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"O! this learning, what a thing it is." - William Shakespeare
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  Back to school for grown ups   How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew  

How to Build a Fire: And Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew

Having endured the Great Depression and World War II, they weren't called the "Greatest Generation" for nothing—our grandparents had a wide range of skills that are hardly universal anymore, including how to paddle a canoe, wax your mustache, and give a speech. Erin Bried's affectionate if tongue-in-cheek guide is a crash course in hands-on work (splitting firewood, catching a fish, changing your oil); practical conduct (saving money, buying a suit, controlling your temper); the niceties of ...... read more

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Forget that tired saw about old dogs and new tricks—the truth is, you're never too old to learn. In fact, neurologists and mental health experts are finding that learning is what keeps our brains vital throughout our lives.

And there's no better place to start than to re-acquaint yourself with the knowledge seemingly "lost" after leaving school. Here are book lessons on history and philosophy (which will probably make a lot more sense now than they did then); essential information for the responsible citizen; entertaining English guides; foreign languages; guides to the classics, religion, and law; practical instruction books on skills that aren't taught in school; personable reading guides; fun science facts and experiments; and daily doses of erudition for your newly youthful mind.
 

 

  Back to School for Grown-Ups: Everything You Should Have Learned in Class  

Back to School for Grown-Ups: Everything You Should Have Learned in Class

Here's a mind-broadening reader's companion for those who recall their school days as time spent gazing out the window, and who now realize that they missed out on many interesting subjects and ideas. The best and most essential of those subjects have been gathered here into lively lessons, from the purpose of the Magna Carta to the hypothesis of the Big Bang, from the origins of Hinduism to the life of Nelson Mandela, from the geologic formation of the Grand Canyon to the definition of Pop ...... read more

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The Book of Bastards: 101 Worst Scoundrels and Scandals from the World of Politics and Power  

The Book of Bastards: 101 Worst Scoundrels and Scandals from the World of Politics and Power

Brian Thornton.

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Benedict Arnold may be the most famous American traitor, but he's certainly in good company in this frighteningly funny history book from the author of 101 Things You Didn't Know About ... ... read more

 
The Intellectual Devotional—American History: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Converse Confidently About Our Nation's Past  

The Intellectual Devotional—American History: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Converse Confidently About Our Nation's Past

David S. Kidder & Noah H. Oppenheim.

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Modeled after bedside books of prayer and contemplation, David Kidder and Noah Oppenheim's original Intellectual Devotional offered secular wisdom and cerebral nourishment through a year's ... ... read more

 
Tim Hunkin's The Rudiments of Wisdom: An A–Z of Random Peculiar and Fascinating Facts  

Tim Hunkin's The Rudiments of Wisdom: An A–Z of Random Peculiar and Fascinating Facts

Tim Hunkin.

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How does hypnosis work? What is chocolate really made of? And what do crocodiles eat for lunch? Rediscovered and revivified here in color, this is a collection of 125 entertaining and off-the-wall ... ... read more

 
The Story of English in 100 Words  

The Story of English in 100 Words

David Crystal.

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In this entertaining history of the world's most ubiquitous language, David Crystal draws on a hundred words that illustrate the huge variety of sources, influences, and events that have helped to ... ... read more

 
When Did Big Ben First Bong?: 101 Questions Answered About the Greatest City on Earth  

When Did Big Ben First Bong?: 101 Questions Answered About the Greatest City on Earth

David Long.


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From the truth about "Handel's ugly ears" to hippos running wild in Trafalgar Square, from the reason why 640 people drowned in the Thames in a single night to the tale of how Primrose Hill nearly ... ... read more

 
 
I Used to Know That: Philosophy: Stuff You Forgot From School  

I Used to Know That: Philosophy: Stuff You Forgot From School

Lesley Levene.

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"All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher," quipped Ambrose Bierce, and in this primer on great thinkers and great thoughts, classicist Lesley Levene reveals ... ... read more

 
The Bedside Baccalaureate: A Handy Daily Cerebral Primer to Fill in the Gaps, Refresh Your Knowledge & Impress Yourself & Other Intellectuals  

The Bedside Baccalaureate: A Handy Daily Cerebral Primer to Fill in the Gaps, Refresh Your Knowledge & Impress Yourself & Other Intellectuals

David Rubel, ed.

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Fill the gaps in your education and give your brain a daily dose of knowledge to chew on with this one-volume refresher course. Ranging from Rocket Science to Revolutionary France, from the Hudson ... ... read more

 
More Show Me How: Everything We Couldn't Fit in the First Book: Instructions for Life from the Everyday to the Exotic  

More Show Me How: Everything We Couldn't Fit in the First Book: Instructions for Life from the Everyday to the Exotic

Derek Fagerstrom & Lauren Smith.

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The creators of ShowMeNow.com here offer their second king-sized compendium of how-tos and what-to-dos, from improvised floor-buffing with a tennis ball on a stick to getting married in a ... ... read more

 
The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind: Revised and Expanded Third Edition  

The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind: Revised and Expanded Third Edition

Sam Tanenhaus, intro.

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The New York Times has been gathering and providing reliable information on human affairs and the natural world for more than 160 years, and that enormous base of knowledge is crystallized in ... ... read more

 
Richard Lederer's Classic Literary Trivia: From Mythology, Shakespeare, and the Bible  

Richard Lederer's Classic Literary Trivia: From Mythology, Shakespeare, and the Bible

Richard Lederer. Barry Blitt, illus.

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Do you know which of these words—dwindle, majestic, or generous—Shakespeare invented? Who was chief among the ancient Greek gods, and which goddess was responsible for love? Or which biblical figure ... ... read more

 
 
Richard Lederer's Literary Trivia  

Richard Lederer's Literary Trivia

Richard Lederer. Barry Blitt, illus.

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What fictional detective survived an attempted murder by his creator? Which American poet read one of his poems at John F. Kennedy's inauguration? By what name does the world better know Southern ... ... read more

 
Style & Circumstance: The Gentleperson's Guide to Good Grammar  

Style & Circumstance: The Gentleperson's Guide to Good Grammar

Phineas J. Caruthers.

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Stressed over syntax? Unsure about noun/verb agreement? Afraid to commit a grammatical faux pas? Fear not, dear reader; in this book you have the perfect guide to proper grammar and style. With ... ... read more

 
The Works: Every Kind of Poem You Will Ever Need at School: 10th-Anniversary Edition  

The Works: Every Kind of Poem You Will Ever Need at School: 10th-Anniversary Edition

Paul Cookson, ed.


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A rich and flavorful resource for students (aged 7 and up) and teachers, inspired by Britain's National Literacy Strategy, this 10th-anniversary edition of The Works features hundreds of ... ... read more

 
The Ultimate Book of Words Students Should Know  

The Ultimate Book of Words Students Should Know

Robert W. Bly & Burton Jay Nadler.

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An indispensable accessory for the autodidact, this petite yet compendious dictionary is packed with hundreds of 50-cent words guaranteed to make you sound smarter—or at the very least, better ... ... read more

 
Random Acts of Politeness: Eccentric, Quirky and Occasionally Suicidal Examples of Selflessness and Courtesy  

Random Acts of Politeness: Eccentric, Quirky and Occasionally Suicidal Examples of Selflessness and Courtesy

Andrew Taylor.


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In his uplifting tribute to the finest qualities of humankind, filled with amusing, occasionally astounding examples of kind and selfless acts from the worlds of sports, fashion, military, and daily ... ... read more

 
 
Remember, Remember (The Fifth of November): The History of Britain in Bite-Sized Chunks  

Remember, Remember (The Fifth of November): The History of Britain in Bite-Sized Chunks

Judy Parkinson.


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The author of the entertaining mnemonic review i before e (except after c), Judy Parkinson offers another contribution to the popular genre of school refresher books like I Used to Know ... ... read more

 
Sneaky Science Tricks  

Sneaky Science Tricks

Cy Tymony.

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Since grade school, inventor and slightly mad scientist Cy Tymony has been finding innovative ways to use common items—a talent that naturally led to his Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things series of ... ... read more

 
The How-To Handbook: Shortcuts and Solutions for the Problems of Everyday Life  

The How-To Handbook: Shortcuts and Solutions for the Problems of Everyday Life

Martin Oliver & Alexandra Johnson.

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Ideal for the young adult preparing for a newly independent life—or anyone who needs or prefers to be more self-reliant—this little handbook offers illustrated, step-by-step instructions for 50 ... ... read more

 
The Classical Tradition  

The Classical Tradition

Anthony Grafton, Glenn W. Most & Salvatore Settis, eds.

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How do we get from the polis to the police? Or from Odysseus’s sirens to an ambulance’s? The legacy of ancient Greece and Rome has been imitated, misunderstood, and reworked by every Western culture ... ... read more

 
The Queen's English: An A to Zed Guide To Distinctively British Words  

The Queen's English: An A to Zed Guide To Distinctively British Words

C.J. Moore.

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One need never be flummoxed again. From "chips" and "crumbs" to "spending a penny," here is an indispensable guide to surviving and thriving in the tricky byways of the English language as the ... ... read more

 
 
A Student's Guide to Classics  

A Student's Guide to Classics

Bruce S. Thornton.

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Classics is the discipline that studies the language, literature, history, and civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, two cultures that bequeathed to the West the greater part of its intellectual, ... ... read more

 
A Student's Guide to Psychology  

A Student's Guide to Psychology

Daniel N. Robinson.

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Psychology is frequently the most popular major on campus, but it can also be the most treacherous. Philosophy and psychology professor Daniel Robinson surveys the philosophical and historical roots ... ... read more

 
A Student's Guide to Religious Studies  

A Student's Guide to Religious Studies

D.G. Hart.

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The study of religion in American higher education is fraught with difficulties that raise important questions about the nature of faith and the purpose of advanced learning, notes church historian ... ... read more

 
The Intellectual Devotional—Health: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Digest a Daily Dose of Wellness Wisdom  

The Intellectual Devotional—Health: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Digest a Daily Dose of Wellness Wisdom

David S. Kidder, Noah D. Oppenheim & Bruce K. Young.

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In this fourth installment of the Intellectual Devotional series, Noah Oppenheim and David Kidder have partnered with obstetrician Bruce K. Young to offer a year's worth of medical knowledge and ... ... read more

 
Merriam-Webster's Easy Learning Spanish in a Click  

Merriam-Webster's Easy Learning Spanish in a Click

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Learn the essentials of Spanish for everyday situations in just 12 steps with this interactive online language system from Merriam-Webster. You'll be able to listen to conversations between native ... ... read more

 
 
Merriam-Webster's Easy Learning Italian in a Click  

Merriam-Webster's Easy Learning Italian in a Click

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Learn the essentials of Italian for everyday situations in just 12 steps with this interactive online language system from Merriam-Webster. You'll be able to listen to conversations between native ... ... read more

 
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