Dive into a world of enchantment and romance in this lush fantasy, which Stephanie Perkins, international bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss, called “an absolute delight—a magical, sparkling, dangerous world with witty repartee and a romance that will light your heart on fire.” Fans of Libba Bray and Cassandra Clare will fall in love with this captivating stand-alone novel from Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy. Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets the gorgeous, enigmatic Finn, who introduces her to the secret world of Albion's nobility. It’s a world that has everything Jessamin doesn't—power, money, status . . . and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, and the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess them. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits, can stop him.
In this systematic and scathing attack on the dominant contemporary version of liberalism, John Kekes challenges political assumptions shared by the majority of people in Western societies. Egalitarianism, as it's widely known, holds that a government ought to treat all citizens with equal consideration. Kekes charges that belief in egalitarianism rests on illusions that prevent people from facing unpleasant truths.Kekes, a major voice in modern political thought, argues that differences among human beings in the areas of morality, reasonability, legality, and citizenship are too important for governance to ignore. In a rigorous criticism of prominent egalitarian thinkers, including Dworkin, Nagel, Nussbaum, Rawls, Raz, and Singer, Kekes charges that their views present a serious threat to both morality and reason. For Kekes, certain "inegalitarian truths" are obvious: people should get what they deserve, those who are good and those who are evil should not be treated as if they had the same moral worth, people should not be denied what they have earned in order to benefit those who have not earned it, and individuals should be held responsible for their actions. His provocative book will compel many readers to question their faith in liberalism.
For many years, Thu has lived in exile, writing the tragic history of her life as the favourite concubine of Ramses III—and her role in the conspiracy to kill him. A young soldier, Kamen, has read her words and believes her testimony that she was not acting alone. When Kamen shows Thu’s manuscript to his general, he unknowingly sets in motion a stirring drama of revenge and punishment, miraculous disclosures, and unexpected vindication. House of Illusions is the stunning sequel to the bestselling House of Dreams, and brings Thu’s story to its surprising and dramatic conclusion.
Nancy has come to Riverfront amusement park at the invitation of famed illusionist Adriana Polidori. Having inherited the park after her uncle’s tragic death, Adriana has found herself on a rollercoaster ride of terror. For Riverfront has suddenly been transformed into a world of delusion, deception, and potential disaster! The danger begins with the sabotage of Adriana’s magic act and quickly spreads throughout the complex. Squeals of joy turn to shrieks of fear as the park’s rides spin out of control. To rescue Riverfront, Nancy knows she’ll have to work some magic of her own. A dirty trickster is on the loose, bent on making Adriana disappear…permanently!
“One of the few world intellectuals on whom we may rely to make sense out of our existential confusion.”—Nadine Gordimer In this sweeping philosophical work, Amartya Sen proposes that the murderous violence that has riven our society is driven as much by confusion as by inescapable hatred. Challenging the reductionist division of people by race, religion, and class, Sen presents an inspiring vision of a world that can be made to move toward peace as firmly as it has spiraled in recent years toward brutality and war.
Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death--and puts Trish under police scrutiny--her world is once again thrown into turmoil. Detective Colin Flynn isn't certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge--and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn't just dangerous . . . it's deadly. Bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon captures readers with a mind-bending story that will have them doubling back to retrace their steps--and figure out what they missed!
When Cora Kensington learns she is the illegitimate daughter of a copper king, her life changes forever. Even as she explores Europe with her new family, she discovers that the most valuable journey is within. The first book in the Grand Tour series takes you from the farms of Montana through England and France on an adventure of forgiveness, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery.
Is the Internet erasing national borders? Will the future of the Net be set by Internet engineers, rogue programmers, the United Nations, or powerful countries? Who's really in control of what's happening on the Net? In this provocative new book, Jack Goldsmith and Tim Wu tell the fascinating story of the Internet's challenge to governmental rule in the 1990s, and the ensuing battles with governments around the world. It's a book about the fate of one idea--that the Internet might liberate us forever from government, borders, and even our physical selves. We learn of Google's struggles with the French government and Yahoo's capitulation to the Chinese regime; of how the European Union sets privacy standards on the Net for the entire world; and of eBay's struggles with fraud and how it slowly learned to trust the FBI. In a decade of events the original vision is uprooted, as governments time and time again assert their power to direct the future of the Internet. The destiny of the Internet over the next decades, argue Goldsmith and Wu, will reflect the interests of powerful nations and the conflicts within and between them. While acknowledging the many attractions of the earliest visions of the Internet, the authors describe the new order, and speaking to both its surprising virtues and unavoidable vices. Far from destroying the Internet, the experience of the last decade has lead to a quiet rediscovery of some of the oldest functions and justifications for territorial government. While territorial governments have unavoidable problems, it has proven hard to replace what legitimacy governments have, and harder yet to replace the system of rule of law that controls the unchecked evils of anarchy. While the Net will change some of the ways that territorial states govern, it will not diminish the oldest and most fundamental roles of government and challenges of governance. Well written and filled with fascinating examples, including colorful portraits of many key players in Internet history, this is a work that is bound to stir heated debate in the cyberspace community.
Secrets, Tragedy, Courage, Love. Master of Illusion Book II continues the story of the tormented genius, Angel, and his childhood friend, Elise, the prima ballerina who once graced the stage as La Belle and now directs their own opera house, the Opéra Magique. Their lives ensue in an entanglement of secrets, subterfuge, tragedy and love through which they battle their fated hand. Though the skeletons of the past continue to haunt, the veil concealing the truth begins to fall. It is Paris,1892, and the Opéra Magique is riding a wave of unparalleled success, with the help of Sprite, the Master's popular, fairy-like assistant. Walking the fine line required to keep in abeyance the mutual passions of her star, the volatile magician known as the Master of Illusion, and her goddaughter, the beautiful comtesse de Villefontaine, Madame Dupont needs all her ingenuity to divert the jealous rage of the comte and the suspicions of Police Chief Captain Moreau. Few people know the truth behind the Master's identity, yet one of them is, all unwittingly, about to give him away. But as their opera house and lives are plunged, yet again, into unthinkable tragedy, fate thrusts Angel and Elise—the Master and Madame—onto a new path of discovery: a path that holds both alluring revelations and nightmares of untold suffering. Angel and Elise battle choices of life and death, of courage and sacrifice, as they finally discover the answers they've so longed for. But, in discovering the truth of the past, the truth about Angel and the truth about love, do they find the solace they so crave? Can Angel and Elise overcome the barriers of fate, or will they be destroyed in their determination to do so?
Unmasking the Illusions of Fundamentalism and Authoritarian Catholicism
Author: Kathleen Yost Ritter,Craig O'Neill
Publisher: Psychology Press
Why are so many individuals discouraged, at spiritual dead ends, even when they are active participants in their churches? Righteous Religion exposes the authoritarian misuse of Christian teaching that often leaves its members ignored, chastised, or belittled. This new book offers hope for anyone who has struggled with disillusionment in the face of an unbending religious system. After unmasking a bewildering network of illusions that operate beneath the surface of Fundamentalism and dogmatic Catholicism, the authors help readers find their own voices of truth. This is a candid book that analyzes the grip of Fundamentalism and Catholicism on their respective followers, despite financial and sexual scandals, misuse of power and influence, apparent hypocrisy, and selective self-righteousness of these two religious systems. Using real life stories of ordinary people in ordinary churches, Righteous Religion demonstrates that the efforts involved in maintaining illusions are incompatible with claiming a personal spiritual voice. The authors discuss the relationship between the breakdown of erroneous notions and the growth that will involve readers in finding their own voice. From the stories presented, readers will see the journey progress from questioning previously unquestioned assumptions, reclaiming the best out of their religious traditions, and then transcending that which is no longer viable by grieving over illusions, learning to live with paradox, and transforming illusions into a new, valid, and spiritually personal religious truth. As readers begin the journey of finding their own spiritual voice, their experiences will be validated by the prose and stories in Righteous Religion. Those outside of Fundamentalism and Catholicism can begin to understand the practices of these religious groups through the authors’clear explanation of the dynamics and inner workings of creed bound Fundamentalism and Catholicism. This book has appeal to anyone--whether from within or outside religious tradition--who has questioned the grip of Fundamentalism and Catholicism on individuals.
The Varieties and Illusions of Religious Experience
Author: Richard Allan Beck
Publisher: ACU Press
Is faith simply a form of wishful thinking? Is belief in God merely a consoling illusion? So argued Sigmund Freud in The Future of an Illusion. And the force of Freud's argument continues to be felt as it features prominently among critics of religion such as the New Atheists. But was Freud right? Until now, few have directly examined the plausibility of Freud's argument. But here, in a groundbreaking analysis inspired by the religious types described by William James in his seminal The Varieties of Religious Experience, Richard Beck explores the motivational dynamics among "summer Christians" and "winter Christians." Further, across a variety of laboratory studies, Beck examines how Christians variously engage with art (exploring what Beck has dubbed "The Thomas Kinkade Effect"), doctrine (from the Incarnation to beliefs regarding the activity of the devil), and religious difference in a pluralistic world. In each instance, Beck analyzes the underlying motivations of the religious types, sifting through the varieties and illusions of religious experience.
This is a book about freedom. Above all about the idea that there is often no greater obstacle to freedom than the assumption that it has already been attained. What prison, after all, could be more secure than that deemed to be "the world," where boundaries of action and thought are assumed to define not the limits of the permissible, but the limits of the possible. In the past we have been prisoners of tyrants and dictators, and consequently have needed to win our freedom in very concrete, physical terms. We now need to free ourselves not from a slave ship or a concentration camp, but from many of the illusions fostered in our democratic society. “[A] wise and acute analysis of the way our minds are controlled, not in a totalitarian state, but in a 'democratic' one. Edwards also suggests how we can escape this control in a self-help book which, unlike other books of this genre, connects our inner world of alienation with the world outside.”—Howard Zinn “[A] treatise on what freedom truly means.… Burning All Illusions is an important philosophical and psychology text that should be on every political science curriculum reading list!”—Wisconsin Book Watch
Earth, like the rest of the Known Worlds, has fallen to the Shing. Scattered here and there, small groups of humans live in a state of semi-barbarism. They have lost the skills, science and knowledge that had been Earth's in the golden age of the League of Worlds, and whenever a colony of humans tries to rekindle the embers of a half-forgotten technology, the Shing, with their strange, mindlying power, crush them out. There is one man who can stand against the malign Shing, but he is an alien with amber eyes and must first prove to paranoid humanity that he himself is not a creature of the Shing.
In the Second Edition of The Illusion of Us, we travel down the rabbit hole of knowledge to uncover the secrets behind consciousness and the intelligent design behind reality itself. How did we become so lost and disconnected to the world and universe around us? Perhaps the answer can be found by understanding our multidimensional consciousness and true identity. Could humanity have complete amnesia of a past Golden Age due to cataclysms on Earth which wiped out most of the evidence from a lost time period? The renowned philosopher Plato leaves behind compelling evidence for this theory in both the Timaeus and Critias, linking the lost civilization of Atlantis and its destruction. It's time to finally discover all that we have forgotten and piece together the incredible history that preceded us. Were the gods of mankind simply myth or are we missing an important piece of the puzzle that connects all the way back to the stars... From the guarded writings of the Nag Hammadi Library to the cuneiform tablets of the Enuma Elish and Atrahasis, The Illusion of Us connects the entire story and provides a way to free the shackles from Darwin's Cave. The truth will set you free.
From the world’s greatest master illusion artists, including Guido Moretti, Tracy Lee Stum, Vladimir Kush, Rob Gonsalves and Bev Doolittle, to Istvan Orosz, John Langdon, Scott Kim, Oscar Reutersvard, and Donald "Rusty" Rust, THE ART OF DECEPTION is not just an ordinary collection of optical illusions. Author Brad Honeycutt has collected 200 of the finest deceptive images ever assembled that will excite both novices and long-time fans of illusion art. The spectrum spans from classic optical illusions to art that is "made real from the impossible." This collection includes famous paintings, stunning photographs, and computer enhanced visual eye treats that will make your mind's eye blink twice . . . and then smile. Every image was handpicked to feature a specific segment of the illusory spectrum that has one sole purpose--to illustrate the best artistic presentation possible. With commentary by the artists about their vision and techniques, this is an extraordinary book on the art and science of the illusion. From the Hardcover edition.
The next exciting novel in the thrilling new Midnight Dragonfly series from Ellie James! It's almost Mardi Gras, but for 16 year-old psychic Trinity Monsour this is no time for celebration. Another girl is missing. Tormented by visions she doesn't understand—of an empty street lined by crumbling old buildings, a terrified voice warning her to be careful, and a body lying motionless in the grass, Trinity embarks upon a dark odyssey she could never have imagined. She'll stop at nothing to better understand her abilities, convinced that doing so is the only way she can make sure the terrifying images she sees never actually happen. But it seems everyone wants to stop her. Her aunt is worried Trinity might discover secrets best left in the past. Her best friend, Victoria, is afraid Trinity is slipping away, her boyfriend, Chase, fears she's taking too many chances, and the lead detective will barely let her out of his sight. Only one person stands by her side, and in doing so, he slips deeper and deeper into her heart and her dreams—blurring the lines of reality and illusion. When the dust settles, one of them will be dead.
In her new collection, gifted poet and novelist Kim Addonizio uses her literary powers to bring to life a variety of settings, all connected through the suggestion that things in the known world are not what they seem. In “Beautiful Lady of the Snow,” young Annabelle turns to a host of family pets to combat the alienation she feels caught between her distracted mother and ailing grandfather; in “Night Owls,” a young college student’s crush on her acting partner is complicated by the bloodlust of being half-vampire; in “Cancer Poems,” a dying woman turns to a poetry workshop to make sense of her terminal diagnosis and final days; in “Intuition,” a young girl’s sexual forays bring her closer to her best friend’s father; and in the collection’s title story, a photographer looks back to his youth spent as a young illusionist under the big tent and his obsessive affair with the carnival owner’s wife. The stories in this collection have appeared in journals ranging from Narrative Magazine to The Fairy Tale Review, and include the much loved "Ever After," which was featured on NPR's "Selected Shorts." Distracted parents, first love, the twin forces of alienation and isolation: the characters in The Palace of Illusions all must contend with these challenges, trafficking in the fault lines between the real and the imaginary, often in a world not of their making.