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European

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  1. 6.9 hrs • 10/29/2013 • Unabridged

    Entertaining, unexpected, and full of charm, the follow-up to Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’ Encyclopedia of the Exquisite presents a miscellany of engaging stories, detailing the intriguing customs, traditions, and guilty pleasures pursued throughout the ages. All the Time in the World takes its cue from an iconic component of medieval life, the book of hours, which prescribed certain readings and contemplations for certain parts of the day throughout the year. Divided into more than seventy-five entries, All the Time in the World is brimming with witty bons mots, interesting etymologies, and arresting anecdotes encompassing an array of cultures and eras. Subjects covered include the daylong ceremony of laying a royal Elizabethan tablecloth; the radicalization of sartorial chic in 1890s Paris; Nostradamus’ belief in the aphrodisiac power of jam; the sensuous practice of sniffing incense in fifteenth-century Japan; the American fascination with flaming desserts; the short-lived artistic discipline of “lumia,” or visual music; the evolution of coffee from a religious ritual to a forbidden delight in the Middle East; Henriette d’Angeville’s fearless and wine-fueled ascent of Mont Blanc; the elaborate treasure hunts concocted by London’s Bright Young Things; and the musical revolution known as bebop. An antidote to the contemporary cult of “getting things done,” All the Time in the World revives forgotten treasures of the past while inspiring a passion for good living in the present.

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    All the Time in the World by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins

    All the Time in the World

    6.9 hrs • 10/29/13 • Unabridged
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  2. 16.3 hrs • 7/1/2012 • Unabridged

    In the 1970s, Paris fashion exploded like a champagne bottle left out in the sun. Amid sequins and longing, celebrities and aspirants flocked to the heart of chic, and Paris became a hothouse of revelry, intrigue, and searing ambition. At the center of it all were fashion’s most beloved luminaries—Yves Saint Laurent, the reclusive enfant terrible, and Karl Lagerfeld, the flamboyant freelancer with a talent for reinvention—and they divided Paris into two fabulous halves. Their enduring rivalry is chronicled in this dazzling exposé of an era: of social ambitions, shared obsessions, and the mesmerizing quest for beauty.

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    The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake

    The Beautiful Fall

    16.3 hrs • 7/1/12 • Unabridged
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  3. 6.4 hrs • 10/25/2005 • Unabridged

    An Italian village on a hilltop near the Adriatic coast, a decaying palazzo facing the sea, and in the basement, cobwebbed and dusty, lit by a single bulb, an archive unknown to scholars. Here, a young graduate student from Rome, Francesca Cappelletti, makes a discovery that inspires a search for a work of art of incalculable value, a painting lost for almost two centuries. The artist was Caravaggio, a master of the Italian Baroque. He was a genius, a revolutionary painter, and a man beset by personal demons. Four hundred years ago, he drank and brawled in the taverns and streets of Rome, moving from one rooming house to another, constantly in and out of jail, all the while painting works of transcendent emotional and visual power. He rose from obscurity to fame and wealth, but success didn’t alter his violent temperament. His rage finally led him to commit murder, forcing him to flee Rome a hunted man. He died young, alone, and under strange circumstances.Caravaggio scholars estimate that between sixty and eighty of his works are in existence today. Many others–no one knows the precise number–have been lost to time. Somewhere, surely, a masterpiece lies forgotten in a storeroom, or in a small parish church, or hanging above a fireplace, mistaken for a mere copy.Prizewinning author Jonathan Harr embarks on an spellbinding journey to discover the long-lost painting known as The Taking of Christ–its mysterious fate and the circumstances of its disappearance have captivated Caravaggio devotees for years. After Francesca Cappelletti stumbles across a clue in that dusty archive, she tracks the painting across a continent and hundreds of years of history. But it is not until she meets Sergio Benedetti, an art restorer working in Ireland, that she finally manages to assemble all the pieces of the puzzle.Told with consummate skill by the writer of the bestselling, award-winning A Civil Action, The Lost Paintingis a remarkable synthesis of history and detective story. The fascinating details of Caravaggio’s strange, turbulent career and the astonishing beauty of his work come to life in these pages. Harr’s account is not unlike a Caravaggio painting: vivid, deftly wrought, and enthralling.

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    The Lost Painting

    6.4 hrs • 10/25/05 • Unabridged
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  4. 9.5 hrs • 7/1/2003 • Unabridged

    In this fascinating true story of artistic genius and personal triumph, the author brings to life Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, two talented, passionate artists, and the competitive drive that united and divided them. As this lush, imaginative history illuminates the drama surrounding the birth of a new artistic vision, it also explores the lives of other fascinating individuals, from Donatello and Masaccio to Cosimo de’ Medici and Leon Battista Alberti. The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance offers a glorious tour of fifteenth-century Florence, a bustling city on the verge of greatness, during a time of flourishing creativity.

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    The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance

    9.5 hrs • 7/1/03 • Unabridged
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  5. 7.6 hrs • 5/16/2002 • Unabridged

    From the bestselling author of Beethoven’s Hair comes a stirring narrative account of the town that inspired one of the world’s most celebrated and controversial paintings, and of the artist whose passion and vision altered the course of modern history and art. In 1937, the Basque town of Guernica was bombed by Hitler’s Luftwaffe. This act of terror—the first large-scale attack against civilians in modern warfare—outraged the world, and one man in particular. Pablo Picasso responded to the devastation in his homeland by beginning work on “Guernica,” what many consider the greatest artwork of the twentieth century. Picasso’s War sheds light on the conflict that was an ominous prelude to WWII and delivers an unforgettable portrait of a genius whose visionary statement about horror and terrible wounds of war still resonates today.

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    Picasso’s War

    7.6 hrs • 5/16/02 • Unabridged
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