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The Black Swan
The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Length: 14 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Maverick thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb had an illustrious career on Wall Street before turning his focus to his black swan theory. Not all swans are white, and not all events, no matter what the experts think, are predictable. Taleb shows that black swans, like 9/11, cannot be foreseen and have an immeasurable impact on the world.
3 out of 5 stars
Pragmatic concept deluvered in an arrogant message
Aurora is a small town nestled in the ancient forest alongside the shores of Minnesota’s Iron Lake. In the summer of 1963, it is the whole world to 12-year-old Cork O’Connor, its rhythms as familiar as his own heartbeat. But when Cork stumbles upon the body of a man he revered hanging from a tree in an abandoned logging camp, it is the first in a series of events that will cause him to question everything he took for granted about his hometown, his family, and himself.
The governor of Wyoming has given game warden Joe Pickett the thankless assignment of taking a tech baron on a hunting trip. But unbeknownst to them, as they trek further into the wilderness, a hunter is hot on their heels. Joe must rely on his wits and his knowledge of the outdoors to protect himself and his charge. Meanwhile, when Joe's closest friend, Nate Romanowski, and his own daughter, Sheridan, learn of the threat to his life, they follow him into the woods to rescue him, and all three come together for one final showdown.
During a houseboat vacation on the remote Lake of the Woods, a violent gale sweeps through unexpectedly, stranding Cork and his daughter, Jenny, on a devastated island where the wind has ushered in a force far darker and more deadly than any storm. Amid the wreckage, Cork and Jenny discover the body of a teenage girl. She wasn't killed by the storm, however; she'd been bound and tortured before she died. Nearby, underneath a tangle of branches, they also find a baby boy, hungry and dehydrated, but still very much alive.
It’s an idyllic late-summer day in Saddlestring, Wyoming, and game warden Joe Pickett is fly-fishing with his two daughters when he stumbles upon the mutilated body of a moose. Whatever or whoever attacked the animal was ruthless: half the animal’s face has been sliced away, the skin peeled back from the flesh. Shaken by the sight, Joe starts to investigate what he hopes is an isolated incident.
Joe Pickett, having recently been fired from his job as a Wyoming game warden, is working on his father-in-law’s ranch when he receives a call. Governor Rulon - a devious but down-home politico - has a special request. Clay McCann, a lawyer who slaughtered four campers in cold blood in a far-off corner of Yellowstone National Park, had immediately turned himself in at the nearest park ranger station - except that the crimes were committed in a thin sliver of land with zero residents and overlapping jurisdiction, the so-called free-fire zone.
When Earl Alden is found dead, dangling from a wind turbine, it's his wife, Missy, who is arrested. Unfortunately for Joe Pickett, Missy is his mother-in-law, a woman he dislikes heartily, and now he doesn't know what to do - especially when the early signs point to her being guilty as sin. But then things happen to make Joe wonder: Is Earl's death what it appears to be? Is Missy being set up?
Joe Pickett’s in his last week as the temporary game warden in the isolated town of Baggs, Wyoming, but there have been strange things going on in the surrounding mountains, and his conscience won’t let him leave without checking them out: reports of camps looted, tents slashed, elk butchered. And then there’s the runner who’s gone missing – an Olympic hopeful who’d been training in the region and then just ... vanished.
The plane circled in the dark. Down below, Joe Pickett could just make out figures in the snow and timber. Joe knew that he might be their next target. The Cates clan's history with the Picketts is about to come full circle. Game warden Joe Pickett struck a fierce blow against them when the life of his daughter April was endangered. But it wasn't a killing blow, and he'd always wondered if there'd be a day of reckoning...It seems now Joe will find out.
'Tell Sherry April called.' That simple phone message shakes Joe Pickett’s oldest daughter Sheridan and the rest of the family to the core. To Joe, it doesn’t seem even remotely possible that April could have survived the massacre six years before. He was there, and he was unable to save her. But Sheridan starts to believe there’s a chance that April is still alive, and her suspicions are confirmed when the person sending texts to her cell phone is able to recall family incidents only April could know.
Joe Pickett's old friend, Nate Romanowski, is off the grid, lying low while the FBI search for him. But they're not the only ones looking for him. Nate finds himself confronted by agents who need his help assessing a potential terror threat in Wyoming's Red Desert. In return they'll make Nate's criminal record disappear. Meanwhile, Joe investigates a rash of crimes and secretive federal activity. As they pursue their quarries, both men will be drawn deep into a secret that could take them both down.
In 1995, Nate was in a secret Special Forces unit abroad when a colleague did something terrible. Now high up in the government, the man is determined to eliminate anyone who knows about it, and Nate knows exactly how he'll do it – by striking at Nate's friends to draw him out. The entire Pickett family will be a target, and the only way to fight back is outside the law. Nate knows he can do it, but he isn't sure about his straight-arrow friend – and all their lives could depend on it.
Joe has good reason to dislike Dallas Cates - his eighteen-year-old foster daughter, April, has run off with him. And then comes worse news: the body of a girl has been found in a ditch along the highway – barely alive, the victim of blunt force trauma. It is April, and the doctors don't know if she'll recover. Cates denies having anything to do with it - but Joe knows in his gut who's responsible.
Wyoming's new governor isn't sure what to make of Joe Pickett, but he has a job for him that is extremely delicate. A prominent female British executive never came home from the high-end guest ranch she was visiting, and the British embassy is pressing hard. At the same time, his friend Nate Romanowski has asked Joe to intervene with the feds on behalf of falconers who can no longer hunt with eagles even though their permits are in order. But the more he investigates both cases, the more someone wants him to go away.
The wife of a prominent local judge is shot and killed on Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett's turf. But as Joe investigates, all signs point to the shot having been taken from an impossibly long distance. Joe has seen a lot in his time as warden, but he's never seen a killing like this. At the same time, just as he's adjusting to the arrival of a new baby, Joe's best friend Nate Romanowski is attempting to decipher a startling grizzly attack in the area. Beset by threats both man-made and natural, the two men must go to great lengths to figure out how to keep their loved ones safe.
Anthony Award-winning author William Kent Krueger crafts this riveting tale about a small Minnesota town’s ex-sheriff who is having trouble retiring his badge. Cork O’Connor loses his job after being blamed for a tragedy on the local Anishinaabe Indian reservation. But he must set aside his personal demons when a young boy goes missing on the same day a judge commits suicide—and no one but O’Connor suspects foul play.
The good news is that Joe Pickett has his job back. The bad news is that Wyoming's Twelve Sleep County game warden is only days away from the most dangerous predators he's ever faced. Joe's working with Katelyn Hamm, his counterpart in adjacent Shell County, to trace a drone operator whose aerial acrobatics have been stampeding elk and deer to their deaths. Their investigation will put them both on a collision course not only with the FBI but also with the Wolf Pack, a remorseless quartet of killers.
The Dark Net is real. An anonymous and often criminal arena that exists in the secret, far reaches of the web, some use it to manage Bitcoins, pirate movies and music, or traffic in drugs and stolen goods. And now an ancient darkness is gathering there as well. These demons are threatening to spread virally into the real world unless they can be stopped by members of a ragtag crew.
Happy and content in his hometown of Aurora, Minnesota, Cork O'Connor has left his badge behind and is ready for a life of relative peace, setting up shop as a private investigator. But his newfound state of calm is soon interrupted when Henry Meloux, an Ojibwe medicine man and Cork's spiritual adviser, makes a request: Will Cork find the son that Henry fathered long ago?