Hmm, coming to the Valley of the Sun, or known as the Valley of the Sun stroke in summer. I can’t really help you along the lines of books. The zoo is good. Phoenix is more about life in the desert. I strongly suggest getting out and doing some hikes or rent a jeep and take off into the desert. The desert is beautiful. The Saguaros are blooming. Most of the desert bloom has already passed. Take some side trips to the local lakes. Go up to Prescott, Sedona, Wickenburg, Flagstaff, the Crater, Grand Canyon, and the Mogollon Rim. All great places to go see some beautiful country and learn a lot about how the west was settled. There are ghost towns and mining villages to checkout. If you want a chance to see snakes in the wild you need to be out at daybreak or a dusk. But, be very careful. Plus, if you know were to go there are bear, dear, coyotes, etc… And welcome!