Whenever I’m feeling melancholy, a quick trip to the Title Page always lifts my spirits. The smell of old books and the friendly smile of Beverly Potter cheer me up in no time.
The last week has been a whirlwind of reviews to coincide with the original publication date of my book in the US. Perhaps because of Michelle Obama’s memoir, quite a few books were pushed back a week and my new publication date is Tuesday, November 20th, just in time for people to read it before Thanksgiving dinner. It will make for many debates around the table, I am sure. So far the reviews have been very encouraging. Even the conservative Times of London said that parts of the book were “fascinating,” and that “This book is not as silly as its title suggests.” That’s high praise from a Tory paper!
Back on April 16, 2015, the New York Times Book review did a “By the Book” segment with Freeman Dyson. In the interview, he was asked what his ideal literary dinner party would be, and he included NYU’s Joan Connelly and me in his guest list (which also included Mary Russell). Well, this weekend in Princeton, Joan and I managed to have two thirds of this party together with Professor Dyson and his wonderful wife Imme and two other renowned historians from the Institute for Advanced Study. It was a truly amazing evening.
I spent the whole day yesterday rereading this biography from start to finish. What a luxury. So many great quotes from the amazing Aleksandra Kollontai.
...and it looks great!
Read a review of this book and decided to check it out for myself. Overall, it is a fascinating read about the rise of inconspicuous consumption among the so-called aspirational class. There is a lot of interesting information in the book, and it reflects on the social consequences of growing inequality in the United States and how it is becoming more and more difficult to reverse its long term effects. Forget about the Rolex and the Benz, health, wellness, education, and security in old age are the new status markers.
Just in time for Mother's Day, a first edition of George Bernard Shaw's The Intelligent Women's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism from 1928. Written for his sister-in-law, and including some marginalia from the original owner of the book. This one gets a prominent place on my bookshelf.