Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A New You For the New Year

As the new year approaches many people find themselves taking stock of their past year, analyzing their accomplishments and failures and deciding on new goals and resolutions for the coming year. For many it's a surprisingly tough part of the year, as all the stress of the holiday season melts away and finds us at our most introspective and self-critical. We criticize ourselves for the sweets we ate at Christmas, the choices that didn't yield quite the results we expected, or the relationships that ended. Self-introspection can be a powerful (and, indeed, necessary) thing, but we have to engage in it in a way that yields positivity and proactivity.

At Cosimo our motto is "Be inspired. Be informed." Our motto is not just about understanding the world around us, however--it's also about the importance of understanding ourselves and inspiring ourselves (and our readers) to be stronger, better people. With that in mind, we'd like to recommend a few spirituality and personal development titles that we love, and which help the reader generate positivity and understanding both outwards to others and inwards towards the self. We think they're the perfect companion to a New Year's resolution, and guidebooks to a New You in the New Year.

Mystic Journey: Getting to the Heart of Your Soul's Story, by Robert Atkinson
Mystic Journey is an award-winning work on the process of "soul-making," helping the reader understand themselves and connect to others. It asks the reader to recognize the "patterns of transformation" that unfold in our lives, and how we all share a spiritual heritage. Mystic Journey is a wonderful text for those interested in practicable soul-making and self-actualization. Mystic Journey is available via Google Books, Amazon (for Kindle and Paperback), Barnes & Noble (for Nook and Paperback), and is available for digital download at a special December price of just $4.99 at reKiosk.

The Joy of Ritual: Spiritual Recipes to Celebrate Milestones, Ease Transitions, and Make Every Day Sacred, by Barbara Biziou
Our September Book of the Month, Biziou's Joy of Ritual is a recipe book for fortifying the soul. Biziou's recipes integrate ritual and spiritual practices into our daily lives to help us cope with transitions and changes. By integrating the sacred into our lives, rituals allow us to stabilize our lives and transform the ordinary into moments of reflection and self-understanding. This easy-to-use recipe book provides practicable ceremonies the reader can use in their daily life to center themselves, or to honor special occasions and milestones. The Joy of Ritual is available in various digital formats, including for the Kindle, as well as in paperback. Be sure to check out Biziou's new website, with weekly vlogs and affirmations.

The Self-Inquiry Process: Using Powerful Questions to Awaken Awareness, by Linda Brierty
Brierty's Self-Inquiry Process is an experiential workbook for the reader seeking to understand themselves through an active questioning of the self. The Self-Inquiry Process guides the reader through a journey of self-discovery through the positing of questions, from simple and direct to more complex questions like "What is the difference between surrender and giving up?" The workbook is meant to help the reader better understand--and love--themselves. The Self-Inquiry Process is available in Paperback via Amazon and B&N, for Kindle, Nook, and other eReader formats.

The Book of Balance, by Yasuhiko Genku Kimura
"The Tao Eternal is beyond definition. / No name given can capture its eternality."
Translated from Tao Teh Ching, by Lao Tzu, The Book of Balance provides a foundation for the reader to gain spiritual insight and character development. Lao Tzu is often considered the founder of philosophical Taoism, and this translation is considered a particularly artful translation, maintaining the poetics of the text without sacrificing its complexity. The Book of Balance is a challenging yet rewarding read, available as a Google Book, for Kindle, and in Paperback via B&N and Amazon.

Everything You Want to Know About TM--Including How to Do It, by John White
TM, or Transcendental Meditation, is a powerful form of meditation that helps reduce stress and create a state of relaxed awareness. White provides a comprehensive history of TM and other forms of meditation, allowing the reader to understand the deep history of the process they are about to undertake. White's history and analysis of TM provides a helpful background to the TM user, who can then use the chapter "How to Do TM" to begin practicing TM themselves. White's work is available in Paperback and for Kindle via Amazon, for Nook and in Paperback via B&N, and in various digital formats at reKiosk.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Mystic Journey on Sale for the Holidays

For a limited time only we're offering Mystic Journey, Getting to the Heart of Your Soul's Story, by Robert Atkinson, at a special holiday price; till the end of the month you can purchase a digital copy of this enlightening work for just $4.99 for your Kindle or other eReader (also available in paperback).
"Over time, I became even more curious about what it was that inspires and motivates elders to live life so deeply. That was the seed of what ultimately led me years later to a career in teaching human development and helping people tell their life stories." - Robert Atkinson, in an interview with reKiosk contributor Firouz Ardalan 
Mystic Journey was recently awarded the 2013 Bronze Living Now Book Award in the "enlightenment & spirituality" category. This life-changing work instructs readers on the process of "soul-making," helping them determine who they are, connecting them to both themselves and others, and transforming their lives for the better. Through Mystic Journey the reader gets to the "heart of their soul's story."

For more information on Robert Atkinson and soul-making, check out his website, featuring the author's personal reflections about the mystic journey and excerpts from this award-winning title. And check out this fascinating interview with online marketplace reKiosk, wherein Atkinson discusses how he became fascinated with the telling of personal stories, the soul's journey, and how modern technology has changed the way we interact with ourselves and others.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Series of the Month: The Complete Works of Charles Dickens

"Marley was dead, to begin with. There was no doubt whatever about that." - A Christmas Carol

As the author of one of the most well-loved (and oft-retold) Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens remains inextricably linked in our minds to the holiday season. Who can help but think of Ebenezer Scrooge and the ghosts that visit him, reminding him of the spirit of Christmas and kindness? Every holiday season this beloved tale is broadcast on television, presented on stage, and read by fireside. It's a quintessential holiday text that has inspired many a disgruntled person to utter the phrase "Bah! Humbug!"

A Christmas Carol remains one of the most popular Dickens adaptations despite the fact that it's one of Dickens' slighter works; as a novella, it's quite a bit shorter than the average Dickensian epic. But did you know it's not the author's only Christmas tale? Two entire volumes of The Complete Works of Charles Dickens are devoted to his Christmas stories. The volume entitled "A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books" includes: A Christmas CarolThe ChimesThe Cricket on the HearthThe Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man and The Ghost's Bargain. The volume simply called "Christmas Stories" includes tales Dickens originally published in his own magazines, including: The Seven Poor Travelers, The Holly-tree Inn, The Haunted House, The Schoolboy's Story, and What Christmas Is as We Grow Older."
"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!"   - A Christmas Carol
It's in celebration of Dickens's endearing and enduring work that we chose The Complete Works of Charles Dickens as our Series of the Month for December. This month we celebrate Dickens' incredible talents as the author of some of the world's most beloved and well-known novels. We celebrate a man whose works remain foremost in the popular imagination, continually serving as a source for adaptation to stage and screen. Indeed, the grandiose scope of his works practically beg for film and stage adaptations, as these stories remain relevant and compelling: themes regarding man's struggle to be good, the cruelness of class struggle, and a person's desire to belong remain as relevant today as they were in Dickens' Victorian London.
"Welcome, old aspirations, glittering creatures of an ardent fancy, to your shelter underneath the holly! We know you, and have not outlived you yet." - What Christmas Is as We Grow Older

The Complete Works of Charles Dickens is a 30-volume set reproduction of the original edition, complete with original illustrations, in affordable paperback or beautiful hardcover. This essential collection is available as a wonderful gift set or by individual volume. 

Please contact us today for a special discount of 20% off the list price for the full set, or purchase your particular favorites by volume at Amazon or Barnes & Noble online.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Twelve Years a Slave Now Available

"Having been born a freeman, and for more than thirty years enjoyed the blessings of liberty in a free State--and having at the end of that time been kidnapped and sold into Slavery, where I remained, until happily rescued in the month of January, 1853, after a bondage of twelve years--it has been suggested that an account of my life and fortunes would not be uninteresting to the public."

We're pleased to announce that we now offer Solomon Northup's powerful, heartbreaking biographical tale Twelve Years a Slave in both paperback and hardcover, reproduced from its original edition.

This work, originally published in 1853, details Northup's experiences as a free Black man sold into slavery. This harrowing narrative provided factual validation for Harriet Beecher Stowe's fictional Uncle Tom's Cabin. Stowe's work was often maligned and ridiculed by plantation owners who refused to acknowledge the true treatment of slaves in the United States, but Northrup's detailed account of his treatment solidified the facts of the situation, particularly because his enslavement was geographically near the setting of Stowe's work.

Twelve Years a Slave was a bestseller in its time and remains one today. Northrup's work sold approximately 30,000 copies copies when it was first released, and has made the Top Ten of the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestseller list for 2013. Renewed interest in this work stems, in part, to a recent film adaptation by Steve McQueen, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, and Brad Pitt. It is considered a contender for major honors during the upcoming awards season and has sparked continued debate about the history of this nation and how we represent its events onscreen.

Twelve Years a Slave is available in hardcover and paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online. This must-read is available in a beautiful replica hardcover edition for just $19.79 at Amazon.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

NYPD Commissioner Cites Children's Book as Inspiration

At Cosimo we believe wholeheartedly in the idea that books can inspire, inform, and change people for the better. This belief encourages us to publish new works that challenge the way we think about business practice, personal well-being, and public affairs. It's also why we publish reproductions of ground-breaking Classics like Twelve Years a Slave. We believe that all books--whether they be renowned Classics or fledgling new releases--can absolutely change someone's life.

That's why we loved hearing about Bill Bratton, the new NYPD police commissioner, who recently suggested that a book inspired him to become a police officer. When Bratton's position was announced, the newly-announced commissioner clutched a copy of Your Police, the children's book by George Zaffo. Bratton says this children's book--about understanding the police and how they operate in a big city--inspired a life-long love of the NYPD and policing.

Bratton's appreciation has inspired renewed interest in this forgotten treasure. Though sadly George Zaffo has passed on, Zaffo's son Thomas says the family is enjoying the attention that Bratton has brought to his father's work, suggesting all this press "would have been one kick for him."

Here's hoping that Your Police finds its way back to bookshelves soon, possibly even as a Cosimo Classic. A title that can inspire a man to rise to the rank of police commissioner is certainly a title that inspires and informs.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Nelson Mandela 1918-2013

Today the memorial for Nelson Mandela is being held in Johannesburg. The interfaith ceremony features prayers, eulogies by members of Mandela's family, and remarks by four presidents and a vice-president. It is expected that the 95,000-capacity stadium where the memorial will take place will be filled, and fittingly so for a man whose impact on the world he leaves behind is inexpressible. As South African President Jacob Zuma said:
"Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father. Although we knew that this day would come, nothing can diminish our sense of a profound and enduring loss. His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, his compassion, and his humanity earned him their love."
We feature today an interview with Cosimo author Danny Schechter, who has spent years working in South Africa and released six films about Mandela. Schechter most recently published Madiba A to Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela in conjunction with the release of the Mandela biopic Long Walk to Freedom. In an interview with Democracy Now!, Schechter talks about Mandela's enduring legacy and his experiences in South Africa.

For more on South African history and Mandela's influence, check out Schechter's Blogothon: Reflections and Revelations from the News Dissector, available for Kindle, Nook, and in paperback. In Blogothon, Schechter devotes a chapter to his experiences in South Africa over the first decade of the 21st century, including the corruption and deprivation he witnessed "Twenty-one Years After 'Freedom'". We also recommend readers interested in understanding the foundations of apartheid in South Africa pick up a copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Great Boer War, which details the war in South Africa between the British Army and Dutch settlers (available in paperback at B&N and Amazon).

For more on Mandela's legacy--including musical tributes and a glimpse at how front pages around the world are memorializing this great man--see the New York Times' coverage.

Classic of the Month: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

"The sweet generousness of his work caused a few selfish folk to sneer, but even these were forced to admit their respect for a man so gentle-natured that he loved to devote his life to pleasing the helpless little ones of his race."

Our Classic of the Month is The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, a wonderful 'history' of Santa Claus from L. Frank Baum, the author who brought us the beloved tale The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus provides an unusual and fanciful origin story for Santa, suggesting that Neclaus was abandoned as a baby and adopted by the fairy queen Necile (Neclaus meaning "Necile's Little One"). Baum's Santa is a mortal living among fairies and other fantastical creatures.

 As an adult he returns to the human world to discover it is full of dark things like poverty and war; as a result of what he has witnessed, Neclaus makes it his mission to gladden the hearts of the world's children. He settles in the Laughing Valley of Hohaho and brings toys to all children (both good and bad) because
"He knew that the best of children were sometimes naughty, and that the naughty ones were often good. It is the way with children, the world over, and he would not have changed their natures had he possessed the power to do so."

This wonderfully unique version of the Claus story weaves traditional tales of Santa Claus with epic battles against evil creatures. Readers learn the origins of Santa's first toy, how he found his reindeer, and why the first stockings were hung by the fireplace. Interwoven with these charming stories are lessons to learn about kindness, humanity, and charity.

Originally published in 1902, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus continues to charm and inspire children every year. It has been reproduced for television and film, and was even turned into a graphic novel by well-known artist Mike Ploog.

This wonderful book is available in affordable paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble online.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Book of the Month: The Christmas Mice

"Isn't that strange? It took some babies to teach grown-ups to be nice to each other. Do you suppose that has anything to do with Christmas?" - The Christmas Mice

Our Book of the Month for December is The Christmas Mice, a charming children's tale about two young mice who are outcasts because they differ from the average mouse--Roger and Emily are born green and red, the colors of Christmas.

The other mice tease them for being different ("...they weren't nicemice--they were meanmice"), so Roger and Emily live in the forest away from the others. As time goes by, however, Roger is inspired by both the birth of his children and the presence of a majestic Christmas tree to reach out to the other mice and teach them about love, difference, acceptance, and brotherhood.

The moral of The Christmas Mice is told with great humor by author John White, whose sweet and clear prose are enhanced by the whimsical full-color illustrations provided by Dorothy L. Hall.

The story's moral, coupled with its emphasis on the meanings and joys of Christmas, makes The Christmas Mice a perfect book to read to the young child in your life.

The Christmas Mice is available in digital formats at a special price of only $6.99 via reKiosk, in paperback at Amazon, and in paperback and for your Nook at Barnes & Noble online. It is also available for your Kindle.

About the Author:
John White is an internationally-known author in the fields of consciousness research and higher human development. You can find his most recent work on America, Freedom and Enlightenment at his blog here, and look for his forthcoming book of the same name.

About the Illustrator:
Dorothy L. Hall is an illustrator, art teacher, and cartoonist. You can see more of her work here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Holiday Selections for the Book Worm

As the holidays approach, we'd like to offer some suggestions for the Book Worm in your family.

You can check out our Classic Holiday Books page here, but we'd like to make some additional suggestions for the various types of literature lovers in your family.


The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, by L. Frank Baum

From the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, comes a charming work that imagines Santa Claus was raised by a fairy  queen in an enchanted forest. This wonderful paperback tale explains why Santa travels at night, enters homes by chimney, and how Santa ended up traveling with the eight reindeer we know so well. [B&N/Amazon]


Household Stories by the Brothers Grimm, by Jacob Grimm & Wilhelm Grimm

Any fairy tale lover will enjoy this replica of an 1886 edition of tales by the Brothers Grimm. This lovely addition features 53 of their beloved stories, translated by Lucy Crane and featuring line drawings by her brother, William Crane. These wonderfully creepy tales are available in hardcover and paperback. [B&N/Amazon]


Mothman and Other Curious Encounters, by Loren Coleman

This haunting book details encounters with strange and wondrous creatures, including thunderbirds, lizardmen, and the infamous Mothman. It even includes extensive appendices that detail areas of the US that suffer from "high strangeness"--an affinity for supernatural phenomena and unusual occurrences. Mothman is a great introduction to cryptozoology scholarship, and one of many unique cryptozoology titles available at Cosimo in paperback or digital formats. [B&N/Kindle/Amazon/ePub formats]


Abraham Lincoln: A History (10 volume set), by John M. Hay and John G. Nicolay

Our large collection of American history books includes many works by and about the American Presidency.

 This incredible 10-volume set (available by individual volume or set) details Lincoln's life and administration as told by his personal secretaries, Hay and Nicolay. These replica volumes are available and hardcover or paperback, and feature the original illustrations. History fans can read the whole series or select volumes based on particular interest, including his childhood, early legislative practices, or the Civil War. (Contact us directly for a discounted full-set price.) [Amazon/B&N]

For more suggestions visit our shop to browse by interest.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday Sales

It's Cyber Monday! 

In honor of this busiest of e-tail days, we've got some special promotions!

reKiosk E-Titles ON SALE
All of our eBooks available at reKiosk are under $9.99 for the entire month of December! Half of our titles are as little as $6.99 in various digital formats for your eReader. (Titles available in .pdf, .mobi, and .epub.) Browse our e-Kiosk here for discounted titles on topics including self-help, paranormal events, and spirituality.

20% OFF on Series and Collections
Be sure to browse our online shop as well for other wonderful books available in hard and soft cover. We are currently offering 20% off the list price and free shipping to the contiguous U.S. on our unique and beautiful collections and series, including The Complete Works of Charles Dickens, Arabian Nights, and The Five Foot Shelf of Classics. (Please contact us directly to order a full set at this specially reduced price!)

Christmas Titles and Other Classics Available
If you're looking for a gift for a fan of the Classics, check out our Classic Holiday Books page for suggestions including The Christmas Mice, a charming child's tale with beautiful color illustrations available both via the reKiosk digital sale and in paperback. This charming tale of two friendly mice is just one of our lovely Christmas titles. We also have Classics like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Presidential Origins of Thanksgiving

When we think of Thanksgiving we often think of the pilgrims, cornucopias, turkeys, and pumpkin pie. Days of Thanks are celebrated in many nations throughout the world, including Canada (on the second Monday in October), Grenada (October 25th), and Liberia (November 1st).

The roots of these holidays are varying, but the heart of the day remains thankfulness for health and prosperity. In Grenada, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of a bloody battle and political upheaval. After a coup led to the assassination of Grenada's Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, American troops joined troops from Jamaica, Barbados, and the eastern Caribbean to intervene and restore order.

Here in the States, of course, Thanksgiving's roots are usually traced to a harvest feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. English emigres to the States brought with them a tradition of Thanksgiving feasts which carried on through the years and even transformed into larger Harvest Festivals.

Most Americans associate Thanksgiving with the pilgrims and Puritans of Plymouth, Massachusetts, but few realize what a significant impact the American Presidency has had on the holiday. Indeed, some of our nation's most celebrated president's have made Thanksgiving what it is today. In 1789, Congress passed a resolution regarding Thanksgiving, asking President George Washington to mark one day that year as a
 "day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness." 
Washington set November 26, 1789 (a Thursday) for this day of thanks.

For Washington, Thanksgiving was clearly a day in which people thanked and celebrated God, and not each other, for the blessings in their lives. It was also a day to remember America's troubled history and the unifying force of its new government. In his Thanksgiving Proclamation, Washington thanked God for protecting the American people before and during the Revolutionary War, and for "render[ing] our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws...". Like the Pilgrims, Washington viewed Thanksgiving as a religious holiday, but his religious praise was steeped in political rhetoric and the language of a man leading a young nation.

Seventy-four years later, President Abraham Lincoln would establish the holiday we all know today, a yearly national holiday held on the last Thursday of November. Like Washington, Lincoln viewed Thanksgiving as a day to praise God for his many blessings in a time troubled by war. In his Proclamation of Thanksgiving, issued October 3, 1863, Lincoln thanked God for his "gracious gifts" of law and order, peace among nations, growing and continued industry, population growth, and an American people
"rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor...permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom."
 In other words, though the nation was as yet embroiled in a divisive and bloody war, God and the coming years held the promise of peace and prosperity. Lincoln asked the American people to thank and praise God for his blessings while remembering to "commend to His tender care" those harmed--directly or indirectly--by the Civil War.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would later (briefly) move Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of the month, reasoning that this move would boost sales (and the economy) by providing stores a few extra days between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in which to conduct business. This change was short-lived, however, as it proved unpopular with a nation used to its tradition and unhappy with an economically-based change to its beloved holiday. Roosevelt would restore the holiday to its traditional date in 1941.

Decades later, Thanksgiving is still celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Though for many it has lost its religious connotations, it remains for all a day of grateful appreciation for the blessings we've received throughout the year.

For more wise words from Washington and Lincoln, check out George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior, our series of the month Abraham Lincoln: A History (available individually, or as a set by contacting us directly), and Abraham Lincoln: The Gettysburg Speech and Other Pages.

Friday, November 22, 2013

On the Anniversary of JFK's Assassination

 "It has been half a century and so many lifetimes ago, yet the images from November 1963 remain haunting, blurred into our national consciousness." - Bob Schieffer of CBS News
On this day in 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed. It is a day that brought Americans together in sorrow, and yet divided them in the years to come. The nation collectively mourned the loss of its charismatic and powerful leader, yet questioned reports about how the events of that day unfolded.

Half a century later, official reports detailing the events of that day are still questioned by conspiracy theorists and concerned citizens who believe there is more to the story than what they've been told. Whether they doubt the reason behind the shooting or whether accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, many Americans find themselves still unconvinced by what the Warren Commission and the Assassination Records Review Board have stated.

The events of this day have been affirmed and questioned alike throughout American media. Oliver Stone's polarizing film JFK affirmed conspiracy theorists, found itself largely maligned by critics, and yet it received Academy Awards. A recently-released thriller called Parkland--centered on the events at Parkland Memorial Hospital--validates official reports about Oswald. These fictionalized accounts of the assassination remain a stark reminder that our nation is still intrigued, confused, and divided by that day in Texas. These films also remind us that--despite having actual footage of the assassination itself--we still know little about how and why these events occurred. We are left to piece together eyewitness reports, like those of the doctors at Parkland, with the official reports of the Warren Commission, trying desperately to bring some semblance of understanding to this event. Yet however much information we collect this day remains, in many ways, entirely unknowable.

John F. Kennedy
May 29, 1917 - November 22, 1963

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wishing reKiosk a Happy Anniversary

Today we congratulate the team at reKiosk on their anniversary!

We recently partnered with this unique "digital marketplace" to expand the digital reach of our titles. At reKiosk we are able to offer our titles in a variety of digital formats, making it easier for you to find a version of our books that's compatible with the many eReaders and other digital devices you use in your daily life.

We value our partnership with reKiosk because our mission statement goes hand in hand with theirs.
Our Mission is to create a smart and sustainable society by connecting people with valuable ideas; we offer authors and organizations full publishing support, while using the newest technologies to present their works in a timely and effective way.

As a publishing company, we seek to help independent authors, and reKiosk is using new technologies to help independent artists of all kinds. What's more, they have a similar goal at heart: to spread knowledge and ideas to the world. Like us, they believe in the power of the independent artist.

We're proud to partner with them, and we wish them another great year of innovation and inspiration!

Learn more about reKiosk at their homepage and blog. You can also follow them on Twitter @reKiosk or visit their Facebook page. Check out our storefront, which offers special discounts on particular titles each month.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Gettysburg Address: 150 Years Later

"But the long story is that no single American utterance has had the staying power, or commanded the respect and reverence, accorded the Gettysburg Address. It has been engraved...translated...and analyzed in at least nine book-length critical studies over the last century." -- Allen C. Guelzo, "Lincoln's Sound Bite: Have Faith in Democracy"

We've been so busy we almost missed this important anniversary: the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address! At only 272 words, it's a rather short speech for a President, yet the Gettysburg Address remains one of the most well-known speeches in American Presidential history.

"Four score and seven years ago..." is an introduction we all know, yet how many Americans know the details that surround this speech? For example, that Lincoln's speech was not the only one given that day, as Edward Everett gave a much longer oration as well? It's a testament to Lincoln's powers as an orator and writer that school children do not learn word one of the two-hour speech Everett delivered.

In honor of this anniversary we provide some links to interesting and fun articles about the address:
  • "Lincoln's Sound Bite: Have Faith in Democracy," by Allen C. Guelzo. Here the author examines the reasons behind the Address' staying power in American history, detailing why it was--and is--considered a "landmark" speech.
  • This famous speech went through multiple drafts: you can compare the text of five known copies (including the most-often replicated 'Bliss Copy') here.
  • To commemorate the anniversary, special events were held on the fields of Gettysburg, including a reading of the Address by a Lincoln impersonator. Check out the video below for a vignette about what it's like being a Lincoln impersonator!

To learn more about the Gettysburg Address and other significant Lincoln works, check out Abraham Lincoln: The Gettysburg Speech and Other Papers, our Series of the Month Abraham Lincoln: A History (in hardcover or paperback), or The Lincoln Year Book: Axioms and Aphorisms From the Great Emancipator, by Wallace Rice (paperback).

Spotlight on Darwin Gillett and Building Noble Corporate Enterprises

"...This book is about how to make a business far more successful by paying attention to the inner power of people and organizations catalyzed by working toward higher, more inspiring goals and working together in a spirit of unity and connection." - Darwin Gillett's Introduction to Noble Enterprise
Darwin Gillett in action
Since its publication in 2008, Darwin Gillett's Noble Enterprise: The Commonsense Guide to Uplifting People and Profits continues to inspire corporate entities to strengthen their organizations by focusing on human capital, harnessing (and nurturing) the human spirit to create vital and thriving businesses. This revolutionary work asks people to imagine a business model centered around a "new consciousness."

Gillett argues that people crave meaningful and rewarding work, and that customers desire to do business with people and organizations of higher ethics, thus "nobility" must be added to the business world and its strategies because nobility can attract and inspire people and drive "positive change and business performance." In other words, Noble Enterprise suggests that corporate entities can be both ethical and highly successful by awakening and activating the "rich array of human energy, wisdom, passion, and purpose" of those within their organization. Noble business strategies are, in short, a means to yield both monetary and spiritual returns.

Noble Enterprise has been embraced by academics and business strategists alike; it has been used in MBA courses and executive programs at Boston College, Fordham University, and Washington University of St. Louis, and remains a "Top Business Book" pick by business thought leader and consultant John Spence. Indeed, Spence's list of the "Top 50 Business Books of All-Time" was created at the behest of Spence's MIT students, and Spence has recently stated that Noble Business is in his personal Top 10 of business books, as it gets "to the heart and soul of what it takes to run a truly successful business in modern times," providing "actionable ideas to help the reader" create a business that "uplifts people, delights customers and creates sustainable profitability and success."

Gillett continues to inspire the integration of nobility into business strategy through his consulting business, publications, and speaking engagements. Gillett speaks to corporations and organizations about topics such as improving leadership, creating sustainable competitive advantage, managing human capital and socially-responsive businesses.
The Western business world is so Mind-centered and Action oriented, that it does not even see the Heart, steadily at work building and fueling great companies.
 Last year Mr. Gillett spoke at an international business conference on "Profits and Social Values: Closing the Gap," sponsored by Fundação Dom Cabral, a renowned Brazilian business school. This year Gillett published "The INVISIBLE HEART: Want Great Performance? Then Call Forth the Great Hidden Resource in Business - the Human Heart" in the school's management magazine. "The INVISIBLE HEART" details Gillett's discovery that when "heart" is integrated into business practices great results follow. The article also shows how businesses and individuals can integrate heart into their lives.

 Gillett is currently working with colleagues Ken Bardach, Bill Catucci, and Karen Jeisi to create a "Leadership Guidebook" for Noble Leaders. You can learn more about Noble Enterprise at the Noble Advisors website, where you can find information about Gillett's speaking engagements, Noble publications, and consulting. Noble Enterprise is available in paperback and for Kindle at Amazon & Barnes & Noble online.

Monday, November 18, 2013

NPR on the "Inconsistencies" that Haunt Us After JFK's Assassination

On November 10th, National Public Radio aired  "Inconsistencies Haunt Official Record Of Kennedy's Death." This feature, by Weekend Edition contributor Marcus D. Rosenbaum, concerns an investigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination, as conducted by the Assassination Records Review Board.

This Board was established by Congress in 1992, a year after Oliver Stone's controversial film J.F.K. sparked renewed conversation about conspiracy theories and the findings of the Warren Commission, who determined that assassin Lee Harvey Oswald worked alone.

This fascinating report details the findings of Dr. T. Jeremy Gunn, who served as director of research and general counsel (and later as executive director) of the Assassination Records Review Board. As Rosenbaum notes at the conclusion of this piece, regardless of Gunn's findings (and indeed, perhaps because of them):
"Fifty years later, this case has still not been closed in the arena of public opinion."
Listen to the full interview here. For more on Kennedy's assassination, check out Trauma Room One, which provides first-hand accounts of the injuries Kennedy sustained, as reported by one of the doctors who attended him. This compelling work argues that Kennedy's injuries were sustained in a manner very different from official reports. It is available in hardcover and paperback at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and is available for both your Nook and Kindle, as well as in numerous digital formats for eReaders and other digital devices via reKiosk.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oliver Stone Interviewed on the Assassination of JFK

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone recently appeared on the Democracy Now! Global News Hour, discussing the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Stone was joined by the show's host, Amy Goodman, and Peter Kuznick, a professor of history who co-wrote the companion to "Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States," Stone's recent series for Showtime.

In this interview Stone takes a look at Kennedy's legacy and conspiracy theories surrounding his death. Stone has been--and remains--an avid believer that official reports of the assassination are incorrect. His fascination with the story led, of course, to his controversial film J.F.K., which opined that Kennedy's assassination was the result of a political conspiracy.

You can view the video below or read a full transcript of the interview here. (A note of warning that descriptions of President Kennedy's injuries are graphic.)

For more of Stone's thoughts on the Kennedy assassination--and for reports from one of the doctors who treated the President--check out Trauma Room One: The JFK Medical Coverup Exposed, by Charles A. Crenshaw and J. Gary Shaw, which features an introduction by Stone.

Trauma Room One is available in various digital formats at reKiosk and in both hardcover and paperback at Amazon.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book of the Month: Trauma Room One

Our Book of the Month for November provides first-hand accounts of one of the worst moments in American history: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Trauma Room One: The JFK Medical Coverup Exposed provides detailed accounts of what was witnessed in Parkland Memorial Hospital after John F. Kennedy arrived with gunshot wounds.  The book also features a compelling Foreword by director Oliver Stone.

Trauma Room One provides an eyewitness account by Dr. Charles Crenshaw, who provides compelling scientific evidence that official reports of the assassination do not match up with the physical evidence of the case. One of the many compelling claims that Crenshaw makes is that J.F.K.'s injuries were consistent with gunshots from the front, rather than the back. Many of Crenshaw's findings refute those of The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (also known as the "Warren Commission"), which determined that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) called JFK: Conspiracy of Silence, published in 1992 as a prior edition to Trauma Room One "a fabrication," but Crenshaw prevailed in a defamation suit against the Journal. Today the Warren Commission remains widely criticized for its investigative  methods, and a later investigation was undertaken in 1992 by the Assassination Records Review Board. The Board's complete findings are available here.

It is suggested that this investigation was a direct result of the release of Oliver Stone's controversial film J.F.K., which agreed with Crenshaw that Kennedy's injuries were inconsistent with the Commission's findings. Indeed, this much is noted in the Board's final report, which notes that:

"Stone suggested at the end of JFK that Americans could not trust official public conclusions when those conclusions had been made in secret. Congress passed legislation--the JFK Act--that released the secret records that prior investigations gathered and created."

Trauma Room One remains a significant historical document that continues to raise questions about Kennedy's assassination and the possibility of a conspiracy. Whether one agrees with the Warren Commission or Crenshaw's first-hand account, Trauma Room One remains a significant work, shining a light on one of the most tragic days in American history and causing debates over political transparency, government activities, and even the Presidency itself.

Trauma Room One is available in paperback and hardcover, as well as in various digital formats.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Series of the Month: Abraham Lincoln: A History

Abraham Lincoln remains a source of fascination and inspiration for writers and filmmakers even 148 years after his death. Just last year saw the release and critical acclaim for the film "Lincoln", directed by Steven Spielberg, which detailed Lincoln's efforts to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment. Then of course, on the lighter side, came the film adaptation of the eponymous novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, written by Seth Grahame-Smith and directed by Timur Bekmambetov. This unusual film asked viewers to imagine a Lincoln who lived a secret second life as an ax-wielding hunter of vampires.

Of course, works like Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter aren't based in fact, but a sense of enjoyment that comes from watching a well-known (and rather serious) historical figure do something completely ridiculous and otherworldly. (It's certainly fun to watch Lincoln don his ever-present top hat and slice into a vampire). 

The cover of the issue which detailed "Lincoln's fate"
Re-imaginings aside, it's only natural that Lincoln remains a constant in American pop culture production, as he continues to be one of the most significant and fascinating figures in American history. His impact on American history solidified his impact in its cultural creation, so it's only fitting that his story remains rife for the telling and of interest to viewers and readers. 

There are plenty of ways for those interested in Lincoln to indulge in their fascination, but one literary work remains a significant and necessary read for the most ardent Lincoln fan: the 1890 work Abraham Lincoln: A History. This ten-volume work was written by two of Lincoln's private secretaries: John Milton Hay and John George Nicolay. This comprehensive work originally appeared in fragments in The Century Magazine over a period of 4 years, upon which it was issued in the first edition now available in replica form, complete with original illustrations. As the work of two people who worked intimately with the President, A History provides an exceptionally detailed account of Lincoln's life, from his genealogical lineage, to his boyhood, early legislative work, opposition to slavery, and so on through his assassination. It remains one of the most thorough examinations of Lincoln's life and administration.

Abraham Lincoln: A History is available in beautiful hardcover or portable paperback, as a 10-volume set or by individual volume. [Full sets are available at a discount by contacting us directly.]

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Classic of the Month: Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines, Cordials and Liqueurs...

Gone are the days of bathtub gin, replaced instead by the recent craze of homebrewing your own beer. Indeed, the homebrewing trend has become particularly popular in recent years, leading to the sale of high-tech brewing gadgetry and even deluxe "Home Brew Kits" for sale online and at major retailers. It's easier than ever to brew beer in your own home. Of course, people have always concocted their own alcoholic beverages, whether they prefer red wine or a hoppy beer at the end of the day.

Old Time Recipes book cover
With a little research you'll find that you can brew not just your own beer, but also your own wines, brandies, ciders, and liqueurs, and that this wide range of tasty beverages can be produced from the simplest and most common of ingredients, from roses and raspberries, to tomatoes and even daisies. In 1909, Helen Wright published a collection of recipes for just such an array of delicious beverages. Having visited friends in New England, she found herself enjoying an "acquaintance with many varieties of home-made wines, over whose wealth of color and delicacy of flavor [her] eyes and palate longed to linger." 

The result of her travels and visits with "ladies of the Great Houses" led to a collection of recipes she published under the title Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines, Cordials and Liqueurs from Fruits, Flowers, Vegetables and Shrubs. This collection of recipes is as extensive as its title, including recipes for apple and blackberry wines, as well as American Champagne, root beer, sundry cordials and liqueurs, and three varieties of a beverage intriguingly titled "Cherry Bounce."

This wonderful collection of recipes serves as both a charming historical document (featuring a delightful introduction by Wright) and a practicable recipe book for the homebrewer. While some of the ingredients may be harder to come by in this decade (elephant's milk in particular, may be a hard find!), most of the recipes feature ingredients still accessible today at both the grocery store and even your own garden. The cider recipes (there are nine!) would make a delectable addition to your upcoming Thanksgiving feast or any brisk fall day.

Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines, Cordials and Liqueurs... is available in paperback and as a Google eBook.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cryptozoology Month Comes to a Close

Is it almost Halloween already?

It’s been such fun highlighting books about the weird and wonderful this month! Cryptozoology Month at Cosimo has indulged our love of the spooky, the unknown, and the paranormal; we’ve talked about Bigfoot, TheMothman, and even visited the Bridgewater Triangle for a glimpse at how folklore can change the way we see (and even fear!) a patch of marshy land.

Mythical MonstersIt was a strange coincidence that large sea serpents were spotted in California this month, and perhaps less of a coincidence (but no less exciting) to learn that Bigfoot may be genetically linked to an ancient species of bear. If this month has taught us anything, it’s that the world can still surprise us, and we still have lots to learn about its creatures!

Don’t forget to pick up one of our cryptozoology titles before our October sale ends--check out reKiosk for digital titles and the links below. If you’re new to cryptozoology, take a gander at our post on "LorenColeman Presents", a collection of ground-breaking cryptozoology titles on everything from dragons to Thunderbirds. You can also browse our cryptozoology titles at our homepage under “Cosimo Picks.” Be sure to check out our Classic of the Month, the first serious scientific study of Bigfoot.

Have a spooky and safe Halloween, and don’t forget: sometimes the real world is stranger than fiction!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Strange Creatures Spotted Off California Coast

As if nature knows Halloween approaches, stranger and stranger creatures have been sighted in the passing days! Not one but two "sea serpents" have been found off the coast of California in the past couple weeks. Reports indicate that two massive oarfish have been found, the first measured a whopping 18 feet, the second almost 14 feet long. They may not be the "sea monsters" of lore, but the large crowds these fish attracted prove that people are still drawn to the unexpected and unusual, particularly in nature. It also proves that with all our scientific knowledge of Mother Nature, she can still surprise us now and then.

Oarfish usually dive thousands of feet below the surface, so sightings are few and far between. It's their significant size and rarity that have resulted in their mythic association with "sea monsters" and "sea serpents." Indeed, lore continues to grow around these serpents as harbingers of disaster. As a recent news report notes, fishermen in Japan reported a surge in oarfish sightings after a major earthquake hit Chile and just before the 2011 Japan quake.

Learn more about the fascinating lore behind these strange creatures with Antoon Cornelis Oudemans' 1892 work The Great Sea Serpent, in which Oudemans' details a history of sea serpent sightings and seeks scientific explanations for these wondrous beasts, and J.P. O'Neill's The Great New England Sea Serpent, which chronicles sightings from 1638 to present day off the Gulf of Maine.

The Great Sea Serpent is available in hardcover for collectors and booklovers and in paperback for those of us who just want to read a nice affordable edition.
The Great New England Sea Serpent is available via Paraview Press in paperback or for Kindle, as well as in numerous digital formats here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Series of the Month: Loren Coleman Presents

Cryptozoology Month continues, and what a month it's been! Dr. Bryan Sykes has analyzed hair samples from creatures thought to be Yetis, and two interesting samples in the Himalayas seem to be genetically linked to an ancient form of polar bear! In other words, there's a possible species of bear that has not yet been identified, and this species could, potentially, be the type of bear that people have spotted and identified as a Yeti for decades. Here's a short clip of Dr. Bryan Sykes explaining the findings: 
Cryptozoologist and cultural behaviorist Loren Coleman has posted a thorough and fascinating explanation of Sykes' samples and the many species of bears identified in the Himalayan regions at his blog CRYPTOZOONEWS.

Clearly it's a big month for Cryptozoologists and paranormal specialists, so it's rather fitting that this month we're highlighting a series of fascinating works on the subject. Our Series of the Month is a specially-curated collection of cryptozoology titles called "Loren Coleman Presents"; each title in this series represents a significant contribution to the field. Coleman contributed a special introduction to each edition, discussing the books' contents and the authors' impact in the field. The titles included in this Series examine strange creatures throughout history, including Abominable Snowmen, werewolves, and sea serpents.

The titles available in this series include:

Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life, by Ivan T. Sanderson
This title is also our Book of the Month, representing one of the first serious scientific analyses of Bigfoot, and a work that greatly influenced Coleman and other cryptozoologists. [Paperback/Hardcover]

Curiosities of Natural History, by Francis T. Buckland (four-volume set) 
This is a replica of the 1858 third edition of Curiosities, Buckland's strange work on zoophagy, or learning about animals through eating them. Buckland was a zoologist, surgeon, and natural historian, known mainly for his writings on fish and fisheries. [Contact Cosimo for the full set or purchase individually: Paperback/Hardcover/GoogleBook]

Mythical Monsters, by Charles Gould
Gould was a geological surveyor, so his examination of strange creatures concerns partly the proofs of their existence evidenced in the land. He was particularly fascinated with dragons, the detailing of which comprise multiple chapters in this work. [Paperback/Hardcover]

Snakes: Curiosities and Wonders of Serpent Life, by Catherine C. Hopley
This work, originally published in 1882, provides a thorough examination of snakes, from facts to mythology and superstition. [Paperback/Hardcover]

The Book of Werewolves, by Sabine Baring-Gould
One of the most cited works in the study of lycanthropy, Baring-Gould's work trades in both the academic and the sensational, combining a history of werewolf and shape-shifting lore with more graphic tales of "true crime." [Paperback/Hardcover/GoogleBook]

The Dragon in China and Japan, by Marinus Willem de Visser
This comprehensive work details references to dragons in Chinese and Japanese literature and folklore; sections are meticulously divided by subject, such as "Transformations" and "The Chinese Dragon and the Dragon-Horse as Omens in Japan." [Paperback/Hardcover]

The Great Sea Serpent, by Antoon Cornelis Oudemans
Originally published in 1892, The Great Sea Serpent details sightings of serpents throughout history, and asks whether science can logically explain these sightings. Oudemans does not shy away from discounting hoaxes through vigorous application of his scientific knowledge to these accounts. [Paperback/Hardcover/GoogleBook]

The Romance of Natural History, by Philip Henry Gosse
Coleman refers to Gosse as one of the "grandfathers of cryptozoology" because of this survey of cryptids. Gosse himself took a "poetic" view of these creatures, seeking "to paint a series of pictures, the reflections of scenes and aspects in nature, which in [his] own mind awaken poetic interest..." [Paperback/Hardcover]

Thunderbirds: America's Living Legends of Giant Birds, by Mark A. Hall
Hall's work provides a thorough view of Thunderbirds, large condor-like birds spotted throughout the Americas for decades. Here Hall compiles sightings, myths, and folklore concerning Thunderbirds, and suggests that these creatures may have prehistoric predecessors. [Hardcover/Paperback/eBook]

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Classic of the Month: Abominable Snowmen - Legend Come to Life

Just saying that something does not exist neither disproves that it does, nor does it make the thing go away. Explaining something away is not the same as explaining it.
This Halloween month we're highlighting Cosimo works (both Classic and new) that embrace the paranormal and cryptozoology, the science of animals whose existence has not been proven or of hidden animals. Our Classic of the Month is one of the first in-depth and scientific examinations of Bigfoot, Ivan T. Sanderson's Abominable Snowmen - Legend Come to Life. This comprehensive study of abominable snowmen--or as Sanderson simply calls them, ABSMs--is one of the first serious scientific examinations of the existence of large "sub-humans." Sanderson's work--epitomized by the quote above--analyzes the appearance of ABSMs from the days of cavemen up through to the title's publication in 1961.

Sanderson was a respected zoologist and naturalist with multiple degrees from Cambridge University; as such, his investigative approach is entirely thorough, logical, and infused with an ethnographic sensibility. Sanderson did not believe in the existence of these animals' outright--indeed, he once disproved the existence of a supposed Jersey Devil--but rather required empirical evidence. Here Sanderson provides a comprehensive view of ABSMs: detailing reported sightings, analyzing said reports for accuracy and plausibility, and even providing biological explanations for why sightings occur in particular geographical areas and climates.  The result is an astoundingly thorough examination of ABSM sightings throughout centuries and the world.

Today Sanderson is credited with coining the term cryptozoology. (For a compelling history of the term, see Loren Coleman's "The Meaning of Cryptozoology"). In addition to Abominable Snowmen, Sanderson also contributed to the field of Ufology, and frequently appeared on television shows discussing wildlife. 

The Cosimo reprint of Abominable Snowmen includes Sanderson's original illustrations, with the addition of a wonderful introduction by cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, whose own scholarship on Bigfoot was inspired by Sanderson's work. As Coleman notes, "this book opened the minds of many to the vastness of the hominoid reports..and spotlighted for people that Bigfoot/Sasquatch research was the next area for exploration in North America." This collection is part of Cosimo's series Loren Coleman Presents, highlighting fascinating works on cryptozoology.

Abominable Snowmen is available in Paperback and Hardcover, and as a Google eBook.