Southwest Book Reviews

If you’ve got a reader on your holiday list—including yourself—and you want to go with something local, you might consider the recently released “Journal of Sedona Schnebly.” Told by Schnebly’s great granddaughter, Lisa Schnebly Heidinger, the journal recounts the pioneering family’s arrival in Arizona Territory in 1901. The story chronicles life in Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona and Slide Rock before they became tourist destinations. In KNAU’s latest Southwest Book Review, Mary Sojourner says it will make you fall in love all over again with the beauty of northern Arizona. 


Tomorrow is the Young Readers Festival in Flagstaff, a breakout event of the Northern Arizona Book Festival. One of the headliners is Erin Jade Lange, an award-winning author of contemporary young adult novels. In this month’s Southwest Book Review, Mary Sojourner takes a look at Lange’s latest work, "Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah." It’s a compelling—and frightening—story about friendship, bullying and trust. 


Nearly every day here in the Southwest, we hear tragic stories of human trafficking across the U.S. Mexico border: The lengths people will go to in hopes of a better life in America; paying coyotes large sums of money to hide in vehicles, or hike across the desert. Many don’t make it. That is the storyline of John Vailant’s novel, "The Jaguar’s Children," this month’s Southwest Book Review. In the words of commentator Mary Sojourner, the story tore her heart out.  

Love, physics and the atomic bomb come together in this month’s Southwest Book Review of Nora Gallagher’s novel, Changing Light. The setting is Los Alamos, New Mexico, 1945; the tail end of World War II and the debut of the atomic bomb. Two characters haphazardly find each other: one love sick and one radiation sick. Their bond takes them into passionate—and dangerous—territory. KNAU’s Mary Sojourner has more.


The late Flagstaff poet Jim Simmerman was a brilliant, lonely writer. His work was prolific and award winning. But, in 2006, plagued by demons and health problems, Simmerman took his own life. Now, a new tribute book to the author has been released. The Blood and the Bone and the Flesh of it All, by James Jay and Miles Waggoner, is a collection of writings and letters by Simmerman, his friends and students. In KNAU's latest Southwest Book Review, Mary Sojourner finds beauty in the sadness. 


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