Introduction 2010

Cover of Southwest Books of the Year 2010Welcome to the 34th edition of Southwest Books of the Year! In 2010 we had the good fortune to examine more than 200 titles reflecting a broad range of subjects and scholarship. These books intrigued us, often delighted us, and sometimes astonished us, and every one of them increased our appreciation for the matchless breadth of the Southwest literary experience.

The Southwest Books of the Year reviewers are subject specialists and voracious consumers of Southwest literature. Books selected by two or more of them become "Top Picks;" individual favorites appear under the reviewers' names.

Our year-long quest for the best Southwest writing returned some impressive results, including Bernard Fontana's A Gift of Angels, chosen unanimously by the panelists as a "Top Pick." Another panelist favorite is The Turquoise Ledge, a memoir about family, tradition, and nature by award-winning author Leslie Marmon Silko. If you love authors and their books—Southwest or otherwise—be sure to visit the Tucson Festival of Books, on March 12 and 13, 2011, on the University of Arizona campus. You'll meet many of the great authors featured here and you're guaranteed to have the literary time of your life.

-Helene Woodhams
Coordinator, Southwest Books of the Year
Librarian, Pima County Public Library

Thanks & Sponsorship 2010

Southwest Books of the Year–Best Reading 2010 is published by the Southwest Literature Project of Pima County Public Library in partnership with theFriends of the Pima County Public Library Friends of the Pima County Public Library and the Arizona Historical Society. This is the 33nd annual edition. The publication was begun by the Arizona Daily Star in 1977 and continued by the library in 2000.

Arizona Historical Society Southwest Books of the Year is made possible by a gift from the Friends of the Pima County Public Library and with funds granted by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records Agency under the Library Services and Technology Act, which is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Arizona State LibraryWe thank the numerous publishers who provided the Southwest Books of the Year panelists with review copies of their books.

Many hands make light work, and we're grateful for the handiwork of many. Tanya Fernandes is a fearless and intrepid publication designer, and she has our thanks. So, too, does Library Associate Jenn Berry, who tirelessly scours review sources, leaving no stone unturned, to find the latest in Southwest writing. Thanks also to Pima County Public Library's Virtual Library, for their invaluable service in sending Southwest Books of the Year into cyberspace.

Members of the Pima County Public Library's Southwest Literature Project Committee are: Bruce Dinges, director of publications for the Arizona Historical Society; Margaret Guerrero; Marly Helm, past board president of the Friends of the Pima County Public Library; Beth Petrucci; Rona Rosenberg; Dianna Thor; and Helene Woodhams, chairman. Nancy Ledeboer is the director of the Pima County Public Library.

Southwest Books of the Year considers titles published during the current year that are about Southwest subjects, or are set in the Southwest. For information about submitting a book for consideration contact Helene Woodhams:

Pima County Website