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10 Books Every Texan Should Read

Written by Elizabeth Jordon.

Elizabeth Jordon, a longtime buyer at BookPeople, recommends these titles as 10 books every Texan should read.

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

The master storyteller of Texas entertains with tales of Jim Bowie’s knife and the legend of the Texas bluebonnet among other classic stories.


2. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

The quintessential Texas epic – timeless, gritty, tragic, and, ultimately, uplifting


3. Goodbye to a River by John Graves

The late John Graves’s moving tale of his three week journey down the Brazos River.


4. The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer

A classic trio of interlocking novellas centered on an LBJ-like Texas Governor, Arthur Fenstemaker, and written by a Texas politics insider in 1961.


5. Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans by T.R. Fehrenbach

THE history of Texas.


6. The Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan

A riveting fictional account of the Siege of the Alamo written by the talented novelist and essayist.


7. Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

No list of books on Texas is complete without this classic story of Texas and its obsession with football.


8. The Time It Never Rained by Elmer Kelton

Classic cowboy literature from the late San Angelo native, Elmer Kelton.


9. Let the People In by Jan Reid

Jan Reid’s biography of the late Ann Richards is required reading for anyone interested in Texas politics in general and women’s role in Texas politics specifically.


10. Brownsville by Oscar Casares

Oscar Casares’s short story collection perfectly captures life in this small border town.

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