The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
by Walter Isaacson
This well-documented book details the history of the digital revolution and the technological breakthroughs that made modern computers and the Internet possible. Isaacson makes clear that these successes were incremental over time, requiring both individual creativity and teamwork. Brisk and illuminating, The Innovators is destined to become the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation actually happens.
Formerly board chairman of CNN and Managing Editor of Time Magazine, Walter Isaacson is currently CEO of the Aspen Institute.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First edition (October 7, 2014)
Lay Siege to Heaven: A Novel about St. Catherine of Siena
by Louis de Wohl
Combining vivid biography with historical scholarship, deWohl creates a lucid, moving portrait of Catherine of Siena, a visionary saint who lived during the confused and turbulent 14th century. A leading figure within the Catholic Church, Catherine gained a reputation for wisdom and insight and was called upon to resolve disputes between warring nobles, popes and bishops, and others, including peasants. She advocated reform of the clergy and never hesitated “to speak truth to power.” Together with St. Francis of Assisi, she is one of the two patron saints of Italy.
Louis de Wohl was an internationally respected writer who wrote many books about Catholic saints. Sixteen of his books were made into movies.
Publisher: Ignatius Press (September 1, 1991)
A Man Called Intrepid: The Incredible True Story of the Master Spy Who Helped Win World War II
by William Stevenson
A national bestseller when first published in 1976, A Man Called Intrepid is the true story of Sir William Stephenson, head of British intelligence during World War II and founder of the world’s first international spy network. Code-named “Intrepid” by Winston Churchill, Stephenson was charged with exchanging top-secret information between Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in the early years of WW II, a time when Europe was overrun by the Nazis and Britain’s survival hung in the balance. Riveting and fast-paced, A Man Called Intrepid is a classic about real-life espionage, as conducted by a master.
A Man Called Intrepid was made into a 1979 mini-series starring David Niven. The author, William Henry Stevenson, a British-born Canadian author and journalist, is unrelated to Sir William Stephenson.
Publisher: Ballantine (1976)
Lassie Come Home
by Eric Knight
Set in England and Scotland after World War I, Lassie Come Home is the heartwarming story of Lassie, a female collie, and twelve-year-old Joe Carraclough, whose family is compelled to sell the dog because of financial troubles. After Lassie escapes several times from her new home, she is taken to the remotest part of Scotland, a journey presumably too far for any dog to make alone. Traveling nearly one thousand miles over punishing terrain, Lassie makes her courageous and painful way home to Joe, never to be separated again.
First published in 1940, Lassie Come Home is an unforgettable classic about the love and loyalty of a boy and his dog. In 1943, it was made into a feature film, which was later selected for inclusion in the United States National Film Registry.
Eric Knight served in the Canadian Army during World War I and later worked as a newspaper reporter and Hollywood screenwriter.
Publisher: John C. Winston, 25th edition (1945)
Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain
by Peter Egoscue
The Egoscue Method is a new breakthrough system for eliminating chronic pain without drugs, surgery, or expensive physical therapy. Developed by Pete Egoscue, a nationally renowned physiologist and sports injury consultant, the Egoscue Method claims a ninety-five percent success rate. At the heart of the program are stretches and motion exercises designed to restore proper function to muscles and joints. The Egoscue Method is founded on the theory that chronic pain arises from structural imbalances in the body caused by wrong posture and alignment, which can be corrected through exercises specifically designed to provide quick and lasting relief.
Peter Egoscue, founder of The Egoscue Method Clinic in San Diego, California, has been practicing and developing his pain-free methods since 1971.
Publisher: Bantam (February 29, 2000)
Sgt. Bilko, 1996
In this delightful American comedy, Steve Martin stars as Master Sergeant Ernest G. Bilko, who runs the motor pool at a sleepy Midwest army base. A conniving but lovable scam artist, Bilko uses the motor pool to promote betting, gambling, and all sorts of get-rich-quick schemes. His antics go largely unchallenged by his clueless commanding officer. Trouble arrives when Bilko’s old rival appears on the scene, eager to settle past scores by spearheading a review of Bilko’s records and stealing his fiancée, who may have been left at the altar one too many times.
Sgt Bilko is an adaptation of the popular 1950’s television comedy, “The Phil Silvers Show.”
Available: DVD; Rated PG
Home Alone, 1990
This Christmas comedy is about eight-year-old Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin), the youngest child of a large well-to-do family, who unwittingly gets left behind when the family rushes off to Paris for a Christmas vacation. Perceived by his family as a hopeless little geek, Kevin is delighted to be rid of them and makes the most of his situation by gorging on junk food and watching violent videos. When two would-be burglars attempt a break-in, he responds by outsmarting them and proving he can fend for himself.
The third highest-grossing film of all time, Home Alone is perfect for the whole family.
Available: DVD; Rated PG
The African Queen, 1951
This classic romantic adventure film, based on the novel by C.S. Forester, is the story of two people who are unexpectedly thrown together at the beginning of World War I. Rose Sayer (Katherine Hepburn) is a prim, strait-laced English missionary and Charley Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) is the rough-hewn American owner of the decrepit 30-foot launch, “The African Queen.” When the war erupts and Rose is forced to flee her East African mission, Allnut’s launch is the only transport available. Love blooms during their perilous river journey and, along the way, they devise a plan to sink a German warship.
In 1994, The African Queen was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. The Library of Congress deemed it “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
Available: DVD; Not Rated
The War of the Worlds, 1953
Based on H.G. Wells’ 1898 novel, The War of the Worlds, depicts a Martian invasion from outer space and the terror of an America under siege. Armed with fearsome heat-ray laser beams, aliens emerge from their spaceships intent on destroying all humanity. Unable to penetrate the alien force fields with even the most advanced atomic weaponry, the military appears helpless in the face of the alien menace. But just when all seemed lost, the Martian invasion suddenly comes to a grinding halt. Despite of their advanced technology, the aliens themselves have no defense against the earth’s viruses and bacteria to which humanity has long been immune.
Considered one of the best science fiction films of all time, The War of the Worlds won an Academy Award for the best special effects.
Available: DVD; NR
Ever After: A Cinderella Story, 1998
This updated version of the Cinderella classic tells the story of Danielle (Drew Barrymore), a resourceful young woman who is forced into servitude after the death of her father. Upon reading Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, Danielle dreams of running her deceased father’s estate without interference from her wicked stepmother. Through a chance encounter, Danielle meets Prince Charming, a young man struggling to find his own identity, and there is an instant attraction. But their blossoming love is blocked at every turn by the wicked stepmother who wants her own daughter to become the queen.
Recommended for both adults and children.
Available: DVD; PG-13
Related reading: Finding Happiness – Day by Day by Swami Kriyananda