An ode to the power of nicotine, by the Scottish novelist and dramatist, best known for inventing the character of Peter Pan. My Lady Nicotine is one of his earlier works. Focusing on his days as a smoker, J. M. Barrie takes us through his life as a smoker to his last pipe as he begins his non-smoking days. Barrie…Read More »
In the mood for a thought-provoking read from the golden age of science fiction? Dip into Arm of the Law from mid-century SF virtuoso Harry Harrison. In this tale, Harrison recounts an experiment in robotic law enforcement that goes awry – with an array of horrifying unforeseen consequences.
Selected by Austin Dobson from Ballads and Lyrics of Old France, Ballades in Blue China, and from verses previously unprinted or not collected.
If you have a soft spot for Eleanor H. Porter's beloved novel Pollyanna, you should definitely add Just David to your reading list. Written just a few years after Porter penned her best-known work, this emotionally resonant and uplifting tale mines many of the same themes, albeit from a starkly different vantage-poi…Read More »
Quartermain (the main character from the many adventures found in the Alan Quartermain series) was a progressive Victorian big game hunter in Africa who championed the cause of the natives. Although Haggard often portrays Quatermain as being racist (at least in…Read More »
The fourth of the Barsetshire Chronicles, Framley Parsonage was published to wide acclaim and has always been one of Trollope's most popular novels. In it the values of a Victorian clergyman Mark Robarts, are put to the test. Through a combination of naivety and social ambition, Robarts is compromised and brought to…Read More »
In the stories in this volume Dostoevsky explores both the figure of the dreamer divorced from reality and also his own ambiguous attitude to utopianism, themes central to many of his great novels. In White Nights the apparent idyll of the dreamer's romantic fantasies disguises profound loneliness and estrangement f…Read More »
When noted English writer William Somerset Maugham set off for the South Seas to regain his health, he gathered the materials and wrote the stories represented here. These are among Maugham's best, and the best stories ever written about the exotic South Seas.
TV repairman Ed Loyce sets out for what he thinks will be a typical day at work – and finds himself in a world in which everything has been turned topsy-turvy. The first indication that things are amiss occurs when Loyce spies a stomach-turning abomination in the town park – and none of his fellow citizens seem to…Read More »
The story tells of how unscrupulous millionaire Benjamin Scobell decides to build a casino on the small Mediterranean island of Mervo, dragging in the unwitting heir to the throne to help. Little does he know that his stepdaughter Betty has history with the young man John Maude, and his schemes lead to a rift betwee…Read More »
An Antarctic Mystery is a novel by Jules Verne and is a response to Edgar Allan Poes 1838 novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. It follows the adventures of the narrator and his journey from the Kerguelen Islands aboard Halbrane. The story is set in 1839, eleven years after the events in Arthur …Read More »
Burning Daylight is a novel by Jack London which was one of the best-selling books of that year and it was London's best-selling book in his lifetime. The novel takes place in the Yukon Territory in 1893. The main character, nicknamed 'Burning Daylight' was the most successful entrepreneur of the Alaskan Gold Rush. …Read More »
Middle-aged Mrs. Warren is a madam, proprietress of a string of successful brothels. Her daughter, Vivie, is a modern young woman, but not so modern that she's not shocked to discover the source of her mother's wealth. The clash of these two strong-willed, but culturally constrained Victorian women, is the spark tha…Read More »
The story is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan leading the demoralized army of Khoraja against an evil sorcerer named Natokk, the Veiled One.
You expect Button-Bright to get lost, but not Ozma! As soon as it is discovered that not only is the ruler of Oz lost but so are all of the kingdom's important magical instruments, The Wizard of Oz And Glenda the Good Witch spring into action. Search parties are sent to all four countries of Oz to find her or any cl…Read More »
Dostoyevsky's short stories show him to be equally adept at the short story as with the novel. Exploring many of the same themes as in his longer works, these small masterpieces move from the tender and romantic White Nights, an archetypal nineteenth-century morality tale of pathos and loss, to the famous Notes from…Read More »
When Scenes of Clerical Life, George Eliot's first novel, was published anonymously in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine in 1857, it was immediately recognized, in the words of Saturday Review, as `the production of a peculiar and remarkable writer'. The first readers, including Dickens and Thackeray, were struck by it…Read More »
Spaceman Peterson buys a "wub" from a local before his departure from Mars and takes it back aboard the ship on which he is a crew member. But the captain Franco cites his concerns about the extra weight of having this huge pig-like creature on-board, although he really seems more interested in how it might taste. O…Read More »
What Maisie Knew represents one of James's finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge, and the question of their finality. The child of violently divorced parents, Maisie Farange opens her eyes on a distinctly modern world. Mothers and fathers keep changing their partners and names, while sh…Read More »
Ostensibly a tale of sexual androgyny, the power of love, and its bitter aftermath, this volume is in fact a study of the force of art on society and the deadly immortality of beauty. The nameless narrator attends a ball held by a wealthy Parisian family whose fortune comes from a work of art, and there meets an ext…Read More »
The plot for At the Sign of the Cat and Racket, if such a stately name can be given to so delicate a sketch, is of course open to downright British judgment to pronounce the self-sacriiice of Lebas more ignoblethan touching, the conduct of Théodore too childish to deserve the excuses sometimes possible for passion…Read More »
The tale of a man who is incapacitated by visions of the future and the cacophony of overheard thoughts, and yet who can’t help trying to subvert his vividly glimpsed destiny, it is easy to read The Lifted Veil as being autobiographically revealing—of Eliot’s sensitivity to public opinion and her awareness that he…Read More »
Captain McWhirr is a serious man who runs his steamer, the Nan-Shan, with efficiency and solidity. When a storm appears to be headed in their direction, MacWhirr is not concerned about his ship’s ability to weather it, but, when the storm turns out to be a powerful typhoon which surges in across the Pacific Ocean he…Read More »
Careening was a very necessary operation for the old pirate. On his superior speed he depended both for overhauling the trader and escaping the man-of-war. But it was impossible to retain his sailing qualities unless he periodically–once a year, at the least–cleared his vessel's bottom from the long, trailing plan…Read More »
The Ballad of the White Horse is one of the last great epic poems in the English language. On the one hand it describes King Alfred’s battle against the Danes in 878. On the other hand it is a timeless allegory about the ongoing battle between Christianity and the forces of nihilistic heathenism. Filled with colorfu…Read More »
Although Joseph Conrad achieved acclaim as one of the masters of English-language fiction, his own life story is as fascinating and engaging as Heart of Darkness or Lord Jim. The volume The Mirror of the Sea is a collection of several autobiographical sketches, remembrances and essays that Conrad originally publishe…Read More »
One of the best swashbuckling adventures ever written: As for Captain Morgan, he went about his work with the utmost coolness and deliberation imaginable, unbuttoning the waistcoat and the shirt of the man he had murdered with fingers that neither twitched nor shook. There were a gold cross and a bunch of silver med…Read More »
This remarkable novel by adventure writer H. Rider Haggard can be enjoyed on many levels. As a tale of adventure, it takes the reader through 16th-century England, Spain, and Mexico at the time of the Spanish Conquest. But on a deeper level, the author's hopes for humanity shine through the darkness of this time to …Read More »
All Things Considered features more than thirty columns that G. K. Chesterton wrote for the London Daily News in the years before World War I. Covering a variety of themes, each is written with the same high quality that readers have come to expect of Chesterton. In an essay on canvassing, Chesterton ponders some …Read More »
This harrowing tale of a young girl in the slums is a searing portrayal of turn-of-the-century New York, and Stephen Crane's most innovative work. When published, it broke new ground with its vivid characters, its brutal naturalism, and its empathic rendering of the lives of the poor. It remains both powerful, sever…Read More »