Reading the Southwest

Top 10 Reading the Southwest : In the Distance, The Great Taos Bank Robbery and other True Stories of the Southwest, Lonesome Dove, Bless Me, Ultima, Dance Hall of the Dead, Desert Solitaire, Chicken Every Sunday: My Life with Mother's Boarders, Battleborn, Riders of the Purple Sage, Half Broke Horses

In the Distance
AuthorHernán Díaz
A young Swedish boy finds himself penniless and alone in California. He travels east in search of his brother, moving on foot against the great push to the west. Driven back over and over again on his journey through vast expanses, Håkan meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, Indians,...
The Great Taos Bank Robbery and other True Stories of the Southwest
AuthorTony Hillerman
1973 Birthday celebration title - I turned six years old and was living in Prairie Village Kansas. I knew nothing of the Land of Enchantment and how I would move to New Mexico and grow to love the desert and the architecture, the food, people and miles of skies and red rock. I loved the title and cover font...
Lonesome Dove
AuthorLarry McMurtry
A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize— winning classic, Lonesome Dove, the third book in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America.

Journey to the dusty little Texas...
Bless Me, Ultima
AuthorRudolfo Anaya
Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima enters his life. She is a curandera, one who heals with herbs and magic. 'We cannot let her live her last days in loneliness,' says Antonio's mother. 'It is not the way of our people,' agrees his father. And so Ultima comes to live with Antonio's family in New Mexico....
Dance Hall of the Dead
AuthorTony Hillerman
Two Native-American boys have vanished into thin air, leaving a pool of blood behind them. Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn of the Navajo Tribal Police has no choice but to suspect the very worst, since the blood that stains the parched New Mexican ground once flowed through the veins of one of the missing, a young...
Desert Solitaire
AuthorEdward Abbey
First published in 1968, Desert Solitaire is one of Edward Abbey’s most critically acclaimed works and marks his first foray into the world of nonfiction writing. Written while Abbey was working as a ranger at Arches National Park outside of Moab, Utah, Desert Solitaire is a rare view of one man’s...
Chicken Every Sunday: My Life with Mother's Boarders
AuthorRosemary Taylor
One of the boarders who ate Mother's chicken every Sunday summed it up when he said, "I was told that in your house I'd have good food and some fun." They all had fun, and they all became part of the family -- Jeffrey, who lost his front teeth and won his independence, Rita Vlasak, who loved anything in pants,...
AuthorClaire Vaye Watkins
Winner of the 2012 Story Prize
Recipient of the 2012 American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Foundation Award
A National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" fiction writer of 2012

Like the work of Cormac McCarthy, Denis Johnson, Richard Ford, and Annie Proulx, Battleborn represents...
AuthorZane Grey
Told by a master storyteller who, according to critic Russell Nye, “combined adventure, action, violence, crisis, conflict, sentimentalism, and sex in an extremely shrewd mixture,” Riders of the Purple Sage is a classic of the Western genre. It is the story of Lassiter, a gunslinging avenger...
Half Broke Horses
AuthorJeannette Walls
Jeannette Walls's memoir The Glass Castle was "nothing short of spectacular" (Entertainment Weekly). Now, in Half Broke Horses, she brings us the story of her grandmother, told in a first-person voice that is authentic, irresistible, and triumphant.

"Those old cows knew trouble was coming...
AuthorTerry Tempest Williams
In the spring of 1983 Terry Tempest Williams learned that her mother was dying of cancer. That same season, The Great Salt Lake began to rise to record heights, threatening the herons, owls, and snowy egrets that Williams, a poet and naturalist, had come to gauge her life by. One event was nature at its...
American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest
AuthorHannah Nordhaus
The award-winning journalist and author of The Beekeeper's Lament attempts to discover the truth about her great-great-grandmother, Julia--whose ghost is said to haunt an elegant hotel in Santa Fe--in this spellbinding exploration of myth, family history, and the American West.

The Line Becomes A River: Dispatches from the Border
AuthorFrancisco Cantú
For Francisco Cantú, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes...
AuthorWallace Stegner
Wallace Stegner's Pultizer Prize-winning novel is a story of discovery—personal, historical, and geographical. Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents' remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface...
AuthorRichard Bradford
4**** and a ❤
A coming-of-age story set in a small mountain town in New Mexico during WW II. 17-year-old Josh has to become the man of the household when his father goes into the Navy and moves the family from Mobile to New Mexico where they'll be safer. Josh's mom cannot deal with the change in social...
Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest
AuthorGerald McDermott
Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest is appropriate for children in kindergarten through second grade.

Coyote, the trickster-fool, is common in Native American folklore. He is always getting in trouble, usually because he is rude, boastful and proud. In this tale, he wants...
AuthorMolly Ivins
In her long-awaited new collection, the Colt Peacekeeper of American political
humor draws a bead on targets that range from the Libido-in-Chief to Newt
Gingrich, campaign funny-money to the legislative lunacy of her native Texas--and
hits a bull's-eye every time.

Marking the Sparrow's Fall: The Making of the American West
AuthorWallace Stegner
Winner of three O. Henry Awards, the Commonwealth Gold Medal, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Kirsch Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, Wallace Stegner was a literary giant. In Marking the Sparrow's Fall, the first collection of Stegner's work published since his death,...
AuthorWilla Cather
There is something epic—and almost mythic—about this sparsely beautiful novel by Willa Cather, although the story it tells is that of a single human life, lived simply in the silence of the desert. In 1851 Father Jean Marie Latour comes as the Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico. What he finds is a vast...
AuthorKirstin Valdez Quade
With intensity and emotional precision, Kirstin Valdez Quade's unforgettable stories plunge us into the fierce, troubled hearts of characters defined by the desire to escape the past or else to plumb its depths. The deadbeat father of a pregnant teenager tries to transform his life by playing the...
AuthorEdward Abbey
Ed Abbey called The Monkey Wrench Gang, his 1975 novel, a "comic extravaganza." Some readers have remarked that the book is more a comic book than a real novel, and it's true that reading this incendiary call to protect the American wilderness requires more than a little of the old willing suspension...
The House of Broken Angels
AuthorLuis Alberto Urrea
The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story, a sprawling and deeply felt portrait of a Mexican-American family occasioned by the impending loss of its patriarch, from one of the country's most beloved authors.

Prizewinning and bestselling writer Luis Urrea has written his Mexican...
The Wives of Los Alamos
AuthorTaraShea Nesbit
Their average age was twenty-five. They came from Berkeley, Cambridge, Paris, London, Chicago—and arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure, or at least resigned to it. But hope quickly turned to hardship as they were forced to adapt to a rugged military town where everything was a secret, including...
AuthorTony Hillerman
Any fan of Tony Hillerman should own (or at least read) this book.... especially those that have not visited the South West. He takes you through the Dineh & Turquoise mountain, Chaco Canyon, Canyon del Chelly, the San Juan & the high country with memories, tales and his brother's great photos.

Burn Down the Ground: A Memoir
AuthorKambri Crews
In this powerful, affecting, and unflinching memoir, a daughter looks back on her unconventional childhood with deaf parents in rural Texas while trying to reconcile her present life—in which her father is serving a twenty-year sentence in a maximum-security prison.

As a child, Kambri...
The Feral Detective
AuthorJonathan Lethem
Phoebe Siegler first meets Charles Heist in a shabby trailer in the desert outside of Los Angeles. She's on a quest to find her friend's missing daughter, Arabella, and hears that Heist is preternaturally good at finding people who don't want to be found. A loner who keeps his pet opossum in a desk drawer,...
AuthorTupelo Hassman
Rory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn’t got a troop or even a badge to call her own.  But she’s checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice (Disposal of Outgrown Uniforms;...
No Life for a Lady
AuthorAgnes Morley Cleaveland
I picked this book up in Wall Drug Store in South Dakota while on vacation. The author was born in 1874 in New Mexico before it was a state. Her memoir tells of life growing up on a cattle ranch back in the days of true cowboys. She tells what it was really like to live and work on a cattle ranch back then, when going...
Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars
AuthorEthan Hawke
The year is 1872. The place, the Apache nations, a region torn apart by decades of war. Goyahkla, a young brave, has lost his family and everything he loves. After having a vision, he approaches the Apache leader Cochise to lead an attack against the Mexican village of Azripe. It is this wild display of...
House Made of Dawn
AuthorN. Scott Momaday
The magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of a proud stranger in his native land.

He was a young American Indian named Abel, and he lived in two worlds. One was that of his father, wedding him to the rhythm of the seasons, the harsh beauty of the land, the ecstasy of the drug called peyote. The...
AuthorRámon A. Gutiérrez
Ramon Gutierrez states that his intent is to give voice to the Pueblo Indians who inhabited the land that is now New Mexico. He builds his social history around the institution of marriage and argues that it was through marriage and sexuality that the people who encountered each other in New Mexico beginning...
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