Saturday, March 30, 2019

2018 LONE STAR BLOGGERS' CHOICE AWARDS




CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2018 LONE STAR BOOK BLOG TOURS

BLOGGERS' CHOICE AWARDS WINNERS AND FINALISTS

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦  





















Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Review: RECENT STUDIES INDICATE: THE BEST OF SARAH BIRD

I reviewed Recent Studies Indicate: The Best of Sarah Bird (University of Texas Press) by Sarah Bird for Lone Star Literary Life! This collection should be gifted to all the daughters everywhere.

ANTHOLOGY
Sarah Bird
Recent Studies Indicate: The Best of Sarah BirdUniversity of Texas Press
Paperback, 978-1-4773-1868-3 (also available as an e-book), 304 pgs., $18.95
April 2, 2019

It’s often tricky to be a woman and a Texan. Sarah Bird, who frequently addresses the endless push-pull of being a woman in the Lone Star State, will make you glad to be both—simultaneously.

Recent Studies Indicate: The Best of Sarah Bird is the second book of nonfiction from Bird, following A Love Letter to Texas Women (UT Press, 2016), and her first anthology, covering four decades of work. The oldest piece, “A Question of Gender,” is a before-its-time profile of a transgender woman living in Austin written for the Austin Sun in 1976; the newest is “Paisano,” a grateful and celebratory paean to the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship retreat, written for Texas Highways in November of 2018.

In between, divided into four parts—“Womanhood: The Secret Delta,” “Texas: So Many Ways For a Girl to Lose Her Virginity,” “Motherhood: Two Seconds After the Stick Turns Pink,” and “Writing: Use It In Your Work,”—are columns, essays, articles, and opinion pieces published by disparate outlets, from Modern Bride and Good Housekeeping to Texas Co-op Power and the Alcalde, speeches, including one for Annie’s List in the wake of the 2016 presidential election (“…we Texas women, well, we just shrugged and said, “Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt and the intravaginal ultrasound to prove it”), as well as a turn on the Moth Radio Hour.

The cover reflects Bird’s trademark mix of ironic-yet-earnest wit, the top half recalling a composition notebook while the bottom half features Bird in pajamas perched on a bed with a typewriter and a naked baby, red, white, and blue stripes suggesting a disjointed flag, the whole shebang afloat in Texas Hill Country live oaks and wildflowers. The title is a reference to those innumerable studies that innumerate everything we’re doing wrong, particularly in parenting, turning the conventional wisdom on its head annually (“if only I’d put a goat in the bassinet with my baby, he probably wouldn’t have an ear infection right now”).

In the introduction Bird explains that she grew up a shy child with two competing desires: never to speak with anyone outside her family and to quiz every stranger she encountered. What to do? Writing: essays, “province of the muttering malcontent, her head full of the counternarratives and snappy comebacks she is too shy to give voice to,” and journalism, “specialty of the introvert who has learned to compensate, who uses her notepad to wedge her way into the galaxy of worlds that first intrigue and then obsess her.” Bird outlines the trajectory of her writing career beginning with pulp fiction à la True Confessions (it was that or law school) and genre (“John Ray”) romance to freelance magazine writing, a special sort of hell wherein “magazine editors are like bad boyfriends—as long as you need them, they don’t want you,” and yet she persisted to become a best-selling, award-wining novelist.

Recent Studies Indicate finds Bird go-go dancing in Japan for two weeks (NOT in a cage, she assures us), moving to Austin for a boyfriend (“hot as lava”) who soon left her for Scientology, then discovering “the life in Austin [she] was meant to have … on the day [she] found Lynda Bird’s wedding cake in the LBJ Library.”

Bird relates adventures in highlighting golden tresses faded to the color of “garden mulch” (reminding me of a mishap of my own ending in a shade resembling lemon chiffon), Meat Loaf and screenwriting, going door-to-door with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Austin real estate, the sport of Texas billionaires—boar-hunting (“I don’t know what lowly millionaires hunt—nutria, probably”), and a case of mistaken identity involving Ambien at the Texas Book Festival.

There are lessons in meteorology, the history of progressive women in Texas politics, Catholic-school sex education (“our bodies were temples of the Holy Ghost, and … we could expect some major renovations in the temple to begin shortly”), the futility of prohibiting our sons playing with toy guns because they will create them from materials at hand, as my sons did with their soccer and ancient Egypt Lego sets, and appreciating your mother because of her six engagement rings you found in a trunk in the attic, not despite it.

Recent Studies Indicate is a treasure chest brimming with Bird’s distinctive voice: bold, thought-provoking, stitch-in-your-side funny, acerbic when called for, and, in the end, full of joy.


Monday, March 25, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar March 25-31, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 25-31, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Special Events:

Book2Eat: 4th Annual Houston Edible Book Festival, March 30

Brazos Valley Book Festival, Bryan, March 30

Tables of Content, Dallas, March 30

Teen Book Con, League City, March 30

Ongoing Exhibits:

Our People: The Life and Works of Author Angela Shelf Medearis, Austin, February 2-June 22

Worlds of W O N D E R: David Ezra Stein, Abilene, February 14-May 18

Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton, Austin, February 17-May 26

The Word Embodied: Scripture as Creative Inspiration in Twentieth-Century Book Arts, Dallas, March 1-June 15

Monday, March 25:
Austin

Arlington
UTA - Texas Hall, Maverick Speaker Series presents Anna Deavere Smith, 7:30PM

Austin
Dallas
Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Poetry and Open Mic, 8PM

Houston
The Black Labrador, Houston Writers House social featuring "Humor in Writing" with Adam Hold, 6:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Salvatore Scibona reading and signing THE VOLUNTEER, 7PM

HCC Eastside Campus, Veterans' Voices in Houston: Veterans, their family and friends, and other interested civilians are invited to participate in the Veterans’ Voices reading and discussion series, 6PM

Houston Design Center, Texas Design Week: designer Bunny Williams presentation and signing of Love Affairs With Houses, 1PM

Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Patton Oswalt reading from and discussing his late wife Michelle McNamara’s true crime thriller, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (in conversation with Michael Hagerty), 7:30PM [ticketed event]

River Oaks Bookstore, Dr. Scott Solomon discussing and signing Future Humans: Inside the Science of Our Continuing Evolution, 6PM

San Antonio
The Mix, PuroSlam Finals! judged by San Antonio Poet Laureate Octavio Quintanilla, 9:30PM

Wednesday, March 27:
Austin

Central Presbyterian Church, PATTON OSWALT speaking and signing I'll Be Gone in the Dark (in conversation with Suzy Spencer), 7PM [SOLD OUT]

Easy Tiger at the Linc, Thank You For Smoking by Paula Disbrowe cookbook launch party, 5PM

Terrazas Branch Library, Aural Literature March Reading with the Chicon Street Poets, 7:30PM

Dallas
Houston
Avant Garden, Write About Now Poetry Open Mic featuring Samantha Slupski, 7:30PM

Brazos Bookstore, Tsitsi Dangarembga reading and signing THIS MOURNABLE BODY, 7PM

North Richland Hills
North Richland Hills Library, Behind the Book with Gretchen Rubin, author of Outer Order, Inner Calm, 1PM [preceded by a ticketed reception at 12PM]


Thursday, March 28:
Austin
B&N - Arboretum, Every Word You Cannot Say with poet Iain S. Thomas, 7PM

BookPeople, AYSER SALMAN speaking & signing The Wrong End of the Table, 7PM

Canyon
Burrowing Owl Books, Notes on Translations: Rilke & Beowulf with the High Plains Poetry Project, 7PM

Dallas
Half Price Books Mother Ship, Megan Griswold will discuss and sign her memoir The Book of Help: A Memoir of Remedies, 7PM

Interabang Books, Linda Fairstein reading and signing BLOOD OATH, 7PM

El Paso
B-17 Bombers Oyster Pub, Barbed Wire Open Mic Series, 8PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Jonathan Evison reading and signing LAWN BOY, 7PM

Murder By the Book, Caleb Roehrig will sign and discuss Death Prefers Blondes, 6:30PM

San Antonio
Trinity U, Stieren Arts Enrichment Series: author Debbie Millman, 6PM

Sulphur Springs
The Bookworm Box, Maya Hughes Live Author Takeover!, 7PM

Friday, March 29:
Arlington
UTA, Friends of the UTA Libraries present Bobbie Wygant discussing Talking to the Stars: Bobbie Wygant's Seventy Years in Television, 7:30PM

Austin
Dallas
Heroes Lounge, Dallas Slam: Candy's Birthday Bash, 8PM

Majestic Theatre, Storytelling: Snap Judgement, 8PM

El Paso
Fahrenheit 180, Barbed Wire Open Mic Series + Nicos Open Mic Series, 8PM

Interabang Books, Joe R. Lansdale reading and signing THE ELEPHANT OF SURPRISE, 7PM

Houston
Saturday, March 30:
Austin
B&N - Lakeline, Local author Glyn Haynie signing Finding My Platoons Brothers: Vietnam Then and Now, 2PM

BookPeople, AMBER ROYER speaking & signing Pure Chocolate, PATRICE SARATH speaking & signing Fog Season, and NICKY DRAYDEN speaking & signing Temper, 5PM

BookWoman, Reading & Signing: Red Bricks by Anne Muccino, 5:30PM

Malvern Books, an evening with Huda Fahmy, author of Yes, I'm Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth about Life in a Hijab, 7PM

West Austin Park, the Texas Book Festival presents Bilingual Story Time with the Little Hummingbird Society, 9:30AM

St. Edward's U, Writers' League of Texas workshop: "Crafting Scenes That Go BAM Instead of Blah Blah Blah" with Lindsey Lane, 10AM

Corpus Christi
Art Museum of South Texas, the Corpus Christi Literary Reading Series: Reading by Author Brad Watson, 7PM

Dallas

El Paso
Houston


Lubbock

San Antonio
B&N - Northwoods, There's a Witch in My Dryer book signing with Linda Lee Cross, 11:30AM

Mission San Jose, Little Free Library Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, 10AM

The Twig Book Shop, Megan Griswold signing The Book of Help: A Memoir in Remedies, 11AM

San Marcos
Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos, Barrio Writers Youth Zine-Making Workshop, 12PM

Sunday, March 31:
Austin

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Jenny Chang, Nick Flynn, Jonathan Moody & Ryan Paradiso reading from photography and poetry journal NECK V2.0, 5PM

Richardson
The Drawing Board, Writing Workshops Dallas seminar: "Writing Opinion Essays" with Jonathan Malesic, 3PM

San Antonio
Gallery E.V.A, Book Launch: Michael + Josephine, a novel in verse by Jo Reyes-Boitel, 2PM

The Twig Book Shop, John Knox signing Prescriptions to Cure American Healthcare, 12PM

Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar March 18-24, 2019

Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 18-24, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Special Events:
Barrio Writers Spring Break 2019, Austin, March 21-22

2019 Friends of Fondren Library Gala, Houston, March 22

North Texas Teen Book Festival, Irving, March 22-23

2019 REELpoetry, Houston, March 22-24

2nd Annual Women on the Bayou Poetry Slam, Houston, March 23

Home Run Author Event, Arlington, March 23

WORDfest/WORDfield 2019, Hurst, March 23-24

Ongoing Exhibits:

Our People: The Life and Works of Author Angela Shelf Medearis, Austin, February 2-June 22

Worlds of W O N D E R: David Ezra Stein, Abilene, February 14-May 18

Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton, Austin, February 17-May 26

The Word Embodied: Scripture as Creative Inspiration in Twentieth-Century Book Arts, Dallas, March 1-June 15

Monday, March 18:
Austin


Richardson
Richardson Public Library, Writers Guild of Texas workshop: Self-Editing Essentials with Blake Atwood, 7PM

Tuesday, March 19:
Austin
Dallas

El Paso

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Poetry and Open Mic, 8PM

Houston
Brazos Bookstore, Bryan Washington reading and signing LOT: STORIES, 7PM

Murder By the Book, S.C. Perkins will sign and discuss Murder Once Removed, 6:30PM

Warehouse Live, The Moth StorySLAM presents "Magic", 7:30PM

San Antonio

Wednesday, March 20:
Dallas

Houston


Thursday, March 21:
Austin

Dallas
Houston
Blue Willow Bookshop, Samira Ahmed will appear in conversation with Jennifer Mathieu to discuss INTERNMENT, her new novel for teens, 7PM

Brazos Bookstore, Hanif Abdurraqib discussing and signing GO AHEAD IN THE RAIN, 7PM

Cafeza, Vox Storytellers: Artist Voices, 2:45PM
The Heritage Society, Noon Lecture: Giant: The Making of a Legendary American Film with Don Graham, 12PM

Houston Library, HPLQ Author Series: award-winning author and writer for comic book series Ms. Marvel, G. Willow Wilson will present her latest novel, The Bird King, 7PM

Poison Girl, Poison Pen Reading Series featuring Jennifer Chang, Chinelo Okparanta, and Tracy Thiebauld, 8:30PM

Lubbock
Texas Tech, Creative Writing Program Reading Series: Will Stockton and D. Gilson discussing and signing Jesus Freaks: Christian Music & Queer Masculinities, 7:30PM

Midland
George Bush Childhood, Kelly and the Great Pinewood Derby book signing, 1PM

Pflugerville
Wild Magnolias, NeoSoul Poetry Slam featuring Wayne Henry, 8PM

Friday, March 22:
Alpine
Front Street Books, Lonn Taylor reading and signing Turning the Pages of Texas, 6PM

Austin
Dallas

Houston

Saturday, March 23:
Austin

Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, Workshop: "Writing Our Memories, Riting Our Myth, Righting Our Lives" with Dennis Patrick Slattery, 9AM

The Writer's Garret, Workshop: "Failure for Beginners: 100 Submissions in 1 Year" with Nadia Wolnisty, 1PM

Denton
The Bearded Monk, American Literary Review Graduate Student Reading Series, 4PM

El Paso
El Paso Public Library, Tumblewords Project workshop: "My Tiny Word" with Steven Zimmerman, 12:45PM

Fort Worth
Leaves Book & Tea Shop, Poetry Read Aloud, 10AM

Galveston

Houston

Half Price Books - Clear Lake, Local Author Saturdays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last


River Oaks Bookstore, , 3PM


San Antonio
Sunday, March 24:
Austin

Dallas


San Antonio
JCC San Antonio, Rebecca Soffer & Gabrielle Birkner discussing and signing Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome., 5PM

The Twig Book Shop, M. Ward Leon signing Blood of the Beast, 12PM

Monday, March 11, 2019

Monday Roundup: Texas Literary Calendar March 11-17, 2019


Bookish goings-on in Texas for the week of March 11-17, 2019 compiled exclusively for Lone Star Literary Life by Texas Book Lover.

Special Events:
Black Studies at UT 2nd Biennial Conference, Austin, March 14-15

Texas Literary Hall of Fame Gala, Fort Worth, March 15

The Domain presents Rock + Read Music & Book Festival, Austin, March 16

Ongoing Exhibits:

Our People: The Life and Works of Author Angela Shelf Medearis, Austin, February 2-June 22

Worlds of W O N D E R: David Ezra Stein, Abilene, February 14-May 18

Words/Matter: Latin American Art and Language at the Blanton, Austin, February 17-May 26

The Word Embodied: Scripture as Creative Inspiration in Twentieth-Century Book Arts, Dallas, March 1-June 15

Monday, March 11:
Austin



Richardson

San Antonio

Tuesday, March 12:
Austin

Home Slice Pizza, Austin Bat Cave Story Department: Wrong Number, 7PM

Cedar Hill

Dallas

Deep Vellum Books, Vellum Ouroboros - A Poetry Open Mic Salon, 6:45PM



El Paso

Fort Worth
The Dock Bookshop, Poetry and Open Mic, 8PM

Houston


San Antonio

Sulphur Springs
The Bookworm Box, Jessica Sorensen Live Author Takeover, 7PM

Wednesday, March 13:

Dallas

Houston
Avant Garden, Write About Now: Poetry Open Mic featuring UT Spitshine , 7:30PM



San Marcos

Thursday, March 14:
Austin


Dallas
Jewish Community Center of Dallas: Jim Schwartz Annual Lecture Series presents author Carmen Goldthwaite and "Texas Dames: Sassy & Savvy Women Throughout Lone Star History", 7PM

Houston


Project Row Houses, Kiese Laymon reading and signing HEAVY, 7PM

San Antonio

Victoria

Friday, March 15:
Austin
BookWoman, South by North Lamar: Celebrating the Power of Woman in Music (benefitting BookWoman), 6PM

Dallas



Denton

El Paso
Literarity Book Shop, Poetry Therapy - Drink Specials and Raffles, 6:30PM

Houston

Saturday, March 16:
Austin


Dallas
Deep Vellum Books, Dallas Youth Poets: Teen Open Mic, 3PM

South Dallas Cultural Center, The Self Publication Series Volume 2 book signing, 1PM

The Writer's Garret, Workshop: "Little Red Retold: Modern Explication and Contemporary Fairy Tale Poetry" with Christoper Stephen Soden, 1PM

The Writer's Garret, Workshop: "Creative Nonfiction: The Beauty of Truth" with Gayle Reaves, 1PM

El Paso

Fort Worth

Houston
Half Price Books - Clear Lake, Local Author Saturdays: Meet local Indie authors and pick up their latest release, while supplies last




Pflugerville
Pflugerville Public Library, Pflugerville Poetry Society, 11AM

San Antonio
Dragon's Lair Comics & Fantasy, Kaiju of Carrizo Springs Book Release with 2018 SA Current Best Author runner up Bowie Ibarra, 12PM

The Twig Book Shop, Drew Dozier signing God and the Bee, 11AM

Southlake
B&N - Town Square, Tally Adams signing Shadow Pact, 1PM

Sugar Land
First Colony Branch Library, Houston Writers Guild Library Workshop, 1PM

Sunday, March 17:
Austin

Dallas
Half Price Books Mother Ship, Dallas-native scientist and fiction author Timothy Imholt, Phd will sell and sign the new book he’s co-authored with former Dallas Cowboys player Jay Saldi, Concusstitution: Welcome to Football, and Dallas-native Porchae Alexander will sell and sign her latest book, Spiritual Healing for the Wounded, 1PM