In 2000, New York Times bestselling author Douglas Preston fulfilled a long-held dream to move his family to Italy. But after settling in an idyllic village just outside Florence, he discovered that the olive grove in front of his family’s new home had been the scene of one of the most infamous double-murders in Italian history, committed by a serial killer known as the Monster of Florence. The killer had never been found. Preston, intrigued, met Italian journalist Mario Spezi, who has followed the case since the first murders in 1974, to learn more. This is the true story of their search for – and identification of – the man they believe committed the crimes, and their chilling interview with him. It’s also the story of how Preston and Spezi themselves became part of the story. Preston had his phone tapped, was interrogated, and forced to leave the country. Spezi fared even worse: he was accused of being the Monster of Florence himself. Like one of Preston’s bestselling thrillers, The Monster of Florence tells a gripping and harrowing story of murder, mutilation, suspicion and ruined lives – and at the centre of it, two brave writers trying to uncover the truth at all costs.
Gavin Menzies - 1434
In his bestselling book _1421: The Year China Discovered the World,_ Gavin Menzies presented controversial and compelling evidence that Chinese fleets beat Columbus, Cook and Magellan to the New World. But his research has led him to astonishing new discoveries that Chinese influence on Western culture didn't stop there. Until now, scholars have considered that the Italian Renaissance – the basis of our modern Western world – came about as a result of a re-examining the ideas of classical Greece and Rome. A stunning reappraisal of history is about to be published. Gavin Menzies makes the startling argument that a sophisticated Chinese delegation visited Italy in 1434, sparked the Renaissance, and forever changed the course of Western civilization.After that date the authority of Aristotle and Ptolemy was overturned and artistic conventions challenged, as was Arabic astronomy and cartography. Florence and Venice of the 15th century attracted traders from across the world. Menzies presents astonishing evidence that a large Chinese fleet, official ambassadors of the Emperor, arrived in Tuscany in 1434 where they met with Pope Eugenius IV in Florence. A mass of information was given by the Chinese delegation to the Pope and his entourage – concerning world maps (which Menzies argues were later given to Columbus), astronomy, mathematics, art, printing, architecture, steel manufacture, civil engineering, military machines, surveying, cartography, genetics, and more. It was this gift of knowledge that sparked the inventiveness of the Renaissance – Da Vinci's inventions, the Copernican revolution, Galileo, etc. Following 1434, Europeans embraced Chinese intellectual ideas, discoveries, and inventions, which formed the basis of European civilization just as much as Greek thought and Roman law. In short, China provided the spark that set the Renaissance ablaze.
Makkay János - Neolithic prelude to the Indo-Europeanization of Italy
Makkay believes that the Neolithic revolution happened once and was dissmeniated to southeast Europe and the Carpathian Basin from the western periphery of northwest Anatolia. In this short study he reviews the evidence for this process following material culture and linguistic lines of enquiry for the arrival of Protoitalic speakers in Italy. English text, Italian summary.
Rebecca Skloot - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Who, you might ask, is Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951) and why is she the subject of a book? On the surface, this short-lived African American Virginian seems an unlikely candidate for immortality. In truth, we all owe Ms. Lacks a great debt and some of us owe her our lives. As Rebecca Skloot tells us in this riveting human story, Henrietta was the involuntary donor of cells from her cancerous tumors that have been cultured to create an immortal cell line for medical research. These so-called HeLa cells have not only generated billions of dollars for the medical industry; they have helped uncover secrets of cancers, viruses, fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping. A vivid, exciting story; a 2010 Discover Great New Books finalist; a surprise bestseller in hardcover. Now in paperback and NOOKbook.
Edward Rutherfurd - Ireland Awakening
Few authors are as ambitious as Edward Rutherford. And Dublin: Foundation, the first of a massive two-part epic, is possibly Rutherford's most challenging undertaking yet--and (on the evidence of this first book) could well be his most considerable achievement. Rutherford's sheer readability belies his obvious seriousness. His arm-straining volumes may cover every possible variety of human experience (couched in historical backgrounds of immense detail and authenticity), but he remains a storyteller of no mean skills. From the early books that made his name (notably the much-acclaimed Sarum), through to the more recent blockbuster London, the author has combined a panoramic, Homeric vision with a James-Joyce like concentration on the minutiae of everyday life; the results of this synthesis are brought to perfectly honed effect in Dublin: Foundation. Parallels with Joyce's Dublin are not appropriate here, though. The scope is far wider and stretches back into history. Beginning in Pre-Christian Ireland as the Kings of Tara reigned autocratically, we encounter the lovers Prince Conall and the beautiful Deidre. An army sized dramatis personae surround the lovers, representing every player in a turbulent era. We are shown many of the key events in Irish history, with parts for Saint Patrick, the Nordic savagery of the Vikings and the battles with the cunning Henry VIII. As this operatic volume ends with the approach of the Reformation, the orchestration of narrative commands total respect. --Barry Forshaw
Truman Capote - In Cold Blood
On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues. As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. In Cold Bloodis a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
Steve Flinders - Scotland (Oxford Bookworms)
Features topics such as environmental issues, historical facts, and culture. Full-color photographs, introductions, glossaries, and exercises enhance student reading and learning. Audio versions of selected titles provide great models of intonation and pronunciation of difficult words.
Gitta Sereny - Cries Unheard
Pieces together the damaged life of Mary Bell, who aged 11 was tried and convicted of manslaughter after the death of two young boys. Only as an adult has she been able to realize the moral enormity of her crimes. The story of her life forces the reader to consider society's responsibility for children's crime. Originally published in 1998.
Julian Darius - Watching People Burn
The deadliest school massacre in U.S. history, its victims in grade school. A terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Three separate, coordinated bombings, culminating in a suicide car bomb that killed a public official and sent shrapnel into the crowd. This isn't fantasy. It all really happened... in rural Michigan, in 1927. This historical screenplay dissects the Bath school disaster. It explores the attacks' mysterious perpetrator, including the haunting final message he left for the police and the traumatic childhood that may have spurred his crimes. But the story also explores the myriad ways the attacks affected its victims, transformed a town, and reflected a moment of transition in American history.
Lucy Moore - Anything Goes
This is an exhilarating portrait of the era of invention, glamour and excess from one of the brightest young stars of mainstream history writing. Bracketed by the catastrophes of the Great War and the Wall Street Crash, the 1920s was a time of fear and hedonism. The decade glittered with seduction: jazz, flappers, wild all-night parties, the birth of Hollywood, and a glamorous gangster-led crime scene forced to flourish under prohibition. It was punctuated by terrifying events—the political show trials of Sacco and Vanzetti; the huge march down Washington DC's Pennsylvania Avenue by the Ku Klux Klan—and produced a glittering array of artists, musicians and film stars, from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Bessie Smith to Charlie Chaplin. Here, Lucy Moore interweaves the most compelling stories of the people and events that characterized the decade to produce a gripping account of an often-overlooked period. In doing so, she demonstrates that the jazz age was far more than just 'between wars'; it was an epoch of passion and change—an age, she observes, that was not unlike our own. The world she evokes is one of effortless allure and terrifying drama: a world that was desperate to escape itself.
Archibald Henry Sayce - The Ancient Empires of the East
Excerpt: ...a mortal foe of the line of Hashim, he convened an assembly of the Koreishites and their allies, to decide the fate of the Apostle. His imprisonment might provoke the despair of his enthusiasm, and the exile of an eloquent and popular fanatic would diffuse the mischief through the provinces of Arabia. His death was resolved, and they agreed that a sword from each tribe should be buried in his heart, to divide the guilt of his blood, and baflie the vengeance of the Hashimites. An angel or a spy revealed their conspiracy, and flight was the only resource of Mohammed. At the dead of night in 622 A. D., with his friend Abu Bekr, he silently escaped from his house. The assassins watched at the door, but they were deceived by the figure of Ali, who reposed on the bed, and was covered with the green vestment of the Apostle. The Koreish respected the piety of the heroic youth, but some verses of Ali which are still extant exhibit an interesting picture of his anxiety, his tenderness, and his religious confidence. Three days Mohammed and his companion were concealed in the cave of Thor, at the distance of a league from Mecca, and in the close of each evening they received from the son and daughter of Abu Bekr a secret supply of intelligence and food. The diligence of the Koreish explored every haunt in the neighborhood of the city. They arrived at the entrance of the cavern, but the providential deceit of a spider's web and a pigeon's nest is said to have convinced them that the place was solitary and inviolate. "VVe are only two," said the trembling Abu Bekr. "There is a third," replied the Prophet; "it is God himself."
Guy Gavriel Kay - Sailing to Sarantium
Crispin is a mosaicist, a layer of bright tiles. Still grieving for the family he lost to the plaque, he lives only for his arcane craft. But an imperial summons from Valerius the Trakesian to Sarantium, the most magnificent place in the world, is difficult to resist. In a world half-wild and tangled with magic, a journey to Sarantium means a walk into destiny. Bearing with him a deadly secret and a Queen's seductive promise, guarded only by his own wits and a talisman from an alchemist's treasury, Crispin sets out for the fabled city. Along the way he will encounter a great beast from the mythic past,and in robbing the zubir of its prize he wins a woman's devotion and a man's loyalty--and loses a gift he didn't know he had until it was gone. Once in this city ruled by intrigue and violence, he must find his own source of power. Struggling to deal with the dangers and seductive lures of the men and woman around him, Crispin does discover it, in a most unusual place--high on the scaffolding of the greatest artwork ever imagined....
W. G. Sebald - On the Natural History of Destruction
During World War Two, 131 German cities and towns were targeted by Allied bombs, a good number almost entirely flattened. Six hundred thousand German civilians died - a figure twice that of all American war casualties. Seven and a half million Germans were left homeless. Given the astonishing scope of the devastation, W. G. Sebald asks, why does the subject occupy so little space in Germany’s cultural memory? On the Natural History of Destruction probes deeply into this ominous silence.
Asa Akira - Insatiable
Asa Akira (28) has already had an extremely unusual life. Educated at the United Nations International School in Manhattan, she soon was earning a good living by stripping and working as a dominatrix at a sex dungeon. Akira has now built up a reputation for being of the most popular, hardworking, and extreme actors in the business, winning dozens of awards for her 330+ movies, including her number-one best-selling adult film series _Asa Akira Is Insatiable_. In _Insatiable_, Akira recounts her extraordinary life in chapters that are hilarious, shocking, and touching. In a wry, conversational tone, she talks about her experiences shoplifting and doing drugs while in school, her relationships with other porn stars (she is married to one) and with the industry at large, and her beliefs about women and sexuality. _Insatiable_ is filled with Akira’s unusual and often highly amusing anecdotes, including her visit to a New Hampshire sex shop run by a mother and son. In a world where porn is increasingly becoming part of the mainstream, Akira is one of very few articulate voices writing from the inside. She has something important, controversial, and astonishingly interesting to say about sex and its central role in our lives and culture.
Caroline Lawrence - The Secrets of Vesuvius
Flavia, Jonathan, Lupus, and Nubia-friends and detectives-sail to the Bay of Naples to spend the summer with Flavia's uncle, who lives near Pompeii. There they uncover a riddle that may lead them to great treasure. Meanwhile, tremors shake the ground, animals behave strangely, and people dream of impending doom. One of the worst natural disasters of all time is about to happen: the eruption of Mount Vesuvius!
Jim Boulton - 100 Ideas That Changed the Web
This innovative title looks at the history of the Web from its early roots in the research projects of the US government to the interactive online world we know and use today. Fully illustrated with images of early computing equipment and the inside story of the online world’s movers and shakers, the book explains the origins of the Web’s key technologies, such as hypertext and mark-up language, the social ideas that underlie its networks, such as open source, and creative commons, and key moments in its development, such as the movement to broadband and the Dotcom Crash. Later ideas look at the origins of social networking and the latest developments on the Web, such as The Cloud and the Semantic Web. Following the design of the previous titles in the series, this book will be in a new, smaller format. It provides an informed and fascinating illustrated history of our most used and fastest-developing technology.
Scott Bonn - Why We Love Serial Killers
For decades now, serial killers have taken center stage in the news and entertainment media. The coverage of real-life murderers such as Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer has transformed them into ghoulish celebrities. Similarly, the popularity of fictional characters such as Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter or Dexter demonstrates just how eager the public is to be frightened by these human predators. But why is this so? Could it be that some of us have a gruesome fascination with serial killers for the same reasons we might morbidly stare at a catastrophic automobile accident? Or it is something more? In _Why We Love Serial Killers_, criminology professor Dr. Scott Bonn explores our powerful appetite for the macabre, while also providing new and unique insights into the world of the serial killer, including those he has gained from his correspondence with two of the world’s most notorious examples, David Berkowitz (“Son of Sam”) and Dennis Rader (“Bind, Torture, Kill”). In addition, Bonn examines the criminal profiling techniques used by law enforcement professionals to identify and apprehend serial predators, he discusses the various behaviors—such as the charisma of the sociopath—that manifest themselves in serial killers, and he explains how and why these killers often become popular cultural figures. Groundbreaking in its approach, _Why We Love Serial Killers_ is a compelling look at how the media, law enforcement agencies, and public perception itself shapes and feeds the “monsters” in our midst.
Carla Cassidy - Defending The Rancher's Daughter
SHE WAS LUCKY TO BE ALIVE... ...after nearly being trampled to death by a stampeding cattle herd. Now Kate Sampson had to be on her guard every second. Professional bodyguard Zack West offered protection...and something a lot more dangerous. The sensual cowboy had branded her with his passion. And now he was back, ready to break her heart all over again. BUT HAD HIS LUCK RUN OUT? The wild tomboy had grown into an alluring woman who needed him whether she liked it or not. Whoever had murdered her father was coming after Kate, and Zack wasn't about to lose her a second time. Not with everything he cherished suddenly at stake....