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

Woman of Light

By Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Random House Publishing Group
$28 (hardcover)
June 7, 2022

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From the publisher: Luz “Little Light” Lopez, a tea leaf reader and laundress, is left to fend for herself after her older brother, Diego, a snake charmer and factory worker, is run out of town by a violent white mob. As Luz navigates 1930s Denver, she begins to have visions that transport her to her Indigenous homeland in the nearby Lost Territory. Luz recollects her ancestors’ origins, how her family flourished, and how they were threatened. She bears witness to the sinister forces that have devastated her people and their homelands for generations. In the end, it is up to Luz to save her family stories from disappearing into oblivion.

From Mara Kalinoski, Marketing Coordinator and Booktender: How lucky are we to live at the same time and in the same place as Kali Fajardo-Anstine? She is a luminous, unforgettable talent. Not only is her prose technically beautiful, but her storytelling and emotional intelligence will leave you thinking about her words for hours, days, and years afterwards. “Woman of Light” is a work of family, history, and bone-deep love, unveiled through Luz, a clever, sensitive, bold keeper of stories living with joy and sorrow in early 20th-century Denver as an Indigenous Chicana woman. It’ll be your new favorite read.

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When Things Get Dark: Stories Inspired by Shirley Jackson

Edited by Ellen Datlow
Sept. 28, 2021

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From the publisher: A collection of new and exclusive short stories inspired by, and in tribute to, Shirley Jackson.   Shirley Jackson is a seminal writer of horror and mystery fiction, whose legacy resonates globally today. Chilling, human, poignant and strange, her stories have inspired a generation of writers and readers.

This anthology, edited by legendary horror editor Ellen Datlow, will bring together today’s leading horror writers to offer their own personal tribute to the work of Shirley Jackson.   Featuring Joyce Carol Oates, Josh Malerman, Carmen Maria Machado, Paul Tremblay, Richard Kadrey, Stephen Graham Jones, Elizabeth Hand, Kelly Link, Cassandra Khaw, Karen Heuler, Benjamin Percy, John Langan, Laird Barron, Jeffrey Ford, M. Rickert, Seanan McGuire, Gemma Files, and Genevieve Valentine.

From Becky LeJeune, event buyer/office manager: Ellen Datlow is admittedly one of my favorite anthology editors because she can always be counted on to put together collections featuring some of the best and brightest voices in the genre. And this is a truly spectacular and creepy collection including Boulder’s own Stephen Graham Jones! If you’ve only read Jackson’s “The Lottery,” don’t worry. These tales are not retellings but rather stories inspired by Jackson’s style and essence. Which means a collection that ranges from the quiet and eerie to truly scary!

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The Devotion of Suspect X

By Keigo Higashino
St. Martin’s Press
$17.99 (paperback)
Feb. 28, 2012

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From the publisher: Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor. Overhearing the commotion, Yasuko’s next door neighbor, middle-aged high school mathematics teacher Ishigami, offers his help, disposing not only of the body but plotting the cover-up step-by-step.

What ensues is a high level battle of wits, as Ishigami tries to protect Yasuko by outmaneuvering and outthinking the police consultant Yukawa, who faces his most clever and determined opponent yet.

From Moira Brownwolfe, backlist bookbuyer:  If you’re looking for a cat and mouse mystery but don’t know where to start, check out Keigo Higashino’s Detective Galileo series. In an age of endless repetitive thrillers, try a book that feels classic and fresh at the same time.

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