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: BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St., Denver | @BookBarDenver on Twitter, Instagram


By Kaitlyn Greenridge
Algonquin Books
March 15, 2022

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From the publisher: Coming of age in a free Black community in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her purposeful mother, a practicing physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie is to go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and is hungry for something else—is there really only one way to have an autonomous life? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her light-skinned mother, Libertie will not be able to pass for white. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it—for herself and for generations to come.

From Bess Maher, Event Liaison: In this beautifully written novel, Libertie wonders what it means to be free as a Black woman in the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Should she take her mother’s path? Can she find freedom in marriage or outside of the United States, in Liberia or Haiti? Libertie, the character and the novel, is an inspiration. 

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The Paris Apartment

By Lucy Foley
William Morrow
Feb. 22, 2021

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From the publisher: Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

From Georgia Meagher, Booktender: This is Lucy Foley’s third mystery novel, and it was full of deliciously creepy secrets and family drama in the dark underbelly of Paris. If you like books by Riley Sager or Agatha Christie, definitely check out her latest mystery thriller that kept me up past my bedtime! Grab some popcorn because you won’t want to put this one down.

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Five Tuesdays in Winter

By Lily King
Grove Press
Nov. 9, 2021

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From the publisher: Told in the intimate voices of complex, endearing characters, this novel intriguingly subverts expectations as it explores desire, loss, jolting violence, and the inexorable tug toward love at all costs. A reclusive bookseller begins to feel the discomfort of love again. Two college roommates have a devastating middle-aged reunion. A proud old man rages powerlessly in his granddaughter’s hospital room. A writer receives a visit from all the men who have tried to suppress her voice.

From Amanda Davidson, Lead Bookseller: Lily King’s collection of short stories are beautifully and generously written. Her wide range of characters grapple with longing, loss, and above all else, love. Her storytelling is gentle and raw—able to endear you to her characters in just a few short sentences—and somehow captures both the mundane and the miraculous. These are the perfect stories to curl up with on a late-winter’s evening.

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