5 Books That Make the Texas Book Festival Thoroughly Native

By Comments

The eighteenth annual Texas Book Festival kicks off at the Capitol this weekend, and this year’s edition features nationally acclaimed authors Meg Wolitzer, R.L. Stine, Lemony Snicket, and Sherman Alexie, among others. Although the festival honors authors from across the globe, it takes care to celebrate its home state too, and we’ve listed all the Texas books and native authors you can find at the festival. (Full disclosure: Texas Monthly is a sponsor of the Book Festival.)

Viva Tequila! Cocktails, Cooking, and Other Agave Adventures – Lucinda Hutson

Lucinda Hutson’s Crayola purple cottage is nestled in a fairytale garden where she grows her own herbs.  She loves color, whimsy, cooking, and celebratingand when she celebrates she drinks tequila. Her newest cookbook explores all things agave: the history and origins of the pulque, mezcal, and tequila spirits, their traditional uses, and a few of her interpretations featuring the ingredient. Viva Tequila! puts a contemporary twist on the drinks and dishes that Hutson mastered during decades of traveling in Mexico and teaches you all you need to hold a fiesta. (Find some of Hutson’s recipes here.)

Saturday 3:00 – 4:00
Capitol Extension Room E2.01

Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas – Kay Bailey Hutchison
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas’s first female U.S. Senator, pays tribute to the powerful Texan women who blazed the path she later treaded. People who mythologize Texas are quick to romanticize the rugged landscape shaped by rugged men, but Hutchison turns history’s gaze to the women who played as big a role in building the state. From Alamo survivor Susanna Dickinson to Oveta Culp Hobby, the first secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Hutchison documents two hundred years of ingenuity, perseverance, and pluck.
Saturday 11:15 – 12:15
House Chamber

Dallas 1963 – Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis
Conspiracy theorists, historians, and countless authors have struggled to explain what happened on November 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The more difficult task is explaining why it happened, a question Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis take on in Dallas 1963. Instead of focusing on the shooting itself, the authors zero in on the political climate in Dallas and describe the gangsters, politicians, and millionaires who ran the town that was later called the “city of hate”. Animosity was brewing long before JFK’s visit, and Davis and Minutaglio masterfully pick apart the sociology of a city, breaking down what made Dallas a place where such a tragedy could occur. (University of Texas professor Don Graham also recently wrote an assessment of other books examining the JFK assassination that are coming out to mark the 50th anniversary.)
Saturday 12:00 – 12:45
C-SPAN2/Book TV Tent

Cowboy Stuntman – Dean Smith
After winning an Olympic gold medal in track and field, Dean Smith spent fifty years as a stuntman, performing the dangerous action sequences that big-ticket actors like John Wayne and Robert Redford couldn’t—or wouldn’t—do for themselves. Smith dangled from precarious heights, fell off galloping horses, and leapt back onto them, all in the name of creating those rough-riding chase scenes that make a Western movie a Western movie. In Smith’s autobiography, readers get to go behind the scenes of How the West Was Won, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Gunsmoke, to name a few. (And read our own Christopher Kelly’s mini-profile of Smith, who wouldn’t turn down a call from Spielberg.) 
Sunday 11:00 – 12:00
Capitol Extension Room E2.014

The Outcasts – Kathleen Kent
A few of Kathleen Kent’s icons are Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, and Cormac McCarthy, and her award-winning historical fiction is, fittingly, both gritty and macabre. Her third novel is all about hunting: for treasure, murderers, and a chance to start over. In The Outcasts Lucinda Carter breaks free of the Texas brothel that holds her prisoner, and heads to bayou country to search for buried pirates’s gold. Set on the Gulf Coast during the 19th century, The Outcasts chronicles an era of lawlessness and abundant adventure. As she did in her previous novels (The Heretic’s Daughter and The Traitor’s Wife), Kent spent months researching the era of The Outcasts before bringing it to life – and based many of her characters on real historical figures.
Saturday 1:00 – 1:45
Capitol Extension Room E2.012
Sunday 11:00 – 12:00

Other Texas Titles:

Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right – Erica Grieder 

Saturday 10:00 – 10:45
C-SPAN2/Book TV Tent
(Read an excerpt here.)

Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day – Jarod Neece and Mando Rayo

Saturday 10:00 – 11:00
Central Market Cooking Tent
(Read an excerpt here.) 

Hillingdon Ranch: Four Seasons, Six Generations – Lorie Woodward Cantu and David K. Langford

Saturday 11:00 – 12:00
The Contemporary Austin-Jones Center (700 Congress) 

Texas Holiday Cookbook – Dotty Griffith

Saturday 11:30 – 12:30
Central Market Cooking Tent 

The Thicket – Joe Lansdale 

Saturday 1:00 – 1:45
Texas State Capitol: Capitol Extension Room E2.012
(Read about the ascent of Nacogdoches native Joe Lansdale here.) 

Smoke: New Firewood Cooking – Tim Byres

Saturday 2:30 – 3:30
Central Market Cooking Tent 

Long Fall From Heaven – George Wei

Saturday 2:45 – 3:30
Capitol Extension Room E2.028 

Tipsy Texan: Spirits and Cocktails from the Lone Star State– David Ala

Saturday 4:00 – 5:00
Central Market Cooking Tent 

Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas – Jeffrey Stuart Kerr 

Sunday 11:00 – 11:45
C-SPAN2/Book TV Tent 

The Austin Food Blogger Alliance Cookbook – Addie Broyles

Sunday 11:00 – 12:00
Central Market Cooking Tent 

Dallas Noir – Ben Fountain

Sunday 2:00 – 3:00
Lone Star Tent 

Utopia Texas – Michael E. Glasscock III

Sunday 3:00 – 3:45
Capitol Extension Room E2.012 

The Great Texas Wind Rush – Kate Galbraith and Asher Price

Sunday 3:15 – 4:00
C-SPAN2/Book TV tent

The Texas Supreme Court: A Narrative History, 1836-1986 – James L. Haley 

Sunday 4:00 – 4:45
Capitol Extension Room E2.030

The Harness Maker’s Dream – Nick Kotz

Sunday 4:00 – 5:00
Capitol Extension room E2.016

Related Content