John Aielli, radio personality, Austin

John Pipkin, Woodsburner: A Novel.

"I get lots of books submitted for review, most get passed on. This one stood out. Based on a little known event in the life of Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau actually set fire to the woods outside of Concord; an accident yes, but it had a major impact on his life and the town. This is the story of several lives all converging around the fire. These stories are woven out of the mind of author John Pipkin. The characters are unforgettable. The structure of the novel is brilliant. This is a book to read, give to friends and loved ones, and to keep on your shelf, with a big space next to it waiting for his next works."

John Aielli. Photo courtesy of subject.

H. W. Brands, Dickson, Allen, Anderson Centennial Professor, The University of Texas at Austin

Lucas A. Powe Jr., The Supreme Court and the American Elite.

In this history of the Court from the inception of the Constitution to June 2008, Powe shows how major rulings have aligned with contemporary political powers.

"A great history and a primer for the confirmation debate already begun."

Tom Wolfe, Radical Chic and Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers.

A book of two of Wolfe's essays written during the 1970s, both dealing with facets of the Civil Rights movement and its consequences.

"The best of the New Journalists, at his best."

 H. W. Brands. Photo courtesy of UT Austin.

Light Cummins, State Historian and Guy M. Bryan Professor of American History at Austin College, Sherman

Kate Sayen Kirkland, The Hogg Family and Houston: Philanthropy and the Civic Ideal.

"This well-written and solidly-researched book examines the charitable and philanthropic activities of Will, Mike, and Ima Hogg, children of Governor Jim Hogg, as they helped modernize Houston during the early and mid-twentieth century by influencing the city's urban landscape, business climate, educational institutions, art museums, and cultural life. This book highlights the positive impact that reasoned and well-considered philanthropy can have on motivating social and cultural change."

Franz Lanham, writer and former Houston Chronicle books editor, Houston

Katherine Anne Porter, Collected Stories and Other Writings.

"Porter may be better known for her bestselling novel Ship of Fools, but her short stories constitute her real achievement. I read these haunting tales of desperate people more than thirty years ago, and the handsome new Library of America edition has inspired me to revisit them. Porter, born in Indian Creek, has good claim to being the finest fiction writer Texas has ever produced."

Anthony Pagden, Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West.

"Pagden, a British historian, takes episodes commonly treated separately—the Greek-Persian rivalry, the rise of Islam, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire—and weaves them into one grand tapestry. Provocative and engagingly written, Worlds at War is a wonderful specimen of big-picture history." (Out of print in hardcover, scheduled for mid-July release as an Oxford University Press paperback.)