Golden Parasol

Wendy Law-Yone

“Die, and it’s the vile earth; live, and it’s the golden parasol,’ went the old Burmese saying. Why not aim for the parasol with everything they had? The vile earth would be theirs soon enough anyway….

The Incredible Journey of Childhood

Philippe Presles

At the age of five or six, something incredible happens: a transition wherein children become aware of themselves, of the passage of time and their own mortality. This moment is what psychologist Phil…

Wise Quacks

Jean-Christophe Royer

Wise Quacks is a photo album of rural scenes with captions. The author attributes thoughts and dialogue not only to the men and women in the photos, but also to the animals and plants. The contrast be…

How Iceland Bounced Back

Pascal Riche

Iceland’s incredible and improbable economic turnaround has become the stuff of legend. Many attribute the country’s success to its adoption of draconian reforms: rejection of capitalism, nationalizat…

Goya: The Dark Side of the Enlightenment

Tzvetan Todorov

In an erudite, clear, and concise essay, Todorov paints the portrait of eighteenth century Spanish artist Francisco Goya. He highlights his impact within his own era, while underscoring how the artist…

Three Days in Nepal

JeanDavid Blanc

As a child, JeanDavid Blanc always dreamt of flying. A successful entrepreneur, he took up powered paragliding as soon as he had the means; at the drop of a hat, he would head off to experience the un…

A Woman’s Heart

Danièle Hermann

Heart attacks, strokes, and high cholesterol are thought to be predominantly male health issues. But the statistics show that in the past decade heart disease has become the primary cause of death for…

Music as Alchemy

Tom Service

How are conductors’ silent gestures magicked into sound by a group of more than a hundred brilliant but belligerent musicians? The mute choreography of great conductors has fascinated and frustrated m…

Seize the Day

Marie de Hennezel

In this remarkable book, psychologist Marie de Hennezel draws upon her personal experience of working with the terminally ill in a palliative care unit in Paris. Her encounters with people at the end…