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Overview


What if a jaguar and a skunk had a fight? Who do you think would win? Learn amazing facts to compare and contrast these two awesome animals!

This nonfiction Reader compares and contrasts two ferocious animals. Readers will learn about each animal's anatomy, behavior, and more. Then compare and contrast the battling pair before finally discovering the winner!

This nonfiction series is full of facts, photos, and realistic illustrations, and it includes a range of mammals, sea creatures, insects, and dinosaurs to satisfy all kinds of animal fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780590032490
Publisher: Unknown Publisher
Publication date: 02/29/2000
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author


Jerry Pallotta is an award-winning author of children's books, including What I Saw in the Teachers' Lounge, Dinosaur Christmas, Who Will Guide My Sleigh Tonight?, Apple Fractions, and The Hershey's Milk Chocolate Multiplication Book. His combination of interesting facts, detailed research, humor, and realistic illustrations have mesmerized countless children across the United States. You can visit him at jerrypallotta.com.



Rob Bolster is both a fine artist and a professional illustrator. His work has appeared in newspaper and magazine advertisements, and he has illustrated many books for young readers, including the bestselling Who Would Win? series. Rob lives and works near Boston, Massachusetts.

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

She walks down the street with a swing in her step and a lift to her head. She radiates allure as if followed by a personal spotlight. She may be tall or short, slim or pneumatically curvaceous, dressed discreetly or ostentatiously—it matters not. Her gait, her composure, the very tilt of her head is an ode to grace and self-possession that makes her beautiful whatever her actual features reveal. She is Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Claudia Cardinale, Monica Bellucci. She is the Italian woman glorified on celluloid and on the nightly passeggiata you see on your Italian vacations—but she is no figment of the adman’s imagination. She is real and gracing the streets of every city, town, and village in Italy right now. She is the embodiment of bella figura and she cuts an elegant dash through our mundane modern world.

When I arrived in Florence, I could not have been further from this ideal. Decades of working at the computer had rounded my shoulders, years of looking down into a laptop or phone had slackened my jawline and compressed my neck. The stress of a demanding job and big-city life had hardened my features. My eyes were fixed to the ground as I hurried through life, with no time to throw anyone a smile let alone a kind word. Single for years, my loneliness had calcified. I didn’t so much strut with confidence as cringe down the street.

A year in Florence—and discovering bella figura—changed my life.

The concept of bella figura is about making every aspect of life as beautiful as it can be, whether in Rome, London, New York, or Vancouver. It is a notion at once romantic and practical. It encompasses everything we do, from what we eat to how we get to work in the mornings. It’s about sensuality and sexuality. It’s about banishing the stress that, no matter how few carbs we eat and how vigorously we exercise, means our bodies are so shut down we can only ever look harrowed and pinched. Bella figura is about generosity and abundance, not meanness or deprivation. The Italian woman who lives the bella figura knows the importance of beautiful manners and a graceful demeanor, not as a nod to a bygone era, but as a means of “making the face” until it fits—it’s a proven fact that if we smile genuinely often enough, we release the happy hormone serotonin. All of this improves not only our quality of life but also the quantity of years we have.

While this book will touch on details about already well-documented benefits of the Mediterranean diet, what follows in these pages is, instead, the story of a journey. Ten years ago I moved to Florence quite by accident, and that first year I spent there changed my life, my body, and the shape of my heart. I believe that what I learned can change yours too.


Chapter 1 - Festina lente or How to Slow Down

January 2008

It all began with rain. It fell in heavy sheets as I was lined up waiting for a taxi at Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. The line was not under cover and I didn’t have an umbrella. By the time I got into the cab, I was soaking wet.

I was in a city where I didn’t know a soul, unanchored from work, friends and family, a piece of human flotsam washed up in its Renaissance gutters. All I had, clutched in my damp hand, was the address of the apartment where I was to stay. As I reached the top of the line, I uncrumpled it, showed it to the cab driver, and got in. He grunted and pulled out, frowning at the thought of a puddle forming at my feet behind him.

We swept through the slick cobbled streets. The heating was on full blast and my sodden coat was fogging up the cab. I peered through steamed-up windows at the stone walls of ancient buildings rising up on either side of the road, water dripping off their deep eaves. The streets were deserted—it was January 2 and the city was still sleeping off its hangover. My own New Year’s Eve had been spent stuffing boxes into corners in my parents’ apartment under the beady eye of my mother, who said nothing but whose every breath asked me what on earth I thought I was doing, giving up a good apartment and a job so prestigious it came with embossed business cards to move my possessions into her already overcrowded apartment and flit off to Florence to play at being a writer. I may as well have announced I was going to Italy to run a brothel.


The cab driver slowed down, gestured to the left and grunted. I turned around to take in the majestic proportions of a colonnaded piazza, a cathedral looming up at the end of the square, its white façade reflected in the glistening ground. My mouth fell open.

It wasn’t just the beauty of the square, but the theatricality of it too; the way the eye was led to the façade of the church. “Si chiama Santa Croce,” the driver said. Then, indicating the statue of a scowling man, he said, “E quello li è Dante.” Dante looked as grumpy and bad-tempered as my cab driver, yet I was cheered. The man credited with inventing the modern Italian language in his Divine Comedy was standing right there, holding a book in his stony hands, looking at me with his basilisk stare. It was a good omen.

The basilica stood solidly behind Dante’s statue, the entire square constructed to induce awe in the insignificant human approaching it, as well as delight and marvel in the beauty. It was my first brush with the perfection of Italian presentation, the importance of the harmony of form, the genius of the impact on the onlooker, the moral weight given to beauty. It was bella figura embodied in stone and marble.

We crossed a nondescript bridge. This time the cabbie pointed to the right where the Ponte Vecchio squatted over the river on low arches. Lit up against the night, its row of matchbox shops hanging over the water, it shimmered like a dream. I took it in, wide-eyed, as we drove on, swinging into the Oltrarno, the other side of the River Arno from the historic center, winding through cobbled streets to pull up at my new front door.

Eccoci,” the driver said as he heaved himself from his seat. I paid and stepped out straight into a puddle. I hurried into the entrance hall, taking in its cavernous proportions as I dripped onto the flagstone floor. A flight of wide stone stairs twisted off to the right and I lugged my bags up, stopping to rest on a narrow bench on what felt like the 108th floor, panting. It was still a long way from the top. The steps dipped in the middle, worn by centuries of feet: the building dated from the seventeenth century, the silence thick with ghosts. I resumed my climb and finally stood in front of a Tiffany-blue door, its paint cracked and curling. The lock was a massive iron box with a large keyhole—fortified, ancient. I pulled out an equally antiquated-looking key and opened the door.

A long corridor with a rough stone floor stretched away from me. It was freezing, my breath fogged into the air. Halfway down I found a dark bedroom with two single beds and an enormous wooden chest of drawers, and I dropped my bags before going back out into the corridor to find the heating, switching it on, shedding my wet coat, and grabbing a blanket and wrapping it tight around me.

The apartment, which would be my new home for who-knew-how-long, was stuffy as well as cold. The corridor opened into a chain of rooms linking one to the next, what interior-design magazines call a shotgun apartment: a sitting room with large, shuttered casement windows, a sofa bed and a rickety table with haphazard piles of books. A long and spacious kitchen led off the top of the sitting room. The sink, cupboards, and oven ranged along the right, while, on the left, a table sat under another set of double windows. At the far end of the kitchen, another sitting room was set at a right angle, with a long corner sofa, behind which a shelving unit was wobbly with stacks of books. In the far corner, the only door in the whole apartment apart from the front door closed off a small bathroom.

I regarded myself in the mirror above the sink: my hair was frizzy from the journey, there were shadows under my eyes, and I could see the glowing red mark of a new spot erupting on my chin. Or chins, I should say. My Big Job had made me hate my reflection. The years had been marked by inexplicable, distressing weight gain: rolls appearing not just around my middle but on my back, under my face, hanging from my upper arms; I tried every healthy diet going and eliminated every kind of bad food as identified by the latest fad, to no avail. Acne, which had given me a wide berth when I was a teenager, came to get me with gusto; my skin had broken out. I tried not to care, but the industry I worked in made that impossible—a glossy magazine company in which the daily elevator ride required nerves of steel, a pre-season designer wardrobe, and the insouciance of Kate Moss. I had draped myself in black shapeless clothes instead and avoided the elevator.

I sighed and turned away, going back to the windows in the kitchen. In spite of the cold and the rain, I threw them open and leaned forward, peering into the darkness.

Outside, a dark, silent courtyard was overlooked by windows, balconies, and terra-cotta roofs. On the far side watching over it all was the tower of the local church, a slim stone structure from the seventeenth century. Four green bells peeked through small arches, a jigsaw of brickwork around the top the only decoration. All around, the windows of the other apartments were dark. Rain fell into the silence.

Christobel’s tower, I thought, remembering the first time I had heard about it.

I had met Christobel when I accepted a last-minute invitation to vacation at a friend’s home in France. Christobel was another guest. She had white hair with a stripe of black running down the middle, and a diamond that glittered in the corner of her nose. An unlikely look for a fairy godmother, but then, Disney never dreamed up one as sassy and smart as Christobel.

I learned that she was a novelist, wife to a Cambridge academic and mother to five children. She told me how she had fallen in love with Italy when she had spent a year in Florence teaching English. She had traveled back regularly, and somewhere along the line had bought an apartment, talking dreamily of a courtyard and a church tower. She managed a visit most months—two days in which to be alone, no children tugging at her skirt, to wander the streets visiting her favorite haunts for cappuccinos, for designer frocks, and handmade shoes. She wrote it all into thrillers set in the city, her characters retracing the steps she took around town, her plots imagining the dark underbelly of the place she loved for its beauty but was compelled by for its mystery. She had published three novels and was working on her fourth. I couldn’t imagine how she fitted it all in. “I have a full-time job and a cat, and I still can’t figure out how to wash my hair during the week,” I had said, and, laughing, we had bonded.

Lying under an olive tree one hot day, Christobel had suggested that I retreat to her apartment in Florence to write the book I dreamed of undertaking. I had scoffed at the time—it was a lovely dream but as far from my reality as could be. After all, I had a Big Job anchoring me in London, I was far too busy to take off like that.

And then, in just a few months, I had lost my Big Job and been evicted from my apartment. Even my cat had deserted me, climbing out the window one day, never to be seen again. As if she had sniffed out my despair, Christobel rang me one winter night, as I sat among my boxes. At my news, she clapped her hands in delight. “So now there’s nothing to stop you going to Florence in January to write,” she said, and started making plans before I had agreed. So I had taken the hint life was emphatically giving me, drawn a deep breath, packed my book proposal, and stepped off the edge of the cliff. A cliff with a Renaissance face, but a cliff nonetheless.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Bella Figura"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Kamin Mohammadi.
Excerpted by permission of Appetite by Random House.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Editor's Preface xi

Abbreviations xv

Translator's Preface xvii

Petrus van Mastricht (1630-1706): Life and Work xxv

Funeral Oration for Petrus van Mastricht lxv

The Best Method of Preaching

I Preface 3

II The parts of preaching 5

III Twofold invention 5

IV The arrangement of a sermon and its laws 6

V An inquiry into the introduction 7

VI The content of the text 9

VII The analysis and the exposition of the text 9

VIII Five parts of the doctrinal argument 11

IX The informatory use 16

X The elenctic use 16

XI The consolatory use 18

XII The rebuking use 20

XIII The exploratory use 22

XIV The hortatory use 25

XV Some cautions 28

XVI How the more lengthy texts should be handled 29

XVII Delivery 29

XVIII The reasons why this is the best method 30

Part 1 Prolegomena and Faith

Book 1 Prolegomena of Theoretical-Practical Theology 1699 Dedication 39

1699 Preface 43

Methodical Arrangement of the Whole Work 47

Chapter 1 The Nature of Theology 63

I Introduction 63

The Exegetical Part

II Exegesis of 1 Timothy 6:2-3 64

First Theorem-The Method of Geology

The Dogmatic Part

III Theology must be taught in a certain order 67

IV The need for method in theology 68

V The sort of method that must be employed 69

The Elenctic Part

VI Must theology be taught according to a certain method? 70

The Practical Part

VII The first use is for censuring 71

VIII The second use is for exhortation 71

Second Theorem-The Definitum of Theology

The Dogmatic Part

IX Only a theoretical-practical Christian theology must be pursued 73

X It is proved from the Scriptures 73

XI It is confirmed by three reasons 73

XII That theology is given 74

XIII Its name 74

XIV Its synonyms 76

XV Homonyms 76

XVI Christian theology 77

XVII Natural theology: A. Its parts 77

XVIII B. Its fourfold use 78

XIX C. A threefold abuse 78

XX Theoretical-practical theology 78

XXI The distribution of false religions 79

The Elenctic Part

XXII 1. Is the theology of the pagans true? 80

XXIII 2. Is any kind of natural theology allowed? 82

XXIV 3. Is natural theology sufficient for salvation? 83

XXV 4. What should we think about scholastic theology? 85

The Practical Part

XXVI The first point of practice, examination 86

XXVII Second: shunning any false theology 88

XXVIII Third: the study of true theology 89

XXIX Motives for the study of Christian theology 90

XXX The means of obtaining theology 92

XXXI Eleven rules of academic study 94

XXXII Fourth: the study of practical theology 95

XXXIII Its marks 95

XXXIV Its motives 96

XXXV The means of obtaining a practical theology 97

Third Theorem-The Definition of Theology

The Dogmatic Part

XXXVI Theology is the doctrine of living for God through Christ 98

XXXVII It is confirmed by reasons 99

XXXVIII That it is termed doctrine, and why 100

XXXIX The object of theology is "living" 101

XL Living for God 101

XLI Different kinds of life 101

XLII Living for God through Christ 102

XLIII The first deduction, concerning the end of theology 103

XLIV Its object 104

XLV Its excellence 104

The Elenctic Part

XLVI Problems: 1. Is theology wisdom or prudence? 104

XLVII 2. What is its object? 105

XLVIII 3. Is it a theoretical or a practical habit? 106

The Practical Part

XLIX The first use, reproof 107

L The second use, examination 108

LI The third use, exhortation, that we live for God 109

LII Living for God demands specifically: 1. The threefold aim 109

LIII 2. The threefold norm 110

LIV 3. The order 110

LV Nine motives to live for God 111

LVI The manner of living for God, in three things 112

LVII Finally six means 112

Chapter 2 Holy Scripture 113

I Introduction 113

The Exegetical Part

II Exegesis of 2 Timothy 3:16-17 113

The Dogmatic Part

III Scripture is the perfect rule of living for God 117

IV It is confirmed by reasons: The first reason, from hypotheses 117

V The second reason, from the five requirements of a rule 118

VI Holy Scripture is explained: 1. The term Scripture 119

VII Synonyms of Scripture 120

VIII 2. The canonical parts of Scripture 120

IX The apocryphal books are rejected 121

X The authentic edition of Scripture 123

XI Editions in the vernacular 124

XII 3. The origin of Scripture 125

XIII The method of composing Holy Scripture 126

XIV 4. The properties of Scripture: (1) Authority 126

XV (2) Truth 127

XVI (3) Integrity 127

XVII (4) Sanctity 127

XVIII (5) Perspicuity 128

XIX (6) Perfection 128

XX (7) Necessity 129

XXI (8) Efficacy 130

The Elenctic Part

XXII 1. Is there any written Word of God? 131

XXIII The divine authority of Scripture is demonstrated by testimonies and seven reasons 133

XXIV 2. Has our Scripture been so corrupted that it was necessary to substitute the Quran for it? (1) Scripture has not been corrupted 137

XXV (2) Muhammad is not a true prophet 139

XXVI (3) The Quran is not a divine writing 140

XXVII With the Jews it is asked: 1. Has the oral law been given in addition to the written law? 141

XXVIII 2. Does the Talmud have divine authority? 144

XXIX 3. Does the kabbalah have divine authority? 146

XXX 4. Does the New Testament have divine authority? 147

XXXI Our eleven arguments for the divine authority of the New Testament 149

XXXII Other objections 152

XXXIII Do believers possess inspirations from the Holy Spirit? 153

XXXIV Is human reason the infallible norm of interpreting Scripture? 155

XXXV Is the Old Testament now abrogated or less necessary to read than the New Testament? 157

XXXVI Objections 158

XXXVII With the papists it is disputed: Does the authority of Scripture depend on the church? 159

XXXVIII Objections 160

XXXIX Should the books that we call the Apocrypha be numbered with the canonical books? 161

XL Are any non-original editions authentic? 162

XLI Are the Hebrew and Greek sources corrupted? 164

XLII Objections 165

XLIII Should Scripture be translated into the vernacular languages? 166

XLIV The reasons of the papists 166

XLV Should Scripture be read by the common people? 167

XLVI Is Scripture obscure? 167

XLVII Does Scripture allow more than one sense? 168

XLVIII Objections 169

XLIX Is there, besides and beyond Scripture, any infallible norm for interpreting it? 170

L The affirmative position 171

LI Is there some infallible judge of controversies on earth? 172

LII What the papists claim 173

LIII Should the judgment of controversies be relinquished to some sort of private judgment? 174

LV Is Scripture the perfect norm of faith and life? 175

LVI Are sacred traditions besides Scripture necessary? 177

LVII What the papists claim 177

LVIII Is Scripture necessary now for the church? 178

LIX Did Scripture arise only by fortuitous circumstances, and not by divine command? 180

LX Is Scripture not so much the perfect rule of believing and living as it is a useful kind of reminder? 181

The Practical Part

LXI The first use, impressing the authority of Scripture upon its hearers 182

LXII The way to assert and urge the divine authority of Scripture 183

LXIII The second use, the love of the divine Word 1. The parts of this love 185

LXIV 2. Seven motives for loving Scripture 185

LXV 3. The manner of loving Scripture 187

LXVI 4. The means to kindle love for Scripture 188

LXVII The third use, concerning contempt or hatred of the divine Word 188

LXVIII The fourth use, the study of the divine Word 188

LXIX The fifth use, the reading of the divine Word 190

LXX The sixth use, the hearing of the Word 191

LXXI The seventh use, the interpretation of Scripture 193

LXXII The means of interpreting Scripture: For those educated in letters 193

LXXIII The means of interpreting for everyone 194

LXXIV The eighth use, meditation: 1. What is meditation? 195

LXXV 2. That we should meditate 196

LXXVI 3. Why should we meditate? 197

LXXVII 4. How must we meditate? 197

LXXVIII The ninth use, conversations about the Scriptures 199

LXXIX Motives 199

LXXX Those obliged to this duty 199

LXXXI Impediments 200

LXXXII Aids 200

LXXXIII The manner 200

LXXXIV The tenth use, the observance or practice of the Word 201

Chapter 3 The Distribution of Theology 203

I Introduction 203

The Exegetical Part

II Exegesis of 2 Timothy 1:13 203

The Dogmatic Part

III The parts of theology are faith and love 204

IV It is confirmed by four reasons 206

V It is explained in three parts 206

The Elenctic Part

VI Theologians' contrary or different distributions are examined 207

VII It is asked whether the Socinian and Arminian distributions are genuine 207

The Practical Part

VIII The first use, rebuke 208

IX The second use, exhortation 209

X The delineation of this whole theology text 210

Board of the Dutch Reformed Theological Society 213

Scripture Index 215

Subject Index 229

Reading Group Guide

1. Do you see a relationship between the kind of work Marian does in consumer research with the particular way her life begins to disintegrate?

2. Peter is afraid of being captured by a woman, of losing his freedom; Marian begins to feel hunted, caught in his gaze; eventually she even confuses his camera with a gun. In what ways can all the characters seem at once to be hunter then predator, master then slave, subject then object?

3. Two parties take place in the book, the office party and the engagement party. Discuss what these parties do for the structure and development of the novel.

4. Sexual identity lies at the heart of much of the story. Discuss the role Marian's roommate Ainsley, her friend Claire, and finally the "office Virgins" play in helping define Marian's dilemma. Discuss the men: Why is Marian drawn to Duncan? Contrast him with Peter.

5. The novel is narrated in first person in parts one and three, third person in part two. What is the effect on the reader of the change in voice?

6. Margaret Atwood has described The Edible Woman, her first novel, as an "anti-comedy," with themes many now see as proto-feminist. Give examples of Atwood's clever use of food images throughout the book.

7. First Marian drops meat from her diet, then, eggs, vegetables, even pumpkin seeds. Can you point to the incidents that precede each elimination from her diet? How does her lack of appetite compare or contrast with Duncan's unnatural thinness, his stated desire to become "an amoeba?"

8. What is the meaning of the cake Marian serves Peter at the novel's end? What is the significance of her eating the cake?

9. Margaret Atwood is a writer who often plays with fair-tale images in her work. "The Robber Bridegroom" (which she much later turns on its head with The Robber Bride) was likely an inspiration for The Edible Woman: the old crone warns the bride-to-be " . . . the only marriage you'll celebrate will be with death. . . . When they have you in their power they'll chop you up in pieces . . . then they'll cook you and eat you, because they are cannibals." What images of cannibalism does Atwood use? Do you see traces of other fairy tales in this novel?

10. At the time The Edible Woman was written in 1965, food, eating, and weight issues had not yet attracted wide attention as feminist concerns. Three decades later, in The Beauty Myth, author Naomi Wolf observes that the obsession with thinness began to become a serious national problem for women America around 1920, coinciding with women's right to vote; studies indicate that today nearly half of American young women have had at one time or other had an eating disorder. What are the symbolic meanings of food, and why does it become the focus for so much anxiety?

Discussion questions provided courtesy of Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved.

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