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Gold Gato has commented on (374) products.

A House in Sicily by Daphne Phelps
A House in Sicily

Gold Gato, November 24, 2014

I really enjoyed this book about a villa built by the author's uncle in Sicily and preserved by the author through the decades. It is her remembrances of her famous house and equally famous guests that make this book a winner. Each chapter focuses on a specific person or event and they really seemed to build to the best passages as the end came near. Caitlin Thomas and Bertrand Russell roll through, but the best is saved for Henry Faulkner and his menagerie of cats, dogs, goats, and ducks.

Phelps writes in a dry style and her adventures with the local authorities are enlightening. When she travels to Kentucky to visit Faulkner, for instance, she discovers the mountain dialect and states that Shakespeare would have felt at home, given the language had not been altered in centuries. The chapter on a poor local Sicilian widow brought tears to my eyes, just as the chapter on a theatrical butler made me laugh.

Book Season = Summer (reds and yellows and oranges)
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Haunted idol :the story of the real Cary Grant by Geoffrey Wansell

Gold Gato, November 21, 2014

This is one of the most objective Grant books I've read, which means there really isn't anything sensational. No made up stories, just a recounting of his personality, which was a man who preferred his own company and who eschewed the craziness of the industry lifestyle. Instead, we get the many different sides of the greatest star of the cinematic Golden Age.

1.) The Lone Wolf...who didn't necessarily like being alone.

2.) The Simple Man...happy with minimal furnishings and dinner on a tv tray.

3.) The Perfectionist...who drove directors and co-stars to nervous breakdowns.

4.) The Evangelist...who espoused the use of LSD for wives and friends.

5.) The Tycoon...genius business mind which turned thousands into millions.

6.) The Tastemaker...set the standard for clothing and style to this day.

7.) The Charmer...the smile and the dimple turned him into velcro.

This is a good read for anyone interested in learning about the life of Grant, without the extra embellishments.

Book Season = Summer (red tiles and azure swimming pools)
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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 N. C. Wyeth
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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