Books That Cook

Jul 31, 2007 By Emily McCullar

Author Denise Gee comes from a long line of Southerners who like to imbibe. Growing up in Natchez, Mississippi, she observed her fair share of Southern belles and seersuckered gentlemen with drink in hand. Eventually, cocktail hour became a distinctly personal and cultural experience for Gee, who set out…

Chasing Justice

Feb 1, 2007 By Mike Shea

As a Texas death row in-mate trying to prove himself innocent of a rape and murder in Tyler, KERRY MAX COOK was reminded of his fate every time another con made the death walk. CHASING JUSTICE is a hellish tour of a criminal justice system whose officers allegedly railroaded Cook…

Lost Echoes

Feb 1, 2007 By Mike Shea

In his newest genre-bending thriller, LOST ECHOES, six-time Bram Stoker Award winner JOE R. LANSDALE writes, as always, with the ease of a man born to the task. Meet young Harry Wilkes, of Mud Creek, who hears “dark sounds” from violent events of the past in the places they occurred.

Rollergirl: Totally True Tales from the Track

Feb 1, 2007 By Mike Shea

ROLLERGIRL: TOTALLY TRUE TALES FROM THE TRACK, the memoir from Austin roller derby star MELISSA “MELICIOUS” JOULWAN, proves the cliché: You really can’t judge a book by its cover. In this case, a photo of two leggy skaters in the miniest of skirts (and is that a flash of panty?)…

Murder Among the OWLS: A Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery

Jan 1, 2007 By Mike Shea

MURDER AMONG THE OWLS, the fourteenth offering in BILL CRIDER’s Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery series, has no literary conceits; it is nothing more—nor less—than a pleasant police procedural set in the sleepy burg of Clearview. This time out, Rhodes is faced with the apparent slip-and-fall death of seventyish neighbor Helen…

Sunset Limited

Jan 1, 2007 By Mike Shea

Imagine a stage play with two characters in a ghetto tenement debating the value of life: White is a professor who jumped in front of a train, and Black is the ex-con who rescued him. This is the premise, weighted with all the pretensions of an Intro to Dramaturgy effort,…


Jan 1, 2007 By Mike Shea

Even the most cynical hipsters are terminally charmed by their own offspring, which explains how the birth of NEAL POLLACK’S first child, Elijah, sparked the satirist’s transformation—with the publication of ALTERNADAD and an online column of the same name—into America’s postmodern Erma Bombeck. Pollack writes of moving from Philly to…

Body of Work

Jun 30, 2006 By Michael Hall

For twenty years, the Southwestern Writers Collection, on the campus of Texas State University, in San Marcos, has gathered up manuscripts, personal papers, photos, and other mementos from various icons and at least one outlaw. Want to have a look-see?

Knight Time

Feb 1, 2006 By Katie O'Reilly

Mark Heisler and Steve Delsohn, who wrote Bob Knight: The Unauthorized Biography, talk about their book, Bob Knight, and basketball.

Good Knight? Good Luck!

Feb 1, 2006 By markheisler

When Texas Tech University hired Bob Knight to coach the Red Raiders basketball team, in 2001, he was, er, a known quantity. And in every possible sense, he’s lived up to his billing.

Louis Sachar

Jan 1, 2006 By Evan Smith

“Any idea you can think up and plan out isn’t going to be that good. There’s no way I could have thought up all of Holes beforehand.”

Fame Game

Jul 31, 2005 By Ryan Vogt

Writer-at-large Don Graham on why Cormac McCarthy wouldn’t win a popularity contest against John Grisham or Tom Clancy—and why that’s a good thing.

The Language of the Sycamores

Jan 1, 2005 By Mike Shea

There is nothing subtle about THE LANGUAGE OF SYCAMORES (New American Library), the latest novel from LISA WINGATE, a Central Texas writer who moonlights as an inspirational speaker (or vice versa). Wingate delivers a relentlessly uplifting message in the voice of narrator Karen Sommerfield, who is struggling to weather a…

Judgement Days

Jan 1, 2005 By Mike Shea

Lyndon Johnson cited passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as the proudest moment of his presidency, and in JUDGMENT DAYS (Houghton Mifflin), Pulitzer prize—winning journalist NICK KOTZ puzzles together the complex alliance between LBJ and Martin Luther King Jr. that resulted in the landmark civil rights accomplishments of…

Accentuate The Negative

Nov 1, 2004 By Don Graham

To read a Patricia Highsmith novel is to suspend one’s moral judgments. She irresistibly persuades us to side with killers and other amoral characters.

Larry McMurtry

Aug 31, 2004 By Evan Smith

“I like to go out at night. I like to sit in a nice room and look at beautiful women. I don't want to just sit on my back porch drinking scotch, and there isn’t much more to do in Archer City.”

Bum Books

Jan 1, 2004 By Texas Monthly

These titles are sure to get a laugh—or at least a smile—from even the most somber bookworms.

Eye On America

Nov 1, 2003 By Casey Wilson

The co-authors of a new book about the assassination of JFK talk about how that tragic event changed the way the media cover news.

King’s Ransom

Sep 30, 2003 By John Spong

At UT's Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, extraordinary cultural treasures are available for your inspection—if you know the magic word.

Not-So-Great Plains

Sep 30, 2003 By Don Graham

Suzan-Lori Parks gets the culture and cadence of West Texas right, sort of; Annie Proulx doesn't.

Killing Time

Jul 31, 2003 By Mike Shea

Stephen Graham Jones's All the Beautiful Sinners is a wild-eyed thriller; Amanda Eyre Ward's Sleep Toward Heaven is a tale of grief, forgiveness, and the death penalty.

Not Moving On

Apr 30, 2003 By Don Graham

Fifteen years after Larry McMurtry announced he was through writing novels, he shows no sign of letting up. For this we should be thankful.

Master Class

Jan 1, 2003 By Don Graham

No one took the literature of Texas or the Southwest seriously until J. Frank Dobie put it, and us, on the map.

Ranch Undressing

Dec 1, 2002 By Texas Monthly

Writer-at-large Don Graham discusses this month's cover story "The Secret History," and his forthcoming book on the King Ranch, King of Texas.

Interview With Mario Vargas Llosa

Nov 1, 2002 By Katharyn Rodemann

PERUVIAN WRITER MARIO VARGAS LLOSA will be in Houston November 11, as a guest for the Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. The novelist, literary critic, playwright, and essayist is considered to be one of the greatest Spanish American writers of our century. His works include the novels The Green House,…

Entrevista con Mario Vargas Llosa

Nov 1, 2002 By Katharyn Rodemann

EL ESCRITOR PERUANO MARIO VARGAS Llosa viene a Houston el 11 de noviembre como invitado del Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. El novelista, crítico literario, dramaturgo y ensayista es considerado uno de los más grandes escritores hispanoamericanos de nuestro siglo. Entre sus obras se encuentran las novelas La casa verde,…

Days of Their Lives

Sep 30, 2002 By Mike Shea

Novels about college classmates reconnecting and rekindling at reunion time are nothing new, but Tim O'Brien's July, July succeeds with honors.

Bitter Rivals

Jul 31, 2002 By Texas Monthly

W. K. Stratton's new book, Backyard Brawl, dissects the football feud between the state's two largest universities.

The Buzz

Jul 31, 2002 By Mike Shea

Kathy Hepinstall is one of four underappreciated Texas writers you should be reading this summer.


Apr 30, 2002 By Don Graham

Master of the Senate, Robert Caro's third volume on the life of Lyndon Johnson, is an exhaustive study of power, persuasion, and private parts.


Mar 1, 2002 By Mike Shea

When Matt Clark succumbed to cancer in 1998, the young writer left behind an inventive unpublished novel called Hook Man Speaks. Then his friends stepped in-and brought the book back from the dead.

Punchline Willie

Jan 1, 2002 By Texas Monthly

We knew he could sing, of course. What we didn't know was that he had such a great sense of humor. Here are some of Willie Nelson's favorite jokes from his just-published memoir, The Facts of Life and Other Dirty Jokes.

The Plot Sickens

Nov 1, 2001 By Mike Shea

Sandra Brown's latest novel-and her umpteenth best-seller-is called Envy. Funny, that's the last feeling I get when I read her work.

Texas Ranges

Nov 1, 2001 By Joe Nick Patoski

In an excerpt from their forthcoming book, Texas Mountains, senior editor Joe Nick Patoski and freelance photographer Laurence Parent celebrate the wild beauty of the state's sierras.

West Meets East

May 31, 2001 By Mike Shea

In Sarah Bird's finest novel to date, she goes halfway around the world for down-home inspiration.

The Assassination in Me

May 31, 2001 By James Ellroy

This month my second novel about JFK's murder will be published. Why do I keep returning to Dealey Plaza and the events of that fateful day? Because I can't help myself.


Apr 1, 2001 By Don Graham

Aaron Latham's new novel about a cowboy Camelot gets lost in the bull.

Grist for Mills

Mar 1, 2001 By johnbjudis

A collection of the letters of influential sociologist C. Wright Mills shows that his radical ideas were grounded in his Texas upbringing.

Return to The Gay Place

Mar 1, 2001 By Jan Reid

Forty years after it was published, Billy Lee Brammer's novel about LBJ-era Austin is still one of the best ever written about American politics. Yet just as interesting is the story of Brammer himself.

Whodunit? Who Cares?

Nov 1, 2000 By Anne Dingus

Anne Dingus has a few bones to pick with the modern mystery novel, which she says has been decomposing in recent years. Stepping up to defend the genre: none other than Texas' queen of murder and mayhem, Mary Willis Walker.

Live and Learn

Feb 1, 2000 By Gary Cartwright

East Texas native George Dawson couldn’t read until he was 98. Now, at 102, he’s written a memoir. Next up: a high school equivalency diploma—but no driving.