Southwest Books of the Year
Browsing Complete List - G :
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.
- Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope
- By Gabrielle Giffords, Mark Kelly, Jeffrey Zaslow. Scribner. 309 pp. $26.99.
- This intimate portrait of the lives of both Kelly and Gabby before and after the tragic shootings of January 8, 2011 delivers what the subtitle suggests. No matter what one’s politics, after reading this it would be hard not to admire Gabby for her energy, courage, and determination. It also provides interesting glimpses into the life of an astronaut as well as the strength of Gabby’s mother, Gloria. This is a good one. [ ]
- Gardener's Guide to Cactus, The: The 100 Best Paddles, Barrels, Columns, and Globes
- By Scott Calhoun. Timber Press. 227 pp. Index. $24.95.
- Whether your wish is to plant a cactus garden or to better understand the prized specimens you already have, Scott Calhoun can help. The photos in this fine book are splendid and the text tells how to identify and cultivate cacti, and how to enjoy those that produce edible fruits or stems. The section on pots and potting soils is especially helpful. It’s a fun, fascinating book for beginners and cactophiles alike. [ ]
- Georgia O'Keeffe and Her Houses: Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu
- By Agapita Judy Lopez, Barbara Buhler Lynes. Abrams. 256 pp. Index. $50.00.
- This large-format book has more than 200 mostly-color illustrations divided about equally between O'Keeffe's two houses, and many (mostly black-and-white) photos of the artist herself. Readers with an interest in O’Keeffe will be delighted with the breadth and detail of this volume.
- Georgia O'Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land
- By Carolyn Kastner, Barbara Buhler Lynes. Museum of New Mexico Press. 144 pp. Index. $34.95.
- The small book was created to accompany an exhibit of some fifty-three works mainly featuring Hopi and Zuni Katsinas, landscape, and some additional works. O’Keeffe wrote that her “pictures are a statement of personal experience.”
- As usual with Museum of New Mexico Press publications the illustrations (about 75 of them, all in color) are excellent. The texts (four separate essays), however, are a mixture. Some are highly technical analyses aimed, presumably, at an expert audience. Others, such as Hopi artist Alph Secakuku’s explanation of the Hopi ceremonial cycle, are intended to explain how O’Keeffe’s paintings reflect her interest in that aspect of culture. [ ]
- By Robert Marshall Utley. Yale University Press. 376 pp. Index. $30.00.
- In the first serious study of the iconic Apache warrior since Angie Debo’s 1976 biography, the preeminent military historian of the American West draws on new sources and offers fresh interpretations to create a fast-paced narrative of Anglo-native warfare in the Southwest and provide a balanced assessment of a figure long shrouded in myth. The Geronimo who emerges from these pages is neither savage nor saint, but a flawed human being of immense personal magnetism who has come to symbolize resistance in the face of overwhelming odds. Utley’s authoritative biography will set the standard of scholarship and readability for at least the next half-century. [ ]
- Gods Without Men
- By Hari Kunzru. Alfred A. Knopf. 384 pp. $26.95.
- At one level this is well-written, carefully thought out science fiction. Spread across seven decades the events leading up to a dramatic conclusion should cause readers to ponder the place of humankind in a chaotic universe. The prominent setting is that “magical” place in the Mojave Desert known as The Pinnacles where, we can readily imagine, aliens from another galaxy might land and offer to share their knowledge with us! [ ]
- This novel is made up of a series of separate tales loosely connected over time, 1775-2009, and place, The Pinnacles in the Mohave Desert. It is contemporary with the financial crash of 2008, military training for success in Iraq, and a drug-addicted British rock star trying to escape pressures of fame; but also steeped in history with reference to Fray Garces’ explorations, Mormonism and mining in the 1870s, ethnological studies of the 1900s, and World War II paranoia over foreign infiltration. The main thread concerns an East Indian, his Jewish wife, and their autistic son who disappears at the Pinnacles and much later is found unharmed but changed. This is a creative, contemplative, literary achievement. [ ]
- Gold-Mining Boomtown: People of White Oaks, Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory
- By Roberta Key Haldane. Arthur H. Clarke Company. 331 pp. Index. $45.00.
- When I think of Lincoln County, New Mexico I think of Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County range war, but it was much more. Rich lodes and verdant grasslands drew a fascinating array of people, and in this deeply researched book author Haldane brings them back to life in smoothly written chapter-long biographies. The cast includes martinet sea captain who allows no laughter at the dinner table but is married to a Samoan princess, a Black carpenter who is the strongest but gentlest man in town, a mysterious lady who becomes a cattle baroness, and host of other “real” people. The book is a fascinating and fun look at a frontier community. Excellent historical photos and facsimile documents enrich the sense of being there. [ ]
- Goldberg Variations
- By Susan Isaacs. Scribner. 322 pp. $26.00.
- Author of more than a dozen novels and other books, Isaacs misses badly in this attempt to show the interactions of an old and powerful business woman with her three grandchildren, all of whom are happy with the life they are leading. Even the Santa Fe setting fails to provide a reasonable backdrop. [ ]
- Grandpa Lolo's Navajo Saddle Blanket / La Tilma de Abuelito Lolo
- By Nasario Garcia. University of New Mexico Press. 61 pp. $19.95.
- This story is told by Junie Lopez, Grandpa Lolo's grandson. Grandpa Lolo is friends with Manuel Yazzie a Navajo native American horse trader.
The story evolves into a touching narrative of Lolo and Manuel's friendship over the years as they exchange a horse, a saddle blanket and some baby goats.
The book is illustrated with good clear photographs of the southwest. Probably best for upper elementary readers. [ ]
- Great Aridness, A: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest
- By William deBuys. Oxford University Press. 369 pp. Index. $27.95.
- If someone tells you that your home is catching fire and your well is going dry, how would you react? In a series of compelling, insightful interviews, William deBuys carefully explains what the hydrologist, the forester, the archeologist, the rancher, the farmer, and the city planner are warning us about: our arid Southwest climate is becoming warmer and drier. You may have already noticed. But what have you done about it? Why not start by reading this book. [ ]
- This book should be carefully read by every thoughtful person in the Southwest and beyond. DeBuys, a fine writer who makes complicated technical information accessible to lay readers, presents convincing evidence for imminent global warming and climate change, which will impact the Southwest first, but other areas of the globe as well. The realities of limited water, overpopulation, and man’s seemingly limitless capacity for self-denial make the need for education imperative. This is not a “feel-good,” but a “do-something-about-it” book. [ ]
- Great Taos Bank Robbery, The: And Other True Stories
- By Tony Hillerman. University of New Mexico Press. 150 pp. Updated with new introduction, new photographs; is it updated enough?. $15.95.
- This collection of nonfiction pieces, seventeen in all, was published after Hillerman’s first two novels about forty years ago. The stories demonstrate the journalistic skills he brought to his writing and are as fresh today as when they first appeared in print. His daughter Anne provides a new introduction which adds both a sense of history and a welcome notice of Tony Hillerman as man, writer, and father. [ ]
- Sometimes it is a treat to see a book reprinted, and in this case it’s a delight to be presented with nine essays and short vignettes delivered in true Hillerman form. It is almost like reading a brand new book, since its first edition was published some forty years ago. The author’s daughter, Anne Hillerman, provides a new introduction while Don Strel’s photographs update this second edition. [ ]
- Growing Season, A
- By Sue Boggio, Mare Pearl. University of New Mexico Press. 296 pp. $18.95.
- Romance and chile farms along the Rio Grande from a rising writing team who know their characters and culture.
- Guide to Plants of the Northern Chihuahuan Desert, A
- By , Carolyn Dodson. University of New Mexico Press. 240 pp. Index. $24.95.
- Each of 75 floral friends of the Chihuahuan Desert is portrayed by a line-drawing by Robert Dewitt Ivey and a color photograph to help us recognize it in the field. Entries not only include a description and a note about the plant’s name, but it also supplies fascinating facts about botany, ecology, and botanists. For example, the milkweed entry discusses latex, butterflies, and irritating sap. It is an enjoyable read as well as helpful field guide. [ ]
- Guide to Southern Arizona's Historic Farms and Ranches, A: Rustic Southwest Retreats
- By Lili DeBarbieri. The History Press. 156 pp. $19.99.
- Ready for a vacation but undecided where? This spryly written vacation catalogue will not only put you in the mood but will tell you where to spend an unforgettable day or week pampered at a southern Arizona guest ranch or farm. Options range from the venerable Rancho De La Osa near Sasabe to Tucson’s White Stallion Ranch where many movie scenes have been filmed. At others you can stay in rooms once occupied by famous artists and authors, movie stars, and even presidents. The farms include Gary Nabhan’s Almuniya de los Zapilotes and Aravaipa’s Country Inn. Following the history of each ranch, some of them a century old, we learn about their amenities and activities. Web links let us book our stay. Very tempting! [ ]
- Gus Blaisdell Collected
- By Nicole Blaisdell Ivey, ed, William Peterson, ed. University of New Mexico Press. 416 pp. $40.00.
- Albuquerque writer, editor, and bookstore proprietor Gus Blaisdell (1935-2003) left a literary legacy that deserves further reading and discussion. This volume contains many of his best pieces, as well as tributes from friends such as Stanley Cavel, Ira Jaffe, and David Morris in a commentary on art, books, movies, and photographs.