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|A Short History of Carson City|
By Richard Moreno, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 775-682-7934, 192 pages
Moreno delves into Carson City’s history from its time as a small ranching community to its emergence as Nevada’s political center through old photographs and witty anecdotes. He also introduces new characters, such as renowned stagecoach driver Hank Monk, and elaborates on the histories of the state’s better-known characters like Samuel Clemens, known more famously as Mark Twain, who interestingly began his career in Carson.
|A Short History of Lake Tahoe|
By Michael J. Makley, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 775-682-7934, 192 pages
Lake Tahoe is one of the scenic wonders of the American West, a sapphire jewel that attracts millions of visitors each year. The lake has been home to American Indians for millennia, as well as more recent fortune hunters, scientists, and others. Makley examines the geology and natural history of the lake and introduces the people who shaped its history, including the Washoe people and such colorful characters as Mark Twain, legendary teamster Hank Monk, and later figures such as entertainer Frank Sinatra and Olympic skier Julia Mancuso. Listen to a recent Nevada Public Radio interview with Makley here.
|Afoot & Afield: Las Vegas & Southern Nevada, A Comprehensive Hiking Guide|
By Brian Beffort, Wilderness Press, wildernesspress.com, 800-443-7227, 278 pages
Within a couple hours' drive of the Strip’s bright lights and casinos, you’ll find mind-bending geology, colorful plants, fascinating animals, expansive views, and magical landscapes. This book takes you beyond the country’s fastest-growing metropolitan area on more than 100 great hikes, including popular destinations such as Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, and Valley of Fire State Park.
|Altered Landscape: Photographs of a Changing Environment|
By Ann M. Wolfe, Skira Rizzoli (New York), nevadaart.org, 775-329-3333, 288 pages
A keystone of the Nevada Museum of Art's thematic focus on art and environment, the Altered Landscape: Photographs of a Changing Environment publication examines the many ways that humans interact with natural and built environments. The book is edited and authored by Ann M. Wolfe, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at the Reno museum, and features essays by Wolfe and other renowned writers such as Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDGBLOG and Contributing Editor for Wired UK.
|Basque Aspen Art of the Sierra Nevada|
By Jean Moore Earl and Phillip I. Earl, Baobab Press, baobabpress.com, 775-786-1188, 144 pages
This book offers a unique look at a little-known aspect of immigrant culture in California and Nevada during the first half of the 20th century. The years 1920 to 1950 were the high point of the sheep industry in the western U.S. The mountain meadows of the Sierra Nevada were an important source of summer forage, and Basque sheepherders, many recently arrived from the Pyrenees, were primarily responsible for tending the flocks. The Earls discuss 40 years of locating, identifying, and preserving Basque sheepherder carvings.
By John Birges Jr. and Nina J. Arnold, Vantage Press, bombingharveythebook.com, 205 pages
Anyone in Nevada in 1980 likely recalls John Birges and his method for trying to extort $3 million from Harvey’s Hotel and Casino in Nevada. A virtually tamper-proof bomb containing an alleged 1,000 pounds of dynamite was left in the hotel and, Birges wrote in a note to the management, would not be removed if his demands were not met. Bombing Harvey is a fact-based drama written by Birges’ son, who was charged as an accomplice to the crime but given a suspended sentence because of his cooperation with authorities.
|Breaks, Brains and Balls: The Story of Joe Conforte and Nevada’s Fabulous Mustang Ranch|
By Joe Conforte and David W. Toll, Gold Hill Publishing, joeconforte.com, 472 pages
There is perhaps no character quite as outrageous as a brothel owner. Breaks, Brains and Balls is the true story of Joe Conforte, a poor Sicilian boy who made his way and survived in New York, came to be the owner of one of the most well-known brothels in Nevada, put millions into a Swiss bank account, and snubbed the IRS.
|The Case of the Deadly Desperados|
By Caroline Lawrence, Orion Publishing Group Limited, westernmysteries.com
Virginia City in 1862 is a mining camp sitting above a rich vein of silver in America's Wild West. It's a dangerous place, full of gamblers, hurdy girls, and gunmen—all of them on the make! When 12-year-old P.K. Pinkerton arrives there, homeless, penniless, and hunted, things don't look good. But P.K. soon finds allies in Sam Clemens, a newspaper reporter, Poker Face Jace, a gambler who can tell when someone is bluffing, and Ping, a Chinese photographer's apprentice. With the help of these friends—and armed with a Smith & Wesson seven-shooter and a knack for disguises—P.K. takes on the tricksters and desperados and tries to become a detective.
|Casino Women: Courage in Unexpected Places|
By Susan Chandler and Jill B. Jones, Cornell University Press, cornellpress.cornell.edu, 240 pages
Casino Women utilizes in-depth interviews and glimpses into the frontline to uncover the female face of commercial gaming. Maids, cocktail waitresses, cooks, laundry workers, dealers, pit bosses, and vice presidents all speak out against the casino capitalists whose profits are entirely dependent on the work of the women assigned to stereotypically female occupations. This book follows their journeys and transitions after their success in creating a union.
|The Cheap Bastard’s Guide to Las Vegas|
By Shaena Engle, Morris Book Publishing, globepequot.com, 800-962-0973, 211 pages
Yes, you heard it right: Las Vegas is full of free and ridiculously inexpensive stuff—you just need to know where to look. Leave it to “The Cheap Bastard” to uncover all the ins, outs, and exclusive bargains to be had, and to tell you the real deal with wit and humor.
|The Christmas Angel & One Family’s Christmas|
By Mary Jean Kelso, Guardian Angel Publishing, guardianangelpublishing.com, 3145-276-8482, 32 pages each
Melissa is a young girl who moves West with her family via the Oregon Trail. She has been allowed to bring one prized possession, and she struggles to ensure that the porcelain angel that has topped the family Christmas tree makes the journey safely. In the book’s sequel, One Family’s Christmas, a family searches for an ornament to top their Christmas tree after their star is destroyed. They resurrect the treetop angel carried across the Oregon Trail by a young pioneer and bring the story of The Christmas Angel full circle. Kelso is a renowned children’s author based in Fernley and a member of Made in Nevada.
|Confessions of a Las Vegas Motorcop|
By H.D. Justice, 3L Publishing, confessionsofalasvegasmotorcop.com, 185 pages
Probably no one has seen more of the “only in Vegas” side of Las Vegas than a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper. In his book, Justice relays the strange encounters, perks of the job, and the unintelligent people he has come across during his years of service patrolling the Vegas Strip.
|Desert to Dream: A Dozen Years of Burning Man Photography (Revised Edition)|
By Barbara Traub, Immedium, immedium.com, 176 pages
Desert to Dream features an introduction by esteemed independent filmmaker Les Blank, foreword and afterword by Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey, epilogue by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and a contribution by “Star Trek’s” Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy. More than 180 sensational color and black-and-white photographs bring to life an incredible event that now celebrates its 25th anniversary and attracts 50,000 people every year.
|Dust Devil Darlin'|
By J. Gayle Kelly, Whiskey Creek Press, amazon.com
Jena Love sparkles like a diamond in the desert when the blond cowboy, Lee Jiles, first sets his eyes on the black-haired beauty climbing out of a 100-ton dump truck in central Nevada. Lee sweeps Jena off her feet and into his arms before he or she know what hit them. But their relationship hinges on a complicated series of events and conflicts. Jena’s young daughter, Justine, is ecstatic when she meets Lee and learns that he owns a horse ranch in Bishop, California, not far from Tonopah, where she and her mother live. An imperfect man to begin with, Lee has one huge flaw that almost destroys them all. Jena’s past love ended in tragedy, and she lives with the fear that it could happen again. Dust Devil Darlin’ is a blend of the Old West and the New, the story of two people who desperately need each other, yet reach a point where they could lose each other forever. What—or who—can bring them together again? Will Lee realize and amend the bad end they are whirling toward before it’s too late?
|Elvis in Vegas|
By Paul Lichter, Overlook Press, overlookpress.com, 212-673-2210, 288 pages
This book shines a new light on one of the most fascinating times in the life and career of Elvis Presley: the Las Vegas years. Featuring more than 300 color and black-and-white photographs—many of which have never been seen—Elvis in Vegas takes readers from the late 1960s (Elvis married Priscilla in 1967 at the Aladdin) to his death in 1977. All told, Elvis performed more than 800 sold-out shows in Las Vegas.
|Fairest Picture — Mark Twain at Lake Tahoe|
By David C. Antonucci, createspace.com/3654392, 302 pages
Antonucci describes Mark Twain’s experiences and travels at Lake Tahoe. Fairest Picture is the first and only book to describe Lake Tahoe as it was in Twain’s time and reveal in detail the locations where he traveled, camped, and stayed at luxury hotels. September 2011 marked exactly 150 years since Samuel Clemens first visited Lake Tahoe. He arrived with the unrealized goal of staking a timber claim but returned less than two years later as Mark Twain, reporter for the Virginia City Territorial Enterprise.
|Falls Like Lightning|
By Shawn Grady, Bethany House, shawngradybooks.com, 304 pages
Silas Kent is a smokejumper. When he and his fire crew are called out to a forest fire, Kent is faced with more than just a fire. Between trying to make amends with a lost love and getting safely out of the fire after a crash landing, he must also deal with his suspicious crew. Grady has been a firefighter and paramedic in Nevada for more than a decade and drew from his experiences to create this novel.
|Hiking Las Vegas|
By Branch Whitney, Huntington Press, huntingtonpress.com, 800-244-2224
Some of the best hiking and rock-climbing in the United States can be found within an hour of the Las Vegas Strip. Red Rock Canyon, Mount Charleston, and Lake Mead offer everything from relaxing walking trails to thrilling scrambles to daredevil-worthy climbs. With the release of the newly expanded Hiking Las Vegas by Branch Whitney, more than 70 outdoor adventures—many of them explored by the author himself—are now readily available in full detail. Escaping the city has never been so easy or so enjoyable. For more about Whitney, visit hikinglasvegas.com.
|Homeless in Las Vegas: Stories from the Street|
By Kurt Borchard, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 256 pages
Not many would take the time to dive into a conversation with a person living on the streets, but Borchard explores their reality head on in his ethnography to dispel the stereotypes and introduce their stories as real human plights into the eyes of the general public. The people he interviews discuss the homeless life in Vegas and the challenges and opportunities that come with being destitute in Sin City.
|Images of America: Austin|
By the Austin Historical Society, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 128 pages
Located in the middle of Nevada, Austin was born following the discovery of silver ore in the area. This edition of Images of America catalogues the history of this small mining town. Many of the original buildings in the historical photographs are still in use today.
|Images of America: The Chinese in Nevada|
By Sue Fawn Chung, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 843-853-2070, 128 pages
By the 1880s, Chinese made up about nine percent of Nevada’s population. Working in ranching, logging, medicine, and gaming and opening up restaurants and laundries, the Chinese became a driving force in making Nevada what it is today. Their history is told through the collection of images compiled in this Images of America edition.
|Images of America: Early Reno|
By the Nevada Historical Society’s Docent Council, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 843-853-2070, 128 pages
Reno was known as the place to do things that were difficult to do anywhere else. From the divorce capital of the world, to legal gaming, and its nickname as The Biggest Little City, Reno has a vibrant history that started when it was a modest railroad town on the Central Pacific railroad. This Images of America edition shows the progression of Reno from its early development through the 1940s.
|Images of America: Mesquite and the Virgin Valley|
By Geraldine White Zarate, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 843-853-2070, 127 pages
Author Geraldine White Zarate is a fourth-generation resident of Mesquite. She chairs the Virgin Valley Historical Committee, which took on the project of this book with great enthusiasm and support. The images here have been gathered from the descendents of early settlers and the archives of the Virgin Valley Heritage Museum.
|Images of America: Washoe County|
By Joyce M. Cox, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 843-853-2070, 127 pages
Located in the northwestern corner of Nevada, bordering Oregon to the north and California to the west, Washoe County was a crossroads for miners seeking riches in the California Gold Rush and later in the neighboring Comstock Lode. Occupied by the Washoe and Paiute Indians, Washoe County was explored by John Bidwell in 1841 and John C. Fremont in 1844. Washoe County became one of the original nine counties in the Nevada Territory in 1861 and expanded to its current size with the addition of Lake County and Roop County land in 1864.
|Images of America: West Las Vegas|
By Patricia Hershwitzky, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 128 pages
West Las Vegas started as a tent city known as the McWilliams Townsite in 1904. After developers who owned most of the water rights terminated its first business enterprise, Las Vegas became the home of the area’s poorest population and was dubbed Ragtown. The insurgence of Jim Crow laws and blacks in the 1940s and ’50s, led to the segregation which, oddly, transformed the Westside into a society of thriving businesses, casinos, and middle-class housing. West Las Vegas’ tricky start is revived through the photographs of this Images of America edition.
|Images of Rail: Nevada Northern Railway|
By Mark S. Bassett and J. Joan Bassett, Arcadia Publishing, arcadiapublishing.com, 843-853-2070, 128 pages
Finished in 1906, the Nevada Northern Railway served mines throughout the state and also operated as a daily passenger train between Ely and Cobre. Now a museum, it has been preserved as a working steam railroad. From the Images of America collection, more than 200 photographs fill this book and chronicle the history of the Nevada Northern Railway.
|Las Vegas Legends: What Happened in Vegas…|
By Greg Niemann, Sunbelt Publications, sunbeltbooks.com, 800-626-6579, 320 pages
The “Entertainment Capital of the World” was forged by farsighted and tough characters of the Old West who created a town that worked for them. In the 1930s, while other cities and states suffered the pangs of the Depression, Las Vegas blossomed and grew, thanks to liberal divorce laws, nearby construction of Hoover Dam, and the pivotal dynamic force—legalized gambling. Relive the tragedies and triumphs of those who left their mark on Las Vegas.
|Less Than A Full Deck: Laugh-Out-Loud Gambling Cartoons|
By Doug Pike and Harry Margulies, amazon.com
Less Than a Full Deck is for, and about, gamblers. Mostly, though, this book is for everyone that finds the gambling pastime to be a little goofy and nonsensical. The authors derived thousands of twisted, amusing, riotous, and silly gambling cartoons and catapulted them against these pages to see if they’d stick. Somehow, only 100 of the tackiest ones did—and they threw the rest away.
|Lost Legacy of Carson Valley: The Rise and Fall of the H.F. Dangberg Ranching Empire|
This is the first comprehensive book about the history of Henry Fred Dangberg and his family. Follow the exhilarating rise and the devastating fall of one of Nevada’s most prominent pioneer families. The book contains hundreds of personal family photographs along with rare documents and letters never seen before. Peek inside the private lives of the legendary Dangberg family and the secrets that were kept for generations.
|Moon Nevada |
By Scott Smith, Avalon Travel, moon.com, 510-595-3664, 437 pages
The eighth edition in the Moon Handbooks series, Moon has released an updated version of its Moon Nevada travel guide, with the help of Las Vegas writer Scott Smith. According to the Nevada Commission on Tourism, more than 50 million people traveled to Nevada in 2010, and they didn’t all go to Vegas. Undoubtedly, Vegas is Nevada’s big draw, but travelers are quick to visit other destinations such as Lake Tahoe, Laughlin, and Reno. This book offers the best insider knowledge of Nevada as a whole.
|The Nevada Review: Volume 3 Spring 2011|
Edited by Caleb S. Cage and Joe McCoy, thenevadareview.com, 122 pages
The Nevada Review is a journal dedicated to Nevada: It aims to enhance understanding of the state as a geographical, social, and political unit and a microcosm of the West in the broader historical and political development of the United States. Recognizing the distinctive geological, environmental, social, and ethnographic characteristics of Nevada, the Review seeks contributions that examine these features and investigate how they have contributed to the shape of its political institutions, demographic profile, and cultural mores.
|Nevada Rose: Inside the American Brothel|
By Marc McAndrews, Umbrage, umbragebooks.com, 160 pages
McAndrews’ anthology unveils the arcane scene of Nevada’s role in the world’s oldest occupation through an anthology of photographs depicting the girls, rooms, kitchens, laundry maids, madams, and more. An essay written by Patty Kelly and interview with Bunny Ranch owner Dennis Hof detail the lifestyle and give an insider’s view into the culture.
|Nevada Trails: Southern Region|
By Peter Massey, Angela Titus, and Jeanne Wilson, Adler Publishing Company, adlerpublishing.com, 800-660-5107
This back roads and four-wheel-drive book guides travelers along spectacular byways and trails. Plan day trips and weekend getaways from among 44 destinations and more than 820 miles of trails and discover endless outdoor adventures. Ghost towns galore, campsites, hiking trails, and GPS navigation—this book has it all.
|Nevada Trails: Western Region|
By Peter Massey, Angela Titus, and Jeanne Wilson, Adler Publishing Company, adlerpublishing.com, 800-660-5107
This back roads and four-wheel-drive book covers a range of roads from easy-going, scenic drives to technical four-wheel-drive trails. The guide includes 39 trails, perfect for exploring trails near Reno, Carson City, Lake Tahoe, Tonopah, Hawthorne, and more. Step into the past while finding abandoned mines and old ghost towns.
|Raptors of the West: Captured in Photographs|
By Kate Davis, Rob Palmer, and Nick Dunlop, Mountain Press Publishing Company, mountain-press.com, 800-234-5308
Fierce, bold, and beautiful, raptors epitomize the American West. From spectacular bald eagles to tiny elf owls, birds of prey awe us. In this visual book, renowned raptor advocate and environmental educator Kate Davis and award-winning photographers Rob Palmer and Nick Dunlop open a window into the lives of these spectacular birds of prey.
|The River and the Railroad: An Archaeological History of Reno|
By Mary Ringhoff and Edward J. Stoner, University of Nevada Press, unpress.nevada.edu, 775-682-7934, 248 pages
When the City of Reno decided at the beginning of this century to create a trench to lower the railroad tracks that ran through its center, archaeologists associated with the ReTRAC (Reno Transportation Rail Access Corridor) project had a unique opportunity to explore the evidence of thousands of years of human history locked beneath downtown’s busy streets. This book traces the people and events that shaped the city, incorporating archaeological findings to add a more tangible physical dimension to the known history.
|Shadow of the Wind|
By Mackey Hedges, BookSurge, lastbuckaroo.com, 643 pages
The second installment to Hedges’ Last Buckaroo is fiction based on real life individuals. Hedges has simply added a plot to the real-life adventures of the Great Basin buckaroos from the 1900s. An addition to his first book, Shadow of the Wind expands the backgrounds of the characters and imparts authentic descriptions of the West, its culture, and its legacy.
|The Short, Short Hitchhiker|
By Stanley Gurcze, Edited by Richard Menzies, Virginia Avenue Press, thenevadareview.com, 136 pages.
The Short, Short Hitchhiker is the autobiography of the late Stanley Gurcze, who spent a lifetime roaming the highways of the western United States in search of adventure. What sets Gurcze apart from your typical footloose vagabond is the fact that he has no feet. What he does have is a sympathetic ear, a droll wit, a keen sense of observation, a buoyant spirit, and a unique perspective on the human condition. Before Gurcze’s death in 1989, he sent his 40,000-word manuscript to well-known Nevada writer Richard Menzies, who once picked Gurcze up during one of the vagabond’s many cross-country walkabouts.
|Star Truck: Untold History of the Space Shuttle|
By John Getter, Create Space, johngetter.com, 138 pages
The mistakes and highlights, misfortunes and successes, Getter, a pilot and Las Vegas resident who’s broadcasting career focused on space travel, uncovers the history of the space shuttle from America’s first walk on the moon to its final mission on July 8, 2011. He uncovers what really happened when the Challenger and Columbia were destroyed and what became of their crews. He humorously divulges on the “cola wars” and “toilet tours.” The second volume in his Moonwalkers Series, among Getter’s main points are the devastating effects he believes the early termination of the program will have on the nation.
|The Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the New American Counterculture|
By Steven T. Jones, Consortium of Collective Consciousness, steventjones.com, 298 pages
Burning Man has been arousing the inner Bohemian in people around the world since 1986. In his book, Jones explores the social landscape that is created each year and delves into the spirit of what Burning Man encompasses, its 10 principles becoming the starting point for an innovative kind of ethos in America.
|Walking the Warzones of Pakistan, One Woman’s Journey into the Shadow of the Taliban|
By Ruth Anne Kocour, Ruth Anne Kocour, ruthannekocour.com, 159 pages
In her book, Kocour takes the reader along a journey into the dark shadow of the Taliban through a hazardous trudge from the Baltoro Glacier to K2. Her story continues through a journey the next year that took her to the Pakistan tribal regions in Afghanistan, Kashmir, and China. Kocour is currently based in Northern Nevada and is a frequent contributor to Nevada Magazine.
|When We Walked Above The Clouds: A Memoir of Vietnam|
By H. Lee Barnes, Ascot Media Group, ascotmediagroup.com, 281-324-2180
Barnes lives in Las Vegas and teaches English and creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada—a far cry from his days on the battlefield as a member of a Special Forces A-team in Vietnam. Typical of many young men in the early ’60s, Barnes was in college and drifting along as an average student when a letter from his draft board made the decision of what he would be doing for the next couple of years of his life. He enlisted in the Army and became, much to his own surprise, a member of the elite Green Beret.
|101 Road Patrol Tales: Memoirs of a Chippie of the California Highway Patrol|
By E. W. Tompkins Jr., Craven Street Books, quilldriverbooks.com, 800-345-4447
Former CHP officer and Nevada author E. W. Tompkins Jr., a resident of Reno, tells the traffic cop's side of the story. 101 Road Patrol Tales offers a sometimes comic, sometimes tragic glimpse into the lives of America's most unsung heroes, the front-line police officers, patrolmen, and state troopers who every day protect the driving public from their worst enemies—themselves. Tompkins' stories of distracted, foolish, and fatally dangerous drivers will give you a new respect for traffic cops.
WORTH A VISIT
Vegas Valley Book Festival
Nevada Museum of Art
WORTH A CLICK
Churchill Arts Council Publications
The Fallon arts group’s catalogs are now online, where each can be viewed full-screen, paged through, and printed as a PDF.
Nevada Rare Book 2011 Market Value Guide
First edition books about Nevada’s cultural, natural and mining heritage continue to increase in value and make great collector’s items and good investments.