Home

Connecting Texas books and writers with those who most want to discover them

>> Books of Faith >> General Reading >> Books for Young Readers

Lone Star Reviews

 

12.3.17
FICTION

Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road

Pumpjack Press

Paperback, 978-0997411331 (also available as ebook), 308 pages, $15.95; April 2017

 

This new take on the 1934 deaths of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow is a fast-moving action-thriller rich with mystery, socio-political commentary, and lingering questions that set up a path for a possible sequel.

 

“What if?” is one of mankind’s oldest ways to launch a story. Yet, certain aspects of Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road fit right into today’s contentious news headlines.

 

What if Bonnie and Clyde had not been killed by Texas and Louisiana lawmen in that infamous ambush that left two bodies riddled with rifle, pistol and machine gun bullets, plus shotgun pellets? What if they had been pulled out of their car before the ambush, gassed into unconsciousness and replaced by a pair of lookalikes who had no idea they were about to die a couple of minutes later and be buried as “Bonnie” and “Clyde”?   >>READ MORE

Texas Reads

>> archive

 

 Texas weather: Read all about it

 

Weather in Texas: The Essential Handbook by veteran Texas meteorologist George W. Bomar (University of Texas Press, $24.95 paperback) is essentially an updated third edition of Bomar’s Texas Weather, first published in 1983.

 

Bomar provides scientific and practical information about Texas weather, including what to do when a tornado threatens, depending on whether you are at home, at school, in a high-rise building, a mobile home, a hospital, a shopping mall, a vehicle, or outdoors.

 

The thirty-page appendix section is full of interesting statistical data statewide and city by city. For example, the coldest temperature ever observed in Abilene was minus 9 degrees on Jan. 4, 1947. The coldest in Laredo: (plus) 16 degrees, Dec. 21, 1973. Lubbock: minus 17, Feb. 8, 1933. Dalhart: minus 21, Jan. 4, 1959.

 

Abilene’s hottest? 111, Aug. 3, 1943. Lubbock, 114, June 27, 1994. Childress, Presidio, Wichita Falls and Wink topped out at 117.

 

Remember how hot it was in the spring and summer of 2011? That year Abilene had a record 81 100-degree days, San Angelo and Wichita Falls 100, and Laredo a scorching 145 100-degree days. Of course, some of the statistical records, especially related to rainfall, probably became outdated because of Hurricane Harvey while Weather in Texas was at the printer.

 

“Few subjects evoke as many tall tales and jokes as the weather,” writes Bomar, “especially the varieties that legitimize Texas as one of the more interesting places on Earth to visit — or live.”

 

A few years ago I penned a poem about Texas weather, and it seems an appropriate time to share it:

 

Texas Weather (It Could Be Verse)

 

Heavy rains are predicted in Beaumont, of course. Snow flurries are likely

at Amarillo and Morse.

Watch out for tornadoes around Wichita Falls. To beat the heat in Dallas,

hang out in the malls.

They’re fryin’ in Bryan, it’s clear in the east. There are blizzards in Winters

(until noon at least).

A norther is blowing from Lubbock to Post. There’s a hurricane watch

on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Drought conditions continue around Abilene. The Hill Country’s having

the worst flooding they’ve seen.

After scanning the radar, I think you could say: for Texas weather it’s just

a typical day.

 

Mucho queso: A whole cookbook devoted to chile con queso? Seriously? Yep.

 

Lisa Fain, best known for The Homesick Texan cookbook, turns her culinary attention to queso in Queso! Regional Recipes for the World’s Favorite Chile-Cheese Dip (Ten Speed Press, $15 hardcover). The book includes more than fifty recipes, including Chicken Fried Steak with Queso Gravy, Austin-Style Vegan Queso, West Texas Green Chile Queso Blanco, and Gulf Coast Crab Queso.

 

* * * * *.

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

 

TEXAS HISTORY

James P. McCollom

The Last Sheriff in Texas: A True Tale of Violence and the Vote

Counterpoint

Hardcover, 978-1-6190-2996-5, (also available as an e-book), 272 pgs., $26.00

November 14, 2017

 

My dad, former deputy sheriff of Mitchell County, Texas, always said everything that happens in the big city happens in small towns, just not as often. The small towns in Bee County, Texas, were presided over by Sheriff Vail Ennis from 1945 until 1952. Ennis was a legend in his time, and his most dramatic exploit is also the beginning of this true story. Shot five times by an ex-con at a Magnolia station in Pettus, a wide spot in the road, on a cold November night in 1947, Ennis managed to empty his gun, reload, and kill both attackers before the ambulance arrived to speed him to a hospital.

 

The Last Sheriff in Texas: A True Tale of Violence and the Vote by Beeville native son James P. McCollom is told through the actions of two men, Sheriff Ennis and Beeville’s hometown-boy-made-good Johnny Barnhart. In the beginning it’s not clear what Barnhart’s part in the drama will be; we meet him as a yell leader and fraternity boy, then a law student, at the University of Texas at Austin. Barnhart returns to Beeville with his juris doctor, hangs out a shingle, and is promptly elected to the Texas lege, where his principles and idealism get him branded a subversive and smeared as a Commie during McCarthy’s Red Scare.  >>READ MORE

MEMOIR/ESSAYS

Carolyn Osborn

Durations: A Memoir and Personal Essays

Wings Press

Paperback, 978-1-6094-0544-1, (also available as an e-book), 200 pgs., $16.95

September 1, 2017

 

Carolyn Osborn is a grande dame of Texas letters. She has won awards from PEN and The Antioch Review, and the Lon Tinkle Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Institute of Letters. Several of her short stories have been anthologized, including in The O. Henry Awards (Doubleday, 1990) and Lone Star Literature (Norton, 2003); she is the author of four short story collections and two novels.

 

Durations: A Memoir and Personal Essays is Osborn’s newest book. “Durations” is a recounting of her childhood in the United States during World War II, and the volume includes seven recent essays; several of these works have been previously published in various forms in such journals as the University of North Texas’s American Literary Review and Southern Methodist University’s Southwest Review.  >>READ MORE

LONE STAR LISTENS interviews   >> archive

12.10.2017  Sophie Jordan’s versatile talents span genres and generations

 

 

Houston author Sophie Jordan has published more than thirty books in the romance genre. Her latest launches December 26, about a heroine from the wrong side of the tracks who has nothing in common with the town hero. Jordan was interviewed by Lone Star Lit this week via email in advance of the book’s release, to talk with us about how she achieved and maintains her success.

 

LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE: Where did you grow up, Sophie, and how do you think your birthplace influenced your writing?

 

SOPHIE JORDAN: I grew up in the Texas hill country. Thirty-five miles from any major city. No Internet. Maybe three channels on TV. Suffice to say my imagination was all I had. Books were the only entertainment available and (ultimately) my writing.

 

What kinds of books did you enjoy reading when you were growing up?

 

When I was in middle school and high school, the young adult genre was virtually nonexistent. It was a tiny fraction of the bookstore. I can still remember visiting the Book Stop in San Antonio and how small the “Teen” book shelf was. Needless to say, I went through what was available in YA quickly, jumping from Judy Blume and Christopher Pike to adult authors like Stephen King and Victoria Holt. At the age of fourteen, I discovered romance, and my love of the romance genre was born.

 

When did you decide you wanted to be a writer yourself?

 

I fell in love with writing as a teenager, but I didn't seriously consider it as a viable career option until my late twenties.   >>READ MORE

 

Texas's only statewide, weekly calendar of book events
Bookish Texas event highlights  12.10.2017
>> GO this week   Michelle Newby, Contributing Editor

 

SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEK

  • 7th Annual Austin Writergrrls Book Fest, December 10
  • Kwanzaa Fort Worth Poetry & Storytelling, December 16
  • Half Price Books Kids & YA Book Giveaway (#HarveyRelief), Houston, December 16

 

EL PASO  Sun., Dec. 10  Pershing Inn, Cinco Puntos Press presents La Mama Bravo’s Book Club & Social Hour: Benjamin Alire Sáenz reading from The Last Cigarette on Earth, 6PM

 

GROESBECK  Mon., Dec. 11 Maffett Memorial Library, sportswriter Byron Riddle signing Above the Net: 50 Years of the Best Volleyball in Texas, 12PM

ALSO SIGNING IN WACO Sat., Dec. 16   Morrison's Gifts, 11AM

 

WEBSTER  Mon., Dec. 11 B&N - Baybrook, Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery book signing with astronaut Scott Kelly, 7PM

 

MIDLAND  Tues., Dec. 12 Midland County Library - Downtown, Holiday Open House, 4PM

 

SAN ANTONIO  Wed., Dec. 13  The Twig Book Shop, Gemini Ink Poetry at the Twig: Reading & Book Signing with Natalie Diaz, Joe Jiménez, and Saretta Morgan, 6:30PM

 

SAN ANTONIO  Wed., Dec. 13  San Antonio Public Library - Central, Talking Tamales: An Evening with Dr. Ellen Riojas Clark and San Antonio Poet Laureate Dr. Carmen Tafolla as they read from their book, Tamales, Comadres and the Meaning of Civilization, 6:30PM

 

KATY  Thurs., Dec. 14   James E. Taylor High School Performing Arts Center, Dan Rather presents his new book, What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, 7PM

 

MIDLAND  Thurs., Dec. 14  Midland County Library - Centennial, Holiday Open House, 4PM

 

LUBBOCK  Sat., Dec. 16  Patterson Library, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY HERO: T. J. PATTERSON'S SERVICE TO WEST TEXAS book launch and signing with T. J. Patterson and author Phil Price, 3PM

 

AUSTIN  Sun., Dec. 17   BookWoman, Winter Solstice Celebration with poetry and music, 2PM

 

News Briefs 12.10.17

Lone Star Literary Life’s Top Ten Books of 2017

It’s that time again — Top Ten time, that is. Time to reflect on the literary year past as we consider which Texas books to wrap up as gifts for our best bookish friends and family.

 

As always, the team at Lone Star Literary Life hopes you’ll agree with us that Texas is in many ways its own nation of books — great titles in every genre, great authors, great bookstores and publishers worth supporting.

 

Click through to check them out, with links to our reviews. >>READ MORE

 

Next session of Professor’s Corner slated for Mon., Dec. 11 in Denton

 

Session title: “Adapting Homer’s Odyssey, or What Makes an Instant Classic?”

Presenter:   Dr. Gretchen Busl, Texas Woman’s University

Date and location: Monday, December 11, 2017,  7:00-8:30 p.m. at the Denton South Branch Library

 

This session draws inspiration from Italo Calvino’s “Why Read the Classics?,” in which he gives a number of striking definitions of a “classic” text.   >>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.

 

 

 

 

 

LONE STAR CLASSIFIED LISTINGS

 

FEATURED:  CALL FOR ENTRIES

11.26.17  The Texas Poetry Calendar 2019 seeks submissions of poems about the culture(s), geography or  iconography of Texas. Submissions open December 1st  2017-  February 20th 2018. We pay contributors for the work we publish. See www.kallistogaiapress.org for guidelines.

 

>>READ MORE CLASSIFIED LISTINGS

WHERE IN TEXAS?

SUBSCRIBE

Don't miss a reading or a good read! Sign up for our FREE weekly
e-newsletter

 

                 

 

COMING UP ON TOUR: SPORTS

Baugh to Brady by Lew Freedman Visit with Lew Dec. 11–20, 2017

12/11/17 Promo Forgotten Winds

12/12/17 Author Interview The Page Unbound

12/13/17 Review Margie's Must Reads

12/14/17 Promo A Page Before Bedtime

12/15/17 Review Texan Girl Reads

12/16/17 Excerpt Books in the Garden

12/17/17 Promo A Novel Reality

12/18/17 Review Reading by Moonlight

12/19/17 Audio Interview Chapter Break Book Blog

12/20/17 Review Syd Savvy

 

COMING UP ON TOUR: FICTION

Bluster’s Last Stand by Preston Lewis Visit with Preston Dec.13–22, 2017

12/13/17 Excerpt 1 Syd Savvy

12/14/17 Author Interview The Librarian Talks

12/15/17 Review Bibliotica

12/16/17 Character Spotlight Hall Ways Blog

12/17/17 Review Forgotten Winds

12/18/17 Scrapbook Page Texan Girl Reads

12/19/17 Review The Clueless Gent

12/20/17 Excerpt 2 The Page Unbound

12/21/17 Author Interview Books and Broomsticks

12/22/17 Review Reading by Moonlight

 

CONTINUING ON TOUR: FICTION

Cowboy, It’s Cold Outside by Lori Wilde Visit with Lori through Dec. 18, 2017

12/10/17 Review The Librarian Talks

12/11/17 Excerpt Texan Girl Reads

12/12/17 Promo Missus Gonzo

12/13/17 Review The Page Unbound

12/14/17 Author Interview Books and Broomsticks

12/15/17 Review Chapter Break Book Blog

12/16/17 Excerpt StoreyBook Reviews

12/17/17 Review Momma on the Rocks

12/18/17 Promo Margie's Must Reads

 

CONTINUING ON TOUR: FICTION

Up Near Dallas by Gina Hooten Popp Visit with Gina through Dec. 13, 2017

12/10/17 Excerpt Texan Girl Reads

12/11/17 Review Missus Gonzo

12/12/17 Author Interview The Librarian Talks

12/13/17 Review Reading by Moonlight

 

CONTINUING ON TOUR: MEMOIR

Yonderings by Ben H. English Visit with Ben through Dec. 17, 2017

12/10/17 Excerpt Texas Book Lover

12/11/17 Author Video 2 StoreyBook Reviews

12/12/17 Review Syd Savvy

12/13/17 Scrapbook Page Chapter Break Book Blog

12/14/17 Review Hall Ways Blog

 

CONTINUING ON TOUR: FICTION

Christmas in a Cowboy’s Arms by Leigh Greenwood Visit with the authors through Dec. 10, 2017

12/10/17 Review StoreyBook Reviews

 

RECENTLY ON TOUR: FICTION

Death at Thorburn Hall by Julianna Deering

RECENTLY ON TOUR: FICTION

The Secret Room by John Alexander

 

Lone Star Literary Life Facts and FAQs

Editorial policies

Review policies

Advertising policies

Event and resource list policies

 

Lone Star Literary Archives

• Weekly issues

• Lone Star Listens Interviews

• Lone Star Book Reviews

• Texas Reads

• Events

• Announcement: LSLL Launches

 

LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE   copyright © 2015–17 Paragraph Ranch LLC  •  All rights reserved  •  CONTACT US