The best in books |

The best in books

Kelli KostroskiSpecial to the DailyVail, CO Colorado

On an average Monday morning, The Bookworm of Edwards receives 35 cases of newly released books, which contribute to the 14,000-15,000 books occupying the shelves. It’s not easy to wade through new releases, bestsellers, book club picks and staff selections, which is why the Bookworm hosts a twice yearly Wine & Words event. Top reads of the season, books you can’t put down and the best of what’s to come will be the focus, along with the longstanding mantra of independent bookstores everywhere – there’s nothing like a good book!In an effort to share the power of the written word – and to help guide readers to the best in literature this autumn – Tuesday’s event will feature handpicked book selections from Eric Boss, publisher representative from Penguin Group; Lisa Ekelman, Bookworm bookseller; and Julie Cantrell, author of “Into the Free.” Cantrell will sign copies of her novel at the event.Many of the 15 titles featured Tuesday will appeal to book club and individual readers alike. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the books the three speakers will discuss. A complete list of titles will be available on the night of the event.Author Julie Cantrell, book club heroAs a busy mom of two active kids, author Julie Cantrell is always on the move.”I teach English as a second language to elementary students, serve as an active volunteer on our local literacy council, and operate a sustainable farm with my husband,” she said. “In the wee hours of the morning, I put on my writer hat and try to put words to page. I’ve always been an avid reader, and I am drawn to a wide variety of books and authors. My two favorite authors are Barbara Kingsolver and Gail Tsukiyama, but I’m always excited to find a unique voice or a new twist on old themes. The books I’ve selected for this event all meet that standard, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to share them with readers in Colorado.” Currently Cantrell is editing her second novel, set to hit bookstores around this time next year.She recommends: “In ‘The Vanishing Act’ by Mette Jakobsen, readers will be captivated by this mystical tale set on a cold and isolated island,” Cantrell said. “The story seems to have no real beginning or end, but carries us into a dreamlike fantasy in which everyone is seeking truth. With a dead boy’s body washed to shore, a mother who has vanished, and a cast of fascinating post-war exiles, this debut novel dips into the debates of philosophy and dances along the line of insanity. Perhaps it can best be described as unique.”Eric Boss knows booksPenguin rep Eric Boss has been selling books, on and off, since the early 1970s.”I have labored in the mines of a library book jobber, the publication arm of Planned Parenthood, a regional wholesaler, a college bookstore and a monstrously large New York publisher,” he said. “The last 22 years of my life have been spent in bookstores: 10 in one I managed, 12 as a publisher’s rep. I truly don’t know what else I could or would want to do.”He recommends: “‘On Canaan’s Side’ by Sebastian Barry is the most beautifully written book I have read in many years,” Boss said. “It is heartbreaking, strong, deep and has great meaning for every reader, male or female. The protagonist is epic, the story is sweeping and sad but redemptive.”Lisa Ekelman lives and works to readLisa Ekelman has been a familiar face at The Bookworm of Edwards for more than two years now. “I have found friendship, a sense of community, good coffee and crepes, and many wonderful books at the bookstore,” she said. “I believe in the power of book and that books are necessary to deepen intelligence and enrich a soul.”She recommends: “‘The Prisoner of Heaven’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafon is the third installment in The Cemetery of Forgotten Book series, which the author states ‘can be read in any order, enabling the reader to explore the labyrinth of stories along different paths,'” Ekelman said. “This book is a perfect read for fall with stylish writing, Gothic atmosphere and a love letter to a classic 19th century novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexandre Dumas. Set in Barcelona, Spain, during Franco’s reign in 1957, it is an epic tale of imprisonment, betrayal, murder and love.”Kelli Kostroski is the marketing and events manager at The Bookworm of Edwards.

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