1 Shaman Winter by Rudolfo Anaya
This year’s best book is actually a new printing of local favorite and New Mexico native Rudolfo Anaya’s 2000 mystery novel, Shaman Winter. Originally published as a handsome hardcover, 2009 saw the book’s debut as an equally handsome paperback. We here in the Southwest may sometimes take for granted the incredible mystery, intrigue and folklore surrounding our beloved area, but Anaya’s novels embrace the region’s qualities with all the respect they’re due. Readers across the country and the world are pulled into fictional detective Sonny Baca’s grapplings with traditional mysteries (in Shaman Winter, the mayor’s daughter has gone missing) as well as legendary happenings (the missing girl has been kidnapped by Raven. No, that’s not someone’s name; we’re talking about the bird). This blending of contemporary mystery novel and traditional mythology makes Anaya’s work irresistible, fascinating and a perennial favorite.
2 Lowrider Blues by Marie Romero Cash
3 Farewell, My Subaru by Doug Fine