Posts tagged ‘italy’

Weekly Book Special: Ultimate Coffee Guide, Now 30 Percent Off

Weekly Book Special: August 24th-August 30th

This is the last week for our hardworking research intern Laura, who, as a globetrotting coffee connoisseur, chose this week’s book special:

Follow a Bean from Tree to Cup
and Learn the Art of Preparing Good Coffee

by Philippe Boe, Paperback, 125 pages
List Price: $14.00, OUR PRICE: $9.95
Coffee Cover

This concise book tells you everything about coffee: its journey from its native Ethiopia to the 17th-century coffee houses of Europe; facts, figures and quotes to whet your appetite; how coffee is manufactured, the perfect cup, storage and utensils; coffee’s effects on the body; and recipes for coffee and for dishes using coffee.

You will also learn about the 73 species of coffee tree, only two of which are cultivated — arabica and canephora; coffee and the economies of the developing world; how to appreciate coffee like wine; and useful web sites addresses.

Beautiful color images show coffee drinkers around the world, from Italy to Vienna and Colombia to Colorado. Translated from the French edition.

Laura’s favorite section is “Coffee Around the World” (click to enlarge):
Coffee Around the World

“I like this book because it has a wide range of recipes, photos and fun facts — it’s more than just a cookbook,” Laura says. “I just spent the semester in Florence, and you have to know the proper coffee to drink during the day. This book has those kinds of details, and more.”

This book is discounted only through August 30th. Purchase it for $9.95 (list price $14.00):

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Gift Certificate In addition, let your loved one, relative or friend choose a unique gift from our extensive selection of nearly 40,000 hard-to-find books and prints. Give a gift certificate in any amount. Add to Cart


August 24, 2010 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Renaissance Vision from Spectacles to Telescopes (American Philosophical Society Memoir 259, ISBN: 0871692597)

Renaissance Vision from Spectacles to Telescopes
(American Philosophical Society Memoir 259, ISBN: 0871692597)
by Vincent Ilardi (Hardcover no dustjacket, 305 pages, 2007, $85.00)

Renaissance VisionThis book deals with the history of eyeglasses from their invention in Italy ca. 1286 to the appearance of the telescope three centuries later.

“By the end of the 16th century eyeglasses were as common in western and central Europe as desktop computers are in western developed countries today.” Eyeglasses served an important technological function at both the intellectual and practical level, not only easing the textual studies of scholars but also easing the work of craftsmen/small businessmen.

Read the Google Preview: Towards a Rational Historiography of this book before you purchase it.

An important subthesis of this book is that Florence, rather than Venice, seems to have dominated the commercial market for eyeglasses during the 15th century, when two crucial developments occurred: the ability to grind convex lenses for various levels of presbyopia and the ability to grind concave lenses for the correction of myopia. As a result, eyeglasses could be made almost to prescription by the early 17th century. Illustrations.

“Ilardi has produced the definitive history of spectacles – aided in part by economic historians and others who over the decades sent him relevant records discovered in Florentine, English, and other European archives,” writes Pamela O. Long in a review for the Medieval Academy of North America’s Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies (April 2009). [PDF]

“At a time when many historians of technology and of material culture conceive their work contextually or in terms of cultural meaning, this study is resolutely focused on the empirical evidence for spectacles as it has been found for various times and places.

“Ilardi has done more than expand our knowledge of a particular area of history. Over the decades during which he carried out his investigation and with the warmly appreciated help of scholars in other archives, most importantly the Florentine, he has created a substantial history of eyeglasses that had not existed before.”

Purchase this book for $85.00:
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July 7, 2010 at 11:13 pm Leave a comment

Lionel Gossman’s Making of a Romantic Icon: The Religious Context of Friedrich Overbeck’s “Italia und Germania” (American Philosophical Society Transaction 97-5; ISBN: 0871699753)

Making of a Romantic Icon: The Religious Context of Friedrich Overbeck’s “Italia und Germania”
(American Philosophical Society Transaction 97-5, ISBN: 0871699753)
by Lionel Gossman (Paperback, 101 pages, 2007, $29.00)

Winner of the American Philosophical Society’s 2007 John Frederick Lewis Award for Best Book or Monograph.

Making of a Romantic Icon In this original and thought-provoking book, Princeton University Prof. Emeritus Lionel Gossman, focuses on Johann Friedrich Overbeck’s “Italia and Germania” to discuss the importance of religious conversion in Romantic thought.

It treats the evolution of the Nazarene artists’ preoccupation with religious issues in an engaging manner and offers a social-historical and theological context to Overbeck’s painting by looking interestingly at a wide range of issues and contacts in his early Nazarene period. Illustrations.

“I was led to the once-influential Nazarene artists while preparing the Burckhardt section of my book on Basel,” author Lionel Gossman tells the American Philosophical Society. Burckhardt condemned them as retrograde, but I found their rejection of realism refreshing. The rigorous composition, pronounced linearity, and flat colors of their paintings and frescoes, and the strength, yet delicacy of their drawings appealed to me.

“They also struck me as quite close to the the neo-classical artists, with whom they are sometimes contrasted, but with whom several of them had in fact studied and who, like them, denounced the subservience of baroque and rococo art to the desires and pleasures of the rich and powerful.

“The painting now known as ‘Italia und Germania’ by Friedrich Overbeck, was the culmination of a series of drawings and paintings executed by Overbeck and his close friend Franz Pforr. But the preliminary works were entitled “Sulamith und Maria.”

“In view of the keen attention the Nazarenes paid to the literary and symbolic aspects of their work, and the important role religion played in their art and lives, I was intrigued — and moved — by this title and I wondered what it might have meant to the artists. The Making of a Romantic Icon resulted from my attempt to find out.”

Book News writes in a review: “In this well-illustrated essay, Gossman discusses Overbeck’s well-known painting to show layers of religious and philosophical context. Details concerning the artist’s life and the artistic and intellectual circle around him in Rome are described in the account.”

Purchase this book for $29.00:
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June 30, 2010 at 11:21 am Leave a comment

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