December is the perfect month to check out literary events: It’s cold, it’s dark, and you have to buy some gifts anyway, right? Spending time indoors, browsing some illuminating manuscripts and maybe buying a few for family and friends...it just makes sense. So grab an eggnog latte and enjoy flipping a few pages, listening to some readings, or just plain toasting Colorado’s literary culture. Here are the five best chances for you to do so this week.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, What Happened
Noon, Monday, December 11
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Hillary Clinton returns to Denver — she was just here for an evening at the Bellco on November 16 — to sign copies of her new book, What Happened. In what’s being called her most personal memoir yet, Clinton discusses what it was like to be a candidate through one of the strangest and most turbulent presidential elections in living memory — and shares some insights into the process and the problems of today’s political system. Admission is free, but the event is currently sold out; show up and take your chances.
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Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist Party
5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 13
221 East Main Street, Aspen
If you're heading to Aspen early for the holidays, stop by Explore Booksellers to see what literary luminaries have been honored as finalists for the Aspen Words Literary Prize, an award of national significance. Twelve novels and eight short-story collections comprise this year’s longlist, and the winner will be announced in NYC in April. “The goal of this prize is to honor writers who are telling the stories we need to hear,” says Aspen Words executive director Adrienne Brodeur, “and to bring those books to a wider audience.” You can be that wider audience — and help celebrate these literary works — this week, right here in Colorado.
Mystery and Mistletoe
Rocky Mountain Mystery Writers Holiday Event
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 13
Colorado Automobile Dealers Association
290 Speer Boulevard
Enjoy heavy appetizers and short readings from some of Colorado’s best resident mystery writers at this gathering. Admission is $10, payable in advance or at the door. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but my bet as to whodunit: Donner in the Sleigh Room with the stocking full of coal.
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Mike Blakeslee, American Wolf
With Mike Phillips, Turner Endangered Species Fund
7 p.m. Thursday, December 14
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Join local authors and national experts in a conversation about the past, present and future of wolves in the Rocky Mountain West. Mike Blakeslee, author of American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West, joins Mike Phillips from the Ted Turner Endangered Species Fund to discuss the perils, pitfalls and possibilities involved with this legendary animal’s reintroduction to Colorado’s wilderness.
Denver Writes Fundraiser
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, December 16
4280 Tennyson Street
Want to give a gift that will bring a seasonal smile to someone’s face while supporting the literary community of Denver and the dreams of hardworking kids? This Saturday at BookBar, you can do all of it in one merry swoop, by purchasing an original and festive work from an aspiring young poet. All proceeds go to Denver Writes, a local nonprofit that supports young writers with resources, opportunities and hope. Do some good. ’Tis the season!