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The Physics of the Buffyverse

by Jennifer Ouellette

Physics with a Buffy the Vampire Slayer pop-culture chaser In the tradition of the bestselling The Physics of Star Trek, acclaimed science writer Jennifer Ouellette explains fundamental concepts in the physical sciences through examples culled from the hit TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel. The weird and wonderful world of the Buffyverse-where the melding of magic and science is an everyday occurrence-provides a fantastical jumping-off point for looking at complex theories of biology, chemistry, and theoretical physics. From surreal vampires, demons, and interdimensional portals to energy conservation, black holes, and string theory, The Physics of the Buffyverse is serious (and palatable) science for the rest of us. .

An Ordinary Man

by Paul Rusesabagina

The remarkable life story of the man who inspired the film "Hotel Rwanda" Readers who were moved and horrified by "Hotel Rwanda" will respond even more intensely to Paul Rusesabaginas unforgettable autobiography. As Rwanda was thrown into chaos during the 1994 genocide, Rusesabagina, a hotel manager, turned the luxurious Hotel Milles Collines into a refuge for more than 1,200 Tutsi and moderate Hutu refugees, while fending off their would-be killers with a combination of diplomacy and deception. In "An Ordinary Man," he tells the story of his childhood, retraces his accidental path to heroism, revisits the 100 days in which he was the only thing standing between his guests and a hideous death, and recounts his subsequent life as a refugee and activist.

The Meaning of Tingo

by Adam Jacot de Boinod

Did you know that people in Indonesia have a word that means 'to take off your clothes in order to dance'? Or how many words the Albanians have for eyebrows and moustaches? Or that the Dutch word for skimming stones is plimpplamppletteren? Drawing on the collective wisdom of over 154 languages, this intriguing book is arranged by theme so you can compare attitudes all over the world to such subjects as food, the human body and the battle of the sexes. Here you can find not only those words for which there is no direct counterpart in English (such as the Japanese age-otori which means looking less attractive after a haircut), but also a frank discussion of exactly how many 'Eskimo' terms there are for snow, and a vast array of information exploring the wonderful and often downright strange world of words. Oh, and tingo means 'to take all the objects one desires from the house of a friend, one at a time, by asking to borrow them'.

The Jasons

by Ann Finkbeiner

The Jasons are a well-guarded group of world-class scientists, briefly outed in the Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War, who have been meeting every summer since 1960 to tackle classified problems that the Defense Department cannot solve. Among many stunning innovations, they helped invent our electronic battlefield and Star Wars missile defense technology, and are now looking into ways to improve our intelligence gathering. Recounting the unknown story of these brilliant, stubbornly independent thinkers, Ann Finkbeiner takes advantage of her unprecedented access to this elite group to explore the uncertain bargains between science and politics. It is a story older than Faust and as timely as tomorrow's headlines. .

Decoding the Universe

by Charles Seife

The author of Zero explains the scientific revolution that is transforming the way we understand our world Previously the domain of philosophers and linguists, information theory has now moved beyond the province of code breakers to become the crucial science of our time. In Decoding the Universe, Charles Seife draws on his gift for making cutting-edge science accessible to explain how this new tool is deciphering everything from the purpose of our DNA to the parallel universes of our Byzantine cosmos. The result is an exhilarating adventure that deftly combines cryptology, physics, biology, and mathematics to cast light on the new understanding of the laws that govern life and the universe. .

Babylon by Bus

by Donovan Webster Ray Lemoine Jeff Neumann

This all-access, inside-out view of what the American occupation of Iraq really looks like on the ground is the story of two young Americans who went to Baghdad without any real plan and discovered they weren't the only ones. Underqualified but ingenious, Ray and Jeff found work with the Coalition Provisional Authority providing humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people amid an appalling atmosphere of corruption, incompetence, and horror. Gritty and irreverent, this is a wild ride inside the Red Zone and a strikingly original portrait of the real Iraq.

America Back on Track

by Senator Edward M. Kennedy

From one of America's most respected progressive voices comes an inspiring vision of reform and renewal In a Senate career spanning more than four decades, Edward M. Kennedy has become one of the most authoritative voices in American politics. His first major book in more than twenty years, America Back on Track argues that our nation has departed more deeply from its fundamental ideals than at any time in modern history. From a dangerous foreign policy to the threats against constitutional checks and balances, Kennedy tackles the country's gravest concerns and charts a course toward a stronger, freer, and fairer America. A provocative call to action, this will be read by everyone seeking political clarity in these tumultuous times.

Let My People Go Surfing

by Yvon Chouinard

In his long-awaited memoir, Yvon Chouinard-legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc. -shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally responsible companies on earth. From his youth as the son of a French Canadian blacksmith to the thrilling, ambitious climbing expeditions that inspired his innovative designs for the sport's equipment, Let My People Go Surfing is the story of a man who brought doing good and having grand adventures into the heart of his business life-a book that will deeply affect entrepreneurs and outdoor enthusiasts alike. .

Homegrown Democrat

by Garrison Keillor

In a book that is at once deeply personal and intellectually savvy, Homegrown Democrat is a celebration of liberalism as the "politics of kindness. " In his inimitable style, Keillor draws on a lifetime of experience amongst the hardworking, God-fearing people of the Midwest and pays homage to the common code of civic necessities that arose from the left: Protect the social compact. Defend the powerless. Maintain government as a necessary force for good. As Keillor tells it, these are articles of faith that are being attacked by hard-ass Republican tax cutters who believe that human misery is a Dickensian fiction. In a blend of nostalgic reminiscence, humorous meditation, and articulate ire, Keillor asserts the values of his boyhood--the values of Lake Wobegon--that do not square with the ugly narcissistic agenda at work in the country today. A thoughtful, wonderfully written book, Homegrown Democrat is Keillor's love letter to liberalism, the older generation, John F. Kennedy, the University of Minnesota, and the yellow-dog Democrat city of St. Paul that is sure to amuse and inspire Americans just when they need it most.

Tooth and Claw

by T. C. Boyle

This new collection of short stories from T. C. Boyle finds him at his mercurial best. Inventive, wickedly funny, sometimes disturbing, these are stories about drop-outs, deadbeats and kooks. Take the man who shares his apartment with a wildcat won in a drunken bet; the drive-time shock jock hallucinating from sleep deprivation for a publicity stunt; the suburban woman who joins a pack of dogs, eating rabbits and baying at the moon. With a unique deftness of touch and a keen eye for the telling detail, Boyle has mapped the strange underworld of America.

The Night Sky

by Ann Lauterbach

A scintillating collection of essays on language from one of literature's most supple minds In The Night Sky, her first work of essays, acclaimed poet Ann Lauterbach writes of the ways in which art and poetry are integral and necessary to human conversation. At the center of the book is a series of seven essays, by turns meditative and polemical, that articulate the interstices between Lauterbach's poetics and her experience. She advocates an active encounter with language, at once imaginative and practical, and argues for the importance of art to the well- being of a democratic society. Lauterbach's "nimble and glittering" (Booklist) writings bring us to a new understanding of the relationship between self-knowledge and cultural meaning, as well as demonstrating the ways in which contemporary philosophy and theory might be integrated with practical knowledge. .

Against Depression

by Peter D. Kramer

In his landmark bestseller Listening to Prozac, Peter Kramer revolutionized the way we think about antidepressants and the culture in which they are so widely used. Now Kramer offers a frank and unflinching look at the condition those medications treat: depression. Definitively refuting our notions of "heroic melancholy," he walks readers through groundbreaking new research--studies that confirm depression's status as a devastating disease and suggest pathways toward resilience. Thought-provoking and enlightening, Against Depression provides a bold revision of our understanding of mood disorder and promises hope to the millions who suffer from it. .

Oh the Glory of It All

by Sean Wilsey

"In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess. " With these opening lines Sean Wilsey takes us on an exhilarating tour of life in the strangest, wealthiest, and most grandiose of families. Sean's blond-bombshell mother (one of the thinly veiled characters in Armistead Maupin's bestselling Tales of the City) is a 1980s society-page staple, regularly entertaining Black Panthers and movie stars in her marble and glass penthouse, "eight hundred feet in the air above San Francisco; an apartment at the top of a building at the top of a hill: full of light, full of voices, full of windows full of water and bridges and hills. " His enigmatic father uses a jet helicopter to drop Sean off at the video arcade and lectures his son on proper hygiene in public restrooms, "You should wash your hands first, before you use the urinal. Not after. Your penis isn't dirty. But your hands are. " When Sean, "the kind of child who sings songs to sick flowers," turns nine years old, his father divorces his mother and marries her best friend. Sean's life blows apart. His mother first invites him to commit suicide with her, then has a "vision" of salvation that requires packing her Louis Vuitton luggage and traveling the globe, a retinue of multiracial children in tow. Her goal: peace on earth (and a Nobel Prize). Sean meets Indira Gandhi, Helmut Kohl, Menachem Begin, and the pope, hoping each one might come back to San Francisco and persuade his father to rejoin the family. Instead, Sean is pushed out of San Francisco and sent spiraling through five high schools, till he finally lands at an unorthodox reform school cum "therapeutic community," in Italy. With its multiplicity of settings and kaleidoscopic mix of preoccupations-sex, Russia, jet helicopters, seismic upheaval, boarding schools, Middle Earth, skinheads, home improvement, suicide, skateboarding, Sovietology, public transportation, massage, Christian fundamentalism, dogs, Texas, global thermonuclear war, truth, evil, masturbation, hope, Bethlehem, CT, eventual salvation (abridged list)--Oh the Glory of It All is memoir as bildungsroman as explosion. .

You Want Me to Work with Who?: Eleven Keys to a Stress-Free, Satisfying, and Successful Work Life . . . No Matter Who You Work With

by Julie Jansen

In I Don't Know What I Want . . . But I Know It's Not This, career consultant Julie Jansen won over readers with the same comforting, clear headed approach that she brings to her many Fortune 500 clients. Now she tackles a problem that affects every working person, regardless of occupation: difficult people. Whether the problem is an "abusive" boss, "toxic" coworker, or "difficult" assistant, Jansen shows how to master the eleven keys to getting along with even the most dysfunctional colleagues. Featuring self-assessment exercises designed to identify the root causes of problem behavior and smart, viable solutions and tips for managing different kinds of difficult people--from subordinates to superiors--this invaluable resource is a savvy, humane guide to reducing stress, establishing workplace harmony, and making sure that no one stands in the way of your career goals. .

Whose Bible Is It?

by Jaroslav Pelikan

Jaroslav Pelikan, widely regarded as one of the most distinguished historians of our day, now provides a clear and engaging account of the Bible's journey from oral narrative to Hebrew and Greek text to today's countless editions. Pelikan explores the evolution of the Jewish, Protestant, and Catholic versions and the development of the printing press and its effect on the Reformation, the translation into modern languages, and varying schools of critical scholarship. Whose Bible Is It? is a triumph of scholarship that is also a pleasure to read. "An engaging and highly readable survey of biblical scholarship that tells a fascinating and complex story. " -The Wall Street Journal"A crisp, remarkably succinct history of the Bible as preserved, interpreted, translated and canonized by the various faiths that believe in it. " -Los Angeles Times"Engaging . . . an excellent overview. " -The New York Times Book Review"Outstanding . . . Pelikan takes the reader through the process of scripture building with a fluency and ease that is both accessible and understandable. " -Publishers Weekly (starred review)"Masterly . . . Pelikan weaves a tapestry of the power of the Word to mold religious communities, nations, and culture. . . . Engaging, concise, and highly readable. " -The Christian Science Monitor

What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counter culture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry

by John Markoff

While there have been several histories of the personal computer, well-known technology writer John Markoff has created the first ever to spotlight the unique political and cultural forces that gave rise to this revolutionary technology. Focusing on the period of 1962 through 1975 in the San Francisco Bay Area, where a heady mix of tech industries, radicalism, and readily available drugs flourished, What the Dormouse Saidtells the story of the birth of the personal computer through the people, politics, and protest that defined its unique era. Based on interviews with all the major surviving players, Markoff vividly captures the lives and times of those who laid the groundwork for the PC revolution, introducing the reader to such colorful characters as Fred Moore, a teenage antiwar protester who went on to ignite the computer industry, and Cap'n Crunch, who wrote the first word processing software for the IBM PC (EZ Writer) in prison, became a millionaire, and ended up homeless. Both immensely informative and entertaining, What the Dormouse Said promises to appeal to all readers of technology, especially the bestselling The Soul of a New Machine.

Speaking Freely

by Floyd Abrams

The rights guaranteed in the First Amendment--including freedom of expression--are among the fundamental touchstones of our democracy. In Speaking Freely, Floyd Abrams, who for over thirty years has been our most eloquent and respected advocate for uncensored expression, recounts some of the major cases of his remarkable career--landmark trials and Supreme Court arguments that have involved key First Amendment protections. With adversaries as diverse as Richard Nixon and Wayne Newton and allies as unlikely as Kenneth Starr, Abrams takes readers behind the scenes to explain his strategies, the ramifications of each decision, and its long-term significance, presenting a clear and compelling look at the law in action. .

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian

by Marina Lewycka

A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian is bestselling author Marina Lewycka's hilarious and award winning debut novel. 'Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcée. He was eighty-four and she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside. ' Sisters Vera and Nadezhda must aside a lifetime of feuding to save their émigré engineer father from voluptuous gold-digger Valentina. With her proclivity for green satin underwear and boil-in-the-bag cuisine, she will stop at nothing in her pursuit of Western wealth. But the sisters' campaign to oust Valentina unearths family secrets, uncovers fifty years of Europe's darkest history and sends them back to roots they'd much rather forget . . . 'It's rare to find a first novel that gets so much right . . . Lewycka is a seriously talented comic writer' Time Out'Hugely enjoyable . . . yields a golden harvest of family truths' Daily Telegraph'Delightful, funny, touching' SpectatorBestselling author Marina Lewkyca has received great critical acclaim since the publication of her hilarious first novel A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian in 2005, which was the winner of the Bollinger Everyman Prize for Comic Fiction 2005, winner of the Saga Award for Wit 2005, shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2005 and longlisted for the Booker prize 2005. Her other humorous novels Two Caravans (published as Strawberry Fields in the USA and Canada), We Are All Made of Glue and Various Pets Alive and Dead are also available from Penguin.

Rip It Up and Start Again

by Simon Reynolds

Rip It Up and Start Again is the first book-length exploration of the wildly adventurous music created in the years after punk. Renowned music journalist Simon Reynolds celebrates the futurist spirit of such bands as Joy Division, Gang of Four, Talking Heads, and Devo, which resulted in endless innovations in music, lyrics, performance, and style and continued into the early eighties with the video-savvy synth-pop of groups such as Human League, Depeche Mode, and Soft Cell, whose success coincided with the rise of MTV. Full of insight and anecdotes and populated by charismatic characters, Rip It Up and Start Again re-creates the idealism, urgency, and excitement of one of the most important and challenging periods in the history of popular music. .

Soaring on your Strengths

by Robin Ryan

Robin Ryan's groundbreaking new book is designed to help readers take advantage of a paradigm shift in the workplace. Instead of hiring or promoting generally qualified people and improving their weaknesses, companies are now looking for workers who have the strengths that match particular jobs. Ryan shows readers how to identify those strengths and use that knowledge to advance their careers and better promote themselves to prospective employers. She shows how to establish an appealing career identity using self-branding tools like résumés, Mind Maps, and on-the-job success stories, and outlines fresh approaches to networking with colleagues and negotiating with bosses. Savvy and entertaining, Soaring on Your Strengths will be the job and promotion seekers guide for the twenty-first century. In Soaring on Your Strengths, Ryan shows you how to: identify your most marketable qualities and strengths self-promote and brand yourself for the best jobs and promotions. establish an appealing career identity implement fresh approaches to networking with colleagues improve your relationship with the boss Filled with her client success stories, solid strategies, and smart, easy-to-follow advice, this book is the next best thing to having your own career coach on-call to advance your career and prosper. .

Common Sense

by Thomas Paine

". . . well orated by reader George Vafiadis. The language and sentiment are not as outmoded as some listeners might expect and it definitely feels patriotic to hear again the fundamentals of America's beginnings. " - - Kliatt MagazineGeorge Washington wrote, "I find that Common Sense is working a powerful change there (Virginia) in the minds of many men. " The passion of the patriot Thomas Paine comes straight on and one can better understand the forces that shaped this country. Thomas Painewas born in Thetford, England, in 1737. His father was a staymaker. Thomas worked as a tax collector and was let go for petitioning for higher pay. Benjamin Franklin encouraged him to emigrate to the United States in 1774, where he published a series of pamphlets called the American Crisis. In 1787 he went back to Europe and published political books that were publically burned. He went to France and helped draft the French constitution. He was imprisoned for a year before coming back to the United States. He died in 1809.

The Fall of Baghdad

by Jon Lee Anderson

For every great historical event, seemingly, at least one reporter writes an eyewitness account of such power and literary weight that it becomes joined with its subject in our minds-George Orwell's Homage to Cataloniaand the Spanish Civil War; John Hersey's Hiroshimaand the dropping of the first atomic bomb; Philip Gourevitch's We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories of Rwandaand the Rwandan genocide. Whatever else is written about the Iraqi people and the fall of Saddam, Jon Lee Anderson's The Fall of Baghdadis worthy of mention in this company. No subject has become more hotly politicized than the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime, and so a thick fog of propaganda, both from boosters of the war and its opponents, has obscured the reality of what the Iraqi people have endured and are enduring, under Saddam Hussein and now. For that reason alone, The Fall of Baghdadis a great and necessary book. Jon Lee Anderson has drawn on all of his reserves of stamina and personal bravery to create an astonishing portrait of humanity in extremis, a work of great wisdom, human empathy, and moral clarity. He follows a remarkable and diverse group of Iraqis over the course of this extraordinary time: from the all-pervasive fear that comes from living under Saddam's brutal, Orwellian rule to the surreal atmosphere of Baghdad before the invasion; to the invasion's commencement and the regime's death spiral down into its terrible endgame; to America's disastrously ill-conceived seizure of power and its fruits. In channeling a tragedy of epic dimensions through the stories of real people caught up in the whirlwind of history, Jon Lee Anderson has written a book of timeless significance.

The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin

by Gordon S. Wood

Central to America's idea of itself is the character of Benjamin Franklin. We all know him, or think we do: In recent works and in our inherited conventional wisdom, he remains fixed in place as a genial polymath and self-improver who was so very American that he is known by us all as the first American. The problem with this beloved notion of Franklin's quintessential Americanness, Gordon Wood shows us in this marvelous, revelatory book, is that it's simply not true. And it blinds us to the no less admirable or important but far more interesting man Franklin really was and leaves us powerless to make sense of the most crucial events of his life. Indeed, thinking of Franklin as the last American would be less of a hindrance to understanding many crucial aspects of his life-his preoccupation with becoming a gentleman; his longtime loyalty to the Crown and burning ambition to be a player in the British Empire's power structure; the personal character of his conversion to revolutionary; his reasons for writing the Autobiography; his controversies with John and Samuel Adams and with Congress; his love of Europe and conflicted sense of national identity; the fact that his death was greeted by mass mourning in France and widely ignored in America. But Franklin did become the Revolution's necessary man, Wood shows, second behind George Washington. Why was his importance so denigrated in his own lifetime and his image so distorted ever since? Ironically, Franklin's diplomacy in France, which was essential to American victory, was the cause of the suspicion that clouded his good name at home-and also the stage on which the "first American" persona made its debut. The consolidation of this mirage of Franklin would await the early nineteenth century, though, when the mask he created in his posthumously published Autobiography proved to be the model the citizens of a striving young democracy needed. The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin is a landmark work, a magnificent fresh vision of Franklin's life and reputation, filled with profound insights into the Revolution and into the emergence of America's idea of itself.

A Call to Service

by John Kerry

"John Kerry has had a remarkable life and is one of the most respected public servants in America today, having come to the forefront of national consciousness as a veteran speaking out against the Vietnam War just after he returned from the front lines. He is one of the most powerful leaders of the Democratic Party and-with a fierce landmark presidential campaign looming before the 2004 election-could one day become the most powerful man in the world. As an outsider among insiders in the U. S. Senate, John Kerry has never been afraid to battle the political establishment and fight the fights that need fighting. Now, in A Call to Service, Kerry formally introduces himself to the nation. In a book rich with autobiographical details that explain the experiences behind the ideas, Kerry offers his vision for America. "

Ten Minutes From Normal

by Karen Hughes

"The rule of thumb in any White House is that nobody is indispensable except the president," said The New York Times, "but Karen Hughes has come as close to that description as any recent presidential aide. " Karen Hughes has worked beside President George W. Bush since, as she says, "the motorcade was only one car and he was sometimes the one driving it. " As counselor to the president, she brought the working mom's perspective to the White House, often asking of President Bush's policies, "What does this mean for the average person?"Yet the move from Texas to Washington was hard on her family, and in a controversial, headline-making decision that reverberated across America, she chose to place family first and quit the nation's capital to return to Austin. There, Hughes continues to advise the president, where the kitchen wall calendar marks the State of the Union message side by side with her son's orthodontist appointments. In this disarmingly down-to-earth, warm, often funny, and frank book, Hughes looks at her unique career in George W. Bush's inner circle and the universal concerns of balancing work and family. Ten Minutes from Normal-the title comes from the campaign trail--is a remarkable blend of the story of a "normal" woman who rose to great heights and an insightful look at American politics and America's forty-third president. This is a book for the legions of women and men everywhere who are seeking new inspiration for how to remember their priorities and achieve balance in their lives. Most important, in a post-9/11 world, Hughes redefines the very notion of what is "normal" as something special and precious, never to be taken for granted in America again.

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