Great Reads to Wrap and Unwrap
Merle Rubin. Merle Rubin regularly reviews literature and contemporary fiction ., The Christian Science Monitor
THE GARDENS OF SPAIN. Photographs by Michael George,
Text by Consuelo M. Correcher Harry N. Abrams, 200 pp., $60
THE SOUTH: A TREASURY OF ART AND LITERATURE
Edited by Lisa Howorth, Hugh Lauter Levin Assoc./ Macmillan, 368
THE PENGUIN BOOK OF TWENTIETH-CENTURY SPEECHES, Edited by Brian
MacArthur, Viking, 488 pp., $35
HISTORY OF THE WORLD, By J. M. Roberts, Oxford University Press
952 pp., $45
MOZART: FROM CHILD PRODIGY TO TRAGIC HERO, By Michel Parouty
Discoveries/Harry N. Abrams, 191 pp., $12.95 paper
THE AGE OF SHAKESPEARE, By Francois Laroque, Discoveries/Harry
N. Abrams, 191 pp., $12.95 paper
WHAT JANE AUSTEN ATE AND CHARLES DICKENS KNEW: FROM FOX HUNTING TO
WHIST - THE FACTS OF DAILY LIFE IN NINETEEnTH-CENTURY ENGLAND, By
Daniel Pool, Simon & Schuster, 416 pp., $25
PEMBERLEY: OR PRIDE AND PREJUDICE CONTINUED, By Emma Tennant
St. Martin's Press, 184 pp., $18.95
PRESUPTION: AN ENTERTAINMENT, By Julia Barrett, M. Evans & Co.,
238 pp., $19.95
THE OXFORD SHERLOCK HOLMES, By Arthur Conan Doyle, 9 volumes, $99
LUCREZIA FLORIANI, By George Sand, Translated by Julius Eker
Academy Chicago 230 pp. $20 cloth, $11 paper
ELIZABETH GASKELL: A HABIT OF STORIES, By Jenny Uglow, Farrar
Straus Giroux 690 pp., $35
AUDUBON: LIFE AND ART IN THE AMERICAN WILDERNESS, By Shirley
Streshinsky, Villard, 407 pp., $25
MONTANA 1948, By Larry Watson, Milkweed Editions 175 pp.,
TWENTIETH CENTURY RUSSIAN POETRY: SILVER AND STEEL, Selected by
Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Edited by Albert C. Todd and Max Hayward,
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday 1078 pp., $40
JAPANESE NO DRAMAS, Edited and translated by Royall Tyler,
Penguin, 360 pp., $12.95 paper
THE Christmas season always brings piles of gift books heaped in
eye-catching displays. But not all books suitable for giving need
be lavish objects of the bookmaker's art. Many categories of books,
from gorgeously illustrated outsize tomes and boxed editions of the
classics to well-chosen anthologies, absorbing biographies and
histories, and finely written fiction, may prove perfect gifts.
Some coffee-table books are more substantive and sustaining than
others. In The Gardens of Spain, landscape architect and author
Consuelo Correcher describes the richly various legacies - from
Greco-Roman to Islamic - that have nourished Spanish horticulture,
with its patios, fountains, pools, terraces, and appetite for
cultivating rare and exotic plants.
Beautiful color photographs amply illustrate the horticulture
and architectural delights of the Iberian peninsula, from the
magnificent palace gardens of La Alhambra to the misty vales of
Galicia and the sun-drenched patios of Cordoba. Settings for
spiritual mediation, botanical experimentation, private recreation,
or public display, these gardens are things of beauty in themselves
and may also furnish ideas to gardeners far beyond the borders of
Many born in the American South - and many who've never set foot
below the Mason-Dixon line - are fascinated by the region. Whether
or not one shares this fascination, one cannot fail to be impressed
by the thoughtfully selected writings, painting, and photographs
assembled by Lisa Howorth in The South: A Treasury of Art and
From pre-colonial explorers to present-day humorist, the voices
and visions in these pages represent an astonishing range of
viewpoints and experiences: Alexis de Tocqueville's horrified
account of trigger-happy "Southern justice," Frederick Douglass's
scathing portrait of his degenerate former "master," song lyrics
like "Train Whistle Blues" and "I'll Fly Away," fiction by
William Faulkner, Mark Twain, Eudora Welty, and Richard Wright,
plus memoirs, speeches, diaries, cartoons, and quilts. There's
enough humor, sadness, passion, ugliness, and beauty here to
interest even a Yankee.
In an age of photo-ops and sound bites, the live spoken word
still has power to change minds, hearts, and history. …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Article title: Great Reads to Wrap and Unwrap.
Contributors: Merle Rubin. Merle Rubin regularly reviews literature and contemporary fiction . - Author.
Newspaper title: The Christian Science Monitor.
Publication date: December 3, 1993.
Page number: 12.
© 2009 The Christian Science Publishing Society.
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