By Glenn Dromgoole
Former President George W. Bush, who has become quite an accomplished painter since his White House days, has an exceptional new book of artistic and literary portraits of American’s immigrants – Out of Many, One ($38 hardcover).
Bush said he set out several years ago to write a book about immigrants – and paint their pictures – but delayed publishing the book until this year “to avoid the politics of a presidential election year. I did not want the people I painted to become exploited politically.”
In a TV interview, he said he hoped his book would help “elevate the discourse” on the controversial topic of immigration. At the end of the book, he offers an essay from the George W. Bush Institute on “Why We Need Immigration (and Reform).”
Each of the 43 color portraits is accompanied by a three-to-four-page biographical profile. The most common themes in the personal stories are a sense of profound gratitude, the courage to take the risk of living in an unfamiliar new land, and the desire to contribute to America’s future greatness.
Jodi Thomas: Popular Texas novelist Jodi Thomas has a new wholesome, heartwarming tale set in the fictional small town of Honey Creek, Texas – Picnic in Someday Valley ($15.95 paperback). The new story is a follow-up to the first novel in the Honey Creek series – Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café.
If you’re a Jodi Thomas fan, you probably can’t wait to read the new title. If you haven’t discovered Jodi Thomas yet, the Honey Creek books are a good place to start.
Lori Wilde: Another best-selling Texas romance novelist is Lori Wilde, whose latest book is The Keepsake Sisters ($16.99 paperback), a follow-up to The Moonglow Sisters. Both books are set in the fictional small town of Moonglow Cove, Texas.
Amanda Gorman is the 22-year-old poet who read at President Biden’s inauguration in January. The poem was so well-received that it has now been published as a small hardcover book, The Hill We Climb ($15.99). She also has a picture book coming out in September, illustrated by Loren Long, this year’s featured artist at the Children’s Art and Literary Festival (C.A.L.F.) in Abilene.
Leon Hale, the beloved longtime Houston newspaper columnist and essayist, didn’t live to enjoy the publication of his final book, See You on Down the Road: A Retirement Journal ($19 paperback). Hale passed away on March 27, just days before the book came out and two months before what would have been his 100th birthday. He began writing his retirement journal in June 2014. The final piece in the book was dated May 30, 2020 — his 99th birthday.