By Glenn Dromgoole
If you’re a Willie Nelson fan, you’ll want to read his new book, Me and Sister Bobbie: True Tales of the Family Band ($28 hardcover, with collaborator David Ritz).
Willie and big sister Bobbie (she’s two years, three months older) alternate writing chapters about growing up in Abbott, Texas – abandoned by their parents, raised by their devoted grandparents, to whom they dedicate the book — and their adventures, successes, challenges and tragedies thereafter.
They’ve been close all their lives. “Without my sister,” Willie writes, “I’d never be where I am today. She was there at the beginning and remains with me, on- and off-stage, to this very day. There’s no stronger or longer or steadier relationship in my life.”
Willie is 87. Bobbie will turn 90 on Jan. 1, and they’re still going strong.
“Isn’t Bobbie just a little girl who fell in love with the sound of an organ and a piano?” Willie writes. “Aren’t I just a little boy who fell in love with the sound of a guitar? They tripped and triumphed and suffered and survived. But the essentials never changed. The girl loved music. The boy loved music. And music loved them.”
Get 20 percent off Me and Sister Bobbie at Texas Star.
MACK II: The second collection of beloved Abilene restaurateur Mack Eplen’s recipes features such dishes as King Ranch Casserole, Chicken Spaghetti, several Square Burger variations, and quite a few desserts. The book is Mack Eplen’s Best Kept Secrets, Vol. 2: Eplen Family Recipes – The Final Chapter by Mack’s grand niece Terry Eplen-Kleen ($30).
FOR THE KIDS: Prolific nature writer and photographer Stan Tekiela has produced The Kids’ Guide to Birds of Texas: Fun Facts, Activities and 90 Cool Birds. The book is organized by the colors of the birds (mostly black, mostly blue, mostly red, etc.). Each species gets two pages – a full page color photo and a page of fun facts ($13.95).
CHRISTMAS ROMANCE: Jodi Thomas, one of our favorite Texas novelists, has the lead novella in A Texas Kind of Christmas ($8.99 paperback), with pieces by Rachael Miles and Celia Bonaduce as well. Jodi’s story finds a Texas heiress spending Christmas Eve in a hideout with an accused bank robber.
RANGERS’ GUNS: University of North Texas Press has published a 500-page, well-researched tome on Firearms of the Texas Rangers: From the Frontier Era to the Modern Age by native Texan and Wild West historian Doug Dukes ($45 hardcover). The book has received high praise from Texas Ranger experts.