FREE SHIPPING on all orders to the USA $98.00+


February 06, 2021


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 We've curated book lists representing the complicated, compelling, and engaging culture, history and diversity of the American West. 

             365 Days of Cookie Recipes Book Cover

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

                American Cookie
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.
Tie on your apron, bake your favorite, and enter your recipe in our BAKING WITH LOVE COOKIE CONTEST. Enter now through Feb. 20, this video tells you how! 

If you need ideas, there are lots of cookie books on our Cooking, Grilling & Baking List
What's your favorite cookie recipe? We want to know!
----Post by Book Guide Wendy

Donner Dinner Party Book Cover  The Snow Fell Three Days Deep  Old Bones Book Cover  The Indifferent Stars Above Book Cover
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

The Animals of Chinese New Year Book Cover  Bringing In The New Year Book Cover  Myers + Chang Book Cover
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 HOME will 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

                        African American Poetry 250 Years Book Cover
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.

Celebrate Black History Month year 'round by choosing books from our African American History Book List.
----Post by Book Guide Wendy 

Peter C. Mitchell Rude Awakenings From Sleeping Rough Book Cover Mark Leslie

MARK LESLIE,  publisher of PETER C. MITCHELL'S book, RUDE AWAKENINGS FROM SLEEPING ROUGH joins 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).

                         For Spacious Skies Book Cover  
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.”

Today is INTERNATIONAL WEATHERPERSON'S DAY. Let’s celebrate the dedicated forecasters who strive to keep us safe in every season.

                        Skies and the Artist Book Cover
 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!
Ann Clark Cookie Cutter Heart on Recipe Card
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!

What could be more fun than baking and decorating a batch of cut-out cookies as gifts. You don’t know how? These beautiful books will get you started. No cutters in your kitchen? No excuses! Order up some Ann Clark Cookie Cutters (made in Vermont) from OutWest. Everyone will want to be YOUR Valentine!
         Creative Cookie Decorating Book Cover
CREATIVE COOKIE DECORATING: BUTTERCREAM FROSTING DESIGNS AND TIPS FOR EVERY OCCASION by Emily Hutchinson is guaranteed to build your skills and confidence. “She is a cookie goddess!” commented Rachael Ray
                          The Complete Photo Guide to Cookie Decorating Book Cover
THE COMPLETE PHOTO GUIDE TO COOKIE DECORATING introduces a variety of icings and techniques. A profusion of full-color photos will guide you from baking to packaging your cookies.
                     The Easy Homemade Cookie Cookbook Book Cover
Among the recipes in THE EASY HOMEMADE COOKIE COOKBOOK are six for cut-out cookies, perfect for decorating. Try your hand at Peanut Butter, Red Velvet, or S’mores. The chapter on holiday cookies will inspire you throughout the year.

                                 Click the video for details!
OutWest Shop partners with author and wildlife artist, Nancy Quinn, founder of and the YouTube Channel High Mountain Homesteading and launched an event- BAKING WITH LOVE COOKIE CONTEST! Easy to enter and So Fun! 
---Post by Book Guide Wendy
                                   Rendezvous With A Writer OutWest Logo
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!

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

Happy Reading! Remember, it's always a Great Day OutWest!

      READ courtesy of Pixabay

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in OutWest Scout

#9 Spotlight On Home: What's On Your Floor?
#9 Spotlight On Home: What's On Your Floor?

May 14, 2022

MEET AMERICAN DAKOTA TEXTILES!  Their mantra is "What ever you do, do it with style!" A small rug company with an entrepreneurial spirit, each design is inspired by our country's history. Every rug is created on demand, made just for you. American Dakota fine area rugs are made in the U.S.A. on American machines. As hard working as you are, these rugs surpass a commercial-grade rating, meaning they can withstand generations of wear. Yet, they clean easily with just warm water! All rugs are offered in 6 styles to cover all your flooring or decorating needs. Ideal for home, office, truck bed, recording studio, performance stage and...everywhere you want color and style!  All sizes ship FREE to anywhere in the USA.

Continue Reading

#8 Spotlight on Fashion: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!
#8 Spotlight on Fashion: Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

May 13, 2022

START YOUR ENGINES! Warm weather returns and so do car shows, car races, working under the hood, and road trips!  Morgan's and Phillip's Speed Shop cool T-Shirts, Thermals and Caps are inspired by vintage cars, motorcycles, classic designs and Officially Licensed GULF products. Authenticity, is what sets M&P Speed Shop apart from the competition. The brand strives to tell a story with each garment. Made in the USA. OutWest Shop offers the full line, we're highlighting a few of our favorites. Shop the collection here:

Continue Reading

#7 Spotlight On Fashion Handbags
#7 Spotlight On Fashion Handbags

April 25, 2022

PACK YOUR BAG! Are you heading out? Where are you going? Errands, to work, to the playground or ball field? What goes with you where ever you go? Are there extras like sun protection, water bottle, tablet, or change of shoes you don't want to forget? Here are five woven generous sized handbags with roomy interiors and fashionable good looks. All from the Scully Leather Co.

Continue Reading