DUE IN JULY: The desert strips people’s souls bare, especially a desert in a warming climate. It makes the most sensitive of them into writers yearning to understand both the things it has taken from them and all it has given. Reminiscent of Terry Tempest Williams’ memoir Refuge, Kendra Atleework’s book, Miracle County, weaves natural history, history, and memoir with elegy for a mother’s life cut short by cancer. We view most elements in Atleework’s narrative through their absence: water, indigenous people, her mother, the one-time stability of a now-shattered family. She makes exquisite beauty of loss. Recommended by Kelly
“Blending family memoir and environmental history, Kendra Atleework conveys a fundamental truth: the places in which we live, live on—sometimes painfully—in us.