This short little book is a good look at some of the most common fallacies. It has good use of illustrations and does a very good job conveying the inThis short little book is a good look at some of the most common fallacies. It has good use of illustrations and does a very good job conveying the information....more
Why didn’t anyone tell me about this series? Seriously, isn’t that why we get on those book websites like Goodreads andDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
Why didn’t anyone tell me about this series? Seriously, isn’t that why we get on those book websites like Goodreads and Booklikes? You’ll are letting me down. Because no one told me about volume one. Because this is friggin awesome!
I can’t figure out if this is supposed to simply be a graphic novel about a fox or a children’s picture book about a fox. It doesn’t really matter. There is no text for the most part, just opening and closing quotes. The action involves animals. In this volume, while the central character is a fox, a polar bear, a brown (grizzly?) bear, some rabbits, seals, killer whales, and musk oxen make appearances.
In short, a fox is on a hunt when the shit hits the fan, or to be more exact, a volcano goes kabomb. Then it is a race for survival. And there are porcupines. I forgot to mention them. Sorry.
What is really great about this book, well the first really great thing, is that the animals are animals. It isn’t Potter but one wear killer whales and foxes eat other animals. It’s a bit like watching Nature or National Geographic but without the annoying voice over.
The second really great thing about this book is the art work. It is so prefect. Some of the images are absolutely haunting, like when the fox goes down a hole and . . . well, I’m not going to ruin it for you.
I’m not a child, and I don’t have children in my life. But this, I’m buying this. ...more
A few years ago, I stopped playing my city’s local paper simply because it sucked. It really did. I heard that it has gDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.
A few years ago, I stopped playing my city’s local paper simply because it sucked. It really did. I heard that it has gotten better, but I don’t know. The only thing that I have missed from that paper was McDonnell’s Mutts. (Yes, I know, but reading it in a newspaper is different, okay?).
Mutt is great because Earl and Mooch and their people and friends are anyone’s pets. Your dog or cat may look different but they either act like Earl and Mooch all the time, or act like one of the supporting animals. It’s not like Garfield or Heathcliff. Furthermore, McDonnell does quite a bit about animal rescue and shelters. It’s hard not to like this strip.
The Winter Diaries are pretty much what the gang gets up to or doesn’t get up to, in winter. They try hibernating. They meet a penguin, who may, just may, be a stand in for people in general, and they hang with bears. We see what the squirrels get up to and watch Mooch try to find two identical snowflakes.
And then there is the evil weatherman.
At the end of the book is a brief guide to what animals featured in the comic really, truly do during the winter and what you can do to make life a bit easier for them.
And this is what makes Mutts wonderful because it is for cat and dog lovers, not one or either, and for those who like animals in general. It’s funny because it is true.
I mean, what cat owner hasn’t been spooned by the furry beast and what dog doesn’t got boing when on a walk? ...more
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley in exchange for a review.
I like looking at art. Mostly, I like playing guess the painting – which is guessing the storyDisclaimer: ARC via Netgalley in exchange for a review.
I like looking at art. Mostly, I like playing guess the painting – which is guessing the story the painting is portraying. It can be quite fun. Then again, I also like looking for little details, like the dog doing its business in the corner of a cathedral. So you would like, I would like the Da Vinci Code book better. Nope, couldn’t finish it.
In many ways, Master of the Prado is what I somehow thought the Da Vinci code was, and what it should be. Luckily for me, it looks like Sierra wrote other books just like it (not so lucky for my bank account).
The book is gothic, and in some ways, reminds me of the Bronte’s and Radcliffe in its use of mood. If Wuthering Heights is about the moors as much as it is about Heathcliff and Cathy, then this book is just s much about the Prado itself as an enity as it is about the paintings in it or about Javier.
The story starts as a young student, Javier, goes to the Prado and studies a painting. Eventually this leads to a conversation with a man named Fovel. Fovel seems to know things, but he is mysterious man. Firstly, he knows things. Or seems to know things, secrets, and hidden ways to read the painting in question. Slowly, bit by bit, he reveals an alternate history to young Javier.
Fovel is a wonderfully drawn character. The right amount of engaging (and nagging) teacher blended with the right amount of benevolent mystery and more than a few dashes of a threat. When Javier’s girlfriend begins to question who Fovel is, the reader can’t help but feel that at least Javier has a sensible woman in his life. Things become more serious with the introduction of another mystery man who may or may not be a part detective of some type. He appears to be in some type of dance with Fovel, who himself is not what he appears to be.
In part, the novel is about seeing. What do we see when we look at a famous painting, do we see what the artist intended, truly intended or do us something else entirely? And why, since, we’re asking, does some art last in the mind? Perhaps this is why, Sierra confines the paintings used in the novel to Medieval and Renaissance. But there is enough knowledge crammed into the book to make it a good guide to the artwork.
Sierra doesn’t fully answer these questions, at least not in the way that most readers would think. And it would be fair to say that the book raises more questions than it answers. But here’s the thing, where books like the Da Vinci take over used plot points and use them the same way everything else does, Sierra takes over used plot points and somehow, someway, he breathes new life into them. In some ways, this is a book you’ve read before, a painting you are intimate with, but in other ways, it is something totally new. ...more
Saeed’s book is really a study of the Red Light District of Lahore, Pakistan. It is a story about a group of people who should not exist under the la Saeed’s book is really a study of the Red Light District of Lahore, Pakistan. It is a story about a group of people who should not exist under the law of the land, and whose way of life is threaten and changed by those same laws. Traditionally, prostitution and singing/dancing were linked in Pakistan (according to Saeed) but over time the women in the district realize that it isn’t the traditional songs and dancing that attract the men, and traditional music gives way to Bollywood hits. Furthermore, the power structure shifts. In the District, a girl is more highly prized because she will be able to continue the family tradition (i.e. prostitution). This is because the musicians are men from another family line (caste) than prostitutes. What Saeed reveals is how both prostitution and traditional role of women is constricting and dehumanizing. If you are interested in the debate over legalization of prostitution, you should read this book. ...more
Do you remember the Danish cartoon crisis? You know those cartoons that were considered so insulting that it made killing people look like a needed soDo you remember the Danish cartoon crisis? You know those cartoons that were considered so insulting that it made killing people look like a needed solution? Well, this is by one of the editors for the newspaper. I suppose I should say here that freedom of speech is something that I consider important. I think the less said about a certain overly rich man with the initials DT the better, but he has the right to sound like the stupid idiot he is. The book at times is a bit too in detail about some things, though Flemming is as harsh on himself as he is on those who condemned the paper for showcasing the cartoons. But his point is valid – who is to decide what offensive speech is? The book is a look at the freedom of speech issue throughout the world. At the very least, the book is worth reading because it will make you think. ...more
I wish there had been more about the actual process of diagramming a sentence, but the bits about other writers was awesome. It's actually a nice littI wish there had been more about the actual process of diagramming a sentence, but the bits about other writers was awesome. It's actually a nice little book about grammar....more
Disclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley, courtesy of Verso. Book is being released October 27. 2015.
It was my friend who introduced me to John Berger. WheDisclaimer: ARC read via Netgalley, courtesy of Verso. Book is being released October 27. 2015.
It was my friend who introduced me to John Berger. When I say introduce, I mean in the way every reader does; in this case, by reading Ways of seeing (which is a very thoughtful, read it). Since then I enjoy reading Berger. I may not always agree with him, but I always learn something new or learn to look at something, anything, a new way.
Portraits is a collection of Berger’s writing on artists, and by extension art. It is arranged in chronological order by artist, so we start in the Stone Age with the paintings on Chauvet Cave and ending with Randa Mdah, who if you are like me and have no idea who she is, she was born in 1983. The chapter about her work is mediation, among other things, on the Israel and Palestinian conflict.
And that is what makes this book interesting as well as what makes Berger so accessible and so wonderful for a reader like me. I enjoy art, and I love going to museums, but I am not, in any way shape or form, an art historian or critic. I love the work of Parrish for his color and his illustration, Toulouse Lautrec is awesome because of his horses, the same with Stubbs but with the addition of dogs. One of my favorite paintings in the National Gallery in Washington DC is of the New Kirk in Amsterdam. I like it because the artist has a sense of humor – there is a dog taking a piss in the corner. I love Whistler, but not his mother – his etchings are where it is at. Well, those and the Peacock Room.
In short, I do not think (and most likely I am wrong) that Berger would condemn me, as some have, when I say something like my favorite painting in Montreal’s art museum is “We Were the First that Ever Burst the Silent Sea” by John Macallan Swan because it is of polar bears. Because I see something new and different every time I look at, and it brings me peace.
Berger understands that for each person art is in some ways different. This is way the essays about artists are constructed in different ways. Many times, it is about a response to that art, a personal response. Therefore, when writing about Antonello de Messina, Berger recounts a story about a guard, or when writing about Mantega, it becomes a conversation with his daughter. There is something charming about these, and despite the personal nation and structure of these chapters, there is so much packed into them.
It’s also hard not to like a book where Berger can say that Michelango’s Sibyls are really men in drag (he’s right). There is a beautiful section on Monet that will make readers weep. His comments on Goya and flesh are startling, but when you think about them and study a few paintings by Goya, it’s hard not to agree with Berger, whom himself finds that aspect hard to put into words.
The book is also about discovery, for he does either introduce artists that one hasn’t heard of or (and) new ways of looking at things. His decision to not include color reproductions of the art seems strange at first (especially when dealing with say Matisse), but makes sense as the book goes on (especially with Matisse). Perhaps some readers will wonder what about choices, in particular those that are left out – but if this is a personal museum, it really doesn’t matter. Quite frankly, I like having my horizons broadened by the inclusion of less well known artists.
In short, if you are even a little bit interested in art, read this. It is at once the view of critic/historian but written with the view of the everyday viewer. The “no nothing”. Loved it. ...more