Recommended Books


Why does this man look so happy? For one thing he is a major talented actor. He has appeared in more than fifty films, including Julie & Julia, The Devil Wears Prada, The Terminal, as well as a dozen plays on and off Broadway. He has also directed and starred in the film Big Night that in part was the inspiration for THE TUCCI COOKBOOK. A cookbook with a sumptuous collection of seductively flavored Italian dishes that are simple enough to prepare for any meal on the fly, or a more sophisticated meal for a celebration. or a weekend dinner with friends.

Whether you are a neophyte or an expert the Tucci Cookbook is for you. Main courses vary from wonderful pastas and risotto dishes, delicate Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Rosemary, Fruity Roast Duck with Fresh Figs, and a fish stew in the style of the Marche region, to a wonderful Baked Whole Fish in an Aromatic Salt Crust. Completing the plethora of recipes are numerous sweets, such as buttery Plum and Polenta Cake and Traditional Flaky Cake with Mascarpone Sauce.  The Tucci Cookbook features nearly 200 recipes, perfectly paired with wines.

The Tucci Cookbook will introduce you to all the robust flavors of Italian culture and delicious wines. Join in the beloved Italian traditions with eye pleasing photographs, and engage in untold stories from the family’s kitchen.

Together with Joan Tucci, Gianni Scappin, Mimi Taft and the foreword by Chef Mario Batali this is a great cookbook for all.  Stanley Tucci is donating a portion of his proceeds from his book to the Food Bank for New York City. Published by Gallery Books a part of Simon & Schuster. 

Reviewed by Joyce Hauser


The New York Library for Performing Arts, Swansea University in Wales and Yale University Press had a special celebration honoring  Wales and the life of one of their wonderful son’s Richard Burton.  In the new book “The Richard Burton Diaries”. Burton talks about his philosophies, loves, and frustrations. You will share in his flying demons and his theology inspired by his obsession with perfection. Welsh historian Chris Williams, took on the 2-year editing project together with his career as professor of Welsh history at Swansea University in South Wales .

Richard Burton known for being wild and had a scandal around him most of his life came to it quite honestly. He rose from low beginnings in Wales to become Hollywood’s most highly paid actor and one of England’s most Admired Shakespearean actors. At the time every Newspaper followed him and his romance with Elizabeth Taylor. There is much to his story; his drinking problem, his shopping habits such as enormous diamonds, a jet, and homes on several continents and and his life including people such as Dylan Thomas, Edward Albee, Claire Bloom, John Gielgud, Laurence Olivier, John Huston, etc

The diaries contain extensive personal entries from 1939 until 1983, the year before his death.  In this collection of Burton’s experiences you will get a look at what that glamorous decade of the twentieth century was like. 

The Richard Burton Diaries published by the Yale University Press is an enormously good read.

Reviewed by Joyce Hauser


There is magic from page one to the end.

Erin Morgenstern is a wonderful writer with

a magnificent choice of ideas and words to

back up the this author's imagination.

Great  Reading.


Every now and then a book crosses my desk that is a must to get the children away from the television and it’s Craft-A-Day with 365 simple handmade projects to share with your youngsters. 

Craft-a-Day offers weekly themes to kick-start your child’s imagination. January brings Snowflake Week, February features Groundhog Week, March offers Hexagon Week—there’s truly something for everyone.

Author Sarah Goldschadt provides whimsical ideas for basic crafts that require no advanced skills or crazy crafting tools; these projects are as fun and easy to make as they are to admire. Complete with patterns, templates, and more than 400 photographs, Craft-a-Day challenges you to make something special, each and every day.

SARAH GOLDSCHADT is a Danish American freelance graphic designer and crafter who loves to make things, travel, and take pictures. Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Oprah, Glamour, Martha Stewart Living, Food Network Magazine, and Do It Yourself. She lives in New York City and keeps a blog at designer and crafter who loves to make things, travel, and take pictures.

Craft-A-Day by Sarah Goldschadt is Published by Quirk Books. For more information visit:

Reviewed by Joyce Hauser



Trapeze  by Simon Mawer,  published by Other Press, is a fluke. A plane  full of gaping holes which comes snugly into its hanger.  There is about every reason for this book to be a disaster: several chapters serve no purpose, yet, the book is enjoyable and I must agree with most reviewers that Trapeze is a page turner. 

Our super spy is Marian Sutro who just finished college and at 19 is immediately asked to join a secret undercover operative since she has what is needed, a bilingual background in French, is very  bright, and can take the vigor of  training for a dangerous mission in France.  She is accepted as a member into SOE, the Special Operations Executive,  which trains agents to operate in occupied Europe. 

Although colleagues are concerned about her youth, she does well in training, learning to use firearms and explosives, operate a clandestine wireless and encrypt messages. Her tendency to ask insubordinate questions and her unseemly levity about the bureau’s secretive ways indicate a spirit that serves her well on her practice mission.

There is violence and there is love. There is death and betrayal, deception and revelation but above all there is this young woman Marian Sutro and her loves. She certainly is not an ordinary young woman, who is known by many names, who does the most extraordinary things where thre is a 50/50 chance to stay alive.


A true Story of War, Exile, and Love

Published by Other Press

Arts & Leisure News  selection for this year’s best Nonfiction book by Leslie Maitland is Crossing The Borders of Time. This wonderful book, written by a wonderful award-winning writer, did a notable job putting an extraordinary confluence of  hope , love, hatred, and history of her family’s escape from Germany and France during World War II. Leslie Maitland’s personal account of  her family is a major contribution to history interlaced with a lovely love story.


CROSSING THE BORDERS OF TIME  spans over six decades, from the years leading up to World War II to the turn of the new century, tracing the life of one remarkable woman –Janine Gunzburger, the author’s mother. Janine was nineteen years old in 1942 when she boarded the Lipari in Marseille—the last refugee boat to escape France before the Nazis choked off its ports. Her journey would take her through Casablanca, Jamaica, and Mexico to internment in Cuba before she and her family found a fresh start in New York. Through it all, she desperately held on to hope of reuniting with her beloved fiancé, a Catholic Frenchman, Roland Arcieri, she had been forced to leave behind when she fled. To realize her dream would take 50 years and the determination of her devoted daughter, Leslie Maitland, is a former investigative reporter for The New York Times.

Reviewed by Joyce Hauser


The  Secret  Knowledge

David Mamet’s new publication “The Secret Knowledge” On the Dismantling of American Culture is a must read. Not since Eric Hoffer’s “True Believer” has the  mind set of the political mind been so intelligently dissected.  Mr. Mamet discusses the historical and psychological decisions we make when deciding who we vote for. He takes us on his journey from a former Liberal to seeing how flawed the ideas of the Left are and how biased the mainstream media is.

David Mamet is an acclaimed playwright, screenwriter film director and  essayist. Some of his most famous works include the films The Untouchables, The Verdict and Wag the Dog, the last two nominated for an Academy Award. His many plays, include American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

The Secret Knowledge is a SENTINEL  book published by the Penquin Group

Reviewed by Joyce Hauser

The "THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE" by Julie Orringer is a wonderful and fascinating novel. Ms. Orringer is a superb writer and you will be caught up with her believable characters. You will feel the trauma and comfort of a deeply felt chain of events that happened during the second World War in Budapest and Paris. It is a love story, a war story and a story of man's ability to hope even in the darkest hour.

It begins in 1937, when Andras Levi, a Hungarian Jewish architecture student, arrives in Paris from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a secret letter he is to deliver to Ms. C. Morgenstern. What starts with an innocuous delivery turns out to become a complicated relationship between Levi and Morgenstern. As Orringer introduces us to Andras and his two brothers a gripping narrative that is deeply disturbing and fascinating is the "The Invisible Bridge," a book recommended by Arts & Leisure.