Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More Picks From Eric B.

From the Pulitzer Prizewinning author of Ironweed, a dramatic novel of love and revolution from one of America's finest writers

When journalist Daniel Quinn meets Ernest Hemingway at the Floridita bar in Havana, Cuba, in 1957, he has no idea that his own affinity for simple, declarative sentences will change his life radically overnight.

So begins William Kennedy's latest novel—a tale of revolutionary intrigue, heroic journalism, crooked politicians, drug-running gangsters, Albany race riots, and the improbable rise of Fidel Castro. Quinn's epic journey carries him through the nightclubs and jungles of Cuba and into the newsrooms and racially charged streets of Albany on the day Robert Kennedy is fatally shot in 1968. The odyssey brings Quinn, and his exotic but unpredictable Cuban wife, Renata, a debutante revolutionary, face-to-face with the darkest facets of human nature and illuminates the power of love in the presence of death.

Kennedy masterfully gathers together an unlikely cast of vivid characters in a breathtaking adventure full of music, mysticism, and murder—a homeless black alcoholic, a radical Catholic priest, a senile parent, a terminally ill jazz legend, the imperious mayor of Albany, Bing Crosby, Hemingway, Castro, and a ragtag ensemble of radicals, prostitutes, provocateurs, and underworld heavies. This is an unforgettably riotous story of revolution, romance, and redemption, set against the landscape of the civil rights movement as it challenges the legendary and vengeful Albany political machine.

Western civilization’s rise to global dominance is the single most
important historical phenomenon of the past five centuries.

How did the West overtake its Eastern rivals? And has the zenith of Western power now passed? Acclaimed historian Niall Ferguson argues that beginning in the fifteenth century, the West developed six powerful new concepts, or “killer applications”—competition, science, the rule of law, modern medicine, consumerism, and the work ethic—that the Rest lacked, allowing it to surge past all other competitors.

Yet now, Ferguson shows how the Rest have downloaded the killer apps the West once monopolized, while the West has literally lost faith in itself. Chronicling the rise and fall of empires alongside clashes (and fusions) of civilizations, Civilization: The West and the Rest recasts world history with force and wit. Boldly argued and teeming with memorable characters, this is Ferguson at his very best.

After a chance encounter with a remarkable ninety-year-old woman, renowned gerontologist Karl Pillemer decided to find out what older people know about life that the rest of us don’t. His quest led him to speak with a thousand Americans over the age of sixty-five—many of whom can remember the Depression and World War II. While some of their tales reaffirmed timeless wisdom, others surprised Pillemer with the unexpected. Now with a new preface by Jane Brody, 30 Lessons for Living distills their moving stories and hard-won advice. To learn how to live without regret, persevere through hard times, find fulfillment, and age fearlessly and well, there is no one better to ask than the people who have done it themselves.
A collection of one hundred postcards from the classic covers of Vogue

Launched in 1892 and acquired by Condé Nast in 1909, Vogue has been setting fashion trends and writing cutting-edge social commentary for over a century. Described as "the world's most influential fashion magazine" by the New York Times, Vogue pioneered the art of fashion, publishing timeless classics by acclaimed photographers such as Irving Penn and Erwin Blumenfeld, iconic imagery by modern masters including Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino, and classic illustrations by famous artists such as Salvador Dali, Erté, and Eduardo Benito. Over its remarkable one hundred and twenty years, Vogue has served as a photographic and literary authority for its readers: the stylish and culturally sophisticated women of the last century. This selection of one hundred of Vogue's most iconic covers is not to be missed.

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