“In Fire Season,” says Tattered Cover bookseller Jackie Blem, “Connors puts forth the idea, slowly being adopted by the Fire Service, that fire is necessary to the health of a forest. It’s nature’s clean-up-and-renewal plan: old growth gets cleared out and fresh growth can begin under clear skies.”

I am, apparently, behind on the times. Slow on the uptake. Riding the short bus (I’m slow, too, in coming to this expression. I only learned what it meant last year). I’ve got a list of fantastic books that I’ve been reading lately, all of which I want to tell you about; all of which you’ve already heard of.

Each week, Read It Forward gathers the latest and greatest from the world of books to share with our community of readers. This week: Huffington Post asked its readers to recommend books to recognize Earth Day, Penguin art director Paul Buckley shares how he chose the 75 best covers, Time magazine includes six authors on its “100 list” & more.

I wanted to write a story about the intrepid men who traveled from the newly civilized West to a place that remained excitingly dangerous, a fierce and lawless land. I wanted to write about heroes, villains, and dreamers who joined the great stampede to the frozen north. And, oh yeah, as I said, if all that wasn’t challenge enough, I wanted to write a true story, to boot.

“I recently moved from Brooklyn (population: 2.5 million) to Nederland (population 1,500),” says Read It Forward editor Kira Walton. “I manage RIF from this tiny town high up in the Colorado mountains, a far cry from the hustle-and-bustle of the city. On some days, your always-welcome website comments, Facebook posts, and tweets are my only contact with the outside world. Which brings me to my current dilemma: the great outdoors has ruined me as a reader.”

Every week, Read It Forward gathers the latest and greatest from the world of books to share with our community of readers. This week: a book store that sells only one book, the truth about book covers and blurbs, a virtual roundtable discussion of David Foster Wallace’s posthumously published novel The Pale King & more.