21 December 2009

2009 Southwest Books of the Year

Five Museum of New Mexico Press (MNMP) titles, including Telling New Mexico and Through the Lens, were selected as 2009 Southwest Books of the Year by a distinguished panel, including western writers and librarians.  The annual competition, in its 33rd year, is organized by the Arizona Historical Society/Pima County Library.  Of the 12 "Top Picks", 4 were MNMP publications (the only publisher with as many top picks!) and another MNMP title was picked as a "Notable" book.  All the titles represent great collaborative efforts between museums, authors and MNMP.  I give special recognition to my staff, especially Mary and David for their hard work and talent, and their dedication to producing books of high quality and scholarship.

Here are some excerpts from panelist comments:

"Top Picks":

Through the Lens: Creating Santa Fe, Edited by Mary Anne Redding and Krista Elrich (W. David Laird):  This collection of images, beautifully reproduced, captures the essence of the oldest capital city in the U.S….Fine visual browse with excellent text.”  (Bill Broyles) “[Catches] the magic of the town’s sense of place, identity, and history.  The combination of fine art, historical photography, and documentary work makes for more than just a magnificent volume—it gives a full and inviting sense of North America’s oldest capital.”

Telling New Mexico: A New History, edited by Marta Weigle with Frances Levine and Louise Stiver (Patricia Etter):  “What a great way to get a history lesson!  Sit down, open this book anywhere and enjoy....this is for the general reader, the scholar, and should probably should be in every New Mexico classroom.” (Bill Broyles) “Each of the essays in this book is excellent and many are superb….Other states should do so well.”

New Mexico Colcha Club:Spanish Colonial Embroidery & the Women Who Saved It, by Nancy Benson (Patricia Etter):  “…the author carefully weaves in the history of New Spain along with the art of weaving and evolution of the colcha revival.   All is presented in color in a beautifully designed volume that should be prized by weavers.”

To Walk in Beauty: A Navajo Family's Journey Home, by Stacia Spragg-Braude, Afterword by N. Scott Momaday (Bill Broyles) “This profoundly moving book is about a Navajo family, the Begays….Their story is told in compelling, personal photographs by Stacia Spragg-Braude and in the family’s owns words….read this book.  In an afternoon you’ll gain the insight of a lifetime.” (W. David Laird) “Heartfelt…”

"Notable" selection:
El Rancho de Las Golondrinas by Carmella Padilla, Photographs by Jack Parsons (Bill Broyles) “With a mellow and accurate voice, Carmella Padilla narrates this rich history, enormous passion, and compelling preservation of architecture, lifeways, and community cooperation. Jack Parsons’ photos, taken over a period of 35 years, perfectly complement the text and enliven our sense of being there.” (Patricia Etter) “History at its best.”

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