Ah, summer season! The time to collect with household and pals for out of doors barbecues or picnics, cooling off in lakes, streams or swimming swimming pools, sitting outdoors having fun with backyard choices…AND selecting up good books to get pleasure from on the seaside or whereas mendacity in a hammock.
That is the season when summer season studying lists seem in droves on the internet. Acquainted with the New York Instances suggestions, I sleuthed out lesser identified sources. I discovered the “Summer season’s Finest Reads” assembled by Gwen Ifill and PBS “Washington Week” panelists–among them “the neatest reporters in Washington, D.C.”–especially intriguing. Their really helpful studying ranges from fiction to politics, historical past to biography: alternatives supposed to supply one thing of curiosity to a wide range of readers.
The range of genres echoes a studying checklist impressed by this 12 months’s Outstanding Girls of Taos marketing campaign, compiled by Mya Coursey. In honor of New Mexico’s centennial she selected books written or edited by girls between 1912 and 2012. The entire books reference Taos or locations in northern New Mexico inside a straightforward day journey (omitting Santa Fe). Mya organized the titles beneath seven headings: The Pueblos; The Wild West; Traditionally Hispanic; Luhan’s Salon; Different Writers; De Poesía (Poetry); The Artists; Fiber Arts Custom; Day Journeys to Taos Neighbors; and Largely Mysteries. As quickly as she had 100 authors (and 150 titles) Mya printed her bibliography titled Storytellers:Girls Writing Taos. She additionally contributed it to the City of Taos Outstanding Girls web site.
This previous week I reviewed Mya’s checklist. I give you a sampling of books that includes Mabel Dodge Luhan. Underneath the “Luhan’s Salon” class, I seen that Mya listed books by Mabel in addition to biographical remedies of Mabel by Lois Rudnick: Mabel Dodge Luhan: New Lady, New Worldsand Utopian Vistas: The Mabel Dodge Luhan Home and the American Counter Tradition.
Perusing the opposite titles, I spotted anew Mabel’s attain as a topic. A few of these on Mya’s checklist embrace Santa Fe and Taos: The Author’s Period, 1916-1941 by Marta Weigle (highlights writers drawn to Taos by Mabel), Taos: A Reminiscence by Miriam Hapgood DeWitt (coming of age memoir contains the summer season the writer spent as Mabel’s houseguest and commentary on artists and writers the writer met there), and From Greenwich Village to Taos: Primitivism and Place at Mabel Dodge Luhan’s Home by Flannery Burke (one other view of Mabel’s home and its guests in addition to varied perceptions of her patronage).
Different ties to Mabel surfaced in Mya’s “Recommended Survey” (Appendix 1) of ten books. Willa Cather spent weeks of two summers as Mabel’s visitor left alone to write down. By way of Tony Lujan, Mabel’s husband who acted as driver and information, Cather gleaned tales and found the panorama within the Taos environs. The writer primarily based her Indian character Eusabio on Tony in her e book Loss of life Comes for the Archbishop. Claire Morrill, a legendary bookstore proprietor in Taos, included Mabel within the chapter “Three Girls of Taos” in A Taos Mosaic: Portrait of a New Mexico Village.
So far I had learn or delved into all the Mabel-related books Mya listed, so it was a shock to search out one completely unknown to me. I had by no means heard of Frances Crane whose first thriller The Turquoise Store(1941) was impressed by an precise occasion in Taos, the place the writer was then dwelling. One of many characters, Mona Brandon, was loosely primarily based on Mabel. Frances Crane went on to write down 25 extra volumes that includes protagonists Pat and Jean Abbott, deemed “probably the most common husband-and-wife sleuthing groups in detective fiction”. One different thriller, The Amethyst Spectacles (1944), was additionally set in Taos.
Mya Coursey’s checklist has impressed me in some ways. It launched me to new books and prompted my rediscovery of ones I contemplate previous pals. I’ve acquired a contemporary pile of books on my nightstand and others entered on my “learn subsequent” checklist.
I encourage you to mine Mya’s checklist for the wealth of writing by girls linked to Taos and New Mexico. Oh, and let me know what you are studying this summer season. I am at all times in search of a “thumping good learn.”
Adios for now,
Cowl picture of “Storytellers: Girls Writing Taos” courtesy of Mya Coursey; covers of Utopian Vistas and A Taos Mosaic courtesy of the College of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.