Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence [Audiobook]

Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence [Audiobook]
Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence [Audiobook] by Gary Mack, David Casstevens, read by Kevin Young
2014 | MP3 VBR ~ 87 kbps | 5 hrs 27 mins | 205.13MB

Golfing great Bobby Jones said, "Competition is won or lost on the six-inch playing field between the ears." How do the best athletes gain an advantage on that playing field? In Mind Gym, noted sports psychology consultant Gary Mack teaches athletes the lessons he's learned about how the mind influences athletic performance as much as physical skill does, if not more so.

Through forty accessible lessons and inspirational anecdotes from prominent athletes--many of whom he has worked with--Mack shares the same techniques and exercises he uses to help elite athletes build mental "muscle."

Achieving this inner excellence requires time and effort. The more you work on the inside, the more it shows on the outside. These engaging stories--covering such themes as overcoming adversity, staying motivated, and following one's dreams--will enable you to perform at your best by choice rather than chance.

Mind Gym will give anyone who spires to be a better athlete the "head edge" over the competition.

Wild Ducks Flying Backward [EPUB]

Wild Ducks Flying Backward [EPUB]
Wild Ducks Flying Backward by Tom Robbins
2006 | EPUB | 0.4MB

Known for his meaty seriocomic novels–expansive works that are simultaneously lowbrow and highbrow–Tom Robbins has also published over the years a number of short pieces, predominantly nonfiction. His travel articles, essays, and tributes to actors, musicians, sex kittens, and thinkers have appeared in publications ranging from Esquire to Harper’s, from Playboy to the New York Times, High Times, and Life. A generous sampling, collected here for the first time and including works as diverse as scholarly art criticism and some decidedly untypical country-music lyrics, Wild Ducks Flying Backward offers a rare sweeping overview of the eclectic sensibility of an American original.

Whether he is rocking with the Doors, depoliticizing Picasso’s Guernica, lamenting the angst-ridden state of contemporary literature, or drooling over tomato sandwiches and a species of womanhood he calls “the genius waitress,” Robbins’s briefer writings often exhibit the same five traits that perhaps best characterize his novels: an imaginative wit, a cheerfully brash disregard for convention, a sweetly nasty eroticism, a mystical but keenly observant eye, and an irrepressible love of language.

Embedded in this primarily journalistic compilation are a couple of short stories, a sheaf of largely unpublished poems, and an off-beat assessment of our divided nation. And wherever we open Wild Ducks Flying Backward, we’re apt to encounter examples of the intently serious playfulness that percolates from the mind of a self-described “romantic Zen hedonist” and “stray dog in the banquet halls of culture.”

The New Gods by E M Cioran [EPUB]

The New Gods by E M Cioran [EPUB]
The New Gods by E M Cioran, translated by Richard Howard
2013 | EPUB | 0.9MB

Dubbed “Nietzsche without his hammer” by literary critic James Wood, the Romanian philosopher E. M. Cioran is known as much for his profound pessimism and fatalistic approach as for the lyrical, raging prose with which he communicates them. Unlike many of his other works, such as On the Heights of Despair and Tears and Saints, The New Gods eschews his usual aphoristic approach in favor of more extensive and analytic essays.

Returning to many of Cioran’s favorite themes, The New Gods explores humanity’s attachment to gods, death, fear, and infirmity, in essays that vary widely in form and approach. In “Paleontology” Cioran describes a visit to a museum, finding the relatively pedestrian destination rife with decay, death, and human weakness. In another chapter, Cioran explores suicide in shorter, impressionistic bursts, while “The Demiurge” is a shambolic exploration of man’s relationship with good, evil, and God. All the while, The New Gods reaffirms Cioran’s belief in “lucid despair,” and his own signature mixture of pessimism and skepticism in language that never fails to be a pleasure. Perhaps his prose itself is an argument against Cioran’s near-nihilism: there is beauty in his books.

Discourses and Selected Writings by Epictetus [EPUB]

Discourses and Selected Writings by Epictetus [EPUB]
Discourses and Selected Writings by Epictetus, translated by Robert Dobbin
2014 | EPUB | 2.18MB

Epictetus, a Greek stoic and freed slave, ran a thriving philosophy school in Nicropolis in the early second century AD. His animated discussions were celebrated for their rhetorical wizardry and were written down by Arrian, his most famous pupil. Together with the Enchiridion, a manual of his main ideas, and the fragments collected here, The Discourses argue that happiness lies in learning to perceive exactly what is in our power to change and what is not, and in embracing our fate to live in harmony with god and nature.

In this personal, practical guide to the ethics of stoicism and moral self-improvement, Epictetus tackles questions of freedom and imprisonment, illness and fear, family, friendship and love, and leaves an intriguing document of daily life in the classical world.

The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays [EPUB]

The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays [EPUB]
The Columbia Anthology of Japanese Essays: Zuihitsu from the Tenth to the Twenty-First Century edited by Steven D. Carter
2014 | EPUB | 1.12MB

A court lady of the Heian era, an early modern philologist, a Meiji-period novelist, and a physicist at Tokyo University. What do they have in common, besides being Japanese? They all wrote zuihitsu -- a uniquely Japanese literary genre encompassing features of the nonfiction or personal essay and miscellaneous musings. For sheer range of subject matter and breadth of perspective, the zuihitsu is unrivaled in the Japanese literary tradition, which may explain why few examples have been translated into English. Springing from a variety of social, artistic, political, and professional discourses, zuihitsu is an undeniably important literary form practiced by all types of people who reveal much about themselves, their identities, and the times in which they lived. Zuihitsu also contain a good deal of humor, which is often underrepresented in translations of "serious" Japanese writing.

This anthology presents a representative selection of more than one hundred zuihitsu from a range of historical periods written by close to fifty authors -- from well-known figures, such as Matsuo Basho, Natsume Soseki, and Koda Aya, to such writers as Tachibana Nankei and Dekune Tatsuro, whose names appear here for the first time in English.Writers speak on the experience of coming down with a cold, the aesthetics of tea, the physiology and psychology of laughter, the demands of old age, standards of morality, childrearing, the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, sleeplessness, undergoing surgery, and training a parrot to say "thank you." Varying in length from paragraphs to pages, these works also provide moving descriptions of snowy landscapes, foggy London, Ueno Park's famous cherry blossoms, and the appeal of rainy vistas, and relate the joys and troubles of everyone from desperate samurai to filial children and ailing cats.

Confucianism: A Short Introduction [EPUB]

Confucianism: A Short Introduction [EPUB]
Confucianism: A Short Introduction by John Berthrong, Evelyn Berthrong
2014 | EPUB | 2.48MB

Against the backdrop of seventeenth-century China, this unique new introduction follows a Confucian couple, together with their family, friends, and staff, through a typical day. The result offers a fascinating insight into the intellectual, scholarly, and practical aspects of Confucianism.

Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln [EPUB]

Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln [EPUB]
Founders' Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln by Richard Brookhiser
2014 | EPUB | 2.15MB

Abraham Lincoln grew up in the long shadow of the Founding Fathers. Seeking an intellectual and emotional replacement for his own taciturn father, Lincoln turned to the great men of the founding—Washington, Paine, Jefferson—and their great documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution—for knowledge, guidance, inspiration, and purpose. Out of the power vacuum created by their passing, Lincoln emerged from among his peers as the true inheritor of the Founders’ mantle, bringing their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery.

In Founders’ Son, celebrated historian Richard Brookhiser presents a compelling new biography of Abraham Lincoln that highlights his lifelong struggle to carry on the work of the Founding Fathers. Following Lincoln from his humble origins in Kentucky to his assassination in Washington, D.C., Brookhiser shows us every side of the man: laborer, lawyer, congressman, president; storyteller, wit, lover of ribald jokes; depressive, poet, friend, visionary. And he shows that despite his many roles and his varied life, Lincoln returned time and time again to the Founders. They were rhetorical and political touchstones, the basis of his interest in politics, and the lodestars guiding him as he navigated first Illinois politics and then the national scene.

But their legacy with not sufficient. As the Civil War lengthened and the casualties mounted Lincoln wrestled with one more paternal figure—God the Father—to explain to himself, and to the nation, why ending slavery had come at such a terrible price.

Bridging the rich and tumultuous period from the founding of the United States to the Civil War, Founders’ Son is unlike any Lincoln biography to date. Penetrating in its insight, elegant in its prose, and gripping in its vivid recreation of Lincoln’s roving mind at work, this book allows us to think anew about the first hundred years of American history, and shows how we can, like Lincoln, apply the legacy of the Founding Fathers to our times.

Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life [PDF]

Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life [PDF]
Robespierre: A Revolutionary Life by Peter McPhee
2012 | PDF | 3.83MB

For some historians and biographers, Maximilien Robespierre (1758–94) was a great revolutionary martyr who succeeded in leading the French Republic to safety in the face of overwhelming military odds. For many others, he was the first modern dictator, a fanatic who instigated the murderous Reign of Terror in 1793–94. This masterful biography combines new research into Robespierre's dramatic life with a deep understanding of society and the politics of the French Revolution to arrive at a fresh understanding of the man, his passions, and his tragic shortcomings.

Peter McPhee gives special attention to Robespierre's formative years and the development of an iron will in a frail boy conceived outside wedlock and on the margins of polite provincial society. Exploring how these experiences formed the young lawyer who arrived in Versailles in 1789, the author discovers not the cold, obsessive Robespierre of legend, but a man of passion with close but platonic friendships with women. Soon immersed in revolutionary conflict, he suffered increasingly lengthy periods of nervous collapse correlating with moments of political crisis, yet Robespierre was tragically unable to step away from the crushing burdens of leadership. Did his ruthless, uncompromising exercise of power reflect a descent into madness in his final year of life? McPhee reevaluates the ideology and reality of "the Terror," what Robespierre intended, and whether it represented an abandonment or a reversal of his early liberalism and sense of justice.

Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History [EPUB]

Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History [EPUB]
Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History by Brianna DuMont
2014 | EPUB + MOBI | 10.23/10.65MB

Fakes, frauds, and phonies. Sounds like a book filled with criminals and delinquents, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. Some of the biggest names in history can be found between these pages—and the light isn’t flattering. (We’re looking at you, George “I must not tell a lie” Washington.)

Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes, and Frauds Who Changed History is the first book in a new nonfiction middle grade series that will explore the underbelly of history, making you question everything you thought you knew about history’s finest. Follow the fake lives of these twelve history-changers to uncover the fabrications of the famous, and the should-be-famous!

Famous “Phonies”:
Confucius • George Washington • Pythagoras • Hiawatha • Gilgamesh • Major William Martin • William Shakespeare • Pope Joan • Homer • Prester John • Huangdi • The Turk

When Britain Burned the White House [EPUB]

When Britain Burned the White House [EPUB]
When Britain Burned the White House: The 1814 Invasion of Washington by Peter Snow
2014 | EPUB | 46.41MB

In August 1814, the United States army was defeated just outside Washington, D.C., by the world’s greatest military power. President James Madison and his wife had just enough time to flee the White House before the British invaders entered. British troops stopped to feast on the meal still sitting on the Madisons’ dining-room table before setting the White House on fire. The extent of the destruction was massive; finished in wood rather than marble, everything inside the mansion was combustible. Only the outer stone walls would withstand the fire.

The tide of the War of 1812 would quickly turn, however. Less than a month later, American troops would stand victorious at the Battle of Fort McHenry. Poet Francis Scott Key, struck by the sight of the American flag waving over Fort McHenry, jotted down the beginnings of a poem that would be set to music and become the U.S. national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”

In his compelling narrative style, Peter Snow recounts the fast-changing fortunes of that summer’s extraordinary confrontations. Drawing from a wealth of material, including eyewitness accounts, Snow describes the colorful personalities on both sides of those spectacular events: including the beleaguered President James Madison and First Lady Dolley, American heroes such as Joshua Barney and Sam Smith, and flawed military leaders like Army Chief William Winder and War Secretary John Armstrong. On the British side, Snow re-creates the fiery Admiral George Cockburn, the cautious but immensely popular Major General Robert Ross, and sharp-eyed diarists James Scott and George Gleig.

When Britain Burned the White House highlights this unparalleled moment in British and American history, the courageous, successful defense of Fort McHenry and the American triumph that would follow, and America’s and Britain’s decision to never again fight each other.

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the US Navy [EPUB]

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the US Navy [EPUB]
Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the US Navy by Ian W Toll
2006 | EPUB | 2.1MB

Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, the establishment of a permanent military became the most divisive issue facing the new government. The founders—particularly Jefferson, Madison, and Adams—debated fiercely. Would a standing army be the thin end of dictatorship? Would a navy protect from pirates or drain the treasury and provoke hostility? Britain alone had hundreds of powerful warships.

From the decision to build six heavy frigates, through the cliff-hanger campaign against Tripoli, to the war that shook the world in 1812, Ian W. Toll tells this grand tale with the political insight of Founding Brothers and the narrative flair of Patrick O'Brian.

A Cool and Lonely Courage [EPUB]

A Cool and Lonely Courage [EPUB]
A Cool and Lonely Courage: The Untold Story of Sister Spies in Occupied France by Susan Ottaway
2014 | EPUB | 1.77MB

The incredible true story of British special agents Eileen and Jacqueline Nearne, sisters who risked everything to fight for freedom during the Second World War.

When elderly recluse Eileen Nearne died, few suspected that the quiet little old lady was a decorated WWII war hero. Volunteering to serve for British intelligence at age 21, Eileen was posted to Nazi-occupied France to send encoded messages of crucial importance for the Allies, until her capture by the Gestapo.

Eileen was not the only agent in her family—-her sister Jacqueline was a courier for the French resistance. While Jacqueline narrowly avoided arrest, Eileen was tortured by the Nazis, then sent to the infamous Ravensbrück women's concentration camp. Astonishingly, this resourceful young woman eventually escaped her captors and found her way to the advancing American army.

In this amazing true story of triumph and tragedy, Susan Ottaway unveils the secret lives of two sisters who sacrificed themselves to defend their country.

The History of the Stasi [PDF]

The History of the Stasi [PDF]
The History of the Stasi: East Germany's Secret Police, 1945-1990 by Jens Gieseke
2014 | PDF | 2.05MB

The East German Ministry for State Security stood for Stalinist oppression and all-encompassing surveillance. The "shield and sword of the party," it secured the rule of the Communist Party for more than forty years, and by the 1980s it had become the largest secret-police apparatus in the world, per capita.

Jens Gieseke tells the story of the Stasi, a feared secret-police force and a highly professional intelligence service. He inquires into the mechanisms of dictatorship and the day-to-day effects of surveillance and suspicion. Masterful and thorough at once, he takes the reader through this dark chapter of German postwar history, supplying key information on perpetrators, informers, and victims. In an assessment of post-communist memory politics, he critically discusses the consequences of opening the files and the outcomes of the Stasi debate in reunified Germany.

A major guide for research on communist secret-police forces, this book is considered the standard reference work on the Stasi and has already been translated into a number of Eastern European languages.

Barrel of a Gun [EPUB]

Barrel of a Gun [EPUB]
Barrel of a Gun: A War Correspondent's Misspent Moments in Combat by Al J Venter
2010 | EPUB | 10.01MB

"Anybody who says that the pen is mightier than the sword hasn't spent time in Somalia, or in Beirut during its bloody heyday." So begins this fascinating memoir of a journalist, filmmaker, and just plain raconteur who has made a career of examining warfare-on the ground and as the bullets are flying. While the average citizen is aware of violent conflicts broiling all around the globe, Al J. Venter-from some strange compulsion unexplainable even by him-has felt the need to see them all in person, preferably at the center of the action.

Born in South Africa, Venter has found no shortage of horrific battles on his own continent, from Rhodesia to Biafra, and Angola to Somalia. He has ridden with the legendary merc group Executive Outcomes, jumped into combat with South Africa's crack Parachute Regiment (the Parabats), and traipsed the jungles with both guerrillas and national troops under whichever strongman in the country then held power. During Sierra Leone's civil war he flew in the government's lone Mi-24 Hind gunship as it blasted apart rebel villages and convoys, his complaint being that the Soviet-made craft leaked when it rained.

In the Mideast he went into southern Lebanon with the invading Israeli army as it encountered resistance from multiple Muslim groups, including the newly formed Hezbollah. Curious about the other side of the hill, he joined up with General Aoun's Christian militias while that conflict was at its height. Touching down in Croatia during the Balkan wars, and in Congo during their perpetual one, as well as the Uganda of Idi Amin, Venter never lost his lust for action, even as he sometimes had to put down his camera or notebook to pick up an AK-47.

In his journeys, Venter associated with an array of similarly daring soldiers and journalists, from "Mad Mike" Hoare to Danny Pearl, as well as elite soldiers from around the world, many of whom, he sadly relates, never emerged from the war zones they entered. The creator of countless documentaries and books, from warfare to shark diving to nuclear proliferation, Al Venter has here offered the reader his own personal combat experiences, in all their multi-faceted fascination.

Who We Be: The Colorization of America [EPUB]

Who We Be: The Colorization of America [EPUB]
Who We Be: The Colorization of America by Jeff Chang
2014 | EPUB | 8.71MB

Race. A four-letter word. The greatest social divide in American life, a half-century ago and today.

During that time, the U.S. has seen the most dramatic demographic and cultural shifts in its history, what can be called the colorization of America. But the same nation that elected its first Black president on a wave of hope—another four-letter word—is still plunged into endless culture wars.

How do Americans see race now? How has that changed—and not changed—over the half-century? After eras framed by words like "multicultural" and "post-racial," do we see each other any more clearly?

Who We Be remixes comic strips and contemporary art, campus protests and corporate marketing campaigns, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Trayvon Martin into a powerful, unusual, and timely cultural history of the idea of racial progress. In this follow-up to the award-winning classic Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation, Jeff Chang brings fresh energy, style, and sweep to the essential American story.

Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation [MOBI]

Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation [MOBI]
Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation by Jeff Chang
2005 | MOBI | 1.96MB

Forged in the fires of the Bronx and Kingston, Jamaica, hip-hop became the Esperanto of youth rebellion and a generation-defining movement. In a post-civil rights era defined by deindustrialization and globalization, hip-hop crystallized a multiracial, polycultural generation's worldview, and transformed American politics and culture. But that epic story has never been told with this kind of breadth, insight, and style.

Based on original interviews with DJs, b-boys, rappers, graffiti writers, activists, and gang members, with unforgettable portraits of many of hip-hop's forebears, founders, and mavericks, including DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D, and Ice Cube, Can't Stop Won't Stop chronicles the events, the ideas, the music, and the art that marked the hip-hop generation's rise from the ashes of the 60's into the new millennium. Here is a powerful cultural and social history of the end of the American century, and a provocative look into the new world that the hip-hop generation created.

The Birth of Korean Cool [EPUB]

The Birth of Korean Cool [EPUB]
The Birth of Korean Cool: How One Nation Is Conquering the World Through Pop Culture by Euny Hong
2014 | EPUB | 0.2MB

A FRESH, FUNNY, UP-CLOSE LOOK AT HOW SOUTH KOREA REMADE ITSELF AS THE WORLD’S POP CULTURE POWERHOUSE OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

By now, everyone in the world knows the song “Gangnam Style” and Psy, an instantly recognizable star. But the song’s international popularity is no passing fad. “Gangnam Style” is only one tool in South Korea’s extraordinarily elaborate and effective strategy to become a major world superpower by first becoming the world’s number one pop culture exporter.

As a child, Euny Hong moved from America to the Gangnam neighbourhood in Seoul. She was a witness to the most accelerated part of South Korea’s economic development, during which time it leapfrogged from third-world military dictatorship to first-world liberal democracy on the cutting edge of global technology.

Euny Hong recounts how South Korea vaulted itself into the twenty-first century, becoming a global leader in business, technology, education, and pop culture. Featuring lively, in-depth reporting and numerous interviews with Koreans working in all areas of government and society, The Birth of Korean Cool reveals how a really uncool country became cool, and how a nation that once banned miniskirts, long hair on men, and rock ‘n’ roll could come to mass produce boy bands, soap operas, and the world’s most important smart phone.

Backyard Farming: Growing Garlic [EPUB]

Backyard Farming: Growing Garlic [EPUB]
Backyard Farming: Growing Garlic: The Complete Guide to Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Garlic by Kim Pezza
2014 | EPUB | 6.73MB

Your Backyard Farming Experience Begins Here!

Garlic is one of the most valuable and versatile additions you can make to your garden.

Backyard Farming: Growing Garlic is your expert guide to successfully tending and harvesting garlic.

Delicious when fresh and effortless to cure and preserve, garlic is a great choice for homesteads and gardens. Growing Garlic is a comprehensive primer for anyone looking to add garlic to their harvest and includes detailed instructions and informative photographs that help ensure that your garlic crop is a success.

Growing Garlic covers a broad range of important topics, including selecting the right variety of garlic for your wants and needs, storage and preservation methods, recognizing common pests and diseases, and incorporating garlic into your diet, among many others.

With Growing Garlic, you will:

  • Learn when and how to plant to get the most out of your garlic crop
  • Utilize garlic as the perfect companion plant to improve the health of your entire garden
  • Learn the various methods of planting garlic, allowing you to work within your schedule and workload
  • Learn to harvest your garlic and prepare it for sale or personal use
  • Discover a variety of delicious homestead recipes
  • ...and many more tips and tricks from experienced farmers to help you achieve success with your garlic harvest.

Growing Garlic is your first big step to joining the growing movement of homemakers and homesteaders looking to make a return to a healthier, happier way of life—and it starts right in your own backyard.

Backyard Farming is a series of easy-to-use guides to help urban, suburban, and rural dwellers turn their homes into homesteads. Whether planning to grow food for the family or for sale at the local farmers market, Backyard Farming provides simple instruction and essential information in a convenient reference.

The Lovers’ Guide to Homemade Video [EPUB]

The Lovers’ Guide to Homemade Video [EPUB]
The Lovers’ Guide to Homemade Video: Tips and Techniques for Making Your Own Erotic Movies by Serena Vallés
2014 | EPUB | 11.15MB

Inside every person, as timid as they might seem, dwells a being who feels curious about or enjoys watching themselves naked in erotic situations, whether it’s alone or with a partner. This manual provides the tools to enjoy this exciting game with skill and creativity.

At the time of shooting an erotic film, there can be some uncertainties: Which are the best angles? What type of lighting best expresses the sensuality? How can the most beautiful body parts be highlighted? Is it necessary to prepare a script? What kind of limits do you create?

The Lovers’ Guide to Homemade Video is a pioneering guide to discovering new and exciting erotic possibilities: from filming a striptease, to a movie more subdued in tone, to a stimulating session of nude photography.

The abundantly illustrated pages include, amongst other topics:

  • The most suggestive erotic ideas and guides
  • The art of the striptease
  • The most exciting plans, scenes, and sequences
  • Lighting, sets, and accessories
  • Editing and digital effects
  • All kinds of tricks to make the most out of the camera

The Map Thief [Audiobook]

The Map Thief [Audiobook]
The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps [Audiobook] by Michael Blanding, read by Sean Runnette
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 8 hrs 35 mins | 246.95MB

Maps have long exerted a special fascination on viewers—both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But to those who collect them, the map trade can be a cutthroat business, inhabited by quirky and sometimes disreputable characters in search of a finite number of extremely rare objects.

Once considered a respectable antiquarian map dealer, E. Forbes Smiley spent years doubling as a map thief—until he was finally arrested slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. The Map Thief delves into the untold history of this fascinating high-stakes criminal and the inside story of the industry that consumed him.

Acclaimed reporter Michael Blanding has interviewed all the key players in this stranger-than-fiction story, and shares the fascinating histories of maps that charted the New World, and how they went from being practical instruments to quirky heirlooms to highly coveted objects. Though pieces of the map theft story have been written before, Blanding is the first reporter to explore the story in full—and had the rare privilege of having access to Smiley himself after he'd gone silent in the wake of his crimes. Moreover, although Smiley swears he has admitted to all of the maps he stole, libraries claim he stole hundreds more—and offer intriguing clues to prove it. Now, through a series of exclusive interviews with Smiley and other key individuals, Blanding teases out an astonishing tale of destruction and redemption.

The Map Thief interweaves Smiley's escapades with the stories of the explorers and mapmakers he knew better than anyone. Tracking a series of thefts as brazen as the art heists in Provenance and a subculture as obsessive as the oenophiles in The Billionaire's Vinegar, Blanding has pieced together an unforgettable story of high-stakes crime.

Here Is a Human Being [EPUB]

Here Is a Human Being [EPUB]
Here Is a Human Being: At the Dawn of Personal Genomics by Misha Angrist
2010 | EPUB | 1.95MB

The first in-depth look at personal genomics: its larger-than-life research subjects; its entrepreneurs and do-it-yourselfers; its technology developers; the bewildered and overwhelmed physicians and regulators who must negotiate it; and what it means to be a "public genome" in a world where privacy is already under siege.

In 2007, Misha Angrist became the fourth subject in the Personal Genome Project, George Church's ambitious plan to sequence the entire genomic catalog: every participant's twenty thousand–plus genes and the rest of his or her 6 billion base pairs. Church hopes to better understand how genes influence our physical traits, from height and athletic ability to behavior and weight, and our medical conditions, from cancer and diabetes to obesity and male pattern baldness. Now Angrist reveals startling information about the experiment's participants and scientists; how the experiment was, is, and will be conducted; the discoveries and potential discoveries; and the profound implications of having an unfiltered view of our hardwired selves for us and for our children.

DNA technology has already changed our health care, the food we eat, and our criminal justice system. Unlocking the secrets of our genomes opens the door not only to helping us understand why we are the way we are and potentially fixing what ails us but also to many other concerns: What exactly will happen to this information? Will it become just another marketing tool? Can it help us understand our ancestry, or will it merely reinforce old ideas of race? Can personal genomics help fix the U.S. health care system?

Here Is a Human Being explores these complicated questions while documenting Angrist's own fascinating journey—one that tens of thousands of us will soon make.