Spring often becomes a time of major book bounty, when new titles start to pour into the bookstores to entice readers and get everyone primed for the upcoming summer reading season.
And, as it turns out, several local authors have had new titles released — a few with local thematic connections and still some more penned for the fictional escape.
Here are a few titles we have received in recent weeks to consider checking out. These books are available through some local sellers, such as the Museum of Northern Arizona, as well as online book retailers.
“Ponderosa: Big Pine of the Southwest” by Sylvester Allred. A former Northern Arizona University biology professor, Sylvester Allred knows a thing or two about ponderosa pines. And it all adds up in a great 100-page book that packs all kinds of wonderful information about the famed trees that surround Flagstaff. In many ways, it’s a compendium to his other books on Abert’s squirrels, the famous inhabitants of the local ponderosas. For Flagstaffians, this is a great book to add to the nature guidebook shelf. (University of Arizona Press)
“Greenbriar’s Garbage” by S.M. Drake. Sandee Martin Drake is a local author who has made headway with short fiction published in anthologies, but jumps into a bigger story with a recently released novel set in South Chicago in the late 1970s. A family struggles with their new life in a neighborhood built a former garbage dump, where they must deal with, among other things, the rule of the homeowner’s association. (Westbow Press)
“Blood of a Stone” by Jeanne Lyet Gassman. Jeanne Gassman, a popular writing coach and emerging author from the state recently saw the release of her historical drama “Blood of a Stone,” about a slave during the Roman Empire. The slave kills his master and believes he has found freedom. But in creating a new life and new identity, he finds he’s as enslaved to the murder as to the master himself. (Tuscany Press).
“On the Brink of Shards” by Nancy Rivest Green. Nancy Green is a former Grand Canyon resident who lived and taught at the South Rim with her husband and ranger, Keith Green. She uses her love for the canyon and passion for place as a way to bring to live an echo of its past. “On the Brink of Shards” tells the story from ancient Publeoan times in novel form, as the characters deal with the challenges of changing weather and overpopulation. (Moonlit Press)
“Chasing Antigone” by Stephen Hirst. Flagstaff author Stephen Hirst has made a big name for himself with great books — “I Am Grand Canyon” and “Lauren Greasewater’s War” — that are connected to the Havasupai, a tribe he has long been connected to. However, Hirst takes a different turn with his new novel, a mystery set during the brink of the Internet Age and involving a criminal known as the “Antigone bomber.” (Muuso Press)
“The Hero Twins” by Jim Kristofic (illustrations by Nolan Karras James). It’s exciting to see that regional author Jim Kristofic has taken on the notable project of bringing the story of the Navajo Twins to life in a new book. And, aided by Nolan James’ colorful illustrations and a bilingual text, this is a great keeper for local readers that tells of the Monster Slayers’ legend. The author follows up on his memoir “Navajos Wear Nikes” with another noteworthy book here. (University of New Mexico Press)
“From Powell to Power” by Otis Reed Marston. One of the more definitive books on Grand Canyon river running, “From Powell to Power” is Otis “Doc” Marston’s great tome that collects the stories of pioneering river runners. Marston nearly completed the work in 1979 when he passed away. The manuscript had its restrictions for a long time, but local river historian Tom Martin worked to get it published and finally brought it to the masses. A must-have for all Grand Canyon river rats. See a full review of this book in the March/April edition of Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living. (Vishnu Temple Press)
“The San Francisco Peaks” by Susan Deaver Olberding. To end on a fun note, we wanted to share “The San Francisco Peaks,” a children’s book by Susan Olberding that uses bright color, photographs and simple language to tell the story of the Peaks for the 4- to 8-year-old readers. It educates on the science of the place and includes a small glossary. (Fort Valley Publishing)