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Best Books About Texas

Immerse yourself in the spirit of the Lone Star State with this collection of the most recommended books about Texas, as seen in numerous respected blogs and articles.

Recommendations from 18 articles, Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Julie Plec and 18 others.
59 books on the list
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The Son book cover
The Son
Philipp Meyer - 2013-05-28
Goodreads Rating
A sweeping saga of power and violence in the American west, tracing the legacy of one Texas family from the Comanche raids of the 1800s to the oil booms of the 20th century. A twelve-year-old boy, captured by the Comanche after they murder his mother and sister, adapts to their way of life and fights in their wars against both other Native Americans and white men. The story follows Eli, his son, and great-granddaughter, exploring the ruthlessness and outsider status that has shaped their family’s rise to become one of the wealthiest in Texas. A harrowing and unforgettable masterwork of the American canon, The Son combines the storytelling prowess of Larry McMurtry with the sharpness of Cormac McCarthy.
The Liars' Club book cover
The Liars' Club
A Memoir
Mary Karr - 2005-05-31 (first published in 1995)
Goodreads Rating
This award-winning memoir takes you on a hilarious yet heartbreaking journey through Mary Karr's childhood in an east Texas oil town, filled with darkly comedic characters and family secrets that threaten to tear them apart. Considered a masterpiece of the memoir genre, this book will leave you both deeply moved and unable to put it down.
Lone Star book cover
Lone Star
A History Of Texas And The Texans
T. R. Fehrenbach - 2000-04-07 (first published in 1968)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the vibrant history of Texas with an insider's perspective on the people, politics, and events that have shaped the Lone Star State. Follow the story from prehistory to the present day and discover the emergence of Texas as a republic, the Civil War, and the impact of oil on the state's economy. This lively and engaging account offers a fresh look at the distinct culture and mindset of Texans.
Recommended by
Ryan Holiday
Goodbye to a River book cover
Goodbye to a River
A Narrative
John Graves - 2002-07-09 (first published in 1959)
Goodreads Rating
This book is about a man's farewell canoe voyage on the Brazos River in Texas, where he reflects on the proposed dams that would change the surrounding countryside and people's lives. He delves into the region's old blood feuds, violent skirmishes with native tribes, and courageous and deceitful stories that shaped the river's people and the land's frontier history. Goodbye to a River is a true American classic, a powerful tribute to a vanishing way of life and its ever-changing natural environment.
The Big Rich book cover
The Big Rich
The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes
Bryan Burrough - 2009-01-27
Goodreads Rating
Discover the captivating saga of Texas oil tycoons with The Big Rich. Author Bryan Burrough weaves together the multigenerational stories of the industry's wealthiest families, including Roy Cullen, H. L. Hunt, Clint Murchison, and Sid Richardson. Burrough expertly chronicles their rise and fall, complete with monstrous egos, unimaginable sums of money, and Hollywood connections. With phenomenal reviews and sales, The Big Rich is a spellbinding account that only a writer with Burrough's abilities and Texas upbringing could have created.
Lonesome Dove book cover
Lonesome Dove
A Novel
Larry McMurtry - 1999-10-01 (first published in 1985)
Goodreads Rating
Experience the majestic beauty of the American wilderness through a captivating love story and epic adventure in Lonesome Dove. Follow a cast of unforgettable characters - including heroes, outlaws, and ladies - as they journey through the last wild frontier in Texas. With rich authenticity and masterful writing, this Pulitzer Prize-winning classic is a timeless masterpiece that will make you laugh, weep, and remember.
Empire of the Summer Moon book cover
Empire of the Summer Moon
Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
S. C. Gwynne - 2010-05-25
Goodreads Rating
A gripping and meticulously researched historical account of the 40-year battle between the all-powerful Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West. Spanning Spanish colonialism, the Civil War, and the destruction of the buffalo herds, this fascinating narrative centers on Quanah, the greatest Comanche chief of them all, and his pioneer mother Cynthia Ann Parker, who was kidnapped at age 9 and grew to love her Comanche captors. S. C. Gwynne’s Empire of the Summer Moon is a thrilling epic that offers a historical feast for anyone interested in the origins of the United States.
Friday Night Lights book cover
Friday Night Lights
A Town, a Team, and a Dream. H.G. Bassinger [I.E. H.G. Bissinger]
H. G. Bissinger - 2004-09-28 (first published in 1988)
Goodreads Rating
Follow the winningest high-school football team in Texas history, the Permian Panthers of Odessa, and witness how their single-minded devotion to the sport shapes the community and inspires teenagers who wear the Panthers' uniform. H. G. Bissinger shows with frankness and compassion how every Friday night from September to December, this small, divided, and economically fragile town becomes a place where dreams can come true. Discover how football unites, divides, and inspires a community in this timeless account, now with an updated afterword assessing the state of football today.
God Save Texas book cover
God Save Texas
A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State
Lawrence Wright - 2018-04-17
Goodreads Rating
Explore the diverse and controversial landscape of Texas with this award-nominated book. Covering topics such as politics, technology, and income disparities, God Save Texas presents a vivid portrait of a state that reflects America today and tomorrow. Written by a native Texan, Lawrence Wright, this book is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the Lone Star State and its significance in shaping the future of the country.
The Gay Place book cover
The Gay Place
Billy Lee Brammer - 1995-01-01 (first published in 1983)
Goodreads Rating
Experience political drama in the heart of Texas with this novel. It's made up of three unique stories, each following a different character's perspective as they navigate through politics. Meanwhile, the cunning and charming governor, Arthur Fenstemaker, manages to hold the reigns through every twist and turn.
Gone to Texas by Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell
Lone Star Pasts by Gregg Cantrell
Texas by James A. Michener
Texas History Movies - Collector's Limited Edition by Jack Patton
Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros
Big Wonderful Thing by Stephen Harrigan
The Injustice Never Leaves You by Monica Muñoz Martinez
The Evolution of a State, or, Recollections of Old Texas Days by Noah Smithwick
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
"With His Pistol in His Hand" by Américo Paredes
The Midnight Assassin by Skip Hollandsworth
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
A Sniper in the Tower by Gary M. Lavergne
The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy
News of the World by Paulette Jiles
Rainwater by Sandra Brown
Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson
Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird
Blood and Money by Thomas Thompson
Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? by Molly Ivins
The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell
The Gates of the Alamo by Stephen Harrigan
Texas by A. Ray Stephens, Carol Zuber-Mallison
The Raven by Marquis James
Armadillo World Headquarters by Eddie Wilson, Jesse Sublett, Dave Marsh
Coronado's Children by J. Frank Dobie
Adventures with a Texas Naturalist by Roy Bedichek, Ward Lockwood, Rick Bass
Daughters of Dallas by Vivian Anderson Castleberry
Barefoot Dogs by Antonio Ruiz-Camacho
Lot by Bryan Washington
Seeds of Empire by Andrew J. Torget
Fear on Trial by John Henry Faulk
Thursday Night Lights by Michael Hurd
Recollections of Early Texas by Iii John Holmes Jenkins
Ten Dollars to Hate by Patricia Bernstein
And Grace Will Lead Me Home by Michelle M. Mears
The Great Plains, Second Edition by Walter Prescott Webb, Andrew R. Graybill
Farewell by Horton Foote
Beyond Myths and Legends by Kenneth Wayne Howell
Adventures of a Ballad Hunter by John A. Lomax
That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx
Adventures in the Unknown Interior of America by Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Ilan Stavans, David Frye
Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right by Erica Grieder
Who Killed These Girls? by Beverly Lowry
Friendswood by Rene Steinke
First Train To Babylon, Out Of Africa, Not As A Stranger, Life Among The Savages, The Searchers by Max Ehrlich, Morton Thompson, Anenlly Alan le May, Skirley Jackson, Karen Blixen
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
Command the Morning, Hold Autumn in Your Hand by Pearl S. Buck, George Sessions Perry
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz