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#10 Rendezvous With A Writer
Welcome to this week's Rendezvous With A Writer OutWest featured book round-up. Find these books, and many more like them, on our separate book website Bookshop.org/shop/OutWestShop.com. We've curated book lists representing the complicated, compelling, and engaging culture, history and diversity of the American West. This week's featured book selections were posted on our OutWest Shop Facebook daily post April 30 - May 15, 2021
MAY 15 - “WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD, THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ.”
Today is L. Frank Baum’s birthday! Millions of readers have followed the Yellow Brick Road since 1900 when the first book was published. Baum turned it into a successful play that ran on Broadway and toured nationwide, wrote thirteen more Oz books, and even started a film production company. He was immensely popular, the J. K. Rowling of his day. I spent many happy hours on our screened porch, reading copies from the 20s that had belonged to my uncle. I have them still. And every year I looked forward to seeing the movie on TV, even in black and white!
Experience life with Baum through the eyes of his wife Maud Gage, who gave up her goal of college graduation to marry him. In her novel FINDING DOROTHY,
Elizabeth Letts imagines their marriage and Maud’s backstage contribution to the filming of THE WIZARD OF OZ. ”A breathtaking read that will transport you over the rainbow and into the heart of one of America’s most enduring fairy tales and the hardscrabble life that inspired it.” - - Lisa Wingate, author of BEFORE WE WERE YOURS
Robert Sabuda, the wizard of pop-up books, created an exceptional one for the 100th anniversary of THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ.
Open the first page to see the twister ominously shoot up from the centerfold. The Emerald City rises from a spread that includes a pair of green spectacles to protect the reader’s eyes, and the Wizard himself ascends in his glorious balloon. A masterpiece!
---Post by Book Guide WENDY
MAY 13...“HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?”
In a pie, of course! What’s your favorite? Double crust, lattice top, French crumb, perhaps? Served à la mode or topped with a slice of sharp cheddar? Celebrate NATIONAL APPLE PIE DAY
with a piece of pie and one of these books.
Could you meet the challenge of SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES
? If Cady can make ten pies a day for one hundred days, she’ll not only learn to bake pies but might save her aunt’s pie shop in Julian from closing. This small California town, founded by freed slaves, is known for its gold rush, apple orchards, and pies. I love Margaret Dilloway’s novel for its spunky heroine, memorable characters, strong writing, and heart. There are recipes, too.
Pie Town, New Mexico, is also a real place, but when author Lynne Hinton visited years ago, there was no pie for sale, which inspired her to write PIE TOWN.
Can a priest serving his first parish, a sick child, and a young woman determined to make a home for herself bring a community together? Will there ever be pie? If you like Jan Karon’s books, you’ll enjoy this story. Oh, yes, recipes are included.
“My parents do not understand all American things. They were not born here,” states the narrator of APPLE PIE 4TH OF JULY
. Will customers buy Chinese food from her family’s store on Independence Day? A bright and lively confirmation that America embraces everyone from author Janet S. Wong and illustrator Margaret Chodos-Irvine.
BRING ME SOME APPLES AND I’LL MAKE YOU A PIE
is cookbook author and illustrator Robbin Gourley’s tribute to renowned chef Edna Lewis. From the first wild strawberries in the spring to fall’s bounty young Edna and her family pick, cook and preserve each crop. A beautiful and poetic picture book with recipes to try.
---Post by Book Guide WENDY
Quote: "Apple Pie Is like duct tape it fixes everything!"
MAY 10...The THREE POSTAGE STAMPS
are as colorful and extravagant as a vintage circus poster. Two stamps are portraits of locomotives, resplendent in brass trim and red and blue paint. They face each other across a third stamp as golden as the spike depicted on it. The stamps, issued in 2019, commemorated the TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD and the ceremony marking its completion on MAY 10, 1869. The audacious project has been likened to our country’s determination to land a man on the moon in the last century. What a story! And what an abundance of books to tell it! AFTER PROMONTORY
relates the histories of three transcontinental railways in the West. Striking vintage and contemporary photographs from the collection of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art accompany each chapter and demonstrate the magnitude of these engineering and construction feats. A fabulous book for rail fans.
NOTHING LIKE IT IN THE WORLD,
Stephen Ambrose’s “magnificent tale of high finance, low finagling, and workers hacking through 2,000 miles [is] magnificently told.” - - Time
HELL ON WHEELS: WICKED TOWNS ALONG THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD.
Dick Kreck’s lively book first presents the lengthy and dangerous routes by land and sea that settlers took before the transcontinental railroad. He then describes the temporary, wild towns that grew up and moved along with the crews as they built the railroad.
---Post by Book Guide WENDY
MAY 5 - CINCO DE MAYO commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla that Mexico, the underdog fighting the French, won. The date has been observed in America ever since. Children’s books offer a vibrant and imaginative introduction to the Mexican music, food, and traditions we celebrate today.
QUEEN OF TEJANO MUSIC: SELENA.
Singing from a young age, Selena fronted her family band, learned to sing in Spanish, created her stage wardrobe, overcame prejudice, and became a super star. An inspiring biography by Silvia López with brilliant illustrations by Paola Escobar.
In FINDING THE MUSIC
Reyna discovers her grandfather’s legacy as a mariachi when she tries to find someone in the community to repair his beloved vihuela. A bilingual story told with warmth and charm by Jennifer Torres.
Amalia Hernández studied ballet and modern dance, but she found inspiration in the regional and indigenous dances of Mexico. Her choreography became the foundation of the Ballet Folklórico de México, the dance company she created. Duncan Tonatiuh’s text is enhanced by his distinctive illustrations which are inspired by Mixtec art.
¡VAMOS! LET’S GO EAT.
Little Lobo has to pick up and deliver meals to seven hungry wrestlers. What do the luchadores want to eat before their big competition? Raúl the Third’s illustrations of streets crowded with food trucks teem with amusing details and Spanish words. His wacky characters seem to have sprung from vintage cartoons. Such fun!
MAY 1, 1840...THE FIRST WAGON TRAIN TO CALIFORNIA, with sixty-nine adults and several children, left from Independence, Missouri. heading out over the Oregon Trail west before going toward California. This was the first attempt to take a major group trip. The journey would take until November 4.
Six months of hard traveling. Imagine for a moment - no GPS or any of today's comforts. Yet, the dream of life in the West was so strong it propelled these extraordinary men, women, and children forward.
I've selected these four titles to explore the Overland Experience. Click each cover for more details. Whenever you have a moment of impatience over...internet speed, slow response to a text or email, waiting in line, or slow traffic...take a moment of think of these hardy dreamers!
---Post by Book Guide BOBBI JEAN
APRIL 30...“WHEN WILLIE AND I ARE PLAYING MUSIC
, we’re feeling, giving, and receiving love.” Love is at the heart of the recently published memoir ME AND SISTER BOBBIE.
Willie Nelson and Bobbie Nelson have been making music since she started playing piano at age five, and Willie got his first guitar at age six. They’ve been touring together for 47 years.
The siblings tell their life story in short alternating chapters - and what a story it is! Love and loss, grief and grit, failings and faith, and always music. The reviewer for The New York Journal of Books called their book “poignant, beautiful, heartfelt. . .[it] delights and astounds.”
Play their music while you read, or better yet, purchase the audiobook, which Bobbie and Willie read themselves. You’ll feel like you’re with them on the tour bus.
Willie Nelson was born just before midnight on April 29, 1933, but his birth was recorded on April 30, giving him two days to celebrate. Happy Birthday, Willie!
---POST BY BOOK GUIDE WENDY
----Post by Book Guide WENDY
Disclosure: OutWest Shop is an affiliate of Bookshop.org and earns a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Who are we to be your guides? We are two sisters who grew up in a family that valued reading and encouraged an interest in history and the arts. Wendy spent her career with books. She worked as a children's librarian and as the buyer and manager of the children's department of an independent bookstore. A college major in literature introduced her to the classics of the American West.
Bobbi Jean and her husband, Jim, own OutWest Shop. She was the manager and buyer for a museum store before they started their own business. Bobbi Jean co-hosts The Writer's Block on LA Talk Radio, where she interviews authors of all types. The three other radio shows she hosts involve Western music and horses. Find podcasts of all her shows at OutWest Live!
We love sharing our book knowledge. You are not limited to the titles you find on our lists, though. Use the search box to rustle up any books that you want, and put them in your OutWest Book Shop cart!
Happy Reading! Remember, it's always a Great Day OutWest!
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