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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.

Eating the Landscape: American Indian Stories of Food, Identity, and Resilience
By Enrique Salamon. University of Arizona Press. 170 pp. Index. $17.95.
Interviews with a number of southwestern farmers living in multiple environments demonstrate how the physical world affects culture. For example, the Hopi struggled to grow their corn in an arid landscape. “If the Hopi had irrigation,” a farmer said, “we would no longer need the kachinas.” Since Kachinas are rain spirits, ceremonies to encourage rain become an important part of the culture. The illustrations are well chosen, but it would have been nice to have a map outlining the different environments that support the cultures discussed. []

Edward Hunter Snow: Pioneer-Educator-Statesman
By Thomas G. Alexander. Arthur H. Clark Company. 392 pp. Index. $34.95.

A biography of Edward Hunter Snow, second generation leader in Mormon Utah by a noted western and Mormon historian.
Eight Valleys: A Linked Landscape
By Robert Sharpe. Nighthorses. 108 pp. .

Conservation and ranching in southeastern Arizona are the basis of this book, giving a fresh look at the future of rural lands and lifestyles. The author portrays the face of a beautiful landscape he knows first-hand.
El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency
By Ioan Grillo. Bloomsbury Press. 321 pp. Index. $27.00.
Top Pick
The author, an English reporter, has lived in Mexico researching the drug trade since 2001. He examines the history of narcotics, the politics and the players, all of which come unforgettably alive in this detailed analysis of the current bloodbath in Mexico, where the drug lords seem to be trumping government intervention. Clearly and logically written, this book enables the reader to understand the unfathomable and realize the urgency and enormity of problems that go beyond Mexico and beyond the United States. []

Essential West, The: Collected Essays
By Elliott West. University of Oklahoma Press. 336 pp. Index. $29.95.
This collection of 14 essays, most published previously with a few new ones, is divided into three major themes: conquest, families, and myths. Whether about the importance of race in the west, children’s games on the frontier, an analysis of McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove, or a comparison of Lewis and Clark’s expedition with Mungo Park’s exploration into the interior of west Africa, all the pieces are clearly presented, original and thought-provoking. The West seems to be broadly defined as west of the Mississippi. []

Estampas de la Raza: Contemporary Prints from the Romo Collection
By Lyle W. Williams. University of Texas Press. 180 pp. $39.92.
Top Pick
The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio has hung a magnificent display of Chicano art, mostly posters, and many of them already famously recognizable. This book, a catalogue for the exhibit, presents splendid reproductions of the original lithographs and screen prints, and provides illuminating discussions of the Romo collection, cultural borders, struggles, themes and icons by curator Lyle W. Williams and others. Most memorable for me are the posters ‘Yo Soy-ee Blaxican,’ ‘Tan lejos de Díos, tan cerca de los Estados Unidos,’ ‘Human Denial,’ and ‘John.’ The text is in English and includes short bios of the artists. []

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