Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, staff from Old Firehouse Books in Fort Collins recommend “Freshwater,” “Walkable City” and “The Black Company.”


By Akwaeke Emezi
Grove Press
December 2018


From the publisher: The astonishing debut novel from the acclaimed bestselling author tells the story of Ada, an unusual child who is a source of deep concern to her southern Nigerian family. Young Ada is troubled, prone to violent fits. Born “with one foot on the other side,” she begins to develop separate selves within her as she grows into adulthood. 

And when she travels to America for college, a traumatic event on campus crystallizes the selves into something powerful and potentially dangerous, making Ada fade into the background of her own mind as these alters – now protective, now hedonistic – move into control. 

From Heather, Bookseller: “Freshwater” is a book that challenges what we know and think about narration, perspective, character, and storytelling. This speculative fiction is grounded in Igbo legend and ontology and wears many faces. At the center of it all is “the Ada” a human stuffed full of gods, otherwise known as brothersisters, negotiating her past traumas and her/their sacred truths in pursuit of a fluid reality. Hers are lives fractured, put together, and fractured again. This is just a work that you’ll have to experience to put into words how brilliant this author is. 

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time

By Jeff Speck
North Point Press
November 2022


From the publisher: Jeff Speck has dedicated his career to determining what makes cities thrive. And he has boiled it down to one key factor: walkability. Making downtown into a walkable, viable community is the essential fix for the typical American city; it is eminently achievable and its benefits are manifold. Bursting with sharp observations and key insights into how urban change happens, “Walkable City” lays out a practical, necessary, and inspiring vision for how to make American cities great again.

From Sterling, Bookseller: Speck’s theory of walkability has been condensed into one engaging book! Thoroughly researched and yet not too dense due to the occasional anecdote, this book lays out fascinating knowledge on the way cities work and examines many aspects of what makes good lives for citizens. It brings together many of my favorite subjects, ranging all the way from sustainability and community building to infrastructure and economics. 

The Black Company

By Glen Cook
Tor Fantasy
March 1992


From the publisher: Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead. Until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. There must be a way for the Black Company to find her…So begins one of the greatest fantasy epics of our age—Glen Cook’s Chronicles of the Black Company.

From Allison, Bookbuyer: Cook is, certainly to me, the forefather of both “grimdark” fantasy and military fantasy, and on a re-read this first book of the Black Company series is still one of my absolute favorites. The stakes are earth-shattering, and the scope somehow stays intimate. I mean this entirely as a compliment, but Cook has never met a plot in which he didn’t go “women are perfect when they’re a little evil.” 


Old Firehouse Books

232 Walnut St., Fort Collins


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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