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Customer Comments

Gold Gato has commented on (439) products.

King Cat
King Cat

Gold Gato, July 28, 2015

I couldn't resist picking up this book which tells the tale of a rather spoiled orange tabby who believes he is a king because he is treated as a king. His owners are an elderly couple who fuss over the little mouser and in true cat-style, he leaves them (temporarily) to have a little cat adventure. After all, cat owners are just staff!

"Dragonfly and bumblebee, I am your ruling majesty.
Over birds and mice I reign. This is my kingdom, my domain!"

This is a children's picture book meant to be part of nighttime storytime. The illustrations are simple but easily tell the story, and I'm sure little ones up to age 4 or 5 will love it.

Book Season = Year Round (it's good to be the King)
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The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
The 13 Clocks

Gold Gato, July 26, 2015

"It's always Then. It's never Now."

Time, for children, just never moves fast enough. Time, for adults, moves too quickly. The 13 Clocks of this tale sit frozen, "slain" by the villainous Duke. The wicked Duke sets up impossible tasks for the young men who come to ask for the hand of Princess Saralinda, with the result of such men being fed to the Duke's geese. Will the handsome minstrel be next? Is he really a minstrel? And who is the invisible Listen?

This is a tale to be read to the youngsters, although adults may also enjoy it. I liked the tale, although I felt a Madison Avenue-type outlook from the beginning, a little too New Yorkish and cynical for my tastes. But the New York Review Children's Collection has made this a tough book to walk past, with the holiday red binding and front cover artwork. For those interested, Neil Gaiman takes care of the introduction.

Book Season = Autumn (things that squish in the dark)
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The Life of Dylan Thomas by Constantine Fitzgibbon

Gold Gato, July 22, 2015

Did the mermaids grab Dylan Thomas as a boy and shake him until the words started flowing out of him? I wonder. This was my first bio on Dylan Thomas and chance certainly favored me. Constantine Fitzgibbon has written a fascinating chronological review of the Swansea wordmeister but has done so with the clarity of a true friend. We get the soft side of the poet along with the showy drunk who turned it on for friends and strangers alike. The constant scrounging for money, the inability to stay focused for long, and the ever-yearning need to be somewhere, anywhere, from where he was already.

Fitzgibbon's style matches wonderfully with Thomas's life. There are snippets of Dylan's poems, but this is truly a life review. Letters are printed in full and Fitzgibbon's honesty about the demise of Dylan Thomas is not filled with envy, just simple truth.

This 1965 edition is also different. Real paper! Not the thin recycled bit or the heavy gloss of Chinese mass printers, but paper that won't bend or tear despite my usual clumsy efforts. I would rub the pages each day. Whatever tree produced such heartiness was a good tree indeed.

Book Season = Autumn (chips by the sea)
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In the Face of Presumptions: Essays, Speeches, & Incidental Writings by Barry Moser
In the Face of Presumptions: Essays, Speeches, & Incidental Writings

Gold Gato, July 19, 2015

Barry Moser is, in my little ole opinion, the greatest engraver of book artwork living today. His pictures alone tell the story and his original Pennyroyal Press runs are simply priceless. Here, he writes rather than illustrates, and while the result is not as fabulous, it's quite worthy. These are collected essays describing his thoughts, politics, and family background. The theme is highlighted throughout the book, and it is

Persistence.
Indefatigable energy.
The habit of work.

Moser's love of the printed page comes through very strongly. He loves making books, he loves reading books, he loves illustrating books. Books, books, books. There is talk here of incunabla, those books printed before 1501. There is the grunt work he endures to create those florid prints of mystery and magic. There is the consequence of spending your life engraving wooden blocks (loss of hearing & carpal tunnel).

Again, this is NOT a book of his artwork, rather his written thoughts. When he veered into politics (just slightly) and a love affair, it felt a bit uncomfortable, but his overall process on how to be an artist was intriguing. It certainly made my secondhand bookshops trips more filtered as his books now add on to the evergrowing list.

Book Season = Year Round (move the sun)



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Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life by Sophia Loren
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: My Life

Gold Gato, July 19, 2015

"Food Makes people happy, it takes you back home, it says so many things that words can't say."

Food and the joy of eating act as the central motif of this bio, with Loren using the sounds ("pippiare") and scents of good cooking to explain her memories to the rest of us. Her darkest days were in WWII Italy, where food and trust were scarce, but the simple things in life made her happy. From there, it's a journey toward the stars, as in the silver screen. Nothing strenuous, no holding-a-grudge nastiness, just a basic review of life. I believe this is her second autobiography, so her children get a big focus toward the end of the book.

I liked the book. No heavy lifting to be sure but still a decent overview. If you are looking for controversy, there is none to be found. She doesn't go too deeply into her affair with Cary Grant and when she is a passenger in a car that kills a person riding a Vespa, there is less than one paragraph about the incident. But there is food and cooking and, well, this book will make you hungry.

Book Season = Summer (urnata 'e sole)
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