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Douglas County authors event proves that the written word is still in demand.
Photo: Charlie Johnston (author William Hill embraces a young fan of his)
William Hill lights up when a young reader approaches him to ask for an autograph. The shy girl warms immediately as Hill holds up an array of colored pens and asks her which she would like him to use.
Hill writes fantasy novels—titles such as Chasing Time, The Magic Bicycle, and Wizard Sword give a good idea of the nature of his work—catered to children and young adults. His passion for writing those stories is rivaled only by his passion for teaching his young audience about the art of writing itself.
Elizabeth Leiknes is a seventh-grade English teacher at Carson Valley Middle School and author of The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns and The Understory. While she says her students should probably be a few years older before reading her novels, that doesn’t stop her from fervently trying to instill her love of books in them. “Whenever we start a new book in class,” she says with a chuckle, “we smell it first. There is nothing like the smell of a new book.”
Hill and Leiknes were just two of more than 20 Nevada authors in attendance at the Douglas County Public Library’s “An Evening with Local Authors” event in Minden on October 3. In a time when books and printed words seem to be increasingly fading from public interest, the event, and the authors and library employees who make it possible, are breaths of fresh air. What’s more, the event is a hit. Dozens of people cluster around the authors and the tables displaying their books, and few people leave without purchasing a stack of titles.
Some people even inquire ahead of the event to ensure that their favorite Nevada authors will be in attendance. “Quite a few people called to ask if Todd Borg would be here,” collection development librarian Luise Davis says. Borg’s work, like Hill’s and Leiknes’, is fiction. Probably the most well known of the authors at the event, Borg’s 10-volume Owen McKenna Mystery Series is very popular, so much so that his on-hand stock of the series’ most recent installment, Tahoe Trap, sold out.
Novelists aren’t the only Nevada authors on hand, either. George E. Gruell says he and Sherman Swanson spent decades researching Nevada’s Changing Wildlife Habitat: An Ecological History, which was released this year by the University of Nevada Press. Maggy Anthony’s works, such as the latest book in her Hank Faro Mystery Series, Death is a Crapshoot, weave her storytelling into historical fact.
Sandie La Nae and Janice Oberding have a penchant for the paranormal and have each authored books about ghost tours and ghost hunting in the Silver State. La Nae says she is also a psychic and wrote a book about the power and uses of psychic stones, her medium of choice. Oberding is also a historian and has written about Nevada’s often-obscure past, such as Under a Cruel Moon: Floyd Loveless’ Story, an account of the 1944 execution of 17-year-old Floyd Loveless, the youngest man to ever be put to death at the Nevada State Prison in Carson City.
As soon as our November/December issue and annual Nevada Books feature hits newsstands each autumn, more books for the following year start rolling into our offices for review. Each brings a glint of excitement and wonder at what new information its pages reveal about the Silver State—it is difficult to resist the urge to read each book as soon as it arrives. We received more than 40 titles for this year’s feature, with topics that range from Cave Rock controversies to the “golden age” of Las Vegas.
By Mary Jean Kelso, Wings Press, wings-press.com
Fernley author Kelso makes the early West time period come alive with her tales of how everyday life might have been during the nation’s formative years. This book tells the story of a young girl shipped west on an orphan train. Annabel arrives as a girl named Mabel. With a name change she relives her past and moves toward an uncertain future. Young and struggling to survive, she carries a secret that even she doesn’t know.
|Another Day in Paradise|
By Barry Vass, Whiskey Creek Press, whiskeycreekpress.com
Head out for adventure and romance with Jimmy and Naomi as they sail the high seas, dodging pirates and terrorists every step of the way! Experience the unforgettable chase from Florida to the West Indies, and then on to Jamaica, where the two lovers are finally captured in a pitched gun battle. Imagine yourself in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip as a group of terrorists blow up a megaresort, bringing the city to its knees. While most of the terrorists are either killed or captured, one survives to dog Jimmy and Naomi across the snow-capped mountains of Northern Nevada in a desperate, last-ditch attempt at revenge… Take off into high adventure you’ll never forget!
|Betcha Missed It—Las Vegas! Find the Hidden Treasures On and Around the Las Vegas Strip|
By Scott and Melanie Russell, Betcha Missed It Publications, betchamissedit.com, 928-651-4342, 152 pages
This is a Las Vegas travel guide with a twist. It’s also a game. Readers find clues to little-known places on The Strip and learn trivia and other nearby places to explore.
|The Blackjack Life|
By Nathaniel Tilton, Huntington Press, amazon.com, 252 pages
Tilton was leading an ordinary existence as an early-30s financial advisor in Boston when he met famed MIT blackjack team member Semyon Dukach and embarked on a quest to become a world-class blackjack player. Together with a friend, Tilton developed a virtually undetectable small-team system—something that's never before been documented in the blackjack literature. The details of this secret system are delivered within the pages of this compelling narrative that interweaves the glitzy gambler’s life of high-roller suites, gourmet restaurants, and top-shelf entertainment, with a dark side of deception and very real personal risk.
|Can Journalism Survive? An Inside Look at American Newsrooms|
By David M. Ryfe, Wiley, wiley.com, 256 pages
Journalists have failed to respond adequately to the challenge of the Internet, with far-reaching consequences for the future of journalism and democracy. This is the compelling argument set forth in this timely new text, drawing on the most extensive ethnographic fieldwork in American newsrooms since the 1970s. David Ryfe, Associate Professor and Chair of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, argues that journalists are unable or unwilling to innovate for a variety of reasons: in part because habits are sticky and difficult to dislodge; in part because of their strategic calculation that the cost of change far exceeds its benefit; and in part because basic definitions of what journalism is, and what it is for, anchor journalism to tradition even when journalists prefer to change.
Photos by Thomas Barrow, powerHouse Books, powerhousebooks.com, 212-604-9074 x.114, 112 pages
PowerHouse Books releases photographer Thomas Barrows’ widely exhibited series, Cancellations. In print for the first time since its compilation in the ’70s and ’80s, this series focuses on vacant spaces in the American West, evidencing our human presence without placing people in the frame. The importance of this series rests as much in the craftsmanship of the print as it does in the image. Cancellations is a raw social commentary that straddles the margins of image and object.
|Death is A Crapshoot|
By Maggy Anthony, self published, maggyanthony.com, 775-830-8212, 202 pages
Reno in 1949 is a hot town; legal gambling, quickie divorces, and legal prostitution just up the road. There are gangsters, but they keep a low profile, until, from the past, from Detroit, come some guys to stir up the pot. It takes all Hank Faro's resources as a small town P.I. to unravel the unholy mess created as the pot boils over in murder.
|Don't Feed the Bully|
By Brad Tassell, Llessat Publishing, dontfeedthebully.com, 128 pages
Las Vegas comedian Brad Tassell's book is a fictional detective story aimed at boys 10-14, although, anyone who can read will love this funny and meaningful story. Hannibal Greatneck III, detective, sixth grade student, or Handy to his friends, walks into William B. Travis elementary and finds a cage in the middle of the classroom. The school has dealt with its bully problem by handing over all the power to another bully. Handy must find the clues, outwit the villains, and return control of William B. Travis back to the students and faculty. The story is a funny one with hilarious and serious undertones, but with great purpose.
|Elma, Born in a Boxcar|
By Robert G. O'Briant, Authorhouse, amazon.com, 130 pages
Elma Smalley was an extraordinary woman. She was indeed born in a boxcar in Mound House, a railroad terminal between Carson City and Virginia City. The West was a little wilder 90 years ago when she was born. Her childhood pranks and adventures, chronicled in this book, reflect the creativity and spontaneity of a unique individual. Seldom does one meet a person who boarded on a cattle ranch and rode a horse to a one-room school in rural Nevada to teach five ranch children, drove a locomotive at age six, and drove her grandmother 130 miles from Reno to Sacramento in a 1928 Dodge when she was 12. And that's just for openers.
|Emigrants on the Overland Trail: The Wagon Trains of 1848|
By Michael E. LaSalle, Truman State University Press, tsup.truman.edu, 800-916-6802, 516 pages
Presenting the “lost” year of the overland emigrants in 1848, this volume sheds light on the journey of the men, women, children, and the wagon trains that made the challenging trek from Missouri to Oregon and California. These primary sources written by seven men and women diarists from different wagon companies tell how settlers endured the tribulations of a five-month westward journey covering 2,000 miles. These intrepid souls include a young mother, a French priest, a college-educated teacher, and an ox driver. Subjected to the extremes of fear, failure, suffering, and hope, they persevered and finally triumphed.
|Fifty Miles From Home: Riding the Long Circle on a Nevada Family Ranch|
By Linda Dufurrena and Carolyn Dufurrena, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 179 pages
These photographs and accompanying text record the rhythms of life on the Dufurrena family ranch in the Quinn River Valley, and the rugged, heartbreakingly beautiful landscape of Northern Nevada. This book reveals the loyalty and pride of ranchers clinging to their beleaguered lifestyle, it also unveils he unexpected wonders of the Great Basin landscape.
|Five Rivers on Fire|
By M. Bashir Sulahria, fiveriversonfire.com, 262 pages
Ethnic violence spirals our of control as Britain leaves the Indian Subcontinent after World War II, dividing the country into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. Fazal, a proud tenderhearted Muslim Shopkeeper living in a small Punjabi village stands dazed in front Of his Hindu friend's shop, reduced to ashes by Muslim vigilantes. A few months later his 10-year-old son Karim is torn apart from his Sikh friend Makhan as his family is forced to flee India. The two friends grow up; one in Pakistan, the other in India embarking on military careers and espionage while their countries remain in perpetual conflict.
By Ben Rogers, Aqueous Books, amazon.com, 257 pages
All boys tinker with fire. Reno's Oby Brooks holes up in a backyard shed to experiment with napalm recipes. He has a hand in burning down his own house, twice. He can't help it: His very DNA seems made of TNT. Meanwhile, amidst the detonations, Oby's sexuality is up for grabs. Parents, mountain men, chemistry teachers, neighbors, and arson inspectors all try their own quirky ways to usher Oby into adulthood with his fingers and eyelashes intact. In the end, the question is whether Oby's nature will be nurtured, or neutered. Oh, and will he land a Nobel Prize?
|Ghost Towns: Lost Cities of the Old West|
By Clint Thomsen, Shire Publications, shirebooks.co.uk, 64 pages
This is not your average boom-and-bust ghost town book. Thomsen explores the ghost-town phenomenon from artifact to abstract concept in an extended essay punctuated by thoughtful commentary and a tasteful mix of archival images and artfully composed contemporary photographs. Discussion turns to the genesis of the term “ghost town” and to historic preservation practices ranging from anonymity to arrested decay to contrivance, wherein preservation yields to interpretation. Of the ghost-town culture that endures today, the author offers, "Ghost towns are invaluable, yet perishable historical resources. They are tangible pieces of the American story, worthy of whatever protection we can afford them."
By Tupelo Hassman, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, tupelohassman.com, 288 pages
Rory Hendrix is the least likely of Girl Scouts. She hasn’t got a troop or even a badge to call her own. But she’s checked the Handbook out from the elementary school library so many times that her name fills all the lines on the card, and she pores over its surreal advice (Uniforms, disposing of outgrown; The Right Use of Your Body; Finding Your Way When Lost) for tips to get off the calle: that is, the Calle de las Flores, the Reno trailer park where she lives with her mother, Jo, the sweet-faced, hard-luck bartender at the Truck Stop. Hassman’s Girlchild is a heart-stopping novel and original debut.
|The Gold Rush Letters of E. Allen Grosh and Hosea B. Grosh|
Edited by Ronald M. James and Robert E. Stewart, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 280 pages
The Grosh brothers’ thoughtful and eloquent writings, acquired by the Nevada Historical Society in 2007, are now available in a new book edited by Ronald M. James and Robert E. Stewart. James is the longtime Nevada state historic preservation officer and Stewart is a Nevada historian. Together they have published nearly a dozen books on the West. Publication of the book was made possible, in part, with funds from Nevada Humanities. The letters give a firsthand view of life in both San Francisco and Nevada’s Great Basin, including the politics of slavery, the frustration of mining, and the search for wealth that drew them deep into the mountains, eventually into what is now Nevada.
By Mark Maynard, Torrey House Press, markmaynard.info
This Reno author’s debut collection of stories examines the characters of a town whose means and meanings are eroding and are searching for the next big thing, or at least the next thing. Each of their lives are interconnected in surprising ways, and the book examines the idea of “occupations” and how much what we do defines who we are. A truck driver with the I.Q. of a child drives his empty rig up and down the Interstate as an homage to his dead mother (“Deadheading”), two convicts seek redemption by helping a group of horses get their freedom beyond the gates (“Penned”), a pawnshop owner senses the painful past of the many objects lining his shelves (“Trading Up”), a schizophrenic homeless man hits it big on a belligerent slot machine and then disappears into the wilds along the Truckee River before he gets the payout that would change his life forever (“Jackpot”). These linked stories play out within sight of the Mother Lode hotel and casino in downtown Reno.
|Haunted Carson City|
By Janet Jones, The History Press, historypress.net, 866-457-5971, 126 pages
The Kit Carson Trail in Carson City is haunted by history. The footsteps of Abe Curry, the first superintendent of the Nevada City Mint, still allegedly echo in the halls of the building. Mark Twain’s niece, Jennie Clemens, died of a fever when she was nice years old; her spirit peeks from the upstairs window of the family home and is said to visit the Lone Mountain Cemetery. These are just a few of the stories readers encounter as they take a walk through the capital’s haunted history with Jones and meet the spirits that linger in the city’s historic district.
|…In the Basement|
By Jack Barrett, CreateSpace, amazon.com, 316 pages
Author Jack Barrett is a fourth generation Nevadan. His suspense thriller is set partially in Reno and focuses on FBI Agent Logan McGill who is investigating a string of murders that are being committed in basements.
|John Wayne: The Legend and the Man|
By John Wayne Enterprises, powerHouse Books, powerhousebooks.com, 212-604-9074 x.114, 272 pages
Known the world over, John Wayne is a household name, a familiar face on movie screens everywhere and an iconic figure of American masculinity. This book is the first-ever authorized photographic record, showing an in-depth timeline of The Duke’s life from his younger days as Marion Morrison and deep into his later years, capturing his more public appearance as well as intimate moments with his family.
|Knit Red: Stitching for Women’s Heart Health|
By Laura Zander, Sixth&Spring Books, sixthandspringbooks.com, 800-298-1032, 144 pages
Laura Zander is the owner of Jimmy Beans Wool in Reno (jimmybeanswool.com). Her book contains 30 beautiful red-themed projects help raise awareness of the number-one killer of women today: heart disease. In addition, the book offers important medical information, a Heart Healthy Resources and Action Plan, and powerful stories from survivors of this deadly ailment.
|Lake Tahoe: A Maritime History|
By Peter Goin, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 888-313-2665, 128 pages
Lake Tahoe’s legendary scenic beauty is witnessed annually by millions of visitors. While the lake’s first sighting (in 1843) by a nonnative was made from a mountain peak, the lake’s maritime history began a scant seven years later. Although most of the early steamers were designed for industrial use, the sight of a boat venturing out into the vast, deep blue expanse of Lake Tahoe attracted the attention of residents and visitors alike. After the inevitable decline of extractive industries, tourism became the main economic engine in Lake Tahoe. The steamer era and the evolution of wooden-boat racing are celebrated today by the romantic races of the two paddle wheelers and the annual Concours d’Elegance boat show.
|Landing in Las Vegas: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Tourist City|
By Daniel K. Bubb, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu,, 800-621-2736, 176 pages
Author Daniel K. Bubb is the Director of Academic Assessment at UNLV. His new book examines how Las Vegas went from a dusty, isolated town to the country’s fastest growing city and a world-class travel destination, thanks, in large part, to the city’s relationship with its airport and the increased ease of air travel.
|Life is But a Dream|
By David Earle, Smith Publicity, lulu.com, 856-489-8654, 209 pages
Award-winning screenwriter Earle of Carson City offers an original storyline that takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through an emotional spectrum. Roger Owen, a modern black family man, awakens the morning after his 40th birthday to discover himself inhabiting the body of Sydney Hamilton, a white 60-year-old Welsh Harvard Professor of History, whom he remembers nothing of, in what is now the year 2125. It’s a twist on reincarnation that intertwines romance, suspense, and mystery.
|Lifeblood: A Novel|
By Ann Funk, Daniel and Daniel Publishers, danielpublishing.com, 800-662-8351, 287 pages
Lifeblood is the story of a young Sarah Austen’s harrowing journey with her Mormon parents by handcart from Iowa to the Great Salt Lake. The family is broken apart when Sarah’s father takes another wife. Sarah and her mother cross the desert to Genoa, one of Nevada’s earliest settlements, where they forge new lives, and where Sarah fulfills her dream: to become a medical doctor in the wilds of 19th-Century Northern Nevada.
By Deanna Dickinson McCall, The Frontier Project, frontierprojectinc.com, 719-237-0243, 154 pages
Colorado publishing company The Frontier Project is proud to announce the launch of Mustang Spring, a collection of poetry and short fiction by New Mexico writer Deanna Dickinson McCall. Ranching, horses, and a love of the land define McCall’s identity. Her family began ranching in Texas in the 1840s. She has spent her adult life ranching throughout the West, including 25 years spent raising her family on a remote Nevada cattle operation without phones or electricity. Riding on her own ranches and riding for day wages have given McCall fodder for her been-there, done-that stories and poetry.
By Sheila Swan and Peter Laufer, Foreword by Lili Lakich, Globe Pequot Press, globepequot.com, 800-820-2329, 117 pages
Oregon-based authors Swan and Laufer began their love affair with Nevada’s neon in the 1970s. Since then they have returned to the state numerous times to photograph the neon culture and talk to the people who create, collect and maintain Nevada’s neon. This book contains a combination of full-color photographs and prose.
|Nevada History Through Glass: The Nevada Bottle Book Volume I: Embossed Soda, Whiskey, Beer, Dairy And Other Bottles|
By Fred N. Holabird, Holabird, Fred Americana, barnesandnoble.com, 800-806-7722, 352 pages
This extensive book contains hundreds of photographs interspersed with narrative telling the history of Nevada through glass bottles. "All 352 pages include an extensive index, charts and graphs, lists of beer, whiskey, and every type of wholesaler," according to American Bottle Auctions. "Once again Fred Holabird has managed to set the standard for excellence in research and writing such an entertaining and factual book."
|Nevada Rock Art|
By Peter Goin, Essays by Angus R. Quinlan, Alanah Woody, and Paul F. Starrs, Epilogue by Mark Boatwright, Black Rock Institute Press, blackrockinstitute.org, 252 pages
This large coffee-table book was designed for the fine art book market. It combines more than 100 pictures with essays about the Nevada landscape. The book contains rarely seen images that are the artifacts of fieldwork conducted throughout the back roads of Nevada. There are 1,000 limited-edition copies, signed and numbered.
|Nevada State Prison|
By Jennifer Riddle, Sena M. Loyd, Stacy L. Branham and Curt Thomas, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 888-313-2665, 128 pages
A bloody palm print, footprints of monster men, the nation’s first legal lethal gas chamber—all of this and more are at the heart of the Nevada State Prison story. Founded in 1862, the prison is the oldest continuously operated penal facility in the state. Over its 150-year history, the prison has been home to some of Nevada’s most notorious criminals as well as some of the state’s stranger events. Fossilized footprints of a “giant race of man” were found buried deep within the prison quarry. The prints gave rise to the infamous Homo Nevadensis, a supposed lost branch of the human evolutionary tree. On the more macabre side, the prison hosted the nation’s first state-sanctioned execution by lethal gas. The prison has periodically garnered international attention and amassed a history worthy of study. Read an excerpt from the book here.
|Nevada’s Changing Wildlife Habitat: An Ecological History|
By George E. Gruell with Sherman Swanson, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 192 pages
For millennia the ecology of the Great Basin has evolved because of climate change and the impacts of human presence. Nevada’s Changing Wildlife Habitat is the first book to explain the transformations in the plants and animals of this region over time and how they came about. Using data gleaned from archaeological and anthropological studies, historical documents, photography, and natural sciences the authors examine changes in vegetation and their impact on wildlife species and the general health of the environment.
|Nevada’s Environmental Legacy: Progress or Plunder|
By James W. Hulse, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 176 pages
Native Nevadan James W. Hulse examines the exploitation of the state’s natural resources. The effects of mining, animal grazing, clear-cutting, and nuclear testing are all examined. The author considers the state's complex environmental history as a series of Faustian bargains between the state's need for economic development and the industries, government agencies, and individuals that have exploited Nevada's natural resources with little concern for the long-term consequences of their activities. His survey covers all these issues and examines public attitudes about the environment and the role of federal and state agencies in creating, interpreting, and enforcing environmental policies.
|Nevada’s Lost City|
By Dena M. Sedar, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 888-313-2665, 128 pages
Nevada's Lost City was buried under the sands of the Mojave Desert until its existence was reported to Governor James Scrugham by brothers John and Fay Perkins from Overton. Excavations of the archaeological ruins began in 1924, when archaeologist Mark Raymond Harrington identified the ruins as Ancestral Puebloan (more commonly known as Anasazi), a significant archaeological discovery in Southwestern archaeology. Harrington named the world-famous sites Pueblo Grande de Nevada, but the media dubbed them the Lost City, and the name stuck. Read excerpts from the book here.
|The Ordinary Truth|
By Jana Richman, Torrey House Press, torreyhouse.com, 385-234-1341, 302 pages
It is not often that a novel of literary fiction incorporates the complexities of a specific, current, and controversial issue, but Jana Richman’s The Ordinary Truth does just that, with astounding insight and a captivating, heartrending narrative. The recently proposed Nevada pipeline, which would pump water from the desert valleys of Eastern Nevada and Western Utah to Las Vegas, is a component of conflict in the novel. For the Jorgenson family and the close-knit Spring Valley community, the pipeline would mean the end of their cherished ranching lifestyles. When Kate Jorgenson becomes a spokesperson for the Southern Nevada Water Authority and defends the creation of the pipeline, her already-damaged relationship with her mother, Nell, seems beyond repair.
|Puppies for Sale: $25.00—A Collection of the Best Dog Stories Ever|
By Rosalie A. Pope, Authorhouse, authorhouse.com, 888-519-5121, 64 pages
Washoe County-based author Rosalie A. Pope was devastated when her beloved dog, Xena, passed away. This spurred Pope to document the good times she shared with her dogs. Those stories are collected in this new book.
By Guy Clifton, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 888-313-2665, 128 pages
New to Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series is Reno by local author Clifton. This pictorial history boasts more than 200 vintage images and provides readers with a unique opportunity to reconnect with the history that shaped their community. Reno has always been a small town where big things happen. Long before it adopted the slogan “The Biggest Little City in the World,” Reno was visited by presidents, the nation’s elite, and those drawn to the city’s wide-open, live-and-let live attitude.
|Restoring Vintage Western Saddles|
By Alain Eon, alain.eon.free.fr, 64 pages
This is the ultimate book about old time saddles restoration. More than 340 pictures show restoration works step by step from the taking apart to final presentation, with 15 old-time saddles presented.
|Rethinking Development Strategies in Africa: The Triple Partnership as an Alternative Approach—the Case of Uganda|
By Johnson Makoba, published by Peter Lang, amazon.com
Nevada sociologist Johnson Makoba contends that widespread corruption, economic mismanagement, lack of accountability, lack of sound leadership in government, and the nascent private sector will continue to weigh negatively on struggling sub-Saharan African countries, unless these sectors collaborate with nongovernmental organizations and microfinance institutions to bring about real progress. Makoba, Associate Professor and Sociology Department Chair at the University of Nevada, Reno, uses his home country of Uganda as a case study.
|The Rise of the Biggest Little City: An Encyclopedic History of Reno Gaming, 1931-1981|
By Dwayne Kling, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 256 pages
Longtime Reno gaming executive Dwayne Kling compiles his years of research into Reno’s casinos, both legal and illegal, from their beginnings up until the elegant casino-hotels of today. During these years the economy, skyline, and lifestyle of Reno was greatly influenced by the people who created and operated the casinos. Includes 76 photos and six maps.
|Rusty Springs: A Contemporary Western Thriller|
By Jo Ann Bender, amazon.com, 509-732-8917
When her life as a blackjack dealer in Winnemucca is turned upside down, Leigh escapes to the remote mountains in Rusty Springs, Montana to forge a new life and escape a stalker. A tale of survival and romance, the story’s inspiration came about one year when Bender’s husband attended the Shooting the West photography seminar in Winnemucca and Bender explored the Northern Nevada town.
|Saints Under Siege: The Texas State Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints|
Edited by Stuart A. Wright and James T. Richardson, NYU Press, nyupress.org, 281 pages
Saints Under Siege provides a thorough, theoretically grounded critical examination of the Texas state raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints while situating this event in a broader sociological context. The volume considers the raid as an exemplar case of a larger pattern of state actions against minority religions, offering comparative analyses to other government raids both historically and across cultures. In its look beyond the Texas raid, it provides compelling evidence of social intolerance and state repression of unpopular minority faiths in general, and the FLDS in particular. Richardson is Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno.
|Silent Heroes of the Cold War: Declassified|
By Kyril D. Plaskon, Stephens Press, coldwarmonument.org, 203 pages
Plaskon goes in depth to tell the story of the1955 “top-secret” plane crash on Mount Charleston in Southern Nevada. Gleaned from recently declassified documents and top-secret reports, Plaskon explores the tragic accident and the unavoidable aftermath. Silent Heroes of the Cold War: Declassified contains never-before-seen photographs of the crash site and relates the heartfelt stories of the families whose lives changed in an instant on a cold winter morning in 1955.
|Son of a Gambling Man: My Journey to the Governor’s Mansion from a Casino Family|
By Bob Miller, St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan, amazon.com, 646-307-5638, 272 pages
Bob Miller is Nevada’s longest-serving governor, holding office from 1989 to 1999. His son, Ross, who is named after his grandfather, is presently in his second term as Nevada’s secretary of state. A warm family memoir, the story of a city heir, with just a little bit of "The Godfather" and "Casino" thrown in for spice, Son of a Gambling Man is a unique and thoroughly memorable story.
|Sports in American Life: A History; 2nd Edition|
By Richard O. Davies, Wiley-Blackwell, wiley.com, 448 pages
Davies, Distinguished Professor of History, Emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno, presents this new edition of his highly praised narrative of American sports history that makes use of the very latest research and includes updated and expanded coverage of major sporting events since 2006, extreme sports, and women in sports. It’s extensively revised throughout, with particular attention to making a leaner, more fast-paced narrative. It highlights the social, economic, and cultural interaction between sports and larger issues, such as gender, race, and class.
|Stay On Route 6: Your Guide to All 3,652 Miles of the Transcontinental US Route 6 (Volume 1)|
By Malerie D. Yolen-Cohen, CreateSpace, amazon.com, 257 pages
US Route 6, also known as The Grand Army of the Republic Highway, is the longest contiguous transcontinental route in the states, running from Provincetown, Massachusetts to Bishop, California. This guide highlights points of interest along all of its original 3,652 miles. From Revolutionary War sites to pioneer settlements and western mining towns, Route 6 holds history to interest everyone.
By Todd Borg, Thriller Press, thrillerpress.com, 530-573-1314, 351 pages
When Lake Tahoe Detective Owen McKenna answers his phone early one morning, a young boy named Paco cries out, “Help me!” The detective discovers that the boy is trapped in the back of a speeding pickup somewhere in the Lake Tahoe area. In the front of the truck are two men who have just murdered Paco’s foster mother. The men want the boy, but they don’t yet know that he witnessed the murder and that he hid in their truck. Desperate to save the boy from the men, McKenna decides to set a trap using Paco as bait. McKenna’s plan carries a huge risk. If it goes wrong, he will be handing the boy to the killers.
|Tales of Wovoka|
By Gunnard Solard, Nevada Historical Society, museums.nevadaculture.org
This is the story of a Paiute Indian prophet written by the late author Gunnard Solard and published by the Nevada Historical Society. Gunnard spent 30 years researching stories about Wovoka, the ghost dance prophet.
|Telling it Like it Was: My First Quarter Century|
By Lloyd Root, Crown Resources, amazon.com, 346 pages
What began as a way for University of Nevada, Reno alum Lloyd Root (1948, mining engineering) to recover from a minor stroke grew into the autobiography. For five years, Lloyd, 92, and his wife, Diane, sat side-by-side, working to recall his earliest memories, which spanned two world wars, Prohibition, the Great Depression, and the expansion of air travel. They created a timeline and filled in the gaps with Lloyd’s recollections of his ancestry, early family life, and the changes all around them.
|The Twenty Mule Team of Death Valley|
By Ted Faye, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 888-313-2665, 128 pages
New to Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, this pictorial history boasts more than 200 vintage images and provides readers with a unique opportunity to reconnect with the history that shaped their community. The image of 20 mules hauling a train of wagons was once as popular as the golden arches are today. Everyone knew what it meant. It was the trademark of Pacific Coast Borax’s most famous product, a laundry additive called Twenty Mule Team Borax. The company’s advertising was dependent on one important fact: the connection between the Twenty Mule Team and America’s most notorious desert, Death Valley.
By Elizabeth Leiknes, Bancroft Press, amazon.com, 800-637-7377, 254 pages
“There once was a woman named Story Easton who couldn’t decide if she should kill herself or eat a double cheeseburger.” So begins The Understory, the second novel from critically acclaimed author Elizabeth Leiknes. The book tells the tale of Easton, an admitted failure who finds herself compelled to help a nine-year-old boy named Cooper achieve the dream that seemed to have died with his father—visiting the Amazon rainforest.
|Virginia City: Secrets of a Western Past|
By Ronald M. James, University of Nebraska Press, nebraskapress.unl.edu, 800-848-6224, 176 pages
Author Ronald M. James is the long-term state historic preservation officer for Nevada and the chairman of the National Historic Landmarks Committee of the State Park Service. In his newest book he draws on the work of hundreds of volunteers, students and professional archaeologists to bring the once-bustling metropolis of boomtown Virginia City to life as it would have existed during the Comstock.
|Waiting for the Cars: Alfred A. Hart’s Stereoscopic Views of the Central Pacific Railroad, 1863-1869|
By Howard Goldbaum, text by Wendell W. Huffman, Nevada State Railroad Museum, waitingforthecars.com
Waiting for the Cars features 218 photographs of the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad made by Alfred A. Hart. The images are presented as the photographer made them, in full 3D stereo. These are made accessible by the 3D glasses that are included. Extensive captions evocatively explain whatever activity Hart may have recorded, and place what is seen in the context of the construction or early operation of the railroad. Some captions recount a subsequent event related to the location.
|Water Politics in Northern Nevada: A Century of Struggle|
By Leah J. Wilds, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 136 pages
The Nevada Newlands Project, completed in 1915, was the first federally subsidized water reclamation scheme in the U.S. This book examines its many unintended consequences, including the deterioration of water quality, destruction of wetlands, interruption of ecosystems, and pollution of waterways and groundwater.
By Lars Strandberg, Lars Aberg, and Ronnie Nilsson, Gibbs Smith, gibbs-smith.com, 801-544-5582, 263 pages
Swedish writer Lars Aberg, photographer Lars Strandberg, and designer Ronnie Nilsson have created an expansive pictorial and written take on the American West from a distinctly European perspective. The book contains hundreds of photographs of the Western United States interspersed with poetry and narrative. The book recently won the prestigious Swedish Design Award 2012 at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm.
|Wild Horse Annie: Velma Johnston and Her Fight to Save the Mustang|
By Alan J. Kania, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 800-621-2736, 240 pages
Velma Johnston, who became known as “Wild Horse Annie,” undertook to stop the removal of wild horses and burros from U.S. public lands and to protect them from the worst aspects of mustanging. Her campaign attracted nationwide attention as it led her from rural Nevada to state offices and finally to Washington, D.C., where it resulted in the passage of the Wild Horse Annie Act of 1959 and later the Wild Horse and Free Horse and Burro Act of 1971. Together these laws protected thousands of mustangs and burros from brutal extermination. Wild Horse Annie illustrates the enduring complexity of the wild horse debate in the West, a debate in which sentiment, greed, and environmental concerns continue to collide.
Vegas Valley Book Festival
Most events free & open to public
Lecture—Virginia City & its Archaeology: A Thirty-Year Overview
Nov. 15 at Nevada State Museum, Carson City
Includes book signing of Ron James’ Virginia City: Secrets of a Western Past
775-687-4810 x. 237
At the end of the six-week “Reading Wranglers” program, the efforts of teachers and students will be celebrated at the Las Vegas Wranglers hockey game on Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:05 p.m.