.

.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top Ten Books With Characters That Live In Texas and amazingly are not even mysteries...



This is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and The Bookish where bloggers relate their "top ten" of a certain topic.  This week's topic - Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who ______.  Well, I decided to feature books with characters that live in my home state of Texas.  And they are not even mysteries.  Take note - that probably won't happen very often - the no mystery thing.  I have read some of these, but not all.  Some have been adapted for film or TV.  Likely you will recognize those.  So come on down, y'all - welcome to Texas - The Lone Star State.



1. Friday Night Lights by H. G. Bissinger - I have read this non-fiction book, which tells about the famous Odessa Permian High School football team.  I went to high school in Austin and, believe me, everyone knew about Odessa Permian.  And football is a big deal here, but it's not the only sport.  Many have likely watched the TV show, Friday Night Lights.  I have not.  I did marry a high school football player.  He married the quiet girl, who barely said boo to anyone.



2. Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson - I have not read this non-fiction account of the terrible 1900 hurricane that devastated Galveston, Texas.  It tells of the early days of the U.S. Weather Bureau and Isaac Cline's belief that nothing could fatally damage the city of Galveston, where he was based.  He was wrong.  Hurricanes are a fact of life for the states that surround the Gulf of Mexico.  If you've spent any of amount of time in this area, you're familiar with severe storms.



3. Monday, Monday by Elizabeth Crook - I read this book last year when it was the Mayor's Book Club selection for an all-city read at the Austin Public Library.  Monday, Monday begins on the University of Texas campus on a hot summer day in August, 1966.  That was the day that Charles Whitman went up to the top of the UT Tower and used a sniper rifle to kill 16 people and wound 32 others.  This is a fictional account of that tragedy and the story of 3 students caught up in that event.  It relates their lives for the next 40 years.  I really enjoyed it, especially because of the care the author took to research the settings of Austin and other Texas locations.



4. You Know When The Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon - I also read this book with a book group and emailed a bit with the author.  It is a series of stories about soldiers stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, a few miles north of Austin.  There are stories of the soldiers themselves, but mostly it's about their families, their wives and husbands and how they cope or don't.  The author is herself a military wife and she writes with knowledge and experience.  A powerful book that I recommend highly.



5. Texas by James Michener - I read this book many years ago, in the time that I read long, long books fairly regularly.  If you've never read a Michener book, they are very detailed and have meticulous research and they are long........long.  This is a history of the land of Texas, the state of Texas, the nation of Texas, and all the people who have called this area their home.  I loved it.  The story goes from prehistoric times to the Spanish discovery and then all the way to the Space Age.  Through all of our six flags.  An epic journey.



6. 11/22/63 by Stephen King - I have not read this one yet and will likely try it on audio.  I do understand that there will be a TV adaptation next year with James Franco as the lead.  I am a big Stephen King fan and I'm interested in this book with the famous date - the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, TX.  I was a little girl at the time and don't have much memory of the day, but I do remember that my father, who worked for the state police, had to help with a small part of the investigation.  Our Texas Governor John Connally was also wounded in that tragedy.  11/22/63 tells the story of a man who is able to time travel and has the ability to possibly change history.



7. Giant by Edna Ferber - Another one that I have not read.  I have, however, seen the movie adaptation several times.  It stars Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean and is a classic.  The story is about cattle, big landowners, and the discovery of oil.  And, no, not everyone who lives in Texas was raised with cattle or has struck oil or owns a lot of land.  But the sight of cows and oil derricks and wide open spaces is quite familiar to me.



8. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry - I have not read this book, but I did see the TV adaptation with Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Duvall.  An epic story of the American West in the late 1800's - cattle drives, Texas Rangers, outlaws, horses, small towns, dust, violence.  This book and the ones that come after have it all.  My husband loved it.



9. The Liar's Club by Mary Karr - I read and discussed this book with a group several years ago.  It is a memoir of the life of American poet Mary Karr and her Texas childhood in Port Arthur, an oil refinery town.  She had quite the interesting family.  This book was on front end of the memoir trend and it is a good one.



10. The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie de Paola - I read this children's book many, many times to my daughter and it was one she took with her when she grew up.  The bluebonnet is the Texas state flower and it appears in the springtime.  It's especially vivid and plentiful when we have had a lot of rain, like this year.  This story is about a little Comanche girl whose tribe is threatened by a drought.  She sacrifices her greatest possession and the Great Spirit not only sends the needed rain, but also sends the bluebonnet flower.  The pictures below were taken in my yard and they are indeed bluebonnets.  And bluebonnets and the other wildflowers that we have here are my favorite part of spring.







Hope you've enjoyed this little tour of my home state of Texas.  If you haven't visited, you are most welcome to come by and see what we have to offer.

46 comments:

  1. Great topic! I like this week's more open-ended prompt because I am loving seeing all of the creative routes different book bloggers took with it. The world is your oyster this week! Check my take out at http://insearchoftheendofthesidewalk.com/2015/04/28/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-books-which-feature-characters-who-travel/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right. Very creative lists this week.

      Delete
  2. I enjoyed this post, Kay. And the pics! Spring flowers are just beginning to peek out of the ground up here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our wildflowers are well underway, but it is 55 degrees outside right now and I'm not even sure what that is about. My feet are cold.

      Delete
  3. Lovely spring flowers. Some new books to me!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I read Friday Night Lights years ago when a student recommended it. Loved Lonesome Dove, but the rest are new to me. The Liars Club has piqued my interest; may need to see if the library has it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary Karr has written several books. I bet your library has at least one of them.

      Delete
  5. I've read two of the featured books, and loved them: Monday Monday, and 11/22/63.

    I have read other books by McMurtry...just not Lonesome Dove.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're the first person I've heard of outside the book group who has read Monday, Monday. What did think of it?

      Delete
  6. That's a great idea for a list. I need to check out what books are set in my home state of Florida.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I bet there would be plenty of them. :-)

      Delete
  7. Oh I love this list! Sadly, most of the books I've read that are set in Texas were mysteries (there may be a couple of exceptions), so I'm glad to see books on your list that are not. I haven't read any of these books but a couple of them are on my list to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I left the mysteries out. I could have done those, but sometimes I want to get out of my norm. LOL

      Delete
  8. The Liars club definitely sound like something right up my alley!! Im also a Cowboys fan, so definitely appreciate the Texas love in this list! Check out my Top Ten Tuesday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, definitely Cowboys fans live in our house too. My husband can't wait for football - well, as soon as the Spurs get done with basketball. LOL

      Delete
  9. Nice book list and lovely flowers, Kay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I love the spring flowers.

      Delete
  10. Great list! I love the topic you chose; how unique! I did mine on redheads; here's my TTT. Happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just read another list on redheads. Susan from Bloggin' 'bout Books. Great minds!

      Delete
  11. Such pretty flowers! I've never actually been to Texas though my husband spends quite a bit of time in Houston for work. I'm not sure I've read any of these books either. Apparently my Texas education is sadly lacking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess so!! LOL

      You should visit some time. I'm partial to the Austin area. ;-)

      Delete
  12. I love I love it that you chose to feature books set in Texas, as it's my home state, too! I loved Lonesome Dove and I highly recommend it to you. I am very interested in trying Monday, Monday now that you've shared a little about it. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know it's your home state. You definitely should try Monday, Monday. I'd be interested in hearing what you think. Elizabeth Crook lives here in the Austin area and Skyped with the group. It was very interesting. I got to tell her how much I enjoyed her Austin nostalgia scenes.

      Delete
  13. Great topic! And, weirdly, I've read a fair number of these: FNL, Monday Monday, 11/22/63, Lonesome Dove. The Big Rich (nonfiction) is also a good one! And Charlie Wilson's War (why do I seem to be coming up with only nonfiction?!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nonfic is fine. And I haven't read either of those. I have heard of Charlie Wilson's War.

      Delete
  14. No mysteries? What blog am I reading?? Ha ha. Fun topic! I loved LONESOME DOVE and I really want to read YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE. I've heard great things about it.

    Happy TTT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, you should definitely read You Know When The Men Are Gone. Very powerful. Short stories - not my favorite type of read, but I loved it. Maybe if I do this again, I'll do Texas mysteries. LOL

      Delete
    2. What a great choice for the topic today! I've read quite of few of these too. There's something romantic about characters and stories set in Texas. I always get myself drawn in. Thanks for the bluebonnet photos,

      Delete
    3. Always glad to show off our wildflowers.

      Delete
  15. Lovely post, Kay! I enjoyed reading about your choices for this week's topic. And such pretty flowers too! Thanks for sharing! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. You Know When the Men are Gone sounds like a difficult but worthwhile read. This was a really great topic idea, I didn't realize Texas was such a popular setting!
    Thanks for stopping by The Local Muse

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mallory. I'm sure every is featured in a few books. :-)

      Delete
  17. Great list! I've wanted to read that Stephen King book for awhile. I have it on my Kindle.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a great choice for books this week, sadly I don't get to read many books set on the tiny island I live on.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great list idea, Kay! You Know When The Men Are Gone was one of my favorites several years ago. Hope Ms. Fallon is working on a new book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. I'd love to read something else by her too. When I was emailed with her, her husband was based in Jordan and she was with him. Hope they are home now. All of them.

      Delete
  20. I've seen the movie Giant but had no idea it was based on a book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it was written quite some time ago, of course.

      Delete
  21. What a great take on the topic! I Don't think I have read many books set in Texas. Lonesome Dove and The Liar's Club are ones I do want to read at some point.

    Someday I would like to visit Texas. The closest I came was a layover in an airport, but that doesn't really count.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Wendy. Well and I was trying to come up with books that were not mysteries. Which I managed. You should visit Texas. I'd take you around. :-)

      Delete
  22. I've been to Texas once, Houston for a week while Jason was conferencing for work. I have lots of friends that moved from Ohio and stayed in Texas, although more than one of them said they missed all the trees :) One day we'll make it down your way again, I'm sure.
    I read Liar's Club when it came out and didn't care for it. I did like You Know When the Men Are Gone and liked it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, there are parts that have more trees - East Texas, but, I understand. Houston is such a big city. You'd like Austin.

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!