Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Read free novels online: The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler

This Halcyon Classics ebook is Samuel Butler's indictment of Victorian society, THE WAY OF ALL FLESH.

A semi-autobiographical novel, THE WAY OF ALL FLESH attacks Victorian era hypocrisy as it traces four generations of the Pontifex family. It represents a relaxation from the harsh religious outlook of Calvinism. Butler dared not publish it during his lifetime, but when it was published, it was accepted as part of the general revolution against Victorianism.

Book Summary
The story is narrated by Overton, godfather to the central character.

The novel takes its beginnings in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in order to trace Ernest's emergence from previous generations of the Pontifex family. John Pontifex was a carpenter; his son George rises in the world to become a publisher; George's son Theobald, pressured by his father to become a minister, is manipulated into marrying Christina, the daughter of a clergyman; the main character Ernest Pontifex is the eldest son of Theobald and Christina.

The author depicts an antagonistic relationship between Ernest and his hypocritical and domineering parents. His aunt Alethea is aware of this relationship, but dies before she can fulfill her aim of counteracting the parents' malign influence on the boy. However, shortly before her death she secretly passes a small fortune into Overton's keeping, with the agreement that once Ernest is twenty-eight, he can receive it.

As Ernest develops into a young man, he travels a bumpy theological road, reflecting the divisions and controversies in the Church of England in the Victorian era. Easily influenced by others at university, he starts out as an Evangelical Christian, and soon becomes a clergyman. He then falls for the lures of the High Church (and is duped out of much of his own money by a fellow clergyman). He decides that the way to regenerate the Church of England is to live among the poor, but the results are, first, that his faith in the integrity of the Bible is severely damaged by a conversation with one of the poor he was hoping to redeem, and second, that under the pressures of poverty and theological doubt, he attempts a sexual assault on a woman he had incorrectly believed to be of loose morals.

This assault leads to a prison term. His parents disown him. His health deteriorates.

As he recovers he learns how to tailor and decides to make this his profession once out of prison. He loses his Christian faith. He marries Ellen, a former housemaid of his parents, and they have two children and set up shop together in the second-hand clothing industry. However, in due course he discovers that Ellen is both a bigamist and an alcoholic. Overton at this point intervenes and pays Ellen off. He gives Ernest a job, and takes him on a trip to Continental Europe.

In due course Ernest becomes 28, and receives his aunt Alethea's gift. He returns to the family home until his parents die: his father's influence over him wanes as Theobald's own position as a clergyman is reduced in stature, though to the end Theobald finds small ways to purposefully annoy him. He becomes an author of controversial literature. (from wikipedia)

About the Author
Samuel Butler was an iconoclastic Victorian author who published a variety of works, including the Utopian satire Erewhon and the posthumous novel The Way of All Flesh, his two best-known works, but also extending to examinations of Christian orthodoxy, substantive studies of evolutionary thought, studies of Italian art, and works of literary history and criticism . Butler also made prose translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey which remain in use to this day. (from goodreads)

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Blogger Hop: 9/16-9/19

Here's the question asked by Crazy for Books:

As a book blogger, how do you introduce yourself in your profile?

I introduce myself by mentioning my love for books and how I just love reading books. I really think that I would have to further improve the way I introduce myself in my profile. Now, I would have an idea on how I can effectively do that. Thanks!

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Read Free Novels Online: The Call of the Wild by Jack London

An unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part Scotch shepherd, is forcibly taken to Alaska where he eventually becomes leader of a wolf pack.

Book Summary
Buck, a powerful Saint Bernard-Scotch shepherd dog, lives a comfortable life in the Santa Clara Valley with his owner, Judge Miller. One day, Manuel, the Judge's gardener's assistant, steals Buck and sells him in order to pay a gambling debt. Buck is then shipped to the "man in the red sweater" to be broken. Then Buck is shipped to Alaska and sold to a pair of French Canadians named François and Perrault (for $300), who were impressed with his physique. They train him as a sled dog, and he quickly learns how to survive the cold winter nights and the pack society by observing his teammates. He and the vicious, quarrelsome lead dog, Spitz, develop a rivalry. Buck eventually bests Spitz in a major fight, and after Spitz is defeated, the other dogs close in, killing him. Buck then becomes the leader of the team.

Eventually, Buck is sold to a man named Charles, his wife, Mercedes, and her brother, Hal, who know nothing about sledding nor surviving in the Alaskan wilderness. They struggle to control the sled and ignore warnings not to travel during the spring melt. They first overfeed the dogs, then when their food supply starts running out, they do not feed them at all. As they journey on, they run into John Thornton, an experienced outdoorsman who notices that all of the sled dogs are in terrible shape from the ill treatment of their handlers. Thornton warns the trio against crossing the river, but they refuse to listen and order Buck to move on. Exhausted, starving, and sensing the danger ahead, Buck refuses and continues to lay unmoving in the snow. After being beaten by Hal, Thornton recognizes him as a remarkable dog and is disgusted by the driver's beating of the dog. Thornton cuts him free from his traces and tells the trio he's keeping him, much to Hal's displeasure. After some argument, the trio leaves and tries to cross the river, but as Thornton warned, the ice gives way and the three fall into the river along with the neglected dogs and sled.

As Thornton nurses Buck back to health, Buck comes to love him and grows devoted to him. Buck saves Thornton when the man falls into a river. Thornton then takes him on trips to pan for gold. During one such trip, a man makes a wager with Thornton over Buck's strength and devotion. Buck wins the bet by breaking a half-ton sled out of the frozen ground, then pulling it 100 yards by himself, winning over a thousand dollars in gold dust. Thornton and his friends return to their camp and continue their search for gold, while Buck begins exploring the wilderness around them and begins socializing with a wolf from a local pack. One night, he returns from a short hunt to find his beloved master and the others in the camp have been killed by a group of Yeehat Indians. Buck eventually kills the Indians to avenge Thornton. After realizing his old life is a thing of the past, Buck follows the wolf into the forest and answers the call of the wild. Every year Buck comes to mourn for Thornton the place where he died. (from wikipedia)

About the Author
Jack London was an American novelist and short-story writer whose works deal romantically with elemental struggles for survival. At his peak, he was the highest paid and the most popular of all living writers. Because of early financial difficulties, he was largely self educated past grammar school.

London draws heavily on his life experiences in his writing. He spent time in the Klondike during the Gold Rush and at various times was an oyster pirate, a seaman, a sealer, and a hobo. His first work was published in 1898. From there he went on to write such American classics as Call of the Wild, Sea Wolf, and White Fang. (from goodreads.com)

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Chapter I: Into the Primitive
Chapter II: The Law of Club and Fang
Chapter III: The Dominant Primordial Beast
Chapter IV: Who Has Won to Mastership
Chapter V: The Toil of Trace and Tail
Chapter VI: For the Love of a Man
Chapter VII: The Sounding of the Call

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Read free novels online: Anthem by Ayn Rand

The year 2005 marks Ayn Rand's Centennial Year.

Ayn Rand's classic tale of a future dark age of the great “We”—a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values—anticipates her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

Book Summary
Equality 7-2521, writing in a tunnel under the earth, explains his background, the society around him, and his emigration. His exclusive use of plural pronouns ("we", "our", "they") to refer to himself and others tells a tale of complete socialization and governmental control. The idea of the World Council was to eliminate all individualist ideas. It was so stressed, that people were burned at the stake for saying an Unspeakable Word ("I", "Me", "Myself", and "Egos"). He recounts his early life. He was raised, like all children in the world of Anthem, away from his parents in the Home of the Infants, then transferred to the Home of the Students, where he began his schooling. Later, he realized that he was born with a "curse": He is eager to think and question, and unwilling to give up himself for others, which violates the principles upon which Anthem's society is founded. He excelled in math and science, and dreamed of becoming a Scholar. However, a Council of Vocations assigned all people to their jobs, and he was assigned to the Home of the Street Sweepers.

Equality accepts his profession willingly in order to repent for his transgression (his desire to learn). He works with International 4-8818 and Union 5-3992. International is exceptionally tall, a great artist (which is his transgression, as only people chosen to be artists may draw), and Equality's only friend (having a friend also being a crime because, in Anthem's society, one is not supposed to prefer one of one's brothers over the rest). Union, "they of the half-brain," suffers from some sort of neurological seizures.

However, Equality remains curious. One day, he finds the entrance to a subway tunnel in his assigned work area and explores it, despite International 4-8818's protests that an action unauthorized by a Council is forbidden. Equality realizes that the tunnel is left over from the Unmentionable Times, before the creation of Anthem's society, and is curious about it. During the daily three hour-long play, he leaves the rest of the community at the theater and enters the tunnel and undertakes scientific experiments.

Working outside the City one day, by a field, Equality meets and falls in love with a woman, Liberty 5-3000, whom he names "The Golden One." Also, Liberty 5-3000 names Equality "The Unconquered".

Continuing his scientific work, he rediscovers electricity (which he, until the book nears its conclusion, calls the "power of the sky") and the light bulb. He makes a decision to take his inventions to the World Council of Scholars when they arrive in his town in a few days' time, so that they will recognize his talent and allow him to work with them, as well as to make what he sees as a valuable contribution to his fellow men. However, one night he loses track of time in the underground tunnel and his absence from the Home of the Street Sweepers is noticed. When he refuses to say where he had been, he is arrested and sent to the Palace of Corrective Detention, from which he easily escapes after being tortured.

The day after his escape, he walks in on the World Council of Scholars and presents his work to them. Horrified, they reject it because it was not authorized by a Council and threatens to upset the equilibrium of their world. When they try to destroy his invention, he takes it and flees into the forest (called the Uncharted Forest) outside the City.

Upon entering the Uncharted Forest, Equality begins to realize that he is free, that he no longer must wake up every morning with his brothers to sweep the streets. (It's important to note that it was illegal for men of the City to enter or even think of the Forest, therefore he was not pursued once he crossed its threshold). He can "rise, or run, or leap, or fall down again." Now that he sees this, he is not stricken with the sense that he will die at the fangs of the beasts of the forest as a result of his transgressions. He develops a new understanding of the world and his place in it.

On his second day of living in the forest, Equality stumbles upon the Golden One, Liberty 5-3000, who has followed him from the City. They embrace, struggling to express their feelings for each other as they do not know how to verbally express themselves as individuals. They find and enter a house from the Unmentionable Times in the mountains, perfectly preserved for hundreds of years by thick overgrowth, and decide to live in it.

While reading books from the house's library, Equality and Liberty discover that the Unspeakable Word, the one that carries the penalty of death, is "I", given through the power of "ego". Recognizing its sacred value and the individuality it expresses, they give themselves new names from the books: Equality becomes "Prometheus" and Liberty becomes "Gaea". As the book closes, Prometheus talks about the past, wonders how men could give up their individuality, and charts a future in which they will regain it.

The last word of the book, "EGO", is inscribed by Prometheus on a rock and hung over his front door.(from Wikipedia)

About the Author
Alisa Rosenbaum was born in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg to a prosperous Jewish family. When the Bolsheviks requisitioned the pharmacy owned by her father, Fronz, the Rosenbaums fled to the Crimea. Alisa returned to the city (renamed Leningrad) to attend the university, but in 1926 relatives who had already settled in America offered her the chance of joining them there. With money from the sale of her mother's jewellery, Alisa bought a ticket to New York. On arrival at Ellis Island, she changed into Ayn (the name of a Finnish writer) Rand (taken from the brand name of her Remington-Rand typewriter). She moved swiftly to Hollywood, where she learnt English, worked in the RKO wardrobe department and as an extra, and - fuelled with Dexamyl - wrote through the night on screenplays and novels. She also married a bit-part actor called Frank O'Connor because he was 'beautiful' - and because her original visitor's visa had run out.
Rand sold her first screenplay in 1932, but nobody would buy her first novel We the Living (1936) a melodrama set in Russia. Her first real success was The Fountainhead (rejected by more than ten publishers before publication in 1943).
She was a libertarian, opposed to state interference of all kinds, and her follow-up novel Atlas Shrugged (1957) describes a group who attempt to escape America's conspiracy of mediocrity. (from goodreads.com)

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Giveaway: Win Dreamland by Alyson Noël

Riley's finding that the afterlife can be a lonely place when all you do is focus on work. So she goes to the place where dreams happen, hoping to find a way to contact her sister, Ever. She meets the director, who tells her about the two ways to send dreams. As a Dream Jumper, a person can jump into a dreamer's dream, share a message, and participate. As a Dreamweaver, an entire dream can be created in a studio and sent to the dreamer. But Dreamweaving was outlawed decades ago, and the studio was boarded up. Thinking it's her only way to reach out to her sister, Riley goes in search of the old studio. There she finds a ghost boy, who's been creating and sending nightmares to people for years. In order to stop him and reach out to Ever, Riley is going to have to confront and overcome her own fears.

Alyson Noël continues the bestselling story of Riley Bloom as she learns how dreams are made and tries to make contact with her sister, Ever.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Read free novels online: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

The House of MirthThe House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I actually didn't read the book but watched the film. Unfortunately, I am not inclined to appreciate very sad endings. I hate it that she chose to do the right thing, like not marry for money but she was not rewarded for it. She ended up poor and died. I don't think this will serve as an inspiration for women to do the right thing.

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This edition of Wharton's classic novel presents the standard text of the 1905 Scribner's edition along with five critical essays- newly revised for a student audience. Each critical essay is accompanied by a succinct introduction to the history, principles, and practice of the critical perspective and a bibliography that promotes further exploration of that approach.

Book Summary
The House of Mirth tells the story of Lily Bart, a woman who is torn between her desire for luxurious living and a relationship based on mutual respect and love. She sabotages all her possible chances for a wealthy marriage, loses the good opinion of her social circle, and dies young, poor, and alone.

Lily is initially of good social standing and rejects several offers of advantageous marriage. Lily then damages that good standing by accepting an invitation to Lawrence Selden's private rooms. Lily's social standing erodes further when her friend Judy Trenor's husband Gus gives Lily a large sum of money. Lily innocently accepts the money, believing that it is the return on investments he supposedly made for her. The rumors of this transaction, and of her mysterious visit to Gus in his city residence crack her social standing.

To escape the rumors and gossip, she accepts an invitation from Bertha Dorset to join her and her husband, George, on a cruise of Europe aboard their yacht the Sabrina. Unfortunately, while aboard the yacht Bertha accuses Lily of adultery with George to move societal attention from Bertha's own infidelity with the poet Ned Silverton. Lily has the option of saving herself by publishing evidence of an affair between Bertha and Selden, but abstains for sake of Selden's reputation. The ensuing scandal ruins Lily, leading her Aunt Peniston to disinherit her.

Lily descends the social strata, working as a personal secretary until Bertha sabotages her position by turning her employers against her. Lily then takes a job as social secretary for a disreputable woman, but resigns after Selden comes to rescue her from complete infamy. She then works in a millinery, but produces poorly and is let go at the end of the season. Simon Rosedale, the Jewish suitor who had proposed marriage to her when she was higher on the social scale tries to rescue her, but she is unwilling to meet his terms: use love letters between Bertha Dorset and Selden that have come into her possession. Eventually, she receives her $10,000 inheritance which she uses to pay her debt to Trenors. Lily dies from an overdose of the sleeping draught to which she had become addicted. (from wikipedia)

About the Author
Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the age of eighteen she had written a novella, (as well as witty reviews of it) and published poetry in the Atlantic Monthly.

After a failed engagement, Edith married a wealthy sportsman, Edward Wharton. Despite similar backgrounds and a shared taste for travel, the marriage was not a success. Many of Wharton's novels chronicle unhappy marriages, in which the demands of love and vocation often conflict with the expectations of society. Wharton's first major novel, The House of Mirth, published in 1905, enjoyed considerable literary success. Ethan Frome appeared six years later, solidifying Wharton's reputation as an important novelist. Often in the company of her close friend, Henry James, Wharton mingled with some of the most famous writers and artists of the day, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, André Gide, Sinclair Lewis, Jean Cocteau, and Jack London.

In 1913 Edith divorced Edward. She lived mostly in France for the remainder of her life. When World War I broke out, she organized hostels for refugees, worked as a fund-raiser, and wrote for American publications from battlefield frontlines. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her courage and distinguished work.

The Age of Innocence, a novel about New York in the 1870s, earned Wharton the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1921 -- the first time the award had been bestowed upon a woman. Wharton traveled throughout Europe to encourage young authors. She also continued to write, lying in her bed every morning, as she had always done, dropping each newly penned page on the floor to be collected and arranged when she was finished. Wharton suffered a stroke and died on August 11, 1937. She is buried in the American Cemetery in Versailles, France. (from goodreads.com)

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Monday, September 5, 2011

Read free novels online: Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Of Human Bondage is one of the greatest novels ever written. Philip Carey is an orphan with a clubfoot, he grows up to love books and struggles trying to understand why life has been so cruel to him. Then he falls in love, and his life changes forever.

Book Summary
The book begins with the death of the mother of the nine-year-old protagonist, Philip Carey. Philip's father had already died a few months before, and the orphan Philip is sent to live with his aunt and uncle. His uncle is vicar of Blackstable, a small village in Kent. Philip inherits a small fortune but the money is held in custody by his uncle until he is twenty-one, giving his uncle a great deal of power over him until he reaches his maturity.

Early chapters relate Philip's experience at the vicarage. His aunt tries to be a mother to Philip, but she is herself childish and unsure of how to behave, whereas his uncle takes a cold disposition towards him. Philip's uncle has an eclectic collection of books, and in reading Philip finds a way to escape his mundane existence and experience fascinating worlds of fiction.

Less than a year later, Philip is sent to a boarding school. His uncle and aunt wish for him to eventually go to Oxford to study to become a clergyman. Philip's shyness and his club foot make it difficult for him to fit in with the boys at the school, and he does not make many friends. Philip goes through an episode of deep religious belief, and believes that through true faith he can petition God to heal his club foot; but when this does not happen, his belief falters. He becomes close friends with one boy; but the friendship breaks up, and he becomes miserable. Philip shows considerable academic talent and is informed by the school's headmaster that he could have earned a scholarship for Oxford, but instead he becomes determined to leave the school and go to Germany. Philip's uncle and the headmaster oppose Philip's desire to go to Germany, but eventually they give in and allow him to go to Heidelberg for a year.

In Heidelberg, Philip lives at a boarding house with other foreigners and studies German, among other subjects. Philip enjoys his stay in Germany. At the boarding house he meets a fellow Englishman, Hayward, who has an interest in literature and who considers himself a poet. Philip also meets an unorthodox American named Weeks, who dislikes Hayward, whom he thinks superficial. Philip is intrigued by his long discourses with Hayward and Weeks and eventually becomes convinced that he need not believe in the Church of England; a radical idea for him as he had been brought up with staunch Christian values.

Philip returns to his uncle's house and meets a middle-aged family friend of his aunt and uncle named Miss Wilkinson, who is very flirtatious toward Philip. He is not particularly attracted to her and is uncomfortable about her age; but he likes the idea of having an affair with someone, so he pursues her. She becomes very attached to Philip and declares her love for him, and he pretends to be passionate about her, but he is relieved when she needs to return to Berlin. Miss Wilkinson writes letters to Philip from Berlin, to which he eventually stops responding.

Philip's guardians decide to take matters into their own hands and they convince him to move to London to take up an apprenticeship to become a chartered accountant. He does not fare well there as his co-workers resent him because they believe he is above them and is a "gentleman". Philip is desperately lonely in London and is humiliated by his lack of aptitude for the work. He begins thinking about studying art in Paris. He goes on a business trip with one of his managers to Paris and is inspired by this trip. Miss Wilkinson convinces Philip that he draws well enough to become a professional artist, and he moves to Paris to study art.

In Paris, Philip attends art classes, makes a few friends among fellow art students and meets Miss Price, a poor talentless art student who does not get along well with people. Miss Price falls in love with Philip, but he is unaware and does not return her feelings. After her funds run out, she commits suicide, leaving Philip to tend for her affairs.

Philip realizes that he will never be more than a mediocre artist; at the same time, he receives word that his aunt has died. He returns to his uncle's house, and eventually decides to go to London to pursue medicine, his late father's field. He struggles at medical school and comes across Mildred, a tawdry waitress at a local café. He falls desperately in love with her, although she does not show any emotion for him. Mildred tells Philip she is getting married, leaving him heartbroken; he subsequently enters into an affair with Norah Nesbitt, a kind and sensitive author of penny romance novels. Later, Mildred returns, pregnant, and confesses that the man for whom she had abandoned Philip had never married her. Philip breaks off his relationship with Norah and supports Mildred financially though he can ill afford to do so, but later she falls in love with a friend of Philip's and disappears.

Philip runs into Mildred again when she is so poor she has resorted to prostitution and, feeling sympathy for her, takes her in to do his housework, though he no longer loves her. When he rejects her advances, she becomes angry at him, leaves, and destroys his possessions, causing Philip to abandon that residence and move into cheaper housing. When Philip meets Mildred next, she is ill and prostituting herself again, and the baby has died.

While working at the hospital, Philip befriends family man Thorpe Athelny and is invited to his house every Sunday. Athelny has lived in Toledo in Spain, enthusing about the country, and is translating the works of San Juan de la Cruz. Meanwhile, a stockbroker acquaintance of Philip advises him to invest in South African mines, and Philip is left with no money when the stock market crashes due to the vicissitudes of the Boer War. He wanders the streets aimlessly for a few days before the Athelnys take him in and find him a job at a retail store, which he hates. Eventually, his uncle's death leaves him enough money to go back to medical school, and he finishes his studies and becomes qualified. He takes on a temporary placement at a Dorsetshire fishing village with Dr South, an old, rancorous physician whose wife is dead and whose daughter has broken off contact with him. However, he takes a shine to Philip's humour and personableness, eventually making him an outstanding offer of a stake in his medical practice. Although flattered, Philip refuses as he is still eager to travel and returns to London.

He soon goes on a small summer vacation with the Athelnys at a village in the Kent countryside. There he finds that one of Athelny's daughters, Sally, likes him. They have an affair, and when she thinks she is pregnant, Philip decides to give up his long-cherished plans to travel to exotic lands, to accept Dr South's offer, and to propose to Sally instead. They meet in the National Gallery where learning that it was a false alarm, Philip is disappointed but proposes to her anyway; she accepts. Philip puts aside his lofty, complex artistic and philosophical ideals, coming to the conclusion that "the simplest pattern, that in which a man was born, worked, married, had children, and died, was likewise the most perfect".(from wikipedia)

About The Author
From Wikipedia: William Somerset Maugham, CH, was an English playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era, and reputedly, the highest paid author during the 1930s.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Book Giveaway: Egypt: The Uprising (Battle for Maat #1)

Author: Amira Aly

Why is the Arab world in turmoil? What instigated the Spring of Freedom?
There is more to the story than meets the eye...
The very fabric of the world is at stake.

And , believe it or not, your fate lies in the hands of one book-loving Egyptian teen with an extraordinary heritage .

Aya is an Egyptian teenage girl trying to mind her own business and take care of her brother. As their country is swept by the tides of a revolution against a tyrant nicknamed the vile pharaoh, Aya tries to stay adrift. But her blood has something different in store for her.

Learning what the Ancients have always known, She joins a battle for truth and freedom-- a battle for Ma'at.

It is not just a story, however, it is a world-within-world, and a fresh tantalizing outlook on the events in our modern events.

Check out this link for details on how to join the giveaway book contest.

Good Luck! This is only until September 7.
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Book Review: She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

She's Come UndoneShe's Come Undone by Wally Lamb

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the book and I love Dolores Price! She sure went through a lot of ups and downs in life. My problems are nothing compared to what she has been through. She is not popular in school nor does she have a lot of friends but, I like how she can develop meaningful friendships that can last a lifetime. And these people she has developed a meaningful relationship with and who love her back are the ones who help her brave the storms in her life.

It's sad that her Ma died but if this has not happened, she would have gotten stuck in her grandmother's house, a fat girl forever.

I love how the book ended, she has found true love through Thayer and also got to see a whale in action! It is a very dramatic ending. She does not long for what she can't have anymore but is thankful for what she already has.

I love reading this kind of book because I get to have the chance to go through one's life and learn valuable lessons.

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Book Summary
In this extraordinary coming-of-age odyssey, Wally Lamb invites us to hitch a wild ride on a journey of love, pain, and renewal with the most heartbreakingly comical heroine to come along in years.

Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.

About the Author

Wally Lamb is the author of She's Come Undone, The Hour I First Believed, and I Know This Much Is True. Two were featured as selections of Oprah's Book Club. Lamb is the recipient of the Connecticut Center for the Book's Lifetime Achievement Award, the Connecticut Bar Association's Distinguished Public Service Award, the Connecticut Governor's Art Award, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, the 1999 New England Book Award for Fiction, and the Missouri Review William Peden Fiction Prize.

He was the director of the Writing Center at the Norwich Free Academy, Norwich, Connecticut from 1989-1998, and an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Connecticut’s English Department. He holds a B.A. in Education and an M.A. in English from the University of Connecticut and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College.

Lamb has served as a volunteer facilitator for a writing workshop at the York Correctional Institute, a maximum-security prison for women, in Niantic, Connecticut since 1999. Institute, a maximum-security prison for women. He has edited two collections of autobiographical essays entitled Couldn't Keep It to Myself: Testimonies from Our Imprisoned Sisters (2003) and I'll Fly Away (2007).

Lamb currently lives in Mansfield, Connecticut with his wife, Christine Lamb, and their three sons, Jared, Justin and Teddy.

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