Southwest Books of the Year 2018 is Here!

Happy New Year!

At Southwest Books of the Year we’re ringing in the new year by taking a look back at the best of the books that came our way over the past year. If you have a taste for regional reading, we have some stellar titles to share with you.

The Southwest Books of the Year panel of reviewers—subject specialists and voracious consumers of Southwest literature all—are pleased to offer up their personal favorite titles of 2018, complete with brief reviews to whet your appetite and leave you wanting more. Books selected by two or more panelists become Southwest Books of the Year Top Picks, our designation for the best of the best.

Our selections range widely, from fiction and mysteries to history, poetry, art, food, and nature writing-- all specific to our corner of the planet--and, as always, you’ll find some great books for kids. There’s something here for everyone with a hankering for a Southwest read.

See all of the panelists picks here or browse their picks here.

Southwest Books of the Year 2018: Top Picks

View Full Top Picks List

In the spirit of hail and farewell, we bid a fond adieu to long-time panelist Bill Broyles, whose Southwest Books of the Year reviews have delighted readers since 2005. And, we welcome Gregory McNamee to our review team. Greg is an author, essayist, journalist and aficionado of all things Southwest; we’re glad he’s with us.

And on a personal note, after twelve years of wrangling Southwest Books of the Year, I’m retiring as the publication’s coordinator. It’s been a pleasure to talk books with some of the most interesting bibliophiles in the Southwest, put it all down on paper, and share it with readers throughout Arizona, and I’m happy to have had the opportunity--it’s been a great ride.

Happy trails!

Helene Woodhams
Southwest Books of the Year
January 2019


Southwest Books of the Year: Best Reading 2018 is published by Pima County Public Library in partnership with the Friends of the Pima County Public Library. This is the 42nd annual edition. The publication was begun by the Arizona Daily Star and continued by the Library in 2000.

Southwest Books of the Year is made possible by a gift from the Friends of the Pima County Public Library and by the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Amber Mathewson is Director of Pima County Public Library. Helene Woodhams coordinated the publication, assisted by Vicki Duraine.

The paper publication was designed by Reneé Bibby.

Southwest Books of the Year considers titles published during the calendar year that are about Southwest subjects, or are set in the Southwest. For information about submitting a book for consideration, contact Margie Farmer,