Strange Stones

Author: Peter Hessler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062206249
Size: 66.23 MB
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Full of unforgettable figures and an unrelenting spirit of adventure, Strange Stones is a far-ranging, thought-provoking collection of Peter Hessler’s best reportage—a dazzling display of the powerful storytelling, shrewd cultural insight, and warm sense of humor that are the trademarks of his work. Over the last decade, as a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three books, Peter Hessler has lived in Asia and the United States, writing as both native and knowledgeable outsider in these two very different regions. This unusual perspective distinguishes Strange Stones, which showcases Hessler’s unmatched range as a storyteller. “Wild Flavor” invites readers along on a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China. One story profiles Yao Ming, basketball star and China’s most beloved export, another David Spindler, an obsessive and passionate historian of the Great Wall. In “Dr. Don,” Hessler writes movingly about a small-town pharmacist and his relationship with the people he serves. While Hessler’s subjects and locations vary, subtle but deeply important thematic links bind these pieces—the strength of local traditions, the surprising overlap between apparently opposing cultures, and the powerful lessons drawn from individuals who straddle different worlds.

The Naming Of Names

Author: Anna Pavord
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 1408820765
Size: 11.17 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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For centuries, some of the most brilliant minds in Europe searched for the rules of nature's game. In a world full of plagues and poisons, many medicines were made from plant extracts and there was a practical need to differentiate between one plant and another. Alongside this was an overwhelming desire to make sense of the natural world. Scholars, aided by the artists who painted the first pictures of plants, set out looking, writing and classifying, but 2,000 years were to pass before any rules became clear. Anna Pavord takes us on an exhilarating and fascinating journey through botanical history, travelling from Athens in the third century BC, through Constantinople and Venice, Padua and Pisa to the present day.