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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.

Valles Caldera: A Geologic History
By Fraser Goff. University of New Mexico Press. 114 pp. Index. $18.95 paperback.
This outstanding book covers millions of years of volcanic activity that ultimately created the Valley Caldera, a twelve-mile wide collapsed crater in New Mexico's Jemez Mountains. Formerly part of the Baca Ranch, the Valle Caldera National Preserve was established by Congress in 2000. Here is some of the most beautiful scenery in the Southwest. Those familiar with roads to Los Alamos and Bandelier National Monument in the north and Jemez Springs to the south are treated to dramatic vistas of mountains, mesas, and cliffs showing the color and strata laid down over millions of years. Outstanding photos and a glossary defining geologic terms are welcome additions. []
Valles Caldera northwest of Santa Fe is an ancient, huge volcano with a resurgent dome, and its history in this well-told book is a key part of the geologic story of northern New Mexico. If you enjoy geology or understanding how beautiful, intriguing landscapes were formed, this book is for you. The area is now a national preserve and open the public. []

Valley Farms Site, The: Prehistoric Floodplain Agriculture on the Santa Cruz River in Southern Arizona
By Richard V. N. Ahlstrom, Kevin D. Wellman. SWCA Environmental Consultants. 242 pp. $30.00.
You may have driven Interstate 10 past the Cortaro Road exit without noticing a significant Hohokam farming site along the Santa Cruz River north of Tucson. Known as the Valley Farms site, it was part of a larger community of fields, canals, and villages 3100 to 2700 years before present. The site provided many interesting artifacts and adds to archaeologists’ knowledge of the region. []

View from Frog Mountain, The
By Rebecca Cramer. Imago Press. 207 pp. $14.00.
Bluenight lives on the edge of the O’odham Reservation west of Tucson near San Xavier, but this time out she goes up Mt. Lemmon [Frog Mountain is the English translation of the O’odham name for it] to Winterhaven to help an old friend who is opening a B&B with attached theater! There’s a killer up there, but motives are hard to find. Cramer occasionally goes astray with details. The road to Mt Lemmon does not, for example, circle the mountain 12 times, and if anyone knows where to find that Southwest white pine that is “five times the width of [a woman’s] body” we need to report it because it’s a world record by a factor of 3 or 4! []
This Linda Bluenight mystery takes place in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. Elements involve the forest, bears, killings, medicine men, and an intrepid heroine. By the end of chapter one, we learn that “As Meg Weatherby began to tear at her hair and lingerie, the peace of the mountain was shattered by the howling of a lone woman” (page 13). If you collect fiction about Tucson, you’ll want add this to your shelf. []

Visions Underground: Carlsbad Caverns Through the Artist's Eye
By Lois Manno. Rio Grande Books. 192 pp. Index. $19.99.
The West’s most famous caverns have inspired and confounded artists from the time of its discovery. The initial postcards of this unique national park were all drawn by hand. It used to be very dark down there. After accepting an assignment to photograph this natural wonder in 1936, Ansel Adams wrote to Alfred Stieglitz, “Pray for me.” In 1951, Sylvania donated 2.400 of its new technological marvels, the flash bulb, for a photographic first: a photo of the Big Room in a single shot. Compiled by an artist, writer and spelunker with many years experience in Carlsbad Caverns, this is a beautifully illustrated story of art from the depths of one of America’s natural wonders. []

Volume of Friendship, A: the Letters of Eleanor Roosevelt and Isabella Greenway 1904-1953
By Robert H. McGinnis, Kristie Miller. Arizona Historical Society. 354 pp. Index. Preface by Blanche Wiesen Cook. $34.95.
Top Pick
Isabella Greenway, business woman,rancher, and Arizona's first congress woman, formed a remarkable friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt, social reformer and wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt that spanned fifty years. Here are their letters in which they discuss their children and family matters. There is much more. Their lives were filled to the brim with unbelievable pressures and they shared the joys and sorrows of life and death through their letters. Both women were traditional wives, but also were pioneers in entering the all-male world of politics, and they often disccuss4ed national and world affairs, not always agreeing. There was gossip too, and the authors have identified hundreds of individuals mentioned by first name, and included various vignettes about them if known. We can only wonder how these busy women handled adversity creatively with determination and a positive outlook. []

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