2021 Book List: Award-Winning Books by Colorado Authors

If you love to read, why not look up some of Colorado’s best writers to enjoy as the cold weather takes hold for the season? If reading isn’t your usual activity of choice, well, give it a try! You may be surprised at how many fantastic authors there are all around you. 

We highlight below nine of the 17 winners of the 2021 Colorado Book Awards, presented by the Colorado Humanities and Center for the Book. The annual event celebrates Colorado’s outstanding authors, editors, illustrators, and photographers, with its award ceremony being part of this organization’s mission to “inspire the exploration of ideas and appreciation of Colorado’s diverse cultural heritage, and to foster a love of reading and books.” 

The Winning Books

This diverse list boasts a variety of titles and authors that just may get your attention. Be sure to check out the entire list of all 17 winning authors from all categories. 


Monsters, Movies & Mayhem
Edited by Kevin J. Anderson
(WordFire Press)

Twenty-three award-winning authors present all-new tales of haunted theaters, video gods, formidable demons, alien pizza, and delirious actors, each with monstrous results, in this unique anthology. 

Children’s Literature

Cow Boy Is NOT a Cowboy
By Gregory Barrington

Goat Girl, an adventurous goat, mistakes Merle, a bull, for a cow. Since he is a cow and a boy, she labels him “Cowboy,” and a hilarious, unlikely friendship ensues. 

General Fiction

Other People’s Pets
By R.L. Maizes
(Celadon Books)

La La Fine does not have a fine life as a child, but just when she is in her final year of veterinary school, she’s forced to drop out to help her unscrupulous father out of a bind, in an unexpected and unfortunate way. 


Yanks Behind the Lines: How the Commission for Relief in Belgium Saved Millions from Starvation During World War I
By Jeffrey B. Miller
(Rowman & Littlefield

A gripping tale of one of America’s greatest humanitarian efforts that is virtually unknown today. This narrative brings to light the now little-known story of two American and Belgian citizen-created organizations that led a massive food relief program for civilians trapped in German-occupied Belgium and northern France. It was Herbert Hoover, then a successful international businessman, who spearheaded the effort. 

Literary Fiction

The Loneliest Band in France: A Novella
By Dylan Fisher
(Texas Review Press)

Existential doom pervades earth careening into chaos as this tale is told by a humorous but bewildered Sri Lankan law student abroad in France. All he wants is to obtain knowledge, a quest that is interrupted by a homicidal rock band, overbearing host parents, and a chance to understand a world that no longer makes sense. 


Shadow Ridge: A Jo Wyatt Mystery
By M.E. Browning
(Crooked Lane Books -The Quick Brown Fox & Company)

When an internet stalker is revealed to be a killer in real life, the peaceful community of Echo Valley, Colorado is rocked with fear. What seems to be an open-and-shut case, though, becomes the target of Detective Jo Wyatt’s investigation that reveals many more reasons the town should be worried. 


A History of Kindness
By Linda Hogan
(Torrey House Press)

This collection of gentle, hopeful poetry takes aim at how history instructs the present, with an optimistic glance toward a future that hails a sustainable world that now seems uncertain. 

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Once Again: A Novel
By Catherine Wallace Hope
(Alcove Press, an Imprint of Crooked Lane Books)

This thought-provoking, emotional debut novel portrays one woman’s fight to save her dead daughter and poses the question: What if you had one chance to save someone you lost?

Young Adult Literature

10 Things I Hate about Pinky
By Sandhya Menon
(Simon & Schuster)

This amusing book is a follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie. In this installment, wary friends Pinky (the Harvard-style student whose summer internship falls through) and Samir (who needs a fake boyfriend for the season to impress her parents), decide to cook up a bit of deception. Disastrous and hilarious results are a given. 

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