A true account of the deadliest animal of all time and the hunter on its trail.
Nepal, c. 1900: The single deadliest animal in recorded history began stalking humans, moving like a phantom through the lush foothills of the Himalayas. As the death toll reached an astonishing 436 lives, a young local hunter was dispatched to stop the now-legendary man-eater before it struck again.
At the turn of the twentieth century, as British rule of India tightened and bounties were placed on tiger’s heads, a tigress was shot in the mouth by a poacher. Injured but alive, it turned from its usual hunting habits to easier prey—humans. For the next seven years, this man-made killer terrified locals, growing bolder with every kill. Colonial authorities, desperate for help, finally called upon Jim Corbett, a then-unknown railroad employee of humble origins who had grown up hunting game through the hills of Kumaon.
“Fascinating. … Multilayered. … A superb work of natural history.”
Booklist (starred review)
“A vivid portrait... No Beast So Fierce excels as an intelligent social history and a gripping tale of life and death in the Himalayan foothills.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[A] terrifying story. … [A] harrowing tale. … Takes readers on a fascinating journey through the natural history of a tiger.”
Dane Huckelbridge's writings have appeared in a variety of journals, including Tin House, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and The New Republic. His short story "Ortolan" was also nominated for a Pushcart Prize and chosen as a finalist for a Bram Stoker Award in 2016.
The best-known educator of the twentieth century was a scammer in cashmere.
“The most famous reading teacher in the world,” as television hosts introduced her, Evelyn Wood had little classroom experience, no degrees in reading instruction, and a background that included work at the Mormon mission in Germany at the time when the church was cooperating with the Third Reich. Nevertheless, a nation spooked by Sputnik and panicked by paperwork eagerly embraced her promises of a speed-reading revolution. Journalists, lawmakers and two US presidents lent credibility to Wood’s claims of turbocharging reading speeds through a method once compared to the miracle at Lourdes. Time magazine reported Woods grads could polish off Dr. Zhivago in one hour; a senator swore that Wood's method had boosted his reading speed to more than ten thousand words per minute.
But science showed that her method taught only skimming, with disastrous effects on comprehension—a fact Wood was aware of from early in her career. Fudging test results, and squelching critics, she founded a company that enrolled half a million. The course’s popularity endured even as evidence of its shortcomings continued to accumulate. Today, as apps and online courses attempt to spark a speed-reading revival, this engaging look at Wood’s rise from mission worker to marketer exposes the pitfalls of embracing a con artist's worthless solution to imaginary problems.
"In Scan Artist, Marcia Biederman argues that the course was a fraud that bilked millions through false claims, pushy sales tactics and rigged assessments of post-instruction speeds... Biederman makes a good case that Wood’s claims were preposterous."
Eric Felten, The Wall Street Journal
“Meticulously researched and cinematically plotted, Marcia Biederman’s book excavates biographical details that paint a comprehensive picture of Evelyn Wood’s milieu and motivations.”
Elizabeth Greenwood, author of Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud
“Biederman’s thoroughly researched biography deserves to be read slowly. It is a fascinating case study of the thin line between adroit marketing and misleading hyperbole.”
Robert L. Hampel, author of Fast and Curious: A History of Shortcuts in American Education
A mystery-writer-turned-biographer, Marcia Biederman is also a journalist who has contributed more than 150 pieces to The New York Times. Her work has appeared in New York magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, and the International Herald Tribune.
Deception is just another day in the lives of the elite.
At age thirty-three, Penelope “Pepper” Bradford has no career, no passion, and no children. Her intrusive parents still treat her like a child. Moving into the Chelmsford Arms with her fiancé Rick, an up-and-coming financier, and joining the co-op board give her some control over her life—until her parents take a gut dislike to Rick and urge Pepper to call off the wedding.
She looks to her older neighbors to help decide whether to stay with Rick, not realizing that their marriages are in crisis, too. Birdie and George’s bond frays after George is forced into retirement at sixty-two. And Francis alienates Carol, his wife of fifty years, after being diagnosed with an inoperable heart condition. To her surprise, Pepper’s best model for love may be a clandestine romance between a porter and a doorman.
Jonathan Vatner's Carnegie Hill is a belated-coming-of-age novel about sustaining a marriage—and knowing when to walk away. It chronicles the lives of wealthy New Yorkers and the staff who serve them, as they suffer together and rebound, struggle to free themselves from family entanglements, deceive each other out of love and weakness, and fumble their way to honesty.
"In this effervescent debut about an elite Manhattan co-op, a young heiress named Pepper is determined to achieve wedded bliss with her fiancé... Entertaining and profound."
"It's his consistently wry wit and obvious affection for his deluded, struggling characters that are this novel's propelling forces, and which will win readers over with delight."
Booklist (starred review)
"One of the most charming, hilarious, and insightful books I've read in ages... Vatner has an eagle eye for detail, and an ear for whip-smart dialogue. This is an assured, heartfelt debut."
Grant Ginder, author of The People We Hate At The Wedding
Jonathan Vatner is an award-winning journalist who has written for The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Poets & Writers, and many other publications. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in cognitive neuroscience from Harvard University. He lives in Yonkers, NY, with his husband and cats. Carnegie Hill is his first novel.
In 1610, William Shakespeare wrote The Tempest, a play about an aging sorcerer imprisoned on an island who conjures a storm to sink a passing ship carrying the men responsible for his exile. The idea for this play came from the real-life shipwreck of the Sea Venture. Carrying notable figures such as John Rolfe, the man who would later marry Pocahontas, the Sea Venture was caught in a hurricane off the coast of Bermuda. The settlers spent a year on the island, and several of the would-be colonists mutinied. One of the agitators was Stephen Hopkins.
The insurrection was short-lived, and the sidetracked settlers sailed on to Jamestown. Hopkins eventually made his way back to England, and in 1620, he boarded a merchant ship called the Mayflower. The ship’s voyage, of course, became one of America’s iconic foundational stories. Despite creating endless volumes of research, scholars have largely overlooked Stephen Hopkins.
Of the Mayflower’s passengers, Hopkins was the only one who’d been across the Atlantic before. He was the only one who’d experienced the catastrophes that could result when a colony was governed by misguided principles. He was the only one who’d encountered the New World’s native peoples and understood the complexities of their societies, which most of his fellow passengers considered barbarous. The expedition was wracked by such brutal hardships that half of the settlers died. Without Hopkins, the rest would have likely perished, as well.
It has been suggested that Shakespeare based a character in The Tempest, a rowdy and frequently intoxicated servant named Stephano, on Stephen Hopkins. Unlike Stephano, whose role is reprised year after year, Hopkins had his hour upon the stage and then disappeared. Now, 400 years after the landing of the Mayflower, it is time to make clear the singular role Stephen Hopkins played in establishing Plymouth Colony and setting America on its historic path.
Jonathan Mack graduated from Harvard Law School in the same class as former President Barack Obama and current Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. He practiced law for nearly two decades in San Diego, California, before stepping away from his career in order to write.
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