What the staff at Out West Books suggest for your next great read

Each week as part of SunLit – the literature division of Sun – we provide employee recommendations from bookstores across Colorado. This week, the staff at Out West Books in Grand Junction are recommending “Rock Art,” “Spirits of the Stone,” and “The Lost World of the Old Ones.”

Rock art: a vision of a fading cultural landscape

By Jonathan Bailey
johnson books
November 2019


from the publisher: A plea for conservation answered with 200 fascinating photographs by Jonathan Bailey and 19 articles written by renowned archaeologists, anthropologists, artists, and members of local tribal councils. It highlights the many threats facing these holy sites and provides insight into how to nurture this land responsibly.

From Marya at Out West Books: I have a degree in archeology, which I don’t often use as a bookseller – unless it comes to curating books like “Rock Art” by Jonathan Bailey. Yay! I used my testimony! This is more than just a coffee table photography book. Yes, Jonathan’s photography is stunning and includes many lesser known rock and stone paintings, but it’s the articles by writers like REBurrillo, Greg Child and Andrew Gulliford Professor at Fort Lewis that make this book one you’ll need to read slowly and digest.

In addition to emphasizing protection, which seems like a no-brainer to most of us, the book on “Rock Art” shows how absolutely important these sites are to science and history, and how important it is to understand and protect them.

stone spirits

Written by Gary and Ming Adams
Ancient Guest Canyon Farm

to buy Contact Out West Books

from the publisher: This book is a tribute to ancient artists and their creations in stone. These magical images continue to puzzle and inspire us with their power and beauty. We hope this book will foster more awareness of the unique treasures the ancients left behind and help us understand the importance of preserving their heritage.

From Marya at Out West Books: This is a coffee table book. Filled with gorgeous photo illustrations, petroglyphs, ruins, and canyons from southwestern Colorado and eastern Utah, this book in itself is a call for conservation. Gary and Ming Adams own Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch in McElmo Canyon near Cortez which strategically places them at the heart of the ancient art of the Colorado Plateau. Their love of the region and its ancient wonders shine through in this beautiful visual gallery of places worth protecting.

The Lost World of the Ancient: Discoveries in the Ancient Southwest

Written by David Roberts
WW Norton
April 2016


from the publisher: In this thrilling tale of intellectual and archaeological discovery, David Roberts recounts the last twenty years of his distant exploits in search of remarkable prehistoric ruins and rock art paintings known to very few contemporary travelers. His adventures span Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado, highlighting the mysteries of the ancestral Puebloans and their contemporary neighbors Mogollon and Fremont, as well as the more recent Navajo and Comanche.

From Marya at Out West Books: David Roberts’s Lost Book of the Ancient World and companion book In Search of the Ancient: Exploring the Anasazi World of the Southwest are favorites here in the store. In “The Lost World,” David explores a newer approach to science, emphasizing that archeology is not about “things,” the artifacts dug in excavations, because the archeology of things is the archeology of loss. It seems true that once something is “discovered”, it either disappears or is vandalized. The desecration of tombs in Egypt is a prime example of this. A personal example: Hiking in what are now Bear’s Ears in the early 1980s, I couldn’t walk without stepping on the shards of fate. Now the pieces are few and far between.

In part, this book is about David’s accompaniment to the Utah Museum for archaeologists of natural history as they surveyed Range Creek shortly after farmer Waldo Wilcox industrialized the valley, which is barely untouched by modern man. It’s also about more than just artifacts and artifacts. Roberts spends time with Stephen Lixon, a professor at CSU, and his Chaco Meridian theorist. I love this book, full of its larger-than-life characters and thought-provoking premises. Digging an artifact? Leave the arrowhead in place? How did that blanket end up at the Telluride Museum?

This week’s book comes from:

outside western books

533 Main Street – Grand Junction


As part of the Colorado Sun Literature section – sunlit – we feature selections for employees from bookstores across the state. Read more.


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