Into the Abyss: The Last Years of the Waffen-SS

Into the Abyss: The Last Years of the Waffen-SS

Into the Abyss: The Last Years of the Waffen-SS, A Photographic History by Ian Baxter
Helion & Company | 2010 | ISBN: 1906033552 | PDF | 104.76MB

"Into the Abyss: The Last Years of the Waffen-SS, A Photographic History" presents a comprehensive record of the elite Waffen-SS divisions that fought both on the Eastern and Western Fronts during the last two years of the war. Drawing on previously unpublished photographs, many of which have come from the albums of SS veterans, it presents a unique visual account of these formations, some elite and some thrown together from barely-trained conscripts. With an accurate in-depth descriptive caption every photograph brings to life the tactics and components that made up a fully-fledged Waffen-SS division.

With over 180 unpublished photographs accompanied by detailed captions and text, "Into the Abyss" presents a captivating glimpse of one of the most well-known and notorious military organisations of the Second World War, focusing on the final 18 months of the conflict.

The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting

The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting

The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen
Creative Publishing | 2012 | ISBN: 1589236084 | EPUB | 80.13MB

Here is the ultimate reference for fitting test garments and transferring accurate adjustments to patterns! No matter what size or shape you are, wearing garments that fit perfectly makes you look and feel better. Rather than making commonly accepted changes to a commercial pattern, the method presented in this guide focuses on the way a test garment fits the body. The fabric is manipulated to improve the fit, and then those specific changes are made to the pattern. The result: patterns that fit perfectly!

With The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting, you'll learn:

  • The importance of a fitting axis and how to use it during a fitting
  • How to recognize fitting issues, such as drag lines and folds
  • How to manipulate fabric to solve common and unusual fitting problems
  • How to transfer the fitting changes to your pattern easily
  • Basic pattern-making skills to ensure accurate alterations

See the fitting process from start to finish on basic garments, fitted on real people. Then follow fitting solutions on different body types. The lessons you learn will help you fit any body.

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain [Audiobook]

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain [Audiobook]

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain [Audiobook] by David Eagleman
Random House Audio | 2011 | ASIN: B0053ET3WO | MP3 + EPUB | 121.43MB

If the conscious mind - the part you consider to be you - is just the tip of the iceberg, what is the rest doing?

In this sparkling and provocative new book, the renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman navigates the depths of the subconscious brain to illuminate surprising mysteries: Why can your foot move halfway to the brake pedal before you become consciously aware of danger ahead? Why do you hear your name being mentioned in a conversation that you didn't think you were listening to? What do Ulysses and the credit crunch have in common? Why did Thomas Edison electrocute an elephant in 1916? Why are people whose names begin with J more likely to marry other people whose names begin with J? Why is it so difficult to keep a secret? And how is it possible to get angry at yourself - who, exactly, is mad at whom?

Taking in brain damage, plane spotting, dating, drugs, beauty, infidelity, synesthesia, criminal law, artificial intelligence, and visual illusions, Incognito is a thrilling subsurface exploration of the mind and all its contradictions.



EPUB

What's a Dog For? [Audiobook]

What's a Dog For? [Audiobook]

What's a Dog For: The Surprising History, Science, Philosophy, and Politics of Man's Best Friend [Audiobook] by John Homans
Gildan Media | 2012 | ASIN: B00AJ3W2OK | MP3@64 kbps | 9 hrs 08 mins | 250.01MB

John Homans adopted his dog, Stella, from a shelter for all the usual reasons: fond memories of dogs from his past, a companion for his son, an excuse for long walks around the neighborhood. Soon enough, she is happily ensconced in the daily workings of his family. And not only that: Stella is treated like a family member—in ways that dogs of his youth were not. Spending humanlike sums on vet bills, questioning her diet and exercise regimens, contemplating her happiness—how had this all come to pass, when the dogs from Homans’s childhood seemed quite content living mostly out in the yard?

In What’s a Dog For?, Homans explores the dog’s complex and prominent place in our world and how it came to be. Evolving from wild animals to working animals to nearly human members of our social fabric, dogs are now the subject of serious scientific studies concerning pet ownership, evolutionary theory, and even cognitive science. From new insights into what makes dogs so appealing to humans to the health benefits associated with owning a dog, Homans investigates why the human-canine relationship has evolved so rapidly—how dogs moved into our families, our homes, and sometimes even our beds in the span of a generation, becoming a $53 billion industry in the United States in the process.

As dogs take their place as coddled family members and their numbers balloon to more than seventy-seven million in the United States alone, it’s no surprise that canine culture at large is also undergoing a massive transformation. They are now subject to many of the same questions of rights and ethics as people, and the politics of dogs are more tumultuous and public than ever— with fierce moral battles raging over kill shelters, puppy mills, and breed standards. Incorporating interviews and research from scientists, activists, breeders, and trainers, What’s a Dog For? investigates how dogs have reached this exalted status and why they hold such fascination for us. With one paw in the animal world and one paw in the human world, it turns out they have much to teach us about love, death, and morality—and ultimately, in their closeness and difference, about what it means to be human.

This Will Make You Smarter [Audiobook]

This Will Make You Smarter [Audiobook]

This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking [Audiobook] by John Brockman
Tantor Audio | 2013 | ASIN: B00BPDDNYG | MP3 + EPUB | 12 hrs 12 mins | 208.55MB

What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit? This is the question John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, posed to the world's most influential thinkers. Their visionary answers flow from the frontiers of psychology, philosophy, economics, physics, sociology, and more. Surprising and enlightening, these insights will revolutionize the way you think about yourself and the world.

This Will Make You Smarter features Daniel Kahneman on the "focusing illusion"; Jonah Lehrer on controlling attention; Richard Dawkins on experimentation; Aubrey De Grey on conquering our fear of the unknown; Martin Seligman on the ingredients of well-being; Nicholas Carr on managing "cognitive load"; Steven Pinker on win-win negotiating; Daniel C. Dennett on benefiting from cycles; Jaron Lanier on resisting delusion; Frank Wilczek on the brain's hidden layers; Clay Shirky on the "80/20 rule"; Daniel Goleman on understanding our connection to the natural world; V. S. Ramachandran on paradigm shifts; Matt Ridley on tapping collective intelligence; John McWhorter on path dependence; Lisa Randall on effective theorizing; Brian Eno on "ecological vision"; Richard Thaler on rooting out false concepts; J. Craig Venter on the multiple possible origins of life; Helen Fisher on temperament; Sam Harris on the flow of thought; and Lawrence Krauss on living with uncertainty.



EPUB

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary by J D Douglas, Merrill C Tenney
Zondervan | 2011 | ISBN: 0310229839 | EPUB | 129.39MB

The Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary provides a visually stimulating journey for anyone interested in learning more about the world of the Bible. Through the articles, sidebars, charts, maps, and full-color images included in this volume, the text of the Old and New Testaments will come alive for you as never before. As a condensation of the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, the information contained within this reference work is solid and biblically sound.

The material is based completely on the NIV and cross-referenced to the King James Version, and it contains over 7,200 entries, 500 full-color photographs, charts, and illustrations, 75 full-color maps, and a Scripture index ... making this wonderful Bible study resource a must-have whether you're a general reader of the Bible, a pastor, or a student.

Pictures from a Drawer: Prison and the Art of Portraiture

Pictures from a Drawer: Prison and the Art of Portraiture

Pictures from a Drawer: Prison and the Art of Portraiture by Bruce Jackson
Temple University Press | 2009 | ISBN: 1592139485 | PDF | 128.78MB

For more than forty years Bruce Jackson has been documenting—in books, photographs, audio recording, and film—inmates’ lives in American prisons. In November, 1975, he acquired a collection of old ID photos while he was visiting the Cummins Unit, a state prison farm in Arkansas. They are published together for the first time in this remarkable book.

The 121 images that appear here were likely taken between 1915 and 1940. As Jackson describes in an absorbing introduction, the function of these photos was not portraiture—their function was to “fold a person into the controlled space of a dossier.” Here, freed from their prison “jackets,” and printed at sizes far larger than their originals, these one-time ID photos have now become portraits. Jackson’s restoration transforms what were small bureaucratic artifacts into moving images of real men and women.

Pictures from a Drawer also contains an extraordinary description of everyday life at Cummins prison in the 1950s, written originally by hand and presented to Jackson in 1973 by its author, a long-time inmate.

Extraordinary Everyday Photography

Extraordinary Everyday Photography

Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are by Brenda Tharp, Jed Manwaring
Amphoto Books | 2012 | ISBN: 081743593X | EPUB | 29.75MB

Get inspired to discover the beautiful images around you.

Photographers are born travelers. They’ll go any distance to capture the right light, beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and people. But exotic locales aren’t necessary for interesting photographs. Wonderful images are hiding almost everywhere; you just need to know how to find them.

Extraordinary Everyday Photography will help you search beyond the surface to find the unexpected wherever you are, be it a downtown street, a local park, or your own front lawn. Authors Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring encourage amateur photographers to slow down, open their eyes, and respond to what they see to create compelling images that aren’t overworked. Through accessible discussions and exercises, readers learn to use composition, available light, color, and point of view to create stunning photographs in any environment. Inspiring photo examples from the authors, taken with DSLRs, compact digital cameras, and even iPhones, show that it is the photographer's eye and creative vision--not the gear--that make a great image.

Mastering Photographic Composition

Mastering Photographic Composition

Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity, and Personal Style by Alain Briot
Rocky Nook | 2009 | ISBN: 1933952229 | EPUB | 23.03MB

Alain Briot states that, "The personality of the photographer must be present in the image for an artistic photograph to have value." And in this book he sets out to teach the things that are essential in achieving this goal.

Following his successful first book, Mastering Landscape Photography, Briot goes beyond the conventional rules of composition and takes on a fresh, new approach to teaching the art of photography. Based upon his personal experiences as an artist, teacher, and photographer, he opens new doors to the reader-doors leading to new ways of seeing and composing images.

Briot approaches fine art photography as being a combination of art and technique. In this new book he addresses both of these by presenting artistic and technical information. On the artistic side, Briot introduces artistic concepts that have been rarely, if ever, associated with photography. On the technical side, he presents numerous tools that can help you learn how to create better photographs and provides technical solutions to common photographic problems.

The author practices photography as a fine art. What matters most to him is how photography can be used to express feelings and emotions. For Briot, a good photograph must be both artistically inspired and technically excellent. To have just one of these two elements is not enough for a fine art photograph to be successful.

Topics include:

  • How to compose with color, with black and white, and with light
  • Why you need to consider your audience while composing a photograph
  • Recreate the emotions you felt when you captured your photographs
  • How the elements of color-hue, contrast, and saturation-work in your images
  • How to control the elements that have a visual effect in your photographs
  • How to draw upon your personal way of seeing and then share your vision
  • How to diagnose image maladies and apply the proper remedies
  • How to define a color palette for a specific photograph
  • How to use compositional elements to develop a personal style

100 Ways To Take Better Landscape Photographs

100 Ways To Take Better Landscape Photographs

100 Ways To Take Better Landscape Photographs by Guy Edwardes
David & Charles | 2005 | ISBN: 0715319930 | EPUB | 28.55MB

100 Ways to Improve Your Landscape Photographs is an easy-reference guide to landscape photography; packed with practical advice and stunning photos this book will help and inspire photographers of all levels. This is a simple and comprehensive trouble-shooting guide to landscape photography. The book is divided into themed sections and features simple explanations of techniques, which will help both beginners and more advanced photographers get the results they want. The thematic sections cover all areas of landscape photography, including coastal, panoramic and seasonal, as well as lighting effects, composition and exposure.

Creative Nature Photography: Essential Tips and Techniques

Creative Nature Photography: Essential Tips and Techniques

Creative Nature Photography: Essential Tips and Techniques by Bill Coster
Greystone Books | 2011 | ISBN: 1553658477 | EPUB | 26.44MB

This beautifully illustrated, inspirational guide to nature photography is packed with practical advice presented in author Bill Coster's informative but accessible writing style. It takes a fresh approach to the subject, breaking it up into chapters on habitats, each of which contains images of specific aspects of the environment, starting with landscapes and moving on to plants and animals. Each photograph demonstrates particular points and approaches, taking into account light conditions, terrain and the general surroundings. Fascinating anecdotes about Coster's experiences in each habitat bring the images to life. Each photograph is accompanied by detailed technical data, as well as information on locations and other issues that need to be tackled in order to achieve the perfect shot. There is also an up-to-date chapter on bird photography basics, including equipment such as cameras and lenses.

Beyond Point-and-Shoot

Beyond Point-and-Shoot

Beyond Point-and-Shoot: Learning to Use a Digital SLR or Interchangeable-Lens Camera by Darrell Young
Rocky Nook | 2012 | ISBN: 1933952954 | EPUB | 18.11MB

There are two types of new photographers: those satisfied with their low-cost point-and-shoot cameras, and those more enthusiastic photographers who recognize the limitations of low-cost equipment and want to improve their pictures. No longer satisfied with simple snapshots, the enthusiast moves up to a more complex digital camera-one with interchangeable lenses and manual controls-to satisfy their artistic urge.

Assuming little to no knowledge of photographic terms, techniques, or technology, Beyond Point-And-Shoot is intended to help smooth the transition from photographic newbie to "real" photographer who is experienced, in-control, and passionate about their craft. Author Darrell Young explores various types of interchangeable-lens cameras, focusing on those with larger imaging sensors, such as digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras.

Learn how to get the most out of your camera's automatic and semi-automatic exposure modes, as well as how to move beyond those modes and take full, manual control of your camera. Watch your photography improve as you discover how to apply important photographic principles, such as depth of field, white balance, and metering. With this new found knowledge you'll move beyond point-and-shoot and begin taking truly great photographs.

Other topics include:

  • Camera types and categories
  • Choosing a camera system: DSLR vs. ILC
  • Lens types, focal length, angle of view, and filters
  • Aperture, shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity
  • Controlling exposure, depth of field, and subject motion
  • Using scene, auto, semi-auto, and manual exposure modes
  • Understanding image formats: JPEG, TIFF, and RAW
  • Using the powerful histogram for better pictures
  • White balance, color space, and RGB bit-depth
  • And much more!

Just One Flash

Just One Flash

Just One Flash: A Practical Approach to Lighting for Digital Photography by Rod Deutschmann, Robin Deutschmann
Amherst Media | 2011 | ISBN: 1608952509 | EPUB | 30.49MB

Filled with tips for producing paramount effects using a single flash, this guide shows amateur and professional photographers how to lighten their gear load and free up their budget. With an in-depth look at equipment and special features, this manual covers essential topics such as shooting in RAW format, manual versus automatic, selecting the right ISO setting, the effect of aperture, using the flash’s zoom feature, changing the angle of the flash, and wireless triggering. Also including creativity-enhancing exercises and approaches, this guide gives examples of creative lighting applications for still life, editorial images, wedding shots, and landscape photos.

Architectural Photography

Architectural Photography

Architectural Photography: Composition, Capture, and Digital Image Processing by Adrian Schulz
Rocky Nook | 2009 | ISBN: 1933952431 | EPUB | 18.82MB

Architectural photography is more than simply choosing a subject and hitting the shutter release; it's more than just documenting a project. With the advent of the digital photographic workflow, architects are increasingly discovering exciting new opportunities to present and market their work.

Adrian Schulz, both an architect and a photographer by training, teaches and illustrates with real world projects how to:

  • Capture outstanding images of buildings, inside and out
  • Choose the right equipment and how to use it effectively
  • Compose architectural shots, and work with ambient and artificial light
  • Process photographs in an efficient workflow based on Adobe Photoshop

This book is a step-by-step guide to architectural photography, both for the aspiring amateur photographer interested in architectural photography, and for the professional photographer wanting to expand his skills in this domain. Moreover, architects themselves will find this book motivating and inspiring.

Japan Style: Architecture Interiors Design

Japan Style: Architecture Interiors Design

Japan Style: Architecture Interiors Design by Geeta Mehta, Kimie Tada, Noboru Murata
Tuttle Publishing | 2005 | ISBN: 0804835926 | PDF | 35.87MB

Enter the world of the stylish Japanese house, where every object in sight is a work of art. Japan Style introduces 20 special residences. With more than 200 color photographs, this book showcases the stunning beauty of old homes, and reveals how they are cared for by their owners.

Traditional Japanese homes, with superbly crafted fine wood, great workmanship and seasonal interior arrangements, have an aesthetic of infinite simplicity. Unlike Japanese inns and historical buildings, the houses featured in this book are private property and are not open to public viewing. Japan Style offers a rare glimpse into the intimate world of the everyday Japanese and fascinating insight into the traditional architecture of Japan.

Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture

Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture

Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture edited by Cyril M Harris
Dover Publications | 1983 | ISBN: 048624444X | EPUB | 207.63MB

This massive compendium by a noted architectural historian contains over 2,000 line drawings, and clear, concise definitions for over 5,000 important terms relating to the architectural achievements of a great variety of world cultures, ancient to modern. Includes cutaway views, close-ups of intricate details, precisely rendered plans for many famed structures.

Five Hundred Buildings of New York

Five Hundred Buildings of New York

Five Hundred Buildings of New York by Bill Harris
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers | 2010 | ISBN: 1579128564 | 57.31MB

Five hundred stunning duotone photographs showcase the finest, most majestic, and interesting examples of architecture in one of the world's most beloved cities.

The greatest buildings, monuments, and structures of New York come to life in these inspiring, neighborhood-by-neighborhood photographic tours. Each building is featured in a rich, fine-resolution duotone photograph. Information including the building's name, its address and location, and year of completion or renovation is included underneath the image. A brief description of each building, which highlights its distinctive features and places it in historical context, is included at the back of the book.

Five Hundred Buildings of Paris

Five Hundred Buildings of Paris

Five Hundred Buildings of Paris by Kathy Borrus
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers | 2010 | ISBN: 1579128580 | EPUB | 51.57MB

Five hundred stunning duotone photographs showcase the finest, most majestic, and interesting examples of architecture in one of the world's most beloved cities.

The greatest buildings, monuments, and structures of Paris come to life in these inspiring, neighborhood-by-neighborhood photographic tours. Each building is featured in a rich, fine-resolution duotone photograph. Information including the building's name, its address and location, and year of completion or renovation is included underneath the image. A brief description of each building, which highlights its distinctive features and places it in historical context, is included at the back of the book.

Pictures Showing What Happens in Gravity's Rainbow

Pictures Showing What Happens in Gravity's Rainbow

Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow by Zak Smith
Tin House Books | 2010 | ISBN: 1935639048 | EPUB | 89.63MB

Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (1973) has been called a modern Finnegans Wake for its challenging language, wild anachronisms, hallucinatory happenings, and fever-dream imagery. With Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow, artist Zak Smith at once eases and expands readers' experience of the twentieth-century classic.

Smith has created more than 750 pages of drawings, paintings, and photos—each derived from a page of Pynchon's novel. Extraordinary tableaux of the detritus of war—a burned-out Konigstiger tank, a melted machine gun—coexist alongside such fantasmagoric Pynchon inventions as the "stumbling bird" and "Grigori the octopus." Smith has said he aimed to be "as literal as possible" in interpreting Gravity's Rainbow, but his images are as imaginative and powerful as the prose they honor.

A 'Gravity's Rainbow' Companion

A Gravity's Rainbow Companion

A "Gravity's Rainbow" Companion: Sources and Contexts for Pynchon's Novel by Steven C Weisenburger
University of Georgia Press | 2006 | ISBN: 0820328111 | EPUB | 1.42MB

Adding some 20 percent to the original content, this is a completely updated edition of Steven Weisenburger's indispensable guide to Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow. Weisenburger takes the reader page by page, often line by line, through the welter of historical references, scientific data, cultural fragments, anthropological research, jokes, and puns around which Pynchon wove his story. Weisenburger fully annotates Pynchon's use of languages ranging from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as 1940s street talk, drug lingo, and military slang as well as the more obscure terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology. The Companion also reveals the underlying organization of Gravity's Rainbow--how the book's myriad references form patterns of meaning and structure that have eluded both admirers and critics of the novel.

The Companion is keyed to the pages of the principal American editions of Gravity's Rainbow: Viking/Penguin (1973), Bantam (1974), and the special, repaginated Penguin paperback (2000) honoring the novel as one of twenty "Great Books of the Twentieth Century."

Vineland

Vineland

Vineland by Thomas Pynchon
Little Brown Book Group | 1990 | ISBN: 0316724440 | EPUB | 383.43KB

In his first novel for 17 years, the author tells the story of a group of Americans living in the 1980s who are still struggling with the consequences of their lives in the 1960s.

I'll admit right off the bat that this is one of my favorite novels. It's packed with more sly nods to American pop-culture of the last 8 decades than Dennis Miller could ever hope to cram into a whole week of Monday Night Football. The prose is cumbersome and labyrinthine, but Pynchon rewards those with the patience to stick it out. If you are willing to work your way through this dizzying journey to the heart of left-wing politics in America, there's a lot to be learned.

Like I said, Pynchon's style is really frustrating at times; clauses hang in places one wouldn't normally find them, long phrases get stuffed in parenthetical asides, and sentences--beautiful though they are--sprawl all over like lines of Whitman or Kerouac. What we lose in ease, though, we make up for in depth. The prose of "Vineland" almost forces you to slow down and savor it, and, given the wealth of historical and cultural moments to which Pynchon either pays subtle homage or deals a slight blow, you NEED to slow down.

This matter of style is directly related to the critique that Pynchon develops, through the course of the novel, of the Woodstock generation. "Vineland" charts the counter-culture's successes and failures in a very fair way, and measures the 1960s against the larger tradition of radical politics in America dating back to the first-half of the twentieth century.

Rather than narrowmindedly berate the hippies for their rejection of traditional moralities (as a whole ugly slew of right-wing critics has done, from Michel Houellebecq to William Bennett and Rush Limbaugh), Pynchon's problems with sixties radicalism revolve around the gut-instinct, spur-of-the-moment flightiness of the era. What was needed, the novel seems to suggest, was more thought and study, less immediate action, and a better understanding of the long term--all of which was total anathema to a generation hell-bent on living for the moment and equally convinced of the revolutionary potential in doing so.

Against this, the advice given to Prairie Wheeler (whose search for her lost mother sends us on this trans-generational and -historical thrill ride) to study the things she doesn't quite get, is good advice for anyone who wants to slog through this book. Pynchon knows a hell of a lot of important stuff and he's not afraid to show it; however, obscure references should not be a reason to discard "Vineland," but rather a reason to open an encyclopedia, to find out more about a sort of hidden history of the left half of the USA.

I've made the whole thing sound very dry and political, but there are other forces at play in "Vineland" that simply can't be categorized or explained: mysterious, Godzilla-like footprints that flatten buildings, for example, or ninja death-touches gone astray. And this is to say nothing of the sheer humor of this book, which is off the charts from the outset, when an aging ex-hippie jumps through a plate-glass window to ensure that his government disability checks don't stop.

If you are interested in where the 1960s got us, where they didn't get us, and what we can learn from it all, or if you just want a demanding but rewarding and humorous read, then this book is a must. -- By Volkswagen Blues

Slow Learner: Early Stories

Slow Learner: Early Stories

Slow Learner: Early Stories by Thomas Pynchon
Back Bay Books | 1985 | ISBN: 0316724432 | EPUB | 143.69KB

Thomas Pynchon's literary career was launched not with the release of his widely acclaimed first novel, "V., " but with the publication in literary magazines of the five stories collected here. In his introduction to "Slow Learner" the author reviews his early work with disarming candor and recalls the American cultural landscape of the early post-Beat era in which the stories were written. "Time" magazine described this introductory essay as "Pynchon's first public gesture toward autobiography."

The Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lot 49

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
Harper Perennial | 2006 | ISBN: 006091307X | EPUB | 186.8KB

The highly original satire about Oedipa Maas, a woman who finds herself enmeshed in a worldwide conspiracy, meets some extremely interesting characters, and attains a not inconsiderable amount of self knowledge.

Conspiracy buffs, look no further than "The Crying of Lot 49" -- a book that indulges in paranoia so much, you almost expect to see your own name mentioned somewhere in the text. There is an incredible amount of narrative inventiveness on every page, employing a wild concoction of dry humor, non sequiturs, bizarre characters with puns for names, and an endless barrage of references to a wide variety of pop culture, science, and technology. This is the first novel I've read that has introduced the concept of entropy as a narrative device.

The protagonist is a woman named Oedipa Maas who, when the novel begins, learns that her former boyfriend, the wealthy Pierce Inverarity, has died and designated her to be the executor of his enormous estate. Inverarity's assets include vast stretches of property, a significant stamp collection, and many shares in an aerospace corporation called Yoyodyne. As Oedipa goes through her late boyfriend's will, aided by a lawyer named Metzger who works for Inverarity's law firm, she learns about a series of secret societies and strange groups of people involved in a sort of renegade postal system called Tristero. She starts seeing ubiquitous cryptic diagrams of a simple horn, a symbol with a seemingly infinite number of meanings. Every clue she uncovers about Tristero and the horn leads haphazardly to another, like a brainstorm, or a free association of ideas.

This is a novel that demands analysis but defies explanation. My initial interpretation was that it's an anarchistic satire of the military-industrial-government complex, but it's deeper than that. Like Vladimir Nabokov's "Pale Fire," it establishes a very complicated relationship between the author and the reader, where Pynchon seems to be tricking the reader in the same way that Oedipa is unsure if she is witnessing a worldwide conspiracy or if she is merely the victim of an elaborate prank. By presenting Oedipa's investigation to be either circular, aimless, or inconsequential, the novel seems to satirize the efforts of people who try to find order in the universe. Pynchon uses the concept of entropy to illustrate that the more effort (physical and mental) we put into controlling the universe, the more random it becomes. -- By A.J.

V. (Perennial Classics)

V. (Perennial Classics)

V. (Perennial Classics) by Thomas Pynchon
Harper Perennial | 2005 | ISBN: 0060930217 | EPUB | 474.57KB

Having just been released from the Navy, Benny Profane is content to lead a slothful existence with his friends, where the only real ambition is to perfect the art of "schlemihlhood," or being a dupe, and where "responsibility" is a dirty word. Among his pals--called the Whole Sick Crew--is Slab, an artist who can't seem to paint anything other than cheese danishes. But Profane's life changes dramatically when he befriends Stencil, an active ambitious young man with an intriguing mission--to find out the identity of a woman named V., who knew Stencil's father during the war, but who suddenly and mysteriously disappeared.

"Filled with wild humor, intentive wordplay and a darkly imaginative power." -- -- Philadelphia Inquirer

"This work may well stand as one of the very best works of the century." -- -- Atlantic Review

"[A] brilliant and turbulent first novel." -- -- George Plimpton, New York Times Book Review

"[L]eaves the imagination spent and the mind reeling." -- -- New York Herald Tribune

The Economist Audio Edition [April 27, 2013]

The Economist Audio Edition [April 27, 2013]

The Economist Audio Edition [April 27, 2013]
English | MP3@48 kbps | 7 hrs 39 min | 159.14MB

The audio edition contains word-for-word recordings of all articles published in The Economist, read by professional broadcasters and actors. It is ideal for anyone who wants to listen to articles while travelling, exercising or just relaxing.

The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by "The Economist Newspaper Ltd" and edited in London. It has been in continuous publication since James Wilson established it in September 1843. As of summer 2007, its average circulation topped 1.2 million copies a week, about half of which are sold in North America. Consequently it is often seen as a transatlantic (as opposed to solely British) news source.

The aim of The Economist is "to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress."Subjects covered include international news, economics, politics, business, finance, science, technology, and the arts. The publication is targeted at the high-end "prestige" segment of the market and counts among its audience influential business and government decision-makers.

It takes a strongly argued editorial stance on many issues, especially its support for free trade and fiscal conservatism; it can thus be considered as a magazine which practises advocacy journalism.

Although The Economist calls itself a newspaper and refers to its staff as correspondents, it is printed in magazine form on glossy paper, like a newsmagazine.