George Orwell depicts a gray, totalitarian world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, including the Thought Police - a world in which news is manufactured according to the authorities' will and people live tepid lives by rote. Winston Smith, a hero with no heroic qualities, longs only for truth and decency. But living in a social system in which privacy does not exist and where those with unorthodox ideas are brainwashed or put to death, he knows there is no hope for him.
"Great Book, With an Amazing Narrator"
One of the most revered works in English literature, Great Expectations traces the coming of age of a young orphan, Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations into a man of maturity. From the chilling opening confrontation with an escaped convict to the grand but eerily disheveled estate of bitter old Miss Havisham, all is not what it seems in Dickens’ dark tale of false illusions and thwarted desire.
This lush novel, set in 1766 England and America, evokes an era ripe with riot and revolution, from the teeming streets of London to the sprawling grounds of a Virginia plantation. Mack McAsh burns with the desire to escape his life of slavery in Scottish coal mines while Lizzie Hallim is desperate to shed a life of sheltered subjugation to her spineless husband. United in America, their only chance for freedom lies beyond the Western frontier - if they're brave enough to take it.
"WORTH THE CREDIT AND THEM SOME!"
In August of 1914, the British ship Endurance set sail for the South Atlantic. In October, 1915, still half a continent away from its intended base, the ship was trapped, then crushed in the ice. For five months, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his men, drifting on ice packs, were castaways in one of the most savage regions of the world.
"Superb in so many ways"
One of the most celebrated thrillers ever written, The Day of the Jackal is the electrifying story of an anonymous Englishman who in, the spring of 1963, was hired by Colonel Marc Rodin, operations chief of the O.A.S., to assassinate General de Gaulle.
"Quite a chase!"
On the eve of the bloody Battle of the Somme, a group of English officers having a last drink before returning to the front make a promise to each other: if they survive the battle ahead - and make it through the war - they will meet in Paris a year after the fighting ends. They will celebrate their good fortune by racing motorcars they beg, borrow, or own from Paris to Nice. In November 1919 the officers all meet as planned, and though their motorcars are not designed for racing, they set out for Nice. But a serious mishap mars the reunion.
"A wonderful historical mystery!"
English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.
"Hang in there!"
All six Bastable children - Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noel and Horace Octavius - are ambitious adventurers, digging detectives and intrepid treasure seekers by nature. Unfortunately, the Bastable family is currently facing an uncertain financial future. When father takes ill, and his business partners abandon him, the six children team up in an effort to restore their family’s wealth. Although they devise some ingenious escapades, their efforts usually end up unprofitable but fun - and sometimes their digging gets downright dangerous.
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), credited as the inspiration for radio, robots, and even radar, has been called the patron saint of modern electricity. Based on original material and previously unavailable documents, this acclaimed book is the definitive biography of the man considered by many to be the founding father of modern electrical technology.
"Tesla was a hundred years ahead of his time"
One of the greatest mystery thrillers ever written, Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White was a phenomenal best seller in the 1860s, achieving even greater success than works by Charles Dickens. Full of surprise, intrigue, and suspense, this vastly entertaining novel continues to enthrall audiences today.
"Gripping novel, excellent production"
The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and of his fading, insular world in postwar England. At the end of his three decades of service at Darlington Hall, Stevens embarks on a country drive, during which he looks back over his career to reassure himself that he has served humanity by serving "a great gentleman". But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington's "greatness" and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served.
"Duty, Honor, England"
At the onset of World War II, Williams formed Elephant Company and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma and saving refugees, including on his own "Hannibal Trek." Billy Williams became a media sensation during the war, telling reporters that the elephants did more for him than he was ever able to do for them, but his story has since been forgotten.
"Story of Friendship, Loyalty, and Bravery"
In which Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and courageous Puritan, pursues knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe -- in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.
"Be aware of what you're getting into"
The fall of Constantinople in 1453 signaled a shift in history and the end of the Byzantium Empire. Roger Crowley's listenable and comprehensive account of the battle between Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, and Constantine XI, the 57th emperor of Byzantium, illuminates the period in history that was a precursor to the current jihad between the West and the Middle East.
"The Wall, The Gun, and Honor"
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes are overshadowed by the event with which they close - the meeting of the great detective and Moriarty, the Napoleon of Crime. When "The Final Problem" was first published, the struggle between Holmes and his arch nemesis, seemingly to the death, left many readers desolate at the loss of Holmes, but it also led to his immortality as a literary figure.
"Good narrator, Incorrect product description"
A colonel receives five seeds in the mail---and dies within weeks. A young bride disappears immediately after her wedding. An old hat and a Christmas goose are the only clues to a stolen jewel. A son is accused of his father's murder. These mysteries---and many more---are brought to the house on Baker Street where detective Sherlock Holmes resides. No case is too tricky for the world's most famous sleuth and his incredible powers of deduction.
"This version is complete"
This acclaimed best seller from popular historian Alison Weir is a fascinating look at the Tudor family dynasty and its most infamous ruler. The Six Wives of Henry VIII brings to life England’s oft-married monarch and the six wildly different but equally fascinating women who married him. Gripping from the first sentence to the last and loaded with fascinating details, Weir’s rich history is a perfect blend of scholarship and entertainment.
"The Tudors At Their Best"
The first new collection of essays by Christopher Hitchens since 2004, Arguably offers an indispensable key to understanding the passionate and skeptical spirit of one of our most dazzling writers, widely admired for the clarity of his style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell.
This groundbreaking audiobook by Michel Foucault, the most influential philosopher since Sartre, compels us to reevaluate our assumptions about all the ensuing reforms in the penal institutions of the West. For as Foucault examines innovations that range from the abolition of torture to the institution of forced labor and the appearance of the modern penitentiary, he suggests that punishment has shifted its focus from the prisoner's body to his soul-and that our very concern with rehabilitation encourages and refines criminal activity.
"MORE FOUCAULT PLEASE!!"
Michael Gallatin is a British spy with a peculiar talent: the ability to transform himself into a wolf. Although his work in North Africa helped the Allies win the continent in the early days of World War II, he quit the service when a German spy shot his lover in her bed. Now, three years later, the army asks him to end his retirement and parachute into occupied Paris. A mysterious German plan called the Iron Fist threatens the D-Day invasion, and the Nazi in charge is the spy who betrayed Michael’s lover. The werewolf goes to France for king and country, hoping for a chance at bloody vengeance.
"Enjoyable story with characters I liked or hated"