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The Noble Wilds (2008): Swans, Swans, Everywhere the Swans

The Supreme Master Ching Hai, The Noble Wilds (Love Ocean Creative Book Company, 2008)

photo credit: Barnes and Noble

How to Live with Animals 101.

My toddler-aged son is a big fan of ducks. Why ducks, specifically, we are not entirely sure, but there you go. And because of that, he is fascinated with this oversized doorstop of a photography book, which contains a whole lot of pictures of ducks, swans, grebes, and other water-related wildlife that inhabits Ching Hai’s Amoura retreat. We leaf through it at least a few times a week. The pictures are nice, if nothing special for the most part; there are a few that are eye-catching from a compositional perspective, but mostly it’s more like looking at a family member’s holiday snaps, complete with some of those scrapbooking techniques you see in DIY channel shows. The accompanying text is decent in proportion to its explicative properties; in other words, the more fanciful it is, the more insufferable it gets. If you run across a copy of this at a used book sale cheap, it’s worth picking up, especially if you have a duck-obsessed kid, but I wouldn’t pay full price for it without obtaining a copy from the library or a fiend who has it and giving it the once-over. ** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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