The following lists of books were compiled by the Libraries and Museums Committee for all Coloradans to read and enjoy. Each of the books included on Water 2012 Reading Lists fall under the same set of criteria:
- The author is currently living in Colorado or has lived in Colorado in the past
- Each book has a Colorado water theme
- Each book is currently or will be made available for purchase in 2012
To find books from the Reading Lists that are unavailable for purchase, the Libraries and Museums Committee encourages you to visit your local library. Find your local library
To purchase books from a bookstore near you please visit the IndieBound website or search Amazon for online purchases.
Top Twelve Books for Young Readers
1. The Lost Seal by Diane McKnight (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2006)
2. Discover Science: Oceans and Seas by Nicola Davies (Kingfisher, 2011)
3. Eyewitness Books: Pond and River by Steve Parker (DK, 2011)
4. Eyewitness Books: Water by John Woodward (DK, 2009)
5. Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau by Dan Yaccarino (Alfred Knopf, 2009)
6. I Am Water: Scholastic Reader Level 1 by Jean Marzollo (Cartwheel Books, 1996)
7. Let's Save Water by Alison Reynolds (Windmill Books, 2009)
8. Magic School Bus as the Waterworks by Joanna Cole (Scholastic, 1988)
9. My Water Comes from the Rocky Mountains by Tiffany Fourment (Moonlight Publishing, 2009)
10. One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss (Kids Can Press, 2007)
11. River Thunder by Will Hobbs (Dell Laurel Leaf, 1997 and 2011)
12. Water Beds: Sleeping in the Ocean by Gail Karwoski (Sylvan Dell, 2005)
Download the list here.
More Books, Field Guides, and Videos for young readers and teachers.
Top Ten Books for Adults
1. The Colorado River: Flowing Through Conflict by Peter McBride and Jonathan Waterman (Boulder, Colo.:Westcliffe Publishers, 2011)
2. House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the Southwest by Craig Childs (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2007)
3. Living the Four Corners: Colorado, Centennial State at the Headwaters by Greg Hobbs (Denver: CLE in Colorado, 2010)
4. Water Wranglers: The 75 Year History of the Colorado River District by George Sibley (forthcoming)
5. A Ditch in Time: Denver, the West and Water by Patricia Limerick (forthcoming from Fulcrum Publishing)
6. The Future of Water: A Startling Look Ahead by Steve Maxwell with Scott Yates (Denver: American Water Works Association, 2011)
7. Digging the Old West: How Dams and Ditches Sculpted American Landscape by Karmen Lee Franklin (Arvada, Colo.: Franklin Design Bureau, 2011)
8. The Colorado Water Conservation Board: A Brief and Preliminary History of Its First 75 Years by Thomas V. Cech and J. William McDonald (forthcoming from Colorado Water Conservation Board, 2012)
9. The Water Mysteries of Mesa Verde by Kenneth R. Wright (Boulder, Colo.: Johnson Books, 2006)
10. Silver Fox of the Rockies: Delphus E. Carpenter and Western Water Compacts by Daniel Tyler (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003)
Download the list here.
Beyond the Top Ten are more excellent suggested reads for adults.
Recommended Reads from featured Water 2012 Authors
The Desert Smells Like Rain by Gary Nabhan
The Desert Smells Like Rain offers insights into the natural history of desert plants and animals as it documents a dying agricultural tradition that has enriched the biological diversity of the Papago's seemingly harsh environment.
River of the Traps: A Village Life by William deBuys and Alex Harris
New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo mountains are a place where two cultures — Hispanic and Anglo — meet. They're also the place where three men meet: William deBuys, a young writer; Alex Harris, a young photographer; and Jacobo Romero, an old farmer. When Harris and deBuys move to New Mexico in the 1970s, Romero is the neighbor who befriends them and becomes their teacher. With the tools of simple labor — shovel and axe, irony and humor — he shows them how to survive, even flourish, in their isolated village. A remarkable look at modern life in the mountains, River of Traps also magically evokes the now-vanished world in which Romero tended flocks on frontier ranges and absorbed the values of a society untouched by cash or Anglo America. His memories and wisdom, shared without sentimentality, permeate this absorbing story of three men and the place that forever shaped their lives.
Mayordomo by Stanley Crawford
Irrigation ditches are the lifelines of agriculture and daily life in rural New Mexico. This award-winning account of the author's experience as a mayordomo, or ditch boss, is the first record of the life of an acequia by a community participant.
Running Dry by Jonathan Waterman
Jon Waterman combines sheer adventure and environmental calamity in this trailblazing cautionary account of his 2008 trip down the overtaxed, drying Colorado. Dammed and tunneled, forced into countless canals, trapped in reservoirs and harnessed for electricity, what once was untamed and free is now humbled, parched, and so yoked to human purposes that in most years it trickles away 100 miles from its oceanic destination.
Encounters with the Archdruid by John McPhee
The narratives in this book are of journeys made in three wildernesses - on a coastal island, in a Western mountain range, and on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The four men portrayed here have different relationships to their environment, and they encounter each other on mountain trails, in forests and rapids, sometimes with reserve, sometimes with friendliness, sometimes fighting hard across a philosophical divide.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Climb aboard the raft with Huck and Jim and drift away from the "sivilized" life and into a world of adventure, excitement, danger, and self-discovery. Huck's shrewd and humorous narrative is complemented by lyrical descriptions of the Mississippi valley and a sparkling cast of memorable characters.
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger.
Digging The Old West: How Dams and Ditches Sculpted An American Landscape by Karmen Lee Franklin
A feast for the eyes and artistic imagination, chock full of photography, art and prose centering on how water ditches in Colorado have created a contemporary cultural landscape founded on Native American, Hispanic, Moorish, and Anglo immigrant roots.
Download the list here.