The Bookshelf, Young Texas Reader, Blog Notes, & Texana Youtube Channel

The Texas Bookshelf is for single, specific books' reviews and author interviews . The Texas Parlor ranges more broadly than my other websites. The Young Texas Reader focuses on the youngest through teenagers. Texas Blog Notes surveys blogs of historical and literary interest. I've started a Will's Texana Youtube collecting channel where 1,000 videos are collected in 100 playlists . Find Will in Houston or at willstexana {at} yahoodotcom

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Texas author search via Twitter

If'n you'd druther search Twitter, without starting an account, you can go to the search page and enter < texas author > and you'll get results.  The most recent Tweets at 10:30 a.m. on July 22 are below for your inspection.  What it means?  I just don't know, but now you know as much as me. filedby: Check out Susan Elizabeth Phillips author of "Heaven, Texas" on FiledBy (expand)

Texas Cockroach Satire

    square-logo-tcr.jpgHmm, how do you solve a interpretative problem like the Texas Cockroach, the Parlorians wonder about this mythological small town and its newspaper.

It's like a Texas answer to the Onion newspaper.  Yes a small Texas town, La Cucaracha, with the distilled, reduced essences, flavors, and quirks of Texas life.  Popular life styles, sports, religion, politics enjoy deflation.  Surrender your imaginary grip on sanity and be prepared to laugh at yourself and others:

O P T I O N S   I N C L U D E:  Main Menu




  • Local
  • Texas
  • Community
  • Sports
  • Church
  • Columns
  • LaCucaracha History
  • Letters to The Editor
  • Classified Ads
  • And there's their blog at MySanAntonio

    And the online store

    And a Facebook page


    Stonewashed Cap 

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Texas, Social Studies, and the Wall Street Journal

    Texas' neighbors are watching  and have noticed the initial script lines of "Texas All in the Family" being tried out on the Texas Education Commission's  front porch by actors of yet obscured faces.  Exactly who is acting the roles of Archie Bunker and Meat Head are yet to be defined.
    Of all news sources the Wall Street Journal considers the current Texas leaders' special approach to defining appropriateness or inclusiveness for our children's learning.  Texas revisits various parts of the curriculum about once every 10 years.  This year, social studies is one of those being visited for revision.  Stephanie Simon wrote a July 14 article entitled "The Culture Wars' New Frontier:  U.S. History Classes in Texas."
    The article begins:  "The fight over school curriculum in Texas, recently focused on biology, has entered a new arena, with a brewing debate over how much faith belongs in American history classrooms.
    The Texas Board of Education, which recently approved new science standards that made room for creationist critiques of evolution, is revising the state's social studies curriculum. In early recommendations from outside experts appointed by the board, a divide has opened over how central religious theology should be to the teaching of history."
    By July 16 morning there were 242 comments, read more at
    If it weren't for the fact that millions of school children will be affected for the rest of their lives by the eventual decisions, the tragi-comic episodes to come could be viewed as simply entertainment of the "Family Guy" groundling level, not even constructive enough to be "King of the Hill."
    At the outset, the oddest thing I find is that somebody wants to exclude from the American history textbook Anne Hutchinson, the famous 1600's woman religious dissenter/teacher who was exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for refusing to accept the gummit line on the REQUIRED religious formula and not to be confused (I suppose, but maybe not) with the current Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison who'll run in a primary against Governor Rick Perry who controls the commission's appointments. 
    Anyway, this current Texas ban of Anne Hutchinson brings to memory the recent attempt by some Texans to censor the book "Fahreheit 451," a novel against book censoring.  Connected to that memory is Louis Sachar's book "Holes," a Newbery-winning novel set in modern Texas where nonconformist children are condemned to endlessly dig holes for greedy adults looking for buried treasure.

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    UNT Portal to Texas History Continues Digitizing Newspapers

    The University of North Texas Library's "Portal to Texas History" has received continued funding to digitize historical Texas newspapers.  UNT's New Service offers the fuller story at
    Previously  "The UNT Libraries first received a two-year $397,552 grant from NEH in 2007, which allowed the Digital Projects Unit to digitize 108,000 pages of newspapers published in Texas. In addition to pages of the Houston Daily Post, which was established in 1885 and ceased publishing in 1995, the unit digitized pages of:
    •  the Brownsville Daily Herald
    • the Jefferson Jimplecute
    • the Palestine Daily Herald
    • the Jewish Herald, now published in Houston as the Jewish Herald-Voice;
    • and the defunct Fort Worth Gazette, which was also published as the Fort Worth Weekly Gazette and the Fort Worth Daily Gazette.
    The earliest pages of these newspapers date to 1883, and the latest to 1910.
    All of the pages are now available on the Chronicling America web site and will be placed by the end of the summer on the UNT Libraries' Portal to Texas History, which provides students and others with a digital gateway to collections in Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies and private collections."
    UNT's Cathy Hartman and Dreanna Belden clarify that an addition grant will assure work continues on other titles.  Read more at

    Bob Wills Radio

    Gather around that talking box, put the box on the window, sit in the front porch's swings and rockers, and listen to Bob Wills.  "New interviews added each Monday at Noon (central time) and are available to listen to 24/7 after that. Older episodes are archived, so you won't miss a thing! "


    Monday, July 13, 2009

    UT Libraries and Google Digitization Project

    In case you've forgotten
    Several documents
    Google Book Search Logo 

    Betty Sue Flowers leaves UT

    Betty Sue Flowers leaves UT after career scattered over 45 years, most recently at the LBJ Library.

    Texas Oral History Association Awards

    Department Home Page
    The awards are self-described at


    TOHA recognizes outstanding contributions to oral history by both individuals and institutions through three major awards:
    Read, too, about the latest winners of TOHA's Texas History Day Student Oral History Award.
    Visit the links above to discover
    • criteria for earning each TOHA award
    • people and projects who have earned TOHA awards, and
    • Award Nomination Forms

    Frontier Times Museum Texas Heroes Hall of Honor

    The Museum's self-description:  "The Frontier Times Museum was formally opened to the public on May 20, 1933 at a groundbreaking ceremony held on January 1, 1933. Hough LeStourgeon was one of the men who turned stones from pastures into a landmark museum worth treasuring.  /  Today the museum attracts visitors to Bandera interested in the history of the region. Frontier times and customs hold a fascination that endures and the Frontier Times Museum imparts much of that spirit."
            The first honorees for Bandera's Frontier Times Museum Texas Heroes Hall of Honor are  J. Marvin Hunter, J. Frank Dobie, Maudeen Marks, Captain Joe Bowman, Ray Wharton, Cleo Hearn, Kevin FitzPatrick, "Impresario" Terry Boothe, and Dr. Raul Gaona, Sr.
    Their website will likely soon reflect fuller information, but you can get a quick glance at some short biographies at the Bandera County Courier

    In the top 50 tourists sites

    The Galveston Daily News points us toward the website where currently Galveston's Moody Gardens, San Antonio's Alamo, and Dallas' 6th Floor Book Depository are in the top 50.

    Judy Alter and 30 Years at TCU Press

    In Texas Letters: Judy Alter recalls her 30-year stint at TCU Press - Dallas Morning News Alter makes personal observations and glances back over the birthing of bibliographical units - oft called books.  She begins "Nearly 30 years ago, as coordinator of community education at Texas Christian University, I shared an office with the editor of TCU Press. One day he looked at me and asked, "Would you like to be editor?" (He was moving up to be director.) I said, "Sure," and that was my job interview. I knew nothing about publishing, and he knew only a bit more."
    Read more from her July 12 column "Texas Letters" at

    Saturday, July 11, 2009

    Texas as heroic geography ? - Bottum

    Within his longer commentary on "Local Color" Joseph Bottum in his "First Things / First Thoughts" blog remarked on "heroic geography."
    He writes, "In other words, we don't have many heroic types in American literature. What we have instead is heroic geography. The Virginian, the Down Easterner, the Texas Ranger, the cowboy, the Hooiser, the hillbilly, the Okie. These are tropes that serve the moral function filled in other cultures and other literatures primarily by heroes. And these geographical tropes survive well into our own era of indistinguishable shopping malls from Maine to California."

    Writers' League of Texas

    Since August of 2008, the Writers' League of Texas has had a blog entitled "A Brief Word"  at
    The posts categories include


    UTSA Library Blog

    T H E    T O P    S H E L F -
    Blog of the UT San Antonio Library Archives and Special Collections
    Seems that around about last December 2008, UTSA's A&SC started a blog.  Rather pleasantly done too.  It's a mixture of new collections, spotlights on single items of interest, personnel matters, departmental themes, preservation techniques, exhibits, newsclippings, hot links to collections along topical lines, hot links to new collections descriptions, etc.  A good all-purpose media to serve the public with content information, technical news, and provision of mini-exhibits.
    At you'll find a departmental self-description
    "The Archives and Special Collections Department serves as the Library's repository for primary source materials. The department acquires, catalogs and preserves special collections of rare books and manuscripts chiefly documenting the history of San Antonio and South Central Texas, and additionally holds UTSA's University Archives.
    The mission of the Archives and Special Collections Department is to support and enhance the University's instructional, research, and public service activities by providing access to information resources for learning and scholarship to University students, faculty, and staff.
    Materials and services are available to UTSA faculty, staff, students, and alumni, as well as to the local, national and international community."

    Dallas Morinig News Disturbs Torpor

    Those Dallas Morning News folks just can't let a hammock- sleeping Texan sway in the sweltering heat.  Now they've gone and disturbed the "Great Book Cannon."  In the OPINION BLOG Editor Keven Ann Willey, in her July 17 commentary on the Big Rich, stumbles off behind the altar and decides to ask if folks really like the relics left behind by the sancrosanct Texas writers.  She asked, "What's the best book about Texas in your opinion and what makes it so good?"  Yes, friends and neighbors, she got replies.
    DMN staff chimed in with their recommendations.  Even the unwashed public, who apparently still read, caressed their keyboards mentioning their druthers.
    But not one mentioned William Goyen, one of our finest who delicately fingered his way across the ghosts and neurons of your mind.

    1836-1985 Texas Newspapers available online

    The University of Houston Downtown Blog announced on June 26, 2009
    Texas Historical Newspapers: 1836-1985
    "Students of Texas history now have access to Texas Historical Newspapers with full-text articles from 41 Texas newspapers published between 1836 and 1985. The collection includes newspapers from major cities, such as Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Galveston, Houston, and San Antonio, as well as smaller towns like Clarksville, Huntsville, Nacogdoches, and Palestine. It even includes one issue of the early Spanish-language newspaper, Gaceta de Texas (1813). Coverage of the Dallas Morning News extends from 1885 to 1985. Overall, Texas Historical Newspapers has strong coverage of newspapers from the periods of the Texas Republic, early statehood, Reconstruction, and the early twentieth century.
    Look for Texas Historical Newspapers under History Databases or News Databases on the UHD Library website. "
    While a  wonderful resource, it is limited to students, faculty, etc.  Hmm, I wonder if general public folks who  walk into the UHD can use the system or is it available through the library terminals without passwords, etc.

    Exquisite Photos of Texas

    Exquisitely Bored in Nacogdoches is not boring.  Actually, EBN, nee Chris My Photo also has a remarkable Flickr website by the same name that companions his blog.
    The blog site, begun in the summer of 2005, is filled with photography and the sidebar has many topically grouped photos, including

    TEA Social Studies Expert Reviews

    Social Studies Expert Reviewers


    David Barton, President, WallBuilders
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS


    Jesus Francisco de la Teja, Professor and Chair, Department of History, Texas State University
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS


    Daniel L. Dreisbach, Professor, American University
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS


    Lybeth Hodges, Professor, History, Texas Woman's University
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS


    Jim Kracht, Associate Dean and Professor, College of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS


    Peter Marshall, President, Peter Marshall Ministries
    Review of Current Social Studies TEKS 


    Read de la Teja, Hodges, and Kracht for commentary buttressed by their pro-public school, secular, social studies orientations.  Read Marshall, Dreisbach, and Barton for other focal points.  Contact the Curriculum Division at (512)463-9581 with any questions you may have or for an accessible version of the content on this page.

    And for the inquisitive:

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Porter Prize from UNT

    Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction

    NEWS RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS PRESS regarding the 2010 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction.
    The winner of this annual award will receive $1000 and publication by UNT Press. Entries will be judged by an eminent writer.
    Entries can be a combination of short-shorts, short stories, and novellas, from 100 to 200 book pages in length (word count between 27,500 and 50,000). Material should be previously unpublished in book form. Once a winner is declared and contracted for publication, UNT Press will hold the rights to the stories in the winning collection. They may no longer be under consideration for serial publication elsewhere and must be withdrawn by the author from consideration.
    Please include two cover sheets: one with title only, and one with title, your name, address, e-mail, phone, and acknowledgment of any previously published material. Your name should not appear anywhere on the manuscript except on the one cover page. Manuscripts for the 2010 award should be postmarked between May 1 and June 30, 2009. The winning manuscript will be announced in January 2010. Watch for more details in Poets & Writers.
    Manuscripts cannot be returned and must be accompanied by a $25 entry fee (payable to UNT Press) and a letter-sized SASE for notification.
    Prior Winners—
    Last Known Position by James Mathews was our 2008 winner, judged by Tom Franklin.
    Wonderful Girl by Aimee LaBrie was our 2007 winner, judged by Bill Roorbach.
    Body Language by Kelly Magee was our 2006 winner, judged by Dan Chaon.
    What Are You Afraid Of? by Michael Hyde, was our 2005 winner, judged by Sharon Oard Warner.
    Let's Do by Rebecca Meacham was our 2004 winner, judged by Jonis Agee. Let's Do was selected for the Spring 2005 Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Program.
    Here Comes the Roar by Dave Shaw was our 2003 winner, judged by Marly Swick.
    The Stuntman's Daughter, a collection of stories by Alice Blanchard, was the 1996 winner of the Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. Ms. Blanchard went on to sign a lucrative contract with Bantam for her first novel, Darkness Peering.
     Send entries to:  Laura Kopchick, General Editor
    Katherine Anne Porter Contest / English Department
    University of Texas at Arlington / 203 Carlisle Hall, Box 19035
    Arlington, TX 76019

    Fantastic Texas and Lou Antonelli

    Lou Antonelli finds Texas to be Fantastic for science fiction and related genres.  Try his sites at
    Fantastic Texas
    This way to Texas

    A Senator's Bibliographical Flow

    Should you wish to notice what U.S. senators allow to flow from their offices on a regular basis, check the below links from John Cornyn's office under the "For the Press" button.

    East Texas Book Fest

    East Texas Book Fest

    Septembe 25, 2009  10:00-6:00

    Ornelas Acitivity Center -




    Are you a published author?   Do you want to display and sell your books to a book-loving audience in a fabulous venue?   Would you like to be a part of the first book festival in East Texas to honor and celebrate books, authors, reading and libraries?


    Save the date for the first ever East Texas Book Fest, set for Friday, September 25 in Tyler, Texas.
    You are invited to apply to participate by completing and the  registration form and returning it along with registration fee by September 1. 

    If you have questions or need more information –

    Please call 903-597-9111

    and leave a message for East Texas Book Fest.

    $20 for space reservation but free to the attending public
    Chief sponsors of the event are the Muntz Library at The University of Texas at Tyler and Smith County's public libraries (SALT).
    Spaces are limited, so please respond quickly.