Books

Lost Cities & Ancient Mysteries of the Southwest (Lost Cities Series) by David Hatcher Childress -

Popular Lost Cities author David Hatcher Childress takes to the road again in search of lost cities and ancient mysteries. This time he is off to the American Southwest, traversing the region’s deserts, mountains and forests investigating archeological mysteries and the unexplained. Join David as he starts in northern Mexico and searches for the lost mines of the Aztecs. He continues north to west Texas, delving into the mysteries of Big Bend, including mysterious Phoenician tablets discovered there and the strange lights of Marfa. He continues northward into New Mexico where he stumbles upon a hollow mountain with a billion dollars of gold bars hidden deep inside it! In Arizona he investigates tales of Egyptian catacombs in the Grand Canyon, cruises along the Devil’s Highway, and tackles the century-old mystery of the Superstition Mountains and the Lost Dutchman mine. In Nevada and California Childress checks out the rumors of mummified giants and weird tunnels in Death Valley, plus he searches the Mohave Desert for the mysterious remains of ancient dwellers alongside lakes that dried up tens of thousands of years ago. It’s a full-tilt blast down the back roads of the Southwest in search of the weird and wondrous mysteries of the past!

The Right Stuff -

Tom Wolfe began The Right Stuff at a time when it was unfashionable to contemplate American heroism. Nixon had left the White House in disgrace, the nation was reeling from the catastrophe of Vietnam, and in 1979–the year the book appeared–Americans were being held hostage by Iranian militants. Yet it was exactly the anachronistic courage of his subjects that captivated Wolfe. In his foreword, he notes that as late as 1970, almost one in four career Navy pilots died in accidents. “The Right Stuff,” he explains, “became a story of why men were willing–willing?–delighted!–to take on such odds in this, an era literary people had long since characterized as the age of the anti-hero.”

Wolfe’s roots in New Journalism were intertwined with the nonfiction novel that Truman Capote had pioneered with In Cold Blood. As Capote did, Wolfe tells his story from a limited omniscient perspective, dropping into the lives of his “characters” as each in turn becomes a major player in the space program. After an opening chapter on the terror of being a test pilot’s wife, the story cuts back to the late 1940s, when Americans were first attempting to break the sound barrier. Test pilots, we discover, are people who live fast lives with dangerous machines, not all of them airborne. Chuck Yeager was certainly among the fastest, and his determination to push through Mach 1–a feat that some had predicted would cause the destruction of any aircraft–makes him the book’s guiding spirit.

Yet soon the focus shifts to the seven initial astronauts. Wolfe traces Alan Shepard’s suborbital flight and Gus Grissom’s embarrassing panic on the high seas (making the controversial claim that Grissom flooded his Liberty capsule by blowing the escape hatch too soon). The author also produces an admiring portrait of John Glenn’s apple-pie heroism and selfless dedication. By the time Wolfe concludes with a return to Yeager and his late-career exploits, the narrative’s epic proportions and literary merits are secure. Certainly The Right Stuff is the best, the funniest, and the most vivid book ever written about America’s manned space program. –Patrick O’Kelley –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov -

I suppose that I can start by saying that “The Master and Margarita” has been my favorite book for over 7 years now (that says a lot since I read quite a bit!). I don’t think it is necessary to discuss the plot of the book, since you can read what the book is about by looking at the editorial reviews. However, I will comment on the various translations.

Without a doubt, the book in the original Russian is incomparable, but if you don’t read Russian I would recommend the Burgin/Tiernan O’Connor translation. The first translation I ever read was Mirra Ginsburg’s – although it is very charming and enjoyable, certain bits of conversation as well as almost an entire chapter are omitted from this translation. I have also read parts of Michael Glenny’s translation, and I don’t feel that his translation accurately relays the depth, rhythm and richness of Bulgakov’s style. Burgin/Tiernan O’Connor has given the most complete and accurate translation of this work. Another superb feature of this translation is the commentary section at the end of the text, which is very helpful in understanding what influenced Bulgakov, and is especially helpful if the reader is not familiar with certain aspects of Soviet culture while the book was written (during the 1930′s).

Lastly, I have to comment on the thing that I love most about “The Master and Margarita” – it is impossible to classify this book as one certain genre. This book is a philosophical and religious novel, an historical novel, a satire, a love story, an action/adventure, and a fantasy all rolled into one. Simply put, it is timeless – an original, brilliant and beautiful novel.

 

Chariots of the Gods By Erich von Däniken -

Erich von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods is a work of monumental importance–the first book to introduce the shocking theory that ancient Earth had been visited by aliens. This world-famous bestseller has withstood the test of time, inspiring countless books and films, including the author’s own popular sequel, The Eyes of the Sphinx. But here is where it all began–von Daniken’s startling theories of our earliest encounters with alien worlds, based upon his lifelong studies of ancient ruins, lost cities, potential spaceports, and a myriad of hard scientific facts that point to extraterrestrial intervention in human history. Most incredible of all, however, is von Daniken’s theory that we ourselves are the descendants of these galactic pioneers–and the archeological discoveries that prove it… * An alien astronaut preserved in a pyramid
* Thousand-year-old spaceflight navigation charts
* Computer astronomy from Incan and Egyptian ruins
* A map of the land beneath the ice cap of Antarctica
* A giant spaceport discovered in the Andes
Includes remarkable photos that document mankind’s first contact with aliens at the dawn of civilization.

 

It By Stephen King -

They were just kids when they stumbled upon the horror within their hometown. Now, as adults, none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them all back to Derry, Maine, to face the nightmare without end, and the evil without a name…

 

Initiation By Elisabeth Haich -

Written at the request of her advanced students, “Initiation” is an illuminating autobiography that connects the twentieth century European life of internationally beloved teacher Elisabeth Haich and her lucid memories of initiation into the hidden mystical teachings of the priesthood in ancient Egypt. A compelling story within a story emerges detailing the life experiences that catalysed her spiritual path. In an earlier life in ancient Egypt, a young woman is prepared for initiation into the esoteric secrets of the priesthood of the High Priest Ptahhotep, who instructs her step-by-step, consistent with her development, in the universal truths of life. Throughout this extraordinary book, Elisabeth Haich reveals her in-depth insights into the subtle workings of karma, reincarnation, the interconnectedness of individual daily life choices and spiritual development. Elisabeth Haich shares usually hidden truths that only a few rare individuals in any generation, seek, find and communicate to others, enabling the reader to awaken within the essential understanding necessary to enlighten any life no matter what events manifest. In twentieth century Europe, from childhood to adulthood, through war and remarkable meetings, she demonstrates the power of turning the searchlight of ones consciousness inward and using every life event towards expanding consciousness. Initiation is a timeless classic communicated in modern terms inspiring generations of spiritual seekers globally. Whether read as an autobiographical novel unveiling mystical truths or as a unique glimpse into Elisabeth Haichs exceptional journey to initiation, the personal impact on the reader is profound. To read “Initiation” is to be part of the initiation itself.

 

The Essential Zohar: The Source of Kabbalistic Wisdom By Rav P.S. Berg -

For thousands of years, no book has been more shrouded in mystery than the Zohar, yet no book offers us greater wisdom. The central text of Kabbalah, the Zohar is a commentary on the Bible’s narratives, laws, and genealogies and a map of the spiritual landscape. In The Essential Zohar, the eminent kabbalist Rav P. S. Berg decodes its teachings on evil, redemption, human relationships, wealth and poverty, and other fundamental concerns from a practical, contemporary perspective. The Zohar and Kabbalah have traditionally been known as the world’s most esoteric sources of spiritual knowledge, but Rav Berg has dedicated his life to making this concentrated distillation of infinite wisdom available to people of all faiths so that we may use its principles to live each day in harmony with the divine.

 

Out of Place in Time and Space: Inventions, Beliefs, and Artistic Anomalies That Were Impossibly Ahead of Their Time, By Lamont Wood -

There are many examples of technology and beliefs appearing decades–even centuries before they supposedly originated. The Apollo Program was outlined a century before it happened. A painting from the Middle Ages shows a flying toy helicopter. We’ve found ancient Greek computers and heard stories of Roman death rays. The Pacific Front of World War II was

described 16 years before the war started.

The existence and documentation of these and many other events and anomalies impossibly ahead of their time are beyond dispute. Out of Place in Time and Space delves deeply into these impossibilities, showcasing:

  • Objects, beliefs, and practices from the present that show up in the past, long before they were supposedly invented.
  • Personal careers that appear to have been founded on knowlege of the future.
  • Roman-era machines that were hundreds of years ahead of their time
  • UFOs, never officially documented in any time period, yet still showing up in medieval paintings.

 

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and

Hope. By William Kamkwamba and Brayen Mealer -

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. It will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual’s ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.

Incan Chimera. By Pedro Marangoni -

Is it fiction or reality disguised as a novel? A Brazilian helicopter pilot and a French researcher find evidence of Incan pyramids in the Brazilian Amazon, in the proximity of the Juruá River, and embark on an intriguing adventure in which blood and gold become one and the same. Incan Chimera is a raw portrait of greed and does a great job describing regional flavors and landscapes, making readers feel they are there, crouching next to the hero behind the bushes of this mystic region, ready to jump into action. This is a very exciting, fast-paced, breath-taking thriller, bathed in mud, blood, and gold. You can’t help but wonder how much the author has actually witnessed of this unknown world in the Brazilian jungle, since Mr. Marangoni is indeed a pilot like the main character and has worked in the secretive Amazon forest.