Rectifying the fact that not much is known about Andrea Palladio—beyond the buildings—is Guido Beltramini, the director of the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio in Vicenza. Beltramini has pieced together the story of Palladio's life in a small, novel-size book that only seems to emphasizes its title: The Private Palladio. The title is apt in another way, as Beltramini doesn't just paint a biography of the facts of Palladio's life, but goes into his character, his wealth, his emotions at the death of his son. He imagines what might have been Palladio's first memories: racing water along the Padua riverfront and years of "war and siege" by the Germans, French, and Spanish. And he provides charming details, such as what one man wrote about Palladio: "Poor old Andrea, whatever he earned, he spent it all." Paintings, maps, photos of his homes, and bit of manuscripts further illustrate this life, and the times that he lived in, to provide readers with a fuller picture of one of the world's most influential, and least-biographically known architects. • $36; Lars Müller Publishers, October 2012