Friday, December 29, 2017

Review: ALL AROUND US by Xelena González

I reviewed All Around Us (Cinco Puntos Press) by Xelena González, illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia, for Lone Star Literary Life. This is the most beautiful picture book I've laid eyes upon in probably forever. It's a circle-of-life book for this season of endings and new beginnings.

PICTURE BOOK
Xelena González, illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia
All Around Us
Cinco Puntos Press
Hardcover, 978-1-9410-2676-2, (also available as an e-book), 288 pgs., $16.95
October 17, 2017
“Do you see, my grandchild? We have new life with you.”
On the most basic level, you could say All Around Us is a children’s book about shapes. “Grandpa says circles are all around us. We just have to look for them.” A young girl and her grandfather take a walk and identify circles: the sun, a clock, bicycle wheels. On a whole other level, All Around Us is still about circles, but these are the circles of life. “Here is another circle,” [Grandpa] says as they tend their vegetable garden. “What we take from the earth, we return.” These circles are thunderstorms and rainbows, planting and harvesting, birth and death. As above, so below.

All Around Us is the first picture book from Xelena González and Adriana M. Garcia. González is a journalist and librarian; Garcia is an award-winning artist and scenic designer. The women are childhood friends, born and raised on the Westside of San Antonio. All Around Us, benefiting from a grant by the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, celebrates relationships with a sense of infectious joy.

González and Garcia are inspired by their memories and regular visits (with tacos) to their childhood homes. González’s prose is inspiring, but sweet and simple for the recommended ages of three to seven (preschool through second grade). Garcia’s illustrations are striking, uniquely beautiful. The neighborhood is recognizably San Antonio; the laughter in the eyes of grandfather and granddaughter is palpable.

All Around Us is all about connections, graced by ethereal images—the perfect children’s book for this season of celebrating endings and new beginnings.

Originally published in Lone Star Literary Life.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar 12/25-31

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of December 25-31, 2017: 

Ongoing Exhibits:
Tuesday, December 26:
No public events today. Visit your local bookstore and spend the gift cards you received. 

Wednesday, December 27:
No public events. Today is a good day to begin reading those books you received from the people who really love you-or just don't want to see you. 'Cause now you're busy reading.

Thursday, December 28:
Austin

Recycled Reads Bookstore, Workshop: "Write. Create. Ponder." with Bernadette Noll, 6PM

Dallas
B&N - First Colony, Story time with local author Maria Ashworth, 10AM

The Woodlands
B&N - Woodlands Mall, Jeremy Holt signs Skinned, 6PM

Friday, December 29:
No public events today. Finish that book you began reading on Wednesday.

Saturday, December 30:
Houston
The Twig Book Shop, Melanie Little discusses and signs Experience Strength and Hope, a memoir of recovery, 11AM

Sunday, December 31:
Dallas

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Merry Christmas from Texas!

Review: PRETTY PAPER by Willie Nelson

reviewed Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale (Blue Rider Press) by Willie Nelson for Lone Star Literary Life. Check out the seasonal serendipity from Zen Willie.

FICTION
Willie Nelson (with David Ritz)
Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale
Blue Rider Press, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA)
Hardcover, 978-0-7352-1154-4 (also available as an e-book, an audio book, and on Audible), 304 pgs., $23.00
October 25, 2016

“It was a rough Christmas in a rough town,” December in the early 1960s, and Willie is headed into Leonards department store in downtown Fort Worth to do some holiday gift shopping when he spies a man down on his luck, both legs amputated above the knee, balancing on a rolling board, hawking wrapping paper, ribbons, and bows on the sidewalk. Willie buys his Christmas gifts and goes back outside to look for the man with the pretty paper, but he’s gone.

Willie, intrigued by the quality of the man’s voice when he was singing out about his ribbon for sale — and suspecting he might be a musician — returns to look for him several times. The man on the board is Vernon Clay. He does have a story, one he doesn’t want to tell, but Willie is compelled to discover what brought a man with that voice so low. When Willie sets out to make things right, the situation quickly becomes complicated.

Pretty Paper: A Christmas Tale is “autobiographical fiction” from Willie Nelson (with the help of longtime collaborator David Ritz), based on his hit song of the same title. Pretty Paper seems simple, but as with Willie’s songs, you soon find yourself in the deep end of the pool, tackling big questions like the nature of God, betrayal in business and love, and why bad things happen to good people. Inexplicably drawn to the enigma of Vernon Clay, Willie makes a human connection with a stranger, and does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.

Pretty Paper is peopled with colorful characters. There’s “Nutsy” Perkins, a local enforcer and bookie with an affinity for white fedoras with purple feathers in the brim, a drummer called Brother Paul (“who understood [Willie’s] personal sense of rhythm. Not everyone does.”) given to wide-brimmed hats and black capes, and Ranger Roy Finkelstein, who owns a record store in Garland (“Garland is where the action is. There’s more to Garland than meets the eye.”) where Willie tracks down clues to Vernon Clay.

Willie’s good-natured, dry wit is here. A British music promoter wearing a monocle and tweeds wants to take Willie to England. Brit: “Let’s proceed to the dining room for tea and crumpets.” Willie: “Or bourbon and barbecue. This is Memphis.” When Willie tries to talk a nightclub owner into letting Vernon Clay sing with his band, the owner responds with, “Seeing some guy in a wheelchair don’t make nobody wanna dance.”

A feel-good, quickly paced holiday tale, Pretty Paper is sometimes too sweet, with a couple clichés too many, but these flaws are infrequent. More often, we are treated to Zen Willie: “cosmic conspiracy” at work and advice to “love the mystery,” extolling writing and music as therapy, release, and exorcism, reminding me in turn of O. Henry and Jimmy Buffett.

It’s a slim, handsomely designed volume; the dust jacket features an iconic drawing of Willie in saturated color, complete with a red bandana anchoring his braids, and a green scarf warming his neck. The interior is similarly thoughtful, with simple charcoal drawings scattered throughout and the edges of the pages changing color by section, striped like a candy cane. This first-person narrative of seasonal serendipity reads as if you’re hanging on the tour bus with the man himself, telling tales. The final touching twist left me smiling, as any good Christmas tale should.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Review: THE SHADOWS WE KNOW BY HEART by Jennifer Park

I reviewed The Shadows We Know by Heart (Simon Pulse) by East Texas's Jennifer Park for Lone Star Literary Life. It is pure magic; I loved this YA debut from the very first page, and read it in one sitting.

YA SCIENCE FICTION/FANTASY
Jennifer Park
The Shadows We Know by Heart
Simon Pulse
Hardcover, 978-1-4814-6351-9, (also available as an e-book), 304 pgs., $17.99
March 14, 2017

Sixteen-year-old Leah Roberts lives in a broken family at the edge of the East Texas piney woods. Ten years ago, her family has been shattered in the aftermath of the death, in those woods, of her brother Sam. Leah’s father is Pastor Roberts, and he has a lot of rules (no lip gloss, no bikinis); one of those rules is never, ever go into the woods. But the forest is the only place Leah can let down her emotional walls, be herself. “This forest is my religion, the towering cathedral of trees my church, and I’m reborn every time I leave,” Leah tells us.

The forest is Leah’s comfort, both freedom and sanctuary, and holds her biggest secret. “Heavy steps echo through the trees, the surefooted sound of creatures that have nothing to fear in this world,” Leah says. Would that that were true. “I’ve watched something that technically doesn’t exist come and go in the forest behind our home for years.” Leah has never told anyone because she’s pretty sure they’d stop listening at “Bigfoot.” But the morning she first sees the human boy with the Sasquatch, she knows she has a difficult decision to make. “The walls are falling down around me, pushing me closer to the human embodiment of everything I love about the forest. Leah is gone,” she thinks, “and in her place is a girl walking with a boy who feels like home, the way it was before everything fell apart.”

The Shadows We Know by Heart is the debut young-adult novel from Jennifer Park. Published by Simon Pulse, it’s labeled science fiction/fantasy, solely because of Bigfoot. Sasquatch. A family of them. Some of you will protest this. I take no position on the existence of Bigfoot, but, in an unlikely turn of events, I fell in love with this book.

Beautifully designed inside and out, The Shadows We Know by Heart is both spooky and beguiling, finding a difficult equilibrium of comedy and tragedy. Parks’ rendering of rural Texas teenagers is spot-on. I used to be one of them, and I feel I know these people. The story is told in Leah’s first-person narration, her voice distinctive and authentic. She’s smart and funny; suspicious of, and confused by, the adults in her life; and flustered by boys. Leah is a rebel flirting with mutiny, and totally likeable.

The Shadows We Know by Heart asks tough questions about violence and vengeance, retribution and regret, atonement and forgiveness, justice and mercy, secrets and guilt. What is the meaning of family? What do we owe the living and the dead, and if those obligations appear to conflict—what then? What does it mean to be civilized, and who decides? What does it mean to be human, and are humans intrinsically worthier than other animals? Leah must reconcile freedom and responsibility, and make choices as she struggles with identity, attempting to escape those imposed upon her.

The quick, steady pace effortlessly holds our attention; flashbacks foreshadow, adding to the escalating sense of dread; and the plot delivers multiple twists before accelerating into a shocking climax. Met by foreboding and adrenaline, then thoroughly charmed, all on the first page, I read The Shadows We Know by Heart in one sitting. Park delivers thrilling, mysterious, magical moments; the truly scary; the viscerally creepy; exquisite tension; and sweet first love.

Originally published by Lone Star Literary Life.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Excerpt & Giveaway of BONNIE AND CLYDE: RESURRECTION ROAD

BONNIE AND CLYDE:
Resurrection Road
Book One in a New Trilogy
by
CLARK HAYS AND KATHLEEN McFALL
  
Genre:  Alternative Historical Fiction / Thriller
Date of Publication: April 22, 2017
Pages: 308
Publisher: Pumpjack Press
on Facebook


Scroll down for the giveaway!


In an alternate timeline, legendary lovers Bonnie and Clyde are given one last shot at redemption.

The story begins in 1984 when a reporter gets a tip to meet an old woman at a Texas cemetery. Cradling an antique rifle and standing over a freshly dug grave, the old woman claims to be Bonnie Parker. Turns out, she says, it wasn’t Bonnie and Clyde who were ambushed fifty years earlier. Instead, the outlaws were kidnapped, forced into a covert life and given a deadly mission—save President Roosevelt from an assassination plot financed by industrialists determined to sink the New Deal.

Thrust into a fight against greed they didn’t ask for, but now must win in order to save themselves and their families, will the notorious duo overcome their criminal pasts and put their “skills” to use fighting for justice for the working class?

Cutting back and forth between the modern era where the shocked reporter investigates the potential scoop-of-the-century, and the desperate undercover exploits of Bonnie and Clyde in 1934, Resurrection Road is a page-turning sleep-wrecker.

Bonnie and Clyde. Saving democracy, one bank robbery at a time.

PRAISE FOR BONNIE AND CLYDE: RESURRECTION ROAD:

“Sex, danger and intrigue, coupled with just the right dose of cheeky humor,” -- East Oregonian

“A Depression-era tale timely with reflections on fat cats and a rigged economic system that still ring true. More than that, the story is an exciting ride, with tight corners, narrow escapes, and real romantic heat between Bonnie and Clyde. Outlaws become patriots in this imaginative, suspenseful what-if story,” -- Kirkus Reviews

CLICK TO PURCHASE


=================== ║=================== 


EXCERPT from Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road
By Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

This scene is at the book’s beginning when Royce Jenkins, the reporter, first stumbles on the big story about Bonnie and Clyde never dying. Royce and “old” Bonnie are talking in a cemetery over the freshly dug grave of Clyde Barrow. The year is 1984.

 “It’s good to meet you, ma’am,” he said. “I’m—”

“I know who you are,” she said, a southern drawl dripping warmth from the edge of her words. “Royce Jenkins. You write some history articles for The Dispatch, along with obituaries, high school football scores and, occasionally, recipes. You’re not half-bad—for a newspaperman, I mean.”

“Thanks,” Royce said. “I think that’s called damning with faint praise.”

She laughed again. “I’ve had more than my share of run-ins with the press. But my husband, God rest his soul”—she looked toward the grave—“my husband thought pretty highly of you after that piece you did on Texas prisons. You got a lot of that right.”

“Not many people remember that article, at least according to my editor,” he said, tilting his head toward the grave. “So, that’s your husband?”

“My one true love,” she said. “We were together for more than fifty years. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to find the person you’re meant to be with right off.”

“I’m sorry for your loss,” he said. “Mind if I smoke?”

“Can’t think of a better place to kill yourself than a graveyard.”

“I don’t mean to sound crass, but lots of people fall in love and stay together a long time, and then die,” Royce said, pulling out a cigarette. “You said you had a big story for me.”

He was having serious second thoughts about driving all the way out here.

“The biggest story you’ll encounter in your life, but first I was hoping you could help me.” She pulled one of the shovels out of the fresh dirt and handed it to him.

“You want me to help bury him?” Royce asked. “That’s a little outside my job description, and anyway, why not just let those two strapping young men earn their pay?”

“Because I don’t want them to steal the guns,” she said. “They’re old, but they still work. He cleaned them nearly every day.”

“Guns?” Royce asked, bushy eyebrows inching up.

She bent down, unzipped the duffel bag, and pulled out two rifles, each almost as long as she was tall. She handled the heavy guys with an ease born of familiarity.

“Are those…?”

“Yep, BARs,” she said. “Browning Automatic Rifles, chambered in 30.06. He loved them almost as much as he loved me.” She tossed them into the grave, where they landed on top of the coffin with a clatter.

He turned to look more closely at her, a thousand questions forming, but they died in this throat when he saw she was now holding a pair of well-used Colt .45s with the same unsettling ease, one in each hand. She tossed them in after the rifles. “He wouldn’t feel safe without his guns, even in heaven. At least I hope that’s where he’s going. Seems like we atoned enough for our sins.”

The old woman bent over the duffel bag again, pushing the sleeves of the mink coat back to her elbows, and he half expected her to pull out grenades next, but instead she extracted a bouquet of red roses. Even behind the veil, he could see tears forming, but somehow it only made her seem fiercer. She tossed the flowers into the grave on top of the guns. “I love you, Clyde,” she whispered.

He looked at the tombstone, confused. It read: “Here rests Clarence Prentiss. May he finally find peace.”

“I love you more now than the day we met,” she said, voice breaking. “And I don’t regret a single goddamn thing. Not even from when we first started out.” She glared at Royce. “Well, don’t just stand there watching me bawl, start shoveling.”

He flipped the cigarette and turned his attention to the grave, slinging in dirt. She took up the other shovel and followed suit, matching his pace until the guns and roses were gone from sight, hidden under the freshly turned earth.

When the grave was filled, he dropped the shovel and looked at the angry blisters rising up on his palms. “Who was your husband?” he asked, wiping the sweat beaded on his brow. “And what’s with the guns?”

She was winded but hid it well with a stubborn jaw. “His name is—was—Clyde Barrow,” she said.

“Same as the famous outlaw?” Royce asked. “That’s funny.”

“No, not the same as,” she said. “The original. My name is Bonnie Parker. Although around here, they know us as Brenda and Clarence Prentiss.”

“Bonnie and Clyde?” Royce said.

“In the flesh—at least what’s left of it.”

“Ma’am, no offense, but they both died in the 1930s, a long time ago.”

“Fifty years ago exactly,” she said. “He always knew how to make an entrance. And an exit, I guess.”

“Wait, you’re Bonnie and Clyde?”

“I told you it was a big story,” Bonnie said. “Now that Clyde is dead, I plan to tell the truth. I never cared much about what happened to me, but there was no way he was going back to prison.”


A native of Texas, Clark Hays spent his early childhood there and then moved for a decade with his family around the world following the job of his father, a legendary wildcat petroleum drilling engineer, before finally landing on a Montana ranch. Kathleen McFall was born and raised in Washington, D.C. 

Between the two of them, the authors have worked in writing jobs ranging from cowboy-poet to energy journalist to restaurant reviewer to university press officer. After they met in the early 1990s, their writing career took center stage when they wrote the first book in The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection as a test for marriage. They passed. Their debut novel was picked up by Llewellyn (St. Paul, MN) with a first edition published in 1999, making it among the earliest stories in the resurgence and reimagining of the undead myth for modern audiences. 

Since then, Clark and Kathleen have published five novels together—the latest reimagines the life of the legendary outlaws Bonnie and Clyde.

Clark and Kathleen have won several writing awards, including a Pushcart Prize nomination (Clark) and a fiction fellowship from Oregon Literary Arts (Kathleen). Their books have been honored with a Best Books of 2014 by Kirkus Reviews, Best Books of 2016 by IndieReader, and a 2017 Silver IPPY Medalist.

-------------------------------------
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Three Winners Each Win a Signed Copy + $10 Amazon Gift Card
December 18-December 30, 2017
(U.S. Only)
VISIT THE OTHER GREAT BLOGS ON THE TOUR:
12/18/17
Teaser
12/19/17
Excerpt 1
12/20/17
Review
12/21/17
Guest Post 1
12/22/17
Review
12/26/17
Excerpt 2
12/27/17
Review
12/28/17
Guest Post 2
12/29/17
Excerpt 3
12/30/17
Review




   blog tour services provided by

  



Monday, December 18, 2017

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 12/18-24

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of December 18-24, 2017: 

Ongoing Exhibits:

Houston

The Black Labrador, Houston Writers House meeting: "How to Submit Short Stories and Poetry to Magazines and Journals" with Elise Holland, 6:30PM

San Antonio
Thursday, December 21:
Houston
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: book signing and reception with poet Rudy Garcia, author of Two Eagles, 1PM

Sugar Land
B&N - First Colony, Story time with local author Maria Ashworth, 10AM

Friday, December 22:
The Woodlands
Saturday, December 23:
Austin
Austin Books & Comics, Christmas Party featuring the prize tent, sales and specials, and free cocoa and candy canes, 10AM

Galveston
Galveston Bookshop, Steve H. Alexander signing Exploring Galveston, 2PM

Houston
The Twig Book Shop, Kena Sosa reads and signs her children's book The Unhuggables, 11AM

Sunday, December 24:
Dallas

Friday, December 15, 2017

Review: THE LAST SHERIFF IN TEXAS by James P. McCollom

I reviewed The Last Sheriff in Texas: A True Tale of Violence and the Vote (Counterpoint Press) by James P. McCollom for Lone Star Literary Life! McCollom's book is a valuable chapter of South Texas history, the patron system of vote fraud (think box thirteen and LBJ), and the nascent struggle for Mexican American civil rights. Bonus: it's consistently entertaining.

TEXAS HISTORY
James P. McCollom
The Last Sheriff in Texas: A True Tale of Violence and the Vote
Counterpoint
Hardcover, 978-1-6190-2996-5, (also available as an e-book), 272 pgs., $26.00
November 14, 2017

My dad, former deputy sheriff of Mitchell County, Texas, always said everything that happens in the big city happens in small towns, just not as often. The small towns in Bee County, Texas, were presided over by Sheriff Vail Ennis from 1945 until 1952. Ennis was a legend in his time, and his most dramatic exploit is also the beginning of this true story. Shot five times by an ex-con at a Magnolia station in Pettus, a wide spot in the road, on a cold November night in 1947, Ennis managed to empty his gun, reload, and kill both attackers before the ambulance arrived to speed him to a hospital.

The Last Sheriff in Texas: A True Tale of Violence and the Vote by Beeville native son James P. McCollom is told through the actions of two men, Sheriff Ennis and Beeville’s hometown-boy-made-good Johnny Barnhart. In the beginning it’s not clear what Barnhart’s part in the drama will be; we meet him as a yell leader and fraternity boy, then a law student, at the University of Texas at Austin. Barnhart returns to Beeville with his juris doctor, hangs out a shingle, and is promptly elected to the Texas lege, where his principles and idealism get him branded a subversive and smeared as a Commie during McCarthy’s Red Scare. Barnhart returns home to practice criminal-defense law, which is how he discovers Sheriff Ennis’s pervasive power. Ennis is arrester, jailer, bondsman, probation supervisor, judge, jury, and—this is where things get really hairy—executioner. Before Ennis leaves office, he will kill eight men.

Barnhart, reckoning the sheriff and the town complicit in the reign of a homicidal menace, wages a campaign against Ennis in 1952. “Sheriff Vail Ennis, the protector of our wives and mothers and sisters and daughters,” McCollom writes, ”was under attack by Johnny Barnhart, the Mexican lover, the communist, the protector of deviants.” Barnhart finds himself battling “peripheral codes, imprecise but understood, that gave Texas its character, that kept Texas free from Yankee squeamishness.” If Ennis is wrong, then Texas is wrong. Before the election is over, Barnhart will fear for his life.

With a cover that’s half sepia and half the black-and-blue of storm clouds and bruises, the design of The Last Sheriff in Texas echoes McCollom’s style, a hybrid of old-timers sitting on the front porch telling tales and true crime. The book is consistently entertaining and a valuable chapter of South Texas history, the patron system of vote fraud (think box thirteen and LBJ), and the nascent struggle for Mexican American civil rights.

McCollom’s tone occasionally drips with derision, usually with good cause. The narrative is sometimes repetitive, the sequence of events not always easy to follow, but it’s difficult to say whether this is the author’s fault or the result of byzantine South Texas politics. A couple of geography mistakes stand out.

However, McCollom skillfully conveys the personalities of his large cast of fascinating characters. He conjures a visceral sense of foreboding as the election approaches, and evokes the time and place with rich detail and personal experience. In the author’s note, McCollom claims the background of his book as memoir—he knew many of the people he writes about. His grandfather was Bee County sheriff prior to Ennis who “it was said never [fired] his gun.” McCollom has a dog in this hunt.

In the end, against the backdrop of a rapidly modernizing and urbanizing Texas, Sheriff Vail Ennis failed to recognize his time had passed, becoming a walking anachronism. The Last Sheriff in Texas takes place in the middle of the last century and remains sadly relevant today.

Originally published by Lone Star Literary Life.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Texan Author, HBO Actor Turk Pipkin Embarks on Ambitious Literary Feat

Veteran author and actor Turk Pipkin launched The Book of the Every-Other Month Club on Indiegogo in November. Pipkin's Book Club is an ambitious effort to publish and release six original books over the course of one year. Subscribers to the Book Club will receive the first book before Christmas, with five more new books to follow every two months in 2018.

20 percent of every subscription will fund school libraries built by Pipkin and The Nobelity Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Education for All. In addition to the physical libraries, proceeds will provide books and educational support to promote literacy at three Kenyan schools, Mwangaza, Mweiga and Wiyoni Primary. The following is a Q&A with Pipkin as we look ahead to the arrival of the first book, The Moleskin Mystery:

Q. What is Turk Pipkin's Book of the Every Other Month Club?

A: It's a subscription series to six new books—all written by me (over a number of hard-working years) and designed by six fantastic book designers. So each is a work from the heart, and each is a work of art.

Q. What’s your favorite of the books?

A. My favorite is always the one I’m currently working on. The past few weeks, I’ve been reviewing the copy edit and design for The Moleskin Mystery, which is a New Orleans love story about a guy who finds a partially written journal and takes over the writing to solve a mystery and shed a little light in his own life.

The day The Moleskin Mystery delivers from the printer, my favorite will likely be Requiem for a Screenplay, which I describe as my magnificent failures—three original screenplays that went up and down the Hollywood development process without getting green-lit. From my work as an actor, I’ve learned that making the movie doesn’t necessarily improve the original written word, and I think these scripts stand up to the test of the time in black and white.

Next November when the sixth book, A Christmas Song, is shipping to subscribers, it will be my favorite. There area a lot of fans waiting for this follow-up to my Algonquin Christmas novel, When Angels Sing, and the movie "Angels Sing," which starred Willie Nelson, Connie Britton, Harry Connick, Jr., and Kris Kristofferson.

Q. Why is the Book Club funding three new libraries at schools in Kenya?

A. The Nobelity Project's films and our other fundraising have been dedicated to the principle of Education for All. Much of that work has been in Austin, but the largest initiative has been partnering with 35 rural schools in Kenya to build classrooms, preschools, science and computer labs, kitchens and more. Reading is fundamental everywhere, so we've accelerated our efforts to build libraries and provide increased literacy and a love books to kids who basically have none. In the U.S., we often take books for granted, but access to books for the thousands of kids we work with in Kenya and creates a love of books, greater literacy and higher scores. A new library can be life-changing as it enables kids to achieve their true potential.

Q. How does someone buy the books in your Book Club?

A. It's a 6-book series for every book lover. There are also higher subscription levels that include canvas prints of my best Kenya wildlife photos. There are links at TurkPipkin.com to subscribe and get The Moleskin Mystery before Christmas. I'll be shipping the other books throughout 2018.



Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday Roundup: TEXAS LITERARY CALENDAR 12/11-17

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of December 11-17, 2017: 

Special Events:
Kwanzaa Fort Worth Poetry & Storytelling, December 16

Half Price Books Kids & YA Book Giveaway (#HarveyRelief), Houston, December 16

Ongoing Exhibits:

River Oaks Bookstore, William Cannady discusses and signs Four Houses: Design for Change, 5PM

Midland
Midland County Library - Downtown, Holiday Open House, 4PM

San Antonio

Thursday, December 14:
Austin
Dallas
World Affairs Council Office, Mark Updegrove will discuss and sign The Last Republicans: Inside the Extraordinary Relationship Between George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, 6PM

Houston
Houston Marriott South, Houston Military Affairs Committee presents Peaceful Bones book signing and presentation by Dr. Samuel Axelrad, M.D., 11:30AM

Katy
James E. Taylor High School Performing Arts Center, Dan Rather presents his new book, What Unites Us: Reflections on Patriotism, 7PM

Midland
George W. Bush Childhood Home, Laura Bush Literacy Program Reading Event, 4:30PM

Midland County Library - Centennial, Holiday Open House, 4PM

Sugar Land
Deep Vellum Books, Texas launch party celebrating Micheline Aharonian Marcom's new novel THE BRICK HOUSE: The reading will be followed by a conversation with Micheline and visual artist Fowzia Karimi, whose illustrations accompany the work, moderated by Awst's Editor, Tatiana Ryckman, 7PM

El Paso
El Paso Public Library - Memorial Park, Tumblewords Project Workshop: "Writing for the Dark Times" with Donny Snyder, 12:45PM

Galveston
Galveston Bookshop, World heritage photographer Pino Shah signs Galveston Architecture: A Visual Journey, 2PM

Houston

San Antonio
Dead Tree Books, Bárbara Renaud González signs La Nalgas de JLo, 2PM

The Twig Book Shop, Dusti Sheldon signs Izzy Mae Moves Away, 11AM

South Padre Island
Paragraphs on Padre, Meet the Author Series: Don Clifford discusses and signs More Zoo Nonsense: The Quest for Kuybera 1PM

Sugar Land
Half Price Books, local author Shane Lassetter will sell and sign his YA book Outlast: Geeks Will Gather, 1PM

Waco
Morrison's Gifts, sportswriter Byron Riddle signing Above the Net: 50 Years of the Best Volleyball in Texas, 11AM

Webster
B&N - Baybrook, Meet the Author: J.P. McFarland, 1PM

Sunday, December 17: