240 pages, 8 × 5.15 × 0.65 in
November 3, 2009
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0307398676
ISBN - 13: 9780307398673
Read from the Book
BOOK 1: THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYCHBY LEO TOLSTOY April 16, 2007 To Stephen Harper,Prime Minister of Canada,From a Canadian writer,With best wishes,Yann Martel Dear Mr. Harper, The Death of Ivan Ilych, by Leo Tolstoy, is the first book I am sending you. I thought at first I should send you a Canadian work—an appropriate symbol since we are both Canadians—but I don’t want to be directed by political considerations of any sort, and, more important, I can’t think of any other work of such brevity, hardly sixty pages, that shows so convincingly the power and depth of great literature. Ivan Ilych is an indubitable masterpiece. There is nothing showy here, no vulgarity, no pretence, no falseness, nothing that doesn’t work, not a moment of dullness, yet no cheap rush of plot either. It is the story, simple and utterly compelling, of one man and his ordinary end. Tolstoy’s eye for detail, both physical and psychological, is unerring. Take Schwartz. He is in dead Ivan Ilych’s very home, has spoken to his widow, but he is mainly concerned with his game of cards that night. Or take Peter Ivanovich and his struggle with the low pouffe and its defective springs while he attempts to navigate an awkward conversation with Ivan Ilych’s widow. Or the widow herself, Praskovya Fedorovna, who weeps and laments before our eyes, yet without ever forgetting her self-interest, the details of her magistrate husband’s pension and the hope of getting perhaps more money from the government. Or look at Ivan
Table of Contents
Introduction Book 1: The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy Book 2: Animal Farm by George Orwell Book 3: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha ChristieBook 4: By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth SmartBook 5: The Bhagavad Gita Book 6: Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan Book 7: Candide by Voltaire Book 8: Short and Sweet: 101 Very Short Poems edited by Simon Armitage Book 9: Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez Book 10: Miss Julia by August Strindberg Book 11: The Watsons by Jane Austen Book 12: Maus by Art Spiegelman Book 13: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Book 14: Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Book 15: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson Book 16: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke Book 17: The Island Means Minago by Milton Acorn Book 18: Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Books 19: The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid LindgrenImagine a Day by Sarah L. Thomson and Rob GonsalvesThe Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg Book 20: The Educated Imagination by Northrop Frye Book 21: The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway Book 22: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius Book 23: Artists and Models by Anaïs Nin Book 24: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett Book 25: The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi by Larry TremblayBook 26: Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes Book 27: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf Book 28: Read All About It! by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Book 29: Drown by Junot Díaz Book 30: The Kreutzer
From the Publisher
“I know you’re very busy, Mr. Harper. We’re all busy. But every person has a space next to where they sleep, whether a patch of pavement or a fine bedside table. In that space, at night, a book can glow. And in those moments of docile wakefulness, when we begin to let go of the day, then is the perfect time to pick up a book and be someone else, somewhere else, for a few minutes, a few pages, before we fall asleep.”
From the author of Life of Pi comes a literary correspondence — recommendations to Canada’s Prime Minister of great short books that will inspire and delight book lovers and book club readers across our nation.
Every two weeks since April 16th, 2007, Yann Martel has mailed Stephen Harper a book along with a letter. These insightful, provocative letters detailing what he hopes the Prime Minister may take from the books — by such writers as Jane Austen, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Stephen Galloway — are collected here together. The one-sided correspondence (Mr. Harper’s office has only replied once) becomes a meditation on reading and writing and the necessity to allow ourselves to expand stillness in our lives, even if we’re not head of government.
About the Author
Yann Martel is the prize-winning author of the internationally acclaimed Life of Pi, which won the 2002 Booker Prize, The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios, a collection of short stories, and Self, a novel. He lives in Saskatoon.