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: Poor Richard’s Books & Gifts, 320 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs
Don’t Cry for Me
By Daniel Black
Hanover Square Press
From the publisher: As Jacob lies dying, he begins to write a letter to his only son, Isaac. They have not met or spoken in many years, and there are things that Isaac must know. Stories about his ancestral legacy in rural Arkansas that extend back to slavery. Secrets from Jacob’s tumultuous relationship with Isaac’s mother and the shame he carries from the dissolution of their family. Tragedies that informed Jacob’s role as a father and his reaction to Isaac’s being gay. But most of all, Jacob must share with Isaac the unspoken truths that reside in his heart. He must give voice to the trauma that Isaac has inherited. And he must create a space for the two to find peace. With piercing insight and profound empathy, acclaimed author Daniel Black illuminates the lived experiences of Black fathers and queer sons, offering an authentic and ultimately hopeful portrait of reckoning and reconciliation. Spare as it is sweeping, poetic as it is compulsively readable, Don’t Cry for Me is a monumental novel about one family grappling with love’s hard edges and the unexpected places where hope and healing take flight.
From Jeffery Payne, Book Department Coordinator: “Just one last request: tell people I tried…” Jacob writes to his son. We are taken back to a not-so-simpler time in this touching story of a dying man and his son. Race, generational norms and gay issues challenge Jacob as he reflects on his life and gives reasons, not excuses, to why things were the way they were. An emotional story of sorrow, acceptance, redemption and hope. Despite the title, prepare for a tear or two….
The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop
By Fannie Flagg
From the publisher: Bud Threadgoode grew up in the bustling little railroad town of Whistle Stop with his mother, Ruth, church-going and proper, and his Aunt Idgie, the fun-loving hell-raiser. Together they ran the town’s popular Whistle Stop Cafe, known far and wide for its fun and famous fried green tomatoes. And as Bud often said of his childhood to his daughter Ruthie, ‘How lucky can you get?’ But sadly, as the railroad yards shut down and Whistle Stop became a ghost town, nothing was left but boarded-up buildings and memories of a happier time. Then one day, Bud decides to take one last trip, just to see what has become of his beloved Whistle Stop. In so doing, he discovers new friends, as well as surprises about Idgie’s life, about Ninny Threadgoode and other beloved Fannie Flagg characters, and about the town itself.
From Jeffery Payne, Book Department Coordinator: Whenever a customer comes in, looking a little bedraggled, perplexed, overwhelmed and they ask for a nice read, I immediately guide them to the books of Fannie Flagg.
“The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop” lets us revisit the delightful and quirky town next to the railway that we got to know in “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.” We get to see old neighbors, reminisce, share a secret or two and bask in the friendships and love that once, and still does, hold this place together. Do yourself a favor, turn off the television, find a nice classical station on the radio, pick up this book and get lost in a kinder, gentler place.
Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau
By Ben Shattuck
Tin House Books
From the publisher: On an autumn morning in 1849, Henry David Thoreau stepped out his front door to walk the beaches of Cape Cod. Over a century and a half later, Ben Shattuck does the same. With little more than a loaf of bread, brick of cheese, and a notebook, Shattuck sets out to retrace Thoreau’s path through the Cape’s outer beaches, from the elbow to Provincetown’s fingertip.
This is the first of six journeys taken by Shattuck, each one inspired by a walk once taken by Henry David Thoreau.
From Jeffery Payne, Book Department Coordinator: This book is meant to be a tribute to Thoreau and his well-known storied strolls but as the reader follows along it becomes clear there are greater things to appreciate in this book.
Walking is much more than a mode of getting from one physical place to another. Walking gives us the opportunity to be open to what the universe has to offer, whether it be an experience, a sight or a new friend. Walking can be healing, meditative and reassuring in this willy-nilly world.
This gently paced book with melodic prose shows the author’s keen sense of the natural world around him and the insights gained through self-awareness while on foot. A perfect book to slow down with and savor quiet moments.