The best kind of knowledge is uncommon knowledge.

Okay, so maybe you know all the stuff you're supposed to know--that there are teenier things than atoms, that Remembrance of Things Past has something to do with a perfumed cookie, that the Monroe Doctrine means we get to take over small South American countries when we feel like it.  But really, is this kind of knowledge going to make you the hit of the cocktail party, or the loser spending forty-five minutes examining the host's bookshelves?

Wouldn't you rather learn things like how the invention of the bicycle affected the evolution of underwear?  Or that the 1949 Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to a doctor who performed lobotomies with a household ice pick?  Or how Catherine the Great really died?  Or that heroin was sold over the counter not too long ago?

For the truly well-rounded "intellectual," nothing fascinates so much as the subversive, the contrarian, the suppressed, and the bizarre.  Richard Zacks, auto-didact extraordinaire, has unloosed his admittedly strange mind and astonishing research abilities upon the entire spectrum of human knowledge, ferreting out endlessly fascinating facts, stories, photos, and images guaranteed to make you laugh, gasp in wonder, and occasionally shudder at the depths of human depravity.  The result of his labors is this fantastically illustrated quasi-encyclopedia that provides alternative takes on art, business, crime, science, medicine, sex (lots of that), and many other facets of human experience.

Immensely entertaining, and arguably enlightening, An Underground Education is the only book that explains the birth of motion pictures using photos of naked baseball players.


Richard Zacks is the author of History Laid Bare: Love, Sex and Perversity from the Ancient Etruscans to Warren G. Harding, which was excerpted in classy magazines like Harper's and earned the attention of the even classier New York Times, which noted that "Zacks specializes in the raunchy and perverse."  The Georgia State Legislature voted on whether to ban the book from public libraries.  He has studied Arabic, Greek, Latin, French, Italian, and Hebrew, and received the Phillips Classical Greek Award at the University of Michigan.  He has also told his publisher that he made a living in Cairo cheating royalty from a certain Arab country at games of chance, although the claim remains unverified.  His writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, The Village Voice, TV Guide, and similarly diverse publications.  Zacks is married and busy warping the minds of his two children, Georgia and Ziegfield.  He resides in New York City, and can be reached via e-mail at rzacks@echonyc.com.
An exciting new era of Star Wars history is about to begin--as fantasy and
science fiction's most acclaimed authors propel the legendary epic into the
next millennium, introducing us to a rich cast of characters that features
old favorites--Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa Solo--along with the
next generation of Jedi and never-before seen creatures, droids, and deadly
agents of darkness. In Vector Prime, the launch novel for this thrilling new
saga, New York Times bestselling author R. A. Salvatore takes the Star Wars
universe to previously unscaled heights of action and imagination, expanding
the beloved story of a galaxy far, far away . . .

Twenty-one years have passed since the heroes of the Rebel Alliance destroyed
the Death Star, breaking the power of the Emperor. Since then, the New
Republic has valiantly struggled to maintain peace and prosperity among the
peoples of the galaxy. But unrest has begun to spread; tensions erupt in
outbreaks of rebellion that, if unchecked, threaten to destroy the Republic's
tenuous reign.

Into this volatile atmosphere comes Nom Anor, a charismatic firebrand who
heats passions to the boiling point, sowing seeds of dissent for his own dark
motives. In an effort to avert a catastrophic civil war, Leia travels with
her daughter Jaina, her sister-in-law Mara Jade Skywalker, and the loyal protocol droid
C-3PO, to conduct face-to-face diplomatic negotiations with Nom Anor. But he
proves resistant to Leia's entreaties--and, far more inexplicably, within the
Force, where a being should be, was . . . blank space.
Meanwhile, Luke is plagued by reports of rogue Jedi Knights who are taking the
law into their own hands. And so he wrestles with a dilemma: Should he
attempt, in this climate of mistrust, to reestablish the legendary Jedi
Council?

As the Jedi and the Republic focus on internal struggles, a new threat
surfaces, unnoticed, beyond the farthest reaches of the Outer Rim. An enemy
appears from outside known space, bearing weapons and technology unlike
anything New Republic scientists have ever seen. Suddenly Luke, Mara, Leia,
Han Solo, and Chewbacca--along with the Solo children--are thrust again into
battle, to defend the freedom so many have fought and died for. But this
time, all their courage, sacrifice, and even the power of the Force itself
may not be enough. . . .

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!
From Judd Apatow comes an intimate portrait of his mentor, the legendary stand-up comic and star of The Larry Sanders Show, with never-before-seen journal entries and photos, as well as new contributions by fellow comedians and writers.

Garry Shandling was a singular trailblazer in the comedy world. His two hit shows, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show and The Larry Sanders Show, broke new ground and influenced future sitcoms like 30 Rock and Curb Your Enthusiasm, and his stand-up laid the foundation for a whole new generation of comics. There’s no one better to tell Shandling’s story than Judd Apatow—Shandling gave Apatow one of his first jobs and remained his mentor for the rest of his life—and the book expands on Apatow’s Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling.

Here, Apatow has gathered journal entries, photographs, and essays for a close-up look at the artist who turned his gaze back onto the world of show business. Beyond his success, though, Shandling struggled with fame, the industry of art, and the childhood loss of his brother, which forever affected his personal and professional lives. His diaries show Shandling to be self-aware and insightful, revealing a deep philosophical and spiritual side. Contributions by comedians and other leading lights of the industry, as well as people who grew up with Shandling, along with never-before-seen pieces of scripts and brilliant jokes that he never performed, shed new light on every facet of his life and work. This book is the final word on the lasting impact of the great Garry Shandling.
AN EXPLOSIVE , REVELATORY ASSESSMENT OF THE GREATEST BETRAYAL IN AMERICAN HISTORY
William Barr · Paul Manafort · Michael Cohen · Steve Bannon · Rudy Giuliani · Mitch McConnell · Roger Stone · George Papadopoulos · Jeff Sessions · And More!
When former FBI Director Robert Mueller III was assigned to the Special Counsel investigation looking into the possibility of Russian interference in the 2016 US election, many Americans felt relieved. But when the report was delivered in April 2019, it was clear that the case was far from closed-and pinning Trump down on conspiracy charges was going to be a lot more difficult than it had first seemed.
In The Plot to Betray America, Malcolm Nance, New York Times bestselling author and renowned intelligence expert, reveals exactly how Trump and his inner circle conspired, coordinated, communicated, and eventually strategized to commit the greatest act of treachery in the history of the United States: compromisingthe presidential oath of office in exchange for power and personal enrichment.
Seduced by the promises of riches dangled in front of them by Vladimir Putin, the Trump administration eagerly decided to reap the rewards of the plan to put a Kremlin-friendly crony in the Oval Office. And instead of interfering, the Republican Party's faithful William Barr, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, Mitch McConnell, Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos, and Jeff Sessions among others did everything they could to facilitate Trump's damage to national security to fill his own pockets. Through in-depth research and interviews with intelligence experts and insiders, Nance charts Trump's deep financial ties to Russia through his family's investments, including those of Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner, and the corrupt behavior of his other double-crossing pro-Moscow associates.
Only by untangling the spider web of personal and financial relationships linking the White House to the Kremlin can we start to free ourselves from the constricting clutches of our foreign adversaries and work to rebuild our fractured nation.
In this geopolitical page-turner, The Plot to Betray America ultimately sketches the tracks and blueprint of the Trump administration's conspiracy against our country-and how we can still fight to defend democracy, protect our national security, and save the Constitution.
The #1 New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink, from the author of Give and Take and co-author of Option B

“Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point

“Originals is one of the most important and captivating books I have ever read, full of surprising and powerful ideas. It will not only change the way you see the world; it might just change the way you live your life. And it could very well inspire you to change your world.” —Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In

With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
 
Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
In Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone, a desperate family seeks a new beginning in the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska only to find that their unpredictable environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature.

#1 New York Times Instant Bestseller (February 2018)
A People “Book of the Week”
Buzzfeed’s “Most Anticipated Women’s Fiction Reads of 2018”
Seattle Times’s “Books to Look Forward to in 2018”

Alaska, 1974. Ernt Allbright came home from the Vietnam War a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes the impulsive decision to move his wife and daughter north where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Cora will do anything for the man she loves, even if means following him into the unknown. Thirteen-year-old Leni, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, has little choice but to go along, daring to hope this new land promises her family a better future.

In a wild, remote corner of Alaska, the Allbrights find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the newcomers’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own.

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Over 1 million copies sold

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—"not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Jane Hawk—who dazzled readers in The Silent Corner and The Whispering Room—faces the fight of her life, against the threat of a lifetime, in this electrifying thriller by #1 New York Times bestselling suspense master Dean Koontz.
 
“I could be dead tomorrow. Or something worse than dead.”
 
Jane Hawk knows she may be living on borrowed time. But as long as she’s breathing, she’ll never cease her one-woman war against the terrifying conspiracy that threatens the freedom—and free will—of millions. Battling the strange epidemic of murder-suicides that claimed Jane’s husband, and is escalating across the country, has made the rogue FBI agent a wanted fugitive, relentlessly hunted not only by the government but by the secret cabal behind the plot. Deploying every resource their malign nexus of power and technology commands, Jane’s enemies are determined to see her dead . . . or make her wish she was.

Jane’s ruthless pursuers can’t stop her from drawing a bead on her prey: a cunning man with connections in high places, a twisted soul of unspeakable depths with an army of professional killers on call. Propelled by her righteous fury and implacable insistence on justice, Jane will make her way from southern Southern California to the snow-swept slopes of Lake Tahoe to confront head-on the lethal forces arrayed against her. But nothing can prepare her for the chilling truth that awaits when she descends the crooked staircase to the dark and dreadful place where her long nightmare was born.

Don’t miss any of Dean Koontz’s gripping Jane Hawk thrillers:
THE SILENT CORNER • THE WHISPERING ROOM • THE CROOKED STAIRCASE • THE FORBIDDEN DOOR • THE NIGHT WINDOW 

Praise for The Crooked Staircase

“An absorbing thriller full of fresh touches . . . Writing his unusual heroine, Koontz keeps the pages alive with attitude as well as action. . . . For Hawk, who is as fearless as she is beautiful, no obstacle is too great, especially with the well-being of her hidden-away five-year-old son on her mind.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Spellbinding . . . Beautifully plotted and written with notable care and flare . . . The Hawk series . . . is among [Koontz’s] best work.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Unrelenting . . . [Jane] rivets readers’ attention. . . . Michael Crichton fans and thriller aficionados who appreciate a fierce female protagonist . . . should be urged to meet Jane Hawk.”—Library Journal
The #1 New York Times bestseller that examines how people can champion new ideas—and how leaders can fight groupthink, from the author of Give and Take and co-author of Option B

“Reading Originals made me feel like I was seated across from Adam Grant at a dinner party, as one of my favorite thinkers thrilled me with his insights and his wonderfully new take on the world.” —Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and The Tipping Point

“Originals is one of the most important and captivating books I have ever read, full of surprising and powerful ideas. It will not only change the way you see the world; it might just change the way you live your life. And it could very well inspire you to change your world.” —Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and author of Lean In

With Give and Take, Adam Grant not only introduced a landmark new paradigm for success but also established himself as one of his generation’s most compelling and provocative thought leaders. In Originals he again addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all?
 
Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can build cultures that welcome dissent. Learn from an entrepreneur who pitches his start-ups by highlighting the reasons not to invest, a woman at Apple who challenged Steve Jobs from three levels below, an analyst who overturned the rule of secrecy at the CIA, a billionaire financial wizard who fires employees for failing to criticize him, and a TV executive who didn’t even work in comedy but saved Seinfeld from the cutting-room floor. The payoff is a set of groundbreaking insights about rejecting conformity and improving the status quo.
"You'll not only break the ice, you'll melt it away with your new skills." -- Larry King

"The lost art of verbal communication may be revitalized by Leil Lowndes." -- Harvey McKay, author of “How to Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive”

What is that magic quality makes some people instantly loved and respected? Everyone wants to be their friend (or, if single, their lover!) In business, they rise swiftly to the top of the corporate ladder. What is their "Midas touch?"

What it boils down to is a more skillful way of dealing with people.

The author has spent her career teaching people how to communicate for success. In her book How to Talk to Anyone (Contemporary Books, October 2003) Lowndes offers 92 easy and effective sure-fire success techniques-- she takes the reader from first meeting all the way up to sophisticated techniques used by the big winners in life. In this information-packed book you’ll find:

9 ways to make a dynamite first impression 14 ways to master small talk, "big talk," and body language 14 ways to walk and talk like a VIP or celebrity 6 ways to sound like an insider in any crowd 7 ways to establish deep subliminal rapport with anyone 9 ways to feed someone's ego (and know when NOT to!) 11 ways to make your phone a powerful communications tool 15 ways to work a party like a politician works a room 7 ways to talk with tigers and not get eaten alive

In her trademark entertaining and straight-shooting style, Leil gives the techniques catchy names so you'll remember them when you really need them, including: "Rubberneck the Room," "Be a Copyclass," "Come Hither Hands," “Bare Their Hot Button,” “The Great Scorecard in the Sky," and "Play the Tombstone Game,” for big success in your social life, romance, and business.

How to Talk to Anyone, which is an update of her popular book, Talking the Winner's Way (see the 5-star reviews of the latter) is based on solid research about techniques that work!

By the way, don't confuse How to Talk to Anyone with one of Leil's previous books, How to Talk to Anybody About Anything. This one is completely different!

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