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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.

Agaves: Living Sculptures for Landscapes and Containers
By Greg Starr. Timber Press. 342 pp. Index. $39.95.
All you ever wanted to know about agaves is included in this magnificent book with elegant colored illustrations. Over 80 species are detailed with temperature and moisture ranges. Although the focus is on the Southwest, agaves can do well in other climates. An index to specific types, a glossary, and a listing of agaves by size are all useful. This is a book that generalists and specialists can savor. []

Alexander O. Brodie: Frontiersman, Rough Rider, Governor
By , Charles H. Herner. Texas Christian Univeristy Press. 267 pp. Index. $29.95.
In this thoroughly researched and crisply written biography, Herner chronicles Brodie's long climb from army officer and civil engineer to fame in the Spanish American War (the idea for a regiment of cowboy cavalry was his), friendship with Theodore Roosevelt, and the governorship of Arizona Territory. Along the way, Herner advances strong arguments for Brodie's important role in Progressive politics and his singular contributions to the development of Arizona and the nation. This is a welcome, and long overdue, appraisal of an underappreciated figure in southwestern history. []

Apache Tactics 1830-86
By Robert N. Watt. Osprey Publishing Ltd.. 64 pp. Index. $18.95.
Covering the five-and-a-half decades just prior to the surrender and deportation to Florida of both Geronimo and Mangas Coloradas Watt looks in detail at some of the Apache tactics of warfare. A number of excellent maps as well as fine modern color photographs help the reader understand the terrain and the movement of both Apache warriors and U.S. troops. []

Arizona Recollections and Reflections: An Arizona Centennial Historymakers Commemoration
By Zona Davis Lorig, Ruth McLeod, Joan Robinson-Blumit. Historical league, Inc. of the Arizona Historical Society Museum. 303 pp. $40.00.
Hundreds of good-to-excellent b/w photos supplement extremely brief texts that provide the highlights of the lives of nearly 60 Arizonans selected as “historymakers” in the years 1992-2008. Most of the subjects are still living which qualifies this as a “mug book” in the old-fashioned sense. Selections seem to lean toward choices from the Phoenix area, with many notable omissions state-wide. []
This tribute to Arizona’s centennial features more than fifty mover and shakers who made state history. It includes Barry Goldwater, Bruce Babbitt, Roy Drachman, Eddie Basha, Ester Don Tang, Alberto Rios, and Joe Garagiola. The format devotes 2 to 4 pages to each person, including a tribute and family photos. []

Arizona: 100 Years Grand
By Lisa Schnebly Heidinger. Arizona Historical Advisory Commission. 241 pp. Index. . $24.95.
Lisa Schnebly Heidinger writes as well about Arizona as anyone, and this volume showcases her life-long familiarity with all corners of the state. In what at first appears an eclectic mix of articles featuring a centennial year, she draws on far-flung places, people, and events to spin a fascinating story about what makes Arizona Arizona. There’s something here for everyone. Lavishly illustrated and brimming with information and fun, the book ably achieves her goal of letting the reader “experience” the state. She is a fitting ambassador. []
One hundred photographs grace each page accompanied by a well-written descriptive history of people and places that we think of in talking about Arizona. Of course, it includes the five Cs: Copper, Cotton, Citrus, Climate, and Cattle. This is a book to give to every newcomer and visitor to our state. Well done.

Arizona: A History
By Thomas E. Sheridan. University of Arizona Press. 484 pp. Index. $50.00.
Top Pick
Bill Broyles almost said it all but I will add that Sheridan turned over multiple stones and burrowed under many more to produce a “must read” for anyone interested in the future of Arizona. []
It is rare that a revised edition can also be a best book pick, but Sheridan’s effort has made his superb first effort into a “must-read” for anyone interested in the history of our state. []

Arizona: A Photographic Tribute
By John Annerino. Globe Pequot Press. 115 pp. $17.95.
With breathtaking photographs and classic quotations from famous authors and artists who appreciated the state, photographer John Annerino celebrates the Arizona’s centennial. My favorite of favorites is his sunrise image of Monument Valley accompanied by actor John Wayne’s quote “So this is where God put the West.” The book is a nice gift for newcomers or guests, but I have a copy next to my reading chair. []

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