Reading Recommendations: New Beginnings, Warren Spivey"New Beginnings covers the state of Texas where the author lived while teaching for thirty-five years in the public school systems with a handicap that would have prevented his employment in other jobs and professions. Teaching was the will of God. After thirty-five years of teaching more than 4725 students who are successful in many walks of life, it is a thrill to encounter any one of them on a public street in Texas. Living at Colony in San Saba County, A&M at College Station, Tarleton at Stephenville, Southwest Texas State at San Marcos, Carrizo Springs in Dimmit County, Lampasas in Lampasas County, and finally Bend in Lampasas County has been a wonderful life. I pray that this book will be an inspiration to someone. God Bless." - Warren SpiveyI've so enjoyed Mr. Spivey's book. Thank you Mr. Spivey, for sharing your life, and the history of the area with us.And, The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds, An Isabel Dalhousie novel, Alexander McCall SmithOne afternoon over coffee at Cat's Delicatessen, a friend of Isabel's shares a call for help from Duncan Munrowe. Crafty thieves have stolen a prized painting from his collection, a work by the celebrated French artist Nicolas Pouissin that was earmarked for donation to the Scottish National Gallery. Munrowe has been approached by the thieves and hopes that Isabel will assist him in recovering the painting. Never one to refuse an appeal, she agrees, and discovers that the thieves may be closer to the owner than he ever would have expected.Against the backdrop of this intriguing case, Isabel copes with life's issues, large and small. She and Jamie have begun to suspect that their three year-old son, Charlie, might be a budding mathematical genius. What should be done about it? Then there is the question of whether Isabel should help a young couple who want to move in together, against the wishes of the girl's parents. The boyfriend is hoping Isabel might intercede.As she wrestles with these problems, Isabel finds herself tested as a parent, a philosopher, and a friend. But, as always, she manages to use the right combination of good sense, quick wits and a kind heart to come to the right solution, proving once again why Isabel Dalhousie has become one of Alexander McCall Smith's most beloved characters.And, Three Across Texas, Jack P. JonesLocated near Red River Station and across the river from the Indian Nations, Timber Creek is widely known as a town on the edge of hell. On Saturday nights, the sound of gunfire and war whoops reverberates up and down the twisting streets, and seven days a week the undertaker is busy. The town is also the kingdom of Sam Soltz, whose ruthless deputies eagerly enforce his rule.Despite its dangerous reputation, Timber Creek is the destination of Katrina's "Sis" Fletcher and her younger brother, Jonah. Their father was killed and sister raped by none other than Stolz and five of his bandit gang. Their mother having already died, the two were thrown upon the mercy of distant cousins who set them to hard work, and from whom Jonah and Sis now plan to flee on a journey of revenge.One dark night they set out with Sooey, a gentle giant, born simple, ready to serve Sis whom he adores. Sis guides them with the lore she picked from conversations overheard. Sooey pulls the cart loaded with their supplies and upon Jonah's shoulders falls responsibility for protecting the three of them from the natural and human hazards of life on the prairie. Depraved outlaws, deadly snakes, vicious storms, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead makes the going tough.But Sis is determined to settle the score, and Jonah is fortunate to have been gifted with a natural eye for shooting.By the time they reach Red River Station, where the great cattle drives cross the Red on the way to Dodge City and Abilene, Kansas, they have overcome daunting odds and are prepared for their trip to hell - and the story continues. - From the Texas bookshelves.See you at Rylander!