Oh yes, I judge books by their covers. Because books, and book covers, are art to me, and I am attracted to good, vivid, striking art.
So I was hooked at first sight by Dori DeCamillis' memoir, "My Steamboat: A Ski Town Childhood." The luscious, fresh-air inducing bright photo of children playing in the river while the verdant ski slopes wink behind is so inviting...
And then the mud-covered, rough-and-tumble reality of Steamboat residency sets in. From the beginning DeCamillis warns that mountain folk are blunt sometimes, and that her stories, which are so every-day in her mind, may seem surprising or even scandalous to city slickers.
This city slicker wasn't scandalized, but did laugh uproariously at the girl joining her basketball team to moon highway drivers out the tour bus window, at the mother whose language could make light hearts blush, at the genuine sacrilege of naughty pranks during Mass in the town's Catholic parish.
This book has the feel of that friend in your life who tells the funniest stories and you could spend hours just listening, laughing, and wanting more. That's why I couldn't put it down until the last page had been devoured. Enjoy the mountain scenery, cherish this precious portrait of a once-quaint town that has, like so many resorts, been standardized to commercial perfection, smell the pine-scented breezes, and romp with Dori and the Duckels clan up and down Steamboat's mountain playground. Coloradans will feel right at home between these covers, and out-of-towners will rejoice in what we all know is our own slice of paradise.