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Recommended Books

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Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, an impoverished St. Petersburg student who formulates and executes a plan to kill a hated, unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money, thereby solving his financial problems and at the same time, he argues, ridding the world of evil. Crime and Punishment is considered by many as the first of Dostoevsky's cycle of great novels, which would culminate with his last completed work, The Brothers Karamazov, shortly before his death.
Persuasion
Persuasion

Austen, Jane Anne Elliott, Jane Austen's only aging heroine, has devoted her life to caring for her financially irresponsible family. Just when she is growing content with her uneventful lifestyle, a long-lost flame re-enters the picture -- now as the beau of her significantly younger cousin. Anne is now faced with a choice: will she watch Captain Wentworth settle into life with another woman, or will she strive to win back his love and escape her family?
Persuasion (version 2)
Persuasion (version 2)

Austen, Jane Eight years ago, Anne Elliot fell in love with a poor but ambitious young naval officer, Frederick Wentworth. The Elliots were dissatisfied with Anne's choice, feeling he was not distinguished enough for their family, and her older friend and mentor, Lady Russell, acting in place of Anne's deceased mother, persuaded her to break off the match. Now 27 and considered a spinster, Anne re-encounters her former fiance, now a captain, as he courts her spirited young neighbour, Louisa Musgrove. The self-interested machinations of Anne's older sister Elizabeth, of Elizabeth's friend Mrs. Clay, and of Anne's father's heir, William Elliot, constitute an important subplot.
Importance of Being Earnest, The (version 3)
Importance of Being Earnest, The (version 3)

Wilde, Oscar Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest is subtitled "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People," and has proved immensely popular since its first performance in 1895. The play certainly has its farcical and comic elements, such as the witty banter exchanged by the characters and the flippant attitude towards love and marriage that characterizes the action. However, the play also explores more serious themes through the central story of Jack Worthing's search for his identity.
Emma (version 2)
Emma (version 2)

Austen, Jane Emma is a comic novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1816, about the perils of misconstrued romance. The main character, Emma Woodhouse, is described in the opening paragraph as "handsome, clever, and rich" but is also rather spoiled. Prior to starting the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like."
Study in Scarlet, A (version 3)
Study in Scarlet, A (version 3)

Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir A Study in Scarlet is a detective mystery novel written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, introducing his new character of Sherlock Holmes, who later became one of the most famous literary detective characters. He wrote the story in 1886, and it was published the next year. The book's title derives from a speech given by Holmes to his sidekick Doctor Watson on the nature of his work, in which he describes the story's murder investigation as his "study in scarlet": "There’s the scarlet thread of murder running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it." Although Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories featuring Holmes, A Study in Scarlet is one of only four full-length novels in the original canon. The novel was followed by The Sign of Four, published in 1890. A Study in Scarlet was the first work of fiction to incorporate the magnifying glass as an investigative tool.
Alice Pleasance Liddell
Alice Pleasance Liddell

Carroll, Lewis Volunteers bring you 23 different recordings of Alice Pleasance Liddell by Lewis Carroll. This was the weekly poetry project for the week of June 17th, 2007.
Devil's Dictionary, The
Devil's Dictionary, The

Bierce, Ambrose Ambrose Bierce (1842 - 1914?), satirist, critic, poet, short story writer and journalist. His fiction showed a clean economical style often sprinkled with subtle cynical comments on human behaviour. In the Devil's Dictionary, he let his sense of humour and his cynical outlook on life colour a collection of dictionary-like definitions.
Ramayan, Book 3, The
Ramayan, Book 3, The

Valmiki The Ramayan is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being Mahabharata. It is the story of Rama, who embarks on an epic journey followed by the fight with Ravana, the demon king who abducted Rama's wife, Sita. The epic depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.
Moonstone, The
Moonstone, The

Collins, Wilkie 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.
My Man Jeeves
My Man Jeeves

Wodehouse, P. G. Bertram Wooster is an English gentleman living in New York, who seems to get himself into all sorts of jams. It’s up to his manservant Jeeves to come up with the plan to save the day from unpleasant houseguests, stingy uncles, broken hearts, and hard-partying aunts.
Boy's Will, A (version 2)
Boy's Will, A (version 2)

Frost, Robert Robert Frost preferred to describe the New England countryside using everyday language. He used both as tools to explore world views and life philosophies. A Boy's Will was his first poetry anthology.
Dog's Tale, A
Dog's Tale, A

Twain, Mark This short novel of Twain’s, from 1903, is told from the point of view of a loyal and beloved family pet. Themes of heroics, valor and heart-wrenching tenderness fill this work. The story is also filled with happy events as well as sad ones and is ultimately about what dogs are to us … best friends. A Dog’s Tale is quintessentially Twain.
Don Quixote - Vol. 2
Don Quixote - Vol. 2

Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de Don Quixote is an early novel written by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Cervantes created a fictional origin for the story in the character of the Morisco historian, Cide Hamete Benengeli, whom he claims to have hired to translate the story from an Arabic manuscript he found in Toledo's bedraggled old Jewish quarter.
The protagonist, Alonso Quixano, is a minor landowner who has read so many stories of chivalry that he descends into fantasy and becomes convinced he is a knight errant. Together with his companion Sancho Panza, the self-styled Don Quixote de la Mancha sets out in search of adventures. His "lady" is Dulcinea del Toboso, an imaginary object of his courtly love crafted from a neighbouring farmgirl by the illusion-struck "knight" (her real name is Aldonza Lorenzo, and she is totally unaware of his feelings for her. In addition, she never actually appears in the novel).
Published in two volumes a decade apart, Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature to emerge from the Spanish Golden Age and perhaps the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, it regularly appears at or near the top of lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published.
Spell of the Yukon, The
Spell of the Yukon, The

Service, Robert W. Volunteers bring you 13 recordings of The Spell of the Yukon by Robert W. Service. This was the Fortnightly Poetry project for December 27th, 2009.
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