Library Corner: Supporting Colorado authors |

Library Corner: Supporting Colorado authors

Shelly Mathis
GCLD library associate

Recently, in a library science class, I learned that an important role of American public libraries is to support authors — bestsellers, the self-published and novices alike.

Many established and aspiring authors originate from, or dwell in, Colorado. For example, Margaret Coel is a Colorado native who writes bestselling modern westerns and mysteries.

Moreover, Grand County is also home to litterateurs, such as Martin J. Smith, who writes both fiction and nonfiction and has earned multiple award nominations.

In honor of Colorado’s authors, GCLD’s Virtual Book Club spent the winter sampling their literary works. Here is an assortment of recommendations from their favorite reads:

Peter Heller

Many participants tried Peter Heller for the first time, choosing “Celine,” “The River” and “The Guide” (which should be read after “The River,” by the way). I was among this group.

Heller took me by surprise in “The River” with his lyrical writing style, perceptive characterization and vivid descriptions. I never thought that some of my favorite genres — literary, adventure, suspense and mystery — could be combined into one amazing read about friendship. Sheer poetry with heart-pounding intensity!

Sandra Dallas and Maggie Osborne

Well-known for her historical fiction, Sandra Dallas was another popular choice, specifically, “A Quilt for Christmas” and “Tallgrass.” Dallas has also authored nonfiction accounts of Colorado history. Readers recommend “The Quilt that Walked to Golden.”

In the same vein, Maggie Osborne wrote “Brides of Prairie Gold.” Twelve mail-order brides head out west on the Oregon Trail, unaware of dangerous contraband hidden on their wagon train.

According to Hot Sulphur Springs club member, Jennifer Gelbhaus, the “book is about physical and mental endurance, obstacles, second chances and the strength of the pioneer women. 5/5 stars.”

Stephen Graham Jones

In contrast, Stephen Graham Jones writes horror books that include a bit of thrills, sci-fi, crime fiction and fantasy. Try “Growing Up Dead,” which is a circular read — part fiction and part memoir.

Pemba Sherpa

Winning a nomination for the 2021 Colorado Book Awards for creative nonfiction was “Bridging Worlds” by Pemba Sherpa. Readers go behind the scenes to discover the lives of Sherpas — from the days of Sir Edmund Hillary until now. An easy, fast and enjoyable read!

Other favorite books included “The Last Suppers” by Mandy Mikulencak, “The Next Everest” by Jim Davidson, “The Homeplace” by Kevin Wolf, “Benediction” by Kent Haruf, “East of Denver” by Gregory W. Hill and “Red Lightning” by Laura Pritchett.

To browse the club’s remaining book choices, search GCLD’s catalog with the phrase: “Virtual Book Club’s Favorite CO Author Reads.”

GCLD’s Virtual Book Club is now exploring stories about real people, including biographical fiction and biographical true stories. All adult GCLD library patrons are welcome to participate!

Parties celebrating the genre are slated for May 2, 2022, at the Kremmling Library and May 4, 2022, at the Hot Sulphur Springs Library. Contact a librarian at the Kremmling Library (970-724-9228) or Hot Sulphur Springs Library (970-725-3942) for more information.

If you go

Award-winning journalist and author Julian Rubinstein shares the craft of writing and his nonfiction work “The Holly: Five Bullets, One Gun, and the Struggle to Save an American Neighborhood,” a dramatic account of a shooting in The Holly, a northeast Denver neighborhood. Join us on Friday, March 18, at 6 p.m. at the River Run Events Center in Granby. Tickets $10. Proceeds benefit Grand County Library Foundation.

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