My Recommended Reading List for Those Who Need A Little More Texas in Their Life:
Any book by Elmer Kelton is worth the read but one of my favorites will always be The Time It Never Rained. I think this is because I recognized so much of my great grandparent's lives in his story of the challenges of living in West Texas.
The Texas Rangers by Walter Prescott Webb. The Texas Rangers are one of the most unique, resourceful, daring, and successful law enforcement organizations that has ever existed. Webb does an amazing job rounding up the details all the way back to the very beginning. If you want to know why Texas casts a long shadow over the landscape of this country, this book is a great place to start
Tales of Old-Time Texas by J. Frank Dobie. This is a collection of Texas tales told by a master Texas story teller. Legend and lore with some truth sprinkled in make this a fun book to read. And a great example of Texas character.
Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson. This is a highly romanticized retelling of Cynthia Ann Parker's life in captivity with the Comanche. But Robson's ability to make history come alive and draw us into the life and culture of one of the fiercest tribes of the Plains Indians during their final days is breathtaking.
The Trail Drivers of Texas by J. Marvin Hunter. This is a collection of true narratives related by the real cowpunchers who helped shape the image and legacy of the Texas cowboy. Entertaining, insightful, and often poignant, this book is a real look into the lives of our first true cowboys.
True Women by Janice Woods Windle. In this novel, Windle has taken the histories of three generations of the women in her family and crafted a fascinating tale of early life in Texas. If you want to understand how the early settlers lived--especially the women--this book will take you there.
Sam Houston by John Hoyt Williams. No education of Texas would be complete without an understanding of who Sam Houston was. An often complicated personality, he was unwaveringly true to his heart and to the state he loved--even when it cost him everything.
Texas has no shortage of fascinating historical sites to visit and spring is this perfect time to catch the wildflowers in bloom as well. Find these ruins of Fort Phantom Hill (a part of the Texas Forts Trail) a short drive from Abilene, TX.
Links to a few of my devotions that have appeared in Arise Daily: