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#12 Rendezvous With A Writer

June 06, 2021

#12 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 30 - June 5. Featured titles include children's author Eric Carle, Writer's Block featured author Wayne Avrashow, and books about our First Ladies and the American Prairies just in time for National First Ladies Day and National Prairie Day. 
Spotlight on Books Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
Photo Courtesy of In The Lens Photography - Iowa's Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge 
June 5 - The first Saturday in June is NATIONAL PRAIRIE DAY. Illinois, the Prairie State, used to be 60% prairie, about 22 million acres. Today only 2500 acres are left. Locally, the Morton Arboretum and Cantigny Park have been restoring prairie areas on their grounds. Visiting them through the seasons provides an enchanting mix of colors, textures, and sounds. As I browsed through our book lists, I found many titles with prairie themes. These caught my attention.
If You're Not From The Prairie...
IF YOU’RE NOT FROM THE PRAIRIE. . . you don’t know the sky, wind, trees, snow, or the sound of the grass. David Bouchard’s expressive poem about prairie life is illustrated with stunningly detailed paintings by Henry Ripplinger. “. . . one’s eyes will be lost in the expanse of the prairie and one’s ears will reverberate with the melodic rhymes.” - - Theo Hersh, CM Magazine 
Sarah, Plain and Tall
SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL is not from the prairie, but she arrives from Maine as a possible bride for a widower with two children. she knows the sea; what will she think of the prairie and the family that needs her?Patricia MacLachlan wrote her lyrical tale, based on the life of her step-great-grandmother, as a gift for her mother, who had Alzheimer’s. The author describes her own prairie childhood as “enchanted” and believes that her writing voice “comes from my landscape.” If you haven’t read this tender story since you were a kid, or have never read it, treat yourself now. It will do your heart good. 
Enjoy this interview with Author Patricia MacLachlan 

Prairie: A Natural History of the Heart of North America: Revised Edition
PRAIRIE: A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE HEART OF NORTH AMERICA: REVISED EDITION. Candace Savage, like Patricia MacLachlan, is descended from women who grew up on the prairie. “The prairie is in my bones,” she says. In her introduction Savage writes that her book “provides a comprehensive overview of grassland ecology and conservation with a solid grounding in up-to-the-minute science. But this book is also a celebration, an extended love song to one of the world’s largest and most remarkable ecosystems.”
The Prairie That Nature Built
In THE PRAIRIE THAT NATURE BUILT Marybeth Lorbiecki uses the cumulative pattern of “This Is the House That Jack Built” to introduce children to the “critters that worm and squirm” in the soil, the insects and birds that fly above, the grazers and hunters that live on the grassland, and the forces of nature that affect it. Cathy Morrison’s bold paintings bring the reader up close to a wide range of intriguing animals and plants.
National Prairie Day
Photo courtesy of In The Lens - This particular cabin was built to house the Cody-North cattle company formed by Bill Cody and Major Frank North, the leader of the Pawnee scouts. Dates around 1877.
JUNE 5...On the first Saturday of June, we recognize one of the richest ecosystems on the face of the earth with NATIONAL PRAIRIE DAY. The prairies are at the heart of our continent. Prairies provide homes to a wide variety of wildlife including prairie dogs, prairie chickens, buffalo, bison, elk, deer, rabbits, hawks, and foxes. They are also home to diverse native prairie plantings offering year-round food, shelter, and nesting grounds for habitat.

Celebrate NATIONAL PRAIRIE DAY by cookin' up recipes from these cookbooks and bakin' cookies! From your oven and "range" to your table, your family will enjoy these delights! 
Home on the Range Cookie Cutter Set
HOME ON THE RANGE COOKIE CUTTER SET features bison, teepee, eagle, bear, horse and cute deer, 6 cookie cutters in all. Of tin plated steel, made in the USA. Style #150004
The Little House Cookbook
THE LITTLE HOUSE COOKBOOK: FRONTIER FOODS FROM LAURA INGALLS WILDER'S CLASSIC STORIES by Barbara M. Walker. Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up on the prairie, where food was something one worked for, cooking was a big part of daily life, and mealtime was a chance to gather with family and give thanks.
The Sioux Chef's Indigenous Kitchen
THE SIOUX CHEF'S INDIGENOUS KITCHEN by Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley. 2018 James Beard Award Winner: Best American Cookbook. This cookbook is a rich education and a delectable introduction to modern indigenous cuisine of the Dakota and Minnesota territories, with a vision and approach to food that travels well beyond those borders. 
The Prairie Homestead Cookbook
THE PRAIRIE HOMESTEAD COOKBOOK: SIMPLE RECIPES FOR HERITAGE COOKING IN ANY KITCHEN by Jill Winger. Creator of the award-winning blog The Prairie Homestead, Jill Winger, introduces her debut "The Prairie Homestead Cookbook," including 100+ delicious, wholesome recipes made with fresh ingredients to bring the flavors and spirit of homestead cooking to any kitchen table.
“I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free, and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures, and where everything drew a free breath."
the Great Comanche war chief, Ten Bears”
― Laura Bush, Spoken from the Heart
---Post by Book Guide BOBBI JEAN

Wayne Avrashow

Join hosts Jim Christina and Richard Paolinelli for conversation with author WAYNE AVRASHOW about his newest book, CENTER STAGE: A POLITICAL THRILLER.  He was campaign manager for two Los Angeles City councilmembers and served as chief of staff on two government commissions. He has an extensive background in California politics. His experiences in politics, government, business, and as a practicing attorney provide unique insight into the machinations and characters that populate political campaigns.  
Center Stage: A Political Thriller by Wayne Avrashow

America has adored mega-rock star Tyler Sloan for decades, and when he decides to leave the Las Vegas stage to run for a seat on the United States Senate, it’s assumed that he’ll run an unconventional campaign. He exceeds expectations—and more.

No stranger to politics, Sloan’s estranged father was a California governor who narrowly lost his presidential campaign. It’s this experience—and his performance skills, on full display as Sloan renders a show-stopping performance as an independent candidate for Senate. He expresses disdain for the two-party system, refuses campaign contributions, and dismisses special interests and lobbyists. He immediately finds himself caught in a political campaign fraught with scandal, corruption, and conflicting loyalties—personally, politically and romantically.

Will Tyler be able to handle political turbulence and his own past? As the countdown to election day begins, Sloan is focused on winning and taking center stage.

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            National First Ladies Day
#firstladiesday #FirstLadies #MichelleObama #BarbaraBush #nancyreagan #melaniatrump 
JUNE 2...NATIONAL FIRST LADIES DAY...National First Ladies Day on June 2nd commemorates the very first First Lady of the United States, (Martha Washington was born on June 2, 1731), and all those who followed in her footsteps. It’s a day to recognize the role the first ladies have played in molding our nation. Learn more about the women who’ve set tradition, supported the president, and become role models for many. CLICK each image for details.
                          Becoming by Michelle Obama
BECOMING by Michelle Obama. #1 New York Time Bestseller
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it--in her own words and on her own terms.

A stunning photo collection showcasing Melania Trump's time as First Lady of the United States.

 Melania Trump: White House Elegance

Melania Trump's journey from a communist upbringing to becoming First Lady gives her a perspective on true freedom that most people from western Europe and the United States take for granted. This book details in photographs and commentary the spectacular journey of a woman who brings elegance back to the White House. Fashion-forward and sophisticated, but also incredibly approachable and humble--her personal staff is less than half the size of the previous two First Ladies--Mrs. Trump is a political and cultural icon whose impact on history will surely be momentous.

This revelatory biography of Melania Trump from Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Mary Jordan "deftly, and without agenda, decodes Melania [Trump]" (NBC News) who is far more influential in the White House than most people realize.

         Melania Trump: The Art of Her Deal Hardcover  Melania Trump: The Art of Her Deal Paperback 
               Hardcover                       Paperback
Based on interviews with more than one hundred people in five countries, The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump draws an unprecedented portrait of the first lady. While her public image is of an aloof woman floating above the political gamesmanship of Washington, behind the scenes Melania Trump is not only part of President Trump's inner circle, but for some key decisions she has been his single most influential adviser. The picture of Melania Trump that emerges in The Art of Her Deal is one of a woman who is savvy, steely, ambitious, deliberate, and who plays the long game. And while it is her husband who became famous for the phrase "the art of the deal," it is she who has consistently used her leverage to get exactly what she wants. This is the story of the art of her deal.
Available in hardcover and paperback.

                         Barbara Bush by Barbara Bush
BARBARA BUSH: A MEMOIR by Barbara Bush. The classic #1 New York Times bestselling memoir, celebrating the life and legacy of First Lady Barbara Bush--now updated with new forewords from her five children, including reflections from George W. and Jeb, as featured on A&E's Biography.
Filled with entertaining anecdotes, thirty-two pages of personal photographs, and a healthy dose of introspection, this memoir is "a book of good grace and humor--written in a style that, like the author herself, is straightforward, unembellished, generous, good-hearted, and wise...A pleasure" ---The Washington Times
                       The Triumph of Nancy Reagan
THE TRIUMPH OF NANCY REAGAN by Karen Tumulty. The definitive biography of the fiercely vigilant and politically astute First Lady who shaped one of the most consequential presidencies of the 20th century: Nancy Reagan. This book explores the multifaceted character of Nancy Reagan and reveals new details surrounding the tumultuous presidency.
                First Ladies of the United States  Abigail Adams by Phyllis Lee Levin
FIRST LADIES OF THE UNITED STATES by National Portrait Gallery. A gorgeous publication that reveals the historical importance of first ladies through portraiture. Each first lady has brought her own priorities and flair to the position that has never been officially defined. They have served as hostesses, trendsetters, activists, and political players. Features 84 remarkable portraits alongside an insightful essay and lively entries that illuminate the history of the women who have shaped the White House.

If we mean to have heroes, statesmen and philosophers, we should have learned women. ---Abigail Adams, Former First Lady of the United States
----Post by Book Guide BOBBI JEAN  

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books.
MAY 30...“IN THE LIGHT OF THE MOON A LITTLE EGG LAY ON A LEAF. One Sunday morning the warm sun came up and, pop, out of the egg came a very hungry caterpillar.” How many times have you read aloud or listened to these words by Eric Carle? Probably more than you can count. The children in my library storytimes loved to count their way through THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR and name every food in the book. And they always gasped in delight at the butterfly on the last spread.

Today we remember ERIC CARLE for his immense talent and for the seventy plus books he wrote or illustrated that have been translated into at least seventy languages. He died one Sunday ago, but the love and hope and joy that fill his books will live on. Read moving tributes to Carle from around the world at and consider leaving a remembrance of your own.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR. The classic, available in multiple formats. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Forest Hide & Seek
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR’S FOREST HIDE & SEEK. An interactive board book introduces forest creatures. NEW! Pre-order for early July release. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Sleep Tight
SLEEP TIGHT WITH THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR. Lift the flaps to find the animals getting ready for bed. 

The Very Hungry Caterpiller's Garden Picnic
THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR’S GARDEN PICNIC: A SCRATCH-AND-SNIFF BOOK. The caterpillar is at it again, eating through his favorite foods, but now you can smell them yourself! 
---Post by Book Guide WENDY

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