Deep in the Heart of Texas: 23 Books that Celebrate the Lone Star State


In the wake of historic flooding fueled by Hurricane Harvey, the American Library Association (ALA) and the library community continue their commitment to disaster relief efforts within the Gulf Coast Region.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is being affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and along the Gulf Coast,” said ALA President James (Jim) Neal. “The ALA has reached out to the Texas Library Association (TLA) and Texas State Library to offer support as they work with local libraries dealing with storm-related damage.”

ALA Members are welcome to assist their colleagues in Texas with recovery efforts by participating in local fundraising efforts. They are urged to:

The ALA offers a list of resources for dealing with natural disasters at Libraries Respond .


Readers who’ve already sent their checks and good wishes off the Lone Star State can remind themselves what makes it so special with the following tales of Texas, linked to their Booklist reviews when available.

 Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain

 The Bottoms, by Joe Lansdale

Branchesby Mitch Cullin


The Buckskin Line, by Elmer Kelton

Buck Fever, by Ben Rehder

Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissiner

The Gates of the Alamo, by Stephen Harrigan

The Gay Place, by Billy Lee Brammer

Goodbye to a River, by John Graves

The Last Picture Show, by Larry McMurtry

The Liar’s Club, by Mary Karr

 Let the People In, by Jan Reid

Lonestar, by T.R. Fernbach

Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She? by Molly Ivins

 News of the World, by Paulette Jiles

Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation, by John Phillip Santos

Scorpio Rising, by R.G. Vliet

 The Son, by Philipp Meyer

Tales of Old-Time Texas, by J. Frank Dobie

Texas, by James Michener

An Unreasonable Woman, by Diane Wilson

Virgin of the Rodeo, by Sarah Bird

Waterloo, by Karen Olsson

You Know When the Men Are Gone, by Siobhan Fallon

Posted in: Backlist, Book Lists

About the Author:

Karen Kleckner Keefe is the director of the Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, a Booklist reviewer, and one of Library Journal's 2009 "Movers and Shakers." Follow her on Twitter at @KarenKleckner.

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