The Essence of Buddhism is a collection of quotes about life and how to live it at its fullest. While the quotes contain the teachings of the Buddha, they also can provide the non-Buddhist reader a blueprint of how to approach the mundane and how to avoid suffering.
Part of “The Brothers Karamazov”, this is an important short section because of its ideas about freedom and human nature. The central character in this work is a Grand Inquisitor who arrests Jesus.
Using his keen spirit of observation, Anton Chekhov depicts in his short stories the world as it is, focusing on the range of emotions one might feel throughout his life. From love to hatred, from exaltation to misery, from epiphany to utter confusion, every character has to experience all human emotions in order to understand life.
Mark Twain’s short stories aren’t about his religious beliefs. In fact, the Diaries of Adam and Eve should be taken with a grain of salt as they are humorous and witty and describe in a unique way the relationship between two human beings, man and woman who eventually end up falling in love with each other.
John Peerybingle and Dot are a happy couple despite their age difference. Their harmony however is disrupted when they meet toymaker Mr. Tackleton and his soon-to-be wife, young May. Tackleton tells Peerybingle his wife Dot is actually cheating on him. But what does all of this have to do with the cricket on the hearth and his chirps?
Using his outstanding imagination and his ahead-of-time world views, H. G. Wells makes an interesting experiment in the short story The Country of the Blind: he creates a world in which the minority becomes the majority. In his attempt to conquer a mountain crest, main character Nuñez discovers a society comprised only of blind people. He thinks he can conquer them just like a mountain crest using his sight, but will he be understood by those deprived of sight?
The Celestial Omnibus and Other Stories is the title of a collection of short stories by English writer E. M. Forster, first published in 1911. It contains stories written over the previous ten years.
The Chimes novel focuses upon the pressing necessity for a middle-class change of heart and the development of a social consciousness as correctives for the "Condition of England."
The Custom of the Country tells the story of midwestern family's rise to riches and their daughter's attempts to survive New York City high society. The story tells of her scramble from one marriage to another in an attempt to "have it all" and find love at the same time.
After discovering the more unconventional ways of free and entertaining learning at Chautauqua, Ruth, Eureka, Flossy and Marion return home willing to share their knowledge to the community they live in. But will the people around the four girls listen? Will they have an open mind?
The Chronicles of Clovis is a collection of short stories all centered on the main character Clovis Sangrail. Clovis is not your average young rich kid, nonchalant and arrogant. He likes to surprise doing bizarre things that many would not even imagine. Witness his pranks with a grain of salt and be amazed at the reactions of the people tricked.
A Bostonian decides to spend the summer in a small seaport in Maine to finish her book. She doesn’t find the peace in Mrs. Todd’s house. So she goes to an abandoned schoolhouse where she can meditate and concentrate. There she discovers the unique beauty of the decaying seaport.
The story is set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush—a period when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The novel's central character is a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in the Santa Clara Valley of California as the story opens. Stolen from his home and sold into service as sled dog in Alaska, he reverts to a wild state. Buck is forced to fight in order to dominate other dogs in a harsh climate. Eventually he sheds the veneer of civilization, relying on primordial instincts and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild.
A 19th century Boston woman named Olive Chancellor is committed to the suffrage movement. Olive convinces a young feminist named Verena to move in with her as preparation for Verena's career, but Olive's cousin, Basil, would prefer that the young woman become his wife, rather than a political activist.
This inspirational novel tells the story of a young boy who is responsible for the near-death of another child and how he learns to be a true patriot and right the wrongs of his ignorance.
When a group of pilgrims bound for Canterbury Cathedral meet on the road, they agree to tell stories to pass the time. Each story reflects a different segment of society, from the pious to the bawdy, and has given countless readers a look into fourteenth-century English life. The stories can be read on their own or as part of the entire work and have been translated from their original middle English by D. Lain Purves.
The Borgias by Alexandre Dumas is not necessarily a fiction novel but a history lesson with some fiction in it about the famous House of Borgia that ruled Renaissance Italy. Witness their corruption, the different plots to eliminate their opponents and climb the power ladder from bribery, simony and theft to incest and murder.
The Call of the Canyon is a western novel about a soldier returning from war who is nursed back to health by an Arizona girl. It was adapted into a 1923 silent film and remains an enjoyable tale for readers today.
In The Book of Five Rings, the author lays out the five elements of battle which are as applicable in the boardroom as on the battlefield.
Miles Coverdale decides to live for a short time in the utopian community of Blithedale. There however, just like the author Nathaniel Hawthorne who joined Unitarian utopian Brook Farm in his early teens, he doesn’t find his answers he was searching for. Instead he gets ill and doubts the community philosophical views and way of life. He returns to the city as a changed man.
A revolutionary philosophical work, The Age of Reason was written by Thomas Paine as a Deist text which was well received in the United States in the late 18th century but seen as too incendiary in the United Kingdom. The Age of Reason challenges the idea of state religion and the legitimacy of the Bible.
Summa Theologica is an extensive five-volume masterpiece about the meaning of life and the presence of God in our everyday lives. Just like the universe, the compendium starts and ends with God; everything in between is related to God’s creation and how we as human beings can be saved.
A fun and carefree story of boyhood, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is an American classic. Children and adults alike have enjoyed the antics of Tom, his friend Huckleberry Finn, and the other memorable characters in Mark Twain's most popular book.
An anonymous narrator arrives in Venice to retrieve Jeffrey Aspern’s - American poet and his idol - love letters. There he finds Juliana Bordereau and her aging niece who may or may not have the letters in question. To convince Juliana, the narrator tries to seduce the niece, Miss Tita but is he willing to pay the price?
The Age of Innocence was the first novel written by a woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Edith Wharton's novel centers around 1870's New York society, scandal and social structure.