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Bring on the books

Nicole Magistro
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyOn Friday at The Bookworm of Edwards, three publisher representatives and a bookseller got to present their darlings for this season's new releases.
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EDWARDS, Colorado – Readers have come to expect big things from the semi-annual book talks put on by industry experts at The Bookworm. Dubbed Wine and Words, the events attract librarians, book-club members and the valley’s own authors and literature lovers. None was left without a copious program filled with notes on Friday night, when three publisher representatives and a bookseller got to present their darlings for this season’s new releases.

“The best part of what we do is to choose our absolute favorites,” said Kate McCune, of HarperCollins. From a big-hearted comic novel about the Iraq War (“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” by Ben Fountain) to the prairie version of “The Heart of Darkness” (“Canada,” by Richard Ford), McCune’s favorites centered around comic stories told in the face of tragedy.

Jeff Cope, of Macmillan Publishing Services, highlighted historical books narrated for a wide audience. Whether you’re a fan of “Downton Abbey” (“American Heiress,” by Daisy Godwin) or you’re interested in the historical range wars between cattle ranchers and sheep herders (“Little Century,” by Anna Keesey), there was a book of lasting value.

McCune and Liz Sullivan, of Random House, also bantered about which of their favorites might earn the big literary prizes for the year. Ford and Fountain are contenders, but the jury is still out. Toni Morrison’s “Home” certainly made an impression on the crowd.

“It’s the best book Morrison has written in 25 years, as good as ‘Beloved,’ as good as ‘Sula,’ and it’s only 160 pages,” Sullivan said. “This is the most condensed, perfect writing I’ve ever read.”

Among the attendees, there was much clamor for two older books. “His Brother’s Keeper,” by Jonathan Weiner, sold out immediately. McCune told the audience it was one of the best books she’s ever been involved with, that it’s bound to change their lives.

“Here is a medical mystery filled with suspense, yet shares a lesson about how you live with the time you have left,” she said.

Before the book goes out of print, readers also snapped up Paul Auster’s decade-old novel, “The Book of Illusion.” Reading the audience a teaser from the opening chapter, Cope then called the book “a mystery with a twist at the end that is mindbending. It’s his best book ever.”

Readers also got a chance to taste appetizers from Alice Hart’s cookbook “Vegetarian.”

“It’s a great way to try before you buy,” said Kristi Feichtinger, Bookworm co-owner and cafe chef. “Our staff loves the recipes, and they were fun to make.”

For a complete list of titles presented, visit http://www.bookwormofedwards.com.


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