Tuesday, August 30, 2016

August Book of the Month: African Unconscious by Edward Bruce Bynum

In honor of the upcoming Autumn 2016 publication of Light of Consciousness Magazine featuring an article written by one of our very own authors, Cosimo would like to highlight African Unconscious by Edward Bruce Bynum, with an introduction by Linda James Myers, as our Book of the Month.

In this extraordinary and captivating work, Edward Bruce Bynum offers his viewpoint on the roots of human existence. He believes that all humans at their deepest core are variations on the African template. In effect, we possess a shared identity and collective unconscious. This magnificent work is a blend of modern and ancient psychology that provides a relevant backdrop to humanity and our daily life. Looking at phenotypes and psychic structures that form and identify us as human beings, this book is ideal for psychologists, anthropologists, historians and anyone interested in African American history and


In the article, Bynum discusses how to awaken the Ureaus—the serpent power of spiritual transcendence within each of us—and connect to the superconscious of the universe, a topic which he researched greatly for his book Dark Light Consciousness: Melanin, Serpent Power, and the Luminous Matrix of Reality. Learn more about dark light consciousness by watching interviews with the author:

About the Author:
Edward Bruce Bynum, Ph.D., ABPP, is a psychologist, diplomat in clinical psychology, and director of the Behavioral Medicine & Anxieties Disorders clinic at the University of Massachusetts Health Services in Amherst. He is the author of five texts in psychology and three in poetry. Some of his other books include The Family UnconsciousThe Roots of Transcendence, and Families and the Interpretation of Dreams. His last volume of poetry,Chronicles of the Pig & Other Delusions, won the national 2010 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. Dr. Bynum received the Abraham H. Maslow Award from the American Psychological Association for “an outstanding and lasting contribution to the exploration of the farther reaches of the human spirit.”

Cosimo is happy to offer The African Unconscious, in paperback, and eBook formats at leading online bookstores including Barnes & Noble (paperbackNook) and Amazon (paperback,Kindle).

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Life, Death and Art in Syria - Art Exhibition Organized by Fanack

Family Without a Home
by Rafaat Bilal

By now hardly anyone can deny knowing about the terrors of the Syrian civil war, which has been raging among different factions since 2011. The number of killed, wounded, and refugees has been rising over the years. Accurate numbers are hard to come by with various sources using different numbers.

Wikipedia states:" .....a 2014 U.N. study concluded that at least 191,369 people have died in the Syrian conflict.The UN thereafter stopped collecting statistics, but a study by the Syrian Centre for Policy Research released in February 2016 estimated the death toll at 470,000, with 1.9m wounded (reaching a total of 11.5% of the entire population wounded or killed)."

In addition, approximately 4 million Syrians are refugees who mostly left for Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. Then there are refugees trying to move to Europe, many seeking to go to Germany, but a smaller portion of approximately 40,000 Syrian refugees have fled to the Netherlands.

It is in The Hague, in the Netherlands, that an art exhibition, Life, Death and Art in Syria, is organized by Fanack, an independent online media organization that provides balanced and informed analysis about the Middle East. (Fanack is a content partner with Cosimo, with whom we released a collection of classic books about the Middle East. See also Syria, The Desert and the Sown, 1907 travel literature by Gertrude Bell of the highest order.)

In this exhibit, jointly organized with Nieuwspoort, the Dutch parliamentary press club, and art gallery Frank Taal,  Syrian artists and their stories are brought together showing their interpretations and experiences of being Syrian post 2011. Both images and stories are poignant and worth your visit to Nieuwspoort, literally at the doorsteps of the Dutch parliament in The Hague - till September 15 - or visit it online. If you want to meet the artists and hear their stories over a traditional Syrian dinner, there will be a closing dinner held on Monday September 12.

"Books Are More Interesting than the Internet" - The Comeback of European Bookstores

Bookstore Dominicans in Maastricht
Print book sales seem to be increasing again (in 2015 for example in the US with 2.8%; in the UK with 1.3% ; and in the Netherlands with 3.5%.) Possibly this is also due to the come back of brick & mortar bookstores, especially in Europe with new initiatives to appeal to readers.

In Paris, for example, the Librairie des Puf, run by the publisher University Press of France, basically is an open nearly empty space, but their customers can choose from 5,000 titles published by University Press of France and over three million books from other publishers. These books can be ordered and are printed on request by an Espresso Book Machine. (ed.: Cosimo's catalog is also available through the Espresso Book Machine)

The New York Times stated in a recent article:

"It is a radical reinvention of a store that first opened its doors in 1921. The original Librairie des Puf occupied a far larger, multilevel space in the corner of Place de la Sorbonne, and had packed window displays and a bustling intellectual crowd from nearby universities. It was long a cultural and academic symbol, until it was forced to close because of falling profits and soaring rents. Then, about 10 years ago, the site was sold to a men’s­ clothing chain, much to the chagrin of locals."

Rent increases and strong competition from online bookstores caused many bookstores in Paris to close during the first decade of this century. The Paris city council then decided to do something to support culturally significant enterprises by setting up a program buying retail spaces across Paris, and renting them to bookstores at below market rates. Low overhead combined with the availability of many books on demand seems to become a successful formula for Libraire des Puf.

Also in London many bookstores are coming up with new ways of differentiating themselves from online bookstores and attracting more visitors and customers. A number of small independent bookstores are now offering friendly environments that are internet free and becoming increasingly popular with book lovers and others who want to browse books without being distracted by mobile phones and online searches.

The owner of one such a bookstore, Tenderbooks, which opened in 2014, says: “The thing about books is that they’re more interesting than the internet — we assume that everyone who comes here believes that.” The owner of another London bookstore, Libreria Books, which is also internet and coffee ­free zone, says that his store is attracting twice as many customers as anticipated and that “its old-fashioned space is clearly appealing to book lovers."

In the Netherlands, bookstores, too, have been experiencing hard times, with the demise of the Polare bookchain last year and many small bookstores closing. But new initiatives such as the Boekhandel Dominicanen (the Dominican bookstore) a bookstore located in a 700 year old Dominican church in the city of Maastricht (see picture above) are attracting customers and much attention. The British newspaper the Guardian called this: "The fairest bookshop of the world, a bookshop made in heaven”.

So, it seems hard times, caused by online bookstores, changing consumer behavior, and uncertain economic circumstances, have pushed many booksellers to become more creative: from using new print technologies to recreating the historic charm of bookstores, bookstores are coming back. Let's hope this will be an ongoing trend.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Read Books and Live Longer

New York Public Library/Wikimedia Commons
Reading books is healthy, according to a new study, "A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity", as reported in The New York Times.

"Book readers lived an average of almost two years longer than those who did not read at all.....“People who report as little as a half­hour a day of book reading had a significant survival advantage over those who did not read,” according to senior author of the study, Becca R. Levy, a professor of epidemiology at Yale...."

Also reading newspaper had similar, but weaker, effects. As a book publisher, we knew already that reading books is enjoyable and worthwhile, now we have scientific evidence that it also increases a reader's well-being. Visit a library, go to a bookstore, read a book - and live better and longer.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Happy Birthday to Classic Author Robert G. Ingersoll!

American freethinker and author Robert Green Ingersoll was born on this day in 1833! Pick up one of these great titles before heading over to The Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum to celebrate this great author.

Ingersoll was a notorious radical whose uncompromising views on religion and slavery (they were bad, in his opinion), women's suffrage (a good idea, he believed), and other contentious matters of his era made him a wildly popular orator and critic of 19th-century American culture and public life. 

In celebration of this great politician, veteran, and lawyer's birthday, Cosimo has highlighted some of his greatest works:

Some Mistakes of Moses
First published in 1879, this audaciously titled volume is a collection of short essays challenging the concept of biblical inerrancy. Focusing on the first five books of the Bible, once popularly believed to have been written by Moses, Ingersoll highlights the savageries, absurdities, injustices, and scientific inaccuracies of the writings considered noble and true by so many. As enjoyable a read as it is a provocative one, this is the lost classic of a true American original.

Considered in their day some of the finest gems of oratory, these lectures by Ingersoll feature some of his most entertaining and most insightful yet lesser known talks, including: "Eulogy on Abraham Lincoln," "Grand Future of America," "Best Portion of the Earth," "Getting Up Early in the Morning," "The Fashions and Handsome Women," "What the Railroads Have Done," "How a Man Should Treat His Wife and Children" and many more. 

Ingersoll published this lecture in 1894, a stirring tribute to the honesty, courage, and genius of a beloved leader at a time when his life and works were still within living memory. Focusing in particular on Lincoln's abhorrence of slavery and his work to defeat it as a national institution, Ingersoll offers readers today an invaluable perspective on the great President from the era immediately after his own, when his legend was being cemented in the American imagination.

As a speaker dedicated to expanding intellectual horizons and celebrating the value of skepticism, Ingersoll spoke frequently on such topics as atheism, freedom from the pressures of conformity, and the lives of philosophers who espoused such concepts. This collection of his most famous speeches includes the lectures: "The Gods" (1872), "Humboldt" (1869), "Thomas Paine" (1870), "Individuality" (1873), and "Heretics and Heresies" (1874).

Cosimo is also happy to offer a both a paperback and hardcover edition of the 12 volume series The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August Classic of the Month, Ben Hur, Releases in Theaters Next Week!

More than fifty years since its last adaption, Ben-Hur will be remade once again. The film, which releases August 19 in the United States in 2D, 3D, RealD 3D, Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, will star Boardwalk Empire actor Jack Huston alongside legendary Morgan Freeman, Toby Kebbell, Nazanin Boniadi, Haluk Bilginer and Rodrigo Santoro.

Once the best-selling and most widely read American novel by Lew Wallace, and the first work of fiction to be blessed by the PopeBen-Hur has given rise to numerous stage and film adaptions since its creation. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ chronicles the journey of Judah Ben-Hur and the life of Jesus, from Ben-Hur's quest for vengeance against the Romans and his search for his imprisoned family to the birth of Jesus in the manger and the Crucifixion. Cleverly connecting two story-lines to create both an exciting tale of adventure---with shipwrecks, chariot races, and duels---and a compelling story of love and spiritual growth, Ben-Hur has continued to engage readers and entertain audiences for more than a century.

Cosimo is proud to offer this title in both hardcover and paperback at leading online bookstores including Barnes & Noble (hardcoverpaperback) and Amazon (hardcoverpaperback).

Celebrate our August Classic of the Month by reading this great book before grabbing your popcorn and heading to a movie theater near you!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

US Constitution Becomes Best-Seller After Democratic Convention Speech

Last week the Democratic National Convention was held in Philadelphia, a city with a history as rich as one can get in the U.S., as one of the nation's capitals in the Revolutionary War and a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution in 1787.

It was in this city that the Constitution again drew attention, after Muslim-American lawyer Khizr Khan, whose son was killed while serving in Iraq, gave a speech criticizing the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accusing Trump of not knowing the Constitution and offering him his own copy of the Constitution to read.

Just within a few days, the Constitution reached the Top 10 best-selling books on Amazon, showing the power of national television - as if most viewers had not heard of the Constitution before.

If you didn't buy your own copy of the Constitution yet, or if you want to offer a nice hardcover copy to your friends and family, then we are happy to present Cosimo's The Constitution of the United States and Other Historical American Documents, which includes in one volume the three founding documents of the United States and another that altered and divided the Union for a brief moment in history: The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The Constitution, and The Constitution of the Confederate States, created after the attempt to secede from the Union. Together, these four documents offer a firsthand perspective on the political history of the United States and are a great gift for anyone who wants to have those American founding documents at hand - whether it's to fact-check during the upcoming Presidential debates or just to kniw what the Constitution has to say.

Cosimo offers this volume in hardcover, paperback and ebook.