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In a Sunburned Country

by Bill Bryson

Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion up, down, and over the Appalachian Trail (well, most of it) resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods. Now he has traveled across the world and all the way Down Under to Australia, a shockingly under-discovered country with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. In a Sunburned Country is his report on what he found there--a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. Australia is a country that exists on a vast scale. It is the only island that is also a continent and the only continent that is also a country. Despite being the most desiccated, infertile, and climatically aggressive of all inhabited continents, it teems with life. In fact, Australia has more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else: sharks, crocodiles, the ten most deadly poisonous snakes on the planet, fluffy yet toxic caterpillars, seashells that actually attack you, and the unbelievable box jellyfish (don't ask). The dangerous riptides of the sea and the sun-baked wastes of the outback both lie in wait for the unwary. It's one tough country. Bill Bryson adores it, of course, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond the beaten tourist path. Here is a place where interesting things happen all the time, from a Prime Minister lost--yes, lost--while swimming at sea to Japanese cult members who may have set off an atomic bomb (sic) entirely unnoticed on their 500,000-acre property in the great western desert. Wherever he goes (and Bryson goes just about everywhere) he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging--the beaming products of a land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine. On occasion the Aborigines, a remote and mysterious race with a tragic history, make a haunting appearance in this book. But by and large Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide. Published just in time for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, In a Sunburned Country offers the best of all possible introductions to what may well be the best of all possible nations. Even with those jellyfish.

German Boy: A Child in War

by Stephen E. Ambrose Wolfgang W. E. Samuel

“I think German Boy has all the qualities of greatness. I love the book. ” -- from the Foreword by Stephen Ambrose As the Third Reich crumbled in 1945, scores of Germans scrambled to flee the advancing Russian troops. Among them was a little boy named Wolfgang Samuel, who left his home with his mother and sister and ended up in war-torn Strasbourg before being forced farther west into a disease-ridden refugee camp. German Boy is the vivid, true story of their fight for survival as the tables of power turned and, for reasons Wolfgang was too young to understand, his broken family suffered arbitrary arrest, rape, hunger, and constant fear. Because his father was off fighting the war as a Luftwaffe officer, young Wolfgang was forced to become the head of his household, scavenging for provisions and scraps with which to feed his family. Despite his best efforts, his mother still found herself forced to do the unthinkable to survive, and her sacrifices became Wolfgang’s worst nightmares. Somehow, with the resilience only children can muster, he maintained his youth and innocence in little ways–making friends with other young refugees, playing games with shrapnel, delighting in the planes flown by the Americans and the candies the GIs brought. In the end, the Samuels begin life anew in America, and Wolfgang eventually goes on to a thirty-year career in the U. S. Air Force. Bringing fresh insight to the dark history of Nazi Germany and the horror left in its wake, German Boy records the valuable recollections of an innocent’s incredible journey.

Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions

by John S. Hammond Ralph L. Keeney Howard Raiffa

Where should I live? Is it time to switch careers? What is the best course of action for me? Decisions shape our experiences, from choosing which job offer to accept, to buying the right car, to selecting a good accountant. How do we know which choice is the smart one? How can we be consistent and confident in our decisions? In this book from the three leading authorities on decision-making, readers learn how to approach all types of decisions with a simple set of skills developed by professors from Harvard, MIT, and the University of Southern California. Combining solid research with common sense and practical experience, this user-friendly guide shows readers how to assess deep-seated objectives, create a comprehensive set of alternatives, determine likely consequences, make tradeoffs, and grapple with uncertainty. Not only will readers learn how to make decisions, they will learn how to make the smartest decisions. For anyone caught at a confusing crossroad-whether you're choosing between mutual funds or deciding where to retire-the Smart Choices program will improve your decision-making abilities immediately, and make your life more rewarding and fulfilling.

Fight Your Fear and Win

by Don Greene

We've all been there: that make-it-or-break-it moment of our careers - on the brink of a deal, poised at the starting gate, under the spotlight waiting to speak or perform in front of our peers. At this point, where everything seems to be on the line, most of us experience one overriding reaction - fear -and this fear can have negative physical, mental and emotional consequences on how well we do our job. Don Greene, sports psychologist and stress coach to top executives and entertainers, has spent deca...

The Outsider

by Nathaniel Lachenmeyer

The Outsider is an unsentimental yet profoundly moving look at one family's experience with mental illness. In 1978, Charles Lachenmeyer was a happily married professor of sociology who lived in the New York suburbs with his wife and nine-year-old son, Nathaniel. But within a few short years, schizophrenia-a devastating mental illness with no known cure-would cost him everything: his sanity, his career, his family, even the roof over his head. Upon learning of his father's death in 1995, Nathaniel set...

Slack

by Tom Demarco

To most companies, efficiency means profits and growth. But what if your "efficient" company--the one with the reduced headcount and the "stretch" goals--is actually slowing down and losing money? What if your employees are burning out doing the work of two or more people, leaving them no time for planning, prioritizing, or even lunch? What if you're losing employees faster than you can hire them? What if your superefficient company is suddenly falling behind?Tom DeMarco, a leading management consultant to both Fortune 500 and up-and-coming companies, has discovered a counterintuitive principle that explains why efficiency improvement can sometimes make a company slow. If your real organizational goal is to become fast (responsive and agile), then he proposes that what you need is not more efficiency, but more slack. What is "slack"? Slack is the degree of freedom in a company that allows it to change. It could be something as simple as adding an assistant to a department, letting high-priced talent spend less time at the photo copier and more time making key decisions. Slack could also appear in the way a company treats employees: instead of loading them up with overwork, a company designed with slack allows its people room to breathe, increase effectiveness, and reinvent themselves.In thirty--three short chapters filled with creative learning tools and charts, you and your company can learn how to: make sense of the Efficiency/Flexibility quandary run directly toward risk instead of away from it strengthen the creative role of middle management make change and growth work together for even greater profitsA innovative approach that works for new- and old-economy companies alike, this revolutionary handbook will debunk commonly held assumptions about real-world management, and give you and your company a brand-new model for achieving and maintaining true effectiveness--and a healthier bottom line.From the Hardcover edition.

The Foursome

by Troon Mcallister

Golf fiction's finest hustler--The Green's Eddie Caminetti--returns in a laugh-out-loud novel featuring a foursome of upwardly mobile golf fanatics who get their just rewards.Tired of hustling for something as ordinary as money, Eddie, in The Foursome, sets his sights slightly higher than other men's pockets: he goes after their souls. He now presides over Swithen Bairn, an exquisite secret golf course that's a kind of twisted Fantasy Island where the arrogant and pompous find their cherished dreams suddenly transformed into their worst nightmares.Enter the foursome of the title, four enviably successful businessmen/golf junkies lured to Swithen Bairn by an irresistible offer: "The most memorable golf vacation you ever had or you don't pay." It's been said that you can learn more about people during one round of golf than you can living next door to them for six months, and in one round with Eddie Caminetti these four hapless sinners learn more about themselves than they could have in six years of analysis. By the end of their second match, the dizzying amount of money at stake will be the least of their worries, and "memorable" won't even begin to describe this bizarre vacation.Mixing equal parts of suspense, hilarity, and raw human drama, Troon McAllister deftly shows readers what can happen when money, friendship, ambition, and greed converge explosively in a single round of golf. As Eddie Caminetti himself puts it in The Foursome, "Why do you think they call the devil Scratch?" From the Hardcover edition.

Royal Babylon

by Karl Shaw

An uproarious, eye-opening history of Europe's notorious royal houses that leaves no throne unturned and will make you glad you live in a democracy.Do you want to know which queen has the unique distinction of being the only known royal kleptomaniac? Or which empress kept her dirty underwear under lock and key? Or which czar, upon discovering his wife's infidelity, had her lover decapitated and the head, pickled in a jar, placed at her bedside?Royally dishing on hundreds of years of dubious behavior, Royal Babylon chronicles the manifold appalling antics of Europe's famous families, behavior that rivals the characters in an Aaron Spelling television series. Here, then, are the insane kings of Spain, one of whom liked to wear sixteen pairs of gloves at one time; the psychopathic Prussian soverigns who included Frederick William and his 102-inch waist; sex-fixated French rulers such as Philip Duke D'Oreleans cavorting with more than a hundred mistresses; and, of course, the delightfully drunken and debauched Russian czars - Czar Paul, for example, who to make his soldiers goose-step without bending their legs had steel plates strapped to their knees. But whether Romanov or Windsor, Habsburg or Hanover, these extravagant lifestyles, financed as they were by the royals' badgered subjects, bred the most wonderfully offbeat and disturbingly unbelievable tales - and Karl Shaw has collected them all in this hysterically funny and compulsively readable book. Royal Babylon is history, but not as they teach it in school, and it underlines in side-splitting fashion Queen Victoria's famous warning that it is unwise to look too deeply into the royal houses of Europe.

The Portable Personal Trainer

by Eric Harr

Exercise Your Body. Enjoy Yourself. Experience the Difference. Whatever your fitness level, world-class Iron Man triathlete Eric Harr shares 100 inspirational strategies to uncover your passion and improve your performance. -See each workout as a celebration and an opportunity for personal growth (#5). -Stop counting calories and listen to your body for nutrition information it knows what you need (#22). -Learn why morning workouts are best-and it's not just because you'll burn more body fat (#...

Cultivating Compassion

by Jeffrey Hopkins

According to Buddhist thought, compassion is society, and Buddhist scholar Hopkins knows that by learning to live from a more compassionate viewpoint, we can create a better life not only for ourselves but for others. "Cultivating Compassion" is his eloquent, practical guide to tapping our own potential for caring.

Fair Ball

by Bob Costas

From his perspective as a journalist and a true fan, Bob Costas, NBC's award-winning broadcaster, shares his views on the forces that are diminishing the appeal of Major League Baseball and proposes realistic changes that can be made to protect and promote the game's best interests. In this cogent--and provocative--book, Costas examines the growing financial disparities that have resulted in nearly two-thirds of the teams in Major League Baseball having virtually no chance of contending for the World Series. He argues that those who run baseball have missed the crucial difference between mere change and real progress. And he presents a withering critique of the positions of both the owners and players while providing insights on the wild-card system, the designated-hitter rule, and interleague play. Costas answers each problem he cites with an achievable strategy for restoring genuine competition and rescuing fans from the forces that have diluted the sheer joy of the game. Balanced by Costas's unbridled appreciation for what he calls the "moments of authenticity" that can still make baseball inspiring, Fair Ball offers a vision of our national pastime as it can be, a game that retains its traditional appeal while initiating meaningful changes that will allow it to thrive into the next century. From the Hardcover edition.

Old Gods Almost Dead: The 40-year Odyssey of the Rolling Stones

by Stephen Davis

The acclaimed, bestselling rock-and-roll biographer delivers the first complete, unexpurgated history of the world's greatest band. The saga of the Rolling Stones is the central epic in rock mythology. From their debut as the intermission band at London's Marquee Club in 1962 through their latest record-setting Bridges to Babylon world tour, the Rolling Stones have defined a musical genre and experienced godlike adulation, quarrels, addiction, legal traumas, and descents into madness and death_while steadfastly refusing to fade away. Now Stephen Davis, the New York Times bestselling author of Hammer of the Gods and Walk This Way, who has followed the Stones for three decades, presents their whole story, replete with vivid details of the Stones' musical successes and personal excesses. Born into the wartime England of air-raid sirens, bombing raids, and strict rationing, the Rolling Stones came of age in the 1950s, as American blues and pop arrived in Europe. Among London's most ardent blues fans in the early 1960s was a short blond teenage guitar player named Brian Jones, who hooked up with a lorry driver's only son, Charlie Watts, a jazz drummer. At the same time, popular and studious Michael Philip Jagger--who, as a boy, bawled out a phonetic version of "La Bamba" with an eye-popping intensity that scared his parents--began sharing blues records with a primary school classmate, Keith "Ricky" Richards, a shy underachiever, whose idol was Chuck Berry. In 1962 the four young men, joined by Bill Perks (later Wyman) on bass, formed a band rhythm and blues band, which Brian Jones named the "the Rollin' Stones" in honor of the Muddy Waters blues classic. Using the biography of the Rolling Stones as a narrative spine, Old God Almost Dead builds a new, multi-layered version of the Stones' story, locating the band beyond the musical world they dominated and showing how they influenced, and were influenced by, the other artistic movements of their era: the blues revival, Swinging London, the Beats, Bob Dylan's Stones-inspired shift from protest to pop, Pop Art and Andy Warhol's New York, the "Underground" politics of the 1960s, Moroccan energy and European orientalism, Jamaican reggae, the Glam and Punk subcultures, and the technologic advances of the video and digital revolution. At the same time, Old Gods Almost Dead documents the intense backstage lives of the Stones: the feuds, the drugs, the marriages, and the affairs that inspired and informed their songs; and the business of making records and putting on shows. The first new biography of the Rolling Stones since the early 1980s, Old Gods Almost Dead is the most comprehensive book to date, and one of the few to cover all the band's members. It is a celebration of the Rolling Stones as an often courageous, often foolish gang of artists who not only showed us new worlds, but new ways of living in them. It is a saga as raunchily, vibrantly entertaining as the Stones themselves.

Going on Being: A Positive Psychology for the West

by Mark Epstein

Before Mark Epstein became a medical student at Harvard and began training as a psychiatrist, he immersed himself in Buddhism through experiences with such influential Buddhist teachers as Ram Dass, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield. The positive outlook of Buddhism and the meditative principle of living in the moment came to influence his study and practice of psychotherapy profoundly. This is Mark Epstein's memoir of his early years as a student of Buddhism and of how the teachings and practice of Buddhism shaped his approach to therapy, as well as a practical guide to how a Buddhist understanding of psychological problems makes change for the better possible. Going on Being is an intimate chronicle of the evolution of spirit and psyche, and a highly inviting guide for anyone seeking a new path and a new outlook on life. "Mark Epstein gets better and better with each book; Going on Being is his most brilliant yet. He weaves a mindful cartography of the human heart, tying together insights from Buddhism and psychoanalytic thought into an elegant, captivating tapestry. Epstein shares the spiritual and emotional insights garnered from his own life journey in a fascinating account of what it can mean to us all to go on being. " -Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

Mr. Maybe

by Jane Green

To Libby Mason, Mr. Right has always meant Mr. Rich. A twenty seven-year-old publicist, she's barely able to afford her fashionable and fabulous lifestyle and often has to foot the bill for dates with Struggling Writer Nick, a sexy but perpetually strapped-for-cash guy she's dating (no commitments - really). So when Ed, Britain's wealthiest but stodgiest bachelor, enters the picture, her idea of the fairy tale romance is turned on it's head. Mr. Maybe is the tale of her heartfelt but hilarious deliberation, irresistibly chronicled by bestselling author Jane Green. On one hand, Nick makes up for his low bank-account balance by his performance in the sack, or in the bathtub, as the case may be. But life with him means little more than nightly trips to the bar, a dark and grungy apartment, and plenty of dull political tirades to boot. But those blue eyes, and that tender heart...On the other hand, there's Ed, whose luxurious house and gargantuan bank account are quite tempting to the starving Libby. But his unsavory mustache and bumbling ways make Libby wonder if the platinum AMEX and unlimited "retail therapy" are worth it. He may have fallen in love with her at first sight, but nothing seems to solve his lackluster performance in the sack - even speed reading The Joy of Sex. When the diamond shopping commences, Libby is forced to realize that the time for "maybe" is up. Taking romantic comedy to a hip, sparkling new level, Mr. Maybe is a classic tale of what happens to one girl when her heart and her head aren't looking for the same thing. With a laugh and minute and a heroine whose struggles in the dating jungle will remind you of your own, Mr. Maybe is a story that all will leave you smitten.From the Hardcover edition.

The Case Against Lawyers

by Catherine Crier

The Emmy Award-winning host of Court Tv's "Catherine Crier Live" describes an American legal system dangerously out of control- and finds the lawyers guilty as charged. As a child, Catherine Crier was enchanted by film portrayals of crusading lawyers like Clarence Darrow and Atticus Finch. As a district attorney, private lawyer, and judge herself, she saw firsthand how the U.S. justice system worked- and didn't. One of the most respected legal journalists and commentators today, she now confronts a profoundly unfair legal system that produces results and profits for the few- and paralysis, frustration, and injustice for the many. Alexis de Tocqueville's dire prediction in America has come true: We Americans have ceded our responsibility as citizens to resolve the problems of society to "legal authorities"- and with it our democratic freedoms. The Case Against Lawyers is both an angry indictment and an eloquent plea for a return to common sense. It decries a system of laws so complex even the enforcers- such as the IRS- cannot understand them. It unmasks a litigation-crazed society where billion-dollar judgments mostly line the pockets of personal injury lawyers. It deplores the stupidity of a system of liability that leads to such results as a label on a stroller that warns, "Remove child before folding." It indicts a criminal justice system that puts minor drug offenders away for life yet allows celebrity murderers to walk free. And it excoriates the sheer corruption of the iron triangle of lawyers, bureaucrats, and politicians who profit mightily from all this inefficiency, injustice, and abuse. The Case Against Lawyers will make readers hopping mad. And it will make them realize that the only response can be to demand change. Now.

I Rant, Therefore I Am

by Dennis Miller

Dennis Miller first gained national acclaim as the wise-guy anchor of "Weekend Update" on "Saturday Night Live." When HBO premiered his weekly talk show in April 1994, both critics and fans enthusiastically agreed: "Dennis Miller Live" was the most refreshing talk show on television. The accolades have continued to pour in. In September 1994, Dennis and his staff won an Emmy Award for writing and have been regularly nominated since. When he takes the stage, the audience demands, "The rants, the rants, the rants," and once again, Dennis Miller delivers the goods. Fans of his smart, quirky, irreverent style of humor are in for another treat-this set of rants is even funnier than the last two rounds.

Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments

by Shmuley Boteach

The Rules meets the Torah in Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments, a fresh, sane look at the dating game by Shmuley Boteach, author of the bestseller Kosher Sex.Does the whole business of dating fill you with dread? Do you fear that romance always ends in rejection? Do you prefer the company of your cat to that of members of the opposite sex? Does life in Antarctica suddenly seem very appealing?Don't despair! Shmuley Boteach will show you that lasting love is indeed within your reach, whatever your age, faith, or situation.Drawing on the ancient wisdom of the Ten Commandments, this book describes how to: Turn your date into a meeting of mind, body, heart, and soul Make your date feel like the happiest person in the world--because he or she has you! Enhance your attractiveness by maintaining mystique Become a heart-maker rather than a heart-breaker Know when you have found a loving soul mate rather than just a partnerThe Ten Commandments are the ultimate plan for fulfillment and contentment. In applying the timeless wisdom they contain to dating and romance, Shmuley Boteach will help you discover the joyful rewards of making someone else happy.From the Hardcover edition.

Back Sense: A Revolutionary Approach to Ending the Cycle of Back Pain

by Ronald D. Siegel Michael H. Urdang Douglas R. Johnson

On occasion nearly everyone experiences short-term back pain from sore or strained muscles. But for many who come to treat their back gingerly because they fear further "injury," a cycle of worry and inactivity results; this aggravates existing muscle tightness and leads them to think of themselves as having a "bad back." Even worse is the understandable but usually counterproductive assumption that back pain is caused by "abnormalities"-bulging disks, a damaged spine, and so on. However, these abnormalities are frequently found in those who have absolutely no pain whatsoever. In reality, most backs are strong and resilient, built to support our bodies for a lifetime; truly "bad backs" are rare. Drawing on their work with patients and studies from major scientific journals and corporations, the authors of Back Sense-all three are former chronic back pain sufferers themselves-developed a revolutionary self-treatment approach targeting the true causes of chronic back pain. It is based on conclusive evidence proving that stress and inactivity are usually the prime offenders, and it allows patients to avoid the restrictions and expense of most other treatments. After showing readers how to rule out the possibility that a rare medical condition is the source of their problem, Back Sense clearly and convincingly explains the actual factors behind chronic back pain and systematically leads readers toward recapturing a life free of back pain.

Women of the Pleasure Quarters: The Secret History of the Geisha

by Lesley Downer

Ever since Westerners arrived in Japan, they have been intrigued by Japanese womanhood and, above all, by geisha. This fascination has spawned a wealth of extraordinary fictional creations, from Puccini's Madame Butterfly to Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. But as denizens of a world defined by silence and mystery, real geisha are notoriously difficult to meet and even to find. As a result, their history has long been cloaked in secrecy. Lesley Downer, an award-winning writer, Japanese scholar, and consummate storyteller, gained more access to this world than almost any other Westerner, and spent several months living in it. In Women of the Pleasure Quarters, she weaves together intimate portraits of modern geisha with the romantic legends and colorful historical tales that shape their fascinating past. Contrary to popular opinion, geisha are not prostitutes but, literally, "arts people." Accomplished singers, dancers, and musicians, they are, above all, masters of the art of conversation, soothing the worries and stroking the egos of wealthy businessmen who can afford their attentions. Looking into such traditions as mizuage, the ritual deflowering that was once a rite of passage for all geisha, and providing colorful descriptions of their dress, training, and homes, Downer transforms their reality into a captivating narrative, and reveals an enthralling world unlike any other.

Lynyrd Skynyrd

by Gene Odom Frank Dorman

The first complete, unvarnished history of Southern rock's legendary and most popular band, from its members' hardscrabble boyhoods in Jacksonville, Florida and their rise to worldwide fame to the tragic plane crash that killed the founder and the band's rise again from the ashes.In the summer of 1964 Jacksonville, Florida teenager Ronnie Van Zant and some of his friends hatched the idea of forming a band to play covers of the Rolling Stones, Beatles, Yardbirds and the country and blues-rock music they had grown to love. Naming their band after Leonard Skinner, the gym teacher at Robert E. Lee Senior High School who constantly badgered the long-haired aspiring musicians to get haircuts, they were soon playing gigs at parties, and bars throughout the South. During the next decade Lynyrd Skynyrd grew into the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful of the rock bands to emerge from the South since the Allman Brothers. Their hits "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama" became classics. Then, at the height of its popularlity in 1977, the band was struck with tragedy --a plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant and two other band members.Lynyrd Skynyrd: Remembering the Free Birds of Southern Rock is an intimate chronicle of the band from its earliest days through the plane crash and its aftermath, to its rebirth and current status as an enduring cult favorite. From his behind-the-scenes perspective as Ronnie Van Zant's lifelong friend and frequent member of the band's entourage who was also aboard the plane on that fateful flight, Gene Odom reveals the unique synthesis of blues/country rock and songwriting talent, relentless drive, rebellious Southern swagger and down-to-earth sensibility that brought the band together and made it a defining and hugely popular Southern rock band -- as well as the destructive forces that tore it apart. Illustrated throughout with rare photos, Odom traces the band's rise to fame and shares personal stories that bring to life the band's journey. For the fans who have purchased a cumulative 35 million copies of Lynyrd Skynyrd's albums and continue to pack concerts today, Lynyrd Skynyrd is a celebration of an immortal American band.From the Hardcover edition.

The Great Movies

by Roger Ebert

Reprints 100 essays published in the between 1996 and 2001. Revisiting classic films that have been largely forgotten as well as more recent masterpieces, Ebert breaks down each film's plot, its directorial style, and its place in film history. Black and white stills. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)

The Great Movies

by Roger Ebert

America's most trusted and best-known film critic Roger Ebert presents one hundred brilliant essays on some of the best movies ever made. For the past five years Roger Ebert, the famed film writer and critic, has been writing biweekly essays for a feature called "The Great Movies," in which he offers a fresh and fervent appreciation of a great film. The Great Movies collects one hundred of these essays, each one of them a gem of critical appreciation and an amalgam of love, analysis, and history that will send readers back to that film with a fresh set of eyes and renewed enthusiasm-or perhaps to an avid first-time viewing. Ebert's selections range widely across genres, periods, and nationalities, and from the highest achievements in film art to justly beloved and wildly successful popular entertainments. Roger Ebert manages in these essays to combine a truly populist appreciation for our most important form of popular art with a scholar's erudition and depth of knowledge and a sure aesthetic sense. Wonderfully enhanced by stills selected by Mary Corliss, film curator at the Museum of Modern Art, The Great Movies is a treasure trove for film lovers of all persuasions, an unrivaled guide for viewers, and a book to return to again and again. The Great Movies includes: All About Eve * Bonnie and Clyde * Casablanca * Citizen Kane * The Godfather * Jaws * La Dolce Vita * Metropolis * On the Waterfront * Psycho * The Seventh Seal * Sweet Smell of Success * Taxi Driver * The Third Man * The Wizard of Oz * and eighty-five more films.From the Hardcover edition.

Gumbo: A Celebration of African American Writing

by E. Lynn Harris Marita Golden

A literary rent party to benefit the Hurston/Wright Foundation of African-American fiction, with selections to savor from bestselling authors as well as talented rising stars. Not since Terry McMillan's Breaking Ice have so many African-American writers been brought together in one volume. A stellar collection of works from more than fifty hot names in fiction, Gumbo represents remarkable synergy. Edited by bestselling luminaries Marita Golden and E. Lynn Harris, this collection spans new and previously published tales of love and luck, inspiration and violation, hip new worlds and hallowed heritage from voices such as: * Edwidge Danticat * Eric Jerome Dickey * Kenji Jasper * John Edgar Wideman * Terry McMillan * David Anthony Durham * Bertice Berry ...and many, many more Also featuring original stories by Golden and Harris themselves, Gumbo heralds the debut of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Awards for Published Black Writers (scheduled for October 2002), and all advances and royalties from the book will support the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Combining authors with a variety of flavorful writing, Gumbo will have readers clamoring for second helpings. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words

by Bill Bryson

One of the English language's most skilled and beloved writers guides us all toward precise, mistake-free usage.As usual Bill Bryson says it best: "English is a dazzlingly idiosyncratic tongue, full of quirks and irregularities that often seem willfully at odds with logic and common sense. This is a language where 'cleave' can mean to cut in half or to hold two halves together; where the simple word 'set' has 126 different meanings as a verb, 58 as a noun, and 10 as a participial adjective; where if you can run fast you are moving swiftly, but if you are stuck fast you are not moving at all; [and] where 'colonel,' 'freight,' 'once,' and 'ache' are strikingly at odds with their spellings." As a copy editor for the London Times in the early 1980s, Bill Bryson felt keenly the lack of an easy-to-consult, authoritative guide to avoiding the traps and snares in English, and so he brashly suggested to a publisher that he should write one. Surprisingly, the proposition was accepted, and for "a sum of money carefully gauged not to cause embarrassment or feelings of overworth," he proceeded to write that book-his first, inaugurating his stellar career.Now, a decade and a half later, revised, updated, and thoroughly (but not overly) Americanized, it has become Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, more than ever an essential guide to the wonderfully disordered thing that is the English language. With some one thousand entries, from "a, an" to "zoom," that feature real-world examples of questionable usage from an international array of publications, and with a helpful glossary and guide to pronunciation, this precise, prescriptive, and-because it is written by Bill Bryson-often witty book belongs on the desk of every person who cares enough about the language not to maul or misuse or distort it.From the Hardcover edition.

Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words

by Bill Bryson

One of the English language's most skilled and beloved writers guides all readers toward precise, mistake-free usage.

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