What the staff at Out West Books suggests for your next great read

Each week as part of Sunlight – the literature section of the Sun – we feature staff recommendations from bookstores in Colorado. This week, the staff at Western Books in Grand Junction recommends “Empires of Ice and Stone,” “River of the Gods” and “Little Things Like This.”

Empire of Ice and Stone

By Buddy Levy
December 2022


From the publisher: In the summer of 1913, a wooden-hulled brigantine Carlock Canada went to the Arctic Ocean. At the helm was Captain Bob Bartlett, considered the world’s greatest living ice navigator. The visiting leader of the tour was a brilliant impressionist named Viljalmore Stefansson who was hungry for fame. Just six weeks later Carlock Gone, great jaws of ice closed around her. As the boat froze, Stephenson disembarked with five friends and set off on what he claimed was a 10-day caribou hunting trip. Many on board would never see him again.

From Maria Johnston, Owner: If it has Buddy Levy’s name on it, I just know it’s going to be a great read, and “Empire of Ice and Stone” does not disappoint! This is one of my favorites this year. What I can’t stop thinking about is the idea of ​​how adversity can turn extraordinary men into leaders and supposed leaders into cowards.

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Fortunately, Captain Carlock Robert Bartlett was a natural born leader and a man of great character, as the captain of the expedition left the ship and crew at the start. Kerok, an Eskimo woman called “Aunt” by the men Carlock Except for her, not a single person was left alive. It’s a great read, but keep a blanket close because the details of surviving in the cold will chill you to the bone!

River of God

By Candace Millard
May 2022


From the publisher: For millennia the location of the Nile’s headwaters was shrouded in mystery. In the 19th century, there was a frenzy of passion in ancient Egypt. At the same time, European powers sent out waves of exploration aimed at mapping the unknown corners of the world – and expanding their colonial empires.

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From Maria Johnston, Owner: Like Buddy Levy, if it was written by Candace Millard, I know I would love it. Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke, two men as different as they were, convinced the Royal Geographical Society that they could bring home glory to Britain by discovering the source of the White Nile. As with the unfortunate Carlock Travel, the politics of exploration, men’s differences and lack of preparation, portends doom for travel. What really stuck with me were the conditions these explorers experienced: viruses, weather, illnesses that left them out of work for months, Spike’s ear bug that stuck in his eardrum. He left his mouth… argh! No wonder it took the searchers forever to find the thing!

Little things like that

By Claire Keegan
Grove Press
November 2021


From the publisherIt is 1985 in a small Irish town. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, coal merchant and family man faces his busiest season yet. Early one morning, while delivering orders to a local convent, Bill makes a discovery that forces him to confront his past and the complicated silence of the church-controlled town.

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From Maria Johnston, Owner: If you read a Christmas book this year, let “Little Things Like This” be your choice. This short book is so beautifully written, I will remember every part of the story, and I hope you will too. Claire Keegan doesn’t need to hit us over the head with the true meaning of Christmas. Her character Bill Furlong portrays this. No wonder this book has won praise. It’s destined to be a classic. If you need to escape the madness that is Christmas, this book will give you that “aha” feeling. I have another book of hers, “Foster” to read on my Christmas Eve.

This week’s books come from:

Western Books

533 Main St., Grand Junction


As part of the Colorado Sun Literature Section – Sunlit – We offer staff selections from bookstores across the state. read more.


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