The Bookshelf, The Parlor, The Young Texas Reader, and the Monthly

The Texas Bookshelf is different from the The Texas Parlor, . The Texas Parlor carries "general" bookish information and non-book information and even different Texana news and notes of use to the bibliographically challenged and other nosey folks intersted in historical, literary, and cultural observations. Will's Texana Monthly may carry material from either blog, but extends itself beyond those, especially for longer compilations or treatments. The Monthly, the Bookshelf and the Parlor are all companions. So, is the Young Texas Reader which specialized on books and such things for the youngest to the teenagers.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Art of Making Money - Kersten

So you're in Dallas and were hit by the economic blast and didn't get a bailout.   Maybe you should read the new non-fiction by Jason Kersten.  It's reviewed the Dallas Morning News by Michael Young.  It's  The Art of Making Money, the story of a master counterfeiter.

The review begins:
"When his father abandoned the family, the future was pretty well set for Art Williams, a smart, ambitious kid growing up in the tough projects of Chicago's South Side.
With his dad's criminal background already ingrained in him, and his Texas-born mom's bipolar disorder leaving her largely unable to provide for her children, Art looked around at the success stories in his neighborhood, powerful figures in ethnic mobs, and decided that crime was the only way out."

Escape by Jessop

A review by Becky Holmes in her " A Book a Week" section of the Daily Page blog escapes into cyperspace.
Escape by Carolyn Jessop, with Laura Palmer
         The review begins:  " I don't usually read books about the issue du jour, if you know what I mean. For some reason, however, I was attracted to Escape by Carolyn Jessop, who escaped from the FLDS, the fundamentalist polygamous cult that was recently raided by the Texas authorities for alleged child abuse."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Rhino Ranch - McMurtry

Rhino Ranch by Larry McMurtry is reviewed in Publishers Weekly Fiction Book Reviews: 6/22/2009
Rhino Ranch: A NovelThe review begins "McMurtry ends the west Texas saga of Duane Moore, begun in 1966 with The Last Picture Show, with a top-shelf blend of wit and insight, sharply defined characters and to-the-point prose. Duane, now in his late 60s, is a prosperous and retired widower, lonely in his hometown of Thalia, Tex."
Yes, Duane is back, and he's smitten by a rhino.  Go figure.  Read more at

Black Water Rising - Locke

"This Thriller's Cold War is Racial," a review  By CHARLES McGRATH
Published: July 1, 2009 in the New York Times
Review begins:  "Attica Locke's first novel, "Black Water Rising," which Janet Maslin called "subtle and compelling" in The New York Times, is an even better book than its author had in mind. "I intended to just write a slick little thriller," Ms. Locke said last week, stopping in New York at the end of a book tour before heading home to Los Angeles. "But then my unconscious led me to the soul of the book, and it got a lot better."   READ more at

Dallas Morinig News Disturbs Torpor

Those Dallas Morning News folks just can't let a hammock- sleeping Texan sway in the sweltering heat.  Now they've gone and disturbed the "Great Book Cannon."  In the OPINION BLOG Editor Keven Ann Willey, in her July 17 commentary on the Big Rich, stumbles off behind the altar and decides to ask if folks really like the relics left behind by the sancrosanct Texas writers.  She asked, "What's the best book about Texas in your opinion and what makes it so good?"  Yes, friends and neighbors, she got replies.
DMN staff chimed in with their recommendations.  Even the unwashed public, who apparently still read, caressed their keyboards mentioning their druthers.
But not one mentioned William Goyen, one of our finest who delicately fingered his way across the ghosts and neurons of your mind.