Surviving the Death Railway: A POW's Memoir and Letters from Home [EPUB]
24 September 2016, 13:45
2016 | EPUB | 38.48MB
The ordeals of the POWs put to slave labour by their Japanese masters on the ‘Burma Railway’ have been well documented yet never cease to shock. It is impossible not to be horrified and moved by their stoic courage in the face of inhuman brutality, appalling hardship and ever-present death.
While Barry Custance Baker was enduring his 1000 days of captivity, his young wife Phyllis was attempting to correspond with him and the families of Barry’s unit. Fortunately these moving letters have been preserved and appear, edited by their daughter Hilary, in this book along with Barry’s graphic memoir written after the War.Surviving the Death Railway’s combination of first-hand account, correspondence and comment provide a unique insight into the long nightmare experienced by those in the Far East and at home.
The result is a powerful and inspiring account of one of the most shameful chapters in the history of mankind which makes for compelling reading.
Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance [EPUB]
24 September 2016, 13:37
2015 | EPUB | 3.01MB
When Mary Anne Lewis met Benjamin Disraeli, she was married to Wyndham Lewis, a rich, mildly successful politician at the center of nineteenth-century British high society. The three became friends and with his deep pockets Wyndham helped Disraeli--young, ambitious, and swimming in debt--get his start in the political arena. Mary Anne even referred to him as her "Parliamentary protégé." But when Wyndham suddenly died of a heart attack, Mary Anne's friendship with Disraeli (fifteen years her junior) soon evolved into a peculiarly romantic and undoubtedly advantageous marriage: Mary Anne avoided life as a widow, while Benjamin used her financial means to stay out of prison and make a run for office.
Anecdotally the Disraelis cultivated an outrageous reputation. Once asked if he had read any new novels, Benjamin reportedly replied, "When I want to read a novel, I write one." Mary Anne, on the other hand, supposedly once told Queen Victoria that she always slept with her arms around her husband's neck. "My wife is a very clever woman," Benjamin said, "but she can never remember who came first, the Greeks or the Romans."
An unusual story of Victorian romance and politics, Mr. and Mrs. Disraeli moves beyond the anecdotes to reveal the interior life of one of Britain's most influential couples. Often eclipsed by Benjamin, Mary Anne had at least as much political acumen as her husband, and this dual biography shows that she was frequently his voice of reason. In the wake of British Romanticism, Daisy Hay examines the paths available to women like Mary Anne, and chronicles a relationship that is surprising, unconventional, and deeply inspiring.
Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening [EPUB]
24 September 2016, 13:33
2016 | EPUB | 1.05MB
An extraordinary memoir about the cutting-edge brain therapy that dramatically changed the life and mind of John Elder Robison, the New York Times bestselling author of Look Me in the Eye
Imagine spending the first forty years of your life in darkness, blind to the emotions and social signals of other people. Then imagine that someone suddenly switches the lights on.
It has long been assumed that people living with autism are born with the diminished ability to read the emotions of others, even as they feel emotion deeply. But what if we’ve been wrong all this time? What if that “missing” emotional insight was there all along, locked away and inaccessible in the mind?
In 2007 John Elder Robison wrote the international bestseller Look Me in the Eye, a memoir about growing up with Asperger’s syndrome. Amid the blaze of publicity that followed, he received a unique invitation: Would John like to take part in a study led by one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists, who would use an experimental new brain therapy known as TMS, or transcranial magnetic stimulation, in an effort to understand and then address the issues at the heart of autism? Switched On is the extraordinary story of what happened next.
Having spent forty years as a social outcast, misreading others’ emotions or missing them completely, John is suddenly able to sense a powerful range of feelings in other people. However, this newfound insight brings unforeseen problems and serious questions. As the emotional ground shifts beneath his feet, John struggles with the very real possibility that choosing to diminish his disability might also mean sacrificing his unique gifts and even some of his closest relationships. Switched On is a real-life Flowers for Algernon, a fascinating and intimate window into what it means to be neurologically different, and what happens when the world as you know it is upended overnight.