The Goldilocks Enigma is Paul Davies's eagerly awaited return to cosmology, the successor to his critically acclaimed bestseller The Mind of God. Here he tackles all the "big questions," including the biggest of them all: Why does the universe seem so well adapted for life?
In his characteristically clear and elegant style, Davies shows how recent scientific discoveries point to a perplexing fact: many different aspects of the cosmos, from the properties of the humble carbon atom to the speed of light, seem tailor-made to produce life. A radical new theory says it's because our universe is just one of an infinite number of universes, each one slightly different. Our universe is bio-friendly by accident -- we just happened to win the cosmic jackpot.
While this "multiverse" theory is compelling, it has bizarre implications, such as the existence of infinite copies of each of us and Matrix-like simulated universes. And it still leaves a lot unexplained. Davies believes there's a more satisfying solution to the problem of existence: the observations we make today could help shape the nature of reality in the remote past. If this is true, then life -- and, ultimately, consciousness -- aren't just incidental byproducts of nature, but central players in the evolution of the universe.
Whether he's elucidating dark matter or dark energy, M-theory or the multiverse, Davies brings the leading edge of science into sharp focus, provoking us to think about the cosmos and our place within it in new and thrilling ways.
Set in Georgia on the eve of court-ordered integration, Clock Without Hands contains McCullers's most poignant statement on race, class, and justice. A small-town druggist dying of leukemia calls himself and his community to account in this tale of change and changelessness, of death and the death-in-life that is hate. It is a tale, as McCullers herself wrote, of "response and responsibility--of man toward his own livingness."
Open the gate to Fairacre, America's favorite English village.
The end of a school year often brings unmitigated rapture for schoolteachers, and so it should for Miss Read, schoolmistress in the charming English village of Fairacre. But on the very first day of the long summer holiday, she falls and breaks her arm. Just when her summer seems ruined, her old friend, Amy Garfield, comes to her aid with a diverting suggestion. They travel to Crete for two weeks, and the change of scene provides a welcome break for both of them. When Miss Read returns, refreshed, to her beloved village, she is ready to tackle the problems that await her.
Open the gate to Fairacre, America's favorite English village.
Having bid a last farewell to her pupils at Fairacre School, Miss Read settles down to what she hopes will be a relaxing retirement. It is not entirely so, of course. She finds herself as busy and in demand as ever: on holiday in Florence, helping with church and school affairs, and offering a kindly ear to her eccentric neighbors. With her teaching days behind her, Miss Read discovers her talent for writing, opening a new and exciting chapter in her life and bringing to a close her stories of life in Fairacre, the timeless English village beloved by millions of readers.
Beautiful Chiara is the last of the Ridolfi, a Florentine family of long lineage and eccentric habits. She is smitten with Salvatore, a brilliant but penniless doctor, a rational man who wants nothing to do with romance. This is the story of how these two--with the best intentions, the kindest of instincts, and the most meddlesome of friends--make each other wonderfully miserable inside.
A mesmerizing, unsettling memoir about the ever-echoing nature of identity--written in vivid, blooming detail. --Gillian Flynn, best-selling author of Gone Girl On October 17, 2002, David MacLean woke up on a train platform in India with no idea who he was or why he was there. No money. No passport. No identity. Taken to a mental hospital by the police, MacLean then started to hallucinate so severely he had to be tied down. He could remember song lyrics, but not his family, his friends, or the woman he was told he loved. His illness, it turned out, was the result of the commonly prescribed antimalarial medication he had been taking. Upon his return to the United States, he struggled to piece together the fragments of his former life in a harrowing, absurd, and unforgettable journey back to himself. [MacLean] is an exceedingly entertaining psychotic . . . [A] raw, honest and beautiful memoir.--New York Times A deeply moving account of amnesia that explores the quandary of the self . . . MacLean has written a memoir that combines the evocative power of William Styrons Darkness Visible, the lyric subtlety of Michael Ondaatjes Running in the Family and the narrative immediacy of a Hollywood action film. He reminds us how we are all always trying to find a version of ourselves that we can live with.--Los Angeles Times DAVID STUART MACLEAN is a PEN/American Awardwinning writer. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Ploughshares, and on the radio program This American Life. He has a PhD from the University of Houston and is a cofounder of the Poison Pen Reading Series.
America, meet the real John F. Kennedy. -- Washington Times John F. Kennedy is lionized by liberals. He inspired Lyndon Johnson to push Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act. His New Frontier promised increased spending on education and medical care for the elderly. He inspired Bill Clinton to go into politics. His champions insist he would have done great liberal things had he not been killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. But what if weve been looking at him all wrong? Indeed, JFK had more in common with Ronald Reagan than with LBJ. After all, JFKs two great causes were anticommunism and tax cuts. His tax cuts, domestic spending restraint, military buildup, pro-growth economic policy, emphasis on free trade and a strong dollar, and foreign policy driven by the idea that America had a God-given mission to defend freedom -- all make him, by the standards of both his time and our own, a conservative. This widely debated book is must reading for conservatives and liberals alike. Provocative and compelling . . . Ira Stoll has succeeded in changing our very perception of Kennedy as one of liberalisms heroes. -- Weekly Standard An informative analysis of the ways in which JFK did indeed evince his conservative side -- he was very religious, open to a free market unencumbered by governmental interference, and staunchly anti-Communist. -- Publishers Weekly
Huge boys, huge dreams, huge success--how one family from Buffalo put five boys on the track to realizing their athletic potential and making it big The beauty of Growing Up Gronk is that you never really have to grow up at all. A fascinating look inside a larger-than-life football family.-- Dan Shaughnessy, best-selling author of Francona: The Red Sox Years It is so statistically unlikely as to be almost unbelievable. Somehow, the Gronkowski family has produced three sons who play in the NFL (Rob, Chris, and Dan), one who was drafted into Major League Baseball (Gordie, Jr.), and another who is the starting fullback for Kansas State (Goose). Their father, Gordy, even played college football for Syracuse. How did it happen? From an early age, Gordy realized the potential his sons had and worked with them to make the most of it. Beyond their monstrous size, physicality, and raw talent, he instilled in them a commitment to fitness, health, drive, and determination that would give his boys a leg up in ways other families simply couldnt match. And the boys motivation certainly wasnt something solely triggered by a driven father. They were like a pack of adolescent wolves readying themselves for the recruiting hunt. Still, all were honor roll students; the three oldest earned college degrees. Each was motivated and inspired by his brothers. Competition and bragging rights were -- and continue to be -- a big part of what makes the Gronkowskis tick. Growing Up Gronk reveals the secrets to the Gronkowskis astonishing collective success while opening the door to a lively, entertaining, one-of-a-kind household.
This riveting war story introduces us to the beautiful Kate Zweig, the English widow of a German surgeon, and Claus Murphy, an exiled American with German roots two lovers with complicated loyalties.In 1918, Kate and her husband, Horst, are taken for
A lively and cinematic twentieth-century epic, Red Poppies focuses on the extravagant and brutal reign of a clan of Tibetan warlords during the rise of Chinese Communism. The story is wryly narrated by the chieftain's son, a self-professed "idiot" who reveals the bloody feuds, seductions, secrets, and scheming behind his family's struggles for power. When the chieftain agrees to grow opium poppies with seeds supplied by the Chinese Nationalists in exchange for modern weapons, he draws Tibet into the opium trade -- and unwittingly plants the seeds for a downfall. A "swashbuckling novel" (New York Times Book Review), Red Poppies is at once a political parable and a moving elegy to the lost kingdom of Tibet in all its cruelty, beauty, and romance.
The tragedy of the Donner party constitutes one of the most amazing stories of the American West. In 1846 eighty-seven people -- men, women, and children -- set out for California, persuaded to attempt a new overland route. After struggling across the desert, losing many oxen, and nearly dying of thirst, they reached the very summit of the Sierras, only to be trapped by blinding snow and bitter storms. Many perished; some survived by resorting to cannibalism; all were subjected to unbearable suffering. Incorporating the diaries of the survivors and other contemporary documents, George Stewart wrote the definitive history of that ill-fated band of pioneers; an astonishing account of what human beings may endure and achieve in the final press of circumstance.
Marcovaldo is an unskilled worker in a drab industrial city in northern Italy. He is an irrepressible dreamer and an inveterate schemer. Much to the puzzlement of his wife, his children, his boss, and his neighbors, he chases his dreams-but the results are never the expected ones. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
Three classic adventure stories, reminders of both the romance and the reality of the pioneer era of aviation: Night Flight; Wind, Sand and Stars; and Flight to Arras. Introduction by Richard Bach. Translated by Lewis Galantière and Stuart Gilbert.
Long-listed for the 2014 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Spring 2014 selection A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice Sensitively wrought . . . For Today I Am a Boy is as much about the construction of self as the consequences of its unwitting destruction--and what happens when its acceptance seems as foreign as another country. --New York Times Book Review Subtle and controlled, with flashes of humor and warmth. --Slate At birth, Peter Huang is given the Chinese name Juan Chaun, powerful king. To his parents, newly settled in small-town Ontario, he is the exalted only son in a sea of daughters, the one who will finally fulfill his immigrant fathers dreams of Western masculinity. Peter and his sisters grow up in an airless house of order and obligation, though secrets and half-truths simmer beneath the surface. At the first opportunity, each of the girls lights out on her own. But for Peter, escape is not as simple as fleeing his parents home. Though his father crowned him powerful king, Peter knows otherwise. He knows he is really a girl. With the help of his far-flung sisters and the sympathetic souls he finds along the way, Peter inches ever closer to his own life, his own skin, in this darkly funny, emotionally acute, stunningly powerful debut. Keeps you reading. Told in snatches of memory that hurt so much they have the ring of truth. --Bust magazine
In this bold and controversial examination of the past, present, and future of science fiction, Lem informs the raging debate over the literary merit of the genre with ten arch, incisive, provocative essays. Edited and with an Introduction by Franz Rottensteiner. Translated by Rottensteiner and others. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
The planet Quinta is pocked by ugly mounds and covered by a spiderweb-like network. It is a kingdom of phantoms and of a beauty afflicted by madness. In stark contrast, the crew of the spaceship Hermes represents a knowledge-seeking Earth. As they approach Quinta, a dark poetry takes over and leads them into a nightmare of misunderstanding. Translated by Michael Kandel. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
A young officer at Scotland Yard is assigned to investigate a puzzling and eerie case of missing-and apparently resurrected-bodies. To unravel the mystery, Lt. Gregory consults scientific, philosophical, and theological experts, who supply him with a host of theories and clues.
Here are three novellas of escape and exile, touching and funny and at times calculatedly outrageous. In "Saturn Street," a disaffected L.A. screenwriter delivers lunches to homebound AIDS patients, only to find himself falling in love with one of them. In "The Wooden Anniversary," Nathan and Celia - familiar characters from Leavitt's story collections - reunite after a five-year separation. And in "The Term-Paper Artist," a writer named David Leavitt, hiding out at his father's house in the aftermath of a publishing scandal, experiences literary rejuvenation when he agrees to write term papers for UCLA undergraduates in exchange for sex.
Since 2000, America's most ambitious young evangelicals have been making their way to Patrick Henry College, a small Christian school just outside the nation's capital. Most of them are homeschoolers whose idealism and discipline put the average American teenager to shame. And God's Harvard grooms these students to be the elite of tomorrow, dispatching them to the front lines of politics, entertainment, and science, to wage the battle to take back a godless nation. Hanna Rosin spent a year and a half embedded at the college, following the students from the campus to the White House, Congress, conservative think tanks, Hollywood, and other centers of influence. Her account captures this nerve center of the evangelical movement at a moment of maximum influence and also of crisis, as it struggles to avoid the temptations of modern life and still remake the world in its own image.
From the moment Europeans arrived in North America, they were awestruck by a continent awash with birds--great flocks of wild pigeons, prairies teeming with grouse, woodlands alive with brilliantly colored songbirds. Of a Feather traces the colorful origins of American birding: the frontier ornithologists who collected eggs between border skirmishes; the society matrons who organized the first effective conservation movement; and the luminaries with checkered pasts, such as Alexander Wilson (a convicted blackmailer) and the endlessly self-mythologizing John James Audubon. Scott Weidensaul also recounts the explosive growth of modern birding that began when an awkward schoolteacher named Roger Tory Peterson published A Field Guide to the Birds in 1934. Today birding counts iPod-wearing teens and obsessive "listers" among its tens of millions of participants, making what was once an eccentric hobby into something so completely mainstream it's now (almost) cool. This compulsively readable popular history will surely find a roost on every birder's shelf.
Born in the wake of World War II, RAND quickly became the creator of America's anti-Soviet nuclear strategy. A magnet for the best and the brightest, its ranks included Cold War luminaries such as Albert Wohlstetter, Bernard Brodie, and Herman Kahn, who arguably saved us from nuclear annihilation and unquestionably created Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex." In the Kennedy era, RAND analysts and their theories of rational warfare steered our conduct in Vietnam. Those same theories drove our invasion of Iraq forty-five years later, championed by RAND affiliated actors such as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Zalmay Khalilzad. But RAND's greatest contribution might be its least known: rational choice theory, a model explaining all human behavior through self-interest. Through it RAND sparked the Reagan-led transformation of our social and economic system but also unleashed a resurgence of precisely the forces whose existence it denied -- religion, patriotism, tribalism.
With Soldiers of Reason, Alex Abella has rewritten the history of America's last half century and cast a new light on our problematic present.
"I want my wines to tell a good story. I want them natural and most of all, like my dear friends, I want them to speak the truth even if we argue," says Alice Feiring. Join her as she sets off on her one-woman crusade against the tyranny of homogenization, wine consultants, and, of course, the 100-point scoring system of a certain all-powerful wine writer. Traveling through the ancient vineyards of the Loire and Champagne, to Piedmont and Spain, she goes in search of authentic barolo, the last old-style rioja, and the tastiest new terroir-driven champagnes. She reveals just what goes into the average bottle--the reverse osmosis, the yeasts and enzymes, the sawdust and oak chips--and why she doesn't find much to drink in California. And she introduces rebel winemakers who are embracing old-fashioned techniques and making wines with individuality and soul. No matter what your palate, travel the wine world with Feiring and you'll have to ask yourself: What do i really want in my glass?