This year’s Chisholm Trail Heritage Center holiday book list might inspire you to whip up some maple bacon fudge, travel Oklahoma or hope for a snowy weekend so you can curl up and just read either alone or with the children. These are staff favorites and some of our most popular selling titles.
• Local Authors (Duncan)
"The Oklahomans," and "Shortgrass" by John Dwyer (award winning), both books are autographed and have the Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award sticker on the cover. “The Oklahomans” won the award in 2017, and “Shortgrass” was recently recognized. While “The Oklahomans” delivers its information in an educational, textbook format, it is a valuable resource for educators or researchers interested in Oklahoma. It would make a nice addition to any home library. Dwyer shares in his introduction that more than a decade ago, Oklahoma Historical Society Executive Director Bob Blackburn encouraged him to write a new book. The book is filled with graphics, illustrations, historical images and plenty of pull-out boxes for quick referencing. Hardcover, 324 pages. “Shortgrass” is set with main characters in the Marlow, Duncan and Stephens County. It’s a love story set in challenging times — Dust Bowl era on the Chisholm Trail, and a war raging across the seas. Hardcover, xxx pages, and softcover, 342 pages.
"Here to Stay: A Fight for Tolerance," by Phillip H. Leonard, autographed edition, tells the story of Mondo Hobbs, a half Chickasaw/half African-American, and ex-Yankee soldier who returns home after the Civil War to settle in the Chickasaw Nation region. The U.S. Army and all tribes want him gone. This story offers a tale of a man's fight to live free. Leonard is a local historian, native of Duncan, and adjunct professor at Cameron University. He tackles subjects of his home region and the background of this novel was based on a book written by Daniel F. Littlefield Jr., “The Chickasaw Freedmen: A People Without a Country.” Softcover, 487 pages, published 2015. Note: The publishing company for this book is out of business.
• Children’s books:
"Lucky to Live in Oklahoma" by Kate B. Jerome is a book that becomes a journal as children record their favorite memories. Illustrations by Roger Radtke are bright, colorful and encourages children to draw their own pictures, including a self-portrait, or add their team colors to the T-shirt page. It also teaches children about Oklahoma history and wildlife. Once the book is finished, it becomes a family keepsake. A project at the end shows children how to create their own time capsule. Hardback book.
"12 Days of Christmas in Oklahoma," by Tammi Sauer (popular) and illustrated by Victoria Hutto, is one of our most popular books. Young Ethan takes his visiting cousin, Addison, throughout the state to explore unusual gifts for the 12 days of Christmas. Addison writes letters to her parents telling them about her travels through Oklahoma. This book is a great addition to the family holiday reading list.
"V is for Vittles a Wild West Alphabet" with illustrations by Greg Paprocki (new, board book) is a board book with illustrations reminiscent of vintage cowboy art. The cover art features a cowboy and a bear sharing a can of beans and fish in a frying pan around a campfire in the mountains. Children can learn the alphabet and colors as they see illustrations in monochromatic tone. This book is printed on either recycled, 100 percent post-consumer waste, FSC-certified papers or on paper produced from sustainable PEFC-certified forest/controlled wood source. It's a BabyLit product, created by Suzanne Gibbs Taylor.
"The Chisholm Trail: Joseph McCoy’s Great Gamble," by James Sherow was recently added to the Heritage Center’s gift shop. This book takes an environmental and economic approach to the history of the trail. Sherow provides readers with insight to how the cattle drives and industry shaped America and its eating preferences. This book belongs on the desk of those who want to learn more about the history of the Chisholm Trail and beef producers. Hardcover, 338 pages, University of Oklahoma Press, 2018.
"A Texas Cowboy’s Journal, Up the Trail to Kansas in 1868," by Jack Bailey, edited by David Dary, has praise from Tony Hillerman. “Here’s a book every westerner, real or wannabe should read and add to his or her library,” Hillerman said. Bailey’s journal is the earliest account known of a day-by-day trip kept the cowboy on the cattle drive trail. This pocket-size edition takes readers on the trip. Dary promises readers that it is full of romantic cowboy lore and cattle drive legend. It includes a double-page spread of a map of the Indian Territories in 1860, illustrations from newspapers and photos from historical societies. Dary has kept Bailey’s writing as it was — complete with misspelled words. 111 pages, softcover.
"101 >more Things to do with Bacon," by Eliza Cross is the perfect bacon lovers cookbook. Just when you think you have tried every recipe combo possible, a look at this will have you heading to the store to stock up. “Bacon and Asparagus Breakfast Casserole” is one of those make it the night before and stick in the oven while the coffee is brewing. Best thing about this recipe is the use of English muffins and cheddar cheese. Another breakfast recipe is “Bacon Pecan Sticky Buns,” using pre-packaged frozen puff pastry. A chart of helpful hints is included to help those just venturing into the world of bacon on everything. The only drawback to this book is the chapter on desserts and sweets is just too short with only six recipes.
• Small books, fun books and new titles
"A Cowboy’s Night Before Christmas," by Waddie Mitchell (holiday, small) is a pocketsize hardback book is a cowboy’s take on an old traditional verse. Those familiar with cowboy poetry will recognize Waddie Mitchell’s name. In an online interview with Cowboy Poetry.com Mitchell said he doesn’t like to refer stories as cowboy poetry. It’s more about entertaining those you are with by adding rhyme and meter. Don Weller, a well-known cowboy western illustrator did the black and white art for this book. The dust jacket illustration credit goes to Shauna Mooney Kawasaki.
"Cowgirl Poetry" edited by Virginia Bennett, is hailed as “one-hundred years of ridin’ and rhymin” with poems from women across America, Canada and Australia, dating from 1912 to 2000. Eight chapters cover anything a cowgirl could write about. These poems are written by women who aren’t afraid of challenges and living a working, hard but rewarding life. The book offers a small treasure, classified as vintage writing (noted in the introduction). A poem by Delia Gist Gardner, found after her death, among her personal items. “Cowgirl Poetry” was first published in 2001, but received a second printing only three years later, in 2004. Softcover, 191 pages. 6 ½ by 4 inches.
"Cowboy Doodles," by Anita Wood, drawings by Kev Brockschmidt (small, new) is a fun stocking stuffer for any age. After you finish a few pages, you’ll be able to tell some artist tales when you show your friends and family how you created a necktie out of a cactus, or adding a fiddle to an old fiddler who seems to have lost his. This book is recommended ages 8 and up, because of the ‘creative ideas aka reading’ on each page which could become a great way to spend some time with the grandkids. Some of the prompts are alphabet related.