The most memorable film my wife Wendy and I saw last year—we've watched it three times now—was Of Gods and Men. If you also have been moved by the film and want to know more about the events on which it was based, a good place to go is The Monks of Tibhirine. John Kiser's book is as timely today as it was when it was first published, just a few months after 9/11.

How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians
Quintus Tullius Cicero, translated by Philip Freeman (Princeton University Press)


Weary unto death (already) of the 2012 presidential campaign Do not despair. There is solace at hand in this little book, which takes only a few minutes to read. It consists of a letter written in 64 B.C. by Quintus Tullius Cicero to his more famous brother, Marcus Tullius Cicero, who was running for the office of consul of the Roman Republic. Translated (the Latin text appears on facing pages) and put in context by Philip Freeman, whose biography of Julius Caesar was widely praised, the letter is cynical, worldly wise, and oddly reassuring.

Wright Morris Territory: A Treasury of Work
Wright Morris
Edited by David Madden with Alicia Christensen (University of Nebraska Press)


It's a melancholy affair to see, over the years, an artist you've greatly admired disappearing from the conversation. No one, it seems, is talking about him. A case in point is Wright Morris, one of the finest American novelists in the second half of the 20th century and, on top of that, an exceptionally good photographer. This anthology, which includes a biographical sketch by Joseph J. Wydeven, is indeed a treasury. I hope it will fall into the hands of young readers who have never even heard of Morris, sending them on a voyage of discovery. ...

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