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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of April 6, 2009

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Here's some new books, a couple featuring Shakespeare and Mona Lisa yet again… bloody publicity hounds…

NON-FICTION

Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa
By R.A. Scotti

"When Mona Lisa slipped out of her frames, she seemed to change from a missing masterpiece to a missing person,” says R.A. Scotti in his account of the audacious 1911 theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre and the two-year quest to bring her home. “She came alive in the popular imagination. The public felt her loss as emotionally as an abduction or kidnapping." The author of Vanished Smile: The Mysterious Theft of Mona Lisa, combining her skills as a historian and a novelist, explores not only the puzzling crime but also the source of the painting's universal appeal and its provenance. On the morning of Tuesday, August 22, it was found missing from the Salon Carré, seemingly right from under the noses of Louvre guards. Citizens of every rank were suspect, from museum employees to denizens of the art world, including painters, collectors and dealers. Various theories of collaborations and plots swirled around for decades. Scotti excavates historical truths and speculations, interweaving them into well-crafted investigative journalism. Her bold reconsideration of the most famous art crime in history offers a rare reflection on the notion of motive. Vanished Smile has something to offer mystery fans, history buffs, and culture vultures alike ready to relish the mindset of a different age.

Soul of the Age: A Biography of the Mind of William Shakespeare
By Jonathan Bate

“One man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”

Jonathan Bate, one of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, uses the bard’s own example of the seven ages of man for structure: survival and environment for the infant; book learning for the schoolboy; the nature of sexual desire for the lover; war and social unrest for the soldier; law and politics for the justice; wisdom and folly for the old man; and the art of facing death for the age of "oblivion."

Challenge for Africa
By Wangari Maathai

This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa's First Woman President
By Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

FICTION

Thanks for the Memories
Cecelia Ahern

Borderline
By Nevada Barr

Turn Coat (Dresden Files Series #11)
By Jim Butcher

Cursed (Regan Reilly Series #12)
By Carol Higgins Clark

Just Take My Heart
By Mary Higgins Clark

The Winner Stands Alone
By Paulo Coelho

Fatally Flaky (Culinary Mystery Series #15)
By Diane Mott Davidson

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About Gordon Hauptfleisch

  • James Sirleaf

    “This Child will be Great” By: President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf…

    In her plight to “create a better way to true democracy for her people” Ellen Sirleaf has placed her life at risk many times. What more sacrifice then that could one individual offer in such turbulent realities? It’s most important that people realize that in this book …she has told her simple truth.