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Old 11-20-2011, 12:05 AM   #1
WT Sharpe
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December 2011 Book Club Nominations

Help us select the next book that the Mobile Read book club will read for December 2011.

The nominations will run through midnight EST November 30 or until 10 books have made the list. Voting (new poll thread) will run for 5 days starting at the close of nominations.

Book selection category for December per the "official" club opening thread is:

Classics

In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a pool at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations.


Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Inkmesh search | The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: by BenG - BBeB/LRF...PRC
Spoiler:
The novel begins with the narrator, a Custom House official, who happens to find a scarlet letter “A” in a box he finds one day in the office. The narrator then relates the story of Hester Prynne, the original bearer of the scarlet letter, who lived in Boston when it was just a small Puritan settlement in the seventeenth century. Hester’s story begins on a scaffold just outside the town prison. She has committed adultery, given birth to a child out of wedlock, and refuses to name the man with whom she had the affair. The village leaders hope to shame her into naming her lover by making her into a public spectacle. Even under intense pressure, Hester refuses to reveal her secret. She alone must bear the shame and isolation resulting from her actions. As a punishment, Hester is made to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her chest at all times. The letter “A” stands for adultery and causes her and her daughter to be scorned by the members of her community. Hester’s former husband returns to witness Hester’s shame. He decides to seek revenge against the man who, in his opinion, ruined Hester’s life and stole his wife from him. He assumes a new name, Roger Chillingworth, and becomes known as a physician specializing in alternative medicine. He befriends the Reverend Dimmesdale, the sickly young minister. Chillingworth eventually determines that Dimmesdale is the father of Hester’s daughter, Pearl. He plots an elaborate scheme in order to avenge the wrong he perceives was committed by Dimmesdale. Hester discovers Chillingworth’s plan to torture Dimmesdale on a daily basis, and recognizes that Dimmesdale’s health is significantly impacted by the revenge plot. Her secret is slowly killing the minister. As a result, Hester must break the promise she made years ago to never reveal the identity of Chillingworth in order to save Dimmesdale’s life. She reveals Chillingworth’s true identity to Dimmesdale and begs for his forgiveness. She expresses her desire for Dimmesdale to leave the country for his own safety, but Dimmesdale does not want to be alone. Hester offers to leave with him, and they plan to leave on a ship bound for Europe in three days. However, both Hester and Dimmesdale are plagued by feelings of dread and doom that continue to interrupt their elation. Another threat to their future happiness remains. Chillingworth is aware of the conversation between Hester and Dimmesdale. He remains committed to seeking revenge, and will use any means necessary to fulfill his need. Will Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale be able to start a new life as a family n Europe, or will Chillingworth finally attain his retribution? Themes in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter include isolation, hypocrisy, the nature of evil, the role of a woman in society, the destructive power of guilt, revenge, and the pressures society places on individuals to conform. Symbolism is another literary device prevalent in the novel. Examples include the scarlet letter itself, the brook, the roses, and Pearl’s name. These literary devices and Hawthorne’s plot continue to resound with readers, allowing the novel to remain popular with readers today. (from Amazon.com)


(2) The Iliad by Homer
Inkmesh search..Amazon (Penguin Classics)
The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: by crich70 - mobi & ePub
Spoiler:
You get the full original text of The Iliad by Homer interwoven with a smart, plain-spoken guide to the characters, quotes, themes, symbols, and more from Shmoop. Designed exclusively for Kindle readers, Shmoop Classics for Kindle offer the original text of some of the greatest works of literature with a built-in interactive guide to help you dig deep into the characters, symbols, themes, and big questions of the play. For the student and the life-long learner alike, take your classroom on the road and build your brain muscles daily. No need to weigh your backpack down, no need to waste paper, no need to get sleepy in class. Shmoop is here to make you a better lover of literature and to help you discover connections to other works of literature, history, current events, and pop culture. You'll find thought-provoking character analyses, quotes, summaries, themes, symbols, trivia, and lots of insightful commentary. Key quotes from the original text are linked to deep analysis from Shmoop. Academics from top universities, including Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Columbia, have written content designed to engage you and to get your brain bubbling. With Shmoop's fun, conversational, and accessible tone, you'll feel as though you are chatting with friends over coffee. These interactive study guides will help you discover and rediscover some of the greatest works of all time. For more information, check out http://www.shmoop.com/kindle/ Note from Shmoop: our Learning Guide was based off of a different translation than the one that was available for the complete text of The Iliad. Character names and word-for-word quotes will not translate between the Learning Guide and the original text. The analysis and commentary is still useful and we hope that you'll enjoy this unique way of experiencing Homer's Iliad. "Best of the Internet" - PC Magazine "Shmoop impresses me because it is intentionally about learning, and the joy of learning, not just about passing courses and jumping through educational hoops." - Paul Hamilton, teacher and education blogger "Shmoop features deep analysis of topics in history and literature, sprinkled with a heavy dose of wry humor." - eSchoolNews Book I The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles -- Achilles withdraws from the war and sends his mother, Thetis, to ask Jove to help the Trojans -- Scene between Jove and Juno on Olympus. Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one another. And which of the gods was it that set them on to quarrel? It was the son of Jove and Leto; for he was angry with the king and sent a pestilence upon the host to plague the people, because the son of Atreus had dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses had come to the ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and had brought with him a great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo wreathed with a suppliant's wreath, and he besought the Achaeans, but most of all the two sons of Atreus, who were their chiefs. "Sons of Atreus," he cried, "and all other Achaeans, may the gods who dwell in Olympus grant you to sack the city of Priam, and to reach your homes in safety; but free my daughter, and accept a ransom for her, in reverence to Apollo, son of Jove." On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for respecting the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but not so Agamemnon, who spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away. "Old man," said he, "let me not find you tarrying about our ships, nor yet coming hereafter. Your sceptre of the god and your wreath shall profit you nothing. I will not free her. She shall grow old in my house at Argos far from her own home, busying herself with her loom and visiting my couch; so go, and do not provoke me or it shall be the worse for you." The old man feared him and obeyed. Not a word he spoke, but went by the shore of the sounding sea, and prayed apart to King Apollo whom lovely Leto had borne. "Hear me," he cried, "O god of the silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla and rulest Tenedos with thy might, hear me O thou of Sminthe. If I have ever decked your temple with garlands, or burned you thigh-bones in fat of bulls or goats, grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon the Danaans." Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. He came down furious from the summits of Olympus, with his bow and his quiver upon his shoulder, and the arrows rattled on his back with the rage that trembled within him. He sat himself down away from the ships with a face as dark as night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot his arrow in the midst of them. First he smote their mules and their hounds, but presently he aimed his shafts at the people themselves, and all day long the pyres of the dead were burning. For nine whole days he shot his arrows among the people, but upon the tenth day Achilles called them in assembly -- moved thereto by Juno, who saw the Achaeans in their death-throes and had compassion upon them. Then, when they were got together, he rose and spoke among them. "Son of Atreus," said he, "I deem that we should now turn roving home if we would escape destruction, for we are being cut down by war and pestilence at once. Let us ask some priest or prophet, or some reader of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) who can tell us why Phoebus Apollo is so angry, and say whether it is for some vow that we have broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and whether he will accept the savour of lambs and goats without blemish, so as to take away the plague from us." With these words he sat down, and Calchas son of Thestor, wisest of augurs, who knew things past, present, and to come, rose to speak. He it was who had guided the Achaeans with their fleet to Ilius, through the prophesyings with which Phoebus Apollo had inspired him. With all sincerity and goodwill he addressed them thus: "Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you about the anger of King Apollo, I will therefore do so; but consider first and swear that you will stand by me heartily in word and deed, for I know that I shall offend one who rules the Argives with might, and to whom all the Achaeans are in subjection. A plain man cannot stand against the anger of a king, who if he swallow his displeasure now, will yet nurse revenge till he has wreaked it. Consider, therefore, whether or no you will protect me." And Achilles answered, "Fear not, but speak as it is borne in upon you from heaven, for by Apollo, Calchas, to whom you pray, and whose oracles you reveal to us, not a Danaan at our ships shall lay his hand upon you, while I yet live to look upon the face of the earth -- no, not though you name Agamemnon himself, who is by far the foremost of the Achaeans." Thereon the seer spoke boldly. "The god," he said, "is angry neither about vow nor hecatomb, but for his priest's sake, whom Agamemnon has dishonoured, in that he would not free his daughter nor take a ransom for her; therefore has he sent these evils upon us, and will yet send others. He will not deliver the Danaans from this pestilence till Agamemnon has restored the girl without fee or ransom to her father, and has sent a holy hecatomb to Chryse. Thus we may perhaps appease him." With these words he sat down, and Agamemnon rose in anger. His heart was black with rage, and his eyes flashed fire as he scowled on Calchas and said, "Seer of evil, you never yet prophesied smooth things concerning me, but have ever loved to foretell that which was evil. You have brought me neither comfort nor performance; and now you come seeing among the Danaans, and saying that Apollo has plagued us because I would not take a ransom for this girl, the daughter of Chryses. I have set my heart on keeping her in my own house, for I love her better even than my own wife Clytemnestra, whose peer she is alike in form and feature, in understanding and accomplishments. Still I will give her up if I must, for I would have the people live, not die; but you must find me a prize instead, or I alone among the Argives shall be without one. This is not well; for you behold, all of you, that my prize is to go elsewhither." And Achilles answered, "Most noble son of Atreus, covetous beyond all mankind, how shall the Achaeans find you another prize? We have no common store from which to take one. Those we took from the cities have been awarded; we cannot disallow the awards that have been made already. Give this girl, therefore, to the god, and if ever Jove grants us to sack the city of Troy we will requite you three and fourfold." Then Agamemnon said, "Achilles, valiant though you be, you shall not thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shall not persuade me. Are you to keep your own prize, while I sit tamely under my loss and give up the girl at your bidding? Let the Achaeans find me a prize in fair exchange to my liking, or I will come and take your own, or that of Ajax or of Ulysses; and he to whomsoever I may come shall rue my coming. But of this we will take thought hereafter; for the present, let us draw a ship into the sea, and find a crew for her expressly; let us put a hecatomb on board, and let us send Chryseis also; further, let some chief man among us be in command, either Ajax, or Idomeneus, or yourself, son of Peleus, mighty warrior that you are, that we may offer sacrifice and appease the anger of the god." Achilles scowled at him and answered, "You are steeped in insolence and lust of gain. With what heart can any of the Achaeans do your bidding, either on foray or in open fighting? I came not warring here for any ill the Trojans had done me. I have no quarrel with them. They have not raided my cattle nor my horses, nor cut down my harvests on the rich plains of Phthia; for between me and them there is a great space, both mountain and sounding sea. We have followed you, Sir Insolence! for your pleasure, not ours -- to gain satisfaction from the Trojans for your shameless self and for Menelaus. You forget this, and threaten to rob me of the prize for which I have toiled, and which the sons of the Achaeans have given me. Never when the Achaeans sack any rich city of the Trojans do I receive so good a prize as you do, though it is my hands that do the better part of the fighting. When the sharing comes, your share is far the largest, and I, forsooth, must go back to my ships, take what I can get and be thankful, when my labour of fighting is done. Now, therefore, I shall go back to Phthia; it will be much better for me to return home with my ships, for I will not stay here dishonoured to gather gold and substance for you." And Agamemnon answered, "Fly if you will, I shall make you no prayers to stay you. I have others here who will do me honour, and above all Jove, the lord of counsel. There is no king here so hateful to me as you are, for you are ever quarrelsome and ill affected. What though you be brave? Was it not heaven that made you so? Go home, then, with your ships and comrades to lord it over the Myrmidons. I care neither for you nor for your anger; and thus will I do: since Phoebus Apollo is taking Chryseis from me, I shall send her with my ship and my followers, but I shall come to your tent and take your own prize Briseis, that you may learn how much stronger I am than you are, and that another may fear to set himself up as equal or comparable with me." The son of Peleus was furious, and his heart within his shaggy breast was divided whether to draw his sword, push the others aside, and kill the son of Atreus, or to restrain himself and check his anger. While he was thus in two minds, and was drawing his mighty sword from its scabbard, Minerva came down from heaven (for Juno had sent her in the love she bore to them both), and seized the son of Peleus by his yellow hair, visible to him alone, for of the others no man could see her. Achilles turned in amaze, and by the fire that flashed from her eyes at once knew that she was Minerva. "Why are you here," said... (from Amazon.com)


(3) A Christmas Carol (Christmas books #1) by Charles Dickens
Inkmesh search | The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: omnibus editions by Harry T - Mobi & ePub
Spoiler:
A CHRISTMAS CAROL IN PROSE BEING A Ghost Story of Christmas MARLEY’S GHOST. MARLEY was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain. The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot—say Saint Paul’s Churchyard for instance—literally to astonish his son’s weak mind. Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marley, but he answered to both names. It was all the same to him. Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas. External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often “came down” handsomely, and Scrooge never did. Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, “My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?” No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge and so much more. (from Amazon.com)


(4) The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
Inkmesh search
Spoiler:
Description: This novel, written in 1927, is considered the best and most successful of the early mysteries. It met with no small outrage when it appeared, as it uses a plot device many readers thought "unfair." There is a full complement of characters populating the cozy English village of King's Abbot: Major Blunt, Colonel Carter, Miss Gannett, the butler, the housekeeper, the narrator, Dr. Sheppard, and his know-it-all sister (the precursor of Miss Marple, according to Christie), and, of course, the redoubtable Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells. There are clues with a capital C to mislead us, and the listener gets so involved with these red herrings (or not) that the very simple truth eludes the puzzler. Venerable reader Robin Bailey keeps the light, almost comic tone alive, although his voices are not particularly differentiated, and often he rushes the reading of dialog. A classic of the genre and essential for any fiction collection. Harriet Edwards, East Meadow P.L., NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. "A classic -- the book has worthily earned its fame." Irish Independent "The truly startling denouement is uncommonly original." Books "One of the landmarks of detective literature." H.R.F. Keating, Crime & Mystery: The 100 Best Books


(5) The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Inkmesh search | The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: by Madam Broshkina - mobi
Spoiler:
Subjects: Fiction, Kindle Ebooks, Literature, Fiction Classics, Classics
Description: Newland Archer, gentleman lawyer and heir to one of New York City's best families, is happily anticipating a highly desirable marriage to the sheltered and beautiful May Welland. Yet he finds reason to doubt his choice of bride after the appearance of Countess Ellen Olenska, May's exotic, beautiful thirty-year-old cousin, who has been living in Europe. Ellen has returned to New York after … more »scandalously separating herself (per rumor) from a bad marriage to a Polish Count. At first, Ellen's arrival and its potential taint to his bride's family disturbs him, but he becomes intrigued by the worldly Ellen who flouts New York society's fastidious rules. As Newland's admiration for the countess grows, so does his doubt about marrying May, a perfect product of Old New York society; his match with May no longer seems the ideal fate he had imagined. Ellen's decision to divorce Count Olenski is a social crisis for the other members of her family, who are terrified of scandal and disgrace. Living apart can be tolerated, but divorce is unacceptable. To save the Welland family's reputation, a law partner of Newland asks him to dissuade Countess Olenska from divorcing the Count. He succeeds, but in the process comes to care for her; afraid of falling in love with Ellen, Newland begs May to accelerate their wedding date; May refuses. Newland tells Ellen he loves her; Ellen corresponds, but is horrified of their love's aggrieving May. She agrees to remain in America, separated but still married, only if they do not sexually consummate their love; Newland receives May's telegram agreeing to wed sooner. Newland and May marry; he tries forgetting Ellen but fails. His society marriage is loveless, and the social life he once found absorbing has become empty and joyless. Though Ellen lives in Washington and has remained distant, he is unable to cease loving her. Their paths cross while he and May are in Newport, Rhode Island. Newland discovers that Count Olenski wishes Ellen to return to him, and she has refused, despite her family pushing her to reconcile with her husband and return to Europe. Frustrated by her independence, the family cut off her money, as the Count had already done. Newland desperately seeks a way to leave May and be with Ellen, obsessed with how to finally possess her. Despairing of ever making Ellen his wife, he attempts to have her agree to be his mistress. Then Ellen is recalled to New York City to care for her sick grandmother, who accepts her decision to remain separated and agrees to reinstate her allowance. Back in New York and under renewed pressure from Newland, Ellen relents and agrees to consummate their relationship. However, Newland then discovers that Ellen has decided to return to Europe. Newland makes up his mind to abandon May and follow Ellen to Europe when May announces that she and Newland are throwing a farewell party for Ellen. That night, after the party, Newland resolves to tell May he is leaving her for Ellen. She interrupts him to tell him that she learned that morning that she is pregnant; she reveals that she had told Ellen of her pregnancy two weeks earlier, despite not being sure of it at the time. The implication is that she did it because she suspected the affair. Newland guesses that this is Ellen's reason for returning to Europe. Hopelessly trapped, Newland decides not to follow Ellen, surrendering his love for the sake of his children, remaining in a loveless marriage to May. Twenty-six years later, after May's death, Newland and his son are in Paris. The son, learning that his mother's cousin lives there, has arranged to visit Ellen in her Paris apartment. Newland is stunned at the prospect of seeing Ellen again. On arriving outside the apartment building, Newland, still reeling emotionally, sends up his son alone to meet Ellen, while he waits outside, watching her apartment's balcony. Newland decides that his dream and memory of Ellen are more real than anything else in his life. (non illust) (from Amazon.com)


(6) Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
Inkmesh search | The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: by Dr. Drib old Sony lrf
Spoiler:
Lady Chatterley's Lover was inspired by the long-standing affair between Frieda, Lawrence's aristocratic German wife, and an Italian peasant who eventually became her third husband; Lawrence's struggle with sexual impotence; and the circumstances of his and Frieda's courtship and the early years of their marriage. Constance Chatterley, married to an aristocrat and mine owner whose war wounds have left him paralyzed and impotent, has an affair with Mellors, a gamekeeper, becomes pregnant, and considers abandoning her husband. One of the seminal class novels of the century, it was considered flagrantly pornographic when first published in 1928. The book also exists in two other, completely different versions: The First Lady Chatterley and John Thomas and Lady Jane. Lawrence considered Lady Chatterley's Lover to be definitive, and the one least likely to be prosecuted, and although its early banning proved him wrong, a famous obscenity trial some three decades after his death in 1930 finally cleared it for wider dissemination. (from eBooks.com)


(7) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
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Spoiler:
Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover. Playfully perverse in form as well as content, riddled with puns and literary allusions, Nabokov's 1955 novel is a hymn to the Russian-born author's delight in his adopted language. Indeed, readers who want to probe all of its allusive nooks and crannies will need to consult the annotated edition . Lolita is undoubtedly, brazenly erotic, but the eroticism springs less from the "frail honey-hued shoulders ... the silky supple bare back" of little Lo than it does from the wantonly gorgeous prose that Humbert uses to recount his forbidden passion: She was musical and apple-sweet ... Lola the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice ... and every movement she made, every shuffle and ripple, helped me to conceal and to improve the secret system of tactile correspondence between beast and beauty--between my gagged, bursting beast and the beauty of her dimpled body in its innocent cotton frock. Much has been made of Lolita as metaphor, perhaps because the love affair at its heart is so troubling. Humbert represents the formal, educated Old World of Europe, while Lolita is America: ripening, beautiful, but not too bright and a little vulgar. Nabokov delights in exploring the intercourse between these cultures, and the passages where Humbert describes the suburbs and strip malls and motels of postwar America are filled with both attraction and repulsion, "those restaurants where the holy spirit of Huncan Dines had descended upon the cute paper napkins and cottage-cheese-crested salads." Yet however tempting the novel's symbolism may be, its chief delight--and power--lies in the character of Humbert Humbert. He, at least as he tells it, is no seedy skulker, no twisted destroyer of innocence. Instead, Nabokov's celebrated mouthpiece is erudite and witty, even at his most depraved. Humbert can't help it--linguistic jouissance is as important to him as the satisfaction of his arrested libido. --Simon Leake "The only convincing love story of our century." -- Vanity Fair " Lolita blazes with a perversity of a most original kind. For Mr. Nabokov has distilled from his shocking material hundred-proof intellectual farce . . . Lolita seems an assertion of the power of the comic spirit to wrest delight and truth from the most outlandish materials. It is one of the funniest serious novels I have ever read; and the vision of its abominable hero, who never deludes or excuses himself, brings into grotesque relief the cant, the vulgarity, and the hypocritical conventions that pervade the human comedy." -- Atlantic Monthly "Intensely lyrical and wildly funny." -- Time "The conjunction of a sense of humor with a sense of horror [results in] satire of a very special kind, in which vice or folly is regarded not so much with scorn as with profound dismay and a measure of tragic sympathy . . . The reciprocal flow of irony gives to both the characters and their surroundings the peculiar intensity of significance that attends the highest art." -- The New Yorker "Lolita is an authentic work of art which compels our immediate response and serious reflection--a revealing and indispensable comedy of horrors." -- San Francisco Chronicle -- Review (from Amazon.com)


(8) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Inkmesh search | The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: by Patricia - mobi & deutsch ePub by Insider
Spoiler:
Novella by Joseph Conrad, first published in 1902 with the story "Youth" and thereafter published separately. The story reflects the physical and psychological shock Conrad himself experienced in 1890, when he worked briefly in the Belgian Congo. The narrator, Marlow, describes a journey he took on an African river. Assigned by an ivory company to take command of a cargo boat stranded in the interior, Marlow makes his way through the treacherous forest, witnessing the brutalization of the natives by white traders and hearing tantalizing stories of a Mr. Kurtz, the company's most successful representative. He reaches Kurtz's compound in a remote outpost only to see a row of human heads mounted on poles. In this alien context, unbound by the strictures of his own culture, Kurtz has exchanged his soul for a bloody sovereignty, but a mortal illness is bringing his reign of terror to a close. As Marlow transports him downriver, Kurtz delivers an arrogant and empty explanation of his deeds as a visionary quest. To the narrator Kurtz's dying words, "The horror! The horror!" represent despair at the encounter with human depravity--the heart of darkness. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature This is an electronic edition of the complete book complemented by author biography. This book features the table of contents linked to every chapter. The book was designed for optimal navigation on the Kindle, PDA, Smartphone, and other electronic readers. It is formatted to display on all electronic devices including the Kindle, Smartphones and other Mobile Devices with a small display. ************ Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Polish-born writer Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski). Before its 1902 publication, it appeared as a three-part series (1899) in Blackwood's Magazine. It is widely regarded as a significant work of English literature and part of the Western canon. — Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. More e-Books from MobileReference - Best Books. Best Price. Best Search and Navigation (TM) All fiction books are only $0.99. All collections are only $5.99Designed for optimal navigation on Kindle and other electronic devices Search for any title: enter mobi (shortened MobileReference) and a keyword; for example: mobi ShakespeareTo view all books, click on the MobileReference link next to a book title Literary Classics: Over 10,000 complete works by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Dickens, Tolstoy, and other authors. All books feature hyperlinked table of contents, footnotes, and author biography. Books are also available as collections, organized by an author. Collections simplify book access through categorical, alphabetical, and chronological indexes. They offer lower price, convenience of one-time download, and reduce clutter of titles in your digital library. Religion: The Illustrated King James Bible, American Standard Bible, World English Bible (Modern Translation), Mormon Church's Sacred Texts Philosophy: Rousseau, Spinoza, Plato, Aristotle, Marx, Engels Travel Guides and Phrasebooks for All Major Cities: New York, Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Prague, Beijing, Greece Medical Study Guides: Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology, Abbreviations and Terminology, Human Nervous System, Biochemistry College Study Guides: FREE Weight and Measures, Physics, Math, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Statistics, Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, Mythology History: Art History, American Presidents, U.S. History, Encyclopedias of Roman Empire, Ancient Egypt Health: Acupressure Guide, First Aid Guide, Art of Love, Cookbook, Cocktails, Astrology Reference: The World's Biggest Mobile Encyclopedia; CIA World Factbook, Illustrated Encyclopedias of Birds, Mammals (from Amazon.com)


(9) Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
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Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American lit-erature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—novels of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer . Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. Since its publication in 1961, no novel has matched Catch-22 ’s intensity and brilliance in depicting the brutal insanity of war. This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by the author; a wealth of critical responses and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and a selection of advertisements from the original publishing campaign that helped turn Catch-22 into a cultural phenomenon. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature. (from Kobo)


(10) To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
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One of the most important works of art of the twentieth century, To the Lighthouse is a profound, stirring, and ambitious novel written by an artist at the height of her extraordinary powers. Like all great works of art, To the Lighthouse is rich with meaning and implication. On the simplest level, it is about the Ramsay family, their vacation home on the Hebrides Islands in Scotland, and the guests who come to stay with them there. On a deeper level, the novel is a meditation on time, on how it is experienced, and on what resources humans beings have to reckon with its relentless, withering passage. The relentlessness of time is nowhere more powerfully felt than in the book's second section, "Time Passes." A shocking, almost inhuman picture of decay and death, "Time Passes" moves like a stop-motion film: weeds grow before our eyes, the unoccupied vacation house falls into disrepair, and history marches on its tumultuous way in the background. Bookending this harrowing section are the sections "The Window" and "The Lighthouse", the story of the Ramsay circle and how they face this unstoppable force. Each of the important characters in the novel demonstrates a slightly different approach to the problem of time's passage. Mr. Ramsay, a portrait of Woolf's own father, has dedicated himself to his philosophic writings. Well aware that his works are not profound enough to secure any lasting fame or immortality for his name, Mr. Ramsay spends his days in a volcanic depression. Mrs. Ramsay, on the other hand, less cerebral than her husband, devotes her energies to bringing harmony, stability, and happiness to her family in the time that they have together. But it is the painter Lily Briscoe, whose act of painting closes the novel, who seems to offer the best alternative. By composing, Woolf seems to suggest, the artist builds a provisional order out of the flux and chaos of life. What is important, though, is not whether Lily Briscoe's paintings are good enough to bring her artistic immortality, but the fact that she approaches the world with an artist's eye, capable of reveling in beauty and seeing provisional harmony in the midst of the volatility and confusion of life. It is, in other words, less the artist's expression itself and more the artist's way of perceiving the world that makes a difference. Woolf's masterpiece, To the Lighthouse was published in 1927 during one of most astonishing and impressive periods of achievement and development in English literary history. Indeed, not since the heyday of English Romanticism in the early nineteenth century, have so many enduring and groundbreaking masterworks been produced. To the Lighthouse was published just four years after that annus mirabilis, 1922, which saw the publication of both Eliot's The Waste Land and Joyce's Ulysses . Forster's A Passage to India (1924), Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury (1929) and Woolf's own Mrs. Dalloway (1925) are just a few of the remarkable works of a period which also found artists such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Wallace Stevens in the United States and D.H. Lawrence and W.B. Yeats in Great Britain working at the height of their powers. (from eBooks.com)


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*** Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov [Lazeh, sun surfer, Hamlet53]
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Despite its lascivious reputation, the pleasures of Lolita are as much intellectual as erogenous. It is a love story with the power to raise both chuckles and eyebrows. Humbert Humbert is a European intellectual adrift in America, haunted by memories of a lost adolescent love. When he meets his ideal nymphet in the shape of 12-year-old Dolores Haze, he constructs an elaborate plot to seduce her, but first he must get rid of her mother. In spite of his diabolical wit, reality proves to be more slippery than Humbert's feverish fantasies, and Lolita refuses to conform to his image of the perfect lover. Playfully perverse in form as well as content, riddled with puns and literary allusions, Nabokov's 1955 novel is a hymn to the Russian-born author's delight in his adopted language. Indeed, readers who want to probe all of its allusive nooks and crannies will need to consult the annotated edition . Lolita is undoubtedly, brazenly erotic, but the eroticism springs less from the "frail honey-hued shoulders ... the silky supple bare back" of little Lo than it does from the wantonly gorgeous prose that Humbert uses to recount his forbidden passion: She was musical and apple-sweet ... Lola the bobby-soxer, devouring her immemorial fruit, singing through its juice ... and every movement she made, every shuffle and ripple, helped me to conceal and to improve the secret system of tactile correspondence between beast and beauty--between my gagged, bursting beast and the beauty of her dimpled body in its innocent cotton frock. Much has been made of Lolita as metaphor, perhaps because the love affair at its heart is so troubling. Humbert represents the formal, educated Old World of Europe, while Lolita is America: ripening, beautiful, but not too bright and a little vulgar. Nabokov delights in exploring the intercourse between these cultures, and the passages where Humbert describes the suburbs and strip malls and motels of postwar America are filled with both attraction and repulsion, "those restaurants where the holy spirit of Huncan Dines had descended upon the cute paper napkins and cottage-cheese-crested salads." Yet however tempting the novel's symbolism may be, its chief delight--and power--lies in the character of Humbert Humbert. He, at least as he tells it, is no seedy skulker, no twisted destroyer of innocence. Instead, Nabokov's celebrated mouthpiece is erudite and witty, even at his most depraved. Humbert can't help it--linguistic jouissance is as important to him as the satisfaction of his arrested libido. --Simon Leake "The only convincing love story of our century." -- Vanity Fair " Lolita blazes with a perversity of a most original kind. For Mr. Nabokov has distilled from his shocking material hundred-proof intellectual farce . . . Lolita seems an assertion of the power of the comic spirit to wrest delight and truth from the most outlandish materials. It is one of the funniest serious novels I have ever read; and the vision of its abominable hero, who never deludes or excuses himself, brings into grotesque relief the cant, the vulgarity, and the hypocritical conventions that pervade the human comedy." -- Atlantic Monthly "Intensely lyrical and wildly funny." -- Time "The conjunction of a sense of humor with a sense of horror [results in] satire of a very special kind, in which vice or folly is regarded not so much with scorn as with profound dismay and a measure of tragic sympathy . . . The reciprocal flow of irony gives to both the characters and their surroundings the peculiar intensity of significance that attends the highest art." -- The New Yorker "Lolita is an authentic work of art which compels our immediate response and serious reflection--a revealing and indispensable comedy of horrors." -- San Francisco Chronicle -- Review (from Amazon.com)


** Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy [Lazeh, kevn57]
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Book begins... When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun. His Christian name was Gabriel, and on working days he was a young man of sound judgment, easy motions, proper dress, and general good character. On Sundays he was a man of misty views, rather given to postponing, and hampered by his best clothes and umbrella: upon the whole, one who felt himself to occupy morally that vast middle space of Laodicean neutrality which lay between the Communion people of the parish and the drunken section, -- that is, he went to church, but yawned privately by the time the con- gegation reached the Nicene creed,- and thought of what there would be for dinner when he meant to be listening to the sermon. Or, to state his character as it stood in the scale of public opinion, when his friends and critics were in tantrums, he was considered rather a bad man; when they were pleased, he was rather a good man; when they were neither, he was a man whose moral colour was a kind of pepper-and-salt mixture. Since he lived six times as many working-days as Sundays, Oak's appearance in his old clothes was most peculiarly his own -- the mental picture formed by his neighbours in imagining him being always dressed in that way. He wore a low-crowned felt hat, spread out at the base by tight jamming upon the head for security in high winds, and a coat like Dr. Johnson's; his lower extremities being encased in ordinary leather leggings and boots emphatically large, affording to each foot a roomy apartment so constructed that any wearer might stand in a river all day long and know nothing of damp -- their maker being a conscientious man who endeavoured to compensate for any weakness in his cut by unstinted dimension and solidity. Mr. Oak carried about him, by way of watch,- what may be called a small silver clock; in other words, it was a watch as to shape and intention, and a small clock as to size. This instrument being several years older than Oak's grandfather, had the peculiarity of going either too fast or not at all. The smaller of its hands, too, occasionally slipped round on the pivot, and thus, though the minutes were told with precision, nobody could be quite certain of the hour they belonged to. The stopping peculiarity of his watch Oak remedied by thumps and shakes, and he escaped any evil consequences from the other two defects by constant comparisons with and observations of the sun and stars, and by pressing his face close to the glass of his neighbours' windows, till he could discern the hour marked by the green-faced timekeepers within. It may be mentioned that Oak's fob being difficult of access, by reason of its somewhat high situation in the waistband of his trousers (which also lay at a remote height under his waistcoat), the watch was as a necessity pulled out by throwing the body to one side, compressing the mouth and face to a mere mass of ruddy flesh on account of the exertion, and drawing up the watch by its chain, like a bucket from a well. (from Amazon.com)


*** Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence [Lazeh, Nyssa, caleb72]
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Lady Chatterley's Lover was inspired by the long-standing affair between Frieda, Lawrence's aristocratic German wife, and an Italian peasant who eventually became her third husband; Lawrence's struggle with sexual impotence; and the circumstances of his and Frieda's courtship and the early years of their marriage. Constance Chatterley, married to an aristocrat and mine owner whose war wounds have left him paralyzed and impotent, has an affair with Mellors, a gamekeeper, becomes pregnant, and considers abandoning her husband. One of the seminal class novels of the century, it was considered flagrantly pornographic when first published in 1928. The book also exists in two other, completely different versions: The First Lady Chatterley and John Thomas and Lady Jane. Lawrence considered Lady Chatterley's Lover to be definitive, and the one least likely to be prosecuted, and although its early banning proved him wrong, a famous obscenity trial some three decades after his death in 1930 finally cleared it for wider dissemination. (from eBooks.com)


*** The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne [Hamlet53, melmac, issybird]
The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: BBeB/LRF...PRC
Spoiler:
The novel begins with the narrator, a Custom House official, who happens to find a scarlet letter “A” in a box he finds one day in the office. The narrator then relates the story of Hester Prynne, the original bearer of the scarlet letter, who lived in Boston when it was just a small Puritan settlement in the seventeenth century. Hester’s story begins on a scaffold just outside the town prison. She has committed adultery, given birth to a child out of wedlock, and refuses to name the man with whom she had the affair. The village leaders hope to shame her into naming her lover by making her into a public spectacle. Even under intense pressure, Hester refuses to reveal her secret. She alone must bear the shame and isolation resulting from her actions. As a punishment, Hester is made to wear a scarlet letter “A” on her chest at all times. The letter “A” stands for adultery and causes her and her daughter to be scorned by the members of her community. Hester’s former husband returns to witness Hester’s shame. He decides to seek revenge against the man who, in his opinion, ruined Hester’s life and stole his wife from him. He assumes a new name, Roger Chillingworth, and becomes known as a physician specializing in alternative medicine. He befriends the Reverend Dimmesdale, the sickly young minister. Chillingworth eventually determines that Dimmesdale is the father of Hester’s daughter, Pearl. He plots an elaborate scheme in order to avenge the wrong he perceives was committed by Dimmesdale. Hester discovers Chillingworth’s plan to torture Dimmesdale on a daily basis, and recognizes that Dimmesdale’s health is significantly impacted by the revenge plot. Her secret is slowly killing the minister. As a result, Hester must break the promise she made years ago to never reveal the identity of Chillingworth in order to save Dimmesdale’s life. She reveals Chillingworth’s true identity to Dimmesdale and begs for his forgiveness. She expresses her desire for Dimmesdale to leave the country for his own safety, but Dimmesdale does not want to be alone. Hester offers to leave with him, and they plan to leave on a ship bound for Europe in three days. However, both Hester and Dimmesdale are plagued by feelings of dread and doom that continue to interrupt their elation. Another threat to their future happiness remains. Chillingworth is aware of the conversation between Hester and Dimmesdale. He remains committed to seeking revenge, and will use any means necessary to fulfill his need. Will Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale be able to start a new life as a family n Europe, or will Chillingworth finally attain his retribution? Themes in Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter include isolation, hypocrisy, the nature of evil, the role of a woman in society, the destructive power of guilt, revenge, and the pressures society places on individuals to conform. Symbolism is another literary device prevalent in the novel. Examples include the scarlet letter itself, the brook, the roses, and Pearl’s name. These literary devices and Hawthorne’s plot continue to resound with readers, allowing the novel to remain popular with readers today. (from Amazon.com)


*** A Christmas Carol (Christmas books #1) by Charles Dickens [kevn57, GA Russell, narflet]
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A CHRISTMAS CAROL IN PROSE BEING A Ghost Story of Christmas MARLEY’S GHOST. MARLEY was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail. Scrooge knew he was dead? Of course he did. How could it be otherwise? Scrooge and he were partners for I don’t know how many years. Scrooge was his sole executor, his sole administrator, his sole assign, his sole residuary legatee, his sole friend, and sole mourner. And even Scrooge was not so dreadfully cut up by the sad event, but that he was an excellent man of business on the very day of the funeral, and solemnised it with an undoubted bargain. The mention of Marley’s funeral brings me back to the point I started from. There is no doubt that Marley was dead. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of the story I am going to relate. If we were not perfectly convinced that Hamlet’s Father died before the play began, there would be nothing more remarkable in his taking a stroll at night, in an easterly wind, upon his own ramparts, than there would be in any other middle-aged gentleman rashly turning out after dark in a breezy spot—say Saint Paul’s Churchyard for instance—literally to astonish his son’s weak mind. Scrooge never painted out Old Marley’s name. There it stood, years afterwards, above the warehouse door: Scrooge and Marley. The firm was known as Scrooge and Marley. Sometimes people new to the business called Scrooge Scrooge, and sometimes Marley, but he answered to both names. It was all the same to him. Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog-days; and didn’t thaw it one degree at Christmas. External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn’t know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often “came down” handsomely, and Scrooge never did. Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, “My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?” No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle, no children asked him what it was o’clock, no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge and so much more. (from Amazon.com)


* The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson [kevn57]
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The classic supernatural thriller by an author who helped define the genre First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly pile called Hill House: Dr. Montague, an occult scholar looking for solid evidence of a "haunting"; Theodora, his lighthearted assistant; Eleanor, a friendless, fragile young woman well acquainted with poltergeists; and Luke, the future heir of Hill House. At first, their stay seems destined to be merely a spooky encounter with inexplicable phenomena. But Hill House is gathering its powers-and soon it will choose one of them to make its own. (from Diesel eBook Store)


*** The Iliad by Homer [WT Sharpe, issybird, Latinandgreek]
Inkmesh search..Amazon (Penguin Classics)
Spoiler:
You get the full original text of The Iliad by Homer interwoven with a smart, plain-spoken guide to the characters, quotes, themes, symbols, and more from Shmoop. Designed exclusively for Kindle readers, Shmoop Classics for Kindle offer the original text of some of the greatest works of literature with a built-in interactive guide to help you dig deep into the characters, symbols, themes, and big questions of the play. For the student and the life-long learner alike, take your classroom on the road and build your brain muscles daily. No need to weigh your backpack down, no need to waste paper, no need to get sleepy in class. Shmoop is here to make you a better lover of literature and to help you discover connections to other works of literature, history, current events, and pop culture. You'll find thought-provoking character analyses, quotes, summaries, themes, symbols, trivia, and lots of insightful commentary. Key quotes from the original text are linked to deep analysis from Shmoop. Academics from top universities, including Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Columbia, have written content designed to engage you and to get your brain bubbling. With Shmoop's fun, conversational, and accessible tone, you'll feel as though you are chatting with friends over coffee. These interactive study guides will help you discover and rediscover some of the greatest works of all time. For more information, check out http://www.shmoop.com/kindle/ Note from Shmoop: our Learning Guide was based off of a different translation than the one that was available for the complete text of The Iliad. Character names and word-for-word quotes will not translate between the Learning Guide and the original text. The analysis and commentary is still useful and we hope that you'll enjoy this unique way of experiencing Homer's Iliad. "Best of the Internet" - PC Magazine "Shmoop impresses me because it is intentionally about learning, and the joy of learning, not just about passing courses and jumping through educational hoops." - Paul Hamilton, teacher and education blogger "Shmoop features deep analysis of topics in history and literature, sprinkled with a heavy dose of wry humor." - eSchoolNews Book I The quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles -- Achilles withdraws from the war and sends his mother, Thetis, to ask Jove to help the Trojans -- Scene between Jove and Juno on Olympus. Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out with one another. And which of the gods was it that set them on to quarrel? It was the son of Jove and Leto; for he was angry with the king and sent a pestilence upon the host to plague the people, because the son of Atreus had dishonoured Chryses his priest. Now Chryses had come to the ships of the Achaeans to free his daughter, and had brought with him a great ransom: moreover he bore in his hand the sceptre of Apollo wreathed with a suppliant's wreath, and he besought the Achaeans, but most of all the two sons of Atreus, who were their chiefs. "Sons of Atreus," he cried, "and all other Achaeans, may the gods who dwell in Olympus grant you to sack the city of Priam, and to reach your homes in safety; but free my daughter, and accept a ransom for her, in reverence to Apollo, son of Jove." On this the rest of the Achaeans with one voice were for respecting the priest and taking the ransom that he offered; but not so Agamemnon, who spoke fiercely to him and sent him roughly away. "Old man," said he, "let me not find you tarrying about our ships, nor yet coming hereafter. Your sceptre of the god and your wreath shall profit you nothing. I will not free her. She shall grow old in my house at Argos far from her own home, busying herself with her loom and visiting my couch; so go, and do not provoke me or it shall be the worse for you." The old man feared him and obeyed. Not a word he spoke, but went by the shore of the sounding sea, and prayed apart to King Apollo whom lovely Leto had borne. "Hear me," he cried, "O god of the silver bow, that protectest Chryse and holy Cilla and rulest Tenedos with thy might, hear me O thou of Sminthe. If I have ever decked your temple with garlands, or burned you thigh-bones in fat of bulls or goats, grant my prayer, and let your arrows avenge these my tears upon the Danaans." Thus did he pray, and Apollo heard his prayer. He came down furious from the summits of Olympus, with his bow and his quiver upon his shoulder, and the arrows rattled on his back with the rage that trembled within him. He sat himself down away from the ships with a face as dark as night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot his arrow in the midst of them. First he smote their mules and their hounds, but presently he aimed his shafts at the people themselves, and all day long the pyres of the dead were burning. For nine whole days he shot his arrows among the people, but upon the tenth day Achilles called them in assembly -- moved thereto by Juno, who saw the Achaeans in their death-throes and had compassion upon them. Then, when they were got together, he rose and spoke among them. "Son of Atreus," said he, "I deem that we should now turn roving home if we would escape destruction, for we are being cut down by war and pestilence at once. Let us ask some priest or prophet, or some reader of dreams (for dreams, too, are of Jove) who can tell us why Phoebus Apollo is so angry, and say whether it is for some vow that we have broken, or hecatomb that we have not offered, and whether he will accept the savour of lambs and goats without blemish, so as to take away the plague from us." With these words he sat down, and Calchas son of Thestor, wisest of augurs, who knew things past, present, and to come, rose to speak. He it was who had guided the Achaeans with their fleet to Ilius, through the prophesyings with which Phoebus Apollo had inspired him. With all sincerity and goodwill he addressed them thus: "Achilles, loved of heaven, you bid me tell you about the anger of King Apollo, I will therefore do so; but consider first and swear that you will stand by me heartily in word and deed, for I know that I shall offend one who rules the Argives with might, and to whom all the Achaeans are in subjection. A plain man cannot stand against the anger of a king, who if he swallow his displeasure now, will yet nurse revenge till he has wreaked it. Consider, therefore, whether or no you will protect me." And Achilles answered, "Fear not, but speak as it is borne in upon you from heaven, for by Apollo, Calchas, to whom you pray, and whose oracles you reveal to us, not a Danaan at our ships shall lay his hand upon you, while I yet live to look upon the face of the earth -- no, not though you name Agamemnon himself, who is by far the foremost of the Achaeans." Thereon the seer spoke boldly. "The god," he said, "is angry neither about vow nor hecatomb, but for his priest's sake, whom Agamemnon has dishonoured, in that he would not free his daughter nor take a ransom for her; therefore has he sent these evils upon us, and will yet send others. He will not deliver the Danaans from this pestilence till Agamemnon has restored the girl without fee or ransom to her father, and has sent a holy hecatomb to Chryse. Thus we may perhaps appease him." With these words he sat down, and Agamemnon rose in anger. His heart was black with rage, and his eyes flashed fire as he scowled on Calchas and said, "Seer of evil, you never yet prophesied smooth things concerning me, but have ever loved to foretell that which was evil. You have brought me neither comfort nor performance; and now you come seeing among the Danaans, and saying that Apollo has plagued us because I would not take a ransom for this girl, the daughter of Chryses. I have set my heart on keeping her in my own house, for I love her better even than my own wife Clytemnestra, whose peer she is alike in form and feature, in understanding and accomplishments. Still I will give her up if I must, for I would have the people live, not die; but you must find me a prize instead, or I alone among the Argives shall be without one. This is not well; for you behold, all of you, that my prize is to go elsewhither." And Achilles answered, "Most noble son of Atreus, covetous beyond all mankind, how shall the Achaeans find you another prize? We have no common store from which to take one. Those we took from the cities have been awarded; we cannot disallow the awards that have been made already. Give this girl, therefore, to the god, and if ever Jove grants us to sack the city of Troy we will requite you three and fourfold." Then Agamemnon said, "Achilles, valiant though you be, you shall not thus outwit me. You shall not overreach and you shall not persuade me. Are you to keep your own prize, while I sit tamely under my loss and give up the girl at your bidding? Let the Achaeans find me a prize in fair exchange to my liking, or I will come and take your own, or that of Ajax or of Ulysses; and he to whomsoever I may come shall rue my coming. But of this we will take thought hereafter; for the present, let us draw a ship into the sea, and find a crew for her expressly; let us put a hecatomb on board, and let us send Chryseis also; further, let some chief man among us be in command, either Ajax, or Idomeneus, or yourself, son of Peleus, mighty warrior that you are, that we may offer sacrifice and appease the anger of the god." Achilles scowled at him and answered, "You are steeped in insolence and lust of gain. With what heart can any of the Achaeans do your bidding, either on foray or in open fighting? I came not warring here for any ill the Trojans had done me. I have no quarrel with them. They have not raided my cattle nor my horses, nor cut down my harvests on the rich plains of Phthia; for between me and them there is a great space, both mountain and sounding sea. We have followed you, Sir Insolence! for your pleasure, not ours -- to gain satisfaction from the Trojans for your shameless self and for Menelaus. You forget this, and threaten to rob me of the prize for which I have toiled, and which the sons of the Achaeans have given me. Never when the Achaeans sack any rich city of the Trojans do I receive so good a prize as you do, though it is my hands that do the better part of the fighting. When the sharing comes, your share is far the largest, and I, forsooth, must go back to my ships, take what I can get and be thankful, when my labour of fighting is done. Now, therefore, I shall go back to Phthia; it will be much better for me to return home with my ships, for I will not stay here dishonoured to gather gold and substance for you." And Agamemnon answered, "Fly if you will, I shall make you no prayers to stay you. I have others here who will do me honour, and above all Jove, the lord of counsel. There is no king here so hateful to me as you are, for you are ever quarrelsome and ill affected. What though you be brave? Was it not heaven that made you so? Go home, then, with your ships and comrades to lord it over the Myrmidons. I care neither for you nor for your anger; and thus will I do: since Phoebus Apollo is taking Chryseis from me, I shall send her with my ship and my followers, but I shall come to your tent and take your own prize Briseis, that you may learn how much stronger I am than you are, and that another may fear to set himself up as equal or comparable with me." The son of Peleus was furious, and his heart within his shaggy breast was divided whether to draw his sword, push the others aside, and kill the son of Atreus, or to restrain himself and check his anger. While he was thus in two minds, and was drawing his mighty sword from its scabbard, Minerva came down from heaven (for Juno had sent her in the love she bore to them both), and seized the son of Peleus by his yellow hair, visible to him alone, for of the others no man could see her. Achilles turned in amaze, and by the fire that flashed from her eyes at once knew that she was Minerva. "Why are you here," said... (from Amazon.com)


* Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey [JSWolf]
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HOW CAN ONE GIRL SAVE AN ENTIRE WORLD?

To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright.

But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa's world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . . (from JSWolf)

The planet Pern has been colonized for centuries by humans. When humans first settled on this world, they did not take notice of its sister planet, which had an indigenous life form that attempted to land on Pern when it came within reach. These silver "threads" fell in a destructive wave on the temperate lands of Pern once every 200 years, destroying all life they encountered. To combat this menace, the inhabitants of Pern developed a species of dragon that could burn these threads out of the sky before they touched down. Now, centuries have passed between threadfalls, and the danger of thread is considered a myth. However, a dragon rider named F'lar knows that the riders are once again needed. This fine production is recommended wherever McCaffrey ( Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern , Audio Reviews, LJ 9/15/93) is popular. - Roxanna Herrick, Washington Univ. Lib., St. Louis Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. HOW CAN ONE GIRL SAVE AN ENTIRE WORLD? To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright. But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . . . From the Paperback edition. (from Amazon.com)


*** The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie [The Terminator, JSWolf, Nyssa]
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Description: This novel, written in 1927, is considered the best and most successful of the early mysteries. It met with no small outrage when it appeared, as it uses a plot device many readers thought "unfair." There is a full complement of characters populating the cozy English village of King's Abbot: Major Blunt, Colonel Carter, Miss Gannett, the butler, the housekeeper, the narrator, Dr. Sheppard, and his know-it-all sister (the precursor of Miss Marple, according to Christie), and, of course, the redoubtable Hercule Poirot and his little grey cells. There are clues with a capital C to mislead us, and the listener gets so involved with these red herrings (or not) that the very simple truth eludes the puzzler. Venerable reader Robin Bailey keeps the light, almost comic tone alive, although his voices are not particularly differentiated, and often he rushes the reading of dialog. A classic of the genre and essential for any fiction collection. Harriet Edwards, East Meadow P.L., NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. "A classic -- the book has worthily earned its fame." Irish Independent "The truly startling denouement is uncommonly original." Books "One of the landmarks of detective literature." H.R.F. Keating, Crime & Mystery: The 100 Best Books


* Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald [issybird]
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In the wake of World War I, a community of expatriate American writers established itself in the salons and cafes of 1920s Paris. They congregated at Gertrude Stein's select soirees, drank too much, married none too wisely, and wrote volumes--about the war, about the Jazz Age, and often about each other. F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, were part of this gang of literary Young Turks, and it was while living in France that Fitzgerald began writing Tender Is the Night . Begun in 1925, the novel was not actually published until 1934. By then, Fitzgerald was back in the States and his marriage was on the rocks, destroyed by Zelda's mental illness and alcoholism. Despite the modernist mandate to keep authors and their creations strictly segregated, it's difficult not to look for parallels between Fitzgerald's private life and the lives of his characters, psychiatrist Dick Diver and his former patient turned wife, Nicole. Certainly the hospital in Switzerland where Zelda was committed in 1929 provided the inspiration for the clinic where Diver meets, treats, and then marries the wealthy Nicole Warren. And Fitzgerald drew both the European locale and many of the characters from places and people he knew from abroad. In the novel, Dick is eventually ruined--professionally, emotionally, and spiritually--by his union with Nicole. Fitzgerald's fate was not quite so novelistically neat: after Zelda was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and committed, Fitzgerald went to work as a Hollywood screenwriter in 1937 to pay her hospital bills. He died three years later--not melodramatically, like poor Jay Gatsby in his swimming pool, but prosaically, while eating a chocolate bar and reading a newspaper. Of all his novels, Tender Is the Night is arguably the one closest to his heart. As he himself wrote, " Gatsby was a tour de force, but this is a confession of faith." F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in a friend's copy of Tender Is the Night, "If you liked The Great Gatsby, for God's sake read this. Gatsby was a tour de force but this is a confession of faith." Set in the South of France in the decade after World War I, Tender Is the Night is the story of a brilliant and magnetic psychiatrist named Dick Diver; the bewitching, wealthy, and dangerously unstable mental patient, Nicole, who becomes his wife; and the beautiful, harrowing ten-year pas de deux they act out along the border between sanity and madness. In Tender Is the Night, Fitzgerald deliberately set out to write the most ambitious and far-reaching novel of his career, experimenting radically with narrative conventions of chronology and point of view and drawing on early breakthroughs in psychiatry to enrich his account of the makeup and breakdown of character and culture. Tender Is the Night is also the most intensely, even painfully, autobiographical of Fitzgerald's novels; it smolders with a dark, bitter vitality because it is so utterly true. This account of a caring man who disintegrates under the twin strains of his wife's derangement and a lifestyle that gnaws away at his sense of moral values offers an authorial cri de coeur, while Dick Diver's downward spiral into alcoholic dissolution is an eerie portent of Fitzgerald's own fate. F. Scott Fitzgerald literally put his soul into Tender Is the Night, and the novel's lack of commercial success upon its initial publication in 1934 shattered him. He would die six years later without having published another novel, and without knowing that Tender Is the Night would come to be seen as perhaps its author's most poignant masterpiece. In Mabel Dodge Luhan's words, it raised him to the heights of "a modern Orpheus." (from Amazon.com)


*** Heart of Darkness by osephy Conrad [Billsuits1, maianhvk, Hamlet53]
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Novella by Joseph Conrad, first published in 1902 with the story "Youth" and thereafter published separately. The story reflects the physical and psychological shock Conrad himself experienced in 1890, when he worked briefly in the Belgian Congo. The narrator, Marlow, describes a journey he took on an African river. Assigned by an ivory company to take command of a cargo boat stranded in the interior, Marlow makes his way through the treacherous forest, witnessing the brutalization of the natives by white traders and hearing tantalizing stories of a Mr. Kurtz, the company's most successful representative. He reaches Kurtz's compound in a remote outpost only to see a row of human heads mounted on poles. In this alien context, unbound by the strictures of his own culture, Kurtz has exchanged his soul for a bloody sovereignty, but a mortal illness is bringing his reign of terror to a close. As Marlow transports him downriver, Kurtz delivers an arrogant and empty explanation of his deeds as a visionary quest. To the narrator Kurtz's dying words, "The horror! The horror!" represent despair at the encounter with human depravity--the heart of darkness. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature This is an electronic edition of the complete book complemented by author biography. This book features the table of contents linked to every chapter. The book was designed for optimal navigation on the Kindle, PDA, Smartphone, and other electronic readers. It is formatted to display on all electronic devices including the Kindle, Smartphones and other Mobile Devices with a small display. ************ Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Polish-born writer Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski). Before its 1902 publication, it appeared as a three-part series (1899) in Blackwood's Magazine. It is widely regarded as a significant work of English literature and part of the Western canon. — Excerpted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. More e-Books from MobileReference - Best Books. Best Price. Best Search and Navigation (TM) All fiction books are only $0.99. All collections are only $5.99Designed for optimal navigation on Kindle and other electronic devices Search for any title: enter mobi (shortened MobileReference) and a keyword; for example: mobi ShakespeareTo view all books, click on the MobileReference link next to a book title Literary Classics: Over 10,000 complete works by Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Mark Twain, Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, Dickens, Tolstoy, and other authors. All books feature hyperlinked table of contents, footnotes, and author biography. Books are also available as collections, organized by an author. Collections simplify book access through categorical, alphabetical, and chronological indexes. They offer lower price, convenience of one-time download, and reduce clutter of titles in your digital library. Religion: The Illustrated King James Bible, American Standard Bible, World English Bible (Modern Translation), Mormon Church's Sacred Texts Philosophy: Rousseau, Spinoza, Plato, Aristotle, Marx, Engels Travel Guides and Phrasebooks for All Major Cities: New York, Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Prague, Beijing, Greece Medical Study Guides: Anatomy and Physiology, Pharmacology, Abbreviations and Terminology, Human Nervous System, Biochemistry College Study Guides: FREE Weight and Measures, Physics, Math, Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Statistics, Languages, Philosophy, Psychology, Mythology History: Art History, American Presidents, U.S. History, Encyclopedias of Roman Empire, Ancient Egypt Health: Acupressure Guide, First Aid Guide, Art of Love, Cookbook, Cocktails, Astrology Reference: The World's Biggest Mobile Encyclopedia; CIA World Factbook, Illustrated Encyclopedias of Birds, Mammals (from Amazon.com)


*** The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton [arcadata, Nyssa, melmac]
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Subjects: Fiction, Kindle Ebooks, Literature, Fiction Classics, Classics
Description: Newland Archer, gentleman lawyer and heir to one of New York City's best families, is happily anticipating a highly desirable marriage to the sheltered and beautiful May Welland. Yet he finds reason to doubt his choice of bride after the appearance of Countess Ellen Olenska, May's exotic, beautiful thirty-year-old cousin, who has been living in Europe. Ellen has returned to New York after … more »scandalously separating herself (per rumor) from a bad marriage to a Polish Count. At first, Ellen's arrival and its potential taint to his bride's family disturbs him, but he becomes intrigued by the worldly Ellen who flouts New York society's fastidious rules. As Newland's admiration for the countess grows, so does his doubt about marrying May, a perfect product of Old New York society; his match with May no longer seems the ideal fate he had imagined. Ellen's decision to divorce Count Olenski is a social crisis for the other members of her family, who are terrified of scandal and disgrace. Living apart can be tolerated, but divorce is unacceptable. To save the Welland family's reputation, a law partner of Newland asks him to dissuade Countess Olenska from divorcing the Count. He succeeds, but in the process comes to care for her; afraid of falling in love with Ellen, Newland begs May to accelerate their wedding date; May refuses. Newland tells Ellen he loves her; Ellen corresponds, but is horrified of their love's aggrieving May. She agrees to remain in America, separated but still married, only if they do not sexually consummate their love; Newland receives May's telegram agreeing to wed sooner. Newland and May marry; he tries forgetting Ellen but fails. His society marriage is loveless, and the social life he once found absorbing has become empty and joyless. Though Ellen lives in Washington and has remained distant, he is unable to cease loving her. Their paths cross while he and May are in Newport, Rhode Island. Newland discovers that Count Olenski wishes Ellen to return to him, and she has refused, despite her family pushing her to reconcile with her husband and return to Europe. Frustrated by her independence, the family cut off her money, as the Count had already done. Newland desperately seeks a way to leave May and be with Ellen, obsessed with how to finally possess her. Despairing of ever making Ellen his wife, he attempts to have her agree to be his mistress. Then Ellen is recalled to New York City to care for her sick grandmother, who accepts her decision to remain separated and agrees to reinstate her allowance. Back in New York and under renewed pressure from Newland, Ellen relents and agrees to consummate their relationship. However, Newland then discovers that Ellen has decided to return to Europe. Newland makes up his mind to abandon May and follow Ellen to Europe when May announces that she and Newland are throwing a farewell party for Ellen. That night, after the party, Newland resolves to tell May he is leaving her for Ellen. She interrupts him to tell him that she learned that morning that she is pregnant; she reveals that she had told Ellen of her pregnancy two weeks earlier, despite not being sure of it at the time. The implication is that she did it because she suspected the affair. Newland guesses that this is Ellen's reason for returning to Europe. Hopelessly trapped, Newland decides not to follow Ellen, surrendering his love for the sake of his children, remaining in a loveless marriage to May. Twenty-six years later, after May's death, Newland and his son are in Paris. The son, learning that his mother's cousin lives there, has arranged to visit Ellen in her Paris apartment. Newland is stunned at the prospect of seeing Ellen again. On arriving outside the apartment building, Newland, still reeling emotionally, sends up his son alone to meet Ellen, while he waits outside, watching her apartment's balcony. Newland decides that his dream and memory of Ellen are more real than anything else in his life. (non illust) (from Amazon.com)


*** To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf [HomeInMyShoes, sun surfer, Billi]
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One of the most important works of art of the twentieth century, To the Lighthouse is a profound, stirring, and ambitious novel written by an artist at the height of her extraordinary powers. Like all great works of art, To the Lighthouse is rich with meaning and implication. On the simplest level, it is about the Ramsay family, their vacation home on the Hebrides Islands in Scotland, and the guests who come to stay with them there. On a deeper level, the novel is a meditation on time, on how it is experienced, and on what resources humans beings have to reckon with its relentless, withering passage. The relentlessness of time is nowhere more powerfully felt than in the book's second section, "Time Passes." A shocking, almost inhuman picture of decay and death, "Time Passes" moves like a stop-motion film: weeds grow before our eyes, the unoccupied vacation house falls into disrepair, and history marches on its tumultuous way in the background. Bookending this harrowing section are the sections "The Window" and "The Lighthouse", the story of the Ramsay circle and how they face this unstoppable force. Each of the important characters in the novel demonstrates a slightly different approach to the problem of time's passage. Mr. Ramsay, a portrait of Woolf's own father, has dedicated himself to his philosophic writings. Well aware that his works are not profound enough to secure any lasting fame or immortality for his name, Mr. Ramsay spends his days in a volcanic depression. Mrs. Ramsay, on the other hand, less cerebral than her husband, devotes her energies to bringing harmony, stability, and happiness to her family in the time that they have together. But it is the painter Lily Briscoe, whose act of painting closes the novel, who seems to offer the best alternative. By composing, Woolf seems to suggest, the artist builds a provisional order out of the flux and chaos of life. What is important, though, is not whether Lily Briscoe's paintings are good enough to bring her artistic immortality, but the fact that she approaches the world with an artist's eye, capable of reveling in beauty and seeing provisional harmony in the midst of the volatility and confusion of life. It is, in other words, less the artist's expression itself and more the artist's way of perceiving the world that makes a difference. Woolf's masterpiece, To the Lighthouse was published in 1927 during one of most astonishing and impressive periods of achievement and development in English literary history. Indeed, not since the heyday of English Romanticism in the early nineteenth century, have so many enduring and groundbreaking masterworks been produced. To the Lighthouse was published just four years after that annus mirabilis, 1922, which saw the publication of both Eliot's The Waste Land and Joyce's Ulysses . Forster's A Passage to India (1924), Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury (1929) and Woolf's own Mrs. Dalloway (1925) are just a few of the remarkable works of a period which also found artists such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Wallace Stevens in the United States and D.H. Lawrence and W.B. Yeats in Great Britain working at the height of their powers. (from eBooks.com)


** The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain [HomeInMyShoes, Asawi]
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The story begins in fictional St. Petersburg, Missouri, on the Mississippi River. Two young boys, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, have each come into a considerable sum of money as a result of their earlier adventures (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer). Huck has been placed under the guardianship of the Widow Douglas, who, together with her sister, Miss Watson, are attempting to "sivilize [sic]" him. Huck appreciates their efforts, but finds civilized life confining. In the beginning of the story, Tom Sawyer appears briefly, helping Huck escape at night from the house, past Miss Watson's slave, Jim. They meet up with Tom Sawyer's self-proclaimed gang, who plot to carry out adventurous crimes. Huck's life is changed by the sudden appearance of his shiftless father, "Pap," an abusive parent and drunkard. Although Huck is successful in preventing his Pap from acquiring his fortune, Pap forcibly gains custody of Huck and the two move to the backwoods where Huck is kept locked inside his father's cabin. Equally dissatisfied with life with his father, Huck escapes from the cabin, elaborately fakes his own death, and sets off down the Mississippi River. The Floating House & Huck as a Girl While living quite comfortably in the wilderness along the Mississippi, Huck happily encounters Miss Watson's slave Jim on an island called Jackson's Island, and Huck learns that he has also run away, after hearing that Miss Watson intended to sell him downriver, where conditions for slaves were even harsher. Jim is trying to make his way to Cairo, Illinois, which is in a free state. At first, Huck is opposed to Jim's trying to become a free man, but they travel together, they talk in depth, and Huck begins to know more about Jim's past and his difficult life. As these talks continue, Huck begins to change his opinion about people, slavery, and life in general. This continues throughout the rest of the novel. Huck and Jim take up in a cavern on a hill on Jackson's Island to wait out a storm. When they can, they scrounge around the river looking for food, wood, and other items. One night, they find a raft they will eventually use to travel down the Mississippi. Later, they find an entire house floating down the river and enter it to grab what they can. Entering one room, Jim finds Pap lying dead on the floor, shot in the back while apparently trying to ransack the house. He refuses to let Huck see the man's face and does not reveal that it is Pap. To find out latest news in the area, Huck dresses as a girl and goes into town. He enters the house of a woman new to the area, thinking she won't recognize him. As they talk, she tells Huck there is a $300 reward for Jim, who is accused of killing Huck. She becomes suspicious of Huck's true gender, however, when she sees he cannot thread a needle. She cleverly tricks him into revealing he's a boy, and he manages to run off. He returns to the island, tells Jim of the manhunt, and the two load up the raft and leave the island. The Grangerfords and the Shepherdsons Shortly after missing their destination of Cairo, Huck and Jim's raft is swamped by a passing steamship, separating the two. Huck is given shelter by the Grangerfords, a prosperous local family. He becomes friends with Buck Grangerford, a boy about his age, and learns that the Grangerfords are engaged in a 30-year blood feud against another family, the Shepherdsons. Extreme irony is displayed here, when the Grangerfords and Shepherdsons go to church. Both families bring guns to continue the feud despite the preaching at the church being on brotherly love. The vendetta comes to a head when Buck's sister, Sophia Grangerford, elopes with Harney Shepherdson. In the resulting conflict, all of the remaining Grangerford males are shot and killed, and upon seeing Buck's corpse, Huck is too devastated to write about everything that happened. However, Huck does describe how he narrowly avoids his own death in the................. (from Amazon.com)


* The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner [HomeInMyShoes]
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"I give you the mausoleum of all hope and desire. . . . I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you might forget it now and then for a moment and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it. Because no battle is ever won he said. They are not even fought. The field only reveals to man his own folly and despair, and victory is an illusion of philosophers and fools." -from The Sound and the Fury The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character"s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner"s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century. From the Trade Paperback edition. (from Kobo)


*** Catch-22 by Joseph Heller [John F, Asawi, WT Sharpe]
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Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American lit-erature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—novels of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer . Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. Since its publication in 1961, no novel has matched Catch-22 ’s intensity and brilliance in depicting the brutal insanity of war. This fiftieth-anniversary edition commemorates Joseph Heller’s masterpiece with a new introduction by Christopher Buckley; personal essays on the genesis of the novel by the author; a wealth of critical responses and reviews by Norman Mailer, Alfred Kazin, Anthony Burgess, and others; rare papers and photos from Joseph Heller’s personal archive; and a selection of advertisements from the original publishing campaign that helped turn Catch-22 into a cultural phenomenon. Here, at last, is the definitive edition of a classic of world literature. (from Kobo)


** A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [John F, narflet]
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Search Arts & Humanities: Literature * * * American Authors * American Literature * British Authors * British Literature * Children's Literature * Classical & Mythology * Comics & Graphic Novels * Fantasy & Sci-Fi * Historical Literature * Horror & Mystery * Int'l Writers & Lit * Literary Themes & Ideas * Playwrights & Plays * Poets & Poetry * Religious Literature * William Shakespeare * Literature (Other) * >> * >> Get a Widget for this title Plot summary: A Study in Scarlet, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle * Top Article * All 2 Articles 1 of 2 Write Now Write now User ToolsArticle Tools by Stefanina Hill * Writing Level StarWriting Level StarWriting Level Star A Study in Scarlet is a mystery novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The story, originally titled A Tangled Skein, was first published in Mrs Beeton's 1887 Christmas Annual. This was the premiere of the famous character Sherlock Holmes upon the British public. The story is narrated by the character John H Watson as a reminiscence of the events surrounding his meeting with Mr Sherlock Holmes and the adventures that this friendship draws him into. Watson has been injured whilst serving as an army surgeon in India. Whilst recovering he was struck down with enteric fever and the impact upon his health has been severe, he has returned to England to convalesce. Watson leads a "comfortless, meaningless existence" until his financial situation prompts him to seek out less expensive lodgings. A chance meeting with an old acquaintance named Stamford affords Watson an introduction to another man seeking affordable rooms, a man called Sherlock Holmes. Stamford suggests that Watson talks to Holmes about the possibility of sharing lodgings but he warns that Holmes is somewhat eccentric and very devoted to his work in certain branches of science, particularly chemistry. Upon their meeting Sherlock Holmes astonishes Watson by correctly perceiving that he has recently been in Afghanistan and then enthusiastically demonstrates a method to test for the presence of blood stains, Holmes keenly explains the relevance of the method to criminal forensic science. The two men view rooms at 2 21B Baker Street the next day and agree to lodge together. Once ensconced in the new rooms Watson's boredom and the intriguingly mysterious actions of Sherlock Holmes drive the Doctor to note Holmes' habits and attempt to work out what the object of his intensive and varied studies could be. One morning Watson reads an article in a magazine which claims that by small observations of a person's expression, movement or appearance one can discern that person's trade, history and even thoughts. Watson states that he does not believe such a process to be practically possible. Sherlock Holmes calmly informs Watson that it was he who wrote the article. He reveals to Watson that he is a consulting detective, when the official and private forces of detection fail Holmes is engaged to try his hand. His knowledge of subjects as diverse and detailed as what kind of dirt adheres to one's shoes in various parts of London gives him the edge over the more official lines of investigation. (from Amazon.com)


** Storm Front by Jim Butcher [JSWolf, Asawi]
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Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 11-21-2011 at 02:55 PM. Reason: Updated through Post #84
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:36 AM   #3
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My nominations for Dec 2011 Book club:

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D H Lawrence.

3 fantastic pieces of work.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:07 AM   #4
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Based on some discussions here at Mobile Read about assigning “Classics” as reading material in school I would like to be a contrarian and nominate The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It also helps that is is one of the great works of 19th Century American literature.

It can be found right here in the Patricia Clark Memorial Library

I will reserve my other two votes until I see all the other nominations appear.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:29 AM   #5
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I will 2nd Lady Chatterley's Lover.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:30 AM   #6
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Nominations

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

A Christmas Carol (Christmas books #1) by Charles Dickens

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

I'd like to nominate these books for a reread it's been years since I've read any of them, and I always think of Dickens when I think of December.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:51 AM   #7
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I nominate The Hound of the Baskervilles (probably Doyle's most well known work.)
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:59 AM   #8
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Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy.
That would be a second for that one.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:11 AM   #9
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Tom, you put my name next to the wrong book. I 2nd Lady Chatterley's Lover NOT The Scarlet Letter.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:12 AM   #10
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I nominate The Iliad by Homer.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:15 AM   #11
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Tom, you put my name next to the wrong book. I 2nd Lady Chatterley's Lover NOT The Scarlet Letter.
Fixed. Sorry.

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Old 11-20-2011, 10:16 AM   #12
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Fixed. Sorry.
Thanks.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:24 AM   #13
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Isn't Lolita porn? Even if it's not exactly porn, it's pedophilia and rape. Why this book is allowed to be nominated is beyond any semblance of morality.

We had the outcry because Amazon allowing a book about pedophilia to be sold in the Kindle store. That alone should have been enough for any morally upstanding person to not want anything to do with this perverted book.

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Old 11-20-2011, 10:33 AM   #14
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I'll second The Scarlet Letter
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:46 AM   #15
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I nominate the classic Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey.



Quote:
HOW CAN ONE GIRL SAVE AN ENTIRE WORLD?

To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright.

But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa's world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . .
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