BOOKS: GIFT GIVING MADE EASY


MAGRITTE, A Life by Alex Danchev is an excellent portrait of the artist’s life, a vivid portrayal and a pleasure to read.

Danchev explores René Magritte’s (1898‒1967) long road to recognition as a major artist: from his middle-class Belgian beginnings to the years in which he led a small, brilliant band of surrealists (and famously clashed with André Breton) to his first major retrospective, which traveled to the United States in 1965 and gave rise to his international reputation. Danchev delves deeply into Magritte’s artistic development and the profound questions he raised in his work about the very nature of authenticity. And in doing so, Danchev makes a compelling case for Magritte as the single most significant purveyor of images to the modern world.

Magritte’s surreal sensibility, deadpan melodrama, and fine-tuned outrageousness have become an inescapable part of our visual landscape, through such legendary works as The Treachery of Images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe), and his celebrated iterations of Man in a Bowler Hat. Here is a major biography for our time that plumbs the mystery of an iconoclast whose influence can be seen in everyone from Hitchcock to Beyoncé, whose influence has revolutionized our very understanding of what we see. Published by Pantheon.

TARKARI, Innovative Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes with Heart and Soul by Rohit Ghai was inspired by India’s incredibly rich and varied food scene. Showcased are colorful, flavor-rich curries and lesser-known Indian flavors. Ghai pays homage to the food his parents ate from creative starters like Malabar Cauliflower, to big, bold curries such as Jackfruit Masala and Lotus Root Kofta, as well as breads, rice, dips and pickles, This book is packed with vegetarian and vegan dishes–all you need to cook spectacular Indian meals at home. Published by Kyle Books.

THE HUNT FOR MOUNT EVEREST by Craig Storti is the untold story of the 70-year quest to find the world’s highest mountain, a tense and detailed thriller, rich in detail and fascinating from unexpected angles, a thoroughly entertaining and delightful book. We recommend THE HUNT FOR MOUNT EVEREST for anyone seeking knowledge of Everest beyond the climbing narratives, as well as those who appreciate the details of navigation and exploration.

Just in Time for the Holidays: MISERABLE HOLIDAY STORIES: 20 Festive Failures to Curb Your Appetite for Yuletide Perfection by Alex Bernstein is a very funny primer on seasonal suffering. No matter what holiday you celebrate, these quirky bittersweet tales will have you longing for mid-January. These are hilarious short stories for anyone who hates the holidays, The holiday season is one of laughter, fun, generosity, and time with friends and family . . . or so it’s supposed to be. But we all know that the holiday season can actually be absolutely depressing, no matter how hard we try. So from the wit of humorist Alex Bernstein comes this “miserable” collection of short stories based around Christmas and Hanukkah. Published by Racehorse.

CAREER AND FAMILY, Women’s Century-Long Journey toward Equity provides a fresh, in-depth look at the diverse experiences of college-educated women from the 1900s to today, examining the aspirations they formed–and the barriers they faced–in terms of career, job, marriage and children. Author Claudia Goldin demonstrates how the era of COVID-19 has severely hindered women’s advancement, yet how the remote and flexible work may be the pandemic’s silver lining. Published by Princeton University Press.

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