I’m a writer, podcaster, and bookseller whose ultimate goal (besides being a roadie for the E Street Band) is to make reading, writing, and books in general as popular in Texas as high school football. It may take a while.
The Flabbergasted Trilogy: The Perfect Summer Read as We Go Back to the Beach
For the first time in what seems like eons people are finally starting to safely return to the beaches this summer, and beaches demand books to read. But after you’ve frolicked in the ocean in the morning and before the serious drinking starts around midday you want something light to read; there’s a reason you don’t see a lot of Thomas Pynchon or David Foster Wallace lying on the blankets next to the suntan lotion. This situation demands something funny but not mindless, preferably with a beach setting thrown in, and I have just the books for you.
The Angel’s Game: A Thrilling, Gothic Journey Into the Mind of an Author
The success of a book can be a very strange thing. Some books are huge bestsellers but are written quite poorly, while others are critically acclaimed yet sell very few copies. And there are some that achieve a cult following, sometimes years after the author’s death.
What’s So Funny About Peace, Love, and Divination?
Sal knows trouble when he sees it, and a petite blonde with a ponytail and a yoga mat slung across her back is always trouble. He hopes that she will veer off toward the bookstore’s tiny New Age section, but fortune does not smile on him this day: she is making a beeline straight for him.
The March of the Penguins
The Last Word Bookstore is busy on a late Tuesday afternoon. Jacob is deep in conversation with a man roughly his own age about the merits of Turgenev versus Chekov. Julia and Heather are ringing up customers’ purchases, and Camden is pleased to see that a small line has formed waiting to check out. Lines mean sales.
Author Profile: Patrick Modiano, the Nobel Winner You’ve Never Heard Of
“Nice is a city of ghosts and specters, but I hope not to become one of them right away.” — Patrick Modiano, Missing Person
The Five Albums That Perfectly Defined My Army Years
On August 2, 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. By August 3rd, I had decided that dying gloriously in combat beat the hell out of what I was doing at the time, so I called the Army recruiter. Events conspired to keep me from leaving for Basic Training until the very end of December, however, which radically altered the course my life would take.
The Reading Slump
The morning is dragging, making what is normally Julia’s favorite time of day a miserable chore. It always seems to go this way when there is even the slightest rain falling. And while she loves being in a bookstore on a rainy day, as a shopper at least, people around here do not share her sentiment. She and Sal are in total agreement on one point: people in this town will spend all summer immersed in the most disgusting lakes known to man, but God forbid a raindrop hits them.
Remember the Alamo the Right Way: Dispelling the Myths About the Famous Battle
As a native Texan, I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know about the Alamo; it is a unique part of our identity as Texans. When I was growing up in the 1970s our history teachers hammered three key things into us: we were the only state that was ever its own country, we had the right to secede from the Union if we saw fit, and in late February and early March of 1836 a small yet heroic band of Texans (most originally from Tennessee and South Carolina) faced off against 3,000 Mexican troops at the Alamo for 13 glorious days, killing half of them before all perishing, but in the process buying Sam Houston enough time to ultimately win Texan independence.