Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands

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Product Details

$35.00  $32.55
Heyday Books
Publish Date
7.4 X 10.3 X 1.0 inches | 2.5 pounds

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About the Author

Linda Ronstadt, one of the most versatile singers of the past fifty years, is the author of Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir (2013). Her four-decade recording career encompassed country, rock 'n' roll, the Great American Songbook, jazz, opera, Broadway standards, Mexican and Tropical music and Americana. Her worldwide album sales totaled more than 100 million records, with more than thirty gold and platinum records. She has won eleven Grammy Awards and is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She serves on the advisory board of Los Cenzontles Cultural Arts Academy, which has taught Mexican folk music, dance and art to children in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than three decades. She lives in San Francisco.

Lawrence Downes is a writer and editor in New York. For more than thirty years, he worked in newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times, Newsday, and the New York Times where he was an editor and member of the editorial board, specializing in issues about immigration, New York City and state politics and government, disability rights, veterans affairs, and the environment.

Bill Steen is a professional photographer, specializing in the beauty and bounty of the Sonoran borderlands for more than three decades. Along with his wife, Athena Swentzell Steen, he is a founder of the Canelo Project, near Elgin, Arizona, a family-based community and an applied educational center that gives people hands-on experience with a lifestyle that aims to be sustainable. The Steens are the authors, with David Bainbridge, of The Straw Bale House, among other books.


"Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands [...] is a way to explain why the arid land that starts in Arizona and stretches into Mexico's west coast is [Ronstadt's] foothold in the world. It's a story she has told through music, and now wants to tell--as much as she can--through food."--The New York Times

"The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, granddaughter of Mexican immigrants and descendant of Spanish settlers, explores her family history and the complicated relationship between the US and Mexico in her new book, Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands. [...] In the book and in conversation, her continuing love for the music and culture she grew up with shines through."--Esquire

"[Feels Like Home] is most easily described as a memoir. [...] In reality the book is many things at once. It's a portrait of a place, the Sonoran Desert, and it's a genealogy of sorts, an archival romp through Ronstadt's family history. It's about music: 'How a singer is both born and made, learning by singing and being sung to, ' in the words of her co-author, the journalist Lawrence Downes. But it's also about food."--Vogue

"Feels Like Home expands on the theme of her musical memoir, Simple Dreams, which was published in 2013. Along with the personal stories that Ronstadt has never before told in full about her ancestors and her childhood in the 1950s and '60s, she also draws attention to the border politics that have impacted the lives of so many immigrants and refugees."--San Francisco Chronicle

"[A] travelogue, a memoir, a family history, a photo study, and a cookbook that will transport you to the vast dessert that links Arizona and Mexico."--Boston Globe

"Linda Ronstadt's Feels Like Home is an album of loves for the high desert of Sonora and her hometown of Tucson, shown through photos by Bill Steen and pages of her own recollections of family and friends and even--or maybe that's especially--recipes that bring family and friends together with echoes of each other."--NPR

"Chock-full of the Mexican ranch recipes Ronstadt learned at home, [Feels Like Home] also recalls a time before walls and politics had driven a wedge between a culture she remembers as 'fluid, ' when the Southwest was communal rather than rife with cultural conflict."--The Daily Beast

"One of the key questions of Feels Like Home [is] how to validate long-term attachments to and senses of place that are nevertheless those of settlers. This is an important question for U.S. readers, whose familial connections to this country's legacy of Indigenous dispossession are often left unknown or are blurred behind the discourse of a nation of immigrants. Ronstadt holds the two in tension."--Los Angeles Review of Books

"Feels Like Home issues an invitation to sit a while and listen as Ronstadt regales us with warm stories of the ones she loves, the places woven into the fabric of her being, and the food and music that sustain us all."--No Depression

"[A] celebration of culture, music, geography, food and family ties that know no borders. It is eloquently told by a singer who has devoted much of her career to transcending musical borders [...] [Ronstadt's] memoir is a valentine to her family and the Mexican heritage she has long celebrated in words and music."--San Diego Union-Tribune

"Illuminates the culture, food and natural wonders of the Sonoran Desert, which stretches from [Ronstadt's] Arizona childhood home through a large swatch of northern Mexico."--Parade

"A must for fans, [Feels Like Home is] a heartfelt homage to [Ronstadt's] Mexican heritage and deep emotional connection to the American Southwest, where the Tucson-born artist grew up. The beloved singer [...] writes lyrically about her ancestral homelands and crossing 'and recrossing and crisscrossing' the literal and metaphoric borders between them, 'until it fades to insignificance, like a rubbed-out pencil mark.'"--AARP Magazine

"In 2013, Ronstadt wrote a more traditional memoir about her career titled Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir [...] Her new book, however, goes much farther back, diving into her personal history, tracing her family's Mexican roots in Sonora, and fondly recalling how her musical childhood in Arizona shaped her as a performer."--Woman's World

"This memoir provides deep insight into Ronstadt's roots."--Alta Journal

"Feels Like Home is a memoir with food and a travel book about a handful of families. Ronstadt is at the book's center, providing a deep understanding of what life was like for those hardy people who settled in the Sonoran desert many years ago, as well as the Indigenous people who lived there for centuries longer."--Orange County Register

"Informative yet casual, reading the book feels like a day hanging out with Ronstadt while being amazed by her ordinary demeanor [and] lack of pretense despite her wealth and fame."--Cleburne Times-Review

"[A] very sweet-hearted book [...] it hits a lot of sweet spots for what is kind of the perfect coffee table book."--Mark Athitakis, KJZZ Radio, Phoenix

"Feels Like Home invites us on an exquisite journey of beauty, adventure and history. It's a magical trip you don't want to miss. This book will fill your heart, your soul and your spirit. We need that now more than ever."--Dolores Huerta, labor organizer and civil-rights activist

"Feels Like Home is personal and revealing--with vivid portraits of her forebears who immigrated first to Northern Mexico and then Tucson, Arizona, with striking photographs, family letters, and an array of recipes and songs, she weaves together an unforgettable tale of her life and talented musical family. This is quintessentially an American story--touching, and well worth reading."--Jerry Brown, former governor of California