books

Life & Arts
2:19 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Barstool Poetry Can Turn Anyone Into a Poet

A poem entitled "Bats, Bats, Bats" from "Barstool Poetry: Best of Austin."
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.

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Author Interviews
5:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Renowned Texas Journalist Shares Family History in 'The Harness Maker's Dream'

"The Harness Maker's Dream" tells the story of the Kallison family.
Credit facebook.com/HarnessMakersDream

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.

 

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Book News
10:18 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Book News: Billy Collins' Papers Sold To The University Of Texas

Poet Billy Collins is pictured in February 2013 in New York City.
Slaven Vlasic Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:15 am

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

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Author Interviews
8:57 am
Fri November 29, 2013

'Dallas Noir' Explores the City's Alluring Shimmer and Seedy Underbelly

The cover of Dallas Noir, a new collection of fictional stories.
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." 

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JFK Assassination: 50 Years Later
8:28 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Interview: The Political Climate in Dallas Leading to JFK’s Assassination

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.  

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In Black America Podcast
5:01 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

Harvard Law's Randall Kennedy on Race, Affirmative Action and The Law

Randall Kennedy, the Michael R. Klein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

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. 

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Presidential history
7:00 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Interview: Pulitzer Prize Author Takes Close Look at Woodrow Wilson's Legacy

Woodrow Wilson and William Taft. Berg combed through hundreds of thousands of documents in the Wilson Archives for this biography.
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.

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Texas Book Festival
7:38 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Best Selling Authors Top 2013 Texas Book Festival Lineup

Poster Art by Randal Ford Photography. It was taken for the book "The Amazing Faith of Texas."
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
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Lance Armstrong
7:47 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Book News: Does Lance Armstrong Have The Right To Lie In His Memoirs?

Lance Armstrong is being sued for false claims in his books, which were marketed as nonfiction.
Nathalie Magniez Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 8:47 am

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

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Austin
3:29 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

What Does Attila The Hun Have to Do with Deep Space Exploration?

New thriller from best-selling author James Rollins, The Eye of God, merges scientific theory, cutting edge historical research and the origins of Christianity.
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.

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Arts and Culture
4:47 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

A Tour of Texas Barbecue Joints

Daniel Vaughn's new book is on Anthony Bourdain's new publishing imprint.
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.

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Arts and Culture
5:05 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Survival and Identity in 'The 5th Wave'

Rick Yancey's new young-adult novel combines science fiction and existential questions.
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.

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Arts and Culture
7:53 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Should All Women Heed Author's Advice To 'Lean In'?

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, speaks at a luncheon for the American Society of News Editors in San Diego.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 11:04 am

Sheryl Sandberg's controversial new book on women and leadership, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, currently tops Amazon's best-seller list in "Business Management and Leadership" alongside Decisive (Chip Heath and Dan Heath),

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Books
5:00 am
Wed March 20, 2013

It’s Family Tradition vs. Rebirth in Debut Novel 'The Carriage House'

A carriage house and the game of tennis are almost characters themselves in Louisa Hall's debut novel.

Louisa Hall left the leafy suburbs of Philadelphia for Texas. And it was this move that prompted her to set her first novel back in those environs - both the good and bad of them.

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Books
4:00 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Former Austinite's Memoir Not Your Usual Mother-Daughter Story

Domenica Ruta says her years in Austin at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin were pivotal in beginning to sever the tumultuous relationship she had with her mother.
Meredith Zinner

Domenica Ruta had a childhood some kids would envy- ice cream for breakfast; shopping trips and movies instead of school sometimes; no real rules at home. But for every dream moment like those, there were the nightmares, too - a drug addicted mother; the constant threat of violence; and the joking encouragement to become a teen mother.

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Arts and Culture
1:03 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

'Drowning House' Plunges Readers Into A Dark, Victorian Galveston

Elizabeth Black's first novel "The Drowning House" explores Victorian Galveston.
Random House

Galveston Island is famous for many things: miles of beaches, its many festivals and Victorian architecture – and its sea wall – that was built after the hurricane of 1900. That was the deadliest hurricane in US history – and it rewrote the history of Galveston.

Texas author Elizabeth Black has set that famous hurricane at the center of a mystery in her first novel, “The Drowning House." Just as Galveston’s modern history is built on the foundation of the great hurricane, so is the narrative, set moodily in the city’s historic district. 

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Arts and Culture
6:17 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Folklore From All Over in New Cargill Novel

Austin is home to a lot of weird stuff: bat tributes, floating marching bands, Hippie Hollow. In his new book, Dreams and Shadows, Austin author C. Robert Cargill delves deep into the dark heart of the city’s inner weirdness, using a little myth and legend as punctuation for a truly unique story. He spoke with KUT’s Emily Donahue about his work and his inspiration.

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Arts and Culture
9:56 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Sick Of Valentine's Day? 6 Book Stories To Soothe Your Soul

Nate iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:03 am

This Valentine's Day, if you're feeling lonely, heartbroken, or just a bit jaundiced, we've got some archive treasures for you — tempestuous relationships, cartoon heartbreak, and a few books that may make you feel less alone — plus a bonus playlist from our good friends at NPR Music.

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Arts and Culture
5:30 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Runaway Slaves and a Community's Conscience

A young Englishwoman finds contradictions in 19th-century Ohio.
Credit Penguin

Tracy Chevalier spent years researching her famous novel The Girl with a Pearl Earring, a fictionalized backstory of the woman behind the famous painting by Vermeer. She did the same thing for her latest novel, The Last Runaway, a story that takes an outsider’s look at American slavery during the mid-19th century. A young Quaker named Honor Bright sails from England bound for a new life in Ohio. From the moment she boards the ship, her adventure is nothing like she imagined.

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Scientology
4:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Listen: Austin Author Lawrence Wright on 'Going Clear,' His Controversial Book on Scientology

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright believes religion is a more powerful influence in people's lives than politics.
Kenny Braun

 Audio FileKUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Austin author Lawrence Wright about his latest book "Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief."Edit | Remove

What do Gloria Swanson and Tom Cruise have in common?

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