Our Staff Holiday Picks

We’re bringing you our staff-recommended titles, just in time for the holidays! Here’s a round-up of the books that the Fulcrum Publishing staff is giving as gifts this holiday season:

A Dozen on Denver: Stories
Recommended by Katie O’Neill

I know this might come as a shocker, but I always give books as presents for the holidays. This year, I’m giving A Dozen on Denver: Stories to a dear friend who, although he has never been to Denver, will appreciate this literary tribute to our city and the Rocky Mountain News. The News said goodbye to Denver just 55 days shy of its 150th Anniversary in 2009, and brought together twelve Colorado authors to celebrate the different decades of the city’s history. 2009 was a year I also said many goodbyes and moved to Denver in pursuit of a new life in publishing. My hope is that these stories, like our friendship, will have a long life, even after some difficult goodbyes.

Katie is the marketing manager at Fulcrum. She believes her interest in marketing dates back to childhood: her mom would hold neighborhood garage sales and Katie was responsible for “signage and mingling.” She is happy, though, to now be marketing books and not her old clothes, Barbie dolls, and the O’Neill family’s furniture.

Durable Plants for the Garden: A Plant Select Guide
Recommended by Carolyn Sobczak

I recommend Durable Plants for the Garden for any gardener in Colorado or the high-elevation West. The first two years that I tried my hand at gardening were disappointing–nearly every plant I chose didn’t survive, and I thought about giving up entirely. When Durable Plants came out, I was impressed with the range of beautiful, hardy plants it featured. I had no idea xeric plants could look so attractive! When I shopped for plants in May 2009, I took Durable Plants with me. Nearly every perennial I chose from the book and planted came back this spring–I felt like I had accomplished something. It’s all about selecting the right plants! Those little tags that come with the plants don’t tell you much at all, but Durable Plants includes all kinds of helpful details about each plant so you’re well informed before you buy–it’s best features and disadvantages, why it was chosen by Plant Select, and its quirks. My two favorite discoveries were fragrant agastaches–one smells like bubble gum and the other like sweet licorice. I’m addicted to gardening because of this title, it’s true.

Carolyn is an editor at Fulcrum, where she prides herself on encouraging her authors to produce the best books possible. She enjoys projects that are both intelligent and highly readable, like Ted Gioia’s The Birth (and Death) of the Cool.

The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook: Recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, by Richard Hetzler
Recommended by Faith Marcovecchio

If you’ve ever visited the Mitsitam Cafe at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in DC, you know about its amazing offerings–roasted corn with hazelnut butter, buffalo brisket, smoked trout, wild rice salad. But whether you’ve been there or not, you will definitely enjoy the Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook and its out-of-the-ordinary Native recipes. I’m giving a copy to my mom and sister-in-law for Christmas. It’s a gorgeous book with interesting indigenous dishes from North and South America, with ingredients you can easily find at your local grocery store.

Faith is the natural and western history editor at Fulcrum Publishing. The first book she edited for Fulcrum, in 2003, was Peter Decker’s tragic and beautifully researched history of the Ute tribe’s removal from Colorado, The Utes Must Go! She also took a wild ride with Kirk Johnson and Ray Troll in their search for dinosaur remains in Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway, climbed Colorado’s mountain peaks with Gerry Roach for a new edition of Colorado’s Fourteeners, and dug into clay-filled soil to help grow Durable Plants for the Garden. Of all her editorial achievements, she is most pleased to say that no one was killed in the making of Dick Kreck’s Smaldone.

Sand to Stone: and Back Again, by Nancy Bo Flood
Recommended by Jack Lenzo

At my most recent opening I had a print based on Little Wild Horse Canyon, and I kept hearing “I just saw 127 Hours and this creeps me out.” Aron Ralston was drawn to Canyonlands because of the beauty and still goes back every year. Don’t let fear keep you from appreciating the amazing rock landscapes of the Southwest. If you need a reminder of what draws people there, Sand to Stone is just the thing. It’s full of amazing sandstone forms that will get you itching to see them in person. If you are inspired to make a trip, just make sure you tell someone where you’re going.

Jack is the designer at Fulcrum. He appreciates looking out his window and seeing mountains instead of cornfields, and bumper stickers that say Naive instead of Native. Some of his favorite projects have been ones that have overlapped with and informed his own experiences in the West.

The Tattooed Lady: A History, by Amelia Klem Osterud
Recommended by Haley Berry

This has to be one of the most beautiful books in Fulcrum’s history. It’s definitely in the top five, along with Voices of the American West, A Dozen on Denver, The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook, and Buffalo Bill. From the jacket design and case illustration to the end sheets and bookmark, this sucker is gorgeous. And then you open it up and it’s full of intriguing historical photographs and the stories of some amazing women from the past. I’d like to give this to my parents, because I think knowing some of the history of tattooing, the real history, would make them a little less judgmental of those who have tattoos today.

Haley is the editorial and production manager at Fulcrum. Some of her favorite Fulcrum authors include Craig Barnes, Dick Kreck, Mitch Tobin, Amy Masching, Kirk Johnson, and Anita Thompson. She’s happy to spend her days working with talented designers and editors (and marketers!), and to have finally found a world that embraces word nerds. If Haley were a book, she’d be a petite paperback with matte lam, flaps, and a deckled edge.

Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection, edited by Matt Dembicki
Recommended by Dani Perea

This holiday season, I am sending Trickster to my youngest cousin. He doesn’t often get to see his cultural heritage represented in books and media for kids his age (those shirtless, jean-short wearing shapeshifters who fight glittery vampires in Forks, WA, don’t count), and Trickster contains 21 Native American trickster tales, written by Native storytellers, and illustrated by a group of some of the finest illustrators in the biz. This book is full of mischief, comeuppance, and gorgeous full-color illustrations. I hope that when he reads it, he’ll laugh, he’ll smile, and he’ll be proud to be Native. It is a great pick for young and reluctant readers!

Dani is the marketing and sales associate at Fulcrum Publishing. Ever since working in a comic shop as a young sprout, she has enjoyed selling fantastic books to wonderful people. When she’s not wearing her sales and marketing top hat, she enjoys punk rock, a rousing game of tumbleweed-chasin’, and gazing at vast desert skies filled with stars, preferably all at once.

Voices of the American West, by Corinne Platt
Recommended by Brynn Flaherty

This beautiful book done in a documentary style is a wonderful collection of interviews, essays, and photographs, profiling some incredible men and women from the West (including many prominent Coloradans). If you know anyone who is passionate about the West or interested in the challenges and issues confronting the region today, they will love how this book comes together. The photographs and authentic voices are truly inspiring.

Brynn recently joined Fulcrum as the marketing assistant. She is excited to start a new career in publishing after attending the University of Denver Publishing Institute in 2009 and, for the past year, working as an events manager at a wonderful independent bookstore in Aspen, CO. In her spare time, Brynn loves to snowboard, hike, travel, cook, drink good beer and cheap wine, and keep her two rambunctious pups exercised in some way.

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About fulcrumpublishing
Founded in 1984, Fulcrum Publishing is one of the largest independent publishers in the country, with more than 450 active titles. The company maintains a high standard of quality and pride in its books, with the objective of encouraging readers to live life to the fullest and learn something new each day. Fulcrum Publishing specializes in general-interest nonfiction titles with focuses in public policy, education, Native American culture and history, travel and outdoor recreation, environmentalism, and gardening. Fulcrum is headquartered in Golden, Colorado. The Fulcrum Publishing blog is run and updated by Dani Perea. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions, comments, or ideas by e-mailing her at Dani[at]fulcrumbooks[dot com].

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