I read this book last summer when I first started getting into pottery. It was by far one of the best books I've read. Craig Childs traverses through the American Southwest, many times on his own, studying pottery shards of the ancient people in old ruins.
His travels take him to Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Northern Mexico, and of course Arizona. I felt like I had taken a glimpse into the past and learned far more about the ancient native peoples than I did about the ins and outs of clay vessels; some of it disturbing, some of it intriguing, and all interesting and thought provoking.
Imagine being in a kyak by yourself when you stumble across an ancient dwelling along side the river. Craig pulls his kyak onto the shore to investigate. Inside there is a compartment that most likely houses a seed jar and other artifacts. Rather than open up the stone compartment he leaves it. He realized he may have been the first man to stumble across these dwellings since its inhabitants left many many years ago. This is where his journey starts. I, as the reader, am still wondering what he would have found had he pried open the stone compartment.