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The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova - Book Review

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova - Book Review



The Shadow Land by
Reviewed by on

Years after the loss of her older brother, Jack, Alexandra Boyd travels to Bulgaria to teach English in homage to her beloved sibling. Soon after arriving in the elegant capital, Sophia, Alexandra stops to help an elderly woman and her companions, only to find one of the party's bags has been mixed up with her own. This is not ordinary luggage: she discovers an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov and realises this is a treasured funeral urn.

Alexandra sets out to reunite the urn with the family, and finds an unusual companion in her taxi driver, Bobby, whose Bulgarian name she is unable to pronounce. This is not so simple a task as she first hopes: Alexandra and Bobby unwittingly travel the country in search of the Lazarov family, learning long the way of Stovan's life as a musician and as a member of a communist labour camp; the brutality of political dissent, and how the past can shape the future in so many subtle ways.

It would be a mistake to compare The Shadow Land with Kostova's previous bestseller, The Historian. They are thematically similar only in the area of the world in which they are set. The Shadow Lands is not a supernatural story, though there is certainly a thrilling element to drive the plot. Instead I would prefer to describe this as a more mature novel: an exploration of a country and it's history; a story of family, relationships, loss and redemption.

The descriptions of Bulgaria, it's history, people and landscapes are truly wonderful. Kostova lets us see the wonder through Alexandra's eyes, her fascination and intrigue as she embarks on an impromptu tour of the country with the dread of an unknown threat hot on her heels. It is a comforting novel, melancholic in places, with a wonderful sense of character development. Reading this, I felt as though I could travel to the places described from the comfort of my sofa!

I sincerely hope that The Shadow Lands receives the credit it deserves, so that readers of this wonderful novel can fully enjoy the experience without in any way expecting similarity with The Historian. It is a slow-burning novel, providing the sensation of a familiar friend, and I was saddened to have finished it simply because I enjoyed it so much!

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review
.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
stars

The Shadow Lands will be published on by Ballantine Books
, and is available to pre-order now from Waterstones.
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Amanda Kennedy
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He Said She Said by Erin Kelley - Book Review

He Said She Said by Erin Kelley - Book Review



Over on Goodreads, there appears a trend for defining books of this genre as "twist-lit". Think of novels like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train in which a defining twist turns everything you had believed on it's head.

This is exactly what He Said She Said did for me. It is the thriller I have waited to read for a long, long time.

I came to read this quite by accident while browsing through ARCs on Netgalley. Featured among the "most requested titles" it was described as domestic noir: a novel featuring a central storyline of a brutal attack and it's aftermath for the two key witnesses. But it is so very much more than that. It is a tour-de-force of impending dread, a psychological joyride through the nuances of truth, trust and control.

The story is told through the eyes of the two central protagonists, Laura and her boyfriend Kit, They are students at first, helping to run a tea stall at a festival in Lizard Point in Devon at the time of the solar eclipse. In the aftermath of totality, Laura stumbles upon a brutal attack on a young woman, followed shortly by Kit. As witnesses, they are drawn into the court case - a case of "he said, she said" in terms of conviction, which lays claim to the novel's title.

Chapters alternate between the past (the eclipse, court case and aftermath) to the present day, and between the viewpoints of both Laura and Kit. This effect is seamless for the most part, though there were a few sections towards the end when I needed to turn back to remind myself "where" in the story I was reading.

A sense of dread pervades throughout this fantastically layered novel. Little by little, the characters' true personality and motivations are revealed. My sense of "the truth" was turned on it's head several times throughout this first reading, particularly around three-quarters of the way through when the major plot twist occurs. I had to read a particular sentence several times before the truth of it sank in. It was masterfully delivered!

One of the most enjoyable - and haunting - elements of He Said She Said is the exploration of dependency and abuse. The lines between these two traits of personality are deliberately blurred: none just for one or two characters, but for all of them. I also really liked the theme of "eclipse chasing", which was fantastically well-researched and added a huge depth to the story to inspire character motivations.

This is such a well-written novel, perfectly delivered and retrospectively haunting. I sincerely hope this received the attention and sales it deserves. In fact, I'm unsure I even want to read another thriller this year: He Said She Said was so good that I'm not sure any other twist-lit title could compare!

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advanced reading copy of this title in exchange for an honest review
.

He Said She Said by will be published on by Hodder & Stoughton.
Reviewed by on .

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
stars (Very highly recommended!)
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Amanda Kennedy
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Hell's gate by Laurent Garde - Book Review

Hell's gate by Laurent Garde - Book Review




In recent weeks, I have read some wonderful titles published by Gaunt Books, home of English translations of popular French works. When browsing the ARCs over on Netgalley I as intrigued by the title, Hell's Gate and requested permission to read. At the time, I was unsure whether this would be a horror/supernatural title, but bore in mind my enjoyment of previously published titled from Gaunt.

To my pleasant surprise, I soon discovered that Hell's Gate is not of the horror genre, Instead, I would suggest this closer to the magical realism genre: a study in grief and revenge in which a grieving father follows in the footsteps of Dante in a journey to Hell.

Neapolitan taxi driver Matteo is consumed with despair when his son, Pippo, gets caught in the crossfire of gang warfare on his way to school. His wife, Gabriella, plunges into the depths of grief and asks Matteo to either bring her son back, or collect the head of the man who murdered him.

A mysterious photograph arrives with the name and address of the murderer, and Matteo readies himself for the moment of revenge. But at the last moment, his nerve fails him. This is more than Gabriella can take: that same day, she leaves her husband to return to her hometown in the hope of losing all memory of the son - and the love - she has lost.

Meanwhile, Matteo encounters strangers in a cafe who raise the possibility that Pippo could be raised from the dead by travelling to a gate where the line between life and death is most blurred. Matteo is able to travel through this gate to Hell itself to find his dead son, but is unable himself to return.

Hell's Gate switched between past and present seamlessly, weaving it's ethereal storyline from Matteo and Gabrielle's past to Pippo's reincarnation in the present day... It is both charming and heartbreaking, each character comes vividly to life through their projected thoughts and actions

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and was very glad to have requested it knowing it may not have been something I'd appreciate.

Hell's Gate will be published by Gallic Books on 11th April 2017 and is available to order from Waterstones and other bookstores
.

Book details:
Hell's Gate by
Publisher: Gallic Books
ISBN: 9781910477328

Reviewed by on

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
stars.
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Amanda Kennedy
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Great British Book Subscription Boxes

Great British Book Subscription Boxes



Subscription boxes have increased in popularity recently. We are tempted by monthly deliveries of geek merchandise, toiletries and even tea!

Just a few months ago, I attempted to discover whether there were any literary subscription boxes to tempt my interest. There were many U.S. based services, but seemingly few in the U.K (at least, none of which piqued my interest). In retrospect, I probably wasn't looking hard enough, or perhaps I didn't Google using the ideal search terms... More recently I discovered a few via the #bookbox tag on Instagram and renewed my search. This time I was able to track down rather a lot, 18 in fact, which serve a wide variety of interests to suit any bookish subscriber who would prefer a more local delivery.

In this post, I present 18 great British book subscription services. Please let us know your favourites, or if there are any services I have missed, in the comments section below.

Tea and Book Club by Bookishly


The Bookishly team are book lovers based in Northamptonshire who create literary gifts, stationery and jewellery.

Their Tea and Book club contains a monthly package of a surprise vintage paperback, 4 luxury teabags and some beautiful Bookishly stationery and costs just £12 a month. An alternative package for coffee-lovers is available for £9, but this doesn't include any stationery.

Find out more about the Tea and Book Club here.


Prudence and the Crow



Prudence and the Crow is operated by a pair of book lovers in London. Monthly surprises in this package include: a vintage paperback selected just for you , a handmade book bag, a library-style card to catalogue your growing collection and random surprises such as bookplates, a bookmark, a pencil, tea or who knows?

When signing up to Prudence and the Crow, you will be able to choose the genre of books you will receive from a predetermined selection or fill in the questionnaire to help the team discover the perfect read for you.

Packages cost just £15 a month with the option to sign up for 1, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months, or as a recurring subscription.

Find out more on the Prudence and the Crow website.


Fairyloot



Fairyloot appears to be a popular choice for British book lovers. Based in London, this service hones in on the YA/Fantasy genre, and includes a monthly provision of a recently released title accompanied by a range of related goodies.

Subscriptions cost £26 per month plus shipping (currently £3.95 for delivery in the UK) which makes it a bit pricier than other subscriptions, but for a brand new hardback and accompanying merchandise we think it is certainly worth the cost.

Find out more on the Fairyloot website.

Warm Vellum Books


Warm Vellum is a unique book subscription service with a particularly interesting ethos:

We offer a personal, bespoke literary remedy for life - a beautifully wrapped treat for yourself or as a gift. Unlike other book subscription services, the book (or combination of books) that we 'prescribe' to you each month is completely tailored to you - not just your tastes and reading history, but your well-being. 
Our specially designed questionnaire takes in to account you mood, situation in life, daily routine, pet peeves - and everything in between, and allows subscribers to update their details each month for a completely intimate, memorable, hopefully life changing reading experience. 
Whatever your age, gender, taste or even if you are not a bookworm yourself yet - we are here to help.
Several services are offered by Warm Vellum, including a monthly Book Box which includes a new hardback title, a vintage Penguin or Pelican, sweet treats and book-themed gifts; a "Year in Books", and a "Bespoke" monthly book subscription.

Monthly subscriptions start at £23.99, though if you prefer to try the service out first you could order a one-off bundle containing two books (but none of the extra goodies) for just £15.99. Delivery is in addition to the cost of subscription and varies depending on the length you choose, but it is very reasonable and costs from just £2 per delivery.

Learn more and subscribe over at Warm Vellum.


The Joy Book Club


The Joy Book Club appears to be a relatively new subscription service which began as a project on Indiegogo.

Each month we send out boxes of BookJoy, containing a great lesser-known book, along with a few gifts themed around that book - these will usually include something yummy, something scented, something cool to display/use and a funky playlist to listen to whilst you enjoy what you're reading.

A monthly box costs £15.99 including delivery.

Find out more on the Joy Book Club website.

Lutyens Rubenstein



Lutyens and Rubenstein is a beautifully curated independent bookshop in Kensington, London. A range of "bespoke services" for bookworms are offered, such as "A Year in Books", the Boarder's Book Club and the Children's Year in Books.

These services are a little pricier than others, starting from £40 for the three month paperback option. However, the service is truly bespoke, requiring careful consideration of a questionnaire in order to tailor posted literature to individual tastes.

Learn more on the Bespoke Services page of the L&R website.


The Nerdy Bookworm Box


The Nerdy Bookworm Box is a curated monthly subscription themed around fantasy and science fiction. Each month, subscribers receive a new hardback plus 4-6 themed goodies and an exclusive mini magazine. Many of the items included are exclusive to the Nerdy Bookworm.

I'm unsure of the monthly cost for subscribers as the current edition is sold out, but you can still order a one-off box for £29.99 which includes shipping within the UK.

Find our more and sign up to the waiting list over on The Nerdy Bookworm website.


Illumicrate


Illumicrate is a quarterly book subscription package run by a lifelong bibliophile and geek fangirl, Daphne.

Each crate contains a recently released fantasy/YA title and 4-6 book-themed goodies,

Subscriptions cost £29.99 per quarter/crate which includes free shipping within the UK.

Learn more and subscribe over on the Illumicrate website.


The Willoughby Book Club


The Willoughby Book Club is an award-winning subscription service based in the small, south Leicestershire village of Willoughby Waterleys.

Several subscriptions are offered, from a children's book club to a fully bespoke service, with prices starting at £29.99 for 3 months.

Visit the Willoughby Book Club website to subscribe or learn more.


The Random Book Club


If you love books and feel like leaving your literary comfort zone, then the Random Book Club is your new best friend! By subscribing for a year, you can experience the sensation of browsing dusty shelves from your own doorstep, with the surprise of not-knowing hat you will receive each month.

Books are selected from the largest second-hand bookstore in Scotland, and subscriptions cost £75 for a whole year, including postage within the UK.

Learn more at The Randon Book Club website.


The Big Green Bookshop


The Big Green Bookshop was founded in 2008 by Tim West and Simon Key when the chain store they had worked in closed down.

Two different types of subscription are available: for adults or children, with prices starting at £25 including delivery within the UK.

Learn more on the Big Green Bookshop subscription page.

Our Mathematical World


Our Mathematical World is a new subscription service from The National Geographic Magazine providing monthly deliveries of mathematical books.

Be seduced by the findings of the greatest minds of all time:
Pythagorus of Samos, Euclid – father of geometry, fractals of Benoit Mandelbrot, Fermat’s last theorem, Riemann’s surfaces, Gauss curvature, Euler’s notational systems, the final proof by Andrew Wiles...
The regular price is £8.99 per issue/book, which translates as £35.96 per month, though there are reductions for the first and second issues, and the alternative premium package which includes additional wooden puzzles.

Learn more on the official website.

Daunt Books


Daunt Books is an independent, London-based bookseller. Several subscription services are available, including fiction, non-fiction, children's books and titles from Daunt Publishing.

Prices start from £148 for a year of paperback reading material, or from £40 for a four-book Daunt publishing subscription.

Learn more on the Daunt Books website.



Persephone Books



Persephone provide a unique monthly book subscription service including titles you are unlikely to find anywhere else:

Persephone Books reprints neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-twentieth century (mostly) women writers. All of our 117 books are intelligent, thought-provoking and beautifully written and are chosen to appeal to busy people wanting titles that are neither too literary nor too commercial. We publish novels, short stories, diaries, memoirs and cookery books; each has an elegant grey jacket, a ‘fabric’ endpaper with matching bookmark, and a preface by writers such as Jilly Cooper, David Kynaston and Elaine Showalter.
Subscriptions to this London-based publisher start from £60 for six months. You can opt for surprise titles or select which book you would prefer to receive each delivery from the options available at the point of subscription.

Learn more or subscribe on this page of the Persephone website.

Mills & Boon


Do you love romantic fiction? If so, a paprback subscription to Mills and Boon could be the perfect choice for you.

Mills and Boon pffer various subscription types and romantic genres, starting from £15.99 a month for four paperbck titles.

Learn more and subscribe on the Mills and Boon website.


My Bookish Crate


My Bookish Crate is ideal for those who enjoy YA novels. Each month's crate includes a new YA hardback plus 4-6 related goodies, many of which are exclusive to this subscription service. It seems as though crates sell out quickly, so be sure to check back often to see whether new crates are available.

The crate costs £28 a month, plus shipping.

Learn more over at My Bookish Crate.

Book and a Brew


Book and a Brew combine a mystery monthly hardback with a package of specially selected tea. Priced at £12.99 a month for British subscribers, this is among the cheaper end of book subscriptions.

Learn more by visiting the Book and a Brew website.

Heywood Hill


Heywood Hill of Mayfair in London may be considered the "chicest subscription on the block". This is a refined book subscription service with a huge range of options to choose from, including a year in books, subscriptions for children, books with Intelligence Squared or Literary Review, and even books for expats!

Possibly my favourite (albeit, the most expensive) option would be the Year of Books for Anglophiles, a quarterly subscription which includes ten important or beautiful, classic or contemporary books recently published in Britain, a mixture of fiction and non-fiction, each of which is accompanied by an illustrated Heywood Hill Bookplate.

Priced start from £100 for a bi-monthly subscription, up to £950 for the Year of Books for Anglophiles.

Learn more over at the Heywood Hill Subscriptions Page.

Which one is your favourite? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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Amanda Kennedy
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Vintage Books to Launch Minis Series

Vintage Books to Launch Minis Series



This June, the publisher Vintage will release a set of 20 "Vintage Minis: short, compelling titles on big subjects collected from the world's greatest writers.

Each Vintage Mini will comprise of a complete reading experience and will be around 100 pages long. The titles are to be published in A-Format (the size of most mass-market paperbacks) and will feature a range of fiction, non-fiction and essays.

The cover designs for the series are minimalist but vibrant; a different designer was chosen for each edition. Priced at just £3.50 each, they are sure to please readers who would like to broaden their reading habits with a short dose and perhaps inspire exploration into lengthier works from Vintage's back catalogue.



Here are each of the titles, which will be available in bookstores from June 1st, 2017:

Desire by Haruki Murakami

Love by Jeanette Winterson

Babies by Anne Enright

Language by Xiaolu Guo

Motherhood by Helen Simpson

Fatherhood by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Summer by Laurie Lee

Jealousy by Marcel Proust

Sisters by Louisa May Alcott

Homeland by Salman Rushdie

Race by Toni Morrison

Liberty by Virginia Woolf

Swimming by Roger Deakin

Work by Joseph Heller

Depression by Willian Styron

Drinking by John Cheever

Eating by Nigella Lawson

Psychedelics by Aldous Huxley

Calm by Tim Parks

Death by Julian Barnes

Learn more about the forthcoming collection from the Vintage website.


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Amanda Kennedy
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Download Flore! - A free short eBook by Adria J. Cimino

Download Flore! - A free short eBook by Adria J. Cimino



If you enjoy stories set in Paris, you may want to check out the work of Adria J. Camino, who has recently released her fourth novel, Paris Rue Des Martyrs.

Those who subscribe to Cimino's email newsletter can currently download her short story, Flore, for free.

Apolline goes to Café de Flore in her chic Parisian neighborhood every week with her mother and grandmother. But today, after the teatime routine, she dares to return alone… for an intriguing encounter.
"Flore" is the first in a series of Café Life stories by Adria J. Cimino. In this volume, it is accompanied by "Love Unlocked", one of the author’s stories from the anthology That's Paris. 
Visit Adria J. Cimino's website to learn more or subscribe.

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Amanda Kennedy
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50 Books that are Books - A List by Ben Hechts

50 Books that are Books - A List by Ben Hechts




Back in the 1920's, celebrated screenwriter Ben Hechts wrote an article called "50 Books that are Books" in a column in The Chicago Daily News. This was in response to a letter from a friend who had requested a list of 50 books as the basis for a compact personal library:

As for the library, I want no more than fifty books. And none of them modern; that is, no novels that are coming off the presses these last ten years. Are there fifty intelligent books in the world?

To create his list, Hechts sat down in front of his typewriter to recall 50 such books from memory: "Ten minutes in front of the bookshelves and there would be five hundred volumes, all demanding recognition".

The following is a list of the 50 books Hechts recommends complete with his descriptions, along with (where applicable) links to where they can be downloaded as free digital editions*.

1. The Idiot by Dostoevsky. A marvelous novel. For years it has remained in my mind as the best book I ever read.
Download digital editions

2. The House of the Dead by Dostoevsky. A marvelous novel. For years it has remained in my mind as the best book I ever read.
Download digital editions

3. At the Sign of the Reine Pedauque, by Anatole France. An epitome of the venom and listlessness which have been celebrated as the irony of M. France.
Download digital editions (French language)

4. The Opinions of Jerome Coinard, by Anatole France
Download digital editions (French)


5. The Genealogy of Morals, by Freiderich Nietzsche. Dynamite. Beware.
Download digital editions

6. Ecce Homo, by Frederick Nietzsche. More dynamite, but diluted with skyrockets.
Download digital editions

7. Zarathustra, by F. Nietzsche. As quaintly written as the Bible.
Download digital editions

8. The Legend of Tyll Eulenspiegel, by De Coster. A historical novel crowded with poetry, pep and pleasure. A book to place alongside...
Download digital editions: Vol. 1 | Vol. 2

9. The Works of Francois Rabelais. A rococo mausoleum, in which the soul of man lies in its happiest incarnation.
Download digital editions

10. The Romance of Leonardo Da Vinci, by Daniel Merjckowski
Download digital editions

11. Natural Philosophy of Love, by Remy de Gourmont, in which Ezra Pound in an epilogue reveals what an ass he is and what boobs contemporary scribblers in the main are, alongside the genius of de Gourmont.
Download digital editions

12. Morbid Fears and Compulsions, by Frink. The best orchestration of the psychanalysis (sic) penumbral I have encountered.
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

13. The Psychology of Insanity- - Hart. A tiny volume which tells all there is to be told about the thing. A blue print of modern thinking.
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

14. Fathers and Sons, by Turgenev. As I remember it there was a character called Bazarov or Barazov in this book. I tried to imitate Bazarov or Barazov for three years.
Download digital editions

15. Masks and Minstrels of New Germany, by Percival Pollard. Pollard used to drink wine at the old Richeleau Hotel on Michigan Avenue.
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

16. Affirmations, by Havelock Ellis. James Huneker looted Havelock Ellis and Havelock Ellis looted de Gourmont.
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

17. A Book of Masks, by Remy de Gourmont. Nearly all modern literary criticism derives from 17.
Download digital editions

18. En Route, by J.K Huysmans. His A Rebours is a better book but it is still untranslated. But En Route is good enough. Huysmans poured his passion into a vocabulary. His phrases are the adventure of proud syllables.
Download Digital Editions

19. The Golden Ass, by Signore Apelius. Which supplied Signor Boccaccio and Signor Cervantes with almost too much material.
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

20. The Lives of the Caesars, by Suetonius. Biography that reads like an old-fashioned Fourth of July gone mad.
Download digital editions (volumes 1-14)

21. The Satyricon of Petronius Arbiter. In which the unholy Roman Empire of Nero bows itself into the oblivion celebrated by the platitudinous Mr. Gibbon.
Download digital editions

22. Margaret de Valois, by Alexander Dumas. De Medici, Henri of Navarre, Charles the Ninth, the poisoned page; the poisoned glove- -death! A book for the intellectual's hammock.
Download digital editions

23. The History of Art, by Elie Faure. The song of the ages, the soul of man, the torment, tragedy, the beauty of life- - there was never another work like this written.
Download digital editions (Open Library)

24. The Crowd, by LeBon. An antidote and an explanation.
Download digital editions

25. The Golden Bough, by Frazer. Anthropology. The marvelous, the hideous, the illuminating beginning of his majesty the American citizen.
Download digital editions

26. The French Revolution, by Carlisle. A dyspeptic dramatist. History on a jazz band. I prefer it that way.
Download digital editions

27. M'mselle de Maupin, by Gautier. Its preface anticipates H. L. Mencken. The novel itself is Rabelais played on the violin.
Download digital editions

28. Maggie, by Stephen Crane. Together with 29. George's Mother, by Stephen Crane, constituting the great American novel.
Download digital editions

29. George's Mother by Stephen Crane, constituting the great American novel.
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

30. The Hill of Dreams, by Arthur Machen. To be read for its delicate Satanism.
Download digital editions

31. Winesburg, Ohio, by Sherwood Anderson. The evangel of the American Renaissance.
Download digital editions

32. Travel Pictures, by Heinrich Heine. Lingers like old wine in my memory.
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

33. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, who had intelligence enough to steal it from J.K. Huysman's A Rebours.
Download digital editions

34.  Decameron, by Boccaccio, who was the literary adviser of my favorite Spanish Italian, Caesar Borgia.
Download digital editions

35. Prejudices, First Series, by H. L. Mencken, the berserker Americano.
Download digital editions

36. Tono-Bungay, by an H. G. Wells who had not yet ascended the soapbox.
Downoad digital editions

37. The Egoist, by George Meredith. To whom I still bow in passing.
Download digital editions

38.  Celibates, by George Moore. A sneering, vicious volume, lightly done.
Download digital editions

39. Spiritual Adventures, by Arthur Symons, which contains my favorite short story about a piano player called Travelgya or Treveylga or something else.
Download digital editions

40. Sons and Lovers, by D. H. Lawrence. As profound and beautiful a novel as England has ever turned out.
Download digital editions

41. The Genius, by Theodore Dreiser.
Download digital editions

42. Volume 6 of Burton's Arabian Nights, in which Bagdad (sic) dreams again.
Download digital editions

43. The Memoirs, by Ben Cellini.
Download digital editions

44. Salambo, by G. Flaubert. I almost forgot Salambo, beside which Madame Bovary is a stutter in monosyllables and inanities.
Download digital editions

45. The Queen's Quair, by Maurice Hewlett. I read it on a boat and it kept me from seasickness.
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

46. The Mystic Rose by Crawley
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

47. Chicago Poems, by Sandburg.
Download digital editions (Archive.org)

48. The Renaissance by Gobineau
Download digital editions (French, Archive.org)

49. Joan of Arc
Download digital editions

50. Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain (condensed in the original).
Download digital editions

*Unless otherwise noted, links are to download pages on Project Gutenberg.

What do you think of this list? Have you ever considered making a list of our own, relying only on memory? Please feel free to leave your own ideas and comments below.
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Amanda Kennedy
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