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Mental Floss Presents Instant Knowledge

Mental Floss Presents Instant Knowledge by Mental Floss Editors, Julie Sussman
Mental_floss is proud to present a full-bodied jolt of inspiration for thirsty minds on the go. Blended with titillating facts, startling revelations, and head-scratching theories collected from around the world, *Instant Knowledge* will jumpstart riveting exchanges at cocktail parties, the watercooler, or any powwow. To experience the clean, rich flavor at home, just tear into a topic of your choice, and add conversation. It’s that simple!

Meno

This volume contains new translations of two dialogues of Plato, the Protagoras and the Meno, together with explanatory notes and substantial interpretive essays. Robert C. Bartlett’s translations are as literal as is compatible with sound English style and take into account important textual variations. Because the interpretive essays both sketch the general outlines of the dialogues and take up specific theoretical or philosophic difficulties, they will be of interest not only to those reading the dialogues for the first time but also to those already familiar with them. The Protagoras and the Meno are linked by the attention each pays to the idea of virtue: the latter dialogue focuses on the fundamental Socratic question “What is virtue?,” the former on the specific virtue of courage, especially in its relation to wisdom. An appendix contains a short extract from Xenophon’s Anabasis of Cyrus that vividly portrays the figure of Meno.

Menexenus

This scarce antiquarian book is a facsimile reprint of the original. Due to its age, it may contain imperfections such as marks, notations, marginalia and flawed pages. Because we believe this work is culturally important, we have made it available as part of our commitment for protecting, preserving, and promoting the world’s literature in affordable, high quality, modern editions that are true to the original work.

A Memory of Wind

SUMMARY: The heroes are eager to sail to Troy for war, but the wind is still. To fill their sails and set out, they must sacrifice Agamemnon’s daughter Iphigenia—and how does a human girl become the wind? The starkness and psychological insight of Rachel Swirsky’s Tor.com story earned it a place among the finalists for the 2010 Nebula Award. Rachel Swirsky’s short fiction has appeared in Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine, and Subterranean Magazine, among others, and has been collected in Year’s Best anthologies edited by Rich Horton, Jonathan Strahan, and the VanderMeers. She is also the submissions editor of Podcastle, an audio fantasy magazine.

Memories of Ice: Book Three of the Malazan Book of the Fallen

The ravaged continent of Genabackis has given birth to a terrifying new empire: the Pannion Domin. Like a tide of corrupted blood, it seethes across the land, devouring all. In its path stands an uneasy alliance: Onearm’s army and Whiskeyjack’s Bridgeburners alongside their enemies of old–the forces of the Warlord Caladan Brood, Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii mages, and the Rhivi people of the plains.
But ancient undead clans are also gathering; the T’lan Imass have risen. For it would seem something altogether darker and more malign threatens this world. Rumors abound that the Crippled God is now unchained and intent on a terrible revenge.
Marking the return of many characters from *Gardens of the Moon* and introducing a host of remarkable new players, *Memories of Ice* is both a momentous new chapter in Steven Erikson’s magnificent epic fantasy and a triumph of storytelling.
**

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

‘If I were assured of your eventual destruction I would, in the interests of the public, cheerfully accept my own.’ In The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, the consulting detective’s notoriety as the arch-despoiler of the schemes concocted by the criminal underworld at last gets the better of him. Though Holmes and his faithful sidekick Dr Watson solve what will become some of their most bizarre and extraordinary cases – the disappearance of the race horse Silver Blaze, the horrific circumstances of the Greek Interpreter and the curious mystery of the Musgrave Ritual among them – a criminal mastermind is plotting the downfall of the great detective. Half-devil, half-genius, Professor Moriarty leads Holmes and Watson on a grisly cat-and-mouse chase through London and across Europe, culminating in a frightful struggle which will turn the legendary Reichenbach Falls into a water double-grave . . .
**Recensie(s)**

Holmes [is] still discussed, revered and cherished across the world * Guardian *
(source: Bol.com)

Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Boasting some of Sherlock Holmes’s finest adventures, this classic 1894 collection was originally written in serial form. Eleven of the most popular tales of the immortal sleuth include “Silver Blaze,” concerning the “curious incident of the dog in the night-time”; “The Greek Interpreter,” starring Holmes’s even more formidable brother, Mycroft; and “The Final Problem,” the detective’s notorious confrontation with arch-criminal Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls.Holmes and Dr. Watson remain history’s greatest detective team, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s portrayals of male comradeship, the thrills of the chase, and the misty precincts of Victorian London remains unmatched in detective literature.Eleven classic tales of deduction: Silver Blaze • The Yellow Face • The Stock-Broker’s Clerk • The Gloria Scott • The Musgrave Ritual • The Reigate Puzzle • The Crooked Man • The Resident Patient • The Greek Interpreter • The Naval Treaty • The Final ProblemThey include one of the most famous Sherlock Holmes stories, “The Adventure of the Final Problem”, in which Doyle “killed” Holmes. Several of the stories are told in a way which is more from Holmes’ own point of view, as he tells Watson some of his early work that he did before meeting the doctor.

Memoirs of a geisha: a novel

EDITORIAL REVIEW: A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha. Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men’s solicitude and the money that goes with it. In **Memoirs of a Geisha**, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction–at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful–and completely unforgettable.

Meltdown

SUMMARY: A lethal new drug with devastating side effects, known as Meltdown, is threatening to destabilize society. Dudley knows that the security services have to act fast, and when his 4 x 4 arrives at their remote hideout in the Canadian lakes, eighteen-year-old Danny and his grandfather, ex-SAS hero Fergus Watts, are once again sucked into a deadly undercover operation and a race against time. Their search for the mastermind behind a pair of murderous gangland twins takes them from the clubs of Manchester to Spain and Germany, and Danny needs all his newly learned expertise when he comes up against an old adversary someone he hoped never to encounter again. And this time, when the battle is joined, it is a battle to the end.

Mech 1: The Parent

Bio-tech aliens battle Mechs built by humans!
After centuries in stasis, a lost task force returns home. Arriving from the infinite void the surviving ships discover that the Imperium lies in ruin. The Homeworld itself is destroyed, and nothing lives in the Ancestral System except an infestation of unknown bipedal beings – creatures soft, red of blood and warm of flesh…
When you colonize a planet, make sure the owners aren’t coming back…
MECH is the story of a new Earth colony built upon the ancient Homeworld of a civilization presumed (incorrectly) to be long dead. MECH is a full novel, 90,000 words in length…
Author’s Disclaimer: Mech is a strange book (even by my standards). It’s extremely popular, and everyone either loves it or hates it. Mech is a fast, fun read with a weird sense of humor. Think of it as a dark comedy, like a zombie movie. The story is meant to entertain, and nothing else. Read the sample! -BVL

Measuring the World

SUMMARY: Loosely based on the lives of 19th-century explorer Alexander von Humboldt and a contemporary, mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, Kehlmann’s novel, a German bestseller widely heralded as an exemplar of “new” German fiction, injects musty history with shots of whimsy and irony. Humboldt voyages to South America to map the Orinoco River, climb the Chimborazo peak in Ecuador and measure “every river, every mountain and every lake in his path.” Gauss is the hedgehog to Humboldt’s fox, leaping out of bed on his wedding night to jot down a formula and rarely leaving his hometown of Göttingen. The two meet at a scientific congress in 1828, when Germany is in turmoil after the fall of Napoleon. Other luminaries appear throughout the novel, including a senile Immanuel Kant, Louis Daguerre and Thomas Jefferson. The narrative is notable for its brisk pacing, lively prose and wry humor (curmudgeonly Gauss laments, for instance, how “every idiot would be able to… invent the most complete nonsense” about him 200 years hence), which keenly complements Kehlmann’s intelligent, if not especially deep, treatment of science, mathematics and reason at the end of the Enlightenment.

Me Before You: A Novel

**A *New York Times* bestseller—with more than one million copies sold—by the author of *One Plus One* and* The Girl You Left Behind***
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.
*A Love Story* for this generation, *Me Before You* brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, *What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?*
### Amazon.com Review
**Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2013** **:** Before Louisa met Will, her plans didn’t reach beyond their tiny English town. Will, when he wasn’t closing multimillion-dollar deals, blew off steam scaling mountains, leaping from planes, and enjoying exquisite women–until an accident left him paralyzed and seriously depressed. When his mother hires Lou to keep his spirits up, he meets her awkward overtures with caustic contempt, but she’s tenacious and oddly endearing. Their fondness grows into something deeper, gaining urgency when she realizes his determination to end his life, and her efforts to convince him of its value throw her own bland ambitions into question. Plumbing morally complex depths with comedy and compassion, Jojo Moyes elevates the story of Lou and Will from what could have been a maudlin weepie into a tragic love story, with a catharsis that will wring out your heart and leave you feeling fearless. — *Mari Malcolm*
### From Booklist
In The Last Letter from Your Lover (2011), Moyes presented a heavily plotted novel that spanned decades and featured parallel romances. Her newest work dials down the intricacy, and the result is a far more intimate novel. Moyes introduces us first to Will Traynor, a formerly high-flying, thrill-seeking executive now confined to a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. Twentysomething Louisa “Lou” Clark has been hired as his caretaker, despite a total lack of experience. As the prickly Will and plainspoken Lou gradually warm to each other, she learns that the six-month length of her contract coincides with the amount of time Will has agreed, for his parents’ sake, to postpone his planned assisted suicide, a subject Moyes treats evenhandedly. Armed with this information, Lou sets about creating adventures for Will, hoping to give him a reason to live. Simultaneously, Will encourages Lou to expand the expectations of what her life could be. All signs point to romance and a happy ending for the pair, but Moyes has something more heartbreakingly truthful in mind: Sometimes love isn’t enough. –Patty Wetli

Me and Kaminski

SUMMARY: From the internationally best-selling author Daniel Kehlmann, a provocative and wickedly funny novel about two unpredictable menone an artist and the other a journalist, who together embark on an unexpected adventure with uproarious results. Sebastian Zollner’s failure as a journalist is matched only by his personal failures: his girlfriend is moving in a new lover before Sebastian even knows he’s been dumped. Searching for the break that will redeem him in the eyes of his peers, he heads off on a wild goose chase into the mountains to interview the eccentric, legendary painter Manuel Kaminski, with the hope of writing his biography. Kaminski is going blind and is living in seclusion with his daughter. He could be working on his next masterpiece or easing into his final days, and his inconsistent career raises the question of whether he has been a fraud or a genius. His artistic reputation hinges on any number of factors but most prominently on a definitive biography. Enter Zollnerwho has no intention of writing a puff piece. He’s out to dig dirt and to force Kaminski to confront the legacy of his work. But the secrets he uncovers will lead Kaminski, and Zollner himself, to places neither of them ever expected to go. With edgy wit and intelligence, Daniel Kehlmann dives into the problems of what is “truth” in our celebrity-crazed times and embraces the energy and humanity that lie beneath the pretensions of the art and journalistic worlds. A firecracker of a novel. From the Hardcover edition.

McGillivray’s Mistress

McGillivray’s Mistress by Anne McAllister
**Mistress—in name only!**Are the inhabitants of exotic Pelican Cay ready for the return of Lachlan McGillivray? Fiona Dunbar isn’t. Not when Lachlan’s roguish reputation still goes before him. However, pretty soon the whole island is certain they are having a no-strings affair!But Fiona isn’t willing to be anybody’s trophy mistress. She wants to live her life on her own terms. So if Lachlan wants her…he’s going to have to make her his bride!

Max: The Greatest Air and Sea Battle is about to Commence

SUMMARY: Nobody said saving the world would be easy. Until now, Max and the flock have lived a lonely existence: hunted down, tortured and pushed to the fringe of society; always on the run they have never been able to live a normal life. But things are changing. The flock have finally found acceptance for their unusual skills. Together, they have taken on new challenges and used their extraordinary powers to fight for the greater good on a global scale. The avian hybrids don t have to hide away any longer, far from it, now everyone wants to see just what they can do. But fame and fortune always come at a price and Max isn t ready for all the glitz and glamour just yet. The action figures and memorabilia can wait, they have more important tasks at hand. Will the flock be able to survive the trappings of a Hollywood lifestyle? When tensions start to run high can the group stick together? Meanwhile sinister forces are plotting their attack, putting more than just the flock in danger. Something deadly is lurking in the depths of the ocean. As the flock uncover a terrible secret set to threaten the world can they save the day or is this a disaster too tough to tackle, even for them? Max must also come to terms with the fact that none of them is invincible. With her new-found vulnerability comes the realisation of emotions that have been buried deep. The lives of those she holds close to her have been threatened many times before and although they have survived everything that has been thrown at them so far, Max knows that her time will come and her days are numbered. The greatest air and sea battle is about to commence.