Books I've read (old posts, page 9)

The Last Days of the Incas

Kim MacQuarrie lived in Peru for five years and became fascinated by the Incas and the history of the Spanish conquest. Drawing on both native and Spanish chronicles, he vividly describes the dramatic story of the conquest, with all its savagery and suspense. This authoritative, exciting history is among the most powerful and important accounts of the culture of the South American Indians and the Spanish Conquest.

Out of Your Mind

In order to come to your senses, Alan Watts often said, you sometimes need to go out of your mind. Perhaps more than any other teacher in the West, this celebrated author, former Anglican priest, and self-described spiritual entertainer was responsible for igniting the passion of countless wisdom seekers to the spiritual and philosophical delights of Asia and India. Now, with Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives, you are invited to immerse yourself in 12 of this legendary thinker's pinnacle teaching sessions about how to break through the limits of the rational mind, and begin expanding your awareness and appreciation for the Great Game unfolding all around us.Carefully selected from hundreds of recordings by Alan Watts' son and archivist, Mark Watts, Out of Your Mind brings you six complete seminars that capture the true scope of this brilliant teacher in action. On these superb, digitally restored recordings, you will delve into Alan Watts' favorite pathways out of the trap of conventional awareness, including: The art of the controlled accident what happens when you stop taking your life so seriously and start enjoying it with complete sincerity How we come to believe the myth of myself that we are skin-encapsulated egos separate from the world around us, and how to transcend that illusion Why we must fully embrace chaos and the void to find our deepest purpose Unconventional and refreshing insights into the deeper principles of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Western philosophy, plus much, much moreWhether you're completely new to Alan Watts or familiar with his work, here is a rare opportunity to experience him at his best improvising brilliantly before a live audience on Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives."

Singularity Sky (Eschaton, #1)

In the twenty-first century man created the Eschaton, a sentient artificial intelligence. It pushed Earth through the greatest technological evolution ever known, while warning that time travel is forbidden, and transgressors will be eliminated.

Distant descendants of this ultra high-tech Earth live in parochial simplicity on the far-flung worlds of the New Republic. Their way of life is threatened by the arrival of an alien information plague known as the Festival. As forbidden technologies are literally dropped from the sky, suppressed political factions descend into revolutionary turmoil.

A battle fleet is sent from Earth to destroy the Festival, but Spaceship engineer Martin Springfield and U.N. diplomat Rachel Mansour have been assigned rather different tasks. Their orders are to diffuse the crisis or to sabotage the New Republic's war-fleet, whatever the cost, before the Eschaton takes hostile action on a galactic scale.

Salt: A World History

From the Bestselling Author of Cod and The Basque History of the World

In his fifth work of nonfiction, Mark Kurlansky turns his attention to a common household item with a long and intriguing history: salt. The only rock we eat, salt has shaped civilization from the very beginning, and its story is a glittering, often surprising part of the history of humankind. A substance so valuable it served as currency, salt has influenced the establishment of trade routes and cities, provoked and financed wars, secured empires, and inspired revolutions. Populated by colorful characters and filled with an unending series of fascinating details, Salt by Mark Kurlansky is a supremely entertaining, multi-layered masterpiece.

Mark Kurlansky is the author of many books including Cod, The Basque History of the World, 1968, and The Big Oyster. His newest book is Birdseye.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.

Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Thinking, Fast and Slow will transform the way you think about thinking.

Rethinking Our Past: Recognizing Facts, Fictions, And Lies In American History

"This course is designed to enlighten and encourage you to consider the factual basis of many of our most-cherished yet glossed-over stories and the real-life characters who populate them. From archaeological misinformation to investigations into the nature of modern public policy, Professor Loewen challenges you to consider the history of what "was" rather than what has been told by standard teaching methods and textbooks"--Container.

The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way

With dazzling wit and astonishing insight, Bill Bryson—the acclaimed author of The Lost Continent—brilliantly explores the remarkable history, eccentricities, resilience and sheer fun of the English language. From the first descent of the larynx into the throat (why you can talk but your dog can't), to the fine lost art of swearing, Bryson tells the fascinating, often uproarious story of an inadequate, second-rate tongue of peasants that developed into one of the world's largest growth industries.

Sugar Alpha: The Life and Times of Senor Huevos Grandes

Skydiving and drug smuggling pioneer Roger Nelson lives life out of the box. Fueled by a love for adrenaline and adventure, Roger goes after everything he wants with gusto. But now Roger is ready to retire from smuggling. With a parachute center to run and a family to raise, Roger knows it is time to stop the cat-and-mouse games he has been playing with the authorities for years.

He and his longtime partner, Hanoi, plan one final run to Belize, where they intend to fill their Douglas DC-3 with enough cannabis to set them up for life. But then Hanoi dies in a plane crash in an attempt to make some "legitimate bucks" flying fish in Alaska while they wait for the growing season to end.

Left without a partner or plane, Roger remains determined to return to his family for good. To do so, he decides to stay true to himself and follow through with his retirement run. Roger must rely on a colorful cast of characters and the most unlikely airplane for a gig ever-Sugar Alpha, the legendary DC-3 with the secret fuel tanks and not-so-secret paint job-to help him complete the most daring run in the history of smuggling.

The Making of the Atomic Bomb

The author recounts the story of how the atomic bomb was developed, from the discovery at the turn of century of the vast energy locked inside the atom, to the dropping of the first bombs on Japan during the Second World War.

Last Chance to See

"Very funny and moving...The glimpses of rare fauna seem to have enlarged [Adams'] thinking, enlivened his world; and so might the animals do for us all, if we were to help them live."
THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD
Join bestselling author Douglas Adams and zooligist Mark Carwardine as they take off around the world in search of exotic, endangered creatures. Hilarious and poignant--as only Douglas Adams can be--LAST CHANCE TO SEE is an entertaining and arresting odyssey through the Earth's magnificent wildlife galaxy.