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Customer Comments

Gold Gato has commented on (431) products.

The Greatest Man in Cedar Hole by Stephanie Doyon
The Greatest Man in Cedar Hole

Gold Gato, June 21, 2015

Cedar Hole. Existing somewhere in smalltown USA, neither North nor South, neither East nor West, it is there to symbolize the strangling universes in which each of us exist. We quickly get introduced to the town and its denizens from the very first page. We learn that Cedar Hole has the largest number of severed toes per capita, chiefly because the residents have to mow their lawns three times a week due to fast-growing grass. The adults each get their own characterizations, such as the town slag who is also the town teacher. The dedicated town librarian who yearns for a bigger library. The local cop who doesn't really like being a lawman. It's like Facebook.

I loved this book and I even loved the characters, loathsome though some of them be. The end wraps up too many plot lines, though I simply wanted it all to continue (me selfish). The idea that we are where we are and can only see our sphere is a universal tugalong. It's like mowing, I suppose, where the grass is clipped with no stalk higher than the other.

Book Season = Summer (snapshots of life)
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Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There by David Brooks
Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There

Gold Gato, June 14, 2015

"Dionysius, the god of abandon, has been reconciled with Prometheus, the god of work."

That sentence aptly describes the Bobo. What, you may ask, is a Bobo? A Bourgeois Bohemian. In essence, they are the New Establishment, having replaced the pure Yuppies who replaced the pure Hippies who replaced the Beats who replaced the Old Establishment. Bobo.

If Christopher Columbus had been a Bobo, he would have returned to Spain and exclaimed, "We didn't find China, but we did find ourselves". Perhaps you work with one. They have a tendency to wear rugged and very expensive mountaineering gear as their work outfit with highly reflective sunglasses (just in case an avalanche might hit the office).

I didn't warm up immediately to this book, but the author's sly sarcasm finally took hold. David Brooks proudly refers to himself as a Bobo, noting all the good things that have come from Bobo-ism (less smoking, respect for the earth, focus on life). We all have a little Bobo in us, I guess. In my life, I am surrounded by them, like leaves on a tree. The book helped me to understand them better. Like a travel guide.

Book Season = Year Round (pass the organic beef jerky)
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Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions from a Master Craftsman by Kojiro Ikegami
Japanese Bookbinding: Instructions from a Master Craftsman

Gold Gato, June 2, 2015

Kojiro Ikegami was a master bookbinder of Japanese hardbound books, a craft he learned from his father. He was a young man during the 1920s, when Japanese texts were copied by hand and the manually made books were works of art.

Ikegami brought his own love of this ancient art to this book, which has well-explained instructions and an abundance of pictures to begin the teaching process. I even tried some of this myself, even though I lacked the tools needed. Nevertheless, the results weren't too bad, although I simply couldn't get the hang of the corner pieces. There are many styles included, including Accordion, Ledger, Four-Hole, Flutter, and Casing. This is a great book for anyone who wants to be creative with paper and learn an art form at the same time.

Book Season = Year Round (paper rules)
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Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison
Juneteenth

Gold Gato, May 31, 2015

Ellison could write. Words and paragraphs that seem to justify their grandness regardless of subject. Caverns of ideas and slang and history.

But there never seems to be a defined ending, so I never really figured out where everything was going. I get the idea that the whole concept is supposed to be about America and betrayal, but it just became a bit jumbled. An epic tale needled down to a more serviceable edition is the easiest way to describe this book.

Book Season = Summer (carnivals of memory)
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The Theatrical World of Angus McBean: Photographs from the Harvard University Theatre Collection. by Fredric Wood Wilson
The Theatrical World of Angus McBean: Photographs from the Harvard University Theatre Collection.

Gold Gato, May 30, 2015

Angus McBean was one of the most important portrait photographers of the last century, establishing his reputation with the English stage stars. In this marvelous collection, McBean's professional work is broken up between stage productions, opera/dance, portraits, and montage shots. They are all very crisp and the detail is excellent. This is long before the days of digital photography and Photoshop, so when he needed to have Vivien Leigh portrayed as Aurora, it meant he actually had to build a real cast of plaster for her dress with pinned cloud wisps placed in front of her. This type of work took days, whereas now we could do it in minutes.

This is another great production from publisher David R. Godine. Paper is high quality, the book is a coffee table item without being overwhelming, and the prints were well-chosen, not easy when McBean shot so many pictures. It's set in Monotype Bulmer which looks good against the white background. Very good.

Book Season = Autumn (some weird stuff)
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