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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.

Natural History of Tassel-Eared Squirrels
By Sylvester Allred. University of New Mexico Press. 226 pp. Index. $45.00.
If you visit the Southwest’s ponderosa forests, you’ve undoubtedly met tassel-eared squirrels as they scurry about collecting or stashing nuts, mushrooms, or acorns. In this book Sylvester Allred tells their life story, supported by a nest full of information and observations, some of them startling like their taste for tree bark or range of vocalizations. Although the book is authoritative and likely to be a standard reference for years to come, it is reader friendly and full of interesting natural history. The numerous color photos greatly add to our appreciation. In the Southwest we have six subspecies including the Abert’s squirrel and Kaibab squirrel. And if you’re thinking that you’ve read another squirrel book by Allred, you win the prize – that book was children’s classic Rascal, the Tassel-Eared Squirrel. []

Natural History of the Intermountain West, A: Its Ecological and Evolutionary Story
By Gwendolyn L. Waring. University of Utah Press. 222 pp. Index. $29.95.
Top Pick
If you still have your childlike curiosity to ask questions, you’ll love this book. Biologist Gwendolyn Waring smoothly and clearly tells us why the Colorado Plateau is dry, why flowers have their shapes and which grasses excel in cool or warm climes. Fueled by her own sense of wonder, she treats us to the latest answers from researchers across the West, and despite the book’s broad title, most of it applies to our Southwest rivers, grasslands, pinyon-juniper woodlands, pine forests and cold deserts. The result makes fascinating reading for anyone wishing to understand how key details explain the big picture. []

Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life
By Jim Kristofic. University of New Mexico Press. 230 pp. $26.95.
Top Pick
The author, born in Pittsburgh in 1982, spent ages 8-18 and summers thereafter in Navajoland. This book, through a series of stories about his growing up, is his attempt to answer the questions “Are you an Indian?” and “What is an Indian?” Beautifully written, with dry humor, strong characterization -particularly of his mother, and a profound respect for the resilience of Navajo culture, it reveals the lasting impact of his Navajo experience on his world view. The book is a painless introduction for anyone of another culture who crosses paths with Navajos, on or off “The Rez.” []
Kristofic writes with wit, insight, and affection of the formative years he spent as an Anglo kid, or "White Apple" to his Navajo classmates, at the reservation school at Ganado and later at public high school in Page. Kristofic's adventure begins when his divorced mother accepts a nursing job with the Indian Health Service. He quickly and painfully learns how to be a Tough Nut ("the Navajo Way"), forms bonds with neighbors and classmates, and discovers the complicated answer to The Question: "Are you a Navajo?" His thoughtful and entertaining memoir opens a revealing window on contemporary reservation life and sheds light on the important matter of how we view others and define ourselves. []

Nevada Rose: Inside the American Brothel
By Marc McAndrews. Umbrage Publications. 160 pp. $40.00.
Covering the entire state, not just the southern portion around Las Vegas, this large-format volume has 200-plus color photos, more interiors of rooms than the scantily clad women we might expect. McAndrews’ well-framed and true-colored photos make “the business” seem almost sedate and Kelly’s essay titled “Among the Last Honest Places in America” leaves no doubt as to point of view. Eyes in search of pix of nude women must look elsewhere. []

New American Family, A: A Love Story
By Peter Likins. University of Arizona Press. 179 pp. Index. $29.95.
Likins, who retired as president of the University of Arizona in 1996, does not bombard the reader with details of his accomplishments, though they are many, nor with a boring list of dates and events, though those are here as well. Instead he describes his multi-racial family of six adopted children, his 50+ years with wife Pat, his “adventures” as president of two universities, and his gentle but firm belief that there is hope for the future!
[]

New Mexico's Tasty Traditions: Recollections, Recipes, and Photos
By Sharon Niederman. New Mexico Magazine. 135 pp. $27.95.
The title and subtitle reveal the scope of the book but not the quality, which is high. Appealing colored photographs grace every page; the layout is eye-catching, with a good balance between text and photographs; the recipes are highlighted with a soft lavender background. Having lived and traveled in New Mexico, I expected to be familiar with the content, but much of it was new to me: an annual cakewalk in Springer, bizcochitos, and Route 60’s Pieway. Traditions and recipes come not only from the three major cultures but Jewish, Italian, and eastern European as well. []

New Politics of Indian Gaming, The: The Rise of Reservation Interest Groups
By Kenneth Hansen, Tracy Skopek. University of Nevada Press. 228 pp. Index. $49.95.
The author here defines Southwestern cuisine as presented in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, areas most influenced by the combination of Native American and northern Mexican cookery. Each section is organized with its own Table of Contents and history of Native foods and cooking in the area. It is a slick, well produced volume that is a joy to browse.. []
These nine papers (by 13 authors) range across the nation covering such topics as the impact of gaming on state politics and the use of gambling revenues to influence political decisions. Two chapters relate to our Southwest, one surveying Indian gaming in Arizona, the other analyzing an effort in New Mexico where Jemez Pueblo has tried to establish a casino on non-reservation land. The point this book makes most clearly is that Indian gaming is still in its infancy and how its control and financing will play out is many years in the future. []

Ninth Day, The
By Jamie Freveletti. HarperCollins. 384 pp. $9.99.
Emma Caldridge is a bio-chemist for a company that sometimes helps out the US Department of Defense in its battle against Latin American drug cartels. While collecting herbs in the Arizona desert she follows drug smugglers but is captured and taken south of Juarez to the compound of a notoriously ruthless drug lord who wants her to find a cure for an undiagnosed, virulent, flesh-eating disease running rampant on his ranch, a disease which kills its victims in nine days. The non-stop, page-turning action with adventurous and resourceful Emma in the forefront, airplane and car chases, shootouts and break-in and the race against time will grab readers’ attention from beginning to end. []

Northern Arizona University: Buildings as History
By Lee C. Drickamer, Peter J. Runge. University of Arizona Press. 317 pp. Index. $30.00.
Architectural styles on college campuses are like tree rings whose successive layers reveal much about how and why an institution plants roots and grows. In this handsome coffee-table book, Drickamer and Runge offer a visual history of the growth of Flagstaff's mountain campus through more than 250 images of buildings then and now. The accompanying text tells each campus structure's story, describes salient architectural features, and provides a biography of the person or persons for whom it is named. NAU alumni will appreciate this walk down memory lane, while historians and casual raders will benefit from a perceptive view of an educational institution as a living organism. []
This college yearbook for buildings shows the growth from a small teachers college founded in 1899 into the fine Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. More than just a promo book for future big-bucks donors, this book brims with history. Names like Frances Bury, Hugh Campbell, Agnes Allen, Platt Cline, Raúl Castro, and Grady Gammage are coupled with short biographies, bringing life to their nameplates on halls, labs, dorms, offices, and even streets. Maps show the development of the campus, and the photographs, aided by notes on architecture, give the flavor that many students remember fondly. []

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