Lone Star Reviews & Lone Star Indie Reviews

Many Texas ranchers have a special bond with their land: they grew up on it; inherited it from a parent or other relative; earned their livelihood from its huge acreage; and hope to pass it on, after their demise, as a loving legacy for their children or grandchildren.

Julius Blüthner, a German piano maker in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was a legend in his time. He would take the train from Leipzig to the mountains of Romania to personally choose the spruce trees which would become, after a process involving many steps and many years, a piano. One of the Blüthner factory’s rare instruments, which would “open up and gather into itself a unique history,” is a main character in Chris Cander’s latest novel, The Weight of a Piano.

Lone Star Listens

Amanda Thrasher describes herself as sometimes hyper, a tad ADD, highly self-motivated, and continually thinking. She wrote her first manuscript for no other reason than “it was fun.”

Gamer, cosplayer, and author Mari Mancusi’s latest novel is The Camelot Code, book one of The Once and Future Geek series for kids. The book follows the adventures of young Arthur of Camelot as he accidentally time-travels to the twenty-first century. Lone Star Lit caught up with Mari via email to chat.

Texas Reads

Texas author Michael Lee Lanning’s 25th book is Dear Allyanna, An Old Soldier’s Last Letter to His Granddaughter (John M. Hardy Publishing, $18.95 paperback).


In the book, Lanning, 72, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer in 2006 and given six to eighteen months to live, offers his observations, experiences, opinions, and advice on a myriad of topics, in alphabetical order from abortion (pro-choice) to Zen.

Over the course of the year, I receive probably 200 or more books to consider for Texas Reads, and I try to get around to as many as possible. So far I’ve been able to write about, or at least mention, 110 titles by Texas authors or about Texas subjects, covering a wide range of interests and genres, and I hope to get around to several more this month before taking off a couple of weeks.

News Briefs

A new year in Texas books brings a

The 24th annual Texas Book Festival (TBF) will return to the Texas State

Recycled Reads opened on Burnet Road near North Loop Boulevard in 2009 and accepts books, CDs, and DVDs and recycles them or sells them for around 50 cents to $1 each.

The newspaper industry, and books coverage in Texas, took another hit Monday, January 7, as The Dallas Morning News underwent major job cuts.