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Gold Gato has commented on (407) products.

Chronicle of the Roman Republic: The Rulers of Ancient Rome from Romulus to Augustus by Philip Matyszak
Chronicle of the Roman Republic: The Rulers of Ancient Rome from Romulus to Augustus

Gold Gato, March 24, 2015

It is difficult to imagine that Rome was once a backwater of the ancient world. Centuries later, the Romans ruled the world, but before the famous emperors there were the legendary republicans and they are the stars of this book. Starting with the cloudy beginning (Romulus or a bunch of guys who sat on a hill or Aeneas fleeing Troy) until the rise of Octavius, every leader of the Roman Republic is provided with a fleshed-out bio along with a ton of maps and paintings and photos of sculptures. Bravo.

The later emperors may have provided the gossip, but the early republicans set the standard for Roman discipline. The amount of information provided here is exceptional, as the book has to cover centuries of rulers. I love it.

Book Season = Autumn (before the winter of empire)
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Every Garden Is a Story: Stories, Crafts, and Comforts by Susannah Seton
Every Garden Is a Story: Stories, Crafts, and Comforts

Gold Gato, March 15, 2015

This is the perfect book to give as a gift to someone who wants to garden or to any gardener who will smile at the stories of success and learning among the blooms. Susannah Seton reflects on the different dirt-filled days in northeast England and California. There are craft projects, recipes, quotes, pretty pictures, and tips and tricks. I particularly liked her suggestion to take a weeding holiday. Instead of taking a week off to travel hectically, she makes a valid reason for just staying home and getting to know one's garden.

"If only the world of business could be as tidy."

Book Season = Spring (find the roots)
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Neverending Story

Gold Gato, March 4, 2015

This is one of those books where my outlook differs from others. Actually, it REALLY differs from others. For many children and teenagers growing up in the 1980s, this was THE book, much as the next generation had the Harry Potter books.

Alas, I just never became involved with the story and became rather bored by it all, which surprised me as I was one of the first purchasers (yup, I bought the hype). I have always liked the colour text, with the green and the red, and it is a very nicely formatted edition (not sure if later editions have that first edition look). I have wanted to like this book. Really. But, no. It somehow passed me by. Inevitably, I will meet another book person who will tell me how important this book was to them, and I always try to steer the conversation to other areas.

But that's just me.

Book Season = Winter (do what you wish)
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The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Handgun by Lisa Jardine
The Awful End of Prince William the Silent: The First Assassination of a Head of State with a Handgun

Gold Gato, February 28, 2015

Prince William of the House of Orange was a man with a price on his head, thanks to Philip II's public proclamation and reward bounty. It was inevitable that he would not live to be an old man, but the way he was killed is the main focus of this very short book on the protagonist who miffed off both the Catholics of Spain and the squabbling Protestants of the Netherlands.

As the title makes clear, this is not a full bio of William of Orange but I still wanted a bit more. Elizabeth I plays a prominent role here although the most fascinating part was the murder of the French Duke of Guise whose murder by handgun led to the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572. Really the overall message is that religion has played a deadly part in world affairs, up to and including the Twin Towers. Oh, and she also slips in a reference to Tupac Shakur, which makes for a rather different read.

Book Season = Autumn (there's something in the air)
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Of Ice and Men

Gold Gato, February 27, 2015

The book opens with the story of the doomed Franklin Expedition, a tale which never fails to amaze me. It continues with other explorers who risked their lives to become the first to conquer the North Pole or to find the Northwest Passage. Umberto Nobile and the famous "red tent". Andrée's balloon. The stories of the great risk-takers are all here and it's all fascinating. Ironically enough, as climate change hits, the Arctic Ocean is more of a true ocean now, with less of the deadly ice. Those daring men in their daring air machines and sea ships would have had a much easier time of it. But then, we wouldn't have these memorable stories of courage and bizarre risk-taking.

Book Season = Winter (don't eat the polar bear)
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