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The Alchemy of Things

If you have read The House that Pinterest Built, Smart Spaces, Iconic Australian Houses, or Elements of Style, you’re going to love Karen McCartney’s new book The Alchemy of Things.

Karen McCartney’s eighteen most fascinating homes in the world: The Alchemy of Things invites you into the homes and minds of eighteen fascinating UK, Australian, US and European creatives selected by esteemed interior design editor and author, Karen McCartney. These artists, interior designers, architects, collectors, gallerists, stylists, furniture designers and vintage retailers take you on an eccentric, whimsical, curated and clever tour of their interior design and home decor, and the philosophies behind their creations.

An esteemed interior design editor and author: Author Karen McCartney is best known for her work in the world of interiors, architecture and design across print and digital media. She edited Marie Claire Lifestyle and was the founding editor of Inside Out magazine before becoming Editorial Director (Lifestyle) at News Corp Australia. Karen is the author of eight architecture and interior design books including the bestselling 50/60/70 Iconic Australian Houses, 70/80/90 Iconic Australian Houses and more recently, Perfect Imperfect: The beauty of accident, age & patina. According to Karen, the idea for The Alchemy of Things arose out of her previous book, Perfect Imperfect, where some of the content revolved around remarkable people with quite extreme interiors – people such as Martyn Thompson in New York and Nectar Efkarpidis in Canberra.

Enjoy the visual splendour of The Alchemy of Things:

•Tap into architectural energy that defies trend
•Visit remarkable homes that have never been seen before
•Change your perspective and think out of the interior design box

(source: Bol.com)

The Alchemy of Blood

Mathieu Galmier, formerly of the Pasteur Institute, has to leave Paris under a cloud when one of his pioneering experiments in hematology goes awry. He is given refuge – of sorts – in London by Sir Juliam Templeforth. Unfortunately, the rewards both men hope to reap from continuing the experiments are slow to materialize. The research hits snags, and its human costs are beginning to weigh on Mathieu’s conscience.
Complicating matters further, some of Sir Julian’s unruly Irish tenants have come to London to demand satisfaction, and Mathieu’s presence has been detected by Philippe and Myrtille de Valcoeur, who have an intense interest in his research – seemingly more mystical than scientific.
When complications lead to catastrophe, Mathieu has to flee. But his past proves exceedingly difficult to escape . . .

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians

SUMMARY: A hero with an incredible talent…for breaking things. A life-or-death mission…to rescue a bag of sand. A fearsome threat from a powerful secret network…the evil Librarians. Alcatraz Smedry doesn’t seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them!…by infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness.

Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination

Highly original and magnificent in scope, Albion: The Origins of the English Imagination discovers the roots of English cultural history in the Anglo-Saxon period, and traces it through the centuries.
What does it mean to be English? This dazzling book demonstrates that a quintessentially English quality can be discovered in all forms of English culture, not only in literature but also in painting, music, architecture, philosophy and science.
Just as London: The Biography guided the reader through the capital city with a mixture of narrative and theme, so Albion, employing the same techniques, engages the reader with stories and surprises – From Beowulf to King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, via Chaucer and Shakespeare, to the Bronte sisters, Alice through the Looking Glass and Lord of the Rings
Witty, provocative and anecdotal, this is Peter Ackroyd at his most brilliant and exuberant.
Książka ma 544 strony.

Alassa’s Tale

The kingdom of Zangaria teeters on the edge of civil war. The nobles are plotting another coup, the merchants are demanding political representation and the peasants are on the verge of outright revolt. It will not be long before all hell breaks loose. And Princess Alassa, one of Emily’s closest friends, is at the center of the storm. Book 14.5 in the Schooled in Magic series.

(source: Bol.com)

Akiri: Dragonbane

Through death comes power…Forbidden law promises that the soul can be harnessed, the magic of life captured in those final seconds, and used to give strength, power, and life everlasting. For the one who commands the soul of the dead, commands death itself. – Yarrow the Great -The bonds of the Dul’Buhar are eternal…The land is in the grip of a brutal winter when a desperate cry for help from one of his former sword brothers draws Akiri and Kyra up into the mountains beyond Erdogan Pass. But they are too late. Met on the way by his friend’s son, they arrive to find the village ablaze and his sword brother, Cammeric, his wife and daughter slain, leaving the boy an orphan. The fell beast that murdered his family is no mere man–it is the rotten husk of a warrior brought back from the grave and will stop at nothing to fulfill its master’s bidding. Sworn to protect the boy and avenge his friend, Akiri finds himself hunted across the mountains by the dead. But for each he slays another rises.Now, he must turn his back on this world and all he holds dear and venture into the kingdom of the dead if he is to put an end to the menace posed by a legendary evil. It’s dark magic hungers for one thing: The Soul of the First Dragon. And should he find it, the rise of the Necromancer will herald an eternal reign of death and darkness.
**

Airframe

SUMMARY: 8 cassettes / 11 hoursRead by Frances CassidyUnabridged “Airframe” is also available abridged on CD, and abridged on cassette Three passengers are dead. Fifty-six are injured. The interior cabin virtually destroyed. But the pilot manages to land the plane. . . . At a moment when the issue of safety and death in the skies is paramount in the public mind, a lethal midair disaster aboard a commercial twin-jet airliner bound from Hong Kong to Denver triggers a pressured and frantic investigation. Airframe is nonstop listening: the extraordinary mixture of super suspense and authentic information on a subject of compelling interest that has been a Crichton landmark since “The Andromeda Strain,”

Airborne

They are America’s front lines–serving proudly in forward areas around the world. Representing the very best from the Army and Air Force, the Airborne Task Force is an unstoppable combination of manpower and firepower. Now, Tom Clancy examines this elite branch of our nation’s armed forces. With pinpoint accuracy and a style more compelling than any fiction, the acclaimed author of **Executive Orders** delivers an fascinating account of the Airborne juggernaut–the people, the technology, and Airborne’s mission in an ever-changing world…*Two Tom Clancy “mini-novels”–real world scenarios involving the airborne task force*Airborne’s weapons of the 21st century, including the Javelin anti-tank missile, the fiber-optically guided N-LOS fire support system, and the Joint Strike Fighter*18 weeks: Life in an Airborne Alert Brigade*Exclusive photographs, illustrations, and diagramsPLUS: An in-depth interview with the incoming commander of the 18th Airborne Corps, General John Keen

Air Apparent

When the Good Magician Humfrey’s son Hugo suddenly vanishes, his disappearance sets in motion a series of madcap misadventures that send a collection of colorful characters on a perilous pair of parallel quests. Among them are Debra, a pretty young girl beset by an obnoxious curse; Hugo’s beloved wife Wira, whose sightlessness is balanced by a talent for sensitivity, Happy and Fray, a pair of sprightly storm-spirits; Nimbus, the Demon Xanth’s own son; and the mysterious outlaw known as the Random Factor.
As they travel through some of the magical realm’s most astonishing locales, these unwitting adventurers discover they are key players in a grand drama whose origins reach back to the origins of time itself.
Filled with exhilaration and excitement, ribaldry and romance, *Air Apparent *is a fabulous new fantasy saga from the lively imagination of master storyteller Piers Anthony.

Agent G

FROM THE BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF THE SUPERVILLAINY SAGA COMES THE SEQUEL TO AGENT G: INFILTRATOR Agent G has left the service of the International Refugee Society, the world’s biggest provider of murder for hire, in order to work for the United States government. Unfortunately, they are sending him after his former employers and they know him as well as he knows them. The clock is ticking, though, until the Society’s remaining leadership starts eliminating their opponents and attempts to seize control of the Presidency. A traitor is also providing them with all the information they need to survive until their puppet is in power. Will G and his allies survive the purge? Sometimes, it doesn’t pay to be a cyborg spy.
**

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

THE TOP 10 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER ‘Everyone needs to read this book as an act of digital self-defense.’ — Naomi Klein, Author of No Logo, the Shock Doctrine, This Changes Everything and No is Not Enough The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called surveillance capitalism, and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control us. The heady optimism of the Internet’s early days is gone. Technologies that were meant to liberate us have deepened inequality and stoked divisions. Tech companies gather our information online and sell it to the highest bidder, whether government or retailer. Profits now depend not only on predicting our behaviour but modifying it too. How will this fusion of capitalism and the digital shape our values and define our future? Shoshana Zuboff shows that we are at a crossroads. We still have the power to decide what kind of world we want to live in, and what we decide now will shape the rest of the century. Our choices: allow technology to enrich the few and impoverish the many, or harness it and distribute its benefits. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a deeply-reasoned examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from democratic oversight. As it explores this new capitalism’s impact on society, politics, business, and technology, it exposes the struggles that will decide both the next chapter of capitalism and the meaning of information civilization. Most critically, it shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities and ensure we are the masters of the digital rather than its slaves.
**Recensie(s)**

From the very first page I was consumed with an overwhelming imperative: everyone needs to read this book as an act of digital self-defense. With tremendous lucidity and moral courage, Zuboff demonstrates not only how our minds are being mined for data but also how they are being rapidly and radically changed in the process. The hour is late and much has been lost already – but as we learn in these indispensable pages, there is still hope for emancipation — Naomi Klein A chilling expose of the business model that underpins the digital world … a striking and illuminating book. A fellow reader remarked to me that it reminded him of Thomas Piketty’s magnum opus, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, in that it opens one’s eyes to things we ought to have noticed, but hadn’t — John Naughton * Observer * A bold, important book … Combining in-depth technical understanding and a broad, humanistic scope, Zuboff has written what may prove to be the first definitive account of the economic – and thus social and political – condition of our age. — James Bridle * Guardian * Groundbreaking, magisterial … unmissable — John Thornhill * FT * Das Kapital of the digital age * The Times * Comprehensive and impassioned … an important book — Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * [It] will surely become a pivotal work in defining, understanding and exposing this surreptitious exploitation of our data and, increasingly, our free will … essential * Irish Times * Groundbreaking … Aiming to apply Marx’s account of surplus value in a time when capital is accumulated through knowledge-based technology, she has given us an illuminating critical perspective on the regime of surveillance under which we all now live * New Statesman * An intensively researched, engagingly written chronicle of surveillance capitalism’s origins and its deleterious prospects for our society … This is the rare book that we should trust to lead us down the long hard road of understanding — Jacob Silverman * New York Times * Extraordinarily intelligent … Absorbing Zuboff’s methodical determination, the way she pieces together sundry examples into this comprehensive work of scholarship and synthesis, requires patience, but the rewards are considerable – a heightened sense of awareness, and a deeper appreciation of what’s at stake — Jennifer Szalai * New York Times * This book’s major contribution is to give a name to what’s happening, to put it in cultural and historical perspective, and to ask us to pause long enough to think about the future and how it might be different from today — Frank Rose * WSJ * Original … it arrives at a crucial moment, when the public and its elected representatives are at last grappling with the extraordinary power of digital media and the companies that control it. Like another recent masterwork of economic analysis, Thomas Piketty’s 2013 Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the book challenges assumptions, raises uncomfortable questions about the present and future, and stakes out ground for a necessary and overdue debate — Nicholas Carr * LARB * I will make a guarantee: Assuming we survive to tell the tale, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism has a high probability of joining the likes Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Natiions and Max Weber’s Economy and Society as defining social-economics texts of modern times. It is not a ‘quick read;’ it is to be savored and re-read and discussed with colleagues and friends. No zippy one-liners from me, except to almost literally beg you to read/ingest this book — Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is brilliant and essential … a masterpiece of rare conceptual daring, beautifully written and deeply urgent — Robert B. Reich, author of The Common Good and Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few The defining challenge for the future of the market economy is the concentration of data, knowledge, and surveillance power. Not just our privacy but our individuality is at stake, and this very readable and thought-provoking book alerts us to these existential dangers. Highly recommended — Daron Acemoglu, author of Why Nations Fail Zuboff’s expansive, erudite, deeply-researched exploration of digital futures elucidates the norms and hidden terminal goals of information-intensive industries. Zuboff’s book is the information industry’s Silent Spring — Chris Hoofnagle, University of California, Berkeley In the future, if people still read books, they will view this as the classic study of how everything changed. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a masterpiece that stunningly reveals the essence of twenty-first-century society, and offers a dire warning about technology gone awry that we ignore at our peril. Shoshana Zuboff has somehow escaped from the fishbowl in which we all now live, and introduced to us the concept of water. A work of penetrating intellect, this is also a deeply human book about what is becoming, as it relentlessly demonstrates, a dangerously inhuman time — Kevin Werbach, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and author of The Blockchain and The New Architecture of Trust A panoramic exploration of one of the most urgent issues of our times, Zuboff reinterprets contemporary capitalism through the prism of the digital revolution, producing a book of immense ambition and erudition. Zuboff is one of our most prescient and profound thinkers on the rise of the digital. In an age of inane Twitter soundbites and narcissistic Facebook posts, Zuboff’s serious scholarship is great cause for celebration — Andrew Keen, author of How to Fix the Future Shoshana Zuboff has produced the most provocative compelling moral framework thus far for understanding the new realities of our digital environment and its anti-democratic threats. From now on, all serious writings on the internet and society will have to take into account The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. — Joseph Turow, Robert Lewis Shayon Chair Professor, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania Praise for In the Age of the Smart Machine: ‘A work of rare originality and engrossing complexity * New York Times Book Review * Ground-breaking, magisterial and synthetically brilliant * Technology and Culture * Examined with force and almost cunning insight what is yet to come * Encyclopedia of Software Engineering *
(source: Bol.com)

The Age of Innocence

Edith Wharton (1862–1937) wrote carefully structured fiction that probed the psychological and social elements guiding the behavior of her characters. Her portrayals of upper-class New Yorkers were unrivaled. *The Age of Innocence*, for which Wharton won the Pulitzer Prize in 1920, is one of her most memorable novels.
At the heart of the story are three people whose entangled lives are deeply affected by the tyrannical and rigid requirements of high society. Newland Archer, a restrained young attorney, is engaged to the lovely May Welland but falls in love with May’s beautiful and unconventional cousin, Countess Ellen Olenska. Despite his fear of a dull marriage to May, Archer goes through with the ceremony — persuaded by his own sense of honor, family, and societal pressures. He continues to see Ellen after the marriage, but his dreams of living a passionate life ultimately cease.
The novel’s lucid and penetrating prose style, vivid characterization, and its rendering of the social history of an era have long made it a favorite with readers and critics alike.
**

Age of Context

Age of Context : Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel
In 2006, co-authors Robert Scoble and Shel Israel wrote Naked Conversations, a book that persuaded businesses to embrace what we now call social media. Six years later they have teamed up again to report that social media is but one of five converging forces that promise to change virtually every aspect of our lives.
You know these other forces already: mobile, data, sensors and location-based technology. Combined with social media they form a new generation of personalized technology that knows us better than our closest friends. Armed with that knowledge our personal devices can anticipate what we’ll need next and serve us better than a butler or an executive assistant.
The resulting convergent superforce is so powerful that it is ushering in a era the authors call the Age of Context. In this new era, our devices know when to wake us up early because it snowed last night; they contact the people we are supposed to meet with to warn them we’re running late. They even find content worth watching on television. They also promise to cure cancer and make it harder for terrorists to do their damage. Astoundingly, in the coming age you may only receive ads you want to see.
Scoble and Israel have spent more than a year researching this book. They report what they have learned from interviewing more than a hundred pioneers of the new technology and by examining hundreds of contextual products.
What does it all mean? How will it change society in the future? The authors are unabashed tech enthusiasts, but as they write, an elephant sits in the living room of our book and it is called privacy.
We are entering a time when our technology serves us best because it watches us; collecting data on what we do, who we speak with, what we look at. There is no doubt about it: Big Data is watching you.
The time to lament the loss of privacy is over. The authors argue that the time is right to demand options that enable people to reclaim some portions of that privacy.

The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes It Hard to Be Happy

The good news is that the great thinkers from history have proposed the same strategies for happiness and fulfilment. The bad news is that these turn out to be the very things most discouraged by contemporary culture. This knotty dilemma is the subject of *The Age of Absurdity* – a wry and accessible investigation into how the desirable states of well-being and satisfaction are constantly undermined by modern life.
Michael Foley examines the elusive condition of happiness common to philosophy, spiritual teachings and contemporary psychology, then shows how these are becoming increasingly difficult to apply in a world of high expectations. The common challenges of earning a living, maintaining a relationship and ageing are becoming battlegrounds of existential angst and self-loathing in a culture that demands conspicuous consumption, high-octane partnerships and perpetual youth.
In conclusion, rather than denouncing and rejecting the age, Foley presents an entertaining strategy of not just accepting but embracing today’s world – finding happiness in its absurdity.
Cover credit: The Caravan Gallery.
**

Agave Kiss

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*Chance was gone; he’d sacrificed himself so Shannon and I could escape Sheol. But we’d succeeded in raising him on Shan’s spirit radio, which meant his soul wasn’t wholly destroyed by the demon gate…*
Once Corine Solomon only had the touch—the ability to read an object’s past by handling it. Then she inherited her mother’s magick, and that ended up being a hell of a burden. But if Corine can wrestle a demon queen and win, she can bring back her lover Chance after he’s made the ultimate sacrifice. Can’t she? All Corine knows is that she can’t leave Chance behind if there’s anything she can do about it.
But the clock is ticking—and she still has to deal with debt-collecting demons and a maniacal archangel who’s running a recruitment drive. The stakes have never been so high…and this time it’s truly Corine’s last chance to save the love of her life.

Against Democracy

Most people believe democracy is a uniquely just form of government. They believe people have the right to an equal share of political power. And they believe that political participation is good for us–it empowers us, helps us get what we want, and tends to make us smarter, more virtuous, and more caring for one another. These are some of our most cherished ideas about democracy. But Jason Brennan says they are all wrong. In this trenchant book, Brennan argues that democracy should be judged by its results–and the results are not good enough. Just as defendants have a right to a fair trial, citizens have a right to competent government. But democracy is the rule of the ignorant and the irrational, and it all too often falls short. Furthermore, no one has a fundamental right to any share of political power, and exercising political power does most of us little good. On the contrary, a wide range of social science research shows that political participation and democratic deliberation actually tend to make people worse–more irrational, biased, and mean. Given this grim picture, Brennan argues that a new system of government–epistocracy, the rule of the knowledgeable–may be better than democracy, and that it’s time to experiment and find out. A challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable, Against Democracy is essential reading for scholars and students of politics across the disciplines. Featuring a new preface that situates the book within the current political climate and discusses other alternatives beyond epistocracy, Against Democracy is a challenging critique of democracy and the first sustained defense of the rule of the knowledgeable.
**Recensie(s)**

One of Zocalo’s 10 Favorite Books of 2016 Brennan has a bright, pugilistic style, and he takes a sportsman’s pleasure in upsetting pieties and demolishing weak logic. –Caleb Crain, New Yorker A brash, well-argued diatribe against the democratic system. There is much to mull over in this brazen stab at the American electoral process… Sure to cause howls of disagreement, but in the current toxic partisan climate, Brennan’s polemic is as worth weighing as any other. –Kirkus Important. –Ilya Somin, Washington Post Volokh Conspiracy The book makes compelling reading for what is typically a dry area of discourse. This is theory that skips, rather than plods. –Molly Sauter, Los Angeles Times Among the best works in political philosophy in recent memory. –Zachary Woodman, Students for Liberty Challenging and insightful. –Alexander William Salter, Public Choice Lucidly written in provocative, sometimes brash tones, it is especially useful for the undergraduate classroom. –Choice Against Democracy seems scarily prescient today. Writing well before the twin shocks of the Brexit and the U.S. elections, the Georgetown political scientist makes a powerful case that popular democracy can be dangerous–and, provocatively, that irrational and incompetent voters should be excluded from democratic decision-making. The case for elitism in governance never read so well. –Zocalo Public Square Meticulous [and] crisply written. –Tom Clark, Prospect Mercilessly well-argued. –Niko Kolodny, Boston Review
(source: Bol.com)