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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.

Eat Mesquite! A Cookbook
By Desert Harvesters . Desert Harvesters. $19.95.
More than a cookbook, this short work promotes mesquite as the most important food since soy to prevent world hunger, touts its medicinal qualities, and gives directions for harvesting, storing, and milling these pods, as well as other southern Arizona native seeds and products. The recipes are divided by categories, such as breakfast or dessert; and appear to use common ingredients, although most pantries would not have the ironwood seeds or wolfberries called for in Sonoran granola. The recipes are clearly printed and easily understood. This book should interest adventurous cooks and those concerned with using what we have and wasting not, which should be all of us. []

Education Beyond the Mesas: Hopi Students at Sherman Institute, 1902-1929
By Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert. University of Nebraska Press. 272 pp. Index. $40.00.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the U.S. Government forced thousands of Hopi children into federally funded off reservation boarding schools. The author does not neglect the horror stories as agents searched Hopi houses to grab and send resisting children off to school. The story of Sherman Institute in Riverside, California, was in the main, a success story. It took time for adjustment by both the teachers and the students who at first resisted acculturation, but soon learned to balance Hopi culture with new skills. Thus on return home they could use new skills along with knowledge of politics and economics to help their people on the Mesas. The author has leaned heavily on Sherman Institute records in the National Archives in addition to collections in the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, Kykiotsmovi, Arizona. An addition of a map of the Hopi Mesas and photographs of activities at Sherman Institute would have been welcomed. []

Elvis Romero and Fiesta De Santa Fe: Featuring Zozobra's Great Escape
By Andrew Leo Lovato. Museum of New Mexico Press. 76 pp. $22.50.
Elvis Romero and his cousins are around 10 years old in 1964 in Santa Fe. The adults there are building a large puppet called, ZoZobra which will be burned to symbolize good vs. evil.
The kids feel bad that Zozobra will be burned so they kidnap the puppet and hide him in the forest. Later Elvis confesses to the priest and decides to return the puppet.
The ending wraps up very nicely with everyone happy with the outcome. []

Empire: Poems
By , Xochiquetzal Candelaria. University of Arizona Press. 80 pp. $15.95.
Don’t take this book with you on the bus or to the donut shop. Find a quiet, private spot where you can read these poems by Xochiquetzal Candelaria aloud. Her ear for words is spot on. Southwest, Mexico, Pancho Villa, mariachis, lovers, children, and childhood ring true, with titles like “Combustion,” “Caught in the Eye of the Sun,” and “Quixote.” My own favorite is “The Only Thing I Imagine Luz Villa Admires About Her Husband’s Gun---.” Candelaria brings us warm, sensitive poems evoking heritage and memory of things true. []
After reading just one of these poems you might want to jump up and shout hooray, for these are spectacular lines giving us images that precisely match imagination and tell-all while telling little. Then you know that “hooray” is too harsh, even though true, and you search your mind for the perfect word that will tell others, no, demand of others “Read this; you must!” []

End of Days
By Robert Lee Gleason. Forge. 416 pp. $24.99.
The title means the end of the world in nuclear holocaust. One central character has built a nuclear blast-proof safety house she calls “the Citadel” to insure the survival of humans when the inevitable occurs. Naturally it is located in that thinly populated area we know as the Sonoran Desert. []

Enduring Legacies: Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado
By Arturo J. Aldama. University Press of Colorado. 421 pp. Index. $75.00.
This collection of 21 papers, plus a substantial introductory essay, provides some excellent analyses of events and/or time periods in Colorado history. From a geographical point of view papers such as “Pictorial Narratives of San Luis, Colorado”, “Music of Colorado and New Mexico’s Rio Grande”, and “Latina Education and Life in Rural Southern Colorado, 1920-1945" contain much that relates directly to “our” Southwest. Good research here. []
The complete human history of Colorado is more diverse and interesting than we have been taught, so here more than two dozen experts broaden the narrative and reveal the roles of ethnic groups and diverse cultures in the state’s accomplishments. []

Eugene B. Adkins Collection, The
By Jane Aebersold, Christina Burke, James Peck, B. Byron Price . University of Oklahoma Press . 304 pp. Index. $60.00.
This beautifully produced catalogue highlights treasures from the more than 3,300-item collection of the late Tulsa investor and real estate tycoon housed at the University of Oklahoma's Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and at the Philbrook Musuem of Art. The scope of Adkins' four decades of collecting is as eye-popping as his discerning taste, from southwestern painting and photography to Native American pottery, jewelry, and basketry. A noted expert introduces each section, placing its contents in historical, cultural, and artistic perspective. A work of art in its own right, "The Eugene B. Adkins Collection" is a tribute to one man's vision as well as an informative introduction to Arizona and New Mexico's native and non-native art and artists. []
Here is a museum collection in a book and rather than travel to Oklahoma to tour the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art and the Philbrook Museum of Art, this is your opportunity. This is a big book, both in size and in content and includes stunning color images of the best in American Indian pottery, baskets, jewelry, carving, and sculpture collected over forty years by Eugene B. Adkins. In addition, paintings and photographs by distinguished non-Natives are included and in total, honor the creativity of Southwestern artists. Seven noted art historians have contributed expertise for a reader’s further enjoyment.

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Everett Ruess: His Short Life, Mysterious Death, and Astonishing Afterlife
By Philip Fradkin. University of California Press. 279 pp. Index. $24.95.
It is a measure of our boundless thirst for myth and romance that the seventy-seventh anniversary of Ruess's disappearance in the southwestern canyonlands has produced two biographies of the twenty-year-old artist and wilderness adventurer. Where David Roberts's "Finding Everett Ruess" is a highly personal story of the author's fascination with his subject, Frandkin takes a more measured and scholarly approach, placing Ruess with the context of his family upbringing and tracing the growth of his post mortem popularity, largely through the efforts of Wallace Stegner and Ed Abbey. In a fascinating final chapter, Fradkin explores how the media attention around the purported discovery of Ruess's remains in 2008 tested the boundaries of journalistic ethics and exposed the limitations of forensic science. []

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