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On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a flirtatious little starling in a Viennese shop who sang an improvised version of the theme from his Piano Concerto no. 17 in G major. Sensing a kindred spirit in the plucky young bird, Mozart bought him and took him home to be a family pet. For three years, the starling lived with Mozart, influencing his work and serving as his companion, distraction, consolation, and muse.
Two centuries later, starlings are reviled by even the most compassionate conservationists. A nonnative, invasive species, they invade sensitive habitats, outcompete local birds for nest sites and food, and decimate crops. A seasoned birder and naturalist, Lyanda Lynn Haupt is well versed in the difficult and often strained relationships these birds have with other species and the environment. But after rescuing a baby starling of her own, Haupt found herself enchanted by the same intelligence and playful spirit that had so charmed her favorite composer.
In Mozart's Starling, Haupt explores the unlikely and remarkable bond between one of history's most cherished composers and one of earth's most common birds. The intertwined stories of Mozart's beloved pet and Haupt's own starling provide an unexpected window into human-animal friendships, music, the secret world of starlings, and the nature of creative inspiration. A blend of natural history, biography, and memoir, Mozart's Starling is a tour de force that awakens a surprising new awareness of our place in the world.
Spanning over one hundred years, from the antebellum era to the 1980's, A Shout in the Ruins examines the fates of the inhabitants of Beauvais Plantation outside of Richmond, Virginia. When war arrives, the master of Beauvais, Anthony Levallios, foresees that dominion in a new America will be measured not in acres of tobacco under cultivation by his slaves, but in industry and capital. A grievously wounded Confederate veteran loses his grip on a world he no longer understands, and his daughter finds herself married to Levallois, an arrangement that feels little better than imprisonment. And two people enslaved at Beauvais plantation, Nurse and Rawls, overcome impossible odds to be together, only to find that the promise of coming freedom may not be something they will live to see.
Seamlessly interwoven is the story of George Seldom, a man orphaned by the storm of the Civil War, looking back from the 1950s on the void where his childhood ought to have been. Watching the government destroy his neighborhood to build a stretch of interstate highway through Richmond, he travels south in an attempt to recover his true origins. With the help of a young woman named Lottie, he goes in search of the place he once called home, all the while reckoning with the more than 90 years he lived as witness to so much that changed during the 20th century, and so much that didn't. As we then watch Lottie grapple with life's disappointments and joys in the 1980's, now in her own middle-age, the questions remain: How do we live in a world built on the suffering of others? And can love exist in a place where for 400 years violence has been the strongest form of intimacy?
Written with the same emotional intensity, harrowing realism, and poetic precision that made THE YELLOW BIRDS one of the most celebrated novels of the past decade, A SHOUT IN THE RUINS cements Powers' place in the forefront of American letters and demands that we reckon with the moral weight of our troubling history.
We think we know what meditation is--especially in an era when "mindfulness" has improbably rocketed into the mainstream. Millions of people around the world have taken up a formal mindfulness meditation practice as part of their everyday lives. But there's no hard-and-fast rule that says you have to meditate in a certain way, in a particular place, or following a specific tradition. So what is meditation anyway? And why might it be worth trying? Or nurturing further if you already have practice?
Meditation Is Not What You Think was originally published in 2005 as part of a larger book entitled Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness. Updated with a new foreword by the author, these questions (and their answers) are particularly relevant for the current era . If you're curious as to why meditation is not for the "faint-hearted," how taking some time each day to drop into awareness can actually be a radical act of love, and why paying attention is so supremely important, read on for a master class from one of the pioneers of mindfulness in the mainstream world.
The Tower of Babel is proving to be as difficult to reenter as it was to break out of. Forced into a life of piracy, Senlin and his eclectic crew are struggling to survive aboard their stolen airship as the hunt to rescue Senlin's lost wife continues.
Hopeless and desolate, they turn to a legend of the Tower, the mysterious Sphinx. But help from the Sphinx never comes cheaply, and as Senlin knows, debts aren't always what they seem in the Tower of Babel.
The traffic is backed up, the kids are screaming, and the car is making a funny noise again. Any one of these challenges can test our temperament and rob us of joy. Our impulse is to write today off and hope for a better tomorrow. However, this creates a hard pattern to break. One terrible day easily turns into many-and soon we're living a life far from what God has in mind for us. A new, transforming sense of excitement, happiness, and contentment in our lives is possible when we pursue God's goodness each day. In 20 WAYS TO MAKE EVERY DAY BETTER, Joyce Meyer shares biblical illustrations, actionable advice, uplifting stories, and the encouragement we need to start enjoying the life God created for us.
When a mysterious figure appears in Three Pines one cold November day, Armand Gamache and the rest of the villagers are at first curious. Then wary. Through rain and sleet, the figure stands unmoving, staring ahead.
From the moment its shadow falls over the village, Gamache, now Chief Superintendent of the Sûreté du Québec, suspects the creature has deep roots and a dark purpose. Yet he does nothing. What can he do? Only watch and wait. And hope his mounting fears are not realized.
But when the figure vanishes overnight and a body is discovered, it falls to Gamache to discover if a debt has been paid or levied.
Months later, on a steamy July day as the trial for the accused begins in Montréal, Chief Superintendent Gamache continues to struggle with actions he set in motion that bitter November, from which there is no going back. More than the accused is on trial. Gamache's own conscience is standing in judgment.
In Glass Houses, her latest utterly gripping book, number-one New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny shatters the conventions of the crime novel to explore what Gandhi called the court of conscience. A court that supersedes all others.
When Michael Gustafson and his wife Hilary opened Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, they put out a typewriter for anyone to use. They had no idea what to expect. Would people ask metaphysical questions? Write mean things? Pour their souls onto the page? Yes, no, and did they ever.
Every day, people of all ages sit down at the public typewriter. Children perch atop grandparents' knees, both sets of hands hovering above the metal keys: I LOVE YOU. Others walk in alone on Friday nights and confess their hopes: I will find someone someday. And some leave funny asides for the next person who sits down: I dislike people, misanthropes, irony, and ellipses ... and lists too.
In NOTES FROM A PUBLIC TYPEWRITER Michael and designer Oliver Uberti have combined their favorite notes with essays and photos to create an ode to community and the written word that will surprise, delight, and inspire.
Classic information, contemporary feel: Garden Wisdom & Know-How shows green-thumbs and novices alike everything they need to know about gardening; from soil composition to fertilizers to planting and landscaping on your dream-acres or in small containers. Charmingly illustrated with 1,000 illustrations and photographs, Garden Wisdom & Know-How is packed with must-have information including techniques for maintaining a garden year-round; harvesting herbs; designing by bloom season; turning garden refuse into garden rewards; building teepees, trellises, and other plant supports; and much more. Chapters are organized into topics such as garden techniques and tricks; the flower garden; the edible garden; container gardening; garden design and landscaping; and attracting wildlife. With nearly 1,000 pages of indispensable information, Garden Wisdom & Know-How is comprehensive and comforting for both the novice and experienced gardener.
Humans have gone to the Moon and discovered the Higgs boson, but when it comes to understanding animals, we've still got a long way to go. Whether we're seeing a viral video of romping baby pandas or a picture of penguins "holding hands," it's hard for us not to project our own values--innocence, fidelity, temperance, hard work--onto animals. So you've probably never considered if moose get drunk, penguins cheat on their mates, or worker ants lay about. They do--and that's just for starters. In The Truth About Animals, Lucy Cooke takes us on a worldwide journey to meet everyone from a Colombian hippo castrator to a Chinese panda porn peddler, all to lay bare the secret--and often hilarious--habits of the animal kingdom. Charming and at times downright weird, this modern bestiary is perfect for anyone who has ever suspected that virtue might be unnatural.
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Guardian, Slate, Financial Times, Independent (UK), and Bloomberg News.
Written with an economist's brain and a soccer writer's skill, Soccernomics applies high-powered analytical tools to everyday soccer topics, looking at data and revealing counterintuitive truths about the world's most beloved game. It all adds up to a revolutionary new approach that has helped change the way the game is played.
This World Cup edition features ample new material, including fresh insights into FIFA's corruption, the surge in domestic violence during World Cups, and Western Europe's unprecedented dominance of global soccer.
The memorable characters and Venetian drama that have long captivated Donna Leon's many readers are on full display in The Temptation of Forgiveness. Surprised, if not dismayed, to discover from his superior, Vice-Questore Patta, that leaks are emanating from the Questura, Commissario Guido Brunetti is surprised more consequentially by the appearance of a friend of his wife's, fearful that her son is using drugs and hopeful Brunetti can somehow intervene. When Tullio Gasparini, the woman's husband, is found unconscious and with a serious brain injury at the foot of a bridge in Venice after midnight, Brunetti is drawn to pursue a possible connection to the boy's behavior. But the truth, as Brunetti has experienced so often, is not straightforward.
As the twenty-seventh novel unfolds in Donna Leon's exquisite chronicle of Venetian life in all its blissful and sordid aspects, Brunetti pursues several false and contradictory leads while growing ever more impressed by the intuition of his fellow Commissario, Claudia Griffoni, and by the endless resourcefulness and craftiness of Signorina Elettra, Patta's secretary and gate-keeper. Exasperated by the petty bureaucracy that constantly bedevils him and threatens to expose Signorina Elettra, Brunetti is steadied by the embrace of his own family and by his passion for the classics. This predilection leads him to read Sophocles' Antigone, and, in its light, consider the terrible consequences to which the actions of a tender heart can lead.
Framed as an empowering letter from former Hillary Clinton Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri to the first woman president, and by extension, to all women working to succeed in any field, Dear Madam President is filled with forward-thinking, practical advice for all women who are determined to seize control of their lives-from the boardroom to the living room.
As a country, we haven't wrapped our heads around what it should look like for a woman to be in the job of President. Our only models are men. While wildly disappointed by the outcome of the 2016 election, Palmieri argues that our feelings-confusion, love, hate, acceptance-can now open the country up to reimagining women in leadership roles. And that is what Palmieri takes on in this book-redefining expectations for women looking to lead and creating a blueprint for women candidates and leaders to follow. Dear Madam President will turn the results of the 2016 election into something incredibly empowering for graduates, future female leaders, and independent thinkers everywhere.