August 4, 2009
The number of new books the Chronicle receives each month is stupefying.
On average, 40 new titles enter the building every single weekday. That's 200 packages to tear open each week and 200 decisions to make: Keep it? Review it? Donate it? Or — and this is what usually happens — put it in a pile to think about later.
The pile to the left of my computer is a collection of Texas titles. These are books by Texans, about Texas, published in Texas or some combination of all three.
Though wildly different in subject and scope, they all look compelling. I should know. These are the titles that have been taunting me for months:
• And Grace Will Lead Me Home — African American Freedmen Communities of Austin, Texas, 1865-1928 by Michelle M. Mears. Texas Tech University Press. A chronicle of the births and deaths of at least 15 freedmen communities formed in Austin and nearby.