AutoBiography

AutoBiography

  • Leonardo da Vinci

    Leonardo da Vinci

    Ksh 4599

    Brief Summary  He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography. Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius. His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions. Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.  

  • Kissinger The Idealist 1923-1968

    Kissinger The Idealist 1923-1968

    Ksh 3999

    Brief Summary The definitive biography of Henry Kissinger, based on unprecedented access to his private papers No American statesman has been as revered or as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Once hailed as “Super K”—the “indispensable man” whose advice has been sought by every president from Kennedy to Obama—he has also been hounded by conspiracy theorists, scouring his every “telcon” for evidence of Machiavellian malfeasance.  Yet as Niall Ferguson shows in this magisterial two-volume biography, drawing not only on Kissinger’s hitherto closed private papers but also on documents from more than a hundred archives around the world, the idea of Kissinger as the ruthless arch-realist is based on a profound misunderstanding. The first half of Kissinger’s life is usually skimmed over as a quintessential tale of American ascent: the Jewish refugee from Hitler’s Germany who made it to the White House. But in this first of two volumes, Ferguson shows that what Kissinger achieved before his appointment as Richard Nixon’s national security adviser was astonishing in its own right. Toiling as a teenager in a New York factory, he studied indefatigably at night.  He was drafted into the U.S. infantry and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge—as well as the liberation of a concentration camp—but ended his army career interrogating Nazis. It was at Harvard that Kissinger found his vocation. Having immersed himself in the philosophy of Kant and the diplomacy of Metternich, he shot to celebrity by arguing for “limited nuclear war.” Nelson Rockefeller hired him. Kennedy called him to Camelot. Yet Kissinger’s rise was anything but irresistible. Dogged by press gaffes and disappointed by “Rocky,” Kissinger seemed stuck—until a trip to Vietnam changed everything. The Idealist is the story of one of the most important strategic thinkers America has ever produced. It is also a political Bildungsroman, explaining how “Dr. Strangelove” ended up as consigliore to a politician he had always abhorred. Like Ferguson’s classic two-volume history of the House of Rothschild, Kissinger sheds dazzling new light on an entire era. The essential account of an extraordinary life, it recasts the Cold War world.  

  • Conscience of a Conservative A Rejection of Destructive Politics

    Conscience of a Conservative A Rejection of Destructive Politics

    Ksh 2899

    Brief Summary In a bold act of conscience, Republican Senator Jeff Flake takes his party to task for embracing nationalism, populism, xenophobia, and the anomalous Trump presidency. The book is an urgent call for a return to bedrock conservative principle and a cry to once again put country before party. Dear Reader, I am a conservative.    I believe that there are limits to what government can and should do, that there are some problems that government cannot solve, and that human initiative is best when left unfettered, free from government interference or coercion. I believe that these ideas, tested by time, offer the most freedom and best outcomes in the lives of the most people. But today, the American conservative movement has lost its way. Given the state of our politics, it is no exaggeration to say that this is an urgent matter.            The Republican Party used to play to a broader audience, one that demanded that we accomplish something. But in this era of dysfunction, our primary accomplishment has been constructing the argument that we’re not to blame. We have decided that it is better to build and maintain a majority by using the levers of power rather than the art of persuasion and the battle of ideas. We’ve decided that putting party over country is okay. There are many on both sides of the aisle who think this a good model on which to build a political career—destroying, not building.         And all the while, our country burns, our institutions are undermined, and our values are compromised. We have become so estranged from our principles that we no longer know what principle is.          America is not just a collection of transactions. America is also a collection of ideas and values. And these are our values. These are our principles. They are not subject to change, owing to political fashion or cult of personality. I believe that we desperately need to get back to the rigorous, fact-based arguments that made us conservatives in the first place. We need to realize that the stakes are simply too high to remain silent and fall in line. That is why I have written this book and am taking this stand. —Jeff Flake  

  • Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

    Salt by Nayyirah Waheed

    Ksh 3899

    Brief Summary Salt. Is a journey through warmth and sharpness? This collection of poetry explores the realities of multiple identities, language, diasporic life & pain, the self, community, healing, celebration, and love. This was one of the most important poetry collection I’ve read to date. In the short amount of pages that I got to read, I felt like I got to know both myself and the author so well.  Nayyirah Waheed captivated me from start to finish.

  • Gandhi The Agony of Arrival The South African Years

    Gandhi The Agony of Arrival The South African Years

    Ksh 2499

    Brief Summary  Gandhi, an inspiration and a despair to all who approached him, has been subjected to MORE analysis than any other person in contemporary history. And yet something is missing in the puzzle that Gandhi was and is.  This volume is one more attempt to understand and to explain him by laying a little more emphasis on the societal factors and the situations that shaped him and structured his personality during his formative years in England and South Africa. This by no means is an easy task. Gandhi was a complex personality. Moreover, as a continuously evolving phenomenon, he underwent several startling changes in his habits, views, and approaches to life.  He therefore cannot be evaluated out of the time frame that was in existence at the time we talk about. Also, Gandhi has suffered a lot by the process of deification that started with his death or even before it. Much that is written about him is sheer hagiography with a few pieces of demonology too. Gandhi is too valuable a piece of humanity to be lost to history. We must strive to brush off the cobwebs gathering around him and portray him as the simple yet stupendous figure he was.

  • Sultan In Arabia A Private Life

    Sultan In Arabia A Private Life

    Ksh 2299

    Brief Summary 'Sultan in Arabia' is the first biography of Qaboos bin Said Al Said. It is an account of a man and ruler who has, until now, been concealed from public view.  Its publication is timely, given the very real likelihood that Arabia's very last Sultanate could well soon pass into the sands of time.

  • Lewis Hamilton My Story

    Lewis Hamilton My Story

    Ksh 1799

    Brief Summary Benjamin Franklin’s account of his rise from poverty and obscurity to affluence and fame has charmed every generation of readers since it first appeared. Begun as a collection of anecdotes for his son, the memoir grew into a history of his remarkable achievements in the literary, scientific, and political realms. A printer, inventor, scientist, diplomat, and statesman, Franklin was also a brilliant writer whose wit and wisdom shine on every page. His Autobiography has deservedly become the most widely read American autobiography of all time—the self-portrait of a quintessential American. Franklin was a remarkably prolific writer, and is equally beloved for his humorous, philosophical, parodic, and satirical writings, parables, and maxims, which he published under an astonishing number of pen names, including Poor Richard, the Busy-Body, and Silence Dogood. This hardcover edition of The Autobiography and Other Writings contains a varied selection of these, including “The Kite Experiment,” “A Parable Against Persecution,” “Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind,” “Rules for Making Oneself a Disagreeable Companion,” and “The Way to Wealth.” Lewis Hamilton's explosive arrival on the Formula 1 scene has made front-page headlines. In My Story, for the first time Lewis opens up about his stunning debut season in grand prix racing, as well as his dad Anthony, his home life and his early years. The only book with the real story, as told by Lewis. In his first season in F1, Lewis Hamilton thrilled the world of motor racing by finishing on the podium in his first nine consecutive races – the first driver to do so in the sport's 57-year history – and drove to victories in Canada, America, Hungary and Japan. But bare statistics alone do scant justice to the amazing impact Lewis Hamilton has had on the sporting landscape. My Story gives the real account from Lewis himself, as he sets the record straight about his colorful life on and off the track. Given a grounded upbringing by his dedicated father in unremarkable Stevenage, Lewis tells about how he first tried out go-karting while on a cut-price family holiday in Ibiza. In his book he gives the real version of events at a motor sport dinner where, as a nine-year-old wearing a borrowed suit, he approached McLaren team boss Ron Dennis with the immortal words that were to change his life forever. He rose rapidly through the Junior and Formula ranks, dominating every series with his raw speed and canny race craft. Here Lewis candidly recalls those key moments that shaped his career and went some way towards compensating for the sacrifices made by his father Anthony in getting his son to the top. Lewis also charts how he got into the sport and was signed up by Ron Dennis, what motivates him, who are his closest friends, how he copes with the constant travelling, and the physical and mental challenges of driving a state-of-the-art Formula 1 car. He looks back in detail at the 2007 World Championship – the race wins, the frightening crash in Germany, his intense rivalry with team-mate Fernando Alonso, his special relationship with Ron Dennis, and the furore over the Ferrari allegations – right up to the dramatic last race of the season in Brazil.  

  • Benjamin Franklin The Autobiography and Other Writings

    Benjamin Franklin The Autobiography and Other Writings

    Ksh 1099

    Brief Summary Benjamin Franklin’s account of his rise from poverty and obscurity to affluence and fame has charmed every generation of readers since it first appeared. Begun as a collection of anecdotes for his son, the memoir grew into a history of his remarkable achievements in the literary, scientific, and political realms.  A printer, inventor, scientist, diplomat, and statesman, Franklin was also a brilliant writer whose wit and wisdom shine on every page. His Autobiography has deservedly become the most widely read American autobiography of all time—the self-portrait of a quintessential American. Franklin was a remarkably prolific writer, and is equally beloved for his humorous, philosophical, parodic, and satirical writings, parables, and maxims, which he published under an astonishing number of pen names, including Poor Richard, the Busy-Body, and Silence Dogood.  This hardcover edition of The Autobiography and Other Writings contains a varied selection of these, including “The Kite Experiment,” “A Parable Against Persecution,” “Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind,” “Rules for Making Oneself a Disagreeable Companion,” and “The Way to Wealth.”

  • Black Privilege Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It

    Black Privilege Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It

    Ksh 1799

    Brief Summary Charlamagne Tha God—the self-proclaimed “Prince of Pissing People Off,” co-host of Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club, and “hip-hop’s Howard Stern”—shares his unlikely success story as well as how embracing one’s truths is a fundamental key to success and happiness. In his new book, Charlamagne Tha God presents his comic, often controversial, and always brutally honest insights on how living an authentic life is the quickest path to success.  Beginning with his journey from the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina to his headline grabbing interviews with celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, and Hillary Clinton, he shares how he turned his troubled early life around by owning his (many) mistakes and refusing to give up on his dreams, even after his controversial opinions got him fired from several on-air jobs. Combining his own story with bold advice and his signature commitment to honesty at all costs, Charlamagne hopes this book will give others the confidence to live their own truths.  

  • Dont Settle for Safe Embracing the Uncomfortable

    Dont Settle for Safe Embracing the Uncomfortable

    Ksh 1899

    Brief Summary  Don't Settle for Safe: Embracing the Uncomfortable to Become Unstoppable Popular speaker and author Sarah Jakes Roberts shows women they are not disqualified by their pain and failures and offers encouragement and strength to believe God’s best is still possible. Everyone has experiences in their lives that stop them in their tracks and become burdens they carry with them everywhere they go. No one knows this better than Sarah Jakes Roberts. Pregnant at fourteen, married by nineteen, divorced by twenty-two, and all while under the intense spotlight of being Bishop T.D. Jakes’s daughter, Sarah knows what it is to feel buried by failure and aching pain. But when her journey brought her to faith’s fork in the road, Sarah found she had to choose between staying in the comfort of the pain she knew or daring to make new wounds and move forward. Now Sarah shares the numerous life lessons she’s learned along the way with other women also struggling to believe they’re not disqualified by their pain and past mistakes.  She delves into topics such as allowing the past to empower the present, choosing to step forward while still being afraid, facing struggles surrounded by community, finding intimacy with God outside preconceived notions of what it has to look like, and learning to focus on others. With deeply personal stories of her own, Sarah helps readers find their way to the right perspective and the confidence to walk toward the best God has for them.  

  • The Audacity to Win The Inside Story and Lessons

    The Audacity to Win The Inside Story and Lessons

    Ksh 1999

    Brief Summary  The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory. David Plouffe not only led the effort that put Barack Obama in the White House, but he also changed the face of politics forever and reenergized the idea of democracy itself. The Audacity to Winis his story of that groundbreaking achievement, taking readers inside the remarkable campaign that led to the election of the first African American president. For two years Plouffe worked side by side with Obama, charting the course of the campaign. His is the ultimate insider’s tale, revealing both the strategies that delivered Obama to office and how the candidate and campaign handled moments of great challenge and opportunity.  Moving from the deliberations about whether to run at all, through the epic primary battle with Hillary Clinton and the general election against John McCain, Plouffe showcases the high-wire gamesmanship that fascinated pundits and the drama and intrigue that captivated a nation. The Audacity to Win chronicles the arrival of a new moment in American life at the convergence of digital technology and grassroots organization, and the exciting possibilities revealed by a campaign that in many ways functioned as a $1 billion start-up with laser-like focus and discipline. In this extraordinary book, David Plouffe unfolds one of the most important political stories of our time, one whose lessons are not limited to politics, but reach to the greatest heights of what we dream about for our country and ourselves.  

  • The Man Who Knew

    The Man Who Knew

    Ksh 2199

    Brief Summary The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan. Sebastian Mallaby's magisterial biography of Alan Greenspan, the product of over five years of research based on untrammeled access to his subject and his closest professional and personal intimates, brings into vivid focus the mysterious point where the government and the economy meet. To understand Greenspan's story is to see the economic and political landscape of the last 30 years--and the presidency from Reagan to George W. Bush--in a whole new light.  As the most influential economic statesman of his age, Greenspan spent a lifetime grappling with a momentous shift: the transformation of finance from the fixed and regulated system of the post-war era to the free-for-all of the past quarter century. The story of Greenspan is also the story of the making of modern finance, for good and for ill.  Greenspan's life is a quintessential American success story: raised by a single mother in the Jewish émigré community of Washington Heights, he was a math prodigy who found a niche as a stats-crunching consultant. A master at explaining the economic weather to captains of industry, he translated that skill into advising Richard Nixon in his 1968 campaign. This led to a perch on the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and then to a dazzling array of business and government roles, from which the path to the Fed was relatively clear.  A fire-breathing libertarian and disciple of Ayn Rand in his youth who once called the Fed's creation a historic mistake, Mallaby shows how Greenspan reinvented himself as a pragmatist once in power. In his analysis, and in his core mission of keeping inflation in check, he was a maestro indeed, and hailed as such. At his retirement in 2006, he was lauded as the age's necessary man, the veritable God in the machine, the global economy's avatar. His memoirs sold for record sums to publishers around the world. But then came 2008. Mallaby's story lands with both feet on the great crash which did so much to damage Alan Greenspan's reputation. Mallaby argues that the conventional wisdom is off base: Greenspan wasn't a naïve ideologue who believed greater regulation was unnecessary. He had pressed for greater regulation of some key areas of finance over the years, and had gotten nowhere. To argue that he didn't know the risks in irrational markets is to miss the point.  He knew more than almost anyone; the question is why he didn't act, and whether anyone else could or would have. A close reading of Greenspan's life provides fascinating answers to these questions, answers whose lessons we would do well to heed. Because perhaps Mallaby's greatest lesson is that economic statesmanship, like political statesmanship, is the art of the possible. The Man Who Knew is a searching reckoning with what exactly comprised the art, and the possible, in the career of Alan Greenspan.  

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