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Amazing Holiday (and all year long) Gift Books
Book Review

Harry N. Abrams Publishers keeps outdoing itself year after year and book after book. The quality of their works, the reach and the rewards - outstanding. Special beauties there for the buying and the enjoying are:

  • "Tiffany's Palm Beach"
  • "Birds of Central Park"
  •  "Slim Aarons:  A Place in the Sun"
  • "Woman in the Mirror"

"Tiffany's Palm Beach," by John Loring ($65.00, 336 pages, 285 full color illustrations) is an intriguing look behind the scenes at the history, art and architecture, lifestyles and people of this gaudy and glossy stretch of island real estate in Florida's fabulous playground. Loring, design director of Tiffany & Co. since 1979, knows his subject well and writes with passion as well as authority. The book is a winner.

"Birds of Central Park" with photographs and text by Cal Vornberger ($35.00, 208 pages, 175 full color photographs) is not just for park lovers, not just for bird lovers, not just for photography lovers. But this worthy effort by Vornberger who spent every day of the past three years in the Park at work is a book for all kinds of readers. Beautiful, poignant, educational - "Birds of Central Park" is as its sub-title proclaims: "A Birds-Eye View of Some of Central Park's Most Fascinating Inhabitants."

"Slim Aarons:  A Place in the Sun" with an introduction by Christopher Sweet ($75.00, 240 pages, 210 full-color photographs) is a look inside at the beautiful people at play at their places in the sun from Palm Springs to Monaco, from Aspen to Gstaad. This is a book to savor, to turn to on chilly mornings, to study and to wonder at. Sweet has got it right in his own phrases: "Photographing attractive people who were doing attractive things in attractive places."

"Woman in the Mirror" by Richard Avedon ($65.00, 246 pages) adds an exclamation point to the amazing Abrams books cited in this review. It is a work about the work of the noted photographer Avedon from 1945 to 2004. There are 125 tritone and ten full color photographs, each begging the reader/viewer (and reviewer) to tarry a while, to contemplate, to enjoy. And since there are so many decades represented and since "Woman in the Mirror" is presented in chronological order - the history of the conception of female beauty during the decades of the second half of the twentieth century, the momentum of time passing and Avedon at work grips one. Remarkable, this splendid opus is one definitely worthy of putting in a place of honor on your bookshelf.

NOTABLE: From National Geographic Books comes "Visual History of the World" ($35.00, 656 pages) - - a stunning, sweeping, sourcebook with more than 4,000 illustrations. Page after page summon up insights and new awarenesses. This is the ultimate reference book for those interested in history, for those who really want to "look it up."

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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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