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On My Own

by Diane Rehm

In a deeply personal and moving book, the beloved NPR radio host speaks out about the long drawn-out death (from Parkinson’s) of her husband of fifty-four years, and of her struggle to reconstruct her life without him. With John gone, Diane was indeed “on her own,” coping with the inevitable practical issues and, more important, with the profoundly emotional ones. What to do, how to react, reaching out again into the world—struggling to create a new reality for herself while clinging to memories of the past. Her focus is on her own roller-coaster experiences, but she has also solicited the moving stories of such recently widowed friends as Roger Mudd and Susan Stamberg, which work to expose the reader to a remarkable range of reactions to the death of a spouse. John’s unnecessarily extended death—he begged to be helped to die—culminated in his taking matters into his own hands, simply refusing to take water, food, and medication. His heroic actions spurred Diane into becoming a kind of poster person for the “right to die” movement that is all too slowly taking shape in our country. With the brave determination that has characterized her whole life, she is finding a meaningful new way to contribute to the world. Her book—as practical as it is inspiring—will be a help and a comfort to the recently bereaved, and a beacon of hope about the possibilities that remain to us as we deal with our own approaching mortality.

High Dive: A novel

by Jonathan Lee

**Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle**“Devastating . . . Inspired . . . We make so many complex emotional investments in the lives of Lee’s characters that it takes a monk’s restraint not to flip to the very end of the book before you get there.” —Jennifer Senior, New York TimesIn September 1984, a bomb was planted at the Grand Hotel in the seaside town of Brighton, England, set to explode in twenty-four days when the British prime minister and her entire cabinet would be staying there. High Dive not only takes us inside this audacious assassination attempt—a decisive act of violence on the world stage—but also imagines its way into a group of unforgettable characters. Nimbly weaving together fact and fiction, comedy and tragedy, the story switches among the perspectives of Dan, a young IRA explosives expert; Moose, a former star athlete gone to seed, who is now the deputy hotel manager; and Freya, his teenage daughter, trying to decide what comes after high school. Over the course of a mere four weeks, as the prime minister’s arrival draws closer, each of their lives will be transformed forever. A bold, astonishingly intimate novel of laughter and heartbreak, High Dive is a moving portrait of clashing loyalties, guilt and regret, and how individuals become the grist of history.

Apostle: Travels Among the Tombs of the Twelve

by Tom Bissell

A profound and moving journey into the heart of Christianity that explores the mysterious and often paradoxical lives and legacies of the Twelve Apostles—a book both for those of the faith and for others who seek to understand Christianity from the outside in.“Expertly researched and fascinating… Bissell is a wonderfully sure guide to these mysterious men.… This is a serious book about the origins of Christianity that is also very funny. How often can you say that?” —The Independent Peter, Matthew, Thomas, John: Who were these men? What was their relationship to Jesus? Tom Bissell provides rich and surprising answers to these ancient, elusive questions. He examines not just who these men were (and weren’t), but also how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia. Ultimately, Bissell finds that the story of the apostles is the story of early Christianity: its competing versions of Jesus’s ministry, its countless schisms, and its ultimate evolution from an obscure Jewish sect to the global faith we know today in all its forms and permutations. In his quest to understand the underpinnings of the world’s largest religion, Bissell embarks on a years-long pilgrimage to the supposed tombs of the Twelve Apostles. He travels from Jerusalem and Rome to Turkey, Greece, Spain, France, India, and Kyrgyzstan, vividly capturing the rich diversity of Christianity’s worldwide reach. Along the way, he engages with a host of characters—priests, paupers, a Vatican archaeologist, a Palestinian taxi driver, a Russian monk—posing sharp questions that range from the religious to the philosophical to the political. Written with warmth, empathy, and rare acumen, Apostle is a brilliant synthesis of travel writing, biblical history, and a deep, lifelong relationship with Christianity. The result is an unusual, erudite, and at times hilarious book—a religious, intellectual, and personal adventure fit for believers, scholars, and wanderers alike.From the Hardcover edition.

The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play

by Neil Fiore

Learn how to overcome procrastination and enjoy guilt-free play! One of the most effective programs to combat procrastination, THE NOW HABIT has sold over 100,000 copies, has been translated into 11 languages, and is now revised and updated.Featuring a new introduction and a new section providing strategies to understand and deal with the role technology plays in procrastination today, THE NOW HABIT offers a comprehensive plan to help readers lower their stress and increase their time to enjoy guilt-free play. Dr. Fiore’s techniques will help any busy person start tasks sooner and accomplish them more quickly, without the anxiety brought on by the negative habits of procrastination and perfectionism.

Seraphs: A Rogue Mage Novel

by Faith Hunter

Living among humans in a post- apocalyptic ice age, neomage Thorn St. Croix is a source of both fear and fascination for the people of Mineral City?and now she faces her ultimate test. Deep under the snow-covered mountains beyond the village, an imprisoned fallen seraph desperately needs her help. There, hidden in the hellhole, the armies of Darkness assemble to ensure this subterranean rescue will be Thorn?s final descent?

Murder on Marble Row: A Gaslight Mystery

by Victoria Thompson

When an explosion kills wealthy industrialist Gregory Van Dyke, Police Commissioner Teddy Roosevelt presumes that anarchists are responsible and personally asks Detective Sergeant Frank Malloy to track them down. Malloy is up to the challenge - but he faces a different kind of challenge when he encounters Sarah Brandt paying a condolence call on the Van Dykes. Faced with the impossibility of ever expressing his true feelings for Sarah, Frank had vowed never to see or work with her again." For her part, Sarah is glad to be working with Malloy once again in his hunt for a dangerous killer - though they clash over his conviction that the murder was politically motivated.

The Women of Brewster Place

by Gloria Naylor

The National Book Award-winning novel that launched the brilliant career of Gloria Naylor (1950-2016)In her heralded first novel, Gloria Naylor weaves together the stories of seven women living in Brewster Place, a bleak-inner city sanctuary, creative a powerful, moving portrait of the strengths, struggles, and hopes of black women in America. Vulnerable and resilient, openhanded and openhearted, these women forge their lives in a place that in turn threatens and protects - a common prison and a shared home. Adapted into a 1989 ABC miniseries starring Oprah Winfrey, The Women of Brewster Place is a contemporary classic - and a touching and unforgettable read."[A] shrewd and lyrical portrayal of many of the realities of black life . . . Miss Naylor bravely risks sentimentality and melodrama to write her compassion and outrage large, and she pulls it off triumphantly." -The New York Times Book ReviewFrom the Trade Paperback edition.

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't

by Nate Silver

One of Wall Street Journal's Best Ten Works of Nonfiction in 2012 New York Times Bestseller “Not so different in spirit from the way public intellectuals like John Kenneth Galbraith once shaped discussions of economic policy and public figures like Walter Cronkite helped sway opinion on the Vietnam War…could turn out to be one of the more momentous books of the decade.” —New York Times Book Review "Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise is The Soul of a New Machine for the 21st century." —Rachel Maddow, author of Drift "A serious treatise about the craft of prediction—without academic mathematics—cheerily aimed at lay readers. Silver's coverage is polymathic, ranging from poker and earthquakes to climate change and terrorism." —New York Review of Books Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger—all by the time he was thirty. He solidified his standing as the nation's foremost political forecaster with his near perfect prediction of the 2012 election. Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.com. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.In keeping with his own aim to seek truth from data, Silver visits the most successful forecasters in a range of areas, from hurricanes to baseball, from the poker table to the stock market, from Capitol Hill to the NBA. He explains and evaluates how these forecasters think and what bonds they share. What lies behind their success? Are they good—or just lucky? What patterns have they unraveled? And are their forecasts really right? He explores unanticipated commonalities and exposes unexpected juxtapositions. And sometimes, it is not so much how good a prediction is in an absolute sense that matters but how good it is relative to the competition. In other cases, prediction is still a very rudimentary—and dangerous—science.Silver observes that the most accurate forecasters tend to have a superior command of probability, and they tend to be both humble and hardworking. They distinguish the predictable from the unpredictable, and they notice a thousand little details that lead them closer to the truth. Because of their appreciation of probability, they can distinguish the signal from the noise.With everything from the health of the global economy to our ability to fight terrorism dependent on the quality of our predictions, Nate Silver’s insights are an essential read.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Esprit de Corps

by Lawrence Durrell Vasiliu

Eleven charming, delicate sketches of diplomatic life in service of the crown After decades spent representing Britain around the globe, Antrobus has earned a shirtful of medals and the right to pass afternoons in his London club, musing over old times. His memory is long, and every old embarrassment still rankles--no matter how ridiculous. The incident with the Yugoslav ghost train, for instance, still causes him to clench his fists in fear. When he speaks of Sir Claud Polk-Mowbray, he takes pains to lower his voice--lest an American hear. And his stomach has never recovered from the incident involving the fried flag. Based on Lawrence Durrell's own experience in the diplomatic corps, Antrobus's cutting observation is drawn from the strange and humorous truth. Few are those with a better sense of place than Durrell, and even fewer with wit to match.

Sauve Qui Peut

by Lawrence Durrell Nicolas Bentley

For the British delegation to Vulgaria, no problem is too small to become a crisis in this lively story collection of diplomatic misadventureIn the words of Antrobus, master diplomat in the King's service, diplomacy was once "a quiet and restful trade carried on in soothing inanity among a hundred shady legations and embassies all over the globe." What changed? What caused this most noble profession to fall from grace? Women, of course. A diplomatic incident begins brewing as soon as the lovely new French ambassador--or is it ambassadress?--arrives in Vulgaria. One of the British delegation is instantly besotted, and about to begin his pursuit when a rival appears in the form of roguish Italian diplomat Bonzo di Porco. Because these are servants of the most advanced governments in the world, they settle their dispute rationally: with swords. Jealousy, selfishness, swordplay? All are commonplace in Antrobus's embassy. In these nine juicy tales, the King's diplomats may seldom be diplomatic, but they always manage to get the job done--with or without bloodshed.

The Best of Antrobus

by Lawrence Durrell Nicolas Bentley

The finest of Lawrence Durrell's classic short stories of diplomatic mischiefDark is the day when culture comes to Sczbog. The capital of Vulgaria, nestled snugly behind the Iron Curtain, has long been devoid of higher thought, and that is the way the men in the British embassy like it. But when the French embassy gives a lecture on literature, it ignites a chain reaction of unwanted cultural exchange, subjecting the King's men to endless nights of Dutch poetry, Japanese theater, and Swiss yodeling. Extricating themselves from this high-minded mess will take a miracle of a most unpolitic kind. This is a typical incident in the long and colorful career of Antrobus, diplomat in his Majesty's service. In these pages, he confronts waltzing ambassadors, half-mad press secretaries, and a gruesome Kurdish circumcision. Through it all, he and his men stay calm, knowing that the surest way to cause a diplomatic incident is to make the mistake of attempting diplomacy.

Stiff Upper Lip

by Nicolas Bentley Lawrence Durrell

In this boisterous story collection, mischief abounds in the quiet corners of the British Empire on which the sun never setsAs the overseer of the kitchen at the British embassy in Vulgaria, De Mandeville has begun to abuse his power. He subjects the King's guests to a blistering Madras curry, a French onion soup served without spoons, and a table so loaded with vegetation that the party can hardly see the food. But worst of all, he has begun to cook with garlic, that fragrant bulb so beloved by diplomats that it must be banned, lest foul breath cripple the Empire. De Mandeville is due for comeuppance, and no breath mint can save him now. "If Garlic Be the Food of Love" is only the first story in this invaluable peek at life in British diplomatic circles. After the ninth, the reader will wonder not how the British Empire came apart, but how De Mandeville, Polk-Mowbray, and the King's other dips ever got it started in the first place.

A Smile in the Mind's Eye

by Lawrence Durrell

Durrell's remarkable memoir of his spiritual journey with famed Taoist philosopher Jolan ChangBeginning with their first meeting over lunch at Lawrence Durrell's Provencal home, Durrell and Jolan Chang--renowned Taoist philosopher and expert on Eastern sexuality--developed an enduring relationship based on mutual spiritual exploration. Durrell's autobiographical rumination on their friendship and on Taoism recounts the author's existential ponderings, starting with his introduction to the mystical and enigmatic "smile in the mind's eye." From parsimony, cooking, and yoga to poetry, Petrarch, and Nietzche, A Smile in the Mind's Eye is a charming tale of a writer's spiritual and philosophical awakening.

Nunquam

by Lawrence Durrell

Sequel to Tunc, this is the bizarre tale of a scientific corporation and its most ambitious undertaking - the creation of a woman

Tunc

by Lawrence Durrell

Set in Athens, Istanbul and London, Tunc bursts with exotic, macabre personalities, as only Durrell can write.

White Eagles Over Serbia

by Lawrence Durrell

A British secret agent on a dangerous mission to solve a fellow spy's murderAfter some especially taxing missions, seasoned secret agent Methuen wants nothing more than to take a long, relaxing fishing trip. But after a fellow British spy is killed in the remote mountains of Serbia, Methuen is called back into action. What follows is a suspenseful tale of espionage told with Lawrence Durrell's characteristic panache. Methuen sets up camp in the Serbian countryside and baits his hooks, hoping to draw out the men responsible for the murder. It's not long before Methuen realizes that he's in a fight for his own life against an unknown opponent. Are his true enemies the Communists, the royalist rebel White Eagles . . . or someone more sinister?

The Dark Labyrinth

by Lawrence Durrell

Who will survive the Labyrinth of Crete?A group of English cruise-ship tourists debark to visit the isle of Crete's famed labyrinth, the City in the Rock. The motley gathering includes a painter, a poet, a soldier, an elderly married couple, a medium, a convalescent girl, and the mysterious Lord Gracean. The group is prepared for a trifling day of sightseeing and maybe even a glimpse of the legendary Minotaur, but instead is suddenly stuck in a nightmare when a rockslide traps them deep within the labyrinth. Who among the passengers will make it out alive? And for those who emerge, will anything ever be the same?

The Black Book

by Lawrence Durrell Dbc Pierre Henry Miller

"The first piece of work by a new English writer to give me any hope for the future of prose fiction." --T. S. Eliot As over-the-top as it is inventive, Durrell's breakthrough novel is a series of sordid vignettes drawn from the lives of decadent artists, doomed bohemians, and continental rascals inhabiting a shabby London hotel, narrated in turns by the unforgettable Lawrence Lucifer and Gregory Death. Together, these characters seek to escape the absurdity of a Europe haunted by devastating war, yet beginning to pitch toward another apocalypse. First published in 1938, and influenced by Henry Miller and the sincere pranksterism of the surrealist movement, The Black Book marks the emergence of one of the most revolutionary voices in twentieth-century English literature. This ebook contains a new introduction by DBC Pierre.

Red Pandas: A Natural History

by Dorcas Macclintock

Describes the physical characteristics, habitat, behavior, and life cycle of the small long-tailed red panda of Asia.

Eat Beautiful: Food and Recipes to Nourish Your Skin from the Inside Out

by Wendy Rowe Sienna Miller

Care for your body from the inside out with this cookbook that highlights ingredients and recipes designed to make your skin glow.After more than 20 years of experience as a makeup artist and beauty consultant, Wendy Rowe’s approach is uncomplicated and holistic. In Eat Beautiful, she details how specific ingredients feed your skin, offering breakdowns of the vitamins and nutrients they provide. They include: · Pomegranate: The Elixir of Youth packed with Vitamin C, which stimulates collagen production to keep skin looking taut, young, and radiant. · Spinach: The Free-Radical Fighter whose iron moves your blood, helping to repair your skin cells. · Chili Peppers: The Circulation Booster famous for its capsaicin, which reduces blood pressure and improves circulation by encouraging blood vessels to relax and dilate, therefore acting as an anti-inflammatory. · Natural Red Wine: The Youth Potion featuring a powerful anti-ageing antioxidant that slows the grown of acne-causing bacteria and fights disease-causing free radicals. Rowe’s recipes showcase these essential foods to help target specific skin problems and alleviate common complaints. She even provides specific advice for what to incorporate or avoid depending on skin type. Here, too, are suggestions on how to pamper yourself with recipes for homemade masks, scrubs, mists, cleansers, and toners, as well as an informative section for troubleshooting those confidence-sapping skin problems. Organized into the four seasons, you can dip in and out of this stunning cookbook, or follow it as a plan. Either way, it ensures beautiful, radiant skin all year round.From the Hardcover edition.

Three Minutes to Midnight

by A. J. Tata

"Tata writes with a gripping and gritty authority. " --Richard North Patterson, #1 New York Times bestselling author Bristling with suspense, action, and thrilling authenticity, the novels of Brigadier General A. J. Tata have earned the praise and respect of President George W. Bush, Glenn Beck, and the bestselling masters of international intrigue. In Three Minutes to Midnight, he delivers a terrifyingly plausible scenario ripped from the headlines--and the ultimate test for his hero, Jake Mohegan. . . It begins with the kidnapping of an Army Reserve officer on U. S. soil. Name: Captain Maeve Cassidy. Profession: Geologist specializing in natural gas drilling and fracturing. Mission: classified. Abducted less than twenty-four hours upon her return from Afghanistan, Cassidy's disappearance from a Fort Bragg compound is more than a security breach. It is the first stage of a large-scale domestic attack that few Americans could imagine--or survive. . . Enter Delta Force veteran Jake Mahegan. The seasoned operative is on a personal mission of vengeance, tracking down his mother's killer at a drilling site in North Carolina. When he's assigned the task of locating the geologist, he can't help but wonder if her abduction is connected to the fracking magnate he's pursuing. But when a nearby nuclear plant is attacked, and then another, in a matter of days, Mahegan knows it's no coincidence. It is a brilliantly conceived, ruthlessly orchestrated assault on our homeland that no intelligence analyst could ever foresee--or stop. . . When a third nuclear plant is targeted, Mahegan has no choice but to try. If he fails, our nation falls. The countdown is launched. The clock is ticking. Armageddon begins. . . Three Minutes to Midnight. Praise for A. J. Tata and his electrifying thrillers "Absolutely fantastic. . . pulse-pounding. " --Brad Thor "I thoroughly enjoyed it. . . well done!" --President George H. W. Bush "An explosive, seat'of'your'pants thriller!"--W. E. B. Griffin "A riveting look at the terrifying reality of domestic terrorism. "--Glenn Beck "Topical, frightening, possible. " --James Rollins "A must read for fans of thriller fiction. "--Newt Gingrich "General Tata's story mixes high-threat combat with an intriguing and surprising mystery. . . a fascinating read. " --Larry Bond "Powerful and timely. Great stuff!"--John Lescroart "Written by a man who's 'been there,' this vibrant thriller will take you to places as frightening as the darkest secrets behind tomorrow's headlines. "--Ralph Peters "Crackling with action and tension. "--Steve Berry "Full of action and suspense, this is one book that screams reality . . . a knock-down/drag-out thrilling look at the reality of domestic terrorism. . Being a retired general, the author knows exactly the right words to use to scare people to death. "--Suspense Magazine "Riveting . . . Mahegan stands out from the crowd of usual thriller heroes. " --Publishers Weekly (starred review) Brigadier General Tata donates a portion of his earnings to the USO Metro DC, the North Carolina Heroes Fund, and the Michael Murphy Foundation.

The Shameless Carnivore: A Manifesto for Meat Lovers

by Scott Gold

Carnivorism 101: A Pop QuizOn average, Americans eat how many pounds of beef per person per year?65518430The origin of foie gras dates back to:China, 550 BCFrance, 1780Egypt, 2500 BCIsrael, 1940sThe following meat is NOT approved for retail sale in the United States, even with USDA inspection:ArmadilloKangarooIguana Island FoxFrom 1998-2003, PETA killed how many animalsZero—PETA would never do such a thingBetween 10-100More than 10,000More than 25,000The US Testical Festival is held every year in:San Francisco, CAMissoula, MTLafayette, LALaredo, TXWhich is the correct match between country and traditional meaty delicacy?Roasted peacock, ZambiaDried pig tendons, Tuva RepublicRoasted guinea pig, EcuadorBroiled whale skins, New ZealandHamburger patties and chicken nuggets cloned and cultured in a laboratory will likely be available for mass consumption in the next 25 years. TrueFalseAccording to the fossil record, about how long ago did our evolutionary ancestors begin the practice of butchery?10,000 years250,000 years1.3 million years 2.5 million yearsEating frogs has never really caught on in the United States. Legendary French culinary master, Auguste Escoffier, thought that this phenomenon was due in part to the unappetizing English word for the creature. What did he propose to call them in the U.S. to make them more appealing?Poulet vert (green chicken)Nymphs Angel wingsVeau du marais (swamp veal)Which of these notable personalities did not sign an open letter to Congress pleading to ban the slaughter of American horses to export their meat abroad?Nicole Richie Tippi HedrenJohnnie KnoxvilleKid RockDon't know these answers? Want more fascinating facts? Wondering if you're a true carnivore? Looking for a great recipe for Rattlesnake Chili? Read this book.A fast, funny, and enlightening celebration of the immense joys of flesh—consuming it, that is. The average American consumes 218.3 pounds of meat every year. But between concerns about mad cow disease, industrial feedlot practices, and self-righteous vegetarians, the carnivorous lifestyle has become somewhat déclassé. Now, Scott Gold issues a red-blooded call to arms for the meat-adoring masses to rise up, speak out, and reclaim their pride. THE SHAMELESS CARNIVORE explores the complexities surrounding the choice to eat meat as well as its myriad pleasures. Delving into everything from ethical issues to dietary, anthropological, and medical findings, Gold answers such probing questions as: Can staying carnivorous be more healthful than going vegetarian? What’s behind the “tastes like chicken” phenomenon? And, of course, What qualities should you look for in a butcher? The author also chronicles his attempt to become the "ultimate carnivore" by eating 31 different meats in 31 days (as well as every cut and organ of a cow) He includes tasty recipes and describes his experiences hunting squirrels in Louisiana attending the annual testicle festival, and even spending an entire, painstaking week as a vegetarian.From the "critter dinners" he relished as a child to his adult forays into exotic game and adventures in the kitchen, Gold writes with an infectious enthusiasm that might just inspire you to serve a little llama or rattlesnake at your next dinner party.This is a must-have book for every meat lover.

The Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters

by Emily Esfahani Smith

In a culture obsessed with happiness, this wise, stirring book points the way toward a richer, more satisfying life.Too many of us believe that the search for meaning is an esoteric pursuit—that you have to travel to a distant monastery or page through dusty volumes to discover life’s secrets. The truth is, there are untapped sources of meaning all around us—right here, right now.To explore how we can craft lives of meaning, Emily Esfahani Smith synthesizes a kaleidoscopic array of sources—from psychologists, sociologists, philosophers, and neuroscientists to figures in literature and history such as George Eliot, Viktor Frankl, Aristotle, and the Buddha. Drawing on this research, Smith shows us how cultivating connections to others, identifying and working toward a purpose, telling stories about our place in the world, and seeking out mystery can immeasurably deepen our lives.To bring what she calls the four pillars of meaning to life, Smith visits a tight-knit fishing village in the Chesapeake Bay, stargazes in West Texas, attends a dinner where young people gather to share their experiences of profound loss, and more. She also introduces us to compelling seekers of meaning—from the drug kingpin who finds his purpose in helping people get fit to the artist who draws on her Hindu upbringing to create arresting photographs. And she explores how we might begin to build a culture that leaves space for introspection and awe, cultivates a sense of community, and imbues our lives with meaning.Inspiring and story-driven, The Power of Meaning will strike a profound chord in anyone seeking a life that matters.

Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy

by Cathy O'Neil

Longlisted for the National Book AwardNew York Times BestsellerA former Wall Street quant sounds an alarm on the mathematical models that pervade modern life — and threaten to rip apart our social fabricWe live in the age of the algorithm. Increasingly, the decisions that affect our lives—where we go to school, whether we get a car loan, how much we pay for health insurance—are being made not by humans, but by mathematical models. In theory, this should lead to greater fairness: Everyone is judged according to the same rules, and bias is eliminated.But as Cathy O’Neil reveals in this urgent and necessary book, the opposite is true. The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues. Models are propping up the lucky and punishing the downtrodden, creating a “toxic cocktail for democracy.” Welcome to the dark side of Big Data.Tracing the arc of a person’s life, O’Neil exposes the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health.O’Neil calls on modelers to take more responsibility for their algorithms and on policy makers to regulate their use. But in the end, it’s up to us to become more savvy about the models that govern our lives. This important book empowers us to ask the tough questions, uncover the truth, and demand change.— Longlist for National Book Award (Non-Fiction)— Goodreads, semi-finalist for the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards (Science and Technology)— Kirkus, Best Books of 2016— New York Times, 100 Notable Books of 2016 (Non-Fiction)— The Guardian, Best Books of 2016— WBUR's "On Point," Best Books of 2016: Staff Picks— Boston Globe, Best Books of 2016, Non-Fiction

Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart

by Claire Harman

On the two hundredth anniversary of her birth, a landmark biography transforms Charlotte Brontë from a tragic figure into a modern heroine. Charlotte Brontë famously lived her entire life in an isolated parsonage on a remote English moor with a demanding father and siblings whose astonishing childhood creativity was a closely held secret. The genius of Claire Harman’s biography is that it transcends these melancholy facts to reveal a woman for whom duty and piety gave way to quiet rebellion and fierce ambition.Drawing on letters unavailable to previous biographers, Harman depicts Charlotte’s inner life with absorbing, almost novelistic intensity. She seizes upon a moment in Charlotte’s adolescence that ignited her determination to reject poverty and obscurity: While working at a girls’ school in Brussels, Charlotte fell in love with her married professor, Constantin Heger, a man who treated her as “nothing special to him at all.” She channeled her torment into her first attempts at a novel and resolved to bring it to the world's attention. Charlotte helped power her sisters’ work to publication, too. But Emily’s Wuthering Heights was eclipsed by Jane Eyre, which set London abuzz with speculation: Who was this fiery author demanding love and justice for her plain and insignificant heroine? Charlotte Brontë’s blazingly intelligent women brimming with hidden passions would transform English literature. And she savored her literary success even as a heartrending series of personal losses followed. Charlotte Brontë is a groundbreaking view of the beloved writer as a young woman ahead of her time. Shaped by Charlotte’s lifelong struggle to claim love and art for herself, Harman’s richly insightful biography offers readers many of the pleasures of Brontë’s own work.From the Hardcover edition.

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