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LITERARY CORNER

New books in English now available in Slovakia

Notebooks. Leonardo da Vinci. Paperback: 392 pages. Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2008.Most of what we know about Leonardo da Vinci is from his notebooks – some 6,000 sheets of notes and drawing survived, but they only represent one fifth of what he actually produced, the introductory notes on the cover of this book read.“Leonardo’s notebooks are amongst the most remarkable survivals in the history of human culture,” Martin Kemp, one of the world's leading authorities on da Vinci, wrote in the preface to the publication. “There is nothing quite like them in art, science and technology. The extraordinary fluency of his thought, unconstrained by disciplinary boundaries, and the brilliance of his graphic techniques are unrivalled.”

Notebooks. Leonardo da Vinci. Paperback: 392 pages. Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Most of what we know about Leonardo da Vinci is from his notebooks – some 6,000 sheets of notes and drawing survived, but they only represent one fifth of what he actually produced, the introductory notes on the cover of this book read.

“Leonardo’s notebooks are amongst the most remarkable survivals in the history of human culture,” Martin Kemp, one of the world's leading authorities on da Vinci, wrote in the preface to the publication. “There is nothing quite like them in art, science and technology. The extraordinary fluency of his thought, unconstrained by disciplinary boundaries, and the brilliance of his graphic techniques are unrivalled.”

The selection offers a cross-section of Leonardo’s writings, organised around coherent themes. Fully updated, this new edition includes some 70 line drawings.

Leonardo’s notebooks have been published within the Oxford World's Classics series.

The European Union: A Very Short Introduction. John Pinder & Simon Usherwood. Paperback: 202 pages. Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2007.
This book explains the European Union in plain English. Fully updated to include controversial and current topics such as enlargement of the Union and its role in emerging world affairs, this accessible guide shows how and why the union developed into the institution it is today. Covering a range of subjects from its early history to a single market, the euro and institutional reform, the authors examine the successes and failures of the EU and explain the choices that lie ahead in the 21st century, say the introductory cover notes.

John Pinder, one of the two authors, has for years been recognised and respected as an outstanding authority on European Community and European Union affairs, writes Michael Palliser in his assessment of the book.

The books from the Very Short Introduction (VSI) series offer concise, up-to-date and opinionated views on a wide range of topics.

Gomorrah. Roberto Saviano. Paperback: 301 pages. Publisher: Pan Macmillan, 2008.
Roberto Saviano is a journalist who took a great personal risk and decided to put together a thorough account of the Camorra, the Neapolitan mafia, which represents one of the worst scourges on contemporary Italy. Working undercover in his native city, Saviano laboured in Camorra-controlled factories, construction sites and even as a waiter at a mob wedding to give testimony about the life of the mafia in southern Italy. He recalls seeing his first murder at the age of fourteen and how his own father, a doctor, suffered a brutal beating for trying to aid an 18-year-old victim who had been left dead in the street, the cover notes read.

“Written in a lively style, Gomorrah reads like a nightmarish thriller, but it's first and foremost a tremendous investigative book chock-full of journalistic details. It’s also a courageous political book,” wrote L’Humanité in its review of Saviano’s book.

Human Rights Law. Ed. by Brid Moriarty and Eva Massa. 2nd edition. Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2008.
The second edition of Human Rights Law provides an overview of the sources of human rights protection in Ireland. It includes chapters on substantive human rights law and discussion of key human rights, as well as three new chapters on the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into Irish law, Ireland's involvement in the United Nations and people's right to liberty, the introduction on the cover reads.

The book was written by experts in their fields who provide detailed analysis of recent case law and legislation, highlight key issues in practice and set out specimen forms and precedents.

Decision Making. 5 Steps to Better Results. Richard Luecke. Publisher: Harvard Business School Press, 2006.
“Decisions. In many respects a business is a series of decisions linked by implementation and other activities. Decisions set the pace and direction; the rest is follow-through,” Luecke wrote in the introduction to his book which is published as a part of the Harvard Business Essentials series. According to the introductory notes, the book offers a time-tested, five-step methodology that can help the reader dramatically improve his or her decision-making skills and avoid common traps that lead to bad results.

The subject adviser to Decision Making is Alan J. Rowe, a distinguished emeritus professor of management and organisation at the University of Southern California.

The Harvard Business Essentials series is designed to provide comprehensive advice, guidance and information on the most relevant topics in business.

This column is a selection by The Slovak Spectator of books recently released in Slovakia; it does not represent an endorsement of any of the books selected. The column is prepared in cooperation with the Oxford Bookshop Bratislava.

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