Daniel Vaughn

Daniel Vaughn's The Prophets of Smoked Meat is a new and insightfully exhaustive study of Texas barbecue's mouthwatering history: its cultural significance, its unique and varied approaches, and its delicious end results. In celebration of fine dining outdoors in the heat of summer, Vaughn this week shares his recommendations for great books offering the ABC's of BBQ: poetic and visually thrilling journeys toward culinary nirvana certain to leave you hungry for more.


Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country
By Lolis Eric Elie, with photographs by Frank Stewart


"This book defines the barbecue road trip that is now commonplace across Texas but was more of a rarity when these two friends set out in 1994. They wanted to cross the country and find how the barbecue styles change. They found plenty of good and plenty of bad, but just as riveting are their stories of the people and of unexpected discoveries. Elie's real wisdom is shown in his pronouncement 'In the end, it was made deliciously clear that, whether your taste is for barbacoa, brisket, or ribs, you'll find no better quality and variety than that in Texas.' "


Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from the Pit Bosses
By Robb Walsh


"Labeling this as a simple cookbook doesn't begin to cover the ground of this pioneering book. It provided a simplistic definition of the four unique styles of Texas barbecue and did much to cover its history along with highlighting the present-day pit masters. I refer to it regularly.


Texas BBQ: Photographs
By Wyatt McSpadden


"This collection of photographs is stunning, and that Texas barbecue is the subject of every one of them is just gravy. This book is the go-to source for photographers seeking inspiration. The essays included, from John Morthland to Jim Harrison, are thought-provoking additions to the incredible photos."


April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.