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Texas authors offer links between golf, history


Historian Dan K. Utley and Austin preservation architect Stanley O. Graves combine two of their passions — history and golf — in Links to the Past: The Hidden History on Texas Golf Courses (Texas A&M University Press, $26 hardcover).


It’s a fascinating look at 18 golf courses and their connection to history — from dinosaurs to a Comanche raid to Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders to a deadly race riot. They also work in quite a bit of golf history and interesting anecdotes along the way.


Among the courses covered are the Menard Golf Course, the Campus Course at Texas A&M, Brackenridge Park Golf Course in San Antonio, the San Saba River Course, and the Memorial Park Golf Course in Houston.


“Our overarching goal,” the authors write, “is to talk about Texas history in a new way, one that we hope will be fun and enlightening.”


Utley, chief historian for the Center for Texas Public History at Texas State University, has also written books about historic military sites in Texas and some of the more notable roadside historical markers.


Hosting butterflies: Texas A&M University Press has published another one of its noteworthy full-color field guides — this one having to do with plants and butterflies.

Native Host Plants for Texas Butterflies by Jim Weber, Lynne Weber and Roland H. Wauer ($30 flexbound) tells — in mostly layman’s language — about wildflowers, trees, shrubs and vines and the caterpillars and butterflies that are attracted to them.


Color maps indicate the sections of the state where the various plants are prevalent.


On being a cop: Sarah Cortez is an author, a poet, and a cop. She wrote a poetry collection called How to Undress a Cop, and followed that up with Vanishing Points: Poems and Photographs of Texas Roadside Memorials.


Now, after more than two decades in law enforcement in the Houston area, she has produced a book of essays about her experiences, Tired, Hungry, Standing in One Spot for Twelve Hours: Essential Cop Essays (Texas Review Press, $22.95 paperback, 108 pages).


The essays give a nitty-gritty look at what it’s like to be a cop on patrol — the dangers and the harsh realities police face every day, but also the sense of duty and commitment to protecting the public.


* * * * *

Glenn Dromgoole writes about Texas books and authors. Contact him at g.dromgoole@suddenlink.net.


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


4th Annual Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop set for Oct. 13-14


Now in its fourth year, the Permian Basin Writers’ Workshop annual event will feature writing coaches, agents, and publishers from around the country, October 13-14, 2018.


The two-day workshop event will be held in Midland, at the Marie Hall Academic Building at Midland College.


The workshop will feature ten speakers, including Margie Lawson, Christie Craig, Manning Wolfe, David Farland, Reavis Z. Wortham, Kristen Marten, Stephen Graham Jones, Donna M. Johnson, B. Alan Bourgeois and Arlene Gale>>READ MORE




Chris Barton

What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan

Beach Lane Books

Hardcover, 978-1-4814-6561-8 (also available as an e-book), 48 pgs., $17.99

September 25, 2018

“When Barbara Jordan talked, we listened.” —Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton


The late Honorable Barbara Jordan grew up in Houston’s Fifth Ward. “She may have looked like other kids … acted like other kids,” Chris Barton writes. “But she sure didn’t sound like other kids. Not with that voice of hers.”


Y’all remember that voice, yes? Sounded like the voice of God, deep and rich, sounded like the voice of moral authority, the voice of profoundly felt convictions. “That big, bold, booming, crisp, clear, confident voice,” in Barton’s words. “It caused folks to sit right up, stand up straight, and take notice.”


What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan is the new picture book from Austinite Chris Barton, author of the best-selling Shark vs. Train, Sibert Honor–winning The Day-Glo Brothers, and Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List books The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (2016–17) and Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions (2017–18).


When I spoke with Barton a few weeks ago, he called Jordan “a true Texas hero” whose career in the Texas Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, and on the faculty of the LBJ School of Public Affairs “set a shining example of how to take a natural gift and put it to use for the benefit of one’s community, state, and nation.”


The phrase “What do you do with a voice like that?” is a refrain throughout the book.  >>READ MORE


Ben Fountain

Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution

Ecco Books

Hardcover, 978-0-0626-8884-2 (also available as an e-book, audiobook, and large-print paperback), 448 pgs., $27.99

September 25, 2018

“Nautonomy: the asymmetrical production and distribution of life chances which limit and erode the possibilities of political participation.” —David Held, Democracy and the Global Order


Ben Fountain pulls no punches. “This wasn’t Democrats versus Republicans so much as the sad, psychotic, and vengeful in the national life producing a strange mutation,” he writes, “a creature comprised of degenerate political logic.”


Where were you when you heard the news? You remember, don’t you, whether you thought the news was fantastic or catastrophic? I do; I was somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean on a 787 bound for New Delhi. So, naturally, at 9 p.m. EST I began pestering the cabin crew for election news. The pilot resorted to announcing updates and when it was done, when the result was announced, I cried.


I write this review on the day Paul Manafort pleads guilty to conspiracy against the United States.


Beautiful Country Burn Again: Democracy, Rebellion, and Revolution is the first book of nonfiction from Ben Fountain, a former attorney, whose fiction is famous. You may not be familiar with Brief Encounters with Che Guevara, a collection of short stories which won the PEN/Hemingway Award in 2007, but you cannot have avoided Fountain’s novel, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2013 and became a film directed by Ang Lee — Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.


“I was having feelings. They weren’t good feelings,” Fountain writes. “By Thanksgiving, 2015, these feelings had crystalized into a sense that something new and ugly was afoot in the land of the famously free.” So, The Guardian newspaper dispatched him to the campaign trail to “figure out what the hell was going on out there.” The result was a series of essays for the newspaper which eventually became Beautiful Country Burn Again.   >>READ MORE


Twig’s Top Ten Bestsellers

August 2018

What are Texans reading these days, you ask? Lone Star Lit’s newest regular feature is a monthly list of trending titles at the Twig Book Shop, a leading independent bookseller in San Antonio. Click on any title for the Buy link. And we'll also include a hotlink to related content in Lone Star Literary Life.


1  Jessica Honegger, Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared, 0-735291292

2  Andrew Sansom (Author), Rusty Yates (Photographer), David K. Langford (Photographer), Seasons at Selah: The Legacy of Bamberger Ranch Preserve (Myrna and David K. Langford Books on Working Land, 978-1-623496349

3 Carmen Tafolla, New and Selected Poems (TCU Texas Poets Laureate), 978-0-875656897

4  Clay Bonnyman Evans, Bones of My Grandfather: Reclaiming a Lost Hero of World War II, 978-1-510730613

5  Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, 978-1-250076226

6  Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow, 978-0-670026197

7  Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See, 978-1-501173219

8  Jeremy Banas (Author), Kit Goldsbury (Foreword by), Bill Jones (Preface by), Pearl: A History of San Antonio's Iconic Beer, 978-1-540227944

9  Hector Pacheco, Canary Islanders of San Antonio (American Heritage), 978-1-467138215

10  Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, 978-0-062457713






8.19.18   Fort Worth Poetry Society seeks submissions from poets and visual artists for an anthology on classical music, proceeds from which will benefit the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. No cost to enter; accepted submitters receive a free copy of the anthology. This link to the FWPS website provides complete details: https://fortworthpoetrysociety.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/call-for-submissions/.


6.3.18  The 2018 Chester B. Himes Memorial Short Fiction Prize

A prize of $750.00 and publication in The Ocotillo Review Winter 2019 will be awarded for a short story up to 4,200 words. Antonio Ruiz-Camacho will judge. Revenue generated will be donated to Parkinson’s research. Details: www.kallistogaiapress.org





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9.23.2018   Banning books silences stories

Banned Books Week 2018 is September 23–29


Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores, and libraries. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community—librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types—in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.


By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) compiles lists of challenged books as reported in the media and submitted by librarians and teachers across the country.


To view the list of the Top Ten Challenged Books of 2017, and to learn about Banned Books Week events in Texas, read on. >>READ MORE


Texas's only statewide, weekly calendar of book events
Bookish Texas event highlights  9.23.2018
>> GO this week   Michelle Newby, Contributing Editor



  • Banned Books Week, September 23-29
  • Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers Conference, San Antonio, September 27-29
  • The 2018 Texas Tribune Festival, Austin, September 27-29
  • 7th Annual LibroFest, Houston, September 29
  • 3rd Annual Pflugerville Comic Con, September 29



  • Oliver Jeffers: 15 Years of Picturing Books, Abilene, June 7-September 30
  • “Dawoud Bey: Forty Years in Harlem” photography exhibition (from the book Dawoud Bey: Seeing Deeply), Austin, August 29-December 8
  • The Texas Liberator: Witness to the Holocaust exhibition (from the book The Texas Liberators: Veteran Narratives from World War II), Houston, September 7-October 28


AUSTIN  Mon., Sept. 24 UT - Mulva Auditorium, The Michener Center for Writers presents a reading with Edward P. Jones, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2003 novel The Known World, 7PM


HOUSTON  Mon., Sept. 24  Cullen Performance Hall, Inprint's Margarett Root Brown Reading Series presents a reading with Esi Edugyan and Meg Wolitzer, 7:30PM


AUSTIN  Tues., Sept. 25 LBJ Library, an evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin discussing her new book, Leadership: In Turbulent Times, 6PM

ALSO READING IN DALLAS  Wed., Sept. 26 Temple Emanu-El, 7:30PM


CANYON  Tues., Sept. 25  Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, an evening of poetry about Amarillo and the American West by PEN Southwest Book Award-winning poet Chera Hammons, 7PM


SAN ANTONIO  Tues, Sept. 25  The Twig Book Store, An evening with poets Chip Dameron and Jim LaVilla-Havelin, introduced by San Antonio Poet Laureate Octavio Quintanilla, 6:30PM


DALLAS  Wed., Sept. 26 Dallas Morning News Auditorium, CENSORSHIP SESSION 1: “The History of Censorship, Its Development in the West, and the Phenomenon of Banned Books,” 7PM


HOUSTON  Wed., Sept. 26  LSC-Atascocita Center Library, Banned Books Read Out/Speak Out, 12:30PM


WICHITA FALLS  Wed., Sept. 26  Midwestern State University - Moffett Library, Millie Gore will discuss censorship and present her new picture book, All is Assuredly Well, 3 pm


SAN ANTONIO  Thurs., Sept. 27  San Antonio

The Twig Book Shop, Sarah Bird reading and signing Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen, 6PM


HOUSTON  Sat., Sept. 28  River Oaks Bookstore, William Dylan Powell discussing and signing 100 Things to Do in Houston Before You Die, 2nd Edition, 3PM


LUBBOCK  Sun., Sept. 28  B&N, Jodi Thomas signing MISTLETOE MIRACLES, 2PM


AUSTIN  Sun., Sept. 29  Malvern Books, International Translation Day Celebration, 5:30PM


News Briefs 9.23.18

Texas Institute of Letters 2018 literary contests open for submissions


The Texas Institute of Letters (TIL) literary contests now open, with prizes totaling more than $22,000.


TIL has named its judges for its literary contests, which are now open for submissions. Judges will select finalists and winners in twelve categories for the best works published in 2018. Winners will be awarded a total of more than $22,000 at TIL’s annual meeting, to be held on April 26–27, 2019, in McAllen, Texas.  >>READ MORE


Boerne Book & Arts Fest Brings Authors, Art, Crafts, Music & More to Boerne Main Plaza

Kinky Friedman to share stories and perform from new album


Another chapter of the Boerne Book & Arts Fest will open October 6 on Boerne’s Main Plaza with a celebration featuring live artist demos, author discussion panels, children’s activities and an appearance by Texas’s beloved singer, songwriter, humorist, and politician Kinky Friedman. Admission is free.


The one-day literary and arts celebration offers a little something for every age group, including seven engaging discussion panels of authors who will cover topics ranging from the Houston Astros’ World Series-winning season to one of Texas’ best Honky Tonks, The Broken Spoke. Kinky Friedman will appear at 3 p.m., performing songs from his new album, Circus of Life, and sharing readings from Heroes of a Texas Childhood in the Main Plaza gazebo. Panels will take place throughout the day at Main Plaza and upstairs at the Dienger Trading Company.  >>READ MORE



Debra Winegarten


Debra Lou Winegarten was born in Dallas on December 29, 1957 to Ruthe and Alvin Winegarten, and passed from this life on September 10, 2018, the first day of Rosh Hashanah 5779. Debra was an author, publisher, educator, flutist, and all-around rabble-rousing feminist who delighted in inspiring and challenging others.  >>READ MORE


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

Lone Star Listens compilation available summer 2018, 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 Summer 2018

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.



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