Seniors

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Enjoy these short but fascinating biographies which come in under 200 pages.

Abraham Lincoln by George S. McGovern
Virginia Woolf by Nigel Nicolson
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The inspiring story of an ordinary guy who achieved two great goals that others had told him were impossible - first by setting a record for the longest automobile journey ever made around the world -- in the course of which he blasted his way out of minefields, survived a breakdown atop the Peak of Death, and came within seconds of being lynched in Pakistan. After that - although it took him 47 more years - he set another record by going to every country on Earth. He achieved this by surviving riots, revolutions, voodoo priests, pickpockets, and Cape buffalo. He survived  every kind of earthquake, cyclone, tsunami, volcanic eruption, snowstorm, and sandstorm that Nature threw at him  - and overcame attacks by crocodiles, hippos, anacondas, giant leeches, and flying crabs.

Exploring  the most extraordinary, off-grid, offbeat places on the planet, Alastair Bonnett's tour of the planet's most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no man's lands shows us the modern world from surprising new vantage points.

Central Asia has long stood at the crossroads of history. It was the staging ground for the armies of the Mongol Empire, for the nineteenth-century struggle between the Russian and British empires, and for the NATO campaign in Afghanistan. Today, multinationals and nations compete for the oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea and for control of the pipelines. Yet 'Stanland' is still, to many, a terra incognita, a geographical blank.The author takes readers along with him on his encounters with the people, landscapes, and customs of the diverse countries--Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan--he has come to love. He talks with teachers, students, politicians, environmental activists, bloggers, cab drivers, merchants, Peace Corps volunteers, and more.

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A group of trivia-obsessed grad students take a shot at a citywide trivia tournament.

Keeping one step ahead of their bookie, two L.A. gamblers embark on a winning streak that takes them to Reno, Nevada, where they enter a high-stakes poker game against the legendary Amarillo Slim.

The Kid thinks he's the best 5-card stud player in town, but The Man has never been beaten. It is therefore inevitable that they go head-on, and what a game it will be: a non-stop, stud poker duel-to-the-death to decide who will be the reigning king of the New Orleans gambling world.

Aging pool shark who believes "money won is twice as sweet as money earned", forms a profitable yet volatile partnership with a young pool hustler.

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Stories about the board game Monopoly and those who play it, ending with the Monopoly World Championship.

Explores Garry Kasparov's suggestion that IBM might have cheated for financial gain after he was roundly defeated by IBM's super-computer Deep Blue in a set of chess matches.

A journey into the world of Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor at The New York Times. Shortz has spent his entire lifetime studying, creating and editing puzzles, and has built a huge following along the way including Bill Clinton and Bob Dole.

I.S.318 is an inner-city school where more than 65 percent of students are from homes with incomes below the federal poverty level, that also happens to have the best, most winning junior high school chess team in the country. The film follows the challenges these kids face in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard.

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Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

A business commuter is targeted and hunted by a trucker for no apparent reason.

Neal Page wants to fly home to spend Thanksgiving with his family. Del Griffith leads Page on a hilarious, cross-country, wild goose chase that keeps him from tasting his turkey.

Despite their individual problems and disappointments, the Hoovers decide to support young daughter Olive's dream of competing in a California beauty pageant.

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Blue highways : a journey into America by William Least Heat Moon

Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation's backroads. William Least-Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about "those little towns that get on the map--if they get on at all--only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot Mississippi." His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation of the true American experience.

Assassination vacation by Sarah Vowell

A tour of key historic sites in America where incidents of political violence have occurred reveals lesser-known points of interest pertaining to each and shares information about how history has been shaped by popular culture and tourism.

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Documents the Vietnam War using footage from the Dick Cavett Show, archival footage and newly filmed interviews.

Recounts the assassination and excruciating final months of President James Garfield's life. A brilliant scholar, courageous general, and fervent abolitionist, Garfield never wanted the job of president. But once in office, he worked tirelessly to reunite a nation still divided 15 years after the Civil War. As he lay dying, the North and South came together to pray for his recovery.

In the early 1900s, San Francisco stood as a proud and flourishing symbol of America's recent conquest of the once-wild West. But on April 19, 1906, the city would experience an awesome reminder of the uncontrollable forces lying dormant just beneath the splendors of its cosmopolitan surface. Thirty times more powerful than the temblor that decimated northern California in 1989, this earthquake measured a ground-wrenching 8.3 on the Richter scale, resulting in the worst catastrophe suffered by a North American city in the twentieth century. Contains rare, newly restored movie footage from the period and the personal accounts of eyewitnesses.

It was the year of the Beatles and the Civil Rights Act, of the Gulf of Tonkin and Barry Goldwater's campaign for the presidency. The year that Americans learned smoking was bad for their health, and Cassius Clay became Mohammed Ali. The year that cities across the country erupted in violence and Americans tried to make sense of the assassination of their president. Based on The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964.

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Read one of these autobiographies by some of your favorite musicians.

Waylon : an autobiography by Waylon Jennings

Hitmaker, singer, innovator, producer, award-winning pioneer in the fusion of funk groove and rock, the late Rick James collaborated with go-to music biographer David Ritz, in this wildly entertaining and profound expression of a rock star's life and soul.

I, me, mine by George Harrison
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A piglet destined for eventual butchering arrives at the farmyard, is adopted by an old sheep dog, and discovers a special secret to success.

When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.

A 13-year old girl and her estranged father learn what family is all about when they adopt an orphaned flock of geese and teach them how to fly.

When young Alec Ramsay and a wild stallion are cast adrift after a shipwreck, they help each other survive on a desolate island. Based on the novel by Walter Farley.

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