What the books are about
French Women Don’t Get Fat
This is the book we’ve all (certainly every woman between 25 and 75) been waiting for. It is classy, chic, convincing, funny, wise, well-written and very timely. It’s the ultimate non-diet book, which nonetheless shows us how to eat with balance, control and above all pleasure. Chuck out all the radical diet books, think about what you eat and why, and then enjoy eating the right things (and some of the wrong ones) intelligently, and in smaller portions. Eat, like a French woman, with your head not your stomach. Guiliano, French-born and bred, gets the tone absolutely right. She succeeds in that rare high-wire act of being really serious about her subject but without taking herself too seriously; manages to encourage and inspire and amuse, without being bossy or earnest. This is a book that will make you laugh out loud and yet have you following several of her practical precepts within days.
In a world that often feels like it is teetering toward relenting madness, Elie Wiesel’s vividly haunting memoir still reminds us that there was a precedent for the deranged mindset that justifies acts of terrorism. In a concise, unadorned manner, he relives the spiraling insanity that surrounded the Jewish population of Sighet, Transylvania, as insulated a world as one could imagine and certainly a community who understandably could not embrace the insanity of the extermination occurring around them. Inevitably, they are taken to Auschwitz and Buchenwald, two of the most infamous concentration camps, where Wiesel provides painfully palpable detail of the day-to-day living conditions. He not only records the brutality and inhumanity of the Nazi guards toward the Jews, as others have, but more tellingly, describes the inhumanity of the camp inmates toward each other for the sake of survival.
Back on the Road
Ernesto Che Guevara (1928-1967) was the most famous revolutionary of the twentieth century. The son of penniless Argentinian aristocrats, Che grew up in a bohemian family and went on to train as a physician. As a young doctor travelling throughout Latin America, he experienced a political awakening that altered the course of his life. He participated in the 1952 riots against the dictator Juan P’ron in Argentina, joined agitators in Bolivia, worked for the pro-Communist regime of Jacobo Arbenz Guzm’n in Guatemala and, when Arbenz was overthrown in 1954, fled to Mexico, where he first met Fidel Castro. One of Castro’s closest and most trusted friends, Che became Castro’s chief lieutenant after the rebel invasion of 1956. He proved to be a resourceful guerrilla leader and was instrumental in establishing the Communist state in Cuba. The book follows Che’s life from early childhood to political activist. Writings, including Che’s own speeches and the literature written about him, complement the visually stunning, large format photographic collection. A concluding chapter discusses the ‘Guevara myth’ from his death until the present day.
Surely You’re Joking ...
Winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965, Richard Feynman was one of the world’s greatest theoretical physicists, but he was also a man who fell, often jumped, into adventure. An artist, safecracker, practical joker and storyteller, Feynman’s life was a series of combustoble combinations made possible by his unique mixture of high intelligence, unquenchable curiosity and eternal scepticism. Over a period of years, Feynman’s conversations with his friend Ralph Leighton were first taped and then set down as they appear here, little changed from their spoken form, giving a wise, funny, passionate and totally honest self-portrait of one of the greatest men of our age.
Chart Throb is the ultimate pop quest. There are 95,000 hopefuls, three judges, just one winner. And that’s Calvin Simms, the genius behind the show. Calvin always wins because Calvin writes the rules. But this year, as he sits smugly in judgement upon the mingers, clingers and blingers whom he has pre-selected in his carefully scripted ‘search’ for a star, he has no idea that the rules are changing. The ‘real’ is about to be put back into ‘reality’ television and Calvin and his fellow judges (the nation’s favourite mum and the other bloke) are about to become ex-factors themselves. Ben Elton, author of Popcorn and Dead Famous returns to blistering comic satire with a savagely hilarious deconstruction of the world of modern television talent shows. Chart Throb has one winner and a whole bunch of losers.