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The Chosen One

by David Owen

Earl Woods, the father of young Eldrick "Tiger" Woods, was widely ridiculed in 1996 when, in an article anointing his son as Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year, he likened Tiger's potential impact to that of a messiah. This unseemly proclamation appeared to embody all the worst elements of the dreaded sports-parent who seeks financial windfall and personal validation by pushing his child to excel on the diamond, the gridiron, the court, or the fairways. But in light of all we know now about Tiger Woods, David Owen asks in The Chosen One, who is to say that it wasn't Tiger's transcendent greatness all along that induced his father to guide him, rather than the father pushing the son? Not since the dawn of competitive tournament golf has anyone distanced himself from the rest of the world the way Tiger has. He is the best there is at nearly every aspect of the game: the longest driver, the strongest iron player, the most creative around the greens, and so sharp a clutch putter that when he putts well the tournament is over, and when he putts badly he often wins anyway. He is a breakthrough athlete in a sport remarkably resistant to them; in every tournament, Tiger has to beat a hundred-plus competitors, any of whom can take away a title with a four-day hot streak. When Michael Jordan won all his back-to-back championships, each night he only had to beat one team. Tiger is also a breakthrough athlete as one of the first true multicultural icons. There are African-American, Asian, Native American, and Caucasian elements to his roots; he carries with him parts of so many ethnicities that he not only shatters stereotypes but renders the whole notion of racial classification irrelevant. It is ironic that such an athlete would emerge in golf, America's most tradition-bound and racially insensitive sport. In The Chosen One, gifted essayist David Owen ponders the social, economic, and athletic implications of this amazing young man. We are only beginning to see all the ways that Tiger Woods might reshape the world. Owen's thoughtful, incisive, elegant, and provocative work examines this phenomenon unlike any the fields of play have ever seen, in a book that will stand alongside John McPhee's A Sense of Where You Are (about Princeton forward Bill Bradley) among the classic works of sports philosophy.

The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse

by David Owen

The Conundrum is a mind-changing manifesto about the environment, efficiency, and the real path to sustainability.

Copies in Seconds

by David Owen

A lone inventor and the story of how one of the most revolutionary inventions of the twentieth century almost didn't happen. Introduced in 1960, the first plain-paper office copier is unusual among major high-technology inventions in that its central process was conceived by a single person. Chester Carlson grew up in unspeakable poverty, worked his way through junior college and the California Institute of Technology, and made his discovery in solitude in the depths of the Great Depression. He offered his big idea to two dozen major corporations -- among them IBM, RCA, and General Electric -- all of which turned him down. So persistent was this failure of capitalistic vision that by the time the Xerox 914 was manufactured, by an obscure photographic-supply company in Rochester, New York, Carlson's original patent had expired. Xerography was so unusual and nonintuitive that it conceivably could have been overlooked entirely. Scientists who visited the drafty warehouses where the first machines were built sometimes doubted that Carlson's invention was even theoretically feasible. Building the first plain-paper office copier -- with parts scrounged from junkyards, cleaning brushes made of hand-sewn rabbit fur, and a built-in fire extinguisher -- required the persistence, courage, and imagination of an extraordinary group of physicists, engineers, and corporate executives whose story has never before been fully told. Copies in Seconds is a tale of corporate innovation and risk-taking at its very best.

The First National Bank of Dad

by David Owen

Most parents do more harm than good when they try to teach their children about money. They make saving seem like a punishment, and force their children to view reckless spending as their only rational choice. To most kids, a savings account is just a black hole that swallows birthday checks. David Owen, a New Yorker staff writer and the father of two children, has devised a revolutionary new way to teach kids about money. In The First National Bank of Dad, he explains how he helped his own son and daughter become eager savers and rational spenders. He started by setting up a bank of his own at home and offering his young children an attractively high rate of return on any amount they chose to save. "If you hang on to some of your wealth instead of spending it immediately," he told them, "in a little while, you'll be able to double or even triple your allowance." A few years later, he started his own stock market and money-market fund for them. Most children already have a pretty good idea of how money works, Owen believes; that's why they are seldom interested in punitive savings schemes mandated by their parents. The first step in making children financially responsible, he writes, is to take advantage of human nature rather than ignoring it or futilely trying to change it. "My children are often quite irresponsible with my money, and why shouldn't they be?" he writes. "But they are extremely careful with their own." The First National Bank of Dad also explains how to give children real experience with all kinds of investments, how to foster their charitable instincts, how to make them more helpful around the house, how to set their allowances, and how to help them acquire a sense of value that goes far beyond money. He also describes at length what he feels is the best investment any parent can make for a child -- an idea that will surprise most readers.

Green Metropolis

by David Owen

Most Americans think of crowded cities as ecological nightmares--as wastelands of concrete and garbage and diesel fumes and traffic jams. Yet residents of compact urban centers, David Owen shows, individually consume less oil, electricity, and water than other Americans. They live in smaller spaces, discard less trash, and, most important of all, spend far less time in automobiles. Residents of Manhattan--the most densely populated place in North America--rank first in public-transit use and last in per-capita greenhouse gas production, and they consume gasoline at a rate that the country as a whole hasn't matched since the mid-1920s, when the most widely owned car in the United States was the Ford Model T. They are also among the only people in the United States for whom walking is still an important means of daily transportation. These achievements are not accidents. Spreading people thinly across the countryside may make them feel green, but it doesn't reduce the damage they do to the environment. In fact, it increases the damage, while also making the problems they cause harder to see and to address. Owen contends that the environmental problem we face, at the current stage of our assault on the world's nonrenewable resources, is not how to make teeming cities more like the pristine countryside. The problem is how to make other settled places more like Manhattan, whose residents presently come closer than any other Americans to meeting environmental goals that all of us, eventually, will have to come to terms with.

Hit & Hope

by David Owen

The game of golf as it is played by happy hackers and weekend warriors everywhere Most of us may dream about playing golf like Woods, Nicklaus, and Palmer, but the game they've got probably doesn't look much like the one we play. In Hit and Hope, Owen brings together entertaining essays on the mundane aspects of the game and how we approach it. Funny, candid, and thoughtful, this book offers the truest commentary on how and why the rest of us play golf, finding nobility and silliness in our endless pursuit of a little white ball over a vast (but not vast enough to contain our slices) greensward.

IMF Staff Country Reports

by David Owen Martin Fetherston

A report from the International Monetary Fund.

IMF Staff Country Reports

by David Owen David D. Marston

A report from the International Monetary Fund.

My Usual Game

by David Owen

Published just in time for Father's Day, this engagingly witty discourse takes readers along on Owen's golfing adventures--playing the Masters course in Augusta, touring Ireland's greatest greens, meeting the sport's real millionaires (the equipment manufacturers), and chatting with local duffers. Line drawings.From the Hardcover edition.

Panther

by David Owen

Life isn't going terribly well for Derrick; he's become severely overweight, his only friend has turned on him, he's hopelessly in love with a girl way out of his league, and it's all because of his sister. Her depression, and its grip on his family, is tearing his life apart. When rumours start to circulate that a panther is roaming wild in his south London suburb, Derrick resolves to turn capture it. Surely if he can find a way to tame this beast, he'll be able to stop everything at home from spiraling towards disaster? Panther is a bold and emotionally powerful novel that deals candidly with the effects of depression on those who suffer from it, and those who suffer alongside them.

Russia Rebounds

by David Owen David O. Robinson

This book analyses Russia's dramatic economic recovery since the country's financial crisis in 1998, with the focus on macroeconomic issues and fiscal and banking sector reforms. It considers the various factors underlying this recovery and highlights key policy challenges that will need to be addressed in order to ensure that the post-crisis recovery is sustained. Chapters look at macroeconomic policymaking; structural reforms and the growth outlook; tax and public expenditure reforms; the banking crisis and recovery; debt problems and the road from default to sustainability.

Sheetrock & Shellac

by David Owen

In a world of extreme makeovers, this book is a thoughtful, adventure-filled, witty look at what the space we live in says about us, the pleasures of home renovation projects great and small, and how home renovation can change our lives. Few things define us as powerfully as the place where we live. The size and location of a house may reveal basic facts about our financial or social status, but it is the personal touches -- a paint color or a homemade desk -- that reflect our aspirations, our tastes, our secret desires. In Sheetrock & Shellac, David Owen recounts his renovation and home construction projects in small-town Connecticut -- from catching the home improvement bug while watching workmen replacing a leaky roof to his first tentative foray into DIY (successfully building an enclosure for a bathroom radiator that had "turned into a sort of low-tech factory for converting splattered urine into odor and dust"). As his skill grows, so does his confidence: replacing a broken light switch turns into wiring an entire room, making bookcases is followed by building an office. Some of the more overly imaginative projects -- for instance, an ambition to install sinks and hot and cold faucets in all the rooms of the house -- never come to fruition but are amusingly recounted for other intrepid home designers. Owen's two-hundred-year-old farmhouse provides numerous occasions for home improvement projects, and layers (literally) of fascination. Owen quickly learns the hard way when to tackle a project himself and when to turn for help. But soon he's so comfortable with the undertaking that he decides to take the big leap from renovation to building a completely new home from the ground up. In this case, Owen decides to build a weekend cabin a mere six miles away from his home. From a discourse on kitchen countertop materials to the complete history of concrete, to a near-disastrous mishap with a tree, a newly constructed roof, and an overzealous chainsaw, Owen's journey through home designing and building proves both enthrallingly educating and hilariously detailed. New Yorker writer Owen's engaging narrative, filled with a wealth of practical information, hands-on tips, and canny insights, explores the ways in which the human processes of construction and renovation leave all the parties transformed. More than a simple how-to, Sheetrock & Shellac is a why-to, a wellspring of savvy advice and encouragement for anyone who has ever contemplated changing their surroundings and changing their life.

Showing 1 through 15 of 15 results

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