Galveston Texas
A Magical Island Kingdom
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Reading List

We discovered The Magical Island Kingdom in the Phoenix library! We were looking for a new place to vacation, and "accidentally" found some books on Galveston. As we read more and more, our curiosity and fascination with this amazing place grew and grew!

After only a few days, we were convinced that this was THE PLACE; so we made our first visit in May 1990. It didn't take long before it became our second home, and shortly after that, we thought it probably should become our new home!

However, before we made a final decision, we wanted to consider some other places, so we left Phoenix, in September 1999, on The Cadillac Caravan. This odyssey along the Gulf Coast allowed us to compare Galveston to every place from New Orleans to Naples, FL. When we finished that leg of the journey, we continued on through The Low Country from Savannah to Wilmington, NC. After 32 months, it was clear that none of these places was a better choice for us than The Magical Island Kingdom, so Galveston became our home in June 2002!

This tectonic shift in our lives all began by reading books about this amazing place!! The stories about its history and special character quickly draw you under its magical spell! If you really want to get to know what Galveston was, what it still is, and what it can be, there is no better way than to start reading!!

You will find that the non-fiction written about Galveston is both fascinating and riveting, so it won't be surprising that three dozen novels have used this city as their location! In fact, there are even two series of detective novels, set in Galveston! One stars Galveston Private Detective Truman Smith; the other features 
former Galveston Homicide Detective Cade McCane! Both are listed in the "Novels" section below!

Our Favorites
History - General
History - Specific Topics
1900 Storm
Travel Guides
Wildlife and Outdoors

Our Favorites

The best way to get to know The Magical Island Kingdom is by reading a history of Galveston. The first book we read, and really got us hooked, was Galveston: A History.

The one event in Galveston's history that fascinates most people is the 1900 Storm. There are many books on this subject, but the one that has become very popular in recent years is Isaac's Storm.

One of the next books we added to our library was The Galveston That Was, which is an architectural history of The Island.

When you want to get out and really explore the local architecture, Galveston: Architecture Guidebook is an absolute necessity!

Historic Galveston is a fabulous survey of The Island's history complete with amazing pictures of local landmarks that is a "must-have" for every collection.

And, finally, if you want to hear "the stories", i.e. the real folklore of The Island, Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories is the book to read!!

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History - General

"Across Galveston's sands have walked Indians, pirates, revolutionaries, the richest men of nineteenth-century Texas, soldiers, sailors, bootleggers, gamblers, prostitutes, physicians, entertainers, engineers, and preservationists. Major events in the island's past include hurricanes, yellow fever, smuggling, vice, the Civil War, the building of a medical school and port, raids by the Texas Rangers, and, always, the struggle to live in a precarious location. Galveston: A History is at the forefront of a trend in writing urban biographies emphasizing technology as the dynamic force in urban development. David McComb explores this often contradictory relationship between technology and the city, and provides a guide to both Galveston history and the dynamics of urban development."

"Sometimes a book makes visible what may otherwise remain unseen. Such is the triumph of Historic Galveston. Richard Payne's exquisite single and double-page images in vibrant color isolate sections of such landmarks as the Bishop's Palace, Ashton Villa and the Garden Verein Pavilion, and in doing so, make us conscious of the intricacies of design, fine craftsmanship and sheer whimsy that is often lost in the magnitude of the structure.

The pictures alone would be sufficient to delight the viewer, but Geoffrey Leavenworth's fluid narrative of the barrier island's social, economic and architectural history enhances our understanding of what their beauty is all about.

Richard Payne and Geoffrey Leavenworth present an unprecedented examination of the barrier island that Spanish surveyors named in honor of Bernardo de Galvez half a century before Houston was founded 50 miles north on the Texas mainland.

Historic Galveston reveals the stunningly beautiful evidence of an era when Galveston's grip on Texas trade fostered extraordinary wealth; when its population included immigrants, it seems, from almost every nation; and when more privileged Galvestonians combed the world for rich materials and furnishings for their offices and their homes -- some of which might accurately be called palaces.

These Victorian homes and buildings have survived periods of immense prosperity, the island's occupation by enemy forces, fires, economic malaise, neglect and storms of devastating power, including the worst natural disaster in U.S. history.

Their presence is a testimony not only to the strength of their structures, but also to the vision and determination of this tiny island's citizenry. Moreover, they illustrate why today Galveston is viewed as a city with a wondrous history and an array of special charms."

The Houston Chronicle, November 24, 1985:

"Mythic Galveston : Reinventing America's Third Coast is a magnificent geography... Hardwick weaves everything together into a wonderful fusion of Galveston and its people as a distinctive place and posits the island and city as part of an emerging Gulf Coast, Third Coast, or Creole Coast region."  James Lowrey

"Galveston: A History of the Island is an adroitly told popular history of Galveston Island--a barrier island off the Texas coast that's a string of sand 30 miles long, so narrow it can be walked across in half an hour. Occupied continuously since 1400, Galveston Island hosted Cabaza de Vaca, La Salle, and Jean Lafitte before Texas was a republic, and by the 20th century had developed an upper crust among the jasmine and honeysuckled Victorian mansions so snobbish that a bride sent wedding invitations to total strangers if her grandparents spent the night with their grandparents during the 1900 hurricane."

"Galveston: Beyond the sunny beaches lies a real place of history and humanity. Spanish Conquistadors, Jean Lafitte and buried treasure; shipping, cotton, merchandising, manufacturing, culture, opera, publishing; great fortunes made and lost and made again. The Island faced the full force of war, fire, flood and hurricanes, and always the memory of the Great Storm of 1900. Memorable characters and celebrities flourished here and Bill Cherry relates their tales and also the tales of the ordinary and special people who loved and struggled and sometimes succeed in those extraordinary times." Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories

"Gini Fendler-Brown has been sharing her engaging tales about Galveston with audiences at summertime Beach Band concerts since 1989. Galveston: Lore, Legend, and Downright Lies is part history, part folklore, with a hearty dash of gossip, her five-minute "Love Letters" are legend."

"Joel Kirkpatrick has been around Galveston for almost as long as there's been sand on its beaches. And before he retired -- and that was for almost as long as I've known him -- he was a newspaperman.
So not only was he around Galveston (known as "an island off of the State of Texas" because of its inability to conform) and Texas itself, when many of the colorful stories he tells were happening, he was investigating and even sometimes witnessing them first hand so that he could report them for the paper. As a Galveston "tale-teller" myself, and the author of Bill Cherry's Galveston Memories (VanJus Press), you can trust my evaluation of Joel Kirkpatrick's
They Ain't Wanted Here: And Other Texas Stories. It's a good one!"  Bill Cherry

"For as long as almost anyone alive can remember, Ray Miller was the Edward R. Morrow of newscasters on the gulf coast of Texas. With that nose for the news and being able to tell a story quickly and interestingly, in Ray Miller's Galveston, he tells the stories of pirates, wealthy families fighting to be Number 1, illegal gambling casinos and bawdy houses running full steam, all being stirred up every now and then by a furious hurricane (The 1900 Storm being one of the world's worst disasters of nature). You'll meet legendary band leader Phil Harris, who married his wife Alice Faye there; rough and tough Chief of Police Willie Burns; and the famous Maceo, Moody, Kempner, Sealy and the "Johnny Come Lately" Mitchell families. It's a serious chronicling of a town who for years boasted that the lady atop the Texas Heroes' Monument in the middle of its main street was really there to point the way for Island visitors looking for the Red Light District, and that the other bronze sculptures surrounding her were merely there to keep the Texas Rangers from knowing the monument's REAL purpose." Bill Cherry

Galveston, a different place: A history and guide

Portrait of Galveston Island: 1300 years of the city's history: A.D. 700/800-2000

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History - Specific Topics

Galveston Era: The Texas Crescent on the Eve of Secession

"The Civil War history of Galveston is one of the last untold stories from America's bloodiest war, despite the fact that Galveston was a focal point of hostilities throughout the conflict. As other Southern ports fell to the Union, Galveston emerged as one of the Confederacy's only lifelines to the outside world. When the war ended in 1865, Galveston was the only major port still in Confederate hands. In this beautifully written narrative history, Ed Cotham draws upon years of archival and on-site research, as well as rare historical photographs, drawings, and maps, to chronicle the Civil War years in Galveston."
Battle on the Bay : The Civil War Struggle for Galveston

"1862. Admiral David Farragut orders enclaves to be established in Texas as part of the Federal blockade. This involves attempts against Corpus Christi, Sabine Pass, Galveston, and Port Lavaca. By the end of the year Federal troops reduce the defenses of Sabine Pass and occupy Galveston, the state's principal port. However, the gains prove tenuous. While Federal sailors await Union infantry reinforcements, the Confederates, under Gen. John B. Magruder, seize the initiative. They organize a makeshift fleet of "cottonclads"--lightly armed and armored, but good platforms for sharpshooters--and boldly attack the Union fleet whenever it lies close to shore. Meanwhile, Confederate troops bombard from land. Ultimately, this counterattack results in the destruction or capture of four Union warships and three supply vessels and temporarily lifts the blockade. A lively account of innovative and daring tactics against superior forces by a dynamic historian." Cottonclads!: The Battle of Galveston and the Defense of the Texas Coast

"The industrial Revolution road into Texas on the railroads. At the same time, Galveston was on a mission to become the primary seaport of the West. This set the stage for it to become the focal point of Texas railroad ventures." Tracks to the Sea: Galveston and Western Railroad Development, 1866-1900

Galveston and the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad

"While the massive flow of immigrants to the Northeast was taking place, a number of Jews were finding their way to America through the port of Galveston, Texas. The project known as the "Galveston Movement" brought over 10,000 Jews to the United States between 1907 and 1914. Galveston: Ellis Island of the West

"In Women, Culture, and Community : Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880-1920 , Elizabeth Turner addresses a central question in post-Reconstruction social history: why did middle-class women expand their activities from the private to the public sphere and begin, in the years just before World War I, an unprecedented activism? Using Galveston as a case study, Turner examines how a generally conservative, traditional environment could produce important women's organizations for Progressive reform."

"The only book that is a complete chronicle of gambling on Galveston Island, Texas, from 1923 through 1957. The book has one subject, the colorful history of illegal gambling in Galveston. Galveston was a gambling hotbed of fine casinos when Las Vegas was nothing but a wide spot in the road with some wooden floored bars, which had a few slot machines and table games. The island was run by brothers, Sam and Rose Maceo, along with other family members and in-laws. Many stellar stars performed in the Galveston clubs. Frank Sinatra, Phil Harris, Frankie Lane, The Marx Brothers, Sophie Tucker, Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, The Three Stooges, Hildegarde, and The Ritz Brothers to name a few.
The photos are of gambling chips, old ads, the people, the buildings, dinnerware, and other memorabilia from 183 gambling establishments in Galveston County and 13 around Houston and the state. The first part of the book tells how the gambling got started and continues to the large raid that was planned, but never took place, that shut down the illegal gambling for good. The remainder of the book covers the establishments that are listed in alphabetical order." Galveston Island of Chance

"As a former submarine officer, I was particularly interested in the risky and sometimes foolish tactics that U-Boat skippers used in heavily traveled and very shallow coastal waters. It was more incredible when one considers their lack of any sophisticated electronics." Torpedoes in the Gulf: Galveston and the U-Boats 1942-1943

Island Of Color: Where Juneteenth Started"This book opens up a window to the past. It outlines the roots of Juneteenth, explaining how the African American holiday began, and it's a celebration of so much more -- the social, academic, and spiritual heritage of a people, and their mark on the world. The photos and personal recollections of community members give this book a place and time, sharing the life and times unknown to many of today's readers, particularly younger African Americans -- as, say, an older relative might sitting next to you on the couch, turning the pages of a photo album and sharing dear memories. This book invites you to come sit down -- it's a story for you." C. Crayton

Juneteenth: Freedom Day "Juneteenth is a celebration that originated in Texas and is honored by many African Americans in recognition of emancipation from slavery. The author and her photographer husband traveled to Houston and Galveston to experience this holiday firsthand. Interspersed with details about their journey are historical facts, newspaper quotes, and descriptions of various Juneteenth observations, from solemn to joyous. The emphasis is on how the observance grew from being relatively localized to being observed throughout the nation. The mostly decorative black-and-white photos, all taken on the trip, show people enjoying their holiday; some historical reproductions are also included."  Sharon Pearce

Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom in Texas
"Juneteenth is observed by many African Americans in recognition of emancipation from slavery. In this story, the author recalls her family's special celebration in 1945, the 80th Juneteenth holiday. It is rich with the details of the preparation and anticipation, rich with the specifics of life in the mid-forties on a Texas farm, rich with the emotions surrounding this event." Cahners Business

Juneteenth: A Day to Celebrate Freedom from Slavery

Historical Vignettes of Galveston Bay "Jean Epperson has done an outstanding job with these short articles devoted to the Gulf Coast of Texas. Covering topics as broad as Jean Lafitte, Torys in the Texas Revolution, the mysterious murder of Thomas Jefferson Chambers and the forgotten census of Anahuac from 1834 Epperson has the historian's zeal for fact and the detective's ability to find them. Well documented with numerous footnotes and lively text, there is plenty of excellent reading in this book."  Peter Stines

Ships Passenger Lists Port of Galveston, Texas, 1846-1871

Galveston-Houston Electric Railway (Interurbans special)

The Treasures of Galveston Bay: The first complete collection of the facts and legends of every buried treasure known to be in the Galveston Bay area

A Century of Galveston Weather: 1900-1999 People and the Elements on a Barrier Island

Pioneers of West Galveston Island

Galveston's bulwark against the sea: History of the Galveston seawall

Builders by the sea: History of the Ursuline community of Galveston, Texas

Saving Lives, Training Caregivers, Making Discoveries: A Centennial History of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

Aggies By The Sea: Texas A & M University At Galveston

Galveston and the Great West

Lively stones: A history of the people who built First Presbyterian Church, Galveston, Texas, 1840-1990

The Dethronement of the City Boss: Being a Study of the Commission Plan As Begun in Galveston, Developed and Extended in Des Moines, and Already Taken Up by Many Other Cities

Custodians of the coast: History of the United States Army Engineers at Galveston

Military Presence in Galveston County

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1900 Storm

"Drawing on hundreds of personal reminiscences of the storm, in Isaac's Storm, Larson follows individuals through the fateful day and the storm's aftermath. There's Louisa Rollfing, who begged her husband, August, not to go into town the morning of the storm; the Ursuline Sisters at St. Mary's orphanage who tied their charges to lengths of clothesline to keep them together; Judson Palmer, who huddled in his bathroom with his family and neighbors, hoping to ride out the storm. At the center of it all is Isaac Cline, employee of the nascent Weather Bureau, and his younger brother--and rival weatherman--Joseph. Larson does an excellent job of piecing together Isaac's life and reveals that Isaac was not the quick-thinking hero he claimed to be after the storm ended. The storm itself, however, is the book's true protagonist--and Larson describes its nuances in horrific detail."   Sunny Delaney

"In hurricane terms, this book would be a category 5, catastrophic damage to any idea that hurricanes are not potentially deadly. A weekend in September was an amazing account of the 1900 hurricane that slammed into Galveston, causing unimaginable death and destruction. This book came to my attention after reading Isaac's Storm, a book about the same hurricane. While that book was very good, this was even better. The author interviewed survivors of this storm, and the stories are amazingly frank and clear. When told through the eyes of so many survivors the book takes on a life of it's own. While it does document an event, it never dry or dull. It brings the power of a hurricane to reality and helps the reader to realize that this power is not something that man can control. The descriptions of the sounds and the level of noise were vivid and made me clearly remember the category three hurricane I went through with my family a few years ago. This should be required reading for anyone who lives along the coast, and even inland where hurricane damage can still be catastrophic. Mother Nature deserves respect, and if you don't give it to her....... well ....... read the book!!" Jeanne Scott

"The author of Story of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane depicts the horrors of those terrible days in the language of those who were on the spot and saw with their own eyes what had taken place".

"This compilation of news coverage and survivor stories was published almost immediately afterward, the turn-of-the-20th-century equivalent of current-events documentary. With a dispassionate eye but with a flair for finding the dramatic in the eyewitness accounts he relays, journalist Nathan C. Green gathers startling accounts of the death and ruin of the city, the national relief efforts that sprung up in the aftermath, and scientific assessment of the storm, and more." Story of the Galveston Flood: Complete, Graphic, Authentic

"A fourteen-year-old girl from Austin spends the summer of 1900 at her grandmother's home in Galveston and is caught in the Great Hurricane of September 8, 1900, Galveston's Summer of the Storm (Chaparral Book for Young Readers)."

Through a Night of Horrors: Voices from the 1900 Galveston Storm is a collection of stories gathered from first hand survivors of the Great Galveston Hurricane that occurred on September 8th in 1900. There are letters that were written in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, as well as memoirs written in the years that followed. Oral histories are transcribed, so that you "hear" the voices of those that went through the storm and the recovery efforts. Many of the sources were collected from the Rosenberg Library in Galveston. The letters and the memoirs are reproduced in their original form, which only adds to the pure authenticity of the horror and despair of the residents of Galveston."  Jeanne Scott

"Galveston and the 1900 Storm is a riveting narrative of the hurricane that smashed Galveston, TX, in 1900 (killing at least 6000 out of 38,000 residents) and the heroic relief efforts afterward, readers will find absorbing the accounts of Galvestonians rebuilding their city, reshaping gender and race relations, altering the environment, and instituting the nation's first commission form of city government."  Reed Business Information

"In The Great Galveston Disaster: Containing a Full and Thrilling Account of the Most Appalling Calamity of Modern Times Paul Lester, along with an introduction by Richard Spillane, Editor "Galveston Tribune" and Associated Press Correspondent who survived the storm in Galveston, give eyewitness accounts of the death and destruction that surround this natural disaster. Written in 1900, immediately after the storm passes, and with the sensational overtones so prevalent of newspapers then, this book engrosses the reader and enables one to experience along with victims, their overpowering sufferance."  Faye Leonhardt

Terror from the Gulf: A Hurricane in Galveston
"I used this book in my 6th grade class to give background information for our field trip to Galveston. My students were amazed at the disaster and how life was in 1900. The author did a great job writing from a child's perspective and detailing the events, sights, sounds and even smells of the storm as well as the time period. It took us into 1900 for the 30 minutes we read every day. I look forward to reading it every year, even if we don't go to Galveston."  Laura Hale

Tragedy from the Sea: The Galveston Hurricane of 1900

Galveston: The horrors of a stricken city

The Galveston Hurricane (Great Disasters, Reforms and Ramifications)

Hurricane!: The 1900 Galveston Night Of Terror (X-Treme Disasters That Changed America.)

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"That you Mrs. De Menil for financing this book and Mr. Barnstone for having the vision. The story behind The Galveston That Was is as fascinating as the book itself. It is just amazing to get two of the greatest photographers of the 20th century to collaborate of any book, much less one of such an obscure subject. This book is a treasure and I urge anyone who loves photography to buy it whether you care about Galveston or not. I do care about Galveston and I love the fact that this book galvanized the city to save its unique history. As you look at the pictures in this book remember this is the Galveston that WAS, not that IS. Many of these decaying building have been saved and restored. Galveston is a testament to what preservation and generous philanthropy can do for a city. The city is experiencing a renaissance and this book had a great deal to do with it, it makes me so proud for this American treasure."  Shannon Deason

"It is nothing short of amazing that a city of 60,000 can have an architecture guide book this extensive written about it. Having said that, this is a wonderful guide. It hits every major area and is section quite nicely. It is perfect to take along as you visit this unique city. When I first picked this book up I didn't know what to expect, I was blown away at how extensive it was. I recommend this to anyone who's going to visit Galveston or who quite frankly just loves historic architecture. Galveston deserved a book like this and as someone who loves Galveston, I want to personally thank Ellen Beasley for Galveston: Architecture Guidebook!"  Shannon Deason

Clayton's Galveston: The Architecture of Nicholas J. Clayton and His Contemporaries "Few people have shaped the face of Galveston and Houston as much as architect Nicholas Clayon. This book compiles the architect's works in Galveston during the boom of the Gilded Isle. This invaluable resource is filled with photographs and renderings of Clayton's projects, both commercial and residential. While many of his buildings remain, many more have been lost and this book helps recreate Galveston during Clayton's time. It also includes information on other architects who were Clayton's contemporaries. A must for anyone interested in Galveston, architecture and how one was shaped by the other through Clayton's vision."  Fred Rhodes

The corner store: An American tradition,
Galveston style

The Alleys and Back Buildings of Galveston: An Architectural and Social History

A History of Ashton Villa: A Family and Its House in Victorian Galveston, Texas

Lest we forget: The Open Gates: the George Sealy residence, 2424 Broadway, Galveston, Texas

Mary Clifford Lazzari paints Victorian Galveston

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Daughter of Fortune : The Bettie Brown Story
"After visiting Ashton Villa in Galveston, October 2003, I decided to learn more about its famous former inhabitant- Bettie Brown. The book was actually suggested to our group as we walked through the old house. The tour whetted my appetite, and when I finally bought the book, I devoured it in one sitting. Bettie lived a fabulous life of luxury, and was a truly modern woman. There are several pictures of Bettie and her family in the book, and of Ashton Villa which is just as important as Bettie herself. The book covers the span of Bettie's life, her family history, a very long family tree, and even the life of the house after Bettie died. The 1900 Galveston storm is a prominent event in Bettie and Ashton Villa's life, and it was very interesting to read about how it affected even the very rich way of life. I recommend this book not only as a peek into Galveston history, but also as a valuable biography of a true Texas woman."  J. Brundidge

"As he goes about his daily rounds on December 10, 1945, Henry Cohen reflects upon his life and times, especially the sixty-two years he has served as Rabbi in Galveston, Texas." Henry Cohen: The Life of a Frontier Rabbi

The Samuel May Williams Home: The Life and Neighborhood of an Early Galveston Entrepreneur

The legend of Nicholas Clayton

Oleander Odyssey: The Kempners of Galveston, Texas, 1854-1980s

Claude Dubuis: Bishop of Galveston,

The house of honored men: A story of three prominent Galvestonians, the city they called home, and The Bishop's Palace

"Meet Gretel Muller, a young German girl growing up in Galveston, Texas in 1855. Gretel dreams of living in a fairy-tale castle by the sea, but instead spends her days working with her short-tempered sisters in their mother's hat shop. When a rich resident announces that she wants a young German girl to come stay with her, Gretel sees her opportunity. But how will she ever get a chance when everyone thinks she's a lazy and foolish girl?" Foolish Gretel

"The port city of Galveston has been reclaimed by the Confederacy, and Jamie Russell's battalion, the Valverde Battery, is growing in respect and recognition. Jamie is sent to Louisiana on the shores of the Red River, a Confederate controlled waterway which leads into Texas. With the Confederacy holding strong, it appears that Jamie might finally see some quiet." Red River

The Battle of Galveston (Stories for young Americans series)

Born to Love "In 1867, Holt Price plans to never work as a doctor again as he lives the horror of butcher assembly line surgical conditions caused by the Civil War bloodbath. All he wants is to forget the atrocities and medicine, and find his beloved and marry her. However, he cannot ignore his need for vengeance against the traitor who sold out his unit, leading to a slaughter. In Galveston, Holt gets involved in the surgery of an accident victim with a spoke stuck through his leg. The town physician Dr. Moore never worked this type of accident besides which he is drunk. At Moore's office, Holt meets his medical peer's daughter Felicity, who helps. They are attracted to one another, but she fears he will expose her father as an alcoholic and he fears getting entangled with her as his own father was a drunk."  Hariett Klausner

"Young Confederate soldier Jamie Russell makes a return appearance in Galveston (Civil War in the Far West), P.G. Nagle's sequel to The Guns of Valverde. Jamie returns home from Valverde to accompany his sister, Emma, who's bitterly grieving a husband lost in battle, to their aunt's home in Galveston, TX, where a touch of civilization and city life is supposed to revive the young widow's spirits. Instead, the city is attacked by the Union Army. Jamie takes part in a Confederate scheme to retake the city, while Emma does her part as an army nurse. Nagle's textured depiction of battlefields and society balls-and his keen understanding of the psychology of both of these proving grounds, should once again please his fans and other Civil War buffs."  Publisher's Weekly

"The post-Civil War era western Galveston Gunman opens with three desperadoes bushwhacking loner Lee Strate and lifting his hard-earned stake of $5000. Wounded and left for dead on a trail somewhere near Houston, Lee is saved by Jack Farmer, a free black man, who tends Lee's wounds and agrees to help recover the money. In Houston, Lee finds out that the three bad guys work for Colonel Benson, an ambitious and evil hombre, fiercely racist and still fighting the war. When Benson takes off for Galveston, Lee and Jack follow, and soon discover that Benson and his henchmen are stirring up racial trouble among the dock workers." Publisher's Weekly"

Through her love and inner strength, Hally, an African American girl living in Galveston, Texas, following the Civil War, survives many hardships." The Couturiere of Galvez

"In the late 1880's a young boy travels from Colorado to Texas to find the father he has never seen." The Road to Galveston

"In Galveston 1900: Swept Away Crist has written a historically strong novel. She has taken much care in presenting an accurate portrayal of the mannerisms, language and dress of the period and location. Her descriptions of the physical settings are genuine, and the tropical cyclone and the weather leading up to it is so chilling that it made this reader tense. I felt like I was right there. The depictions of how men view their wives and women in general, are meticulously precise. While Adam's behavior is excessive even for 1900, he knows he can get away with the abuse because wives are property, and Crist explains this exceptionally well."  K. Isserman

"Ron Rozelle has written a remarkable book, The Windows of Heaven: A Novel of Galveston's Great Storm of 1900, based on the Great Strom of 1900. In this novel you feel as if you where present the night of the storm along with many who where there and those that are fictional. You feel the desperate feeling of the characters as they struggle to survive and then how they react to the sudden rise of the ocean and the horrific winds. How the people of Galveston try to warn their loved ones. You began to feel the pain of those that lost family and home. You cheer on those that have survived and have helped others."   Rosemary Duke

"I have just read Galveston (by Suzzane Morris) for the 4th time in 20 years. It's a book I often go back and re-read, which is very rare for me. It's intriguing, with true to life characters, mystery, history, and just a plain old good story. If you see it at a used book store or garage sale, grab it. Everyone I lend it to loves it. The story, one of my favorite genres, is about 3 women whose lives are linked and how they intertwine. There's also a history of how Galveston lost it's position as the major Texas port to the upstart town of Houston."  Christine Muniz

"A teenage boy keeps a diary of events during the devastating hurricane which struck Galveston, Texas, in 1900, and of the rescue operations that followed." The Great Storm: The Hurricane Diary of J. T. King, Galveston, Texas, 1900

"Maggie McKenna loves the sea. One of the best things about living in Galveston is being able to swim in the gulf and walk along the seashore with her father. Maggie wishes those special times with her father would never end. She knows she's wrong to be jealous of the new baby that's coming, but the bad feelings keep building inside her like a threatening storm. She even resents the time her father spends with Felipe, the Mexican boy from the orphanage who does odd jobs around the house. When her father has to take her mother to Houston to see the doctor, Maggie is left behind to struggle with the jealously that is sweeping away her common sense. But soon she is facing the battle of her life when the very sea she loves, stirred up by one of the most powerful hurricanes of the century, ravages Galveston, destroying homes and lives in a powerful and violent flood. Her only chance at surviving through the night is to join forces with Felipe as they try to ride out the storm together." Stolen By the Sea

"Darcy is a Southern belle in 1900 Galveston, Texas. Wealthy and well-mannered, Darcy has never had to work hard in her whole life. Yet suddenly, a terrible hurricane strikes Galveston. Separated from her family, Darcy must fight for her life, and find her way back to those that she loves."

"Batten down the hatches! Hurricane, by Janice A. Thompson, is a riveting account of disaster and human bravery, loss and gain, death and redemption. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the historic Galveston disaster, Hurricane is the story of lives lost...and at least one that was found.  Brent Murphy, a prodigal newspaperman, returns home to Galveston Island after his attempt at New York greatness. Tired, world-weary, and knowing he will face the wrath of his father upon his return, he continues to postpone his visit home." Craig Hart

"In this suspenseful story, Devil Storm, the lives of the Carroll family, watermelon farmers in Bolivar, Texas, in 1900, and an old tramp named Tom become intertwined with the Galveston Flood and the legend of Jean Lafitte. Thirteen-year-old Walter Carroll and his younger sister, Alice, encounter Tom, an old black man reputed by local folks to be a dangerous madman and the son of the pirate Lafitte, as they roam the beach near their farm. He enthralls them with stories which frighten and delight them and seems to the children to be a gentle, if strange, man." Reed Business Information

"When Gordo O'Connor answers the doorbell one night, while he is home alone with his sons, he encounters an angry man who shoots him in the chest. Fortunately, he escapes serious injury, but the gun shot begins a chain of events that alters the course of his life forever. Gordo, his wife, and their two young sons flee Galveston Island. None of them realizes that they will never again sleep in the Pilot House, the graceful Victorian home that they love."
Isle of Misfortune: A Novel

Boat People: A Novel "Vietnamese immigrants struggle with the burdens of faraway loved ones, unfamiliar customs and the scars of their flight from home in this evocative novel set in Galveston, Texas. Hai Truong is possessed by a spirit, a "ghost husband" who will not let her sleep or eat. While she is hospitalized, her daughter, Linh Nguyen, takes on adult responsibilities for her father, a fisherman, and her two younger siblings, even as she works to excel in school. Meanwhile, Linh's older girlfriend, Trang Luu, living with an aunt and uncle who blame her for their son's death, and troubled by the mystery of her unknown, American father, manages to succeed academically and be recruited by a private Catholic school; she also develops a crush on Lang Nguyen, an intern at the local hospital who, despite his accomplishments, remains bewildered by the American way of life."  Publisher's Weekly

Under the Skin: A Novel "Narrator James ("Jimmy the Kid") Youngblood takes readers into the dark criminal underworld of Depression-era Texas, specifically the Free State of Galveston. Offspring of a Mexican revolutionary and a beautiful Anglo prostitute, Jimmy becomes the chief gunsel for the Maceo brothers, barbers turned mob bosses who run the city's graft and gambling enterprises. The plot ostensibly focuses on the conflict between the Maceos and a Dallas-based mob that has tried to encroach on the brothers' territory, but a subplot involving Jimmy's budding love affair with the young wife of a Mexican warlord soon overshadows the gang wars and carries the novel to an explosive climax in the Mexican desert. The historical detail is deftly deployed, and the portrait of 1930s Galveston alone makes the book worthwhile for fans of the modern western." Reed Business Information

House of Corrections (Jack Flippo Mysteries)
"Jack Flippo's biggest claim to fame is his loyalty. That's what lures author Doug Swanson's series hero into a hare-brained scheme to help an old friend and mentor, attorney Wesley Joy, who's landed in jail. Wesley was stopped while driving a car in which someone made a getaway after killing two drug dealers in a Texas motel. But he has an alibi, and he wants Flippo to track her down: the beautiful Angelique, who's sunning herself on the deck of Joy's boat somewhere off Galveston. Jack has his own reasons for wanting to find Angelique, and it's guilt over his earlier affair with her rather than fealty to Wesley that sends him in search of her. But there's plenty of double-dealing here, apparent to the reader when Joy busts out of jail and teams up with an ex-con he once defended, even though it takes Flippo several more chapters to figure out that his old friend isn't who he thought he was. The pacing isn't quite as slow as the hero, who hangs out looking up old girlfriends and nursing hangovers in Galveston for so long that you're glad no one's paying him by the hour. Add an ex-prosecutor, a washed-up reporter, and a psychotic ex-wife into the mix, and you end up with a million-dollar yacht in flames, a missing bag of drug money, and a mildly amusing romp through the seedier shores of the Gulf Coast." Jane Adams

“Quarrington has a dark side…in Galveston, the darkness is more apparent than ever. So while there are times when the catastrophe does get laid on a bit thick, Quarrington, who invariably writes about misfits, writes about them wonderfully here. He lets his characters voice all their screwy and occasionally bang-on pronouncements on fate, luck, regret, loss and God’s silence…. Everyone talks about the weather, another old saying goes, but no one does anything about it. Well, Quarrington has: he’s written an engaging and intelligent novel about it. Put this on the back cover of the next edition: reading Galveston is more fun than watching the Weather Channel.” —The Montreal Gazette

"Galveston, Texas, is an island already rich in history and eccentric characters when, in the novel Galveston (by Sean Stewart), set during Mardi Gras in the year 2004, sudden magic floods the streets. The world is changed--divided between the real city, where technology and its products become unreliable and scarce, and the city doomed to endless carnival, where it is always 2004 and there are still such wonders as cigarettes, cold beer, and aspirin. Twenty years later, three major figures hold the city in precarious balance: Momus, the king of carnival and god of magic; Jane Gardner, ex-lawyer and unofficial mayor, fighting to maintain essential services in the real city; and Odessa, angel and arbiter. When Gardner develops Lou Gehrig's disease, her daughter, Sloane, strikes a desperate bargain with Momus, and the delicate balance is destroyed; cataclysmic change ensues."   Luc Duplessis

Galveston (Avalon Mystery)

The detective series based on Galveston Private Detective Truman Smith:

"Anthony Award winner Crider introduces private investigator Truman (Tru) Smith in Dead on the Island, this promising start of a series. Having returned to his native Galveston, Texas, to try--unsuccessfully--to find his missing sister, Tru spends his days reading Faulkner and running. His old friend Dino disrupts his solitude when he asks Tru to locate Sharon Matthews, whose mother had worked in one of the string of whorehouses run by Dino's uncles when they controlled Galveston in the days of wide-open morality. At first Tru thinks the girl ran away after she discovered her mother's past. But when he finds Sharon's boyfriend murdered and then is beaten up outside a Houston nightclub, Tru begins to fear for Sharon's safety. The disclosure of a vital secret by Dino leads Tru to dig into his own and Dino's pasts to find the answers for several crucial questions. Crider has created another well-drawn protagonist, this time a moody, introspective PI in the finest tradition, who works in a seamy city smoldering with old and dangerous secrets." Reed Business Information, Inc.

Gator Kill "After he failed to find his missing sister, whose remains finally turned up in a bag in an overgrown field, Texas PI Truman Smith retired to become a housepainter on Galveston Island. But when an alligator is killed and its carcass left on display on a family friend's property, Tru is persuaded to search for the culprit. Soon the brooding gumshoe is stumbling over the bodies of dead humans, is shot at and run down by a souped-up four-by-four as he's embroiled in a plot complete with crooked police, a possible land-grabbing sheme and bad guys who, but for their lack of redeeming good nature, could be Damon Runyon inventions. Crider places his likable, laid-back and offbeat series hero in an easygoing Gulf Coast setting, with Galveston acting as a poor man's New Orleans. Fans and new readers alike will hope Crider's reluctant PI, who would be happy reading the complete works of William Faulkner in the company of his cat Nameless, can be coaxed out of retirement again." Reed Business Information, Inc.

When Old Men Die "When Truman Smith, Crider's Texas Gulf Coast semiretired PI, muses, "feeling guilt is one of the things I do best," readers will not argue. Smith, who last felt inadequate in Gator Kill, can't find Outside Harry, well-known indigent of Galveston Island, whose missing status was first noticed by Smith's boyhood chum Dino. Dino, agoraphobic scion of the family of "uncles" that once ran the Island's now defunct gambling casino, hires his pal to find Harry. In the course of the search, which meanders around the Island and involves a couple of generations of colorful characters, the ex-bodyguard of one of the uncles is shot dead and another homeless man is killed. Smith, attacked a few times himself, uncovers and defeats a trio of murderers. The guilt-ridden Smith, who reads Look Homeward, Angel and listens to Elvis recordings, doesn't evoke much sympathy here, though he does solve some crimes and get Dino out of the house." Reed Business Information, Inc.

"In The Prairie Chicken Kill, this enjoyable fourth series entry, Galveston PI Truman Smith is hired by Lance Garrison, his still unpleasant but now rich high-school classmate, to investigate the shooting of a prairie chicken (really a kind of grouse) on Garrison's federally protected land in Picketville, Texas. Smith reluctantly agrees, largely because his high-school sweetheart, Anne Lindeman, now lives in Picketville. A prime suspect is Ralph Evans, an antigovernment local talk-radio host who declares his concern for endangered species by advertising Spotted Owl in a Can. When Smith and Anne's father-in-law, Red Lindeman, explore the scene of the crime, a sniper in a crop duster opens fire on them! A "fly-by shooting," Smith calls it. Then Anne's husband, manager of the radio station, is shotgunned to death. Police chief Ward Peavy eventually charges local birdwatcher Martin York. When Smith discovers that a previous prisoner died in Peavy's jail, the big picture takes shape. Truman Smith would rather laze in his lawn chair, sipping Big Red and reading Tobacco Road, but when he gets on a case, he's methodical. So's Crider, who fashions a tight plot filled with laconic charm and idiosyncratic characters." Reed Business Information, Inc.

Murder Takes a Break is the fifth appearance of Anthony award-winning Crider's Rockford-like PI, Truman Smith of Galveston, Texas is a thinly plotted tale. Persuaded by his reclusive friend Dino to take on a missing-person case, Tru agrees to look into the disappearance of college student Randall Kirbo, missing since spring break, whose parents are displeased with the official investigation. A look at the police files leads Tru to think the police investigation was perfunctory. Then he finds out that local vice queen, Big Al, owned the party house where the youth was last seen and learns that the body of a dead college girl washed up on a local beach after the same break. Linking the two cases, Tru employs his professional skills of lying and foolhardiness to determine Big Al's involvement in the crimes. When Tru discovers that Dino's daughter was at the same party and then someone subsequently shoots at her, he realizes there's more going on than student partying." Reed Business Information, Inc.

The detective series based on former Galveston Homicide Detective Cade McCane:

"A beautiful red-headed Amazon-size woman is found murdered inside the marina where ex-city cop Cade McCane's boat is berthed. A mysterious gambling cruise ship off Galveston's coast is thought to harbor her killer. McCane becomes entangled with big money, blackmail, lust, greed, robbery, and a powerful underworld syndicate as he attempts to bring her murderer to justice." Dame Fortune Wears Black

"Cade McCane, an excop out of Galveston's homicide division, finds himself heavily involved in a blackened world of murder, greed, and lust. But time is of the essence; an angry hurricane is raging across the island as McCane searches for the person who brutally murdered a friend of his. Despite all of this, he sees a rainbow of good; a golden unicorn that erases evil and brings a killer to justice." The Golden Unicorn

"An aging tennis star, head of a sporting empire, calls on private investigator Cade McCane to help keep him alive for twenty-four hours after a death threat warns him that he is to die on Thursday. Money, lust, collusion, and deceit thread themselves through the heart of Galveston Island while McCane attempts to unravel and solve the intense murder in the making." A Thursday Game

"When Private Investigator and former member of Galveston's Homicide Division discovers an old friend drowned, her boat smashed and beating itself to pieces on the Island's north shore jetty, Cade McCane suspects foul play and vows to catch her killer and avenge her death. The interlude that follows leads him through NASA's top-most secrets and into the heirarchy that guides America's future to its ultimate role in space." Nasa Connection

"Murder by voodoo rankles the ire of Cade McCane, an ex-cop from Galveston's Homicide Division. He accepts the possibility that a metaphysical and psychological mindset exists when the body of a voodoo priestess' son is found dead from other than natural causes. Once again, Jim Tausworthe's dramatic writing style demonstrates a toughness mingled with a naivete and humor that's extraordinarily displayed in Voodoo'd"

"An intriguing tale of a beautiful international model who is mysteriously murdered before she can reveal a secret to her long-time friend, Cade McCane. McCane, an industrial cop who was once kicked off the Galveston police force for shooting his lieutenant, vows revenge and justice. The unraveling trail exposes Galveston's rich, bawdy, and historical past." Murder on the Cone Johnson

"A collective homecoming of Galveston's Ball High School's graduating classes becomes a grisly murder scene. Cade McCane, a member of one of the graduating classes and an ex-city cop out of homicide, attempts to unravel the heinous crime. Rules of Homecoming is a fast-moving novel that involves revenge, big money, power, and greed. All of these forces of evil work against Cade in his pursuit to rout out the killer." The Rules of Homecoming

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Travel Guides

"This guidebook reveals every aspect of Galveston Island's charm. From playing in the surf under the cloudless skies to shopping on the Strand, you'll find year-round entertainment on this semi-tropical barrier reef island." Galveston (Lone Star Guides)

"I looked long and hard for the definitive guide to Galveston...and found it with this book. It captures perfectly the essence of the island...not just "where to go", but also history, nuances, the atmosphere. Perfect for anyone planning a trip to the Isle." Galveston: A Complete Guide

"For the businessman, newcomer, or visitor, Marmac Guide to Houston and Galveston provides information on population, services, recreation, accommodations, restaurants, and main attractions."

500 Things to Do in Houston for Free: Including Galveston

Rand McNally Galveston Texas City Map:

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Wildlife and Outdoors

"Stevenson does a beautiful job of mixing great descriptions, colorful pictures and a story of Galveston's geologic development in Wildlife of Galveston. This book is appropriate for parents, those interested in poking around in Galveston for wildlife, and biologists who are getting acquainted with the area. It covers such a vast array of wildlife in an easy-to-understand format that is just fascinating."

"Every year, more than twenty species of terns, gulls, and colonial wading birds raise their young on rookery islands all along the Gulf Coast. Their breeding and nesting activities go on in the wake of passing oil tankers, commercial fishing vessels, and pleasure boats of all kinds--human traffic that threatens their already circumscribed habitats." Nesting Birds of the Coastal Islands: A Naturalist's Year on Galveston Bay

Pocket Guide to Speckled Trout and Redfish/Upper Texas Coast Edition: Port Arthur, Galveston, Matagorda, Port O'Connor

"Journey with Williams through a lifetime of sailing adventures in Love at First Sight : A Lifetime of Sailing on Galveston Bay . On his sailboats Sooner, Sooner II, Rebel, Rebel II, and Blue Lady, he sailed well over 100,000 good and bad miles. On the water of Galveston Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, the Bahamas and the Atlantic coast from 1950 to 1990, Williams experienced and now shares a lifetime of joy for and fascination with the world of sailing."

Galveston Bay (Gulf Coast Studies)

"The book covers over 120 places to drive up to and either wade or launch a small boat such as a kayak. All of the major and minor bay systems around Galveston, Texas are covered. Maps and aerial photos, circa 2002, are included." Wade and Kayak Fishing on Galveston Bays and Surrounding Areas

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The Galveston Island Cookbook

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