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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, this inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.Praise for When Breath Becomes Air“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. . . . Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him--passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die--so well. None of it is maudlin. Nothing is exaggerated. As he wrote to a friend: ‘It’s just tragic enough and just imaginable enough.’ And just important enough to be unmissable.”--Janet Maslin, The New York Times “An emotional investment well worth making: a moving and thoughtful memoir of family, medicine and literature. It is, despite its grim undertone, accidentally inspiring.”--The Washington Post “Possesses the gravity and wisdom of an ancient Greek tragedy . . . [Kalanithi] delivers his chronicle in austere, beautiful prose. The book brims with insightful reflections on mortality that are especially poignant coming from a trained physician familiar with what lies ahead.”--The Boston Globe “Devastating and spectacular . . . [Kalanithi] is so likeable, so relatable, and so humble, that you become immersed in his world and forget where it’s all heading.”--USA Today “It’s [Kalanithi’s] unsentimental approach that makes When Breath Becomes Air so original--and so devastating. . . . Its only fault is that the book, like his life, ends much too early.”--Entertainment Weekly“Split my head open with its beauty.”--Cheryl StrayedFrom the Hardcover edition....
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The incredible story of an unconventional life
During the mid 1980s Howard Marks had forty three aliases, eighty nine phone lines and owned twenty five companies throughout the world.
At the height of his career he was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons of marijuanna, and had contact with organisations as diverse as MI6, the CIA, the IRA and the Mafia. Following a worldwide operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, he was busted and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison at the Terre Haute Penitentiary, Indiana. He was released in April 1995 after serving seven years of his sentence. Told with humour, charm and candour, Mr Nice is his own extraordinary story.
The conversion of the emperor Constantine to Christianity in 368 AD brought a transformation to Christianity and to western civilization, the effects of which we still feel today. Previously, the Roman empire had absorbed and sustained the Greek intellectual tradition which, in the astronomy of Ptolemy, the medicine of Galen and the philosophy of Plotinus, reached new heights. Constantine turned Rome from the relatively open, tolerant and pluralistic civilisation of the Hellenistic world, towards a culture that was based on the rule of fixed authority. The century after Constantine's conversion saw the development of an alliance between church and state which stifled freedom of thought and the tradition of Greek rationalism which was intrinsic to it. The churches enjoyed enormous patronage and exemptions from tax, and in return allowed the emperors to take on the definition and enforcement of an increasingly narrow religious orthodoxy.
This book explores how the European mind was closed by the revolution of the fourth century. It looks at the rise of the 'divine' monarch, the struggle as Christianity painfully separated itself from Judaism, the conflict between faith and reason, and the problems in finding any kind of rational basis for Christian theology. In these centuries, a turning-point for Western civilisation, we see the development of Christian anti-Semitism, the origins of the opposition of religion and science and the roots of Christianity's discomfort with sex, issues which haunt the Christian churches to this day.
The Closing of the Western Mind is a major work of history. Wide-ranging and ambitious, its central theme is the relationship between the two wellsprings of our civilisation, the Judaeo-Christian and the Greco-Roman, and how the tensions between them have created the culture in which we continue to live, think and believe.
When Hannah Breece came to Alaska in 1904, it was a remote lawless wilderness of prospectors, murderous bootleggers, tribal chiefs, and Russian priests. She spent fourteen years educating Athabascans, Aleuts, Inuits, and Russians with the stubborn generosity of a born teacher and the clarity of an original and independent mind. Jane Jacobs, Hannah's great-niece, here offers an historical context to Breece's remarkable eyewitness account, filling in the narrative gaps, but always allowing the original words to ring clearly. It is more than an adventure story: it is a powerful work of women's history that provides important--and, at times, unsettling--insights into the unexamined assumptions and attitudes that governed white settler's behavior toward native communities at the turn of the century. "An unforgettable...story of a remarkable woman who lived a heroic life."--The New York TimesFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
A world-renowned astrologer reveals the path to successful relationships....In this powerful guide, astrology expert Jan Spiller shows you how the practical science of astrology can lead to real-life results in the realm of intimate relationships. Moving beyond the commonly known sun-sign profiles, Spiller delves into the meanings and mysteries of your personal North Node--the vital point where the orbits of the earth, moon, and sun intersect--to help you bring love into your life. For more than thirty years, she has studied how the effects of the Nodes of the Moon help us steer our life force in positive ways, accept the possibilities the universe has placed in our path, and stop sabotaging relationships. By locating the position of your North Node, which can be found in the chart provided, and the house in which it falls in an important relationship, Spiller helps you discover the astrological, psychological, and spiritual tools to:- Learn the secrets to open up intamacy and enjoy satisfying, lifelong romance - Move beyond old hurts that can tear a relationship apart- Allow others to be themselves-and not try to change them- Experiment with new ways of interacting in important relationships- Discover what gifts your partner brings to you-and what gifts you bring to your partner- Navigate the energy of pastlife connectionsFrom the Trade Paperback edition.
In EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND, chakra authority Anodea Judith brought a fresh approach to the yoga-based Eastern chakra system, adapting it to the Western framework of Jungian psychology, somatic therapy, childhood developmental theory, and metaphysics. This groundbreaking work in transpersonal psychology has been revised and redesigned for a more accessible presentation. Arranged schematically, the book uses the inherent structure of the chakra system as a map upon which to chart our Western understanding of individual development. Each chapter focuses on a single chakra, starting with a description of its characteristics, then exploring its particular childhood developmental patterns, traumas and abuses, and how to heal and maintain balance. Illuminated with personal anecdotes and case studies, EASTERN BODY, WESTERN MIND seamlessly merges the East and West, science and philosophy, and psychology and spirituality into a compelling interpretation of the chakra system and its relevance for Westerners today.
Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology challenging the rational model of judgment and decision making, is one of the world's most important thinkers. His ideas have had a profound impact on many fields-including business, medicine, and politics-but until now, he has never brought together his many years of research in one book.
In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think and make choices. One system is fast, intuitive, and emotional; the other is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities-and also the faults and biases-of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behaviour. The importance of properly framing risks, the effects of cognitive biases on how we view others, the dangers of prediction, the right ways to develop skills, the pros and cons of fear and optimism, the difference between our experience and memory of events, the real components of happiness-each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.
Drawing on a lifetime's experimental experience, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our professional and our personal lives-and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Thinking, Fast and Slow will transform the way you take decisions and experience the world.
What have the invention of the wheel, Pompeii, the Wall Street Crash, Harry Potter and the internet got in common? Why are all forecasters con-artists? What can Catherine the Great's lovers tell us about probability? Why should you never run for a train or read a newspaper? This book is all about Black Swans: the random events that underlie our lives, from bestsellers to world disasters. Their impact is huge; they're impossible to predict; yet after they happen we always try to rationalize them. A rallying cry to ignore the 'experts', The Black Swan shows us how to stop trying to predict everything - and take advantage of uncertainty.
Imagism was a brief, complex yet influential poetic movement of the early 1900s, a time of reaction against late nineteenth-century poetry which Ezra Pound, one of the key imagist poets, described as 'a doughy mess of third-hand Keats, Wordsworth ... half-melted, lumpy'. In contrast, imagist poetry, although riddled with conflicting definitions, was broadly characterized by brevity, precision, purity of texture and concentration of meaning: as Pound stated, it should 'use no superfluous word, no adjective, which does not reveal something ... it does not use images as ornaments. The image itself is the speech'. It was this freshness and directness of approach which means that, as Peter Jones says in his invaluable Introduction, 'imagistic ideas still lie at the centre of our poetic practice'.
The Reformation was the seismic event in European history over the past 1000 years, and one which tore the medieval world apart. Not just European religion, but thought, culture, society, state systems, personal relations - everything - was turned upside down. Just about everything which followed in European history can be traced back in some way to the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation which it provoked. The Reformation is where the modern world painfully and dramatically began, and MacCulloch's great history of it is recognised as the best modern account.