Book News and Reviews

Permian Historical Society members and friends appreciate books — fiction and non-fiction — about the Permian Basin, Texas, the West, and the United States. Many of our members write books and all of us enjoy reading, discussing, and reviewing them.

Our Book Review Editor is Lane Bond. Any author or press may contact Editor Bond at for information about submitting a book for review. Other Permian Historical reviewers are Lane Bond, James Collett, Glenn Dromgoole, James Humphrey, Peggy Kelton, Ross McSwain, Mary Lou Midkiff, J. Tillapaugh, and Julia Cauble Smith.

News of Recent Books

James Collett, PHS member and local author, has new additions to the  Images of America series:  Midland (published in 2012) and Stamford (published in 2013) follow join Fort Stockton which was written with the help and support of the Fort Stockton Historical Society and used images from the Permian Historical Society.  

Details and online ordering can be found on the Arcadia Publishing website.


patrickDearenPatrick Dearen is author of more than a dozen books.  As a historian and folklorist, he digs deeply into the lore and legend of the West and produces books that appeal to both scholars and general readers.

  • To Hell or the Pecos, a novel.  Publisher: Texas Christian University Press (October 8, 2012)
    Tom Rowden has been riding away from the Pecos for twenty years, plagued by the image of his wife, Sarah, the second before he killed her. Now, he is dead-set on returning to her unmarked grave at Horsehead Crossing to make final atonement. His journey is interrupted when a group of Mexican bandits burn down the 7L ranch house, kill the owner, and abduct a young woman, Liz Anne.  Tom joins Jess Graham and three other men in an attempt to ride down the Mexicans and rescue Liz Anne, whom Jess loves. But the haunting memories and a 79-mile stretch of desert prove just as threatening as the bandidos they must overtake on the Pecos.

  • Amazon’s Patrick Dearen page





Mike Cox of Austin, who began his journalism career as a reporter for the San Angelo Standard-Times in 1967. 

  • Time of the Rangers: Texas Rangers: From 1900 to the Present: 2  Following up on his magnificent history of the 19th century Texas Rangers, Mike Cox now takes us from 1900 through the present.  From horseback to helicopters, from the frontier cattle days through the crime-ridden boom-or-bust oil field era, from Prohibition to World War II espionage to the violent ethnic turbulence of the ‘50s and ‘60s–which sometimes led to demands that the Texas Rangers be disbanded. Cox takes readers through the modern history of the famed Texas lawmen.  Cox’s position as a spokesperson for the Texas department of Public Safety allowed him to comb the archives and conduct extensive personal interviews to give us this remarkable account of how a tough group of horse-borne lawmen–too prone to hand out roadside justice, critics complained–to one of the world’s premier investigative agencies, respected and admired worldwide.  [Amazon]
  • The Texas Rangers: Wearing the Cinco Peso, 1821-1900  Cox explores the inception and rise of the famed Texas Rangers. Starting in 1821 with just a handful of men, the Rangers’ first purpose was to keep settlers safe from the feared and gruesome Karankawa Indians, a cannibalistic tribe that wandered the Texas territory. As the influx of settlers grew, the attacks increased and it became clear that a much larger, better trained force was necessary.

  •  Amazon’s Mike Cox page 

Suzanne O’Bryan has gained a following in the basin for her three-book reminiscences that read as novels. Our reviewer, Mary Lou Midkiff, wrote, “I just could not put it down until the last page turned. I resented the time taken away from my reading…”

  • The first book that our reviewer rated is Sauntering (Georgetown, TX: Chengalera Press. Pp. 249. ISBN 0962166723, $15.95 paper). The setting is a Reagan County, Texas, ranch, where the author took time to reflect on a disappointing life she left behind in California. [Purchase:]
  • In the second book, The Kitchen Tree (Georgetown, TX: Chengalera Press. Pp. 262. ISBN 0962166731, $15.95 paper), O’Bryan deals with a drought that forced the selling of her livestock and possibly the loss of the ranch. [Purchase:]
  • Thoughts Along the River (Georgetown, TX: Chengalera Press. Pp. 304. ISBN 096216674X. $19.95 paper) brings the reader into the author’s former life in San Francisco as she makes peace with the past and embraces life at her new home along the Pecos River. [Purchase:]