Las Vegas Review of Books: Best Books of 2012

The good folks over at the Las Vegas Review of Books, a wonderful site that does not share its interesting commentary often enough, have written about the best books of 2012.  Both editors of this site have pretty intensive day jobs, so it is understandable that their updates are so rare, but we love the idea of their site and what they are trying to do.  Take a look at their reviews here.

Reno’s Mad Men

There will be an excellent presentation Thursday evening at 6:00PM at the Nevada Museum of Art called “Reno’s Mad Men,” which will be in conjunction with their terrific exhibit on vintage Nevada neon. The University of Nevada Oral History Program will be playing interviews with some of Reno’s top mid-century image-makers, including Roy Powers, Mark Curtis, Sr., and Bill Harrah, with photos, panelists who knew them, and classic cocktails to follow. More information here.

Nevada Roundup

Read Again Bookstore opening in Reno this Saturday

Claire Vaye Watkins’ book, Battleborn, a finalist for the Story Prize

E-Book reader help available at Washoe County libraries

Book briefs in the Las Vegas Review-Journal

Book signings and events in Las Vegas this week, Jan. 13-19

Stephens Press Celebrates Nevada’s 150th Birthday

The Las Vegas Review-Journal just announced that the publishing house associated with its parent company, Stephens Press, will help us all celebrate Nevada 150th birthday with the publication of Nevada: 150 Years in the Silver State. Since this announcement, we have spoken to Stephens Press Publisher Carolyn Hayes Uber and the project editor Geoff Schumacher to find out more. The book, which will probably be in the form of a coffee table-type book, will profile all 17 Nevada counties and its metropolitan areas, the natural beauty and landmarks of the state like Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and Lake Tahoe, and the state’s entertainment, gaming, mining, ranching and other important industries. During our brief talk, Geoff said that it would be more than a historical approach to the state, stating that the book would be about the state’s great future as well. We love Stephens Press, and really appreciate what they are doing for the sate and its literature. We can’t think of a press more deserving or more capable of doing such a wonderful job with this important book.

Zephyr Books in Reno to Close

Zephyr Books, a wonderful Reno used and rare bookstore, has recently announced that it is closing.  While this will be a sad loss for the northern Nevada literary community, the owners have earned their retirement, and they are offering deals to their valued customers.  See their announcement below:

Zephyr Books at 1501 South Virginia Street will be closing June 1, 2013 due to the retirement of the owners Ivye and Lee Johnson.

We want to thank all of our valued customers for their faithful support of our business through the years.

For those of you holding gift cards and trade credit cards we encourage you to redeem your credits before June 1.

Our local customers will be offered substantial discounts on the bookstore stock until the store closes. Discount offers will be posted in the store and on our website at

We will no longer be purchasing or trading for general stock books, however, we will continue to purchase selected rare and collectible books.

More details will be available on the Zephyr Books Website.

A Literary Christmas at UNR’s Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center

The folks at UNR’s Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center have outdone themselves (and as far as they can tell, everyone else) this year with a twist on the traditional Christmas tree — a 14-foot book tree made entirely of green and gold reference books.

It took staffer Alden Kamaunu and his helpers six hours and more than 600 books to create the display. Last year’s book tree was about half that size, and as far as UNR research librarians can tell, this year’s tree may be the largest of its kind in the world. Check out the time-lapse video of its construction below, and check out the full article.


Mark Maynard’s “Grind” launches, rounds out a notable year in Nevada lit

Looking back at 2012, it’s not a stretch to say that northern Nevada seems in the midst of a literary renaissance. No fewer than five standout novels and short story collections have been published this year from northern Nevada authors, or from Nevada authors with strong literary connections to the northern part of the state. We started the year with Tupelo Hassman’s Girl Child, and Ben Rogers’ The Flamer, then marched steadily through summer with Christopher Coake’s You Came Back, and Claire Vaye Watkins’ Battleborn.

Each of these has received national press and recognition, and, alongside numerous other books sprouting from the region this year, have helped to re-energize the northern Nevada literary community and put it back on the map as a growing epicenter for great literature. Now we wrap up the year with the December 25 launch of Mark Maynard’s debut short story collection, Grind –– an eavesdropping of sorts on the everyday characters that inhabit Reno, both on its streets and in its imagination. Maynard’s collection, like Watkins’, explores what it’s like to be fundamentally Nevadan, which is to say whirling at the crossroads of several different, often conflicting cultures and environments.

Sundance Bookstore in Reno is hosting a book launch celebration for Grind on Thursday, December 6, at 6:30. For more information on both the book and the event, visit Sundance online.

Two Documentaries at the Nevada Museum of Art Saturday, December 1

Mike Branch wears many hats: he is a Professor of Literature and Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno, a great author and friend of The Nevada Review, and an all around grand purveyor arts and culture in northern Nevada.  He sent over a recent announcement about a set of documentaries he is hosting this weekend at the Nevada Museum of Art.  See his whole note below, and support this great event:

I’ve been collaborating with my English 102 students to plan, budget, promote, and host a double-feature documentary film screening at the beautiful theater in the Nevada Museum of Art. The screening will take place on Saturday, December 1, starting at 1:00. Each of the films is about the human urge to make art by painting on walls, though the walls in question are separated by 30,000 years.

The 1:00 film is Werner Herzog’s remarkable 2010 work The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, documenting the discovery and study of 30,000-year old cave paintings, which are among the earliest examples of human art we have. Here is the link to purchase tickets directly from the museum:

The 3:00 film is Exit through the Gift Shop, the fascinating 2010 documentary by the world-renowned street artist Banksy. In addition to being a surprising and engaging film, it also documents the rise of urban street artists whose illegal public art eventually turned them from criminals into millionaires.

Or, if you are interested in both films, a discounted, double-feature ticket is available at this link.

The Nevada Review, Vol. 4, No. 2 Available Now

The fall issue of The Nevada Review is now available.  We’ve been working on this issue for a while now, and it’s good to get it done.  It’s also good that it is as good as it is.

There are a lot of great pieces in this one, too.  Policy pieces, non-fiction, fiction, interviews, and reviews, just like in every issue.  We’re proud to present the latest to you.

An overview of our main contents is below:

  • Public Pensions and Retiree Health Care in Nevada: An Analysis
  • “An area previously determine to be best adapted to such purposes”: Nevada, Nuclear Waste, and Assembly Joint Resolution 15 of 1975 by Andrew Newman
  • “One for the Record Book” by Jack Harpster
  • Excerpts from Rants from the Hill by Michael P. Branch
  • Fiction: “The Disassembled Parts” by H. Lee Barnes
  • Fiction: “The Frontiersman (Audience of One)” by Scott Neuffer
  • Interview: Carolyn Hayes Uber, Stephens Press, Las Vegas
  • New and Noteworthy: A selection from Stephens Press, Las Vegas
Book Reviews
  • Fade, Sag, Crumble: Ten Las Vegas Writers Confront Decay by Scott Dickensheets, ed.
  • Vegas Rag Doll: A True Story of Terror and Survival as the Wife of a Mob Hitman by Wendy Mazaros and Joe Schoenmann
  • Blue Vegas by P. Moss
  • The Flamer by Ben Rogers
  • The Perpetual Engine of Hope by Geoff Schumacher, ed.
  • A Map Predetermined and Chance by Laura Wetherington
  • Helen J. Stewart: First Lady of Las Vegas. Sally Zanjani and Carrie Townley Porter

Purchase the issue online here.

New Title from Virginia Avenue Press: The Woodsman

Virginia Avenue Press, the imprint of The Nevada Review, is proud to announce its latest publication.  The Woodsman is a novel by Gary T. Cage, who was interviewed in our first issue. Partially set in northern Nevada, it is a compelling read and an interesting story with a surprising ending.  Take a look at the book description and information below.

The Woodsman, by Gary T. Cage

An old man wakes up soaked and cold on the bank of a river that is only vaguely familiar to him. He cannot remember his name. He cannot remember his past. And he has no idea how he got there. He has a more pressing problem, though. With night falling, he must make it to warmth safety. To his surprise, he finds an austere man in the woods who provides him comfort but little more. As they trek towards the woodsman’s village on the other side of the mountain’s peak, the old man slowly gains comfort with his surroundings. He begins to remember his past. And finally, he begins to figure out how and why he wound up on the bank of the river in the familiar woods to begin with.

About the Author: Gary T. Cage holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee and lives in Reno, Nevada. He has been a minister for more than the last 40 years and a college instructor for more than the last 30. His previous writing has been in the realm of Christian theology. This is his first novel.

Purchase This Book

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