"Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act" by Barry Yourgrau

Quick Book Review: “Mess: One Man’s Struggle to Clean Up His House and His Act” by Barry Yourgrau

I stumbled upon a used copy of this paperback at The Strand.  It looked amusing and intriguing, so I grabbed it.  Turned out to be only mildly intriguing, and even less amusing, and, in many instances, was kinda annoying.  The author, a New York writer/artist/bohemian, admits he has a problem with “clutter”, and at his girlfriend’s urging (i.e., ultimatums), he…

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"Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents" by Isabel Wilkerson

Quick Book Review: “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson

This book received an enormous amount of praise and acclaim and it had been on my reading list for a while.  Well, it certainly deserves the accolades.  Race certainly colors nearly every aspect of American society.  But beyond race, there is another system that is even more powerful, a caste system that we don’t openly speak about, but that strongly…

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Oosterpark, Amsterdam

Parks of Amsterdam – Oosterpark

Located just outside the Amsterdam centrum, but on the completely opposite side compared to Westerpark, is the lovely Oosterpark.  This shouldn’t be surprising; WESTerpark is up in the northwest.  OOSTerpark (“oost” means “east”) is in the southeast.  It’s a big park, with lots of benches, a big lake, lots of birds, and a bunch of nice footbridges.   Just as with…

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"Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision" by David DuChemin

Quick Book Review: “Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision” by David DuChemin

This is a really wonderful book on the art and practice of photography, with the main emphasis on how to achieve your photographic vision, rather than the camera mechanics.  The author has a deep respect for his photographic subjects, and he really puts his heart and soul into the photographs he takes. He explains very clearly and honestly why things…

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"Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York" by Elon Green

Quick Book Review: “Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York” by Elon Green

A riveting story about a serial killer that struck in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.  Because the victims were gay, and the crimes occurred during the AIDS crisis, the case was largely ignored.  The author skillfully takes you through the gripping story, but he concentrates on the lives of the victims rather than on the killer, which really humanizes…

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Cognitive Decline in Cats – Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS)

Written By Dr. Arnold Plotnick; Originally published on Catster. Cats are living longer than ever.  When I began my veterinary career, a 20-year-old cat was a rarity.  Now, I see at least a dozen every year.  It’s wonderful that we get to spend additional years with our beloved companions, but increased longevity is a double-edged sword.  A longer lifespan also…

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"The Photography Ideas Book: Inspiration and tips taken from over 80 photos" by Lorna Yabsley

Quick Book Review: “The Photography Ideas Book: Inspiration and tips taken from over 80 photos” by Lorna Yabsley

This is a small book designed to try to inspire or re-inspire photographers by showing some of the unique approaches to photography taken by a variety of photographers.  The author says you should not limit yourself to the giants of photography for inspiration. She says that we’re part of a modern movement in photography now that photography has become so…

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"Photography Rules: Essential Do’s and Don’ts from Great Photographers" by Paul Lowe

Quick Book Review: “Photography Rules: Essential Do’s and Don’ts from Great Photographers” by Paul Lowe

A small book in which the collected wisdom of acclaimed photographers and industry professionals is presented in an engaging way.  At the top of the left page is a maxim.  Below that is a photograph.  Below the photo, and on the page opposite, the maxim is explored in greater depth.  To become a better photographer, it’s important to see the…

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"Remembering Satan: A Tragic Case of Recovered Memory" by Lawrence Wright

Quick Book Review: “Remembering Satan: A Tragic Case of Recovered Memory” by Lawrence Wright

I enjoyed Wright’s book “Going Clear” about the crazy Scientologists, so I thought I’d give this one a go.  In 1988, deputy sheriff Paul Ingram of Olympia, Washington is accused by his daughters of outrageous sexual abuse. We’re talking satanic rituals, cannibalism, bestiality, abortion, gang rape, etc.  The daughters’ stories change constantly, and no physical evidence is ever discovered, and…

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