Book Review: How the South Won the Civil War

Today I finished reading the Kindle electronic version of How the South Won the Civil War by Heather Cox Richardson. Below is my Goodreads book review in case you are not one of my friends on Goodreads who will get it there.

This excellent, professionally written history book is so accurate and thorough that about 10% of the pages are footnoted references to other history books and sources. Every American should read this as it clearly shows how the government philosophy of pre-civil war slaveholders eventually became the “movement conservatives” and the Republican philosophy of governing by oligarchy.

In plain English that translates to how they still want a few elite, rich, white men (plantation owners) to control and govern everyone else. Thus from Andrew Johnson (yeah, it started with a Democrat) and the post civil war plantation owners through the “independent” cowboys of the West to Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, the Bushes and the now ultimate White Supremacist, Donald Trump, the Republican Party helped the South win the Civil War by demanding that their elitist white men run the country their way only and the rich continue to get richer while the poor continue to get poorer and the country continues to be a racist white supremacist nation.

It is a very truthful and sad commentary on the United States and why so many people continue to believe the lies of Republican leaders. The people who most need to read this book will not because of their prejudices and thirst for control and the future of “the greatest democracy” is a stake in this election.     ~Charlie Doggett

 

¡Pura Vida!

Xandari GALLERY #4 Published

The “4” can mean my 4th trip to Xandari or the 4th Gallery on Xandari or the fact that I was there for 4 days this time! 🙂 The featured photo is on my walk to the restaurant from my villa.

It is a magical getaway every visit and I tend to photograph many new things or the same things in different ways each time, like this time I didn’t even hike to the waterfalls but spent more time with flowers & butterflies and a feature on the bamboo forest. So if considering a visit to Xandari, check out each of my photo galleries from 4 different trips there with 4 different perspectives:

  • 2020 August 21-24 – A Weekend Retreat during a World Pandemic with masks & solo activities in nature. Most butterflies & flowers this time.
  • 2020 January 12-16 – Five days when I installed my photo books library and photographed all kinds of nature with more birds than above.
  • 2019 July 1-6 – My birthday week with them providing a cake and great celebration and me making another different set of nature photos all over. A very good week! Or see the Photo Book, Brilliant! My Birthday Week at Xandari!
  • 2018 July 14-18 – My first trip to Xandari and maybe my most photos as I was thrilled with the discovery in every way! Or see the Photo Book, Xandari – Enchanted by Nature

¡Pura Vida!

Through the eyes of a child . . .

The subtitle of my newest travel book is “When you look through the eyes of a child” describing how I tried to present this photo-travel book on Maquenque Eco-Lodge and Reserve. Yes – it is in Spanish this time but for you English-only people, don’t worry! All the photo captions are in both languages and the poem from which I got the subtitle is also in both languages, and here it is in English:

“Everything seemed possible,
when I looked through the eyes of a child.
And every once in a while;
I remember,
I still have the chance to be that wild.”

― Nikki Rowe

It’s a photo book with 141 photos, including photos of the 61 species of birds I got this visit. THE ELECTRONIC PREVIEW IS FREE, so go to this link or click the cover image below and you can see all 92 pages of the book for free! Of course full-screen is best for photos! 🙂

https://www.blurb.com/b/10228384-maquenque-m-gico

In English: “Maquenque Magic, When you look through the eyes of a child, by Charlie Doggett”

Or just for the downloadable photos, go to my “Trip Gallery” titled:

2020 June 30–July 6- Maquenque Eco-Lodge & Reserve

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The BIG BOOK!

Finally –  “the big book” – what I’ve been planning for nearly 6 years!  Almost all the birds I’ve photographed since moving to Costa Rica in 2014. I haven’t finished photographing birds here, and next month at Maquenque Lodge I could easily get a photo I will regret is not in this book! But why not do it now, with the Coronavirus Down Time providing time to create and the year of my 80th birthday as a celebration excuse!   🙂  If I keep putting it off, there won’t be a book! And this one is so much bigger and better than my recent Roca Verde Birds book which was just birds in my yard!

Here’s the bookstore official description:

Click cover for preview. Best at full screen!

About the Book
Eighty-year-old retiree from Tennessee, Charlie Doggett, has lived in and explored the rainforests and cloud forests of Costa Rica for 6 years, sharing photos and experiences in his “Retired in Costa Rica” BLOG. This book has 420 bird photos from his blog – more than 300 species of birds, named in both English and Spanish with a complete English-names INDEX. At 230 photo pages, 10 X 8 inches, it’s a great gift or coffee table book about Costa Rica, printed on 100# Premium Lustre Gloss Photo Paper.

Available in a hardcover edition or a PDF electronic version. You can PREVIEW the book electronically for free at: https://www.blurb.com/b/10150063-pura-vida-birds

Check out what I’ve been doing for the last 5+ years!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

The Future We Choose

Cristiana Figueres
Cristiana Figueres

We have just entered the most consequential decade in human history. The scientific assessment of climate change suggests this can either be our final hour, or our finest. The Future We Choose is an inspiring manifesto from Global Optimism Co-Founders, Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac. It explains what’s to come, how to face it and what we can do.

Practical, optimistic and empowering, this is a book for every generation that shows us how we can move beyond the climate crisis into a thriving future.

Christiana Figueres is a Costa Rican citizen and was the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change from 2010-2016. Ms. Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy.

One of the best things you do with your “down time” due to COVID19 is to read this book and participate in saving the earth before it is too late! Celebrate Earth Day 22 April 2020!  FIND THE BOOK HERE or simply do a search in your favorite online book source or ask for it in your favorite physical bookstore.

My friends in the U.S. especially need to read this due to the “rollbacks” of policy or the backward movement on climate change the current president and Republican Party have brought the last few years. It is not too late, but if we don’t start doing something now it soon will be too late! And how you vote does make a difference!

Go Green!

VOTE Blue!

¡Pura Vida!

 

“There’s No Place Like Home”

Or almost no place better for birds than my home in the Roca Verde Neighborhood of Atenas, Costa Rica. My long-time intentions to do a photo book of birds photographed at home just got fulfilled!

Roca Birds Book
For preview, click image or address below:

Check out the free preview of this book of 80 photos of more than 40 species of birds found in my garden and neighborhood. Plus this book is bigger than my travel series books, a full 8 x 10 inches, making it acceptable as a “Coffee Table Book.”   🙂    The hardcover edition is printed on a higher quality of lustre photo paper, though the paperback edition is nice on standard paper. Enjoy!   🙂

 

https://www.blurb.com/b/10034408-roca-verde-birds

 

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

~John Muir

¡Pura Vida!

A “Like” from the Author

My review of The Adventurer’s Son got a “Like” from the author, Roman Dial. I finished the book and liked it much even if sad. A guess all of us who venture into the wilds realize the dangers but still go because of the great joys! I would have guessed that in Corcovado he most likely would have died from a deadly snake bite and would never have guessed from a tree falling in a storm – but such are the surprises in the wilderness and in life and death. And I’m glad it was not “foul play” from a bad human as some had thought throughout the story. It was an emotional read.

SEE ALSO: NPR Interview of Author: A Father Recounts His Search For The Son Who Vanished In Costa Rican Wilderness  – There is a short written summary and a 37 minute audio at this link.

Father-son in Bhutan

Guess I’ll now go back to a safe and easy Agatha Christie read now!   🙂

 

¡Pura Vida!

RETIRING TO COSTA RICA: ONE EXPAT COUPLE’S STORY

One of the many retirement blogs is titled “This Retirement Life” and the writer Dave Hogan, a financial planner, just took the Caravan Tour of Costa Rica which I highly recommend for a 9 day overview of the whole country as a tourist first, before you start the serious work of planning on living here.

After doing the Caravan Tour Dave stopped in to San Ramon to interview my friends Paul and Gloria Yeatman who have done the excellent blog “Retire for Less in Costa Rica” for the last ten years along with a healthcare tour of Costa Rica and are slowing down now, about to phase out their monthly blog post that I highly recommend to all couples considering retirement here and I will likewise recommend the book they are soon putting together by the same title, in addition to Gloria’s CR Cookbook already available!   🙂

Read this great Interview with Paul & Gloria Yeatman on the Retirement Life blog. If you are considering retirement anywhere outside the U.S., it will help you with the big picture from another first-hand experience! And get to know a couple who did retirement as well or better than anyone I know! Enjoy!

 

“It is better to live rich than to die rich.” – Samuel Johnson

¡Pura Vida!

Retired in Costa Rica

My Spanish Classes

My mornings are spent at Tico Lingo Language School where I am not up to speed with the classroom of students in their 20’s for 4 hours a day so they placed me with a private tutor for 3 hours a day which of course is better for me. The featured photo is of my Professora Ana. Below are more photos of the house converted into a school and where I spend my mornings this week. It is a trial week for me to see if this kind of immersion language study will work for me. If so I will continue more later.

At Tico Lingo

 

Art in the School

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They are all tourist souvenir art work, and yes, if it were me I would stretch those fabrics tight and mount them level, but that is not my job! And the high school and college kids who are most of their customers couldn’t care less!   🙂

Today after class I went to lunch at a different Soda for another Casado with one of the 20-somethings in the other class (to where he wanted to go) and he treated me! He acted amazed that an 80 year old was doing this. So? He ate fast and took an Uber to see his Costa Rican girlfriend called a “Novia” here. I walked around downtown again today and stopped for an ice cream cone, then walked back to my student boarding house where I make this post!   🙂   Tomorrow is a bigger treat as I go to Toucan Rescue Ranch in the afternoon.

And of course I have a “Trip Gallery” of photos from this week, titled:

2020 February 22-28 — Heredia for Spanish Immersion

 

¡Pura Vida!

FYI:     Costa Rica Is The Second Best Destination In The World For Foreign Investment In Tourism

 

Life-changing Reads

Back in 2015 in a Post titled My Library I told you a tiny bit about the life-changing book I had just read titled Pay It Forward, by Catherine Ryan Hyde, about a little boy’s school project to change the world that actually did. And it was made into a movie that I cannot get here. If you have never read it, I encourage you to! I had learned about it from reading another book by her titled Electric God which was very good, just not as great at Pay It Forward!  

Well, recently I have finished two more books by Catherine Ryan Hyde that also can be life changing for some people: Stay, about another boy, age 14, who helped three people in his life not commit suicide and thus changed his world, their world and the world of hundreds of other people.

Then tonight I finished my 4th book by her titled Heaven Adjacent. It is about a workaholic, divorced attorney woman whose best friend was also a workaholic saving for a “good retirement” when she suddenly dies of a stroke. Rosie realizes in the loss of her friend that money is not what was needed for real life. She then does an irrational thing, telling no one, she walks away from her law firm, driving to a tiny rural area in an adjacent state, buys a tiny little farm house, planning to live the rest of her life in quiet solitude away from the mad rush of the city, work, family and search for money. (Kind of like me coming to Costa Rica.) But you could never imagine the life-changing adventure her bizarre action creates. You have to read it to see!   🙂

Catherine Ryan Hyde novels are too emotionally moving for me to read any more for awhile. But I will eventually read more.

Now back to escape novels by Agatha Christie (I’m working on completing all the Poirot mysteries now) and then I have pre-ordered the book coming out next month The Adventurer’s Son, a memoir about the National Geographic Explorer’s son who came to Costa Rica after me as a college-age young man and hiked alone into the magnificent Corcovado National Park (one of my favorite places here) never to be seen again. I read news reports for a short time, then nothing. Now I will get the full story or as much as his father knows. Another possible life-changing book and very close to home for me!  🙂   Much better than TV!

 

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¡Pura Vida!