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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.

Vanishing Circles: Portraits of Disappearing Wildlife of the Sonoran Desert Region
By Linda M. Brewer. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Press. 167 pp. Index. $24.95.
Sixty-seven works of art illustrate ninety-three endangered or threatened species found in seven Sonoran Desert habitats. The collection was commissioned and acquired for the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum by the Priscilla and Michael Baldwin Foundation, which selected twenty-seven artists for this project based on their expertise in a particular natural area. The splendid reproductions could be mistaken for photographs, and their artful descriptions make the book a sheer treasure. Maps, notes and a glossary share space with lists of common and scientific names. []
Wow. This collection of 68 stunningly beautiful paintings brings Southwestern wildlife to life. Just as the 28 artists saw new and revealing details in ocelots, western burrowing owls, ironwood trees, and Apache trout, so do we. I have never so fully appreciated the “faces” of flowers and critters as in these portraits. Essays by Michael Baldwin and Richard C. Brusca tell us more about each featured entry and explain why its circle is vanishing. A beautiful, thoughtful book. []

Vengeance is Mine: The Scandalous Love Triangle that Triggered the Boyce-Sneed Feud
By Bill Neal. University of North Texas Press. 306 pp. Index. $24.95.
Shakespeare's Montagues and Capulets had nothing on the Texas Panhandle's Boyce and Sneed families. In sometimes breathless prose, historian Neal leads readers through the convoluted story of adultery and murder that pitted in-laws against one another in one of the Lone Star State's great feuds. At the center of the mayhem was John Beal Sneed, the aggrieved husband, whom Texas juries three times acquitted of bald-faced murder. Through deft use of 1912 court testimony and personal letters, Neal paints a vivid portrait of betrayal, vengeance, and the defense of tarnished honor in the Victorian South. []

Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres
By Deborah Lawrence, Jon Lawrence. University of Oklahoma Press. 258 pp. Index. $34.95.
In this fresh approach to an old subject the Lawrences have interviewed modern scholars, including familiar names like Will Bagley and Marc Simmons, asking them pertinent questions about such events as the Oatman captivity, and the Mountain Meadows and Camp Grant massacres. Each “interview” is presented in Q & A format giving a lively feeling to what are certainly well-known and historically well-covered events, with both attitudes and factoids that haven’t showed up in book form as yet.

Voice of My Own, A: Essays and Stories
By Rolando Hinojosa. Arte Publico Press. 140 pp. $19.95.
Hinojosa, an award-winning author, acclaimed speaker, teacher, and translator, has collected essays and short stories on diverse subjects written between 1973 and 2009. This should be of interest to writers, translators, readers, Chicanos, and virtually everyone else. Most meaningful to me was his portrayal of what it is like to be of two cultures (his father was Texas Mexican and his mother was Texas Anglo) and to live in the Borderlands. A worthwhile read. []

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