Book Review: Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Published by Penguin Books on July 27, 1959 (originally published September 17, 1954)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, classics

Format & Length: e-book, 189

Source: library

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At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable tale about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”

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Book Review: The Painted Veil, by W. Somerset Maugham

The Painted Veil, by W. Somerset Maugham

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

Published by Vintage International on February 10, 2004 (originally published April 1925)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, classics, historical fiction

Format & Length: paperback, 246

Source: purchased

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Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful but love-starved Kitty Fane. When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.

The Painted Veil is a beautifully written affirmation of the human capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.

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Book Review: Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Published by Penguin Classics on November 6, 2008 (first published December 1847)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, classics

Format & Length: hardcover, 353

Source: purchased

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In a house haunted by memories, the past is everywhere … As darkness falls, a man caught in a snowstorm is forced to shelter at the strange, grim house Wuthering Heights. It is a place he will never forget. There he will come to learn the story of Cathy: how she was forced to choose between her well-meaning husband and the dangerous man she had loved since she was young. How her choice led to betrayal and terrible revenge – and continues to torment those in the present. How love can transgress authority, convention, even death.

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Book Review: Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot's Christmas, by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Published by HarperPaperbacks  in December 1992 (first published December 19, 1938)

Series: Hercule Poirot, #20

Genre(s): fiction, classics, crime,  mystery

Format & Length: paperback, 243

Source: purchased

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Agatha Christie, the acknowledged mistress of suspense–creator of indomitable sleuth Miss Marple, meticulous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, and so many other unforgettable characters–brings her entire oeuvre of ingenious whodunits, locked room mysteries, and perplexing puzzles to audio. In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, the holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder–and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case. The wealthy Simeon Lee has demanded that all four of his sons–one faithful, one prodigal, one impecunious, one sensitive–and their wives return home for Christmas. But a heartwarming family holiday is not exactly what he has in mind. He bedevils each of his sons with barbed insults and finally announces that he is cutting off their allowances and changing his will. Poirot is called in the aftermath of Simeon Lee’s announcement.

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Book vs. Movie: A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Published by Square Fish in May 2007 (originally published 1962)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, adventure, classics, fantasy, middle grade, science fiction

Format & Length: paperback, 247

Source: library

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Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.

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Book vs. Movie: Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Published by Harper Collins on November 1991 (first published 1934)

Series: Hercule Poirot, #10

Genre(s): fiction, classics, crime, mystery, suspense

Format & Length: paperback, 256

Source: purchased

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“The murderer is with us—on the train now . . .”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Without a shred of doubt, one of his fellow passengers is the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.

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Book Review: Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Published by Barnes & Noble on June 1, 2009

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, classics

Format & Length: e-book, 432

Source: purchased

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“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Thus memorably begins Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, one of the world’s most popular novels. Pride and Prejudice—Austen’s own “darling child”—tells the story of fiercely independent Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters who must marry rich, as she confounds the arrogant, wealthy Mr. Darcy. What ensues is one of the most delightful and engrossingly readable courtships known to literature, written by a precocious Austen when she was just twenty-one years old.

Humorous and profound, and filled with highly entertaining dialogue, this witty comedy of manners dips and turns through drawing-rooms and plots to reach an immensely satisfying finale. In the words of Eudora Welty, Pride and Prejudice is as “irresistible and as nearly flawless as any fiction could be.”

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