“A delightful read for anyone tantalized by the prospect of disappearing without a trace.” —Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake “Delivers all the lo-fi spy shenanigans and caught-red-handed schadenfreude you’re hoping for.” —NPR “A lively romp.” —The Boston Globe “Grim fun.” —The New York Times “Brilliant topic, absorbing book.” —The Seattle Times “The most literally escapist summer read you could hope for.” —The Paris Review Is it still possible to fake your own death in the twenty-first century? With six figures of student loan debt, Elizabeth Greenwood was tempted to find out. So off she sets on a darkly comic foray into the world of death fraud, where for $30,000 a consultant can make you disappear—but your suspicious insurance company might hire a private detective to dig up your coffin...only to find it filled with rocks. Greenwood tracks down a British man who staged a kayaking accident and then returned to live in his own house while all his neighbors thought he was dead. She takes a call from Michael Jackson (no, he’s not dead—or so her new acquaintances would have her believe), stalks message boards for people contemplating pseudocide, and gathers intel on black market morgues in the Philippines, where she may or may not obtain some fraudulent goodies of her own. Along the way, she learns that love is a much less common motive than money, and that making your death look like a drowning virtually guarantees that you’ll be caught. (Disappearing while hiking, however, is a way great to go.) Playing Dead is a charmingly bizarre investigation in the vein of Jon Ronson and Mary Roach into our all-too-human desire to escape from the lives we lead, and the men and women desperate enough to give up their lives—and their families—to start again.
A New York Post Best Book of 2016 One of Kirkus Reviews' Ten Most Anticipated Nonfiction Books of Fall 2016 From the New York Times bestselling author of The Widow Clicquot comes an extraordinary and gripping account of Irena Sendler—the “female Oskar Schindler”—who took staggering risks to save 2,500 children from death and deportation in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II. In 1942, one young social worker, Irena Sendler, was granted access to the Warsaw ghetto as a public health specialist. While there, she reached out to the trapped Jewish families, going from door to door and asking the parents to trust her with their young children. She started smuggling them out of the walled district, convincing her friends and neighbors to hide them. Driven to extreme measures and with the help of a network of local tradesmen, ghetto residents, and her star-crossed lover in the Jewish resistance, Irena ultimately smuggled thousands of children past the Nazis. She made dangerous trips through the city’s sewers, hid children in coffins, snuck them under overcoats at checkpoints, and slipped them through secret passages in abandoned buildings. But Irena did something even more astonishing at immense personal risk: she kept secret lists buried in bottles under an old apple tree in a friend’s back garden. On them were the names and true identities of those Jewish children, recorded with the hope that their relatives could find them after the war. She could not have known that more than ninety percent of their families would perish. In Irena’s Children, Tilar Mazzeo tells the incredible story of this courageous and brave woman who risked her life to save innocent children from the Holocaust—a truly heroic tale of survival, resilience, and redemption.
The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts
In Cold Blood meets Adrian Nicole LeBlanc’s Random Family: A harrowing, profoundly personal investigation of the causes, effects, and communal toll of a deeply troubling crime—the brutal murder of three young children by their parents in the border city of Brownsville, Texas. On March 11, 2003, in Brownsville, Texas—one of America’s poorest cities—John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho murdered their three young children. The apartment building in which the brutal crimes took place was already rundown, and in their aftermath a consensus developed in the community that it should be destroyed. It was a place, neighbors felt, that was plagued by spiritual cancer. In 2008, journalist Laura Tillman covered the story for The Brownsville Herald. The questions it raised haunted her, particularly one asked by the sole member of the city’s Heritage Council to oppose demolition: is there any such thing as an evil building? Her investigation took her far beyond that question, revealing the nature of the toll that the crime exacted on a city already wracked with poverty. It sprawled into a six-year inquiry into the larger significance of such acts, ones so difficult to imagine or explain that their perpetrators are often dismissed as monsters alien to humanity. With meticulous attention and stunning compassion, Tillman surveyed those surrounding the crimes, speaking with the lawyers who tried the case, the family’s neighbors and relatives and teachers, even one of the murderers: John Allen Rubio himself, whom she corresponded with for years and ultimately met in person. The result is a brilliant exploration of some of our age’s most important social issues, from poverty to mental illness to the death penalty, and a beautiful, profound meditation on the truly human forces that drive them. It is disturbing, insightful, and mesmerizing in equal measure.
“A fascinating and moving account of a courageous and resourceful woman. Beautifully written and utilizing previously untapped sources it sheds new light both on the father of our country and on the intersections of slavery and freedom.” —Eric Foner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Fiery Trial and Gateway to Freedom A startling and eye-opening look into America’s First Family, Never Caught is the powerful narrative of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave who risked everything to escape the nation’s capital and reach freedom. When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation’s capital. In setting up his household he took Tobias Lear, his celebrated secretary and eight slaves, including Ona Judge, about whom little has been written. As he grew accustomed to Northern ways, there was one change he couldn’t get his arms around: Pennsylvania law required enslaved people be set free after six months of residency in the state. Rather than comply, Washington decided to circumvent the law. Every six months he sent the slaves back down south just as the clock was about to expire. Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, the few pleasantries she was afforded were nothing compared to freedom, a glimpse of which she encountered first-hand in Philadelphia. So, when the opportunity presented itself, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. At just twenty-two-years-old, Ona became the subject of an intense manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property. With impeccable research, historian Erica Armstrong Dunbar weaves a powerful tale and offers fascinating new scholarship on how one young woman risked it all to gain freedom from the famous founding father.
A Path to Peace
The “illuminating” (Los Angeles Times) answer to why Israel and Palestine’s attempts at negotiation have failed and a practical, “admirably measured” (The New York Times) roadmap for bringing peace to the Middle East—by an impartial American diplomat experienced in solving international conflicts. George Mitchell knows how to bring peace to troubled regions. He was the primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement for peace in Northern Ireland. But when he served as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2011—working to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—diplomacy did not prevail. Now, for the first time, Mitchell offers his insider account of how the Israelis and the Palestinians have progressed (and regressed) in their negotiations through the years and outlines the specific concessions each side must make to finally achieve lasting peace.
Stephen E. Ambrose Opening of the West E-Book Boxed Set
From the west-facing window of the room in which Meriwether Lewis was born on August 18, 1774, one could look out at Rockfish Gap, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an opening to the West that invited exploration. The Virginia Piedmont of 1774 was not the frontier—that had extended beyond the Allegheny chain of mountains, and a cultured plantation life was nearly a generation old—but it wasn’t far removed. Traces of the old buffalo trail that led up Rockfish River to the Gap still remained. Deer were exceedingly plentiful, black bear common. An exterminating war was being waged against wolves. Beaver were on every stream. Flocks of turkeys thronged the woods. In the fall and spring, ducks and geese darkened the rivers.
Dragonflies (Collins New Naturalist Library, Book 106)
Dragonflies are among the most ancient of living creatures – few insect groups fascinate as much or are more immediately recognisable. In this seminal new work, Philip Corbet and Stephen Brooks examine the behaviour, ecology and distribution of dragonflies in Britain and Ireland, placing emphasis on the insects' habitats and also on measures needed to conserve them. Published in 1960 – with Philip Corbet as contributing author – volume 41 of the New Naturalist series provided the first in-depth study of the biology of British dragonflies, helping to inspire many people to take an interest in these intriguing insects. In this new volume, Corbet has teamed up with Stephen Brooks, offering a fascinating new outlook on the natural history of dragonflies. The authors have combined their knowledge and experience to help illuminate the relevance of British dragonfly species, placing them in the overall context of natural history from a broader, worldwide perspective. Illustrated with beautiful photography throughout, New Naturalist Dragonflies explores all aspects of the biological significance of dragonfly behaviour, thus revealing the beauty and hidden complexity of these powerful, agile, flying predators.
Book of Shells
Who among us hasn't marveled at the diversity and beauty of shellsOr picked one up, held it to our ear, and then gazed in wonder at its shape and hueMany a lifelong shell collector has cut teeth (and toes) on the beaches of the Jersey Shore, the Outer Banks, or the coasts of Sanibel Island. Some have even dived to the depths of the ocean. But most of us are not familiar with the biological origin of shells, their role in explaining evolutionary history, and the incredible variety of forms in which they come.Shells are the external skeletons of mollusks, an ancient and diverse phylum of invertebrates that are in the earliest fossil record of multicellular life over 500 million years ago. There are over 100,000 kinds of recorded mollusks, and some estimate that there are over amillion more that have yet to be discovered. Some breathe air, others live in fresh water, but most live in the ocean. They range in size from a grain of sand to a beach ball and in weight from a few grams to several hundred pounds. And in this lavishly illustrated volume, they finally get their full due.The Book of Shells offers a visually stunning and scientifically engaging guide to six hundred of the most intriguing mollusk shells, each chosen to convey the range of shapes and sizes that occur across a range of species. Each shell is reproduced here at its actual size, in full color, and is accompanied by an explanation of the shell's range, distribution, abundance, habitat, and operculum-the piece that protects the mollusk when it's in the shell. Brief scientific and historical accounts of each shell and related species include fun-filled facts and anecdotes that broaden its portrait.The Matchless Cone, for instance, or Conus cedonulli, was one of the rarest shells collected during the eighteenth century. So much so, in fact, that a specimen in 1796 was sold for more than six times as much as a painting by Vermeer at the same auction. But since the advent of scuba diving, this shell has become far more accessible to collectors-though not without certain risks. Some species of Conus produce venom that has caused more than thirty known human deaths.The Zebra Nerite, the Heart Cockle, the Indian Babylon, the Junonia, the Atlantic Thorny Oyster-shells from habitats spanning the poles and the tropics, from the highest mountains to the ocean's deepest recesses, are all on display in this definitive work.
The Modern Cook’s Year: Over 250 vibrant vegetable recipes to see you through th
Anna Jones is a cook, food writer and stylist. One grey, late-for-the-office day, she decided to quit her day job after reading an article about following your passion. Within weeks, she was signed up on Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen apprentice programme. She went on to be part of Jamie’s food team – styling, writing and working behind the scenes on books, TV shows and food campaigns. She has also worked with other well-known chefs, such as Henry and Tom Herbert (The Fabulous Baker Brothers), Stevie Parle and Antonio Carluccio, and cooked for royalty, politicians and LA school children alike. She lives, writes and cooks in Hackney, East London.
Made at Home: The food I cook for the people I love
Michelin-starred Giorgio Locatelli is one of Britain's best known Italian chefs. Giorgio began his career at his family's restaurant in Italy before coming to London. He was head chef at Zafferano in London from its opening to a storm of praise and press coverage in 1994, before moving in 2002 to open Locanda Locatelli, where he remains chef-patron.
A thought-provoking examination of how we think and talk about beauty today—and the unexpected and often positive ways that beauty shapes our lives. For decades, we’ve discussed our insecurities in the face of idealized, retouched, impossibly perfect images. We’ve worried primping and preening are a distraction and a trap. But have we focused too much on beauty’s negative influence? In Face Value, journalist Autumn Whitefield-Madrano thoughtfully examines the relationship between appearance and science, social media, sex, friendship, language, and advertising to show how beauty actually affects us day to day. Through meticulous research and interviews with dozens of women across all walks of life, she reveals surprising findings, like that wearing makeup can actually relax you, that you can convince people you’re better looking just by tweaking your personality, and the ways beauty can be a powerful tool of connection among women. Equal parts social commentary, cultural analysis, careful investigation, and powerful personal anecdotes, Face Value is provocative and empowering—and a great conversation starter for women everywhere.
Winner of the Pacific Northwest Book Award “The best outdoors book of the year” —Sierra Club A New York Times Bestseller One of the Best Books of 2016—as chosen by The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, Amazon, National Post, The Telegraph, Booklist, The Guardian Bookshop, New York’s “The Science of Us” From a debut talent who’s been compared to Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, David Quammen, and Jared Diamond, On Trails is a wondrous exploration of how trails help us understand the world—from invisible ant trails to hiking paths that span continents, from interstate highways to the Internet. In 2009, while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath our feet: How do they form? Why do some improve over time while others fade? What makes us follow or strike off on our own? Over the course of the next seven years, Moor traveled the globe, exploring trails of all kinds, from the miniscule to the massive. He learned the tricks of master trail-builders, hunted down long-lost Cherokee trails, and traced the origins of our road networks and the Internet. In each chapter, Moor interweaves his adventures with findings from science, history, philosophy, and nature writing—combining the nomadic joys of Peter Matthiessen with the eclectic wisdom of Lewis Hyde’s The Gift. Throughout, Moor reveals how this single topic—the oft-overlooked trail—sheds new light on a wealth of age-old questions: How does order emerge out of chaos? How did animals first crawl forth from the seas and spread across continents? How has humanity’s relationship with nature and technology shaped world around us? And, ultimately, how does each of us pick a path through life? Moor has the essayist’s gift for making new connections, the adventurer’s love for paths untaken, and the philosopher’s knack for asking big questions. With a breathtaking arc that spans from the dawn of animal life to the digital era, On Trails is a book that makes us see our world, our history, our species, and our ways of life anew.
Birds Art Life
A writer’s search for inspiration, beauty, and solace leads her to birds in this intimate and exuberant meditation on creativity and life—a field guide to things small and significant. When it comes to birds, Kyo Maclear isn’t seeking the exotic. Rather she discovers joy in the seasonal birds that find their way into view in city parks and harbors, along eaves and on wires. In a world that values big and fast, Maclear looks to the small, the steady, the slow accumulations of knowledge, and the lulls that leave room for contemplation. A distilled, crystal-like companion to H is for Hawk, Birds Art Life celebrates the particular madness of chasing after birds in the urban environment and explores what happens when the core lessons of birding are applied to other aspects of art and life. Moving with ease between the granular and the grand, peering into the inner landscape as much as the outer one, this is a deeply personal year-long inquiry into big themes: love, waiting, regrets, endings. If Birds Art Life was sprung from Maclear’s sense of disconnection, her passions faltering under the strain of daily existence, this book is ultimately about the value of reconnection—and how the act of seeking engagement and beauty in small ways can lead us to discover our most satisfying and meaningful lives.
The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, stories & 100 essential recipes for midwinter
Nigel Slater is the author of a collection of best-selling books and presenter of BBC 1's Eating Together, Simple Cooking and Dish of the Day. He has been food columnist for The Observer for over twenty years. His books include the classics Appetite and The Kitchen Diaries and the critically acclaimed two-volume Tender. His award-winning memoir Toast – the Story of a Boy's Hunger won six major awards and is now a BBC film starring Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore. His writing has won the National Book Awards, the Glenfiddich Trophy, the André Simon Memorial Prize and the British Biography of the Year. He was the winner of a Guild of Food Writers' Award for his BBC 1 series Simple Suppers.
D-Day Illustrated Edition
D-Day and operation OVERLORD are often regarded as one of the most important operation of all time. The stretch of beach along the Calvados coast is world famous for the part it played in turning around World War II on the 6th of June 1944, when British, Canadian and American troops broke through Nazi defenses. Normandy is indelibly marked by the momentous events of June 1944, and the ensuing months leading to the liberation of France and the rest of Europe. Visitors today can explore old army bunkers and other war relics along the five beaches: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. Museums and memorials throughout the region stand as forceful reminders of this decisive period during the Second World War, when Allied Forces gradually advanced from landing beaches through villages, towns and countryside to liberate the French people.
How Life Began
The origin of life is a hotly debated topic. The Christian Bible states that God created the heavens and the Earth, all in about seven days roughly six thousand years ago. This episode in Genesis departs markedly from scientific theories developed over the last two centuries which hold that life appeared on Earth about 3.5 billion years ago in the form of bacteria, followed by unicellular organisms half a millennia later. It is this version of genesis that Alexandre Meinesz explores in this engaging tale of life's origins and evolution.?How Life Began elucidates three origins, or geneses, of life-bacteria, nucleated cells, and multicellular organisms-and shows how evolution has sculpted life to its current biodiversity through four main events-mutation, recombination, natural selection, and geologic cataclysm.?As an ecologist who specializes in algae, the first organisms to colonize Earth, Meinesz brings a refreshingly novel voice to the history of biodiversity and emphasizes here the role of unions in organizing life. For example, the ingestion of some bacteria by other bacteria led to mitochondria that characterize animal and plant cells, and the chloroplasts of plant cells.?As Meinesz charmingly recounts, life's grandeur is a result of an evolutionary tendency toward sociality and solidarity. He suggests that it is our cohesion and collaboration that allows us to solve the environmental problems arising in the decades and centuries to come. Rooted in the science of evolution but enlivened with many illustrations from other disciplines and the arts, How Life Began?intertwines the rise of bacteria and multicellular life with Vermeer's portrait of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the story of Genesis and Noah, Meinesz's son's early experiences with Legos, and his own encounters with other scientists. All of this brings a very human and humanistic tone to Meinesz's charismatic narrative of the three origins of life.?
On the Nature of Limbs
The most prominent naturalist in Britain before Charles Darwin, Richard Owen made empirical discoveries and offered theoretical innovations that were crucial to the proof of evolution. Among his many lasting contributions to science was the first clear definition of the term homology-"e;the same organ in different animals under every variety of form and function."e; He also graphically demonstrated that all vertebrate species were built on the same skeletal plan and devised the vertebrate archetype as a representation of the simplest common form of all vertebrates.Just as Darwin's ideas continue to propel the modern study of adaptation, so too will Owen's contributions fuel the new interest in homology, organic form, and evolutionary developmental biology. His theory of the archetype and his views on species origins were first offered to the general public in On the Nature of Limbs, published in 1849. It reemerges here in a facsimile edition with introductory essays by prominent historians, philosophers, and practitioners from the modern evo-devo community.
In this culmination of his search for anthropological concepts and practices appropriate to the twenty-first century, Paul Rabinow contends that to make sense of the contemporary anthropologists must invent new forms of inquiry. He begins with an extended rumination on what he gained from two of his formative mentors: Michel Foucault and Clifford Geertz. Reflecting on their lives as teachers and thinkers, as well as human beings, he poses questions about their critical limitations, unfulfilled hopes, and the lessons he learned from and with them.?This spirit of collaboration animates The Accompaniment, as Rabinow assesses the last ten years of his career, largely spent engaging in a series of intensive experiments in collaborative research and often focused on cutting-edge work in synthetic biology. He candidly details the successes and failures of shifting his teaching practice away from individual projects, placing greater emphasis on participation over observation in research, and designing and using websites as a venue for collaboration. Analyzing these endeavors alongside his efforts to apply an anthropological lens to the natural sciences, Rabinow lays the foundation for an ethically grounded anthropology ready and able to face the challenges of our contemporary world.
Newcomers to Old Towns
2004 winner of the Robert E. Park Book Award from the Community and Urban Sociology Section (CUSS) of the American Sociological AssociationAlthough the death of the small town has been predicted for decades, during the 1990s the population of rural America actually increased by more than three million people. In this book, Sonya Salamon explores these rural newcomers and the impact they have on the social relationships, public spaces, and community resources of small town America.Salamon draws on richly detailed ethnographic studies of six small towns in central Illinois, including a town with upscale subdivisions that lured wealthy professionals as well as towns whose agribusinesses drew working-class Mexicano migrants and immigrants. She finds that regardless of the class or ethnicity of the newcomers, if their social status differs relative to that of oldtimers, their effect on a town has been the same: suburbanization that erodes the close-knit small town community, with especially severe consequences for small town youth. To successfully combat the homogenization of the heartland, Salamon argues, newcomers must work with oldtimers so that together they sustain the vital aspects of community life and identity that first drew them to small towns.An illustration of the recent revitalization of interest in the small town, Salamon's work provides a significant addition to the growing literature on the subject. Social scientists, sociologists, policymakers, and urban planners will appreciate this important contribution to the ongoing discussion of social capital and the transformation in the study and definition of communities.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, dramatist, statesman, and adviser to the emperor Nero, all during the Silver Age of Latin literature. The Complete Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca is a fresh and compelling series of new English-language translations of his works in eight accessible volumes. Edited by world-renowned classicists Elizabeth Asmis, Shadi Bartsch, and Martha C. Nussbaum, this engaging collection restores Seneca-whose works have been highly praised by modern authors from Desiderius Erasmus to Ralph Waldo Emerson-to his rightful place among the classical writers most widely studied in the humanities.Written near the end of Seneca's life, Natural Questions is a work in which Seneca expounds and comments on the natural sciences of his day-rivers and earthquakes, wind and snow, meteors and comets-offering us a valuable look at the ancient scientific mind at work. The modern reader will find fascinating insights into ancient philosophical and scientific approaches to the physical world and also vivid evocations of the grandeur, beauty, and terror of nature.
Heidegger, Strauss, and the Premises of Philosophy
In this groundbreaking work, Richard L. Velkley examines the complex philosophical relationship between Martin Heidegger and Leo Strauss. Velkley argues that both thinkers provide searching analyses of the philosophical tradition's origins in radical questioning. For Heidegger and Strauss, the recovery of the original premises of philosophy cannot be separated from rethinking the very possibility of genuine philosophizing.?Common views of the influence of Heidegger's thought on Strauss suggest that, after being inspired early on by Heidegger's dismantling of the philosophical tradition, Strauss took a wholly separate path, spurning modernity and pursuing instead a renewal of Socratic political philosophy. Velkley rejects this reading and maintains that Strauss's engagement with the challenges posed by Heidegger-as well as by modern philosophy in general-formed a crucial and enduring framework for his lifelong philosophical project. More than an intellectual biography or a mere charting of influence, Heidegger, Strauss, and the Premises of Philosophy is a profound consideration of these two philosophers' reflections on the roots, meaning, and fate of Western rationalism.