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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Apr 07, 2022 9:32 am 
Just finished Utopia Avenue by David Michael author of Cloud Atlas (good book lousy film). About a fictional English rock group in the late 60’s good read a bit bizarre.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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zephyr
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PostSat Apr 16, 2022 9:56 am 
Ancient Bones, Unearthing the Astonishing New Story of How We Became Human by Madelaine Böhme, Rüdiger Braun and Florian Breier, Greystone Books, Vancouver, Berkeley, 2020.  Madelaine Böhme is a professor at the University of Tübingen and founding director of the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment.  Braun and Breier are two journalists who helped her write this book on her work and discoveries which take us beyond Africa to earlier fossils in Europe and Asia.  Great review here at Kirkus.  Here's a CBC article with photos.  This book is available at the Seattle Public Library.        ~z

p 263  Ideas in paleoanthropology that were considered irrefutable for a long time have recently been thrown into disarray and must now be recalibrated.  Numerous new finds present puzzles that are difficult to fit into the overall picture.  The boundaries between the individual human species are fluid and not always easy to define.  Research cannot yet show a clear, conclusive line of descent from early hominins to us.  Today, the path to becoming human since we split from chimpanzees looks less like a family tree and more like a braided river delta, where some channels take their own course only to reconnect later, while others become rivulets before, at some point, disappearing completely.

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Kim Brown
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Kim Brown
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PostSat Apr 16, 2022 12:05 pm 
Malachai Constant wrote:
Just finished Utopia Avenue by David Michael author of Cloud Atlas (good book lousy film). About a fictional English rock group in the late 60’s good read a bit bizarre.

Should I read this?

I've been on reading kick about mid 60's rock bands lately. First, I read about the mods of the mid-1960's, then a book about Steve Marriott - how could you not? - and then an autobiography by Jerry Shirley (Drummer for Humble Pie - an interesting read, by the way. Highly recommend it. At King Co Libraries). Now I'm reading Peter Frampton's autobiography. Haven't found a book that looks great about Stevie Winwood, but I'll check out what they have after I finish Frampton.

Anyway - interesting, how these bands started. Frampton and Shirley were so young - Shirley needed a judges' approval from the Child Labor court in England to go on Humble Pie's first U.S. tour - and Frampton opted to drop out of school at 14 years old [I think it was 14] to pursue his career.

Note: If anyone is interested in Steve Marriott - again; how could you not be?, All or Nothing, (compiled by Simon Spence), includes mostly salacious quotes about Marriott - but also fascinating information about the music industry. You won't like Marriott at all after that book. So read Jerry Shirley's book also (Best Seat In The House). While Steve wasn't an easy person to deal with, Shirley has a much better tone about it, and highlights a lot of the incredibly good things about Marriott, who Shirley admired and loved like a brother.

All these books touch on the Stone, the Beatles, the Who, Alex Korner, David Bowie, tons of American blues musicians; it's interesting how they're intertwined.

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Apr 16, 2022 6:35 pm 
If you have not you must read read Keith Richards book, a miracle the guy is even alive let alone coherent. Patty Smiths books are amazing also if you are interested in the New York 70’s early 80’s scene. Grace Slick has an interesting book also. Utopia Avenue is a novel typical of the author the group of course is fictional but many characters are not. If you are looking for history it is not your cup of meat. Of course fiction can often be more real than fact. Of course as they say about the 60’s if you can remember it you weren’t there. ace.gif

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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zephyr
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PostFri Apr 22, 2022 9:50 am 
Evil Geniuses:  The Unmaking of America, a Recent History by Kurt Andersen, Random House, New York, 2020.  Here the author of Fantasyland takes us up until the first year of the pandemic.  Lots to learn here about the 70s, 80s, 90s and how various persons and entities have influenced our policies and conditions today--the Reagan era, deregulation, the culture of greed, the politics of nostalgia, class war, the digital revolution, and more.  Here's the author's page with some excerpts and a short audio.  There's a Wikipedia page about the book and here's a Kirkus Review.   Available from the Seattle Public Library.    ~z

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zephyr
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PostSat May 28, 2022 8:55 pm 
The Writing of the Gods:  The Race to Decode the Rosetta Stone by Edward Dolnick, Scribner, New York, 2021.  I saw this book at Elliott Bay Book Company a few weeks ago and then found it at the Seattle Public Library.  This is the story of the finding of the Rosetta Stone by some of Napoleon's troops while invading Egypt in 1798-99 and it's journey eventually to the British Museum where it resides now.  By this time Egyptian hieroglyphics were a lost language and had been for centuries.  The stone carried three passages one in ancient Greek, another in Demotic (Egyptian), and then the one in hieroglyphs.

Copies were made and shipped to various cities and scholars set out to decipher and break the code.  The effort took decades.  Two main decipherers were in a rivalry to accomplish this task, an Englishman Thomas Young and a Frenchman Jean-Francis Champollion.  This well-researched book is that story.  The writing does have its issues and bogs down from time to time.  But it is fascinating history.  A Kirkus Review here.  Bookpage review here.  ~z

Anne Elk
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Waterman
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PostSat Jun 04, 2022 11:24 am 
Gun Fight, Adam Winkler

The battle over the right to bear arms in America.

Discusses court cases and gun control laws throughout our nation's history. Should be required reading for any educated discussion of the issue.

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
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zephyr
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PostMon Jun 20, 2022 10:35 pm 

David Douglas, A Naturalist at Work by Jack Nisbet, Sasquatch Books, Seattle,  2012

This book makes a great gift for the naturalists in your circle.  It's beautifully printed with many well-researched illustrations.  Nice hardbound with great design.  The author is a writer from Spokane so he has a bit of an Eastern Washington perspective.  David Douglas was a Scottish naturalist who explored all over Washington state, Oregon, and British Columbia while they still were British territory in the early 19th century.  He made several visits, sailing around the Cape Horn, heading north and then crossing the bar of the Columbia River to arrive at Fort Vancouver. He worked with trappers and other employees of the Hudson's Bay Company who were interested in scientific explorations of the Northwest Territories.    He "discovered", collected, and named many plants on his travels.  Many plants familiar to us were named after him, e.g. Pseudotsuga menziesii, known to us as Douglas Fir.

Goodreads review here.    Great article in the Oregon Historical Society site.  If you're a native plant lover this book is for you.  The author travels around in the northwest following in Douglas's steps (or canoe paddle strokes) when he can.  He interacts with different folks including First Nations people, ranchers, and other naturalists to get a sense of how plant communities have survived, adapted, or struggled during our modern era of development.   ~z

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mike
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PostTue Jun 21, 2022 9:23 am 
Jack Nisbet has written several other books that I found interesting. There are more that I plan to read


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Kim Brown
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PostTue Jun 21, 2022 10:18 am 
I have Ancient Places. Really nice essays; interesting stuff!

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zephyr
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PostTue Jun 21, 2022 3:21 pm 
Thanks!  The cover art on that last one really draws you in.    ~z

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lookout bob
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PostWed Jun 22, 2022 4:55 pm 
"Riverman" by Ben McGrath.   An awesome book detailing the life of a man who dropped out of society to roam the rivers  of North America.  Good read! cool.gif

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"Altitude is its own reward"
John Jerome ( from "On Mountains")

RichP
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zephyr
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PostWed Jul 06, 2022 11:10 am 
The Genius of Venice: Piazza San Marco and the Making of the Republic by Dial Parrott, Rizzoli Ex Libris, New York, 2013.  This is a beautiful book--filled with illustrations, photographs of paintings, sculptures, and architecture of the long history of Venice, Italy.  I started reading it because a friend was touring Italy this summer and recommended it to me.  It's dense with architectural and political history of the northern Mediterranean, the Adriatic and junction of Europe and Asia at the Bosporus Strait. Reviews here at Goodreads and Rizzoli. Available from the Seattle Public Library.  ~z

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