Duration: 1st January – 28th February
Number of books: 10
Hosted by:Crazy Challenge Connection
From Sea to Shining Sea – Texas
Duration: Jan 01, 2019 – Feb 28, 2019
1. The 28th state of the US is Texas. It joined the other 27 on December 29, 1845. Austin is the capital city. The name Texas, based on the Caddo word “tejas” meaning friends or allies, was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement of East Texas. Texas is called the Lone Star State to symbolize its former identity as an independent nation, and as a reminder of its struggle for independence from Mexico.
✒ Read a book in which the main character has a circle of friends -or- read a book with a single star on the cover (post the cover) -or- read a book with an X in the title (only title).
2. Texas is the only state to have the flags of 6 different nations fly over it. They are: Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States, and the United States. However, there have been eight changes of government: 1-Spanish 1519-1685, 2-French 1685-1690, 3-Spanish 1690-1821, 4-Mexican 1821-1836, 5-Republic of Texas 1836-1845, 6-United States 1845-1861, 7-Confederate States 1861-1865, 8-United States 1865-present. And yes, the amusement park Six Flags was founded in Texas in 1961, and was named for the six flags of Texas. Seven Texas cities have all had their turn at being the state’s capital: Washington-on-the-Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco, West Columbia, Houston and Austin.
✒ Read a book with an amusement park as an important setting
or some sort of ride on the cover (post the cover if choosing that option) -or- read a book whose author initials are in the word REPUBLICOFTEXAS (middle initial counts if being used) -or- generate a random number between 1-8 and read a book set during the corresponding period of Texan government. Let us know which. – Greylands by Isobelle Carmody
3. Texas is huge. It’s the second largest state in the United States by area, beating out only Alaska. But it’s also larger than any country in Europe. If Texas was a country, it would have been the world’s 40th largest country. It’s also home to the fourth, seventh, and ninth populous cities in the United States by 2013 estimates: Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. In contrast, there’s Luckenbach, which has only 3 full time residents (but it has country music festivals and therefore lots of tourists). And if Texas were a country, it would have been the 14th largest economy in the world, just behind Spain and ahead of Mexico. Even Texas’ ranches are huge – the King Ranch in South Texas, made famous by the Edna Ferber novel Giant, is a sprawling 825,000 acres, larger than the state of Rhode Island. Texas has a total of 130,500 acres of farmland (crop farming, not ranching), which is more farmland than any other state.
✒ Read a book with a rancher or farmer main character (bonus for Texans) -or- read a book in which the main character attends a music festival -or- read a book with a word in the title synonymous to huge.
4. Texas has a state mammal, a state large mammal AND a state flying mammal. The state mammal is the nine banded armadillo, which cannot roll itself into a ball, but can float across rivers by inflating its intestines. The state large mammal is the Texas Longhorn, named for its horns which can extend up to seven feet tip to tip. Texas’ flying mammal is the Mexican free-tailed bat, which is probably well known to rum drinkers because it’s on the Bacardi label. Texas also has not one but TWO official state peppers: Jalapeno, the main pepper, and Chilpetin, the native pepper. The state bird is the Mockingbird, the state flower is the bluebonnet, the state shrub the crepe myrtle and the state tree, the pecan. Friendship is the state motto.
✒ Read a book with either of these on the cover: a large natural body of water, cattle, alcohol, pepper (post the cover) -or- read a book set in a country with spicy food (for the purpose of this task, use this list, tell us where the book is set) -or- read a book whose author’s name has an accent mark.
5. The first-ever frozen margarita machine was invented by a Dallas restaurateur who took his inspiration from the Slurpees at his local 7-11. You can still get a margarita at Mariano’s Hacienda Ranch, but the original machine now sits idle, on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. An Athens man was one of the first to claim invention of the hamburger. He’s said to have created them at his lunch counter in the 1880s, and then sold them at a stand at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Fritos were invented in the 1930s in San Antonio, and are today produced by the Plano-based Frito-Lay Company. They’re an essential ingredient in that Texas convenience store staple, Frito pie. The other Texas staple is Dr Pepper, invented by a Waco druggist in 1885. Lamesa claims to be the birthplace of chicken fried steak, and hosts an annual Chicken Fried Steak Cook-off each April. It turns out that Lamesa’s claim has no basis in reality (although the dish itself has Texas origins), but Governor Rick Perry nevertheless declared the city to be the official home of chicken-fried steak.
✒ Read a book whose main character’s name begins with a letter in MARGARITA (tell us the name) -or- read a book whose main page contains the genre “FOOD” -or- read a book in which Dr Pepper is mentioned.
6. The Spraberry/Wolfcamp Shale in West Texas’ Permian Basin has the second-largest oil reserve in the world. Permian Basin oil field production topped the million barrel per day mark in 2011, and, together with the South Texas Eagle Ford Shale deposits, US is well settled as far as dependence on a foreign power for oil is concerned. But the downside? Texas’ carbon dioxide emissions are higher than any other state, and higher than all but six countries in the world. Much of this is due to emissions produced during petroleum refining and chemical manufacturing. Florida might be the land of hurricanes, but Texas has had the deadliest hurricane in US history – the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, with an estimated casualty list ranging from 6,000 to 12,000. (Katrina claimed 1,800 lives). It also holds the record for the rainiest 24-hour period in US – 43 inches of rain from July 24-25, 1979 due to Tropical Storm Claudette.
✒ Read a book in which oil production or the environment is an important plot point (tell us how your book fits) -or- read a book set in a place beginning in a letter in GALVESTON -or- read a book in which a hurricane blows through.
7. Sam Houston may have been born in Virginia and brought up in Tennessee, but he was very important to Texas’ war of independence from Mexico. After he settled in Texas in 1836, he helped organize Texan provisional government and was selected as a top ranking official in the Texian army. He led the Texian Army to victory at the battle of San Jacinto. He then served as the first and third president of Texas. He also played a key role in the annexation of Texas to the US, and served as US Senator as well as Governor of Texas. He was forced out of the latter office because he unsuccessfully tried to keep Texas from secession (he was a unionist), and died shortly after. Sam Houston is honored in numerous ways, the main one being his namesake, the city of Houston. Texas is also the birthplace of two US presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower. George H W Bush and George W Bush claim Texas as their primary state.
✒ Read a book in which a battle is fought -or- read a Civil War book related from the point of view of a unionist -or- read a book in which the main character is referred to with a nickname (tell us both the given name and the nickname).
8. Texas unfortunately was the site of the assassination of a United States President, John F. Kennedy. The 35th president was traveling down Dealey Plaza in Dallas riding in an open limousine in a presidential motorcade on November 22, 1963, when he was fatally shot by former US Marine Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was arrested and charged for the murder of the President and of Dallas policeman J. D. Tippit (shot a short time after the assassination). Oswald himself was fatally shot the next day, as he was being transferred from police custody to the Dallas County jail, in full view of television cameras, by a Dallas nightclub owner called Jack Ruby. The Kennedy assassination was investigated by the Warren commission for ten months, and it was concluded that Oswald acted alone in the assassination, and that Jack Ruby acted alone in killing Oswald. However, a later investigation, while agreeing with the Warren Commission that the President was killed by Oswald’s three shots, also concluded that he might have been victim to a conspiracy, and an analysis of a dictabelt audio supported the existence of a second gunman. This second gunman theory was later rejected, but this gave rise to widespread debate and has spawned numerous conspiracy theories and alternative scenarios. A 2013 survey conducted to mark the 50th anniversary of the event showed that 61% of Americans believed that the assassination was a conspiracy.
✒ Read a book depending on where you fit on these poll options (tell us which one you chose):
a. The JFK assassination was a conspiracy . Read a popular book, with more than 100,000 ratings on GR. (Mention how many ratings are there).
Lee Harvey acted on his own . Read a book with a single person on the cover. (Post the cover).
c. Not enough information to decide. Read a non-fiction book about any topic that you feel you need more information on. – Harry Potter: A History of Magic by J.K. Rowling & the British Library
9. So, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” were not the first words spoken on the moon. It’s Buzz Aldrin’s “Contact Light”, a technical communication to fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong. But Houston has remained in popular memory as the first word spoken on the moon, it’s more dramatic, and is a shout out to the mission control base in Houston. Houston is also remembered for the (also erroneous) “Houston, we have a problem”, supposedly used by Apollo 13 mission commander Jim Lovell to the Houston mission control (thanks movie!) The actual words were “Houston, we’ve had a problem here” and it was spoken by astronaut Jim Swigert, and not Lovell. (Spoiler alert: they didn’t go land on the moon because of said problem, but made it back safely, only after enduring nerve racking days in space having to undergo hardship including the loss of cabin heat.)
✒ Read a book made into a Tom Hanks movie (tell us which) -or- read a book in which some terrible accident occurs in space -or- read a book that you have read the spoilers for, accidentally or on purpose.
10. If you’re not happy with the horrible sunny forecast and would like to have snow on Christmas, and you live in Texas, you can “modify” the weather, by placing a notification in the local newspaper. An anti-crime law requires criminals to give their victims a 24 hour notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed. It is illegal to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel. You’re fine if you’re on the first or third story though. In Clarendon, they have something against feather dusters, as it’s illegal to dust any public building with one. In Dallas, it is illegal to possess realistic dildos. In Mesquite, it is illegal for children to have unusual haircuts.
✒ Read a book with a cover that shows your favorite forecast (post the cover) -or- read a book in which a serial killer leaves a calling card of sorts -or- read a book in which the main character’s unusual hair is mentioned several times.