Earlier this week, we asked what you think is the best book set in Dallas. We found there are a lot of good nonfiction titles with Dallas ties, and there are some novels set in North Texas. But so far, we haven’t come up with any novelist who is to Dallas what Anne Rice is to New Orleans nor Edna Buchanan to Miami. We got some interesting responses, though. Here they are:
Be sure to add the humorous and informative “The Lusty Texans of Dallas” to your book list. The author was John William Rogers, and the first edition was published in 1951. It has been quite a few years since I last read the book, but I do remember that it was packed with very interesting stories and trivia about our early Dallas citizens, politicians and business leaders.
1. Jim Schutze’s “The Accommodation: The Politics of Race in an American City” is a very good book on Dallas civil rights history.
2. A Texas writer often overlooked is Billy Porterfield. I read his “Texas Rhapsody: Memories of a Native Son” 30 years ago, wonderful book, but I don’t recall whether it was based in Dallas. (Editor’s note: Porterfield was a Dallas Times Herald columnist in the 70s, and prior to that, he was a TV news presenter on KERA. It appears that “Texas Rhapsody” is out of print).
3. Bryan Woolley’s “Sam Bass” is based in part in North Texas.
4. Molly Ivins’ books contain lots of Dallas material.
I wouldn’t say it’s the best book, but “The Demon Inside” by Barbara Wedgwood is a fascinating read. It is a true crime story (the Peggy and Walker Railey story) that took place in Lake Highlands. Most readers would recognize landmarks mentioned in the book. It’s so strange to think it all happened right here in our midst.