Nick Kokonas is an American restaurant executive and author.

  • Blue Trout and Black Truffles

    There were, and still are, great restaurants all over Europe, but the greater part of Blue Trout and Black Truffles is devoted to the eatingplaces and vineyards of France. It is a vicarious experience to read about the culinary wonders of the notable establishments of another era that have become the last epicurean haven in this materialistic, mechanized world of fastfood chains and frozenfood dinners. Mr. Wechsberg reaches back to the twilight days of the Habsburg monarchy, when those splendid monuments to the haute cuisine in central Europe, Meissl and Schadn of Vienna and Gundel’s of Budapest, were in their prime.

  • Fooled by Randomness

    is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb???s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don???t understand. The other books in the series are ,and ,., is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. Nassim Nicholas Taleb???veteran trader, renowned risk expert, polymathic scholar, erudite raconteur, and , bestselling author of ,???has written a modern classic that turns on its head what we believe about luck and skill.,This book is about luck???or more precisely, about how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill???the world of trading???, provides captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives. Writing in an entertaining narrative style, the author tackles major intellectual issues related to the underestimation of the influence of happenstance on our lives.,The book is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: the baseball legend Yogi Berra; the philosopher of knowledge Karl Popper; the ancient world???s wisest man, Solon; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Odysseus. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life but falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.,However, the most recognizable character of all remains unnamed???the lucky fool who happens to be in the right place at the right time???he embodies the ???survival of the least fit.??? Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru???s insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained by chance.,Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? It may be impossible to guard ourselves against the vagaries of the goddess Fortuna, but after reading , we can be a little better prepared.,Named by Fortune One of the Smartest Books of All Time,A Financial Times Best Business Book of the Year

  • On the Nature of Things

    Martin Ferguson Smith’s work on Lucretius is both well known and highly regarded. However, his 1969 translation of De Rerum Natura–long out of print–is virtually unknown. Readers will share our excitement in the discovery of this accurate and fluent prose rendering.

  • The Black Swan

    A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was.,The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.,Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities.,We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don???t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the ???impossible.???,For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. Now, in this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don???t know. He offers surprisingly simple tricks for dealing with black swans and benefiting from them.,Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications , will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory., is a landmark book ??? itself a black swan.

  • The Swerve

    Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction.,Winner of the 2011 National Book Award for Non-Fiction.,One of the world’s most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.,Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius???a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions.,The copying and translation of this ancient book-the greatest discovery of the greatest book-hunter of his age-fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson. 16 pages full-color illustrations