REFERENCE

The Handy Texas Answer Book

Visible Ink. (Handy Answer). Nov. 2018. 400p. photos. index. ISBN 9781578596348. pap. $21.95; ebk. ISBN 9781578596829. TRAV
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Haley (Passionate Nation: The Epic History of Texas) covers common and obscure bits of Texas "history, people, myths, culture and trivia," including politics, oil, cattle, and art, in this installment of the "Handy Answer Book" series. The first chapters are chronological, from early Texas (beginning long before the land was called Texas) through modern time. The second half is thematic and addresses regions, major cities, and notable people. The Q&A format is conversational ("What kinds of people came to Texas?") rather than academic. Most pages are comprised of occasional boxed text and black-and-white photos, along with three to five questions. Haley notes that this book "does not dwell on negatives" and is intended as a "fun" read rather than a strict reference, which makes sense given the lack of direct source notes for specific answers. Front and back matter include a time line, Texas basics, lists of Texas governors and presidents, and suggestions for further reading.
VERDICT A strong choice for any Texas library, with almost 1,000 answers providing readable information on hundreds of topics.

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