By Ayn Rand
Star Rating

Rated by Jackie M.
Feb 17, 2018

In Anthem, Ayn Rand illustrates how society and individuals suffer under extremist rule. The characters are bound to one another, and assigned specific duties, with the intention of benefiting the collective. After Equality 7-2521 makes a discovery from an ancient time, he begins to work on something that is outside of his designated vocation. In a different society, where innovation is valued, his work would be praised when he brings it to the authorities. But instead, he is punished for thinking for himself and not sacrificing his own will and desires for the collective. Even though what he

A Room with a View

By E.M. Forster
Star Rating

Rated by Heather B.
May 13, 2017

I'm a regular reader of classic literature, and I've enjoyed Merchant-Ivory films based on E.M. Forster novels in the past, so I'm not sure why I had the impression that his work was stuffy. Imagine my surprise when I found myself laughing out loud while listening to the audiobook of A Room with a View--and actually describing it repeatedly to one of my friends as "hilarious." 

In the first half of the novel, Lucy and her Aunt Charlotte are visiting Florence, and their lives unwittingly become entangled with those of their fellow English travelers, particularly an unconventional father and

Under the Volcano

By Malcolm Lowry
Star Rating

Rated by Matt C.
Oct 20, 2016

British consul, Geoffrey Firmin, is living in Mexico in self-imposed exile, solitary and saturated with liquor.  He was once happy, or maybe ne never was.  He isn’t sure now that he’s too riddled by alcoholism to even put on his socks.  But on this day, The Day of the Dead, 1938, he has a visitor.  His wife Yvonne has come to rescue the consul from himself.  Maybe she can persuade him to leave Mexico behind and start over with her.  Maybe she can salvage their marriage, left in ruins by her string of affairs with Geoffrey’s two best friends – both of whom are there with him in Mexico.  They

True Grit

By Charles Portis
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
May 27, 2015

An instant best-seller when published in 1968, True Grit has also been made into film. Twice. These facts alone should recommend it, and I am here to back it up with a solid vote for a place on your nightstand.

Fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross follows her slain father to Ft Smith, Arkansas to settle his affairs. While her mother expects her home, Mattie has other ideas. She hires a one-eyed, grizzled old US Marshal, Rooster Cogburn, to hunt down the killer and bring him to justice.

Against Mattie’s wishes, Texas Ranger LeBoeuf joins Rooster Cogburn in the manhunt, and the two try to leave her

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Mar 15, 2013

When you get to the end of a book you've loved, there’s a sadness that it’s over.  But when I finished Their Eyes Were Watching God I was glad - glad that I had read this again.  I got so much more out of this the second time.  I was amazed at how powerfully author Zora Neale Hurston captures feelings – feelings of a woman exploring her identity, examining her inner worth.  But Hurston was before her time - this novel was written in 1937. Considered a controversial member of the Harlem Renaissance, she wrote so beautifully that her prose captures us immediately.  From the first line – “Ships

The Prince - by Machiavelli

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Jun 30, 2011

The Prince - by Machiavelli

Few books are still read 500 years after first being published.  It is even more unique if such a book is still on the required reading list at schools (like MBA graduate level schools).  The book I am talking about is The Prince by Machiavelli.  Despite its age and brevity, the book is still very relevant and influential.  A beginning course of management theory and political science wouldn’t be complete without commenting on his writing.

Machiavelli discusses how a ruler, or Prince, could accomplish conquest and rule his subjects, and rule in the face of both

A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines

Rated by Library Staff (not verified)
Mar 18, 2010

Written in 1993, Ernest Gaines’ A Lesson Before Dying takes us back to the 1940s South and young, innocent Jefferson sitting in a Louisiana jail waiting to be executed. His Tante Lou and Godmother Miss Emma are determined that he should die like a man. Their nephew Grant, the one-room school teacher, is sent to teach the despondent prisoner the lessons of life. Gripping, gritty and heartbreaking this novel goes to the depths of the soul yet takes us up to the universal meaning of life. I read this after finishing The Help and was caught by the similarities of each in dealing with treatment of