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     Volume 4 Issue 68 | October 21, 2005 |

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Books from Classic Bestseller Series

Life with Father
Clarence Day
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.; January 2005
ISBN: 1579124321

When the delicious comic tales that make up Life with Father first appeared in the early 1930s, they played a large hand in keeping afloat a fledgling magazine called The New Yorker. Clarence Day's reminiscences of growing up in a turn-of-the-century New York household which keeps wriggling out from under the thumb of a blustering Wall Street paterfamilias are classics of American humour, lively and nostalgic sketches that still manage to evoke the enduring comedy of family life. Father's explosive encounters with horse and cook, servants and shopkeepers, wife and childrento say nothing of his vigorous pursuit of ice!retain their hilarious appeal in no small part because the younger Day never seems put out by the older man's actions, never describes him with less than affectionate amusement. As a result, Life with Father remains as a contemporary critic described it: "A delightful book alive with energy and collisions and the running water of happiness." A bestseller when it was first published in 1935, Life with Father was the inspiration for one of the longest-running hits in Broadway history and was later adapted successfully for both film and television.

Nicholas and Alexandra
Robert K. Masie
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.; January 2005
ISBN: 157912433X

No matter how far back we travel in the annals of literature, the most compelling stories find their emotional core in the elemental relations of family. Nicholas and Alexandra, Robert K. Massie's bestselling 1967 account of the fall of Imperial Russia, is nothing if not a compelling story, and the vast and fascinating historical canvas the book paints is brilliantly illuminated by the family drama the author sees as its focal point: the hemophilia of Tsarevich Alexis, only son and heir of Nicholas II, last Tsar of all the Russians. It is not just Massie's sensitive attention to the Romanov's intimate relations that makes Nicholas and Alexandra such an unforgettable and enduring volume. The author's mastery in marshaling facts and events, the astuteness of his historical emphases, his deft characterizations, the felicity of his proseall combine to shape a narrative in which the familial dilemma is the kernel of an astonishing chronicle of history, politics, religion, and revolution that encompasses the twilight of Imperial Russia, the destructive influence of the monk Rasputin, and the martyrdom of Nicholas, Alexandra, and their five children.

Revolt in the Desert
T. E. Lawrence
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc.; January 2005
ISBN: 1579124380

The race of heroes is not dead. Every now and again appears a book, a poem or a character that flashes across our horizon like a blinding light to prove that men made in our image still possess superhuman, almost divine, energy and, by fortunate meetings of gifts and circumstances, can work miracles. Then we have the legend of an Odysseus, a Roland, a Drake or a Lawrence, and human annals become enriched with the gestes of another of their heroes: and if it have vitality enough the legend persists forever. This book of Lawrence's, it is possible, may enjoy such a perennial longevity. It is a great epic of deeds. Lawrence himself is already a legend. But seldom does the hero of a legend write his own account of his acts and deeds. More seldom still does his legend survive the writing. But Lawrence triumphs over everything. It is as though this spare little man, pronounced physically unfit for military duty, were destined to outshine in the memories of men great captains and generals, giants and paladins.

Compiled by: Sanyat Sattar



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