Southwest Books of the Year
Southwest Books of the Year 2002
An enterprising orphan, a polygamist's family and a raging desert flood are the winning topics of the top three books for the 2002 edition of Southwest Books of the Year. They are: Madam Millie: Bordellos from Silver City to Ketchikan by Max Evans; Red Water: A Novel by Judith Freeman; and The Desert Cries by Craig Childs. Madam Millie was chosen by four of the five regular panelists, the other two by three.
This is the 26th year panelists have gathered together a list of books that in their opinion portrays the American Southwest—in its many and varied manifestations—with knowledge, conviction, skill and the occasional chuckle. Our master list with its thumbnail descriptions lists more than 200 titles. Of this grand total, 28 have been singled out for special consideration. Eleven have been chosen by more than one panelist.
The new member on this year's panel is Steven Phillips, manager of publications at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Phillips is a publisher, author and book designer as well as a former archaeologist with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service's Branch of Historic Preservation.
With an eye to inviting input from all over the state, we asked James Babbitt, Flagstaff rancher and businessman and member of the pioneer Arizona ranching family to join us for a year. Babbitt has suggested three titles.
Other panelists include Bruce Dinges, director of publications at the Arizona Historical Society, who joined the panel in 1987; Deborah Bock, information and special collections librarian at Pima County Public Library, a 5-year veteran; and W. David Laird, for 18 years University of Arizona librarian, now owner of Books West Southwest, a mail order and online/internet book service. Laird was one of the original panel members in 1977. This is his second year on his second go-round.
Southwest Books of the Year was started in 1977 by the Arizona Daily Star, the morning newspaper in Tucson. In 2000 it came under the aegis of Pima County Public Library in partnership with the Friends of the Tucson-Pima Public Library and the Arizona Historical Society. We hope you find it useful and provocative and enjoy reading the lists as much as we enjoyed putting them together.
-June Caldwell Martin,
Coordinator, Southwest Books of the Year
Southwest Books of the Year s published by the Pima County Public Library. This year’s sponsors include:
- Arizona Historical Society
- Friends of the Tucson-Pima Public Library
- Antigone Books
- Barnes & Noble
- Clues Unlimited
- Reader's Oasis
- Singing Wind Bookshop
This publication was made possible in part by a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council. Statewide distribution is made possible by a grant from the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records.
This project was funded in part with money granted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Agency under the Library Services and Technology Act, a State Administered Program through the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Southwest Books of the Year wishes to thank Southwest Book Reviews, a quarterly publication of the New Mexico Book Association, for its help as a ready resource. Southwest Book Reviews is available in bookstores throughout Arizona and New Mexico at a single copy price of $4.95. An annual subscription is $17. To subscribe, write to Candelora Versace, editor, 53 Estambre Road, Santa Fe, N.M. 87504.
We have also lost two regular panelists. Norman Whaley, a retired geologist, has been forced to drop out for health reasons. He was able to contribute only one of his excellent reviews.
Lesley Bailey, coordinator of academic planning and experiential education at Arizona International College was unable to continue as a panelist because of work pressures caused by the University of Arizona’s decision to phase out the College. She has, however, provided valuable help to her former panel colleagues at Southwest Books of the Year by searching for and evaluating titles and contributing to panel discussions.