Penn Jillette is best known for being the louder half of the magic duo Penn and Teller. He is also co-host of the Showtime series Bullshit.
A literary classic that wasn't recognized for its merits until decades after its publication, Herman Melville's Moby-Dick tells the tale of a whaling ship and its crew, who are carried progressively further out to sea by the fiery Captain Ahab. Obsessed with killing the massive whale, which had previously bitten off Ahab's leg, the seasoned seafarer steers his ship to confront the creature, while the rest of the shipmates, including the young narrator, Ishmael, and the harpoon expert, Queequeg, must contend with their increasingly dire journey. The book invariably lands on any short list of the greatest American novels.
In his startling, witty, and inexhaustibly inventive first novelfirst published in 1986 and now reissued as a Grove Press paperbackthe author of Vox and The Fermata uses a one-story escalator ride as the occasion for a dazzling reappraisal of everyday objects and rituals. From the humble milk carton to the act of tying ones shoes, The Mezzanine at once defamiliarizes the familiar world and endows it with loopy and euphoric poetry. Nicholson Bakers accounts of the ordinary become extraordinary through his sharp storytelling and his unconventional, conversational style. At first glance, The Mezzanine appears to be a book about nothing. In reality, it is a brilliant celebration of things, simultaneously demonstrating the value of reflection and the importance of everyday human human experiences.
Christopher Hitchens, described in the London Observer as one of the most prolific, as well as brilliant, journalists of our time takes on his biggest subject yetthe increasingly dangerous role of religion in the world. In the tradition of Bertrand Russells Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harriss recent bestseller, The End Of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescopes awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix. From the Hardcover edition.