Thomas Pagel's Recommends

Books

Istanbul: Memories and the City  by Orhan PamukIstanbul: Memories and the City
Pamuk, Orhan
2004
"Blending reminiscence with history; family photographs with portraits of poets and pashas; art criticism, metaphysical musing, and, now and again, a fanciful tale, Orhan Pamuk invents an ingenious form to evoke his lifelong home, the city that forged his imagination. He begins with his childhood among the eccentric extended Pamuk family in the dusty, carpeted, and hermetically sealed apartment building they shared. In this place came his first intimations of the melancholy awareness that binds all residents of his city together: that of living in the seat of ruined imperial glories, in a country trying to become "modern" at the dizzying crossroads of East and West. This elegiac communal spirit overhangs Pamuk's reflections as he introduces the writers and painters (among the latter, most particularly the German Antoine-Ignace Melling) through whose eyes he came to see Istanbul." "Against a background of shattered monuments, neglected villas, ghostly backstreets, and, above all, the fabled waters of the Bosphorus, he presents the interplay of his budding sense of place with that of his predecessors. And he charts the evolution of a rich, sometimes macabre, imaginative life, which furnished a daydreaming boy refuge from family discord and inner turmoil, and which would continue to serve the famous writer he was to become. It was, and remains, a life fed by the changing microcosm of the apartment building and, even more, the beckoning kaleidoscope beyond its walls."--BOOK JACKET. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon  by Claudia RodenArabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey, and Lebanon
Roden, Claudia
2006
In this enchanting cookbook filled with history, stories, and more than 150 recipes, the leading authority on Middle Eastern and North African food revisits the three countries with the most exciting cuisine, discovering new dishes and reworking classics to make them easier to make--and more delicious--for today's home cook. 100 color photos. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc. 
The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm by Juliet NicolsonThe Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm
Nicolson, Juliet
2007
"Before the Great War tore England apart and changed the way people lived forever, there was the glorious summer of 1911, when the country seemed full of promise and blissfully unaware of the coming storm. The Perfect Summer is Juliet Nicolson's portrait of that sunlit season, transporting us to a time nearly a century ago to experience the sights, sounds, and feelings of a society on the brink of a changing world. Drawing on rarely seen sources from royal and private archives, Nicolson reconstructs the lives of many key individuals and events in novelistic detail."--BOOK JACKET. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.