In the Book Review:
Holiday Books


The editors of the Book Review take a holiday from serious reading this week, indulging us with a lot of titles that sound loaded with empty calories. The two long reviews, by Witold Rybczynski and Toni Bentley, are detached essays that have little regard for the books under review.

As always, there are lots of topical roundups in this issue, written for people who are thinking of giving books to other people. They’re an ancient feature, but they’re as out of place as ever. I’ve overlooked them, as I do roundups generally.

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