Tag Archives: Books

A Literary Community

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If you live in Denver take the time to check out some of these cool local bookshops.

Park Hill Co-Op Book Shop – Located in the Park Hill suburb of Denver, Park Hill Co-Op Book Shop, is a treat. The store is completely nonprofit and has only one paid employee (the manager). The shop is run by a team of volunteers that know everything about books, some have been volunteering for 20 years. The Park Hill Co-Op is kept a float by members who pay a yearly rate ($10 or $40) the membership includes a 7% discount, 10 credits (good for 10 used paperback or 5 hardbacks), and the opportunity to trade in books for credits. The Co-Op is a community gem. The atmosphere is comfortable and the selection is great. I could have spent hours perusing the shelves. It’s a little on the small side, but it doesn’t stop them from stuffing as many books as they can onto the shelves. It has a wide array of topics and even antique books. I would definitely advise taking a look! There are some great deals hiding on those shelves.

The Tattered Cover Book Store – This store is the megalith of books. This independent store located in two places throughout Denver, one in LoDo, is a great place to spend the day. The central location makes it an easy stop on any trek through downtown. The selection is enormous with used and new books. There are tons of comfy chairs, and even a coffee shop. The staff is really nice and knowledgable. I loved looking through all of the staff recommendations. I found myself loosing track of time in Tattered Cover. You can cuddle up in a chair and spend hours sipping coffee and enjoying a new book. However, it is a tad on the expensive side, but still worth while. You may not find the best deals, but you will enjoy every minute spent looking.

Fahrenheit Books – A used book store that can survive a move to a new location must be a good one. This store while smaller than Tattered Cover has a great selection. It is organized and easy to find what you want. If you are a Sci-fi buff make the time to check Fahrenheit out. There Sci-fi selection is vast and everything is fairly priced. There are tons of vintage books. There’s even a wall dedicated to first editions. It’s new location on Broadway is easy to find and surrounded by other cute shops. You can even browse their titles online and make sure the books you want are in stock. The store has a cool vibe and the staff certainly knows what they’re talking about. If you are interesting in selling books, Fahrenheit will buy them. They typically like unusual or vintage books.

 

These local Denver stores are a great alternative to Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It makes book buying more of an adventure than an errand. Support our local businesses and check them out! I promise you’ll find something you love.

 

 

Keep Making a Scene

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I’m sure your characters are fabulous, zany, and one of a kind, but what about the world they live in? Your scenes need to be just as engaging as your characters. The reader wants to be a part of their lives and creating a realistic and viable scene is a major step.

1. USE SENSORY DETAILS: It’s more than merely telling the reader what is in the room, you have to explain it in a way that appeals to their senses. What did the room smell like, could you feel the briny ocean breeze? Take advantage of your 5 senses and draw the reader directly into the scene.

2. BE REALISTIC, BUT CREATIVE: You want your reader to understand where the characters are. So if you tell them the scene is taking place in a kitchen there are certain expectations, maybe a refrigerator or stove, a sink. Your job as a writer is to describe these things in a manner that is unique to the story and the characters.

Fantasy and Science Fiction commonly delve into unknown scenes, but these writers also have to be realistic. If your characters float through the scenes or interact with unexplained objects your readers are lost. The unique and fun theatrics you make in a cyber world or fairy realm are great, but if a reader can’t visualize them you’ve developed all that creativity for nothing.

3. INTERACT WITH THE SCENE: Have your characters interacting with their surroundings. Real people don’t just stagnantly stand in a room doing nothing, no they sit on the sofa or wash their hands. They rake their fingers across the leather bound books, leaving a trail on the dusty bookshelf. Characters live in the world you created, so be sure to show that.

The Hunger Games satisfies, but still leaves room for dessert.

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With a movie production on the way many are scrambling to finish The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins has crafted a dystopian adventure that while geared toward young adults still manages to entice adults as well.

The North American continent has been split into twelve districts, each reporting to the Capitol. As payment for an unsuccessful rebellion each district must submit a young boy and girl to compete in the televised Hunger Games. Chosen as the district 12 tributes, Katniss and Peeta enter the kill or be killed competition.

The Hunger Games is  a disturbingly engrossing tale. Even though it is marketed for young adults I wouldn’t recommend anyone under the age of 12 read it. The games are violent, pitting each tribute against the other and forcing them to kill to stay alive. In a generation obsessed with reality television, where shows like Survivor still dominate the ratings, The Hunger Games hits like a slap in the face. The gladiator style fighting amongst the tributes is shocking. The teenagers fight and kill with disgusting ease while the rest of the districts watch the television with rapt attention.

Collins has established a wonderful setting with fantastic twists and turns that keeps  the readers hooked. The unpredictable atmosphere of the games makes each chapter unique. The characters are realistic with flaws and astounding grit. Katniss’s stubborn determination and skill at survival as well as Peeta’s loyalty had me pulling my hair out and cheering at the same time. Katniss is a refreshing protagonist. She is a strong young woman used to hard times and fiercely loyal to her sister. Her uncertainty and fear, as well as her utter determination to stay alive without losing herself to the games is humanizing. The first person narrative is well done, and gives the reader unfiltered access to her sarcastic mind.

From the descriptions of the 12 districts to the glittering Capitol, Collins astounds the reader with a fully fledged world that resembles our own just enough to be disconcerting. I often found myself trying to identify how each district applied to current day America. The supporting characters are products of their districts. They have their own issues and personalities that come across strongly, but it is still in keeping with the first person narrative.

The Hunger Games will draw both boys and girls as well as adults into the dystopian future. The rebellious undertones are a subtle clue about what is to come, and the romance while prevalent isn’t embarrassing and is appropriate for young adults. Katniss’s emotional maturity is frustrating at times, but is accurate for the her age in the novel as well as the intended audience. The gripping novel is engrossing and once started is nearly impossible to put down.

While The Hunger Games has a distinct ending, the storyline is still incomplete and readers will no doubt be running to the store to purchase Catching Fire and Mockingjay the final two books in the trilogy.

 

May the odds be ever in your favor