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View Poll Results: December 2011 MobileRead Book Club Vote (Classics)
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne 4 5.06%
The Iliad by Homer 7 8.86%
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 13 16.46%
The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie 9 11.39%
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton 2 2.53%
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence 2 2.53%
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 12 15.19%
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 10 12.66%
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 11 13.92%
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf 9 11.39%
Voters: 79. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:20 PM   #1
WT Sharpe
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December 2011 - Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the December 2011 eBook for the Mobile Read Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. We will start the discussion thread for this book on December 20th. Select from the following books.

Official choices with three nominations each:

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)


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)


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)


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


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)


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)


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)


Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Inkmesh search | The Patricia Clark Memorial Library: by Patricia - mobi & deutsch ePub by Insider
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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)


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)


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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Old 11-21-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
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We need a poll please, unless you would like us to just state our choice in the comments.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:27 PM   #3
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I've voted .

Didn't get a chance to nominate as it was done and dusted by the time I got there...
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
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I wonder if Alex could fix it so that the poll and the thread go up at the same time. It takes time to create a poll and double-check to make sure there are no errors, but the way the software is set up, you have to submit the thread first, then create the poll, and every time—at least it seems like every time—before you've had time to create the poll, somebody inevitably posts and asks, "Where's the POLL?" Patience, Grasshopper! There's no way to create the poll until after the thread is created and posted.

And now I'm off to Front Page it.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:32 PM   #5
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Soooo, have we decided that hidden polls is the way we'll be doing it from now on? Are we allowed to discuss our votes?
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
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I wonder if Alex could fix it so that the poll and the thread go up at the same time. It takes time to create a poll and double-check to make sure there are no errors, but the way the software is set up, you have to submit the thread first, then create the poll, and every time—at least it seems like every time—before you've had time to create the poll, somebody inevitably posts and asks, "Where's the POLL?" Patience, Grasshopper! There's no way to create the poll until after the thread is created and posted.

And now I'm off to Front Page it.
Sorry.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:40 PM   #7
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Soooo, have we decided that hidden polls is the way we'll be doing it from now on? Are we allowed to discuss our votes?
Think of it as a political election. No one can see what you do in the booth, but the public statements you make and the campaigning you do are up to you.

How does every one else feel about this?
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:42 PM   #8
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^Sounds good.

As far as the poll goes, I ran a photocontest on another site and I would edit all my voting options in notepad and then it would just be a simple copy and paste to get things up quickly in the end.

As far as what I voted for: there's either a t or T in the title somewhere.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:44 PM   #9
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Sounds fine to me! I want discussions to be open, but don't care much if votes are shown or not!

I'm not that much into "classics", but I'd really like to re-read Catch 22. I doubt it will win (the ones I vote for never do...), but that won't stop me!
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:49 PM   #10
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^Sounds good.

As far as the poll goes, I ran a photocontest on another site and I would edit all my voting options in notepad and then it would just be a simple copy and paste to get things up quickly in the end.

As far as what I voted for: there's either a t or T in the title somewhere.
It's a little trickier when you have 10 options that have to be entered one at a time, then make sure all the proper options are checked. Yes, I also have a notepad file ready for cutting and pasting, but it still takes a bit of time. I can't do it faster than people can post.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:49 PM   #11
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Think of it as a political election. No one can see what you do in the booth, but the public statements you make and the campaigning you do are up to you.

How does every one else feel about this?
Well it was my understanding that the hidden polling of last month was a test to be followed by a poll to determine what the book club participants preferred. I still prefer a transparent poll, but then I do not think "strategic voting" is a bad thing, quite to the contrary it helps produce a selection most acceptable to the greatest number of people.

That be as it may if a blind poll is to be the new norm that is fine. Despite a late scare none of the books that made it through to the polling is in the absolutely no interest (and isn't even a classic) status for me. At least in the US almost all elections are between two candidates so the analogy is not quite there.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:49 PM   #12
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Think of it as a political election. No one can see what you do in the booth, but the public statements you make are up to you.

How does every one else feel about this?
I'm a bit torn on this:

It turned out that for November, by not listening to the comments made, and voting for what I really wanted instead, I lost out all together. If I had followed the discussions advice, my 2nd choice would have won instead.

Although I am still very much against campaigning in the thread, last month made me realize that discussion in general adds to the fun of the club. A few people mentioned not liking the "silence", so I'll follow majority rule on this one.

As for this month, I was one of the first 3 to vote, so discussion is moot, as far as I am concerned. It'll be nice to just sit back and see what happens.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:51 PM   #13
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Maybe we should do a separate poll on hidden votes.

Any suggestions as to the options?
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:52 PM   #14
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Think of it as a political election. No one can see what you do in the booth, but the public statements you make and the campaigning you do are up to you.

How does every one else feel about this?
It sounds good, though I do like the suggestion of alternating months between hidden and open polling. Then every other month we could see the votes as they're coming in.

But for the hidden polls, yes I positively prefer the thread being open to people posting whatever they like about their personal preferences.
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Old 11-21-2011, 04:54 PM   #15
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I'm a bit torn on this:

It turned out that for November, by not listening to the comments made, and voting for what I really wanted instead, I lost out all together. If I had followed the discussions advice, my 2nd choice would have won instead.
My point exactly about the advantage of open polling results.
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