Description : “I have decided that the trouble with print is, it never changes its mind,” writes Ursula Le Guin in her introduction to Dancing at the Edge of the World. But she has, and here is the record of that change in the decade since the publication of her last nonfiction collection, The Language of the Night. And what a mind — strong, supple, disciplined, playful, ranging over the whole field of its concerns, from modern literature to menopause, from utopian thought to rodeos, with an eloquence, wit, and precision that makes for exhilarating reading.
Description : "The various and contradictory signs of English otherworldliness offered medieval writers a remarkably elastic medium with which to construct national identity. . . . Above all, the wonderful aspects of geographic otherness made it possible for English writers to see their homeland as not only barbarously divided but also blessed and united. Even as they acknowledged England as a barbarous wasteland . . . or as a site of brutal disorder . . . , the English also imagined England as a holy wilderness or as a blessed isle."—from the IntroductionIn a view that sweeps from the tenth century to the mid-sixteenth century, Kathy Lavezzo shows how the English people's concern with their island's relative isolation on the global map contributed to the emergence of a distinctive English national consciousness in which marginality came to be seen as a virtue. Lavezzo examines the many world maps and textual geographies produced by the English during these years. In a beautifully illustrated book, she argues that the English looked to the globe only to emphasize and, in time, to exalt their own exceptional geographic status. The author charts this process by examining a series of wondrous maps and canonical texts. Demonstrating how medieval geographic notions conditioned English attitudes toward Rome, clarifying the complicated religious history leading up to Henry the Eighth's divorce and the Reformation, Angels on the Edge of the World straddles the subjects—and methods—of literature, history, and cultural geography. It will be of special interest to those readers who use cartography as a way to map cultural identities.
Description : Christian Wolmar expertly tells the story of the Trans-Siberian railway from its conception and construction under Tsar Alexander III, to the northern extension ordered by Brezhnev and its current success as a vital artery. He also explores the crucial role the line played in both the Russian Civil War -Trotsky famously used an armoured carriage as his command post - and the Second World War, during which the railway saved the country from certain defeat. Like the author's previous railway histories, it focuses on the personalities, as well as the political and economic events, that lay behind one of the most extraordinary engineering triumphs of the nineteenth century.
Description : ORPHANED BY THE plague and penniless, Mateo must find his way in the world. By chance he is made a cabin boy on the celebrated voyage of Captain-General Ferdinand Magellan. The destination is secret, but the crew whispers that Magellan will be the first to sail east to the Spice Islands by going west—and everyone shall return with untold riches. At sea, Mateo discovers the meaning of friendship, loyalty, and hard work, as well as the delight of first love. But when the ocean rages and brother turns against brother, both Mateo and Magellan are in danger—and it’s not clear if anyone will survive. . . . “Torrey deftly maintains the taut thread of adventure that, along with the cast of memorable characters, keep the pages turning.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred “This deserves to be in the hands of every reader who loves history and adventure.”—Kirkus Reviews From the Hardcover edition.
Description : Volcano You blow yourself up to nurture your children, to draw attention to a larger reality than human history, to teach us that destruction is part of creation, to remind us that the Earth is alive and every day of bearable light is a gift.
Description : For more than 30 years, renowned anthropologist Wade Davis has traveled the globe, studying the mysteries of sacred plants and celebrating the world’s traditional cultures. His passion as an ethnobotanist has brought him to the very center of indigenous life in places as remote and diverse as the Canadian Arctic, the deserts of North Africa, the rain forests of Borneo, the mountains of Tibet, and the surreal cultural landscape of Haiti. In Light at the Edge of the World, Davis explores the idea that these distinct cultures represent unique visions of life itself and have much to teach the rest of the world about different ways of living and thinking. As he investigates the dark undercurrents tearing people from their past and propelling them into an uncertain future, Davis reiterates that the threats faced by indigenous cultures endanger and diminish all cultures.
Description : Recapitulates the tumult, idealism, and passion of the 1960s as the author retraces his career as a reporter for "Look" magazine, acknowledging the tremendous formative influences that the era had on him.
Description : AN EMPIRE IN DECLINE. Centurion Aurelius Castus – once a soldier in the elite legions of the Danube – believes his glory days are over, as he finds himself in the cold, grey wastes of northern Britain, battling to protect an empire in decline. Here he must face the barbarians beyond Hadrian's Wall, in a mission riven with bloodshed and treachery. Can Castus keep his promise to a woman he has sworn to help? And is anything about this doomed enterprise what it seems? War at the Edge of the World is the epic first instalment in a sequence of novels set at the end of the Roman Empire, during the reign of the Emperor Constantine.
Description : Five strangers gather at Eric's inn on a remote Hebridean island after he advertises in the London weeklies for "Christmas at the edge of the world." Harry, a military widower, is fascinated by General Gordon and the last days of Khartoum. Jessica is a voice-over artist and actress. Jon is a vain actor who is dangerously obsessed with Jessica. Anita, a salesperson in the stationary department of a store and, Ronald, a psychoanalyst who is pining for the cooking and domestic skills of his recently departed wife. Each has their own reasons for escaping the usual festivities, but the refuge of the island is complicated as Eric's wife Mabel flounces out at the last minute and the locals and visitors mingle and clash. A beautifully timed comic novel with a hint of the supernatural.
Description : Elizabeth A. Kaye specializes in communications as part of her coaching and consulting practice. She has edited Requirements for Certification since the 2000-01 edition.