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Display Name: Mat Resist

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Cover ArtKeep chickens! : tending small flocks in cities, suburbs, and other small spaces
by Kilarski, Barbara.
Although I haven’t actually tried out any of the advice in this book, it seems like a good primer on starting to raise chickens, especially if you are getting your start in the city. She tends to spend a good amount of time focused on chickens as pets, even going so far as to suggest that even if you don’t want chickens for eggs or meat, you may still enjoy them as pets. Maybe I’m just too practically minded, but I thought that was a bit goofy. On the other hand, I did enjoy some of the stories of the hijinks her chickens got into. The book covers the basics on choosing and ordering or buying chicks, breeds, building a coop/henhouse, caring for chicks, feeding and caring for chickens, what to expect from neighbors and the law, and even some recipes to use up your eggs. I think I’m going to want to look at a book that’s more detailed in some areas, but this is definitely a good start and a quick read.   posted Nov 15, 2013 at 2:32PM

Cover ArtSteal like an artist : 10 things nobody told you about being creative
by Austin Kleon
I’d picked this up at the book store at one point to take a look at it. I wasn’t impressed. It’s already a small book, and the pages were mostly empty. Entire pages devoted to a single quote. Or a two page spread with nothing more than "Steal Like an Artist" written in white on black pages. It looked thrown together and sparse, like many of the books that I see at the book store these days. The funny thing is, he actually talks about this in the book. He was at one point selling a book that was only 25 pages. People got exactly what they wanted out of the book, and it was well worth what he was selling it for, but people were upset that it was only 25 pages long. Then my mom recommended it to me. I was over at her house and saw it sitting on the table and started reading it. To be honest, it’s tough for me to even get past him using "steal" and "artist" in the same sentence. Which is funny because one of my favorite quotes used to be "Good poets borrow, great poets steal." though I found out in this book that is a misquote. I’ve seen too many things get completely ripped off. Take someone else’s design, alter it slightly (if at all) and sell it as your own. I’ve seen it happen to me. I’ve seen it happen to others. He’s not telling you to do that; it’s more like he’s saying "Don’t be afraid to have influences." That said, there are actually some pretty good ideas in this book. If you’ve been doing art for a while, there’s a pretty good chance you’re doing a lot of these things already. Some of it, if you’re not already doing, you’re probably not going to do it. If you’re the kind of "creative genius doing drugs and running around sleeping with everyone" I doubt that the two short paragraphs following the heading "Take Care of Yourself" are going to be very convincing. On the other hand, maybe you’ll be convinced that you don’t have to completely give up one passion to effectively pursue another. This book does what it’s supposed to do, inspire you to be creative. I wouldn’t buy it though. Check it out from the library. Or just sit down and read it there. Shouldn’t take more than an hour or two. Bring a notebook and a pen so you can jot down the couple inspiring ideas you run across. Then be on your way and create your art.   posted Nov 15, 2013 at 2:31PM

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