Southwest Book Reviews

University of Nevada Press

Planet vs. people: That's the theme of Prescott writer  Susan Lang's most recent book, The Sawtooth Complex. It picks up where her Mojave Desert trilogy left off, reviving the character of Maddie Farley, a reluctant hero and defender of nature. In The Sawtooth Complex, Farley takes on land developers, intent on changing the wild desert she loves so much. KNAU's Southwest Book Reviewer, Mary Sojourner, says the novel offers a genuine portrayal of the people and landscape of the Mojave Desert. 

KNAU's Southwest Book Reviewer, Mary Sojourner, started the New Year by reading something old. 2016 marks exactly two decades since Luis Urrea's book By the Lake of Sleeping Children was published. It portrays the sharp contrast between what poverty looks like on both the north and south sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. For Sojourner, the book echoes her belief in the stunning disparity between surviving the holidays...and truly surviving. 


Mark Rozema

Author Mark Rozema grew up in Flagstaff, but has lived all over the West working as a photographer, fisherman, firefighter and teacher. His first book is called “Road Trip.” It’s a collection of personal essays that chronicle his travels and examine how the natural world molds our relationships. Mary Sojourner interviewed Rozema for this month’s Southwest Book Review.


University of Washington Press

Humbug Valley is a lush meadow in Northern California; a place the indigenous Maidu Indians believe was specifically chosen for them by the great spirits of their ancestors. For years, it's been the site of a controversial timber harvesting project by the large utility company that owns the land. And a group of activists known as "The Reclaimers" has been fighting against it. They are the main characters in Ana Maraia Spagna's latest work of non-fiction, Reclaimers...the focus of this month's Southwest Book Review by Mary Sojourner.

University of Nevada Press

The premise of Denice Turner's new memoir Worthy is about being raised in a Mormon household in suburban Utah, trying to find her place in the Church. But it's also about Turner's struggle to win the love and acceptance of her mother: a woman whose severe bipolar disorder was repeatedly misdiagnosed throughout her lifetime. That theme is what caught the interest of KNAU's Southwest Book Reviewer Mary Sojourner, and it ended up bringing the two writers together in a very cathartic way.

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