WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Masterpiece.

What a great prompt! Self is hugely enjoying the process of looking over all her travel photos and selecting the ones that fit the week’s current theme.

A masterpiece is, according to the The Daily Post Photo Challenge Prompt, “something extraordinary; a place that blows your mind; a work of art or object that speaks to you . . . ”

So here is self’s first post on the prompt Masterpiece:  The first two photos are from the early 2012  Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park.  Self took son and Jennie to see the exhibit in February 2012. (They allowed photos, but no flash — the reason self chose these two is that she would never have thought grey knit could be so elegant!)

The last photo shows the ceiling of the cathedral at Jaro, a suburb of Iloilo.  Self’s maternal grandmother came from Jaro.

The utter fabulousness of Jean Paul Gaultier, now through August 19 at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park

The utter fabulousness of Jean Paul Gaultier, now through August 19, 2012 at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park

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The Cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo City (Nuestra Señora de Candelaria)

The Cathedral in Jaro, Iloilo City (Nuestra Señora de Candelaria)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Been So Long: San Francisco Chronicle Books

The past few years, self has been getting most of her book recommendations from the The New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, or the Women’s Review of Books. Today, though, she lands on the Book review section of the Sunday, July 21 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, and she finds a number of interesting books. Here are a few of them:

From the section “Fresh Voices,” by Thomas Chatterton Williams:

Love All, by Callie Wright:  The story begins when Joanie Cole dies in her sleep, leaving her octogenarian husband, Bob, a surly widower.  The couple’s only daughter, Anne Obermeyer, a Harvard Law-trained Type A, takes him in, though the truth is, unlike her mother, she has never forgiven him for his philandering past.

In Times of Faltering Light, by Eugen Ruge:  A partly autobiographical study of the decline of one exemplary East German communist family, the kaleidoscopic novel tracks four generations of the Unmintzer clan over 50 years in three countries, with 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall looming over everything.

From the Fiction section:

Fin & Lady, by Cathleen Schine:  As the novel opens, it’s 1964, and 11-year-old Fin Hadley has had a terrible couple of years.  First, his bullying father died; then, in a cruel stroke of fate, his beloved mother did, too.  Now he’s an orphan, entrusted to the care of his half sister, Lady, a flighty, unreliable force of nature whom he hasn’t seen in six years.

a quintet of novels by recently deceased Scottish author Iain Banks:  The Wasp Factory, Complicity, The Use of Weapons, The Hydrogen Sonata, and The Quarry

From the Lit Picks section (recently reviewed titles):

Difficult Men:  Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution:  From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, by Brett Martin:  “. . .  a smart, fascinating read on the serpentine histories of some of this generation’s most celebrated TV dramas”

Eleven Days, by Lea Carpenter:  a “debut novel, about a Navy SEAL son who has gone missing on a secret mission”

Big Brother, by Lionel Shriver:  “. . .  a story of a co-dependent relationship with an addict, except the topic of food issues feels so much more pertinent and interesting than the snort-it-shoot-it-smoke-it stories that have oversaturated the literary market”

From “Top Shelf” —  “Recommendations of new books from the staffs of a rotating list of Bay Area independent bookstores.  This week’s list is from Book Passage, 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco.”

FICTION RECOMMENDATIONS:

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Jay Fowler:  “Fowler’s tale alternates between humorous and heartbreaking, and is beginning-to-end engaging.  What makes a family?  In Fowler’s novel, one exceptional member sets the trajectory of all their lives.”

Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway, by Sara Gran:  “. . .  this second installment in the Claire DeWitt crime series finds her unraveling in San Francisco while searching for her former lover’s murder.”

NONFICTION RECOMMENDATIONS:

A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home:  Lessons in the Good Life From an Unlikely Teacher, by Sue Halpern:  “Halpern’s memoir is by turns funny and poignant, with observations on learning, virtue and companionship from sources including Plato, Aristotle and Temple Grandin.”

Mother Daughter Me:  A Memoir, by Katie Hafner:  “Hafner placed herself in the middle when she suggested forming a household including her 77-year-old mother and her teenage daughter.  How the idealistic plan combining three generations played out is this forhthright memoir’s story.”

The Good Food Revolution:  Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities, by Will Allen:  The man who started the nonprofit organization Growing Power “feeds and employs hundreds of inner-city people in the Midwest hungry for a healthy and affordable answer to growing urban food desserts.”

Homeward Bound:  Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity, by Emily Matchar:  “Women struggling to have it all are looking for solutions right at home, reclaiming the domestic sphere from attachment parenting to DIY careers.  But what does that mean for the future of feminism?  A great read to spark discussion.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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