Reading List: The Colorado Book Awards Finalists Are...

BookBar will host a series of finalist readings for the Colorado Book Awards.EXPAND
BookBar will host a series of finalist readings for the Colorado Book Awards.
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The Colorado Book Awards just dropped its list of finalists in its 28th annual contest: 42 books in thirteen separate categories. Colorado Humanities and the Center for the Book will host the awards ceremony at the Arvada Center on May 18, when the winners will be revealed and celebrated.

Before that, though, the awards program will partner with BookBar for another round of weekly Friday night finalist readings, starting with the mystery/sci-fi/fantasy/thriller category on April 5 and continuing through a grand finale of readings from general fiction, literary fiction and poetry on May 3 (see the complete schedule on the Colorado Book Awards website). Food and drink specials will be created by the BookBar’s staff to complement the readings’ themes.

“We hope the list of 2019 Colorado Book Award finalists is a call to action to Colorado readers,” says program coordinator Bess Maher. “Let’s all read a book by a Colorado writer or editor this spring…preferably several!”

And the 2019 Colorado Book Award finalists are...

Mile High Stories: 25 Years of Our Best Writing, edited by Geoff Van Dyke (Bower House)
Mechanical Animals: Tales at the Crux of Creatures and Tech, edited by Selena Chambers and Jason Heller (Hex Publishers)
False Faces: Twenty Stories About the Masks We Wear, edited by Warren Hammond and Angie Hodapp (RMFW Press)

Children’s Literature
The Little i Who Lost His Dot by Kimberlee Gard, illustrated by Sandie Sonke (Familius)
Mela and the Elephant by Dow Phumiruk, illustrated by Ziyue Chen (Sleeping Bear Press)
An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin & Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution by Beth Anderson, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Creative Nonfiction
Bitterroot: A Salish Memoir of Transracial Adoption by Susan Devan Harness (University of Nebraska Press)
River of Lost Souls: The Science, Politics, and Greed Behind the Gold King Mine Disaster by Jonathan P. Thompson (Torrey House Press)
Rough Beauty: Forty Seasons of Mountain Living by Karen Auvinen (Scribner, Simon & Schuster)
Tragedy Plus Time: A Tragi-Comic Memoir by Adam Cayton-Holland (Touchstone, Simon & Schuster)

General Fiction
Daughters of the Night Sky by Aimie K. Runyan (Lake Union Publishing)
Go Ask Fannie by Elisabeth Hyde (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, Penguin Random House)
Rosary without Beads by Diana Holguin-Balogh (Five Star/Cengage Publishing)

General Nonfiction
Bombs Away: Militarization, Conservation, and Ecological Restoration by David C. Havlick (The University of Chicago Press)
Doggie in the Window by Rory Kress (Sourcebooks)
Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded by Jason Heller (Melville House Publishing)
Tales from an Uncertain World: What Other Assorted Disasters Can Teach Us About Climate Change by L. S. Gardiner (University of Iowa Press)

Remembering Lucile: A Virginia Family’s Rise from Slavery and a Legacy Forged a Mile High by Polly E. Bugros McLean (University Press of Colorado)
The Woolly West: Colorado’s Hidden History of Sheepscapes by Andrew Gulliford (Texas A&M University Press)
WWI Crusaders: A Band of Yanks in German-Occupied Belgium Help Save Millions from Starvation as Civilians Resist the Harsh German Rule by Jeffrey B. Miller (Milbrown Press)

Juvenile Literature
Del Toro Moon by Darby Karchut (Owl Hollow Press)
Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue by Jeff Seymour (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Lighthouse between the Worlds by Melanie Crowder (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, Simon & Schuster)

Laura Pritchett's novel The Blue Hour was the 2018 winner of the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction.EXPAND
Laura Pritchett's novel The Blue Hour was the 2018 winner of the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction.

Literary Fiction
Awayland: Stories by Ramona Ausubel (Riverhead Books)
Mad Boy: A Novel by Nick Arvin (Europa Editions)
Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities by Nancy Stohlman (Big Table Publishing Company)
The Past Is Never: A Novel by Tiffany Quay Tyson (Skyhorse Publishing)

Burning Ridge: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery by Margaret Mizushima (Crooked Lane Books)
Death by G-String: A Coyote Canyon Ladies Ukulele Club Mystery by C. C. Harrison (Written Dreams Publishing)
Her Kind of Case: A Lee Isaacs, Esq., Novel by Jeanne Winer (Bancroft Press)

Ghost Of by Diana Khoi Nguyen (Omnidawn Publishing)
Light Wind Light Light by Bin Ramke (Omnidawn Publishing)
Real Life: An Installation by Julie Carr (Omnidawn Publishing)

Science Fiction/Fantasy
Denver Moon: The Minds of Mars by Warren Hammond and Joshua Viola (Hex Publishers)
Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures by Alex Acks (Queen of Swords Press)
While Gods Sleep by L. D. Colter (Tam Lin Publishing)

Killing Godiva’s Horse: A Novel by J.M. Mitchell (Prairie Plum Press)
Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson (Sourcebooks)
The Circumstantial Man by Gary Reilly (Running Meter Press)

Young Adult Literature
500 Words or Less by Juleah Del Rosario (Simon Pulse, Simon & Schuster)
Crow Flight by Susan Cunningham (Amberjack Publishing)
Screenshot by Donna Cooner (Point, Scholastic)

For more information about the awards and related events, go to the Colorado Book Awards website

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.