Sunday, May 24, 2015

GAUDI POP-UPS by Courtney Watson McCarthy




"Absolutely amazing" is the only way to describe this giant pop-up celebrating the vision and work of Catalan architect and designer Antoni Gaudi. His visual influence on Barcelona is immeasurable. Those who have been fortunate enough to see his work there never forget it, especially the astounding Sagrada Familia. Bold, distinctive, dramatic, his designs have brought countless visitors to Barcelona and today his buildings are among the most admired in the world.

Born in 1852 to a humble family there was little in Gaudi's early life to indicate his greatness. In fact, when he graduated from the Barcelona Architure School the director said, "Who knows if we have given this diploma to a fool or to a genius. Time will tell." Time has definitely told and paper engineer Courtney Watson McCarthy has given life to some of Gaudi's most famous designs - words cannot do justice to these remarkable creations.

Included are 7 pop-ups and 16 illustrations, all in color. You'll find in addition to the unbelievable Sagrada Familia interior and exterior Ironwork from the Park Guell as well as the multi-colored Salamander also from the Park and more.

Almost a good as a trip to Barcelona Gaudi Pop-Ups is a joy to behold as well as paper engineering at its finest.

Highly recommended.

- Gail Cooke

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LUCKY FOR LAMB!



     "MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB

       WHO KNEW FOR DINNER SHE LOVED BEEF,

       AND HER SECOND CHOICE DISH

       WOULD BE A NICE FISH,

       WHICH FOR LAMB WAS A GREAT RELIEF." - GC

Sunday, May 3, 2015

SPRING, TEXAS




     "THERE WAS A FELLOW IN SPRING

       WHO WAS A CERTIFIED DING-A-LING,

       HE'D RING ANY BELL

       BUT MOST FOLKS COULD TELL

       THAT THE CARILLON WAS REALLY HIS THING."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

FUN, FUNKY AND FABULOUS by Jyl Benson







What would you title a book that’s unique, a bit outre, fun to browse and full of delicious recipes that make you want to run to your kitchen?  (That is if you can’t hop a quick flight to New Orleans!)   Fun, Funky and Fabulous is more than apropos for this delightful tour of affordable restaurants in the Crescent City (?)  There’s also a bit of history thrown in and F, F and F also serves as a handy guide to various neighborhoods and where to eat in each of them.

Now, the dining is always casual but the dishes are more than delicious - you’ll find MoPho, Purtoo, Toup’s Meatery, Juan’sFlying Burrito and more.  Ever tempting, always changing, innovative and exciting these recipes are unlike any others you’re apt to find.

Benson knows her territory well and describes it with affection.  She has worked with the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and served as a regional reporter covering the southeastern United States for both the New York Times and Time Magazine.

Each section is headed by some of the most charming folk art to be found by Simon Hardeveld who is known as Simon of New Orleans.  Originally from France his illustrations are unique and memorable.

Originally from London and now resident New Orleans photographer Sam Hanna’s photographs are so luscious that you want to pick up a fork and dig in.  There are over 50 color photos - each mouth watering.

Fun, Funky and Fabulous is a pleasure to browse as well as to use given to us by three who quite obviously love their city and its cuisine.

Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke

Friday, April 24, 2015

CELESTE, TEXAS




"There was a handyman in Celeste

  Who spent most of each day at rest,

  Which was not criticized

  When folks realized

  That was what he did best."


PAST CRIMES by Glen Erik Hamilton





With his debut novel the author introduces us to a new hero as tough and savvy as they come - Van Shaw is a combat veteran recovering from random shrapnel injuries when he receives a letter from his grandfather, Dono, simply saying, “Come home if you can.”  Van understands the “if you can” coming from his grandfather to mean please, a word not often used by Dono, and why now?  The two had been estranged for a number of years and Dono was a thief, albeit a gifted one.

Van had been raised by Dono to follow in the old man’s footsteps and he was an apt pupil.  But at the age of 18 he’d left that life behind him by joining the Army.  Now, after ten years he returns to find that Dono has been shot and is near death.  Outside of the fact that due to the known tension between the two men he might become the primary suspect Van wants to find out who would shoot Dono and why.  In order to do this Van must reconnect with Dono’s old cronies and use every bit of skill he had learned as a criminal not only to find the shooter but to survive.

With Seattle and its waters as a backdrop the story develops in two narratives - the current investigation into Dono’s assault and memories of Van’s time as a lawbreaker.  In order to solve the mystery Van must discover what Dono has been doing that might lead to this.  Along the way we meet some exciting ancillary characters who may be a bit nefarious but still don’t want Dono dead.  Now, mix in a bit of romance and a cache of diamonds and you have a stay-up-all-night thriller.

      Kudos to Glen Erik Hamilton for a well crafted thriller, and looking forward to more.

Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke

Thursday, April 23, 2015

ALICE, TEXAS



"THERE ONCE WAS A FELLOW IN ALICE

  WHO BUILT FOR HIS BRIDE THE PERFECT PALACE,

  THE DRAPERIES WERE SILK,

  HER BATHTUB HELD MILK,

  AND PHONES' RINGS WERE ARIAS BY CALLAS."