A Book List by Mimi Swartz

Guest Article by: 
Mimi Swartz

Mimi Swartz is an executive editor at Texas Monthly. She is also the author, with Sharon Watkins, of Power Failure: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron, along with her brand new book Ticker: The Quest to Create an Artificial Heart. The Houston Public Library hosts Mimi Swartz on August 7th (find more information about the event here). In the meantime, we asked Swartz what her favorite books are, and she graciously responded. Take a look below!

All My Friends Are Going to Be Strangers: A Novel By Larry McMurtry Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781631493577
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Liveright - May 29th, 2018

No one has captured Houston better than Larry McMurtry in the Houston trilogy; the heat, the humidity, the way we all treat one another. Read it and know you are home.


Lonesome Dove: A Novel By Larry McMurtry Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781439195260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - June 15th, 2010

And then there's Lonesome Dove. It isn’t that he captures the West so brilliantly—which he does— but that his characters are indelible. You can finish the book, but Gus and Call and Lorena will live forever.


Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics) By Joan Didion Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780374531386
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 28th, 2008

It’s more than a collection of essays; reporting, profiles and personal stories that impeccably capture their time and place. It’s my writing primer that I return to again and again.


All The King's Men: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize By Robert Penn Warren, Noel Polk Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780156004800
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books Classics - September 1st, 1996

The best political novel ever written, because it's about so much more than politics. How love, truth, and honor, used wrongly, can destroy us.


The Great Gatsby: The Only Authorized Edition By F. Scott Fitzgerald Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780743273565
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - September 30th, 2004

This is, to me, the Great American Novel in the slimmest of volumes. The stunning descriptions, the hypnotic power of wealth and dreams; the dangers of throwing in with "careless people." I reread it almost every year.


Earthly Measures: Poems By Edward Hirsch Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780679765660
Availability: Unlikely to Be Available
Published: Knopf - February 27th, 1996

The last poem in this outstanding collection gets me every time. In just a few short lines of "Earthly Light," Hirsch perfectly describes what it means to suddenly come upon your younger self and feel the passage of time.


The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 By Lawrence Wright Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781400030842
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Vintage - August 21st, 2007

Wright is, to me, the perfect journalist. A great reporter, a great storyteller, and a great thinker. His history of the events leading up to 9-11 is as ambitious as it is inevitable.


The Liars' Club: A Memoir By Mary Karr Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780143035749
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: Penguin Books - May 31st, 2005

As is obvious from the list above, I favor books about Texas, since I spend so much time writing about it. Karr’s first memoir is a brilliant rendering of the Golden Triangle area—you can see it and smell it— but also evokes all the ambivalence of parental love, and of growing away from home, literally and metaphorically.


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