Book It: The Five Best Literary Events This Week

It’s a strange and wonderful literary week here in Denver, where the highlights include singing trees, fierce YA writers, cannibalistic (and metaphoric) animals, old movies with ivory-tickling accompaniment, and stories about Mr. Dynamite himself. If you can’t find a book to fall in love with this week, then you’re just looking for lit in all the wrong places.

And where are the right places? Here are the five best this week.

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Dzanc Books
Elle Nash, Animals Eat Each Other
Monday, May 7, 7 p.m.
Tattered Cover
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Elle Nash is the founding editor of Witch Craft magazine and a fiction editor at Hobart Pulp, both of which clearly had an impact on this stunning debut novel. The Tattered Cover on Colfax hosts a reading and signing of Animals Eat Each Other, a dark-mirror love song to love itself — a story of identity, jealousy, sex and emotional distance that Publisher’s Weekly calls “a complex, impressive exploration of obsession and desire.”

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Penguin Books
David Haskell, The Songs of Trees
Tuesday, May 8, 7:30 p.m.
Boulder Bookstore
1107 Pearl Street, Boulder
David Haskell reveals the biological networks that surround all species — including humans. Scientific, lyrical and contemplative, The Songs of Trees: Stories From Nature's Great Connectors reveals the biological connections that underpin all life and reminds us that life's substance and beauty emerge from relationship and interdependence. The Lorax — and maybe the Once-ler — would most definitely approve.

ECW Press
Damon Wood, Working for the Man, Playing in the Band
Thursday, May 10, 7 p.m.
4280 Tennyson Street
In this unvarnished account of toiling under one of popular music’s most notorious bosses, Damon Wood details his six years spent playing guitar for James Brown’s Soul Generals. Working for the Man, Playing in the Band: My Years With James Brown is a sideman’s story of the gritty reality of life on the road — often on James Brown’s infamous tour bus — with one guitar, a change of clothes, and two dozen comrades-in-arms as they brought the funk to clubs, theaters and the biggest music festivals on earth. This event at BookBar is the book's official launch; no word on whether it includes James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party.

B. Travis Wright and Kate Wright, Rollins Pass
Saturday, May 12, 11:30 a.m.
Alamo Drafthouse
7301 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Tickets start at $20
Experience Colorado’s Rollins Pass in a way that you’ve never been able to before: through rare images and the even rarer 1925 film The White Desert, complete with live piano accompaniment by Hank Troy. Authors B. Travis and Kate Wright host this special one-day event at the Alamo Drafthouse Littleton, where you should really try the crispy buffalo cauliflower. Trust me on this.

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Feiwel & Friends
The Fierce Reads Tour
Saturday, May 12, 7 p.m.
Tattered Cover Aspen Grove
7301 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
Fierce Reads is the teen brand of Macmillan Publishing, and the tour hits the road twice annually, giving audiences across the country the chance to connect with authors directly. Now it’s Denver’s turn, and Tattered Cover Aspen Grove will welcome Taran Matharu (The Outcast), Meary Pearson (Dance of Thieves), Maurene Goo (The Way You Make Me Feel) and Tricia Levenseller (Daughter of the Siren Queen). Come get a signed copy from each of them, and feel free to rank them by level of fierceness.
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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen