The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom - Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester is a storyteller of rare caliber. The common thread for his diverse biographical sketches is eccentricity, and in his newest book, The Man Who Loved China (Harper Perennial, $15.99), Joseph Needham, Cambridge scientist, leftist, freethinker, accordionist, folk dancer, and nudist, certainly qualifies. A young married Cambridge Fellow, Needham fell in love with a Chinese university student and then in turn became infatuated with and studied the Chinese language, Chinese history, and all the mysteries of the Middle Kingdom.  In 1943, with China in the midst of the Japanese occupation, he made his first of many trips to the country, visits which eventually produced a 24-volume encyclopedia of Chinese civilization. More than 50 years after the passionate love affair began, and two years after his loyal wife died, Needham married the Chinese student. When she died two years later, he asked three other women to marry him.  They all declined.

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom By Simon Winchester Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060884611
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Harper Perennial - April 28th, 2009

Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry That Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age - Arthur Herman

Arthur Herman’s dual biography, Gandhi And Churchill (Bantam, $20), is a gripping tale of two colorful, stubborn giants of the 20th century who struggled to define the future of the British imperial presence in colonial India.  Both men represented the ironies in British-Indian history: Churchill, the ambitious Raj, spent much of his childhood in India and hoped to invigorate the British Empire, while Gandhi, opposed to the Raj, was so committed to humanitarian action that he was part of an ambulance corps that tended to British wounded in the Boer War. Herman’s book is a wonderful narrative about a longstanding conflict where both sides are completely right and each side is partly wrong.  I loved this book for its perspective on how a no-win diplomatic rivalry overcame so many hurdles on the path to independence. The tragedy of this story is that the great triumph brokered by Gandhi and Churchill, a free India, quickly dissolved into religious and ethnic divisiveness as Muslim Pakistan and Bangladesh established their own independent states.

Gandhi & Churchill: The Epic Rivalry that Destroyed an Empire and Forged Our Age By Arthur Herman Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553383768
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Bantam - April 28th, 2009

The Battle for Wine and Love: Or How I Saved the World from Parkerization - Alice Feiring

Alice Feiring, formerly the wine columnist with Time magazine, and a fervent blogger on vineyards and winemakers, is also very feisty in her crusade to topple the authority of Robert Parker and the Wine Spectator in their ratings of various vintages. In The Battle For Wine And Love (Mariner, $13.95) Feiring travels through the vineyards of California, Oregon, France, and Italy in search of the perfect, authentic wine. Along the way she breezily explains the whole winemaking process, including all the additives found in much of today’s wine.  Accompanying her on her tasting journeys are various lovers whose bouquets sometimes wear as thin as wines “emasculated by tannins.”

The Battle For Wine And Love: or How I Saved the World from Parkerization By Alice Feiring Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156033268
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harvest - May 5th, 2009