What are Texans reading these days, you ask?

“'Tis education forms the common mind; just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined.”


Lone Star Lit has your monthly roundup of regional reads from The Twig Book Shop, a leading independent bookseller in San Antonio. Click on any title for the buy link.


MARCH 2023


Buttons, Bolt Cutters & Barricades (Gerald Palmer) by Jerry Palmer


Buttons, Bolt Cutters and Barricades, Texas Anti-Nuke Actions, is a first-hand account of the historical actions taken in trying to stop or at least slow the construction of nuclear power plants in the United States and the Comanche Peak plant in particular. The strategical use of nonviolent direct action including civil disobedience by the Comanche Peak Life Force activists should be an inspiration to others in the fight for clean air, clean water, and safe renewable energy. 


American history is not the story of a few great men, but of grassroots people rising up to confront abusive power elites. Jerry Palmer's first-hand account of the people's resistance to nuclear power at the Comanche Peak nuke is a riveting example of that history. The courage and daring of these volunteers should be an inspiration to others in the struggle for clean air, water, and safe renewable energy - a story that will make you think and want to take some direct action of your own. 



Claiming Sunday: The Story of a Texas Slave Community (Texas Christian University Press) by Joleene Maddox Snider


An inspiring story of human souls who survived the dehumanizing system of slavery in the Old South, Claiming Sunday also provides important keys to comprehending modern racial relations in a more enlightening and historically accurate manner.  


The story is told through a richly detailed narrative revealing the lives of the enslaved on the Devereux Plantation and through interviews with their modern-day descendants. Julien Devereux and his elderly father, John, came to Texas in 1841 from Alabama. Julien first settled in Montgomery County and then moved to Rusk County in 1846. When he died in 1856 he owned 10,500 acres of East Texas cotton land and seventy-five enslaved Black Americans. Julien’s widow, Sarah Landrum Devereux, maintained the plantation through the Civil War. 



The Lone Star Speaks: Untold Texas Stories about the JFK Assassination (Bancroft Press) by Sara Peterson, K.W. Zachry


The Lone Star Speaks provides new insights into the assassination of John F. Kennedy and uses actual witness testimony to raise new questions concerning what many have called the crime of the twentieth century.


Both authors became interested in President Kennedy's assassination at a young age. Zachry's grandparents lived in Dallas in 1963, and saved newspapers from that era. Her grandfather was connected to the Dallas oil industry. Peterson became interested in the assassination in 1978 when she participated in the Presidential Classroom for Young Americans program in Washington, D. C. The two have collected books and artifacts concerning the assassination for years.



Protected: San Antonio Series Book 1 (Elk Lake Publishing Inc.) by Paula Peckham


Disaster strikes a wagon train en route to Texas, leaving 18-year-old Abby in charge of the survivors, all children younger than her. After an attempted kidnapping, the others convince her to disguise herself as a boy. Initially reluctant, Abby soon realizes life on the trail is much easier without bulky skirts. The disguise allows her to do things as "Abner" she couldn't do as Abby. It's intoxicating. 


Disfigured by fire as a child, Manny, a young cowboy, is lonely and yearns for companionship. His scars and the judgment of townspeople make it difficult for him to trust others. He intercepts the wagon train and agrees to help the children finish the trip to San Antonio. A new friendship cracks the protective walls built around his heart. Hope blooms when he meets "Abner," and Manny's fear of rejection slowly dissolves. 


As the weeks on the trail go by, Abby develops romantic feelings for Manny, and he values his first new friendship in years. When Manny discovers her deception, it destroys the fragile bond of friendship growing between them. 


Can God help the two young lovers find trust, faith, and forgiveness on the hot Texas plain?



Sheriff of Starr County (Plum Creek Press) by David A. Bowles


When Texas becomes a newly-minted state, good men and women work hard toward progress and peace. Texas Ranger Will Smith travels to the borderlands of the Nueces Strip to become the first Sheriff of Starr County. He'll do what he must to bring justice to the frontier, including wrangling outlaws, navigating political intrigues, fighting Indians, and keeping the tenuous peace between the Tejano and Anglo residents. He encounters influential statesmen and entrepreneurs of early Texas, assists the US Army, and falls for two very different women.






At the Table with LBJ and Lady Bird: History, Humor, and True Texas Recipes (Texas Christian University Press) by Jean E. Schuler


Welcome to the table! This is a love story about an ambassador and two Texans. Not any ol' ambassador or any ol' Texans. He was Lyndon Baines Johnson, and she was Claudia Alta Taylor, better known as Lady Bird Johnson. The ambassador is food. Food connects us. Food is culture and memory. We all have favorite recipes that we share with people we love. Lady Bird collected recipes her family loved, a lot of them exclusive to Texas cookin'. Two copies of each of her favorite recipes were always made: one for the Texas ranch she and LBJ both so dearly loved, the other reserved for the cookbook in progress that sat on her desk at the White House. 


At the Table with LBJ and Lady Bird  shares menus, events, weddings, and outrageously funny anecdotes from the lives of LBJ and Lady Bird. Included are LBJ's favorite recipes for Texas beef barbecue, smoked ranch beans, sourdough biscuits, Lady Bird's famous pecan pralines, lemon cake, and more. Homestyle illustrations illuminate the distaff side of the thirty-sixth presidential administration, with recipes galore, history, and humor throughout. 



Explore! San Antonio: Your Culture Guide to Educational and Service-Oriented Travel (Independently Published) by Michael and Amanda Camarillo


What is  Explore! San Antonio


Explore! San Antonio gives you the opportunity to experience over 300 years of history from a different perspective. The transformative qualities of travel emerge from the people we are exposed to rather than the destinations we seek. You will be immersed in San Antonio's rich heritage and vivid culture as we take a journey from yesterday to tomorrow. Explore! San Antonio is the perfect guide to accompany your next trip to "The Alamo City" as we learn from and give back to the local community. 


Travel to Learn 


Explore! San Antonio introduces you to a new approach to traveling. Instead of searching for your next preoccupation, we urge you to travel with purpose. Since knowledge is the path to enlightenment and harmony, traveling to learn is truly the best way to experience a new place. 


Enjoy the riveting story of San Antonio's birth, growth, and potential with a narrative flare. Feel the plight of the Payaya Native American tribe as their land was settled by European powers. Experience the awe of the first Spanish settlers to find the headwaters of the San Antonio River. Revel in the boom of industry and cuisine that followed multicultural immigration. Ponder on ways to improve the city for generations to come. 


Travel to Serve 


Explore! San Antonio is unique in that it provides a roadmap for you to give back to the local community. We believe volunteer service and responsible tourism is vital to the sustainability of the sights, places, and cultures around the world. 


By incorporating volunteer service into your next trip, you add a level of purpose to your vacation that will be enriching, fulfilling, and memorable. Plus, the support and care you share with the local community is invaluable and priceless.  



Night Wherever We Go (Ecco) by Tracey Rose Peyton


A gripping, radically intimate debut novel about a group of enslaved women staging a covert rebellion against their owners 


On a struggling Texas plantation, six enslaved women slip from their sleeping quarters and gather in the woods under the cover of night. The Lucys--as they call the plantation owners, after Lucifer himself--have decided to turn around the farm's bleak financial prospects by making the women bear children. They have hired a "stockman" to impregnate them. But the women are determined to protect themselves. 


Now each of the six faces a choice. Nan, the doctoring woman, has brought a sack of cotton root clippings that can stave off children when chewed daily. If they all take part, the Lucys may give up and send the stockman away. But a pregnancy for any of them will only encourage the Lucys further. And should their plan be discovered, the consequences will be severe. 


Visceral and arresting,  Night Wherever We Go  illuminates each woman's individual trials and desires while painting a subversive portrait of collective defiance. Unflinching in her portrayal of America's gravest injustices, while also deeply attentive to the transcendence, love, and solidarity of women whose interior lives have been underexplored, Tracey Rose Peyton creates a story of unforgettable power. 



Song for a Whale (Delacorte Press) by Lynne Kelly


Twelve-year-old Iris and her grandmother, both deaf, drive from Texas to Alaska armed with Iris's plan to help Blue-55, a whale unable to communicate with other whales. 











The Twig Book Shop began its evolution in San Antonio in 1972. Currently located at the former Pearl Brewery on the Museum Reach of the Riverwalk, the Twig provides newly released books for children and adults as well as award-winning classics. The space at Pearl has become a venue for local and national poets and authors. The Twig makes books available for book clubs, schools, and conferences. The Texana collection makes the Twig a destination for history lovers near and far. Hardcover and softcover books can be purchased from their website, the database for which accesses a national distributor for independent bookstores. Libro.fm audio and Kobo electronic books are also available.