The Chieftain: Victorian True Crime

The Chieftain: Victorian True Crime
The Chieftain: Victorian True Crime through the Eyes of a Scotland Yard Detective by Chris Payne
2011 | EPUB | 2.02MB

True crime stories from the early days of the Metropolitan Police Detective Branch capture the essence of Victorian crime.

George Clarke joined the Metropolitan Police in 1841. Though a "slow starter," his career took off when he was transferred to the small team of detectives at Scotland Yard in 1862, where he became known as "The Chieftain." This book paints the most detailed picture yet published of detective work in mid-Victorian Britain, covering "murders most foul," "slums and Society," the emergence of terrorism related to Ireland, and Victorian frauds. One particular fraudster, Harry Benson, was to contribute to the end of Clarke's career and lead to the first major Metropolitan Police corruption trial in 1877.

This fascinating book uses widespread sources of information, including many of Clarke's own case reports.

Germs, Genes, & Civilization [Audiobook]

Germs, Genes, & Civilization [Audiobook]
Germs, Genes, & Civilization: How Epidemics Shaped Who We Are Today [Audiobook] by David P Clark, read by Summer McStravick
2011 | MP3 VBR | 8 hrs 11 mins | 212.53MB

The stunning, hidden interconnections between microbes and humanity.

AD 452: Attila the Hun stands ready to sack Rome. No one can stop him - but he walks away. A miracle? No... dysentery. Microbes saved the Roman Empire. Nearly a millennium later, the microbes of the Black Death ended the Middle Ages, making possible the Renaissance, Western democracy, and the scientific revolution. Soon after, microbes ravaged the Americas, paving the way for their European conquest.

Again and again, microbes have shaped our health, our genetics, our history, our culture, our politics, even our religion and ethics. This book reveals much that scientists and cultural historians have learned about the pervasive interconnections between infectious microbes and humans. It also considers what our ongoing fundamental relationship with infectious microbes might mean for the future of the human species.

A Physicist's Guide to Skepticism

A Physicist's Guide to Skepticism
A Physicist's Guide to Skepticism: Applying Laws of Physics to Faster-Than-Light Travel, Psychic Phenomena, Telepathy, Time Travel, UFOs, and Other Pseudoscientific Claims by Milton A Rothman
1988 | EPUB + MOBI | 869.4KB/1.02MB

The laws of physics provide clear-cut principles defining what is possible - and not possible - in the physical world. This book examines and critiques many widely held pseudoscientific beliefs in light of these laws. Rather than treating supernatural claims on a case-by-case basis, Milton Rothman uses the general principles supplied by physics to show why they are, in fact, impossible.

Rothman divides the laws of physics into two classes: laws of permission and laws of denial. Laws of permission, such as Newton's laws of motion, generally do not allow precise predictions except in the simplest cases. Laws of denial, such as conservation of energy, permit very accurate conclusions about what cannot possibly occur.

He uses these concepts to examine and critique the possible existence of various paranormal phenomena, such as UFOs, telepathy, perpetual motion machines, poltergeists, etc. He also discusses a number of concepts traditional to science fiction: anti-gravity, faster-than-light travel, time travel, etc., which are shown to be impossible when subject to rigorous examination.

Written in a technically accurate yet entertaining style, this book will appeal to the non-specialist yet still present concepts of interest to both professional scientists and philosophers of science.

Flight of Passage: A Memoir [Audiobook]

Flight of Passage: A Memoir [Audiobook]
Flight of Passage: A Memoir [Audiobook] by Rinker Buck
1999 | MP3@128 kbps | ~6 hrs | 330.81MB

In the summer of 1966, Rinker and Kernahan Buck - 2 teenaged schoolboys from New Jersey - bought a dilapidated Piper Club airplane for $300, rebuild it, and piloted it on a record-breaking flight across America - navigating all the way to California without a radio because they couldn't afford one. Their trip retraced a mythical route flown by their father, Tom Buck, a brash, colorful ex-barnstormer who had lost a leg in a tragic plane crash before his sons were born - but who so loved the adventure of flight that he taught his boys to fly before they could drive.

The journey west, and the preparations for it, become a figurative and literal process of discovery as the young men battle thunderstorms and wracking turbulence, encounter Arkansas rednecks, Texas cowboys, and the languid, romantic culture of small-town cafés, cheap motels, and dusty landing strips of pre-Vietnam America. The brothers have a lot to resolve among themselves too - as Kern, the shy, meticulous, dedicated dreamer, and Rinker, the rebellious second son, must finally come to understand and depend on each other in the complex way that only brothers can.

Most of all, Flight of Passage is a timeless story of fathers and sons. These 2 young men must separate from their difficult, quirky father - literally by putting a country's distance between them - but they do it on their father's terms: in an airplane. As he looks back, from the perspective of now being a father himself, Rinker Buck's tale of 2 young men in search of themselves and their country becomes a story about the eternal enigma of family - of the distance and closeness of generations, of peace lost so that understanding can be gained - and it is explored with a storytelling power that is both brave and rare.

AMA Business Boot Camp [Audiobook]

AMA Business Boot Camp [Audiobook]
AMA Business Boot Camp: Management and Leadership Fundamentals That Will See You Successfully Through Your Career [Audiobook] edited and read by Edward T Reilly
2013 | MP3@64 kbps | 6 hrs 13 mins | 171.2MB

The preeminent provider of business education worldwide, the American Management Association trains over 100,000 managers and executives a year through its renowned management education seminar programs and conferences. Now, for the first time, the fundamental skills taught by this elite leadership and management institution have been collected in one easy-to-digest volume.

Giving you an overview of exactly what the AMA considers to be the most important and powerful competencies for today's serious business professional, AMA Business Boot Camp supplies you with the building blocks of knowledge you need to succeed as a manager and leader. You'll learn how to:

  • Communicate with purpose
  • Motivate your people, increase morale, and enhance productivity
  • Coach to boost performance
  • Improve your ability to influence others
  • Manage organizational change
  • Plan and execute projects
  • Think strategically
  • Manage staff changes
  • Conduct effective performance reviews
  • Screen, evaluate, and select corporate strategies
  • Understand your organization's operational vision...and make that vision a reality
  • Leverage your own leadership style
  • Build power and influence...and use them wisely

Filled with easy-to-apply techniques and tangible strategies, the book contains action tips to solidify learning, as well as valuable tools such as a coaching planning worksheet, a project management planning template, and a self-assessment to help determine your comfort level with delegation.

Throughout your career in business, you will have to navigate the waters of organizational politics. You will have to build relationships with difficult people. You will need to keep a tight focus on your mission, inspire and direct different groups of people, sell your projects to others, and come up with great ideas to save the day.

The Economist Audio Edition [September 21, 2013]

The Economist Audio Edition [September 21, 2013]
The Economist Audio Edition [September 21, 2013]
English | MP3@48 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 152.41MB

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.

Dissident Gardens: A Novel [Audiobook]

Dissident Gardens: A Novel [Audiobook]
Dissident Gardens: A Novel [Audiobook] by Jonathan Lethem, read by Mark Bramhall
2013 | MP3@32 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 16 hrs 24 mins | 225.28MB

A dazzling novel from one of our finest writers—an epic yet intimate family saga about three generations of all-American radicals.

At the center of Jonathan Lethem’s superb new novel stand two extraordinary women: Rose Zimmer, the aptly nicknamed Red Queen of Sunnyside, Queens, is an unreconstructed Communist who savages neighbors, family, and political comrades with the ferocity of her personality and the absolutism of her beliefs. Her precocious and willful daughter, Miriam, equally passionate in her activism, flees Rose’s influence to embrace the dawning counterculture of Greenwich Village.

These women cast spells over the men in their lives: Rose’s aristocratic German Jewish husband, Albert; her cousin, the feckless chess hustler Lenny Angrush; Cicero Lookins, the brilliant son of her black cop lover; Miriam’s (slightly fraudulent) Irish folksinging husband, Tommy Gogan; their bewildered son, Sergius. Flawed and idealistic, Lethem’s characters struggle to inhabit the utopian dream in an America where radicalism is viewed with bemusement, hostility, or indifference.

As the decades pass—from the parlor communism of the ’30s, McCarthyism, the civil rights movement, ragged ’70s communes, the romanticization of the Sandinistas, up to the Occupy movement of the moment—we come to understand through Lethem’s extraordinarily vivid storytelling that the personal may be political, but the political, even more so, is personal.

Lethem’s characters may pursue their fates within History with a capital H, but his novel is—at its mesmerizing, beating heart—about love.

A Tale for the Time Being [Audiobook]

A Tale for the Time Being [Audiobook]
A Tale for the Time Being [Audiobook] by Ruth Ozeki
2013 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 14 hrs 48 mins | 404.58MB

A brilliant, unforgettable novel from bestselling author Ruth Ozeki—shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

Full of Ozeki’s signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock [Audiobook]

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock [Audiobook]
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock [Audiobook] by Matthew Quick, read by Noah Galvin
2013 | MP3@32 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 6 hrs 19 mins | 86.93MB
In addition to the P-38, there are four gifts, one for each of my friends. I want to say good-bye to them properly. I want to give them each something to remember me by. To let them know I really cared about them and I'm sorry I couldn't be more than I was--that I couldn't stick around--and that what's going to happen today isn't their fault.

Today is Leonard Peacock's birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather's P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart--obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school's class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting book, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made--and the light in us all that never goes out.

Fugue for a Darkening Island

Fugue for a Darkening Island
Fugue for a Darkening Island by Christopher Priest
2011 | EPUB + MOBI | 137.98/234.48KB

Survivors of a terrible African war flee their blighted continent, and look for refuge in the countries of the West. But Britain is falling into civil war and anarchy. One of Christopher Priest's earliest novels, FUGUE FOR A DARKENING ISLAND is a powerful work whose subject matter has become increasingly relevant in recent years.

A snapshot of Britain in the 1970s - the same yet terrifying different. What the author describes is always happening somewhere in the world, but not in Britain - it's far too old, too stable. We're safe here. Not in Chris Priest's imagination. Oh no.

Essentially, the author chronicles the desparate and frightened attempts of a family to survive in a barbaric civil war in south-east England. He tells you all you need to know - the grim realities - and not much more.The fractured style of the writing, quite unlike anything I've ever seen before, reflects the shattered lives of the protagonists.

It's unavoidable that the book seems a little dated, but it's nevertheless a gem of a work. Short, sparing - no fat on this one - and disturbing. Seeming to me almost like a work of poetry in its own way.If you see a copy don't miss the opportunity. - By C. Brockwell

The Separation

The Separation
The Separation by Christopher Priest
2011 | EPUB | 326.13KB

The Separation is the story of twin brothers, rowers in the 1936 Olympics (where they met Hess, Hitler's deputy); one joins the RAF, and captains a Wellington; he is shot down after a bombing raid on Hamburg and becomes Churchill's aide-de-camp; his twin brother, a pacifist, works with the Red Cross, rescuing bombing victims in London. But this is not a straightforward story of the Second World War: this is an alternate history: the two brothers - both called J.L. Sawyer - live their lives in alternate versions of reality. In one, the Second World War ends as we imagine it did; in the other, thanks to efforts of an eminent team of negotiators headed by Hess, the war ends in 1941.

The Separation is an emotionally riveting story of how the small man can make a difference; it's a savage critique of Winston Churchill, the man credited as the saviour of Britain and the Western World, and it's a story of how one perceives and shapes the past.

The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry: From Ancient to Contemporary

>The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry: From Ancient to Contemporary
The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry: From Ancient to Contemporary, The Full 3000-Year Tradition edited by Tony Barnstone, Chou Ping
2005 | EPUB | 2.46MB

Unmatched in scope and literary quality, The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry spans three thousand years, bringing together more than six hundred poems by more than one hundred thirty poets, in translations–many new and exclusive to the book–by an array of distinguished translators.

Here is the grand sweep of Chinese poetry, from the Book of Songs–ancient folk songs said to have been collected by Confucius himself–and Laozi’s Dao De Jing to the vividly pictorial verse of Wang Wei, the romanticism of Li Po, the technical brilliance of Tu Fu, and all the way up to the twentieth-century poetry of Mao Zedong and the post—Cultural Revolution verse of the Misty poets. Encompassing the spiritual, philosophical, political, mystical, and erotic strains that have emerged over millennia, this broadly representative selection also includes a preface on the art of translation, a general introduction to Chinese poetic form, biographical headnotes for each of the poets, and concise essays on the dynasties that structure the book. A landmark anthology, The Anchor Book of Chinese Poetry captures with impressive range and depth the essence of China’s illustrious poetic tradition.

Rage Is Back: A Novel [Audiobook]

Rage Is Back: A Novel [Audiobook]
Rage Is Back: A Novel [Audiobook] by Adam Mansbach, read by Danny Hoch
2013 | MP3@32 kbps | 9 hrs 25 mins | 129.64MB

A fearless novel about the price of revenge from the number one New York Times best-selling author of Go the F*** to Sleep.

Adam Mansbach returns with a blockbuster tale of revenge, redemption, and the world’s most beautiful crime. Dondi Vance is the son of two famous graffiti artists from New York City’s “golden era” of subway bombing. Recently kicked out of his prestigious prep school for selling weed—and his mother’s Brooklyn apartment for losing his scholarship— he’s couch-surfing his way through life, compulsively immune to rumors that his long-lost father, Billy Rage, has returned after sixteen years on the lam.

But Dondi’s old man really is back—what’s left of him, that is. A wizened shell of his former self, Billy is still reeling from a psychic attack by an angry sha-man in the Amazon basin when Dondi finds him at the top of a pseudo-magical staircase in DUMBO. The uneasy reunion comes just in time: Anastacio Bracken, the transit cop who ruined Billy’s life and shattered his crew back in 1987, is running for mayor. Only by rallying the forgotten writers of the eighties for an epic, game-changing mission can Billy and Dondi bring Bracken down.

In this mind-bending journey through a subterranean world of epic heroes, villains, and eccentrics, Adam Mansbach balances an intricately plot­ted, high-stakes caper with a wildly inventive tale of time travel and shamanism, prodigal fathers and sons, and the hilariously intertwined realms of art, crime, and spirituality. Moving throughout New York City’s unseen com­munities, from the tunnel camps of the Mole People to the drug dens of Crown Heights, Rage Is Back is a kaleidoscopic tour de force from a writer at the top of his game.

Nine Inches: Stories

Nine Inches: Stories
Nine Inches: Stories by Tom Perrotta
2013 | EPUB | 394.14KB

Nine Inches, Tom Perrotta’s first true collection, features ten stories—some sharp and funny, some mordant and surprising, and a few intense and disturbing. Whether he’s dropping into the lives of two teachers—and their love lost and found—in “Nine Inches”, documenting the unraveling of a dad at a Little League game in “The Smile on Happy Chang’s Face”, or gently marking the points of connection between an old woman and a benched high school football player in “Senior Season”, Perrotta writes with a sure sense of his characters and their secret longings.

Nine Inches contains an elegant collection of short fiction: stories that are as assured in their depictions of characters young and old, established and unsure, as any written today.

The Complete Short Stories of Saki

The Complete Short Stories of Saki
The Complete Short Stories of Saki by H H Munro
2000 | EPUB | 2.15MB

Hector Hugh Munro (1870-1916) was a British writer, whose witty works satirizing Edwardian society and culture led him to be known as a master of the short story. Munro, better recognized by the pen name Saki, produced works that contrasted the conventions and hypocrisies of Edwardian England with the uncomplicated and sometimes cruel state of nature, a conflict which the latter usually won. This complete edition of short stories will entertain readers with its wonderfully intricate characters, rich political satire and fine narrative style.

The book begins with Saki's first works, the "Reginald" stories, a small series of vignettes centered around the societal and cynical young Reginald. Also included are Saki's later and more popular story collections: "Reginald in Russia," the somewhat macabre tales of "The Chronicles of Clovis," Saki's best known "Beasts and Super-Beasts," "The Toys of Peace," and "The Square Egg."

The Pumpkin Eater

The Pumpkin Eater
The Pumpkin Eater by Penelope Mortimer
2011 | EPUB | 278.15KB

To describe this finely constructed and moving novel as the story of a woman's emotional breakdown and recovery is both true and inadequate. The Pumpkin Eater is a rare, profoundly disturbing book, the kind that perceptive readers must wish would never end. It is also a gratifying book in its revelation of a tragic woman painfully trying to find her way in a world where she has lost touch with reality. Readers learn a great deal about the "I" of the story--a great deal more than she knows about herself--an the fascinating portrait that soon emerges is a masterful creation of one of the most gifted novelists writing today.

The "I" of The Pumpkin Eater never reveals her name, or the number of children she has. There seems to be an uncounted horde, a chorus innocently unaware of the tragedy in which they are all involved. She has been married three times in the past in a sort of Golden Age, a happy era without money and without cares. But now she is married to a successful film writer, and reality with its disillusions and compromises is closing in.

It is through a number of apparently unrelated scenes, many presented out of time sequence but with an intense logic all their own. and each so beautifully selected and so carefully juxtaposed, that the pattern of this brilliant novel becomes clear.

The means by which she is forced to accept the world and to deal with evil are harsh, but point by telling point she relates a story that the reader lives with her. Her absolute honesty, her tough humour, and her utter lack of self-pit, make a most forceful and appealing woman. "Some of these things happened," she says, looking back across the golden years, "and some were dreams. They are all true, as I understood truth. They are all real, as I understood reality."

The Pumpkin Eater, like all of Penelope Mortimer's extraordinary fiction, is written with the deft wit and intelligence that have earned her wide critical acclaim in both America and England. Her sometime s savage style, her unerring ability to touch our guilts and fears, and her penetrating, perfectly controlled style were never more marvellously employed than in this superb book.

Go the F**k to Sleep

Go the F**k to Sleep
Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
2011 | EPUB | 9.2MB

Go the F*** to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don't always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach's verses perfectly capture the familiar--and unspoken--tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations, and laugh at their absurdity.

With illustrations by Ricardo Cortes, Go the F*** to Sleep is beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny--a book for parents new, old, and expectant. You probably should not read it to your children.

Alias Grace [Audiobook]

Alias Grace [Audiobook]
Alias Grace [Audiobook] by Margaret Atwood, read by Shelley Thompson
1996 | MP3@64 kbps | 15 hrs 56 mins | 438.3MB

In Alias Grace, bestselling author Margaret Atwood has written her most captivating, disturbing, and ultimately satisfying work since The Handmaid's Tale. She takes us back in time and into the life of one of the most enigmatic and notorious women of the nineteenth century.

In 1843, a 16-year-old Canadian housemaid named Grace Marks was tried for the murder of her employer and his mistress. The sensationalistic trial made headlines throughout the world, and the jury delivered a guilty verdict. Yet opinion remained fiercely divided about Marks--was she a spurned woman who had taken out her rage on two innocent victims, or was she an unwilling victim herself, caught up in a crime she was too young to understand? Such doubts persuaded the judges to commute her sentence to life imprisonment, and Marks spent the next 30 years in an assortment of jails and asylums, where she was often exhibited as a star attraction.

In Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood reconstructs Marks's story in fictional form. Her portraits of 19th-century prison and asylum life are chilling in their detail. The author also introduces Dr. Simon Jordan, who listens to the prisoner's tale with a mixture of sympathy and disbelief. In his effort to uncover the truth, Jordan uses the tools of the then rudimentary science of psychology. But the last word belongs to the book's narrator--Grace herself.

Surfacing [Audiobook]

Surfacing [Audiobook]
Surfacing [Audiobook] by Margaret Atwood, read by Laurel Lefkow
2008 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 6 hrs 49 mins | 188.07MB

A young woman returns to northern Quebec to the remote island of her childhood, with her lover and her two friends, to investigate the mysterious disappearance of her father. Flooded with memories, she begins to realise that going home means entering not only another place, butt another time. As the wild island exerts its elemental hold and she is submerged in the language of the wilderness, she sees that what she is really looking for is her own past.

Part detective novel, part psychological thriller, Surfacing is the story of a talented woman artist who goes in search of her missing father on a remote island in northern Quebec. Setting out with her lover and another young couple, she soon finds herself captivated by the isolated setting, where a marriage begins to fall apart, violence and death lurk just beneath the surface, and sex becomes a catalyst for conflict and dangerous choices.

Surfacing is a work permeated with an aura of suspense, complex with layered meanings, and written in brilliant, diamond-sharp prose. Here is a rich mine of ideas from an extraordinary writer about contemporary life and nature, families and marriage, and about women fragmented...and becoming whole.

Lady Oracle [Audiobook]

Lady Oracle [Audiobook]
Lady Oracle [Audiobook] by Margaret Atwood, read by Lorelei King
2009 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 11 hrs 12 mins | 232.54MB

From fat girl to thin, from red hair to mud brown, from London to Toronto, from Polish count to radical husband, from writer of romances to distinguished poet - Joan Foster is utterly confused by her life of multiple identiities. She decides to escape to an Italain hill town to take stock of her life. But first, she must organise her own death...

"I planned my death carefully; unlike my life, which meandered along from one thing to another, despite my feeble attempts to control it. My life had a tendency to spread, get flabby, to scroll and festoon life the frame of a baroque mirror, which came from following the line of least resistance. I wanted my death, by contrast, to be neat and simple, understated, even a little severe, like a Quaker church or the basic black dress with a single strand of pearls..."

In this remarkable, poetic, and magical novel, Margaret Atwood proves yet again why she is considered to be one of the most important and accomplished writers of our time.

The Robber Bride [Audiobook]

The Robber Bride [Audiobook]
The Robber Bride [Audiobook] by Margaret Atwood, read by Blythe Danner
1993 | MP3@40 kbps + EPUB | 4 hrs 30 mins | 77.48MB

Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride is inspired by "The Robber Bridegroom," a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends, Tony, Charis, and Roz. All three "have lost men, spirit, money, and time to their old college acquaintance, Zenia. At various times, and in various emotional disguises, Zenia has insinuated her way into their lives and practically demolished them.

To Tony, who almost lost her husband and jeopardized her academic career, Zenia is 'a lurking enemy commando.' To Roz, who did lose her husband and almost her magazine, Zenia is 'a cold and treacherous bitch.' To Charis, who lost a boyfriend, quarts of vegetable juice and some pet chickens, Zenia is a kind of zombie, maybe 'soulless'" (Lorrie Moore, New York Times Book Review). In love and war, illusion and deceit, Zenia's subterranean malevolence takes us deep into her enemies' pasts.

Fiction Writing Demystified [Audiobook]

Fiction Writing Demystified [Audiobook]
Fiction Writing Demystified: Techniques That Will Make You a More Successful Writer [Audiobook] by Thomas B Sawyer, read by Jeffrey Thibeault
2012 | MP3@128 kbps | 7 hrs 25 mins | 408.62MB

Full of expert, effective advice from a producer and professional writer for 15 network television series, this book offers pragmatic techniques for constructing a compelling story and developing rich characters and extraordinary dialogue. In clear and concise language, this lively guide explains that the same methods used in the high-pressure world of writing for television can be applied to fiction storytelling in all its forms, from poetry, short stories, and novels to memoirs, stage plays, and movie scripts. Included is advice on such writing elements as building a story, constructing action sequences, creating memorable characters, developing scene structure, and avoiding cliché dialogue. Also covered are problem-solving strategies for polishing the final product.

The Ethical Slut [Second Edition]

The Ethical Slut [Second Edition]
The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures by Dossie Easton, Janet W Hardy
2009 | PDF | 6.91MB

The essential guide for singles and couples who want to explore polyamory in ways that are ethically and emotionally sustainable.

For anyone who has ever dreamed of love, sex, and companionship beyond the limits of traditional monogamy, this groundbreaking guide navigates the infinite possibilities that open relationships can offer. Experienced ethical sluts Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy dispel myths and cover all the skills necessary to maintain a successful and responsible polyamorous lifestyle--from self-reflection and honest communication to practicing safe sex and raising a family. Individuals and their partners will learn how to discuss and honor boundaries, resolve conflicts, and to define relationships on their own terms.

The Witness Wore Red [Audiobook]

The Witness Wore Red [Audiobook]
The Witness Wore Red: The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice [Audiobook] by Rebecca Musser
2013 | M4B | 14 hrs 10 mins | 242.95MB

Rebecca Musser grew up in fear, concealing her family's polygamous lifestyle from the "dangerous" outside world. Covered head-to-toe in strict, modest clothing, she received a rigorous education at Alta Academy, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' school headed by Warren Jeffs. Always seeking to be an obedient Priesthood girl, in her teens she became the nineteenth wife of her people's prophet: 85-year-old Rulon Jeffs, Warren's father. Finally sickened by the abuse she suffered and saw around her, she pulled off a daring escape and sought to build a new life and family.

The church, however, had a way of pulling her back in-and by 2007, Rebecca had no choice but to take the witness stand against the new prophet of the FLDS in order to protect her little sisters and other young girls from being forced to marry at shockingly young ages. The following year, Rebecca and the rest of the world watched as a team of Texas Rangers raided the Yearning for Zion Ranch, a stronghold of the FLDS. Rebecca's subsequent testimony would reveal the horrific secrets taking place behind closed doors of the temple, sending their leaders to prison for years, and Warren Jeffs for life.

THE WITNESS WORE RED is a gripping account of one woman's struggle to escape the perverse embrace of religious fanaticism and sexual slavery, and a courageous story of hope and transformation.

The Shape of a City

The Shape of a City
The Shape of a City by Julien Gracq
2005 | EPUB | 1.53MB

Julien Gracq, the most important writer in France, is also the only living writer whose complete works appear in a volume of the prestigious Pleiades editions. The most original of his later works is this book about Nantes, which is Gracq’s personal and profound response to Proust’s synthesis of memory, reverie, and realism.

The work begins with a quote from Baudelaire: “The shape of a city, as we all know, changes more quickly than the mortal heart.” The author writes of a child’s experience of the hierarchy of urban spaces: the radial avenues walked during school recreation periods, the districts between the axes, and the relationship to Nantes of those who lived there, including Breton and Rimbaud.

The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood

The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood
The Unwanted: A Memoir of Childhood by Kien Nguyen
2002 | EPUB | 357.66KB

This is a powerful, compelling memoir of an Amerasian boy's experience in Communist Vietnam from 1975, when the United States troops pulled out, until his family's migration to the United States in 1985. The illegitimate son of an American G.I. and a wealthy Vietnamese woman, Nguyen is now a dentist in New York City.

Initially, he wrote this book as a kind of personal catharsis, but he decided to publish it as a memorial to the thousands of Amerasians who have suffered and died. His story, which recalls The Killing Fields, recounts a descent from wealth and comfort into the horrors of Communist rule. In painful detail, he writes of poverty, suffering, and torture, much of it inflicted on him precisely because of his Amerasian roots. Ultimately, his tale is one of extraordinary courage and human will, for Nguyen and his mother held their family together in the face of great hardships. Beautifully written and inspirational, this memoir is highly recommended.

The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century

The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century
The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross
2008 | EPUB | 766.24KB

In this sweeping and dramatic narrative, Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, weaves together the histories of the twentieth century and its music, from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties; from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies up to the present. Taking readers into the labyrinth of modern style, Ross draws revelatory connections between the century's most influential composers and the wider culture. The Rest Is Noise is an astonishing history of the twentieth century as told through its music.

JFK's Last Hundred Days [Audiobook]

JFK's Last Hundred Days [Audiobook]
JFK's Last Hundred Days: The Transformation of a Man and the Emergence of a Great President [Audiobook] by Thurston Clarke, read by Malcolm Hillgartner
2013 | MP3@96 kbps | 14 hrs 48 mins | 612.93MB

A revelatory, minute-by-minute account of JFK’s last hundred days that asks what might have been.

Fifty years after his death, President John F. Kennedy’s legend endures. Noted author and historian Thurston Clarke argues that the heart of that legend is what might have been. As we approach the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination, JFK’s Last Hundred Days reexamines the last months of the president’s life to show a man in the midst of great change, finally on the cusp of making good on his extraordinary promise.

Kennedy’s last hundred days began just after the death of two-day-old Patrick Kennedy, and during this time, the president made strides in the Cold War, civil rights, Vietnam, and his personal life. While Jackie was recuperating, the premature infant and his father were flown to Boston for Patrick’s treatment. Kennedy was holding his son’s hand when Patrick died on August 9, 1963. The loss of his son convinced Kennedy to work harder as a husband and father, and there is ample evidence that he suspended his notorious philandering during these last months of his life.

Also in these months Kennedy finally came to view civil rights as a moral as well as a political issue, and after the March on Washington, he appreciated the power of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., for the first time.

Though he is often depicted as a devout cold warrior, Kennedy pushed through his proudest legislative achievement in this period, the Limited Test Ban Treaty. This success, combined with his warming relations with Nikita Khrushchev in the wake of the Cuban missile crisis, led to a détente that British foreign secretary Sir Alec Douglas- Home hailed as the “beginning of the end of the Cold War.”

Throughout his presidency, Kennedy challenged demands from his advisers and the Pentagon to escalate America’s involvement in Vietnam. Kennedy began a reappraisal in the last hundred days that would have led to the withdrawal of all sixteen thousand U.S. military advisers by 1965.

JFK’s Last Hundred Days is a gripping account that weaves together Kennedy’s public and private lives, explains why the grief following his assassination has endured so long, and solves the most tantalizing Kennedy mystery of all—not who killed him but who he was when he was killed, and where he would have led us.

The Secret Listeners [Audiobook]

The Secret Listeners [Audiobook]
The Secret Listeners: How the Y Service Intercepted the German Codes for Bletchley Park [Audiobook] by Sinclair McKay
2012 | M4A | 12 hrs 32 mins | 467.23MB

Behind the celebrated code-breaking at Bletchley Park lies another secret. Before the German war machine’s messages could be decoded – turning the course of the war in a campaign like the Desert War – thousands more young men and women had to locate and monitor endless streams of radio traffic around the clock, and transcribe its Morse code with a speed few have ever managed since.

They were part of the “Y”- (for “Wireless”) Service: the Listening Service – an organisation just as secret as Bletchley Park during the war, but nowadays still little-known and unrecognised. Without it, however, the Allies would have known nothing of the enemy’s military intentions. Now, in the follow-up to his Sunday Times-bestselling The Secret Life of Bletchley Park, through dozens of interviews with surviving veterans, Sinclair McKay chronicles the history and achievements of this remarkable group of people.

Whereas Bletchley Park was a claustrophobically close community crammed into a single Buckinghamshire mansion, the Listening Service went wherever the war went – which was all over the world. Its listeners might be posted to bustling Cairo to listen in to Rommel’s Eighth Army, or Casablanca in Morocco, or Karachi for the Burma campaign, or in one case even the idyllic Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean to monitor Japan – or they might be sent to congenial Scarborough or Douglas in the Isle of Man to listen in to German submarines.

To men and women often hardly out of school such exotic postings were life-changing adventures – even the journey out could be an epic voyage of troopships, flying boats and Indian railways – and the challenges not merely arduous night shifts of 12 hours of dizzying concentration, but heat so intense the perspiration ran into your shoes, or snakes in the filing cabinets. In all of them it bred self-reliance and broad horizons rare to their generation, while many found lifelong romance in their far-flung corner of the world. Now the hidden story of the Y-Service and its vital contribution to the war effort can be told at last.

The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War

The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War
The Love-charm of Bombs: Restless Lives in the Second World War by Lara Feigel
2013 | EPUB | 5.13MB
'The nightly routine of sirens, barrage, the probing raider, the unmistakable engine ("Where are you? Where are you? Where are you?"), the bomb-bursts moving nearer and then moving away, hold one like a love-charm' - Graham Greene

When the first bombs fell on London in August 1940, the city was transformed overnight into a battlefront. For most Londoners, the sirens, guns, planes and bombs heralded gruelling nights of sleeplessness, fear and loss. But for Graham Greene and some of his contemporaries, this was a bizarrely euphoric time when London became the setting for intense love affairs and surreal beauty. At the height of the Blitz, Greene described the bomb-bursts as holding one 'like a love-charm'. As the sky whistled and the ground shook, nerves were tested, loyalties examined and infidelities begun.

The Love-charm of Bombs is a powerful wartime chronicle told through the eyes of five prominent writers: Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, Rose Macaulay, Hilde Spiel and Henry Yorke (writing as Henry Green). Volunteering as ambulance drivers, fire-fighters and ARP wardens, these were the successors to the soldier poets of the First World War and their story has never been told. Now, opening with a meticulous evocation of a single night in September 1940, Lara Feigel brilliantly and beautifully interweaves letters, diaries and fiction with official civil defence records to chart the history of a burning world in wartime London and post-war Vienna and Berlin. She reveals the haunting, ecstatic, often wrenching stories that triumphed amid the mess of a war-torn world.

Great Escapes

Great Escapes
Great Escapes by Terry Treadwell
2008 | EPUB | 665.24KB

For most prisoners of war, life was nothing like such films as The Great Escape, but for a few brave escapees, fact was more extraordinary than fiction. Using personal accounts, authentic reports from German guards, and debrief documents in the National Archives, this is the true story of the many exciting escape attempts from POW camps during the Second World War. Some were successful, others not, but in each case the inspired methods devised and executed by the prisoners show bravery and ingenuity on a greater scale than any film. With incredible stories such as the "Wooden Horse," the "French Tunnel," and the "Colditz Ghost,” this ground-breaking book tells the stories of some of the bravest men in history.

A Disease in the Public Mind [Audiobook]

A Disease in the Public Mind [Audiobook]
A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War [Audiobook] by Thomas Fleming, read by William Hughes
2013 | MP3@96 kbps | 11 hrs 42 mins | 489.45MB

By the time his body hung from the gallows for his crimes at Harper's Ferry, abolitionists had made John Brown a ''holy martyr'' in the fight against Southern slave owners. But Northern hatred for Southerners had been long in the making. Northern rage was born of the conviction that New England, whose spokesmen and militia had begun the American Revolution, should have been the leader of the new nation. Instead, they had been displaced by Southern ''slavocrats'' like Thomas Jefferson. And Northern envy only exacerbated the South's greatest fear: race war. In the sixty years preceding the outbreak of civil war, Northern and Southern fanatics ramped up the struggle over slavery. By the time they had become intractable enemies, only the tragedy of a bloody civil war could save the Union.

In this riveting and character-driven history, one of America's most respected historians traces the ''disease in the public mind'' -distortions of reality that seized large numbers of Americans - in the decades-long run-up to the Civil War.

The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers [Audiobook]

The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers [Audiobook]
The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers [Audiobook] by Thomas Fleming, read by Arthur Morey
2010 | MP3 VBR | 17 hrs 42 mins | 421.4MB

With his usual storytelling flair and unparalleled research, Tom Fleming offers a compelling, intimate look at the founders--George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison--and the women who played essential roles in their lives.

From hot-tempered Mary Ball Washington to promiscuous Rachel Lavien Hamilton, the founding fathers' mothers powerfully shaped their sons' visions of domestic life. But lovers and wives played more critical roles as friends and often partners in fame. We learn of the youthful Washington's tortured love for the coquettish Sarah Fairfax, wife of his close friend; of Franklin's two ''wives,'' one in London and one in Philadelphia; of Adams's long absences, which required a lonely, deeply unhappy Abigail to keep home and family together for years on end; of Hamilton's adulterous betrayal of his wife and their reconciliation; and how the brilliant Madison was jilted by a flirtatious fifteen-year-old and went on to marry the effervescent Dolley, who helped make this shy man into a popular president. Jefferson's controversial relationship to Sally Hemings is also examined, with a different vision of where his heart lay.

Fleming nimbly takes us through a great deal of early American history, as the founding fathers strove to reconcile their private and public lives, often beset by a media every bit as gossip-seeking and inflammatory as ours today. He offers a powerful look at the challenges women faced in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. While often brilliant and articulate, the wives of the founding fathers all struggled with the distractions and dangers of frequent childbearing and searing anxiety about infant mortality. All the more remarkable, then, that these women loomed so large in the lives of their husbands--and, in some cases, their country.

Abraham Lincoln: A Life [Volume 1]

Abraham Lincoln: A Life [Volume 1]
Abraham Lincoln: A Life [Volume 1] by Michael Burlingame
2013 | EPUB | 3.77MB

In the first multi-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln to be published in decades, Lincoln scholar Michael Burlingame offers a fresh look at the life of one of America's greatest presidents. Incorporating the field notes of earlier biographers, along with decades of research in multiple manuscript archives and long-neglected newspapers, this remarkable work will both alter and reinforce our current understanding of America's sixteenth president.

Volume 1 covers Lincoln's early childhood, his experiences as a farm boy in Indiana and Illinois, his legal training, and the political ambition that led to a term in Congress in the 1840s. In volume 2, Burlingame examines Lincoln's life during his presidency and the Civil War, narrating in fascinating detail the crisis over Fort Sumter and Lincoln's own battles with relentless office seekers, hostile newspaper editors, and incompetent field commanders. Burlingame also offers new interpretations of Lincoln's private life, discussing his marriage to Mary Todd and the untimely deaths of two sons to disease.

But through it all—his difficult childhood, his contentious political career, a fratricidal war, and tragic personal losses—Lincoln preserved a keen sense of humour and acquired a psychological maturity that proved to be the North's most valuable asset in winning the Civil War.

Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, this landmark publication establishes Burlingame as the most assiduous Lincoln biographer of recent memory and brings Lincoln alive to modern readers as never before.

Abraham Lincoln: A Life [Volume 2]

Last Trains: Dr Beeching and the Death of Rural England

Last Trains: Dr Beeching and the Death of Rural England
Last Trains: Dr Beeching and the Death of Rural England by Charles Loft
2013 | EPUB | 2.33MB

During the course of the 1950s England lost confidence in its rulers and convinced itself to modernise. The bankrupt steam-powered railway, run by a retired general, symbolised everything that was wrong with the country; the future lay in motorways and high speed electric - or even atomic - express trains. But plans for a gleaming new railway system ended in failure and on the roads traffic ground to a halt. Along came Dr Beeching, forensically analysing the railways' problems and expertly delivering an expert's diagnosis - a third of the nation's railways must go. This was the point at which the reality of modernisation dawned and rural England fell victim to the road and car - at least that is how Dr Beeching is remembered today.

Last Trains examines why and how the railway system contracted, exposing the political failures that bankrupted the railways and examining officials' attempts to understand a transport revolution beyond their control. It is a story of the increasing alienation of bureaucrats from the public they thought they were serving, but also of a nation that thinks it lives in the countryside trying to come to terms with modernity.

State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974 [Audiobook]

State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974 [Audiobook]
State of Emergency: The Way We Were: Britain, 1970-1974 [Audiobook] by Dominic Sandbrook, read by David Thorpe
2013 | M4A | 32 hrs 10 mins | 1.23GB

The book behind the BBC2 series The Seventies

In the early 1970s, Britain seemed to be tottering on the brink of the abyss. Under Edward Heath, the optimism of the Sixties had become a distant memory. Now the headlines were dominated by strikes and blackouts, unemployment and inflation. As the world looked on in horrified fascination, Britain seemed to be tearing itself apart. And yet, amid the gloom, glittered a creativity and cultural dynamism that would influence our lives long after the nightmarish Seventies had been forgotten.

In this brilliant new history, Dominic Sandbrook recreates the gaudy, schizophrenic atmosphere of the early Seventies: the world of Enoch Powell and Tony Benn, David Bowie and Brian Clough, Germaine Greer and Mary Whitehouse. An age when the unions were on the march and the socialist revolution seemed at hand, but also when feminism, permissiveness, pornography and environmentalism were transforming the lives of millions. It was an age of miners' strikes, tower blocks and IRA atrocities, but it also gave us celebrity footballers and high-street curry houses, organic foods and package holidays, gay rights and glam rock.

For those who remember the days when you could buy a new colour television but power cuts stopped you from watching it, this book could hardly be more vivid. It is the perfect guide to a luridly colourful Seventies landscape that shaped our present from the financial boardroom to the suburban bedroom.

A Brief History of Life in Victorian Britain [Audiobook]

A Brief History of Life in Victorian Britain [Audiobook]
A Brief History of Life in Victorian Britain: How a Nation Grew into an Empire and the Birth of a Modern Society [Audiobook] by Michael Paterson, read by Mark Meadows
2012 | M4A | 11 hrs 25 mins | 425.89MB

The Victorian era has dominated the popular imagination like no other period, but these myths and stories also give a very distorted view of the 19th century. The early Victorians were much stranger than we usually imagine, and their world would have felt very different from our own. It was only during the long reign of the Queen that a modern society emerged in unexpected ways.

Using character portraits, events, and key moments, Paterson brings the real life of Victorian Britain alive - from the lifestyles of the aristocrats to the lowest ranks of the London slums. This includes the right way to use a fan, why morning visits were conducted in the afternoon, what the Victorian family ate, and how they enjoyed their free time, as well as the Victorian legacy today: convenience food, coffee bars, window shopping, mass media, and celebrity culture.

A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses [Audiobook]

A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses [Audiobook]
A Brief History of the Wars of the Roses [Audiobook] by Desmond Seward, read by Mark Elstob
2013 | M4A | 13 hrs 38 mins | 302.97MB

During the fifteenth century, England was split in a bloody conflict between the Houses of York and Lancaster over who should claim the crown. The civil wars consumed the whole nation in a series of battles that eventually saw the Tudor dynasty take power.

The much admired historian Desmond Seward tells the story of this complex and dangerous period of history through the lives of five men and women who experienced the conflict first hand. In a gripping narrative the personal trials of the principal characters interweave with the major events and personalities of one of the most significant turning points in British history.

A Brief History of the House of Windsor [Audiobook]

A Brief History of the House of Windsor [Audiobook]
A Brief History of the House of Windsor: The Making of a Modern Monarchy [Audiobook] by Michael Paterson, read by Maggie Ollrenshaw
2013 | M4A | 9 hrs 34 mins | 344.93MB

The British monarchy may be over a thousand years old, but the House of Windsor dates only from 1917, when, in the middle of the First World War that was to see the demise of the major thrones of continental Europe, it rebranded itself from the distinctly Germanic Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the homely and familiar Windsor. By redefining its loyalties to identify with its people and country rather than the princes, kings and emperors of Europe to whom it was related by birth and marriage, it set the monarchy on the path of adaptation, making itself relevant and allowing it to survive.

Since then, the fine line trodden by the House of Windsor between ancient and modern, grandeur and thrift, splendour and informality, remoteness and accessibility, and influence and neutrality has left it more secure and its appeal more universal today than ever.

The King of Nepal: Life Before the Drug Wars

The King of Nepal: Life Before the Drug Wars
The King of Nepal: Life Before the Drug Wars by Joseph R Pietri
2010 | EPUB | 12.62MB

Anyone who loves cannabis or who travelled the 'hippie trail' will love these memoirs from a big time hashish smuggler. Pietri lived it, and now he tells it. Well written, though it could have used a bit of editing. This book will take you back. It also supplies a more serious subtext in its depiction of the corruption of Nepal by the Royal Family, heroin money, and the DEA. Must reading for anyone interested in Nepal or cannabis.

The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China

The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China
The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China by Julia Lovell
2011 | EPUB | 4.7MB

'On the outside, [the foreigners] seem intractable, but inside they are cowardly. . . Although there have been a few ups-and-downs, the situation as a whole is under control.'

In October 1839, a few months after the Chinese Imperial Commissioner, Lin Zexu, dispatched these confident words to his emperor, a cabinet meeting in Windsor voted to fight Britain's first Opium War (1839-42) with China. The conflict turned out to be rich in tragicomedy: in bureaucratic fumblings, military missteps, political opportunism and collaboration. Yet over the past 170 years, this strange tale of misunderstanding, incompetence and compromise has become the founding myth of modern Chinese nationalism: the start of China's heroic struggle against a Western conspiracy to destroy the country with opium and gunboat diplomacy.

Beginning with the dramas of the war itself, Julia Lovell explores its causes and consequences and, through this larger narrative, interweaves the curious stories of opium's promoters and attackers. The Opium War is both the story of modern China – starting from this first conflict with the West – and an analysis of the country's contemporary self-image. It explores how China's national myths mould its interactions with the outside world, how public memory is spun to serve the present; and how delusion and prejudice have bedevilled its relationship with the modern West.

A History of Britain, Volume 3: The Fate of Empire [Audiobook]

A History of Britain, Volume 3: The Fate of Empire [Audiobook]
A History of Britain, Volume 3: The Fate of Empire (1776 - 2000) by Simon Schama, read by Stephen Thorne
2012 | MP3@64 kbps | 20 hrs 37 mins | 568.1MB

Simon Schama’s dramatic, broad-ranging, and immensely readable epic history of Britain reaches its triumphant conclusion in this third and final volume, which stretches from the American Revolution to the present.

The Fate of Empire tells the eventful and exhilarating story of Britain’s rise and fall as an imperial power, from the political turmoil of the 1770s to the struggle of present day leaders to find a way to make a different national future. The volume also examines the Romantic generation, the role of women in Victorian England, industrialization, and the liberal empire from Ireland to India, which promised material improvement, but delivered coercion and famine. As in the previous volumes, Schama vividly portrays the lives of extraordinary personalities – Queen Victoria, Churchill, Dickens, and “ordinary” individuals including the author of the first British travel guide, and Elizabeth Anderson, the first woman doctor.

Finally, Schama asks an essential question: what kind of Britain can hold together when its island isolation and its imperial dominion have both vanished? An examination of the legacy of the British ideal of freedom is at the heart of this entertaining and well-researched book. With The Fate of Empire, Simon Schama has proven himself, again, as a masterful writer of narrative history.

A History of Britain, Volume 2: The British Wars [Audiobook]

A History of Britain, Volume 2: The British Wars [Audiobook]
A History of Britain, Volume 2: The British Wars (1603 - 1776) [Audiobook] by Simon Schama, read by Stephen Thorne
2012 | MP3@64 kbps | 20 hrs 41 mins | 568.29MB

The second volume of Simon Schama's A History of Britain brings the histories of Britain's civil wars -- full of blighted idealism, shocking carnage, and unexpected outcomes -- startlingly to life. These conflicts were fought unsparingly between the nations of the islands -- Ireland, England, and Scotland -- and between parliament and the crown. Shattering the illusion of a "united kingdom," they cost hundreds of thousands of lives: a greater proportion of the population than died in the First World War.

When religious passion gave way to the equally consuming passion for profits, it became possible for the pieces of Britain to come together as the spectacularly successful business enterprise of "Britannia Incorporated." And in a few generations that business state expanded in a dizzying process that transformed what had been an obscure, off-shore footnote to Europe's great powers into the main event -- the most powerful empire in the world.

Yet somehow, it was the "wrong empire." The British considered it a bastion of liberty, yet it was based on military force and the enslavement of hundreds of thousands of Africans. In America, the emptiness of British claims to protect "freedom" was thrown back into the teeth of colonial governors and redcoat soldiers, while the likes of Sam Adams and George Washington inherited the mantle of Cromwell.

Simon Schama grippingly evokes the horror of the battle, famine, and plague; the flames of burning cities; the pathos of broken families, with fathers and sons forced to choose opposing sides. But he also captures the intimacies of palace and parliament and the seductions of profit and pleasure. Geniuses like John Milton, Thomas Hobbes, and Benjamin Franklin stalk vividly through his pages, but so do Scottish clansmen, women pamphleteers, and literate, eloquent African slaves like Olaudah Equiano.

A History of Britain, Volume 1: At the Edge of the World? [Audiobook]

A History of Britain, Volume 1: At the Edge of the World? [Audiobook]
A History of Britain, Volume 1: At the Edge of the World (3000 BC-AD 1603) [Audiobook] by Simon Schama, read by Stephen Thorne
2012 | MP3@64 kbps | 15 hrs 47 mins | 432.92MB

The story of Britain from the earliest settlements in 3000BC to the death of Elizabeth I in 1603.

History clings tight but it also kicks loose,' writes Simon Schama at the outset of this, the first book in his three-volume journey into Britain's past. 'Disruption as much as persistence is its proper subject. So although the great theme of British history seen from the twentieth century is endurance, its counter-point, seen from the twenty-first, must be alteration.'

Change - sometimes gentle and subtle, sometimes shocking and violent - is the dynamic of Schama's unapologetically personal and grippingly written history, especially the changes that wash over custom and habit, transforming our loyalties. At the heart of this history lie questions of compelling importance for Britain's future as well as its past: what makes or breaks a nation? To whom do we give our allegiance and why? And where do the boundaries of our community lie - in our hearth and home, our village or city, tribe or faith? What is Britain - one country or many? Has British history unfolded 'at the edge of the world' or right at the heart of it?

Schama delivers these themes in a form that is at once traditional and excitingly fresh. The great and the wicked are here - Becket and Thomas Cromwell, Robert the Bruce and Anne Boleyn - but so are countless more ordinary lives: an Irish monk waiting for the plague to kill him in his cell at Kilkenny; a small boy running through the streets of London to catch a glimpse of Elizabeth I. They are all caught on the rich and teeming canvas on which Schama paints his brilliant portrait of the life of the British people: 'for in the end, history, especially British history with its succession of thrilling illuminations, should be, as all her most accomplished narrators have promised, not just instruction but pleasure.

The Cable: Wire to the New World

The Cable: Wire to the New World
The Cable: Wire to the New World by Gillian Cookson
2012 | EPUB | 4.87MB

The compelling story of how the first transatlantic cable was laid —the people who dared, the people who lost, and the people who profited. It tells of the dramatic attempts to cross the Atlan-tic during the 1850s and 1860s, from the first failed attempts to the project that finally succeeded. An inconceivably audacious attempt to overcome the forces of nature in the name of human progress and technology, the laying of the cable was to change forever our means of communication. The speed with which information could now be transmitted was unprecedented and revolutionized the face of news and the global economy.