Designer Denis Denis từ 65020 Macerine PE, Ý
An interesting look at the world of restaurants, featuring Mario Batalli. Not as funny and entertaining as other works in this genre.
Ginny, a seventeen-year-old, loved artsy Aunt Peg. Despite the fact that Peg passed away from brain cancer, Ginny gets a package from her, containing 13 little blue envelopes. Before her death, Aunt Peg designed an adventure for her niece to take, with the specification that Ginny could only open the next blue envelope after she completed the task on the previous one. Ginny follows the instructions on the envelopes, meeting some of her aunt's friends along the way and learning more about her mysterious aunt. She begins to discover herself through some of her aunt's destinations.
I love the Red Sox, and I love The Sports Guy. Good read, if you care about either.
Trevor has a great rave of this book, and of Simon Winchester. Like all of Trevor's reviews, this one is also well worth reading... http://apps.new.facebook.com/good_rea..., but I'm more lukewarm on Winchester's work than my Goodreading friend. Hard to say why, exactly. I loved The Story of English PBS companion volume, postively ate up The Smithsonian Book of Books, am a devotee of William Safire's column on language and the whole NYT section devoted to grammar, and am fascinated by semiotics, linguistics, and the whole kit and caboodle of communication generally. Moreover, the principal subjects of this book -- Sir James Murray, the longtime editor and the man largely responsible for the creation and shape of the 1st OED edition, and William Chester Minor, the institutionalized yet diurnally functioning paranoid schizophrenic/erotomaniac who contributed some 10,000 or so entries -- are sympathetic and largely fascinating people. Simon Winchester does a great job of interleaving entertaining digressions to extend the story. So why no passion? Here's the best I can come up with. First, digressions notwithstanding, I found the story itself to be fairly thin. After a bit of background on dictionaries in general and brief, if compelling biographies, we have Sir Murray shepherding, cheerleading, sorting, writing, and organizing this Victorian-era wikipedia-like (thanks, anonymous volunteers!) effort while voila, madman Minor with nothing but time and shelves of rare books is able to achieve some personal redemption in what he produces. The two gentlemen move from correspondence to friendship, grow old, and eventually die. The OED is eventually completed, three cheers, what-what. Winchester, who by all indications has done some extensive research, is nonetheless forced to make up much of the stage action since the lexicographic correspondence itself apparently doesn't convey much of the daily trials and travails of these two intellectuals and since their writings were less attitudinal than categorical in nature. Put briefly, there's little in the way of conflict here. You can't have drama without conflict, and lack of drama can make for unengaging reading. Second, Simon Winchester does his own credibility a disservice by repeating twice (and with inconsistent quotes) as true a story about the first meeting of Murray and Minor which he later reveals to be false. I don't mind the attempt to generate interest via literary sleight-of-hand, but the inconsistent versions made me wonder what other quotes or narrative bits were fabricated (and by whom). Further, it annoys me a bit to consider that in no small part thanks to Winchester's 2-1 bias in favor of romantic apocrypha, I'm more likely to remember the disinformation than the more prosaic reality. Finally, I got this book out of the library at the same time as Winchester's follow-up on the history of the OED itself (which I have now started). The books share similar cover photos, and I made sure to read the preface to the newer book to make sure I wasn't simply toting home two editions of the same work. No, indeed, the preface of The Meaning of Everything assures the reader, the newer work is a companion volume. Yet, of necessity, The Professor and the Madman relates much of the story of OED's creation, which, knowing I had the presumably more intensive follow-up waiting in the wings, it made me cringe a bit to read. Now I realize that one should only review a work on its own merits, and yet I'm pretty bummed to realize that my fears of incipient redundancy were pretty dead on as only 40-50 pages into the OED history I am finding lengthy passages that the author has copied verbatim. I can't help wishing that instead of churning out another 200 page bit on OED's history, Winchester had instead assimilated his Murray-Minor story into the larger OED context and produced a new, consolidated 300-350 page work. So there you have it. I like Winchester's style (especially his understatement regarding the peotomy) and am on-board with the subject matter. Yet I wish he had invested the effort to produce one great book instead of two above-average ones. Trevor, please forgive me. I'm sure I'll enjoy the heck out of Krakatoa.
WTF! i keep this book around to scare the crap out of myself when i'm feeling particularly open to far out ideas. either there was some heavy duty crazy in this guys noggin, or we are wrong about nearly everything. even if its little bit of both, i'd still be quite concerned.