Lonn Taylor's new essay collection plus a cookbook for tiny kitchens by Judy Alter

Turning the Pages of Texas offers a personal tour of a well-read Texan’s library by a knowledgeable, enthusiastic advocate for Texas literature. 


Turning the Pages of Texas by Lonn Taylor (TCU Press, $22.95 paperback) is a literary jewel that relates the stories behind the stories of some of Texas’s best books and favorite writers.


Taylor, an erudite historian and story-teller who lives in Fort Davis, writes a weekly newspaper column, “Rambling Boy,” for the Big Bend Sentinel in Marfa. His essays also are broadcast frequently on National Public Radio.


Turning the Pages of Texas, with sixty-four delightful and insightful articles, is the third collection of Texas stories to grow out of Taylor’s exceptional column, following Texas, My Texas: Musings of the Rambling Boy and Texas People, Texas Places: More Musings of the Rambling Boy. I highly recommend all three volumes to anyone who might have an abiding interest in Texas history or just appreciates a well-crafted story.


Taylor begins Turning the Pages with pieces on noted Texas authors John Graves, J. Frank Dobie, Americo Paredes, Larry McMurtry, and A.C. Greene.


In another section, Taylor reveals his fondness for libraries, used bookstores, and cookbooks.


One section is devoted to fascinating topics ranging from Gertrude Beasley’s My First Thirty Years to Texas Brags, Texas Cattle Brands, and fond memories of Texas writers Grover Lewis and Bryan Woolley.


The fourth section is devoted to “Cooks, Photographers, Poets and Others” and includes a tribute to Laura Wilson’s photography book on Watt Matthews of Lambshead and an interview with noted cowboy poet Joel Nelson.


Turning the Pages of Texas offers a personal tour of a well-read Texan’s library by a knowledgeable, enthusiastic advocate for Texas literature. 


Small Kitchens: When Fort Worth author and gourmet cook Judy Alter moved into a small cottage with a tiny kitchen a couple of years ago, she had to change the way she cooked, basically using a hot plate and a toaster oven.


And now she has published a cookbook, Gourmet on a Hot Plate: Tiny Kitchen Tips & Recipes ($12.99 paperback, $6.99 e-book). She also maintains a blog called Gourmet on a Hot Plate, updated every Thursday.


The book includes twenty-seven appetizer recipes, twenty-one main dishes, twenty-one skillet suppers, five vegetable side dishes, twenty-four light meals, and twenty soups and salads, ranging from easy to more challenging, especially with limited space and equipment.


A few examples from main dishes: chicken and wild rice; roast chicken thighs and carrots; beef stroganoff; Norwegian hamburgers; pork roast without an oven; sautéed lamb chops; shrimp Victoria; and tuna Florentine.


She also offers a chapter about condiments, staples, and cooking tips geared toward the tiny kitchen.


Glenn Dromgoole is co-author of 101 Essential Texas Books. Contact him at g.dromgoole@suddenlink.net.