Monthly Archives: March 2015

Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea

Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne

Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne

Captain Nemo, The Nautilus, and the mysterious depths of the ocean. Unforgettable. Come join an adventure that will roam among coral and pearls, sharks and giant squid, with wonders of biology and engineering that will thrust us from the Antarctic to Atlantis. Whether voyaging a yarn of the glorious unknown, a tale of the darkness that grips the heart of men, or a reinterpretation of Homer’s Odyssey, we’ll all enjoy the fantastic trip.

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

The quiet Dutch community of Sleepy Hollow lies in the Adirondack Mountains on the western shore of the mighty Hudson River in America’s colonial period. The solitude of the woods is breathtaking, and not even a schoolmaster is immune from the eerie miasma which everyone knows permeates the dense forest. Washington Irving’s The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow has become a classic of American literature, and has been retold in many different ways. Here is the original, from Irving’s own hand.

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The Master of the World

The Master of the World by Jules Verne

The Master of the World by Jules Verne

Chief Inspector Strock gets the tough cases. When a volcano suddenly appears to threaten mountain towns of North Carolina amid the non-volcanic Blue Ridge Mountains, Strock is posted to determine the danger. When an automobile race in Wisconsin is interrupted by the unexpected appearance of a vehicle traveling at multiples of the top speed of the entrants, Strock is consulted. When an odd-shaped boat is sighted moving at impossible speeds off the New England coast, Stock and his boss begin to wonder if the incidents are related. And when Strock gets a hand-lettered note warning him to abandon his investigation, on pain of death, he is intrigued rather than deterred.

Set in a period when gasoline engines were in their infancy and automobiles were rare, and when even Chief Inspectors had to engage a carriage and horses to move about, the appearance of a vehicle that can move at astounding speeds on land, on water – and as later revealed, underwater and through the air – marks a technological advance far beyond the reach of nations. It is technology invented by and for the sole benefit of a man who styles himself (with some justification) “The Master of the World.”

This book is a sequel to an earlier Verne novel, “Robur the Conqueror”, but enough detail is given to fully appreciate this story without having first read the other.

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Great Expectations

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

This classic tale tells of an orphan, Pip, who through a series of strange circumstances first finds a trade as a blacksmith’s apprentice and then learns that he has “great expectations” of a future inheritance from an anonymous benefactor. He soon learns to live the profligate life of a gentleman as he gradually sheds his associations with the gentle souls of his past, Joe (the blacksmith) and Biddy (a level-headed young lady). He throws his money at improving the prospects of his roommate and friend Herbert and his heart at an “ice princess” whose heart will never respond. But then an escaped convict from his distant past comes calling, and all Pip’s hopes dissolve.

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The Call of the Wild

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Buck is living a happy life in California until he is sold to pay a gambling debt. Taken to the Klondike to become a sled dog, Buck must toughen up and learn the harsher rules of survival in the North. One of the first of these is how to deal with being harnessed in the same team as a dog that wants to kill him.

Large, strong and smart, Buck toughens to his new life. But even the toughest dog can be worn down by constant work, and after 3,000 miles of pulling sleds, Buck nears the end of his rope.

Cast away as no longer useful, Buck is acquired by greenhorns whose inexperience nearly kills him, but after being saved by John Thornton, he at last finds a man he can love.

Then on a remote gold-hunting expedition, Buck hears a call emanating from the woods and speaking to the wild heart of his distant ancestors. The lure of it almost balances the great love he bears for Thornton, but events take him away from his old life… and into legend.

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