Transcendentalism and Chocolate
This week’s Publishers Weekly has some ads and announcements that make me want to hustle to the bookstore. Among the more interesting ones:
Susan Cheever’s new book, American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Their Loves, Their Work, about which PW says: “she keenly analyzes the positive and negative ways they influenced one another's ideas and beliefs and the literature that came out of "this sudden outbreak of genius.” I plan to read that one.
The photo on the cover is of Lava, the dog about which Jay Kopelman writes in From Baghdad, With Love. Dog books seem to be all the thing lately, but I’m not reading them. (The cats wouldn’t like it.)
Gene Wilder has written a novel, My French Whore (to be published in March 2007.) It’s about a 30-year old train conductor in Milwaukee who enlists in WW I. He speaks excellent German so when he deserts and makes his way to the German lines he is treated as a hero. Sounds promising, but I think I’ll wait for the movie.
A novel about the Jamestown colony called The Weight of Smoke by George Robert Minkoff interests me, just because I’m eager to read a story in which Pocahontas plays a starring role. Unfortunately, PW calls it “a noble but unsuccessful effort.” Too bad. It should have been a fine book.
The most interesting book reviewed in this issue is Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful in the Business of Flowers by Amy Stewart, the author of the prize-winning book, The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms. I’ll have to ask Sarah if either of these is assigned reading in her horticulture class.
And the most significant book, The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate. I’m particularly intrigued by this one because the co-author is John Scharffenberger of the justly famous Sharffen Berger company. That one comes out in November and gets a red star from PW. Irresistible.