On Flowers: Lessons from an Accidental Florist [EPUB]

On Flowers: Lessons from an Accidental Florist [EPUB]
On Flowers: Lessons from an Accidental Florist by Amy Merrick
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781579658120 | 70.2MB

A singular, personal celebration of the beauty and possibilities of nature

Amy Merrick is a rare and special kind of artist who uses flowers to help us see the familiar in a completely new way. Her gift is to revel in the unexpected—like a sunny spring arrangement housed in a paper coffee cup—and to overturn preconceptions, whether she’s transforming a bouquet of supermarket carnations into a breathtaking centerpiece or elevating wild and weedy blooms foraged from city sidewalks. She uses the beauty that is waiting to be discovered all around us—in leaves, branches, seedpods, a fallen blossom—to tell a story of time and place.

Merrick begins On Flowers with a primer containing all her hard-won secrets on the art of flower arranging, from selecting materials to mastering pleasing proportions. Then she brings readers along on her journey, with observations on flowers in New York City and at her family’s summer home in rural New Hampshire, working on a flower farm off the coast of Washington State, and studying ikebana in a jewel-box flower shop in Kyoto. We learn how to send flowers like a florist, and how to arrange them like a farm girl. We discover the poignancy in humble wildflowers, and also celebrate the luxury of fragrant blousy blooms. Collected here is an anthology of floral inspiration, a love letter to nature by an exceptional, accidental florist.

Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide [EPUB]

Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide [EPUB]
Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide by Michel Arnaud, Klaas Armster, Alan Solomon
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781419738180 | 97.16MB

The first handbook on reclaimed wood, combining useful information, rich history, and design ideas

Wood reclaimed from old houses, factories, barns, water tanks, and boardwalks has become a valuable commodity, treasured for the patina that gives witness to its history. Our ancestors built well, using locally sourced lumber that expressed the culture and natural history of their region: oak and pine in the Northeast; hickory and cypress in the South; Douglas fir and redwood in the West. Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide is the first complete visual handbook to this popular resource, covering history, culture, salvage, sources, contemporary uses (in buildings and furniture), and practical advice.

Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White [EPUB]

Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White [EPUB]
Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White by William Sturkey
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780674976351 | 30.69MB

A rich, multigenerational saga of race and family in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, that tells the story of how Jim Crow was built, how it changed, and how the most powerful social movement in American history came together to tear it down.

If you really want to understand Jim Crow―what it was and how African Americans rose up to defeat it―you should start by visiting Mobile Street in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the heart of the historic black downtown. There you can see remnants of the shops and churches where, amid the violence and humiliation of segregation, men and women gathered to build a remarkable community. William Sturkey introduces us to both old-timers and newcomers who arrived in search of economic opportunities promised by the railroads, sawmills, and factories of the New South. He also takes us across town and inside the homes of white Hattiesburgers to show how their lives were shaped by the changing fortunes of the Jim Crow South.

Sturkey reveals the stories behind those who struggled to uphold their southern “way of life” and those who fought to tear it down―from William Faulkner’s great-grandfather, a Confederate veteran who was the inspiration for the enigmatic character John Sartoris, to black leader Vernon Dahmer, whose killers were the first white men ever convicted of murdering a civil rights activist in Mississippi. Through it all, Hattiesburg traces the story of the Smith family across multiple generations, from Turner and Mamie Smith, who fled a life of sharecropping to find opportunity in town, to Hammond and Charles Smith, in whose family pharmacy Medgar Evers and his colleagues planned their strategy to give blacks the vote.

Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote [EPUB]

Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote [EPUB]
Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote by Susan Ware
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780674986688 | 54.59MB

Looking beyond the national leadership of the suffrage movement, an acclaimed historian gives voice to the thousands of women from different backgrounds, races, and religions whose local passion and protest resounded throughout the land.

For far too long, the history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the tale of a few iconic leaders, all white and native-born. But Susan Ware uncovered a much broader and more diverse story waiting to be told. Why They Marched is a tribute to the many women who worked tirelessly in communities across the nation, out of the spotlight, protesting, petitioning, and insisting on their right to full citizenship.

Ware tells her story through the lives of nineteen activists, most of whom have long been overlooked. We meet Mary Church Terrell, a multilingual African American woman; Rose Schneiderman, a labor activist building coalitions on New York’s Lower East Side; Claiborne Catlin, who toured the Massachusetts countryside on horseback to drum up support for the cause; Mary Johnston, an aristocratic novelist bucking the Southern ruling elite; Emmeline W. Wells, a Mormon woman in a polygamous marriage determined to make her voice heard; and others who helped harness a groundswell of popular support. We also see the many places where the suffrage movement unfolded―in church parlors, meeting rooms, and the halls of Congress, but also on college campuses and even at the top of Mount Rainier. Few corners of the United States were untouched by suffrage activism.

Ware’s deeply moving stories provide a fresh account of one of the most significant moments of political mobilization in American history. The dramatic, often joyous experiences of these women resonate powerfully today, as a new generation of young women demands to be heard.

Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States [EPUB]

Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States [EPUB]
Talk Radio’s America: How an Industry Took Over a Political Party That Took Over the United States by Brian Rosenwald
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780674185012 | 1.57MB

The cocreator of the Washington Post’s “Made by History” blog reveals how the rise of conservative talk radio gave us a Republican Party incapable of governing and paved the way for Donald Trump.

America’s long road to the Trump presidency began on August 1, 1988, when, desperate for content to save AM radio, top media executives stumbled on a new format that would turn the political world upside down. They little imagined that in the coming years their brainchild would polarize the country and make it nearly impossible to govern. Rush Limbaugh, an enormously talented former disc jockey―opinionated, brash, and unapologetically conservative―pioneered a pathbreaking infotainment program that captured the hearts of an audience no media executive knew existed. Limbaugh’s listeners yearned for a champion to punch back against those maligning their values. Within a decade, this format would grow from fifty-nine stations to over one thousand, keeping millions of Americans company as they commuted, worked, and shouted back at their radios. The concept pioneered by Limbaugh was quickly copied by cable news and digital media.

Radio hosts form a deep bond with their audience, which gives them enormous political power. Unlike elected representatives, however, they must entertain their audience or watch their ratings fall. Talk radio boosted the Republican agenda in the 1990s, but two decades later, escalation in the battle for the airwaves pushed hosts toward ever more conservative, outrageous, and hyperbolic content.

Donald Trump borrowed conservative radio hosts’ playbook and gave Republican base voters the kind of pugnacious candidate they had been demanding for decades. By 2016, a political force no one intended to create had completely transformed American politics.

Guitar: The World’s Most Seductive Instrument [EPUB]

Guitar: The World’s Most Seductive Instrument [EPUB]
Guitar: The World’s Most Seductive Instrument by David Schiller
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781523507726 | 259.02MB

Celebrate the significance, the magic, and the mojo of the world’s most seductive instrument.

An obsessive, full-color book presented in an irresistible slipcase, Guitar features 200 instruments in stunning detail. Here are icons, like Prince’s Yellow Cloud, Willie Nelson’s “Trigger,” Muddy Water’s Thunderbird, and “Rocky,” lovingly hand-painted by its owner, George Harrison. Historic instruments—Fender’s Broadcaster, Les Paul’s “Log,” the Gibson Nick Lucas Special, the very first artist model. Hand-carved archtops, pinnacles of the luthier’s art, from John D’Angelico to Ken Parker. Stunning acoustics from a new wave of women builders, like Rosie Heydenrych of England, who’s known to use 5,000-year-old wood retrieved from a peat bog. And quirky one-of-a-kind guitars, like Linda Manzer’s Pikasso II—four necks, 42 strings, and a thousand pounds of pressure.

Movies (And Other Things) [Audiobook]

Movies (And Other Things) [Audiobook]
Movies (And Other Things) [Audiobook] by Shea Serrano, read by Mario Toscano
2019 | M4B@128 kbps + EPUB | 11h 7m | 607.07MB

Number one New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano is back, and his new book, Movies (And Other Things), combines the fury of a John Wick shootout, the sly brilliance of Regina George holding court at a cafeteria table, and the sheer power of a Denzel monologue, all into one.

Movies (And Other Things) is a book about, quite frankly, movies (and other things).

One of the chapters, for example, answers which race Kevin Costner was able to white savior the best, because did you know that he white saviors Mexicans in McFarland, USA, and white saviors Native Americans in Dances with Wolves, and white saviors Black people in Black or White, and white saviors the Cleveland Browns in Draft Day?

Another of the chapters, for a second example, answers what other high school movie characters would be in Regina George's circle of friends if we opened up the Mean Girls universe to include other movies (Johnny Lawrence is temporarily in, Claire from The Breakfast Club is in, Ferris Bueller is out, Isis from Bring It On is out...). Another of the chapters, for a third example, creates a special version of the Academy Awards specifically for rom-coms, the most underrated movie genre of all. And another of the chapters, for a final example, is actually a triple chapter that serves as an NBA-style draft of the very best and most memorable moments in gangster movies.

Many, many things happen in Movies (And Other Things), some of which funny, others of which are sad, a few of which are insightful, and all of which are handled with the type of care and dedication to the smallest details and pockets of pop culture that only a book by Shea Serrano can provide.

Rotten Movies We Love: Cult Classics, Underrated Gems, and Films So Bad They're Good [EPUB]

Rotten Movies We Love: Cult Classics, Underrated Gems, and Films So Bad They're Good [EPUB]
Rotten Movies We Love: Cult Classics, Underrated Gems, and Films So Bad They're Good by The Editors of Rotten Tomatoes
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780762496051 | 102.88MB

Hook. Wet Hot American Summer. Valley of the Dolls. There are some movies that defy traditional critical assessment -- films that are panned by reviewers, but that go on to become beloved classics and cult phenoms anyway.

Ever been crushed to learn your favorite movie -- or a new one you're dying to see -- has been given the big green splat from Rotten Tomatoes' infamous Tomatometer? The site's editors stand by their critics and scores, but they also feel your pain: Fresh films shouldn't get all the glory! In Rotten Movies We Love, the RT team celebrates 101 Rotten movies that can't be missed, including:

  • Box office behemoths that bombed with critics: Space Jam, Maleficent, Bad Boys
  • Sci-fi treasures so bad they're awesome: Cherry 2000, Zardoz, Masters of the Universe
  • Rare Rottens from Fresh directors: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Marie Antoinette, Legend, Willow
  • Deeply beloved cult classics: The Last Dragon, Empire Records, The Craft, MacGruber
  • Underrated gems ahead of their time: The Strangers, Event Horizon, Practical Magic, The Cable Guy
  • Sequels worth a second look: Home Alone 2, Rocky IV, Jurassic Park III, Return to Oz

Featuring 16 essays from some of the world's most well-known film critics -- Leonard Maltin, Terri White, Amy Nicholson, David Fear, K. Austin Collins, and more -- and punctuated with black-and-white film stills and punchy graphics, it's a fun romp through the quirkier corners of film history, sure to delight any cinephile or pop-culture fanatic.

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners, 2nd Edition [EPUB]

Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners, 2nd Edition [EPUB]
Automate the Boring Stuff with Python: Practical Programming for Total Beginners, 2nd Edition by Al Sweigart
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781593279929 | 23.95MB

The second edition of this best-selling Python book (100,000+ copies sold in print alone) uses Python 3 to teach even the technically uninclined how to write programs that do in minutes what would take hours to do by hand. There is no prior programming experience required and the book is loved by liberal arts majors and geeks alike.

If you've ever spent hours renaming files or updating hundreds of spreadsheet cells, you know how tedious tasks like these can be. But what if you could have your computer do them for you?

In this fully revised second edition of the best-selling classic Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, you'll learn how to use Python to write programs that do in minutes what would take you hours to do by hand--no prior programming experience required. You'll learn the basics Python and explore Python's rich library of modules for performing specific tasks, like scraping data off websites, reading PDF and Word documents, and automating clicking and typing tasks.

The second edition of this international fan favorite includes a brand-new chapter on input validation, as well as tutorials on automating Gmail and Google Sheets, plus tips on automatically updating CSV files. You'll learn how to create programs that effortlessly perform useful feats of automation to:

  • Search for text in a file or across multiple files
  • Create, update, move, and rename files and folders
  • Search the Web and download online content
  • Update and format data in Excel spreadsheets of any size
  • Split, merge, watermark, and encrypt PDFs
  • Send email responses and text notifications
  • Fill out online forms

Step-by-step instructions walk you through each program, and updated practice projects at the end of each chapter challenge you to improve those programs and use your newfound skills to automate similar tasks.

Don't spend your time doing work a well-trained monkey could do. Even if you've never written a line of code, you can make your computer do the grunt work. Learn how in Automate the Boring Stuff with Python, 2nd Edition.

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries [Audiobook]

Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries [Audiobook]
Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries [Audiobook] by Safi Bahcall, read by William Dufris
2019 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 10h 14m | 285.23MB

This program includes a prologue and introduction read by the author.

Washington Post's "10 Leadership Books to Watch for in 2019", Adam Grant's "19 New Leadership Books to Read in 2019", Inc.com's "10 Business Books You Need to Read in 2019", Business Insider's "14 Books Everyone Will Be Reading in 2019"

"This book has everything: new ideas, bold insights, entertaining history, and convincing analysis. Not to be missed by anyone who wants to understand how ideas change the world." (Daniel Kahneman, winner of the Nobel Prize and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow)

What do James Bond and Lipitor have in common? What can we learn about human nature and world history from a glass of water?

In Loonshots, physicist and entrepreneur Safi Bahcall reveals a surprising new way of thinking about the mysteries of group behavior that challenges everything we thought we knew about nurturing radical breakthroughs.

Drawing on the science of phase transitions, Bahcall reveals why teams, companies, or any group with a mission will suddenly change from embracing wild new ideas to rigidly rejecting them, just as flowing water will suddenly change into brittle ice. Mountains of print have been written about culture. Loonshots identifies the small shifts in structure that control this transition, the same way that temperature controls the change from water to ice.

Using examples that range from the spread of fires in forests to the hunt for terrorists online, and stories of thieves and geniuses and kings, Bahcall reveals how this new kind of science helps us understand the behavior of companies and the fate of empires. Loonshots distills these insights into lessons for creatives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries everywhere.

Over the past decade, researchers have been applying the tools and techniques of phase transitions to understand how birds flock, fish swim, brains work, people vote, criminals behave, ideas spread, diseases erupt, and ecosystems collapse. If 20th-century science was shaped by the search for fundamental laws, like quantum mechanics and gravity, the 21st will be shaped by this new kind of science. Loonshots is the first to apply these tools to help all of us unlock our potential to create and nurture the crazy ideas that change the world.

Margaret Thatcher: Herself Alone: The Authorized Biography [EPUB]

Margaret Thatcher: Herself Alone: The Authorized Biography [EPUB]
Margaret Thatcher: Herself Alone: The Authorized Biography by Charles Moore
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781101947203 | 220.65MB

Charles Moore's masterful and definitive biography of Britain's first female prime minister reaches its climax with the story of her zenith and her fall.

How did Margaret Thatcher change and divide Britain? How did her model of combative female leadership help shape the way we live now? How did the woman who won the Cold War and three general elections in succession find herself pushed out by her own MPs?

Charles Moore's full account, based on unique access to Margaret Thatcher herself, her papers, and her closest associates, tells the story of her last period in office, her combative retirement, and the controversy that surrounded her even in death. It includes the fall of the Berlin Wall, which she had fought for, and the rise of the modern EU that she feared. It lays bare her growing quarrels with colleagues and reveals the truth about her political assassination.

Moore's three-part biography of Britain's most important peacetime prime minister paints an intimate political and personal portrait of the victories and defeats, the iron will but surprising vulnerability of the woman who dominated in an age of male power. This is the full, enthralling story.

Best Eats Havana: 60+ Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes to Try in Cuba's Capital [EPUB]

Best Eats Havana: 60+ Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes to Try in Cuba's Capital [EPUB]
Best Eats Havana: 60+ Restaurants, Bars, and Cafes to Try in Cuba's Capital by Fernando Saralegui
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781682682395 | 27.52MB

The essential guide to Havana’s vibrant, resurgent dining scene

Havana surprises, entices, and beguiles at every corner, with a culinary scene to match, and a cuisine that once again is being influenced by the world while reinforcing its Spanish and Creole traditions. Thriving bars and contemporary eateries now sit side- by- side with traditional paladares and exceptional street vendors selling Caribbean staples. But how is a visitor to know where to find the best authentic dishes?

Chef Fernando Saralegui is your guide. Born in Cuba, he returned to the island in 2013 and has been a frequent visitor ever since in his mission to celebrate his country’s food, people, and culture. Best Eats Havana combines restaurant reviews, essays on Cuban food, and snapshots of the culinary scene in this time of great change for the country, along with a handful of recipes from the classics (lechon asado, ropa vieja) to the cutting edge of contemporary cuisine. With a record- breaking five million tourists visiting Cuba in 2017 and few food- specific guides out there, this will be an indispensable companion for both first- time visitors and seasoned travelers alike.

CRYSTAL365: Crystals for Everyday Life and Your Guide to Health, Wealth, and Balance [EPUB]

CRYSTAL365: Crystals for Everyday Life and Your Guide to Health, Wealth, and Balance [EPUB]
CRYSTAL365: Crystals for Everyday Life and Your Guide to Health, Wealth, and Balance by Heather Askinosie
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781401958268 | 94.59MB

A full-color guide to 52 crystals and practices to elevate your everyday life

Are you looking to create your own luck? Or is today the day for breaking through blocks? Do you need to let go of what no longer serves you? Or do you simply want to sleep well, even if just for a night?

No matter who you are, crystals can provide a boost of energy and purpose, as well as serve as tactile physical elements to help you transform your everyday life. In this essential, full-color guide, you will discover 52 crystals that can help you 365 days of the year.

Co-author of Crystal Muse and founder of Energy Muse, Heather Askinosie, provides an abundance of key information, including each crystal's history and lore, origin, and intention, as well as a simple three- to six-step practices for easy activation. She also shares a wealth of crystal combinations for intentions such as love, wealth, creativity, and happiness.

Whether you are an avid crystal fan or are a newbie, CRYSTAL365 will help you to create a personalized action plan for your own style and goals for positive change.

Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me: A Memoir [EPUB]

Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me: A Memoir [EPUB]
Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me: A Memoir by Deirdre Bair
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780385542456 | 1.5MB

National Book Award-winning biographer Deirdre Bair explores her fifteen remarkable years in Paris with Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir, painting intimate new portraits of two literary giants and revealing secrets of the biographical art.

In 1971 Deirdre Bair was a journalist and a recently minted Ph.D. who managed to secure access to Nobel Prize-winning author Samuel Beckett. He agreed that she could be his biographer despite her never having written a biography before. The next seven years of probing conversations, intercontinental research, singular encounters with Beckett's friends, and peculiar cat-and-mouse games resulted in Samuel Beckett: A Biography, which went on to win the National Book Award and propel Bair to her next subject: Simone de Beauvoir.

Where Beckett had been retiring and elusive, Beauvoir was domineering and all encompassing. Plus, there was a catch: Beauvoir and Beckett despised each other--and lived in the same neighborhood. Bair, who resorted to dodging one subject or the other by hiding out in the great cafés of Paris, learned that what works in terms of process for one biography rarely applies to the next. Her seven-year relationship with the forceful and difficult Beauvoir required a radical change in approach and yielded another groundbreaking literary profile while also awakening Bair to an era of burgeoning feminist consciousness.

Drawing on Bair's extensive notes from the period, including never-before-told anecdotes and details considered impossible to publish at the time, Parisian Lives gives us an entirely new perspective on the all-too-human side of these legendary thinkers. It is also a warmly personal reflection on the writing life--its compromises, its joys, and its rewards.

Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo [EPUB]

Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo [EPUB]
Disturbance: Surviving Charlie Hebdo by Philippe Lançon, translated by Steven Rendall
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781609455569 | 1.58MB

Paris, January 7, 2015. Two terrorists who claim allegiance to ISIS attack the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. The event causes untold pain to the victims and their families, prompts a global solidarity movement, and ignites a fierce debate over press freedoms and the role of satire today.

Philippe Lançon, a journalist, author, and a weekly contributor to Charlie Hebdo is gravely wounded in the attack. This intense life experience upends his relationship to the world, to writing, to reading, to love and to friendship. As he attempts to reconstruct his life on the page, Lançon rereads Proust, Thomas Mann, Kafka, and others in search of guidance. It is a year before he can return to writing, a year in which he learns to work through his experiences and their aftermath.

Disturbance is not an essay on terrorism nor is it a witness’s account of Charlie Hebdo. The attack and what followed are part of Lançon’s narrative, which, instead, touches upon the universal. It is an honest, intimate account of a man seeking to put his life back together after it has been torn apart.

Disturbance is a book about survival, resilience, and reconstruction, about transformation, about one man’s shifting relationship to time, to writing and journalism, to truth, and to his own body.

Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale [EPUB]

Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale [EPUB]
Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Minter
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781635570106 | 17.15MB

From the author of Junkyard Planet, a journey into the surprising afterlives of our former possessions.

Downsizing. Decluttering. A parent's death. Sooner or later, all of us are faced with things we no longer need or want. But when we drop our old clothes and other items off at a local donation center, where do they go? Sometimes across the country-or even halfway across the world-to people and places who find value in what we leave behind.

In Secondhand, journalist Adam Minter takes us on an unexpected adventure into the often-hidden, multibillion-dollar industry of reuse: thrift stores in the American Southwest to vintage shops in Tokyo, flea markets in Southeast Asia to used-goods enterprises in Ghana, and more. Along the way, Minter meets the fascinating people who handle-and profit from-our rising tide of discarded stuff, and asks a pressing question: In a world that craves shiny and new, is there room for it all?

Secondhand offers hopeful answers and hard truths. A history of the stuff we've used and a contemplation of why we keep buying more, it also reveals the marketing practices, design failures, and racial prejudices that push used items into landfills instead of new homes. Secondhand shows us that it doesn't have to be this way, and what really needs to change to build a sustainable future free of excess stuff.

Think, Write, Speak: Uncollected Essays, Reviews, Interviews, and Letters to the Editor [EPUB]

Think, Write, Speak: Uncollected Essays, Reviews, Interviews, and Letters to the Editor [EPUB]
Think, Write, Speak: Uncollected Essays, Reviews, Interviews, and Letters to the Editor by Vladimir Nabokov, edited by Brian Boyd, Anastasia Tolstoy
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781101874912 | 10.45MB

A rich compilation of the previously uncollected Russian and English prose and interviews of one of the twentieth century's greatest writers, edited by Nabokov experts Brian Boyd and Anastasia Tolstoy

"I think like a genius, I write like a distinguished author, and I speak like a child": so Nabokov famously, and infamously, wrote when introducing his 1973 volume of selected prose, Strong Opinions. Think, Write, Speak follows up where Strong Opinions left off, presenting Nabokov's public writings from a 1921 essay about Cambridge to two last interviews in 1977. The chronological order allows us to watch the Cambridge student and the fledgling Berlin reviewer and poet turn into the acclaimed Paris émigré novelist whose stature would bring him to teach and write in America, where his international success exploded with Lolita and propelled him back to Europe as a recognized literary master. Straddling Russian, French and Anglophone worlds, Nabokov discovers contemporary literature and culture at his own pace and with his own strong dispositions. Whether his subject is Proust or Pushkin, the sport of boxing or the privileges of democracy, Nabokov's supreme individuality and his alertness to the details of life past and present illuminate the page and remind us why he has been called the greatest of prose stylists.

Introduction to the Qur'an [TTC Video]

Introduction to the Qur'an [TTC Video]
Introduction to the Qur'an [TTC Video] by Martyn Oliver, PhD
Course No 6019 | MP4, AVC, 1372 kbps, 960x540 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 12x29 mins | +PDF Guidebook | 3.73GB

For people of the Muslim faith—nearly 25 percent of the world’s population—the Qur’an represents the most intimate and direct experience of the divine. For the Islamic faithful, the Qur’an is the eternal and perfect word of God, and it lies at the very heart of their understanding of themselves and the world. And yet, many non-Muslims have little familiarity with or understanding of this influential text. As a result, myths and misconceptions about the Qur’an and how it functions in the Islamic faith abound. In an increasingly global society, it has never been more important to understand the complicated history and message of the Qur’an, and its significance to millions of believers around the world.

Dr. Martyn Oliver, a Senior Professorial Lecturer at American University, presents the 12 in-depth lectures of Introduction to the Qur’an to provide you with a multifaceted approach to the Qur’an and its 1,400-year history, from its origins as a revelation to Muhammad in 7th-century Mecca to its role in the establishment and evolution of Islam as a world religion. Along the way, you will encounter characters familiar to those well-versed in the Judeo-Christian tradition—Adam and Eve, Moses and Abraham, Jesus and Mary—as well as concepts common across many world religions, like creation, sin, judgment, and the afterlife. You will also explore terms and ideas unique to the Islamic faith such as sharia and jihad, whose interpretations both beyond and within the Muslim world have led to questions and confusion.

Understanding any religious text from outside of its spiritual tradition is challenging and demands multiple perspectives. By combining literary, theological, and historical approaches to the Qur’an, Dr. Oliver provides a rich introduction to this influential text that both clarifies and adds important nuance our understanding of it. This course is also a rare opportunity to hear the Qur’an recited aloud by an award-winning reciter who brings the beautiful language of the ancient text to life for believers and the curious alike.

Text and Context

The year is around 571 C.E. and the small city of Mecca is thriving on the Arabian Peninsula, primarily as a result of the intersection of a broad range of religious and economic interests. Into this diverse and vibrant city is born a man, who by 610 C.E. has developed the habit of going outside the city walls on personal retreat. It is here, on one of these retreats, that Muhammad first hears a voice commanding him to “read aloud that which is written on your heart.” You will learn about Muhammad’s divine inspiration as well as his very human struggles in a society that was not always ready for the message he carried.

Specifically, you will:

  • Hear about the first moment of revelation, and Muhammad’s understandable fear that he may have been delusional;
  • Learn the words that Muhammad felt had been permanently inscribed upon his heart at that first revelation;
  • Discover who it was that Muslims believe spoke to Muhammad, and explore the key elements of this lengthy revelation, spanning some 22 years and two cities;
  • Explore the population to whom this message was meant to be delivered, and consider the rhetorical strategies used to best address the needs of that audience; and
  • Reflect on the role that Mecca—an economically and theologically diverse city—might have had on Muhammad, his followers, and ultimately his message.

Dr. Oliver’s course returns, again and again, to the man behind the message, and what we know and do not know about who he was and when and where he lived. Because Dr. Oliver approaches his study of the Qur’an as an influential piece of literature as well as an important religious text, he is able to help you understand that even the “perfected word of God” does not appear into a social vacuum. There is much-needed context if we want a truly thorough understanding of the text, its teachings, and its followers.

Although Muhammad was the messenger, and as such is much revered in the Islamic faith, he was never considered divine. It is the Qur’an, the revealed and perfect word of God that reaches believers via revelation through Muhammad that is considered most holy in the Islamic traditions. By giving his viewers insights into the parallels and significant differences between the Qur’an and the texts employed by other “People of the Book,” such as the Torah in Jewish tradition and the Bible for Christians, Professor Oliver helps us to see what connects all of these traditions—monotheism, devotion to God, a belief in the Last Judgment, stories of characters ranging from Moses and Abraham to Jesus and Mary—and what makes Islam particularly unique, most specifically, the belief that the Qur’an is God’s word made manifest in the world. As Dr. Oliver so succinctly states it, “For Christians, the Bible is the human vehicle through which is revealed the perfection that is Jesus; for Muslims, Muhammad is the human vehicle through which is revealed the perfection of God’s word, the Qur’an.”

Who Are the Believers?

Although the Word of God as manifested in the Qur’an is considered infallible by believers, the human capacity to understand and interpret that message most certainly is not. This course explores a number of different interpretive texts and traditions that have informed religious practice and thought within Islam across the 1,400 years since Muhammad received his revelation. Out of these many texts and developing theologies have come several schools, the names of which are often familiar—Sufi, Sunni, Shia, among others—but are less frequently understood well. Dr. Oliver takes you inside the philosophical and interpretive differences that inform these divides, explaining the multitude of ways in which the Qur’an, as a living text, is read and interpreted around the world. Most important, he helps us understand how specific differences in interpretation have led to differences in practice.

Not only was the message of the Qur’an brought into a complex and diverse social and economic environment in 7th-century Mecca, the message is arguably in the midst of an even more complicated world today. How does the voice of God continue to speak to millions of believers around the world right now? With the inclusion of a number of beautifully voiced recitations of the text in Arabic, Dr. Oliver affords his audience not only the opportunity to learn the content of important verses through his in-depth lectures, but also to hear the resonance of the words and the poetry of the phrases that can only be fully captured in the original Arabic.

Endings and Interpretations

Islam has three preeminent tenets—the singularity of God, the Final Day on which God will sit in judgment on the lives of every human being, and the importance of good works in winning God’s favor. With these in mind, explore with Dr. Oliver the Islamic conception of judgment and the afterlife, including the ideas of heaven and hell, both of which are literal and detailed in the Qur’an. You will:

  • Learn what other religious groups at the time believed about an afterlife;
  • Discover how the words of the Qur’an aligned with some aspects of Christian, Zoroastrian, and Jewish traditions about these ideas; and
  • Consider the ways in which specific aspects of the afterlife promised in the Qur’an reflect the values of Muhammad’s audience on the Arabian Peninsula.

It has been suggested that Dante’s famous vision of the afterlife, as presented in his three-part Commedia, might reflect descriptions originally recorded in the Qur’an. Certainly, there is evidence to suggest that the great Italian author was familiar with the words of Muhammad. The literal, sensual nature of both heaven and hell within the Qur’an brings to vivid life an understanding of the different potential outcomes—peace and pleasure, rewards unending in the company of God for those who believe, do good, and submit to God’s will, or a bottomless pit of pain and suffering for those who do wrong in the world.

Although many of the themes and characters in the Qur’an have much in common with the traditions of other “People of the Book”—Jews and Christians—the practice of Islam itself is unique. Much of that practice is guided by the Five Pillars of Islam: the statement of faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage to Mecca. And yet, these foundational practices are not fully explained in the Qur’an. By exploring how these practices came to be, Dr. Oliver guides you through the complicated world of Qur’anic interpretation. You’ll discover how Islamic scholars and theologians over the centuries have combined careful reading of the Qur’an with considerations of hadith (accounts of the practices of Muhammad) and sunnah (the customs of early Muslim communities) to inform the legal and spiritual practice of Islam in an ever-evolving world. In the closing lectures, you’ll learn how these interpretations have given birth to a variety of philosophical, theological, and mystical traditions that make Islam the rich, varied, and complex religion it is today.

Only by examining the historical, cultural, and religious framework of the Qur’an can we begin to understand the faith of one of the world’s largest religions. For those who practice Islam, this course may help believers better understand the history and evolution of the Qur’an and its role in Muslim practice, while those who come from the outside can have a better understanding of an often-misunderstood text. Introduction to the Qur’an will show you the beauty and the challenge of Muhammad’s revelation, and how it has moved its adherents for centuries.

Introduction to the Qur'an [TTC Video]

The Art of Reading Minds: How to Understand and Influence Others Without Them Noticing [EPUB]

The Art of Reading Minds: How to Understand and Influence Others Without Them Noticing [EPUB]
The Art of Reading Minds: How to Understand and Influence Others Without Them Noticing by Henrik Fexeus
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781250236401 | 26.33MB

The internationally bestselling guide to "mind-reading" by influencing those around you via non-verbal communication, from human psychology expert Henrik Fexeus.

How would you like to know what the people around you are thinking? Do you want to network like a pro, persuade your boss to give you that promotion, and finally become the life of every party? Now, with Henrik Fexeus's expertise, you can.

The Art of Reading Minds teaches you everything you need to know in order to become an expert at mind-reading. Using psychology-based skills such as non-verbal communication, reading body language, and using psychological influence, Fexeus explains how readers can find out what another person thinks and feels– and consequently control that person’s thoughts and beliefs. Short, snappy chapters cover subjects such as contradictory signs and what they mean, how people flirt without even knowing it, benevolent methods of suggestion and undetectable influence, how to plant and trigger emotional states, and how to perform impressive mind-reading party tricks. Fexeus gives readers practical (and often fun) examples of how to effectively mind-read others and use this information, benevolently, both in personal and professional settings.

Pocket Tai Chi for Beginners: Simple Steps to a Healthy Body & Mind [EPUB]

Pocket Tai Chi for Beginners: Simple Steps to a Healthy Body & Mind [EPUB]
Pocket Tai Chi for Beginners: Simple Steps to a Healthy Body & Mind by Tri Thong Dang
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780804852296 | 20.93MB

Pocket Tai Chi for Beginners is the perfect introduction to this popular exercise discipline—now in a handy, inexpensive format!

This book presents the "Simplified Tai Chi" method created by China's Ministry of Physical Culture and Sports. Unlike traditional Tai Chi, which has over 80 complicated movement sequences or forms, Simplified Tai Chi has 24 short and easy-to-remember movement forms which provide all the health benefits but are far easier for ordinary people to learn and practice on a daily basis. This book provides everything you need—step-by-step instructions and over 160 clear and simple illustrations.

Tai Chi is the fastest-growing martial art in the world today—due to its physical, mental and spiritual benefits—combining low-impact exercise, self-healing, meditation and a philosophy of life all in one.

Benefits of Tai Chi include:

  • Reducing falls by improving flexibility and balance
  • Relieving joint pain
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Strengthened core, legs and upper body

Master Tri Thong Dang is one of America's most respected Tai Chi instructors who has trained many thousands of practitioners. His easy-to-follow method highlights the spiritual essence of Tai Chi and at the same time its graceful simplicity.

Don't Keep Your Day Job: How to Turn Your Passion into Your Career [EPUB]

Don't Keep Your Day Job: How to Turn Your Passion into Your Career [EPUB]
Don't Keep Your Day Job: How to Turn Your Passion into Your Career by Cathy Heller
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781250193605 | 2.47MB

From the creator of the #1 podcast "Don't Keep Your Day Job," an inspiring book about turning your passion into profit

The pursuit of happiness is all about finding our purpose. We don't want to just go to work and build someone else’s dream, we want to do our life's work. But how do we find out what we’re supposed to contribute? What are those key ingredients that push those who succeed to launch their ideas high into the sky, while the rest of us remain stuck on the ground?

Don’t Keep Your Day Job will get you fired up, ready to rip it open and use your zone of genius to add a little more sparkle to this world. Cathy Heller, host of the popular podcast Don’t Keep Your Day Job, shares wisdom, anecdotes, and practical suggestions from successful creative entrepreneurs and experts, including actress Jenna Fischer on rejection, Gretchen Rubin on the keys to happiness, Jen Sincero on having your best badass life, and so much more. You’ll learn essential steps like how to build your side hustle, how to find your tribe, how to reach for what you truly deserve, and how to ultimately turn your passion into profit and build a life you love.

Inside Outside: A Sourcebook of Inspired Garden Rooms [EPUB]

Inside Outside: A Sourcebook of Inspired Garden Rooms [EPUB]
Inside Outside: A Sourcebook of Inspired Garden Rooms by Linda O'Keeffe
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781604698268 | 58.56MB

An inspiring guide to creating stylish and livable outdoor spaces

An outdoor room is an extension of the home—a space that can used for entertaining, relaxing, cooking, playing, swimming, and more. In spaces large and small, outdoor rooms offer a retreat from daily life and a connection to nature. In Inside Outside, Linda O’Keeffe—former creative director of Metropolitan Home—will inspire you to create an outdoor living space that offers an oasis of comfort and style. O’Keeffe uses the language of interior design to inform her approach to exterior design, focusing on space, structure, movement, mood, and furniture.

Inside Outside is filled with private gardens from North America and Europe that are inspiring and illustrative examples. From dramatic topiaries and black tulips in Massachusetts to the living wall in the courtyard of a Paris penthouse, fresh ideas permeate both the gardens found within this book and the design thinking behind them.

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter [EPUB]

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter [EPUB]
Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter by Robert Hutton
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781250221766 | 35.72MB

The never-before-told story of Eric Roberts, who infiltrated a network of Nazi sympathizers in Great Britain in order to protect the country from the grips of fascism

June 1940: Europe has fallen to Adolf Hitler’s army, and Britain is his next target. Winston Churchill exhorts the country to resist the Nazis, and the nation seems to rally behind him. But in secret, some British citizens are plotting to hasten an invasion. Agent Jack tells the incredible true story of Eric Roberts, a seemingly inconsequential bank clerk who, in the guise of “Jack King”, helped uncover and neutralize the invisible threat of fascism on British shores. Gifted with an extraordinary ability to make people trust him, Eric Roberts penetrated the Communist Party and the British Union of Fascists before playing his greatest role for MI5: Hitler's man in London. Pretending to be an agent of the Gestapo, Roberts single-handedly built a network of hundreds of British Nazi sympathizers―factory workers, office clerks, shopkeepers ―who shared their secrets with him. It was work so secret and so sensitive that it was kept out of the reports MI5 sent to Winston Churchill.

In a gripping real-world thriller, Robert Hutton tells the fascinating story of an operation whose existence has only recently come to light with the opening of MI5’s WWII files. Drawing on these newly declassified documents and private family archives, Agent Jack shatters the comforting notion that Britain could never have succumbed to fascism and, consequently, that the world could never have fallen to Hitler. Agent Jack is the story of one man who loved his country so much that he risked everything to stand against a rising tide of hate.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice: A Memoir of Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper [EPUB]

The Sorcerer's Apprentice: A Memoir of Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper [EPUB]
The Sorcerer's Apprentice: A Memoir of Picasso, Provence, and Douglas Cooper by John Richardson
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780525658733 | 94.81MB

John Richardson's riveting memoir about growing up in England and, at twenty-five, beginning his twelve-year adventure with the controversial art collector Douglas Cooper.

With a new introduction by Jed Perl, here is John Richardson's richly entertaining memoir of his life with the brilliant but difficult British art expert Douglas Cooper--a fiendish, colorful, Evelyn Waugh-like figure who single-handedly assembled the world's most important private collection of Cubist paintings. John Richardson tells the story of their ill-fated but comical association, which began in London in 1949 when Richardson was twenty-five and moved onto the Château de Castille, the famous colonnaded folly in Provence that they restored and filled with masterpieces by Picasso, Braque, Léger, and Juan Gris. Richardson unfurls a fascinating adventure through twelve years, encompassing famous artists and writers, collectors and other celebrities--Francis Bacon, Jean Cocteau, Luis Miguel Dominguín, Dora Maar, Peggy Guggenheim, and Henri Matisse, to name only a few. And central to the book is Richardson's close friendship with Picasso, which coincided with the emergence of the artist's new mistress, Jacqueline Roque, and gave Richardson an inside view of the repercussions she would have on Picasso's life and work.

With an eye for detail, an ear for scandal, and a sparkling narrative style, Richardson has written a unique, fast-paced saga of modernism behind the scenes.

Medieval Bodies: Life and Death in the Middle Ages [EPUB]

Medieval Bodies: Life and Death in the Middle Ages [EPUB]
Medieval Bodies: Life and Death in the Middle Ages by Jack Hartnell
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781324002161 | 138.26MB

With wit, wisdom, and a sharp scalpel, Jack Hartnell dissects the medieval body and offers a remedy to our preconceptions.

Just like us, medieval men and women worried about growing old, got blisters and indigestion, fell in love, and had children. And yet their lives were full of miraculous and richly metaphorical experiences radically different from our own, unfolding in a world where deadly wounds might be healed overnight by divine intervention, or where the heart of a king, plucked from his corpse, could be held aloft as a powerful symbol of political rule.

In this richly illustrated and unusual history, Jack Hartnell uncovers the fascinating ways in which people thought about, explored, and experienced their physical selves in the Middle Ages, from Constantinople to Cairo and Canterbury. Unfolding like a medieval pageant, and filled with saints, soldiers, caliphs, queens, monks and monstrous beasts, this book throws light on the medieval body from head to toe―revealing the surprisingly sophisticated medical knowledge of the time.

Bringing together medicine, art, music, politics, philosophy, religion, and social history, Hartnell's work is an excellent guide to what life was really like for the men and women who lived and died in the Middle Ages. Perfumed and decorated with gold, fetishized or tortured, powerful even beyond death, these medieval bodies are not passive and buried away; they can still teach us what it means to be human.

Dare to Inspire: Sustain the Fire of Inspiration in Work and Life [EPUB]

Dare to Inspire: Sustain the Fire of Inspiration in Work and Life [EPUB]
Dare to Inspire: Sustain the Fire of Inspiration in Work and Life by Allison Holzer, Sandra Spataro, Jen Grace Baron
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780738285726 | 3.36MB

Inspiration is a most critical resource to be managed in modern work.

The problem is that the power of inspiration often feels fleeting. But what if you could design your own way to be inspired at work on a regular basis? What if you could make your own inspiration last?

Rooted in 18 engines of inspiration that emerged from interviews with leaders across different industries, Dare to Inspire shows how to supercharge inspiration for yourself, your team, and your organization. Each chapter offers tools, strategies, and examples of how to make inspiration happen and last.

Through stories of pioneers in business, health, education, and other industries, readers learn how to effectively use the engines to spark inspiration, along with specific practices to sustain it. Dare to Inspire features Chef Wes Avila, the founder of L.A. sensation Guerrilla Tacos, who was inspired to revolutionize his industry; crowdfunding pioneer Charles Best, who founded DonorsChoose to meet the challenge of connecting teachers in need with donors interested in supporting educational programs; and many others. This will be a vital book for anyone interested in creativity, success, achievement, and happiness.

A Place Outside the Law: Forgotten Voices from Guantanamo [EPUB]

A Place Outside the Law: Forgotten Voices from Guantanamo [EPUB]
A Place Outside the Law: Forgotten Voices from Guantanamo by Peter Jan Honigsberg
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9780807026984 | 8.67MB

Firsthand testimonies from Guantánamo Bay, inspiring future generations to never repeat the human rights violations of the detention center.

Law scholar and Witness to Guantánamo founder Peter Jan Honigsberg uncovers a haunting portrait of life at the military prison and its toll, not only on the detainees and their loved ones but also on its military and civilian personnel and the journalists who reported on it.

Honigsberg conducted 158 interviews across 20 countries so that the people who lived and worked there could tell their heartbreaking and inspirational stories. In each one, we face the reality that the healing process cannot begin until we start the conversation about what was done in the name of protecting our country. These are a few of them. Many alleged operatives in Guantánamo were purchased by the United States for ransom from Afghan and Pakistani soldiers. Brandon Neely, a prison guard who processed the first group of suspected operatives to arrive in Cuba, flew to London to embrace the detainees he guarded after leaving the military. Navy whistleblower Matt Diaz covertly released the names of 500 detainees by sending them in a greeting card to a lawyer in New York. Journalist Carol Rosenberg committed the past 17 years of her career to documenting life at Guantánamo. And Damien Corsetti, an interrogator who came to be known as the "King of Torture," received ribbons and awards for the same cruel actions for which he was later prosecuted.

In startling, aching prose, A Place Outside the Law shines a light on these unheard voices, and through them, encourages the global community to embrace humanity as our greatest tool to make the world a safer place.

Conversations with Galileo: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts [EPUB]

Conversations with Galileo: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts [EPUB]
Conversations with Galileo: A Fictional Dialogue Based on Biographical Facts by William Shea
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781786782496 | 1.78MB

Imagined by a renowned cosmologist who holds an academic post at Galileo's old university, this fictionalised conversation presents the essential biography of a man who transformed our view of the universe.

When Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the skies, he ushered in a scientific revolution: the Moon turned out to be covered with mountains and craters, stars popped out of nowhere, and four satellites were found to be orbiting Jupiter. His discovery of the phases of Venus in 1610 forever shattered the notion that the Sun orbited the Earth and transformed humanity's sense of itself and its place in the cosmos. It also contributed to the demise of the idea that knowledge about the world was to be found in ancient texts or supernatural authority.

Eavesdrop on an enlightening conversation, and make your own discoveries - about Galileo's life in the Medici court, his love of wine and women, and how he came to spend his last eight years under house arrest.

Are Men Animals?: How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short [EPUB]

Are Men Animals?: How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short [EPUB]
Are Men Animals: How Modern Masculinity Sells Men Short by Matthew Gutmann
2019 | EPUB | ISBN: 9781541699588 | 1.95MB

"Boys will be boys," the saying goes -- but what does that actually mean? A leading anthropologist investigates

Why do men behave the way they do? Is it their male brains? Surging testosterone? From vulgar locker-room talk to mansplaining to sexual harassment, society is too quick to explain male behavior in terms of biology.

In Are Men Animals?, anthropologist Matthew Gutmann argues that predatory male behavior is in no way inevitable. Men behave the way they do because culture permits it, not because biology demands it. To prove this, he embarks on a global investigation of masculinity. Exploring everything from the gender-bending politics of American college campuses to the marriage markets of Shanghai and the women-only subway cars of Mexico City, Gutmann shows just how complicated masculinity can be. The result isn't just a new way to think about manhood. It's a guide to a better life, for all of us.