Connecting Texas books and writers with those who most want to discover them
BIOGRAPHY / POLITICS & GOVERNMENT
Homer Ross Tomlin
Homer Thornberry: Congressman, Judge, and Advocate for Equal Rights
Hardcover (ebook also available), 978-0-87565-637-0, 224 pages
August 12, 2016
It’s easy, these days, to be cynical about politicians and about a biography written by the grandson of a Texas politician who entered public service at the same time as Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Push those thoughts aside when considering Homer Thornberry: Congressman, Judge, and Advocate for Equal Rights. This book from TCU Press is well written, solidly researched, and an important addition to twentieth-century Texas and American political history. >>READ MORE
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
with foreword by Jeanine Pirro
Destination Greatness: Creating a New Americanism
Politics and Social Sciences/Civics and Citizenship
978-1495812385 paperback, $15.95; also available as Kindle ebook, 248 pages; October 11, 2016
Veteran sportswriter Jim Reeves, who covered both the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers during his forty-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has written Dallas Cowboys: The Legends of America’s Team (Berkeley Place Books, $9.95 paperback, 192 pages). Reeves recalls the team’s glory years by focusing on the personalities who owned, managed, coached, and played for the Cowboys. He profiles the star players position by position, beginning with quarterback, then running back, wide receiver, tight end, and the linemen and defense.
In the second part of the book, he replays the various championship games involving the Cowboys—wins and losses. Longtime Cowboy fans will find much here to savor.
Dallas Cowboy Hall of Famer Charles Haley has written his autobiography, Fear No Evil: Tackling Quarterbacks and Demons on My Way to the Hall of Fame (Triumph Books, $26.96 hardcover). Written with Dallas Cowboys historian Jeff Sullivan, Haley tells his story from childhood to his retirement from football as the only player to earn five Super Bowl rings—two with San Francisco, then three with Dallas. Besides the football stories and locker-room antics, Haley also tells about his struggles to overcome bipolar disorder.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, in a foreword, gives Haley much of the credit for Dallas winning three Super Bowls in the 1990s. Jones said Haley was “one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL. “We weren’t complete until he arrived,” Jones writes. “We went from a pretty good football team to one of the greatest dynasties the game has ever witnessed, and really the only difference between the two was Charles.”
Chicken Soup: The “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series continues to thrive, with about 250 titles now published. I suspect nearly every one of them includes a few stories by Texas writers. Certainly that’s the case with two new volumes which came across my desk recently: The Power of Gratitude and The Spirit of America.
In the Gratitude book, at least three Texas writers have stories, including Trisha Faye with her “Every Day Is a Good Day” piece on how she taught herself to have a more thankful attitude at work.
In the Spirit of America volume, Dallas writer Eva Carter, who was born in Czechoslovakia, has two stories — one about when she was a young immigrant girl in the third grade and one reflecting on the freedoms not shared by other women in the world. If you would like to submit a story for consideration by the Chicken Soup editors, go to chickensoup.com and click on “Submit Your Story.”
Glenn Dromgoole’s latest book is West Texas Stories. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, 978-1-50112-654-7 (also available as a paperback, an ebook, and on Audible), 352 pgs., $26.95; September 13, 2016
At nineteen years old, Gabriel Cardona wore Versace, drove a Mercedes SUV, and was “being primed for a managerial position in a global enterprise”—Los Zetas. He was a sicario, an assassin. A United States citizen, Cardona was useful. He could work both sides of the border. Cardona also recruited his friends from the slums of Laredo, including Bart Reta, the second teenager mentioned in the title. He was thirteen when he began working for the Zetas.
Robert Garcia immigrated from Piedras Negras, Mexico, to Eagle Pass, Texas, as a child. After some time in the U.S. Army, he joined the narcotics unit of the police department in Laredo. An Officer of the Year Award earned him an offer to join a Drug Enforcement Administration task force. The whiteboard over Garcia’s desk resembled “a graduate-level math proof that could be worked forever but never solved.” He became disillusioned with the “War on Drugs.” Then Los Zetas arrived. “Without attacking demand in the United States, [Garcia] couldn’t see the point of putting so many resources into stemming only a fraction of traffic. But violence spilling over was another matter.”
Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico’s Most Dangerous Drug Cartel is creative, narrative nonfiction by Dan Slater, a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal. >>READ MORE
Hardcover, 978-0-06240-920-1 (also available as an ebook, audio book, and on Audible), 224 pgs., $22.99; October 4, 2016
“All was in flux. Flux: a soldering aid that promotes the fusion of two surfaces, an unstable substance that catches fire.”
Melancholy, world-weary veteran of three wars Capt. Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels Reconstruction-era Texas reading the news of the world to the information- and entertainment-starved populace for a dime a head. In Wichita Falls, Kidd is hired to return ten-year-old Johanna Leonberger, captured by the Kiowa four years earlier in a raid which killed her parents and sister, to her aunt and uncle in Castroville, a perilous three-week journey of four hundred miles through sparsely populated wilderness, in the anarchy of post–Civil War Texas, and the ever-present threat of Comanche and Kiowa attack. >>READ MORE
Fort Worth author Joyce Gibson Roach is still blazing trails at eighty. The fifth-generation Texan and Texas storyteller will be inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame in a special ceremony by the Friends of the Fort Worth Library at the Fort Worth Arboretum November 4. She has spun a lifetime of stories about West Texas, horses, cowgirls, and talking horned toads. She took time from her upcoming writing projects to participate in an interview with us by email.
LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE: Joyce, Your most recent book, The Land of Rain Shadow: Horned Toad, Texas, came out last year, when you were 79. This collection of short stories about West Texas has been widely praised for its craft. What does the phrase “The Land of Rain Shadow” mean, and could you describe this book in your own words?
JOYCE GIBSON ROACH: Rain Shadow is a meteorology term describing how dry and desert places are formed. Moisture moves up the east side of mountain ranges but is blocked on the west leaving the west side in the shade of moisture. West Texas and other arid places in the Southwest remain dry and always in need of rain. (“The litany of brown places is always supplication for rain, and the colloquy of praise is ever for it.”) The description identifies West Texas and Horned Toad, Texas, in Caballo County, an imaginary place in rural West Texas with a small population whose icon is a water tower and the people who have lived and endured there—still do. >>READ MORE
AUSTIN Mon., Oct. 23 The Writing Barn, Workshop: Page-Turning, Stomach-Churning: Building Suspense in Your Thriller with Amy Gentry, 1PMThe Writing Barn, Workshop: Page-Turning, Stomach-Churning: Building Suspense in Your Thriller with Amy Gentry, 1PMHOUSTON Mon., Oct. 24 Brazos Bookstore, Jonathan Rabb reads and signs AMONG THE LIVING, 7PMBrazos Bookstore, Jonathan Rabb reads and signs AMONG THE LIVING, 7PMAUSTIN Tues., Oct. 25, Austin History Center, A UT Tower shooting survivor, historians, and producers from "Texas Standard" will discuss the impact of the Out of the Blue oral history project commemorating the 50th anniversary of the UT Tower shooting, 6:30PMRICHARDSON Tues., Oct. 25 Richardson Public Library, Brown Bag Book Series: Rusty Williams discusses and signs Red River Bridge War: Texas-Oklahoma Boarder Battle, 11:30AMDALLAS Wed., Oct. 26, Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, An Evening with Author Willard Spiegelman, author of Senior Moments, 6PMSAN ANTONIO Wed., Oct. 26, Witte Museum, Wagner Series: author Mary O. Parker and photographer Jeff Parker discuss and sign Explore Texas: A Nature Travel Guide, 6:30PMAUSTIN Thurs., Oct. 27 Malvern Books, Bryce Milligan reads from and signs his new poetry collection, Take to the Highway: Arabesques for Travelers, with W. Joe Hoppe, 7PMSAN MARCOS Thurs., Oct. 27, Texas State University’s Alkek Library, Wittliff Collections reading and signing with Mary Ruefle, 3:30PMALSO READING & SIGNING in Kyle, Fri., Oct. 28, Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, KAP Literary Center, 7:30PMDALLAS Sat., Oct. 30, Deep Vellum Books, The SMU Russian Studies Department Presents A Panel Discussion: Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Russia: Translation, History, and Literature featuring distinguished guest Rosamund Bartlett, English writer, scholar and translator, 7PM
More than 290 authors will present at dozens of venues in and around the state capitol the weekend of Nov. 5 and 6, 2016. Readers are encouraged to come see authors they have always loved and discover new favorites, and buy their books. New venues, including the Omni Hotel, the First Baptist Church, and a YA HQ Tent, have been added.
Follow LSLL editor and publisher Kay Ellington's literary journey across Texas, with images by Texas Highways photographers: read the article at . And then email us at to tell us about your best picks and hidden treasures!
“I am excited to have chosen The Fire This Time by National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward,” said Taylor. “I understand the book is a powerful collection of essays and poems about race in the United States and it’s so timely. I can’t wait to read it and hear from San Antonians about their thoughts on the book.” >>READ MORE
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Visit with Engle and Jenkins Oct. 24–Nov. 23
10/24 Page Preview1 Hall Ways Blog
10/25 Review Country Girl Bookaholic
10/26 Guest Post 1 Texas Book Lover
10/27 Page Preview 2 Kara The Redhead
10/28 Review It's a Jenn World
10/29 Guest Post 2 StoreyBook Reviews
10/30 Promo Blogging for the Love of Authors and Their Books
10/31 Review Margie's Must Reads
11/1 Page Preview 3 A Novel Reality
11/2 Review Reading By Moonlight
Visit with the authors October 22–31
10/23 Guest Post 1 StoreyBook Reviews
10/24 Illustration Preview It's a Jenn World
10/25 Review Margie's Must Reads
10/26 Excerpt Country Girl Bookaholic
10/27 Review Reading By Moonlight
10/28 Author Interview Forgotten Winds
10/29 Coloring Download The Page Unbound
10/30 Review Kara The Redhead
10/31 Guest Post 2, Chapter Break Book Blog
Visit with the authors through October 24
10/23 Books and Broomsticks
10/24 A Novel Reality
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