As part of The Colorado Sun’s literature section — SunLit — we’re featuring staff picks from book stores across the state. >> Click here for more SunLit

This week’s bookstore: Old Firehouse Books, 232 Walnut St., Fort Collins | @OFirehouseBooks on Twitter, Instagram

A Marvellous Light

By Freya Marske
Nov. 2, 2021

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From the publisher: Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.

Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.

From Allison, Book Buyer: “Going right into my all-time favorites list. Sexy and achy with rich world-building set in an Edwardian framework. Didn’t expect to come out of this with *two* new book sons but Markse ruined my life with Edwin and Robin. Just such a perfect tender and magical read. Also obliterated me emotionally but that’s more than OK.”

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Our Class

By Chris Hedges
Simon & Schuster
Oct. 19, 2021

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From the publisher: Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Chris Hedges has taught courses in drama, literature, philosophy, and history since 2013 in the college degree program offered by Rutgers University at East Jersey State Prison and other New Jersey prisons. In his first class at East Jersey State Prison, where students read and discussed plays by Amiri Baraka and August Wilson, among others, his class set out to write a play of their own. In writing the play, Caged, which would run for a month in 2018 to sold-out audiences at The Passage Theatre in Trenton, New Jersey, and later be published, students gave words to the grief and suffering they and their families have endured, as well as to their hopes and dreams. The class’s artistic and personal discovery, as well as transformation, is chronicled in heart-breaking detail.

From Julie, Book Seller: “Chris Hedges details his experience teaching a drama class in a New Jersey prison, the creative and personal journeys of his students, and exposes the appalling conditions and treatment of inmates, a majority of which have never had a trial. It’s not an easy read, but a necessary one and while I encourage the reading of any of Hedges’ books, I highly recommend ‘Our Class,’ which brings the reality of our dehumanizing prison industrial complex to light with personal experiences.”

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The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities

By Rick Riodan and more
Rick Riordan Presents
Sept. 28, 2021

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From the publisher: A cave monster . . . an abandoned demon . . . a ghost who wants to erase history . . . a killer commandant . . . These are just some of the challenges confronting the young heroes in this highly entertaining anthology. All but one of the heroes previously starred in a popular book from Rick Riordan Presents. You’ll be reunited with Aru Shah, Zane Obispo, Min the fox spirit, Sal and Gabi, Gum Baby, Nizhoni Begay, Paola Santiago, Sikander Aziz, and Riley Oh. Who is the new hero? Read Rick Riordan’s short story to find out! 

From Nicole, Marketing Manager: “The perfect starter for anyone looking to get into the wide, wide world of Rick Riordan Presents, this short story collection will introduce middle graders to all the heroes of modern mythology they need. From Tristan Strong to Nizhoni Begay to Aru Shah, these stories bring new adventures to each mythological series that you won’t want to miss.” 

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Chez Bob

By Bob Shea
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Sept. 28, 2021

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From the publisher: Welcome to Chez Bob, which seems like a real restaurant…until you realize…it’s on an alligator’s NOSE! Bob’s got a hidden plan for his customers: “Birds will come to eat, but I will eat the birds!” As they fly in from all over the world to dine on Bob’s face, something starts to happen that takes the lazy, hungry reptile by surprise — the birds stay. “More yummy birds!” he rejoices — he’ll want for nothing! But when the time is right, will Bob make the right choice? Comic genius Bob Shea cooks up a tasty tale that proves anyone, even hungry alligators, can have a change of heart and learn to be a good friend.

From Zane, Bookseller: “Bob is a lazy, genius bird eater who has decided to turn himself into a bird restaurant so that he can attract them to his big hungry alligator mouth. It doesn’t turn out the way he plans, and the ending might help warm your heart as the season turns frigid and unkind. It’s like a sweater for your heart. Please enjoy the heart sweater.”

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