Recently, I celebrated my 6 month anniversary at my current job and decided it was time to take a day or two (or 100 *dreams*) off and go do something fun. I forced my best friend to take some time off work as well (what are friends for, right?) and decided to make Denver, CO home for 3 days. Denver is a wonderful place. The air is so crisp, the beer is abundant, the city is just busy enough (but not too busy), the people are friendly and there is TONS to do. For instance, eating lots of delicious food, taking a greyhound for a day trip to the mountains, waiting in an hour long line (whilst raining) for VooDoo donuts, shopping at 16th street mall, and exploring downtown in the rain. All great, stupendous, fun things but, visiting The Tattered Cover Bookstore was a highlight for me. There are multiple locations of Tattered Cover in the Denver area. They have a small location inside Union Station that I peeked through while waiting for a table at Snooze (has anyone been there?? Food is AMAZE). The haul took place at the LoDo location, and oh holy balls it was glorious inside. I’m not sure if I spent more time reading all of the recommendations on various new releases from the staff (one of my fav things about bookstores) or perusing the used book section. *Shout out to my bestie who patiently waited for me while I spent way to much time here.* Out of the 15 books I started with I pared it down to 6 that I thought I could reasonably fit into my backpack for the plane ride home.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin
On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is themotto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means. AJ. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island-from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude… (More on goodreads).
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut (my first Vonnegut, for shame I know)
In Breakfast of Champions, one of Kurt Vonnegut’s most beloved characters, the aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. What follows is murderously funny satire, as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth… (more on goodreads).
Four Friends – Robyn Carr
Gerri can’t decide what’s more devastating: learning her rock-solid marriage has big cracks, or the anger she feels as she tries to repair the damage. Always the anchor for friends and her three angst-ridden teenagers, it’s time to look carefully at herself. The journey for Gerri and her family is more than revealing—it’s transforming. Andy doesn’t have a great track record with men, and she’s come to believe that for her a lasting love is out of reach. When she finds herself attracted to her down-to-earth, ordinary contractor—a man without any of the qualities that usually appeal to her—she questions everything she thought she wanted in life… (more on goodreads).
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
When Tess Durbeyfield is driven by family poverty to claim kinship with the wealthy D’Urbervilles and seek a portion of their family fortune, meeting her ‘cousin’ Alec proves to be her downfall. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer her love and salvation, but Tess must choose whether to reveal her past or remain silent in the hope of a peaceful future. With its sensitive depiction of the wronged Tess and with it powerful criticism of social convention, Tess of the D’Urbervilles is one of the most moving and poetic of Hardy’s novels… (more on goodreads).
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath (not going to lie, Gilmore Girls inspired this choice)
Sylvia Plath’s shocking, realistic, and intensely emotional novel about a woman falling into the grip of insanity. Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic… (more on goodreads).
The Great Lover – Jill Dawson
In her old age, Nell Golightly receives a strange letter. A Tahitian woman, claiming to be the daughter of the poet Rupert Brooke, writes to ask her to describe him. And to explain why all of England remembered him. Turning her mind to the summer of 1909, Nell relives her first encounter with the young poet. She was sixteen, the new housemaid at the Orchard Tea Rooms in Grantchester, and he was the new tenant. Nell soon realizes that everyone he meets falls in love with him, while he remains flippant and flirtatious and, apparently, loves no one but himself. Worst of all, despite her good sense, even she seems to be falling under his spell…(more on goodreads).
What are you favorite bookstore to visit outside (or inside) your hometown??