In the Garden of Beasts
18 March 2013, 08:24
Crown | 2011 | ISBN: 0307887952 | EPUB | 4.25MB
Erik Larson has been widely acclaimed as a master of narrative non-fiction, and in his new book, the bestselling author of Devil in the White City turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power.
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.
A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.
Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.
A Hedge Fund Tale of Reach and Grasp [Audiobook]
18 March 2013, 05:56
Gildan Media | 2011 | ASIN: B004PAEN5Y | MP3@64 kbps | 12 hrs 02 mins | 329.79MB
A Hedge Fund Tale of Reach and Grasp recounts the ecstasy and the agony of investors in the hubris-filled years of the great secular bull market and the terrors of the financial collapse. It is a story of personal and investment triumph and tragedy in the tradition of An American Tragedy and Bonfire of the Vanities. Though the tale is fiction, it is faithful to the actual market events of the decade of hedge fund madness and the ensuing destruction in the great bear market of 2007–2009 and its aftermath.
In A Hedge Fund Tale of Reach and Grasp, the former top-ranked global strategist for Morgan Stanley, and now a hedge fund manager, expertly weaves fact and fiction to describe how the mysterious world of hedge funds and the people who run them really works. It is the story of how the brilliant but toxic interaction of brains, intensity, raw ambition, hubris, and greed combined with the "perform or perish" creed to fuel the egregious excesses and, eventually, contribute to the bursting of the stock market and financial bubbles. Lifestyles, portfolios, and loves were recklessly leveraged creating stunning excesses, but when the world turned, it wasn't just proud fortunes that were lost; relationships and souls were ravaged as well. There is a compelling, but tragic, love story here about two people who celebrated love as a solution to spiritual isolation. The novel is also an investment chronicle, a tragic saga of how all brilliant performance is transitory and how, unfortunately, there is no stock market strategy that works forever and that too much money can't spoil.
The protagonist is Joe Hill, an authentic American hedge fund success story if there ever was one, who came from nowhere, reached for heaven, and momentarily grasped it. Joe Hill isn't the typical Wall Street whiz kid sporting an Ivy League education. Born on the wrong side of the tracks in rural Virginia, Joe had to work for everything he wanted. And he wanted it all.
A masterful mix of fact and fiction, A Hedge Fund Tale of Reach and Grasp is the inside, rags-to-riches story of one man's American dream that became the world's financial nightmare.
The Secret Life of Dust [Audiobook]
18 March 2013, 05:49
Audible | 2010 | ASIN: B0044X2SZE | MP3@96 kbps | 16 hrs 38 mins | 466.99MB
A mesmerizing expedition around our dusty world.
Some see dust as dull stuff, useless at best, and sneeze-inducing at worst. But in the hands of writer Hannah Holmes, dust becomes a dazzling and mysterious force. As Holmes says, dust is a messenger, and air is its medium. And by the end of this fascinating journey through The Secret Life of Dust, we cannot help but agree.
Humble dust, we discover, built the very planet we walk upon. It tinkers with the weather and it spices the air we breathe. Billions of tons of tiny particles rise into the air annually - the dust of deserts and forgotten kings mixing with volcanic ash, sea salt, leaf fragments, scales from butterfly wings, shreds of T-shirts, and fireplace soot. And eventually, of course, all this dust must settle.
The story of restless dust begins among exploding stars, then treks through the dinosaur beds of the Gobi Desert, digs into Antarctic glaciers - and probes the dark underbelly of the living-room couch. And there is good company on this journey: Holmes gathers for us a delightful, and, by necessity, highly inventive, cast of characters - the scientists who study dust. Some investigate its dark side: how it killed off dinosaurs and how its industrial descendants are killing us today. Others sample the shower of Saharan dust that nourishes Caribbean jungles; still others venture into the microscopic jungle of the bedroom carpet. Like The Secret Life of Dust, all of them unveil the mayhem - and the magic - wrought by little things.
Infinite Progress [Audiobook]
18 March 2013, 05:44
Greenleaf Book Group | 2013 | ASIN: B00BGSDVTC | MP3@96 kbps | 15 hrs 19 mins | 427.46MB
For years we've been inundated with bleak forecasts about the future. But in this electrifying new book, author Byron Reese debunks the pessimistic outlook as dangerous, and shows instead how technology will soon create a dramatically better world for every person on earth, beyond anything we have dared to imagine.
With the art of a storyteller, Reese synthesizes history, technology, and sociology into an exciting, fast-moving narrative that shows how technological change has had dramatic effects on humanity in the past. He then looks forward at the technological changes we know are coming - from genetics, nanotechnology, robotics, and many other fields - and explores how they will vastly increase wealth, prolong our lifespans, redefine human rights, and alter the social fabric of the world. Reese explains how the Internet, human ingenuity, and technological innovation will help us forever end the five historic plagues of human existence: ignorance, disease, poverty, hunger, and war. With a rational and researched optimism, Reese sees the future not as a world in a downward spiral, but as destined for progress beyond our imaginations. As Reese looks forward, he notes that "we are gaining speed, not winding down. We are blooming, not withering, as we leverage the greatest natural resource on the planet: the human mind."
The future of Earth's inhabitants has never been brighter. If you want to get excited about the future, then this is the book for you.