N.M. Book Award—The New Mexico Book Co-op is unveiling a new book award to draw attention to the best books connected to our literary state. Judged by a panel of scholars and librarians, the contest is open to any author or publisher, as long as the book submitted has some tangible connection to New Mexico or the Southwest. Entries must have been published from 2005 through the present. Deadline is July 1, 2007, with a discount for entries submitted by April 15. For more information and categories, go to nmbookaward.com.
Thankfully, 2006 was about more than just a dead-end war in the Middle East. Here in Albuquerque, our little art scene continued to blossom. It wasn't easy to narrow down, but here are my top 10 local arts events of 2006, in no particular order.
1. 2006 was so crowded with megawatt names in American fiction that it was easy to overlook (in my opinion) that the best fiction came from overseas. The very best of these imports was Alaa Al Aswany’s hilarious and terribly sad novel, The Yacoubian Building (HarperCollins, paper, $13.95), which depicts a cross-section of Egyptian life around the Gulf War as Dickens would, had he have been an Egyptian, of course.