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2012 Holiday Newsletter

Welcome to the Politics and Prose 2012 Holiday Newsletter. All these books will be 20% off for members through New Year's Eve. We hope you enjoy all the titles in this newsletter as much as we have.

The Hive (Pantheon, $21.95) is the second graphic novel in Charles Burns’s trilogy about Doug, a man with a Tintin mask and a haunted past. In this volume, Doug sifts through his memories in an effort to recall the tragic event that shattered him—shattered him in both our world and in an alternative universe. Burns’s compelling style and gripping storytelling ensures a smooth landing for these narrative jumps between worlds, time periods, and dreams.
Becky

The Hive (Hardcover)

$21.95
ISBN-13: 9780307907882
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Best Graphic Novels of 2012, Graphic Novels & Comics
Touted as an instant classic, Chris Ware’s graphic novel Building Stories gives us a peek into the lives of the inhabitants of a Chicago apartment building (an old woman, a young amputee, a forever bickering couple) and their struggles to find meaning amid the isolation of modernity. Ware’s characters existentially writhe amid commonplace failures, mundane routines, and the crushing grip of loneliness. More akin to a puzzle box, Building Stories contains 14 distinct books, booklets, and pamphlets that, much like the trick of memory, are ordered and constructed as the reader sees fit. Ware exposes something utterly human through his meticulous documentation of the ordinary, and takes us so deep into his characters’ lives that it becomes impossible to separate their struggles from our own.
Mark M.

Building Stories (Hardcover)

$50.00
ISBN-13: 9780375424335
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Best Graphic Novels of 2012, Graphic Novels & Comics
I have been a Sherman Alexie fan ever since I read The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. I thought then, and still think, that more people should read his work. Blasphemy, (Grove, $27), a collection of new and previously published stories, is a great place to start if you have yet to discover this uniquely gifted writer. I find his stories by turns beautiful, poetic, heartbreaking, funny, scary, and real. His work is always salted with a good dash of anger—he grew up on the Spokane Indian reservation and his work reflects this experience. Alexie never backs down from the harsh realities of life on the reservation, but there is always poetry there, too (and Alexie has also published several collections of poems). His characters are often self-effacing and ravaged by deprivation, hunger, alcoholism, but are beautiful nonetheless. Alexie is a master at mixing the beautiful with the profane—and that is the essence of Blasphemy.
Susan S.
$27.00
ISBN-13: 9780802120397
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Grove Press, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Life on the Rez
Timothy Egan won the 2006 National Book Award for The Worst Hard Time, his chronicle of the 1930s Dust Bowl catastrophe as experienced by ordinary people. His new book, Short Nights of The Shadow Catcher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28), is an equally vivid and engaging account of the life of Edward Curtis (1868-1952), the brilliant photographer of Native Americans. Hailing from Seattle, Curtis began tinkering with cameras as a boy and was largely self-taught as a photographer. He was also an amateur anthropologist and archeologist, gradually combining his interests to document Native American culture. At a time when popular media scorned American Indians, Curtis, dubbed the “Shadow Catcher” by the Hopis, dedicated himself to presenting these peoples with sympathy and dignity—as is apparent in the examples of his work included in this book. Unfortunately, Curtis was also an amateur businessman and died penniless.
Barbara
$28.00
ISBN-13: 9780618969029
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American History, Art & Architecture, Art Biography, History & Regional Studies, Picturing American History
This unique and lively political history by the Washington historian and journalist James Srodes focuses on half a dozen young professionals born in the late 19th century who lived near one another On Dupont Circle (Counterpoint, $26). The group included Felix Frankfurter, Walter Lippmann, and the three Dulles siblings, John Foster, Allen, and Eleanor, all of whom would become prominent in their respective fields—as would Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, who also moved into the neighborhood in the pre-World War I era. Early progressives, their idealism fueled their efforts to create a better world. And if Roosevelt was disappointed by the compromises of the Treaty of Versailles, Srodes shows that these remarkable individuals’ unflagging belief in humanity is a legacy still very much alive today.
Barbara
$26.00
ISBN-13: 9781582437163
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Counterpoint, 8/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American History, Here in D.C., History & Regional Studies, Travel, Travel - Washington Region
News of Iraq rarely turns up in U.S. media reports nowadays. But Michael R. Gordon and Bernard E. Trainor, two veteran military correspondents, have stayed on the story and done an important service for history by writing The Endgame: The Inside Story of the Struggle for Iraq, From George W. Bush to Barack Obama (Pantheon, $35). This is the most comprehensive account to date of the ill-fated U.S. war in Iraq. Drawing on many interviews as well as quite a few classified documents, the authors trace the full arc of the American experience in Iraq, from the Bush administration’s mismanagement of the initial years of occupation to the Obama administration’s missed opportunities in setting Iraq on a more stable course. They break new ground, particularly in documenting how Obama fumbled chances to reengage with Iraqi leaders and shape a long-term strategic partnership with Iraq. Instead, the president remained narrow-mindedly intent on winding down America’s military involvement.
Brad
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780307377227
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Pantheon, 2/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American Foreign Policy, History & Regional Studies, Military History, Politics
Military correspondent Thomas E. Ricks has produced a searing indictment of the top ranks of America’s armed forces. In The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today (Penguin Press, $32.95), Ricks looks back at World War II under Gen. George Marshall as a zenith of competence for general officers. It was a time, Ricks recalls, when failure was not tolerated and scores of American generals were relieved of command for falling short. By contrast, Ricks contends, today’s system accepts mediocrity and provides little reward for daring. While some talented generals have emerged—notably, David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno—many of the rest leave much to be desired. Provocative and outspoken as always, Ricks calls for a rethinking of the way U.S. generals are managed.
Brad
$20.00
ISBN-13: 9780316321006
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Back Bay Books, 11/1995

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American Foreign Policy, History & Regional Studies, Military History, Politics
In his wide-ranging, erudite Cézanne: A Life (Pantheon, $40), the essayist and Braque biographer Alex Danchev tells the story of this modernist genius in two intertwining narratives. There’s the chronicle of the artist’s roots in Aix, his long friendships with Zola and Pissarro, halfhearted attempt at law school, and disdain for careerists. Then there’s the life of his work. In effect, Danchev breaks up the picture plane of a chronological account, overlaying the usual biographical trajectory with evidence of the reach and power of Cézanne’s paintings. To Danchev, Cézanne is “a life changer,” and a short list of those who experienced the “Cézanne epiphany” includes Matisse and Picasso, Beckett and Stein, Ginsberg and Heidegger. Yet what exactly is it about the art that’s so stunning? Danchev offers fascinating insight into Cézanne’s uncanny way of gauging weight, his application of highlights first rather than last, his radical approach to line and color. Ultimately, however, the undeniable power of his work is more than a matter of technique. Hemingway may have come closest when he summed it up as “a secret.”
Laurie

Cezanne: A Life (Hardcover)

$40.00
ISBN-13: 9780307377074
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Art Biography, Art History
Anne Applebaum’s Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 (Doubleday, $35) describes the origins of the Soviet Bloc, a now defunct geopolitical entity consisting of European states that fell under the control of the USSR after World War II. Focusing specifically on Hungary, Poland, and East Germany, Applebaum investigates wartime and post-war factors that made the establishment of the Soviet regime possible. She draws on newly opened East European archives, interviews, and personal accounts translated for the first time. This fantastic study of a “totalitarian mindset, Soviet priorities and Soviet thinking” should be required reading for any Soviet- or 20th-centuryhistory buff.
Anton
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780385515696
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Doubleday, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Europe, History & Regional Studies
It’s hard to think of anyone better qualified to talk about Africa than the playwright, poet, political prisoner, fearless critic of oppression, and the first African winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Wole Soyinka. In his optimistic new book, Of Africa (Yale Univ., $24), Soyinka brings his encyclopedic knowledge, wide-ranging interests, and insight into the history and cultures of the continent to bear on the question of what Africa has to offer the world today, and how best to respond to the traumas of the past. Soyinka believes in Africa as a resource of “hidden” values—especially spiritual values—an alternative to the “alien binaries” and hegemonic bipolar dichotomies of the past, be they in the political sphere (Communism versus Capitalism), or in the religious fissure between Christianity and Islam. He presents the Yoruba religion, for example, as a “hidden” tradition that “could never have produced… the Inquisition.”
David

Of Africa (Hardcover)

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9780300140460
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Yale University Press, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Africa, History & Regional Studies
Barbara Kingsolver’s new novel Flight Behavior (HarperCollins, $28.99) opens with a young unhappy housewife finding her plans for romance interrupted by a miraculous event. The marvel of a fire in the forest changes lives and recasts the future, and raises many questions of science and faith, reason and wonder, along with homing in on the interactions between humans and nature. Set in Kingsolver’s native rural Appalachia, this story did what I want every work of fiction to do: It offered a glimpse into a way of life that was new to me by using characters that seem eerily familiar. Once again, Kingsolver proves a master of this genre.
Jenny

Flight Behavior (Hardcover)

$28.99
ISBN-13: 9780062124265
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Wide-Ranging American Fiction
William Seward received welcome attention from historian Doris Kearns Goodwin in her landmark study of Lincoln and the men he appointed to his cabinet, Team of Rivals. But decades after the last major biography of Seward, the one-time presidential aspirant and Secretary of State deserved another thorough examination, which Walter Stahr offers in Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man (Simon & Schuster, $32.50). Stahr, who had a career in law and finance before turning full time to writing biographies (his first book was about another behind-the-scenes power, John Jay), unearthed a trove of documents that enabled him to challenge some of the conventional wisdom about Seward’s role in several of Lincoln’s most important decisions regarding treatment of the South during the Civil War—and more.
Lissa
$32.50
ISBN-13: 9781439121160
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American History, Biography & Memoir, History & Regional Studies, World Leaders Then
Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History (Chronicle, $40) is the companion volume to the series, also by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns, being aired on CBS this fall. The book captures terrifying photographs of mile-high dust clouds, devastated land and livestock, and worried farmers and children. With its many first-hand accounts and oral histories, the book conveys this difficult time in America in vivid detail. Growing up, I heard many stories of the Dust Bowl from my grandmother who lived in the Texas panhandle during that time. This book helps to round out my education on the topic with additional narratives and breathtaking pictures.
Jenny
$40.00
ISBN-13: 9781452107943
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Chronicle Books, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American History, History & Regional Studies, Picturing American History
Jewish sports heroes? You betcha! From boxers like Barney Ross, who dominated the professional ranks in the 1920s and ‘30s, to playground basketball stars who went on to be pros, like Red Holzman and Doph Schayes, to Sid Luckman who originated the position of the modern dropback quarterback, Jews have had an enormous impact on American sports. In Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame (Twelve, $26.99), Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy have compiled fifty biographical portraits that entertain, enlighten, and educate. The range of subjects is diverse, and so are the contributors. They include Simon Schama, David Brooks, Jane Leavy, Sholom Auslander, and David Remn
Mark L.
$26.99
ISBN-13: 9781455516131
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Twelve, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Judaica, Sports
While the year 1776 is widely celebrated for sparking U.S. independence, Kevin Phillips argues in his persuasive, engrossing new book that the events of the previous year were what gave greater impetus to the American Revolution. He shows compellingly in 1775: A Good Year for Revolution (Viking, $36) how much of the momentum for the break with Britain came months before the formal Declaration of Independence, as militias were organized and armed, royal governors were expelled, and territorial control was consolidated in Patriot hands. By the time the British sought in 1776 to reassert their authority, their grip had been irrecoverably weakened, and they found themselves unable to regain the upper hand. This richly detailed history by a noted political commentator and bestselling author offers fresh insight into America’s origins and the run-up to revolution.
Brad
$36.00
ISBN-13: 9780670025121
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Viking Adult, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American History, History & Regional Studies
Competition was key to the astonishing creativity of the Italian Renaissance. Nowhere was this truer than in Florence, where, in 1504, officials commissioned paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo for the Republic’s Great Council Hall. These murals are The Lost Battles (Knopf, $35) at the center of this rich account by The Guardian’s art critic, Jonathan Jones. Commissioned both to celebrate Florence and to determine who was the greater artist, the dual depictions looked to the past martial glory of Florence for their subject, but in approach and style pointed ahead to the art of the High Renaissance. As Jones defines the different strengths of the two competitors—Leonardo was “an artist who worked with ideas,” while Michelangelo was primarily a sculptor and dealt in risk and daring—he shows how these distinctions heralded new criteria for judging art. The emphasis was no longer on technical expertise, but on individual style and originality. And the winner? Neither artist completed the assignment, and the preliminary drawings were likely destroyed when the Medicis regained power in 1513.
Laurie
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780307594754
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Knopf, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Art History, Art Theory & Critique, Europe, History & Regional Studies
No matter how you feel about “heroin chic” or her personal life, there is little question that Kate Moss has had an unparalleled modeling career. Kate: The Kate Moss Book (Rizzoli, $85) is a comprehensive collection of images that spans two decades and includes never-before-seen photographs from Moss’s own archives. The close collaboration of Moss and her editors, three luminaries of the fashion world, Fabien Baron, Jess Hallett, and Jefferson Hack, has resulted in a book that is as beautiful as it is personal. A friend once said to me, “whatever Kate Moss is selling, I’m buying.” My recommendation? Follow my friend’s advice and buy this amazing book about a truly stunning woman.
Sarah
$85.00
ISBN-13: 9780847837908
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Rizzoli, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Fashion, Fashion Plates, Photography Monograph
In Alexander McQueen: The Life and the Legacy (Harper Design, $35), Judith Watt presents an illustrated biography of one of fashion’s greatest contemporary designers, a man with enormous vision who was challenged by personal demons. Watt shows how McQueen, the youngest son of a taxi driver and a teacher, was a man of contradictions— tenacious yet uncertain in his ambitions, charming yet a compulsive liar who delighted and encouraged the many apocryphal stories that surrounded him—and reveals how McQueen’s designs reflect a similar tension between extremes. Known for his flamboyant and theatrical runways, McQueen pushed himself to create new silhouettes and to combine fabrics and styles in innovative and avant-garde ways. From bumster pants to the Armadillo shoe, Watt’s intimate portrait proves that McQueen’s impact on contemporary fashion design is undisputed.
Lacey
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780062131997
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Design, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Art Biography, Fashion, Fashion Plates
A Richard Avedon portrait is instantly recognizable; as a fashion photographer and as a chronicler of political and cultural figures, he had few peers. Avedon: Murals & Portraits (Gagosian/Abrams, $100) centers on four gigantic works (from 20 to 35 feet wide) created between 1969 and 1971. Each is a charged subject: The Chicago Seven; the members of the Mission Council in Saigon—“the eleven men who ran the Vietnam War”; Andy Warhol and the film stars of his Factory; and the extended Allen Ginsberg family (including father, poet Louis Ginsberg). The oversize, beautifully produced catalog includes working prints, magazine layouts, contact prints, and four-paneled foldouts of the murals. Informative essays by historian Louis Menand, journalist William Shawcross, Corcoran curator Paul Roth, and Ginsberg authority Bob Rubin add vital contextual contributions, and photo-historian Mary Panzer’s essay, “State of Emergency,” immerses you in Avedon’s work in the 1960s and 1970s.
Andras
$100.00
ISBN-13: 9781419705632
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harry N. Abrams, 5/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Photography Monograph
How did human vision and engineering change the world between 1900 and 1999? Let this unique atlas of 20th-Century World Architecture (Phaidon, $200) show you some of the ways. Organized by geographic region, this masterpiece of design and information highlights some 750 structures, ranging from cultural centers to banks, wineries and farms to embassies and estates. Beloved icons like Wright’s Fallingwater are examined as well as less familiar projects, such as art nouveau buildings in China. You can also observe a planetarium in Moscow and compare the Glass House of New Canaan, Connecticut, with the Glass House in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Phaidon has drawn on the resources of an extensive list of experts to present the work of nearly 700 different architects. Weighing in at over eighteen pounds, and with dimensions (27” x 13.7” x 3.3”) that are just short of life-size, this dazzling volume is truly a world-class production.
Book Notes
$95.00
ISBN-13: 9780714857060
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Phaidon Press, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Architecture, Art & Architecture, The Built World
Telegraph Avenue (HarperCollins, $27.99), by Michael Chabon, had me savoring every single page. This is a modern Dickensian novel about parents and children across several generations, but it’s also about home births, small stores fighting megamalls, and a love letter to vinyl records, blaxploitation and kung fu films. Archy and Nat run Brokeland Records, a store in the “borderlands” between Oakland and Berkeley. Their wives, Gwen and Aviva, run Berkeley Birth Partners. Each set of partners is under stress: business pressures, impending parenthood, and unexpected father-and-son reunions. There are guest appearances by a Hammond B-3 organ master (and his wise parrot), a black zeppelin named Minnie Ripperton, and State Senator Barack Obama (at a funky fund-raiser). The pages are crammed with colorful characters, great dialogue, audacious set pieces, and inspired riffs, descriptions, and metaphors worthy of the musical flights that suffuse these pages. In the words of another memorable character, Valletta Moore, “Stay fly, and do what you got to do”: buy this book.
Andras

Telegraph Avenue (Hardcover)

$27.99
ISBN-13: 9780061493348
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction
Ian McEwan once again poses the question of how we can truly know ourselves, let alone another person, but this time he does it with a narrative of Cold War spies and a pretty girl. Sweet Tooth (Nan A. Talese, $26.95) follows the beautiful daughter of a small-town rector from her first love affair at Oxford to the grey, yet heady world of late-Cold War espionage in MI5. Smart but not brilliant, beautiful but not breathtaking, Serena is attracted to men who can teach her something, but ends up being drawn into their games and used as a pawn. McEwan depicts the pressure of the male gaze so accurately it can be difficult to breathe as you watch Serena navigate her way through politics, literature, and friendship. She can trust no one, and you will soon wonder if you can even trust her.
Hannah

Sweet Tooth (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780385536820
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Nan A. Talese, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction
If you’ve only read Grimm’s fairy tales in their simplified, sanitized versions, then you haven’t read Grimm’s fairy tales. Philip Pullman’s new translation of Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm (Viking, $27.95) includes all of my (and Pullman’s) favorite stories, including “Thousand Furs,” “Godfather Death,” and “Jorinda and Joringel,” and even some that, I must admit, I had never heard of before. The language is simple and vivid, just right for telling a fairy tale. Pullman provides an introduction, marvelous translations, and witty reflections at the end of each tale. For the folklore scholar, the book also includes the ATU (Aarne-Thompson) tale type, similar stories, and cites the source at the end. This is the perfect way to honor the 200th anniversary of the Grimms’ first fairy-tale collection.
Anna
$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780670024971
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Viking Adult, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Mythology & Folklore
By turns grotesque, historic, charming, and witty, the fairy tales collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are timeless. While they exist in countless versions and adaptations, these tales are best as the brothers told them. In The Annotated Brothers Grimm: The Bicentennial Edition (W.W. Norton, $35), A.S. Byatt’s deep appreciation for the gift of these tales comes through in her introduction, and editor Maria Tatar’s analysis will expand every warm feeling or chill you experienced when first reading or listening to these stories. Filled with illustrations from various editions over the collection’s two-hundred-year history, this Bicentennial Edition is deserving of as much careful devotion as any enthralled child or still-wistful adult can muster.
Hannah
$39.95
ISBN-13: 9780393088861
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Mythology & Folklore
Floods, snakes, the afterlife, the beginning and the end of the world—these have been the stuff of myth since time immemorial. Mythology: The Complete Guide to Our Imagined Worlds (Thames and Hudson, $40), by Christopher Dell, explores the reasons for our enduring fascination with certain subjects. The book divides myths from around the world into eight broad themes, such as Gifts from the Gods, Origin Myths, and Heroes, then discusses their similarities. It includes familiar fare such as Prometheus’s theft of fire as well as more exotic tales like that of Sekhmet’s rampage in Egypt. Each theme is vividly illustrated with stunning images (420 in all) that exemplify both the myths and their persistent influence on artists. The volume concludes with family trees of the Greek and Roman pantheons, the Vikings, Celts, Japanese, Native Americans, and many other ancient peoples.
Anna
$40.00
ISBN-13: 9780500516157
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Thames & Hudson, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Mythology & Folklore
History does not often remember the successful gambles of presidents. Rather, we endlessly analyze Watergate, Vietnam, and the Bay of Pigs disaster. In Ike’s Bluff (Little, Brown, $29.99), an in-depth look at the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower written by Evan Thomas, we are shown how this often overlooked commander-inchief wagered everything and won. Confronted by the horrors of thermonuclear war and a bloody stalemate in Korea, Ike brandished his greatest weapon in creating foreign policy: the poker face. Hiding his true intentions from even his closest friends and family, Ike maintained peace, in a time when, “the only thing worse than losing a global war is winning one.”
Anders
$29.99
ISBN-13: 9780316091046
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American History, History & Regional Studies, World Leaders Then
In his previous book, Imperial Life in the Emerald City, Rajiv Chandrasekaran exposed the failures and follies of the first years of the U.S. occupation of Iraq. His new book, Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan (Knopf, $27.95), is a depressingly similar tale about wellintentioned military and development plans gone awry, this time in Afghanistan. The story is filled with inflexible generals, uninformed diplomats, misguided development experts, distracted political leaders, and squabbling administration officials. But for all the ineptitude, poor co-ordination, wasted resources, personal rivalries, and lack of effective oversight that Chandrasekaran documents, he maintains a very even, exceedingly non-polemical tone. “For years,” he writes in conclusion, “we dwelled on the limitations of the Afghans. We should have focused on ourselves.”
Brad
$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780307957146
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 6/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American Foreign Policy, Politics
The extraordinary story about the Obama administration’s decision to launch a supersecret cyber operation against Iran’s nuclear facilities is the centerpiece of New York Times correspondent David Sanger’s Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power (Crown, $28). But this well-sourced and vividly written book also provides informative accounts of the handling of other key national security challenges, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Arab Spring, China and North Korea. President Obama is portrayed as both idealist and pragmatist. On the one hand, he’s wary of military action when no national threat exists and rejects the neoconservative notion of the United States as “indispensable nation.” On the other hand, he’s depicted as firmly willing to use force to protect U.S. interests, as when he ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, expanded drone strikes into an antiterrorism offensive, and authorized use of the Stuxnet cyberworm to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program.
Brad
$28.00
ISBN-13: 9780307718020
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Crown, 6/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American Foreign Policy, National Security, Politics
His 2004 book, The Rise of the Vulcans, about the backgrounds and experiences of George W. Bush’s foreign policy team, established James Mann as an insightful and balanced chronicler of the personalities who shape foreign policy. In The Obamians: The Struggle Inside the White House to Redefine American Power (Viking, $26.95), Mann offers a complex portrait of the foreign policy- making apparatus around President Obama. He describes how Obama and his team in some ways have followed through on their initial pledges to break with the policies of the Bush administration, but how in other ways they have accommodated themselves to the preexisting order. Obama is portrayed as the master of his own foreign policy. But the book also highlights the influence of two main groups around the president—the older, experienced Washington hands including Hillary Clinton, Bob Gates, and Leon Panetta, and a younger, very politically attuned group closer to Obama that includes Denis McDonough, Ben Rhodes, Samantha Power, and Susan Rice.
Brad
$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780670023769
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Viking Adult, 6/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American Politics, National Security, Politics
Drawing on exceptional access to key government officials, journalist Daniel Klaidman has written one of the most thorough accounts so far of the Obama administration’s infighting over how to conduct anti-terrorist operations and how to handle captured terrorist suspects. In Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28), Klaidman advances significantly our understanding of such critical developments as the frustrated effort to close the Guantánamo Bay prison, the escalation of targeted killings, the hand-wringing over the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, and the wrangling over how to put these prisoners on trial. The portrait that Klaidman offers of President Obama tackling these national security dilemmas reinforces the image of this president as someone who has struggled to balance fundamentally liberal leanings against a determined pragmatism.
Brad
$28.00
ISBN-13: 9780547547893
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 8/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, American Foreign Policy, National Security, Politics
What was England like before there was even an English language? The sweeping narrative of Britain Begins (Oxford Univ., $45) takes us from the earliest moments of unsettled, rolling hills up to the point where the Norman conquest gave birth to the language of Chaucer. As an archeologist and Oxford professor Emeritus, Barry Cunliffe is well prepared to delve as far back as DNA evidence, oral history, and a clear mind can reach. Most fascinating in his telling are the scientific and cultural roots of the myths we associate with inherent Britishness, such as King Arthur. Cunliffe also illustrates how hunter-gatherers, Celts, Vikings, and Romans influenced and were themselves changed by the magnificent green islands.
Hannah

Britain Begins (Hardcover)


ISBN-13: 9780199609338
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Oxford University Press, USA, 1/2013

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Europe, History & Regional Studies, Merry Old
Virginia Woolf may have put Bloomsbury into the minds of every student to take an interest in modernism, but she didn’t create that world. The London neighborhood long boasted of bright, artistic folk, and Rosemary Ashton’s Victorian Bloomsbury (Yale Univ., $40) gives context to a subculture that has too long been relegated to a footnote. From Charles Dickens to Mary Ward, from secular humanism to poor houses, Victorian Bloomsbury was filled to bursting with characters, idealisms, and clashing classes that could make any hardened modernist blush. Every history buff or Anglophile will enjoy perusing Ashton’s well-researched, flowing narrative of the high life and those who sought emancipation from small minds.
Hannah
$45.00
ISBN-13: 9780300154474
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Yale University Press, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Europe, History & Regional Studies, Merry Old
I love to read John Updike’s essays, especially those on artists, which were collected in two volumes, Just Looking (1989) and Still Looking (2005). The posthumous companion, Always Looking: Essays on Art (Knopf, $45), leads off with Updike’s Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities, delivered in 2008 in Washington. I was lucky to be in the audience at the Warner Theater for this slide-talk entitled “The Clarity of Things” which connected the “American-ness” in paintings by John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, and Thomas Eakins, among others. The lecture, like Updike’s essays, was full of close observation and an obvious love of his subjects. Always Looking continues with fourteen other pieces on such topics as the monotypes of Degas, the landscapes of Frederick Edwin Church, the patterned interiors of Vuillard, Miró’s graffiti, and the pop worlds of Lichtenstein and Oldenburg. It’s great art and great Updike.
Andras
$45.00
ISBN-13: 9780307957306
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Art Theory & Critique, The Art of Looking
One of things I love most about art is the fluidity of my perception of it: how it affects me can change depending on my mood, where and how I see it, and even with whom I see it. This is what I love about paging through The Art Book: New Edition (Phaidon, $59.95)—it puts art into new perspectives. Rather than listing the artists by period or genre, the book places them alphabetically. This makes for some interesting juxtapositions—a classic medieval work appears right next to a thoroughly modern sculpture, for instance. (For perhaps the ultimate juxtaposition, turn to pages 164-165.) Even familiar iconic pieces look new and different in this context; I can’t remember when an art book was this much fun. I suggest reading it with someone else, so that together you can be surprised by the serendipity of who turns up next to whom. It reminds you that art constantly amazes and can be seen in new and exciting ways.
Susan S.
$59.95
ISBN-13: 9780714864679
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Phaidon Press, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Art History, The Art of Looking
As you turn the pages of A Curator’s Quest: Building the Collection of Painting and Sculpture of the Museum of Modern Art, 1967-1988 (Overlook, $100) and see one iconic work after another that William Rubin acquired for the museum, you realize that MoMA was definitely the house that Alfred H. Barr and Rubin built. William Rubin was an art history professor at Sarah Lawrence—and a collector with a loft full of works by Rothko, Pollock, de Kooning, and Kline—when he became the Chief Curator, then the Director, of the Department of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA. Besides the hundreds of works he helped acquire, he mounted great exhibitions like Picasso: A Retrospective and “Primitivism” in 20th-Century Art. Each of the book’s three sections could be a volume in itself: Rubin’s 150-page essay on his career (which takes you inside the world of trustees and collectors); over 300 pages of color reproductions of key acquisitions; and eight lectures on “The Pioneers of Modernism” (also with plenty of illustrations). Yes, it’s heavy, but perfect for this heavyweight personality—and for any art lover.
Andras
$100.00
ISBN-13: 9781590201176
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Overlook Press, 5/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Art History, The Art of Looking
After a contentious legal battle over moving its collection, the Barnes Foundation opened its new building in downtown Philadelphia this May. Most importantly, the configurations of rooms and of the art remained intact. Alfred Barnes assembled one of the most dazzling collections of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern works in the world (and a few Old Masters as well). He viewed the Foundation as a teaching venue, and he hung the paintings in symmetrical groupings he called “ensembles.” These were juxtaposed with folk art furniture, African masks, and many beautiful examples of metalwork—hinges, keys, escutcheons, and utensils that were interspersed with the paintings to “activate” the space. Masterworks: The Barnes Foundation (Skira/ Rizzoli, $40) takes you on a virtual tour of twenty-one of the ensembles with unobstructed fold-out views and detailed close-ups. You will see Matisses (he painted The Dance especially for the main room), Cézannes, Gaugins, Picassos, a lot of Renoirs, but also a Pennsylvania German cupboard and a Zuni Pueblo jar. There is commentary by Chief Curator Judith F. Dolkart, Associate Curator Martha Lucy, and Director Derek Gillman. This beautifully produced volume will inspire a trip to see the collection.
Andras
$40.00
ISBN-13: 9780847838066
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Skira Rizzoli, 6/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Art History, The Art of Looking
Take a long, close look at a masterpiece. As important as the details of subject and technique is the focused, attentive act of looking itself. This is part of the passionate and well reasoned defense of the visual arts offered by Camille Paglia, humanities professor at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts, in Glittering Images (Pantheon, $30). Increasingly in danger of being lost amid the distracting digital clutter, the arts are also being cut from school curricula and have been demonized by the right, narrowed by the left. Paglia’s response is to revitalize art history with an eloquent tour of twenty-nine works, from ancient Egyptian tomb paintings to Renaissance sculptures to contemporary installations and films. Her brief essays describe periods and styles and how they’ve accomplished the diverse work art has done for some 5,000 years, which includes carrying on traditions, solidifying faith, celebrating historical events, and delighting by “the sorcery of beauty.” And art’s role now? Paglia declares the avant-garde agenda over; today, “we’re looking for meaning, not subverting it.”
Laurie
$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780375424601
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Pantheon, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Art History, Art Theory & Critique
This extraordinary facsimile of The Book of Kells (Thames & Hudson, $95) harks back to a time when books were rare and unique. They stood for knowledge, riches, and artistry, and none more so than the Book of Kells. The original 8th-century manuscript is housed in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, where hundreds of thousands of people come to see it every year, but you can peruse this edition whenever you like. Overseen by Bernard Meehan, Trinity Library’s Keeper of Manuscripts, the publication beautifully presents 250 color illustrations, with crisp details that capture the intricacy of the illuminations. Meehan’s fascinating commentary offers insight on the manuscript’s context, creation, and artists; interprets its symbols and themes; and traces the wide influence of its art. Anna Thorn
Anna

The Book of Kells (Hardcover)

$95.00
ISBN-13: 9780500238943
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Thames & Hudson, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Art History, One of a Kind
In W: The First Forty Years (Abrams,$75), editor-in-chief Stefano Tonchi presents a strikingly diverse collection of images highlighting W’s outstanding coverage of fashion, art, architecture, music, and design. The pictures are complemented by specially commissioned essays from some of the magazine’s frequent contributors, such as Lynn Hirschberg. As other publications have shrunk their offerings, both editorially and physically, W has maintained its out-sized coverage and format. While the book may not fit easily on a newsstand, it is tailormade for coffee tables. Here’s to forty more years!
Sarah
$75.00
ISBN-13: 9781419704475
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art & Architecture, Fashion, Fashion Plates, Photography Monograph
Welcome to the world of shielings, orthliths, and zawns. In the third chronicle of his travels, the mountaineer and prodigious walker Robert Macfarlane introduces The Old Ways (Viking, $27.95) of Britain, its coastal islands, and the water routes in between. Traversing a variety of drove roads, pilgrim paths, and green lanes, some so old and half-forgotten that they’re more legend than passage, Macfarlane meditates on a past that kept our species in motion around fields and shores; he calls this work “biogeography” and traces the reciprocal shaping of landscape and human practices. But if his rigorous hikes and sea voyages in a tiny, century-old craft give him a taste of previous eras, they also root him firmly in the here-and-now. As he describes the sounds, smells, and sheer spectacle of being awakened by skylarks before dawn or watching the sunset shatter in a set of bog pools, he offers some of the crispest, most immediate nature writing around.
Laurie
$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780670025114
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Viking Adult, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Going Places, Travel, Travel Literature
How much can live on twelve inches of the Earth? Plenty. In fact, look closely and you’ll find A World in One Cubic Foot (Univ. of Chicago, $45). National Geographic photographer and one-time assistant to Richard Avedon, David Liittschwager traveled the world and focused on one cubic foot of six distinct habitats. Ranging from Central Park to a Central American cloud forest, from Tennessee’s Duck River to a Polynesian coral reef, Liittschwager’s subjects yield not the lush panoramas of classic nature imagery but the finest details of the tiniest creatures. A cubic foot of water under the Golden Gate Bridge harbors some 9,000 living organisms; a drop of this water reveals their diverse shapes, textures, and delicate colors. And who dreamed that the Temae Reef’s squat lobster (.49” across) boasted such dazzling orange spots? Whether you’re looking the minuscule (.39” long) shell-less marine snail in its black speck of an eye or admiring the velvety green moss on a river cooter’s back, these elegant, amazing pictures are simply beautiful. Oh, and—the photos are complemented by essays from distinguished writers—poets, journalists, scientists—who also live in these places.
Laurie
$45.00
ISBN-13: 9780226481234
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University Of Chicago Press, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, See Nature, Travel, Travel & Nature Art
Julia Child is already so familiar to many cooks and would-be cooks that it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to spend time wading through a 500-page biography of her. But with Dearie (Knopf, $29.95)— Child’s term for most everyone—Bob Spitz has succeeded in producing an entertaining and intimate portrait that captures the charm, quirkiness, and innate culinary talent that made Child (and her wine-drinking) so popular in her heyday and even today. You don’t have to be a devotee of the old The French Chef television series or have a dog-eared copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking in your kitchen to enjoy this thorough, and highly readable, account of the woman who revolutionized the way Americans think about home cooking.
Lissa
$29.95
ISBN-13: 9780307272225
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Knopf, 8/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Biography & Memoir, Cooking, Cooking Literature, The Cooks
The Kitchen Diaries (Studio, $40) invite us to spend a year in the kitchen of the beloved chef Nigel Slater. Known throughout the UK for his cooking shows and literature, Slater is widely considered to be the best food writer today. For me the reason for this is simple: Slater loves food. He loves it in a way that makes it precious and dear, and his writing makes the reader feel the same way. Reading his words about a particular dish, a favorite meal, or a time when he gathered with friends over beer and snacks will make you regret that you could not be there—regretful that you missed both the food and the pleasure of his friendship. The words are beautiful. The recipes are tried and true. The Kitchen Diaries is a must read for any foodie.
Jenny
$40.00
ISBN-13: 9780670026418
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Studio, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - General, The Cooks
Published last year as a multi-volume set that sold for over six hundred dollars, Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine at Home (The Cooking Lab, $140) has been abridged to a single book (with accompanying manual), focusing on recipes and techniques suitable for home chefs. Myhrvold, former technology officer at Microsoft, concentrates on the science of food preparation, using cuttingedge techniques. One look at these oversize color plates and daring recipes may entice adventurous home chefs to take their own repertoire to the next level.
Mark L.
$140.00
ISBN-13: 9780982761014
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Cooking Lab, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking Literature, For dinner
It’s impossible to venture into the world of food blogs without finding your way to Deb Perelman’s extraordinarily popular Smitten Kitchen. All internet foodways eventually lead to Deb’s shoebox New York apartment, where she whips up every version of comfort food and then writes about it in her inimitably wry, effusive, welcoming voice. Now, with The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook (Knopf, $35), you don’t even need an internet connection to get to know her. Her philosophy revolves around the budgets, schedules, and kitchens of home cooks. Her recipes are often ambitious but never pretentious, and always, always tasty. What made me weak-kneed? An entire chapter on Sandwiches, Tarts, and Pizzas.
Liz S.
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780307595652
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - General, For dinner
Roots (Chronicle, $40), by Diane Morgan, is an ideal testament to the hidden vegetables it celebrates: an encyclopedia of simple and clean recipes, perfect for a nourishing, elegant midweek meal. There’s no didacticism or dogma here, nor is this dinnerparty fare. Throughout, Morgan focuses on the inherent flavors of the vegetables, with seasonings added to bring out the natural taste of the roots. The author’s own Pacific Northwest culinary roots definitely shine through: there’s ease and palpable warmth in her writing. Reading Roots you can feel yourself in the kitchen with Morgan, devouring meals made with love, precision, and a little bit of dirt. Indeed, in my house her recipe for French Breakfast Radishes with Herb Butter and Sel Gris was devoured by my whole family, in happy, silent gulps.
Liz H.
$40.00
ISBN-13: 9780811878371
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - Vegetarian, For dinner
Authors Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs performed a noble deed in compiling The Food52 Cookbook: 140 Winning Recipes from Exceptional Home Cooks (Wm. Morrow, $35). They took submissions from home cooks across the country, tested them thoroughly, and put them all in this volume, organized by season. This book is as good for the budding college-age cook as it is for the longtime chef extraordinaire. For my part (somewhere in between the aforementioned levels of expertise), I like to read myself to sleep with this cookbook, because, guess what?—each recipe is introduced with a brief and elegant blurb from the authors and followed by sections entitled “Tips and Techniques” from the original cook, “About the Cook,” and “What the Community Said” from others who have used the recipe. The value of Food52, like the U.S.A. itself, lies in the diversity of voices it contains.
Linden
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780061887208
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Cookbooks, 10/2011

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - General, For dinner
Ina Garten is a cook whose recipes I can trust. Her hit Food Network show has brought delicious food to us in a simple and direct way. As she often says, “how easy is that!” In her new Barefoot Contessa Foolproof (Clarkson Potter, $35), Garten takes us through a series of recipes, focusing on how to make a dish that can be served time and again to an appreciative group of family and friends. I’m looking at the picture of Winter Minestrone with Garlic Bruschetta and all I can think of is diving in. Unfortunately I have to go to the store and pick up a few ingredients. Novice cooks will be relieved to know that there’s nothing on the list that can’t be purchased at the local supermarket. If you’re like me you’ll find the book’s pictures—over a hundred of them—seducing you into trying every new recipes.
Deb
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780307464873
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - General, For dinner
Is there anyone alive who can make healthy food taste quite as good as Andrew Weil? If there is, I haven’t found him or her. In True Food (Little, Brown, $29.99), Weil and his co-restaurateur Sam Fox show us the recipes they use in their kitchen, also called True Food, to bring together taste, nutrition, and ecological consideration. Promoting a diet heavy in plants that avoids processed foods and includes some lean proteins, the authors offer recipes that are easy to follow and have tasty results. And Fox and Weil have finally addressed an important part of dining that many health-food cookbooks overlook... cocktails! (I recommend The Peacemaker.)
Jenny
$29.99
ISBN-13: 9780316129411
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - Diet & Nutrition, Eat Right
I acquired The Country Cooking of Greece (Chronicle, $50) and went wild with it. Within a week I’d made Corfu Zucchini Pie with Tomatoes, Hot Peppers, and Rice; Pasta with Yogurt and Caramelized Onions from Kassos (the kids will love it); and Mushrooms Braised with Green Tomatoes. Author Diane Kochilas has made a book so splendid that you can cook delicious thirty-minute meals, make an elaborate feast all day with your friends, or laze around and read about the wines, cheeses, regions, and history of Greek food. The pictures are tantalizing and numerous, and there are chapters dedicated entirely to artichokes, octopus, rusks, beans, ladera, and other equally wild and crazy ingredients and sub-cuisines. This cookbook is also well suited to the general cookbook-lover, the Grecophile, and the gardener with a surplus of zucchini.
Linden
$50.00
ISBN-13: 9780811864534
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Chronicle Books, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - General, Eat Global
Photographer and writer Naomi Duguid and her partner Jeffrey Alford helped create a new genre in cookbooks: mixing offthe- beaten-path travelogue and cultural anthropology with sumptuous photos and recipes in coffee-table formats. Their classics include Hot Sour Salty Sweet (on the cuisines along the Mekong River) and Flatbreads and Flavors. Now Duguid goes solo to explore Burma: Rivers of Flavor (Artisan, $35). Duguid presents Burma’s regional and ethnic cooking (as well as culinary influences from neighboring China and India), and, as always, pays special attention to street vendors, teashops, and markets. Rice, fermented tea leaves, noodles, fresh turmeric, crispy shallots, chilis and shrimp powder—these are some “Burmese basics,” used with abundant fish and vegetables. Complex yet light salads (thoke meaning “mixed by hand”) are a standout. Duguid’s color photos and dozens of fascinating cultural sidebars make this a revelatory trip.
Andras
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9781579654139
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Artisan Publishers, 4/2013

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - General, Eat Global
Gran Cocina Latina (W.W. Norton, $45) is an ambitious cookbook that aims to be nothing less than a comprehensive survey of Latin American food. And Maricel Presilla is surely up to the challenge: she’s the chef and owner of Zafra and Cucharamama, two Pan-Latin restaurants, and has been voted best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region by the James Beard Foundation. She also holds a doctorate in medieval history—which she puts to use here in exploring the roots of Latin American cooking. The recipes she presents may take a bit more time and consideration than the average, but the reward is an astonishing depth of flavor (I promise, you’ll never forget her Short Ribs in Black Sauce with Chocolate and Cacao.). This book may do for Latin American cuisine what Rick Bayless has done for Mexican or Madhur Jaffrey for Indian dishes, which is to incorporate something exotic into American home kitchens. This is a cookbook with real staying power.
Liz H.
$45.00
ISBN-13: 9780393050691
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - General, Eat Global
The best parts of many dining experiences are the cocktails, appetizers, and small plates. In his latest cookbook, Frontera (W. W. Norton, $24.95), renowned chef Rick Bayless brings us his favorite margarita, guacamole, and snack recipes. Famed for being one of the first in America to meld Mexican cuisine with fine dining, Bayless specializes in creating cookbooks that are ideal for in-home, authentic Mexican fare. Frontera will surely join his previous volumes in the canon of Mexican cookbooks. With a drink and a guac for every season and palate, Bayless’s recipes are sure to be a hit at your next fiesta. Olé!
Jenny
$24.95
ISBN-13: 9780393088922
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - Beverages & Cigars, Cooking - General, Eat Global
With Plenty, London restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi burst onto the culinary scene by showcasing vegetables in a new way: dynamic, substantive, entirely cosmopolitan. Now, returning to his roots in Jerusalem (Ten Speed Press, $35), Ottolenghi has produced a gorgeously photographed, visceral tour through that city’s diverse food histories. Exploring Jewish, Christian, and Muslim culinary traditions, this book broadens Ottolenghi’s scope to include meat, though this chef still excels in vegetable dishes, especially salads (don’t miss Na’ama’s fattoush), and he uses eggs and grains beautifully. His flavors, in keeping with Jerusalem palates, tend toward the sweet: a gentle hand is needed with the ubiquitous pomegranate seeds. A truly galvanizing collection, this book stresses the importance of food as “the only unifying force” in a city torn by religious, ethnic, and historic divisions.
Liz H.
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9781607743941
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cooking, Cooking - General, Eat Global
Thomas Keller’s books are tall, gorgeous, and intimidating—supermodels of the cookbook world. His latest, Bouchon Bakery (Artisan, $50), is especially mouthwatering. Seductively photographed, its detailed, exacting recipes for such delights as macarons, shatteringly light and tender croissants, palmiers à la framboise, (are you detecting a leetle French accent?) and pain rustique both inspire and daunt. Could these untutored hands create such masterpieces too? Maybe if we start with the blueberry muffins or caramel corn recipe… Our guides— chef-proprietor of The French Laundry/Bouchon empire Mr. Keller, executive pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel, and Bouchon’s head baker Matthew McDonald—are patient, skillful, and precise. Put yourself entirely in their hands. The result? Ah, très bon, très jolie!
Leah

Bouchon Bakery (Hardcover)

$50.00
ISBN-13: 9781579654351
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Artisan Publishers, 4/2013

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Care for dessert?, Cooking, Cooking - Desserts & Baking
John Cage, the avant-garde American composer famous for 4’ 33” (a performance of four minutes and thirtythree seconds of silence) and percussion experiments using everyday objects, was already well into his journey to achieve a pure musical aesthetic when he encountered D.T. Suzuki’s Essays in Zen Buddhism: 1st Series in 1950. Like other artists of his time such as Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Kerouac, Cage was profoundly influenced by Zen as taught by Suzuki, who had moved to New York that same year. In Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists (Penguin Press, $29.95), Kay Larson shows how Cage’s Buddhism and his artistry are inseparable. In telling the story of Cage’s life, she also traces the influence of Cage and Zen on other young artists, from poets to painters to musicians, who came of age in the post-war period.
Mark L.
$29.95
ISBN-13: 9781594203404
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Penguin Press HC, The, 7/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Biography & Memoir, Music, Music Makers
Hard times abound. In Living Beautifully (Shambhala, $22.95), Pema Chodron is back with advice on handling the difficulties we must confront throughout our lives. Building from the most basic principle of Western Buddhist practices, to be present, Chodron offers three new commitments to aid growth during struggle: commit to cause no harm, commit to take care of each other, and commit to accept the world and face it just as it really is. You do not have to be interested in Buddhism to benefit from this book, nor do you have to be suffering. The ideas promoted here offer strength and wisdom for all of us.
Jenny
$22.95
ISBN-13: 9781590309636
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Shambhala, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Eastern Religion, Everyday Zen, Religion
Were you one of the many who loved the Man Booker prize-winning novel, Wolf Hall? The sequel—another Man-Booker winner—and the second in a planned trilogy, Bring up the Bodies (Holt, $28), is just as good, possibly better. Hilary Mantel dramatizes the last few months in the life of Anne Boleyn, largely from the point of view of the increasingly ruthless Thomas Cromwell, the man most responsible for bringing her down. The taut story line moves remorselessly toward the queen’s inevitable doom, contrasting dramatically with Mantel’s lyrical, liquid prose. Most astonishing is this writer’s uncanny ability to place us exactly where she wants us with a brief, descriptive turn of phrase. We see the faint outline of the future—an unbelieving queen, the compliant, complacent Jane Seymour waiting in the wings, Cromwell himself, mature and self-confident, almost at peace with himself, but becoming perhaps too necessary to his jealous and unpredictable monarch.
Book Notes

Bring Up the Bodies (Hardcover)

$28.00
ISBN-13: 9780805090031
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Henry Holt and Co., 5/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Fiction Favorites
Hari Kunzru’s fourth novel, Gods Without Men (Knopf, $26.95), is set in the Mojave desert in a variety of times, from the mythic era of Native American tales to the high-tech 21st century. Kunzru shuffles a number of stories—some extended narratives, others one-time glimpses—and all of them are absorbing. This multilayered structure enacts his thematic concern with pattern and the larger meaning—or mystery— available in coincidence and recurrence. The desert, after all, is where people go to search for truth, have visions, meet extra-terrestrials, do drugs, or just get lost; the place they go when life is too much or too little. All of these scenarios are in play here, and Kunzru builds a stunning, moving novel out of a UFO cult, hippies, and a family cracking apart under the strain of caring for an autistic son, and then enduring the media spotlight when he disappears in the desert.
Book Notes

Gods Without Men (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780307957115
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Knopf, 3/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Fiction Favorites
To call a book a work of genius can be the kiss of death. So…NW (Penguin Press, $26.95), by Zadie Smith, is by turns dynamic, unsettling, comforting, and delightful. Weaving a web that encompasses several generations of North West Londoners, Smith takes the multifaceted storytelling she so excelled at in White Teeth and adds adrenaline. NW begins, however, with the slow, swirling pace of a prose poem, and picks up speed as the story steadily unfolds. You will wonder how she can possibly bring together so many diverse strands, and you will enjoy her stunning prose, while being torn between awe and envy, that she can choreograph such dances with words. NW’s conclusion is utterly relatable, natural, and written with a prowess that can only be described as...well, you know.
Book Notes

NW (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781594203978
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Press HC, The, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Fiction Favorites
Graham Swift won the 1996 Man Booker for Last Orders; his new novel, Wish You Were Here (Knopf, $25), is as flawlessly executed and even more ambitious. This story centers on the Luxtons, who run a dairy farm in Devon. They also have a complicated relationship with guns. Family legends surround a certain shotgun once locked in a cabinet, there’s a bullet hole in the estate’s grand oak, and son Tom is carrying a gun in Iraq. Add to all this a devastating outbreak of mad cow disease, Tom’s indomitable sister-in-law, Ellie; and the family’s new venture with a caravan park, and Swift’s novel takes off in all directions. But his deft storytelling is expertly paced, and his vision carries both dark wisdom and black humor as he dramatizes the strength of family bonds. If you thrive on a literary diet of symbols, metaphors, and elegant writing, you’ll love Wish You Were Here.
Book Notes

Wish You Were Here (Hardcover)

$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780307700124
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Knopf, 4/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Fiction Favorites
Bartle and Murph enlist in the army as a way to escape lives of limited opportunity. They cement their friendship during the endless crawl of days and nights in Nineveh Province, where mortars regularly blanket the landscape and the daily calls of the muezzin echo across the city. They rub Tabasco sauce in their eyes to stay awake; they learn three telling phrases of Arabic: thank you, you’re welcome, bomb. When Murph dies, Bartle struggles to determine his level of culpability for what happened in the war zone, a place where death strikes randomly, indiscriminately, and without warning. For many Americans, the war in Iraq was a distant distraction rolled into the larger rhetoric of foreign policy and terrorism, but debut novelist and Iraq war-veteran Kevin Powers makes it brutally and poetically visceral in the tightly focused The Yellow Birds (Little, Brown, $24.99), a dream-like and grim novel about boys fighting an uncertain, never-ending war far from home.
Book Notes

The Yellow Birds (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780316219365
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Fiction Favorites
After her mother’s death, then twenty-six-year-old Cheryl Strayed decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail alone; she was not prepared. Knowing almost nothing about hiking, Strayed doggedly pursued her goal of walking from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State with neither a guide nor experience. She made many mistakes along the way— her pack was too big, her shoes were too small—she encountered scary animals and sometimes creepy hikers. But she kept going. Wild (Knopf, $25.95) is an amazing story, expertly told.
Book Notes
$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780307592736
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 3/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, 2012 Summer Newsletter, Biography & Memoir, Mothers and Daughters, Nonfiction Favorites
Richard Ford’s Canada (Ecco, $27.99) is a rich and poignant story that intertwines the dissolution of a family with a boy’s journey toward adulthood. Bev Parsons is fourteen when his parents bungle a bank robbery and are arrested; his twin sister runs away, but Bev is transported by an acquaintance of his mother into western Canada. There he is exposed to a cold and barren landscape and the dark world of the hotel owner who becomes his employer. As we’ve come to expect from Richard Ford, the storytelling is compelling, the prose fluid and evocative.
Mark L.

Canada (Hardcover)

$27.99
ISBN-13: 9780061692048
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Ecco, 5/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Wide-Ranging American Fiction
Fifteen years ago, Christopher Tilghman introduced the fictional Mason family of the Eastern Shore’s Mason’s Retreat. In his second novel, he returns to The Right-Hand Shore (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27) to recount the clan’s 18th-century past. This sequel digs into the Masons’ domestic intrigues—offering many rich subplots—-as well as exploring the characters’ role in the larger history of the region and the nation. In his thematic concerns and the rhythmic cadences of his prose, Tilghman makes no secret of his debt to William Faulkner. His novel unfolds as a taut Southern Gothic, in which bloodlines define every child at birth, and mixed blood is the unredeemable scourge of the land as much as its slave-holding history is its indelible blight. Tilghman, who teaches creative writing at the University of Virginia, weaves a mystery and a love story together across racial lines, and the result is spellbinding.
Barbara
$27.00
ISBN-13: 9780374203481
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 4/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Wide-Ranging American Fiction
A sleeper summer hit, Maria Semple’s second novel, Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Little, Brown, $25.99), is a quirky sendup of crunchy, Microsoft-centric Seattle culture. This pastiche of an epistolary novel weaves the likes of school report cards, emergency room bills, and police reports to tell the story of a once-famous MacArthur genius award-winning architect unraveling in relative obscurity at midlife. Told largely from the point of view of Bee, an eighth-grader coming to grips with the possible dissolution of her family when her mother goes missing, the story is as tender as it is hilarious, a feat that perhaps only a former staff writer of the deliciously twisted television series Arrested Development could successfully pull off.
Susan C.
$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780316204279
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 7/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Wide-Ranging American Fiction
Susan Richards Shreve is at the height of her powers with You Are the Love of My Life (W.W. Norton $25.95), a quiet, evocative, expertly paced ode to suburban Washington in the 1970s. Set against the backdrop of the crumbling Nixon administration and told by a young single mother who leaves her married lover in New York to return home, this is a story about the corrosive power of secrets, both personal and political. This prolific local author, co-chair of the PEN/ Faulkner foundation, has penned fourteen novels, a memoir, and twenty-nine children’s books.
Susan C.
$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780393082807
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 8/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Wide-Ranging American Fiction
In A Hologram for the King (McSweeney’s, $25) Alan Clay has one last chance at saving himself from financial ruin. All he has to do is lead a sales team to Saudi Arabia and sell a telecommunications system to the backers of the King Abdullah Economic City, a project already under way. The king, though, is a Godot-like figure who promises much but always fails to appear. Dave Eggers’s sharp, inventive novel is a meditation on the American dream and the demise of American manufacturing, as well as a story of a hopeful man in a desperate situation; it perfectly captures this moment in our history.
Mark L.
$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781936365746
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: McSweeney's, 6/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Wide-Ranging American Fiction
Set on the Ojibwe Indian reservation in North Dakota, Louise Erdrich’s The Round House (HarperCollins, $27.99) is the story of a young son’s search for justice after the brutal beating of his mother. Like all of Erdrich’s novels, this vivid fiction immerses readers in the inter-connected family relationships of the reservation, a world animated by enduring cultural traditions. Erdrich is particularly insightful about Native Americans’ day-to-day existence and shows the uneasy balance characters must continually negotiate between tribal law and politics and the outside world.
Mark L.

The Round House (Hardcover)

$27.99
ISBN-13: 9780062065247
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Life on the Rez
As long as people keep growing up, getting older, and falling into and out of love, Alice Munro will keep writing about it better than anybody else. Her latest story collection traverses familiar Munrovian terrain: rural and smalltown Canada, characters (mostly women) who are mild outsiders due to their higher education or “scandalous” choices relating to religion or sex. And yet everything feels clarion and fresh. Each story is built on Munro’s characteristic deep wells of feeling and truth. She’s a master at illuminating and challenging all of the relationships and fleeting moments that make up this Dear Life (Knopf, $26.95).
Liz S.

Dear Life: Stories (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780307596888
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 11/2012

...And the Short of It, 2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction
Nearly all the nine stories in Junot Díaz’s National Book Award-nominated collection center on Yunior, Díaz’s literary alter ego, a clumsy cheater and desperate-to-please lover who burns through girlfriends the way runners burn through oxygen. From Miss Lora—a teacher at his high school—to the overly romantic Magda to the artistic Alma, Yunior learns This Is How You Lose Her (Riverhead, $26.95): by two-timing, by lying, by being too Dominican, by not being Dominican enough. Yunior picks up tips on relationships from his libertine older brother, Rafa, who adopted the values of the brothers’ duplicitous, controlling father. Alas, the women in Yunior’s world ultimately prove to need Yunior far less than he needs them. Díaz, a recently named MacArthur genius, deftly braids socio-economic and identity issues into each story’s tiny universe; his stories mirror our own jumbled, complex, and complicated world.
Lacey
$26.95
ISBN-13: 9781594487361
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 9/2012

...And the Short of It, 2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction
Just when you think you’re done reading about dysfunctional American families, a novel like The Middlesteins (Grand Central, $24.99) will come along and blow you away. Prepare to become deeply invested in the loves and longings of the eponymous, semi-chaotic Jewish clan from Chicago. With humor, warmth, and extraordinary compassion, Jami Attenberg introduces us to Edie, the tough, fierce matriarch who can’t stop eating; Richard, the husband who leaves her after forty years of marriage; and Robin and Benny, the adult children, distracted by troubles of their own. On every page, Attenberg proves there’s still a lot to say—about family, heartache, food—and so many fresh and funny ways to say it.
Liz S.

The Middlesteins (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9781455507214
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Grand Central Publishing, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Family Fiction, Fiction
In a suburban New Jersey great room, an aggrieved woman wearing a wedding dress, a gas mask, and reinforced steel-toe work boots upstages the bride and takes the guests hostage—a disproportionate percentage of whom happen to be Jewish psychotherapists all too eager to offer competing diagnoses: “They would think she was schizophrenic just on the basis of the outfit. The outfit alone screamed inpatient.” Lisa Zeidner’s deliciously dark and very funny fifth novel, Love Bomb (Sarah Crichton, $26), has received rave reviews in both The New York Times and The Washington Post; Jonathan Yardley compared her to the late, beloved novelist Laurie Colwin. The book’s warmth and hilarity are scaffolded by Zeidner’s crisp sentences and her sharp observations of suburban life.
Susan C.

Love Bomb (Hardcover)

$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780374192716
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Sarah Crichton Books, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Family Fiction, Fiction
Distinguished by the flawlessly elegant prose that won him the 2005 Man Booker Prize, John Banville’s sixteenth novel is as passionate as it is cerebral. Narrated by the aging actor Alexander Cleave, Ancient Light (Knopf, $25.95) is the story of a man worn out by grieving for the daughter he lost a decade ago. Searching for solace, he relives his first love affair, which took place when he was fifteen—his beloved was the thirty-five-year-old mother of his best friend. While meditating on questions of memory vs. invention and on the multiplicity of roles and identities, Alexander’s recollections are so precise and lushly detailed they give him the illusion of being in control of his fate. But outside his musings he’s still helpless before life’s overwhelming emotions, his own questionable judgment, and the lingering effects of his daughter’s suicide.
Laurie

Ancient Light (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307957054
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Knopf, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, World Fiction
If you like your social novels big and sprawling and your comedies of manners razor-sharp and wickedly smart (or simply wicked), then spend your winter with The Heart Broke In (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28) by British writer James Meek. His list of subjects is dizzying and dazzling: Meek tackles the music industry, fame, celebrity, reality television, modern science, gene therapy, the IRA. His narrative ranges from London to Tanzania to Northern Ireland. It’s never too much, though, because everything is in the service of good old-fashioned storytelling. Meek’s writing is gripping, urgent, and often ludicrously funny. By the end, you will follow him anywhere.
Liz S.

The Heart Broke In (Hardcover)

$28.00
ISBN-13: 9780374168711
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, World Fiction
Potomac author Vaddey Ratner survived the nightmare of the Khmer Rouge as a child growing up in Cambodia, and now she has turned that experience into In the Shadow of the Banyan (Simon & Schuster, $25), a graceful and memorable debut novel. In other hands the story might have been purely grim, but somehow Ratner manages to convey the injustice and horror of the Communist dictatorship’s atrocities while also celebrating a deeper humanity that, in its own way, triumphs in the end.
Lissa
$25.00
ISBN-13: 9781451657708
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Simon & Schuster, 7/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, World Fiction
Published in Portugal in 1980 and now appearing in English, José Saramago’s third novel, Raised from the Ground (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26), was worth the wait. A pivotal book in the late Nobel laureate’s development, this novel marks the debut of Saramago’s inimitable literary voice; digressive, ironic, humorous, graceful but impatient with “lyrical tosh,” it features a narrator who speaks as “we” and embraces all of humanity in a drama of good vs. evil. Leavening realism with allegory, the tale chronicles the lives of the Mau-Tempos, a family struggling—as their name, “bad weather” suggests— under a dark cloud. That cloud is poverty, compounded for these landless peasants by Portugal’s repressive Salazar regime. Scathing about the abuse of the poor by the rich and powerful, Saramago nonetheless writes from a deep faith in the pureheartedness and resilience of the human spirit, showing how even the most down-trodden will eventually rise up, and then—look out!
Laurie
$26.00
ISBN-13: 9780151013258
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 12/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, World Fiction
The Biblical Mary is pious and pure, obediently accepting her son’s—and her own— given roles in a divine plan. In the hands of master storyteller Colm Tóibín, however, Mary is not a beatific figure and the Gospels are not empirical history; instead, Mary is critical, judging her son’s followers as overeager loudmouths, mere “fools, twitchers, malcontents, stammerers.” She mocks them for believing in eternal life. She sees the “miracles” of the raising of Lazarus and the conversion of wine into water as base opportunism in a time of chaos and feverish hope. After her son’s crucifixion, when asked to narrate the events that will become the synoptic gospels, Mary is reticent and declares, “I can tell you now… It was not worth it.” Biblical retellings are almost as old as Christianity, but The Testament of Mary (Scribner, $19.99) infuses new urgency into a familiar story with its provocative portrait of the Madonna.
Lacey
$19.99
ISBN-13: 9781451688382
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, History Reimagined
With her now classic Regeneration trilogy, Pat Barker became synonymous with World War I-era historical fiction. Toby’s Room (Doubleday, $25.95) returns to several characters Barker introduced in Life Class, and here she intertwines their stories with that of the development of reconstructive surgery. In her latest powerful depiction of the era, Barker shows that the war’s traumatic effects spared no one, whether civilian or soldier. This is especially true for Elinor Brooke, feminist painter, sister of a doctor missing and presumed dead in France, and former lover of two wounded soldiers—one of whom she believes knows more about her brother’s fate than he’s telling. All Slade-trained artists, Elinor and the wounded men struggle to understand a world that offers both aesthetics and violence, and the war teaches them lessons no classroom ever could about how to see and portray the truth they find in a torn-up landscape or a ravaged human face.
Laurie

Toby's Room (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780385524360
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Doubleday, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, History Reimagined
Oppen Porter, the twenty eight- year-old narrator of Antoine Wilson’s second novel, is a self-described “slow absorber” who is holed up in a hospital room sure that he is about to die. Now he is talking into a tape recorder, explaining to his about to- be-born son why he left home after his father’s death and headed to Panorama City (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $24), an extraordinarily ordinary patch of suburbia in southern California, to become “a man of the world.” Oppen’s experiences there and the characters he encounters, from his odd and uncompromising aunt to a street philosopher and ex-con named Paul, frame this story of innocence, life’s vicissitudes, and self discovery. Part picaresque and part bildungsroman, Panorama City is charming, touching, and funny all in one.
Lissa

Panorama City (Hardcover)

$24.00
ISBN-13: 9780547875125
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction
What would it be like to live on your own island? Many have fantasized about it, and some have actually tried it. In his richly evocative fourteenth novel, T.C. Boyle combines history and imagination to recount the experiences of two families who did settle for a time on San Miguel (Viking, $27.95). One of three islands in the Santa Barbara Channel— and site of Boyle’s recent When the Killing’s Done—San Miguel is made of wind, mud, and sand. Until settlers brought sheep, it was inhabited chiefly by seals and an indigenous species of mouse. Depicting the 1888 arrival of the Waters family, Boyle brings out the full nightmare of the island’s hardships, complete with a wicked stepfather. Things are easier forty years later for the Lesters, who relish putting distance between themselves and the Depression; but they, too, fail to turn this unforgiving landscape into a home. While sheepranching is men’s work, Boyle tells this Wild West story from the women’s perspective, showing how issues of power and social mores retain their hold even outside of “civilization.”
Laurie

San Miguel (Hardcover)

$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780670026241
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Viking Adult, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction
Attica Locke found the nugget for The Cutting Season (HarperCollins, $25.99) when she attended a wedding on a plantation. She transformed the actual location into the fictional Belle Vie, run as a historic theme-park by the Clancy family. When a young Hispanic woman is found murdered on the property, the incident and the investigation stir long-simmering personal, racial, and economic tensions. As Belle Vie’s owners try to manipulate each other, conflicts erupt among the workers; Caren Gray, a single-mother who runs the day-to-day operations, finds herself caught in the middle of it all. This is a complex, wonderfully written story that brings the past and the present together in a small town in post-Katrina Louisiana.
Deb

The Cutting Season (Hardcover)

$25.99
ISBN-13: 9780061802058
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Mystery
In the decrepit and seemingly Silent House (Knopf, $26.95) at the center of Orhan Pamuk’s outstanding second novel, the past rages on within the minds of Fatma, a nonagenarian widow, and the dwarf (her husband’s illegitimate son) who serves her. Using the remnants of one family as a microcosm for the country, Pamuk examines the tense summer of 1980, when Turkey was on the edge of huge changes. As five characters take turns narrating the week Fatma’s grandchildren visit, readers experience the reckless exploits of teenagers, a historian’s struggle to make a “story” out of an overwhelming archive of events, and the small-time but increasingly dangerous activities of right-wing nationalists. The politics is leavened by lively family bickering, unrealistic romances, drinking, and dreams, the latter proving the family’s and the country’s main legacy. Especially powerful and moving are Fatma’s interior monologues, where she replays the arguments of and with her late husband. This angry mix of frustration, disappointment, and regret make up the fertile soil from which later generations’ competing visions of the future arise.
Laurie

Silent House (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780307700285
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Knopf, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Turkish Delights
Readers of The Museum of Innocence will recall that the novel’s lovelorn protagonist, Kemal, obsessively gathered, stole, and hoarded souvenirs of his passion for Fusun. As the book ended, he hired one Orhan Pamuk to help curate the collection. In a dramatic cross-over of not just literary genres but the usual divide between imagined and actual worlds, The Innocence of Objects (Abrams, $35) documents the establishment of a bricks-and-mortar museum displaying the fictional Kemal’s trove of memorabilia. In fact, Pamuk was already gathering these tea sets, clocks, letters, shoes, and scores of other objects in the 1990s, before he’d dreamed up Kemal and Fusun, though he knew he wanted to undertake a dual novel/museum project. You don’t need to know the backstory, however, to delight in this sumptuous, colorful catalog. Like Pamuk’s memoir, Istanbul, this work is a heartfelt tribute to that city, and Pamuk’s sparkling tour of the vitrines—each composed as carefully as a Joseph Cornell box—is complemented by an equally enthusiastic survey of the history and daily life of the museum’s surrounding neighborhoods.
Laurie
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9781419704567
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Literature & Essays, Turkish Delights
You probably recall seeing me in this same space in previous years reviewing The Annotated Pride and Prejudice and The Annotated Persuasion. This year brings a new addition to the Jane Austen Annotated Library, Emma: An Annotated Edition (Harvard Univ., $35). As with the previous editions, this book is a must-have for Jane Austen fans or even for fans of beautiful books. The Annotated Emma, like her sisters from past years, is chock full of illustrations and photographs and copious notes on Jane Austen, the person, and the author. Harvard is always careful about including the notes and illustrations in a way that makes it easy for you to incorporate them into your reading of the story. This book begs for a careful review of a familiar text, bringing new insight and new life into a beloved classic.
Susan S.

Emma (Hardcover)

$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780674048843
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Belknap Press, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Novels. Noted.
The joys of an annotated classic are many and take many forms, from quotations to maps to manuscript facsimiles to paintings, all on a roomy, over-size page. Harvard University Press’s new edition of Frankenstein ($29.95), deftly and often wittily edited by scholars Susan J. Wolfson and Ronald Devao, presents Mary Shelley’s original 1818 text, along with Percy Shelley’s suggestions, and comparative excerpts from the author’s later editions. The commentary covers details of Mary Shelley’s reading, biography, and the social codes of various everyday objects of her era—many relevant to the novel in unexpected ways. Other critical strands trace culture and ideas from the ancients to 19th-century literature and politics, or look at Frankenstein’s many stage and screen adaptations—it was a natural for dramatization from the first, though many of the book’s subtler themes—loneliness, parental responsibility, limits—get lost in the larger spectacles. Then there’s the science. Our own age of bio-engineering puts the tragedy of Frankenstein’s lightning-bolted creature into fresh perspective.
Laurie
$29.95
ISBN-13: 9780674055520
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Belknap Press, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fiction, Novels. Noted.
Did you know that Irving Berlin once sued MAD Magazine for publishing parodies of his lyrics? And that the resulting Supreme Court case established the right to publish song parodies? Did you ever wonder how Alfred E. Neuman became MAD Magazine’s cover boy? This new compilation of pieces from the well-known humor magazine includes the stories behind the Irving Berlin court case and Alfred E. Neuman, as well as other essays about MAD’s history and cultural impact. Containing classic MAD Magazine features from the 1950s to the present, Totally MAD (Time Home Entertainment, $34.95) is perfect for old fans who want to re-read their favorite features and new readers looking for an introduction to the magazine.
Becky
$34.95
ISBN-13: 9781618930309
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Time Home Entertainment, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Funny Times, Graphic Novels & Comics
Delivering a heady cocktail of legitimate information and sheer hilarity, Stephen Colbert’s follow up to I Am America (And So Can You) is like the lollipop given after the painful shot that is the election year. Quick, clever, and quirky, America Again (Grand Central, $28.99) doesn’t pack the same surprise as Colbert’s first book, but it offers succinct and honest reasons for why we’re just so weird as a country and why we might want to consider staying that way. Complete with ridiculous 3-D graphics and heartwarming, good old American references, Colbert’s latest offering will give you something to laugh about when you need it most.
Hannah
$28.99
ISBN-13: 9780446583978
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Funny Times, Humor
Can you name the literary magazine in which Eliot’s “Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro” first appeared? It was Poetry magazine, founded by Harriet Monroe in 1912. To celebrate the centenary of this still vibrant, still vital journal, editors Don Share and Christian Wiman have selected one hundred of the poems Poetry printed in its first one hundred years. The Open Door (Univ. of Chicago, $20)—which Monroe declared would be the magazine’s policy— includes work by Auden and Yeats, Bukowski and Creeley, Rita Dove and Seamus Heaney, but the focus is on individual poems rather than on poets. As in the magazine, the pieces are arranged in a loosely thematic order that encourages unexpected resonance between poems from different decades by people with vastly divergent experiences. The editors have also combed the archives for poets’ prose, presenting statements on what poetry is, what it does, and what it still dreams of doing.
Laurie
$20.00
ISBN-13: 9780226750705
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: University Of Chicago Press, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Poetry Anthologies
In Thrall (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $23), her fourth collection, the U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey wrestles with her family’s history and her own biracial identity. “Elegy,” a poem dedicated to her (still living) father, caustically poses the rhetorical question: “What does it matter / if I tell you I learned to be?” “Help, 1968,” focuses on a Robert Frank photograph of a white child and its black nanny, which Tretheway uses to share a family story of how her own mother, an African-American woman, was frequently mistaken by strangers for Trethewey’s maid. “I think of the betrayals of flesh,” she writes. “Carrying me / each day—white in her arms—as if / she were a prop: a black backdrop, / the dark foil in this American story.” Through sharp descriptions of 17th- and 18th-century paintings, Trethewey traces the lexicography of bodies once labeled mulatto, quadroon, and mestizo, and examines the damaging social and psychological legacies of this racism. With her sweeping and intimate poetry, Trethewey beautifully illuminates how “so much is left / untold… / between what is said and not… / the way the past unwritten / eludes us.”
Lacey

Thrall: Poems (Hardcover)

$23.00
ISBN-13: 9780547571607
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 8/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Poetry
From the Pulitzer Prize to the National Book Critics Circle Award to serving as U.S. Poet Laureate, Louise Glück has won nearly every award available for poets. In Poems 1962-2012 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $40), readers can see the remarkable range of one of this country’s most powerful literary masters. The volume contains all eleven of the collections Glück has written to date. From the first she was both a highly charged, intensely lyric poet, as well as an intriguing storyteller, outlining narratives of love, loss, and identity that invite readers to fill in the spaces around her sharp, crystalline lines. These stories range from personal accounts of deaths in the family, divorce, and the reconstruction of a new life as an ex, to rich inter-weavings of contemporary life with classical myths. In her most daring book-length sequence, The Wild Iris, Glück lets flowers speak, offering a meditation on nature and existential meaning unlike any you’re likely to read elsewhere.
Laurie

Poems 1962-2012 (Hardcover)

$40.00
ISBN-13: 9780374126087
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Poetry
The late poet Lucille Clifton (1936-2010) was a powerhouse from the start. She was also whip-smart and bighearted, angry and generous. Her lyrics resonate with the cadences of hymns and the blues, and contain the voices of young and old, men and women—she sang the whole choir. Her extraordinarily diverse work is showcased in The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965-2010 (BOA Editions, $35), expertly edited by poets Kevin Young and Michael S. Glaser. It begins with early uncollected pieces and concludes with a gathering of late poems that features a sequence on physical illness and a series of spiritual communications from The Ones. In between, this handsome volume includes all eleven of Clifton’s poetry books; collectively, this oeuvre charts the courageous and unstinting efforts of a woman “standing between / …what I’ve been told / … and the trouble I’ve seen” to upset the givens of racial, economic, and gender inequities by reporting the experiences of the disenfranchised.
Laurie
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9781934414903
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOA Editions Ltd., 8/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Poetry
When Adrienne Rich passed away in March 2012, she left behind an impressive body of work that tackled issues of feminism, lesbian identity, and identity politics. Rich wrote about these topics with compelling imagery, brazenly telling her readers that she “came to explore the wreck.” Always consciously political, she was never less than a brilliant artist. Later Poems, Selected and New: 1971-2012 (W.W. Norton, $39.95) features poems gathered from Rich’s previous twelve books as well as ten new poems. Fans of this poet’s careful verse will find old favorites like “Diving into the Wreck” and discover new poems such as the forward-looking “Itinerary” and the timely “For the Young Anarchists.”
Becky
$39.95
ISBN-13: 9780393089561
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Poetry
Winner of both the Pulitzer (1999) and the National Book Award (2003) for poetry, C.K. Williams is also a warm, engaging essayist. While his great subject is language, In Time (Univ. of Chicago, $27.50) ranges as much among the places (Paris, Berlin) and the ideas (political action, history, identity) as among the books that have shaped him. His literary endeavors have been rich and varied; he celebrates prose style as well as the poetry he’s read and reread throughout his life. He’s translated the work of Polish and Spanish poets as well as classical Greek dramas; his chapter on why tragedy affects us so powerfully is alone worth the price of this book—Williams’s insights are new, keen, and eminently sensible. In many ways a portrait of the artist as an aging man (Williams was born in 1936), this volume is neither elegiac nor valedictory. Rather, it exemplifies the exhilarating, inexhaustible nature of art; poetry is as fresh for Williams in his eighth decade as it was when he discovered it in his twenties.
Laurie
$27.50
ISBN-13: 9780226899510
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: University Of Chicago Press, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Poetry
This same spirit animates the poems of Writers Writing Dying (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $24). Williams speaks for generations of the poets, who, like him, are not going gentle—there’s still too much to write! And perhaps sheer persistence can do the impossible: “Think, write, write, think: just keep galloping faster” and surely the poems will keep coming. The ones that came to Williams here took him by surprise with “a willed goofiness,” and even absurdity, new to his work. Infused with this wild, if slightly desperate, “fun,” these long, loose-limbed lines are as charged and energetic as any Williams has written.
Laurie
$24.00
ISBN-13: 9780374293321
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Poetry
Choosing books for your favorite bookworms can be fraught (what do they like? What haven’t they read?). Anything that celebrates books and the reading life is a sure bet—especially if it’s as lovely and charming as My Ideal Bookshelf (Little, Brown, $24.99). Artist Jane Mount and writer Thessaly La Force team up to document (and draw!) the favorite books of cultural and literary luminaries. The illustrations are whimsical and bright; the roster of readers is wide-ranging and downright heady: interview subjects include Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers, Michael Chabon, Maira Kalman, Judd Apatow, Patti Smith, Malcolm Gladwell, Alex Ross, Junot Díaz, David Sedaris, and Alice Waters (among dozens of others). Your bibliophile will swoon in delight.
Liz S.

My Ideal Bookshelf (Hardcover)

$24.99
ISBN-13: 9780316200905
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Biblio-graphic, Literature & Essays
Of the 264 Japanese netsuke Edmund de Waal inherited in 1994, he chose a particularly distinctive hare as the centerpiece for his 2010 family memoir. Now this multi-layered and endlessly fascinating story is available with pictures of both its wood and ivory figures and its human protagonists. The Hare With Amber Eyes: The Illustrated Edition (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $40) gives you a look at Charles Ephrussi (a model for Proust’s Charles Swann) who started the collection in Paris in 1871 and shows members of the Vienna branch of the family in situ on the Ringstrasse and in the Palais Ephrussi where the netsuke graced a dressing room. Other photos show the range of paintings, furniture, and objects d’art this banking dynasty had gathered before two world wars destroyed their fortune. De Waal, a renowned British ceramicist, is sensitive to the feel of things, and he has endowed his narrative with the heft and texture of objects, conveying both the fine detail of the lives and the tremendous sweep of the times.
Laurie
$40.00
ISBN-13: 9780374168285
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Biblio-graphic, Biography & Memoir
I was startled to learn when I read Christopher Hitchens’s new memoir, Mortality (Twelve, $22.99), that just four days before I introduced him in what would be his final appearance at Politics & Prose, when he presented his autobiography Hitch-22, he had been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. He knew what this diagnosis meant, and it spurred him into a period of intense introspection. Documenting those final eighteen months of his life, Mortality maintains Hitchens’s lifelong embrace of atheism, even as his reading and thinking probe ever more profoundly into matters of life and death. The poets, the humanists, the existentialists, and the naturalists lead him closer to an understanding of death that permits a kind of immortality without the existence of a god. Robert Frost’s “clarification of life” impels Hitchens to craft his own personal scaffolding of beliefs. It turns out that Hitch, as he was known to his friends, had a plucky tolerance of adversity and he left us with this generous gift, a treatise on dying.
Barbara

Mortality (Hardcover)

$22.99
ISBN-13: 9781455502752
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Twelve, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Biography & Memoir, Memoirs
We’ve come to love Richard Russo for novels like the Pulitzer-winning Empire Falls, Straight Man, and Nobody’s Fool. In Elsewhere: A Memoir (Knopf, $25.95) Russo tells his own story of growing up in Gloversville, New York at the foot of the Adirondacks, attending the University of Arizona, and his early career as a teacher and novelist. Mostly, though, it’s the story of his mother, an unstable woman who had difficulty separating from her son. Like his novels, Russo’s Elsewhere chronicles the pains and joys of life with wit, compassion, and insight.
Mark L.

Elsewhere: A memoir (Hardcover)

$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780307959539
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Knopf, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Biography & Memoir, Memoirs
Following on Musicophilia, with its accounts of patients whose brain injuries caused various sorts of phantom musical experiences, the literary neurologist Oliver Sacks here tells tales of his own youthful Hallucinations (Random House, $26.95). They started when he was a medical resident, and, “seeking a holiday from inner and outer restrictions,” he experimented with a smorgasbord of drugs, including LSD, cannabis, opium, and amphetamines. The resulting head trips were so memorable that he can still describe them in detail. Later, while working in a migraine clinic, Sacks used amphetamines to stimulate his intellectual curiosity. During the last of these trips, he received the revelation that would become his now classic study of migraines—but he had to quit the drugs in order to realize his vision.
Barbara

Hallucinations (Hardcover)

$26.95
ISBN-13: 9780307957245
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Cognitive Science, Medicine & Health Care, Memoirs
Jon Meacham won the Pulitzer for his life of Andrew Jackson, American Lion; his new biography, Thomas Jefferson (Random House, $35), reads like another prizewinner. With access to his subject’s unpublished letters, Meacham explores the wide range of qualities that he believes made Jefferson the most successful political figure of America’s early years. Among the founder’s many attributes, Meacham focuses especially on the wide-ranging, inquisitive mind that led Jefferson to become an inventor, astronomer, and gardener— to name just a few of his pursuits. Meacham’s Jefferson is a true Renaissance man, and one whose idealism successfully achieved workable form with The Declaration of Independence. As the nation’s third president, his most important responsibility was to ensure the safety of his country, a duty that reinforced his desire both to acquire and to maintain power.
Barbara
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9781400067664
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Biography & Memoir, World Leaders Then
Joseph Smith founded the Mormon Church in 1830, declaring it different from other sects in that it received God’s ongoing revelation. But Mormonism also echoed the Pilgrims’ quest for religious freedom and was part of the country’s later westward expansion, with all its privations, vigilantes, and conflicts with Native Americans. In his powerful account of Smith’s successor, Brigham Young (Harvard Univ., $35), John G. Turner not only profiles a unique and complex individual, he also chronicles events deeply rooted in the American mythos. Young converted to Mormonism in 1833; in 1844 he assumed leadership after Smith’s assassination. The Church, one of many recently sprung up and struggling, was fractious, impoverished, and besieged. Yet by 1852 Young had resettled some 20,000 followers in Utah. Strong-willed and as attentive to economic as to spiritual well-being, Young was complex and contradictory: a saint, he often used benevolence to manipulate. Governor of Utah Territory, he was at odds with the federal government—to the point of treason. Fiercely devoted to Smith’s vision, he was also domineering, profane, and belligerent. Turner has a sure command of this material, lucidly navigating Mormonism’s intricate doctrines and hierarchies.
Laurie
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780674049673
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Belknap Press, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Biography & Memoir, World Leaders Then
For over seventy productive years, through his many periods and recurring subjects, Pablo Picasso always returned to explore the monochromatic palette—in graphite and charcoal drawings, plaster, ceramic, or bronze sculpture, and his luscious oil paintings in black, white, and a rainbow of grays. For the exhibit, Picasso Black and White (Guggenheim/Prestel, $60), curator Carmen Giménez has chronologically assembled works from 1904 to 1971, and it’s a revelation. Picasso’s career-long improvisations on themes, styles, and the masters who came before him are especially evident; you see inspired riffs on ancient cave art, Greek sculpture and Roman mosaics, as well as on Ingres, El Greco, and Velásquez. Studies for Picasso’s masterpiece in monochrome, Guernica (1937), are here as well. The catalog features more than 150 reproductions, and essays by Picasso scholars Dore Ashton, Richard Schiff, and Olivier Berggruen. András Goldinger (Note: The exhibit will be at the Guggenheim through January 23, 2013, then travel to Houston.)
Andras
$60.00
ISBN-13: 9783791352206
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Prestel Publishing, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art Monograph, See It For Yourself
George Bellows combined visual reportage worthy of Daumier and Goya with brushstrokes that anticipated the free-form vibrancy of de Kooning. Walking through the Bellows retrospective at the National Gallery this summer (the show is now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through February 18), viewers experienced the many worlds that Bellows depicted—beyond his famous boxing paintings. There were leisurely promenaders in winter; tenement kids playing; tender portraits of the artist’s wife and daughters; roiling seascapes; and powerful anti-war and anti-lynching prints. Bellows’s paintings of the Pennsylvania Station excavations had the haunted look of the World Trade Center site. His prodigious and varied output was amazing, especially considering that he died at forty-two. The catalog, George Bellows (National Gallery of Art/Prestel, $60), has 270 illustrations as well as twelve prominent essays by curators and historians, each of whom address one of Bellows’s subjects.
Andras

George Bellows (Hardcover)

$60.00
ISBN-13: 9783791351872
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Prestel Publishing, 8/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Art Monograph, See It For Yourself
What makes a great fashion image? Vogue: The Editor’s Eye (Abrams, $75) answers the question with over 400 pages of striking photographs. This collection, edited by Vogue’s features director Eve MacSweeney, covers all 120 years of the magazine’s history, spotlighting a distinguished roster of fashion editors, from Polly Mellen to Grace Coddington, whose choices about models, clothes, and photographers have created lasting works of art. Each chapter is devoted to one editor and features a full portfolio of photographs, essays, and interviews. Defining what makes great fashion may be an arduous task, but looking through the pages of this book is certainly a pleasurable one. Covering the who, what, where, when, and why of the fashion world, Vogue magazine has consistently been a stand-out in a crowded field.
Sarah
$75.00
ISBN-13: 9781419704406
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harry N. Abrams, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fashion, Fashion Plates
Scott Schuman’s streetstyle blog, thesartorialist. com, has been a source of daily fashion inspiration since 2005. Now the second collection of Schuman’s beautiful work is available in The Sartorialist: Closer (Penguin, $30). This small book packs a big, chic punch, featuring over 300 fresh images. Schuman shoots what interests him: men, women, high and low fashion, and in every season. Whether in New York or Tokyo, London, Paris, or Milan, his eye for great
Sarah
$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780143123187
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books, 8/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Fashion, Fashion Plates
A cause for celebration: the Aya series, Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie’s sparkling chronicle of youth and love in the Ivory Coast, is now fully available in English for the first time. Aya, Life In Yop City (Drawn and Quarterly, $24.95) and Aya, Love In Yop City (Drawn and Quarterly, $24.95) bring together the complete series in two gorgeous volumes. It’s the 1970s, the peak of Côte d’Ivoire’s brief era of peace and economic windfall. In Yopougon, a working-class suburb of the coastal jewel Abidjan, amidst a seemingly endless swirl of parties, discotheques, love affairs, friends, neighbors, and family, is nineteen-year-old Aya: calm, steady, studious, and dreaming of becoming a doctor. The Aya books are glorious graphic storytelling and vibrant glimpses of an Africa that most Westerners never see.
Liz S.
$24.95
ISBN-13: 9781770460829
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Drawn and Quarterly, 5/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Graphic Novels & Comics
A cause for celebration: the Aya series, Marguerite Abouet and Clément Oubrerie’s sparkling chronicle of youth and love in the Ivory Coast, is now fully available in English for the first time. Aya, Life In Yop City (Drawn and Quarterly, $24.95) and Aya, Love In Yop City (Drawn and Quarterly, $24.95) bring together the complete series in two gorgeous volumes. It’s the 1970s, the peak of Côte d’Ivoire’s brief era of peace and economic windfall. In Yopougon, a working-class suburb of the coastal jewel Abidjan, amidst a seemingly endless swirl of parties, discotheques, love affairs, friends, neighbors, and family, is nineteen-year-old Aya: calm, steady, studious, and dreaming of becoming a doctor. The Aya books are glorious graphic storytelling and vibrant glimpses of an Africa that most Westerners never see.
Liz S.
$24.95
ISBN-13: 9781770460928
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Drawn and Quarterly, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Graphic Novels & Comics
Journalism (Metropolitan, $29) is a collection of Joe Sacco’s shorter pieces, most previously published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. These powerfully narrated reports cover international issues ranging from the Balkans war-crimes trials to relations between Israel and Palestine to India’s caste system. Sacco’s use of the graphic medium to tell these stories takes the reader directly into the places the writer/artist visited. His frames show us the people he talked to, what their homes look like, and how war has invaded their very living rooms. This collection also includes coverage of the war in Iraq that has never before been published in the United States. Unique, upsetting, and compelling, Sacco’s Journalism is necessary reading.
Becky

Journalism (Hardcover)

$29.00
ISBN-13: 9780805094862
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Metropolitan Books, 2/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Graphic Novels & Comics
If artificial intelligence once seemed daunting or simply unrealistic, those days are gone. As Ray Kurzweil, one of AI’s most energetic visionaries points out, today we’re surrounded by the fruits of AI, from email and smart phones to Watson, the “15-terabyte” Jeopardy! Champion—not to mention the automated factories that built these machines. In How to Create a Mind (Viking, $27.95), Kurzweil tells us what’s next. But first, like the innovative science he describes, he looks back. Surveying the human mind’s great accomplishments, such as the theories of evolution and relativity (and problems it’s still working on, like the nature of consciousness and free will), Kurzweil lays out the fascinating neuroscience of thinking, focusing on the brain’s predilection for patterns. The brain doesn’t only identify patterns, it’s made of them itself, and by turning this information back on its source, we can create ever more complex synthetic versions of mind. As he did in his ground-breaking The Age of Spiritual Machines, Kurzweil makes cutting-edge technology clear and vivid; after all, everyone is part computer geek now.
Laurie
$27.95
ISBN-13: 9780670025299
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Viking Adult, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Science, Science Projects
Whatever first prompted people to ask why? and how?, the questions have led to discoveries ranging from photosynthesis to genes to gravity to quarks. This ongoing “human endeavor to understand the world” is the theme of A Little History of Science (Yale Univ., $25), William Bynum’s contribution to the popular series modeled on E. H. Gombrich’s enchanting A Little History of the World. Bynum, too, was charmed by the 1935 survey for young people, and he has followed his predecessor’s winning formula of brief, brisk chapters that cover an astonishing number of topics in clear, conversational language. “Science is special,” Bynum declares—and proves it, delving into its many branches and outlining the work not just of major European thinkers but those of ancient and Eastern peoples. He also defines terms, explains technologies, and traces how one experiment leads to the next. In short, the book tells a story of wonder and surprise; designed for young people, yes—but written for everyone.
Laurie
$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780300136593
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Yale University Press, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Science, Science Projects
What was it like aboard a whaling ship in 1880? Ask Arthur Conan Doyle. Making a snap decision to replace a friend as ship’s surgeon, the twenty-year-old medical student set sail for the Arctic. During the seven-month voyage, the budding writer kept a detailed, illustrated journal, which is reproduced here in facsimile and in transcription. ‘Dangerous Work’: Diary of an Arctic Adventure (Univ. of Chicago, $35), edited by Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower (editors also of Doyle’s letters and first novel) is a remarkable look at both a little-known episode of a well-known life and at a bygone era. Doyle called this expedition his coming-of-age, and its lessons ranged from how to stay upright on ice to how to face losing a patient to how to countenance the slaughter of whales, seals, and bears. Doyle also took from the experience plenty of material for fictional tales and nonfiction articles. This volume includes samples of each along with photos of the young Doyle, the S.S. Hope, and its captain and crew.
Laurie
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780226009056
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: University Of Chicago Press, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Adventure, Going Places, Literature & Essays
A treat for devoted cyclists and daily commuters alike, Chris Santella’s 50 Places to Bike Before You Die (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, $24.95) is a useful guide that helps correct what can be a frustrating process for holidaying cyclists: do you decide where to go and then figure out how to bike at your destination? Or vice versa? Santella includes route recommendations from a roster of professional and amateur cyclists; there’s a lot of diversity here, with itineraries ranging from Ragbrai (an epic seven-day bike journey across the plains and rivers of Iowa where bikers are met with homemade pies and cycle past the Field of Dreams) to the rice paddies and unexpected urbanism of Angor Wat. And though it offers nuts-and-bolts tips on grades, trails, climates, and more, this book is never overly technical—the arresting photographs will keep even a neophyte cyclist dreaming of a getaway on two wheels.
Liz H.
$24.95
ISBN-13: 9781584799894
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Going Places, Sports
For the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring, William Souder looks back to the world that made Rachel Carson’s book so urgent and necessary. In 1962, the Cold War was being conducted via nuclear tests, while throughout the United States a new chemical war was under way against fire ants, gypsy moths, and other pests. These amounted to two massive, unregulated experiments with deadly materials, and that they seem so shocking today is partly due to Carson. On a Farther Shore (Crown, $30) describes the marine biologist’s rising alarm over radiation and DDT, and Souder discusses how Carson’s work marked the transition from the age of conservation—preserving wildlife—to a new era of environmentalism, which recognized that human activity poses dangers to people as well as to nature. And just who was Rachel Carson? A workaholic who supported her mother and adopted her orphaned great-nephew, Carson had always wanted to be a writer. She worked as an editor for the Department of Fish and Wildlife (and lived in Silver Spring). Her first book, The Sea Around Us, won a national book award in 1951 and has never gone out of print; if some of its science is dated, its prose still enchants, and its prescient warnings about climate change are dead on.
Laurie
$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780307462206
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Crown, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Biography & Memoir, Environmental Studies, Save the Planet
Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History (W.W. Norton, $25.95) is a fine and serious book, even though the title may lead some readers to wonder what it could possibly be about. Far from an x-rated treatment of the subject, it is a highly readable and fascinating documentation of how an essential part of the human anatomy has been altered and harmed by environmental degradation. Florence Williams, a respected environmental reporter, discovered while breast-feeding her child that she had a high percentage of a toxin called perchlorate in her breast milk. This prompted her to do more research (it turns out most women have perchlorate and a lot of other bad stuff in their mammary glands) that explores the history and evolution of breasts, including the early popularity of silicon implants to a frightening rise in breast cancer cases among U.S. servicemen.
Lissa
$25.95
ISBN-13: 9780393063189
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 5/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Gender & Sexuality, Nature, Save the Planet
In his new book Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (W.W. Norton, $28.95), the veteran science and nature writer David Quammen explores the origins of zoonotic diseases, i.e., infections that jump from animals to humans, such as Ebola, AIDS, SARS, and others. His investigation into the origins of these diseases evokes a peculiar and chilling epidemiological landscape. Quammen goes out into the field and visits places like Bangladesh, Gabon, Australia, and China to talk to scientists, researchers, and survivors of these new maladies. He speculates about the source of the next big pandemic and whether we can predict, let alone prevent, its emergence. This is a masterfully done piece of scientific writing that’s as informative as it is unsettling.
Anton
$28.95
ISBN-13: 9780393066807
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Save the Planet, Science
Latin for Gardeners (Univ. of Chicago, $25), by Lorraine Harrison, may sound off-putting, but it’s quite the opposite. A small coffee table book full of meticulous illustrations from the Royal Horticultural Society, it’s also a highly useful source for the etymology of over 3,000 plant names. Harrison’s straightforward organization makes this appealing volume easy just to pick up and browse. And it’s not just for gardeners—any lover of language will find surprises and delights, and no doubt feel a little more clever after perusing just a couple of pages. The delicate thinking that went into the naming of plants was a revelation to me: I gained a new appreciation for the intellectual legacy of gardening, and for the correlation between the names and the plants themselves. Latin for Gardeners is a charming companion for a chilly winter afternoon and a handy reference any time.
Liz H.
$25.00
ISBN-13: 9780226009193
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University Of Chicago Press, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Gardening, See Nature
At the age of twenty, singer and pianist Michael Feinstein started on a small archive project for Ira Gershwin and ended up working for him for the last six years of Mr. Gershwin’s life. He heard numerous stories about the partnership of Ira and George and, using newly re-discovered scores and manuscripts, gained insights into their works. In The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs (Simon & Schuster, $45), Feinstein intertwines his own story, the state of the American Songbook, and detailed histories of Gershwin songs, musicals, films, and opera. Each chapter addresses themes via an emblematic song: “Embraceable You” leads into the art of interpretation; “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” takes you to the Hollywood years; “Someone to Watch over Me” delves into love songs. Feinstein takes us from piano bars to night clubs and opera houses, gives a master class on singers and songs, and reconnects us to the genius of George and Ira Gershwin. The bonus CD includes Mr. Feinstein’s versions of the twelve songs, accompanied by pianist Cyrus Chestnut.
Andras
$45.00
ISBN-13: 9781451645309
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Music, Song by Song
In The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (Univ. of Illinois, $24.95), folklorist and musician Stephen Wade (and star of the long-running Banjo Dancing at Arena Stage) chose thirteen songs recorded by the Library of Congress and traced their stories. Bill Stepp’s virtuosic fiddling on “Bonaparte’s Retreat” leads off; a gospel quartet, a jump-rope rhyme, a lullaby, and a heart-rending spiritual follow. The songs were recorded between 1934 and 1942 at schools, churches, prisons, on street corners, and in homes. Wade spent over fifteen years researching the lives of the musicians, their descendants, their communities, and the afterlife of each song. These are powerful performances and narratives, and with his passionate quest, Wade keeps them in our collective hearts. A CD with all thirteen songs is included in the boo
Andras
$29.95
ISBN-13: 9780252036880
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Illinois Press, 8/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Music, Song by Song
It will be a dual of the dowagers: Dame Maggie Smith vs. Shirley MacLaine. Who will be the last dowager standing? Can’t wait for season three of Downton Abbey to find out? Then you must pick up The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era (St. Martin’s $29.99). This is the perfect gift for every fan of the BBC drama. World War I has ended and it’s a fresh start for the Crawley family and for the social order in general. How will life at Downton be affected? This book is full of pictures, behind-the-scenes glimpses of the upcoming season, insight into how the series is made and into the actors who portray our favorite (and maybe not so favorite) characters. Jessica Fellowes, niece of the show’s creator Julian Fellowes, has unique access to the show’s producers. She also incorporates lots of historical detail into this book, giving a deeper sense of the period in which our Downton friends lived. And may the best dowager win!
Susan S.
$29.99
ISBN-13: 9781250027627
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: St. Martin's Press, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Costume Dramas, Movies & Entertainment
This deliciously gorgeous book of costume designs gathered and with commentary by Academy Award-nominated costume designer and professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis will have you enthralled for hours. In Hollywood Sketchbook (Harper Design, $75) Landis gives detailed and witty background to these 500-plus drawings of outfits from Hollywood movies. Not only does the volume spotlight the previously overlooked art of costume illustration, but the introduction gives a comprehensive history of the role the craft has played since Hollywood began. Landis brings firsthand accounts, experience, and affection to the project, endowing it with the authority and pleasure such an undertaking deserves. The portfolios she examines will change the way you look at the runway and how you watch movies.
Hannah
$75.00
ISBN-13: 9780061984969
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Harper Design, 11/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Costume Dramas, Fashion, Movies & Entertainment
Ben Brantley’s Broadway Musicals: From the Pages of The New York Times (Abrams, $50) will have you praising Jesus and Noel Coward that the Times has such a fantastic archive. Bright, bursting, and large, this coffee table book is the one-stop shop for learning about America’s greatest gift to theatre, the musical. Broadway has long done it bigger and brighter than anywhere else, and Brantley’s history carries us from the Follies of the teens to the glamour of the ‘20s and ’30s and the disillusionment of the ‘50s. Each decade and its defining shows are given due prominence with photos, original reviews, and Brantley’s commentary. The revivals, passion, and grit documented in fantastic color will send you to the theater in a hurry.
Hannah
$50.00
ISBN-13: 9781419703379
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams, 10/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Costume Dramas, Music
Joseph Anton: A Memoir (Random House, $30) is Salman Rushdie’s extraordinary tale of his life before and during the nine years he lived under threat of death after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 urging Muslims worldwide to kill Rushdie over his authorship of The Satanic Verses. While much of the story reads like a thriller (secret hideaways, clandestine meetings, close calls), it is also a profound and cautionary tale about the inviolability of freedom of expression. There are many heroes and villains in Rushdie’s story—he pulls no punches in excoriating those willing to sacrifice principle for self-interest—and plenty of juicy tidbits about famous literary figures, politicians, and other notable celebrities. Perhaps most touching is how he copes as a father during weeks and months of separation from his young son.
Book Notes
$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780812992786
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Random House, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Nonfiction Favorites
The fourth volume of Robert Caro’s majestic biography of Lyndon Johnson, The Passage of Power (Knopf, $35), finally arrived in May after a tenyear wait. Caro’s exhaustive research amply fills the 700-plus pages with enough juicy anecdotes to keep Washington politicos happy for years. Beginning with the 1960 presidential primaries and ending shortly after Kennedy’s assassination, this tightly focused volume allows Caro to dissect the Johnson-Kennedy rivalry in detail, adding Johnson’s bitter feud with Bobby to the mix. Today’s political technocrats, with their data- driven analytics, pale in comparison to the Boston Irishman and the Texas dirt farmer, and this fiveyear period in which the two moved from combat to arms-length collaboration gives an unparalleled view of each one’s political arsenal. When he’s imprisoned in the vice-presidency, Johnson’s misery is palpable, but when he moves into the Oval Office, he reveals his unmatched skills in persuading, cajoling, manipulating, and threatening—whatever it took to get his civil rights bill through Congress. And Caro is with him every step of the way.
Book Notes
$35.00
ISBN-13: 9780679405078
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf, 5/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Nonfiction Favorites
Paul Elie’s spirited contribution to the ongoing project of Reinventing Bach (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30) is an ingenious three-part invention of a book. Intertwining the stories of Bach, his 20th- and 21st-century interpreters, and technology, Elie explores not just music history but the history of a particular kind of creativity. A lot has changed between Bach’s time, when you had to go to a church to hear an organ toccata, and today, when you can carry whole orchestras around on an iPod. Elie recounts the stages of this shift from the “pre-recorded era” to the digital age, examining what it has meant for music and for specific musicians. Focusing on Albert Schweitzer, Pablo Casals, Leopold Stokowski, Glenn Gould, and Yo-Yo Ma, Elie (a practiced hand at group biography, as his acclaimed The Life You Save May Be Your Own attests) shows how each of these Bach devotees brought out new facets of the music even as they—and technology—opened yet more avenues for playing, recording, and listening to the inexhaustible wonder that is Bach.
Book Notes

Reinventing Bach (Hardcover)

$30.00
ISBN-13: 9780374281076
Availability: Not currently in the store – Usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Nonfiction Favorites
We live in an era when virtually everything is up for sale—babies, permits to shoot endangered species, advertising space on student report cards, and even a baseball announcer’s message when a player hits a home run. In his lucid and provocative book, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27), Harvard professor Michael J. Sandel, one of the world’s pre-eminent political scientists, assesses what happens to the common good when market values crowd out social and civic values. With eye-opening examples from everyday life, and some entertaining digs at well-known economists (including some of his colleagues and friends), he makes a persuasive and elegant case for how we can change the current scenario.
Book Notes
$27.00
ISBN-13: 9780374203030
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 4/2012

2012 Holiday Newsletter, Nonfiction Favorites