Texas's largest independent bookstore is a home-grown alternative to the monster chain stores. It began in 1970 as Grok Books, and now stocks bestsellers along with books on topics such as women's studies, personal growth, and alternative home building; there's also a good children's section. Browse magazines; shop for quirky, hard-to-find gifts; and catch readings by local authors as well as literati like Richard Ford, Amy Tan, Jonathan Franzen, Stephen King, and David
Sedaris. Former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton and celebrities such as Lauren Bacall, David Byrne, and Jane Fonda have also made stops here while on book tours.