What’s better than a good book? A good book written by your neighbor. Brew up a batch of your favorite cup of cup of tea from Café Crème or coffee from Greater Goods and get ready to meet your next read, because we’re talking about locally written books in Austin.
- “Nine Days” by Minerva Koenig | Release date: Sept. 9, 2014 | Follow the story of “damned good criminal” Julia Kalas who is sent into witness protection after the Aryan Brotherhood makes her a widow.
- “The Roxy Letters” by Mary Pauline Lowry | Release date: April 7, 2020 | Dismayed at her beloved city growing more and more corporate, 20-something Austinite Roxy takes it personally when a new Lululemon pops up at the intersection of Sixth and Lamar where the old Waterloo Video used to be.
- “Where We Come From” by Oscar Cásares | Release date: May 21, 2019 | This novel about a Mexican-American family in the border town of Brownsville, Texas, follows 12-year-old Orly as he stays with his godmother during the summer after the sudden death of his mother.
- “The Which Way Tree” by Elizabeth Crook | Release date: Feb. 6, 2018 | Left traumatized and scarred after a panther attack in the remote Texas Hill Country, young Samantha vows to find and kill the beast that took her mother in a novel told through the voice of her brother, Benjamin.
For the family
- “Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou” by Bethany Hegedus and Tonya Engel | Release date: Aug. 13, 2019 | Introduce children to the work of writer, activist, trolley car conductor, and mother Maya Angelou in this picture book biography.
- “Uncertain Summer” by Jessica Lee Anderson | Release date: Sept. 1, 2017 | Taking place in the real town of Uncertain in swampy East Texas, Everdil and her friends team up to snap a photo of Bigfoot in hopes of winning a $1 million prize.
- “Let’s Go on Safari” by Kate Gilman Williams and Michelle Campbell | Release date: May 17, 2019 | Go on safari with two friends, one from America and the other from South Africa, as they learn about wildlife conservation.
Learn something new
- “How to Be a Texan: The Manual” by Andrea Valdez | Release date: May 3, 2016 | From seasoned Austin journalist Andrea Valdez, this manual gives how-to instructions on Lone Star traditions from two-stepping, taking the perfect bluebonnet photo, and building a Día de los Muertos altar.
- “The Secrets We Kept” by Lara Prescott | Release date: Nov. 8, 2019 | A New York Times Bestseller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick was inspired by the true story of a CIA plot to smuggle “Doctor Zhivago” into the USSR, where it is banned.
- “Unprocessed: My City-Dwelling Year of Reclaiming Real Food” by Megan Kimble | Release date: June 23, 2015 | From the founding editor of Edible Baja Arizona, then 26-year-old Megan Kimble spent a year eating only unprocessed food, chronicling the changes to her body, and taking a deep dive into the American food system.
Part of a series
- “Destruction” by Sharon Bayliss | Release date: April 14, 2014 | The first in a four-part series follows dark wizard David Vandergraff after his secret second family goes missing.
- “Think Big” by Kat Kronenberg | Release date: May 12, 2020 | The third installment of her Live Big kid’s series, readers are brought to the African savanna where animals must fight to survive.
- “97 Speaks: Lessons from the Decades” by Babette Hughes | Release date: Feb. 20, 2020 | Learn the lessons of Austinite Babette Hughes, who, at nearly a century old, retells lessons she learned from Prohibition, The Great Depression, World War II, navigating feminism during the 1950s and ‘60s, and how to live agelessly.
- “Corrections in Ink” by Keri Blakinger | Release date: June 7, 2022 | A deeply personal story about competitive figure skating, addiction, a prison sentence, and redemption, Marshall Project reporter Keri Blakinger grapples with her own missteps as well as a broken justice system.
- “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey | Release date: Oct. 20, 2020 | If you thought you knew everything there is to know about one of Austin’s biggest celebrities, you thought wrong. McConaughey details his childhood in Uvalde, his rise to stardom, and how to catch opportunities he calls “greenlights.”
- “If Only You Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free” by Jamie Ivey | Release date: Jan. 30, 2018 | A testament of turning failures into freedom and rediscovering her relationship with religion, podcaster Jamie Ivey lays the moments she’s not proud of out of all out on the table.