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 “White Horse,” “Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir” and “Sisterhood of Sleuths.”
White Horse: A Novel
By Erika T. Wurth
From the publisher: Kari James, Urban Native, is a fan of heavy metal, ripped jeans, Stephen King novels, and dive bars. She spends most of her time at her favorite spot in Denver, a bar called White Horse. There, she tries her best to ignore her past and the questions surrounding her mother who abandoned her when she was just two years old.
But soon after her cousin Debby brings her a traditional bracelet that once belonged to Kari’s mother, Kari starts seeing disturbing visions of her mother and a mysterious creature. When the visions refuse to go away, Kari must uncover what really happened to her mother all those years ago.
From Becky LeJeune, event buyer/office manager: One of my absolute favorite books of the year! “White Horse” features lore-based horror and family trauma. It’s also a bit of a love letter to Denver and heavy metal music. I am here for all of it and you should be too!
Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir
By Akwaeke Emezi
Penguin Publishing Group
From the publisher: In three critically acclaimed novels, Akwaeke Emezi has introduced readers to a landscape marked by familial tensions, Igbo belief systems, and a boundless search for what it means to be free. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, the bestselling author of “The Death of Vivek Oji” reveals the harrowing yet resolute truths of their own life. Through candid, intimate correspondence with friends, lovers, and family, Emezi traces the unfolding of a self and the unforgettable journey of a creative spirit stepping into power in the human world.
From Mara Kalinoski, marketing coordinator: Akwaeke Emezi is pure magic. “Dear Senthuran” is a song, an adventure, a wound, and a balm all in one. This is their first memoir, proving that they are a master of every genre they write. The book covers so much territory, from the painful to the ecstatic. Told through a series of letters, the memoir gives us insight to Emezi’s relationships with humans, body, spirit, life and death, writing, and power. Their ability and willingness to bare their soul is a treasure that we don’t deserve.
Sisterhood of Sleuths
By Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
From the publisher: Maizy always assumed she knew everything about her grandmother, Jacuzzi. So when a box full of vintage Nancy Drew books gets left at her mom’s thrift store, Maizy is surprised to find an old photo of her grandmother and two other women tucked beneath the collection. Stranger still, when Maizy shows the photo to Jacuzzi she feigns ignorance, insisting the woman is someone else. Determined to learn the truth — and inspired by the legacy of Nancy Drew — Maizy launches her own investigation with the help of new friends, Nell and Cam. This intergenerational mystery filled with literary history, friendship, and family secrets delivers a captivating tribute to the world’s most famous girl detective.
From Marilyn Robbins, children’s program coordinator: Colorado author Jennifer Chambliss Bertman is a genius, no mystery about it! She has crafted a modern day mystery intertwined with the history of the Nancy Drew stories from almost 100 years ago. Maizy finds a box of the books outside her mom’s store. But what makes the box even more curious is the photo of her grandma inside one of the books. However, her grandma denies that it’s her, and to make matters worse, her best friend doesn’t seem to care about her anymore. “Sisterhood of Sleuths” is a mystery, but it is filled with humor, laughs, and a surprise or two.