The Book: John Kelso, TEXAS CURIOSITIES: Third Edition. Globe Pequot paperback original, 2007.
First read: still reading
Owned since: 2007
One way and another I've spent a fair amount of time in Texas over the years, but I've clearly missed all the best stuff. If and when I go back, I'll have my itinerary laid out for me. This book was a gift from my friend Diane, who lives in Amarillo -- which boasts a performance art project called The Dynamite Museum (which is not a museum and has nothing to do with dynamite); two large sculptures of partial legs in crew socks; The Big Texan Steak Ranch; and the world-famous Cadillac Ranch, immortalized on Bruce Springsteen's The River.
I like guidebooks just as much as I like cookbooks, and for much the same reason. Even if they describe places I'll probably never go, I love the possibility of them -- the idea of all those parallel lives in which I might cook up a mess of okra (which I don't eat) or make a pilgrimage to the World's Largest Peanut, in Pearsall, TX.
It's the first day of a new year, and all these things are still possible for 2008. Hope the new year brings many happy adventures to all of you.