From its sweeping mountain landscape, rural lifestyle, affable locals and colorful history, Grand County has served as inspiration for many a writer. And for those looking to cozy up with a good read to get through the area’s infamous winter, we’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite books with local twists.
Continental Quotient: Stories from Both Sides of the Divide
By Kristen Lodge
$17.95, Homebound Publications
From 1999 to 2012, writer and poet Kristen Lodge made a cross-country ski town circuit, taking time to pause in Granby. Her book serves as a collection of memories of her mountain experiences, from surviving rugged landscapes to learning how to ski bumps and powder. Her book is available where paperbacks are sold and through Kindle, Nook and Kobo editions. Those inspired by her tales can meet Lodge when she returns to Grand County from 4-8 p.m. on Jan. 25 for tea at the Cozens Ranch Museum. Lodge will hold a book reading and discuss writing about place, landscape and local history. For more information, call the museum at 970-726-5488.
Mountain I Dos: Tales of weddings and music in the mountains
By Joan Shaw
$15, Kopy Kat Graphics and Printing
Joan and Roger Shaw spent nearly 30 years touring the United States and sharing their musical talents, playing in everything from string quartets to Dixieland bands. The Shaws settled in Grand County for an active semi-retirement, and continued their musical work by playing at the occasional mountain wedding. The many hilarious and heartwarming events that ensued inspired Joan to write a book sharing her experiences. Among the highlights include a 40-year anniversary the Shaws agreed to coordinate for a friend. The wife insisted on wearing her original, decades-old wedding dress, which had to be taped across the back to hold it together. Other laughs include a bride who misunderstood “Pachelbel’s Canon” to be “Taco Bell Canyon” and a wedding at 12,060 feet atop Winter Park Resort, where the wind howled and the rings had to be tied to ski coats to prevent them from being dropped by cold-stiffened fingers. Pick up a copy of “Mountain I Dos” at Mountain Grind Shop in Winter Park, gift shops at the YMCA, at Devil’s Thumb Ranch or Fraser Valley One Hour Photo.
By Penny Rafferty Hamilton
$21.99, Arcadia Publishing
Around Granby tells a photo-driven the history of Middle Park, from the days of the mountain men to the 2004 bulldozer rampage costing over $5 million in downtown damages. Hamilton’s book includes nostalgic gems, like Dwight D. Eisenhower’s fishing trips in the 1950s, skiing at the Drowsy Water Ranch and the Mountain States Telephone “Hello Girls” switchboard operators. She also incorporates lesser-known facts of local interest, like the Victory Highway of the 1920s, which put Granby on an important route linking New York City to San Francisco. The book is available at local Granby retailers or at arcadiapublishing.com.
Doc for the Mob
By Arnold Klein
$14.99, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Arnold Klein, a local author, has published his first novel “Doc for the Mob,” a thrilling action piece that follows the life of Marco Falcone, a bright young man and aspiring doctor who grows up in the 1930s in New York’s lower east side. After receiving money to attend medical school from a mafia affiliated union, Marco is forced to provide medical services to the La Costa Nostra crime family, which eventually lands him on death row for a crime he did not commit. His only hope is a lifelong friend who could save him from the electric chair though as the time until his execution turns into hours, he has yet to hear from his best friend. The book is available for purchase from Amazon and is available on Kindle.
A Ranch Kid’s ABCs
By Rachel Linke
McConnell Design and Printing
Linke uses photographs of found letters in the ranching landscape and lovely prose in her Grand County ranching-themed children’s book. It’s both fun for reading and for guessing what Linke’s letters are made of, like an “L” from a barn window and a “K” made of carpenter tools. The book has a key at the back in case readers young and old get stumped. To obtain a copy, contanct Linke on her Facebook page at facebook.com/ARanchKidsABCs.
Two Lives in One: The Struggles and Triumphs of a Dyslexic Mensa
By Melva and Glenn Harrington
$14.95, Graham Publishing Group
Glenn and Melva Harrington, formally of Grand Lake, have published a biography/memoir book titled “Two Lives in One: The Struggles and Triumphs of a Dyslexic Mensa,” that follows the life of Glenn Harrington as he struggles to cope with dyslexia while becoming an extremely educated and well-respected individual. Harrington earns his masters degree and becomes a Mensa, scoring in the 98 percentile of an IQ exam. The book also delves into how Harrington’s wife, Melva, helped him to cope with his reading disability and how the two of them were essentially one being throughout their life.
JFK: The Umbrella Conspiracy
By William Penn
$19.99, Pegasus Imprimis Press
Local authors William and Penny Hamilton have released their latest novel titled “JFK: The Umbrella Conspiracy.”
The new novel is the Hamilton’s fourth novel in their Buck and Dolly action novel series and takes readers on a ride from Lake Granby to Switzerland as the two fictional characters in the book, Buck and Dolly Madison, dodge terrorist attacks as they work to solve the mysteries surrounding the Kennedy assassination.
The novel details how the work of the assassins in Delay Plaza on Nov. 22, 1963, was actually designed to kill more than one Kennedy – and did.
“JFK: The Umbrella Conspiracy” was produced by the Hamilton’s under their shared pen name “William Penn” and follows the Hamilton’s three previous novels in the series: “The Grand Conspiracy,” “The Panama Conspiracy,” and “The Berlin Conspiracy.”
The book is available locally at Granby Ace Hardware, the Rocky Mountain General Store, and the Cozen’s Ranch Museum as well as online at Amazon.com. The book is also available in e-book format from Kindle.
Deeper into the Heart of Rockies: Selected columns from the Denver Post 1999-2012
By Ed Quillen
$15.95, Sidewalk Press
Popular Denver Post columnist and former Middle Park Times editor Ed Quillen died suddenly in June of 2012, leaving behind a lifetime of writing, including thousands of weekly columns. Abby Quillen, his daughter, has compilied his later Denver Post Columns into a sequel to his 1998 collection, “Deep in the Heart of the Rockies.” The new book is titled “Deeper into the Heart of the Rockies,” and includes about 120 of Quillen’s best Denver Post columns published between 1999 and 2012. Quillen was a regular contributer in the Denver Post’s Perspective section for 26 years. The book is available from Amazon.
The Western Gods
By Caleb Eatough
$7.49, Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Local author Caleb Eatough has published an enticing mythology mystery novel titled “The Western Gods,” which follows a Colorado missionary in 1864 that seeks to destroy the gods. A girl who the Navajo call a skinwalker, watches the missionary as the great spirits of the land war with each other, claiming souls without regret. The book follows southwestern folklore and is sure to please any person who looks for a thrilling ride through history and mythology. “The Western Gods” is available in e-book format from Amazon.com.
Love by George
By Robert Taylor
Scheduled to publish May/June 2014
Robert Taylor, a former columnist for the Sky-Hi News, is scheduled to publish “Love by George,” a love story following a poet named Hope and an online dating mogul George as they fall in love the old fashioned way – by chance. Taylor plans to have the book published in May or June of 2014. The romantic comedy follows the love affair of George, a bachelor torn between the pursuit of wealth and feeling truly alive, and Hope, a struggling greeting card poet, who meet during a random drug and alcohol test and spark a love that is being heavily pursued by the paparazzi.
The Case of the Vanishing Scroll
By J.D. Howard
Grand County resident Derrick Howard recently published “The Case of the Vanishing Scroll,” a mystery- adventure book written for a younger audience of fourth to sixth graders. The book follows the adventure of Sam as he leads his friends on a journey to uncover the truth behind ancient Egyptian scroll that has gone missing from a museum. Sam and his friends uncover a shadowy world as they find one clue after another and face danger around every corner. You can view a video trailer for the book and read a sample of the book at the author’s website, jdhowardauthor.com, or purchase the book from Amazon or Barnes and Noble. The author will hold a book signing at The Big Shooter coffee shop in Kremmling from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on January 11. He will also be available to sign books at the Granby Library from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the same day.
Reid Tulley and Leia Larsen can be reached at 970-887-3334.