Four books to give to the most Oak Cliff person in your life

Frank Reaugh’s “The Approaching Herd.” Image courtesy of the Texas Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum

There are Oak Cliff-related T-shirts, hats and stickers, but the most Oak Cliff person you know probably already has those.

For a gift to impress the OC allegiant, consider a book. Here are a few Oak Cliff-related books to give pals who are devoted to our neighborhood.

“Rounded Up in Glory: Frank Reaugh, Texas Renaissance Man”
University of North Texas Press, 2016
$39.99

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One of the most important Texas artists of all time, Frank Reaugh, is the subject of a comprehensive new book. From the publisher: “A founder of the Dallas Art Society, which became the Dallas Museum of Art, Reaugh was central to Dallas and Oak Cliff artistic circles for many years until infighting and politics drove him out of fashion. He died isolated and poor in 1945.” The author is Michael Grauer, associate director of the Texas Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, which holds the largest collection of Reaugh’s work.

“Thyme with Friends”
Self-published, 2016
$39.99 (with at least $5 going to the North Texas Food Bank)

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Oak Cliff resident Kay Grauer spent a year compiling recipes, shooting photos and videos and writing this cookbook, which includes recipes from her Oak Cliff friends, some of whom are professional chefs. The book includes links to videos for every recipe, where the cooks themselves show how to make the dishes. She did it all for fun an charity — at least $5 from every book sold is donated to the North Texas Food Bank. The rest covers the cost of the book; Grauer isn’t taking a profit.

“Police Perspective: Life on the Beat”
Self-published, 2015
$19.99

Former Dallas cop John Matthews is one of two officers who ran a police storefront on Jefferson Boulevard in the 1990s. He also wrote a column for the “Oak Cliff Tribune” called “Police Perspective.” This book, published last year, is a compilation of all those old columns. They’re stories from the daily life of an Oak Cliff beat cop, some funny, some harrowing, some sad. It’s a quick and fun read, especially for someone who’s interested in crime stories. Matthews is an expert on mass shootings and now runs the Community Safety Institute in Ovilla. He has published several other books, including “The Eyeball Killer,” about Dallas’ only known serial killer, who was from Oak Cliff.

“Images of Modern America: Oak Cliff”
Arcadia Publishing, 2016
$14.94

This is Arcadia Publishing’s latest book about Oak Cliff. It covers 1960 to the present and includes delightful photos of teenage life from the 1970s. Arcadia’s other books about Oak Cliff include “Oak Cliff,” which covers its history from the 1800s to the mid 20th century. “The Legendary Locals of Oak Cliff” gives history on our most famous sons and daughters. “John F. Kennedy Sites in Dallas-Fort Worth” includes all of the Oak Cliff sites related to Lee Harvey Oswald and the police officer he killed, J.D. Tippit. And you can see some of the many buildings we’ve torn down in “Lost Dallas.”

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