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Book Summary: After his wife's untimely death, a powerful sorcerer dedicates his life to seeking revenge against all womankind. He turns his captives into beautiful swans--who briefly regain human form by the fleeting light of the moon. Only Odette, noblest of the enchanted flock, has the courage to confront her captor. But can she gain the allies she needs to free herself and the other swan-maidens from their magical slavery?A monumental tale of loyalty and betrayal, of magic good and evil, of love both carnal and pure, and of the duality of human nature, The Black Swan is a rich tapestry which is sure to become an all-time masterpiece of fantasy.
Book Summary: The Black Swan is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, and The Bed of Procrustes. A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives. Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.” For years, Taleb has studied how we fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we actually do. We restrict our thinking to the irrelevant and inconsequential, while large events continue to surprise us and shape our world. In this revelatory book, Taleb explains everything we know about what we don’t know, and this second edition features a new philosophical and empirical essay, “On Robustness and Fragility,” which offers tools to navigate and exploit a Black Swan world. Elegant, startling, and universal in its applications, The Black Swan will change the way you look at the world. Taleb is a vastly entertaining writer, with wit, irreverence, and unusual stories to tell. He has a polymathic command of subjects ranging from cognitive science to business to probability theory. The Black Swan is a landmark book—itself a black swan. Praise for Nassim Nicholas Taleb “The most prophetic voice of all.”—GQ Praise for The Black Swan “[A book] that altered modern thinking.”—The Times (London) “A masterpiece.”—Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired, author of The Long Tail “Idiosyncratically brilliant.”—Niall Ferguson, Los Angeles Times “The Black Swan changed my view of how the world works.”—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel laureate “[Taleb writes] in a style that owes as much to Stephen Colbert as it does to Michel de Montaigne. . . . We eagerly romp with him through the follies of confirmation bias [and] narrative fallacy.”—The Wall Street Journal “Hugely enjoyable—compelling . . . easy to dip into.”—Financial Times “Engaging . . . The Black Swan has appealing cheek and admirable ambition.”—The New York Times Book Review From the Hardcover edition.
Book Summary: An exquisite WWII novel illuminating the strength of three women in occupied Paris, for fans of The Nightingale, The Alice Network and The Lost Girls of Paris. "A truly outstanding novel...reminds us of the power of love, hope and courage."—Heather Morris, #1 bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz Paris, 1944 Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, the chanteuse’s position of privilege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance. When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will derail the upcoming allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary—including assassination. But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long-lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross-currents of Occupied France undetected—and in time to save Lillian’s life. In this heart-wrenching novel, bestselling author Karen Robards showcases the extraordinary lengths one goes to save their family from a German prison. A web of spies, the resistance and a vivid portrayal of Paris in wartime.
Book Summary: I've loved him as long as I can remember. The gangly boy with big brown eyes and unruly hair who grew up into an intoxicating man. He wears scruff like he invented it and ambles with a swagger that makes panties drop. Killian Shepard. Shep. We grew up together. We played Ghost in the Graveyard. Had our own rock band. It didn't matter that he was five years older than me. It didn't matter that he looked at me as a kid sister even as I grew into woman. It didn't even matter when he left me behind to go to college and start his adult life. He'd be back. He was always meant to be mine. He came back, all right. But instead of smelling of promises, he stunk of betrayal. And he destroyed me-us-the day he married my sister instead of me. So I did the only thing a girl like me in my position could do. I got my revenge. I married his brother, Kael. Now we're one big happy f**king family.
Book Summary: Priscilla Harradine is the daughter of the recently deceased governor of the Leeward Islands in the West Indies who travels back to England with her father's second-in-command, Major Bartholomew Sands. Sands plans to marry Priscilla upon returning and to live in comfort off of her inheritance. However, a late passenger boards their ship and it turns out to be an ex pirate Charles de Bernis, mysterious and rogue character who obtains Priscilla's attention. As their friendship grows, a shady person from buccaneer's past comes back to haunt him and takes them in a dangerous adventure.
Book Summary: Set against a spontaneous cross-country road trip following the migrating birds, this passionate, lyrical memoir is one woman's reflections on midlife, her important personal relationships, her kaleidoscopic past, and her uncertain future. To fifty-six-year-old Anne Batterson, a woman whose life has been filled with adventure -- as a commercial pilot, an international skydiving champion, a trekking guide in Nepal -- her husband's decision to retire felt like a death sentence. Yearning for some way to reconcile herself to the future that was rapidly unfolding before her, she packed up her VW camper and hit the road with maps, bird guides, and little else except the desire to follow the fall migration and the bone-deep hunch that birds had something important to teach her. In this beautifully written narrative of that extraordinary trip, Batterson writes movingly not only about her experiences with the birds but also about the people she loves, has lost, and connects with along the way. Events from the present trigger vivid stories from the past. In the chapter "The Journey Within the Journey," a long, lonely night in a deserted campground in Virginia conjures up the ghosts of a desperate solo road trip she made when she was twenty-one. A towering cumulus cloud in Illinois brings back a breathtaking free fall into a similar cloud in "My Time as a Bird." An encounter with a great blue heron summons a compelling account of her mother's last afternoon in the world. "Bears in the Woods" describes a run-in with two Deliverance-type men in West Virginia, which brings back the murder of a dear friend in the woods of Connecticut. By the end of the journey, the ghosts of the past, like the author herself, have become part of a more fluid, more spiritual reality -- wild and spare and elegant and timeless -- one that is always out there, "quickening on the far side of reality." A unique mix of memoir and nature writing, The Black Swan is a charming story of a woman's odyssey.
Book Summary: "Babitz’s talent for the brilliant line, honed to a point, never interferes with her feel for languid pleasures." —The New York Times Book Review A new reissue of Babitz’s collection of nine stories that look back on the 1980s and early 1990s—decades of dreams, drink, and glimpses of a changing world. Black Swans further celebrates the phenomenon of Eve Babitz, cementing her reputation as the voice of a generation. With an introduction by Stephanie Danler, bestselling author of Sweetbitter. "On the page, Babitz is pure pleasure—a perpetual–motion machine of no–stakes elation and champagne fizz." —The New Yorker
Book Summary: The world's most famous choreographer becomes infatuated with a coltish young dancer who proves both siren and muse. A rising star plunges into an affair with a principal but finds that ecstasy on the stage can't be surpassed in the bed. A dying legend reflects on the evanescent beauty of a life of gesture, lost to everything but memory. Each bittersweet story plants the reader amid a cast of dancers and choreographers who struggle—valiantly, playfully, fiercely—to find in the rigorous discipline and animating beauty of ballet a counterbalance to the chaos of unscripted life. Many of the tales dare to imagine the inner lives of the century's titans—Balanchine, Fonteyn and Nureyev—which rival in emotional complexity and pathos the classic dramas they enacted onstage: La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Swan Lake. White Swan, Black Swan translates the pure and essential gestures of ballet into starkly elegant prose while showing the sweat and sex beneath the serene surface. Adrienne Sharp's debut is a bravura performance.