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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, an entwined narrative of the most adventurous year of all time, when three expeditions simultaneously raced to the top, bottom, and heights of the world.As 1909 dawned, the greatest jewels of exploration—set at the world’s frozen extremes—lay unclaimed: the North and South Poles and the so-called “Third Pole,” the pole of altitude, located in unexplored heights of the Himalaya. Before the calendar turned, three expeditions had faced death, mutiny, and the harshest conditions on the planet to plant flags at the furthest edges of the Earth.In the course of one extraordinary year, Americans Robert Peary and Matthew Henson were hailed worldwide at the discovers of the North Pole; Britain’s Ernest Shackleton had set a new geographic “Furthest South” record, while his expedition mate, Australian Douglas Mawson, had reached the Magnetic South Pole; and at the roof of the world, Italy’s Duke of the Abruzzi had attained an altitude record that would stand for a generation, the result of the first major mountaineering expedition to the Himalaya's eastern Karakoram, where the daring aristocrat attempted K2 and established the standard route up the most notorious mountain on the planet. Based on extensive archival and on-the-ground research, Edward J. Larson weaves these narratives into one thrilling adventure story. Larson, author of the acclaimed polar history Empire of Ice, draws on his own voyages to the Himalaya, the arctic, and the ice sheets of the Antarctic, where he himself reached the South Pole and lived in Shackleton’s Cape Royds hut as a fellow in the National Science Foundations’ Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. These three legendary expeditions, overlapping in time, danger, and stakes, were glorified upon their return, their leaders celebrated as the preeminent heroes of their day. Stripping away the myth, Larson, a master historian, illuminates one of the great, overlooked tales of exploration, revealing the extraordinary human achievement at the heart of these journeys.Show more
In Washington Township, Michigan, on Valentine's Day, 2007, Stephen Grant filed a missing persons report on his beloved wife, Tara. The stay-at-home father of two was beside himself with despair. Why would Tara abandon him and their family? Was she involved with another man? Stephen's frantic, emotional search for Tara made national headlines, and the case was featured on Dateline among other television shows and news outlets. But key elements in Stephen's story still weren't adding up: Why did he wait five days to go to police? What was the nature of his relationship with his children's beautiful, nineteen-year-old babysitter? Why did Stephen have cuts on his hands, and random bruises? Then, the police made a gruesome discovery.Parts of Tara Grant's body started turning up around the woods near their home. The truth was finally coming to light ... and, after a two-day manhunt, Stephen admitted to having killed Tara?first strangling her, then cutting her body into fourteen pieces before burying them. This is the shocking true story about a bitter, cheating husband whose crimes were revealed by the Blood in the Snow. "[Blood in the Snow is] the third book about the case but it's also the only one that had police cooperation. And that makes all the difference...Henderson's book offers behind-the-scenes insights. He crafts a story of the Grants' marriage, their relations with family members and later, displays how those personalities manifested themselves during trial preparation. In all, it's a wild ride of a read that's still compelling."-Detroit Metro TimesShow more
Ari Thór Arason is a local policeman whose tumultuous past and uneasy relationships with the villagers in an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland?where no one locks their doors?continue to haunt him.The peace of this close-knit community is shattered by the murder of a policeman?shot at point-blank range in the dead of night in a deserted house. With a killer on the loose and the dark Arctic winter closing in, it falls to Ari Thór to piece together a puzzle that involves tangled local politics, a compromised new mayor, and a psychiatric ward in Reykjavík where someone is being held against their will. Then a mysterious young woman moves to the area, on the run from something she dares not reveal, and it becomes all too clear that tragic events from the past are weaving a sinister spell that may threaten them all.Show more
Detroit mortgage broker Mark Unger adored his wife Florence and their two young sons. But after a decade of marriage and increasing financial trouble, Mark's life began to slowly unravel. He became addicted to pain killers and gambling, and ended up spending five months in rehab.Forced to go back to work, Flo became bitter and resentful of Mark and began to have an affair with one of his friends. When Mark returned home and his disability checks weren't enough to make ends meet, Flo filed for divorce.Panicked by the thought losing her, Mark did everything he could to win Flo back. Even though she resisted his efforts, Flo did agree to a weekend getaway at the family's favorite lakeside resort. But after their first night there, Flo went missing ... and the next day her corpse was found floating in the water. Mark claimed that her death was an accident-one that must have happened while he was up at the cottage putting the kids to sleep. But soon a jury would be convinced of what Flo's friends and family believed to be true: that Flo would never have been alone on the boat dock that night because she was deathly afraid of the dark.Show more
Among the greats of twentieth-century horror and fantasy, few names stand above Richard Matheson. Though known by many for novels like I Am Legend and his sixteen Twilight Zone episodes, Matheson truly shines in his chilling, masterful short stories. Since his first story appeared in 1950, virtually every major writer of science fiction and fantasy has fallen under his influence, including Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub, and Joe Hill, as well as filmmakers like Stephen Spielberg and J. J. Abrams.Matheson revolutionized horror by taking it out of Gothic castles and strange cosmos and into the darkened streets and suburbs we recognize as our own. He infused tales of the fantastic and supernormal with dark explorations of human nature, delving deep into the universal dread of feeling alone and threatened in a dangerous world. The Best of Richard Matheson brings together his greatest hits as chosen by Victor LaValle, an expert on horror fiction and one of its brightest talents, marking the first major overview of Matheson's legendary career.Show more
Let's make a deal, you and me. Let's make promises to each other. I promise to tell you my story. The whole story. I'll tell you about a boy in love with Jesus who, at the fateful onset of puberty, realized his sexual attractions were persistently and exclusively for other guys. I'll tell you how I lay on my bed in the middle of the night and whispered to myself the words I've whispered a thousand times since: "I'm gay." I'll show you the world through my eyes.I'll tell you what it's like to belong nowhere. To know that much of my Christian family will forever consider me unnatural, dangerous, because of something that feels as involuntary as my eye color. And to know that much of the LGBTQ community that shares my experience as a sexual minority will disagree with the way I've chosen to interpret the call of Jesus, believing I've bought into a tragic, archaic ritual of self-hatred.But I promise my story won't all be sadness and loneliness and struggle. I'll tell you good things too, hopeful things, funny things, like the time I accidentally came out to my best friend during his bachelor party. I'll tell you what it felt like the first time someone looked me in the eyes and said, "You are not a mistake." I'll tell you that joy and sorrow are not opposites, that my life has never been more beautiful than when it was most brokenhearted.If you'll listen, I promise I'll tell you everything, and you can decide for yourself what you want to believe about me.Show more
During a live television broadcast on the night of a lunar eclipse, renowned astrophysicist Andrew Leland is suddenly lifted into the sky by a giant spacecraft and taken away for all to see. Six years later, he turns up wandering in the Sonoran Desert, thin, bearded, a ghost of his former self. Upon his return he denies ever having been abducted, refuses to cooperate with the government or media, and disappears from the public eye, supposedly becoming a hermit somewhere in the woodlands of the Midwest. Meanwhile, much like J. D. Salinger, Leland inspires legions of cultish devotees, including a young physics graduate student named Shawn Ferris who is obsessed with finding out what really happened to him. When Shawn finally tracks Leland down, he discovers that he has not been hiding in the woods-he's been on the run for years, continuously hunted by a secret organization that has pursued him across multiple continents and is determined to force him into revealing what he knows. Shawn soon joins Leland on the run. Though Leland is at first reluctant to reveal anything about his experiences in space, Shawn will soon learn the truth about his abduction and the real reason for his return and will find himself caught up in a global conspiracy that puts more than just one planet in danger.Show more
Champions of synthetic biology believe that turning genetic code into Lego-like blocks to build never-before-seen organisms could solve the thorniest challenges in medicine, energy, and environmental protection. But as the hackers who cracked open the potential of the personal computer and the Internet proved, the most revolutionary discoveries often emerge from out-of-the-way places, forged by brilliant outsiders with few resources besides boundless energy and great ideas. In Biopunk, Marcus Wohlsen chronicles a growing community of DIY scientists working outside the walls of corporations and universities who are committed to democratizing DNA the way the Internet did information. The "biohacking" movement, now in its early, heady days, aims to unleash an outbreak of genetically modified innovation by making the tools and techniques of biotechnology accessible to everyone. Borrowing their idealism from the worlds of open-source software, artisinal food, Internet startups, and the Peace Corps, biopunks are devoted advocates for open-sourcing the basic code of life. They believe in the power of individuals with access to DNA to solve the world's biggest problems. You'll meet a new breed of hackers who aren't afraid to get their hands wet, from entrepreneurs who aim to bring DNA-based medical tools to the poorest of the poor to a curious tinkerer who believes a tub of yogurt and a jellyfish gene could protect the world's food supply. These biohackers include: A duo who started a cancer drug company in their kitchen A team who built an open-source DNA copy machine A woman who developed a genetic test in her apartment for a deadly disease that had stricken her family Along with the potential of citizen science to bring about disruptive change, Wohlsen explores the risks of DIY bioterrorism, the possibility of genetic engineering experiments gone awry, and whether the ability to design life from scratch on a laptop might come sooner than we think.Show more
This riveting narrative explores the world of placebos, hypnosis, false memories, and neurology to reveal the groundbreaking science of our suggestible minds. Could the secrets to personal health lie within our own brains? Journalist Erik Vance explores the surprising ways our expectations and beliefs influence our bodily responses to pain, disease, and everyday events. Drawing on centuries of research and interviews with leading experts in the field, Vance takes us on a fascinating adventure from Harvard's research labs to a witch doctor's office in Catemaco, Mexico, to an alternative medicine school near Beijing (often called "China's Hogwarts"). Vance's firsthand dispatches will change the way you think-and feel. Continuing the success of National Geographic's brain books and rounding out our pop science category, this book shows how expectations, beliefs, and self-deception can actively change our bodies and minds. Vance builds a case for our "internal pharmacy"-the very real chemical reactions our brains produce when we think we are experiencing pain or healing, actual or perceived. Supporting this idea is centuries of placebo research in a range of forms, from sugar pills to shock waves; studies of alternative medicine techniques heralded and condemned in different parts of the world (think crystals and chakras); and most recently, major advances in brain mapping technology. Thanks to this technology, we're learning how we might leverage our suggestibility (or lack thereof) for personalized medicine, and Vance brings us to the front lines of such study. "An eye-opening exploration of the intersection between philosophy and science and a fascinating peek into our innermost selves."-Kirkus ReviewsShow more
Conspirators plot to explode a train carrying nerve gas. A perfect servant suddenly reveals himself to be the insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. Science-fantasy wars, racism, corporate capitalism, drug addiction, and various medical and psychiatric horrors all play their parts in this mosaic, experimental novel. Here is William S. Burroughs at his coruscating and hilarious best. "Burroughs is the greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift."-Jack KerouacShow more
"Thrilling. ...A captivating history of two men who dramatically changed their contemporaries' view of the past." - Kirkus (starred review) In 1839 rumors of extraordinary yet baffling stone ruins buried within the unmapped jungles of Central America reached two of the world's most intrepid travelers. Seized by the reports, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood-each already celebrated for their adventures in Egypt, the Holy Land, Greece, and Rome-sailed together out of New York Harbor on an expedition into the forbidding rainforests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. What they found would re-write the West's understanding of human history. In the tradition of Lost City of Z and In the Kingdom of Ice, former San Francisco Chronicle journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist William Carlsen reveals the unforgettable true story of the discovery of the ancient Maya. Enduring disease, war, and the torments of nature and terrain, Stephens and Catherwood meticulously uncovered and documented the remains of an astonishing civilization that had flourished in the Americas at the same time as classic Greece and Rome-and had been its rival in art, architecture, and power. Their remarkable book about the experience, written by Stephens and illustrated by Catherwood, became a sensation, hailed by Edgar Allen Poe as "perhaps the most interesting book of travel ever published" and recognized today as the birth of American archeology. Most importantly, Stephens and Catherwood were the first to grasp the significance of the Maya remains, recognizing that their antiquity and sophistication overturned the West's assumptions about the development of civilization. By the time of the flowering of classical Greece (400 B.C.), the Maya were already constructing pyramids and temples around central plazas. Within a few hundred years the structures took on a monumental scale that required millions of man-hours of labor, technical and organizational expertise. Over the next millennium dozens of city-states evolved, each governed by powerful lords, some with populations larger than any city in Europe at the time, and connected by road-like causeways of crushed stone. The Maya developed a cohesive, unified cosmology, an array of common gods, a creation story, and a shared artistic and architectural vision. They created dazzling stucco and stone monuments and bas reliefs, sculpting figures and hieroglyphs with refined artistic skill. At their peak, an estimated ten million people occupied the Maya's heartland on the Yucatan Peninsula, a region where only half a million now live. And yet, by the time the Spanish reached the "New World," the classic-era Maya had all but disappeared; they would remain a mystery for the next three hundred years. Today, the tables are turned: the Maya are justly famous, if sometimes misunderstood, while Stephens and Catherwood have been all but forgotten. Based on Carlsen's rigorous research and his own 2,500-mile journey throughout the Yucatan and Central America, Jungle of Stone is equally a thrilling adventure narrative and a revelatory work of history that corrects our understanding of the Maya and the two remarkable men who set out in 1839 to find them.Show more
Many Christians today feel overwhelmed as they try to live faithfully in a culture that seems increasingly hostile to their beliefs. Politics, marriage, sexuality, religious freedom--with an ever-growing list of contentious issues, believers find it harder than ever to hold on to their convictions while treating their friends, neighbors, coworkers, and even family members who disagree with respect and compassion. This isn't just a problem that affects individual Christians; if left unaddressed, the growing gap between the faithful and society's tolerance for public faith will have lasting consequences for the church in America. Now the bestselling authors of unChristian turn their data-driven insights toward the thorny question of how Christians talk with people they know and love about the most toxic issues of our day. They help today's disciples understand what they believe and why, and how to keep believing it without being judgmental and defensive. Readers will discover the most significant trends that offer both obstacles and opportunities to God's people, and how not only to challenge culture but to create and renew it for the common good. Perhaps most importantly, David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons invite fellow Christians to understand the heart behind opposing views and show them how to be loving, life-giving friends despite profound differences. This will be the go-to book for young adult and older believers who don't want to hide from culture but to engage and restore it.Show more
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