Spotlight on Texas is a biannual 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, and people of the Lone Star state. Titles recorded include biographies, histories, westerns, romances, mysteries, self-help, and travel. More than ten new books are completed each month, offering an increasing variety of Texas topics from which to choose. 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," 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note the titles and book numbers you would like to request, then call us at any time with your order.
return to top
By ELIZABETH CHADWICK, Narrated by NICOLE SCALARO, 3 cassettes.
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Whitney survives the Comanche raid that killed he father as they traveled across Texas in the year 1844. Alex Harte, the leader of a band of rugged mustangers who find her, cannot bring himself to leave her to die in the wilderness. As untamed as the prairie he roams capturing wild horses to sell, Alex has no place in his life for a woman. But he cannot deny the sparks that flare between him and the woman who owes her life to him. This book contains explicit descriptions of sex, some profanity and violence.
By GRACE LIVINGSTON HILL, Narrated by CINDY JOHNSON, 2 cassettes.
Left alone after her beloved father's death, lovely young Eden Thurston struggles to hold her life and faith together. Then she receives help from two unexpected sources: letters left to her by her father that were written by her mother when Eden was just a child, and a handsome young lawyer who comes to help her settle her father's estate. The letters give Eden the loving and wise counsel she so urgently needs, helping her overcome difficulty and danger at the hands of deceitful men and scheming relatives. And the young lawyer helps her discover a new dimension of faith - and love.
CARELESS WEEDS: SIX TEXAS NOVELLAS
By TOM PILKINGTON, Narrated by ELIZABETH OTT, 2 cassettes.
Part of the editor's intent in selecting these novellas was to provide a chronicle of culture and society in Texas. The result is a variety of characters and settings, and themes ranging from adolescent bonds to the devastating efects of war on a family. These novellas illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of the human spirit, in a chronological and somewhat topographical journey across Texas. This book contains explicit descriptions of sex, profanity and violence.
By JAMES LEE BURKE, Narrated by BILL MCLEAN, 2 cassettes.
Texas ranger-turned-attorney Billy Bob Holland agrees to defend teenager Lucas Smothers, who was found unconscious at the murder scene of a female acquaintance and arrested for the crime. Holland has a compelling reason to take the case--Smothers is his illegitimate son. This book contains some explicit descriptions of sex, profanity and violence.
return to top
CYCLING: A NOVEL
By GREG GARRETT, Narrated by DIANNA DORMAN, 2 cassettes.
Brad Cannon is a wealthy, college-educated, 30-year-old Texan whose parents and younger brother were killed in a highway accident when he was still a teen. A few years later, his girlfriend was abducted and murdered. Despite the horror, Brad carries on - he goes to college and graduate school and even writes a successful book about the Civil War. But Brad has slipped into a holding pattern that includes very little other than a daily bicycle ride. When one of his buddies dies, Brad inherits his dog, Audrey. This minor change in his life is the snowflake that starts an avalanche, and at last Brad is propelled out of his holding pattern and back into life.
DAVE'S TUNE: A NOVEL
By JUNE RAYFIELD WELCH, Narrated by THERESE EAST, 2 cassettes.
The adventures of a teen-age boy growing up in a small town in Texas, in the summer of '44. This book contains some profanity.
DEAD DOG BLUES
By NEAL BARRETT, Narrated by CHRIS HUNNELL, 2 cassettes.
Austin writer Barrett is an acute observer of small-town ways. Here, his protagonist returns home to Pharoah, Texas after a checkered 14-year career. As town constable, he soon finds that small-town animosities, rivalries, and romances still simmer from his school days. A series of macabre killings proceed to really stir things up. This book contains some sex, profanity and violence.
DEATH ASSEMBLAGE: A FRANKIE MACFARLANE MYSTERY #1
By SUSAN CUMMINS MILLER, Narrated by NYELA BASNEY, 2 cassettes.
The mountains west of Pair-a-Dice, Nevada, hold mysteries geological, historical, and personal. Geologist Frankie MacFarlane has mapped the Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks of the range for the past three summers. In the final week of her dissertation fieldwork, she searches for an elusive final key to her research: a limestone marker bed - a death assemblage of fossil ammonoids - hidden by dangerous, shifting talus. But as Frankie strives to piece together her geologic jigsaw puzzle, the denizens of Pair-a-Dice, her base of operations, embroil her in a web of ancient and recent murders, a manhunt, kidnappings, and blackmail. This book contains some violence.
DEATH OF AN EVANGELISTA: A TEXANA JONES MYSTERY #3
By ALLANA MARTIN, Narrated by LINDA FOX, 2 cassettes.
When trading post owner Texana Jones discovers the body of a dead man in a Mexican taxi, she barely escapes becoming a scapegoat for corrupt federales. Unfortunately, the innocent cab driver is left to take the fall and Texana becomes a pariah among the locals back home in Presidio. Than another body, that of an American woman and self-appointed missionary, is found, leading Texana deeper into the kinds of secrets that life in the desert hides well - and the dark places of the human heart where the borderline between good and evil is easy to cross. This book contains some violence.
DEATH OF A MYTH MAKER: A TEXANA JONES MYSTERY #4
By ALLANA MARTIN, Narrated by PAT COLEMAN, 2 cassettes.
The murder of a Mexican photographer is dismissed as just the violence of the border. Yet Texana is drawn into the case and wonders about its connection to another crime: the shooting death of a "myth maker," a confidence trickster who'd been wooing Ella Spivey, one of the sisters of the powerful Seven Sisters Ranch. The victim, Julian Row, left a trail of enemies, and a local artist has been arrested. But Texana, with her innate understanding of "la frontera" culture - life on the border - discovers the truth is as unforgiving as the desert itself. This book contains some profanity.
DEATH OF THE LAST VILLISTA: A TEXANA JONES MYSTERY #5
By ALLANA MARTIN, Narrated by DENISE JOHNSON, 2 cassettes.
In 1961, a Hollywood movie company came to tiny Polvo, Texas, to film a movie about Pancho Villa. However, the film was dogged with trouble, not least of which was a man found murdered on an island in the middle of the Rio Grande, and the case was never solved. Now, forty years later, trading-post owner Texana Jones is hosting a video crew shooting a special celebrating the film's anniversary. Most of the townspeople are excited by this event, but some want nothing to do with the project. On the day the townspeople gather to meet the actors the RV belonging to actor Dane Anthony catches fire and explodes. Is it an accident or arson?
return to top
FANTASMAS: SUPERNATURAL STORIES BY MEXICAN AMERICAN WRITERS
Edited by Rob Johnson, Narrated by SUE BILICH, 2 cassettes.
In Mexico, "cuentos de fantasma" are a popular form of literature that combines fantasy, folktales, and pulp fiction. "Fantasmas" is the first collection of such stories written by Mexican American writers and features nineteen new stories by well-known and emerging authors. This book contains some profanity and violence.
FLAT CRAZY: A BLANCO COUNTY MYSTERY #3
By BEN REHDER, Narrated by DICK COLLINS, 3 cassettes.
Some kind of unidentified wild creature is on the loose in Blanco, and over the protests of sensible game warden John Marlin, the locals have convinced themselves they're dealing with a mythical vampirish beast called a "chupacabra." And it doesn't help Marlin's cause when a dead body turns up with a suspicious fang-like wound in its neck. Then things get really out of hand: Tabloid news crews invade Blanco, good 'ol boys Red O'Brien and Billy Don Craddock develop a cockamamie get-rich-quick scheme involving the animal, and everyone is a little surprised at the booming population of voluptuous Chinese dwarves who've turned up in town. This book contains some profanity and violence.
GROWING UP LATINO: MEMOIRS AND STORIES
By HAROLD AUGENBRAUM, Narrated by JULIE SHUEY, 3 cassettes.
This comprehensive anthology collects both classic and recent Latino writing in English--both fiction and non-fiction. Featuring memoirs and stories that are sometimes shocking, often funny and always stirring, this diverse collection shatters the myth of a singular U.S.-Latino experience and proves the existence of a rich Latino tradition of letters. Contains strong language. This book contains some profanity.
HANGMAN'S ROOT: A CHINA BAYLES MYSTERY #3
By SUSAN WITTIG ALBERT, Narrated by STACI FINCH, 2 cassettes.
Fur flies in Pecan springs, Texas, as lawyer-turned-herbalist China Bayles finds herself involved in an animal rights dispute. When biology professor Miles Hardwick is found murdered, everyone suspects his hated neighbor and animal rights activist, Dottie Riddle. But did Dottie's concern for stray cats push her to murder Hardwick over his department's animal experimentation? This book contains some sex and profanity.
HANK THE COWDOG: THE CASE OF THE DUNGEON OF DOOM #44
By JOHN R.ERICKSON, Narrated by DOROTHY BLAIR, 1 cassette.
As Head of Ranch Security, Hank knows that it's his job to clear the ranch of all intruders - and that includes gophers. But when Hank's efforts to rid the yard of one such critter causes a stampede in the middle of the cattle roundup, Loper decides that he just can't take it any more. He wants Hank to learn some manners, so he's sending him to Obedience School. How will Hank ever survive?
By STEPHEN BRANSFORD, Narrated by JANICE LATHIN, 3 cassettes.
A determined young woman battles cosmic forces of evil in this apocalyptic novel of faith and salvation. The action sprawls globally, stretching from the Rio Grande Valley to the Middle East, where Dr. Simon Grace, a prominent televangelist, has mysteriously disappeared. When Dr. Grace's son and daughter attempt to rescue their father, they are swept into a dangerous, desperate international mission in this adventure tale that offers insight into spiritual reality and the power of prayer. This book contains some violence.
return to top
JOURNEY OF HECTOR RABINAL
By DONLEY WATT, Narrated by DANI MACFARLANE, 1 cassette.
Tragic in events, this first novel affirms the strength of the human spirit. Part terrified flight, part naively hopeful quest, the journey taken by Guatemalan protagonist Hector leads him to a strange, bright America and back to a mortally wounded home. Hector's story reveals the harshness and unexpected comforts found by illegals, and the exploitation and kindness they experience. [Spanish version: "Viaje de Hector Rabinal" CT 05711.] This book contains some sex, profanity and violence.
LAST KLICK: A NOVEL
By ROBERT FLYNN, Narrated by SERGIO VILLARREAL, 3 cassettes.
A provocative book that addresses a number of complex subjects--death, war, media manipulation, and the concept of celebrity. A writer and college professor finds no comfort in his life or work until he gets a job reporting in Vietnam for a rightwing men's magazine. There, in a fierce firefight, a desperate act makes him the news rather than the reporter. His struggle to discover and preserve his true character is compelling. This book contains some profanity and violence.
By WAYNE BARTON, Narrated by EV LUNNING, 2 cassettes.
Riding into Willow Springs, Texas, Jefferson Davis King trails a horse behind him, a gift for his friend C.D.Hollis. But Sheriff Hollis had been killed weeks earlier. The gunman is unknown but the suspects include the town's cunning judge, the hotheaded new sheriff, and rancher Dallas Castleberry, a man as tough as the longhorns he raises. When a loose-lipped gravedigger tells all he knows, Jeff King sets off on a manhunt as unexpected as it is dangerous. This book contains some profanity.
By RACHELLE MORGAN, Narrated by CHARLES WATSON, 2 cassettes.
After Annie Harper's world shattered four years ago, taming horses became her salvation. But when Brett Corrigan hires her to capture the wild mustang that's stealing his mares, Annie's passion is ignited by the masterful rancher, sweeping through her life like wildfire. Brett's wagered his lifetime dreams on the ranch he won with the turn of the card, and he's not about to let his craving for Annie get in his way. This book contains some sex; some profanity; some violence
MY SISTER GONE
By KATHRYN MARSHALL, Narrated by MARY JANE PRALL, 2 cassettes.
During the summer of 1960 in a hot Texas town, ten-year-old Helen spends much of her time hiding from her older sister Carrie, whose paranoia and rage against a largely male world soon reach a terrifying yet wickedly funny breaking point. A decade later Carrie reappears in Helen's life, and they move together toward this novel's chilling conclusion. This realistic portrait of childhood gone awry provides painful insight into the crippling effects of incest. This book contains some sex, profanity and violence.
PRINCE OF A FELLOW
By SHELBY HEARON, Narrated by KAREN PHIPPS, 1 cassette.
Both satire and romance, this is the story of 30-year-old Avery Krause, who does a morning radio show on the edge of the Texas Hill Country, and is looking for her prince on a white horse. The author clearly portrays life in the German community of Prince Solms (New Braunfels) with wit and astringent social commentary. This book contains explicit descriptions of sex and some profanity.
SEARCH FOR LAST CHANCE
By A.L.MCWILLIAMS, Narrated by JEANNE GUICHARD, 2 cassettes.
Quiet, courteous, sticky-fingered Shell Paxton is wanted in California for armed robbery. His wife, Sally, has lured him away from this dangerous life and from the father figure of Vic Taylor, a notorious outlaw. They settle in a small town in Texas and start a family. Unfortunately, bounty hunter, Jesse Watts eventually tracks down Shell and arrests him. Sally engineers a daring escape, and they are soon on the run. Shell meets up with Vic again and in spite of Sally's pleading, falls back into outlawry. Shell hopes that finding the lost Last Chance gold will give him and Sally a new start.
return to top
By JAMES C.MCCORMICK, Narrated by JOHN COFFMAN, 3 cassettes.
This semi-autobiographical, earnest first novel offers an engaging view of American life during the past few decades. The protagonist rises from Depression-era poverty to vast wealth and power, yet his life is marred by a spiritual emptiness. Ultimately, personal tragedy and a pilgrimage guide him toward a closer relationship with God and afford him a greater sense of inner peace.
TEXAS BOUND: NINETEEN TEXAS STORIES
By KAY CATTARULLA, Narrated by JEANNE GUICHARD, 2 cassettes.
These stories were selected from the "Arts and Letters Live" series of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Public Library. Each story explores states of mind and terrain of the Lone Star State. Stories included are by well-known Texas authors like Larry McMurtry and Larry L. King, as well as less familiar writers. This book contains some profanity.
TEXAS CAPITOL MURDERS
By BILL CRIDER, Narrated by JEANNE GUICHARD, 2 cassettes.
A lighthearted look behind the dignified facade of the state capitol in Austin, Texas, where the strangled body of pretty, promiscuous Ramona Gonzalez, one of the building's cleaners, has been found in a basement hamper. Texas Ranger Ray Hartnett has scarcely begun to investigate when there's a second killing. This book contains some profanity.
By HASCAL GILES, Narrated by EV LUNNING, 2 cassettes.
Notorious bounty hunter Wyatt Kirk has become quite a legend, known widely as the meanest gun in Texas. Tired of all the young guns trying to outshoot him to prove their own worth, Wyatt heads home to the family ranch to start a new life for himself. But someone has it in for the Kirks. Soon he must fight to save his brother from the law and the ranch from the hands of a sworn enemy. This book contains some profanity and violence.
THIS WAR CALLED LOVE
By ALEJANDRO MURGUIA, Narrated by PAUL KLEMPERER, 1 cassette.
Equal parts funny and sad, Murguia's short stories depict, with tender and sometimes unflinching detail, love, life, and growing up Hispanic. In the brief but powerful story "The Flower Seller," a child walks the streets of California, selling roses out of a bucket in restaurants while his mother repairs clothes and his sisters sew beads on dresses for retail stores - all of them working for pennies. In "A Lesson in Meringue," a hilarious dance teacher teaches a class the forbidden dance, claiming it washes away problems and is the cheapest workout in town. This book contains some sex, profanity and some violence.
By KATHLYN WHITSITT EGBERT, Narrated by JEANNE GUICHARD, 2 cassettes.
When middle-aged Adam Stauffer is diagnosed with Stage IV cancer, he and his family try to prepare for his impending death. After a difficult period when Adam is temporarily put on a respirator, he convinces his wife to travel with him and their three children back to his father's Texas ranch. As Adam explains, slowly dying feels like getting ready to go back to where you came from. At the ranch, Adam makes peace with his memories, and his family accepts his coming death.
return to top
By J. STEPHEN YOUNT, Narrated by ED FARRELL, 2 cassettes.
This historical novel, set in 1910 in the Panhandle town of High Plains, revolves around Halley's comet. Many people believed that the comet's appearance heralded the end of the world, as foretold in the bible. Yount's novel tells how the coming of the comet divided the town, with the original settlers on one side, and newer immigrants on the other. This book contains some profanity.
WELCOME TO FRED
By BRAD WHITTINGTON, Narrated by JACK HUFF, 2 cassettes.
In this coming-of-age story set in rural Texas, eleven-year-old Mark Cloud arrives in Fred, Texas, by way of Ohio with a large vocabulary and a hankering for paisley, psychedelic posters and the works of artist Peter Max. He soon finds that being a Baptist preacher's kid in a hick Texas town in the 1960s leaves a lot to be desired. As Mark struggles to find his identity, he also questions the faith he's grown up with and must make his own. This story is the slow unfolding of a slice of one boy's adolescence.
WHERE TWO WAYS MET
By GRACE LIVINGSTON HILL, Narrated by ELAINE KARICKHOFF, 2 cassettes.
Paige is thrown together with a lovely young minister's daughter when they try to help a family in need. Both drawn and challenged by this girl's gentle faith, Paige soon finds himself faced with a vital decision.
WIDOWS OF WICHITA COUNTY
By JODI THOMAS, Narrated by STACI THOMPSON, 2 cassettes.
Apart from sharing the same zip code, Randi Howard, Anna Montano, Meredith Allen, Helena Whitworth and Crystal Howard have absolutely nothing in common until a fiery explosion on a west Texas oil rig changes everything. Their husbands are men who live to search for "black gold," who willingly trade backbreaking work for money. But on a blistering day in early autumn, four of the men pay the ultimate price, leaving behind one man who wishes he had died too.The women all turn to each other for support and begin a journey of faith, of love, of strength, and of tears. This book contains some sex, profanity and violence.
YOU'RE AN ORPHAN, MOLLIE BROWN: A NOVEL
By MARY E. PENSON, Narrated by ELIZABETH OTT, 1 cassette.
Historical fiction inspired by the diary of the real Mattie Barnes Fielder. With her Ma dead and her Pa away on a cattle drive, Mollie Brown feels like the orphan her cousin says she is. Mollie dreams of a home and family of her own. Then, with the help of her school-teacher, Mollie finds that the answers to dreams are sometimes right front of you.
return to top
ANGLOS AND MEXICANS IN THE MAKING OF TEXAS, 1836-1986
By DAVID MONTEJANO, Narrated by RICH DINDA, 3 cassettes.
What happened to Mexicans in Texas after the Alamo? The author reconstructs the history of Mexican-Anglo relations in Texas since the 19th century, while addressing such issues as ethnicity, social change, and the nature of society itself.
BLOOD BROTHERS: A SHORT HISTORY OF THE CIVIL WAR
By FRANK EVERSON VANDIVER, Narrated by TERRY MAY, 2 cassettes.
In riveting detail, Civil War historian Vandiver recounts the campaigns and major battles of the first war of the Industrial Revolution, tracing a version of the war as rooted in the character and vision of its two leaders and their regions.
BOUNTY OF TEXAS: TEXAS FOLKLORE SOCIETY PUBLICATION NUMBER 49
By FRANCIS EDWARD ABERNETHY, Narrated by JIM CRONENBERG, 2 cassettes.
The essays in this Texas Folklore Society Publication take the reader from living off the land to German ethnic celebrations, with studies of folklorists Dorothy Scarborough and J. Frank Dobie, a lexicon of prison slang, discussions of moonshine and Oliver North, and a comic dialog about the towns of Jacksboro and Chilicothe.
By MARY KIDDER RAK, Narrated by MARIE EDWARDS, 2 cassettes.
Originally published to critical acclaim in 1934, this is the story of one ranch wife's struggle to learn the cattle business and cope with problems of life on an isolated ranch. Mary Rak details the seasonal round of chores, the devastating effects of drought, the difficulty of finding and keeping good hired hands, and the ups and downs of the cattle market. She also tells of the pleasures of ranch life, from the beauty of the surroundings to the camaraderie of ranch people.
CHRISTMAS AT THE RANCH
By ELMER KELTON, Narrated by RICHARD DUNHAM, 1 cassette.
Elmer Kelton writes about what Christmas was like in West Texas during the Great Depression. Kelton experienced Christmas on two ranches - the one where his father was foreman, and the one his paternal grandfather operated. His grandparents' home lacked electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing, but it was full of cousins, delicious food, and a warm glow that reflected more than just the heat generated by the pot-bellied stove in the living room. This book includes accounts of Kelton's last Christmas at home before shipping out for war in Europe, his first Christmas after the war, and a special Christmas in Austria more than thirty-five years later.
DOGGED VICTIMS OF INEXORABLE FATE
By DAN JENKINS, Narrated by JOHN CAGLE, 2 cassettes.
For 25 years, author Jenkins has covered golf like no other writer. This is his original collection of golf stories, including everything that is frustrating, funny and interesting about the game of golf. This book contains some profanity.
return to top
ELMER KELTON COUNTRY: THE SHORT NONFICTION OF A TEXAS NOVELIST
By ELMER KELTON, Narrated by JIM CRONENBERG, 2 cassettes.
The pieces collected here are organized in six categories: Land and Water, Plows and Cows, Old-Timers Remember, The Way It Was, Rodeo Life, and Writing About the West. For readers who know Kelton as a rancher and livestock journalist, here are articles about a way of life and a system of values they share with the author. Those who know Kelton as a fiction writer will find in these essays the seeds of his novels--concern for the environment, the craft of writing, the history of west Texas, and the sport of rodeo.
FLYING WITH IRON ANGELS: THE DIARIES AND MEMORIES OF NAVY CARRIER PILOTS FIGHTING THE PACIFIC WAR IN 1944
By CHARLES HOUSTON, Narrated by EV LUNNING, 3 cassettes.
Using primary sources at the National Archives as well as diary entries, flight logs, personal accounts and memories, Houston has written and compiled an account of Fighter Squadron VF-14 in World War II. The Iron Angels were Navy fighter pilots who flew the Grumman Hellcat to escort and protect our dive bombers and torpedo planes. The U.S.S. Wasp and Air Group 14 operated with the Fast Carrier Task Force during the most intensive naval combat of the Pacific War, supporting the invasions of Saipan, Tinian, Guam, Palau, Morotai and all the Philippine Islands. Here is a collection of personal diary accounts of their daily activities, interspersed with today's memories of these same vaterans as they review their adventures of a half-century ago. This book contains some profanity.
FOLKLORE AND CULTURE ON THE TEXAS-MEXICAN BORDER
By AMERICO PAREDES, Narrated by RICH DINDA, 2 cassettes.
The author is a leading scholar of Mexican American folklore in the Valley. This collection of 11 previously unpublished articles provides a sample of his views on the role of conflict and identity in the emergence of a distinctive border culture and, particularly its expression in the corrido (folksong). These essays are accessible to anyone with an interest in the distinctive folk culture of the Southwest. This book contains some profanity.
FOO, A JAPANESE-AMERICAN PRISONER OF THE RISING SUN: THE SECRET PRISON
By FRANK FUJITA, Narrated by TOM NAUGHTON, 3 cassettes.
Subtitle: The Secret Prison Diary of Frank "Foo" Fujita. Sergeant Fujita's World War II experiences were unique: he was one of two Japanese-Americans to have been a prisoner of war of the Japanese. His incarceration involved the implied threat of torture and execution as a traitor to Japan. His story is one of survival--through a combination of guile, bravery, adaptation and luck. This book contains some profanity.
GOLDEN SHADOWS OLD WEST MUSEUM
By LARRY L.KING, Narrated by TIM SIMEK, 1 cassette.
A play dealing with the problems of aging, profoundly and with humor. Author King uses Texas settings and characters to explore his universal themes, which here include our mistaken stereotypes and impersonal treatment of the elderly.
GREAT HANGING AT GAINESVILLE, COOKE COUNTY, TEXAS
By THOMAS BARRETT, Narrated by KATHEY LINT, 1 cassette.
Fabled among Texana collectors for its scarcity, this pamphlet was written in 1885. Its author was on the Cooke County jury that found 39 men guilty of conspiracy and insurrection in the Fall of 1862. Those men were hung for their participation in a secret "Peace Party" to protest statewide conscription into the Confederate Army.
return to top
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MEXICAN REVOLUTION: CONTEMPORARY MEXICAN HISTORY, 1910-1989
By HECTOR AGUILAR CAMIN, Narrated by PAT CASEY, 3 cassettes.
The authors offer a comprehensive and authoritative study of Mexico's turbulent 20th century. This English translation is the first single text to do so, and it gives the reader an accessible study of our neighbor and economic partner.
MONTEZUMA'S SERPENT: AND OTHER TRUE SUPERNATURAL TALES OF THE SOUTHWEST
By BRAD STEIGER, Narrated by RUTH BORINSTEIN, 2 cassettes.
The American Southwest has always been home to legends of witches, phantoms, Indian curses, UFO sightings, buried treasure, mystery winds, and other unexplained, extraordinary phenomena. This is an entertaining tour of the region that will delight lovers of eerie tales.
MEXICAN WAR JOURNAL AND LETTERS OF RALPH W. KIRKHAM
By RALPH WILSON KIRKHAM, Narrated by ED FARRELL, 1 cassette.
From the recently discovered journal kept by Lieutenant Ralph Kirkham during the last 15 months of the American military presence in Mexico. This is a lively account of several battles in the Mexican war, and the exit from Mexico City after U.S. troops turned over the National Palace to the Mexican Army. Kirkham'as observations of daily life in Central Mexico are accurate and compelling, and include bullfights, art exhibits, theatre performances, an earthquake, and Christmas celebrations.
MORE THAN PETTICOATS: REMARKABLE TEXAS WOMEN
By GRETA ANDERSON, Narrated by LORI BRIX, 1 cassette.
This book explores the history of the Lone Star State through the stories of ten remarkable women whose courage and contributions made a profound impact on Texas. These pioneering women exhibited strength and triumph through their work as doctors, entrepreneurs, journalists, civil rights advocates, and more. All ten women, born before 1900, faced incredible challenges.
MOTHER LOVE, DEADLY LOVE: THE TEXAS CHEERLEADER MURDER PLOT
By ANNE MCDONALD MAIER, Narrated by DANI MACFARLANE, 2 cassettes.
Churchgoer and model homemaker Wanda Holloway seemed to lead the perfect life. Married to a rich, successful husband, she was the envy of Channelview, Texas. But the real Wanda was a bitter, calculating woman. This is the story of her consuming jealousy, her frustrated dreams, and her dangerous delusions. This book contains explicit descriptions of sex and some profanity.
NEWS FROM BROWNSVILLE:HELEN CHAPMAN'S LETTERS FROM THE TEXAS MILITARY FRONTIER, 1848-1852
By CALEB COKER, Narrated by MARY JANE PRALL, 3 cassettes.
Helen Chapman and her husband were two influential founding citizens of Brownsville. Mrs. Chapman chronicled their frontier experience and commented on social conditions along the Rio Grande. The editor is a fifth-generation descendant of the Chapmans, and drew these letters from an extensive family collection.
return to top
O YE LEGENDARY TEXAS HORNED FROG
By JUNE RAYFIELD WELCH, Narrated by JACK GAZZALE, 1 cassette.
A compendium of legends, history and lore about the horny toad that recounts many a Texas "sighting." Includes the tale of Old Rip, the horned frog who slept 31 years inside the cornerstone of the Eastland County Courthouse.
PROGRESSIVES AND PROHIBITIONISTS: TEXAS DEMOCRATS IN THE WILSON ERA
By LEWIS L. GOULD, Narrated by JACK GAZZALE, 3 cassettes.
This prize-winning account of early 20th-century Texas politics offers a clear, well-written narrative of an exciting period in Texas history. Prohibition dominated the scene, and colorful figures like James E. Ferguson and Joseph Weldon Bailey held intense debates, pro and con.
By FRANK S.HASTINGS, Narrated by THERESE EAST, 2 cassettes.
Considered one of the best books about Texas cowboys, cattle, and cattlemen. The author spent twenty years managing the enormous SMS Ranch. His inside look at cattle breeding, cowboy life, and the packing industry was originally published in 1921. Subtitle: An Autobiography in which unfamiliar facts bearing upon the origin of the cattle industry in the Southwest and of the American packing business are stated, and characteristic incidents recorded.
By LEONOR VILLEGAS DE MAGNON, Narrated by GRATIA WINSHIP, 3 cassettes.
This is the memoir of a revolutionary woman, Leonor Villegas de Magnon, a fiery critic of Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz. She was a conspirator and participant in the Mexican Revolution. An aristocrat, Villegas de Magnon rebelled against the ideals of her class and against the traditional role of women in society. Many women from both sides of the border risked their lives to support the revolution. Villegas de Magnon decided to write her personal story years afterward, when their participation had yet to be acknowledged.
By JUNE RAYFIELD WELCH, Narrated by RICH DINDA, 2 cassettes.
These stories of Texas' periphery--of the outside counties from El Paso to Dallam to Bowie to Cameron--recount tales of legendary Texas people, places and events.
SAN JUAN BAUTISTA: GATEWAY TO SPANISH TEXAS
By ROBERT S.WEDDLE, Narrated by RICH DINDA, 3 cassettes.
In their efforts to assert dominion over vast reaches of the (now U.S.). Southwest in the 17th cenutry, the Spanish built a series of far-flung missions and presidios at strategic places. One of the most important was San Juan Bautista del Rio Grande, located at the present site of Guerrero, Mexico. As ethnohistory, this classic text documents constant cultural misunderstanding among the indigenous and arriving peoples whose religious, military, colonial, and commercial interests brought them to San Juan.
return to top
SITTING IT OUT: A WORLD WAR II POW MEMOIR
By DAVID WESTHEIMER, Narrated by RICH DINDA, 3 cassettes.
One of a handful of accounts of Texans in the War, this prison memoir is colorful and rich in detail. In the engaging style of his novels, such as Von Ryan's Express, the author describes daily life in the Italian and German POW camps where he spent twenty-eight months.
SUMMER STOCK: BEHIND THE SCENES WITH LBJ IN '48: RECOLLECTIONS OF A POLITICAL ODYSSEY
By JOE PHIPPS, Narrated by JOHN COFFMAN, 3 cassettes.
An insightful and funny look inside LBJ's 1948 Senate campaign--the race that put him in the national political fast lane--by an aide-de-camp with a good memory and a flair for the descriptive. This book contains some profanity.
TELLING: CONFESSIONS, CONCESSIONS, AND OTHER FLASHES OF LIGHT
By MARION WINIK, Narrated by MARION WINIK, 1 cassette.
Austin writer Winik practices a very personal journalism, drawing the reader into her life with pieces ranging from adjustment to motherhood to episodes from her wild youth. These essays are frank and wonderfully written. This book contains some sex and profanity.
TELL ME A TEXAS STORY
By JUNE RAYFIELD WELCH, Narrated by MARY JANE PRALL, 1 cassette.
A collection of tales Texan, originally written for the award-winning Vignettes of Texas History radio series. These stories feature a mix of fact and folklore and are grouped thematically.
TEXAS AND CHRISTMAS; A COLLECTION OF TRADITIONS, MEMORIES AND FOLKLORE
By JOYCE GIBSON ROACH, Narrated by VALERIE PRUCKA, 1 cassette.
Most of the pieces in this collection bring the past into the present, reviving traditions and memories of Christmases long gone. Others reflect the diversity of our Texas people, and still others describe customs that are even today setting new traditions for the future.
TEXAS REVOLUTIONARY EXPERIENCE: A POLITICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY, 1835-1836
By PAUL D. LACK, Narrated by TOM FAIRBROTHER, 3 cassettes.
This fresh perspective on the Texas Revolution portrays the Texans as a fragmented people--beset by racial and ethnic tensions, and without a consensus about the meaning of political changes in Mexico. The army lacked discipline and respect for property, and the majority of Texans had refused military service. The author shows the dilemma Mexican Texans faced in the conflict, and convincingly shows that the Revolution was a time of dislocation and grief for most Texans, not healed by the eventual outcome of battle.
return to top
WHEN I WAS JUST YOUR AGE
By ROBERT FLYNN, Narrated by LINDA FOX, 1 cassette.
This book is the result of a National Endowment for the Humanities project called "Thinking Historically", an effort to help children perceive patterns of behavior and the creation of culture. The authors expanded the successful project into a book, travelling across Texas to collect the stories of diverse Texans, focusing on childhood memories. Includes an Activity Guide to help children, parents, and teachers gather oral history material.
WILLIAM WAYNE JUSTICE: A JUDICIAL BIOGRAPHY
By FRANK R.KEMERER, Narrated by HAROLD STEADMAN, 5 cassettes.
Recent congressional battles over judicial appointments indicate that judges, no less than legislators, can be public policymakers. William Wayne Justice readily accepted this role, liberally interpreting the Constitution to meet the changing needs of society. As U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, he has issued landmark reform decisions significantly affecting public institutions in Texas as well as nationally. Here the author explores the factors that led to these decisions and made Judge Justice a controversial figure.
WILL ROGERS AT THE ZIEGFELD FOLLIES
By WILL ROGERS, Narrated by HAROLD STEADMAN, 2 cassettes.
Featuring the humorist's writings and poignant observations on society during WWI and the Roaring Twenties, this unique collection includes two of Rogers' most popular books, The Cowboy Philosopher on the Peace Conference and The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition. Editor Frank Wertheim helps to recreate an era when audiences laughed at the home-spun humor of this national legend.
WILL ROGERS AND WILEY POST: DEATH AT BARROW
By BRYAN B.STERLING, Narrated by DAVID ARNSBERGER, 3 cassettes.
This is a double biography as well as a historical account of the plane crash that killed Rogers and Post. The narrative describes all of the events leading up to the accident that took the lives of these two American icons and the investigation that followed.
WOMEN AND CHILDREN OF THE ALAMO
By CRYSTAL SASSE RAGSDALE, Narrated by RIC FURLEY, 1 cassette.
More than a dozen women and children survived the Alamo battle and later recounted their experiences. With one exception--Juana Navarro Perez Alsbury--all were illiterate. Their often-conflicting accounts have survived through oral history. Author Ragsdale has collected seven accounts and mixes fact, fiction, legend, and memory in a satisfying mix.
return to top
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 email@example.com 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. Information about volunteering is available on this website: /tbp/vrs.html
Talking Book Program, Austin, TX, July 2005.
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)
return to top