A Brief History of Time

by Stephen Hawking

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A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?

The Manual for Living

by Epictetus

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Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. This short "handbook", which was actually written down by one of his pupils, is a guide to daily living. It has been read by countless people over the centuries because of its sensibility and its easy application to daily living. Unlike some of his forefathers in philosophy, like Plato and Aristotle, he focuses on how to practically apply oneself on a philosophical level.

 

When Breath Becomes Air

by Paul Kalanithi

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At the age of 36, on the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a naïve medical student "possessed", as he wrote, "by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life" into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

The War of Art

by Steven Pressfield

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A succinct, engaging, and practical guide for succeeding in any creative sphere, The War of Art is nothing less than Sun-Tzu for the soul. What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? Bestselling novelist Steven Pressfield identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success. The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to reach the highest level of creative discipline.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

by Robert B. Caldini

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Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say yes - and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His 35 years of rigorous, evidence-based research, along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior, has resulted in this highly acclaimed book. You'll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader - and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.

 

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman: Adventures of a Curious Character

by Richard P. Feynman

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The Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist talks about his adventure-filled life in a series of transcribed taped discussions

 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

by Yuval Noah Harari

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From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity's creation and evolution - a number one international best seller - that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be "human." One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one - Homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago, with the appearance of modern cognition.

Into Thin Air

by Jon Krakauer

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Into Thin Air is the definitive, personal account of the deadliest season in the history of Everest by the acclaimed journalist and author of Eiger Dreams and Into the Wild. On assignment for Outside magazine, Krakauer, an accomplished climber, went to the Himalayas to report on the growing commercialization of the planet's highest mountain. Everest has always been a dangerous mountain. From the first British expeditions in the 1920s until 1996, one climber has died for ever 4 who have attained the summit. This shocking death toll has not put a damper on the burgeoning business of guided ascents, however, in which amateur alpinists with alarmingly disparate skills are ushered up the mountain for a $65,000 fee.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

by Jared Diamond, PhD

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Guns, Germs and Steel examines the rise of civilization and the issues its development has raised throughout history. Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology. Diamond also dissects racial theories of global history, and the resulting work-Guns, Germs and Steel-is a major contribution to our understanding the evolution of human societies.

This is Water

by David Foster Wallace

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Only once did David Foster Wallace give a public talk on his views on life, during a commencement address given in 2005 at Kenyon College. The speech is reprinted for the first time in book form in THIS IS WATER. How does one keep from going through their comfortable, prosperous adult life unconsciously? How do we get ourselves out of the foreground of our thoughts and achieve compassion? The speech captures Wallace's electric intellect as well as his grace in attention to others. After his death, it became a treasured piece of writing reprinted in The Wall Street Journal and the London Times, commented on endlessly in blogs, and emailed from friend to friend.