If you ever doubt whether Tucsonans really love books, just take a stroll down the UA Mall this weekend. In just a decade, the Tucson Festival of Books has become one of the largest celebrations of the written word in the country—and this year, as usual, it's bringing in a lot of powerhouse authors to talk about their work. Huge thanks to everyone who makes it happen.
In honor of the festival, I asked some of our regular contributors to cook up lists of essential Arizona reading. Don't mistake this for a list of the 40 best books about the state. Instead, it's a roundup of favorites by Margaret Regan, Brian Smith, Tom Zoellner, Tom Prezelski, Jeff Gardner and Tirion Morris. Many thanks to them for sharing their favorites.
Elsewhere in the book: Staff reporter Kathleen Kunz catches the launch of Democrat Mark Kelly's U.S. Senate campaign against appointed U.S. Sen. Martha McSally; contributor Issac Kirkland talks with author Luis Alberto Urrea ahead of his appearance at the Festival of Books; columnist Tom Danehy expresses his skepticism about this so-called emergency on the border; music writer Christopher Boan talks with Kurt Vile, who will be performing at downtown's Rialto Theatre next week; arts writer Margaret Regan discovers the work of an early pioneer of Arizona impressionism; Chow writer Mark Whittaker gets a slice at Trident's new pizza pub; associate editor Jeff Gardner previews this weekend's disco gala at the Rialto; and there's plenty more in these pages, so grab yourself a seat and start turning the pages.
— Jim Nintzel Executive Editor
Hear Nintz talk about what's happening in Tucson's entertainment scene Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. during The Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM. Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel can be heard on KXCI community radio, 91.3 FM, on Sunday afternoons at 5 p.m.