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"Life is to be lived, not controlled

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture

Author: David Kushner
Pages: 368
Genre(s): Biography & Autobiography
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Subject:
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Publication Year: 2004
Edition
Finished? Yes, on
Signed? Yes

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Masters of Doom is the amazing true story of the Lennon and McCartney of video games: John Carmack and John Romero. Together, they ruled big business. They transformed popular culture. And they provoked a national controversy. More than anything, they lived a unique and rollicking American Dream, escaping the broken homes of their youth to produce the most notoriously successful game franchises in history—Doom and Quake— until the games they made tore them apart. This is a story of friendship and betrayal, commerce and artistry—a powerful and compassionate account of what it's like to be young, driven, and wildly creative.
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"Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong." - Atlas Shrugged

Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series)

Author: Orson Scott Card
Pages: 384
Genre(s): Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books
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Publication Year: 2000
Edition
Finished? Yes, on
Signed? Yes

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Description

The novel that launched the bestselling Ender's Shadow series.

The human race is at War with the "Buggers," an insect-like alien race. As Earth prepares to defend itself from total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable enemy, all focus is on the development of military geniuses who can fight such a war, and win. The long distances of interstellar space have given hope to the defenders of Earth--they have time to train these future commanders up from childhood, forging them into an irresistible force in the high orbital facility called the Battle School. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In Ender's Shadow, Card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean--the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers. Bean's past was a battle just to survive. His success brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters, those people scouring the planet for leaders, tacticians, and generals to save Earth from the threat of alien invasion. Bean was sent into orbit, to the Battle School. And there he met Ender....

THE ENDER UNIVERSE

Ender series
Ender’s Game / Ender in Exile / Speaker for the Dead / Xenocide / Children of the Mind

Ender’s Shadow series
Ender’s Shadow / Shadow of the Hegemon / Shadow Puppets / Shadow of the Giant / Shadows in Flight

Children of the Fleet

The First Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
Earth Unaware / Earth Afire / Earth Awakens

The Second Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
The Swarm /The Hive

Ender novellas
A War of Gifts /First Meetings

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"My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." - The Princess Bride

Earth Unaware (The First Formic War Book 1)

Author: Orson Scott Card, Aaron Johnston
Pages: 417
Genre(s): Fiction
Publisher: Tor Books
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Publication Year: 2012
Edition
Finished? Yes, on
Signed? Yes

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A hundred years before Ender's Game, humans thought they were alone in the galaxy. Humanity was slowly making their way out from Earth to the planets and asteroids of the Solar System, exploring and mining and founding colonies.

The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador's telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it's hard to know what to make of it. It's massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.

But the ship has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big. There are claim-jumping corporates bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems…not important.

They're wrong. It's the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. This is humanity's first contact with an alien race. The First Formic War is about to begin.
Earth Unaware is the first novel in The First Formic War series by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston.

THE ENDER UNIVERSE

Ender series
Ender’s Game / Speaker for the Dead / Xenocide / Children of the Mind / Ender in Exile / Children of the Fleet

Ender’s Shadow series
Ender’s Shadow / Shadow of the Hegemon / Shadow Puppets / Shadow of the Giant / Shadows in Flight

The First Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
Earth Unaware / Earth Afire / Earth Awakens

The Second Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
The Swarm / The Hive

Ender novellas
A War of Gifts / First Meetings

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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"You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do." - David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Leonardo da Vinci

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

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Description
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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"I won’t tell you what to believe, Eragon. It is far better to be taught to think critically and then be allowed to make your own decisions than to have someone else’s notions thrust upon you." - Christopher Paolini, Eldest

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Pages: 464
Genre(s): Science
Publisher: Harper
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Publication Year: 2017
Edition
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Signed? No

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Description

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 won’t tell you what to believe, Eragon. It is far better to be taught to think critically and then be allowed to make your own decisions than to have someone else’s notions thrust upon you." - Christopher Paolini, Eldest

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 Year: 2017
Edition
Finished? Yes, on
Signed? No

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Description
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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"Anything worth dying for is certainly worth living for." - Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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 Year: 2014
Edition
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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"The seeds of life... fiery is their force, divine their birth, but they are weighed down by the bodies’ ills or dulled by earthly limbs and flesh that’s born for death." - Virgil, The Aeneid

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 Year: 2016
Edition
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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"Wake up Chief. I need you. " - Halo 4

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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"No Gods or Kings. Only man. " - Bioshock

Pokémon Crystal

Initial Release Date: 12-14-2000
Genre(s): Adventure, Turn-based strategy (TBS), Role-playing (RPG)
Series: Pokémon
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak
Avg. Critic Rating: 85
IGDB Link: Click Here
Finished? Yes
Platform(s): Nintendo 3DS, Game Boy Color
Alternative Names: ポケットモンスター クリスタルバージョン, Pocket Monsters: Crystal Version, Pokemon Crystal, Pokémon: Edición Cristal

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Description
Released as a special edition to Pokémon Gold and Silver, Pokémon Crystal added the option to play as a female character, improved the storyline and made slight aesthetic changes to improve the experience of pushing to become the ultimate Pokémon Master.
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