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Gold Gato has commented on (372) products.

A British Picture: An Autobiography by Ken Russell
A British Picture: An Autobiography

Gold Gato, November 16, 2014

Most memoirs and biographies are usually perfect for the summer. You can sit by a beach and dip into the self ramblings without having to interrupt your sand count. But this is a book of a different grade, mainly because it's the autobiography of Ken Russell, so the cold days of winter will suffice. Ken Russell's ramblings require a fireplace and the safety of four walls.

There are memories of his childhood and his take on men who like to dance. But mostly, there are his tales of movie sets and travel and dealing with high-octane actors. Russell was the least conventional of the British directors and his words reflect that picture. He is also hounded by fans who actually believe his films are for real to the point of obsession. I thoroughly enjoyed Russell's musings. Life for him was an adventure, one which he could stylize and put to the music of the great composers. Take shelter.

Book Season = Winter (whelks on car bonnets)
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Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems by Kate Coombs
Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems

Gold Gato, November 16, 2014

A shipwreck in the locker of Davy Jones sounds yearning...a jellyfish drifts by, "kimono trailing"...a seagull gets compared to an earth-bound beagle. These are some of the lovely images contained in this book of children's poetry by Kate Coombs. I enjoyed them all. The watercolours by Meilo So are shimmering. I would recommend this to parents who like to read with their kids or simply want easy poems for wee ones to learn.

Book Season = Summer (humbled driftwood)
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Great Illustrations by Jeff A. Menges
Great Illustrations

Gold Gato, November 14, 2014

This Dover publication works for those who want more than a simple introduction but not quite the full load. The colour plates are numerous and serve the purpose of showing the impact he had on American illustration. This book also includes Wyeth's 1919 article, "For Better Illustration", in which he laments the post-WWI tendency of art students to radicalize their work in hopes of being noticed.

"Picture-maker" may be too simple a description of N.C. Wyeth, but there you have it. He will always be a warm brass day in a cold East Coast November.

Book Season = Autumn (thar she blows)
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Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon
Finding Camlann

Gold Gato, November 11, 2014

Merlin...Rebellion...Wales!

This should have been a mind-bending read. Alas, it wasn't for me. It was a trudge, a trudge I say! My initial perception while standing in the bookshop was, oh wow look at the neat cover. A coal-black raven with a scarlet sash holding a golden ring. And when you move the book slightly, the cover seems to come alive! What is this? An Arthurian re-hab? Bam, purchased.

How can you mess up a story about an archaeological search for clues from the Battle of Camlann, where King Arthur was mortally wounded? This book was just an exercise in the banal existences of snotty university elites who bemoan their loveless marriages and seem to have to drive everywhere. I mean, c'mon, Wales isn't that big. You drive in, you drive out (at least one character stops for books).

It's not all sloggy. The author creates a poem which leads to clues about ancient Welsh figures, and there's a side story about the bombing of a Welsh dam, nationalism in Wales, and pre-historic barrows. Somehow, it just never tied up for me. When it finally became intriguing, one quick paragraph ended the momentary excitement. Ah, well. There's always that raven on the cover.

Book Season = Autumn (season of long-falling shadows)
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Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, from Cleopatra to Princess Di by Kris Waldherr
Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, from Cleopatra to Princess Di

Gold Gato, November 11, 2014

"When you play at being a peasant, you risk being killed by one."

This was a fun book! Along with the usual biographies and methods-of-death for these once supreme leading ladies, the reader can also cut out Doomed Queens paper dolls, answer quizzes, download backgrounds for the dolls, and discover what type of Doomed Queen you might be. This is as interactive as a p-book can get.

It's not as though I enjoy reading about royal damsels who lost their lives and/or kingdoms, but this is such a beautifully put together book, I must say I rather enjoyed the tales of woe. While we might know of Marie Antoinette, Anne Boleyn, and Mary Queen of Scots, there were so many others who don't immediately come to mind when one says, "Doomed! They are doomed!".


Book Season = Autumn (don't run from destiny)
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