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Books | Joe Nick Patoski

An Epic Life Willie Nelson


Celebrate Willie Nelson's 75th birthday with Joe Nick Patoski
In stores April 21st, 2008

The realization Texans are different from everybody else hit me about an hour after I'd first set foot on Texas soil. I was only two years old but I distinctly remember my father picking up my mother, my sister and me at the Greater Fort Worth International Airport and driving us to our new home in Fort Worth, stopping along the way at the Big Apple Barbecue on Highway 183. The waitresses talked funny and the smoked beef brisket covered in barbecue sauce we were served tasted like nothing I'd experienced, vaguely familiar and strange and exotic all once. Even as the hot spices set fire to my lips and the inside of my mouth, I immediately wanted more.

Read my MVP Q&A with Mickey Raphael, which ran in the next to last issue of No Depression. Order Willie Nelson: An Epic Life from Amazon here.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park is one of the few places left in America where a person can literally get away from it all. This book is the first and only comprehensive photographic and word portrait of Big Bend National Park. Joe Nick Patoski complements Laurence Parent's photography with a masterfully crafted word portrait of Big Bend National Park. Patoski describes the powerful geologic and volcanic forces that created the awe-inspiring landscape of the Big Bend. He reviews the park's natural history and also its human history. Patoski also summarizes recent conservation efforts that have led to the protection of 2.1 million acres. Although no single book could ever hope to contain the vastness of Big Bend National Park between two covers, this one beautifully captures its essence.

Buy Now University of Texas Press
Hardcover: 112 pp., 82 color photos, 1 map
ISBN-10: 0-292-71441-6; ISBN-13: 978-0-292-71441-0


Texas Coast

This beautiful book combines Laurence Parent's magnificent photographs with Joe Nick Patoski's entertaining text to create a one-of-a-kind portrait of the Texas coast. Joe Nick takes you on a verbal tour of the Texas coast. He describes the irresistible allure of this undramatic yet somehow unforgettable chain of barrier islands and bays. He also acknowledges the human activity that has always been a part of the coastal story-the arrival of immigrants to settle Texas; Civil War battles; towns that flourished and then suddenly folded after devastating hurricanes; the building of a huge petrochemical industry; and the successful effort to create wildlife refuges.

Buy Now University of Texas Press
Hardcover: 108 pages, 68 color phots ISBN: 029270299X
Read an excerpt | View photos


By John Dyer. Introduction by Joe Nick Patoski, who describes the origins of the music and its place in contemporary life, and Juan Tejeda, who pays tribute to the importance of conjunto and of musicians such as Valerio Longoria and Tony de la Rosa. Together, the photographs and essays clearly proclaim that conjunto is a true American roots music.

published by University of Texas Press
Hardcover: 128 pages ISBN: 0292709315
Read a review of Conjunto in Rumbo; Joe Nick on Conjunto

Texas Mountains

In this book, Laurence Parent and Joe Nick Patoski join forces to offer breathtaking views of the Texas mountains. With magnificent images and words, they take us on a journey not only through the familiar Guadalupe, Davis, and Chisos mountains, but also through lesser-known ranges with evocative names such as Sierra Diablo, Eagle, Chinati, Beach, and Christmas.

Buy Now University of Texas Press
Hardcover: 156 pages, 120 color photos ISBN: 0292765924

The Tex-Mex Cookbook

Joe Nick Patoski wrote the chapter on The Story of Tex-Mex music for Robb Walsh's Tex-Mex Cookbook. Go on a grand tour complete with larger-than-life characters, colorful yarns, rare archival photographs -- and a savory assortment of crispy, crunchy Tex-Mex foods.

published by Broadway Books
Paperback: 268 pages ISBN: 0767914880


  The Tex and the Mex

My Soul Looks Back in Wonder

This new book collects the stories of ordinary Americans who were involved in the civil rights movements. Joe Nick Patoski contributes oral histories of B.B. King, Jim Dickinson, Ruben Bonilla, Jr., Diane Wilson, Raylawni Branch, Ron Kirk, Sputnik Monroe, Eddie Wilson, Reverend Kenneth Lyons, and Quentin Mease. Hardcover: 240 pages, Published May 2004, ISBN: 1402714157

The Voices of Civil Rights Bus Tour
Joe Nick is joined up from September 17th - October 8th, 2004 for the 70-day journey to collect personal civil rights stories. [Civil Rights blogs]

Selena: Como La Flor

Joe Nick Patoski's biography of Selena is widely regarded as the most insightful portrayal of the beloved pop star. "If you're going to buy one Selena biography, this one is it," Cristina Saralegui, the Cristina Show, Univision; excerpted for VH1's "Behind The Music".

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Caught in the Crossfire

Stevie Ray Vaughan: Caught in the Crossfire

Joe Nick Patoski and Bill Crawford put together the first biography of the meteoric guitarist. Stevie Ray Vaughan fused blazing technique with deep soul in a manner unrivaled since the days of Jimi Hendrix, and the genuineness and passion of his music moved millions.

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