A woman can always get some practical use from a torn-up life, Gabriel decided. She likes mending and patching it, making sure the edges are straight. She spreads the last shred out and takes its measure: “What can I do with this remnant? How long does it need to last?"
―"Baum, Gabriel, 1935-( )" by Mavis Gallant

This generous collection of fifty-two stories, selected from across her...
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yesterday at 17:18. Facebook
“This house sheltered us, we spoke, we loved within those walls. That was yesterday. To-day we pass on, we see it no more, and we are different, changed in some infinitesimal way. We can never be quite the same again.”
―from REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier

The unassuming young heroine of Rebecca finds her life changed overnight when she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome and wealthy widower...
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yesterday at 12:30. Facebook
“Nobody, I think, ought to read poetry, or look at pictures or statues, who cannot find a great deal more in them than the poet or artist has actually expressed.”
--from "The Marble Faun" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

From Plutarch to Pasolini, from Henry James to Alberto Moravia, this collection of classic tales of the Eternal City draws on a wide range of brilliant writers from ancient times to...
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Poet William James Collins was born in New York City on this day in 1941.

"Musee des Beaux Arts Revisited" by Billy Collins

As far as mental anguish goes,
the old painters were no fools.
They understood how the mind,
the freakiest dungeon in the castle,
can effortlessly imagine a crab with the face of a priest
or an end table complete with genitals.

And they knew that the truly...
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03/22/2017 at 17:19. Facebook
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe died in Weimar, Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Germany on this day in 1832 (aged 82).

"No doubt you are right, my best of friends, there would be far less suffering amongst mankind, if men—and God knows why they are so fashioned—did not employ their imaginations so assiduously in recalling the memory of past sorrow, instead of bearing their present lot with...
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03/22/2017 at 12:30. Facebook
"It's a strange story, but from my point of view the dog is about the strangest thing in it. Of course, there's the mystery of the crime itself, and how old Druce can have been killed by somebody else when he was all alone in the summer-house —'"
—from "The Oracle of a Dog" by G.K. Chesterton

DOG STORIES rounds up a pack of vivid and colorful stories about man’s best friend by a wide range of...
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03/22/2017 at 00:30. Facebook
“It is comfortable to live in the belief that you are great, though your greatness is latent. ”
―from ZENO's CONSCIENCE by Italo Svevo

Italo Svevo’s masterpiece tells the story of a hapless, doubting, guilt-ridden man paralyzed by fits of ecstasy and despair and tickled by his own cleverness. His doctor advises him, as a form of therapy, to write his memoirs; in doing so, Zeno reconstructs...
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03/21/2017 at 21:21. Facebook
“A lot of truths about the living world are recorded in bad books; they are just badly written about.”
―from THE RADETZKY MARCH by Joseph Roth

By one of the most distinguished Austrian writers of our century, a portrait of three generations set against the panoramic background of the declining Austro-Hungarian Empire. Translated by a three-time winner of the PEN Translation Prize. READ an...
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Everyman's Library
03/21/2017 at 17:05. Facebook
"A Bird Came Down" by Emily Dickinson

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,-
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in...
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03/21/2017 at 00:30. Facebook
Publius Ovidius Naso was born in Sulmo, Italy, Roman Republic on this day in 43 BC.

"Time, the devourer of all things."

Ovid's famous mock epic—a treasury of myth and magic that is one of the greatest literary works of classical antiquity—is rendered into fluidly poetic English by world-renowned translator Allen Mandelbaum. Roman poet Ovid’s dazzling cycle of tales...
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03/20/2017 at 12:30. Facebook
Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery novel, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN, was first published on this day in 1852. An immediate international sensation, UNCLE TOM'S CABIN sold 300,000 copies in the first year, was translated into thirty-seven languages, and has never gone out of print: its political impact was immense, its emotional influence immeasurable.

"The longest day must have its close — the...
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03/20/2017 at 00:30. Facebook
"The Twin of Sleep" by Robert Graves

Death is the twin of Sleep, they say:
For I shall rise renewed,
Free from the cramps of yesterday,
Clear-eyed and supple-thewed.

But though this bland analogy
Help other folk to face
Decrepitude, senility,
Madness, disease, disgrace,

I do not like Death's greedy looks:
Give me his twin instead-
Sleep never auctions off my books,
My boots, my...
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03/19/2017 at 17:05. Facebook
"The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs."
--from "On Self-Respect" by Joan Didion

Didion’s incomparable and distinctive essays and journalism are admired for their acute, incisive observations and their spare, elegant style. Now the seven books of nonfiction that appeared between 1968 and 2003 have been brought together into...
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03/19/2017 at 12:30. Facebook
“I write, she wrote, that memory is fragile and the space of a single life is brief, passing so quickly that we never get a chance to see the relationship between events; we cannot gauge the consequences of our acts, and we believe in the fiction of past, present, and future, but it may also be true that everything happens simultaneously.”
―from The House of the Spirits by Isabel...
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03/19/2017 at 00:30. Facebook
Laurence Sterne died in London, England on this day in 1768 (aged 54).

“To write a book is for all the world like humming a song—be but in tune with yourself, madam, 'tis no matter how high or how low you take it.”

This bawdy, high-spirited novel—whose author, Laurence Sterne, was described by Diderot as “the Rabelais of the English”—provoked a literary scandal...
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Everyman's Library
03/18/2017 at 17:16. Facebook
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was born in Oswestry, Shropshire, England on this day in 1893.

"Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on,...
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03/18/2017 at 13:31. Facebook
John Hoyer Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on this day in 1932.

"When Rabbit first began to drive the road was full of old fogeys going too slow and now it seems nothing but kids in a hell of a hurry, pushing. Let 'em by, is his motto. Maybe they'll kill themselves on a telephone pole in the next mile. He hopes so."
--from RABBIT IS RICH by John Updike

When we first met him in...
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03/18/2017 at 01:49. Facebook
"I fear those big words, Stephen said, which make us so unhappy."
―from ULYSSES by James Joyce

The most famous day in literature is June 16, 1904, when a certain Mr. Leopold Bloom of Dublin eats a kidney for breakfast, attends a funeral, admires a girl on the beach, contemplates his wife’s imminent adultery, and, late at night, befriends a drunken young poet in the city’s red-light district....
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Everyman's Library
03/17/2017 at 17:05. Facebook
"The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by W.B.Yeats

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
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03/17/2017 at 12:30. Facebook
“What you think is the point is not the point at all but only the beginning of the sharpness.”

Flann O’Brien, along with Joyce and Beckett, is part of the holy trinity of modern Irish literature. His five novels–collected here in one volume–are a monument to his inspired lunacy and gleefully demented genius. O’Brien’s masterpiece, At Swim-Two-Birds, is...
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