Title Author Description
Frankenstein Mary Shelley "I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion." A summer evening's ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine's room, and a runaway imagination--fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life--conspired to produce for Marry Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein.

Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley's novel of "The Modern Prometheus" chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.

Every Man Dies Alone Hans Fallada From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This disturbing novel, written in 24 days by a German writer who died in 1947, is inspired by the true story of Otto and Elise Hampel, who scattered postcards advocating civil disobedience throughout war-time Nazi-controlled Berlin. Their fictional counterparts, Otto and Anna Quangel, distribute cards during the war bearing antifascist exhortations and daydream that their work is being passed from person to person, stirring rebellion, but, in fact, almost every card is immediately turned over to authorities. Fallada aptly depicts the paralyzing fear that dominated Hitler's Germany, when decisions that previously would have seemed insignificant—whether to utter a complaint or mourn one's deceased child publicly—can lead to torture and death at the hands of the Gestapo. From the Quangels to a postal worker who quits the Nazi party when she learns that her son committed atrocities and a prison chaplain who smuggles messages to inmates, resistance is measured in subtle but dangerous individual stands. This isn't a novel about bold cells of defiant guerrillas but about a world in which heroism is defined as personal refusal to be corrupted. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

A Thousand and One Nights (various) translated by Sir Richard F. Burton Many versions - choosing this one at random

Full of mischief, valor, ribaldry, and romance, The Arabian Nights has enthralled readers for centuries. These are the tales that saved the life of Shahrazad, whose husband, the king, executed each of his wives after a single night of marriage. Beginning an enchanting story each evening, Shahrazad always withheld the ending: A thousand and one nights later, her life was spared forever.
This volume reproduces the 1932 Modern Library edition, for which Bennett A. Cerf chose the most famous and representative stories from Sir Richard F. Burton's multivolume translation, and includes Burton's extensive and acclaimed explanatory notes. These tales, including Alaeddin; or, the Wonderful Lamp, Sinbad the Seaman and Sinbad the Landsman, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, have entered into the popular imagination, demonstrating that Shahrazad's spell remains unbroken.

Pagan Christianity Frank Viola & George Barna (from the back cover)

Are we really doing Church "By The Book"?
Why does the pastor preach a sermon at every service?
Why do church services seem so similar week after week?
Why does the congregation sit passively in pews?
Not sure? This book makes an unsettling proposal: MOST OF WHAT PRESENT-DAY CHRISTIANS DO IN CHURCH EACH SUNDAY IS ROOTED, NOT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, BUT IN PAGAN CULTURE AND RITUALS DEVELOPED LONG AFTER THE DEATH OF THE APOSTLES. Authors Frank Viola and George Barna support their thesis with compelling historical evidence and extensive footnotes that document the origins of our modern Christian church practices.
In the process, the authors uncover the problems that emerge when the church functions more like a business organization than the living organism it was created to be. As you reconsider Christ's revolutionary plan for His church -- to be the head of a fully functioning body in which all believers play an active role -- you'll be challenged to decide whether you can ever do church the same way again.

A Short Border Handbook Gazmend Kapllani Paperback (May 3, 2010)

144 pages
After spending his childhood and school years in Albania, imagining that the mini-skirts and quiz-shows of Italian state TV were the reality of life in the West, and fantasizing accordingly about living on the other side of the border, the death of Hoxha at last enables Gazmend Kapllani to make his escape. However, on arriving in the Promised Land, he finds neither lots of willing leggy lovelies nor a warm welcome from his long-lost Greek cousins. Instead, he gets banged up in a detention centre in a small border town. As Gazi and his fellow immigrants try to find jobs, they begin to plan their future lives in Greece, imagining riches and successes which always remain just beyond their grasp. The sheer absurdity of both their plans and their new lives is overwhelming. Both detached and involved, ironic and emotional, Kapllani interweaves the story of his experience with meditations upon border syndrome - a mental state, as much as a geographical experience - to create a brilliantly observed, amusing and perceptive debut.

The Eyre Affair Jasper Fforde The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Amazon reader review)

Jasper Fforde has a rich imagination that moves in wacky directions, an off-the-wall sense of humor that never quits, and a deep knowledge and love of literature which give shape and substance to this hilarious "thing" he's created. Not really a mystery, sci-fi thriller, satire, or fluffy fantasy, this wild rumpus contains elements of all these but feels like a completely new genre. Fforde combines "real" people from the "historically challenged" world of his plot with characters from classic novels, adding dollops of word play, irony, literary humor, satire--and even a dodo bird--just for spice.
With "real" characters who can stop time or travel back and forth in it, hear their own names (the names here are really terrific!) from 1000 yards away, appear in duplicate before themselves to give advice, travel inside books, and change the outcome of history, the reader journeys through Fforde's looking glass into a different and far more literary universe than the one we know. Thursday Next, a SpecOp-27 in the Literary Detective Division of Special Operations, is looking for Acheron Hades, who has stolen the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed one of the characters in it, thereby changing the story forever. Thursday and the Literatecs are trying to prevent him from getting inside Jane Eyre and committing further murders.
If you have not read Jane Eyre recently, your pleasure in this book will be greatly enhanced if you look up a brief plot summary on-line before proceeding too far--the ending of Jane Eyre as we know it is different from the ending of Jane Eyre as Thursday Next knows it, and the differences themselves become a delightful part of this plot. Though some readers seem to feel that the book would benefit from a bit of pruning in order to strengthen its conclusion, that suggestion seems to me to be too much like Acheron Hades changing Martin Chuzzlewit or Jane Eyre--if you do that, something is irreparably lost--and this book is so much fun that I'd hate to lose even a single word! Mary Whipple

Black Like Me John Howard Griffin Published: 2003-05-06

Paperback: 208 pages
In the Deep South of the 1950s, journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross the color line. Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity-that in this new millennium still has something important to say to every American.

Understanding Europeans Stuart Miller From Library Journal

The first edition of this work was titled Painted in Blood (LJ 2/15/87), and not much has changed in the new edition. Miller has added a new preface and afterword explaining that the original ideas still apply to post-Communist Europe and in many ways to the rest of the non-American world. Miller contrasts American and European outlooks and behavior, offering anecdotal evidence from his studies and travels, his knowledge of European languages, and his marriage to a Belgian as a foundation for generalizing about the European character. He argues that European thought has been dominated by various concepts of hierarchy, class, gender, family, and so on, while America has been more flexible. Europeans are also more conscious of the value of materials than Americans, who pursue and waste goods more than they value them. The American and European cultures are becoming more similar over time, and the challenge is "to adopt the other's good and leave behind as much of the bad as possible." Recommended for European, American studies, and psychology collections that do not own the first edition.
William R. Smith, Johns Hopkins Univ. Lib., Baltimore
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern Day Slave Denver Moore, Ron Hall Meet Denver, a man raised under plantation-style slavery in Louisiana in the 1960s; a man who escaped, hopping a train to wander, homeless, for eighteen years on the streets of Dallas, Texas. No longer a slave, Denver's life was still hopeless-until God moved. First came a godly woman who prayed, listened, and obeyed. And then came her husband, Ron, an international arts dealer at home in a world of Armani-suited millionaires. And then they all came together.

But slavery takes many forms. Deborah discovers that she has cancer. In the face of possible death, she charges her husband to rescue Denver. Who will be saved, and who will be lost? What is the future for these unlikely three? What is God doing?
Same Kind of Different As Me is the emotional story of their story: a telling of pain and laughter, doubt and tears, dug out between the bondages of this earth and the free possibility of heaven. No reader will ever forget it.

Little Bee Chris Cleave Amazon Best of the Month, February 2009: The publishers of Chris Cleave's new novel "don't want to spoil" the story by revealing too much about it, and there's good reason not to tell too much about the plot's pivot point. All you should know going in to Little Bee is that what happens on the beach is brutal, and that it braids the fates of a 16-year-old Nigerian orphan (who calls herself Little Bee) and a well-off British couple--journalists trying to repair their strained marriage with a free holiday--who should have stayed behind their resort's walls. The tide of that event carries Little Bee back to their world, which she claims she couldn't explain to the girls from her village because they'd have no context for its abundance and calm. But she shows us the infinite rifts in a globalized world, where any distance can be crossed in a day--with the right papers--and "no one likes each other, but everyone likes U2." Where you have to give up the safety you'd assumed as your birthright if you decide to save the girl gazing at you through razor wire, left to the wolves of a failing state.