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Non-fiction  added: 12/31/07  

blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Gladwell, Malcolm
Little, Brown and Company, 1st edition (January 11, 2005); 288 pages; cover price $24.95 ASIN: 0316172324 cover

How do we think without thinking, seem to make choices in an instant--in the blink of an eye--that actually aren't as simple as they seem? Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others? Drawing on cutting-edge neuroscience and psychology, the author reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.

Non-fiction, history  added: 07/21/06  

Nathaniel's Nutmeg

Milton, Giles
Sceptre 1999; 373 pages; cover price £7.99 ASIN: 0340696761 cover

The book deals with the competition between England and Holland for possession of the spice- producing islands of South-East Asia throughout the 17th century. Packed with stories of heroism, ambition, ruthlessness, treachery, murder, torture and madness, Nathaniel's Nutmeg offers a compelling story of European rivalry in the Tropics, thousands of miles from home, and the mutual incomprehensibility which often comically characterised relations between the Europeans and the local inhabitants of the prized islands.
At the centre of the story lies Nathaniel Courthope, a trusty lieutenant of the East India Company, who took and held the tiny nutmeg-producing island of Run in the face of overwhelming Dutch opposition for more than five years, before being treacherously murdered in 1620. Courthope's heroism led to the English taking the Dutch colony of Manhattan in revenge for the death of Courthope and the loss of Run. The subsequent peace deal between the two nations gave Holland Run and the British Manhattan; New York was born. As Milton wittily remarks, although Courthope's death "robbed England of her nutmeg, it gave her the biggest of apples".

Non-fiction, biography, history  added: 12/18/07  

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Sobel, Dava
Fourth Estate, June 1998; 189 pages; cover price £6.99 ASIN: 1857025717 cover

Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest. The 'longitude problem' was the thorniest dilemma of the eighteenth century. Lacking the ability to measure longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea.
At the heart of Dava Sobel's fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation and horology stands the figure of John Harrison, self-taught Yorkshire clockmaker, and his forty-year obsession with building the perfect timekeeper. Battling against the establishment, Harrison stood alone in pursuit of his solution and the £20,000 reward offered by Parliament.

Non-fiction, biography  added: 08/07/11  

Save Me from Myself

Welch, Brian "Head"
HarperOne, June 2008; 225 pages; 7 oz.; cover price $13.99 ASIN: 0061431648 cover

How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story

The incredible story of a controversial rock star, his secret addiction to methamphetamines, and his miraculoud salvation through Jesus Christ. Candid and inspiring, Save Me from Myself is a rock 'n' roll journey unlike any other.