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PERSONAL FAVORITE image galleries, books

Wander and wonder. Browse Tom Dempsey’s favorite photo galleries as shows within this article. Or click directly to each GALLERIES page (where Add to Cart button lets you buy images):

  1. Light Travel: Photography on the Go book by Tom Dempsey
  2. published images portfolio by Tom Dempsey
  3. ITALY favorites
  4. NORWAY favorites
  5. USA: Southwest favorites (Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada)
  6. USA: Montana favorites
  7. USA: Washington favorites
  8. What is PhotoSeek’s favorite country to visit?
  9. more: “Personal favorites” collection (in GALLERIES menu)

At bottom, Tom recommends favorite books and movies (gift ideas).

1. Light Travel book images

Add any of the above images to your Cart for purchase using my Portfolio site.

Light Travel: Photography on the Gobook by Tom Dempsey teaches and inspires outdoor photography by revealing the magic of portable digital cameras.  

2. Published images portfolio by Tom Dempsey

Add any of the above images to your Cart for purchase using my Portfolio site.

Each caption says where the photograph was published. Long, cut-off captions ending with three dots “…” can be read fully by clicking the center of the big image, to enlarge the show in GALLERIES mode.

3. Norway favorites

Add any of the above images to your Cart for purchase using my Portfolio site.

See complete Norway article.

4. Venice and the Dolomites Range, Italy favorites

Add any of the above images to your Cart for purchase using my Portfolio site.

See complete Italy article.

5. Southwest USA favorites

Add any of the above images to your Cart for purchase using my Portfolio site.

See separate articles with travel tips and more photos: Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New MexicoNevada

6. Montana favorites

Add any of the above images to your Cart for purchase using my Portfolio site.

See all Montana articles.

7. Washington favorites

Add any of the above images to your Cart for purchase using my Portfolio site.

More: all Washington articles.

Cool books and movies recommended by Tom Dempsey

Favorite historical fiction
  • Thunderstruck (2007 book) by Erik Larson. “This page-turner juxtaposes scientific intrigue with a notorious murder in London at the turn of the 20th century. It alternates the story of Marconi’s quest for the first wireless transatlantic communication with the tale of a mild-mannered murderer caught as a result of the invention.”
  • Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West (2007) by Tom Holland. In the fifth century BC, the global superpower of Persia was determined to bring truth and order to two terrorist states, Athens and Sparta. The small city-states of Greece take on the Great King of Persia in a heart-stopping story where they save not only themselves but Western civilization.
  • Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic (2005 book) by Tom Holland. “In 49 BC, the seven hundred fifth year since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar crossed a small border river called the Rubicon and plunged Rome into cataclysmic civil war. Tom Holland’s enthralling account tells the story of Caesar’s generation, witness to the twilight of the Republic and its bloody transformation into an empire. From Cicero, Spartacus, and Brutus, to Cleopatra, Virgil, and Augustus, here are some of the most legendary figures in history brought thrillingly to life. Combining verve and freshness with scrupulous scholarship, Rubicon is not only an engrossing history of this pivotal era but a uniquely resonant portrait of a great civilization in all its extremes of self-sacrifice and rivalry, decadence and catastrophe, intrigue, war, and world-shaking ambition.”
Favorite movies
  • Interstellar (2014): all-time favorite science fiction film
  • Rome: The Complete Series (11 disc DVD collection from HBO Home Video 2009) by Kevin McKidd, portrays Roman times with more depth and drama than any previous movie and is my favorite dramatic series. This lavishly detailed spectacle of Rome in 52 BC expertly weaves human dramas of historical figures and fictional characters, featuring family dysfunction, treachery, betrayal, brutal violence, and graphic sex.
  • Gladiator (Three-Disc DVD Extended Edition 2005) starring Russell Crowe. This exciting fictional movie captures an essence of Roman times and stands up to repeated viewings.
Recommended nonfiction books

Regarding smartphones, with great power comes great responsibility — says the Greek “Sword of Damocles” anecdote, as well as Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man. Unfortunately, monetized social media enables extreme memes to shout-down both civility and reality itself. To my relief, Canadian psychologist Steven Pinker restores faith in the triumph of public good in the following books:

  • Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters (2021)
  • Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress (2018)
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (2011) by Steven Pinker, analyzes and describes historical declines of violence since ancient hunter-gatherer societies evolved into civilizations with centralized authority and commerce. Progressive morality has risen to a peak, which suggests grounds for guarded optimism. The most violent societies per person have been pre-state tribes. Violence has declined per person over human history because nation-states (the “Leviathan”) and rule of law have assumed a monopoly on the legitimate use of force. Desperately poor countries are the most likely to have civil wars. Most murders are done by people taking the law into their own hands, in moralized self-interest. Religions have been a net negative violent force, often against Enlightenment values, against the flourishing of individuals, and against human rights. Excessively moralistic ideologies (tribal, authoritarian, or puritanical) throughout history have caused the most war, conflict, and death. Pinker warns that historical trends in the decline of violence (especially after World War II) are not necessarily guaranteed to continue. His thesis is descriptive, not predictive. Books, reading, and education have an empathetic value to reduce violence through the understanding of others. Reason allows us to extract ourselves from our parochial vantage points.

More ideas:

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