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Real Winners from TIME BOOKS, LIFE BOOKS, and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED BOOKS and other worthy December Reads

Book Review

"TIME AMERICA: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY" (Time Inc., Home Entertainment, $29.95, oversized 266 pages) is the most impressive entry in this trio of heavyweights. It features 500 images – photos, paintings, illustrations. It traces America from it fledging time as a British colony post to its ascendancy to leadership in the free world. This is an incredible book as time marches before our eyes in words and pictures, a cavalcade of some of the greatest (and worst times) in U.S. history. There is half page image of George Gershwin at the piano in the 1920s, GIs on guard in the snow in Europe in WWII, Nixon in China 1972, Elvis Presley in black, shaking and singing. Just  moving pictures.   BUY IT NOW!

"LIFE: AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL"  (Life Books, $29.95, 145 pages) is the kind of book to place on your coffee table and pick up from time to time to browse  through, to read carefully, to savor.  To not do any of these things would be a waste. For this is not just a lovely and terrific tome but one that Robert Sullivan,  Editorial Director of LIFE books, has given all kinds of tender care in creating it. Billed in its sub-title as “A photographic journey , coast to coast – and beyond, the book  includes full color photographs of the 100 most spectacular places to see in America, -  the top bays, ocean beaches and coastlines, the top lakes and rivers, the top towns and villages and more. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

If you are a hoops fan or know someone who is, "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED: THE BASKETBALL BOOK" (Time Inc., Home Entertainment, by the editors of Sports Illustrated, $29.95, 296 pages) is so well priced for what is offered that it is almost as if they are giving the book away. There are 300 photos showcasing college and pro ball, writing by a collection of pros from the SI archives of the past, a foreword by Alexander Wolf, a four-page gatefold showcasing the 29 top players of the game by height. There is much to learn, much to marvel at, much to enjoy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

“Jewish Heritage Travel A Guide to Eastern Europe” by Ruth Ellen Gruber (National Geographic, $18.95, 338, paper) is a valuable companion for those following this particular travel bent. Gruber, an American writer based in Europe, has done a careful job of researching and written a book that will fascinate many.

“Jersey Boys” with text and interviews by David Cote (Broadway Books, $40.00, 173 over-sized pages) is the book for those who are fans of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons or those who have seen the musical. Splashy, colorful, filled with archival black and white and full color photographs, intermingling oral history and the author’s commentary and lyrics from songs and more – “Jersey Boys” has a beat, a brassiness. Top of the hill.

HIGHLY NOTABLE: “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy with a new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (Knopf, $37.00, 1,273 pages) is a monumental achievement, both compelling and focused, bringing Tolstoy’s masterpiece more up close and personal for the English reader. The team of Pevear and Larissa, award winners, have done it again. This is a book that belongs as a keepsake in your library.

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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. More about these authors.

You can contact the Frommers at: 

Email: myrna.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU
Email: harvey.frommer@Dartmouth.EDU

This Article is Copyright © 1995 - 2012 by Harvey and Myrna Frommer.  All rights reserved worldwide.

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