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 Schieffer writes about changing nature of news, politics


Distinguished CBS newsman Bob Schieffer, a native Texan for whom the TCU College of Communication is named, provides a thoughtful and timely analysis of journalism and politics in his new book, Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News (Rowman & Littlefield, $24.95 hardcover).


Schieffer and coauthor H. Andrew Schwartz focus on the changing nature of political coverage, which has been evolving for at least two decades but reached a crescendo during the 2016 presidential campaign. The authors examine such factors as:


  • The decline of local newspapers, and what that portends for the coverage of local and state government.
  • The changing technology that affects how readers get their news, and the inundation of information available to anyone with a cell phone.
  • The increase in digital news sites and podcasts, and the different points of view represented by them.
  • The difficulty of obtaining reliable polling results when fewer Americans have telephone land lines, and those who do are less likely to answer surveys because of so many telemarketing calls.
  • The rise in fake news reports, not from legitimate news organizations but from political fringes and foreign agents.
  • The state of American politics in general, especially the lack of civility and political courage.


On this last point, Schieffer writes, “As candidates have destroyed each other with decades of endless negative ads, have they managed to destroy the system itself? Not yet, but they have severely damaged it. “We have allowed the path to public office to become such an unpleasant and revolting exercise that too many times our best and brightest want no part of it. “


Commenting on the 2016 election, he adds, “Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won their nominations fairly and squarely under the rules in place, but when the two major parties nominate candidates that a majority of Americans neither like nor trust, something has gone wrong.”


He advocates reining in campaign spending, ending gerrymandering, and holding nonpartisan primaries as three important reforms needed, as well as trying to convince young people “that holding elective office is an honorable and needed pursuit.”


“What America needs more than political reform,” he suggests, “is political courage — candidates and politicians who are not afraid to risk losing the office they hold to accomplish the greater good.”



Glenn Dromgoole’s latest book is West Texas Stories. Contact him at g.dromgoole@suddenlink.net.


>> Check out his previous Texas Reads columns in Lone Star Literary Life





* * * * *


David Collins, with foreword by Evan Wolfson and Julian Castro

Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas

University of North Texas Press

Hardcover, 978-1-5744-1692-3 (also available as an e-book and on Audible), 480 pgs., $29.95

August 15, 2017


On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed the right to marry for all Americans in Obergefell v. Hodges, after forty years of “struggle and engagement, combat and persuasion, activism and conversation.” Almost six hundred couples have been plaintiffs in same-sex marriage cases since 1970. In 2013, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes of Plano, along with Cleopatra DeLeon and Nicole Dimetman of Austin, agreed to become named plaintiffs for a Texas case. Phariss and Holmes were denied a marriage license in Bexar County, and powerhouse international law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP, promptly filed suit. >>READ MORE


Johnnie Bernhard

A Good Girl

Texas Review Press

Paperback, 978-1-6800-3121-8, (also available as an e-book), 288 pgs., $20.95

March 2017


Fifty-two-year-old Grace Reiter is returning home to South Texas, “a place she spent a lifetime running from,” as her father, Henry, “the last surviving patriarch of a chaotic gene pool,” lies in a hospital bed dying from colon cancer and a heart “shriveled from disease and disappointment.” Grace is the middle child, the dutiful peacemaker, sandwiched between her older brother, Tom, and her younger sister, Angela. Henry, the product of a legacy of alcoholism and abandonment, has been a difficult father; now that he’s dying, he wants devoted children. Grace knows she must learn to forgive Henry to save her troubled marriage, and avoid spending the remainder of her years embittered by regret and resentment.


A Good Girl is the debut novel, equal parts contemporary and historical fiction, from Johnnie Bernhard. I was instantly drawn in by Grace’s voice and Bernhard’s skillful use of small details to build a rich, dimensional portrait of a people and a place. Bernhard explores universal themes of redemption, hope, and forgiveness, as Grace progresses in her interior exploration of character and motivation. >>READ MORE

LONE STAR LISTENS interviews   >> archive

10.8.2017  “You can go anywhere in the world and they know about Texas”: Texas’s romantic faces and places with Panhandle author Linda Broday



Linda Broday kept at her dream of publishing the stories that sprang from her Southwestern upbringingand has been rewarded with success on top bestseller lists. A featured author at the upcoming Lubbock Book Festival, Linda will discuss and sign her Texas brand of romance fiction on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 28, at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts (among dozens of local, regional, and nationally known poets and writers).


LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE: Where did you grow up, Linda, and how do you think the place has influenced your writing?


LINDA BRODAY: I grew up in New Mexico, five miles from the Texas state line. In school, I studied Texas as much as I studied New Mexico, and I’ve always considered myself a Texan. I would read about the heroes of the Alamo and others who fought for independence and my imagination would go crazy. The men and women in my stories reflect the spirit of the courageous people who settled here. This is more than a state. The blood of those who died flows in our veins and the history is embedded inside each of us. I want readers here and abroad to feel the pride that is reflected inside each character in my books and I think they do. You can go anywhere in the world and they know about Texas.  >>READ MORE


Texas's only statewide, weekly calendar of book events
Bookish Texas event highlights  10.15.2017
>> GO this week   Michelle Newby, Contributing Editor



  • Houston Poetry Fest, October 13-15
  • Indiepalooza, Houston, October 13-15
  • 9th DFW Metroplex Linguistics Conference, Fort Worth, October 20
  • George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Center 20th Anniversary, College Station, October 20-21
  • Iran in the World Conference, San Antonio, October 20-21
  • Houston Writers Guild Masquerade Gala Evening, Houston, October 21
  • Tweens Read, South Houston, October 21
  • Mid-Cities Teen Book Fest, North Richland Hills, October 21
  • 4th Annual Edgar Allan Poe Victorian Halloween, Dallas, October 21


HOUSTON  Mon., Oct. 16  Brazos Bookstore, Jennifer Mathieu reading and signing MOXIE, 7PM


AUSTIN  Tues., Oct. 17 Austin History Center, Donna Miller, along with James and Annetta White, tell stories from Miller’s new book, The Broken Spoke: Austin’s Legendary Honky-Tonk (plus music from Ben Stafford Rodgers), 6:30PM


DALLAS  Tues., Oct. 17 SMU - Owen Arts Center, 18th annual Sammons Media Ethics Lecture with attorney Bruce Sanford, author of Don’t Shoot the Messenger: How Our Growing Hatred of the Media Threatens Free Speech for All of Us, 8PM


AUSTIN  Wed., Oct. 18 Malvern Books, an evening with award-winning Puerto Rican writer and artist Eduardo Lalo, author of Uselessness (hosted by César A. Salgado), 7PM [bilingual event]


BALLINGER  Wed., Oct. 18 Carnegie Library, Dana Glossbrenner, author of The Lark, presents "One Writer's Trip" for the Ballinger Women's Club, 9:30AM


TYLER  Wed., Oct. 18 Half Price Books, performer, writer, radio/TV producer and local author John L. Lansdale will sell and sign his books including his latest western fantasy, Zombie Gold, 4PM


BRENHAM  Thurs., Oct. 19   Unity Theatre, 9th Annual Washington County Read & Reception: meet Paulette Jiles and enjoy a dramatic reading of her novel News of the World, 5:30PM


HOUSTON  Fri., Oct. 20 Vincent's, Chef's Dinner and Fundraiser: James Beard award-winning chef Rocco DiSpirito will discuss his new healthy cookbook, Rocco’s Healthy + Delicious, 6PM #HarveyRelief


AUSTIN  Sat., Oct. 21  BookPeople, LAURA WILSON speaking & signing Watt Matthews of Lambshead, 2PM


AUSTIN  Sat., Oct. 21  Paramount Theatre, The hit public radio series Selected Shorts comes to Austin with stories performed by Kate Burton (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal), Zach Grenier (Deadwood, Fight Club), and Anthony Imperioli (The Sopranos), 8PM


PORT NECHES  Sat., Oct. 21   Fleur Fine Books, book release party for Roadkill Volume 2, Texas Horror by Texas Authors with editors E. R. Bills & Bret McCormick, along with included authors James H Longmore, Crystal Brinkerhoff, R. J. Joseph, and Hayden Gilbert, 3PM


SAN ANTONIO  Sun., Oct. 22   Witte Museum, Lewis Fisher will have a reception for his book, Maverick: The American Name That Became a Legend, 2PM


News Briefs 10.8.17


Oct. 15–21 marks National Friends of Libraries Week across America


Libraries across Texas will be spending the week of October 15–21, 2017, celebrating their Friends of the Library groups as part of the 12th annual celebration of National Friends of Libraries Week.


National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century.  >>READ MORE


7th annual Dobie Dichos to celebrate works of J. Frank Dobie Nov. 3

Bring a lawn chair, eat a bowl of chili, and listen to top Texas authors and storytellers read from/tell stories from the works of noted folklorist J. Frank Dobie under the stars at the Historic Oakville Jail town square


Presented by George West Storyfest Association, Inc., the annual Dobie Dichos event honors Live Oak County’s most famous son, author J. Frank Dobie, to celebrate his works and contributions to literature, folklore, and storytelling. This year, the Dobie Dichos evening is slated for Sun., Nov. 3, 2017, from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.00–$15.00 per person.


Featured presenters are Cary Clack, Sarah Cortez, Dudley R. Dobie Jr., Stephen Harrigan, Stan Mahler, Carolina Quiroga-Stultz, Taylor Tomlin, and Bill Witliff. Screenwriter William Jack Sibley will serve as master of ceremonies.


Texas writers/authors and storytellers read from or tell stories from Dobie’ works under the stars on the grounds of the Historic Oakville Jail, located on IH-37 in Live Oak County. The meal consists of a bowl of chili, pan de campo, a bottle of water, and dessert. Beer is available for purchase. >>READ MORE


Odessa Council for Arts & Humanities offers drawing for two tickets to “An Evening with David Sedaris”


ODESSA — David Sedaris, award-winning author and critic, will appear at the Wagner-Noël Performing Arts Center in Midland Tues., Nov. 7, 2017, at 7 p.m.


With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, Sedaris has become one of America’s preeminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. >>READ MORE AND ENTER TO WIN


Schedule posted for Lubbock Book Festival, Sat., Oct. 28

S. C. Gwynne to headline with The Perfect Pass; Hank the Cowdog author John R. Erickson keynoter for children


Lubbock enters the book festival arena this fall with the all-day Lubbock Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 28. More than three dozen best-selling authors and regional favorites have been confirmed to read, sign books, and greet fans at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, a cornerstone of the Lubbock Cultural District.


Keynoters include S. C. Gwynne, author of the nonfiction bestsellers Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches (2010) and Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson (2015). Most recently, Gwynne explores how throwing passes revolutionized Texas’ most popular sport in The Perfect Pass: American Genius and the Reinvention of Football (2016)‎, including a nod to the innovations of Mike Leach, former Texas Tech University head coach.


More than 20 regional and national bestselling authors are scheduled to attend the Lubbock Book Festival, including Jodi Thomas, a member of the National Romance Writers Hall of Fame, and John R. Erickson, creator of the beloved Hank the Cowdog series for young readers.  >>READ MORE


 ——­——— A D V E R T I S E M E N T —————

Lone Star Listens compilation available fall 2017, for readers, fans, and writers everywhere


The present generation of Texas authors is the most diverse ever in gender, age, and ethnicity, and in subject matter as well.


Week in, week out, Lone Star Literary has interviewed a range of Texas-related authors with a cross-section of genre and geography. To capture this era in Texas letters, we're pleased to bring you


Lone Star Listens:

Texas Authors on Writing and Publishing

edited by Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon; introduction by

Clay Reynolds

Available in trade paper, library hardcover, and ebook Fall 2017

360 pages, with b/w illustrations and index


Featuring novelists, poets, memoirists, editors, and publishers, including:

Rachel  Caine • Chris  Cander • Katherine  Center • Chad S. Conine • Sarah  Cortez • Elizabeth  Crook • Nan  Cuba • Carol  Dawson • Patrick  Dearen • Jim Donovan • Mac Engel • Sanderia  Faye • Carlos Nicolás Flores • Ben Fountain • Jeff  Guinn • Stephen  Harrigan • Cliff  Hudder • Stephen Graham Jones • Kathleen Kent • Joe R. Lansdale • Melissa Lenhardt • Attica Locke • Nikki  Loftin • Thomas  McNeely • Leila  Meacham • John  Pipkin • Joyce Gibson Roach • Antonio  Ruiz-Camacho • Lisa  Sandlin • Donna  Snyder • Mary Helen Specht • Jodi  Thomas • Amanda Eyre Ward • Ann  Weisgarber • Donald Mace Williams


As a collection of insights into the writing and publishing life, the book will be useful in creative writing classes (not just in Texas alone) and other teaching settings, as well as for solo reading and study—and a great Texas reference volume.


  • Examination and review copies will be available fall 2017 in watermarked pdf format.









10.15.17  Finally! The writing community you’ve been looking for! Are you looking for experienced, published authors who will read your work, give you credible feedback and help you on your path to publishing—affordably and efficiently? Come be a part of the first-ever Paragraph Ranch Writers Workshop, brought to you from the creators of Lone Star Literary Life. This weekend workshop led by regarded fantasy author Tex Thompson will support writers in the development of their voices and the practice of their craft. Located in a picturesque, Western setting in the Canyon country of Spur, Texas, this retreat welcomes writers of all ages, levels of experience, and genres. Email: info@lonestarliterary.com or for more information visit www.lonestarpublicity.com/product-page/paragraph-ranch-writers-weekend-2017-with-tex-thompson






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18-Oct Review Syd Savvy

19-Oct Book Trailer StoreyBook Reviews

20-Oct Review Missus Gonzo

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18-Oct Excerpt 1 Texan Girl Reads

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21-Oct Review The Librarian Talks

22-Oct Author Interview Books and Broomsticks

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27-Oct Review Bibliotica



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20-Oct Guest Post #1 Margie's Must Reads

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Hidden Sea by Miles Arceneaux Visit with Miles through Oct. 20, 2017

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