Mark Twain was born November 30th, 1835.
I love his writing, and I love that he was also a cat lover.
"Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents," grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.I've read that first chapter so many times, I've almost got it memorized. I always admired Jo (Alcott's alter ego), but as a youngster I really wanted to be Amy, the pet and the "star" of the family. And although I was always sorry for tragic Beth, she was always much too perfect for me -- I would have strangled her long before the fever carried her off (oops -- guess I should have put up a SPOILER alert there!).
"It's so dreadful to be poor!" sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.
"I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
"We've got Father and Mother, and each other," said Beth contentedly from her corner.
|The old Whitman edition I had as a child|
"You've no family at all?"
"Just my aunt. She's all that's left."
"You're lucky. Family's a terrible thing."
"Only people who have families say that."
People come and go in our lives; that's as old a story as there is. But some of them the heart cries out to keep forever, and that is a fresh saga every time. (p.86)
On the private Greek island of Skios, the high-paying guests of a world-renowned foundation prepare for the annual keynote address, to be given this year by Dr. Norman Wilfred, an eminent authority on the scientific organization of science. He turns out to be surprisingly youthful, handsome, and charming—quite unlike his reputation as dry and intimidating. Everyone is soon eating out of his hands. So, even sooner, is Nikki, the foundation's attractive and efficient organizer.My Thoughts:
Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old friend Georgie has rashly agreed to spend a furtive horizontal weekend with a notorious schemer, who has characteristically failed to turn up. Trapped there with her instead is a pompous, balding individual called Dr. Norman Wilfred, who has lost his whereabouts, his luggage, his temper, and increasingly all sense of reality—indeed, everything he possesses other than the text of a well-traveled lecture on the scientific organization of science.
In a spiraling farce about upright academics, gilded captains of industry, ambitious climbers, and dotty philanthropists, Michael Frayn...tells a story of personal and professional disintegration, probing his eternal theme of how we know what we know even as he delivers us to the outer limits of hilarity.
During the time of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency, Herbie Gneiss is forced to leave college to get a job. His income from the Kant-Brake toy factory, which manufactures military toys for children, keeps his chocolate-loving mother from starvation. Mr. Gibbon, a patriotic veteran of three wars, also works at Kant-Brake. When Herbie is drafted, Mr. Gibbon falls in love with Herbie’s mother and they move in together at Miss Ball’s rooming house. Since Herbie is fighting for his country, Mr. Gibbon feels that he, too, should do something for his country and convinces Miss Ball and Mrs. Gneiss to join him in the venture. They decide to rob the Mount Holly Trust Company because it is managed by a small dark man who is probably a communist. There are some complications.
On the last day of the Millennium, sassy chain-smoking, 70 year old Faith Bass Darling is selling the precious antiques of five generations of Faith's founding family at a garage sale on the lawn of her historic Bass, Texas mansion. Why? God told her to.
As the townspeople grab up the family's heirlooms—a Civil War dragoon, a wedding ring, a French-relic clock, a family bible, a roll top desk, a n entire room of Tiffany lamps–reveal their own secret roles in the family saga, inspiring life's most imponderable questions: Do our possessions possess us? What are we without our memories? Is there life after death? Or second chances here on earth? And is Faith Darling REALLY selling that 1917 Louis Comfort Tiffany lamp for $1...?
London, 1850. Charles Maddox had been an up-and-coming officer for the Metropolitan police until a charge of insubordination abruptly ended his career. Now he works alone, struggling to eke out a living by tracking down criminals. Whenever he needs it, he has the help of his great-uncle Maddox, a legendary “thief taker,” a detective as brilliant and intuitive as they come.
On Charles’s latest case, he’ll need all the assistance he can get. To his shock, Charles has been approached by Edward Tulkinghorn, the shadowy and feared attorney, who offers him a handsome price to do some sleuthing for a client. Powerful financier Sir Julius Cremorne has been receiving threatening letters, and Tulkinghorn wants Charles to—discreetly—find and stop whoever is responsible. But what starts as a simple, open-and-shut case swiftly escalates into something bigger and much darker. As he cascades toward a collision with an unspeakable truth, Charles can only be aided so far by Maddox. The old man shows signs of forgetfulness and anger, symptoms of an age-related ailment that has yet to be named.
Intricately plotted and intellectually ambitious, The Solitary House is an ingenious novel that does more than spin an enthralling tale: it plumbs the mysteries of the human mind.