arts 03.20.12

More Spring Books
Every Person in New York

What: End This Depression Now!
Who: Paul Krugman
When: April 30
Why: Krugman. Few others write as lucidly about the state of the economy as the Times columnist does weekly. In his new book, he takes a step back, asking and answering how we got here and how we get the hell out.

What: Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
Who: Rachel Maddow
When: March 27
Why: You could argue that the seminal issue facing the country right now is what kind of place ought America to have in the world? That means an understanding and, known unknowns notwithstanding, an idea of how the country's military might is to be used. See, for example, drones. Maddow is always a good conversation; this book is an essential one.

What: Restaurant Man
Who: Joe Bastianich
When: May 1
Why: We're hard-pressed to think of a more major, less limelight-seeking restaurateur than Joe Bastianisch, scion of Lidia. So we're chomping to read his story that includes his own scions—Del Posto, Lupa, Esca, and Babbo.

What: Gilded Lives, Fatal Voyage: The Titanic's First-Class Passengers and Their World
Who: Hugh Brewster
When: April 1
Why: Not entirely sure about Brewster's fingerspitzengefuhl in choosing to ignore those in coach. Still, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is upon us (April 14th) and this 1%-skewed telling of the tale is one variation. Deborah Hopkinson's Voices From the Disaster is another.

What: The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present
Who: Eric Kandel
When: March 27
Why: The Nobel Prize-winner for discoveries about the way short- and longterm memories are formed, born in Vienna in 1929, looks to his birthplace from 1900 for a consideration of the ways in the subconscious and unconscious streams of the brain are the most revelatory in art and psychology.

What: Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation
Who: Tom Bissell
When: April 12
Why: In this book of essays, Bissell explores the act of creation from a broad range of perspectives. It would be interesting to make this a companion read to The Age of Insight (see above).

What: Love, Life and Elephants: An African Love Story
Who: Dame Daphne Sheldrick
When: May 8
Why: Elephants, Kenya, the love story between Daphne Sheldrick and her late husband, David, and Dame Sheldrick's lifelong commitment to the preservation of the world's wildlife are the fertile ground of this memoir.

What: Dust to Dust: A Memoir
Who: Benjamin Busch
When: Today
Why: Soldier (two tours in Iraq), actor (The Wire), photographer, and filmmaker, Busch now adds memoirist to his Renaissance-man life. At our fantasy dinner party, Dame Sheldrick and Benjamin Busch would be seated next to each other.

What: Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization
Who: Stephen Cave
When: April 3
Why: If you could live forever, would you? And how exactly would that work? The thought experiment of all thought experiments.

What: Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind
Who: Richard Fortey
When: April 10
Why: Speaking of living forever (see above), natural scientist Fortey examines the plants and animals that have been with us, with little change, since life began.


Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for Every Person in New York on Tuesdays in MUG and daily at Jason's site.

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