With summer around the corner and our review books stacking up again, we wanted to share some local author releases, collections and regionally themed titles. Some are great page-turners and others great guides or resources, while a few others will appeal to certain genre fans.
“The Water Knife” by Paolo Bacigalupi. A Western writer with sharp teeth and talent to burn, Paolo Bacigalupi is a former editor of High Country News who, in recent years, has established himself as a potent science-fiction and young adult author. His latest is a near-future tale of the Southwest in all-out criminal warfare for its dwindling water supply. But the cautionary-tale politics play only one part in this twisted and dark thriller (read: not for the squeamish). It unfolds among the battered streets of a dwindling Phoenix, where the poor fight to stay alive and the rich live in comfort in high-rise arcologies. It comes out Tuesday.
“The Narrow Chimney Reader: Volume 1.” One of the local literary reading series that has taken off is the Narrow Chimney. On Monday nights during the academic year, Uptown Pubhouse hosts a night of two writers, one established and one up-and-coming. The organizers, who won a Viola Award for their efforts, also published a collection of the presenters that came out a few weeks back. It’s a great way to get familiar with some of the local literary talent. Some of the highlights include works by Jill Divine, Ann Cummins, Mary Sojourner and Ann Weiler Walka, among more than 30 others. “The Narrow Chimney Reader: Volume 1” is sold at Uptown Pubhouse (114 N. Leroux) and Starrlight Books (15 N. Leroux St.).
“Sedona Verde Valley Art: A History from Red Rocks to Plein-air” by Lili Debarbieri. While it is common knowledge that Sedona is a major art hub in the Southwest, few people know how that all came to be. Enter the new book “Sedona Valley Art,” which tells of region’s artistic history and notable personalities. One was Max Ernst, the pioneer of the Dada movement who spent six years in Sedona. Also a popular early artistic resident was Maxfield Parrish. Although he lived only two years in Sedona, it came to greatly influence his style, according to the book. The history blends with artist profiles and color pages of paintings and works. A great book for local art lovers.
“Boots and Burgers: An Arizona Handbook for Hungry Hikers” by Roger Naylor. For a fun and quirky twist on the hiking guidebook, check out Roger Naylor’s “Boots and Burgers." Naylor brings his signature sense of humor ("A guy walks into a bar ... No, it's not a setup for a joke, just part of my job description") and mixes up great hikes, quality photos and good burger recommendations. Diablo Buger is in there and Flagstaff is well-represented all around. It also has other fun tidbits and hot tips. Naylor tosses in great noteworthy attractions such as Tohono Chul Park and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Add some handy maps, and you have a great glove-compartment keeper.
Other books new and local. Some other titles that will appeal to certain audiences include a new picture book “Images of America: Grand Canyon Pioneer Cemetery.” It’s a good pickup for Grand Canyon history buffs. Detective noir fans should note that Flagstaff author William G. Snead has three titles in the “Tony Diamond Investigations” series. These books follow the detective through hardboiled crime cases with titles such as “Dead as a Mackrel” and “The Deadly Doctor.” A newly released guide that can also double as a great coffee table picture book is “The Ancient Southwest” by Gregory McNamee. With photos by Larry Lindahl, it’s a great resource that’s also great to look at.