Few winter stories are more affecting than Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl. Written in 1848, and strictly speaking a New Year's Eve story, it showed so clearly then, as it does now, that the Christmas holidays do not represent fireside, food, and presents for all. This story never fails to move, yet it somehow avoids serious sentimentality.
A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-19th century. As the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce drags on, it becomes an obsession to everyone involved. And the issue on an inheritance ultimately becomes a question of murder.
"Ordinary Lives; Extraordinary Circumstances"
Early in Mary Tudor's turbulent reign, Lady Catherine and Lady Mary Grey are reeling after the brutal execution of their elder seventeen-year-old sister, Lady Jane Grey, and the succession is by no means stable. In Sisters of Treason, Elizabeth Freemantle brings these young women to life in a spellbinding Tudor tale of love and politics.
Here are some of the finest poems by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), a unique voice in American poetry. She is known for her short poems, full of acute observations, and deft use of language. This careful but imaginative selection shows the remarkable variety she produced, despite the miniature nature of her medium.
"Beautiful and fragile poetry"
With the same deadpan mania and genius for dislocation that he brought to his internationally acclaimed novels A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami makes this collection of stories a determined assault on the normal. A man sees his favorite elephant vanish into thin air; a newlywed couple suffers attacks of hunger that drive them to hold up a McDonald's in the middle of the night; and a young woman discovers that she has become irresistible to a little green monster who burrows up through her backyard.
Emily lives on a boat, but her mother has always been oddly anxious to keep her out of the water, and it is only when she has her first school swimming lesson that she discovers it is her natural element. As soon as she gets into the sea, she grows a tail!
The story of the life of Jesus of Nazareth is told in the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The word "gospel" comes from old English, and means the "good story"....
The six stories in Haruki Murakami’s mesmerizing collection are set at the time of the catastrophic 1995 Kobe earthquake, when Japan became brutally aware of the fragility of its daily existence. But the upheavals that afflict Murakami’s characters are even deeper and more mysterious, emanating from a place where the human meets the inhuman.
Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Sisters of Treason by Elizabeth Fremantle. Lady Jane Grey has just been executed by her cousin Mary Tudor and her two younger sisters, Mary and Catherine, live in the shadow of their sister's tragic demise. Lady Catherine's fatal flaw is her compulsive desire for love, while clever Lady Mary is burdened with a crooked spine and tiny stature - and both have inherited the curse of royal blood.
"Tudor History at its Finest!"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the most astonishing child prodigy in the history of music, is felt by many people to be the greatest composer who ever lived. Dominated and shaped by a highly intelligent but frustrated and ambitious father, his story sees the development of a unique genius, from precocious and often endearing childhood to liberated fulfillment, unexpected poverty, and a tragically early death. Generously illustrated by Mozart’s music, from his fifth to his final year, this portrait-in-sound reveals a fascinating yet elusive character, drawing richly on the words of the composer himself and those who knew him.
"Mozart, oh Mozart"
Here are 16 tales from one of the great works of the Middle Ages. Ten young people have fled for a while the terrible effects of the Black Death in Florence and, in an idyllic setting, tell a series of brilliant stories, by turns humorous, bawdy, tragic and provocative. This celebration of physical and sexual vitality is Boccaccio’s answer to the sublime other-worldliness of Dante’s Divine Comedy.
This is a story from the Classic Women's Short Stories collection.
The Wouldbegoods, a sequel to The Treasure Seekers, reacquaints us with the six Bastable children: Dora, Oswald, Dicky, Alice, Noël, and H.O. Again, the story is told by you-may-not-know-who, and the children find all sorts of ways in which to amuse themselves in the country during the summer holidays.
When Allie Finkle turns 10 years old, her parents announce that they are moving her and her brothers from their suburban split-level into an ancient Victorian in town. Allie's not at all happy about having to give up her wall-to-wall carpeting for creaky floorboards and creepy secret passageways - not to mention leaving her modern, state-of-the-art suburban school for a rundown, old-fashioned school in the city, populated not, as her old school was, with popular suburban kids, but creative city types.
Anna Karenina enjoys a privileged and aristrocratic lifestyle as the wife of influential government official Alexy Karenin. Yet their ten-year marriage is devoid of tenderness, and when Anna falls in love with the handsome Count Vronsky they embark upon a deep and passionate affair. Reflecting the social conditions of the era in which it was written, Tolstoy's masterpiece sets a doomed love story against a harsh and unforgiving backdrop.
"Excellent dramatization & production by BBC"
This highly enjoyable account of the life of Jane Austen is regarded as the classic biography of one of the greatest English novelists. It illustrates not only the character and opinions of an unusually perceptive and gifted woman, but also the social life amonst the county gentry of Georgian England. Outside her writing, Jane Austen's main interest was her large and affectionate family and their circle of friends.
A dark and humid night on a London highway… a ghostly woman asking directions… and the reader is away on a tale of deceit, murder, madness, stolen identities and scheming cads, elaborate plots and outrageous coincidences, in the company of some of the most extraordinary characters in fiction. Hailed as a classic the moment it was written in 1859, The Woman in White uses a dozen different narrators to tell the tale of a man’s determination to save the woman he loves...
In 1995, the Japanese city of Kobe suffered a massive earthquake. Nearly 6,000 people died. After the Quake was the imaginative response from Japan's leading novelist, Haruki Murakami.
Here are more than 60 eyewitness accounts of notable historical events beginning with the Spartans at Thermopylae in 480 BC through to and including the Bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. Hear of the Black Death of the 1340s, the 1666 Great Fire of London, the Boston Tea Party in 1773, the 1793 Execution of Louis XVI, the Death of Vice Admiral Nelson during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, and the American Civil War (1861-1865).
"A Bit Slow"
Tchaikovsky is one of the most popular composers of all time. His melodies are known to many people who may never have heard his name. They crop up on mobile telephones, alarm clocks and answering machines as often as on records and concert programs. Like his music, the man himself was widely loved, but his inner life was fraught with sufferings, confusions and a deep vein of self-doubt. The drama of his emotional life is vividly reflected in his music, letters and diaries, all of which play a major part in this intimate portrait-in-sound.
"Loved this audible book"