Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy All Hallows' Eve

My vote for scariest book EVER: Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser. Schlosser is a genius and this is a 5-star read.

Check out the review from The New York Times Sunday Book Review:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/books/review/command-and-control-by-eric-schlosser.html?pagewanted=all


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Welcome Albania!

This morning I am delighted to welcome readers from Albania to Texas Book Lover. Mirë se vjen!


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Welcome Iran!

This evening it is my privilege to welcome readers from Iran to Texas Book Lover. Khosh Amadid!


Review: The Festival of Bones

The Festival of Bones
Luis San Vicente
Cinco Puntos Press
978-1-941026-03-8
$7.95, 32 pgs

The Festival of Bones, written and illustrated by Luis San Vicente, is The Little-Bitty Book for the Day of the Dead, a bilingual early reader, translated from the Spanish by John William Byrd and Bobby Byrd of Cinco Puntos Press. Luis San Vicente is a Mexico City artist whose work has been exhibited in Mexico, Venezuela, Europe and the United States. He is a winner of UNESCO's NOMA Encouragement Concours Prize for Illustration.

Originally published in Mexico in 1999, Festival is a poem, song, cookbook, history and craft how-to all rolled into one enchanting package. An ancient Aztec tradition that has been incorporated over hundreds of years into the Catholic tradition, El Día de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated in Mexico from October 31st through November 2nd. It is a joyful time when family and friends gather together to remember the dead.
They're coming and they're going

And you see them passing by.

They're dancing over here,

They're chatting over there...
 It's their day

And they're going to have a good time.
 The illustrations in Festival, in Mexican folk-art style, depict a happy celebration of the lives of the dead as they make their way to the graveyard, singing and dancing, rollerskating and riding bicycles.


Included in the text is a simple history of the holiday and ideas for your own celebration, including suggestions for building an altar and recipes for pan de muerto (a sweet bread) and sugar skull candies. Festival is a charming book that would be a great addition to every little Texan's library.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Welcome Singapore!

This morning I am delighted to welcome readers from Singapore to Texasbooklover! Y'all have four official languages (one of which is English) and I hope I get this right. Malay: Selamat datang! Mandarin: Hhuānyíng guānglín! Tamil: Vaarungal!



Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday Roundup: October 27 - November 2!

Bookish events in Texas for the week of October 27 - November 2, 2014:

Special Events:
In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César ChávezConfederate Reunion Grounds - Mexia, September 27 - November 30

Ann and Stephen Kaufman Jewish Book & Arts Fair, Houston, November 1 - 16

26th Annual George West Storytelling Fest, November 1

Monday, October 27:

Plano
B&N - Plano/Creekwalk Village, Meet Newt and Calista Gingrich: Breakout Pioneers of the Future, Prison Guards of the Past, and the Epic Battle That Will Decide America's Fate, 7PM

Tuesday, October 28:

Dallas
Aaron Family Jewish Community Center, Roberta Rich will discuss The Harem Midwife, 7PM

B&N - Lincoln Park, Author Smith Henderson will be in conversation with Chris Vognar from the Dallas Morning News about Fourth of July Creek, 7PM

Dallas Children's Theater, book release, Decidí Vivir, 6:30PM

Duncanville
Duncanville Public Library, Dave Lieber will tell funny stories and then sign his books: WatchDog Nation, Dog of My Nightmares, and Bad Dad, 7PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Kathleen Kent - THE OUTCASTS, 7PM

Blue Willow Bookshop, Newt and Callista Gingrich will meet and greet customers and sign their new books, 7PM

Costa's Elixer Lounge, Houston Poetry Slam will host Poetry in Reverse, 7PM

Lawndale Art Center, Musical and Literary Ofrenda performed by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Musiqa and Inprint, 6PM

San Antonio

Southtown 101, Puro Poetry Slam!, 9:30PM

Wednesday, October 29:
Austin
BookPeopleAustin Author EDWARD CAREY speaking & signing Heap House: The Iremonger Trilogy (Book One), 7PM

Monkeywrench Books, Jacobin Reading Group, 7PM

Dallas
The Wild Detectives, Blake Kimzey will be reading and signing his new collection of stories Families Among Us, 7PM

Frisco
B&N - Stonebriar Mall, Neal Shusterman signing UnDivided (Unwind Dystology Series #4), 7PM

Houston
Barnes & Noble - River Oaks Shopping Center, Houston Chronicle columnist Bill King launches his new book, Unapologetically Moderate, 6PM

Brazos Bookstore, Smith Henderson - FOURTH OF JULY CREEK, 7PM

Thursday, October 30:
Allen
Allen Public Library, Michael Merschel, editor of book-related articles for The Dallas Morning News, and Will Evans, founder of Dallas' Deep Vellum Publishing, offer their insights on book trends, 7:30PM

Austin
Bookpeople, BookPeople and Edible Austin Present Bestselling Cookbook Author TERRY THOMPSON-ANDERSON speaking & signing Texas on the Table: People, Places, and Recipes Celebrating the Flavors of the Lone Star State, 7PM

UT Perry-Castañeda Library, Poetry Reading presented by New Writers Project, 7PM

Dallas
Two Bronze Doors, Pegasus Reading Series: Octavio Quintanilla, author of If I Go Missing, and Erika GDLR, 7PM

Lucky Dog Books - Oak Cliff, SOMETHING SPOOKY THIS WAY COMES, 7PM

Omni Dallas Hotel Downtown, One Childhood, One Chance Luncheon: Bill Bradley will talk about his book “We Can All Do Better,” 12PM

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, Fifth Annual Literature + Medicine Conference, 6PM

Wild Detectives, Julia Reynolds (Blood in the Fields: Ten Years Inside California’s Nuestra Familia Gang) and Alfredo Corchado (Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent Into Darkness) will discuss their works, 7PM

Fort Worth
Fort Worth Public Library - Central Branch, Robert Haddock from Random House will buzz about forthcoming books and give readers the inside scoop on fall and spring titles, 7PM

Frisco
B&N - Stonebriar Mall, Janet Tashjian: Einstein the Class Hamster and the Very Real Game Show, 6PM

Houston
Blue Willow Bookshop, Michael and Elizabeth O’Brien will discuss and sign the revised version of their stunning photography book THE FACE OF TEXAS, 7PM

Brazos BookstoreShort Story Live: Edgar Allan Poe, 7PM

Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, Nick Kotz presents The Harness Maker's Dream, 10:30AM

Eldorado Ballroom, Ligatures: Authors and Artists in Conversation, 7PM

Round Rock
B&N - La Frontera, Austin author Beth Ann Stifflemire will sign Waiting Hearts, 7PM

The Book Spot, Lee Bacon, author of the middle grade series, Joshua Dread, 6:30PM

San Antonio
Gemini Ink, Earth Talks: Closing lecture and reception with bestselling author Laurence Gonzales who will discuss his recent book Everyday Survival: Why Smart People do Stupid Things, 6:30PM


Friday, October 31:
Austin
Bookpeople, Acclaimed Childrens' Book Authors CHRIS BARTON & KARI ANNE HOLT
speaking & signing Attack! Boss! Cheat! Code!: A Gamer's Alphabet and Rhyme Schemers

Malvern Books, Tyler Gobble Launches MORE WRECK MORE WRECK with Layne Ransom, Jason Tobin, and music by Lost John, 7PM

Resistencia Bookstore, Flor De Nopal's Day of the Dead Fundraiser Reading, 7PM

College Station
B&N - Author Signing: Beth Ann Stifflemire - Waiting Hearts, 1PM


Houston
B&N - River Oaks Shopping Center, story time and book sighing with Anthony Yanez: A Wild Ride on the Water Cycle, 2PM

Barnes & Noble - Preston and Park, Painting Juliana Book Signing, 2PM

Post
Ruby Lane Books, Author Bear Mills will be signing copies of "The Ecuadorian Deception," 12PM

San Antonio
Viva! Bookstore, Poetry Reading and Book Signing for Braided Stream: A Poetry Duet with Janice Rebecca Campbell and Toni Heringer Falls, 2PM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre BoulevardLiterary Mercado, 1PM

Sunday, November 2:
Austin
Bookpeople, New York Times-bestselling Author WILLIAM GIBSON speaking & signing The Peripheral, 5PM

Houston
Doshi House, Inprint Poetry Buskers writing poetry on demand (Sunday Streets Houston - 3rd Ward), 12PM

Mansfield
Half Price Books, author Danielle A. Vann and illustrator Amy Zelder will read, sell and sign their new children’s book, Gracie Lou and the Bad Dream Eater, 1PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Diane Lawson reads and signs A Tightly Raveled Mind, 3PM

Sugarland
B&N - First Colony Mall, Bestselling Crime Thriller Author Rebecca Jean Downey, 1PM

The Woodlands
B&N - Woodlands Mall, Rusty Gregory and Alan Chasen: Living Wheat-Free For Dummies, 2PM

Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Sacred Ends

Sacred Ends (Part 2 of the Belle Époque Trilogy)
Lisa Appignanesi
Arcadia Books
9781909807587
£8.99, 352 pgs
The most dangerous phrase in any language is, “But we’ve always done it this way.”
Lisa Appignanesi is back with her signature blend of history, psychology, politics, caste, art, science, sex, religion, madness and murder. The emphasis in part two of the Belle Époque Trilogy is on religion; most of all the still-present conflict between the new-and-improved and superstitious tradition. Marguerite de Landois and Chief Inspector Durand reprise their roles in Sacred Ends, part two of Appignanesi’s Belle Époque Trilogy that began with Paris Requiem. (You can follow this link to read my review of part one.) It is a brand-new century, January 1900, and Marguerite has high hopes for a brand-new era. Unfortunately, the Comtesse has received an urgent letter from her husband, Olivier, calling her away from her adored, bustling Paris, back to the family estate in the countryside. Marguerite boards a train for the chateau with her newest waif, Martine Branquart, in tow. The only good thing about being recalled to the hinterlands is that she’ll now be better able to help Martine find her missing sister, as they are from the same area.

Marguerite arrives to find that Olivier has made many changes in her absence: new décor; some of the staff has been replaced; there’s a young sculptor in residence; a new Catholic priest with political ambitions hanging about; and a baby – a foundling. All of a sudden, Olivier has discovered traditional family values. He wants to abandon their understanding of lengthy duration (living apart ten months of the year and generally staying out of each other’s business) to form “a proper family.” Marguerite “…could feel an iron gate coming down with a clang in front of her.” As she applies herself to solving the mysteries of Martine’s sister’s disappearance, Olivier’s abrupt personality transplant, and the true parentage of the foundling, all hell breaks loose and she calls in Chief Inspector Durand from Paris to assist her.

The sexual obsession in Sacred Ends reminds me of nothing so much as Esmeralda and the High Priest in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is still so very topical in this day and age. The characters are diverse and complex, although most of their motivations are horrific; this is not their fault, mostly. The plotting is impeccable and the pacing swifter than in part one. The setting is visceral; such a complete picture of the age and place, remarkable. And, best of all, the sumptuous sentences are back, as well. For example, a passage describing the rural landscape, page 45:
Outside it was so cold the air cracked and whistled. The stairs cut into the crag were steep, the road unpaved. The houses huddled into the rock face like the Neolithic caves out of which some of them had grown. …There was an adventure to the world growing older and older as it bounded into the future.
And this, as Marguerite is reflecting on the authority of the church in the provinces: “The power of the clergy over people’s minds in this region remained enormous. Men, dressed as God’s minions, infringing private boundaries by right. The prurience of the righteous.”

There is more humor in Sacred Ends. Such as when the new village doctor explains his frequent visits to a particular estate, “Madam Tellier suffers from two unmarried daughters, amongst a number of other perennial complaints.” And this, as the same doctor is explaining to Marguerite that the poor man whose body was found under a train was already dead when his body was placed there. Her reaction: “You mean he died of a prior dying?”

Lisa Appignanesi
The only flat note in Sacred Ends is a subplot involving Inspector Durand and a police case back in Paris. I found it extraneous and do not believe that it added to the story the author was telling. Perhaps it will show up in part three of the trilogy to explain its inclusion. I’ve already asked Arcadia Books when I can get my hands on part three. So, to sum up, if you love Paris Requiem as I do, you will definitely want to read Sacred Ends.

I’ll leave you with this, page 351:
…She [Marguerite] had been complaining of her sense that she had come to La Rochambert to enter some strange, hoary clime far from this new twentieth century, a space where medieval tortures and consciences abetted by ideas of sanctity were still at their destructive work and no one seemed to notice. A place where families were allowed to abuse and women were mistreated; where the Enlightenment had never taken place and the Republic might as well never have been born. All that, plus the murder of innocents. How could such a world still exist in the twentieth century?
I hate to tell her this but that world still exists in the twenty-first century. She could be talking about us.

Lisa Appignanesi is the author of numerous novels and works of nonfiction, including the prize-winning Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind Doctors. Appignanesi is a past-president of English PEN and is the chair of the Freud Museum, London, and Visiting Professor in Literature and the Medical Humanities at King's College London. She was awarded an OBE in 2013 for her services to literature.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Shadow Knight's Mate

Shadow Knight’s Mate by Jay Brandon
Wings Press
978-1-60940-391-1
$16.95, 305 pgs
Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.
I am a Jay Brandon fan from way back – I will not tell you from how far back. Brandon wrote some very engaging legal thrillers set in Texas that I thoroughly enjoyed. Shadow Knight’s Mate is nothing like those books except that it is engaging and I really enjoyed it. Shadow Knight’s Mate is some sort of weird amalgam of a super hero comic, sci-fi adventure, James Bond spy thriller, and Tom Clancy techno suspense nightmare that contemplates a post-America world. With a little Dean Koontz thrown in just to keep things interesting.

The Circle is a shadowy American organization that basically runs the planet – possibly the known universe. Possibly several unknown parallel universes. Imagine a super-secret philanthropic conspiracy wielding unlimited power whose mission is to maintain America’s influence in the world. Think Opus Dei, the Knights Templar, the Tri-lateral Commission, and that annual meeting that Dick Cheney always goes to that I can’t remember the name of. But with the best of intentions – like the X-Men or the Justice League.

After a terrorist attack in the United States, Circle member Jack Driscoll must save the world from an ingenious and infernal plot hatched by a madman whose physical description reminds me of the villain in Austin Powers. In a mad dash around the planet from France to Malaysia to the Czech Republic and Germany and Israel and back again, Jack must wrangle with forces of evil determined to bring the United States to its knees. And several doppelgangers who’ve been gallivanting around Europe, up to no good, impersonating him. You see, Jack is the one person the mastermind behind the plot fears could stop him.

Jay Brandon
Shadow Knight’s Mate is not my usual thing; I’m not big on genre fiction most of the time. The quality of this story is uneven and it suffers from awkward action scenes that don’t flow well, although the latter improves about two-thirds of the way through the text. There is no nuanced character development, no lyrical use of language, spot-on metaphor or evocative description. What this book has in spades is plot, expert pacing, and plenty of humor. It was so much fun. It kept me turning the pages because I truly wanted answers to so many questions.

Two things: 1) Never underestimate the grudges formed in childhood; and 2) a National Security Adviser with an inferiority complex AND delusions of grandeur should be avoided. Don’t think too hard about it – just give in and go where the story takes you. You’ll be glad you did. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday Roundup: October 20 - 26!

Bookish events in Texas for the week of October 20 - 26, 2014:

Special Events:
In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César ChávezConfederate Reunion Grounds - Mexia, September 27 - November 30

TEXAS BOOK FESTIVAL, Austin, October 25 - 26

AUSTIN LIT CRAWL, October 25

Monday, October 20:





The Wild Detectives, Kathleen Kent will sign The Outcasts, 7PM

Fort Worth
San Antonio
B&N, San Pedro, Sun Poets' Society Open Mic Poetry, 7PM


Resistencia Bookstore, vigil for the 43 disappeared students in Mexico, 6:30PM

Dallas
The Kessler Theater, Laurie Anderson: The Language of the Future (fundraiser for Wordspace), 8PM

Seven for Parties, Captain Hope’s Kids gala, A Chance to be Remarkable, with guest speakers Marlee Matlin and Henry Winkler, a book signing will follow, 5:30PM



Valley Ranch Library, Neal Shusterman will discuss UnDivided, 7PM

San Antonio
Marriott Rivercenter, San Antonio Express-News Book & Author Luncheon, 12PM
The Twig Book Shop, Carmen Boullosa reads and signs Texas: The Great Theft, 7PM

Webster
B&N - Baybrook, Author Rene Steinke signs Friendswood, 6:30PM

Friday, October 24:

Dallas
Barnes & Noble - Lincoln Park, Sophia A. Nelson to discuss/sign The Woman Code: 20 Powerful Keys to Unlock Your Life, 7PM


Denton

El Paso
Brazos Bookstore, Carmen Boullosa - TEXAS: THE GREAT THEFT, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Christopher Buehlman will sign and discuss The Lesser Dead, 6:30PM

Writespace, NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party, 6PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, J R Helton signs and read The Jugheads, 7PM

Saturday, October 25:
Arlington


Barnes & Noble - Preston and Park, Book signing: Plano's Historic Cemeteries, 2PM

Round Top
The Gallery at Round Top, Townsfolk Project Book Signing and Photography Exhibit, 4PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book ShopRandall Reneau reads and signs SOUTH OF GOOD, 11AM

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review: Spheres of Disturbance

Spheres of Disturbance, Amy Schutzer
Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press
ISBN: 978-0-9890361-1-5
$16.95, 277 pgs

“Death is the final stroke of randomness, and we must wait for it, isn’t that what we’re told?” writes Amy Schutzer in Spheres of Disturbance, a sweetly affecting story of the last day of Helen’s life. The novel shifts between nine points of view, among them Helen’s daughter Sammy, an almost long-lost sister Rosie, Avery the poet, and a pregnant Vietnamese pot-bellied pig christened Charlotta. Most of the story unfolds at Avery’s garage sale, where seemingly the entire town makes an appearance and an all-woman band from the local lesbian farm collective provides the entertainment, usually musical.

Make no mistake—Spheres is by no means all sweetness and light. Helen is losing a battle with breast cancer that has metastasized to her bones and lungs. She has chosen this day to die. Our culture doesn’t know what to do with sickness, much less death. It’s as if ill health were a personal failing, a question of morality, of will. The “right to die” is a controversial and difficult topic; questions of personal autonomy always are. Helen’s daughter Sammy has spent the last couple of years in serious denial and at the beginning of this book believes that Helen should live for her, if for no other reason. No one is allowed to breathe the word “death” in Sammy’s presence, and this is damaging all her relationships. We follow along as Sammy makes the journey to a certain acceptance, if not peace.

You won’t read Spheres for plot and action. You will read Spheres for the diversity of characters and their completeness, for the complexity of relationships and community ties, for the sheer joy of skillful, precise, somehow intuitive language. Words are important in this book, both to the characters and to the author. Words are carefully chosen. For example, this passage comes from a scene between Sammy and Avery in which Sammy is flirting with taking down the wall that protects her from her mother’s imminent death:
She stands close. Not touching, just before touching. Knees close and thighs close and the buttons of their coats close. Sammy removes her hands from her pockets, from the box of cough drops and a flat green stone. The wind is in her palms and it is cold. Avery wishes those hands would rise up like leaves and land softly on her skin. But there is no hurrying Sammy. She unfolds her hands like flowers, each finger from the palm.
I was delighted by Schutzer’s powers of description, often pastoral but unexpectedly sharp. “Daylight seeps through the weeping willows with their breathy leaf curtains and strikes.” Charlotta the pig snorting along in the wake of Avery and Joe, discovering where they’ve been:
Dirt with oak leaves and linden, Cheerios, coffee grounds, flakes of alfalfa, and sweet, sweet apples. Joe. Where does he go? She doesn’t know. But where he goes has tickling grass, pine needles, dried-up dog doo, and something sweet…sweet but not apples.
Schutzer conveys a myriad of meanings in a single passage. “The man next to Rosie extends his hand. On his wrist hangs an oversized gold watch that includes several smaller dials within the larger blue face. It’s a watch that says the man wearing it will compare it to Joe’s, a Mickey Mouse Timex Darla gave him for his birthday, and draw conclusions.” There are also flashes of humor like this one: “…her mom is dying, though the word itself is so taboo that the doctors, the hospital, the American Cancer Society call it a battle instead. A war. There are cheerleaders…You can beat this, yes you can! Two, four, six, eight: only three more times to radiate.”

Amy Schutzer
I was thoroughly charmed by this book. The setting is very specific—upstate New York in the mid-1980s. The atmosphere is a throwback to a time that persists in very few places, all granola, recycling, public radio, literacy, liberation, self-discovery and the social contract. Think Lauren Groff’s Arcadia. Spheres is Amy Schutzer’s second novel. Her first,Undertow, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist, a Violet Quill Award finalist, and won a Today’s Librarian “Best of 2000” Award. A poetry chapbook, Taking the Scarecrows Down, was published in 2011 by Finishing Line Press. As for Spheres of Disturbance, the highest praise I can offer is this: I yearn to know these people, this community. I want them to exist in the physical plane, not just in Schutzer’s mind, and now my own. I would gladly join their world.

This review first appeared in Monkeybicycle.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I Shall Be Near To You

I Shall Be Near To You by Erin Lindsay McCabe
Crown Publishers
978-0-8041-3772-0
$24, 305 pgs
“Plenty of things that ain’t usual ain’t wrong.” – Rosetta Wakefield
In I Shall Be Near To You Erin Lindsay McCabe has created a rare thing in this day and age: an unabashed romance, an unironic love story. Of course, she had to go back to the nineteenth century to do so. Our heroine, Rosetta, is spirited and unconventional, a woman ahead of her time, for the most part. A tomboy who preferred harvesting in the fields to sewing in the house, Rosetta refuses to let the social and gender restrictions of the time dictate her behavior.

Rosetta and Jeremiah have imagined a future on a farm of their own in Nebraska Territory. In order to obtain the needed funds, Jeremiah plans to volunteer for the Union Army. Everyone is convinced that the Civil War won’t last long and he can come home in no time with the money and they can begin the rest of their lives together.
All the Union needs is one good General and one good win. Then this war will be over and we’ll have our country back and be home to our kin before harvest time.
Rosetta and Jeremiah are married in upstate New York in January, 1862, and a couple of weeks later Jeremiah and a handful of local boys march off to join the war effort. Rosetta is heartsick without him. When she is attacked by another man fear and desperation drive her to cut her hair, bind her breasts, hem some of her husband’s clothes and set out to follow him. She joins the 97th New York Volunteers as Private Ross Stone, which is a joke between her and Jeremiah; he has often told her that her head is as hard as stone. It soon becomes clear that this war will not be over soon, that they will see plenty of combat and not everyone will make it out alive. I cannot say much more about the plot or there will be spoilers all over the place.

As it turns out, many women impersonated men to join the army during the Civil War, most of them following husbands, fathers or brothers. The research that must have gone into this book is tremendous and Ms. McCabe should be commended for her diligence. Someone should hand over a doctorate in American history, actually. The period details of speech, clothing, and technology, among other things, are meticulous. McCabe describes the process of firing a musket, “load charge ram prime aim fire,” and I am amazed that anyone anywhere ever actually managed to fire a weapon, let alone actually hit something.

The juxtaposition between the boasting and tough talk at the encampments and the reality of broken bodies and minds in the field hospitals is stark and heartbreaking. Overheard by Rosetta at one of the hospitals:
“I was a fool to have such an itch to fight,” Bed Twenty-six says. “It ain’t how I thought, having Rebel artillerymen laying their shells down in front of us. Canister. It tears right through the lines, cuts down whole Companies of men. And if it don’t get you, you got to keep moving forward into it. That’s bad enough. But at Shiloh the trees caught fire. … It was a sight to see. Like a halo over every tree, the way the leaves caught first. Except then the branches started falling.” Bed Twenty-six takes a deep breath and closes his eyes. “You ever heard a hog at slaughter?”
Erin Lindsay McCabe
McCabe has a gift for metaphor and a talent for a particularly affecting turn of phrase. This is Rosetta holding her baby sister for the first time:
I held her, thinking of the time I broke Mama’s special china teacup and feeling scared what would happen if I dropped this, the only sister I’ve ever had, if it would be like that baby bird all skin and dark lids and what happened when it fell out of its nest. I couldn’t get to Mama’s bed fast or slow enough…
And this is Rosetta on the anticipation of battle:
Our bugles sound and voices roar as we march past the stone house and up a steep hill. Our blue Company flag waves ahead of the officers on their horses and the drums roll and my feet move without me even willing them. The air around us is tight like before lightning, and I think of Mama’s pregnant belly stretched out taut.
 I am reminded of Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and that is a fine thing indeed.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Roundup! October 13 - 19

Bookish events in Texas for the week of October 13 - 19, 2014:

Special Events:
Love LibrosEl Paso, September 15 - October 15

In His Own Words: The Life and Work of César ChávezConfederate Reunion Grounds - Mexia, September 27 - November 30

Dallas Comic Con Fan Days, October 17 - 19

Oprah Winfrey’s The Life You Want Weekend, Houston, October 17 - 18

TEXAS TEEN BOOK FESTIVAL, Austin, October 18

Monday, October 13:
Austin
BookPeopleRICK RIORDAN presents his new book Blood of Olympus at Westlake Performing Arts Center, 6:30PM [SOLD OUT]

Dallas
Wyly Theatre, Oral Fixation (An Obsession with True Life Tales) presents: Go With The Flow, 8PM

Houston
Wortham Theater Center - Cullen Theater, 2014/2015 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series: Deborah Eisenberg & Antonya Nelson, 7:30PM

Tuesday, October 14:

Dallas
B&N - Lincoln Park, Robin Ganzert: Animal Stars Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors, 7PM

Frisco
B&N - Stonebriar Mall, Scott WesterfeldAfterworlds, 7PM

Houston
Katy Budget Books, Author and international teacher Christy Esmahan signs the three books in her Cantabria American School series, Bueno, Sinco, and Brujas, 6PM 


Warehouse Live, Houston Moth StorySLAM: Hunger, 7:30PM

Plano
B&N - Creekwalk Village, Meet Author Kimberly Cross Teter - Isabella's Libretto, 7PM

San Antonio
B&N, San Pedro, Sun Poets' Society Open Mic Poetry, 7PM

Houston Public Library - Central (Julia Ideson), Written Memoirs and a Chican@ Museum: A Touring Lecture on Seminal Work, 6PM

Tootsies, Elements of Style by Erin Gates - Book Signing, 6PM

University of Houston - Honors College, Gwendolyn Zepeda - Houston's Poet Laureate, 2:30PM

Thursday, October 16:
Austin
Avaya Auditorium, LUCIE BROCK-BROIDO, 7:30PM

BookPeopleDebut Authors THUG KITCHEN speaking & signing Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give A F*ck, 7PM

BookPeople, Texas Writers' League Third Thursday Panel:"Ghost-Writing: The Secrets of Unseen Authorin," 7PM

The North Door, The October BedPost Confessions, 8PM

South Congress Books, The Face of Texas book signing with Michael & Elizabeth O'Brien, 7PM

Dallas
Communities Foundation of Texas, Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy book signing with Francis Fukuyama, 7PM

Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dr. Eben Alexander Presents The Map of Heaven: How Science, Religion, and Ordinary People Are Proving the Afterlife, 7PM

El Paso
UTEP, New Faculty Reading with Tim Z. Hernandez, Andrea Cote & the UTEP Middle Eastern Ensemble, 7PM

Houston


McAllen
B&N - Palms Crossing, Meet the Author: Beatrice de Leon, 4PM

The Woodlands
B&N - Woodlands Mall, Garth Nix: Clariel The Lost Abhorsen, 7PM

Friday, October 17:


Brenham
Unity Theatre, 6th Annual The Washington County Read: Come and meet Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, the author of One Amazing Thing and hear an excerpt from her book, 6PM

College Station
B&N - Lone Star Pavilion, Author Event: Shilo Harris - Steel Will My Journey through Hell to Become the Man I Was Meant to Be, 3PM

Dallas
Heroes Sports Bar & Grill, Rave at Dallas Poetry Slam, 8PM

Houston
Saturday, October 18:
Alpine
Front Street Books, Roland Wauer shares his latest book, My Wild Life: A Memoir of Adventures within America's National Parks, 6PM

Arlington

Garland
Half Price Books, Jeff Hampton will sell and sign his latest book Jonah Prophet: An Allegory on the Old Testament Tale, 1PM

Houston
B&N - River Oaks, Horns by the Bull, Rick Baty, 2PM

B&N - River Oaks, Women of Mystery Faithful Unto Death, 2PM

Inprint House, Speak!Poet event at Inprint House featuring Kevin Prufer & Martha Serpas, 2PM

McGonigel's Mucky Duck, Book Signing: Janis Teppo Brooks - Postcards from Houston: Global Adventures in Your Own Backyard, 12PM

Murder By the Book, Felix Francis will sign and discuss Dick Francis's Damage, 1PM

Writespace, NaNoWriMo 101, 3PM

Lubbock
B&N - Rubber Boots: Poetry for Rainy and Not-so-Rainy Days by Jordan Davidson, 1PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Michael Hodge reads & signs Bilingual Benny Wets His Pants, 10AM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre BoulevardLiterary Mercado, 1PM

Waco
B&N - Circuit City Plaza, Mary Evans reads & signs Thunder and Lightning, 2PM

Sunday, October 19:
Arlington
Half Price Books - Four Corners, James Howell will sell and sign his book, Countdown to Atomgeddon: The Race to Build the First Atomic Bomb, 1PM

Austin
Johnston Middle School, Cool Brains! Inprint Readings for Young People: Meet the Author Roland Smith, 3PM

Katy Budge Books, The Long Island Medium, Theresa Caputo, will be in store to sign her books, You Can't Make This Stuff Up and There's More to Life Than This!, 1PM

San Antonio
The Twig Book Shop, Sarah Stark reads and signs Out There, 3PM