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Christoph Niemann's Bookcase

Christoph Niemann (born 1970 in Waiblingen, West Germany) is an illustrator, graphic designer, and (co-)author of several books including some children's books. After his studies in Germany, he moved to New York City in 1997. His work has appeared on the covers of The New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine and American Illustration, and has won awards from AIGA, the Art Directors Club and American Illustration. Niemann is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale. He has been a speaker at Design Indaba Conference twice, in 2006 and 2013.

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Winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

An extraordinarily frank, honest, and generous book by one of America's most famous and admired women, Personal History is, as its title suggests, a book composed of both personal memoir and history.

It is the story of Graham's parents: the multimillionaire father who left private business and government service to buy and restore the down-and-out Washington Post, and the formidable, self-absorbed mother who was more interested in her political and charity work, and her passionate friendships with men like Thomas Mann and Adlai Stevenson, than in her children.

It is the story of how The Washington Post struggled to succeed -- a fascinating and instructive business history as told from the inside (the paper has been run by Graham herself, her father, her husband, and now her son).

It is the story of Phil Graham -- Kay's brilliant, charismatic husband (he clerked for two Supreme Court justices) -- whose plunge into manic-depression, betrayal, and eventual suicide is movingly and charitably recounted.

Best of all, it is the story of Kay Graham herself. She was brought up in a family of great wealth, yet she learned and understood nothing about money. She is half-Jewish, yet -- incredibly -- remained unaware of it for many years.She describes herself as having been naive and awkward, yet intelligent and energetic. She married a man she worshipped, and he fascinated and educated her, and then, in his illness, turned from her and abused her. This destruction of her confidence and happiness is a drama in itself, followed by the even more intense drama of her new life as the head of a great newspaper and a great company, a famous (and even feared) woman in her own right. Hers is a life that came into its own with a vengeance -- a success story on every level.

Graham's book is populated with a cast of fascinating characters, from fifty years of presidents (and their wives), to Steichen, Brancusi, Felix Frankfurter, Warren Buffett (her great advisor and protector), Robert McNamara, George Schultz (her regular tennis partner), and, of course, the great names from the Post: Woodward, Bernstein, and Graham's editorpartner, Ben Bradlee. She writes of them, and of the most dramatic moments of her stewardship of the Post (including the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, and the pressmen's strike), with acuity, humor, and good judgment. Her book is about learning by doing, about growing and growing up, about Washington, and about a woman liberated by both circumstance and her own great strengths.

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Narrative Essays

George Orwell was first and foremost an essayist, producing throughout his life an extraordinary array of short nonfiction that reflected--and illuminated--the fraught times in which he lived. "As soon as he began to write something," comments George Packer in his foreword, "it was as natural for Orwell to propose, generalize, qualify, argue, judge--in short, to think--as it was for Yeats to versify or Dickens to invent."

Facing Unpleasant Facts charts Orwell's development as a master of the narrative-essay form and unites such classics as "Shooting an Elephant" with lesser-known journalism and passages from his wartime diary. Whether detailing the horrors of Orwell's boyhood in an English boarding school or bringing to life the sights, sounds, and smells of the Spanish Civil War, these essays weave together the personal and the political in an unmistakable style that is at once plainspoken and brilliantly complex.

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Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

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Die Endeckung des Menschen

English description: With fundamental essays by renowned specialists, this catalogue volume honors masterpieces of early German portraiture within their artistic and historical context and invites the reader to rediscover human representation during the late Middle Ages. It demonstrates how around 1500 the human form starts to occupy the center of artistic interest and how artists advanced to explorers and inventors in this specific field of humanism. In the following, the portrait served as a refined form of befitting representation to the nobility and the aspiring middle class, as well as an opportunity of self-assurance between individuality, social norms, and biography. In this new genre, the artist himself is able to shine as interpreter of real life as well as ingenious flatterer. German text. German description: Der Katalogband wuerdigt mit grundlegenden Beitragen ausgewiesener Experten Meisterwerke der fruehen deutschen Portratmalerei in ihrem kuenstlerischen und historischen Kontext und ladt zu einer Neuentdeckung der Darstellung des Menschen im ausgehenden Mittelalter ein. Der Katalog zur Ausstellung "Duerer - Cranach - Holbein. Die Entdeckung des Menschen: Das deutsche Portrat um 1500" widmet sich dem Blick der Kuenstler auf ihre Zeitgenossen am Ubergang vom Spatmittelalter zur Fruehen Neuzeit im deutschen Sprachraum. Hochkaratige Kunstwerke - darunter Gemalde Albrecht Duerers, Lucas Cranachs d. A. und Hans Holbeins d. J. sowie Meisterwerke der Bildhauerei und Zeichenkunst - zeigen, wie der Mensch um 1500 ins Zentrum des kuenstlerischen Interesses rueckt und Kuenstler zu Entdeckern und Erfindern auf diesem spezifischen Themenfeld des Humanismus avancieren. Das Portrat dient dem Adel und dem aufstrebenden Buergertum fortan als kultivierte Form standesgemaaer Reprasentation, aber auch als Moglichkeit der Selbstvergewisserung zwischen Individualitat, gesellschaftlicher Norm und biographischer Bilanz. In der neuen Bildgattung vermag der Kuenstler als Interpret der Lebenswirklichkeit ebenso zu brillieren wie als erfindungsreicher Schmeichler. Die deutsche Bildnismalerei gelangt als Medium der Verewigung des Verganglichen zu hoch bedeutenden und sehr eigenstandigen kuenstlerischen Leistungen, deren besondere Starke in der authentischen Erfassung einer Person und ihres Charakters liegt. Darueber hinaus gewahrt uns der Blick des Kuenstlers eine faszinierende Einsicht in die spatmittelalterliche und fruehneuzeitliche Gesellschaft.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

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Plots Laid Thick

Raymond Pettibon's comic-like illustrations, complete with dark, enigmatic, and often ironic captions, have won him a large following among fans of Pop Art. This artist's book combines a selection of his drawings with a collection of his writings, including previously unpublished movie scipts and plays, for a unique, multidisciplinary approach to an artist whose work has been exhibited both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and on a Sonic Youth album cover.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Hailed as "the best comic fantasy since "Tristram Shandy" upon its publication in 1964, "The Dalkey Archive," is Flann O'Brien's fifth and final novel; or rather (as O'Brien wrote to his editor), "The book is not meant to be a novel or anything of the kind but a study in derision, various writers with their styles, and sundry modes, attitudes and cults being the rats in the cage." Among the targets of O'Brien's derision are religiosity, intellectual abstractions, J. W. Dunne's and Albert Einstein's views on time and relativity, and the lives and works of Saint Augustine and James Joyce, both of whom have speaking parts in the novel. Bewildering? Yes, but as O'Brien insists, "a measure of bewilderment is part of the job of literature."

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Der Autor des vorliegenden Lehrbuches der Anatomie, Mechanik, Mimik und Proportionslehre des menschlichen Körpers August von Froriep (1849 -1917) war ein deutscher Anatom. Er beschäftigte sich vor allem mit der Morphologie und Entwicklung des Kopfes und der Wirbelsäule. Im Jahr 1885 wurde er zum Mitglied der Leopoldina gewählt. Kurz vor seinem Tod wurde er als korrespondierendes Mitglied in die Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften aufgenommen. Illustriert ist das Werk mit zahlreichen S/W-Abbildungen und 38 S/W-Tafeln. Nachdruck der Originalausgabe aus dem Jahre 1899.

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A Memoir

Over the course of his 60 years, Christopher Hitchens has been a citizen of both the United States and the United Kingdom. He has been both a socialist opposed to the war in Vietnam and a supporter of the U.S. war against Islamic extremism in Iraq. He has been both a foreign correspondent in some of the world's most dangerous places and a legendary bon vivant with an unquenchable thirst for alcohol and literature. He is a fervent atheist, raised as a Christian, by a mother whose Jewish heritage was not revealed to him until her suicide.

In other words, Christopher Hitchens contains multitudes. He sees all sides of an argument. And he believes the personal is political.

This is the story of his life, lived large.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

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Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

#1 National Bestseller

Winner of the John Gardner Fiction Award

A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist

In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Walter and Patty Berglund as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

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Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

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Wrestling with D. H. Lawrence

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD

"In the spirit of Julian Barnes's Flaubert's Parrot and Alain de Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life, Mr. Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage keeps circling its subject in widening loops and then darting at it when you least expect it . . . a wild book."--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

Geoff Dyer was a talented young writer, full of energy and reverence for the craft, and determined to write a study of D. H. Lawrence. But he was also thinking about a novel, and about leaving Paris, and maybe moving in with his girlfriend in Rome, or perhaps traveling around for a while. Out of Sheer Rage is Dyer's account of his struggle to write the Lawrence book--a portrait of a man tormented, exhilarated, and exhausted. Dyer travels all over the world, grappling not only with his fascinating subject but with all the glorious distractions and needling anxieties that define the life of a writer.

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Essays and Arguments

In this exuberantly praised book - a collection of seven pieces on subjects ranging from television to tennis, from the Illinois State Fair to the films of David Lynch, from postmodern literary theory to the supposed fun of traveling aboard a Caribbean luxury cruiseliner - David Foster Wallace brings to nonfiction the same curiosity, hilarity, and exhilarating verbal facility that has delighted readers of his fiction, including the bestselling Infinite Jest.

Found via: Ideal Bookshelf

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