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The Checklist

What to read, hear, and watch this month to achieve maximum Texas cultural literacy.

By June 2015Comments

Sports

Jordan Spieth Returns to Dallas (May 21–31)
Fresh off his triumph at the Masters, the world’s hottest golfer returns to his native Metroplex for Fort Worth’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship, in Irving. Spieth has performed well in Texas, recently taking second in Houston and San Antonio tournaments; fans who want to watch him chase another PGA win should practice yelling “Get in the hole!” now.

Television

Halt and Catch Fire (AMC, May 31)
Few watched the first season of this drama set in the tech corridors of eighties-era Dallas, and many of those who did gave up after the dramatically inert initial episodes. But those who stuck around experienced the thrill of watching a show find its voice as it went along. In a savvy move, the second season shifts the focus to two women trying to make their mark in the notoriously XY-centric world of gaming.

Books

The Best I Recall, Gary Cartwright (UT Press, June 1)
The legendary texas monthly staffer’s memoir—which features encounters with iconic Texans such as Don Meredith, Ann Richards, Willie Nelson, and Blackie Sherrod—is every bit as funny and outrageous as fans of his pioneering sportswriting and true-crime reporting would expect. But many readers will be taken aback by the warts-and-all look at his private life.

Music

Django and Jimmie, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard (Legacy, June 2)
Three decades after Pancho and Lefty, these country veterans reunite to pay homage to an enduring friendship. On the tenderhearted title track, they claim “there might not’ve been a Merle or a Willie” if not for Django Rein-hardt and Jimmie Rodgers. Another highlight, “It’s All Going to Pot,” is an anthem for stoners everywhere—except maybe Muskogee.

Books

Hail of Fire, Randy Fritz (Trinity University Press, June 9) 
Though the title of his memoir of the 2011 Bastrop wildfire might suggest that readers will be placed right in the middle of one of the worst conflagrations in Texas history, this Lost Pines resident is more interested in what followed: the displacement of his family after the loss of their house, and the fraught debate over whether to rebuild or walk away from their longtime home.

Film

Manglehorn, Directed by David Gordon Green (June 19)
The latest offering from Green, the Austin writer-director of shambolic comedies (Pineapple Express) and art-house curios (George Washington), stars Al Pacino as a locksmith pining for a woman from his past. This offbeat character study never quite jells, but Green’s feel for small-town Texas life is assured, and he elicits Pacino’s least hammy performance in years.

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