Book recommendations now...
Book mentions in this thread
by David MitchellBy the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Clocks | Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize A postmodern visionary and one of the leading voices in twenty-first-century fiction, David Mitchell combines flat-out adventure, a Nabokovian love of puzzles, a keen eye for character, and a taste for mind-bending, philosophical and scientific speculation in the tradition of Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick. The result is brilliantly original fiction as profound as it is playful. In this groundbreaking novel, an influential favorite among a new generation of writers, Mitchell explores with daring artistry fundamental questions of reality and identity. Cloud Atlas begins in 1850 with Adam Ewing, an American notary voyaging from the Chatham Isles to his home in California. Along the way, Ewing is befriended by a physician, Dr. Goose, who begins to treat him for a rare species of brain parasite. . . . Abruptly, the action jumps to Belgium in 1931, where Robert Frobisher, a disinherited bisexual composer, contrives his way into the household of an infirm maestro who has a beguiling wife and a nubile daughter. . . . From there we jump to the West Coast in the 1970s and a troubled reporter named Luisa Rey, who stumbles upon a web of corporate greed and murder that threatens to claim her life. . . . And onward, with dazzling virtuosity, to an inglorious present-day England; to a Korean superstate of the near future where neocapitalism has run amok; and, finally, to a postapocalyptic Iron Age Hawaii in the last days of history. But the story doesn’t end even there. The narrative then boomerangs back through centuries and space, returning by the same route, in reverse, to its starting point. Along the way, Mitchell reveals how his disparate characters connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky. As wild as a videogame, as mysterious as a Zen koan, Cloud Atlas is an unforgettable tour de force that, like its incomparable author, has transcended its cult classic status to become a worldwide phenomenon. Praise for Cloud Atlas “[David] Mitchell is, clearly, a genius. He writes as though at the helm of some perpetual dream machine, can evidently do anything, and his ambition is written in magma across this novel’s every page.”—The New York Times Book Review “One of those how-the-holy-hell-did-he-do-it? modern classics that no doubt is—and should be—read by any student of contemporary literature.”—Dave Eggers “Wildly entertaining . . . a head rush, both action-packed and chillingly ruminative.”—People “The novel as series of nested dolls or Chinese boxes, a puzzle-book, and yet—not just dazzling, amusing, or clever but heartbreaking and passionate, too. I’ve never read anything quite like it, and I’m grateful to have lived, for a while, in all its many worlds.”—Michael Chabon “Cloud Atlas ought to make [Mitchell] famous on both sides of the Atlantic as a writer whose fearlessness is matched by his talent.”—The Washington Post Book World “Thrilling . . . One of the biggest joys in Cloud Atlas is watching Mitchell sashay from genre to genre without a hitch in his dance step.”—Boston Sunday Globe “Grand and elaborate . . . [Mitchell] creates a world and language at once foreign and strange, yet strikingly familiar and intimate.”—Los Angeles Times From the Hardcover edition.
Gem In The Lotus
by Abraham EralyA comprehensive and compelling portrait of ancient India In Gem in the Lotus, Abraham Eraly, author of The Last Spring, the best-selling and critically acclaimed history of the Mughals, identifies and explores the significant milestones in the evolution of ancient India. Beginning with an enquiry into the enigma that was the Indus Valley civilisation, he writes of the progression from the Vedic Aryan culture to the age of religious and philosophical ferment, culminating in the tenets of Jainism; the founding and consolidation of Buddhism; Alexander's advance into India; the rise of the Mauryan empire; and Ashoka's unusual political career. In the final section of the book, he describes the -clockwork state' of the Mauryas depicted in Kautilya's Arthasastra and in ancient Greek accounts.
by Ishtiaq AhmedMohammad Ali Jinnah has been both celebrated and reviled for his role in the Partition of India, and the controversies surrounding his actions have only increased in the seven decades and more since his death. Ishtiaq Ahmed places Jinnah's actions under intense scrutiny to ascertain the Quaid-i-Azam's successes and failures and the meaning and significance of his legacy. Using a wealth of contemporary records and archival material, Dr Ahmed traces Jinnah's journey from Indian nationalist to Muslim communitarian, and from a Muslim nationalist to, finally, Pakistan's all-powerful head of state. How did the ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity become the inflexible votary of the two-nation theory? Did Jinnah envision Pakistan as a theocratic state? What was his position on Gandhi and federalism? Asking these crucial questions against the backdrop of the turbulent struggle against colonialism, this book is a path-breaking examination of one of the most controversial figures of the twentieth century.
Why Nations Fail
by Daron AcemogluShortlisted for the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2012. Why are some nations more prosperous than others? Why Nations Fail sets out to answer this question, with a compelling and elegantly argued new theory: that it is not down to climate, geography or culture, but because of institutions. Drawing on an extraordinary range of contemporary and historical examples, from ancient Rome through the Tudors to modern-day China, leading academics Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson show that to invest and prosper, people need to know that if they work hard, they can make money and actually keep it - and this means sound institutions that allow virtuous circles of innovation, expansion and peace. Based on fifteen years of research, and answering the competing arguments of authors ranging from Max Weber to Jeffrey Sachs and Jared Diamond, Acemoglu and Robinson step boldly into the territory of Francis Fukuyama and Ian Morris. They blend economics, politics, history and current affairs to provide a new, powerful and persuasive way of understanding wealth and poverty.
by William DalrympleFrom the bestselling author of Return of a King, the story of how the East India Company took over large swaths of Asia, and the devastating results of the corporation running a country. In August 1765, the East India Company defeated the young Mughal emperor and set up, in his place, a government run by English traders who collected taxes through means of a private army. The creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional company and became something much more unusual: an international corporation transformed into an aggressive colonial power. Over the course of the next 47 years, the company's reach grew until almost all of India south of Delhi was effectively ruled from a boardroom in the city of London. The Anarchy tells one of history's most remarkable stories: how the Mughal Empire-which dominated world trade and manufacturing and possessed almost unlimited resources-fell apart and was replaced by a multinational corporation based thousands of miles overseas, and answerable to shareholders, most of whom had never even seen India and no idea about the country whose wealth was providing their dividends. Using previously untapped sources, Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before and provides a portrait of the devastating results from the abuse of corporate power.
The End of Poverty
by Jeffrey SachsAn international economic advisor shares a wide-spectrum theory about how to enable economic success throughout the world, posing solutions to top political, environmental, and social problems that contribute to poverty.
by Niccolò MachiavelliThe Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli, is a 16th-century political treatise. The Prince is sometimes claimed to be one of the first works of modern philosophy, especially modern political philosophy, in which the effective truth is taken to be more important than any abstract ideal. It was also in direct conflict with the dominant Catholic and scholastic doctrines of the time concerning politics and ethics.The Prince has the general theme of accepting that the aims of princes-such as glory and survival-can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.Although it is relatively short, the treatise is the most remembered of Machiavelli's works and the one most responsible for bringing the word "Machiavellian" into usage as a pejorative. It even contributed to the modern negative connotations of the words "politics" and "politician" in western countries. In terms of subject matter it overlaps with the much longer Discourses on Livy, which was written a few years later.Machiavelli emphasized the need for realism, as opposed to idealism. Along with this, he stresses the difference between human-beings and animals since "there are two ways of contending, one in accordance with the laws, the other by force; the first of which is proper to men, the second to beast". In The Prince he does not explain what he thinks the best ethical or political goals are, except the control of one's own fortune, as opposed to waiting to see what chance brings. Machiavelli took it for granted that would-be leaders naturally aim at glory or honor. He associated these goals with a need for "virtue" and "prudence" in a leader, and saw such virtues as essential to good politics and indeed the common good. That great men should develop and use their virtue and prudence was a traditional theme of advice to Christian princes. And that more virtue meant less reliance on chance was a classically influenced "humanist commonplace" in Machiavelli's time, as Fischer says, even if it was somewhat controversial. However, Machiavelli went far beyond other authors in his time, who in his opinion left things to fortune, and therefore to bad rulers, because of their Christian beliefs. He used the words "virtue" and "prudence" to refer to glory-seeking and spirited excellence of character, in strong contrast to the traditional Christian uses of those terms, but more keeping with the original pre-Christian Greek and Roman concepts from which they derived. He encouraged ambition and risk taking. So in another break with tradition, he treated not only stability, but also radical innovation, as possible aims of a prince in a political community. Managing major reforms can show off a Prince's virtue and give him glory. He clearly felt Italy needed major reform in his time, and this opinion of his time is widely shared.Machiavelli's descriptions in The Prince encourage leaders to attempt to control their fortune gloriously, to the extreme extent that some situations may call for a fresh "founding" (or re-founding) of the "modes and orders" that define a community, despite the danger and necessary evil and lawlessness of such a project. Founding a wholly new state, or even a new religion, using injustice and immorality has even been called the chief theme of The Prince. Machiavelli justifies this position by explaining how if "a prince did not win love he may escape hate" by personifying injustice and immorality; therefore, he will never loosen his grip since "fear is held by the apprehension of punishment" and never diminishes as time goes by. For a political theorist to do this in public was one of Machiavelli's clearest breaks not just with medieval scholasticism, but with the classical tradition of political philosophy, especially the favorite philosopher of Catholicism at the time, Aristotle. This is one of Machiavelli's most lasting influences upon modernity.
India Wins Freedom
by Abul AzadMaulana Azad is considered one of the greatest Urdu writers of the 20th century. He has written many books including India Wins Freedom, Ghubar-e-Khatir, Tazkirah, Tarjumanul Quran, etc. It is often said that his book India wins Freedom is about his political life and Ghubar-e-Khatir deals with his social and spiritual life.
CoreBoy is a cross platform GameBoy Emulator written in C# that even does ASCII - Scott Hanselman
The advantages of the Matthews correlation coefficient (MCC) over F1 score and accuracy in binary classification evaluation
by Steven Levy"In his sophomore year of college, Mark Zuckerberg created a simple website to serve as a campus social network. The site caught on like wildfire, and soon students nationwide were on Facebook. Today, Facebook is nearly unrecognizable from Zuckerberg's first, modest iteration. It has grown into a tech giant, the largest social media platform and one of the most gargantuan companies in the world, with a valuation of more than $576 billion and almost 3 billion users. There is no denying the power and omnipresence of Facebook in American daily life. And in light of recent controversies surrounding election-influencing 'fake news' accounts, the handling of its users' personal data, and growing discontent with the actions of its founder and CEO, never has the company been more central to the national conversation. Based on years of exclusive reporting and interviews with Facebook's key executives and employees, including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, Steven Levy's sweeping narrative digs deep into the whole story of the company that has changed the world and reaped the consequences"--
Blood and Oil
by Bradley Hope**Longlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award** From award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters Justin Scheck and Bradley Hope (coauthor of Billion Dollar Whale), this revelatory look at the world's most powerful ruling family reveals how a rift within Saudi Arabian royalty produced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a charismatic leader with a ruthless streak. Thirty-five-year-old Mohammed bin Salman's sudden rise stunned the world. Political and business leaders such as former UK prime minister Tony Blair and WME chairman Ari Emanuel flew out to meet with the crown prince and came away convinced that his desire to reform the kingdom was sincere. He spoke passionately about bringing women into the workforce and toning down Saudi Arabia's restrictive Islamic law. He lifted the ban on women driving and explored investments in Silicon Valley. But MBS began to betray an erratic interior beneath the polish laid on by scores of consultants and public relations experts like McKinsey & Company. The allegations of his extreme brutality and excess began to slip out, including that he ordered the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While stamping out dissent by holding three hundred people, including prominent members of the Saudi royal family, in the Ritz-Carlton hotel and elsewhere for months, he continued to exhibit his extreme wealth, including buying a $70 million chateau in Europe and one of the world's most expensive yachts. It seemed that he did not understand nor care about how the outside world would react to his displays of autocratic muscle-what mattered was the flex. Blood and Oil is a gripping work of investigative journalism about one of the world's most decisive and dangerous new leaders. Hope and Scheck show how MBS's precipitous rise coincided with the fraying of the simple bargain that had been at the head of U.S.-Saudi relations for more than eighty years: oil in exchange for military protection. Caught in his net are well-known US bankers, Hollywood figures, and politicians, all eager to help the charming and crafty crown prince. The Middle East is already a volatile region. Add to the mix an ambitious prince with extraordinary powers, hunger for lucre, a tight relationship with the White House through President Trump's son in law Jared Kushner, and an apparent willingness to break anything -- and anyone -- that gets in the way of his vision, and the stakes of his rise are bracing. If his bid fails, Saudi Arabia has the potential to become an unstable failed state and a magnet for Islamic extremists. And if his bid to transform his country succeeds, even in part, it will have reverberations around the world.
The Wisdom of Insecurity
by Alan WattsA classic look at man's search for certainty from the acclaimed expert on Eastern philosophy In this fascinating book, Alan Watts explores man's quest for psychological security, examining our efforts to find spiritual and intellectual certainty in the realms of religion and philosophy. The Wisdom of Insecurity underlines the importance of our search for stability in an age where human life seems particularly vulnerable and uncertain.Watts argues our insecurity is the consequence of trying to be secure and that, ironically, salvation and sanity lie in the recognition that we have no way of saving ourselves. Alan Watts was the foremost Western expert on Eastern thought, specialising in Zen Buddhism. He was the author of a number of books on the philosophy and psychology of religion, which have continued to be in popular demand over the past forty years.
Shakespeare in a Divided America
by James Shapiro"From leading Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro, a timely and insightful examination of what the world's greatest dramatist can teach us about life in an America riven by conflict. The United States has always been divided, but Americans from all walks of life have also always shared a deep affinity for the plays William Shakespeare, even if their meaning has been fiercely contested. For well over two centuries now, Americans of all stripes--presidents and activists, writers and soldiers--have turned to his plays to prosecute the most intense and pivotal quarrels in the soul of the nation, a nation defined by its political and social pluralism. That prosecution dates back to pre-Revolutionary times, when Hamlet's famous soliloquy--"To be or not to be"--was appropriated both by defenders of British rule and those seeking to overthrow it. Shapiro traces Shakespeare's formative and crucial role in our nation's history, from the otherwise progressive John Quincy Adams's sinister opinions on race expressed via (and only via) his views on Othello; to the politically-charged rhetoric that gripped Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth; to the resounding American triumph of Shakespeare in Love, produced by Harvey Weinstein's then fledgling company, Miramax, which exploded a debate about adultery at the time of President Clinton's Oval Office affair with Monica Lewinsky. But Shapiro also reports firsthand on Shakespeare's undeniable contemporary significance, after a production of Julius Caesar, which depicted the assassination of a President Trump-like Julius Caesar, was exploited calculatedly by Breitbart and Fox News to ignite outrage. With style and unmatched expertise, Shapiro contends brilliantly that few writers or artists can shed as much light on the hot-button issues of American life--such as immigration, same-sex love, political violence, and class warfare--and that by better understanding the role of Shakespeare's plays in American history we might take steps towards mending our bitterly divided land"--
Our Moon Has Blood Clots
by Rahul PanditaRahul Pandita was fourteen years old when he was forced to leave his home in Srinagar along with his family. They were Kashmiri Pandits-the Hindu minority within a Muslim-majority Kashmir that was by 1990 becoming increasingly agitated with the cries of 'Azaadi' from India. Our Moon Has Blood Clots is the story of Kashmir, in which hundreds of thousands of Pandits were tortured, killed and forced to leave their homes by Islamist militants, and forced to spend the rest of their lives in exile in their own country. Pandita has written a deeply personal, powerful and unforgettable story of history, home and loss.
The Faltering State
by Tariq KhosaThis book reviews the recent internal security challenges facing Pakistan. It is a timely and valuable addition to the literature on the subject of governance and the rule of law. It is based upon the author's approximately four decades (1973-2011) of creditable public service and provides special insights into how Pakistan, as a state, has been mismanaged at all levels. Bringing a practitioner's expertise, it will no doubt serve to inform the interested readership and stimulate debate on an issue that is of central importance to the survival of Pakistan as an effective state.