Spotlight on Texas Books

July 2000

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Spotlight on Texas is a quarterly cassette publication announcing the latest audio books produced by volunteers at the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio in Austin and at the Recording Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Midland. The audio version of "Spotlight on Texas" is distributed on request to Texans with disabilities who are registered to receive the Talking Book Program's free library service.

Since 1978, Talking Book volunteers have recorded thousands of fiction and nonfiction titles by Texas authors or about the history, culture, folklore, and people of the Lone Star state. Titles recorded include biographies, histories, westerns, romances, mysteries, self-help, travel, and children's books. More than 10 new books are completed each month, including some in Spanish. In addition, volunteers record three Texas magazines: Texas Monthly, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and Texas Highways.

If you would like to receive an audio cassette copy of "Spotlight on Texas" each quarter, please contact the Talking Book Program through the phone numbers, e-mail address, postal address, or fax number listed at the bottom of this page.

To order any of the books listed below, note the titles and CT book numbers you would like to request. Then call a Reader Consultant toll-free in Texas at 1-800-252-9605 or, in Austin, at 512-463-5458. A voicemail message service is available after hours and on weekends for you to leave book requests or other messages. Say your full name and patron number (if known) clearly when leaving messages and give the CT book number and title for each request. Book orders may also be sent in an e-mail message to:

Following the list of titles recently recorded by our volunteers, we also feature in this issue a section on mysteries recorded in years past. We are pleased to provide this reminder to you that these mystery books are available.

Note the titles and book numbers you would like to request, then call us at any time with your order.

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The Barons of Texas

CT 6446

by Jory Sherman, Narrated by Jack Gazzale, 3 cassettes

Soon after Texas gained independence from Mexico, men like Martin Baron came with a dream of wealth and a vision of an empire. There, in the vast Rio Grande Valley, he began to build a cattle ranch encompassing millions of acres. In time, he would build the greatest dynasty of the New West, and breed the best beef the world had ever known. But the Barons of Texas would not fulfill Martin Baron's dream easily not without great cost, great suffering, and a great loss of life. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, Profanity

Dead Reckoning

CT 6441

by Mike Blakely, Narrated by Theresa Hackley, 2 cassettes

After a botched confidence scam, swindler Dee Hassard begins a killing spree that covers half of the Colorado Territory. His first victim is the brother of rustler-turned-preacher Carrol Moncrief. Now Carrol must fall back on his former outlaw savvy to track the murderer down. This book contains: Profanity

Dew on the Thorn

CT 6232

by Jovita Gonzalez Mireles, Narrated by Noble Atkins, 2 cassettes

Dew on the Thorn seeks to recreate the life of Texas Mexicans as Anglo culture gradually encroached on them. Gonzalez provides us with a richly detailed portrait of the ranch life of the Olivares clan of South Texas, focusing on the cultural traditions of Texas Mexicans at a time when the divisions of class and race were pressing on the established way of life. I

High John The Conqueror

CT 6440

by John W. Wilson, Narrated by Jeanne Guichard, 2 cassettes

Set in the river bottoms of southeast Texas where the Navasota and Brazos rivers come together, High John the Conqueror tells the story of African-American cotton farmers struggling to keep their land during the last years of the Great Depression. Ruby Lee and Cleveland Webster are sharecroppers on property owned by the rich white man, John Cheney, but Cleveland's parents are struggling to hold on to the farm they have owned since the end of slavery. This book contains: Violence

The House of Forgetting: A Novel

CT 6452

by Benjamin Alire Saenz, Narrated by Janice Lathin, 2 cassettes

At the age of seven, Gloria Santos is taken by Thomas Blacker from the barrio in El Paso, Texas, to his home in Chicago. There Blacker, a respected writer and academic, raises Gloria to be a refined, educated young woman with an appreciation of literature, music, and fine cooking. For more than twenty years, she is confined to Blacker's house. She becomes like his flowers, lovingly tended, but utterly at his mercy. This is a psychological drama that examines one woman's search for her identity and explores what it means to have freedom. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, Profanity

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I Promise

CT 6294

by Joan Johnston, Narrated by Therese East, 2 cassettes

The New York press calls Delia Carson the Hanging Judge which makes her an oddity on the Brooklyn Supreme Court. Concealed behind her successful legal career is a romance that shattered twenty years earlier and forced her to flee her family's Texas ranch. Now her mother's illness brings Delia back to Uvalde and she can't avoid Marshall North, her former love, who found his own path to fame as a journalist. Their youthful passion, interrupted but not destroyed, can bring lifelong happiness only if Delia and Marsh can solve the crime that drove them apart so many years ago. This book contains: Heavy Sex, Profanity

Mourn Not Your Dead

CT 6447

by Deborah Crombie, Narrated by Dorothy Blair, 2 cassettes

Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and Sergeant Gemma James are sent to suburban Surrey to investigate the murder of a high-ranking police officer. Alastair Gilbert was bludgeoned to death in his kitchen, and the list of potential suspects is long. Duncan and Gemma must put aside their personal feelings to solve the case. This book contains: Violence, Profanity


CT 6407

by Deanie Francis Mills, Narrated by Staci Thompson, 3 cassettes

Wren Cameron, a science teacher in San Antonio, is happily married with two children. Sixteen years earlier, she survived a dangerous love affair with Jeremiah Hunter, the leader of a radical militia group. She has put the terrifying FBI raid on the group's camp away in a distant corner of memory to concentrate on the joy of the present. Suddenly Jeremiah, newly paroled, reappears from her past and kidnaps Wren and her son Daniel. He needs her help to wreak his revenge on the government by blowing up the Federal Building in a large Texas city. This book contains: Some Sex, Violence, Profanity

Promises of Home

CT 6103

by Jeff Abbott, Narrated by Jack Huff, 2 cassettes

Small-town Texas librarian Jordan Poteet needs all of his talent as an amateur sleuth in this third mystery set in his hometown of Mirabeau. Twenty years earlier, twelve-year-old Jordan, Junebug Moncrief, and four of their close friends stumbled upon the corpse of a teenage girl in the aftermath of a tornado. Now those friends are being murdered, one by one. Why and by whom? Unless Jordan and Junebug, now Mirabeau's Police Chief, can find the answers fast, they will be the next to die. This book contains: Profanity


CT 6410

by Elmer Kelton. Narrated by Michael Neibergall. 2 cassettes

As a slave, Isaac Jefford went to war with his owner, Major Lytton, and saved the man's life. As a free man in post-Civil War West Texas, Isaac became one of the major's top ranch hands. When the major hires Pete Runyan, a bitter ex-Confederate, Isaac has to deal with Runyan's hostility. Gunmen attack Pete and Isaac as they try to deliver the cash profit from the sale of the herd to the Fort Worth bank before a foreclosure deadline. The two cowboys must decide whether to fight alone-or to survive together. This book contains: Violence, Profanity

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Letters by Lamplight: A Woman's View of Everyday Life in South Texas, 1873-1883

CT 6450

by Lois E. Myers, Narrated by Linda Fox, 2 cassettes

Through letters written by one family in post-Reconstruction Texas, Myers shows what life was like in South Texas, from a feminine perspective. The detailed letters of joy and struggle on the frontier remind us that "broad historical events ... are made up of myriad ordinary lives."

Precious Dust: The Saga Of The Western Gold Rushes

CT 5918

by Paula Mitchell Marks, Narrated by Craig York, 3 cassettes

From the outbreak of gold fever in California in 1848 to the mad rush to Alaska at the nineteenth century's close, this is the aspiring miners' story. Historian Paula Mitchell Marks focuses on what propelled Americans and foreigners to the gold fields, how they endured the journey and the search, what kept them going or separated them from their dreams, and what sense they made of the whole experience. She also explains how the rushes hastened the development of the western regions and served as a "safety valve" for restless dreamers who wanted to reassert their individuality (both personal and economic) as the industrial age engulfed them. This book contains: Profanity

Texans of Valor: Military Heroes in the 20th Century

CT 6451

by Dede Weldon Casad, Narrated by Jeanne Guichard, 1 cassette

This book contains twenty three short biographies of men and women born in Texas who became military heroes serving in the twentieth century. Included are heroes of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the War in Vietnam. This book contains: Violence

Texas Forgotten Ports, Volume 2

CT 6185

by Keith Guthrie, Narrated by Cinda Cyrus, 2 cassettes

This second volume in Keith Guthrie's series on Texas forgotten ports deals with river ports on the Rio Grande, Brazos, and Red rivers, landings on Caddo Lake and Buffalo Bayou, the river ports at Jefferson, and the landings on Galveston Bay. The author and his wife who illustrated the book visited all of the sites of the old ports in order to research their histories as thoroughly as possible.

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Spanish Nonfiction

Todavía Remueve Piedras (He Still Moves Stones)

CT 6386

by Max Lucado, Narrated by Dr. Juan Lujan, 2 cassettes

Author Max Lucado answers the question, "How can Jesus change your life?" by introducing ten individuals from the New Testament. Every one experienced an extraordinary change in his or her life because of an encounter with Jesus.

To order any of these titles, call 1-800-252-9605 or, in Austin, 512-463-5458.

Thousands of additional titles recorded in Texas are available from the Talking Book Program. Ask a Reader Consultant to recommend other Texas titles and authors or have Texas titles added to your reading list through our automatic selection program. A world of Texas books is just a phone call or e-mail message away.

Among the titles available, you may want to consider ordering these previously recorded western titles:

Spotlight on Westerns

Black Jack

CT 3259 also RC 30510

by Max Brand, Narrated by Oliver Handley, 2 cassettes

Terry Hollis's father had earned the name Black Jack in a spectacular career of crime. Now Terry, reared in wealth and treated with kindness, must either deny his father's heritage or become an outlaw because society called him Black Jack, too.

Death on the Texas Range

CT 5720

by Patrick E. Andrew,s Narrated by Ev Lunning, 2 cassettes When an outlaw gang terrorizes the cowtown of Stavanger, Texas with a spree of murder, robbery, and cattle rustling, Texas Ranger Captain Charlie Delano is called in to restore law and order to Denton County. But Delano and his men are outnumbered by the blackhearted Ace Erickson and his army of rogues, and the final showdown will have to be a one on one battle of good versus evil. This book contains: Violence, Profanity


CT 5911

by Bruce H. Thorstad, Narrated by Cliff Hardwick, 2 cassettes

Riley Stokes, a Kentuckian, and Cass McCasland, a Texan, had hearts as big as the West: two down-on-their-luck misfits who found each other and found a way to make some of the worst enemies and best friends to be had on the frontier. After signing up to guard an Army paywagon on its way to Fort Dodge, they leave the job to help a half-Chinese, half-Kiowa woman rescue her Kiowa sister from a band of whiskey runners. This book contains: Violence, Profanity.

Grass Kingdom

CT 6204

by Jory Sherman, Narrated by Janice Lathin, 3 cassettes Matt Baron, patriarch of the Baron family, is determined to carve a piece of the Texas panhandle into the most profitable cattle ranch west of the Mississippi with the help of his tough-as-nails sister Lou. Their rule of this grass kingdom is threatened by drought, oil drilling, marauding rustlers and their own ruthless ambitions. This book contains: Heavy Sex, Violence, Profanity

Gun Trouble in Tonto Basin

CT 3607

by Zane Grey, Narrated by Ken Lockerman, 2 cassettes Arizona Ames faces deadly Slade Corton and helps break up a dangerous bandit gang.

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Gunfight at Eagle Springs

CT 5600

by Frederic Bean, Narrated by Floyd Travis, 1 cassette

Being sheriff was a big responsibility for a nineteen-year-old, even when the job was part-time in a quiet place like Eagle Springs, Texas. Gabe Miller's first real test came when a hardened gunman showed up to investigate the unsolved murder of his younger brother and the disappearance of his mother. This book contains: Profanity

Guns of Dorking Hollow

CT 3572

by Max Brand, Narrated by Dan Loveland, 2 cassettes

This story of violence and gunplay set in a roaring mining town tells of a feud between an invincible giant and a man who had to win a battle with death to protect his kingdom.

Hanging Judge

CT 4108

by Elmer Kelton, Narrated by Tom Fairbrother, 1 cassette

In a story based on the famous 'hanging judge,' Isaac C. Parker, a newly appointed deputy marshall must deal with a vengeance-seeking family.

Hard Luck

CT 5734

by Frederic Bean, Narrated by Ed Farrell, 1 cassette

Dan Willis is heading toward the promise of high-paying work in the New Mexico territory. But by the time he crosses Texas, he is broke, starving, and willing to take any job he can find. When Dan takes a job digging holes on Jake Logan's ranch, he soon notices that something strange-and possibly illegal- is going on. Not wanting to get involved, Dan is tempted to ride out before payday, but he feels obliged to help Jake Logan's wife Jane, who has confided in him. This book contains: Violence

King of the Outlaw Horde

CT 4328

by Zane Grey, Narrated by Bob Schenkkan, 2 cassettes Continues the adventures of Arizona Ames. As a young man, Rich Ames lived as a range drifter. After a gunfight that left two men dead, Ames' skill with a six-gun made him one of the most feared and respected men in the West.

Outlaw's Fortune

CT 5637

by W.W. Lee, Narrated by Ed Corrigan, 1 cassette

When the Santa Fe Railroad hires Tisdale Investigations to stop nototious train robber Tom Hogan, Tisdale is surprised to find his best investigator, Jefferson Birch, reluctant to take the job. Birch agrees to go after Hogan-not for money or a sense of justice but to lay the past to rest. This book contains: Violence, Profanity

Snowy Range Gang

CT 6051

by Mike Blakely, Narrated by Ed Corrigan, 2 cassettes

Retired livestock detective Claude Duval thought he was through with rustlers and killers when he left Texas for Wyoming. But when duty calls again, he finds himself accepting help from his sworn enemy Lone Wolf Wolverton, and the two team up to track down the Snowy Range Gang. This book is contained: Violence, Profanity

Texas Trackers

CT 5538

by Doyle Trent, Narrated by Harold Steadman, 2 cassettes

This is a Western with elements of a detective story, involving a young eastern dude and a young cowboy. The two join forces to track down the bad guys, and their quest leads from northern New Mexico to El Paso, with adventures all along the way. This book contains: Violence, Profanity


More Texas Titles

Thousands of additional titles recorded in Texas are available from the Talking Book Program. Ask a Reader Consultant to recommend other Texas titles and authors or have Texas titles added to your reading list through our automatic selection program. A world of Texas books is just a phone call or e-mail message away.

As with all of the books in our collection, there is no time limit for ordering any of these books. Feel free to ask for these titles at any time-now or in the future.

The Texas volunteers welcome your comments and suggestions. Send an e-mail message to the Volunteer Recording Studio at or write to us at Volunteer Recording Studio, Talking Book Program, PO Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711-2927. If you live in the Austin area and are interested in volunteering to record books, please call 463-5546 for more information. More information about volunteering is available on the web page of the Friends of the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio.

Talking Book Program, Austin, TX, July 2000.

Talking Book Program

Texas State Library & Archives Commission

PO Box 12927

Austin TX 78711-2927

1-800-252-9605 (in Texas)

512-463-5458 (in Austin)

512-936-0685 (fax)

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Page last modified: October 21, 2010