on. Overall, I would say that this book is also realistic, but there are indeed a few flaws. Have fun finding them, haha!
     Next book on this smaller list is called "U.S. Army Zombie Combat Skills", by Cole Louison. This "survival-guide-type-book" wanders a bit further into the humor realm, but not too far. I think that Louison's book blends a good combo of humor and realism, whereas Mr. Brooks' survival guide might take itself a bit too seriously.
      Last, I would like to point out that there are also dozens of zombie-related/themed books and things currently on the market, and very popular. For example, I have seen: Zen of Zombie, Better Living Through The Undead; Zombie Haiku (a book of zombie poetry); Pride & Prejudice & Zombies journals and calendars; Breathers, by S.G. Browne (a zombie love story); and even several graphic novels either about zombies, or Jesus battling them. You read that correctly.

So, to conclude, the new-wave of Zombie fanaticism is basically everywhere. Especially in bookstores! This behemoth is growing exponentially, and traveling at the speed of, well, really fast zombies. Out of the lists of published works I just rattled off (and all the ones I *didn't* mention), there has to be something in there for everyone! So climb on board, get out of the way, or stand there and wait to be eaten!

This is Bonner, signing off.

Blue Nude Review

Yes, it's just what it sounds like: a review of the book Blue Nude. Thanks to Kathleen Ivy, intrepid reviewer who dares to go where no reviewer has read before. Blue Nude is due out in paperback on September 14.

Obviously familiar with the artistic process and mind, Elizabeth Rosner gives readers a compelling and engaging story in Blue Nude. Shifting back and forth in time between the two main characters, and writing in third person, Rosner still manages to capture readers and force them to care – to pay close attention.

The two main characters, Danzig – troubled and brilliant, Merav – beautiful and poised, both fighting cultural enemies, struggle to come to terms with family guilt, with death, and with the sure knowledge that nothing is permanent, nothing is “complete”. Following their own distinct but closely aligned, paths, they learn to stand in the “thin line between preparation and catastrophe.”

The novel explores what it means to develop and grow in the shadow of disaster on both global and intimate scales. Though it uses the details of the tragic events of the Second World War as a catalyst, it effectively explores human experience with a broad scope and dynamic understanding.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kara's most recently read book reviews

Hello hello! School is out for me which means I have been working hard at catching up with my neglected reading stacks at my house! It's going well and I am here to report on the books worthy of picking up and reading yourself! (I know you all were anxiously awaiting MY ultimate judgments on some of these!)

Island Beneath the Sea by Isabel Allende
This is a fantastic story about Haiti in the 1770's during the revolution and throughout a lot of upheaval and violence. It's centers around a plantation owner, his family, slaves and concubines. This story really captured my heart with the fight for freedom for the slaves and the harsh conditions of Haiti both politically and environmentally. I think that Isabel Allende does a great job making you get connected with her stories and to really feel like you are there and experiencing life with the characters. I highly recommend this book!

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
I know, I know, everyone is reading this book series right now but I read it to stay current and couldn't put it down! The book is about a financial journalist who is hired by a wealthy elderly man to research what happened to his niece who's been missing for years. This story is FULL of intrigue, suspense and lots of insane twists. I had no idea what was coming next which made me read it practically straight through. Excellent story! And the rest of the series (Girl Who Played With Fire and Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest) are also superb continuations of the same story and characters. I also recommend looking up the author and books on Wikipedia because the info about the author is as fascinating as the fictional story!

A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
Wow. This book was intense and different. Full of drama, intrigue and strange story lines! I enjoyed reading this book but was definitely confused by the end of what the author's goal or point was with the story. :) I think anyone looking for some interesting historical fiction reading is going to enjoy this book, also anyone who enjoys lots of drama and plot twists will probably also really like reading it!

As always I hope that you will stop in and check out some of these books, if you aren't interested in any of these titles we have about a bazillion more that we recommend and can tell you all about so stop in and ask one of our staff members what they are reading or have read! We love to talk about books so just ask!