Ishmael, a sailor looking for his next adventure, and his friend who happens to be a former prince, sign up to join a whaling ship in Nantucket. The morning before they set sail on their voyage, many ominous signs of what the pair's fate may be are seen and heard through sermon and prophecy as the two friends ignore the warnings and make their way to the docks. Soon into the trip, the one-legged Captain Ahab announces that the whaling adventure is really a hunt for one very specific large, white sperm whale.
"An American Classic"
Ulysses takes us on the journey of two men, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus, through an hour-by-hour account of their lives for one day. These men cross paths in a series of coincidental events and listeners learn how interconnected they are even though they are not friends.
A Tale of Two Cities is a story of love, mystery, suspense, and action all rolled up into one beautifully written novel taking place in two prominent cities, Paris and London, during the French Revolution. The story follows the release and rehabilitation of Dr. Manette, a man falsely imprisoned in the Bastille in France for almost two decades. While trouble is brewing in France with citizens being starved and taxed to death, Dr. Manette is taken to London by Mr. Lorrie, a prominent business man, and Lucie, Dr. Manette's daughter.
A Treatise of Human Nature is the first work ever published by David Hume, a man who revolutionized our understanding of philosophy. Hume was an advocate of the skeptical school of philosophy and a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. He looks at the nature of human experience and cognition, showing that philosophy and reason can only be reflections of our nature.
Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, is a personal narrative about Thoreau's solitary living experience near Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Starting with the building of his cabin by the pond in 1845, Thoreau recounts his experience away from society and city life. Thoreau spends his time growing beans for money while appreciating the beautiful wilderness around him. Although he lives a solitary life for nearly two years, Thoreau explains that he does not feel as isolated as one might think.
"Classic text ineptly read by BBC newscaster"
Chesterton's compilation of essays in Heretics discusses the difference in Orthodoxy and Heretics, rational vs. irrational, and denial vs. affirmation. He questions the reason for the existence of man and the universe and calls out many prominent figures in the artistic and literary fields for their unorthodox ideas; thus labeling them heretics. He will have you thinking of favorite authors like Rudyard Kipling, Oscar Wilde, and H.G. Wells in a new light, challenging their ideals and morals.
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins begins with Mr. John Herncastle stealing a mysterious yellow diamond from the statue of a sacred Indian god while fighting with the British army in India. The diamond makes it way to back England after John Herncastle returns from his tour with the British army. The sacred diamond is bestowed to a young woman, Rachel Verinder, a relative of John Herncastle, on her 18th birthday.
The book acts as a guide which explains how Christianity is the best choice for all human beings, not because it's outside of our world and an independent truth, but because it is the answer to our base needs and desires. Only when Christianity is seen as a way of life instead of a belief can the true power of the faith be realized.
The Pilgrim's Progress is written as a dream by author John Bunyan, a strict religious man with Puritan beliefs who began writing the book while imprisoned for his religious convictions. The dream is of a man named Christian who is tormented by spiritual anguish. A spirit guide appears to him and explains to him the path he must take to salvation.
The Secret Garden is a wonderful children's book that explores the nature of curiosity and perseverance. When the young and sickly Mary Lennox is shipped off to her uncle's mansion after her parents' deaths, Mary doesn't know what to do. She feels alone and isolated within the confines of the giant Misselthwaite Mansion. Gradually, and without her uncle's knowledge, she builds new friendships with the staff of the mansion and her strength builds so that she is not as sickly as she had once been.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a classic novel set in the 1800s that explores the revelations of the simple housewife, Edna Pontellier. While on vacation with her husband and her two sons in the Grand Isle near New Orleans, Edna makes new friendships that transform her ordinary life and perspective upside down.
"An awakening for my ears"
A poverty stricken old man, Toby "Trotty" Veck, who does odd messenger jobs for cash is in wonder at the cruelty and heartlessness of the world. He contemplates whether people are good or bad and through a series of events with a prostitute and her abusive pimp, corrupt politicians, purse thieves, and a mother who commits suicide after killing her child, he sees that people are indeed vile and evil beings who must be born that way to be so awful.
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells is an action-packed, science fiction novel that was written in 1897 and is told through the eyes of two brothers who live through an alien invasion. The story is an unbiased account and observation of the alien invasion, and has led to the creation of hundreds of books and movies. H.G. Wells is one of the first authors to tackle the "what if" scenario of an alien invasion.
The Antichrist was aptly named. It is not so much aimed at the expression of any new perspective or in support of the expansion of knowledge but rather represents an effort to undo the religious interference Nietzsche believed worked against the advancement of culture and knowledge. In many ways he was the mouthpiece for the most unfavorable logical conclusions that rose to the fore in the meeting of the scientific and Christian perspective.
"I'm learning Nietzsche I don't need sparkly sounds"
Initiation into Philosophy is a broad overview of the development of philosophy. Emile Faguet covers all major philosophical developments from the ancient times to the modern era, showing the tracks of the growth of reason over the course of Western civilization. He shows how each philosophical movement initiates and lays the groundwork for the next. This is essentially a comprehensive review of the study of thought and the conception of the world.
The Science of Human Nature is a comprehensive introduction to psychology from the standpoint of an educator. Pyle examines the nature and purpose of psychology and the potential this science has for education and for other aspects of life. Due to the emphasis on education, this text is replete with useful and practical knowledge on how to learn and to teach.