The most recommended books about Denver

Who picked these books? Meet our 23 experts.

23 authors created a book list connected to Denver, and here are their favorite Denver books.
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Book cover of Laughing Boy: A Navajo Love Story

Grant Carrington Author Of Down in the Barraque

From my list on non-sci-fi that a sci-fi writer likes.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a computer programmer (BA and MA in math) for several organizations, including NASA and the Savannah River Ecology Lab before retirement, went to the Clarion and Tulane SF&F Workshops, and read the slush pile for Amazing/Fantastic. I’ve done a lot of theatre as actor and lighting tech, have always liked to hike in the woods, have written 11 novels (including 3 published SF novels), had 5 plays given full production, and have 2 CDs of my original songs. In my copious spare time, I sleep.

Grant's book list on non-sci-fi that a sci-fi writer likes

Grant Carrington Why did Grant love this book?

LaFarge’s first novel, Laughing Boy, about the love affair between a reservation Indian and one who had been raised in a religious school, won the 1930 Pulitzer Prize. LaFarge spent much of his life fighting for Native American rights, sometimes in the “dark of Washington.” I wanted to grow up to be an Indian. I still do.

By Oliver La Farge, Wanden Lafarge Gomez,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Laughing Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize: “A romantic idyll played out in the rhythms and meanings of a vanished Navajo world.” —The Denver Post

Laughing Boy is a model member of his tribe. Raised in old traditions, skilled in silver work, and known for his prowess in the wild horse races, he does the Navajos of T’o Tlakai proud. But times are changing. It is 1914, and the first car has just driven into their country. Then, Laughing Boy meets Slim Girl—and despite her “American” education and the warnings of his family, he gives in to desire and marries her.
 
As…


Book cover of The Saturday Night Supper Club

Andrea Christenson Author Of How Sweet It Is: A Deep Haven Novel

From my list on when you’re in the mood for food.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an aspiring foodie and a huge lover of books with a great food subplot (or main plot!). I’ve been known to read cookbooks for fun and probably the most thumbed book in our house is my copy of The Joy of Cooking. I’m a firm believer in reading books at the lunch table and that no book should be read without a cup of coffee and a cookie (at the minimum) near one’s elbow. Hopefully you find these books to be as drool-worthy as I did!

Andrea's book list on when you’re in the mood for food

Andrea Christenson Why did Andrea love this book?

This first book in the Supper Club trilogy is a personal favorite of mine. Nothing pairs better than a good book and good food.

Carla Laureano inspired me to try some new foods with her descriptions of what Chef Rachel Bishop cooks for her friends. The friendships are spot on, the romance is simmering, and the takeaways (as in lessons learned, not as in a curry from your corner shop) are meaningful.

By Carla Laureano,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Saturday Night Supper Club as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

RITA Award winner!

“A terrific read from a talented author. Made me hungry more than once. I can’t wait to read what comes next.”
―Francine Rivers, New York Times bestselling author of The Masterpiece

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means…


Book cover of Zero Proof: 90 Non-Alcoholic Recipes for Mindful Drinking

Hilary Sheinbaum Author Of The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month

From my list on dry months and dry lifestyles.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been completing Dry Januarys (and other sober months) since 2017! In turn, I’ve felt more energized, more positive, have experienced better sleep and better skin, among other benefits. I think giving up alcohol for any amount of time is beneficial and I encourage people to try it.

Hilary's book list on dry months and dry lifestyles

Hilary Sheinbaum Why did Hilary love this book?

With recipes from renowned bars all over the world -- including Death & Co in Denver and NYC, Employees Only, The Aviary NYC, Broken Shaker in LA, Everleaf Drinks in London, and Little Red Door in Paris -- the book serves as the ultimate guide to making (and enjoying!) well-balanced non-alcoholic cocktails. The beverages are tasty, visual, creative, and fun to concoct, and will motivate you to stay dry for a month (and beyond).

By Elva Ramirez, Robert Bredvad (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zero Proof as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

90 spirit-free cocktail recipes from leading and lauded mixologists across the country

More than 100 years after Prohibition was enacted, bartenders are actually excited about people not drinking again. From Dry January and alcohol-free bars opening around the country to people interested in abstaining from drinking for better health, the no-proof movement is one of today's fastest-growing lifestyle choices, as consumers become more mindful and re-examine their relationship to alcohol. The no-proof drinker could be anyone, and even traditional bars have taken note with no-alcohol offerings. What do the world's most talented bartenders concoct when they can't use booze? This…


Book cover of Secret Denver: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure

Lisa J. Shultz Author Of Essential Denver: Discovery and Exploration Guide

From my list on to explore Denver for newcomers or locals.

Why am I passionate about this?

A few years ago, I began rediscovering my hometown of Denver as I walked neighborhoods and revisited landmarks of the city that I had not seen since I was a kid. Essential Denver highlights the fabulous things the city offers from my perspective as a Denver native. I encourage readers to explore Denver, plan outings, and become involved in the community. I hope this Denver book list sparks more interest in landmarks, treasures, and the history of Denver to ensure the city’s future is strong and vital. 

Lisa's book list on to explore Denver for newcomers or locals

Lisa J. Shultz Why did Lisa love this book?

After reading a lot of Denver history and guidebooks, I found Secret Denver a fun addition to my collection. Sometimes I enjoy going off the beaten path of traditional guidebooks, and Secret Denver has ideas of what to explore and obscure facts that are interesting. Not all entries are in Denver proper, so one can also go outside the city limits for a few outings if desired. 

By Eric Peterson, David Lewis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Secret Denver as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Where do the tunnels under the Colorado State Capitol go and why were they dug there in the first place? What is the backstory behind Tom’s Baby, the largest piece of gold ever unearthed in Colorado? Denver may be known worldwide as the Mile High City, but its elevation is just one item on a long list of anomalies. In Secret Denver: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure you’ll find many more quirks and mysteries to explore. Learn why Lakeside is one of the most historic amusement parks in the nation. Discover cemeteries repurposed as parks, streets once…


Book cover of Swimming with the Dead: An Underwater Investigation

Nicholas Harvey Author Of Twelve Mile Bank

From my list on female scuba diving thrillers and mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

My wife suggested we try scuba diving while on holiday in Grand Cayman. We were already falling in love with the island, and the incredible experience underwater opened a whole new world to us. From that moment on, our yearly travels changed completely. Our destination choices were now based upon diving opportunities. That was twenty years ago. Today, I’m a certified divemaster with dives all over the US (including Hawaii), the Caribbean (including Cuba), Australia, and even Iceland. Throw in my sense of adventure as a former race car driver, motorcycle rider, and outdoor adventurer, and I had plenty of personal experiences to create the AJ Bailey series.

Nicholas' book list on female scuba diving thrillers and mysteries

Nicholas Harvey Why did Nicholas love this book?

Kathy’s series – which I wish she’d continue one day – inspired me to include my passion for scuba diving in my novels. Her main character, Hannah Sampson, is a member of the Denver Underwater CSI team, who’s asked to help the police in the British Virgin Islands investigate a case. Needless to say, she stays on the island for the following books and becomes embroiled in hair-raising cases that challenge her above and below the water.

Kathy published her series at a time when very few novels centered around diving, and certainly didn’t include a female protagonist. I found her work transported me to the islands, and enthused me to create AJ Bailey and subsequently, Nora Sommer.

By Kathy Brandt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Swimming with the Dead as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Murder runs deep in a thrilling new series.
An Underwater Investigation featuring C.S.I. diver Hannah Sampson.

Summoned to the sun-drenched beaches of the British Virgin Islands, Hannah Sampson is fully prepared to face unknowable dangers beneath the crystal-clear waters of an idyllic paradise. But the possibility of murder runs deeper and darker than the sea itself. Her police commissioner's son-an expert diver and researcher-was found dead, pinned under the submerged wreckage of a cargo ship. Whatever the victim was looking for, he found.

Whatever he found was the death of him. Now Hannah must discover for herself what lies beneath-a…


Book cover of Tell Me What You Like

Iza Moreau Author Of The News in Small Towns

From my list on mysteries featuring lesbian detectives.

Why am I passionate about this?

Halfway through my first novel, I realized that I was writing in a genre that had received little critical study and had almost no visibility. To find my way around the genre—and my place within it—I began reading heavily and before I knew it, I had read well over 200 lesbian mystery novels and devoured almost every serious review and critical study The dozen books I have written over the last decade reflect this study. In them, I hope I have succeeded in expanding the genre in some small way and adding to the menu of a hungry and discerning LGBTQ audience. 

Iza's book list on mysteries featuring lesbian detectives

Iza Moreau Why did Iza love this book?

Like Nikki Baker’s novels, Tell Me What You Like is driven by its narration. Alison Kaine, the protagonist of the novel, works for the Denver Police Department. But unlike most protagonists of lesbian policiers—who tend to be sergeants or detectives—Alison is a lowly officer. Because she is an out lesbian, she is assigned to investigate the murder of a leather dyke outside a lesbian bar, and is slowly drawn into the stories of the bar’s other denizens. And, not quite against her will, she slides into the darker subculture of BDSM, with whips and collars and a dominatrix named Anastasia. 

By Kate Allen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tell Me What You Like as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alison Kaine, lesbian cop, enters the world of leather-dykes after a woman is brutally murdered at a Denver bar. In this fast-paced, yet slyly humorous novel, Allen confronts the sensitive issues of S/M, queer-bashers and women-identified sex workers.


Book cover of The Modern Bohemian Table: Gathering with Friends and Entertaining in Style

Lauren Thomas Author Of The Modern Hippie Table: Recipes and Menus for Eating Simply and Living Beautifully

From my list on lifestyle books for cooking, entertaining and tablescaping.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a child of divorce who moved around often, cooking and entertaining was consistent in my life on both sides of my family. The comforting smells and traditions around food in the home became a religion to me—something I could count on. My grandmother was a hostess to be admiredher impeccable entertaining etiquette was where my love of hosting was born. My degree in psychology lends itself to sharing what’s so important about creating intentional gatherings at the table. My education and passion for creative arts pair well with my husband’s expertise as an Architect, where we understand the importance of creating inviting spaces for people to occupy.

Lauren's book list on lifestyle books for cooking, entertaining and tablescaping

Lauren Thomas Why did Lauren love this book?

As an event planner, Amanda shares her tips for how to host beautiful and meaningful gatherings with friends from small and simple to a larger outdoor party, all of which she uses a bohemian vibe to do so. Her ideas for throwing themed parties are creative, fun, and doable, and I love how she organizes them by season. Her bohemian style uses interesting contrasts, the mixing and matching of tableware and linens, and is a vibe based on feeling rather than rules. There are so many good tips on how to be the best hostess using good planning, calculating how much food you’ll need, and also how to pick drinks to complement your meal.

By Amanda Bernardi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Modern Bohemian Table as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn the rules, traditions and customs of table setting and entertaining and how to incorporate principles of bohemian design.

The Modern Bohemian Table teaches you how to: Build an heirloom tabletop collection; Design a welcoming and beautiful table; Calculate how much food you need you for each gathering; Select wine or other drinks to complement the meal.

And inspires you with over 20 fresh and fun party ideas, broken up into seasons, including: Morrocan Rooftop Soiree; Wine Night; Medieval-Inspired Feast; Garden Gathering; Apres-Ski Get-Together.

From tablescapes to menu planning, napkin folding to cocktail mixing, learn to gather your favorite people…


Book cover of Hell's Belles, Revised Edition: Prostitution, Vice, and Crime in Early Denver, With a Biography of Sam Howe, Frontier Lawman

Randi Samuelson-Brown Author Of Market Street Madam

From my list on the dark side of the Wild West.

Why am I passionate about this?

I recall the exact moment when my interest sparked about frontier prostitution and Denver’s underbelly — a friend mentioned the ‘bad blood’ in her family — an ancestor who was a second-rate madam and who employed her own daughters. The quest started. Who were these women, and why did they make the choices they did? I’ve spent years chasing down traces of the old west’s prostitutes, fascinated by their identities and lives. The west had opportunities for women who were willing to take chances. As a fifth-generation Coloradoan, I hoped to capture the story of these enterprising and overlooked women, their lives, and the world around them.

Randi's book list on the dark side of the Wild West

Randi Samuelson-Brown Why did Randi love this book?

This is a no-holds-barred account of prostitution in Denver’s Market Street district with all the accompanying Wild West behavior this implies. Secrest’s account is well researched, the photographs are fascinating, and it brings the seedy side of old Denver back to life! Be prepared for rather graphic descriptions of “the trade” replete with accounts of alcohol, drugs, and varying forms of violence and crime. A must-read for people interested in Denver’s History, the Wild West, or frontier prostitution.

By Clark Secrest,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hell's Belles, Revised Edition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This updated and revised edition of Hell's Belles takes the reader on a soundly researched, well-documented, and amusing journey back to the early days of Denver. Clark Secrest details the evolution of Denver's prostitution, the gambling, the drug addicts, and the corrupt politicians and police who, palms outstretched, allowed it all to happen. Also included in Hell's Belles is a biography of one of Denver's original police officers, Sam Howe, upon whose crime studies the book is based.

 

The popular veneer of Denver's present-day Market Street - its fancy bars, posh restaurants, and Coors Field - is stripped away to…


Book cover of A Short History of Denver

Lisa J. Shultz Author Of Essential Denver: Discovery and Exploration Guide

From my list on to explore Denver for newcomers or locals.

Why am I passionate about this?

A few years ago, I began rediscovering my hometown of Denver as I walked neighborhoods and revisited landmarks of the city that I had not seen since I was a kid. Essential Denver highlights the fabulous things the city offers from my perspective as a Denver native. I encourage readers to explore Denver, plan outings, and become involved in the community. I hope this Denver book list sparks more interest in landmarks, treasures, and the history of Denver to ensure the city’s future is strong and vital. 

Lisa's book list on to explore Denver for newcomers or locals

Lisa J. Shultz Why did Lisa love this book?

An outstanding history book of Denver filled with interesting details. Short enough not to bore me. Detailed enough to grasp the significant events, people, buildings, and aspects of Denver that give it a well-rounded and thorough view. Well organized and researched. This book is a treasure for Denver's history. I applaud and appreciate the authors for putting their knowledge and research into the hands of the public is such an easy-to-read book form.

By Stephen J. Leonard, Thomas J. Noel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Short History of Denver as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Short History of Denver covers more than 150 years of Denver's rich history. The book recounts the takeover of Native American lands, the founding of small towns on the South Platte River at the base of the Rocky Mountains, and the creation of a city, which by 1890 was among the nation's major western urban centers. Leonard and Noel tell the stories of powerful economic and political leaders such as John Evans, Horace Tabor, and David Moffat, and delve into the contributions of women, including Elizabeth Byers and Margaret (Molly) Brown. The book also recognizes the importance of the…


Book cover of Moose Be Love

Lark Holiday Author Of A Darling Handyman

From my list on wholesome romance with charming small towns.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always had a passion for small towns, both real and fictional. After living in a bunch of them myself (in real life, not my head), I decided to try creating my own picture-perfect places. Like most writers, my love of books started with reading. I have read hundreds of wholesome, small-town romance novels, and I hope to read hundreds more! This list has some of my recent favorites. Bonus: All the books on this list are the first in a series, so if you love them, more swoonworthy stories await! (PS The list is in no particular order, I love each book equally!)

Lark's book list on wholesome romance with charming small towns

Lark Holiday Why did Lark love this book?

Small town that you will want a realtor for: Sunset Ridge, AK

I actually read this book after I started my Darling Men series, and it’s a good thing it happened in that order. Because if I had read Moose Be Love beforehand, I don’t think I would’ve bothered writing my series at all.

This book perfected the Alaskan small-town sweet romance! I definitely recommend it if you aren’t sure if you would rather get lost in a heartwarming story, or go on a vacation to Alaska. Good news, you don’t have to choose! Not with Moose Be Love in your personal library!

By Jacqueline Winters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moose Be Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

★★★★★From the moment I started reading, I was transported to the small town of Sunset Ridge where I spent the day. I ignored anything and everything that had to do with adulting. --Reviewer

★★★★★This could be Hallmark Alaska. Cheesy, fun, Alaska and then there’s Ed -the 2000 lb moose that has befriended the town of Sunset Ridge. --Reviewer

★★★★★ This is a wonderful book. If you like a deep good, page turner this the book for you. --Reviewer

★★★★★ What a fun book! I fell in love with Ed, the moose. And the town of Sunset Ridge, Alaska. What a…