Thirty-five Years of Southwest Books of the Year

Cover of Southwest Books of the Year 2010

"Another good year of great reading!" Southwest Books of the Year panelist Bruce Dinges said it best recently when he submitted his list of selections for 2011. In 35 years of producing this publication the depth, breadth, and variety of great reading coming out of the Southwest has never failed to amaze and delight us, and we're happy to bring you our list of this year's top Southwest titles.

And what a list it is! It includes history, folklore, biology, biography, memoir, ecology, poetry, cooking, fiction, and a great selection of books for kids. In a field of 212 titles, twenty-one made it to the winner's circle. Books considered for inclusion in Southwest Books of the Year are set in the Southwest, or deal with a southwestern subject, and those identified as best reading by more than one of the reviewers--Southwest subject specialists and dedicated readers all---become Top Picks.

It's a competitive field. The decisions--made after a year of careful reading, discussion and soul searching--are rarely easy. This website is a list of all the great Southwest books we've had the pleasure to see this year, annotated with comments from the reviewers.

If a year is too long to wait to see what's cookin' in Southwest books, subscribe to our online newsletter, New Books of the Southwest, for monthly updates. To meet several of the authors whose books are mentioned here, be sure to mark your calendars for the Fourth Annual Tucson Festival of Books, March 10 and 11 on the University of Arizona Mall.

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

Thanks & Sponsorship 2011

Southwest Books of the Year–Best Reading 2011 is published by 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 35nd 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 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.

Special thanks go to Publication Designer Elizabeth Burden for making this a beautiful publication. Thanks, too, to Library Associate Jenn Berry for organizing book requests, reviews and panelists in a masterful way. We also thank Pima County Public Library's Virtual Library for securing our place in cyberspace.

Nancy Ledeboer is Director of Pima County Public Library. Helene Woodhams coordinates the publication.

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