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Nearly 160 years after it was first published, Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass continues to inspire, enthrall and educate generations of readers. This collection of poems serves as a vehicle for Whitman's philosophy, ideals, love of nature and mystical musings and it subsequently became one of the corner stones of American literature. Whitman was inspired to write Leaves of Grass based on Ralph Waldo Emerson's clarion call for a truly American poet who would tell of its glories, virtues and v ...
 
A treasure trove of more than two hundred poems, this gem of an anthology compiled by Mary E Burt is indeed a most valuable set of poems to read or listen to. Published in 1904, Poems Every Child Should Know contains some well-loved verses like Thomas Gray's Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, Lewis Carroll's delightful parody Father William, Felicia Hemans' deeply-moving Casablanca and other favorites. It also has lesser-known but equally beautiful pieces like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow' ...
 
Best known for his scary tales, mystery and detective stories and imaginative fantasy stories, Edgar Allan Poe was also a gifted poet. He wrote more than 70 poems and almost all of them have been widely appreciated by readers and critics alike. This collection contains some of his most famous ones, including the immortal Raven, which combines a sense of doom and nameless despair. With its ringing, alliterative and repetitive lines and strange, supernatural atmosphere, it remains one of Poe's ...
 
Though Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his detective stories, he also wrote other short stories which are masterpieces of mystery and suspense. In some of the stories in “Tales of Terror and Mystery”, a suppressed uneasiness gradually builds up and evolves into sheer terror. In others, the story line unexpectedly changes and comes to a horrific conclusion. Sit back in the comfort of your armchair and let yourself be transported to the strange but compelling world created by Sir Arth ...
 
Known mainly for his tales of adventure, this work of science fiction by Jack London is set in a post-apocalyptic future. It’s 2072, sixty years after the scarlet plague has depopulated the planet. James Howard Smith is one of the few survivors of the pre-plague era left alive in the San Francisco area, and as he realizes his time grows short, he tries to impart the value of knowledge and wisdom to his grandsons. Through his narrative, we learn how the plague spread throughout the world and ...
 
The History of the Peloponnesian War is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens) in the 5th Century BC. It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the earliest scholarly works of history. The History is divided into eight books. These book divisions are the work of editors in later antiquity. W. R. C ...
 
Orthodoxy is a book that has become a classic of Christian apologetics. In the book's preface Chesterton states the purpose is to "attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian faith can be believed, but of how he personally has come to believe it." In it, Chesterton presents an original view of the Christian religion. He sees it as the answer to natural human needs, the "answer to a riddle" in his own words, and not simply as an arbitrary truth received from somewhere outside the bou ...
 
As a gifted writer with a strong interest in supernatural phenomena, Charles Dickens produced a string of ghost stories with enduring charm. Three of them are presented here, of which The Signal Man is one of the best known. Though quite different from his most celebrated realistic and humorous critical novels, these ghost stories, Gothic and grotesque as they are, are of good portrayal, and worth a read/listen. Summary by Vivian Chan
 
A Child’s History of England first appeared in serial form, running from January 25, 1851 to December 10, 1853 and was first published in three volume book form in 1852, 1853, and 1854. Dickens dedicated the book to “My own dear children, whom I hope it may help, bye and bye, to read with interest larger and better books on the same subject”. The history covered the period between 50 BC and 1689, ending with a chapter summarising events from then until the ascension of Queen Victoria.
 
On Architecture is a treatise on architecture written by the Roman architect Vitruvius and dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus as a guide for building projects. The work is one of the most important sources of modern knowledge of Roman building methods as well as the planning and design of structures, both large (aqueducts, buildings, baths, harbours) and small (machines, measuring devices, instruments). He is also the prime source of the famous story of Archimedes and his b ...
 
In the spring of 1948, he was working on a novelette scheduled to be serialized in the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, titled Guddo bai (Goodbye). On 13 June 1948, Dazai and Tomie finally succeeded in killing themselves, drowning in the rain-swollen Tamagawa Canal near his house. Their bodies were not discovered until June 19, which by eerie coincidence was his 39th birthday.
 
Williams spent his life as a doctor practicing pediatric medicine in northern New Jersey, a few miles west of New York City. During the work day, between seeing patients, he often dashed off poems on the backs of blank prescription pads that he kept in his pocket. This particular poem was written in just such a spontaneous way, after seeing the Russian Ballet perform in Manhattan. Each of the 16 readers in this collection took the challenge to make the same kind of leap – reading it spontane ...
 
This is the final installment in Sophocles's Theban Plays, following Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus. Oedipus's daughter Antigone deliberately breaks the laws of Thebes when she buries her brother's body and is sentenced to death. She clashes with Creon, the King of Thebes, over what constitutes justice and morality: the laws of the state or the laws of the individual.
 
Once in a generation, a man is born with a heightened sense of empathy. Brion Brandd used this gift to win the Twenties, an annual physical and mental competition among the best and smartest people on Anvhar. But scarcely able to enjoy his victory, Brandd is swept off to the hellish planet Dis where he must use his heightened sense of empathy to help avert a global nuclear holocaust by negotiating with the blockading fleet, traversing the Disan underworld, and cracking the mystery of the sav ...
 
The miniature novel Helsinkiin by Juhani Aho was published in 1889. A psychological novel about a young man’s stepping into adult life, it also touches the then heated language politics as Finnish was emerging as a language of academia in the bilingual country. Aho (1861 – 1921) was among the first professional writers in Finland. This reading is in Finnish.
 
Cymbeline is one of Shakespeare's late romances, which (like The Tempest and The Winter's Tale) combines comedy and tragedy. Imogen, the daughter of King Cymbeline of Britain, angers her father when she marries Posthumus, a worthy but penniless gentleman. The King banishes Posthumus, who goes to Rome, where he falls prey to the machinations of Iachimo, who tries to convince him that Imogen will be unfaithful. Meanwhile, the Queen (Imogen's stepmother) plots against her stepdaughter by trying ...
 
Polly Milton, a 14-year-old country girl, visits her friend Fanny Shaw and her wealthy family in the city for the first time. Poor Polly is overwhelmed by the splendor at the Shaws’ and their urbanized, fashionable lifestyles, fancy clothes and some other habits she considers weird and, mostly, unlikable. However, Polly’s warmth, support and kindness eventually win her the hearts of all the family members. Six years later, Polly comes back to the city to become a music teacher.
 
Mary Everest Boole (1832-1916) was born Mary Everest in England and spent her early years in France. She married mathematician George Boole. She was the author of several works on teaching and teaching mathematics in particular. This short book, Philosophy and Fun of Algebra, is meant to be read by children and introduces algebra and logic. She uses the word “algebra” broadly, defining it as a “method of solving problems by honest confession of one’s ignorance”. Using this definition, Boole ...
 
The Blackfeet were hunters, travelling from place to place on foot. They used implements of stone, wood, or bone, wore clothing made of skins, and lived in tents covered by hides. Dogs, their only tame animals, were used as beasts of burden to carry small packs and drag light loads. The stories here told come down to us from very ancient times. Grandfathers have told them to their grandchildren, and these again to their grandchildren, and so from mouth to mouth, through many generations, the ...
 
A Murder Whodunit!Location: Hampstead, England.Victim: Sir Horace Fewbanks, a distinguished High Court judge. Cause of death: gun shot wound.Investigator: Private Detective Crewe, a wealthy bachelor who has taken up crime detection as a hobby, because it provides intellectual challenges more satisfying even than playing twelve simultaneous boards against Russian chess champion Turgieff.His sidekick: Joe is a fourteen year old Cockney boy, whom Crewe saved from a life of crime by hiring him a ...
 
The Art of War is a 6th Century BC Chinese treatise on war and military strategy known for its timeless examples of strategy and planning. There is intense interest in this ancient work since it teaches how to be victorious in conflict and that the final victory ultimately is to see war as an effort to win minds and hearts rather than a mere acquisition of territory and wealth. The Art of War by Sun Tzu is a two thousand year old work, reputedly authored by a famous military general and stra ...
 
The Histories of Herodotus of Halicarnassus is considered the first work of history in Western literature. Written about 440 BC, the Histories tell the story of the war between the Persian Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. Herodotus traveled extensively around the ancient world, conducting interviews and collecting stories for his book. The rise of the Persian Empire is chronicled, and the causes for the conflict with Greece. Herodotus treats the conflict as an ideologi ...
 
Henry Stanton’s 1922 book Sex – Avoided Subjects Discussed in Plain English is intended as a frank (although consevative and moralistic) guide to human sexual behaviour and relationships. It is partly a self-help book, partly an attempt to relay the scientific knowledge of the day in relation to sex and reproduction in a way suitable for popular consumption.
 
This is Mill’s first work on economics. It foreshadows his Political Economy which was the standard Anglo-American Economics textbook of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mill’s economic theory moved from free market capitalism, to government intervention within the precepts of Utilitarianism, and finally to Socialism.
 
The Book of the Damned was the first published nonfiction work of the author Charles Fort (first edition 1919). Dealing with various types of anomalous phenomena including UFOs, strange falls of both organic and inorganic materials from the sky, odd weather patterns, the possible existence of creatures generally held to be mythological, disappearances of people under strange circumstances, and many other phenomena, the book is historically considered to be the first written in the specific f ...
 
The intention of this work is to provide a sketch of the History of the Church in the first six centuries of its existence, resting throughout on original authorities, and also giving references to the principal modern works which have dealt specially with its several portions. It is hoped that it may be found to supply a convenient summary for those who can give but little time to the study, and also to serve as a guide for those who desire to make themselves acquainted with the principal d ...
 
A religious autobiography of unsurpassed interest, the simple confidential tone of which "revolutionized the popular estimate of its author," establishing the strength and sincerity of the convictions which had led him into the Roman Catholic Church (Wikipedia). "No autobiography in the English language has been more read; to the nineteenth century it bears a relation not less characteristic than Boswell's 'Johnson' to the eighteenth." Rev. Wm. Barry, D.D.
 
In Defense of Women is H. L. Mencken’s 1918 book on women and the relationship between the sexes. Some laud the book as progressive while others brand it as reactionary. While Mencken didn’t champion women’s rights, he described women as wiser in many novel and observable ways, while demeaning average men. According to Mencken’s biographer, Fred Hobson: Depending on the position of the reader, he was either a great defender of women’s rights or, as a critic labelled him in 1916, ‘the greates ...
 
Rose Wilder Lane was a newspaper reporter, free-lance writer, political activist, and the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the "Little House" series of popular children's books. In this biography of Henry Ford, Ms. Lane worked directly with Ford to tell his story from his birth to his founding of the Ford Motor Company and his use of modern assembly lines to mass produce his cars.
 
Silver footed, fair haired Thetis, Ares the God of War, Nike the Goddess of Victory, The Furies and The Muses, Zeus the presiding deity of the Universe and the magical, mysterious Olympus, are some of the amazing, mythical Greek and Roman deities you'll encounter in this book. Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome by EM Berens was originally intended for young readers. Written in an easy and light style, the author attempts to bring the pantheon of gods into a comprehensible format. H ...
 
In 1910, Baum hoped to end the Oz series and follow with a new series about a little girl named Trot and her sailor companion, Cap’n Bill. The Sea Fairies (1911) was the first book in the projected series and took Trot and Cap’n Bill under the sea where they had adventures with mermaids and other fantastic creatures. It was followed by Sky Island (1912) and then Baum returned to the Oz titles. He brought Trot and Cap’n Bill to Oz in the Scarecrow of Oz (1915).
 
The international language Esperanto was first released to the world in 1887, when L. L. Zamenhof published his first book, “Dr. Esperanto’s International Language”. Since that time, many learning books have been developed to help the beginner attain a proficiency in the language. Helen Fryer’s “Esperanto Teacher” is one of the earliest of these attempts in English. Divided into 45 short and easy lessons and supplemented with sections on joining words, exclamations, compound words, arrangeme ...
 
A sailing memoir written by seaman and adventurer Joshua Slocum, who was the first person to sail around the world alone, documents his epic solo circumnavigation. An international best-seller, the book became a great influence and inspiration to travelers from each corner of the globe. Additionally, Slocum is an example that through determination, courage and hard work any dream can easily become a reality. Written in a modern and conversational tone, the autobiographical account begins wit ...
 
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