Here Are The Best 27 Books About Austin And Texas For Newcomers

Dan Brooks is moving to Austin from Philadelphia next week. But before he got here, he wanted some reading material.

“I like to know as much as possible about where I am, what community I’m a part of, where I’m living,” he said. “It’s important for me to have an idea of the space that I’m occupying, and books are generally one good way to learn about a place.”

Dan asked our ATXplained project for some recommendations for books about Austin or Texas to help orient him to his new city. So, we asked our audience for ideas.

You delivered. We got almost 200 recommendations in three days.

We pared them down to the most recommended ones – and we landed on a list of 27 (just to keep it manageable) and put them in alphabetical order by title.

So, Dan: Happy reading!

“Armadillo World Headquarters: A Memoir” by Eddie Wilson and Jesse Sublett

A recollection of the history of the legendary music venue and its role in Austin’s music scene. (Nonfiction)

“The book is an amazing assemblage of reporting about all the things that happened at the Armadillo, how they kicked it open, but more than that. The acts that came there, the musicians that played there, the whole culture during that period.” – Forrest Preece

“This book covers a period of time in Austin history that basically created the world’s live music capital.” – Ranleigh Hirsh


“An Austin Alphabet: W Is For Weird” by Lori Otto Samocha and Lauri Johnston

A children’s book highlighting the sights and culture of Austin, through each letter of the alphabet.

“It’s full of fun facts about our beloved city with a little bit of history mixed in, and will surely be a welcome easy read for Dan amongst all of the great recommendations coming in. Plus, a few years down the road when Dan and his girlfriend have kids of their own, they’ll be prepared to teach them the alphabet, Austin style!”- Lauri Johnston

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