Mountains & Plains AKA Reading the West

Since 1990, the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association (of which BTC is a long-standing member) has recognized works of merit in both adult and children’s categories which exemplify the best in writing and/or illustration whose subject matter deals with the region, or whose authors and illustrators live in the region. Mind you, it’s a BIG region that contains jagged peaks, arid plains, abundant recreation, Native Americans, water issues, and seemingly endless archeology, plus a healthy dose of spirited pioneer history. In 2010, the awards were renamed and are now known as the Reading the West Book Awards.



2013: The Son by Philip Meyer

2012: Theft by BK Loren

2011: The Voice of the River by Melanie Rae Thon

2010: The Wake of Forgiveness by Bruce Machart

2009: Another Man’s Moccasins, A Walt Longmire Mystery by Craig Johnson

2008: The God of Animals by Aryn Kyle

2007: Cottonwood Saints by Gene Guerin

2006: A Sudden Country: A Novel by Karen Fisher

2005: The Work of Wolves by Kent Meyers

2004: Land That Moves, Land That Stands Still by Kent Nelson

2003: Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling

2002: The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall

2001: Winter Range by Claire Davis

2000: Plainsong by Kent Haruf

1999: One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

1998: The Sky, The Stars, The Wilderness by Rick Bass

1997: Sun Dancer by David London

1996: Stone Song by Win Blevins

1995: Stygo by Laura Hendrie

1994: (Joint Winners) Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver / The Death of Bernadette Lefthand by Ron Querry / Montana 1948 by Larry Watson

1993: (Joint Winners) Cowboys Are My Weakness by Pam Houston / The Meadow by James Galvin / All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

1992: No award for Fiction this year

1991: Mean Spirit by Linda Hogan

1900: The Testimony of Mr. Bones by Olive Ghiselin



2013: The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko

2012: Full Body Burden by Kristen Iversen

2011: Fire Season: Field Noted from a Wilderness Lookout by Philip Connors

2010: No award for Nonfiction this year

2009: (Joint Winners) American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon by Steven Rinella / Staking Her Claim: Women Homesteading the West by Marcia Meredith Hensley

2008: The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn by Joseph M. Marshall III

2007: (Joint Winners) Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides / Pinedale, Wyoming: A Centennial History 1904-2004 by Ann Chambers Noble

2006: 109 East Palace: Robert Oppenheimer and the Secret City of Los Alamos by Jennet Conant

2005: (Joint Winners) Little Things in a Big Country: An Artist and Her Dog on the Rocky Mountain Front by Hannah Hinchman / Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone: A Mountaineering History and Guide by Thomas Turiano

2004: (Joint Winners) Hawks Rest: A Season in the Remote Heart of Yellowstone by Gary Ferguson / Creation of the Teton Landscape by David D. Love, John C. Reed, J.D. Love

2003: Breaking Clean by Judy Blunt

2002: A River Running West by Donald Worster

2001: The Blood Runs Like a River Through My Dreams by Nasdijj

2000: Where Rivers Change Direction by Mark Spragg

1999: Lasso the Wind: Away to the New West by Timothy Egan

1998: Legends of the American Desert by Alex Shoumatoff

1997: Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose

1996: The Dull Knifes of Pine Ridge by Joe Starita

1995: Killing Custer by James Welch

1994: No award for Nonfiction this year

1993: No award for Nonfiction this year

1992: (Joint Winners) Land Circle: Writings Collected from the Land by Linda Hasselstrom / PrairyErth: A Deep Map by William Least Heat-Moon / Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams

1991: Photographing Montana, 1894-1928: The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron by Donna M. Lucey

1990: Remote Beyond Compare by John Kessel



... suspended until further notice

2009: Colorado’s Wild Horses by Claude Steelman

2008: Great Ranches of the West by Jim Keen

2007: Mesa Verde National Park: The First 100 Years by Rose Houk, Faith Marcovecchio, Duane A. Smith

2006: William Henry Jackson’s “The Pioneer Photographer” by William Henry Jackson, Howard R. Driggs, Bob Blair

2005: The Pueblo Imagination by Lee Marmon

2004: Birds of Prey in the American West by Tom Vezo and Richard Glinski

2003: Drawn to Yellowstone: Artists in America’s First National Park by Peter Hassrick

2002: Ansel Adams at 100 by John Szarkowski

2001: Painters in the American West by Joan Carpenter Troccoli

2000: No award for Art & Poetry this year

1999: In Gravity National Park by C.L. Rawlins

1998: Blue Horses Rush In by Luci Tapahonso

1997: Mountains & Rivers Without End by Gary Snyder

1996: My Town by David Lee

1995: Loose Woman by Sandra Cisneros

1994: So Far From God by Ana Castillo

1993: No award for Art & Poetry this year

1992: No award for Art & Poetry this year

1991: In Mad Love and War by Joy Harjo

1990: What We Have to Live With by Marilyn Krysl


CHILDREN’S (Chapter & Picture Books)

2013: The Last Ride of Caleb O'Toole by Eric Pierpoint

2012: Kepler's Dream by Juliet Bell

2011: Missing on Superstition Mountain by Elise Broach & Antonio Javier Caparo

2010: Starfish by James Crowley

2009: Go Big or Go Home by Will Hobbs / The Illuminated Desert by Terry Tempest Williams, illustrated by Chloe Hedden

2008: Wind Rider by Susan Williams

2007: The Buffalo and the Indians: A Shared Destiny by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, photographs by William Muñoz

2006: Bear Dancer: The Story of a Ute Girl by Thelma Hatch Wyss

2005: Searching for Chipeta: The Story of a Ute and Her People by Vickie Leigh Krudwig / Old Coyote by Nancy Wood, illustrated by Max Grafe

2004: Enduring Wisdom: Sayings from Native Americans by Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, illustrated by Synthia Saint James

2003: Women Artists of the West: Five Portraits in Creativity and Courage by Julie Danneberg

2002: Daniel’s Walk by Miichael Spooner / Mountain Men by Andrew Glass

2001: Clarence Goes Out West and Meets a Purple Horse by Jean Ekman Adams

2000: The Wild Colorado by Richard Maurer

1999: Boss of the Plains by Laurie Carlson, illustrated by Holly Meade

1998: The Serpent’s Tongue edited by Nancy Wood

1997: Bill Pickett, Rodeo-Ridin’ Cowboy by Brian & Andrea D. Pinkney

1996: A Boy Called Slow by Joseph Bruchac

1995: Daily Life in a Covered Wagon by Paul Erickson

1994: I Am Lavina Cumming by Susan Lowell

1993: No award for Children’s Chapter & Picture Books this year

1992: No award for Children’s Chapter & Picture Books this year

1991: Canyons by Gary Paulsen

1990: Bearstone by Will Hobbs



2010: No award this year

2009: No award this year

2008: No award this year

2007: Linda Hogan

2006: Robert Utley

2005: Leslie Marmon Silko

2004: Sandra Cisneros

2003: No award this year

2002: No award this year

2001: Ann Haymond Zwinger

2000: Jim Harrison

1999: Terry Tempest Williams

1998: Rudolfo Anaya

1997: Ivan Doig

1996: Vine Deloria, Jr.

1995: Tony Hillerman

1994: N. Scott Momaday

1993: David Lavender

1992: Frank Waters

1991: No award this year

1990: No award this year