Christmas Inspiration

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  • Hannah Coulter
    Hannah Coulter (English, Paperback) Wendell Berry

    "Ignorant boys, killing each other," is just about all Nathan Coulter would tell his wife, friends, and family about the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945. Life carried on for the community of Port William, Kentucky, as some boys returned from the war and the lives of others were mourned. In her seventies, Nathan's wife, Hannah, has time now to tell of the years since the war. In Wendell Berry's unforgettable prose, we learn of the Coulter's children, of the Feltners and Branches, and how survivors "live right on."

    $15.91
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  • That Distant Land
    That Distant Land (English, Paperback) Wendell Berry

    Drawn from three collections of stories and including new work, That Distant Land extends over nearly a century of Berry's Port William community. With 23 stories from the author's Port William membership, this book is arranged in its fictional chronology, and it shines forth as a single sustained work. That Distant Land truly reveals Wendell Berryaward-winning essayist, novelist, and poetas a literary master.

    $18.98
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  • Program or be Programmed
    Program or be Programmed (English, Paperback) Douglas Rushkoff

    The debate over whether the Net is good or bad for us fills the airwaves and the blogosphere. But for all the heat of claim and counter-claim, the argument is essentially beside the point: It's here; it's everywhere. The real question is, do we direct technology, or do we let ourselves be directed by it and those who have mastered it? ?Choose the former,? writes Rushkoff, ?and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.? In ten chapters, composed of ten ?commands? accompanied by original illustrations from comic artist Leland Purvis, Rushkoff provides cyber enthusiasts and technophobes alike with the guidelines to navigate this new universe. In this spirited, accessible poetics of new media, Rushkoff picks up where Marshall McLuhan left off, helping readers come to recognize programming as the new literacy of the digital age??and as a template through which to see beyond social conventions and power structures that have vexed us for centuries. This is a friendly little book with a big and actionable message.

    $16.82
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  • The Art of the Commonplace
    The Art of the Commonplace (English, Paperback) Wendell Berry

    The Art of the Commonplace gathers twenty-one essays by Wendell Berry that offer an agrarian alternative to our dominant urban culture. These essays promote a clearly defined and compelling vision important to all people dissatisfied with the stress, anxiety, disease, and destructiveness of contemporary American culture. Why is agriculture becoming culturally irrelevant, and at what cost? What are the forces of social disintegration and how might they be reversed? How might men and women live together in ways that benefit both? And, how does the corporate takeover of social institutions and economic practices contribute to the destruction of human and natural environments? Through his staunch support of local economies, his defense of farming communities, and his call for family integrity, Berry emerges as the champion of responsibilities and priorities that serve the health, vitality, and happiness of the whole community of creation.

    $17.62
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  • Forces of Change
    Forces of Change (English, Paperback) Henry Hobhouse

    There are few books that have the insight and power to change the way we think. Forces of Change is one. In this updated edition, Henry Hobhouse argues provocatively, and most convincingly, that modern history has been shaped less by the actions of human beings than by three natural forces: population growth, food supply, and disease. Together they form a self-balancing triangle: any change in the dimension of one side, Hobhouse shows, is and must be matched by changes in one or both of the other sides. Using key examples from the history of the past five hundred years, the author opens our eyes to new possibilities, so that history as learned from our textbooks takes on a whole new light. As original as it is ambitious, Forces of Change examines history from the time of the Black Plague to the present day, observing in each period and historical situation the relative roles of the three sides of the triangle. The result is a work that is revealing, eloquent, and?despite the seriousness of the subject?always witty and eminently readable.

    $18.23
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  • Spring Forward
    Spring Forward (English, Hardback) Michael Downing

    Michael Downing is obsessed with Daylight Saving, the loopy idea that became the most persistent political controversy in American history. Almost one hundred years after Congressmen and lawmakers in every state first debated, ridiculed, and then passionately embraced the possibility of saving an hour of daylight, no one can say for sure why we are required by law to change our clocks twice a year. Who first proposed the scheme? The most authoritative sources agree it was a Pittsburgh industrialist, Woodrow Wilson, a man on a horse in London, a Manhattan socialite, Benjamin Franklin, one of the Caesars, or the anonymous makers of ancient Chinese and Japanese water clocks. Spring Forward is a portrait of public policy in the 20th century, a perennially boiling cauldron of unsubstantiated science, profiteering masked as piety, and mysteriously shifting time-zone boundaries. It is a true-to-life social comedy with Congress in the leading role, surrounded by a supporting cast of opportunistic ministers, movie moguls, stockbrokers, labor leaders, sports fanatics, and railroad execs.

    $26.04
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  • Our Savage
    Our Savage (English, Paperback) Matt Pavelich

    In 1865 a baby?too large a baby to pass through anyone's hips?is born to a couple at the crumbling edge of Europe where the horror of pending war is already in the air. By any measure too large, our hero can develop no patience for his determined, dinky fellows, and so from the Balkan backwater of his birth and his youth as a precocious highwayman, to intrigues at Court in Vienna, the problem remains the same?he is by one means and another continually wearing out his welcome. In this bawdy and highly original first novel by award-winning writer Matt Pavelich, Danny Savage migrates to the New World in 1899, where, after domestic problems in Louisiana, and legal and domestic problems in Butte, Montana, he finally settles in an empty, rough corner of Wyoming with his epic shrew of a wife, Stoja. In Savage's wake are spent empires, ruptured families, collateral lives that have touched and fallen away. As an American by nature not by birth, high up in the Great American Desert, Savage finds room at last to fully express himself.

    $17.09
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  • The Heart Sutra
    The Heart Sutra (English, Paperback) Red Pine

    The Heart Sutra is Buddhism in a nutshell. It has had the most profound and wide-reaching influence of any text in Buddhism. This short text covers more of the Buddha's teachings than any other scripture, and it does so without being superficial or hurried. Although the original author is unknown, he was clearly someone with a deep realization of the Dharma. For this new English translation, Red Pine, award-winning translator of Chinese poetry and religious texts, has utilized various Sanskrit and Chinese versions, refining the teachings of dozens of ancient teachers together with his own commentary to offer a profound word-for-word explication. Divided into four parts and broken into thirty-five lines to make it easier to study or chant, and containing a glossary of names, terms, and texts, The Heart Sutra is a wise book of deep teaching destined to become the standard edition of this timeless statement of Mahayana truth.

    $17.42
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  • Gods of Tin
    Gods of Tin (English, Paperback) James Salter

    A singular life often circles around a singular moment, an occasion when one's life in the world is defined forever and the emotional vocabulary set. For the extraordinary writer James Salter, this moment was contained in the fighter planes over Korea where, during his young manhood, he flew more than one hundred missions. James Salter is considered one of America's greatest prose stylists. The Arm of Flesh (later revised and retitled Cassada) and his first novel, The Hunters, are legendary in military circles for their descriptions of flying and aerial combat. A former Air Force pilot who flew F-86 fighters in Korea, Salter writes with matchless insight about the terror and exhilaration of the pilot's life.

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  • A Zen Wave
    A Zen Wave (English, Paperback) Robert Aitken

    Zen Buddhism distinguishes itself by brilliant flashes of insight and its terseness of expression. The haiku verse form is a superb means of studying Zen modes of thought and expression, for its seventeen syllables impose a rigorous limitation that confines the poet to vital experience. Here haiku by Matsuo Basho (1644-94) ? the greatest Japanese haiku poet ? are translated by Robert Aitken, with commentary that provides a new and deeper understanding of Basho's work than ever before. In presenting themes from the haiku and from Zen literature that open the doors both to the poems and to Zen itself, Aitken has produced the first book about the relationship between Zen and haiku. His readers are certain to find it invaluable for the remarkable revelations it offers.

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  • Poems from Ish River Country
    Poems from Ish River Country (English, Paperback) Robert Sund

    Poems from Ish River Country collects the complete poems of poet, painter, and calligrapher Robert Sund. His few published volumes of poetry and frequent public readings established his reputation as one of the most distinctive poetic voices of the Pacific Northwest, where he enjoyed a tremendous popularity. His short, imagistic poems, in the tradition of William Carlos Williams and Kenneth Rexroth, distill the essence of the Northwest landscape and in plain speech celebrate themes of family, friendship, work and quiet contemplation. Included here are the poet's award-winning collections, Bunch Grass, which gave literary voice to the rolling wheat country east of the Cascade Mountains in his native Washington State, and Ish River, which celebrated the misty river landscape of the Puget Sound country, a place, in the poet's words, "between two mountain ranges where many rivers run down to an inland sea." But the great part of this collection contains poems unpublished during the poet's lifetime or published only in very limited editions. There is also a generous selection of his translations, from Issa, Buson, Basho, and most especially from the Swedish poet Rabbe Enckell, with whom Sund felt a close affinity.

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  • There and Then
    There and Then (English, Paperback) James Salter

    This collection offers two dozen essays and sketches about one of the passions of Salter's life?travel?a subject beloved by writers across the centuries. Over twenty years of skiing, hiking, climbing from Colorado to Japan to the Tyrol, from Austria and Switzerland to Germany and France, Salter is an engaging companion sharing his great enthusiasm and adventures. James Salter's novels and volumes of memoir have been widely celebrated and he is now recognized as one of America's most important writers.

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