This Side of Paradise

This Side of Paradise

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fiction / Short Stories

This Side of Paradise is the debut novel of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Published in 1920, and taking its title from a line of the Rupert Brooke poem Tiare Tahiti, the book examines the lives and morality of post-World War I youth. Its protagonist, Amory Blaine, is an attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature. The novel explores the theme of love warped by greed and status-seeking.
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A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthurs Court

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

Mark Twain

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Biographies & Memoirs

In this biting satire by Twain, a 19th c. Yankee mechanic is knocked out during a brawl, and wakes to find himself in Camelot, A.D. 528, in King Arthur’s Court. When the modern mechanic tries to cure society’s ills (oppressed peasantry, evil church, etc.) with 19th c. industrial inventions like electricity and gunfire - all hell breaks loose!Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by the pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist. Twain began his career writing light, humorous verse but evolved into a grim, almost profane chronicler of the vanities, hypocrisies and murderous acts of mankind. At mid-career, with Huckleberry Finn, he combined rich humour, sturdy narrative and social criticism. Twain was a master at rendering colloquial speech and helped to create and popularise a distinctive American literature built on American themes and language.
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Moby Dick

Moby Dick

Herman Melville

Fiction / Poetry / Short Stories

Moby Dick is a novel by American writer Herman Melville. The work is an epic sea story of Captain Ahab's voyage in pursuit of Moby Dick, a great white whale. A contemporary commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, its reputation rose during the twentieth century. D.H. Lawrence called it "the greatest book of the sea ever written." Jorge Luis Borges praised the style: "Unforgettable phrases abound." Today it is considered one of the Great American Novels and a leading work of American Romanticism. The opening line, "Call me Ishmael," is one of the most recognizable opening lines in Western literature. Ishmael then narrates the voyage of the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ahab has one purpose: revenge on Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white whale which on a previous voyage destroyed Ahab's ship and severed his leg at the knee. The detailed and realistic descriptions of whale hunting and the process of extracting whale oil, as well as life aboard ship among a culturally diverse crew, are mixed with exploration of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of God. Melville uses a wide range of styles and literary devices ranging from lists and catalogs to Shakespearean stage directions, soliloquies, and asides.
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Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Biographies & Memoirs

Referring to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, H. L. Mencken noted that his discovery of this classic American novel was "the most stupendous event of my whole life"; Ernest Hemingway declared that "all modern American literature stems from this one book," while T. S. Eliot called Huck "one of the permanent symbolic figures of fiction, not unworthy to take a place with Ulysses, Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Hamlet."The novel\'s preeminence derives from its wonderfully imaginative re-creation of boyhood adventures along the Mississippi River, its inspired characterization, the author\'s remarkable ear for dialogue, and the book\'s understated development of serious underlying themes: "natural" man versus "civilized" society, the evils of slavery, the innate value and dignity of human beings, and other topics. Most of all, Huckleberry Finn is a wonderful story, filled with high adventure and unforgettable characters.
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Catcher in the Rye

Catcher in the Rye

J. D. Salinger

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories

J. D. Salinger wrote one of the most famous books ever written, The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger wrote many stories and, in 1941, after several rejections, Salinger finally cracked The New Yorker, with a story, "Slight Rebellion Off Madison," that was an early sketch of what became a scene in "The Catcher in the Rye." The magazine then had second thoughts in part because of World War II in which Salinger was in combat, and held the story for five years before finally publishing it in 1946, buried in the back of an issue. Everyone was surprised when the story and the book that followed it became a bit hit. Even today nobody can really explain why Catcher in the Rye is so famous and so popular. Yet, millions have been sold and are still being sold even though only available as used books nowadays. When The Catcher in the Rye was published in 1951, it was registered for copyright as "additional material." This obviously referred to the earlier work "Slight Rebellion Off Madison." The copyright page on "The Catcher in the Rye" states "Copyright 1945, 1946, 1951 by J. D Salinger." The date of 1945 obviously refers to the publication of "I'm Crazy," a short story written by Salinger and published in the December 22, 1945 issue of Collier's magazine that first introduced the character Holden Caulfield to the reading public. Salinger later reworked this short story to incorporate it into The Catcher in the Rye. The two earlier stories are "I'm Crazy," an early version of Holden's departure from prep school that later shows up in The Catcher in the Rye. With minor alteration, much of this story is familiar to readers as the chapter where Holden visits Mr. Spencer. What sets this story apart is the presence of an additional Caulfield sister and the clarity of Holden's resignation and compromise at the end. "Slight Rebellion off Madison" is an early version of another scene in The Catcher in the Rye. The story follows Holden when he is home from Pency and goes to the movies, then skating with Sally Hayes, followed by his drunken calls to her apartment late at night. An early story, it is the first of Salinger's Caulfied works to be accepted for publication.
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Metamorphosis and Other Stories

Metamorphosis and Other Stories

Franz Kafka

Fiction / Philosophy / Short Stories

For the 125th anniversary of Kafka's birth, an astonishing new translation of his best-known stories, in a spectacular graphic package For all his fame, Franz Kafka published only a small number of stories in his lifetime. This new translation of those stories, by Michael Hofmann, one of the most respected German-to-English translators at work today, makes Kafka's best-known works available to a new generation of readers. "Metamorphosis" gives full expression to the breadth of Kafka's literary vision and the extraordinary depth of his imagination.
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Roald Dahl

Children's Books / Literature & Fiction / Short Stories

Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
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The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fiction / Short Stories

*The Great Gatsby*, F. Scott Fitzgerald's portrait of the Jazz Age in all its decadence and excess, is, as editor Maxwell Perkins praised it in 1924, "a wonder." It remains one of the most widely read, translated, admired, imitated and studied twentieth-century works of American fiction. This deceptively simple work, Fitzgerald's best known, was hailed by critics as capturing the spirit of the generation. In Jay Gatsby, Fitzgerald embodies some of America's strongest obsessions: wealth, power, greed, and the promise of new beginnings. The recording includes a selection of letters written by Fitzgerald to his editor, Maxwell Perkins, his agent, Harold Ober, and friends and associates, including Willa Cather, H.L. Mencken, John Peale Bishop and Gertrude Stein. Performed by Tim Robbins
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Me Talk Pretty One Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day

David Sedaris

Memoir / Humor and Comedy / Short Stories

Mi vida en rose es el nuevo libro de relatos de David Sedaris, el maestro de la sátira, un brillante humorista estadounidense que sigue la tradición de Woody Allen o Groucho Marx. Delirantes y desternillantes, políticamente incorrectos, mordaces y en ocasiones impertinentes, estos relatos nos hablan, entre otras cosas, de cómo aprender francés a una edad adulta y los inconvenientes que conlleva esta valiente decisión, y nos presentan a un niño que hace terapia de pronunciación y a un profesor de escritura creativa que comete los más elementales fallos ortográficos y gramaticales. Sedaris vuelve a hacer una disección del absurdo de algunas conductas y de la vulgaridad de la vida cotidiana y familiar, esta vez desde el relativo anonimato de París, donde se ha refugiado tras haberse convertido en una estrella mediática en Estados Unidos
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The Goldfinch

Donna Tartt

Fiction / Short Stories

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don\'t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art. As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love--and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
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Tender Is the Night

Tender Is the Night

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fiction / Short Stories

Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, *Tender Is the Night* is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver. A brilliant young psychiatrist at the time of his marriage, Dick is both husband and doctor to Nicole, whose wealth goads him into a lifestyle not his own, and whose growing strength highlights Dick's harrowing demise. A profound study of the romantic concept of character, *Tender Is the Night* is lyrical, expansive, and hauntingly evocative.
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The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov

Fiction / Short Stories / Memoir

Suppressed in the Soviet Union for twenty-six years, Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece is an ironic parable on power and its corruption, on good and evil, and on human frailty and the strength of love. Featuring Satan, accompanied by a retinue that includes the large, fast-talking vodka-drinking black tom cat Behemoth, the beautiful Margarita, her beloved - a distraught writer known only as the Master - Pontius Pilate, and Jesus Christ, The Master and Margarita combines fable, fantasy, political satire, and slapstick comedy into a wildly entertaining and unforgettable tale that is commonly considered one of the greatest novels ever to come out of the Soviet Union.
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One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Gabriel García Márquez

Literature & Fiction / Short Stories / Magical Realism

One of the 20th century's enduring works, *One Hundred Years of Solitude* is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement of a Nobel Prize winning career. The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America. Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility -- the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth -- these universal themes dominate the novel. Whether he is describing an affair of passion or the voracity of capitalism and the corruption of government, Gabriel Garcia Marquez always writes with the simplicity, ease, and purity that are the mark of a master. Alternately reverential and comical, *One Hundred Years of Solitude* weaves the political, personal, and spiritual to bring a new consciousness to storytelling. Translated into dozens of languages, this stunning work is no less than an accounting of the history of the human race.
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