Wednesday, April 03, 2002

I've been forgetting to note finished reading--to think that for years I kept a very complete diary of the Read and the Waiting to be Read. I don't have access to the UT libraries these days. There's not as much money to spend; or, rather, books have become so much more expensive, proportionately, and since Congress Avenue Books has been closed there's less temptation. The Austin public library's on-line system for reservations and interlibrary lending is great, though, and does encourage the keeping of a list of prospective reading. There was nothing particularly enlightening about Mexican-American Folklore, from way back in 1988, but the author's personal enthusiasm was engaging. The lyric for Allá en el rancho grande is included, but he makes a great mystery of the origins of the song. We have the Gene Autry version, but we watched the Rancho Grande movie in which it was introduced (same title) back when H-E-B had videos for rental from the epoca de oro. The Book Shop is a novella engaging and extremely well written and observed but unpleasant in its plot, which involves small-town "neighborly" cruelty and unkindness. This may be skinny and I love Penelope Fitzgerald, but this is not one to be read again and is destined for the deaccession stack. Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard is slight, and puffed beyond what it should be for all that. This also goes to the don't keep stack. I had forgotten that I had read an edition of the Book of Margery Kempe for an introductory course in English history. This I won't be keeping either, but it was entertaining to read again. I wish she'd written more about her travel arrangements and household contrivances (don't forget, she had 14 living children) and less about her mystical experiences!


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