Book Casing

Great books recommended by great people.

Mark Bittman's Bookcase

Mark Bittman (born February 17, 1950) is an American food journalist, author, and former columnist for The New York Times. Currently, he is a fellow at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Recommends

:

No.1

'It beats me why a man of his genius is satisfied to hang around pressing my clothes and what not,' says Bertie. 'If I had Jeeves's brain, I should have a stab at being Prime Minister or something.' Luckily for us, Bertie Wooster manages to retain Jeeves's services through all the vicissitudes of purple socks and policemen's helmets, and here, gathered together for the first time, is an omnibus of Jeeves novels and stories: Thank You, Jeeves, The Codes of the Woosters, and The Inimitable Jeeves.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Hailed as Gissing’s finest novel, New Grub Street portrays the intrigues and hardships of the publishing world in late Victorian England. In a materialistic, class-conscious society that rewards commercial savvy over artistic achievement, authors and scholars struggle to earn a living without compromising their standards. “Even as the novel chills us with its still-recognizable portrayal of the crass and vulgar world of literary endeavor,” writes Francine Prose in her Introduction, “its very existence provides eloquent, encouraging proof of the fact that a powerful, honest writer can transcend the constraints of commerce.”

This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the text of the 1891 first edition.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

:

One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, actually composed of 118 splendid woodblock landscape and genre scenes of midnineteenth century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art. The sereies, reproduced from an exceptionally fine, first-edition set in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, contains many of Hiroshige's best-loved and most extraordinary prints. Each plate is accompanied by a commentary that discusses its artistic and cultural interest in detail. A celebration of the style and world of Japan's finest cultural flowering at the end of the shogunate.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction; critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos; and much more.

Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer.

Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.

This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; a wealth of critical essays and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and much more. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

:

Plays

Plays Five: Arcadia The Real Thing Night & Day Indian Ink Hapgood

This fifth collection of Tom Stoppard's plays brings together five classic plays by one of the most celebrated dramatists writing in the English language. Arcadia received the Evening Standard, the Oliver, and the Critics Awards and The Real Thing won a Tony Award.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

"Es werden jetzt Produktionen möglich, die Null sind, ohne schlecht zu sein. Null, weil sie keinen Gehalt haben; nicht schlecht, weil eine allgemeine Form guter Muster den Verfassern vorschwebt." Mit diesen Worten hat Goethe vor hundert Jahren das Bild der Dichtkunst seiner Epoche gezeichnet; mit denselben Worten könnte man die Entwicklungsstufe umschreiben, auf der die deutsche bildende Kunst um die letzte Jahrhundertwende mit der vollen Reife des impressionistischen Stiles angelangt war. Anstatt entschieden fortzuströmen, begannen die Fluten des Kunststromes sich verflachend auszubreiten. Ohne es zu wollen, ja im Grunde ohne es selbst zu ahnen, ist Emil Nolde in diesem bedeutsamen Augenblick ein Erneuerer der deutschen Malerei geworden. In seinen Händen liegt auch heute noch das Schicksal der deutschen Kunst in der bis in ihre letzten Tiefen aufgeregten Epoche der Umgestaltung unseres gesamten Daseins. Rätselhaft mutet dabei nur das eine an, daß dieser Erneuerer der deutschen Kunst nicht eigentlich aus dem breiten Strom ihrer Entwicklung selbst hervorgewachsen ist, daß er vielmehr scheinbar von außen her die Richtung ihres Weges umgelenkt hat." [...] Der deutsche Kunsthistoriker Max Sauerlandt gibt mit dem vorliegenden Band einen umfassenden und detailreichen Überblick in das Leben und Schaffen von Emil Nolde. Mit 100 Illustrationen. Der Verlag der Wissenschaften verlegt historische Literatur bekannter und unbekannter wissenschaftlicher Autoren. Dem interessierten Leser werden so teilweise längst nicht mehr verlegte Werke wieder zugängig gemacht. Dieses Buch ist ein unveränderter Nachdruck der längst vergriffenen Originalausgabe aus dem Jahr 1921.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

:

The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

Also recommended by

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

First published in 1888, Looking Backward was one of the most popular novels of its day. Translated into more than 20 languages, its utopian fantasy influenced such thinkers as John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen, Eugene V. Debs, and Norman Thomas. Writing from a 19th century perspective and poignantly critical of his own time, Bellamy advanced a remarkable vision of the future, including such daring predictions as the existence of radio, television, motion pictures, credit cards, and covered pedestrian malls. On the surface, the novel is the story of time-traveler Julian West, a young Bostonian who is put into a hypnotic sleep in the late 19th century, and awakens in the year 2000 in a socialist utopia. In conversations with the doctor who awakened him, he discovers a brilliantly realized vision of an ideal future, one that seemed unthinkable in his own century. Crime, war, personal animosity, and want are nonexistent. Equality of the sexes is a fact of life. In short, a messianic state of brotherly love is in effect. Entertaining, stimulating, and thought-provoking, Looking Backward, with its ingenious plot and appealing socialism, is a provocative study of human society as it is and as it might be.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

When the last honest citizen of Poisonville was murdered, the Continental Op stayed on to punish the guilty--even if that meant taking on an entire town. Red Harvest is more than a superb crime novel: it is a classic exploration of corruption and violence in the American grain.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

:

September 1939 - December 1941

This absorbing study of the first -- and decisive -- phase of World War II tells not only how events happened but why they happened as they did. Eminent historian John Lukacs presents an extraordinary narrative of these two years, followed by a detailed sequential analysis of the lives of the peoples and then of the political, military, and intellectual relations and events.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

This unique book is an unforgettable journey into the heart of Yiddishland, a mythical and real land that has never appeared on a map of the world, but whose frontiers have forged rivers, crossed oceans and spanned continents. Although, tragically, it no longer exists, Yiddishland - a huge area that stretched from Poland to the Ukraine, Belorussia, Romania, Bessarabia, Eastern Hungary and the Baltic States - lives on through the telling imagery of the humble postcard. Gleaned from the millions preserved in attics, trunks and Jewish family archives all over the world, this remarkable collection brings to life the immutable rhythm of the shtetl. The pages are alive with rabbis, professional marriage brokers, itinerant water carriers, bright-eyed yeshivot students, porters, beggars and brilliant intellectuals, plus synagogues, hospitals, cemeteries and those sadly unavoidable scenes of suffering and persecution. The humble trades that kept entire populations from starving to death are shown in minute detail. Poignant, touching, and alarming these fleeting moments, frozen in time, portray a civilization which might otherwise have been forgotten. They enable us to relive the past, incite us to remember and record for eternity the history and the legend that is Yiddishland.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Newly translated and unabridged in English for the first time, Simone de Beauvoir’s masterwork is a powerful analysis of the Western notion of “woman,” and a groundbreaking exploration of inequality and otherness.  This long-awaited new edition reinstates significant portions of the original French text that were cut in the first English translation. Vital and groundbreaking, Beauvoir’s pioneering and impressive text remains as pertinent today as it was sixty years ago, and will continue to provoke and inspire generations of men and women to come.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

With an Introduction and Notes by Keith Wren, University of Kent at Canterbury The story of Edmund Dantes, self-styled Count of Monte Cristo, is told with consummate skill. The victim of a miscarriage of justice, Dantes is fired by a desire for retribution and empowered by a stroke of providence. In his campaign of vengeance, he becomes an anonymous agent of fate. The sensational narrative of intrigue, betrayal, escape, and triumphant revenge moves at a cracking pace. Dumas' novel presents a powerful conflict between good and evil embodied in an epic saga of rich diversity that is complicated by the hero's ultimate discomfort with the hubristic implication of his own actions.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Nancy Mitford’s most enduringly popular novel, The Pursuit of Love is a classic comedy about growing up and falling in love among the privileged and eccentric.

Mitford modeled her characters on her own famously unconventional family. We are introduced to the Radletts through the eyes of their cousin Fanny, who stays with them at Alconleigh, their Gloucestershire estate. Uncle Matthew is the blustering patriarch, known to hunt his children when foxes are scarce; Aunt Sadie is the vague but doting mother; and the seven Radlett children, despite the delights of their unusual childhood, are recklessly eager to grow up. The first of three novels featuring these characters, The Pursuit of Love follows the travails of Linda, the most beautiful and wayward Radlett daughter, who falls first for a stuffy Tory politician, then an ardent Communist, and finally a French duke named Fabrice.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

:

His Art And His Textiles

Henri Matisse's ancestors had been weavers for generations: textiles, a key to his visual imagination, were in his blood. Although he was to outgrow every other influence, textiles retained their power for him throughout his life. His studio in Nice was a treasure house of exotic Persian carpets, delicate Arab embroideries, richly hued African wall hangings, and any number of colorful cushions, curtains, costumes, patterned screens, and backcloths.

This sumptuously illustrated book, which accompanies a groundbreaking exhibition at the Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis; the Royal Academy of Arts, London; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, explores for the first time Matisse's relationship with the textiles that surrounded him from his earliest days. Charting how the fabrics he painted became the very fabric of his painting, the authors examine the ways in which one of the greatest pioneers in modern art history used what he called his "working library" of textiles to furnish, order, and compose his extraordinary works of art. AUTHOR BIO: Ann Dumas is an independent exhibition curator. Jack Flam is professor of art and art history at Brooklyn College and New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. Rémi Labrusse is professor of contemporary art history at the Université de Picardie, Amiens. Hilary Spurling is working on the second volume of a biography of Matisse. Dominique Szymusiak is director of the Musée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

In 1910 – hoping that the study of penguin eggs would provide an evolutionary link between birds and reptiles - a group of explorers left Cardiff by boat on an expedition to Antarctica. Not all of them would return. Written by one of its survivors, “The Worst Journey in the World” tells the moving and dramatic story of the disastrous expedition.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Authored

:

Cooking At Home with a Four-Star Chef

The cooking of Jean-Georges Vongerichten--sophisticated yet startlingly uncomplicated, hinting at French and Asian influences yet entirely original--has earned endless raves and accolades from every quarter.  Why?  Because Vongerichten has invented a culinary style that is highly creative and intensely flavorful but uses few ingredients and is remarkably simple.

Now, Jean-Georges, with award-winning coauthor Mark Bittman, brings this extraordinary cuisine to the home kitchen. There are no mile-long lists of instructions, the recipes use readily available ingredients, and many can be prepared in thirty minutes or less. Some of the recipes are taken directly from the kitchens of Vongerichten's three restaurants--Jean Georges, Vong, and JoJo. They not only sound simple but are simple--and irresistible. Fennel and Apple Salad with Juniper. 10-minute Green Gazpacho. Sautéed Chicken with Green Olives and Cilantro. Warm, Soft Chocolate Cake.

Jean-Georges's signature dishes are all here and made easy for the home cook. Scallops and Cauliflower with Caper-Raisin Sauce. Chicken Soup with Coconut Milk and Lemongrass. Salmon and Potato Crisps. Looking for simple, midweek fare? Try the quickly-put-together Savoy Slaw with Citrus, Ginger, and Mustard and the Dill-Stuffed Shrimp with Baked Lemon. For weekend entertaining, start with Beet and Ginger Salad, move on to the Gently Cooked Salmon with Mashed Potatoes, and dazzle your guests with the spectacular Apple Confit.

This long-awaited cookbook makes it easy to turn your kitchen into a four-star restaurant. All it takes is the inspired recipes and innovative techniques of Jean-Georges.

Also recommended by

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

:

Simple Recipes for Great Food

Mark Bittman's award-winning How to Cook Everything has helped countless home cooks discover the rewards of simple cooking. Now the ultimate cookbook has been revised and expanded (almost half the material is new), making it absolutely indispensable for anyone who cooks—or wants to. With Bittman's straightforward instructions and advice, you'll make crowd-pleasing food using fresh, natural ingredients; simple techniques; and basic equipment. Even better, you'll discover how to relax and enjoy yourself in the kitchen as you prepare delicious meals for every occasion. "A week doesn't go by where I don't pull How to Cook Everything down from the shelf, so I am thrilled there's a new, revised edition. My original is falling apart!" —Al Roker

"This new generation of How to Cook Everything makes my 'desert island' cookbook choice jacked up and simply universal. I'll now bequeath my cookbooks to a collector; I need only this one." —Mario Batali

"Mark Bittman has done the impossible, improving upon his now-classic How to Cook Everything. If you need know-how, here's where to find it." —Bobby Flay

"Mark Bittman is a great cook and an incredible teacher. In this second edition, Mark has fine-tuned the original, making this book a must for every kitchen." —Jean-Georges Vongerichten

"Throw away all your old recipes and buy How to Cook Everything. Mark Bittman's recipes are foolproof, easy, and more modern than any others." —Isaac Mizrahi

"Generous, thorough, reliable, and necessary, How to Cook Everything is an indispensable reference for both experienced and beginner cooks." —Mollie Katzen, author of the Moosewood Cookbook

"I learned how to cook from How to Cook Everything in a way that gives me the freedom to be creative. This new edition will be my gift to new couples or for a housewarming; if you have this book, you don't really need any others." —Lisa Loeb, singer/songwriter

Also recommended by

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

You might also enjoy books from