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As You Like It

By: William Shakespeare

One of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, As You Like It is a pastoral comedy of mistaken identity, wit, and love. Daughter of a banished duke and forced to flee the court, Rosalind hides in the Forest of Arden disguised as a man. When her true love Orlando also shows up in the forest, she courts him without revealing her identity. Meanwhile, Phebe mistakenly falls in love with her disguise, Silvius pines for Phebe, Jacques philosophizes, and Touchstone makes fun of it all, and love and happiness triumph (for the most part) as Rosalind orchestrates a happy ending amid the confusion. (Summary by Rosalind Wills)...

Comedy, Play

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Defendant, The

By: G. K. Chesterton

A collection of reprinted articles on a wide-range of subject, all in the unique style of G. K. Chesterton. Using wit, paradox, and good humor he “defends” a series of seeming harmless things that need no defense, and in so doing he exposes many of the broken assumptions and dogmatic notions of secular humanism and other trends of his age and of ours. (Summary by Ray Clare)...

Essay/Short nonfiction, Humor

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As You Like It (version 2)

By: William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's pastoral comedy was written and first performed around 1599, and presents some of his familiar motifs: a cross-dressing heroine, a wise-cracking fool, brothers usurping their brothers' power, a journey from the court to the country, and various romantic entanglements. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett)...

Comedy, Play

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Dark Hollow

By: Anna Katharine Green

The small town of Shelby is shaken by a brutal murder. A man by the name of Etheridge was found beaten to death. A local inn-keeper, is convicted and executed for the crime. Many years later, a woman in purple shows up at the house of Ostrander, the respected judge who had sentenced the inn-keeper to be executed. This mysterious woman turns out to be the wife of the convicted man, but she does not believe he was guilty. She visits the Judge, to challenge him on his verdict. He listens to her plea, but reaffirms his belief in her husbands guilt. Having nowhere to go, Deborah is given the position of maid, which she secretly uses to obtain proof of her husband's innocence and the identity of the real killer. However, the initial evidence that Deborah collects points in troubling new directions. (Summary by Elaine Webb)...

Mystery

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Melting of Molly, The

By: Maria Thompson Daviess

Meet Molly: a quirky, spirited twenty-five-year old, widowed for 6 years, living in picturesque Hillsboro with her aunt amidst gossipy neighbors, on a strict diet, and in serious boy trouble. There's Arthur, her childhood sweetheart; then, there's the enigmatic, charming Judge Wade; and of course, there's her cousin Tom; and then, her infuriating neighbor, John Moore... But who will melt her heart? It is Arthur's return, and his seemingly simple request of wanting to see her in the same blue dress she wore when he left, that throws everything into turmoil... Sometimes, one can only find some solace in one's garden. Narrated in a refreshingly modern and playful style by none other than Molly herself, this book is the British magazine version; there’s a significantly different American novel version. (Summary by Elli, Julie VW and Stav Nisser)...

Fiction, Romance

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Little Prudy

By: Rebecca Sophia Clarke

I am going to tell you something about a little girl who was always saying and doing funny things, and very often getting into trouble. Her name was Prudy Parlin, and she and her sister Susy, three years older, lived in Portland, in the State of Maine, though every summer they went to Willowbrook, to visit their grandmother. (From chapter 1 )...

Children

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Civil Rights and Equal Protection Cases 1950-1960

By: United States Supreme Court

Landmark United States Supreme Court decisions focusing on civil rights and equal protection between 1950 and 1960. (summary by Kelli Robinson)

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Initials Only

By: Anna Katharine Green

Anna Katharine Green (November 11, 1846 – April 11, 1935) was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories (no doubt assisted by her lawyer father)....

Fiction, Mystery

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Death of Ivan Ilyitch, The

By: Leo Tolstoy

The Death of Ivan Ilyitch is the story of a socially ambitious middle-aged judge who contracts an unexplained and untreatable illness. As Ivan Ilyitch is forced to face the death he fears, he asks himself whether the life he thought was so correct was, in fact, a moral life after all. Written after Tolstoy's religious conversion, the novella is widely considered to be one of his masterpieces. (Summary by Laurie Anne Walden)...

Literature

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Green Rust, The

By: Edgar Wallace

A millionaire is taken suddenly ill, and sensing his mortality, he asks his attorney to do him one last favor—to find and secretly watch over his missing niece, the daughter of his profligate deceased sister. This niece at the appropriate time would become heir to his millions. However, the millionaire is mysteriously murdered, stabbed to death in his sick bed. Oliva Cresswell, the unsuspecting niece, has been a cashier in a large West End store for five years when she meets a Mr. Beale, a self-described wheat merchant, is attacked in her flat and rescued by this Mr. Beale, is offered a job as his confidential secretary, refuses him, is unexplainably sacked and finds herself in need of his offer. The mysteries multiply and deepen as the story proceeds. (Introduction by Don W. Jenkins)...

Mystery

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32 Caliber

By: Donald McGibney

A suspicious accident reveals itself to be a murder! Our story is narrated by a lawyer who turns detective in order to uncover the real murderer, and leads us on a chase through Bolshevik headquarters, country clubs, and a dry creek bed, before the real clues come to light. Up-in-the-air excitement! (Summary by Brenda Price)...

Mystery

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Strange Disappearance, A

By: Anna Katharine Green

Anna Katharine Green (November 11, 1846 – April 11, 1935) was an American poet and novelist. She was one of the first writers of detective fiction in America and distinguished herself by writing well plotted, legally accurate stories (no doubt assisted by her lawyer father)....

Mystery

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Trimmed Lamp, The : and other Stories of the Four Million

By: O. Henry

Born in 1862 and died in 1910, O. Henry’s birth name is William Sydney Porter; however, he adopted the pen name O. Henry while in prison. He published 10 collections and over 600 short stories during his lifetime. The Trimmed Lamp follows /the-four-million-by-o-henry/ The Four Million and provides another series of short stories that take place in New York City in the early years of the 20th century and are representative of the surprise endings that popularized O. Henry’s work. They also capture his use of coincidence or chance to create humor in the story. O Henry wrote about ordinary people in everyday circumstances. He is quoted as once saying, “There are stories in everything. I’ve got some of my best yarns from park benches, lampposts and newspaper stands.”I hope you enjoy the following readings as much as I enjoyed recording them.(Summary by Marian Brown)...

Short stories, Humor

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Club of Queer Trades, The

By: G. K. Chesterton

A collection of six wonderfully quirky detective stories, featuring the 'mystic' former judge Basil Grant. Each story reveals a practitioner of an entirely new profession, and member of the Club of Queer Trades. (Summary by David Barnes)...

Mystery

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Jolly Corner, The

By: Henry James

The Jolly Corner, published in 1908, is considered by many to be a ghost story ranking second only to The Turn of the Screw. James’s protagonist, Spencer Brydon, is an American of 56, returned to New York after 33 years in Europe, where he has apparently accomplished little while living off his New York rentals. His friendship with Alice Staverton, and his engagement in the development of a property awaken him to the possibilities that might have been his, had he chosen a different course of life. The ghost, if that’s what it is, is that other self that might have been, and his confrontation with that self and its possibilities leads to a deeply unsettling, yet ambiguous, conclusion....

Fiction, Horror/Ghost stories

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Jacket, The

By: Jack London

A framing story is told in the first person by Darrell Standing, a university professor serving life imprisonment in San Quentin State Prison for murder. Prison officials try to break his spirit by means of a torture device called the jacket, a canvas jacket which can be tightly laced so as to compress the whole body, inducing angina. Standing discovers how to withstand the torture by entering a kind of trance state, in which he walks among the stars and experiences portions of past lives. The jacket itself was actually used at San Quentin at the time and Jack London's descriptions of it were based on interviews with a former convict named Ed Morrell, which is also the name of a character in the novel. For his role in the Sontag and Evans gang which robbed the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1890s, Morrell spent fourteen years in California prisons (1894-1908), five of them in solitary confinement. London championed his pardon. After his release, Morrell was a frequent guest at London's Beauty Ranch....

Adventure, Fiction, Short stories

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Fame and Fortune

By: Jr. Horatio Alger

Richard Hunter, formerly Ragged Dick, continues to advance in the world through luck and excellent morals. He, along with his friend Henry, moves into a better boarding house and then finds a promising job. He is framed for theft by a jealous co-worker and ends up in jail. He is exonerated, given his job back, and then is promoted. He eventually works his way up the ladder and becomes quite successful. (Written by Alys Attewater and Barry Eads)...

Fiction

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Trees of Pride, The

By: G. K. Chesterton

Three trees, known as the Peacock trees, are blamed by the peasants for the fever that has killed many. Squire Vane scoffs at this legend as superstition. To prove them wrong, once and for all, he takes a bet to spend the night in the trees. In the morning he has vanished. Is he dead, and if so who has killed him? The poet? The lawyer? The woodsman? The trees? (Summary by Maria Therese)...

Adventure, Fiction, Mystery, Short stories

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Rivals, The

By: Richard Brinsley Sheridan

The play is set in Bath in the 18th century, a town legendary for conspicuous consumption and fashion at the time. Wealthy, fashionable people went there to take the waters, which were believed to have healing properties. The plot centres on the two young lovers, Lydia and Jack. Lydia, who reads a lot of popular novels of the time, wants a purely romantic love affair. To court her, Jack pretends to be Ensign Beverley, a poor officer. Lydia is enthralled with the idea of eloping with a poor soldier in spite of her guardian, Mrs. Malaprop, a moralistic widow. Mrs. Malaprop is the chief comic figure of the play, thanks to her continual misuse of words that sound like the words she intends but mean something completely different. (The term malapropism was coined in reference to the character.) Lydia has two other suitors: Bob Acres (a somewhat buffoonish country gentleman), and Sir Lucius O'Trigger, an impoverished and combative Irish gentleman. Sir Lucius pays Lucy to carry love notes between him and Lydia (who uses the name Delia), but Lucy is swindling him: Delia is actually Mrs. Malaprop....

Comedy, Play

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Insomnia Collection Vol. 001

By: Various

Soporific dullness is in the ear of the listener, and what's tedium incarnate to one person will be another person's passion and delight. However, it is hoped that at least one from the range of topics here presented will lull the busy mind to a state of sweet sleep. Introduction by Cori Samuel....

Essay/Short nonfiction

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