Humanities Texas will host its fifth annual Holiday Book Fair at the historic Byrne-Reed House on Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A number of noteworthy authors, including Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, Stephen Harrigan, Julian Read, Nick Kotz, William H. Cunningham, John Kerr, Joe Nick Patoski, Chase Untermeyer, Jesús F. de la Teja, Jerome Loving, Ricardo C. Ainslie, Sarah Cortez, Roy Flukinger, Jeffrey Stuart Kerr, Nan Cuba, Diana López, Hector Ruiz, Don Tate, Andrea White, and Bill Wright and Marcia Hatfield Daudistel, will visit with the public and sign copies of their latest books, which Humanities Texas will offer for purchase at a discounted price. Available titles include works of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and photography with selections for both adult and youth audiences.

Proceeds will benefit Austin flood victims.

Park for free in the St. Martin's Evangelical Lutheran Church lot on the northwest corner of 15th and Rio Grande Streets, and enjoy coffee and a bake sale of donated and homemade treats.

Read below for more information about the authors and their books!

The Eye of the Mammoth: Selected Essays

Stephen Harrigan

In four decades of writing for magazines ranging from Texas Monthly to the Atlantic, American History, and Travel Holiday, Stephen Harrigan has established himself as one of America's most thoughtful writers. In this career-spanning anthology, which gathers together essays from two previous books—A Natural State and Comanche Midnight—as well as previously uncollected work, readers finally have a comprehensive collection of Harrigan's best nonfiction.

Harrigan’s deceptively straightforward voice belies an intense curiosity about things that, by his own admission, may be “unknowable.” Certainly, we are limited in what we can know about the inner life of George Washington, the last days of Davy Crockett, or the motives of a caged tiger, but Harrigan’s gift—a gift that has also made him an award-winning novelist—is to bring readers closer to such things, to make them less remote, just as a cave painting in the title essay eerily transmits the living stare of a long-extinct mammoth.

Stephen Harrigan, The Eye of the Mammoth (University of Texas Press, 2013).

Dallas 1963

Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis

Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis ingeniously explore the swirling forces that led many people to warn President Kennedy to avoid Dallas on his fateful trip to Texas. Breathtakingly paced, Dallas 1963 presents a clear, cinematic, and revelatory look at the shocking tragedy that transformed America. Countless authors have attempted to explain the assassination, but no one has ever bothered to explain Dallas—until now.

Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis, Dallas 1963 (Twelve, 2013).

Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083

Andrea White

The wind and snow blow so hard, you can't see your hand in front of your face. Your heating fuel is nearly gone, and so is your food. How do you survive? Five fourteen–year–olds face this desperate situation on a deadly journey in Antarctica. It is 2083. They are contestants on a reality TV show, Antarctic Survivor, which is set up to re-create Robert F. Scott's 1912 doomed attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole.

But in 2083 reality TV is not just an act. Contestants literally relive—or die during—the simulations of events. Robert Scott and his team were experienced explorers and scientists, but their attempt to reach the Pole proved fatal. What chance does the Antarctic Survivor team have? This action–packed, riveting adventure—full of fascinating direct quotes from Scott's journals and other accounts of the expedition—is both a heart–wrenching drama from the past and a disquieting glimpse into the future.

Andrea White, Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083 (HarperTeen, 2006).

The Very Long Life of Alice's Playhouse; A Survivor's Story

Andrea White

In 1893, Captain James A. Baker of Houston, Texas, built a wooden-sided playhouse for his daughter Alice. Over the next 118 years, Alice's playhouse was moved six times, saw generations of children play within its walls, and survived at least ten Gulf Coast hurricanes. Now the Baker Family Playhouse has found a new home in Sam Houston Park thanks to the efforts of The Heritage Society, a museum complex that preserves Houston history. In partnership with The Heritage Society, former Houston first lady and community leader Andrea White wrote The Very Long Life of Alice's Playhouse: A Survivor's Story. This storybook, with charming black-and-white illustrations by Bill Megenhardt, tells the history of the little wooden playhouse that has been loved by children for over a century.

Andrea White, The Very Long Life of Alice’s Playhouse: A Survivor’s Story (Sam Houston Park Publishing, 2012).

Windows on the World

Andrea White

"Now, I want all of you to try to imagine a world where you could use a machine to go back in time and save lives any time you wanted," General Mungo said. "How would you change our worlds?" Thirteen-year-old Shama Katooee hasn't had an easy life: an orphan, she must work and dodge gangs while attending Teleschool with millions of other children in LowCity, DC in 2083. One day her life turns upside down: she meets her best friend, a bird named Deenay, and is mysteriously selected to attend the Chronos Academy in UpCity, where privileged children of GodZillionaires are trained in the practice of Time Watch. Shama learns how to operate a QuanTime machine and how to get along with kids who come from very different backgrounds than her own. While trying to solve the mystery of why she was chosen, Shama is trained for the ultimate mission: saving her own life. Windows on the World is the first volume of the UpCity Chronicles trilogy.

Andrea White, Windows on the World (namelos, 2011).

The Dallas Cowboys

Joe Nick Patoski   

Love them or hate them, the Cowboys are widely celebrated as "America's Team." From Dandy Don Meredith and Roger Staubach to the three mid-nineties Super Bowls won by the unbeatable trio of Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, and Emmitt Smith to TO, Tony Romo, and the glitzy soap opera team of today, the Dallas Cowboys have been the NFL's star franchise for more than fifty years. Joe Nick Patoski plumbs all these stories in The Dallas Cowboys, a book that is a rich, sometimes scandalous, always entertaining portrait of a time, a place, and an irreplaceable team.

Joe Nick Patoski, The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America (Little, Brown and Company, 2012).

Slingshot: AMD's Fight to Free an Industry from the Ruthless Grip of Intel

Hector Ruiz

When Hector Ruiz joined AMD, quickly ascending to the CEO's suite, he took the helm of a dynamic company that was nonetheless struggling against perceptions that it could not contend with Intel, the Goliath of the microchip industry. As government investigations began to reveal the truth about Intel's predatory business practices, Ruiz realized that AMD's only option was to become David to Intel's Goliath.

This unprecedented inside account of the microchip industry at war offers lessons to all readers interested in the thrust and parry of the high-technology sector—or who face daunting competitive challenges of their own.

Hector Ruiz, Slingshot: AMD’s Fight to Free an Industry from the Ruthless Grip of Intel (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2013).

JFK's Final Hours in Texas: An Eyewitness Remembers the Tragedy and Its Aftermath

Julian Read

Julian Read, a Texas political insider who delivered the first eyewitness report of President John F. Kennedy's assassination to the media, has authored a behind-the-scenes account that chronicles the tragedy and its fifty-year legacy. In JFK's Final Hours in Texas, Read documents not only the immediate agony endured by the people in the epicenter of the tragedy but also the continuing experience of a wounded community recovering from its aftermath.

Julian Read, JFK's Final Hours in Texas: An Eyewitness Remembers the Tragedy and Its Aftermath (Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, 2013).

The Texas Way: Money, Power, Politics, and Ambition at The University

William H. Cunningham

This engaging memoir details Bill Cunningham's seven years as president of The University of Texas at Austin and his eight years as chancellor of the UT System. Along the way, he relates accounts of the important issues UT faced during that time, including fraternity hazing, affirmative action, the demise of the Southwest Conference and the creation of the Big 12, apartheid and divestment protests, the future of higher education in Texas, and many other issues.

The Texas Way outlines how money, power, politics, and ambition all play roles in the business of running the state's premier university system, particularly in its relations with the state government. As president and then as chancellor, Cunningham dealt with conflict from all sides of the political spectrum, always striving to protect the university's interests.

William H. Cunningham, The Texas Way: Money, Power, Politics, and Ambition at The University (Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin, 2013).

The Fight to Save Juárez: Life in the Heart of Mexico's Drug War

Ricardo C. Ainslie

Ricardo Ainslie went to Juárez to try to understand what was taking place behind the headlines of cartel executions and other acts of horrific brutality. In The Fight to Save Juárez, he takes us into the heart of Mexico's bloodiest city through the lives of four people who experienced the drug war from very different perspectives—Mayor José Reyes Ferriz, a mid-level cartel player's mistress, a human rights activist, and a photojournalist. Ainslie also interviewed top Mexican government strategists, including members of Calderón's security cabinet, as well as individuals within U.S. law enforcement. The dual perspective of life on the ground in the drug war and the "big picture" views of officials who are responsible for the war's strategy, creates a powerful, intimate portrait of an embattled city, its people, and the efforts to rescue Juárez from the abyss.

Ricardo C. Ainslie, The Fight to Save Juárez: Life in the Heart of Mexico’s Drug War (University of Texas Press, 2013).

Cold Blue Steel

Sarah Cortez

Cold Blue Steel contains fifty lyric poems set in the world of the urban street cop in Houston, the nation's fourth largest metropolis. In the patrol car, at scenes of suicides and DOAs, in the overtime reality of aching feet and sweating torsos, the reader experiences the hard realities and unexpected luminosities of doing America's most dangerous job.

Cold Blue Steel is segmented into three parts. Showing Rookies How It Quickly Happens speaks to hard-earned procedures Cortez wishes to impart to her rookies. At the same time, she ironically reflects on who will be promoted and why or why not. The Inches That Matter to Me speaks to what keeps cops alive and to what kills them. Feeling Too Much, At Times reflects on the innocent victims, silent witnesses, and the necessary dependence on the dispatcher's voice.

Sarah Cortez, Cold Blue Steel (Texas Review Press, 2013).

Our Lost Border: Essays on Life amid the Narco-Violence

Sarah Cortez, ed.

In their introduction to Our Lost Border, editors Sarah Cortez and Sergio Troncoso write that this anthology was "born of a vision to bear witness to how this violence has shattered life on the border, to remember the past, but also to point to the possibilities of a better future." The personal essays in this collection humanize the news stories and are a must-read for anyone interested in how this fragile way of life between two cultures, languages, and countries has been undermined by the drug trade and the crime that accompanies it, with ramifications far beyond the border region.

Sarah Cortez and Sergio Troncosa, eds., Our Lost Border: Essays on Life Amid the Narco-Violence (Arte Publico Press, 2013).

Body and Bread

Nan Cuba

Years after her brother Sam's suicide, Sarah Pelton remains unable to fully occupy her world without him in it. Now, while her surviving brothers prepare to sell the family's tenant farm and a young woman's life hangs in the balance, Sarah is forced to confront the life Sam lived and the secrets he left behind. As she assembles the artifacts of her family's history in east Texas in the hope of discovering her own future, images from her work as an anthropologist—images of sacrifice, ritual, and death—haunt her waking dreams.

In this moving debut novel, Nan Cuba unearths the power of family legacies and the indelible imprint of loss on all our lives.

Nan Cuba, Body and Bread (Engine Books, 2013).

When Things Went Right: The Dawn of the Reagan-Bush Administration

Chase Untermeyer

When Things Went Right is a colorful and insightful portrait of Washington at the beginning of the Reagan-Bush era (November 1980–March 1983) as lived and recorded by an insider in his personal journal. Chase Untermeyer was a Texas state legislator and former journalist when called to national service by his friend and mentor George H. W. Bush after the 1980 election. In his journal entries and subsequent annotations he describes how the Reagan Administration began to grapple with the major national and international challenges it inherited.

Chase Untermeyer, When Things Went Right: The Dawn of the Reagan-Bush Administration (Texas A&M University Press, 2013).

Hurricane Hole

John Kerr

Tom Hamilton, a young American undercover agent, arrives in Nassau in late 1942, when German U-boats are sinking dozens of Allied merchant ships in the Caribbean. Posing as a playboy, Hamilton has been sent by his Washington bosses to investigate Nils Ericsson, a Swedish industrialist with known ties to the Nazis, whom he suspects are building a case for the U-boat fleet in Hurricane Hole. Hamilton falls in love with a beautiful Englishwoman, Evelyn Shawcross, but with her affiliation to both Ericsson and the Duke of Windsor, wartime governor of the Bahamas, his operation to foil the plot could prove hazardous and deadly.

John Kerr, Hurricane Hole (Robert Hale, 2013).

Recollections of a Tejano Life: Antonio Menchaca in Texas History

Jesús F. de la Teja, ed.

San Antonio native, military veteran, merchant, and mayor pro tem José Antonio Menchaca (1800–1879) was one of only a few Tejano leaders to leave behind an extensive manuscript of recollections. Portions of the document were published in 1907, followed by a "corrected" edition in 1937, but the complete work could not be published without painstaking reconstruction. At last available in its entirety, Menchaca's book of reminiscences captures the social life, people, and events that shaped the history of Texas's tumultuous transformation during his lifetime. Highlighting not only Menchaca's acclaimed military service but also his vigorous defense of Tejanos' rights, dignity, and heritage, Recollections of a Tejano Life charts a remarkable legacy while incorporating scholarly commentary to separate fact from fiction.

Timothy Matovina and Jesús F. de la Teja, eds., Recollections of a Tejano Life: Antonio Menchaca in Texas History (University of Texas Press, 2013).

Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel

Diana López

It's summer before eighth grade, and Erica "Chia" Montenegro is feeling so many things that she needs a mood ring to keep track of her emotions. She's happy when she hangs out with her best friends, the Robins. She's jealous that her genius little sister skipped two grades. And she's passionate about the crushes on her Boyfriend Wish list. And when Erica's mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, she feels worried and doesn't know what she can do to help. Confetti Girl author Diana Lopez returns with this sweet, funny, and utterly honest story about being a girl in a world full of good (and bad) surprises.

Diana López, Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013).

Confetti Girl

Diana López

In her first novel for young readers, Diana López creates a clever and honest story about a young Latina girl navigating growing pains in her South Texan city. Apolonia "Lina" Flores is a sock enthusiast, a volleyball player, a science lover, and a girl who's just looking for answers. Even though her house is crammed full of books (her dad's a bibliophile), she's having trouble figuring out some very big questions, like why her dad seems to care about books more than her, why her best friend's divorced mom is obsessed with making cascarones (hollowed eggshells filled with colorful confetti), and, most of all, why her mom died last year. Like colors in cascarones, Lina's life is a rainbow of people, interests, and unexpected changes.

Diana López, Confetti Girl (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2010).

The Harness Maker's Dream: Nathan Kallison and the Rise of South Texas

Nick Kotz

Both historical study and ancestral narrative, The Harness Maker's Dream follows the story of Ukrainian immigrant Nathan Kallison's journey to the United States in search of a brighter future. At the turn of the twentieth century, over two million Jews emigrated from Czarist Russia and Eastern Europe to escape anti-Semitic law. Seventeen-year-old Kallison and his brothers were among those brave enough to escape persecution and pursue a life of freedom by leaving their homeland. Faced with the challenges of learning English and earning wages as a harness maker, Kallison struggles to adapt to his new environment.

Nick Kotz, The Harness Maker’s Dream: Nathan Kallison and the Rise of South Texas (Texas Christian University Press, 2013).

Confederate Bushwhacker: Mark Twain in the Shadow of the Civil War

Jerome Loving

Confederate Bushwhacker is a microbiography set in the most important and pivotal year in the life of its subject. In 1885, Mark Twain was at the peak of his career as an author and a businessman, as his own publishing firm brought out not only the U.S. edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn but also the triumphantly successful Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant. Twenty years after the end of the Civil War, Twain finally tells the story of his past as a deserter from the losing side, while simultaneously befriending and publishing the general from the winning side. Coincidentally, the year also marks the beginning of Twain's descent into misfortune, his transformation from a humorist into a pessimist and determinist. Interwoven throughout this portrait are the headlines and crises of 1885—lynchings, Indian uprisings, anti-Chinese violence, labor unrest, and the death of Grant. The year was at once Twain's annus mirabilis and the year of his undoing. The meticulous treatment of this single year by the esteemed biographer Jerome Loving looks backward and forward to capture both Twain and the country at large in a time of crisis and transformation.

Jerome Loving, Confederate Bushwhacker: Mark Twain in the Shadow of the Civil War (University Press of New England, 2013).

Mark Twain: The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens

Jerome Loving

Mark Twain, who was often photographed with a cigar, once remarked that he came into the world looking for a light. In this new biography, published on the centennial of the writer’s death, Jerome Loving focuses on Mark Twain, humorist and quipster, and sheds new light on the wit, pathos, and tragedy of the author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In brisk and compelling fashion, Loving follows Twain from Hannibal to Hawaii to the Holy Land, showing how the southerner transformed himself into a westerner and finally a New Englander. This re-examination of Twain’s life is informed by newly discovered archival materials that provide the most complex view of the man and writer to date.

Jerome Loving, Mark Twain: The Adventures of Samuel L. Clemens (University of California Press, 2010).

Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite

Don Tate, illus.

It's a challenge to transform the Nutcracker Suite's romantic orchestration into jumpin' jazz melodies, but that's exactly what Duke Ellington and his collaborator, Billy Strayhorn, did. Ellington's band members were not so sure that a classical ballet could become a cool-cat jazz number. But Duke and Billy, inspired by their travels and by musical styles past and present, infused the composition with Vegas glitz, Hollywood glamour, and even a little New York jazz. The book comes with a CD recording of the Ellington/Strayhorn composition.

Anna Harwell Celenza and Don Tate, illus., Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite (Charlesbridge Publishing Inc., 2011).

Hope's Gift

Don Tate, illus.

Hope's Gift is a poignant story celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. It's 1862 and the Civil War has turned out to be a long, deadly conflict. Hope's father can't stand the waiting a minute longer and decides to join the Union army to fight for freedom. He slips away one tearful night, leaving Hope, who knows she may never see her father again, with only a conch shell for comfort. Its sound, Papa says, echoes the promised song of freedom.

It's a long wait for freedom and on the nights when the cannons roar, Papa seems farther away than ever. But then Lincoln finally does it: on January 1, 1863, he issues the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves, and a joyful Hope finally spies the outline of a familiar man standing on the horizon. Affectingly written and gorgeously illustrated, Hope's Gift captures a significant moment in American history with deep emotion and a lot of charm.

Kelly Starling Lyons and Don Tate, illus., Hope’s Gift (Putnam Juvenile, 2012).

It Jes' Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw

Don Tate

It 'Jes Happened is a biography of outsider artist Bill Traylor, a former slave who at the age of eighty-three began to draw pictures based on his memories and observations of rural and urban life. As an enslaved boy on an Alabama farm in the early 1860s, Bill Traylor worked in the hot cotton fields. After slavery ended, Bill's family stayed on the land as sharecroppers. By the time he was seventy-nine, Bill was all alone in the world. Lonely, poor and eventually homeless, he wandered the downtown streets of Montgomery, Alabama. But deep within himself Bill had a reservoir of memories of his lifetime spent on the land. When he was eighty-three years old, these memories blossomed into pictures. Bill began to draw people and places from his earlier life, as well as scenes from the busy city around him. Today, Bill Traylor is considered one of the most important American self-taught artists.

Don Tate, It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw (Lee & Low Books, 2012).

Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas

Jeffrey Stuart Kerr

In 1838 Texas vice president Mirabeau B. Lamar, flush from the excitement of a successful buffalo hunt, gazed from a hilltop toward the paradise at his feet and saw the future. His poetic eye admired the stunning vista before him, with its wavering prairie grasses gradually yielding to clusters of trees, then whole forests bordering the glistening Colorado River in the distance. Lamar's equally awestruck companions, no strangers to beautiful landscapes, shuffled speechlessly nearby. But where these men saw only nature's handiwork, Lamar visualized a glorious manmade transformation—trees into buildings, prairie into streets, and the river itself into a bustling waterway. And he knew that with the presidency of the Republic of Texas in his grasp, he would soon be in position to achieve this vision.

Jeffrey Stuart Kerr, Seat of Empire: The Embattled Birth of Austin, Texas (Texas Tech University Press, 2013).

Arnold Newman: At Work

Roy Flukinger

A driven perfectionist with inexhaustible curiosity about people, Arnold Newman was one of the twentieth century's greatest and most prolific photographers. Rich with materials from Newman's extensive archive in the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin, Arnold Newman offers unprecedented, firsthand insights into the evolution of the photographer's creativity. Reproduced here are not only many of Newman's signature images, but also contact sheets, Polaroids, and work prints with his handwritten notes, which allow us to see the process by which he produced the images. Roy Flukinger provides a contextual overview of the archive, and Marianne Fulton's introduction highlights the essential moments in the development of Newman's life and work.

Roy Flukinger and Marianne Fulton, Arnold Newman: At Work (University of Texas Press, 2013).

Authentic Texas: People of the Big Bend

Marcia Hatfield Daudistel and Bill Wright

The Texas of vast open spaces inhabited by independent, self-reliant men and women may be more of a dream than a reality for the state's largely urban population, but it still exists in the Big Bend. One of the most sparsely settled areas of the United States, the Big Bend attracts people who are willing to forego many modern conveniences for a lifestyle that proclaims "don't fence me in." Marcia Hatfield Daudistel and Bill Wright believe that the character traits exemplified by individuals in the Big Bend—including self-sufficiency, friendliness, and neighborliness—go back to the founding of the state. In this book, they introduce us to several dozen Big Bend residents—old and young, long-settled and recently arrived, racially diverse—who show us what it means to be an authentic Texan.

Marcia Hatfield Daudistel and Bill Wright, Authentic Texas: People of the Big Bend (University of Texas Press, 2013).