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 March 21 - March 27, 2021. Discover notecard sets about #NationalDayofForests & #WorldPoetryDay, titles about Passover, Fashion, Women's History, and the Anchorage 1964 earthquake.
MARCH 27...“SOMETIMES THE FUTURE FALLS OPEN WITHOUT WARNING,” writes Jon Mooallem. It certainly did in on this date in 1964 when the second strongest earthquake in history, a 9.2-magnitude, struck Anchorage, Alaska. THIS IS CHANCE!Mooallem’s dramatic account of the catastrophe, brings that Good Friday weekend to life. At its center is GENIE CHANCE, a reporter for a local radio station, who stayed on the air, giving updates, providing calm reassurance, and relaying messages to people. Faced with a crippling disaster, Anchorage residents pulled together in remarkable ways. The book was published last spring, just as most of us were ordered to shelter in place. Now available in hardcover (above) or paperback (below).
As we continue to find our way out of the pandemic, THIS IS CHANCE!, now in paperback, reminds us, as the community theater production of OUR TOWN reminded its Anchorage audience, that the stability of life is deceptive; that ordinary life, so easily taken for granted, is precious.
“A powerful, heart-wrenching book, as much art as it is journalism.” - - The Wall Street Journal
---Post by Book Guide WENDY
MARCH 26...THEY'RE B-A-C-K! REMEMBER WHEN WE ENJOYED PAPER DOLLS AND FASHION COLORING BOOKS? As a youth, I was artistically challenged but I knew what to do with paper dolls and coloring books! How about you? Today, they are as popular as ever! Coloring books have been all the rage for the last few years providing a creative outlet and a way to "color your stress away." Paper dolls are just plain fun! With the remaining days of Women's History Month in mind, I've chosen 2 paper dolls and 2 coloring books with you in mind - get out your scissors and favorite coloring pens - pencils - crayons - and have fun!
FASHIONS OF FIRST LADIES PAPER DOLLS by Tom Tierney. Michelle Obama wore a silk chiffon gown to the Inaugural Ball. Jackie Kennedy selected Oleg Cassini to create her wardrobe. Reagan Red was Nancy Reagan's favorite color, and Hillary Clinton was partial to pantsuits. Tom Tierney celebrates more than a half century of lovely First Ladies and their glamorous apparel in this lavish paper doll collection.
MICHELLE OBAMA PAPER DOLLS by Tom Tierney. Here are chic styles from the wardrobe of the First Lady of the United States. From J. Crew to Jason Wu, Michelle Obama wears a fashionable variety of clothes that ranges from sporty to spectacular. This paper doll of the First Lady can be dressed in more than 25 notable outfits from the campaign trail, the White House, and abroad. Up-to-date styles include Mrs. Obama's second-term inauguration gown, as well as her famous bangs hairdo.
FAMOUS AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN COLORING BOOK by Cal Massey. The contributions of African-American women to education, civil rights, government, literature, the performing arts, athletics, and other areas are documented in this carefully rendered coloring book. Forty-five illustrations portray women from activist Coretta Scott King to Ella Fitzgerald to Sojourner Truth to Oprah Winfrey and more. Informative captions highlight the remarkable achievements of these women.
CREATIVE HAVEN VICTORIAN GOWNS COLORING BOOK by Ming-Ju Sun. Specially designed for experienced colorists, each title is also an effective and fun-filled way to relax and reduce stress. Inspired by the elegant dresses showcased in Godey's Lady's Book, Harper's Bazar, Ladies' Home Journal, and other Victorian-era magazines, these 31 ready-to-color illustrations depict the well-dressed woman of the late 1800s. Lace-edged necklines, ruffled bodices, full skirts, extravagant bustles, and more period styles will inspire fashionistas and adult colorists alike. Pages are perforated and printed on one side only for easy removal and display. https://bookshop.org/a/5737/9780486832500
Happy Play Acting and Coloring!
---Post by Book Guide BOBBI JEAN
MARCH 25...WHAT DO YOU ENJOY READING? BOOKS ON FASHION? HORSES? HISTORY? CULINARY HISTORY? As this month celebrating Women's History winds down, I've chosen four very different titles to highlight...something for everyone!
NEVERTHELESS, SHE WORE IT: 50 ICONIC FASHION MOMENTS Celebrated illustrator and author Ann Shen shares her striking study of history's most iconic styles, and the women who changed the world while wearing them. From the revolutionary bikini to the presidential pantsuit, this book explores 50 fashions through bold paintings and insightful anecdotes that empower readers to make their own fashion statements.
HORSE CRAZY: THE STORY OF A WOMAN AND A WORLD IN LOVE WITH AN ANIMAL by Sarah Maslin Nir. It may surprise you to learn that there are over seven million horses in America--even more than when they were the only means of transportation--and nearly two million horse owners. Acclaimed journalist and avid equestrian Sarah Maslin Nir is one of them; she began riding horses when she was just two years old and hasn't stopped since. Horse Crazy is a fascinating, funny, and moving love letter to these graceful animals and the people who--like her--are obsessed with them. It is also a coming-of-age story of Nir growing up an outsider within the world's most elite inner circles, and finding her true north in horses.
HOME LANDS: HOW WOMEN MADE THE WEST by Virginia Scharff and Carolyn Brucken. I remember reading this ground breaking title when it first came out - both of the authors were colleagues of mine at the Autry Museum - and we were excited when this book published. It was the companion volume to the Autry National Center's pathbreaking exhibit. It belongs in any Western and Women's History book collection.
The storybook history of the American West is a male-dominated narrative of drifters, dreamers, hucksters, and heroes--a tale that relegates women, assuming they appear at all, to the distant background. "Home Lands: How Women Made the West" upends this view to remember the West as a place of homes and habitations brought into being by the women who lived there. Virginia Scharff and Carolyn Brucken consider history's long span as they explore the ways in which women encountered and transformed three different archetypal Western landscapes: the Rio Arriba of northern New Mexico, the Front Range of Colorado, and the Puget Sound waterscape.
WOMEN IN THE KITCHEN: TWELVE ESSENTIAL COOKBOOK WRITERS WHO DEFINED THE WAY WE EAT, FROM 1661 TO TODAYby Anne Willan. Culinary historian Anne Willan traces the origins of American cooking through profiles of twelve essential women cookbook writers--from Hannah Woolley in the mid-1600s to Fannie Farmer, Julia Child, and Alice Waters--highlighting their key historical contributions and most representative recipes. Featuring fifty original recipes, as well as updated versions Willan has tested and modernized for the contemporary kitchen, this engaging narrative seamlessly moves through history to help readers understand how female cookbook authors have shaped American cooking today.
---Post by Book Guide BOBBI JEAN
MARCH 23...“WHY IS THIS NIGHT DIFFERENT FROM ALL OTHER NIGHTS?” Jews around the world will ask this question as they begin to celebrate Passover the evening of March 27. Families get ready for the holiday by cleaning their homes and preparing special foods for the seder meal. This festival of freedom is a joyous and solemn occasion, rich in storytelling. Here are some books to share with your family.
In THE PASSOVER COWBOY Jacob wonders what Passover will be like in his new home. Can it feel familiar in Argentina where his family has emigrated from Russia? Will his new friend Benito come to their seder? And will Jacob ever be able to put his new skills to the test and compete in the rodeo? The unusual setting enriches Barbara Diamond Goldin’s story.
Young African American Larnel and the elderly Jewish widow in his building who laments that she will be alone on Passover become friends in MRS. KATZ AND TUSH.Who knew that a tailless kitten could spark a lifelong relationship between two such different people? Or that their cultural backgrounds share a history of suffering, perseverance, and triumph? Another classic Patricia Polacco tale featured on Reading Rainbow.
The Washington, D. C. cherry blossoms are beautiful in the spring of 1933, but Muriel’s family is suffering financially during the Great Depression. She can’t even imagine her family celebrating Passover with a seder. It is a season of miracles, however, as THE PASSOVER GUEST proves in Susan Kusel’s reworking of a classic tale about the prophet Elijah.
COOKING JEWISH by Judy Bart Kancigor explores generations of her family’s history through their recipes. She collected, tested and retested more than a thousand! Yes, there is a chapter devoted to Passover dishes. Stories and photographs make the reader feel part of the family gathered in the kitchen.
THE ARTISANAL KITCHEN: JEWISH HOLIDAY BACKING: INSPIRED RECIPES FOR ROSH HASHANAH, HANUKKAH, PURIM, PASSOVER, AND MORE by Uri Scheft and Raquel Pelzel. Holiday sweets, whether chocolate-filled babka, poppyseed hamantaschen, or fruit-filled sufganiyot, are recipes of dessert-lovers' dreams. And with the addition of traditional Middle Eastern breads like kubaneh and jachnun, this collection of holiday recipes from master baker Scheft becomes an indispensable resource. The instructions are detailed and the photos explanatory so that anyone can make Scheft's Chocolate and Orange Confit Challah, Za'atar Twists, and Jerusalem Bagels for their next Seder or Apple Hamantaschen for Purim. ---Post by Book Guide WENDY
MARCH 21...“I THINK THAT I SHALL NEVER SEE A POEM AS LOVELY AS A TREE,” wrote Joyce Kilmer. Today is both WORLD POETRY DAY and INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS as declared by the United Nations. What better way to commemorate the occasion than with the words of poets and conservationists Emily Dickinson, John Muir, Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman.
General Grant Grove courtesy of In The Lens Photography Each box of twelve blank notecards from Princeton Architectural Press includes three each of four quotations set against a solid background color. Your note will stand out in the mail because the distinctive envelopes feature photographs on both sides. Send some cards out and tack some up at home for inspiration. Below is a description of the envelopes and one of the quotations from each writer.
EMILY DICKINSON. Envelopes feature prints from the poet’s pressed flower albums. “Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.”
JOHN MUIR. Dramatic photographs of Half Dome and other wild places adorn the envelopes. “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
HENRY DAVID THOREAU. Envelope photos depict the four seasons. “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
WALT WHITMAN. Envelopes present a variety of grasses. “Each of us is inevitable. Each of us is limitless.”
--Post by Book Guide WENDY
Writing to someone, taking the time to craft each letter, to buy a stamp, to select an envelope, to travel to the post office—none of this goes unnoticed. A letter, before the content is even read, has already said, 'I care about you. You’re someone special.' And that is a message that all enjoy. —Wesley Baines, Beliefnet
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!
OutWest Shop's Founders, Jim and Bobbi Jean Bell, share the radio airwaves hosting Rendezvous With A Writer beginning August 4, 2022. Join us on LA Talk Radio, 6:00pm (PST), Where Writers and Readers Meet. Story Is Everything.
Enjoy this terrific post written and shared by author Peggy Chambers. Join her guest Rene Gutteridge, Peggy Chambers, and Bobbi and Jim on October 20, 2022. Read all about it here!
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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: https://www.outwestshop.com/collections/m-p-speed-shop