Beginning of Infinity," Leningrad" and "Reign of Iron"
|Available right now as a break from light reading and all the
things on most of our plates with the switch over from summer to
fall are two "loaded tomes" David Deutsch's "The Beginning of
Infinity" (Viking, $30.00, 487 pages) and
Anna Reid's "Leningrad" (Walker and Company, $30.00, 496 pages.
The Deutsch book is so clearly written, so accessible, so
provocatively mesmerizing. It attempts to explain (and succeeds)
in its exploration of how the physical world works. The author
is a professor of physics at the University of Oxford, where he
is a member of the Centre for Quantum Computation so he is well
prepared for the brilliant work that presents all kinds of
conclusion about human choice, the evolution of our species and
a host of other explanations that transform our world. HIGHLY
Anna Reid is another expert in her field like Deutsch, and she is
at the top of her game in this riveting, at times horrible for
the facts it presents, illuminating and consciousness raising
chronicle of the siege of Leningrad by Nazi and Finnish armies.
Her work is informed by the many firsthand accounts, diarists,
those involved in those harrowing years 1941-1944. There are
very few photos in this intense work of history, but what there
are enhance and punctuate the anecdotes and narrative of this
always compelling work. Those who own this book will come back
to it again and again to re-read the telling, heart breaking and
noble passages. HIGHLY NOTABLE.
"Reign of Iron" by James L. Nelson (Harper Perennial, $16.95,
362 pages, paper) is the story of the Monitor and the Merrimac,
the first ironclad battling ships. Many of us learned about this
topic in high school, but this book has so many details, is
filled with such color and information, that in this Civil War
anniversary year - - it is must reading.
SOMETHING SPECIAL: "Cecil Beaton: The New York Years" by Donald
Albrecht (Skira Rizzoli, 240 pages, $65.00) is an over-sized,
ambitious , rewarding effort that mixes and matches 200
illustrations. It showcases drawings, set designs, previously
unpublished letters. costumes and photography - -all focused on
the legendary Cecil Beaton and his life and times, especially as
a part of the New York art scene. To turn these pages is to be
brought back into the sophisticated, sexy sensational, sublime
scene. Of course, "My Fair Lady" and Beaton's costume design
work is prominently featured and a delight to re-visit again.
For borrowing, for gift giving, for pure escape and enjoyment -
this is the book to get.
Haute Cuisine" with Recipes by Michel Roth text by
Jean-Francois Mespiede and photographs by Grant Symon (Flammarion|Rizzoli,
$60.00, 304 pages) is a stunning collection of menus, commentary
and celebration of the culinary tradition of one of Europe's
legendary hotels. Intertwined is the man who set the bar high
Cesar Ritz and his celebrated chef August Escoffier. The linking
of the two was a breakthrough in the high end of the hospitality
industry in France. The book also tells the story of the
acclaimed Michel Roth now running things at the Michelin-starred
restaurant L'Espadon. Turning pages of this magnificently
produced tome, one feels in Paris enjoying great food and
drink, the best the hospitality world has to offfer from the
award winning egg-shaped macaroni and truffle dish to John Dory
with Cockles, Lemon Jelly and romaine Jus. Great dining. Great
# # #
About the Authors: Myrna Katz Frommer and Harvey Frommer are a wife and husband
team who successfully bridge the worlds of popular culture and traditional
scholarship. Co-authors of the critically acclaimed interactive oral histories
It Happened in the Catskills, It Happened in Brooklyn, Growing Up Jewish in
America, It Happened on Broadway, It Happened in Manhattan, It Happened in
Miami. They teach what they practice as professors at Dartmouth College.
They are also travel writers who specialize in luxury properties and fine dining
as well as cultural history and Jewish history and heritage in the United
States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
about these authors.
You can contact the Frommers at:
This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer. All rights