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, the staff from Park Hill Community Bookstore in Denver recommends “Black Sheep,” “Enders Game” and “Paradise.”

Black Sheep: Unleash the Extraordinary, Awe-Inspiring, Undiscovered You

By Brant Menswar
Page Two Books
List price: $24.95
; PHCB Price (if available): $3 PB; $5 HC
September 2020
Purchase: In store only

From the publisher: Do you know why farmers value black sheep differently than the rest of the flock? Because their wool cannot be changed. Every black sheep is 100% authentically original. We each possess Black Sheep qualities, and they cannot be changed, just like a black sheep’s wool. Most of us cannot identify our core values, but everyone has them. Unsurprisingly, they are born from experience. Since all of us have different pasts, each combination of Five is what separates us from the rest of the flock. Once realized, you won’t have to wing it staying committed to the things that matter most. 

From Jay Morrison, Volunteer: I was lucky enough to hear Brant speak at a conference last year in beautiful Key West where he held the audience with rapt attention. He comes from a career in the music world of 20 years, but now he is a top ten motivational speaker. He gets to interact with an amazing number of people. As it turns out, many of us long to live with purpose and be a positive and loving influence on those around us. I’ve since learnt my Flock of Five and enjoy feeding them.

Ender’s Game

By Orson Scott Card
MacMillan (imprint Tor Books)
List price: $15.95; PHCB price (6 of the 16 Card novels are available): $3 PB; $5 HC

Purchase: In store only

From the publisher: Once again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who?

Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child. Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. He excels in simulated war games. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game. Isn’t it?

From Jack Farrar, Member: “Ender’s Game” is among the most influential novels in the science fiction genre.  Written by Orson Scott Card in 1977 for the Analog of Science Fiction and Fact, and later published for broad readership in 1985, the book is about the use of psychological tactics to defeat an insectoid alien species.  Andrew “Ender” Wiggins is one of a group of brilliant young people, some as young as 6, who have been isolated from their parents and rigorously  trained to determine successful strategies against the enemy. 

The original book, the first science fiction work to be published online, has been updated by the author to reflect changes in world events, such as the breakup of the Soviet Union and the rise of China. Many of the tactics described in the book have been studied by the U.S. Marine Corps. Card is a devout Mormon, causing one critic to call his work “biblical” fiction.


By Abdulrazak Gurnah
The New Press
List price: $22.95 PB; PHCB price (if available): $3 PB; $5 HC
May 1995

Purchase: In store only

From the publisher: Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award, “Paradise” was characterized by the Nobel Prize committee as Abdulrazak Gurnah’s “breakthrough” work. It is at once the chronicle of an African boy’s coming-of-age, a tragic love story, and a tale of the corruption of African tradition by European colonialism.

Sold by his father in repayment of a debt, 12-year-old Yusuf is thrown from his simple rural life into complexities of pre-colonial urban East Africa. Through Yusuf’s eyes, Gurnah depicts communities at war, trading safaris gone awry, and the universal trials of adolescence.

From Sheryl Hartmann, Volunteer: As far as I can tell, after doing some research, the time period for this novel is around WWI and the area covers what is modern-day Kenya and Tanzania which used to be Tanganyika and Zanzibar. I was especially interested in the variety of ethnicities and religious practices (Muslim, Christian, and Hindu) of the characters and also in the details of putting together the trade caravans that travel to unpredictable African villages not knowing if the village leaders will be welcoming or menacing. I got lost in the vivid descriptions of landscapes and tribal rituals. 


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.

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