Brandy Vencel

The Colour of Magic: Discworld, Book 1

The Colour of Magic: Discworld, Book 1

Terry Pratchett's profoundly irreverent, bestselling novels have garnered him a revered position in the halls of parody next to the likes of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, and Carl Hiaasen.

The Color of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the now-legendary land of Discworld. This is where it all begins—with the tourist Twoflower and his wizard guide, Rincewind.

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The Black Swan

The Black Swan

The Black Swan is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.

A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.

Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.”

For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, “On Robustness and Fragility,” which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world.

Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan.

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The Lonesome Gods: An Epic Novel of the California Desert

The Lonesome Gods: An Epic Novel of the California Desert

“I am Johannes Verne, and I am not afraid.”
 
This was the boy’s mantra as he plodded through the desert alone, left to die by his vengeful grandfather. Johannes Verne was soon to be rescued by outlaws, but no one could save him from the lasting memory of his grandfather’s eyes, full of impenetrable hatred. Raised in part by Indians, then befriended by a mysterious woman, Johannes grew up to become a rugged adventurer and an educated man. But even now, strengthened by the love of a golden-haired girl and well on his way to making a fortune in bustling early-day Los Angeles, the past may rise up to threaten his future once more. And this time only the ancient gods of the desert can save him.

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The Origins of Totalitarianism

The Origins of Totalitarianism

The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

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The Abolition of Man

The Abolition of Man

From Amazon: "In the classic The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis, the most important Christian writer of the 20th century, sets out to persuade his audience of the importance and relevance of universal values such as courage and honor in contemporary society. Both astonishing and prophetic, The Abolition of Man is one of the most debated of Lewis's extraordinary works. National Review chose it as number seven on their 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century."

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In Vital Harmony: Charlotte Mason and the Natural Laws of Education

In Vital Harmony: Charlotte Mason and the Natural Laws of Education

Charlotte Mason looked at the world and saw that it was governed by universal laws, such as the law of gravity. Then she wondered. What if there were similar laws that governed the way people learn? If we knew what those laws were, we’d be able to pursue education along the most promising lines .

She devoted her life to finding the key principles of education and then developing methods to make the most of them. The result is a comprehensive picture of living and learning that breathes life into education at every level—from babyhood to the adult years. It’s not a rote system, but a flexible set of ideas that keep education in focus.

These principles are for everyone concerned with teaching and learning. They are no more difficult to implement than the principle of gravity which allows you to walk, run, and even--when you know what you are doing--to soar.

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Eifelheim

Eifelheim

Over the centuries, one small town in Germany has disappeared and never been resettled. Tom, a historian, and his theoretical physicist girlfriend Sharon, become interested. By all logic, the town should have survived. What's so special about Eifelheim?

Father Dietrich is the village priest of Eifelheim, in the year 1348, when the Black Death is gathering strength but is still not nearby. Dietrich is an educated man, and to his astonishment becomes the first contact person between humanity and an alien race from a distant star, when their ship crashes in the nearby forest. It is a time of wonders, in the shadow of the plague. Flynn gives us the full richness and strangeness of medieval life, as well as some terrific aliens.

Tom and Sharon, and Father Deitrich have a strange destiny of tragedy and triumph in Eifelheim, the brilliant science fiction novel by Michael Flynn.

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Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings

Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings

An inspiring look at the creative process
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings met each week to read and discuss each other's work-in-progress, offering both encouragement and blistering critique. How did these conversations shape the books they were writing? How does creative collaboration enhance individual talent? And what can we learn from their example?
Featuring full-page illustrations by James A. Owen, Bandersnatch offers an inside look at the Inklings of Oxford, and a seat at their table at the Eagle and Child pub. It shows how encouragement and criticism made all the difference in The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and dozens of other books written by the members of their circle. You'll learn what made these writers tick, and more: inspired by their example, you'll discover how collaboration can help your own creative process and lead to genius breakthroughs in whatever work you do.
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None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God

None Greater: The Undomesticated Attributes of God

For too long, Christians have domesticated God, bringing him down to our level as if he is a God who can be tamed. But he is a God who is high and lifted up, the Creator rather than the creature, someone than whom none greater can be conceived. If God is the most perfect, supreme being, infinite and incomprehensible, then certain perfect-making attributes must be true of him. Perfections like aseity, simplicity, immutability, impassibility, and eternity shield God from being crippled by creaturely limitations. At the same time, this all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-wise God accommodates himself, exhibiting perfect holiness, mercy, and love as he makes known who he is and how he will save us.

The attributes of God show us exactly why God is worthy of worship: there is none like him. Join Matthew Barrett as he rediscovers these divine perfections and finds himself surprised by the God he thought he knew.

"Matthew Barrett's excellent book lays out in clear, accessible terms what the biblical, historic, ecumenical doctrine of God is, why it matters, and why its abandonment by great swathes of the Protestant world is something that needs correction."--Carl R. Trueman, professor, Grove City College; author of Grace Alone

"Perhaps not since R. C. Sproul has there been a treatment of such deep theology with such careful devotion and accessibility. Read this book. And stagger."--Jared Wilson, director of content strategy, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; managing editor, For the Church; author of The Gospel-Driven Church

"The knowledge of God is the soil in which Christian piety flourishes. I am grateful for the publication of None Greater and pray it will be a source of growth in godliness among those captivated by its vision of God's supremacy."--Scott Swain, president and James Woodrow Hassell Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary-Orlando; author of Reformed Catholicity

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Incerto

Incerto

Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series is an investigation of luck, uncertainty, probability, opacity, human error, risk, disorder, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand, in nonoverlapping and standalone books. All four volumes—Antifragile, The Black Swan, Fooled by Randomness, and the expanded edition of The Bed of Procrustes, updated with more than 50 percent new material—are now together in one boxed set.

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God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics

God in the Dock contains forty-eight essays and twelve letters written by Lewis between 1940 and 1963. Ranging from popular newspaper articles to learned defenses of the faith, these pieces cover topics as varied as the logic of theism, good and evil, miracles, the role of women in the church, and ethics and politics. Many represent Lewis's first ventures into themes he would later treat in full-length books.

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The Complete Father Brown Stories

The Complete Father Brown Stories

Father Brown, one of the most quirkily genial and lovable characters to emerge from English detective fiction, first made his appearance in The Innocence of Father Brown in 1911. That first collection of stories established G.K. Chesterton's kindly cleric in the front rank of eccentric sleuths. This complete collection contains all the favourite Father Brown stories, showing a quiet wit and compassion that has endeared him to many, whilst solving his mysteries by a mixture of imagination and a sympathetic worldliness in a totally believable manner.

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