Book Review: The Nueces River, by Margie Crisp

What a jewel of a book! In short, a comprehensive overview of this river system tucked into Central Texas just to the north and the east of the Rio Grande system. The name in Spanish, Rio Escondido (Hidden River) is appropriate since the water runs both above ground and below ground in numerous places. The name Nueces in English, also a Spanish word, means the River of Nuts (Pecans and Walnuts), is interesting and descriptive as well. This is a large book, both in terms of the unusual page sizes and the extent of extremely rich descriptions: 240 pages plus full notes, an extensive index, and additional reading recommendations as well as wonderful maps, paintings and photographs.  Ms. Crisp's writing covers the history of the river as well as flowers, animals, trees, fish, grass, shrubs, and a rich vocabulary of adverbs and adjectives. As just one example, pages 89-90 include a myriad series of descriptions of the sky and clouds, limestone, and water.

The maps by Willian B. Montgomery are both excellent and needed as reference since the text requires them in order to have any chance of following the place descriptions over a wide area. The text is rich (really rich) and there are spectacular descriptions of green herons and old family ranches of multiple thousand acres in the upper reaches of the river system. The section on Choke Canyon Dam and Reservoir (pp. 161-162) was wonderfully full of details.

All in all, this is a treasure of a work and a keeper for anyone who finds interesting the natural beauty and mystery of a river, its beginnings and main section and finally its termination in a complex delta.

Comments are welcome and will be published, pro and con. Make your observations below or send them to me via email at n3bb@mindspring.com. Email commenters will not be identified unless requested.

Enjoy life; it's the only one we will get.

J.K. (Jim) George

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Please recommend them to your friends. Also, recall that I’ll travel to any book club or radio club within two hours of Austin to discuss either of the books and answer any questions. Any and all comments are welcome either by email to my return address, n3bb@mindspring.com, or to the website in the comments section after any blog.

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3 Responses

  1. JK James George
    From Anon-1: (Note, obviously a biased person! Smiley Face) Only a book review by JKG could entice me to purchase a book about a river in Texas. You have amazing talents. Love you cousin,
  2. JK James George
    From Anon-2: Nice review! I look forward to reading it!
  3. JK James George
    From Anon-3:This sounds so interesting and intriguing it makes me wonder why they didn’t have a few pictures as well as maps? Perhaps the author will follow up with a coffee table book it she makes enough money from the book. I fear I’m one of those visual people who loves pictures. I don’t believe a picture can replace a a thousand words but sometimes it can enhance them. I digress, or it’s just too late or too early! Actually, I’m so impressed with your “take” that I just might buy this one!

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