Crucible of Command
By William C. Davis
They met in person only four times, yet these two men- Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee- determined the outcome of America's most divisive war and cast larger-than-life shadows over their reunited nation. They came from vastly different backgrounds: Lee from a distinguished family of waning fortunes Grant, a young man on the make in a new America. Differing circumstances coloured their outlooks on life: Lee, the melancholy realist Grant, the incurable optimist.Then came the Civil War that made them both commanders of armies, leaders of men, and heroes to the multitudes of Americans then and since who rightfully place them in the pantheon of our greatest soldiers. Forged in battle as generals, these two otherwise very different men became almost indistinguishable in their instincts, attributes, attitudes, and skills in command.Each the subject of innumerable biographies, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee have never before been paired as they are here. Exploring their personalities, their characters, their ethical and moral compasses, and their political and military worlds, William C. Davis, one of America's preeminent historians, uses substantial, newly discovered evidence on both men to find surprising similarities between them, as well as new insights and unique interpretations on how their lives prepared them for the war they fought and influenced how they fought it. Crucible of Command is both a gripping narrative of the final year of the war and a fresh, revealing portrait of these two great commanders as they took each other's measure across the battlefield with the aid of millions of men.
By Mariano Rivera
Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig, DiMaggio...Rivera. A top-five Yankee of all time, Mariano Rivera is the man who has intimidated thousands of batters by merely opening a bullpen door. Now, in an edition for young readers, he will tell his story for the first time: from a childhood in Panama, to the championships, the rivalries, and the struggles of being a Latino baseball player in the United States and of maintaining Christian values in professional athletics. The 12 time All-Star will discuss what it's like to run up to that mound with the game - or the season - squarely on his shoulders.
Carry a Big Stick
By Tim Ferguson
Tim Ferguson was a star of the international comedy circuit. Along with Paul McDermott and Richard Fidler he was part of the edgy, provocative and very funny Doug Anthony All Stars (DAAS). In 1994 they were at the height of their powers, performing in a season at the Criterion Theatre on Piccadilly Circus. The three mates, who began busking on the streets of Canberra a decade earlier, had achieved their ambition to become the self-styled rock stars of comedy. Then, all of a sudden, he woke up one morning and his whole left side wouldn't work. He'd had a lurking suspicion that something was wrong and after more episodes he went to a doctor thinking he'd be told to change his diet and get more sleep. It wasn't so simple. An eventual diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) meant an end to the frenetic, high-energy life he was living. CARRY A BIG STICK is a chance for Tim to tell his story. He wants to make people laugh but also give inspiration to all the people doing it hard. A lot of people keep MS to themselves because it's invisible. In Tim's case, he has the stick. 'It's such a visible sign that something's happened; it's just easier if people know.' CARRY A BIG STICK meanders through Tim's life, and explains how the boy who went to nine schools in 13 years got used to saying, 'Hi, I'm the new kid'. It will detail his ambitions to become an actor and how the Doug Anthony Allstars were born and went on to become what Rolling Stone called 'The 3 amigos from hell'. Diagnosis changed a lot of things but Tim's quick wit and sense of humour weren't affected. This inspiring memoir shows us that you can laugh in the face of adversity.
Choose The Right Word
By Vic Mayhew, Robin Hosie
Whether applying for a job, writing a letter of complaint or simply talking with colleagues or friends, the people who get listened to are those with a confident command of language. Choose the Right Word is a fun guide to using English effectively and to avoiding common mistakes. It is both a valuable work of reference and an enjoyable read. While plotting a path through a minefield of rules and conventions, the book acknowledges that English is an ever-changing language and points out those rules that can at times be broken. 70 light-hearted quizzes show you how to use words that will make your point powerfully, and usage tips set you right on contextual issues. Curio Corners tell the fascinating stories behind dozens of everyday words and phrases. What's the difference between affect and effect; abjure and adjure? Does AD for Anno Domino come before or after the year - and the century? Should you write all right or alright; adviser or advisor? How did the word alcohol come into our language? Just how sure are you about your apostrophes?
By Frances Thomas
Why is Christina Rossetti, probably the major woman poet of Victorian Britain, so invisible today? This is the central question addressed in this biography. Rossetti, author of Goblin Market , My Heart Is Like a Singing Bird and In the Deep Midwinter has often been overshadowed by her brother Dante Gabriel. Drawing on many sources, this study enables the reader to piece together a more complete picture of this woman whose nature was passionate and contradictory.
A Cluttered Life
By Pesi Dinnerstein
A Cluttered Life tells the story of Pesi Dinnerstein's touching, quirky, and often comic search for order and simplicity amid an onslaught of relentless interruptions. When a chance encounter with an old acquaintance opens her eyes to the extent of the disorder that has crept into every corner of her existence, she begins a quest to free herself of the excess baggage she carries and finds,to her great surprise,that the answers she has spent a lifetime searching for lie within her own piles of clutter.Dinnerstein's battle with chaos is an odyssey of self-discovery that leads from the growing mess spilling out of her closets and the backseat of her car to the more subtle forms of disorder in her daily life and, finally, to the most hidden expressions deep within herself. In the end,with the help of devoted friends, a twelve-step recovery program, and a bit of Kabbalistic wisdom,her struggle with the things of this world is transformed from a distraction into its own journey of healing and personal growth. At turns insightful, unsettling, and wildly funny, A Cluttered Life describes how one woman found her true self,and spiritual clarity,through trying to make sense of her muddled world.
By Tom Jokinen
At forty-four, Tom Jokinen decided to quit his job in order to become an apprentice undertaker, setting out to ask the questions: What is the right thing to do when someone dies? With the marketplace offering new options (go green, go anti-corporate, go Disney, be packed into an artificial reef and dropped in the Atlantic...), is there still room for tradition? In a year of adventures both hair-raising and hilarious, Jokinen finds a world that is radically changed since Jessica Mitford revised The American Way of Death , more surprising than Six Feet Under , and even funnier and more illuminating than Stiff . If Bill Bryson were to apprentice at a funeral home, searching for the meaning of life and death, you'd have Curtains .
Can't Buy Me Love
By Jonathan Gould
Jonathan Gould's Can't Buy Me Love is more than just a book on the Beatles; it's a stunning recreation of the 1960s in England and America through the prism of the world's most iconic band. The Beatles, perhaps more than any act before or since, were a quintessential product of their time, and Gould brilliantly blends cultural history, musical analysis and group biography to show the unique part they played in the shaping of post-war Britain and America. Gould examines the influence of R&B, rockabilly, skiffle and Motown as the Fab Four forged a sound of their own; he illuminates the mercurial relationship the most productive and lucrative in recording music history between John Lennon and Paul McCartney; he critiques the songs they played and the movies they made, and their impact on competing bands and musicians, as well as on fashion, hairstyles, and humour; and he shows how events on both sides of the Atlantic created exactly the right cultural climate for the biggest music phenomenon of 20th century. Beautifully written, insightful, and wonderfully evocative, this is a magisterial biography by a popular historian of the very first rank.
A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants
By Jaed Coffin
Six years ago at the age of twenty-one, Jaed Muncharoen Coffin, a half-Thai American man, left New England's privileged Middlebury College to be ordained as a Buddhist monk in his mother's native village of Panomsarakram- thus fulfilling a familial obligation. While addressing the notions of displacement, ethnic identity, and cultural belonging, A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants chronicles his time at the temple that rain season- receiving alms in the streets in saffron robes bathing in the canals learning to meditate in a mountaintop hut and falling in love with Lek, a beautiful Thai woman who comes to represent the life he can have if he stays. Part armchair travel, part coming-of-age story, this debut work transcends the memoir genre and ushers in a brave new voice in American nonfiction.
Child Of Tibet
By Soname Yangchen, Vicki Mackenzie
This book tells the remarkable story of Soname's triumph over adversity, told against the backdrop of a turbulent and dangerous Tibet. Soname was born in the harsh Tibetan countryside during the Chinese occupation. When she was just sixteen Soname risked death in a freedom trek across the Himalayas, finally arriving in Dharamsala, home in exile of the Dalai Lama. Even after managing to escape from Tibet, she faced further dangers and heartache in India, being forced by destitution to give her daughter away. Soname later managed to reach England, where she met and married an Englishman and came to live in Brighton. Her hidden talent was discovered when she sang a traditional Tibetan song at a wedding reception, unaware that a member of a famous band was a guest. Concerts followed. Tracing her long-lost daughter has long been Soname's preoccupation, and it is hoped that her daughter will finally join her in England later this year. Hers is a story of immense will, unbelievable courage and, above all, an indomitable soaring free spirit.
By Eddy W. Friedfeld, Sid Caesar
It is no exaggeration to say that without Sid Caesar, comedy in America would have been a lot less funny. He was the star and guiding force behind Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour , two of the most innovative programs in the Golden Age of Television, and the writers and stars of those shows went on to create the plays, movies, and sitcoms that we now think of as classic American comedy. So many of our greatest comedy writers- Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Neil Simon, Larry Gelbart, Woody Allen- were part of Sid Caesar's creative troupe. Sid was a master not only of comedic performance, but also of developing characters that the audience could relate to, finding the humour in ordinary situations rather than through vaudeville-type gags. His was a comedy truly drawn from the human condition. Caesar's Hours is Sid Caesar's artistic autobiography, his account of how these great routines were fashioned and performed, and the interactions that gave birth to them. He takes us inside the famed writers' room, the rehearsal studios, and onto the stage itself, where some of the funniest moments in television history came to life. To read his book is to learn why his intelligent and sensitive brand of humour resonates so much with us, even half a century later.
By Jackie Bennett, Rosemary Forgan
** 'I think one of the reasons why I was never properly domesticated is because I was actually socialised by a gang of mad women in flapping black habits' Germaine Greer** 'If you have ever stood on a chair in front of 200 girls with your green knickers showing, reading out loud from a holy book - nothing truly daunts you after that' Anne Robinson** 'It was rather wonderful as a convent girl always to be with adults who knew a little less than you did. We were innocent, we were children but however poorly equipped we were, the nuns always had a little less information about life' Clare BoylanThe mere mention of 'convent girls' is enough to elicit a welter of responses & stories abound, from the hilarious to the sombre. In this brave, witty, often scathing collection of personal accounts, these women talk about what most affected their early lives: from spirituality to sexuality, this truly revealing collaboration both devastates and affirms the myth of the convent girl.Contributors include Maeve Binchy, Claire Boylan, Polly Devlin, Germaine Greer, Anne Robinson and Marina Warner.
By Richard West
This first, and some would say greatest, poet of the English language stands before the gateway of the early modern age. He lived at a time when the elite languages of former conquerors, French and Latin, were both giving way to English - no longer just the vernacular of the common people, but increasingly the language of the court, the law, and of literature. Richard West weaves a fascinating picture of this extraordinary man, whose character has puzzled lovers of his comic masterpiece, "The Canterbury Tales". How did he remain so apparently cheerful and serene, through one of the cruellest eras of history? As a child he survived the Black Death, later he fought in France during the Hundred Years War, served as a diplomat in Italy, and became an MP at the angry beginnings of the Protestant Reformation, the Peasants' Revolt and the overthrow of Richard II.
The Cogwheel Brain
By Doron Swade
In 1821, 30-year-old inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage was poring over a set of printed mathematical tables with his friend, the astronomer John Herschel. Finding error after error in the manually evaluated results, Babbage made an exclamation, the consequences of which would not only dominate the remaining 50 years of his life, but also lay the foundations for the modern computer industry: 'I wish to God these calculations had been executed by steam!'A few days later, he set down a plan to build a machine that would carry out complex mathematical calculations without human intervention and, at least in theory, without human errors. The only technology to which he had access for solving the problem was the cogwheel escapement found inside clocks. Babbage saw that a machine constructed out of hundreds of escapements, cunningly and precisely linked, might be able to handle calculations mechanically. The story of his lifelong bid to construct such a machine is a triumph of human ingenuity, will and imagination.