Religion and the Decline of Magic by Keith Thomas Requirements: EPUB/MOBI reader – 3.98 MB Overview: Witchcraft, astrology, divination and every kind of popular magic flourished in England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from the belief that a blessed amulet could prevent the assaults of the Devil to the use of the same charms to recover stolen goods. At the same time the Protestant Reformation attempted to take the magic out of religion, and scientists were developing new explanations of the universe. Keith Thomas’s classic analysis of beliefs held on every level of English society begins with the collapse of the medieval Church and ends with the changing intellectual atmosphere around 1700, when science and rationalism began to challenge the older systems of belief. Genre: History
Descent Into Chaos by Ahmed Rashid Requirements: EPUB/MOBI reader – 5.65 MB Overview: In "Descent Into Chaos: Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Threat to Global Security" Ahmed Rashid explores the most volatile and dangerous region in the world. The war on terror is being lost – but not just in Iraq. As this devastating book shows, the real crisis zone now lies in central Asia. Veteran reporter Ahmed Rashid has unparalleled access to the region and knows its leading players, from presidents to warlords. Here he documents how closely Pakistan’s US-backed regime is linked with extremists; how broken promises in Afghanistan have led to a resurgent Taliban fed by drugs money; and how the largest landmass in the world is now a breeding ground for terrorism. In this story of squandered opportunities, misguided alliances and double-dealing, Rashid pinpoints with chilling accuracy where the true threat to our global security comes from. "Compulsively readable". (Justin Marozzi, "Evening Standard"). Profound and lively …it reads like a thriller …graphic, detailed and worrying". (Michael Fathers, "New Statesman"). ‘Gripping …a major contribution to understanding the region and the events of recent years…thought-provoking and important". (Jason Burke, "Observer"). "His knowledge of events and people there is second to none and the information he has gathered, often at great personal risk, makes alarming reading". (Kim Sengupta, "Independent"). "A superbly researched account of post-9/11 Asia …outstanding". (Sameer Rahim, "Daily Telegraph"). Ahmed Rashid is Pakistan’s premiere journalist, an expert on Central Asia, on jihad and Muslim extremists movements, on the Taliban and Al Qaeda, on insurgency, and on the catastrophe of US policy in this region, on which he has reported for 25 years. Author of three books, his work Taliban was a huge international bestseller, widely recognized as the definitive account. Genre: History
Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy by Robert F. Jennedy, Jr. Requirements: ePUB reader, 0.28MB. Overview: In this powerful indictment of George W. Bush’s White House, environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., charges that the administration has taken corporate favoritism to unprecedented heights — threatening our health, our national security, and our democracy.
Kennedy lifts the veil on how the administration, in order to enrich its corporate paymasters, has eviscerated the laws that protect our nation’s air, water, public lands, and wildlife. He describes the White House doling out lavish subsidies and tax breaks to energy barons while allowing the corporations to profit by poisoning the public and eliminating security at the more than 15,000 nuclear and chemical facilities that are prime targets for terrorist attacks. He shows how right-wing White House ideologues have taken the "conserve" out of conservatism and trampled the free-market democracy in favor of a kind of corporate-crony capitalism that is as antithetical to democracy, efficiency, and prosperity in America as it is in Nigeria.
Crimes Against Nature is a book for both Democrats and Republicans, people like the traditionally conservative farmers and fishermen whom Kennedy represents in lawsuits against polluters. "Without exception," he writes, "these people see the current administration as the greatest threat not just to their livelihoods but to their values, their sense of community, and their idea of what it means to be American." Genre: Non-fiction.
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova Requirements: Mobi reader (632KB) Overview: No fictional character is more renowned for his powers of thought and observation than Sherlock Holmes. But is his extraordinary intellect merely a gift of fiction, or can we learn to cultivate these abilities ourselves, to improve our lives at work and at home? Genre: Psychology
No fictional character is more renowned for his powers of thought and observation than Sherlock Holmes. But is his extraordinary intellect merely a gift of fiction, or can we learn to cultivate these abilities ourselves, to improve our lives at work and at home?
We can, says psychologist and journalist Maria Konnikova, and in Mastermind she shows us how. Beginning with the "brain attic"–Holmes’s metaphor for how we store information and organize knowledge–Konnikova unpacks the mental strategies that lead to clearer thinking and deeper insights. Drawing on twenty-first-century neuroscience and psychology, Mastermind explores Holmes’s unique methods of ever-present mindfulness, astute observation, and logical deduction.
In doing so, it shows how each of us, with some self-awareness and a little practice, can employ these same methods to sharpen our perceptions, solve difficult problems, and enhance our creative powers. For Holmes aficionados and casual readers alike, Konnikova reveals how the world’s most keen-eyed detective can serve as an unparalleled guide to upgrading the mind.
Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class by Lawrence Otis Graham Requirements: .ePUB reader, 967 KB. Overview: Debutante cotillions. Million-dollar homes. Summers in Martha’s Vineyard. Membership in the Links, Jack & Jill, Deltas, Boule, and AKAs. An obsession with the right schools, families, social clubs, and skin complexion. This is the world of the black upper class and the focus of the first book written about the black elite by a member of this hard-to-penetrate group.
Author and TV commentator Lawrence Otis Graham, one of the nation’s most prominent spokesmen on race and class, spent six years interviewing the wealthiest black families in America. He includes historical photos of a people that made their first millions in the 1870s. Graham tells who’s in and who’s not in the group today with separate chapters on the elite in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Nashville, and New Orleans. A new Introduction explains the controversy that the book elicited from both the black and white communities. Genre: Non-fiction.
You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney Requirements: .ePUB reader, 435 kB Overview: You believe you are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is, but journalist David McRaney is here to tell you that you’re as deluded as the rest of us. But that’s OK- delusions keep us sane. You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self-delusion. It’s like a psychology class, with all the boring parts taken out, and with no homework.
Based on the popular blog of the same name, You Are Not So Smart collects more than 46 of the lies we tell ourselves everyday, including:
Dunbar’s Number – Humans evolved to live in bands of roughly 150 individuals, the brain cannot handle more than that number. If you have more than 150 Facebook friends, they are surely not all real friends. Hindsight bias – When we learn something new, we reassure ourselves that we knew it all along. Confirmation bias – Our brains resist new ideas, instead paying attention only to findings that reinforce our preconceived notions. Brand loyalty – We reach for the same brand not because we trust its quality but because we want to reassure ourselves that we made a smart choice the last time we bought it.
Packed with interesting sidebars and quick guides on cognition and common fallacies, You Are Not So Smart is a fascinating synthesis of cutting-edge psychology research to turn our minds inside out. Genre: non-fiction
Toss, Keep, Sell!: The Suddenly Frugal Guide to Cleaning Out the Clutter and Cashing In by Leah Ingram
Requirements: .ePub reader; 1.46 MB Overview: The American house is one cluttered place. Frugal folks need to get their homes in order and find ways to make money from the junk they no longer need or want. That’s where this book comes in! Organized by rooms of the house and tasks of the day, this book becomes a veritable clutter checklist. Each chapter in this reader-friendly guide features:
Cashing In: A profile of everyday people who have earned big while clearing out Quick Clutter Challenge: Easy ways for you to declutter a space in thirty minutes or less A Keep, Toss, Sell Chart: A visual organizer to help get every room of the house under control Cash Back in This Chapter: What better way to motivate you than to point out potential earnings from one chapter’s worth of tips?
You can forget paying big bucks for a professional organizer. With Leah Ingram as your guide, you’ll have extra money–and a home you can be proud of–in no time!
Arguing with Idiots: How to Stop Small Minds and Big Government by Glenn Beck Requirements: ePub or Mobi viewer, 28 MB Overview: The #1 New York Times bestseller that gives you the right answers when idiots leave you speechless!
It happens to all of us: You’re minding your own business, when some idiot* informs you that guns are evil, the Prius will save the planet, or the rich have to finally start paying their fair share of taxes.
Just go away! you think to yourself—but they only get more obnoxious. Your heart rate quickens. You start to sweat. But never fear, for Glenn Beck has stumbled upon the secret formula to winning arguments against people with big mouths and small minds: knowing the facts.
And this book is full of them.
The next time your Idiot Friends tell you how gun control prevents gun violence, you’ll tell them all about England’s handgun ban (see page 53). When they insist that we should copy the UK’s health-care system, you’ll recount the horrifying facts you read on page 244. And the next time you hear how produce prices will skyrocket without illegal workers, you’ll have the perfect rebuttal (from page 139). Armed with the ultimate weapon—the truth—you can now tolerate (and who knows, maybe even enjoy?) your encounters with idiots everywhere!
*Idiots can’t be identified through voting records; look instead for people who hide behind stereotypes, embrace partisanship, and believe that bumper sticker slogans are a substitute for common sense. Genre: Sociopolitical essay
The Original Argument: The Federalists’ Case for the Constitution, Adapted for the 21st Century by Glenn Beck Requirements: ePub or Mobi viewer, 2.1 MB Overview: Glenn Beck revisited Thomas Paine’s famous pre-Revolutionary War call to action in his #1 New York Times bestseller Glenn Beck’s Common Sense. Now he brings his historical acumen and political savvy to this fresh, new interpretation of The Federalist Papers, the 18th-century collection of political essays that defined and shaped our Constitution and laid bare the “original argument” between states’ rights and big federal government–a debate as relevant and urgent today as it was at the birth of our nation. Adapting a selection of these essential essays–pseudonymously authored by the now well-documented triumvirate of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay–for a contemporary audience, Glenn Beck has had them reworked into “modern” English so as to be thoroughly accessible to anyone seeking a better understanding of the Founding Fathers’ intent and meaning when laying the groundwork of our government. Beck provides his own illuminating commentary and annotations and, for a number of the essays, has brought together the viewpoints of both liberal and conservative historians and scholars, making this a fair and insightful perspective on the historical works that remain the primary source for interpreting Constitutional law and the rights of American citizens. Genre: Sociopolitical essay
Cowards: What Politicians, Radicals, and the Media Refuse to Say by Glenn Beck Requirements: ePub or Mobi viewer, 9.3 MB Overview: As we approach the most important presidential election in America’s history, something has been lost among all of the debates, attack ads, and super- PACs—something that Americans used to hold in very high regard: THE TRUTH.
Glenn Beck likes to say that “the truth has no agenda”—but there’s another side to that: people who have agendas rarely care about the truth. And, these days, it seems like everyone has an agenda. The media leads with stories that rate over those that matter. Politicians put lobbyists and electability over honesty. Radicals alter history in order to change the future.
In Cowards, Glenn Beck exposes the truth about thirteen important issues that have been hijacked by deceit. Whether out of spite, greed, or fear, these are the things that no one seems to be willing to have an honest conversation about. For example:
* How our two-party POLITICAL SYSTEM often leaves voters with NO GOOD OPTIONS.
* How extremists are slowly integrating ISLAMIC LAW into our SOCIETY.
* How PROGRESSIVE “religious” leaders like JIM WALLIS are politicizing the Bible.
* How the CARTEL VIOLENCE on our border is FAR WORSE than people realize.
* How “LIBERTARIAN” has been INTENTIONALLY turned into a DIRTY WORD.
* How GEORGE SOROS has amassed enough MONEY and POWER to INFLUENCE entire ECONOMIES.
In some cases, the truth is out there, but people simply don’t want to hear it. It’s much easier, and certainly a lot more convenient, to keep our blinders on. After all, as a quote attributed to President James Garfield made clear, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”
Miserable or not, the truth can no longer be something we hope for; it must be something we live. When courage prevails, cowards do not—and this book was written to ensure that’s exactly what happens. Genre: Sociopolitical essay