Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Great Variety of Books by Abilene Authors

Abilene authors continue to write and publish books covering an interesting variety of topics and styles, from recipes, essays and poems to etiquette, history and culture. Here are a few examples of books by local authors that have crossed my desk in recent weeks:

This Path is an excellent collection of essays and poems dealing with the various paths that people’s lives have taken them. This isn’t strictly a local book because the contributors come from all over, but it was edited and published by the Silver Boomer Book group of Abilene, which includes Barbara Rollins, Ginny Greene, Kerin Riley-Bishop and Becky Haigler. Greene’s essay, “This One Can,” about a teacher who encouraged her to read, is especially noteworthy. But the book is loaded with outstanding short pieces of similar quality. $14 paperback.

The Amazing Grace cookbook was published in conjunction with the centennial celebration of the Grace Hotel building, now the Grace Museum. Sponsored by Los Aficionados, the museum’s volunteer support group, the book is intended as a fundraiser for the museum. The cookbook committee, chaired by Judy Godfrey, selected several hundred recipes submitted by Abilenians, as well as shared memories and comments about the Grace and its history. Good reading, good cooking, good cause. $25 hardcover.

Prexy: James Winford Hunt by Darris L. Egger and Robert W. Sledge is a biography of the founding president of McMurry University who, in his lifetime, was a cowboy, newspaper editor, preacher, president of two colleges, poet, essayist, and crusader. He was president of McMurry from 1923 until his death in 1934, but his legacy is still very evident on the campus. Current president John H. Russell wrote the introduction. $23.95 hardcover.

The Gift by Lila Ellexson Senter is a collection of “word gifts” or poems she has shared with family and friends at Christmas for more than 25 years. All proceeds from the book benefit the Hope Haven endowment fund. The book is illustrated with black and white renditions from a number of local artists. Certainly a “gift” for the season. $15 paperback.

Best Foot Forward: A Basic Guide to Good Manners for Kids (or Grownups Who Need a Little Reminder) by longtime middle school teacher Wanda Elizabeth Middleton is a book that is desperately needed these days! In very simple, straightforward language, Middleton offers practical etiquette advice on introductions, conversation, telephone use, table manners, correspondence, dances & parties, and dating. Her Number 1 cardinal rule for young people dealing with adults? “Always look people in the eye!” Every young person, from fourth grade up, should read this book. Wouldn’t hurt some of the rest of us as well. $14.99 paperback.

Moonlady is a children’s book beautifully written and illustrated by Marsha Middleton Murray. The soothing lyrical cadence makes it a great “sweet dreams” book to read to young children before bedtime. $15.95 hardcover.

Answer Book: Abilene Christian University is a 330-page reference guide to ACU and Abilene. Edited by Charlie Marler, longtime ACU journalism professor and student newspaper adviser, the Answer Book (now in its 15th edition) is a copy desk reference for student journalists on The Optimist, ACU’s student newspaper, and now offered to the public. Presented in alphabetical order, the entries provide invaluable information about the campus and the larger Abilene community. Certainly a handbook on ACU history, this book deserves a place on the reference shelf of all Abilene writers, broadcasters, historians and trivia buffs. $19.95 paperback.