Archive for the ‘Classics’ Category

20 Famous Mark Twain Quotations

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

Mark TwainToday is the 178th birth anniversary of Mark Twain. A genius American author and humorist who is best known for his masterpiece, The Adventures of Tom  Sawyer (1876), and its follow-up, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). Known for his excellent works, sharp wit and brilliant quotes, the author inspired many great authors, including Kurt Vonnegut and Ernest Hemingway.

To celebrate Mark Twain’s birthday today, we have compiled here 20 dazzling quotations by him.

 1) Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

2) Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

3) It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

4) Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are more pliable.

5) Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

6) If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

7) Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.

8) I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

9) A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

10) In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.

11) Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

12) The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.

13) The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

14) Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.

15) I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.

16) Honesty is the best policy – when there is money in it.

17) Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

18) The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you figure out why.

19) I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won’t.

20) Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

Tell us in the comment section if we missed your favorite that continues to motivate you.

 

Fall in Love with Classic Romance Novels: Valentine Special

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Author: Sherry Helms

This Valentine Day set the scene for your date with some treasured love stories. Celebrate the delight of romance by gifting or reading to your soul mate the top classic Romance Novels of all the time. Check out our quick list of romanticism in literature:

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - To celebrate your love day, what else can be better than reading to your date some excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, one of the greatest love stories of all time. This is a tragedy written by the greatest playwright William Shakespeare about two young “star-cross’d lovers” whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare’s most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet and Macbeth, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen This is a classic love story. Vivacious and witty Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest of the five daughters whom Mrs Bennett is anxious to put into marriage, hastily dismissed the superior Mr. Darcy – the most disagreeable man in the world. But, as soon as he realizes that he is deeply in love with Elizabeth, he starts improving his stubborn manners and made her to change mind. This volume is loved by book-lovers for its depth, humor and playfulness.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë - Published a year before her death at the age of thirty, Emily Brontë’s only novel is  set in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors. Depicting the love story of Cathy and Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with an instinct for poetry and for the dark depths of human psychology.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - Tells a  doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky, this classic story by Leo Tolstoy has been cherished by the generations of readers. Tragedy unfolds when Anna renounces a respectable yet stifling marriage for an affair that offers passion even as it ensnares her for destruction.

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway - High in the pine forests of the Spanish Sierra, a guerrilla band prepares to blow up a vital bridge. Robert Jordan, a young American volunteer, has been sent to handle the dyamiting. There, in the mountains, he finds the dangers and the intense comradeship of war. And there he discovers Maria, a young woman who has escaped from Franco’s rebels. Telling about an unusual love story, For Whom the bell Tolls is one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century by one of the greatest American writers.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell First published in 1936, this book is a historical novel set off against the harrowing milieu of the American Civil War. This American classic has a page-turning love story in which a manipulative woman, Scarlett O’Hara and a roguish man, Rhett Butler carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Its movie adaptation is also as popular as this book is.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - This is a moving love story written by the Nobel Prize-winning author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude“, Gabriel Garcia Marquez that binds three people’s lives together for more than fifty years. In this chronicle of a unique love triangle, readers will meet the character of Florentino Ariza, who waits more than half a century to declare his undying love to the beautiful Fermina Daza, whom he lost to Dr. Juvenal Urbino so many years before. An enthralling story of an eternal love.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks - This is another romance novel by Nicholas Sparks that have been touching the hearts of our readers. The Notebook, a story about love-lost-and-found-again, revolves around a single time-honored romantic dilemma: will beautiful Allison Nelson stay with Mr. Respectability (to whom she happens to be engaged), or will she choose Noah Calhoun, her teenage love who she left so many years ago? The movie adaptation of this book has also received as much applause as the book had.

10 Must-read Classic Books of All Time

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Author: Sherry Helms

Here is a list of 10 Must-read Classic Books of all time that our editorial team compiled for you after making a rigorous online research. Though this list could be endless, our adept team members restricted it to just 10 titles by selecting books  that are highly readable, very popular and widely-recommended by bibliophiles.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – While reading this classic book, readers become part of an extremely turbulent part of history – the bloody, terrifying French Revolution. One of the Charles Dickens’s most influential literary works, its opening line is possibly the highly admired in literature: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” Oscillating from France during its revolution to England, across the English Channel, the author looks at the politics of his day that was not only disturbing the peace of the nation but also invading people’s personal lives.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

While reading this mesmerizing story, readers’ would fully engulfed in a real world, with real people. The eloquence with which Tolkien compiled this book makes Middle Earth come out of the pages, letting you feel as one of the characters of this book. This is an amazing classic literature of all time.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – This is an 1862 French novel by author Victor Hugo that is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century. This classic literary work has a moving story of the trials of the peasant Jean Valjean, a man unjustly imprisoned, baffled by destiny, who is hounded by his nemesis, an ambiguously malevolent police detective Javert. This epic is at once a tense thriller that contains one of the most compelling chase scenes in all literature, an epic portrayal of the nineteenth-century French citizenry, and a vital drama of the redemption of one human being.

The Godfather by Mario Puzo – More than thirty years ago, a classic was born. A searing novel of the Mafia underworld, The Godfather introduced readers to the first family of American crime fiction, the Corleones, and the powerful legacy of tradition, blood, and honor that was passed on from father to son. With its themes of the seduction of power, the pitfalls of greed, and family allegiance, it resonated with millions of readers across the world—and became the definitive novel of the virile, violent subculture that remains steeped in intrigue, in controversy, and in our collective consciousness.

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – Widely regarded as one of the first (and finest) in the genre of ‘sensation novels’, this classic work tells the story of one woman’s journey through madness, murder, and mistaken identity. This is a classic work of Victorian sensationalism employing many of the sleuthing techniques of later private detectives. Highly histrionic and often the portrayer of strong female characters, Wilkie Collins intertwine the story of two sisters– one delicate and pretty and the other strong and indomitable. Though almost forgotten today but was a sensational best-seller of its day, this classic mystery is still worth-to-read, today.

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway – The best American novel to emerge from World War I, this is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway’s frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature. This is a moving story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, representing a new romanticism in classic era of literature.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen This is a classic love story in the recommendation list of our readers. Vivacious and witty Elizabeth Bennet, the second eldest of the five daughters whom Mrs Bennett is anxious to put into marriage, hastily dismissed the superior Mr. Darcy – the most disagreeable man in the world. But, as soon as he realizes that he is deeply in love with Elizabeth, he starts improving his stubborn manners and made her to change mind. This volume is loved by book-lovers for its depth, humor and playfulness.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – This is another great classic work by Jane Austen that everyone who has or aspire to have a romantic love story in his/her life should read. It is a timeless tale of romantic manners and mores in which two vastly different sisters (the Dashwood sisters) experience love and loss under the rigid view of British society.  We can say this novel is an excellent introduction to Austen’s works because of its relative simplicity and the use of typical themes and social situations.

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – First published in 1936, this book is a historical novel set off against the harrowing milieu of the American Civil War. This American classic has a page-turning story in which a manipulative woman, Scarlett O’Hara and a roguish man, Rhett Butler carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War and Reconstruction. Its movie adaptation is also as popular as this book is.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – This highly consequential classic work is the story about a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. One of the best-loved classics of all time, this Pulitzer Prize winner book has earned many acclamations since its original publication in 1960.

We invite our readers to comment and share if they have some other titles in their mind to add in this list, and they can explore the same at our specific Classic Books category.  

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