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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.

Sacred Feast, A: Reflections on Sacred Harp Singing and Dinner on the Ground
By Kathryn Eastburn. University of Nebraska Press. 166 pp. Includes appendix of recordings, and recipes throughout. $24.95.

Accompany the author on a culinary travelogue about non-denominational religious singing, and take a soul-searching look at the heart of America. Filled with actual recipes.
Salt Warriors: Insurgency on the Rio Grande
By Paul Cool. Texas A&M University Press. 360 pp. Index. . $24.95.

Santa Fe Dead
By Stuart Woods. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 309 pp. $25.95.

Hell hath no fury like attorney Ed Eagle's very wicked ex-wife, and the score she has to settle with her former spouse precipitates a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. This is the third in the New York Times-best-selling author's series featuring Santa Fe trial lawyer Ed Eagle.
Scare-izona: a Travel Guide to Arizona's Spookiest Spots
By Katie Mullaly, J. Patrick Ohlde. Schiffer Publishing Ltd.. 256 pp. . $14.95.
The authors first set out their bona fides and explain their methods for investigating the paranormal phenomena that interest them. Next they describe separately their interactions with Arizona “hotspots” of things that go bump in the night. This is NOT a gee-whiz collection of accounts. Mullaly and Ohlde take their work seriously describing their own experiences, as well as brief accounts of traditional stories, at 16 haunted places in Arizona. Folks who believe in spooks, ghosts and such will enjoy this serious approach to an often sneered at subject. []

Secret Life of Siegfried and Roy, The: How the Tiger Kings Tamed Las Vegas
By Jimmy Lavery, Jim Mydlach, Louis Mydlach, Henrietta Tiefenthaler. Phoenix Books. 247 pp. $25.95.

A behind-the-scenes expose on the secret lives of two Las Vegas icons, as told by their show consultant and security team members.
Secrets of a Shoe Addict
By Beth Harbison. St. Martin's Press. 340 pp. . $22.95.

This comedic tale chronicles the foibles of four housewives who become phone-sex operators to pay off unexpected debt.
Shavetail: a Novel
By Thomas Cobb. Scribner. 366 pp. . $25.00.
This gritty historical novel charts the misfortunes of a seventeen-year-old army recruit haunted by tragedy during the Apache wars in southeastern Arizona. The plot, such as it is, follows a small cavalry patrol into Mexico in search of a kidnapped white woman. Heroes are hard to find in the bleak world Cobb creates as his flawed characters wrestle with inner demons and the harsh reality of a landscape where fate is capricious and life dangles by the sheerest thread. This isn't your standard western fare, as Cobb's vivid imagery and fertile imagination underscore the brutality of frontier life. []
Shavetail: n., 1. unbroken Army mule–tail hair removed to warn of possible danger; 2. by extension, a raw Army recruit who may present a danger to other soldiers. There are no heroes in Cobb’s grim account of a company of outcast soldiers in Arizona Territory nearing the end of the so-called Apache Wars. His descriptions are, as my grandfather used to say, spang-on, his dialog rings true, and his characters run the gamut from drunken, devious and manipulative to stupid and uneducated. Told in alternating chapters from three points of view (two officers and the shavetail of the title), the events ring true to frontier life a days ride east of Tucson in the heart of Apacheland.
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Silver and Stone: Profiles of American Indian Jewelers
By Mark Bahti. Rio Nuevo Publishers. 212 pp. Includes glossary and schedule of juried and unjuried Indian Markets and Fairs where the artists featured in the book may be found.. $40.00.
Top Pick
From interviews and often re-interviews over the years Bahti, a second generation Tucson dealer in Native American art, has selected nearly 50 individual artists and their family members to highlight with personal texts and fine color photos. Many of the artists work in other media but the focus of this book is silver jewelry and accompanying minerals such as coral and, of course, turquoise. Good color photos highlight each artist’s work and the texts explain how each one came to be an artist working in silver and stone. This book arrived early in the year but it is easy for me to predict that there will not be a better book among my choices by year’s end. []
Forty-eight talented and creative Native artists working with stone, shell, and silver, are profiled between the covers of a beautifully published volume. It must be emphasized that each item produced by these artists is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. There are no mass-produced pieces of jewellry here. Each has a story to tell about his or her background and how they came to design their works. Bernard Dawahoya, for example, is an Arizona Living Treasure, who tells how he tied coins on train tracks and let the trail "flatten them real good." The creativity of these artists knows no bounds. The book is amply illustrated showing the jewellers at work and their individual pieces of wearable art. A glossary helps understand some of the terms used in the book. A winner, I say! []

Silver of the Sierra Madre, The: John Robinson, Boss Shepherd, and the People of the Canyons
By John M. Hart. University of Arizona Press. 237 pp. Index. $45.00.
Hart, a distinguished historian of Mexico, has written an interpretive study of the rise and fall of the Batopilas Consolidated Mining Company in Chihuahua and its owner/patrons. Hart sees in the company's half-century operation a microcosm of American capitalism in Porfirian Mexico and a precursor of twentieth-century investment in Third World countries. Although directed at a scholarly audience, this interesting and accessible book will also appeal to general readers. []
This is a history book written smoothly enough to be read aloud. It tells a balanced story about American mining engineers John Robinson and Alexander Shepherd who grabbed the silver lodes of Batopiles, Mexico, from the 1860s to 1920s. No one should be surprised that the story includes greed, theft, slavery, racism, murder, and double-dealing. It is emblematic that one mine manager’s two sons died of typhoid caused by unhealthy conditions at the mines; you can only imagine how the mines affected those less privileged. If you wonder why Americans are not universally loved in Mexico, this book will offer some clues. The book is more than an interesting chapter in Southwest history—it is a cautionary tale of wider interest. []

Slavery to Integration: Black Americans in West Texas
By Paul H. Carlson, Bruce A. Glasrud, Tai D. Kreidler. Stae House Press. 168 pp. Index. . $21.95.
Here are twelve articles reprinted from the West Texas Historical Association Year Book, that attempt to cover a road history of Black Americans in West Texas. Topics include biographies of West Point graduate, Henry Flipper and the no-nonsense leader and martinet of the 24th United States Infantry Regiment,William R. Shafter; the interesting saga of the Black Seminoles lost but not forgotten treaty; the true story behind the 1900 census in Abiline; integration in San Angelo, and more. []

Smell of Old Lady Perfume, The
By Claudia Guadalupe Martinez. Cinco Puntos Press. 249 pp. $15.95.
Top Pick
Chela’s hopes are high as she enters 6th grade. She’ll be in the “smart” class with her best friend, her mean-girl nemesis has moved away, and popularity seems inevitable. Sometimes though, the transitions we expect are not the ones we face. Friends betray us, mean girls (it seems) are forever, and the people we love, like Chela’s wonderful father, will not always be with us. Setting her story in El Paso, Claudia Guadalupe Martinez gives us the gift of a real world, filled with authentic kids and family dynamics. Though the going is rough, Chela succeeds, and learns to trust herself in the process. Martinez’s prose, always animated and descriptive, is frequently quite beautiful. She is an author to watch. []

As Chela begins her much-anticipated 6th grade year, her beloved father has a stroke, leaving her family to cope with an uncertain future.
So Brave, Young, and Handsome
By Leif Enger. Atlantic Monthly Press. 285 pp. $24.00.
Enger, bestselling author of Peace Like a River, has produced an engaging tale of adventure and redemption set in the fading Old West of the 1910s. Western writer Monte Becker leaves his Minnesota home to follow oldtimer Glendon Hale to Mexico, where decades earlier Hale abandoned the love of his life to follow the outlaw trail. Enroute, they fall in with the Miller Brothers' 101 Wild West Show in Oklahoma and cross paths with real-life Pinkerton detective Charlie Siringo, hot on Hale's trail to Columbus, New Mexico, on the eve of Pancho Villa's raid. Enger brings his story to a satisfying conclusion in southern California, where his characters find forgiveness and, in Becker's case, a new life and inspiration. []

Social Violence in the Prehispanic American Southwest
By Patricia L. Crown, Deborah L. Nichols. University of Arizona Press. 273 pp. . $60.00.

The nine papers brought together in this collection tackle such difficult archaeo-anthro problems as cannibalism and other forms of collective violence based on the evidence so far obtained in excavations throughout the Southwest.
Socorro Blast, The: A Sasha Solomon Mystery
By Pari Noskin Taichert. University of New Mexico Press. 320 pp. . $24.95.

After a pipe bomb explodes in her niece’s mailbox, PR expert Sasha Solomon discovers mounting evidence suggests her niece may not be a victim, but a terrorist.
Some Like it Red Hot
By Robin Merrill. Acacia Publishing Inc.. 276 pp. . $14.95.

Murder and romance in a Las Vegas RV Park.
Song of Jonah, The: a Novel
By Gene Guerin. University of New Mexico Press. 232 pp. $18.95.

In this novel inspired by the Book of Jonah, Father Jon thinks it’s the end of his world when he is assigned to Nueve Ninos, but the people of this forsaken village welcome him as their redeemer. Redemption can be a two-way street.
Sonoran Rage: a Colton Brothers Saga
By Melody Groves. University Of New Mexico Press. 256 pp. $19.95.

Stranded in the rugged Sonoran Desert, stagecoach drivers James Colton and older brother, Trace, are captured by Apaches and must fight for survival.
Southwestern Indian Jewelry: Crafting New Traditions
By Dexter Cirillo, Addison Doty. Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.. 240 pp. Index. $55.00.
In this sequel to her earlier authoritative work, Dexter Cirillo introduces a new generation of Southwest Native American jewelry makers and their stunning work. Over 85 top Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, and other artists are featured with gorgeous photographs of their stunningly beautiful pieces. Through innovative designs, dazzling techniques and amazing use of materials, the younger generation is taking the art in new and daring directions. In just under 250 pages, Dexter Cirillo and photographer Addison Doty delight the eye, inform the mind and expand the spirit with beautiful photographs of the artists’ work and world, a succinct but excellent history placing the current art into historical context, and in depth discussions of the numerous jewelers, with equal attention to their dazzling art. []
A perfect complement to her book of the same title, but without a subtitle, published 20 years ago, this volume brings us a new generation of southwestern Native American artists and artisans whose main products are adornment, not painting or sculpture. In all more than 60 men and women are mentioned or briefly profiled, some with photos, and the products of their creative minds and skilled hands are shown in color, often in large format. Excellent book for collectors or anyone with a yen to know more about modern Native American jewelry being produced in the Southwest. []

Spiral Jetta: a Road Trip Through the Land Art of the American West
By Erin Hogan. University of Chicago Press. 180 pp. $20.00.
Hogan, a self-proclaimed "recovering art historian," sets out from Chicago in her VW Jetta on a quest to examine the monumental landscape art that sprouted in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas in the 1970s and 1980s. For this committed urban dweller, it is also a journey of self-discovery into the unfamiliar world of solitude and self-reliance. The result is a delightful combination of astute art criticism and self-effacing travelogue that demonstrates that in art and life reality seldom conforms to our expectations. []
Playing on the name of that earth, sand, and rock art formation created at the edge of Great Salt Lake (Spiral Jetty)Hogan describes her "sabbatical" from the intensity of work and art in a metropolis (Chicago) as she drives to various "art forms" in the West. Writing unaffectedly about her own naivete and the people and events she encounters, we see from a sophisticated point of view such places as Roden Crater in northern Arizona, the Hispanic/Rancher conflict at Marfa, Texas, and Nancy Holt's Sun Tunnels. []

State Fare: an Irreverent Guide to Texas Movies
By Don Graham. TCU Press. 89 pp. $8.95.
The 37 movies listed here may not have been filmed in Texas, but they definitely dealt with all the lusty Texas men,lusty Texas Rangers, lusty cowboys, lusty big ranchers, lusty wildcats, and lusty madams and even schoolmarms. Beginning with silent fare, the pocket-sized book features chapters and critiques about some we all remember: Giant; The Alamo; Bonnie & Clyde; The Last Picture Show, and more. []

Stone Cutter and the Navajo Maiden, The
By Vee F. Brown, Johnson Yazzie. Salina Bookshelf. $17.95.
Top Pick
After accidentally breaking her mother's grinding stone, young Cinnebah sets out on a quest to find someone who can repair it. Along the way, she meets a moccasin maker, a potter, and a stone cutter, all of whom offer compassion, wise advice, and thoughtful gifts. Set in the timeless past, this bilingual English/Navajo story is itself gift of simple, solid storytelling. Johnson Yazzie's illustrations, lovingly lifelike and resplendent with the colors of the Dinetah bring the tale to life. A final note by author Vee F. Browne describes the sacredness of grinding stones in Navajo culture. This is one to treasure. []

Cinnebah, a young Navajo girl, sets out to find someone who can repair her broken grinding stone in this bilingual, English-Navajo tale.
Storming Las Vegas: How a Cuban-born, Soviet-trained Commando Took Down the Strip to the Tune of Five World-class Hotels, Three Armored Cars, and Millions of Dollars
By John Huddy. Ballantine Books. 364 pp. . $26.00.
A decade ago Jose Vigoa led a small group/gang on a spree of robberies in Las Vegas that included the Bellagio and Mandalay Bay netting millions of dollars and including the murders of two guards. Print and media journalist Huddy recounts the bizarre events and introduces us to all the characters in a fascinating account that brings them to life. True crime narrative at its best.
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Sucker Bet
By , Erin McCarthy. Berkley Sensation. 296 pp. . $14.00.

Gwenna Carrick, a 900-year-old vampire living in Las Vegas offers her assistance in solving a case involving an Internet vampire slayers group.
Suenos Americanos: Barrio Youth Negotiating Social and Cultural Identities
By Julio Cammarota. University of Arizona Press. 199 pp. Index. . $39.95.

An examination of how Latino youth negotiate various social conditions, hostile economic and political pressures based on the author’s seven years of interviews and observations.
Supremely Bad Idea, A: Three Mad Birders and Their Quest to See it All
By Luke Dempsey. Bloomsbury . 257 pp. $24.95.

Survival Along the Continental Divide: An Anthology of Interviews
By Jack Loeffler. University of New Mexico Press. 268 pp. . $24.95.
The capstone of the New Mexico Humanities Council/Smithsonian Institution's Between Fences Project, this collection of seventeen interviews (conversations really) presents the viewpoints of leading (mostly New Mexican) authorities on cultural, sociological, political, environmental, and historical forces that divide and unite people along the continental divide. Special attention is devoted to the Great Depression and New Deal. Although none of the interviewees is afforded enough space to explore their speciality in depth, readers come away with a fair sense of the complexities of life in the modern West. []

Sweat of the Sun, Tears of the Moon
By Drew Signor, Kate Horton. Ocotillo Publishing. 236 pp. . $ .

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