Discover the masterful story telling in Jules Verne's classic, The Mysterious Island. This review also covers the parallels and differences between the book and the hit television series, LOST.
Here are three of the best books to help you improve your writing skills, plus one of the most inspirational books ever written.
Agatha Christie remains one of the most popular and famous of mystery writers. She often used poison to dispatch her victims. This article covers some of the common, and readily available, poisons she used, plus also the not-so common poisons.
Many fairy tales share basic elements with classical myths. Beauty and Beast can be interpreted as Cupid and Psyche retold, but it shares basic elements with many other myths too.
This essay delves into the reasons why Eve cannot be seen as a "femme fatale" and puts an uncommon twist on a popular story that encourages readers to think past their preconceived notions.
In Dorothy Sayer's Gaudy Night, Latin quotations carry important subtexts that are inaccessible to modern readers. Here are my translations and interpretations of these phrases, to help you discover nuances which dictionaries and online translators cannot give you.
In this analysis of Plato's Euthyphro, I analyze Socrates' conversation with Euthyphro and their discussion about the form and intrinsic quality of piety.
An analysis of a lost feminist utopian novel, Charlotte Perkin Gilman's Herland, and a reflection on the progressively blended gender roles borne by each new generation.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte is a classical work of fiction which everyone should read. If you enjoy a conflict between conscience and passion, you will certainly enjoy my Jane Eyre book review.
Only the very brave or the spirits of the ones very much in love, like Catherine and Heathcliff, who know every inch of the land that offers so many surprises, dare traverse these moorlands when the sun sets.
Some books have incredible appeal and others don't. After reading a dozen novels by Lee Child with Jack Reacher as the main character, I've discovered some clues to explain the phenomenon.
Why did the protagonist of "Death of a Salesman" have the mindset that he did and how does it compare in terms of self-help books popular on the market in 1949?
An enhanced-content review of Gwynne Dyer's "Climate Wars" (2010.) Climate change is of deep concern to national security professionals the world over. Find out what they are worrying about.
"The name is Bill Burroughs. I am a writer. Let me tell you a few things about my job, what an assignment is like." William S. Burrough from The Adding Machine.
There has been a long-standing debate over the true definition of tragedy in dramatic literature. Read this discussion of Aristotle's definition weighed against three tragedies written in different centuries.
Pasternak follows his characters through their experiences during the Russian Revolutions, World War I, and the Russian Civil War.
Review and summary of historian Keith Lowe's book, "Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II"
A young girl named Frances is relocated to her mother’s hometown in England during WW1. A country in despair seeks hope, and a neighbor finds peace in the magic of the Cottingley fairies.
An in-depth analysis of William Shakespeare's King Lear. Scrutinizes how Shakespeare used what we know to be as a fool to show wisdom and how even kings can be quite foolish.
Is there a difference between genre and form in literature or are genre and form the same? Is fiction a genre or a form? How about poetry, romance or fantasy. Here are one writer's thoughts.
Looking at the main traditions in Irish folk tales - warrior myths, romantic tragedies, ghost stories and local fairy stories.
Can Christians believe in Evolution? What are the different Christian beliefs about creation? Resources to help you decide what to believe.
A look at two of fiction's greatest wizards. Gandalf and Saruman were central characters to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings saga.
Natsume Soseki’s Kokoro is a fiction novel written in 1914, two years after the end of the Meiji era and the death of Emperor Meiji. This historical event assists Soseki in creating a contrast between tradition and modernity.
The Mary Poppins books were written by Pamela Lyndon Travers. The magical nanny is very popular, but her character is very different in the books than in the famous movie.
Herein lies a detailed analysis of Edgar Allen Poe's famous short story "The Cask of Amontillado." This story of a vengeful murder is still popular today, even 150 years after it was published.
Kate is an amazingly strong character displayed in Shakespeare's play The Taming of the Shrew. Here you can see how Kate may actually be the tamest of the sisters.
Charles Bukowski was a prolific writer who produced a lot of poetry books in his lifetime (there are over sixty books currently in publication at the last count). It wasn't easy to choose, but here are what I believe to be the 5 best Charles Bukowski poetry books.
John Ronald Reuel (J.R. R.) Tolkien was an Oxford professor, poet, and author. He is best known for writing “The Hobbit” and the trilogy “The Lord of the Rings.”
Someone recommends a book which you grab off Amazon and kick back with expectations of your socks being knocked off. Somehow your socks stay on and the book gathers dust. What is great literature?
Jack Kerouac is known as the King of the Beats. A poet, novelist and all round inspiration for questing individuals, learn how his iconic book On The Road came to be.
The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon, 1898 King Arthur is perhaps the most well-known subject in Anglophone literature. Not many other legends that originated over a millennium ago are still told as frequently and with such gusto today. But, what...
Review and Summary of Paul Cohen's book, "History in Three Keys: The Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth."
An examination of Angela Carter's "The Company of Wolves," from the perspective of its inversion of the most familiar versions of Little Red Riding Hood.
Shakespeare as a master of depicting the subtleties of human nature, provides an unsimplified portrayal of Cleopatra the exquisite Queen of the Nile both as a passionate woman and cunning manipulator.
Did Emily Bronte, the writer of Wuthering Heights, have Asperger's syndrome ? Asperger's symptoms include social isolation, interest in unusual topics and other behavioral traits of Emily Bronte.
Get to know The Wife of Bath, one of the pilgrims in the Canterbury Tales. She is a strong willed woman, married five times and on the look out for number six! Never dull, she wants equality with men.
Review and summary of historian William Cronon's book, "Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West."
Some Greek leaders of the Trojan War come to mind immediately, such as Achilles and Agamemnon. Others may take longer to think of, such as Nestor and the two Ajaxes. Read on for a comprehensive listing of all the Achaean forces and their leaders, as well as short bios of the most important leaders.
What is Wuxia? Is it all about Chinese martial artists in death duels? A beginner’s guide for anyone keen to know about the fascinating world of Wuxia novels.
Mel Carriere discusses the implications of David Quammen's The Chimp and the River as part of his lunchtime book review series.
The Beast in the Jungle, by Henry James is a poignant story about a man who is expecting a great event that never happens. He wastes his entire life awaiting this, and misses out on life as a result.
My Cousin Rachel blurs the boundaries of reality and deception, and what is morally right. See if you can determine who is innocent or guilty, and of what crimes.
ADHD is not a behavior problem, but a neurological condition caused by deficiencies and excesses which result in a brain imbalance. Greenblatt's Plan adds to deficiencies and subtracts from excesses.
Several authors have written prequels, sequels, and creative retellings of the classic novel Jane Eyre. If you love the original novel, these books may offer a new spin or perspective on your favorite characters.
In this essay, I analyze William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, and analyze how religious connotations hinder Hamlet's action and ability to avenge his father's death.
Some literary scholars, most famously Joseph Campbell, talk about the monomyth. The idea is that each work of fiction is just a representative of a larger archetypal myth. But I have doubts.
An analysis of Willa Cather's My Antonia and why she first published it under a man's name. This article explores sexuality, particularly Cather's and the male perpective.
Mark Lynas's "Six Degrees" is a modern classic, outlining potential effects of various levels of global warming. It's summarized, evaluated, and updated here, with links to 7 supplementary Hubs.
This article discusses and reviews several books on the topic of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) - a disorder that does not get nearly enough attention.
The Cafe by the Sea is a humorous look at the contrast between city and country life, and where our souls long to rest.
An overview and analysis of the second tale in Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales," "The Miller's Tale," and a focus on narrative point of view, characterization, theme, symbolism, and allusion.
An NY lawyer visits her grandmother’s hometown in Maine to deliver a letter, but is met by mishaps. This book is a hilarious look at the choices that drive our impulses, and a glimpse of lost youth.
Does the play Antony and Cleopatra have a subtext that undermines James’s regime, offering a warning about the iniquity of state absolutism? If so, Shakespeare was treading dangerous ground.
As is the case with most self-expression, F. Scott Fitzgerald used his writing in an attempt to make sense of the world and to share that understanding with his audience. However, most of the conclusions that Fitzgerald reached dismiss meaning...
Looking at the possible influence of an Irish vampire legend on the creation of Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Kate Atkinson, Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Carol Goodman deliver modern literary mysteries guaranteed to add spookiness, dread, and thrills to your reading experience.
James Joyce changed the face of modern fiction with his stream of consciousness writing style but did you know he was directly influenced by a little known French writer, Edouard Dujardin?
In Democracy in Black, the author proposes that for many reasons, the value gap in America and racial habits which sustain it got worse under Obama's watch. He makes recommendations for the future.
Review and summary of historian Nancy MacLean's book, "Freedom is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace"
How could a reclusive person like Emily Bronte have created the complicated novel Wuthering Heights, a tale of twisted personal dynamics, passionate romance, and dysfunctional relationships.
Susan Cain's book "Quiet" provides an interesting perspective on the unique strengths of introverts and explains why the world needs to embrace both extroverts and introverts.
The brides and grooms of these books failed to understand "until death we do part" isn't a licence to kill your spouse when your done with married life.
Books are just books, right? Not really. Many are written with the intent to change the world while others just change it because of the topic. Here are 10 of those books.
In this essay, I review Plato's "Republic", and analyze the three-tiered class system within the society as defined based of the "myth of the metals".
Elizabeth Kolbert's "The Sixth Extinction" won the 2015 Pulitzer for non-fiction, deservedly, for its blend of places, people, creatures and science. Get the gist in this lavishly illustrated Hub.
In the novel Emma, Jane Austen addresses many issues important to women, making her a feminist of her time.
What is the oldest story ever written? - The Epic of Gilgamesh was written over 4,000 years ago on cuneiform clay tablets. It recounts a king's quest to overcome death, and the original story of the Great Flood.
Many people believe that the character of Sherlock Holmes was based on one of Doyle's medical teacher's Doctor Joseph Bell. Bell was a lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and was a student of observation and deduction. To illustrate this, he would often pick a stranger and, by observing him, deduce his occupation and recent activities. Doctor Watson was based on Doyle, himself.
Lady Brett Ashley, the main female character in The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway, is often accused of being a bitch. Upon closer reading though, one can argue against these accusations. She is a mixed up, lost, lonely woman caught in a downward spiral towards destruction.
Sylvia Plath shows the reader the dilemma that a woman faces in her life through the story of Esther Greenwood.
The pagan tribes who authored the epic Beowulf and the characters within the story have a unique culture. There are four major parts of Anglo Saxon and Germanic culture that is vital to understanding Beowulf. Anyone looking to analyze the epic must first understand Bards, paganism, the warrior king culture and Anglo Saxon Christianization to form a complete analysis of Beowulf.
The curious history behind the popular nursery rhyme sing a song of sixpence takes us to Tudor times of Henry VIII to the Pirates of the Caribbean via the splendours of gastronomy.
The question never ceases to fascinate mankind. No matter how many answers are formulated, the meaning of life maintains a state of permanent elusiveness. Perhaps the quandary is mysterious because its answer is different for everyone. ...
This is an analytical essay that examines the racial issues in Shakespeare's play, "Othello." The play ponders whether race is a social fabrication or an innate ugliness of human nature.
Death of a Salesman's Willy Loman, was really a low man. He led a very sad life, accoplished little, but had big dreams. Here is an analysis of the man behind the story.
Analyzing the symbols of chaos, circles, hollowness, marriage, apathy, and the lack of any actual forward movement by the characters of Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Agent."
Jack and Jill is an evergreen delight for children. The rhyme dates back many centuries. There is so much speculation on it's origins and history. These range from the sublime to the ridiculous.
How to Understand Shakespeare gives tips on getting to grips with the language, style and form of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets.
A Christmas Carol is a timeless classic created by Charles Dickens. He wished to strike a blow on behalf of the children abused in factories. The story will forever haunt our homes.
Ben Franklin wrote endlessly sharing his life experiences to provide advice and inspiration. These are his five best books that I’ve read.
Dickens places Pip in a world layered with guilt in "Great Expectations" to show the reader the effect that environment has on development.
What is Gothic Literature? The gothic novel is a genre with a rich history that still manifests itself today through the works of famous authors such as Stephen King.