REVIEWS IN BRIEF

“Quincy Tahoma: The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist” by Charnell Havens and Vera Marie Badertscher (Schiffer Publishing, $50).

This stunning coffee-table book has several things to recommend it, not the least of which is careful, thorough research, which, though sympathetic, is grimly honest as it unveils the tragic life of a gifted Navajo artist. Excellent reproductions of his many works are included.

“Field Man: Life as a Desert Archaeologist” by Julian D. Hayden, edited by Bill Broyles and Diane Boyer (University of Arizona Press, Southwest Center Series, $45).

 Julian Dodge Hayden (1911-98) owned and operated the Hayden Excavation Service in Tucson for more than a half century. As he recalls it, he got his start in the business in 1945 using a gasoline jackhammer to dig tree holes in Tucson’s notorious caliche soil for Harlow Nursery (now Harlow Gardens).

He was probably better known as an avocational archaeologist, silversmith, storyteller, friend and colleague to most of the important names in the field of Southwestern archaeology during much of the 20th century.

In the five years before his death, Broyles and Boyer taped 21 interviews with Hayden thinking back over his life. This remarkable book is the result.

“A Journey Forward”

by Mazhar Khan (self-published, $12.97).

 We first meet Saleem as a child in a wealthy Muslim family living in northern India. We follow him through his life until he receives his doctorate in chemistry at the University of Oregon. In this well-written account, he experiences the creation of Pakistan — a reality for which his family campaigned — and his disappointment in living there. The defining element of his life is the persistent feeling of always being an outsider.

“Bedouin Ethnobotany: Plant Concepts and Uses in a Desert Pastoral World” by James P. Mandaville (UA Press, $55).

Arabist Mandaville, who  earned a doctorate in arid-lands resource sciences from the University of Arizona, lived in Saudi Arabia from 1960 to 1975. There, he worked for the Arabian American Oil Co. Part of his job was to explain Arabs to Aramco’s non-Arab employees.

In the course of perfecting this skill, he often spent time with Bedouin tribesmen noting how they use the plants of their arid lands — from brushing their teeth to feeding their camels — to survive.

This is being hailed as a landmark book in its field.

“Pulled” by Amy Lichtenhan (The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House, $15.99 paper; $7.99 e-book; $9.99 Kindle).

Star-crossed lovers Melanie Winters and David Montgomery survive their mistakes. Their story is told in a series of flashbacks combined with present time.

“The Forgotten Highway: Broadway of America” by Roberta K. Serface (WordWorks, Ink Publishing, $18.50).

 The call of the open road got louder with the invention of the automobile. “Broadway of America,” “BOA” as it was known, in 1914 ran from San Diego to Tybee, Ga., on the Atlantic Ocean — passing through Tucson.

And what it may have lacked in actual travelers, it made up for in booster organizations that celebrated its existence.

Serface has spent almost a decade in gathering photos and history, and invites anyone with more information to get in touch.

Discover more Southern Arizona authors in Sunday's Arizona Daily Star.

If you are an author living in Southern Arizona, send a copy of your new book to J.C. Martin, P.O. Box 65388, Tucson, AZ 85728-5388. State the price and a way to contact the author for any additional information. After the titles appear in this column, they go to the Pima Community College West Campus library.

Books are frequently available for sale locally at Mostly Books and Antigone bookstores and through online sources. Read past editions of Southern Arizona Authors at www.southernarizonaauthors.org