Park Hill Community Bookstore staff picks

Each week as part of SunLit — The Sun’s literature section — we feature staff recommendations from book stores across Colorado. This week, staff from Park Hill Community Bookstore in Denver recommend “Prisoners of Geography,” “The Power of Geography” and “Freedom Over Me.”

The Park Hill Community Bookstore has been around for over 50 years with the goal of expanding literacy within the community. It generally has about 15,000 used books on its shelves with most books priced between $3 and $5. While the store can’t guarantee that the books it recommends will still be on its shelves should you happen to stop by, it can guarantee that you’ll have a generous selection of book categories to browse through, including lots of children’s books.

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World

By Tim Marshall
List price: $18.99; PHCB price: $3.00
October 2016

Purchase: In store only

From the publisher: Maps have a mysterious hold over us. Whether ancient, crumbling parchments or generated by Google, maps tell us things we want to know, not only about our current location or where we are going but about the world in general. And yet, when it comes to geopolitics, much of what we are told is generated by analysts and other experts who have neglected to refer to a map of the place in question.

All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. Now updated to include 2016 geopolitical developments, journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the U.S., Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders.

This book is similar to:

The Power of Geography:
Ten Maps That Reveal the Future of Our World

By Tim Marshall
List price: $28.00; PHCB price: $5.00
November 2021

Purchase: In store only

From the publisher: Now, Marshall takes us into ten regions set to shape global politics. Find out why US interest in the Middle East will wane; why Australia is now beginning an epic contest with China; how Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the UK are cleverly positioning themselves for greater power; why Ethiopia can control Egypt; and why Europe’s next refugee crisis looms closer than we think, as does a cutting-edge arms race to control space.

From Sheryl Hartmann, Volunteer PHCB: There are innumerable forces shaping our world today: politics; culture; environment; economics; and geography. These two books from Tim Marshall can help us understand what geography has to do with the forces that shape our world view.

Freedom Over Me

By Ashley Bryan
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
List Price:  $17.99; PHCB Price: $5.00
September 2016

Purchase: In store only

From the publisher: Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a person with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.

This gentle yet deeply powerful way goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that can’t be bought or sold: dreams.

From Linda Baie, Volunteer Coordinator, PHCB: I am grateful to have discovered this book by Ashley Bryan, his tribute imagined from a real document listing a plantation’s properties for sale. Part of those included a herd of cattle — $864, one bay mare — $100, and 10 slaves, named, but appraised at varied prices.With lush, evocative portraits of each and one of the whole group, with collages around each, Bryan has imagined in free verse how they might introduce themselves, and on a second page, their dreams. It is a gorgeous and poignant book that shows both the beauty of the people who were slaves combined with the heartache and the reality of slavery.


Park Hill Community Bookstore

4620 E 23rd Ave, Denver

(303) 355-8508

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

The Colorado Sun

Posts by Colorado Sun staff writers and editors. Email: Twitter: @ColoradoSun