Josceline Dimbleby - May and Amy
Always intrigued by Edward Burne-Jones’s portrait of her great-aunt, Amy Gaskell, Josceline Dimbleby’s chance meeting with the painting’s current owner encouraged her to explore the mystery of her own family’s past and the life and death of her beautiful great-aunt. In her search, Dimbleby uncovered a passionate correspondence between Burne-Jones and her great-grandmother, May Gaskell, Amy’s mother, which continued throughout the last six years of the Pre-Raphaelite painter’s life. As she delved deeper into their engrossing lives, questions emerged. What was the deep secret May had confided to Edward? And what was the tragic truth behind Amy’s wayward, wandering life, her strange marriage, and her unexplained early death? Weaving together the threads of this tale, Dimbleby takes us through a turbulent period in English history and visits the most far-flung corners of the Empire. William Morris, Rudyard Kipling, William Gladstone, and prominent members of the Souls also play a part in this sweeping, often funny, and sometimes tragic story. Richly detailed and exquisitely told, May and Amy is a stunning account of hidden love and family secrets.
Frances Mossiker - Pocahontas
The amazing story and alluring personality of Pocahontas (1595-1617) have endured the enlargement of legend and the distortions of time, as if waiting for Mossiker's skill, scholarship, and sensitivity to reveal Pocahontas as she was. This biography illuminates the dual world within which she struggled to identify herself, and her enormous impact on its leading figures: the first encounters and skirmishes between Indians and Englishmen in 1607 Pocahontas's dramatic rescue of Captain John Smith and her later abduction her marriage to the Father of Tobacco, John Rolfe the fateful voyage to England and her early death. The book also examines the myths and commercialization that have entombed Pocahontas through the centuries. In absorbing detail this vivid biography resurrects the real Pocahontas and unveils the uses,noble and ignoble,America has made of her.
Deborah Heiligman - Vincent and Theo
The deep and enduring friendship between Vincent and Theo Van Gogh shaped both brothers' lives. Confidant, champion, sympathizer, friend, Theo supported Vincent as he struggled to find his path in life. They shared everything, swapping stories of lovers and friends, successes and disappointments, dreams and ambitions. Meticulously researched, drawing on the 658 letters Vincent wrote to Theo during his lifetime, Deborah Heiligman weaves a tale of two lives intertwined and the love of the Van Gogh brothers.
Lev Grossman - The Connector
We have entered the Facebook age, and he is the man who brought us here. For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them, for creating a new system of exchanging information, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg is TIME's 2010 Person of the Year. Amazon Kindle brings you an extended version of the cover profile by TIME senior writer Lev Grossman, with an introduction by TIME managing editor Richard Stengel. Read how the Person of the Year has changed how we live our lives in ways that are innovative and even optimistic.
Maggie O'Farrell - I Am, I Am, I Am
An extraordinary memoir--told entirely in near-death experiences--from one of Britain's best-selling novelists, for fans of _Wild, When Breath Becomes Air,_ and _The Year of Magical Thinking._ We are never closer to life than when we brush up against the possibility of death. _I Am, I Am, I Am_ is Maggie O'Farrell's astonishing memoir of the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. The childhood illness that left her in the hospital for nearly a year, which she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. An encounter with a serial killer on a remote path. And, most terrifying of all, an ongoing, daily struggle to protect her daughter from a condition that leaves her unimaginably vulnerable to life's myriad dangers. Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O'Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.
Michelle Obama - Becoming
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare. In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
Edith Eva Eger - The Choice
A powerful, moving memoir—and a practical guide to healing—written by Dr. Edith Eva Eger, an eminent psychologist whose own experiences as a Holocaust survivor help her treat patients and allow them to escape the prisons of their own minds. Edith Eger was sixteen years old when the Nazis came to her hometown in Hungary and took her Jewish family to an interment center and then to Auschwitz. Her parents were sent to the gas chamber by Joseph Mengele soon after they arrived at the camp. Hours later Mengele demanded that Edie dance a waltz to “The Blue Danube” and rewarded her with a loaf of bread that she shared with her fellow prisoners. These women later helped save Edie’s life. Edie and her sister survived Auschwitz, were transferred to the Mauthausen and Gunskirchen camps in Austria, and managed to live until the American troops liberated the camps in 1945 and found Edie in a pile of dying bodies. One of the few living Holocaust survivors to remember the horrors of the camps, Edie has chosen to forgive her captors and find joy in her life every day. Years after she was liberated from the concentration camps Edie went back to college to study psychology. She combines her clinical knowledge and her own experiences with trauma to help others who have experienced painful events large and small. Dr. Eger has counselled veterans suffering from PTSD, women who were abused, and many others who learned that they too, can choose to forgive, find resilience, and move forward. She lectures frequently on the power of love and healing. The Choice weaves Eger’s personal story with case studies from her work as a psychologist. Her patients and their stories illustrate different phases of healing and show how people can choose to escape the prisons they construct in their minds and find freedom, regardless of circumstance. Eger’s story is an inspiration for everyone. And her message is powerful and important: “Your pain matters and is worth healing: you can choose to be joyful and free.” She is eighty-nine years old and still dancing.
David Grann - The lost city of Z
After stumbling upon a hidden trove of diaries, acclaimed New Yorker writer David Grann set out to solve “the greatest exploration mystery of the twentieth century”: What happened to the British explorer Percy Fawcett and his quest for the Lost City of Z? In 1925, Fawcett ventured into the Amazon to find an ancient civilization, hoping to make one of the most important discoveries in history. For centuries Europeans believed the world’s largest jungle concealed the glittering kingdom of El Dorado. Thousands had died looking for it, leaving many scientists convinced that the Amazon was truly inimical to humankind. But Fawcett, whose daring expeditions helped inspire Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, had spent years building his scientific case. Captivating the imagination of millions around the globe, Fawcett embarked with his twenty-one-year-old son, determined to prove that this ancient civilization—which he dubbed “Z”—existed. Then he and his expedition vanished. Fawcett’s fate—and the tantalizing clues he left behind about “Z”—became an obsession for hundreds who followed him into the uncharted wilderness. For decades scientists and adventurers have searched for evidence of Fawcett’s party and the lost City of Z. Countless have perished, been captured by tribes, or gone mad. As David Grann delved ever deeper into the mystery surrounding Fawcett’s quest, and the greater mystery of what lies within the Amazon, he found himself, like the generations who preceded him, drawn into the jungle’s “green hell.” His quest for the truth, and his stunning discoveries about Fawcett’s fate and “Z,” form the heart of this enthralling narrative.
Leah Remini - Troublemaker
The outspoken actress, talk show host, and reality television star offers up a no-holds-barred memoir, including an eye-opening insider account of her tumultuous and heart-wrenching thirty-year-plus association with the Church of Scientology. Leah Remini has never been the type to hold her tongue. That willingness to speak her mind, stand her ground, and rattle the occasional cage has enabled this tough-talking girl from Brooklyn to forge an enduring and successful career in Hollywood. But being a troublemaker has come at a cost. That was never more evident than in 2013, when Remini loudly and publicly broke with the Church of Scientology. Now, in this frank, funny, poignant memoir, the former King of Queens star opens up about that experience for the first time, revealing the in-depth details of her painful split with the church and its controversial practices. Indoctrinated into the church as a child while living with her mother and sister in New York, Remini eventually moved to Los Angeles, where her dreams of becoming an actress and advancing Scientology’s causes grew increasingly intertwined. As an adult, she found the success she’d worked so hard for, and with it a prominent place in the hierarchy of celebrity Scientologists alongside people such as Tom Cruise, Scientology’s most high-profile adherent. Remini spent time directly with Cruise and was included among the guests at his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes. But when she began to raise questions about some of the church’s actions, she found herself a target. In the end, she was declared by the church to be a threat to their organization and therefore a “Suppressive Person,” and as a result, all of her fellow parishioners—including members of her own family—were told to disconnect from her. Forever. Bold, brash, and bravely confessional, Troublemaker chronicles Leah Remini’s remarkable journey toward emotional and spiritual freedom, both for herself and for her family. This is a memoir designed to reveal the hard-won truths of a life lived honestly—from an author unafraid of the consequences.
Randy Shilts - The Mayor of Castro Street
Known as “The Mayor of Castro Street” even before he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Harvey Milk’s personal life, public career, and final assassination reflect the dramatic emergence of the gay community as a political power in America. It is a story full of personal tragedies and political intrigues, assassinations at City Hall, massive riots in the streets, the miscarriage of justice, and the consolidation of gay power and gay hope. Harvey Milk has been the subject of numerous books and movies, including the Academy Award–winning 1984 documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk. His life is also the basis of a 2008 major motion picture, Milk, starring Sean Penn.
Lily Collins - Unfiltered
In this groundbreaking debut essay collection, featuring never-before-seen photos, actress Lily Collins—star of Mortal Instruments and the upcoming Rules Don’t Apply—is opening a poignant, honest conversation about the things young women struggle with: body image, self-confidence, relationships, family, dating, and so much more. For the first time ever, Lily shares her life and her own deepest secrets, underlining that every single one of us experiences pain and heartbreak. We all understand what it’s like to live in the light and in the dark. For Lily, it’s about making it through to the other side, where you love what you see in the mirror and where you embrace yourself just as you are. She's learned that all it takes is one person standing up and saying something for everyone else to realize they’re not alone. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Lily’s honest voice will inspire you to be who you are and say what you feel. It’s time to claim your voice! It’s time to live your life unfiltered.
Piers Dudgeon - Neverland
The untold story behind _Peter Pan:_ The shocking account of J. M. Barrie's abuse and exploitation of the du Maurier family. In his revelatory _Neverland,_ Piers Dudgeon tells the tragic story of J. M. Barrie and the Du Maurier family. Driven by a need to fill the vacuum left by sexual impotence, Barrie sought out George du Maurier, Daphne du Maurier’s grandfather (author of the famed Trilby), who specialized in hypnosis. Barrie’s fascination and obsession with the Du Maurier family is a shocking study of greed and psychological abuse, as we observe Barrie as he applies these lessons in mind control to captivate George’s daughter Sylvia, his son Gerald, as well as their children—who became the inspiration for the Darling family in Barrie’s immortal Peter Pan. Barrie later altered Sylvia’s will after her death so that he could become the boys’ legal guardian, while pushing several members of the family to nervous breakdown and suicide. Barrie’s compulsion to dominate was so apparent to those around him that D. H. Lawrence once wrote: _J. M Barrie has a fatal touch for those he loves. They die._
Richard Dawkins - A Brief Candle in the Dark
In this hugely entertaining sequel to the New York Times bestselling memoir An Appetite for Wonder, Richard Dawkins delves deeply into his intellectual life spent kick-starting new conversations about science, culture, and religion and writing yet another of the most audacious and widely read books of the twentieth century—The God Delusion Called “one of the best nonfiction writers alive today” (Stephen Pinker) and a “prize-fighter” (Nature), Richard Dawkins cheerfully, mischievously, looks back on a lifetime of tireless intellectual adventure and engagement. Exploring the halls of intellectual inquiry and stardom he encountered after the publication of his seminal work, The Selfish Gene; affectionately lampooning the world of academia, publishing, and television; and studding the pages with funny stories about the great men and women he’s known, Dawkins offers a candid look at the events and ideas that encouraged him to shift his attention to the intersection of culture, religion, and science. He also invites the reader to look more closely at the brilliant succession of ten influential books that grew naturally out of his busy life, highlighting the ideas that connect them and excavating their origins. On the publication of his tenth book, the smash hit, The God Delusion, a “resounding trumpet blast for truth” (Matt Ridley), Richard Dawkins was catapulted from mere intellectual stardom into a circle of celebrity thinkers dubbed, “The New Atheists”—including Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett. Throughout A Brief Candle in the Dark, Dawkins shares with us his infectious sense of wonder at the natural world, his enjoyment of the absurdities of human interaction, and his bracing awareness of life’s brevity: all of which have made a deep imprint on our culture.
Nigel Graddon - Otto Rahn and the Quest for the Grail
Otto Rahn led a life of incredible adventure in the South of France in the early 1930s. The Hessian language scholar is said to have found runic Grail tablets in the Pyrenean grottoes, unearthed as a result of his phenomenal scholastic detective work in decoding the hidden messages within the medieval Grail masterwork Parsifal. The fabulous artifacts identified by Rahn were believed by Himmler to include the Grail Cup, the Spear of Destiny, the Tablets of Moses, the Ark of the Covenant, the Sword and Harp of David, the Sacred Candelabra and the Golden Urn of Manna. There are those who believe that Rahn was a Nazi guru who wielded immense influence on his elders and "betters" within the Hitler regime, persuading them that the Grail was the Sacred Book of the Aryans, which, once obtained, would justify their extreme political theories and revivify the ancient Germanic myths. But things are never as they seem, and as new facts emerge about Otto Rahn a far more extraordinary story unfolds. Is it possible that-far from being an SS adept-Otto Rahn was a key defender of freedoms in a time of immense chaos and cruelty, in short a modern day Argonaut who sought the Golden Fleece to rekindle the dimming Light of humanity?
Mark Newman - Duncan J. Watts - Albert-László Barabási - The Structure and Dynamics of Networks
From the Internet to networks of friendship, disease transmission, and even terrorism, the concept--and the reality--of networks has come to pervade modern society. But what exactly is a network? What different types of networks are there? Why are they interesting, and what can they tell us? In recent years, scientists from a range of fields--including mathematics, physics, computer science, sociology, and biology--have been pursuing these questions and building a new "science of networks." This book brings together for the first time a set of seminal articles representing research from across these disciplines. It is an ideal sourcebook for the key research in this fast-growing field. The book is organized into four sections, each preceded by an editors' introduction summarizing its contents and general theme. The first section sets the stage by discussing some of the historical antecedents of contemporary research in the area. From there the book moves to the empirical side of the science of networks before turning to the foundational modeling ideas that have been the focus of much subsequent activity. The book closes by taking the reader to the cutting edge of network science--the relationship between network structure and system dynamics. From network robustness to the spread of disease, this section offers a potpourri of topics on this rapidly expanding frontier of the new science. „The Structure and Dynamics of Networks performs an important service by bringing together in one volume a number of papers on network theory, and placing them in their historical context. . . . [T]he volume will serve as an introduction to the topic for the novice and a resource for the more experienced researcher.” - Sarah Boslaugh, MAA Reviews „Everyone with a serious interest in the networks studies will want to read the many fine papers this major collection contains. It is to be warmly recommended as a volume deserving to become compulsory reading for all scholars (and students) interested in the field of networks.” - Current Engineering Practice „Each and every one of the featured papers represents a fundamental breakthrough, forming altogether a highly coherent body of knowledge. Professors Newman, Barabási, and Watts succeed in their selection, and at the same time add an extra value to the book with enlightening and interesting discussions. I strongly recommend this book to researchers and students of the field and, in general, to anyone who wants to enter or learn more about this exciting field of research.” - Marián Boguñá, Journal of Statistical Physics „The behavioural scientist interested in the wider picture of how their work fits into the world of networks is recommended this book as a first port of call for classic citations.” - Sean A. Rands, Applied Animal Behavior Science „This excellent collection of papers will provide great one-stop shopping to those working in the evolving world of network research. It may very well become a standard resource for the growing number of courses on networks now beginning to pervade curricula. Indeed, a current difficulty in teaching such a course is that there are no good texts, and a quick look around the Web reveals that almost all these courses are taught using research papers, many of which appear in this collection.” - Dan Rockmore, Dartmouth College
Paul Brody - The Real Life Mary Poppins
Among twentieth century authors, P. L. Travers was by far the most productive and famous to hail from the British colony of Australia. After a brief and modestly successful acting career, she moved to London and pursued her own brand of journalism. She was a well-regarded drama critic and travel author, and she became friends with many influential writers and thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Eventually, she found her greatest voice in the form of Mary Poppins, the mysterious and powerful Edwardian nanny. Thirty years after the first Poppins adventure is published, Walt Disney produced a live-action movie version, which has ingrained itself forever in the popular imagination. This biography traces Travers from her youth, her early career in acting and writing, the making of Mary Poppins, and more. LifeCaps is an imprint of BookCaps Study Guides. With each book, a lesser known or sometimes forgotten life is recapped.
Kurt W. Beyer - Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age
A Hollywood biopic about the life of computer pioneer Grace Murray Hopper (1906–1992) would go like this: a young professor abandons the ivy-covered walls of academia to serve her country in the Navy after Pearl Harbor and finds herself on the front lines of the computer revolution. She works hard to succeed in the all-male computer industry, is almost brought down by personal problems but survives them, and ends her career as a celebrated elder stateswoman of computing, a heroine to thousands, hailed as the inventor of computer programming. Throughout Hopper's later years, the popular media told this simplified version of her life story. In Grace Hopper and the Invention of the Information Age, Kurt Beyer goes beyond the screenplay-ready myth to reveal a more authentic Hopper, a vibrant and complex woman whose career paralleled the meteoric trajectory of the postwar computer industry. Hopper made herself "one of the boys" in Howard Aiken's wartime Computation Laboratory at Harvard, then moved on to the Eckert and Mauchly Computer Corporation. Both rebellious and collaborative, she was influential in male-dominated military and business organizations at a time when women were encouraged to devote themselves to housework and childbearing. Hopper's greatest technical achievement was to create the tools that would allow humans to communicate with computers in terms other than ones and zeroes. This advance influenced all future programming and software design and laid the foundation for the development of user-friendly personal computers.