Friday, June 26, 2009

Cookbook Offers Recipe for Happy Family Life

Judy Alter, editor of TCU Press for 23 years and author of numerous children’s books and historical titles, has written a cookbook that is more than a cookbook..

The book is filled with recipes, but it also tells her story of how food has been a big part of her family’s life through various changes over the years.

The book, Cooking My Way through Life with Kids and Books (State House Press, $18.95 paperback), includes 160 recipes. She also offers her "recipe for a happy family." It goes like this:

"Start with a lot of love.

"Mix in some firm rules, respect, a willingness to share, and a willingness to listen. Season with lots of laughter, more than a few pets, a lot of ‘extended family,’ and frequent meals together.

"Stir and mix frequently. Gets better with age."

Judy is retiring from TCU Press next month, so she’ll have time to try out even more recipes.

Texas Flags: Robert Maberry Jr., author of the award-winning book Texas Flags, takes up residence this fall as a history professor at Abilene’s McMurry University.

And Texas A&M University Press, which published Texas Flags, is bringing out a paperback edition of the coffee-table book this summer. It will sell for $29.95.

Also joining the McMurry history faculty is noted Texas historian, author and Alamo movie consultant Steve Hardin, who moves to Abilene from Victoria College. Among Hardin’s books are Texian Iliad and Texian Macabre.

Maberry and Hardin replace Robert Pace, who is entering the Episcopal seminary in Austin this fall, and Bob Wettemann, who has moved to Fort Bragg, N.C., as an Army historian.

New Novel: Former Abilene Reporter-News entertainment editor Bob Lapham has released a new novel -- his fifth book – Ethan’s Keys ($17.95 paperback,

The story revolves around Ethan Crowe, 73, and his 25-year-old nephew, Rob, who barely know each other as the story begins. Ethan has served time in prison for white-collar crime. Rob is searching for meaning in his life.

The novel, says Lapham, "is about a man’s unique gift for seeing the blessed simplicity of God’s grace through Jesus, then through extraordinary dedication and compassion, passing it on."

The story, he adds, "deals with poverty, wealth, infidelity, sex, murder, and more through a dozen interesting characters who drift in and out of Rob’s and Ethan’s evolving relationship."

While a student at Texas Tech, Lapham was a back-up vocalist to rock and roll legend Buddy Holly. In 2003 Lapham published a novel based on his experiences called Meet Me at the River Buddy Holly.

Read more about Ethan’s Keys at

Coming Back in Print: Fans of novelist Jane Roberts Wood will be happy to learn that two of her more recent novels will be back in print this fall.

Grace and Roseborough are being reissued in paperback in October ($19.95 each) by the University of North Texas Press, which also published the paperback editions of her acclaimed trilogy – The Train to Estelline, A Place Called Sweet Shrub and Dance a Little Longer.

Wood has won a number of literary awards, including the A.C. Greene Award, and her novel The Train to Estelline has made several lists of top Texas books of all time. It’s on my list of 10 Great Books for Your Texas Library.

Texas Almanac: The Texas Almanac, first published in 1857, has switched homes.

The 2010-2011 edition, due out in November, will now be under the auspices of the Texas State Historical Association instead of the Belo Corporation and the Dallas Morning News.

The historical association itself moved last year from Austin to Denton. Its offices are now on the campus of the University of North Texas.