Eclipses have stunned, frightened, emboldened, and mesmerized people for thousands of years. They were recorded on ancient turtle shells discovered in the Wastes of Yin in China, on clay tablets from Mesopotamia and on the Mayan ´´Dresden Codex´´. They are mentioned in Homer´s Iliad and Odyssey and at least eight times in the Bible. Columbus used them to trick people, while Renaissance painter Taddeo Gaddi was blinded by one. Sorcery was banished within the Catholic Church after astrologers used an eclipse to predict a pope´s death. In Mask of the Sun, acclaimed writer John Dvorak explains the importance of the number 177 and why the ancient Romans thought it was bad to have sexual intercourse during an eclipse (whereas other cultures thought it would be good luck). Even today, pregnant women in Mexico wear safety pins on their underwear during an eclipse. Eclipses are an amazing phenomena - unique to Earth - that have provided the key to much of what we now know and understand about the sun, our moon, gravity, and the workings of the universe. Both entertaining and authoritative, Mask of the Sun reveals the humanism behind the science of both lunar and solar eclipses. With insightful detail and vividly accessible prose, Dvorak provides explanations as to how and why eclipses occur. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Corey M. Snow. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/008681/bk_tant_008681_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
The Vampire Chronicles continue with Anne Rice´s spellbinding new novel, in which the great vampire Marius returns. The golden-haired Marius, true Child of the Millennia, once mentor to The Vampire Lestat, always and forever the conscientious foe of the Evil Doer, reveals in his own intense yet intimate voice the secrets of his two-thousand-year existence. Once a proud Senator in Imperial Rome, kidnapped and made a ´´blood god´´ by the Druids, Marius becomes the embittered protector of Akasha and Enkil, Queen and King of the vampires, in whom the core of the supernatural race resides. We follow him through his heartbreaking abandonment of the vampire Pandora. Through him we see the fall of pagan Rome to the Emperor Constantine and the horrific sack of the Eternal City itself at the hands of the Visigoths. Bravely, Marius seeks a new civilization in the midst of glittering Constantinople, only to meet with the blood drinker Eudoxia. We see him ultimately returning to his beloved Italy, where after the horrors of the Black Death, he is restored by the beauty of the Renaissance. We see him become a painter living dangerously yet happily among mortals, giving his heart to the great Botticelli, to the bewitching courtesan Bianca, and to the mysterious young apprentice Armand. Moving from Rome to Florence, Venice, and Dresden, and to the English castle of the secret scholarly order of the Talamasca, the novel reaches its dramatic finale in our own time, deep in the jungle where Marius, having told his life story, seeks some measure of justice from the oldest vampires in the world. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Derek Jacobi. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/003164/bk_rand_003164_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.