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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.

A Bailar! / Let's Dance!
By Judith Ortiz Cofer. Pinata Books. $16.95.
Judith Ortiz Cofer's newest bilingual children's book is published by Pinata Books, an imprint of Arte Publico Press from the University of Houston.
The premise seemed inviting at first but as the story went on I grew tired of the caricaturized illustrations.
I also expected the text to be fully bilingual and it was not. Spanish phrases were thrown into the text but the story itself was not translated into Spanish. []

Agaves: Living Sculptures for Landscapes and Containers
By Greg Starr. Timber Press. 342 pp. Index. $39.95.
All you ever wanted to know about agaves is included in this magnificent book with elegant colored illustrations. Over 80 species are detailed with temperature and moisture ranges. Although the focus is on the Southwest, agaves can do well in other climates. An index to specific types, a glossary, and a listing of agaves by size are all useful. This is a book that generalists and specialists can savor. []

Alexander O. Brodie: Frontiersman, Rough Rider, Governor
By , Charles H. Herner. Texas Christian Univeristy Press. 267 pp. Index. $29.95.
In this thoroughly researched and crisply written biography, Herner chronicles Brodie's long climb from army officer and civil engineer to fame in the Spanish American War (the idea for a regiment of cowboy cavalry was his), friendship with Theodore Roosevelt, and the governorship of Arizona Territory. Along the way, Herner advances strong arguments for Brodie's important role in Progressive politics and his singular contributions to the development of Arizona and the nation. This is a welcome, and long overdue, appraisal of an underappreciated figure in southwestern history. []

Alicia's Fruity Drinks / Las Aguas Frescas De Alicia
By Laura Lacamara, Lupe Ruiz-Flores. Pinata Books. $19.95.
A brief bilingual picture book about the value of drinking fruit drinks, aguas frescas, instead of soda. When Alicia's soccer team member develops diabetes,
Alicia's mother decides to make natural fruit drinks to serve the girls instead of sodas. Everyone loves the new drinks which the team decides to call 'Alicia's Fruity Drinks'. []

Apache Tactics 1830-86
By Robert N. Watt. Osprey Publishing Ltd.. 64 pp. Index. $18.95.
Covering the five-and-a-half decades just prior to the surrender and deportation to Florida of both Geronimo and Mangas Coloradas Watt looks in detail at some of the Apache tactics of warfare. A number of excellent maps as well as fine modern color photographs help the reader understand the terrain and the movement of both Apache warriors and U.S. troops. []

Apricot Year, An
By Martha Egan. Papalote Press. 285 pp. $25.95.
When Luli, at the beginning of a month to do nothing but paint in Santa Fe, is told by her daughter of her abusive husband’s affair with a bimbo back in Green Bay, it seems like the end. In truth it is the beginning. Egan’s cast of wonderfully off-beat men and women show us, in their lives, how to learn from each other and how community can let us survive the tragedies that life sometimes throws our way. Santa Feans, I believe, will likely see people they know in the characters Egan creates and connects. []
An apricot year comes infrequently to Santa Fe but when it does the crop is perfect. Luli is gifted a painting trip to Santa Fe from Green Bay by her abusive husband, who she learns, is having an affair. Meanwhile Luli meets interesting neighbors, learns to support herself, gains self-confidence, and through unlikely circumstances, meets another man. Although the plot may seem trite, the book is well written, the characters original, fully developed and believable, subplots creatively explored, and best of all, it’s almost like being in Santa Fe. []

Arizona Ambush
By J.A. Johnstone, William W. Johnstone. Pinnacle Books. 318 pp. $6.99.
When Matt Bodine is wounded in an ambush in the Four Corners area, probably Arizona, his blood brother Sam Two Wolves gets him settled with Navajos then sets out for revenge. This page-turner is at least the twelfth mass-market paperback western by the Johnstone team; they must be doing something right. []

Arizona Recollections and Reflections: An Arizona Centennial Historymakers Commemoration
By Zona Davis Lorig, Ruth McLeod, Joan Robinson-Blumit. Historical league, Inc. of the Arizona Historical Society Museum. 303 pp. $40.00.
Hundreds of good-to-excellent b/w photos supplement extremely brief texts that provide the highlights of the lives of nearly 60 Arizonans selected as “historymakers” in the years 1992-2008. Most of the subjects are still living which qualifies this as a “mug book” in the old-fashioned sense. Selections seem to lean toward choices from the Phoenix area, with many notable omissions state-wide. []
This tribute to Arizona’s centennial features more than fifty mover and shakers who made state history. It includes Barry Goldwater, Bruce Babbitt, Roy Drachman, Eddie Basha, Ester Don Tang, Alberto Rios, and Joe Garagiola. The format devotes 2 to 4 pages to each person, including a tribute and family photos. []

Arizona: 100 Years Grand
By Lisa Schnebly Heidinger. Arizona Historical Advisory Commission. 241 pp. Index. . $24.95.
Lisa Schnebly Heidinger writes as well about Arizona as anyone, and this volume showcases her life-long familiarity with all corners of the state. In what at first appears an eclectic mix of articles featuring a centennial year, she draws on far-flung places, people, and events to spin a fascinating story about what makes Arizona Arizona. There’s something here for everyone. Lavishly illustrated and brimming with information and fun, the book ably achieves her goal of letting the reader “experience” the state. She is a fitting ambassador. []
One hundred photographs grace each page accompanied by a well-written descriptive history of people and places that we think of in talking about Arizona. Of course, it includes the five Cs: Copper, Cotton, Citrus, Climate, and Cattle. This is a book to give to every newcomer and visitor to our state. Well done.
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Arizona: A History
By Thomas E. Sheridan. University of Arizona Press. 484 pp. Index. $50.00.
Top Pick
Bill Broyles almost said it all but I will add that Sheridan turned over multiple stones and burrowed under many more to produce a “must read” for anyone interested in the future of Arizona. []
Sheridan’s is simply the best book on Arizona history ever written. Ignore at your peril; read to your delight. Sheridan is our guide with a flashlight on a dark night, spinning the real story and making sense out of the state’s history from ancient mammoth hunters to modern water traders. This revised edition updates and expands a previous, masterful edition. []

Arizona: A Photographic Tribute
By John Annerino. Globe Pequot Press. 115 pp. $17.95.
With breathtaking photographs and classic quotations from famous authors and artists who appreciated the state, photographer John Annerino celebrates the Arizona’s centennial. My favorite of favorites is his sunrise image of Monument Valley accompanied by actor John Wayne’s quote “So this is where God put the West.” The book is a nice gift for newcomers or guests, but I have a copy next to my reading chair. []

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