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#11 Rendezvous With A Writer

May 21, 2021

#11 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 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 May 17- May 28. Book titles include Barbecue, Museum Collections, Guitars and Asian American / Pacific Islander Cookbooks, Memoirs, and History.
Spotlight on Books 
May 28 - I have been watching PBS documentaries on Asian Americans this month and reading books about them as well. What a story of courage and determination in the face of violence and racism! Some of the historians I saw on the screen were authors of the books in my stack. Here are some rewarding reads.
               On Gold Mountain by Lisa See  The Making of Asian America
by Lisa See is amazing. I read it years ago and was fortunate to see an exhibit based on her family’s history at the Autry Museum of the American West in 2000. I am as stunned by this book today as I was before. Amy Tan wrote that See “weaves together fascinating family anecdotes, imaginative details, and the historical details of immigrant life. . . . Enviably entertaining.”

. Author Erika Lee writes not only about Chinese and Japanese immigrants but also Sikhs, Hmong, Filipinos, Indians, Vietnamese and others. I learned so much! “A powerful, timely story told with method and dignity.” - - Kirkus Reviews
     Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island 1910-1940  Heart of Fire
ISLAND: POETRY AND HISTORY OF CHINESE IMMIGRANTS ON ANGEL ISLAND, 1910-1940. “During the time they spent on the island . . . .[immigrants] carved and ink-brushed their concerns into the walls of their barracks. One hundred thirty-five calligraphic poems survived, first discovered by a Federal park ranger after Angel Island was abandoned in 1940. Together with the interviews, the poems - - angry, heroic, wrenchingly forlorn, despairing, provocative, resistant - - convey, as no secondhand or thirdhand account could ever do, what it was like to be Chinese and to be at Angel Island.” - - New York Times

Maizie K. Hirono is the first Asian American woman and only immigrant serving in the Senate. Her recently published autobiography, HEART OF FIRE, recounts how her mother escaped an abusive marriage in Japan by fleeing to her native Hawaii with her children. “A heartfelt and fiery political memoir and immigrant story.” - - Kirkus Reviews 

When I was part of the Autry Museum of the American West staff, I experienced, first hand, the power of family story - Lisa See's family story was the centerpiece to an extraordinary museum exhibition with a separate family hands on gallery based on the See family's long history in Los Angeles. The exhibition, "On Gold Mountain," continues to impact me - in more ways than I can describe here. We were honored to have Lisa, and other See family members, as well as other members of the Chinese-American community, intimately involved in the conception and creation of the exhibition. Read this book and be forever changed! 

On Gold Mountain: A Chinese American Experience
July 23, 2000–January 1, 2001
Based on the book of the same title by author Lisa See, On Gold Mountain explored four generations of a Chinese American family who originally immigrated to California in 1867 and whose members have lived and worked in Los Angeles from 1897 to the present. The backdrop for these family and community histories was an even bigger picture that illustrated national tragedies and triumphs, ranging from exclusionary laws in the nineteenth century to burgeoning suburban Chinatowns in the twentieth century. On Gold Mountain reveals how all immigrants to America are faced with similar challenges: choosing between the old world and the new, maintaining culture and language, and balancing long-practiced traditions with the demands of assimilation.
---Footnote by Book Guide BOBBI JEAN

MAY 22...Each year on May 22nd we observe NATIONAL BUY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT DAY. The day is all about playing music. If you are a musician, it might be time for a new instrument. Maybe you can learn to play a second or third one. If you have never played an instrument before, this celebration may be the motivation you need. I've chosen four guitar books for your review.
       The Telecaster Guitar Book: A Complete History of Fender Telecaster Guitars        Making an Archtop Guitar
THE TELECASTER GUITAR BOOK: A COMPLETE HISTORY OF FENDER TELECASTER GUITARS. The Tele is the longest-lived solidbody electric, played by everyone from Muddy Waters to Keith Richards, from Radiohead to Snow Patrol. Its sheer simplicity and versatility are vividly illustrated here through interviews with Jeff Beck, James Burton, Bill Kirchen, John 5, and more. Packed with pictures of great players, collectable catalogs, period press ads, and cool memorabilia, The Telecaster Guitar Book is the one Tele book that all guitar fans will want to add to their collection.

MAKING AN ARCHTOP. "This book is for everyone who loves woodworking, loves guitars, appreciates artistry, and believes that organic materials like spruce, maple and ebony can only achieve their highest function through the hands of a craftsman." ---George Gruhn 
        The Bass Book: A Complete Illustrated History of Bass Guitars (Updated)  Martin Guitars: A History
THE BASS BOOK: A COMPLETE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BASS GUITARS (UPDATED). In California in the early '50s, the Fender company introduced the world's first electric bass guitar. They couldn't have known known it then, but the Precision Bass would start a revolution in the sound of popular music. This book explains how that revolution happened and how its reverberations are still felt today. The two-guitars-bass-and-drums lineup that would define pop music found its heart with the Fender bass. A reference section provides a wealth of information on the key makers. The Bass Book has all you need to know about the story of the bass guitar in one stylish, readable volume, and this revised and refreshed third edition brings the story right up to date.

MARTIN GUITARS: A HISTORY. A Martin acoustic guitar is the beloved instrument of millions of fans and famous players worldwide. Starting with the early days in New York circa 1833, this fabled story comes to life in the long-awaited revision of the seminal Martin History book. Part of a two-book set, The History: Book 1 covers the people, the places, and the stories of an American icon. Richly illustrated, this book covers the story right up to the fifth-generation president Chris Martin IV. Because the original and revision authors had complete access to authorized archives, this version is the most accurate and detailed reference on the topic.

Now's the time to pick up a new musical instrument of your choice! Make it a family affair, too. Grandpa can play his ukelele while the grandkids play the drums, trombone, and flute. Together they can all make terrific music!
---Post by Book Guide BOBBI JEAN   
     Colorful Guitars
#pacificislanderheritagemonth #pacificislander #cookbook
MAY 19...COMBINE A GREAT COOKBOOK WITH A MEMOIR for an irresistible reading experience. Here are four books that captivated me and are perfect for celebrating ASIAN AMERICAN / PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH. Each has a distinct voice, offers intriguing recipes, and is beautiful to look at.
        The Peached Tortilla  I Am A Filipino
Eric Silverstein’s food is inspired by his Chinese American mother, American Jewish father, and a childhood spent in Japan. Fuse that with his cooking experience in Georgia and Texas and you have THE PEACHED TORTILLA: MODERN ASIAN COMFORT FOOD FROM TOKYO TO TEXAS. How about Kung Pao Brisket, Pork Belly Bowl, or Banana Nutella Spring Rolls?

Nicole Ponseca planned for ten years before opening her Filipino restaurant. Her goal in writing I AM A FILIPINO AND THIS IS HOW WE COOK is “. . . to help change the conversation about the food I grew up on, so that no one ever has to feel embarrassed about Filipino food and its customs again. . . Let Filipino food be universally regarded as one of the world’s classic cuisines.”
James Gould-Porter grew up eating poké on Maui. Now his London restaurant serves Hawaiian food enlivened with the influences of other Asian cuisines. Among the tempting desserts is Haupia Macadamia Nut Pie.

 You’ll want to hang out with Priya Krishna’s family and try their food. As she writes, “. . . the recipes here are really, really good. Each and every one of these dishes was tested by my mom, me, and three friends with varying degrees of cooking abilities. . . Also, the dishes in this book are specifically built to be an accessible entry port into Indian cuisine. . .”
--Post by Book Guide WENDY 
      Autry Museum
MAY 18...WONDERFUL NEWS - MUSEUMS ARE STARTING TO REOPEN! Didn’t museums became creative during the pandemic? During the lockdown, when I was researching picture books and the library was closed, I discovered Hannah Wilson’s charming video storytimes for the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Our local arboretum transformed its holiday Illumination extravaganza into a dramatic drive through experience, which became the highlight of our Christmas celebration. There were countless virtual tours and remote programs. Now some museums have even become vaccination sites!
Today is INTERNATIONAL MUSEUM DAY. Celebrate by planning a museum visit, renewing a museum membership, or exploring a museum in the pages of one of these books.
           Art of the West: Selected Works from the Autry Museum   Arte Popular: The Rex May Collection of Mexican Folk Art
“From its original focus on the history, art, and popular culture inspired by the West and its attendant myths, the museum - located in the heart of Los Angeles - has evolved to embrace a more inclusive, complex, and contemporary approach to the American West.” 150 images are accompanied by thoughtful essays.

Stunning photographs and bilingual text showcase the eclectic folk art collection that graphic designer Rex May donated to the Mexican Museum in San Francisco.

        Continuum: Native North American Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art   How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture

A majority of items from this Kansas City, MIssouri institution appear in print for the first time in this handsome volume.

Did you ever wonder how a museum comes into being? Follow the hundred-year history leading up to the opening of one of our country’s newest, most stunning museums.
---Post by Book Guide WENDY
MAY 17...IT'S BARBECUE TIME! Fire up that grill! Think tasty ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and all the other mouth watering vittles you hunger for! Memorial Day, Father's Day, and the Fourth of July are just around the corner. Dads, BBQ, and backyard fun - what could be better?
                Cowboy Barbecue: Fire & Smoke from the Original Texas Vaqueros
COWBOY BARBECUE: FIRE & SMOKE FROM THE ORIGINAL TEXAS VAQUEROS - Long before the first smoker was lit or sauce was ladled, barbecue was born with a Latin twist. In COWBOY BARBECUE, chef and restaurateur Adrian Davila celebrates traditions of Latin America and Texas, taking inspiration from the vaquero lifestyle and his own family history. For three generations, Davila's BBQ in Seguin, Texas, has infused classic brisket, ribs, and sausage with Latin flavors.
Men's Farthest Point Collection Shirt: Short Sleeve Calypso Black Tan  Men's Farthest Point Collection Shirt: Short Sleeve Agean Batik Print Men's Farthest Point Collection Shirt: Short Sleeve Calypso Papaya

Refresh the short sleeve wardrobe for the CHEF in your life with easy care, easy wear, and great looking shirts from Scully Leather Co. Click each shirt for details. Browse OutWest Shop's SHORT SLEEVE COLLECTION 
---Post by Book Guide and OutWest Purveyor BOBBI JEAN

----Post by Book Guide WENDY

Disclosure: OutWest Shop is an affiliate of and earns a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Rendezvous With A Writer

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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