We don’t have enough pages to share enough about the pages they’ve painstakingly written, whether sharing their own non-fiction stories or the creativity of their imagination in fiction, but here’s a bit about five books and their authors who have our attention in their clutches, as well as a glimpse at what to expect from the Texas Book Festival this month!
The Real Good Life
by Sazan and Stevie Hendrix
In The Real Good Life, Sazan and Stevie Hendrix share a practical guide for making each part of each day an investment in a really good life. They share never-before-told personal stories, practical tips and “life hacks” for getting to the good life sooner and easier. They tell Austin Lifestyle, “A real good life is pieced together from the fabric of your days, from the bright blocks of time you’re given. It’s stitched in place by what you do during those days, what you practice as your habits, what you say about your life and the seasons you are living.”
Don’t Forget Me
Don’t Forget Me is Emily’s debut book, written after the 16-year-old self-declared bookworm started thinking about storylines, wrote down what is now the first chapter of the book and kept going. She told Austin Lifestyle it took about nine months to write. “Every single moment of free time I would write something, whether it was a couple of words or ten pages,” she says, admitting the hardest part wasn’t the writing, editing, or publishing, but, “It was getting over the imposter syndrome that started to sink in once I had decided to self-publish. I would constantly have the voice in the back of my head saying to me, ‘You’re only a teenager, what do you know about writing a book?’ After some time, I eventually started telling myself to just go for it and see what happens.” As for her future, she says, ”I plan to write more books because I have such a love for writing. Do I want to be a full-time author writing only fiction? Not necessarily. While writing is one of my passions, so is photography. That’s why I want to be a journalist. I want to combine my love for digital media and writing and tell real-world stories.”
Ready, Set Mars
By Katie Jaffe and Jennifer Lawson
Katie and her mom Jennifer’s children’s book is an entertaining and educational read that introduces young readers to space travel and settling Mars. Jet and Jordy, accompanied by their friends, Newton (a frog) and Da Vinci (a snake), combine their skills in geometry and physics to build a rocket to travel to Mars. The illustrations are by Tammie Lyon, known for her work on the Eloise series! This is the second in a series of educational and fun books for children through the authors’ company, Liftoff Learning Studios.
By: Mike Thompson
Finding Good is Mike Thompson’s journey through beating four childhood cancers, 75 surgeries and subsequent years of addiction to opioids. After his family refused to let him fade into addiction Mike broke free from the grasp of narcotics and returned to his athletic roots, eventually competing at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. And summiting Mount Kilimanjaro.
In Finding Good he shares his three tenets for living a fruitful life: 1. Be selfish (in a good way), 2. Surround yourself with good people, and 3. Leave the world better than you found it. He tells Austin Lifestyle, “Writing Finding Good unlocked an abundance of feelings and emotions I’d never before experienced. Revisiting some of the darkest moments of my life was unimaginably cathartic and my hope is that the stories within the book help whoever reads it unlock some of their own feelings. Whether you’re a cancer survivor or recovering drug addict or just your average human, I feel like anyone can relate to the need to articulate purpose in life.”
Austin Heat: THE ONE Who Undid Me,
by Amari Nylix
THE ONE Who Undid Me, the first installment of new book series AUSTIN HEAT was released in September and is raising people’s temperatures as they read the romance collection set in our city. Readers will recognize settings such as Driskill Hotel, Peter Pan Mini-Golf, Antone’s, Chuy’s and more as they follow the dalliances of fictional NFL quarterback and heartthrob Jake Skyler. Don’t fret when you finish, there will be five more books in the series. Amari is releasing a book every two months! AUSTIN HEAT The One That Got Away will be available November 7 and The One That I Crave will be released on January 9, 2024.
The Texas Book Festival
The 28th Annual Texas Book Festival is taking place downtown November 11 and 12. One of the largest and longest-running book festivals in the country, it attracts over 40,000 book lovers nationwide. The festival’s Literary Director Hannah Gabel tells us, “This year’s Texas Book Festival will feature a diverse range of over 300 authors, illustrators, poets, journalists, chefs and thought leaders from across Texas and the nation,” adding, “Festival Weekend is a celebration of literary culture with programming curated to attract audiences of all ages through readings, panel discussions, signings, cooking demonstrations and family-friendly activities. My hope for this year’s Festival is that attendees will immerse themselves in the worlds our incredible authors have crafted, engage in conversations that broaden their horizons, and celebrate the joy of reading.”
Ready, Set, Mars is an entertaining and educational book that introduces young readers to the concepts of space travel and settling Mars.