Endangered Texans, socks, and ideals

Chapman states the book’s theme very clearly in his opening chapter on biodiversity: “Every species is worth saving.”

Scott Pelley takes readers behind the scenes of news stories: Pelley, who grew up in Lubbock and studied journalism at Texas Tech, has been with CBS News for thirty years, as a reporter and then anchor for the CBS Evening News and as a correspondent for 60 Minutes.


In his memoir, Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter’s Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times (Hanover Square Press, $26.99 hardcover), he takes readers behind the scenes of some of the compelling stories he has covered—including 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sandy Hook, the Unabomber, elections, presidents and other dignitaries he’s interviewed, and a lot of extraordinary ordinary folks he has met along the way.


Pelley’s first job in journalism was as a “copy boy” for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal at the age of fifteen, instead of sixteen, the minimum age for the newspaper job. “A career in search of truth,” Pelley admits, “began with a lie. I fibbed about my age.”


His description of the newsroom brought back fond memories of bygone days in journalism: “the most exciting place I’d ever seen: an open floor of demanding phones, clattering typewriters and reporters whose cigarettes were as short as their deadlines.”


In college Pelley took to television news, first in Lubbock, then Dallas-Fort Worth, finally to CBS News in 1989 after five years of trying for a position there.


Kathi Appelt: College Station author Kathi Appelt loves cats and stories, and she puts the two together in her latest picture book, Max Attacks (Atheneum, $17.99 hardcover, illustrated by Penelope Dullaghan).


Appelt, a prolific, prize-winning author of books for young readers and teens as well, features a mischievous cat named Max who likes to attack anything that comes to mind, whether it’s a basket of socks, a shoelace, a bird, or a bowl of goldfish.


Sometimes Max attacks successfully—other times, not so. But there’s never a dull moment when Max is on the prowl.


Read more about the author and her books on her web site, www.KathiAppelt.com.


Endangered Animals in Texas: Texans on the Brink (Texas A&M University Press, $37 hardcover) edited by Bryan R. Chapman and William I. Lutterschmidt deals with eighty-eight threatened and endangered animal species in Texas.


Chapman states the book’s theme very clearly in his opening chapter on biodiversity: “Every species is worth saving.”


About forty experts contributed easy-to-read pieces on the various threatened animals, which include the Mexican long-nosed bat, Louisiana black bear, western yellow-billed cuckoo, sea turtles, and Houston toad, to name just a few.


“All species play a vital role in their biological communities,” the authors contend, “and the removal of just one can have a noticeable and catastrophic ripple effect.” Even mosquitos? So they say. But I don’t think mosquitos are in any danger of becoming  extinct any time soon.


The book is sponsored by the Texas Research Institute for Environmental Studies at Sam Houston State University.



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