Literary Calendar: Three Book Events in Denver for the Week of February 16-22

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Paint the town read! This week’s literary picks include two offbeat books about history and a supreme foodie memoir introduced over a five-course wine dinner. Keep reading for the delicious details.

Joel Christian Gill, Strange Fruit, Volume I: Uncelebrated Narratives from Black History
Tattered Cover LoDo
7 p.m. Wednesday, February 18

Graphic novelist Joel Christian Gill didn’t invent the historical comic book, but this first volume, which promises further editions, brings new meaning to the concept: Instead of relating old-school tales of George Washington crossing the Delaware, Gill delves into the stories of uncelebrated heroes from African-American history. Celebrate Black History Month with Gill, an associate dean of Student Affairs at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and member of the Boston Comics Roundtable who also runs his own Strange Fruit Comics. Gill will also introduce Bass Reeves: Tales of the Talented Tenth, Volume 1, about an escaped slave-turned lawman who’s said to be the inspiration for The Lone Ranger.

Tracy Beach, The Tunnels Under Our Feet
7 p.m. Saturday, February 21

Cañon City historian Tracy Beach is a spelunker of a different color: Her underground explorations take place in urban secret tunnels instead of caves, where she digs up dirty tales from history. Her book The Tunnels Under Our Feet takes readers underground in fourteen Colorado cities for stories of intrigue, corpses and the KKK buried under towns from Denver to Trinidad. She'll come up from underground to talk about her book and show slides at BookBar.

Wine dinner book signing with Connie Ruel
Passions of a Restaurateur: Three Generations of Restaurant Stories and the Recipes They Inspired
6 p.m. Sunday, February 22
$69, includes five courses with wine
RSVP: 720-443-2227

What’s it like to grow up in an Italian-American restaurant dynasty in Hollywood? Connie Ruel — who’s gone on to become a successful restaurateur in her own right, spit-polishing her own eateries in Portland, Oregon, and Lafayette, Colorado — tells all about how she did it in Passions of a Restaurateur. BookBar will be serving a five-course gourmet wine dinner along with Ruel’s book signing; an RSVP is required in advance.

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