Winter of Reading: Hidden Gems at DPL

Enjoy your winter reading by diving into some of these hidden gems on DPL's shelves!

Find more activities, books, and events at: www.denverlibrary.org/winterofreading

Abbott, Alysia

A beautiful, vibrant memoir about growing up motherless in 1970s and '80s San Francisco with an openly gay father.

Aguasaco, Carlos

Carlos Aguasaco's poetry collection renders a voice to the next immigrants' wave, the latest nomads of our world, those that daily ride the subway and continuously reshape the metropolis. In this bilingual collection, the poet emphasizes the migrant experience and daringly reveal a lyrical itinerary through the City of New York.

Antrim, Donald

As the sun lowered in the sky one Friday afternoon in April 2006, acclaimed author Donald Antrim found himself on the roof of his Brooklyn apartment building, afraid for his life. In this ... memoir, Antrim vividly recounts what led him to the roof and what happened after he came back down: two hospitalizations, weeks of fruitless clinical trials, the terror of submitting to ECT--and the saving call from David Foster Wallace that convinced him to try it--as well as years of fitful recovery and setback.

Bellamacina, G. R.

A feminist collection of all female poetry, including themes of objectification, abortion, early motherhood, first kiss, body image, depression, and more.

Chapman, Clay McLeod

Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years--with terrifying results. Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot's Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter, Jessica, are shunned by her upper-crust family and the local residents. Privately, desperate characters visit her apothecary for a cure to what ails them--until Ella Louise is blamed for the death of a prominent customer. Accused of witchcraft, Ella Louise and Jessica are burned at the stake in the middle of the night. Ella Louise's burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses. Their story will take the shape of an urban legend as it's told around a campfire by a man forever marked by his childhood encounters with Jessica. Decades later, a boy at that campfire will cast Amber Pendleton as Jessica in a '70s horror movie inspired by the Witch Girl of Pilot's Creek. Amber's experiences on that set and its meta-remake in the '90s will ripple through pop culture, ruining her life and career after she becomes the target of a witch hunt. Amber's best chance to break the cycle of horror comes when a true-crime investigator tracks her down to interview her for his popular podcast. But will this final act of storytelling redeem her--or will it bring the story full circle, ready to be told once again? And again. And again . . 

DU PAI, Ashley Hamilton, Clare Hammoor, and Julie Rada (editors)

The work of worlding new worlds is challenging. Creating art in a way that imagines new ways of thinking and being is visionary. Doing so while incarcerated during a pandemic is unbelievably brave. Yet, that is exactly what everyone in this anthology, and the class "Imagining Worlds: Reading and Writing Plays," that inspired it, has done. Through an incredible collaboration with the Colorado Department of Corrections, over 200 incarcerated students of the University of Denver's Prison Arts Initiative -- from ten correctional facilities across the state of Colorado -- have been worlding new worlds.

Galchen, Rivka

Drawing on real historical documents but infused with the intensity of imagination, sly humor, and intellectual fire for which award-winning author Rivka Galchen's writing is known, Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch is a tale for our time-the story of how a community becomes implicated in collective aggression and hysterical fear.

Grove, Emma

In the winter of 2004, a shy woman named Emma sits in Toby's office. She wants to share this wonderful new book she's reading, but Toby, her therapist, is concerned with other things. Emma is transgender, and has sought out Toby for approval for hormone replacement therapy. Emma has shown up at the therapy sessions as an outgoing, confident young woman named Katina, and a depressed, submissive workaholic named Ed. She has little or no memory of her actions when presenting as these other two people. And then Toby asks about her childhood. As the story unfolds, we discover clues to Emma's troubled past, and how and why these other two people may have come into existence. As Toby juggles treating three separate people, each with their own unique personalities and memories, he begins to wonder if Emma is merely acting out to get attention, or if she actually has Dissociative Identity Disorder. Is she just a troubled woman in need of help? And is "the third person" in her brain protecting her or derailing her chances of ever finding peace?

IJzerman, Hans Rocha

A compelling investigation into the quest to maintain core body temperature-and how it drives genetic and social evolution, civilization, health, and technology. A cup of tea, coffee, or cocoa is calming and comforting-but why? Recent research suggests that temperature, even that derived from holding a hot beverage, can influence our emotions and behaviors. In Heartwarming, social psychologist Hans IJzerman explores temperature and its role in our daily lives through the long lens of evolution. Besides breathing, regulating body temperature is one of the most important tasks for any animal. Like huddling penguins, we humans have long relied each other to maintain our temperatures. Over millennia, this instinct for thermoregulation has driven our social lives. Understanding how temperature affects human sociality leads to fascinating new questions in our changing world: How will climate change impact society? Can thermoregulation keep relationships closer, even across distance? IJzerman offers new insights for therapists, doctors, sufferers of illnesses both mental and physical, and all of us who want to better understand our bodies and our connections. Heartwarming takes readers on a captivating journey through the world, seen from the perspective of coldness and warmth.

Inman, Matthew

In If My Dogs Were a Pair of Middle-Aged Men, Matthew Inman imagines, to hilarious effect, what life would be like if his dogs were a couple of old men running around his house.

Jennings, Kathleen

In a small Western Queensland town, a reserved young woman receives a note from one of her vanished brothers-a note that makes question her memories of their disappearance and her father's departure. A beguiling story that proves that gothic delights and uncanny family horror can live-and even thrive-under a burning sun, Flyaway introduces readers to Bettina Scott, whose search for the truth throws her into tales of eerie dogs, vanished schools, cursed monsters, and enchanted bottles.

Jones, Stephen Graham

Memorial Ride is a high-speed, ragtag chase across the American Southwest in graphic novel format.

Kolbert, Elizabeth

The ... author of The Sixth Extinction returns to humanity's transformative impact on the environment, now asking: after doing so much damage, can we change nature, this time to save it? That man should have dominion 'over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth' is a prophecy that has hardened into fact. So pervasive are human impacts on the planet that it's said we live in a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene.

LaPensée, Elizabeth (editor)

From unbridled werewolves to werewolves from outer space, these unique comics are gathered together for the mature reader. This collection features new comics by accomplished writers and illustrators who have a love for all things wolves, werewolves, and rougarou.

Laymon, Kiese

Kiese Laymon’s debut novel is a Twain-esque exploration of celebrity, authorship, violence, religion, and coming of age in Post-Katrina Mississippi, written in a voice that’s alternately funny, lacerating, and wise. The book contains two interwoven stories. In the first, it’s 2013: after an on-stage meltdown during a nationally televised quiz contest, 14-year-old Citoyen "City" Coldson becomes an overnight YouTube celebrity. The next day, he’s sent to stay with his grandmother in the small coastal community of Melahatchie, where a young girl named Baize Shephard has recently disappeared.
 

Le Freak, Felix

Let the world's most celebrated drag queens transform and empower you with their sick'ning style, wit, and wisdom. However you want to werk it -- out-there eleganza, easy-breezy realness, and everything in between -- Serving Face is like the gentle hand of your Drag Mother guiding you towards a life more fabulous. Featuring interviews with 20 artists, it has all the inspiring motivational and practical tips, tricks, and tutorials you need to jack up your confidence and tease out your own special blend of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent. So dive in, discover your inner diva, and bring joy, love, and laughter to life's runway!

Lloret, Bruno

A dying woman relives her youth in this heartrending novel punctuated by graves, footprints, X-rays, and crosses.

Schweblin, Samanta

A visionary novel about the collision of technology and play, horror and humanity, from a master of the spine-tingling tale. They've infiltrated homes in Hong Kong, shops in Vancouver, the streets of Senegal, town squares of Oaxaca, schools in Tel Aviv, bedrooms in Ohio. They're following you. They're everywhere now. They're us. In Samanta Schweblin's wildly imaginative new novel, Little Eyes, "kentukis" have gone viral across the globe. They're little mechanical stuffed animals that have cameras for eyes, wheels for feet, and are connected to an anonymous global server. Owners of kentukis have the eyes of a stranger in their home and a cute squeaking pet following them; or you can be the kentuki and voyeuristically spend time in someone else's life, controlling the creature with a few keystrokes. Through kentukis, a jaded Croatian hustler stumbles into a massive criminal enterprise and saves a life in Brazil, a lonely old woman in Peru becomes fascinated with a young woman and her louche lover in Germany, and a kid with no mother in Antigua finds a new virtual family and experiences snow for the first time in Norway. These creatures can reveal the beauty of connection between farflung souls - but they also expose the ugly humanity of our increasingly linked world. Trusting strangers can lead to unexpected love and marvelous adventure, but what happens when the kentukis pave the way for unimaginable terror?

Solomon, Amy (editor)

A collection of never-before-seen humor pieces-essays, satire, short stories, poetry, cartoons, artwork, and more-from more than 150 of the biggest female comedians today, curated by Amy Solomon, a producer of the hit HBO shows Silicon Valley and Barry.

Szpara, K. M.

There is no consent under capitalism. Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles. To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents' debts and buy your childrens' future. Elisha Wilder's family has been ruined by debt, handed down to them from previous generations. His mother never recovered from the Dociline she took during her term as a Docile, so when Elisha decides to try and erase the family's debt himself, he swears he will never take the drug that took his mother from him. Too bad his contract has been purchased by Alexander Bishop III, whose ultra-rich family is the brains (and money) behind Dociline and the entire Office of Debt Resolution. When Elisha refuses Dociline, Alex refuses to believe that his family's crowning achievement could have any negative side effects--and is determined to turn Elisha into the perfect Docile without it.

Tran, Ly

A memoir by 25-year-old Ly Tran about her immigrant experience and her recent family history in the aftermath of the war that spans from Vietnam to Brooklyn, and ultimately to the Ivy League.

Wang, Jackie

The poems in The Sunflower Cast A Spell To Save Us From The Void read like dispatches from the dream world, with Jackie Wang acting as our trusted comrade reporting across time and space. By sharing her personal index of dreams with its scenes of solidarity and resilience, interpersonal conflict and outlaw jouissance, Wang embodies historical trauma and communal memory. Here, the all-too-familiar interplay between crisis and resistance becomes first distorted, then clarified and refreshed. With a light touch and invigorating sense of humor, Wang illustrates the social dimension of dreams and their ability to inform and reshape the dreamer's waking world with renewed energy and insight.

Weissman, Evan

Vote Every Day explores what it means to be Civic and how regular people can use their power to keep or create the communities they want. It is the product of over a decade of artistic community engagement and we're thrilled to finally have it available for you!

Yan, Ge

In the fictional Chinese city of Yong'an, an amateur cryptozoologist is tasked with uncovering the stories of its fabled beasts, which draws her deep within a mystery that threatens her very sense of self.

Yoss

From beloved Cuban science fiction author Yoss comes a bitingly funny space-opera homage to Raymond Chandler, about a positronic robot detective on the hunt for some extra-dangerous extraterrestrial criminals. On the intergalactic trading station William S. Burroughs, profit is king and aliens are the kingmakers. Earthlings have bowed to their superior power and weaponry, though the aliens, praying-mantis-like Grodos with pheromonal speech and gargantuan Collosaurs with a limited sense of humor, kindly allow them to do business through properly controlled channels. That's where our hero comes in, name of Raymond. As part of the android police force, this positronic robot detective navigates both worlds, human and alien, keeping order and evaporating wrongdoers. But nothing in his centuries of experience prepares him for Makrow 34, a fugitive Cetian perp with psi powers. Meaning he can alter the shape of the Gaussian bell curve of statistical probability--making it rain indoors, say, or causing a would-be captor to shoot himself in the face. Raymond will need all his training--and all his careful study of Chandler's hardbitten cops--to meet his match. As he did in his brilliantly funny and sharp science-fiction parables A Planet for Rent, Super Extra Grande, and Condomnauts, Yoss makes the familiar strange and the strange familiar in Red Dust, giving us an unforgettable half-human hero and a richly imagined universe where the bad guys are above the laws of physics.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.