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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.

Identity: Lost
By Pascal Marco. Oceanview Publishing. 319 pp. $25.95.
Beginning with a flashback to 1990 of a young boy in a Chicago courtroom, this complicated crime novel immediately settles into modern-day Maricopa County where the boy, now a successful attorney, has been relocated as part of the witness-protection system. Suddenly his years of playing a new role, never telling his wife, begins to fall apart. Good reading for a Phoenician on a long plane ride. []

If I Was a Highway
By Michael Ventura. Texas Tech University Press. 256 pp. $29.95.
Michael Ventura heads west and sometimes east, out of “Lubbock, or Leave it,” Texas, still proud of his green ’69 Chevy Malibu, the only car he ever had. Included here is a selection of previously published essays, mainly from the Austin Chronicle. Ventura chronicles his adventures as he crosses the country and leaves us with some fine vignettes as he philosophizes about a roadside shrine in the Texas Panhandle, Big Macs in Show Low, Arizona, even the Very Large Array in New Mexico, and of course, the people he meets along the way. []

Immigration Law and the U.S.- Mexico Border: Si se puede?
By Kevin Johnson, Bernard Trujillo. University of Arizona Press. 294 pp. $19.95.
Both authors are professors of law and wrote this book as a text book to explain US Immigration law and policy in its numerous aspects such as: labor migration; local and state regulation over immigration; and the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the US Economy. The authors discuss the long history of migration patterns, Federal Plenary Power, Administration and enforcement of Immigration laws, removal, border enforcement, National security, and much, much more. Each section has a list of questions, there are numerous case studies, plenty of statistics, a detailed glossary and many references. This is an important book that should be read by all citizens in order to better understand the enormous complexities when dealing with immigration. []

In Search of Dominguez & Escalante: Photographing the 1776 Spanish Expedition Through the Southwest
By Siegfried Halus, Greg MacGregor. Museum of New Mexico Press. 232 pp. $50.00.
With cameras in hand, Mac Gregor and Halus retrace the five-month, 1,800-mile journey of Franciscan friars Francisco Dominguez and Silvestre Velez de Escalante from Santa Fe through Colorado, Utah, and northern Arizona back to Santa Fe. Excerpts from the expedition journal, juxtaposed with striking contemporary black-and-white images, provide a fascinating gauge of how much has changed and what remains the same. []
I love the premise of this book: what would members of the 1776 Domínguez and Escalante expedition see if they made their trip today? Portions of their 1,800-mile route --- roughly from Santa Fe to Provo to Cedar City, and back --- now traverse a national historic trail and open public lands, but it also crosses towns, mines, and farms. Pairing the expeditions’ journals with splendid full-page documentary photographs, the author-photographers give a one-swoop look at changes in the Southwest. The result is compelling, with a mix of humor, grandeur, irony, and reflection, including a Paiute park ranger, a vender selling Indian jewelry near Navajo Bridge, a fiberglass dinosaur, railroad tracks at one of their campsites, and modern reenactments of the historic walk. You could build a whole vacation around his book. []

Indigenous Albuquerque
By Myla Vicenti Carpio. Texas Tech University Press. 178 pp. Index. $39.95.
Carpio (Jicarilla Apache/Laguna and Isleta Pueblo) uses Albuquerque, NM, as a case study in how Native Americans both shape and are shaped by their political, economic, and cultural surroundings. Her central argument-that urban Indians have been, and are, active agents in their own destinies who, despite their distinctive experiences, share a core connection with their reservation counterparts-has significant implications for Indian scholars, as well as government and community organizations. []
Albuquerque, because if its proximity to 12 reservations and its population of 30,000 Native people, is the perfect location for this study of “urban Indians.” Carpio describe challenges these folks face: a lack of social and educational services available on the reservation; isolation from others in their own culture and lack of community among different Native groups; “colonial” mindsets which ignore Native spiritual and environmental values. Well written, clearly presented, and carefully documented, this work should be an eye-opener for readers interested in the subject and essential reading for students of American Indians and urban policy planners. []

Insane Train, The
By Sheldon Russell. Minotaur Books. 312 pp. $25.99.
In the Mojave Desert at Barstow, California, one of two “dorms” of an insane asylum burns to the ground leaving the problem of transporting 50 inmates, some of them murderers, across the Southwest to a new facility in Kansas. Hook Runyon, a one-armed bull or “yard dog” with the railroad, draws the responsibility for getting them to their new “home”. And if it can go wrong, it does. Russell creates a page-turner filled with wisecracks and drama, by turns tongue-in-cheek and then all-out deadly. Enjoyable reading for an armchair or a train ride. []

It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy
By Laurie Notaro. Villard. 218 pp. $15.00.

A collection of humorous essays on the author’s attempts to fit in with her ultra-liberal community in Eugene Oregon.
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