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The Book Blogger Awards 2017

United States

Land of Enchantment

New Mexico coverNew Mexico: A Guide to the Colorful State
Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of New Mexico

Submitter: Giving out travel advise from 1962. It has “modern” views of Albuquerque, and a helpful road map that I am sure has not changed at all.

Holly: I love New Mexico. I was once stranded at the Albuquerque airport for hours on end as a storm blew through. (The Hubs flies small planes, and our 4-seater was no match for Mother Nature that day.) It is a lovely state with some of the nicest people I have ever met. This book does not do it justice or reflect the wonderful place it is today.

I do have to give props to the Writers’ Program books, though. My library weeded them all just a year or two ago. That is a great example of a series that you want to hold onto forever because they were so, so good, but when the space is needed for other things, difficult decisions have to be made, and the reality is, these are 50+ years old. Onward and upward!

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American Living– 80s Style!

coverLiving in the USA

Submitter: I just found this book on the shelf in our academic library.  Being 25 years old, some sections are more outdated than others.  Particularly amusing from today’s perspective are the bits about communication: public pay phones, long-distance phone calls, and telegrams!  I actually thought telegrams had gone by the wayside a lot sooner than 1988.

Holly: Anyone new to this country would be very disappointed to find out that pay phones are not in booths, gas stations, lobbies, etc. and that answering machines are not “becoming widespread,” but disappearing as voice mail takes over.  Western Union might have still sent telegrams in the late 1980s, but it wasn’t as common as this book makes it sound.

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Hawaii: Paradise or Polar?

Hello USA series

Submitter: May I present to you the 1995 cover of a children’s book about Hawaii, from Lerner Publications’ Hello USA series, discovered while weeding my long-neglected States books collection at my branch library today.

There are so many things to love about this cover, the first being that it was picked to represent Hawaii in the first place. No cliched palm trees or hula dancers here! Nothing says “paradise” like white tourists bundled up in sweatshirts and blankets as if this were a fall day on Nantucket, am I right? Not to mention that one of the girls has her eyes closed, poor thing, immortalized forever on a book cover.

You have to wonder if there was really no better choice. At first I thought maybe some publishing bigwig insisted on using his family’s photo from a recent trip. But the copy on the t.p. verso reads, “Cover photograph of tourists on a Hawaiian beach in December courtesy of Independent Picture Service.” Someone paid real money for this picture!

Needless to say, I didn’t even have to check the circulation before I chucked this one from the shelves – but when I did, surprise surprise, it hadn’t caught any kid’s eye in ages. 🙂

Holly: They did update this cover in 2001 to a much nicer picture – an erupting volcano and a postcard of a lovely sunny beach (no people). This one, that you have submitted, could as easily be on the cover of a book about Michigan!  Lake Superior in July or Waikiki in December?  You decide.