We don’t usually read politicians’ autobiographies because they’re often self-serving and boring. Fortunately, Colorado’s governor isn’t like other elected officials, a fact he emphasizes throughout The Opposite of Woe. (Full disclosure: Co-author Maximillian Potter is the former executive editor of 5280.) The first half of the book reads like a coming-of-age novel. Our protagonist has his heart broken, watches Deep Throat with his mom, and smokes weed with Yoko Ono (really). There are character-defining obstacles to overcome, too, the most significant being the premature death of Hickenlooper’s father. Toward the end, the telling of Hickenlooper’s political life reads a bit like bullet-pointed accolades on a resumé, but what do you expect? He’s a politician angling for higher office. At least he’s not boring about it.

(Read more about the launch of Governor Hickenlooper’s memoir)