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Time and Narrative: Volume 3

by Paul Ricoeur David Pellauer translated by Kathleen Blamey

In the first two volumes of this work, Paul Ricoeur examined the relations between time and narrative in historical writing, fiction, and theories of literature. This final volume, a comprehensive reexamination and synthesis of the ideas developed in volumes 1 and 2, stands as Ricoeur's most complete and satisfying presentation of his own philosophy. Ricoeur's aim here is to explicate as fully as possible the hypothesis that has governed his inquiry, namely, that the effort of thinking at work in every narrative configuration is completed in a refiguration of temporal experience. To this end, he sets himself the central task of determing how far a poetics of narrative can be said to resolve the aporias--the doubtful or problematic elements--of time. Chief among these aporias are the conflicts between the phenomenological sense of time (that experienced or lived by the individual) and the cosmological sense (that described by history and physics) on the one hand and the oneness or unitary nature of time on the other. In conclusion, Ricoeur reflects upon the inscrutability of time itself and attempts to discern the limits of his own examination of narrative discourse. As in his previous works, Ricoeur labors as an imcomparable mediator of often estranged philosophical approaches, always in a manner that compromises neither rigor nor creativity. --Mark Kline Taylor, Christian Century In the midst of two opposing contemporary options--either to flee into ever more precious readings . . . or to retreat into ever more safe readings . . . --Ricoeur's work offers an alternative option that is critical, wide-ranging, and conducive to new applications. --Mary Gerhart, Journalof Religion

Time and Narrative: Volume 2

by Paul Ricoeur David Pellauer translated by Kathleen McLaughlin

In volume 1 of this three-volume work, Paul Ricoeur examined the relations between time and narrative in historical writing. Now, in volume 2, he examines these relations in fiction and theories of literature. Ricoeur treats the question of just how far the Aristotelian concept of "plot" in narrative fiction can be expanded and whether there is a point at which narrative fiction as a literary form not only blurs at the edges but ceases to exist at all. Though some semiotic theorists have proposed all fiction can be reduced to an atemporal structure, Ricoeur argues that fiction depends on the reader's understanding of narrative traditions, which do evolve but necessarily include a temporal dimension. He looks at how time is actually expressed in narrative fiction, particularly through use of tenses, point of view, and voice. He applies this approach to three books that are, in a sense, tales about time: Virgina Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway; Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain; and Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. "Ricoeur writes the best kind of philosophy--critical, economical, and clear. "--Eugen Weber, New York Times Book Review "A major work of literary theory and criticism under the aegis of philosophical hermenutics. I believe that . . . it will come to have an impact greater than that of Gadamer's Truth and Method--a work it both supplements and transcends in its contribution to our understanding of the meaning of texts and their relationship to the world. "--Robert Detweiler, Religion and Literature "One cannot fail to be impressed by Ricoeur's encyclopedic knowledge of the subject under consideration. . . . To students of rhetoric, the importance of Time and Narrative . . . is all too evident to require extensive elaboration. "--Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar, Quarterly Journal of Speech

Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and Behavior

by Robert J. Richards edited by David L. Hull

With insight and wit, Robert J. Richards focuses on the development of evolutionary theories of mind and behavior from their first distinct appearance in the eighteenth century to their controversial state today. Particularly important in the nineteenth century were Charles Darwin's ideas about instinct, reason, and morality, which Richards considers against the background of Darwin's personality, training, scientific and cultural concerns, and intellectual community. Many critics have argued that the Darwinian revolution stripped nature of moral purpose and ethically neutered the human animal. Richards contends, however, that Darwin, Herbert Spencer, and their disciples attempted to reanimate moral life, believing that the evolutionary process gave heart to unselfish, altruistic behavior. "Richards's book is now the obvious introduction to the history of ideas about mind and behavior in the nineteenth century. "--Mark Ridley, Times Literary Supplement "Not since the publication of Michael Ghiselin's The Triumph of the Darwinian Method has there been such an ambitious, challenging, and methodologically self-conscious interpretation of the rise and development and evolutionary theories and Darwin's role therein. "--John C. Greene, Science "His book . . . triumphantly achieves the goal of all great scholarship: it not only informs us, but shows us why becoming thus informed is essential to understanding our own issues and projects. "--Daniel C. Dennett, Philosophy of Science

Building Globalization: Transnational Architecture Production in Urban China

by Xuefei Ren

From the years 2004 to 2008, Beijing and Shanghai witnessed the construction of an extraordinary number of new buildings, many of which were designed by architectural firms overseas. Combining ethnographic fieldwork, historical research, and network analysis, "Building Globalization" closely scrutinizes the growing phenomenon of transnational architecture and its profound effect on the development of urban space. Roaming from construction sites in Shanghai to architectsOCO offices in Paris, Xuefei Ren interviews hundreds of architects, developers, politicians, residents, and activists to explore this issue. She finds that in the rapidly transforming cities of modern China, iconic designs from prestigious international architects help private developers to distinguish their projects, government officials to advance their careers, and the Chinese state to announce the arrival of modern China on the world stage. a China leads the way in the globalization of architecture, a process whose ramifications can be felt from Beijing to Dubai to Basel. Connecting the dots between real estate speculation, megaproject construction, residential displacement, historical preservation, housing rights, and urban activism, "Building Globalization" reveals the contradictions and consequences of this new, global urban frontier.

On Sunspots

by Galileo Galilei Christoph Scheiner

Galileo's telescopic discoveries, and especially his observation of sunspots, caused great debate in an age when the heavens were thought to be perfect and unchanging. Christoph Scheiner, a Jesuit mathematician, argued that sunspots were planets or moons crossing in front of the Sun. Galileo, on the other hand, countered that the spots were on or near the surface of the Sun itself, and he supported his position with a series of meticulous observations and mathematical demonstrations that eventually convinced even his rival. On Sunspots collects the correspondence that constituted the public debate, including the first English translation of Scheiner's two tracts as well as Galileo's three letters, which have previously appeared only in abridged form. In addition, Albert Van Helden and Eileen Reeves have supplemented the correspondence with lengthy introductions, extensive notes, and a bibliography. The result will become the standard work on the subject, essential for students and historians of astronomy, the telescope, and early modern Catholicism.

The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia, and Japan, 900-1200 CE

by William M. Reddy

In the twelfth century, the Catholic Church attempted a thoroughgoing reform of marriage and sexual behavior aimed at eradicating sexual desire from Christian lives. Seeking a refuge from the very serious condemnations of the Church and relying on a courtly culture that was already preoccupied with honor and secrecy, European poets, romance writers, and lovers devised a vision of love as something quite different from desire. aRomantic love was thus born as a movement of covert resistance. aIn "The Making of Romantic Love: Longing and Sexuality in Europe, South Asia, and Japan," William M. Reddy illuminates the birth of a cultural movement that managed to regulate selfish desire and render it innocentOCoor innocent enough. Reddy strikes out from this historical moment on an international exploration of love, contrasting the medieval development of romantic love in Europe with contemporaneous eastern traditions in Bengal and Orissa, and in Heian Japan from 900-1200 CE, where one finds no trace of an opposition between love and desire. In this comparative framework, Reddy tells an appealing tale about the rise and fall of various practices of longing, underscoring the uniqueness of the European concept of sexual desire.

Foundations of Ecology: Classic Papers with Commentaries

by James H. Brown Leslie A. Real

Assembled here for the first time in one volume are forty classic papers that have laid the foundations of modern ecology. Whether by posing new problems, demonstrating important effects, or stimulating new research, these papers have made substantial contributions to an understanding of ecological processes, and they continue to influence the field today. The papers span nearly nine decades of ecological research, from 1887 on, and are organized in six sections: foundational papers, theoretical advances, synthetic statements, methodological developments, field studies, and ecological experiments. Selections range from Connell's elegant account of experiments with barnacles to Watt's encyclopedic natural history, from a visionary exposition by Grinnell of the concept of niche to a seminal essay by Hutchinson on diversity. Six original essays by contemporary ecologists and a historian of ecology place the selections in context and discuss their continued relevance to current research. This combination of classic papers and fresh commentaries makes Foundations of Ecology both a convenient reference to papers often cited today and an essential guide to the intellectual and conceptual roots of the field. Published with the Ecological Society of America.

American Nietzsche

by Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen

If you were looking for a philosopher likely to appeal to Americans, Friedrich Nietzsche would be far from your first choice. After all, in his blazing career, Nietzsche took aim at nearly all the foundations of modern American life: Christian morality, the Enlightenment faith in reason, and the idea of human equality. Despite that, for more than a century Nietzsche has been a hugely popular-and surprisingly influential-figure in American thought and culture. In American Nietzsche, Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen delves deeply into Nietzsche's philosophy, and America's reception of it, to tell the story of his curious appeal. Beginning her account with Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the seventeen-year-old Nietzsche read fervently, she shows how Nietzsche's ideas first burst on American shores at the turn of the twentieth century, and how they continued alternately to invigorate and to shock Americans for the century to come. She also delineates the broader intellectual and cultural contexts within which a wide array of commentators-academic and armchair philosophers, theologians and atheists, romantic poets and hard-nosed empiricists, and political ideologues and apostates from the Left and the Right-drew insight and inspiration from Nietzsche's claims for the death of God, his challenge to universal truth, and his insistence on the interpretive nature of all human thought and beliefs. At the same time, she explores how his image as an iconoclastic immoralist was put to work in American popular culture, making Nietzsche an unlikely posthumous celebrity capable of inspiring both teenagers and scholars alike. A penetrating examination of a powerful but little-explored undercurrent of twentieth-century American thought and culture, American Nietzsche dramatically recasts our understanding of American intellectual life-and puts Nietzsche squarely at its heart.

The Spirits and the Law: Vodou and Power in Haiti

by Kate Ramsey

Vodou has often served as a scapegoat for Haiti's problems, from political upheavals to natural disasters. This tradition of scapegoating stretches back to the nation's founding and forms part of a contest over the legitimacy of the religion, both beyond and within Haiti's borders. The Spirits and the Law examines that vexed history, asking why, from 1835 to 1987, Haiti banned many popular ritual practices. To find out, Kate Ramsey begins with the Haitian Revolution and its aftermath. Fearful of an independent black nation inspiring similar revolts, the United States, France, and the rest of Europe ostracized Haiti. Successive Haitian governments, seeking to counter the image of Haiti as primitive as well as contain popular organization and leadership, outlawed "spells" and, later, "superstitious practices. " While not often strictly enforced, these laws were at times the basis for attacks on Vodou by the Haitian state, the Catholic Church, and occupying U. S. forces. Beyond such offensives, Ramsey argues that in prohibiting practices considered essential for maintaining relations with the spirits, anti-Vodou laws reinforced the political marginalization, social stigmatization, and economic exploitation of the Haitian majority. At the same time, she examines the ways communities across Haiti evaded, subverted, redirected, and shaped enforcement of the laws. Analyzing the long genealogy of anti-Vodou rhetoric, Ramsey thoroughly dissects claims that the religion has impeded Haiti's development.

Street Therapists: Race, Affect, and Neoliberal Personhood in Latino Newark

by Ramos-Zayas Ana Y.

Drawing from almost a decade of ethnographic research in largely Brazilian and Puerto Rican neighborhoods in Newark, New Jersey, Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas, in Street Therapists,examines how affect, emotion, and sentiment serve as waypoints for the navigation of interracial relationships among US-born Latinos, Latin American migrants, blacks, and white ethnics. Tackling a rarely studied dynamic approach to affect, Ramos-Zayas offers a thorough--and sometimes paradoxical--new articulation of race, space, and neoliberalism in US urban communities. After looking at the historical, political, and economic contexts in which an intensified connection between affect and race has emerged in Newark, New Jersey, Street Therapists engages in detailed examinations of various community sites--including high schools, workplaces, beauty salons, and funeral homes, among others--and secondary sites in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and San Juan to uncover the ways US-born Latinos and Latin American migrants interpret and analyze everyday racial encounters through a language of psychology and emotions. As Ramos-Zayas notes, this emotive approach to race resurrects Latin American and Caribbean ideologies of "racial democracy" in an urban US context--and often leads to new psychological stereotypes and forms of social exclusion. Extensively researched and thoughtfully argued, Street Therapists theorizes the conflictive connection between race, affect, and urban neoliberalism.

Document Raj: Writing and Scribes in Early Colonial South India

by Bhavani Raman

Historians of British colonial rule in India have noted both the place of military might and the imposition of new cultural categories in the making of Empire, but Bhavani Raman, in "Document Raj," uncovers a lesser-known story of power: the power of bureaucracy. Drawing on extensive archival research in the files of the East India CompanyOCOs administrative offices in Madras, she tells the story of a bureaucracy gone awry in a fever of documentation practices that grew ever more abstractOCoand the power, both economic and cultural, this created. aIn order to assert its legitimacy and value within the British Empire, the East India Company was diligent about record keeping. Raman shows, however, that the sheer volume of their document production allowed colonial managers to subtly but substantively manipulate records for their own ends, increasingly drawing the real and the recorded further apart. While this administrative sleight of hand increased the companyOCOs reach and power within the Empire, it also bolstered profoundly new orientations to language, writing, memory, and pedagogy for the officers and Indian subordinates involved. Immersed in a subterranean world of delinquent scribes, translators, village accountants, and entrepreneurial fixers, "Document Raj" maps the shifting boundaries of the legible and illegible, the legal and illegitimate, that would usher India into the modern world.

Designing Human Practices: An Experiment with Synthetic Biology

by Paul Rabinow Gaymon Bennett

In 2006 anthropologists Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett set out to rethink the role that human sciences play in biological research, creating the Human Practices division of the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center--a facility established to create design standards for the engineering of new enzymes, genetic circuits, cells, and other biological entities--to formulate a new approach to the ethical, security, and philosophical considerations of controversial biological work. They sought not simply to act as watchdogs but to integrate the biosciences with their own discipline in a more fundamentally interdependent way, inventing a new, dynamic, and experimental anthropology that they could bring to bear on the center's biological research. Designing Human Practices is a detailed account of this anthropological experiment and, ultimately, its rejection. It provides new insights into the possibilities and limitations of collaboration, and diagnoses the micro-politics which effectively constrained the potential for mutual scientific flourishing. Synthesizing multiple disciplines, including biology, genetics, anthropology, and philosophy, alongside a thorough examination of funding entities such as the National Science Foundation, Designing Human Practices pushes the social study of science into new and provocative territory, utilizing a real-world experience as a springboard for timely reflections on how the human and life sciences can and should transform each other.

The Shape of Life: Genes, Development, and the Evolution of Animal Form

by Rudolf A. Raff

Rudolf Raff is recognized as a pioneer in evolutionary developmental biology. In their 1983 book, Embryos, Genes, and Evolution, Raff and co-author Thomas Kaufman proposed a synthesis of developmental and evolutionary biology. In The Shape of Life, Raff analyzes the rise of this new experimental discipline and lays out new research questions, hypotheses, and approaches to guide its development. Raff uses the evolution of animal body plans to exemplify the interplay between developmental mechanisms and evolutionary patterns. Animal body plans emerged half a billion years ago. Evolution within these body plans during this span of time has resulted in the tremendous diversity of living animal forms. Raff argues for an integrated approach to the study of the intertwined roles of development and evolution involving phylogenetic, comparative, and functional biology. This new synthesis will interest not only scientists working in these areas, but also paleontologists, zoologists, morphologists, molecular biologists, and geneticists.

French Modern: Norms and Forms of the Social Environment

by Paul Rabinow

In this study of space and power and knowledge in France from the 1830s through the 1930s, Rabinow uses the tools of anthropology, philosophy, and cultural criticism to examine how social environment was perceived and described. Ranging from epidemiology to the layout of colonial cities, he shows how modernity was revealed in urban planning, architecture, health and welfare administration, and social legislation.

The Accompaniment: Assembling the Contemporary

by Paul Rabinow

In this culmination of his search for anthropological concepts and practices appropriate to the twenty-first century, Paul Rabinow contends that to make sense of the contemporary anthropologists must invent new forms of inquiry. He begins with an extended rumination on what he gained from two of his formative mentors: Michel Foucault and Clifford Geertz. Reflecting on their lives as teachers and thinkers, as well as human beings, he poses questions about their critical limitations, unfulfilled hopes, and the lessons he learned from and with them. This spirit of collaboration animates The Accompaniment, as Rabinow assesses the last ten years of his career, largely spent engaging in a series of intensive experiments in collaborative research and often focused on cutting-edge work in synthetic biology. He candidly details the successes and failures of shifting his teaching practice away from individual projects, placing greater emphasis on participation over observation in research, and designing and using websites as a venue for collaboration. Analyzing these endeavors alongside his efforts to apply an anthropological lens to the natural sciences, Rabinow lays the foundation for an ethically grounded anthropology ready and able to face the challenges of our contemporary world.

Phonetic Symbol Guide, Second Edition

by Geoffrey K. Pullum William A. Ladusaw

Phonetic Symbol Guide is a comprehensive and authoritative encyclopedia of phonetic alphabet symbols, providing a complete survey of the hundreds of characters used by linguists and speech scientists to record the sounds of the world's languages. This fully revised second edition incorporates the major revisions to the International Phonetic Alphabet made in 1989 and 1993. Also covered are the American tradition of transcription stemming from the anthropological school of Franz Boas; the Bloch/Smith/Trager style of transcription; the symbols used by dialectologists of the English language; usages of specialists such as Slavicists, Indologists, Sinologists, and Africanists; and the transcription proposals found in all major textbooks of phonetics. With sixty-one new entries, an expanded glossary of phonetic terms, added symbol charts, and a full index, this book will be an indispensable reference guide for students and professionals in linguistics, phonetics, anthropology, philology, modern language study, and speech science.

Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau's Woods

by Richard B. Primack

In his meticulous notes on the natural history of Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau records the first open flowers of highbush blueberry on May 11, 1853. If he were to look for the first blueberry flowers in Concord today, mid-May would be too late. In the 160 years since Thoreau's writings, warming temperatures have pushed blueberry flowering three weeks earlier, and in 2012, following a winter and spring of record-breaking warmth, blueberries began flowering on April 1--six weeks earlier than in Thoreau's time. The climate around Thoreau's beloved Walden Pond is changing, with visible ecological consequences. In Walden Warming, Richard B. Primack uses Thoreau and Walden, icons of the conservation movement, to track the effects of a warming climate on Concord's plants and animals. Under the attentive eyes of Primack, the notes that Thoreau made years ago are transformed from charming observations into scientific data sets. Primack finds that many wildflower species that Thoreau observed--including familiar groups such as irises, asters, and lilies--have declined in abundance or have disappeared from Concord. Primack also describes how warming temperatures have altered other aspects of Thoreau's Concord, from the dates when ice departs from Walden Pond in late winter, to the arrival of birds in the spring, to the populations of fish, salamanders, and butterflies that live in the woodlands, river meadows, and ponds. Primack demonstrates that climate change is already here, and it is affecting not just Walden Pond but many other places in Concord and the surrounding region. Although we need to continue pressuring our political leaders to take action, Primack urges us each to heed the advice Thoreau offers in Walden: to "live simply and wisely. " In the process, we can each minimize our own contributions to our warming climate.

Kitchen Hacks

by America'S Test Kitchen

Innovative solutions to everyday cooking challenges from our team of test kitchen MacGyvers--the test cooks at Cook's Illustrated magazineA kitchen hack is an unusual, easier, and/or better way of performing a task that often saves money and time or improves the quality of the outcome. In this wacky but eminently useful collection of kitchen hacks, you will learn how to outsmart tricky tasks and face down kitchen challenges (big and small) with innovative and clever ideas from Quick Tips, the most popular feature in Cook's Illustrated magazine (900,000 circulation). Kitchen Hacks is a beautifully designed guidebook to hacking your kitchen . . . and beyond!From the Trade Paperback during holiday prep? Place a baking sheet on top of a pulled-out kitchen drawer and voilà! * No rolling pin to be found? Pull out a bottle of wine to flatten your pie dough. * Can't get that sticky jar open? Fit a rubber band around the lid for a helpful grip. Kitchen Hacks also features 22 "how did they do that?" recipes developed in the test kitchen. These recipe hacks are fun, creative recipes that approach food and cooking in surprising or magical ways. They include Homemade Chocolate Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping, Eggless Mayo emulsified with milk, Dairy-Free Whipped Cream made from coconut milk, and mess-free Microwave Caramel Sauce. No matter what kind of project you're tackling or what kind of kitchen hacker you are, you can become a more efficient and inventive cook and take your skills to the next level with our kitchen hacks--and have fun while doing it!

The Story of Vicente, Who Murdered His Mother, His Father, and His Sister

by Daniela Maria Ugaz John Washington Sandra Nieto

The intimate story of a teenager's murder of his family, from an award-winning Mexican journalist Sixteen-year-old Vicente and two of his high school friends murdered his mother, his father, and his little sister in cold blood. Through a Capote-like reconstruction of this seemingly inexplicable triple murder, Sandra Rodríguez Nieto paints a haunting and unforgettable portrait of the most violent city on Earth, with an in-depth investigation into the thought process of the three boys, the city of Juárez and the drug cartels that wage war in its streets.This book explores how poverty, political corruption, incapacitated government institutions and US meddling combined to create the explosion of violence in Juárez. The product of years of tenacious reporting that have brought Sandra Rodríguez Nieto international acclaim, this book traces the rise of a national culture of extreme violence, and is a testament to the extraordinary bravery of a reporter.From the Hardcover edition.

Ecko Endgame

by Danie Ware

Winter has come to the Varchinde and with it, the fatal spread of the blight. The grass is dead, the cities are falling and the Kas take their chance to rise from Rammouthe. Betrayed by his own forces, Rhan will abandon Fhaveon to lure the Kas into a final confrontation. As battle rages round him, Ecko realises that to save the Varchinde, he must face the greatest threat of all - the one that has come from his own world.

The Adventures of Hermes, God of Thieves

by Mika Provata-Carlone Murielle Szac

Follow Hermes on 100 unforgettable journeys across the fascinating, colourful world of Greek mythology. The young god is determined to have adventures from the very moment of his unusual birth, stealing sacred cows, discovering fire and inventing the lyre and flute. With his tumbling brown curls and cheerful fearlessness, he charms his fellow gods: mighty Apollo, mournful Artemis, beautiful Aphrodite, and even the king of the gods, his father, Zeus himself. He will drink the nectar of Olympus and discover the truth about the immortals, from their first moments and worst monsters to their greatest loves and most terrible battles-but Hermes won't let any of it distract him from that whole wide world of good fun...From the Hardcover edition.


by Stefan Zweig Will Stone

Written during the Second World War, Zweig's typically passionate and readable biography of Michel de Montaigne, is also a heartfelt argument for the importance of intellectual freedom, tolerance and humanism. Zweig draws strong parallels between Montaigne's age, when Europe was torn in two by conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism, and his own, in which the twin fanaticisms of Fascism and Communism were on the verge of destroying the pan-continental liberal culture he was born into, and loved dearly. Just as Montaigne sought to remain aloof from the factionalism of his day, so Zweig tried to the last to defend his freedom of thought, and argue for peace and compromise. One of the final works Zweig wrote before his suicide, this is both a brilliantly impassioned portrait of a great mind, and a moving plea for tolerance in a world ruled by cruelty.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Adventures of Miss Petitfour

by Anne Michaels

The magical adventures of an eccentric Mary Poppins-esque heroine and her flying feline charges, sure to charm readers big and small. The first book for children by an internationally acclaimed novelist and poet. Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are "just the right size - fitting into a single, magical day." She is an expert at baking and eating fancy iced cakes, and her favorite mode of travel is par avion. On windy days, she takes her sixteen cats out for an airing: Minky, Misty, Taffy, Purrsia, Pirate, Mustard, Moutarde, Hemdela, Earring, Grigorovitch, Clasby, Captain Captain, Captain Catkin, Captain Cothespin, Your Shyness and Sizzles. With the aid of her favorite tea party tablecloth as a makeshift balloon, Miss Petitfour and her charges fly over her village, having many little adventures along the way. Join Miss Petitfour and her equally eccentric felines on five magical outings -- a search for marmalade, to a spring jumble sale, on a quest for "birthday cheddar", the retrieval of a lost rare stamp and as they compete in the village's annual Festooning Festival. A whimsical, beautifully illustrated collection of tales that celebrates language, storytelling and small pleasures, especially the edible kind!

A Numerate Life

by John Allen Paulos

Employing intuitive ideas from mathematics, this quirky "meta-memoir" raises questions about our lives that most of us don't think to ask, but arguably should: What part of memory is reliable fact, what part creative embellishment? Which favorite presuppositions are unfounded, which statistically biased? By conjoining two opposing mindsets--the suspension of disbelief required in storytelling and the skepticism inherent in the scientific method--bestselling mathematician John Allen Paulos has created an unusual hybrid, a composite of personal memories and mathematical approaches to re-evaluating them.Entertaining vignettes from Paulos's biography abound--ranging from a bullying math teacher and a fabulous collection of baseball cards to romantic crushes, a grandmother's petty larceny, and his quite unintended role in getting George Bush elected president in 2000. These vignettes serve as springboards to many telling perspectives: simple arithmetic puts life-long habits in a dubious new light; higher dimensional geometry helps us see that we're all rather peculiar; nonlinear dynamics explains the narcissism of small differences cascading into very different siblings; logarithms and exponentials yield insight on why we tend to become bored and jaded as we age; and there are tricks and jokes, probability and coincidences, and much more.For fans of Paulos or newcomers to his work, this witty commentary on his life--and yours--is fascinating reading.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Let's Talk About Death

by Irene Kacandes Steve Gordon

Experts in end-of-life care tell us that we should talk about death and dying with relatives and friends, but how do we get such conversations off the ground in a society that historically has avoided the topic? This book provides one example of such a conversation. The coauthors take up challenging questions about pain, caregiving, grief, and what comes after death. Their unlikely collaboration is itself connected to death: the murders of two of Irene's closest friends and Steve's support in perpetuating memories of those friends' lives and not just their violent ends. The authors share the results of a no-holds-barred discussion they conducted for several years over email. Readers can consider a range of views on complicated issues to which there are no right answers. Letting ourselves pose certain questions has the potential to profoundly change the way we think about death, how we choose to die, and, just as importantly, the way we live.Honest, probing, sensitive, and even humorous at times, the completely open discussions in this book will help readers deal with a topic that most of us try to avoid but that everyone will face eventually.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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