Monday, July 13, 2009

My summer book vacation

Times are tough and people are opting for staycations. Phtographer Craig Varajabedian took me to the high mesas and tiny earthen details of New Mexico with his art in the new coffee table book “Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby” from University of New Mexico Press.
The book takes readers back in time to the place where Georgia O’Keeffe painted and photographer Ansel Adams captured what he described as magic the sun must bake into a person. Varajabedian’s black and white photos range from Chimney Rock vistas and stone wall ruins to storm clouds and leaves. I’m partial to cracked mud images, because my similar mud shot got into The News’ Hurricane Ike book.
Here’s news on more books I’ve experienced this summer.

Veg up
Tempting photos of a beet bundt, the novelty of fruit sushi and the adventure of pud makua yow (basil eggplant) should convince even Southeast Texans that you won’t miss meat. Be confident in the notion that chocolate goes vegan. In “The Vegan Table” Colleen Patrick-Goudreau makes everything look easy and delicious and includes food lore. It could be that strawberries got their name from the practice of placing straw over the plants for protection. One more fun thing: Carmelized Tempeh Schwarmas are what she calls Middle Eastern burritos.

Lovin’ life
I started reading “Carve Your Own Road,” about a couple who wised up to the rat race and traveled. It must have taken years for them to accumulate such knowledge, I thought. Then I turned the book over and saw their photos. They could be younger than me. We could all learn from such people. Plain and simple, the message about doing what you love and living the life you envision, tells how to set goals and immerse yourself in making the changes.

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