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50 Books of The West

50 Books of The West

When did you first feel you’d discovered your True West? Are you still looking for the tools to make that discovery?  The staff of The Colorado Sun, in consultation with a diverse local group of historians, offers here a starter list as part of our “50 Books of the West,” with the mammoth caveat that your own picks may vary.  ---- We couldn't help adding some titles of our own as well. Let us know what you think!

Playlist Tags: Tattered Cover genre: Non-Classifiable

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Paradise

By Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 15 hours 17 minutes

"Rumors had been whispered for more than a year. Outrages that had been accumulating all along took shape as evidence. A mother was knocked down the stairs by her cold-eyed daughter. Four damaged infants were born in one family. Daughters refused to get out of bed. Brides disappeared on their honeymoons. Two brothers shot each other on New... Read more »

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Killers of the Flower Moon

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

By David Grann
Narrated by: Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee & Danny Campbell
Length: 9 hours 4 minutes

Killers of the Flower Moon

“In "Killers of the Flower Moon", David Grann recounts the tragic tale of the Osage Indian Nations decimation and deceit at the hands of their government appointed guardians. Motivated by money, morally corrupt and masterfully manipulative, the true role of these benevolent benefactors, perpetrators of mass murder, is still a mystery today. Granns detailed, yet deeply disturbing detective work, back to the birth of the FBI and the rise of J. Edgar Hoover, unveils an unimaginable injustice overlooked for 85 years. Let’s not allow this atrocious act against the Osage to slip back into obscurity ever again.”

McLean & Eakin Booksellers image Kristin, McLean & Eakin Booksellers
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Full Body Burden

Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats

By Kristen Iversen
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter & Kristen Iversen
Length: 13 hours 52 minutes

“An intimate and deeply human memoir that shows why we should all be concerned about nuclear safety, and the dangers of ignoring science in the name of national security.”—Rebecca Skloot, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
 
A shocking account of the government’s attempt to conceal the effects of the toxic...

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For a limited time, when you sign up for a new monthly membership with code CHOOSEINDIE, we’ll give you a bonus audiobook! That means you’ll have 2 audiobook credits to redeem from the start.

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Undaunted Courage - Abridged

Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Openin

By Stephen E. Ambrose
Narrated by: Cotter Smith
Length: 4 hours 33 minutes

From the New York Times bestselling author of Band of Brothers and D-Day, the definitive book on Lewis and Clark’s exploration of the Louisiana Purchase, the most momentous expedition in American history and one of the great adventure stories of all time.

In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether... Read more »

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Centennial

A Novel

By James A. Michener
Narrated by: Larry McKeever
Length: 50 hours 5 minutes

Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A. Michener’s magnificent saga of the West is an enthralling celebration of the frontier. Brimming with the glory of America’s past, the story of Colorado—the Centennial State—is manifested through its people: Lame Beaver, the Arapaho chieftain and warrior, and his Comanche and Pawnee... Read more »

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Westering Women

A Novel

By Sandra Dallas
Narrated by: Angela Dawe
Length: 9 hours 24 minutes

"Narrator Angela Dawe’s warm voice varies seamlessly to capture the many characters, their fear, fortitude, and, in some cases, vileness. There is nothing subtle about this adventure, but it is exhilarating and hard to resist." -- Washington Post

From the bestselling author of Prayers for Sale, Sandra Dallas' Westering Women is an inspiring...

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Blood and Thunder

An Epic of the American West

By Hampton Sides
Narrated by: Don Leslie
Length: 20 hours 56 minutes

NATIONAL BESTSELLER  From the author of Ghost Soldiers comes a magnificent history of the American conquest of the West—"a story full of authority and color, truth and prophecy" (The New York Times Book Review).

In the summer of 1846, the Army of the West marched through Santa Fe, en route to invade and occupy the Western territories claimed...

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Nothing Daunted

The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West

By Dorothy Wickenden
Narrated by: Margaret Nichols & Dorothy Wickenden
Length: 8 hours 4 minutes

From the author of The Agitators, the acclaimed and captivating true story of two restless society girls who left their affluent lives to “rough it” as teachers in the wilds of Colorado in 1916.

In the summer of 1916, Dorothy Woodruff and Rosamond Underwood, bored by society luncheons, charity work, and the effete men who courted them, left their... Read more »

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Plainsong

By Kent Haruf
Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
Length: 9 hours 3 minutes

Kent Haruf has received prestigious awards, including a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation for his finely-tuned works. Before the opening chapter of this novel, Haruf offers a definition. Plainsong is "any simple and unadorned melody or air." Direct yet elegant, Haruf's Plainsong is a hymn to the breadth of the human spirit. A... Read more »

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

An Indian History of the American West

By Dee Brown
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Length: 14 hours 21 minutes

Immediately recognized as a revelatory and enormously controversial book since its first publication in 1971, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is universally recognized as one of those rare books that forever changes the way its subject is perceived.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown’s classic, eloquent, meticulously documented account of...

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Beyond the Hundredth Meridian

John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the West

By Wallace Stegner
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 17 hours 5 minutes

Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner recounts the remarkable career of Major John Wesley Powell, the distinguished ethnologist and geologist who explored the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon, and the homeland of the Southwest Indian tribes. This classic work is a penetrating and insightful study of Powell's career, from the beginning of the...

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In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

The Story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI’s War on the American Indian Movement

By Peter Matthiessen
Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
Length: 28 hours 41 minutes

On a hot June morning in 1975, a fatal shoot-out took place between FBI agents and American Indians on a remote property near Wounded Knee, South Dakota, in which an Indian and two federal agents were killed. Eventually, four members of the American Indian Movement were indicted on murder charges in the deaths of the two agents. Leonard Peltier,...

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Empire of the Summer Moon

Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History

By S. C. Gwynne
Narrated by: David Drummond
Length: 15 hours 9 minutes

*Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award*
*A New York Times Notable Book*
*Winner of the Texas Book Award and the Oklahoma Book Award*

This New York Times bestseller and stunning historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West “is nothing... Read more »

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Death Comes for the Archbishop

By Willa Cather
Narrated by: David Ackroyd
Length: 7 hours 41 minutes

From one of the most highly acclaimed novelists of the twentieth century—"a truly remarkable book" (The New York Times), an epic—almost mythic—story of a single human life lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert.


In 1851 Father Jean Marie Latour comes to serve as the Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico. What he finds is a vast territory... Read more »

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The Grapes of Wrath

By John Steinbeck
Narrated by: Emily Bergl, Mike Buie, Daniel Chacon, Maurice Chasse, Shannon Cochran, Trista Delamere, Jeffrey Donovan, Francis Guinan, Shirley Knight, Charlie Matthes, Rod McLachlan, Bob Pescovitz, Joel Rafael, Stephen Ramsey, Nick Sadler, Andy Taylor, Todd Waring, Fredd Wayne, Michael Weston & Kate Williamson
Length: 1 hours 58 minutes

A heart-wrenching full-cast adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by John Steinbeck, starring Jeffrey Donovan and Shirley Knight. Set during the Great Depression, The Grapes of Wrath tells the powerful story of the Joad family’s trek from the dust bowl of Oklahoma to the promise of a new life in California. But what they find...

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Sabrina & Corina

Stories

By Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Narrated by: Various
Length: 7 hours 19 minutes

Latinas of Indigenous descent living in the American West take center stage in this haunting debut story collection—a powerful meditation on friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands. 

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s magnetic story collection breathes life into her Indigenous Latina characters and the land they... Read more »

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