Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kate M. Is Recommending:

A preeminent writer on Paris, John Baxter brilliantly brings to life one of the most dramatic and fascinating periods in the city's history. During World War I, the terrifying sounds of the nearby front could be heard from inside the French capital; Germany's "Paris Gun" and enemy aviators routinely bombarded the city.

And yet in its darkest hour, the City of Light blazed more brightly than ever. Its taxis shuttled troops to the front; its great railway stations received reinforcements from across the world; its grand museums and cathedrals housed the wounded; and the Eiffel Tower hummed at all hours, relaying messages to and from the trenches. At night, Parisians lived with urgency and without inhibition, embracing the lush and the libertine. The rich hosted parties that depleted their wine cellars of the finest vintages. Artists such as Pablo Picasso achieved new creative heights. And the war brought a wave of foreigners to the city for the first time, including Ernest Hemingway and Baxter's own grandfather, Archie, whose diaries he uses to reconstruct a soldier's-eye view of the war years.

Uncovering a thrilling chapter in Paris's history, John Baxter's revelatory new book shows how this extraordinary period was essential in forging the spirit of the city we love today.

In an illustrative style that is a thrilling mash-up of Art Spiegelman's deft emotionality, Roz Chast's hilarious neuroses, and the magical spirit of Marc Chagall, A Bintel Brief is Liana Frinck's evocative, elegiac love letter to the turn-of-the-century Jewish immigrants who transformed New York City and America itself.

A Bintel Brief "A Bundle of Letters"--was the enormously popular advice column of The Forward, the widely read Yiddish language newspaper begun in 1906 New York. Written by a diverse community of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, these letters spoke to the daily heartbreaks and comedies of their new lives, capturing the hope, isolation, and confusion of assimilation.

Drawn from these letters--selected and adapted by Liana Finck and brought to life in her appealing two-color illustrations--A Bintel Brief is a tour of Lower East Side New York, and includes an imaginative conversation with the Yiddish "Dear Abby," Abraham Cahan, The Forward's legendary editor and creator of the Bintel Brief column.

From premarital sex to family politics to struggles with jobs and money, A Bintel Brief is an enlightening look at a segment of America's rich cultural past that offers fresh insights for our own lives as well.

From legendary Pixies front man, Black Francis, comes a bold and visually arresting illustrated novel about art, conflict, and the origins of a certain type of cinema.

In 1907, the French battleship Iena was destroyed when munitions it was carrying exploded, killing 120 people. A nitrocellulose-based weapon propellant had become unstable with age and self-ignited.

In 1908, La Bonne Auberge became the earliest known pornographic film. It depicted a sexual encounter between a French soldier and an innkeeper's daughter. Like all films at the time, and for decades afterward, it was made with a highly combustible nitrocellulose-based film stock.

Loosely based on these historical events, The Good Inn follows the lone survivor of the Iena explosion as he makes his way through the French countryside, falls deeply in love with an innkeeper's daughter, and even more deeply into a strange counter universe. It is a volatile world where war and art exist side by side. It is also the very real story of the people who made the first narrative pornographic film. The novel weaves together real historical facts to recreate this lost piece of history, as seen through the eyes of a shell-shocked soldier who finds himself the subject and star of the world's first stag film. Through Soldier Boy's journey we explore the power of memory, the simultaneously destructive and healing power of light, and how the early pioneers of stag films helped shape the film industry for generations to come.

Fifty Iconic Culinary Scenes from Literary Classics Sure to Delight Readers, Foodies, and Photo-Junkies Alike

Fictitious Dishes serves up a delectable assortment of photographic interpretations of culinary moments from contemporary and classic literature. Showcasing famous meals such as the madcap tea party from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the watery gruel from Oliver Twist, the lavish chicken breakfast from To Kill a Mockingbird, the stomach-turning avocado-and-crabmeat salad from The Bell Jar, and the seductive cupcakes from The Corrections, this unique volume pairs each place setting with the text from the book that inspired its creation. Interesting food facts and entertaining anecdotes about the authors, their work, and their culinary predilections complete this charming book, which is sure to whet the appetites of lovers of great literature and delicious dishes.

A special 25th anniversary edition of Paulo Coehlo's extraordinary international bestselling phenomenon--the inspiring spiritual tale of self-discovery that has touched millions of lives around the world.

Combing magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different--and far more satisfying--than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

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