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An Introduction to the Canterbury Tales
Helen Phillips
0312227396
Feb 2000
Hardcover
·
 
Book Description
This critical study of The Canterbury Tales contains full separate readings of each tale, together with clear exposition of historical and literary background. The book approaches Chaucer through modern theoretical perspectives, focusing particularly on gender, political and narratological approaches, and it also presents critical views of Chaucer from the past. Chaucer's reputation as a bawdy humorist and proto-novelist, specializing in character, realism and irony, is re-examined in more modern and subtle terms than the traditional picture usually associated with him.


Gilead
Marilynne Robinson
031242440X
January 2006
Paperback
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Book Review
In 1981, Marilynne Robinson wrote Housekeeping, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and became a modern classic. Since then, she has written two pieces of nonfiction: Mother Country and The Death of Adam. With Gilead, we have, at last, another work of fiction. As with The Great Fire, Shirley Hazzards's return, 22 years after The Transit of Venus, it was worth the long wait. Books such as these take time, and thought, and a certain kind of genius. There are no invidious comparisons to be made. Robinson's books are unalike in every way but one: the same incisive thought and careful prose illuminate both.

The narrator, John Ames, is 76, a preacher who has lived almost all of his life in Gilead, Iowa. He is writing a letter to his almost seven-year-old son, the blessing of his second marriage. It is a summing-up, an...



Saturday
Ian McEwan
1400076196
April 2006
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Crossley offers a smart, measured performance of McEwan's cerebral novel about an ominous day seen through the eyes of Henry Perowne, a reflective neurosurgeon whose comfortable life is shaken following a run-in with a street thug. Crossley's polished English accent is a fine accompaniment to a story that focuses on the people of privileged London, and while most of the novel consists of Perowne's narration, Crossley easily and subtly shifts into a handful of characters, including Perowne's wife, the jumpy goon Baxter and even a hawkish American anesthesiologist. But what truly suits Crossley's approach to the text is his cool, precise, almost distant tone. Perowne is a surgeon and, aside from his frequent ruminations and flights of thought, he is nothing in his actions if not cautious and calculating. In this...


An Introduction to the Canterbury Tales
Helen Phillips
031222740X
Feb 2000
Paperback
·
 
Book Description
This critical study of The Canterbury Tales contains full separate readings of each tale, together with clear exposition of historical and literary background. The book approaches Chaucer through modern theoretical perspectives, focusing particularly on gender, political and narratological approaches, and it also presents critical views of Chaucer from the past. Chaucer's reputation as a bawdy humorist and proto-novelist, specializing in character, realism and irony, is re-examined in more modern and subtle terms than the traditional picture usually associated with him.


Barnyard Prayers
Laura Godwin
078680355X
Mar 2000
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Words and pictures play equal roles in this inviting volume, which playfully reprises and refreshes familiar themes and conceits. Selznick's (The Houdini Box) paintings first present a city boy preparing for sleep. Opening his little red barn set, he takes out a toy animal; in subsequent pictures, now full-bleed, the boy has entered the world of the animals, stroking a colt, visiting the henhouse, etc. The boy's deep affection for his charges is palpable, but the vigorous variety of perspectives and a certain mischief in some of the animals' expressions steer this fantasy safely clear of nostalgia. Godwin's (Christmas in the Manger) text consists of a series of verse prayers, each offered by a different character. These, too, mix the cozy with the puckish. The first poem, "The Farmer's Prayer," which faces an...


Christian Birmingham's The Night Before Christmas
Clement Clarke Moore
1561384763
September 1995
Hardcover
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Book Review
Clement C. Moore's classic poem The Night Before Christmas is undeniably the most widely recognized Christmas ditty of all time. Moore's words evoke images of warm, fuzzy Christmases, long before the invention of TV and microwave turkey. From the brush of artist Christian Birmingham comes this beautifully illustrated edition of the poem, bound in sturdy hardback. This book will delight for years to come. --Naomi Gesinger

From Publishers Weekly
Folk artist and preacher Finster infuses his interpretation of the traditional holiday poem with his characteristic evangelical verve. Patterned with what look to be brush doodlings, his surreal compositions create a psychedelic party mood that contrasts sharply with the rather staid verse. Each spread is framed by a running word-border of...


The Pilgrim's Progress
John Bunyan
0486426750
February 2003
Paperback
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Book Description
One of the most powerful dramas of Christian faith ever written, this captivating allegory of man's religious journey in search of salvation follows the pilgrim as he travels an obstacle-filled road to the Celestial City. Along the way, he is confronted by monsters and spiritual terrors, among them Worldly Wiseman, Giant Despair, and the demons of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. An enormously influential seventeenth-century classic, universally known for its simplicity, vigor, and beauty of language.


Plato Baptized
Elizabeth Bieman
0802057675
Nov 1988
Hardcover
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The March
E. L. Doctorow
0375506713
September 2005
Hardcover
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Book Review
As the Civil War was moving toward its inevitable conclusion, General William Tecumseh Sherman marched 60,000 Union troops through Georgia and the Carolinas, leaving a 60-mile-wide trail of death, destruction, looting, thievery and chaos. In The March, E.L. Doctorow has put his unique stamp on these events by staying close to historical fact, naming real people and places and then imagining the rest, as he did in Ragtime.

Recently, the Civil War has been the subject of novels by Howard Bahr, Michael Shaara, Charles Frazier, and Robert Hicks, to name a few. Its perennial appeal is due not only to the fact that it was fought on our own soil, but also that it captures perfectly our long-time and ongoing ambivalence about race. Doctorow examines this question extensively, chronicling the dislocation of both southern whites...



I See the Moon
Kathy Appelt
0802851185
May 1997
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Ages 3^-5. Starting with a line from a famous nursery rhyme, this original lullaby poetically describes a child falling asleep. In a tiny boat adrift in swirling waves, a frightened, lonely little girl with an angelically sweet face wonders whether anyone knows she is all alone at sea. But as she views images that speak of the presence of God--the loving face of the full moon, the stars, the dove that flies toward the shore--she is comforted. The illustrations are somber but appropriately peaceful, their subdued hues creating a sleepy-time setting for the text. Jenkins' use of delicate gold leaf to outline the stars, waves, and wind lends a rich luminosity to the paintings that aptly conveys the wonder a child might feel in the presence of the mystery of God. Shelley Townsend-Hudson


Robert Sabuda's The Night Before Christmas
Clement Clarke Moore
0689838999
October 2002
Pop Up Book
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Book Review
The ingenious Robert Sabuda returns for yet another inspired pop-up book, a follow-up to The 12 Days of Christmas and The Christmas Alphabet, that retells Clement Clarke Moore's classic yuletide rhyme.

Sabuda remains a master of the medium, constructing a series of varied and well-engineered scenes: Santa pops in and out of the chimney, beds fold out, a window shade rises and falls, and, in a clever nod to Moore's not-a-creature-was-stirring text, it's a family of mice who are receiving Santa's nighttime visit. A pull-out tab even lets readers interact, when Santa's sleigh glides out on the clouds and over an intricately realized village. It's hard to pick a favorite scene here, but you can bet that kids will love the book's pop de résistance, in which Santa's lead reindeer nearly fly right up your nose (if they don't...



I See the Moon
Kathy Appelt
0802852262
Jan 2001
Paperback
·
 
From Booklist
Ages 3^-5. Starting with a line from a famous nursery rhyme, this original lullaby poetically describes a child falling asleep. In a tiny boat adrift in swirling waves, a frightened, lonely little girl with an angelically sweet face wonders whether anyone knows she is all alone at sea. But as she views images that speak of the presence of God--the loving face of the full moon, the stars, the dove that flies toward the shore--she is comforted. The illustrations are somber but appropriately peaceful, their subdued hues creating a sleepy-time setting for the text. Jenkins' use of delicate gold leaf to outline the stars, waves, and wind lends a rich luminosity to the paintings that aptly conveys the wonder a child might feel in the presence of the mystery of God. Shelley Townsend-Hudson --This text refers to the...


How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Dr. Seuss
0394800796
October 1957
Hardcover
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Book Review
"The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! / Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason." Dr. Seuss's small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling holiday grumps of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above the Whos in Whoville. The noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below annoy him to no end. The Grinch decides this frivolous merriment must stop. His "wonderful, awful" idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the chafingly cheerful Whos of their Yuletide glee once and for all.

Looking quite out of place and very disturbing in...



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)
J. K. Rowling
030728364X
July 2005
Audio
·
 
Book Review
The long-awaited, eagerly anticipated, arguably over-hyped Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has arrived, and the question on the minds of kids, adults, fans, and skeptics alike is, "Is it worth the hype?" The answer, luckily, is simple: yep. A magnificent spectacle more than worth the price of admission, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will blow you away. However, given that so much has gone into protecting the secrets of the book (including armored trucks and injunctions), don't expect any spoilers in this review. It's much more fun not knowing what's coming--and in the case of Rowling's delicious sixth book, you don't want to know. Just sit tight, despite the earth-shattering revelations that will have your head in your hands as you hope the words will rearrange themselves into a different story....


Leonard Weisgard's The Night Before Christmas
Clement Clarke Moore
0760706859
September 1997
Library Binding
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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)
J. K. Rowling
0439784549
July 2005
Hardcover
·
 
Book Review
The long-awaited, eagerly anticipated, arguably over-hyped Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has arrived, and the question on the minds of kids, adults, fans, and skeptics alike is, "Is it worth the hype?" The answer, luckily, is simple: yep. A magnificent spectacle more than worth the price of admission, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will blow you away. However, given that so much has gone into protecting the secrets of the book (including armored trucks and injunctions), don't expect any spoilers in this review. It's much more fun not knowing what's coming--and in the case of Rowling's delicious sixth book, you don't want to know. Just sit tight, despite the earth-shattering revelations that will have your head in your hands as you hope the words will rearrange themselves into a different story. But take one...

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