Send a Runner: A Navajo Honors the Long Walk by Edison Eskeets and Jim Kristofic, recommended by Vicki
“We are still alive. I still speak Navajo. I still see Navajo. I still breathe Navajo. I still dance Navajo. We’re still here.” So said Edison Eskeets in 2018 when he set out from Canyon de Chelly and ran 330 miles to Santa Fe in 15 days. With every stride, Eskeets honored the thousands of Diné who died and the survivors who returned from the Long Walk 150 years ago. A detailed chronicle of the run, and preparation and fortitude displayed by Eskeets, 59, would make for a worthy read, but the juxtaposition of historical excerpts and the imagery of the writing provides a powerful and poignant backdrop. “Edison starts running. He goes his first mile in his moccasins. He knows it is already done.”
Eskeets is a former All-American runner who has covered ground in the Southwest for over 50 years. Currently, he manages the Hubbell Trading Post in Ganado, Arizona.
Kristofic was raised in Navajo Country and has authored numerous books — including “Reservation Restless” and “Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Life,” past Southwest Books of the Year.
The Apollo Murders by Chris Hadfield, recommended by Dennis
Hatfield is a CSA astronaut and retired colonel from the Canadian Armed Forces, and his personal insights make the book come alive. He tells the story of the US Apollo 18 mission (yes, the launch happens in this alternative history story) and a space encounter with Russian cosmonauts. The story takes place during the US and Russian space race, with each country trying to outdo the other. Characters include real historical figures and space events you will recognize. The Apollo 18 original mission is to land men on the moon and determine why a Russian land rover has been investigating a specific land area. Prior to the launch, the Apollo 18 team leader dies in a helicopter accident. While the Apollo 18 crew are in space, an investigation of the accident determines the helicopter had been sabotaged. Suspects include the Apollo 18 crew members. On the Russians’ side, they successfully launched a spy satellite, Almaz, and NASA has determined that the station can photograph amazingly detailed photos putting the US space programs at risk. NASA decides to modify the Apollo 18 mission to include disabling the Russian Almaz spy station. Once the US crew reaches the spy station they find the spy station is manned and armed.
The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan, recommended by Karen
A charming and heartwarming holiday story about family and acceptance of self and others. The author weaves in actual attractions and history throughout her story, with lots of Christmas books mentioned, decorations, traditions, celebrations and more.
No Words by Meg Cabot, recommended by Leah
In this entertaining story, two rival authors are forced to spend a weekend at a book fair together. Will they work out their differences for the sake of this event? Or will it cause the whole show to come crashing down? Find out in the third installment of the Little Bridge Island series. Cabot perfectly captures the book signing in this book and made me feel like I was part of the show. It was fun to see into the life of an author and what interesting things might occur!
State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny, recommended by Tracie
Ellen is in the tough position of being secretary of state for a president she does not like nor respect, when bombs start exploding in congested areas of major cities in Europe. Will similar bombs explode in the United States? Betsy is Ellen’s best friend, sounding board and a hidden weapon when it comes to anything Ellen wants or needs. This fast moving book is scary because it is so plausible it could really happen.