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A Simpler Way of Life: Old Farmhouses of New York & New England by by William Morgan and Trevor Tondro - about $45 hardcover - From Amazon: "This landmark book celebrates a rich and time-honored tradition in American architecture: the vernacular farmhouse. And nowhere in America is this tradition more evocative and venerable than in New York and New England, where Dutch, English, French, and Scotch settlers created an extraordinary legacy of simple one- and two-story structures dating from the seventeenth century. The houses portrayed here -- forthright, sturdy, and built by carpenters and masons rather than architects -- stand as enduring tributes to pragmatic, handcrafted design and the resourceful use of local, natural materials. They also stand as cherished, comfort-giving homes to current generations of owners, many of whom have sensitively adapted them for life in the twenty-first century. With striking color photography by Trevor Tondro and insightful text by William Morgan, this book documents 19 outstanding examples of this folk idiom. The structures featured here were built over the course of a century of American history, with each property expressing its own personality through regional traditions, period styles, building materials, and the imprint of caretakers past and present. While the style of these farmhouses show wonderful diversity, they are all eloquent meditations on a common theme: the intrinsic beauty and value of that which is old and true."   Simpler

This is a coffee table book, not a beach book. We saw it at a friend's house, the Thomas McLean House, on pages 76 through 85. The photography is stunning.

Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton - about $15 hardcover, $10 Kindle - From Amazon: " This is a memoir for anyone who has ever fallen in love in Paris, or with Paris. PARIS: A LOVE STORY is for anyone who has ever had their heart broken or their life upended. In this remarkably honest and candid memoir, award-winning journalist and distinguished author Kati Marton narrates an impassioned and romantic story of love, loss, and life after loss. Paris is at the heart of this deeply moving account. At every stage of her life, Marton finds beauty and excitement in Paris, and now, after the sudden death of her husband, Richard Holbrooke, the city offers a chance for a fresh beginning. With intimate and nuanced portraits of Peter Jennings, the man to whom she was married for fifteen years and with whom she had two children, and Holbrooke, with whom she found enduring love, Marton paints a vivid account of an adventuresome life in the stream of history. Inspirational and deeply human, Paris: A Love Story will touch every generation."

I'll warn you that a lot of people don't like the book and/or Kati Marton.


To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochchild - about $18 - From Amazon: "World War I stands as one of history's most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the war's critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britain's leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and an editor who, behind bars, published a newspaper for his fellow inmates on toilet paper. These critics were sometimes intimately connected to their enemy hawks: one of Britain's most prominent women pacifist campaigners had a brother who was commander in chief on the Western Front. Two well-known sisters split so bitterly over the war that they ended up publishing newspapers that attacked each other. Today, hundreds of military cemeteries spread across the fields of northern France and Belgium contain the bodies of millions of men who died in the "war to end all wars." Can we ever avoid repeating history?"

Here's a book review from the NY Times.

  To End All Wars