to read

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

Step aside, Machiavelli, there's a new player on the field, and his name is Robert Greene. Greene, a former magazine editor, has culled timeless advice on dominating the office. Machiavelli, Sun-tzu, and Napoleon offer their thoughts alongside more surprising choices like Catherine the Great and Heny Kissinger. An appealing and quirky nerves-of-steel manual for success.

Life Along the Silk Road by Susan Whitfield
This history of the trade route that connected the Far East to Europe might have been a dry, academic tome in les clever hands. Whitfield makes it brilliant and fascinating. She models the book on The Canterbury Tales, focusing each chapter on one of the people who traveled the road: the monk, the princess, the merchant, the soldier, and so on. All the details of daily life are here with the richness and color you expect from a Central Asian expedition of a millenium ago. A wonderufl armchair voyage.

Nothing Remains the Same: Rereading and Remembering by Wendy Lesser
Lesser, editor of the literary magazine The Threepenny Review returns to her bookshelves and rereads, after a break of twenty or thirty years, books that had once made an impression upon her. She finds to her astonishment that books change. As Lesser plunges deeper into her shelves, she delves deeper into her own soul, and ends up learning as much about herself as she doea about Anna Karenina, George Orwell, Wordsworth, Shakespeare, and others. A marvelous, moving journey of discovery.

Much Ado about Jessie Kaplan by Paula Marantz Cohen
If you love English literature but ar enot in the mood for a weighty, literary read, check out Paula Marantz cohen's work. Her first book, Jane Austen in Boca, was a twist on our favorite Regency writer; her sophomore efort take on the Bard. New Jersey housewife Carla Goodman is juggling a marriage, two kids, and bar mitzvah preparataions when her elderly mother begins remembering her past as Shakespeare's inspiration, the Dark Lady. Oy! Cohen is an English professor who had found the most fun in revisiting the classics.

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv
Children are more disconnected from nature than ever before. Many prefer to play inside with electronic games and TV, and many parents prefer it too, feelings it is safer for them to be in the house. Child advocate Louv offers a passionate plea to return children to the natural world in this eye-opening book. He reveals that wonderful things can happen when a child experiences the outdoors, including longer attention spans, compassion, and a deeper connection to family. A wonderful, deeply felt call to change that all parents should heed.

Vanilla Pop: Sweet Sounds from Frankie Avalon to Abba by Joseph Lanza
Vanilla pop is the fizzy and sugary music created by the likes of innocuous bands like The Carpenters and singers like Doris Day. Lanza explains in delightufl detail how the tunes are created and why this genre o musi really matters. (You would expect no less from the author of Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong.) A funky find for the music aficionado.


Sir Jupiter said...

Speaking of Vanilla Pop, just when ARE we going to do our duet of “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters?

Edgy said...

Perhaps we might have done our duet had you called me when you were in town.