What the staff at Poor Richard’s recommends for your next great read

Each week, as part of SunLit – The Sun’s literary division – we feature employee recommendations from bookstores across Colorado. This week, staff at Poor Richard’s Books & Gifts in Colorado Springs are recommending Nose Dive, Wild New World and How to Sit.

dip your nose

By Harold McGee
Penguin Books
October 2022


From the publisher: From Harold McGee, the James Beard Award-winning author and leading authority on food and culinary science, comes a comprehensive exploration of the long-overlooked world of smell. In “Nose Dive,” McGee takes us on a sensory adventure, from the sulphurous, nascent earth more than four billion years ago, to the fruit-rich Tian Shan mountain range north of the Himalayas, to the keyboard of your laptop, where you jot down notes of phenol and Formaldehyde escapes between the keys.

From Jeffery Payne, Assistant Retail Manager: This daunting tome is so worth the trouble. Be sure to read the first three chapters so you understand how the scientific breakdowns and tables in the following chapters work to explain the incredible intricacies of smell. The way this thick volume is formatted, you don’t have to read it from beginning to end. Choose chapters based on your mood.

Prepare for a crash course in Molecules, Volatile Materials and Benzoids. Luckily for us, the author’s great language and imagery actually makes learning science enjoyable, although honestly I had to read several paragraphs more than once for them to sink in. Incredibly approachable and thoroughly entertaining.

Wild New World

By DanFlores
WW Norton
October 2022


From the publisher: In 1908, near Folsom, New Mexico, a cowboy discovered the remains of a herd of extinct giant bison. By examining flint points embedded in the bones, archaeologists later determined that a group of people had killed and slaughtered the animals 12,450 years ago. This discovery greatly expanded America’s known human history, but also revealed the long-standing danger homo sapiens presented to the evolutionary richness of the continent.

Acclaimed author Dan Flores’ ambitious story chronicles the era when humans and animals coexisted in the “wild new world” of North America – a place beset by both its own great evolutionary forces and momentous arrivals from Asia, Africa and Europe was minted. With portraits of iconic creatures such as mammoths, horses, wolves and bison, Flores describes the evolution and historical ecology of North America like never before.

From Jeffery Payne, Assistant Retail Manager: Somehow, Dan Flores has the ability to succinctly break down into bite-sized chunks the vast complex interactions and long history of American fauna and humanity. The ease with which he emphatically narrates Age of Species Destruction is compelling and insightful. Cleverly written, often maddening with the details of mankind’s ignorance and stupidity, but with bright moments of hope that perhaps we won’t eradicate the natural world entirely.

how to sit

By Thich Nhat Hanh
parallax press
March 2014


From the publisher: The first book in The Mindfulness Essentials series, a back-to-basics collection by world-renowned Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, introducing everyone to the fundamentals of mindfulness practice. In short, one-paragraph chapters, Nhat Hanh shares detailed instructions, guided breathing exercises and visualizations, as well as his own personal stories and insights. This pocket-sized book is perfect for those new to sitting meditation as well as those looking to deepen their spiritual practice.

From Jeffery Payne, Assistant Retail Manager: OK, take a moment, put the electronic device in your hand and just be quiet, try for a minute… I’ll wait… It’s a challenge, isn’t it? All the noise around you, the random thoughts and the pain in that one spot in your back become clearer.

This gem of a book (and indeed the entire mindfulness series of How To books by Thich Nhat Hanh of Parallax Press) gently guides us and nudges us towards “calm”. How to Sit reminds us how important it is to be still, no matter how short the time. This book gives the reader realistic steps to find stillness and gives us permission to make mistakes. The holiday rush is upon us and it’s a perfect time to sit down.

As part of The Colorado Sun Literary Division — SunLit — Presenting staff selections from bookstores across the state. Continue reading.