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Clicking on a book cover will search for the book in the catalog. If it is not part of our collection, you may request it by clicking on the Can't Find It link. An icon indicates if the book is chosen by a panelist as one of the year's best.

Cacti of Texas, a Field Guide: with Emphasis on the Trans-Pecos Species
By A. Michael Powell, Shirley A. Powell, James F. Weedin. Texas Tech University Press. 383 pp. . $24.95.
Although this book extends beyond the Southwest and covers the entire state of Texas, it belongs in your collection. The authors ably and clearly present the Lone Star state’s 132 species of cacti so that laymen as well as experts can identify what they see in the field. Using the maps and to photos to hunt down the cacti would make an interesting vacation. Even if you already own Cacti of the Trans-Pecos, you’ll enjoy this companion book. The many photos and maps are very helpful, and the information enlightening. This is one in the Texas Tech’s Grover E. Murray Studies series, which in becoming a classic run of books. Other states should be so lucky. []

Calling for a Hit Man
By Ernest Gabrielson. Wheatmark. 256 pp. . $19.95.
Set mostly in Tucson, this novel about CIA agent Mike Harrison will not satisfy anyone's need for realistic dialog and believeable events. []

Case Runner, The
By , Carlos Cisneros. arte Publico Press. 359 pp. $24.95.

With his “newly minted” law degree, Alex del Fuerte begins his practice in the South Valley area of the Rio Grande and almost immediately finds himself at odds with the powers that be, including the Lt. Governor of Texas. The author, an attorney, lets us see the interactions between courts and lawyers as young Alex finds many ways to make mistakes and many people to threaten his existence.
Chaco Experience, The: Landscape and Ideology at the Center Place
By Ruth M. Van Dyke. School for Advanced Research Press. 314 pp. Index. . $34.95.
Fine writing here as Van Dyke surveys what is known about Chaco Canyon from archaeological evidence as well as the speculations (and outright guesses) of experts. Yet, the reading enjoyment is spoiled by the academic paraphernalia. Aimed at archaeologists and others with the appropriate technical knowledge, the flow of the text is interrupted by the position, within many paragraphs and upon almost every page, of parenthetical citations to sources that are the sine quo non of academicians. Difficult reading for the non-specialist unless one can train the eye to skip the interruptions. Still, an important updating of our knowledge about southwestern prehistory. []

Chasing Windmills
By Catherine Ryan Hyde. Flying Dolphin Press. 262 pp. $25.95.

Two young victims of abusive relationships connect on the New York subway and plan an escape that will take them to the Mojave Desert and safety. By the award-winning author of Pay it Forward, this adult title is also appropriate for a Young Adult audience.
Chicken Foot Farm
By Anne Estevis. Pinata Books. 154 pp. $$10.95.

Alejandro Balderas grows up amidst love and hardship on his family's south Texas farm.
ChupaCabra and the Roswell UFO
By Rudolfo A. Anaya. University of New Mexico Press. 135 pp. $19.95.

Rosa Medina, a Ph.D. interested in folklore, finds herself involved in a desperate effort to combat the diabolical Saytir and his plans to create a monster army by mixing the DNA of space aliens and chupacabras.
City of the Sun
By David Levien. Doubleday. 310 pp. . $24.95.

Coffee Creations
By , , Gwin Grogan Grimes. Rio Nuevo Publishers. 80 pp. Index. . $12.95.

Colonias in Arizona and New Mexico: Border Poverty and Community Development Solutions
By Angela J. Donelson, Adrian X. Esparza. University of Arizona Press. 205 pp. Index. . $19.95.
The authors have adopted the term colonias as a designator for towns, villages, even “cumulations” of dwellings loosely affiliated by proximity. They range from cities like Nogales, Arizona, to a small group of no-longer-mobile homes plopped down near each other on a few acres of desert landscape. Clearly an academic study, this “report” both outlines how these colonias came to be, what their similarities and differences are, and, most important, ways in which the residents of them can improve their lives. Not for the casual reader, this is a serious look at a major issue in our border lands. []
This academic study looks at the effects of immigration and economic policy of colonias in Arizona and New Mexico. Generally, colonias are economically disadvantaged and unincorporated communities, some as large as towns and some as small as neighborhoods. Regardless of size, they are crucial for local social fabric and labor pools. The authors also seek to show the human realities and community capacity and potential of colonias. This is an advanced-level academic discussion. []

Colorado Plateau III, The: Integrating Research and Resources Management for Effective Conservation
By Mark K. Sogge, Charles van Riper III. University of Arizona Press. 432 pp. . $39.95.
This third volume grows out of the 8th biennial Conference on Research on the Colorado Plateau (that high country surrounding the Four Corners area). It presents 21 papers, including a synthesis chapter, most of which are grouped under the heading “Addressing Wildlife Issues.” []
Sound land management requires good science. These 21 papers by 59 scholars are good science, interesting and enthusiastic, too. Based on research presented at the Eighth Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau, the book groups the papers into the categories of collaborating to achieve conservation, assessing large-scale land issues, addressing wildlife issues, addressing vegetation issues, and gaining insights from the past. A final chapter by van Riper ably summarizes and synthesizes the results. This third volume of the series is another wonderful multidisciplinary effort to study a region and share the information. []

Condor: Spirit of the Canyon
By Robert Mesta, Lawrence Ormsby. Grand Canyon Association. 149 pp. This book is not showing up in the children's list.. $9.95.

Little Feather is captivated by condors and, with the help of his grandfather, comes to realize this he is destined to protect them.
Cool in Tucson
By Elizabeth Gunn. Severn House. 218 pp. . $27.95.
With a string of mysteries set outside Arizona to her credit, Gunn, now a resident of Tucson, brings us Sarah Burke, Tucson police detective. Assigned to homicide and loving it, Burke has much to worry about including her drug-addicted sister’s daughter and her relationship (cool to cold) with her homicide squad superior. Nice multi-layered police procedural with the Tucson setting well described and defined.
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Veteran mystery writer Gunn introduces a new heroine and a new setting as Tucson police detective Sarah Burke unravels a murder-robbery-kidnapping that brings her face-to-face with family problems and the Southwest's violent drug subculture. Burke is an appealing character and Gunn writes with skill and authority about a side of the Old Pueblo that most people observe only on the evening news. []

Corridors of Migration: the Odyssey of Mexican Laborers, 1600-1933
By Rodolfo Acuña. University of Arizona Press. 408 pp. Index. . $49.95.
Here is the detailed saga of colonization along the U. S. Mexico border and exploitation of Native people and Mexican workers by California growers and Arizona copper barons. Though the title brings the reader to 1933, there is additional information on the strike in Arizona copper towns during 1983 and 1984. Finely researched and well-written, this book is for students and specialists; not necessarily the casual reader. []

Counting Rings: Tree-Ring Dating
By Tom Gidwitz . Western National Parks Association. 14 pp. $2.95.
Just about everything one needs to know about tree ring dating is artistically packed into this 14-page booklet its scientific name is Dendrochronology and was introduced by Andrew E. Douglas of the University of Arizona in 1901. Researchers have used the technique to dat4e prehistoric ruins in the Four Corners area of the southwest. They learned that trees growing in the same climate and area showed the same pattern of rings during times of drought and times of rain. But the same techniques can be applied all over the world and used to date objects made of wood. []

Crazy Loco Love
By Victor Villasenor. Arte Publico Press. 391 pp. $26.95.

Creating Outdoor Classrooms: Schoolyard Habitats and Gardens for the Southwest
By Lauri Macmillan Johnson, Kim Duffek. University of Texas Press. 191 pp. $39.95.
Probably like you, when springtime came I looked out the classroom window and longed to do something outside, maybe plant a garden, watch lizards, or build a pond, anything to bring life to textbook pages. This book brims with insight into backyard ecology and enthusiasm for biology. The text is clear and the profuse illustrations are inviting. The book is very well done, and is a practical and noble enterprise. Although written for the classroom, homeowners may find much here that will bring interest and activity to their own yards and neighborhoods. Many of the projects can be adapted to your own children or grandchildren; banish boredom. []

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