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From the master folklorist and sly wit, Jan Brunvand, comes a collection of all-new urban legends. Did your cousin's wife's dentist's daughter go to the tanning parlor once too often and had her insides cooked? Has your husband's brother's nephew teacher try to make a dead rabbit look alive? If so, you've heard--or you yourself may have told--two of the seventy-plus legends in this collection. Urban legends are "those bizarre but believable stories about batter-fried rats, spiders in hairdos, Cabbage Patch dolls that get funerals, and the like that pass by word of mouth as being the gospel truth." But of course, though often told as having happened to a FOAF (friend of a friend), they aren't true. Included in this collection are legends about sex, horror, cars, business, and academia. Among them are "The Bible Student's Exam," "The Pregnant Shoplifter," "The Ice Cream Cone Caper," "Don't Mess with Texas," and "Mrs. Fields' Cookie Recipe."
America's premier folk detective is back on the case, sniffing out those zany but dubious stories that "really happened" to a friend of your sister's boyfriend's accountant's mechanic. Jan Harold Brunvand--''Mr. Urban Legend" [Smithsonian]--tracks the most fabulous tales making today's cocktail-party circuit and shows why those stories that sound too good to be true probably are too good to be true. The eponymous episode--"The Baby Train"--sheds light on certain predawn activities that have linked unusually high birth rates to the whim of train schedule makers. Other stories offer a revealing peek behind the story of "The Exploding Bra," expose the embarrassing source of "The Hairdresser's Error," resurrect a "Failed Suicide" Buster Keaton would have died for, and show why adults are better off not bringing their comic book fantasies out of the closet. From "Superhero Hijinx" to "The Shocking Videotape" to "The Accidental Cannibal," The Baby Train uncovers the mysteries behind some of the bawdiest, goriest, funniest, most pyrotechnic urban legends yet.
This is the most up-to-date and complete English to Vietnamese dictionary available.It is designed primarily for the growing number of students of Vietnamese who need a good and reliable English-Vietnamese dictionary. Although it is targeted mainly at English speakers and other non-native users who need to learn Vietnamese, it can also be used by Vietnamese speakers who are learning or need to know English. Along with 18,000 enries--covering contemporary words and phrases used in educational, business and tourist settings--the attractive and user-friendly layout is organized effectively, making it easy to locate words and phrases quickly. It also includes many valuable pointers and information about the Vietnamese language. Completely revised and updated with over 18,000 entries. Clear, user-friendly text with idioms, expressions and sample sentences. The ideal dictionary for students and business people.The first edition, published as Essential English-Vietnamese Dictionary, was by Professor Nguyen Hinh Hoa and his daughter Patricia Nguyen Thi Huong. It became a classic in the teaching of Vietnamese. This edition, completely revised and updated, is the work of Professor Phan Van Giuong who was a distinguished professor in Vietnamese Studies at Victoria University, Melborne. Professor Phan, who has many years' experience teaching Vietnamese and English, is also the author of many Vietnamese teaching/learning materials and editor for several Vietnamese magazines and newspapers. He was awarded the Order of Australia Medal and the International Educator of the Year award for his outstanding contributions to teaching language and culture. Professor Phan is now retired but continues to teach on a part-time basis.
"P. G. Wodehouse wrote the best English comic novels of the century." --Sebastian Faulks Bertram Wooster's interminable banjolele playing has driven Jeeves, his otherwise steadfast gentleman's gentleman, to give notice. The foppish aristocrat cannot survive for long without his Shakespeare-quoting and problem-solving valet, however, and after a narrowly escaped forced marriage, a cottage fire, and a great butter theft, the celebrated literary odd couple are happy to return to the way things were.
"[Blandings] is an entire world unto itself and, one senses, Wodehouse pours into it his deepest feelings for England." --Stephen Fry The final Uncle Fred novel marks his return to Blandings Castle to relieve Lord Emsworth's woes: a nagging secretary, prankster Church Lads, and a plot to thieve his prize-winning sow. Uncle Fred must serve up his brand of sweetness and light to ensure that everything turns out very capital indeed.
"Wodehouse is the greatest comic writer ever."--Douglas Adams A Brazil nut playfully flung through the window of the Drones Club catapults Uncle Fred into action in P. G. Wodehouse's jab at the publishing industry. An anonymously penned novel about the nut incident has nobody suspecting the culprit and everybody scrambling for the royalties . . . then the movie rights come up for sale.
Essential for armchair umpires and scorekeepers, this guide challenges aficionados on every significant part of the Official Baseball Rules. Few sports lovers are as obsessed with rules and statistics as baseball fans. In So You Think You Know Baseball?, lifelong baseball enthusiast Peter E. Meltzer catalogues every noteworthy baseball rule from the Major League rulebook and illustrates its application with actual plays, from the historical to the contemporary. You can read the book from start to finish or consult it while watching a game to understand the mechanics of a play or how it should be scored. Meltzer analyzes the entire Official Baseball Rules using hundreds of Major League plays involving both plays on the field situations and plays which have involved the official scorer. This is the first book ever written which analyzes the entire rulebook in this fashion and which is based on actual plays. With Meltzer's unique and thoroughly entertaining guide in hand, which includes a foreword by baseball rules expert Rich Marazzi, you'll never have to scratch your head over an umpire or scorekeeper's call again.
"Elliott's absorbing account will make readers think again about the ways that science shapes our personal identities."--American Scientist Americans have always been the world's most anxiously enthusiastic consumers of "enhancement technologies." Prozac, Viagra, and Botox injections are only the latest manifestations of a familiar pattern: enthusiastic adoption, public hand-wringing, an occasional congressional hearing, and calls for self-reliance. In a brilliant diagnosis of our reactions to self-improvement technologies, Carl Elliott asks questions that illuminate deep currents in the American character: Why do we feel uneasy about these drugs, procedures, and therapies even while we embrace them? Where do we draw the line between self and society? Why do we seek self-realization in ways so heavily influenced by cultural conformity?
"A riveting imagined world, so real in fact that one always wonders if it is imagined at all." --Scott Turow Made restless by the tightening restrictions of CIA bureaucracy, agent Alan Taylor oversteps moral and legal bounds in a top-secret mission to destabilize the Soviet Union. His new recruit--the beautiful Anna Barnes, who struggles with complex feelings for Taylor--receives a deeper education than she signed up for in David Ignatius's trademark world of shifting international and domestic pressures, hidden loyalties, and secret agendas.
"American readers who want to see rejuvenated form in untroubled action, giving brisk shape to contemporary and classical events, will find it in Lasdun." --Helen Vendler With this, his second collection of poetry, James Lasdun consolidates his reputation as a writer of rich, emotionally charged poems of utter virtuosity. The poems in this book concern themselves with transformations, dislocations, and metamorphoses. Vividly rendered landscapes from Tuscany to New Jersey evolve into meditations on love, myth, and sexual and social politics. Woman Police Officer in Elevator is a rigorous and compelling mix of the classical and the cosmopolitan.
A "skillful and literate" (New York Times Book Review) biography of the persecuted genius who helped create the modern computer. To solve one of the great mathematical problems of his day, Alan Turing proposed an imaginary computer. Then, attempting to break a Nazi code during World War II, he successfully designed and built one, thus ensuring the Allied victory. Turing became a champion of artificial intelligence, but his work was cut short. As an openly gay man at a time when homosexuality was illegal in England, he was convicted and forced to undergo a humiliating "treatment" that may have led to his suicide. With a novelist's sensitivity, David Leavitt portrays Turing in all his humanity--his eccentricities, his brilliance, his fatal candor--and elegantly explains his work and its implications.
"A rare, intimate look at Iranians. . . . I have read [this book] four times by now, and each time I have discovered new layers in it." --Anne Tyler, New York Times Book Review "Nahid Rachlin has an intimate insider's knowledge of present-day everyday Iran -- of people and places, houses, streets, and families -- and she writes of them with a clarity of perception and style that makes them instantly recognizable and even homely and familiar to the reader." -- Ruth Prawer Jhabvala "Rachlin's prose carefully understates and suggests her heroine's awakening to a pervasive atmosphere of menace and sensuality; residue of a culture she thinks she has abandoned, but which continues to claim her." -- Bruce Allen, Chicago Tribune "Foreigner gently raises new as well as timeless questions about an unhappy woman's faith and freedom." -- The New Yorker "Conveys the texture of extended family, the stress of modernization, the strain of Moslem rigidity as well as the harmony of nature, of dust and carpets, fruits, sweets, tea, fine rice and gossip. Always gossip." -- Eden Lipson, "Special Edition," WNET/Thirteen
"A uniquely entertaining book: edifying scholarship, diverting social history."--Elaine Kendall, Los Angeles Times "[The book] captures the spirit of convivial storytelling and even encourages the activity. . . . Many readers . . . will be gratified to know that Brunvand intends to continue this series of relaxed, unofficial excursions into popular legends. Admirers of curiosa and the psychology of crowds cannot afford to miss them." --Kirkus Reviews
"A wonderfully entertaining book of American folklore and humor."--Elaine Kendall, Los Angeles Times Book Review Professor Jan Harold Brunvand expands his examination of the phenomenon of urban legends, those improbable, believable stories that always happen to a "friend of a friend."
The book that launched America's urban legend obsession! The Vanishing Hitchhiker was Professor Brunvand's first popular book on urban legends, and it remains a classic. The culmination of twenty years of collection and research, this book is a must-have for urban legend lovers.
"A fascinating evocation of changing styles of personal and public expression. . . ."--Robert Lekachman, Saturday Review
This vivid history of the city in Western civilization tells the story of urban life through bodily experience. Flesh and Stone is the story of the deepest parts of life--how women and men moved in public and private spaces, what they saw and heard, the smells that assailed them, where they ate, how they dressed, the mores of bathing and of making love--all in the architecture of stone and space from ancient Athens to modern New York. Early in Flesh and Stone, Richard Sennett probes the ways in which the ancient Athenians experienced nakedness, and the relation of nakedness to the shape of the ancient city, its troubled politics, and the inequalities between men and women. The story then moves to Rome in the time of the Emperor Hadrian, exploring Roman beliefs in the geometrical perfection of the body. The second part of the book examines how Christian beliefs about the body related to the Christian city--the Venetian ghetto, cloisters, and markets in Paris. The final part of Flesh and Stone deals with what happened to urban space as modern scientific understanding of the body cut free from pagan and Christian beliefs. Flesh and Stone makes sense of our constantly evolving urban living spaces, helping us to build a common home for the increased diversity of bodies that make up the modern city.
"Visionary, often brilliant." --Los Angeles Times From the assembly halls of Athens to the Turkish baths of New York's Lower East Side, from eighteenth-century English gardens to the housing projects of Harlem--a study of the physical fabric of the city as a mirror of Western society and culture.
In this important prose work, one of our major poets explores, through autobiography and argument, a woman's life in Ireland together with a poet's work. Eavan Boland beautifully uncovers the powerful drama of how these lives affect one another; how the tradition of womanhood and the historic vocation of the poet act as revealing illuminations of the other.
The publication of Eavan Boland's previous book, Outside History: Selected Poems 1980-1990, established Boland as a significant presence in the contemporary American poetry world. This, her seventh book, continues to mine what she has termed "the meeting place between womanhood and history."
"Enough incident, shock, and suspense for a dozen books. . . . Filled with stories you haven't heard before."--Bret Easton Ellis In steel-tipped prose, Craig Davidson conjures a savage world populated by fighting dogs, prizefighters, sex addicts, and gamblers. In his title story, Davidson introduces an afflicted boxer whose hand never properly heals after a bone is broken. The fighter's career descends to bouts that have less to do with sport than with survival: no referee, no rules, not even gloves. In "A Mean Utility" we enter an even more desperate arena: dogfights where Rottweilers, pit bulls, and Dobermans fight each other to the death. Davidson's stories are small monuments to the telling detail. The hostility of his fictional universe is tempered by the humanity he invests in his characters and by his subtle and very moving observations of their motivations. He shares with Chuck Palahniuk the uncanny ability to compel our attention, time and time again, to the most difficult subject matter.
This remarkable document of an era that permanently changed the American political landscape offers firsthand accounts of the 20 years of anti-Communist repression instigated by the U.S. Government in 1947, during which millions of Americans were investigated. Arthur Miller, Alger Hiss, and Pete Seeger join more than 60 others to reveal how the hunt for the "disloyal" penetrated every rank of American life.
Winner of the 2010 Bancroft Prize and finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography: The definitive biography of a heroic chronicler of America's Depression and one of the twentieth century's greatest photographers. We all know Dorothea Lange's iconic photos--the Migrant Mother holding her child, the shoeless children of the Dust Bowl--but now renowned American historian Linda Gordon brings them to three-dimensional life in this groundbreaking exploration of Lange's transformation into a documentarist. Using Lange's life to anchor a moving social history of twentieth-century America, Gordon masterfully re-creates bohemian San Francisco, the Depression, and the Japanese-American internment camps. Accompanied by more than one hundred images--many of them previously unseen and some formerly suppressed--Gordon has written a sparkling, fast-moving story that testifies to her status as one of the most gifted historians of our time. Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; a New York Times Notable Book; New Yorker's A Year's Reading; and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book.
"Historical reflections that deftly challenge the political and ideological foundations of President Bush's foreign policy."--Charles A. Kupchan, New York Times In a book that brings a magisterial command of history to the most urgent of contemporary questions, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., explores the war in Iraq, the presidency, and the future of democracy. Describing unilateralism as "the oldest doctrine in American history," Schlesinger nevertheless warns of the dangers posed by the fatal turn in U.S. policy from deterrence and containment to preventive war. He writes powerfully about George W. Bush's expansion of presidential power, reminding us nevertheless of our country's distinguished legacy of patriotism through dissent in wartime. And in a new chapter written especially for the paperback edition, he examines the historical role of religion in American politics as a background for an assessment of Bush's faith-based presidency.
Following the much-acclaimed Inner City Blues, a journey through Los Angeles's mix of politics and police corruption, secrets and lies. Los Angeles is in the midst of rebuilding in the aftermath of the Rodney King riots when Detective Charlotte Justice of the LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide division takes on a high-profile case. The victim is pioneering black film director Maynard Duncan, a show business contemporary of her father. Charlotte, fueled by a desire to see the job done right and out of respect for a great man's memory, plunges badge-deep into the murky relationships between the director, his family, caregivers, business associates, and an elusive young man who seems to hold the key to unlocking the crime. Even when storm clouds gather, Detective Justice won't give upputting her career, her personal relationships, even her own life on the line.
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