Forthcoming Books by Bloggers

A couple of interesting-looking books by bloggers are coming out in the near future:

From Roger Simon comes Blacklisting Myself, which is about his experiences living and working in Hollywood while challenging the prevailing orthodoxy.

From Sgt Mom, who writes books as Celia Hayes, comes a historical novel…well, actually, three historical novels, The Adelsverein Trilogy. It’s about a largely-unknown episode in Texas history:

The Adelsverein story begins early in the 1840s, when a group of high-born and socially conscious German noblemen conceived the notion of establishing a colony of German farmers and craftsmen in Texas. Under-funded, over-extended, scammed by scallywags and beset with bad advice, the association still dispatched more than thirty-six chartered ships carrying over 7,000 immigrants to the ports of Galveston and Indianola, in the short space of five years. The gently-rolling limestone and oak-forested hill country of south-central Texas was transformed utterly into a district of neat and prosperous farms and well-laid out towns. These settlers valued culture, and comfort, order and hard work. Schools, churches, singing-societies and businesses were established almost at once. The German hill country was a world almost apart, becoming even more so with the Civil War, when its residents held out against secession and for the Union.

(Adelsverein means the “company of noble men”)

Both books sound pretty interesting. Follow the links for more information.

Previous Books by Bloggers posts.

11 thoughts on “Forthcoming Books by Bloggers”

  1. The influence on Texas by Germans is enormous but not widely recognized outside of the state and plays no role in common mythos of the state. Basically the entire area of about a hundred miles to either side of a line running between Austin and San Antonio is completely German. Chicken Fried steak which ties with Chili as the state dish is a modified schnitzel. We’ve always been able to get real german beer here.

  2. Immigrant culture is more my husband’s interest than mine, but here are some examples of that interplay:
    A) Schultze Gets the Blues – a wonderful German movie with an unlikely hero; a German accordian player ends up at an accordian contest in New Braunfels (the area Shannon describes). He then sets off on a tour, in which he meets a series of ethnic/accordian musicians (German, Mexican, Czech roots), moving over into Louisiana and concluding with the music he’d heard and loved on a radio station in Germany. (Zydeco and Cajun) (More)
    B) In the early 70’s, my husband’s friend married a girl from Fredericksburg. My husband sat with the groom’s men, so I was seated among people all speaking in German. Finally, trying to initiate conversation, I asked when they immigrated. The guy next to be responded, Oh, in the 1850’s.
    C) When my son-in-law’s parents visit, we try to overcome the language barrier by having a party and inviting everyone we know from the hill country. They don’t understand each other perfectly, but the visitors have someone to kind of talk to and the guests a chance to remember their almost forgotten language skills.
    D) Lyle Lovett, from Klein, (a family name) took one degree in German; he studied & toured there early in his career. A German group opened for him at his album party (his family served barbecue). (Portrait by Alec Wilkinson, who also knows how to write.)

  3. Thanks for the links and the interest! It is one of those completely odd and unexpected things about Texas; this huge and very cohesive German element, where the language remained German by preference well into the 1920s. I started intending to write just one book – but discovered so many fascinating and dramatic elements that it expanded into three books, and carried the story up to and beyond the Civil War.
    Frederick Law Olmstead did a sort of extended travel-book about his visit to Texas in the 1850s, with very detailed descriptions of San Antonio in 1855, being equal thirds Mexican, American and German – each element having built houses in their own style. An amazing number of the early businesses and landmark establishments in and around there were started by the first generation German immigrants – like C.H. Guenther’s Pioneer Flour Mills. And the very oldest and most exclusive social club in San Antonio – is the German Club!

  4. Oh, maybe Tatyana meant me? Yes, I am reading this and fascinated (does this have to do with our conversation of melting pots and how, as a child, I had a great fondness for books about immigrants to the Midwest, or immigrants in general, because it made me feel a part of the ‘whole thing’? I loved the melting pot idea, a lot, which I realize is very old-fashioned these days.) Something else?

  5. Yikes, we posted at the same time Tatyana, yes I am pathologist (hospital based, not forensic) but I’m no writer :)

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