It’s the week of St. Patrick’s Day, and you know what that means: tinted beer, only barely inoffensive Irish stereotypes, and what we now recognize as a radically inappropriate reason to pinch people who aren’t wearing green. It's also the week of the Ides of March. So sure, raise a pint, but keep your daggers to yourself: There are books to read and bookish events to patronize. Here are the five best....
Rachel Hartman, Tess of the Road
Thursday, March 15, 5:30 p.m.
4280 Tennyson Street
BookBar’s Teen Happy Hour offers half-price cafe drinks for young readers, and focuses on a great new book aimed just at them. This week, it's Rachel Hartman’s rich and layered fantasy novel, Tess of the Road, which pushes the limits of genre while never abandoning its spirit. Think of it as the #metoo movement plus dragons: female empowerment, medieval style.
Tiffany Quay Tyson, The Past Is Never
Thursday, March 15, 7 p.m.
2526 East Colfax Avenue
Denver author (and Lighthouse Writers Workshop instructor) Tiffany Quay Tyson returns with The Past Is Never, a compelling addition to contemporary Southern Gothic fiction, weaving together local legend and the search for a missing child, all with a deft touch of magical realism. The plot involves an old rock quarry — and we all know that nothing good ever happens at old rock quarries.
Will Bardenwerper, The Prisoner in His Palace
Friday, March 16, 7 p.m.
1107 Pearl Street, Boulder
How do a dozen young American soldiers react to the sudden assignment of guarding the biggest “high-value detainee,” none other than Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein? That’s the premise of New York Times and Washington Post contributor Will Bardenwerper’s thought-provoking study, The Prisoner in His Palace: Saddam Hussein, His American Guards, and What History Leaves Unsaid. USA Today calls it a “meditation on the meaning of evil and power,” while the Minneapolis Star Tribune labels it “an enlightening piece of journalism.” Hear what Bardenwerper has to say when he visits the Boulder Bookstore.
Brad Meltzer, The Escape Artist
Friday, March 16, 6:30 p.m.
Highlands Ranch Library, James H. LaRue Branch
9292 South Ridgeline Boulevard, Highlands Ranch
Brad Meltzer is a busy guy. He’s a successful novelist (this is his twelfth, including the popular Culper Ring series), nonfiction writer (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), children’s-book author (the “I Am” series that began with I Am Abraham Lincoln), and Eisner-Award-winning comic-book writer (Justice League of America, the controversial and classic Identity Crisis). Tattered Cover teams with Douglas County Libraries to bring Meltzer to the Denver area to read and sign his new novel, The Escape Artist, a return to the fast-paced historic thrillers that first propelled him into the public eye. No word on whether he’ll also sign his comics — but buy the novel, too, won’t you?
Denver Children’s Festival of Stories
Saturday, March 17, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
144 West Colfax Avenue
As part of a three-day festival starting on Friday, March 16, and continuing through Sunday, March 18, Denver bookstore Second Star to the Right presents a day devoted to young readers (infant to age fourteen) — not to mention the parents, educators and children’s-book enthusiasts who support them. Held in Denver's original Carnegie Library building (now McNichols), this event promises to inspire and entertain a new generation of bibliophiles. For more information on the festival, visit the Children’s Festival of Stories website. St. Patrick’s Day generally isn't a great holiday for kids; now you can forget the beers and embrace the books. (Or just save the beer for later.)