Thursday, December 8, 2016

My new review for Lone Star Literary Life: WHO KILLED THESE GIRLS?: COLD CASE: THE YOGURT SHOP MURDERS (Alfred A. Knopf) by Austinite Beverly Lowry. This is intelligent, harrowing, atmospheric true crime. How do we know what we think we know?

TRUE CRIME
Beverly Lowry
Who Killed These Girls?: Cold Case: The Yogurt Shop Murders
Alfred A. Knopf
Hardcover, 978-0-3075-9411-2 (also available as an ebook and on Audible), 400 pgs., $27.95
October 2016

Every Austinite, every Texan, knows the basic facts of this horrific crime. On Friday, December 6, 1991, the Austin Fire Department responded to a report of a fire at an I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt! shop in northwest Austin. Inside the shop, they discovered the bodies of Eliza Hope Thomas (17), sisters Jennifer Ann Harbison (17) and Sarah Louise Harbison (15), and Amy Leigh Ayers (13).

Finally, in 1999, four young men (“three aimless dudes, one troublemaker with firepower and wheels”) were arrested, despite the complete lack of physical evidence. Two were never brought to trial because the case against one was dismissed, and a grand jury twice refused to indict the other; but two confessed, later recanting confessions that ultimately turned out to be false (“I’m scared I have information and don’t know I have information”). They were convicted, but those convictions were reversed and the cases remanded by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. In 2008, DNA results, thanks to more sophisticated testing than was previously available, excluded all four suspects.

Accordingly, the most confounding and fascinating aspects of Who Killed These Girls? is a discussion of interrogation techniques and an exploration of the nature and processes of memory and the phenomenon of false confessions. How do we know what we think we know?

Who Killed These Girls?: Cold Case: The Yogurt Shop Murders by Beverly Lowry is the latest entry in a recent spate of high-profile narrative nonfiction titles on Texas true crime. Who Killed These Girls? is a dramatic story told in dramatic fashion. Lowry writes in lively first-person, her personality apparent on every page. This is an effective and engaging technique, informal and colloquial, that only occasionally strays into the purple. Lowry’s account grabs you on the first page and doesn’t let up.

Lowry conducted prodigious research, attended court hearings, watched the recorded interrogations, and interviewed the principals. She even got her hands on Judge Mike Lynch’s personal journal. Her recreations of the police interrogations are harrowing, even frightening. Lowry does an outstanding job of invoking the girls as human beings. They are quite real and very present in these pages. Her portrayal of detective John Jones is likeable and sympathetic.

Lowry’s writing is atmospheric, sometimes spooky (“by Thursday the air had turned sulky, with an unnatural stillness that makes people testy as they wait for whatever’s about to happen next”), sometimes an assault (“Jennifer … wore a Timex wristwatch with a big face and a sturdy black band. She will die wearing the watch, it will stop at 11:48”), sometimes startlingly snarky (“Robert Ayers, who once again told tender stories about his daughter”), sometimes, but infrequently, seemingly gratuitously graphic.

There’s an unexpected, sardonic humor to Lowry’s narrative. “With its big-time celebration of Eeyore’s birthday, its dog parades, costumes and flummery, Austin was Slackerville,” she writes, with “rock music, goofball pot smokers and drunken legislators … While Houstonians liked to say Austin was hoping to become a grown-up city, too, someday, nobody here took offense. Who wanted to be like Houston?”

Twenty-five years later, we still don’t know who killed these girls. “Yogurt Shop jurors did their job, so did the lawyers and the judge. But in the end, nobody was satisfied with how things turned out. Nobody at all.”

Originally published by Lone Star Literary Life.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Review: BITTER WATERS: THE STRUGGLES OF THE PECOS RIVER

Bitter Waters: The Struggles of the Pecos River (University of Oklahoma Press) by Midland's Patrick Dearen has won the 2016 NEW MEXICO-ARIZONA BOOK AWARD! My Lone Star Literary Life review:

NATURE & ECOLOGY
Patrick Dearen
Bitter Waters: The Struggles of the Pecos River
University of Oklahoma Press
Hardcover 978-0-8061-5201-1 (also available as an ebook), 256 pgs., $29.95
March 2016
WINNER, 2016 NEW MEXICO-ARIZONA BOOK AWARD

The headwaters of the Pecos originate 13,000 feet up in the Sangre de Christo Mountains of New Mexico. “Fed by snowmelt, springs, and monsoon rains,” writes author Patrick Dearen, “the Pecos plunges over dramatic Pecos Falls within its first four miles and tumbles on down out of the Sangre de Cristos’ elongated horseshoe of thrusting peaks and massive ridges.” The Pecos proceeds on its way to the Amistad Reservoir where it mingles with other tributaries on their way to the Gulf of Mexico.

The first historical record we have of the character of the Pecos River is from a Spanish expedition in 1583. Antonio de Espejo christened the stream El Salado (salty). By 1942 the National Resources Planning Board declared that “[f]or its size the basin of the Pecos River probably presents a greater aggregation of problems … than any other irrigated basin in the Western U.S.” The challenges include, but are not limited to, decreasing flow, recurring droughts, salinity, sedimentation, golden algae, low oxygen levels, the needs of endangered species, recreational overuse and abuse, and thickening of watershed brush (imported salt cedars).

The Pecos River Resolution Corporation (PRRC), incorporated in 2007, is a nonprofit “dedicated … to documenting the Pecos River of the past and present … [and] exploring remedies for its ills and its potential for the future.” Bitter Waters: The Struggles of the Pecos River is the first stage of this project and also represents Midland resident Patrick Dearen’s more than thirty years of personal exploration of the river.

Dearen brings his novelist’s skills to natural ecology, and he does an excellent job of relating the inter-relatedness of things. As a result, Bitter Waters is more literary than expected. Dearen’s prodigious research provides a wealth of well-organized facts and figures snugly wrapped in narrative. Carefully chosen photographs, many from Dearen’s personal collection, enhance the text.

One of the most basic considerations when attempting to “restore” the Pecos is determining a baseline target. Is it 1583, 1961, or sometime in between?

The Spanish began irrigation farming in 1794; dams, reservoirs, and canals appeared in the late nineteenth century; drilling of wells began in 1911. As early as 1891, the issue of flow in such salty water was identified. Waste from mining enterprises was dumped directly into the Pecos. The federal government did their part by mismanaging protection of the headwaters and watershed with policies that suppressed wildfires and allowed overgrazing. Project Gnome, an initiative of the Atomic Energy Commission, detonated a nuclear bomb underground, over an aquifer that ultimately emptied into the Pecos at Malaga Bend, in 1961. The amount of salt carried downstream, threatening the Amistad “reservoir’s future as a municipal water supply for two nations,” became an international issue in 1964. Climate change spurs the northward spread of the Sonora and Chihuahua Deserts. Texas and New Mexico have fought in legislatures and courts for decades over apportionment of the life-giving Pecos.

The future of “an enormous expanse—from northern New Mexico to the mouth of the Pecos and on down the Rio Grande to the Gulf of Mexico” is at stake. Whether or not the Pecos River can be saved remains an open question.

Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 12/5-11!

Bookish events in Texas for the week of December 5-11, 2016: 

Ongoing Exhibits:
Austin
BookPeople, Designer & Editor JESSICA ROMM PEREZ speaking & signing domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, 7PM

Dallas
Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, Chanan Tigay discusses and signs The Lost Book of Moses, 7PM

Fort WorthTexas Christian University Bookstore, Max Krochmal discusses and signs Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era, 5PM

Lubbock
Groves Branch Library, Jodi Thomas discusses and signs her Ransom Canyon series, 7PM

Waco
B&N, Republic of Football book signing with Chad Conine, 6PM

Tuesday, December 6:
Austin


San Antonio
The Korova, PuroSlam with DJ Donnie Dee, 10PM

Wednesday, December 7:

Dallas
The Wild Detectives, Michael Farris discusses and signs A Death in the Islands, 7:30PM

Houston
Avant Garden, Write About Now Poetry Slam, 7:15PM

B&N - River Oaks, J Scott Savage signs Gears of Revolution, 6PM

San Antonio
B&N - San Pedro, Ramona Marek Discussion & Signing: Cats for the GENIUS, 7PM

Thursday, December 8:
Mr. Catfish & More, NeoSoul Poetry ATX, 8PM

Burnet
Herman Brown Free Library, Coffee Talks reading series: Kay Ellington and Barbara Brannon read and sign The Paragraph Ranch, 1:30PM

Dallas
Architecture Center Houston, Authors in Architecture: Robert C. Trumpbour and Kenneth Womack present The Eighth Wonder of the World: The Life of Houston's Iconic Astrodome, 5:30PM

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The 41st Annual Ruth K. Shartle Symposium – Degas & the 20th Century presented by independent scholar Richard Kendall, author of Picasso Looks at Degas, 6:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Bill Herrington discuses and signs Contraflow: From New Orleans to Houston, 5PM

The WoodandsBlack Walnut Cafe, Writers in Performance presents the 26th Annual Emily Dickinson Birthday Celebration & Gathering of Poets, 7PM

Friday, December 9:
Deep Vellum Books, poetry with Pandora's Box: A Hard Candy Christmas featuring Darius Ajai Frasure, Gnadia Wolnisty, Fatima-Ayan Malika Hirsi, Logen Cure, Joe Milazzo, MH Clay, Paul Koniecki, Christopher Soden, Gayle Reaves, Mark David Noble, and Dan Collins, 7:30PM

Houston
B&N - Vanderbilt Square, George Arnold signs his children's books, 4PM

Discovery Green, Orbit Slam Series: youth workshop and poetry slam, 6PM

Murder By the Book, Matt Coyle will sign and discuss Dark Fissures, and Jonathan Woods will sign and discuss Kiss the Devil, 6:30PM

Lubbock
National Ranching Heritage Center - Cogdell's General Store, As part of "Candlelight at the Ranch," Texas State Photographer Wyman Meinzer will sell and sign Horses to Ride and Cattle to Cut, and Nathan Dahlstrom will sell and sign The Green Colt, 6:30PM

San Antonio
Abilene
Texas Star Trading Company, Carlton Stowers signs On Texas Backroads: Stories Found Along the Way, 12PM

Amarillo
Washington Avenue Christian Church, Jodi Thomas discusses and signs her Ransom Canyon series, 11:30AM

Austin
Austin Public Library - Manchaca Branch, Holiday Open House, Book Sale, and Author Event with Marge Wood, 12PM

Austin Public Library - Milwood Branch, First Annual Indie Author Day: panel discussions and meet and greet with local authors, 10AM

Half Price Books - North Lamar, local author Lyman Mitchell will sell and sign his children’s book Pee Wee Saves Christmas, 1PM

Malvern Books, Texas Poetry Calendar 2017 reading, 4PM

St. Edward's University, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "Crowdfunding Your Book" with Jodi Egerton, 9AM

Dallas
Logos Bookstore, Len Bourland will sign Normal's Just a Cycle on a Washing Machine, 2PM

El Paso
Memorial Park Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop with Robin Scofield: "St. Lucy's Day," 12:45PM

Frisco
Half Price Books, Derek Blount will sign Second Son, 12PM

Galveston
Galveston Bookshop, Pat Jakobi and Nancy House sign Galveston Art League: A Century of Island Art, 2PM

Houston


Round Rock

Webster
Tradicao Brazilian Steakhouse, Annual Gulf Coast Poets luncheon featuring Gwendolyn Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate, 11:30AM [RESERVATIONS REQUIRED]

Sunday, December 11:
Austin
Austin Public Library - Yarborough Branch, Sisters in Crime: solve a murder with author Valerie Chandler, 2:15PM

BookWoman, Robin Bradford launches her new book of poems, Confidence, 4PM


Bryan
Revolution Cafe & Bar, Poetry Slam, 8:30PM

Dallas

Houston
B&N - Vanderbilt Square, George Arnold signs his children's books, 10AM


Chapelwood United Methodist Church Bookstore, Holiday Open House and book signing with poet Mark Jodon, 10AM

Mansfield
Half Price Books, Local Author Sundays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release!, all day

San Antonio

Friday, December 2, 2016

Review: TWENTY-SIX SECONDS: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF THE ZAPRUDER FILM

I reviewed Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film (Twelve Books) by Alexandra Zapruder for Lone Star Literary Life! This is an important contribution to history, rich with detail, and a profoundly personal tale.

HISTORY/BIOGRAPHY
Alexandra Zapruder
Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film
Twelve Books
Hardcover, 978-1-4555-7481-0 (also available as an ebook, an audio book, and on Audible), 480 pgs., $27.00
November 15, 2016

Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film is a labor of loving curiosity for historian Alexandra Zapruder, who was ten months old when her grandfather Abraham Zapruder died. She feels as if she had always known, through a sort of osmosis, that he had taken a home movie of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but their family never talked about it. “[The film] was almost completely compartmentalized from our family identity, our stories, and our sense of ourselves,” Zapruder writes. She wanted to understand what effects association with the film had wrought on her family.

The death of Zapruder’s father was the additional impetus she needed, so she began the research. Zapruder collected files from her father’s attic, letters and photos from her aunt’s home in Dallas, documents from the family’s attorneys and the National Archives. She interviewed key players and conspiracy theorists alike, and was the first to be granted access to Life’s archival materials. Zapruder decided that her “family’s insistence on dignity and restraint when it came to talking publicly about the film had left a vacuum in the public story.”

Zapruder’s narrative is often highly technical, packed with minute detail. The film is twenty-six seconds long, consisting of 486 frames, each frame one-eighteenth of a second long. Zapruder addresses head-on the oppressive avalanche of press coverage and some of the claims made about her family: they were greedy, selfish, immoral, profiteers. Some of the insults came embellished with anti-Semitism. Zapruder is passionately protective of her loved ones, often to the point of defensiveness, but also quite funny: “[T]he film felt a bit like having an unsightly birthmark … something we were born with, but it didn’t define us. I was used to it and no longer particularly noticed. But I didn’t expect people to point it out, either.”

Zapruder includes rich detail of family history in Czarist Russia and Jewish Brooklyn. Small details are affecting. On the film, before the footage in Dealey Plaza, are images of Abe’s grandchildren and employees at his dress manufacturing plant. “The screen flickers again and they are in bright sunshine, outside on Dealey Plaza.” Zapruder evokes the tension and horror of the assassination. Scrupulous facts are woven into an intensely personal, sometimes painful, family history.

The family struggled through the years to “strike the right balance between personal legacy and public responsibility.” Thorny legal, ethical, and moral issues — sometimes mutually exclusive — are well and thoroughly discussed, such as “whether an individual’s interest in historically significant images should supersede a corporation’s right to control the content that it owned,” the “takings” clause of the fifth amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and copyright law, among many others.

Perhaps most fascinating, and most difficult to assess, is Zapruder’s exploration of the psychology of the film: we must “imagine a time before people were routinely bombarded with moving footage of violence multiple times a day.”

Twenty-Six Seconds is an important contribution to our understanding of history on a grand scale, and to the personal history of a private family reluctantly thrust into history’s spotlight. In the end, people wanted the film to do what it could not — provide the answers to what happened to JFK.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review: THE FISHER KING: A JACK MCBRIDE MYSTERY

I reviewed The Fisher King: A Jack McBride Mystery (Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.) by Melissa Lenhardt for Lone Star Literary Life! This is the second installment in Lenhardt's Jack McBride mystery series. Her ability to conjure a complete small Texas town is uncanny.

MYSTERY
Melissa Lenhardt
The Fisher King: A Jack McBride Mystery 
Skyhorse Publishing
Hardcover, 978-1-5107-0729-0 (also available as an ebook), 380 pgs., $24.99
November 1, 2016

Chief of Police Jack McBride has been on the job for just eight weeks, and the crime rate in Stillwater has apparently soared. The dead bodies are multiplying and high school kids are overdosing on dirty heroin. McBride’s job has become a political football in the city council campaign of powerful, lifelong Stillwater resident Joe Doyle (who looks “like a televangelist and was about as trustworthy”), owner of Doyle Industries, the town’s largest employer, who is also the local drug lord.

McBride has personal problems, too. His ne’er-do-well brother Eddie has taken a job with Doyle Industries; his estranged wife, Julie, has returned after a year of finding herself; and his budding love affair with Ellie Martin is on indefinite hold. As McBride gets ever closer to solving the crime wave, he discovers that he is a target.

The Fisher King: A Jack McBride Mystery is the second novel in Melissa Lenhardt’s series set in the small, fictional East Texas town of Stillwater. In Lenhardt’s first installment in the series, Stillwater, Jack McBride took down the corrupt former chief of police who had been in power for decades, controlling the population through fear, blackmail, and extortion, and by keeping their secrets in return for certain favors. It’s possible to read The Fisher King as a stand-alone, as Lenhardt does a great job of summarizing the goings-on in Stillwater.

The plot in this second installment in the series is simpler than it seems, with multiple subplots well woven in. The pace is quick and steady, accelerating toward the climax, as it should, with plenty of twisty elements to keep you guessing. Lenhardt’s cast is large, but each character is a sharply delineated individual, making the crowd easy to keep straight—except for the moles and double agents. Most of Lenhardt’s characters are believably genuine, excepting Julie McBride, a grown woman who looks “like the quintessential John Hughes movie villainess,” with the maturity of one of the Mean Girls.

One of the best things about The Fisher King is Lenhardt’s uncannily complete evocation of a fictional community. Stillwater rings true and has depth; I think I’ve been there. The small-town Texas personalities are here, as well as the not-so-secrets in a town where everybody knows your name. The conflicts and paradoxes of small towns are here, too. The need for economic revitalization versus an insular populace, suspicious of outsiders. The tendency to decades-old grudges. Historic preservation versus big-box stores.

The Fisher King is like a weekly television soap opera, a cross between Friday Night Lights and Dallas, with touches of Peyton Place for good measure. Lenhardt sets up the third installment expertly, including a new character. The Fisher King isn’t great literature, but it’s entertaining and engrossing fun—a great way to end the second season.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 11/28-12/4

Bookish events in Texas for the week of November 28 - December 4, 2016: 


Special Events:
8th Annual Humanities of Texas Holiday Book Fair, Austin, December 3

Austin Writergrrls Book Fest, December 4

Ongoing Exhibits:
Tuesday, November 29:

San Antonio

Avant Garden, Write About Now Poetry Slam, 7:15PM

San Antonio
River Oaks Bookstore, Rebecca Gordon discusses and signs Your Body and the Stars: The Zodiac as Your Wellness Guide, 6PM

Friday, December 2:
Abilene
Texas Star Trading Company, Bernard Brown signs his autobiography, Daydreaming About Tough Times, 12PM

Austin
BookPeople, MYRA HARGRAVE MCILVAIN speaking & signing The Doctor's Wife, 7PM

Malvern Books, Pterodáctilo Poetry release and Ptamale Party, 6:30PM

Dallas
B&N - Lincoln Park, Tippi: A Memoir book signing with Tippi Hedron, 7PM

Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David Oshinsky discusses and signs Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital, 1:30PM

The University of St. Thomas, Fall 2016 Laurels reading, 4:30PM

Lubbock

Tornado Gallery, Dr. Paul Carlson and Dr. Donald Abbe will sign Historic Lubbock County: An Illustrated History, 6PM

San Marcos
Dahlia Woods Gallery-Bad Boy Books, W.W. McNeal signs Plum Creek, 6:30PM

The Woodlands
The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel, 12th Annual Signatures Author Series Featuring Cheryl Strayed, 10AM

Saturday, December 3:

Denton
B&N - Golden Triangle Mall, Pat the Bat story time and signing with local author KD Chapman and illustrator Kelly Stribling Sutherland, 2PM
El Paso
Memorial Park Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop with Frances “Snookie” Golding: The Masks We Wear, 12:45PM

Fort Worth
The Last Word Bookstore, W.W. McNeal reads and signs Plum Creek, 4PM

Garland
B&N - Firewheel Mall, Christy Jordan signs Sweetness: Southern Recipes to Celebrate the Warmth, the Love, and the Blessings of a Full Life, 2PM
Houston
River Oaks Bookstore, Kenneth Womack & Robert Trumpbour discuss and sign The Eighth Wonder of the World: The Life of Houston’s Iconic Astrodome, 3PM

Irving
North Lake College - Central Campus, The Writers Bloc with Rachel Caine, 2PM

Lubbock
B&N, S.J. Dahlstrom signs The Green Colt, 1PM

B&N, Book signing with Jodi Thomas and Karen Witemeyer, 6PM

Plano


The Woodlands

Sunday, December 4:
Dallas
Half Price Books Mothership Local Author Sundays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release!

Fort Worth
B&N - Hulen Center, The Changelings book signing with Christina Soontornvat, 2PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Holiday Open House, 5PM

San Antonio
B&N - San Pedro, Katharine Folkes signs The Worst Five Months Ever, 2PM

First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Antonio, program with Eben Alexander, author of Proof of Heaven, 3PM

The Twig Book Shop, Linda Davis reads and signs A Christmas to Remember, 11AM

San Marcos
Alkek Library, The Wittliff Collections presents Bill Wittliff discussing, reading, and signing The Devil's Sinkhole, 2PM

Tyler
B&N, The Myth of Santa's Beard book signing with Sharon Thayer, 2PM


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 11/21-27

Bookish events in Texas for the week of November 21-27, 2016: 


Ongoing Exhibits:

Tuesday, November 22:
The Korova, PuroSlam with DJ Donnie Dee, 10PM

Wednesday, November 23:
Go home. Prepare. Your relatives are en route. Right now.

Thursday, November 24:
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 25:
Do not shop today. Not today. Maybe tomorrow. But not today.

Saturday, November 26:
Abilene


Texas Star Trading Company,
Larue, The Whole Enchilada: Fresh and Nutritious Southwestern
Cuisine, 11-1. Ti)any Harelik, The Terlingua Chili Cookbook: Chili’s Last
Texas Star Trading Company, Angeline LaRue signs The Whole Enchilada: Fresh & Nutritious Southwestern Cuisine, 11AM
Texas Star Trading Company, Angelina LaRue signs The Whole Enchilada: Fresh and Nutritious Southwestern Cuisine, 11AM

Texas Star Trading Company, Tiffany Harelik signs The Terlingua Chili Cookbook: Chili's Last Frontier, 12PM

Amarillo
B&N, Fight or Flight: Negotiating Crisis on the Front Line book signing with Dr. Andrew T. Young, 11AM

Austin
BookWoman, Indies First-Shop Small Saturday: LOCAL AUTHOR LOVE FEST, 1PM

Dallas
Dallas
B&N - Preston/Royal, Karrie Baysinger signs The Roadmap to Successful Investing, 1PM

Half Price Books Mothership, Jeff P. Jones reads, discusses, and signs Love Give Us One Death: Bonnie and Clyde in the Last Days, 1PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, W.W. McNeal will read and sign Plum Creek, 11AM


Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 11/14-20

Bookish events in Texas for the week of November 14-20, 2016: 


Special Events:
Simply Wright: N.T. Wright at Perkins School of Theology, Dallas, November 15-17

Zine Fest Houston 2016, November 19

Ongoing Exhibits:
Tuesday, November 15:
Austin

Dallas

San Antonio
The Korova, PuroSlam with DJ Donnie Dee, 10PM

Tobin Library at Oakwell Farms, Voices de la Luna poetry featuring Octavio Quintanilla, 6PM

The Twig Book Shop, Poetry and Fiction Reading at The Twig with Jeanetta Calhoun Mish & Kat Meads, 6:30PM

Wednesday, November 16:
Austin
Chez Zee American Bistro, Author Series presents H.W. Brands, 6:15PM

Malvern Books, Austin Community College Creative Writing Faculty Showcase, 7PM
Avant Garden, Write About Now Poetry Slam, 7:15PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Cressida Cowell will discuss and sign HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, her series for kids, 5PM

University of Houston, Poetry & Prose presents UH Creative Writing Program Professors Chitra Divakaruni & Peter Turchi, 5:30PM

Plano
Thursday, November 17:
Dallas
Murder By the Book, David Morrell will sign and discuss his latest book, Ruler of the Night, 6:30PM

Poison Girl, Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Gulf Coast Editors, 8:30PM

River Oaks Bookstore, Constance Parks discusses and signs The Secret Place: The Garden of Love, 5PM

Huntsville
Sam Houston State, readings from the works of George Drew and the late Dr. Paul Ruffin celebrate their contributions to poetry and literature, 4:30PM

Lampasas
Lampasas Public Library, Texas Author Series presents Jodi Thomas, 5:30PM

San Marcos
Alkek Library, The Wittliff Collections reading series presents Charles D'Ambrosio, 3:30PM

Friday, November 18:


Kyle
Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, KAP reading featuring Charles D'Ambrosio, 7:30PM

San Antonio

Half Price Books - North Lamar, local author Angel Arredondo will sell and sign her children’s book I Love My Red Wagon, 1PM

Malvern Books, Bearing the Mask: Southwestern Persona Poems reading and signing, 7PM

St. Edward's University, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "The Long Middle: What to Do Between Beginning and Ending a Novel" with Greg Garrett, 9AM

The Writing Barn, Workshop: What’s the Point (of View)? with Varian Johnson, 3:30PM

Beaumont
B&N - Parkdale Mall, Acadiana Table: Cajun and Creole Home Cooking from the Heart of Louisiana book signing with George Graham, 2PM
Dallas
B&N - Preston/Royal, Merrilee Franklin signs The Porch, 1PM

El Paso
Port Neches
Fleur Fine Books, Grand Opening and book signing with Joe R. Lansdale, 10AM

Round Rock
B&N - La Frontera, The Pink Marine book signing with Greg Cope, 2PM

Round Top
Copper Shade Tree, Leon Hale will sign One Man's Christmas, 12PM

San Antonio

Guadalupe Theatre, Macondo Signature Reading Series presents poet Natalie Diaz, 7:30PM

San Antonio Public Library - Igo Branch, San Antonio Romance Authors meeting featuring Jodi Thomas, 10:30AM

The Twig Book Shop, Sylvia Casares discusses and signs The Enchilada Queen Cookbook, 11AM

The Twig Book Shop, Mark Rybczyk discusses and signs San Antonio Uncovered, 6PM

Southlake
B&N - Town Square, Mary MacKenzie signing The Box of Life, 1PM

Tyler
B&N, book signing: Road Kill: Texas Horror by Texas Writers, 2PM
The Woodlands
B&N - Woodlands Mall, Maria Ashworth signs Step One, Step Two, Step Three and Four, 2PM

Sunday, November 20: