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by Karen Zarker

17 Dec 2010


It’s nearly impossible to get a really good cocktail these days. Unless you’re the kind who can afford to leave your cashmere with coat check and raise nary an eyebrow at a meal with drinks that costs hundreds—for one—you’re stuck with the average over-sweetened, maraschino cherry accented, two-ingredients schlock that passes for ‘cocktails’ at the average bar and restaurant.

For those who refuse to sip such things and say, “Mmm, this is good,” comes this delightful challenge to one’s refined tastes and cultivated snobbery—and it’s priced for the average Joe’s budget. With a wit that might make you spill your Manhattan, mixed with a keen storytelling approach that might make you confuse this for literature, The Hour is a delightful lesson in the proper way to make a proper cocktail. Think of it as a Henry Higgins approach to an aspiring Eliza Doolittle; that is, as an instruction booklet that will slap your hand one moment, then gently take that hand and lead you down to your own basement distillery wherein miracles—providing each step is properly executed—will happen.

by Devin Mainville

17 Dec 2010


These compelling, lasting images are created by the White House photographers, an elite group of nine who are celebrated in the book The President’s Photographer. While the press is kept at arms length from the president, it is the photographer who brings him to the public.

In The President’s Photographer we see touching images of President Obama and his daughters, Betty Ford with her hair in rollers, and President H.W. Bush in bed with his family.

A direct companion to the National Geographic television special of the same title, the book also takes us into the life of the photographer as he follows President Obama around the world in a week. Combined with the beautiful pictures are stories and anecdotes from the five living veteran photographers about the photographs that reveal more than a speech ever could.

by J.C. Sciaccotta

17 Dec 2010


A handy reference guide to the another’s habits and qualities that, when discovered, transform the “date you hope to go home with” into the “date you hope chokes on his breadsticks”. Dating faux pas include usual suspects like “bad kisser” and “you live with your parents” but also some lesser-known turn-offs like what’s in your Netflix queue and devil sticks.

by Devin Mainville

16 Dec 2010


Everybody is rejected at some point or another and when it happens to you it sucks. But as Other People’s Rejection Letters proves, when it happens to someone else, it’s often pretty funny, in that Schadenfreude kind of way. The book is a compilation of real rejection letters, emails, notes and even post-its rejecting everything from job applications, to paternity, to even love. There is a combination of letters to average joes as well as to future celebrities like Andy Warhol, Jimi Hendrix and Gertrude Stein.

So yes, rejection is awful, but if seeing a letter to Andy Warhol, rejecting his contribution to the Modern Museum of Art doesn’t make you feel a little better about your failed artistic attempts, than I don’t know what will.

by Devin Mainville

16 Dec 2010


National Geographic’s reputation for gorgeous photography and compelling historical documentation continues with this tome showcasing human history. Eyewitness to History illustrates the past through the eyes of the people who lived it, be they figures of importance or mere cogs in the machine. Each chapter contains a milestone document such as Hammurabi’s Code and Luther’s 95 Theses. Even the writings of everyday citizens reveal tremendous detail about the way of life, customs and practices of people at any given time.

From prehistory to today, the book’s timeline takes us for an epic journey through an ever evolving landscape. It makes one wonder how our time and place will be depicted to future generations.

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