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Books

The American West has always been fertile ground for writers. Now Philipp Meyer steps into that territory with his new novel The Son. It's a family saga that traces the settling of Texas from its days as a wild frontier to the oil boom — with no shortage of violence.

"Texas yesterday is unbelievable, but no more incredible than Texas today," wrote Edna Ferber, author of the iconic Lone Star State novel Giant. She continues, in what's as good a description of America's 28th state as you're likely to encounter, "Today's Texas is exhilarating, exasperating, violent, charming, horrible, delightful, alive." A huge contradiction of a place, Texas is as friendly as it can be frightening, with a history as vast and as variegated as the United States itself.

Volunteers with Capital One begin assembling the chairs and tables for the library.
Joey Palacios / TPR

The Cleto Rodriguez Elementary School library is receiving a complete renovation and makeover with the addition of new books.

Volunteers were hard at work piecing together new tables and bookshelves and thanks to The Heart of America Foundation and Capital One 6,000 books are being donated.

"We’ll be painting the walls, we’ve added inspiration quotes, we’ve shelved books, we’re also providing financial literacy in all the classrooms ," Monica Shortino, a community relations manager with Capital One.

In The First Segment:

Domingo Martinez's "The Boy Kings of Texas" transports people into his Brownsville childhood, warts and all, in his memoir.

It's been called "an emotional roller coaster rendered in exquisite detail," by Publisher's Weekly and was a finalist for the National Book Award.

Martinez was in town for the San Antonio Texas Book Festival last weekend and stops by the studio to talk about his recent literary success and why living in Texas is not something he ever sees himself doing again.

In The Second Segment:

Wikimedia Commons

John Ford's 1956 film "The Searchers" is one of the finest of the great director's career. And with its overtones of racism, it's also one of his most complicated. In the movie, Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) goes on a years-long quest to find his niece, Debbie, who has been abducted by Comanche Indians. As the search drags on, his hatred for the Comanche intensifies, and by the time he finds Debbie (Natalie Wood), fully integrated into the Comanche Nation, he doesn't know whether to save her or kill her.

Simon and Schuster

I don't know what it says about me, but when a new book was sent to TPR called "Rest in Pieces," I was deemed the person to review it.

I have been in love with spooky stuff since I was about four and my horror movie collection is huge, but I think of myself as a fairly regular fellow. If you are lucky enough to read, retain and enjoy disturbing and arcane facts, this book is for you.

Weldon Owen (publisher)

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” may not have been the first animated film, but as author and film historian J.B. Kaufman points out, Walt Disney “completely redefined the concept of what an animated feature could be” with his 1937 film, celebrating 75 years this December.

Harper Collins

The Century's Most Polarizing Auteur

Elia Kazan, by Richard Schickel

(Harper Collins) 

Smithsonian Books

With the political and cultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s came a burgeoning interest in the many cultures that make up our cinematic landscape that has continued unabated to this day.  Heroes, Lovers, and Others by Fordham University professor Clara Rodríguez, continues this tradition.

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