A list of books from Arizona authors that’s perfect for summer

If you’re on the lookout for your next summer read, “Arizona Horizon” has showcased fantastic local authors discussing their latest books. We’ve compiled a list so you can effortlessly immerse yourself in these stories and add a touch of magic to your summer days. Find your favorite spot, grab a refreshing drink, and prepare to embark on unforgettable literary adventures!

And for those keen to venture beyond the summer selection, don’t forget to explore our featured winter reads too.

“Flight of the Wild Swan” by Melissa Pritchard

Melissa Pritchard, ASU Professor Emeritus of English, has written a book entitled “Flight of the Wild Swan” about the famous nurse and war soldier Florence Nightingale. Nightingale, renowned as “The Lady with the Lamp” for her tireless dedication to nursing wounded soldiers during the night on the battlefield, has a legacy that extends far beyond nursing.

Nightingale was also a pioneering social reformer, scientist and statistician. Notably, she introduced the pie chart as a statistical tool, revolutionizing data visualization. Through her multifaceted contributions, Nightingale left an indelible mark on both the field of healthcare and statistical analysis, shaping modern practices and inspiring generations to come.

You can learn more about the book and Pritchard from her interview with “Arizona Horizon,” and visit her website to buy the book online.

“Off the Air” by Christina Estes

In this first novel by Christina Estes, the main character, Jolene Garcia, is a television reporter, and Garcia truly wants to cover more significant stories that have an impact on communities. The hunt is on to locate a murderer after contentious radio presenter Larry Lemmon passes away at his station, and it is revealed that Jolene conducted his final interview.

Estes is an award-winning reporter who has spent more than 20 years covering crime, public policy and business in Phoenix. Her reporting has been heard on National Public Radio (NPR) and has appeared in “The Arizona Republic,” “Arizona Business Gazette” and “Phoenix Business Journal.”

You can learn more about the book and Estes from her interview with “Arizona Horizon,” and buy the book online.

“The Cavalry Trilogy: The Making of Three Classic John Ford-John Wayne Films” by  Michael Blake

“The Cavalry Trilogy: The Making of Three Classic John Ford-John Wayne Films” delves into the behind-the-scenes journey of three iconic movies crafted by the legendary duo of director John Ford and actor John Wayne.

Blake’s inspiration for this work stemmed from his upbringing, steeped in tales of John Ford’s filmmaking prowess, fueled further by his father’s involvement as an actor in western films. This meticulously researched narrative offers a captivating exploration of the creative process, shedding light on the collaborative efforts, challenges faced and the enduring legacy of these cinematic masterpieces. From the rugged landscapes to the unforgettable characters, “The Cavalry Trilogy” provides an immersive journey into the heart of classic American cinema.

You can learn more about the book and Blake from his interview with “Arizona Horizon,” and buy the book online.

“Death and Diamonds” by Laura Soldinger Yotter

“Death and Diamonds” is a poignant memoir that delves into the harrowing experiences of individuals who lived through the Holocaust. Yotter, inspired by her father’s reticence to share his past when she was younger, embarked on a journey to uncover and preserve the stories of resilience and survival. As Yotter grew older, her father began to open up, emphasizing the importance of understanding and remembering these tragic events.

The narratives within “Death and Diamonds” are not easy to digest, yet they serve as powerful reminders of the indomitable human spirit in the face of adversity. One particularly compelling tale recounts her father’s time in a factory under the protection of Oskar Schindler, whose story was famously depicted in “Schindler’s List.” Through this memoir, Yotter pays homage to her father and countless others, ensuring that their stories of courage and survival are never forgotten.

You can learn more about the book and Yotter from her interview with “Arizona Horizon,” and buy the book online.

“The Pursuit of Happiness: How Classical Writers on Virtue Inspired the Lives of the Founders and Defined America” by Jeffrey Rosen

Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, explores how America’s Founders understood the phrase “the pursuit of happiness” and its link to virtue. Through profiles of key figures like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, Rosen reveals that happiness, for them, meant a lifelong commitment to moral excellence, rooted in the teachings of classical philosophers.

This insightful book delves into the moral struggles of the Founders and their vision for self-government, offering a fresh understanding of America’s democratic foundation.

Learn more about Rosen and his book from his interview with “Arizona Horizon,” and buy the book online.

“Judging Extreme Weather: Climate Science in Action” by Randy Cerveny

The book draws from ASU Climatologist Randy Cerveny’s time working with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Cerveny’s research gives readers a behind-the-curtains look into how extreme climate and weather are recorded and detailed, including the ultimate science behind it all.

The inspiration behind the book is the absence of individuals to record extreme weather worldwide.

Learn more about Cerveny and his book from his interview with “Arizona Horizon,” and buy the book online.

“The Climate Action Almanac” by Ed Finn

Ed Finn, Founding Director of ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination, has edited a book challenging the prevailing narrative of climate doom and gloom by advocating for climate optimism. In this collection, Finn presents a compelling case for reimagining the future as dynamic, decarbonized, and shaped by climate-conscious actions.

Through a series of essays and stories, the book seeks to inspire positive change by highlighting bright possibilities amidst the challenges of climate change.

Learn more about Finn and the book from his interview with “Arizona Horizon,” or by visiting www.climatealmanac.org.

“Scottsdale Memories: The Reminiscences of Paul R. Messinger” by Paul R. Messinger

“Scottsdale Memories: The Reminiscences of Paul R. Messinger” by Paul R. Messinger is a heartfelt memoir that delves into the rich history and personal stories of the city of Scottsdale through the eyes of a long-time resident. Messinger shares his unique experiences and observations, painting a vivid picture of the town’s evolution over the decades.

The book offers readers an intimate glimpse into the local culture, significant events and the people who have shaped Scottsdale. Messinger’s recollections highlight the transformation of Scottsdale from a small, quiet town to a bustling city. His narratives are filled with anecdotes that capture the essence of community spirit, local traditions and the challenges and triumphs faced by the residents.

Learn more about Messinger and his book from his interview with “Arizona Horizon,” and buy the book online.

“Beauty With A Birthmark” by Erica Maxwell and Jessica A. Alexander

Jessica A. Alexander was born with a birthmark covering a large portion of her face. Learning to accept it and realize she is beautiful took time. She and her mother, Erica Maxwell, decided to write a book for other kids like her but more importantly for the world to learn empathy and understanding.

Maxwell has been an educator for 25 years and served as the first Associate Superintendent of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion of the Arizona Department of Education. She has also been a school principal and faculty associate member of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Learn more about the mother-daughter duo and the book from their interview with “Arizona Horizon,” and buy the book online.

Enjoy more Arizona authors by reviewing our 2023 Summer Reading List!

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