Selected 2018 summer reading list

Tucson famous - Memoir / biography

Category: Tucson Famous

Summary: Nonfiction. "Twenty-six original essays explore themes of family, community, and the natural world while considering such specific topics as modern motherhood, paper dolls, and high-tide oysters." Read more

Category: Tucson Famous

Summary: Nonfiction. "Congresswoman Giffords and her astronaut husband recount her early years, their marriage, the assassination attempt that left her gravely wounded and took the lives of six others, and her rehabilitation." Read more

Too hot to handle - Romance

Category: Too Hot to Handle

Summary: Fiction. "Portia Carmichael, the manager of one of Arizona Territory's finest hotels, is determined to avoid the wrong kind of man until Kent Randolph, an old family friend, comes back into her life, and sets himself to win her heart." Read more

Category: Too Hot to Handle

Summary: Fiction. "Austria, 1938. Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher's fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. Read more

Category: Too Hot to Handle

Summary: Fiction. "Four African-American women console and support one another in a complex friendship that helps each of them face the middle of their lives as single women." Read more

Cactus classics - Local must-reads

Category: Take Me Away

Summary: Nonfiction. "The book is a personal account of the author's year spent 'chasing Arizona' by going to as many places as possible in fifty-two weeks to learn about Arizona's history, symbols, food, people, and quirky customs. It is part travelogue, part history book, part essay collection and covers the whole state from border towns to the Four Corners." Read more

Category: Take Me Away

Summary: Fiction. "Sealed inside a glass enclosure designed as a prototype for a possible off-Earth colony, eight Terranauts in the 1990s Arizona desert test their skills in five biome environments that they must protect from skeptics who would sabotage the mission." Read more

Category: Take Me Away

Summary: Fiction. "Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman--Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, author of the classic memoir Out of Africa. Read more

Smells like rain - Nature

The food desert - Food

Category: The Food Desert

Summary: Cookbook. "Eat Mesquite and More celebrates native food forests of the Sonoran Desert and beyond with over 170 recipes featuring wild, indigenous foods, including mesquite, acorn, barrel cactus, chiltepin, cholla, desert chia, desert herbs and flowers, desert ironwood, hackberry, palo verde, prickly pear, saguaro, wolfberry, and wild greens. Read more

Category: The Food Desert

Summary: Fiction. Also in Spanish. "Despite the fact that she has fallen in love with a young man, Tita, the youngest of three daughters born to a tyrannical rancher, must obey tradition and remain single and at home to care for her mother. Read more

Category: The Food Desert

Summary: Nonfiction. "A celebration of food and culture with a social conscience, in the tradition of M. F. K. Fischer and Frances Moore Lapp. We really are what we eat. Eating close to home is not just a matter of convenience it is an act of deep cultural, emotional, and environmental significance." Read more

Once upon a time in the West - History

Category: Once Upon a Time in the West

Summary: Nonfiction. "Documents the urban renewal project, initiated in 1966, that erased a densely populated, predominantly Mexican American enclave located in a central region of Tuscon, Arizona, examining relationships between the destruction of place and history, and explores the roles of competing historical narratives in the perpetuation and resistance of cultural and socioeconomic dominance." Read more

Category: Once Upon a Time in the West

Summary: Nonfiction. "In this entertaining history, Gregory McNamee explores the many ethnic and cultural traditions that have contributed to the food of the Southwest. He traces the origins of the cuisine to the arrival of humans in the Americas, the work of the earliest farmers of Mesoamerica, and the most ancient trade networks joining peoples of the coast, plains, and mountains. Read more

Category: Once Upon a Time in the West

Summary: Fiction. "In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence. Read more

Honk if you ❤️ La Llorona

Category: Honk if you ❤️ La Llorona

Summary: Fiction. "Beautiful, strong-willed reporter, Kendall O'Dell, is drawn into an evil web of conspiracy beyond anything she could have ever imagined when she accepts a position at a small newspaper in isolated Castle Valley, Arizona." Read more

Category: Honk if you ❤️ La Llorona

Summary: Fiction. "A puzzling new case has just hit Sheriff Joanna Brady’s department, demanding every resource she has at her disposal—as well as help from neighboring law enforcement agencies and the Feds. Read more

Category: Honk if you ❤️ La Llorona

Summary: Fiction. "Archaeologist Nora Kelly leads an expedition to Utah in search of Quivira, a fabled City of Gold. With the aid of satellite photos, the group retraces her missing father's footsteps and runs into monsters." Read more

Hot Topics - Current Events

Category: Hot Topics

Summary: Nonfiction. "In May 2001, a group of men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadliest region of the continent, the 'Devil's Highway.' Three years later, Luis Alberto Urrea wrote about what happened to them. Read more

Category: Hot Topics

Summary: Fiction. "Myla Alvarez, novice, walks into the Sonoran desert near Tucson, Arizona and begins telling stories about the Old Mermaids who were washed ashore onto the New Desert when the Old Sea dried up. Read more

Category: Hot Topics

"Covering American transgender history from the mid-twentieth century to today, 'Transgender History' takes a chronological approach to the subject of transgender history, with each chapter covering major movements, writings, and events. ....

Read more

Jave laugh - Fun reads

Category: Jave Laugh

Summary: Coloring book. "Relax and get your creative juices flowing with this beautiful collection of illustrations inspired by the Sonoran Desert. This book contains 50 unique illustrations by artist, Audrey De La Cruz (Annotated Audrey). Discover the lush landscape and fascinating inhabitants of the desert in this one of a kind creative adventure." Read more

Category: Jave Laugh

Summary: Nonfiction. "With his big blue eyes and soulful expression, George was the irresistible runt of the litter. But Dave and Christie Nasser's "baby" ended up being almost five feet tall, seven feet long, and 245 pounds. Eager to play, and boisterous to the point of causing chaos, this big Great Dane was scared of water, scared of dogs a fraction of his size and, most of all, scared of being alone." Read more

Saguaro you today? - Self help

the desert sun sets / beauty fills the sky tonight / so many pictures - Poetry

Category: the desert sun sets / beauty fills the sky tonight / so many pictures

Summary: Poetry. "'Sonoran Strange' is a poem cycle about the Arizona-Sonoran borderlands, as told through the stories of historic, ironic, and sometimes ludicrous characters and events. Phillips' debut full-length collection, the book is a love letter to the desert and an indictment of human folly. Read more

Category: The desert sun sets / beauty fills the sky tonight / so many pictures 

Summary: Poetry. "A Native American poet explores aspects of language, Native American culture, and the land." Read more

Category: The desert sun sets / beauty fills the sky tonight / so many pictures 

Summary: Poetry. "'Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics' gathers together a diverse range of 55 poets with varying aesthetics and backgrounds. In addition to generous samples of poetry by each trans writer, the book also includes 'poetics statements'... Read more






Sign up to get #ThisIsTucson news in your inbox weekly.

I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site consitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.