Mike Shea

Articles by Mike Shea

Book Review
Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found

May 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

San Antonio–born journalist Marie Brenner borrowed her memoir’s title, Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found, from the childhood nickname given to her and her older brother, Carl, with whom she was endlessly at odds. The nickname takes on a more literal aspect when Carl…

Author Interview
Sam Gosling

May 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

A decade of research by this University of Texas at Austin psychology prof has led to new ways of understanding the relationship between individuals and the spaces they inhabit, as he now reveals with Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You. Snoop posits that our possessions open a window…

Author Interview
Bill Bishop

Apr 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

In The Big Sort, the Austin political blogger and Pulitzer finalist for editorial writing addresses America’s tendency to segment itself into tiny, like-minded groups (a phenomenon he calls “clustering”). How did the “big sort” notion come to be, and what does it signify? [Sociologist] Robert Cushing and I…

Web Exclusive
Bill Bishop

Apr 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

In The Big Sort, the Austin political blogger and Pulitzer finalist addresses America’s tendency to segment itself into tiny, like-minded groups (a phenomenon he calls clustering). How did the “big sort” notion come to be, and what does it signify? [Sociologist] Robert Cushing and I began exploring why…

Book Review
The Triumph of Caesar

Apr 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

Just ten pages into The Triumph of Caesar, I had learned more Roman history from Steven Saylor than from all my high school and college professors combined. “Haruspicy was the Etruscan science of divination.” “Cato [was] leader of the opposition’s last stand against Caesar in Africa.” Indeed. In…

Book Review
Holy Moly

Apr 30, 2008 By Mike Shea

Word is that Ben Rehder might drop the curtain on his snarky Blanco County mystery series with Holy Moly, the sixth novel featuring square-jawed Johnson City game warden John Marlin. If so, the Austinite goes out on a high note with this screwball tale about “pastorpreneur” Peter Boothe,…

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Mar 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

The best-selling Houston-based writer sets her new novel, The Palace of Illusions, in the fifth millennium BCE. Based on India’s epic Mahabharat poem, it examines love and war from the perspective of Princess Panchaali. (Read an excerpt.) The Palace of Illusions is a re-imagining of the…

Willie Nelson: An Epic Life

Mar 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

The first time nine-year-old Booger Red got drunk on beer, he decided, “I had already fucked up more ways than God was going to put up with . . . so I had in mind, the sky’s the limit from here on, I mean I can’t go to hell twice.”…

The Story of Forgetting

Mar 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

Stefan Merrill Block is a talent. Though his debut novel, The Story of Forgetting, sings a bit from the Jonathan Safran Foer hymnal (a precocious teen trying to unravel his family’s tragic history), the Plano native distinguishes himself with inventive plotting and an urbane Texas voice. High Plains…

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Mar 31, 2008 By Mike Shea

The best-selling Houston-based writer sets her new novel, The Palace of Illusions, in the fifth millennium BCE. Based on India’s epic Mahabharat poem, it examines love and war from the perspective of Princess Panchaali. (Read an excerpt.) What concerns did you have in tackling such a beloved…