Friday, December 28, 2007

Tempting Titles 800 - 900 - 92s (3 of 3)

These books are either already in the system or on the way. To get to the online catalog record, click on the image or the book title link. There you can place a hold request, see similar subjects or other books by the same author, read first chapters, reviews or summaries, and enlarge the image.

Dewey Decimal 800s (Literature)
I Am America (and so can you) by Stephen Colbert

"Realizing that it takes more than thirty minutes a night to fix everything that's destroying America, Colbert bravely takes on the forces aligned to destroy our country—whether they be terrorists, environmentalists, or Kashi brand breakfast cereals. His various targets include nature (I've never trusted the sea. What's it hiding under there?), the Hollywood Blacklist (I would have named enough names to fill the Moscow phone book), and atheists (Imagine going through life completely duped into thinking that there's no invisible, omniscient higher power guiding every action on Earth. It's just so arbitrary!). Colbert also provides helpful illustrations and charts (Things That Are Trying to Turn Me Gay), a complete transcript of his infamous speech at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Dinner, and a special Holiday DVD" (Publishers Weekly)

Classics for Pleasure by Michael Dirda

"In this casually brilliant collection of great book recommendations, Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize–winning critic for the Washington Post Book World, discusses titles ranging from well-known favorites such as Sherlock Holmes and Beowulf to more obscure writers such as Jaroslav Hasek and John Masefield. Dirda is a charming and exceedingly well-read host, erudite without slipping into pretension. He is more generous and less canonical than Harold Bloom, to whose work Dirda owes a debt in style and substance. The book creates a pleasurable but somewhat maddening sensation in the committed reader, who will be tempted to read most of Dirda's selections based on his brief summations." (Publishers Weekly)

Taz, the Blog Dog says "What's so 'maddening' about wanting to devour everything in a library? Four holiday woofs!"

Dewey Decimal 900s (Geography, travel, history)

Down the Nile: alone in a fisherman’s skiff by Rosemary Mahoney

"This is travel writing at its most enjoyable: the reader is taken on a great trip with an erudite travel companion soaking up scads of history, culture and literary knowledge, along with the scenery. The genesis for the trip is simple: the author's love of rowing. Her plan, 'to buy a small Egyptian rowboat and row myself along the 120-mile stretch of river between the cities of Aswan and Qena,' is less so. Mahoney (The Singular Pilgrim; Whoredom in Kimmage) conveys readers along the longest river in the world, through narrative laced with insight, goodwill and sometimes sadness." (Publishers Weekly)

Smile When You’re Lying: confessions of a rogue travel writer by Chuck Thompson

"An aggressively funny account of the world from an acerbic, energetic professional traveler who tells it like he sees it and has no reservations about sharing his stockpile of outrageous (mis)adventures and advice." (Kirkus)

"Although the Hellenistic Age flourished for barely 300 years, its contributions to world history are countless. Eminent historian Green offers a marvelous survey of the key people, places and events of the years from 337 B.C., when Alexander came to power, to the death of Cleopatra in 30 B.C." (Publishers Weekly)

"In more than 107 original essays organized by quotations from A to Z, James discusses some of the great thinkers, artists, humanists, and politicians who have shaped the 20th century, e.g., talk-show host Dick Cavett, psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, jazz musician Louis Armstrong, and novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald. Preceding each essay is a brief biography of the luminary. Throughout, James states that we need a universal humanism and questions how to get it." (Library Journal)

"In 1998, the auction house Christie's sold a medieval prayer book for more than $2 million. The price owed to a startling discovery: the prayers had been written over the earliest surviving manuscript of Archimedes (287–212 B.C.), the ancient world's greatest mathematician. In a delightful and fast-paced archeological and scientific detective story, Netz, a Stanford classicist, and Noel, director of the Archimedes Palimpsest Project, make palpable the excitement this discovery evoked." (Publishers Weekly)

92s (Biographies)

Agent Zigzag: a true story of Nazi espionage, love, and betrayal by Ben MacIntyre

"Meticulously researched—relying extensively on recently released wartime files of Britain's Secret Intelligence Service—Macintyre's biography often reads like a spy thriller. In the end, the author concludes that Chapman 'repeatedly risked his life... [and] provided invaluable intelligence,' but “it was never clear whether he was on the side of the angels or the devils.” (Publishers Weekly)

Zhou Enlai, the last perfect revoluationary: a biography by Wenqian Gao

"Exhaustively researched biography of the revered Chinese premier who helped guide China through its infancy onto the world stage. Zhou Enlai is probably best known for arranging the famous visits of President Nixon and Secretary of State Kissinger to China in 1972. But the fingerprints of this skilled diplomat and statesman remain all over the growing giant that is modern China." (Kirkus)

American Jennie: the remarkable life of Lady Randolph Churchill by Charlotte Mosley

"Biographer and journalist Sebba (Mother Teresa: Beyond the Image) has written a well-researched book on the life of Jennie Jerome Churchill, the wife of Lord Randolph Churchill and mother of Winston Churchill. While recent popular biographies (e.g., Charles Higham's Dark Lady) have dwelt much on her affairs during her marriage, this book focuses more on her domestic role. The author uses Churchill family papers and previous biographies to provide a vivid portrait that gives readers a good understanding of Lady Churchill as both vivacious and intelligent. Sebba quotes Winston Churchill saying of her 'Her life was a full one. The wine of life was in her veins.' (Library Journal)

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