Books for Living in Arizona

Janet Fabio

Whether you’re a new Arizona resident or you’ve been here many years, the Southwest Collection at the DesertView Library offers a variety of books to help you enjoy living in and learning more about the state we call home.

Are you an avid gardener? Or are you new to gardening in the desert? Either way, Dry Climate Gardening: Growing Beautiful, Sustainable Gardens in Low-Water Conditions, by Noelle Johnson, known as the Arizona Plant Lady, will be of interest. The author is a horticulturist, landscape consultant, and instructor. Though she has a degree in plant biology and many years of experience, her new book provides expert guidance in simple terms with explanations useful to gardeners from novice to advanced. For example, she explains why succulents are better adapted to hot, arid climates; why sun and shade exposure matter; how to use proper pruning techniques; and much more. Basic topics include proper watering and why overwatering is bad for your plants, frost protection, and fertilizers. Johnson defines the various types of landscape rock and mulches and offers garden design ideas, including how to reduce fire risk. The Southwest collection also offers many other gardening books. Stop in and see what appeals to you.

A new book From Rim to River: Looking into the Heart of Arizona, by native Arizonan and journalist Tom Zoellner, is getting a lot of attention. It has even been selected to represent Arizona at the National Book Festival on Aug. 12 in Washington, D.C. Zoellner effectively interweaves narration of his hike along the full length of the Arizona Trail, from Utah to Sonora, with information about the history and culture of Arizona. As you follow his extraordinary journey, you’ll enjoy his storytelling and gain insight into what makes Arizona the way it is.

Tucson was the first American city to be named a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization City of Gastronomy. To learn more about our Sonoran culinary heritage and maybe try some recipes from local restaurants, check the Southwest Collection for Taste of Tucson and A Desert Feast.

Although you may not be inclined to do much local travel in the summer heat, it’s a good time to look through the many books that offer ideas for touring in Tucson, in Arizona, and in the Southwest. Plan ahead for when guests visit during the winter, or plan your own getaway adventure. The National Parks and Travel collections offer a variety of titles, such as 100 Things to Do in Tucson Before You Die, by Clark Norton, or guidebooks, including Southwest USA and National Parks or Route 66 Road Trip.

Or just learn more about Arizona with books like the brand-new one by Roger Naylor, Awesome Arizona, which offers 200 amazing and interesting facts about the Grand Canyon State. Travel writer Naylor is a prolific author of books about Arizona. The Southwest Collection also has many other books about Arizona history, native flora and fauna, hiking guides, and much more.

Books mentioned in this article can be reserved using the easy catalog link on the library website, If you are not yet registered to use the libraries, stop in at either DesertView or SaddleBrooke One Library. It’s quick and easy. Check out all that your libraries have to offer about Arizona!