An Unsuitable Attachment


Barbara Pym - 1982
    There is Mark Ainger, the vicar, who introduces his sermons with remarks like ‘Those of you who are familiar with the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.’ His wife Sophia with her cat, ‘I feel sometimes that I can’t reach Faustina as I’ve reached other cats.’ Rupert Stonebird, anthropologist and eligible bachelor. The well-bred Ianthe Broome who works at the library and forms an unsuitable attachment with a young man there. The sharp-tongue Mervyn Cantrell, chief librarian, who complains that ‘when books have things spilt on them it is always bottled sauce or gravy of the thickest and most repellent kind rather than something utterly exquisite and delicious.’ There is also Daisy Pettigrew, the vet’s sister, another obsessional cat person, and Sister Dew who bears a strong resemblance to Sister Blatt in Excellent Women.

Helen's Babies


John Habberton - 1876
    They enjoy a comfortable life with their parents Tom and Helen Lawrence. Helen's brother is Harry Burton, a wealthy bachelor who, although never having had one, is an expert on knowing how to raise children. When Tom and Helen receive a letter from Harry, in which he announces he will travel to them for a vacation, they see an opportunity to get a break from the kids. Knowing that Harry is an expert on children, they assume that he will appreciate the gesture and leave just after he arrives. Unbeknownst to them, Harry only wrote a book about raising children because his publisher told him to, and actually he isn't fond of children at all. He reluctantly takes the position as the babysitter of his nieces and is escorted by Alice Mayton, the Lawrence's attractive neighbor.From the Wikipedia summary of the plot of the film.The book is cited in George Orwell's 1945 essay "Good Bad Books" as an example of "the kind of book that has no literary pretensions but which remains readable when more serious productions have perished."

The Wheels of Chance: A Bicycling Idyll


H.G. Wells - 1896
    By the author of The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The War of the Worlds.

Something Fishy


P.G. Wodehouse - 1957
    When Keggs was a butler he eavesdropped on a meeting between his employer, J.J. Bunyan, and a covey of tycoons--J.J. and his associates each agreed to put up fifty-thousand dollars, the total to go to whichever of their sons was the last to marry. Thirty years later, Keggs wants to cash in on what he knows.

Love-at-Arms


Rafael Sabatini - 1907
    At a young age, Rafael was exposed to many languages. By the time he was 17, he was the master of five languages. He quickly added a sixth language - English - to his linguistic collection. After a brief stint in the business world, Sabatini went to work as a writer. He wrote short stories in the 1890s, and his first novel came out in 1902. Sabatini was a prolific writer; he produced a new book approximately every year. He consciously chose to write in his adopted language, because, he said, "all the best stories are written in English." In all, he produced 31 novels, eight short story collections, six non-fiction books, numerous uncollected short stories, and a play. He is best known for his world-wide bestsellers: 'The Sea Hawk' (1915), 'Scaramouche' (1921), 'Captain Blood' (1922) and 'Bellarion the Fortunate' (1926). Other famous works by Sabatini are 'The Lion's Skin' (1911), 'The Strolling Saint# (1913) and 'The Snare' (1917).

Scarlett Part 1 of 2


Alexandra Ripley - 1991
    This is the book whose initial publication was an instant sensation: selling out immediately, setting new records, and enthralling readers all over the world. This is the book everyone wants to read, savor, and enjoy...

The Flame


Gabriele D'Annunzio - 1900
    that perverse Book -- Eleanora DusaFirst published in Italian in 1900, The Flame is one of the most sensational works of the fin-de-siecle and is justifiably notorious due to its being a thinly-veiled account of the author's tempestuous affair with the legendary actress, Eleanora Dusa. A contemporary critic called it the most swinish novel ever written. Sarah Bernhardt returned her presentation copy to the author unopened.Writing in a florid style reminiscent of Henry James and Walter Pater, D'Annunzio uses turn of the century Venice as a backdrop in this study of the passionate struggle of two gifted artists for supremacy in love and art, and of the difference between male and female fantasy. After almost a century of neglect, D'Annunzio's insight into the nature of passion and the power of language remains disturbingly intact.

Awakening & to Let


John Galsworthy - 1926
    Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.

Night of the Avenging Blowfish: A Novel of Covert Operations, Love, and Luncheon Meat


John Welter - 1994
    "Among the wittiest American novelists writing today."--Joseph Heller, author of CATCH-22; "Run, don't walk, to your nearest store for NIGHT OF THE AVENGING BLOWFISH."--Milwaukee Journal.

Flavor of the Month


Olivia Goldsmith - 1993
    Actress Mary Jane Moran - never a beauty - has just lost not only the off-Broadway role she created but also the only man she ever loved. Hollywood has stolen both, and rejected her as too fat, too plain, and at thirty-four, too old for the movie version. She has no power as an actress or a woman. After the despair and rage pass Mary Jane comes to a decision. She is determined to buy the one thing that might really change her life: beauty. Two years, forty pounds, sixty-seven thousand dollars, and an excruciating series of surgeries later, Mary Jane emerges as Jahne Moore - thin, gorgeous, and ready for the big time. In L.A. at last, she lands a part in TV's hottest new series, Three for the Road. Starring with Jahne are two other beauties with pasts of their own to overcome: Sharleen Smith, raised in a trailer in dirt-poor Texas, ignorant and eager to please, an easy mark for a rogue's gallery of Hollywood hustlers; and Lila Kyle, child of Hollywood, whose driving ambition - to surpass her famous mother in everything - will goad her to risk all in her obsessive desire to be the only star of Three for the Road. As these three "virgins" rocket into the celebrity stratosphere, their pasts resurface in disturbing, outrageous, and scandalous ways. All of them are desired - the fantasy of every man, the envy of every woman. The man who broke Mary Jane's heart, now a successful director, pursues Jahne both to star in his new film and to become his lover. Jahne, in longing and fear, awaits his recognitionof her. Meanwhile Sharleen's childhood traumas scream from every tabloid. Lila Kyle loses her virginity in a career move and gains the leverage to discredit the other two women. But her plan backfires, resulting in the biggest Hollywood scandal of all time, one that threatens to t

The Fan Man


William Kotzwinkle - 1974
    It is told in the first-person by the narrator, Horse Badorties, a down-at-the-heels hippie living a life of drug-fueled befuddlement in New York City c. 1970. The book is written in a colorful, vernacular "hippie-speak" and tells the story of the main character's hapless attempts to put together a benefit concert featuring his own hand-picked choir of 15-year-old girls.Horse is a somewhat tragic, though historically humorous, character with echoes of other famous characters in popular culture such as Reverend Jim Ignatowski of Taxi fame. In his inability to follow anything through to completion he displays symptoms of attention-deficit disorder though this could equally be drug-induced. His defining characteristic is his joy in renting or commandeering apartments which he fills with street-scavenged junk articles until full to bursting he moves on to his next "pad". The name "fan man" is a reference to another of his traits; the collecting of fans of all shapes and sizes.

Father of the Bride (Classic Edition)


Edward Streeter - 1948
    Banks! His jacket is too tight, he can't get a cocktail, and he's footing the bill....He's the father of the bride.Stanley Banks is just your ordinary suburban dad. He's the kind of guy who believes that weddings are simple affairs in which two people get married. But when daddy's little girl announces her engagement to Buckley, Mr. Banks feels like his life has been turned upside down. And any man with a daughter can appreciate Mr. Banks's feelings.Kay: Now, Pops, please. If we're going --Mr. Banks: -- and what's his last name? I hope it's better than his first one.Kay: Pops, I'm not going to sit here --Mr. Banks: -- and where the hell does he come from -- and who does he think is going to support him? If it's me he's got another guess coming. And who in God's name --To say the least, Mr. Banks isn't taking it well, and to make matters worse, he must host cocktail parties with the in-laws-to-be, initiate financial planning talks with Buckley, and moderate family conferences on who will be invited to the reception.Who can blame him when he sinks so low as to offer Kay $1500 to elope?But Mr. Banks holds his peace, and when the last wedding guest has departed from his confetti-matted house, he has his memories, and you have a merry record of his tribulations.

ബാല്യകാലസഖി | Balyakalasakhi


Vaikom Muhammad Basheer - 1944
    Majeed's father was rich once, so could send him to a school in the distant town, although he was not very good at studies. Suhra's father on the other hand had trouble making both ends meet. Even then he wanted to send his daughter, who was good at studies to the school. But after her father's death, all her hopes of further studies was ruined. Majeed begs his father to sponsor Suhra's education, but he refuses. Majeed leaves home after a skirmish with his father, and wanders over distant lands for a long time before returning home. On his return, he finds that his family's former affluence is all gone, and that his beloved Suhra has married someone else. He is grief struck at the loss of love, and this is when Suhra turns up at his home. She is a shadow of her former self. The beautiful, sunshiny, vibrant Suhra of old is now a woman worn out by life, battered hard by a loveless marriage to an abusive husband. Majeed commands her, "Suhra, don't go back!" and she stays.

Cakes and Ale


W. Somerset Maugham - 1930
    Social climber Alroy Kear is flattered when he is selected by Edward Driffield's wife to pen the official biography of her lionized novelist husband, and determined to write a bestseller. But then Kear discovers the great novelist's voluptuous muse (and unlikely first wife), Rosie. The lively, loving heroine once gave Driffield enough material to last a lifetime, but now her memory casts an embarrissing shadow over his career and respectable image. Wise, witty, deeply satisfying, Cakes and Ale is Maugham at his best.

Slapstick/Mother Night


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - 1976