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Tropical Storm Bill: Tuesday’s Show (June 16, 2015)

Posted on · It has a name: Tropical Storm Bill. And it’s expected to make landfall on the Texas coast this morning and move inland throughout the day. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Texas, from Baffin Bay south of Corpus Christi to High Island, up the coast from Galveston. The southern coast is where […]

Houston Matters

Summer Reading: Remembering WWII POW Camp in Huntsville

Posted on · Throughout the summer months, Houston Matters is dedicating time each week to books about Greater Houston, set in Greater Houston or written or edited by Houstonians. Our summer reading series starts today with Jeffrey Littlejohn, an associate professor of history and director of the graduate program at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. He’s the co-editor […]

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Flood Response, Urbanization and Summer Reading: Tuesday’s Show (June 2, 2015)

Posted on · It’s been a week since a dramatic and major storm over Houston dumped nearly a foot of rain in a matter of hours, leading to widespread flooding, several deaths, damage in the millions and at least temporary disruption in one form or another for most of Greater Houston. Now that we have a little bit […]

Houston Matters

Happiness for Beginners: Looking to Nature to Rebuild a Life

Posted on · Houston author Katherine Center has written a new novel called Happiness for Beginners. It’s about a woman whose marriage falls apart and to help her recover her younger brother convinces her to go on a wilderness survival trip. And, of course, things don’t go well. Many of Center’s novels start in a similar way – […]

Houston Matters

Houston Non-Profit Works to Address ‘Book Famine’ in Malawi

Posted on · A Houston-based non-profit called the Good Steward Global Initiative is working to build libraries in areas of the African nation of Malawi experiencing what the initiative calls “book famines.” This effort comes on the heels of recent devastating floods displacing hundreds of thousands in the country. While we all tend to respond to damage caused […]

Houston Matters

What’s the Connection Between Good Storytelling and Puzzles?

Posted on · What makes a story compelling? Is it the plot? The characters? The thematic subtext? A clear beginning, middle and end? Conflict and resolution? There are lots of things a writer might think about while crafting a story – a lot that he or she may want to accomplish while telling the tale. According to creative […]

Houston Matters

Run Brother Run: Brother’s Murder Fuels Houston Attorney’s Legal Passion

Posted on · Houston attorney David Berg’s brother, Alan, was murdered in 1968 by Charles Harrelson, known hit man and father of Woody Harrelson. Despite an eyewitness — Harrelson’s girlfriend — who agreed to testify, Harrelson was acquitted. Now, nearly 50 years later, David Berg has written Run, Brother, Run, a memoir about his family, his brother, his […]

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Customer Service & Political Genetics: Houston Matters for Tues., Aug. 19, 2014

Posted on · Recently, a customer trying to cancel his subscription with Comcast taped his conversation with customer service, in which the Comcast representative on the other end of the line pressed – aggressively, and at times, angrily – to keep him from cancelling. Comcast apologized for the incident, stating that what this customer experienced was not company policy. But […]

Houston Matters

How to Insulate Your Teenager From Modern Stressors

Posted on · Our summer reading series continues with Judith Widener Muir, author of Live Wires: Neuro-Parenting to Ignite Your Teen’s Brain. Her book explains what makes the teenage brain unique and versatile and how to insulate today’s teens from the stresses of “college frenzy, achievement mania and media explosion.” She also explains how versatile and adaptive the teenage […]

Houston Matters

Descendant of Former Slave Owners Seeks Out Descendants of Their Former Slaves

Posted on · As a kid, Houston Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson was fascinated by family stories of his great-grandfather coming to Texas as a pioneering settler of the American West. But as he grew older, he started to understand the story wasn’t as glorious as he thought — his ancestors were slaveholders. Just five years ago, Tomlinson […]

Houston Matters

Indie Bookstores Thrive By Becoming Community Centers for Readers

Posted on · This weekend, Houston’s Brazos Bookstore celebrates its 40th anniversary with a slate of events. As more of us turn to e-books and online booksellers, traditional bricks-and-mortar bookstores have had to adapt. We discuss how indie bookstores in Houston are re-inventing themselves as essentially community centers for readers with Jeremy Ellis of Brazos Bookstore and Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop.

Houston Matters

What’s Houston’s Contribution to the Rap World?

Posted on · The Houston rap scene has now been well documented in two books, Houston Rap and Houston Rap Tapes, which feature photos by Peter Beste and interviews and oral histories collected by writer Lance Scott Walker. Walker joins us to discuss the project and Houston’s influence on the rap world.

Houston Matters

Houston Libraries Adapt for the Digital Age

Posted on · The Houston Public Library last week announced it’s making available thousands of audiobooks, movies and music titles for free borrowing and streaming online and on mobile devices. It’s a reminder that libraries are much different places today than they once were – or, at least, what we may have once perceived them to be. You […]

Houston Matters

Banned Books Week and Creationism in Texas Schools

Posted on · We have a complex relationship, at times, with what books we use, and how we use them, in public education here in Texas.  We have, at times, been at the center of controversy over the language and information presented in Texas classroom textbooks, most notably in the form of occasional challenges to the teaching of […]