All books

Wristwatch Annual 2015

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The must-have guide for the collector of mechanical wristwatches. Complete information—including prices—on over 1,400 models made by more than 130 international brands.

The seventeenth edition of what has become a classic for afficionados of fine watchmaking once again looks at the developments in the watch industry. In addition to the A-to-Z section, which features many new entries, industry expert Elizabeth Doerr looks at news from the independent watchmakers. Watchmaker Bill Yao, owner of Mk II watches, contributes his expertise on crowns, and senior editor Marton Radkai explores the business side of the industry, the problem of counterfeiting, and profiles watchmaking’s mavericks. Also included are a glossary and a guide to watch maintenance.

Wristwatch Annual 2015 presents a broad range of wristwatches with exquisite color photographs and complete specifications for each watch. Collectors have a wealth of information close at hand: the book is arranged alphabetically by producer, and within each producer’s section are a brief history of the brand (with contact information), and specifications and materials for each watch, including price, movement, special features, complications, case, dial, band, and variations.

The clear photography, structured layout, and lively writing make this book a pleasure to read or just browse. It is conceived as a handy reference for a broad readership from around the world, from the neophyte to the experienced collector.

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Rodin

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Essential for every art lover—the definitive new book on Rodin’s life and work.

With more than 350 pictures, many never before seen, Rodin reveals, in great beauty and detail, the genius of the man known as the father of modern sculpture. The stories of Rodin’s sculptures, well known for their sense of fluidity and movement, are told through each stage of development from plaster casts to the glorious end result.

A world-renowned expert in Rodin’s work and a former curator at the Musée Rodin, Antoinette Le Normand-Romain enjoyed unprecedented access to Rodin’s archives and the museum’s collection in preparing this absorbing new study of the artist’s life and works. She details the evolution of Rodin’s artistic vision: from the frustration of his early career—he was denied entrance to the École des Beaux Arts three times—to his first critical triumph with The Burghers of Calais to the twenty years he spent working on The Gates of Hell. Rodin also includes reproductions of the artist's numerous sketches, emphasizing his ability to capture human movement in two or three strokes of the pen and translate his sketches into final pieces that highlight the unique character of his subjects through their physicality.

This new perspective on Rodin’s oeuvre is accompanied by photographs that illuminate the amazing details of his works, often in full- and double-page spreads. The photography undertaken for the book showcases both well-known masterworks—like The Kiss and The Thinker—and little-seen treasures, including many of the artist's plaster models and studies. Images of works in different stages of composition, and of the same work in different versions, provide an intimate look at Rodin's artistic process. With these splendid illustrations accompanying Le Normand-Romain’s insightful text, Rodin is the new authority on one of the world’s greatest artists.

 

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At Home with Jane Austen

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Tour the homes and settings of Jane Austen, one of the most widely read and beloved authors in English literature.

From her youth in a country rectory in Steventon, a small village in Hampshire, England—where she wrote her first stories for her friends, Volume the First, Volume the Second, and Volume the Third—to the fashionable spa town of Bath, to the seaport of Southampton, to her final years in her last settled home at peaceful Chawton Cottage, where she penned her most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s life was hardly that of a shut in. A regular visitor to London, to the seashore for holidays, and to the estates of friends and relatives, Jane carried her own notion of home with her wherever she went and drew inspiration for her brilliantly witty novels from every new experience. She wrote most everywhere she traveled, accompanied by her portable writing desk.

With gorgeous photography and illustrations, At Home with Jane Austen explores Austen’s world, her physical surroundings, and the journeys the popular author took during her lifetime. Author Kim Wilson ties Austen’s novels to places where she lived, visited, and even attended school, ending with her final months in temporary lodgings in Winchester, England. Jane Austen’s enduring legacy is the final chapter of this beautiful and eye-opening book.

 

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Harem

The World Behind the Veil

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A fascinating illustrated history of one of the strangest, and cruelest, cultural institutions ever devised. A worldwide best seller, translated into twenty-five languages.

“I was born in a konak (old house), which once was the harem of a pasha,” writes Alev Lytle Croutier. “People around me often whispered things about harems; my own grandmother and her sister had been brought up in one.”

Drawing on a host of firsthand accounts and memoirs, as well as her own family history, Croutier explores life in the world’s harems, from the Middle Ages to the early twentieth century, focusing on the fabled Seraglio of Topkapi Palace as a paradigm for them all. We enter the slave markets and the lavish boudoirs of the sultanas; we witness the daily routines of the odalisques, and of the eunuchs who guarded the harem. Here, too, we learn of the labyrinthine political scheming among the sultan’s wives, his favorites, and the valide sultana—the sultan’s mother—whose power could eclipse that of the sultan himself.

There were the harems of the sultans and the pashas, but there were also “middle-class” harems, the households in which ordinary men and women lived out ordinary—albeit polygamous—lives. Croutier reveals their marital customs, child-rearing practices, and superstitions. Finally, she shows how this Eastern institution invaded the European imagination—in the form of decoration, costume, and art—and how Western ideas, in turn, finally eroded a system that had seemed eternal. Juxtaposing a rich array of illustrations—Orientalist paintings, Turkish and Persian miniatures, family photographs, and even film stills—Croutier demystifies the Western erotic fantasy of “the world behind the veil.”

This revised and updated 25th anniversary edition of Harem includes a new introduction by the author, revisiting her subject in light of recent events in Turkey, and the world.

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The Art of Things

Product Design since 1945

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The most ambitious survey of its subject ever published, The Art of Things is a monument, and a key, to the objects that surround us.

 

For most of human history, the form of a useful object was determined by its maker, usually a single artisan working within a long cultural tradition. However, the Industrial Revolution saw the development of a curious new profession, that of the designer, whose job it was to decide the appearance and even the function of goods—whether typewriters or tableware—that would be manufactured by others or, increasingly, by machines. When the so-called consumer society emerged in full force after World War II, designers took center stage; some, like Charles and Ray Eames, became celebrities and icons of the new lifestyles they were helping to create.

Within the burgeoning design community, national tendencies emerged: The Germans and the Swiss, heirs to the Bauhaus, favored a modernist aesthetic in which form followed function, and the Scandinavians pioneered a warmer type of functionalism with their distinctive wooden furniture. The U.S. pursued a double strategy, in which home furnishings influenced by European modernism coexisted with frankly exuberant cars and kitchen appliances. Meanwhile, the Japanese consumer electronics companies took an early lead in the branch of industrial design that is perhaps most influential today—and is perhaps best represented by the image of Steve Jobs holding aloft an iPhone before an adoring crowd.

This splendid volume, itself a striking object, narrates the history of modern design in each of the major industrialized nations in turn. Its engaging text, written by leading historians of design, is accompanied by more than 700 vibrant color plates, illustrating both iconic designs and lesser-known but still influential creations.

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Ancient Trees

Portraits of Time

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Mesmerizing black-and-white photographs of the world’s most majestic ancient trees.

Holiday Gift Guide Selection -- San Francisco Chronicle

Beth Moon’s fourteen-year quest to photograph ancient trees has taken her across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Some of her subjects grow in isolation, on remote mountainsides, private estates, or nature preserves; others maintain a proud, though often precarious, existence in the midst of civilization. All, however, share a mysterious beauty perfected by age and the power to connect us to a sense of time and nature much greater than ourselves. It is this beauty, and this power, that Moon captures in her remarkable photographs.

This handsome volume presents sixty of Moon’s finest tree portraits as full-page duotone plates. The pictured trees include the tangled, hollow-trunked yews—some more than a thousand years old—that grow in English churchyards; the baobabs of Madagascar, called “upside-down trees” because of the curious disproportion of their giant trunks and modest branches; and the fantastical dragon’s-blood trees, red-sapped and umbrella-shaped, that grow only on the island of Socotra, off the Horn of Africa.

Moon’s narrative captions describe the natural and cultural history of each individual tree, while Todd Forrest, vice president for horticulture and living collections at the New York Botanical Garden, provides a concise introduction to the biology and preservation of ancient trees. An essay by the critic Steven Brown defines Moon’s unique place in a tradition of tree photography extending from William Henry Fox Talbot to Sally Mann, and explores the challenges and potential of the tree as a subject for art. 

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The Golden Lands

Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam

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A groundbreaking survey of the Buddhist architecture of Southeast Asia, abundantly illustrated with new color photography.

Over the course of its 2,500-year history, Buddhism has found expression in countless architectural forms, from the great monastic complexes of ancient India to the fortified dzongs of Bhutan, the rock-carved temple grottoes of China, the wooden shrines of Japan, and the colorful wats of Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. Architecture of the Buddhist World, a projected six-volume series by the noted architect and scholar Vikram Lall, represents a new multidisciplinary approach to this fascinating subject, showing how Buddhist thought and ritual have interacted with local traditions across the Asian continent to produce masterpieces of religious architecture.

The first volume in the series, The Golden Lands, is devoted to Southeast Asia, home to many of the most spectacular Buddhist monuments. Following a general introduction to the early history of Buddhism and its most characteristic architectural forms (the stupa, the temple, and the monastery), Lall examines the Buddhist architecture of Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos in turn. For each country, he provides both a historical overview and case studies of noteworthy structures. Lall’s concise and accessible text is illustrated throughout with new color photography, as well as 3-D architectural models that make even the most complex structures easily comprehensible.

The monuments that Lall considers in The Golden Lands range from the modest Bupaya stupa, constructed in Bagan, Myanmar, in the third century CE, to the vast complex of Borobudur in Central Java, the world’s largest Buddhist monument. Lall’s achievement is to place them all within a single panorama of history, religion, and artistic innovation.

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The King and the Magician

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A mighty ruler discovers someone in his kingdom has more power than himself. But when the king sets out to destroy this fearsome enemy, a humble magician, the tables are turned, and an unexpected journey begins.

In this beautifully illustrated story with a timeless message, a feared and cruel king learns of a wise magician in his kingdom who is rumored to be even more powerful than himself. The magician can predict the future, and even worse, he is more popular than the fearsome king. Jealous and insecure, the enraged king plots to destroy this “enemy.” But, being a magician, he has a trick up his sleeve that saves his own life and the king’s.

With help from an unexpected friend, the king transforms from a feared and brutal monarch to a beloved leader. Enduring messages about the power of wisdom and compassion are conveyed in a classic storytelling style and outstanding, original artwork.

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Stars of the World Cup

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World Soccer Legends series for young readers

Everything you need to know about most exciting clubs and the best players on the planet. 

Learn all about twenty-eight of the best players competing for the 2014 World Cup, from unstoppable scorers like Messi and Ronaldo to crafty midfielders like Iniesta and Modric, and ironclad defenders like Philipp Lahm and Thiago Silva. Get the inside scoop on their strengths and weaknesses heading into the showdown in Brazil. See incredible action shots of their on-field wizardry.

A portion of the book’s proceeds are donated to the Hugo Bustamante AYSO Playership Fund, a national scholarship program to help ensure that no child misses the chance to play AYSO Soccer. Donations cover the cost of registration and a uniform for a child in need. AYSO Soccer is a family experience and an opportunity to create memories for a lifetime. The positive environment of AYSO is the right place for kids to learn soccer, but it’s also where they learn important life lessons, social skills and get active.

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Gusto

The Very Best of Italian Food and Cuisine

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The first encyclopedia of Italian cuisine. Illustrated with 4,000 stunning photographs and featuring more than 140 recipes.

Italian cooking now has a book worthy of its place at the head of the culinary table. A gorgeous and comprehensive reference guide and cookbook dedicated to Italian food and drink, Gusto beautifully illustrates the ingredients and cooking methods used in kitchens from Parma to Tuscany and beyond. The dazzling photos of ingredients, cooking methods, and recipes form a breathtaking array of the components that make up dishes from the classic to the unfamiliar. Imagine every cut of beef, all varieties of mushrooms, fourteen different species of crustacean, twelve kinds of prosciutto, all vividly displayed and carefully explained in ravishing detail.

Each chapter--on pasta, rice, fish, meat, bread, and yes, pizza, cheese, salami, vegetables, fruit and nuts, herbs and condiments, desserts, cookies and pastry, gelato, chocolate, coffee, and, of course, wine--describes essential ingredients and food preparation methods as well as presenting superb recipes from Italian kitchens.

Equally at home on the coffee table or on the countertop, Gusto will surprise the sophisticated connoisseur and amaze the lover of all things Italian.

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The White House

Its Furnishings & First Families

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2nd Edition. Published in conjunction with the White House Historical Association. 

New edition features never-before-published photographs of rooms decorated during the Obama and Bush presidencies.

Ever since the White House was built over 200 years ago, its decor has been of great interest to visitors, historians, and anyone interested in our nation's history and how it was manifested in our country's most famous residence. Influenced not only by styles of the moment, the White House interiors are even more affected by the sensibilities of its occupants, our presidents and their first families.

This updated edition features new photos and information from recent renovations of the Green Room, the Queens' Bedroom, Family Dining Room, Lincoln Bedroom and Lincoln Bed, Lincoln Sitting Room, and the Oval Office. Also highlighted will be china from the Clinton and Bush administrations and a fire screen acquired during the Obama administration.

Author Betty Monkman shares historical facts and anecdotes revealing how the furnishings and artwork showcased in this book came to the White House, sometimes under controversial circumstances. She describes how Mary Todd Lincoln earned public criticism for indulging in excessive shopping expeditions and expenditures during the early days of the Civil War. Readers also learn how Jacqueline Kennedy took a vastly different approach to changes in the president's residence, by working to transform the White House into a place where visitors could learn about the history of the country.

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Manchester United

The Biggest and the Best

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World Soccer Legends series for young readers

Everything you need to know about most exciting clubs and the best players on the planet.

✓ The history of the biggest and the best team from Manchester!

✓ The stories of past and current stars—including Beckham, Giggs, and Rooney

✓ Learn about the next generation of soccer legends

✓ Spotlight on Manchester United’s famous coaches—including Alex Ferguson and Matt Busby Fun facts and all the stats on the Red Devils!

A portion of the book’s proceeds are donated to the Hugo Bustamante AYSO Playership Fund, a national scholarship program to help ensure that no child misses the chance to play AYSO Soccer. Donations cover the cost of registration and a uniform for a child in need. AYSO Soccer is a family experience and an opportunity to create memories for a lifetime. The positive environment of AYSO is the right place for kids to learn soccer, but it’s also where they learn important life lessons, social skills and get active.

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Real Madrid

The Most Successful Club in the World

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World Soccer Legends series for young readers

Everything you need to know about most exciting clubs and the best players on the planet.

√ Learn about the ups and downs on Madrid’s path to European Cup domination

√ The stories of current stars—including Casillas, Alonso, and Ramos—and the next generation of soccer legends

√ Profiles of the most successful coaches—like José Mourinho—who have discovered some of Spain’s best players

√ Fun facts and all the stats on the most successful club in the world!

A portion of the book’s proceeds are donated to the Hugo Bustamante AYSO Playership Fund, a national scholarship program to help ensure that no child misses the chance to play AYSO Soccer. Donations cover the cost of registration and a uniform for a child in need. AYSO Soccer is a family experience and an opportunity to create memories for a lifetime. The positive environment of AYSO is the right place for kids to learn soccer, but it’s also where they learn important life lessons, social skills and get active.

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U.S. Men's Team

New Stars on the Field

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100 years of U.S. soccer!

Biographies of current stars—including Altidore, Dempsey, and Donovan—and the next generation of American soccer legends. Read all about the U.S. Team’s six back-to-back World Cup appearances. Fun facts and all the stats on the new stars on the field!

A portion of the book’s proceeds are donated to the Hugo Bustamante AYSO Playership Fund, a national scholarship program to help ensure that no child misses the chance to play AYSO Soccer. Donations cover the cost of registration and a uniform for a child in need. AYSO Soccer is a family experience and an opportunity to create memories for a lifetime. The positive environment of AYSO is the right place for kids to learn soccer, but it’s also where they learn important life lessons, social skills and get active.

World Soccer Legends series for young readers

Everything you need to know about most exciting clubs and the best players on the planet.

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Zlatan

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Learn all about Zlatan from his childhood in an immigrant neighborhood of Malmö, Sweden, to his nicknames to buying his dream home

  • Inside scoop on his successes with the Swedish national team, Barcelona, Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain.
  • Action shots and tactical breakdowns of his winning games
  • Fun facts and all the stats on the “living legend!”

A portion of the book’s proceeds are donated to the Hugo Bustamante AYSO Playership Fund, a national scholarship program to help ensure that no child misses the chance to play AYSO Soccer. Donations cover the cost of registration and a uniform for a child in need. AYSO Soccer is a family experience and an opportunity to create memories for a lifetime. The positive environment of AYSO is the right place for kids to learn soccer, but it’s also where they learn important life lessons, social skills and get active.

World Soccer Legends series for young readers
Everything you need to know about most exciting clubs and the best players on the planet. 

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Six Spices

A Simple Concept of Indian Cooking

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The art of Indian cuisine at your fingertips.

Neeta Saluja simplifies Indian cooking with a unique approach to its preparation. She focuses on the fundamentals—the special ingredients and techniques every cook can use to create fragrant, delicious, and well balanced dishes. Six Spices demystifies the exotic and complex flavors of Indian cuisine by explaining the characteristics of its essential ingredients—hot chili powder, aromatic coriander, sweet cumin, roasted nutty mustard seeds, bold asafetida, and hearty turmeric. But here is the twist: the book also reveals the methods used to incorporate them into exquisite, authentic recipes.

Keeping clarity and simplicity in mind, Saluja has created recipes easy enough for beginners, yet inspirational enough to encourage inventiveness in the more seasoned cook. Readers will discover that seasoning with chounk is one of the basic techniques used to enhance the flavor of beans and legumes. A dish of red lentils will become memorable when infused with aromatic seasoning of hot ghee, fresh herbs, and spices; and cooking with masala, or curry paste, can turn a humble dish into the essence of Indian cuisine. Saluja has taken the fear out of approaching unfamiliar culinary fare.

Her recipe collection has been tasted and tested throughout her more than twenty years of teaching and cooking Indian food.

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FC Barcelona

More than a Club

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World Soccer Legends series for young readers

Everything you need to know about most exciting clubs and the best players on the planet.

The official history of FC Barcelona from 1899 to the present The stories of current stars—including Iniesta, Messi, and Xavi—and the next generation of soccer legends Spotlight on inspirational coach Pep Guardiola Fun facts and all the stats on the team that is more than a club!

A portion of the book’s proceeds are donated to the Hugo Bustamante AYSO Playership Fund, a national scholarship program to help ensure that no child misses the chance to play AYSO Soccer. Donations cover the cost of registration and a uniform for a child in need. AYSO Soccer is a family experience and an opportunity to create memories for a lifetime. The positive environment of AYSO is the right place for kids to learn soccer, but it’s also where they learn important life lessons, social skills and get active.

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Spirit Stones

The Ancient Art of the Scholar's Rock

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Renowned photographer Jonathan M. Singer presents his striking black-and-white images of Chinese ornamental rocks from a leading collection.

Shaped by nature and selected by man, scholars’ rocks, or gongshi, have been prized by Chinese intellectuals since the Tang dynasty, and are now sought after by Western collectors as well. They are a natural subject for the photographer Jonathan M. Singer, most recently acclaimed for his images of those other remarkable hybrids of art and nature, Japanese bonsai.

Here Singer turns his lens on some 140 fine gongshi, ancient and modern, from the world-class collection of Kemin Hu, a recognized authority on this art form. In his photographs, Singer captures the spiritual qualities of these stones as never thought possible in two dimensions. He shows us that scholars’ rocks truly are, in Hu’s words, “condensations of the vital essence and energy of heaven and earth.”

Hu contributes an introductory essay on the history and aesthetics of scholars’ rocks, explaining the traditional terms of stone appreciation, such as shou (thin), zhou (wrinkled), lou (channels), and tou (holes). She also provides a narrative caption for each stone, describing its history and characteristics.

Spirit Stones forms a trilogy with Singer’s two previous books, Botanica Magnifica and Fine Bonsai. In these volumes, he has established a new style of photography that blends the tonal richness and chiaroscuro of Old Master painting with a scientific clarity of detail; they represent a lasting achievement.

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