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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.

Celebrate Arizona!
By Joan Sandin. Rio Chico. 32 pp. $15.95.
A bright, colorful children's picture book about the day Arizona became the 48th state. The story is told in rhyming verse highlighting Governor Hunt getting the news, cannons & dynamite going off, sirens, whistles, bands playing and flags now displaying 48 stars.
The last two pages feature facts about Arizona's historic journey to become a state and some facts about the president, the governor and the design of the state flag. []

Chasing Cattle and the Cure: Oral Histories from Yavapai County, Arizona
By Mona McCroskey. HollyBear Press. 376 pp. Index. $40.00.
In revealing interviews compiled over the past two decades, 100 men and women describe life and work in and around Prescott in the early and middle years of the 20th century. Individually, they relate commonplace stories of families rooted in place and engaged in business and social activities that enrich lives and forge the bonds of community. Taken together, these engaging vignettes paint a vivid portrait of town and country. Hundreds of family photographs add intimacy to this loving scrapbook of Yavapai County history. []
If you enjoy visiting with old-timers like I do, you’ll love this book. Pull up a chair and listen as they tell about their childhoods, families, neighbors, careers, joys and sorrows while living in the Prescott area. Some were ranchers, others businessmen or deputies, teachers, and homemakers. You’d be proud to have any of them as your neighbor. McCroskey has done a sterling job of organizing the interviews and family-album photos into a heartwarming story. Winnowed from the best of more than 300 interviews that the author conducted while at the Sharlot Hall Museum, this is a wonderful local history of ordinary people, which to me is the most interesting. []

Chiricahua and Janos: Communities of Violence in the Southwestern Borderlands, 1680-1880
By Lance R. Blyth. University of Nebraska Press. 277 pp. Index. $60.00.
Blyth makes a case for the inevitability of violence in borderland areas where two cultures are totally different and neither culture is dominant by detailing skirmishes, massacres, and raids between the Apaches (Chiricahua) and Spanish and Mexicans (Janos). He further argues this violence has the positive result of providing peaceful periods in between. Interestingly, he draws parallels between this earlier period of violence and today’s drug wars. While his thesis is thought-provoking, this peace lover hopes there are more productive solutions to border problems in the future. []
Recent borderlands scholarship provides the framework for Blyth's case study of two centuries of interaction between Chiricahua Apaches and Mexicans around the frontier community of Janos in northwestern Chihuahua. Based on microfilmed archival research and broad reading in the historical literature, Blyth makes a strong argument for the adaptive cultural, diplomatic, and political uses of violence in regions remote from central government. A final chapter draws intriguing links to today's drug wars. []

Clara and the Curandera / Clara y la curandera
By Monica Brown. Pinata Books. $16.95.
Clara is a grumpy little girl so her Mami says it's time to visit the curandera. The curandera recommends a new course of action for Clara, including giving away her toys, helping neighbors and reading more books. Her grumpiness vanishes and with only one setback Clara becomes a helpful, considerate little girl.
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Climate and Culture Change in North America AD 900 to 1600
By William C. Foster. University of Texas Press. 240 pp. Index. $24.95.
Climate changes over the past seven centuries have greatly affected where and how people lived in North America as crops grew or failed, cities were built or abandoned, and populations thrived or crashed. Drawing heavily from the archaeological record that includes Southwest sites at Chaco Canyon, Snaketown, Paquimé, and Pecos Pueblo, William Foster argues that the only permanence is change and that warmer times were beneficial for past civilizations. []

Code Talker
By Judith Schiess Avila, Chester Nez. Berkley Publishing Group. 310 pp. Index. $26.95.
There were eventually more than 400 Navajo code talkers active in World War II. Nez, however, was one of the original 29 and the only one whose story has been told completely in book form. Based on 75 hours of interviews, Avila’s lively editing job lets the reader feel both Nez’s traditional Navajo boyhood and his transition to manhood as well as the place in history where he and his comrades belong. []

Come in and Cover Me
By Gin Phillips. Riverhead. 342 pp. $26.95.
At an archaeological dig in New Mexico a beautiful woman, haunted by her past, continues to be visited by spirits. As the excavation continues, she feels more and more connected to the ancient past. Over time both the recent past and the prehistoric past seem to converge around her. Smoothly written fiction for any reader with an interest in the timelessness of spirits. []

Common Humanity, A: Ritual, Religion, and Immigrant Advocacy in Tucson, Arizona
By Lane Van Ham. University of Arizona Press. 218 pp. Index. $25.00.
The author received his PhD from the University of Arizona and with its academic language and narrow but original focus this appears to be a revision of his dissertation. Van Ham has researched immigrant advocacy organizations in Tucson (primarily Humane Borders, Derechos Humanos, and Samaritans) and concluded that members, whether grounded in religion or secularism, share beliefs that human rights trump man-made laws and that globalism trumps nationalism. This is not to say that members are not loyal abiding Americans, but that laws are not infallible. This is a challenging and thought-provoking presentation with wider than local implications. []

Continental Divide: Wildlife, People, and the Border Wall
By Krista Schlyer. Texas A&M University Press. 292 pp. Index. $30.00.
Top Pick
Note the subtitle! This continental divide does not run down the spine of the Rockies. Schlyer’s account describes the problems created by the border fence and its impact on the desert, the grasslands and, most telling, the people, and doesn’t overlook its effect on the Rio Grande. Her photos, in excellent color, look closely at the non-human creatures in the divided landscape in which we now live in. Her final chapter, titled “Appalachian Rain,” may seem like a long stretch at first, but it is a reminder that any water, no matter where it “starts,” is connected to all water! []

Conversations Across our America: Talking about Immigration and the Latinoization of the United States
By Louis G. Mendoza. University of Texas Press. 299 pp. Index. $55.00.

Brief portions of sometimes extended conversations with more than 30 Latinos all over the US, including several stops in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Country of the Bad Wolfes
By James Blake. Cinco Puntos Press. 456 pp. $16.95.
This episodic account of two sets of twins born in the same family but more than a generation apart in time, is Blake at his best. Duels, domestic intrigues, political and commercial shenanigans all combine with love and life and death to create escapist reading pleasure with some Texas and Rio Grande flavor.
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Cowboy Christmas
By Rob Sanders. Golden Books. $10.99.
Top Pick
Christmas is coming to the desert but cowboys Dwight, Darryl and Dub are disheartened, wondering if Santy Claus will find them out on the range. Cookie tries to cheer the boys up by encouraging them to create a Christmas tree from a saguaro, to make their own cookies (which burn to a crisp in the frying pan), and to dress up the cows in antlers and bandanas to make them look like reindeer. None of this works very well. “Another day, another cow,” grumbles Darryl on Christmas morning as he and the boys head off to work. But when their day is done they go back to camp and see glowing lights and hear a jolly “HoHoHo!” This story is full of bright, colorful illustrations of an ethnically-diverse set of cowboys with comical looking animals.
Could a New Year’s Eve party be far off?
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Cowboy Christmas, A
By Tom Van Dyke. Page Branch Publishing. $18.95.

A young man turned cowboy finds adventure, fortune and romance in the Arizona Territory in this seasonal tale. It is the third revised edition of this title and contains “additions and matters of fact.”
Coyote Under the Table, The/El coyote debajo de la mesa: Folk Tales Told in Spanish and English
By Joe Hayes. Cinco Puntos Press. 133 pp. $12.95.
A collection of ten classic Northern New Mexican folktales collected by the well known story teller, Joe Hayes.
Includes; 'The Tale of the Spotted Cat', 'The Little Snake', 'The Man Who Couldn't Stop Dancing and more retold by Hayes
Published by Cinco Puntos Press, an independent publisher from Texas. []

Crazy Brave: A Memoir
By Joy Harjo. W.W. Norton. 169 pp. . $24.95.
Top Pick
Creek poet Joy Harjo writes about abuse as a child, problems with alcohol and friendships and life as a single mom. She attended Santa Fe Indian School and later the University of New Mexico. In a sense, she had been trapped by two cultures and her art, poetry, and music helped her climb out of the abyss.
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In this slender memoir, poet Harjo describes an Oklahoma childhood marred by poverty and abuse, her rebellious years at a Santa Fe Indian school during the 1960s and her search for identity as a single mother enrolled at the University of New Mexico. And, always, there are the words. Harjo’s exquisite prose shows, as much as tells, us how poetry unlocks the door to feeling and charts a clear path to understanding. This is a must read for everyone who appreciates the healing power of literature. []

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