Welcome to this week's Rendezvous With A Writer OutWest featured book round-up. The books featured here were shared on our OutWest Shop Facebook daily post January 31 - February 6, 2021. Discover titles about the ill fated Donner Party, Cookie Recipes, Chinese New Year, Poetry and more. 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.
JANUARY 31...CALLING ALL BAKERS AND COOKIE LOVERS!
OutWest Shop is partnering with a good friend of ours, author and wildlife artist Nancy Quinn-, to present a February "BAKING WITH LOVE CONTEST" In honor of Valentine's Day we invite you to enter our Cookie Contest. Send us your favorite cookie recipe and you may win the GRAND PRIZE or FIRST PRIZE package, including a video made of your recipe. It's easy to enter, watch this short video for all the details and to view the inspiring prizes from OutWest Shop. Nancy says "I'm ready to start baking!"
Watch this fun video for full details AND to enter the contest!
----Post by OutWest Shop Purveyor and Book Guide Bobbi Jean
FEBRUARY 1... A BIG RED APPLE BECKONS on the kitchen counter. What does it hold? Today - memories. But when we were children, we could count on finding chocolate chip, ginger, oatmeal, peanut butter, or gumdrop cookies in the jar, lovingly baked by our mother.
Cookies are “expressions of love, small squares of a nostalgic place in time. . .,” writes Anne Byrn in her introduction to AMERICAN COOKIE, the companion book to AMERICAN CAKE. What a treasury of story, history, and flavor! I found old favorites and new recipes to try - Snickerdoodles, Homemade Fig Newtons, Dallas Junior League Cowboy Cookies, and one I learned about from my sister Bobbi: New Mexico Bizcochitos, the official state cookie.
What's your favorite cookie recipe? We want to know!
----Post by Book Guide Wendy
FEBRUARY 2 - DEEP SNOW BLANKETS much of the nation today. We long for spring and pin our hopes on a weather forecasting groundhog. In the winter of 1846-47 brutal weather left a band of stranded pioneers with little hope - and contributed to one of the most horrific events in our history. Here are four very different approaches to the gripping story of the DONNER PARTY.
DONNER DINNER PARTY: An entry in the popular series for middle graders, Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales. “This informative graphic novel capitalizes on enticingly gross history to great effect, balancing raw facts with strong storytelling.” - - Booklist
THE SNOW FELL THREE GRAVES DEEP:“In this ambitious novel in verse. . . [Allan] Wolf accomplishes the seemingly impossible: an evocative and sympathetic rendering of a horrific historical event.”
---Publishers Weekly Annex
OLD BONES:“From the thriller world’s dynamic duo comes a new work of archaeology, murder, and the Donner Party.”
suspenseful study of the Donner Party. ...Brown creates a thorough and unique narrative. A moving man-against-nature tragedy that still resonates today.” ----Kirkus Review
What's in your "must read stack" for your next snow day?
----Post by Book Guide Wendy
FEBRUARY 3 - CHINESE NEW YEAR begins on February 12. For many years my husband and I joined our next door neighbors for a New Year’s dinner. We feasted on scrumptious Taiwanese dishes including homemade dumplings and hot pot. Our friends moved out of state; their children grew up. Now their daughter is married and has young children of her own. This year I’m sending them books, and I thought you might be interested in them, too.
Babies love to look at other little ones. In THE ANIMALS OF CHINESE NEW YEAR they will be captivated by photographs of adorable toddlers acting like the twelve zodiac creatures. The text of this board book is written in English and simplified Chinese. As a paper crafter, I love that the animals are also represented by traditional Chinese paper cuts.
The family in BRINGING IN THE NEW YEAR cleans and decorates the house, makes dumplings, gets haircuts, and shares the holiday with friends, from feasting and fireworks to a spectacular dragon parade. Award-winning author and illustrator Grace Lin has created a vibrant and lively picture book to read again and again.
MYERS+CHANG AT HOMEwill provide you with delicious options for preparing a special meal. Joanne Chang grew up in Texas eating her mother’s Taiwanese cooking. She and her husband Christopher Myers opened a Boston restaurant showcasing their favorite flavors. “We take various Asian styles as our starting-off point, and we apply our own whatchamacallit to it,” writes Christopher. You’ll be tempted by dim sum, stir-frys, salads, noodles, Mama Chang’s Pork and Chive Dumplings, and much more.
How will you celebrate? Have a favorite family tradition or memory? May you have a happy and prosperous New Year!
----Post by Book Guide Wendy
FEBRUARY 4 ... “ESSENTIAL”, “MONUMENTAL”, “A PROFOUND and affirming pleasure to read.” Are you intrigued by these comments from book reviewers? They refer to AFRICAN AMERICAN POETRY: 250 YEARS OF STRUGGLE & SONG, “. . . a defining, glorious, and invaluable anthology of African American poetry that reaches back to 1770 and concludes with today’s artistic flourishing in sync with Black Lives Matter. Vitality, beauty, anger, sorrow, humor, and hope all find original, resonant, and consummate expression throughout this expert gathering of works by both celebrated poets and many who will be new to readers. . .” - - Booklist
I have been reading from this collection daily and chose the quotation above because it expresses my feelings about the book. The introduction by editor Kevin Young, poet himself and newly appointed director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, is illuminating. Brief biographies, notes, and an index by poet, title, and first lines are very useful.
FEBRUARY 4, 2021 THE WRITER'S BLOCK RADIO SHOW SHOW #292 A CONVERSATION WITH MARK LESLIE
MARK LESLIE, publisher of PETER C. MITCHELL'S book, RUDE AWAKENINGS FROM SLEEPING ROUGHjoins hosts Jim Christina and Bobbi Jean to chat about this story charities don't want you to read. This is the fate that can befall any of us you don't want to acknowledge. For years you have passed them on the streets, as much a part of your routine as your morning shower, your half-hearted scan of the world's news — fake or otherwise — and the barista who artistically crafts the your morning brew just right or it throws your day off in ways that nobody else understands. awry. "Thank god I'm not like them," you think, sipping your cup of liquid gold. "I could never let that happen to me."
Until suddenly – inexplicably – it does. And you discover the life you have built was nothing more than a house of cards that crashed down around you with frightening ease. A spate of bad luck, a poor decision or two, and the ubiquitous 'circumstances beyond your control' conspire to create a perfect storm of events that leaves you cast away on the streets feeling dazed, disjointed, and damned.
This is Peter C. Mitchell's story. But it could be your story. Not to mention the thousands of others, past and present, that have found themselves broken behind closed charity doors. Theirs are the stories that need to be heard. To be read. ---From the Publisher Listen to the Podcast. The Writer's Block Radio Show airs on LA Talk Radio. Airs live every Thursday on LA Talk Radio: 6pm (PST), 7pm (MT), 8pm (CST), 9pm (EST).
FEBRUARY 5 ... WOULD THERE BE A TORNADO? We stood in the doorway of our house, watching the sky. My dad would know the signs. He had been a meteorologist in the Navy during WWII. With Dad around, I felt secure, but I was terrified of thunderstorms and tornadoes. So I studied them and wrote reports about them. My favorite weather books were written by ERIC SLOANE, who also lavishly illustrated them with bold pen-and-ink diagrams and drawings. How surprised I was to discover that many of his books are still in print!
Sloane was recognized as a master of painting clouds. With homes in New England and New Mexico, he had plenty of inspiration! FOR SPACIOUS SKIES is his tribute to American weather, which he considered unique. “You can almost tell where you are in America by looking up.”
There are more weather books by Eric Sloane on our OUTDOOR, NATURE & TRAVEL LIST.Find his book, SKIES AND THE ARTIST, about drawing clouds and sunsets on our coloring and activity booklist LET'S COLOR! FEBRUARY 6 ... WHERE ARE YOUR COOKIE CUTTERS? You must have a few - in a tin or a drawer, tucked away in a cupboard. Maybe you have a heart, a gingerbread boy, a star? How about colored sugars, sprinkles, cinnamon red hots? Get them out! Valentine’s Day is coming!
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. BobbiJean 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 Shopcart!
Disclosure: OutWest Shop is an affiliate of Bookshop.org and earns a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Happy Reading! Remember, it's always a Great Day OutWest!
Enjoy radio show interviews Thursday, April 22, on the Equestrian Legacy Radio Network and The Writer's Block Radio Show. CAMPFIRE CAFE's special guest is singer/songwriter and author DAVE MUNSICK. Known as "The Songteller" Dave is an award winning western performer, songwriter, educator and now ... an author! A passion for the American West, and a successful media career in print, photography, and television news makes MARK BEDOR the perfect host for his award winning documentary style TV show "TODAY'S WILD WEST." Mark joins us on SADDLE UP AMERICA. Author of STAY THE COURSE, DOMINIQUE BRIGHTMON joins us THE WRITER'S BLOCK to chat about his experiences & the actions he’s found crucial to creating success & an extraordinary life. Friday, April 23, join OutWest Shop's Scout, Bobbi Jean, for the OUTWEST HOUR "Notes From A Royal Pink Typewriter: The Music of Cindy Walker" on Buy American Radio. Saturday, April 24, the OUTWEST HOUR theme is "The Rose Show" on KUPR. Start your week with music to uplift and feed your soul on THE MASTER'S CALL.
Enjoy radio show interviews Thursday, April 15, on the Equestrian Legacy Radio Network and The Writer's Block Radio Show. CAMPFIRE CAFE's special guest is American Folk and Western Music entertainer JENNIFER LIND. Her captivating presence, rare contralto vocal range, and charismatic style capture the essence of this timeless musical tapestry. Tune in to hear about her experience performing with Randy Sparks and "The New Christy Minstrels" as well as her solo show "A Journey Through American Music." Equestrian clinician, RICHARD WINTERS, joins us on SADDLE UP AMERICA. For almost 4 decades Richard Winters has been pursuing and perfecting the art of horsemanship. For all these years, Richard and his wife Cheryl's motto has been "Enjoy the Journey!” Tune in for an update on their journey. THE WRITER'S BLOCK welcomes JP MCLEAN, author of "The Gift Legacy" series. These supernatural thrillers with a provocative edge are addictive! Friday, April 16, join OutWest Shop's Scout, Bobbi Jean, for the OUTWEST HOUR "Return With Me To El Paso" on Buy American Radio. Saturday, April 17, the OUTWEST HOUR theme is "The Show With No Name" on KUPR. Start your week with music to uplift and feed your soul on THE MASTER'S CALL, airs Sunday, April 18, on Buy American Radio.
Enjoy radio show interviews Thursday, April 8, on the Equestrian Legacy Radio Network and The Writer's Block Radio Show. CAMPFIRE CAFE's special guests are brothers, JESSE & NOAH Bellamy. Jesse and Noah have always talked about sibling harmonies, and they are well- rounded musicians and songwriters. Easily moving from country to Americana, they add a tinge of rock n’ roll and southern rock or bluegrass. There's so much to talk about, you won't want to miss this broadcast! ROBERT EVERSOLE, the "TRAILMEISTER", joins us on SADDLE UP AMERICA. Tune into THE WRITER'S BLOCK for conversation with author MARGARET RODENBERG. Based partly on Napoleon Bonaparte's own novel filled with love, war, and betrayal, FINDING NAPOLEONexplores a forgotten woman of history, Albine de Montholon, Napoleon’s last love. Friday, April 9, join OutWest Shop's Scout, Bobbi Jean, for the OUTWEST HOUR "It's Swing Time" on Buy American Radio. Saturday, April 10, "On The Trail" is the OUTWEST HOUR theme on KUPR. Start your week with music to uplift and feed your soul on THE MASTER'S CALL, airs Sunday, April 11, on Buy American Radio.