In 1995, after the death of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed looked for comfort by dabbling in sex and heroin. When that only made her problems worse, Strayed embarked on an ambitious journey to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Coast Trail. In 2012 Strayed turned her tre ... More >>
Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book ... More >>
Reading is about more than following a narrative or learning facts; it can also be a profound shared experience that culminates in a better understanding of ourselves and each other. In that spirit, welcome to the Westword Book Club, a weekly feature celebrating the books that inspire Denver artists ... More >>
Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five, Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series are only a small sample of the top 100 banned or challenged books of the past decade. Banning books might sound like a problem of the past, but there are still attempts to cens ... More >>
In a comparatively short period of time, Troy Walker one of Denver most sought-after comedians, a designation he'd likely dismiss with a modest scoff despite its accuracy. A regular at Comedy Works, Walker has opened for some of the most prom ... More >>
A Breckenridge resident and self-described "river-rat," Beth Groundwater is a writer of mystery stories. After retiring from a software engineering position in 1999, Groundwater pursued her lifelong interest in writing and mysteries and set to work on her craft, eventually seeing her short stories p ... More >>
Kenn Amdahl is an author, an entrepreneur, and something of a homespun polymath based in Broomfield Colorado. Frustrated by difficulties getting his book, an educational manual leavened by bits of whimsy, Amdahl founded Clearwater Publishing in 1990. Since then, Clearwater has released 11 books from ... More >>
The half-life of plutonium is 20,000 years -- and it looks like books about plutonium have a long shelf-life, too. When Kristen Iversen decided to write about growing up in the shadow of Rocky Flats, she "wasn't sure it would get published," she says, even though she'd had earlier success with her b ... More >>
Westword's comics issue is on the street, the first in what we hope will be an annual series. Noah Van Sciver, the creator of our weekly 4 Questions cartoon (and the artist shown at right), had approached us with the idea of a comics contest before last year's Denver Comic Con, but there wasn't enou ... More >>
With Red Moon, noted author Benjamin Percy dives into genre fiction with a story about werewolves that live among us, feared and reviled and relegated to the fringes of society. The book fuses literary muscle to a skeleton of horror to create a rare breed of werewolf novel that offers a lot more to ... More >>
This week, Westword asked fashionista Brandi Shigley about her favorite books. The interview was fittingly conducted in front of an adorable lofted book shelf, which Shigley refers to as her treehouse, at Fashion Denver, her combination boutique, studio, consulting office, and mini roller-s ... More >>
Pop culture incrementally improved the chances that books would outlive CDs when news spread that Lil Wayne had inked a deal to write a memoir about the eight months he spent locked up on gun charges. Titled Gone 'Til November, the book is scheduled to be released in May. While the hip-hop blogosphe ... More >>
This week's cover story, "The Lifers Book Club," reports on the Words Beyond Bars Project, a pilot progam at the Limon Correctional Facility that puts high-security prisoners, many of them serving life sentences, in a room with volunteers to discuss great books. It's a modest effort that could trans ... More >>
This year, ambitious new books tackled the lives of music legends from Neil Young to Pete Townshend -- and many of these 2012 releases managed to burst through genres to offer significantly more than the average biography. We at Backbeat explored memoirs, historical surveys, ruminations on philosoph ... More >>
Richard Brautigan spent a few years basking in the celebrity sun as the author of such counterculture classics as Trout Fishing in America and In Watermelon Sugar. But it was a short honeymoon, and the writer, who came up from poverty, fell into a trough of depression and alcoholism later in life. H ... More >>
Stan Yan always had a fascination with comics. Even before he understood what they really were, he would draw stick figures in frames. And since then, he's been a bit obsessed. "All of the stories I think up in my head are in comic form," he says. Yan recently took a break from dreaming up graphic ... More >>
Common's memoir, One Day It'll All Make Sense, begins rather dramatically. The prologue reads: "When I was eighteen months old, my mother and I were kidnapped at gunpoint. My father held the gun. At least that's one side of the story." Common, with help from co-author Adam Bradley, a Univers ... More >>
In Silver Sparrow, the latest book by novelist Tayari Jones, the story follows two girls growing up in Atlanta -- but there's a twist: Dana, who narrates the first half of the book, is the secret half-sister of Chaurisse, who narrates the second half of the book. The two girls share a father, ... More >>
Author Benjamin Percy has his feet in pretty much every pair of shoes on the writing track: he's a novelist, a short story writer and an essayist, he's worked on graphic novels and short films and he teaches on top of all that. Since he's in town tonight at St. Cajetan's Center, we took the o ... More >>
We generally don't think much about who is narrating our stories, but in the case of Benjamin Hale's new novel, The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, we have to. Mostly because the narrator is an ape. Hale, who grew up in and around Boulder but who currently lives in New York, will be in town to ... More >>
Penguin Books, eager to eclipse Twilight with a new moon of its own, sharpened its stakes and rounded up five authors of hot new fantasy titles for Young Adult readers from its various imprints, unleashing them on the world for the Breathless Reads National Book Tour, which haunts the Tattere ... More >>
So present-unwrapping is over and you're freshly stocked up on new socks, kitchen utensils and copies of the soundtrack to Glee, but is there a tiny, immature part of you that's still hungering for something that's just pure fun? If so, Graphic.ly is your answer. The Boulder-based start-up is ... More >>
It seems like each holiday season is accented by a new, heavily researched American history novel. We'd venture a guess that it's because they sell well as Christmas presents, usually given to the mom or dad that simply "likes history." What else are you going to buy these folks, a time trave ... More >>
Recently, there have been a slew of ill-advised memoirs from people far too young and inexperienced to share their stories with the world. Steve Katz doesn't have that problem. The 75-year-old Denver author started writing his memoir five years ago, and it has since become a collection of ove ... More >>
Lev Grossman conjures up a spellbinding book in The Magicians.
Marc Hughes has the heart of a super hero.
John Fante was born in Denver 99 years ago today. If you’ve never heard of the late author, you’re not alone. He is one of the best, least-known authors of the 20th Century, but he is rarely talked about in Denver or anywhere else. “He’s an interesting in the American literary landscape. Th ... More >>
The item in the October 11 Westword advancing author Carl Bernstein’s appearance at the LoDo Tattered Cover on Monday, October 15, contains only a few snippets from the wide-ranging Q&A reproduced below. During his conversation with Westword, All the President’s Men co-author Bernstein proved t ... More >>
Bound feet, ghosts and opera meet in a new novel.
Denver Post Sunday comics
Koelbel Public Library
His word is born.
John and Patsy Ramsey