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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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!