Image via Hannah McBride/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

In times like these, the arc of history is often invoked to make sense of the present. So the narrative goes, the so-called Islamic State arose in the vacuum left after America’s misadventures post-9/11.

Recently, Jon Meacham’s book has been in the news for revelations that George Herbert Walker Bush – Bush 41 – thought his son, W. – Bush 43 – was badly served by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. That’s news, especially since the narrative used to be that 43 was just doing his father’s bidding, retribution for an unfinished war.


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From Texas Standard:

How many little kids – after watching movies like “Indiana Jones” or “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” – dream of growing up exploring little known parts of the world, risking life and limb in search of long lost treasure? How many people actually end up living that dream? Not many. But W.C. Jameson has lived that dream for six decades on and off.

Jameson is a Texas author, historian and treasure hunter, and he’s detailed some of his adventures in a book, “Treasure Hunter: A Memoir of Caches, Curses, and Confrontations,” he was willing to share some of his rich wisdom with the Standard.

Courtesy Penguin Random House

From Texas Standard:

By now, you've probably heard about the latest book – newly discovered and rushed to publication — by Dr. Seuss. It's been about as well-kept a secret as Harper Lee's "Go Set A Watchman," which came out a few weeks ago. We decided to call in our resident Texas expert on literature to find out whether you should get "What Pet Should I Get?"

Claiborne Smith is the editor-in-chief of Austin-based Kirkus Review.

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This story comes from Texas Standard.

There’s a popular kids book by Beverly Cleary titled Ramona Quimby, Age 8. It’s the sixth book in the Ramona series. In it, the struggling pre-adolescent protagonist proclaims that the best part of third grade is the time when you can “drop everything and read.”

Well that sentiment’s not just for precocious book characters or little kids, either.

This Sunday marks the first ever Drop Everything and Read Texas Day or “DEAR Texas Day” – for those of us who like acronyms.

Susan Doupé Photography

Every family has a history – but few have a history as tangled as the one in Garth Stein’s new novel, “A Sudden Light.”

The Riddell family is driven by regret and bitterness – even a hint of madness. One 14 year-old boy finds himself thrust into the middle of it all, on a summer trip to the family homestead.

Stein speaks with Texas Standard’s Emily Donahue about his newest novel, the controversy surrounding his previous novel, “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” and what it was like to write a book spanning five generations of the same family.

Photo by Michael Thad Carter

Many fans of the HBO series Girls are eagerly awaiting today's doorstep delivery of producer, creator, and lead actress Lena Dunham's first book. In Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She's "Learned," Dunham pens a series of essays that is part memoir, part advice book. 

Flickr user: Catherine Tam,

‘The Art of Racing in the Rain" is one of the seven books flagged for review after Highland Park ISD parents objected to the book's content, which some viewed as explicit. Author Garth Stein argues the book contains life messages for young teenagers, adding that the book came under fire because of a scene involving  molestation. 

The Texas Standard's David Brown recently spoke with Stein about the temporary ban.

With the dog days of summer in full swing and fall's slate of television premieres waiting in the wings, now might be the perfect time to kick back and crack open a book.

Luckily, the Texas Standard's got you covered. Kirkus Reviews' Clay Smith gives us some book recommendations that will, hopefully, keep your mind off the mind numbing heat until cooler temperatures prevail.

Bob Makela

When things get quiet at a bar, many turn to their cell phone as a way to escape that awkward feeling.

Bob Makela hopes to change that with Barstool Poetry.

The idea began at a bar called the San Francisco Saloon in California in 1992. Makela and his roommate were having trouble working up the courage to speak to members of the opposite sex.

The Kallison family name has resonated amongst Texans for generations.

It's the name of the department store in San Antonio crowned by a cowboy carrying a saddle on his right shoulder. It's also the of the Kallison Ranch, the place that brought Texas ranching into the 20th century.

"The Harness Maker’s Dream" recounts the story of Nathan Kallison, the Jewish Russian who escaped persecution and later became a successful rancher in Texas.


The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Akashic Books

While Pulitzer Prize winner Larry McMurty described Dallas in Texas Monthly as “a second-rate city that wishes it were first-rate,” literary agent and editor David Hale Smith prefers a different description. This one’s found in the lines of Jimmie Dale Gilmore’s song “Dallas:"

Dallas is a rich man with a death wish in his eyes

A steel and concrete soul in a warm-hearted love disguise.

“It’s one of the great lyrics of all time. The song is a poem, but it really nails Dallas, and of course nails the essence of this book we put together,” Smith says. He sat down with KUT's David Brown to discuss that new book, “Dallas Noir." 

Twelve Books

Walter Cronkite’s announcement of JFK’s assassination. The televised shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald. The Zapruder film. The Warren Commission.

In that avalanche of history, a new book suggests we’ve lost sight of something important: specifically, the seedbed for the most momentous political tragedy of 20th century America.

It’s the story of "Dallas, 1963." That’s the title of a new book by Stephen L. Davis and Bill Minutaglio.

Minutaglio talks with KUT’s David Brown about why he describes the book as a “biography of a city,” and what lessons may have been overlooked by history.  

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Randall Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and author of "For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action and the Law."

Affirmative action is perhaps one of the most divisive policies in this country. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding Fisher vs. University of Texas , affirmative action is once again making headlines. 

Putnam Books

One hundred years ago, a president took office who would set the course of the American century, end an era of isolationism, set the stage for the New Deal and eventually become one of the most controversial and fundamentally misunderstood figures ever to lead the nation.

A new biography corrects a lot of misconceptions about the 28th president, but perhaps more importantly humanizes and brings to life an important figure in the American narrative.

Texas Book Festival

The Texas Book Festival has revealed its 2013 lineup. Headliners include three writers who currently sit on the New York Times best seller list: Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth), Mark Leibovich (This Town), and Scott Anderson (Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East).

Other big names include:

  • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson – Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas
  • Lawrence Wright – Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
  • R.L. Stine – A Midsummer Night's Scream

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon for KUT News

What do you get when you mix Attila the Hun, deep space exploration and a the space-time continuum? For that answer you’d have to ask author James Rollins – whose new book, the Eye of God, has elements of all three.

Nathan Bernier, KUT News.

If you’re ever looking to take a barbecue road trip through Texas, you’d have trouble finding a better book to guide you than The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue by Daniel Vaughn. It’s the first book published on Anthony Bourdain’s new HarperCollins imprint, Ecco. KUT’s Nathan Bernier talked with Vaughn about what goes into good brisket and how to find the good out-of-the-way spots.

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

Imagine: The world as you know it has ended. People are gone. Food is scarce. Vicious animal roam freely. You are alone, fighting an enemy so devious, so powerful, so undetectable, you question your own sanity. You are 16.

That is the premise of Rick Yancey’s new young-adult novel, The 5th Wave. KUT’s Emily Donahue spoke with Yancey about the existential questions the characters grapple with along the way.