What We Are Reading Today: Ottoman Baroque

Updated 18 March 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Ottoman Baroque

Author: Ünver Rüstem

With its idiosyncratic yet unmistakable adaptation of European Baroque models, the 18th-century architecture of Istanbul has frequently been dismissed by modern observers as inauthentic and derivative, a view reflecting broader unease with notions of Western influence on Islamic cultures. In Ottoman Baroque — the first English-language book on the topic — Ünver Rüstem provides a compelling reassessment of this building style and shows how between 1740 and 1800 the Ottomans consciously coopted European forms to craft a new, politically charged, and globally resonant image for their empire’s capital.
Rüstem reclaims the label “Ottoman Baroque” as a productive framework for exploring the connectedness of Istanbul’s eighteenth-century buildings to other traditions of the period. Using a wealth of primary sources, he demonstrates that this architecture was in its own day lauded by Ottomans and foreigners alike for its fresh, cosmopolitan effect. Purposefully and creatively assimilated, the style’s cross-cultural borrowings were combined with Byzantine references that asserted the Ottomans’ entitlement to the Classical artistic heritage of Europe. Such aesthetic rebranding was part of a larger endeavor to reaffirm the empire’s power at a time of intensified East-West contact, taking its boldest shape in a series of imperial mosques built across the city as landmarks of a state-sponsored idiom.


What We Are Reading Today: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Updated 18 April 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, pulling back the curtain on the therapeutic process and offering the rarest of gifts: An entertaining, illuminating, and quite possibly life-changing account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them. 

Author Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who shares her insights not only about her professional experience but her own journey through therapy. 

The book “helps normalize therapy for everyone, and her ability to share the profound growth both she and her patients experienced was so honest and refreshing,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“While Gottlieb includes many important psychological concepts, her writing is clear and conversational and easy for anyone to engage with. There was a perfect balance with the personal stories that will also help her readers become more aware of their own obstacles and moments of growth as they move through this book,” the review added. 

Gottlieb is a New York Times bestselling author who writes the weekly “Dear Therapist” advise column for the Atlantic. 

A contributing editor for the Atlantic, she also writes for the New York Times Magazine, and is a sought-after expert on relationships, parenting, and mental health topics in media such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN and NPR.