Mike Shea

Articles by Mike Shea

Loren D. Estleman

Jul 31, 2010 By Mike Shea

Since publishing his first novel, in 1976, the prolific author has won five Spur Awards in the western genre and four Shamus Awards for his mysteries. His sixty-fifth book zeroes in on the real-life obsession of Judge Roy Bean—one of nineteenth-century Texas’s most colorful jurists—with the British actress Lillie Langtry.

The Surf Guru

Jul 31, 2010 By Mike Shea

Austinite DOUG DORST follows up his darkly comic 2008 debut novel, Alive in Necropolis, with THE SURF GURU, a freewheeling fiction collection that ranges from a story about the neuroses of an Austin baker to a portrait of Vincent van Gogh’s bitterly jealous physician. Dorst draws inspiration from odd sources.

Let’s Take The Long Way Home

Jul 31, 2010 By Mike Shea

LET’S TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, a shimmeringly lovely second memoir from former Boston Globe books editor GAIL CALDWELL, opens with this brutally heartbreaking sentence: “It’s an old, old story: I had a friend and we shared everything, and then she died and we shared that too.” Caldwell, an Amarillo…

Galveston

Jul 31, 2010 By Mike Shea

Galveston Island means much more than crab shacks and sunshine to ex-con Roy Cady, the narrator of NIC PIZZOLATTO’s gritty noir debut, GALVESTON. In the year 2008, Galveston is where the former mob goon—now a hunched-over, patch-eyed, dried-out drunk—takes twelve-step meetings at the local Finest Donuts. Twenty years earlier, it…

Justin Cronin

Jun 30, 2010 By Mike Shea

The 47-year-old Rice University professor has taken a hard left turn in his writing career, following up his acclaimed literary novel The Summer Guest (2004) with the just-published The Passage, volume one of a near-future sci-fi trilogy populated by violent vampires (not the dreamy romantics we’ve seen of late) and…

Welcome to Utopia (Notes from a Small Town)

Jun 30, 2010 By Mike Shea

Entertainment Weekly staffer Karen Valby visited Utopia (population 241) in 2006 for an article about American backwaters relatively untouched by popular culture. Intrigued, she returned to research her first book, Welcome to Utopia (Notes from a Small Town), a deftly executed look at the stereotype of a one-horse…

Anna Mitchael

Apr 30, 2010 By Mike Shea

Just Don’t Call Me Ma’am’s subtitle—How I Ditched the South for the Big City, Forgot My Manners, and Managed to Survive My Twenties With (Most of) My Dignity Still Intact—might be unwieldy, but it provides a handy précis of this colorful memoir about the not-always-glamorous adventures of a young advertising…

The Marrowbone Marble Company

Apr 30, 2010 By Mike Shea

Loyal Ledford of Huntington, West Virginia, is the unassuming central figure of THE MARROWBONE MARBLE COMPANY, the lyrical second novel from Texas State grad GLENN TAYLOR, whose debut, The Ballad of Trenchmouth Taggart, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. Ledford’s world is shaped by three…

The Cardturner

Apr 30, 2010 By Mike Shea

LOUIS SACHAR’S young-adult novel Holes spent more than 175 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, which sets a daunting commercial benchmark for the Austin author’s new effort, THE CARDTURNER. In a move that should deflate retailers’ expectations, Sachar has written a teen book about that most complex and…