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Gold Gato has commented on (382) products.

The Rathbones by Janice Clark
The Rathbones

Gold Gato, December 18, 2014

After completing this book, I felt I had just stepped off that Mr. Toad ride at Disneyland. Funky and freaky. Gothic and nautical. Squirmy and psychedelic.

Using the travels of Odysseus as her broomstick, author Janice Clark has created a gothic seaboard world of dubious ancestral ties and longings not fully understood by the story's young heroine. Saltwater may just as well be swishing on the paper, because the sea is everywhere, pulling the characters and the reader back to the clam shells from which we were born. Islands appear and then disappear, families trade physical beauty for ancient Egyptian table settings, and the tale of Moses, Mercy, and Mordecai weave a spell that is hard to break.

Melville, Poe, even Washington Irving are influences here, and I loved it. Surely, there are more intelligent readers who can assign some between-the-lines reading, but I simply enjoyed the adventure and the, uh, weirdness. Old worn former wives who live in an offshore island. Young golden boys whose eye sockets flood with the colour of the green of the Atlantic. Whales who willingly sacrifice themselves to saner Ahabs.

C'est fantastique.

Book Season = Autumn (East Coast specialty)

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Goethe/Faust Part I by Goethe
Goethe/Faust Part I

Gold Gato, December 15, 2014

"With greedy hands, he digs for treasure, and is happy when he finds earthworms!"

I found earthworms. This 'new American version' kept me digging and I found occasional gems. Adapted by C.F. MacIntyre in 1941 with the goal of bringing Goethe to a wider audience, the words and phrases are modern and everything moves along rather quickly. Like the soil turned over by the overworked worm, one gets a rich flow in sections, sufficient enough but not necessarily memorable. The witches' section is raucous, irreverence created as milkshakes.

As any gardener knows, earthworms produce treasure in the rich hummus soil of their work. So, though I did not find the doubloons I was looking for in this version, I nevertheless walked away wealthier for my reading. My recommendation would point this version as a very good beginning to Faust. Alas, MacIntyre never published his translation of Part 2. It sits in a locked box in the UCLA library. Mephistopheles doesn't like to lose.

Book Season = Winter (make the path spicy)
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Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland's History-Making Race Around the World

Gold Gato, December 9, 2014

What a blast! Tracing the around-the-world race between two female journalists in 1889, Matthew Goodman brings a dash of thrill and wonder to the event which makes it read as though it happened today. Jules Verne's famous story inspired the idea and two New York newspapers made it happen much to the delight of their absorbed readers. Matthew Goodman makes this race a pure pleasure. With each vehicle of transport, with each new land reached, he has meticulous research at the ready (the selected bibliography is pages long), sprinkled with quotes from famous writers and explorers. His own words are not bad themselves.

There's not much wrong with this page-turner. I cheered both women on, then started picking my own winner. I selected a time of finish, hoping I was somewhere near the final result. I was there on the decks of ships, sick as the lurches on stormy waves brought me to the sides. I must read more from this author.

Book Season = Summer (sun dousing)
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Cooksmart Ice Cream (Cooksmart)

Gold Gato, December 8, 2014

I like Ice Cream. And Ice Cream likes me.

For others of the same persuasion, this Cooksmart publication works perfectly for Ice Cream eaters who want to become Ice Cream makers. Instead of a book, the recipes are attached via a slide attachment, so you can choose your flavour and then have it front and center as you create your masterpiece. One side has the picture and ingredients, while the other side has the 'how-to' instructions. Sorbets, granitas, and ices also get a fair share of attention here. But, let's be honest, only Ice Cream should be capitalized.

Book Season = Year Round (it's always that kind of weather)
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Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt by Peter A Clayton
Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt

Gold Gato, December 6, 2014

I always enjoy the 'CHRONICLE OF' series of books, which present easy chronological histories of various rulers and empires throughout history. This one focuses on the ancient Egyptians, starting in 3150 BC and ending with the death of the famous Cleopatra in 31 BC. Thousands of years in 224 pages is not an easy assignment. The book breaks the chapters into the Kingdoms, with each dynasty defined, including the Nubians and Greeks. There is a ton of information and eye candy galore (tombs, mummies, pyramids, gold) to keep the reader's curiosity satiated. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting a primer on Ancient Egypt or for anyone, like me, who had just watched Boris Karloff in THE MUMMY and found the middle silent-film sequence horrifying.

Book Season = Year Round (sandy silence)
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