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Books tell you what you need to know

by COLETTE BANCROFT Tampa Bay Times on November 17, 2013 1:35 AM

These two new illustrated compendiums will up your savvy about several subjects.

“The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things,” (Grand Central) by Anna Holmes, is drawn from the smart, funny, trivial and serious website; women will laugh, and men who don’t should be sent away.

“Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” (Penguin) by Michael Pollan, with illustrations by Maira Kalman, is an expanded version of Pollan’s eminently sensible 2009 best-seller, spiced with Kalman’s always charming art.

“Wordbirds: An Irreverent Lexicon for the 21st Century,” (Simon & Schuster) by Liesl Schillinger, with illustrations by Elizabeth Zechel, assembles a useful and witty array of neologisms, like “polterguy” for the ex-boyfriend who haunts you and “factose intolerant” for pesky dinner guests who are always imagining they’re allergic to different foods.

These new books focus on John F. Kennedy's administration and his legacy.

Camelot's Court: Inside the Kennedy White House (Harper) by Robert Dallek is an authoritative look at how the young president and his advisers worked with (and sometimes at odds with) military and intelligence agency leaders on Cuba, Vietnam and more.

The Kennedy Half Century: The Presidency, Assassination, and Lasting Legacy of John F. Kennedy (Bloomsbury) by Larry J. Sabato examines how many subsequent presidents — Democrats and Republicans — have sought to don the mantle of the "Kennedy mystique."

The Letters of John F. Kennedy (Bloomsbury), edited by Martin W. Sandler, collects and gives context to his lively correspondence, including exchanges with Robert Frost, Martin Luther King Jr., Nikita Khrushchev, Eleanor Roosevelt and many others.


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