Rajendra B. Aklekar (born 1974) is an Indian journalist with over 25 years of experience and author of best-selling books on India’s railway history and heritage. He is also the biographer of India’s legendary railway engineer Dr. E Sreedharan. With museology from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharasj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly the Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai, Aklekar is also a Google-certified Digital Marketer. Aklekar, associated with the Indian Railway Fans’ Club Association, Indian Steam Railway Society, Rail Enthusiasts Society, has contributed significantly while setting up the Rail Heritage Gallery at the UNESCO-listed Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus station, formerly Victoria Terminus building, Bombay, and documentation of heritage relics of India’s first railway.
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Growing up in Chicago, I’ve always had a fascination for history, (even if it was sometimes a bit gory!), from Capone and the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre to reading about monsters and the unique worlds created by favorite author Stephen King. So, it’s probably not too surprising that I combined both interests and offered a new solution to the infamous Lizzie Borden axe murders of 1892 in my own book series. I enjoy reading, and writing, the serious to the not-so-serious, often incorporating touches of humor, or at least the absurd, where and whenever I can.
At age 13, the unthinkable happened and my father took his own life. Barely into adolescence, this trauma shaped the rest of my life. It created a deep compassion within me for the suffering of others and an understanding of the impact death can have. It ended everything and in learning to live, learning to laugh and smile, and dare to be happy again, I found my passion to help others rise to the surface in adult years. For anyone having to face the trauma of suicide, I am deeply sorry, and I know that there are no words that will alleviate the pain, but if you are looking for some comfort (when you are ready for it) I hope these books will help.
Valerie M. Hudson is a University Distinguished Professor and holds the George H.W. Bush Chair in the Department of International Affairs at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, where she directs the Program on Women, Peace, and Security. Hudson was named to the list of Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers, and was recognized as Distinguished Scholar of Foreign Policy Analysis (FPA/ISA) and awarded an inaugural Andrew Carnegie Fellowship as well as an inaugural Fulbright Distinguished Chair in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Australian National University. She has been selected as the Distinguished Scholar Award recipient for 2022 by the Political Demography and Geography Section (PDG/ISA) of the International Studies Association.
Growing up, my brothers and I begged for a dog, but our parents never gave in. Fortunately, when my kids begged for a pup, my husband and I gave in. So, as a children’s book writer, I wanted to give kids a book to help them convince their parents that there’s always room for a pup in the family, and at the same time, subtly emphasize the importance of gratitude and inclusion.
My formative experiences as a writer took place largely in natural settings—as well as in the pages of many books. When I was a teenager I moved with my family to Jasper National Park, where I hiked and climbed and started writing my first stories. On one winter climb in a frozen ravine, I lost my footing and slid down an ice slope into a natural well. This became the seed of my first novel, Icefields. Living in a protected “wilderness” also helped me understand how precious and fragile the natural world is. I have published several novels and a collection of short fiction. I teach creative writing at the University of Alberta and live in a place with lots of trees.
I’ve lived in San Francisco since I was 20 in 1978. I helped launch Processed World in 1981, Critical Mass in 1992, and Shaping San Francisco in 1998. I’ve been co-directing and co-curating the archive at foundsf.org since 2009, and have been fully immersed for years in gathering and presenting local history online, on bike and walking tours, during Public Talks, and most recently on Bay Cruises. I have published three books of my own and edited or co-edited seven additional volumes, much of which covers local history. The more I’ve learned the more I’ve realized how little I know!
I didn’t choose clutter as a topic—it chose me. Around the time Marie Kondo became a tidying-up sensation, my mother suffered a breakdown and could no longer live in her dangerously cluttered house. I’m an only child, so it fell to me to figure what to do with it all. So much stuff! It got me wondering: How did clutter get to be such a huge problem for so many people? The books on this list helped answer that question and made me feel less alone in the struggle with stuff. I hope you find them useful too.
I’ve been a geeky kid all my life. (I don’t think I’ve quite grown up yet.) Born in the 1970s, my childhood was a wonderful playground of building robots and software. I was awarded one of the early degrees in AI, and a PhD in genetic algorithms. I’ve since spent 25 years exploring how to make computers think, build, invent, compose… and I’ve also spent 20 years writing popular science books. I’m lucky enough to be a Professor in one of the world’s best universities for Computer Science and Machine Learning: UCL, and I guess I’ve written two or three hundred scientific papers over the years. I still think I know nothing at all about real or artificial intelligence, but then does anyone?