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Homer's Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Catby Gwen Cooper
Once in nine lives, something extraordinary happens. . . The last thing Gwen Cooper wanted was another cat. She already had two, not to mention a phenomenally underpaying job and a recently broken heart. Then Gwen's veterinarian called with a story about a three-week-old eyeless kitten who'd been abandoned. It was love at first sight. Everyone warned that Homer would always be an "underachiever," never as playful or independent as other cats. But the kitten nobody believed in quickly grew into a three-pound dynamo, a tiny daredevil with a giant heart who eagerly made friends with every human who crossed his path. Homer scaled seven-foot bookcases with ease and leapt five feet into the air to catch flies in mid-buzz. He survived being trapped alone for days after 9/11 in an apartment near the World Trade Center, and even saved Gwen's life when he chased off an intruder who broke into their home in the middle of the night. But it was Homer's unswerving loyalty, his infinite capacity for love, and his joy in the face of all obstacles that inspired Gwen daily and transformed her life. And by the time she met the man she would marry, she realized Homer had taught her the most important lesson of all: Love isn't something you see with your eyes. Homer's Odyssey is the once-in-a-lifetime story of an extraordinary cat and his human companion. It celebrates the refusal to accept limits--on love, ability, or hope against overwhelming odds. By turns jubilant and moving, it's a memoir for anybody who's ever fallen completely and helplessly in love with a pet.
With her now-classic novelOutlander, Diana Gabaldon introduced two unforgettable characters -- Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser--delighting readers with a story of adventure and love that spanned two centuries. Now Gabaldon returns to that extraordinary time and place in this vivid, powerful follow-up toOutlander. . . . For twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland's majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones . . . about a love that transcends the boundaries of time . . . and about James Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his. . . . Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire's spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart . . . in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising . . . and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves. . . .
With shades of The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Game of Thrones, debut author Pierce Brown's genre-defying epic Red Rising hit the ground running and wasted no time becoming a sensation. Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom.As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow's kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds--and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within. A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love--but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind's destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution--and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo's principles of love and justice to free his people. He must live for more.Advance praise for Golden Son "Pierce Brown is a prodigy. As great as the first book of the Red Rising Trilogy is, Golden Son is even better. A wild ride full of suspense, intrigue, and serious ass-kicking bravado, it's expertly written and emotionally engaging, with top-notch universe-building that begs for further exploration. I want more!"--Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author of Snowblind "The stakes are even higher than they were in Red Rising, and the twists and turns of the story are every bit as exciting. The jaw-dropper of an ending will leave readers hungry for the conclusion to Brown's wholly original, completely thrilling saga."--Booklist (starred review) "Dramatic . . . the rare middle book that loses almost no momentum as it sets up the final installment."--Publishers Weekly "Darrow is an assertive hero. . . . Comparisons to The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones series are inevitable, for this tale has elements of both."--Kirkus Reviews Praise for Pierce Brown's Red Rising "[A] spectacular adventure . . . one heart-pounding ride . . . Pierce Brown's dizzyingly good debut novel evokes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, and Ender's Game. . . . [Red Rising] has everything it needs to become meteoric."--Entertainment Weekly "[A] top-notch debut novel . . . Red Rising ascends above a crowded dystopian field."--USA Today "Compulsively readable and exceedingly entertaining . . . [a] must for both fans of classic sci-fi and fervent followers of new school dystopian epics."--Examiner.com "A story of vengeance, warfare and the quest for power . . . reminiscent of The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones."--Kirkus Reviews "Fast-paced, gripping, well-written--the sort of book you cannot put down."--Terry BrooksFrom the Hardcover edition.
As the wickedly seductive Wilde cousins seek true love by taking a page from history's legendary love stories, Lord Jack Wilde plays a determined Romeo courting an enchanting Juliet. The last thing Sophie Fortin expects at a masquerade ball is a dazzling kiss from a pirate. Her desire quickly falters when she learns that her masked gentleman is devilishly scandalous Lord Jack, a member of the captivating Wilde clan--and a man she's forbidden to acknowledge. But when Jack begins a breathtaking seduction, Sophie can barely resist. Jack never imagined that the daughter of his family's mortal enemy would awaken such fierce passion within him--until one unforgettable kiss changes his mind forever. Soon, Jack is hell-bent on winning Sophie's hand, going so far as to abduct her to save her from marrying a rival nobleman. Determined to woo Sophie and her unyielding parents, Jack is faced with the one decision he'd sworn never to make. The secret heir to a prince, Jack has spurned his royal heritage for years . . . but for Sophie he'll risk all to turn a legacy of heartbreak into love ever after. Praise for Nicole Jordan and Lover Be Mine "[An] engagingly, well-plotted Regency that is worthy of the Bard and is the latest in Jordan's 'Wilde-ly' entertaining Legendary Lovers series featuring the scandalous Wilde cousins."--Library Journal"The hero and heroine in Jordan's latest stylishly written romance have sexual chemistry to burn, making Lover Be Mine the perfect choice for readers who crave Regency-set historicals that sizzle with sensuality."--Booklist"Nicole Jordan's new fairy tale series will steal your heart."--Cathy MaxwellFrom the Paperback edition.
BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Jonathan Kellerman's Victims.In a half-built mansion in Los Angeles, a watchman stumbles onto the bodies of a young couple--murdered and left in a gruesome postmortem embrace. Veteran homicide cop Milo Sturgis is shocked at the sight: a twisted crime that only Milo and psychologist Alex Delaware can hope to solve. While the female victim's identity remains in question, her companion is ID'd as eco-friendly architect Desmond Backer, notorious for his power to seduce women. The deeper Milo and Alex dig for clues, the longer the list of suspects grows. But when the investigation veers suddenly in a startling direction, it's the investigators who may wind up on the wrong end of a cornered predator's final fury.
Peter F. Hamilton's superbly imagined, cunningly plotted interstellar adventures are conceived on a staggeringly epic scale and filled with fully realized human and alien characters as complex as they are engaging. No mere world builder, Hamilton creates entire universes-and he does so with irresistible flair and intelligence. His previous novel, the acclaimed Pandora's Star, introduced the Intersolar Commonwealth, a star-spanning civilization of the twenty-fourth century. Robust, peaceful, and confident, the Commonwealth dispatched a ship to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that turned on its liberators, striking hard, fast, and utterly without mercy. The Prime are the Commonwealth's worst nightmare. Coexistence is impossible with the technologically advanced aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. Twenty-three planets have already fallen to the invaders, with casualties in the hundreds of millions. And no one knows when or where the genocidal Prime will strike next.Nor are the Prime the only threat. For more than a hundred years, a shadowy cult, the Guardians of Selfhood, has warned that an alien with mind-control abilities impossible to detect or resist-the Starflyer-has secretly infiltrated the Commonwealth. Branded as terrorists, the Guardians and their leader, Bradley Johansson, have been hunted by relentless investigator Paula Myo. But now evidence suggests that the Guardians were right all along, and that the Starflyer has placed agents in vital posts throughout the Commonwealth-agents who are now sabotaging the war effort. Is the Starflyer an ally of the Prime, or has it orchestrated a fight to the death between the two species for its own advantage?Caught between two deadly enemies, one a brutal invader striking from without, the other a remorseless cancer killing from within, the fractious Commonwealth must unite as never before.This will be humanity's finest hour-or its last gasp.From the Hardcover edition.
The thrilling follow-up to Jo Nesbo's #1 bestseller Phantom.Several police officers are found murdered at the scene of an old and unsolved murder case that they were involved in investigating. The killings are extremely brutal and bestial. The police have no leads. What's more, they're missing their best investigator. A severely wounded man in a coma is kept alive at a hospital in Oslo. The room is guarded by the police and the identity of the patient is kept secret.
This breathtaking adventure set in the American West of the 1820s is at once a tale of complex friendships, a love story, and a panoramic retelling of a crucial moment in American history. When the young William Wyeth leaves St. Louis for a fur-trapping expedition, he nearly loses his life and quickly discovers the depth of loyalty among the men who must depend on one another to survive. While convalescing, he falls in love with proud Alene, a young widow who may or may not wait for him. And on a wildly risky expedition into Crow territory, Wyeth finds himself unwittingly at the center of a deadly boundary dispute among Native American tribes, the British government, and American trapping brigades. A classic adventure told with great suspense and literary flair, Into the Savage Country illuminates the ways in which extreme circumstances expose the truth about the natures of individual men and the surprising mechanics of their bravery, loyalty, and friendship.From the Hardcover edition. and friendship.From the Hardcover edition.
Much controversy exists concerning Major General Benjamin F. Butler's administration in New Orleans during the second year of the Civil War. Some historians have extolled the general as a great humanitarian, while others have vilified him as a brazen opportunist, agreeing with the wealthy of occupied New Orleans who labeled him "Beast" Butler. In this thorough examination of Butler's career in the Crescent City, Chester G. Hearn reveals that both assessments are right. As a criminal lawyer prior to entering politics, Butler learned two great lessons -- how to beat the rich and powerful at their own game, and how to succeed as a felon without being caught. In New Orleans, Butler drew on these lessons, visibly enjoying power, removing those who questioned his authority, and delighting in defeating his opponents. Because of his remoteness from Washington, he was able to make up his own rules as he went along, surrounding himself with trusted friends and family members who had no choice but to keep his secrets lest they incriminate themselves.Butler made every effort to humble the rich, who abhorred him and whose sordid characterizations of his regime -- some true, some not -- became legendary. As Hearn explains, Butler's legacy of corruption clouded many admirable aspects of his administration. He championed the poor, many of whom would have starved had he not fed and employed them. He also established sanitation policies that helped rid the city of disease and saved the lives of thousands of New Orleans' less-fortunate.Vividly describing Butler's childhood and his political career before and after the war, Hearn deftly places Butler's New Orleans reign in the context of his life. He also offers new information on Butler, including the first investigation of his suspicious accumulation of great wealth late in life.In a fast-paced, colorful narrative, Hearn shows Butler to be a fascinating case study of contradictions, a remarkable man with a politician's appetite for wealth and power as well as a sincere empathy for the poor. All Civil War historians and buffs will savor this riveting, insightful portrait of the man behind "the Beast."
Adam Dalgliesh takes on a baffling murder in the rarefied world of London book publishing in this masterful mystery from one of our finest novelists. Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of impenetrable complexity. A murder has taken place in the offices of the Peverell Press, a venerable London publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant but ruthless new managing director, who had vowed to restore the firm's fortunes. Etienne was clearly a man with enemies--a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues, one of who apparently killed herself a short time earlier. Yet Etienne's death, which occurred under bizarre circumstances, is for Dalgliesh only the beginning of the mystery, as he desperately pursues the search for a killer prepared to strike and strike again.
National Bestseller Featuring the famous Commander Adam Dalgliesh, Devices and Desires is a thrilling and insightfully crafted novel of fallible people caught in a net of secrets, ambitions, and schemes on a lonely stretch of Norfolk coastline. Commander Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard has just published a new book of poems and has taken a brief respite from publicity on the remote Larksoken headland on the Norfolk coast in a converted windmill left to him by his aunt. But he cannot so easily escape murder. A psychotic strangler of young women is at large in Norfolk, and getting nearer to Larksoken with every killing. And when Dalgliesh discovers the murdered body of the Acting Administrative Officer on the beach, he finds himself caught up in the passions and dangerous secrets of the headland community and in one of the most baffling murder cases of his career.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In this seductive and chillingly nihilistic novel, Bret Easton Ellis, the author of American Psycho, returns to Los Angeles, the city whose moral badlands he portrayed unforgettably in Less Than Zero. This time is the early eighties. The characters go to the same schools and eat at the same restaurants. Their voices enfold us as seamlessly as those of DJs heard over a car radio. They have sex with the same boys and girls and buy from the same dealers. In short, they are connected in the only way people can be in that city. Dirk sees his best friend killed in a desert car wreck, then rifles through his pockets for a last joint before the ambulance comes. Cheryl, a wannabe newscaster, chides her future stepdaughter, "You're tan but you don't look happy." Jamie is a clubland carnivore with a taste for human blood. As rendered by Ellis, their interactions compose a chilling, fascinating, and outrageous descent into the abyss beneath L.A.'s gorgeous surfaces.From the Trade Paperback edition.
As any herpetologist will tell you, the fer-de-lance is among the most dreaded snakes known to man. When someone makes a present of one to Nero Wolfe, Archie Goodwin knows he's getting dreadully close to solving the devilishly clever murders of an immigrant and a college president. As for Wolfe, he's playing snake charmer in a case with more twists than an anaconda -- whistling a seductive tune he hopes will catch a killer who's still got poison in his heart.From the Paperback edition.
In Breakfast of Champions, one of Kurt Vonnegut's most beloved characters, the aging writer Kilgore Trout, finds to his horror that a Midwest car dealer is taking his fiction as truth. What follows is murderously funny satire, as Vonnegut looks at war, sex, racism, success, politics, and pollution in America and reminds us how to see the truth.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Fourteen-year-old Francis is heading west in a wagon train on the Oregon Trail when he's kidnapped by Pawnees. His adventures during the two-year search for his family teach him how to live by the harsh code of the wilderness, and give readers an exciting panoramic vision of the West at a time of settlement and of war with Mexico. Along the way, Francis meets up with Mr. Grimes, a one-armed mountain man, and later rescues Lottie and Billy, children abandoned on the prairie. Together the three encounter bandits, soldiers, storms, eccentric travellers, and discover an ancient treasure. But the real treasure lies at the end of the trail--Tucket's home.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Ageless Body, Timeless Mind goes beyond current anti-aging research and ancient mind/body wisdom to dramatically demonstrate that we do not have to grow old! Dr. Chopra shows us that, contrary to traditional beliefs, we can learn to direct the way our bodies and minds metabolize time and actually reverse the aging process -- thereby retaining vitality, creativity, memory, and self-esteem. In a unique program that includes stress reduction, dietary changes, and exercise, Dr. Chopra offers a step-by-step, individually tailored regimen for maximum living in exceptionally good health. For the young at heart, here is the most remarkable approach yet to achieving unbound physical and spiritual potential.From the Trade Paperback edition.
What if you discovered you have been entrusted with an invisible, invincible, and incorruptible weapon? Would you use it? Move beyond only study and begin to wield the Word of God! "If you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!" --Jesus If there ever was a time for women to be armed, it's now. Yet the Word of God is a sword we often are more comfortable studying than wielding. It's time we give girls swords and watch them connect heaven to earth. Worldwide, women are the targets of prejudice, sex trafficking, abuse, and even gendercide. Lisa Bevere writes that these attacks say more about who women might be in the future than who they have been in the past. In Girls with Swords she explains a spiritual enemy is seeking to disarm women on every level. It's time women become the heroes God created them to be and stand--courageous, discerning, forgiving, and wise. Creatively forging the imagery of swords, the Word of God, and the Cross, Girls with Swords will teach you: * How to speak the language of heaven on earth * What it means to intercede * What it means to carry your cross * What it means to be discerning * How to disarm the enemy * Why women are the enemy's target--and why God needs them to be heroes It's time to take up your sword and be a hero.s target--and why God needs them to be heroes It's time to take up your sword and be a hero.
Nietzsche called The Gay Science "the most personal of all my books." It was here that he first proclaimed the death of God -- to which a large part of the book is devoted -- and his doctrine of the eternal recurrence.Walter Kaufmann's commentary, with its many quotations from previously untranslated letters, brings to life Nietzsche as a human being and illuminates his philosophy. The book contains some of Nietzsche's most sustained discussions of art and morality, knowledge and truth, the intellectual conscience and the origin of logic.Most of the book was written just before Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the last part five years later, after Beyond Good and Evil. We encounter Zarathustra in these pages as well as many of Nietzsche's most interesting philosophical ideas and the largest collection of his own poetry that he himself ever published.Walter Kaufmann's English versions of Nietzsche represent one of the major translation enterprises of our time. He is the first philosopher to have translated Nietzsche's major works, and never before has a single translator given us so much of Nietzsche.From the Paperback edition.
National BestsellerCheverell Manor is a beautiful old house in Dorset, which its owner, the famous plastic surgeon George Chandler-Powell, uses as a private clinic. When the investigative journalist, Rhoda Gradwyn, arrives to have a disfiguring facial scar removed, she has every expectation of a successful operation and a peaceful week recuperating. But the clinic houses an implacable enemy and within hours of the operation Rhoda is murdered. Commander Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate a case complicated by old crimes and the dark secrets of the past. But Before Rhoda's murder is solved, a second horrific death adds to the complexities of one of Dalgliesh's most perplexing and fascinating cases.From the Trade Paperback edition. D. James has gained an enviable reputation for creating detective stories of uncommon depth and intricacy, combined with the sort of humanity and perceptiveness found only in the finest novelists. The Private Patient ranks among her very best.
UPDATED AND WITH A NEW AFTERWORDNational Book Award FinalistA Time, Newsweek, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and New York Times Book Review Best Book of the YearA gripping narrative that spans five decades, The Looming Tower explains in unprecedented detail the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the intelligence failures that culminated in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Lawrence Wright re-creates firsthand the transformation of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri from incompetent and idealistic soldiers in Afghanistan to leaders of the most successful terrorist group in history. He follows FBI counterterrorism chief John O'Neill as he uncovers the emerging danger from al-Qaeda in the 1990s and struggles to track this new threat. Packed with new information and a deep historical perspective, The Looming Tower is the definitive history of the long road to September 11.From the Trade Paperback edition.
A subtle and powerful work of contemporary fiction.Combe Island off the Cornish coast has a bloodstained history of piracy and cruelty but now, privately owned, it offers respite to over-stressed men and women in positions of high authority who require privacy and guaranteed security. But the peace of Combe is violated when one of the distinguished visitors is bizarrely murdered.Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called in to solve the mystery quickly and discreetly, but at a difficult time for him and his depleted team. Dalgliesh is uncertain about his future with Emma Lavenham, the woman he loves; Detective Inspector Kate Miskin has her own emotional problems; and the ambitious Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith is worried about working under Kate. Hardly has the team begun to unravel the complicated motives of the suspects than there is a second brutal killing, and the whole investigation is jeopardized when Dalgliesh is faced with a danger more insidious and as potentially fatal as murder.This eagerly awaited successor to the international bestseller The Murder Room displays all the qualities that lovers of P. D. James's novels the world over have come to expect: sensitive characterization, an exciting and superbly structured plot and vivid evocation of place.From the Hardcover edition.
A rare discovery, A Mysterious Life and Calling is the autobiography of Charlotte Levy Riley, who was born into slavery but after emancipation achieved a fulfilling career as a preacher in the South Carolina Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, schoolteacher, and civil servant. Although several nineteenth-century accounts by black preaching women in the northern states are known, this is the first memoir by a black woman preaching in the South, both before and after the Civil War, to be discovered. Born in 1839, Charlotte Riley recounts her unusual experiences growing up as a young slave girl in Charleston under the protection of her parents and the dominion of her wealthy owners. She was taught to read, write, and sew, despite laws forbidding black literacy, and while still a slave married a free black architect. Raised a Presbyterian, she writes in her memoir of her conversion at age fourteen to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, embracing its ecstatic worship and led by her own spiritual visions. After the war, she separated permanently from her husband, who objected to her call to preach, and despite poor health pursued a career into the early twentieth century as a licensed minister of the AME church, a powerful preacher at multiracial revivals, and a school teacher and principal. She contributed to the civic development of South Carolina in the post-Reconstruction era and early twentieth century, including appointment in 1885 as postmistress of Lincolnville, an all-black incorporated town in South Carolina. She published her autobiography around 1902. Crystal J. Lucky discovered Riley's forgotten book in the archives of the Stokes Library at the historically black Wilberforce University in Ohio. She provides an introduction and notes to the narrative, explaining Riley's references to contemporaries, events, society, and religious practice throughout her childhood and the turbulent years of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Lucky also places A Mysterious Life and Calling in the context of other spiritual autobiographies and slave narratives.
Roman religion has long presented a number of challenges to historians approaching the subject from a perspective framed by the three Abrahamic religions. The Romans had no sacred text that espoused its creed or offered a portrait of its foundational myth. They described relations with the divine using technical terms widely employed to describe relations with other humans. Indeed, there was not even a word in classical Latin that corresponds to the English word religion.In The Gods, the State, and the Individual, John Scheid confronts these and other challenges directly. If Roman religious practice has long been dismissed as a cynical or naïve system of borrowed structures unmarked by any true piety, Scheid contends that this is the result of a misplaced expectation that the basis of religion lies in an individual's personal and revelatory relationship with his or her god. He argues that when viewed in the light of secular history as opposed to Christian theology, Roman religion emerges as a legitimate phenomenon in which rituals, both public and private, enforced a sense of communal, civic, and state identity.Since the 1970s, Scheid has been one of the most influential figures reshaping scholarly understanding of ancient Roman religion. The Gods, the State, and the Individual presents a translation of Scheid's work that chronicles the development of his field-changing scholarship.
Honouring anthropologist Richard J. Preston and his outstanding career with the Crees in northern Quebec, Together We Survive presents new research by Preston's colleagues, former students, and family members who - like him - have established long-term, respectful research partnerships and friendships with Aboriginal communities. Demonstrating the influential nature of Preston's collaborative approach on anthropologists in Canada and beyond, the essays in Together We Survive explore development and urbanization, material culture, and conflict. Scholars who conducted research in the 1960s with Crees farther to the south broaden the scope of Preston's Cree Narrative (2002). A Cree colleague and friend expands on his study of traditional Cree songs. Other essays widen the geographical, historical, and cultural foci of the book beyond the Quebec Crees, examining the significance of a beaded hood at Red River in 1844, scrutinizing symbols of Anishinaabe identity, and describing the struggle for indigenous human rights at the United Nations. Building on Preston's pioneering work in cultural anthropology, Together We Survive recounts the ways in which the eastern James Bay Cree and other aboriginal peoples, faced with massive incursions on their lands and lives, have collaborated and formed respectful partnerships as they seek to survive and thrive in peace. Contributors include Regna Darnell (Western), Harvey A. Feit (McMaster), John S. Long (Nipissing), Stan L. Louttit, Richard T. McCutcheon (Algoma), the late Cath Oberholtzer (Trent), Laura Peers (Oxford), Jennifer Preston, Susan Preston, Adrian Tanner (Memorial) and Cory Willmott (Southern Illinois).
David Sacks has embarked on a fun, lively, and learned excursion into the alphabet-and into cultural history-in Letter Perfect. Clearly explaining the letters as symbols of precise sounds of speech, the book begins with the earliest known alphabetic inscriptions (circa 1800 b.c.), recently discovered by archaeologists in Egypt, and traces the history of our alphabet through the ancient Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans and up through medieval Europe to the present day. But the heart of the book is the twenty-six fact-filled "biographies" of letters A through Z, each one identifying the letter's particular significance for modern readers, tracing its development from ancient forms, and discussing its noteworthy role in literature and other media. We learn, for example, why letter X may have a sinister and sexual aura, how B came to signify second best, why the word mother in many languages starts with M. Combining facts both odd and essential, Letter Perfect is cultural history at its most accessible and enjoyable.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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