First published in 1925, The Painted Veil is an affirmation of the human capacity to grow, change, and forgive. Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, it is the story of the beautiful but shallow young Kitty Fane. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to a remote region of China ravaged by a cholera epidemic.
"What An Unexpected Delight!"
With all of the pluck and charm of its eponymous young hero, Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Spotlight, Midnight in Paris) delivers a spectacular reading of Montgomery's beloved bildungsroman. In moments both funny and bittersweet, McAdams' voice is imbued with the spark that has made Anne a much-loved symbol of individualism and cheer for over a century.
"Salvation for the soul in these terrible times"
Why we think it’s a great listen: Among the great literary achievements of the 20th century, Lolita soars in audio thanks to the incomparable Jeremy Irons, bringing to life Nabokov’s ability to shock and enthrall more than 50 years after publication. Lolita became a cause celebre because of the erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Nabokov's masterpiece owes its stature not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story that is shocking in its beauty and tenderness.
"An Absolutely Gorgeous Audible Experience"
Following Jane from her childhood as an orphan in Northern England through her experience as a governess at Thornfield Hall, Charlotte Brontë's Gothic classic is an early exploration of women's independence in the mid-19th century and the pervasive societal challenges women had to endure. At Thornfield, Jane meets the complex and mysterious Mr. Rochester, with whom she shares a complicated relationship that ultimately forces her to reconcile the conflicting passions of romantic love and religious piety.
One of the 20th century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize-winning career. The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Rich and brilliant, it is a chronicle of life, death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the beautiful, ridiculous, and tawdry story of the Buendía family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a titanic figure among the world's great authors, and The Brothers Karamazov is often hailed as his finest novel. A masterpiece on many levels, it transcends the boundaries of a gripping murder mystery to become a moving account of the battle between love and hate, faith and despair, compassion and cruelty, good and evil.
"Best "Karamazov" yet."
The great adventure story tells of Odysseus, a veteran of the Trojan War, who - through a landscape peopled with monsters, sea nymphs, evil enchantresses, and vengeful gods - makes his tortuous way home to his faithful wife, Penelope. Shipwrecked numerous times, faced with apparently insurmountable obstacles, offered the temptations of ease, comfort, and even immortality, Odysseus remains steadfast and determined. Themes of courage and perseverance, fidelity and fortitude.
"A masterpiece marred by technical glitches"
The Art of War is the most famous and longest-lasting book on the practice of war. The book does not mince words: war is about winning; it is not a gentleman's game; it is about using every means at one's disposal to tip the odds in one's favor. Of the centuries, this book has been used by military figures, war departments, business people, educators, and politicians, to name a few. This is the original work without additional editorial comment.
"THE WORST AUDIO BOOK I HAVE EVER LISTENED TO"
He was the father of the occult, the founder of astrology, the discoverer of alchemy. He was Hermes Trismegistus, and as the scribe of the gods of ancient Egypt, he possessed all divine knowledge... which he passed on to humanity, though only those who have been tutored in its wonders can fully understand it.In this extraordinary 1912 book, three secret initiates to his teachings - who remain anonymous to this day - share their insight with all who seek to understand the mysterious underpinnings of the universe and our relationship with it.
"Big bites of ancient (now age?) wisdom to chew on"
Renowned poet and critic Clive James presents the crowning achievement of his career: a monumental translation into English verse of Dante’s The Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy is the precursor of modern literature, and this translation - decades in the making - gives us the entire epic as a single, coherent and compulsively listenable lyric poem. Written in the early 14th century and completed in 1321, the year of Dante’s death, The Divine Comedy is perhaps the greatest work of epic poetry ever composed.
Northanger Abbey is the coming-of-age story of Catherine Morland, who is taken to the fashionable resort of Bath with her friends, the Allens. While in Bath, she meets Henry Tilney and his sister Eleanor. The Tilneys invite Catherine to Northanger Abbey, their family estate. Catherine, an avid reader of Gothic novels, soon becomes obsessed with the thought that possible atrocities are going on at the abbey.
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds two people's lives together for more than half a century. In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career, he whiles away the years in 622 affairs - yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral....
"Timeless Romance, brought to life by Armando Duràn"
The story begins with an investigation into some strange reports of an "opera ghost", legendary for making the great Paris opera performers ill-at-ease when they sit alone in their dressing rooms. Some allege to have seen the ghost in evening clothes moving about in the shadows. Nothing is done, however, until the disappearance of Christine during her triumphant performance.
"Phantom of the Opera"
Setting down his thoughts on swordplay, on winning, and on spirituality, legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi intended this modest work as a guide for his immediate disciples and future generations of samurai. He had little idea he was penning a masterpiece that would be eagerly devoured by people in all walks of life centuries after his death.
"A classic must read"
Anna Karenina seems to have everything - beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky.
"Beautiful story, amazing narration"
The Devil comes to Moscow, but he isn't all bad; Pontius Pilate sentences a charismatic leader to his death, but yearns for redemption; and a writer tries to destroy his greatest tale, but discovers that manuscripts don't burn. Multi-layered and entrancing, blending sharp satire with glorious fantasy, The Master and Margarita is ceaselessly inventive and profoundly moving. In its imaginative freedom and raising of eternal human concerns, it is one of the world's great novels.
"Satisfying Satanic Satire"
A Signature Performance: Tim Curry, the source of our inspiration, returns – this time, he captures the quirky enthusiasm of this goofily visionary adventure.
"Feels like Jules Verne"
Writer, artist and philosopher Kahlil Gibran considered The Prophet to be his greatest achievement. First published in 1923, this collection of poetic essays on life and the human condition has been translated into more than 20 languages, and has become one of the beloved classics of our time. Cherished by millions, the universally inspiring words of The Prophet are here magnificently read aloud.
This is the most distinguished novel that has come out of South Africa in the 20th century, and it is one of the most important novels of the modern era. Cry, the Beloved Country is in some ways a sad book; it is an indictment of a social system that drives native races into resentment and crime; it is a story of Fate, as inevitable, as relentless, as anything of Thomas Hardy's. Beautifully wrought with high poetic compassion, Cry, the Beloved Country is more than just a story, it is a profound experience of the human spirit.
"A word painting: gripping, breathtaking & moving"
In the shade of the house, in the sunshine of the riverbank near the boats, in the shade of the Salwood forest, in the shade of the fig tree is where Siddhartha grew up, the handsome son of the Brahman, the young falcon, together with his friend Govinda, son of a Brahman. The sun tanned his light shoulders by the banks of the river when bathing, performing the sacred ablutions, the sacred offerings.
"New Narration of an Old Classic"
Written in a style that is both precise and sumptuous, weirdly archaic and powerfully novel, Zama takes place in the last decade of the 18th century and describes the solitary, suspended existence of Don Diego de Zama, a highly placed servant of the Spanish crown who has been posted to Asunción, the capital of remote Paraguay. There, eaten up by pride, lust, petty grudges, and paranoid fantasies, he does as little as he possibly can while plotting his eventual transfer to Buenos Aires.
"The Call of the Wild" is a short adventure novel by Jack London published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck. The story opens at a ranch in Santa Clara Valley, California, when Buck is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska. He becomes progressively feral in the harsh environment, where he is forced to fight to survive.
"The Homely Heroine" is a collection of four short stories by author Edna Ferber. The other three stories in the collection are: "A Bush League Hero", "What She Wore" and "The Man Who Came Back". All of them center around ordinary people, showing off both their courage, dignity and their shortcomings when facing challenges in life. A moving and thoughtful listening experience.
Published in 1901, "The Children's Life of the Bee", by Belgian author Maurice Maeterlinck, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature; is a wonderfully informative and poetic in-depth look at what exactly goes on in a hive, with insightful observations on its fascinating characters such as the drones, the workers and, of course, the queen.
"The Dancing Girls" is a short story collection by author Edna Ferber. The other stories in the collection are: "Old Lady Mandle", "Long Distance" and "One Hundred Percent". As almost always with the great Edna Ferber, the stories celebrate the ordinary humanity in all its fragility and resilience facing most of the things life throws at it.
"Persuasion" is the last novel of Jane Austen's. As the Napoleonic Wars come to an end in 1814, Admirals and Captains of the Royal Navy are put ashore, their work done. Anne Elliot meets Captain Frederick Wentworth after seven years, by the chance of his sister and brother-in-law renting her father's estate, while she stays for a few months with her married sister, living nearby. They fell in love the first time they met, but she broke off the engagement.
"One Basket" is a collection of numerous short stories by author Edna Ferber, published in 1947. All of them share the author's wonderful way with prose and tone, and most of them are about very ordinary men and women, living their daily lives... Especially the women, their hopes, fears, strength and weakness are brought to loving life by the author!
"If you don't like Christmas stories, don't read this one!And if you don't like dogs I don't know just what to advise you to do! For I warn you perfectly frankly that I am distinctly pro-dog and distinctly pro-Christmas, and would like to bring to this little story whatever whiff of fir-balsam I can cajole from the make-believe forest in my typewriter, and every glitter of tinsel, smudge of toy candle, crackle of wrapping paper, that my particular brand of brain and ink can conjure up on a single keyboard!"
From youth my heart has been inclined toward the Way of strategy. My first duel was when I was thirteen, I struck down a strategist of the Shinto school, one Arima Kihei. When I was sixteen I struck down an able strategist, Tadashima Akiyama. When I was twenty-one I went up to the capital and met all manner of strategists, never once failing to win in many contests.
"Author implores you to study his work carefully!"
"Fables for the Frivolous" is one of the earliest works by the American parodist Guy Wetmore Carryl. These fables are adapted from Jean de la Fontaine's original writings. The Aesop-style fables are written in verse, and are light-hearted retellings of fables from two centuries before, each ending with a moral and a pun. Among the more celebrated of the fables are "The Persevering Tortoise" and the "Pretentious Hare", "The Arrogant Frog" and the "Superior Bull", and "The Sycophantic Fox" and "The Gullible Raven".
"The Devil in Iron" is one of the original Conan the Cimmerian (a.k.a. Conan the Barbarian) books, published in 1934. The plot concerns the resurrection of a mythical demon due to the theft of a sacred dagger, and an unrelated trap - in the lovely form of a noble born sensational beauty called Octavia - that lures Conan to the island fortress roamed by the demon... Get ready for a wonderfully entertaining listening experience!
This chilling masterpiece by Edgar Allan Poe, published in 1841, has been recognized as the world's first modern detective story(!). C. Auguste Dupin is a man in Paris who tries to solve the mystery of the brutal murder of two women. Numerous witnesses heard a suspect, though no one agrees on what language was spoken. At the murder scene, Dupin finds a hair that does not appear to be human.
The home of the Canterville Ghost was the ancient Canterville Chase, which has all the accoutrements of a traditional haunted house. Descriptions of the wainscoting, the library paneled in black oak, and the armor in the hallway characterize the setting. Wilde mixes the macabre with comedy, juxtaposing devices from traditional English ghost stories such as creaking floorboards, clanking chains, and ancient prophecies... A classic by a master, Wilde defuses the horror elements with his wonderful humor and intelligence!
"the hand was writhing in agonized contortions, squirming and wriggling upon the nail like a worm upon a hook. 'We'll keep it there until it dies,' he said. 'May I burn in hell, if I ever open the door of that safe again.'" "The Beast With Five Fingers, by W. F. Harvey, published in 1928, is a fantastically creepy horror story by an often underappreciated old master of the genre. Eustace, an affluent English bachelor, receives a legacy from his uncle Adrian (who was blind). The legacy consists of a large library.
The Defenders is a 1953 science fiction novel by American master of the genre Philip K. Dick, and the basis for Dick's 1964 novel "The Penultimate Truth". (It is one of several of his stories to be expanded into a novel)... Eight years ago a nuclear war began between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. American survivors evacuated to gigantic bunkers miles under ground. Sophisticated, radioactivity-immune robots called "leadys" continue fighting the war on the devastated surface.
"Pride and Prejudice" is a classic of English literature, written by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. Set in England in the early 19th century, "Pride and Prejudice" tells the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr. Darcy, have moved into their neighborhood. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy is disdainful of local society.
"Mansfield Park" is the third novel by Jane Austen, published in 1814. The protagonist of the novel, Fanny Price is sent to live with her wealthy uncle and aunt Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram, as her own parents do not have enough money to support their many children. At Mansfield Park, Fanny grows up with her four older cousins, Tom, Edmund, Maria, and Julia, but is always treated as an unwanted poor relation. Only Edmund shows real kindness and the two develop a friendship that grows as the years progress.
"Red Nails" is one of the books featuring Conan the Cimmerian (a.k.a Conan the Barbarian) written by American author Robert E. Howard. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan encountering a lost city in which the degenerate inhabitants are proactively resigned to their own destruction. The tale also features a tough and beautiful female pirate named Valeria the Red, catching Conan's eye as well as his respect.
"Lady Windermere's Fan" is a four-act comedy by Oscar Wilde. The play was first published in 1893. Like many of Wilde's comedies, it bitingly satirizes the morals of society. The story concerns Lady Windermere, who suspects that her husband is having an affair with another woman. She confronts him with it but although he denies it, he invites the other woman, Mrs. Erlynne, to his wife's birthday ball... The best-known line of the play sums up the central theme.
Here are 22 charming Japanese Fairy Tales, translated by Yei Theodora Ozaki, including "My Lord Bag of Rice", "The Tongue-Cut Sparrow", "The Story of Urashima Taro, the Fisher Lad", "The Farmer and the Badger", "The Shinansha, or the South Pointing Carriage", "The Adventures of Kintaro, the Golden Boy", "The Story of Princess Hase", "The Story of the Man Who Did Not Wish to Die", "The Bamboo-Cutter and the Moonchild", "The Mirror of Matsuyama", and more.
"An excellent anthology of Japanese folk stories"
These classic fables use simple allegories to convey universal truths. Though it is unkown if Aesop ever actually existed, dating back to the sixth century, BC, these fables are known in cultures throughout the world and have been translated into many languages.
The Ramayana is one of the best-known epics in the world. It is the tale of Rama, the Prince of Ayodhya, who exiles himself to the forest for 14 years to honor his father's Word. In the forest, Rama, his wife, Sita, and his brother, Lakshmana, meet new friends and unusual foes, and each day brings new adventures. But Ravana of Lanka, the King of Demons, ruins it all by abducting Sita. To rescue her, Rama enlists the help of Hanuman and his monkey army.
Full of mischief, valor, ribaldry, and romance, The Arabian Nights has enthralled readers for centuries. These are the tales that saved the life of Scheherazade, whose husband, the king, executed each of his wives after a single night of marriage. Beginning an enchanting story each evening, Scheherazade always withheld the ending: A thousand and one nights later, her life was spared forever.
"Not unabridged Burton--this is Lang"
This is George Dasent's classic collection of Scandinavian folklore. This is not about Norse mythology per se; so if you are looking for tales of Odin, Loki, and Freya etc., you will have to look elsewhere. Rather, this is an anthology of folk tales, similar to the Grimm Brothers', or Campbell's Popular Tales of the West Highlands. All of the usual suspects are in place, including giants, trolls, witches, evil step-siblings, magical boons and tasks, and anthropomorphic animals.
Xenophon was a Greek who admired and studied with Socrates. He marched with the Spartans and later was exiled from Athens. He wrote about the history of his times, the sayings of Socrates and about life in Greece. Edward Bysshe translated Xenophone's work in 1702. This translation has continued to have an excellent reputation. In this work Xenophon discusses the views of life taught by Socrates.
"Philosopher, Soldier, Historian and Mercenary"
India is often reputed to be the home of the fairy tale. Here are some of the best from the sub-continent, from the Jatakas to the folktales of Kashmir. You'll hear stories about the evil magician Punchkin, the magic fiddle, and more.
In the six volumes of the Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories, Julian Hawthorne presents us thrilling and mysterious short stories from all corners of the world. Some of the stories appeared in this 1907 collection for the first time translated into English, and many of them come from unexpected sources, such as the letters of Pliny the Younger, or a Tibetan manuscript. In the first volume, we find stories written by American authors.
"Reader should have learned French."
The story of the doomed love affair of a wealthy sophisticate, Shimamura, and the geisha Komako, at a mountain hotspring resort in western Japan, one of the snowiest regions on earth.
Like Kafka's The Castle, Invitation to a Beheading embodies a vision of a bizarre and irrational world. In an unnamed dream country, the young man Cincinnatus C. is condemned to death by beheading for "gnostical turpitude", an imaginary crime that defies definition.
"Nabokov's Strange Violin Playing in the Void"
Promoting virtues such as filial devotion, compassion, loyalty, and propriety, these dialogues between the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius and his disciples comprise the crux of Confucianism.
"For those who prize courtesy and civility, ..."
Here is a minor classic of the Orient. It is perhaps the most entertaining, most charming explanation and interpretation of traditional Japanese culture in terms of the tea ceremony. First published in 1906, it traces the custom from its roots in Taoism to its role as a Zen meditative discipline.
"The History of the East's Aesthetic"
The most captivating part of perhaps the greatest epic poem ever written, Dante's Inferno still holds the power to thrill and inspire. The medieval equivalent of a thriller, Inferno follows Dante and his faithful guide, Virgil, as they traverse the complex geography of hell, confronting its many threats, macabre punishments, and historical figures before reaching the deep chamber where Satan himself resides.
While many of us are familiar with such famous words as, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here. . ." or "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," we may not know that they originated with The Book of Common Prayer, which first appeared in 1549. Like the words of the King James Bible and Shakespeare, the language of this prayer book has saturated English culture and letters.
"A fascinating history well-told"
The story is set in the Ptolemaic era of ancient Egyptian history and revolves around the survival of a dynasty bloodline protected by the priesthood of Isis. The main character, Harmachis (the living descendant of this bloodline), is charged by the priesthood with overthrowing the supposed impostor - Cleopatra - driving out the Romans, and restoring Egypt to its golden era.
With a restraint that barely conceals the ferocity of his characters' passions, one of Japan's great postwar novelists tells the luminous story of Kikuji and the tea party he attends with Mrs. Ota, the rival of his dead father's mistress. A tale of desire, regret, and sensual nostalgia, every gesture has a meaning, and even the most fleeting touch or casual utterance has the power to illuminate entire lives - sometimes in the same moment that it destroys them.