It’s the end of September and finally the weather is finally starting to turn. Had some rains as well as we have had a few cooler days and several very cool mornings so there is hope that the crushing heat is finally over. There is also hope for rain as the weather folks are starting to talk about an El Nino forming out in the Pacific. For North Texas, that usually means fewer artic air invasions and more rain. Rain is in short supply around here with lots of media reports on escalating water restrictions due to the ongoing drought.
Writing wise I haven’t been able to do much as I have been working a lot and reading a bunch. Mouth Full Of Bullets which can easily be found at www.mouthfullofbullets.com (nice plug, huh) has turned into a huge success. I knew it was going to be big and that was why I agreed to be an Assistant Editor and among other things, handle all the book reviews for the site. But, even with everything going for it, I had no idea how big it was going to get and how fast. It has been simply amazing.
Site visitor count grows every day significantly and BJ has already filled issue two fiction wise. That issue is slated to come out at the end of the year and issue three is due in March and he is already reading for that issue. Kind of amazing and it couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the paid contributors and their excellent efforts as well as the growing readership of the zine.
Issue two is going to mark a new section within the book reviews part of the zine. As some of you know, I have been writing a print book review column for the print publication SENIOR NEWS for over a year now. That column focuses on books set in Texas or written by Texas authors. It has been very successful which is why I am still there as well as because Editor Michael Bracken actually tolerates me. J
I approached BJ Borg with the same basic idea and suggested that the same thing be done in his zine but instead, to focus on books either set in Louisiana or written by Louisiana authors. The main review section would remain but there would be a sort of Louisiana addition to it. BJ, never one to pass on the opportunity for the hired staff to double the workload, thought it was a wonderful idea.
So, the call went out on the DorothyL list because I didn’t really know of anything that would fit other than the books by James Lee Burke. The call was answered, swiftly and thoroughly, as the calls always are over there and multiple lists were sent to me. I selected a few from each list that were available at my local library and my books to be read and considered for review pile grew like crazy.
The result is that BJ basically has the next issue ready to go and is waiting for me to get my work done. Good thing I have more time as there is the column and two different review areas to fill.
In the meantime, below is what ran in the August edition of Senior News. Enjoy!
A Strong West Wind: A Memoir
By Gail Caldwell
Pulitzer Prize winner Gail Caldwell looks back at the formative years of her life in Texas in this recently released 228 page hardback. The chief book critic for the Boston Globe, she begins her memoir by recounting in great detail her experiences growing up in Amarillo, Texas during the fifties. Books were her entertainment and a love of reading formed at such an early age led her throughout her childhood and remains a strong influence today. A childhood she notes that was marked by her being, “the kid who read too much, talked too little, cried inconsolably over novels even as I maintained a steady grip on my own uneventful life.” (Page 21) A life that has become very eventful and included stays in Lubbock, where she attended Texas Tech, and Austin, where she worked in a bookstore which allowed her to expand her reading library. The book vacillates between Caldwell and her own experiences in the State that shaped her and a stirring tribute to her recently departed father who influenced her so much. The result is an entertaining look into one woman’s journey through some of the most turbulent times this nation has seen.
Off The Beaten Path: Texas (Sixth Edition)
By June Naylor
The Globe Pequot Press
One can never have too many travel books and this latest edition on Texas which is part of their “Insider’s Guide” series is worthy of inclusion for your next trip. All the usual places and cities are covered such as the famous “Cadillac Ranch” (which also is depicted in the colorful cover photograph) as well as lesser known places like the “McKinney Roughs”, (between Austin and Bastrop), the “Dr. Pepper Museum” in Waco, or the “World’s Largest Jack Rabbit”, a ten foot tall statute located in Odessa. Maps are provided throughout the book as are other locations of interest as you plan and make your trip. Also included are places of lodging of various types, restaurants, fun facts about each area in the form of trivia and other interesting reading. Indexed with black and white illustrations, this 281 page paperback guidebook is a wealth of information and is a pleasure to read and work with as well as providing an excellent trip planning guide.
As always, thank you for reading and feel free to comment here or to me at firstname.lastname@example.org More next time!
Kevin R. Tipple © 2006