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Claudia put down roots in Tempe alongside her husband well over twenty years ago. Settling in the Sonoran Desert to raise a family inspired her love of Southwestern-themed books — whether they're literary fiction or essays, art, children's picture books (especially those that are biliingual or feature Hispanic themes), home design, or gardening. She also enjoys reading untranslated Spanish literature with her book group, "En Español." Claudia is always on look out for beautiful books with delightful composition, those filled with tales well-told in black and white, or those that (of course) showcase the splendor of nature.
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Out in the Open Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634369
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - July 4th, 2017

Jesus Carrasco’s work debuted in Spain and throughout Europe to critical acclaim and multiple awards. Now available in an excellent English translation by Margaret Jull Costa, that first tale is imprinted on me with the searing light of its relentless sun, and Carrasco’s prose shines steadily through with all its sparse and subtle strength. His voice in this tale - much like the land, the boy, the goatherd, the donkey, and every character, whether animate or inanimate - tells us a story that is as medieval as it is twenty-first century, as Iberian as it could be Sonoran or African. A terrible and beautiful story.

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The Sonoran Desert: A Literary Field Guide Cover Image
By Eric Magrane (Editor), Christopher Cokinos (Editor), Paul Mirocha (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780816531233
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Arizona Press - February 25th, 2016

A field guide to the Sonoran Desert’s life forms, written by a collection of local poets and essayists, one could say it is also a field guide to the most salient luminaries in Arizona’s current poetic literary universe, plus a few initiates from beyond. This beautiful book delights me, not only with its choir of voices, appreciation of flora and fauna, sweet pencil drawings scattered throughout, but, perhaps mostly, because its flesh is crafted of science and art, all senses attuned to this extraordinary place on the planet.

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The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women Cover Image
ISBN: 9781492649359
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks - April 18th, 2017

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Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393353662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 4th, 2017

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Time Now to Dream Cover Image
By Timothy Knapman, Helen Oxenbury (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763690786
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 14th, 2017

The art of British illustrator Helen Oxenbury captivated me decades ago, when my own children were little; her newest project revives my admiration and introduces me to the work of Timothy Knapman, who writes in many genres, including musicals. While the pictures made me look, the song in this book filled me with happiness.

A strange sound is coming from deeper in the forest. Little listeners may first be wary and worried as they wander with Alice and Jack among the trees, wondering too, should they turn home? But the delightful ending will help you sing down the evening and send those little listeners smiling into their goodnight dreams.


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I Just Want to Say Good Night Cover Image
By Rachel Isadora (Illustrator), Rachel Isadora
ISBN: 9780399173844
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - March 14th, 2017

Every proper bedtime is a ritual, is it not? Lala’s is no exception. This adorable little one can’t get to bed without first wishing every other creature a good night. Sound familiar?
Her gentle journey to bed, framed by the changing colors of twilight to starlight enveloping her village, effortlessly soothe. Sweet dreams, peaceful reader.

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The Secret Horses of Briar Hill Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101939758
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - October 11th, 2016

Certain hearts are drawn to horses - and horse stories - like bees to flowers. If this is the nature of your heart (or you happen to be very fond of someone who this describes), you’ll be enchanted to have found this book.
Emmaline is brave, though ill and traumatized by the terror of war; she will valiantly try her best to help the Horse Lord protect the secret horses of Briar Hill. And you, dear reader, will be her champion all the way, and you too will have taken a magical, utterly unforgettable journey. Don't keep the horses waiting now!


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The Poet's Dog Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062292629
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 13th, 2016

If you were a child lost in a snowstorm, with your brother or sister by your side - thank heavens, at least you're not all alone! - you could not dream of a better friend to find you, than a large and friendly Irish Wolfhound who can lead you to shelter. But then again, perhaps your dreams are as vivid as our storyteller's dreams are. Does your dream dog, friendly and strong, also speak to you, in the kindest ways? In spite of the cold, this story will make you feel warm all over, for a very long time.

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The Story of a Brief Marriage Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250072405
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - September 6th, 2016

Why is tenderness so much more poignant during times of war?
What does mindfulness look like as bombs fall on a refugee camp? And hope?

Author Anuk Arudpragasam’s novel slows time down just enough to show us, rapturously, in this brutal, beautiful, tender and devastating story. Only by the end might you realize that the brevity established in the title has broken your heart, but by then, you’ll know the story is unforgettable.

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Leaving Lucy Pear Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594632655
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - July 26th, 2016

"Leaving Lucy Pear" is a beautiful tale, its talent nestled in every nook of this intricate, intimate, culturally and psychologically interesting tale. Solomon deftly and elegantly balances the story upon a period and characters that are fascinating, brilliantly crafting even what is unsaid. As I reached its final scene, I felt beyond profoundly satisfied, deeply moved. A tale that reads like a modern classic, and could very well become one.

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Lo Que Mi Abuela Me Dijo / What My Grandmother Told Me: Practical Wisdom from Spanish Proverbs and Sayings Cover Image
ISBN: 9780826356345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of New Mexico Press - February 2016

This is a most authentic collection of sayings used throughout most Spanish speaking countries, with appropriate translations that explain their meanings, as well as charming illustrations. Great for intermediate and advanced students, and also native speakers wanting to share these sayings with family and friends.

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Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern Cover Image
By Daniel Chavkin (Photographer)
ISBN: 9781423642053
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gibbs Smith - February 9th, 2016

A celebration of modernist architecture in the desert” is how photographer and author Dan Chavkin describes his work. A tour of buildings public and private found mostly in the Coachella Valley, residents of our own desert valleys will also resonate with the now classic lines of period buildings, and how they stand both in contrast and in harmony with the sky and light of the region. It is, in fact, a showcase of desert daylight and desert landscape as much fifties and sixties era design, where each building is a gem seen through Chavkin’s lens.This book is a gorgeous gift for architects and enthusiasts alike.

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Growing the Southwest Garden: Regional Ornamental Gardening Cover Image
ISBN: 9781604695212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Timber Press (OR) - June 24th, 2015

Love local, grow where you are. This precept applies to garden landscaping, too, especially in a challenging environment like a Southwestern deserts. A beautiful and successful plantscape out here can be lush in its own way, with a great variety of highly adapted and heroic desert-dwellers that thrive on our eternal sunshine and dry conditions. Phillips’ book features a must-have photo catalog of everything from trees to ground-covers, great examples of gardens to inspire our own, and she’s got the dirt on our special soils and pests, too. This tome gathers no dust on my shelf of essential references for the passionate Southwest landscaper in me (and you!), but, with another planting season around the corner, it will certainly pick up some good garden dirt, as my companion at home and on trips to our local nurseries. A must-read.

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Hall of Small Mammals: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634055
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - January 12th, 2016

I’d say the mind of Thomas Pierce would make a highly entertaining hangout, based on his first collection of short stories. Surely, he’s both observer and dreamer, and playful at mixing the way the “real” world is still such a mix of old and new. These dynamic stories are set in a recognizable present, each an odd tale, fanciful and bizarre, as well as weirdly plausible. Take the case of the cloned pygmy mammoth in the backyard, for example, or the videos of people falling down. The inventiveness in Pierce’s narration, so on par with the weird nature of reality, causes amazement, of the life-imitates-art kind, dread and laughter. His stories may imply that the universe is laughing, too. With us or at us though, I’m not entirely sure, but uncertainty is just one of the entertaining elements in Pierce’s stories.

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Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062382467
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - June 23rd, 2015

Although her award-winning articles and essays appear in many publications, and she edits a local food magazine, this is Kimble’s first book – and it shines! She speaks eloquently for the millennial generation and is both knowing and conscientious. The flavor and substance of her writing will both quench and leave you longing for more and you’ll savor each chapter, from the sincere, yet simple titles and questions asked, to the integrity of her research and the process she follows in order to, well, un-process the food in our world. If what you read is food for thought, put this book on your plate: each successive bite will convince you that you made an excellent choice! And, as with all things nourishing, don’t forget to share, especially with those still growing.

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A Small Story about the Sky Cover Image
ISBN: 9781556594793
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Copper Canyon Press - August 4th, 2015

Rios, in Spanish, is “rivers,” and, in this collection by Arizona’s poet laureate, we do indeed find a precious watershed that irrigates a vast territory. Sometimes a torrent, loud and dangerous, sometimes a peaceful stream where birds alight, always flowing with life. It’s all here, all of Arizona is here: our landscape and inhabitants, and our becoming who we are, reflected back in the poet’s own becoming. One of my favorite reads of 2015.

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The Wonder Garden Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780802123558
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Grove Press - May 5th, 2015

The Wonder Garden introduces us to a new voice, while showing us a place that is not: suburban idyll unmasked. The book is a series of stories, gradually intertwining and revealing connections among the inhabitants of Old Cranbury. Acampora has deftly created a community immersed in its American heritage; inhabiting historic homes, the private lives of the characters play out as utterly contemporary and recognizable, but Acampora delivers with polished finesse a sense of disquiet that feels so classical. Applause for her debut; encore, encore!

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