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The perfect St. Patrick's Day gift, and a book in the best tradition of popular history -- the untold story of Ireland's role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe. Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day,…

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Anne Fadiman is--by her own admission--the sort of person who learned about sex from her father's copy of Fanny Hill , whose husband buys her 19 pounds of dusty books for her birthday, and who once found herself poring over her roommate's 1974 Toyota Corolla…

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Now in print for the first time in almost 40 years, The New Lifetime Reading Plan provides readers with brief, informative and entertaining introductions to more than 130 classics of world literature. From Homer to Hawthorne, Plato to Pascal, and Shakespeare to…

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A dictionary? No, this is really an astonishing ark filled with beasts from a fabulous zoo far more varied and entertaining than anything from ordinary natural history. From 'Abaia' and 'Abath' to 'Ziz' and 'Zu', from the microscopic 'Gigelorum' that…

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THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER At the age of forty-eight, writer and film critic David Denby returned to Columbia University and re-enrolled in two core courses in Western civilization to confront the literary and philosophical masterpieces -- the "great books" -- that…

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In the Circumstances is a study of the way people other than their authors contribute to poems. Discussing work by Wordsworth, Browning, Hardy, Pound, Eliot, Montale, Auden, Lowell, and Hill, the book explores how other people's lives and wider circumstances can…

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First published in 1959, William York Tindall's Reader's Guide is still considered to be the best introduction to the complex writings of James Joyce. 'Much of this detailed (often page-by-page) interpretation of Joyce's works reads like a free but academic…

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The story of one of the landmark censorship trials of the 20th century.

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Romance readers and writers will find this collection of essays by some of the most popular romance novelists writing today unique and fascinating. For the first time, these authors explain why romance is so popular, reveal why they write in this genre, explore…

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From 19th century classics to as recent as 1985, this complete source book of British Mystery covers more than 1440 titles by 121 authors. Each is fully annotated without giving the ending away.

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The story of one of the landmark censorship trials of the 20th century.

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How did the tall, lanky Don Quixote and the short, stout Sancho Panza become staple figures of Western iconography, so well known that their silhouettes are easily recognizable in Picasso's famous work? How did the novel Don Quixote, a parody of the romances of…