A failure to communicate: Debra Fine on why small talk is tough for teens

Debra Fine
Debra Fine had already written two books that teach adults how to make conversation.
If you publish a book for teens, will they get off their phones long enough to read it? That's the question Colorado author and small-talk expert Debra Fine had to ask when she wrote her newest book, Beyond Texting: The Fine Art of Face-to-Face Communication for Teenagers. Ironically, the book is about getting teenagers to tear themselves away from the screens in order to have successful face-to-face interactions with other people.

See also: All Talk, Maybe Some Action

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Three literary events for the week of July 28-August 3

Sara Benincasa reads from Great at the Tattered Cover.
This week in the local lit world, you can learn everything you ever needed to know about sleep, laugh it up at a book-signing by a comedian who's taken to writing young-adult novels, or watch authors' stories come alive onstage -- and still have time to go home and get some of your own precious reading done. Here are our picks:

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Andrea Moore

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Fulcrum Publishing shifts focus to educational graphic novels

Categories: Books

Fulcrum Publishing
As Fulcrum Publishing approaches its thirtieth anniversary, the Golden-based publishing house is intensifying its new focus on educational graphic novels, which teachers around the country are using with more regularity to get students interested in reading. The topics of these publications range from endangered ocean species to an unconventional history of Washington, D.C.

Bob Baron founded Fulcrum in 1984 to help promote books about environmental conservation. Since then, the company has become known for publishing guides and books about the outdoors, Native American history, politics, gardening and travel. One of its best-selling books is Colorado's Fourteeners by Gerry Roach.

See also: Wild Ocean explores the plight of endangered sea creatures through comics

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Three Denver-area book events for July 14-20

Ian Doescher signs William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return in Denver and Boulder this week.
There's still plenty of time left for summer reading, and for inspiration this week you can hear authors of popular mystery and pop-culture series. Or you can bone up on your wedding-photography skills just in time to hop on what could be a burgeoning local market for same-sex ceremonies. Here are our book-event picks for this week.

See also: Grim Future: Veronica Roth and Margaret Stohl

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Four Denver-area poetry and book events for July 7-13

J. Dylan Yates reads from The Belief in Angels this week in Boulder and Denver.
Baby, it's hot out there, but that shouldn't keep anyone from seeking out new words, whether spoken aloud or written in books. Local slam poets are entering the final stretch before heading off to this year's national competitions, literary poets are still staging readings and authors are bringing their juicy summer reads to the local independent bookstores. Here are a few things to celebrate this week.

See also: The ten best movie events in Denver in July

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Three poetry and book events for the week of June 30-July 6

Mario Acevedo: "Wednesday Night at the Denver Diner," Art & Writing, Lighthouse Writers Workshop.

It's high summer as we head into the Fourth of July holiday, when author tours take a break -- just like the rest of us. But in the meantime, we can hear poetry to raise a fist to, goof off literarally or see an art show that celebrates books and writers. Check 'em out.

See also: Saving Grace: Damien Echols and Lorri Davis

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Three poetry and book events for the week of June 23-29

Whether you're looking for summer reading, poetic inspiration or just a good time with a side of culture, there's a literary event for you this week. Read on and we'll tell you where the poets are rhyming and the hottest authors are reading.

See also: Ed Ward's "Stories, Stories, Bring Your Stories"

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Paul Reiser on his Sundance film and returning to standup after twenty years

To anyone who grew up watching too much basic cable in the '80s and '90s, the sight of Paul Reiser cracking wise is comfortingly familiar. Whether on contemporary classics like Aliens and Diner or the long-running and widely syndicated sitcom Mad About You, chances are good that Reiser's face is on a television somewhere at this exact moment.

Not one to rest on his considerable laurels, however, Reiser is currently in the midst of a mid-career renaissance, appearing in several upcoming movies and honing his standup act in clubs across the country. In town this weekend to headline Comedy Works' South club, Reiser talked with Westword about his role in the Sundance Film Festival smash Whiplash, the lasting influence of Aliens, and his experience returning to the stage after a twenty-year hiatus from standup.

See also: Bobby Lee on Hollywood's lack of Asian roles, sobriety and an ambush from a naked fan

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Author Antonya Nelson on LitFest, buying books and Funny Once

Categories: Books, Festivals

Author Antonya Nelson.
Paint the town read! As LitFest 2014 continues at Lighthouse Writer's Workshop, we caught up with award-winning author Antonya Nelson, who'll be teaching two classes this week and participate in a free reading on Thursday, June 19. Nelson teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and is the author of three novels and four short-story collections; her work regularly appears in the New Yorker, Harper's and Best American Short Stories. We chatted with her about what inspires her -- and the first thing she'd advise a writer.

See also: Ryan Policky and The Enigma on their horror-themed booth at Denver Comic Con

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The Smithsonian Institution's Richard Kurin on studying history through objects

Courtesy of The Smithsonian Institution
History can build and destroy nations, create and end wars and help society wrangle with ethical obligations and failures. But when teachers reduce it to an endless scroll of names and dates that have been stripped of context, history loses its power.

The Smithsonian Institution's Richard Kurin is on a mission to change the public's relationship to the past. Working with his colleagues, the academic historian has distilled his museum's 137,000,000 historical and cultural artifacts into 101 iconic pieces he discusses in The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects. In advance of his Tuesday night reading at History Colorado, Westword spoke with Kurin about his book.

See also: Phil Goodstein on Five Points, real estate and the future of Denver

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