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Bee's Knees Books

The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind

The Secret Life of the Grown-up Brain: The Surprising Talents of the Middle-Aged Mind

By  Barbara Strauch 

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; 1 edition (April 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670020710
  • ASIN: B0043RT87M

A leading science writer examines how the brain’s capacity reaches its peak in middle age 

For many years, scientists thought that the human brain simply decayed over time and its dying cells led to memory slips, fuzzy logic, negative thinking, and even depression. But new research from neuroscien­tists and psychologists suggests that, in fact, the brain reorganizes, improves in important functions, and even helps us adopt a more optimistic outlook in middle age. Growth of white matter and brain connectors allow us to recognize patterns faster, make better judgments, and find unique solutions to problems. Scientists call these traits cognitive expertise and they reach their highest levels in middle age.

In her impeccably researched book, science writer Barbara Strauch explores the latest findings that demonstrate, through the use of technology such as brain scans, that the middle-aged brain is more flexible and more capable than previously thought. For the first time, long-term studies show that our view of middle age has been misleading and incomplete. By detailing exactly the normal, healthy brain functions over time, Strauch also explains how its optimal processes can be maintained. Part scientific survey, part how-to guide, The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain is a fascinating glimpse at our surprisingly talented middle-aged minds.

Biography

Barbara Strauch is health and medical science editor and a deputy science editor at The New York Times and the author of “The Primal Teen: What the New Discoveries About the Teenage Brain Tell Us About Our Kids.” She previously covered science and medical issues in Boston and Houston and directed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism at Newsday.

Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality

Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality

By Prof. Gail Dines

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0807044520
Publisher: Beacon Press (August 6, 2010)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B005OS3AJQ

Professor Gail Dines has written about and researched the porn industry for over two decades. She attends industry conferences, interviews producers and performers, and speaks to hundreds of men and women each year about their experience with porn. Students and educators describe her work as “life changing.”

In Pornland—the culmination of her life’s work—Dines takes an unflinching look at porn and its affect on our lives. Astonishingly, the average age of first viewing porn is now 11.5 years for boys, and with the advent of the Internet, it’s no surprise that young people are consuming more porn than ever. But, as Dines shows, today’s porn is strikingly different from yesterday’s Playboy. As porn culture has become absorbed into pop culture, a new wave of entrepreneurs are creating porn that is even more hard-core, violent, sexist, and racist. To differentiate their products in a glutted market, producers have created profitable niche products—like teen sex, torture porn, and gonzo—in order to entice a generation of desensitized users.

Going from the backstreets to Wall Street, Dines traces the extensive money trail behind this multibillion-dollar industry—one that reaps more profits than the film and music industries combined. Like Big Tobacco—with its powerful lobbying groups and sophisticated business practices—porn companies don’t simply sell products. Rather they influence legislators, partner with mainstream media, and develop new technologies like streaming video for cell phones. Proving that this assembly line of content is actually limiting our sexual freedom, Dines argues that porn’s omnipresence has become a public health concern we can no longer ignore.

Euphemania

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Euphemania
By Ralph Keyes
Page Numbers Source ISBN: B005ZO52HW
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (December 14, 2010)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Language: English
ASIN: B0047Y0F4Q

How did die become kick the bucket, underwear become unmentionables, and having an affair become hiking the Appalachian trail? Originally used to avoid blasphemy, honor taboos, and make nice, euphemisms have become embedded in the fabric of our language. EUPHEMANIA traces the origins of euphemisms from a tool of the church to a form of gentility to today’s instrument of commercial, political, and postmodern doublespeak.

As much social commentary as a book for word lovers, EUPHEMANIA is a lively and thought-provoking look at the power of words and our power over them.

Mercedes-Benz parade and staff cars of the Third Reich

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Mercedes-Benz parade and staff cars of the Third Reich, 1933-45: an illustrated history
By Blaine Taylor
1998 / English / ISBN: 0938289934, 9780938289937 / 16 MB / epubMercedes-Benz automobiles were popular in Germany and were naturally taken into use by the various agencies of the Third Reich. Many of these automobiles appear in famous photographs of the era, from pre-war Party rallies to the entry into Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland to Hitler’s departure from Rastenburg after the assassination attempt upon him.The author traces the early history and insignia of the various predecessors of Mercedes-Benz, culminating in the merger of Mercedes and Benz in 1926.Since Mercedes-Benz automobiles were seen as symbols of the prosperous Germany promised by the Nazis, they were often displayed by Party leaders during the years of struggle, with Goring’s 1931 roadster being the most famous example. The cars were also speedy and sturdy, allowing Hitler and his top associates to campaign throughout Germany at a speed that caught his political opponents unprepared.State power brought almost infinite resources into the hands of the Nazi Party, and liberal use of luxury automobiles were part of the spoils of victory. Again, a vehicle belonging to Hermann G?ring typifies the era, in this case his massive Grosser Mercedes six-seat touring car.The early war brought the automobile’s most colorful moment, as part of Hitler’s personal Grey (or Fuhrer) Column, which toured parts of Poland even as fighting was still in progress. Allied air supremacy soon made such operations too hazardous, but Mercedes cars soldiered on with important state duties, often with bullet-proof windows and low-visibility headlights and occasionally with anti-aircraft machine guns mounted.Mercedes-Benz Staff Cars covers in detail all of the models, personalities and important events in the automotive history of the Third Reich. Blaine Taylor’s fascinating text is supplemented by an extraordinary array of illustrations, from retro-futuristic paintings of the 1930s to unpublished photographs from the Hermann Goring, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Eva Braun, and Heinrich Hoffmann archives.

22 Walks in Bangkok

22 Walks in Bangkok: Exploring the City’s Historic Back Lanes and Byways
By Kenneth Barrett
ISBN: 0804843430 | 2014 | EPUB | 352 pages | 62 MB

Take a series of unforgettable strolls down the back lanes of historic Bangkok!

Bangkok is one of the world’s greatest cities and a leading tourist destination, visited by millions each year. But it can be a bewildering place also. First-time visitors, not knowing what to expect, encounter endless boulevards connected by a vast maze of tiny side streets. A stroll down any of these lanes can reveal fascinating surprises—beautiful palaces and mansions, shophouses and shrines, restaurants and markets. But how to find your way through the maze?

22 Walks in Bangkok helps you discover hidden gems found throughout the city by presenting each neighborhood as a distinct village—explaining how it evolved, and describing its historic landmarks in detail. Author Ken Barrett is a long-time Bangkok resident and experienced journalist, and he introduces the important temples, churches, shrines and mosques in loving detail, sketching their history and distinctive features. The reader is skillfully guided through the old neighborhoods of Bangkok from the center to the periphery, along narrow lanes and byways rarely seen by foreigners.

22 Walks in Bangkok leads the visitor on a unique journey of discovery and enables you to appreciate this fascinating city in new and exciting ways.

On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership

On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership

By Alison Levine
ISBN: 1455544876 | 2014 | EPUB | 272 pages | 6 MB


FOREWORD BY LEGENDARY DUKE BASKETBALL COACH MIKE KRZYZEWSKI

On the Edge is an engaging leadership manual that provides concrete insights garnered from various extreme environments ranging from Mt Everest to the South Pole. By reflecting on the lessons learned from her various expeditions, author Alison Levine makes the case that the leadership principles that apply in extreme adventure sport also apply in today’s extreme business environments. Both settings require you to be able to make crucial decisions on the spot when the conditions around you are far from perfect. Your survival -and the survival of your team-depend on it. Featuring a Foreword from legendary Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski who knows all about leadership, On the Edge provides a framework to help people scale whatever big peaks they aspire to climb-be they literal or figurative-by offering practical, humorous, and often unorthodox advice about how to grow as a leader.

You Are the Music

You Are the Music: How Music Reveals What it Means to be Human
By Victoria Williamson
2014 | ISBN: 1848316534 | English | 272 pages | EPUB | 3 MB

‘You are the music / While the music lasts’ T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets Do babies remember music from the womb? Can classical music increase your child’s IQ? Is music good for productivity? Can it aid recovery from illness and injury? And what is going on in your brain when Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’, Schoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht or Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Bonkers’ transports you back to teenage years? In a brilliant new work that will delight music lovers of every persuasion, music psychologist Victoria Williamson examines our relationship with music across the whole of a lifetime. Along the way she reveals the amazing ways in which music can physically reshape our brains, explores how ‘smart music listening’ can improve cognitive performance, and considers the perennial puzzle of what causes ‘earworms’. Requiring no specialist musical or scientific knowledge, this upbeat, eye-opening book reveals as never before the extent of the universal language of music that lives deep inside us all.

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do

imageWhistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do 
By Claude M. Steele

Format: EPUB

ISBN: 9780393339727

Pages: 432

Claude M. Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.

Rasputin: A Short Life

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Rasputin: A Short Life 
By Frances Welch
Publisher: Atria Books/Marble Arch Press (October 14, 2014)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Language: English
ASIN: B00GEEB4QA

Told with humor, intrigue, and a shrewd eye for detail, this riveting short biography sheds much-needed light on the life of nineteenth-century Russian icon Grigory Rasputin.

Grigory Rasputin, a Siberian peasant turned mystic and court sage, was as fascinating as he was unfathomable. He played the role of the simple man, eating with his fingers and boasting, “I don’t even know the ABC.” But, as the only person able to relieve the symptoms of hemophilia in the Tsar’s heir Alexei, he gained almost hallowed status within the Imperial court.

During the last decade of his life, Rasputin and his band of “little ladies” came to symbolize all that was decadent, corrupt, and remote about the Imperial Family, especially when it was rumored that he was not only shaping Russian policy during the First World War, but also enjoying an intimate relationship with the Empress…

Rasputin’s role in the downfall of the tsarist regime is beyond dispute. But who was he really? Prophet or rascal? A “breath of rank air…who blew away the cobwebs of the Imperial Palace,” as Beryl Bainbridge put it, or a dangerous deviant?

Writing for historical aficionados and curious readers alike, Frances Welch turns her inimitable wry gaze on one of the great mysteries of Russian history.

Female Chauvinist Pigs

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Female Chauvinist Pigs- Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture

By Ariel Levy

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743284283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743284288

Today’s young women seem to be outdoing the male chauvinist pigs of yesteryear, applauding the ‘pornification’ of other women, and themselves. This is a world where simulating sex for baying crowds of men on shows like Girls Gone Wild and going to lapdancing clubs – as patrons – is seen as a short cut to cool. Ariel Levy says the joke’s on the women if they think this is progress. She tears apart the myth of this new brand of ‘empowered woman’ and refuses a culture-wide obligation for women to act and look like porn stars. This terrifically witty and wickedly intelligent book makes the case that the rise of raunch does not represent how far women have come – it proves only how far women have left to go.

Genre: Sociology | Sexuality | Gender

Amazon.com Review

Ariel Levy’s debut book is a bold, piercing examination of how twenty-first century American society perceives sex and women. Writing vividly, she brings her readers to places she visited to make her assessment; the elevator of Playboy Enterprises with women auditioning to be Playmates in the fiftieth anniversary edition, a Florida beach where sunbathers urge a woman to take off her bathing suit for the camera crew of Girls Gone Wild, a San Francisco Italian restaurant where a lesbian worries she’s not dressed up enough for her date, a CAKE party in New York, with women grinding each other’s pelvises in time to pulsating dance rhythms, and outside a juice bar in Oakland where a beautiful high school student shares disappointment at her experiences with sex.Levy cleverly leads us to explore the role models women aspire to emulate. We are not pursuing the confident, self-determined, powerful, free ideal the women’s liberation movement would have dreamed for its daughters. Instead, our icons are porn stars and strippers and prostitutes. Paris Hilton and Jenna Jameson flaunt their successes in the pornography industry, and in doing so seem to earn our adulation.

Levy relates our embracing of this raunchy culture to unresolved tensions thirty years ago between the sexual revolution and the women’s liberation movement, and amongst feminists; joy at discovering the delights of our clitoris conflicting with disgust at pornography’s objectification of women. She creates a convincing argument by analyzing a diverse spectrum of material; presents a fascinating palette of interviews with revolutionary women’s libbers, nouvelle raunchy feminists, and everyday women and men. Detailed facts and recurring names are sometimes cumbersome, albeit worth ploughing through for the ‘a-ha moments’.

The reality that we model ourselves on images whose “individuality is erased” is harsh, yet Levy’s work is imbued with hope – hope that women can celebrate their uniqueness instead of their ‘hotness’, explore their sexuality as delight rather than consume sex as currency, and succeed professionally because of their brilliant minds and personalities, not because of their brilliant bodies.–Megan Jones Ady –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. What does sexy mean today? Levy, smartly expanding on reporting for an article in New York magazine, argues that the term is defined by a pervasive raunch culture wherein women make sex objects of other women and of ourselves. The voracious search for what’s sexy, she writes, has reincarnated a day when Playboy Bunnies (and airbrushed and surgically altered nudity) epitomized female beauty. It has elevated porn above sexual pleasure. Most insidiously, it has usurped the keywords of the women’s movement (liberation, empowerment) to serve as buzzwords for a female sexuality that denies passion (in all its forms) and embraces consumerism. To understand how this happened, Levy examines the women’s movement, identifying the residue of divisive, unresolved issues about women’s relationship to men and sex. The resulting raunch feminism, she writes, is a garbled attempt at continuing the work of the women’s movement and asks, how is resurrecting every stereotype of female sexuality that feminism endeavored to banish good for women? Why is laboring to look like Pamela Anderson empowering? Levy’s insightful reporting and analysis chill the hype of what’s hot. It will create many aha! moments for readers who have been wondering how porn got to be pop and why feminism is such a dirty word.
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