New Books on Desert, Weapons, Anarchism ; Local Writers Bring Compelling Topics to Their Pages

By Star, Arizona Daily | AZ Daily Star, August 2, 2015 | Go to article overview

New Books on Desert, Weapons, Anarchism ; Local Writers Bring Compelling Topics to Their Pages


Star, Arizona Daily, AZ Daily Star


Oracle, Arizona

By Stuart Watkins

(CreateSpace, $15)

With camera in hand, local writer John Stuart Watkins returned to Oracle this spring to attend the Oaks Festival. Photos and text of the event are included in this revised edition of Watkins' homage to historic Oracle.

The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture, and Biology, and How They Change Our Lives

By Stephen Buchmann

(Scribner, $26)

Buchmann, a University of Arizona pollination ecologist, is impassioned by flowers. In lush and, dare I say, sexy language, he begins with flowers' reproductive cycle including the seductive ploys and scents that entice not only mankind, but flowers' vital amours -- pollinators. Following chapters trace the history and utility of flowers (Yes it's true, we may blame our weakness for sweets on our ancestors!), flowers in art and commerce, edible food and varieties used for medicinal purposes.

Incorporating intricate photographs and personal antidotes, Buchmann presents a passionate and intriguing read for gardeners, nature lovers and romantics.

World War II US Navy Special Warfare Units Office of Strategic Services, 1942-45: The World War II Origins of the CIA

By Eugene Liptak

(Osprey Press, $18.95 each)

Liptak's books cover the story of two very prominent weapons the United States used to fight in World War II and that are still being used in the defense of our country: The CIA and The Navy Seals, among other things. Both histories contain plenty of period photographs and well-executed illustrations are sure to please the novice or expert World War II buff.

Liptak has done his research and gives the reader a concise, factual account of the Office of Strategic Services and the Special Units the Navy employed throughout the second world war. In addition to the photos there are artists' renditions of special forces uniforms, providing the reader with even more detail.

(Disclosure: DiRusso works with the author at the library.)

Seasoned desert dwellers and newcomers both will enjoy this wonderful book. Created in 2000 by presidential proclamation the Ironwood Forest National Monument (IFNM) covers 129,000 acres northwest of Tucson preserving some of the largest concentrations of Ironwoods in the United States.

The book highlights the diverse geography, flora and fauna of the area with enough detail to give the reader basic information. Lovely colored photos of descriptions accompany the text. Descriptions also in include specifics and unique characteristics of the IFNM. For example, one of the farthest known northern natural occurrences of an Organ Pipe Cactus is within the monument's Roskruge Mountains. …

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