I'm not posting from Texas, where I was not born but where I spent many years. (To be Texan, one can't just be born there, but must have family roots.) But I am posting upon returning back to the Northeast from a trip down to Texas, to Austin specifically. It was a good time - but hot... so effin' hot... why do you have to get so HOT, Tejas?
Anyhow, I'm happy to report that we did manage a trip to BookPeople while in town and it is as amazing now as when I lived in Austin over ten years ago. I have to commend this fantastic store for one thing in particular (though they do so much right): staff recs. Holy crap. There are great staff recommendations all over that massive store. You Austinites are lucky for a lot of reasons - bats, food, music - but never forget you have one of the best indies in the country right in your fair - very hot - city.
I also read Daniel Woodrell's novel Winter's Bone en route to Tx, in anticipation of seeing the movie this week (I hope). The charming novelist/poet Scott Heim recommended Woodrell to me and I immediately went out and got Tomato Red from the library, only to wonder why I hadn't read this guy. I then bought Winter's Bone and it was pretty amazing, folks. (Try to get the non-movie tie-in version, as the cover of the original paperback (right) is charming. In fact, they had it up at BookPeople as a staff rec!)
But there's more TX connection here!
It seems Tomato Red had somehow gone out of print. Fear not, good readers. An indie out of the Lone Star State has come to our rescue. Busted Flush Press out of Houston is reprinting the novel, and I highly recommend you grab a copy when they are ready. (The Press's blog said it was at the printer on June 30th.) It seems the Press was started up by David Thompson, assistant manager for Murder by the Book, an indie mystery book shop in Houston, to reprint crime classics, but they now also do anthologies and even original novels. Their selection looks mighty good - Woodrell got me looking, now others have me interested. This is a press to watch, folks. Thompson et al must be good if they are bringing some Woodrell back.
Politics aside, Texas ain't all that bad. Some great things come from there!