John Burnham Schwartz bases his fourth novel on the Empress Michiko and Crown Princess Masako of Japan. Though Japanese imperial life remains shrouded in mystery, Schwartz teases out the details through extensive research. Much to the astonishment and pleasure of the critics, he gives Haruko an authentic and completely convincing voice. While his vivid depictions of postwar Japan are stunning, it is Haruko’s vibrant inner life that propels the narrative and resounds with readers. Though not as intense as Reservation Road (1998), Schwartz’s unflinching portrayal of the aftermath of a child’s death, and though slightly marred by an implausible ending, The Commoner will captivate readers by providing a haunting look into the 2,000 years of secrets surrounding the Chrysanthemum Throne.
Nathaniel Hawthorne - The Scarlet Letter
America’s first psychological novel, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter is a dark tale of love, crime, and revenge set in colonial New England. It revolves around a single, forbidden act of passion that forever alters the lives of three members of a small Puritan community: Hester Prynne, an ardent and fierce woman whobears the punishment of her sin in humble silence; the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, a respected public figure who is inwardly tormented by long-hidden guilt; and the malevolent Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s husband—a man who seethes with an Ahab-like lust for vengeance. The landscape of this classic novel is uniquely American, but the themes it explores are universal—the nature of sin, guilt, and penitence, the clash between our private and public selves, and the spiritual and psychological cost of living outside society. Constructed with the elegance of a Greek tragedy, The Scarlet Letter brilliantly illuminates the truth that lies deep within the human heart.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - Tender is the Night
To the French Riviera come Dick and Nicole Diver. Handsome, rich and glamorous, their dinners are legendary, their atmosphere magnetic. But something is wrong - Nicole has a secret and Dick a weakness. Together they head towards the rocks on which their lives crash - and only one of them really survives. Fitzgerald worked on seventeen versions of this novel, the obsessions of which consumed his marriage and his life.
Nicholas Sparks - A Walk to Remember
"When I was seventeen, my life changed forever"... So begins Nicholas Sparks' touching tale of Landon Carter, a teenage boy living in the small town of Beaufort, North Carolina in the late 1950s. Landon is a typical teenager who just wants to have a fun senior year before heading off to college. The last thing he anticipated is Jamie Sullivan, the sweet, pious daughter of the town's Baptist minister. But on the evening of Beaufort's annual Christmas pageant, Landon will undergo a change of heart that will forever alter the course of his life. In the months that follow, Landon discovers truths that it takes most people a lifetime to learn- truths about the nature of beauty, the joy of giving, the pain of loss, and, most of all, the transformational power of love.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Beautiful and Damned
The Beautiful and Damned is the story of Anthony Patch and his wife, Gloria. Harvard-educated and an aspiring aesthete, Patch is waiting for his inheritance upon his grandfather's death. His reckless marriage to Gloria is fueled by alcohol and is destroyed by greed. The Patches race through a series of alcohol-induced fiascoes -- first in hilarity, and then in despair. The Beautiful and Damned, a devastating portrait of the nouveaux riches, New York night life, reckless ambition, and squandered talent, was published in 1922 on the heels of Fitzgerald's first novel. It signaled his maturity as a storyteller and, more important, as a novelist.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
The exemplary novel of the Jazz Age, F. Scott Fitzgeralds' third book, The Great Gatsby (1925), stands as the supreme achievement of his career. T. S. Eliot read it three times and saw it as the "first step" American fiction had taken since Henry James; H. L. Mencken praised "the charm and beauty of the writing," as well as Fitzgerald's sharp social sense; and Thomas Wolfe hailed it as Fitzgerald's "best work" thus far. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when, The New York Times remarked, "gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession," it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s that resonates with the power of myth. A novel of lyrical beauty yet brutal realism, of magic, romance, and mysticism, The Great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.
Milena Agus - Szerelemkő
A nagyon fiatal szárd írónő a 2007-es esztendőben ezzel a regényével valósággal berobbant az európai irodalomba. Titka egyszerű: vannak történetei. És ezeket meg tudja írni – abban a mágikus realista stílusban, amely García Marquez irodalmi jelenléte óta az olvasók kedvence. Ahogyan valamikor az általa felmutatott város, az ő Macondója lett a mi legintimebb belső városunk, úgy teremtődik meg bennünk a könyv olvasásakor Cagliari, a város Szardínia szigetén, mert lakói valahogyan rokonai a kolumbiaiaknak. Tele vannak érzelemmel: büszkeséggel, hűséggel, szeretetvággyal. De tele vannak elfojtással, előítélettel, csalatkozásokkal is, mindez nehéz kövekként nyomja őket, elzárva az utat a kitárulkozás, az önfeledtség felé. Egy család, pontosabban három generáció története az amerikai partraszállástól napjainkig, női sorsokon keresztül, amelyek része siker és megaláztatás, büszkeség és pusztító szenvedély, majd dühödt rombolási vágy, megvalósulni nem tudó tehetség. Az írónő könnyes humorral, szeretettel és iróniával szövi köréjük az elbeszélő múlt megbocsátó fátyolát.
Alessandro Baricco - Selyem
A hazájában már elismert írónak számító Baricco számára ez az 1996-ban megjelent könyv hozta el a nagy áttörést, a nemzetközi sikert. A XIX. század második felében játszódó regény főhőse a katonai karrier helyett a kereskedelmi utazó kalandos életét választó Hervé Joncour, akinek eleinte Észak-Afrikába, később pedig Japánba kell utaznia a selyemgyártásra szakosodott városkája megélhetését biztosító selyemhernyópetékért. S hogy miért vállalkozik egy boldog házasságban élő fiatalember ilyen fáradságos és veszélyes útra még azután is, hogy Japán a polgárháború zűrzavarába süllyed? Hervé Joncour kielégíthetetlen vágyától hajtva kel ismét útra, mert egyetlen pillantásával megigézte őt annak a japán nagyúrnak a kedvese, akivel üzletelni szokott. "Mondhatnánk, hogy szerelmi történet. De ha csupán az volna, nem érné meg elmondani" - írta Baricco a _Selyem_ről -, és valóban: ez a finom erotikával átszőtt rövid regény az emberi lét alapkérdéseivel szembesíti az olvasót. A könyv alapján készült filmet 2007-ben mutatták be (rendező: François Girard).
Ford Madox Ford - Parade's End
With his acclaimed masterpiece Parade's End, Ford Madox Ford set himself a work of immense scale and ambition: "I wanted the Novelist in fact to appear in his really proud position as historian of his own time... The 'subject' was the world as it culminated in the war." Published in four parts between 1924 and 1928, his extraordinary novel centers on Christopher Tietjens, an officer and a gentleman -- "the last English Tory"--and follows him from the secure, orderly world of Edwardian England into the chaotic madness of the First World War. Against the backdrop of a world at war, Ford recounts the complex sexual warfare between Tietjens and his faithless wife, Sylvia. A work of truly amazing subtlety and profundity, Parade's End affirms Graham Greene's prediction: "There is no novelist of this century more likely to live than Ford Madox Ford."
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
The Collector's Library in Colour takes the favourite illustrated titles of The Collector's Library and presents them in full colour. Jane Austen's best-loved novel is a memorable story about the inaccuracy of first impressions, about the power of reason, and above all about the strange dynamics of human relationships and emotions. Here, where Hugh Thomson's delightful period illustrations were originally black-and-white, they have been sensitively coloured by Barbara Frith, one of Britain 's most accomplished colourists. A tour de force of wit and sparkling dialogue, Pride and Prejudice shows how the headstrong Elizabeth Bennett and the aristocratic Mr Darcy must have their pride humbled and their prejudices dissolved before they can acknowledge their love for each other." With an Afterword by Henry Hitchings.
Elizabeth Gilbert - Committed
At the end of her bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both were survivors of previous horrific divorces. Enough said.) But providence intervened one day in the form of the United States government, which - after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing - gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again. Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving into this topic completely, trying with all her might to discover through historical research, interviews, and much personal reflection what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is. Told with Gilbert's trademark wit, intelligence and compassion, Committed attempts to 'turn on all the lights' when it comes to matrimony, frankly examining questions of compatibility, infatuation, fidelity, family tradition, social expectations, divorce risks and humbling responsibilities. Gilbert's memoir is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.
Arthur Golden - Egy gésa emlékiratai
Elbűvölő, lélegzetelállító történet egy titokzatos világról, amely egy letűnt kultúra rejtelmeibe, egy japán gésa életébe enged bepillantani. A történet egy szegény halászfaluból elkerülő 9 éves, kék szemű kislányról szól, akit eladnak egy gésa házba . A hű önéletrajzi leírásból tanúi lehetünk élete átalakulásának, miközben beletanul a gésák szigorú művészetébe, ahol a szerelem csak illúzió, ahol a szüzesség a legmagasabb áron kel el, ahol a nő feladata, hogy szolgáljon és tudásával elbűvölje a befolyásos férfiakat. Átélhetjük a háború okozta változást, amely egy új életforma kialakítására kényszeríti a gésákat, nem hoz szabadságot csak kétségbeesést és vívódást.
E. M. Forster - A Room with a View
Lucy has her rigid, middle-class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight cousin Charlotte, and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance. Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini: flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish, the Cockney Signora, eccentric Mr Emerson and. most of all, his passionate son George. Lucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Victorian England, personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse, until she finally learns to follow the power of her own heart. A Room with a View was brought to life in a film starring Helena Bonham Carter.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - This Side of Paradise
Published in 1920, _This Side of Paradise_ was Scott Fitzgerald's first novel. It chimed precisely with the brittle mood of the bright young things of the Jazz Age : indeed its instant appeal could be compared to the success of _The Catcher in the Rye_ thirty years later. In a series of literary snapshots Fitzgerald describes the adolescence and youth of Amory Blaine, in the course of which we see an egotist evolve into a personage. Princeton University never quite forgave the author for his version of the racy and hectic life of the young gentlemen of the day - smart, vain, snobbish, idle, thoughtless, but as effervescent as soda-water in leisure and love.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Last Tycoon
_The Love of the Last Tycoon_, edited by the preeminent Fitzgerald scholar Matthew J. Bruccoli, is a restoration of the author's phrases, words, and images that were excised from the 1940 edition, giving new luster to an unfinished literary masterpiece. It is the story of the young Hollywood mogul Monroe Stahr, who was inspired by the life of boy-genius Irving Thalberg, and is an expose of the studio system in its heyday.
Suzanne Collins - Catching Fire
This is the second book in the ground-breaking "Hunger Games" trilogy. After winning the brutal Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta return to their district, hoping for a peaceful future. But their victory has caused rebellion to break out ...and the Capitol has decided that someone must pay. As Katniss and Peeta are forced to visit the districts on the Capitol's Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. Unless they can convince the world that they are still lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. Then comes the cruelest twist: the contestants for the next Hunger Games are announced, and Katniss and Peeta are forced into the arena once more.
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
First in the ground-breaking HUNGER GAMES trilogy. Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a lve event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forwar to take her younger sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. Fo her, survival is second nature.
Nicole Krauss - The History of Love
Leo Gursky is just about surviving life in America, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbour know he's still alive, drawing attention to himself at the milk counter of Starbucks. But life wasn't always like this: sixty years ago, in the Polish village where he was born, Leo fell in love and wrote a book. And, although he doesn't know it yet, the book survived, inspiring fabulous circumstances, even love. Fourteen-year-old Alma was named after a character in that very book and although she has her hands full keeping track of her little brother Bird (who thinks he might be the Messiah), and taking copious notes on How to Survive in the Wild, she undertakes an adventure to find her namesake, and save her family. In her extraordinary new novel Nicole Krauss has created some of the most memorable and moving characters in recent fiction. In its heartbreaking exploration of hope and survival, of loneliness and the redemptive power of love, The History of Love confirms Nicole Krauss as one of the most remarkable writers of her generation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
David Foster Wallace - Infinite Jest
A gargantuan, mind-altering comedy about the Pursuit of Happiness in America Set in an addicts' halfway house and a tennis academy, and featuring the most endearingly screwed-up family to come along in recent fiction, Infinite Jest explores essential questions about what entertainment is and why it has come to so dominate our lives; about how our desire for entertainment affects our need to connect with other people; and about what the pleasures we choose say about who we are. Equal parts philosophical quest and screwball comedy, Infinite Jest bends every rule of fiction without sacrificing for a moment its own entertainment value. It is an exuberant, uniquely American exploration of the passions that make us human - and one of those rare books that renew the idea of what a novel can do.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - Flappers and Philosophers
Flappers and Philosophers was F. Scott Fitzgerald's initial encore - his first collection of short fiction, published in 1920 to capitalize on the success of This Side of Paradise, the novel that had made him famous at the age of twenty-three. Flappers and Philosophers contains some of Fitzgerald's best early stories: 'The Offshore Pirate' 'Bernice Bobs Her Hair', 'The Ice Palace', and 'Benediction'. In these narratives Fitzgerald presented his prototypical Jazz-Age heroines, beautiful and willful young women who later became trademarks of his fiction.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - A nagy Gatsby
Azt mondod, hogy a múltat nem lehet újra élni? Miért ne lehetne? Jay Gatsby, a titokzatos milliomos felemelkedésének, tündöklésének és bukásának története nemcsak a dekadens és túlhabzó „dzsesszkorszakot”, a húszas éveket jeleníti meg művészi tökéllyel, hanem az amerikai mitológia, „az amerikai álom” olyan örök témáit is, mint ambíció, pénz és hatalom bűvölete, a lehetetlen megkísértése és az újrakezdés lehetősége. A szegény sorból származó Gatsby beleszeret egy gazdag lányba, Daisybe; a háború elsodorja őket egymástól, s míg a fiatalember a tengerentúlon harcol, a lány férjhez megy egy faragatlan, ámde dúsgazdag emberhez, Tom Buchananhez. Hazatérése után Gatsby fanatikus akarással (és az eszközökben nem válogatva) vagyont szerez, hogy „méltó” legyen Daisyhez és újra meghódíthassa az asszonyt, akinek még a hangja is „csupa pénz”.