Art, Zen and Self-help

Continuing the project of cleaning up my library, I begin sorting out some of the art and self-help books. (Self-help is another class of books that should do well in the eBook market).

One of the first books I notice in a large stack of 15 or so books is The New Painting: Impressionism 1874-1886. As I thumb through this book I note that it doesn’t stack up to the blockbuster Impressionist exhibition now showing in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco deYoung exhibitions hall. The current show is a selection from the famed Musée d’Orsay. For a limited time you don’t have to go to France to be dazzled by these paintings. I can do without this book. It has to go.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the stack.

This stack of books is a rather eclectic jumble.  There is Glenn’s Complete Bicycle Manual (1973 edition), Cuthbertson’s illustrated Anybody’s Bike Book (entertaining and useful in 1973), a manual on Collagraph Printmaking, a perspective drawing handbook, two manuals on Probate and Living Trusts and, to top it off, a textbook Genetics: Human Aspects.

I bought the genetics text to learn a little about modern genetics during the ugly discussions (arguments) over the religious theory called Scientific Creationism. Fortunately, a mid-western conservative judge saw the theory for what it was a allowed that it should not be taught in schools. My brief study of genetics helped me to understand the issue better. The book has had its use and can leave my library.

A drawing book in the stack caught my eye: The Zen of Seeing—Seeing/Drawing as meditation. Drawing and Meditation never worked for me, my drawing skills are practically non-existent, but I liked this workbook published by Vintage Books of Random House. Handwritten by the author, Frederick Franck, with the author’s drawing and sketches interspersed among the pages. The message is too mystic for my sensibilities but the book is lovely and a pleasure to leaf through. It’s a keeper.

The stack also included a travel account: Paul Theroux, The Pillars of Hercules—A Grand Tour of the Mediterranean. Published in 1995 the book relates, in Theroux’s easy reading style, his tour by sea of Mediterranean ports. He started in Gibraltar, traveled East by boat and ferry to Mallorca, Barcelona, Corsica, Sicily, Albania, Istanbul, the Levant, Greece and, finally, returned to Morocco. What a grand tour although I though the description dragged in spots. Could such a trip occur today? I can let this book go without too much remorse.

The rest of the stack is without special interest to me: 14 more books to add to the growing deaccession pile.
The deaccession count: Posts 17, Books 101.



About carto

Retired software engineer who grew up in Montana, went to Montana State College in Bozeman, and moved to California to work at Stanford Research Institute (SRI). Carto's Logbook is about photography, travel and adventure; Mt. Maurice Times is tall tales mostly biographical; Carto's Library is about books I've read and liked.
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