Thursday, November 16, 2017

November Series of the Month: Book of Etiquette

Many of you will be celebrating Thanksgiving next week, a holiday spent with family and friends at the table surrounded by mounds and mounds of food. For some, perhaps this is a stressful time, and could benefit from an etiquette refresher. Therefore, Book of Etiquette by Lillian Eichler is our November Series of the Month!

The only serious competitor to Emily Post as etiquette maven to America between the wars, Lillian Eichler Watson (b. 1902) was a 19-year-old copywriter for the book publisher Doubleday when she was commissioned to rewrite the outdated Encyclopedia of Etiquette by Emily Holt. This is the two-volume guide to good manners she produced in 1921, mining her own experience as a social misfit and would-be social climber, and it was a huge hit with those aspiring to a grander station.

Volume I covers:

• why it pays to be agreeable
• the secret of social success
• engagements and weddings
• how and when to make an introduction
• the intricacies of the social call
• calling cards for the young lady, the married couple, and others
• correspondence and invitations
• appropriate dress for children
• addressing titled people
• and much more

Volume II covers:

• how to address servants
• correct dress for the butler
• use of the napkin
• evolution of the afternoon tea
• the man at the garden party
• yachting parties for bachelors
• musicales and private theatricals
• when the lady is asked to dance
• some important rules about golf
• the charm of correct speech
• the eccentric dresser
• poise in public
• and much more

The paperback retail list price: $33.98, but now: our price: $29.99 (you save $3.99 or a 13 percent discount)







Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November Quote of the Month: "I know not all that may be coming, ..........." - from Moby-Dick

This month, we have selected our November inspirational message from one of the greatest Classic writers:

"I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing."
-- Herman Melville in Moby-Dick (Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale)

"Call me Ishmael." So begins the famous opening chapter of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale. Young sailor Ishmael is hired as a crew member of a whaler named Pequod, captained by a man named Ahab. In between lengthy chapters on whale biology and descriptions of the crew and the whaling trade, readers are slowly introduced to a captivating tale. Ahab is out for revenge on the great white whale that stole his leg, leaving him with a whale-bone prosthesis and a withering hatred for the beast.

Known as Moby Dick, the whale is infamous for his encounters and escapes with whale ships, and Ahab offers a gold coin, nailed to the Pequod's mast, as a reward for whoever sights him first. Beginning on a cold Christmas morning, the crew embarks on a journey to find the whale and make their fortunes. An exciting staple of American literature, Moby-Dick is a must-read for anyone interested in the classics. Herman Melville was inspired to write Moby Dick by the 1821 biographical account Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-ship Essex (Cosimo Classics, 2015), which in turn inspired the 2000 novel and 2015 movie, In the Heart of the Sea.
With all the uncertainty going on the world, perhaps the best thing to do is take Melville's advice and find joy and laughter in the unknown.

About the AuthorHerman Melville (1819-1891) was an American novelist. Born in New York, Melville lived and worked in the city for many years before moving with his family to Massachusetts, where he enjoyed a short friendship with author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Many of Melville's books are inspired by his own experiences; he sailed on merchant and whaling ships, spent time on the Marquesas Islands with natives, and spent time in England, Egypt, and Palestine. Melville even wrote poetry reflecting on the American Civil War. He eventually retired in New York City, where he was buried in the Bronx, relatively unknown. Melville was the author of 19 books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including Typee (1846), Moby-Dick (1851), Bartelby the Scrivener (1853), Benito Cerino (1855), Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), and Billy Budd, Sailor (1891, unfinished).











Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Happy Birthday Louisa May Alcott!

Cosimo is throwing on our party hats and raising a glass to the lovely Louisa May Alcott who was born on November 29 in1 832. Celebrate with us by picking up one of these great reads:



It is one of the most beloved novels in the English language, and its protagonists among the best friends a reader can have. Louisa May Alcott's Little Women-inspired by her own childhood with three sisters in Concord, Massachusetts-is the simple, elegant tale of tomboy Jo March, who strains against the limitations of women of her time, and dependable Meg, compassionate Beth, and spoiled Amy. Their childhood adventures and squabbles as well as their adult romances and travels continue to enthrall and delight readers a century and a half after the novel was first published, and have inspired stage plays, comic books, and countless film adaptations. 




This is the second book in the Little Women trilogy. Also titled Life at Plumfield with Jo's Boys, the book follows Jo Bhaer and her husband Professor Bhaer as they run the Plumfield Estate School, taking under their wing young boys and girls in need of instruction and love. As in Little Women, each student has his or her own faults that make it all the more difficult to mature into proper young ladies and gentlemen. And, as in Little Women, the children must confront those difficulties and fears head-on before truly learning their lesson. Little Men focuses on Jo and her family, likely because Alcott modeled Jo after herself and always felt closest to the character. Readers fell in love with the most outgoing March sister as well, and their devotion continued through the exploits of her sons and students in the final two books in this captivating trilogy.





Taking place ten years after Little Men, Jo's Boys and How They Turned Out, is the third and final book in the Little Women trilogy. Originally published in 1886, two years before Ms. Alcott's death, Jo's Boys follows the lives of the young men readers came to love and cherish in its prequel. In it, we learn the fates of Jo's sons Rob and Teddy, along with the other boys at Plumfield Estate School. Written in classic Alcott style, we see how the boys struggle to overcome their many flaws, in the end learning life's lessons the hard way. Just as the March girls did, each boy must learn to deal with death, love, heartbreak, and the consequences of their actions. Readers will feel pain and joy along side each young man as he completes his life journey and fulfills his dreams in this classic conclusion to one of America's most beloved series.


Happy B-Day Ms. Alcott!

For more books by and about Louisa May Alcott, please visit cosimobooks.com.










Thursday, November 2, 2017

JFK Assassination Revisited with George Friedman and Oliver Stone

The Kennedy's arrive at Dallas airport on November 22, 1963
(Cecil Stoughton Wikimedia)
Earlier this week we reported about the release of 2,800 government documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It now turns out that not all documents, which were supposed to be released, have been released.

George Friedman, a geopolitical expert, says this in his recent article "Kennedy's Death and the World of Conspiracy Theories" in the Huffington Post about this partial release:

"The intelligence agencies claimed that the files contained highly sensitive material that would damage national security and that they needed time to review and remove this information. Given that they had known from the beginning that the files would be released someday, and that they had known for years when that day was coming, the request was doubly extraordinary: First, that more than half a century after the assassination there was still material so sensitive it had to be withheld, and second, that they hadn’t yet identified all the critical information. This is the point at which a reasonable person would assume that there is something amiss....................Starting with the handling of the Kennedy assassination, the intelligence community has done substantial damage to the stability of the U.S. It has systematically created the sense that it knows more than it is telling about the assassination, one of the most traumatic events in American history." Friedman then ends by stating that this decision by the intelligence community is linked to the present environment of distrust in government and politicians among the American people. He says: "The trail of distrust that began in 1963 and mushroomed into a political culture of fear and loathing is at the root of the problem."

In order to circumvent this political culture of fear, the only way for citizens to know what is really happening is following independ media and reading relevant books. One of those books, related to the assassination of President Kennedy is Trauma Room One:The JFK Medical Coverup Exposed by Dr. Crenshaw, one of the trauma doctors who treated President John F. Kennedy, offers the credible story about how he was shot. Oliver Stone, director of the Academy Award-winning docudrama JFK, wrote a foreword to this book showing his appreciation of Dr. Crenshaw expert opinion as witness of one of the most important historical events in U.S. 20th century political history. Read here what Stone wrote in his foreword:

"I have obviously offered my perspective on controversial issues through  the medium of film.  One such effort  was the movie, JFK, which hypothesized that there was a conspiracy behind the assassina­tion of President John Kennedy on November 22, 1963. The movie depicted actual evidence in a way that supported a controversial con­spiracy theory.

Dr. Charles Crenshaw is a true eyewitness to the historical event that was the subject of my movie. Unlike many conspiracy theorists, he was actually in a position to know critical facts when he participated on the Parkland Hospital trauma teams that endeavored to save the lives of President Kennedy and his accused assassin. When Dr. Crenshaw's book was first published in April of 1992 (shortly after release of my movie JFK, for which he served as a technical consultant), he made a signif­icant contribution to the historical record pertaining to the JFK assas­sination. It seems incredible that the awesome power of the media, includ­ing Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and those that reported on its New York City press conference in May 1992, could be employed so irresponsibly in an attempt to damage Dr. Crenshaw in the eyes and minds of millions of people-damage which can never be totally undone. Most private individuals obviously do not have the power or resources to adequately respond to attacks in the mass media. The legal system only provides a partial remedy. Because of the freedom provided to the media by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, no court can legally order publication of a correction or apology; but consider the chilling effect on an individual's exercise of free speech about a controversial subject that vilification in the mass media (or fear of same) can have. As philosopher Joseph Hall once said: "A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always  keep their eyes on the  spot  where the crack was."

One wonders whether JAMA and its former editor and writer real­ly believe that their handling of this matter served to dignify that allegedly prestigious, scientific medical journal. Do they really think that trying to destroy the reputation of a distinguished and honorable med­ical professional who merely offered his opinions on a controversial sub­ject was appreciated by its readers? The potentially devastating power of a free press requires that it be responsibly exercised, a notion that JAMA apparently either failed to learn or merely decided to ignore and abandon in the case of the JFK assassination."














Grab Your Popcorn, New Agatha Christie Movie Releases 11/10!

Fans of Agatha Christie rejoice!! The long awaited 2017 movie,  Murder on the Orient Express, will be coming to a theater new you next week! The film stars Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, and Michelle Pfeiffer, and releases in the United States on November 10. We at Cosimo are celebrating by stocking up on our mysteries and rereading our favorites below.



Agatha Christie (September 15, 1880 - January 12, 1976) was an iconic crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright. She was also the author of six romance novels. She has written numerous works, two of which Cosimo is proud to offer, and is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling novelist of all time. 

First published in 1920, The Mysterious Affair at Styles was Agatha Christie's first novel. It introduced the world to Hercule Poirot, Christie's Belgian detective, who would go on to be featured in 39 of her novels. The mystery begins with the death of Emily Inglethorp at Styles, a manor in the English countryside. Captain Hastings, a guest at the house, calls upon his friend Poirot to help investigate. The obvious suspect is Emily's husband, who stood to inherit a large fortune upon her death. But the timeline doesn't quite work out, and Poirot must delve further into the lives and motivations of the family living at Styles to uncover who could have poisoned Emily with strychnine and why.


The grand dame of the cozy English murder mystery, Agatha Christie introduced Tommy and Tuppence, her duo of likeable upper-class detectives, in this 1922 novel, her second book. International intrigue, secret treaties, disguises, and blackmail follow this roguishly charming 1920s couple in their globetrotting quest to unravel the riddle of their disappearing client, disappearing diplomatic papers, and a devious plot that goes back to the sinking of the Lusitania. Beloved by Christie fans for their innocence and pluck, Tommy and Tuppence are a delight to spend quality crime-fighting time with.