New Mexico Book Co-op

promoting the best in local new mexico books

New Mexico Book Co-op

100 Best Books in New Mexico
January 6, 2011
The New Mexico Book Co-op wanted to honor the 100 best books as part of the upcoming New Mexico Centennial. January 6, 2012 marks the Centennial for the State of New Mexico. The major criteria for nomination was that the books must have either been written about New Mexico, by a New Mexican author, or published by a New Mexico company. Starting in January 2009, libraries and bookstores were asked to distribute information to their patrons. Nominations came in from all across the state. Books were voted on by librarians, authors and the public.

After a year of voting, the New Mexico Book Co-op is pleased to announce the 100 Best New Mexico Books. Leading the list is “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya as the #1 Best New Mexico Book. “Bless Me, Ultima” is set in the small village of Guadalupe, New Mexico, during World War II. Through the story the questions about evil, justice, and the nature of God are asked. The book is part of a trilogy with “Heart of Azlan” and “Tortuga”. The book was published in 1972. Rudolfo Anaya lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. “Bless Me, Ultima” has been a stage play and was just filmed and set to be released as a movie in 2011. The book has been banned and challenged by schools and libraries. “Bless Me, Ultima” is credited as the first important book in Chicano literature.

The list of 100 Best Books is divided with the Best 10 Books followed by the other 90 Books. Rounding off the Best 10 Books are: “Milagro Beanfield War” by John Nichols, “A Thief of Time” by Tony Hillerman, “Death Comes for the Archbishop” by Willa Cather, “Red Sky At Morning” by Richard Bradford, “Lamy of Santa Fe” by Paul Horgan, “House Made of Dawn” by N. Scott Momaday, “Ben Hur” by Lew Wallace, “The Rounders” by Max Evans, and “First Blood” by David Morrell.

The list includes books by Native Americans, Hispanics, cowboys, scholars, historians, women, and men. There are books for children and adults. A former New Mexico Governor, Lew Wallace, wrote “Ben Hur”. Pulitzer Prize Winners in Literature from New Mexico are among the list: William duBoys, Alex Harris, N. Scott Momaday, Willa Cather, and Cormac McCarthy. Two priests wrote books on the list: Thomas J. Steele and Fray Angelico Chavez. A number of books were turned into films. There are classic books on the list as well as relatively new books.
TOP TEN Bless Me, Ultima — Rudolfo Anaya
A Thief of Time — Tony Hillerman
Ben Hur — Lew Wallace
Death Comes for the Archbishop — Willa Cather
First Blood — David Morrell
House Made of Dawn — N. Scott Momaday
Lamy of Santa Fe — Paul Horgan
Milagro Beanfield War — John Nichols Red Sky at Morning — Richard Bradford
The Rounders — Max Evans Alburquerque — Rudolfo Anaya All the Pretty Horses — Cormac McCarthy The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid — Pat Garrett Black Mesa Poems — Jimmy Santiago Baca Black Range Tales — James A. McKenna The Blessing Way — Tony Hillerman Blood and Thunder — Hampton Sides Bloodville — Don Bullis Bluefeather Fellini — Max Evans Brothers of Light, Brothers of Blood — Marta Weigle But Time and Chance — Fray Angelico Chávez The Centuries of Santa Fe — Paul Horgan Ceremony — Leslie Marmon Silko Chaco Banyon: Sheriff of Lordsburg — Fred Schmidt Chaco Canyon — Robert Hill Lister Charlie Carrillio: Tradition & Soul — Barbe Awalt and Paul Rhetts Coronado, Knight of Pueblos and Plains — Eugene Bolton Cuentos — Rudolfo Anaya Curse of the ChupaCabra — Rudolfo Anaya Dance Hall of the Dead — Tony Hillerman The Day It Snowed Tortillas — Joe Hayes Delight Makers — Aldolph Bandelier Ditch Rider — Judith Van Gieson The Education of Little Tree — Forrest Carter Eight Rattles and a Button — Merle Blinn Brown El Gringo: New Mexico & Her People — William W. H. Davis Face of an Angel — Denise Chavez Fire on the Mountain — Edward Abbey Forgotten People — George I. Sánchez Great River — Paul Horgan Hatchet — Gary Paulsen Homesteading on Grasshopper Flats — Etta Rose Knox The House at Otowi Bridge — Peggy Pond Church I Fought with Geronimo — Jason Betzinez & Wilbur Sturtevant An Illustrated History of New Mexico — Thomas Chavez In the Days of Victorio — Eve Ball Jemez Spring — Rudolfo Anaya John Gaw Meem — Bainbridge Bunting Journeys of Faith — Lee Priestley Kiva, Cross, & Crown — John Kessell History of La Mesilla & Her Mesilleros — Lionel Cajen Frietze Land of Poco Tiempo — Charles Lummis Las Cruces — Linda G. Harris The Last Conquistador — Marc Simmons The Leading Facts of New Mexican History — Ralph Emerson Twitchell The Legend of La Llorona — Rudolfo Anaya Lottie Deno — J. Marvin Hunter Maria — Alice Marriott Mayordomo — Stanley Crawford Mimbres Painted Pottery — J.J. Brody The Missions of New Mexico, 1776 — Fray Francisco Dominguez, edited by Adams & Chávez My Penitente Land — Fray Angelico Chavez New Mexico: A Pageant of Three Peoples — Erna Fergusson New Mexico Biographical Dictionary, 1540-2000 — Don Bullis New Mexico Style — Nancy Hunter Warren New Mexico Tinwork — Lane Coulter No Life for a Lady — Agnes Morley Cleaveland Nobody’s Horses — Don Hoglund Origins of New Mexico Families — Fray Angelico Chavez People of the Valley — Frank Waters The Place Names of New Mexico — Robert Julyan Popular Arts of Spanish New Mexico — E Boyd Pueblo Nations — Joe Sando Riders to Cibola — Norman Zollinger Rio Grande Fall — Rudolfo Anaya River of Traps — William duBoys & Alex Harris Roadside Geology of New Mexico — Halka Chronic Sabino’s Map — Donald Usner Saints of the Pueblos — Charles M. Carrillo Santa Fe Design — Elmo Baca Santa Fe on Foot — Elaine Pinkerton Coleman Santa Fe Style — Christine Mather Santos & Saints — Thomas J. Steele, S.J Scavengers — Steven Havill Shaman Winter — Rudolfo Anaya Slash Ranch Hounds — Dub Evans Stolen Gods — Jake Page Tularosa — Michael McGarrity Villages of Hispanic New Mexico — Nancy Hunter Warren Visions Underground — Lois Manno When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away — Ramon Gutierrez The Whole Damned World — Martha Shipman Andrews Wind Leaves No Shadow — Ruth Laughlin Winter in Taos — Mabel Dodge Luhan The Wolf Path — Judith Van Gieson The Woman at Otowi Crossing — Frank Waters Works on Paper — Georgia O’Keeffe & Barbara Haskell Zia Summer — Rudolfo Anaya Zuni Pottery — Marian Rodee