Originally Published: October 2, 2007 9 p.m.
Celebrate Arizona authors this week and be sure to visit www.onebookaz.org to help choose the book all Arizonans will read together next April for the One-Book Arizona. Voting is open through Oct. 15.
As "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl points out, "There are precious few opportunities for people with different ethnic backgrounds, economic levels or ages to sit down together and discuss ideas that are important to them. This project provides that opportunity."
"Desert Heat" by J. A. Jance. 1993. Jance was raised in Southeastern Arizona and graduated from Bisbee High School and from ASU. She now lives in Seattle, which is the setting for her J.P. Beaumont detective series. Writing what she knows, she started a new series about Joanna Brady, sheriff in Bisbee. Joanna's husband, a sheriff's deputy in Bisbee, is shot to look like suicide. She sets out to prove otherwise and by the end of the story is urged to run for sheriff. There are now about a dozen books in the Brady series. - Claudette Simpson
The works of Barbara Park. Arizona author Barbara Park has written more than 40 children's books and is best known for her popular series of early chapter books about Junie B. Jones. Junie B. is silly, sassy, and beloved by little girls everywhere. Park has also written several novels for older readers. Even when dealing with serious subject matter, as in the award-winning "Mick Harte Was Here," about a boy who dies in a bicycle accident, Park includes welcome touches of humor and never condescends to her readers. - Amadee Ricketts
"Concrete Desert" by Jon Talton. 2001. Like his main character, David Mapstone, Jon Talton grew up in Phoenix and loves history. After losing his job as a history teacher, David returns to Phoenix to consult on an old unsolved serial killer case for the sheriff's office. A former girlfriend appears, begging David to hunt for her missing sister. Mapstone's investigation into both mysteries keeps the pages turning. Parallel to the old and new mysteries are the descriptions of Phoenix old and new. This is a sure winner. First in the series. - Anna Smith
The works of Tom Miller. From the alternative press of the 1960s to his books on the Southwest and Latin America of the last 30 years, Miller brings a clear, sharp and humorous eye to the relationships between cultures. Whether he is exploring U.S./Mexico border country or following a Panama hat from its origin in Ecuador to your head, his writing is lively and engaging.
Most recently, Miller has created powerful anthologies, bringing authors together across time and space to develop a theme:
"Writing on the Edge" and "How I Learned English." - Sharon Seymour
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