Southwest Books of the Year
Browsing Complete List - B :
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.
- Ballad of Gutless Ditch, The
- By Katie Lee. Katydid Books and Music. 84 pp. $75.00.
- In blank verse, but with plenty of variations, Lee tells of love and passion (they are not the same) in 19th century Arizona.
- Bats of Texas
- By Loren K. Ammerman, Christine L. Hice, David J. Schmidly. Texas A&M University Press. 305 pp. Index. $35.00.
- Bats are fascinating, and even though this book focuses on Texas, it is a wealth of information about Southwest bats in general. Another outstanding edition of the Texas A&M Nature Guides, it covers the latest studies, startling facts, details about bats’ lives, classification keys and the latest nomenclature. Exquisite photos portray each of the 33 species discussed, from nectar eaters to vampires, and maps show their known ranges. A standard reference for years to come. [ ]
- Though the book is about bat populations in Texas, some 33 species mapped in all areas of the state, it is useful for general study. In addition to being well organized and illustrated the authors discusses every detail of the bat's history from evolution to the current time when there is a good deal of concern about the effect of climate change on the species. Thousands of sketches, photographs and statistical lists add to the book's interest and usefulness. [ ]
- By Claire Vaye Watkins. Riverhead. 287 pp. $25.95.
- These stories, ten of them, set in Nevada, have the impact of a hard punch to the stomach as Watkins’ characters seem to wander aimlessly, always wanting what they cannot possibly attain. This is terrific story-telling with a clear sense of place and, more importantly, a perfect eye for detail that reveals who we humans are, or at least think we are. [ ]
- Billy the Kid and Other Plays
- By Rudolfo Anaya. University of Oklahoma Press. 382 pp. $24.95.
- Anaya is best known for his many works both in fiction, non-fiction, and works for children. He is also a playwright and his works are performed regularly in New Mexico and throughout the world, according to his biography. In addition to "Billy the Kid," seven other plays are included in this collection. [ ]
- These one- and two-act plays will remind readers how good Anaya is with dialog (I’m thinking about his stellar short novel "Bless Me, Ultima"). In the title play here, for example, a cast of more than 30 characters have parts. Their dialog moves the story in two acts with Ash Upson (reputedly the author of the autobiography published by Pat Garrett) sitting in a corner as a dark observer of the action. Anaya’s introduction challenges readers to consider producing, directing, or acting in one of these efforts which, he says, have only been seen in New Mexico. [ ]
- Block Captain's Daughter, The
- By Demetria Martinez. University of Oklahoma Press. 95 pp. $14.95.
- As she has done in previous books such as "Breathing Between the Lines" and "Mother Tongue," Martinez presents individual characters in an Albuquerque setting. They interact in stories that are more vignettes than traditional narrative. For example, Maritza (who feels her English is not good enough) writes letters in English to her unborn baby girl so that she will enter the world better off than her mother. Excellent writing that is deceptively simple! [ ]
- Book on the Making of Lonesome Dove, A
- By John Spong. University of Texas Press. 168 pp. $50.00.
- Interviews with 40 people, including author Larry McMurtry, tie together dozens of large-format photos and other illustrations. This is a spectacular addition to the literature concerning the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the amazing TV mini-series it spawned. [ ]
- Boom, Bust, Boom: A Story about Copper, the Metal that Runs the World
- By Bill Carter. Scribner. 288 pp. Index. $26.00.
- Bisbee, AZ, once a copper boomtown, has been quiet (except for tourists) these past 30+ years. Between books (this is his third), journalist and former Bisbee resident Carter decided to plant a garden with his daughter, and nearly died from eating his own vegetables! Arsenic used in copper mining was the culprit, and the experience set him off on a research project to understand the copper industry. An excellent writer, Carter lets us understand both the history of copper extraction and the industry’s worldwide implications. [ ]