Billion Dollar Painter [EPUB]

Billion Dollar Painter [EPUB]
Billion Dollar Painter: The Triumph and Tragedy of Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light by G Eric Kuskey, Bettina Gilois
2014 | EPUB | 3.27MB

The unbelievable true story of artist Thomas Kinkade, self-described “Painter of Light,” and the dramatic rise —and fall—of his billion-dollar gallery and licensing business.

He was just one man, but Thomas Kinkade ultimately made more money from his art than every other artist in the history of the world combined. His sentimental paintings of babbling brooks, rural churches surrounded by brilliant fall foliage, and idyllic countryside cottages were so popular in the 1990s that one out of every twenty homes in America owned one of his prints. With the help of two partners—a former vacuum-cleaner salesman and an ambitious junior accountant who fancied himself a businessman—Kinkade turned his art into a billion-dollar gallery and licensing business that traded on the NYSE before it collapsed in 2006 amid fraud accusations.

One part a fascinating business story about the rise, and demise, of a financial empire born out of divine inspiration, one part a dramatic biography, Billion Dollar Painter is the account of three nobodies who made it big. One of them was a man who, despite being a devout Christian who believed his artwork was a spiritual force that could cure the sick and comfort the poor in spirit, could not save his art empire, or himself.

Eric Kuskey, former colleague of Thomas Kinkade's and close friend until the artist’s death in 2012, tells Kinkade’s story for the first time—from his art’s humble beginnings on a sidewalk in Carmel, California, to his five-house compound in Monte Sereno. It’s a tale of addiction and grief, of losing control, and ultimately, of the price of our dreams.

Power Forward: My Presidential Education [EPUB]

Power Forward: My Presidential Education [EPUB]
Power Forward: My Presidential Education by Reggie Love
2015 | EPUB | 1011.26KB

Reggie Love is a unique witness to history, whose introduction to Washington was working in Junior Senator Barack Obama’s mailroom. As “body man” to Obama during his first presidential campaign, Love’s job was to stay one step behind the candidate, but think and act three steps ahead during a typical eighteen-hour workday. As President Obama’s personal aide during that momentous first term, Love sat yards from the Oval Office and often spent more time with the President than anyone else. While his experiences were unique, the lessons he learned during his tenure with the President are universal. Persistence. Responsibility. Passion for a cause greater than yourself. In short, maturity.

Love has been singularly lucky in his mentors. At Duke University, where he was a walk-on and a captain of its fabled basketball team, Love learned from Coach Krzyzewski that sports builds character—from President Obama, Love learned that how you conduct your life defines your character.

Accountability and serving with honor were learned during unsought moments: co-coaching with Malia Obama’s and Sasha Obama’s basketball team with the President; lending Obama his tie ahead of a presidential debate; managing a personal life when no hour is truly your own. From his first interview with Senator Obama, to his near-decision not to follow the President-elect to the White House, Love drew on Coach K’s teachings as he learned to navigate Washington. But it was while owning up to (temporarily) losing the President’s briefcase, playing pick-up games in New Hampshire to secure votes, babysitting the children of visiting heads of state, and keeping the President company at every major turning point of his historic first campaign and administration, that Love learned how persistence and passion can lead not only to success, but to a broader concept of adulthood.

Berlin Now: The City After the Wall [EPUB]

Berlin Now: The City After the Wall [EPUB]
Berlin Now: The City After the Wall by Peter Schneider, Sophie Schlondorff
2014 | EPUB | 0.6MB

A smartly guided romp, entertaining and enlightening, through Europe’s most charismatic and engimatic city.

It isn’t Europe’s most beautiful city, or its oldest. Its architecture is not more impressive than that of Rome or Paris; its museums do not hold more treasures than those in Barcelona or London. And yet, when citizens of “New York, Tel Aviv, or Rome ask me where I’m from and I mention the name Berlin,” writes Peter Schneider, “their eyes instantly light up.”

Berlin Now is a longtime Berliner’s bright, bold, and digressive exploration of the heterogeneous allure of this vibrant city. Delving beneath the obvious answers—Berlin’s club scene, bolstered by the lack of a mandatory closing time; the artistic communities that thrive due to the relatively low (for now) cost of living—Schneider takes us on an insider’s tour of this rapidly metamorphosing metropolis, where high-class soirees are held at construction sites and enterprising individuals often accomplish more without public funding—assembling a makeshift club on the banks of the Spree River—than Berlin’s officials do.

Schneider’s perceptive, witty investigations on everything from the insidious legacy of suspicion instilled by the East German secret police to the clashing attitudes toward work, food, and love held by former East and West Berliners have been sharply translated by Sophie Schlondorff. The result is a book so lively that readers will want to jump on a plane—just as soon as they’ve finished their adventures on the page.

Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries [EPUB]

Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries [EPUB]
Berlin: Portrait of a City Through the Centuries by Rory MacLean
2014 | EPUB | 4.89MB

Why are we drawn to certain cities? Perhaps because of a story read in childhood. Or a chance teenage meeting. Or maybe simply because the place touches us, embodying in its tribes, towers and history an aspect of our understanding of what it means to be human. Paris is about romantic love. Lourdes equates with devotion. New York means energy. London is forever trendy.

Berlin is all about volatility.

Berlin is a city of fragments and ghosts, a laboratory of ideas, the fount of both the brightest and darkest designs of history’s most bloody century. The once arrogant capital of Europe was devastated by Allied bombs, divided by the Wall, then reunited and reborn as one of the creative centers of the world. Today it resonates with the echo of lives lived, dreams realized, and evils executed with shocking intensity. No other city has repeatedly been so powerful and fallen so low; few other cities have been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations.

Berlin tells the volatile history of Europe’s capital over five centuries through a series of intimate portraits of two dozen key residents: the medieval balladeer whose suffering explains the Nazis’ rise to power; the demonic and charismatic dictators who schemed to dominate Europe; the genius Jewish chemist who invented poison gas for First World War battlefields and then the death camps; the iconic mythmakers like Christopher Isherwood, Leni Riefenstahl, and David Bowie, whose heated visions are now as real as the city’s bricks and mortar. Alongside them are portrayed some of the countless ordinary Berliners who one has never heard of, whose lives can only be imagined: the Scottish mercenary who fought in the Thirty Years’ War, the ambitious prostitute who refashioned herself as a baroness, the fearful Communist Party functionary who helped to build the Wall, and the American spy from the Midwest whose patriotism may have turned the course of the Cold War.

Berlin is a history book like no other, with an originality that reflects the nature of the city itself. In its architecture, through its literature, in its movies and songs, Berliners have conjured their hard capital into a place of fantastic human fantasy. No other city has so often surrendered itself to its own seductive myths. No other city has been so shaped and defined by individual imaginations. Berlin captures, portrays, and propagates the remarkable story of those myths and their makers.

Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth [EPUB]

Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth [EPUB]
Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth by David C Korten
2015 | EPUB | 2.87MB

We humans live by stories, says David Korten, and the stories that now govern our society set us on a path to certain self-destruction. In this profound new book, Korten shares the results of his search for a story that reflects the fullness of human knowledge and understanding and provides a guide to action adequate to the needs of our time.

Korten calls our current story Sacred Money and Markets. Money, it tells us, is the measure of all worth and the source of all happiness. Earth is simply a source of raw materials. Inequality and environmental destruction are unfortunate but unavoidable. Although many recognize that this story promotes bad ethics, bad science, and bad economics, it will remain our guiding story until replaced by one that aligns with our deepest understanding of the universe and our relationship to it.

To guide our path to a viable human future, Korten offers a Sacred Life and Living Earth story grounded in a cosmology that affirms we are living beings born of a living Earth itself born of a living universe. Our health and well-being depend on an economy that works in partnership with the processes by which Earth's community of life maintains the conditions of its own existence—and ours. Offering a hopeful vision, Korten lays out the transformative impact adopting this story will have on every aspect of human life and society.

American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity [EPUB]

American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity [EPUB]
American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity by Christian G Appy
2015 | EPUB + MOBI | 0.6/0.9MB

The critically acclaimed author of Patriots offers profound insights into Vietnam’s place in America’s self-image

How did the Vietnam War change the way we think of ourselves as a people and a nation? Christian G. Appy, author of the widely praised oral history of the Vietnam War Patriots, now examines the relationship between the war’s realities and myths and its impact on our national identity, conscience, pride, shame, popular culture, and postwar foreign policy.

Drawing on a vast variety of sources from movies, songs, and novels to official documents, media coverage, and contemporary commentary, Appy offers an original interpretation of the war and its far-reaching consequences. Authoritative, insightful, sometimes surprising, and controversial, American Reckoning is a fascinating mix of political and cultural reporting that offers a completely fresh account of the meaning of the Vietnam War.

Moscow, 1937 by Karl Schlögel [EPUB]

Moscow, 1937 by Karl Schlögel [EPUB]
Moscow, 1937 by Karl Schlögel
2014 | EPUB | 7.86MB

Moscow, 1937: the soviet metropolis at the zenith of Stalin’s dictatorship. A society utterly wrecked by a hurricane of violence.

In this compelling book, the renowned historian Karl Schlögel reconstructs with meticulous care the process through which, month by month, the terrorism of a state-of-emergency regime spiraled into the ‘Great Terror’ during which 1 ½ million human beings lost their lives within a single year. He revisits the sites of show trials and executions and, by also consulting numerous sources from the time, he provides a masterful panorama of these key events in Russian history.

He shows how, in the shadow of the reign of terror, the regime around Stalin also aimed to construct a new society. Based on countless documents, Schlögel’s historical masterpiece vividly presents an age in which the boundaries separating the dream and the terror dissolve, and enables us to experience the fear that was felt by people subjected to totalitarian rule. This rich and absorbing account of the Soviet purges will be essential reading for all students of Russia and for any readers interested in one of the most dramatic and disturbing events of modern history.

Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between The Vatican, The CIA, and The Mafia [EPUB]

Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between The Vatican, The CIA, and The Mafia [EPUB]
Operation Gladio: The Unholy Alliance Between The Vatican, The CIA, and The Mafia by Paul L Williams
2015 | EPUB | 1.03MB

This disturbing exposé describes a secret alliance forged at the close of World War II by the CIA, the Sicilian and US mafias, and the Vatican to thwart the possibility of a Communist invasion of Europe. Journalist Paul L. Williams presents evidence suggesting the existence of “stay-behind” units in many European countries consisting of five thousand to fifteen thousand military operatives. According to the author’s research, the initial funding for these guerilla armies came from the sale of large stocks of SS morphine that had been smuggled out of Germany and Italy and of bogus British bank notes that had been produced in concentration camps by skilled counterfeiters. As the Cold War intensified, the units were used not only to ward off possible invaders, but also to thwart the rise of left-wing movements in South America and NATO-based countries by terror attacks.

Williams argues that Operation Gladio soon gave rise to the toppling of governments, wholesale genocide, the formation of death squads, financial scandals on a grand scale, the creation of the mujahideen, an international narcotics network, and, most recently, the ascendancy of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a Jesuit cleric with strong ties to Operation Condor (an outgrowth of Gladio in Argentina) as Pope Francis I.

Sure to be controversial, Operation Gladio connects the dots in ways the mainstream media often overlooks.

88 Days to Kandahar: A CIA Diary [EPUB]

88 Days to Kandahar: A CIA Diary [EPUB]
88 Days to Kandahar: A CIA Diary by Robert L Grenier
2015 | EPUB | 2.46MB

The First American-Afghan War, a CIA war, was approved by President George W. Bush and directed by the author, Robert Grenier, the CIA station chief in Islamabad. Forging separate alliances with warlords, Taliban dissidents, and Pakistani intelligence, Grenier launched the “southern campaign,” orchestrating the final defeat of the Taliban and Hamid Karzai’s rise to power in eighty-eight chaotic days.

In his gripping narrative, we meet: General Tommy Franks, who bridled at CIA control of “his” war; General “Jafar Amin,” a gruff Pakistani intelligence officer who saved Grenier from committing career suicide; Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s brilliant ambassador to the US, who tried to warn her government of the al-Qa’ida threat; “Mark,” the CIA operator who guided Gul Agha Shirzai to bloody victory over the Taliban; General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, a cautious man who became the most powerful man in Pakistan, struggling with Grenier’s demands while trying to protect his country; and Hamid Karzai, the puzzling anti-Taliban insurgent, a man of courage, petulance, and vacillating moods.

Grenier’s enemies out in front prove only slightly more lethal than the ones behind his own lines. This first war is won despite Washington bureaucrats who divert resources, deny military support, and try to undermine the only Afghan allies capable of winning. Later, as he directed the CIA’s role in the Iraq War, Grenier watched the initial victory squandered. His last command was of CIA’s CounterTerrorism Center (CTC), as Bush-era terrorism policies were being repudiated, as the Taliban re-emerged in Afghanistan, and as Pakistan descended into fratricidal violence.

Unstuff Your Life [EPUB]

Unstuff Your Life [EPUB]
Unstuff Your Life: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good by Andrew J Mellen
2010 | EPUB | 0.4MB

A professional organizer and life coach shows readers how to kick the clutter habit with his complete how-to guide to total organization

Arguably the most organized man in America, sought-after coach Andrew J. Mellen has created unique, lasting techniques for streamlined living, bringing order out of chaos for the chronically overwhelmed everywhere. Acknowledging that it's often the "stuff behind the stuff" that holds people back, Mellen offers a surprisingly simple, yet effective solution in his step-by-step guide, guaranteed to help achieve organizational bliss for everyone from perpetual key-misplacers to hard-core hoarders.

From basement to bedroom, kitchen to car, and into every corner of life, Mellen’s system yields lasting results. Discover how to:

  • Never lose your keys or wallet again
  • Stop mail, magazine, and paper pileups for good
  • Feel empowered to tackle bills and budgets
  • Reclaim space and time once dominated by clutter

Built on the principle that we must distinguish ourselves from our possessions, Unstuff Your Life! starts with truly achievable goals and works toward the nightmare projects everyone tries hard to avoid. With humor, honesty, tough love, and foolproof advice, Mellen makes it easy to finally let go and embrace the decluttered life.

Total Foam Rolling Techniques [EPUB]

Total Foam Rolling Techniques [EPUB]
Total Foam Rolling Techniques: Trade Secrets of a Personal Trainer by Steve Barrett
2014 | EPUB | 25.61MB

The ultimate 'one stop' guide to using foam rollers. A relative newcomer to the fitness scene, lots of us don't know how to use foam rollers effectively as part of an exercise or training routine.

Originally used only by physiotherapists and exercise therapists, this 'new' piece of kit has become a mainstay of workouts. Foam rollers work by releasing muscle tension to relieve pain, aid injury recovery and improve flexibility-all through massaging and manipulating muscles.

Practical and easily accessible, Total Foam Rolling Techniques is perfect for the fitness enthusiast or fitness professional who wants to lightly improve their knowledge and heavily improve the range of exercises they can use in their training. Tried and tested exercises are accompanied by clear photos and illustrations.

This book is brimming with ideas for using foam rollers not just in the gym, but at home too. Packed with clear and easy to use exercises, this how-to reference book also provides adaptations of basic and advanced workouts, making it ideal for anyone who wants to get the most out of their fitness gear.

  • Each exercise idea is organized by fitness level and includes follow-up and extension ideas.
  • Written in a jargon-free and concise style, this book is light on the science and background, heavy on practicality.

Idiot's Guides: Kama Sutra [PDF]

Idiot's Guides: Kama Sutra [PDF]
Idiot's Guides: Kama Sutra by Ava Cadell
2015 | PDF | 27.85MB

Idiot's Guides: Kama Sutra is a fun and insightful guide to the ancient arts of the Kama Sutra, as well as many more contemporary methods and techniques for modern lovemaking. Readers will learn from hundreds of beautiful, full color photos that illustrate not only the traditional movements of the Kama Sutra, but also many of the most contemporary methods for taking lovemaking from tedious to intoxicating! The author takes readers from the roots of the ancients arts of the Kama Sutra through essential warms-ups like aphrodisiacs, erotic massage, and how to turn a lover on through the senses. Other sizzling sections cover orgasms, the G-spot, erogenous zones, and more.

Through beautiful, how-to photos readers will learn the fundamental movements of the traditional Kama Sutra (as well as a few more), the oral pleasures, toys and fetishes, and much more. Finally, readers will learn how to keep the fire ignited not only in the bedroom, but in their relationships, and how The Kama Sutra is not just about making love, it's about connecting with and cherishing a lover every day.

The Autoimmune Solution [EPUB]

The Autoimmune Solution [EPUB]
The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases by Amy Myers
2015 | EPUB | 1.63MB

Over 90 percent of the population suffers from inflammation or an autoimmune disorder. Until now, conventional medicine has said there is no cure. Minor irritations like rashes and runny noses are ignored, while chronic and debilitating diseases like Crohn's and rheumatoid arthritis are handled with a cocktail of toxic treatments that fail to address their root cause. But it doesn't have to be this way.

In The Autoimmune Solution, Dr. Amy Myers, a renowned leader in functional medicine, offers her medically proven approach to prevent a wide range of inflammatory-related symptoms and diseases, including allergies, obesity, asthma, cardiovascular disease, fibromyalgia, lupus, IBS, chronic headaches, and Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

The Supplement Handbook [EPUB]

The Supplement Handbook [EPUB]
The Supplement Handbook: A Trusted Expert's Guide to What Works & What's Worthless for More Than 100 Conditions by Mark Moyad, Janet Lee
2014 | EPUB | 1.0MB

Nearly half of Americans use supplements—and many more are curious about them—yet questions abound. Will feverfew help my migraines? Are there any vitamins that will keep my skin clear? Does lysine really prevent cold sores? Are there herbs I can take to boost my mood? Are any of these things safe?

Mark Moyad, MD, MPH is the only physician in the United States who has an endowed position to study vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements. For the past 25 years, he's been researching supplements, using them in his practice, and traveling the country giving lectures to laypeople and physicians about what works and what's worthless in the world of drugs and supplements.

Based on the latest research as well as Dr. Moyad's clinical experience, The Supplement Handbook will guide you through the proven (or debunked) treatment options for more than 100 common conditions—everything from arthritis, heartburn, and high cholesterol to fibromyalgia, migraines, and psoriasis. Dr. Moyad provides clear guidelines, sifting through conflicting information for a definitive answer you can use today. He does not hesitate to point out which remedies are overhyped, useless, and even harmful. He even ranks the most effective options so you know which remedies to try first, and he's honest about when over-the-counter or prescription drugs are the better option.

More than an overview, The Supplement Handbook delivers prescriptive, reliable advice. Whether you're an alternative medicine convert or an interested-but-confused supplement novice, this comprehensive, evidence-based guide is sure to become a must-have reference in your home.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up [Audiobook]

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up [Audiobook]
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing [Audiobook] by Marie Kondo, read by Emily Woo Zeller
2015 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB | 4 hrs 50 mins | 273.76MB

This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?

Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).

With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.

The Dance of Connection [Audiobook]

The Dance of Connection [Audiobook]
The Dance of Connection: How to Talk to Someone When You're Mad, Hurt, Scared, Frustrated, Insulted, Betrayed, or Desperate [Audiobook] by Harriet Lerner, read by the Author
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 4 hrs 38 mins | 131.9MB

In this profound new audio, the bestselling author of The Dance of Anger teaches us how to ''find our voice'' with the people who matter the most. With wit and wisdom, Harriet Lerner shows us how to ''set things right'' and heal the most painful disconnections, tackling the most difficult problems we face with the people who hurt us.

Whether you're dealing with a partner, a parent, or best friend, Lerner shows us how to speak with honor and personal integrity even when the other person behaves badly. This is a heartfelt audio full of useful anecdotes and wisdom that will change the way you feel about yourself and dramatically enhance all of your important relationships. Our capacity for creativity, wisdom, and joy depends on connecting well with the key people in our lives. Lerner teaches us how to navigate our most difficult relationships with integrity, courage, and joyous conviction.

Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior [Audiobook]

Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior [Audiobook]
Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior [Audiobook] by Richard O'Connor, read by Fred Stella
2014 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 18 mins | 292.08MB

We humans tend to get in our own way time and time again—whether it comes to not speaking up for ourselves, going back to bad romantic partners, dieting for the umpteenth try, or acting on any of a range of bad habits we just can’t seem to shake. In Rewire, renowned psychotherapist Richard O’Connor, PhD, reveals exactly why our bad habits die so hard. We have two brains—one a thoughtful, conscious, deliberative self, and the other an automatic self that makes most of our decisions without our attention. Using new research and knowledge about how the brain works, the book clears a path to lasting, effective change for behaviors that include:

  • Procrastination
  • Overeating
  • Chronic disorganization
  • Staying in bad situations
  • Excessive worrying
  • Risk taking
  • Passive aggression
  • Self-medication

Bringing together many different fields in psychology and brain science, Dr. O’Connor gives you a road map to overcoming whatever self-destructive habits are plaguing you, with exercises throughout the book. We can rewire our brains to develop healthier circuitry, training the automatic self to make wiser decisions without having to think about it; ignore distractions; withstand temptations; see ourselves and the world more clearly; and interrupt our reflexive responses before they get us in trouble. Meanwhile, our conscious minds will be freed to view ourselves with compassion at the same time as we practice self-discipline. By learning valuable skills and habits—including mindfulness, self-control, confronting fear, and freeing yourself from mindless guilt—we can open ourselves to vastly more successful, productive, and happy lives.

The book even demystifies how to overcome what Dr. O’Connor calls the “undertow” (the mysterious force that sabotages our best efforts when we’re just on the edge of victory) for long-lasting change. Offering a valuable science-based new paradigm for rewiring our brains, Rewire is a refreshing guide to becoming a healthier, happier self.

America's Bitter Pill [Audiobook]

America's Bitter Pill [Audiobook]
America's Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Healthcare System [Audiobook] by Steven Brill, read by Dan Woren
2015 | MP3@128 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 17 hrs 10 mins | 953.13MB

America's Bitter Pill is Steven Brill's much-anticipated, sweeping narrative of how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing - and failing to change - the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry. Brill probed the depths of our nation's healthcare crisis in his trailblazing Time magazine Special Report, which won the 2014 National Magazine Award for Public Interest. Now he broadens his lens and delves deeper, pulling no punches and taking no prisoners.

It's a fly-on-the-wall account of the fight, amid an onslaught of lobbying, to pass a 961-page law aimed at fixing America's largest, most dysfunctional industry - an industry larger than the entire economy of France.

It's a penetrating chronicle of how the profiteering that Brill first identified in his Time cover story continues, despite Obamacare.

And it is the first complete, inside account of how President Obama persevered to push through the law, but then failed to deal with the staff incompetence and turf wars that crippled its implementation.

Brill questions all the participants in the drama, including the president, to find out what happened and why.

He asks the head of the agency in charge of the Obamacare website how and why it crashed.

And he tells the cliffhanger story of the tech wizards who swooped in to rebuild it.

Brill gets drug lobbyists to open up on the deals they struck to protect their profits in return for supporting the law.

And he buttresses all these accounts with meticulous research and access to internal memos, emails, notes, and journals written by the key players during all the pivotal moments.

Brill is there with patients when they are denied cancer care at a hospital, or charged $77 for a box of gauze pads. Then he asks the multimillion-dollar executives who run the hospitals to explain why.

Finding Zero: A Mathematician's Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers [EPUB]

Finding Zero: A Mathematician's Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers [EPUB]
Finding Zero: A Mathematician's Odyssey to Uncover the Origins of Numbers by Amir D Aczel
2015 | EPUB | 2.54MB

The invention of numerals is perhaps the greatest abstraction the human mind has ever created. Virtually everything in our lives is digital, numerical, or quantified. The story of how and where we got these numerals, which we so depend on, has for thousands of years been shrouded in mystery. Finding Zero is an adventure filled saga of Amir Aczel’s lifelong obsession: to find the original sources of our numerals. Aczel has doggedly crisscrossed the ancient world, scouring dusty, moldy texts, cross examining so-called scholars who offered wildly differing sets of facts, and ultimately penetrating deep into a Cambodian jungle to find a definitive proof. Here, he takes the reader along for the ride.

The history begins with the early Babylonian cuneiform numbers, followed by the later Greek and Roman letter numerals. Then Aczel asks the key question: where do the numbers we use today, the so-called Hindu-Arabic numerals, come from? It is this search that leads him to explore uncharted territory, to go on a grand quest into India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and ultimately into the wilds of Cambodia. There he is blown away to find the earliest zero—the keystone of our entire system of numbers—on a crumbling, vine-covered wall of a seventh-century temple adorned with eaten-away erotic sculptures. While on this odyssey, Aczel meets a host of fascinating characters: academics in search of truth, jungle trekkers looking for adventure, surprisingly honest politicians, shameless smugglers, and treacherous archaeological thieves—who finally reveal where our numbers come from.

Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas [Audiobook]

Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas [Audiobook]
Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas: How Jay Sarno Won a Casino Empire, Lost It, and Inspired Modern Las Vegas [Audiobook] by David G Schwartz, read by Eric Martin
2014 | M4B@64 kbps | 11 hrs 27 mins | 318.86MB

Jay Sarno built two path-breaking Las Vegas casinos, Caesars Palace (1966) and Circus Circus (1968), and planned but did not build a third, the Grandissimo, which would have started the mega-resort era a decade before Steve Wynn built The Mirage. As mobsters and accountants battled for the soul of the last American frontier town, Las Vegas had endless possibilities - if you didn't mind high stakes and stiff odds. Sarno invented the modern Las Vegas casino, but he was part of a dying breed - a back-pocket entrepreneur who'd parlayed a jones for action and a few Teamster loans into a life as a Vegas casino owner.

For all of his accomplishments, his empire didn't last. Sarno sold out of Caesars Palace shortly after it opened - partially to get away from the bookies and gangsters who'd taken over the casino - and he was forced to relinquish control of Circus Circus when the federal government indicted him on charges of offering the largest bribe in IRS history - a bribe he freely admitted paying, on the advice of his attorney, Oscar Goodman. Though he ultimately walked out of court a free man, he never got Circus back. And though he guessed the formula that would open up Las Vegas to millions in the 1990s with the design of the Grandissimo, but he wasn't able to secure the financing for the casino, and when he died in 1984, it remained only a frustrating dream.

Sarno's casinos - and his ideas about how to build casinos - created the template for Las Vegas today. Before him, Las Vegas meant dealers in string ties and bland, functional architecture. He taught the city how to dress up its hotels in fantasy, putting toga dresses on cocktail waitresses and making sure that even the stationery carried through with the theme. He saw Las Vegas as a place where ordinary people could leave their ordinary lives and have extraordinary adventures. And that remains the template for Las Vegas today.

The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel [Audiobook]

The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel [Audiobook]
The Siege: 68 Hours Inside the Taj Hotel [Audiobook] by Cathy Scott-Clark, Adrian Levy, read by James Langton
2013 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 58 mins | 315.64MB

Mumbai, 2008. On the night of November 26, Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked targets throughout the city, including the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, one of the world's most exclusive luxury hotels. For sixty-eight hours, hundreds were held hostage as shots rang out and an enormous fire raged. When the smoke cleared, thirty-one people were dead and many more had been injured.

Only the courageous actions of staff and guests - including Mallika Jagad, Bob Nichols, and Taj general manager Binny Kang - prevented a much higher death toll. With a deep understanding of the region and its politics and a narrative flair reminiscent of Midnight in Peking, journalists Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy vividly unfold the tragic events in a real life thriller filled with suspense, tragedy, history, and heroism.

Conversations with Arthur Conan Doyle: In His own Words [Audiobook]

Conversations with Arthur Conan Doyle: In His own Words [Audiobook]
Conversations with Arthur Conan Doyle: In His own Words [Audiobook] by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Simon Parke, read by Andy Harrison
2010 | M4B@64 kbps | 3 hrs 8 mins | 90.41MB

At the end of the 19th century, perhaps every man wanted to be Arthur Conan Doyle. He had written historical novels, short stories of horror and the supernatural; and displayed huge energy and talent in a variety of fields. He was a fine cricketer (he once took the wicket of the great WC Grace); played football, rugby and golf. He had trained and practiced as a doctor; campaigned for underdogs, like the falsely accused George Edalji; he liked fast cars and the new and dangerous invention of the aeroplane; he had the idea of a channel tunnel; introduced skis to Switzerland; and knew both Harry Houdini and Oscar Wilde. He was an adventurer, a controversialist, war reporter and knight of the realm. But most famously of all, he had created Sherlock Holmes, the world's most famous detective - based on his former medical professor, Joseph Bell. All in all, Doyle was a Boy's Own dream.

Yet for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, all such achievements paled into significance when set against his commitment to spiritualism. Although interested in the subject for many years, he publicly converted to the cause around time of the First World War - much to many people's amazement: 'Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has many striking characteristics,' wrote Ruth Brandon. 'He is gigantically tall and strong. He is a gifted story-teller. He is a man of strong opinions and considerable political influence. But perhaps the most extraordinary thing about him is the combination of all the attributes of worldly success with an almost child-like literalness and credulity of mind, manifested particularly in relation to spiritualism and its surrounding phenomena.'

‘Conversations with Conan Doyle’ is an imagined conversation with this remarkable figure. But while the conversation is imagined, Doyle’s words are not; they are all authentically his. ‘For many, Conan Doyle’s commitment to spiritualism is an embarrassing aberration,’ says Simon Parke. ‘They want him to go back and just be the creator of Sherlock Holmes. But people don’t fit into boxes, and Doyle certainly doesn’t! So I want people to meet the man, hear him speak – and then make up their own minds. He’s often passionate; but never dull.’

The End of Money and the Future of Civilization [EPUB]

The End of Money and the Future of Civilization [EPUB]
The End of Money and the Future of Civilization by Thomas Greco Jr
2009 | EPUB | 2.79MB

Like the proverbial fish who doesn’t know what water is, we swim in an economy built on money that few of us comprehend, and, most definitely, what we don’t know is hurting us.

Very few people realize that the nature of money has changed profoundly over the past three centuries, or—as has been clear with the latest global financial crisis—the extent to which it has become a political instrument used to centralize power, concentrate wealth, and subvert popular government. On top of that, the economic growth imperative inherent in the present global monetary system is a main driver of global warming and other environmental crises.

The End of Money and the Future of Civilization demystifies the subjects of money, banking, and finance by tracing historical landmarks and important evolutionary shifts that have changed the essential nature of money. Greco’s masterful work lays out the problems and then looks to the future for a next stage in money’s evolution that can liberate us as individuals and communities from the current grip of centralized and politicized money power.

Greco provides specific design proposals and exchange-system architectures for local, regional, national, and global financial systems. He offers strategies for their implementation and outlines actions grassroots organizations, businesses, and governments will need to take to achieve success.

Ultimately, The End of Money and the Future of Civilization provides the necessary understanding— for entrepreneurs, activists, and civic leaders—to implement approaches toward monetary liberation. These approaches would empower communities, preserve democratic institutions, and begin to build economies that are sustainable, democratic, and insulated from the financial crises that plague the dominant monetary system.

Politics: The Basics, 5th Edition [EPUB]

Politics: The Basics, 5th Edition [EPUB]
Politics: The Basics, 5th Edition by Nigel A Jackson, Stephen D Tansey
2014 | EPUB | 2.72MB

Now in its fifth edition, Politics: The Basics explores the systems, movements and issues at the cutting edge of modern politics. A highly successful introduction to the world of politics, it offers clear and concise coverage of a range of issues and addresses fundamental questions such as:

  • Why does politics matter?
  • Why obey the state?
  • What are the key approaches to power?
  • How are political decisions made?
  • What are the current issues affecting governments worldwide?

Accessible in style and topical in content, the fifth edition has been fully restructured to reflect core issues, systems and movements that are at the centre of modern politics and international relations. Assuming no prior knowledge in politics, it is ideal reading for anyone approaching the study of politics for the first time.

99 Thoughts on Ganesha [EPUB]

99 Thoughts on Ganesha [EPUB]
99 Thoughts on Ganesha by Devdutt Pattanaik
2014 | EPUB | 4.01MB

In the game of cricket, having scored 99 runs, when a batsman stands poised on the threshold of that much coveted century, he experiences the moment that is best associated with Ganesha.

Fear and uncertainty envelope him; between him and his achievement stand hurdles, both real and imaginary: a possible spin from the bowler can overwhelm him, his own anxiety can paralyze him, cheering fans can distract him. He needs divine intervention then. He needs to focus, get rid of all hurdles, perform, get the final run, and achieve what he so longs for. In other words, he needs to think of Ganapati.

This book brings together 99 meditations to better understand the stories, symbols and rituals of that ador-able elephant-headed Hindu god who removes hurdles and brings prosperity and peace. Known variously as Ganapati, Gajanana, Vinayaka or Pillayar, he can help all of us score a century in the game called life.

Jack the Ripper's Black Magic Rituals [EPUB]

Jack the Ripper's Black Magic Rituals [EPUB]
Jack the Ripper's Black Magic Rituals by Ivor J Edwards
2003 | EPUB | 38.18MB

For more than a century, the horrific story of Jack the Ripper has endured. The ghastly crimes of the world's most notorious serial killer have become legend, and since they were committed, contemporary sleuths have spent many lifetimes attempting to identify their perpetrator. Jack the Ripper's Black Magic Rituals takes the reader step-by-step through the precise events at the center of the Ripper's reign of terror, uncovering a twisted melange of murder and black magic. More importantly, author Ivor J. Edwards makes a convincing case as to Jack the Ripper's true identity. That man is Dr. Robert Donston Stephenson, an army surgeon, occultist, and magician, who may have also murdered and dismembered his own wife before his terrible spree in Whitechapel began.

The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers [EPUB]

The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers [EPUB]
The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers by Nicholas Irving, Gary Brozek
2015 | EPUB + MOBI | 1.15/1.25MB

Groundbreaking, thrilling and revealing, The Reaper is the astonishing memoir of Special Operations Direct Action Sniper Nicholas Irving, the 3rd Ranger Battalion's deadliest sniper with 33 confirmed kills, though his remarkable career total, including probables, is unknown.

Irving shares the true story of his extraordinary military career, including his deployment to Afghanistan in the summer of 2009, when he set another record, this time for enemy kills on a single deployment. His teammates and chain of command labeled him "The Reaper,” and his actions on the battlefield became the stuff of legend, culminating in an extraordinary face-off against an enemy sniper known simply as The Chechnian.

Irving’s astonishing first-person account of his development into an expert assassin offers a fascinating and extremely rare view of special operations combat missions through the eyes of a Ranger sniper during the Global War on Terrorism. From the brotherhood and sacrifice of teammates in battle to the cold reality of taking a life to protect another, no other book dives so deep inside the life of an Army sniper on point.

Lords of Secrecy [EPUB]

Lords of Secrecy [EPUB]
Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America's Stealth Warfare by Scott Horton
2015 | EPUB | 1.01MB

State secrecy is increasingly used as the explanation for the shrinking of public discussion surrounding national security issues. The phrase “that's classified" is increasingly used not to protect national secrets from legitimate enemies, but rather to stifle public discourse regarding national security. Washington today is inclined to see secrecy as a convenient cure to many of its problems. But too often these problems are not challenges to national security, they involve the embarrassment of political figures, disclosure of mismanagement, incompetence and corruption and even outright criminality.

For national security issues to figure in democratic deliberation, the public must have access to basic facts that underlie the issues. The more those facts disappear under a cloak of state secrecy, the less space remains for democratic process and the more deliberation falls into the hands of largely unelected national security elites. The way out requires us to think much more critically and systematically about secrecy and its role in a democratic state.

The Last of the Doughboys [Audiobook]

The Last of the Doughboys [Audiobook]
The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War [Audiobook] by Richard Rubin, read by Grover Gardner
2013 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 20 hrs 11 mins | 580.89MB

In 2003, eighty-five years after the armistice, it took Richard Rubin months to find just one living American veteran of World War I. But then, he found another. And another. Eventually, he found dozens, aged 101 to 113, and interviewed them. All are gone now.

A decade-long odyssey to recover the story of a forgotten generation and their war led Rubin across the United States and France, through archives, private collections, battlefields, literature, propaganda, and even music. But at the center of it all were the last of the last, the men and women he met: a new immigrant, drafted and sent to France, whose life was saved by a horse; a Connecticut Yankee who volunteered and fought in every major American battle; a Cajun artilleryman nearly killed by a German airplane; an eighteen-year-old Bronx girl "drafted" to work for the War Department; a machine gunner from Montana; a marine wounded at Belleau Wood; the sixteen-year-old who became America's last World War I veteran; and many more.

They were the final survivors of the millions who made up the American Expeditionary Forces, nineteenth-century men and women living in the twenty-first century. Self-reliant, humble, and stoic, they kept their stories to themselves for a lifetime, then shared them at the last possible moment so that they, and the war they won - the trauma that created our modern world - might at last be remembered. You will never forget them. The Last of the Doughboys is more than simply a war story; it is a moving meditation on character, grace, aging, and memory.

Restless Giant [Audiobook]

Restless Giant [Audiobook]
Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v Gore [Audiobook] by James T Patterson
2011 | M4B@64 kbps + MOBI | 17 hrs 11 mins | 490.77MB

Following up Grand Expectations in the Oxford History of the United States, Restless Giant provides a crisp, concise assessment of the 27 years between the resignation of Richard Nixon and the election of George W. Bush, in a sweeping narrative that seamlessly weaves together social, cultural, political, economic, and international developments.

In exploring a wide range of cultural, social, and economic concerns, Patterson and engrossing narrator Robert Fass show how the persistence of racial tensions, high divorce rates, alarm over crime, and urban decay all led many writers to portray this era as one of decline.

Restless Giant is the 11th volume of the Oxford History of the United States, which includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, a New York Times best seller, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. The Atlantic Monthly has praised it as "state of the art" and "the most distinguished series in American historical scholarship."

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's [Audiobook]

Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's [Audiobook]
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's [Audiobook] by John Elder Robison, read by Mark Deakins
2007 | M4B@64 kbps + MOBI | 9 hrs 16 mins | 270.35MB

Ever since he was small, John Robison had longed to connect with other people. But by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits, including an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes, had earned him the label "social deviant". No guidance came from his mother or his father. It was no wonder he gravitated to machines, which could, at least, be counted on.

After fleeing his parents and dropping out of high school, his savant-like ability to visualize electronic circuits landed him a gig with KISS. Later, he drifted into a "real" job, as an engineer for a major toy company. But the higher Robison rose in the company, the more he had to pretend to be "normal" and do what he simply couldn't: communicate. It was not until he was 40 that an insightful therapist told him he had the form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. That understanding transformed the way Robison saw himself - and the world.

A born storyteller, Robison takes you inside the head of a boy teachers and other adults regarded as "defective". He also provides a fascinating reverse angle on the younger brother he left at the mercy of their nutty parents: the boy who would later change his name to Augusten Burroughs.

Ultimately, this is the story of Robison's journey from his world into ours, and his new life as a husband, father, and successful small business owner. It's a strange, sly, indelible account, sometimes alien, yet always deeply human.

Midnight in Peking [Audiobook]

Midnight in Peking [Audiobook]
Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China [Audiobook] by Paul French, read by Erik Singer
2012 | MP3@32 kbps + PDF | 8 hrs 19 mins | 116.52MB

In the last days of old Peking, where anything goes, can a murderer escape justice?

Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner's body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? Or perhaps the dreaded fox spirits?

With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives - one British and one Chinese - race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever. Can they find the killer in time, before the Japanese invade?

Historian and China expert Paul French at last uncovers the truth behind this notorious murder, and offers a rare glimpse of the last days of colonial Peking.

A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi [Audiobook]

A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi [Audiobook]
A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi [Audiobook] by Aman Sethi, read by Vikas Adam
2012 | MP3@96 kbps + EPUB + MOBI | 6 hrs 7 mins | 259.9MB

Like Dave Eggers' Zeitoun and Alexander Masters' Stuart, this is a tour de force of narrative reportage - an intimate portrait of an invisible man.

Mohammed Ashraf studied biology in college, and after college he learned how to repair television sets, cut suit lengths, and slice chicken. He has lived in Mumbai, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Surat, and Patna, but this evening he is stoned on a street in Sadar Bazaar, in North Delhi. The morning shall bring hangovers, whiskey breakfasts, and possibly answers to the lingering questions that haunt Ashraf. How did he get here? Why is he the way he is? And is there a way back home?

In this compelling account of the life of an itinerant laborer, Aman Sethi brings Ashraf vividly alive and illuminates the lives of countless others like him. Wry, humorous, and insightful, A Free Man is an unforgettable portrait of an invisible man in his invisible city.