Summary: The willful, chatty ten-year-old Rebecca Rowena Randall has been sent away....+
The willful, chatty ten-year-old Rebecca Rowena Randall has been sent away from her home at Sunnybrook Farm to live with her two spinster aunts in the quiet town of Riverboro--where it is hoped she will be brought up as a proper young lady.
Precocious, curious, and full of creative energy, Rebecca isn’t quite ready to be tamed, leaving the prim and demanding Aunt Miranda with her hands full. But soon, Rebecca’s irrepressible spirit and bright intelligence win the hearts of all in Riverboro--including her rigid aunt. As we follow Rebecca’s coming-of-age over the course of seven years, we find that she manages to become a fine young lady in the process.
The unconventional and charismatic Rebecca, a new kind of female character when she was first introduced in 1903, has since become one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature.
Summary: Olenin is an aimless young nobleman who is disenchanted with city life. Taking....+
Olenin is an aimless young nobleman who is disenchanted with city life. Taking a post as a Cadet in the army, he finds himself assigned to the remote Cossack outpost in the Caucasus. It is here, among the Tatars, the Chechens, and the Old Believers, that he will fall in love with a beautiful Cossack girl. The only problem is that she is promised to a Cossack warrior.
In the setting of what is present-day Kazakhstan, Tolstoy examines two psychological problems. The first is the dilemma of a young man who desires both fulfilling love and a place as a respected member of society. The other is the difficulty of a primitive society to accept domination by a higher culture that has no understanding of the traditions it asks its colonists to cast aside.
One of Tolstoy’s lesser-known novels, The Cossacks is one of the finest pictures of Cossack society in all of Russian literature.
Summary: When a Roman ship is wrecked on the coast of Britain, Beric, the infant son....+
When a Roman ship is wrecked on the coast of Britain, Beric, the infant son of a Roman soldier, is the only survivor. Beric grows up with a Briton tribe, but to his foster people he remained an alien, one of the Red Crests. So when bad times come, the tribe holds him responsible and casts him out.
Rejected by the only life he knew, the boy turns to his own people, but Rome too rejects him. Lost, bewildered, a captive in his father’s land, he escaped from slavery only to be captured again and condemned to labor on the rowing benches of a galley of the Rhenus Fleet. Will Beric ever find ultimate happiness?
Rosemary Sutcliff provides a fine and exciting story with a background of Roman Britain that rings true from the first page to the last.
Summary: This book is the inspiration for the Academy Award-nominated film, There Will....+
This book is the inspiration for the Academy Award-nominated film, There Will Be Blood, starring Daniel Day-Lewis.
As he did so masterfully in The Jungle, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Upton Sinclair interweaves social criticism with human tragedy to create an unforgettable portrait of Southern California’s early oil industry.
Enraged by the oil scandals of the Harding administration in the 1920s, Sinclair tells a gripping tale of avarice, corruption, and class warfare, featuring a cavalcade of characters, including senators, oil magnates, Hollywood film starlets, and a crusading evangelist. At the center of the novel are an oil developer and his son. As the story moves forward, the divide between father and son grows until the young man is fighting the very industry that brought his father great success.
Sinclair’s glorious 1927 epic endures as one of our most powerful American novels of social injustice.
Summary: Written nearly a century ago and translated into over 40 languages, this masterpiece....+
Written nearly a century ago and translated into over 40 languages, this masterpiece of historical fiction is one of the best-selling novels in history and the inspiration for the MGM motion picture of 1951. An epic of love and courage in Nero’s time, it illustrates the conflict of moral ideas within the Roman Empire at the dawn of Christianity.
Marcus, a Roman officer in Nero's army, risks his career, his family, and even his life when he falls in love with a Christian woman named Callina. In order to win Callina’s love, Marcus must come to understand the true meaning of her religion, even as Rome sinks under the excesses of Nero and Christians are thrown to the lions. Quo Vadis brims with the passion and life as it explores one of the turning points in history.
Summary: Rob Roy MacGregor is the romantic outlaw who comes alive in Sir Walter Scott’s....+
Rob Roy MacGregor is the romantic outlaw who comes alive in Sir Walter Scott’s classic epic of the passions and struggles of the Scottish border lands.
In rich, vivid prose, Rob Roy follows the adventures of Frank Osbaldistone, who falls out of favor with his father after failing to measure up to his expectations in the world of business. Sent to stay in Scotland, Frank, an innocent, Protestant Englishman, is intrigued by the wild and noble land. He finds himself drawn to the powerful, enigmatic figure of Rob Roy who, with his passionate and fierce wife Helen, fights for justice and dignity for the Scottish people.
Twists of plot, Rob Roy’s cunning escapes, uprisings against English oppressors, and Frank’s forbidden love for a Catholic girl combine with superb period detail to make this an incomparable portrait of the highlands, a great hero, and a glorious Scottish past.
Summary: Hector Monro, writing under the pseudonym of Saki, is justly renowned for his....+
Hector Monro, writing under the pseudonym of Saki, is justly renowned for his urbane and witty short stories. His eccentric characters, humorous dialogue, and engaging domestic situations all reveal a penetrating and sometimes disturbing insight into human nature. As a quixotic tour guide, Saki leads the reader from garden party to pig sty to political convention with the ease of one who is intimately familiar with the cares and foibles of the human condition, showing us this vista of life through the well-tempered lens of his gentle, British irony.
In this definitive collection of seventy short stories, we can browse and sightsee at our leisure, cross borders of fresh insight, admire and enjoy each whimsical tale as we journey through the imaginative landscape of a truly artful writer.
Summary: Ovid’s sensuous and witty poem brings together a dazzling array of mythological....+
Ovid’s sensuous and witty poem brings together a dazzling array of mythological tales, ingeniously linked by the idea of transformation, often as a result of love or lust, in which men and women find themselves magically changed into new and sometimes extraordinary beings. Beginning with the creation of the world and ending with the deification of Augustus, Ovid interweaves many of the best known myths and legends of ancient Greece and Rome, including Daedalus and Icarus, Pyramus and Thisbe, Pygmalion, Perseus and Andromeda, and the fall of Troy. Mortals become gods, animals turn to stone, and humans change into flowers, trees, or stars.
First published in a.d. 8, Ovid’s Metamorphoses remains one of the most accessible and inspirational introductions to Greek mythology.
Summary: Few works have captured the seamy side of American urban life with such graphic....+
Few works have captured the seamy side of American urban life with such graphic immediacy as Frank Norris’s McTeague. Heredity and environment play the role of fate in this portrayal of human degradation in turn-of-the-century San Francisco.
McTeague, a strong but stupid dentist, marries Trina, introduced to him by her cousin Marcus Schouler. When Trina wins $5,000 in a lottery and increases the sum by shrewd investment, Schouler, who had wanted to marry Trina himself, feels cheated. In revenge, he exposes McTeague’s lack of diploma or license. Forbidden to practice, McTeague becomes mean and surly, but the miserly Trina refuses to let him use her money, and they sink into poverty. What follows is a descent into the ultimate crime--murder--and life as a fugitive, in a tale that moves toward its harrowing conclusion with the grim power and inevitability of Classic tragedy.
Summary: In the early days of the fundamentalist revolution in Iran, a seventeen-year-old....+
In the early days of the fundamentalist revolution in Iran, a seventeen-year-old girl is arrested because of her brother’s involvement with leftist politics. She is placed in a makeshift jail--a former bathhouse, in which other women are also being held captive. These women range in age from adolescence to eldery, their mental states from stoic to insane. With intense emotion and great literary skill, Moshiri gives voice to these prisoners, exploring their torment and struggle, as well as their courage and humanity in the face of tyrants.
Based on interviews with real women who have been imprisoned, Farnoosh Moshiri’s novel is a gripping and moving narrative of oppression, injustice, and the human spirit.
Summary: Often considered the greatest epic in any modern language, Paradise Lost tells....+
Often considered the greatest epic in any modern language, Paradise Lost tells the story of the revolt of Satan, his banishment from Heaven, and the ensuing fall of Man with his expulsion from Eden. It is a tale of immense drama and excitement, of innocence pitted against corruption, of rebellion and treachery, in which God and Satan fight a bitter battle for control of mankind's destiny. The struggle ranges across heaven, hell, and earth, as Satan and his band of rebel angels conspire against God. At the center of the conflict are Adam and Eve, motivated by all too human temptations, but whose ultimate downfall is unyielding love.
Written in blank verse of unsurpassed majesty, Paradise Lost is the work of a mastermind involved in a profound search for truth.
Summary: One of the great works of American literature, Moby-Dick is the epic tale of....+
One of the great works of American literature, Moby-Dick is the epic tale of one man’s fight against a force of nature. The outcast youth Ishmael, succumbing to wanderlust during a dreary New England autumn, signs up for passage aboard a whaling ship. The Pequod sails under the command of the one-legged Captain Ahab, who has set himself on a monomaniacal quest to capture the cunning white whale that robbed him of his leg: Moby-Dick. Capturing life on the sea with robust realism, Melville details the adventures of the colorful crew aboard the ship as Ahab pursues his crusade of revenge, heedless of all cost. This masterfully symbolic drama of the conflict between man and his fate has a special intensity that listeners will not soon forget.
Summary: Just before his regiment sails off to war in the Sudan, British officer Harry....+
Just before his regiment sails off to war in the Sudan, British officer Harry Feversham resigns his commission, wanting desperately to be free of his family’s proud military heritage and terrified of risking his life. He is immediately given four white feathers as symbols of cowardice, one by each of his three best friends and one by his fiancée. To disprove this grave dishonor, Harry dons an Arabian disguise and leaves for the Sudan, where he anonymously comes to the aid of his three friends, saving each of their lives. Having proven his bravery, Harry returns to England, hoping to regain the love and respect of his fiancée. This suspenseful tale movingly depicts a distinctive code of honor that was deeply valued and strongly promoted by the British during the height of their imperial power. Harry’s heroic attempts at redemption offer listeners a glimpse into a vivid array of human emotions.
Summary: In this seminal story of naval life during the Napoleonic wars, Frederick Marryat’s....+
In this seminal story of naval life during the Napoleonic wars, Frederick Marryat’s young hero embarks upon a life at sea and finds it to be a rough school indeed. Simple’s trials and triumphs, alongside his faithful mentor, Terence O’Brien, mirror Marryat’s personal experience, from the hand-to-hand combat of cutting-out missions to the devastating hurricane off St. Pierre and the mutiny aboard the Rattlesnake.
Peter Simple is a towering tale from the great age of sail, filled with keen wit, vivid characters, and gripping adventure.
Summary: Captain Frederick Marryat of the Royal Navy knew well both the thunder of the....+
Captain Frederick Marryat of the Royal Navy knew well both the thunder of the broadside and the laughter of the gun room. In Percival Keene, he takes us on a thrilling and authentic ride through the naval world of the Napoleonic wars.
This is the gripping tale of the mischievous young midshipman Percival Keene, whose adventures begin when he learns that the demanding Captain Delmar, a member of the wealthy and titled De Versely family, is actually his natural father. Stung by his father’s refusal to acknowledge him, Keene sets about to win his love and the family fortune. To do so, he must survive a shipwreck and capture by murderous pirates, fight duels of honor with his fellow officers, and battle against the French.
Summary: For his Royal Highness Klaus Heinrich, prince of a small German duchy, life....+
For his Royal Highness Klaus Heinrich, prince of a small German duchy, life means servitude to traditional ducal functions--until he meets the independent-spirited and liberal-minded American Miss Spoelmann. During the course of his unorthodox and quixotically tender wooing, Heinrich is forced to reach into unknown depths of his personality and discover the real meaning of the word ‘duty’.
Peopled with a range of characters from aristocrat to artisan, Royal Highness provides a microcosmic view of Europe before the Great War. Mann’s charming fable of a decaying, stratified society rejuvenated by modern forces illustrates what he regarded as a universal truth: that ripeness and death are necessary conditions for rebirth.
Summary: A rare pearl is fought over during a hurricane on a South Sea island. A zealous....+
A rare pearl is fought over during a hurricane on a South Sea island. A zealous missionary sets out to spread the gospel in a land of cannibals. The son of a Polynesian chief becomes the slave of a white man. These stories and others portray life in the South Seas in the days of tall ships over a century ago. In powerful and compelling language that seems not the least bit dated, Jack London tells eight tales of high daring and great savagery, of bravery and death, even of occasional humor, that could only take place in the exotic South Sea islands. Based around themes London considered important--race, culture, justice, and heroism--the stories derive their intensity from the author’s own far-flung adventures, conveying an impassioned, unsparing vision borne only of experience.
Included here are the following stories: “The House of Mapuhi,” “The Whale Tooth,” “Mauki,” “Yah! Yah! Yah!” “The Heathen,” “The Terrible Solomons,” “The Inevitable White Man,” and “The Seed of McCoy.”
Summary: This new edition of Kafka’s terrifying and comic masterpiece is the product....+
This new edition of Kafka’s terrifying and comic masterpiece is the product of an international team of experts who used Kafka’s original text and notes to render this story as close to the author’s vision as possible. Kafka’s final novel tells the haunting tale of a man’s relentless struggle with authority in order to gain entrance to the Castle.
The story of K--the unwanted land surveyor who is never to be admitted to the Castle and yet cannot go home--seems to depict, like a dream from the deepest recesses of consciousness, an inexplicable truth about the nature of existence. A perpetual human condition lies at the heart of this labyrinthine world: dualities of certainty and doubt, hope and fear, reason and nonsense, harmony and disintegration. An unfinished novel that feels strangely complete, The Castle uses absurd fantasy to reveal a profound truth.
Summary: Set in a crumbling Venetian villa, The Aspern Papers is a story about the heart’s....+
Set in a crumbling Venetian villa, The Aspern Papers is a story about the heart’s romantic ambitions and the pragmatic methods we use to pursue them. An American editor arrives in Venice on a quest to acquire some unpublished letters written by his favorite Romantic poet, Jeffrey Aspern. He tracks down the mistress to whom the letters were addressed, a now elderly Miss Bordereau's and presents himself as a prospective lodger. In hopes of gaining access to the secret papers, he begins courting Miss Bordeaux’s plain spinster niece, Miss Tina. As his obsessive mission leads him into increasingly unscrupulous behavior, he finds that his desire can be obtained only at the price of his honor. Written with taut suspense and brilliant insight into complex human motivations, The Aspern Papers is one of Henry James’ most acclaimed stories.
Summary: The New York Times bestselling sensation that’s “Steel Magnolias set in....+
The New York Times bestselling sensation that’s “Steel Magnolias set in Manhattan” (USA Today).
Walker & Daughter is Georgia Walker’s little yarn shop, tucked into a quiet storefront on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Its Friday night knitting club is improvised by some of Georgia’s regulars, who stroll into the shop looking for tips on knitting and end up finding much, much more. So now, once a week, they gather to work on their latest projects and to chat--and occasionally clash--over their stories of love, life, and everything in between.
However, unexpected changes soon throw these women’s lives into disarray, and the shop’s comfortable world gets shaken up like a snow globe. When the unthinkable happens, they realize that what they’ve created is not just a knitting club--it’s a sisterhood.