Book Notes – Pandemic Reading, Aggie Lists – June 16, 2020

Book Notes – Pandemic Reading, Aggie Lists – June 16, 2020

By Glenn Dromgoole

As bad as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, it barely compares to the coronavirus outbreak depicted in best-selling Texas author (and former Abilenian) Lawrence Wright’s new novel, The End of October.

The principal character, revered epidemiologist Henry Parsons, finds himself on the other side of the world, far away from his family, investigating a mysterious disease as it spreads from a small African country to Saudi Arabia and then ravages the world.

In the U.S., Philadelphia is hit especially hard, but the rest of the country not as bad. And, then, as schools, workplaces, restaurants, theaters and sports venues begin to reopen, the second wave of the Kongoli plague spreads relentlessly, killing millions and threatening to virtually annihilate the world.

Meanwhile, Parsons finds himself in the bowels of a nuclear submarine as he tries to make it home to his family, if they’re even still alive.

In his dedication, Wright writes, “This book is offered as a tribute to the courage and integrity of the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the service of public health.” Certainly, in recent months, we have come to acknowledge them as heroes.

The End of October (Knopf Publishing, $27.95 hardcover) is available at a 20 percent discount at Texas Star Trading Co.


Aggies: James R. Woodall, A&M Class of 1950, has compiled a book that few people will actually read but that many Aggies will certainly peruse and cherish as a handy reference.

The Book of Aggie Lists: Texas A&M’s Military Heritage begins with Aggies Who Served in the Spanish-American War, 1898-99. A few others: Aggies on Bataan and Corregidor, 1941-42; Aggie Fighter Aces; Corps Commanders and Their Hometowns; and even one on Mess Hall Slang.

Sixty-four lists in all (Texas A&M University Press, $35 hardcover).


Julie Goodenough: Anticipating that 2018-19 was going to be a special season, Abilene Christian University women’s basketball coach Julie Goodenough was encouraged by Dr. Gary McCaleb to keep a journal recording her thoughts as the season progressed.

What a season it turned out to be, with ACU winning the Southland Conference tournament and advancing to the NCAA Division1 tournament for the first time in school history.

“Team First Wins is our mantra and philosophy,” Goodenough told her players at the beginning of the season, so it is fitting that that is the title of her book.

Goodenough’s enthusiasm, faith, discipline, encouragement, respect, and love come through clearly in her candid first-hand account of a remarkable year, on and off the court ($14.95 paperback, published by the Center for Building Community, ACU).

Team First Wins is inspiring and honest. You can get autographed copies of the book exclusively from Texas Star Trading. The book came out while we were closed to the public, but Julie came by twice and signed copies for us. We’ll probably have a public book signing for her sometime this fall.


Book Sale: All books at Texas Star are discounted 20 percent during June. Even our bargain books are 20 percent off their already low, low price. Good time to stock up on some summer reading or do a little early Christmas shopping. SALE APPLIES TO IN-STORE SALES ONLY.