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Gold Gato has commented on (416) products.

Moon River and Me: A Memoir by Andy Williams
Moon River and Me: A Memoir

Gold Gato, April 24, 2015

What happens in Oslo, stays in Oslo.

That is why I purchased this memoir by Andy Williams. While I had heard his music and knew him as a famous singer, it was an appearance he made on the radio show, "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" that had me looking at him in a different way. The boyish tenor had a sense of humor? Okay, let me read about that.

Williams does not spend the book dissing his peers or going on too much about himself. The reader discovers that Andy never had great confidence and he mostly dreaded going onstage to perform. As he grew older and more famous, he eventually learned to love his profession and his one chapter on the dark side of his life, when he had to sing in tiny clubs to people who didn't care, showed he made his own luck. Williams had a father who drove Andy and his brothers to perform as a group (they were the Williams Brothers before Andy broke out) and the book compares the stressful situations to the fathers of the Osmond Brothers and the Jackson 5. Interesting.

Book Season = Summer (convene to make the scene)
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The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming by Shreve Stockton
The Daily Coyote: A Story of Love, Survival, and Trust in the Wilds of Wyoming

Gold Gato, April 19, 2015

I loved this book. Loved, loved, loved it. There.

Telling the story of a surviving coyote pup who is adopted by a woman looking for her own life's adventure, this is a beautifully laid-out hardback with arresting photographs (by the author) and text that involves the reader right from the get-go. How many books are there about adopting a coyote? Actually, it's more than an adoption. Charlie the Coyote becomes a valued member of the family, joining Eli the Dominant Cat, who puts Charlie in his place immediately. The woman, the cat, and the coyote form a bond of trust and loyalty, although there are trials and tribulations along the way.

This is not some cutesy tale about a family taking in a stray raccoon or a wounded dog. It is a hard look at the policies currently undertaken by the United States federal government to rid the land of coyotes (in order to protect the sheep and cattle...who are the intruders). It is a hard look at how a man, who becomes involved with the author, has to come to deal with the early accidental death of his little daughter. It is a hard look at the way Charlie starts to misconstrue the relationship with Shreve Stockton. It is a hard look at the boundaries the author decides to tackle in order to save her relationship with this extraordinary coyote.

"And when we only believe what has been said before, what has been done before, we give our own power away."

Book Season = Spring (share the land)
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Sinatra by Tony Sciacca

Gold Gato, April 16, 2015

I sure do have a bunch of books about Frank Sinatra. This tome was published in 1976, when The Man was still very much alive. It aims to be one of those tell-all biographies that ends up being a bit sensationalistic (is that even a real word). Perfect book for summer pool parties or languid days at the beach.

"Here's Sinatra, for real, baby! Can you dig it?"

Did people talk like that in the 1970s? It seems more in tune with the Swinging Sixties. Anyway, the author is described as a top investigative reporter who has "dug deep" into Frank's life to get at the truth. Of course, with Frankie, one will never really know the full truth, but that's why this mass market puppy is soooo perfect for summer. Read about the Frankster, sip a Mint Julep, put your toes in the water, sigh, then read some more about Mr. S.

For any Sinatra fans, this can be in the collection on the 'for realsies?' side.

Book Season = Summer (don't splash me, baby)
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On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz
On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes

Gold Gato, April 12, 2015

'In a sense, expectation is the lost cousin of attention: both serve to reduce what we need to process of the world "out there".'

Out there. How many of us actually get "out there" nowadays, let alone take the time to perceive our surroundings? This book makes us think along new wavelengths of perception and challenges us to stop and eat the roses. Alexandra Horowitz does something very simple in that she starts with a core goal of walking around her local block to see if she can discover new sights, sounds, and smells. In essence, she becomes a micro explorer. After her initial foray, the author then partners with noted specialists to find out if they 'view' the same walk with a different perspective. They most certainly do. For instance, her jaunt with an urban traffic planner causes her to realize that the very safety measures put into place for city pedestrians (crosswalks, raised curbs, traffic lights) actually make it more dangerous for us because we assume they are there to guarantee our safety, causing us to spend less time taking responsibility for our own safety. Interesting.

To put the book to the test, I did my own lunchtime walk around a local lake. Immediately, I realized that my normal walk was against the grain in that nearly every other person was walking around the lake clockwise, while I always went counter-clockwise. I noticed benches I never saw before and even apartments that no longer looked like every other building. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in taking a break from their sphere of comfort to try a different outlook. Also, I have to say the book helped me change one of my work procedures, as I used its findings to improve the pipeline flow in a backend process. Sweet.

Book Season = Spring (fresh air, clear skies)
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Beeing: Life, Motherhood, and 180,000 Honey Bees by Rosanne Dary Thomas
Beeing: Life, Motherhood, and 180,000 Honey Bees

Gold Gato, April 3, 2015

After a divorce, author Rosanne Daryl Thomas makes both a physical move and a spiritual move. The former to a new state, the latter to a state of raw honey. How cool is that? Using the concept of motherhood to its wider extent, this book tells the simple story of a new life in a new town while learning, from scratch, how to handle being a beekeeper. It's not just being a parent to a young child but also being a 'mother' to thousands of bees, always referred to as "my girls".

The writing was wonderful. The mistakes made were wonderful. The 'a-ha' moments were wonderful. I enjoyed it enough so that I would stop reading before my daily train commute was done, so I could have another week to slowly tread my way through the adventure. There are also stories about her neighbours, which gave it a New England-ish tinge to the autumnal pages.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in bees. My only negative is that as she was describing what she was building or improving, I would have loved to have seen a picture so I could figure out what she was doing. But, that's a mere quibble.

Book Season = Spring (bumblebees doing the backstroke)
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