When Sylvia Tebrick, the 24-year-old wife of Richard Tebrick, suddenly turns into a fox while they are out walking in the woods, Mr. Tebrick sends away all the servants in an attempt to keep Sylvia's new nature a secret. Both then struggle to come to terms with the problems the change brings about.
Botchan is the story of a young math teacher from Tokyo whose first assignment takes him to a middle school in the country side. His arrival there is not very lucky: The pupils are bound to test his perseverance and cheerily comment every one of his perceived missteps. In the teacher's room, he soon finds himself in the middle of an intrigue between the jovial "Porcupine" and the fat "Hubbard Squash" on one side, and the effeminate "Red Shirt" and his follower "Clown" on the other. Will Botchan choose the right side in the end?
Botchan - with morality as the main theme - is one of the most popular novels in Japan. Soseki Natsume bases the story on his own experiences as teacher in Matsuyama, his first assignment away from Tokyo.
We of the Never Never is the second book written by Jeannie Gunn under the name of “Mrs Aeneas Gunn”. It is considered by many as a classic of Australian writing. The book was published as a novel but draws on the author’s own experience in settling on the Elsey Station way out in the "back blocks" of the Katherine region of the Northern Territories of Australia early in the 20th century. The primary concession to fiction was that she fictionalised the names of many of the real-life characters that featured in her life at the time, giving them names like "the Sanguine Scott", "the Fizzer", "the Quiet Stockman" and "the Dandy". Shortly after their marriage, Jeannie Gunn (to be dubbed "the Missus") and her husband, Aeneas Gunn "the Maluka", travelled to Darwin then into the Katherine to take up the management of the Elsey Cattle Station. The idea of introducing a white woman into the outback of the Northern Territory of the time met with opposition from all directions, and with flurries of telegrams from the men of the Elsey, but on she travelled, proving to be resilient and energetic. What follows is a rural romance, punctuated with occasional lyrical descriptions of the surrounds of the Elsey. We of the Never Never covers the time that Jeannie and Aeneas Gunn lived at the Elsey in 1902 and 1903.
NOTE: The book is a product of its time and the descriptions of aboriginal people and their treatment reflect the attitudes of early 20th century whites. However, Chapters 19 and 20 go beyond this and describe preparation for and execution of a hunt down the rivers for aboriginal people -- described repeatedly with a racist epithet that was commonly used in that time but is completely unacceptable now.
"The Regeneration of Lord Ernie is a story about a young man with no passion for life, he was very capable and the heir to a large family fortune but just not interested in life. His father employs a teacher, John Hendricks, to take him on a world tour and try to inspire him. In the final stage of the tour in desperation he takes him to the Jura mountains, where he went as a young man, to visit a pastor he stayed with. During the stay they get involved with pagan worship that involves the transforming power of wind and fire, up in the mountains.
Algernon Blackwood manages to evoke the atmosphere and tensions that carry Lord Ernie through transformation to lead a new life. But like a shooting stars he burns bright but ...... "( Patrick79)
Wells, H. G.
A funny and touching account of the imaginative Mr. Polly who, bored and trapped in his conventional life, makes a U-turn –- and changes everything.
H.G. Wells’ early life as the son of a semi-insolvent shopkeeper and as a draper’s apprentice fueled his novels of the lower middle class: The Wheels of Chance (1896), Kipps (1905), and The History of Mr. Polly (1910). These works evoke the desperation of apprentices, clerks, and small traders in their monotonous toil behind shop counters. And, like Mr. Polly, his protagonists make a break from their mundane lives with more or less success.
H. G. Wells (1866-1946) was a prolific writer in history, general and science fiction, and politics. He was a lifelong socialist.
E. F. Benson
E. F. Benson was born at Wellington College in Berkshire, where his father, who later went on to become the Archbishop of Canterbury, was the first Headmaster. He wrote 105 books in all.
Queen Lucia (first published in 1920) was the first of Benson’s ‘Mapp and Lucia’ novels of which there were six. This first book is a comedy of manners based in the provincial village of Riseholme, where Emmeline Lucas (the Queen Lucia of the title) presides over the social and artistic universe of the gullible residents. Her aide-de-camp in these matters is the somewhat effete Georgie Pillson and the chief competitor for her ‘crown’ is Daisy Quantock. The scandal of the Guru, the psychical goings on with Princess Popoffski and the arrival into the sleepy village of a famous Prima Donna all conspire to threaten her supremacy…
Eighteen short stories by a master story teller.
Grace Livingston Hill
Fleeing from an aggressive suitor, Hazel Radcliffe becomes hopelessly lost in the Arizona desert. Exhausted, she falls unconscious from her pony. Soon she is found by John Brownleigh, a handsome missionary who lives nearby. As he cares for her, a strong and true love grows between them. She was raised in luxury, he was raised to serve God. They part knowing very little about each other except for the love they feel. Back home among her family and friends, Hazel makes an important decision. She will do all she can to change, but can she do so before it's too late? Follow her journey of coming closer to the Lord and finding true love in an unlikely place.
The story of Selina DeJong and her son Dirk, whom she affectionately calls So Big. After the death of her husband, Selina raises So Big on her own while managing her deceased husband's farm in Illinois. When So Big grows up, he moves to Chicago, where he finds himself drawn to the fast-money stock-broker lifestyle of the 1920s. So Big is conflicted: he wants to live in the world of speculation and finance, but he's aware that his mother (and his love interest, an artist) are disappointed that he hasn't lived up to the hard-working, hardscrabble values instilled by his mother.
More humorous adventures (1925) by the world’s most misunderstood English boy.
Grace Livingston Hill
Fresh from school, mistreated and neglected by her father and stepmother, sixteen-year-old Dawn consents to marry a friend of her father's whom she has only met, but the wedding does not go as planned. Scared and confused, she runs away after the ceremony. Many adventures follow lovely and resourceful Dawn on her journey to becoming an independent woman.
Six short stories and a novella by the Russian master. (david wales)
H. G. Wells
"Mr. Britling Sees It Through" is H. G. Wells' attempt to make sense of World War I. It begins with a lighthearted account of an American visiting England for the first time, but the outbreak of war changes everything. Day by day and month by month, Wells chronicles the unfolding events and public reaction as witnessed by the inhabitants of one house in rural Essex. Each of the characters tries in a different way to keep their bearings in a world suddenly changed beyond recognition. This book was published in 1916 while the war was still in progress, so no clear resolution was possible. Wells did not know how long the war would last or which side would ultimately win, but he hoped that somehow, something good might eventually come of it.
Based on the author's own life, this book tells the story of "little sister". The youngest of eleven, she is unwanted in the beginning. The brother who loved her most, and whom she loved most in the world, is Laddie. She is almost lonely, and it's hard for her to study, so her comfort is nature. In an unforgettable way, which is funny and sad, little sister tells us her story.
Freeman Wills Crofts
Seymour Merriman stops at the side of the road 26 miles outside Bordeaux, an action that will change his life forever. The events that follow lead him into mystery, smuggling, murder and love. Two amateur detectives try to unravel the mystery of changing number plates, and everything else that surrounds the pit prop syndicate, before the case is handed over to Inspector Willis of Scotland Yard. (KHand)
Robert W. Chambers
Tressa Norne is an American living in China. After her life was spared during a revolution in the area, Tressa finds herself taken as a slave and forced to serve Erlik, a demon-god, and his cult. She ends up escaping back to America, but only to find that she is being followed by the Secret Service, and her former masters. (Ann Boulais)
W. Somerset Maugham
“I thought it was you I saw coming up the hill,” she said, stretching out her hand.
He stopped and shook it; the touch of his big, firm fingers made her tremble. His hand was massive and hard as if it were hewn of stone. She looked up at him and smiled.
“Isn’t it cold?” she said. It is terrible to be desirous of saying all sorts of passionate things, while convention debars you from any but the most commonplace. (Excerpts from chapter 1.)
Charles Waddell Chesnutt
In this, Chesnutt's first novel, he tells the tragic story of love set against a backdrop of racism, miscegenation and “passing” during the period spanning the antebellum and reconstruction eras in American history. And through his use of the vernacular prevalent in the South of that time, Chesnutt lent a compassionate voice to a group that America did not want to hear. More broadly, however, Chesnutt illustrated, in this character play, the vast and perhaps insurmountable debt this country continues to pay for the sins of slavery.
Burt L. Standish
Gilbert Patten, writing under the pen name of Burt L. Standish, wrote innumerable novels that were very popular in their time. His Frank Merriwell stories were later adapted for radio and these, too, were very popular. Frank is the All-American boy---scholar, athlete, gentleman---and always displays quick thinking and fairness in all that he does.
Eleven short stories.
Mary Roberts Rinehart
The story of three "middle aged ladies". Follow along as they have all sorts of adventures.
The world’s most confident, most chaos-creating eleven year old boy is at it again in these fourteen glorious and funny 1924 short stories.
B. M. Bower
Settlers are lured to Montana by a land boom syndicate in a scheme that encroaches on the Flying U Ranch. Members of the Flying U attempt to thwart the land-grab, as its very existence is threatened. So begins a dramatically engrossing novel involving an array of fascinating characters, some innocent, others decidedly not. A spunky child goes missing, a prairie fire is set, and a romance begins. B. M. Bower wrote 57 acclaimed works based on the American Old West, with some of her most popular books centering on the Flying U Ranch. She also scripted several Western movies.
Alec John Dawson
Dawson published over thirty books, the one best remembered today probably being the animal adventure story Finn the Wolfhound (1908)…. His own dog Tynagh and her son Gareth, who was described as the largest and finest specimen of his breed to date, served as the models for Tara and Finn in Finn the Wolfhound (1908). This is probably Dawson’s best-remembered and certainly his most frequently reprinted work: Finn, a champion Irish Wolfhound, is taken from England to Australia where he undergoes a series of adventures, being exhibited as a wild animal in a circus and escaping to live in the outback before eventually finding his old master and saving his life.
The hero is Mr Priam Farll, a painter of considerable ability. He is, however, extremely shy – so shy that when his valet, Henry Leek, dies suddenly, the doctor believes the dead man to be Priam Farll and the live man the valet. The artist does not try to disabuse him. After the funeral (in Westminster Abbey), Priam Farll marries a widow and lives a happy life until the loss of his wife’s money means he has to take up painting again. A connoisseur of art recognises his style but thinks the paintings are by an imposter. He makes a fortune by buying his works through a small dealer and selling them in America as genuine. Meanwhile Priam Farll refuses through his obstinate shyness to prove his own identity.
An example of early dystopian science fiction written shortly after World War I, "City of Endless Night" imagines a future with a very different ending to the Great War. Set in 2151 and in an underground Berlin, our protagonist is Lyman De Forrest, an American chemist who enters the city to discover the hidden truths of a forbidden metropolis. The subterranean world hosts a highly-regimented society of 300,000,000 sun-starved humans. As the first outsider to enter, he's horrified by what he finds, but will he accomplish his mission and escape the living tomb?
William John Locke
The book follows the lives of Hilary, the narrator, and three of his friends whom he met at Cambridge. One soon dies - another (Adrian) writes a hugely successful novel and marries Doria. Jaffery is a larger than life character who falls in love with Doria at first sight. Also in the story are Liosha, a fiery Albanian widow rescued from a life of servitude partly by Jaffery’s intervention, and Barbara, the steadfast wife of Hilary.Their lives change and the story develops as Adrian struggles to write his second novel.
William Frend De Morgan
A mysterious man arrives in London and, in a freak accident, gets electrocuted on an underground train and loses his memory. A young lady called Sally Nightingale feels responsible, and brings him home to her mother. But in a strange twist of fate it transpires that her mother is the man's ex wife, whom he left twenty years earlier in unhappy circumstances. The old attraction is there, but what will happen if and when his memory returns? A highly melodramatic plot, but with a deft comic touch, a host of vibrant characters, and a large dash of romance.
De Morgan is best known as a designer. One of the pioneers of the arts and crafts movement, he was a lifelong friend of William Morris and designed tiles and ceramics for Morris & Co for many years. But during his lifetime he also found considerable success as a writer. Over a century later his novels provide the reader with a picture - as intricately designed and lavishly colourful as his ceramics - of an England which, in a few short years after their publication, was to be changed forever by the First World War. With a style that at times is reminiscent of Thackeray or Dickens, De Morgan is a writer with a distinctive voice, wry wit, and - if 'Somehow Good' is any indicator - a truly sentimental heart.
Royal Highness is the story of Prince Klaus Heinrich, a member of a struggling German duchy and an exotic American heiress who comes to live as his neighbor. The novel is a microcosm of Europe before World War I, with Mann's depiction of a decaying society that is rejuvenated by modern forces. A true modern day fairy tale.
B. M. Bower
Val had come to Montana to marry a cowboy named Manley, envisioning a life of wedded bliss, freedom, and was anticipating happiness in her adopted part of the country. She would soon learn that the winters could be cruel and lonesome for a woman living on a ranch which was situated miles from the nearest neighbor. She would learn that her husband spent most of his time drinking. And she would learn that everybody has their own methods of dealing with the harshness and loneliness of the land she has come to call home. Val is determined to re-invent her notions about men and women, her new duties in life, and life as it existed in the relatively new West. At every turn, her will and her strength are tested. Would she find the strength within herself to overcome the hardships, or would she succumb to the reality of her surroundings?
This novel consists of selections from the diary of an author, starting soon after his retirement and continuing until just before his death. There is very little in the way of plot, but a great deal of quiet musing about art, nature, society, and the things that make life worth living. Although this is a work of fiction, there are clear parallels between the narrator's life and Gissing's own life. This leads many commenters to view it as semi-autobiographical.
Arthur B. Reeve
The Dream Doctor is a compilation of detective stories featuring Professor Craig Kennedy, a Sherlock-like character who uses his scientific acumen to solve mysteries. A newspaper reporter, Walter Jameson, works with him to get to the bottom of things. The Craig Kennedy stories appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine in the early 1900s.
This is a story of the effect of industrialization on a small town and its people, around the beginning of the 20th Century. The lead character is Hugh McVey—a shy, lazy, fairly ignorant, dreamy young man. Most of the story takes place in the little town of Bidwell, Ohio, where Hugh gets a job as a telegraph operator. He does discover he has a talent with calculations and drawings that enable him to become an inventor. In time he will become a millionaire. The story has many characters, and shows the negative effects on each of them, as the factories come to their town. The pioneering, agrarian spirit of each is slowly transformed; greed is the primary driver. Hugh sees this transformation but does not understand it. Several of the townspeople take advantage of him; his inventions of farm machinery are stolen. Only Clara Butterworth seems to bring some sanity; she marries Hugh, and they are happy for a time. As the novel approaches an end, however, there seem to be no bright spots. Labor fights, terrible graft, terrible crime, even murder come to Bidwell. The author paints a negative picture of a loss of innocence, as the nation becomes industrialized. Written in 1920, Sherwood Anderson could have seen only a small fraction of the changes to come. The magnitude, good and bad, would no doubt astound him. (Note: The novel is divided into “books”; however, there is no Book 5 between Book 4 and 6; hence I have so narrated it.)
James Edwin Gunn
Machines are infallible. Humans are not. The crew of The Ambassador knew their ship could not possibly fail, but what of themselves? And how could they defend against an unknown enemy with unknown motives and superhuman abilities, intent on driving each one of them beyond his own personal breaking point?
Laura and Cora Madison and their younger brother Hedrick live with their parents in a Midwestern American town that is fairly bursting with Cora’s discarded and would-be beaus. Her flirtatiousness annoys the tempestuous Hedrick but not the reserved Laura. The return to town of a handsome, charming former resident and an encounter with a deranged young person set in motion a roller-coaster of events that interweave and play out to an exciting, emotional climax. Booth Tarkington's writing is exceptionally sensitive and perceptive. A popular American novelist and dramatist, he is best remembered for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novels "The Magnificent Ambersons" and "Alice Adams". – Lee Smalley
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Our hero, Jimmy Torrance, Jr., has a hard time finding suitable employment after a brilliant (athletically, at least) college career, despite all kinds of assistance from his friends in the underworld and the wealthy and sophisticated young woman with whom he falls in love. Set in contemporary America, mostly Chicago, this 1921 short novel is one of a handful of Burrough’s works that does not take us to a fantasy or an exotic setting. (Delmar H. Dolbier)
D. H. Lawrence
Brief Encounter meets Tristan und Isolde - on the Isle of Wight, under a vast sky florid with stars. The consequence is tragic indeed for one of the parties, Siegmund, when he sacrifices family life for a few days’ transcendent rapture. His lover, the self-contained Helena, is strong enough to bear a return to the scruffy suburbs. Redemption of a kind is granted to the deserted wife, Beatrice. But between these robust Lawrentian women Siegmund is cancelled out. His love-death is no cosmic swoon but a sordid exit in an unkempt box-room.
In this very British romance, there is no earthly escape from outworn attachments and life’s deadening routine...
Wildest among the fisher-folk may be accounted the Chinese shrimp-catchers. It is the habit of the shrimp to crawl along the bottom in vast armies till it reaches fresh water, when it turns about and crawls back again to the salt. And where the tide ebbs and flows, the Chinese sink great bag-nets to the bottom, with gaping mouths, into which the shrimp crawls and from which it is transferred to the boiling-pot. This in itself would not be bad, were it not for the small mesh of the nets, so small that the tiniest fishes, little new-hatched things not a quarter of an inch long, cannot pass through. The beautiful beaches of Points Pedro and Pablo, where are the shrimp-catchers villages, are made fearful by the stench from myriads of decaying fish, and against this wasteful destruction it has ever been the duty of the fish patrol to act. These stories are set in the waterways around San Francisco Bay and involve the fish patrol with a variety of characters of different ethnicity and cultural backgrounds. ( Description from the opening of "White and Yellow" by Jack London, with addition by Don W. Jenkins)
Ben Connor is a gambler who knows horses. He goes out west to get away from the gambling life he has been leading in New York. There he discovers a breed of grey horses that he thinks are the best horses he has ever seen. The problem is that these horses are bred in a secret valley known as the Garden of Eden and that outsiders are not welcome there. Connor sees these horses as a means of getting rich on the race tracks, but how to get one is a problem.A great horse story coupled with the typical excitement one expects from Max Brand makes this a great book.
Lilian works in a typewriting office owned by Felix Grig, a middle-aged man of means. The office is run by his spinster sister, Miss Grig, who suspects that Felix is more interested in Lilian than perhaps he should be and gives Lilian the sack.Her plan fails as Felix invites Lilian to dinner – and the book follows the course of their evolving relationship.
The book follows the career of Hugh Paret from youth to manhood, and how his profession as a corporation lawyer gradually changes his values. The book received positive reviews, and was the second best-selling novel in the United States in 1915.
Parnassus on Wheels is about a fictional traveling book-selling business. The original owner of the business, Roger Mifflin, sells it to 39-year-old Helen McGill, who is tired of taking care of her ailing older brother, Andrew.
Wells, H. G.
Richard Hardy, a member of the British gentry, tries to resolve problems in his marriage as he travels with a psychiatrist. The book is to a great extent autobiographical. H. G. had read some brillliantly composed articles by a writer who wrote under the name Rebecca West. In one piece she called H. G. "pseudo-scientific." He contacted her and asked what she meant. When they met for lunch, it was the beginning of a very intense and volatile relationship. Soon she was pregnant, so he divided his time between her and his wife Jane with their two sons. After World War I, Rebecca became more demanding. She wanted him to divorce Jane. Finally, in 1923 Wells told Rebecca she should either get serious about her writing or break off their relationship. The criticism stung her. After a speaking tour in the U.S., she returned newly independent, and the two went their separate ways. In this novel H. G. based the character Martin on Rebecca, who both mesmerized and repelled him.
Samuel Hopkins Adams
This serious, yet witty and hilarious, romantic comedy by Samuel Hopkins Adams is a must read/listen! From the very beginning it intrigues you with the troubles and feminine woes of young Miss Darcy Cole. Being a dowdy, unkempt fledgling lady, she finds herself in a mirthful fix after telling a whopper to her room-mates in order to save face from her severely lacking personal life. Resentful and jealous of most all other women, and contemplating suicide, she turns to actress Gloria Greene for guidance on how to become more attractive. Miss Cole had no idea what she was getting herself into! Was it even possible to make herself over? How on Earth would she get through the lie of being engaged to a “titled” man, no less! She had never even met Sir Montrose Veyze, let alone be engaged to him! And then there is the charming Jack Remsen, who seems to be in a pickle himself. Darcy knows he would never fall for someone like her; in fact, no man even looks at her! But perhaps he might be coerced into unwittingly helping her out of her predicament.
A true Ugly Duckling tale, Darcy experiences all the emotions that most ALL women have felt at one time or another throughout life. As quoted by the Proof Listener for this work, the narrator does a superb job of “capturing the spirit of the book!” Drawing the listener in and allowing the audience to live and feel the experience along with the characters. A highly entertaining and riveting book!
L. Frank Baum
Aunt Jane's Nieces On The Ranch sees the reappearance of Louise and Arthur Weldon after the birth of their first child, Jane. The family lives in California and hire a nurse, a local Mexican woman, much to Uncle John's disapproval. Racial tension is explored as a New York woman is brought in to care for the child. Meanwhile, the Mexican nurse, Inez, is certain the ranch is haunted.
Herbert George Jenkins
This work of fiction by Herbert Jenkins (1876-1923) features one of his best-loved comic characters, the affable Cockney, Joseph Bindle. It was Bindle who conceived the idea of forming ”The Night Club”, where people from different walks of London life would gather on Sunday evenings "for a smoke, a drink and a yarn" to socialize, reflect on their lives, and share tales and reminiscences. It was improbably chaired by Bindle and faithfully reported to us by a member of the club. --Lee Smalley
Henry Handel Richardson
Henry Handel Richardson was the pseudonym of Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson, a writer who was born in 1870 to a reasonably well-off family which later fell on hard times. The author's family lived in various Victorian towns and from the age of 13 to 17 Richardson attended boarding school at the Presbyterian Ladies' College in Melbourne, Victoria. It's this experience that feeds directly into The Getting of Wisdom. Laura Tweedle Rambotham, the main character, is the eldest child of a country family. She is a clever and highly imaginative child, given to inventing romantic stories for the entertainment of her younger siblings, and an avid reader. She is also both proud and sensitive and her mother finds her difficult to handle. Her mother is the widow of a barrister who supports her family in genteel poverty on her earnings from embroidery. At the age of twelve Laura is sent off to boarding school in Melbourne. Her experiences at school shock and humiliate the unworldly Laura. The girls at the school are generally from rather wealthy families and those, like Laura, who come from less fortunate backgrounds learn very early not to divulge their circumstances for fear of ridicule. From time to time Laura lets little snippets of information about her family slip out, and she suffers for it.
Grace Livingston Hill
“On the day the drafted men march away, Ruth MacDonald catches John Cameron's eye and waves to him. In the excitement of the moment they both forget the social barriers that lie between them and only remember they were schoolmates as children. From this a friendship develops that has far-reaching results. To Ruth, spoiled daughter of the rich, comes a new conception of life, of war, of love. To John comes tests of fire before he finds himself. Here is the absorbing romance of two people who searched through the devious paths of a warring world for fulfillment and happiness.” - Dust Jacket, 1919 Edition. Note: Chapter numbering skips XI, like the original chapter numbering in the first edition.
Andrew Barton Paterson
From Banjo Paterson, bush poet and favorite son of Australia, here is a collection of colorful stories from Australia that offer a window into the past and the culture of the region.
Within these pages find passages from the "lost diaries" of a wide range of people: royal, regular, famous, infamous, historical, and fictional.
This book tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures.