Bestselling biographer Walter Isaacson’s portrait of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, released just weeks after the tech guru’s death, became an international bestseller and broke all records for sales of a biography. Isaacson has also penned “energetic, entertaining, and worldly” (The New Yorker) bios of Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger, and Albert Einstein. The president and CEO of the Aspen Institute for educational and policy studies, he has also served as the chairman of CNN, managing editor of Time magazine, and chairman emeritus of Teach for America. The Innovators is the revealing, century-spanning saga of the people who created the computer and the Internet.
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Mark Bittman is one of America’s most critically praised and popular food writers. He penned the “Minimalist” column for The New York Times for 13 years and is the author of the ubiquitous How to Cook Everything series, called “the new, hip Joy of Cooking” (Washington Post). Some of his other work includes Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef, Vegan before 6 P.M., and the Public Television series Bittman Takes on America’s Chefs. He has won two James Beard Awards and the Julia Child general cookbook award. Bittman’s newest book features more than 2,000 from-scratch recipes that can be prepared quickly and easily.
In conversation with Maureen Fitzgerald, Food Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer
“Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read” (Time), cognitive scientist and linguist Steven Pinker has charted the way humans form thoughts and engage the world through a wide array of scientific research, scholarly writing, popular books, and magazine articles. These bestsellers include The Better Angels of our Nature, The Language Instinct, and Pulitzer Prize finalists The Blank Slate and How the Mind Works. In 2010 and 2011 he was named to Foreign Policy magazine’s list of top global thinkers. Pinker’s new book explores the ways in which the English language is being corrupted by texting and social media in order to propose practical guidelines for crafting useful, elegant prose.
Managing partner of Philadelphia’s celebrated Marc Vetri family of restaurants, for over 15 years Jeff Benjamin has helped make the Vetri brand synonymous with quality fine-dining with his impeccable standards, attention to detail, wide range of taste, and strong work ethic. He also supports many philanthropic causes and nonprofit organizations, including Little Smiles and The Great Chef’s Event, which benefits Alex’s Lemonade Stand. In 2008, Benjamin and Vetri created the Vetri Foundation for Children, a charity that focuses on promoting healthy eating and the childhood obesity crisis. Including observations about reserving tables, what your server truly thinks about you, and what it takes to get kicked out, Front of the House is a behind-the-scenes look at the art of exceptional restaurant service.
In conversation with Danya Henninger, local editor for Zagat.com/Philadelphia, restaurant critic for the Courier-Post and a regular contributor to Philly.com/food.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are tracking changes in the Philadelphia accent. Reporter Zack Seward dips into archives that include more than a century’s worth of Philly natives. The researchers say most regional accents are alive and well, even in the digital age, but they’re always changing.