Spring Has Sprung: Fulcrum’s Staff Picks for Spring Break Reading

It is 50 degrees in Denver today (although it feels like 80), there isn’t a cloud in the sky, and all we want to do is go outside, lie in the warm grass, and read. With nearly 500 titles in our backlist, where do we start? Here are a few wonderful selections from Fulcrum staff members who would rather be outside reading (or on Spring Break) than indoors working today. Join us and pick up one of these titles, and enjoy the beginning of spring!

Dani Perea, Marketing & Sales Associate:

My ideal vacation is spent enjoying the finest morbid tourism our great country has to offer: cemeteries with resident vampires, places where rock stars croaked, hauntings, battlefields, and small towns with chupacabra problems. For my next vacation, I’ll be stowing Dick Kreck’s Murder at the Brown Palace: A True Story of Seduction and Betrayal next to my Ouija board and electromagnetic field meter. This book has all the gory details: murder, drugs, sex, and high-society living—all a gal needs to relax and enjoy herself away from home.

Jack Lenzo, Designer:

Every month I anxiously await the arrival of my beloved Outside magazine. Even though my rational mind knows to expect a few more snows, I can’t help but get excited about adventure season, and Outside does a great job of  hyping me up. But last week it got me going in a different way by focusing on the bad blood between bikers and drivers. Oh, there’s plenty! But why not start the season off on a better foot? Great Road Rides Denver is a positive step in normalizing relations between these two groups. It offers great tips and facts about safe biking as well as a number of excellent bike-friendly routes that keep the blood pressure down on both sides. And that, my friends, sounds better than putting on my helmet and preparing for battle.

Sam Scinta, Publisher:

First pick: The Stork’s Nest: Life and Love in the Russian Countryside. Love, nature, remote Russian villages…what more could a reader want? This book paints a portrait of the Russia I have always dreamed of, the one that, sadly, is disappearing. And Laura writes a lovely tale.

Second pick: Buffalo Unbound: A Celebration. Now perhaps I am biased, being a Buffalonian (or, maybe I simply have a thing for authors named Laura), but this laugh-out-loud history of Buffalo and its various subcultures is especially timely given the rebirth of old industrial cities across the country.

Katie O’Neill, Marketing Manger:

I have grand plans to travel LOTS this spring and summer (mainly around our fine state of Colorado), and the first time I step out the door with my overnight bag, some snacks, and my pup, I plan on bringing Lines from a Mined Mind: The Words of John Trudell along with me. John Trudell (Santee Sioux) is an acclaimed poet, national recording artist, actor, and activist with an international following, and Fulcrum was lucky enough to publish this beautiful anthology of lyrics from Trudell’s recording career. This is the perfect book for traveling: short pieces of beautiful, deep, and lyrical writing to read at night under the stars.

Brynn Flaherty, Marketing Assistant:

When I go on a little spring vacation this April, I plan on reading The Birth (And Death) of the Cool by Ted Gioia. I have been eyeing this book on the Fulcrum bookshelves since I started working here four months ago, and I think I’m finally going to dig in and read it. I remember enjoying The History of Jazz by Gioia when it was assigned in one of my college classes, and I’m interested to see how Gioia takes his knowledge of the Jazz Age through the 1950s and applies it to the evolution of “the cool.” In this cultural history, Gioia shows why cool is not a timeless concept and how it has begun to lose its meaning in present-day society. Whether or not we believe the cool is out of style now, I will always be intrigued by the personas and lifestyles of Miles Davis, James Dean, and the others that shaped our view of cool from the the 1950s. In my opinion, these guys will always be cool.

Plus, I think its got a really cool cover.


In the Bluff

a blog from Wisconsin’s west coastPublisher Sam Scinta

(the opinions expressed in this blog are the opinions of the author only, and do not represent the opinions of the company or its employees)

March 10, 2010


“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice.

Alice in Wonderland

As most of you are aware, things have taken a turn for the strange and the worse out here in Wisconsin. It definitely feels like we are tumbling down the rabbit hole and that these latest actions will most certainly have national ramifications. I will leave it to others smarter than I to weigh in on the legality of the Wisconsin State Senate’s move last evening (passing in special subcommittee, with no public notice and without a quorum, a bill that strips away collective bargaining for most public employees); upon cursorily reviewing the materials, a case can certainly be made for its legality. Suffice it to say, legal or not, what happened here in Wisconsin last evening was an affront to the democratic process. To rush something like this through without notifying the public (and giving cursory notice to the Democratic state senators), effectively making a secret backroom deal (when hints of compromise by both sides were being expressed just the day before) and twisting procedural and parliamentary rules to get your way, is not what we should expect from our government. I request that those who support actions like this halt any references to the founders and our constitution in making their arguments, for surely, this is not the sort of government our founders had in mind.

While almost all of the Republican state senators voted for the bill, a lone voice of dissent stood up yet again—Senator Dale Schultz. We should all thank Senator Schultz today for his stand on government transparency, for his continued willingness to find compromise on a complex and difficult issue, and for his sense of fair play. He is a modern-day profile in courage. I have had the good fortune to know and work with many courageous and principled politicians over the years, (including one of my political heroes, Wisconsin-native Dick Lamm, who was willing in many instances to stand up for his convictions even if it meant losing support of his party). Senator Schultz will be remembered long after this debate has passed, when all of the other names are forgotten, as the Republican who stood up for the people and for democracy.

So where do we go from here? The state legislature will move ahead with its actions and battle lines will continue to be drawn; legal challenges to the latest actions are almost a certainty; and protests and recall efforts will push ahead, as the citizens of the state engage in the democratic process. Because these issues represent a turning point not only for Wisconsin but for the nation, I am going to redouble my efforts through Fulcrum and its affiliates to continue providing a platform for intelligent and civil debate on the future of our country. This will include looking to the founders and their wisdom, for we need them now more than ever. Don’t confuse this with the recent trend of founder fetishization; men like Adams and Jefferson were not giants walking the earth, and they certainly made their share of mistakes. But in creating the American political system, they understood that this American experiment was subject to change and continued debate. As Fareed Zakaria noted in a recent article, “The founders loved America, but they also understood that it was a work in progress.” This much-needed debate can only occur by those willing to share and listen, to sometimes face uncomfortable truths, to show a willingness to compromise, and most importantly, to comport oneself with civility. In the coming weeks, through a variety of projects under way, we will be doing our small part to help restore the debate and forge a more perfect union.