What are we reading? | VailDaily.com

What are we reading?

Daily Staff Writer

The Bookworm of Edwards

1. “Queen’s Fool,” by Phillipa Gregory: In this eagerly awaited sequel to “The Other Boleyn Girl,” Gregory returns to Tudor England, where the offspring of Henry VIII ascend to the throne amid treason, poisonous rivalries, accusations of heresy and unrequited love.

2. “The Other Boleyn Girl,” by Phillipa Gregory: The daughters of a ruthlessly ambitious family, Mary and Anne Boleyn are sent to the court of Henry VIII to attract the attention of the king, who first takes Mary as his mistress and then Anne as his wife.

3. “Angels and Demons,” by Dan Brown: When Harvard symbolist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist, he discovers evidence of the unimaginable.

4. “Da Vinci Code,” by Dan Brown: When a curator of the Louvre turns up murdered, his body surrounded by enigmatic ciphers written in invisible ink, code-breaker Robert Langdon and a French cryptologist are called in to unravel the clues to the killing.

5. “Seeing Colorado’s Forests for the Tree,” by John Fielder: This colorful book features spectacular photographic images and a lesson on forest ecology.

#6 ~ Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel

7. “Present: The Gift that Makes You Happier and More Successful at Work and in Life, Today!,” by Spencer Johnson: An engaging story of a boy’s journey to adulthood, and his search for “The Present.”

8. “Secret Life of Bees,” by Sue Monk Kidd: Lily Owens has shaped her life around one devastating, blurred memory – the afternoon her mother was killed. Since then, her only real companion on the peach farm of her harsh, unyielding father has been a fierce-hearted black woman, Rosaleen. When Rosaleen insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily knows it is time to spring them both free.

9. “Climb to Conquer,” by Peter Shelton The untold story of the WW II’s 10th Mountain Division ski troops.

10. “Last Juror,” by John Grisham: William Traynor, a 23-year-old, takes over a small Southern town’s newspaper with some financial help from a rich relative. A brutal rape/murder by a member of a feared family who has previously been above the law begins a chain of events that lead William to some dangerous circumstances.

Verbatim Booksellers in Lionshead

1. “Body and Soul,” by Frank Conroy: A child prodigy’s musical genius pulls him out of squalor and into the drawing rooms of the rich and a gilt-edged marriage. But the same talent that transforms him also hurtles Claude into a lonely world of obsession and relentless ambition.

2. “Wicked,” by Gregory Maquire: When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil? In Maguire’s Oz, animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil. Maguire is one of five authors to be featured at the Festival of Words in April to be held at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa.

3. “In the Deep Heart’s Core,” by Michael Johnston:

In the fall of 1997, Vail Mountain School graduate Michael Johnston went to the rural Mississippi Delta – the “deep heart’s core” of the South – as a member of the Teach for America program, enabling him to become an English teacher in one of the poorest districts in the nation. He confronted a racially divided world in which his African-American students had to struggle daily against a legacy of crippling poverty, drug addiction and gang violence that ravaged their community. This novel tells the story of how Johnston reached out to inspire his teenage students with all the means at his disposal – from the language of the great poets to the strategies of chess to the vigor of athletics.


In the fall of 1997, VMS alumni Michael Johnston went to the rural Mississippi Delta – the “deep heart’s core” of the South – as a member of the Teach for America program, to become an English teacher in one of the poorest districts in the nation. Johnston tells how he reached out to inspire his teenage students with all the means at his disposal – from the language of the great poets to the strategies of chess to the vigor of athletics. Vibrantly alive with the rich atmosphere of the Mississippi Delta – the haunting beauty of its hollows and the aching tragedy of its history – it is an inspiring and unforgettable story of one young man’s experience in the Teach for America program, and of how a new generation of teachers is reaching out to give hope to the students society has forgotten.

4. “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” by Tracy Chevalier: History and fiction merge in this novel about artistic vision and sensual awakening. The story of 16-year-old Griet, whose life is transformed by her brief encounter with genius, even as she herself is immortalized in canvas and oil.

5. “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” by Patricia Schultz: A book for travelers, both the real and the armchair. An around-the-world, continent-by-continent listing of places you must see on and off the beaten track. The prose seizes on exactly what makes each entry worthy of inclusion. And, following the romance, the nuts and bolts: addresses, phone and fax numbers, Web sites, costs, best times to visit. Of special interest are subject-specific indexes – beaches, destination restaurants, world-class museums.

6. “Power of One,” by Bryce Courtenay: Set in a world torn apart, where man enslaves his fellow man and freedom remains elusive, the story of one young man’s search for the love that binds friends, the passion that binds lovers and the realization that it takes only one to change the world. A weak and friendless boy growing up in South Africa during World War II, Peekay turns to two older men, one black and one white, to show him how to find the courage to dream, to succeed, to triumph over a world when all seems los, and to inspire him to summon up the most irrersistible force of all: the Power of One.

7. “One Thousand White Women,” by Jim Fergus: The story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the Western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial “Brides for Indians” program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man’s world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime.

8 “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” by Mitch Albom: From the author of “Tuesdays with Morrie” comes a novel that explores the unexpected connections of readers’ lives and the idea that heaven is more than a place – it’s an answer.

9. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time,” by Mark Haddon: Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions and although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Then, at 15, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing. Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion.

10. “Screwtape Letters,” by C. S. Lewis: In this humorous and perceptive exchange between two devils, C. S. Lewis delves into moral questions about good versus evil, temptation, repentance, and grace.

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