13 Books Set in Texas to Read While You’re Stationed There

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To know me is to know that I LOVE to read! And that I make a bucket list for every state that we’re stationed in. So, it’s only natural that I would read books about all the cool places that we get to live.

(We had so much fun checking items off of our Texas Bucket List during our time at Fort Cavazos!)

I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction, but I love a good novel! I learn a lot from fictional stories, especially Historical Fiction, which is probably my favorite genre. (I know….what a nerd!)

We were stationed at Fort Cavazos for 3 years. Here are 13 books set in Texas that I added to my TBR pile while we were there:

The Lifeguards

The Lifeguards: A NovelThe Lifeguards: A NovelThe Lifeguards: A Novel


Austin’s Zilker Park neighborhood is a wonderland of greenbelt trails, live music, and moms who drink a few too many margaritas… Combining three mothers’ points of view… The Lifeguards is both a story about the secrets we tell to protect the ones we love and a riveting novel of suspense filled with half-truths and betrayals, fierce love and complicated friendships, and the loss of innocence on one hot summer night.


I really enjoyed this story, especially since we visited Zilker Park not long after we moved to Texas! I love reading stories and being able to accurately visualize the setting.


Dumplin' (Dumplin', 1)Dumplin’ (Dumplin’, 1)Dumplin' (Dumplin', 1)


The #1 New York Times bestseller and feel-good YA of the year—about Willowdean Dixon, the fearless, funny, and totally unforgettable heroine who takes on her small town’s beauty pageant.


This is also a movie on Netflix starring Jennifer Anniston. And it also has an amazing soundtrack full of Dolly Parton songs!

Simon the Fiddler

Simon the Fiddler: A NovelSimon the Fiddler: A NovelSimon the Fiddler: A Novel


…atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart.


It’s no surprise that this one made the list. I told y’all that I love historical fiction. Surprisingly, I haven’t read many Civil War stories, so this was a nice break from my typical WWII reads.

The Bodyguard

The BodyguardThe BodyguardThe Bodyguard


Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindergarten teacher than somebody who could kill you… But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.

Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over… But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.

When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover.

Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.


I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. In fact, I gave it a 2-star review on Goodreads where I keep track of all the books I have read. However, I’m not a big fan of Romance, so that review probably isn’t fair.

Lonesome Dove

Lonesome Dove: A NovelLonesome Dove: A NovelLonesome Dove: A Novel


The Pulitzer Prize­–winning American classic of the American West that follows two aging Texas Rangers embarking on one last adventure. An epic of the frontier, Lonesome Dove is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America.


I haven’t read this one yet, but its an incredibly popular western TV mini series that came out in 1989 (the year I was born!).

In fact, this book is the first in a series of 4 novels. If I like this one, I know I’ll probably end up reading the whole series. (I might even be able to talk my husband into reading them too!)


Valentine: A Read with Jenna PickValentine: A Read with Jenna PickValentine: A Read with Jenna Pick


It’s February 1976, and Odessa, Texas, stands on the cusp of the next great oil boom. In the early hours of the morning after Valentine’s Day, fourteen-year-old Gloria Ramírez appears on the front porch of Mary Rose Whitehead’s ranch house, broken and barely alive. The teenager had been viciously attacked in a nearby oil field—an act of brutality that is tried in the churches and barrooms of Odessa before it can reach a court of law. When justice is evasive, the stage is set for a showdown with potentially devastating consequences.


I haven’t read this one yet, but it received a Goodreads Choice Award and was a nominee for best debut novel in 2020.

A Place Called Waco: A Survivor’s Story



In this compelling account — now with an updated epilogue that revisits remaining survivors—Thibodeau explores why so many people came to believe that Koresh was divinely inspired. We meet the men, women, and children of Mt. Carmel. We get inside the day-to-day life of the community. We also understand Thibodeau’s brutally honest assessment of the United States government’s actions. The result is a memoir that reads like a thriller, with each page taking us closer to the eventual inferno.


I doubt I’ll be able to look away from this one after I finally pick it up. There’s just something about cults that fascinate me.

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights (25th Anniversary Edition): A Town, a Team, and a DreamFriday Night Lights (25th Anniversary Edition): A Town, a Team, and a DreamFriday Night Lights (25th Anniversary Edition): A Town, a Team, and a Dream


There are more than a few small towns that live and breathe high school football, and this is a first-hand account of what that culture is like. In a racially-divided town in Texas, the story of the Permian Panthers of Odessa was so inspirational that it gave us the iconic television show. Football fan or not, this is a story you don’t want to miss


This book was the basis for a TV show that started in 2006. (You can find it on Hulu!) I haven’t read the book or watched the show yet, but it’s definitely on my TBR.


Holes (Holes Series)Holes (Holes Series)Holes (Holes Series)


Quirky, fun, and mysterious all at once, Holes is a modern classic worthy of a spot on every young reader’s bookshelf. Louis Sachar deftly weaves together stories from the past and present, creating a brilliant and thought-provoking tale about Stanley Yelnats, Camp Green Lake, and the power of strength and perseverance in the face of adversity. A must-read at any age.


I loved this book as a kid and I was so excited when Disney made it into a movie starring Shia LaBeouf and Sigourney Weaver!


11/22/63: A Novel11/22/63: A Novel11/22/63: A Novel


The thrills of Stephen King go time traveling as Jake Epping is recruited to prevent the JFK assassination. An ambitious work from a master storyteller, 11/22/63 details the growth of Jake from present to past, through love and regret, and ultimately tells the story of the will to do good and to create a better world for everyone.


I am not a horror fan in any shape or form, but I am intrigued by this book. I haven’t read it yet, but this is one of the books set in Texas that is on my TBR list!

No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old MenNo Country for Old MenNo Country for Old Men


The time is our own, when rustlers have given way to drug-runners and small towns have become free-fire zones. One day, a good old boy named Llewellyn Moss finds a pickup truck surrounded by a bodyguard of dead men. A load of heroin and two million dollars in cash are still in the back. When Moss takes the money, he sets off a chain reaction of catastrophic violence that not even the law—in the person of aging, disillusioned Sheriff Bell—can contain.

As Moss tries to evade his pursuers—in particular a mysterious mastermind who flips coins for human lives—McCarthy simultaneously strips down the American crime novel and broadens its concerns to encompass themes as ancient as the Bible and as bloodily contemporary as this morning’s headlines.


This is another super widely-known movie based on a book. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my very long TBR list!

News of the World

News of the World: A NovelNews of the World: A NovelNews of the World: A Novel


In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.


This book has also been made into a movie starring Tom Hanks. (You can find it on Peacock and HBO.)

Same Kind of Different As Me

[By Ron Hall ] Same Kind of Different As Me (Paperback)【2018】by Ron Hall (Author) (Paperback)[By Ron Hall ] Same Kind of Different As Me (Paperback)【2018】by Ron Hall (Author) (Paperback)[By Ron Hall ] Same Kind of Different As Me (Paperback)【2018】by Ron Hall (Author) (Paperback)


Meet Denver, raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana until he escaped the “Man” in the 1960’s by hopping a train. Untrusting, uneducated, and violent, he spends 18 years on the streets of Dallas and Fort Worth.

Meet Ron Hall, a self-made millionaire in the world of high-priced deals—an international arts dealer who moves between upscale New York galleries and celebrities.

It seems unlikely that these two men would meet under normal circumstances, but when Deborah Hall, Ron’s wife, meets Denver, she sees him through God’s eyes of compassion. When Deborah is diagnosed with cancer, she charges Ron with the mission of helping Denver.

From this request, an extraordinary friendship forms between Denver and Ron, changing them both forever. A tale told in two unique voices, Same Kind of Different as Me weaves two completely different life experiences into one common journey. There is pain and laughter, doubt and tears, and in the end a triumphal story that readers will never forget.


This biographical story, based on a true story, was made into a movie starring Renee Zellweger.

Whether you’re a native Texan, just visiting, or a temporary transplant (like me!) you should add these books set in Texas to your to-be-read pile.

They won’t disappoint!

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