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2009 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
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Books make wonderful gifts. They are affordable and portable; they're easy to ship or pair with other items; and they offer an experience that can have lasting impact. We've assembled some Prometheus Books gift suggestions to get you started. Whether your recipient enjoys books that are thought provoking or fun, educational or entertaining, helpful or relaxing -- reading is a gift that will be treasured and appreciated.
(*Some exclusions may apply. See below for details.)
| Thoughtful Collections
You Don't Have to Be Buddhist to Know Nothing: An Illustrious Collection of Thoughts on Naught ($17.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-757-7) In this sound-bite history of the concept of nothing, journalist Joan Konner presents the thoughts of well-known Western deep thinkers who recognized and pondered nonexistence as an essential component and complement of existence itself.
The Face in the Mirror: Writers Reflect on Their Dreams of Youth and the Reality of Age ($25.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-752-2) Twenty celebrated writers offer "sensitive, refreshingly honest musings that tackle universal questions about the choices faced in life and the critical self examination that comes with age. Recommended." (Library Journal.)
Science under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience ($21.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-715-7) This outstanding collection of recent articles from The Skeptical Inquirer -- edited by the magazine's Kendrick Frazier -- highlights some of the best writing on topics of current interest that champion science and reason and give voice to reliable scientific examination of the paranormal and other questionable claims popularized by the media and mass culture.
|For Followers of Current EventsDistracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age ($18.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-748-5) Journalist Maggie Jackson launched an 'attention movement' with this compelling wake-up call. Now in paperback, Distracted questions how our increasingly cyber-centric world will impact our ability to think critically, work creatively or cultivate meaningful relationships.
Erasing Racism: The Survival of the American Nation Revised and Expanded ($19.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-765-2) An analysis of systemic racism offering suggestions to heal America's persistent racial divide, this revised and expanded edition features a new introduction by author Molefi Kete Asante that addresses the election of President Barack Obama.
|For the True Crime Junkie
The Anatomy of Evil ($26.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-726-3) Appealing to the true crime and psychology reader, this discussion of the spectrum of evil behavior by renowned psychiatrist Michael H. Stone -- host of Discovery Channel's former series Most Evil -- is based on his analysis of more than 600 violent criminals.
It Happens Every Day: Inside the World of a Sex Crimes DA ($26.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-758-4) Veteran prosecutor Robin Sax -- routinely seen on TV shows like Today, Larry King Live, and Nancy Grace -- explains how the real criminal justice system works, in terms you rarely hear about on the news.
The Real World of a Forensic Scientist: Renowned Experts Reveal What it Takes to Solve Crimes ($25.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-729-4) In this insider's guide, renowned forensic scientist Henry C. Lee and two other veteran forensic experts provide a realistic picture of the education, skills, challenges, and rewards involved in the many specialties that encompass forensic science.
Murder Behind the Badge: True Stories of Cops Who Kill
($25.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-759-1) Mystery writer, former detective and veteran police officer Stacy Dittrich tells eighteen shocking but true stories about cops who kill. HLN's Nancy Grace says, "This book exposes the dichotomy between police who fight crime every day vs. those who have become criminals themselves... a real mind-twister!"
|For Those Who Love Fantasy
From Pyr, our science fiction and fantasy imprint
Blood of Ambrose by James Enge ($15.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-736-2) RT Book Reviews gave this book four stars, calling it "a winner" and "a very impressive first novel. Drawing heavily on the Arthurian legend with a smattering of British folklore, Enge has added some very interesting twists and quirks that are sure to amuse."
This Crooked Way by James Enge ($16.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-784-3) Attacked by an unknown enemy, Morlock Ambrosius -- bitterly dry drunk, master of all magical makers, wandering swordsman -- must travel a long crooked way through the world at the end of which waits the death of a legend.
The Chronicles of the Raven series by James Barclay:
Dawnthief: Book 1 ($16.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-779-9) The Wytch Lords have escaped and The Raven, six men and an elf, find themselves fighting for the Dark College of magic, searching for the location of Dawnthief. It is a spell created to end the world, and it must be cast if any of them are to survive.
Noonshade: Book 2 ($16.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-782-9) The Dawnthief spell -- designed to destroy the world, but cast to save it -- has torn a hole in the sky, a pathway into the dragon dimension. All that stands between Balaia and complete dominion by these tyrannous beasts is a tiny, but legendary band of mercenaries, The Raven. And if they fail, Balaia will fall.
Nightchild: Book 3 ($16.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-785-0) There is a new power coming that will sweep aside the four colleges of magic. It is the power of the land, and it has manifested itself in Lyanna, a five-year-old girl. Unknowingly, Lyanna is ripping the world apart. Thousands are dying. Can The Raven afford to let her live?
The Silver Skull: Swords of Albion Book 1 by Mark Chadbourn ($16.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-783-6) A devilish plot to assassinate the Queen, a cold war enemy hell-bent on destroying the nation, incredible gadgets, a race against time to stop the ultimate doomsday device, and Elizabethan England's greatest spy launch two-time British Fantasy Award-winner Chadbourn's new fantasy trilogy.
Sasha: A Trial of Blood & Steel ($16.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-787-4) Recommended for fans of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire, Joel Shepherd's first epic fantasy introduces Sasha, a princess turned swordswoman who must decide what she believes in and choose where she belongs in the faith and class-divided highland land of Lenayin.
|For the Science Fiction Fan
From Pyr, our science fiction and fantasy imprint
The Quiet War ($16.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-781-2) by Paul McAuley. From the teeming cities of earth to the scrupulously realized landscapes of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, this exotic, fast-paced space opera turns on a single question: Who decides what it means to be human?
Diving Into the Wreck ($16.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-786-7) by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. Critics are raving about this "page-turning space adventure" (Publishers Weekly) that's "like something out of the Golden Age of Sci-Fi" (Mad Hatter's Bookshelf) with a "no-nonsense, eventful, occasionally mysterious narrative that contains all the best dialogue of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, the adventure of an Indiana Jones movie, and the philosophical and scientific chops of Issac Asimov himself... highly recommended reading for anyone who enjoys space adventure stories, superb characterization, and tight plotting." (Grasping for the Wind.)
Cyberabad Days ($15.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-699-0) Hugo and Philip K. Dick Award winner Ian McDonald revisits the world of future India from River of Gods in this story collection plus an original novella. "McDonald's well-crafted prose delivers enjoyment on several levels. An excellent collection of stories that serves as both starting place for readers new to this world, and fascinating return trips for those who have been here before." (SF Signal.)
|For the Math Aficionado
Mathematical Amazements and Surprises: Fascinating Figures and Noteworthy Numbers ($20.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-723-2) Math educators Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann have created the perfect introduction to the wonders of mathematics for the general reader, demonstrating entertaining and useful tricks such as shortcuts in arithmetic, and presenting surprising properties of triangles, etc. to instill insight into the nature of numbers.
Mathematics in 10 Lessons: The Grand Tour ($18.95, ISBN 978-1-59102-686-0) Math professor Jerry P. King demonstrates the intellectual pleasures of mathematics to the lay-reader through lively exposition and lucid explanations of key concepts and their historical developments.
|For the Biography Lover
Judge Richard S. Arnold: A Legacy of Justice on the Federal Bench ($25.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-711-9) Professor Polly J. Price -- Judge Arnold's former law clerk -- creates a compelling portrait of the man whom President Clinton called "the most brilliant man on the federal bench," and who was widely believed to be one of the best judges never to serve on the Supreme Court. With a foreword by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Meriwether Lewis ($28.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-702-7) In this definitive biography based on twelve years of meticulous research on the original Lewis and Clark documents and overlooked sources, authors Thomas C. Danisi and John C. Jackson focus on what Meriwether Lewis was doing immediately before and after the expedition, to reveal new information on his enigmatic character and life, including a revelation of the actual cause of his untimely death.
Sylvia Plath: A Biography ($16.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-709-6) This concise, well-researched biography by Connie Ann Kirk recounts the facts of the troubled life and suicide of Sylvia Plath based on the latest updated research, including an interview with a Plath contemporary who knew her, creating a balanced portrait that includes photographs, a timeline, a family tree, a list of books in Plath's personal library, and a bibliography of works by and about her.
Carl Sagan: A Biography ($16.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-658-7) Ray Spangenburg and Kit Moser examine the life of Carl Sagan, the astronomer, planetary scientist, astrophysicist, educator, public figure and skeptic, as well as his development as a scientist and communicator. "Read [this] to get a true feel for the man that shaped much of our thinking in the late 20th century. Few scientists have cast such a long shadow in not only the scientific, but political and cultural arenas." (AstroGuyz.com)
The Leakeys: A Biography ($17.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-761-4) Mary Bowman-Kruhm tells the story of three generations of Leakeys and their important scientific contributions to the field of paleoanthropology, complete with interesting asides about their personal life and their current work.
|For Readers Interested in Medicine and Health
Smallpox -- The Death of a Disease: The Inside Story of Eradicating a Worldwide Killer ($27.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-722-5) "As we worry about a possible flu pandemic, it is heartening to read about the one germ we did defeat. There may never be another story like it," says New Scientist. The personal story of how Dr. D.A. Henderson led the World Health Organization's campaign to eradicate smallpox -- the only disease in history to have been deliberately eliminated -- is an "inspiring achievement" that "makes a stirring read for medical history fans." (Publishers Weekly.)
Rising Plague: The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them ($26.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-750-8) Infectious disease specialist Brad Spellberg, MD -- a member of a national task force charged with attacking antibiotic resistant infections -- tells the story of this potentially grave health crisis, and advocates ways to reverse this trend and bolster the production of new and effective antibiotics.
The Real Truth About Aging: A Survival Guide for Older Adults and Caregivers ($21.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-719-5) Three doctors provide the latest information on healthy aging, an understanding of the modern and often confusing health care system, and information about the medical issues affecting frail older adults in this authoritative, user-friendly guide.
|For the Scientist in Your Life
The Joy of Chemistry ($19.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-771-3) Publishers Weekly calls this "a chemistry education condensed into a single book: a lightning tour of the field for the uninitiated." Now available in paperback, the original edition was selected as an Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association's Choice.
Weather's Greatest Mysteries Solved! ($26.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-720-1) For devotees of the Weather Channel, fans of An Inconvenient Truth, history or popular science buffs, or anyone who wonders what makes our weather tick and how it will impact our future, this engaging book by climatologist Randy Cerveny explores some of the world's most perplexing and provocative climate mysteries, past and present, including the extinction of the T-Rex, the disappearance of the Mayan civilization, and the parting of the Red Sea.
|For Readers Interested in Science & Religion
The New Atheism ($19.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-751-5) Victor J. Stenger -- author of the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis -- offers this essential "review and defense of some of the key principles of the New Atheism as well as a general response to some of its critics." (Library Journal.)
Quantum Gods: Creation, Chaos, and the Search for Cosmic Consciousness ($26.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-713-3) Physicist Victor J. Stenger examines such popular theories as the uncertainty principle and the butterfly effect that seek to link spirituality to physics. With a foreword by Scientific American columnist and publisher of Skeptic Magazine Michael Shermer.
Decoding the Language of God: Can a Scientist Really Be a Believer? ($18.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-766-9) In this response to Francis Collins's work, fellow geneticist George C. Cunningham presents a point-by-point rebuttal of The Language of God, arguing that there is no scientifically acceptable evidence to support belief in a personal God and much that discredits it.
Testament: Memoir of the Thoughts and Sentiments of Jean Meslier ($32.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-749-2) This fascinating document by an 18th-century French priest, the first English translation of the complete work, is an early forerunner of many later critiques of religion and must reading for freethinkers, skeptics, and anyone with an interest in the history of religion and dissent.
The Universe -- Order without Design ($27.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-714-0) NASA senior research scientist Carlos I. Calle explores the crucial role in the development of life on Earth of many seemingly unconnected phenomena over millions of years to determine if such origins reveal a purpose behind the order of the universe, or whether their existence is a natural outcome of some automatic process.
Stephen Jay Gould and the Politics of Evolution ($26.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-718-8) "Genius, Marxist, sage, ideologue: the legacy of Stephen Jay Gould is nothing if not controversial. David F. Prindle, a professor of government at the University of Texas at Austin, provides an absorbing account of the biologist's scientific work, viewed through the lens of his explicitly political writing." (Seed Magazine.)
|Books for the Business Reader
The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism ($29.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-754-6) Visionary Howard Bloom takes the reader on a sweeping tour of human history, from the Stone Age to the present, to inspire radically new ways of envisioning and reimagining the positive aspects of capitalism and Western culture.
The Brain Advantage: Become a More Effective Business Leader Using the Latest Brain Research ($19.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-764-5) "A very ambitious book, highly readable and entertaining, showing how the latest findings in neuropsychology are relevant to effective management," says Gary Klein, Ph.D., author of Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions.
Creating Demand: Generate Cool, Custom Marketing Ideas ($19.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-755-3) Marketing pros Gerardo V. Tabío and Sally Beamer use their over forty years of combined experience to guide companies in creating an effective marketing strategy based on creative ideas targeted to the interests and wants of customers.
Ad Women: How They Impact What We Need, Want, and Buy ($26.98, ISBN 978-1-59102-672-3) Fans of Mad Men's Peggy Olson will enjoy Juliann Sivulka's "sweeping, insightful, encyclopedic [work] that not only enables us to understand women's role in advertising but also makes a social commentary on the role of advertising in our culture." (Forbes.com.)
|For Expectant Parents
Hands Off My Belly!: The Pregnant Woman's Survival Guide to Myths, Mothers, and Moods ($18.00, ISBN 978-1-59102-753-9) In this engaging, humorous, and very informative book, Shawn A. Tassone, MD and Kathryn M. Landherr, MD -- a husband-and-wife OB-GYN team and the parents of four children -- explore the most common superstitions and myths surrounding pregnancy.
|We hope these suggestions help you find just the right gifts for the readers on your list, or perhaps you've been inspired to give yourself the gift of a good read. Don't see the perfect book for that special someone? Browse our catalog online for more great books in many more categories than we've covered here.
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The Staff of Prometheus Books