Brandy Vencel

A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter

A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter

Before Jane Austen, William Deresiewicz was a very different young man. A sullen and arrogant graduate student, he never thought Austen would have anything to offer him. Then he read Emma—and everything changed.

In this unique and lyrical book, Deresiewicz weaves the misadventures of Austen’s characters with his own youthful follies, demonstrating the power of the great novelist’s teachings—and how, for Austen, growing up and making mistakes are one and the same. Honest, erudite, and deeply moving, A Jane Austen Education is the story of one man’s discovery of the world outside himself.

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Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Approach to Reading, Spelling, and Literacy

Uncovering the Logic of English: A Common-Sense Approach to Reading, Spelling, and Literacy

Discover this revolutionary method that Dr. Temple Grandin called "really helpful for teaching reading to children who are mathematical pattern thinkers..."

Predominant reading methods require students to break the complex code of English without help. This has resulted in low literacy rates and explains why many highly educated professionals cannot spell. By revealing the logical patterns underlying 98% of English words, Uncovering the Logic of English eliminates the need to guess and provides a logical solution to English spelling.

Simple answers are given for questions such as:

  • Why is there a silent final E in have?
  • Why don't we drop the E in noticeable?
  • Why is discussion spelled with -sion rather than -tion?

As the rules unfold it becomes apparent how this knowledge is vital to reversing the educational crisis that is plaguing America. This slim volume is easy to read and accessible to parents and classroom teachers. A thorough appendix summarizes the most important concepts for quick reference.

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The Abolition of Man

The Abolition of Man

From Amazon: "In the classic The Abolition of Man, C.S. Lewis, the most important Christian writer of the 20th century, sets out to persuade his audience of the importance and relevance of universal values such as courage and honor in contemporary society. Both astonishing and prophetic, The Abolition of Man is one of the most debated of Lewis's extraordinary works. National Review chose it as number seven on their 100 Best Nonfiction Books of the Twentieth Century."

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Sophie’s World

Sophie’s World

A page-turning novel that is also an exploration of the great philosophical concepts of Western thought, Jostein Gaarder's Sophie's World has fired the imagination of readers all over the world, with more than twenty million copies in print.

One day fourteen-year-old Sophie Amundsen comes home from school to find in her mailbox two notes, with one question on each: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" From that irresistible beginning, Sophie becomes obsessed with questions that take her far beyond what she knows of her Norwegian village. Through those letters, she enrolls in a kind of correspondence course, covering Socrates to Sartre, with a mysterious philosopher, while receiving letters addressed to another girl. Who is Hilde? And why does her mail keep turning up? To unravel this riddle, Sophie must use the philosophy she is learning―but the truth turns out to be far more complicated than she could have imagined.

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Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament

Against the Gods: The Polemical Theology of the Old Testament

Did the Old Testament writers borrow ideas from their pagan neighbors? And if they did, was it done uncritically? A respected Old Testament scholar and archaeologist engages with this controversial question by carefully comparing the biblical text to other ancient Near Eastern documents. Well-researched and thoughtfully nuanced, Currid aims to outline the precise relationship between the biblical worldview and that of Israel’s neighbors.

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Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That's a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

Drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, Pink exposes the mismatch between what science knows and what business does—and how that affects every aspect of life. He examines the three elements of true motivation—autonomy, mastery, and purpose-and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action in a unique book that will change how we think and transform how we live.

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Becoming Whole: Why the Opposite of Poverty Isn’t the American Dream

Becoming Whole: Why the Opposite of Poverty Isn’t the American Dream

Western Civilization is wealthier, but it isn’t happier. 

We are the richest people ever to walk the face of the earth, but according to research, we aren’t becoming happier. Families and communities are increasingly fragmented, loneliness is skyrocketing, and physical and mental health are on the decline. Our unprecedented wealth doesn’t seem to be doing us much good.

Yet, when we try to help poor people at home or abroad, our implicit assumption is that the goal is to help them to become like us. "If they would just do things our way, they’d be fine!"

But even when they seem to pursue our path, they too find that the American Dream doesn’t work for them. What if we have the wrong idea altogether? What if the molds we are using to help poor people don’t actually fit any of us? What if the goal isn’t to turn other countries into the United States or to turn America’s impoverished communities into its affluent suburbs?

In Becoming Whole (building on the best-selling When Helping Hurts), Brian Fikkert and Kelly M. Kapic look at the true sources of brokenness and poverty and uncover the surprising pathways to human flourishing, for poor and non-poor alike. Exposing the misconceptions of both Western Civilization and the Western church about the nature of God, human beings, and the world, they redefine success and offer new ways of achieving that success. Through biblical insights, scientific research, and practical experience, they show you how the good news of the kingdom of God reshapes our lives and our poverty alleviation ministries, moving everybody involved towards wholeness.

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The Origins of Totalitarianism

The Origins of Totalitarianism

The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggles have been affected. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses.

And yet . . . as with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Harry receives some extraordinary help in Potions from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. And with Dumbledore's guidance, he seeks out the full, complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort -- and thus finds what may be his only vulnerability.

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The Money Mystery: The Hidden Force Affecting Your Career, Business, and Investments (An Uncle Eric Book)

The Money Mystery: The Hidden Force Affecting Your Career, Business, and Investments (An Uncle Eric Book)

During the 1980s the velocity of circulation of the dollar became erratic; now the whole country is affected. "The Money Mystery" explains why Federal Reserve officials remain so afraid of inflation, explains precautions you should take, and explains the wild swings in the stock market. Few analysts understand what velocity is doing to the economy. Learn what you can do about it. This third edition includes an all new chapter titled A New, or Very Old, Form of Inflation.

"The Money Mystery" is the first sequel to "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?" and provides essential background for getting the most from "The Clipper Ship ", both books are also available through Amazon.

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In Memoriam: A Tribute to Charlotte Mason

In Memoriam: A Tribute to Charlotte Mason

After Charlotte Mason died in 1923, the PNEU held a memorial service in her honor, though (quite appropriately) it more resembled an educational conference. Dozens of friends, acquaintances, admirers, students and fellow educators attended the event. Those who had spent years observing her life and work warmly described her impact on their own lives and careers. These sentiments—some philosophical, some personal—were recorded in the book you are now holding. In Memoriam is biography, memoir and philosophical commentary all in one. It offers the most intimate look at Charlotte Mason from those who knew and loved her best. As you read their touching words, you will come to appreciate the tremendous impact of this gifted woman whose philosophy and method of self-education transformed generations of teachers, parents and students—not only in her life but in her death, as well.

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Mornings on Horseback

Mornings on Horseback

Mornings on Horseback is the brilliant biography of the young Theodore Roosevelt. Hailed as “a masterpiece” (John A. Gable, Newsday), it is the winner of the Los Angeles Times 1981 Book Prize for Biography and the National Book Award for Biography. Written by David McCullough, the author of Truman, this is the story of a remarkable little boy, seriously handicapped by recurrent and almost fatal asthma attacks, and his struggle to manhood: an amazing metamorphosis seen in the context of the very uncommon household in which he was raised.

The father is the first Theodore Roosevelt, a figure of unbounded energy, enormously attractive and selfless, a god in the eyes of his small, frail namesake. The mother, Mittie Bulloch Roosevelt, is a Southerner and a celebrated beauty, but also considerably more, which the book makes clear as never before. There are sisters Anna and Corinne, brother Elliott (who becomes the father of Eleanor Roosevelt), and the lovely, tragic Alice Lee, TR’s first love. All are brought to life to make “a beautifully told story, filled with fresh detail” (The New York Times Book Review).

A book to be read on many levels, it is at once an enthralling story, a brilliant social history and a work of important scholarship which does away with several old myths and breaks entirely new ground. It is a book about life intensely lived, about family love and loyalty, about grief and courage, about “blessed” mornings on horseback beneath the wide blue skies of the Badlands.

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