November 2012 is Book Selection Month! Vote for books to read and discuss in 2013!

From: Anthony
Sent on: Saturday, November 3, 2012 3:09 PM
Ladies and gentlemen,
October 2012, Book Suggestion Month, has come to a close. I want to thank everyone who submitted at least one book suggestion to me. I know it’s hard to find good books to suggest and to give me summaries of them, especially as I pushed everyone to submit something to avoid overly small book polls. In doing so, I got what I bargained for: the largest book polls the East Bay Book Club has ever put together.
For contemporary books, we have 35 suggested books that cover a variety of topics: friendship amidst terrorism, a Jonathan Franzen novel, a nonfiction book about financial debt, a historical novel about comic books, Freudian analysis of an opera singer, a travel book focusing on unusual places, the lives of fictional newspaper journalists, a historical thriller by Stephen King, a sci-fi novel about virtual reality, a post-apocalyptic novel, a girl named after a book character, discovering a family’s connection to the American frontier, a pianist who loses his memory, diary entries about racism written by a teacher and her students, a spiritual novel by John Irving, Joseph Heller’s famous satirical novel (you can easily guess which one), nonfiction about a contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary who was also a criminal, Salman Rushdie’s novel about the Satanic Verses, an asthmatic boy’s journey, a memoir about living with baboons, psychological research about positive thinking, Haruki Murakami’s latest surreal book, a novel whose film adaptation was just released in theaters (hint: it stars Tom Hanks and Halle Berry), a dystopian novel about a misogynistic society, a murderous adolescent boy, American singer Patti Smith’s memoir, a story of a woman imprisoned in a sand pit, a Dominican-American sci-fi geek, three characters in Paris, a nonfiction book exploring the hero myth through the ages, an unhappy man finding refuge in movies and books, a philosophical story featuring a gorilla teacher, a widow of a pilot discovering his secret life, the true story of zookeepers caring for Jews and zoo animals, and a novel about a woman and her baby held captive in a bedroom.
On the classics side, we have 25 suggested titles, also covering a variety of topics: a French novel about sex and humiliation, a landmark anti-slavery novel, two F. Scott Fitzgerald novels (neither of which is The Great Gatsby), an H.G. Wells sci-fi novel, Ernest Hemingway’s short stories, a sci-fi about a planet with a massive ocean, a woman thief and con artist, complications during a trip to Europe to find a wayward young man, a ghost story, two Oscar Wilde works (one play, one Gothic novel), a modern version of the Faust legend, a C.S. Lewis novel, two Aldous Huxley novels (one dystopian, one semiautobiographical), a half-man half-wolf story, a story about a starving man, a philosophical novel related to nausea, a satirical Spanish epic novel, a classic set in a mental hospital, two John Steinbeck works (one novel, one travelogue), a satirical Russian fantasy novel, and a man falling in love while under his mother’s control.
I know this is overwhelming. At the same time, I hope it’s exciting for you to see all of the great reading options submitted. (Still, I might consider next year’s Book Suggestion Month to be limited to books already suggested since 2010 but never discussed in the East Bay Book Club.) With that, I now present to you Book Poll #1: Contemporary Selections and Book Poll #2: Classic Selections, both of which are below this e-mail message.
From the two book lists, pick the 15 Contemporary books and 10 Classic books that you are most interested in reading and send them to me via e-mail (at [address removed]) by November 30, 2012. If you change your mind on any votes later, you can e-mail me with your replacement votes.
The 9 Contemporary books and 4 Classic books that receive the most votes will be placed on next year’s reading schedule. (Starting in 2013, there will be four classic book meetings per year, not three as in previous years.) In the event of a tie, I will provide tie-breaking votes.
I look forward to your picks. Thank you. :-)
Regards,
Anthony Lee
Organizer, East Bay Book Club
 
P.S. Given the size of this e-mail from the book polls below, please bear with me if anything goes wrong with the transmission of this e-mail. I will work to make sure that everyone has the book selections and can read them without difficulty.
 
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Book Poll #1: Contemporary Selections
Title: [masked] by Stephen King
Genre: Fiction – Science-Fiction/Alternate History
Year of Publication: 2011
Approximate Page Count: 850 pages
Summary: What if the assassination of John F. Kennedy could have been prevented? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, King takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it. It begins with Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher in Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away: a gruesome, harrowing story which becomes a watershed moment for Jake. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession: to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
Suggested by: Rita T.
Title: 1Q84 by Harumi Murakami
Genre: Fiction – Surreal
Year of Publication: 2011
Approximate Page Count: 928 pages
Summary: 1Q84 centers on a young woman named Aomame, who follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled. 1Q84 is a novel that was published in three volumes in Japan and quickly became a sensation, with its first printing selling out the day it was released.
Suggested by: Michal W.
Title: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Genre: Fiction – Historical
Year of Publication: 2000
Approximate Page Count: 659 pages
Summary: In New York City in 1939, Joe Kavalier, a young artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just pulled off his greatest feat to date: smuggling himself out of Nazi-occupied Prague. He is looking to make big money fast, so that he can bring his family to freedom. His cousin, Brooklyn's own Sammy Clay, is looking for a collaborator to create the heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit the American dreamscape: the comic book. Out of their fantasies, fears, and dreams, Joe and Sammy weave the legend of that unforgettable champion the Escapist. And inspired by the beautiful and elusive Rosa Saks, a woman who will be linked to both men by powerful ties of desire, love, and shame, they create the otherworldly mistress of the night, Luna Moth. As the shadow of Hitler falls across Europe and the world, the Golden Age of comic books has begun.
Suggested by: Deb D.
Title: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1971
Approximate Page Count: 592 pages
Summary: Angle of Repose is a story of discovery -- personal, historical, and geographical. Confined to a wheelchair, retired historian Lyman Ward sets out to write his grandparents' remarkable story, chronicling their days spent carving civilization into the surface of America's western frontier. But his research reveals even more about his own life than he's willing to admit. What emerges is an enthralling portrait of four generations in the life of an American family. Like other great quests in literature, Lyman Ward's investigation leads him deep into the dark shadows of his own life. The result is a deeply moving novel that, through the prism of one family, illuminates the American present against the fascinating background of its past.
Suggested by: Cindy C.
Title: Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 2001
Approximate Page Count: 318 pages
Summary: Somewhere in South America at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening until a band of terrorists breaks in, taking the entire party hostage. But what begins as a life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.
Suggested by: Sue C.
Title: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 2007
Approximate Page Count: 335 pages
Summary: The book chronicles both the life of Oscar de Leon, an overweight Dominican boy growing up in Paterson, New Jersey who is obsessed with science fiction and fantasy novels and with falling in love, as well as the curse that has plagued his family for generations. The middle sections of the novel center on the lives of Oscar's runaway sister, Lola; his mother, Hypatia Belicia Cabral; and his grandfather, Abelard. Rife with footnotes, science fiction and fantasy references, comic book analogies, and various Spanish dialects, the novel is also a meditation on storytelling, the Dominican diaspora and identity, masculinity, and oppression. The book has received win numerous prestigious awards in 2008, such as the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Suggested by: Jane M.
Title: Braving Home: Dispatches from the Underwater Town, the Lava-Side Inn, and Other Extreme Locales by Jake Halpern
Genre: Nonfiction – Travel
Year of Publication: 2004
Approximate Page Count: 256 pages
Summary: Braving Home introduces readers to some of modern America’s most unusual, unforgettable pioneers. The cub reporter Jake Halpern — dubbed the Bad Homes Correspondent by his colleagues — sets out on a journey to some of the most unforgiving locales in America. He wanted to understand the people who live there — and more importantly why they refuse to leave. What results is an irresistible portrait of outlandish places and their most loyal residents. Meet a firefighting hillbilly in Malibu; a video store clerk who lives in a snowbound high-rise in Alaska; a hermit whose house in Hawaii, formerly an inn, is entirely surrounded by molten lava. Written in an infectious style and with “swashbuckling spirit” (Christian Science Monitor), Braving Home is an affectionate and affecting tale of rootedness in America.
Suggested by: Kristin H.
Title: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Genre: Fiction – Historical/Satire
Year of Publication: 1961
Approximate Page Count: 464 pages
Summary: At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war. His efforts are perfectly understandable because, as he furiously scrambles, thousands of people he hasn't even met are trying to kill him. His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he is committed to flying, he is trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.
Suggested by: Marty P.
Title: The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Genre: Fiction – Science-Fiction/Fantasy
Year of Publication: 2004
Approximate Page Count: 554 pages
Summary: The novel consists of six nested stories that take the reader from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a distant post-apocalyptic future. Each tale is revealed to be a story that is read, or observed, by the main character in the next. All stories but the last are interrupted at some moment, and after the sixth story concludes in the middle of the book, the novel "goes back" in time, "closing" each story as the book progresses in terms of pages but regresses in terms of the historical period in which the action takes place. Eventually, readers end where they started, with Adam Ewing in the Pacific Ocean, circa 1850.
Suggested by: Pam N.
 
Title: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 2001
Approximate Page Count: 568 pages
Summary: The Corrections focuses on the Lamberts, a traditional and somewhat repressed Midwestern family whose children have fled to the East coast to start new lives, free from the influence of their parents. The novel moves back and forth in time throughout the late 20th century, depicting the personal growth and mistakes of each family member in detail. The book climaxes around the time of the technology-driven economic boom of the late nineties as the troubled family's problems begin to boil to the surface. The novel was awarded the National Book Award in 2001 and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 2002.
Suggested by: Lynn S.
Title: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 2006
Approximate Page Count: 359 pages
Summary: This book takes place in Paris, France and features three very different, yet very alike characters. Renée conforms to every stereotype of the concierge - fat, cantankerous, addicted to television - yet, unbeknownst to her employers, she adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. There's also Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius who has decided to end her life on her 13th birthday on June 16th. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma's trust and to see through Renée's timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.
Suggested by:
Jeri M.
Title: The Freedom Writers Diary by The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell
Genre: Nonfiction – General
Year of Publication: 1999
Approximate Page Count: 277 pages
Summary: As an idealistic 23-year-old English teacher at Wilson High School in Long Beach, California, Erin Gruwell confronted a room of “unteachable, at-risk” students. One day, she intercepted a note with an ugly racial caricature, and angrily declared that this was precisely the sort of thing that led to the Holocaust, only to be met by uncomprehending looks. Erin and her students, using the treasured books Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo as their guides, undertook a life-changing, eye-opening, spirit-raising odyssey against intolerance and misunderstanding. They learned to see the parallels in these books to their own lives, recording their thoughts and feelings in diaries and dubbing themselves the “Freedom Writers” in homage to the civil rights activists “The Freedom Riders.”
Suggested by: Ann L.
Title: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Genre: Fiction – Science-Fiction
Year of Publication: 1985
Approximate Page Count: 311 pages
Summary: Atwood presents here a fable of the near future. In the Republic of Gilead, formerly the United States, far-right Schlafly/Falwell-type ideals have been carried to extremes in the monotheocratic government. The resulting society is a feminist's nightmare where women are strictly controlled, unable to have jobs or money, and assigned to various classes: the chaste, childless Wives; the housekeeping Marthas; and the reproductive Handmaids, who turn their offspring over to the "morally fit" Wives. The tale is told by Offred (pronounced "of Fred"), a Handmaid who recalls the past and tells how the chilling society came to be.
Suggested by: Marty P.
Title: The Hero of a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
Genre: Nonfiction – Comparative Mythology
Year of Publication: 1968
Approximate Page Count: 416 pages
Summary: Campbell explores the theory that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years all share a fundamental structure, which Campbell called the monomyth. In a well-known quote from the introduction to The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell summarized the monomyth: “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” The classic examples of the monomyth relied upon by Campbell and other scholars include the stories of Osiris, Prometheus, the Buddha, Moses, and Christ, although Campbell cites many other classic myths from many cultures which rely upon this basic structure.
Suggested by: Charlie K.
Title: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 2005
Approximate Page Count: 260 pages
Summary: Leo Gursky taps his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he’s still alive. But it wasn’t always like this: in the Polish village of his youth, he fell in love and wrote a book. Sixty years later and half a world away, 14-year-old Alma, who was named after a character in that book, undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With virtuosic skill and soaring imaginative power, Nicole Krauss gradually draws these stories together toward a climax of extraordinary depth and beauty.
Suggested by: Sue C.
Title: The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 2010
Approximate Page Count: 272 pages
Summary: The Imperfectionists is the first novel by Tom Rachman, a London-born journalist who has lived and worked all over the world. The characters of the book are, for the most part, the staff of an English-­language newspaper founded in the 1950s (unnamed for reasons not revealed until the end) by an eccentric American businessman with the perfect name of Cyrus Ott. By 2004, his grandson, Oliver, will be in charge of the fates of the staff members whose stories make up the novel. With war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the climate in meltdown and bin Laden still in hiding, the paper has plenty to fill its columns. But for its staff, the true front-page stories are their own private lives.
Suggested by: Lynn S.
Title: Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn
Genre: Fiction – Philosophical
Year of Publication: 1992
Approximate Page Count: 263 pages
Summary: The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. “You are the teacher?” he asks incredulously. “I am the teacher,” the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time to save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man’s destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him—one more wonderful than he has ever imagined?
Suggested by: Stephen Y.
Title: Just Kids by Patti Smith
Genre: Nonfiction – Memoir
Year of Publication: 2010
Approximate Page Count: 278 pages
Summary: Just Kids is Patti Smith’s first book of prose, in which the legendary American singer, songwriter, and artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late 1960s and 1970s. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Just Kids begins as a love story and ends as an elegy. It serves as a salute to New York City during the late 60s and 70s and to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions. A true fable, Just Kids is a portrait of two young artists' ascent, a prelude to fame.
Suggested by: Randi B.
Title: The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
Genre: Fiction – Apocalyptic
Year of Publication: 2012
Approximate Page Count: 355 pages
Summary: What if your life was upended in an instant? What if your spouse or your child disappeared right in front of your eyes? Was it the Rapture or something even more difficult to explain? How would you rebuild your life in the wake of such a devastating event? These are the questions confronting the bewildered citizens of Mapleton, a formerly comfortable suburban community that lost over a hundred people in the Sudden Departure. Kevin Garvey, the new mayor, wants to move forward, to bring a sense of renewed hope and purpose to his traumatized neighbors, even as his own family disintegrates. This book is a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection, and loss in the face of the sudden disappearance of millions of people. The author displays his keen insight into modern suburban life, creating a memorable cast of characters and examining their lives with sympathy, wit and wisdom.
Suggested by: Kristin H.
Title: The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Genre: Fiction – Philosophical
Year of Publication: 1961
Approximate Page Count: 241 pages
Summary: The Moviegoer tells the story of Binx Bolling, a young stock-broker in postwar New Orleans. The decline of southern U.S. tradition, the problems of his family, and his traumatic experiences in the Korean War have left him alienated from his own life. He daydreams constantly, has trouble engaging in lasting relationships, and finds more meaning and immediacy in movies and books than in his own routine life. The loose plot of the novel follows Binx as he embarks on an undefined "search," wandering around New Orleans, Chicago, and the Gulf Coast reflecting philosophically on small episodes and interactions. He is constantly challenged to define himself in relation to friends, family, sweethearts and career despite his urge to remain vague and open to possibility.
Suggested by: Charlie K.
Title: Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood
Genre: Nonfiction – General
Year of Publication: 2008
Approximate Page Count: 280 pages
Summary: A collection of lectures from legendary novelist Margaret Atwood investigates the highly topical subject of debt. She doesn’t talk about high finance or managing money; instead, she goes far deeper to explore debt as an ancient and central motif in religion, literature, and the structure of human societies. By looking at how debt has informed our thinking from preliterate times to the present day, from the stories we tell of revenge and sin to the way we order social relationships, Atwood argues that the idea of what we owe may well be built into the human imagination as one of its most dynamic metaphors. Her final lecture addresses the notion of a debt to nature and the need to find new ways of interacting with the natural world before it is too late.
Suggested by: Nancy A.
Title: Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 2002
Approximate Page Count: 320 pages
Summary: This novel tells the story of 11-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy who has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Reuben finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother who has been controversially charged with murder. Their journey is touched by serendipity and the kindness of strangers, and its remarkable conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates. Hailed as one of the year's top five novels by TIME magazine and selected as one of the best books of the year by nearly all major newspapers, national bestseller Peace Like a River captured the hearts of a nation in need of comfort.
Suggested by: Daryl C.
Title: The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1998
Approximate Page Count: 283 pages
Summary: A pilot's wife is taught to be prepared for the late-night knock at the door. But when Kathryn Lyons receives word that a plan flown by her husband, Jack, has exploded near the coast of Ireland, she confronts the unfathomable, one startling revelation at a time. Soon drawn into a maelstrom of publicity fueled by rumors that Jack led a secret life, Kathryn sets out to learn who her husband really was, whatever that knowledge might cost. Her search propels this taut, impassioned novel as it movingly explores the question, “How well can we ever really know another person?”
Suggested by: Nancy A.
Title: Positivity by Barbara Frederickson
Genre: Nonfiction – Psychology
Year of Publication: 2009
Approximate Page Count: 288 pages
Summary: Positive psychology pioneer and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill psychology professor Barbara Frederickson, PhD, introduces readers to the power of harnessing happiness to transform their lives, backed up by impressive lab research. The author lays out the core truths and 10 forms of positivity - joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love - in a book that promises to change the way people look at feeling good. Fredrickson provides scientific evidence that maintaining a 3:1 positivity ratio of positive thoughts to negative emotions creates a tipping point between languishing and flourishing. The book includes compelling case studies, concrete tips, a Positivity Self Test and a tool kit for decreasing negativity and raising the positivity ratio.
Suggested by: Randi B.
Title: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1989
Approximate Page Count: 637 pages
Summary: John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany is the inspiring modern classic that introduced two of the author’s most unforgettable characters, boys bonded forever in childhood: the stunted Owen Meany, whose life is touched by God, and the orphaned Johnny Wheelwright, whose life is touched by Owen. From the accident that links them to the mystery that follows them–and the martyrdom that parts them–the events of their lives form a tapestry of fate and faith in a novel that is Irving at his irresistible best.The novel deals with serious spiritual issues, such as the importance of faith, matters of social justice, and the concept of fate, in the context of an outlandish narrative.
Suggested by: Deb D.
Title: A Primate’s Memoir by Robert M. Sapolsky
Genre: Nonfiction – Memoir
Year of Publication: 2002
Approximate Page Count: 204 pages
Summary: "I had never planned to become a savanna baboon when I grew up; instead, I had always assumed I would become a mountain gorilla," writes Robert Sapolsky in this witty and riveting chronicle of a scientist's coming-of-age in remote Africa. Raised in an intellectual, immigrant family in Brooklyn, Sapolsky wished he could live in the primate diorama in the Museum of Natural History. Sapolsky's dream comes true when, at age 21, he leaves the comforts of the United States for the very first time to join a baboon troop in Kenya as a "young transfer male." But he soon learns that life in the African bush bears little resemblance to the tranquillity of a museum diorama. As he conducts unprecedented physiological research on wild primates, he becomes ever more enamored with his subjects -- unique and compelling characters in their own right -- and he returns to them summer after summer, until tragedy finally prevents him.
Suggested by: Jaan H.
Title: The Professor and the Mad Man by Simon Manchester
Genre: Nonfiction – Historical
Year of Publication: 1998
Approximate Page Count: 200 pages
Summary: Hidden within the rituals of the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary is a fascinating mystery. Professor James Murray was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. Minor, an American surgeon who had served in the Civil War, was one of the most prolific contributors to the dictionary, sending thousands of quotations from his home. After numerous refusals from Minor to visit his home in Oxford, Murray set out to find him. It was then that Murray finally learned the truth about Minor - that, in addition to being a masterly wordsmith, he was also an insane murderer locked up in Broadmoor, England's harshest asylum for criminal lunatics. The Professor and the Madman is the unforgettable story of the madness and genius that contributed to one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters.
Suggested by: Rita T.
Title: Room by Emma Donoghue
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 2010
Approximate Page Count: 321 pages
Summary: To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world. It's where he was born. Iit's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer. Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating—a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.
Suggested by: Stephen Y.
Title: The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Genre: Fiction – Magical Realism
Year of Publication: 1988
Approximate Page Count: 547 pages
Summary: The Satanic Verses is Salman Rushdie's fourth novel, first published in 1988, inspired in part by the life of Muhammad. As with his previous books, Rushdie used magical realism and relied on contemporary events and people to create his characters. This novel consists of a frame narrative interlaced with a series of subplots that are narrated as dream visions experienced by one of the protagonists. The title refers to the so-called "satanic verses," a group of alleged Quranic verses that allow intercessory prayers to be made to three Pagan Meccan goddesses: Allāt, Uzza, and Manāt. The part of the story that deals with the "satanic verses" was based on accounts from the historians al-Waqidi and al-Tabari.
Suggested by: Pam N.
Title: Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Genre: Fiction – Science-Fiction
Year of Publication: 1992
Approximate Page Count: 480 pages
Summary: This story weaves virtual reality, Sumerian myth, and just about everything in between with a cool, hip cybersensibility to bring us the gigathriller of the information age. In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous, you’ll recognize it immediately.
Suggested by: Michal W.
Title: The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1995
Approximate Page Count: 535 pages
Summary: The novel takes place over a period of three days. It is about Ryder, a famous pianist who arrives in a central European city to perform a concert. However, he appears to have lost most of his memory and finds his new environment surreal and dreamlike. He struggles to fulfill his commitments before Thursday night's performance. Considered distinct from his other works, a 2005 poll of various literary critics voted the novel as the third "best British, Irish, or Commonwealth novel from 1980 to 2005." John Carey, book critic for the Sunday Times, also placed the novel on his list of the 20th century's 50 most enjoyable books.
Suggested by: Curtis
Title: The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1984
Approximate Page Count: 184 pages
Summary: This novel is written from the first-person perspective of 16-year-old Frank Cauldhame, describing his childhood and all that remains of it. Frank observes many shamanistic rituals of his own invention, and it is soon revealed that Frank was the perpetrator of three deaths of children within his family before he reached the age of ten. As the novel develops, his brother's escape from a mental hospital and impending return lead on to a violent ending and a twist that undermines all that Frank believed about himself.
Suggested by: Curtis
Title: The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas
Genre: Fiction – Psychological
Year of Publication: 1981
Approximate Page Count: 274 pages
Summary: Frau Lisa Erdman, a young opera singer of Polish Catholic and Ukrainian Jewish descent living in Vienna, Austria, has been suffering from severe pain in her left breast and ovary for several years. When conventional doctors are unable to help her, she seeks the treatment of Professor Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. Freud interviews her, gathering information about her past to try to understand what is ailing her in the present. By turns a dream of electrifying eroticism recounted by a young woman to her analyst and a horrifying yet calmly unsensational narrative of the Holocaust, The White Hotel is now recognized as a modern classic that reconciles the nightmarish with the transcendent.
Suggested by: Julia C.
Title: Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1991
Approximate Page Count: 256 pages
Summary: The Woman in the Dunes is the story of an amateur entomologist who wanders alone into a remote seaside village in pursuit of a rare beetle he wants to add to his collection. But the townspeople take him prisoner. They lower him into the sand-pit home of a young widow, a pariah in the poor community, whom the villagers have condemned to a life of shoveling back the ever encroaching dunes that threaten to bury the town. According to the New York Times Book Review, Abe “presents everyday existence in a sand pit with such compelling realism that these passages serve both to heighten the credibility of the bizarre plot and subtly increase the interior tensions of the novel.”
Suggested by: Cindy C.
Title: The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman
Genre: Nonfiction –Biographical/Historical
Year of Publication: 2007
Approximate Page Count: 384 pages
Summary: When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw – and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen "guests" hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants, including otters, a badger, hyena pups, and lynxes.
Suggested by: Julia C.
 
Book Poll #2: Classic Selections

Title: The Ambassadors by Henry James
Genre: Fiction – Dark Comedy
Year of Publication: 1903
Approximate Page Count: 450 pages
Summary: This dark comedy, one of the masterpieces of James's final period, follows the trip of protagonist Lewis Lambert Strether to Europe in pursuit of Chad, his widowed fiancée's supposedly wayward son. He is to bring the young man back to the family business, but he encounters unexpected complications. The theme of liberation from a cramped, almost starved, emotional life into a more generous and gracious existence plays throughout The Ambassadors, yet it is noteworthy that James does not naïvely make Paris a faultless paradise for culturally stunted Americans.
Suggested by: Curtis
Title: The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1922
Approximate Page Count: 322 pages
Summary: This novel tells the story of a young man, Anthony Patch, his clueless but lovely wife Gloria, and their dramatic decline into a muddied world filled with alcoholism, transparent friendships, and a constant desire for more in a materialistic manner. Patch is a man of leisure; he has no work skills nor has any drive to obtain any, for he places all of his faith on the will of his sick but internally strong grandfather, Adam Patch. Patch lives in New York City amid a whirlwind of status, the privileged, and socially acceptable intellectuals.
Suggested by: Marty P.
Title: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Genre: Fiction – Science-Fiction/Dystopian
Year of Publication: 1932
Approximate Page Count: 288 pages
Summary: Set in London in 2540 A.D. (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embodiment of the ideals that form the basis of futurology. Here, everyone consumes daily grams of soma to fight depression, babies are born in laboratories, and the most popular form of entertainment is a "Feelie," a movie that stimulates the senses of sight, hearing, and touch. Though there is no violence and everyone is provided for, Bernard Marx feels something is missing and senses his relationship with a young women has the potential to be much more than the confines of their existence allow. In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Brave New World fifth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
Suggested by: Curtis
Title: The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (The Finca Vigia Edition)
Genre: Fiction – Short Story
Year of Publication: Stories written from 1920s to 1960s, collection published in 1987
Approximate Page Count: 650 pages
Summary: The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway, Finca Vigía Edition, is a posthumous collection of Ernest Hemingway's (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) short fiction published in 1987. It contains the classic First Forty-Nine Stories plus a number of other works and a foreword by his sons. In this definitive collection of Ernest Hemingway's short stories, readers will delight in the author's most beloved classics such as "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," "Hills Like White Elephants," and "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," and will discover seven new tales published for the first time in this collection. For Hemingway fans, The Complete Short Stories is an invaluable treasury.
Suggested by: Sue C.
Title: Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Genre: Fiction – Epistolary/Libertine
Year of Publication: 1782
Approximate Page Count: 400 pages
Summary: A French novel first published in four volumes, Dangerous Liaisons is the story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals (and ex-lovers) who use sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade others, all the while enjoying their cruel games. The book is composed entirely of letters written by the various characters to each other; in particular, the letters between Valmont and the Marquise drive the plot, with those of other characters serving as illustrations to give the story its depth. The book has been claimed to depict the decadence of the French aristocracy shortly before the French Revolution, thereby exposing the perversions of the so-called Ancien Régime. However, it has also been described as a vague, amoral story.
Suggested by: Pam N.
Title: Doctor Faustus by Thomas Mann
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1947
Approximate Page Count: 544 pages
Summary: Thomas Mann's last great novel is a modern reworking of the Faust legend, in which Germany sells its soul to the Devil. Mann's protagonist, the composer Adrian Leverkühn, is the flower of German culture, a brilliant, isolated, overreaching figure, his radical new music a breakneck game played by art at the very edge of impossibility. In return for 24 years of unparalleled musical accomplishment, he bargains away his soul -- and the ability to love his fellow man. Leverkühn's life story is a brilliant allegory of the rise of the Third Reich, of Germany's renunciation of its own humanity and its embrace of ambition and nihilism. It is also Mann's most profound meditation on the German genius -- both national and individual -- and the terrible responsibilities of the truly great artist.
Suggested by: Cindy C.
Title: Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Genre: Fiction – Satire
Year of Publication: 1605
Approximate Page Count: 980 pages
Summary: The novel follows the adventures of Alonso Quijano, a hidalgo who reads so many chivalric novels that he decides to set out to revive chivalry under the name of Don Quixote. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who frequently deals with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood with a unique, earthy wit. He is met by the world as it is, initiating themes like intertextuality, realism, metatheatre and literary representation. Published in two volumes a decade apart, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature, and one of the earliest canonical novels, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published. In a 2002 list compiled by 100 professional writers, Don Quixote was cited as the "best literary work ever written.”
Suggested by: Pam N.
Title: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1952
Approximate Page Count: 602 pages
Summary: Often described as Steinbeck's most ambitious novel, East of Eden brings to life the intricate details of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons, and their interwoven stories. The story is primarily set in the Salinas Valley, California, between the beginning of the 20th century and the end of World War I. The book explores themes of depravity, beneficence, love, and the struggle for acceptance, greatness, and the capacity for self-destruction and especially of guilt and freedom, tying them all with references to the biblical Book of Genesis.
Suggested by: Ann L.
Title: Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley
Genre: Fiction – Autobiographical
Year of Publication: 1936
Approximate Page Count: 473 pages
Summary: This semiautobiographical novel criticized the dearth of spiritual values in contemporary society. In nonchronological fashion, the novel covers more than 30 years in the lives of a group of upper-middle-class English friends, especially Anthony Beavis and his longtime married lover, Helen. His intense prep-school friendships continue at Oxford; most important are his relationships with Brian Foxe, who later commits suicide; with Hugh Ledwidge, who marries Helen; and with Mark Staithes, who becomes a Marxist and with whom Beavis goes to Mexico to fight in a revolution. While in Mexico, Beavis adopts a Buddhist-centered philosophy, practices meditation, and becomes a pacifist. Written at the height of his powers immediately after Brave New World, Aldous Huxley's highly acclaimed Eyeless in Gaza is his most personal novel.
Suggested by: Charlie K.
Title: Hunger by Knut Hamsun
Genre: Fiction – Literary
Year of Publication: 1890
Approximate Page count: 224 pages
Summary: This novel has been hailed as the literary opening of the 20th century and an outstanding example of modern psychology-driven literature. Written after Hamsun's return from an ill-fated tour of America, Hunger is loosely based on the author's own impoverished life before his breakthrough in 1890. Set in late 19th century Kristiania, the novel recounts the adventures of a starving young man whose sense of reality is giving way to a delusionary existence on the darker side of a modern metropolis. While he vainly tries to maintain an outer shell of respectability, his mental and physical decay are recounted in detail. His ordeal is pictured in a series of encounters, which Hamsun himself described as “a series of analyses.”
Suggested by: Michal W.
Title: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
Genre: Fiction – Comedic Play
Year of Publication: 1895
Approximate Page Count: 76 pages
Summary: First performed on February 14,1895 at St. James's Theatre in London, The Importance of Being Earnest is a farcical comedy in which the protagonists maintain fictitious personae in order to escape burdensome social obligations. Working within the social conventions of late Victorian London, the play's major themes are the triviality with which it treats institutions as serious as marriage, and the resulting satire of Victorian ways. This Shakespearean farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements and love entanglements make for a witty commentary on human sexual relations, the English class system and is a perfect mirror on the amusing excesses of human selfishness.
Suggested by: Kristin H.
Title: The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells
Genre: Fiction – Science-Fiction
Year of Publication: 1896
Approximate Page Count: 160 pages
Summary: This novel centers on Edward Prendick, a shipwrecked man rescued by a passing boat who is left on the island home of Dr. Moreau, who creates sentient beings from animals via vivisection. The novel deals with a number of philosophical themes, including pain and cruelty, moral responsibility, human identity, and human interference with nature. When this book was first published in 1896, it was greeted by howls of protest from reviewers who found it horrifying and blasphemous. While this riveting tale was intended to be a commentary on evolution, divine creation, and the tension between human nature and culture, modern readers familiar with genetic engineering will marvel at the author's prediction of the ethical issues raised by producing "smarter" human beings or bringing back extinct species.
Suggested by: Kristin H.
Title: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Genre: Fiction – Fantasy/Satire
Year of Publication: Written from 1932 to 1937, first published in censored form in 1967
Approximate Page Count: 384 pages
Summary: The Master and Margarita is a complex, multilevel novel. The city of Moscow is made unsafe by one professor Woland and his henchmen. These suspects prove to be of diabolic origin and make life difficult for the artists, civil servants, and others who are working along with the regime. Margarita is not afraid of the satanic company. She calls on the devil, flies on her broom through Moscow as an experienced witch, in search of her disappeared lover, the Master. He had written a book on Pontius Pilate, with a completely new variant of Jesus' trial. But the manuscript was rejected by law-abiding editors. The book is not only a funny and sometimes caustic criticism on Soviet society between 1920 and 1940 but also a touching love story. This book is considered by many critics as the greatest Russian novel of the 20th century.
Suggested by: Charlie K.
Title: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1721
Approximate Page Count: 278 pages
Summary: Considered one of the great English novels, Defoe's book follows Moll Flanders as she struggles to avoid the deadly poverty of 17th-century England, taking fate into her own hands by developing his skills as a thief and con artist. Traveling back and forth between England and the United States (or from one con to another), Moll’s story rejects the antiquated notion of female dependence and demonstrates the full potential of a woman s endurance and autonomy. From a prison-birth to final prosperity, Moll reckons love, theft and prostitution in terms of profit and loss and emerges as an extraordinary character.
Suggested by: Stephen Y.
Title: La Nausee by Jean-Paul Sartre
Genre: Fiction – Philosophical
Year of Publication: 1938
Approximate Page Count: 249 pages
Summary: Jean-Paul Sartre was a French existentialist, philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, and literary critic. One of the leading figures in the 20th century, he wrote La Nausee (Nausea) in 1938, which serves in some ways as a manifesto of existentialism and remains one of his most famous books. The book concerns a dejected historian who becomes convinced that inanimate objects and situations encroach on his ability to define himself, on his intellectual and spiritual freedom, evoking in the protagonist a sense of nausea. This is a short novel viewing the world in a dark altered manner, challenging one’s interpretation of life and their personal experience of being.
Suggested by: Jeri M.
Title: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1962
Approximate Page Count: 325 pages
Summary: In this classic of the 1960s, Ken Kesey's hero is Randle Patrick McMurphy, a boisterous, brawling, fun-loving rebel who swaggers into the world of a mental hospital and takes over. A lusty, life-affirming fighter, McMurphy rallies the other patients around him by challenging the dictatorship of Nurse Ratched. He promotes gambling in the ward, smuggles in wine and women, and openly defies the rules at every turn. But this defiance, which starts as a sport, soon develops into a grim struggle, an all-out war between two relentless opponents: Nurse Ratched, back by the full power of authority, and McMurphy, who has only his own indomitable will. What happens when Nurse Ratched uses her ultimate weapon against McMurphy provides the story's shocking climax.
Suggested by: Deb D.
Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Genre: Fiction – Gothic
Year of Publication: 1890
Approximate Page Count: 176 pages
Summary: This celebrated novel traces the moral degeneration of a handsome young Londoner from an innocent fop into a cruel and reckless pursuer of pleasure and, ultimately, a murderer. As Dorian Gray sinks into depravity, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait reflects the ravages of crime and sensuality. The Picture of Dorian Gray is considered a work of classic gothic fiction with a strong Faustian theme.
Suggested by: Michal W.
Title: Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
Genre: Fiction – Autobiographical/Philosophical
Year of Publication: 1927
Approximate Page Count: 256 pages
Summary: Steppenwolf is a poetical self-portrait of a man who felt himself to be half-human and half-wolf. This Faust-like and magical story is evidence of Hesse's searching philosophy and extraordinary sense of humanity as he tells of the humanization of a middle-aged misanthrope. Yet this novel can also be seen as a plea for rigorous self-examination and an indictment of the intellectual hypocrisy of the period. As Hesse himself remarked, ”Of all my books, Steppenwolf is the one that was more often and more violently misunderstood than any other.”
Suggested by: Marty P.
Title: Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
Genre: Fiction – Science Fiction
Year of Publication: 1961
Approximate Page Count: 204 pages
Summary: When Kris Kelvin arrives at the planet Solaris to study the ocean that covers its surface, he finds a painful, hitherto unconscious memory embodied in the living physical likeness of a long-dead lover. Others examining the planet, Kelvin learns, are plagued with their own repressed and newly corporeal memories. The Solaris ocean may be a massive brain that creates these incarnate memories, though its purpose in doing so is unknown, forcing the scientists to shift the focus of their quest and wonder if they can truly understand the universe without first understanding what lies within their hearts. First published in Warsaw in 1961, the 1970 Polish-to-French-to-English translation of Solaris is the bes tknown of Lem's English-translated works.
Suggested by: Cindy C.
Title: Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Genre: Fiction – Autobiographical
Year of Publication: 1913
Approximate Page Count: 288 pages
Summary: This provocative semi-autobiographical novel reflects the struggles of Paul Morel, an artist who cannot reciprocate love for other women while under the influence of his stifling mother. Unconsciously taught to despise his father and eschew other women, Paul comes even further under his mother's psychological grasp after the death of his older brother. When he eventually does fall in love, the results of confused affection and desire are painful for all concerned. While Sons and Lovers scandalized its original English readers for its oedipal implications and social criticism, it remains a powerful story of terrifying inner and outer conflict and intense sensuality.
Suggested by: Julia C.
Title: Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Genre: Fiction – General
Year of Publication: 1934
Approximate Page Count: 192 pages
Summary: Set on the French Riviera in the 1920s, American Dick Diver and his wife Nicole are the epitome of chic, living a glamorous lifestyle and entertaining friends at their villa. Young film star Rosemary Hoyt arrives in France and becomes entranced by the couple. It is not long before she is attracted to the enigmatic Dick, but he and his wife hold dark secrets. As their marriage becomes more fractured, Fitzgerald laments the failure of idealism and the carefully constructed trappings of high society in the Roaring Twenties.
Suggested by: Julia C.
Title: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Genre: Fiction – Mythological
Year of Publication: 1956
Approximate Page Count: 324 pages
Summary: “I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer . . . Why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?” Haunted by the myth of Cupid and Psyche throughout his life, C.S. Lewis wrote this, his last, extraordinary novel, to retell their story through the gaze of Psyche’s sister, Orual. Disfigured and embittered, Orual loves her younger sister to a fault and suffers deeply when she is sent away to Cupid, the God of the Mountain. Psyche is forbidden to look upon the god’s face, but is persuaded by her sister to do so; she is banished for her betrayal. Orual is left alone to grow in power but never in love, to wonder at the silence of the gods. Only at the end of her life, in visions of her lost beloved sister, will she hear an answer.
Suggested by: Stephen Y.
Title: Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
Genre: Nonfiction – Travel
Year of Publication: 1962
Approximate Page Count: 214 pages
Summary: In September 1960, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America. A picaresque tale, this chronicle of their trip meanders through scenic backroads and speeds along anonymous superhighways, moving from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases. This travelogue is animated by Steinbeck’s attention to the specific details of the natural world and his sense of how the lives of people are intimately connected to the rhythms of nature—to weather, geography, the cycle of the seasons. Travels with Charley: In Search of America provides an intimate and personal look at one of America’s most beloved writers in the later years of his life and is a stunning evocation of America on the eve of a tumultuous decade.
Suggested by: Deb D.
Title: The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
Genre: Fiction – Ghost Story
Year of Publication: 1898
Approximate Page Count: 310 pages
Summary: The subject matter of The Turn of the Screw stems from a 19th-century fascination with ghosts, with which the author was quite familiar. His notebooks record a visit in 1895 to his friend, Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury, who told him the tale young children corrupted by the ghosts of depraved servants, and another friend, Edward Gurney, published an account of a woman and child living in a house haunted by a wicked male servant and a female ghost dressed in black. Though The Turn of the Screw may be considered a "ghost story," it is a ghost story written for a world in which ghosts were considered by many to be real, dangerous, scientifically-observed phenomena. The novel became the most widely read of all James's works of fiction and remains famous because of the critical controversies it continues to inspire.
Suggested by: Sue C.
Title: Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Genre: Fiction – Historical
Year of Publication: 1852
Approximate Page Count: 451 pages
Summary: Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an anti-slavery novel that "helped lay the groundwork for the Civil War." This moving abolitionist novel fueled the fire of the human rights debate in 1852 and melodramatically condemned the institution of slavery through such powerfully realized characters as Tom, Eliza, Topsy, Eva, and Simon Legree. The bestselling novel of the 19th century after publication more than 150 years ago, this monumental work is today being reexamined by critics, scholars, and students.
Suggested by: Ann L.

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