Every afternoon, as Colorado’s spring storms blow in to the city, I feel a strong urge to hurry home, throw on sweatpants, and curl up on the couch with a good book. My nightstand is always weighed down with novels and periodicals, and now I have two more—both by local authors—to add to the pile.

The Ultra Mindset by Travis Macy

Travis Macy epitomizes the high-adventure lifestyle many Coloradans chase: The Evergreen native, adventure racer, and ultrarunner has mountain-biked in Australia, rapelled into Chinese caves, and summited peaks in the French Alps. He also set the record for the Leadman series, a progressive set of races in Leadville. (Let’s just say there’s a 100-mile trail run involved.) He accomplished all this using what he calls the Ultra Mindset. In his first book, Macy enlightens readers to eight core principles that he says have led him to success on the course—and off. In a conversational tone, Macy works his way through each (with associated activities to try)—from the importance of sticking to your resolutions to how to choose role models—weaving in stories of his own adventures. Fans of the self-help genre will obviously gravitate toward The Ultra Mindset, but it will also appeal to a broader audience interested in understanding how high-performing athletes achieve their successes. ?(Da Capo Press, April 2015)

Contenders by Erika Krouse

In an age of strong, rebellious female protagonists (yes, we’re looking at you, Hunger Games), Contenders fits right in. In Boulder author Erika Krouse‘s first novel, she delves into the life of street fighter Nina Black, who steals wallets and always makes the first move. But when she picks the wrong guy to start a fight with, Black finds herself caught in unfamiliar territory. Throw in complicating factors like an eight-year-old niece she suddenly has custody of and the reappearance of a childhood flame and Contenders is about as engrossing as it gets. (Krouse’s collection of short stories, Come Up and See Me Sometime, won the Paterson Fiction Award and was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times.) (Rare Bird Books, March 2015)

Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer
Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.