Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Last Supper

Book Description: Chefs have been playing the “My Last Supper” game among themselves for decades, if not centuries, but it had always been kept within the profession until now. Melanie Dunea came up with the ingenious idea to ask fifty of the world’s famous chefs to let her in on this insider’s game and tell her what their final meals would be. My Last Supper showcases their fascinating answers alongside stunning Vanity Fair–style portraits. Their responses are surprising, refreshing, and as distinct from each other as the chefs themselves. The portraits—gorgeous, intimate, and playful—are informed by their answers and reveal the passions and personalities of the most respected names in the business. Lastly, one recipe from each landmark meal is included in the back of the book. With My Last Supper, Dunea found a way into the typically harried, hidden minds of the people who have turned preparing food into an art. Who wouldn’t want to know where Alain Ducasse would like his supper to be? And who would prepare Daniel Boulud’s final meal? What would Anthony Bourdain’s guest list look like? As the clock ticked, what album would Gordon Ramsay be listening to? And just what would Mario Batali eat for the last time? Featuring: Ferrán Adrià, José Andrés, Dan Barber, Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, Rick Bayless, Michelle Bernstein, Daniel Boulud, Anthony Bourdain, Scott Conant, Gary Danko, Hélène Darroze, Alain Ducasse, Wylie Dufresne, Suzanne Goin, Gabrielle Hamilton, Fergus Henderson, Thomas Keller, Giorgio Locatelli, Masa Kobayashi, Nobu, Jamie Oliver, Jacques Pepin, Gordon Ramsay, Michel Richard, Eric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson, Charlie Trotter, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and more…

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, A History

Book Description: In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, a Book Sense selection, Lewis Buzbee celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore—the smell and touch of books, the joy of getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers. He shares his passion for books, which began with ordering through the Weekly Reader in grade school. Woven throughout is a fascinating historical account of the bookseller trade—from the great Alexandria library to Sylvia Beach’s famous Paris bookstore, Shakespeare & Co. Rich with anecdotes, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is the perfect choice for those who relish the enduring pleasures of spending an afternoon finding just the right book.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Annotated Pride And Prejudice

Book Description: This first-ever fully annotated edition of one of the most beloved novels in the world is a sheer delight for Jane Austen fans. Here is the complete text of Pride and Prejudice with more than 2,300 annotations on facing pages, including:

• Explanations of historical contextRules of etiquette, class differences, the position of women, legal and economic realities, leisure activities, and more.

• Citations from Austen’s life, letters, and other writingsParallels between the novel and Austen’s experience are revealed, along with writings that illuminate her beliefs and opinions.
• Definitions and clarifications Archaic words, words still in use whose meanings have changed, and obscure passages are explained.

• Literary comments and analysesInsightful notes highlight Austen’s artistry and point out the subtle ways she develops her characters and themes.
• Maps and illustrations of places and objects mentioned in the novel.

• An introduction, a bibliography, and a detailed chronology of eventsOf course, one can enjoy the novel without knowing the precise definition of a gentleman, or what it signifies that a character drives a coach rather than a hack chaise, or the rules governing social interaction at a ball, but readers of The Annotated Pride and Prejudice will find that these kinds of details add immeasurably to understanding and enjoying the intricate psychological interplay of Austen’s immortal characters.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Weekends Away (Without Leaving Home): The Ultimate World Party Theme Book

Book Description: This is an entertaining guide for armchair gourmets and wishful travellers. It is based on a simple assumption: with a tiny bit of ingenuity and effort anyone can create a wonderful weekend that brings almost as much pleasure as an actual holiday away - without the hassle of long flights, foreign currency exchange, or large credit card bills. Each chapter offers suggestions for setting the scene, books to read, videos, and music, and contains complete meal suggestions with recipes.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mrs. Mike By Benedict Freedman & Nancy Freedman

Description from A moving love story set in the Canadian wilderness, Mrs. Mike is a classic tale that has enchanted millions of readers worldwide. It brings the fierce, stunning landscape of the Great North to life-and tenderly evokes the love that blossoms between Sergeant Mike Flannigan and beautiful young Katherine Mary O'Fallon.

"It is the personality of Sgt. Mike blowing through this account like a clear breeze that gives it a refreshing quality. Everyone's dream of a cop, he was also a romantic and understanding husband, the fondest of fathers; a man of honor and humor." (New York Times)

"Mrs. the story of the start of young love, its growth to maturity, and its acceptance of a dangerous, hard, but enthralling life." (Los Angeles Herald-Express)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Help - By Kathryn Stockett

Description from Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women—mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends—view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Description from Neal Gabler's meticulously researched biography, Walt Disney offers the full story (Gabler is the first writer to gain complete access to the Disney archives) of the American icon. Readers will discover the whole story, witnessing Disney's invention of a "synergistic empire that combined film, television, theme parks, music, book publishing, and merchandise." What fans don't know could fill a book

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Best Investment Advice I Ever Received - Liz Claman

The best investment advice in this book really is about the few same old principles that have been mentioned over and over again in magazines, newspaper articles and other books:

1) Diversify, don't put all your money in one basket of eggs.

2) Invest for the long term, don't focus on flipping, don't try to time the market cause nobody has been able to time it right.

3) Invest only in what you are passionate about so you have enough knowledge or the drive to pay attention to every news and financial reports about the company you invest in for you to make the sound buy and sell decision.

4) Invest with discipline.

5) Buy low and sell high.

6) Invest in value, not news, rumors or fads of the moment. Find great companies or funds with great potentials to invest in.

7) Work against the crowd, buy when the crowd sells, and sells when the crowd is in a buying frency.

Are any of the above new? There is no exact direction on how to find great companies with great potential to invest in. There is also no detailed instruction on how to really diversify a portfolio and how diversified should one's portfolio be in order to achieve great returns. Buying low and selling high is what everybody in the world has been chanting forever, but how low is really the low and how high is really the high?

The book is really general stuff that provides nothing new helping an indvidual investor to improve their investment returns. Most of the advices are repetitive. I guess the advisors are from similar schools on Wall Street and therefore follow similar golden rules of thumbs. This book is nothing really innovative and inspiring to me. I didn't learn anything I haven't heard of by flipping through TV channels and flipping through magazines (without even trying to be attentive)

I however think this book can be good for someone who is in highschool. For some kid who has been able to totally tune out of any TV chanting and yacking on investing while flipping through the channels, this book can get him/her started on some general ideas about investing.