The Best 21st Century eBooks




The Science of Interstellar
by Kip S. Thorne, Christopher J. Nolan
The Science of Interstellar
Format: PDF
Size: 6 MB
Pages: 336

A journey through the otherworldly science behind Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated film, Interstellar, from executive producer and theoretical physicist Kip Thorne.

Interstellar, from acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, takes us on a fantastic voyage far beyond our solar system. Yet in The Science of Interstellar, Kip Thorne, the physicist who assisted Nolan on the scientific aspects of Interstellar, shows us that the movie’s jaw-dropping events and stunning, never-before-attempted visuals are grounded in real science. Thorne shares his experiences working as the science adviser on the film and then moves on to the science itself. In chapters on wormholes, black holes, interstellar travel, and much more, Thorne’s scientific insights — many of them triggered during the actual scripting and shooting of Interstellar — describe the physical laws that govern our universe and the truly astounding phenomena that those laws make possible.

Interstellar and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s14).

 



Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
by Elena Ferrante
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
Format: PDF
Size: 7.5 MB
Pages: 418

Since the publication of My Brilliant Friend, the first of the Neapolitan novels, Elena Ferrante's fame as one of our most compelling, insightful, and stylish contemporary authors has grown enormously. She has gained admirers among authors-Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth Strout, Claire Messud, to name a few-and critics-James Wood, John Freeman, Eugenia Williamson, for example. But her most resounding success has undoubtedly been with readers, who have discovered in Ferrante a writer who speaks with great power and beauty of the mysteries of belonging, human relationships, love, family, and friendship.

In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom readers first met in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her husband and the comforts of her marriage brought and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which has opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons. Both women have attempted are pushing against the walls of a prison that would have seem them living a life of mystery, ignorance and submission. They are afloat on the great sea of opportunities that opened up during the nineteen-seventies. Yet they are still very much bound to see each other by a strong, unbreakable bond.

 



We Should All Be Feminists
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We Should All Be Feminists
Format: PDF
Size: 0.4 MB
Pages: 23

An eBook short.

What does “feminism” mean today? That is the question at the heart of We Should All Be Feminists, a personal, eloquently-argued essay — adapted from her much-viewed Tedx talk of the same name — by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. With humor and levity, here Adichie offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century — one rooted in inclusion and awareness. She shines a light not only on blatant discrimination, but also the more insidious, institutional behaviors that marginalize women around the world, in order to help readers of all walks of life better understand the often masked realities of sexual politics. Throughout, she draws extensively on her own experiences — in the U. S., in her native Nigeria, and abroad — offering an artfully nuanced explanation of why the gender divide is harmful for women and men, alike. Argued in the same observant, witty and clever prose that has made Adichie a bestselling novelist, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman today — and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

 



The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly
by Sun-mi Hwang, Kim Chi-Young, Nomoco
The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly
Format: PDF
Size: 2.5 MB
Pages: 144

A Korean Charlotte's Web

More than 2 million copies sold
This is the story of a hen named Sprout. No longer content to lay eggs on command, only to have them carted off to the market, she glimpses her future every morning through the barn doors, where the other animals roam free, and comes up with a plan to escape into the wild — and to hatch an egg of her own.

An anthem for freedom, individuality and motherhood featuring a plucky, spirited heroine who rebels against the tradition-bound world of the barnyard, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly is a novel of universal resonance that also opens a window on Korea, where it has captivated millions of readers. And with its array of animal characters — the hen, the duck, the rooster, the dog, the weasel — it calls to mind such classics in English as Animal Farm and Charlotte’s Web.

Featuring specially-commissioned illustrations, this first English-language edition of Sun-mi Hwang’s fable for our times beautifully captures the journey of an unforgettable character in world literature.

 



Police
by Jo Nesbø, Don Bartlett
Police
Format: PDF
Size: 7.8 MB
Pages: 436

The police urgently need Harry Hole… A killer is stalking Oslo's streets. Police officers are being slain at the scenes of crimes they once investigated but failed to solve. The murders are brutal, the media reaction hysterical.   

But this time, Harry can't help… For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of every major criminal investigation in Oslo. His dedication to his job and his brilliant insights have saved the lives of countless people. But now, with those he loves most facing terrible danger, Harry is not in a position to protect anyone.

Least of all himself…

 



Egghead: Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone
by Bo Burnham, Chance Bone
Egghead: Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone
Format: PDF
Size: 4.3 MB
Pages: 240

A strange and charming collection of hilariously absurd poetry, writing, and illustration from one of today's most popular young comedians…

EGGHEAD: Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone

Bo Burnham was a precocious teenager living in his parents' attic when he started posting material on YouTube. 100 million people viewed those videos, turning Bo into an online sensation with a huge and dedicated following. Bo taped his first of two Comedy Central specials four days after his 18th birthday, making him the youngest to do so in the channel's history. Now Bo is a rising star in the comedy world, revered for his utterly original and intelligent voice. And, he can SIIIIIIIIING!

In EGGHEAD, Bo brings his brand of brainy, emotional comedy to the page in the form of off-kilter poems, thoughts, and more. Teaming up with his longtime friend, artist, and illustrator Chance Bone, Bo takes on everything from death to farts in this weird book that will make you think, laugh and think, "why did I just laugh?"

 



Thank You for Your Service
by David Finkel
Thank You for Your Service
Format: PDF
Size: 4.8 MB
Pages: 272

With a foreword by Roméo Dallaire and an introduction by Carol Off.

No journalist has reckoned with the psychology of war as intimately as David Finkel. In The Good Soldiers, Finkel shadowed the men of the US 2-16 Infantry Battalion in Baghdad as they carried out the grueling fifteen-month "surge" that changed them all forever. Now Finkel has followed many of the same men as they've returned home and struggled to reintegrate — both into their family lives and into society at large.

In the ironically titled Thank You for Your Service, Finkel writes with tremendous compassion not just about the soldiers but about their wives and children. Where do soldiers belong after their homecoming? Is it reasonable, or even possible, to expect them to rejoin their communities as if nothing has happened? And in moments of hardship, who can soldiers turn to if they feel alienated by the world they once lived in? These are the questions Finkel faces as he revisits the brave but shaken men of the 2-16.

More than a work of journalism, Thank You for Your Service is an act of understanding — shocking but always riveting, unflinching but deeply humane, it takes us inside the heads of those who must live the rest of their lives with the realities of war.

 



Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China
by Jung Chang
Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China
Format: PDF
Size: 7.8 MB
Pages: 436

A New York Times Notable Book

Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908) is the most important woman in Chinese history. She ruled China for decades and brought a medieval empire into the modern age.
At the age of sixteen, in a nationwide selection for royal consorts, Cixi was chosen as one of the emperor’s numerous concubines. When he died in 1861, their five-year-old son succeeded to the throne. Cixi at once launched a palace coup against the regents appointed by her husband and made herself the real ruler of China — behind the throne, literally, with a silk screen separating her from her officials who were all male.

In this groundbreaking biography, Jung Chang vividly describes how Cixi fought against monumental obstacles to change China. Under her the ancient country attained virtually all the attributes of a modern state: industries, railways, electricity, the telegraph and an army and navy with up-to-date weaponry. It was she who abolished gruesome punishments like “death by a thousand cuts” and put an end to foot-binding. She inaugurated women’s liberation and embarked on the path to introduce parliamentary elections to China. Chang comprehensively overturns the conventional view of Cixi as a diehard conservative and cruel despot.

Cixi reigned during extraordinary times and had to deal with a host of major national crises: the Taiping and Boxer rebellions, wars with France and Japan — and an invasion by eight allied powers including Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States. Jung Chang not only records the Empress Dowager’s conduct of domestic and foreign affairs, but also takes the reader into the depths of her splendid Summer Palace and the harem of Beijing’s Forbidden City, where she lived surrounded by eunuchs — one of whom she fell in love, with tragic consequences. The world Chang describes here, in fascinating detail, seems almost unbelievable in its extraordinary mixture of the very old and the very new.

Based on newly available, mostly Chinese, historical documents such as court records, official and private correspondence, diaries and eyewitness accounts, this biography will revolutionize historical thinking about a crucial period in China’s — and the world’s — history. Packed with drama, fast paced and gripping, it is both a panoramic depiction of the birth of modern China and an intimate portrait of a woman: as the concubine to a monarch, as the absolute ruler of a third of the world’s population, and as a unique stateswoman.

 



A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing
by Eimear McBride, Eimear McBride
A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing
Format: PDF
Size: 3.6 MB
Pages: 205

Eimear McBride's debut tells, with astonishing insight and in brutal detail, the story of a young woman's relationship with her brother, and the long shadow cast by his childhood brain tumour. Not so much a stream of consciousness, as an unconscious railing against a life that makes little sense, and a shocking and intimate insight into the thoughts, feelings and chaotic sexuality of a vulnerable and isolated protagonist, to read A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing is to plunge inside its narrator's head, experiencing her world first-hand. This isn't always comfortable — but it is always a revelation.

Touching on everything from family violence to sexuality and the personal struggle to remain intact in times of intense trauma, McBride writes with singular intensity, acute sensitivity and mordant wit. A Girl is a Half-formed Thing is moving, funny — and alarming. It is a book you will never forget.

 



Bossypants
by Tina Fey
Bossypants
Format: PDF
Size: 0 MB
Pages: 5

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update, " before "Sarah Palin, " Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.

She has seen both these dreams come true.

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy.

(Includes Special, Never-Before-Solicited Opinions on Breastfeeding, Princesses, Photoshop, the Electoral Process, and Italian Rum Cake!)

An unabridged recording on 5 CDs (5. 5 Hours).

 



The Sojourn
by Andrew Krivak
The Sojourn
Format: PDF
Size: 3.4 MB
Pages: 192

The Sojourn is the story of Jozef Vinich, who was uprooted from a 19-century mining town in Colorado by a family tragedy and returns with his father to an impoverished shepherd’s life in rural Austria-Hungary. When World War One comes, Jozef joins his adopted brother as a sharpshooter in the Kaiser’s army, surviving a perilous trek across the frozen Italian Alps and capture by a victorious enemy.

A stirring tale of brotherhood, coming-of-age, and survival, that was inspired by the author’s own family history, this novel evokes a time when Czechs, Slovaks, Austrians, and Germans fought on the same side while divided by language, ethnicity, and social class in the most brutal war to date. It is also a poignant tale of fathers and sons, addressing the great immigration to America and the desire to live the American dream amidst the unfolding tragedy in Europe.

 



We, the Drowned
by Carsten Jensen, Charlotte Barslund, Liz Jensen, Emma Ryder
We, the Drowned
Format: PDF
Size: 12.3 MB
Pages: 688

It is an epic drama of adventure, courage, ruthlessness and passion by one of Scandinavia’s most acclaimed storytellers.
In 1848 a motley crew of Danish sailors sets sail from the small island town of Marstal to fight the Germans. Not all of them return — and those who do will never be the same. Among them is the daredevil Laurids Madsen, who promptly escapes again into the anonymity of the high seas.
As soon as he is old enough, his son Albert sets off in search of his missing father on a voyage that will take him to the furthest reaches of the globe and into the clutches of the most nefarious company. Bearing a mysterious shrunken head, and plagued by premonitions of bloodshed, he returns to a town increasingly run by women — among them a widow intent on liberating all men from the tyranny of the sea.
From the barren rocks of Newfoundland to the lush plantations of Samoa, from the roughest bars in Tasmania, to the frozen coasts of northern Russia, We, The Drowned spans four generations, two world wars and a hundred years. Carsten Jensen conjures a wise, humorous, thrilling story of fathers and sons, of the women they love and leave behind, and of the sea’s murderous promise. This is a novel destined to take its place among the greatest seafaring literature.

 



The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
by Richard Panek
The 4 Percent Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality
Format: PDF
Size: 5.7 MB
Pages: 320

The epic, behind-the-scenes story of an astounding gap in our scientific knowledge of the cosmos.

In the past few years, a handful of scientists have been in a race to explain a disturbing aspect of our universe: only 4 percent of it consists of the matter that makes up you, me, our books, and every planet, star, and galaxy. The rest — 96 percent of the universe — is completely unknown.

Richard Panek tells the dramatic story of how scientists reached this conclusion, and what they’re doing to find this "dark" matter and an even more bizarre substance called dark energy. Based on in-depth, on-site reporting and hundreds of interviews — with everyone from Berkeley’s feisty Saul Perlmutter and Johns Hopkins’s meticulous Adam Riess to the quietly revolutionary Vera Rubin — the book offers an intimate portrait of the bitter rivalries and fruitful collaborations, the eureka moments and blind alleys, that have fueled their search, redefined science, and reinvented the universe.

 



The Master
by Colm Tóibín
The Master
Format: PDF
Size: 6 MB
Pages: 339

Like Michael Cunningham in The Hours, Colm Tóibín captures the extraordinary mind and heart of a great writer. Beautiful and profoundly moving, The Master tells the story of a man born into one of America's first intellectual families who leaves his country in the late nineteenth century to live in Paris, Rome, Venice, and London among privileged artists and writers.
In stunningly resonant prose, Tóibín captures the loneliness and the hope of a master of psychological subtlety whose forays into intimacy inevitably failed those he tried to love. The emotional intensity of this portrait is riveting.

 



Shoplifting from American Apparel
by Tao Lin
Shoplifting from American Apparel
Format: PDF
Size: 2 MB
Pages: 112

Set mostly in Manhattan — although also featuring Atlantic City, Brooklyn, GMail Chat, and Gainsville, Florida — this autobiographical novella, spanning two years in the life of a young writer with a cultish following, has been described by the author as “A shoplifting book about vague relationships,” “2 parts shoplifting arrest, 5 parts vague relationship issues,” and “An ultimately life-affirming book about how the unidirectional nature of time renders everything beautiful and sad.”

From VIP rooms in hip New York City clubs to central booking in Chinatown, from New York University’ s Bobst Library to a bus in someone’s backyard in a college-town in Florida, from Bret Easton Ellis to Lorrie Moore, and from Moby to Ghost Mice, it explores class, culture, and the arts in all their American forms through the funny, journalistic, and existentially-minded narrative of someone trying to both “not be a bad person” and “find some kind of happiness or something,” while he is driven by his failures and successes at managing his art, morals, finances, relationships, loneliness, confusion, boredom, future, and depression.

 



C
by Tom McCarthy
C
Format: PDF
Size: 5.5 MB
Pages: 310

The acclaimed author of Remainder, which Zadie Smith hailed as “one of the great English novels of the past ten years,”gives us his most spectacularly inventive novel yet.
Opening in England at the turn of the twentieth century, C is the story of a boy named Serge Carrefax, whose father spends his time experimenting with wireless communication while running a school for deaf children. Serge grows up amid the noise and silence with his brilliant but troubled older sister, Sophie: an intense sibling relationship that stays with him as he heads off into an equally troubled larger world.
After a fling with a nurse at a Bohemian spa, Serge serves in World War I as a radio operator for reconnaissance planes. When his plane is shot down, Serge is taken to a German prison camp, from which he escapes. Back in London, he’s recruited for a mission to Cairo on behalf of the shadowy Empire Wireless Chain. All of which eventually carries Serge to a fitful — and perhaps fateful — climax at the bottom of an Egyptian tomb…
Only a writer like Tom McCarthy could pull off a story with this effortless historical breadth, psychological insight, and postmodern originality.

 



I Curse the River of Time
by Per Petterson, Charlotte Barslund
I Curse the River of Time
Format: PDF
Size: 4.1 MB
Pages: 233

An enthralling novel of a mother and son's turbulent relationship from the author of Out Stealing Horses

Norway, 1989: Communism is unraveling all over Europe. Arvid Jansen, thirty-seven, is trying to bridge the yawning gulf that opened up years earlier between himself and his mother. He is in the throes of a divorce, and she has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Over a few intense autumn days, Arvid struggles to find a new footing in his life. As he attempts to negotiate the present changes around him, he casts his mind back to holidays on the beach with his brothers, and to the early days of his courtship. Most importantly, he revisits the idealism of his communist youth, when he chose the factory floor over the college education his mother had struggled so hard to provide. Back then, Arvid's loyalty to his working-class background outweighed his mother's wish for him to escape it.

As Petterson's masterful narrative shifts effortlessly through the years, we see Arvid tentatively circling his mother, unable to tell her what she already knows he is thinking. In its piercing portrait of their layered relationship, I Curse the River of Time bears all the hallmarks of Petterson's compassion for humanity that has won him readers the world over.

 



Solar
by Ian McEwan
Solar
Format: PDF
Size: 5.1 MB
Pages: 287

The literary event of the season: a new novel from Ian McEwan, as surprising as it is masterful.

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize–winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions, and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. While he coasts along in his professional life, Michael’s personal life is another matter entirely. His fifth marriage is crumbling under the weight of his infidelities. But this time the tables are turned: His wife is having an affair, and Michael realizes he is still in love with her.

When Michael’s personal and professional lives begin to intersect in unexpected ways, an opportunity presents itself in the guise of an invitation to travel to New Mexico. Here is a chance for him to extricate himself from his marital problems, reinvigorate his career, and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster. Can a man who has made a mess of his life clean up the messes of humanity?

A complex novel that brilliantly traces the arc of one man’s ambitions and self-deceptions, Solar is a startling, witty, and stylish new work from one of the world’s great writers.

 



Point Omega
by Don DeLillo
Point Omega
Format: PDF
Size: 2 MB
Pages: 117

In the middle of a desert "somewhere south of nowhere" to a forlorn house made of metal and clapboard a secret war advisor has gone in search of space and time. Richard Elster, seventy-three, was a scholar, "an outsider" when he was called to a meeting with government war planners. They asked Elster to conceptualize their efforts to form an intellectual framework for their troop deployments — counterinsurgency orders for rendition. For two years he read their classified documents and attended secret meetings. He was to map the reality these men were trying to create."Bulk and swagger" he called it. At the end of his service Elster retreats to the desert where he is joined by a filmmaker intent on documenting his experience. Jim Finley wants to make a one-take film, Elster its single character."Just a man against a wall." The two men sit on the deck drinking and talking. Finley makes the case for his film. Weeks go by. And then Elster's daughter Jessie visits an "otherworldly" woman from New York who dramatically alters the dynamic of the story. When a devastating event follows all the men's talk, the accumulated meaning of conversation and connection is thrown into question. What is left is loss, fierce and incomprehensible.

 






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