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

The Science of Storytelling

By Will Storr
April 20, 2021

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From the publisher: The compelling, groundbreaking guide to creative writing that reveals how the brain responds to storytelling, based on the wildly popular creative writing class. Stories shape who we are. They drive us to act out our dreams and ambitions and mold our beliefs. Storytelling is an essential part of what makes us human. So, how do master storytellers compel us? Award-winning writer and acclaimed teacher of creative writing Will Storr applies dazzling psychological research and cutting-edge neuroscience to our myths and archetypes to show how we can write better stories, revealing, among other things, how storytellers—and also our brains—create worlds by being attuned to moments of unexpected change.

From Kelvin, bookseller: If you like writing fiction, you probably already know the basic rules of engaging storytelling. But why and how did these common storytelling “rules” develop? More importantly, why are they effective? And can we break them? Our brain circuitry responds to stories. Storr shows us the wiring diagrams and how we can use this knowledge when  telling our own.

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Blue Period

By Tsubasa Yamaguchi
Oct. 13, 2020

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From the publisher: Yatora is the perfect high school student, with good grades and lots of friends. It’s an effortless performance, and, ultimately… a dull one. But he wanders into the art room one day, and a lone painting captures his eye, awakening him to a kind of beauty he never knew. Compelled and consumed, he dives in headfirst–and he’s about to learn how savage and unforgiving art can be…

From Andrea, bookseller: Genuinely one of my favorite manga. The story follows a high schooler that wants to get into art school, breaking away from all previous expectations for him. The considerations of developing your own artistic style and becoming your own person are so heartfelt and beautiful as the anxieties of life are expressed through artistic pieces. The cast of characters are each so unique as both artists and people. Highly recommend.

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Game Over Super Rabbit Boy

By Thomas Flintham
Dec. 27, 2016

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From the publisher: Pick a book. Grow a Reader! This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Uh-oh, Animal Town is in trouble! Meanie King Viking has created a dreaded robot army to spread No Fun across the land. On top of that, he has stolen the happiest and most fun animal ever, Singing Dog. There is only one person who can save the day — Super Rabbit Boy!

From Teresa, bookseller: My 7-year-old read this book by all herself!! She said she liked all the challenges Super Rabbit Boy had to go through & she liked how if Super Rabbit Boy ate carrots he could jump super high. The artwork was fun and she can’t wait to read the next in the series!

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The Thousand Eyes

By A.K. Larkwood
Tor Books
Feb. 15, 2022

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From the publisher: Two years after defying the wizard Belthandros Sethennai and escaping into the great unknown, Csorwe and Shuthmili have made a new life for themselves, hunting for secrets among the ruins of an ancient snake empire.  Along for the ride is Tal Charossa, determined to leave the humiliation and heartbreak of his hometown far behind him, even if it means enduring the company of his old rival and her insufferable girlfriend. All three of them would be quite happy never to see Sethennai again. But when a routine expedition goes off the rails and a terrifying imperial relic awakens, they find that a common enemy may be all it takes to bring them back into his orbit.

From Nicole, marketing manager Much like “The Unspoken Name,” this book takes old fantasy tropes and upgrades them for a queerer, more diverse time. Focusing on characters from four very different generations and the legacy, trauma, friendship, love, and mistakes that knot them all together, this book is simply delicious. The time skip is brutal, but the book is genuinely hilarious, full of dry wit and dark humor. The ending is so beautifully satisfying, I cried. Enjoy.

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