Benders books

Michael Atamanov was born in 1975 in Grozny, Chechnia. He excelled at school, winning numerous national science and writing competitions. Having graduated with honors, he entered Moscow University to study material engineering. Soon, however, he had no home to return to: their house was destroyed during the first Chechen campaign. Michael's family fled the war, taking shelter with some relatives in Stavropol Territory in the South of Russia.

Having graduated from the University, Michael was forced to accept whatever work was available. He moonlighted in chemical labs, loaded trucks, translated technical articles, worked as a software installer and scene shifter for local artists and events. At the same time he never stopped writing, even when squatting in some seedy Moscow hostels. Writing became an urgent need for Michael. He submitted articles to science publications, penned news fillers for a variety of web sites and completed a plethora of technical and copywriting gigs.

Then one day unexpectedly for himself he started writing fairy tales and science fiction novels. For several years, his audience consisted of only one person: Michael's elder son. Then, at the end of 2014 he decided to upload one of his manuscripts to a free online writers resource. Readers liked it and demanded a sequel. Michael uploaded another book, and yet another, his audience growing as did his list. It was his readers who helped Michael hone his writing style. He finally had the breakthrough he deserved when the Moscow-based EKSMO - the biggest publishing house in Europe - offered him a contract for his first and consequent books.

Michael is now the author of three bestselling LitRPG series: Perimeter Defense, The Dark Herbalist and Reality Benders which are already considered the classics of LitRPG.

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Frankly, We Did Win This Election


Michael C. Bender, senior White House reporter for the Wall Street Journal, presents a deeply reported account of the 2020 presidential campaign that details how Donald J. Trump became the first incumbent in three decades to lose reelection—and the only one whose defeat culminated in a violent insurrection. 

Beginning with President Trump’s first impeachment and ending with his second, FRANKLY, WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION chronicles the inside-the-room deliberations between Trump and his campaign team as they opened 2020 with a sleek political operation built to harness a surge of momentum from a bullish economy, a unified Republican Party, and a string of domestic and foreign policy successes—only to watch everything unravel when fortunes suddenly turned.

With first-rate sourcing cultivated from five years of covering Trump in the White House and both of his campaigns, Bender brings readers inside the Oval Office, aboard Air Force One, and into the front row of the movement’s signature mega-rallies for the story of an epic election-year convergence of COVID, economic collapse, and civil rights upheaval—and an unorthodox president’s attempt to battle it all. 

Fresh interviews with Trump, key campaign advisers, and senior administration officials are paired with an exclusive collection of internal campaign memos, emails, and text messages for scores of never-before-reported details about the campaign. 

FRANKLY, WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION is the inside story of how Trump lost, and the definitive account of his final year in office that draws a straight line from the president’s repeated insistence that he would never lose to the deadly storming of the U.S. Capitol that imperiled one of his most loyal lieutenants—his own vice president.

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Deductive reasoning at its finest. Mind Benders books help students (and adults) learn and practice deductive reasoning as they are presented with clues to unravel and organize in order to reach logical conclusions. Becoming proficient in deductive reasoning will not only improve standardized test scores, but will help sharpen reasoning ability in all curriculum areas and in real life situations. As a child, I particularly enjoyed working these clue-and-grid type problems and consumed puzzle books full of them just for fun. I never gave a thought to their educational value. But perhaps it's no coincidence that I ended up a computer systems consultant..... Anyone doing Mind Benders for the first time should begin in the Verbal or Book 3 level to learn the deductive reasoning process before trying the more challenging levels. The original books are leveled A1-C3, and were out of print, but some levels are now available again. These original titles contained in one book. Where the original levels had 14 puzzles per book, most of the new versions include about 25-26. Surprisingly, the new books are about the same size (and similar price!), perhaps because they have condensed each puzzle onto one page where originally the clues were on one page and the grid on the other. Puzzles spiral slightly within each level and solutions are included in the books. For each new level below, we have noted the old versions included in parentheses.

Although Mind Benders Verbal is considered the introductory book in the Mind Benders series, Critical Thinking also provides two Beginner Levels (Books 1 and 2) which introduce deductive thinking in the format of the grid puzzle. While the Verbal includes questions like “Skip likes cake better than pie. He likes ice cream better than cake. What conclusion follows from this?” that guide the student to use their deductive reasoning skills, no clue and grid puzzles are included in this book. Instead, Verbal contains 100 brief exercises that introduce younger students to the critical thinking process. Books 1 and 2 each feature an instructional page at the beginning that demonstrates how to use a grid chart, and the grid puzzles that follow utilize pictures and simple words wherever possible so beginning readers aren’t more frustrated by the sentences than they are by the puzzles. Answer keys are included.



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