Southwest Books of the Year
Browsing All Nonfiction Books - C :
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.
- 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. [ ]
- 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. [ ]
- 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. [ ]
- 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.
- 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.
- Crazy Brave: A Memoir
- By Joy Harjo. W.W. Norton. 169 pp. . $24.95.
- 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. [ ]
- 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.