Less: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2018

Less: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2018 by [Greer, Andrew Sean]

"Dressed in his trademark blue suit, Less adorably butchers the German language, nearly falls in love in Paris, celebrates his birthday in the desert and, somewhere along the way, discovers something new and fragile about the passing of time, about the coming and going of love, and what it means to be the fool of your own narrative. It's nothing less than wonderful."--Book Page

"A piquantly funny fifth novel."
--Entertainment Weekly

"Greer, the author of wonderful, heartfelt novels including The Confessions of Max Tivoli, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells and The Story of a Marriage, shows he has another powerful weapon in his arsenal: comedy. And who doesn't need a laugh right about now?"--Miami Herald

"Greer elevates Less' picaresque journey into a wise and witty novel. This is no Eat, Pray Love story of touristic uplift, but rather a grand travelogue of foibles, humiliations and self-deprecation, ending in joy, and a dollop of self-knowledge."--National Book Review

"Greer's evocations of the places Arthur visits offer zesty travelogue pleasures"--Seattle Times

"Less is the funniest, smartest and most humane novel I've read since Tom Rachman's 2010 debut, The Imperfectionists....Greer writes sentences of arresting lyricism and beauty. His metaphors come at you like fireflies....Like Arthur, Andrew Sean Greer's Less is excellent company. It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful."
--New York Times Book Review

"Greer is an exceptionally lovely writer, capable of mingling humor with sharp poignancy.... Brilliantly funny.... Greer's narration, so elegantly laced with wit, cradles the story of a man who loses everything: his lover, his suitcase, his beard, his dignity."--Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Greer's novel is philosophical, poignant, funny and wise, filled with unexpected turns....Although Greer is gifted and subtle in comic moments, he's just as adept at ruminating on the deeper stuff. His protagonist grapples with aging, loneliness, creativity, grief, self-pity and more."--San Francisco Chronicle

"I recommend it with my whole heart."
--Ann Patchett

"Less is perhaps Greer's finest yet.... A comic yet moving picture of an American abroad.... Less is a wondrous achievement, deserving an even larger audience than Greer's bestselling The Confessions of Max Tivoli."
--Booklist, starred review

Book Description

The Pulitzer prize-winning novel about a failed writer trying to escape his problems by traveling abroad.

Arcana: A Novel of the Sylvani (Novels of the Sylvani)

Arcana: A Novel of the Sylvani (Novels of the Sylvani) by [Leake, Jessica]

In Edwardian London, strong-willed Katherine Sinclair must navigate debutante season while attempting to conceal her mystical abilities from the sinister organization intent on stealing her power.

Amazon’s Fire TV Cube is a set top box crossed with an Echo

FireTVCube

Amazon just added another model to its increasingly crowded selection of living room offerings. There’s bound to be some consumer confusion around the line, but the Cube differentiates itself by bridging the gap between Fire TV and Echo. Sure, past set top offerings have incorporated Alexa control, but this latest addition folds in the full smart speaker experience.

In fact, the Cube looks like a big, square Echo Dot. It’s not much to look at, honestly, but the familiar design elements are all there, including the four Echo buttons on top and a glowing blue light that lets you know when Alexa is listening.

The Fire TV Cube follows the lead of the JBL Link Bar announced back at I/O, which has Chromecast built in and effectively doubles as a Google Home when not in use. Here, however, the speaker is only really good for Echo-like functionality. Amazon is largely banking on users bringing their own home theater system to the table.

The upshot of that is that the device runs $120 normally, a price that includes an IR extender capable and ethernet adapter. And those who pre-order the thing in the next two days can get their hands on one for $90. There’s also a $200 bundle that includes Amazon’s Cloud Cam, for those who really want to go all in with Amazon hardware.

Never give up!

amazon-bezof-never-give-up

The Invoke Smart Speaker Brings Microsoft’s Cortana AI to Your Living Room

Invoke-Cortana

Cortana virtual assistant already integrates into Windows 10, works on iOS and Android, and will start showing up in cars soon, it’s ready for your home with Invoke. It's good for work, good for play, even has a cool name.

The new Invoke speaker, made by Harman Kardon, is more or less a direct copy of the Amazon Echo - a tall, cylindrical speaker with a blue light at the top that glows when the speaker is listening to you. It can control some of your smart-home devices, set reminders, name the members of One Direction (RIP), and many other things Echo can also do. So far, the Invoke appears to have exactly one unique feature: It can make and receive calls with Skype.

Hey Cortana, open Alexa: Microsoft and Amazon’s first-of-its-kind collaboration

Alexa_opens_Cortana

I talk to Cortana every day — at home, work and on-the-go — to get information about my day, to set reminders so I don’t forget things, and to answer my questions. But I don’t just use one digital assistant. I also frequently talk to Alexa to listen to audio books or to add things to my shopping list. Because people use and interact with all kinds of products, we’re very excited to announce a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Amazon between Cortana and Alexa that will offer more choice, value and access to both intelligent personal assistants.

Available later this year, this collaboration will allow you to access Alexa via Cortana on Windows 10 PCs, followed by Android and iOS in the future. Conversely, you’ll be able to access Cortana on Alexa-enabled devices like the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show.

As our CEO, Satya Nadella, said in today’s Amazon press release, the collaboration between Microsoft and Amazon reflects our belief that when people and technology work together, everybody wins:

“Ensuring Cortana is available for our customers everywhere and across any device is a key priority for us. Bringing Cortana’s knowledge, Office 365 integration, commitments and reminders to Alexa is a great step toward that goal.”

By bringing Cortana to Alexa and Alexa to Cortana, I’m excited that we’re adding more value and choice for consumers and developers alike. Cortana users will be able to have Alexa shop on Amazon.com and manage their Amazon orders and access many of Alexa’s third-party skills by asking Cortana to open Alexa, just as Alexa users will have access to Cortana’s world knowledge and helpful productivity features such as calendar management, day at a glance and location-based reminders simply by asking Alexa to open Cortana.

Amazon just launched a cashier-free convenience store

amazon_go

Amazon just unveiled a grocery store without lines or checkout counters. Amazon Go, a 1800-square-foot retail space located in the company’s hometown of Seattle, lets shoppers just grab the items they want and leave; the order gets charged to their Amazon account afterwards.

Amazon Go works by using computer vision and sensors to detect what items you’re taking out of the store. You start by scanning an app as you enter the Amazon Go shop. You do your normal shopping, and the sensors throughout the store identify the items in your cart and charge them to your account when you walk out the door. It’ll feel like shoplifting, except you’re actually being watched by more cameras than you can imagine.

AWS public cloud is twice as big as Microsoft, Google, IBM combined

Amazon-AWS-Leadership

Amazon Web Services is utterly dominating the competition, taking 45 percent of worldwide revenues for public cloud services, according to a new analysis.

Microsoft and Google might be increasing public cloud revenues faster than AWS, but they've also got a long way to go to come close to catching up, a new analysis from Synergy Research Group shows.

The combined revenues from Microsoft, Google, and IBM amount to less than 20 percent of worldwide infrastructure-as-a-service, or IaaS, revenues in Q3 2016, compared with AWS's 45 percent, the research firm reports.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 Gets 50 Percent More RAM At A 40 Percent Price; Takes On iPad Mini 4 Head On

Amazon just announced the 2.0 version of last year's Fire HD 8. They claim that the brand new Fire HD 8 tablet comes with improved features. The Kindle Fire HD 8 still looks the same as the one released last year, so what's really new with it?

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet Gets A New Assistant

NY Times reports, Amazon Echo's cloud-based intelligent digital personal assistant, Alexa, goes mobile as the newest update to come in the Kindle Fire HD 8 will include Alexa. With the Fire HD 8 being the first Amazon tablet to be integrated with Alexa, you can interact with your gadget and ask it to perform certain functions for you such as playing music, read audiobooks, search the web and a lot more.

Other Amazon Kindle Tablets don't have to worry because they are getting Alexa, too. The update will also come to the Amazon Fire, Fire HD 10, and the Fire HD 8 2015.

Bigger Memory And Faster Processor For The 2016 Kindle Fire HD 8

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet 2016 is equipped with a quad-core MediaTek processor that allows it to perform faster than it used to with the Kindle Fire HD 8 2015. According to CNET, the Kindle Fire HD 8 2016 supports microSD cards up to 200 GB, but also offers more RAM and internal storage of either 16 GB and 32 GB.

New Features For Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8 2016

The Fire HD 8 2016 runs on Fire OS 5 and now has a front-facing camera plus a primary camera with 2 megapixels. Sources suggest that Amazon's latest tablet has an 8-inch display, stereo speakers with Dolby Audio and a 4,750 mAh battery that can last up to 12 hours.  The Fire HD 8 2016 will come in four colors: black, tangerine, blue and magenta.

Is Kindle Fire HD 8 2016 Tablet Better Than The iPad Mini 4?

There have been rumors that Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8 2016 is two times more durable than the iPad Mini 4 after enduring several tumble tests. It is a lot more affordable which ideal for practical reasons, but the Fire HD 8 is no match to Apple's iPad Mini 4 in terms of the device's premium build quality.


The Euro: And its Threat to the Future of Europe

From Nobel Prize-winning economist and best-selling author Joseph Sitglitz, author of Globalization and Its Discontents, this is the essential, must-read guide to the future of Europe.

Solidarity and prosperity fostered by economic integration: this principle has underpinned the European project from the start, and the establishment of a common currency was supposed to be its most audacious and tangible achievement. Since 2008, however, the European Union has ricocheted between stagnation and crisis. The inability of the eurozone to match the recovery in the USA and UK has exposed its governing structures, institutions and policies as dysfunctional and called into question the viability of a common currency shared by such different economies as Germany and Greece.

Designed to bring the European Union closer together, the euro has actually done the opposite: after nearly a decade without growth, unity has been replaced with dissent and enlargements with prospective exits. Joseph Stiglitz argues that Europe's stagnation and bleak outlook are a direct result of the fundamental flaws inherent in the euro project - economic integration outpacing political integration with a structure that promotes divergence rather than convergence. Money relentlessly leaves the weaker member states and goes to the strong, with debt accumulating in a few ill-favoured countries. The question then is: Can the euro be saved?

Laying bare the European Central Bank's misguided inflation-only mandate and explaining why austerity has condemned Europe to unending stagnation, Stiglitz outlines the fundamental reforms necessary to the structure of the eurozone and the policies imposed on the member countries suffering the most. But the same lack of sufficient political solidarity that led to the creation of a flawed euro twenty years ago suggests that these reforms are unlikely to be adopted. Hoping to avoid the huge costs associated with current policies, Stiglitz proposes two other alternatives: a well-managed end to the common currency; or a bold, new system dubbed 'the flexible euro.' This important book, by one of the world's leading economists, addresses the euro-crisis on a bigger intellectual scale than any predecessor.

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