Books On My Night Table August 7, 2019 by Robert J. Avrech Leave a Comment Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is one of the greatest Torah scholars the Jewish world has produced in modern times. His new translation and commentary on the Talmud is already in use all over the world. This slim volume presents profiles of thirteen Talmudic sages that serves to humanize these great men and place them in historical context. Preston Sturges was one of the greatest writer/directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age. His scripts are beautifully structured and if you want a master class in comedy dialogue, read his screenplay for The Lady Eve (1941) where con woman Barbara Stanwyck observes about Henry Fonda: “I need him like the ax needs the turkey.” Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer is one of the greatest artists who ever lived. His life is also something of a mystery. Author Daniel Arasse suggests that Vermeer was a revolutionary painter who was attempting to conceptualize a new pictorial space within the classical tradition of art. A fascinating analysis of my favorite artist.