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Texas History on a Technicality

2. Read at least one book about Texas history

I had high hopes for this goal, I really did – I did my research, read reviews, and while I know that a comprehensive view of history requires reading multiple sources, I wanted to establish a good basis for my further learning. So I chose the veritable tome that is T.R. Fehrenbach’s Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans.

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As of this post, I am 255 pages into its 965 page length.

My lack of ability to focus for the duration of the work should not be taken as a slight against it: it’s truly comprehensive and engaging, as well-written a history book as I’ve ever read, but I lost track of my momentum several times throughout the year and wound up in December wondering how I could make up for lost time.

You may have noted, as I did, that I never did specify what Texas history book I had to read.

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The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library chose A Picture Book of Sam Houston to be the recipient of the 2013 June Franklin Naylor Award for the Best Book for Children on Texas History for its “concisely crafted look at this legendary Texan.”

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What it offers in brevity it makes up for in, perhaps, a distinct lack of nuance. But it is interesting to see the shades of what I’ve learned colored in quite simply and beautifully. The illustrations are well worth it.

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I do still plan to finish Lone Star, and after that to read some other books that build on Fehrenbach’s foundation, but I end the year with a greater knowledge of Texas history than when I began – which was, after all, the goal.