Young Citizen Old Soldier [EPUB]
02 July 2014, 00:24
2012 | EPUB | 40.31MB
For almost 43 years three school notebooks lay in obscurity in the County Armagh home of sixty two-year old James McRoberts. The closely filled pages recorded just over two years in his life in uniform as he played his part in what was then known as the Great War.
During the Home Rule crisis of 1914, one of several in Ireland's history, James McRoberts, like many other men, joined the Young Citizen Volunteers, an organization that eventually became the 14th Royal Irish Rifles, a battalion of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
These notebooks, written at the time and with footnotes added some forty years later, record his Army service between 8 January 1915 and 3 April 1917. They tell, with remarkable immediacy, of his time at Randalstown, County Antrim and the move to Seaford in East Sussex. From here, after further training, James moved with his Battalion to the trenches of the Western Front.
Written with a degree of humor and some detail his story covers the mundane routine of camp life, recreation behind the lines, the horrors of enemy shelling, the deaths of good friends and the momentous events of 1 July 1916 on the Somme, when his unit was in the thick of the action.
On 1 November 1917, while acting as a scout for a night patrol at Messines Ridge, James was seriously wounded and evacuated to hospital - for him the War was over. Nevertheless, he continued to record what was happening around him both with humour and in detail. Classed as 80% disabled, he was eventually discharged and returned home to enjoy a postwar career as a surveyor in County Armagh.
This is a remarkable memoir that is, by turns, lively, candid, humorous, poignant, and above all a window into the world of an Ulsterman who found himself both witness and participant to a series of remarkable events. His descriptions of army life, both daily routine and the inferno on the Somme in July 1916, add greatly to our knowledge of this most climactic period of history.
Angela Merkel: A Chancellorship Forged in Crisis [PDF]
02 July 2014, 00:13
2013 | PDF | 10.48MB
Shortlisted for International Affairs Book of the Year in the Paddy Power Political Book Awards 2014
Angela Merkel was already unique when she became German chancellor: the first female leader of Europe’s biggest economy, the first from former communist East Germany and the first born after World War II. Since 2010, the debt crisis that spread from Greece to the euro region and the world economy has propelled her to center-stage, making Merkel the dominant politician in the struggle to preserve Europe’s economic model and its single currency. Yet the Protestant pastor’s daughter is often viewed as enigmatic and hard-to-predict, a misreading that took hold as she resisted global pressure for grand gestures to counter the crisis. Having turned the fall of the Berlin Wall to her advantage, Merkel is trying to get history on her side again after reaching the fundamental decision to save the euro, the crowning achievement of post-war European unity. Merkel has brought Europe to a crossroads. Germany’s economic might gives her unprecedented power to set the direction for the European Union’s 500 million people. What’s at stake is whether she will persuade them to follow the German lead.
Angela Merkel: A Chancellorship Forged in Crisis is the definitive new biography of the world’s most powerful woman. Delving into Merkel’s past, the authors explain the motives behind her drive to remake Europe for the age of globalization, her economic role models and the experiences under communism that color her decisions. For the first time in English, Merkel is fully placed in her European context. Through exclusive interviews with leading policy makers and Merkel confidants, the book reveals the behind-the-scenes drama of the crisis that came to dominate her chancellorship, her prickly relationship with the U.S. and admiration for Eastern Europe. Written by two long-standing Merkel watchers, the book documents how her decisions and vision – both works in progress – are shaping a pivotal moment in European history.
Diary of a Mad Diva [EPUB]
01 July 2014, 22:26
2014 | EPUB | 4.79MB
Anais Nin, Anne Frank and Sylvia Plath wrote the world’s most famous diaries. And where are they today? Dead. But the world’s OTHER great diarist, Joan Rivers, is alive and kicking. And complaining.
In the extraordinary tradition of The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor and George Orwell’s Diaries, comes an intimate and enriching glimpse into the mind of the most illuminating woman-of-letters of her generation—the provocative exploration of an age in which she has lived on and on and on and on.
Following up the phenomenal success of her headline-making New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me, the unstoppable Joan Rivers is at it again. When her daughter Melissa gives her a diary for Christmas, at first Joan is horrified—who the hell does Melissa think she is? That fat pig, Bridget Jones? But as Joan, being both beautiful and introspective, begins to record her day-to-day musings, she realizes she has a lot to say.
About everything. And everyone, God help them.
The result? A no-holds-barred, delightfully vicious and always hilarious look at the everyday life of the ultimate diva. Follow Joan on a family vacation in Mexico and on trips between New York and Los Angeles where she mingles with the stars, never missing a beat as she delivers blistering critiques on current events, and excoriating insights about life, pop culture, and celebrities (from A to D list), all in her relentlessly funny signature style.
This is the Diary of a Mad Diva. For the first time in a century, a diary by someone that’s actually worth reading.
Suggs: That Close [EPUB]
01 July 2014, 22:18
2013 | EPUB + MOBI | 2.62/6.46MB
The amazing life of Madness frontman Suggs
Suggs is one of pop music's most enduring and likeable figures. Written with the assured style and wit of a natural raconteur, this hugely entertaining and insightful autobiography takes you from his colorful early life on a North London council estate, through the heady early days of Punk and 2-Tone, to the 1980s, where Madness became the biggest selling singles band of the decade. Along the way he tells you what it's like to go globetrotting with your best friends, to sign away your entire song rights "in perpetuity," and to cause an earthquake in Finsbury Park.
Military Memoirs of a Confederate: A Critical Narrative [EPUB]
30 June 2014, 11:04
2014 | EPUB | 7.04MB
First published in 1907, Military Memoirs of a Confederate is regarded by many historians as one of the most important and dispassionate first-hand general accounts of the American Civil War. Unlike some other Confederate memoirists, General Edward Porter Alexander had no use for bitter “Lost Cause” theories to explain the South’s defeat. Alexander was willing to objectively evaluate and criticize prominent Confederate officers, including Robert E. Lee. The result is a clear-eyed assessment of the long, bloody conflict that forged a nation.
The memoir opens with Alexander, recently graduated from West Point, heading to Utah to tamp down the hostile actions of Mormons who had refused to receive a territorial governor appointed by President Buchanan. A few years later, Alexander finds himself on the opposite side of a much larger rebellion—this time aligned with Confederates bent on secession from the Union. In the years that follow, he is involved in most of the major battles of the East, including Manassas, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. Alexander describes each battle and battlefield in sharp detail.
Few wartime narratives offer the insight and objectivity of Alexander’s Military Memoirs of a Confederate. Civil war buffs and students of American history have much to learn from this superb personal narrative.
The Electric Life of Michael Faraday [EPUB]
30 June 2014, 10:59
2006 | EPUB | 7.89MB
Michael Faraday was one of the most gifted and intuitive experimentalists the world has ever seen. Born into poverty in 1791 and trained as a bookbinder, Faraday rose through the ranks of the scientific elite even though, at the time, science was restricted to the wealthy or well-connected. During a career that spanned more than four decades, Faraday laid the groundwork of our technological society—notably, inventing the electric generator and electric motor. He also developed theories about space, force, and light that Einstein called the "greatest alteration . . . in our conception of the structure of reality since the foundation of theoretical physics by Newton."
The Electric Life of Michael Faraday dramatizes Faraday's passion for understanding the dynamics of nature. He manned the barricades against superstition and pseudoscience, and pressed for a scientifically literate populace years before science had been deemed worthy of common study. A friend of Charles Dickens and an inspiration to Thomas Edison, the deeply religious Faraday sought no financial gain from his discoveries, content to reveal God's presence through the design of nature.
In The Electric Life of Michael Faraday, Alan Hirshfeld presents a portrait of an icon of science, making Faraday's most significant discoveries about electricity and magnetism readily understandable, and presenting his momentous contributions to the modern world.
Dipa Ma: The Life and Legacy of a Buddhist Master [EPUB]
30 June 2014, 03:17
2012 | EPUB | 6.94MB
An inspiring and beautiful book about one of our most beloved elders, a modern Buddhist saint', Jack Kornfield, author of After the Ecstasy the Laundry. Read the life story and spiritual teachings of Dipa Ma, a major figure in contemporary Buddhism. She was the teacher of such well-respected western Buddhists as Jack Kornfield, Sharon Salzberg, Joseph Goldstein, Alice Walker and Sylvia Boorstein, among others. An accomplished yogi, she was an inspired teacher and a devoted mother and grandmother. A woman who found great freedom through profound levels of insight and one who exemplified in her every action immense kindness, generosity, and mindfulness. Through this unique account of a remarkable woman, together with the reminiscences of her students, many more aspiring practitioners will be inspired by her life and legacy.
This biography of one of the few women in her generation to devote herself entirely to the pursuit of meditation also includes Dipa Ma's spiritual teachings, which have made her a major figure in contemporary Buddhism.
The Colonel by Alanna Nash [EPUB]
30 June 2014, 03:16
2004 | EPUB | 2.01MB
Alanna Nash's biography of Colonel Tom Parker uncovers a life story even more complicated, dark, and entertaining than that of the promoter's greatest talent, Elvis Presley. Nash had unique access to the Colonel and many of those closely connected to him in assembling the facts that underlie her narrative, and the book reads like a mystery as it probes the origins of Parker’s power.
Ultimately, Parker was protecting himself in his manipulation of Elvis, Nash argues. Though her evidence is not conclusive, she suggests that Parker (born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk) feared deportation his entire life, but, more importantly, he may have fled his native Holland in 1929 after committing murder. In America Andreas transformed himself into Tom Parker while immersing himself in the worlds of the carnival and circus. This work led him to the promotion of musical acts and, eventually, the creation of his greatest mass entertainment and merchandising bonanza, Elvis. Elvis would become a shield against the demons of Parker’s past and resource to fuel his insatiable appetites.
Parker’s life remains shrouded to a large degree, despite Nash's efforts. The narrative is at times sensational in its attempts to dramatize the malign aspects of Parker’s character, and those coming for a definitive answer as to the cause of Elvis's self-destruction will find new light, but no final answers. Yet, Nash's biography will likely remain the best picture we will ever have of the mysterious Tom Parker, and fans of Elvis will appreciate this insider's view into their hero’s rise and fall.
My Salinger Year [EPUB]
30 June 2014, 02:23
2014 | EPUB | 0.9MB
Poignant, keenly observed, and irresistibly funny: a memoir about literary New York in the late nineties, a pre-digital world on the cusp of vanishing, where a young woman finds herself entangled with one of the last great figures of the century.
At twenty-three, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moves to New York City and takes a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. She spends her days in a plush, wood-paneled office, where Dictaphones and typewriters still reign and old-time agents doze at their desks after martini lunches. At night she goes home to the tiny, threadbare Williamsburg apartment she shares with her socialist boyfriend. Precariously balanced between glamour and poverty, surrounded by titanic personalities, and struggling to trust her own artistic instinct, Rakoff is tasked with answering Salinger’s voluminous fan mail. But as she reads the candid, heart-wrenching letters from his readers around the world, she finds herself unable to type out the agency’s decades-old form response. Instead, drawn inexorably into the emotional world of Salinger’s devotees, she abandons the template and begins writing back. Over the course of the year, she finds her own voice by acting as Salinger’s, on her own dangerous and liberating terms.
Rakoff paints a vibrant portrait of a bright, hungry young woman navigating a heady and longed-for world, trying to square romantic aspirations with burgeoning self-awareness, the idea of a life with life itself. Charming and deeply moving, filled with electrifying glimpses of an American literary icon, My Salinger Year is the coming-of-age story of a talented writer. Above all, it is a testament to the universal power of books to shape our lives and awaken our true selves.
Take This Man: A Memoir [EPUB]
30 June 2014, 02:19
2014 | EPUB | 396.82KB
From PEN/Hemingway award winner Brando Skyhorse comes this stunning, heartfelt memoir in the vein of The Glass Castle, the true story of a boy’s turbulent childhood growing up with five stepfathers and the mother who was determined to give her son everything but the truth.
When he was three years old, Brando Kelly Ulloa was abandoned by his Mexican father. His mother, Maria, dreaming of a more exciting life, saw no reason for her son to live his life as a Mexican just because he started out as one. The life of “Brando Skyhorse,” the American Indian son of an incarcerated political activist, was about to begin.
Through a series of letters to Paul Skyhorse Johnson, a stranger in prison for armed robbery, Maria reinvents herself and her young son as American Indians in the colorful Mexican-American neighborhood of Echo Park, California. There Brando and his mother live with his acerbic grandmother and a rotating cast of surrogate fathers. It will be over thirty years before Brando begins to untangle the truth of his own past, when a surprise discovery online leads him to his biological father at last.
From an acclaimed, prize-winning novelist celebrated for his “indelible storytelling”, this extraordinary literary memoir captures a son’s single-minded search for a father wherever he can find one, and is destined to become a classic.