Winter of Reading Celebration

Join the Smiley Branch Library for a celebration of Winter of Reading snuggled up at BookBar in the Berkeley neighborhood's cozy bookstore and wine bar. Five fine Colorado authors have signed on as contestants to tickle your literary brain with a Wait, Wait, Please Read to Me game show. Laugh, sip on mulled wine, sign up for Winter of Reading and discover five books across genres to add to your reading lists by Nicky Beer, Eleanor Brown, Rebecca Taylor, Jonathan Waldman, and Carter Wilson.

Nicky Beer is the author of The Octopus Game (Carnegie Mellon UP, 2015) and The Diminishing House (Carnegie Mellon UP, 2010), winner of the 2010 Colorado Book Award for Poetry. Her awards include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a fellowship and a scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a Mary Wood Fellowship from Washington College, a Discovery/The Nation Award, and a Campbell Corner Prize. Her poems have been published in Best American Poetry, Poetry, The Nation, The Southern Review, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. She is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver, where she co-edits the journal Copper Nickel.

The Octopus Game: Highly intelligent and a master of camouflage, the octopus is a creature destined to thrive in the poetic ecosystem. In The Octopus Game, the figure of the octopus shape-shifts and reinvents itself throughout ocean depths, tide pools, aquariums, gardens, movies, pulp novels, fine art, and nightmares. Nicky Beer acts as the strange documentarian recording the bizarre, beautiful, and disturbing habits of creatures for whom subterfuge and mimicry are a means of survival.


Eleanor Brown is the New York Times and #1 international bestselling author of The Weird Sisters, hailed by People magazine as “a delightful debut” and “creative and original” by Library Journal.  She teaches writing workshops at The Writers' Table in Highlands Ranch, CO, and at Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, CO, as well as writing conferences and centers nationwide. An avid CrossFit participant, Eleanor is the author of WOD Motivation and a contributor to CrossFit Journal. Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Eleanor lives in Colorado with her partner, writer J.C. Hutchins.

Light of Paris: Madeleine has always felt like a failure: She's the one whose expression ruins sorority photos, the person at parties who would rather be at home reading, the old maid at the age of thirty. Spending her entire life trying to fit in has only left her looking like she has everything, but feeling like she has nothing. At first when her marriage to controlling, critical Phillip is threatened, Madeleine panics. But when she discovers a journal detailing her grandmother's wild, romantic summer in Jazz Age Paris, she begins to wonder if there is more to life than playing by someone else's rules.

Madeleine has always thought her grandmother was exactly like her mother, and like the woman she was supposed to be--stiff, formal, elegant, untouchable. But reading the journal introduces Madeleine to a woman she never knew: a dreamy writer who defied her staid family's expectations and spent an exhilarating summer in Paris in 1924, writing in cafés, finding work at the American library, and falling in love with a dashing young artist. Inspired by her grandmother's story, and floored by a long-kept secret she finds in its pages, Madeleine begins to create her own Parisian summer on a visit to her mother back in her old hometown--rediscovering her love of painting, cultivating a vibrant circle of creative friends, and falling into a relationship with a down-to-earth chef who feeds her chocolate, encourages her to be true to herself, and makes her question the miserable perfection of her marriage and her life.


Rebecca Taylor is the author of ASCENDANT, winner of the 2014 Colorado Book Award and a Library Journal National Self-e Select title; MIDHEAVEN; THE EXQUISITE AND IMMACULATE GRACE OF CARMEN ESPINOZA, and her latest release, AFFECTIVE NEEDS.

She obtained her BA in psychology and sociology from the University of Colorado, Denver and her Ed.S in school psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. In addition to writing, she teaches at Regis University in their MFA program.

You can learn more about Rebecca and her work at:

Affective Needs: Ninety-two days. That's all that's left. Just ninety-two days and Ruth Robinson, calculus genius, will stand with her arms raised in a triumphant V as the valedictorian of Roosevelt High. With her early admit to Princeton's Neuroscience program burning a hole in her pocket, Ruth can hardly wait to show her fellow teenage troglodytes that while she didn't have followers, friends, or "times" in basements, she was the one ending up on top. All she needs to do is white knuckle her way through this waiting place last semester and then, finally, she'll be on her way.

Except, the first day back from winter break, Porter Creed shows up. Porter is a special education transfer--Affective Needs. And just like all the other desk flippers and chair throwers in the affective needs classroom, Porter has some major emotional problems. But when Porter strolls onto Ruth's home turf, Advanced Calculus, and disrupts her axis by being both gorgeous and the only person better at math than her--Ruth begins to realize that maybe life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.


Jonathan Waldman does not like his keyboard. Beyond writing, he has worked as a forklift driver, arborist, summer-camp director, sticker salesman, climbing instructor, carpenter, and cook. Before landing in the book world, he put in time at a newspaper, a website, a magazine, a radio show, a TV production company, and a couple science museums. He grew up in D.C., studied writing at Dartmouth and Boston University’s Knight Center for Science Journalism, and has lived all over the West. His first book, RUST, was named one of the best books of 2015 by the Wall Street Journal, a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, and the winner of Colorado Book Award for general nonfiction. His writing has otherwise appeared in Wired, Slate, Men’s Journal, Outside, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and McSweeney’s. A former Ted Scripps Fellow at the University of Colorado, he is a 2017 Alicia Patterson fellow. He’s also working on his next book, SAM, about the development of an unusual robot.

Rust: The Longest War: It has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year—more than all other natural disasters combined. In a thrilling drama of man versus nature, journalist Jonathan Waldman travels from Key West, Florida, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to meet the colorful and often reclusive people who are fighting our mightiest and unlikeliest enemy. He sneaks into an abandoned steelworks with a brave artist, and then he nearly gets kicked out of Ball Corporation’s Can School. Across the Arctic, he follows a massive high-tech robot that hunts for rust in the Alaska pipeline. On a Florida film set he meets the Defense Department’s rust ambassador, who reveals that the navy’s number one foe isn’t a foreign country but oxidation itself. At Home Depot’s mother ship in Atlanta, he hunts unsuccessfully for rust products with the store’s rust-products buyer—and then tracks down some snake-oil salesmen whose potions are not for sale at the Rust Store. Along the way, Waldman encounters flying pigs, Trekkies, decapitations, exploding Coke cans, rust boogers, and nerdy superheroes. The result is a fresh and often funny account of an overlooked engineering endeavor that is as compelling as it is grand, illuminating a hidden phenomenon that shapes the modern world. Rust affects everything from the design of our currency to the composition of our tap water, and it will determine the legacy we leave on this planet. This exploration of corrosion, and the incredible lengths we go to fight it, is narrative nonfiction at its very best—a fascinating and important subject, delivered with energy and wit.


Carter Wilson: USA Today best-selling author Carter Wilson explores the depths of psychological tension and paranoia in his dark, domestic thrillers. His novels have received critical acclaim, including multiple starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. Carter is also the winner of the Colorado Book Award, the International Book Award, and the National Indie Excellence Award. His fifth novel, Mister Tender's Girl, will be released in February 2018 by Sourcebooks Landmark. He resides outside of Boulder, Colorado in a spooky Victorian house.

Praise for Revelation: "An enthralling thriller...Wilson infuses his terrifying plot with intricate twists and turns, all totally credible." ―Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) 

"This is a sledgehammer of a novel, slamming away at the foundations of modern cult religions until nothing is left but rubble to be carted away... a powerful story... an intense experience for those who can take it."  ―Booklist

Event date: 
Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
The Octopus Game Cover Image
ISBN: 9780887485930
Availability: Backordered
Published: Carnegie Mellon University Press - February 3rd, 2015

The Light of Paris Cover Image
ISBN: 9780735208179
Availability: Special Order - subject to availability
Published: Random House Large Print - July 12th, 2016

Affective Needs Cover Image
Please email or call 720-443-2227 for pricing of this book
ISBN: 9780979735332
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ophelia House - August 5th, 2016

Rust: The Longest War Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451691603
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - March 22nd, 2016

Revelation Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608092185
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Oceanview Publishing - December 13th, 2016