Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall [Audiobook]

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall [Audiobook]
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall [Audiobook] by Kazuo Ishiguro, read by Mark Bramhall, Kirby Heyborne, Lincoln Hoppe, Simon Vance
2009 | MP3@192 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 6 hrs 39 mins | 549.12MB

One of the most celebrated writers of our time gives us his first cycle of short fiction: five brilliantly etched, interconnected stories in which music is a vivid and essential character.

A once-popular singer, desperate to make a comeback, turning from the one certainty in his life . . . A man whose unerring taste in music is the only thing his closest friends value in him . . . A struggling singer-songwriter unwittingly involved in the failing marriage of a couple he’s only just met . . . A gifted, underappreciated jazz musician who lets himself believe that plastic surgery will help his career . . . A young cellist whose tutor promises to “unwrap” his talent . . .

Passion or necessity—or the often uneasy combination of the two—determines the place of music in each of these lives. And, in one way or another, music delivers each of them to a moment of reckoning: sometimes comic, sometimes tragic, sometimes just eluding their grasp.

An exploration of love, need, and the ineluctable force of the past, Nocturnes reveals these individuals to us with extraordinary precision and subtlety, and with the arresting psychological and emotional detail that has marked all of Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed works of fiction.

Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk

Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk
Doomed by Chuck Palahniuk
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 325.38/406.28KB

Madison Spencer, the liveliest and snarkiest dead girl in the universe, continues the afterlife adventure begun in Chuck Palahniuk’s bestseller Damned. Just as that novel brought us a brilliant Hell that only he could imagine, Doomed is a dark and twisted apocalyptic vision from this provocative storyteller.

The bestselling Damned chronicled Madison’s journey across the unspeakable (and really gross) landscape of the afterlife to confront the Devil himself. But her story isn’t over yet. In a series of electronic dispatches from the Great Beyond, Doomed describes the ultimate showdown between Good and Evil.

After a Halloween ritual gone awry, Madison finds herself trapped in Purgatory—or, as mortals like you and I know it, Earth. She can see and hear every detail of the world she left behind, yet she’s invisible to everyone who’s still alive. Not only do people look right through her, they walk right through her as well. The upside is that, no longer subject to physical limitations, she can pass through doors and walls. Her first stop is her parents’ luxurious apartment, where she encounters the ghost of her long-deceased grandmother. For Madison, the encounter triggers memories of the awful summer she spent upstate with Nana Minnie and her grandfather, Papadaddy. As she revisits the painful truth of what transpired over those months (including a disturbing and finally fatal meeting in a rest stop’s fetid men’s room, in which . . . well, never mind), her saga of eternal damnation takes on a new and sinister meaning. Satan has had Madison in his sights from the very beginning: through her and her narcissistic celebrity parents, he plans to engineer an era of eternal damnation. For everyone.

Once again, our unconventional but plucky heroine must face her fears and gather her wits for the battle of a lifetime. Dante Alighieri, watch your back; Chuck Palahniuk is gaining on you.

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk

Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
2011 | EPUB + MOBI | 338.63/356.5KB

From the author of Fight Club, comes a dark, irreverent, hilarious, and brilliant satire about adolescence, Hell, and the Devil.

Madison is the thirteen-year-old daughter of a narcissistic film star and a billionaire. Abandoned at her Swiss boarding school over Christmas, she dies over the holiday, presumably of a marijuana overdose. The last thing she remembers is getting into a town car and falling asleep. Then she's waking up in Hell. Literally. Madison soon finds that she shares a cell with a motley crew of young sinners: a cheerleader, a jock, a nerd, and a punk rocker, united by their doomed fate, like an afterschool detention for the damned. Together they form an odd coalition and march across the unspeakable landscape of Hell--full of used diapers, dandruff, WiFi blackout spots, evil historical figures, and one horrific call center--to confront the Devil himself.

Fight Club [Audiobook]

Fight Club [Audiobook]
Fight Club [Audiobook] by Chuck Palahniuk, read by Jim Colby
2008 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 5 hrs 34 mins | 308.67MB

An underground classic since its first publication in 1996, Fight Club is now recognized as one of the most original and provocative novels published in this decade.

Chuck Palahniuk's darkly funny first novel tells the story of a godforsaken young man who discovers that his rage at living in a world filled with failure and lies cannot be pacified by an empty consumer culture. Relief for him and his disenfranchised peers comes in the form of secret after-hours boxing matches held in the basements of bars. Fight Club is the brainchild of Tyler Durden, who thinks he has found a way for himself and his friends to live beyond their confining and stultifying lives. But in Tyler's world there are no rules, no limits, no brakes.

The Marrying of Chani Kaufman [Audiobook]

The Marrying of Chani Kaufman [Audiobook]
The Marrying of Chani Kaufman [Audiobook] by Eve Harris, read by Toni Green
2013 | M4B + EPUB | 10 hrs 37 mins | 180.63MB

Perhaps the most surprising and intriguing novel on the Man Booker Prize longlist, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman is a debut originally published by a small independent Scottish press that is already garnering significant attention worldwide.

London, 2008. Chani Kaufman is a nineteen-year-old woman, betrothed to Baruch Levy, a young man whom she has seen only four times before their wedding day. The novel begins with Chani standing “like a pillar of salt,” wearing a wedding dress that has been passed between members of her family and has the yellowed underarms and rows of alteration stitches to prove it. All of the cups of cold coffee and small talk with men referred to Chani’s parents have led up to this moment. But the happiness Chani and Baruch feel is more than counterbalanced by their anxiety: about the realities of married life; about whether they will be able to have fewer children than Chani’s mother, who has eight daughters; and, most frighteningly, about the unknown, unspeakable secrets of the wedding night. As the book moves back to tell the story of Chani and Baruch’s unusual courtship, it throws into focus a very different couple: Rabbi Chaim Zilberman and his wife, Rebbetzin Rivka Zilberman. As Chani and Baruch prepare for a shared lifetime, Chaim and Rivka struggle to keep their marriage alive—and all four, together with the rest of the community, face difficult decisions about the place of faith and family life in the contemporary world.

The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem

The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem
The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem: The Remarkable Life and Afterlife of the Man Who Created Tevye by Jeremy Dauber
2013 | EPUB | 6.0MB

Novelist, playwright, journalist, essayist, and editor, Sholem Aleichem was one of the founding giants of modern Yiddish literature. The creator of a pantheon of characters who have been immortalized in books and plays, he provided readers throughout the world with a fascinating window into the world of Eastern European Jews as they began to confront the forces of cultural, political, and religious modernity that tore through the Russian Empire in the final decades of the nineteenth century.

But just as compelling as the fictional lives of Tevye, Golde, Menakhem-Mendl, and Motl was Sholem Aleichem’s own life story. Born Sholem Rabinovich in Ukraine in 1859, he endured an impoverished childhood, married into fabulous wealth, and then lost it all through bad luck and worse business sense. Turning to his pen to support himself, he switched from writing in Russian and Hebrew to Yiddish, in order to create a living body of literature for the Jewish masses. He enjoyed spectacular success as both a writer and a performer of his work throughout Europe and the United States, and his death in 1916 was front-page news around the world; a New York Times editorial mourned the loss of “the Jewish Mark Twain.” But his greatest fame lay ahead of him, as the English-speaking world began to discover his work in translation and to introduce his characters to an audience that would extend beyond his wildest dreams. In Jeremy Dauber’s magnificent biography, we encounter a Sholem Aleichem for the ages.

The Essential Groucho: Writings by, for, and about Groucho Marx

The Essential Groucho: Writings by, for, and about Groucho Marx
The Essential Groucho: Writings by, for, and about Groucho Marx edited by Stefan Kanfer
2000 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.79MB/512.31KB

Groucho Marx may be the funniest man who ever lived. Here in one volume are the classics of Marxian mayhem: excerpts from the scripts of the immortal movies, passages from his books, his articles for magazines ranging from The New Yorker to the Saturday Evening Post, the choicest ad-libs and quips from his long-running game show, You Bet Your Life, and selected letters, including his classic correspondence with T. S. Eliot. It's all here-the finest and funniest work by this century's most influential comedian, that man of whom Woody Allen said, "He is simply unique in the same way Picasso and Stravinsky are, and I believe his outrageous, unsentimental disregard for order will be equally funny a thousand years from now. In addition to all this, he makes me laugh."

In the words of Groucho Marx:

One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he go in my pajamas I don't know.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

Fierce Pajamas

Fierce Pajamas
Fierce Pajamas: An Anthology of Humor Writing from The New Yorker edited by by David Remnick, Henry Finder
2001 | EPUB + MOBI | 490.76/653.06KB

When Harold Ross founded The New Yorker in 1925, he described it as a “comic weekly.” And although it has become much more than that, it has remained true in its irreverent heart to the founder’s description, publishing the most illustrious literary humorists of the modern era—among them Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Groucho Marx, George S. Kaufman, James Thurber, S. J. Perelman, Peter De Vries, Mike Nichols, Marshall Brickman, Woody Allen, Donald Barthelme, Calvin Trillin, George W. S. Trow, Veronica Geng, Garrison Keillor, Ian Frazier, Roy Blount, Jr., Bruce McCall, Steve Martin, Christopher Buckley, and Paul Rudnick.

This anthology gathers together, for the first time, the funniest work of more than seventy New Yorker contributors. Parodists take on not only writers like Hemingway and Kerouac, but TV documentaries, Italian cinema, and etiquette books. (Enough have been published, Robert Benchley maintains, “that there should be no danger of toppling over forward into the wrong soup, or getting into arguments as to which elbow belongs on which arm.”) Other pieces offer perspectives on the heights of fame, the depths of social embarrassment, and the ups and downs of love and sex. Such well-loved sketches as Thurber’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” take their place alongside light-hearted essays on food, tennis, and taxis, and flights of fancy that follow an apparently simple premise to the point of no return, and sometimes well beyond. Here you will find large insights (Woody Allen: “Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage”) and hard-earned wisdom (Ian Frazier on dating your mom: “Here is a grown, experienced, loving woman—one you do not have to go to a party or a singles bar to meet, one you do not have to go to great lengths to know”). And, not least, a great deal of helpful advice, including Steve Martin’s on memory and middle age: “Bored? Here’s a way the over-fifty set can easily kill a good half hour: 1. Place your car keys in your right hand. 2. With your left hand, call a friend and confirm a lunch or dinner date. 3. Hang up the phone. 4. Now look for your car keys.”

A rich selection of humorous verse includes caustic gems by Dorothy Parker, the effortless whimsy of Phyllis McGinley, and Ogden Nash’s unforgettable slapstick prosody, as well as forays by luminaries who ought to have known better, like Robert Graves, Elizabeth Bishop, and W. H. Auden.

A wonderful gift for others, or a delightful treat for oneself, Fierce Pajamas is a treasury of laughter from a publication described by Auden as “the best comic magazine in existence.”

Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat

Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat
Three Ways to Capsize a Boat: An Optimist Afloat by Chris Stewart
2010 | EPUB | 1.85MB

Chris Stewart had a long and eclectic list of jobs. From some of the most glamorous careers – he was original drummer in Genesis - to the more offbeat - a sheep shearer and circus performer - he had done it all…or almost all. So when he is offered the chance to captain a sailboat in the Greek islands one summer, something he had never done before, he jumps at the chance. Ever the optimist, Stewart is undaunted by the fact that he’d never actually sailed before!

So begins the hilarious and wild adventures of Three Ways to Capsize a Boat. From setting the boat on fire not once, but several times in the Aegean Sea to his not-so-grand arrival in Spetses to meet the owners of the boat (who says it isn’t graceful to plow into the docks as a means of coming to a stop?), Stewart quickly catches the sailing bug. By the end of the summer, as he is facing the dreary prospect of going back to sheep shearing, he jumps at the chance to be part of a crew to follow Viking Leif Eiriksson’s historic journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Five months on a small sailboat with seven other people in the freezing waters of the Atlantic would sound like punishment to most people, but not Stewart! He takes it all in stride and always with his unfailing optimism and good spirits. From coming to terms with the long, cold nights at sea and unchanging cuisine to battling intense seasickness and managing to go to the bathroom during a massive storm (a lot harder than you’d think!), Stewart keeps his good humor…but learns, in the end, that perhaps the best things in life are worth coming ashore for.

Three Ways to Capsize a Boat is travel writing at its best, crackling with Chris Stewart’s zest for life, irresistible humor, and unerring lack of foresight. Dry land never looked more welcoming!

Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia

Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia
Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Andalucia by Chris Stewart
2001 | EPUB | 1.78MB

When English sheep shearer Chris Stewart (once a drummer for Genesis) bought an isolated farmhouse in the mountains outside of Granada, Spain, he was fully aware that it didn't have electricity, running water, or access to roads. But he had little idea of the headaches and hilarity that would follow (including scorpions, runaway sheep, and the former owner who won't budge). He also had no idea that his memoir about southern Spain would set a standard for literary travel writing.

This rip-roaringly funny book about seeking a place in an earthy community of peasants and shepherds gives a realistic sense of the hassles and rewards of foreign relocation. Part of its allure stems from the absence of rose-colored glasses, mainly Stewart's refusal to merely coo about the piece of heaven he's found or to portray all residents as angels. Stewart's hilarious and beautifully written passages are deep in their honest perceptions of the place and the sometimes xenophobic natives, whose reception of the newcomers ranges from warm to gruff.

After reading about struggles with dialects, animal husbandry, droughts, flooding, and such local rituals as pig slaughters and the rebuilding of bridges, you may not wish to live Chris Stewart's life. But you can't help but admire him and his wife, Ana, for digging out a niche in these far-flung mountains, for successfully befriending the denizens, and for so eloquently and comically telling the truth. The rich, vibrant, and unromanticized candor of Driving over Lemons makes it a laudable standout in a genre too often typified by laughable naiveté. --Melissa Rossi

By the Rivers of Water: A Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey

By the Rivers of Water: A Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey
By the Rivers of Water: A Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Odyssey by Erskine Clarke
2013 | EPUB | 5.72MB

In early November 1834, an aristocratic young couple from Savannah and South Carolina sailed from New York and began a strange seventeen year odyssey in West Africa. Leighton and Jane Wilson sailed along what was for them an exotic coastline, visited cities and villages, and sometimes ventured up great rivers and followed ancient paths. Along the way they encountered not only many diverse landscapes, peoples, and cultures, but also many individuals on their own odysseys--including Paul Sansay, a former slave from Savannah; Mworeh Mah, a brilliant Grebo leader, and his beautiful daughter, Mary Clealand, at Cape Palmas; and King Glass and the wise and humorous Toko in Gabon. Leighton and Jane Wilson had freed their inherited slaves, and were to become the most influential American missionaries in West Africa during the first half of the nineteenth century. While Jane established schools, Leighton fought the international slave trade and the imperialism of colonization. He translated portions of the Bible into Grebo and Mpongwe and thereby helped to lay the foundation for the emergence of an indigenous African Christianity.

The Wilsons returned to New York because of ill health, but their odyssey was not over. Living in the booming American metropolis, the Wilsons welcomed into their handsome home visitors from around the world as they worked for the rapidly expanding Protestant mission movement. As the Civil War approached, however, they heard the siren voice of their Southern homeland calling from deep within their memories. They sought to resist its seductions, but the call became more insistent and, finally, irresistible. In spite of their years of fighting slavery, they gave themselves to a history and a people committed to maintaining slavery and its deep oppression—both an act of deep love for a place and people, and the desertion of a moral vision.

A sweeping transatlantic story of good intentions and bitter consequences, By the Rivers of Water reveals two distant worlds linked by deep faiths.

Compelling People [Audiobook]

Compelling People [Audiobook]
Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential [Audiobook] by John Neffinger, Matthew Kohut, read by Tim Andres Pabon
2013 | MP3@64 kbps | 9 hrs 01 min | 248.29MB

How People Judge You—And How To Come Out Looking Good.

You will never look at people the same way again—including yourself—after this lively look at how we make character judgments.

Drawing on cutting-edge social science research as well as their own work with Fortune 500 executives, members of Congress, and Nobel Prize winners, authors Matt Kohut and John Neffinger demystify the process we use to size each other up. It turns out that we judge each other primarily on two critical criteria: strength and warmth. The authors explain the inner workings of each, the tension that makes it so hard to project both at once, and the successful strategies that the most admired among us use to win respect and affection.

Offering practical advice for a range of common and challenging situations, Compelling People shows you not just how people already see you, but how to make sure your best qualities shine through.

Foodist [Audiobook]

Foodist [Audiobook]
Foodist: Using Real Food and Real Science to Lose Weight Without Dieting [Audiobook] by Darya Pino Rose, read by the Author
2013 | M4B | 7 hrs 09 mins | 112.53MB

Foodist is a manifesto about real food and real science that proves once and for all that sustainable weight loss is possible by incorporating fresh, seasonal—and delicious—ingredients into every meal.

If you picked up this book, there's a good chance this is not the first time you hoped a new eating plan would help you lose weight. Dieting is a popular hobby in the twenty-first century, and the result is typically a slow but steady weight gain over the years. Oops. Diets fail because they rely on willpower and restriction for achieving health goals, and ignore the reasons these tactics always backfire. Becoming a foodist helps you give up dieting forever and get on the real path to healthy, lasting weight control.

Foodist is an approach that actually celebrates food while taking you through the nutrition and psychology involved in eating well to help you move beyond the daily obstacles and bad habits that keep the tasteless, empty, and unsatisfying food-like products on your plate. Losing weight no longer has to be about sacrifice, deprivation, and willpower, and food will turn from something you fight into something you can actually love again. As Darya writes, "You don't need a diet. You need an upgrade."

Smart, accessible, and engaging, Foodist will help you tailor your eating habits to match your lifestyle and your food preferences, making sure the path you choose works for you in the short- and long-term. Not only will you permanently build healthier habits into your daily life, you'll lose weight and enjoy food like never before.

The Original Man Cave Cookbook

The Original Man Cave Cookbook
The Man Cave Cookbook: More Than 150 Fast and Easy Recipes for Dining In The Man Cave by Matt Thompson
2012 | EPUB + MOBI | 705.48/714.94KB

The Man Cave Cookbook is the essential guide to cooking for The Man Cave, whether you're hanging out solo or entertaining a crowd of Cave Buddies for the big game.

Packed with more than 150 recipes for mouthwatering breakfasts, lunches, dinners, soups,chili, stews, snacks and desserts that are quick and easy to make.

Step-by-step instructions make it easy to crush it in the kitchen - even if you have no cooking skills whatsoever. Impress your Cave Buddies. Even better, impress the wife or girlfriend!

You'll be ready for the next big game (or any other Man Cave event) 'cause the Man Cave Cookbook's got your back.

Inside the Man Cave Cookbook, you'll get man-pleasing, mouth-watering, belly-filling recipes, like:

  • Beer-n-Bacon Nuts
  • Motown Honey Wings
  • Mustard & Beer Dip
  • Fritos Trail Mix
  • Bacon Cheddar Waffles
  • Cajun Breakfast Casserole
  • Waffle Sausage Sandwich
  • Brats In Beer
  • Gridiron Heroes
  • BBQ New York Strip Steak
  • Fast Chicken Gumbo
  • Spicy Pork Burgers
  • Man Cave Mac-n-Cheese
  • Tater Tot Casserole
  • Bourbon Cheesecake Shots
  • Frozen Butterfinger Casserole
  • Twinkie Pudding
  • PLUS MORE!

INCLUDES: The Man Cave Cooking Resource Guide - your road map to cooking terms, abbreviations and more to boost your Man Cave Cooking Skills!

The Man Cave Cookbook is great for anyone who wants to CRUSH IT IN THE KITCHEN - eat good food, make it really fast and keep it simple.

Steal the Menu: A Memoir of Forty Years in Food

Steal the Menu: A Memoir of Forty Years in Food
Steal the Menu: A Memoir of Forty Years in Food by Raymond Sokolov
2013 | EPUB | 3.34MB

Four decades of memories from a gastronome who witnessed the food revolution from the (well-provisioned) trenches—a delicious tour through contemporary food history.

When Raymond Sokolov became food editor of The New York Times in 1971, he began a long, memorable career as restaurant critic, food historian, and author. Here he traces the food scene he reported on in America and abroad, from his pathbreaking dispatches on nouvelle cuisine chefs like Paul Bocuse and Michel Guérard in France to the rise of contemporary American food stars like Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz, and the fruitful collision of science and cooking in the kitchens of El Bulli in Spain, the Fat Duck outside London, and Copenhagen’s gnarly Noma.

Sokolov invites readers to join him as a privileged observer of the most transformative period in the history of cuisine with this personal narrative of the sensual education of an accidental gourmet. We dine out with him at temples of haute cuisine like New York’s Lutèce but also at a pioneering outpost of Sichuan food in a gas station in New Jersey, at a raunchy Texas chili cookoff, and at a backwoods barbecue shack in Alabama, as well as at three-star restaurants from Paris to Las Vegas.

Steal the Menu is, above all, an entertaining and engaging account of a tumultuous period of globalizing food ideas and frontier-crossing ingredients that produced the unprecedentedly rich and diverse way of eating we enjoy today.

Slow Cooker Classics from Around the World

Slow Cooker Classics from Around the World
Slow Cooker Classics from Around the World by Victoria Shearer
2011 | EPUB | 1.98MB

Cookbook author Victoria Shearer searched the globe for slow-cooked culinary classics and converted them for use in the modern-day slow cooker. A wonderful tool for today's families, the slow cooker slowly cooks ingredients to mouthwatering perfection giving the cook time to do other things. Choose from delectable dishes of all flavors and varieties, including Italian sauces and pasta dishes, French stews, Moroccan tagine, Indian curries, regional chilis, and many more. Includes recipes for soups, sauces, main dishes, side dishes, snacks, and desserts.

Quesadillas

Quesadillas
Quesadillas by Donna Kelly
2010 | EPUB + MOBI | 2.07/2.8MB

In Quesadillas, the gooey little snac ks we all used to make as kids have grown up into flavorful, hearty meals and desserts bursting with flavor. Favorites include Roasted Veggie and Goat Cheese, Thai Peanut, Parmesan-Crusted Italian, Chicken Caesar, Philly Cheesesteak, Peanut Butter Apple, Triple Chocolate Decadence, and Pecan-Crusted Pear.

Donna Kelly is the author of several cookbooks, including French Toast, 101 Things To Do With a Tortilla, 101 Things To Do With Chicken, 101 Things To Do With Tofu, 101 Things To Do with Canned Soup, and 101 Things To Do With a Toaster Oven. She lives in Provo, Utah.

Sweet and savory recipes celebrate this classic finger food.

Go! More Than a Game

Go! More Than a Game
Go More Than a Game by Peter Shotwell
2003 | EPUB | 15.7MB

Invented 2500-4000 years ago, the game of Go has enthralled hundreds of millions of people in Asia, where it is an integral part of the culture. In the West, many have learned of its pleasures, especially after the game appeared in a number of hit movies, TV series, and books, and was included on major Internet game sites. By eliciting the highest powers of rational thought, the game draws players, not just for the thrills of competition, but because they feel it enhances their mental, artistic, and even spiritual lives.

Go! More Than a Game uses the most modern methods of teaching, so that, in a few minutes, anyone can understand the two basic rules that generate the game. The object of Go is surrounding territory, but the problem is that while you are doing this, the opponent may be surrounding you! In a series of exciting teaching games, you will watch as Go's beautiful complexities begin to unfold in intertwining patterns of black and white stones. These games progress from small 9x9 boards to 13x13 and then to the traditional 19x19 size.

Go! More Than a Game has been completely revised by the author based on new data about the history of early go and the Confucians who wrote about it. This popular book includes updated information such as the impact of computer versions on the game, the mysterious new developments of Go combininatroics, advances in Combinatorial Game Theory and a look at the current international professional playing scene.

So You Think You're Smart: 150 Fun and Challenging Brain Teasers

So You Think You're Smart: 150 Fun and Challenging Brain Teasers
So You Think You're Smart: 150 Fun and Challenging Brain Teasers by Pat Battaglia
2002 | PDF | 1.0MB

So You Think You're Smart is a delightful book of word games that the entire family can enjoy. All games are concise, uncomplicated and, most of all, a lot of fun. They are about ordinary words and things that everybody knows about so only common knowledge and a bit of resourcefulness are needed to solve them.

The games are only one of the fun features. All answers are encrypted! Each is given on the same page as the game, but is printed upside-down and backward - as in a mirror image. To ensure that they cannot be accidentally read, the answers are further obscured by using italics and a reduced size type. A mirror is needed to reveal the answers - and a special unbreakable plastic one is provided with each book.

More Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Brain Teasers

More Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Brain Teasers
More Puzzles, Paradoxes, and Brain Teasers by Stan Gibilisco
1990 | PDF | 3.11MB

The book begins with some popular and also some lesser-known tricks and baffling realities of mathematics and physics. These are things you can try out on friends at parties, but some of them are more appropriate for figuring out in the library on a day when there isn’t much else to do. Such puzzles and paradoxes can begin as a diversion and then evolve to ends in themselves.

Some of the more famous, long-standing roblems are then examined such as angle trisection, the Parallel Postulate, and Fermat’s Last Theorem. The third chapter acknowledges that humans have always sought refuge in the notion that there must be something absolute in the universe—and looks at the aspects of this problem.

What causes what? Can the future dictate what has already happened in the past? By certain reasoning, yes. Chapter 4 goes into how this might be possible according to some models of space-time events. Chapter 5 asks why do things occur in bunches? Why do baseball teams have “ streaks”? Why do athletes “ plateau” and then dramatically improve suddenly?

The question of the paranormal, supernatural, metaphysical, or occult world gets into tabloids with great regularity. People like to read about things involving mind-over-matter power, immortality, and thought communication. Perhaps the intrigue in these things is because they are fun to think about. Perhaps there is a deeper reason. Science and metaphysics seem to repel each other; the scientist runs the risk of ridicule by pursuing research in this field, and those published materials that have any positive conclusions are often poisoned by lack of objectivity and downright sensationalism. Chapter 6 takes a passing glance—albeit a long glance—at this phenomenon and the ways in which related experiments are conducted.

A recent branch of science, fitting into neither pure mathematics nor pure physics, is called the science of chaos.It is gaining popularity as a field of research. Chapter 7 discusses how the phenomena that actually occur in this universe of ours are sometimes so baffling that we can explain them only by proving that we cannot explain them—not fully, at least. This realization is part of the new science. Other books written on this subject are bestsellers because the subject of chaos deals with the true nature of things—infinitely complicated and unpredictable.

Baffling Brain Teasers (Test Your Intelligence)

Baffling Brain Teasers (Test Your Intelligence)
Baffling Brain Teasers (Test Your Intelligence) by Philip J Carter
1992 | PDF | 1.12MB

A follow-up title to Alan Wareham's "Brain Teasers", with over 100 brain-teasing questions graded from easy to very difficult.

Brainteasers And Mindbenders

Brainteasers And Mindbenders
Brainteasers And Mindbenders by Ben Hamilton
1981 | PDF | 2.84MB

Like climbing mountains, puzzle solving is all about the effort in getting there. Once you reach the top, it all looks so easy, especially when you can see the smooth slope on the other side that would have been so much easier. A puzzle is like that, in that after you have the solution, it is obvious.

This collection primarily contains puzzles of a type that can be considered oldies but goodies. The primary categories are letter rearrangements, finding words or names embedded in phrases, fill in the blank letters to create specific phrases, finding words, phrase recognition and number manipulation. There are 365 puzzles, one listed for each day of the year, although few if any are related to their day and solutions to all are included at the end.

The puzzles vary enormously in difficulty. Some I solved in seconds, and others totally stumped me, at least until I looked at the solution, which caused me to immediately whack my forehead. In general, I found the number manipulation problems to be easy and the word scramble puzzles to be hard. Your opinion of this collection will largely depend on your experience with puzzles. If you have a lot, you may fly through most of them, but if you are a novice, you most likely will struggle, although it will be well worth it. - By Charles Ashbacher

Aha! Gotcha: Paradoxes to Puzzle and Delight

Aha! Gotcha: Paradoxes to Puzzle and Delight
Aha Gotcha: Paradoxes to Puzzle and Delight by Martin Gardner
1982 | PDF | 2.67MB

This is an ageless book for the people who love to think and do it well. A paradox is a situation where a supposedly valid chain of reasoning is performed and yet you end up with a conclusion that cannot be true. In many cases, the paradox is due to imprecise definitions of words or statements that are so broad in scope that they refer to themselves. For example, when a Cretan says, "All Cretans are liars." The scope of the sentence is so broad that it includes the sentence itself. Therefore, if the statement is true, the person saying it must be lying and if the statement is false, then the Cretan is telling the truth, which means that according to the statement he must be lying.

Many of the paradoxes are resolved by applying a simple analysis. Some of them are easily understood if presented in the appropriate context and no one does this better than Martin Gardner. He is truly unique in his ability to take a difficult mathematical concept and make it understandable. During his decades as the author of a regular mathematical column in Scientific American, he has done more to advance the progress of mathematics and science than anyone else in history. By turning so many young people on to mathematics, he is one of the intellectual grandfathers of hundreds of thousands of people.

This book is a delight and contains many problems that can be used in courses in mathematics, reasoning and philosophy. I strongly recommend it. - By Charles Ashbacher

Lady or the Tiger: And Other Logic Puzzles

Lady or the Tiger: And Other Logic Puzzles
Lady or the Tiger: And Other Logic Puzzles Including a Mathematical Novel That Features Godel's Great Discovery by Raymond M Smullyan
1992 | PDF | 3.5MB

This is one book of logic which is not for the weak-minded. Nineteen chapters of themed puzzles and challenges, the great majority of which have never before been published. I personally have never read a better book of logic puzzles --- even the easy ones require some thought, and the impossible ones are brilliantly explained at the end of each chapter. But if you aren't ready to analyze Smullyan's devious logic, turn your eyes elsewhere. -Amazon customer

"Another scintillating collection of brilliant problems and paradoxes by the most entertaining logician and set theorist who ever lived. As in all of Professor Smullyan's fantastic puzzle books, you end up exploring that strange subterranean region below mathematics, where Godelian corridors lead in all directions to beautiful theorems about truth and provability."-- Martin Gardner

The Garden of the Sphinx: 150 Challenging and Instructive Puzzles

The Garden of the Sphinx: 150 Challenging and Instructive Puzzles
The Garden of the Sphinx: 150 Challenging and Instructive Puzzles by Pierre Berloquin
1996 | PDF | 2.23MB

This unique puzzle book is filled with 300 puzzles that not only challenge but teach new methods for problem solving. It has 100 perceptual puzzles, 100 numerical games and 100 games of logic.

Warning to puzzle fans: once you open this book, there'll be no turning back! These puzzles are a perfect combination of appealing simplicity and tantalizing elusiveness.

The IQ Challenge

The IQ Challenge
The IQ Challenge by Philip J Carter
1994 | PDF | 4.83MB

The authors have created a collection of 100 puzzles and IQ tests that should give hours of challenging fun.

100 Perceptual Puzzles

100 Perceptual Puzzles
100 Perceptual Puzzles by Pierre Berloquin
1995 | PDF | 1.73MB

There are 100 stimulating, challenging, and delightful geometrical puzzles in this book. They are put together by Pierre Berloquin, author of many game books- card and board games, tarot card games, intelligence games, solitaire games, party games, and a few `non-game' books. He has also written three other puzzle books that contain numerical, logical, and alphabetical problems.

Author Berloquin himself has translated this brainteaser into English. The illustrations are done brilliantly by graphic artist Denis Dugas. The puzzles are carefully selected to be not too easy or too difficult to solve. One need not be a mathematician to find the answers. Whether one solves them or not, they are certainly fun to attempt. The answers are given at the end of the book.

Great exercise for lazy brains!

Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West

Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West
Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle Between East and West by Anthony Pagden
2009 | EPUB | 808.46KB

Spanning two and a half millennia, Anthony Pagden’s mesmerizing Worlds at War delves deep into the roots of the “clash of civilizations” between East and West that has always been a battle over ideas. It begins with ancient Greece and its epic fight against the Persian Empire, then sweeps to Rome, which created the modern concepts of citizenship and the rule of law. Pagden dramatizes the birth of Christianity in the East and its use in the West as an instrument of government, setting the stage for what would become, and has remained, a global battle of the secular against the sacred. Islam, at first ridiculed in Christian Europe, drives Pope Urban II to launch the Crusades, which transform the relationship between East and West into one of competing religious beliefs.

Modern times bring a first world war, which among other things seeks to redesign the Muslim world by force. In our own era, Muslims now find themselves in unwelcoming Western societies, while the West seeks to enforce democracy and its own secular values through occupation in the East. Pagden ends on a cautionary note, warning that terrorism and war will continue as long as sacred and secular remain confused in the minds of so many.

Eye-opening and compulsively readable, Worlds at War is a stunning work of history and a triumph of modern scholarship.

A People's History of the World

A People's History of the World
A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium by Chris Harman
2008 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.81MB

Chris Harman describes the shape and course of human history as a narrative of ordinary people forming and re-forming complex societies in pursuit of common human goals. Interacting with the forces of technological change as well as the impact of powerful individuals and revolutionary ideas, these societies have engendered events familiar to every schoolchild—from the empires of antiquity to the world wars of the twentieth century.

In a bravura conclusion, Chris Harman exposes the reductive complacency of contemporary capitalism, and asks, in a world riven as never before by suffering and inequality, why we imagine that it can—or should—survive much longer. Ambitious, provocative and invigorating, A People’s History of the World delivers a vital corrective to traditional history, as well as a powerful sense of the deep currents of humanity which surge beneath the froth of government.

Black against Empire

Black against Empire
Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party by Joshua Bloom, Waldo E Martin
2013 | EPUB | 5.23MB

In Oakland, California, in 1966, community college students Bobby Seale and Huey Newton armed themselves, began patrolling the police, and promised to prevent police brutality. Unlike the Civil Rights Movement that called for full citizenship rights for blacks within the U.S., the Black Panther Party rejected the legitimacy of the U.S. government and positioned itself as part of a global struggle against American imperialism. In the face of intense repression, the Party flourished, becoming the center of a revolutionary movement with offices in 68 U.S. cities and powerful allies around the world.

Black against Empire is the first comprehensive overview and analysis of the history and politics of the Black Panther Party. The authors analyze key political questions, such as why so many young black people across the country risked their lives for the revolution, why the Party grew most rapidly during the height of repression, and why allies abandoned the Party at its peak of influence. Bold, engrossing, and richly detailed, this book cuts through the mythology and obfuscation, revealing the political dynamics that drove the explosive growth of this revolutionary movement, and its disastrous unraveling. Informed by twelve years of meticulous archival research, as well as familiarity with most of the former Party leadership and many rank-and-file members, this book is the definitive history of one of the greatest challenges ever posed to American state power.

Companero: the Life and Death of Che Guevara

Companero: the Life and Death of Che Guevara
Companero: the Life and Death of Che Guevara by Jorge G Cataneda
1998 | EPUB | 4.77MB

By the time he was killed in the jungles of Bolivia, where his body was displayed like a deposed Christ, Ernesto "Che" Guevara had become a synonym for revolution everywhere from Cuba to the barricades of Paris. This extraordinary biography peels aside the veil of the Guevara legend to reveal the charismatic, restless man behind it.

Drawing on archival materials from three continents and on interviews with Guevara's family and associates, Castaneda follows Che from his childhood in the Argentine middle class through the years of pilgrimage that turned him into a committed revolutionary. He examines Guevara's complex relationship with Fidel Castro, and analyzes the flaws of character that compelled him to leave Cuba and expend his energies, and ultimately his life, in quixotic adventures in the Congo and Bolivia. A masterpiece of scholarship, Companero is the definitive portrait of a figure who continues to fascinate and inspire the world over.

Churchill's Bomb

Churchill's Bomb
Churchill's Bomb: How the United States Overtook Britain in the First Nuclear Arms Race by Graham Farmelo
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.49/1.37MB

Perhaps no scientific development has shaped the course of modern history as much as the harnessing of nuclear energy. Yet the twentieth century might have turned out differently had greater influence over this technology been exercised by Great Britain, whose scientists were at the forefront of research into nuclear weapons at the beginning of World War II.

As award-winning biographer and science writer Graham Farmelo describes in Churchill’s Bomb, the British set out to investigate the possibility of building nuclear weapons before their American colleagues. But when scientists in Britain first discovered a way to build an atomic bomb, Prime Minister Winston Churchill did not make the most of his country’s lead and was slow to realize the Bomb’s strategic implications. This was odd—he prided himself on recognizing the military potential of new science and, in the 1920s and 1930s, had repeatedly pointed out that nuclear weapons would likely be developed soon. In developing the Bomb, however, he marginalized some of his country’s most brilliant scientists, choosing to rely mainly on the counsel of his friend Frederick Lindemann, an Oxford physicist with often wayward judgment. Churchill also failed to capitalize on Franklin Roosevelt’s generous offer to work jointly on the Bomb, and ultimately ceded Britain’s initiative to the Americans, whose successful development and deployment of the Bomb placed the United States in a position of supreme power at the dawn of the nuclear age. After the war, President Truman and his administration refused to acknowledge a secret cooperation agreement forged by Churchill and Roosevelt and froze Britain out of nuclear development, leaving Britain to make its own way. Dismayed, Churchill worked to restore the relationship. Churchill came to be terrified by the possibility of thermonuclear war, and emerged as a pioneer of détente in the early stages of the Cold War.

Contrasting Churchill’s often inattentive leadership with Franklin Roosevelt’s decisiveness, Churchill’s Bomb reveals the secret history of the weapon that transformed modern geopolitics.

Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945-1953

Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945-1953
Cold Peace: Stalin and the Soviet Ruling Circle, 1945-1953 by Yoram Gorlizki, Oleg Khlevniuk
2005 | PDF | 3.29MB

Following his country's victory over Nazi Germany, Joseph Stalin was widely hailed as a great wartime leader and international statesman. Unchallenged on the domestic front, he headed one of the most powerful nations in the world. Yet, in the period from the end of World War II until his death, Stalin remained a man possessed by his fears. In order to reinforce his despotic rule in the face of old age and uncertain health, he habitually humiliated and terrorized members of his inner circle. He had their telephones bugged and even forced his deputy, Viacheslav Molotov, to betray his own spouse as a token of his allegiance.

Often dismissed as paranoid and irrational, Stalin's behavior followed a clear political logic, contend Yoram Gorlizki and Oleg Khlevniuk. Stalin's consistent and overriding goal after the war was to consolidate the Soviet Union's status as a superpower and, in the face of growing decrepitude, to maintain his own hold as leader of that power. To that end, he fashioned a system of leadership that was at once patrimonial-repressive and quite modern. While maintaining informal relations based on personal loyalty at the apex of the system, in the postwar period Stalin also vested authority in committees, elevated younger specialists, and initiated key institutional innovations with lasting consequences.

Close scrutiny of Stalin's relationships with his most intimate colleagues also shows how, in the teeth of periodic persecution, Stalin's deputies cultivated informal norms and mutual understandings which provided the foundations for collective rule after his death. Based on newly released archival documents, including personal correspondence, drafts of Central Committee paperwork, new memoirs, and interviews with former functionaries and the families of Politburo members, this book will appeal to all those interested in Soviet history, political history, and the lives of dictators.

Second World War Infantry Tactics: The European Theatre

Second World War Infantry Tactics: The European Theatre
Second World War Infantry Tactics: The European Theatre by Stephen Bull
2012 | EPUB | 10.23MB

The 'poor bloody infantry' do the dirty front-line work of war. It bears the brunt of the fighting and often suffers disproportionately in combat in comparison with the other arms of service. Yet the history of infantry tactics is too rarely studied and often misunderstood.

Stephen Bull, in this in-depth account, concentrates on the fighting methods of the infantry of the Second World War. He focuses on the infantry theory and the combat experience of the British, German and American armies. His close analysis of the rules of engagement, the tactical manuals, the training and equipment is balanced by vivid descriptions of the tactics as they were tested in action. These operational examples show how infantry tactics on all sides developed as the war progressed, and they give a telling insight into the realities of infantry warfare.

His study sets Second World War infantry tactics in the long historical context. It records how the artillery and automatic weapons of the First World War swept away the lines and columns of the nineteenth century. It goes on to describe the tactics ofthe main protagonists in 1939-45, looking in particular at the infantry's role in blitzkrieg and at the growing significance of sections and squads. And it emphasizes the increasing importance of combat in urban areas - in buildings, sewers and rooftops - which evolved through the experience gained in bitter protracted urban battles likeStalingrad.

Stephen Bull's accessible and wide-ranging survey is a fascinating introduction to the fighting methods of the opposing ground forces as they confronted each other on the European battlefields of 70 years ago.

Edith Cavell

Edith Cavell
Edith Cavell by Diana Souhami
2010 | EPUB | 6.02MB

Edith Cavell was born on 4th December 1865, daughter of the vicar of Swardeston in Norfolk, and shot in Brussels on 12th October 1915 by the Germans for sheltering British and French soldiers and helping them escape over the Belgian border. Following a traditional village childhood in 19th century England, Edith worked as a governess in the UK and abroad, before training as a nurse in London in 1895. To Edith, nursing was a duty, a vocation, but above all a service. By 1907, she had travelled most of Europe and become matron of her own hospital in Belgium, where, under her leadership, a ramshackle hospital with few staff and little organization became a model nursing school.

When war broke out, Edith helped soldiers to escape the war by giving them jobs in her hospital, finding clothing and organizing safe passage into Holland. In all, she assisted over two hundred men. When her secret work was discovered, Edith was put on trial and sentenced to death by firing squad. She uttered only 130 words in her defence. A devout Christian, the evening before her death, she asked to be remembered as a nurse, not a hero or a martyr, and prayed to be fit for heaven. When news of Edith's death reached Britain, army recruitment doubled. After the war, Edith's body was returned to the UK by train and every station through which the coffin passed was crowded with mourners. Diana Souhami brings one of the Great War's finest heroes to life in this biography of a hardworking, courageous and independent woman.

Haunted by Atrocity: Civil War Prisons in American Memory

Haunted by Atrocity: Civil War Prisons in American Memory
Haunted by Atrocity: Civil War Prisons in American Memory by Benjamin G Cloyd
2010 | PDF | 2.84MB

During the Civil War, approximately 56,000 Union and Confederate soldiers died in enemy military prison camps. Even in the midst of the war's shocking violence, the intensity of the prisoners' suffering and the brutal manner of their deaths provoked outrage, and both the Lincoln and Davis administrations manipulated the prison controversy to serve the exigencies of war. As both sides distributed propaganda designed to convince citizens of each section of the relative virtue of their own prison system--in contrast to the cruel inhumanity of the opponent--they etched hardened and divisive memories of the prison controversy into the American psyche, memories that would prove difficult to uproot. In Haunted by Atrocity, Benjamin G. Cloyd deftly analyzes how Americans have remembered the military prisons of the Civil War from the war itself to the present, making a strong case for the continued importance of the great conflict in contemporary America.

Throughout Reconstruction and well into the twentieth century, Cloyd shows, competing sectional memories of the prisons prolonged the process of national reconciliation. Events such as the trial and execution of CSA Captain Henry Wirz--commander of the notorious Andersonville prison--along with political campaigns, the publication of prison memoirs, and even the construction of monuments to the prison dead all revived the painful accusations of deliberate cruelty. As northerners, white southerners, and African Americans contested the meaning of the war, these divisive memories tore at the scars of the conflict and ensured that the subject of Civil War prisons remained controversial.

By the 1920s, the death of the Civil War generation removed much of the emotional connection to the war, and the devastation of the first two world wars provided new contexts in which to reassess the meaning of atrocity. As a result, Cloyd explains, a more objective opinion of Civil War prisons emerged--one that condemned both the Union and the Confederacy for their callous handling of captives while it deemed the mistreatment of prisoners an inevitable consequence of modern war. But, Cloyd argues, these seductive arguments also deflected a closer examination of the precise responsibility for the tragedy of Civil War prisons and allowed Americans to believe in a comforting but ahistorical memory of the controversy. Both the recasting of the town of Andersonville as a Civil War village in the 1970s and the 1998 opening of the National Prisoner of War Museum at Andersonville National Historic Site reveal the continued American preference for myth over history--a preference, Cloyd asserts, that inhibits a candid assessment of the evils committed during the Civil War.

The first study of Civil War memory to focus exclusively on the military prison camps, Haunted by Atrocity offers a cautionary tale of how Americans, for generations, have unconsciously constructed their recollections of painful events in ways that protect cherished ideals of myth, meaning, identity, and, ultimately, a deeply rooted faith in American exceptionalism.

Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders

Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders
Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders by Denise A Spellberg
2013 | EPUB | 1.98MB

In this original and illuminating book, Denise A. Spellberg reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of the story of American religious freedom—a drama in which Islam played a surprising role. In 1765, eleven years before composing the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson bought a Qur’an. This marked only the beginning of his lifelong interest in Islam, and he would go on to acquire numerous books on Middle Eastern languages, history, and travel, taking extensive notes on Islam as it relates to English common law. Jefferson sought to understand Islam notwithstanding his personal disdain for the faith, a sentiment prevalent among his Protestant contemporaries in England and America. But unlike most of them, by 1776 Jefferson could imagine Muslims as future citizens of his new country.

Based on groundbreaking research, Spellberg compellingly recounts how a handful of the Founders, Jefferson foremost among them, drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the toleration of Muslims (then deemed the ultimate outsiders in Western society) to fashion out of what had been a purely speculative debate a practical foundation for governance in America. In this way, Muslims, who were not even known to exist in the colonies, became the imaginary outer limit for an unprecedented, uniquely American religious pluralism that would also encompass the actual despised minorities of Jews and Catholics. The rancorous public dispute concerning the inclusion of Muslims, for which principle Jefferson’s political foes would vilify him to the end of his life, thus became decisive in the Founders’ ultimate judgment not to establish a Protestant nation, as they might well have done.

As popular suspicions about Islam persist and the numbers of American Muslim citizenry grow into the millions, Spellberg’s revelatory understanding of this radical notion of the Founders is more urgent than ever. Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an is a timely look at the ideals that existed at our country’s creation, and their fundamental implications for our present and future.

Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy

Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy by Emmet Scott
2012 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.48/2.13MB

During the 1920s Belgian historian Henri Pirenne came to an astonishing conclusion: the ancient classical civilization, which Rome had established throughout Europe and the Mediterranean world, was not destroyed by the Barbarians who invaded the western provinces in the fifth century, it was destroyed by the Arabs, whose conquest of the Middle East and North Africa terminated Roman civilization in those regions and cut off Europe from any further trading and cultural contact with the East. According to Pirenne, it was only in the mid-seventh century that the characteristic features of classical life disappeared from Europe, after which time the continent began to develop its own distinctive and somewhat primitive medieval culture.

Pirenne’s findings, published posthumously in his Mohammed et Charlemagne (1937), were even then highly controversial, for by the late nineteenth century many historians were moving towards a quite different conclusion: namely that the Arabs were actually a civilizing force who rekindled the light of classical learning in Europe after it had been extinguished by the Goths, Vandals and Huns in the fifth century. And because Pirenne went so diametrically against the grain of this thinking, the reception of his new thesis tended to be hostile. Paper after paper published during the 1940s and ‘50s strove to refute him. The most definitive rebuttal however appeared in the early 1980s. This was Mohammed, Charlemagne and the Origins of Europe, by English archaeologists Richard Hodges and David Whitehouse. These, in common with Pirenne’s earlier critics, argued that classical civilization was already dead in Europe by the time of the Arab conquests, and that the Arabs arrived on the scene as civilizers rather than destroyers. Hodges and Whitehouse claimed that the latest findings of archaeology fully supported this view, and their work was highly influential. So influential indeed that over the next three decades Pirenne and his thesis was progressively sidelined, so that recent years have seen the publication of dozens of titles in the English language alone which fail even to mention his name.

In Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited historian Emmet Scott reviews the evidence put forward by Hodges and Whitehouse, as well as the more recent findings of archaeology, and comes to a rather different conclusion. For him, the evidence shows that classical civilization was not dead in Europe at the start of the seventh century, but was actually experiencing something of a revival. Populations and towns were beginning to grow again for the first time since this second century – a development apparently attributable largely to the spread of Christianity. In addition, the real centres of classical civilization, in the Middle East, were experiencing an unprecedented Golden Age at the time, with cities larger and more prosperous than ever before. Excavation has shown that these were destroyed thoroughly and completely by the Arab conquests, with many never again reoccupied. And it was precisely then, says Scott, that Europe’s classical culture also disappeared, with the abandonment of the undefended lowland villas and farms of the Roman period and a retreat to fortified hilltop settlements; the first medieval castles.

For Scott, archaeology demonstrated that the Arabs did indeed blockade the Mediterranean through piracy and slave-raiding, precisely as Pirenne had claimed, and he argues that the disappearance of papyrus from Europe was an infallible proof of this. Whatever classical learning survived after this time, says Scott, was due almost entirely to the efforts of Christian monks.

The Pirenne thesis has taken on a new significance in the post 9/11 world. Scott’s take on the theory will certainly ignite further and perhaps heated debate.

Mohammed and Charlemagne

Mohammed and Charlemagne
Mohammed and Charlemagne by Henri Pirenne
2001 | EPUB + MOBI | 393.14KB/1.16MB

Remarkable classic that developed the revolutionary theory of how the advance and influence of Islam caused the Europe of the Roman Empire to evolve into the Europe of the Middle Ages. "An important...seminal book, worthy to close one of the most distinguished careers in European scholarship." — Saturday Review of Literature.

A Colossal Wreck

A Colossal Wreck
A Colossal Wreck: A Road Trip Through Political Scandal, Corruption, And American Culture by Alexander Cockburn
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 2.25/1.16MB

Alexander Cockburn was without question one of the most influential journalists of his generation, whose writing stems from the best tradition of Mark Twain, H.L. Menchken and Tom Paine. Colossal Wreck, his final work, finished shortly before his death in July 2012, exemplifies the prodigious literary brio that made Cockburn’s name.

Whether ruthlessly exposing Beltway hypocrisy, pricking the pomposity of those in power, or tirelessly defending the rights of the oppressed, Cockburn never pulled his punches and always landed a blow where it mattered. In this panoramic work, covering nearly two decades of American culture and politics, he explores subjects as varied as the sex life of Bill Clinton and the best way to cook wild turkey. He stands up for the rights of prisoners on death row and exposes the chicanery of the media and the duplicity of the political elite. As he pursues a serpentine path through the nation, he charts the fortunes of friends, famous relatives, and sworn enemies alike to hilarious effect.

This is a thrilling trip through the reefs and shoals of politics and everyday life. Combining a passion for the places, the food and the people he encountered on dozens of cross-country journeys, Cockburn reports back over seventeen years of tumultuous change among what he affectionately called the “thousand landscapes” of the United States.

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing

Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing
Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr
2013 | EPUB | 1.92MB

Almost everyone swears, or worries about not swearing, from the two year-old who has just discovered the power of potty mouth to the grandma who wonders why every other word she hears is obscene. Whether they express anger or exhilaration, are meant to insult or to commend, swear words perform a crucial role in language. But swearing is also a uniquely well-suited lens through which to look at history, offering a fascinating record of what people care about on the deepest levels of a culture--what's divine, what's terrifying, and what's taboo.

Holy Sh*t tells the story of two kinds of swearing--obscenities and oaths--from ancient Rome and the Bible to today. With humor and insight, Melissa Mohr takes readers on a journey to discover how "swearing" has come to include both testifying with your hand on the Bible and calling someone a *#$&!* when they cut you off on the highway. She explores obscenities in ancient Rome--which were remarkably similar to our own--and unearths the history of religious oaths in the Middle Ages, when swearing (or not swearing) an oath was often a matter of life and death. Holy Sh*t also explains the advancement of civility and corresponding censorship of language in the 18th century, considers the rise of racial slurs after World War II, examines the physiological effects of swearing (increased heart rate and greater pain tolerance), and answers a question that preoccupies the FCC, the US Senate, and anyone who has recently overheard little kids at a playground: are we swearing more now than people did in the past?

A gem of lexicography and cultural history, Holy Sh*t is a serious exploration of obscenity--and it also just might expand your repertoire of words to choose from the next time you shut your finger in the car door.

Strange But True, America: Weird Tales from All 50 States

Strange But True, America: Weird Tales from All 50 States
Strange But True, America: Weird Tales from All 50 States by John Hafnor
2009 | EPUB | 5.09MB

Strange But True, America is a 50-state tour de force of every oddball fact missing from standard travel and history books. Richly illustrated by veteran artist Dale Crawford, the book's 101 weird tales and matching drawings are crafted to surprise. Author John Hafnor employed a deeply curious research style to unearth the little-known tales, each building to a twist ending that assures reader interest. The book pulls few punches in redefining much of America s previously unquestioned folklore.

Extreme Halloween

Extreme Halloween
Extreme Halloween: The Ultimate Guide to Making Halloween Scary Again by Tom Nardone
2009 | EPUB | 8.64MB

All new diabolical ideas from the bestselling author of Extreme Pumpkins— the ultimate guide to reviving the grisly true spirit of Halloween.

From baking hemorrhaging desserts to burying family and friends alive, the outrageous projects in this guide will inspire readers to transform the house, the yard, the kids, and the wardrobe for the scariest Halloween ever. Some of the spooky ideas include:

  • Alligator in the Leaf Pile
  • Toilet Bowl of Candy
  • Fog Your Yard
  • Buried Alive
  • Turning a Garage into a Haunted House
  • A Cake that Bleeds
  • Costumes to Disturb and Amuse

For any fan of Halloween, this extreme celebration will spook, inspire, and help freak out the neighbors.

Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation

Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation
Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation by Chris White, Jamil Zainasheff
2010 | EPUB | 7.34MB

This book is a resource for brewers of all experience levels. The authors adeptly cover yeast selection, storage and handling of yeast cultures, how to culture yeast and the art of rinsing/washing yeast cultures. Sections on how to set up a yeast lab, the basics of fermentation science and how it affects your beer, plus step by step procedures, equipment lists and a guide to troubleshooting are included.

Betty Crocker 20 Best Brownie Recipes

Betty Crocker 20 Best Brownie Recipes
Betty Crocker 20 Best Brownie Recipes
2013 | EPUB | 10.11MB

Explore the World of Brownies
Photo of Every Recipe

Brownies are comfort food at their best – and these 20 delightful recipes open up new brownie ideas everyone will love. Try S’Mores Brownies or Dulce-Frosted Chipotle brownies to add pizazz to your everyday treat. Want to dazzle folks at the bake sale? Bring in Crunchy Peanut Butter Blast Brownies or Brownies on a Stick. You’ll love the variety and the new ideas here – your brownies will never be the same!

The Everything Giant Book of Juicing

The Everything Giant Book of Juicing
The Everything Giant Book of Juicing: Includes Vegetable Super Juice, Mango Pear Punch, Ginger Zinger, Super Immunity Booster, Blueberry Citrus Juice and hundreds more by Teresa Kennedy
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 3.17/2.21MB

Juice your way to better health!

Millions of Americans don't get the recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diets. If you want to try an easy way to drink some of these fruits and vegetables, you'll find all you need in The Everything Giant Book of Juicing. It's packed with 300 recipes for fresh, delicious, and easy juices for nutrition on the run, including:

  • Boost juice
  • Grapeberry cocktail
  • Carrot mango cup
  • Tropical treat
  • Mint shake

Adding fresh juices to your diet can help ward off colds and migraines, promote longevity, shed excess pounds, and prevent serious diseases. And this all-new collection includes recipes for smoothies, frozen drinks, and ice pops for more fun ways to include vitamin-rich foods in a healthy, balanced diet. So whip up some juice, raise a glass, and make a toast--to your health!