“A Brief History” of Stephen Hawking’s work

As we near February, and Oscars month (our calendars are marked for Feb. 22!), PUP takes a look at The Theory of Everything. The best-picture nominee, which stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, depicts the love story and life story of Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde. The beginning of the film is set in Cambridge, where Hawking is a brilliant graduate student. For movie-goers looking for a deeper look at Hawking’s scholarly work, PUP brings you a “Brief History” of books by Stephen Hawking.

Liam Daniel / Focus Features Eddie Redmayne stars as Stephen Hawking in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.

Liam Daniel / Focus Features
Eddie Redmayne stars as Stephen Hawking in THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.

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A Brief History of Time

“A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?

Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.”

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On the Shoulders of Giants

“In On the Shoulders of Giants, Stephen Hawking brings together the greatest works by Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Einstein, showing how their pioneering discoveries changed the way we see the world.

From Copernicus’ revolutionary claim that the earth orbits the sun and Kepler’s development of the laws of planetary motion to Einstein’s interweaving of time and space, each scientist built on the theories of their predecessors to answer the questions that had long mystified humanity.

Hawking also provides fascinating glimpses into their lives and times – Galileo’s trial in the Papal inquisition, Newton’s bitter feuds with rivals and Einstein absent-mindedly jotting notes that would lead to his Theory of Relativity while pushing his baby son’s pram. Depicting the great challenges these men faced and the lasting contributions they made, Hawking explains how their works transformed the course of science – and gave us a better understanding of the universe and our place in it.”

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The Nature of Space and Time

Princeton University Press

By Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose

“Einstein said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. But was he right? Can the quantum theory of fields and Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the two most accurate and successful theories in all of physics, be united in a single quantum theory of gravity? Can quantum and cosmos ever be combined? On this issue, two of the world’s most famous physicists–Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time) and Roger Penrose (The Emperor’s New Mind and Shadows of the Mind)–disagree. Here they explain their positions in a work based on six lectures with a final debate, all originally presented at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

How could quantum gravity, a theory that could explain the earlier moments of the big bang and the physics of the enigmatic objects known as black holes, be constructed? Why does our patch of the universe look just as Einstein predicted, with no hint of quantum effects in sight? What strange quantum processes can cause black holes to evaporate, and what happens to all the information that they swallow? Why does time go forward, not backward? In this book, the two opponents touch on all these questions.”

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The Universe in a Nutshell

“In this new book Hawking takes us to the cutting edge of theoretical physics, where truth is often stranger than fiction, to explain in laymen’s terms the principles that control our universe.

Like many in the community of theoretical physicists, Professor Hawking is seeking to uncover the grail of science — the elusive Theory of Everything that lies at the heart of the cosmos. In his accessible and often playful style, he guides us on his search to uncover the secrets of the universe — from supergravity to supersymmetry, from quantum theory to M-theory, from holography to duality.

He takes us to the wild frontiers of science, where superstring theory and p-branes may hold the final clue to the puzzle. And he lets us behind the scenes of one of his most exciting intellectual adventures as he seeks ‘to combine Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity and Richard Feynman’s idea of multiple histories into one complete unified theory that will describe everything that happens in the universe.’”

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The Grand Design

“When and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? What is the nature of reality? Is the apparent ‘grand design’ of our universe evidence for a benevolent creator who set things in motion? Or does science offer another explanation? In The Grand Design, the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the universe is presented in language marked by both brilliance and simplicity.

The Grand Design explains the latest thoughts about model-dependent realism (the idea that there is no one version of reality), and about the multiverse concept of reality in which there are many universes. There are new ideas about the top-down theory of cosmology (the idea that there is no one history of the universe, but that every possible history exists). It concludes with a riveting assessment of m-theory, and discusses whether it is the unified theory Einstein spent a lifetime searching for.”

See more books by Stephen Hawking here. Which of these have you read, and which are on your “to-read” list?

Frank Wilczek to edit The Princeton Companion to Physics

wilczek_frank[1]

Source: MIT Department of Physics, http://web.mit.edu/physics/people/faculty/wilczek_frank.html

Princeton University Press is honored and excited to announce that Frank Wilczek (Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at MIT) will be Volume Editor of the forthcoming Princeton Companion to Physics. Wilczek is co-recipient (with David Gross and H. David Politzer) of the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery of asymptotic freedom. He is also the author of Longing For the Harmonies (Norton, 1987; New York Times Notable Book of the Year) and The Lightness of Being (Basic Books, 2010).

Following on the models of The Princeton Companion to Mathematics (Timothy Gowers, Ed.) and The Princeton Companion to Applied Mathematics (forthcoming, Nicholas Higham, Ed.), this single-volume, carefully curated collection of well-written essays will present the big and essential themes of research in the various areas comprising the physical sciences.

Ingrid Gnerlich, Science Group Publisher and the commissioning editor of the work, comments: “A unique feature of this type of Companion volume is the very special intellectual vision of the Volume Editor, in terms of how the scope, philosophy, and level of the content are articulated and executed. We feel that Prof. Wilczek will offer this project a rare depth and breadth of insight and perspective, combined with a sensitivity for graceful and accessible language, which will make this book a ‘must have’ for a wide readership of physics students, professional physicists and other scientists, and even an array of sophisticated general readers. We anticipate this book to be an example of the very best type of Princeton publication— a superb volume that guides, inspires, and enlightens.”

The anticipated publication date for The Princeton Companion to Physics is 2018.

 

A few words on the “Bullshit Centenary”

k7929[1]We are all familiar with Princeton University Press’s famous publication On Bullshit by Harry G. Frankfurt, winner of the 2005 Bestseller Award in Philosophy. Well, the history of the word “bullshit” goes far back in time, but perhaps not as far as one might think…

One hundred years ago a young immigrant poet submitted his poem “The Triumph of Bullshit” for publication in a London avant‑garde magazine. The editor’s letter explaining his rejection of the work makes clear he decided to “stick to my naif determination to have no ‘Words ending in -Uck, -Unt and –Ugger’.” Probably the word “bullshit” was imported from the poet’s native US; but so far no one has found “bullshit” in print as a single word before 1915.

Source: The Guardian, “TS Eliot: the poet who conquered the world, 50 years on,” http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/10/from-tom-to-ts-eliot-world-poet

How do we reconcile this young subversive poet with the “po-faced ‘Pope of Russell Square’ (as the older Eliot came to be nicknamed)” who is widely respected as one of the finest poet of the 20th century? What else do we owe to TS Eliot? Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/jan/10/from-tom-to-ts-eliot-world-poet

Drumroll, please…. Introducing Princeton University Press’s best-selling books for 2014

With 2014 in the history books and the media already predicting which books will be big in 2015, we are happy to look back at our best-selling titles for the year. It is a list noticeable for diversity of subject (fairy tales, math, ancient history, and birds all make an appearance) and for what it says about the longevity of some of our older titles, (say hello to stalwart books like On Bullshit, The I Ching, and The Box). We hope you find something wonderful to read on this list and if you’ve already read any of these books, let us know in the comments section below.

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm edited by Jack Zipes
Alan Turing: The Enigma, The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game by Andrew Hodges
1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline
Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age by W. Bernard Carlson
On Bullshit by Harry Frankfurt
The Warbler Guide by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle
The I Ching or Book of Changes edited by Hellmut Wilhelm
The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century by Jürgen Osterhammel
The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman
The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger by Marc Levinson
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking by Edward B. Burger & Michael Starbird
Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit by Charles W. Calomiris & Stephen H. Haber
The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City by William B. Helmreich
Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide by Paul H. Williams, Robbin W. Thorp, Leif L. Richardson & Sheila R. Colla
The Calculus Lifesaver: All the Tools You Need to Excel at Calculus by Adrian Banner
Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better by Peter H. Schuck
The Soul of the World Roger Scruton
The Age of the Vikings Anders Winroth
Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion by Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke
Rare Birds of North America by Steve N. G. Howell, Ian Lewington & Will Russell

Don’t forget to enter The Warbler Guide sweepstakes!

[Update -- all winners have been notified as of January 15, 2015. Thank you for entering our giveaway!]

Don’t let post-Holiday doldrums, back-to-work blahs, and wintery weather get you down. Look forward to spring, warblers, and birdwatching by entering The Warbler Guide Sweepstakes.

Our prize package includes a download of The Warbler Guide App, a copy of The Warbler Guide, a pair of Zeiss TERRA ED binoculars, and the audio companion for The Warbler Guide. The total value of this prize is $400.00.

How to win? There are numerous ways to win, including visiting The Warbler Guide’s Facebook page, emailing us at blog@press.princeton.edu, following @PrincetonNature. or @TheWarblerGuide on Twitter. Just follow the steps in the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected on January 9, 2015.

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New Year, New Books

Books released during the week of January 5, 2015
American Insecurity: Why Our Economic Fears Lead to Political Inaction<br>Adam Seth Levine American Insecurity:
Why Our Economic Fears Lead to Political Inaction
Adam Seth Levine
“The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, growing financial threats to the middle class, and the biggest political movement is the antigovernment Tea Party. What gives? The answer is that Americans buffeted by economic risks don’t give. They don’t give money or time to political organizations seeking to improve economic security. When you try to rally people to the cause, you inadvertently but powerfully deter their political participation. Levine has provided a compelling new account of a profound, and profoundly important, paradox.”–Jacob S. Hacker, author of The Great Risk Shift

Hardcover | 2015 | $29.95 / £19.95
eBook available

Government Paternalism: Nanny State or Helpful Friend?<br>Julian Le Grand & Bill New Government Paternalism:
Nanny State or Helpful Friend?
Julian Le Grand & Bill New
“This well-structured, clearly presented, and well-written book steers a sophisticated course between the extremes of antipaternalism and paternalism by identifying the boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate paternalism. The current debate on the policies that nudge individuals to make better decisions makes this discussion timely. There is no book available that treats the same subject with as much range.”–Alan Hamlin, University of Manchester

Hardcover | 2015 | $29.95 / £19.95
eBook available

Higher Education in the Digital Age<br>Updated edition<br>William G. Bowen <br>With a new foreword by Kevin M. Guthrie and a new appendix by the author Higher Education in the Digital Age
Updated edition
William G. Bowen
With a new foreword by Kevin M. Guthrie and a new appendix by the author
“A slim and highly readable volumne. . . . The collection of voices provides a thoughtful and provocative discussion of the emergence of online education.”–Richard D. Kahlenberg, The Century Foundation

Paperback | 2015 | $16.95 / £11.95
eBook available

Irrational Exuberance<br>Revised and Expanded Third edition<br>Robert J. Shiller Irrational Exuberance
Revised and Expanded Third edition
Robert J. Shiller
Praise for the previous edition: From review of Princeton’s previous edition: “Robert J. Shiller . . . has done more than any other economist of his generation to document the less rational aspects of financial markets.”–Paul Krugman, New York Times

Hardcover | 2015 | $29.95 / £19.95
eBook available

Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education<br>William G. Bowen & Eugene M. Tobin Locus of Authority:
The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education
William G. Bowen & Eugene M. Tobin
“Withering critiques of the academy appear daily, predicting the end of higher education as we know it. Bowen and Tobin step into this fray with insight, deep knowledge of the field, data, and a good eye for history. Their eminently sensible book convincingly argues that higher education institutions have evolved over time in response to pressures and challenges, and that they are capable of continuing this evolution.”–Lawrence S. Bacow, president emeritus, Tufts University

Hardcover | 2015 | $29.95 / £19.95
eBook available

The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series: Volume 11: 19 January to 31 August 1817<br>Thomas Jefferson<br>Edited by J. Jefferson Looney The Papers of Thomas Jefferson:
Retirement Series:
Volume 11: 19 January to 31 August 1817
Thomas Jefferson
Edited by J. Jefferson Looney
The 584 documents in this volume cover the period from 19 January to 31 August 1817, during which Jefferson devotes much time and energy to founding Central College, the predecessor of the University of Virginia.

Hardcover | 2015 | $125.00 / £85.00

The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Volume 41: 11 July to 15 November 1803<br>Thomas Jefferson<br>Edited by Barbara B. Oberg The Papers of Thomas Jefferson:
Volume 41: 11 July to 15 November 1803
Thomas Jefferson
Edited by Barbara B. Oberg
The Louisiana Purchase dominates the months covered in this volume. Jefferson departs for Monticello to enjoy a needed respite after the busy three and a half months he has just spent in the nation’s capital. Shortly before leaving Washington, he has a last meeting with his cabinet, after which he issues a proclamation to reconvene Congress on 17 October, three weeks early. It is the “great and weighty” business of the French government’s stunning offer to transfer all of the Louisiana Territory to the United States that necessitates this important gathering.

Hardcover | 2015 | $125.00 / £85.00

Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History<br>Derek Sayer Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century:
A Surrealist History
Derek Sayer
“[A] pleasure to read, luscious in a sultry kind of way.”–Marci Shore, Times Literary Supplement

Paperback | 2015 | $27.95 / £19.95
Hardcover | 2013 | $35.00 / £24.95
eBook available

Sleepwalking into a New World: The Emergence of Italian City Communes in the Twelfth Century<br>Chris Wickham Sleepwalking into a New World:
The Emergence of Italian City Communes in the Twelfth Century
Chris Wickham
“Wickham’s expert analysis and meticulous academic approach build on previous. Limited examinations and substantial documentation to turn established research on its head, as he presents a fresh look into how communes in the mid-12th century successfully prepared Italian power structures for the cultural significance they would later have.”–Publishers Weekly

Hardcover | 2015 | $29.95 / £19.95
eBook available

Books released during the week of December 29, 2014
The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933–1973<br>Mark Greif The Age of the Crisis of Man:
Thought and Fiction in America, 1933–1973
Mark Greif
“‘One of the striking features of the discourse of man to modern eyes, in a sense the most striking, is how unreadable it is, how tedious, how unhelpful. The puzzle is why it is unreadable.’ Thus, Mark Greif in his exhilarating study The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America 1933-1973. By ‘the discourse of man’ Greif means the vast midcentury literature on human dignity, from Being and Nothingness, to the ‘Family of Man’ photo exhibition, to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights–a discourse that Greif interrogates with verve, erudition, sympathy, and suspicion, and that he follows into the fiction of our time.”–Lorin Stein, Paris Review

Hardcover | 2014 | $29.95 / £19.95
eBook available

The Devil Wins: A History of Lying from the Garden of Eden to the Enlightenment<br>Dallas G. Denery II The Devil Wins:
A History of Lying from the Garden of Eden to the Enlightenment
Dallas G. Denery II
“In this exquisitely written book, Denery draws on centuries of rumination on the moral issues surrounding lying to address the question of how we should live in a fallen world. The serpent in the Garden of Eden led humankind astray with lies. The Devil is the father of lies. Premodern sources agonized constantly over the act of lying. Denery not only superbly narrates the long history of this obsession, but also locates the conditions that reveal an Enlightenment shift toward a not entirely comfortable modernity.”–William Chester Jordan, Princeton University

Hardcover | 2014 | $29.95 / £19.95
eBook available

The Fascinating World of Graph Theory<br>Arthur Benjamin, Gary Chartrand & Ping Zhang The Fascinating World of Graph Theory
Arthur Benjamin, Gary Chartrand & Ping Zhang
“In this attractive introduction to the world of graphs, the authors entice and enthuse readers through a number of fun problems which present various aspects of the subject. Many of these problems are familiar–the four-color problem, the Königsberg Bridge problem, and ‘instant insanity’–while others are less well known or of a more serious nature. This book can be used in different ways–as an entertaining book on recreational mathematics or as an accessible textbook on graph theory. I warmly recommend it.”–Robin J. Wilson, author of Introduction to Graph Theory

Hardcover | 2014 | $29.95 / £19.95
eBook available

The Match Girl and the Heiress<br>Seth Koven The Match Girl and the Heiress
Seth Koven
“Rutgers University historian Koven (Slumming) has fashioned a scholarly yet highly readable jewel that tackles the big issues of early-20th-century England in an intimate way. Through the lives of Muriel Lester and Nellie Dowell, he brilliantly illuminates the growth of global capitalism, a revolutionary ‘God is love’ Christian theology, war and pacifism, feminism and sexuality, and class and gender relations.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

Hardcover | 2014 | $35.00 / £24.95
eBook available

Mathematics without Apologies: Portrait of a Problematic Vocation<br>Michael Harris Mathematics without Apologies:
Portrait of a Problematic Vocation
Michael Harris
“Michael Harris writes with all-absorbing exuberance and intensity about what it feels like from the inside to do mathematics, and he succeeds, for the uninitiated like myself, in conveying the motives and the pleasure that have impelled him and his precursors and peers to seek to understand. But Mathematics without Apologies is many things besides: it combines thoughtful personal memoir, sharp social chronicle, entertaining literary analysis, and jeux d’esprit reflecting on formulae for love or on the hidden structures in the fiction of Thomas Pynchon. Most importantly, however, Harris issues a clarion call for the autonomy of research in our time. He defends–fiercely and lucidly–the pursuit of understanding without recourse to commercial interests or other principles of utility. This is an original and passionate book; Michael Harris has fashioned much-needed luminous arguments for the cause of intellectual independence.”Marina Warner, professor of English and creative writing, Birkbeck, University of London, and author of Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights

Hardcover | 2014 | $29.95 / £19.95
eBook available

Playing at Acquisitions: Behavioral Option Games<br>Han Smit & Thras Moraitis Playing at Acquisitions:
Behavioral Option Games
Han Smit & Thras Moraitis
“This book brings together the best insights from strategy, corporate finance, and psychology to explore in a real, fine-grained, and practical way how to derive winning acquisition strategies using both real options and game theory to optimally time and leverage investments. It is a must-read for serious practitioners and those aiming to get into the game.”–Dan Lovallo, University of California, Berkeley

Hardcover | 2014 | $55.00 / £37.95
eBook available

The Princeton Companion to Atlantic History<br>Edited by Joseph C. Miller Vincent Brown, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Laurent Dubois & Karen Ordhal Kupperman, associate editors The Princeton Companion to Atlantic History
Edited by Joseph C. Miller
Vincent Brown, Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Laurent Dubois & Karen Ordhal Kupperman, associate editors
Between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, the connections among Africa, the Americas, and Europe transformed world history—through maritime exploration, commercial engagements, human migrations and settlements, political realignments and upheavals, cultural exchanges, and more. This book, the first encyclopedic reference work on Atlantic history, takes an integrated, multicontinental approach that emphasizes the dynamics of change and the perspectives and motivations of the peoples who made it happen. The entries—all specially commissioned for this volume from an international team of leading scholars—synthesize the latest scholarship on central themes, including economics, migration, politics, war, technologies and science, the physical environment, and culture.

Hardcover | 2014 | $65.00 / £44.95
eBook available

Sea of Storms: A History of Hurricanes in the Greater Caribbean from Columbus to Katrina<br>Stuart B. Schwartz Sea of Storms:
A History of Hurricanes in the Greater Caribbean from Columbus to Katrina
Stuart B. Schwartz
“In this magisterial study, the histories of colonization, state formation, empire, slavery, and emancipation come into sharp relief when viewed through the eye of the hurricane. Sea of Storms is a tightly focused study that delivers perspectives as sweeping as the history of the Caribbean itself.”–Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, University of Texas at Austin

Hardcover | 2014 | $35.00 / £24.95
eBook available

Sexing the World: Grammatical Gender and Biological Sex in Ancient Rome<br>Anthony Corbeill Sexing the World:
Grammatical Gender and Biological Sex in Ancient Rome
Anthony Corbeill
“Demonstrating wide reading and a command of lesser-known texts and sources, this enjoyable book offers a highly original and interesting look at gender in both Latin grammar and Roman society. It explores the grammar of nouns where gender is fluid, and takes into consideration poetic intent and Roman cultural-sexual history. There is no other book quite like it.”–Michael Fontaine, Cornell University

Hardcover | 2014 | $45.00 / £30.95
eBook available

Boris likes fairy tales, too!

The Brothers Grimm can now count the Mayor of London among their growing list of fans. At a recent book signing in Oxford, Boris Johnson proclaimed that he had heard good things about The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, which came out in November and has proved a popular choice for Christmas. In fact, the Mayor of London said that he would be giving a copy of the book as a Christmas gift himself, although the identity of the lucky recipient remains a mystery!

Boris

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm is the first ever full translation into English of Jacob and Wilhelm’s original versions of their famous tales. Gory, dark, disturbing and, yes, grim, the originals were first published in 1812 and 1815 and have since been overshadowed by the later versions of the stories that we know today.

The Warbler Guide App Blog Tour, Day 4

Digital formats allow authors and developers to present images in new and exciting ways. For The Warbler Guide App, Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle took it all the way by commissioning exclusive 3D illustrations that allow users to literally spin and flip a warbler to any angle. Better yet, you can spin and flip two warblers side by side for quick comparisons. So, when you spot a bird from a strange angle, you can quickly replicate that view in the app and compare it with similar species.

For today’s tour stop, the American Birding Association presents an exclusive video of the visual elements of The Warbler Guide App including a preview of this 3D capability.

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Please support our blog tour participants by visiting their sites:

Day 3:

warblerwatch

Day 2:

drunk

 

prairie

Day 1:

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The Warbler Guide App Blog Tour, Day 2

The week-long celebration of all things warbler continues today with an article from our favorite inebriated birder that gives some insight into how UK birders think about warblers – The Drunkbirder – and a photo quiz and opportunity to win a copy of the app from The Prairie Birder in Canada.

Please support our blog tour participants by visiting their sites:

 

drunk

 

prairie

 

You can also revisit where the fun began by checking out this video posted at Birding Is Fun:

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The Warbler Guide App Blog Tour, Day 1

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Warbler tour small

Visit Birding Is Fun today to view an exclusive video that shows how sounds are incorporated into The Warbler Guide App.

Look for our tour stop logo this week for more exclusive material. We hope the app will be live on iTunes any day now, in time for your holiday shopping!

 

 

 

“On the third day…” The Twelve Grimm Days of Christmas

We are delighted to share these stories from The Complete First Edition of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm with our readers. This series will run for 12 days and each story is accompanied by original art from Andrea Dezsö.

Three sisters

The Three Sisters

Once upon a time there was a rich king who was so rich that he believed his wealth would last forever. Therefore, he wallowed in luxury and gambled on a golden board with silver dice. All this continued for some time until he squandered his wealth and was forced to mortgage his cities and castles one after the other. Finally, nothing was left except an old castle in the forest. He moved there with his queen and three daughters, and their lives were miserable: they had only potatoes to eat for their daily meal.

One day the king decided to go hunting to see if he could perhaps shoot a hare. After filling his pocket full of potatoes, he went off to a nearby forest that nobody dared enter because terrible stories had been told about what one might encounter there, such as bears that ate people, eagles that hacked out eyes, and wolves, lions, and all kinds of cruel beasts. However, the king was not in the least afraid and went straight into the forest. At first he didn’t see anything except huge and mighty trees, and everything was quiet beneath them. After he had walked around for a while, he became hungry and sat down underneath a tree to eat his potatoes. All of a sudden a bear came out of the thicket, trotted straight toward him, and growled, “How dare you sit under my honey tree! You’ll pay for this!”

The king was horrified and handed the bear his potatoes to appease him. But the bear began to speak and said, “I don’t want your potatoes. I’m going to eat you yourself. But, if you give me your oldest daughter, you can you save yourself ! If you do this, I’ll give you a hundred pounds of gold in the bargain.”

Since the king was afraid of being eaten, he said, “You shall have her. Just let me go in peace.”

The bear showed him the way out of the forest and growled after him, “In a week’s time I’ll come and fetch my bride.”

As he went home, the king felt more at ease and was convinced that the bear would not be able to crawl through a keyhole. So from then on everything at the castle was to be shut tight. He ordered all the gates to be locked, the drawbridges to be lifted, and told his daughter not to worry.

But just to be on the safe side and to protect his daughter from the bear bridegroom, he gave her a little room under the pinnacle high up in the castle. She was to hide there until the week was over.

Early on the seventh morning, however, when everyone was still asleep, a splendid coach drawn by six horses came driving up to the castle. It was surrounded by numerous knights clad in gold, and as soon as the coach was in front, the drawbridges dropped down by themselves, and the locks sprung open without keys. The coach drove into the courtyard, and a young, handsome prince stepped out. When the king was wakened by the noise and looked out the window, he saw the prince had already fetched his oldest daughter from the locked room and was lifting her into the coach. He could just call after her:

“Farewell, my maiden dear.
I see you’re off to wed the bear.”

She waved to him with her little white handkerchief from the coach, and then they sped off into the magic forest as if the coach were harnessed to the wind. The king felt very bad about having given his daughter to a bear. He was so sad that he and the queen wept for three days. But on the fourth day, after he had done enough weeping, he realized that he couldn’t change what had happened and went down into the courtyard. There he found a chest made out of smooth wood, which was very difficult to lift. Immediately he remembered what the bear had promised him. So he opened it and found a hundred pounds of glittering and glistening gold.

When the king saw the gold, he felt consoled. He reacquired his cities and kingdom and began leading his former life of luxury once more. Soon after, he was obliged to mortgage everything all over again, and he retreated to his castle in the forest and had nothing to eat but potatoes. Yet the king still had a falcon, and one day the king took it hunting with him and went out into the field to get something better to eat. The falcon soared high into the sky and flew in the direction of the dark magic forest, which the king no longer dared enter. Right after the falcon flew into the woods, an eagle shot out and pursued the falcon, which returned to the king, who tried to fend off the eagle with his spear. But the eagle grabbed the spear and broke it like a reed. Then the eagle crushed the falcon with one claw and dug into the king’s shoulder with the other.

“Why have you disturbed my kingdom in the sky?” the eagle cried out. “Either you give me your second daughter for my wife, or you shall die!”

“All right,” the king said. “You shall have my second daughter, but what will you give me for her?”

“Two hundred pounds of gold,” the eagle said. “In seven weeks I’ll come to fetch her.”

Then the eagle let him go and flew off into the forest. The king felt bad about having also sold his second daughter to a wild beast and didn’t dare tell her anything about it. Six weeks passed, and in the seventh the princess went out one day on the lawn in front of the castle to water the linseed. All at once a splendid parade of handsome knights came riding up, and at their head was the handsomest knight of all, who dismounted and cried out:

“Up you go, my maiden dear.
Come wed the eagle. No need to fear!”

And before she could answer him, he had already lifted her onto his horse and raced off with her into the forest, flying like a bird. Farewell! Farewell!

The king and queen waited a long time for the princess to come back to the castle, but no matter how long they waited, she didn’t return. Then the king finally revealed that he had promised her to an eagle when he had once been in trouble, and the eagle must have fetched her. After the king got over his sadness somewhat, he remembered the eagle’s promise, went down to the lawn, and found two golden eggs, each weighing one hundred pounds. “Money is a sign of piety,” thought the king, and he dismissed all gloomy thoughts from his mind. He resumed his merrymaking once more and lived luxuriously until he ran through the two hundred pounds of gold. Then the king returned to the castle in the forest, and the last of the princesses had to boil the potatoes.

The king didn’t want to hunt any more hares in the forest or any more birds in the sky, but he did desire to eat some fish. So the princess had to weave a net, which he took with him to a pond not far from the castle. A small boat was there, and he got in and threw the net into the water. On his very first try he caught a bunch of beautiful flounders with red speckles, but when he wanted to row ashore with his catch, the boat wouldn’t budge, and he couldn’t get it to move, no matter how much he tried. All of a sudden an enormous whale came puffing up to him and cried out, “Who said you could catch the subjects of my realm and take them away with you? This will cost you your life!”

As the whale said this, he opened his jaws as if he were going to swallow the king and the little boat as well. When the king saw his terrible jaws, he completely lost his courage and recalled that he had a third daughter.

“Spare my life,” he cried out, “and you shall have my third daughter!” “That’s fine with me,” roared the whale. “I’ll also give you something for her. I don’t have gold. That’s not good enough for me. But the floor of my sea is plastered with precious pearls. I’ll give you three sacks full of them. In the seventh month I’ll come and fetch my bride.”

Then he dived down into the water, while the king rowed ashore and brought the flounders home. Yet, when they were baked, he refused to eat any of them, and when he looked at his daughter, the only one left and the most beautiful and loveliest of them all, he felt as if a thousand knives were cutting his heart. Six months passed, and the queen and princess didn’t know what was wrong with the king, for he didn’t smile once during all that time. In the seventh month the princess was in the courtyard in front of a man-made well and drew a glass of water. Suddenly a coach with six white horses and men clad entirely in silver came driving up. A prince stepped out of the coach, and he was more handsome than any other prince she had ever seen in her life. He asked her for a glass of water, and when she handed it to him, he embraced her and lifted her into the coach. Then they drove back through the gate over the field toward the pond.

“Farewell, you maiden dear.
You’re bound to wed the whale down there.”

The queen stood at the window and watched the coach as it moved off in the distance. When she was unable to find her daughter, her heart was saddened, and she called her and looked for her everywhere. But the daughter was nowhere to be seen or heard. When the queen was certain the princess could not be found, she began to weep, and now the king revealed to her that a whale must have fetched their daughter, for he had been forced to promise their daughter to him. Indeed, that was the reason he had been so sad. The king wanted to comfort his wife and told her about the great treasure they would now get for the princess. However, the queen didn’t want to hear anything about it and said her only child was more dear to her than all the treasures of the world.

During the time that the whale prince had carried off the princess, his servants had carried three tremendous sacks into the castle, which the king found at the door. When he opened them, he found they were full of big, beautiful, and precious pearls, just as large as the fattest peas imaginable. All of a sudden he was rich again and richer than he had ever been before. He reacquired his cities and castles, but this time he didn’t resume his luxurious way of living. Instead, he became quiet and thrifty. Whenever he thought about what had happened to his three dear daughters with the wild beasts and that perhaps they had already been eaten up, he lost all zest for life.

Meanwhile, the queen couldn’t be consoled and wept more tears for her daughters than all the pearls the whale had given them. Finally, she became more calm and peaceful, and after some time she was happy again, for she gave birth to a handsome baby boy. Since God had given them the child so unexpectedly, he was named Reinald the Miracle Child. The boy grew big and strong, and the queen often told him about his three sisters, who were being held prisoners by three beasts in the magic forest. When he turned sixteen, he demanded some armor and a sword from the king, and when he received all this, he decided to embark on an adventure. So he blessed his parents and set forth.

He went straight toward the magic forest and had only one thing on his mind—to search for his sisters. At first he wandered around in the great forest for a long time without encountering a human being or a beast. But after three days he saw a young woman sitting in front of a cave and playing with a young bear cub, while another very young one was lying on her lap.

Reinald thought she must surely be his oldest sister. So he left his horse behind him and approached her.

“Dearest sister,” he said, “I’m your brother Reinald, and I’ve come to visit you.”

The princess looked at him, and since he resembled her father very strongly, she didn’t doubt his words, but she was frightened and said, “Oh, dearest brother, hurry and run away as fast as you can if you value your life. When my husband the bear comes home and finds you here, he’ll show you no mercy and will eat you up.”

But Reinald said, “I’m not afraid, and I won’t leave you until I know how you are and what things are like for you.”

When the princess saw that he was resolute, she led him into the dark cave that was like the dwelling of a bear. On one side was a heap of leaves and hay on which the old bear and his cubs slept, and on the other side was a magnificent bed with red covers trimmed with gold. That belonged to the princess. She told him to crawl under the bed and handed him something to eat. It didn’t take long before the bear came home.

“I smell, I smell the flesh of a human being,” he said and wanted to stick his hand under the bed.

But the princess cried out, “Be quiet! Who would ever come here?”

“I found a horse in the forest and ate it,” he growled, and his nose was still bloody from eating the horse. “Where there’s a horse, there’s a man, and I smell him.”

Again he wanted to look under the bed, but she gave him such a kick in the side that he did a somersault, went back to his place, put his paw in his mouth, and fell asleep.

Every seventh day the bear was restored to his natural form. He became a handsome prince; his cave, a splendid castle; the animals in the forest, his servants. It was on such a day that he had fetched the princess. Beautiful young women had come to meet her from the castle. There had been a glorious festival, and she had gone to sleep full of joy, but when she had awakened, she had found herself lying in the bear’s dark cave, and her husband had been turned into a bear growling at her feet. Only the bed and everything she had touched had remained in its natural condition and hadn’t been changed. Thus she lived six days in suffering, but on the seventh she was comforted. She didn’t grow old because only one day a week counted in her life, and she was content with her existence. She had given her husband two sons, who also became bears for six days and regained their human form on the seventh day. She stuffed their straw bed with the most delicious food all the time, including cake and fruit, and they lived off this food the entire week. Moreover, the bear obeyed her and did whatever she wanted.

When Reinald awoke, he lay in a silken bed. Servants waited on him and dressed him in the finest clothes, for his visit fell right on the seventh day. His sister entered with the two handsome princes and his brother-in-law the bear. They were glad about his arrival. Everything was magnificent and glorious, and the entire day was filled with pleasurable and joyous things. But, in the evening the princess said, “Dear brother, now it’s time for you to depart. At daybreak my husband will become a bear again, and if he finds you here tomorrow, he won’t be able to control his natural instincts and will eat you up.”

Then the bear prince came and gave him three bear hairs and said, “Whenever you’re in trouble, just rub these hairs, and I’ll come to your aid.”

Then they kissed each other and said farewell. Reinald climbed into a carriage drawn by six horses and drove off. He went over hill and valley, up and down mountains, through deserts and forests, shrubs and hedges without stopping to rest until the sky began turning grey at dusk. Then Reinald suddenly lay on the ground, and the horses and carriage disappeared. At sunrise he saw six ants galloping away, drawing a nutshell behind them.

Reinald realized he was still in the magic forest and wanted to search for his second sister. Again he wandered about aimlessly and lonely for three days without accomplishing anything. But on the fourth day he heard a big eagle come swooping down to settle in a nest. Reinald hid in the bushes and waited for the eagle to fly away. After seven hours it soared into the air again. Then Reinald emerged from the bushes, went over to the tree, and cried out, “Dearest sister, are you up above? If so, let me hear your voice. I’m Reinald, your brother, and I’ve come to visit you!”

Then he heard a voice calling down to him, “If you’re Reinald, my dearest brother, whom I’ve never seen, come up to me.”

Reinald wanted to climb the tree, but the trunk was too thick and slippery. He tried three times in vain. Suddenly a silken rope ladder dropped down, and he climbed it until he reached the eagle’s nest, which was strong and secure like a platform on a linden tree. His sister sat under a canopy made out of rose-colored silk, and an eagle’s egg was lying on her lap. She was keeping it warm in order to hatch it. They kissed each other and rejoiced, but after a while the princess said, “Now, hurry and see to it that you get out of here, dearest brother. If the eagle, my husband, sees you, he’ll hack your eyes out and devour your heart as he’s already done with three of your servants, who were looking for you in the forest.”

“No,” said Reinald. “I’m staying here until your husband is transformed.” “That will happen but only in six weeks. If you can hold out that long, go and hide in the tree. It’s hollow on the inside, and I’ll drop food down to you every day.”

Reinald crawled into the tree, and the princess let food down to him every day. Whenever the eagle flew away, he climbed up to her. After six weeks the eagle was transformed, and once more Reinald awoke in a bed that was like the one at his brother-in-law the bear’s place. Only here it was more splendid, and he lived with the eagle prince in great joy. On the seventh evening they said their farewells. The eagle gave him three eagle feathers and said, “If you’re in trouble, rub them, and I’ll come to your aid.”

Then he gave him servants to show him the way out of the forest. But when morning came, they suddenly disappeared, and Reinald was all alone on top of a high rocky cliff in a terrible wilderness. He looked around him, and in the distance he saw the reflection of a large lake, which glistened from the sun’s rays. He thought of his third sister, who might be there. So he began to climb down the cliff and work his way through the bushes and between the rocks. He needed three days to do this, and he often lost sight of the lake, but on the fourth day he succeeded in getting there. Once he was on the bank, he called out, “Dearest sister, if you’re in the water, let me hear your voice. I’m Reinald, your brother, and I’ve come to visit you.”

But no one answered, and everything was very quiet. He threw bread crumbs into the water and said to the fish, “Dear fish, go to my sister and tell her that Reinald the Wonder Child is here and wants to see her.”

But the red-speckled flounders snapped up the bread and didn’t listen to his words. Then he saw a little boat and immediately took off his armor. He kept only his sword in his hand as he jumped into the boat and rowed off. After he had gone a long way, he saw a chimney made of rock crystal jutting out of the water, and there was a pleasant smell rising up from it. Reinald rowed toward it and was convinced that his sister was living down below. So he climbed on top of the chimney and slid down. The princess was greatly startled when she suddenly saw a pair of wriggling legs followed shortly by a whole man, who identified himself as her brother. She rejoiced with all her heart, but then she turned sad and said, “The whale has heard that you’ve wanted to visit me, and he’s declared that if you come while he’s a whale, he’ll not be able to control his desire to eat you up. Moreover, he’ll break my crystal house, and I’ll also perish in the flood of water.”

“Can’t you hide me until the time comes when the magic loses its power?”

“Oh, no. How can I do that? Don’t you see that the walls are all made out of crystal, and you can see through them?”

Nevertheless, she thought and thought, and finally she remembered the room where the wood was kept. She arranged the wood in such a careful way that nobody could see anything from the outside, and it was there that she hid the Wonder Child. Soon after, the whale came, and the princess trembled like an aspen leaf. He swam around the crystal house a few times, and when he saw a little piece of Reinald’s clothing sticking out of the wood, he beat his tail, snorted ferociously, and if he had seen more, he would surely have destroyed the house. He came once a day and swam around it until the magic stopped in the seventh month. Suddenly Reinald found himself in a castle right in the middle of an island, and the castle surpassed even the splendor of the eagle’s castle. Now he lived with his sister and brother-in-law for a whole month in the lap of luxury. When the time was over, the whale gave him three scales and said, “When you’re in trouble, rub them, and I’ll come to your aid.”

The whale brought him to the bank, where his armor was still lying on the ground. The Wonder Child moved around in the wilderness for seven more days, and he slept seven nights under the open skies. Then he caught sight of a castle with a steel gate that had a mighty lock on it. In front of the gate was a black bull with flashing eyes. It was guarding the entrance, and Reinald attacked it. He gave the bull a powerful blow on its neck, but the neck was made of steel, and the sword broke as if it were glass. He tried to use his lance, but it broke like a piece of straw. Then the bull grabbed him with its horns and threw him into the air so that he got caught in the branches of a tree. In his desperation Reinald remembered the three bear’s hairs and rubbed them in his hand. All at once the bear appeared and fought with the bull. He tore the bull to pieces, but a bird came out of the bull’s stomach, flew high into the air, and rushed off. But Reinald rubbed the three eagle’s feathers, and suddenly a mighty eagle came flying through the air and pursued the bird, which flew directly toward a pond. The eagle dived at the bird and mangled it, but Reinald saw the bird drop a golden egg into the water. Now he rubbed the three fish scales in his hand, and immediately a whale came swimming up, swallowed the egg, and spat it out onto the shore. Reinald picked it up and cracked it open with a stone. There he found a little key that fit the steel gate. As soon as he just touched the gate with the key, the gate sprang open by itself, and he entered. All the bars on the other doors slid off by themselves, and he went through seven doors into seven splendid and brightly lit rooms. In the last room a maiden was lying asleep on a bed. She was so beautiful that he was completely dazzled by her. He sought to wake her, but it was in vain. Her sleep was so deep that she seemed to be dead. In his rage he struck a black slate standing next to the bed. At that very moment the maiden awoke but fell right back to sleep. Now he took the slate and threw it onto the stone floor so that it shattered into a thousand pieces. No sooner did this happen than the maiden opened her eyes wide, and the magic spell was broken. She turned out to be the sister of Reinald’s three brothers-in-law. Because she had rejected the love of a godless sorcerer, he had sentenced her to a deathlike sleep and changed her brothers into animals. They were to remain that way so long as the black slate remained untouched.

Reinald led the maiden out of the castle, and as they passed through the gate, his brothers-in-law came riding up from three different directions. They had been released from the magic spell, and with them came their wives and children. Indeed, the eagle’s bride had hatched the egg and carried a beautiful baby girl in her arms. Now all of them traveled to the old king and queen. The Miracle Child brought his three sisters home. Soon he married the beautiful maiden, and their wedding provided great joy and pleasure to everyone,

Now the cat’s run home, for my tale is done.


bookjacket

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm:
The Complete First Edition
Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm, Translated and edited by Jack Zipes
Illustrated by Andrea Dezsö

Art credit: Andrea Dezsö

The Warbler Guide App Blog Tour starts next week

The Warbler Guide App Warbler tour smallwill be live on iTunes any day now and next week we are partnering with a stellar group of bird bloggers to bring you exclusive content and opportunities to win apps and books. We’ll post links each day to get you to the right place, but here is the schedule in case you want to plan ahead:

Monday, December 15 – Birding is Fun will bring you an exclusive video showcasing one of the features of the app!

Tuesday, December 16 – Drunk Birder will give us some insight on what British birders think of our American warblers + Prairie Birder will test your warbler ID skills with a photo quiz!

Wednesday, December 17 – Warbler Watch will speak with the brains of this operation — AKA Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle.

Thursday, December 18 – 10,000 Birds will provide an in-depth review of the app.

Friday, December 19 – ABA blog will give you an exclusive peek at one of the most exciting visual features of the app.

(note some of the dates may change, but the participants are set)

The following week, we will run a sweepstakes style giveaway for a complete The Warbler Guide set — the book, the song companion, and the app — as well as a lovely pair of Zeiss binoculars. People who have been following the tour will likely find it a bit easier to figure out our clues (though of course, we’ll have a way for everyone else to enter too).

We look forward to sharing this exciting new app with you. It is groundbreaking in several ways and we can’t wait to hear what you think.

Thank you!