Summer Reads

Funny Stories

Summer Reading 2024

Cole and Laila Are Just Friends By Bethany Turner

Cole Kimball and Laila Olivet have been best friends their entire lives. Cole is the only person (apart from blood relatives) who’s seen Laila in her oversized pink plastic, Sophia Loren glasses. Laila is always the first person to taste test any new dish Cole creates in his family’s restaurant … even though she has the palate of a kindergartner. Most importantly, Cole and Laila are always talking. About everything.

When Cole discovers a betrayal from his recently deceased grandfather that shatters his world, staying in Adelaide Springs, Colorado, is suddenly unfathomable. But Laila loves her life in their small mountain town and can’t imagine ever living anywhere else. She loves serving customers who tip her with a dozen fresh eggs. She loves living within walking distance of all her favorite people. And she’s very much not okay with the idea of not being able to walk to her very favorite person.

Still, when Cole toys with moving across the country to New York City, she decides to support her best friend — even as she secretly hopes she can convince him to stay home. And not just for his killer chocolate chip pancakes. Because she loves him. As a friend. Just as a friend. Right?

Southwest Colorado-based author Bethany Turner writes pop culture-infused rom-coms that are sure to keep your summer fun. Find her @seebethanywrite and at

Summer Reading 2024

Democracy’s Mountain By Ruth M. Alexander

Colorado State University Professor Emerita of History and author Ruth M. Alexander shows how Rocky Mountain National Park has struggled to facilitate visitor enjoyment, protect natural resources, and manage the park as a site of democracy. In Democracy’s Mountain, Alexander reveals the dangers of undermining national parks’ fundamental obligations and presents a powerful appeal to meet them fairly and fully.



Summer Reading 2024

The Phoebe Korneal Trilogy By Judilee Butler and GaGa Gabardi

Septuagenarian authors Judilee Butler and GaGa Gabardi write stories that speak of stalwart women, great friendships, and life in the small towns of the Colorado Rockies with a mystery to be attended to.

CCL featured their book, The Last Hurrah, in its 2021 book reviews, and since then the award-winning duo has written two more books featuring Oresville, Colorado, and crimesolving Phoebe Korneal. Set high in the Rockies, The Last Slide and The Last Line are mysteries that resonate with all ages and audiences.

Extend your summer reading, pick up this trilogy, and enjoy!

Summer Reading 2024

Women of the Colorado Gold Rush Era By J.v.L. Bell and Jan Gunia

Authors J.v.L. Bell and Jan Gunia agree that the Pikes Peak Gold Rush has seldom been documented from a feminine viewpoint. Women of the Colorado Gold Rush Era explores the lives of 10 unforgettable women who called Colorado home during the turbulent years of the Pikes Peak Gold Rush. Read how these women “possessed bountiful perseverance and courage that served them well as they faced challenges and fought to survive and remain on their homeland.”

Summer Reading 2024

Heartbreak Kennel By Cary Unkelbach

Nearly 100 Labrador retrievers, many sick or dying, are discovered one hot summer day in a rural Colorado field. They’ve been abandoned by Dodie Cariaso, a college-educated woman from an uppermiddle- class Midwestern family. What drove this tragedy? Uncover the stunning secrets of a rogue breeder and the endearing quirks of a beloved canine in Heartbreak Kennel.

Former journalist and Buena Vista author Cary Unkelbach unfolds a riveting account of how Dodie’s early success as a talented potter devolved into unimaginable neglect. Along the way, Unkelbach gives animal lovers everywhere insight into the pitfalls and responsibilities of dog ownership, through uplifting tales of Max, a Labrador from Dodie’s kennel who finds his forever home with the author’s family. Heartbreak Kennel will shock you but will also give you a wealth of information for the canines in your life.

For Kids

Summer Reading 2024

Out of the Ordinary By Michelle M. Barone

It is 1914 and Julia Iannacito lives in a boxcar and attends a one-room school in Phippsburg, Colorado. She wishes school weren’t so boring and hoped something special would happen. Her wish comes true, but not in a way she ever imagined.

Filled with vivid historical details, Out of the Ordinary tells of Julia’s struggles both as a young immigrant, and as the daughter of a coal miner. A piece of historical fiction for grades three to six, Michelle M. Barone’s story about her grandmother introduces readers in an age-appropriate fashion to the Colorado labor struggles and the immigrant experience.

Oscar and the Bird: A Book About Electricity By Geoff Waring

When Oscar the curious kitten finds a tractor in a field and accidentally turns on the windshield wipers, he is full of questions about electricity. Luckily, Bird knows the answers! With the help of his friend, Oscar finds out how electricity is made and stored, which machines need electricity to work, and why we always need to be careful around wires, batteries, plugs, and sockets. For ages 3 to 6.

The Highlights Big Book of Activities for Little Kids

The Highlights Big Book of Activities for Little Kids includes more than 200 screen-free activities for ages 3 to 6. Kids and grown-ups can use everyday household items to make lasting memories while they banish boredom and get the wiggles out.

Storm Is Coming By Heather Tekavec

When the farmer warns that a storm is coming, Dog spreads the word and leads all the animals to shelter. Huddled together, they wait anxiously for Storm to come. But who is this frightening creature named Storm? What will happen when it arrives? When the rain starts pelting the roof and lightning fills the sky, the animals are relieved. The sky must be trying to protect them by scaring Storm away. But when everything stops and the sky is quiet, the animals hear the thump, thump of someone coming toward the barn. Could it be Storm? For ages 3 to 6.