Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Can our plants survive the heat?

With the immense heat taking over the country, gardeners are shielding their plants from the heat. While most experts know exactly how to save their plants from this historic drought, novice gardeners may need guidance. Luckily, Bill Welch and Greg Grant, authors of Heirloom Gardening for the South: Yesterday's Plants for Today's Gardens (TAMU Press 2011) know exactly how to help.

Kathy Huber of the Houston Chronicle, looking for assurance, “recently asked [Welch] if he thought faithful old bulbs such as oxblood lilies and lycoris would pull through our historic drought. Heirloom bulbs have survived years of neglect in cemeteries and abandoned homesteads, but are they tough enough for this summer?”

Find out if Heirloom bulbs can survive the heat in Huber’s recent article here.

Not only will readers find out how to help plants survive the heat, but they will also find new essays on naturalizing daffodils, slips and starts, and growing fruit, a completely updated and expanded heirloom plant encyclopedia, revised plant lists (bulbs, cemetery plants, etc.) and new material on the creation of two of the authors' personal gardens.

Read more and order your own copy here.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Top Selling E-Books

You may have read our blog post in July discussing TAMU Press’s growing partnership with Google Books. We mentioned our top selling e-books and after the Press’s recent e-book report, Seeking Inalienable Rights, The Black Sun Caballero and Danger Close are still the most popular titles.

Our most popular selling e-book is Seeking Inalienable Rights by Debra A. Reid. In Seeking Inalienable Rights, Reid demonstrates that the history of Texans’ quests to secure inalienable rights and expand government-protected civil rights has been one of stops and starts, successes and failures, progress and retrenchment. Read more about the book here. Check out the e-version here!

In a close second for e-book sales is The Black Sun by Stanton Marlan. The black sun, an ages-old image of the darkness in individual lives and in life itself, has not been treated hospitably in the modern world. Modern psychology has seen darkness primarily as a negative force, something to move through and beyond, but it actually has an intrinsic importance to the human psyche. In this book, Jungian analyst Stanton Marlan reexamines the paradoxical image of the black sun and the meaning of darkness in Western culture. Read more here. Don’t forget to check out the e-version as well!

The third most popular e-book is Caballero by Jovita González and Eve Raleigh. Caballero is a milestone in Mexican-American and Texas literature written during the 1930s and 1940s, centering on a mid-nineteenth-century Mexican landowner and his family living in the heart of southern Texas during a time of tumultuous change. Order your own copy or buy the e-version now!

Another top seller, Danger Close by Steve Call, is a gripping first-hand account of Tactical Air Control Parties’s battlefield experiences. Danger Close makes clear that the systematic coordination of air power and ground forces played an invaluable supporting role in the initial military victories in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This first-ever examination of the intense, life-and-death world of the close air support specialist will introduce readers to a crucial but little-known aspect of contemporary warfare and add a needed chapter in American military history studies. See what readers are saying about Danger Close and order your own copy or e-version here!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Natural Music

Get introduced to the sounds and music of the Atchafalaya River Basin’s bayous, swamps, fields, and forests. Ann McCutchan, author of River Music: An Atchafalaya Story and Earl Robicheaux introduce us to the sounds and music of the Atchafalaya River Basin’ bayous, swamps, fields, and forests. Read and listen here!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

T.G.A.C. - Thank Goodness for Air Conditioning

Last week my family went on vacation to Southern California. We spent time in Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The vacation was an absolute blast.

The first thing I share when people ask me how the vacation went is not the beauty of the beaches or the excitement of Universal Studios. What is my favorite memory from California?

If you are reading this from inside your air conditioned office hiding from the heat like me, I’msure you can guess my answer ─ the weather! With blistering and sunburn-friendly temperatures sweeping across Texas and other parts of the country, it seems weather is all Texans can think about. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the 75-degree temperatures and constant ocean breeze that laced the California air.

To say it's been a hot summer would be an understatement. Scorching or miserable would be better terms to describe Texas. The media has gone heat crazy over so-called “record-breaking temperatures.” Every day there is a new headline or story on the radio announcing things like “yesterday’s highs topped the century mark” and “108 degrees today people! Get inside!”

This unavoidable obsession with heat does not get any better with the lack of rain either. An article on Reuters said the nation's triple digit heat wave ─ which hit its 34th day on Friday ─ could last until the end of August, while extensive drought in and around Texas may last into October. A drought that could possibly last until August?! T.G.A.C.! Thank goodness for air conditioning.

When your popsicle melts the second it is out of the freezer, and the “refreshing” pool water is as warm as hot bath water, it is safe to assume that any free time left this summer and possibly the fall, will be spent inside.

Fortunately, Texas Christian University Press has your air-conditioned entertainment covered. Grab a book, nestle into your couch with a big glass of water and stay cool. Elmer Kelton’s The Time it Never Rained will help you forget about your own heat exhaustion.

The Time it Never Rained follows Charlie Flagg, a man living in the 1950s during the longest drought in the memory of most men then living. Charlie is by no means the typical cowboy hero. Self-sufficient, courageous, with a strong sense of right and wrong, he is also old and overweight, a thoroughly believable human being who has trouble communicating with the wife who loyally struggles to keep life in its pattern, the son who has no feel for the land but yearns for the rodeo circuit, the Mexican family who has worked for him for years and whose help he can no longer afford.

Find out if Charlie survives the heat and order your own copy of The Time it Never Rained here! TAMU Press books also now available through Google books! Until then, T.G.A.C. folks!

Master of Pastels and the Plains

“Frank Reaugh is the greatest painter in pastels that ever graced the landscapes of Texas.”—J. P. Bryan chief executive officer of Torch Energy Advisors and Texas State Historical Association Life Board Member. The work of renowned artist Frank Reaugh is on display at the “Frank Reaugh: Master of Pastels and the Plains of Texas” exhibit at “UNT on the Square,” in downtown Denton. The exhibit opened July 7 and continues through Oct. 1. His work is also featured in Frank Reaugh: Painter to the Longhorns (TAMU Press, 2011) Read more about Reaugh here!

Impressionist art isn't just for quaint French café scenes; the Texas landscape and the legendary longhorn are equally elegant in the beautiful impressionistic artwork of Frank Reaugh. This volume contains a large selection of impressionistic work by Reaugh, who began painting out on the prairies near Dallas in the late 1800s.

"This book comes closer than many art books to conveying the feel of the actual work; many of the illustrations are close to the originals in size, and all 61 are faithfully reproduced in color." --Texas Association of Museums Quarterly

"The expensively turned out book dealing with Frank Reaugh boasts a well-done introduction by Donald L. Weismann, Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, which prepares readers for 61 plates of artwork done by his subject in oils and pastels." --Western Library

Order your own copy of Frank Reaugh: Painter to the Longhorns (TAMU PRESS 2011) here!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Grace & Gumption: The Cookbook

The G&G Cookbook is a social history of Fort Worth told through food and the follow-up book to Grace and Gumption: Stories of Fort Worth Women. Readers will gain glimpses of pantries, kitchens, and dining rooms of the past and learn about the women who presided over them.

We learn a great deal about what the people of Fort Worth have eaten over the past century and a half. The cookbook takes a new approach to American culinary studies, recording the lives of Fort Worth women as well as discussing the food that they prepared and ate.

Want to learn more about The G&G Cookbook? Join us at the Nation Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas for a special event at on August 18th.