What We Are Reading Today: The Manhattan Nobody Knows

Updated 16 November 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: The Manhattan Nobody Knows

Author: William B. Helmreich

Bill Helmreich walked every block of New York City — 6,000 miles in all — to write the award-winning The New York Nobody Knows. Now he has re-walked most of Manhattan — 721 miles — to write this new, one-of-a-kind walking guide to the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities.
Drawing on hundreds of conversations he had with residents during his block-by-block journey, The Manhattan Nobody Knows captures the unique magic and excitement of the island and highlights hundreds of facts, places, and points of interest that you won’t find in any other guide.
The guide covers every one of Manhattan’s 31 distinct neighborhoods, from Marble Hill to the Financial District, providing a colorful portrait of each area’s most interesting, unusual, and unfamiliar people, places, and things.
Along the way you will be introduced to an elderly Inwood man who lives in a cave; a Greenwich Village townhouse where Weathermen terrorists set up a bomb factory; a Harlem apartment building whose residents included W.E.B. DuBois and Thurgood Marshall; a tiny community garden attached to the Lincoln Tunnel.


What We Are Reading Today: Collecting - An Unruly Passion

Updated 14 December 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Collecting - An Unruly Passion

Author: Werner Muensterberger

From rare books, valuable sculptures and paintings, the relics of saints, and porcelain and other precious items, through stamps, textiles, military ribbons, and shells, to baseball cards, teddy bears, and mugs, an amazing variety of objects have engaged and even obsessed collectors through the ages.
With this captivating book the psychoanalyst Werner Muensterberger provides the first extensive psychological examination of the emotional sources of the never-ending longing for yet another collectible. Muensterberger’s roster of driven acquisition-hunters includes the dedicated, the serious, and the infatuated, whose chronic restlessness can be curbed— and then merely temporarily — only by purchasing, discovering, receiving, or even stealing a new “find.” In an easy, conversational style, the author discusses the eccentricities of heads of state, literary figures, artists, and psychoanalytic patients, all possessed by a need for magic relief from despair and helplessness — and for the self-healing implied in the phrase “I can’t live without it!”
The central part of the work explores in detail the personal circumstances and life history of three individuals: a contemporary collector, Martin G; the celebrated British book and manuscript collector Sir Thomas Phillipps and the great French novelist Honoré de Balzac, a compulsive collector of bric-a-brac who expressed his empathy for the acquisitive passions of his collector protagonist in Cousin Pons.