Sunday, February 21, 2010

A peaceful item

A book that might interest folks who read this blog - you, you, you (maybe), you, and yes, over there, you - is coming out shortly. The paper artifact arrives March 9, but the unpaper version, for almost a dollar less than the low low low pre-pub price, will be available via the Kindle, and the free Kindle for PC, on March 2.

The author, Peter D'Epiro, is a longtime friend whose previous books include Sprezzatura, a marvelous survey of Italians of genius written with Mary Desmond Pinkowish, and What are the Seven Wonders of the World?, also with Mary. I and a few others had a couple of pieces in these books. He also has a monograph on Ezra Pound's Malatesta Cantos.

With The Book of Firsts, Peter D'Epiro expands his scope to cover twenty centuries and a fair portion of the globe, yet the book never seems diffuse. Each of his essays stays true to its subject, exploring its opportunities with originality, humor, barbed intelligence, extraordinary erudition, and grace. Several others participated in this project -- I enjoyed doing several pieces ranging from Iceland's Althing to the first moment of the Internet, and benefited from working with Pete, who's also a terrific editor.

As I read through the entire collection of 150 "firsts," I kept learning things. And kept finding essays that I wish I'd had available to me when I was a student -- short evocations of historical moments -- of the sort teachers of history, literature, art, and science wish they had to supplement their surveys.

That being said, I urge the happy few to check out The Book of Firsts -- it's hard to beat the price/signal/noise ratio. In fact, it's a relatively tranquil object -- no tweets, no pop-up ads, no asshats in boxes, interstitial or embedded, screaming for your attention. If you do get it, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

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Anonymous Marie Loggia-Kee said...

How about three books! Sounds like it could be a good book to donate to my daughters' classroom, so I picked up more than one.


2/22/2010 12:57 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

e a lei, Professoressa!

2/22/2010 1:02 PM  

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