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Philosophy Between the Lines: The Lost History of Esoteric Writing

by Arthur M. Melzer

Philosophical esotericism--the practice of communicating one's unorthodox thoughts "between the lines"--was a common practice until the end of the eighteenth century. The famous Encyclopédie of Diderot, for instance, not only discusses this practice in over twenty different articles, but admits to employing it itself. The history of Western thought contains hundreds of such statements by major philosophers testifying to the use of esoteric writing in their own work or others'. Despite this long and well-documented history, however, esotericism is often dismissed today as a rare occurrence. But by ignoring esotericism, we risk cutting ourselves off from a full understanding of Western philosophical thought. Arthur M. Melzer serves as our deeply knowledgeable guide in this capacious and engaging history of philosophical esotericism. Walking readers through both an ancient (Plato) and a modern (Machiavelli) esoteric work, he explains what esotericism is--and is not. It relies not on secret codes, but simply on a more intensive use of familiar rhetorical techniques like metaphor, irony, and insinuation. Melzer explores the various motives that led thinkers in different times and places to engage in this strange practice, while also exploring the motives that lead more recent thinkers not only to dislike and avoid this practice but to deny its very existence. In the book's final section, "A Beginner's Guide to Esoteric Reading," Melzer turns to how we might once again cultivate the long-forgotten art of reading esoteric works. Philosophy Between the Lines is the first comprehensive, book-length study of the history and theoretical basis of philosophical esotericism, and it provides a crucial guide to how many major writings--philosophical, but also theological, political, and literary--were composed prior to the nineteenth century.

Politics in a Time of Crisis

by Pablo Iglesias

A manifesto for a new, democratic left: a political programme poised to transform EuropeSince 2011, Pablo Iglesias has led Podemos, a new radical left party in Spain that is reframing the nature of modern politics. Under his guidance, the party has unmasked the ideological motives behind European austerity, revealing the true nature of this power grab conducted on behalf of elites intent on dismantling the welfare state. Here, Iglesias delineates his political vision. He skewers not only the Spanish establishment, but also the anti-democratic bloc comprising the Troika, corporate interests, and the "Wall Street Party." Politics in a Time of Crisis--which includes an in-depth interview with Iglesias--is an incisive examination of the current situation in Europe as well as a stirring call for international resistance.From the Trade Paperback edition.e whose lives are affected. The Great Recession, he shows, was an excuse to dismantle the welfare state and bolster the power of the elites.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Peasant-Citizen and Slave

by Ellen Meiksins Wood

The controversial thesis at the center of this study is that, despite the importance of slavery in Athenian society, the most distinctive characteristic of Athenian democracy was the unprecedented prominence it gave to free labor. Wood argues that the emergence of the peasant as citizen, juridically and politically independent, accounts for much that is remarkable in Athenian political institutions and culture. From a survey of historical writings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the focus of which distorted later debates, Wood goes on to take issue with influential arguments, such as those of G.E.M. de Ste Croix, about the importance of slavery in agricultural production. The social, political and cultural influence of the peasant-citizen is explored in a way which questions some of the most cherished conventions of Marxist and non-Marxist historiography.

From Sight to Light: The Passage from Ancient to Modern Optics

by A. Mark Smith

From its inception in Greek antiquity, the science of optics was aimed primarily at explaining sight and accounting for why things look as they do. By the end of the seventeenth century, however, the analytic focus of optics had shifted to light: its fundamental properties and such physical behaviors as reflection, refraction, and diffraction. This dramatic shift--which A. Mark Smith characterizes as the "Keplerian turn"--lies at the heart of this fascinating and pioneering study. Breaking from previous scholarship that sees Johannes Kepler as the culmination of a long-evolving optical tradition that traced back to Greek antiquity via the Muslim Middle Ages, Smith presents Kepler instead as marking a rupture with this tradition, arguing that his theory of retinal imaging, which was published in 1604, was instrumental in prompting the turn from sight to light. Kepler's new theory of sight, Smith reveals, thus takes on true historical significance: by treating the eye as a mere light-focusing device rather than an image-producing instrument--as traditionally understood--Kepler's account of retinal imaging helped spur the shift in analytic focus that eventually led to modern optics. A sweeping survey, From Sight to Light is poised to become the standard reference for historians of optics as well as those interested more broadly in the history of science, the history of art, and cultural and intellectual history.

In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life's Building Blocks

by Franklin M. Harold

The origin of cells remains one of the most fundamental problems in biology, one that over the past two decades has spawned a large body of research and debate. With In Search of Cell History, Franklin M. Harold offers a comprehensive, impartial take on that research and the controversies that keep the field in turmoil. Written in accessible language and complemented by a glossary for easy reference, this book investigates the full scope of cellular history. Assuming only a basic knowledge of cell biology, Harold examines such pivotal subjects as the relationship between cells and genes; the central role of bioenergetics in the origin of life; the status of the universal tree of life with its three stems and viral outliers; and the controversies surrounding the last universal common ancestor. He also delves deeply into the evolution of cellular organization, the origin of complex cells, and the incorporation of symbiotic organelles, and considers the fossil evidence for the earliest life on earth. In Search of Cell History shows us just how far we have come in understanding cell evolution--and the evolution of life in general--and how far we still have to go.

Tunguska, or the End of Nature: A Philosophical Dialogue

by Michael Hampe

On June 30, 1908, a mysterious explosion erupted in the skies over a vast woodland area of Siberia. Known as the Tunguska Event, it has been a source of wild conjecture over the past century, attributed to causes ranging from meteors to a small black hole to antimatter. In this imaginative book, Michael Hampe sets four fictional men based on real-life scholars--a physicist (Günter Hasinger and Steven Weinberg), a philosopher (Paul Feyerabend), a biologist (Adolf Portmann), and a mathematician (Alfred North Whitehead)--adrift on the open ocean, in a dense fog, to discuss what they think happened. The result is a playful and highly illuminating exploration of the definition of nature, mankind's role within it, and what its end might be. Tunguska, Or the End of Nature uses its four-man setup to tackle some of today's burning issues--such as climate change, environmental destruction, and resource management--from a diverse range of perspectives. With a kind of foreboding, it asks what the world was like, and will be like, without us, whether we are negligible and the universe random, whether nature can truly be explained, whether it is good or evil, or whether nature is simply a thought we think. This is a profoundly unique work, a thrillingly interdisciplinary piece of scholarly literature that probes the mysteries of nature and humans alike.

In Search of a Lost Avant-Garde: An Anthropologist Investigates the Contemporary Art Museum

by Matti Bunzl

In 2008, anthropologist Matti Bunzl was given rare access to observe the curatorial department of Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art. For five months, he sat with the institution's staff, witnessing firsthand what truly goes on behind the scenes at a contemporary art museum. From fund-raising and owner loans to museum-artist relations to the immense effort involved in safely shipping sixty works from twenty-seven lenders in fourteen cities and five countries, Matti Bunzl's In Search of a Lost Avant-Garde illustrates the inner workings of one of Chicago's premier cultural institutions. Bunzl's ethnography is designed to show how a commitment to the avant-garde can come into conflict with an imperative for growth, leading to the abandonment of the new and difficult in favor of the entertaining and profitable. Jeff Koons, whose massive retrospective debuted during Bunzl's research, occupies a central place in his book and exposes the anxieties caused by such seemingly pornographic work as the infamous Made in Heaven series. Featuring cameos by other leading artists, including Liam Gillick, Jenny Holzer, Karen Kilimnik, and Tino Sehgal, the drama Bunzl narrates is palpable and entertaining and sheds an altogether new light on the contemporary art boom.

The Tunnel of Love: A Novel

by Peter De Vries

Harking from the golden age of fiction set in American suburbia--the school of John Updike and Cheever--this work from the great American humorist Peter De Vries looks with laughter upon its lawns, its cocktails, and its slightly unreal feeling of comfort. De Vries's classic situation comedy The Tunnel of Love follows the interactions of a socially insecure, pun-loving family man, an officious lady caseworker from an adoption agency, and a chauvinist pig--all suburban neighbors who know far too much about one another's private lives in this goofy and gently hilarious tale of marital quibbles. Noted as much for his verbal fluidity and wordplay as for his ability to see humor through pain, De Vries will delight both new readers and old in this uproarious modern masterpiece.

The Global Republic: America's Inadvertent Rise to World Power

by Frank Ninkovich

For decades the United States has been the most dominant player on the world's stage. The country's economic authority, its globally forceful foreign policy, and its leading position in international institutions tend to be seen as the result of a long-standing, deliberate drive to become a major global force. Furthermore, it has become widely accepted that American exceptionalism#151;the belief that America is a country like no other in history#151;has been at the root of many of the country's political, military, and global moves. Frank Ninkovich disagrees. One of the preeminent intellectual historians of our time, Ninkovich delivers here his most ambitious and sweeping book to date. He argues that historically the United States has been driven not by a belief in its destiny or its special character but rather by a need to survive the forces of globalization. He builds the powerful case that American foreign policy has long been based on and entangled in questions of global engagement, while also showing that globalization itself has always been distinct from#151;and sometimes in direct conflict with#151;what we call international society In the second half of the twentieth century, the United States unexpectedly stumbled into the role of global policeman and was forced to find ways to resolve international conflicts that did not entail nuclear warfare. The United States's decisions were based less in notions of exceptionalism and more in a need to preserve and expand a flourishing global society that had become essential to the American way of life. Sure to be controversial, The Global Republic compellingly and provocatively counters some of the deepest and most common misconceptions about America's history and its place in the world.

Cartophilia: Maps and the Search for Identity in the French-German Borderland

by Catherine Tatiana Dunlop

The period between the French Revolution and World War II was a time of tremendous growth in both mapmaking and map reading throughout Europe. There is no better place to witness this rise of popular cartography than in Alsace-Lorraine, a disputed borderland that the French and Germans both claimed as their national territory. Desired for its prime geographical position and abundant natural resources, Alsace-Lorraine endured devastating wars from 1870 to 1945 that altered its borders four times, transforming its physical landscape and the political allegiances of its citizens. For the border population whose lives were turned upside down by the French-German conflict, maps became essential tools for finding a new sense of place and a new sense of identity in their changing national and regional communities. Turning to a previously undiscovered archive of popular maps, Cartophilia reveals Alsace-Lorraine's lively world of citizen mapmakers that included linguists, ethnographers, schoolteachers, hikers, and priests. Together, this fresh group of mapmakers invented new genres of maps that framed French and German territory in original ways through experimental surveying techniques, orientations, scales, colors, and iconography. In focusing on the power of "bottom-up" maps to transform modern European identities, Cartophilia argues that the history of cartography must expand beyond the study of elite maps and shift its emphasis to the democratization of cartography in the modern world.

The Pristine Culture of Capitalism

by Ellen Meiksins Wood

A historical essay on old regimes and modern states In this lively and wide-ranging book, Ellen Meiksins Wood argues that what is supposed to have epitomized bourgeois modernity, especially the emergence of a "modern" state and political culture in Continental Europe, signaled the persistence of pre-capitalist social property relations. Conversely, the absence of a "modern" state and political discourse in England testified to the presence of a well-developed capitalism. The fundamental flaws in the British economy are not just the symptoms of arrested development but the contradictions of the capitalist system itself. Britain today, Wood maintains, is the most thoroughly capitalist culture in Europe.

Dust and Desire

by Conrad Williams

AN EXTRAORDINARY KILLER HAS ARRIVED IN LONDON, HELL-BENT ON DESTRUCTION Joel Sorrell, a bruised, bad-mouthed PI, is a sucker for missing person cases. And not just because he's searching for his daughter, who vanished five years after his wife was murdered. Joel feels a kinship with the desperate and the damned. He feels, somehow, responsible. So when the mysterious Kara Geenan begs him to find her missing brother, Joel agrees. Then an attempt is made on his life, and Kara vanishes... A vicious serial killer is on the hunt, and as those close to Joel are sucked into his nightmare, he suspects that answers may lie in his own hellish past.

Kill Baxter (EBK)

by Charlie Human

The world has been massively unappreciative of sixteen-year-old Baxter Zevcenko. His bloodline may be a combination of ancient Boer mystic and giant shape-shifting crow, and he may have won an inter-dimensional battle and saved the world, but does anyone care? No.Instead he's packed off to Hexpoort, part reformatory, part military school, and just like Hogwarts (except with sex, drugs, and better internet access). The problem is that Baxter sucks at magic. He's also desperately attempting to control his new ability to dreamwalk, all the while being singled out by the school's resident bully, who just so happens to be the Chosen One.But when the school comes under attack, Baxter needs to forget all that and step into action. The only way is joining forces with his favourite recovering alcoholic of a supernatural bounty hunter, Ronin, to try and save the world from the apocalypse. Again.

Dear Reader

by David Bellos Paul Fournel

There's a lot of good to be said about publishing, mainly about the food. The books, though - Robert Dubois feels as if he's read the books, but still they keep coming back to him, the same old books just by new authors. Maybe he's ready to settle into the end of his career, like it's a tipsy afternoon after a working lunch. But then he is confronted with a gift: a piece of technology, a gizmo, a reader... Dear Reader takes a wry, affectionate look at the world of publishing, books and authors, and is a very funny, moving story about the passing of the old and the excitement of the new.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Crouching Tiger

by Gordon G. Chang Peter Navarro

Will there be war with China? This book provides the most complete and accurate assessment of the probability of conflict between the United States and the rising Asian superpower. Equally important, it lays out an in-depth analysis of the possible pathways to peace. Written like a geopolitical detective story, the narrative encourages reader interaction by starting each chapter with an intriguing question that often challenges conventional wisdom. Based on interviews with more than thirty top experts, the author highlights a number of disturbing facts about China's recent military buildup and the shifting balance of power in Asia: the Chinese are deploying game-changing "carrier killer" ballistic missiles; some of America's supposed allies in Europe and Asia are selling highly lethal weapons systems to China in a perverse twist on globalization; and, on the U.S. side, debilitating cutbacks in the military budget send a message to the world that America is not serious about its "pivot to Asia." In the face of these threatening developments, the book stresses the importance of maintaining US military strength and preparedness and strengthening alliances, while warning against a complacent optimism that relies on economic engagement, negotiations, and nuclear deterrence to ensure peace.Accessible to readers from all walks of life, this multidisciplinary work blends geopolitics, economics, history, international relations, military doctrine, and political science to provide a better understanding of one of the most vexing problems facing the world.From the Hardcover edition.

The Geomancer

by Clay Griffith Susan Griffith

The first Gareth and Adele Novel, The Geomancer is the start of an ongoing, character-based, urban fantasy series set in the same Vampire Empire universe as the authors' previous trilogy!The uneasy stalemate between vampires and humans is over. Adele and Gareth are bringing order to a free Britain, but bloody murders in London raise the specter that Adele's geomancy is failing and the vampires might return. A new power could tilt the balance back to the vampire clans. A deranged human called the Witchfinder has surfaced on the Continent, serving new vampire lords. This geomancer has found a way to make vampires immune to geomancy and intends to give his masters the ability to kill humans on a massive scale.The apocalyptic event in Edinburgh weakened Adele's geomantic abilities. If the Witchfinder can use geomancy against humanity, she may not have the power to stop him. If she can't, there is nowhere beyond his reach and no one he cannot kill.From a Britain struggling to rebuild to the vampire capital of Paris, from the heart of the Equatorian Empire to a vampire monastery in far-away Tibet, old friends and past enemies return. Unexpected allies and terrible new villains arise. Adele and Gareth fight side-by-side as always, but they can never be the same if they hope to survive.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

by Jennifer Kincheloe

It's 1907 Los Angeles. Mischievous socialite Anna Blanc is the kind of young woman who devours purloined crime novels--but must disguise them behind covers of more domestically-appropriate reading. She could match wits with Sherlock Holmes, but in her world women are not allowed to hunt criminals. Determined to break free of the era's rigid social roles, Anna buys off the chaperone assigned by her domineering father and, using an alias, takes a job as a police matron with the Los Angeles Police Department. There she discovers a string of brothel murders, which the cops are unwilling to investigate. Seizing her one chance to solve a crime, she takes on the investigation herself. If the police find out, she'll get fired; if her father finds out, he'll disown her; and if her fiancé finds out, he'll cancel the wedding and stop pouring money into her father's collapsing bank. Midway into her investigation, the police chief's son, Joe Singer, learns her true identity. And shortly thereafter she learns about blackmail.Anna must choose--either hunt the villain and risk losing her father, fiancé, and wealth, or abandon her dream and leave the killer on the loose.From the Trade Paperback edition.

One Man's Flag

by David Downing

Spring 1915: World War One rages across Europe, and the British Empire is assailed on all fronts--domestic and abroad. Amidst this bloodbath of nations, where one man's flag is another man's shroud, a British spy is asked to do the impossible: seduce and betray the woman he loves, again. Only this time betrayal is a two-way street.Jack McColl, a spy for His Majesty's Secret Service, is stationed in India, charged with defending the Empire against Bengali terrorists and their German allies. Belgium, he finds, is not the only country seeking to expel an invader.In England, meanwhile, suffragette journalist Caitlin Hanley begins the business of rebuilding her life after the execution of her brother--an IRA sympathizer whose terrorist plot was foiled by Caitlin's own ex-lover, the very same Jack McColl. The war is changing everything and giving fresh impulse to those causes--feminism, socialism and Irish independence--which she as a journalist has long supported.The threat of a Rising in Dublin alarms McColl's bosses as much as it dazzles Caitlin. If another Irish plot brings them back together, will it be as enemies or lovers?

The Girl with the Wrong Name

by Barnabas Miller

Ever since The Night in Question left her with a hideous scar and no memory of what happened, Theo Lane has been hiding. An aspiring filmmaker, she uses a hidden button cam to keep the world at bay. She spends the entire summer in a Manhattan café, secretly documenting random "subjects."Once school starts, Theo finds her best friend has morphed into a flirtatious, short-skirt-clad stranger. Everyone ignores the scar. As if that will make it go away. The café remains her lunchtime refuge.Her most interesting subject is the Lost Boy, a stranger who comes in every day at the same time. When she finally gets up the courage to talk to him she discovers why: the Lost Boy, Andy, is waiting for someone who said she'd meet him there . . . four days ago. Intoxicated by Andy's love for this mystery girl, Theo agrees to help him find her, and her unhealthy obsession pulls her into a perilous, mind-bending journey. But is it really Andy's world she's investigating? Or is it her own?From the Hardcover edition.

The U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality, Gift Edition

by Anthony M. Kennedy

A beautifully packaged gift edition of Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, Justice Anthony Kennedy's landmark Supreme Court decision on marriage equality A milestone in the history of American civil and human rights, Obergefell et al. v. Hodges legalized gay marriage across the United States. A powerful testament to the progress of human and civil rights, The U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Marriage Equality is an essential document of our times.From the Hardcover edition.

Juvenescence: A Cultural History of Our Age

by Robert Pogue Harrison

How old are you? The more thought you bring to bear on the question, the harder it is to answer. For we age simultaneously in different ways: biologically, psychologically, socially. And we age within the larger framework of a culture, in the midst of a history that predates us and will outlast us. Looked at through that lens, many aspects of late modernity would suggest that we are older than ever, but Robert Pogue Harrison argues that we are also getting startlingly younger--in looks, mentality, and behavior. We live, he says, in an age of juvenescence. Like all of Robert Pogue Harrison's books, "Juvenescence" ranges brilliantly across cultures and history, tracing the ways that the spirits of youth and age have inflected each other from antiquity to the present. Drawing on the scientific concept of neotony, or the retention of juvenile characteristics through adulthood, and extending it into the cultural realm, Harrison argues that youth is essential for culture's innovative drive and flashes of genius. At the same time, however, youth--which Harrison sees as more protracted than ever--is a luxury that requires the stability and wisdom of our elders and the institutions. "While genius liberates the novelties of the future," Harrison writes, "wisdom inherits the legacies of the past, renewing them in the process of handing them down. " A heady, deeply learned excursion, rich with ideas and insights, "Juvenescence" could only have been written by Robert Pogue Harrison. No reader who has wondered at our culture's obsession with youth should miss it.

The Hoarders: Material Deviance in Modern American Culture

by Scott Herring

The verb OC declutterOCO has not yet made it into thea"Oxford English Dictionary," but its ever-increasing usage suggests that itOCOs only a matter of time. Articles containing tips and tricks on how to get organized cover magazine pages and pop up in TV programs and commercials, while clutter professionals and specialists referred to as OC clutterologistsOCO are just a phone call away. Everywhere the sentiment is the same: clutter is bad. Ina"The Hoarders," Scott Herring provides an in-depth examination of how modern hoarders came into being, from their onset in the late 1930s to the present day. He finds that both the idea of organization and the role of the clutterologist are deeply ingrained in our culture, and that there is a fine line between clutter and deviance in America. Herring introduces us to Jill, whose countertops are piled high with decaying food and whose cabinets are overrun with purchases, while the fly strips hanging from her ceiling are arguably more fly than strip. When Jill spots a decomposing pumpkin about to be jettisoned, she stops, seeing in the rotting, squalid vegetable a special treasure. OC IOCOve never seen one quite like this before, OCO she says, and looks to see if any seeds remain. It is from moments like these that Herring builds his questions: What counts as an acceptable material lifeOCoand who decides? Is hoarding some sort of inherent deviation of the mind, or a recent historical phenomenon grounded in changing material cultures? Herring opts for the latter, explaining that hoarders attract attention not because they are mentally ill but because they challenge normal modes of material relations. Piled high with detailed and, at times, disturbing descriptions of uncleanliness, a"The Hoarders"adelivers a sweeping and fascinating history of hoarding that will cause us all to reconsider how we view these accumulators of clutter. "

Becoming Mead: The Social Process of Academic Knowledge

by Daniel R. Huebner

George Herbert Mead is a foundational figure in sociology, best known for his book "Mind, Self, and Society," which was put together after his death from course notes taken by stenographers and students and from unpublished manuscripts. Mead, however, never taught a course primarily housed in a sociology department, and he wrote about a wide variety of topics far outside of the concerns for which he is predominantly rememberedOCoincluding experimental and comparative psychology, the history of science, and relativity theory. a In short, he is known in a discipline in which he did not teach for a book he did not write. In" Becoming Mead," Daniel R. Huebner traces the ways in which knowledge has been produced by and about the famed American philosopher. Instead of treating MeadOCOs problematic reputation as a separate topic of study from his intellectual biography, Huebner considers both biography and reputation as social processes of knowledge production. He uses Mead as a case study and provides fresh new answers to critical questions in the social sciences, such as how authors come to be considered canonical in particular disciplines, how academics understand and use othersOCO works in their research, and how claims to authority and knowledge are made in scholarship. "Becoming Mead" provides a novel take on the history of sociology, placing it in critical dialogue with cultural sociology and the sociology of knowledge and intellectuals. "

Without a Stitch in Time: A Selection of the Best Humorous Short Pieces

by Peter De Vries

Harking from the golden age of fiction set in American suburbia--the school of John Updike and Cheever--this work from the great American humorist Peter De Vries looks with laughter upon its lawns, its cocktails, and its slightly unreal feeling of comfort. Without a Stitch in Time, a selection of forty-six articles and stories written for the New Yorker between 1943 and 1973, offers pun-filled autobiographical vignettes that reveal the source of De Vries's nervous wit: the cognitive dissonance between his Calvinist upbringing in 1920s Chicago and the all-too-perfect postwar world. Noted as much for his verbal fluidity and wordplay as for his ability to see humor through pain, De Vries will delight both new readers and old in this uproarious modern masterpiece.

Reuben, Reuben: A Novel

by Peter De Vries

Harking from the golden age of fiction set in American suburbia--the school of John Updike and Cheever--this work from the great American humorist Peter De Vries looks with laughter upon its lawns, its cocktails, and its slightly unreal feeling of comfort. A manic epic, "Reuben, Reuben" is really three books in one, tied together by a 1950s suburban Connecticut setting and hyper-literate cast of characters. A corruptible chicken farmer fearful for the fate of his beloved town, a womanizing poet from Wales (Dylan Thomas in disguise), and a hapless British poet-cum-actor-and-agent all take turns as narrator, revealing different, even conflicting views. But alcoholism, sexism, small-mindedness, and calamity challenge the high spirits of De Vries's well-read suburbanites. Noted as much for his verbal fluidity and wordplay as for his ability to see humor through pain, De Vries will delight both new readers and old in this uproarious modern masterpiece.

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