Tuesday May 26th, 2009

The Beat

A weekly roundup of noteworthy reviews from other sources.

mannahattaRobert Sullivan reviews Mannahatta, “more art book than typical natural history tome,” which uses computer-generated imagery to recapture the way New York City looked before it was conquered by concrete. . . . Richard Holmes reviews several books by and about Madame de Staël, who Lord Byron called “the first female writer of this, or perhaps any age.” . . . Taylor Antrim admits that the 40-ish American woman finding adventure in Italy is hardly a plot hot off the presses, but he says that Binnie Kirshenbaum’s The Scenic Route is a “clever, offbeat novel . . . [that] is an antidote to all that soft-focus sentiment.” . . . John Lanchester on three recent books about finance. . . . Stephen Cave recommends Terry Eagleton’s latest, with reservations. (“Suggesting that [Richard] Dawkins must digest two millennia of theology before taking a view on the existence of God is like suggesting he must do a PhD in witchcraft before judging whether Harry Potter is a work of fiction.”)