Fatal If Swallowed: Reclaiming Creativity and Hope Along the Uncharted Path

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They shielded us from the expansive, flat, hot, empty Mississippi Delta. The tree reaches down through the earth with her roots. They ground her, keep her from blowing over in harsh winds. Her roots balance her and nourish her with the minerals of the earth. My roots: my toes.

My toes keep me balanced. Spread out, they hug the earth beneath me. They push off when I jump or run.

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Toes feel warm in warm socks as they navigate soft cushy carpet. Toes feel cold on cold stone as they navigate the dark of night. Toes feel happy in the sunshine in sandals free from the confines of winter boots. Toes are essential, but usually forgotten. My grandfather only had 3 toes on his right foot. He showed me. I was told by my mother that he had shot himself in the foot to get out of the trenches in WWI. He sacrificed a few toes to get out of the trenches. Our roots, our foundations, are not only our own toes, but the toes of those who came before us. Their decisions and inactions brought us to this place.

We look back, we look forward. We are here because of them. The future will rest on our choices and lack of choices today. What is your legacy? Who in the past has shaped your family today? What is your legacy to future generations? I choose a legacy of peace. I choose truth, health and vitality in my life and the life of those who are influenced by me. Oct Jun Just remember one punctuating life-moment. It could be 20 years ago, or just yesterday. Perhaps something painful, perhaps blissful. Then, be in that moment, and write a few lines.

Then, in a conversation with Joan, she stirred the soup of my creative complacency. She reminded me of my belief that my story is worth telling. She rekindled my hope that stories should connect our human race, like a patchwork quilt of peace. This re-awakened my vision of publishing my story. I used to be overwhelmed by the thought of all the work involved in piecing together the bits of my life into something interesting for the public.

Plot development. Themes and sub-plots.

Student of Life — The Words of Laura Bradbury — Laura Bradbury

Point of view. Do I flash-back or flash-forward? Each day, I write just one mini-story: a word piece, inspired by a memory or one highlight on my timeline. Flash-Memoirs are to an autobiography what Haiku are to poetry. I accepted the offer. A fresh start, new beginning. A crisp uniform. My first chance to explore the world. What a miraculous opportunity! From a dead-end desk job, to a luxury cruise line officer. Far from everything I ever knew.

New people. A buffet of cultures. An open space in which to declare myself whatever I want to be. Purveyor of truth and justice. A beacon for those who are striving to understand and accept themselves. Only, this ship is one socially screwy place. A repressed and chauvinistic environment.

A swarm of gay men, but deep in denial! Nathan Ohren researches the web for journaling experts who have a story to share. He found me a couple of months ago and we have started a stimulating dialogue. This job has something to do with some lost treasure related to Marco Polo and his travels, and Drake is uniquely qualified as he is the only person to have pulled off this particular heist. This definitely worked on me as a player, as I was instantly drawn into the action and what the heck has happened? What could go wrong indeed. You wake up in control of Drake again, back on the icy cliffs in the middle of a blizzard.

And now you get your first sense of the combat gameplay. Like the climb out of the train, this section of gameplay briefly introduces you to the combat mechanics as you get a sense of how to use various weapons that are strewn all around in the wreckage of the rest of the train along with some soldiers who appear to be after Drake. As you work your way through the wreckage from carriage to carriage, there are also explosions that rock you around, and Drake loses consciousness again. Which cues up another cutscene that you get to watch.

This one shows Drake and Chloe together. There are hints that Flynn is actually onto something real, and there seems to be a love triangle brewing, and some trust issues amongst the three of them. The scene ends with Drake regaining consciousness on the icy mountainside. RL: In fact, as Drake regains consciousness we seized the opportunity to add an interactive moment. When control returns to the player after the cutscene, Drake appears to still be unconscious. He is lying prone in a smashed train car, with one arm slightly swinging, and his eyes closed. Only when the player touches the analog stick will he start to stir and then stand up.

It might be a little fourth-wall-breaking, but players generally remark positively on that moment of revelation as at least novel, and I think that we can probably leverage that type of experience towards both gameplay and storytelling ends in the future. For me, I was eager to get Drake back up and on his feet and start actively playing the game. As you stumble back out into the blizzard, you come upon a unique looking dagger. One that shows up spinning every time a scene loads in the game. So, this dagger must be important and in some way the reason behind all the catastrophe on this mountainside.

And this definitely helps to create a more seamless experience of the gameworld and story. So, you leave Drake on the mountainside, and back in time, you find him in Istanbul with Harry and Chloe ready to run the heist they were discussing in the first extended cutscene. Before I get into the details of this first heist, I want to take the time to comment on the cinematic storytelling that has been used to introduce you to this gameworld. Naughty Dog has crafted the videogame equivalent of a thrilling action adventure movie. Story beats are the smallest units of a story, like an exchange between characters in a scene, that advance the narrative, and this initial sequence really does drop you right into the action.

You then have some flashbacks to help break up the tense action, but also to start filling in some backstory on how it all started and how wrong things went awry. The game pulls you into the story by requiring you to play through it successfully as the hero in a movie would do as well. From here, the high-rolling, globe-trotting adventure kicks into gear. Chloe is the driver for the escape post-heist, and Harry and Drake go through the sewers to enter the museum from below. There are some interesting dynamics to this chapter that again blend gameplay and storytelling well.

Harry has brought two tranquilizer guns though, so you can shoot some, but your focus is more about traversing through the museum while remaining undetected. That said , there is a contradictory moment in this level where it appears that Drake actually kills a guard. He is hanging from a ledge high up on the roof of the museum, and a guard walks by, and the game prompts you to hit a certain button, which causes Drake to grab the guard and toss him off the roof to his apparent death.

So we made sure that there was water below the roof for the guard to fall into, and even went so far as to create an animation that showed the guard swimming to safety, having survived the fall, and clambering onto a nearby rock to recover. Moving on, Drake and Harry continue through the museum. Before we get to the treasure, I want to unpack how this buddy system works on two levels. The dialogue pulls you into the characters in terms of content, but also in terms of delivery. And on a gameplay level, the buddy system is used to help keep you on the right track.

Once again, Naughty Dog is working with a high level of integration throughout the experience. Drake and Flynn get to the treasure and ancient oil lamp that has a resin the burns blue and enables them to read a scrap of paper from the lamp, that tells of a tsunami that left Marco Polo shipwrecked in Borneo and the first hints that Polo may have found Shambhala Shangri-La with the help of a cursed Cintamani Stone that may actually still be on a prominent mountain in Borneo.

So now they know roughly where in the world they need to go next on this adventure. But here the subtitle of the game Among Thieves really comes to the fore as Harry double-crosses Drake, leaving him stuck in the museum while also setting off all the alarms. So now you have to try to find some other way to escape, and you can manage to get out of the museum through the sewers, but when you exit you find yourself surrounded by armed guards. We use the characters that Drake interacts with to show different sides of his often conflicted character, and we work hard at every stage of the process — from their character designs, to our scriptwriting and performance capture processes, to the implementation of the characters in gameplay — to make sure that the people in our game are believable and nuanced in their characterization.

We try to use techniques that are both narrative and interactive to set up and pay off situations that deepen and enrich the world of the game. And I found the character interactions definitely helped flesh out the world and where you thought Drake stood within it. Three months later, you find that Drake is still in jail. Victor Sullivan Sully shows up to spring Drake.

Their friendship was called into question throughout that earlier adventure, but it all turned out to be a misunderstanding, and Sully is one of the few people Drake trusts. This is definitely taken advantage of as the reunion is complicated by the fact that Chloe is with Sully.

This is where you really get familiar with the combat gameplay mechanics with multiple encounters and a variety of weapons from which to use. This helps them realize that Lazarevic is off track in looking for the treasure. So, they have a chance to find it, as soon as they shoot their way out of the camp.

Stepping back for a second, this is where the story really aligns with action adventure movie blockbusters from the past, particularly Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can definitely see the similarities quite clearly, but it also helps you fall into the role of Drake. The familiar story beats give you a direction of how you should act if Drake is indeed the hero of this adventure. This in turn, aligns with your game goals as you play your way through the experience. Back in the game, Drake, Sully and Chloe manage to find the resting place of the ancient survivors deeper in the jungle.

And then Chloe fulfills her double agent role twice. First it appears she turns Drake and Sully over to Flynn, but then it becomes clear that it was to help save them and gives them a chance to escape. And as the flee, we get a scene straight from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as Drake and Sully leap from a cliff into a raging river below and float away free and clear. And we get to see a classic Naughty Dog gameplay sequence in which the perspective shifts and you have to run toward the screen. It adds a unique control moment as everything is reversed, which adds an intensity to the gameplay as you have to adjust to the backward perspective and controls on the fly.

In this case, Drake ends up running down an alley with a large military truck barreling after him. You have to run forward while shooting backward in order to cause the truck to crash as you flee from the wreckage in the alley. The switch of perspective makes it a challenging gameplay experience that adds to the cinematic action of watching as a truck comes bearing down on you.

There are some other interesting gameplay twists that happen in Nepal. This increases your immersion as you have to find your way on your own. Once you meet up with Chloe, the two of you work your way through the war torn city, traversing alleys and up and down buildings. There is a nice mix of platforming and combat as many of the buildings have been bombed or damaged, and there are soldiers and guerillas all around.

Join Laura's Grapevine

This shows a great level or attention to detail by the developers. And I really like how there are trophies for little narrative moments like these. It encourages me, as a player, to explore the world some more, which resonates well with the theme of game overall. And so, shortly after the pool, Lazarevic finds out that Drake is in the city, and sends out attack helicopters to deal with Drake. This leads to an amazingly cinematic gameplay sequence. You and Chloe are trapped high up in a building with soldiers chasing you from floor to floor, when a helicopter joins in the fight and starts shooting missiles at the building.

As a player it was a confusing experience. I was in an office room using a desk as cover as soldiers entered the room, when the perspective started shifting and all the furniture and people started tumbling across the room as the building tilted. It all felt crazy, but I made a run for it with Chloe and we jumped through the window, landing in the adjacent building. And then it jumps to a quick IGC as Nate and Chloe turn back and watch the other building collapse completely.

This is definitely an intense moment that made me feel like a hero. I was psyched to have survived and actually managed to do it on my first try and was impressed by how the designers created the gameplay sequence to line up with the story beats and enable me to perform like an action adventure hero. RL: This sequence was very important for us — it was among the first of our major cinematic set pieces that we polished, and it showed off a system that represented an important technical leap forward for us: our Dynamic Object Traversal System. We felt that the sequence was very successful, and it inspired us to push ourselves ever further with our set pieces.

It certainly seems to make an impact on players, and it was planned to punctuate the peak of action that this part of the game reaches. Staying with this concept of being a hero, shortly after escaping the collapsing building, Drake and Chloe run into Elena Fisher and a cameraman Jeff. Elena is a gutsy reporter from the first Uncharted , and through those earlier adventures Elena and Drake developed complicated feelings for one another.


Chloe argues to leave them on their own, and Elena and Jeff seem a bit wary of joining Drake and Chloe. Drake insists that they could use their help, so he talks everyone into sticking together. And you see Drake stepping more into the role as a hero in this moment. So, you now have a party of four, deep in a city surrounded by enemies out to get you.

The group works it way the to right temple, and then there is some amazing environment puzzle solving within in the temple that requires a lot of platforming by Drake as he uses his trusty notebook and works to unlock the clues found within and beneath the temple Chapters 8 and 9.

This adds a gameplay wrinkle as well since Jeff really slows you down, so you have to work at a much slower pace. Again, this is combined with a story element as Chloe argues to leave Jeff, but Drake insists on carrying him. And once again, it looks like Chloe turns on you, as Flynn shows up, and we finally get to meet Lazarevic. Although it looks like Lazarevic suspects Chloe and has her taken her away to the train.

Once he has the information, Lazarevic leaves and asks Flynn to kill them. Elena and Drake manage to get away and head to the trainyard to rescue Chloe from Lazarevic. Amy Hennig, our Creative Director and head writer, says that this scene was one of the most difficult to write in the whole game, and commentators have paid us the compliment of remarking that many games — indeed, many films — would have played this scene badly, perhaps showing Drake as swaggering or cocky as his conquests past and present cross paths, and leaving all the characters stuck playing out banal stereotypes that do nothing to honor them.

The women are confident and funny in counterpoint to Drake, and even seem to rather like each other, even in the midst of a difficult situation. So I think that the scene works tremendously well, not just to tamp down the pace of the game after such an intense crescendo of action and before a relatively sedate sequence of exploration and puzzle solving in the Temple complex , but also to shed some new light on the characters and the relationships between them, and to bond the player to Nathan Drake as a likable guy with some serious flaws.

Now Drake has to work his way through, under, over and around the train as he makes his way forward toward Lazarevic, Flynn and Chloe. The train is a limited spatial environment so you have to be careful plus you can fall or get knocked off. And this train is loaded for war; there are soldiers, weapons, tanks and helicopters. And the combat is mixed up as well, as you have to take on soldiers in train carriages, on top of the train, on the sides of the train as well as helicopters flying beside the train.

Plus the environment the train is moving through comes into play. You have to watch out for, and avoid, signs near the side of the train and also for signals above the train. Drake finally finds Chloe, who asks him to leave. As they argue, Drake gets shot by Flynn. Then Chloe starts arguing with Flynn and Drake is able to run to another carriage followed by some soldiers. Wounded and trapped, Drake takes aim and shoots some propane tanks, setting off some huge explosions, and causing a massive train wreck. Recall, the game up to this point has essentially been an extended flashback from the start of the game.

And once again, we have to climb Drake back out of the train again.

Forging an Ironclad Brand – Your North Star

And then fight your way through the exploding wreckage and surviving soldiers out to get you. Drake collapses in the snow and someone walks up to him as he loses consciousness again. It was easy for even us on the team to forget that nearly the first half of our game takes place in flashback when viewed in a certain context, at least. Non-linear temporal flow is a hallmark of some of my favorite films, from Rashomon to Lola rennt to Memento. Indeed, discontinuity of space and time, bridged by the edit, is a character of nearly all film. I think that, partly because of pragmatic issues to do with camera control in third-person character-action video games, and partly because we perceive a relationship between digital games and digital simulations, both developers and players are somewhat over-focused on maintaining temporal and spatial continuity in narrative video games.

Few games have taken advantage of the opportunities offered by thinking about time and space as the plastic, collapsible continua that they are in cinema. As a player, the non-linear way the story is revealed created a more complex set of expectations in terms of how I was experiencing the set pieces across time and places. Moving forward, Drake comes to in a small hut with a small girl looking at him, and the man who rescued him.

Both books expose fault lines in these relationships with unflinching honesty. And they tell us much more about life besides, especially for women. Familiar treasures for some, delights yet to be discovered for others.

Uncharted Hope

Using her extraordinary ability to understand what makes us all tick, Moriarty introduces us to nine strangers who gather at a remote health resort aiming to lose weight, recharge relationships or simply conquer deepfelt despondencies. To reveal any more of the plot would be to impinge on your reading pleasure, so all we will say is that Nine Perfect Strangers is both a page-turner and a joy to read.

Making an unexpected move from the crime and thriller genres that he has previously impressed us in, Jock Serong now turns his deft hand to historical fiction, retelling the true story of the wreck of the Sydney Cove in Lieutenant Joshua Grayling investigates, and the answers he finds are disturbing. The venerable novelist has created parallel narratives of two old men dying: one an year-old filmmaker with oesophageal cancer living in modern-day Sydney; the other a learned man who was the first to be ritually buried in what is now Australia 42, years ago, an imagined equivalent of Mungo Man.

More than anything, this novel is about mortality and humanity — and the relationship between the two. This masterfully written historical novel of mid-century Australia will be one of the most captivating books you read this summer. Shell is the kind of historical novel that slowly casts its spell over you, transporting you effortlessly to a different era.

It may initially appear as if this novel is solely about the inhabitants of a small Australian farming town stuck in the drought years. Ham writes about lost loves, families, friendships and the pain of being isolated. Her ability to capture a character is gloriously evident, as is her innate warmth and witticism. A delightful read. The sinuous sentences snake around your mind and lodge there; the story is captivating.

Berta Isla is a spy novel without a typical spy plot and wears its literary references especially to TS Eliot lightly. Her work only achieved broad success when A Manual for Cleaning Women was published in , 11 years after her death. With his 11th novel, the author of the muchloved Brooklyn turns his narrative eye in a new direction, adapting ancient Greek myth. He unsparingly explores the ruinous relationships and the fatal tragedy of his characters and their stories, including husband and wife Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, their son Orestes and daughters Iphigenia and Electra.

Will Kendall attempts to reconstruct the events that led to this shattering incident, starting with his arrival at the prestigious Edwards University and his initial meeting with fellow student, Phoebe Lin, who has since disappeared. Fresh from Bible College and grieving his newly lost faith, Will falls in love with Phoebe and watches as she, nursing her own losses and secrets, is drawn into a secretive extremist cult with ties to North Korea. Few writers working today are as reliably excellent as Scottish author William Boyd.

His novel Any Human Heart is his most admired work, but even his thrillers Waiting for Sunrise, Solo are widely lauded. This is a skilled and highly refined novel, full of compassion and insights into the human condition. This debut short story collection explores imbalances of power, the impact of contemporary racism and the unbridled consumerism of modern society.

By veering into unreality, Adjei-Brenyah holds up a mirror to the real world that is all the more bracing and its revelations more devastating. No target is spared as Adjei-Brenyah identifies and dissects the nightmare of present-day capitalism, revealing the corrupt dystopia lurking beneath its shiny surface. In his epic, unsettling new novel, Haruki Murakami demonstrates his trademark mastery of the profound and the surreal. A painter seeks refuge from Tokyo after his wife leaves him, retreating to the home of a famous artist atop a rural mountain.

Here he paints and ruminates, before the discovery of a strange painting in the attic begins a mysterious series of events. What follows is a dizzyingly ambitious and inventive riff on The Great Gatsby, one that is equal parts an absurdist coming-of-age story and bizarre supernatural jaunt, complete with capricious spirits and ghostly bells. The follow-up to Roy's Booker Prize— winning debut The God of Small Things, this novel depicts the sweep of history and the significance of individual lives against larger political events in modern India.

Roy explores singular and collective acts of resistance to unjust and oppressive circumstances — whether in the form of the transwoman Anjum struggling to make a life for herself, or architect-activist Tilo, seeking love and independence for herself and her people. Despite its deep engagement with history and politics, elements of myth and fable suffuse the book, making The Ministry of Utmost Happiness a dreamlike, playful and empathetic read.

Or is it? Her latest novel, Normal People, has done the same — and then some. In it, we meet Marianne and Connell when they are at school. Marianne is a loner, a rich girl considered weird by her schoolfellows. Both clever, they begin an under-the-radar relationship that continues off and on through their final year in school and then through the years when they study at Trinity College in Dublin. This ambitious debut from newcomer Stephen Markley is a literary novel that dissects the issues that plague contemporary Middle America.

Set after the Global Financial Crisis, the book follows the lives of four people with vastly different stories, but who are for various reasons all returning to the town they grew up in: New Canaan, Ohio. Big, sprawling and intelligent, Ohio is a novel that looks closely at US culture today. Scout Finch and her older brother Jem are catapulted from their innocent, carefree childhood when their father, principled lawyer Atticus Finch, defends a black man accused of raping a white woman.

This lively adaptation is filled with character and empathy, and will appeal to readers of all ages. Originally established as a utopian community, Vineland in the 21st century is anything but, and Kingsolver The Poisonwood Bible constructs a powerful metaphor about the problems of modernday America from this story of a once grand, but now almost derelict house. Barker The Regeneration Trilogy tells the story of year-old Briseis, Queen of Lyrnessus, who is given to Achilles as a spoil of war after the fall of her city.

Briseis fears for both her own future and that of the Trojan women who may suffer her fate in the near future. And readers, by extension, will ponder the fate of women throughout history, and into the future. The author of Birdsong returns to France for this thoughtful and eminently readable novel. In , Moroccan teenager Tariq and American academic Hannah are in Paris in search of an understanding of the past.

Tariq explores Paris through the Metro chapters are named after stations ; Hannah through recordings of women who lived through WW2. Fully in control of his material, Faulks gives us a close-up on Paris both now and in the past, and also zooms out to give us a broad perspective on history — making us think not just about what happened but also how the past echoes in the future.

Since the publication of her debut novel Behind the Scenes in the Museum, British writer Kate Atkinson has assumed the status of that very rare creature — a novelist of literary fiction who can also claim bestseller status. A grand European restaurant, it is attended by a highly strung waiter with a keen eye for detail and a love of routine. The restaurant attracts its regulars, and the waiter knows them all: he admires the well-tailored suits of Mr Graham, anticipates the after-dinner tipple of the widow, and lends an ear to the philosophical ramblings of Edgar, who dines with daughter Anna.

This is a cracker of a story, expertly told by an author who has clearly researched her subject thoroughly. Ripped from domestic bliss by a series of grisly murders, he sets to work tracking down a ruthless killer targeting rough sleepers in Fremantle. As the case unfolds, Cato begins to realise that as he gets closer to uncovering the murderer, the murderer is also moving closer to him. In outback Queensland, a man walks into the desert without supplies or human contact.

A day later, he is dead. In the aftermath, his two brothers attempt to find out what went wrong as long-buried family secrets begin to resurface. What follows is a gripping crime novel that taps into the gothic aspects of the Australian landscape, layering a classic mystery plot against the sinister backdrop of dust, dirt and heat. Detective Sergeant Cardilini, constantly drunk since the death of his wife, is sent to write up the report. But is his dogged pursuit of justice helping or harming those most affected by the death?

The first in a series set in s Western Australia, Man at the Window has a topical plot and a sympathetic main character. The apparently senseless act of violence left the small community in a state of shock. As she unspools the threads of resentment, aggression and small-town grievances that led to the triple-murder, Maryrose Cuskelly reveals the tangled relationships and reallife characters at the centre of the crime, as well as the flawed and muddy legal processes that ensued.

Her chilling and forensic account of the crime and its aftermath is utterly enthralling. Years later, now living in Australia, Leonid seeks to make amends. November, Frank Guidry is a low-level mobster, and the only person alive who knows who really killed JFK. On the run and en route to Las Vegas, Guidry crosses paths with the beautiful Charlotte, a mother of two small children who is fleeing her own troubled past in the form of an alcoholic husband and the stifling domesticity of small-town life.

No Tomorrow opens in Venice, where assassin Villanelle is doing what she does best. This fast-paced thriller is set in Venice, London, Moscow and the Tyrol, and follows the two women as their duel of wits unfolds and their mutual obsession grows. Jennings never pauses the action or relieves the tension — and the end of this volume is sure to have you anxiously waiting for the release of volume three.

Tense is the word, as Jack Reacher makes his 23rd outing since being created by British crime giant Lee Child in In this latest novel, Reacher plans a classic American road trip, but instead soon takes a turn-off to the past, stumbling across the town where he always believed his father was born. He soon discovers there are no records of anyone called Reacher ever living there. At the same time two young Canadians are heading to New York with something to sell, but find themselves marooned in a motel.

Child punches out his sentences with power, and often humour. American-Irish author Tana French has written some of the most assured and intelligent crime novels of recent years, and her many devotees have been waiting with bated breath for her seventh novel to hit the shelves. Then human remains are found in the trunk of an old elm tree in the garden and, during the police investigation that ensues, Toby is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about his family, his past, and himself.

In this collection of short fiction from Black Inc, there is something for everyone. Emerging writers are well represented, but so are more established writers such as Chris Womersley, Stephanie Bishop and Elliot Perlman just to name a few. As well as a range of writers, this collection spans a number of genres, settings and literary styles: there are office stories, migrant stories, stories about love, adventure and domesticity. One of the many benefits of short-story collections is that they can be easily picked up and put down again: these stories are perfect for enjoying between dips in the pool, in a sunny beer garden, even on a sleepless summer night.

One day, the owners of the Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, decided to put a typewriter in the shop for customers to use. Notes from a Public Typewriter is the result of this social experiment. People of all kinds left notes, including confessions, poems, jokes and even a marriage proposal. Literary giant Jonathan Franzen returns with his first book in five years, a sharp and provocative essay collection. The awardwinning author of The Corrections, Freedom and Purity gathers essays and speeches written in the past few years that examine very human concerns.

Franzen explores his young adulthood in New York, climate change, Edith Wharton and a complex relationship with an uncle; he also returns to his lifelong passion, birdwatching. Comedian, contrarian and raconteur Stephen Fry returns his incisive wit to Greek myths with Heroes, the dazzling companion volume to the bestselling Mythos.

Lost Treasures - Critical Role - Campaign 2, Episode 22

We meet heroes who embark on bold adventures, outwit vengeful gods, and overcome monstrous perils. An Open Book offers new revelations on themes that have gripped the author throughout his long and celebrated career, including memory and morality. With a smattering of sparse details, he transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary: a loaf of bread becomes the rising sun; the commonplace garden is reimagined as a landscape thriving with grave danger. In this collection of essays, poet and essayist Fiona Wright Small Acts of Disappearance scrutinises her personal relationships to art, love, home, animals and illness, as well as the shared anxieties of our era, including real estate tensions and the stresses of financial precarity.

The wisdom of politicians, poets, musicians and activists from all around the world is brought together in this wonderfully curated volume. An empowering book that is very difficult to put down. Acclaimed writers, artists and illustrators — including Phillip Pullman, Chris Riddell and David Mitchell — share the creative inspiration and cartographic processes of creating fictional maps, and the challenges of ensuring they faithfully represent their written counterparts.

From to , the former lawyer worked both alongside her husband and independently to champion causes that she believed would positively impact the lives of others. And while her fashion sense drew comparisons with Jackie Kennedy and her impeccable good manners with Barbara Bush, Michelle was a unique and decidedly unforgettable leader. Becoming is her story in her own words. This memoir explores her childhood in Chicago, the challenges and joys of motherhood, favourite authors, and more.

Here, he discusses his personal beliefs about gender equity, family and human kindness. When animal scientist Michael Quetting agreed to help gather data about a gaggle of goslings, he had no idea of the emotional and physical journey that would ensue. Soon he found himself spending every day with the birds: swimming with them, cuddling and falling asleep with them, accompanying them on flights in his plane.

This quirky and delightful true story of an inter-species family will tug at your heartstrings and give you a new perspective on geese and, by extension, animals generally. Counting sheep, watching the pre-dawn light creep across the wall — for sufferers of insomnia, the long nights it engenders is the stuff of waking nightmares.

Marina Benjamin is intimately familiar with the condition, and her book is a meditative examination of attitudes and ideas about insomnia throughout history, mingled with her own experience fighting to reclaim the elusive state of sleep — while each night her husband snores blissfully beside her. Drawing on cultural, philosophic, artistic and societal responses to insomnia, Benjamin asks what our inability to sleep can tell us about ourselves and our relationships to others. A lyrical, thoughtful book.

Joyce, Wilde and Yeats are three of the most famous men in Irish literary history. William Wilde was a highly successful medical practitioner who became embroiled in a very public court case. John Butler Yeats was a talented artist who died alone in a New York boarding house. However, years of censorship within the royal archive have led to many other aspects of her life being overlooked. Between and , a young and inexperienced naturalist in search of strange and elusive animals enlisted the aid of the BBC and the London Zoo in funding a number of expeditions around the world.

His wonderment and enthusiasm are plainly evident in these pages, especially when describing the animals he encounters. Adam Zamoyski draws us in from his very first words, listing what he sees as all the different characterisations of Napoleon: godlike genius, Romantic avatar, evil monster, nasty little dictator. Not just one myth, but many. Zamoyski delivers a portrait of someone he sees as an ordinary man who did some extraordinary things and was perhaps a symptom of his times.

Henry Worsley was a man obsessed with the Antarctic. An ex-soldier, his greatest passion was adventure and exploration. In , Worsley and a team of other Antarctic explorers set out to follow in the steps of Ernest Shackleton and reach the South Pole. While Shackleton never actually made it to the Pole, Worsley and his team did. Several years later, Worsley left on another expedition — this time, he planned to cross the Antarctic continent alone and unaided. The White Darkness tells the story of this extraordinary explorer, and of this dangerous and daring solo expedition.

David Grann The Lost City of Z is a powerful writer of narrative nonfiction, and here he tells a gripping tale of adventure, dedication and endurance. Here, she writes about her life journey, feminism, race and politics. An inspirational tale of self-invention. Beginning with the expulsion from Spain in , we meet rabbis, philosophers, a Venetian poetess and a general in Ming China. And we travel to the starlit hills of Galilee, the rivers of Colombia, the kitchens of Istanbul in caravels, stagecoaches and railways.

With extraordinary wit, Schama — the University Professor of Art History and History at Columbia University — also incorporates his own family stories and personal memories. Fast forward to , and the wreck of a sailing ship was discovered in the icy depths of the Canadian Arctic. In this book, former Monty Python funny man and television global explorer Michael Palin goes down a maritime rabbit hole to discover the remarkable story of a ship that had sailed to the Antarctic on a four-year Royal Naval expedition in and returned in one piece, only to perish less than a decade later in the frozen waters of the Arctic.

In , the Melchiorites seized the European city of Munster, expelled Catholics and Lutherans, and ushered in new laws including polygamy, trial by fire and a communist system of shared property. Their new home was soon subjected to a long and brutal siege, during which they were shut off from the world, periodically attacked and then slowly starved. Ham recounts their revolt — one of the first of the Reformation — in an accessible manner, making this book a great choice for those who enjoy both history and historical fiction.

In , the National Library of Australia partnered with the National Library of China to bring the public an exhibition that showcased artworks depicting daily life in China during the Qing dynasty, a period of over years. This book showcases the works exhibited, with additional commentary that explains the historical and cultural contexts of each piece, interpreting the illustrations and manuscripts to give 21st-century readers a clear idea of how Chinese people living in this period worked, worshipped, practised healthcare and celebrated special occasions.

Folk tales are also included, giving an insight into how lessons were shared between generations. However, the central characters — and the ones on whom Genoni and Dalziell concentrate — are Australian writers George Johnston and Charmian Clift, whose Hydra lives were characterised by precarious finances, marital infidelity and escalating alcoholism. In turn, Amaral reveals the thoughtful and exacting approach to her colourisation of black-andwhite images. He traces how different societies have expressed themselves through religion and how institutionalised spirituality has become such a central part of politics, global conversation and art.

The best political cartoons act as a circuit breaker — providing humour and relief, as well as revealing critical new insight into timely events. Should the left abandon political correctness and everything associated with it to reconnect with a working class it has alienated and turn the tide on right-wing populism? Here, Sparrow suggests a different path, positing the possibility of a new kind of politics — one that moves away from the binary rhetoric being bandied about so freely today. Now a journalist, she looks at that childhood and her family history through a different and more critical lens.

In Heartland, she shares not only her story but also cultural analysis about politics, class and identity in modernday America. In this transformative work, writer and activist Soraya Chemaly details the systemic ways in which female rage is stifled and trivialised by society, from birth through to adulthood. Chemaly argues for women to embrace their anger, both as a rational response to the world around them and as a powerful tool with which to enact change. Her blending of personal experience with hard data sourced from in-depth interviews and scientific research makes for an engaging and persuasive read.

This is not a book about vengeance or causing harm, but rather, an exploration of how this oftrepressed emotion can ultimately become a positive force. Rage Becomes Her is an unapologetic and empowering polemic that feels especially timely in Chemaly deserves to be read widely. He narrows in on how three unglamorous but critically important US federal departments — those of energy, agriculture and commerce — have been systematically derailed by the Trump administration.

While bureaucracy may not seem like a subject to inspire passion, Lewis has a remarkable gift for spinning dry and complicated true stories into riveting pageturners, and The Fifth Risk is a uniquely positioned call-to-action for the modern age. These handsomely repackaged new editions of two famous texts from the Roman era feature the original Latin and Greek on alternate pages.

Translated by leading classical scholar AA Long, How to Be Free features a selection of teachings from former slave and Roman Stoic philosopher Epictetus, including his celebrated guide to the Stoic philosophy of life the Encheiridion along with reflections from his Discourses. Both books open with lively and welcoming introductions that contextualise the classic works that follow. Widely disliked for both his politics and his personality, William McMahon is commonly regarded to have been one of the worst prime ministers in Australian history.

The longest-serving government minister in Australian history and our 20th prime minister, he led the liberals to defeat in a time of great cultural and social change. A must-read for Auspol buffs. The bestselling author of Sapiens and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow is back with a thoughtful look at what he identifies as the 21 most important challenges and changes in the modern world. These include technological shifts, the place of liberalism in our political landscape, and the role of humans and corporations in building an optimistic and meaningful future. It paints an accessible, shocking and at times darkly humorous portrait of the challenges of our time.

Published in , The Silk Roads offered a major reassessment of world history, compelling us to look at the past from a different perspective. Now, this new and updated edition addresses the present and future of a world that is changing dramatically. In an age of Brexit and Trump, the themes of isolation and fragmentation permeating the Western world stand in sharp contrast to events along the Silk Roads since , where ties between Europe, Russia, the Middle East and China have been strengthened and mutual cooperation established.

Frankopan looks at the network of relationships being formed today, assessing the global reverberations of these continual shifts in the centre of power — all too often absent from headlines in the West. This engaging and impactful book questions how sweet little boys grow up to become violent and aggressive men, and Ford attempts to answer this from multiple angles: as a feminist, as a woman who has been subject to toxic behaviour by men in real life and online , and as a mother raising a son.

With this book, Ford is prompting people to start having conversations with each other about the societal impacts of traditional notions of masculinity, and how we can change our culture for the better. Readers are invited inside the golden bedroom of the White House to say goodnight to the very stable genius himself. The sly references to world events, such as the presence of some Russian friends, will be enjoyed by those who are feeling overwhelmed by the recent news.

The publication of this book marks one year since marriage equality was legalised in Australia. Alex Greenwich and Shirleene Robinson document the process that led to this outcome, writing from a queer perspective that combines their respective backgrounds in grassroots activism, academia and politics. The result is a comprehensive overview of the long process that led to the passing of the landmark legislation. The title comes from the days that end in tragedy — they often start out just like any other. So, asks journalist Leigh Sales, what happens after that ordinary day turns extraordinary in the worst way?

How do people cope? What gives them comfort? What happens to their brains? Is there any meaning to be found in these awful events? To explore these questions, she talks to people directly affected by tragedies, as well as those who have supported others through tragedy. Germaine Greer is a reluctant subject of biography. Fortunately, the Germaine Greer Archive at the University of Melbourne holds a wealth of compelling evidence and documentation of her life.

As she did in the excellent The Tall Man, Chloe Hooper traces a crime and its aftermath with subtlety, empathy and grace. Great literature feeds the hungry mind and takes the heart on a journey. From a lifelong lover of books comes this essays collection about the gift of reading. His lyrical insight and deft humour combined with an electric enthusiasm for the written word makes this an ideal companion for the keen reader. Following an introduction discussing traditional uses, nutritional qualities and the best ways to enjoy the ingredient, each superfood is paired with a recipe. Most importantly, the authors also share useful tips on where to find bushfoods, both online and on the grocery shelf.

Since publishing her award-winning memoir Unpublished Gem in , Alice Pung has proved herself a significant figure within the Australian literary landscape. Divided into loosely themed sections, these essays explore migration, racism, parenthood, identity politics, literature and more. Many circle around home and homecoming, and Pung posits vital questions about what this means in modern Australia. This is not a straightforward biography.

Rather, by using meticulous research, educated guesswork and his own creative instinct, James Knight has crafted a historical diary comprised of colourful vignettes that track the two men throughout their lives and explore key details, including their significant contribution to The Bulletin. A scattering of recipes accompanies each chapter, but the real meat is the history and analysis — of cuisine, culture, cooks, critics and celebrity chefs. Kingsford Smith achieved a series of sensational firsts: the first trans-Pacific flight from the US to Australia, the first nonstop crossing of mainland Australia, the first flights between Australia and New Zealand, and the first eastward crossing from Australia to the US.

Blainey charts the many achievements of this charming and gregarious character and delves deeper to reveal the troubled inner man who suffered from acute anxiety attacks but pushed himself to achieve yet more firsts. He also recalls broader anecdotes about his encounters with significant international figures such as Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela.