The Mysterious Stranger (Mark Twain)

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The Mysterious Stranger

“In 1590, three boys, Theodor, Seppi and Nikolaus, live relatively happy simple lives in a remote Austrian village called Eseldorf […]. The story is narrated by Theodor, the village organist’s son. Other local characters include Father Peter, his niece Marget, and the astrologer.

One day, a handsome teenage boy named Satan appears in the village. He explains that he is an angel and the nephew of the fallen angel whose name he shares. Young Satan performs several magical feats. Continue reading…

The Gunslinger (Stephen King)

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The Gunslinger

“With full-color illustrations by Michael Whelan. Revised and expanded throughout with a new introduction and foreword by the Author. In this first book of this brilliant series, now expanded and revised by the author, Stephen King introduces readers to one his most enigmatic heroes. Rolad of Gilead, the last gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which frighteningly mirrors our own. Roland pursues the man in black, encounters an alluring woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the boy from New York called Jake. Continue reading…

Highlights from Natural Law: Or The Science of Justice (Lysander Spooner)

From our journey through random or quality (or random quality) books, here are some highlights from Lysander Spooner’s Natural Law: Or The Science of Justice (1882).

Emphasis as it appears in the original work may be missing, and our own edits, though marked, may be broad. Important: By sharing these highlights we neither endorse nor recommend respective authors and their views. Assume that we know little of the authors, and that we have nuanced views on the matter—as with all our book recommendations.

Natural Law: Or The Science of Justice

[…] all legislation whatsoever is an absurdity, a usurpation, and a crime. 

[The science of justice] is the science which alone can tell any man what he can, and cannot, do; what he can, and cannot, have; what he can, and cannot, say, without infringing the rights of any other person. 

[…] each man shall do, towards every other, all that justice requires him to do; as, for example, that he shall pay his debts, that he shall return borrowed or stolen property to its owner, and that he shall make reparation for any injury he may have done […].

Continue reading…

A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles)

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A Gentleman in Moscow

He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Continue reading…

The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained (Will Buckingham, Douglas Burnham, et al.)

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The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained

“An essential introduction to the history, concepts, and thinking behind philosophy that demystifies what can often be daunting subject matter, laid out in DK’s signature visual style.

Are the ideas of René Descartes, Mary Wollstonecraft, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes still relevant today? The Philosophy Book unpacks the writings and ideas of more than 100 of history’s biggest thinkers, taking you on a journey from Ancient Greece to modern day. Explore feminism, rationalism, idealism, existentialism, and other influential movements in the world of philosophy. Continue reading…

The Late Show (Michael Connelly)

The Late Show: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads or from the author.

The Late Show

“Renee Ballard works the night shift in Hollywood—also known as the Late Show—beginning many investigations but finishing none, as each morning she turns everything over to the day shift. A once up-and-coming detective, she’s been given this beat as punishment after filing a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor.

But one night she catches two assignments she doesn’t want to part with: the brutal beating of a prostitute left for dead in a parking lot and the killing of a young woman in a nightclub shooting. Continue reading…

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (Marshall B. Rosenberg)

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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

“An enlightening look at how peaceful communication can create compassionate connections with family, friends, and other acquaintances, this international bestseller uses stories, examples, and sample dialogues to provide solutions to communication problems both at home and in the workplace. Guidance is provided on identifying and articulating feelings and needs, expressing anger fully, and exploring the power of empathy in order to speak honestly without creating hostility, break patterns of thinking that lead to anger and depression, and communicate compassionately. Continue reading…

How to Lie with Statistics (Darrell Huff)

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How to Lie with Statistics

“‘There is terror in numbers,’ writes Darrell Huff in How to Lie with Statistics. And nowhere does this terror translate to blind acceptance of authority more than in the slippery world of averages, correlations, graphs, and trends. Huff sought to break through ‘the daze that follows the collision of statistics with the human mind’ with this slim volume, first published in 1954. The book remains relevant as a wake-up call for people unaccustomed to examining the endless flow of numbers pouring from Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and everywhere else someone has an axe to grind, a point to prove, or a product to sell. Continue reading…

Highlights from The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels)

From our journey through random or quality (or random quality) books, here are some highlights from Karl Marx’s and Friedrich Engels’s The Communist Manifesto (1848).

Emphasis as it appears in the original work may be missing, and our own edits, though marked, may be broad. Important: By sharing these highlights we neither endorse nor recommend respective authors and their views. Assume that we know little of the authors, and that we have nuanced views on the matter—as with all our book recommendations.

The Communist Manifesto

The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles. 

In the earlier epochs of history, we find almost everywhere a complicated arrangement of society into various orders, a manifold gradation of social rank. 

Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes, directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. 

The executive of the modern State is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie. 

[Free trade:] In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation. 

The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe.

Continue reading…

The Power of Charm: How to Win Anyone Over in Any Situation (Brian Tracy & Ron Arden)

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The Power of Charm: How to Win Anyone Over in Any Situation

“As one of the world’s premier business consultants and personal success experts, Brian Tracy has devoted his life to helping others achieve things they never dreamed possible. Now, in his latest book, he gives readers the key they need to open any door… and get whatever they want, every time. The Power of Charm gives readers proven ways to become more captivating—and persuasive—in any situation. With his trademark directness, Tracy shows readers what charm can do, and how they can use simple methods to immediately become more charming and dramatically improve their social lives and business relationships. Continue reading…