Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

September 11, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): In the classic Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, the most important writer of the 20th century, explores the common ground upon which all of those of Christian faith stand together. Bringing together Lewis’ legendary broadcast talks during World War Two from his three previous books The Case for Christianity, Christian Behavior, and […]


East of Eden by John Steinbeck

April 15, 2014

Plot summary (from the publisher): In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and […]


Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

April 7, 2014

Summary (from the publisher): John D. Rockefeller, Sr.–history’s first billionaire and the patriarch of America’s most famous dynasty–is an icon whose true nature has eluded three generations of historians. Now Ron Chernow, the National Book Award-winning biographer of the Morgan and Warburg banking families, gives us a history of the mogul “etched with uncommon objectivity […]


All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

November 3, 2012

Summary (from the publisher): Take an unforgettable journey through the English countryside and into the homes of its inhabitants– four-legged and otherwise– with the world’s best-loved animal doctor. For over 25 years– since All Creatures Great and Small was first published– readers have delighted to the storytelling genius of James Herriot, the Yorkshire veterinarian whose […]


The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

August 18, 2012

Plot summary (from the publisher): Rachel Verinder, a young Englishwoman, inherits a large Indian diamond on her eighteenth birthday. It is a legacy from her uncle, a corrupt English army officer who served in India. The diamond is of great religious significance as well as being extremely valuable, and three Hindu priests have dedicated their […]


Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

June 10, 2012

Plot summary (from the publisher): When Emma Rouault marries dull, provincial doctor Charles Bovary, her dreams of an elegant and passionate life crumble. She escapes into sentimental novels but finds her fantasies dashed by the tedium of her days. Motherhood proves to be a burden; religion is only a brief distraction. She spends lavishly and […]


Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson

April 6, 2012

Summary (from the publisher): William Shakespeare, the most celebrated poet in the English language, left behind nearly a million words of text, but his biography has long been a thicket of wild supposition arranged around scant facts. With a steady hand and his trademark wit, Bill Bryson sorts through this colorful muddle to reveal the […]


The Republic by Plato

March 6, 2012

Summary (from the publisher): Ostensibly a discussion of the nature of justice, The Republic presents Plato’s vision of the ideal state, covering a wide range of topics: social, educational, psychological, moral, and philosophical. It also includes some of Plato’s most important writing on the nature of reality and the theory of the “forms.” Reaction: The […]


A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

November 1, 2011

Summary (from the publisher): When Jaycee Dugard was eleven years old, she was abducted from a school bus stop within sight of her home in South Lake Tahoe, California. She was missing for more than eighteen years, held captive by Phillip Craig and Nancy Garrido, and gave birth to two daughters during her imprisonment. On […]


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

May 6, 2011

Summary (from the publisher): Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are […]