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

Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change

By Pema Chodron
May 21, 2019

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From the publisher: Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron shares life-changing practices for living with wisdom, confidence, and integrity amidst confusing situations and uncertain times. We live in difficult times. Life so often seems like a turbulent river threatening to drown us and destroy our world. Why, then, shouldn’t we cling to the certainty of the comfortable–to our deep-seated habits and familiar ways?

Because, Pema Chodron teaches, that kind of fear-based clinging keeps us from the infinitely more powerful experience of being fully alive. The Buddhist teachings she presents here–known as the “Three Commitments”–provide a treasure trove of wisdom for learning to step right into the unknown, to completely and fearlessly embrace the groundlessness of being human, for people of all faiths.

From Jeffery Payne, Book Department Coordinator:  It’s a topsy turvy world. The ability to step back and reassess how we react to things around us is a gift or luxury that most of us don’t have. We live fear-based lives that challenge us, and we do little to move past the “comfortable with the uncomfort” aspect we each grip onto. 

Buddhist nun Pema Chodron’s timely book presents us with three perspectives that help bring awareness and presence to our lives and emotions. Her writing style is incredibly accessible and heartfelt. It feels like she’s just across the table from you, sipping her tea and engaging in an earnest conversation. A book for anyone, regardless of their faith journey.

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Under the Whispering Door

By TJ Klune
Tor Books
Sept. 21, 2021

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From the publisher: Welcome to Charon’s Crossing. The tea is hot, the scones are fresh, and the dead are just passing through. When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead. And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead. But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days. Hilarious, haunting, and kind, this book is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

From Jeffery Payne, Book Department Coordinator:  Quirky and absolutely delightful. The author’s deft touch in dealing with death, grief and living with second chances makes this a gem of a book. It’s a challenge to really like the main character at first but as the story moves forward there are glimpses of hope and redemption. The spirited (pun intended) characters will make you smile and think about the choices we make in this surprisingly joyful read.

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Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History

By Richard Thompson Ford
Simon & Schuster Paperbacks
Jan. 18,2022

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From the publisher: In “Dress Codes,” law professor and cultural critic Richard Thompson Ford presents a “deeply informative and entertaining” (The New York Times Book Review) history of the laws of fashion from the middle ages to the present day, a walk down history’s red carpet to uncover and examine the canons, mores, and customs of clothing–rules that we often take for granted. After reading Dress Codes, you’ll never think of fashion as superficial again–and getting dressed will never be the same.

From Jeffery Payne, Book Department Coordinator:  

Whether we wish to acknowledge it or not, we all have a clothing bias. Apparel has been used to send subtle (and not-so-subtle) messages to those around us and the great social masses. Think of the “power red tie” used by politicians, papal regalia and insignia, James Dean’s iconic dungarees and white t-shirt, and a drag queen’s over-the-top sequined and bedazzled flamboyant outfit. Each one of these represents a different attitude and presence that we all readily see and recognize. 

Richard Thompson Ford’s excellent book on the lineage of fashion explores and sheds light on the fascinating world of style and the myriad dictates of clothing. We learn how attire communicates, signals social strata and meaning to those around us. Explore the history of why we wear what we wear in this very engaging read.

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Kevin Simpson is a co-founder of The Colorado Sun and a general assignment writer and editor. He also oversees the Sun’s literary feature, SunLit, and the site’s cartoonists. A St. Louis native and graduate of the University of Missouri’s...