Native Son by Richard Wright

October 17, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman […]

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Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life by Arnold Schwarzenegger

September 22, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): His story is unique, and uniquely entertaining, and he tells it brilliantly in these pages. He was born in a year of famine, in a small Austrian town, the son of an austere police chief. He dreamed of moving to America to become a bodybuilding champion and a movie star. By […]

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The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

September 17, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): “There, in the middle of the broad, bright high-road—there, as if it had that moment sprung out of the earth or dropped from the heaven—stood the figure of a solitary Woman, dressed from head to foot in white garments.” Thus young Walter Hartright first meets the mysterious woman in white […]

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Mr. Monk Gets on Board by Hy Conrad

August 17, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Of all the things that make Adrian Monk uneasy, change ranks high on the list. So when Natalie completes her P.I. license—and technically becomes Monk’s boss—it’s not easy for him to accept. Nor can he accept Natalie attending a business seminar at sea without him, even if it means spending […]

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Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

July 24, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are […]

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The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

July 19, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): 1878 Paris. Following their father’s sudden death, the van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opéra, […]

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A Death in the Family by James Agee

May 31, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Published in 1957, two years after its author?s death at the age of forty-five, A Death in the Family remains a near-perfect work of art, an autobiographical novel that contains one of the most evocative depictions of loss and grief ever written. As Jay Follet hurries back to his home […]

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Light in August by William Faulkner

May 16, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): Light in August, a novel about hopeful perseverance in the face of mortality, features some of Faulkner’s most memorable characters: guileless, dauntless Lena Grove, in search of the father of her unborn child; Reverend Gail Hightower, who is plagued by visions of Confederate horsemen; and Joe Christmas, a desperate, enigmatic […]

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My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead

April 18, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): Rebecca Mead was a young woman in an English coastal town when she first read George Eliot’s Middlemarch, regarded by many as the greatest English novel. After gaining admission to Oxford, and moving to the United States to become a journalist, through several love affairs, then marriage and family, Mead read […]

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Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

April 3, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): In 1831 Alexis de Tocqueville, a young French aristocrat and ambitious civil servant, made a nine-month journey throughout America. The result was Democracy in America, a monumental study of the life and institutions of the evolving nation. Tocqueville looked to the flourishing democratic system in America as a possible model for […]

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