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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of April 8, 2007

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This week the focus is on some intriguing nonfiction titles, including a new biography, Albert Einstein: Open up and Bleed. Oh wait, that's the Iggy Pop book. Sorry.

NONFICTION:

Einstein: His Life and Universe by Walter Isaacson

The acclaimed biographer Isaacson offers a comprehensive and incisively readable life of "science's preeminent poster boy" – and more: Einstein the counter-culturalist, rebel, humanist and philanderer. The author, working with newly available archival materials, duly focuses on Einstein's extraordinary scientific achievements, not just lucidly explaining his theories, but also the intuitive leaps that led to them. The general theory of relativity, for example, had its roots in a time when Einstein, at this workplace as a patent-examiner, was struggling to write an article on his special theory of relativity. Suddenly he had the thought — "the happiest thought in my life" — that "If a person falls freely, he will not feel his own weight.” On a more personal front, Isaacson also covers Einstein’s complex and often problematic relationships with his family, his political interventions and comments, and his extraordinary celebrity status with the American public.

Iggy Pop: Open up and Bleed by Paul Trynka

Iggy Pop’s life, from his James Newell Osterberg Jr. stage to his "Godfather of Punk" incarnation, reaches the 60-year mark this month. Trynka covers all phases of the "driven, talented, indomitable creature," not shying away from any aspect or destructive path. This comprehensiveness includes the birth of the Stooges in Detroit in the late ‘60s, Iggy’s gender-bending and blood-inducing performances, his drug-laden disintegration in the ‘70s, his David Bowie-assisted comeback — one of many comebacks — and the recent reunion of the Stooges.

Lidia's Italy: 140 Simple and Delicious Recipes from the Ten Places in Italy Lidia Loves Most by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich, David Nussbaum, Tanya Bastianich Manuali, Christop Hirsheimer

Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America, 1865-1900 by Jack Beatty

40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, OxyContin, and Other Oddities on Trial in Pennsylvania by Matthew Chapman

Years of Extermination: Nazi Germany and the Jews, 1939-1945, Vol. 2 by Saul Friedlander

Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee

My First Five Husbands…and the Ones Who Got Away by Rue McClanahan

Learning like a Girl: Finding a New Way to Educate Our Daughters by Diana Meehan, Diana M. Meehan

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez, Kristin Ohlson

Threshold Resistance: The Extraordinary Career of a Luxury Retailing Pioneer by A. Alfred Taubman

FICTION:

A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander

Sleeping With Strangers by Eric Jerome Dickey

Set Sail for Murder by Carolyn G. Hart

The Land of Mango Sunsets by Dorothea Benton Frank

We Shall Not Sleep by Anne Perry

Obsession by Karen Robards

Fresh Disasters by Stuart Woods

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About Gordon Hauptfleisch

  • Scott Butki

    I have an interview scheduled with the author of the Einstein book. All I need is TIME to read it.

    Hey, you mentioned you wanted to read part 2 of the cartoon history interview – it went up and you didn’t comment so i wanted to ensure you didn’t forget it. It ends with quite an odd twist.