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By: Thornton W. Burgess (1874-1965)

Mother West Wind’s Children by Thornton W. Burgess Mother West Wind’s Children

“You can’t fool old Mother Nature. No, Sir, you can’t fool old Mother Nature, and it’s of no use to try.” The animals of the Green Meadows and Green Forest have little adventures while Grandfather Frog tells stories to Mother West Wind’s children, the Merry Little Breezes. (Summary by Laurie Anne Walden)

The Adventures of Johnny Chuck by Thornton W. Burgess The Adventures of Johnny Chuck

The Adventures of Johnny Chuck is another in the long list of children’s books by conservationist Thornton W. Burgess. In this story, it is spring time and a young chuck’s fancy turns to thoughts of … traveling, protecting one’s turf, finding a new home, and yes, love. Along the way, we learn little lessons about life such as there are good and bad kinds of pride, the importance of keeping secrets and that, even in the animal world, the three most important factors in determining the desirability of property are “location, location, location.” (Summary by John Lieder)

Old Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess Old Mother West Wind

Thornton Waldo Burgess (January 14, 1874 – June 5, 1965) was a conservationist and author of children’s stories. He loved the beauty of nature and its living creatures so much that he wrote about them for 50 years. By the time he retired, he had written more than 170 books. Many of his outdoor observations in nature were used as plots for his stories. In his first book, “Old Mother West Wind,” published in 1910, the reader meets many of the characters found in later books and stories...

Mother West Wind ‘Why’ Stories by Thornton W. Burgess Mother West Wind ‘Why’ Stories

Thornton W. Burgess was a conservationist and prolific author of children’s books. His gently humorous stories about the animals of the meadows and woods teach little lessons about getting along with others; they are perfect bedtime stories for small children. (Summary by Laurie Anne Walden)

By: Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri The Divine Comedy

The Divine Comedy (Italian: Commedia, later christened “Divina” by Giovanni Boccaccio), written by Dante Alighieri between 1308 and his death in 1321, is widely considered the central epic poem of Italian literature, the last great work of literature of the Middle Ages and the first great work of the Renaissance. A culmination of the medieval world-view of the afterlife, it establishes the Tuscan dialect in which it is written as the Italian standard, and is seen as one of the greatest works of world literature...

By: Julian Hawthorne, editor

Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories by Julian Hawthorne, editor Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories

In the six volumes of the Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories, Julian Hawthorne presents us thrilling and mysterious short stories from all corners of the world. Some of the stories appeared in this collection for the first time translated into English, and many of them come from unexpected sources, such as the letters of Pliny the Younger, or a Tibetan manuscript. In the first volume, we find stories written by American authors. (Summary by Leni)

By: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind by Jean-Jacques Rousseau A Discourse Upon the Origin and the Foundation of the Inequality Among Mankind

This work presents Rousseau’s belief in the profoundly transformational effects of the development of civilization on human nature, which Rousseau claims other political philosophers had failed to grasp. Specifically, before the onset of civilization, according to Rousseau, natural man lived a contented, solitary life, naturally good and happy. It is only with the onset of civilization, Rousseau claims, that humans become social beings, and, concomitant with their civilization, natural man becomes corrupted with the social vices of pride, vanity, greed and servility. (summary by brachypelma)

By: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

The Gettysburg Address by Abraham Lincoln The Gettysburg Address

The Dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, in November, 1863, followed a few short months after the roiling, acrid clouds of gun smoke dissipated, leaving a little crossroads town in Pennsylvania heir to the human tragedy of over 7,000 corpses and 21,000 men suffering wounds. It was a most unnatural disaster.On November 19, the chief executive made the trip to the still-dazed, shot-torn community to deliver, almost as an afterthought (for he was not the keynote speaker), an address that...

Lincoln at Cooper Union by Abraham Lincoln Lincoln at Cooper Union

On 27 February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave this address at the Cooper Union in New York City. When he gave the speech, Lincoln was considered by many to be just a country lawyer. After he gave the speech, he soon became his party’s nominee for president.(Summary by henkelsc)

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter

The story begins in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts, then a Puritan settlement. A young woman, Hester Prynne, is led from the town prison with her infant daughter, Pearl, in her arms and the scarlet letter “A” on her breast. The scarlet letter “A” represents the act of adultery that she has committed; it is to be a symbol of her sin for all to see. She will not reveal her lover’s identity, however, and the scarlet letter, along with her public shaming, is her punishment for her sin and her secrecy.

Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne Tanglewood Tales

All mythology and/or Hawthorne lovers unite!Here is a delightful collection of charming stories from Greek Mythology. This collection features some very popular characters like our beloved Jason, Ulysses, King Pluto and Theseus (and of course, our favorite, Mr. Minotaur, too). Written in Hawthorne's interesting and beautiful style, these stories will be a great delight to read AND listen to. (Summary by Neeru Iyer)

The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne The House of the Seven Gables

“The wrongdoing of one generation lives into the successive ones and… becomes a pure and uncontrollable mischief.” Hawthorne’s moral for “The House of the Seven Gables,” taken from the Preface, accurately presages his story. The full weight of the gloomy mansion of the title seems to sit on the fortunes of the Pyncheon family. An ancestor took advantage of the Salem witch trials to wrest away the land whereon the house would be raised… but the land’s owner, about to be executed as a wizard, cursed the Pyncheon family until such time as they should make restitution...

Book cover Rappaccini’s Daughter

The story is set in Padua in a distant, but unspecified past. From his quarters, Giovanni, a young student of letters, observes Beatrice, the beautiful daughter of Dr. Rappaccini, a scientist working in isolation. Beatrice is confined to the lush and locked gardens filled with poisonous plants by her father. Having fallen in love, Giovanni enters the garden and meets with Beatrice a number of times regardless of the warning of his mentor, Professor Baglioni, that Rappaccini is up to no good and he and his work should be avoided.

The Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale Romance is the story of four principal characters who work with -- and sometimes against -- each other on Blithedale, a communal farm antecedent to those that sprang up later in the 1960s, and similar to one on which Hawthorne himself lived in 1841. These communes arose out of the pressures on society and the individual brought by the Industrial Revolution. Some were organized around religious philosophies, some were secular. Among the secularists, the Transcendental movement mentioned in the novel espoused the idea that the individual's intuition, rather than religious dogma, was the true path to spiritual enlightenment...

The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Great Stone Face and Other Tales of the White Mountains

A collection of four short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the common theme of which is New Hampshire's White Mountains. Consists of: The Great Stone Face, written in 1850 and revolves around the 'Old Man of the Mountain (Cannon Mtn.) in New Hampshire which sadly collapsed on May 3, 2003; The Ambitious Guest, written in 1835; The Great Carbuncle, written in 1837; and Sketches From Memory, written sometime prior to The Great Carbuncle as will become obvious. (Summary by Roger Melin)

The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne The Marble Faun

The Marble Faun is Hawthorne's most unusual romance. Writing on the eve of the American Civil War, Hawthorne set his story in a fantastical Italy. The romance mixes elements of a fable, pastoral, gothic novel, and travel guide. In the spring of 1858, Hawthorne was inspired to write his romance when he saw the Faun of Praxiteles in a Roman sculpture gallery. The theme, characteristic of Hawthorne, is guilt and the Fall of Man. The four main characters are Miriam, a beautiful painter who is compared...

By: Andre Norton (1912-2005)

Plague Ship by Andre Norton Plague Ship

Lured by its exotic gems, the space trader Solar Queen lands on the little-known planet of Sargol, only to find the ruthless Inter-Solar Company there ahead of them. Adapting quickly to the culture of Sargol’s feline inhabitants, the crew of the Queen beat out their rivals and successfully make a deal with the natives. But soon after takeoff, the Queen’s crew is stricken with a plague, and they are now banned from landing on any inhabited planet. Will the Queen’s crew save themselves, or be condemned to drift forever through space? (Summary by Mark Nelson)

Star Born by Andre Norton Star Born

Andre Norton’s “Star Born” pictures a human colony in another galaxy, driven away from Earth generations ago by a repressive government. Considered outlaws, the colonists are in permanent hiding.They have developed friendship and cooperation with a local race of “mermen” who are equally at home on land or sea. But that race only took to the sea to escape a malevolent power that hunted them and killed them violently for sport – Those Others.With a global decline in the population and reach of Those Others, contacts are few and the humans have no direct knowlege of them...

The Time Traders by Andre Norton The Time Traders

If it is possible to conquer space, then perhaps it is also possible to conquer time. At least that was the theory American scientists were exploring in an effort to explain the new sources of knowledge the Russians possessed. Perhaps Russian scientists had discovered how to transport themselves back in time in order to learn long-forgotten secrets of the past. That was why young Ross Murdock, above average in intelligence but a belligerently independent nonconformist, found himself on a “hush-hush” government project at a secret base in the Arctic...

Star Hunter by Andre Norton Star Hunter

“Somewheres on the jungle world of Jumala, there was a man in hiding—a man whose mind had been reconditioned with another’s brain pattern and for whom there was a fabulous reward. Star Hunter is a thrill-packed account of that other-worldly game of hide-and-seek between a man who did not know all his own powers and an interstellar safari that sought something no man had a right to find….” (summary from gutenberg etext)

Key Out of Time by Andre Norton Key Out of Time

This is Book 4 in the Time Traders Series, In this book Ross Murdock and Arthur Ashe continue their adventures in Time and Space on the World of Hawaika. Hawaiian and Polynesian settlers help Ross and Ashe discover the way the world has changed from the data tape to present time. Helped by a girl (Karara) and her two trained dolphins (Tino-rau and Taua) (Summary by R. J. Davis)

The Defiant Agents by Andre Norton The Defiant Agents

Travis Fox and a band of fellow Apache AmerIndians have their racial memories and survival abilities enhanced by the Redax machine and are sent to the planet Topaz, one of the few worlds of the ancient star empire that the US has voyage tapes to. But the Reds have “snooped” the tapes and get there first, and have a nasty surprise waiting for any ship that does not have the proper identification. Travis and some of his fellow Apaches survive the ensuing crash landing…but can they defeat the Reds and win Topaz for themselves? This work is a sequel to both The Time Traders and Galactic Derelict...

Storm Over Warlock by Andre Norton Storm Over Warlock

The Throg task force struck the Terran survey camp a few minutes after dawn, without warning, and with a deadly precision which argued that the aliens had fully reconnoitered and prepared that attack. Eye-searing lances of energy lashed back and forth across the base with methodical accuracy. And a single cowering witness, flattened on a ledge in the heights above, knew that when the last of those yellow-red bolts fell, nothing human would be left alive down there. And so Shann Lantee, most menial of the Terrans attached to the camp on the planet Warlock, was left alone and weaponless in the strange, hostile world, the human prey of the aliens from space and the aliens on the ground alike...

The People of the Crater by Andre Norton The People of the Crater

An air force pilot adrift in peacetime is recruited to join an Antarctic expedition. When a strange mist downs his plane he discovers an ancient alien civilization which has prophesized his arrival. Now he and his faithful pet Ana must descend to the depths of the crater and face the Black Ones in order to rescue the fair Thrala, daughter of the Ancient Ones. – Andre Norton (Alice Mary Norton) was a popular author of science fiction and fantasy who began publishing stories in the early 1930s. “The People of the Crater” was first published in volume 1 number 1 of Fantasy Book in 1947. (Summary by Gregg Margarite)

By: Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1827)

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), published in 1889, is a humorous account by Jerome K. Jerome of a boating holiday on the Thames between Kingston and Oxford. (Summary by adrianw)

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow by Jerome K. Jerome Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow

Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow, published in 1886, is a collection of humorous essays by Jerome K. Jerome. It was the author’s second published book and helped establish him as a leading English humorist. The book consists of 14 independent articles arranged by themes.

Told after Supper by Jerome K. Jerome Told after Supper

It is Christmas Eve, and the narrator, his uncle and sundry other local characters are sitting round the fire drinking copious quantities of whisky punch and telling ghost stories until bedtime, when… But no, I won’t spoil the fun. This is a little gem: Jerome at his tongue-in-cheek best. (Summary by Ruth Golding)

Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome Three Men on the Bummel

Our Friends from Three Men in a Boat, to Say Nothing of the Dog, are back. In this funny sequel to Three Men in a Boat J., George, and Harris are out of the boat and on the land riding their bikes. Their lives are too stressful and they need a break from the daily mundane, so they put their heads together and come up with a brilliant idea they decide to travel through the Black Forest of Germany on a bicycling tour. Since two of our friends are now married it seems they will also have to convince...

Stage Land by Jerome K. Jerome Stage Land

A comic look at the curious habits and customs of the inhabitants of ‘Stage Land’. Dedicated to ‘that highly respectable but unnecessarily retiring individual, of whom we hear so much but see so little, “the earnest student of drama”

They and I by Jerome K. Jerome They and I

A man and his three children leave the “Little Mother” at home in the city and set up temporary housekeeping in a country cottage to supervise the remodeling of the house he has just purchased there. The story is narrated by the father. His interactions with his children, interspersed with his own recollections of past events, make for hilarious reading. This is Jerome at his best, IMHO, although this is apparently one of this lesser known novels.

Tea-table Talk by Jerome K. Jerome Tea-table Talk

As the New York Times said in 1903, this lesser-known work by Jerome K. Jerome does not display “the wit of Congreve or even the glittering sort Mr. Jerome employs in some of his other books.”It takes the form of imaginary conversations between the writer and a number of un-named characters at the afternoon tea table. The Woman of the World, the Old Maid, the Girton Girl, the Philosopher and the Minor Poet wax lyrical on subjects like marriage, art, society and politics. Frequently they appear to prefer the sound of their own voice to that of others...

By: George Eliot (1819-1880)

Daniel Deronda by George Eliot Daniel Deronda

In this enduring Victorian classic written in 1876, two stories weave in and out of each other: The first is about Gwendolen, one of Eliot’s finest creations, who grows from a self-centered young beauty to a thoughtful adult with an expanded vision of the world around her. The second is about Daniel Deronda, adopted son of an aristocratic Englishman who becomes fascinated with Jewish traditions when he meets an ailing Jewish philosopher named Mordecai and his sensitive sister, Mirah. (Summary by Becky Miller)

Silas Marner by George Eliot Silas Marner

Reputed as Eliot’s favourite novel Silas Marner is set in the early years of the 19th century. Marner, a weaver, is a member of a small congregation in Lantern Yard. Falsely accused of a crime he didn’t commit, he leaves his home and lives a solitary life near the village of Raveloe. Dedicating his life to weaving and hoarding gold for the next fifteen years, circumstances beyond his control shape his destiny and help to restore his faith in humanity.(Summary by T.Hynes)

Adam Bede by George Eliot Adam Bede

Adam Bede, the first novel written by George Eliot (the pen name of Mary Ann Evans), was published in 1859. It was published pseudonymously, even though Evans was a well-published and highly respected scholar of her time. The novel has remained in print ever since, and is used in university studies of 19th century English literature. The story’s plot follows four characters rural lives in the fictional community of Hayslope—a rural, pastoral and close-knit community in 1799. The novel revolves...

Middlemarch by George Eliot Middlemarch

The book examines the role of education in the lives of the characters and how such education and study has affected the characters. Rosamond Vincy’s finishing school education is a foil to Dorothea Brooke’s religiously-motivated quest for knowledge. Rosamond initially admires Lydgate for his exotic education, and his intellect. A similar dynamic is present in Dorothea and Casaubon’s relationship, with Dorothea revering her new husband’s intellect and eloquence. In both cases, however, the young wives’ expectations of their husbands intellects are not reflected in reality...

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot The Mill on the Floss

The novel details the lives of Tom and Maggie Tulliver, a brother and sister growing up on the river Floss near the village of St. Oggs, evidently in the 1820’s, after the Napoleonic Wars but prior to the first Reform Bill (1832). The novel spans a period of 10-15 years, from Tom and Maggie’s childhood up until their deaths in a flood on the Floss. The book is fictional autobiography in part, reflecting the disgrace that George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans) herself had while in a lengthy relationship with a married man, George Henry Lewes...

Romola by George Eliot Romola

George Eliot's own favorite among her novels, this novel tells the story of Romola, the intelligent daughter of a blind scoller, who is falling in love with a man who is going to change her life and the politics of Florence in a way she doesn't like. Set in 15th century Florence, it is "a deep study of life in the city of Florence from an intellectual, artistic, religious, and social point of view". (Summary by Stav Nisser and Wikipedia.)

The Lifted Veil by George Eliot The Lifted Veil

George Eliot’s 1859 novella, The Lifted Veil, departs radically from the grounded realism of her longer and better known works, such as Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda. Its tone calls to mind the works of middlebrow Sensationists, like Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone), and of some of the better known authors of Victorian era horror writings, such as Bram Stoker (Dracula) and Mary Shelley (Frankenstein.Eliot here explores mystical themes, considering the world of phenomena which are felt but not seen...

Scenes of Clerical Life by George Eliot Scenes of Clerical Life

Scenes of Clerical Life, which appeared in book form in 1858 (after serial publication in the previous year), was the first published fiction by George Eliot, the pen name for Mary Anne Evans. It consists of three novellas based on the lives of country clergymen and their communities. These characters interest Eliot not for their theology — she had abandoned conventional Christian belief — but for their humanity. In these stories, we find the earliest signs of the narrative voice, the humanism, and the realism that would make George Eliot one of the greatest novelists of the 1800s. (Introduction by Bruce Pirie)

By: Joseph Smith Fletcher (1863-1935)

The Middle Temple Murder by Joseph Smith Fletcher The Middle Temple Murder

The dead body of a man is found on the steps to some chambers of Middle Temple Lane, near London’s law courts. A journalist and a young lawyer start investigating. – This classic English murder mystery was written in 1920 by J.S. Fletcher, himself a lawyer turned journalist and author. (Summary by Gesine)

Dead Men’s Money by Joseph Smith Fletcher Dead Men’s Money

This classic mystery produces its first dead body during a clandestine midnight meeting. Already nothing is what it seems… (Summary by Gesine)

The Middle of Things by Joseph Smith Fletcher The Middle of Things

A habitual late night stroll down Markendale Square plunges Viner into the middle of things most mysterious and most perplexing. A murder, an imposter, secret papers, all combine to mystify even the police themselves. Is Hyde as innocent of the crime as he claims? What is the clue of the veiled woman and the diamond ring? Things are not what they seem to be and how can Viner prove the man’s innocence? (Summary by Kehinde)

The Paradise Mystery by Joseph Smith Fletcher The Paradise Mystery

A quiet cathedral town in England, full of gossips and people who are not quite who they seem to be, is the setting for this murder mystery.(Summary by Gesine)

The Chestermarke Instinct by Joseph Smith Fletcher The Chestermarke Instinct

Bank manager John Hornbury is missing, as are securities and jewels from the bank’s vault. Gabriel Chestermarke and his nephew Joseph have unaccountably refused to call in the police to investigate the theft from their bank. When Betty Fosdyke shows up to visit her Uncle John, she finds it past belief that he would simply disappear – let alone that he would commit larceny. Unable to simply sit by and wait while a detective from Scotland Yard investigates, Betty elicits the help of the chief clerk at Chestermarke’s bank and launches into the middle of the mystery.(Summary by MaryAnn)

By: Marion Zimmer Bradley (1930-1999)

The Colors of Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley The Colors of Space

In "The Colors of Space," Marion Zimmer Bradley tells the story of Bart Steele, a human being who is disguised as a member of an alien species in order to discover the secrets of their space travel. This book is a science fiction novel set in the future, a time when humans can already travel faster than the speed of light and can reach the remote corners of the universe with the help of another type of beings called the Lhari. In the book, the Lhari help the humans to travel faster than light and go to the far corners of different galaxies but are unwilling to give their secrets to them...

The Door Through Space by Marion Zimmer Bradley The Door Through Space

At one time Race Cargill had been the best Terran Intelligence agent on the complex and mysterious planet of Wolf. He had repeatedly imperiled his life amongst the half-human and non-human creatures of the sullen world. And he had repeatedly accomplished the fantastic missions until his name was emblazoned with glory. But that had all seemingly ended. For six long years he’d sat behind a boring desk inside the fenced-in Terran Headquarters, cut off there ever since he and a rival had scarred and ripped each other in blood-feud...

The Planet Savers by Marion Zimmer Bradley The Planet Savers

The Terran colony on the planet Darkover faces imminent destruction by a plague of the deadly Trailmen's Fever. The only hope is to develop a serum in time, but this requires the cooperation of the elusive native Trailmen, the brilliant parasitologist Dr. Jay Allison, and his split personality. (Introduction by Mark Nelson)

By: Richmal Crompton

More William by Richmal Crompton More William

"It was on Christmas Day that the centipede appeared on Aunt Evangeline's plate, the library clock was found mysteriously dismantled, and the conjuring trick with the egg went disastrously wrong. But as William's Aunt Lucy told him, A Busy Day is a Happy Day - and William is always eager to please adults. The terror of the Brown family is back, leaving a trail of havoc behind him - with the very best of intentions." (More William book jacket) Lovers of British family sitcoms are either already William fans, or are likely to become avid followers of the dogged and imaginative child and his not always patient family...

By: H. Beam Piper (1904-1964)

Five Sci-Fi Short Stories by H. Beam Piper by H. Beam Piper Five Sci-Fi Short Stories by H. Beam Piper

Five short stories by classic science fiction writer H. Beam Piper.

The Cosmic Computer by H. Beam Piper The Cosmic Computer

Conn Maxwell returns from Terra to his poverty-stricken home planet of Poictesme, “The Junkyard Planet”, with news of the possible location of Merlin, a military super-computer rumored to have been abandoned there after the last war. The inhabitants hope to find Merlin, which they think will be their ticket to wealth and prosperity. But is Merlin real, or just an old rumor? And if they find it will it save them, or tear them apart? (Summary by Mark Nelson)

Space Viking by H. Beam Piper Space Viking

A galactic war has left the Terran Federation in ruins. Formerly civilized planets have decivilized into barbarism. Space Vikings roam the wreckage, plundering and killing for gain. Lord Lucas Trask of Traskon was no admirer of the Space Vikings, but when murder takes his wife on his wedding day, Trask trades everything he has for his own Space Viking ship and sets out on a galaxy-wide quest for revenge. (Summary by Mark Nelson)

Murder in the Gunroom by H. Beam Piper Murder in the Gunroom

The Lane Fleming collection of early pistols and revolvers was one of the best in the country. When Fleming was found dead on the floor of his locked gunroom, a Confederate-made Colt-type percussion .36 revolver in his hand, the coroner’s verdict was “death by accident.” But Gladys Fleming had her doubts. Enough at any rate to engage Colonel Jefferson Davis Rand—better known just as Jeff—private detective and a pistol-collector himself, to catalogue, appraise, and negotiate the sale of her late husband’s collection.

Omnilingual by H. Beam Piper Omnilingual

An expedition to Mars discovers the remains of an advanced civilization, which died out many thousands of years ago. They recovered books and documents left behind, and are puzzled by their contents. Would the team find their “Rosetta Stone” that would allow them to unlock the Martian language, and learn the secrets of this long-dead race? (Summary by Mark Nelson)

The Return by H. Beam Piper The Return

Two-hundred years after a global nuclear war, two explorers from a research outpost, that largely survived the cataclysm, discover a settlement of humans who have managed to maintain their civilisation despite ferocious cannibal neighbours, the Scowrers. However, the explorers must turn detective in order to understand the mystery of their hosts philosophy and religion. (Description by Reynard)

Uller Uprising by H. Beam Piper Uller Uprising

Uller Uprising is the story of a confrontation between a human overlord and alien servants, with an ironic twist at the end. Like most of Piper’s best work, Uller Uprising is modeled after an actual event in human history; in this case the Sepoy Mutiny (a Bengal uprising in British-held India brought about when rumors were spread to native soldiers that cartridges being issued by the British were coated with animal fat. The rebellion quickly spread throughout India and led to the massacre of the British Colony at Cawnpore...

Four-Day Planet by H. Beam Piper Four-Day Planet

Fenris isn't a hell planet, but it's nobody's bargain. With 2,000-hour days and an 8,000-hour year, it alternates blazing heat with killing cold. A planet like that tends to breed a special kind of person: tough enough to stay alive and smart enough to make the best of it. When that kind of person discovers he's being cheated of wealth he's risked his life for, that kind of planet is ripe for revolution. (Introduction from the Gutenberg text)

Oomphel in the Sky by H. Beam Piper Oomphel in the Sky

Natives of the distant planet of Kwannon believe that their world is about to end, and in preparing for the apocalypse, may be unnecessarily bringing about their own demise. The planetary government can’t overcome its own bureaucracy to help them, and the military is overwhelmed. Can a single newsman change the course of a whole people, and save their world? (Summary by Mark Nelson)

The Edge of the Knife by H. Beam Piper The Edge of the Knife

The Terro-Human Future History is Piper’s detailed account of the next 6000 years of human history. 1942, the year the first fission reactor was constructed, is defined as the year 1 A.E. (Atomic Era). In 1973, a nuclear war devastates the planet, eventually laying the groundwork for the emergence of a Terran Federation, once humanity goes into space and develops antigravity technology.The story “The Edge of the Knife” (collected in Empire) occurs slightly before the war, and involves a man who sees flashes of the future. It links many key elements of Piper’s series.

Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper Little Fuzzy

Jack Holloway, a prospector on the planet Zarathustra discovers small furry creatures. These creatures are obviously intelligent, but are they animals or are they sapient? If they are sapient the planet will be declared a protected zone and the company that is developing the planet commercially will lose their exclusive rights to the resources…

Police Operation by H. Beam Piper Police Operation

H. Beam Piper (1904–1964) was an American science fiction author. He wrote many short stories and several novels. He is best known for his extensive Terro-Human Future History series of stories and a shorter series of “Paratime” alternate history tales.

Last Enemy by H. Beam Piper Last Enemy

An undercover Paratimer has disappeared on assignment while in an alternate time line, and it’s up to Verkan Vall of the Paratime Police to save her. To do so, he must infiltrate a universe in which assassination is an honorable profession, and reincarnation a scientific fact. Will Verkan Vall survive in a world of killers and the undead? (Summary by Mark Nelson)

Book cover Null-ABC

"There's some reaction these days that holds scientists responsible for war. Take it one step further: What happens if "book-learnin'" is held responsible ...?"

Book cover Temple Trouble

I'll bet you did not know that our little earth is not limited to the single time line on which we happen to exist. That's right; There are actually thousands, no many millions of parallel times, each existing alongside all the rest, using the same real estate, but following their own path. Some extremely primitive, some very advanced, but all blissfully unaware of the others. Of course this does not affect us at all, unless ... unless one of these time lines discovers the existence of the others and then a way to move easily back and forth from one to the other...

By: Alexander Hamilton (1755/1757-1804)

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton The Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers (correctly known as The Federalist) are a series of 85 articles advocating the ratification of the United States Constitution. Seventy-seven of the essays were published serially in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet between October 1787 and August 1788 . A compilation of these and eight others, called The Federalist, was published in 1788 by J. and A. M’Lean.The Federalist Papers serve as a primary source for interpretation of the Constitution, as they outline the philosophy and motivation of the proposed system of government...

By: Arnold Bennett (1867-1931)

The Card by Arnold Bennett The Card

The ‘Card’ in question is Edward Henry Machin – his mother called him ‘Denry.’This light-hearted story is of his rise from humble beginnings as the son of a washerwoman and sempstress in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, in the pottery towns (which Arnold Bennett christened ‘The Five Towns’) of the English Midlands; how, by his own wits, enterprise and ‘nerve’ he rose to wealth, married bliss and public recognition as the youngest-ever mayor of his home town....

The Price of Love by Arnold Bennett The Price of Love

Rachel Louise Fleckring works for the elderly Mrs Maldon, and although with the woman for only a short time, she is taken into the heart of the family. She falls in love with one of Mrs Maldon’s descendents, but along the way, she has to come to terms with the fact that he isn’t, perhaps, the perfectly honest man she thought he was. (Summary by Christine)

The Grand Babylon Hotel by Arnold Bennett The Grand Babylon Hotel

Theodore Racksole, a rich American multi-millionaire, buys the Grand Babylon Hotel, a luxurious hotel in London, as a whim – and then finds out there are strange things going on – a German prince is supposed to arrive but never turns up, someone is found murdered in the hotel, but then the body disappears. With the help of his independent daughter Nella and another German prince, Racksole sets out to solve the mystery.Bennett wrote this as a 15-part serial, for a lark, in 15 days, and sold it for 100 pounds...

The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett The Old Wives’ Tale

The Old Wives’ Tale is a novel by Arnold Bennett, first published in 1908. It deals with the lives of two very different sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, following their stories from their youth, working in their mother’s draper’s shop, into old age. It is generally regarded as one of Bennett’s finest works. It covers a period of about 70 years from roughly 1840 to 1905, and is set in Burslem and Paris. (Summary by Andy)

Literary Taste: How to Form It by Arnold Bennett Literary Taste: How to Form It

Arnold Bennett describes a method for enjoying literature, and suggests the contents of a comprehensive library. Chapters 1-10 and 14 describe his method for learning to enjoy literature. Chapters 11, 12, and 13 contain detailed lists of the 337 volumes required to complete a comprehensive library of English works. This reading is from the 1913 version at Project Gutenberg, and so does not contain the revisions made by Swinnerton for the 1939 edition, which included authors of the early Twentieth Century. Swinnerton’s revisions are available from Wikipedia. (Summary by Timothy Ferguson)

Tales of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett Tales of the Five Towns

This is a selection of short stories recounting, with gentle satire and tolerant good humour, the small town provincial life at the end of the nineteenth century, based around the six towns in the county of Staffordshire, England, known as the Potteries. Arnold Bennett chose to fictionalize these towns by changing their names and omitting one (Fenton) as he apparently felt that “Five Towns” was more euphonious than “Six Towns”. The real town names which are thinly disguised in the novel are: Hanley, Longton, Burslem and Tunstal, the fifth, Stoke became “Knype”...

Anna of the Five Towns by Arnold Bennett Anna of the Five Towns

The plot centers on Anna Tellwright, daughter of a wealthy but miserly and dictatorial father, living in the Potteries area of Staffordshire, England. Her activities are strictly controlled by the Methodist church. Having escaped her father by marrying the respectable and attractive Henry, she attempts in vain to help Willy, son of a drunken and bankrupt business associate of her father's.

The Regent by Arnold Bennett The Regent

'The Regent' is, if not a sequel to 'The Card', then a 'Further Adventures of' the eponymous hero of that novel.Denry Machin is now forty-three and begins to feel that he is getting old, that making money and a happy home life are not enough and that he has lost his touch as the entrepreneur and entertainer of the 'Five Towns'.In fact, as he says to himself 'What I want is change - and a lot of it too!'. A chance meeting at the local theatre leads to his going to London and then... (Summary by A.J.M.)

The Human Machine by Arnold Bennett The Human Machine

Bennett asks us to consider our brains as the most wonderful machine, a machine which is the only thing in this world that we can control. As he writes: "I am simply bent on calling your attention to a fact which has perhaps wholly or partially escaped you -- namely, that you are the most fascinating bit of machinery that ever was."As ever, his prose is honeyed, his thoughts inspired, and his advice as relevant today as when it was written. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)

Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett Hilda Lessways

This book is the second in Bennett’s four books about life in the Five Towns (the real life Potteries in Staffordshire). It tells the story of Hilda before her marriage to Edwin Clayhanger (from the first book). Bennett explores Hilda's ambition to make a career for herself, her coming of age and her working experiences as a shorthand clerk and keeper of a lodging house in London and Brighton. He also shows her intensifying relationship with the enigmatic George Cannon that ends in her disastrous bigamous marriage and pregnancy, and finally her reconciliation with Edwin Clayhanger (Summary by Simon Evers)

By: Grenville Kleiser (1868-1953)

Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases by Grenville Kleiser Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases

Fifteen Thousand Useful Phrases is a practical handbook written by Grenville Kleiser. Grenville is known for his writings on humor, positive thinking and inspirational thought. This serves as a handbook of pertinent expressions, striking similes and terms for embellishing speech and literature. This book can be used to improve vocabulary for reading, writing and speaking alike. Through mastery of words, the most powerful and perfect expression of thought can be delivered orally. Choosing the correct words conveys ideas in a crisp and clear way that will hold and audience's attention...

By: Wilkie Collins (1824-1889)

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins The Moonstone

The story concerns a young woman called Rachel Verinder who inherits a large Indian diamond, the Moonstone, on her eighteenth birthday. The book is widely regarded as the precursor of the modern mystery and suspense novels. T. S. Eliot called it ‘the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels’. It contains a number of ideas which became common tropes of the genre: a large number of suspects, red herrings, a crime being investigated by talented amateurs who happen to be present when it is committed, and two police officers who exemplify respectively the ‘local bungler’ and the skilled, professional, Scotland Yard detective.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins The Woman in White

The Woman in White is an epistolary novel written by Wilkie Collins in 1859, serialized in 1859-1860, and first published in book form in 1860. It is considered to be to the first mystery novel, and is widely regarded as one of the first (and finest) in the genre of ’sensation novels’…. The Woman in White is also an early example of a particular type of Collins narrative in which several characters in turn take up the telling of the story. This creates a complex web in which readers are unsure which narrator can, and cannot, be trusted...

Book cover The Haunted Hotel, A Mystery of Modern Venice

A kind, good-hearted genteel young woman jilted, a suspicious death or two that only a few think could be murder, strange apparitions appearing in an hotel all combine to create a horrifying conundrum. Who was the culprit and will finding out finally put an end to the mystery? (Summary by Kehinde)

Armadale by Wilkie Collins Armadale

The novel has a convoluted plot about two distant cousins both named Allan Armadale. The father of one had murdered the father of the other (the two fathers are also named Allan Armadale). The story starts with a deathbed confession by the murderer in the form of a letter to be given to his baby son when he grows up. Many years are skipped over. The son, mistreated at home, runs away from his mother and stepfather, and takes up a wandering life under the assumed name of Ozias Midwinter.”

The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins The Black Robe

The church has lost out on a valuable piece of land through wars and transfers. Father Benwell is determined to reclaim that property by the conversion of the owner, Lewis Romayne. Enter beautiful Stella, who captures the heart of Romayne. Should Stella capture the love and devotion of Romayne, Father Benwell's scheme would fail, and that is something that he can not allow. Complicating things is the fact that both Romayne and Stella are hiding their own terrible secrets.The Black Robe is an 1881 epistolary novel by famed English writer, Wilkie Collins. The book centers around the misadventures of Lewis Romayne, and is also noted for a perceived anti-Catholic bias

No Name by Wilkie Collins No Name

The story begins in 1846, at Combe-Raven in West Somersetshire, the country residence of the happy Vanstone family. When Andrew Vanstone is killed suddenly in an accident and his wife follows shortly thereafter, it is revealed that they were not married at the time of their daughters' births, making their daughters "Nobody's Children" in the eyes of English law and robbing them of their inheritance. Andrew Vanstone's elder brother Michael gleefully takes possession of his brother's fortune, leaving his nieces to make their own way in the world...

I Say No by Wilkie Collins I Say No

Emily Brown is an orphan girl that almost no one can help but love when they meet her. She is pursued by two worthy men: Mr. Alban Morris, the drawing master at her school; and Rev. Miles Mirabel, a clergyman. However, one of them is lying to her after she discovers that her father's death wasn't natural, as she was led to believe. (Introduction by TriciaG)

The Law and the Lady by Wilkie Collins The Law and the Lady

Valeria Brinton marries Eustace Woodville despite objections from Woodville's family leading to disquiet for Valeria's own family and friends.Just a few days after the wedding, various incidents lead Valeria to suspect her husband is hiding a dark secret in his past and she discovers that he has been using a false name. He refuses to discuss it leading them to curtail their honeymoon and return to London where Valeria learns that he was on trial for his first wife's murder by arsenic. He was tried in a Scottish court and the verdict was 'Not Proven' rather than 'not guilty' implying his guilt but without enough proof for a jury to convict him...

The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins The Frozen Deep

The Frozen Deep is a story of a love triangle between Clara, Frank and Richard, spiced up with dangerous expeditions, mysterious visions and life-threatening circumstances. The end is as surprising and unexpected as we are (or are not) accustomed to in Collins' books. (Summary by Diana Majlinger)

The Dead Alive by Wilkie Collins The Dead Alive

Ill feelings exist between the Meadowcroft sons and John Jago, the foreman of the Meadowcroft estate. Then, John Jago disappears, and a body is found in a kiln. The Meadowcroft brothers stand accused of the crime, but are they guilty? The Dead Alive is a novel written by Wilkie Collins based on the true-life Boorn Brothers murder conviction case of 1819. Jesse and Stephen Boorn were sentenced to death for the murder of their brother-in-law, but were they wrongly convicted? (Summary by M Z Spark, Phil, and Barry)

Basil by Wilkie Collins Basil

Basil, son of a father who values the family pedigree and who would not let him marry below his station, falls in love at first sight with a girl he sees on a bus. He stalks her and discovers she is Margaret Sherwin, only daughter of a linen draper. He stalks her and persuades her father to let him marry her secretly. He agrees on the condition, that, as his daughter is only seventeen, they live apart for the first year. At first the secret works, but then the mysterious Mannion, whose emotions cannot be read in his face, returns from abroad. On the last night of the year Basil follows Margaret and Mannion and discovers them in flagrante delicto. (Wikipedia)

Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins Poor Miss Finch

"Poor Miss Finch." That is what everyone calls the courageous protagonist of this book. In other words, "poor thing, she's blind, isn't it awful?" Ha! Lucilla Finch is the wisest of all the characters, in spite of, and perhaps because of, her blindness. This story is about her trials, tribulations and triumphs. She reminds me of myself. Not the falling recklessly in love and being pulled this way and that by foolish young men and mad old doctors. I mean that, like her, I'm blind and proud of it! (Introduction by Sandra G)

Jezebel's Daughter by Wilkie Collins Jezebel's Daughter

A brilliant chemist and a shrewd businessman — die on the same day. The widow of the chemist, Mrs. Fontaine, is left with the poisons he was researching , while Mrs. Wagner is left with her husband's mental health institution reforms and his plans for hiring women along with men in his firm's offices. Mrs. Wagner believes in treating madmen gently, and requests for the funny little man Jack Straw to be released from the madhouse. At the same time, her nephew David Glenney is sent to the Frankfurt office, where he works with Mr Engelmann and Mr Keller...

The Guilty River by Wilkie Collins The Guilty River

After his father’s death Gerard Roylake returns from Germany to take up his inheritance at Trimley Deen. On one evening he meets his childhood friend, Cristel Toller. They fall in love, but there is a crux. A deaf man, called The Lodger is obsessed with Cristel. He invites Gerard to tea with evil intentions… and Gerard accepts the invitation.The book is written in the first person and tells the story from Gerard's point of view. (Summary by Diana Majlinger)

By: Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane The Red Badge of Courage

This is a short novel published in 1895 and based vaguely on the battle of Chancellorsville of the American Civil War. Unlike other works on the subject, Crane’s novel does not concentrate on the big picture or the glory of war but on the psychology of one of its soldiers. (Summary by James Smith)

The Red Badge of Courage; An Episode of the American Civil War by Stephen Crane The Red Badge of Courage; An Episode of the American Civil War

There comes a time in the course of battle when a participant casts his fate to the gods of war, and carries on without question, the task at hand. Living, dying, right or wrong, can be contemplated later. The spirit of the bayonet takes over and carries the youth through the crucible of battle to emerge a short time later several ages older. Stephen Cranes classic novel gives us a glimpse into the mind of a young soldier as he passes through the experience he will never be able to forget, and possibly awaken him from his slumber in a sweat and panic for years to come. Narrated by Mike Vendetti, Purple Heart, November 1965 (Summary by Mike Vendetti)

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

Stephen Crane’s first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets has been called “the first dark flower of American Naturalism” for its distinctive elements of naturalistic fiction. The chief character, Maggie, descends into prostitution after being led astray by her lover. Rather than focusing on those that make up the very rich or middle class, the novel highlights the deplorable living conditions of the working class during the so-called Gilded Age in New York’s Bowery. (Summary adapted from Wikipedia by Illiterati)

Selected Short Stories by Stephen Crane Selected Short Stories

At the time of his death at the age of 28, Stephen Crane had become an important figure in American literature. He was nearly forgotten, however, until two decades later when critics revived interest in his life and work. Stylistically, Crane's writing is characterized by vivid intensity, distinctive dialects, and irony. Common themes involve fear, spiritual crises and social isolation. Although recognized primarily for The Red Badge of Courage, which has become an American classic, Crane is also known for short stories such as "The Open Boat", "The Blue Hotel", "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky", and The Monster...

By: Plato (428/427 BC - 348/347 BC)

Phaedo by Plato Phaedo

Plato's Phaedo is one of the great dialogues of his middle period, along with the Republic and the Symposium. The Phaedo, which depicts the death of Socrates, is also Plato's seventh and last dialogue to detail the philosopher's final days (the first six being Theaetetus, Euthyphro, Sophist, Statesman, Apology, and Crito).In the dialogue, Socrates discusses the nature of the afterlife on his last day before being executed by drinking hemlock. Socrates has been imprisoned and sentenced to death by an Athenian jury for not believing in the gods of the state and for corrupting the youth of the city...

By: Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873)

Last Days of Pompeii by Edward George Bulwer-Lytton Last Days of Pompeii

Last Days of Pompeii is a novel written by Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1834. Once a very widely read book and now relatively neglected, it culminates in the cataclysmic destruction of the city of Pompeii by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.The novel uses its characters to contrast the decadent culture of first-century Rome with both older cultures and coming trends. The protagonist, Glaucus, represents the Greeks who have been subordinated by Rome, and his nemesis Arbaces the still older culture of Egypt. Olinthus is the chief representative of the nascent Christian religion, which is presented favorably but not uncritically.

By: James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851)

The Last Of The Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper The Last Of The Mohicans

The Last of the Mohicans is an epic novel by James Fenimore Cooper, first published in January 1826. It was one of the most popular English-language novels of its time, and helped establish Cooper as one of the first world-famous American writers.The story takes place in 1757 during the French and Indian War, when France and Great Britain battled for control of the American and Canadian colonies. During this war, the French often allied themselves with Native American tribes in order to gain an advantage over the British, with unpredictable and often tragic results. Summary from Wikipedia

The Spy by James Fenimore Cooper The Spy

James Fenimore Cooper’s second novel, The Spy (1821), is based on Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly series, and tells an adventure tale about the American Revolution. The protagonist is Harvey Birch, a supposed loyalist who actually is a spy for George Washington, disguised as ‘Mr Harper.’ The book brought Cooper fame and wealth, and is regarded as the first great success in American fiction.(Summary by Gord MacKenzie)

The Pathfinder by James Fenimore Cooper The Pathfinder

Natty Bumppo goes by many names: La Longue Carabine, Hawk Eye, Leatherstocking, and in this tale, The Pathfinder. Guide, scout, hunter, and when put to it, soldier, he also fills a lot of roles in pre-Revolution upstate New York. An old friend, Sergeant Dunham of the 55th Regiment of Foot, asks him to guide his daughter through the wilderness to the fort at Oswego where Dunham serves. With the French engaging native Indian allies against the British and the Yankee colonists, such a journey is far from safe...

The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper The Deerslayer

The Deerslayer, or The First Warpath (1841) was the last of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking tales to be written. Its 1740-1745 time period makes it the first installment chronologically and in the lifetime of the hero of the Leatherstocking tales, Natty Bumppo.

The Pioneers by James Fenimore Cooper The Pioneers

The Pioneers: The Sources of the Susquehanna; a Descriptive Tale is one of the Leatherstocking Tales, a series of five novels by American writer James Fenimore Cooper. The Pioneers was first of these books to be published (1823), but the period of time covered by the book (principally 1793) makes it the fourth chronologically. (The others are The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, The Pathfinder, and The Prairie.)The story takes place on the rapidly advancing frontier of New York State and features...


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