Checking Out: End-of-Year Book Roundup

By Hannah Evans

Hannah Evans

Still looking for a good gift? Staff at Denver Public Library’s Smiley Branch share some of their favorite titles they discovered this year. Find the next great read for someone you know, or for yourself.

Wendy’s Pick: “Ten Ways To Hear Snow” By Cathy Camper
A perfect gift for young and not-so-young readers, this thoughtful picture book reminds us of the importance of family and tradition. The muted illustrations and sounds of snow evoke the peace of a quiet winter’s day, while Lina and her grandmother remind us all to pause and be mindful. It’s a lovely story to share with someone you love or as a gift for yourself as a reminder to breathe during this busy time of year.

Kristen’s Pick: “Blackwater Falls” By Ausma Zehanat Khan
Know any mystery or crime fiction readers who’d love a great read? Give them this new book from one of my favorite writers. Blackwater Falls features a great, original mystery and solid crime story, a strong female lead, our beautiful Front Range setting, a range of fascinating characters and cultural experiences, and an extremely timely story that grapples with current issues in thoughtful, sensitive ways. All from a Denver author! Especially recommended for fans of Louise Penny, Vaseem Khan, Ovidia Yu and other writers who convey a strong sense of time and place as well as a deep respect for human complexity.

Ryan’s Picks: “Lesser Known Monsters Of The 21st Century” By Kim Fu
This book is a collection of 12 stories that blend fantasy and reality, my favorite involving a runaway bride and a sea monster. There are a couple of “Black Mirror”-esque stories, but others are more tender and subtle. This book is a great present for that broody odd-ball in your life who wears mismatched socks and loves telling you the most random facts.

“Sea Of Tranquility” By Emily St. John Mandel
Sea of Tranquility is a slow burn sci-fi novel set on the Earth and the moon across several centuries. If you like the sound of book tours, moon colonies, time travel, detective work, or pandemics, this is the book for you! It’s also great for that person in your life that loves a “what the heck?!” ending.

Hannah Evans is the senior librarian at the Smiley Branch of the Denver Public Library.


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