New Mexico Book Co-op

promoting the best in local new mexico books
100 Best Books

The New Mexico Book Co-op wanted to honor the 100 best books as part of the New Mexico Centennial. January 6, 2012 marked the beginning of 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.

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