Audiobooks

Lionel Giles

A prose translation of the Tao that focuses on bringing out the subtlety and depth of the classic Way.

Translations of the famous Way and Virtue (Dao De Jing/Tao Te Ching) focus on the poetics and depth of the original. In contrast, Giles’ translation focuses on telling stories with the text, drawing out the nuances in a way that is more familiar to Western audiences from philosophical and religious texts.

“Few can help being struck by the similarity of tone between the sayings of Lao Tzu and the Gospel enunciated six centuries later by the Prince of Peace. There are two famous utterances in particular which secure to Lao Tzu the glory of having anticipated the lofty morality of the Sermon on the Mount. The cavilers who would rank the Golden Rule of Confucius below that of Christ will find it hard to get over the fact that Lao Tzu said, "Requite injury with kindness," and "To the not-good I would be good in order to make them good." It was a hundred and fifty years later that Plato reached the same conclusion in the first book of the Republic.

It is interesting to observe certain points of contact between Lao Tzu and the early Greek philosophers. He may be compared both with Parmenides, who disparaged sense-knowledge and taught the existence of the One as opposed to the Many, and with Heraclitus, whose theory of the identity of contraries recalls some of our Sage's paradoxes. But it is when we come to Plato that the most striking parallels occur. It has not escaped notice that something like the Platonic doctrine of ideas is discoverable in the "forms" which Lao Tzu conceives as residing in Tao. But, so far as I know, no one has yet pointed out what a close likeness Tao itself bears to that curious abstraction which Plato calls the Idea of the Good.”



eBook Includes images of Wang Bi's classic commentary to the Dao.

Gertrude Barrows Bennett

In a career that spanned a mere three years, Gertrude Barrows Bennett (writing as Francis Stevens) published half a dozen books that came to define the genres that followed on. she is most popularly known as the woman who invented dark fantasy, but on the way she also invented a new, creepier kind of dystopian Sci Fi.

Today, you would call this a tale of trauma-onset schizophrenia, or perhaps a terrible descent into Dissociative Identity Disorder, foretold by genetics. In 1920, the best way to make sense of it was demonic possession. A true masterwork of psychological horror, from before psychology existed.

"One of the most intense, complete and unrelenting tales of psychological horror ever put together. No gore, guts and physical putrescence so common to horror, but the utter dissolution of a human spirit, as told by the victim. It is also perhaps the saddest book I've ever read, a perfectly realized story of unredeemed personal degradation and its effects on all it touches.

Clayton Barbour, the narrator, is a protected bourgeois son just weak enough to allow himself to be overwhelmed by a sly, dissembling force of evil, just strong enough to be constantly tormented by his weakness. Invited to a séance by a casual acquaintance, Moore, who sees in him a psychic force, he becomes the inadvertent victim of Moore's wife's contact with a channeled malignant force.

From this point on, the life of Clayton, his family and his friends is slowly, inextricably ripped asunder by events and in ways that seem unconnected but are manipulated by the Fifth Presence within him. Bennett pulls no punches, provides no happy ending. In that, it is her most honest work (and perhaps a summing summing up of her own life to this point, when she had lost a husband, father and invalid mother)...

Dark, wrenching, truly horrifying, but a book I can recommend without the least reservation." [Derek Davis, Goodreads]

Zhuang Zi

The Chuang Tsu is one of the most important books in Chinese literature and philosophy. It is one of the two foundational texts of Daoism. Also titled Zhuangzi, it is a commentary and extension of the Dao de Jing/Tao Te Ching, in the same way that Mencius' Analects are an exploration of Confucius' thought. Written in around 300BCE during the Warring States period, it is a collection of anecdotes, fables, and stories that are as silly and funny as they are profound and thought provoking.

Where the Dao De Jing is a distilled and poetic exploration of the Way, Zhuangi takes a much more human and real-world path through the mysteries of the Dao. Using often humorous anecdotes, allegories, parables and fables mixed with conversations about particular aspects of the Way.

James Legge’s translation is perhaps the most sophisticated and exacting one in existence. It carries as much as possible of the subtlety and detail in the original masterwork.

It is regarded as one of the greatest literary works in all of Chinese history, and has been called "the most important pre-Qin text for the study of Chinese literature." Its main themes are of spontaneity in action and of freedom from the human world and its conventions. The fables and anecdotes in the text illustrate the illusion of distinctions between good and bad, large and small, life and death, and human and nature. While other ancient Chinese philosophers focused on moral and personal duty, Zhuangzi promoted carefree wandering and becoming one with "the Way" (Dào 道) by following nature.

It has influenced great Chinese and Western writers for more than 2000 years, including Oscar Wilde, Yeats, Nietzsche, Sima Xiangru, Li Bai, Su Shi and Lu You.

WE Johns
Arthur Telling

“Jesus said, ‘Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All.'” This spoken by the Master was banned by the budding Christian Church two-thousand years ago, still deemed a heretical teaching to this day.

The Verbal Truth of Christianity effects to bring you to the crux of the central message of the Jesus mission, a universal one of reality's truer nature, the defining of God and cosmos in believable and constructive terms; an understanding of the eternal realm and our relation to it.

A simple message overlooked by scholars, yet of such complexity it takes lifetimes to realize; to see and understand how by ignorance and fear we frame our living narratives in birth and death -- necessitating a false mortality.

In Chapter 1 this book offers a greater explanation of what “life” is and sets a foundation for a more developed, elevated, meaningful, concept of “God”.

Chapter 2 opens with a short exploration of the time and place setting of the story of Jesus, making effort for determining who he was, what he said, why he said it, and further to sift out what he said that the Christian Church embraced, and what he said that the Church rejected. And more importantly, we will begin to see what the Church teaches that Jesus never said or taught.

In Chapter 3 we will briefly look at credible gospels of Jesus that the Church rejected then and still rejects now, primarily the “Gnostic” Gospel of Thomas lost to the ages until uncovered by chance in 1945.

Chapter 4 reconciles the canonical (New Testament) gospels of the Christian Church with legitimate rejected gospels that the Church deemed heretical (wrong teachings). From this, and with our more elevated understanding of life and who God is, a clear Jesus message emerges of which logic and understanding replaces the childlike message of “faith”.

Lord Dunsany

Lord Dunsany was the progenitor of modern fantasy fiction. From Tolkein to Gaiman, from Le Guin to Moorcock, his words inspired an entire genre of modern dark fantasy.

A fun adventure in a Spain that never was, in the vein of Dumas and Stevenson, with more than a taste of Cervantes. Don Rodriguez is a young nobleman who is banished from the family castle, and must set out with his rapier and mandolin to win his own estate, and perhaps even a bride. Along with his trusty servant Morano, he journeys far into the heart of the mythical Shadow Valley. Echoes of The Princess Bride resonate throughout.

“How to describe this book? It's a pretty problem. As might a child, after dashing off to play on a bright summer morning—hours splashing in the river, exploring the forests, duelling with sticks against the Infidel (or the child next door if the Infidel be not available), winning a week's pocket-money at marbles and losing it again—as such a child, when asked "what did you do today?" simply shrugs and replies "oh, nothing much"; just so should I feel, dear Reader, were I to attempt to pin down the precise qualities of this book for you. It doesn't wash. And yet I must make the attempt.

I can say this much: this is a book to be approached lightly. The magic Lord Dunsany weaves is delicate, and you may raise an eyebrow and start to protest that you know the history of Spain, and the events he relates cannot possibly have taken place in the manner he describes. Moreover the characters in his story are surely stereotypes, mere caricatures, and no such people can possibly have walked those dusty roads, and even if they did they cannot have subsisted merely on bacon. Not possible, you say. But when you read of Morano's noble frying pan, of bacon cooked beneath the stars and eaten at the wayfarer's green table, you might find that you believe in Bacon after all.” [Iain, Goodreads]

Gertrude Barrows Bennett

Gertrude Barrows Bennet is better known by her pen-name, Francis Stevens. With a career that only spanned three years between 1917 and 1920, when she stopped writing after her mother's death, she is credited as "the woman who invented dark fantasy". She was a direct influence on H.P. Lovecraft, and in the words of Sam Moskowitz was the "greatest woman writer of science fiction in the period between Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and C.L. Moore"

“Mysterious, beautifully written, at times hallucinatory, and with a creeping atmosphere of dread to spare, "Claimed" is most surely an impressive piece of imaginative work. The author does not shrink from the depiction of violence and bloodshed, either. As in "The Citadel of Fear," here, an ancient god appears in modern times to stir up trouble, but in "Claimed," that god is never named (although Poseidon/Neptune is strongly suggested) or even clearly seen.

[we see] the horrendous fate that befell the continent of Atlantis, and just how the coveted box wound up in the drink to begin with, and it really is some fascinating stuff. Vanaman, Leilah and especially old Robinson, I should add, are all well-drawn characters, with the good doctor being especially likable and sympathetic. Stevens peppers her novel with many memorable and haunting scenes, including an early exploration of the newly risen, barren island where the relic is initially found; a clairvoyant's unfortunate attempt to perform a little psychometry on the arcane object; and, indeed, the entire final 1/3 of the book, comprising as it does a tense chase at sea. The book has great sweep and drive, and is fairly relentless once it gets moving. Personally, I could not wait to get home after work to get back to it, and the evenings that I spent reading "Claimed" were very gripping ones, to be sure.” [Sandy Ferber, fantasyliterature.com]

Chirag Patel
Ivan Chen

For over two thousand years, this books has been the foundation of Chinese family life.

Based on a series of conversations with Confucius, and supplemented by a series of story examples by an Emperor in the 11th Century, it is essential to understanding the nature and order of Chinese society. It speaks of how one should behave towards a senior such as one’s parents, elder brother or ruler, and the obligations that follow in the opposite direction. Written in 400BC, the Xiaojang is legendarily a dialogue between Confucius and Zeng Zi, a disciple who was well known for his filial piety.

Since that time, it has been an essential tool of Chinese civilisation, often being the first book that Chinese children are given when they are able to read it. For Confucius and his disciples, family life is the foundation and cornerstone of society, and recognising the value and impact of family harmony on both the local and greater environments is crucial to stability and prosperity.


SOME OPINIONS OF THE PRESS

The Athenaeum.--"We wish that there were more of them; they are dreamy, lifelike, and fascinating."

Pall Mall Gazette.--"No translation of this important work has been made since the beginning of the eighteenth century."

Manchester Courier.--"Worthy of close study by all who would penetrate to the depth of Eastern thought and feeling."

The Scotsman.--" should not fail to please readers of the more studious sort."

Southport Guardian.--"will find considerable favour with all Students of Eastern Literature and Eastern Philosophy."

Bristol Mercury.--"We commend these little books to all who imagine that there is no knowledge worth having outside Europe and America."

Field.--"Such books are valuable aids to the understanding of a far-off age and people, and have a great interest for the student of literature."

Chirag Patel
WE Johns

Some problems solved by Air Detective-Inspector Bigglesworth, C.I.D., and his Air Police

Nine stories of Biggles’ adventures with the Air Police. Join Biggles, Algy, Ginger and the gang as Raymond sends them searching for Uranium thieves in the Cairngorms, arms dealers in Malaysia, diamond smugglers in Africa, nefarious murderers, and the cause of strange aircraft crashes. Also includes the tale of a dangerous bet from Captain Bigglesworth’s days with the Royal Air Force in World War I.

The stories are:

SKYWAY ROBBERY: Can Biggles find the stolen Jewels of the Rajah of Malliapore?

THE CASE OF THE UNKNOWN AIRCRAFT: A plane carrying uranium from an unknown source crashes in the Cairngorm mountains. Can Biggles survive this Scottish adventure?

THE RENEGADE: Chasing down a fellow Brit who has turned his back on the Empire and is working towards it’s destruction.

BIGGLES BAITS THE TRAP: Biggles pulls a fast one in order to catch a gang of thieves AFRICAN ASSIGNMENT: A trader’s son reaches England with a tale of a tribe turned violent. Can Biggles discover the source of their new attitude?

ALL IN THE DAY'S WORK : A simple day of saving the government from humiliation and disaster.

THE CASE OF THE SECRET AEROFOIL: Did the pilot of a new test place really die in a crash?

THE CASE OF THE MYSTERIOUS GUNSHOTS: A native in the Sudan is attacked by a plane, sending Biggles into the heart of Africa to investigate.

THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE: Squadron Commander Wilkinson—known better as Wilks—makes a dangerous bet with Biggles.

ebook and print versions include illustrations from the original book, as well as covers from the magazines which these stories were first published in.

Gertrude Barrows Bennett
Chirag Patel

Articles on boring-but-interesting topics, including:

Management styles and theory

Quality philosophies

The structure of law

Case studies in reducing crime and recidivism

A reflective study on criminal justice

A case study on Warner Brothers' political cartoons

Articles on occupy, disintermediation, and ethical concerns

One thing that no-one tells you about being a writer is just how much business stuff you have to learn. In retrospect, it makes sense. Modern corporations provide the equivalent of patronage, allowing artists of all stripes to practice their craft with stuff that’s both limited and challenging. Inevitably, what people will pay for producing is stuff directly relevant to their interests, and so over the years I’ve produced a lot of documents over time about management, law and politics. Some were explanations and guides, some were for courses I took; all were at once fascinating and difficult to engage with properly.

What follows sits broadly in three categories:

—Simple guides on basic management and legal concepts

—More abstract applications and problems in management theory

—Some practical instances of politics in action, especially in cartoons

The real issue is that people are conversational, not contractual. That creates a real problem in the study of management, which is why the law (which is entirely contractual) and politics (which is entirely conversational) are included together.

I find it helps to understand that these things are part of a system that we’re all part of, willing or not, conscious or not. Management theories and practice, criminal justice in origin and contemporary application, and all political acts, whether large (the Truth and Reconciliation Committee) small (propaganda in Warner Brothers cartoons) or confusing (Occupy) are part of a single overarching desire to find the levers that make groups of people work.

Chirag Patel
Chirag Patel
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