Ren Hang (Ren Hang)

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Ren Hang

“Ren Hang, who took his life February 23, 2017 is an unlikely rebel. Slight of build, shy by nature, prone to fits of depression, the 28-year-old Beijing photographer was nonetheless at the forefront of Chinese artists’ battle for creative freedom. Like his champion Ai Weiwei, Ren was controversial in his homeland and wildly popular in the rest of the world. He said, ‘I don’t really view my work as taboo, because I don’t think so much in cultural context, or political context. Continue reading…

Highlights from The Elements of Style (William Strunk Jr.)

From our journey through random or quality (or random quality) books, here are some highlights from William Strunk Jr.’s The Elements of Style (1920).

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.

Elementary Rules of Usage

The Elements of Style

1. Form the possessive singular of nouns by adding ’s.

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 Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law (Nathaniel Burney)

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The Illustrated Guide to Criminal Law

“‘An undercover has to tell you if he’s a cop. Otherwise it’s entrapment, right?’

Wrong! That’s just one of many popular myths about criminal law that get repeated on street corners, in locker rooms, and on websites every day—all of them wrong.

Based on his popular Illustrated Guide to Law webcomic series, Nathaniel Burney debunks all of those myths and teaches everything you never learned about the law. Not just what the law is, but why it’s like that and how it works. Continue reading…

Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking (Grant Barrett)

Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Perfect English Grammar: The Indispensable Guide to Excellent Writing and Speaking

“Expert linguist Grant Barrett gives you all the tools you need to improve your everyday communication—from perfecting your punctuation to polishing your speaking skills—with his accessible, go-to grammar guide.
Language learners of all levels can turn to this easy-to-navigate grammar guide again and again for quick and authoritative information. From conjugating verbs to crafting sentences to developing your own style, Grant Barrett provides you with the tools and motivation to improve the way you communicate. Continue reading…

The Sociology Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) (Sam Atkinson)

The Sociology Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained): Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

The Sociology Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained)

The Sociology Book takes on some of humankind’s biggest questions: What is society? What makes it tick? Why do we interact in the way that we do with our friends, coworkers, and rivals?
The Sociology Book profiles the world’s most renowned sociologists and more than 100 of their biggest ideas, including issues of equality, diversity, identity, and human rights; the effects of globalization; the role of institutions; and the rise of urban living in modern society

Easy to navigate and chock-full of key concepts, profiles of major sociological thinkers, and conversation starters galore, this is a must-have, in-a-nutshell guide to some of the most fascinating questions on earth. Continue reading…

Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z (Jeremy Silman)

Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z: Learn more at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z

“This comprehensive guide, in dictionary form, makes all aspects of chess strategy quick, easy, and painlessly accessible to players of all degrees of strength. Each strategic concept is listed alphabetically and followed by a clear, easy-to-absorb explanation accompanied by examples of how this strategy is used in practice.”

New Books Playground says: Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z is one of our favorite chess books—and Jeremy Silman one from whom we learned the most. Continue reading…