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Old 06-05-2021, 11:05 AM   #2011
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As I've mentioned before a time or two in other posts , I'm a huge fan of the Great Game period of history, and now here is Mapping the Great Game: Explorers, Spies and Maps in 19th-Century Asia, by Riaz Dean, on sale at Kindle US for $2.99, as part of today's Daily Deal. I'm not sure how well this will work on my phone, where I usually read, but where maps also are tough to see. But I also have a nice tablet (!!!), and I suspect it'll look pretty good on that. I haven't heard of the author before, but the book gets 4.4 stars at Kindle and 4.3 stars at GoodReads.

Kindle US: https://smile.amazon.com/Mapping-Gre...dp/B081H9F3Z7/
Kindle US/Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/Mapping-Gre...dp/B081H9F3Z7/

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The work of explorers, surveyors and spies in the race to conquer Southern Asia is vividly recounted in this history of British imperial cartography.

In the 19th century, the British and Russian empires were engaged in bitter rivalry for the acquisition of Southern Asian. Although India was the ultimate prize, most of the intrigue and action took place along its northern frontier in Afghanistan, Turkestan and Tibet. Mapping the region and gaining knowledge of the enemy were crucial to the interests of both sides.

The Great Trigonometrical Survey of India began in the 18th century with the aim of creating a detailed map of the subcontinent. Under the leadership of George Everest—whose name was later bestowed to the world’s tallest mountain—the it mapped the Great Arc running from the country’s southern tip to the Himalayas. Much of the work was done by Indian explorers known as Pundits. They were the first to reveal the mysteries of the forbidden city of Lhasa, and discover the true course of Tibet’s mighty Tsangpo River.

These explorers performed essential information gathering for the British Empire and filled in large portions of the map of Asia. Their adventurous exploits are vividly recounted in Mapping the Great Game.
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Old 06-18-2021, 03:11 PM   #2012
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If you have read some of Ross King's non-fiction books, like Brunelleschi's Dome, Michelangelo And The Pope's Ceiling, and Leonardo and the Last Supper, and enjoyed them as much as I do, you may be interested to know that he has also written two mystery/suspense titles: Ex-Libris and Domino. And now Ex-Libris is on sale at Kindle UK for £1.99.

See this cross-post for more info and links: https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh....php?p=4131416
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Old 06-19-2021, 02:06 PM   #2013
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The Language of Flowers: A Fully Illustrated Compendium of Meaning, Literature, and Lore for the Modern Romantic by Odessa Begay. $1.99

With gorgeous full-color illustrations, ornate decorative elements, lettering in metallic ink, and engaging text, The Language of Flowers: A Fully Illustrated Compendium of Meaning, Literature, and Lore for the Modern Romantic is a treasure for flower lovers. A sumptuous, contemporary*anthology of*50*of the world's most storied and popular flowers,*each of its entries offers insight to the meaning associated with the flower,*and is a fascinating mix of*foklore, classic mythology, literature,*botanical information and*popular culture.*
Following an introduction that provides a short history of the language of flowers, a fad which reached its*peak during the reign of Queen Victoria, each uniquely illustrated and designed entry is an enjoyable read full of history and little-known facts. Here is*the story of Tulipmania; how the pansy got its "face," and why the most particular pollination process of a certain orchid has*made the vanilla bean a very dear commodity.*You'll also dicover how Christian Dior's passion for lily of the valley inspired his classic perfume Diorissimo and its extraordinary bottle; why Oscar Wilde had a penchant for wearing green carnations in his lapel; and how Greeks and Romans believed snapdragons could ward off witchcraft, so they planted them at entryways to their homes.
With more than a dozen two-page paintings evoking the romance of noteworthy Victorian gardens and symbolic bouquets, a cross-referenced index of flowers and meanings, and suggestions for further reading, this book is a must for lovers of floriology and Victoriana.

https://www.amazon.com/Language-Flow.../dp/B07TW77RM2
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Old 06-23-2021, 02:45 PM   #2014
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The blurb for Business Adventures, by John Brooks, has a quote from Bill Gates recommending it. And I think I also remember reading (???) that it is a favorite of Warren Buffett too...

In any case, my non-tycoon self has also read and liked it. And it's now on sale at Kindle US/UK for $1.99/£0.99 respectively.

Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L1TPCKW/
Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LX6G752/

Spoiler:
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Business Adventures remains the best business book I’ve ever read.” —Bill Gates, The Wall Street Journal

What do the $350 million Ford Motor Company disaster known as the Edsel, the fast and incredible rise of Xerox, and the unbelievable scandals at General Electric and Texas Gulf Sulphur have in common? Each is an example of how an iconic company was defined by a particular moment of fame or notoriety; these notable and fascinating accounts are as relevant today to understanding the intricacies of corporate life as they were when the events happened.

Stories about Wall Street are infused with drama and adventure and reveal the machinations and volatile nature of the world of finance. Longtime New Yorker contributor John Brooks’s insightful reportage is so full of personality and critical detail that whether he is looking at the astounding market crash of 1962, the collapse of a well-known brokerage firm, or the bold attempt by American bankers to save the British pound, one gets the sense that history repeats itself.

Five additional stories on equally fascinating subjects round out this wonderful collection that will both entertain and inform readers . . . Business Adventures is truly financial journalism at its liveliest and best.
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Old 06-23-2021, 04:29 PM   #2015
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Red Land, Black Land: Daily Life in Ancient Egypt is a really nice "history" of ancient Egypt, with more emphasis on the lives of the common people than you sometimes get in books like this. It's by Barbara Mertz, who is perhaps better known (outside of her academic field) as Elizabeth Peters, the author of the Amelia Peabody, Jacqueline Kirby, and Vicky Bliss mystery series. But Mertz was, of course, also an Egyptian scholar, with a PhD in Egyptology from the University of Chicago, which is pretty much one of the top schools in that discipline. Red Land has dropped to $2.99 at Kindle and Kobo US.

Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HD61I6/
Kindle US/Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004HD61I6/
Kobo US: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/red-land-black-land

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A fascinating, erudite, and witty glimpse of the human side of ancient Egypt—this acclaimed classic work is now revised and updated for a new generation

Displaying the unparalleled descriptive power, unerring eye for fascinating detail, keen insight, and trenchant wit that have made the novels she writes (as Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels) perennial New York Times bestsellers, internationally renowned Egyptologist Barbara Mertz brings a long-buried civilization to vivid life. In Red Land, Black Land, she transports us back thousands of years and immerses us in the sights, aromas, and sounds of day-to-day living in the legendary desert realm that was ancient Egypt.

Who were these people whose civilization has inspired myriad films, books, artwork, myths, and dreams, and who built astonishing monuments that still stagger the imagination five thousand years later? What did average Egyptians eat, drink, wear, gossip about, and aspire to? What were their amusements, their beliefs, their attitudes concerning religion, childrearing, nudity, premarital sex? Mertz ushers us into their homes, workplaces, temples, and palaces to give us an intimate view of the everyday worlds of the royal and commoner alike. We observe priests and painters, scribes and pyramid builders, slaves, housewives, and queens—and receive fascinating tips on how to perform tasks essential to ancient Egyptian living, from mummification to making papyrus.

An eye-opening and endlessly entertaining companion volume to Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs, Mertz's extraordinary history of ancient Egypt, Red Land, Black Land offers readers a brilliant display of rich description and fascinating edification. It brings us closer than ever before to the people of a great lost culture that was so different from—yet so surprisingly similar to—our own.
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Old 06-30-2021, 12:58 PM   #2016
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Another title in the US Kindle Daily Deal that just looks interesting to me....

Empire's Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day by Carrie Gibson seems to be pretty much what the title says it is - a history of the Caribbean from pre-Columbian times to the 20th century. Per the webpage, Gibson did a PhD at Cambridge focusing on the Spanish Caribbean in the era of the Haitian Revolution, so she should be pretty knowledgeable about what she's writing about. And, also per the blurb, Crossroads was chosen as one of the Observer UK's Best History Books of the Year back when it was published.

Since my prior knowledge of the history of the Caribbean is scatter-limited to the "Fact and Fiction" chapter notes in Michener's Caribbean (which are brief but interesting), to a couple of books from his suggested reading at the end, and to what I've learned at various museums while on visits to the area, this should be a huge step-up for me .

And besides, I just love the cover too!

It's only on sale at Kindle US right now, and probably just for today, at $2.99.

Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/Empires-Cross...dp/B00JLQ4QJA/
Kindle US/Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/Empires-Cro...dp/B00JLQ4QJA/

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Quote:
A “wide-ranging, vivid” narrative history of one of the most coveted and complex regions of the world: the Caribbean (The Observer).

Ever since Christopher Columbus stepped off the Santa Maria and announced that he had arrived in the Orient, the Caribbean has been a stage for projected fantasies and competition between world powers. In Empire’s Crossroads, British American historian Carrie Gibson offers a panoramic view of the region from the northern rim of South America up to Cuba and its rich, important history.

After that fateful landing in 1492, the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, and even the Swedes, Scots, and Germans sought their fortunes in the islands for the next two centuries. These fraught years gave way to a booming age of sugar, horrendous slavery, and extravagant wealth, as well as the Haitian Revolution and the long struggles for independence that ushered in the modern era.

Gibson tells not only of imperial expansion—European and American—but also of life as it is lived in the islands, from before Columbus through the tumultuous twentieth century. Told “in fluid, colorful prose peppered with telling anecdotes,” Empire’s Crossroads provides an essential account of five centuries of history (Foreign Affairs).

“Judicious, readable and extremely well-informed . . . Too many people know the Caribbean only as a tourist destination; [Gibson] takes us, instead, into its fascinating, complex and often tragic past. No vacation there will ever feel quite the same again.” —Adam Hochschild, author of To End All Wars and King Leopold’s Ghost
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Old 07-15-2021, 11:19 AM   #2017
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A couple of finds among today’s Kindle Daily Deals (the list is worth checking out; I’ve also named a few choice selections in the fiction thread):
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
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Old 07-22-2021, 09:48 AM   #2018
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The Hubble Telescope is back and running, after a computer glitch caused a month-long hiatus.

Perhaps timed to this occasion is the release of NASA's new edition in the "Hubble Focus" e-book series, Hubble Focus: The Lives of Stars. "This e-book hightlights the mission's recent discoveries and observations related to the birth, evolution, and death of stars."

The photos are simply stunning.

The book is free and is available in PDF, ePub, and mobi.

NASA has other free downloads, also; they are available via a menu at the top of the page with the same web address as below.

Book.
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Old 07-22-2021, 02:38 PM   #2019
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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson is $1.99 on Amazon.com

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In this beautifully written masterwork, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.
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Old 07-22-2021, 03:06 PM   #2020
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Almost three years later, again on sale in the US, this time for $2.99, which is still not a bad price for non-fiction. And still discountable at Kobo. Links below are still good.

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Originally Posted by sufue View Post
Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans by T. R. Fehrenbach has dropped to $1.99 at Kindle US as part of the Daily Deal, matched (and coupon/VIPable) at Kobo US. Fehrenback is perhaps better known for his Fire & Blood: A History of Mexico, and, after all, a good chunk of the history of Texas and Mexico is pretty intertwined...

Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/Lone-Star-His...dp/B00J90F6SS/
Kobo US: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/lone-star-9
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:17 PM   #2021
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High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing by Ben Austen is $1.99 at Amazon US.

When I was growing up, Cabrini Green was shorthand for hell on Earth. I read this years back when it was first released and I found it fascinating. It also did the seemingly impossible and made me nostalgic for Cabrini Green.

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Joining the ranks of Evicted, The Warmth of Other Sons, and classic works of literary non-fiction by Alex Kotlowitz and J. Anthony Lukas, High-Risers braids personal narratives, city politics, and national history to tell the timely and epic story of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green, America’s most iconic public housing project.

Built in the 1940s atop an infamous Italian slum, Cabrini-Green grew to twenty-three towers and a population of 20,000—all of it packed onto just seventy acres a few blocks from Chicago’s ritzy Gold Coast. Cabrini-Green became synonymous with crime, squalor, and the failure of government. For the many who lived there, it was also a much-needed resource—it was home. By 2011, every high-rise had been razed, the island of black poverty engulfed by the white affluence around it, the families dispersed.

In this novelistic and eye-opening narrative, Ben Austen tells the story of America’s public housing experiment and the changing fortunes of American cities. It is an account told movingly though the lives of residents who struggled to make a home for their families as powerful forces converged to accelerate the housing complex’s demise. Beautifully written, rich in detail, and full of moving portraits, High-Risers is a sweeping exploration of race, class, popular culture, and politics in modern America that brilliantly considers what went wrong in our nation’s effort to provide affordable housing to the poor—and what we can learn from those mistakes.
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Old 07-28-2021, 05:39 AM   #2022
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Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake is $1.99 on Amazon.com
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When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave.

In Entangled Life, the brilliant young biologist Merlin Sheldrake shows us the world from a fungal point of view, providing an exhilarating change of perspective. Sheldrake’s vivid exploration takes us from yeast to psychedelics, to the fungi that range for miles underground and are the largest organisms on the planet, to those that link plants together in complex networks known as the “Wood Wide Web,” to those that infiltrate and manipulate insect bodies with devastating precision.

Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They are metabolic masters, earth makers, and key players in most of life’s processes. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms—and our relationships with them—are changing our understanding of how life works.
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:04 AM   #2023
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X Platoon - Steve Heaney, Damien Lewis

A biographical memoir based on Steve Heany's time in the British army's Pathfinder Platoon, a recon & spec ops unit.

Amazon UK £0.99: https://www.amazon.co.uk/X-Platoon-S...al-text&sr=1-1
Kobo UK £0.99: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/x-platoon-1
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Old 08-26-2021, 02:36 PM   #2024
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A timely book, part of today's Kindle Daily Deal in the US at $2.99, matched at Kobo US. Originally published pre-Covid-19, so not one of those books written quickly to try to make money off the current pandemic. And has 4.6 stars on more than 8,000 ratings at Kindle.

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, by John M. Barry
Kindle US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000OCXFWE/
Kindle US/Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000OCXFWE/
Kobo US: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the...mic-in-history

Spoiler:
Quote:
#1 New York Times bestseller

“Barry will teach you almost everything you need to know about one of the deadliest outbreaks in human history.”—Bill Gates

"Monumental... an authoritative and disturbing morality tale."—Chicago Tribune

The strongest weapon against pandemic is the truth. Read why in the definitive account of the 1918 Flu Epidemic.

Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research, The Great Influenza provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. As Barry concludes, "The final lesson of 1918, a simple one yet one most difficult to execute, is that...those in authority must retain the public's trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one. Lincoln said that first, and best. A leader must make whatever horror exists concrete. Only then will people be able to break it apart."

At the height of World War I, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease.
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Old 08-27-2021, 10:29 AM   #2025
Tarana
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Sharpe’s Revenge By Bernard Cornwell $1.99 Amazon, Kobo and B&N
Historical fiction; I noticed that a new ebook for this series comes out in November.
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