One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? In Sapiens, Professor Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical and sometimes devastating breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology, and economics, and incorporating full-color illustrations throughout the text, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behavior from the legacy of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Alison Weir - Britain's Royal Families
Britain’s Royal Families is a unique reference book, offering complete genealogical details in one volume describing all the members of the royal houses of England, Scotland, and Great Britain, from 800 AD to the present. Look no further for vital information relating to each monarch, and to every member of their immediate family, from parents to grandchildren. When documents (which would have thrown the whole royal succession into question) describing George III’s secret marriage to Quakeress, Hannah Lightfoot, were seized in 1866 by the Attorney General, then-current learned opinion believed they were genuine. But they were placed into the Royal Archives at Windsor, and as late as 1910 the palace refused a would-be author who asked to see them. This is just one fascinating story of many in this delightful book. Drawing on countless authorities, both ancient and contemporary, Alison Weir explores the royal family tree in unparalleled depth, tracing the heritage of today’s royal family.
Terry Deary - Even more terrible Tudors
Takes you back for another look at the mad Tudor monarchs and their suffering subjects, who just could not help losing their heads. Read on for information about the good times and the gory from the great goose fairs to the painful punishments and trickery of the ruthless royal family.
Erik Larson - The Devil in the White City
Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World's Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Bill Bryson describes himself as a reluctant traveller, but even when he stays at home he can't contain his curiosity about the world around him. _A Short History of Nearly Everything_ is his quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Band to the rise of civilization -- how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. The ultimate eye-opening journey through time and space, revealing the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
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.
Chris Cooper - Forensic Science
The most trusted nonfiction series on the market, Eyewitness Books provide an in-depth, comprehensive look at their subjects with a unique integration of words and pictures. Eyewitness Books now come with a giant wall chart and a CD of clip-art. A fascinating look at the tools and techniques used by forensic scientists in solving crimes-from fingerprint analysis to DNA testing.
Paul Lieberman - Gangster Squad
A harrowing, edge-of-your-seat narrative of murder and secrets, revenge and heroism in the City of Angels—the real events behind the blockbuster Warner Brothers film starring Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. GANGSTER SQUAD chronicles the true story of the secretive police unit that waged an anything-goes war to drive Mickey Cohen and other hoodlums from Los Angeles after WWII. In 1946, the LAPD launched the Gangster Squad with eight men who met covertly on street corners and slept with Tommy guns under their beds. But for two cops, all that mattered was nailing the strutting gangster Mickey Cohen. Sgt. Jack O’Mara was a square-jawed church usher, Sgt. Jerry Wooters a cynical maverick. About all they had in common was their obsession. So O’Mara set a trap to prove Mickey was a killer. And Wooters formed an alliance with Mickey’s budding rival, Jack “The Enforcer” Whalen. Two cops -- two hoodlums. Their fates collided in the closing days of the 1950s, when late one night “The Enforcer” confronted Mickey and his crew. The aftermath would shake both LA’s mob and police department, and signal the end of a defining era in the city’s history. Warner Brothers developed the film _Gangster Squad_ based on the research award-winning journalist Paul Lieberman conducted for this book, which reveals the unbelievable true stories behind the film. He spent more than a decade tracking down and interviewing surviving members of the real police unit as well as families and associates of the mobsters they pursued. Gangster Squad is a tour-de-force narrative reminiscent of LA Confidential.
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.
Edward W. Said - Orientalism
In this highly acclaimed seminal work, Edward Said surveys the history and nature of Western attitudes towards the East, considering Orientalism as a powerful European ideological creation – a way for writers, philosophers and colonial administrators to deal with the ‘otherness’ of Eastern culture, customs and beliefs. He traces this view through the writings of Homer, Nerval and Flaubert, Disraeli and Kipling, whose imaginative depictions have greatly contributed to the West’s romantic and exotic picture of the Orient. In his new preface, Said examines the effect of continuing Western imperialism after recent events in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq.
John M. Barry - Rising Tide
In 1927, the Mississippi River swept across an area roughly equal in size to Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont combined, leaving water as deep as thirty feet on the land stretching from Illinois and Missouri south to the Gulf of Mexico. Close to a million people - in a nation of 120 million - were forced out of their homes. Some estimates place the death toll in the thousands. The Red Cross fed nearly 700,000 refugees for months. Rising Tide is the story of this forgotten event, the greatest natural disaster this country has ever known. But it is not simply a tale of disaster. The flood transformed part of the nation and had a major cultural and political impact on the rest. Rising Tide is an American epic about science, race, honor, politics, and society. Rising Tide begins in the nineteenth century, when the first serious attempts to control the river began. The story focuses on engineers James Eads and Andrew Humphreys, who hated each other. Out of the collision of their personalities and their theories came a compromise river policy that would lead to the disaster of the 1927 flood yet would also allow the cultivation of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta and create wealth and aristocracy, as well as a whole culture. In the end, the flood had indeed changed the face of America, leading to the most comprehensive legislation the government had ever enacted, touching the entire Mississippi valley from Pennsylvania to Montana. In its aftermath was laid the foundation for the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Terry Deary - Edinburgh
History has never been so horrible, find out about: whose picked skin became a sought-after souvenier? - why it's alright to spit on the High Street - how the pupils of Edinburgh High School got away with murder? Plot your path to the past with the frightful fold-out map of the city - climb up to the cursed castle for tales of reckless raids, hit the High Street for a whole host of historical horrors and visit Holyroodhouse, the home of kidnapped kings and mysterious murders.
Mavis Batey - Jane Austen and the English Landscape
In late Georgian and Regency England established attitudes towards nature and the countryside, whether in art, literature or landscape gardening, were being challenged on many fronts. Jane Austen's heroines, brought up with well-established Georgian standards, were as susceptible in matters of 'Taste and Feeling' as anyone else and, as this book so clearly demonstrates, their responses to landscape strikingly reflect the ramifications of fashionable taste and the influence of their reading. As a landscape historian steeped in the novels and letters of Jane Austen, Mavis Batey is the best of guides to the ideas and subtleties behind the real and fictional settings of the novels.
Valerie Tripp - Samantha saves the Day
Samantha and her family are spending the summer at Piney Point, Grandmary’s home in the mountains. One day Samantha and the twins, Agnes and Agatha, find a sketchbook made by Samantha’s mother. In it, Samantha sees a beautiful waterfall she had visited with her parents long ago, before they died in a boating accident. Using the sketchbook as a map, Samantha and the twins set off. When their secret exploration puts them in the middle of a dangerous storm, Samantha must save the day.
Valerie Tripp - Happy Birthday, Molly!
An English girl is coming to stay at the McIntires', and just in time for Molly's birthday! Molly and her friends are very excited, until Emily Bennett turns out to be quite different from the glamorous girl they pictured. Emily is shy, and she seems unfriendly. Then Molly discovers that Emily is worried about her family in war-torn London, just as Molly is worried about her father, and the girls become good friends. They even plan to turn Molly's tenth birthday celebration into a real English tea party. But the girls' friendship starts to fall apart when they can't agree about what's important, and it takes a special birthday surprise to help them patch up their hurt feelings.
Katie Daynes - Cleopatra
In the land of pharaohs and pyramids, Cleopatra is a princess with an uncertain future. When her own brother tries to kill her, she realizes she can't trust anyone. Then Rome's leaders start vying for her attention and cleopatra faces her greatest challenge yet. Usborne Famous Lives retell the stories of fascinating people, bringing them to life so vividly, it's as if you're there with them.
Valerie Tripp - Happy Birthday, Samantha!
Samantha's tenth birthday party is nearly ruined when Eddie Ryland plays a mean trick. Then Agnes and Agatha, Cornelia's ten-year-old twin sisters, save the day with an invitation to visit New York City. Samantha loves the twins' lively, carefree attitude and can't wait to go - especially since the trip will include a stop at the fanciest ice cream parlor in town. But when the girls carelessly break some rules, they suddenly find themselves racing dangerously through the big city - and the path they take leads to surprising discoveries.
Harry Leslie Smith - Harry's Last Stand
'As one of the last remaining survivors of the Great Depression and the Second World War, I will not go gently into that good night. I want to tell you what the world looks like through my eyes, so that you can help change it...' In November 2013, 91-year-old Yorkshireman, RAF veteran and ex-carpet salesman Harry Leslie Smith's Guardian article - 'This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time' - was shared almost 60,000 times on Facebook and started a huge debate about the state of society. Now he brings his unique perspective to bear on NHS cutbacks, benefits policy, political corruption, food poverty, the cost of education - and much more. From the deprivation of 1930s Barnsley and the terror of war to the creation of our welfare state, Harry has experienced how a great civilisation can rise from the rubble. But at the end of his life, he fears how easily it is being eroded. Harry's Last Stand is a lyrical, searing modern invective that shows what the past can teach us, and how the future is ours for the taking.
Marc Aronson - Master of Deceit
A fascinating and timely biography of J. Edgar Hoover from a Sibert Medalist. _"King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is. . . . You better take it before your filthy, abnormal, fraudulent self is bared to the nation."_ Dr. Martin Luther King received this demand in an anonymous letter in 1964. He believed that the letter was telling him to commit suicide. Who wrote this anonymous letter? The FBI. And the man behind it all was J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI's first director. In this unsparing exploration of one of the most powerful Americans of the twentieth century, accomplished historian Marc Aronson unmasks the man behind the Bureau- his tangled family history and personal relationships; his own need for secrecy, deceit, and control; and the broad trends in American society that shaped his world. Hoover may have given America the security it wanted, but the secrets he knew gave him — and the Bureau — all the power he wanted. Using photographs, cartoons, movie posters, and FBI transcripts, _Master of Deceit_ gives readers the necessary evidence to make their own conclusions. Here is a book about the twentieth century that blazes with questions and insights about our choices in the twenty-first.
Joel Levy - Fifty Weapons that Changed the Course of History
A beautifully presented guide to 50 weapons and their historical impact on civilization. Fifty Weapons that Changed the Course of History is a fascinating guide to the arms and armaments that have had the greatest impact on the development of human civilization. Like the other titles in this series, the book organizes the weapons into brief illustrated chapters. Concise narratives describe the weapons, the "who, where, when, why and how" of their introduction and uses, and explain their influence in one or more of four categories -- Social, Political, Tactical, and Technological. The stories span human history, from our hunter-gatherer ancestors who devised the spear and the wheel, which brought about the war chariot, to gunpowder, which democratized warfare and has been the basis for almost every weapon used in war from that point on. Entries include: The longbow, which led an outnumbered English army to a famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 The Soviet T-34, the most effective and influential (in terms of design) tank to feature in World War II The Tomahawk cruise missile, which revolutionized tactics in modern warfare The Gatling Gun, the first rapid-repeating gun, which turned the tide in the Americans' favor during the Spanish-American War. The saga of human civilization has been formed and scarred by conflict. Defining episodes of violence -- sometimes long and simmering, at other times sudden and cataclysmic -- have produced new forms of weaponry. Some of these have been decisive, such as the terrifying war elephants deployed by Hannibal at the battle of Cannae in 216 B.C. Others have become iconic in our culture. Chief among these is the easily copied AK-47, at first the symbol of communism and now of terrorism, and the most widely found firearm in the world. Some weapons have been definitive in their simplicity, such as the bayonet; in other cases, such as the Tomahawk cruise missile, the sheer complexity is dazzling. Fifty Weapons That Changed the Course of History tells the story of the last 3,500 years through the arms and armaments that have shaped it. This is the story of the weapons that formed our world, and is sure to attract a wide readership.