Coups de coeur

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    • Sélection non luxembourgeoise

    « Journaliste, Chesterton fut l'infatigable contradicteur des idées marxistes de G. B. Shaw et des utopies de H. G. Wells. Romancier – Le Nommé Jeudi, La Sphère et la croix – mais aussi merveilleux auteur de nouvelles – Le Club des métiers bizarres – et poète – les tommies de la Grande Guerre partaient à l'assaut en déclamant son Lépante–, Chesterton a bâti une véritable cathédrale de fiction qui se profile sur le ciel éternel de la fantaisie. Sans doute était-il temps de rendre hommage à celui que Borges considérait pour sa part comme « l'un des premiers écrivains de notre temps pour son imagination visuelle et la félicité enfantine ou divine que laisse entrevoir chaque page de son œuvre ». C'est ce que François Rivière, a voulu faire avec cette première biographie française de l'écrivain. »

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    “The Periodic Table of Elements hasn't always looked like it does now, a well-organized chart arranged by atomic number. In the mid-nineteenth century, chemists were of the belief that the elements should be sorted by atomic weight. However, the weights of many elements were calculated incorrectly, and over time it became clear that not only did the elements need rearranging, but that the periodic table contained many gaps and omissions: there were elements yet to be discovered, and the allure of finding one had scientists rushing to fill in the blanks. Supposed "discoveries" flooded laboratories, and the debate over what did and did not belong on the periodic table reached a fever pitch. With the discovery of radioactivity, the discourse only intensified. Throughout its formation, the Periodic Table of Elements has seen false entries, good-faith errors, retractions, and dead ends. In fact, there have been more falsely proclaimed elemental discoveries throughout history than there are elements on the table as we know it today. The Lost Elements: The Periodic Table's Shadow Side collects the most notable of these instances, stretching from the nineteenth century to the present. The book tells the story of how scientists have come to understand elements, by discussing the failed theories and false discoveries that shaped the path of scientific progress. We learn of early chemists' stubborn refusal to disregard alchemy as a legitimate practice, and of one German's supposed discovery of an elemental metal that breathed. As elements began to be created artificially in the twentieth century, we watch the discovery climate shift to favor the physicists, rather than the chemists. Along the way, Fontani, Costa, and Orna introduce us to the key figures in the development of today's periodic table, including Lavoisier and Mendeleev. Featuring a preface from Nobel Laureate Roald Hoffmann, The Lost Elements is an expansive history of the wrong side of chemical discovery-and reveals how these errors and gaffes have helped shape the table as much as any other form of scientific progress.”

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    « New Orleans is often hailed for its distinctive Creole heritage - evident in its food, architecture, and people - but it is far from alone. Its Creoleness may be unique to the United States, but New Orleans is part of an entire family of Latin Caribbean cities with similar colonial histories. Founded as New World outposts of Old World empires, these cities forged new identities from their European, West African, and indigenous influences- by turns inspired by, in defiance of, and adapted from all of them. Photographer Richard Sexton has been intrigued by this Creole world since he first traveled to Central and South America as a young man. For him, the architectural and urban similarities among Creole cities compose a visual theme supported by endless variations both grand and humble, old and new, carefully curated and wonderfully slapdash. With more than two hundred stunning full-color photographs of Cuba, Ecuador, Argentina, Bolivia, and Haiti, as well as New Orleans, Sexton gives readers a taste of everything the Creole world has to offer. »

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    « Un best-seller inattendu : un livre a agité comme un étendard : Paris est une fête, d’Ernest Hemingway » « Aux lendemains des attentats du 13 novembre, les Mémoires de l’écrivain américain, se vendent à raison de 28 000 exemplaires par semaine, contre 100 quelques jours auparavant. Paris est une fête : là aussi, le titre est un programme, alors que des lieux de sortie ont été touchés. Il s’impose comme une réponse directe aux communiqués de l’organisation Etat islamique (EI) qui parlent de « capitale de la perversion ». Paris est à jamais le lieu où se rejoignent culture et hédonisme dans l’esprit nostalgique d’Hemingway, qui raconte, un quart de siècle plus tard, ses rencontres à la Closerie des Lilas et ses flâneries le long de la Seine. Le titre lui-même est sans doute une trouvaille du critique Marc Saporta, qui signa la première traduction chez Gallimard, en 1964. En anglais, ce texte posthume se nomme A moveable feast (« une fête mobile »). Il est certes dans les manies françaises de se contempler (ou de se détester) dans les yeux de l’étranger. Mais le choix d’un Américain est aussi en rapport avec la dimension globale de ces événements, souligne l’historien Pascal Ory: « Les français ont été surpris en prenant conscience que Paris était un lieu qui compte toujours pour le monde entier. » (article de Julie Clarini LE MONDE | 25.12.2015)

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    “Engler's Syllabus of Plant Families has since its first publication in 1887 aimed to provide both the researcher, and particularly the student with a concise survey of the plant kingdom as a whole, presenting all higher systematic units right down to families and genera of plants and fungi. In 1964, more than 45 years ago, the 12th edition of the well-known "Syllabus der Pflanzenfamilien" ("Syllabus of Plant Families"), set a standard. Now, the completely restructured and revised 13th edition of Engler's Syllabus published in 5 parts and in English language for the first time also considers molecular data, which have only recently become available in order to provide an up-to-date evolutionary and systematic overview of the plant groups treated. In our "molecular times" there is a vitally important and growing need to preserve the knowledge of the entire range of diversity and biology of organisms for coming generations, as there is a decline in "classical" morphological and taxonomical expertise, especially for less popular (showy) groups of organisms. Accordingly, the 13th edition of Syllabus of Plant Families synthesizes both modern data and classical expertise, serving to educate future experts who will maintain our knowledge of the full range of Earth's biodiversity. Syllabus of Plant Families is a mandatory reference for students, experts and researchers from all fields of biological sciences, particularly botany.”

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    « Deux dialogues, le premier datant de 1982, le second de 1999, dans lesquels le romancier interrogé par son ami L. Volovici, pense son rapport intime et complexe à sa judaïté, établissant un parallèle entre cette identité et la condition de l'écrivain. Il élargit ensuite son propos aux relations entre antisémitisme et communisme au cours du XXe siècle, notamment en Roumanie. »

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    « Une sélection de pièces choisies parmi le fonds d'archives littéraires acquises auprès d'Yvon Bernier, ami et collaborateur de M. Yourcenar. Elle contient des éditions originales ou rares, des correspondances, des manuscrits d'articles et d'essais de l'écrivaine, ainsi que des études, thèses et mémoires consacrés à son oeuvre. »

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    « A la campagne, à la mer, à la montagne, en ville... Nous sommes sans cesse confrontés à des paysages. Ceux parmi lesquels nous vivons ; ceux que nous voyons par la fenêtre des voitures ou des trains ; ceux que nous découvrons en vacances... Imaginez un instant qu'un géographe pointe du doigt les lignes de force, les détails remarquables, les mouvements de la roche, la nature du sol, la forme particulière d'un arbre, les influences humaines. Voir le monde à travers ces yeux-là, c'est répondre à toutes sortes de questions infimes et essentielles. Pourquoi des arbres au bord des routes ? Qui creuse les gorges et les vallées ? Comment naissent les villes et grandissent les montagnes ? Et l'on brasse ainsi allègrement des histoires multiples, vieilles de millions, de milliers et de centaines d'années, pour réaliser que le moindre caillou ou la plus modeste bâtisse s'inscrivent dans une logique globale qu'on appelle " paysage ". Au fil des pages de cet ouvrage, laissez-vous guider à travers plus de cinquante sites, leurs secrets géologiques, bioclimatiques, végétaux, humains... Et comme on apprend à lire une carte, apprenez à lire les paysages ! »

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    “In the late 1990s, there was an explosion of research on ionic liquids and they are now a major topic of academic and industrial interest with numerous existing and potential applications. Since then, the number of scientific papers focusing on ionic liquids has risen exponentially, including a few edited multi-author books covering the latest advances in ionic liquids chemistry and several volumes of symposium proceedings. Much of the content in these books and volumes is written using technical jargon that only scientists at the cutting edge of ionic liquids research will understand and ionic liquids are hardly covered in most modern chemistry textbooks. This is the first single-author book on ionic liquids and the first introductory book on the topic. It is written in a clear, concise and consistent way. The book provides a useful introduction to ionic liquids for those readers who are not familiar with the topic. It is also wide ranging, embracing every aspect of the chemistry and applications of ionic liquids. The book draws extensively on the primary scientific literature to provide numerous examples of research on ionic liquids. These examples will enable the reader to become familiar with the key developments in ionic liquids chemistry over recent years. The book provides an introduction to: ionic liquids; their nomenclature; history; physical, chemical and biological properties; and their wide ranging uses and potential applications in catalysis, electrochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, analysis, biotechnology, green chemistry and clean technology. Notable and important chapters include "The Green Credentials of Ionic Liquids" and "Biotechnology." The chapter on "Applications" includes sections with brief descriptions of recent research on the development of ionic liquids: - for the construction of a liquid mirror for a moon telescope - for use as rocket propellants - for use as antimicrobial agents that combat MRSA - as active pharmaceutical ingredients and antiviral drugs - for embalming and tissue preservation Science students, researchers, teachers in academic institutions and chemists and other scientists in industry and government laboratories will find the book an invaluable introduction to one of the most rapidly advancing and exciting fields of science and technology today.”

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    « Une biographie de C. Goldoni, auteur dramatique italien s'étant illustré dans divers genres tels que la tragédie, le drame, le livret d'opéra, la saynète, etc. Continuateur de la commedia dell'arte et inventeur de la comédie italienne moderne, il écrivit en trois langues (l'italien, le vénitien, le français) et vécut les trente dernières années de sa vie à Paris. »

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    « French photographer Pierre Gonnord, 1963, works and lives in Spain. He concentrates on people that are considered outsiders, from people that are blind, homeless or gypsies. Framed from the waist up and captured entirely by natural light against a deep black drop cloth that Gonnord carries with him, his subjects' eyes meet the camera with searing power. On their faces can be mapped the vulnerable, wounded, occasionally hostile reality of those who live, for the most part, unseen. Just as in Lucien Freud's thickly impastoed portraits of pasty-skinned, sinewy men and women, or the maddened, contorted visages of Francis Bacon's tortured models, Gonnord's images depict by way of revelation, exploring the truth—and the humanity—in every imperfection. He invests weeks and months earning the trust of these people, and the photograph he takes is often the only photograph they will have taken in their lives, in one monumental moment of mythic homage. »

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    “Meet the ladies: a flock of smart, affectionate, highly individualistic chickens who visit their favorite neighbors, devise different ways to hide from foxes, and mob the author like she’s a rock star. In these pages you’ll also meet Maya and Zuni, two orphaned baby hummingbirds who hatched from eggs the size of navy beans, and who are little more than air bubbles fringed with feathers. Their lives hang precariously in the balance—but with human help, they may one day conquer the sky. Snowball is a cockatoo whose dance video went viral on YouTube and who’s now teaching schoolchildren how to dance. You’ll meet Harris’s hawks named Fire and Smoke. And you’ll come to know and love a host of other avian characters who will change your mind forever about who birds really are. Each of these birds shows a different and utterly surprising aspect of what makes a bird a bird—and these are the lessons of Birdology: that birds are far stranger, more wondrous, and at the same time more like us than we might have dared to imagine. In Birdology, beloved author of The Good Good Pig Sy Montgomery explores the essence of the otherworldly creatures we see every day. By way of her adventures with seven birds—wild, tame, exotic, and common—she weaves new scientific insights and narrative to reveal seven kernels of bird wisdom. The first lesson of Birdology is that, no matter how common they are, Birds Are Individuals, as each of Montgomery’s distinctive Ladies clearly shows. In the leech-infested rain forest of Queensland, you’ll come face to face with a cassowary—a 150-pound, man-tall, flightless bird with a helmet of bone on its head and a slashing razor-like toenail with which it (occasionally) eviscerates people—proof that Birds Are Dinosaurs. You’ll learn from hawks that Birds Are Fierce; from pigeons, how Birds Find Their Way Home; from parrots, what it means that Birds Can Talk; and from 50,000 crows who moved into a small city’s downtown, that Birds Are Everywhere. They are the winged aliens who surround us. Birdology explains just how very "other" birds are: Their hearts look like those of crocodiles. They are covered with modified scales, which are called feathers. Their bones are hollow. Their bodies are permeated with extensive air sacs. They have no hands. They give birth to eggs. Yet despite birds’ and humans’ disparate evolutionary paths, we share emotional and intellectual abilities that allow us to communicate and even form deep bonds. When we begin to comprehend who birds really are, we deepen our capacity to approach, understand, and love these otherworldly creatures. And this, ultimately, is the priceless lesson of Birdology: it communicates a heartfelt fascination and awe for birds and restores our connection to these complex, mysterious fellow creatures.”

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    « Qu'est-ce qu'une bombe à graines ? D'abord, ce n'est pas un explosif, ni un produit comestible ! Une bombe à graines est une petite boule composée d'un mélange de terreau, d'argile et de graines. Le lancer de bombes à graines, ou Seedbombs, fait partie du mouvement de guérilla jardinière né dans les années 90 chez les Anglo-saxons. Cet acte militant nous incite à mieux connaître les plantes et à semer des graines de façon ludique et engagée. Si le lancer de graines permet d'embellir certains endroits désolés, il permet aussi de se réapproprier l'espace public et de l'investir de façon positive. Ce livre propose un petit historique du mouvement de lancer de graines, mais également les portraits de 41 plantes communes à semer. Et après la théorie, la pratique ! Dix recettes de bombes à graines sont détaillées ; certaines pour attirer les papillons, pour nourrir les oiseaux, d'autres pour avoir des fleurs colorées ou encore des plantes à parfum. De quoi devenir un adepte du lancer de bombes à graines ! »

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    “The Mars Science Laboratory is the latest and most advanced NASA roving vehicle to explore the surface of Mars. The Curiosity rover has landed in Gale crater and will explore this region assessing conditions on the surface that might be hospitable to life and paving the way for later even more sophisticated exploration of the surface. This book describes the mission, its exploration and scientific objectives, studies leading to the design of the mission and the instruments that accomplish the objectives of the mission. This book is aimed at all those engaged in Martian studies as well as those interested in the origin of life in other environments. It will be a valuable reference for anyone who uses data from the Mars Science Laboratory.”

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