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Recommended Books

War and Peace, Book 06: 1808-1810
War and Peace, Book 06: 1808-1810

Tolstoy, Leo War and Peace is an epic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russki Vestnik, which tells the story of Russian society during the Napoleonic Era. It is usually described as one of Tolstoy's two major masterpieces (the other being Anna Karenina) as well as one of the world's greatest novels.
War and Peace offered a new kind of fiction, with a great many characters caught up in a plot that covered nothing less than the grand subjects indicated by the title, combined with the equally large topics of youth, age and marriage. While today it is considered a novel, it broke so many novelistic conventions of its day that many critics of Tolstoy's time did not consider it as such. Tolstoy himself considered Anna Karenina (1878) to be his first attempt at a novel in the European sense.
War and Peace, Book 15: 1812-1813
War and Peace, Book 15: 1812-1813

Tolstoy, Leo War and Peace is an epic novel by Leo Tolstoy, first published from 1865 to 1869 in Russki Vestnik, which tells the story of Russian society during the Napoleonic Era. It is usually described as one of Tolstoy's two major masterpieces (the other being Anna Karenina) as well as one of the world's greatest novels.
War and Peace offered a new kind of fiction, with a great many characters caught up in a plot that covered nothing less than the grand subjects indicated by the title, combined with the equally large topics of youth, age and marriage. While today it is considered a novel, it broke so many novelistic conventions of its day that many critics of Tolstoy's time did not consider it as such. Tolstoy himself considered Anna Karenina (1878) to be his first attempt at a novel in the European sense.
Kama Sutra, The
Kama Sutra, The

Vatsyayana, Mallanaga The Kama Sutra, or Aphorisms on Love, has survived at least 1400 years as a dominant text on sexual relations between men and women. Vatsyayana claimed to have written the Kama Sutra while a religious student, “in contemplation of the Deity” - but references to older works, shrewd disputations by Vatsyayana of those authors' recommendations, and careful cataloging of practices in various of the Indian states indicate much more emphasis on kama, or sensual gratification.
Part of the book discusses the 64 arts of love employed by masters of coitus. Learning each of these and when and how to practice them, Vatsyayana affirms, not only leads to the best gratification, but makes the artist a person of great desirability.
Once the means of sexual congress are discussed, the many types of male-female relationships and their proper prosecution are covered. Some of these have small relevance to the modern world, such as how to sneak into the King's harem, but are interesting nonetheless. Others, such as how to get money from a lover, will probably remain useful as long as there are humans in the world.
The translator's concluding remarks call the book primitive; so might also modern women who are told that if their name ends in “l” or “r” they should not be married, because they are worthless. But in tackling the subject of human sexuality, Vatsyayana nevertheless will always attract readers (or, in this case, listeners!).
Sense and Sensibility (version 2)
Sense and Sensibility (version 2)

Austen, Jane Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen's first published novel, focuses on the lives and loves of two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. The sensible Elinor and the sensitive Marianne both fall for men whose affections are otherwise engaged. The novel includes a wonderful cast of colorful supporting characters, as well as Austen's trademark dry wit and ironic narration.
Anthem
Anthem

Rand, Ayn Anthem is a dystopic science fiction story taking place at some unspecified future date. Mankind has entered another dark age as a result of what Rand saw as the weaknesses of socialistic thinking and economics. Technological advancement is now carefully planned (when it is allowed to occur, if at all) and the concept of individuality has been eliminated (for example, the word "I" has disappeared from the language). As is common in her work, Rand draws a clear distinction between the "socialist/communal" values of equality and brotherhood and the "productive/capitalist" values of achievement and individuality.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Abridged), version 2
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Abridged), version 2

Carroll, Lewis Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world (Wonderland) populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, and its narrative course and structure, characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.
This Side of Paradise
This Side of Paradise

Fitzgerald, F. Scott 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 a wealthy and attractive Princeton University student who dabbles in literature and has a series of romances that eventually lead to his disillusionment. In his later novels, Fitzgerald would further develop the book's theme of love warped by greed and status-seeking.
Aesop's Fables, Volume 12 (Fables 276-284)
Aesop's Fables, Volume 12 (Fables 276-284)

Aesop Dating back to the 6th century BC, Aesop's Fables tell universal truths through the use of simple allegories that are easily understood. Though almost nothing is known of Aesop himself, and some scholars question whether he existed at all, these stories stand as timeless classics known in almost every culture in the world. This is volume 12 of 12.
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.
Journey of Life, The
Journey of Life, The

Bryant, William Cullen Volunteers bring you 14 recordings of The Journey of Life by William Cullen Bryant. This was the Weekly Poetry project for December 23, 2012.
William Cullen Bryant was an American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York Evening Post. His poetry has been described as being "of a thoughtful, meditative character, and makes but slight appeal to the mass of readers."
Tales of Old Japan
Tales of Old Japan

Redesdale, Lord Tales of Old Japan by Lord Redesdale is a collection of short stories focusing on Japanese life of the Edo period (1803 - 1868). It contains a number of classic Japanese stories, fairy tales, and other folklore; as well as Japanese sermons and non-fiction pieces on special ceremonies in Japanese life, such as marriage and harakiri, as observed by Lord Redesdale. The best know story of these is "The Forty-seven Ronins" a true account of samurai revenge as it happened at the beginning of 18th century Japan.
Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford, 1st Baron Redesdale (1837 - 1916) was a British diplomat, collector and writer. He worked in Japan as second secretary to the British Legation at the time of the Meiji Restoration. He wrote Tales of Old Japan in 1871.
Beowulf
Beowulf

Unknown Beowulf. [Translated by Francis Barton Gummere].This is a short but beautiful book, and the Gummere translation really captures the feel of the Old English. Beowulf tells the story of a mysterious young warrior who saves the Spear-Danes from the terrible monster Grendel and his venomous mother. Long a mainstay of English Literature 101 courses at universities around the world, it is not only one of the oldest, but one of the most exciting English folktales ever invented.
Italian Cook Book, The
Italian Cook Book, The

Gentile, Maria One of the beneficial results of the Great War has been the teaching of thrift to the American housewife. For patriotic reasons and for reasons of economy, more attention has been bestowed upon the preparing and cooking of food that is to be at once palatable, nourishing and economical.
In the Italian cuisine we find in the highest degree these three qualities. That it is palatable, all those who have partaken of food in an Italian trattoria or at the home of an Italian family can testify, that it is healthy the splendid manhood and womanhood of Italy is a proof more than sufficient. And who could deny, knowing the thriftiness of the Italian race, that it is economical?
It has therefore been thought that a book of practical recipes of the Italian cuisine could be offered to the American public with hope of success. It is not a pretentious book, and the recipes have been made as clear and simple as possible. Some of the dishes described are not peculiar to Italy. All, however, are representative of the Cucina Casalinga of the peninsular Kingdom, which is not the least product of a lovable and simple people, among whom the art of living well and getting the most out of life at a moderate expense has been attained to a very high degree.
Art of the Moving Picture, The
Art of the Moving Picture, The

Lindsay, Vachel "This 1922 book by poet and sometime cultural critic Vachel Lindsay might have been the first to treat the then-new medium of moving pictures as an art form, one that was potentially as rich, complex, mysterious as far older ones, and whose physical and aesthetic properties were only starting to be understood. The highlight of the book might be “The Motion Picture of Fairy Splendor,” which examines the relationship between film storytelling, magic, myths, legends and bedtime stories. It’s discombobulating, in a good way, to read Lindsay’s attempts to grapple with what, precisely, cinema is. Being supposedly sophisticated 21st century people, we all feel as though we know what cinema is, and don’t need to have the basics explained to us, but this is really just vanity and ignorance talking. Bottom line: You haven’t really, seriously thought about movies — what they are, and what they can and cannot do, and become — until you’ve read this book."
Love Conquers All
Love Conquers All

Benchley, Robert Robert Benchley, 1889-1945, was a writer, humorist and actor of note during the 1920s through the early 1940s. Born in Massachusetts, he spent his early literary career in New York City as an editor, critic and columnist for many of the major magazines of the day.
Along with George Kaufman, Dorothy Parker and Harpo Marx, he was an original "member" of the Algonquin Round Table. His popularity led him to a side career in radio and film, which took him to California in his later years. Writers as diverse as James Thurber, Woody Allen and Dave Barry have credited Benchley as an influence.
Love Conquers All, originally published in 1922 is the second collection (of fifteen) gathering together Benchley's humorous essays and reviews. Some references are dated, of course, but the surreal and mundane targets of Benchley's wit will be familiar to everyone. This volume collects 63 excellent gems from his early professional work, when Benchley's enthusiasm and style were approaching their peak.
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