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"Tomorrow I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day." - Gone with the Wind

Leonardo da Vinci

Author: Walter Isaacson
Pages: 624
Genre(s): Biography & Autobiography
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Subject:
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Publication Date: 2017
Edition: N/A
Finished? Yes, on
Signed? No

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The #1 New York Times bestseller

“A powerful story of an exhilarating mind and life...a study in creativity: how to define it, how to achieve it.” —The New Yorker

“Vigorous, insightful.” —The Washington Post

“A masterpiece.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Luminous.” —The Daily Beast

He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us?

The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.

He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius.

His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions.

Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.
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"In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart." - Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Pages: 464
Genre(s): Science
Publisher: Harper
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Publication Date: 2017
Edition: N/A
Finished? Yes, on
Signed? No

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Official U.S. edition with full color illustrations throughout.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Times bestseller, Harari maps out our future.

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"I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am." - Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

A Big Bang in a Little Room: The Quest to Create New Universes

Author: Zeeya Merali
Pages: 320
Genre(s): Science
Publisher: Basic Books
Subject:
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Publication Date: 2017
Edition: N/A
Finished? Yes, on
Signed? No

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An award-winning science writer takes us into the lab to answer some of life's biggest questions: How was the universe created? And could we create our own?

What if you could become God, with the ability to build a whole new universe? As startling as it sounds, modern physics suggests that within the next two decades, scientists may be able to perform this seemingly divine feat-to concoct an entirely new baby universe, complete with its own physical laws, star systems, galaxies, and even intelligent life. A Big Bang in a Little Room takes the reader on a journey through the history of cosmology and unravels-particle by particle, theory by theory, and experiment by experiment-the ideas behind this provocative claim made by some of the most respected physicists alive today. Beyond simply explaining the science, A Big Bang in a Little Room also tells the story of the people who have been laboring for more than thirty years to make this seemingly impossible dream a reality. What has driven them to continue on what would seem, at first glance, to be a quixotic quest?

This mind-boggling book reveals that we can nurse other worlds in the tiny confines of a lab, raising a daunting prospect: Was our universe, too, brought into existence by a daring creator?
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“‘And tho’ / We are not now that strength which in old days / Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are. / One equal temper of heroic hearts, / Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will / To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.’" - Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses"

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability (3rd Edition) (Voices That Matter)

Author: Steve Krug
Pages: 216
Genre(s): Computers
Publisher: New Riders
Subject:
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Publication Date: 2014
Edition: N/A
Finished? Yes, on
Signed? No

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Description
Since Don’t Make Me Think was first published in 2000, hundreds of thousands of Web designers and developers have relied on usability guru Steve Krug’s guide to help them understand the principles of intuitive navigation and information design. Witty, commonsensical, and eminently practical, it’s one of the best-loved and most recommended books on the subject.

Now Steve returns with fresh perspective to reexamine the principles that made Don’t Make Me Think a classic–with updated examples and a new chapter on mobile usability. And it’s still short, profusely illustrated…and best of all–fun to read.

If you’ve read it before, you’ll rediscover what made Don’t Make Me Think so essential to Web designers and developers around the world. If you’ve never read it, you’ll see why so many people have said it should be required reading for anyone working on Web sites.


“After reading it over a couple of hours and putting its ideas to work for the past five years, I can say it has done more to improve my abilities as a Web designer than any other book.”
–Jeffrey Zeldman, author of Designing with Web Standards

 

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"See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories." - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Power-Up: How Japanese Video Games Gave the World an Extra Life

Author: Chris Kohler
Pages: 336
Genre(s): Games & Activities
Publisher: Dover Publications
Subject:
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Publication Date: 2016
Edition: N/A
Finished? Yes, on
Signed? No

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Description
Why are Japanese video games a worldwide sensation? This enjoyable and informative survey explores the reasons, starting with how Japanese developers raised the medium to an art form. The book also traces the ways in which the developers' ideas infused popular culture beyond the gaming world.

Interviews, anecdotes, and personal accounts offer insights from giants of the industry, including Shigeru Miyamoto, Hideo Kojima, and others involved in the creation of Donkey Kong, Mario, Pokémon, and other games. This revised edition includes updated material throughout the book as well as a new final chapter.

"Chris Kohler brings the passionate intensity of a hardcore fan to his writing, but he also has the background knowledge and the critical facilities to explore video games as an industry, as a medium, and as a cultural phenomenon." -- Chris Baker

"While it appears that Japanese gaming is on the wane today, it's worth your time to read about an era when nothing could be further from the truth." -- IGN

"Quite excellent... a great read." -- Hardcore Gaming 101

"Direct and insightful ... I believe that it belongs on the top shelf of any collector." -- Steve Kent, author of The Ultimate History of Video Games
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"Blue Wizard is about to die " - Gauntlet II

Final Fantasy IX

Initial Release Date:
Genre(s): Adventure, Turn-based strategy (TBS), Role-playing (RPG)
Series: Final Fantasy
Publisher: Square Enix, Square Soft, Infogrames, Square Electronic Arts
Developer: Square Soft
Avg. Critic Rating: 86.75
IGDB Link: Click Here
Finished? Yes
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation, PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation Network
Alternative Names: 最终幻想9, ファイナルファンタジーIX, Final Fantasy 9, FFIX, FF9

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Description
The ninth installment in the long-running RPG series and the final for the original PlayStation, Final Fantasy IX gives fans of the franchise the nostalgic thrill of re-experiencing the visual style, gameplay elements and overall spirit of the 16-bit Final Fantasy games of the 8/16 bit eras. The main story centers on Zidane Tribal, a young thief who quickly becomes engaged in a quest to save the world, along with Vivi Ornitier, a young black mage, and Princess Garnet, heir to the throne of Alexandria. The game features detailed polygonal character models and lush pre-rendered backgrounds. They all combine for an unforgettable adventure!
Notes
Played the Steam version on PC - freakin' awesome game - not sure, but I think this wins out over Final Fantasy 7 - FF7 has more of a dark/techy/sci-fi appeal, but FF9 is more character-driven, with a strong romantic theme and a message of hope - FF7 was a lot more nihilistic.
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