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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.

Kartchner Caverns: How Two Cavers Discovered and Saved One of the Wonders of the Natural World
By Neil Miller. University of Arizona Press. 215 pp. Index. . $15.95.
How do you discover a world-class cave and keep it a secret until it can be protected for the public? This is that story, the discovery of Arizona’s Kartchner Caverns by Gary Tenen and Randy Tufts. The plot involves the Kartchner ranching family, a governor, legislators, snoopy reporters, and dedicated cavers. Much of the story has been hidden until now. Alluring color photos dress the book where mere words would fail to describe the glory of the cave. The author interviewed 37 of the principle players in this intriguing and well-told story. []

Kenneth Chapman's Santa Fe: Artists and Archaeologists, 1907-1931: the Memoirs of Kenneth Chapman
By Kenneth Milton Chapman, Marit K . Munson. School for Advanced Research Press. 189 pp. . $29.95.
Top Pick
Searching for better health Chapman left the damp Eastern seaboard for New Mexico at age 25 in 1899. In then-thriving Las Vegas he had the luck to become employed by Edgar Lee Hewett at the university. He soon moved to Santa FE where he spent most of his long life Fe at the Museum of New Mexico and the Laboratory of Anthropology. In his 60s began to write an autobiography, a mammoth manuscript, never published. Munson’s editing provides an excellent sense of Chapman’s entire life while focusing on those active years, age 32 to 57, during which Chapman’s antipathy for his former mentor and friend, the more famous Hewett, turns his text into a hostile diatribe about Hewett’s life and professional standards, which he deemed quite low. Enjoyable reading about the era in which Santa Fe decided to become “the city different.” []

Kenneth Milton Chapman: a Life Dedicated to Indian Arts and Artists
By Karen Barrie, Janet Chapman. University of New Mexico Press. 370 pp. Index. $34.95.
Top Pick
This thorough and very well-written biography is a fascinating look at a little-known but important figure in the early developement of Santa Fe as a focus of Native American and Western art. One of the authors is a relative of the subject and this no doubt colored her writing, but the resulting text has the feeling of truth, sometimes "unvarnished". The authors provide a lively portrait of a man whose nearly 70 years in New Mexico and tireless interest in Native American arts made him an important figure in the revival of those arts. This excellent piece of scholarship--accurate, thoroughly researched and readable--is a fitting complement to Marit Munson's editing of Chapman's autobiography listed elsewhere in this year's best books list. []

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