Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, staff from BookBar in Denver recommend “Lucy by the Sea,” “Falling” and “Damnation Spring.”

Lucy by the Sea

By Elizabeth Strout
Random House Publishing Group
September 2022


From the publisher: As a panicked world goes into lockdown, Lucy Barton is uprooted from her life in Manhattan and bundled away to a small town in Maine by her ex-husband and on-again, off-again friend, William. For the next several months, it’s just Lucy, William, and their complex past together in a little house nestled against the moody, swirling sea.

From Marilyn Robbins, Children’s Program Coordinator: I don’t know how she did it, but Elizabeth Strout just told our collective pandemic story as seen through the eyes of Lucy Barton. At the beginning of the pandemic, Lucy’s ex-husband, William, asks her to join him on the coast of Maine. Here begins Lucy’s lockdown that so accurately mirrors ours, including the fear, the empty shelves in the grocery stores, and the realization that quarantine will actually be more than a few weeks as well as the Black Lives Matter protests, the January 6 insurrection, and finally being able to get vaccinated. It’s good for our hearts to recognize how we are all survivors, and how our life is better because of it.


By T.J. Newman
Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster
May 2022


From the publisher: You just boarded a flight to New York. There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard. What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped. For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die. The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane. Enjoy the flight.

From Becky LeJeune, Event Buyer/Office Manager: When the pilot’s family is taken hostage, he has one choice to make: lose them or crash the plane. In this case, though, the pilot is intent on losing no one. What an intense and fun ride T.J. Newman’s debut is! I don’t think I’ll ever look at flight attendants the same again!

Damnation Spring

By Ash Davidson
May 2022


From the publisher:

Colleen and Rich Gundersen are raising their young son, Chub, on the rugged California coast. It’s 1977, and life in this Pacific Northwest logging town isn’t what it used to be. For generations, the community has lived and breathed timber; now that way of life is threatened.

Colleen is an amateur midwife. Rich is a tree-topper. It’s a dangerous job that requires him to scale trees hundreds of feet tall—a job that both his father and grandfather died doing. Colleen and Rich want a better life for their son—and they take steps to assure their future. Rich secretly spends their savings on a swath of ancient redwoods. But when Colleen, grieving the loss of a recent pregnancy and desperate to have a second child, challenges the logging company’s use of the herbicides she believes are responsible for the many miscarriages in the community, Colleen and Rich find themselves on opposite sides of a budding conflict. As tensions in the town rise, they threaten the very thing the Gundersens are trying to protect: their family.

From Bess Maher, Event Liaison: This beautifully written novel explores the intersection of the early environmental movement and logging in California’s redwood forests. It’s not often you find a novel that is both a page-turner and a nuanced look at an important environmental issue – and also won the Reading the West Debut Fiction award as well as being named a Best Book of the Year by several publications.



4280 Tennyson St., Denver


As part of The Colorado Sun’s literature section — SunLit — we’re featuring staff picks from book stores across the state. Read more.

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