In this lively and engaging history, Madelon Powers recreates the daily life of the barroom, exploring what it was like to be a “regular” in the old-time saloon of pre-prohibition industrial America. Through an examination of saloongoers across America, her investigation offers a fascinating look at rich lore of the barroom—its many games, stories, songs, free lunch customs, and especially its elaborate system of drinking rituals that have been passed on for decades.

Mrs. Dawes used to work at the Danvers Mental Hospital for the Insane during the 1980’s, and she thought it was all in the past. Now, in 1999, she’s a workaholic psychiatrist doting on troubled teens, but she’s so busy with her career, that her own teenage son, Rudger, is rebelling and spinning out of control. After an incident that flooded the entire floor of his junior high school, he’s been suspended, seemingly for good. His mother thinks that by traveling to the abandoned mental hospital from her university days in Massachusetts, it’ll be a chance to reconnect with Rudger and recover her own lost memories from many years back. Of course, the sinister old Victorian pillars and arches have absorbed the horrors of previous eras, from lobotomies to electroshock therapy, and things won’t be going as planned. After all, some places are better left alone…

Two young women, living centuries apart, both accused of madness, communicate across time to fight a common enemy… their doctors.

“It was the dog who found me.”

Such is the stark confession launching the harrowing scene that begins The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls as Emilie Autumn, a young musician on the verge of a bright career, attempts suicide by overdosing on the antipsychotics prescribed to treat her bipolar disorder. Upon being discovered, Emilie is revived and immediately incarcerated in a maximum-security psych ward, despite her protestations that she is not crazy, and can provide valid reasons for her actions if someone would only listen.

Treated as a criminal, heavily medicated, and stripped of all freedoms, Emilie is denied communication with the outside world, and falls prey to the unwelcome attentions of Dr. Sharp, head of the hospital’s psychiatry department. As Dr. Sharp grows more predatory by the day, Emilie begins a secret diary to document her terrifying experience, and to maintain her sanity in this environment that could surely drive anyone mad. But when Emilie opens her notebook to find a desperate letter from a young woman imprisoned within an insane asylum in Victorian England, and bearing her own name and description, a portal to another world is blasted wide open.

As these letters from the past continue to appear, Emilie escapes further into this mysterious alternate reality where sisterhoods are formed, romance between female inmates blossoms, striped wallpaper writhes with ghosts, and highly intellectual rats speak the Queen’s English.

But is it real? Or is Emilie truly as mad as she is constantly told she is?

The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls blurs harsh reality and magical historical fantasy whilst issuing a scathing critique of society’s treatment of women and the mental health care industry’s treatment of its patients, showing in the process that little has changed throughout the ages.

Welcome to the Asylum. Are you committed?

The 26 women who tell their stories here were incarcerated against their will, often by male family members, for holding views or behaving in ways that deviated from the norms of their day. The authors’ accompanying history of both societal and psychiatric standards for women reveals the degree to which the prevailing societal conventions could reinforce the perception that these women were mad.

For more than half the nation’s history, vast mental hospitals were a prominent feature of the American landscape. From the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth, over 250 institutions for the insane were built throughout the United States; by 1948, they housed more than a half million patients.

The blueprint for these hospitals was set by Pennsylvania hospital superintendent Thomas Story Kirkbride: a central administration building flanked symmetrically by pavilions and surrounded by lavish grounds with pastoral vistas.

Kirkbride and others believed that well-designed buildings and grounds, a peaceful environment, a regimen of fresh air, and places for work, exercise, and cultural activities would heal mental illness. But in the second half of the twentieth century, after the introduction of psychotropic drugs and policy shifts toward community-based care, patient populations declined dramatically, leaving many of these beautiful, massive buildings–and the patients who lived in them–neglected and abandoned.

Architect and photographer Christopher Payne spent six years documenting the decay of state mental hospitals like these, visiting seventy institutions in thirty states. Through his lens we see splendid, palatial exteriors (some designed by such prominent architects as H. H. Richardson and Samuel Sloan) and crumbling interiors–chairs stacked against walls with peeling paint in a grand hallway; brightly colored toothbrushes still hanging on a rack; stacks of suitcases, never packed for the trip home.

Accompanying Payne’s striking and powerful photographs is an essay by Oliver Sacks (who described his own experience working at a state mental hospital in his book Awakenings). Sacks pays tribute to Payne’s photographs and to the lives once lived in these places, “where one could be both mad and safe.”

In 1967, after a session with a psychiatrist she’d never seen before, eighteen-year-old Susanna Kaysen was put in a taxi and sent to McLean Hospital. She spent most of the next two years on the ward for teenage girls in a psychiatric hospital as renowned for its famous clientele–Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, James Taylor, and Ray Charles–as for its progressive methods of treating those who could afford its sanctuary.

Kaysen’s memoir encompasses horror and razor-edged perception while providing vivid portraits of her fellow patients and their keepers. It is a brilliant evocation of a “parallel universe” set within the kaleidoscopically shifting landscape of the late sixties. Girl, Interrupted is a clear-sighted, unflinching documnet that gives lasting and specific dimension to our definitions of sane and insane, mental illness and recovery.

SLIMED! An Oral History of Nickelodeon’s Golden Age tells the surprisingly complex, wonderfully nostalgic, and impressively compelling story of how Nickelodeon — the First Kids’ Network — began as a DIY startup in the late 70s, and forged ahead through the early eighties with a tiny band of young artists and filmmakers who would go on to change everything about cable television, television in general, animation, and children’s entertainment, proving just what can be done if the indie spirit is kept alive in the corporate world. Get the real back story about all of your favorite Golden Age Nick shows: Everything from such classics as You Can’t Do That On Television, Out of Control and Double Dare to early 90s faves like The Adventures of Pete & Pete, the original three Nicktoons, Clarissa Explains It All and more … All from those who made it happen!

Discover 67 shocking-but-true medical misfires that run the gamut from bizarre to deadly. Like when doctors prescribed morphine for crying infants. When snorting skull moss was a cure for a bloody nose. When consuming mail-order tapeworms was a latter-day fad diet. Or when snake oil salesmen peddled strychnine (used in rat poison) as an aphrodisiac in the ’60s. Seamlessly combining macabre humor with hard science and compelling storytelling, Quackery is a visually rich and information-packed exploration of history’s most outlandish cures, experiments, and scams.

A humorous book that delves into some of the wacky but true ways that humans have looked to cure their ills. Leeches, mercury, strychnine, and lobotomies are a few of the topics that explore the lengths society has gone in the search for health.

A spirited look at the history of alcohol from the dawn of civilization to the twenty first century

For better or worse, alcohol has helped shape our civilization. Throughout history, it has been consumed not just to quench our thirsts or nourish our bodies but also for cultural reasons. It has been associated since antiquity with celebration, creativity, friendship, and danger, for every drinking culture has acknowledged it possesses a dark side.

In Drink, Iain Gately traces the course of humanity’s 10,000 year old love affair with the substance which has been dubbed the cause of – and solution to – all of life’s problems. Along the way he scrutinises the drinking habits of presidents, prophets, and barbarian hordes, and features drinkers as diverse as Homer, Hemmingway, Shakespeare, Al Capone, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. Covering matters as varied as bacchanals in Imperial Rome, the gin craze in 17th century London, the rise and fall of the temperance movement, and drunk driving, Drink details the benefits and burdens alcohol has conveyed to the societies in which it is consumed. Gately’s lively and provocative style brings to life the controversies, past and present, that have raged over alcohol, and uses the authentic voices of drinkers and their detractors to explode myths and reveal truths about this most equivocal of fluids.

Drink further documents the contribution of alcohol to the birth and growth of the United States, taking in the war of Independence, the Pennsylvania Whiskey revolt, the slave trade, and the failed experiment of National Prohibition. Finally, it provides a history of the world’s best loved drinks. Enthusiasts of craft brews and fine wines will discover the origins of their favorite tipples, and what they have in common with Greek philosophers and medieval princes every time they raise a glass.

A rollicking tour through humanity’s love affair with alcohol, Drink is an intoxicating history of civilization

Uncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in ancient Abyssinia to the advent of Starbucks. In this updated edition of the classic work, Mark Pendergrast reviews the dramatic changes in coffee culture over the past decade, from the disastrous “Coffee Crisis” that caused global prices to plummet to the rise of the Fair Trade movement and the “third-wave” of quality-obsessed coffee connoisseurs. As the scope of coffee culture continues to expand, Uncommon Grounds remains more than ever a brilliantly entertaining guide to the currents of one of the world’s favorite beverages.

When single mother Liv is commissioned to paint a mural in a 100-year-old lighthouse on a remote Scottish island, it’s an opportunity to start over with her three daughters–Luna, Sapphire, and Clover. When two of her daughters go missing, she’s frantic. She learns that the cave beneath the lighthouse was once a prison for women accused of witchcraft. The locals warn her about wildlings, supernatural beings who mimic human children, created by witches for revenge. Liv is told wildlings are dangerous and must be killed.

Twenty-two years later, Luna has been searching for her missing sisters and mother. When she receives a call about her youngest sister, Clover, she’s initially ecstatic. Clover is the sister she remembers–except she’s still seven years old, the age she was when she vanished. Luna is worried Clover is a wildling. Luna has few memories of her time on the island, but she’ll have to return to find the truth of what happened to her family. But she doesn’t realize just how much the truth will change her.

Vampires and Vampirism is part of the canon of works on the folklore of vampires. Inside these pages are many accounts of the presence of nocturnal creatures with an unnatural hunger. Readers will discover that tales of vampires are whispered not only in the sleepy villages of easternand central Europe but also in the Middle East, the Asian sub-continent, and the isles of Great Britain.

Book cover for The Speed of Sound: Breaking the Barriers Between Music and Technology: A Memoir

The remarkable story of rising to the top of the music charts, a second act as a tech pioneer, and the sustaining power of creativity and art.

Thomas Dolby’s hit songs “She Blinded Me with Science” and “Hyperactive!” catapulted him to international fame in the early 80’s. A pioneer of New Wave and Electronica, Thomas combined a love for invention with a passion for music, and the result was a new sound that defined an era of revolutionary music. But as record company politics overshadow the joy of performing, Thomas finds a surprising second act.

Starting out in a rat-infested London bedsit, a teenage Thomas Dolby stacks boxes by day at the grocery and tinkers with a homemade synthesizer at night while catching the Police at a local dive bar, swinging by the pub to see the unknown Elvis Costello and starting the weekend with a Clash show at a small night club. London on the eve of the 1980s is a hotbed for music and culture, and a new sound is beginning to take shape, merging technology with the musical energy of punk rock. Thomas plays keyboards in other bands’ shows, and with a bit of luck finds his own style, quickly establishing himself on the scene and recording break out hits that take radio, MTV and dance clubs by storm. The world is now his oyster, and sold out arenas, world tours, even a friendship with Michael Jackson become the fabric of his life.

But as the record industry flounders and disillusionment sets in, Thomas turns his attention to Hollywood. Scoring films and computer games eventually leads him to Silicon Valley and a software startup that turns up the volume on the digital music revolution. His company barely survives the dotcom bubble but finally even the mavericks at Apple, Microsoft, Netscape and Nokia see the light. By 2005, two-thirds of the world’s mobile phones embed his Beatnik software. Life at the zenith of a tech empire proves to be just as full of big personalities, battling egos and roller-coaster success as his days spent at the top of the charts.

THE SPEED OF SOUND is the story of an extraordinary man living an extraordinary life, a single-handed quest to make peace between art and the digital world.

Book cover for Wired: a romance

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test for our own age, the story of a dreamer who turned American media upside down—and suffered the consequences

Louis Rossetto had no money, no home, no job. Five years later he owned the hottest magazine in America and was poised to become an international tycoon, with America’s most powerful financiers by his side.

Rossetto was the founder and editor of Wired, whose hyperactive Day-Glo pages proclaimed that every American institution was obsolete. Instantly, Wired, was everywhere—on television, passed around the halls of Congress, displayed in the office of the president of the United States. Wired,’s headquarters in San Francisco became a pilgrimage site for everybody who wanted to be at the white-hot center of the digital revolution. Not since the early days of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone had anybody so brilliantly channeled the enthusiasms of his era.

But this was only the beginning. Wired cast an uncanny spell, creating a feedback loop that grew stunningly out of control. Wired,’s online site, HotWired, designed and sold the first banner advertisements for the World Wide Web, unleashing a commercial frenzy. Wired, reached for empire, with a book-publishing company, a broadcast division, and foreign editions all over the globe. But as the market’s enthusiasm outstripped the limits of reason, Rossetto faced a battle over the fate of Wired that would prove the ultimate test of his radical ideas.

Gary Wolf, one of Wired,’s most popular writers, takes no prisoners in this insider’s account, telling a story that is alternately thrilling, hilarious, heartbreaking, and absurd. Now that bumper stickers read-ing please god–just one more bubble have been sighted on the highways of California, Wired—A Romance goes beyond the dot.com clichés and paints a deeply affecting portrait of the boom.

Book cover for Cosmic Corsairs

SPACE PIRATES!

Words that conjure up rousing tales of adventure, derring-do, brave heroes battling the scurvy vermin of the galaxy. Those vermin have taken to pillaging cargo ships and, even worse, space liners, relieving the helpless passengers of their valuables, and worse with the comely women passengers, then spacing the lot—unless one or more of the aforementioned brave heroes arrive in the nick of time, and turn the tables, making the spaceways safe again for the innocent and helpless. On the other hand, perhaps the pirate captain is a woman, and it’s the comely male passengers who need rescuing. And on the third hand (we’re talking space pirates here, possibly aliens with four or more arms), perhaps those ships traversing the interstellar void are not so innocent, and the pirates, fighting an evil despotic star empire and defending the freedom of the space lanes, are the good guys and gals. The possibilities are many, and the daring exploits set the blood racing in the veins of any reader with even a trace of buccaneering spirit in their hidden self.

So board a battered but spaceworthy fighting starship with such star-spanning and award-winning crewmates as Robert Silverberg, Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette, Larry Niven, Fritz Leiber, and Sarah A. Hoyt, plus James H. Schmitz, Leigh Brackett, Stanley G. Weinbaum, and more, and set sail—er, thrusters—for a universe of freebooting adventure!

Book cover for Project 17

High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. Locals have long believed the place to be haunted. They tell stories about the unmarked graves in the back, of the cold spots felt throughout the underground tunnels, and of the treasures found inside: patients’ personal items like journals, hair combs, and bars of soap, or even their old medical records, left behind by the state for trespassers to view.

On the eve of the hospital’s demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their adventures. For Derik, it’s an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents’ diner. For the others, it’s a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what starts as a playful dare quickly escalates into a frenzy of nightmarish action. Behind the crumbling walls, down every dark passageway, and in each deserted room, they will unravel the mysteries of those who once lived there and the spirits who still might.

Cover for The Lives They Left Behind

When Willard State Hospital closed its doors in 1995, after operating as one of New York State’s largest mental institutions for over 120 years, a forgotten attic filled with suitcases belonging to former patients was discovered. Using the possessions found in these suitcases along with institutional records and doctors’ notes from patient sessions, Darby Penney, a leading advocate of patients’ rights, and Peter Stastny, a psychiatrist and documentary filmmaker, were able to reconstruct the lives of ten patients who resided at Willard during the first half of the twentieth century.

The Lives They Left Behind tells their story. In addition to these human portraits, the book contains over 100 photographs as well as valuable historical background on how this state-funded institution operated. As it restores the humanity of the individuals it so poignantly evokes, The Lives They Left Behind reveals the vast historical inadequacies of a psychiatric system that has yet to heal itself.

Photo of the book "When I Grow Up"

By the early nineties, singer-songwriter and former Blake Babies member Juliana Hatfield’s solo career was taking off: She was on the cover of Spin and Sassy. Ben Stiller directed the video for her song “Spin the Bottle” from the Reality Bites film soundtrack. Then, after canceling a European tour to treat severe depression and failing to produce another “hit,” she spent a decade releasing well reviewed albums on indie labels and performing in ever-smaller clubs. A few years ago, she found herself reading the New Yorker on a filthy couch in the tiny dressing room of a punk club and asked, “Why am I still doing this?” By turns wryly funny and woundingly sincere, When I Grow Up takes you behind the scenes of rock life as Hatfield recounts her best and worst days, the origins of her songs, the source of her woes, and her quest to find a new purpose in life.

The author has produced a brief yet impactful work about the internet and efforts to control such expressions as hate speech and advocacy of terrorism. Kaye analyzes several examples of how online content producers are targeted for varied reasons, how platforms such as YouTube and Facebook have attempted to police forms of content on their servers, and how the culture of responsibility for Internet governance has shifted in the past last years. Kaye also covers fake news and the increased efforts by platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to root out these posts via automation–specifically AI. At the same time, Kaye brilliantly layers analysis of the politicization of content on platforms and the growth of efforts, mostly in Europe, to regulate these private, mostly American companies. All the while, Kaye makes sure readers are aware of the complexities and how free speech may be embattled if some of these regulations are put into effect at scale.

Photo of the book "Digital Culture"

From our bank accounts to supermarket checkouts to the movies we watch, strings of ones and zeroes suffuse our world. Digital technology has defined modern society in numerous ways, and the vibrant digital culture that has now resulted is the subject of Charlie Gere’s engaging volume.

In this revised and expanded second edition, taking account of new developments such as Facebook and the iPhone, Charlie Gere charts in detail the history of digital culture, as marked by responses to digital technology in art, music, design, film, literature and other areas. After tracing the historical development of digital culture, Gere argues that it is actually neither radically new nor technologically driven: digital culture has its roots in the eighteenth century and the digital mediascape we swim in today was originally inspired by informational needs arising from industrial capitalism, contemporary warfare and counter-cultural experimentation, among other social changes.

A timely and cutting-edge investigation of our contemporary social infrastructures, Digital Culture is essential reading for all those concerned about the ever-changing future of our Digital Age.

Book cover for Small Pieces Loosely Joined

In this insightful social commentary, David Weinberger goes beyond misdirected hype to reveal what is truly revolutionary about the Web. Just as Marshall McLuhan forever altered our view of broadcast media, Weinberger shows that the Web is transforming not only social institutions but also bedrock concepts of our world such as space, time, self, knowledge-even reality itself. Through stories of life on the Web, a unique take on Web sites, and a pervasive sense of humor, Weinberger is the first to put the Web into the social and intellectual context we need to begin assessing its true impact on our lives. The irony, according to Weinberger, is that this seemingly weird new technology is more in tune with our authentic selves than is the modern world. Funny, provocative, and ultimately hopeful, Small Pieces Loosely Joined makes us look at the Web as never before.

Book cover for Just For One Day: Adventures in Britpop

Just For One Day takes you on Louise Wener’s musical odyssey from awkward 80s suburban pop geek to 90s jet-set Britpop goddess. Of course, once she’s living the dream at the height of Britpop’s glory, things aren’t quite how they appeared from the other side.

With her band Sleeper, Louise goes from doing gigs in toilets to gigs in stadiums, and on to the big interviews, constant touring and endless excess via Top of the Pops.

These are the hilarious adventures of a girl’s journey through Britpop, from the embarrassments of growing up to trying to remember what on earth it was you really wanted while eating Twiglets backstage and enviously eyeing up Damon Albarn’s plate of foreign cheeses.

Book cover for Tranny: Confessions of Punk Rock's Most Infamous Anarchist Sellout

The provocative transgender advocate and lead singer of the punk rock band Against Me! provides a searing account of her search for identity and her true self. It began in a bedroom in Naples, Florida, when a misbehaving punk teenager named Tom Gabel, armed with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a headful of anarchist politics, landed on a riff. Gabel formed Against Me! and rocketed the band from its scrappy beginnings-banging on a drum kit made of pickle buckets-to a major-label powerhouse that critics have called this generation’s The Clash. Since its inception in 1997, Against Me! has been one of punk’s most influential modern bands, but also one of its most divisive. With every notch the four-piece climbed in their career, they gained new fans while infuriating their old ones. They suffered legal woes, a revolving door of drummers, and a horde of angry, militant punks who called them “sellouts” and tried to sabotage their shows at every turn. But underneath the public turmoil, something much greater occupied Gabel-a secret kept for 30 years, only acknowledged in the scrawled-out pages of personal journals and hidden in lyrics. Through a troubled childhood, delinquency, and struggles with drugs, Gabel was on a punishing search for identity. Not until May of 2012 did a Rolling Stone profile finally reveal it: Gabel is a transsexual, and would from then on be living as a woman under the name Laura Jane Grace. Tranny is the intimate story of Against Me!’s enigmatic founder, weaving the narrative of the band’s history, as well as Grace’s, with dozens of never-before-seen entries from the piles of journals Grace kept. More than a typical music memoir about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll-although it certainly has plenty of that-Tranny is an inside look at one of the most remarkable stories in the history of rock.

Cover for Peter and the Starcatchers

In an evocative and fast-paced adventure on the high seas and on a faraway island, an orphan boy named Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, overcome bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil. Best-selling authors Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson have turned back the clock to reveal the wonderful story that precedes J. M. Barrie’s beloved Peter Pan. Peter and the Starcatchers is brimming with richly developed characters, from the scary but somehow familiar Black Stache and ferocious Mister Grin to the sweet but sophisticated Molly and fearless Peter. Page after page of riveting adventures take readers of all ages on a voyage from a filthy, crime-ridden port in old England across the turbulent sea. Aboard the Neverland is a trunk that hold the “greatest treasure on earth” —but is it gold, jewels, or something far more mysterious and dangerous?

Roiling waves and raging storms; skullduggery and pirate treachery provide the backdrop for battles at sea. Bone-crushing breakers eventually land our characters on Mollusk Island—where the action really heats up.

This impossible-to-put-down tale leads readers on an unforgettable journey—fraught with danger yet filled with mystical and magical moments.

Book cover for Piratica

Artemesia is the daughter of a pirate queen, and she’s sick of practicing deportment at the Angels Academy for Young Maidens. Escaping from the school, she hunts up her mother’s crew and breezily commands them out to sea in a leaky boat. Unfortunately, Art’s memories of her early life may not be accurate-her seasick crew are actors, and Art’s infamous mother was the darling of the stage in a pirate drama. But fiery, pistol-proof Art soon shapes her men into the cleverest pirate crew afloat. And when they meet the dread ship Enemy and her beautiful, treacherous captain, Goldie Girl, Art is certain that her memories are real. The Seven Seas aren’t large enough for two pirate queens: Art will have the battle of her life to win her mother’s title–and the race for the most fabulous treasure in pirate lore. This gaudy, outrageous tale sparkles with swordplay, skullduggery, and salty language–not to mention over-the-top comedy!

Book cover for Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled The Seven Seas

In the first-ever Seven Seas history of the world’s female buccaneers, Pirate Women: The Princesses, Prostitutes, and Privateers Who Ruled the Seven Seas tells the story of women, both real and legendary, who through the ages sailed alongside—and sometimes in command of—their male counterparts. These women came from all walks of life but had one thing in common: a desire for freedom. History has largely ignored these female swashbucklers, until now. Here are their stories, from ancient Norse princess Alfhild and warrior Rusla to Sayyida al-Hurra of the Barbary corsairs; from Grace O’Malley, who terrorized shipping operations around the British Isles during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I; to Cheng I Sao, who commanded a fleet of four hundred ships off China in the early nineteenth century.

Author Laura Sook Duncombe also looks beyond the stories to the storytellers and mythmakers. What biases and agendas motivated them? What did they leave out? Pirate Women explores why and how these stories are told and passed down, and how history changes depending on who is recording it. It’s the most comprehensive overview of women pirates in one volume and chock-full of swashbuckling adventures that pull these unique women from the shadows into the spotlight that they deserve. 

Book cover for Interview With The Vampire

This is the story of Louis, as told in his own words, of his journey through mortal and immortal life. Louis recounts how he became a vampire at the hands of the radiant and sinister Lestat and how he became indoctrinated, unwillingly, into the vampire way of life. His story ebbs and flows through the streets of New Orleans, defining crucial moments such as his discovery of the exquisite lost young child Claudia, wanting not to hurt but to comfort her with the last breaths of humanity he has inside. Yet, he makes Claudia a vampire, trapping her womanly passion, will, and intelligence inside the body of a small child. Louis and Claudia form a seemingly unbreakable alliance and even “settle down” for a while in the opulent French Quarter. Louis remembers Claudia’s struggle to understand herself and the hatred they both have for Lestat that sends them halfway across the world to seek others of their kind. Louis and Claudia are desperate to find somewhere they belong, to find others who understand, and someone who knows what and why they are.

Louis and Claudia travel Europe, eventually coming to Paris and the ragingly successful Theatre des Vampires–a theatre of vampires pretending to be mortals pretending to be vampires. Here they meet the magnetic and ethereal Armand, who brings them into a whole society of vampires. But Louis and Claudia find that finding others like themselves provides no easy answers and in fact presents dangers they scarcely imagined.

Originally begun as a short story, the book took off as Anne wrote it, spinning the tragic and triumphant life experiences of a soul. As well as the struggles of its characters, Interview captures the political and social changes of two continents. The novel also introduces Lestat, Anne’s most enduring character, a heady mixture of attraction and revulsion. The book, full of lush description, centers on the themes of immortality, change, loss, sexuality, and power.

Book cover for The Victorian Internet

For centuries people communicated across distances only as quickly as the fastest ship or horse could travel. Generations of innovators tried and failed to develop speedier messaging devices. But in the mid-1800s, a few extraordinary pioneers at last succeeded. Their invention–the electric telegraph–shrank the world more quickly than ever before.

A colorful tale of scientific discovery and technological cunning, The Victorian Internet tells the story of the telegraph’s creation and remarkable impact, and of the visionaries, oddballs, and eccentrics who pioneered it. By 1865 telegraph cables spanned continents and oceans, revolutionizing the ways countries dealt with one another. The telegraph gave rise to creative business practices and new forms of crime. Romances blossomed over the wires. Secret codes were devised by some users, and cracked by others. The benefits of the network were relentlessly hyped by its advocates and dismissed by its skeptics. And attitudes toward everything from news gathering to war had to be completely rethought.

The telegraph unleashed the greatest revolution in communications since the development of the printing press. Its saga offers many parallels to that of the Internet in our own time–and is a fascinating episode in the history of technology.

Book cover for Monstes, Makeup & Effects: Conversations with Cinema's Greatest Artists.

Pennywise. Xenomorphs. Freddy Krueger. Beetlejuice. Jason Voorhees. Most movie fans immediately recognize these creatures and characters, but hardly know much about the artists behind these iconic designs. In Monsters, Makeup & Effects: Volume 1, journalist Heather Wixson shines the spotlight on twenty special makeup effects artists, creators and technicians whose work has left us captivated and marveling at their innovation, ingenuity and creativity.

Featuring behind-the-scenes photos and extensive interviews, MM&E explores the lives, careers and inspirations behind some the greatest artisans to have ever worked in film and television. MM&E is a celebration of the creative spirit and artistic endeavors of those who have worked tirelessly for decades to create the memorable monsters, creatures and onscreen personas that have terrified us, made us laugh and filled us with a sense of wonder.