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December 15, 2011 - Image 69

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-12-15

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arts & entertainment





A roundup
of new
titles for
gift giving.

Gail Zimmerman
Arts Editor


A History of the World in 100 Objects
(Viking) by Neil McGregor, director of
the British Museum, is a kaleidoscopic
account of human history told through
the stories and pictures of things we have
made, from the dawn of civilization until
today; a Hebrew astrolabe (a portable
model of the heavens), 1345-1355 C.E.,
tells, for example, of how Jewish and
Islamic scholars revitalized science and
astronomy by developing the inheritance
of Classical Greece and Rome.
In Detroitland: A Collection of
Movers, Shakers, Lost Souls and History
Makers From Detroit's Past (Wayne State
University Press), journalist Richard Bak
brings to life episodes from roughly a cen-
tury of Detroit's colorful history; included
are chapters on the Jewish mobsters of the
Purple Gang and architect Albert Kahn.

50 Jewish Artists You Should Know
(Prestel) by Edward Iran Voolen looks at
Jewish artists of the past two centuries —
some familiar (Marc Chagall, Mark Rothko),
many relatively unknown (Reuven Rubin,
Dani Karavan) — with full-color examples
and essays examining the relationship
between Judaism and each artist's work.
Sisters Dr. Claribel and Etta Cone began
buying art directly out of the Parisian
studios of then unknown avant-garde art-
ists in the early 20th century, eventually
acquiring more than 3,000 works, 500
of them by Matisse; Collecting Matisse
and Modern Masters: The Cone Sisters
of Baltimore (Yale University Press)
by Karen Levitov tells their story and
includes selections from an exhibit orga-
nized by New York's Jewish Museum.

In Rock Seen (Abrams), well-known
rock 'n' roll photographer Bob Gruen (his
iconic images include the famous 1974
photo of John Lennon wearing a New York
City t-shirt) has chosen his favorite photo-
graphs from his 40-year career and paired
them with intimate captions and behind-
the-scenes anecdotes.
Saul Landa, a photographer of Jewish
subjects for more than 35 years, chron-
ides in narrative as well as pictures the
diverse experiences of American Jews
in A Timeless People: Photo Albums of
American Jewish Life (Gefen Publishing).
Annie Leibovitz takes a break from
celebrity portraits in Pilgrimage
(Random House), a collection of photos
of nature and history — from Thoreau's
cabin on Walden Pond to Niagara Falls to
the trails of Yosemite.
Daniel Morris profiles the work
and lives of 10 camera artists in After
Weegee: Essays on Contemporary Jewish
American Photographers (Syracuse
University Press); among the profiled icons
are Annie Leibovitz and Lee Friedlander.


Jesse Angelo and Errol Louis.
Mocker-in-chief Bill Maher, host of
HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, gives his
take on political antics and cultural trends
in The New New Rules: A Funny Look at
How Everybody But Me Has Their Head
Up Their Ass (Blue Rider Press).

Interviews with Bernie Madoff insid-
ers, including son Andrew's fiancee, and
personal stories of defrauded family
members, including wife Ruth's sister, fill
the pages of Truth and Consequences:
Life Inside the Madoff Family by Laurie
Sandell (Little, Brown & Company).

Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark
(Viking) by Brian Kellow is the first biogra-
phy of the legendary New Yorker film critic
and a richly detailed look into the life of
this powerful and influential reviewer.

Larger-than-life sports personalities
and the headline issues of their times
spread across a legendary broadcast career
as recounted in Howard Cosell: The
Man, the Myth and the Transformation
of American Sports (Norton) by Mark
Ribowsky, who argues that modern sports
coverage is acutely diminished by the late
broadcaster's absence.

In yet another witty memoir,
Shockaholic (Simon and Shuster), Carrie
Fisher writes about the loss of her dad,
Eddie Fisher; her conflicts with stepmom
Elizabeth Taylor; her friendship with
Michael Jackson; and the effects of her
electroshock therapy.
In Dear Cary: My Life With Cary Grant
(It Books), Jewish-born Dyan Cannon tells
about the private world of her husband
— the man adored by moviegoers and
considered by many as the most handsome,
charming and winsome actor ever in film.

Detroit's own Mitch Albom is one of the
many columnists whose writing is spot-
lighted in Deadline Artists: America's
Greatest Newspaper Columns (Overlook
Press), an anthology edited by John Avlon,

My Russian Grandmother and Her
American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family
Memoir (Schocken) by Meir Shalev, trans-
lated by Evan Fallenberg, is set in a pio-
neer village in Israel where the author was

arly 20th-century Austria is the
setting for a turbulent relation-
ship experienced by a Jewish
woman with scholastic promise and
her husband, a gentile laborer, in
Until the Dawn's Light (Schocken)
by Aharon Appelfeld.
In The Dovekeepers (Scribner),
Alice Hoffman recounts the Roman's
siege of Masada in 70 C.E., when
900 Jews held out for months
against the Roman armies; the story
is told through the experience of
four women with many secrets.
Sweet Life Sugar (Kensington)
by Wayne Hoffman is the tale of an
unusual friendship between a young
Jewish gay man and an elderly
Orthodox rabbi who teach each other
about life.
Based on archival material, Steve
Sem-Sandberg's The Emperor of
Lies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), pub-
lished in 25 languages this fall and
winner of Sweden's distinguished
August Prize, tells the tale of a
Jewish businessman and orphanage
director who exercises authoritarian
rule as head of the Lodz ghetto; the
a novel addresses issues of morality,
pragmatism and survival.
A viral video spread around the
Internet changes a family in This
Beautiful Life (Harper) by Helen
Schulman, who explores the dev-
astating effects on individuals and
their relationships.
A mail-order bride moving from
Odessa to American farmland in
South Dakota confronts broken
dreams and later the possibility of
unexpected romance in The Little
Bride (Riverhead Books) by Anna
Scenes from Village Life
(Houghton Mifflin) by Amos Oz is
a portrait of a fictional village in
contemporary Israel, told in intercon-
nected stories.
Flawed people and their tempta-
tions draw the imagination and
attention of Stuart Nadler, whose
seven short stories are part of The
Book of Life (Reagan Arthur Books);
the main characters tackle love,
faith, family and grief. 1-1

Books on page 68

December 15 2011


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