Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets

Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets
Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets by Sudhir Venkatesh
2009 | EPUB + MOBI | 390.27/540.95KB

Sudhir Venkatesh the young sociologist who became famous in Freakonomics (Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?) describes his time living with the gangs on the Southside of Chicago and answers another question: what's it like to live in hell?

When first-year graduate student Sudhir Venkatesh walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects, he hoped to find a few people willing to take a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty--and impress his professors with his boldness.

He never imagined that as a result of this assignment he would befriend a gang leader named JT and spend the better part of a decade embedded inside the projects under JT’s protection. From a privileged position of unprecedented access, Venkatesh observed JT and the rest of his gang as they operated their crack-selling business, made peace with their neighbors, evaded the law, and rose up or fell within the ranks of the gang’s complex hierarchical structure.

Examining the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, and often corrupt struggle to survive in an urban war zone, Gang Leader for a Day also tells the story of the complicated friendship that develops between Venkatesh and JT--two young and ambitious men a universe apart.

Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion [Audiobook]

Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion [Audiobook]
Crush It: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion [Audiobook] by Gary Vaynerchuk, read by the Author
2010 | MP3@96 kbps + EPUB | 3 hrs 40 mins | 152.01MB

Crush It!: The Audiobook: Read by Gary Vaynerchuk, this audiobook version contains additional material not found in the best-selling hardcover edition.

Do you have a hobby you wish you could indulge in all day? An obsession that keeps you up at night? Now is the perfect time to take that passion and make a living doing what you love. In Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion, Gary Vaynerchuk shows you how to use the power of the Internet to turn your real interests into real businesses. Gary spent years building his family business from a local wine shop into a national industry leader. Then one day he turned on a video camera, and by using the secrets revealed here, transformed his entire life and earning potential by building his personal brand.

By the end of this book, listeners will have learned how to harness the power of the Internet to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. Step by step, Crush It! is the ultimate driver's manual for modern business.

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants

David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants
David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
2013 | EPUB | 564.51KB

David and Goliath is the dazzling and provocative new book from Malcolm Gladwell, no.1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers and What the Dog Saw

Why do underdogs succeed so much more than we expect? How do the weak outsmart the strong? In David and Goliath Malcolm Gladwell takes us on a scintillating and surprising journey through the hidden dynamics that shape the balance of power between the small and the mighty.

From the conflicts in Northern Ireland, through the tactics of civil rights leaders and the problem of privilege, Gladwell demonstrates how we misunderstand the true meaning of advantage and disadvantage. When does a traumatic childhood work in someone's favour? How can a disability leave someone better off? And do you really want your child to go to the best school he or she can get into?

David and Goliath draws on the stories of remarkable underdogs, history, science, psychology and on Malcolm Gladwell's unparalleled ability to make the connections others miss. It's a brilliant, illuminating book that overturns conventional thinking about power and advantage.

Kill Anything That Moves [Audiobook]

Kill Anything That Moves [Audiobook]
Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam [Audiobook] by Nick Turse, read by Don Lee
2013 | MP3@320 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 54 mins | 1.18GB

Americans have long been taught that events such as the notorious My Lai massacre were “isolated incidents” in the Vietnam War, carried out by a few “bad apples.” However, as award-winning journalist and historian Nick Turse demonstrates in this pioneering investigation, violence against Vietnamese civilians was not at all exceptional. Rather, it was pervasive and systematic, the predictable consequence of official orders to “kill anything that moves.”

Drawing on a decade of research into secret Pentagon files and extensive interviews with American veterans and Vietnamese survivors, Turse reveals the policies and actions that resulted in millions of innocent civilians killed and wounded. He lays out in shocking detail the workings of a military machine that made crimes all but inevitable.

Kill Anything That Moves finally brings us face-to-face with the truth of a war that haunts America to this day.

One Summer: America, 1927 [Audiobook]

One Summer: America, 1927 [Audiobook]
One Summer: America, 1927 [Audiobook] by Bill Bryson, read by the Author
2013 | M4B + EPUB | 17 hrs 02 mins | 455.34MB

Narrated by the man himself, One Summer takes you to the summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and changed the world forever. In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day, a semi-crazed sculptor with a plan to carve four giant heads into a mountain called Rushmore, a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and a youthful aviator named Charles Lindbergh who started the summer wholly unknown, and finished it as the most famous man on Earth.

It was the summer of the first talking pictures, the invention of television, the peak of Al Capone's reign of terror, the ill-conceived decision that led to the Great Depression, and the thrillingly improbable return to greatness of a wheezing, over-the-hill baseball player named Babe Ruth.

With an unforgettable cast of personalities, Bill Bryson spins a story of brawling adventure, reckless optimism, and delirious energy. What a country; what a summer; and what a writer to bring it all so vividly to life.

Alexander Dolgun's Story: An American in the Gulag

Alexander Dolgun's Story: An American in the Gulag
Alexander Dolgun's Story: An American in the Gulag by Alexander Dolgun
1975 | EPUB + MOBI | 761.55KB/1.63MB

Alexander Dolgun, from embassy employee, to prisoner, then falsely convicted of being a terrorist against Russia and sentenced to hard labor. Released after eight long years he is finally able to recount the experience of being transported to and between prisons, interactions and friendships with other prisoners, the day to day drudgery of trying to stay alive under horrendous conditions which involved trying to meet ridiculously high work quotas for extremely strenuous jobs while in a constant state of starvation and often, sickness.

The Tragedy of the Templars

The Tragedy of the Templars
The Tragedy of the Templars: The Rise and Fall of the Crusader States by Michael Haag
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 3.49/3.38MB

Founded on Christmas Day 1119 in Jerusalem, the Knights Templar was a religious order of fighting knights dedicated to defending the Holy Land and Christian pilgrims in the decades after the First Crusade. Legendary for their bravery and dedication, the Templars became one of the wealthiest and most powerful bodies of the medieval world--and the chief defenders against the growing Muslim military campaign to reimpose foreign rule on a Christian society.

In The Tragedy of the Templars, historian Michael Haag, author of Templars: History and the Myth explores the rise and fall of the Templars against the background story of the Crusader venture in the Holy Land, which even after four centuries of Muslim occupation had remained a predominantly Christian community with whom settlers from the West intermarried and created a distinctive civilization.

A stirring work of historical investigation, The Tragedy of the Templars masterfully details the conflicts and betrayals that sent the Knights Templar spiraling from domination and power to being burned alive at the stake.

The Christian Recovery of Spain

The Christian Recovery of Spain
The Christian Recovery of Spain by Henry Edward Watts
2012 | EPUB | 220.98KB

Watt’s The Christian Recovery of Spain is a fascinating chronology of Spain’s history from 711-1491.  The kingdoms of Leon, Castille, El Cid, and the Inquisition are all discussed at length.

Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years

Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years
Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years by David Talbot
2008 | EPUB + AZW3 + MP3 | 0.93/1.05MB

From acclaimed journalist David Talbot comes a groundbreaking narrative account of one of the most tumultuous periods in our history: the Kennedy Administration and its dramatic aftermath.

Though countless books have been written about the Kennedy men and their brief, tumultuous time in the White House, few have offered as many explosive revelations as this one. David Talbot describes a JFK administration more besieged by domestic enemies than has been previously realized, from within the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, and the mob. It is against this dark backdrop that he charts the emotionally charged journey of Robert Kennedy, whose soul-scouring quest to find the origins of his brother’s murder led him, to his horror, back to the dark corners of American power that had been part of his portfolio: U.S. intelligence, Cuba, and organized crime.

From the Kennedy “band of brothers” to RFK’s hope of using executive power to solve Jack’s death once and for all, this probing work of history draws on more than 150 exclusive interviews to produce a bold look at power and vengeance. A topic of perennial interest, Brothers is a multilayered, complex tale of gut-wrenching history.

Monsoon [Audiobook]

Monsoon [Audiobook]
Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power [Audiobook] by Robert D Kaplan, read by John Pruden
2012 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 27 mins | 369.66MB

On the world maps common in America, the Western Hemisphere lies front and center, while the Indian Ocean region all but disappears. This convention reveals the geopolitical focus of the now-departed twentieth century, but in the twenty-first century that focus will fundamentally change.In this pivotal examination of the countries known as "Monsoon Asia"—which include India, Pakistan, China, Indonesia, Burma, Oman, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Tanzania—bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan shows how crucial this dynamic area has become to American power.

It is here that the fight for democracy, energy independence, and religious freedom will be lost or won, and it is here that American foreign policy must concentrate if the United States is to remain relevant in an ever-changing world. From the Horn of Africa to the Indonesian archipelago and beyond, Kaplan exposes the effects of population growth, climate change, and extremist politics on this unstable region, demonstrating why Americans can no longer afford to ignore this important area of the world.

The Bite of the Mango

The Bite of the Mango
The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara, Susan McClelland
2008 | EPUB + MOBI | 2.27/1.04MB

As a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry. But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands. Stumbling through the countryside, Mariatu miraculously survived.

The sweet taste of a mango, her first food after the attack, reaffirmed her desire to live, but the challenge of clutching the fruit in her bloodied arms reinforced the grim new reality that stood before her. With no parents or living adult to support her and living in a refugee camp, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown.

In this gripping and heartbreaking true story, Mariatu shares with readers the details of the brutal attack, its aftermath and her eventual arrival in Toronto. There she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.

A Critical Introduction to Mao

A Critical Introduction to Mao
A Critical Introduction to Mao edited by Timothy Cheek
2010 | PDF | 7.33MB

Mao Zedong's political career spanned more than half a century. The ideas he championed transformed one of the largest nations on earth and inspired revolutionary movements across the world.

Even today Mao lives on in China, where he is regarded by many as a near-mythical figure, and in the West, where a burgeoning literature continues to debate his memory. In this book, leading scholars from different generations and around the world offer a critical evaluation of the life and legacy of China's most famous - some would say infamous - son.

In the first section, chapters explore the historical and political context of Mao's emergence as a young man and revolutionary in the early twentieth century. Through this period it is possible to examine the nature of Mao's ideology in its purest form and to see why it was attractive to so many. This section also chronicles the main events of his life and individual aspects of that life: his key relationships with allies and foes, his followers and his public persona, his philosophy, and his relationship with women. In the final part, chapters debate the positive and negative aspects of his legacy; in China Mao has become a metaphor for the promises and betrayals of the twentieth century, in developing countries he remains a beacon of revolutionary hope for some, and in the West Mao continues to be the mirror of our hopes and fears.

The book brings the scholarship on Mao up to date, and its alternative perspectives equip readers to assess for themselves the nature of this mercurial figure and his significance in modern Chinese history.

The Time of Our Lives [Audiobook]

The Time of Our Lives [Audiobook]
The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America [Audiobook] by Tom Brokaw, read by the Author
2011 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 7 hrs 04 mins | 194.29MB

Tom Brokaw, known and beloved for his landmark work in American journalism and for the New York Times bestsellers The Greatest Generation and Boom!, now turns his attention to the challenges that face America in the new millennium, to offer reflections on how we can restore America’s greatness.

“What happened to the America I thought I knew?” Brokaw writes. “Have we simply wandered off course, but only temporarily? Or have we allowed ourselves to be so divided that we’re easy prey for hijackers who could steer us onto a path to a crash landing? . . . I do have some thoughts, original and inspired by others, for our journey into the heart of a new century.”

Rooted in the values, lessons, and verities of generations past and of his South Dakota upbringing, Brokaw weaves together inspiring stories of Americans who are making a difference and personal stories from his own family history, to engage us in a conversation about our country and to offer ideas for how we can revitalize the promise of the American Dream.

Inviting us to foster a rebirth of family, community, and civic engagement as profound as the one that won World War II, built our postwar prosperity, and ushered in the Civil Rights era, Brokaw traces the exciting, unnerving changes in modern life—in values, education, public service, housing, the Internet, and more—that have transformed our society in the decades since the age of thrift in which he was raised. Offering ideas from Americans who are change agents in their communities, in The Time of Our Lives, Brokaw gives us, a wise, honest, and wide-ranging book, a nourishing vision of hopefulness in an age of diminished expectations.

Year Zero: A History of 1945

Year Zero: A History of 1945
Year Zero: A History of 1945 by Ian Buruma
2013 | EPUB | 10.65MB

A marvelous global history of the pivotal year 1945 as a new world emerged from the ruins of World War II

Year Zero is a landmark reckoning with the great drama that ensued after war came to an end in 1945. One world had ended and a new, uncertain one was beginning. Regime change had come on a global scale: across Asia (including China, Korea, Indochina, and the Philippines, and of course Japan) and all of continental Europe. Out of the often vicious power struggles that ensued emerged the modern world as we know it.

In human terms, the scale of transformation is almost impossible to imagine. Great cities around the world lay in ruins, their populations decimated, displaced, starving. Harsh revenge was meted out on a wide scale, and the ground was laid for much horror to come. At the same time, in the wake of unspeakable loss, the euphoria of the liberated was extraordinary, and the revelry unprecedented. The postwar years gave rise to the European welfare state, the United Nations, decolonization, Japanese pacifism, and the European Union. Social, cultural, and political “reeducation” was imposed on vanquished by victors on a scale that also had no historical precedent. Much that was done was ill advised, but in hindsight, as Ian Buruma shows us, these efforts were in fact relatively enlightened, humane, and effective.

A poignant grace note throughout this history is Buruma’s own father’s story. Seized by the Nazis during the occupation of Holland, he spent much of the war in Berlin as a laborer, and by war’s end was literally hiding in the rubble of a flattened city, having barely managed to survive starvation rations, Allied bombing, and Soviet shock troops when the end came. His journey home and attempted reentry into “normalcy” stand in many ways for his generation’s experience.

A work of enormous range and stirring human drama, conjuring both the Asian and European theaters with equal fluency, Year Zero is a book that Ian Buruma is perhaps uniquely positioned to write. It is surely his masterpiece.

Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914

Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914
Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 by Max Hastings
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 3.26/3.67MB

From the acclaimed military historian, a new history of the outbreak of World War I: the dramatic stretch from the breakdown of diplomacy to the battles—the Marne, Ypres, Tannenberg—that marked the frenzied first year before the war bogged down in the trenches.

In Catastrophe 1914, Max Hastings gives us a conflict different from the familiar one of barbed wire, mud and futility. He traces the path to war, making clear why Germany and Austria-Hungary were primarily to blame, and describes the gripping first clashes in the West, where the French army marched into action in uniforms of red and blue with flags flying and bands playing. In August, four days after the French suffered 27,000 men dead in a single day, the British fought an extraordinary holding action against oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind in history. In October, at terrible cost the British held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres. Hastings also re-creates the lesser-known battles on the Eastern Front, brutal struggles in Serbia, East Prussia and Galicia, where the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs inflicted three million casualties upon one another by Christmas.

As he has done in his celebrated, award-winning works on World War II, Hastings gives us frank assessments of generals and political leaders and masterly analyses of the political currents that led the continent to war. He argues passionately against the contention that the war was not worth the cost, maintaining that Germany’s defeat was vital to the freedom of Europe. Throughout we encounter statesmen, generals, peasants, housewives and private soldiers of seven nations in Hastings’s accustomed blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts: generals dismounting to lead troops in bayonet charges over 1,500 feet of open ground; farmers who at first decried the requisition of their horses; infantry men engaged in a haggard retreat, sleeping four hours a night in their haste. This is a vivid new portrait of how a continent became embroiled in war and what befell millions of men and women in a conflict that would change everything.

The Battle of Poitiers 1356

The Battle of Poitiers 1356
The Battle of Poitiers 1356 by David Green
2008 | EPUB + MOBI | 3.43/3.99MB

The story of one of the great battles of the Hundred Years War, often ignored in favour of its more celebrated siblings, Crecy and Agincourt. The victory at Poitiers by an English force outnumbered two-to-one, led by Edward the Black Prince on 19th September 1356 was one of the most significant of the Hundred Years War. The consequences of the battle resonated throughout the remainder of the century and influenced the war to its end in 1453.

David Green has researched the battle and the raids that preceded it exhaustively and details the strategy, tactics, arms and armour used by both sides. He reconstructs the battle using an array of contemporary sources and discusses the protagonists, the sighting, course and outcome of the encounter and considers the implications of the capture of King Jean II of France and many of the most important members of the French nobility.

The Story of the Human Body

The Story of the Human Body
The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health, and Disease by Daniel Lieberman
2013 | EPUB | 4.78MB

In this landmark book of popular science, Daniel E. Lieberman—chair of the department of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University and a leader in the field—gives us a lucid and engaging account of how the human body evolved over millions of years, even as it shows how the increasing disparity between the jumble of adaptations in our Stone Age bodies and advancements in the modern world is occasioning this paradox: greater longevity but increased chronic disease.

The Story of the Human Body brilliantly illuminates as never before the major transformations that contributed key adaptations to the body: the rise of bipedalism; the shift to a non-fruit-based diet; the advent of hunting and gathering, leading to our superlative endurance athleticism; the development of a very large brain; and the incipience of cultural proficiencies. Lieberman also elucidates how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution, and how our bodies were further transformed during the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions.

While these ongoing changes have brought about many benefits, they have also created conditions to which our bodies are not entirely adapted, Lieberman argues, resulting in the growing incidence of obesity and new but avoidable diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. Lieberman proposes that many of these chronic illnesses persist and in some cases are intensifying because of “dysevolution,” a pernicious dynamic whereby only the symptoms rather than the causes of these maladies are treated. And finally—provocatively—he advocates the use of evolutionary information to help nudge, push, and sometimes even compel us to create a more salubrious environment.

Dreams of Other Worlds

Dreams of Other Worlds
Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration by Chris Impey, Holly Henry
2013 | PDF | 12.3MB

Dreams of Other Worlds describes the unmanned space missions that have opened new windows on distant worlds. Spanning four decades of dramatic advances in astronomy and planetary science, this book tells the story of eleven iconic exploratory missions and how they have fundamentally transformed our scientific and cultural perspectives on the universe and our place in it.

The journey begins with the Viking and Mars Exploration Rover missions to Mars, which paint a startling picture of a planet at the cusp of habitability. It then moves into the realm of the gas giants with the Voyager probes and Cassini's ongoing exploration of the moons of Saturn. The Stardust probe's dramatic round-trip encounter with a comet is brought vividly to life, as are the SOHO and Hipparcos missions to study the Sun and Milky Way. This stunningly illustrated book also explores how our view of the universe has been brought into sharp focus by NASA's great observatories--Spitzer, Chandra, and Hubble--and how the WMAP mission has provided rare glimpses of the dawn of creation.

Dreams of Other Worlds reveals how these unmanned exploratory missions have redefined what it means to be the temporary tenants of a small planet in a vast cosmos.

Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers

Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers
Duelling Idiots and Other Probability Puzzlers by Paul J Nahin
2012 | PDF | 8.93MB

What are your chances of dying on your next flight, being called for jury duty, or winning the lottery? We all encounter probability problems in our everyday lives. In this collection of twenty-one puzzles, Paul Nahin challenges us to think creatively about the laws of probability as they apply in playful, sometimes deceptive, ways to a fascinating array of speculative situations. Games of Russian roulette, problems involving the accumulation of insects on flypaper, and strategies for determining the odds of the underdog winning the World Series all reveal intriguing dimensions to the workings of probability. Over the years, Nahin, a veteran writer and teacher of the subject, has collected these and other favorite puzzles designed to instruct and entertain math enthusiasts of all backgrounds.

If idiots A and B alternately take aim at each other with a six-shot revolver containing one bullet, what is the probability idiot A will win? What are the chances it will snow on your birthday in any given year? How can researchers use coin flipping and the laws of probability to obtain honest answers to embarrassing survey questions? The solutions are presented here in detail, and many contain a profound element of surprise. And some puzzles are beautiful illustrations of basic mathematical concepts: "The Blind Spider and the Fly," for example, is a clever variation of a "random walk" problem, and "Duelling Idiots" and "The Underdog and the World Series" are straightforward introductions to binomial distributions.

Written in an informal way and containing a plethora of interesting historical material, Duelling Idiots is ideal for those who are fascinated by mathematics and the role it plays in everyday life and in our imaginations.

Markets of Paris [Second Edition]

Markets of Paris [Second Edition]
Markets of Paris: Food, Antiques, Crafts, Books, and More [2nd Edition] by Dixon Long, Marjorie R Williams
2012 | EPUB | 26.13MB

The food scene in Paris has changed dramatically since 2006, when Markets of Paris was first published. Yes, the same markets are held in the same locales as always—literally, for centuries—but many have undergone a remarkable transformation led by a young generation of purveyors focused, even more than their predecessors, on local and organic (“bio”) produce. Markets of Paris, 2nd Edition revisits and updates the entire market scene in Paris, with 12 new entries and 10 new sidebars, including Virtual Markets and Market Streets, Markets Open on Sunday, Artisan Bakers, Getting Along in the Food Markets, Brocante Fairs, and more. One of them, Cooking in Paris, gives information about lessons and workshops offered in home kitchens, bakeries, restaurants, and even wine stores.

Updates focus on the most interesting vendors and most unique and enticing offerings to be found at each locale, including prepared food that can be eaten on the spot. In keeping with growing interest in knowing where food comes from, the authors include profiles and photos of farmers and other artisanal suppliers behind the best food stalls.

One of the biggest changes in the Paris market scene in recent years has been the spike of interest in organic, reflected in the popularity of the Raspail organic market. At one time a fringe offshoot of the regular Raspail market, this Sunday market has fully come into its own. It attracts a large and loyal clientele; of three organic markets in the city, it’s certainly the largest and most widely known. Often it’s referred to as “Le Marché Bio,” and many claim it’s the crème de la crème of all Paris’s markets.

Restaurant listings have been updated, too, with 15 new additions that have been chosen because of their new-generation chefs’ approach to fresh ingredients or their proximity to featured markets. A new section titled If You Have Limited Time directs the visitor to the most interesting markets near his or her accommodations. Another section, Practical Suggestions, addresses common questions such where to get local currency, which map of Paris is the best and most convenient, and business hours for different kinds of shops, stalls, and restaurants. Finally, the book has been reorganized by arrondissement to be more user friendly, and it has a brand-new look with all new photos and a refreshed, modernized design.

Kyoto: City of Zen

Kyoto: City of Zen
Kyoto - City of Zen: Visiting the Heritage Sites of Japan's Ancient Capital by Judith Clancy
2013 | PDF | 25.17MB

An elaborate kaleidoscope of craft, artistry and religion, Kyoto is one of the world's most popular travel destinations. Art and design form the weft and warp of this vibrant 1,200-year-old city, home to hundreds of gardens, palaces, villas and magnificent wooden temples, including seventeen UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Like a Zen koan, Kyoto defies easy description. Its citizens may work at Nintendo designing video games, at a company designing precision medical instruments, or sitting cross-legged meticulously affixing micro-thin flakes of gold foil onto a painting. All of them share a living heritage grounded in centuries of traditional culture.

In Kyoto: City of Zen, local Kyoto expert Judith Clancy presents the most important gardens, temples, shrines and palaces of this ancient capital city and enduring cultural center. In addition to unveiling the city's spiritual and historical riches, this book shares with readers the exquisite foods, artistic crafts, religious ceremonies and architectural traditions that have flourished in Kyoto for over a millennium. Tea ceremonies, calligraphy, weaving, pottery, painting, drama, and many more traditional arts and crafts are presented through more than 350 photographs by Ben Simmons, whose images capture the true essence of Kyoto. The city's natural setting also comes into focus as you walk along leafy mountain paths and through spectacular parks and gardens viewing the best foliage each season has to offer.

Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture

Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture
Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture by Rowan Moore
2013 | EPUB | 32.29MB

In an era of brash, expensive, provocative new buildings, a prominent critic argues that emotions--hope, power, sex, our changing relationship to the idea of home--are the most powerful force behind architecture, yesterday and (especially) today.

We are living in one of the most dramatic periods in modern architectural history: a time when cityscapes are being redrawn on a yearly basis, architects are testing the very idea of what a building is, and whole cities are being invented overnight, both here in the United States and in exotic locations around the world.

In this bold and wide-ranging new work, Rowan Moore--former director of the Architecture Foundation, now a leading architecture critic--explores the reasons behind these changes in our built environment, and how they in turn are changing the way we live in the world. Taking as his starting point dramatic examples such as the High Line in New York City and the outrageous island experiment of Dubai, Moore then reaches far and wide: back in time to explore the Covent Garden brothels of eighteenth-century London and the fetishistic minimalism of Adolf Loos; across the world to assess a software magnate's grandiose mansion in Atlanta and Daniel Libeskind's failed design for the World Trade Center site; and finally to the deeply naturalistic work of Lina Bo Bardi, whom he celebrates as the most underrated architect of the modern era.

Provocative and personal, iconoclastic and transforming, Why We Build is that rarest of things: a book about architecture that is also, on every page, a book about people--those chosen few who design buildings, and the rest of us, who use them every day.

Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume II

Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume II
Makers of Modern Architecture, Volume II: From Le Corbusier to Rem Koolhaas by Martin Filler
2013 | EPUB | 7.96MB

In this much-anticipated sequel to his critically acclaimed Makers of Modern Architecture (2007) longtime New York Review of Books contributor Martin Filler—“probably the best all-round architecture critic currently working in the United States,” according to the architectural journalist David Cohn—offers another penetrating series of concise but authoritative studies on leading exponents of the building art from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first century. Exemplifying his belief that an architect’s personality and character have a direct and profound bearing on this most public and social of art forms, Filler’s lively melding of biographical and aesthetic perspectives gives these accessible yet scrupulously researched interpretations a rare human immediacy.

From profiles of such universally admired masters as Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier to emerging figures including Michael Arad, creator of New York City’s National September 11 Memorial, and the international design collaborative Snøhetta, Filler’s shifting focus remains consistently trained on the enduring values of great architecture. His panoramic vision encompasses the historically inspired Gilded Age urbanism of the celebrated New York bon vivant Stanford White as well as the expressive collages of ancient and modern elements orchestrated by the reclusive Venetian intellectual Carlo Scarpa. The increasing role of women in architecture is given special emphasis in this new collection, from the pioneering work in 1920s Germany of Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky, inventor of the standardized modern kitchen, to such innovative contemporary practitioners as Elizabeth Diller, Kazuyo Sejima, and Billie Tsien.

Early Mexican Houses

Early Mexican Houses
Early Mexican Houses: A Book of Photographs and Measured Drawing by G Richard Garrison, George W Rustay
2012 | EPUB | 52.96MB

From 1925 to 1929, two young architectural draftsmen set out to record a select number of examples of the “minor domestic architecture” of Mexico due to a lack of measured drawings of rural ranch houses and Monterey-inspired dwellings. The result is a wonderful collection of houses from the days of Mexico's viceroys, elaborately presented in this handsomely illustrated book. Every aficionado of architecture or home design will find the patios, window designs, and floor plans a delight to look at. Over two-hundred illustrations, including forty-two pages of measured drawings and floor plans, make this a comprehensive reference guide as well as an elegant coffee table book.

Super Potato Design

Super Potato Design
Super Potato Design: The Complete Works of Takashi Sugimoto: Japan's Leading Interior Designer by Mira Locher, Tadao Ando, Yoshio Shiratori
2006 | EPUB | 22.58MB

Super Potato Design is the first full-length book to present the built work and conceptual ideas of the internationally renowned Japanese design firm Super Potato, founded by Takashi Sugimoto. Super Potato's powerful designs for the interiors of restaurants, shops and hotels, as well as Takashi Sugimoto's designs for tea ceremony spaces and utensils, are richly complex compositions of materials which create simple, strong spaces. By finding contemporary expression for important concepts present in traditional Japan and combining materials in unexpected ways to create exciting spaces, Super Potato's work has had a significant impact on interior design in Japan and around the world.

One Drawing A Day

One Drawing A Day
One Drawing A Day: A 6-Week Course Exploring Creativity with Illustration and Mixed Media by Veronica Lawlor
2011 | EPUB + PDF | 45.32/72.19MB

Through 46 daily exercises which make up a complete 6-week course, you will keep your artistic skills sharp and your imaginations fertile by doing One Drawing A Day. Each spread in the book features a beautiful drawing by one of 8 professional illustrators, with a description and comments by the illustrator as well as a companion exercise. Each exercise includes suggestions for various mediums or mixed-media solutions, advice on how to approach and execute the drawing, as well as professional tips. The book also includes exercises designed to spark new ideas and increase creativity.

The Photographer's Field Guide

The Photographer's Field Guide
The Photographer's Field Guide: The Essential Handbook for Travelling with Your Digital SLR Camera by Michael Freeman
2009 | EPUB | 37.21MB

Whether on a weekend city break or a month-long trekking vacation, more and more of us are travelling with the hope of taking striking photos that capture the essence of our time away. Often these are more than just photos for our friends and family to enjoy, with an increasing number of talented amateurs uploading their images to photo agencies and earning extra income from selling rights. So whether you're a keen amateur photographer travelling for business or pleasure, or a budding professional with a specific assignment, The Photographer's Field Guide has all the information you need to help you successfully capture the many photographic opportunities that await. Divided into five sections, the book will help you to prepare for the trip, provide invaluable practical advice for when you're travelling and offer—through superb images from one of the world's most respected travel photographers—guidance on how, what and when to photograph.

The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist
The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 2.16/2.1MB

The hilarious and inspiring story of how a mysterious misfit got past every roadblock in the Hollywood system to achieve success on his own terms: a $6 million cinematic catastrophe called The Room.

Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau’s scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, “I have to do a scene with this guy.” That impulse changed both of their lives. Wiseau seemed never to have read the rule book on interpersonal relationships (or the instruc­tions on a bottle of black hair dye), yet he generously offered to put the aspiring actor up in his LA apart­ment. Sestero’s nascent acting career first sizzled, then fizzled, resulting in Wiseau’s last-second offer to Sestero of costarring with him in The Room, a movie Wiseau wrote and planned to finance, produce, and direct—in the parking lot of a Hollywood equipment-rental shop.

Wiseau spent $6 million of his own money on his film, but despite the efforts of the disbelieving (and frequently fired) crew and embarrassed (and fre­quently fired) actors, the movie made no sense. Nevertheless Wiseau rented a Hollywood billboard featuring his alarming headshot and staged a red carpet premiere. The Room made $1800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. One reviewer said that watching The Room was like “getting stabbed in the head.”

The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero’s laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make “the Citizen Kane of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon, with Wiseau himself beloved as an oddball celebrity. Written with award-winning journalist Tom Bissell, The Disaster Artist is an inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of an enigmatic man who will improbably capture your heart.

Gardens for All Seasons

Gardens for All Seasons
Gardens for All Seasons by Mary Horsfall
2013 | EPUB | 52.99MB

Gardens for all Seasons is a gardening lifestyle book. As well as advising about the timing of jobs in the garden throughout the year and in all Australian climate zones, it gives suggestions about garden-related events and celebrations for each month. Mary Horsfall wants people to realize that gardens are for much more than working in and the book begins with a discussion about the importance of gardens and plants in our lives, public gardens as well as private ones.

Monthly chapters have been structured to make as much information as possible generally relevant to gardeners across the country. Each month includes topics such as planning, bushfire preparation, watering, pot plant care, mulching, weeding, fertilizing, pruning, propagating, pest control and what to plant for different climate zones.

Each month, Mary details my own gardening year, including jobs done, fruits and veggies harvested, food cooked based on the harvest, what was in flower and wildlife observations. Each month has a special topic of the month, which is examined in detail. Some of these include fun for kids in the garden, biodiversity, manipulating microclimate, and fragrance and first aid.

The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation

The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation
The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation by Kal Raustiala, Christopher Sprigman
2012 | EPUB + MOBI | 2.27/1.15MB

From the shopping mall to the corner bistro, knockoffs are everywhere in today's marketplace. Conventional wisdom holds that copying kills creativity, and that laws that protect against copies are essential to innovation--and economic success. But are copyrights and patents always necessary? In The Knockoff Economy, Kal Raustiala and Christopher Sprigman provocatively argue that creativity can not only survive in the face of copying, but can thrive.

The Knockoff Economy approaches the question of incentives and innovation in a wholly new way--by exploring creative fields where copying is generally legal, such as fashion, food, and even professional football. By uncovering these important but rarely studied industries, Raustiala and Sprigman reveal a nuanced and fascinating relationship between imitation and innovation. In some creative fields, copying is kept in check through informal industry norms enforced by private sanctions. In others, the freedom to copy actually promotes creativity. High fashion gave rise to the very term "knockoff," yet the freedom to imitate great designs only makes the fashion cycle run faster--and forces the fashion industry to be even more creative.

Raustiala and Sprigman carry their analysis from food to font design to football plays to finance, examining how and why each of these vibrant industries remains innovative even when imitation is common. There is an important thread that ties all these instances together--successful creative industries can evolve to the point where they become inoculated against--and even profit from--a world of free and easy copying. And there are important lessons here for copyright-focused industries, like music and film, that have struggled as digital technologies have made copying increasingly widespread and difficult to stop.

Raustiala and Sprigman's arguments have been making headlines in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, Le Monde, and at the Freakonomics blog, where they are regular contributors. By looking where few had looked before--at markets that fall outside normal IP law--The Knockoff Economy opens up fascinating creative worlds. And it demonstrates that not only is a great deal of innovation possible without intellectual property, but that intellectual property's absence is sometimes better for innovation.

Slimed: An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age [Audiobook]

Slimed: An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age [Audiobook]
Slimed: An Oral History of Nickelodeon's Golden Age [Audiobook] by Mathew Klickstein, read by Nick Podehl
2013 | MP3@96 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 51 mins | 364.74MB

The Behind the scenes Story of the network that Shaped a generation SLIMED! is the first oral history to chronicle the surprisingly complex, wonderfully nostalgic, and impressively compelling story of Nickelodeon, the first kids’ network.

Beginning as a DIY start-up in the late seventies, the network forged ahead through the early eighties with a tiny band of young artists and filmmakers, transforming itself into a cultural force in the late eighties and nineties that would change everything about cable television, television in general, animation, and children’s entertainment.

Compiled from hundreds of original interviews with writers, actors, producers, artists, and other Nick alumni, this is the incredible story of Nickelodeon straight from those who made it happen. Whether you’ve always wondered if Sam ever fell out of Clarissa’s window, what the real story was behind Ren & Stimpy, how an entire network was built on kids-first entertainment, or you just want to relive some of your favorite television memories, it’s time to get Slimed!

In My Shoes: A Memoir

In My Shoes: A Memoir
In My Shoes: A Memoir by Tamara Mellon, William Patrick
2013 | EPUB + AZW3 | 3.49/3.68MB

When Tamara Mellon’s father lent her the seed money to start a high-end shoe company, he cautioned her: “Don’t let the accountants run your business.” Little did he know. Over the next fifteen years, the struggle between “financial” and “creative” would become one of the central themes as Mellon’s business savvy, creative eye, and flair for design built Jimmy Choo into a premier name in the competitive fashion industry.

Over time, Mellon grew Jimmy Choo into a billion dollar brand. She became the British prime minister’s trade envoy and was honored by the Queen with the Order of the British Empire—yet it’s her personal glamour that keeps her an object of global media fascination. Vogue photographed her wedding. Vanity Fair covered her divorce and the criminal trial that followed. Harper’s Bazaar toured her London town house and her New York mansion, right down to the closets. And the Wall Street Journal hinted at the real red meat: the three private equity deals, the relentless battle between “the suits” and “the creatives,” and Mellon’s triumph against a brutally hostile takeover attempt.

But despite her eventual fame and fortune, Mellon didn’t have an easy road to success. Her seemingly glamorous beginnings in the mansions of London and Beverly Hills were marked by a tumultuous and broken family life, battles with anxiety and depression, and a stint in rehab. Determined not to end up unemployed, penniless, and living in her parents’ basement under the control of her alcoholic mother, Mellon honed her natural business sense and invested in what she knew best—fashion.

In creating the shoes that became a fixture on Sex and the City and red carpets around the world, Mellon relied on her own impeccable sense of what the customer wanted—because she was that customer. What she didn’t know at the time was that success would come at a high price—after struggles with an obstinate business partner, a conniving first CEO, a turbulent marriage, and a mother who tried to steal her hard-earned wealth.

Now Mellon shares the whole larger-than-life story, with shocking details that have never been presented before. From her troubled childhood to her time as a young editor at Vogue to her partnership with cobbler Jimmy Choo to her very public relationships, Mellon offers an honest and gripping account of the episodes that have made her who she is today.

As Mellon readies herself for her next entrepreneurial venture, In My Shoes is a definitive book for fashion aficionados, aspiring entrepreneurs, and anyone who loves a juicy true story about sex, drugs, money, power, high heels, and overcoming adversity.

House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival

House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival
House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival by Deborah Ball
2010 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.74/0.86MB

Versace. The very name conjures up images of outrageous glamour and bold sexuality, opulence and daring. All of course true, but only half the story. Versace is also the legacy of a great creative genius from a poor, backward part of southern Italy who transformed the fashion world through his intuitive understanding of both women and how a changing culture influenced the way they wanted to dress. The first book in English about the legendary designer, House of Versace shows how Gianni Versace, with his flamboyant sister Donatella at his side, combined his virtuosic talent and extraordinary ambition to almost single-handedly create the celebrity culture we take for granted today.

Gianni Versace was at the height of his creative powers when he was murdered in Miami Beach. The story was front page news around the world and the manhunt for his killer a media obsession. His beloved sister Donatella demanded no less than a funeral befitting an assassinated head-of-state to be held in Milan’s magnificent cathedral. In what was the ultimate fashion show, the world’s rich and beautiful – Princess Dianna, Elton John, Carla Bruni, Naomi Campbell, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, Anna Wintour and others – gathered to mourn a man already considered one of fashion’s great pioneers.

Deborah Ball, a long-time Milan correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, conducted hundreds of interviews with Versace family members, Gianni Versace’s lovers and business rivals, models such as Naomi Campbell whom he helped shoot to international stardom and fashion industry icons, including Anna Wintour, the legendary editor of Vogue.

Ball vividly recounts the behind-the scenes struggles – both creative and business – of Donatella as she stepped out of her brother’s long shadow and took control of the House of Versace. The book offers the first inside look at the enormous challenges Donatella faced in living up to Gianni’s genius, her struggle with a drug habit, her battles with her brother Santo and the mystery of why Gianni left control of his house to Donatella’s young daughter, Allegra. House of Versace is a compelling, highly readable tale of rise from obscurity, a painful fall and ultimate redemption as the Versace empire returned to health – for now.

Bringing together fashion, celebrity, business drama, jet-set lifestyles, and a notorious crime, House of Versace is an old-fashioned page-turner about a subject of enduring fascination.

Fashion Design, Referenced

Fashion Design, Referenced
Fashion Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to the History, Language, and Practice of Fashion by Alicia Kennedy, Emily Banis Stoehrer
2013 | PDF | 98.69MB

Fashion Design, Referenced is a comprehensive guide through the art and industry of fashion design, richly illustrated with over 1,000 photographs and drawings. Within the framework of four central categories, Fashion Design, Referenced examines the many interwoven elements that form the tapestry of fashion.

Fundamentals provides an overview of the essential structure of the fashion profession (its organization, specializations, and centers) and looks at shifts in style over time and in ever-faster cycles going forward.

Principles introduces the steps in creating a collection, from design to production, and explores directions suggested by sustainability and technology.

Dissemination charts the many avenues by which fashion reaches its audience, whether on the catwalk or in the store, in print or online, in the museum or on the street.

Practice gathers and appraises the work of the most influential and innovative fashion designers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

From its first question—What is fashion design?—to its last—What does the future hold?—Fashion Design, Referenced chronicles the scope of ideas, inspirations, and expressions that define fashion culture.

The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls

The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls
The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg
1998 | EPUB | 7.07MB

A hundred years ago, women were lacing themselves into corsets and teaching their daughters to do the same. The ideal of the day, however, was inner beauty: a focus on good deeds and a pure heart. Today American women have more social choices and personal freedom than ever before. But fifty-three percent of our girls are dissatisfied with their bodies by the age of thirteen, and many begin a pattern of weight obsession and dieting as early as eight or nine. Why?

In The Body Project, historian Joan Jacobs Brumberg answers this question, drawing on diary excerpts and media images from 1830 to the present. Tracing girls' attitudes toward topics ranging from breast size and menstruation to hair, clothing, and cosmetics, she exposes the shift from the Victorian concern with inner beauty to our modern focus on outward appearance--in particular, the desire to be model-thin and sexy. Compassionate, insightful, and gracefully written, The Body Project explores the gains and losses adolescent girls have inherited since they shed the corset and the ideal of virginity for a new world of sexual freedom and consumerism--a world in which the body is their primary project.

Origami: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Origami: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide
Origami: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Making Animals, Flowers, Planes, Boats, and More by Yukiko Duke, Norio Torimoto
2012 | EPUB | 25.48MB

Master the ancient art of paper folding with this illustrated step-by-step guide.

From playful animals to delicate flowers and fun paper airplanes, this origami guide has projects that will delight both children and adults. With words, illustrations, and more than 300 photographs, even the most complicated of folds and manipulations are made simple by this book’s easy-to-follow instructions. Master Norio Torimoto takes the mystery out of the art of paper folding by teaching readers the proper mindset behind the art and the basic formations that are the foundation for all his projects.