Tag Archives: Books

Nostalgia: New Book On “Holiday Magazine” Portrays It’s “Romance Of Travel” From 1946-1977

From the RizzoliUsA.com website:

Holiday The Best Travel Magazine That Ever Was By Pamela FioriThe first book on magazine sensation Holiday, which between 1946 and 1977 was one of the most exciting publications in the world. Renowned for its bold layouts, literary credibility, and ambitious choice of photographers and artists, Holiday portrayed the romance of travel like no other periodical.

At Holiday magazine’s peak, urbane editor, Ted Patrick, and visionary art director, Frank Zachary, invited postwar America to see and read about the world. On the journey, readers joined the magazine’s renowned roster of talent. Some of the most celebrated writing by Jack Kerouac, Ernest Hemingway, Graham Greene, Joan Didion, Truman Capote, Colette, and E. B. White (his piece “Here Is New York” was commissioned for Holiday in 1949) first appeared in its pages. Henri Cartier-Bresson documented a breathtaking Paris and other cities; Slim Aarons captured the glamour of travel around the world; and Al Hirschfeld and Ludwig Bemelmans contributed showstopping illustrations of places and personages.

Pamela Fiori writes about the magazine’s history, giving it context during the era of the jet age, world turbulence, and the rise of Madison Avenue advertising. Holiday was a vibrant original, inspiring travel magazines that followed and leaving glorious photography and art as well as thought-provoking journalism in its wake.

To read more: https://www.rizzoliusa.com/book/9780847866250/

Top Podcasts: US Constitutional Law Expert Brian Kalt On 25th Amendment (Quillette)

Unable The Law, Politics, and Limits of Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth AmendmentBrian Kalt, an expert on US constitutional law and the presidency, talks to Jonathan Kay about the 25th Amendment and whether it can be used to remove a president. Professor Kalt recently published a book called Unable: The Law, Politics, and Limits of Section 4 of the Twenty-Fifth Amendment.

 

New Art Books: “Morning Glory On The Vine” By Joni Mitchell Is “Vivid, Intimate”

From a New Yorker online article:

Joni Mitchell Morning Glory on the Vine drawingI became engrossed in Mitchell’s drawings while browsing the book—they’re vivid, intimate—but her handwritten lyrics and poems are just as revelatory. It’s hard not to think about art-making of any kind as an alchemical process, in which feelings and experiences go in and something else comes out. Whatever happens in between is mysterious, if not sublime: suddenly, an ordinary sensation is made beautiful. Our most profound writers do this work with ease, or at least appear to. Mitchell’s lyrics are never overworked or self-conscious, and she manages to be precise in her descriptions while remaining ambiguous about what’s right and what’s wrong; in her songs, the cures and the diseases are sometimes indistinguishable. 

Joni Mitchell Morning Glory on the Vine BookJoni Mitchell, in the foreword to “Morning Glory on the Vine,” her new book of lyrics and illustrations, explains that, in the early nineteen-seventies, just as her fervent and cavernous folk songs were finding a wide audience, she was growing less interested in making music than in drawing. “Once when I was sketching my audience in Central Park, they had to drag me onto the stage,” she writes. Though Mitchell is deeply beloved for her music—her album “Blue” is widely considered one of the greatest LPs of the album era and is still discussed, nearly fifty years later, in reverent, almost disbelieving whispers—she has consistently defined herself as a visual artist. “I have always thought of myself as a painter derailed by circumstance,” she told the Globe and Mail, in 2000. At the very least, painting was where she directed feelings of wonderment and relish. “I sing my sorrow and I paint my joy,” is how she put it.

To read more: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/joni-mitchell-discusses-her-new-book-of-early-songs-and-drawings

New Books: “Edison” By Pulitzer Prize-Winner Edmund Morris (2019)

From a Wall Street Journal online review:

Edison by Edmuns Morris 2019Not until July 16 did Edison feel that he had a device worth patenting. The application he signed that day specified multiple timpani that “reproduced” vocal inflections and a sibilant-sensitive diaphragm. But a laboratory visitor (spying for Bell) found the instrument more powerful than clear, with the word schism sounding more like kim.

“We have had terrible hard work on the Speaking telegraph,” Batchelor complained to his fellow inventor Ezra Gilliland. For the past five to six weeks, he added, Edison’s team had been “frequently working 2 nights together until we all had to knock off from want of sleep.”

Thomas Alva Edison’s self-proclaimed greatest invention, the phonograph, won him overnight fame. Journalists would marvel that such an acoustic revolution, adding a whole new dimension to human memory, could have been accomplished by a man half deaf in one ear and wholly deaf in the other.

In February 1877, the same month that saw Edison turn 30 and show his first streaks of silver hair, he and his fellow inventor Charles Batchelor began a new series of experiments on what they called, variously, the “telephonic telegraph,” the “speaking telegraph” and the “talking telephone.”

To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-making-of-thomas-edisons-miraculous-machine-11571324989

Books Worth Reading: “A Booklover’s Guide To New York” By Cleo Le-Tan (2019)

From a New Criterion online article:

Cleo Le-Tan Knows Where All the Bookstores Are in New YorkA Booklover’s Guide to New York, by Cleo Le-Tan, with drawings by Pierre Le-Tan (Rizzoli): As Prufrock measured out his life in coffee spoons, some New Yorkers measure theirs in departed bookstores. I weep most for Crawford Doyle, which in 2017 closed after twenty-one years in stately residence on Madison Avenue at Eighty-first Street. But there have been compensations among the heartaches. In 2014, Albertine opened at the French Embassy, on Fifth Avenue and Seventy-ninth Street. The gorgeous store cheekily asserts on billboards that “The best bookstore in France is in New York City.” And Rizzoli, which lost its lease in its double-front townhouse on Fifty-seventh Street in 2014, later reopened on Broadway and Twenty-sixth Street, in a space nearly as grand as the original. Cleo Le-Tan’s A Booklover’s Guide to New York is expressly made for those who view the city’s bookstores as integral to its being. Documenting the shops, sellers, libraries, and bibliophiles of the city, the illustrated book is a worthy addition to any personal collection.

To read more: https://newcriterion.com/

 

Top New Fiction: “Agent Running In The Field” By John le Carré (2019)

From a The Economist online review:

Agent Running In The Field John LeCarre The Economist“Agent Running in the Field” is narrated by Nat, a 47-year-old spy for British intelligence—known not as “the Circus” of yore but, more prosaically, as “the Office”.

After years spent handling secret agents overseas Nat has returned to London to take charge of the Haven, an “outstation” of the Russia department that doubles as “a dumping ground for resettled defectors of nil value and fifth-rate informants on the skids”. With Florence, his number two, Nat throws himself into Operation Rosebud, which involves the surveillance of a London-based Ukrainian oligarch with links to Moscow Centre. Then Florence unexpectedly resigns and won’t return Nat’s calls. Equally abruptly, the powers-that-be pull the plug on the operation.

WHEN JOHN LE CARRÉ’S third book, “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold”, was published in 1963, it presented the world of espionage in a harsh new light. Spies were not brave, suave heroes. “They’re a squalid procession of vain fools, traitors too,” explains the flawed and beleaguered protagonist, Alec Leamas. They are “sadists and drunkards, people who play cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten lives.” The novel preferred intrigue to adventure, gritty reality to escapist fantasy. Readers expecting a finale in which good conquered evil were instead offered convoluted twists and a bleak denouement.

To read more: https://www.economist.com/books-and-arts/2019/10/14/john-le-carres-25th-novel-is-blisteringly-contemporary?cid1=cust/dailypicks1/n/bl/n/20191014n/owned/n/n/dailypicks1/n/n/NA/325041/n

New Books: Frank Lloyd Wright Bio “Plagued By Fire” By Paul Hendrickson

From a Wall Street Journal online review:

Plagued by Fire Paul HendrickonWhereas most Wright biographies build from one structure to the next, this one caroms from one digression to the next. Mr. Hendrickson spins miniature biographies of the people who commissioned Wright to build their homes and office buildings. An array of midcentury figures appears: e.g., Glenway Wescott, the novelist and poet who rubbed shoulders with Gertrude Stein in Paris and whose sister commissioned one of Wright’s homes; and Clarence Darrow, the renowned lawyer, who waded into the murk of Wright’s personal life when a disgruntled housekeeper attempted to use the Mann Act to have Wright arrested. We also meet the little-known residents of various structures. Seth Peterson, for instance, dreamed of living in a Wright home so powerfully that he camped out in the one he commissioned as it was being built. 

Even when you grant how exposed to the elements an architect’s work may be, Frank Lloyd Wright appears to have been an insurer’s nightmare. If a building could shake, burn or flood, time and again Wright’s structures did. Like the exquisite Rose Pauson House in Phoenix, which lasted a mere year before succumbing to fire. Or the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, with its gorgeous H-shaped guest wing, rocked by an earthquake on the day it opened. The Johnson Wax building in Racine, Wis., was so porous that office staff were known to keep buckets by their desk on rainy days.

To read more: https://www.wsj.com/articles/plagued-by-fire-review-the-spirit-in-the-form-11570806240?mod=ig_booksoctober12