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Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
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Gold Gato has commented on (353) products.

That's Amore: A Son Remembers Dean Martin by Ricci Martin
That's Amore: A Son Remembers Dean Martin

Gold Gato, September 14, 2014

Dean Martin gets remembered by his youngest son, Ricci, who seems to have published this book in response to the one by his sister. The truth is probably somewhere between the two siblings' recollections, but that's alright, not trying to build rockets here.

The Deanster seemed to be a busy father, who spent much of his time working (so his little ones wouldn't have to later on in life). Ricci Martin presents stories and remembrances of his father and other family members in a fairly decent light. It's a lightweight read for bored evenings or summer pool days. Thankfully, it never gets snarky.

Book Season = Summer (sway)
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Gold Gato, September 14, 2014

Every once in a while, the printed word trumps the electronic word. Case in point, this book. It is a simple layout, describing the notorious Rattlesnake via pages full of questions and answers. This makes it easy to follow and the reader gets much needed information very quickly.

The reason the p-word is important here is that most of places I traipse, which might have rattlers, are not conducive to good data feeds. So, if I need information real fast, it's better to have this slim baby in the backpack, because some of the facts are important.

Good book that does exactly what it intends.

Book Season = Summer (do-be-do-be-do)
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Spanish Main

Gold Gato, September 11, 2014

The Spanish Main. Those words ring with shipwrecks and conquest and ruthlessness and jewels. Encompassing the land/sea area of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, this area was the launching point for galleons returning to Spain, laden with cargo holds full of silver, gold, spices, and gems. In the usual Time-Life style, this book is full of paintings to help tell the story. It starts with the story of the Aztecs and the loss of their empire by Cortes. Sir Francis Drake gets his own chapter as the dreaded 'Sea Serpent', but all the adventures from each century are wonderfully told.

I never lost interest, this book being one of the best in the Time-Life catalogue.

Book Season = Summer (find the treasure)
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Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg
Queen of the Falls

Gold Gato, September 11, 2014

Prior to reading this gorgeously illustrated book, I had never heard of Annie Edson Taylor. She was, in fact, the very first person to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive. She did this incredible feat on her 63rd birthday, in 1901.

Chris Van Allsburg tells the tale superbly, with his art and his words. Yes, this is a children's book, but one which could be a collectible for the drawings alone (and reinforced binding makes it harder for little hands to tear apart).

Book Season = Autumn (sepia days)
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Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
Under the Tuscan Sun

Gold Gato, September 5, 2014

"...for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life."

I read the whole book from cover-to-cover on a plane trip. Maybe it was the writing, maybe it was the locale, maybe it was because I was leaving sun and flying into snow, but I really enjoyed this book. Frances Mayes had me turning pages to discover the results of her house renovations, her travels in Tuscany, and her recipes.

In a way, Francis Mayes gave me permission to change a life...and warmed me to the marrow ever since.

Book Season = Summer (lemon cake, tangerine sorbet)

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